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April 10

Events - April 10
1849 - Walter Hunt of New York City patented the safety pin. Most of us still use the device which comes in a variety of sizes and is quite handy to have around. Mr. Hunt, however, didn’t think so. He thought the safety pin to be a temporary convenience and sold the patent for a total of $400. Bet he could just ‘stick’ himself for doing that.

1916 - The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) held its first championship tournament. This first PGA Championship title went to Britisher Jim Barnes. Barnes won the match-play event at Siwanoy golf course in Bronxville, NY and was presented with a trophy and a major share of the $2,580 purse.

1927 - "Ballet Mécanique" was presented for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This was the first symphonic work that called for an airplane propeller and other mechanical contraptions not normally associated with the ballet.

1937 - "Collier’s" magazine published two short stories this day which would later become motion pictures; a first for a single magazine issue. "Stage to Lordsburg", written by Ernest Haycox, was made into the 1939 film classic, "Stagecoach", starring John Wayne. Hagar Wilde’s story was turned into a movie that reflected the title of his work, "Bringing Up Baby". The 1938 film starred Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

1953 - Eddie Fisher was discharged from the Army and arrived home to a nice paycheck of $330,000 in record royalties. Fisher sold 7 million records for RCA Victor while on furloughs. "Any Time" was just one of several hits recorded during his stint in the Army.

1958 - Dick Clark devoted an hour of his "American Bandstand" afternoon TV show to the memory of Chuck Willis who had died earlier in the day from peritonitis. Willis was from Atlanta, GA and recorded hits that included: "C.C. Rider", "Betty and Dupree", "What Am I Living For" (his biggest hit) and "Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes". Willis was a noted rhythm and blues singer and songwriter of the early rock era.

1961 - Gary Player of South Africa became the first foreign golfer to win the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Player, age 25, won by just one stroke over both Charles Coe, an amateur, and defending champion Arnold Palmer. Coe shot a record 280, which was the lowest score turned in by an amateur at the Masters up to that time.

1967 - Bob Hope was the host/referee as "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and "A Man for All Seasons" duked it out at the 39th Annual Academy Awards. The arena was the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles. "Virginia Woolf" came loaded with 13 nominations, her opponent, "A Man for All Seasons", was the underdog with 8. At first it was blow for blow, "Virginia Woolf" winning Best Costume Design/Black-and-White (Irene Sharaff) and "Seasons" winning the award in the Color category (Joan Bridge and Elizabeth Haffenden); "Seasons" winning Best Cinematography/Color (Ted Moore) and "Virginia Woolf" winning in the Black-and-White division (Haskell Wexler). Then "Virgina Woolf" won for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Black-and-White (George James Hopkins, Richard Sylbert) while "Seasons" took the Oscar for Best Writing/Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Robert Bolt). They were tied. Best Supporting Actress: "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf" (Sandy Dennis), but Best Supporting Actor went to Walter Matthau in "The Fortune Cookie". "Virginia Woolf", ahead by one. The Best Music/Song Oscar went to "Born Free" (John Barry-music, Don Black-lyrics) from the movie of the same title. The fight was still on since neither "Seasons" nor "Virginia Woolf" was nominated in that category. It was time for the Academy Award for Best Actress. And the Oscar goes to Elizabeth Taylor for "Who’s Afraid of Virginnia Woolf". The 1966 movie about bad marriages and booze was now two ahead. Would the drama about Thomas More garner a Best Actor Oscar for Paul Scofield? Yes! Two awards left ... Would it be Mike Nichols, director of "Virginia Woolf" or Fred Zinnemann. Fred Zinnemann wins for "Seasons" and the two are tied. The envelope holding the title of the Best Picture of 1966 revealed the overall winner as "A Man for All Seasons", Fred Zinnemann, producer.

1968 - This was not the usual Monday night Oscar celebration at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in LA. In fact, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences postponed the 40th Annual Academy Awards ceremonies two days because of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Ironically, the Best Picture of 1967, "In the Heat of the Night" (Walter Mirisch, producer), and "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" (Best Actress: Katharine Hepburn) and Best Writing/Story and Screenplay/Written Directly for the Screen (William Rose), have racial themes. "Heat" won four more Oscars that evening: Best Actor (Rod Steiger); Best Writing/Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Stirling Silliphant); Best Sound (Samuel Goldwyn SSD); Best Film Editing (Hal Ashby). Bob Hope, as host, livened up the somber ceremonies as did awards for Best Supporting Actor George Kennedy ("Cool Hand Luke"), Best Supporting Actress Estelle Parsons ("Bonnie and Clyde"); Best Music/Song, "Talk to the Animals" from "Doctor Dolittle" (Leslie Bricusse). Mike Nichols who lost to "The Man for All Seasons" the previous year, won this time, as Best Director for "The Graduate". Other serious contenders for the golden statuette were: "Casino Royale", "Thoroughly Modern Millie", "The Dirty Dozen", "Divorce American Style", "Camelot", "The Jungle Book", "Far from the Madding Crowd", "Valley of the Dolls", "In Cold Blood", "Barefoot in the Park". Some were winners, some not so lucky.

1970 - Officially resigning from The Beatles, Paul McCartney disbanded the most influential rock group in history at a public news conference. The Beatles hit, "Let It Be", was riding high on the pop charts. The last recording for the group, "The Long and Winding Road" (also from the documentary film "Let It Be"), would be number one for two weeks beginning on June 13, bringing to a close one of contemporary music’s greatest dynasties.

1972 - Once again, the 44th Annual Academy Awards celebration was held at Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. And, once again, everyone was spellbound waiting to hear who won Best Picture. It wasn’t an easy decision. The nominees were: "A Clockwork Orange", "Fiddler on the Roof", "The Last Picture Show", "Nicholas and Alexandra" and "The French Connection". And the Oscar goes to ... "The French Connection", Philip D’Antoni, producer. The Oscar also went to "The French Connection" for Best Director (William Friedkin); Best Actor (Gene Hackman); Best Writing/Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Ernest Tidyman); and Best Film Editing (Gerald B. Greenberg). All of the other Best Picture nominees (except "A Clockwork Orange") also received Oscars: "The Last Picture Show" won for both supporting actor and actress (Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman respectively); "Fiddler on the Roof" won for Best Cinematography (Oswald Morris), Best Sound (Gordon K. McCallum, David Hildyard) and Best Music/Scoring Adaptation/Original Song Score (John Williams); "Nicholas and Alexandra" won the awards for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (John Box, Ernest Archer, Jack Maxsted, Gil Parrondo, Vernon Dixon) and Best Costume Design (Yvonne Blake, Antonio Castillo). "Klute" won one out of its two nominations: Best Actress (Jane Fonda) and "Shaft" won its only nomination: Best Music/Song (Isaac Hayes, "Theme from Shaft". Other films from 1971 that received accolades ... but not necessarily Oscars: "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory"; "Sunday Bloody Sunday"; "Carnal Knowledge"; "Summer of ’42", "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"; "Mary, Queen of Scots"; and "McCabe & Mrs. Miller". And much applause went to the hosts of the evening’s festivities: Helen Hayes, Alan King, Sammy Davis Jr., and Jack Lemmon.

1985 - Relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry was signed by the Kansas City Royals to a contract that promised he would “...never wear another uniform.” The lifetime pact was worth $43 million, after taxes, over a 40-year period. Quisenberry became known as the ‘Fireman’, for putting out late-inning fires and saving games for the Royals. The contract made him the game’s highest-paid reliever.

1985 - Eddie Murphy’s "Beverly Hills Cop" made it to the top ten on the list of top-grossing motion pictures. The film, at number nine on the list, was the only R-rated and non-summer movie to make the list.

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Birthdays - April 10
1829 - William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army; author: In Darkest England, The Way Out; died Aug 20, 1912)

1847 - Joseph Pulitzer (publisher: St. Louis Dispatch, New York World; died in 1911: his will left $2 million for establishment of school of journalism at Columbia Univ. and a fund which established annual prizes for literature, drama, music and journalism; died Oct 29, 1911)

1882 - Frances Perkins (Mrs. Paul Caldwell Wilson) (first woman U.S. presidential cabinet member: Secretary of Labor [1933-1945]; died May 14, 1965)

1885 - Bernard F. Gimbel (merchant: Gimbels Department Stores; died Sep 29, 1966)

1911 - Martin Denny (composer, arranger, pianist: Quiet Village, The Enchanted Sea; died Mar 2, 2005)

1915 - Harry Morgan (Bratsburg) (Emmy Award-winning actor: M*A*S*H [1979-80]; Dragnet, You Can’t Take It with You, Pete and Gladys, HEC Ramsey, December Bride, The D.A., Aftermash; died Dec 7, 2011)

1917 - Robert Woodward (Nobel Prize-winning scientist [1965]: study of the molecular structure of complex organic compounds; died July 8, 1979)

1921 - Chuck (Kevin Joseph) Connors (actor: The Rifleman, Roots, The Yellow Rose, Werewolf, Cowboy in Africa, Branded; host: Thrill Seekers; died Nov 10, 1992)

1921 - Sheb Wooley (CMA comic of the Year [1968]; singer, songwriter: The Purple People Eater, Are You Satisfied, Hee Haw theme; actor: Rawhide, High Noon, Rocky Mountain, Giant, Hoosiers; died Sep 16, 2003)

1929 - Max Von Sydow (actor: Dune, The Exorcist, The Seventh Seal, The Emigrants, Flash Gordon, Hannah and Her Sisters, Hawaii, The Quiller Memorandum, Quo Vadis, Three Days of the Condor)

1932 - Omar Sharif (Michael Shalhoub) (actor: Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Funny Girl, Funny Lady, Peter the Great, Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, Beyond Justice, Crime & Passion; died Jul 10, 2015)

1934 - David Halberstam (author: The Best and the Brightest, The Summer of ’49; died Apr 23, 2007)

1936 - John Madden (football: San Diego State defensive coordinator; NFL: head coach: Oakland Raiders [103 wins, 32 losses, 7 ties]; TV sports broadcaster: CBS, FOX [11 Emmy Awards as Outstanding Sports Personality-Analyst; author: Hey Wait a Minute, I Wrote a Book!, One Knee Equals Two Feet (and Everything Else You Wanted to Know About Football), One Size Doesn’t Fit All, All Madden, John Madden’s Ultimate Tailgate Cookbook; video game marketer: John Madden Football; fear of flying puts him on trains and his customized bus)

1936 - Bobbie Smith (singer: group: The Spinners; died Mar 16, 2013)

1938 - ‘Dandy’ Don Meredith (football: Dallas Cowboys; broadcaster: ABC Monday Night Football: “Turn out the lights -- the party’s over.”; actor: Terror on the 40th Floor, Sky Hei$t; died Dec 5, 2010)

1941 - Paul Edward Theroux (author: The Mosquito Coast, Millroy the Magician)

1946 - Bob (Robert Jose) ‘Bull’ Watson (baseball: Houston Astros [all-star: 1973, 1975], Boston Red Sox, NY Yankees [World Series: 1981], Atlanta Braves)

1947 - Bunny Livingston Wailer (Neville O’Riley) (musician: percussion, singer, songwriter: group: Bob Marley and the Wailers: Simmer Down, Rude Boy; solo: LPs: Blackheart Man, Protest, Sings the Wailers)

1950 - Ken (George Kenneth) Griffey Sr. (baseball: Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1975, 1976/all-star: 1976, 1977, 1980], NY Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners; father of Ken Griffey Jr.; the first father-son combination to play in the major leagues at the same time)

1952 - Steven Seagal (actor: Executive Decision, Under Siege series, On Deadly Ground, Out for Justice, Marked for Death, Hard to Kill, Above the Law)

1954 - Peter MacNicol (actor: Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Addams Family Values, Ghostbusters 2, Sophie’s Choice, Dragon Slayer, Chicago Hope, The Powers that Be)

1960 - Brian Setzer (musician: guitar, singer: The Stray Cats: Rock This Town, Stray Cat Strut, Runaway Boys)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - April 10
1948
Manana - Peggy Lee
Now is the Hour - Bing Crosby
I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover - The Art Moonie Orchestra
Anytime - Eddy Arnold

1956
Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley
The Poor People of Paris - Les Baxter
(You’ve Got) The Magic Touch - The Platters
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins

1964
Can’t Buy Me Love - The Beatles
Twist and Shout - The Beatles
Suspicion - Terry Stafford
Understand Your Man - Johnny Cash

1972
A Horse with No Name - America
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack
I Gotcha - Joe Tex
My Hang-Up is You - Freddie Hart

1980
Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd
Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl - Spinners
Call Me - Blondie
Sugar Daddy - Bellamy Brothers

1988
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car - Billy Ocean
Out of the Blue - Debbie Gibson
Devil Inside - INXS
Famous Last Words of a Fool - George Strait

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...


Comments/Corrections: TWtDfix@440fun.com

Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams


Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
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