This Day in American History
1526 – The first European settlement in what is now South Carolina, San Miguel de Guadalupe, was established by Lucas Vazsquez de Ayllon, who led some 500 or 600 settlers from Hispaniola to this coast location. The site of the settlement was thought to be just north of the Peedee River. Many of the settlers died of fever. After Ayllon succumbed himself on October 18, the approximately 150 surviving settlers returned to Hispaniola. The Spanish were the first group interested in this part of the Americas: Juan Ponce de Leon discovering Florida, claiming it for the King of Spain. Members of his expedition reached the Mississippi River, and Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo not only went as far as Mexico, but in 1542, also landed near what is now Ballast Point, San Diego. He then discovered Santa Catalina Island, San Pedro Bay, the Santa Barbara Channel, and other West Coast landmarks, which bear the names he gave them today.
1699 – The pirate, Captain William Kidd, was captured in Boston
1747 – American naval officer, John Paul Jones (1747-92), was born at Kirkcudbrightsire, Scotland. Remembered for his victory in the battle of his ship, the Bonhomme Richard, with the British frigate Serapis, on Sept 23, 1779. When Jones was queried: “Do you ask for quarter?” he made his famous reply: “I have not yet begun to fight!” Jones was victorious, but the Bonhomme Richard, badly damaged, sank two days later.
1757 – Birthday of William McKendree (1757-1835) in King William County, VA. Colonial American church leader. In 1808, he was ordained the first American-born bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
1775 – Congress issued the “Declaration of the Causes & Necessity of Taking up Arms,” listing grievances but denying intent to be independent.
1776 – The Pennsylvania Evening Post of Philadelphia was the first newspaper to publish the Declaration of Independence.
1785 – Congress unanimously resolved that US currency be named “dollar” and adopted decimal coinage
1847 – Birthday of Ellen Martin Henrotin – wealthy U.S. widow who used her money to make the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair the national focal point for feminist activity. Most importantly, she led a committee that forced the closing of hundreds of brothels in Chicago and brought about the downfall of the flourishing “white slavery” trade in which women were kidnapped into prostitution.
1866 – Birthday of Mina Miller (1866-1947), the seventh of eleven children. She met Thomas Edison at the home of a mutual friend of her father and Edison, the inventor Ezra Gilliland. Her future husband claims he taught her Morse code so that they could converse in secret, even while the family watched. This is how Edison claims he proposed marriage and how she responded “yes.” The two married on February 24, 1886. The couple moved into Glenmont, the Edisons’ new home, after their honeymoon in Florida. At age twenty, the new Mrs. Edison became a stepmother to first wife?? Mary’s three children. It was not an easy task. She was less than ten years older than stepdaughter Marion. Although Mina tried to nurture her new family, Marion later described Mina as “too young to be a mother but too old to be a chum.” Her role as Mrs. Thomas Edison was also difficult: Edison frequently stayed late at the laboratory and forgot anniversaries and birthdays. Yet he seemed to love his “Billie.” A note found in one of Mina’s gardening books reads, “Mina Miller Edison is the sweetest little woman who ever bestowed love on a miserable homely good for nothing male (sic)” As Thomas Edison supervised his “muckers” down the hill (at his laboratory), Mina hired and supervised a staff of maids, a cook, a nanny and a gardening staff. She even called herself the “home executive.” After 1891, she, not her husband, owned the house. (This protected the house from being seized to pay Edison’s debts if he went bankrupt.).Four years after Edison died, Mina married childhood sweetheart Edward Everett Hughes. The two lived in Glenmont until Hughes died in 1940, when she once again adopted the name of Mrs. Edison.
1858 – Lyman Reed Blake (1835-83) of Abington, MA, obtained patents for the McKay stitching machine, which revolutionized shoe manufacturing, creating a new industry for New England, providing inexpensive and well-made footwear. The upper was lasted upon the insole by means of tacks driven through the insole and clinched against the steel bottom of the last. The outsole was then attached to the insole and upper by the McKay sewing machine, which made a chain stitch through and through to the inside of the shoe. The surface of the insole was then covered by a lining. The machine was first put in use by William Potter and Sons, Lynn, MA, in 1861. It was probably foot powered.
1899 – Birthday of Mignon G. Eberhart (1899-1996) in Lincoln, NE. U.S. mystery writer whose writing career spanned 57 years (1929-1988) and included 59 books. She commonly used brave, plucky women in exotic locations. Many of her books became Hollywood movies.
1871 – The first baseball game between an all-white team and an all-African American team was played in Chicago, IL. The African-American Uniques beat the Alerts by a score of 17-16.
1921 – Birthday of Nancy Davis Reagan, former First Lady, wife of the late Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the US, was born Anne Frances Robbins in New York, NY.
1925 – Birthday of TV host, singer, entertainer, business executive Merv Griffin (1925-2007), was born in San Mateo, Ca. He got his first start here in San Francisco on my old alma mater KRFC on the Old Don Lee Network. As much as perhaps anyone in television history, Merv contributed in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most enduring are his game shows that include “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy”, both of which are still going strong.
1928 – At Potter, NE, severe thunderstorm drops huge hailstones. One measured 5.5 inches in diameter, with a circumference of 17 inches and weighed 1.5 pounds!
1932 – Cubs shortstop Bill Jurges was shot twice in a Chicago hotel room by a spurned girlfriend, Violet Popovich Valli.
1932 – Singer Della Reese was born Delloreese Patricia Early in Detroit, MI. She started her career in the 1950s as a gospel, pop and jazz singer, scoring a hit with her 1959 single “Don’t You Know”. In the late 1960s, she had hosted her own talk show, “Della”, which ran for 197 episodes. Through four decades of acting, she is best known for playing Tess, the lead role on the 1994–2003 television show “Touched By An Angel”. In more recent times, she became an ordained New Thought minister in the Understanding Principles for Better Living Church in Los Angeles, California.
1933 – Major League baseball Holds First All-Star Game: The first midsummer All-Star Game was held at Comiskey Park, Chicago, IL. Babe Ruth led the American League and became the first to hit a home run in an All-Star game. The AL defeated the National League 4-2. Prior to the summer of 1933, All-Star contests consisted of pre-and postseason exhibitions that often found teams made up of a few stars playing beside journeymen and even minor leaguers.
1936 – 114ø F (46ø C), Moorhead, Minnesota (state record)
1936 – 121ø F (49ø C), Steele, North Dakota (state record)
1946 – “43,” George W. Bush, 43rd President, former governor of Texas, was born in New Haven, CT.
1946 – Birthday of Sylvester Stallone, actor, director, in New York, NY.
1947 – Top Hits
“Peg o’ My Heart” – The Harmonicats
“I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder” – Eddy Howard
“Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba” – Perry Como
“It’s a Sin” – Eddy Arnold
1947 – Allen Funt (1914-99) debuted with “The Candid Microphone” on ABC Radio. Later, on August 10, 1948, “Candid Camera” became a smash TV hit and made Funt a star. Funt also produced the film “What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?” using his hidden camera concept.
1949 – The Quiz Kids premiered and my good friend Ken Kelly of Goodwill and the Salvation Army was one of the winners. This show began on radio and continued on TV with the original host, Joe Kelly, and later with Clifton Fadiman. The format was a panel of five child prodigies who answered questions sent in by viewers. Four were regulars, staying for weeks or months, while the fifth was a “guest child.” The ages of the panelists varied from 6 to 16.
1953 – “Name That Tune” was a musical identification show that appeared in different formats in the 50’s and the 70’s. Red Benson was the host for the NBC series and Bill Cullen (and later George DeWitt) was the CBS host. Two contestants listened while an orchestra played a musical selection, and the first contestant who could identify it raced across the stage to ring a bell. The winner of the round then tried to identify a number of tunes within a specific time period. After 11 years, the show was brought back with Richard Hayes as host. In 1974, new network and syndicated versions appeared.
1955 – Top Hits
“Rock Around the Clock” – Bill Haley & His Comets
“Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” – Perez Prado
“Learnin’ the Blues” – Frank Sinatra
“Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young” – Faron Young
1955 – Governor William Grant Stratton of Illinois signed into law a state requirement that all automobiles be equipped with frame holes to which seat belts could be fastened, the first state to mandate this requirement. The law also required that no new motor vehicle could be registered unless equipped with seat belt attachments conforming to the specifications of the Society of Automotive Engineers.
1955 – “Baby Let’s Play House” becomes Elvis’ first single to place on the national charts and hits #10 on the Country & Western charts.
1955 – A landmark in music history is established on July 9th, when Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” reaches number one on the Billboard chart. Many music historians will eventually acknowledge the song as a dividing line, separating Rock and Roll from everything that preceded it.
1957 – Althea Gibson of the US became the first black person to win any Wimbledon title when she beat Darlene Hard, also of the US, 6-3, 6-2 to win the women’s singles championship.
1957 – Paul McCartney met John Lennon for the first time when Lennon’s band, The Quarrymen were playing at a church social. In the church basement between sets, 15 year old McCartney teaches a 16 year old Lennon to play and sing Eddie Cochran’s, “Twenty Flight Rock” and Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula”. Lennon would later say that he was impressed with McCartney’s ability to tune a guitar.
1961 – The Count Basie and Duke Ellington Bands record together for the first time.
1963 – Two weeks after being released, The Surfaris’ classic tune “Wipe Out” cracks the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to number two. The song was recorded as a “filler” in just two takes, but would stay in the Top 40 for ten weeks.
1963 – Three members of The United States Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, who called themselves The Essex, had the number one song on Billboard’s chart with “Easier Said Than Done”. It was a tune that the group would later confess none of them really liked. In the studio, they rushed through the recording, intending the track to be the “B” side of their first single.
1963 – James Brown went to #2 on the US album chart with “Live at the Apollo”. The LP spent a total of 33 weeks on the chart.
1971 – Top Hits
“It’s Too Late/I Feel the Earth Move” – Carole King
“Indian Reservation” – Raiders
“Treat Her Like a Lady” – Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
“When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” – Jerry Reed
1961 – Cecil Francis Poole became the first black US state’s attorney when he was sworn in as US attorney for the Northern District of California. He served until his retirement on Feb 3, 1970.
1963 – Top Hits
Sukiyaki – Kyu Sakamoto
Blue on Blue – Bobby Vinton
Easier Said Than Done – The Essex
Act Naturally – Buck Owens
1970 – California became the first state to adopt a “no fault” divorce law. It allowed divorces in cases of incurable insanity and irreconcilable differences. The divorce rate of more than 1 million a year was reached in 1975, when 1,036,000 divorces were granted.
1974 – The Hues Corporation had the top tune in the US with “Rock the Boat”.
1977 – Peak of 10 day heat wave with 100 in Washington, D.C.
1979 – Top Hits
“Ring My Bell” – Anita Ward
“Bad Girls” – Donna Summer
“Chuck E.’s in Love” – Rickie Lee Jones
“Amanda” – Waylon Jennings
1981 – The DuPont Company of Wilmington, Delaware announced their intent to purchase Conoco, Inc. (Continental Oil Co.) for seven billion dollars. For that time, the merger was the largest in corporate history. Until a final sum of $7.7 billion closed the deal, the bargaining continued. The result of the merger was the creation of the seventh largest industrial company in the United States.
1986 – Pocatello, ID sets new record with 35, coldest for July
1987 – Top Hits
I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
Alone – Heart
Shakedown – Bob Seger
That was a Close One – Earl Thomas Conley
1989 – Despite retiring May 29, Phillies’ 3B Mike Schmidt was elected to start the All-Star game.
1990 – After pitching a no-hitter and losing, NY Yankee Andy Hawkins pitched a complete 12 inning game and lost, 2-0.
1994 – Top Hits
“I Swear” – All-4-One
“Regulate (From ‘Above The Rim’)” – Warren G
“Any Time, Any Place/And On And On” – Janet Jackson
“Don t Turn Around” – Ace Of Base
1994 – “Forrest Gump”, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, and Gary Sinise, is released
1996 – The Yankees’ closer, John Wetteland, set a record of 20 consecutive saves en route to 24. At season’s end, Wetteland was traded to the Texas Rangers, opening the closer role for Mariano Rivera.
1998 – Korean Se Ri Pak rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt to defeat amateur Jenny Chuasiriporn on the second hole of sudden death and win the 1998 US Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run GC in Kholer, WI. The two golfers had finished the regulation 72 holes tied at six-over-par and had battled evenly at two-over— through an 18-hole playoff. Both parred the first extra hole, the first sudden-death hold in the history of the tournament. By winning, Pak became the youngest Open champ in history at 20, and only the second golf on the LPGA tour to win two major championships in her rookie year. Her earlier victory had come in the McDonald’s LPGA Classic.
2001 – Playing in the 101st different park since 1876, the Cubs beat the Tigers in Comerica Park, 15-8. The Cubs win for the first time in Detroit in 56 years dating back to Game 3 of the 1945 World Series when Claude Passeau threw a 3-0 shutout in Briggs Stadium.
2002 – Daryle Ward becomes the first player in the brief history of
Pittsburgh’s PNC Park to hit the Allegheny River on the fly. His fifth inning towering grand slam, which is estimated to travel 479 feet, help the Astros to rout the Pirates, 10-2.
2013 – 3 people are killed and 181 are injured after a Boeing 777 crash lands at San Francisco Airport.