Events - April 6
1896 - The first modern Olympic Games began in Athens, Greece. James B. Connolly of Boston, MA won the first event by capturing the hop, skip and jump contest.
1909 - Commodore Robert Peary became the first man to reach the North Pole -- not counting Santa Claus, of course. Actually, Robert Peary and Matthew H. Henson, Peary’s servant, were the first men to reach the North Pole. Because Henson was a black, hired man, his presence at this historic moment was not recognized until 1945 when he received a medal for outstanding service in the field of science from the U.S. government.
1916 - Charlie Chaplin was 26 years old this day when he signed a movie contract with the Mutual Film Corporation. He made a fair piece of change, too -- $675,000 a year -- and became the highest-paid film star in the world.
1925 - Eddie Cantor recorded the standard, "If You Knew Susie", for Columbia Records. There was none classier.
1927 - William P. MacCracken, Jr. earned license number ‘1’ when the Department of Commerce issued the first aviator’s license.
1931 - "Little Orphan Annie", the comic strip character developed by Harold Gray, came to life on the NBC Blue network. About 5 decades later, the comic strip inspired a Broadway play and a movie, both titled, "Annie".
1945 - "This is Your FBI" debuted on ABC radio. Frank Lovejoy served as narrator for the following eight years.
1956 - Capitol Tower, the home of Capitol Records in Hollywood, CA, was dedicated. The building was the first circular office tower designed in America. It is 13 stories tall and 92 feet in diameter. At night, a light at the tip of the tower blinks the letters "H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D" in Morse Code.
1957 - Trolley cars in New York City completed their final runs on this day.
1958 - Arnold Palmer won his first major pro golf tournament by capturing the Masters in Augusta, GA (and the coveted green jacket). Palmer defeated defending champion Dough Ford for the honor. Palmer was 28 years old and had been a pro since 1954 after he won the National Amateur title.
1959 - Hal Holbrook opened in the critically acclaimed, off-Broadway presentation of "Mark Twain Tonight". Quotes from the famous humorist include: “It is best to read the weather forecast, before we pray for rain.”; “The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.”; “Modesty died when clothes were born.”; “Be good and you will be lonesome.”; and “Familiarity breeds contempt -- and children.”
1959 - America’s funny men, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis and Mort Sahl, and comedic actor Tony Randall, along with the Great Britain’s outstanding actors, David Niven and Laurence Olivier, entertained the guests of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science at the 31st Annual Academy Awards ceremony. The audience filled the RKO Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles with applause for the Best Picture of 1958: "Gigi" (Arthur Freed, producer). "Gigi" also won Oscars for Best Director Vincente Minnelli; for Frederick Loewe’s (music), and Alan Jay Lerner’s (lyrics) for the Song, "Gigi"; for Best Music/Scoring of a Musical Picture (André Previn); for the Best Writing/Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Alan Jay Lerner); for Best Cinematography/Color (Joseph Ruttenberg); for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration/Black-and-White or Color (William A. Horning, E. Preston Ames, Henry Grace, F. Keogh Gleason); for Best Costume Design/Black-and-White or Color (Cecil Beaton); and for Best Film Editing (Adrienne Fazan). One would think there weren’t any awards leftover for any other movies. But, the Best Actor award went to David Niven for "Separate Tables" as did the Best Supporting Actress Oscar (Wendy Hiller). Susan Hayward was honored for her Best Actress role in "I Want to Live!" and Best Supporting Actor was Burl Ives in "The Big Country". Other notable movies of 1958 ... some award winners, some not ... "Auntie Mame", "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "The Old Man and the Sea", "Some Came Running", "Teacher’s Pet", "South Pacific", "The Young Lions", "Bell, Book and Candle", "Vertigo", "Damn Yankees", "Marjorie Morningstar", and "The Defiant Ones".
1971 - Rolling Stones Records was formed to promote the hits of The Rolling Stones. The famous Stones trademark, the lips logo, became widely used. "Brown Sugar" was the first hit by the Rolling Stones on the new label, followed by "Wild Horses", "Tumbling Dice" and Bill Gates’ favorite song, "Start Me Up".
1973 - The Stylistics received a gold record for their ballad hit, "Break Up to Make Up". The Philadelphia soul group placed 10 hits on the pop charts in the 1970s. More of their gold record winners include: "You Are Everything", "Betcha By Golly Wow", "I’m Stone in Love With You" and "You Make Me Feel Brand New".
1974 - The first concert film featuring a soundtrack in quadraphonic sound opened -- at the Ziegfeld Theatre. "Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones" turned out to be a ‘stone’ smash.
1985 - The country group, Alabama, went five-for-five as the album "40 Hour Week" grabbed the top spot on the "Billboard" country chart. The group had a number one album for each of the previous five years. The popularity of the quartet (three are cousins from Fort Payne, AL) continues today.
1987 - Boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard won a 2-1 decision in a stunning upset over Marvelous Marvin Hagler in a bout held in Las Vegas, NV.
Birthdays - April 6
1483 - Raphael Santi (artist: Marriage of the Virgin, School of Athens; died Apr 6, 1520 [on his 37th birthday])
1882 - Rose Schneiderman (U.S. women’s rights activist: organized 1913 strike of 25,000 women blouse makers & ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Workers Union); president of WTUL; only woman member of F.D.R.’s Labor Advisory Board; died Aug 11, 1972)
1884 - Walter Huston (Houghston) (Academy Award-winning actor: Treasure of the Sierra Madre ; Duel in the Sun, December 7th: The Movie; died Apr 7, 1950)
1892 - Lowell Thomas (reporter, journalist: New York Daily News; newscaster: NBC radio, CBS radio, NPR radio: Lowell Thomas Remembers; “So long, until tomorrow.”; died Aug 29, 1981)
1916 - ‘Pappy’ Wade Ray (country entertainer/musician: Grand Ol’ Opry; died Nov 11, 1998)
1923 - Herb Thomas (NASCAR auto racer: champ: 48 NASCAR Winston Cup wins during his driving career: Grand National [1951, 1953], first to win three Southern 500’s [1951, 1954, 1955]; seriously injured in Shelby, NC race ending his racing career [Oct 1956]; died Aug 9, 2000)
1924 - Dorothy Donegan (jazz pianist: At the Embers; appeared in film: Sensations of 1945; died May 19, 1998)
1927 - Gerry Mulligan (jazz musician, composer: Disc Jockey Jump, Boplicity, Venus de Milo, Godchild; died Jan 20, 1996)
1929 - Joi Lansing (Joyce Wassmansdoff) (actress: Easter Parade, Singin’ in the Rain, The Merry Widow, Big Foot; died Aug 7, 1972)
1929 - André (Ludwig) Previn (pianist, composer; Oscar-winning film scores: Gigi, Porgy and Bess, Irma La Douce, My Fair Lady; conductor: Pittsburgh Symphony, London & LA Philharmonic Orchestras)
1937 - Merle Haggard (CMA Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year: ; songwriter: Okie from Muskogee, If We Make It Through December, Hungry Eyes, Workin’ Man Blues, Mama Tried; died Apr 6, 2016)
1937 - Billy Dee (December) Williams (actor: Brian’s Song, Lady Sings the Blues, The Return of the Jedi, Batman, The Imposter, The Empire Strikes Back, Alien Intruder, Mahogany)
1938 - Roy Thinnes (actor: From Here to Eternity, The Invaders, Outer Limits, The Hindenburg, Code Name: Diamond Head)
1942 - Barry Levinson (Academy Award-winning director: Rain Man ; Disclosure, Bugsy, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Natural, Diner; director, writer: Toys, Avalon, Tin Men; writer: Best Friends, Inside Moves, And Justice for All, High Anxiety, Silent Movie; Emmy Award-winning writer: The Carol Burnett Show [1974, 1975]; Emmy Award-winning producer: "Displaced Person", American Playhouse ; Emmy Award-winning Director: "Gone for Goode", Homicide-Life on the Street)
1943 - Marty (Martin William) Pattin (baseball: pitcher: California Angels, Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers [all-star: 1971], Boston Red Sox, KC Royals [World Series: 1980])
1944 - John Huarte (football: Notre Dame, Heisman Trophy , Chicago Bears)
1944 - John Stax (musician: bass: group: The Pretty Things: Rosalyn, Don’t Bring Me Down, Honey I Need; LP: The Pretty Things)
1947 - John Ratzenberger (actor: Cheers, The Empire Strikes Back, Timestalkers, Camp Cucamonga: How I Spent My Summer Vacation, John Ratzenberger’s Made in America)
1951 - Bert Blyleven (baseball: pitcher: Minnesota Twins [AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year - 1970/all-star: 1973], Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1979], Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1985], Minnesota Twins [World Series: 1987], California Angels [Comeback Player of Year - 1989])
1952 - Marilu Henner (Mary Lucy Denise Pudlowski) (actress: Taxi, Evening Shade, Cannonball Run 2)
1953 - Janet Lynn (Nowicki) (ice skater: Olympic bronze medalist ; Ice Follies; won first U.S. Professional Championship )
1969 - Ari Meyers (actress: Author! Author!, Kate & Allie, Think Big, Dark Horse)
1972 - Jason Hervey (actor: The Wonder Years, Wildside, Fast Times, Diff’rent Strokes, Back to School, Back to the Future)
Chart Toppers - April 6
It’s Love, Love, Love - The Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocal: Skip Nelson)
Besame Mucho - The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Bob Eberly & Kitty Kallen
I Love You - Bing Crosby
Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry - Al Dexter
Wheel of Fortune - Kay Starr
Anytime - Eddie Fisher
Please, Mr. Sun - Johnnie Ray
(When You Feel like You’re in Love) Don’t Just Stand There - Carl Smith
The Theme from "A Summer Place" - Percy Faith
Puppy Love - Paul Anka
Sink the Bismarck - Johnny Horton
He’ll Have to Go - Jim Reeves
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
Young Girl - The Union Gap
La - La - Means I Love You - The Delfonics
How Long Will My Baby Be Gone - Buck Owens
Disco Lady - Johnnie Taylor
Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers
Sweet Thing - Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
You’ll Lose a Good Thing - Freddy Fender
Footloose - Kenny Loggins
Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics
Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) - Phil Collins
Let’s Stop Talkin’ About It - Janie Fricke
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.