440 International Those Were the Days
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March 17

Events - March 17
461 - First feast day of Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world on this day and is still a legal, national holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 1897 - Motion pictures of a championship prize fight were taken for the first time as ‘Sunny’ Bob Fitzsimmons knocked out ‘Gentleman’ Jim Corbett for the world heavyweight title. Remember, too, that this was bareknuckle fighting. None of that fighting with gloves stuff...

1906 - President Theodore Roosevelt coined the word ‘muckrake’ in a speech that he delivered to the Gridiron Club in Washington, DC.

1926 - "The Girl Friend" opened in New York City. The musical continued for a run of 301 performances.

1933 - Comedian Phil Baker was heard on network radio for the first time when "The Armour Jester" was heard on the old NBC Blue network. Baker rapidly rose to the top of the radio ratings.

1939 - Artie Shaw featured sidemen Tony Pastor and Buddy Rich on two classics. "One Night Stand" and "One Foot in the Groove" were recorded for Bluebird Records.

1941 - The National Gallery of Art was officially opened by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C.

1963 - Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics played his last regular season basketball game after 13 years in the National Basketball Association.

1967 - Snoopy and Charlie Brown, of the comic strip "Peanuts", made the cover of "LIFE" magazine.

1969 - In baseball, the Atlanta Braves traded Joe Torre to the St. Louis Cardinals for Orlando Cepeda. After his playing days, Torre continued in baseball as a broadcaster and manager.

1969 - Golda Meir, a Milwaukee high school teacher, was sworn in as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel.

1970 - Eddie Holman received a gold record for the single, "Hey There Lonely Girl". This song was originally a hit for Ruby and the Romantics under the title, "Hey There Lonely Boy" in the 1960s. Holman has been an ordained Baptist minister since the early 1980s while continuing to sing and perform.

1978 - The movie, "American Hot Wax", was drawing big crowds. Tim McIntire and Laraine Newman (of "Saturday Night Live") starred in Hollywood’s salute to rock radio and music.

1985 - William Schroeder set a record for heart transplant patients as he reached his 113th day of life with the artificial organ.

1985 - Patrick Ewing accepted the Naismith Award during half-time of the DePaul-Syracuse basketball game. The award is annually given to basketball’s top collegiate player.

1985 - Elizabeth Taylor arrived in Charleston, SC to be greeted by large crowds as she stepped off a private jet to begin filming of the Civil War-era movie, "North and South". La Liz played the part of a voluptuous, bordello madam. She had hoped for the role of Robert E. Lee, but it was already taken...

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Birthdays - March 17
1777 - Roger Taney (Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court [1836-1864]: his decision that Congress had no power to abolish slavery in territories helped bring on the Civil War [Dred Scott case]; died Oct 12, 1864)

1804 - Jim Bridger (frontiersman: 1st Caucasian to see the Great Salt Lake [1824]; established Fort Bridger, Wyoming; Bridger National Forest bears his name; died July 17, 1881)

1894 - Paul Eliot Green (Pulitzer prize-winning playwright of symphonic drama: In Abraham’s Bosom [1926], The Lost Colony, The Common Glory, The House of Connelly, Hymn to the Rising Sun; died May 4, 1981)

1902 - Bobby (Robert Tyre) Jones (World Golf and PGA Hall of Famer: first golfer to win the four major British and American tournaments in one year: the Grand Slam [1930]; PGA Hall of Famer, World Golf Hall of Famer; died Dec 18, 1971)

1903 - Marquis (William) Childs (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist [1969]: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, author: Sweden: The Middie Way; died Jun 30, 1990)

1907 - John Pastore (politician: first of Italian descent to become a state governor [Rhode Island: 1945-1950], then U.S. Senator [1950-1974]; Jul 15, 2000)

1912 - Bayard Rustin (pacifist, activist, civil rights leader: helped convince U.S. President Truman to issue executive order desegregating armed forces [1948]; died Aug 24, 1987)

1913 - Frederick Brisson (producer: The Velvet Touch, Under the Yum Yum Tree, Generation, Mrs. Pollifax--Spy; died Oct 8, 1984)

1914 - Sammy Baugh (football: NFL Individual Record for average yards gained in a game [18.58]: Washington Redskins vs. Boston Yanks [1948]; and in career punts [45.10 yds., 1937-1952]; died Dec 17, 2008)

1917 - Hank (Henry John) Sauer (baseball: Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs [all-star: 1950, 1952/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1952], SL Cardinals, NY Giants, SF Giants; died Aug 24, 2001)

1919 - 1919 - Nat ‘King’ Cole (Nathaniel Adams Coles) (jazz pianist, bandleader: King Cole Trio; songwriter: Straighten Up and Fly Right; actor: St. Louis Blues; singer: Mona Lisa, Too Young, Unforgettable, Pretend, Ballerina, Ramblin’ Rose, The Christmas Song; actor: Cat Ballou; first black entertainer to host a national TV show; father of singer, Natalie Cole; died Feb 15, 1965)

1930 - Paul Horn (composer, jazz musician: reeds: Green Jelly Beans, Dancing Children, Inside [recorded in Taj Mahal]; TV documentary: The Story of a Jazz Musician; died Jun 29, 2014)

1932 - Dick Curless (One-Eyed Baron of Trucker Country: singer: A Tombstone Every Mile, Six Times a Day, All of Me Belongs to You, Big Wheel Cannonball, Loser’s Cocktail; died May 25, 1995)

1935 - Adam Wade (singer: Take Good Care of Her, The Writing on the Wall, As If I Didn’t Know, Crying in the Chapel; TV host: Musical Chairs; played in Las Vegas’ all-black version of Guys and Dolls)

1938 - Rudolf Nureyev (Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev) (Russian ballet dancer: defected to U.S. [1961]; danced with Dame Margot Fonteyn, the Martha Graham Dance Company; was artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet; died Jan 6, 1993)

1941 - Paul Kantner (musician: guitar: groups: Jefferson Airplane: Somebody to Love, White Rabbit, LP: Crown, Wooden Ships; Starship: LPs: Dragonfly, Red Octopus, Spitfire, Earth; KBC Band; solo LP: Blows Against the Empire, Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra; died Jan 28, 2016)

1944 - Cito (Clarence Edwin) Gaston (baseball: Atlanta Braves, SD Padres [all-star: 1970], Pittsburgh Pirates; manager: Toronto Blue Jays: consecutive World Series titles (1992-1993); first black manager to win Series; shared The Sporting News 1993 Man of Year award with Blue Jays GM Pat Gillick)

1944 - Pat McCauley (organ, drums; group: Them: Gloria, Baby Please Don't Go)

1944 - John Sebastian (musician, songwriter: group: Lovin’ Spoonful: Do You Believe In Magic, Summer In The City, Daydream, You Didn’t Have to be So Nice, Nashville Cats; solo: Darling Be Home Soon, Welcome Back)

1946 - Harold Brown (musician: drums: group: War: LPs: All Day Music, The World is a Ghetto, Why Can’t We Be Friends)

1949 - Patrick Duffy (actor: Dallas, Man from Atlantis, Step-by-Step video with Suzanne Somers)

1951 - Scott Gorham (musician: guitar: group: Thin Lizzy: Still in Love with You, Killer on the Loose)

1951 - Craig Ramsay (hockey: NHL: Buffalo Sabres: [252 goals, 420 assists for 672 points and 201 penalty minutes in 1,070 games; 776 consecutive games played Mar 27, 1973-Feb 10, 1983]; coach: Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers. Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers)

1951 - Kurt Russell (actor: Executive Decision, Backdraft, Elvis, Used Cars, Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, Tango & Cash, Stargate, Tombstone, 3000 Miles to Graceland)

1952 - Susie Allanson (singer: Baby Don’t Keep Me Hangin’ On, Baby, Last Night Made My Day, Maybe Baby, We Belong Together, Words, Two Steps Forward and Three Steps Back)

1952 - Stan Weir (hockey: NHL: California Golden Seals, California Seals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Red Wings)

1954 - Lesley-Anne Down (actress: Dallas, North and South: Book 2, Upstairs, Downstairs, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, The Great Train Robbery)

1959 - Mike Lindup (musician: keyboards, singer: group: Level 42: The Chinese Way, The Sun Goes Down [Living It Up], Hot Water, Something About You, Leaving Me Now)

1964 - Rob (Robert Hepler) Lowe (actor: St. Elmo’s Fire, About Last Night, Suddenly, Last Summer, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Contact, Atomic Train, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The West Wing)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - March 17
1948
Now is the Hour - Bing Crosby
I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover - The Art Moonie Orchestra
Beg Your Pardon - Francis Craig
I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) - Eddy Arnold

1956
Lisbon Antigua - Nelson Riddle
Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley

1964
I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
She Loves You - The Beatles
Please Please Me - The Beatles
Saginaw, Michigan - Lefty Frizzell

1972
Without You - Nilsson
Heart of Gold - Neil Young
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Robert John
My Hang-Up is You - Freddie Hart

1980
Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
Longer - Dan Fogelberg
Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - Willie Nelson

1988
Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
I Get Weak - Belinda Carlisle
Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson
Too Gone Too Long - Randy Travis

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...


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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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