Ebony Edwards-Ellis
2 min readJan 19, 2017


This Day In History: January 19, 1977

Forty years ago this day, it snowed in south Florida; a fine dusting of snow coated cars, sidewalks, and front yards in Tampa, Miami, and even the Bahamas.

Forty years ago this day, Gerald Ford, in his last full day as Commander-in-Chief, pardoned Tokyo Rose, while President-elect, Jimmy Carter, made preparations for his upcoming inauguration.

Forty years ago this day, incoming president, Jimmy Carter, appointed Clifford Alexander, Jr. as Secretary of the Army, the first African-American to hold the title.

Forty years ago this day, anyone who tuned into a Top Forty radio station heard songs like Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing", Stevie Wonder's "I Wish", and Rose Royce's "Car Wash."

Anyone who watched morning television either saw Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley co-hosting The Today Show or David Hartman, Sandy Hill, and the up and coming Joan Lunden on the lower rated, Good Morning America. Soap opera fans watched Ryan’s Hope, Search For Tomorrow, The Doctors, or the recently debuted Lovers and Friends. If you watched television on the evening of Wednesday, January 19, 1977, you had the choice of sitcoms like Good Times, All In the Family, or Alice, or hour-long dramatic series like Baretta, Charlie’s Angels, or The Bionic Woman or made-for-TV movies which aired on NBC and CBS. Anyone who tuned into ABC at any time of the day most likely saw promos for the upcoming miniseries Roots, which went on to set records in the ratings.

Dolly Parton, Katey Sagal, Jean Stapleton, and Shelley Fabares all celebrated birthdays.

And, in Conway, South Carolina, a young African-American woman named Sharon gave birth to her eldest child, a child that she and her husband, Larry, eventually named Ebony.

That baby was me!

Happy 40th Birthday to me!



Ebony Edwards-Ellis

Author of "Former First Lady" and "Memoir of a Royal Consort." Twitter provocateur, aspiring shut-in, and newly minted Roosevelt Islander.