Events - December 4
1867 - The National Grange of Husbandry was founded. The organization of farmers was known, typically, as the Grange. The group contributed to agriculture and served as a focus for rural social life in America. How many of you remember going to a Sweet 16 party at the local Grange Hall? Just another piece of Americana for your memory banks...
1927 - Duke Ellington’s big band opened the famed Cotton Club in Harlem. It was the first appearance of the Duke’s new and larger group. He played the club until 1932.
1932 - “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea. Let’s go to press!” "The Walter Winchell Show", later "The Jergens Journal" and still later, "Kaiser-Frazer News", was first heard on the NBC Blue network. Winchell kept that gossip show going on the radio for 23 years. It was sponsored at first by Jergens lotion and, later, by Dryad deodorant, Kaiser-Frazer cars and Richard Hudnut shampoo.
1933 - "Tobacco Road", a play based on Erskine Caldwell’s book, premiered at the Masque Theatre in New York City. The play ran for eight years and 3,182 shows.
1933 - One of America’s great radio shows made the leap to the big time. "Ma Perkins" moved from WLW in Cincinnati, OH to the NBC-Red network. The show proved to be so popular that it was later carried on both CBS and NBC radio.
1934 - Ethel Merman recorded "I Get a Kick Out of You", from Cole Porter’s musical, "Anything Goes". She was backed by the Johnny Green Orchestra. The tune was recorded for Brunswick Records.
1955 - As part of an NBC-TV special, mime artist Marcel Marceau appeared on television for the first time. In a rare speaking role, Marceau was heard to deliver the memorable line, " ." Pretty funny stuff for a mime...
1962 - James Caan made his TV acting debut in "A Fist of Five", an episode of "The Untouchables" on ABC-TV, starring Robert Stack.
1965 - Composer, lyricist, and singer, Jacques Brel made his American debut in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Brel composed "Jackie", "You’re Not Alone", "If You Go Away" and more.
1970 - Frank Reynolds was seen co-hosting the "ABC Evening News" with Howard K. Smith for the final time this night. Reynolds commented on the switch to a new co-host (Harry Reasoner) saying, “Due to circumstances beyond my control, the unemployment statistics rose yesterday.”
1972 - Billy Paul from Philadelphia received a gold record for his smash hit, "Me and Mrs. Jones".
1982 - Running back Herschel Walker of the University of Georgia received the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s finest college football player. Walker was only the seventh junior to receive the award.
1984 - The discovery of a Bronze Age shipwreck off the southern coast of Turkey was announced by the National Geographic Society. The find dated back to when King Tutankhamen (Tut, to you) ruled Egypt.
1985 - Dallas, Texas became the largest city in the United States to pass a no smoking law for restaurants. ‘Big D’ added another ‘biggest’ to its list.
1995 - The first rush of a 60,000-strong NATO force surged into Bosnia and Croatia in a peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. The troops arrival came two days after Serb military leader Gen. Ratko Mladic rejected the Dayton peace accord. He demanded a reconsideration of the accord’s transfer of control over Serb areas around Sarajevo to a new Muslim-Croat federation.
1998 - The remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic "Psycho" opened in U.S. theatres. Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche starred. By 2001, the film had grossed $21.486 million in the U.S. Considering it cost $25 million (plus a heafty marketing campaign), the bottom line is pretty scary for this flick. The original has brought in some $16 million, but cost just $800,000 to make in 1960.
Birthdays - December 4
1795 - Thomas Carlyle (writer: Critical and Miscellaneous Essays; historian; died Feb 5, 1881)
1835 - Samuel Butler (author: Erewhon, The Way of All Flesh; died June 18, 1902)
1858 - Chester Greenwood (inventor: ear muffs; died Jul 5, 1937)
1861 - Lillian Russell (Helen Louise Leonard) (singer, actress: Wild Fire; burlesque: The Great Mogul ; died Jun 6, 1922)
1912 - Pappy (Gregory) Boyington (aviator: USMC: commanding officer of WWII Black Sheep Squadron [VMF 214]; received Congressional Medal of Honor; died Jan 11, <1988)
1914 - Claude Renoir (cinematographer: The Spy Who Loved Me, The River; son of artist Pierre Renoir; died Sep 5, 1993)
1915 - Eddie Heywood Jr. (pianist, composer: Canadian Sunset; died Jan 2, 1989)
1921 - Deanna Durbin (actress: Summer Stock, Lady on a Train, 100 Men and a Girl, It Started with Eve, Can’t Help Singing; died Apr 20, 2013)
1928 - Dena Dietrich (actress: The Ropers, The Practice, Karen, Adam’s Rib)
1930 - Harvey (Edward) Kuenn (baseball: Detroit Tigers [American League Rookie of the Year: 1953/all-star: 1953-1959], Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1960], SF Giants [World Series: 1962], Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies; manager: Milwaukee Brewers: American League Manager of the Year ; died Feb 28, 1988)
1931 - Alex Delvecchio (Hockey Hall of Famer: Detroit Red Wings: Lady Bing Trophy-winner [1959, 1966, 1969])
1933 - Horst Buchholz (actor: Faraway, So Close!, Avalanche Express, Raid on Entebbe, The Savage Bees, Fanny, The Magnificent Seven; died Mar 3, 2003)
1934 - Victor French (actor: Choices, Little House on the Prairie, The Other, Spencer’s Mountain, Highway to Heaven, The Hero, Get Smart, Carter Country; died June 15, 1989)
1934 - Wink (Winston Conrad) Martindale (TV host: Tic Tac Dough, Can You Top This?; singer?: Deck of Cards)
1937 - Max Baer Jr. (actor: The Beverly Hillbillies, Macon County Line; producer: Ode to Billy Joe; son of boxing great Max Baer Sr.)
1940 - Freddy ‘Boom Boom’ Cannon (Frederick Anthony Picariello) (singer: Tallahassee Lassie, Way Down Yonder in New Orleans, Palisades Park, Transistor Sister)
1941 - Marty Riessen (tennis champion: shares record for most US Open mixed doubles, won by an individual male )
1942 - Bob Mosley (musician: bass: group: Moby Grape)
1942 - Chris Hillman (musician: guitar, bass, mandolin: groups: The Byrds: Turn! Turn! Turn!; Golden State Boys, Hillmen, Green Grass Group, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, Desert Rose Band; solo: LPs: Slippin’ Away, Clear Sailin’, The Hillman, Morning Sky, Desert Rose, Ever Call Ready)
1943 - Gary Sabourin (hockey: NHL: SL Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, California Seals, Cleveland Barons)
1944 - Dennis Wilson (musician: drums, keyboard; singer: group: The Beach Boys: I Get Around, Help Me Rhonda, Good Vibrations, California Girls, Surfin’ USA, Little Deuce Coupe, Surfer Girl, Be True to Your School; died in drowning accident Dec 28, 1983)
1946 - Skip Vanderbundt (football: SF 49ers LB)
1948 - Southside Johnny (Lyon) (singer: group: Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes: I Don’t Wanna Go Home, The Fever, This Time It’s for Real, Hearts of Stone)
1948 - Randy Vataha (football: Stanford Univ., New England Patriots WR; sports consultant)
1949 - Jeff Bridges (actor: White Squall, Wild Bill, Blown Away, The Vanishing, American Heart, The Fisher King, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Starman, Against All Odds, The Last Picture Show, The Company She Keeps, Fearless, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot, Sea Hunt; songwriter; son of actor Lloyd Bridges; brother of actor Beau Bridges)
1951 - Gary Rossington (musician: guitar: group: Lynyrd Skynyrd: Freebird, Sweet Home Alabama; Rossington Collins band: LPs: Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere, This is the Way)
1951 - Patricia Wettig (Emmy Award-winning actress: thirtysomething [1987-88, 1989-90, 1990-91]; Stephen King’s The Langoliers, City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold, City Slickers)
1956 - Bernard King (basketball: New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks: led NBA in scoring [32.9 points per game, 1984-85], Washington Bullets; actor: Fast Break, Miami Vice, Ryan’s Hope)
1964 - Marisa Tomei (Academy Award-winning actress: My Cousin Vinny ; Chaplin, Oscar, The Paper, Untamed Heart, A Different World, The Flamingo Kid, As the World Turns)
1973 - Tyra Banks (actress: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Higher Learning; model: Cover Girl cosmetics)
1984 - Lindsay Felton (actress: Thunder Alley, Stray Dog, The Metro Chase)
Chart Toppers - December 4
Don’t Cry, Joe - The Gordon Jenkins Orchestra (vocal: Betty Brewer)
I Can Dream, Can’t I? - The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Jack Leonard)
That Lucky Old Sun - Frankie Laine
Slipping Around - Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely
Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
April Love - Pat Boone
Raunchy - Bill Justis
Wake Up Little Susie - The Everly Brothers
Turn! Turn! Turn! - The Byrds
1-2-3 - Len Barry
I Got You (I Feel Good) - James Brown
Make the World Go Away - Eddy Arnold
Top of the World - Carpenters
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
Just You ’n’ Me - Chicago
The Most Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich
Physical - Olivia Newton-John
Waiting for a Girl like You - Foreigner
Every Little Thing She Does is Magic - The Police
My Favorite Memory - Merle Haggard
Blame It on the Rain - Milli Vanilli
We Didn’t Start the Fire - Billy Joel
(It’s Just) The Way That You Love Me - Paula Abdul
It’s Just a Matter of Time - Randy Travis
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.