Events - July 20
1801 - A 1,235 pound cheese ball was pressed at the farm of Elisha Brown, Jr. The huge ball of cheese was later loaded on a horse-driven wagon and presented to President Thomas Jefferson at the White House. Mr. Jefferson was heard to say, “That’s one small bite for man, one giant cheese for mankind.”
1859 - Brooklyn and New York played baseball at Fashion Park Race Course on Long Island, New York. The game marked the first time that admission had been charged for spectators to see a ball game. It cost $.50 to get in and the players on the field received no salary (until 1863). Hot dogs were $27.95, just like today.
1868 - Legislation that ordered U.S. tax stamps to be placed on all cigarette packs was passed this day.
1935 - NBC radio debuted "G-men". The show was later renamed "Gangbusters" and stayed on the air until 1957.
1942 - The first members of the WAACS, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, began training at Fort Des Moines, IA. In 1943, the name was changed to WACS (Women’s Army Corps) and the organization became a part of the U.S. Army. All WAACS were given the choice of joining the new WACS (and joining the army) or returning to civilian life (75% stayed on).
1958 - Pitcher Jim Bunning threw a no-hitter and led the Detroit Tigers to a baseball win over the Boston Red Sox. The no-hitter was the last by a Tiger pitcher until Jack Morris did the same 26 years later. This turned out to be a major-league record for time between no-hitters.
1961 - "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off" opened in London. The show went to Broadway in 1962.
1963 - Ray Conniff received two gold-record awards -- for the albums, "Concert in Rhythm" and "Memories are Made of This" -- on Columbia Records. Conniff recorded dozens of albums of easy listening music for the label. He had been a trombonist and arranger with Bunny Berigan, Bob Crosby, Harry James, Vaughn Monroe and Artie Shaw.
1969 - With “...one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” astronaut, Neil Armstrong, pilot of the lunar spacecraft, the "Eagle", made the first footsteps on the surface of the moon at 10:56 p.m. EDT. Which foot did Armstrong use to step on the grainy, grayish, lunar soil? His left. So incredible were the TV images of Armstrong and (15 minutes) later, Buzz Aldrin, exploring the lunar surface, people around the world stopped and collectively held their breath. The words “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed...” gave instant impact to the drama of watching human beings reach something so far away so successfully. And all were able to breathe once again.
1983 - Frank Reynolds, anchor of the nightly "ABC News", died at the age of 59. He was replaced by ABC News correspondent, Peter Jennings. Through his years at ABC, Reynolds was noted for being temperamental. That personality came through on the air from time to time. During the assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan, Reynolds scolded staff members while he was on camera. Reynolds had to retract previously broadcast statements that Reagan’s Press Secretary James Brady had been killed in the attack. The misinformation embarrassed Reynolds, causing the on-air reaction.
1985 - Treasure hunters began hauling off $400 million in coins and silver ingots from the sea floor in the biggest underwater jackpot in history. The bounty came from the Spanish galleon "Nuestra Senora de Atocha". The Spanish galleon sank 40 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida in 1622. It was located by treasure hunter Mel Fisher. The 40 tons of gold and silver and was the richest treasure find since the opening of King Tut’s tomb in the 1930s.
1996 - "Blue", the very first major-label (Curb Records) album by Country singer LeAnn Rimes (13 years old), debuted at number one on "Billboard’s" Country music chart and number four on the Pop album chart. The title track from "Blue" went on to became a signature song for Rimes. The album went on to go multi-platinum.
Birthdays - July 20
1890 - Verna Felton (actress: Picnic, The Oklahoman; died Dec 14, 1966)
1919 - Sir Edmund Hillary (explorer: first to climb Mt. Everest; died Jan 11, 2008)
1920 - Tommy Prothro Jr. (football: coach: Oregon State Univ., UCLA, Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers; died May 14, 1995)
1921 - Ted Schroeder (tennis: champ: U.S. Open , Wimbledon ; died May 26, 2006)
1925 - Lola Albright (actress: The Tender Trap, The Impossible Years; died Mar 23, 2017)
1929 - Mike Ilitch (entrepreneur: owner of Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesar’s Pizza franchises; died Feb 10, 2017)
1930 - Sally Ann Howes (actress: Dead of Night, The History of Mr. Polly, Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, Nicholas Nickleby)
1936 - Butch (Fred) Baird (golf: champ: PGA: Waco Turner Open Invitational , 1976 San Antonio Texas Open ; champ: Senior PGA: Cuyahoga Seniors , Northville Long Island Classic )
1938 - Tony (Pedro Lopez) Oliva (baseball: Minnesota Twins [3-time AL batting champion/Rookie of the Year: 1964/all-star: 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971/World Series: 1965])
1938 - Diana Rigg (Tony Award-winning actress: Medea; King Lear, Witness for the Prosecution, The Avengers, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, In Trust and Follies; hostess: PBS’ Mystery)
1938 - Natalie Wood (Natasha Nikolaevna Gurdin) (actress: From Here to Eternity, West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, Marjorie Morningstar, Gypsy, Love with the Proper Stranger; died Nov 29, 1981)
1942 - Pete Hamilton (auto racer: Daytona 500 winner )
1942 - Mickey (Mitchell Jack) Stanley (baseball: Detroit Tigers [World Series: 1968])
1943 - Chris Amon (auto racer: “...the New Zealander led lots of races, started from pole yet never ever managed to win a Grand Prix.”)
1944 - T.G. Sheppard (William Bowder) (singer: I Loved ’Em Every One, Make My Day [w/Clint Eastwood], Last Cheater’s Waltz)
1945 - Betty Burfeindt (golf champion: LPGA )
1945 - Kim Carnes (Grammy Award-winning singer: Bette Davis Eyes ; w/Kenny Rogers: Don’t Fall in Love With a Dreamer, What About Me; co-wrote score: Flashdance)
1945 - John Lodge (musician: guitar: Blue Guitar [w/Justin Hayward], singer: group: Moody Blues: Nights in White Satin)
1946 - John Almond (musician: reeds, keyboards, vibes: group: Johnny Almond and the Music Machine; died Nov 18, 2009)
1947 - Carlos Santana (Grammy Award-winning musician: LP: Supernatural [9 Grammys in 2000]; group: Santana: Evil Ways, Black Magic Woman, Oye Como Va)
1957 - Donna Dixon (actress: Wayne’s World, Speed Zone, Beverly Hills Madam, Dr. Detroit, Bosom Buddies, Berrenger’s)
1958 - Mick MacNeil (musician: keyboards: group: Simple Minds: Changeling, Premonition, The American, Love Song, Don’t You [Forget About Me])
1964 - Chris Cornell (Grammy Award-winning musician: drums, singer, songwriter: group: Soundgarden: Spoonman , Black Hole Sun ; died May 17, 2017)
Chart Toppers - July 20
Dream - The Pied Pipers
The More I See You - Dick Haymes
Sentimental Journey - The Les Brown Orchestra (vocal: Doris Day)
Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima - Bob Wills
Song from Moulin Rouge - The Percy Faith Orchestra
April in Portugal - The Les Baxter Orchestra
I’m Walking Behind You - Eddie Fisher
It’s Been So Long - Webb Pierce
Tossin’ and Turnin’ - Bobby Lewis
The Boll Weevil Song - Brook Benton
Yellow Bird - Arthur Lyman Group
Heartbreak U.S.A. - Kitty Wells
In the Year 2525 - Zager & Evans
Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweat & Tears
Good Morning Starshine - Oliver
I Love You More Today - Conway Twitty
Da Doo Ron Ron - Shaun Cassidy
Looks like We Made It - Barry Manilow
I Just Want to Be Your Everything - Andy Gibb
It was Almost like a Song - Ronnie Milsap
A View to a Kill - Duran Duran
Raspberry Beret - Prince & The Revolution
Everytime You Go Away - Paul Young
Dixie Road - Lee Greenwood
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
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