Events - April 17
1629 - Horses were first imported into the colonies by the Massachusetts Bay Colony on this day.
1704 - John Campbell, known by many as America’s first news vendor, published what would eventually become the first successful American newspaper, the "Boston News-Letter".
1810 - Pineapple cheese was patented by Lewis M. Norton. Mr. Norton lived nowhere near pineapples. He was from Troy, PA. Pineapple cheese... Yummy!
1860 - New Yorkers learned of a new law. It required fire escapes to be provided for tenement houses.
1916 - The American Academy of Arts and Letters obtained its charter from Congress.
1933 - Backed by the "On the Trail" portion of the magnificent "Grand Canyon Suite", Johnny Roventini, pillbox hat and all, uttered the words “Call for Philip Morris” for the first time on radio. The famous phrase was said in perfect B flat pitch and tone to perfectly match the accompanying music. This “Call for Philip Morris” phrase became one of the most famous in all of advertising. Here are a few other classics from advertising’s golden age to jog your brain’s memory cells: “See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet,” “Pepsi Cola hits the spot, 12 full ounces and that’s a lot,” “When better cars are built, Buick will build them,” “Aren’t you glad you use Dial? Don’t you wish everybody did?”
1935 - People gathered around the radio to listen for the first time to what would become the ultimate horror show on NBC Radio. "Lights Out" remained on radio until 1946.
1941 - Igor Sikorsky accomplished the first successful helicopter (or heliocopter as it was called then) lift-off from water near Stratford, CT.
1956 - Two of the greats began their major-league baseball careers this day: Luis Aparicio played for the Chicago White Sox and Don Drysdale began work with the Brooklyn (later, LA) Dodgers. Aparicio became the American League Rookie of the Year. Drysdale won 209 games before he retired. Both were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY on the same day, August 12, 1984. Drysdale later became a broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox and the Dodgers.
1961 - The 33rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Bob Hope, ended the ten year drought during which producer, writer, director Billy Wilder could not capture the elusive Oscar. Wilder was no stranger to Oscar, though. He had three of the golden statuettes sitting on his mantle (or wherever the Wilders keep their awards) from previous years. But this year, the winnings were much sweeter. Not only did Mr. Wilder receive the Oscar for Best Writing/Story and Screenplay/Written Directly for the Screen (shared with I.A.L. Diamond) and the Best Director Oscar (both for "The Apartment"), he and "The Apartment" also received the top award, Best Picture. There were other happy Oscar recipients this night at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, as well. Burt Lancaster took the Best Actor honors and Shirley Jones, the Best Supporting Actress, for their performances in "Elmer Gantry". Elizabeth Taylor was voted Best Actress for her role in "Butterfield 8". "Spartacus", nominated in six categories, won four Oscars, including one for Peter Ustinov as Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The Best Music/Song was awarded to "Never on Sunday" and Manos Hadjidakis from the foreign flick: "Pote tin Kyriaki". Yes, we know ... it’s all Greek to you. Some one-Oscar wonder films from 1960: "Sons and Lovers", "The Alamo", "The Time Machine", "Exodus". Some multi-nominations but no wins from that year include: "Inherit the Wind", "The Sundowners", "Cimarron", "Sunrise at Campobello", "Psycho", "Bells are Ringing", "The Magnificent Seven", "Can-Can".
1964 - The CBS television network paid $1,800,000 for the rights to the
1964-1965 National Football League (NFL) Championship games.
1967 - Comedian Joey Bishop got the opportunity to attempt to unseat the king of late night, Johnny Carson. "The Joey Bishop Show" made its debut on ABC-TV this night. Bishop, Regis Philbin (announcer) and Johnny Mann (music) couldn’t beat Carson, but held out until December 26, 1969 (the show’s last broadcast).
1970 - The breakup of the most influential rock group in music history was official when Paul McCartney’s solo LP, "McCartney", was released. Paul played all the instruments himself on this Apple album.
1971 - "Joy to the World", by Three Dog Night, made it to the top of the pop music charts. The song was number one for six weeks. Now that’s a hit!
1972 - "Betcha by Golly, Wow", by The Stylistics from Philadelphia, earned a gold record for the group. The Stylistics also scored million sellers with "You are Everything", "I’m Stone in Love with You", "Break Up to Make Up" and "You Make Me Feel Brand New". The smooth R&B group could have won an award for the most creative use of the words, "Betcha, by Golly, Wow", too, if anyone had thought about it...
1985 - The U.S. Postal Service unveiled its new 22-cent "LOVE" stamp. In a clever promotion, the USPS used the set of ABC-TV’s "The Love Boat" as a backdrop. The stamp went on to become one of the most popular ever offered by the postal service.
1986 - In the year 1651, a war began between the Isles of Scilly and the Netherlands. No one seems to know or care what started the war. What seems to be more important is that, although the actual fighting ended in the 17th century, no one had ever officially declared an end to the war until this day. The Netherlands ambassador to the Isles of Scilly, Jonkheer Rein Huydecoper, flew to the islands delivering a proclamation that terminated the war. We'd say that 335 years is a lo-o-ong time to hold a grudge!
Birthdays - April 17
1837 - J.P. (John Pierpoint) Morgan (financier; died Mar 31, 1913)
1894 - Nikita Khrushchev (U.S.S.R. premier [1958-1964]; died Sep 11, 1971)
1897 - Thornton Wilder (Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist: The Bridge of San Luis Rey  and playwright: Our Town , The Skin of Our Teeth ; died Dec 7, 1975)
1903 - Gregor Piatigorsky (Russian-born cellist: performed worldwide; teacher: Univ. Southern California; died Aug 6, 1976)
1905 - Arthur Lake (Silverlake) (actor: Blondie series, It’s a Great Life; died Jan 9, 1987)
1916 - Sirimavo Bandaranaike (Ceylon Prime Minister: first woman prime minister in the world; died Oct 10, 2000)
1918 - William Holden (Beedle Jr.) (Academy Award-winning actor: Stalag 17 , Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Born Yesterday, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Casino Royale, The Moon is Blue, Network, Picnic, Sunset Boulevard, The Towering Inferno, The World of Suzie Wong; died Nov 16, 1981)
1923 - Lindsay Anderson (director: This Sporting Life, The Whales of August, Glory! Glory!, Britannia Hospital, If..., O Lucky Man!; died Aug 30, 1994)
1923 - Solly (Solomon Joseph) Hemus (baseball: SL Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies)
1923 - Harry Reasoner (newsman: Sixty Minutes, CBS Sunday Night News with Harry Reasoner, ABC News with Harry Reasoner and Barbara Walters; died Aug 6, 1991)
1924 - Roy Gallant (author: Mirages & Sundogs, Earth’s Vanishing Forests)
1930 - Chris Barber (musician: trombone, bandleader: Petite Fleur; appeared in film: Look Back in Anger)
1934 - Warren Chiasson (jazz musician: vibes: group: Warren Chiasson Duo: LP: Point Counterpoint)
1934 - Don Kirshner (music publisher: Aldon Music with Al Nevins, Brill Building mogul: Screen Gems Music: started Bubblegum music fad with creation of The Monkees; died Jan 17, 2011)
1935 - Lamar Lundy (football: LA Rams; died Feb 24, 2007)
1943 - Dennis Hextall (hockey: NHL: NY Rangers, LA Kings, California Golden Seals, Minnesota North Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals; son of Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan A. Hextall)
1944 - Bobby Curtola (singer: one of Canada’s early teen idols: Hand In Hand With You, Don’t You Sweetheart Me, Three Rows Over, Fortune Teller; TV host: After Four, Shake, Rock, Roll)
1949 - Monroe Eley (football: British Columbia Lions)
1950 - Pedro (Modesto Delfi) Garcia (baseball: Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays)
1951 - Olivia Hussey (actress: Ice Cream Man, Stephen King’s It, Psycho 4: The Beginning, Death on the Nile, The Bastard, Romeo and Juliet)
1955 - Pete Shelley (McNeish) (musician, singer: group: The Buzzcocks: Totally from the Heart, Alright O.K., Going Steady, Love Bites, What Do I Get, Orgasm Addict, Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn’t Fall in Love With, I Don't Mind, Promises)
1959 - Sean Bean (actor: Goldeneye, Sharpe’s series, Patriot Games, The Field, Stormy Monday, The Lord of the Rings series)
1959 - Stephen Singleton (musician: saxophone: group: ABC: Tears are Not Enough, Poison Arrow, Be Near Me, When Smokey Sings, King Without a Crown)
1961 - Boomer (Norman) Esiason (football: quarterback: NY Jets, Cincinnati Bengals [Super Bowl XXIII]); TV commentator: ABC Monday Night Football [1998-1999])
1967 - Liz Phair (singer, songwriter: LPs: Exile in Guyville, whitechocolatespaceegg)
Chart Toppers - April 17
The Anniversary Song - Dinah Shore
Heartaches - The Ted Weems Orchestra (whistler: Elmo Tanner)
How are Things in Glocca Morra - Buddy Clark
So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed - Merle Travis
The Ballad of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes
The Ballad of Davy Crockett - Fess Parker
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado
In the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce
He’s So Fine - The Chiffons
Can’t Get Used to Losing You - Andy Williams
South Street - The Orlons
Still - Bill Anderson
Joy to the World - Three Dog Night
Another Day/Oh Woman Oh Why - Paul McCartney
Put Your Hand in the Hand - Ocean
Empty Arms - Sonny James
What a Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers
Knock on Wood - Amii Stewart
Music Box Dancer - Frank Mills
(If Loving You is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right - Barbara Mandrell
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship
I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) - Aretha Franklin & George Michael
Don’t Dream It’s Over - Crowded House
"You’ve Got" the Touch - Alabama
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.