Events - April 2
1792 - The U.S. Congress authorized the first U.S. mint. Which mint was first? The one in Philadelphia, PA.
1872 - G.B. Brayton of Boston, MA received a patent for the gas-powered engine.
1889 - Charles Hall patented aluminum on this day.
1896 - Madison Square Garden in New York City hosted the season premiere of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. The circus featured a Duryea horseless carriage.
1902 - The first motion picture theatre opened in Los Angeles. The Electric Theatre charged a dime to see an hour’s entertainment, including the films, "The Capture of the Biddle Brothers" and "New York in a Blizzard". Now that’s entertainment!
1942 - Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded "American Patrol" for Victor Records. The jitterbug tune became one of Miller’s most requested hits.
1947 - "The Big Story" was first heard on NBC radio. It stayed on the air for eight years.
1954 - Carl ‘Bobo’ Olson defeated Kid Gavilan to retain the world middleweight boxing title. Go Bobo!
1956 - Two very successful daytime dramas premiered. "The Edge of Night" and "As the World Turns" were seen for the first time on CBS-TV.
1963 - "Best Foot Forward" opened in New York City. Liza Minelli was the lead actress in this off-Broadway revival of the show which enjoyed a run of 224 performances.
1969 - The Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association signed Lew Alcindor for a reported $1,400,000 five-year contract. Alcindor soon changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabar and his team to the Los Angeles Lakers.
1972 - Actor Burt Reynolds appeared, um, nekkid as a jaybird in "Cosmopolitan" magazine. This issue of "Cosmo" became an instant collector’s item and an additional 700,000 copies had to be printed.
1974 - What a night this was at the 46th Annual Academy Awards presentation at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles! Hosting the film industry celebration were John Huston, David Niven, Burt Reynolds, and Diana Ross. It was a banner year for 1973 flicks and the magnificent memories they created: "Serpico", "The Exorcist", "Jonathan Livingston Seagull", "The Day of the Jackal", "American Graffiti", "Papillon", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Last Tango in Paris", "Live and Let Die", "Cinderella Liberty". And this list doesn’t even include The Best Picture of the Year, "The Sting" (producers: Tony Bill, Michael Phillips, Julia Phillips). "The Sting" won six additional Oscars: Director (George Roy Hill); Art Direction (Henry Bumstead)and Set Decoration (James Payne); Costume Design (Edith Head); Film Editing (William Reynolds); Scoring/Original Song Score/Adaptation: (Marvin Hamlisch); Writing/Original Story/Screenplay based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced (David S. Ward); plus three additional nominations. Nor does it include these Oscar winners: Best Actor: Jack Lemmon for "Save the Tiger"; Best Actress: Glenda Jackson for "A Touch of Class"; Best Supporting Actor: John Houseman for "The Paper Chase"; Best Supporting Actress: Tatum O’Neal for "Paper Moon"; and Best Music/Song: "The Way We Were" -- Marvin Hamlisch (music), Alan and Marilyn Bergman (lyrics) from the movie of the same title. And that’s the way it was in 1974.
1977 - Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Duke Ellington, "Sir Duke", was released.
1978 - J.R. Ewing and the clan arrived at Southfork, when "Dallas" was seen for the first time -- on CBS-TV. Larry Hagman, formerly of "I Dream of Jeannie" fame, starred as J.R. (John Ross) Ewing. The show originally was broadcast on Sunday night, then moved to Saturday and later, Friday nights. The show became an enormously popular hit and was the talk of many people around the water cooler each Monday morning.
1984 - John Thompson became the first black coach to lead his team to the NCAA college basketball championship. Georgetown’s Hoyas defeated Houston 84-75 in Seattle for the win. Thompson’s team in 1982 had finished second to North Carolina for the championship.
1985 - The NCAA Rules Committee adopted the 45-second shot clock for men’s basketball, to begin in the 1986 season. It was an effort to thwart the end-of-game stalls that kept opposing teams from scoring in close contests.
1985 - A day after its release, the album, "We are the World", was certified gold with sales in excess of 500,000 copies.
1987 - Drivers were back in the fast lane as states began to raise the speed limit on interstate highways in limited areas to 65 miles per hour. Watch the signs, please. Radar ahead.
Birthdays - April 2
1725 - Giacomo Casanova (writer: History of My Life; philanderer: his name became synonymous for philanderer, rogue in the English language even though he was Italian; died June 4, 1798)
1805 - Hans Christian Andersen (author of fairy tales: The Tinder Box, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes; died Aug 4, 1875)
1840 - Emile Zola (novelist: Therese Raquin, The Rougon-Macquart, The Belly of Paris, The Grog Shop, Nana, Germinal, The Crash, The Three Cities, The Four Gospels, The Experimental Novel, The Naturalistic Novelists, Naturalism in the Theater; an open letter to win a new trial for Alfred Dreyfus: J’accuse; died Sep 29, 1902)
1875 - Walter Chrysler (auto manufacturer: Chrysler Corporation; died Aug 18, 1940)
1908 - Buddy Ebsen (Christian Rudolph Ebsen) (actor: The Beverly Hillbillies, Barnaby Jones, The President’s Plane is Missing, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Red Garters, Stone Fox, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; died July 6, 2003)
1912 - Herbert Mills (singer: group: The Mills Brothers: Paper Doll, You Always Hurt the One You Love, Glow-Worm; died Apr 12, 1989)
1914 - Alec Guinness (Alec Guinness de Cuffe) (Academy Award-winning actor: The Bridge on the River Kwai ; The Empire Strikes Back, The Lavender Hill Mob, Star Wars, A Passage to India, The Quiller Memorandum; died Aug 5, 2000)
1917 - Lou Monte (singer: Pepino the Italian Mouse, Lazy Mary, At the Darktown Strutter’s Ball; died June 12, 1989)
1918 - Charles White (artist: J’Accuse , posters: Wanted , Homage to Langston Hughes , WPA murals; died Oct 3, 1979)
1920 - Jack (John Randolph) Webb (director, actor: Dragnet, Pete Kelly’s Blues; actor: Sunset Boulevard, The Halls of Montezuma; died Dec 23, 1982)
1924 - Bobby (Roberto Francisco Gonzales) Avila (baseball: Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1952, 1954, 1955/World Series: 1954], Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Braves, Boston Red Sox; died Oct 26, 2004)
1927 - Carmen Basilio (middleweight boxer lost to Sugar Ray Robinson as Robinson regained the world title for the fourth time ; died Nov 7, 2012)
1927 - Rita Gam (Mackay) (actress: The Thief, Klute, Midnight; died Mar 22, 2016)
1938 - Warner Mack (Warner MacPherson) (country singer, songwriter: Is it Wrong)
1939 - Marvin (Pentz) Gaye Jr. (singer: Pride & Joy, How Sweet It Is, I’ll Be Doggone, Ain’t That Peculiar, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On, Sexual Healing; inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ; died Apr 1, 1984)
1942 - Leon Russell (singer: Tight Rope, Lady Blue; songwriter: Superstar [Carpenters], This Masquerade [George Benson]; died Nov 13, 2016)
1943 - Glen Dale (Richard Garforth) (musician: guitar, singer: group: The Fortunes)
1944 - Marlene Floyd (golf: LPGA Tour; member of Floyd family: 1988 Golf Family of the Year [dad, L.B.], [mom, Edith], [brother, Ray]; NBC-TV golf commentator)
1945 - Linda Hunt (Academy Award-winning actress: The Year of Living Dangerously ; NCIS: Los Angeles, Silverado, Dune, Popeye, Kindergarten Cop, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Flying Nun)
1945 - Reggie (Carl Reginald) Smith (baseball: Boston Red Sox [World Series: 1967/all-star: 1969, 1972], SL Cardinals [all-star: 1974, 1975], LA Dodgers [World Series: 1977, 1978, 1981/all-star: 1977, 1978, 1980], SF Giants)
1945 - Don Sutton (Baseball Hall of Famer: pitcher: 5th highest record of pitching strikeouts [3,569]: LA Dodgers [all-star: 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977/World Series: 1974, 1977, 1978, 1982], Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, California Angels, Oakland Athletics; TV play-by-play: Atlanta Braves)
1947 - Emmylou Harris (Grammy Award-winning singer: Elite Hotel , Blue Kentucky Girl , That Lovin’ You Feeling Again [w/Roy Orbison - 1980], Trio , At the Ryman [w/the Nash Ramblers - 1992], Wrecking Ball ; Mr. Sandman, The Last Waltz, Pledging My Love, In My Dreams, Amarillo, ’Till I Gain Control Again)
1949 - Pamela Reed (actress: Junior, Kindergarten Cop, The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Right Stuff, The Best of Times, The Goodbye People, The Long Riders, Bob Roberts, Grand, Family Album, The Andros Targets, Getting Out)
1953 - Debralee Scott (actress: Police Academy, Just Tell Me You Love Me; died Apr 5, 2005)
1961 - Keren Woodward (singer: group: Bananarama: Cruel Summer, Venus, I Heard a Rumor)
Chart Toppers - April 2
Now is the Hour - Bing Crosby
I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover - The Art Moonie Orchestra
Beg Your Pardon - Francis Craig
Anytime - Eddy Arnold
The Poor People of Paris - Les Baxter
Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley
Rock Island Line - Lonnie Donegan
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
She Loves You - The Beatles
Twist and Shout - The Beatles
Suspicion - Terry Stafford
Saginaw, Michigan - Lefty Frizzell
A Horse with No Name - America
Puppy Love - Donny Osmond
Mother and Child Reunion - Paul Simon
My Hang-Up is You - Freddie Hart
Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd
Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl - Spinners
Call Me - Blondie
I’d Love to Lay You Down - Conway Twitty
Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car - Billy Ocean
I Want Her - Keith Sweat
Love Will Find Its Way to You - Reba McEntire
Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...
Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams
Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
from 440 International
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.