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December 3

Events - December 3
1818 - Illinois (from an American Indian word meaning ‘tribe of superior men’) is the name of the 21st state to enter the United States of America. Many superior men have hailed from Illinois, the most famous being Abraham Lincoln. The ‘Illinois rail-splitter’ is buried in the city where he was married and began his legal career, Springfield, the capital of Illinois. Also known as the Prairie State, Illinois calls the tiny, but beautiful violet, the state flower, while state bird honors were bestowed on the brightly colored cardinal.

1833 - Oberlin College in Ohio started classes as the first coed institution of higher learning in the United States. Looking at the school’s registration, one would have found a total of 44 students enrolled: 29 men and 15 women.

1922 - The first successful Technicolor motion picture, "The Toll of the Sea", was shown at the Rialto Theatre in New York City.

1925 - The first jazz concerto for piano and orchestra was presented at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Commissioned by Walter Damrosch, American composer George Gershwin presented "Concerto in F", and was also the featured soloist playing a flugelhorn in a slow, bluesy style as one of his numbers.

1944 - Frank Sinatra was in the Columbia Records studio recording "Old Man River".

1953 - "Kismet" opened on Broadway in New York. The show ran for 583 performances.

1955 - Elvis Presley’s first release on RCA Victor Records was announced. No, it wasn’t "Hound Dog" or "Heartbreak Hotel". The first two sides were actually purchased from Sam Phillips of Sun Records: "Mystery Train" and "I Forgot to Remember to Forget". Elvis was described by his new record company as “The most talked about personality in recorded music in the last 10 years.”

1960 - "Camelot" opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. Richard Burton and Julie Andrews played the leading roles in the musical written by Lerner and Loewe. Robert Goulet also got rave reviews. "Camelot" had a run of 873 performances. Broadway went Hollywood in the 1967 film version of "Camelot". Its run was not quite as successful.

1967 - The world’s first successful heart transplant was performed. Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the operation at Cape Town, South Africa.

1968 - The rules committee of major-league baseball announced that in 1969 the pitcher’s mound would be lowered from 15 to 10 inches in order to “get more batting action.” What they didn’t know at the time was that batters would get taller in 1969...

1968 - The O’Kaysions received a gold record for "Girl Watcher". The song had a promotional reprise in the 1990s as a theme for Merv Griffin’s "Wheel of Fortune" -- with the revamped lyrics, "I’m a Wheel Watcher..."

1977 - After 29 weeks in the #1 position on the album charts (a record, literally...), "Rumours", by Fleetwood Mac, was replaced at the top spot by the album "Simple Dreams", sung by Linda Ronstadt.

1983 - In his final season as head basketball coach of the DePaul Blue Demons, Ray Meyer won game #700.

1984 - The world’s worst industrial accident occurred when gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. The deadly gas, methyl isocyanate, killed over two thousand people, and injured more than 200,000.

1994 - "On Bended Knee", by Boyz II Men, hit number one on the "Billboard" "Hot 100". The smash was #1, off and on, thru January 1995.

1999 - After rowing 2,962 miles in 81 days, Tori Murden of the United States eased her 23-foot boat, "American Pearl", to the dock at Fort-du-Bas on the French Carribean island of Guadeloupe. She had just rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. Astonishingly, Murden appeared relaxed, even radiant, as she stood up to toss out a rope. “Next time, the Concorde,” she quipped, as she bounded out of the boat.

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Birthdays - December 3
1755 - Gilbert Stuart (artist: portraits of George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, etc.; died July 9, 1828)

1838 - Cleveland Abbe (meteorologist: first U.S. Weather Bureau meteorologist; died Oct 28, 1916)

1857 - Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) (author: Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness; died Aug 3, 1924)

1907 - Connee Boswell (blues singer: trio: The Boswell Sisters: vaudeville, radio, played New York’s Paramount Theatre, recorded with/Dorsey Brothers: You Oughta Be in Pictures; appeared on U.S.’s first public TV broadcast; solo: entertained World War II troops, appearing on Broadway, recorded with/Woody Herman, Bing Crosby: Basin Street Blues, in films: The Big Broadcast [1932], Moulin Rouge [1934], Kiss the Boys Goodbye, Swing Parade of 1946, Senior Prom [1958]; died Oct 11, 1976)

1921 - Phyllis Curtin (singer: soprano: New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, La Scala, Teatro Colon; coordinator of Voice Dept and Opera at Yale School of Music, Dean Emerita of Boston Univ School for the Arts; died Jun 5, 2016)

1922 - Sven Nykvist (cinematographer: Something to Talk About, Sleepless in Seattle, Chaplin, New York Stories, Agnes of God, The Postman Always Rings Twice; died Sep 20, 2006)

1925 - Ferlin Husky (aka: Simon Crum, Terry Preston) (singer: Gone, A Fallen Star, Wings of a Dove, The Waltz You Saved for Me; died Mar 17, 2011)

1925 - Harry (Leon) ‘Suitcase’ ‘Goody’ Simpson (baseball: Cleveland Indians, KC Athletics [all-star: 1956], NY Yankees [World Series: 1957], Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates; died Apr 3, 1979)

1927 - Andy (Howard Andrew) Williams (Howard Andrew) (Emmy Award-winning entertainer: The Andy Williams Show [1962-63]; singer: Can’t Get Used to Losing You, [Where Do I Begin] Love Story, Days of Wine and Roses, Canadian Sunset, Moon River, Born Free, Butterfly, I Like Your Kind of Love [w/Peggy Powers], Are You Sincere, Lonely Street, In the Village of St. Bernadette; died Sep 25, 2012)

1930 - Jean-Luc Godard (producer, writer, director: Breathless, Weekend, Hail Mary, King Lear, A Married Woman)

1931 - Jaye P. (Mary Margaret) Morgan (singer: That’s All I Want from You, The Longest Walk; performer: Stop the Music, Perry Presents, The Chuck Barris Rah Rah Show, The Jaye P. Morgan Show; panelist: The Gong Show)

1936 - Clay (Clayton Errol) Dalrymple (baseball: catcher: Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles [World Series: 1969])

1937 - Bobby Allison (International Motorsports Hall of Famer: Daytona 500 winner [1978, 1982, 1988], oldest Daytona 500 winner [1988])

1947 - (Ronald) Wayne Garrett (baseball: NY Mets [World Series: 1969, 1973], Montreal Expos, SL Cardinals)

1948 - Ozzy (John) Osbourne (songwriter, singer: groups: Rare Breed, Black Sabbath: Paranoid; solo: Blizzard of Oz; dead bat-head biter)

1949 - Mickey Thomas (singer: Alive Alone, group: Jefferson Starship: We Built this City, Sara)

1951 - Mike Bantom (basketball: St. Joseph’s Univ., 1972 USA Olympic Men’s Team, Phoenix Suns)

1951 - Rick Mears (auto racer: Indy 500 winner [1979, 1984, 1988, 1991]; Rookie of the Year [1976]; Roger Penske racing team)

1952 - Larry Anderson (baseball: pitcher: Milwaukee Brewers Chicago White Sox)

1960 - Daryl Hannah (actress: The Fury, Splash, Steel Magnolias, Blade Runner, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Roxanne, Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman, Grumpier Old Men, Diplomatic Siege, Dancing at the Blue Iguana)

1960 - Julianne Moore (actress: The Fugitive, Short Cuts, Nine Months, Lost World: Jurassic Park, Boogie Nights, Cookie’s Fortune, The Ladies Man, Hannibal)

1965 - Katarina Witt (Emmy Award-winning performer: Carmen On Ice [1989-90]; Olympic Gold Medalist ice skater)

1968 - Brendan Fraser (actor: The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, George of the Jungle, Encino Man, The Quiet American)

1973 - Holly Marie Combs (actress: Picket Fences, Chain of Desire, A Reason to Believe, Daughters, Ocean’s Eleven)

1980 - Anna Chlumsky (actress: My Girl, My Girl 2, A Child’s Wish, Miracle in the Woods)

1981 - Brian Bonsall (actor: Family Ties, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Father and Scout, Lily in Winter, Father Hood, Desperate Motives)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - December 3
1948
Buttons and Bows - Dinah Shore
On a Slow Boat to China - The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood
You Were Only Fooling - Kay Starr
One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart) - Jimmy Wakely

1956
Singing the Blues - Guy Mitchell
Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino
True Love - Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly
Singing the Blues - Marty Robbins

1964
Leader of the Pack - The Shangri-Las
She’s Not There - The Zombies
Mr. Lonely - Bobby Vinton
Once a Day - Connie Smith

1972
Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone - The Temptations
I Am Woman - Helen Reddy
If You Don’t Know Me by Now - Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
She’s Too Good to Be True - Charley Pride

1980
Woman in Love - Barbra Streisand
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
He’s So Shy - Pointer Sisters
If You Ever Change Your Mind - Crystal Gayle

1988
Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby) - Will To Power
Look Away - Chicago
How Can I Fail? - Breathe
I Know How He Feels - 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
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