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August 12

Events - August 12
1851 - Isaac Singer of New York City patented the double-treadle sewing machine on this day. Although a sewing machine had already been patented, Singer’s sewing machine was revolutionary, having a double treadle. With patent in hand, Isaac set up shop in Boston, Massachusetts and began to manufacture his invention. Even after huge settlements paid to Elias Howe, another sewing machine patent holder, Singer, through business innovations like installment buying, after-sale servicing and trade-in allowances, had the marketplace all sewn up...

1865 - Joseph Lister became the first doctor to use disinfectant during surgery. Hmm. Joseph Lister. That name rings a bell. Yep. Same Joseph Lister as the one whose name is on those bottles of Listerine mouthwash.

1877 - Thomas A. Edison finished figuring out his first phonograph. Edison handed the model of his invention to John Kreusi with instructions on how to build it. Kreusi, a confident man, bet the inventor $2 and said that there was no way that the machine would ever work. He lost the bet.

1879 - The first National Archery Association tournament began in Chicago, IL. No, Robin Hood was nowhere to be seen...

1918 - Regular air-mail service began between New York City and Washington, DC.

1936 - Berlin, Germany was host to the Olympics and the youngest winner of a gold medal (to that day). The U.S.A.’s 13-year-old diver, Marjorie Gestring, won the springboard event.

1937 - Comedian Red Skelton got his first taste of network radio as he appeared on the "Rudy Vallee Show" on NBC.

1940 - Will Bradley and his trio recorded "Down the Road a Piece" on Columbia Records.

1964 - For the 10th time in his major-league baseball career, Mickey Mantle hit home runs from both the left and ride sides of the plate in the same game -- setting a new baseball record. Would we call this ‘am-bat-extrous’?

1966 - The last tour for the Beatles began at the International Amphitheater in Chicago; and John Lennon apologized for boasting that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. London’s "Catholic Herald" said Lennon’s comment was “arrogant ... but probably true.”

1967 - Fleetwood Mac made their stage debut at the National Blues and Jazz Festival in Great Britain.

1973 - Golfer Jack Nicklaus won his 14th major golf title, breaking a record held for nearly 50 years by Bobby Jones. Nicklaus won the PGA Championship for the third time.

1981 - IBM (International Business Machines) introduced the Model 5150 PC (personal computer). The IBM PC ran on the Intel 8088 microprocessor at 4.77 mHz with one or two 160K floppy disk drives. It had 16 kilobytes of memory, expandable to 256k, five 8-bit ISA slots, a 65-watt power supply, no built-in clock, no built-in serial or parallel ports, and no built-in video capability -- it was available with an optional color monitor. MS-DOS 1.0/1.1 was issued with the PC (IBM later released its own operating system: PC-DOS). Prices started at $1,565. The IBM PC was a smashing success and IBM quickly became the #1 microcomputer company, with Apple dropping to #2.

1982 - Terry Felton of the Minnesota Twins set a major-league record for rookie pitchers. He had no wins and 14 losses. Guy Morton of the Cleveland Indians had lost 13 games, but won his 14th, back in 1914.

1982 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit bottom, closing at 776.92. The next morning, a bull market began that lasted until the 500-point crash of 1987.

1984 - Luis Aparicio and Don Drysdale, who began their playing careers on the same day (in 1956), were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Also inducted were Pee Wee Reese, Harmon Killebrew and Rick Ferrell.

1986 - Rod Carew became the first player in the history of the California Angels franchise to have his uniform retired. Number 29 played for the Angels for seven years.

1988 - "The Last Temptation of Christ", the controversial film directed by Martin Scorsese, opened despite demonstrations and protestations by religious groups.

1992 - The United States, Mexico and Canada agreed to form a free-trade zone that would remove most barriers to trade and investment and create the world’s largest trading bloc: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

1994 - "Woodstock ’94" began in Saugerties, New York (it ran thru August 14). 235,000-350,000 rockers attended the show, which featured 30+ bands, included Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sheryl Crow, Areosmith, Metallica and Nine Inch Nails.

1998 - Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle lawsuits filed by Holocaust survivors and their heirs. The banks had kept millions of dollars deposited by Holocaust victims and their relatives before and during World War II.

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Birthdays - August 12
1753 - Thomas Bewick (illustrator [of books]: Fables of Aesop, History of Quadrapeds, British Birds; died Nov 8, 1828)

1849 - Abbott Thayer (artist: created camouflage pattern for military; died May 29, 1921)

1880 - Christy (Christopher) ‘Matty’ Mathewson (‘Big Six’: Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher: developed the screwball; New York Giants {World Series: 1905: shut out Philadelphia in 1st three games, 1911, 1912, 1913], Cincinnati Reds; manager: Cincinnati Reds; coach: NY Giants; president: Boston Braves; died Oct 7, 1925)

1881 - Cecil B. (Blount) DeMille (Academy Award-winning film producer; died Jan 21, 1959)

1910 - Jane Wyatt (Emmy Award-winning actress: Father Knows Best [1957, 1958-1959, 1959-1960]; Gentleman’s Agreement, Lost Horizon, Amityville 4; died Oct 20, 2006)

1911 - Cantinflas (Mario Moreno Reyes) (comic actor: Around the World in 80 Days, Pepe; Mexico’s vaudeville: carpas; died Apr 20, 1993)

1915 - Michael Kidd (Milton Greenwald) (choreographer, dancer: It’s Always Fair Weather, Smile; died Feb 1, 1997)

1917 - Marjorie Reynolds (Goodspeed) (actress: Gone with the Wind, The Time of Their Lives, Doomed to Die; died Feb 1, 1997)

1926 - John Derek (Derek Harris) (actor: All the King’s Men, Prince of Players, Ambush at Tomahawk Gap, Exodus; director: Bolero; married to Bo Derek; died May 22, 1998)

1926 - Joe Jones (singer: You Talk Too Much; pianist for B.B. King)

1927 - Porter Wagoner (singer: Satisfied Mind, Sorrow on the Rocks, Big Wind, Cold Hard Facts of Life, Misery Loves Company, The Carroll County Accident; w/Dolly Parton: Daddy Was An Old-Time Preacher Man, Please Don’t Stop Loving Me; songwriter: Tore Down, I Haven’t Learned a Thing, Ole Slew Foot; died Oct 28, 2007)

1928 - Bob (Robert Ray) Buhl (baseball: Milwaukee Braves [World Series: 1957/all-star: 1960], Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies; died Feb 16, 2001)

1929 - Buck Owens (Alvis Edgar Owens Jr.) (singer: I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail, Act Naturally, Waiting in Your Welfare Line, Made in Japan; songwriter: Crying Time; TV host: Hee Haw, Buck Owen’s Ranch House; died Mar 25, 2006)

1931 - William Goldman (screen writer: Marathon Man, The Princess Bride, All the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Chaplin)

1933 - Parnelli (Rufus) Jones (auto racer: Indianapolis 500 winner [1963])

1939 - George Hamilton (actor: Love at First Bite, Act One, The Survivors, Zorro, the Gay Blade, Where the Boys Are, Evel Knievel, The Dead Don’t Die, Doc Hollywood)

1939 - Larry Ziegler (golf: Senior PGA Tour: in top 70 on the all-time money list)

1941 - Jennifer Warren (actress: Amazons, Slap Shot, The Intruder Within, Confessions of a Married Man, Fatal Beauty, Partners in Crime)

1949 - Mark Knopfler (musician: guitar, songwriter, singer: group: Dire Straits: Money for Nothing)

1950 - George McGinnis (basketball: Indiana University, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers)

1954 - Sam J. Jones (actor: Texas Payback, Fists of Iron, Thunder in Paradise, Maximum Force, Fist of Honor, Silent Assassins, 10, Flash Gordon, The Highwayman)

1954 - Pat Metheny (musician: jazz-guitar: LPs: Bright Size Life, Watercolors, Pat Metheny Group, New Chautauqua, American Garage, As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls, Offramp, Travels, Rejoicing, First Circle, Song X, Still Life [Talking])

1959 - Suzanne Vega (musician: folk-guitar, singer, songwriter: Luka, Marlene on the Wall, Small Blue Thing, Calypso, Tom’s Diner)

1961 - Roy Hay (musician: guitar: group: Culture Club: Karma Chameleon)

1971 - Pete Sampras (tennis champion: Australian Open [[1994], Wimbledon [1993, 94, 95], U.S. Open [1990, 93, 95])

1972 - Rebecca Gayheart (actress: Urban Legend, Jawbreaker, Scream 2, Beverly Hills, 90210, Shadow Hours)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - August 12
1947
Peg o’ My Heart - The Harmonicats
I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder - Eddy Howard
Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba - Perry Como
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) - Tex Williams

1955
Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley & His Comets
Ain’t that a Shame - Fats Domino
Learnin’ the Blues - Frank Sinatra
I Don’t Care - Webb Pierce

1963
Fingertips - Pt 2 - Little Stevie Wonder
Wipe Out - The Surfaris
(You’re the) Devil in Disguise - Elvis Presley
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

1971
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - The Bee Gees
Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver
Beginnings/Colour My World - Chicago
I’m Just Me - Charley Pride

1979
Bad Girls - Donna Summer
Good Times - Chic
The Main Event/Fight - Barbra Streisand
Suspicions - Eddie Rabbitt

1987
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - U2
I Want Your Sex - George Michael
Heart and Soul - T’Pau
One Promise Too Late - Reba McEntire

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
from 440 International

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