On This Day, January 6th
1. 1994: The Nancy Kerrigan attack
One of the most dramatic events in figure skating history took place on this date in 1994 when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked while skating during a practice session for the upcoming Olympic trials. Kerrigan was at an ice rink in Detroit just two days before the trials were scheduled to start when a man suddenly struck her in the back of the knee with a club. It was devastating to Kerrigan as she cried out wondering why someone would do this to her. As the story developed over the next week, it came out that Tanya Harding, one of Kerrigan’s main rivals for a spot on the U.S. Figure Skating Team, had knowledge of the attack but didn’t tell authorities. Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, approached a man by the name of Shawn Eckardt and the two men talked about ways they could eliminate Kerrigan from the competition. Eckardt then approached Shane Stant and Derrick Smith who agree to injure Kerrigan if they were properly compensated. On the day of the attack, Stant followed Kerrigan to the rink in Detroit and ran out and clubbed the back of her knee and then fled the scene in a getaway car Smith had waiting for him outside. Because Kerrigan was unable to skate in the trials, Harding won the championship and therefore a place on the Olympic team. However, the U.S. Olympic Committee still awarded Kerrigan a spot on the team and she was able to recover from her injuries and go on to win a silver medal. Harding put on a terrible show and only managed to finish in eighth place. When she returned to the states she was fined $100,000 and sentenced to 500 hours community service for her knowledge of the attack.
2. 1975: Led Zepplin fans broke into the Boston Garden and trashed the place
Just after midnight more than 2,000 rowdy Led Zepplin fans broke into the Boston Garden and caused more than $50,000 worth of damage to the nearly empty building on this date in 1975. They fans had lined up to purchase advanced tickets for an upcoming show scheduled on February 4th when someone managed to pry open a locked door. Soon there was almost a riot of drunk and obnoxious rock and roll fans running wild inside the building. Not sure what exactly to do about it, the ticket office manager Steven Rosenblatt decided to open the box office window much earlier than 10 a.m. like originally planned. Luckily that calmed the crowd down and by 6 a.m. the concert was sold out with more than 9,000 tickets sold.
3. 1975: Wheel of Fortune airs for the first time
It was on this date in 1975 that one of the longest running syndicated game shows in the United States made its debut. It’s called Wheel of Fortune and also might be one of the most recognizable game shows on the planet thanks to its carnival-style cash and prize wheel. The show was originally created by Merv Griffin and was designed to be a word puzzle game similar to what you would see used in other games like Hangman for example. The original presenter of the game show was Chuck Woolery who later worked on shows like Love Connection among many others. Woolery had help from his lovely assistant Susan Stafford, and the two worked together for roughly six years before Pat Sajak and Vanna White took over in 1981 and 1982 respectively. All of the syndicated shows have been hosted by Sajak and White and are usually the most common cast associated with the show. The show just celebrated its 34th season of syndication on September 12, 2016.