Events - February 1
1788 - Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patented the steamboat.
1793 - Ralph Hodgson of Lansingburg, NY patented one of the world’s greatest inventions: oiled silk.
1862 - "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was first published in "Atlantic Monthly". The lyric was the work of Julia Ward Howe. "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is still being sung and to the tune of a song titled, "John Brown’s Body". Or is it the other way around? Is "John Brown’s Body" sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"? Put this one on the list of things we’ll have to get back to you on...
1904 - Enrico Caruso recorded his first sides for Victor Records. He did ten songs in the session ... for $4,000.
1911 - The first old-age home for pioneers opened in Prescott, Arizona.
1929 - Weightlifter Charles Rigoulot of France achieved the first 400 pound ‘clean and jerk’ as he lifted 402-1/2 pounds. His first words after accomplishing the feat? “My back. I think I hurt my back.” (We’re fairly certain that’s what he said.)
1939 - Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded "And the Angels Sing", on Victor Records. The vocalist on that number, who went on to find considerable fame at Capitol Records, was Martha Tilton.
1940 - Frank Sinatra sang "Too Romantic" and "The Sky Fell Down" in his first recording session with the Tommy Dorsey Band. The session was in Chicago, IL. Frankie replaced Jack Leonard as lead singer with the band.
1941 - "Downbeat" magazine reported this day that Glenn Miller had inked a new three-year contract with RCA Victor Records. The pact guaranteed Miller $750 a side, the fattest record contract signed to that time.
1946 - Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.
1949 - Louis B. Mayer, the Mayer in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), became a millionaire once more. This deal had nothing to do with the movies, though. He sold his breeding farm of race horses for a million dollars.
1949 - RCA Victor countered Columbia Records’ 33-1/3 long play phonograph disk with not only a smaller, 7-inch record (with a big hole in the center), but an entire phonograph playing system as well. The newfangled product, the 45-rpm, which started a revolution (especially with the new rock and roll music), soon made the 78-rpm record a blast from the past.
1953 - CBS-TV debuted "Private Secretary". Ann Sothern played Susie McNamera, private secretary to NY talent agent, Peter Sands (played by Don Porter). Susie, you will remember, kept trying to improve Peter’s professional -- and personal -- life, screwing it up seriously in the process. The show ran during the regular TV seasons on CBS (last show was September 10, 1957) and ran on NBC-TV in the summers of 1953 and 1954.
1954 - A television classic was born on CBS-TV, as "The Secret Storm" was shown for the first day of what would become a 20-year run on the network.
1959 - Texas Instruments filed for a patent on the ‘solid circuit’. Their first integrated circuit (IC), as it later became known, was the size of a pencil point, and was shown off for the first time in March 1959.
1960 - Four black college students began a sit-in at an all-white lunch counter. They had been refused service at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, NC. This was the first of many such protests throughout the U.S.
1968 - Elvis Presley celebrated the birth of his daughter, Lisa Marie. Lisa Marie married and divorced the ‘Gloved One’, Michael Jackson, in the ’90s.
1971 - The soundtrack album from the movie, "Love Story", starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, with music by Frances Lai, was certified as a gold record on this day.
1971 - Evonne Goolagong scored her first major singles victory as she defeated Margaret Court in the finals of the Victorian Open, played in Melbourne, Australia.
1986 - Denny Crum, suffering from the flu, used the telephone to coach his Louisville basketball team. The Louisville Cardinals won 92-71 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY. Achoo!
1987 - Terry Williams of Los Gatos, CA won the largest slot machine payoff to that time. He put $4.9 million in his pockets after getting four lucky 7s on a machine in Reno, NV. It is not known if his pants fell down from carrying all that money or not, but we believe so. It’s happened to us with just $9 worth of nickels.
1992 - U.S. President George Bush (I) and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed an agreement of general principles that concluded decades of East-West rivalry and encouraged a future relationship of cooperation. The signing in Washington DC marked the official end of the ‘Cold War’.
1996 - Both houses of the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved a rewrite of the 1934 Communications Act. Some highlights: allowed local and long-distance telephone companies, as well as cable TV providers, to offer a mixture of goods and services; Deregulate cable TV rates; allowed consumers access to a greater variety of cable, telephone and other communications services; and, in one of the most controversial changes, it revised the National Multiple Radio Ownership Rule and Local Radio Ownership Rule, allowing most of the stations in the U.S. to be snatched up by a few corporations.
2003 - The U.S.space shuttle Columbia plummeted to Earth in flames, crashing in central Texas, and taking the lives of all seven astronauts on board. NASA said the first hints of trouble came when heat and hydraulic sensors stopped working on the shuttle’s left wing. Within a few minutes, contact with the ship was lost. During the shuttle’s launch, cameras had recorded a chunk of foam breaking off from the fuel tank and striking Columbia’s left wing. An independent panel later determined that the foam fatally damaged the wing, allowing super-hot gasses to enter the shuttle causing it to break apart during reentry in Earth’s atomosphere. The astronauts killed in the crash were: Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William ‘Willie’ McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialist David Brown, Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist Laurel Clark, and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.
2004 - Super Bowl XXXVIII (at Reliant Stadium, Houston): New England Patriots 32, Carolina Panthers 29. It was one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever with a thrilling back-and-forth final quarter. How thrilling? New England QB Tom Brady (MVP for the second time in three seasons) set up Patriot kicker Adam Vinatieri’s 41-yard winning field goal with four seconds left. Most of the first half liveed up to predictions that two defensive teams would make for a dull game. They were scoreless for nearly 27 minutes, the slowest start in Super Bowl history, and Vinatieri missed one field goal and another was blocked. But the pace changed in the final three minutes of the first half and again in the fourth quarter, when the teams combined for 37 points, the most in any quarter in any Super Bowl. Brady completed 32 of 48 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns. The 32 completions were a Super Bowl record. “I don't know about our legacy,” said Charlie Weis, the New England’s offensive coordinator. “But two titles in three years in the environment of the NFL these days is quite an achievement.” Tickets: No longer available to the general public; distributed through NFL teams only. And, from our Super Bowl Did You Know? Dept: The NFL pays for up to 150 Super Bowl rings at $5,000 per ring (plus adjustments for increases in gold and diamonds). The league also pays for 150 pieces of jewelry for the losing team, which may not cost more than one-half the price set for the Super Bowl ring.
2004 - What game? Singer Janet Jackson’s right breast was exposed during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII. Even though an estimated 140 million people were watching the show on CBS-TV, the move happened so fast that most viewers didn’t even see it. But, not to worry, cable news networks showed pop star Justin Timberlake ripping off part of Jackson’s corset, exposing her breast, enough times that everyone got to see it -- many times. Jackson apologized the following day saying, “The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals. MTV (halftime show producer) was completely unaware of it. It was not my intention that it go as far as it did. I apologize to anyone offended -- including the audience, MTV, CBS and the NFL.” As a result of the outrage stemming from the incident, U.S. broadcasters began using a recorded delay when telecasting live events.
2008 - Scientists in Japan and New Zealand said they have created a tear-free onion using biotechnology to switch off the gene behind the enzyme that makes us cry.
Birthdays - February 1
1859 - Victor Herbert (cellist, conductor: Pittsburgh Symphony; composer: operettas: Babes in Toyland, Naughty Marietta; songs: Ah Sweet Mystery of Life [At Last I’ve Found You]; died May 26, 1924)
1894 - John Ford (Sean Aloysius O’Feeney) (Academy Award-winning director: The Informer , The Grapes of Wrath , How Green Was My Valley , The Quiet Man ; died Aug 31, 1973)
1901 - (William) Clark Gable (‘King of the Movies’: Academy Award-winning actor: It Happened One Night ; Painted Desert, Mutiny on the Bounty, Gone with the Wind, The Misfits; married to actress Carole Lombard; died Nov 16, 1960)
1902 - Langston Hughes (author: Way Down South; died May 22, 1967)
1904 - S.J. (Sidney Joseph) Perelman (humorist, writer, Academy Award-winning screenwriter: Around the World in 80 Days ; Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, One Touch of Venus, Strictly from Hunger, Westward Ha!, Around the World in 80 Clichés; died Oct 17, 1979)
1909 - George Beverly Shea (Gospel singer: sang with Billy Graham for many years; died Apr 16, 2013)
1912 - Clete Roberts (TV news anchor: KNXT, KCBS-TV; actor: The Swinger, Mannix, Mission: Impossible [TV], McCloud, Columbo: Candidate for Crime, M*A*S*H; died Sep 30, 1984)
1922 - Renata (Ersilia Clotilde) Tebaldi (operatic diva, lyric soprano: debuted as Elena in Boito's Mefistofele ; debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in Verdi's Otello ; died Dec 19, 2004)
1926 - Stuart (Maxwell) Whitman (actor: Cimarron Strip, The Seekers, Trial by Jury, Private Wars, Omega Cop, Delta Fox, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Rio Conchos, The Longest Day, Ten North Frederick, Silver Lode)
1931 - Boris Yeltsin (President of Russia [1991-1999]; died Apr 23, 2007)
1934 - Bob Shane (singer: group: The Kingston Trio: Tom Dooley, M.T.A., Greenback Dollar, Where Have All the Flowers Gone)
1937 - Don Everly (singer: group: The Everly Brothers with brother, Phil: Wake Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love, Cathy’s Clown, All I Have To Do Is Dream)
1937 - Garrett Morris (comedian: Saturday Night Live, actor: The Anderson Tapes, Almost Blue)
1937 - Ray Sawyer (singer: group: Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show: Only Sixteen, Cover of the Rolling Stone, Sylvia’s Mother; died Dec 31, 2018)
1938 - Jacky Cupit (golf: Canadian Open champ , Western Open champ , US Open runnerup )
1938 - Sherman Hemsley (actor: The Jeffersons, All in the Family, Dinosaurs, Amen, Mr. Nanny, Love at First Bite; died Jul 24, 2012)
1942 - Terry Jones (actor: Monty Python series; director: Monty Python series, Personal Services)
1942 - Wayne Rivers (hockey: NHL: Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, SL Blues, NY Rangers)
1944 - Paul (L. D.) Blair (baseball: Baltimore Orioles [World Series: 1966, 1969-1971/all-star: 1969, 1973], NY Yankees [World Series: 1977, 1978], Cincinnati Reds; died Dec 26, 2013)
1944 - Dick Snyder (‘Duck’: basketball: Seattle SuperSonics)
1948 - Debbie Austin (golf: seven LPGA tour victories, ranked among top 30 LPGA all-time career money list at the time of her retirement)
1948 - Rick James (James Johnson) (singer: Super Freak, Bustin’ Out, Garden of Love, Fool on the Street, Love Gun, Come into My Life, Big Time, Street Songs, Give It to Me Baby; died Aug 6, 2004)
1950 - Mike Campbell (musician: guitar: group: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers)
1954 - Bill Mumy (actor: Palm Springs Weekend, Twilight Zone-The Movie, Lost in Space, The Rockford Files, Sunshine, Babylon 5)
1965 - Sherilyn Fenn (Sheryl Ann Fenn) (actress: Twin Peaks, Fatal Instinct, Of Mice and Men, Diary of a Hitman, Wild at Heart, The Wild Life)
1968 - Lisa Marie Presley (daughter of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley; singer: Lights Out, Savior, Nobody Noticed It, Important, Indifferent, To Whom It May Concern)
1968 - Pauly Shore (commedian, actor: Pauly, Encino Man, In the Army Now, The Bogus Witch Project)
1977 - Robert Traylor (basketball [forward]: Univ of Michigan; NBA: Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers)
1979 - Rachelle Lefevre (actress: Big Wolf on Campus, What About Brian, Boston Legal, Swingtown, Twilight film series, Off the Map, A Gifted Man)
1980 - Grace Yip (actress: Kakashi, Street Angels, Gen-X Cops, A Man Called Hero, The Masked Prosecutor, Love Paradox, Mafia.com, Headlines, The Troublesome Romance)
Chart Toppers - February 1
My Heart Tells Me - The Glen Gray Orchestra (vocal: Eugenie Baird)
Shoo, Shoo, Baby - The Andrews Sisters
Besame Mucho - The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Bob Eberly & Kitty Kallen
Pistol Packin’ Mama - Al Dexter
Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
Cry - Johnnie Ray
Anytime - Eddie Fisher
Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses) - Lefty Frizzell
Running Bear - Johnny Preston
Teen Angel - Mark Dinning
Where or When - Dion & The Belmonts
El Paso - Marty Robbins
Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - John Fred & His Playboy Band
Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin
Green Tambourine - The Lemon Pipers
Sing Me Back Home - Merle Haggard
Love Rollercoaster - Ohio Players
Love to Love You Baby - Donna Summer
You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate
This Time I’ve Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me - Conway Twitty
Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
Talking in Your Sleep - The Romantics
The Sound of Goodbye - Crystal Gayle
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
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.