440 International Those Were the Days
July 2

Events - July 2
1850 - The gas mask was patented on this day. It was an invention of B.J. Lane of Cambridge, MA.

1867 - New York City’s first elevated railroad officially opened for business. Commuters soon called the mode of transportation the El.

1921 - The first prize fight offering a million-dollar gate was broadcast on radio. Jack Dempsey knocked out George Carpentier in the fourth round of the bout in Jersey City, NJ.

1929 - Ruby Keeler starred in Flo Ziegfeld’s production of "Show Girl" which opened in New York City. Critics liked the show.

1933 - Baseball great Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants hurled 18 innings of shutout ball to lead the Giants to a 1-0 win over St. Louis in the first half of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds in New York. The Giants took the nightcap, as well, by an identical 1-0 score.

1939 - "The Aldrich Family" debuted on NBC radio. Mother Aldrich was heard to call, “Hen-ree! Henry Aldrich!” Mrs. Aldrich was named Alice; Mr. Aldrich was Sam; Henry’s sister was Mary; Henry’s mischief-making friend was Homer Brown; and Henry’s girlfriend was Kathleen. Henry, of course was, well, Henry.

1942 - Jo Stafford joined Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra for "Manhattan Serenade", which was recorded for Victor Records. The recording session, you may have guessed, took place in Manhattan.

1951 - NBC radio presented "Bob and Ray" (Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding) on a network radio show. The comedians had previously been heard on WHDH Radio in Boston, MA.

1955 - “Ah one anna two...” ABC Television premiered "The Lawrence Welk Show". In Welk’s 24-piece band was the ‘Champagne Lady’, Alice Lon.

1956 - Elvis Presley recorded "Hound Dog" and "Don’t Be Cruel" for his new record label home, RCA Victor. In addition, Elvis recorded "Any Way You Want Me" for later release.

1963 - "The Importance of Being Earnest", starring Mia Farrow, opened (off-Broadway). Farrow got good reviews from the critics and a new show biz career was underway.

1964 - U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the "Civil Rights Act of 1964" into law. The law included the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race, not only where the registration of voters was involved, but also in public accommodations, in publicly owned or operated facilities, in employment and union membership.

1984 - Epic records set a record as two million copies of the Jacksons’ new album, "Victory", were shipped to stores. It was the first time that such a large shipment had been initially sent to retailers. The LP arrived just days before Michael and his brothers started their hugely successful Victory Tour.

1985 - Joe Niekro earned win #200 in his career by leading the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres in the Astrodome. Joe, famous for the knuckle ball, has a brother, Phil, who also threw the wacky pitch.

1988 - Michael Jackson became the first artist to have five number one singles from one album when "Dirty Diana" went to the top of the "Billboard Hot 100". The other four chart-toppers from "Bad" were "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," "Bad," "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Man in the Mirror."

1997 - "Men in Black" opened in the U.S. It’s a fun-filled sci-fi tale about a secret organization that’s been keeping track of extra-terrestrial aliens on Earth for over 40 years. This organization so secret that when you retire, your memory of it is erased! Agents Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith) expose a plot by intergalactic terrorist Edgar (Vincent D'Onofrio) who has beamed (or whatever) to Earth to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies. Complex, but hilarious, but action packed. Audiences beamed (or whatever) to theatres the first weekend, spending $51.07 million on the movie.

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - July 2
1904 - Jean Rene Lacoste (tennis; founder of Lacoste tennis clothing [the company with the alligator logo]; died Oct 12, 1996)

1908 - Thurgood Marshall (U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice: first black to hold this office [1967-1991]; died Jan 24, 1993)

1916 - Ken Curtis (actor: Mister Roberts, The Alamo, Gunsmoke, How the West Was Won [TV]; singer: w/Tommy Dorsey Band, w/Roy Rogers and Sons of the Pioneers; died Apr 28, 1991)

1925 - Marvin (Karlton) Rainwater (singer: Gonna Find Me a Bluebird; died Sep 17, 2013)

1927 - Brock Peters (Fisher) (actor: The Secret, The Pawnbroker, Soylent Green, To Kill a Mockingbird; died Aug 23, 2005)

1929 - Imelda Marcos (widow of exiled Philippines leader, Ferdinand Marcos; famous for her collection of hundreds of pairs of shoes)

1930 - Ahmad Jamal (jazz musician: But Not for Me)

1931 - Larry Costello (basketball: Philadelphia 76ers; coach: Milwaukee Bucks, Utica College; died Dec 13, 2001)

1932 - Dave Thomas (fast-food founder: Wendy’s [appears in Wendy’s TV commercials]; founder: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption; died Jan 8, 2002)

1934 - Tom Springfield (folk singer: group: Springfields: Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Island of Dreams)

1937 - Polly Holliday (actress: Alice, Flo, Private Benjamin, Gremlins)

1937 - Richard Petty (auto racer: 7-time winner of Daytona 500 [1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981]; 1st to win a million $$ stock car race)

1939 - Paul Williams (singer: groups: The Primes, The Temptations: The Way You Do the Things You Do, My Girl, It’s Growing, Get Ready, Beauty is Only Skin Deep, [I Know] I’m Losing You, You’re My Everything, All I Need, I Wish It Would Rain, Cloud Nine, Runaway Child, Running Wild, I Can’t Get Next to You, Just My Imagination; died Aug 17, 1973)

1942 - Michael Abene (composer: score: Goodbye, New York)

1946 - Ron Silver (actor: Wiseguy, The Stockard Channing Show, Rhoda, The Mac Davis Show, Kissinger and Nixon, Timecop, Romancing the Stone, Oh, God! You Devil, Silkwood, The Goodbye People, Semi-Tough, Enemies, a Love Story; Speed-the-Plow; director: Lifepod; died Mar 15, 2009)

1947 - Luci Baines Johnson (daughter of 36th U.S. President Lyndon and Ladybird Johnson)

1949 - Curtis Rowe (basketball: UCLA, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics)

1951 - Joe Puerta (musician: bass, singer: group: Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Ambrosia: Hold on to Yesterday, How Much I Feel, You’re the Only Woman, Biggest Part of Me)

1952 - Johnny Colla (musician: saxophone, guitar: groups: Soundhole, Huey Lewis & The News: Do You Believe in Love, Heart and Soul, I Want a New Drug, The Heart of Rock & Roll, Walking on a Thin Line, Bad is Bad, If This is It, Power of Love, Trouble in Paradise, Stuck with You)

1954 - Pete Briquette (musician: bass, singer: group: The Boomtown Rats: Looking After No. 1, She’s So Modern, Rat Trap, I Don’t Like Mondays, Banana Republic)

1957 - Bret Hart (pro wrestler/actor: WWF Superstars of Wrestling, Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, King of the Ring, WCW Monday Nitro, WCW Thunder)

1961 - Jimmy McNichol (actor: The Fitzpatricks, California Fever, Escape from El Diablo; actress Kristy McNichol’s brother)

1964 - Jose (Capas) Canseco (baseball: Oakland Athletics [Rookie of the Year: 1986/all-star: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992/World Series: 1988, 1989, 1990/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1988/1st player to hit 40 or more home runs and steal 40 or more bases in same season], Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox)

1966 - Kathryn Erbe (actress: Oz, Chicken Soup, Dragonfly, Law & Order: Criminal Intent)

1970 - Yancy Butler (actress: Hard Target, Law & Order, South Beach, Brooklyn South, The Witness Files)

1973 - Scott Taylor (pro wrestler/actor: Raw is War, Sunday Night Heat, WWF Smackdown!, WWF No Mercy, Royal Rumble)

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Chart Toppers - July 2
Too Young - Nat King Cole
Mister and Mississippi - Patti Page
On Top of Old Smokey - The Weavers (vocal: Terry Gilkyson)
I Want to Be with You Always - Lefty Frizzell

Personality - Lloyd Price
Lonely Boy - Paul Anka
Lipstick on Your Collar - Connie Francis
The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton

Windy - The Association
Little Bit o’ Soul - The Music Explosion
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) - Scott McKenzie
All the Time - Jack Greene

Love Will Keep Us Together - The Captain & Tennille
When Will I Be Loved - Linda Ronstadt
Wildfire - Michael Murphey
Tryin’ to Beat the Morning Home - T.G. Sheppard

Flashdance...What a Feeling - Irene Cara
Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Love is on a Roll - Don Williams

Rush, Rush - Paula Abdul
Unbelievable - EMF
Power of Love/Love Power - Luther Vandross
The Thunder Rolls - Garth Brooks

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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