Events - August 13
1784 - The Continental Congress met for the final time in Annapolis, Maryland. It moved a few more times, from Philadelphia, PA to New York City and, finally, to its permanent seat of government in Washington, DC.
1867 - "Under the Gaslight", by Augustin Daly, opened in New York City. The show went on to become one of the most popular melodramas ever staged in America.
1889 - William Gray of Hartford, CT patented the coin-operated telephone. Please deposit another $8.35, please. And if you listen closely you’ll hear the quarters “bong”, the nickels “boing” and the dimes go “bing-bing”...
1912 - St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia, PA was granted the first experimental radio license by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
1919 - The previously undefeated racehorse, Man o’ War, was upset -- by Upset -- at Saratoga, NY. This turn of events so upset Man o’ War that the horse never lost a race again. Man o’ War proved to be quite the stud, as well. After wining 1,300 races, he sired 379 foals. The stud fee for Man o’ War was $5,000.
1924 - The first country music record to sell one million copies reached that point on this day. It was "The Prisoner’s Song", recorded by Vernon Dalhart. "The Prisoner’s Song" and songs like "Molly Darling", "Death of Floyd Collins" and "New River Train" helped Dalhart outsell all others during his era (about 75 million records). He became a Country Music Hall of Famer in 1981.
1930 - Guy Lombardo and his orchestra put to wax "Go Home and Tell Your Mother", on Columbia Records.
1934 - Cartoonist Al Capp began his famous comic strip, "Li’l Abner". In those early days, the cartoon strip was carried in eight newspapers. Eventually, it would be in more than 500, and would be the basis for a Broadway play and a Hollywood movie, too.
1935 - The first roller derby match was held at the Coliseum in Chicago, IL.
1948 - Cleveland Indians rookie pitcher Satchel Paige threw his first complete game in the major leagues. He allowed the Chicago White Sox only five hits in the 5-0 shutout. Incidentally, the rookie pitcher was 42 years old.
1952 - The original version of "Hound Dog" was recorded by Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton. It was the first hit for the song-writing team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Musician-composer Johnny Otis ("Willie and the Hand Jive") said he helped Leiber and Stoller with the writing of "Hound Dog". All was fine as long as Big Mama Thornton was doin’ the singing (Otis was her producer); but as soon as the Elvis version started bringing in the bucks, Otis was cut out of the picture. Otis went to court but lost the suit.
1961 - The German city of Berlin was divided by a barbed wire fence. The East Berlin government was adamant in its effort to keep those in the eastern sector from moving into the non-Communist western sector. Even regular telephone and postal service between the sectors was stopped. Several days later, the barbed wire was reinforced with a concrete wall between official crossing points. The Berlin Wall stood as a barrier to freedom for the East Germans until November 9, 1989.
1969 - Bowie Kuhn, who had been the acting commissioner of major-league baseball since February, started this day expecting his term to come to an end. He ended the day having been elected to a seven-year term -- and he stayed on for almost a decade after that first term.
1979 - Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals got his 3,000th career hit while leading the Cardinals past the Chicago Cubs, 3-2.
1986 - United States Football League standout Herschel Walker signed to play with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Walker’s contract paid an estimated $5 million over five years. He had been playing for the New Jersey Generals before the USFL went out of business.
1990 - Soul singer/songwriter Curtis Mayfield ("Superfly", "Freddie’s Dead") was paralyzed from the neck down after a lighting tower fell on him at a concert in Brooklyn, New York. Mayfield died Dec 26, 1999.
1998 - President Clinton led the U.S. in mourning twelve Americans killed in a pair of U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. Standing before black hearses carrying ten of the bodies, the president pledged to seek justice “for these evil acts.”
Birthdays - August 13
1818 - Lucy Stone (women’s rights activist: member of first Woman’s Rights Convention ; founded [w/husband]: American Suffrage Association; died Oct 18, 1893)
1860 - Annie Oakley (Phoebe Anne Oakley Mozee) (sharpshooter, performer: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show; died Nov 3, 1926)
1895 - Bert Lahr (Irving Lahrheim) (actor: The Wizard of Oz, Rose Marie, Ship Ahoy, The Night They Raided Minsky’s; died Dec 4, 1967)
1898 - Regis Toomey (actor: Change of Habit, Warlock, They Died with Their Boots On, Shadows of the Orient, The Curfew Breakers; died Oct 12, 1991)
1899 - Alfred (Joseph) Hitchcock (‘The Master of Suspense’: director: Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds, Rear Window, Rebecca, To Catch a Thief, Frenzy, Notorious, Suspicion, The Thirty-Nine Steps; TV host: Alfred Hitchcock Presents; died Apr 29, 1980)
1904 - Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers (actor: Abie’s Irish Rose, Varsity, Mexican Spitfire at Sea, My Best Girl; died Apr 21, 1999)
1908 - Gene Raymond (Raymond Guion) (actor: Hit the Deck, Flying Down to Rio; host: TV’s Reader’s Digest, Hollywood Summer Theatre, Fireside Theatre; died May 2, 1998)
1912 - Ben Hogan (golf champion: Masters [1951, 1953], U.S. Open [1948, 1950, 1951, 1953], British Open , PGA [1946, 1948]; died July 25, 1997)
1919 - Rex Humbard (television evangelist; died Sep 21, 2007)
1919 - George Shearing (jazz pianist: September in the Rain, I’ll Take Romance, Changing with the Times; composer: Lullaby of Birdland, Conception, Consternation; died Feb 14, 2011)
1920 - Neville Brand (actor: Stalag 17, Birdman of Alcatraz, Riot in Cell Block II, Laredo; U.S. Army: 4th most-decorated [WWII]; died Apr 16, 1992)
1926 - Fidel Castro (Ruz) (Cuban guerrilla/dictator; died Nov 25, 2016)
1929 - Pat Harrington (Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor: One Day at a Time [1983-84]; The Jack Paar Show, The Steve Allen Show, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, The Danny Thomas Show; died Jan 6, 2016)
1930 - Don Ho (Donald Tai Loy Ho) (singer: Tiny Bubbles; Waikiki entertainer, host: The Don Ho Show; died April 14, 2007)
1930 - Vinegar Bend (Wilmer David) Mizell (baseball: pitcher: SL Cardinals [all-star: 1959], Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1960], NY Mets; died Feb 21, 1999)
1935 - ‘Mudcat’ (James Timothy ‘Jim’) Grant (baseball: pitcher: Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1963], Minnesota Twins [World Series: 1965/all-star: 1965], LA Dodgers, Montreal Expos, SL Cardinals, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates)
1940 - Tony (Lee) Cloninger (baseball: pitcher: Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves [only player from National League and only pitcher to have 2 grand slams in a game: July 3, 1966], Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1970], St. Louis Cardinals)
1944 - Kevin Tighe (actor: Emergency, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Newsies, Double Cross, City of Hope, Another 48 Hrs., Caught in the Act)
1947 - Gretchen Corbett (actress: The Rockford Files, Jaws of Satan, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, The Savage Bees)
1948 - Kathleen Battle (Metropolitan Opera diva: performed w/NY Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris)
1949 - Cliff Fish (musician: bassist: group: Paper Lace: The Night Chicago Died)
1949 - Andy (Andre) Thornton (baseball: Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos, Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1982, 1984])
1949 - Bobby Clarke (Hockey Hall of Famer: Philadelphia Flyers: Hart Memorial Trophy winner [1973, 75, 76], coach, general manager)
1951 - Dan Fogelberg (singer: Hard to Say, Longer, Leader of the Band, The Language of Love, Same Old Lang Syne, Run for the Roses; died Dec 16, 2007)
1952 - Don Hardeman (football: Texas A&I, NFL: Houston Oilers, TB Buccaneers, Baltimore Colts, NO Saints; died Jun 2, 2016)
1958 - Feargal Sharkey (singer: group: The Undertones: Teenage Kicks, Jimmy Jimmy, Here Comes the Summer, My Perfect Cousin, Julie Ocean, Forever Paradise, It’s Going to Happen; solo: Listen to Your Father, A Good Heart, When a Man Loves a Woman, More Love)
1959 - Danny Bonaduce (actor: The Partridge Family, H.O.T.S., America’s Deadliest Home Video; disc jockey)
1967 - Quinn Cummings (actress: The Goodbye Girl, The Babysitter, Night Terror, Intimate Strangers)
Chart Toppers - August 13
It’s Magic - Doris Day
Woody Woodpecker Song - The Kay Kyser Orchestra (vocal: Gloria Wood & The Campus Kids)
A Tree in the Meadow - Margaret Whiting
Bouquet of Roses - Eddy Arnold
My Prayer - The Platters
Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera) - Doris Day
I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
A Hard Day’s Night - The Beatles
Everybody Loves Somebody - Dean Martin
Where Did Our Love Go - The Supremes
Dang Me - Roger Miller
Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O’Sullivan
Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) - Looking Glass
(If Loving You is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right - Luther Ingram
Bless Your Heart - Freddie Hart & The Heartbeats
Magic - Olivia Newton-John
Take Your Time (Do It Right) - The S.O.S. Band
Sailing - Christopher Cross
Stand by Me - Mickey Gilley
Roll with It - Steve Winwood
Hands to Heaven - Breathe
Make Me Lose Control - Eric Carmen
Don’t Close Your Eyes - Keith Whitley
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.