Events - March 19
1776 - This is St. Joseph’s Day, the day that those little birds known as swallows traditionally return to the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California. Every March 19th since 1776 (with very few exceptions), the birds have come back to usher in spring in this Southern California seaside town.
1831 - The first bank robbery in America was reported. The City Bank of New York City lost $245,000 in the heist.
1928 - Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll left WGN radio in Chicago to head across town to WMAQ radio. They weren’t able to take their previously popular radio show names with them due to contract limitations. So "Sam and Henry" were no more. However, Gosden and Correll came up with a new name for the show that became even more popular than the first. A year later it was the national hit: "Amos and Andy".
1941 - Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded one of their biggest musical successes. It became one of Decca Records’ all-time greats. "Green Eyes" featured vocalists Helen O’Connell and Bob Eberly.
1948 - The quickest main event in the history of Madison Square Garden in New York City happened on this day. A crowd of spectators watched in amazement as Lee Savold knocked out Gino Buonvino in 54 seconds of the first round of their prize fight.
1949 - The American Museum of Atomic Energy opened in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
1951 - "The Caine Mutiny", a novel by Herman Wouk, was published for the first time. Wouk won a Pulitzer for the novel. He followed it with several more successes: "Marjorie Morningstar", "The Winds of War", and "War and Remembrance".
1953 - The Academy Awards celebrated their silver anniversary -- and came to television. NBC paid $100,000 for the rights to broadcast the event on both radio and TV. Hollywood’s best turned out to hand out the Oscar statuettes for the movies of 1952. The party was held at the RKO Pantages Theater, Los Angeles, with Bob Hope hosting. A dual celebration was staged in New York City, where Conrad Nagel was host. The Best Picture award went to Cecil B. DeMille’s "The Greatest Show on Earth". Best Director was the legendary John Ford for "The Quiet Man". The rest of the best: Actor: Gary Cooper for "High Noon"; Supporting Actor: Anthony Quinn for "Viva Zapata!"; Actress: Shirley Booth for "Come Back, Little Sheba"; Supporting Actress: Gloria Grahame for "The Bad and the Beautiful"; Art Direction-Set Decoration/ Color: Paul Sheriff, Marcel Vertès for "Moulin Rouge"; Music/Song: Dimitri Tiomkin (music), Ned Washington (lyrics) for the song, "High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’)", from "High Noon".
1954 - Viewers saw the first televised prize fight shown in living color as Joey Giardello knocked out Willie Troy in round seven of a scheduled 10-round bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1954 - The first rocket-driven sled that ran at incredible speeds on rails was tested in Alamogordo, NM. Scientists were heard to exclaim, “And we didn’t even need snow!”
1965 - Dean Martin received a gold record for the album, "Houston". Martin charted dozens of hits on the pop music charts in the 1950s and 1960s.
1977 - The staff of WJM-TV had a going-away party, as the last episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was broadcast. Everyone was fired except the inept Ted Baxter. The show had been a popular hit for seven years. Syndication continues to keep Mary, Lou, Murray, Ted, Rhoda and the rest of the crew going with what was called “the best television of the 1970s.”
1985 - IBM announced that it was planning to stop making the PCjr consumer-oriented computer. The machine had been expected to dominate the home computer market but didn’t quite live up to those expectations. In the 16 months that the PCjr was on the market, only 240,000 units were sold.
Birthdays - March 19
1590 - William Bradford (governor: Plymouth Colony; sailed on the Mayflower; died May 9, 1657)
1813 - David Livingstone (missionary, explorer: the Livingstone of “Dr. Livingstone, I presume,” spoken by Henry M. Stanley who found Livingstone in Africa after a two year search; died May 1, 1873)
1847 - Albert Pinkham Ryder (artist: The Race Track, Toilers of the Sea, Siefried and the Rhine Maidens; known for his layered paintings of the sea; died Mar 28, 1917)
1848 - Wyatt Earp (frontiersman, lawman, gunfighter: gunfight at O.K. Corral; died Jan 13, 1929)
1860 - William Jennings Bryan (politician: member of U.S. Congress, Democratic U.S. presidential nominee ; the ‘silver-tongued orator’: Scopes trial; died July 26, 1925)
1864 - Charles Marion Russell (artist: known for his paintings of the American cowboy; died Oct 24, 1926)
1881 - Edith Nourse Rogers (created Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps ; member of U.S. House of Representatives [reelected 17 times: served from June 25, 1925 until her death on Sep 10, 1960])
1891 - Earl Warren (14th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court [1953-1969]; died July 9, 1974)
1892 - James (Alward) Van Fleet (4-star U.S. Army General [WWI, WWII, Korean War]; consulted Defense Dept.; received Distinguished Service Cross; died Sep 23, 1992 [6 months after his 100th birthday])
1899 - (Jackie) ‘Moms’ Mabley (Loretta Mary Aiken) (comedienne: Abraham, Martin & John; films: Boarding House Blues, Emperor Jones, Amazing Grace, Killer Diller; died May 23, 1975)
1904 - John Sirica (U.S. federal judge: presided over Watergate trials and hearings; died Aug 14, 1992)
1914 - Patricia Morison (Eileen Patricia Augusta Fraser Morison) (musician: bass; singer; actress: The Magnificent Fraud, The Roundup, One Night in Lisbon, The Song of Bernadette, Lady on a Train, Song of the Thin Man, Tarzan and the Huntress)
1916 - Irving Wallace (novelist and biographer: The Fan Club, The Word, The Man; co-author with David Wallechinsky: The People’s Almanac; died June 29, 1990)
1920 - Tige Andrews (Tiger Androwaous) (actor: The Detectives, The Mod Squad; died Jan 27, 2007)
1926 - Bill Henderson (jazz singer: LPs: And His Special Friends, Live at the Times, Bill Henderson with The Oscar Peterson Trio, Something’s Gotta Give)
1927 - Richie (Don Richard) ‘Whitey’ Ashburn (Baseball Hall of Famer: Philadelphia Phillies [all-star; 1948, 1951, 1953, 1958/World Series: 1950/batting championship: 1955, 1958], Chicago Cubs, NY Mets [all-star: 1962]; batted .308 lifetime with nine .300 seasons and 2,574 hits in 2,189 games; broadcaster for three decades for the Phillies; died Sep 9, 1997)
1928 - Patrick McGoohan (actor: Secret Agent, Braveheart, Escape from Alcatraz, The Silver Streak, Ice Station Zebra, I Am a Camera; actor, director: The Prisoner; died Jan 13, 2009)
1930 - Ornette Coleman (musician: saxophone, trumpet, violin, composer: LPs: Something Else!!!, Tomorrow is the Question!, The Shape of Jazz to Come, Change the Century, Free Jazz, Ornette on Tenor, Town Hall, Chappaqua Suite, Ornette Coleman in Europe Vols. 1 & 2, At the Golden Circle, Stockholm, Who’s Crazy, The Empty Foxhole, Forms and Sounds: The Music of Ornette Coleman, New York is Now!, Ornette at 12, Crisis, Friends and Neighbors, Science Fiction, Broken Shadows, Skies of America, The Caravan of Dreams; died Jun 11, 2015)
1932 - Gay Brewer Jr. (golf: champion: Masters ; member of Senior Tour [1982-2000]; died Aug 31, 2007)
1933 - Phyllis Newman (actress: Coming of Age, That was the Week That Was, Picnic, A Secret Space)
1933 - Philip Roth (writer: Goodbye, Columbus, A.P.E.X., Ghostwriter, The Great American Novel, Portnoy’s Complaint; died May 22, 2018)
1933 - Renée Taylor (Emmy Award-winning writer: Acts of Love - and Other Comedies ; entertainer: The Jack Paar Show; actress: The Nanny, Daddy Dearest, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, The Producers, A New Leaf)
1935 - Nancy Malone (actress: The Long Hot Summer, Naked City; died May 8, 2014)
1936 - Ursula Andress (actress: Dr. No, Casino Royale, Fun in Acapulco, What’s New Pussycat, Clash of the Titans)
1937 - Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry (singer: Ain’t Got No Home, But I Do [I Don’t Know Why])
1939 - Joe Kapp (football: Minnesota Vikings quarterback: Super Bowl IV; shares NFL Individual Record for touchdowns thrown in a game : Vikings vs. Baltimore Colts [9/28/69])
1944 - Lynda Bird Johnson (daughter of 36th U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson)
1946 - Paul Atkinson (musician: guitar: group: The Zombies: She’s Not There, You Make Me Feel Good, Tell Her No, She’s Coming Home, I Want You Back Again, Time of the Season; CBS A&R; died Apr 2, 2004)
1946 - Ruth Pointer (singer: group: The Pointer Sisters: Fire, He’s So Shy, Jump [for My Love], Automatic, Neutron Dance, I’m So Excited, Dare Me)
1947 - Glenn Close (Tony Award-winning actress: The Real Thing , Death and the Maiden , Sunset Boulevard ; Emmy Award: Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story ; Fatal Attraction, The Big Chill, 101 Dalmations)
1952 - Chris Brubeck (composer, musician: trombone; Dave Brubeck’s son)
1955 - Derek Longmuir (musician: drums: group: The Bay City Rollers: Keep On Dancing, Remember [Sha-La-La], Bye Bye Baby, Give Me a Little Love, Saturday Night)
1955 - (Walter) Bruce Willis (Emmy Award-winning actor: Moonlighting ; Die Hard series, Pulp Fiction, Hudson Hawk, The Last Boy Scout, Billy Bathgate, In Country, Last Man Standing, The Fifth Element, Armageddon, The Sixth Sense)
1959 - Terry Hall (singer: group: The Specials: Gangsters, A Message to You Rudy, Too Much Too Young, Ghost Town; Fun Boy Three: It Ain’t What You Do It’s the Way That You Do It, Really Saying Something, Tunnel of Love, Our Lips are Sealed)
Chart Toppers - March 19
I Said My Pajamas - Tony Martin & Fran Warren
Music, Music, Music - Teresa Brewer
If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake - Eileen Barton
Chatanoogie Shoe Shine Boy - Red Foley
Don’t/I Beg of You - Elvis Presley
Sweet Little Sixteen - Chuck Berry
Dinner with Drac (Part 1) - John Zacherle
Ballad of a Teenage Queen - Johnny Cash
The Ballad of the Green Berets - SSgt Barry Sadler
19th Nervous Breakdown - The Rolling Stones
Nowhere Man - The Beatles
Waitin’ in Your Welfare Line - Buck Owens
Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
Dark Lady - Cher
Sunshine on My Shoulders - John Denver
There Won’t Be Anymore - Charlie Rich
Centerfold - The J. Geils Band
Open Arms - Journey
I Love Rock ’N Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Blue Moon with Heartache - Roseanne Cash
Escapade - Janet Jackson
Black Velvet - Alannah Myles
Roam - The B-52’s
Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart - Randy Travis
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.