Events - April 3
1776 - Harvard College conferred the first honorary Doctor of Laws degree to George Washington.
1829 - James Carrington of Wallingford, CT patented the coffee mill. Have a cup of fresh ground in celebration today.
1860 - Pony Express mail service began -- in St. Joseph, Missouri. The first Pony Express rider was heading for California. The next day, another rider left Sacramento, California heading east for Missouri. Each rider had a 75 to 100 mile run before a switch was made with another rider. The switch was made at one of 190 way stations along the route; each way station being about ten to fifteen miles apart. The Pony Express riders delivered the mail within ten days (similar to our current snail-mail) for postage paid of $5 per ounce. This style of mail service became antiquated within a short two years, being put out to pasture by the advent of the overland telegraph.
1866 - Rudolph Eickemeyer and G. Osterheld of Yonkers, New York patented a blocking and shaping machine for hats. Which reminds us, do you know why cowboy hats are turned up at the sides? -- So three cowboys can ride in a pickup truck!
1930 - The fledgling film industry patted itself on its collective back this night at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. They were celebrating the 2nd Annual Academy Awards presentation for movies made during the 1928-1929 year. (Movies made during the 1929-1930 year were honored seven months later on November 5.) There were no ‘officially’ announced nominees; but there was a host for the evening’s activities: Writer, director, producer William C. de Mille. No one ran away with all the awards either. The Best Director was Frank Lloyd for "The Divine Lady"; Warner Baxter was voted Best Actor for his role in "In Old Arizona", while Mary Pickford took home the Best Actress award for her part in "Coquette". Hanns Kräly penned the script for "The Patriot", winning the Best Writing award and the Best Picture of the year was "The Broadway Melody" produced by Harry Rapf.
1939 - "Mr. District Attorney" was heard for the first time on NBC radio. The serial about the ‘champion of the people’ was originally a 15-minute nightly program. In June of 1939, the program went to a half-hour weekly format. "Mr. District Attorney" aired until 1952.
1949 - Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis debuted on radio in an NBC program that ran until 1952.
1952 - Harry Belafonte recorded his first songs for RCA Victor at Manhattan Center in New York City. Hugo Winterhalter backed up the singer with an 18-piece orchestra. Among the sides recorded were "A-Roving" and "Chimney Smoke".
1953 - "TV Guide" was published for the first time -- from Radnor, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia). The publication reached a circulation of 1,500,000 readers in its first year.
1955 - Fred Astaire appeared on television for the first time on "Toast of the Town", with host, Ed Sullivan. Already an established dancer in films, Astaire was quick to become a TV sensation as well.
1962 - Race jockey Eddie Arcaro retired with a career record of 15,327 victories for total winnings of $12,265,455. Arcaro was the first jockey to win 3,000 races and the first to ride five Kentucky Derby winners. In the Derby, Arcaro rode these mounts to the Winner’s Circle: Lawrin, Whirl-a-Way, Hoop Jr., Citation and Hill Gail.
1965 - Bob Dylan appeared on the pop music charts for the first time. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" entered the Top 40 at number 39. The song stayed on the charts for eight weeks. Dylan would chart a total of 12 singles on the pop charts between 1965 and 1979. He appeared in the films "Don’t Look Back", "Eat the Document" and "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid". He made the film "Renaldo and Clara" in 1978. Dylan co-starred in the film "Hearts of Fire" in 1987. He became a member of the Traveling Wilburys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Dylan won the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
1978 - The stars came out to honor "Star Wars" and other films of 1977 at the 50th anniversary of the Academy Awards. Bob Hope starred as the host of the festivities at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Although "Star Wars" was nominated in 10 categories including Best Picture, "Annie Hall" (Charles H. Joffe, Producer) copped the top award, as well as Oscars for Best Director (Woody Allen); Best Actress (Diane Keaton); and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman). "Star Wars" didn’t get any of the other audience-thriller Oscars either. The Best Actor statuette went to Richard Dreyfuss for his performance in "The Goodbye Girl"; Jason Robards was acclaimed as the Best Actor in a Supporting Role ("Julia"); his supporting co-star, Vanessa Redgrave, also took home the golden boy; as did Joseph Brooks for Best Music/Song: "You Light Up My Life" from the movie with the same title. Don’t feel sorry for "Star Wars". though. It was and is a favorite of many in and out of the industry and it was honored with six Academy Awards plus the Special Achievement honor to Benjamin Burtt, Jr. for Sound Effects (for the creation of the alien, creature and robot voices) which he shared with Frank Warner ("Close Encounters of the Third Kind" - Sound Effects Editing). The other Academy Awards for "Star Wars" were: Best Music/Original Score (John Williams); Best Effects/Visual Effects (John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, Robert Blalack); Best Film Editing (Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew); Best Sound (Don MacDougall, Ray West, Bob Minkler, Derek Ball); Best Costume Design (John Mollo); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (John Barry, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Roger Christian). Now that’s star status!
1982 - John Chancellor stepped down as anchor of the "The NBC Nightly News". Roger Mudd and Tom Brokaw assumed roles as coanchors.
1985 - The famed Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood closed on this day, after 57 years. All of the furnishings were kept, including famous Booth #5 -- where Clark Gable proposed to Carole Lombard.
Birthdays - April 3
1783 - Washington Irving (author: Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, Life of Washington; died Nov 28, 1859)
1823 - William M. (Marcy) ‘Boss’ Tweed (political boss: New York City: known for his Tweed ‘Ring’ which stole thirty to two hundred million dollars from NYC; died [in prison] Apr 12, 1878)
1837 - John Burroughs (author: “Time does not become sacred to us until we have lived it.”; died Mar 29, 1921)
1898 - George Jessel (comedian, actor: Valley of the Dolls, Diary of a Young Comic; died May 24, 1981)
1921 - Jan Sterling (Adriance) (actress: The Harder They Fall, Pony Express, High School Confidential, The Incident, Split Second; died Mar 26, 2004)
1922 - Doris Day (Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff) (singer: Whatever Will Be, Will Be, Everybody Loves a Lover, Sentimental Journey; actress: Young at Heart, Pillow Talk, April in Paris, Lullaby of Broadway)
1924 - Marlon Brando (Academy Award-winning actor: On the Waterfront , The Godfather ; Apocalypse Now, Last Tango in Paris, One-eyed Jacks; Emmy Award: Roots: Next Generation; died July 1, 2004)
1928 - Don Gibson (songwriter: I Can’t Stop Loving You, Sweet Dreams, Too Soon To Know, Guess Away the Blues, Country Green; singer: Oh Lonesome Me, Blue Blue Day, Just One Time, Sea of Heartbreak; died Nov 17, 2003)
1929 - Miyoshi Umeki (actress: Flower Drum Song, The Horizontal Lieutenant, Sayonara, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father; died Aug 28, 2007)
1930 - Helmut Kohl (Chancellor: Federal Republic of Germany [1982-1998])
1933 - Rod Funseth (golf: Masters runner-up , US Senior Open runner-up ; died Sep 9, 1985)
1934 - Jane Goodall (anthropologist: studied chimpanzees; author: In the Shadow of Man)
1937 - Sandra Spuzich (golf champ: Women’s U.S. Open ; died Oct 6, 2015)
1941 - Jan Berry (songwriter, singer: group: Jan and Dean: The Little Old Lady from Pasadena, Dead Man’s Curve, Heart and Soul, Linda, Baby Talk, Surf City; died Mar 26, 2004)
1942 - Marsha Mason (actress: The Goodbye Girl, Cinderella Liberty, Blume in Love, Chapter Two, Heartbreak Ridge)
1942 - (Carson) Wayne Newton (singer: Danke Shoen, Red Roses for a Blue Lady, Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast)
1943 - Jonathan Lynn (actor: Doctor in the House; director: Sgt. Bilko, Greedy, My Cousin Vinny, The Distinguished Gentleman; writer, director: Nuns on the Run, Clue)
1944 - Tony Orlando (Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis) (singer: Halfway to Paradise, Bless You; group: Tony Orlando and Dawn: Knock Three Times, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, Candida)
1944 - Barry Pritchard (musician: guitar, singer: group: The Fortunes: You've Got Your Troubles; died Jan 11, 1999)
1945 - Bernie (Bernard) Parent (hockey: NHL: Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers goalie: record for season wins [47: 1973-1974], Toronto Maple Leafs)
1955 - Mick Mars (musician: guitar: group: Motley Crue: LPs: Too Fast for Love, Shout at the Devil, Theatre of Pain)
1958 - Alec Baldwin (Alexander Rae Baldwin III) (actor: Pearl Harbor, The Hunt for Red October, Beetlejuice, The Getaway, Married to the Mob, Talk Radio, Working Girl, Miami Blues, Knots Landing)
1961 - Eddie Murphy (comedian: Saturday Night Live; actor: 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop series, Trading Places, Coming to America, The Nutty Professor, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Doctor Dolittle)
1972 - Jennie Garth (actress: Beverly Hills 90210)
Chart Toppers - April 3
Cruising Down the River - The Russ Morgan Orchestra (vocal: The Skyliners)
Far Away Places - Margaret Whiting
Red Roses for a Blue Lady - Vaughn Monroe
Candy Kisses - George Morgan
Little Darlin’ - The Diamonds
All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
Gone - Ferlin Husky
There You Go - Johnny Cash
Stop! In the Name of Love - The Supremes
I’m Telling You Now - Freddie & The Dreamers
Shotgun - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
King of the Road - Roger Miller
Killing Me Softly with His Song - Roberta Flack
Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) - Deodato
Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) - Gladys Knight & The Pips
Keep Me in Mind - Lynn Anderson
Rapture - Blondie
Woman - John Lennon
The Best of Times - Styx
Texas Women - Hank Williams, Jr.
Eternal Flame - Bangles
Girl You Know It’s True - Milli Vanilli
The Look - Roxette
Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye - George Strait
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.