440 International Those Were the Days
February 10

Events - February 10
1863 - History was made in New York City. Two of the world’s most famous midgets, General Tom Thumb, (three feet, four inches) and his lovely bride, Lavinia Warren, (two feet, eight inches), exchanged “I do’s” before a small gathering of 2,000 of their closest friends -- most of them standing on the church pews to catch a glimpse of the couple. (Sniff) Excuse me, I always cry (sniff) at weddings ... big or small.

1863 - The fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane. It became a flaming success...

1897 - “All the news that’s fit to print” appeared on the front page of "The New York Times" beginning this day. Henry J. Raymond and two associates started "The New York Times" in 1851. In October of 1896, the paper held a contest offering readers a one-hundred-dollar prize if they could come up with a better slogan ... in ten words or less ... than “All the news that’s fit to print.” No one did. And no one has.

1933 - “It’s a thrill ... to sing to you ... pay this bill ... I hope you will!” The singing telegram (not that one, certainly) was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City.

1933 - Primo Carnera knocked out Ernie Schaaf in round 13 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Schaaf died four days later, not from that blow, but from a blow suffered in a previous fight with Max Baer.

1934 - The first imperforated, ungummed sheets of postage stamps were issued by the U.S. Postal Service in New York City. Talk about inconvenience! One had to cut the stamps out of the sheet and then put some glue on the back to get them to stick on an envelope. Fortunately, the Postal Service changed this idea after many complaints. Letters were, literally, gumming up the works...

1935 - The Pennsylvania Railroad began passenger service with its new ‘streamlined’ electric locomotive. This engine was 79-1/2 feet long and weighed in at a hefty 230 tons.

1942 - Ted Fio Rito’s orchestra recorded "Rio Rita" for Decca Records in Los Angeles. Bob Carroll sang on the disc that became the group’s theme song. Ole!

1949 - Lee J. Cobb, Arthur Kennedy and Mildred Dunnock starred in the classic, "Death of a Salesman", which opened at the Morosco Theatre in New York City. The play later became a major motion picture.

1951 - John and Marsha, silly song(?) by Stan Freberg became a national catch phrase in the U.S. Do you remember, “John ... Marsha ... John ... Marsha ... John ... Marsha?” Freberg also brought the censors down on himelf when it was decided that at one point John and Marsha sounded a little too romantic; never mind that Freberg was the voice of both John and Marsha.

1956 - Elvis Presley wiggled his way through "Heartbreak Hotel" this day for RCA Records in Nashville, TN. The record received two gold records, one for each side. The hit on the other side was "I Was the One". For those wanting to know even more trivia that will make you a big hit at cocktail parties, tell your friends that the first known million-seller was by Ben Selvin back in 1919. It, too, was a two sided hit, featuring "I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles" and "Darandella". Now, you really are up to date!

1961 - The Los Angeles franchise in the American Football League was transferred to San Diego. The previous year, Hollywood resident Gerald Courtney had won an all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico City and Acapulco after submitting the winning name: Chargers. Three reasons for choosing Chargers have been offered: 1) It sounded dynamic, 2) The club’s new stationary featured a horse and 3) Owner Baron Hilton had recently instituted the Carte Blanche card.

1964 - The press reported on this day that “millions of teenage boys are spending extra time in front of the mirror trying to make their hair look like Paul McCartney’s...,” following an appearance of The Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show" the night before.

1965 - A quote, often used later by others, was first stated by Hubert H. Humphrey. He said, “The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.” Humphrey was a noted and beloved U.S. Senator from Minnesota and a Vice-President in the Lyndon Johnson administration. He ran for the Presidency but lost to Richard M. Nixon.

1967 - The 25th Amendment to the Constitution, dealing with presidential disability and succession, was ratified by the U.S. Congress this day. The amendment provided, in part, “In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.”

1972 - The BBC banned Give Ireland Back to the Irish, by Paul McCartney’s Wings. McCartney was condemned by the British media for his seemingly pro-IRA stance on Northern Ireland.

1979 - Rod Stewart’s "Do Ya Think I’m Sexy" was the #1 US single. It was a track from the album "Blondes Have More Fun", which was the #1 U.S. album this day. The album stayed at the top for three weeks. "Do Ya Think I’m Sexy" was number one for four weeks: If you want my body and you think I’m sexy; come on sugar let me know. “If you really need me just reach out and touch me; come on honey tell me so...”

1985 - One of the Houston Rockets’ ‘Twin Towers’, seven-foot-four-inch Ralph Sampson (the Rockets star center), scored 24 points to lead the West over the East, 140-129 in the NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis, IN. Sampson was named the games’ Most Valuable Player.

1992 - An Indianapolis jury convicted former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson of raping a beauty pageant contestant.

1992 - Alex Haley, who was on a lecture tour, died of a heart attack in Seattle, Washington. He was 70 years old. Haley was the author of Autobiography of Malcolm X and Roots, among others.

1996 - An IBM computer called Deep Blue made chess history by beating world champion Garry Kasparov (only 34 moves). It was the first win for a machine under classic tournament rules.

1998 - AOL raised its monthly flat access rate from $19.95 to $21.95, explaining it needed to upgrade its network to handle the onslaught of people taking advantage of its flat price.

2000 - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered inspections of MD-80, MD-90, DC-9 and Boeing 717 series jetliners in the wake of the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which crashed off the California coast January 31, killing all 88 people on board.

2004 - U.S. presidential front-runner John Kerry rolled to wins in Virginia and Tennessee, scoring a Southern sweep that knocked rival Wesley Clark out of the race and put the Democratic nomination within reach.

2005 - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller died in Roxbury, CT. He was 89 years old. Some of Miller’s more memorable works were The Crucible (1953), the screenplay for the movie, The Misfits (1961), A View from the Bridge (1955), After the Fall (1963), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968) and Playing for Time (1981). And Miller’s famous fictional creation, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman (1947), has come to symbolize the American Dream gone awry.

2006 - Films debuting in the U.S.: The animated Curious George (“Show Me the Monkey”), featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Dick Van Dyke, Joan Plowright and Ed O’Ross; Final Destination 3, with Ryan Merriman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kris Lemche and Alex Johnson; Firewall, starring Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Jimmy Bennett, Carly Schroeder, Beverly Breuer and Matthew Currie Holmes; and The Pink Panther, with Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Kristin Chenoweth and Henry Czerny.

2006 - The 20th Winter Olympics opened in Turin, Italy, with opening ceremonies at the Stadio Olimpico.

2007 - U.S. Senator Barack Obama announced in Illinois that he was starting a campaign to become the Democratic nominee for president in 2008.

2008 - The 50th annual Grammy Awards celebration was held at Staples Centre, Los Angeles. Amy Winehouse was honored as Best New Artist. The singer’s Rehab, which she performed live via satellite from London, won for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Album of the Year went to Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters, beating out works by Winehouse, the Foo Fighters, Kanye West and Vince Gill. However, the Foo Fighters, West and Gill did win Best Rock Album, Best Rap Album and Best Country Album respectively.

2008 - State media reported that China had lost about one tenth of its forest resources because of recent snow storms that had been the most severe in half a century.

2008 - Actor Roy Scheider died in Little Rock, Arkansas, while battling multiple myeloma (Kahler’s disease). He was 76 years old. Scheider is fondly remembered as police chief Martin Brody in Jaws; as Joe Gideon in All That Jazz; as detective Sonny Grosso in The French Connection; and for many other roles. In Jaws he uttered the phrase, “You're gonna need a bigger boat,” one of cinematic history’s most memorable lines.

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - February 10
1775 - Charles Lamb (writer: Oxford in the Vacation, Ibid, Mrs. Battle’s Opinions on Whist, A Chapter on Ears, A Dissertation upon Roast Pig; died Dec 27, 1834)

1868 - William Allen White (newspaper publisher: Emporia Gazette; coined phrase: tinhorn politician; died in January 1944)

1890 - Boris Pasternak (poet, writer: Doctor Zhivago; died May 30, 1960)

1893 - Jimmy (James Francis) Durante (actor, comedian: “Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”; Ziegfeld Follies, The Man Who Came to Dinner, It Happened in Brooklyn, The Jimmy Durante Show; died Jan 29, 1980)

1898 - Dame Judith (Frances Margaret) Anderson (actress: Rebecca, The Ten Commandments, Star Trek 3, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Man Called Horse; died Jan 3, 1992)

1906 - Lon Chaney Jr. (actor: The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, Dracula vs. Frankenstein, The Mummy’s Curse; died July 12, 1973)

1914 - Larry Adler (composer: movie scores: A Cry from the Streets, Genevieve, Great Chase; died Aug 6, 2001)

1915 - Allie (Pierce) Reynolds (‘Superchief’: baseball: pitcher: Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1945], NY Yankees [World Series: 1947, 1949-1953/all-star: 1949, 1950, 1952-1954/shares individual record with 3 others for season no-hitters [2 in 1951]; died Dec 26, 1994)

1920 - Alex Comfort (author: The Joy of Sex, Reality and Empathy, Barbarism & Sexual Freedom; died Mar 26, 2000)

1922 - Neva Patterson (actress: An Affair to Remember, The Runaways; died Dec 14, 2010)

1923 - Allie Sherman (football: Brooklyn College; head coach: NY Giants; author: Allie Sherman’s Book of Football; died Jan 3, 2015)

1924 - Bud (Norman) Poile (hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, NY Rangers, Boston Bruins; GM: Philadelphia Flyers; died Jan 4, 2005)

1927 - Leontyne Price (soprano: Metropolitan Opera)

1930 - Robert Wagner (actor: Hart to Hart, The Mountain, The Towering Inferno, Titanic, It Takes a Thief, Pink Panther, Midway)

1933 - Don Wilson (musician: rhythm guitar: group: The Ventures: Walk Don’t Run, Perfidia, Hawaii Five-O theme)

1939 - Roberta Flack (singer: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Feel Like Making Love, Killing Me Softly With His Song)

1940 - Jimmy Merchant (singer: group: Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers: Why Do Fools Fall in Love, The ABCs of Love)

1943 - Ral Donner (singer: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got, She’s Everything; narrator and Presley’s voice in film: This is Elvis; died Apr 6, 1984)

1944 - Frances Moore Lappé (author: Diet for a Small Planet, Rediscovering America’s Values)

1949 - Joe Lavender (football: Washington Redskins cornerback: Super Bowl XVII)

1949 - Nigel Olsson (musician: drums: backup for Elton John)

1950 - Mark Spitz (swimmer: U.S. Olympic 9-time gold medal winner [seven in 1972 and two in 1968])

1952 - Mike Varty (football: Baltimore Colts LB)

1955 - Greg Norman (golf champion: British Open [1986, 1993], holds record for lowest 72-hole total [267-1993])

1963 - Lenny (Leonard Kyle) Dykstra (baseball: NY Mets [World Series: 1986], Philadelphia Phillies [all-star: 1990, 1994, 1995/World Series: 1993/led league in hits: 192-1990, 194-1993])

1967 - Laura Dern (actress: Jurassic Park, Blue Velvet, Rambling Rose; daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd)

1974 - Ty Law (football [cornerback]: Univ of Michigan; NFL: New England Patriots, New York Jets)

1976 - Lance Berkman (baseball [right field, first base: Houston Astros, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals: 2011 World Series champs; more)

1979 - Brandy Norwood actress: Moesha, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Cinderella, Double Platinum, Drop Dead Diva, The Game; singer: I Wanna Be Down, Baby, The Boy Is Mine, What About Us?, Full Moon, Put It Down; more)

1982 - Justin Gatlin (sprinter: 2004 summer Olympics [Athens: 100 m: gold]; 2012 summer Olympics [London: bronze medal])

1984 - Alex Gordon (baseball [outfielder]: Kansas City Royals [2007– ]: 2015 World Series champs)

1984 - Zaza Pachulia (basketball [center]: NBA: Orlando Magic [2003–2004]; Milwaukee Bucks [2004–2005]; Atlanta Hawks [2005–2013]; Milwaukee Bucks [2013–2015]; Dallas Mavericks [2015–2016]; Golden State Warriors [2016–2018]: 2017, 2018 NBA champs; Detroit Pistons [2018])

If you like TWtD you will love TWtD Deluxe.

Chart Toppers - February 10
Don’t Fence Me In - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Accentuate the Positive - Johnny Mercer
I Dream of You - The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Freddy Stewart)
I’m Losing My Mind Over You - Al Dexter

Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes - Perry Como
Why Don’t You Believe Me - Joni James
Keep It a Secret - Jo Stafford
I Let the Stars Get in My Eyes - Goldie Hill

Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles
Calcutta - Lawrence Welk
Shop Around - The Miracles
North to Alaska - Johnny Horton

Crimson and Clover - Tommy James & The Shondells
Everyday People - Sly & The Family Stone
Touch Me - The Doors
Daddy Sang Bass - Johnny Cash

Torn Between Two Lovers - Mary MacGregor
New Kid in Town - Eagles
Blinded by the Light - Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Near You - George Jones & Tammy Wynette

I Want to Know What Love Is - Foreigner
Easy Lover - Philip Bailey with Phil Collins
Careless Whisper - Wham! featuring George Michael
Ain’t She Somethin’ Else - Conway Twitty

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
from 440 International

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