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This Week in Awesome History: January 16th – January 22nd

Hitler retreats, Crash Bandicoot rises and Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off of a LIVE BAT this week in awesome history.  

This Week in Awesome History: January 9th - January 15th

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January 16th, 1945: Hitler Retreats to Bunker

On this day in 1945 Adolf Hitler retreated to his underground bunker as the Nazi army began to collapse. The dictator remained in the bunker for 105 days, only leaving it on occasion for important business, and resided there with his girlfriend Eva Braun and dog Blondi. On April 29th, after being alerted that the Russians were only a day away from discovering them, Hitler and Braun married in the bunker; hours after their union they ingested poisonous pills and took their own lives. 

The pills were first tested on Blondi and her puppies to see whether or not they would work – after both the dog and her offspring died, Hitler and Braun took the pills. However, in order to be completely certain that he would not be captured alive, Hitler also shot himself in the head with a pistol, thus cementing his fate.

 

January 19th, 1809: Edgar Allan Poe is Born

On this day in 1809 infamous poet and author Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Poe first shot to success with his poem 'The Raven' (of which the best visual adaptation of it can be viewed above), although he had already proven his literary worth with detective stories such as 'The Purloined Letter' and, a genre he would later become most famous for, horror stories such as 'The Fall of the House of Usher'.

After the death of his wife (and cousin) Virgina Clemm, who was the latest in a line of family deaths for Poe that had included both of his parents, he turned to alcoholism and drug abuse, sleeping with several women before dying suddenly at the age of 40, the circumstances of which are still a mystery today.

 

January 20th, 1982: Ozzy Osbourne Bites Off The Head of a Bat

On this day in 1982 Black Sabbath singer and future incoherent reality TV star Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off of a bat live on stage. 

While playing in Iowa to promote the release of his second solo album 'The Diary of a Madman', a live bat was thrown onstage before the rock singer and, dazed by the bright spotlights and its hard landing, was knocked unconscious. 

Ozzy, thinking that the bat was made of rubber, proceeded to put the bat head into its mouth and… well, you know where I'm going with this. It was the point where the bats' severed head twitched inside Ozzy's mouth that he realised that it was no halloween decoration. He was rushed to hospital immediately following the incident and treated for rabies.

 

January 20th, 1993: Tom Waits sues Frito-Lay

On this day in '93 the Supreme Court ruled that Tom Waits was successful in his suing of potato chip company Frito-Lay (for our UK readers they're the US equivalent of Walkers Crisps) after they had hired a soundalike to replace Waits on a commercial following the singer-songwriters' refusal to participate.

Although the lawsuit had originally been filed in '88, an appeal from Frito-Lay that stated they had not deliberately used a Waits soundalike ensured that it was dragged out until the following decade. Surprisingly the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Waits and forced the company to award him $2.4million.

Allthough Waits was notoriously against selling himself in commercials, he did let his principles slip slightly and provided voiceover work for dog food company Butchers Blend. After the commercial began to win awards and become recognised Waits regretted the decision; when asked about it years later he said "I was really down on my luck at that time and I've always really loved dogs".

 

January 22nd, 2001: Sony Acquire Crash Bandicoot and Uncharted Creators Naughty Dog

On this day in 2001 Sony announced that they had acquired game developer Naughty Dog, and little did they know that the studio who would be responsible for providing them with by-the-numbers mascot such as Crash Bandicoot would eventually give them arguably the PS3's biggest intellectual property, Uncharted.

Although the Crash Bandicoot series wasn't without its charm, its clear intentions to be the major draw for Sony's original PlayStation was unfortunately hindered when just 2 months earlier Nintendo had released Super Mario 64, a game far superior in almost every way that ensured Crash would always play second fiddle to Nintendo's mascot. The inclusion of Crash Team Racing into the series, a game one red shell away from being a complete carbon copy of Mario Kart, certainly didn't help matters.

After the Bandicoot Naughty Dog moved onto Jak & Daxter, a more "adult" approach to the platformer genre that earned a very positive reception from fans and critics alike. However, tt wasn't until the Uncharted series that the company really hit its stride, with Uncharted 2 recognised as one of, if not the greatest game released so far on the PS3. 

 

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