Events - April 8
1834 - Cornelius Lawrence became the first mayor to be elected by popular vote in a city election. The voters of New York City decided to make him mayor of their fair city.
1873 - Alfred Paraf of New York City patented the first successful oleomargarine.
1911 - The first squash tournament was played at the Harvard Club in New York City.
1939 - Godshall Ranch, Apple Valley, California was the site of the first Intercollegiate Rodeo. The students who competed came from just about every major college and university campus in the western United States. The young cowboys and cowgirls competed under the guidance of world champion professional cowboys. The competition was such a success and drew so much attention that it sparked the creation of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association now headquartered in Walla Walla, Washington.
1941 - Earle Graser, the eight-year voice of the radio program, "The Lone Ranger", died in an auto accident. Brace Beemer, previously the show’s announcer, took over the title role and stayed on the air for 14 years.
1943 - Wendell Willkie’s "One World" was published for the first time. In less than two months, sales reached a million copies.
1957 - Jimmy Dean began a morning show on CBS-TV to compete with the first 45 minutes of the "Today" show on NBC-TV. No, he didn’t stand around in an apron cookin’ sausage and singing "Big Bad John" for the audience, though it may not have been a bad idea. No sponsors were found for the show and it was back to the smokehouse for Jimmy when CBS quickly sliced the show from the network.
1963 - Steve Brooks became only the fifth race jockey to ride 4,000 career winners.
1963 - Seven Oscars including the #1 award for Best Picture went to "Lawrence of Arabia" (Sam Spiegel, producer) at the 35th Annual Academy Awards at Santa Monica’s Civic Auditorium (Los Angeles). The epic production earned Oscars for David Lean (Best Director); Freddie Young (Best Cinematography/Color); John Box, John Stoll, & Dario Simoni (Best Art Direction/Set Decoration/Color); John Cox with Shepperton SSD (Best Sound); Anne V. Coates (Best Film Editing); Maurice Jarre (Best Music/Score - Substantially Original). Ol’ Blue Eyes hosted the festivities honoring the films of 1962 (including the film Sinatra starred in, "The Manchurian Candidate".) Other notable flicks of that year including some award winners, and some not: "Taras Bulba", "Mutiny on the Bounty", "Walk on the Wild Side", "The Longest Day", "The Music Man", "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", "Birdman of Alcatraz". Those that won the top awards other than "Lawrence of Arabia" were "To Kill a Mockingbird" (Best Actor - Gregory Peck; Best Art Direction/Set Decoration/Black-and-White - Alexander Golitzen, Henry Bumstead, Oliver Emert; Best Writing/Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium - Horton Foote); "The Miracle Worker" (Best Actress - Anne Bancroft, Best Supporting Actress - Patty Duke); "Sweet Bird of Youth" (Best Supporting Actor - Ed Begley); and "Days of Wine and Roses" [title song] (Best Music/Song: - Henry Mancini (music), Johnny Mercer lyrics).
1969 - The Montreal Expos and the New York Mets played in Shea Stadium in New York in the first international baseball game in the major leagues.
1971 - Chicago became the first rock group to play Carnegie Hall in New York City. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Chicago scored big with these hits: "Make Me Smile", "25 or 6 to 4", "Saturday in the Park", "Old Days", "Baby, What a Big Surprise", "Hard to Say I’m Sorry" and many others.
1974 - It was one historic night in sports in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium. Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record by collecting his 715th round-tripper. Hammerin’ Hank trotted into baseball immortality as the Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7 to 4. Aaron finished his career two years later with 755 home runs. When he retired from baseball, Hank Aaron also held a first place record for RBIs.
1975 - "The Godfather: Part II" won half of the top six awards at the 47th Annual Academy Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. It won for Best Picture: (Francis Ford Coppola, Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos, producers); Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola); and Best Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro); plus Best Writing/Screenplay Adapted from Other Material (Francis Coppola, Mario Puzo); Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Dean Tavoularis, Angelo P. Graham, George Nelson; and Best Music/Original Dramatic Score (Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola). The other three crowd-pleaser awards went to Best Actor Art Carney for his "Harry and Tonto" role; to Best Actress Ellen Burstyn for her part in "Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore"; and to Ingrid Bergman as Best Supporting Actress in "Murder on the Orient Express". Hosts Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Shirley MacLaine, and Frank Sinatra livened up the party, even though murder, intrigue and disaster were in the run. The award for Best Music/Song went to Al Kasha & Joel Hirschhorn for "We May Never Love Like This Again" from the "Towering Inferno". "Inferno" also won for Best Cinematography (Fred J. Koenekamp, Joseph F. Biroc) and Best Film Editing (Harold F. Kress & Carl Kress); while Best Sound went to "Earthquake" (Ronald Pierce and Melvin M. Metcalfe, Sr.) and Robert Towne’s "Chinatown" won for Best Writing/Original Screenplay.
1985 - Comedienne Phyllis Diller underwent a surgical procedure for permanent eye liner to eliminate the need for eyelid makeup. Must have been a real slow day over at Phyllis’ house.
1986 - Actor Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, California. Eastwood won in a landslide victory, receiving 72.5 percent of the vote. And he did so without fanfare any paid advertisements, just buttons and bumper stickers. Apparently, a few voters had already heard of him.
Birthdays - April 8
563 B.C. - Buddha (Shakyamuni) (‘The Enlightened One’ in the Buddhist faith; died Feb 15, 483 B.C.)
1872 - Ray (O. Raymond) Knight (‘Father of Canadian Rodeo’: conceived, coined, organized first Canadian stampede (rodeo); ; died Feb 7, 1947; see Get Along Little Dogie Day [above])
1892 - Mary Pickford (Gladys Louise Smith) (Academy Award-winning actress: Coquette [1928-29], Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Stella Maris, The Taming of the Shrew, Pollyanna, A Poor Little Rich Girl; died May 29, 1979)
1912 - Sonja Henie (ice skater: Norwegian Olympic gold medalist [1928, 1932, 1936]; World Champion [1927 thru 1936]; died Oct 12, 1969)
1918 - Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Ford (Bloomer) (First Lady: wife of 38th U.S. President Gerald R. Ford; founder of the Betty Ford Clinic for substance abuse rehabilitation; died Jul 8, 2011)
1921 - Franco (Dario) Corelli (tenor: debut: Spoleto (Italy) as Don José in G. Bizet’s Carmen ; in films: Great Moments in Opera, Franco Corelli in Tosca, The Great Tenors - Voice of Firestone Classic Performances; died Oct 29, 2003)
1922 - Carmen McRae (jazz singer: The Next Time It Happens, Skyliner; died Nov 10, 1994)
1923 - Edward Mulhare (actor: Megaforce, Our Man Flint, Von Ryan’s Express, Knight Rider; died May 24, 1997)
1926 - Shecky Greene (Sheldon Greenfield) (comedian, Las Vegas nightclub performer; actor: Splash, Mel Brooks’ History of the World -- Part 1, Tony Rome, Laverne and Shirley, The A-Team, Northern Exposure)
1927 - Charlie (Charles Richard) ‘Smokey’ Maxwell (baseball: Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers [all-star: 1956, 1957], Chicago White Sox)
1928 - Monty Sunshine (jazz musician: clarinet: Petite Fleur; played in film: Look Back in Anger; died Nov 30, 2010)
1929 - Jacques Brel (singer, songwriter: Jackie, Next, If You Go Away, I’m Not Afraid; appeared in his own French version of Man of La Mancha and in film: Montdragon; died Oct 9, 1978)
1931 - John Gavin (Anthony Golenour) (actor: Psycho, Spartacus, A Time to Love & a Time to Die, Sophia Loren: Her Own Story)
1940 - John Havlicek (Basketball Hall of Famer: Boston Celtics [eight NBA championship teams: 1963-1966, 1968-1969, 1974, 1976/13 NBA All-Star Games: 1966-1978/four-time All-NBA First Team: 1971-74/five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team (1972-1976]; Celtics all-time leading scorer [26,395 points])
1942 - Roger Chapman (singer: groups: Shortlist, Streetwalkers, Family: Hung Up Down, The Weaver’s Answer, No Mule’s Fool, In My Own Time, Burlesque)
1943 - John (Frederick) Hiller (baseball: pitcher: Detroit Tigers [World Series: 1968/all-star: 1974)
1946 - Jim (James Augustus) ‘Catfish’ Hunter (baseball: pitcher: KC Athletics [all-star: 1966, 1967], Oakland Athletics [Cy Young Award- winner: 1974/all-star: 1970, 1972-1974/World Series: 1972-1974], NY Yankees [all-star: 1975, 1978/World Series: 1976-1978]; died Sep 9, 1999 [ALS: Lou Gehrig’s disease])
1946 - Stuart Pankin (actor: The San Pedro Beach Bums, No Soap Radio, Nearly Departed, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, Not Necessarily the News, the voice of Earl Sinclair in Dinosaurs, Father and Scout, Irreconcilable Differences, Arachnophobia, Fatal Attraction, Dirt Bike Kid)
1947 - Steve Howe (musician: guitar, singer: groups: Asia: Heat of the Moment, Only Time Will Tell; Bodast; Yes: Roundabouts; Tomorrow: My White Bicycle, Real Life Permanent Dream, Auntie Mary’s Dress Shop, An Excerpt from a Teenage Opera, Sam)
1960 - John (Richard) Schneider (actor: Second Chances, Heaven Help Us, Grand Slam, Dukes of Hazzard, Night of the Twisters, Texas, Speed Zone, Stagecoach, Cocaine Wars, Smokey and the Bandit)
1963 - Julian Lennon (singer: Valotte, Too Late for Goodbyes; son of John and Cynthia Lennon)
1968 - Patricia Arquette (actress: Medium, Flirting with Disaster, Holy Matrimony, True Romance, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; granddaughter of actor Cliff Arquette and sister of actress Roseanna Arquette)
Chart Toppers - April 8
Oh, What It Seemed to Be - The Frankie Carle Orchestra (vocal: Marjorie Hughes)
Personality - Johnny Mercer
You Won’t Be Satisfied - The Les Brown Orchestra (vocal: Doris Day
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter
Wanted - Perry Como
Cross Over the Bridge - Patti Page
A Girl, A Girl - Eddie Fisher
Slowly - Webb Pierce
Johnny Angel - Shelley Fabares
Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley
Slow Twistin’ - Chubby Checker
She’s Got You - Patsy Cline
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Let It Be - The Beatles
Instant Karma (We All Shine On) - John Ono Lennon
Tennessee Bird Walk - Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
Night Fever - Bee Gees
Stayin’ Alive - Bee Gees
Lay Down Sally - Eric Clapton
Ready for the Times to Get Better - Crystal Gayle
Rock Me Amadeus - Falco
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. - John Cougar Mellencamp
Kiss - Prince & The Revolution
100% Chance of Rain - Gary Morris
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.