1937 Presidential Inauguration Day.
1892 The first basketball game was played.
1896 George Bums was born.
Anyone who rises to communicate on this day does so in the shadow or the glory of some of the most noble phrases ever uttered, phrases spoken by men as they were inaugurated President of the United States. Since 1937, January 20th has been Presidential Inauguration Day. Franklin D. Roosevelt saw “one third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished”; John F. Kennedy urged his fellow Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”; Harry S Truman observed that “the supreme need of our time is for men to leam to live together in peace and harmony”; and Dwight D. Eisenhower said that “whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.”
In a Springfield Massachusetts meeting hall, on this day in 1892, a YMCA worker named James Naismith introduced a great medium for international communication. It wasn’t intended that way. Basketball was simply a game. But Naismith’s game did not merely catch on. It took the world by storm. It is played everywhere—from alleys and schoolyards around the world to stadiums and Olympic courts.
Few people have ever lived for an entire century, but entertainer George Bums did. born on this day in 1896, this native New Yorker kept audiences laughing for almost one hundred years. Even when asked about getting old, he managed to keep his sense of humor: “Well, my smoke rings aren’t as big or as round as they used to be. In my Martinis I’m down from two olives to one.”