Links to the past, with relevance today:
THE GUARDIAN: The last surviving Confederate veteran died 69 years ago, and the last surviving Union veteran five years later, in 1956. However, the last verified Civil War bride only just died in December, at 101. The story of Helen Viola Jackson is a strange one — at 17, she agreed to marry a 93-year-old Union veteran as a way of receiving his pension. She had cared for him and he was grateful. They were together several years, but it was an unconsummated union. Sadly, she was so embarrassed by the situation she never came forward to claim the pension — and waited until 2017 to tell a soul about it. She did spent the last couple of years embracing her unique place in history.
EW: Amazing story — the movie Grizzly II: Revenge was shot in 1983 as a sequel to 1976's Grizzly. It starred newcomers George Clooney (b. 1961), Laura Dern (b. 1967) and Charlie Sheen (b. 1965), as well as Louise Fletcher (b. 1934) and John Rhys-Davies (b. 1944) — hey, give that casting director a special Oscar! However, the movie became a lost film, in that it suffered technical issues and infighting and was never released. Thanks to intense fan interest, it has now been resuscitated, and will be a release January 8 ... just about 37 years later! I'm sure George is dying to see this.
PEOPLE: The 1988 song "Baby Can I Hold You" by Tracy Chapman (b. 1982) was sampled by Nicki Minaj even after she was told not to — resulting in a $450,000 settlement.
TMZ: A pair of cleats worn by a Minnesota Vikings player to honor Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek — who died of pancreatic cancer at 80 last year — will be auctioned off to aid the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
GREG IN HOLLYWOOD: Honoring Elvis on the anniversary of his birth.
EXTRATV: Dodgers icon Tommy Lasorda is dead at 93.
INSTAGRAM: RIP John Richardson, at 86. He appeared in a number of cult-classic genre flicks, most famously One Million Years B.C. (1966). The cause of death was COVID-19.