440 International Those Were the Days
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May 5

Events - May 5
1809 - Who was the first woman to be issued a U.S. patent? It was Mary Kies of South Killingly, CT. She was granted a patent for the rights to a technique for weaving straw with silk and thread.

1862 - If you are Mexican or of Mexican descent or just like a party, today is the day to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. General Ignacio Zaragoza's troops were outnumbered three to one as they battled the invading French army. They may have been outnumbered but they had the will to win. The Mexican forces defeated Napoleon III's army and Puebla stood. Now stand up and join that Cinco de Mayo parade, attend the festival, enjoy the salsa music and the salsa dip with your Margarita. We all salute General Ignacio Zaragoza and his brave contingent.

1891 - New York City was the site of the dedication of a building called the Music Hall. It was quite a celebration. A festival was held for five days, featuring guest conductor Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. The structure is not called the Music Hall anymore. It’s called Carnegie Hall, named in honor of Andrew Carnegie.

1893 - The worst economic crisis in U.S. history (to that time) happened on this day. Stock prices plummeted, major railroads went into receivership, 15,000 businesses went bankrupt and 15 to 20 percent of the work force was unemployed. Within seven months, over 600 banks had closed.

1900 - "The Billboard", a magazine for the music and entertainment industries, began weekly publication after six years as a monthly. The name was later shortened to "Billboard".

1904 - Cy Young of the Boston Red Sox tossed a perfect game against the Philadelphia Americans. The final score was 3-0. No player on the Philadelphia team reached first base. It was the third perfect game ever thrown in the big leagues.

1935 - The radio program, "Rhythm at Eight", made its debut. The star of the show was 24-year-old Ethel Merman. Though Merman would become a legend years later, she didn’t fare so well on radio. Her show was taken off the air after 13 weeks and Miss Merman returned to her first love, Broadway.

1936 - Edward Ravenscroft of Glencoe, IL was sitting at his kitchen table, admiring the piece of mail he had just received from the U.S. Patent Office. It was a patent for the screw-on bottle cap with the pour lip. For those who have always wondered, but maybe were a little shy to ask, now you know...

1955 - The musical, "Damn Yankees", opened in New York City for a successful run of 1,019 performances. The show at the 42nd Street Theatre mixed both baseball and ballet. It is an adaptation of the book, "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant". Gwen Verdon starred in the role of Lola. Whatever Lola wants Lola gets including the Tony for Best Actress in a musical for her performance.

1956 - The first runner to break the four-minute mile within the United States was Jim Bailey and he did it on this day. He was clocked at a speedy 3:58.6 in Los Angeles, CA.

1973 - 56,800 fans paid $309,000 to see Led Zeppelin at Tampa Stadium. This was the largest, paid crowd ever assembled in the U.S. to see a single musical act. The concert topped The Beatles 55,000-person audience at Shea Stadium in New York ($301,000).

1978 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds smacked his 3,000th major-league hit. Not many years later, ‘Charlie Hustle’ would break Ty Cobb’s career record of 4,191 hits.

1985 - The first husband and wife team to win a major marathon, Ken and Lisa Maratin, won over $50,000 for their first-place finishes in the Pittsburgh Marathon. Interesting also, because they had never run in the same race before.

1988 - Eugene Antonio Marino became the first black Roman Catholic archbishop in the United States. He was installed as the archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia.

1994 - Four strokes with a cane on the buttocks was the punishment for Michael Fay. Fay, an American teenager, was charged along with eight others for vandalism in Singapore. He, Stephen Freehill, two Malaysian juveniles, and Shiu Chi Ho from Singapore went to trial. Freehill’s crime was reduced to mishief. He was not caned and served no jail term. Shiu served about four months in jail and received six cane strokes. Fay’s original sentence was four months in jail, a large fine and six caning strokes. With the enormous amount of media coverage in the United States and the intervention of U.S. President Clinton, this was reduced to approximately 3 months in jail, and four strokes. Although, in the U.S., this is considered unusual and harsh punishment for vandalism, U.S. public support for the whacking was overwhelming (running 90% in Fay’s home town of Dayton, Ohio).

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - May 5
1818 - Karl Marx (socialist writer: Das Kapital, The Communist Manifesto; founder of communism; died Mar 14, 1883)

1864 - Nelly Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman) (courageous journalist, writing about taboo subjects of her time: divorce, poverty, capital punishment, insanity; women’s rights advocate; died Jan 27, 1922)

1890 - Christopher Morley (writer: New York Evening Post, Saturday Review; novelist: Kitty Foyle, Thunder on the Left; died March 28, 1957)

1913 - Duane Carter (auto racer: Sprint Car Hall of Famer; died Mar 8, 1993)

1914 - Tyrone Power (Tyrone Edmund Power Jr.) (actor: Tom Brown of Culver, The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, This Above All, The Eddie Duchin Story, The Long Gray Line, Witness for the Prosecution; died Nov 15, 1958)

1915 - Alice Faye (Alice Jeanne Leppert) (actress: In Old Chicago, Lillian Russell, Rose of Washington Square, Tin Pan Alley, State Fair; died May 9, 1998)

1927 - Art Pollard (auto racer: killed during Indianapolis 500 time trials May 12, 1973)

1927 - Pat Carroll (Emmy Award-winning comedienne, actress: Caesar’s Hour [1956], The Ted Knight Show, With Six You Get Eggroll, Brothers O’Toole)

1934 - ‘Ace’ Cannon (John Henry Cannon Jr.) (saxophonist: Tuff, Blues [Stay Away From Me])

1935 - Jose (Antonio Rodriguez) Pagan (baseball: SF Giants [World Series: 1962], Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1971], Philadelphia Phillies; died Jun 7, 2011)

1937 - Sandy Baron (Sanford Beresofsky) (comedian, actor: Leprechaun 2, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, Motorama, Birdy; died Jan 21, 2001)

1938 - Michael Murphy (actor: Clean Slate, Batman Returns, The Year of Living Dangerously, Salvador, Manhattan, An Unmarried Woman, Nashville, Two Marriages, Tanner ’88, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Brewster McCloud, Countdown, Double Trouble, Hard Copy)

1940 - Lance Henriksen (actor: Powder, Felony, Dead Man, Baja, Spitfire, Color of Night, The Criminal Mind, Delta Heat, Alien 3, The Last Samurai, Johnny Handsome, Near Dark, The Terminator, The Right Stuff, Prince of the City, Damien: Omen 2, Dog Day Afternoon)

1941 - Tommy (Vann) Helms (baseball: Cincinnati Reds [all-star: 1967, 1968/World Series: 1970], Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox)

1942 - Tammy Wynette (Virginia Wynette Pugh) (Grammy Award-winning country singer: I Don’t Wanna Play House [1967], Stand By Your Man [1969]; D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Near You, Apartment #9; died Apr 6, 1998)

1943 - Michael Palin (comedian, actor: Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Life of Brian, Brazil, A Fish Called Wanda, American Friends)

1944 - Jean-Pierre Léaud (actor: The 400 Blows, Stolen Kisses, Love on the Run, LA Vie de Boheme, 36 Fillete, Last Tango in Paris)

1944 - Roger Rees (actor: M.A.N.T.I.S., Cheers, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Charles & Diana: A Palace Divided, If Looks Could Kill, Mountains of the Moon, Star 80, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby; died Jul 10, 2015)

1947 - Larry (Eugene) Hisle (baseball: Philadelphia Phillies, Minnesota Twins [all-star: 1977], Milwaukee Brewers [all-star: 1978])

1948 - John Hummer (basketball: Princeton Univ., LA Clippers)

1948 - Bill Ward (musician: drums: group: Black Sabbath: Paranoid)

1951 - Nick Bebout (football: Seattle Seahawks)

1957 - Richard E. Grant (actor: Jack and Sarah, Cold Light of Day, Ready to Wear, L.A. Story, The Age of Innocence, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Hudson Hawk, Henry and June)

1959 - Ian McCulloch (singer, musician: guitar: group: Echo & The Bunnymen: The Cutter, Silver, Seven Seas, Killing Moon, Rescue, Bring on the Dancing Horses)

1962 - Gary Daly (singer: group: China Crisis: Wishful Thinking)

1962 - Kevin Mooney (musician: bass: group: Adam & The Ants: LPs: King’s of the Wild Frontier, Prince Charming)

1973 - Tina Yothers (actress: Family Ties, Laker Girls, Spunk: The Tonya Harding Story)

If you like TWtD you will love TWtD Deluxe.

Chart Toppers - May 5
1949
Cruising Down the River - The Blue Barron Orchestra (vocal: ensemble)
Forever and Ever - Perry Como
Again - Doris Day
Lovesick Blues - Hank Williams

1957
All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
School Day - Chuck Berry
A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation) - Marty Robbins
Gone - Ferlin Husky

1965
Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter - Herman’s Hermits
I Know a Place - Petula Clark
I’ll Never Find Another You - The Seekers
This is It - Jim Reeves

1973
Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree - Dawn featuring Tony Orlando
The Cisco Kid - War
Little Willy - The Sweet
Behind Closed Doors - Charlie Rich

1981
Morning Train (Nine to Five) - Sheena Easton
Just the Two of Us - Grover Washington, Jr./Bill Withers
Being with You - Smokey Robinson
Rest Your Love on Me - Conway Twitty

1989
Like a Prayer - Madonna
I’ll Be There for You - Bon Jovi
She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
Young Love - The Judds

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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