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History for January 17:
1861 - Flush toilet is patented by Mr. Thomas Crapper (Honest!!.)
1871 - First Cable Car is patented by Andrew S. Hallidie.
1893 - The Kingdom of Hawaii becomes a republic.
1929 - Popeye makes first appearance, in comic strip "Thimble Theatre."
1943 - It's Tin Can Drive Day -- an effort to conserve for the war.
1950 - Great Brink's robbery in Boston, $28 million.
1977 - Gary Gilmore executed in Utah, first since 1967.
1706 - Benjamin Franklin, author, poet, statesman, inventor.
1771 - Charles Brockden Brown, father of the American novel.
1860 - Anton Checkov in Russia, writer
1880 - Mack Sennett, created Keystone Kops
1924 - Golden Girl Betty White in Oak Park, Ill.
1931 - James Earl Jones, Actor
1933 - Sheree North in Los Angeles
1934 - Puppeteer Shari Lewis in Bronx NY
1942 - Muhammed Ali, who floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.
1949 - Debbie Watson in Culver City, California