This Day in History
1502 – Christopher Columbus landed at Honduras on his 4th and last voyage. He would retire a very wealthy man.
1634 – The first female religious leader in the American colonies was Anne Hutchinson, born Anne Marbury (1591-1643) in England, arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her family. She organized groups of women who met at her house and led them in the discussion of secular and theological questions. She taught that each person could attain understanding in matters of faith and therefore owed no obedience to church law. Her influence became so great that in November, 1687, she was brought to trial in Cambridge for undermining the authority of the colony’s Puritan ministers. Banished from the colony, she was given a safe haven in Roger William’s settlement (the future Providence, RI) along with 70 followers. In 1642, she moved to the wilderness near what is now Pelham Bay, NY, where she and her family were killed by Native Americans.
1679 – New Hampshire became a county in Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1769 – The first harpsichord piano was made by John Harris. It was called a spinet and was described in the Boston Gazette, “It hath only three or four octaves. Each jack was provided with a little spur of goose-quill that plucked the thin wire to cause vibration”. It became very popular in many
New England homes and churches.
1790 – The first loan taken out by the US was negotiated and secured by Alexander Hamilton. After beginning negotiations with the Bank of New York and the Bank of North America on Sept 18, 1789, Hamilton obtained the sum of $191,608.81 from the two banks in what became known as the Temporary Loan of 1789. The loan was obtained without authority of law and was used to pay the salaries of the president, senators, representatives and officers of the first Congress. Repayment was completed on June 8, 1790.
1793 – President George Washington laid the Capitol cornerstone at Washington, DC, in a Masonic ceremony. That event was the first and last recorded occasion at which the stone with its engraved silver plate was seen. In 1958, during the extension of the east front of the Capitol, an unsuccessful effort was made to find it.
1830 – In a widely celebrated race, the first locomotive build in America, the Tom Thumb, lost to a horse. Mechanical difficulties plagued the steam engine over the nine-mile course between Riley’s Tavern and Baltimore, Maryland, and a boiler leak prevented the locomotive from finishing the race. In the early days of trains, engines were nicknamed “Iron Horse.” People in the 19th century were opposed to change, and inventions took thirty to forty years before they were put in place, Industries were also intertwined with company owned stores, houses, other retail businesses. The attitude at the time of this race
was steam locomotive would never replace the horse, which was faster, more mobile, and “user friendly”. Why do we need a “rail road?”
1837 – Tiffany & Company is founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City. The store is called a “stationery and fancy goods emporium”.
1850 – After long debates and failure to pass the omnibus bill, Congress passed Fugitive Slave Law as part of the compromise of 1850 in separate bills. It was supposed to cool down the growing differences between those opposing slavery and those that owned slaves, but according to historians, the bill was instrumental in dividing the sides. Northerners did not enforce their part of the Fugitive Slave Law; they did not catch or return any run-away slaves, angering the South. The reason the North turned against Slavery: they saw slaves captured – (men, women, and children); they were chained and marched through the streets. People in the north did not like immigrants because they thought that they lost jobs to these foreigners. They even started political parties against immigrants. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0813116.html
1851 – “The New York Times” began publishing “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” The “Times” now owns other media, such radio, TV, cable and the Internet. Their edition on September 11, 2002, was one of the best ever, perhaps the most well-written newspaper in the United States.
1863 – Battle of Chickamauga, Tenn. (near Chattanooga) begins; Union retreat
1870 – Old Faithful was observed and named by Henry D. Washburn during an expedition to Yellowstone.
1873 – The Panic of 1873 began when the U.S. bank Jay Cooke & Company declared bankruptcy, triggering a series of bank failures.
1889 – Hull House Opens. This settlement house was founded in Chicago by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. It soon became the heart of one of the country’s most influential social reform movements, offering a mix of cultural and education programs to new immigrants.
1891 – “White Woman” Harriet Maxwell Converse (1836-1903) was made a chief of the Six Nations Tribe at the Tonawanda Reservation, NY. She was given the name Ga-is-wa-noh, which means “The Watcher.” She had been adopted as a member of the Seneca tribe in 1884 in appreciation of her efforts on behalf of the tribe.
1895 – Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) delivered his famous “Atlanta Compromise” speech at the opening of the Cotton States and International Exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia. Washington, the founder and president of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, was the first African-American man ever to address a racially-mixed Southern audience. He used the occasion to advocate a moderate approach to race relations in the New South.
1903 – In what became the first World Series, the presidents of the pennant-winning clubs in the National and American Leagues signed an agreement to meet in a best-of-nine series for the championship. The Boston Americans of the AL defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NL, 5 games to 3.
1905 – Birthday of Agnes DeMille (1905-93) at New York, NY. Dancer, choreographer for ballet and Broadway shows such as “Oklahoma.” http://kennedy-center.org/programs/specialevents/honors/history
1905 – Greta Garbo’s birthday (1905-90), born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson in Stockholm, Sweden. Actor of the almost perfect face, and one of the great stars of cinema. She made 24 films in Hollywood and was nominated for Academy Awards four times. She was finally awarded a special Academy Award in 1954 “for her unforgettable screen performances.” Although she retired in 1941 to live in seclusion in New York, the paparazzi continued to chase her and the gossip newspapers printed photos of her when she was in her 70s and 80s – even while swimming. She hated making movies and condemned their superficialities as well as the burden of being portrayed a beautiful thing rather than a human being. She left school at 14 to work after her father died. A film director saw her, admired her beauty and gave her a small part in a movie. She then studied at the Royal Dramatic Theater School in Stockholm for two years where she met Mauritz Stiller, the foremost Swedish film director of his time who renamed her Garbo. When he went to the United States to work for MGM, he took her along. Garbo’s fame soon eclipsed his. One of the few stars who were able to move from silent films to talkies, she made “The Torrent” (1926), “Flesh and the Devil” (1927), “Love” (1927), “A Woman of Affairs” (1929), and “Wild Orchids” (1929). Garbo starred in “talkies” for the next 14 years before walking away from movies, some say because her box office draw was dwindling, others because she was aging and didn’t want the world to watch the process. Others noted her hatred of the Hollywood superficiality. The Hollywood publicists blared “Garbo Talks!” as she starred in her first talkie, “Anna Christie” (1930), followed by “Mata Hari” (1932), “Grand Hotel” (1932), “Queen Christina” (1933), “Anna Karenina” (1935), “Camille” (1936), and “Ninotchka” (1939). She was a lesbian rather than a bi-sexual. Ironically, Marlene Dietrich who was brought to the U.S. as a rival to Garbo was a bi-sexual who, in private life, also played the rival to several of Garbo’s women lovers. “I said I wanted to be left alone, not I want to be alone. There is a great difference,” Garbo explained about the misquote that is universally attributed to her.
1905 – Eddie “Rochester” Anderson (1905-77) was born Edmund Lincoln Anderson in Oakland, CA. Anderson got his start in show business as a teenager in Vaudeville. In the early 1930s, he transitioned into films and radio. In 1937, he began his most famous role of Rochester van Jones, usually known simply as “Rochester”, the valet of Jack Benny, on his radio show. Anderson became the first African American to have a regular role on a nationwide radio program. When the series moved to television, Anderson continued in the role until the series’ end in 1965.
1910 – Birthday of Samuel “Sam” Bankhead (1910-76), baseball player and manager, at Empire, AL. Bankhead starred for several teams in the Negro Leagues from 1930 to 1950. In 1951, he became organized baseball’s first black manager, handling the Farnham team in the Provincial League.
1914 – Mrs. Frank Leslie, aka Baroness de Bazus, aka Miriam Florence Folline Leslie (b. 1836), died and her amazing will changes the course of history in the U.S. She bequeathed $2 million to Carrie Chapman Catt personally to get women’s suffrage approved in the U.S.! After legal battles that seemed to go on forever and caused Catt to remark that the money seemed to be more of a curse than a boon, Catt received about $900,000 and the rest eaten up by legal fees by family members trying to break the will. Catt put it all into the Leslie publicity bureau which sent suffrage material to newspapers, magazines, and activists in a snow of information that turned a stalled movement into an avalanche of pressure. Would U.S. women have been granted the vote without Leslie’s money? Eventually, but history (read correctly) showed that even with the tremendous amount of pressure exerted by women, the results came down to ONE VOTE in the Tennessee legislature. Had that one vote not been cast for suffrage, the entire movement would have been stopped because a number of states were poised to rescind their favorable vote. One must remember that lifting any restrictions on women’s freedom breaks one of the oldest of all prejudices reinforced by almost every religion, that of men have the right and duty to keep women, by force if necessary, as subservient slaves… Miriam changed her name to Frank legally after she was left a widow with bankrupt businesses. Through shrewd business dealings, she rebuilt into the fortune what was left of her husband’s publishing empire.
1919 – Fritz Pollard became the first African-American to play professional football for a major team, the Akron Pros, a charter member of the American Professional Football Association.
1924 – Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit (d. 1963) was born in Annona, TX. On November 22, 1963, Tippit was fatally shot on a Dallas street approximately 45 minutes after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. According to five federal government investigations, Tippit was shot by former United States Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, but Oswald denied shooting Tippit.
1925 – Harvey Haddix (1925-94) was born in Medway, OH. His somewhat average Major League career is best remembered for the night of May 26, 1959. Pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he threw a perfect game for 12 innings before losing it the 13th against the Milwaukee Braves. A fielding error by Pirates 3B Don Hoak ended the perfect game with the leadoff batter for Milwaukee, Felix Mantilla, reaching first base. Mantilla later advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Eddie Mathews, which was followed by an intentional walk to Henry Aaron. Joe Adcock then hit an apparent home run, ending the no-hitter and the game. However, in the confusion, Aaron left the base paths and was passed by Adcock for the second out and the Braves won 2-0. Haddix’s 12 2/3-inning, one-hit complete game, against the team that had just represented the NL in the previous two World Series, is considered by many to be the best single pitching performance in Major League history. In 1991, Major League Baseball changed the definition of a no-hitter to “a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit;” the rule’s formalization had the effect of proclaiming Adcock’s drive singularly fatal to Haddix’s no-hit bid, irrespective of the score or the game’s ultimate outcome. Despite having thrown more perfect innings than anyone in a single game, Haddix’s game was taken off the list of perfect games. Haddix’s response was “It’s O.K. I know what I did.”
1927 – The Columbia Broadcasting System was launched in the United States. Many of the radio network’s programs originated at station WOR in New York. My late father, Lawrence Menkin, in the late 1940’s, was station manager of WOR radio, and then worked for WOR-TV in 1949 and early 1950’s, introducing “Harlem Detective,” “Hands of Murder,” and “One Man Theater.” He then went to work for DuMont TV, introducing these shows there, plus a new one for which is best known, “Captain Video and the Space Rangers.” By the way, NBC was the first network. “The Tiffany Network,” as CBS was called, broadcast an opera, “The King’s Henchman,” as its first program. William S. Paley put the network together, purchasing a chain of 16 failing radio stations. The controlling interest cost between $250,000 and $450,000. The following year, the 27-year-old Paley became President of CBS. It only took one more year for him to profit 2.35 million dollars as the network grew to over 70 stations.
1933 – Robert Blake, “Baretta,” was born Michael James Gubitosi in Nutley, NJ. Blake began performing as a child, with a lead role in the final years of MGM’s “Our Gang” (Little Rascals) short film series from 1939 to 1944. He also appeared as a child actor in 22 entries of the “Red Ryder” film franchise. After a stint in the Army, Blake returned to acting in both television and movie roles. Blake may be best known for his Emmy Award-winning role of Tony Baretta in the popular television series “Baretta” (1975 to 1978), playing an undercover police detective who specialized in disguises. He continued acting through 1997’s “Lost Highway” for a career that author Michael Newton called “one of the longest in Hollywood history.” In 2005, Blake was tried and acquitted of the 2001 murder of his second wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. On November 18, 2005, he was found liable in a California civil court for her wrongful death.
1933 – Jimmie Rodgers was born in Camas, WA. Rodgers had a brief run of mainstream popularity in the late 1950s with a string of crossover singles that ranked highly on the charts: “Honeycomb” (1957), “Kisses Sweeter than Wine” (1957), “Oh, Oh, I’m Falling I Love Again” (1958), “Secretly” (1958).
1938 – Birthday of drummer Walter “Popee” Lastie (1938-80), New Orleans, LA. Best known for playing drums with Fats Domino, but his family was well-known in musical circles in New Orleans. http://publications.neworleans.com/no_magazine/34.1
1939 – Birthday of former teen idol-singer-actor Frankie Avalon, born Francis Thomas Avallone, Philadelphia, PA. He was among the late 50s rock ‘n’ roll teen idols that included fellow Philadelphians, Bobby Rydell and Fabian, Ricky Nelson, Bobby Darin and others whose popularity took off when Elvis went into the Army. His first hit was “DeDe Dinah” that reached #7 in 1958. In 1959, “Venus” (5 weeks #1) and “Why” went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Why” was the last #1 of the 1950s. Avalon had 31 charted U.S. Billboard singles from 1958 to late 1962, including “Just Ask Your Heart” (U.S. #7), “I’ll Wait for You” (U.S. #15), “Bobby Sox to Stockings” (U.S. #8), and “A Boy Without a Girl” (U.S. #10). Most of his hits were written and/or produced by Bob Marcucci, head of Chancellor Records. Teamed frequently with Annette, Avalon starred in a number of popular “beach party” comedy films during the mid-1960s and made a comeback in the 1978 hit “Grease.”
1939 – Saxophonist Steve Marcus (1939-2005) Birthday in The Bronx.
1940 – Will Bradley records “Scrub Me, Mama, with a Boogie Beat,” sequel to “Beat Me, Daddy”, recorded four months earlier.
1944 – Birthday of singer and songwriter Michael Franks, La Jolla, California. His pop-jazz tunes have been recorded by such artists as the Carpenters, Melissa Manchester and Manhattan Transfer. Franks’ own albums have been moderately popular, and usually feature well-known backing musicians. For instance, he was aided on his 1976 LP “The Art of Tea” by the Crusaders. In the late 1960’s, Franks spent some time at the University of Montreal, where he obtained a master’s degree in contemporary culture. While in Canada, he opened shows for Gordon Lightfoot and played with the groups Carnival and Lighthouse.
1944 – JACKSON, ARTHUR J., Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Island of Peleliu in the Palau group, 18 September 1944. Entered service at: Oregon. Born: 18 October 1924, Cleveland Ohio. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on the Island of Peleliu in the Palau group, 18 September 1944. Boldly taking the initiative when his platoon’s left flank advance was held up by the fire of Japanese troops concealed in strongly fortified positions, Pfc. Jackson unhesitatingly proceeded forward of our lines and, courageously defying the heavy barrages, charged a large pillbox housing approximately 35 enemy soldiers. Pouring his automatic fire into the opening of the fixed installation to trap the occupying troops, he hurled white phosphorus grenades and explosive charges brought up by a fellow marine, demolishing the pillbox and killing all of the enemy. Advancing alone under the continuous fire from other hostile emplacements, he employed similar means to smash 2 smaller positions in the immediate vicinity. Determined to crush the entire pocket of resistance although harassed on all sides by the shattering blasts of Japanese weapons and covered only by small rifle parties, he stormed 1 gun position after another, dealing death and destruction to the savagely fighting enemy in his inexorable drive against the remaining defenses, and succeeded in wiping out a total of 12 pillboxes and 50 Japanese soldiers. Stouthearted and indomitable despite the terrific odds, Pfc. Jackson resolutely maintained control of the platoon’s left flank movement throughout his valiant 1-man assault and, by his cool decision and relentless fighting spirit during a critical situation, contributed essentially to the complete annihilation of the enemy in the southern sector of the island. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct in the face of extreme peril reflect the highest credit upon Pfc. Jackson and the U.S. Naval Service.
1944 – JOHNSON, OSCAR G., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 363d Infantry, 91st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Scarpered, Italy, 16-18 September 1944. Entered service at: Foster City, Mich. Birth: Foster City, Mich. G.O. No.: 58, 19 July 1945. Citation: (then Pfc.) He practically single-handed protected the left flank of his company’s position in the offensive to break the German’s gothic line. Company B was the extreme left assault unit of the corps. The advance was stopped by heavy fire from Monticelli Ridge, and the company took cover behind an embankment. Sgt. Johnson, a mortar gunner, having expended his ammunition, assumed the duties of a rifleman. As leader of a squad of 7 men he was ordered to establish a combat post 50 yards to the left of the company to cover its exposed flank. Repeated enemy counterattacks, supported by artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire from the high ground to his front, had by the afternoon of 16 September killed or wounded all his men. Collecting weapons and ammunition from his fallen comrades, in the face of hostile fire, he held his exposed position and inflicted heavy casualties upon the enemy, who several times came close enough to throw hand grenades. On the night of 1617 September, the enemy launched his heaviest attack on Company B, putting his greatest pressure against the lone defender of the left flank. In spite of mortar fire which crashed about him and machinegun bullets which whipped the crest of his shallow trench, Sgt. Johnson stood erect and repulsed the attack with grenades and small arms fire. He remained awake and on the alert throughout the night, frustrating all attempts at infiltration. On 17 September, 25 German soldiers surrendered to him. Two men, sent to reinforce him that afternoon, were caught in a devastating mortar and artillery barrage. With no thought of his own safety, Sgt. Johnson rushed to the shell hole where they lay half buried and seriously wounded, covered their position by his fire, and assisted a Medical Corpsman in rendering aid. That night he secured their removal to the rear and remained on watch until his company was relieved. Five companies of a German paratroop regiment had been repeatedly committed to the attack on Company B without success. Twenty dead Germans were found in front of his position. By his heroic stand and utter disregard for personal safety, Sgt. Johnson was in a large measure responsible for defeating the enemy’s attempts to turn the exposed left flank.
1947 – The US Air Force was officially established. Although its heritage dates back to 1907 when the Army first established military aviation, the US Air Force became a separate military service on this date. Responsible for providing an Air Force that is capable, in conjunction with the other armed forces, of preserving the peace and security of the US, the department is separately organized under the Secretary of the Air Force and operates under the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of Defense.
1948 – “The Original Amateur Hour” returned to radio on ABC, two years after the passing of the program’s originator and host, Major Bowes. Bowes brought new star talent into living rooms for 13 years. Ted Mack, the new host, had also started a TV run with “The Original Amateur Hour” on the DuMont network in January of 1948.
1948 – Margaret Chase Smith of Maine became the first woman elected to the Senate without completing another senator’s term when she defeated Democratic opponent Adrian Scolten.
1949 – Montreal-born jazz pianist Oscar Peterson made a sensational debut at Carnegie Hall as a surprise guest at a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert. The producer of Jazz at the Philharmonic, Norman Granz, had planted Peterson in the audience and had him come on stage midway through the event. Granz became Peterson’s manager, an association that was to last 30 years.
1950 – “The Speidel Show” premiered and became one of my favorite television shows. Ventriloquist Paul Winchell was featured with his dummies, Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, on this NBC comedy-variety series which ran for four years. Dorothy Claire, Hilda Vaughn and Jimmy Blame also made appearances on the show, which included the quiz segment “What’s My Name?” Winchell later hosted a variety of programs such as “Circus Time”, “The Paul Winchell Show”, “CartoOnieS”, “Winchell and Mahoney Time” and “Runaround.” The Jerry Mahoney puppet was very popular and I had one, actually appearing in school shows with a comedy routine when I was eight and nine years old.
1952 – Top Hits
“Wish You Were Here” – Eddie Fisher
“Auf Wiedersehn, Sweetheart” – Vera Lynn
“Half as Much” – Rosemary Clooney
“Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” – Hank Williams
1955 – What had been “The Toast of the Town” on CBS Television (since 1948) became “The Ed Sullivan Show.” This “rilly big shew” remained a mainstay of Sunday night television until June 6, 1971. Sullivan was a newspaper columnist/critic before and during the early years of this pioneering TV show. It was one of the most popular, introducing many stars including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and the home town boy of Port Chester, New York was not only famous, but powerful, as if you appeared on his show, your career was sure to take off.
1956 – 24-year-old Mickey Mantle became only the 8th Major Leaguer to hit as many as 50 homers in a season when he connected off Billy Pierce of the White Sox. This was Mantle’s Triple Crown season and he would wind up with 52 while winning the AL MVP Award.
1957 – “The Big Record”, hosted by ‘the singing rage’, Miss Patti Page, debuted on CBS-TV. “The Big Record” was a live musical showcase featuring established artists singing their big songs. “The Big Record” lasted one big season.
1957 – “Wagon Train,” premiered on television. My father Lawrence Menkin wrote many of the episodes and contributed stories and “treatments” on the growth of the characters. This was a popular Western on both NBC and ABC, airing for eight years with its last telecast September 5, 1965. The series was about a journey along the wagon trial from Missouri to California. Each Week the travelers encountered new surroundings and interacted with different guest stars. Ward Bond played wagon master Major Seth Adams until his death in 1960. He was replaced by John McIntire as Chris Hale. Other regulars were Robert Horton as scout Flint McCullough; Frank McGrath as cook, Charlie Wooster; Terry Will as Bill Hawks; Danny(Scott) Miller as scout Luke Shannon; Michael Burns as Barnaby West, a teen passenger and Robert Fuller as scout Cooper.
1960 – On his twenty-first birthday, Frankie Avalon is given $600,000 that he earned as a minor.
1960 – Top Hits
“It’s Now or Never” – Elvis Presley
“The Twist” – Chubby Checker
“My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own” – Connie Francis
“Alabam” – Cowboy Copas
1961 – UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold died in a plane crash while attempting to negotiate peace in the war-torn Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
1961 – 15 year old English actress Hayley Mills sees her US debut recording “Let’s Get Together” enter the Billboard charts, where it will reach #8.
1961 – Bobby Vee scores his third US top ten hit and his only number one with “Take Good Care Of My Baby.”
1961 – Actor James Gandolfini (d. 2013) was born in Westwood, NJ. He will be forever known for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano in the HBO crime drama, “The Sopranos.” He garnered enormous praise for his performance, winning three Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Golden Globe Award. The show debuted in 1999 and was broadcast until 2007. For his depiction of Soprano, “Entertainment Weekly” listed him as the 42nd Greatest TV Icon of All Time.
1963 – “The Outer Limits” premiers on TV. You may be getting tired of this inclusion, however, my father Lawrence Menkin wrote several of the episodes and provided story lines for others. He came to Hollywood right after the War, didn’t like it, did some movie work for Barbara Streisand, didn’t like it, went back to New York City, where he was very well known locally, left for Hollywood TV in 1955 and stayed very active for ten years, the basically retired and taught at San Francisco State College and had his own actors/comedy workshop, while he worked on books (that were
1963 – In the last Major League game at the Polo Grounds, 1,752 fans saw the Phillies beat the Mets, 5-1. Jim Hickman hit the final New York home run in the historic park as the Mets opened Shea Stadium in Queens for the 1964 season.
1964 – North Vietnamese Army began infiltration of South Vietnam.
1964 – “The Addams Family” premiered on TV. Charles Addams’ quirky New Yorker cartoon creations were brought to life in this ABC sitcom about a family full of oddballs. John Astin played lawyer Gomez Addams, with Carolyn Jones as his morbid wife Morticia, Ken Weatherwax as son Pugsley, Lisa Loring as daughter Wednesday, Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester, Ted Cassidy as both Lurch, the butler, and Thing, a disembodied hand, Blossom Rock as Grandmamma and Felix Silla as Cousin Itt. Although the last episode aired Sept 2,1966, “The Addams Family” movie was released in 1991, starring Anjelica Huston as Morticia, Raul Julia as Gomez, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester, Jimmy Workman as Pugsley and Christina Ricci as Wednesday.
1965 – Premier of TV Show “Get Smart,” a spy-thriller spoof appearing on both NBC (1965-69) and CBS (1969-70.) Don Adams starred as bumbling CONTROL Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. His mission was to thwart the evildoings of the KAOS organization. Agent Smart was usually successful with the help of his friends, Barbara Feldon as Agent 99 (whom Smart eventually married), Edward Platt as the Chief, Robert Karvelas as Agent Larrabee, Dick Gautier as Hymie the Robot and David Ketchum as Agent 13. Gimmicks included agents in garbage cans that you did not see, the “Cone of Silence” so no one could wire tape the conversations, a telephone in the sole of a shoe (way before wireless the size of a cigarette pack) and no one was shot or killed (remember, it was a comedy).
1965 – Larry Hagman (Captain Tony Nelson) and Barbara Eden (Jeannie) starred in the first episode of “I Dream of Jeannie” on NBC-TV. Capt. Nelson had been forced to make a parachute landing on a desert island. He happened upon an old bottle that had washed up on the shore. He popped the top and – bingo! Out popped Jeannie, a 2000-year-old, very pretty genie. Jeannie took to Tony and started making weekly magic that lasted until September 1, 1970.
1966 – Herb Alpert’s European tour culminated in a performance before Princess Grace and the royal family in Monaco. From Washington to the Riviera, it seemed that no place was out of place for Alpert’s ‘Ameriachi’ sound.
1967 – The popular soap opera “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” premiered. It was created by veteran writer lrna Phillips, airing on CBS for five years. It was based on the 1955 film starring William Holden and Jennifer Jones. lrna Phillips left the show after the network nixed interracial romance in favor of political storylines. David Birney, Leslie Charleson, Bibi Besch and Donna Mills have all appeared on the show.
1968 – Top Hits
“People Got to Be Free” – The Rascals
“Harper Valley P.T.A.” – Jeannie C. Riley
“1,2,3, Red Light” – 1910 Fruitgum Co.
“Mama Tried” – Merle Haggard
1969 – Tiny Tim announced his engagement to Vicki Budinger at the New Jersey State Fair. The falsetto-voiced singer said he was so moved, he shed a tear and put it into an envelope that he kept in his ukulele. The wedding took place live on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show.”
1970 – Jimi Hendrix, rock music’s most innovative guitarist in the late 1960’s, was found dead in a London apartment at the age of 27. He had left the message “I need help bad, man” on his manager Chas Chandler’s answering machine. The coroner said Hendrix choked on his own vomit after barbiturate intoxication. A month earlier, Hendrix had performed his last concert at the Isle of Wight Pop Festival. Hendrix, born in Seattle, Washington, had first gained fame in Britain in early 1967 when “Hey Joe” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience reached number six on the British chart. He did not perform in the US until June that year, at the Monterrey Pop Festival. He ended his appearance by burning his guitar. Hendrix’s guitar heroics and flamboyant stage antics soon made him a superstar. But Hendrix, who considered himself more a musician than a showman, began ridding himself of his stage theatrics in 1968, concentrating on his music. He also appeared and did an album with the Canadian born great jazz composer/arranger Gil Evans. The Hendrix Experience fell apart in 1969, and Hendrix followed that group with Band of Gypsies, which stayed together for only a few months. His “Purple Haze” and “Foxy Lady” became anthems for a generation at war in Vietnam.
1970 – After scoring 12 US number one hits with The Supremes, Diana Ross has her first solo US chart topper with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
1971 – Pink Floyd became the first rock group to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. They performed “Atom Heart Mother,” which had been released as an album the previous year.
1971 – Birthday of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, Piano, TX. He previously won the Tour de France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005, but was stripped of those victories in 2012 after a protracted doping scandal.
1975 – Publishing heiress Patricia Hearst was rescued/captured by the FBI in San Francisco, CA. She had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army on Feb 4, 1974, but had apparently fallen in with her captors and had participated in a bank holdup. Hearst was convicted of bank robbery on Mar 20, 1976. On Feb 1, 1979, her sentence was commuted to time served by President Jimmy Carter, but her conviction stood. On Jan 20, 2001, outgoing President Bill Clinton granted Patricia Hearst a full pardon, as he did for dozens of others.
1976 – Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” is released in the US, where it will reach #5.
1976 – Top Hits
“Play That Funky Music” – Wild Cherry
“I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” – England Dan & John Ford Coley
“A Fifth of Beethoven” – Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band
“I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You” – Jim Ed Brown/Helen Cornelius
1977 – The Voyager I spacecraft, launched on Sep 5, 1977 from Cape Canaveral, FL, snapped the first photograph showing the earth and moon together. Having operated for over 38 years, the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of 132 AU (1.97×1010 km; 0.00209 light years) as of summer 2015, it is the farthest spacecraft from Earth.
1984 – Top Hits
“What’s Love Got to Do with It” – Tina Turner
“Missing You” – John Waite
“She Bop” – Cyndi Lauper
“You’re Getting to Me Again” – Jim Glaser
1993 – Garth Brooks’ “In Pieces” debuted at #1 in the U.S. on both the “Billboard” “Hot 200” and Country LP charts. The album has sold over 8 million copies.
1995 – Shania Twain won in five of the seven categories in which she was nominated at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Hamilton. The Timmins, Ontario, singer took the honors for female vocalist of the year, as well as best single and video for “Any Man of Mine” and album of the year for “The Woman in Me.” Twain and her producer-husband Mutt Lange won for song of the year – “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under.”
1996 – Tupac Shakur’s video “I Ain’t Mad,” which depicts the rapper being shot as he leaves a nightclub, premiered on MTV five days after he died of gunshot wounds in a Las Vegas hospital. The video was made about a month before Shakur was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip.
1996 – Pitcher Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox tied his own record for most strikeouts in a 9-inning game when he struck out 20 Detroit Tigers in a 4-0 Red Sox victory. Clemens set the record on April 29, 1986, against the Seattle Mariners.
1997 – The Rolling Stones played a small Chicago club as a prelude to their “Bridges to Babylon” world tour. Those who were lucky enough to get into the Double Door paid just $7.
1997 – Ted Turner donated $1 billion to the UN.
1999 – Slammin’ Sammy Sosa becomes the first player in major league history to hit 60 homers twice. The Cub outfielder hits his milestone round-tripper off Brewer hurler Jason Bere.
1999 – Tampa Bay P Jim Morris made his Major League debut by fanning Royce Clayton in the 8th inning. At 36, he became the oldest rookie pitcher since Diomedes Olivo (age 40) with in 1960. Morris was a high school baseball coach and science teacher just four months ago when he tried out at the urging of his players. His life story turned into a movie, “The Rookie,” with Dennis Quaid in the starring role.
2001 – The first mailing of anthrax, traced to Trenton, NJ, started the 2001 anthrax attacks in the post-9/11 US. Letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and two Democratic Senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others. The FBI described the ensuing investigation as “one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement.” Bruce E. Ivins, a scientist who worked at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, MD, became a focus of investigation around April 4, 2005. On April 11, 2007, Ivins was put under periodic surveillance and an FBI document stated that “Bruce Edwards Ivins is an extremely sensitive suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks.” On July 29, 2008, Ivins committed suicide. On August 6, 2008, based on DNA evidence leading to an anthrax vial in Ivins’s lab, federal prosecutors declared Ivins to be the sole culprit of the crime.
2009 – Soap opera “The Guiding Light” ended after 72 years.
2014 – Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Its pre-IPO market valuation of almost $168 billion exceeded that of American e-commerce giant Amazon by over $17 billion. Then US tech giant Yahoo! earned $26 billion for the sale of its equity in Alibaba.