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February 19

Events - February 19
1856 - The tintype photographic process was patented by Professor Hamilton L. Smith of Gambier, OH.

1864 - The Fraternal Order of Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, DC. A dozen members formed what became Lodge No. 1.

1878 - Thomas Alva Edison, famed inventor, patented a music player at his laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ. (This music device is the one we know as the phonograph.) Here’s the real skinny on the story: Edison paid his assistant $18 to make the device from a sketch Edison had drawn. Originally, Edison had set out to invent a telegraph repeater, but came up with the phonograph or, as he called it, the speaking machine. When asked why he invented the machine, Edison told reporters, “How else am I gonna listen to my Dixie Chicks stuff?”

1910 - At a New York dinner party, Diamond Jim Brady amazed (not to mention, grossed out) his guests by eating five helpings of roast beef, gallons of stewed fruit, 84 oysters -- and three gallons of orange juice to wash it all down! Whoa... Nellie!

1922 - Ed Wynn became the first big-name vaudeville talent to sign on as a radio talent. Previously, top talent had not considered radio a respectable medium. For those of us who have worked in it for many years, we can attest to that fact.

1942 - If there was ever such a thing as a jam session, surely, this one was it: Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded "I’ll Take Tallulah" (Victor Records). Some other musical heavyweights were in the studio too, including Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers, Ziggy Elman and drummer extraordinaire, Buddy Rich.

1949 - Thanks to the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University, starving poets have the opportunity to win thousands of dollars. The first Bollingen Prize in poetry ($5,000) was awarded to Ezra Pound on this day. Mr. Pound was presented with the prize for his poetry collection, "The Pisan Cantos". The Bollingen Prize was presented annually through 1963 when Robert Frost was the recipient, after which it became a biennial award. The $5,000 award was upped to $10,000 in 1989 when Edgar Bowers was the prize winner, and to $25,000 in 1995. The $25,000 award went to poet, Kenneth Koch.

1955 - Dot Records launched "Two Hearts, Two Kisses, One Love", the first single by Pat Boone.

1958 - Motown released its first Miracles single, "Got a Job" b/w "My Mama Done Told Me".

1981 - George Harrison was ordered to pay ABKCO Music the sum of $587,000 for “subconscious plagiarism” between his song, "My Sweet Lord" and the Chiffons early 1960s hit, "He’s So Fine". Of all the riffs, chords, melodies, octaves and notes out there, George had to go and pick those in particular. What are the odds of that?

1984 - The XIV Winter Olympic Games ended at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. The Soviet Union led all countries with 25 medals, the United States captured nine medals to tie for fifth place. Within the shadow of what was the Olympic Stadium, hundreds, maybe thousands, of Bosnians are now buried; the result of the civil war that began in the early 1990s.

1985 - Mickey Mouse was welcomed to China as part of the 30th anniversary of Disneyland. The touring mouse played 30 cities in 30 days. Tough schedule even for a mouse!

1985 - William Schroeder became the first artificial-heart patient to leave the confines of the hospital (where the historic operation was performed). He spent 15 minutes outside the Humana Hospital in Louisville, KY.

1985 - Cherry Coke was introduced by the Coca-Cola Company, not at company headquarters in Atlanta, but in New York City, instead. Many who grew up in the 1950s rushed to buy the canned and/or bottled taste of nostalgia; hoping it would taste the same as they remembered ... when they sat at the corner drug store’s soda fountain and ordered, “A Cherry Coke, please.”

1987 - A controversial anti-smoking ad aired for the first time on television. It featured actor Yul Brynner in a public service announcement that was recorded shortly before his October 1985 death from lung cancer.

1997 - Deng Xiaoping, the last of China’s major Communist revolutionaries, died at age 93. He had ruled China from 1978 until he retired in 1990, but his influence remained strong until his death.

1999 - These movies debuted in the U.S.: "Jawbreaker", with Rose Mcgowan Rebecca Gayheart; and "October Sky", starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern.

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Birthdays - February 19
1473 - Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernick) (Polish astronomer: the Copernican theory: the sun is the center of our universe; died May 24, 1543)

1717 - David Garrick (Shakespearean actor, playwright; died Jan 20, 1779)

1865 - Sven Anders Hedin (explorer, geographer: Tibetan region; died Nov 26, 1952)

1893 - Sir Cedric (Webster) Hardwicke (actor: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Stanley and Livingstone, Richard III, The Ten Commandments; died Aug 6, 1964)

1895 - Louis Calhern (Carl Henry Vogt) (actor: The Count of Monte Cristo, Duck Soup, Blackboard Jungle, Prisoner of Zenda, The Student Prince; died May 12, 1956)

1902 - John Bubbles (John William Sublett) (actor: Porgy and Bess [1935 Broadway version], films: Cabin in the Sky, Variety Show, A Song is Born, No Maps on My Taps; dancer: credited with creating ‘rhythm tap’; died May 18, 1986)

1902 - Nydia Westman (actress: Strange Justice, The Velvet Touch, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut; died May 23, 1970)

1908 - Susan Fleming (actress: Range Feud, Gold Diggers of 1937; widow of Harpo Marx; died Dec 22, 2002

1912 - Dick (Richard Walther) Siebert (baseball: Brooklyn Dodgers, SL Cardinals, Philadelphia Athletics [all-star: 1943]; died Dec 9, 1978)

1916 - Eddie (George) Arcaro (only jockey to win two Triple Crowns [1941, 1948]; died Nov 14, 1997)

1917 - Carson McCullers (Smith) (author: The Member of the Wedding, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Reflections in a Golden Eye; died Sep 29, 1967)

1917 - Merle Oberon (Thompson) (actress: Wuthering Heights, Stage Door Canteen, Deep in My Heart, Hotel, The Oscar, Interval; died Nov 23, 1979)

1924 - Lee Marvin (Academy Award-winning Best Actor: Cat Ballou [1965]; The Caine Mutiny, The Dirty Dozen, Delta Force, Ship of Fools; died Aug 29, 1987)

1930 - John Frankenheimer (director: Days of Wine and Roses, Birdman of Alcatraz, The French Connection, The Manchurian Candidate; died July 6, 2002)

1935 - Bobby Engemann (singer: group: The Lettermen: When I Fall In Love, Goin’ Out of My Head, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You; died Jan 20, 2013)

1935 - Russ (Russell Eugene) Nixon (baseball: catcher: Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins)

1940 - Smokey (William) Robinson (Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer: group: The Miracles: Shop Around, I Second That Emotion, Tears of a Clown; songwriter: My Guy, My Girl; solo: Cruisin’, Bein’ with You; Motown VP)

1942 - Paul Krause (Pro Football Hall of Famer: NFL Individual Career Record for interceptions [81] for Washington Redskins & Minnesota Vikings [1964-1979])

1942 - Bob Menne (golf: champ: Kemper Open [1974])

1943 - Lou Christie (Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco) (singer: Lightnin’ Strikes, Two Faces Have I, The Gypsy Cried, Rhapsody In the Rain, I’m Gonna Make You Mine)

1947 - Bruce Fairbairn (actor: Vampire Hookers, Cyclone, Nightstick)

1948 - Tony Iommi (musician: guitar: group: Black Sabbath: Paranoid)

1952 - Eddie Brown (football: University of Miami, Cincinnati Bengals)

1954 - Francis Buchholz (musician: guitar: group: Scorpions: LP: Love at First Sting)

1955 - Jeff Daniels (actor: Speed, Dumb and Dumber, Radio Days, Something Wild, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Terms of Endearment, Ragtime)

1957 - Falco (Johann Hölzel) (singer, songwriter: Rock Me Amadeus, The Sound of Musik, All Vienna; died Feb 6, 1998)

1960 - Prince Andrew (Duke of York) (British royalty)

1966 - Justine Bateman (actress: A Century of Women, Primary Motive, The Fatal Image, Family Ties, Men Behaving Badly)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - February 19
1946
Symphony - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
I Can’t Begin to Tell You - Bing Crosby with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra
Aren’t You Glad You’re You - Bing Crosby
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter

1954
Oh! My Pa-Pa - Eddie Fisher
Secret Love - Doris Day
Till Then - The Hilltoppers
Wake Up, Irene - Hank Thompson

1962
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
Norman - Sue Thompson
The Wanderer - Dion
Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke

1970
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)/Everybody is a Star - Sly & The Family Stone
Hey There Lonely Girl - Eddie Holman
No Time - The Guess Who
It’s Just a Matter of Time - Sonny James

1978
Stayin’ Alive - Bee Gees
(Love Is) Thicker Than Water - Andy Gibb
Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel
Don’t Break the Heart that Loves You - Margo Smith

1986
How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going - Billy Ocean
Kyrie - Mr. Mister
Makin’ Up for Lost Time (The Dallas Lovers’ Song) - Crystal Gayle & Gary Morris

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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