Events - April 23
303 A.D. - The Crusaders from the 1300s told the story of Saint George. George used his magic sword to kill a dragon ... just in the nick of time to save the king's daughter from being sacrificed to the fire-breathing beast. As the story goes, this dragon had an insatiable appetite and it was only through his deep faith that George was able to accomplish this deed. other than his becoming a soldier and rising to a high rank under Diocletian. Because of his strong and open belief in Christianity, he was arrested, tortured and put to death at Nicomedia on this day in 303 A.D. He was so revered by the Crusaders, that George was named Patron Saint of England in 1350 A.D. For many years, English soldiers wore the red cross of St. George on a white background as a badge; and it remains a part of the British Union flag. The martyred hero is still honored throughout England on this day, Saint George Feast Day.
1772 - Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle wrote one of the world’s most familiar -- and beautiful -- national anthems. "La Marseillaise" is still proudly sung by the French citizenry today.
1789 - "Courier De Boston" was published for the first time in, of course, Boston, MA. It was the first Roman Catholic magazine in the United States.
1872 - Charlotte E. Ray became the first black woman lawyer -- in ceremonies held in Washington, DC.
1900 - The word, hillbilly, was first used in print in an article in the "New York Journal". It was spelled a little differently, as the story said that a Hill-Billie was a “free and untrammelled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills.” The article continued that “he has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him.”
1921 - Charles Paddock set a record time in the 300-meter track event by posting a time of 33.2 seconds.
1948 - Johnny Longden became the first race jockey to ride 3,000 career winners as he set the mark at Bay Meadows in San Mateo, CA.
1951 - The Associated Press began use of its new Teletypesetter circuit. The AP provided a perforated, paper-tape message to a news bureau in Charlotte, North Carolina. The message was then fed to a monitor for preparation into a printer. From there, the newspaper copy was completed.
1954 - Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit his first major-league home run on this day.
1963 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds got his first hit in the major leagues. It was a booming triple off the Pirates’ Bob Friend. ‘Charlie Hustle’ went on to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hitting record more than 20 years later, playing for the Reds, the Phillies and the Expos.
1964 - Ken Johnson of the Houston Colts will certainly never forget this day. Johnson tossed the first no-hit game -- for a loss -- in baseball history. Cincinnati’s Reds beat Johnson’s no hitter by a score of 1-0. The Reds capitalized on two costly Houston errors. We wonder what Johnson had to say in the locker room...
1985 - The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, GA, made a showy, glitzy announcement that it was changing its 99-year-old secret formula. New Coke was called “the most significant soft drink development” in the company’s history. Yeah, well, so much for history. Fans of the original Coke were instrumental in bringing Classic Coke back. The way they did it was, actually, quite ingenious. They didn’t buy the new Coke and it turned out to be one of the biggest corporate flops ever.
1985 - The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize in over a decade was "Sunday in the Park with George". Also on this day, Studs Terkel earned his first Pulitzer for "The Good War: An Oral History of World War II".
1987 - "Business Week" magazine announced its list of the highest paid executives in the U.S. Lee Iacocca of Chrysler Corporation topped the list, followed by Paul Fireman of Reebok International.
Birthdays - April 23
1564 - William Shakespeare (poet, playwright: Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth and at least three dozen more plays and over 150 sonnets; died Apr 23, 1616)
1791 - James Buchanan (15th U.S. President [1857-1861]; never married; nickname: Old Buck; died June 1, 1868)
1813 - Stephen Douglas (Illinois politician who beat Abraham Lincoln for a seat in the state legislature; died June 3, 1861)
1891 - Sergei Prokofiev (pianist, composer: Peter and the Wolf; opera: The Love for Three Oranges, The Fiery Angel, War and Peace; ballet: Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella; film scores: Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible, Lieutenant Kije; symphonies: Classical Symphony, The Fifth Symphony; Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5; died Mar 5, 1953)
1916 - (Charles Burnham) Bud Wilkinson (football: Minnesota Golden Gophers: on national championship teams [1934-1936]; coach: Oklahoma Sooners [1947-1963]: 145-29-4 record, 3 national titles [1950, 1955, 1956], won 47 consecutive games [1953–1957: longest winning streak in modern football]; St. Louis Cardinals [1978-1879]; died Feb 9, 1994)
1921 - Janet Blair (Martha Jane Lafferty) (actress: My Sister Eileen, The Fabulous Dorseys, The Fuller Brush Man, Black Arrow, Boy’s Night Out, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood; died Feb 19, 2007)
1928 - Shirley (Jane) Temple Black (child actress: Little Miss Marker, Curly Top, Heidi, The Little Colonel, Poor Little Rich Girl, Wee Willie Winkie, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm; U.S. delegate to the United Nations and chief of protocol; died Feb 10, 2014)
1930 - Alan Oppenheimer (actor: Murphy Brown, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Legend of Prince Valiant, Home Free, Eischied, Big Eddie, Trancers 4 and 5, Child of Darkness, Child of Light, The Bionic Woman, The Groundstar Conspiracy, Star!)
1932 - (Roy) Halston (Frowick) (fashion designer: created famous pillbox hat  worn by Jackie Kennedy at JFK's inaugural; his designs set standard for American designers in 1970s; died Mar 26, 1990)
1935 - Ray Peterson (singer: Tell Laura I Love Her, Corinna, Corinna, The Wonder of You; owner of Dunes record label; sang in film One Way Wahini: Wahine Does the Bird; died Jan 25, 2005)
1936 - Roy Orbison (singer: Only the Lonely, Running Scared, Oh, Pretty Woman, Crying, Dream Baby, It’s Over; died Dec 6, 1988)
1937 - Don Massengale (golf: champ: PGA: Bing Crosby Celebrity Pro-Am , Canadian Open ; Senior PGA: Greater Grand Rapids Open , Royal Caribbean Classic ; National Club Professional ; died Jan 2, 2007)
1939 - David Birney (actor: Oh, God! Book 2, Nightfall, Serpico [TV], St. Elsewhere, Great American TV Poll, Bridget Loves Bernie, Live Shot)
1939 - Lee Majors (Harvey Lee Yeary II) (actor: The Six Million Dollar Man, Big Valley, The Bionic Woman, The Covergirl Murders)
1942 - Sandra Dee (Alexandra Zuck) (actress: A Summer Place, Gidget, Tammy and the Doctor; died Feb 20, 2005)
1943 - Tony (Anthony James) Esposito (Hockey Hall of Famer: NHL: Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks [Calder Memorial Trophy: NHL’s outstanding rookie: 1969-1970/all-star: 1970, 1972, 1980/shared Vezina Trophy for best goaltender [1972, 1974]; played 886 games in NHL, winning 423, losing 307, earning draw in 151; 76 shutouts with a 2.92 goals-against-average; in 99 playoff games, Tony won 45, lost 53 with a 3.07 average; shared goaltending duties with Ken Dryden in 1972 when Team Canada played the Soviet Nationals in famed Series of the Century [Canada edged Soviets, four games to three w/one tied]; brother of Hockey Hall of Famer, Phil Esposito)
1943 - Hervé Villechaize (actor: Fantasy Island, The Man with the Golden Gun, Rumpelstiltskin, Two Moon Junction; died Sep 4, 1993)
1944 - Marty Fleckman (golf: Univ. of Houston: [3 NCAA championship teams/individual title: 1965: two-day total of 135/All-American: 1965/medalist honors at Western Amateur: 1966/Walker Cup team: 1967]; pro: Cajun Classic champ: 1967; golf teacher: Meyer Park Golf Course, Houston)
1947 - Bernadette Devlin (McAliskey) (Irish civil rights leader)
1949 - Joyce DeWitt (actress: Three’s Company)
1952 - Narada Michael Walden (musician: drums: groups: Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, w/Jeff Beck on LP Wired; singer: solo LPs: Garden of Love Light, Divine Emotion; record producer: Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Starship; songwriter: Jump to the Beat)
1957 - Jan Hooks (actress: Designing Women, Saturday Night Live, The Martin Short Show, The 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour, A Dangerous Woman, Coneheads, Batman Returns, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure; died Oct 9, 2014)
1960 - Valerie (Anne) Bertinelli (actress: One Day at a Time, Silent Witness, Ordinary Heroes, Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp)
1960 - Steve Clark (musician: guitar: group: Def Leppard: Photograph, Rock of Ages, Foolin’, LPs: On Through the Night, High’n’Dry, Pyromania, Hysteria; died Jan 8, 1991)
Chart Toppers - April 23
Candy - Johnny Mercer & Jo Stafford
I’m Beginning to See the Light - The Harry James Orchestra (vocal: Kitty Kallen)
My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time - The Les Brown Orchestra (vocal: Doris Day)
Smoke on the Water - Bob Wills
Doggie in the Window - Patti Page
Pretend - Nat King Cole
I Believe - Frankie Laine
Your Cheatin’ Heart - Hank Williams
Blue Moon - The Marcels
Runaway - Del Shannon
Mother-In-Law - Ernie K-Doe
Don’t Worry - Marty Robbins
Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In - The 5th Dimension
You’ve Made Me So Very Happy - Blood, Sweat & Tears
It’s Your Thing - The Isley Brothers
Galveston - Glen Campbell
Don’t Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston
Southern Nights - Glen Campbell
Hotel California - Eagles
She’s Got You - Loretta Lynn
We are the World - USA for Africa
Crazy for You - Madonna
Nightshift - Commodores
I Need More of You - Bellamy Brothers
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.