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-- January 3 is the day when newly elected members of Congress assume their offices.
-- Born on this date in 1879, Grace Anna Goodhue from Vermont, later to become the US First Lady as the wife of President Calvin Coolidge.
-- Born on this date in 1887, American educator, Helen Parkhurst, known for introducing the Dalton Laboratory Plan of teaching into the public school system, while teaching at a high school in Dalton, Massachusetts.
-- Born on this date in 1892, in South Africa, British professor and author, J.R.R. Tolkien, remembered for his fantasy novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
-- Born on this date in 1923, American football coach, Hank Stram. Coach Stram was hired as the Dallas Texans first head coach. The Texans would move to Kansas City and become the Chiefs, after which time the Kansas City Chiefs under the direction of Coach Stram, became the only franchise to claim three AFL (American Football League), championships in the decade of the 1960s.
-- Born on this date in 1929, Italian film director, Sergio Leone, best remembered for popularizing spaghetti westerns in the US. (A spaghetti western is a low-budget Western movie produced by a European, especially an Italian, film company.) Leone's first western was A Fistful of Dollars, (1964), which immediately sparked Clint Eastwood's popularity. Soon to follow, were two Leone sequels, For a Few Dollars More, in 1965; and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, in 1966; both of which featured Clint Eastwood.
-- Born on this date in 1939, in Pointe Anne, Ontario, Canada, ice hockey player, Robert Marvin Hull. Bobby Hull went on to become the first NHL player to score 50 plus goals in one season and was a star of the Chicago Blackhawks, helping them to garner the Stanley Cup in 1961.
-- On this date in 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the Union.
-- On this date in 1999, NASA launched the Mars Polar Lander.