Tag Archives: january

Dolly Parton’s Birthday

Photo of Dolly PARTONJanuary 19 is country music legend Dolly Parton’s birthday!

Parton was born in 1946 in Sevierville, Tennessee, and was one of 12 children born to tabacco farmer Robert Lee Parton and his wife, Avie Lee. Her childhood was spent on a rundown farm in the Great Smokey Mountains, and when she recounts stories of her family life, she describes their financial situation as “dirt poor.” Music played an important role in her life, even as a child, where her first exposure came from her mother singing to her, and the hymns they sang together in church. She was gifted her first guitar from a relative, and immediately began playing and writing her own music.

By age 10, Parton began performing on television and radio shows in eastern Tennessee, and made her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry a mere three years later. She met musician Johnny Cash while performing at the Grand Ole Opry, and he encouraged her to follow her dreams of becoming a musician. In 1964, the day after she graduated from high school, Parton moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music.

She was first hired as a songwriter, but soon moved on to recording her own songs. Her first big break came in 1967 when Porter Wagoner invited her to partner with him on his show. In the following years, the duo recorded several number one hits and Parton was signed to RCA, where she began recording solo material. Her first solo number one hit was “Joshua” in 1971, and was soon followed by “Jolene” in 1973, and “I Will Always Love You,” which was written about her split from Wagoner, in 1974. After seven years of recording hits with Wagoner, Parton’s fame began to overshadow his, and she decided to break out on her own.

In 1975 and 1976, Parton won the Country Music Award for best female vocalist. She crossed over into pop music with 1977′s “Here You Come Again,” which topped country and pop charts and won the artist her first Grammy Award. She skyrocketed into mainstream fame in the 1980s when she also began her acting career. She starred in 9 to 5, which proved to be successful on many levels for Parton. For her role, she received a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a musical or comedy, and an Academy Award nomination for her original song for the movie “9 to 5.” Two years later, she received another Golden Globe nomination for her role in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and introduced a whole new generation to her hit song “I Will Always Love You.”

Aside from her music and acting career, Dolly has pursued many other ventures including the opening of her own theme park in 1986 called “Dollywood,” which is located in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. She has also put forth many efforts in helping with children’s literacy including her Imagination Library, Dixie Stampede, and Pirates Voyage.

Dolly Parton performing during her Better Day World Tour.

Dolly Parton performing during her Better Day World Tour.

In her career spanning over 40 years, Parton has paved the way for other female country musicians and has become the most honored female country performer of all time. Her long list of awards and achievements includes 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, 25 number 1 Billboard Country hits, 41 top 10 country albums, and 110 charted songs. She has sold over 100 million records worldwide, earned 8 Grammy awards, 2 Academy Award nominations, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards, and she is only one of five women to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and has composed over 3,000 songs in her lifetime.

Never giving up on her life’s work, Dolly performed across the world in 2011 on her Better Day World Tour, which grossed over $34 million. Dolly once said in an interview, “My music is what took me everywhere I’ve been and everywhere I will go. It’s my greatest love. I can’t abandon it. I’ll always keep making records.”

Sources: Biography.com, Wikipedia, IMDB

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Jason Segel’s Birthday

segel-bdayJanuary 18 is Jason Segel’s birthday! You may know this 6’4″ comedic actor from his role as Marshall Eriksen in the hit TV series How I Met Your Mother, or his work in big screen comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You, Man; and The Muppets.

Segel was born in 1980 in Los Angeles. He grew up in a wealthy neighborhood due to his father’s profession as a lawyer. He attended a Christian elementary school when he was younger, despite the fact that he was raised Jewish. Already standing out for his religious background at school, he also reached his full height of 6’4″ at the age of 12, and described himself as, ”this weird, gangly kid who was like ET trying to figure out how his limbs worked.” To add to his quirkiness, Segel was a fan of puppetry and began making movies on his own as a young teen.

When attending Harvard-Westlake School, Segel took advantage of his tall stature and joined the basketball team. It wasn’t until his senior year, however, that he discovered his passion for acting. Segel then decided to pass up going to college in favor of pursuing a career in acting. He was cast at age 18 in Judd Apatow’s new high school dramatic comedy Freaks and Geeks. It was here that he first met and worked with future acting buddies James Franco and Seth Rogan. Though the show was cancelled after only one season, it would go on to grow a huge cult following.

HIMYM2014_FULLCALENDAR.inddHe took another shot at television acting with Apatow’s next project, college sitcom Undeclared. This show too failed, not attracting enough viewers to last long. In 2005, Segel finally caught a stroke of luck after being cast as Marshall Erikson in How I Met Your Mother, a sitcom that follows a group of five friends as protagonist Ted, played by Josh Radnor, tells the long-winded story of how he met his wife to his children. The show is currently in its ninth and final season.

While working on How I Met Your Mother, Segel has undertaken several other projects throughout the years, including roles in comedies like Knocked Up, I Love You, Man; and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which Segel wrote and starred in in 2008. Reviving his love for puppets, and famous puppet master Jim Henson, he starred in and co-wrote the screenplay for The Muppets. Also a musician and composer, Segel wrote musical selections for The Muppets as well.

Segel is currently living in Los Angeles, and continuing to work on future feature film projects. Happy birthday to this beloved funny man!

Sources: Biography.com, Wikipedia, TV Guide

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Bobby Fischer Dies

bobbyfischerOn January 17, 2008, chess legend Bobby Fischer died at the age of 64. He is regarded by many as the greatest chess player of all time.

Fischer was born in Chicago in 1943, but grew up in Brooklyn with his mother and sister, Joan. He began playing chess at age 6 after his sister and he bought a chess set from the candy store below their apartment. Both Joan and Fischer’s mother lost interest in the game, and Bobby began playing against himself and soaking up any chess literature he got his hands on. After playing in his first exhibition and losing within 15 minutes, a spectator and president of the Brooklyn Chess Club, Carmine Nigro, introduced Fischer to the club and began to mentor him. His skill level and love for the game increased rapidly and at age 12 he joined the Manhattan Chess Club which was the strongest chess club in the U.S.

After mentoring under chess grandmaster William Lombardy and learning total immersion in the game, Fischer made his first noticeable imprint in the chess community. At age 13, he won a “brilliancy” game, featuring sacrificial attacks and unexpected moves, against a leading chess master who was twice his age. The press dubbed it The Game of the Century.

He began playing in United States Chess Championships the next year, and would play in eight total during his lifetime. Fischer won every U.S. championship he played in, winning all of them by at least one point. He became the youngest chess grandmaster and the youngest person invited to play in a World Championship at age 15. He dropped out of high school when he was 16 to devote his life to pursuing chess full-time. In the sixth U.S. Championship he played at age 20, he scored a perfect 11/11 score, the only perfect score in the history of the tournament.

One of the most notable games in chess history was played between Fischer and Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union. Known as the “Cold War Confrontation,” this highly publicized 1972 match in Reykjavík, Iceland, is still credited with bringing worldwide attention and popularity to the game, and it gained more attention than any chess match before or since then. Fischer defeated Spassky and became the first American-born World Champion of chess.

chessgameAfter refusing to defend his World Champion title in 1975, his opponent Anatoly Karpov was declared the champion by default, and Fischer disappeared from the chess world for nearly 20 years. He spent time in the Phillipines and Hungary, sometimes appearing on radio shows and making outlandish comments attacking the United States. In 1992, he reappeared in the chess world to play a private unofficial rematch against Spassky. He once again defeated his opponent, but had violated U.S. sanctions by playing the match in Yugoslavia, which was under a United Nations embargo. Because of the criminal charges against him, his U.S. passport was revoked and he was detained in a Tokyo airport in 2004 and fought against his deportation. The chess-loving country of Iceland granted Fischer full citizenship, and he moved there in 2005. He remained there the rest of his life, becoming a U.S. fugitive.

Over the years, his reputation had drawn both fandom and hatred for his intense game play and outspoken nature. He died in Reykjavík, home of his most famous match, due to kidney failure in 2008 at the age of 64. Spoken of him by French chess expert Olivier Tridon, “Bobby Fischer has died at age 64. Like the 64 squares of a chess board.”

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography.com, ESPN, USA Today

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International Hot and Spicy Food Day

OR-3-10-1710January 16 is International Hot and Spicy Food Day! Today is a red-hot day on the holiday calendar. It celebrates all foods that make your tongue burn, make your eyes water, and maybe even cause little beads of sweat to form on your forehead. Whether you’re a fan of super spicy salsa, confoundingly hot curry,  or jambalaya jam-packed with fiery flavor, today is best served with a side of heat.

Archaeologists have proven that humans have been using hot spices in recipes for over 6,000 years. Christopher Columbus discovered chili peppers in 1493 after he “discovered” America. The chemical in chili peppers that makes them hot is called capsaicin. The capsaicin oil is measured and diluted to determine the amount of “heat” in peppers and give it a place on the Scoville scale. Currently, the pepper which is highest on the Scoville scale, and thus the hottest, is called the Carolina Reaper, which is 300 times hotter than the average jalapeño pepper. People who have a palette capable of handling this kind of heat on a regular basis are known as “pyro-gourmaniacs.”

PrintHot spices are used the world over to give food that flavorful kick. Not only are spicy foods tasty, but they can also be beneficial to your health due to their medicinal and antimicrobial properties. Chiles, onions, garlic, oregeno, and allspice are known to kill bacteria and make food safer to consume.

Even if you’re not the type of person who likes to put your taste buds into a state of shock, you can still enjoy today by adding a touch of heat to whatever you’re eating. If the heat may become too much for you to handle, make sure to keep a glass of milk or some yogurt handy. While drinking tons of water is usually people’s immediate reaction to foods that are too spicy, doing this will only cause the spicy oils to be dispersed around your mouth because the oil in chili peppers will not mix with the water like milk will.

Whether you’re ready to go all-out on spicy foods today or just enjoy a small amount of spiciness on the side, make sure to add some heat to your meals today!

Sources: Punchbowl, Foodimentary, Days of the Year

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Marilyn Monroe Marries Joe DiMaggio

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio leaving San Francisco City Hall after their marriage ceremony.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio leaving San Francisco City Hall after their marriage ceremony.

On January 14, 1954, buxom blonde Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe married New York Yankees hero Joe DiMaggio. The two American sweethearts seemed like the perfect match at first, but their married life proved to be rocky and fleeting.

Monroe and DiMaggio’s relationship started in 1952 after DiMaggio saw a picture of Monroe with two Chicago White Sox players, and arranged a dinner date with her. Monroe, who’s Hollywood popularity was rising after her roles in Monkey Business and Don’t Bother to Knock, was uneasy about meeting the baseball legend at first, thinking he would be a stereotypical jock. She showed up for their date two hours late, but was surprisingly wooed by the ex-Yankee.

It wasn’t long before the press caught wind of the blossoming romance and media outlets began following their relationship extensively. The couple managed to keep a low profile despite their tremendous fame, often spending time together at home or in the dark corners of DiMaggio’s restaurant. The love struck pair eloped on January 14, 1954, and were married at San Francisco City Hall. Monroe had let the news of her planned marriage slip to someone at her film studio, so the two were mobbed by press and fans upon exiting the hall.

While taking their honeymoon in Tokyo, Japan, Monroe was asked to perform for U.S. troops stationed in Korea. Happy to comply, Monroe left her unhappy new husband alone in Japan for four days while she performed 10 shows for over 100,000 soldiers. DiMaggio was already uneasy about Monroe’s sex symbol status and appeal, and this initial incident in their marriage was the first blow of many.

marilyncalendarThe most memorable and public example of the continuous discontent in their relationship happened on September 14, 1954. Monroe was filming probably the most famous scene in her movie career – the skirt blowing scene in The Seven Year Itch. Director Billy Wilder reportedly informed news outlets to turn the shoot into a media circus. When the crowd went wild every time Monroe’s skirt was blown up from wind coming from the subway grates, a sensitive DiMaggio became enraged. The two then had a “yelling match” in the lobby of the Trans-Lux theater where the scene was being filmed.

Just nine months, a mere 274 days, after their wedding, Monroe filed for divorce on the grounds of “mental cruelty,” claiming DiMaggio was “cold and indifferent.” She married playwright Arthur Miller four years later in 1958, but was divorced from him as well in 1961.

Monroe was now emotionally exhausted and was admitted into the  Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic in February 1961. Coming to her rescue despite their volatile relationshiop was DiMaggio, who helped secure her release from the clinic. To get some rest and relaxation after her release, Monroe traveled with DiMaggio to Florida where the Yankees spring training camp was taking place. Rumors began to fly that the two were rekindling their romance, however they maintained that they were simply “good friends.”

On August 1, 1962, DiMaggio quit his then job and planned to ask Monroe to remarry him. A few days later, on August 5, Monroe was found dead from a drug overdose. DiMaggio was the first person called after Monroe’s body was found. Devastated, DiMaggio claimed the late actress’s body and single-handedly orchestrated her entire funeral. DiMaggio never remarried, and for the next 20 years until his death, he had a dozen red roses delivered to her crypt several times a week.

Though their marriage didn’t work out, DiMaggio’s love for Monroe was eternal.

Sources: History.com, Wikipedia, Parade, The Week


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Make Your Dream Come True Day

dream1January 13 is Make Your Dream Come True Day! Along with the new year comes a new batch of resolutions, goals, wishes, and dreams we set out for ourselves. Today is a day dedicated to putting in motion whatever you need to in order to make your life dreams come true.

Dreams will forever stay your dreams unless you take some sort of action to make them become reality. Are you following the career path you want to be? Do you want to travel more? Perhaps you would like to move somewhere new? Is there something you have always wanted to do, but have never gotten around to it? Seize the day! Get yourself into gear, and push forward into the new year, fulfilling your desires and making yourself truly happy.

dream2To celebrate today and start following the path you believe you are meant for, we’ve compiled a list to get you started:

  • Create a dream list or board. Your dreams will begin to feel more real and achievable if you get them out of your head and physically put them down on paper. If you have something visual to remind you of your dreams every day, they are more likely to come true.
  • Make a plan. Outline the path you need to take in order to reach your goals. Plan out steps. Break everything down and put together a timeline. If you figure out what steps you need to take in order to reach your dreams, getting there will be a lot easier!
  • Don’t be pessimistic. If you have a dream, you can attain it. Don’t let negativity creep into your thoughts. Share your dreams with people who will support you, and keep clear of naysayers who may have you second guessing yourself and your goals.
  • Find a mentor. It is likely that there is someone in the world who has or had dreams similar to yours. Look up to them and take their advice for attaining what you want out of life. We advise you to not completely follow in their footsteps though, make your dream your own, and find your own way of getting there using tips from those you admire.
  • Inspire others. Everyone has dreams, and by following yours, you can inspire others to do the same. Supporting others, and having them support you, will give you (and them) the energy and empowerment to follow your heart.

Whatever your dreams are, they are reachable as long as you believe in yourself and push yourself to make them happen!

Sources: Work Smart. Live Smart., Bubblews, World’s Special Days

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Super Bowl III Upset


Joe Namath on the field during Super Bowl III.

On January 12, 1969, American Football League underdogs the New York Jets beat National Football League champions the Baltimore Colts at Super Bowl III in what is regarded as one of the hugest upsets in the history of American sports.

Even though it was the third AFL-NFL Championship game played, this game was the first to be given the name “Super Bowl.” There was a strongly held belief among most fans and sports writers that NFL teams included more talented players than those in the AFL. Because of this widely popular opinion, the Jets were pegged to lose to the Colts, who held a 13-1 record in the 1968 season.

Jets quarterback Joe Namath appeared in front of Miami Touchdown Club three days before the game was to take place at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. After hearing news for two weeks prior about how the Colts would be the likely victors, and after being heckled by a Colts fan at the Miami Touchdown club as well, Namath couldn’t take it anymore – he snapped. “We’re gonna win the game. I guarantee it,” he told the crowd and went on to bad-mouth many Colts players saying that the Colts had never had to play against the caliber of players that were in the AFL. Namath’s words would live on in infamy in the world of American sports.

nyjetsIn the first quarter, the Jets surprised the Colts, who had previously been unphased by Namath’s comments, by driving the ball 80 yards, taking a 7-0 lead. The Jets went on to intercept Colts quarterback, Earl Morrall, three times, and the Colts began to realize this win may not be as easy as they had been led to believe it would be by the public. In the third quarter, the Jets scored two more field goals, taking the score up to 13-0. After his three interceptions, Morrall was replaced by Johnny Unitas, who had been injured and out of commission during the regular season. The Jets made another field goal during the fourth quarter, and Unitas led the Colts to their only touchdown during the last few minutes of the game. The final score was 16-7, with Namath leading the Jets to victory.

Namath was named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player, even though he didn’t complete any touchdown passes, or any passes in the fourth quarter. In all, he completed 17 out of 28 passes for a total of 206 yards.

The game is still considered today as one of the most memorable games in Super Bowl and American football history.

Sources: Wikipedia, About.com, NY Daily News

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Hot Toddy Day

hot toddyJanuary 11 is Hot Toddy Day! Not familiar with hot toddies? They’re a hot alcoholic beverage typically containing honey, lemon, hot water, and whatever spirit you’d like! The most commonly used are whiskey, brandy, and dark rum.

The hot toddy is thought to have originated in Scotland sometime in the 18th century. It makes perfect sense that this warm delicious drink was invented in a country who experiences cold and damp weather throughout most of the year. Historians speculate that the recipe came about to mask the taste of Scotch whiskey to make it easier to drink. Women in the 18th century apparently weren’t very fond of the smokey, peat flavor of Scotch. The word “toddy” is thought to have come from “Todd’s Well” or Todian Spring, Edinburgh’s main water source.

Not only are hot toddies great for warming you up on a cold winter day, but they have become a popular remedy for cold and flu symptoms as well.

We’ve put together a list of hot toddy recipes for you to make in celebration of today!

Sources: Punchbowl, Grocery Headquarters

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Coco Chanel Dies

Coco-Chanel-3On January 10, 1971, famed French fashion designer Coco Chanel died. Coco Chanel was the founder and original designer of the Chanel brand, most well-known for liberating women’s fashion from the “corseted silhouette,” and creating designs that were both stylish and comfortable. Some of her most celebrated works were her collarless fitted suits, the little black dress, and her iconic fragrance, Chanel No. 5.

The future designer was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France. Her mother was a laundrywoman and her father was a peddler, who traveled from town to town selling goods. At age 12, her mother died of bronchitis, and Chanel’s father sent her and her sisters to live in a convent which took in abandoned and orphaned girls. Later in her life, after her fame grew, Chanel tried to keep her past an enigma by starting rumors about her childhood. The most prominent rumor being that her father sailed to America to seek fortune after the death of her mother and she was sent to live with her two spinster aunts. It was in her real life at the convent, however, that she was taught to sew by the nuns who raised her. Little did she know that this skill would help her develop her life’s work.

Chanel stayed at the convent until the age of 18, and then moved to a Catholic boarding house in Moulins. She found work as a seamstress using the skills she had learned in the convent, but on the side, began singing at cabarets in Moulin and Vichy. She adopted the name “Coco” during her time performing, though the origin of her name remains somewhat of a mystery. It is speculated that she was given the nickname because of two songs she often performed and was thus associated with – “Ko Ko Ri Ko” and “Qui qu’a vu Coco.” Some say she began calling herself this as a nod to the french word for “kept woman,” cocotte. Whatever the reason, from then on, she was “Coco.” She clung to the idea of finding success through performing, and auditioned for stage shows frequently. Though people were drawn to her youthful beauty and her charming demeanor, her singing voice was lacking and she found difficulty booking gigs. Soon she realized her dreams of becoming a stage star would never pan out.

While living in Moulins, Chanel met Étienne Balsan, a young French ex-cavalry officer and wealthy textile heir. She became his mistress and lived in his chateau for three years, where he gave her a luxurious lifestyle filled with expensive jewelry and clothing and a lavish social life. While living with him, she began to dabble in millinery. Soon, she began having an affair with Balsan’s friend, Captain Arthur Edward ‘Boy’ Capel. The two men began trying to outbid each other for Chanel’s affection. Also part of the wealthy upper-class, Capel offered Chanel an apartment in Paris and offered to finance her fashion ventures by helping her open her first shop in the city. Although her love affair with Capel never became official because he never stayed faithful to Chanel, and eventually married an English aristocrat, Chanel was heavily influenced by the sartorial style of Capel, which was reflected in her designs. Eleven years after the beginning of their affair, Capel was killed in a car accident, and Chanel later in her life told a close friend, “His death was a terrible blow to me. In losing Capel, I lost everything. What followed was not a life of happiness, I have to say.”

In Chanel’s first shop, on Paris’s Rue Cambon, she started out selling hats, and began producing clothing after she opened two more shops in Deauville and Biarritz in the early 1900s. Producing clothing for the chilly weather out of jersey and tricot, which were typically only used to make men’s underwear, her fashions began to get noticed.

As the 1920s began, so did Chanel’s exploration into new fashion territories. With the success of her clothing line, she moved on to making accessories and fragrances. Perhaps one of her greatest legacies was the introduction of Chanel No. 5, the first perfume to include the designer’s name. She was once quoted in saying that perfume “is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion. . .that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” Chanel No. 5 has certainly kept Chanel’s name alive even after her departure, remaining one of the most popular perfumes in the world to this day.

littleblackdressIn 1925 came the invention of Chanel’s signature suit, featuring a menswear inspired look with a collarless jacket and fitted skirt. She was escaping the era of corsets and uncomfortable fashions and exploring a world where women could dress stylishly and comfortably. The 1920s also saw another iconic invention of Chanel’s – the little black dress. Turning a color that had always been associated with death and mourning into a new chic insert into the fashion world became a legacy of Chanel’s. Friends with several culturally important artists and literary minds like Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau, Chanel began designing costumes for ballets, plays, and movies.

Economic depression and the beginning of World War II, however, had a negative effect on Chanel’s business. She closed her business and her shops, claiming it was not a time for fashion. Thousands of workers who had found jobs under her growing fashion empire were fired. During the war, when Germany occupied France, Chanel began a relationship with a Nazi officer, through which she gained permission to continue living in her apartment in the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Looked down upon for her involvement with the German military officer and seen as betraying her country, she fled to Switzerland and lived there for several years, exiling herself from her home in France.

She eventually returned to Paris in 1954, and reignited her Chanel line after a 15 year absence. She thought the current fashion world which was being overtaken by male designers like Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga were creating “illogical” designs that women would soon rebel against. The new collection she created received unfavorable reviews from the French who believed her reputation had been tainted by her wartime actions, but British and American audiences soon became her loyal customers.

At 87 years old, Chanel died in her apartment at the Hotel Ritz where she had resided for 30 years on January 10, 1971. Her influence on women’s fashion has had a lasting impression on the designers who followed her. After her death, her company was taken over by designer Karl Lagerfeld, who has continued the Chanel legacy. The thriving business which retains her namesake accrues hundreds of millions in sales every year.

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography.com, Telegraph UK

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First iPhone Announced

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announces the first iPhone at the Macworld Expo in 2007.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announces the first iPhone at the Macworld Expo in 2007.

On January 9, 2007, Apple revolutionized the phone with the introduction of the iPhone. Apple’s first forays into the world of mobile handset technology changed the entire industry.

At the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs prepared to announce to a packed crowd something Apple had been working on for the past two years. He started out his keynote speech with, “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything… today, we’re introducing THREE revolutionary new products.” Jobs went on to explain that Apple had developed an iPod with a wide screen, a phone, and a “breakthrough internet communications device.” Surprising the crowd, Jobs then announced that these three revolutionary products were actually combined into one unit – the iPhone.

The new iPhone featured “Multi Touch,” a new input technology which allowed users to control the phone by touching the 3.5-inch display screen with their fingertip. This seamlessly crafted device also only featured a single button below the screen to take users back to their homescreens, and a wake/sleep button on top to lock the screen and prevent unwanted actions on the phone. Jobs also wowed the crowd when he announced that the device would run Mac’s OS X, which would allow the phone to sync data with any Mac, PC, or internet device, allowing users to have all of their iTunes music and videos, contacts, calendars, photos, notes, bookmarks and e-mail accounts in the palm of their hand. The revolutionary phone also included a 2-megapixel camera and three different smart sensors. The first of these sensors was a proximity sensor, which would turn off the display and prevent touchscreen capability when the phone is held next to the ear. The second was an ambient light sensor, allowing the screen to adjust brightness and save power based on surrounding ambient light. The last sensor, an accelerometer, knows when you turn your phone and adjusts what you’re looking at to portrait or landscape mode.

On top of all this, the original iPhone was then announced to have EDGE and WiFi capabilities (3G coming in the future), allowing it to automatically connect to the Internet. The Safari web browser included on the iPhone allowed users to view standard Web pages and HTML-capable e-mail. Jobs also informed the audience that Yahoo would be offering free push e-mail to all iPhone customers. Other features announced were a Google Maps feature which could be used to look up locations and directions and satellite map imagery. Along with this were other dashboard widgets like the weather widget and a stock widget. Now standard on smartphones, the original iPhone also introduced photo management software that allowed users to zoom in and out using a “pinching” motion.

Though these other features were mind-blowing to the Macworld crowd, Jobs boasted that the most impressive thing about the new iPhone was how it redefined the way phone calls would be made. A conference call function made it easy to have a phone conversation with more than just one person. A visual voicemail display allowed users to skip to voicemails they wanted to listen to rather than having to wait through others. Text messaging matched that of iChat on Mac computers as far as sounds and looks, with a touch keyboard appearing at the bottom of the screen.

When this “magical” phone, as Jobs put it, came out, two versions were available - a 4GB, $499 model and an 8GB, $599 model. On June 29, 2007, hundreds of U.S. customers lined up outside of each store offering the revolutionary product across the country. Media outlets were dubbing the new product the “Jesus phone.” The iPhone has since revolutionized the way phones are made, with most smartphones borrowing features introduced by Apple and Jobs in 2007. The iPhone is now in its seventh generation, with the 5S and 5C which were introduced in September 2013.

Sources: Macrumors, BBC, Macworld

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