Charles Barkley - January 29, 2014

Yesterday, we talked a little bit about Shaquille O'Neill and the prestige that comes with his unknowing inclusion in the American Treasure Tour blog's "Faces of the Tour" seroes with his image prominently displayed in our Toy Box.  Today, we are going to look at another great basketball player:  Charles Barkley.

Only 6-1/2 feet tall, this (relatively short) basketball player was a dominant force during his sixteen year run with the professionals.  He played for three separate teams during his illustrious career - the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets - during a career that also found him on the United States Olympics "Dream Team." He received two gold medals in two different Olympic Games.  Regarded by many as one of the fifty greatest basketball players of all time, Barkley's jersey number, 34, was retired by both the 76ers and the Suns after his retirement. He is currently an analyst for the TNT network's sports program Inside the NBA.

QUESTION:

Which of the following athletes was NOT part of the 1992 Olympic Basketball "Dream Team" with Charles Barkley?

a)  Michael Jordan

b)  Shaquille O'Niell

c)  Scottie Pippin

d)  Magic Johnson

e)  Patrick Ewing

Answer Below.

HISTORY TODAY:

One of the most famous poems to ever come out of the United States was first published on this day in 1845.  Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" appeared in the New York Evening Mirror today and quickly made him a famous man.  Its rhythm and rhymes proved popular among critics and the regular population.  Unfortunately, it did nothing in the way of making Poe wealthy, and he teetered on the edge of poverty all of his life.

Five years after "The Raven" perched above the chamber door, something far more menacing happened:  The Compromise of 1850 was introduced to Congress by Senator Henry Clay. Designed to help preserve a very unstable balance between slave and free states, the Compromise proved to be very confusing, complicated, and largely ineffectual.  No one was really happy with how it turned out, such that President Millard Fillmore lost his re-election bid two years after signing it into law largely because he gave the Compromise his endorsement.  It can also be argued that it led directly to the Civil War that began in 1861, although it is difficult to know if anything could have stopped that from happening.  Very sad.

BIRTHDAYS:

On January 29th, 1874, the famous and famously-successful robber baron John D. Rockefeller had his only son (he also had four daughters, but that is another story).  Junior, as he was called, proved to be nearly as shrewd a businessman as his father, although he is also accredited with heavy investments in philanthropic causes.  He was the sole financier behind Rockefeller Center - a 14-building complex in the heart of Manhattan that provided jobs to many people during the hard times of the Great Depression, and he led the way fr the preservation of historic Williamsburg, Virginia and the Cloisters in Manhattan (affiliated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art).  He also donated the land necessary for the construction of the United Nations and the Museum of Modern Art, both in Manhattan. He died in 1960.

Today is also Oprah Winfrey's birthday. Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, in 1954, her teenaged mother named her Orpah after a biblical character.  Mistakenly called Oprah, the name stuck and the two of them moved north to create a life for themselves.  After many rocky years, Oprah began to host a small-time talk show.  As you likely know, the small time turned into the big time, then the massive time, then the colossal time.  Now, the successful and incredibly wealthy Oprah is the owner of her own television network (OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network) and noted for also dedicating her time to philanthropic causes. Must be a February 29th thing.

QUOTE:  

I'm not a role model...  Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids. - Charles Barkley

Answer:  Shaquille O'Niell.  Christian Laettner was selected over him in 1992.