January 19 in History

“People, feelings, everything! Double! Two people in each person. There’s also a person exactly the opposite of you, like the unseen part of you, somewhere in the world, and he waits in ambush.”―Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train

Patricia Highsmith (above) was born on this date in 1921. She wrote twenty-two novels and many short stories, most of which are psychological thrillers.

Many of these have since been made into films. One character, Tom Ripley, appears in five novels, The Talented Mr. Ripley being the first, in which he kills 10 people directly, causes the deaths of several others, and is charming company when he is not murdering: “Mr. Greenleaf was such a decent fellow himself, he took it for granted that everybody else in the world was decent, too. Tom had almost forgotten such people existed.”

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The “Tuck Rule Game” between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders was played on this date in 2002.

It was a snowy football game in which a halting motion, an attempt to tuck the football and protect it by quarterback Tom Brady, led to a tackle and dropped ball (a fumble), and then a reverse of the fumble ruling by officials. The fumble was reviewed, the call was reversed, and the halting motion was deemed an incomplete pass. The Patriots took advantage of the ruling and the moment, and won the game.

It was the final game played at Foxboro Stadium.

The rule, which was interpreted correctly if controversially at the time, was abolished by the NFL after the 2013 season by a 29–1 vote of team owners. The new England Patriots abstained.


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Carl Perkins died on this date in 1998. “Blue Suede Shoes” with an all-star line-up:

Hrant Dink was murdered ten years ago today. Denny Doherty died ten years ago today.

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Robert E. Lee was born on this date in 1807. Edgar Allan Poe was born on this date in 1809. “The Raven,” performed by Vincent Price:

Paul Cézanne was born on this date in 1839. The late Fritz Weaver was born in 1926 on this date. (He died November 26, 2016.) Phil Everly was born in 1939 on this date. Janis Joplin was born on this date in 1943. Robert Palmer was born in 1949 on this date.

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Tippi Hedren is 87. Robert MacNeil is 86 today. Richard Lester is 85 today. Michael Crawford is 75 today. Dolly Parton is 71 today. Julian Barnes is 71 today. Desi Arnaz, Jr. is 64. Katey Sagal is 63. Sir Simon Rattle is 62. Paul Rodriguez is 62. Edwidge Danticat is 48 today. Drea De Matteo is 45 today. Frank Caliendo is 43. Shawn Johnson is 25.

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