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December 13

Events - December 13
1809 - The first abdominal surgical procedure was performed -- in Danville, Kentucky. The patient was Jane Todd Crawford and the operation was performed without the aid of an anesthetic. However, during the operation, Ms. Crawford did say, "Eeeeeeeeeee owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwchhhhhhhhhhhh!" We can’t say that we blame her.

1816 - John Adamson of Boston, MA received a patent for a dry dock.

1913 - Leonardo da Vinci’s "La Gioconda" or, "Mona Lisa" for us art neophytes, was returned to the Louvre Museum in Paris after a two-year absence. The stolen painting was recovered and was valued at that time at $5,000,000. In 1962, appraisers set the value at one hundred million dollars. It is said that Mrs. Gioconda’s only payment for four years of modeling was free entertainment by jesters, players and singers.

1928 - The George Gershwin composition, "An American in Paris", was presented to the public. The debut was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Walter Damrosch. A tone poem, "An American in Paris" was used as a ballet for Gene Kelly’s 1951 performance in the movie of the same name. Unfortunately, George Gershwin did not live to see his composition being danced to in the Academy Award-winning "An American in Paris". It won six Oscars: Best Art Direction/Set Direction [Color], Best Color Cinematography, Best Costume Design [Color], Best Story and Screenplay, Best Picture ... and Best Score.

1929 - Hoagy Carmichael recorded with Louis Armstrong. They did "Rockin’ Chair" on Columbia Records and cylinders.

1936 - Green Bay beat the Boston Redskins, 21-6, to capture the National Football League championship. It was the last game for Boston. The team became the Washington Redskins in 1937.

1940 - The two-sided jump tune, "The Anvil Chorus", was recorded by Glenn Miller and his orchestra for Bluebird Records in New York. The 10-inch, 78 rpm record ran six minutes (including flipping).

1942 - The characters of "Allen’s Alley" were presented for the first time on "The Fred Allen Show". This particular segment of the show became very popular and was used by Allen until 1949. Remember the stops along the way in "Allen’s Alley"? They were at the Brooklyn tenement of Mrs. Nussbaum, the farmhouse of Titus Moody, the shack of Ajax Cassidy and the antebellum mansion of Senator Beauregard Claghorn.

1948 - The American Federation of Musicians went back to work after an 11½-month strike. During the strike, there was an 11½-month ban on phonograph records as well.

1961 - Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) died at the age of 101. The self-taught artist took up painting in her sixties; having her first showing in New York City at the ripe, young age of eighty. Her style was nostalgic and primitive -- mostly rural scenes: "The Old Oaken Bucket", "Christmas at Home", "The Quilting Bee".

1973 - Detroit became the first city to receive a franchise in the fabulously unsuccessful World Football League.

1974 - Former Beatle George Harrison was greeted at the White House. President Gerald R. Ford invited Harrison to lunch. The two exchanged buttons -- Ford giving George a WIN (Whip Inflation Now) pin and Harrison gave the President an OM (Hindu mantra word expressing creation) button.

1978 - The Philadelphia Mint struck the first Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, with 1979 dates and the first “P” mintmark since the silver nickels of World War II. Denver production began on January 9, 1979, and San Francisco minting began on February 2, 1979. The Susan B. Anthony dollar, the first coin to honor a woman, was not a hit with the public for several reasons, most importantly because it was often mistaken for a quarter, which was about and eighth of an inch smaller in diameter.

1983 - Detroit and Denver played for 3 hours, 11 minutes in pro basketball. The Pistons finally won, 186-183, in triple overtime. NBA single-game records were set for most points by two teams; by one team; assists; and field goals -- plus, hot dogs sold; pennants snapped up by fans; popcorn, peanuts, nachos, too! And, Kiki Vandeweghe of the Denver Nuggets had a career-high night with 51 points.

1985 - In a movie first, the murder mystery, "Clue", opened nationally. The film featured three different endings. Newspaper ads indicated which ending was playing at which theatre.

1986 - Duke University won its first NCAA team championship in the school’s 62-year history. The Blue Devils’ soccer team beat Akron, 1-0, to win the crown.

1986 - "The Way It Is", by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, hit #1 for a week in the U.S.: “That’s just the way it is; Some things will never change. That’s just the way it is; Aw, but don’t you believe them.”

1996 - These motion pictures opened in the U.S.: "Mars Attacks" (“Nice planet. We’ll take it!”), with an all-star cast that includes Jack Nicholson Glenn Close Annette Bening Pierce Brosnan Danny DeVito Martin Short Sarah Jessica Parker Michael J. Fox Rod Steiger, to name a few; "Jerry Maguire" (“Show me the money!”), starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renee Zellweger; "The Preacher’s Wife" (“They needed help. What they got was a miracle.”), with Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, Courtney B. Vance, Gregory Hines and Jenifer Lewis.

1997 - The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Getty Center museum complex, built on a hilltop overlooking the San Diego Freeway in Los Angeles, was held this day. The public opening was held three days later (Dec 16) for the billion-dollar monument to art and architecture -- one of the largest arts centers in the United States.

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Birthdays - December 13
1797 - Heinrich Heine (poet: The Lorelei, Atta Troll, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Germany A Winter’s Tale, Romacero; author: Travel Pictures, The Romantic School, On the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany; died Feb 17, 1856)

1818 - Mary Todd Lincoln (First Lady: wife of 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln; died July 16, 1882)

1835 - Phillips Brooks (lyricist: O Little Town of Bethlehem; died Jan 23, 1893)

1903 - Carlos Montoya (flamenco guitarist; died Mar 3, 1993)

1910 - Van Heflin (Emmett Evan Heflin, Jr.) (Academy Award-winning actor: Johnny Eager [1942]; died July 23, 1971)

1914 - Larry Parks (actor: The Jolson Story, Jolson Sings Again; died Apr 13, 1975)

1915 - Curt Jurgens (Curd Jürgens) (actor: The Spy Who Loved Me, And God Created Woman, The Longest Day, Enemy Below; died June 18, 1982)

1917 - Ann Richards (actress: Sorry Wrong Number, Random Harvest, Three Hearts for Julia, Don’t Call Me Girlie; died Aug 24, 2006)

1918 - Bill Vukovich (William Vucerivoch) (race car driver: Indianapolis 500 winner [1953, 1954]; killed in Indy crash May 30, 1955)

1920 - George Shultz (Secretary of State under U.S. President Ronald Reagan [1982-1988])

1923 - Larry (Lawrence Eugene) Doby (Baseball Hall of Famer: Cleveland Indians center fielder {World Series: 1948, 1954/all-star: 1949-1955]; AL home run [32] leader [1952, 1954], runs [104] scored [1952], RBIs [126 in 1954]; Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers; died Jun 18, 2003)

1925 - Dick Van Dyke (Emmy Award-winning actor/comedian: The Dick Van Dyke Show, [1959-1960], [1963-1964], [1965-1966]; Diagnosis Murder)

1925 - Wayne Walker (songwriter: first big hit: I've Got a New Heartache [performed by Ray Price]; Are You Sincere, Leaving on Your Mind, Memory No. 1; died Jan 2, 1979)

1926 - Carl (Daniel) ‘Oisk’ Erskine (baseball: pitcher: Brooklyn Dodgers [World Series: 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956/all-star: 1954], LA Dodgers)

1929 - Christopher Plummer (Orme) (Emmy Award-winning actor: The Moneychangers [1976-1977], Madeline [1993-1994]; The Sound of Music)

1934 - Richard D. (Darryl) Zanuck (producer: Jaws, The Sting)

1941 - John Davidson (actor, singer; TV game show host: Hollywood Squares)

1942 - Fergie (Ferguson Arthur) Jenkins (Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher: Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs [all-star: 1967, 1971, 1972/Cy Young Award: 1971], Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox; 20-game winner 7 times; only major league pitcher to strike out more than 3,000 batters while walking fewer than 1,000; Canada’s first Hall-of-Famer)

1946 - Mike Mosley (auto racer: winner of 5 Indy Car races, competed in 15 Indianapolis 500s; killed in highway accident Mar 3, 1984)

1947 - Lemar Parrish (football: Cincinnati Bengals [1970-77], Washington Redskins [1978-81], Buffalo Bills [1982])

1948 - Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter (musician: guitarist: groups: Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers: What a Fool Believes)

1948 - Ted Nugent (musician: guitar, singer: group: Amboy Dukes; solo: Cat Scratch Fever)

1949 - Robert Lindsay (Tony Award-winning actor: Me and My Girl [1987]; film: Ghengis Cohn, Strike It Rich, Bert Rigby You’re a Fool)

1949 - Randy Owen (musician: guitar, singer: group: Alabama: I Want to Be with You, I Wanna Come Over, My Home’s in Alabama, Tennessee River, Why Lady Why, Old Flame, Feels So Right, Love in the First Degree, Mountain Music, Close Enough to Perfect, The Closer You Get, Dixieland Delight, When We Make Love, Roll on Eighteen Wheeler, 40 Hour Week)

1949 - Tom Verlaine (Miller) (musician: guitar, singer: group: Television: Little Johnny Jewel, Venus, Torn Curtain)

1950 - Brad Dusek (football: Washington Redskins [1974-1981])

1957 - Steve Buscemi (actor: Lonesome Dove, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, The Hudsucker Proxy, Pulp Fiction, Desperado, Escape from L.A., Con Air, The Wedding Singer, The Big Lebowski, Armageddon, Franky Goes to Hollywood, The Laramie Project)

1959 - Johnny Whitaker (actor: Family Affair, The Biscuit Eater, Mulligan‘s Stew)

1960 - Richard Dent (football: Chicago Bears defensive end: Super Bowl XX; San Francisco 49ers)

1967 - Jamie Foxx (comedian, actor: The Jamie Foxx Show, In Living Color, Booty Call, The Players Club, Any Given Sunday)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - December 13
1950
A Bushel and a Peck - Perry Como & Betty Hutton
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
Nevertheless - Jack Denny
I’m Moving On - Hank Snow

1958
To Know Him, is to Love Him - The Teddy Bears
Problems - The Everly Brothers
Queen of the Hop - Bobby Darin
City Lights - Ray Price

1966
Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
Mellow Yellow - Donovan
Lady Godiva - Peter & Gordon
Somebody Like Me - Eddy Arnold

1974
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
When Will I See You Again - The Three Degrees
Cat’s in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
She Called Me Baby - Charlie Rich

1982
Mickey - Toni Basil
Maneater - Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Girl is Mine - Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney
Redneck Girl - The Bellamy Brothers

1990
Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - Stevie B
From a Distance - Bette Midler
Something to Believe In - Poison
I’ve Come to Expect It from You - George Strait

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
from 440 International

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