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On This Day in History - January 26, 2014

Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman
On this day in America in 1988, the curtain went up on the Phantom of the Opera, the longest running musical in  Broadway history. Also on this day in America in 1892, the first female pilot of African-American decent and the first African-American to obtain an international pilot license, Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was born in Atlanta, Texas. Also on this day in America in 1880, one of only five men to ever rise to the rank of General in the U.S. army, Chief of Staff of the United States Army in the 1930's, including leading the Philippines Campaign against the Japanese in WWII and much of the war in the Pacific theater, and the only son to make his old man proud by making them the only father, son duo to both be awarded the Medal of Honor, General Douglas MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lastly on this day in America in 2005, Condoleezza Rice was sworn in as the first African American Woman to be named Secretary of State.

On this day in Canada in 1961, the greatest son of Canada to ever lace up his skates, The Great One, Wayne Douglas Gretzky was born in Brantford, Ontario. He was the youngest player to ever score 50 or more goals and 100 or more points in a season, with 215 points at the age of 23 playing for the Edmonton Oilers. He led the Oilers to four Stanley Cup championships in 1984, 85, 87, and 1988; and during the 1998-1999 season became the highest scorer in NHL history. He won the Art Ross Trophy for most points in a season nine times (7 of them in a row [NHL Record]), and won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player nine times (8 of them in a row [NHL Record]). Gretzky is currently the all-time record holder of both the record for the most points by a player in the NHL with 2, 857, most goals with 894, most assists with 1,963, most goals in a season with 92, fewest games needed to score 50 goals by doing it 39, most goals in the first 50 games of a season with 61, most points in a season with 215, most assists in a season with 163, most consecutive 40 goal season with 12, most 100 point seasons with 15, most consecutive 100 point seasons with 13, highest points per game average (out of players with 50 or more points in a season) in one season with 2.77, and most playoff points in a career with 382 points in 208 games; among other records (40 in total).

"A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."
                                                                                                                      - Marcus Garvey
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