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May 10

Events - May 10
1869 - The Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railways met on this day. There was a grand celebration at Promontory, Utah when, in honor of the linking of the two railways, a golden spike was driven into the railroad. The spike, valued at $400, was driven, along with bronze spikes into a laurelwood tie by the president of the Central Pacific, Leland Stanford. Some say Mr. Stanford missed on his first stroke. Interestingly, the people involved in this historic moment were unaware of its significance in the great scheme of things; and no markings were left at the specific location of the meeting of the rails. It is possible that the point at Promontory is a little to the left or south or north or right of the true spot where the rails were joined. In other words, like Mr. Stanford, we may have missed the exact spot that marks the final link in the ocean-to-ocean railroad.

1872 - The first woman nominated to be President of the United States was Victoria Claflin Woodhull. She was chosen for the ballot by the National Woman Suffrage Association in New York City. Ms. Woodhull was not elected; nor has any woman ever been elected to the office of U.S. President.

1876 - Richard Wagner’s "Centennial Inaugural March" was heard for the first time at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, PA. Wagner did just fine for creating the magnificent work. He received a paycheck of $5,000. In 1876 bucks, that would put groceries on the table and in the pantry for quite a bit of time...

1905 - Three horses made up the field of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. Agile was the winner. With only three horses -- win, place and show -- does that mean that everyone in attendance won something?

1913 - Donerail won the Kentucky Derby on this day, making a very, very few in attendance very, very happy. Donerail was a 91-to-1 long shot! Whoa! Nellie!

1927 - The Hotel Statler in Boston, MA. became the first hotel to install radio headsets in each of its 1,300 rooms. What a concept! Of course, radio was only seven years old and, since this was the first hotel equipped with headsets, we heard that they were all plugged into the heaters -- and when guests turned up the heat knob, they singed their ears -- a lot like some radio programming does today!

1930 - The Adler Planetarium opened to the public in Chicago, IL.

1940 - Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded the classic, "Perfidia", for Decca Records. The song would later be a hit for The Ventures (1960).

1951 - Frank Sinatra teamed with Axel Stordahl’s orchestra and Mitch Miller on Columbia Records. He sang with Dagmar, "It’s a Long Way (From Your House to My House)", and the equally forgettable, "Mama Will Bark". Yes, friends, "Mama Will Bark", by Frank Sinatra with vocal impressions of a dog by Donald Bain! This sure wasn’t a session like the ones that produced "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning", "That’s Life", "My Way" or hundreds of other great tunes from Ol’ Blue Eyes.

1960 - Around the world in 80 days ... uh, make that 84 days. That’s how long it took the U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Triton to circumnavigate the globe. The Triton was the largest, most powerful submarine in the world when it made its record underwater trip. Captain Edward L. Beach led the 7,750-ton sub on a 41,500 mile voyage, following a similar route taken by explorer Ferdinand Magellan some three centuries earlier (obviously on the water’s surface, not below). The Triton’s conning tower reached above the waves off Delaware, completing the voyage that began February 16 at Groton, Connecticut with 183 aboard. One objective of the Triton’s trip was to test the physical and psychological effects on humans when deprived of sunlight and fresh air for an extended length of time. Captain Beach (author of "Run Silent, Run Deep") was thinking more of the sub’s test of power when he wrote in his log: “One can almost become lyrical thinking of the tremendous drive of the dual power plant of this great ship.”

1963 - The Rolling Stones produced their very first recordings this day. The session included "Come On" and "I Wanna Be Loved". The Stones would make it to the American pop music charts in August, 1964.

1969 - The National and American Football Leagues announced plans to merge for the 1970-71 season. Two conferences of 13 teams each were formed ... and the rest is NFL history.

1970 - The Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup since the beginning of World War II by defeating St. Louis. The Bruins would repeat the feat and take home Lord Stanley’s Cup again in 1972.

1974 - "Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely" earned a gold record for the group, The Main Ingredient. The trio began as the Poets in 1964. Cuba Gooding is heard singing lead. (Gooding’s son, Cuba Jr., starred in the 1991 film "Boyz N The Hood".) The Main Ingredient’s biggest hit, "Everybody Plays the Fool", made it to number three on the pop charts (1972).

1982 - Elliott Gould made his dramatic television debut after 30 movies in 17 years. He starred in "The Rules of Marriage" which aired on CBS-TV. Elizabeth Montgomery, formerly of "Bewitched", co-starred with Gould in the film about marriage and divorce.

1985 - Gordon Johncock announced that he was retiring from auto racing. Johncock, a 30-year veteran and twice an Indianapolis 500 winner, said that racing was “not fun anymore.” In his career, Johncock won 254 championship races.

1986 - Navy Lt. Commander Donnie Cochran became the first black pilot to fly with the celebrated Blue Angels precision aerial demonstration team.

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Birthdays - May 10
1899 - Fred Astaire (Austerlitz) (dancer, actor: Funny Face, Silk Stockings, Finian’s Rainbow, Daddy Long Legs, Easter Parade, Let’s Dance, That’s Entertainment, The Towering Inferno; died June 22, 1987)

1899 - Dimitri Tiomkin (conductor, composer: film scores: The Alamo, Dial ‘M’ for Murder, Friendly Persuasion, High Noon, It’s a Wonderful Life, Lost Horizon, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; died Nov 11, 1979)

1902 - David O. (Oliver) Selznick (producer: King Kong, A Star Is Born, The Prisoner of Zenda, Gone with the Wind, Duel in the Sun, The Third Man, A Farewell to Arms; died June 22, 1965)

1909 - Mother Maybelle Carter (Addington) (musician: played melody on bass strings of guitar, rhythm on treble, singer: group: The Carter Family: Keep on the Sunny Side, Foggy Mountain Top; member Grand Ole Opry: A Jilted Love, Don’t Wait; died Oct 23, 1978)

1914 - Charles McGraw (actor: A Boy and His Dog, Cimarron, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, The Defiant Ones, The Horizontal Lieutenant, Spartacus; died July 30, 1980)

1917 - Margo (Maria Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O’Donnell) (actress: Viva Zapata!, Lost Horizon, I’ll Cry Tomorrow, Winterset; died July 17, 1985)

1922 - Nancy Walker (Ann Myrtle Swoyer) (actress: McMillan and Wife; Bounty paper towel spots; Murder by Death, Broadway Rhythm, Forty Carats; died Mar 25, 1992)

1927 - Mike Souchak (golf champion: PGA Tour record holder: lowest score in 9 holes [27] and 72 holes [257]: 1955 Texas Open; died Jul 10, 2008)

1930 - Pat Summerall (football: New York Giants kicker; TV sportscaster: football, golf; died Apr 16, 2013)

1934 - Gary Owens (Radio Hall of Famer; TV announcer, actor: Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in: “From beautiful Downtown Burbank...”, The Gong Show; died Feb 12, 2015)

1935 - Larry Williams (Lawrence E. Williams) (singer: Short Fat Fannie, Bony Maronie, Dizzy Miss Lizzie; died Jan 2, 1980)

1937 - Arthur L. Kopit (playwright: Hands of a Stranger, The Phantom of the Opera, Roswell: The U.F.O. Cover-up)

1938 - Henry Fambrough (singer: group: Spinners: I’ll Be Around, Could It Be I’m Falling in Love, The Rubberband Man)

1938 - Manuel Santana (tennis: International Tennis Hall of Famer)

1941 - Ken (Allen Kent) Berry (baseball: Chicago White Sox [all-star: 1967], California Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians)

1941 - Danny Rapp (singer: group: Danny & The Juniors: At the Hop, Rock and Roll is Here to Stay; died Apr 5, 1983)

1944 - Jim Abrahams (writer, director: Hot Shots! series, Big Business, Top Secret!, Police Squad, Help Wanted, Airplane!; writer: The Naked Gun; director: Ruthless People, Big Business)

1944 - Judith Jamison (dancer: American Ballet Theatre [debut: 1964], Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre; starred in Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies; choreographer: created works for many companies, Rift, Hymn, Riverside, Sweet Release; autobiography: Dancing Spirit)

1944 - Marie-France Pisier (actress: Prize of the Peril, Miss Right, Chanel Solitaire, We Will Not Enter the Forest, Cousin Cousine, French Postcards, The Other Side of Midnight; died Apr 24, 2011)

1945 - Randy Rasmussen (football: Univ of Nebraska; NFL: New York Jets guard: Super Bowl III)

1946 - Graham Gouldman (musician: guitar, singer, songwriter: For Your Love, Evil Hearted You; group: 10cc)

1946 - Donovan (Leitch) (singer: Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman, Atlantis; composer: film: If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, appeared in film: The Pied Piper of Hamlin, Brother Sun, Sister Moon)

1946 - Dave Mason (songwriter, musician, singer: Alone Together, Hole in My Shoe, Just for You, Feelin’ Alright, We Just Disagree, So High)

1946 - Jimmy Ponder (jazz guitarist: Smokin’, Mama Roots, Infant Eyes; died Sep 16, 2013)

1947 - Jay (John) Ferguson (singer: group: Spirit: I Got a Line on You, Nature’s Way; group: Jo Jo Gunne)

1948 - Meg Foster (actress: Undercover, Lady in Waiting, To Catch a Killer, They Live, The Emerald Forest, Carny, James Dean, Adam at 6 a.m., Cagney & Lacey, Sunshine, The Trials of Rosie O’Neill)

1957 - Sid Vicious (John Simon Ritchie) (musician: bass guitarist: Sex Pistols; died Feb 2, 1979)

1960 - Bono (Paul Hewson) (singer: group: U2: Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride [In the Name of Love], With You or Without You)

1966 - Jason Brooks (actor: Days of Our Lives, Baywatch)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - May 10
1946
Oh, What It Seemed to Be - The Frankie Carle Orchestra (vocal: Marjorie Hughes)
Shoo Fly Pie - The Stan Kenton Orchestra (vocal: June Christy)
One-zy, Two-zy - Phil Harris
New Spanish Two Step - Bob Wills

1954
Wanted - Perry Como
Young at Heart - Frank Sinatra
Little Things Mean a Lot - Kitty Kallen
Slowly - Webb Pierce

1962
Soldier Boy - The Shirelles
Mashed Potato Time - Dee Dee Sharp
Stranger on the Shore - Mr. Acker Bilk
Charlie’s Shoes - Billy Walker

1970
American Woman/No Sugar Tonight - The Guess Who
Vehicle - The Ides of March
Love or Let Me Be Lonely - The Friends of Distinction
The Pool Shark - Dave Dudley

1978
Night Fever - Bee Gees
If I Can’t Have You - Yvonne Elliman
The Closer I Get to You - Roberta Flack with Donny Hathaway
It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right - Dolly Parton

1986
West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston
Why Can’t This Be Love - Van Halen
Grandpa (Tell Me ’bout the Good Old Days) - The Judds

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
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