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February 27

Events - February 27
1867 - Dr. William G. Bonwill of Philadelphia, PA got a wonderful idea. He invented the dental mallet (OUCH!) while watching a telegraph key sounder operate in a Philadelphia hotel.

1883 - Oscar Hammerstein of New York City patented the first practical cigar-rolling machine. If Oscar’s name sounds familiar, it should. Hammerstein’s son later made his mark by writing some of the best-known music in the world, teaming up frequently with a guy named Richard Rodgers. Remember Rodgers & Hammerstein? Why of course...

1922 - Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover convened the first National Radio Conference in Washington, DC. There, industry regulations were widely discussed. Hoover would later become U.S. President and have a dam named after him. And a vacuum cleaner, too.

1935 - The 7th Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel (for the films of 1934). Actor/writer Irvin S. Cobb hosted the big show. "It Happened One Night" swept the awards, capturing Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Frank Capra), Best Actor (Clark Gable) and Best Actress (Claudette Colbert). A miniature version of Oscar was presented to child star, Shirley Temple “...in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934.”

1941 - Searchlights in the sky guided Hollywood’s finest to the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, and the 13th Academy Awards show. Producer Walter Wanger was host for the evening. The envelope puleeze... The Best Picture (of 1940) award went to Selznick International’s "Rebecca" (David O. Selznick, producer), which also won the Best Cinematography (Black-and-white) Oscar for George Barnes. John Ford was named Best Director for "The Grapes of Wrath". The Best Actor was James Stewart for "The Philadelphia Story". Best Actress was Ginger Rogers for her performance in "Kitty Foyle". Best Supporting Actress was Jane Darwell in "The Grapes of Wrath". Best Supporting Actor: Walter Brennan for "The Westerner". This was Brennan’s third Best Supporting Actor nod. His first win was for "Come and Get It" in 1936, followed by "Kentucky" in 1938. Now, grab your statues and let’s go party!

1942 - Notre Dame football coach Frank Leahy announced his intention to concentrate on the T formation instead of the famous Knute Rockne ‘Notre Dame shift’ in South Bend, Indiana. Go, Fighting Irish! Rah!

1946 - The fourth of the “Road” films, "Road to Utopia", starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour and Robert Benchley, opened in New York City. Bing and Bob wound up in Alaska posing as escaped killers in order to locate a lost gold mine. Tunes from the flick: "Put It There, Pal", "Welcome to My Dreams", "Would You?", "Personality", "Sunday, Monday, or Always", "Goodtime Charlie" and "It’s Anybody’s Spring".

1963 - Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees signed a baseball contract worth $100,000. Back in 1949, Mantle had signed his first Yankee contract for $1,100. Here’s some trivia on ‘The Mick’: In April of 1953, Mantle was credited with hitting the longest home run. Batting left-handed in Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC, Mantle hit the 460-foot sign, with the ball going an estimated 565 feet. In addition to many other feats, including playing on two bad knees for much of his career, Mantle also appeared in the movie "That Touch of Mink" in 1962. Mickey Mantle died in 1995 in Texas.

1967 - Pink Floyd recorded "Arnold Layne", their first single (released Mar 11, 1967).

1970 - Simon and Garfunkel received a gold record for the single, "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The duo was so impressed with their deserved achievement that they played the gold disc on their stereo. But they heard Mitch Miller’s "Bridge on the River Kwai" instead, and on the same Columbia label they recorded for! Amazing but weird, huh?

1973 - Baseball star Dick ‘Don’t Call Me Richie’ Allen signed a three-year pact with the Chicago White Sox for a reported $675,000 after leaving the Philadelphia Phillies.

1973 - Members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), together with a number of local and traditional Native Americans began a 72-day occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. The AIM goal was to protest injustices against their tribes, violations of the many treaties, and abuses and repression of their people. The U.S. responded with a military-style assault against the protesters.

1974 - A new magazine was issued by Time-Life (now Time-Warner). The magazine was "People". It had an initial run of one million copies and became the most successful celebrity weekly ’zine ever published. Weekly circulation of "People" grew to 3,424,858 by 1994. When you include the people that "People" is passed around to by other people, that figure is way higher. “People. People who need "People".” Indeed...

1985 - Former vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro was seen in a TV commercial this day. She was seen in an ad for a diet soft drink. Her constituents were not ‘bubbling over’ with enthusiasm about the crass commercialism.

1985 - Dale Berra started his first day as a New York Yankee. It marked the first significant father-son combination in major-league baseball. Your 25-point bonus question: What did he call his pop (manager of the team)? Was it: a) Hey, Yo b) Your Skipperness c) Yoga d) Yogi Bear e) Dad If you picked anything but ‘e’, you will be immediately traded.

1987 - The longest-running program on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), "Washington Week In Review", celebrated its 20th anniversary.

1990 - The Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping were indicted on five criminal counts relating to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill which had gooed up Alaska pretty good.

1991 - At 9 p.m. (EST), U.S. President George Bush said on live television, “Kuwait is liberated. Iraq’s army is defeated. I am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight, exactly 100 hours since ground operations began and six weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm, all United States and coalition forces will suspend offensive combat operations.”

1998 - These new films made debuts in the U.S.: the sci-fi thriller "Dark City", with Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland and Jennifer Connelly; the romantic comedy "Kissing a Fool", starring David Schwimmer, Jason Lee and Mili Avital; and the family comedy "Krippendorf’s Tribe", with Richard Dreyfuss, Jenna Elfman and Natasha Lyonne.

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Birthdays - February 27
1807 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (poet: The Song of Hiawatha, Paul Revere’s Ride, The Wreck of the Hesperus; died Mar 24, 1882)

1886 - Hugo (Lafayette) Black (Supreme Court Justice [1937-1971]; died Sep 25, 1971)

1897 - Marian Anderson (opera diva; died Apr 8, 1993)

1902 - Gene Sarazen (World Golf Hall of Famer: champ: Masters [1935], U.S. Open [1922, 1932], British Open [1932]; PGA [1922, 1923, 1933]; died May 13, 1999)

1902 - John (Ernst) Steinbeck (writer: The Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row; died Dec 20, 1968)

1904 - James T. Farrell (author: Studs Lonigan series; died Aug 22, 1979)

1905 - (Stanislas Pascal) Franchot Tone (actor: Mutiny on the Bounty, Advice and Consent, In Harm’s Way; died Sep 18, 1968)

1910 - Joan (Geraldine) Bennett (actress: House of Dark Shadows, Father of the Bride, Woman in the Window, The Son of Monte Cristo, The Man in the Iron Mask, Little Women [1933], Too Young to Go Steady; died Dec 7, 1990)

1910 - Ted Horn (auto racer: shares record for most consecutive national titles [three, 1946-1948]; never finished worse than fourth during a 9-race stretch [1936-1948]; killed in crash at DuQuoin, IL State Fairgrounds Oct 10, 1948)

1913 - Irwin Shaw (Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff) (novelist: Rich Man Poor Man, The Young Lions; died May 16, 1984)

1917 - John Connally (former governor of Texas: suffered gunshot wounds during Kennedy assassination in 1963; died June 15, 1993)

1927 - James (Leo) Herlihy (actor: Four Friends; writer: Midnight Cowboy, All Fall Down, Season of the Witch; died Oct 20, 1993)

1927 - Guy Mitchell (Al Cernick) (singer: Singing the Blues, Heartaches by the Number, My Heart Cries for You, My Truly Truly Fair, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; actor: Red Garters; died July 1, 1999)

1930 - Joanne Woodward (Academy Award-winning actress: The Three Faces of Eve [1957], Sybil, Philadelphia)

1932 - Elizabeth Taylor (Academy Award-winning actress: Butterfield 8 [1960], Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [1966], Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award [1992]; Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, National Velvet, Cleopatra; Perfume spokesperson [Passion]; died Mar 23, 2011)

1933 - Ray Berry (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Baltimore Colts wide receiver; New England Patriots head coach [1984-1989] [Super Bowl XX])

1934 - Ralph Nader (consumer advocate: known for role against GM and Ford)

1936 - Chuck Glaser (singer: group: Glaser Brothers: Lovin’ Her Was Easier; songwriter: Where Has All the Love Gone)

1939 - Peter Revson (‘Revvie’: Motor Sports Hall-of-Famer: killed in crash at Kyalami, South Africa Mar 22, 1974)

1940 - Howard Hesseman (actor: WKRP in Cincinnati, Head of the Class)

1943 - Mary Frann (Mary Frances Luecke) (actress: Newhart, Fatal Charm, I’m Dangerous Tonight; died 23 Sep 1998)

1947 - Wil (Wilbur) Jones (basketball: Louisiana Buccaneers, Memphis Pros, Memphis Tams; Univ. of District of Columbia coach)

1948 - Eddie Gray (musician: guitar: group: Tommy James & The Shondells: I Think We’re Alone Now, Mony Mony, Crimson and Clover, Sweet Cherry Wine, Crystal Blue Persuasion)

1951 - Steve Harley (Nice) (singer: group: Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel: Judy Teen, Mr. Soft, Make Me Smile [Come Up and See Me]; solo LPs: Hobo with a Grin, The Candidate)

1952 - Dwight Jones (basketball: 1972 Olympic Games: USA men’s basketball; died Jul 25, 2016)

1954 - Neal Schon (musician: guitar: groups: Santana, Journey: Who’s Crying Now, Open Arms, LPs: Escape, Frontiers)

1955 - Garry Christian (singer: group: The Christians)

1957 - Adrian Smith (musician: guitar: group: Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, Running Free, LPs: Killers, Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, Somewhere in Time)

1960 - Paul Humphreys (musician: keyboards: group: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark [OMD]: Electricity, Red Frame White Light, Messages, Enola Gay, Souvenir, Joan of Arc, Genetic Engineering, Talking Loud & Clear, Tesla Girls, Forever [Love & Die])

1962 - Adam Baldwin (actor: Trade Off, Sawbones, Wyatt Earp, Radio Flyer, Predator 2, Full Metal Jacket, D.C. Cab, Ordinary People, My Bodyguard)

1962 - Grant Show (actor: Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, True Blue, Ryan’s Hope, Texas, A Woman, Her Men and Her Futon, Treacherous Crossing)

1980 - Chelsea Clinton (daughter of 42nd U.S. President William Clinton and 1st Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - February 27
1946
Let It Snow - Vaughn Monroe
Symphony - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
I Can’t Begin to Tell You - Bing Crosby with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter

1954
Oh! My Pa-Pa - Eddie Fisher
Make Love to Me! - Jo Stafford
Cross Over the Bridge - Patti Page
Wake Up, Irene - Hank Thompson

1962
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
The Wanderer - Dion
Norman - Sue Thompson
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
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
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
Kyrie - Mr. Mister
Sara - Starship
There’s No Stopping Your Heart - Marie Osmond

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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