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December 1

Events - December 1
1879 - Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, "H.M.S. Pinafore", opened. Arthur Sullivan conducted the orchestra while William Gilbert played the role of a sailor in the chorus and in the Queen’s Nay-vee.

1917 - Father Edward Flanagan opened Boys Town, a farm village for wayward boys (and for girls since 1979), in an area west of Omaha, Nebraska. In 1938, Spencer Tracy portrayed Father Flanagan in the movie, "Boys Town", and won himself an Oscar.

1924 - "Lady Be Good" opened in New York City. George Gershwin wrote the music while Fred and Adele Astaire were well-received by the show’s audience for their dancing talents.

1941 - The Director of Civilian Defense, former New York Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, signed a formal order creating the Civil Air Patrol on this day -- one week before Pearl Harbor. A thankful nation recognized the vital role CAP played during the war and felt that it could continue to provide invaluable help to both local and national agencies. On July 1, 1946, U.S. President Harry S Truman signed "Public Law 476" incorporating the CAP as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. And on May 26, 1948, Congress passed "Public Law 557", permanently establishing the CAP as the Auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force.

1945 - Burl Ives made his concert debut. He appeared at New York’s Town Hall. We lovingly listen every year for the voice of this old-time radio personality as the narrator and banjo-pickin’ snowman in TV’s "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".

1953 - Walter Alston was named manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers on this, his 42nd birthday. He became the dean of baseball managers before retiring in 1976.

1968 - "Promises, Promises" opened on Broadway. The play ran for 1,281 performances, earning $35,000 in profits each week of 1969. Dionne Warwick had a hit version of the title song.

1973 - ‘The Golden Bear’, Jack Nicklaus, won the Walt Disney World Open Golf Tournament and became the first golfer to win $2 million in career earnings.

1980 - George Rogers of the University of South Carolina was named the Heisman Trophy winner. Rogers went on to achieve great success for the Washington Redskins.

1981 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar surpassed Oscar Robertson as pro basketball’s second all-time leading scorer (second to Wilt Chamberlain). Kareem got to the total of 26,712 points as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 117-86. Chamberlain’s record fell in 1984, when Kareem’s scores reached 31,259. Kareem wound up his career in 1989 with 38,387 points.

1984 - Just eight days after his miracle pass to lead Boston College over Miami, Doug Flutie was named Heisman Trophy winner for the year. Flutie was only the 13th quarterback to receive the award.

1985 - Singer and actress Barbi Benton set a record as she appeared for the fourth time on the cover of "Playboy" magazine.

1995 - Movies debuting in the U.S.: "White Man’s Burden" (“Two men at odds in a world turned upside down.”), starring John Travolta and Harry Belafonte; and "Wild Bill" (“The Name Is Legendary. The Man Is Real.”), with Jeff Bridges and Ellen Barkin.

1999 - An international team of scientists announced it had sequenced the first human chromosome. Just what does this mean? Very glad you asked. All human DNA is contained within 23 pairs of chromosomes. In the center of any normal human cell are 46 X-shaped chromosomes. Within each chromosome is bundled a double-stranded helix of DNA. That is where human genes reside. These genes carry instructions for everything from hair color and height to how the brain is organized. More than 30 human disorders are already associated with changes to genes of chromosome 22 (the one mapped this day). Researchers are hopeful that by using gene therapies, they will be able to make human cells work correctly. Scientists hope these therapies may one day be reliable enough to treat diseases without the sometimes debilitating side effects of some drugs. Dr. Francis Collins, chair of the National Human Genome Research Institute, said, “For the first time we can see the entire landscape of a human chromosome. I think this is probably the most important scientific effort that mankind has ever mounted. That includes splitting the atom and going to the moon.”

2000 - Vicente Fox was sworn in as president of Mexico, ending 71 years of ruling-party domination.

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Birthdays - December 1
1886 - Rex (Todhunter) Stout (mystery writer: Nero Wolfe series; died Oct 27, 1975)

1897 - Cyril Ritchard (Tony Award-winning actor: Peter Pan [1955]; films: Hans Brinker, Half a Sixpence, Peter Pan, Blackmail; Kraft Television Theatre, Goodyear TV Playhouse; died Dec 18, 1977)

1911 - Walter (Emmons) ‘Smokey’ Alston (baseball: SL Cardinals; Baseball Hall of Fame manager: Brooklyn Dodgers [World Series: 1955], LA Dodgers [World Series: 1959, 1963, 1965]; died Oct 1, 1984)

1911 - Calvin Griffith (baseball owner: Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins; died Oct 20, 1999)

1912 - Cookie (Harry Arthur) Lavagetto (baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers [all-star: 1938-1941/World Series: 1941, 1947: pinch hit game-4-winning double off right field wall]; died Aug 10, 1990)

1913 - Mary Martin (Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress, singer: Peter Pan [1955]; South Pacific, I Do! I Do!, Sound of Music, Night and Day, Star Spangled Rhythm, Birth of the Blues, Rhythm on the River; singer: My Heart Belongs to Daddy, I’ll Walk Alone, Almost Like Being in Love; mother of actor Larry Hagman; died Nov 3, 1990)

1923 - Dick Shawn (Richard Schulefand) (comedian, actor: Bewitched, Rented Lips, Maid to Order, Check is in the Mail, The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud, Love at First Bite, The Producers, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; died Apr 17, 1987)

1923 - Admiral Stansfield Turner (U.S. Navy Ret, CIA Director)

1925 - Cal ‘Buster’ McLish (Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish) (baseball: pitcher: Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1959], Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies; died Aug 26, 2010)

1929 - David Doyle (actor: Charlie’s Angels, Ghost Writer, Love or Money?, The Comeback, Paper Lion, Sweet Surrender, Rugrats, Bridget Loves Bernie; died Feb 26, 1997)

1933 - Lou (Louis Allen) Rawls (Grammy Award-winning singer: Dead End Street [1967], A Natural Man [1972]; You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, Your Good Thing is about to End, You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, Love is a Hurtin’ Thing, Budweiser commercials, TV regular: Dean Martin Presents; group: Soul Stirrers; died Jan 6, 2006)

1934 - Billy Paul (Paul Williams) (singer: Me and Mrs. Jones; died Apr 24, 2016)

1935 - Woody Allen (Allen Konigsberg) (Academy Award-winning writer and director: Annie Hall [1977]; Radio Days, Alice; Academy Award-winning writer: Hannah and Her Sisters [1986]; actor, writer, director: Sleeper, Husbands and Wives, Annie Hall, Mighty Aphrodite, Manhattan Murder Mystery, New York Stories, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan, Bananas; actor, writer: Play It Again, Sam, What’s New Pussycat?; actor: Scenes from a Mall, Casino Royale; comedy writer; Your Show of Shows, The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom)

1938 - Sandy Nelson (musician: drums: Teen Beat, Let There be Drums; w/Teddy Bears: To Know Him is to Love Him)

1939 - (Dianne) ‘Dee Dee’ Lennon (singer: group: The Lennon Sisters: The Lawrence Welk Show, Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters)

1939 - Lee Trevino (World Golf Hall of Famer: champion: US Open [1968, 1971], U.S. Senior Open [1990], British Open [1971, 1972], PGA: Rookie of the Year [1967], Varden Trophy-winner [1970], Player of the Year [1971], champion [1974, 1984], Seniors Champion [1992], Senior Player of the Year [1990, 1992]; AP Male Athlete of the Year [1971])

1940 - Richard Pryor (comedian, actor: Another You, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Harlem Nights, Brewster’s Millions, Superman 3, The Toy, Some Kind of Hero, Silver Streak, The Wiz, California Suite, Blue Collar, Car Wash, Lady Sings the Blues, The Richard Pryor Show, On Broadway Tonight; Emmy Award-winning comedy, variety writer: Lily [1973-1974]; died Dec 10, 2005)

1944 - Eric Bloom (singer, musician: guitar: group: Blue Oyster Cult)

1944 - John (Paul) Densmore (musician: drums: group: The Doors: Light My Fire, People are Strange, Love Me Two Times, Riders on the Storm)

1945 - Bette Midler (Grammy Award-winning singer: LP: The Divine Miss M [1972], You are the Wind Beneath My Wings [1989]; Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, The Rose; Emmy Award-winning entertainer: Bette Midler-Old Red Hair is Back [1977-1978], The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson [5/21/1992]; actress: From a Distance, Beaches, For the Boys, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Hocus Pocus, Gypsy, Scenes from a Mall, Stella, Big Business, Ruthless People, Hawaii, Fiddler on the Roof, Tommy, The Edge of Night)

1946 - Gilbert O’Sullivan (Raymond Edward O’Sullivan) (singer: Alone Again [Naturally], Clare, Get Down, What’s in a Kiss?; LP: Back to Front)

1948 - George (Arthur) Foster (baseball: outfielder: SF Giants, Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1972, 1975, 1976/all-star: 1976-1979, 1981/Baseball Writer’s Award (National League): 1977], NY Mets, Chicago White Sox)

1951 - Treat Williams (actor: The Phantom, The Late Shift, Mulholland Falls, Final Verdict, J. Edgar Hoover, The Men’s Club, The Little Mermaid, Flashpoint, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, Prince of the City, Hair, The Eagle Has Landed, Eddie Dodd, Good Advice)

1958 - Charlene Tilton
actress: Dallas, Center of the Web

1960 - Carol Alt (supermodel, actress: Amazon, Beyond Justice, Thunder in Paradise, Private Parts, Grownups)

1961 - Jeremy Northam (actor: The Net, Amistad, The Winslow Boy, The Golden Bowl, Enigma)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - December 1
1946
Ole Buttermilk Sky - The Kay Kyser Orchestra (vocal: Mike Douglas & The Campus Kids)
The Whole World is Singing My Song - The Les Brown Orchestra (vocal: Doris Day)
Five Minutes More - Tex Beneke
Divorce Me C.O.D. - Merle Travis

1954
Mr. Sandman - The Chordettes
Teach Me Tonight - The De Castro Sisters
The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane - The Ames Brothers
More and More - Webb Pierce

1962
Big Girls Don’t Cry - The 4 Seasons
Return to Sender - Elvis Presley
Bobby’s Girl - Marcie Blane
Mama Sang a Song - Bill Anderson

1970
I Think I Love You - The Partridge Family
The Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Montego Bay - Bobby Bloom
Endlessly - Sonny James

1978
MacArthur Park - Donna Summer
How Much I Feel - Ambrosia
You Don’t Bring Me Flowers - Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond
Sweet Desire - The Kendalls

1986
You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi
The Next Time I Fall - Peter Cetera with Amy Grant
Hip to Be Square - Huey Lewis & The News
Touch Me When We’re Dancing - Alabama

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...


Comments/Corrections: TWtDfix@440int.com

Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams


Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
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