January 24, 1984 — Michael Jackson films an ad for Pepsi

In the early Eighties, getting a rock star to advertise your fizzy sugar drink was the done thing. Both Pepsi and Coca Cola got some of the biggest names of the era – David Bowie, Tina Turner, Billy Joel and others all recorded versions of their songs with the lyrics changed to spruik their sponsor’s drinks. But then Pepsi announced that they had won this arms race. They would produce an ad with the biggest star in the world, the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.

The ad was shot in late January, 1984. It was never completed and has never been screened, due to the events of January 24. On that day, Michael Jackson was injured in a pyrotechnics accident, setting his hair on fire and leaving him with second degree burns. Jackson suffered extreme pain from the burns, and developed a pain killer habit as a result. It was a terrible accident, one that too many marks the beginning of Jackson’s decline as an artist.

Michael Jackson 1984.jpg
By White House Photo Office – National Archives and Records Administration (ARC Identifier: 198548), Public Domain, Link

As mentioned in:

Revolution — Transvision Vamp
Through The Wire — Kanye West
We Didn’t Start the Fire — Billy Joel

January 24, 41 CE — Claudius becomes Emperor of Rome

Claudius was the fifth Emperor of Rome, and the first truly able ruler since Augustus, the first. He succeeded the previous Emperor, his nephew Caligula, upon the assassination of the latter. He was 50 years old, but still full of energy – although widely seen as a weakling, after serious illnesses when he was younger. As a result, Claudius often had to shore up his power with a few senatorial executions.

Claudius achieved much during his reign – Thrace, Noricum, Pamphylia, Lycia and Judea were all conquered during his reign, and the invasion of Britain also took place. In addition, Claudius ordered great amounts of construction, with roads, canals and aqueducts built at his command all over the empire. He also took a keen interest in the law, presiding over trials in Rome, often several of them in the one day.

Claudius crop

As mentioned in:

Imperial Rome — Aska