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September 5

Events - September 5
1881 - The first disaster relief provided by the American Red Cross benefited thousands of fire victims left destitute this day by the Great Fire of 1881. It had been a long hot summer in the ‘thumb-area’ of Michigan and small forest fires were burning. A southwest gale fanned the flames into an inferno. The fire raged for three days, scorching over a million acres. Over 282 people died in the blaze. The American Association for the Relief of Misery on the Battlefields was a result of the International Red Cross and the forerunner of the American Association of the Red Cross. Clara Barton was instrumental in establishing the American chapter in 1881.

1882 - The first Labor Day holiday parade was held in New York City. It was sponsored by the Central Labor Union. Some 10,000 workers -- all men -- participated in the parade.

1885 - Jake Gumper of Ft. Wayne, IN bought the first gasoline pump produced in the United States.

1901 - The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues was formed in Chicago. It became the first organized baseball league.

1905 - "The Treaty of Portsmouth" was signed by representatives of Russia and Japan, ending the Russo-Japanese War. Why was it called "The Treaty of Portsmouth"? It was signed at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

1906 - Bradbury Robinson executed the first legal forward pass in football. Robinson threw the ball to Jack Schneider of St. Louis University in a game against Carroll College.

1938 - The NBC Red network broadcast "Life Can Be Beautiful" for the first time. The program was “an inspiring message of faith drawn from life.” The program aired until 1954.

1956 - Johnny Cash hit the record charts running with "I Walk the Line". Cash’s debut hit song climbed to #17 on the pop music charts.

1958 - The first color videotaped program was aired. It was "The Betty Feezor Show" on WBTV-TV in Charlotte, NC.

1960 - Cassius Clay of Louisville, KY won the gold medal in light heavyweight boxing at the Olympic Games in Rome, Italy. Clay would later change his name to Muhammad Ali and become one of the great boxing champions in the world. In 1996, at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, Muhammad Ali was given the honor of lighting the Olympic flame.

1964 - The Animals’ "House of the Rising Sun" made it to #1. It stayed at the top until it was replaced three weeks later by Roy Orbison’s "Oh, Pretty Woman". Orbison’s smash was just entering the pop charts on this day for a 14-week run.

1971 - J.R. Richard of the Houston Astros tied Karl Spooner’s record by striking out 15 batters in his major-league baseball debut. The Astros beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3.

1972 - PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) terrorists entered the Olympic Village in Munich, Germany, killing 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team.

1972 - Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway won a gold record for their duet, "Where is the Love". The song got to number five on the pop music charts and was one of two songs that earned gold for the duo. The other was "The Closer I Get To You" (1978).

1980 - Switzerland’s St. Gotthard Auto Tunnel, the longest underground motorway in the world, opened. Traffic moved along the 10+ miles that took ten years to build and cost $417 million.

1983 - The "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) became the first hourlong network news show.

1984 - Mortimer Zuckerman, a real estate magnate, spent $163 million on a deal. Zuckerman purchased the newsmagazine "U.S. News & World Report".

1986 - After 23 years of “oohing” and “aahing,” laughing and kibitzing as host of various talk shows, Merv Griffin aired his final program -- for Metromedia Television.

1997 - Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) died of a heart attack at her Missionaries of Charity headquarters in Calcutta, India. The Albanian nun had celebrated her 87th birthday just nine days earlier. The recipient of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa gave hope to millions, caring for, helping and listening to the poor and downtrodden.

1998 - Aerosmith’s "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" debuted at #1 on U.S. music charts. The song, from the movie, "Armageddon", was the first single by Aerosmith to reach number one. It stayed at the top through the entire month of September.

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Birthdays - September 5
1638 - Louis XIV (‘The Sun King’ [he chose the sun as his royal emblem]: King of France [1643-1715]; died Sep 1, 1715)

1897 - Morris Carnovsky (actor: Cyrano de Bergerac, Gun Crazy, Dead Reckoning, Rhapsody in Blue, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes; cofounder of New York’s Group Theater; Shakespearean actor; died Sep 1, 1992)

1897 - Arthur Charles Nielsen (market researcher: founder of A.C. Nielsen Co.: radio and TV audience surveys; Tennis Hall of Famer: avid player, generous patron; died June 1, 1981)

1901 - Florence Eldridge (McKechnie) (actress: Inherit the Wind, Les Miserables, Mary of Scotland, Christopher Columbus; died Aug 1, 1988)

1902 - Darryl F. (Francis) Zanuck (producer: The Jazz Singer, The Grapes of Wrath, Forever Amber, The Snake Pit; cofounder of 20th Century Studios; died Dec 22, 1979)

1905 - Arthur Koestler (novelist: The Thirteenth Tribe, Scum of the Earth, Darkness at Noon; died Mar 3, 1983)

1912 - John Cage (composer: experimental music and performance with non-traditional instruments: Bacchanal, Anthems of the Sun, Living Room, Water Music, Third Construction, 4’53"; died Aug 12, 1992)

1921 - Jack Valenti (movie executive: president of Motion Picture Association of America; died Apr 26, 2007)

1929 - Bob Newhart (actor, comedian: The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart; LP: The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart)

1932 - Carol Lawrence (Laraia) (singer, actress: West Side Story, General Hospital)

1936 - Bill Mazeroski (baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates)

1938 - John Ferguson (hockey: Fort-Wayne Komets, Cleveland Barons, Montreal Canadiens; died Jul 14, 2007)

1939 - William Devane (actor: Deceit, A Christmas Visitor, The X-Files: The Truth, Hollow Man, Space Cowboys, Miracle on the Mountain: The Kincaid Family Story, 24, Knots Landing, Marathon Man, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, A Woman Named Jackie, From Here to Eternity)

1939 - Billy Kilmer (football: Washington Redskins quarterback: Super Bowl VII)

1939 - Clay Regazzoni (auto racer: 5-time grand prix champ [for Ferrari]; broke his back in a crash at Long Beach CA [1980]; died Dec 15, 2006)

1939 - John Stewart (singer: Gold; group: The Kingston Trio; songwriter: Daydream Believer; died Jan 19, 2008)

1940 - Raquel Welch (Jo Raquel Tejada) (actress: Tainted Blood, The Four Musketeers, Woman of the Year, Bandolero!, Mother, Jugs and Speed, Myra Breckenridge, Fantastic Voyage, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult)

1945 - Al Stewart (singer, musician: guitar: Time Passages, Year of the Cat, Manuscript)

1946 - Dennis Dugan (actor: Happy Gilmore, Problem Child, Parenthood, The Howling, Night Moves, Night Call Nurses, Shadow Chasers, Richie Brockelman, Private Eye, Rich Man, Poor Man - Book I, Empire)

1946 - Freddie Mercury (Bulsara) (singer: I was Born to Love You; Queen: Another One Bites the Dust, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We are the Champions; died Nov 24, 1991)

1946 - Loudon Wainwright III (songwriter, singer: Dead Skunk; actor: M*A*S*H, The Slugger’s Wife, Jackknife)

1950 - Cathy Guisewite (cartoonist: Cathy)

1951 - James McAlister (football: UCLA Hall of Famer, All-American running back; New England Patriots)

1952 - Cleo Miller (football: Cleveland Browns)

1969 - Dweezil Zappa (musician: guitar: MTV; son of musician Frank Zappa, brother of singer Moon Unit Zappa)

1973 - Rose McGowan (actress: The Doom Generation, Bio-Dome, Scream, Going All the Way, Charmed, Monkeybone)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - September 5
1947
Peg o’ My Heart - The Harmonicats
That’s My Desire - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Don Cornell)
I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now - Perry Como
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) - Tex Williams

1955
Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley & His Comets
The Yellow Rose of Texas - Mitch Miller
Autumn Leaves - Roger Williams
I Don’t Care - Webb Pierce

1963
My Boyfriend’s Back - The Angels
Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! - Allan Sherman
Blowin’ in the Wind - Peter, Paul & Mary
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

1971
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey - Paul & Linda McCartney
Smiling Faces Sometimes - The Undisputed Truth
Spanish Harlem - Aretha Franklin
Easy Loving - Freddie Hart

1979
My Sharona - The Knack
After the Love Has Gone - Earth, Wind & Fire
Don’t Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra
Heartbreak Hotel - Willie Nelson & Leon Russell

1987
La Bamba - Los Lobos
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You - Michael Jackson with Siedah Garrett
Only in My Dreams - Debbie Gibson
She’s Too Good to Be True - Exile

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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