Events - December 21
1620 - The "Mayflower", and its passengers, pilgrims from England, landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts.
1849 - The first ice-skating club in America was formed -- in Philadelphia, PA.
1913 - Readers of the "New York World" Sunday edition were treated to a crossword puzzle as an added feature of the "Fun" supplement.
1914 - Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain appeared in the first six-reel, feature-length comedy. The film was directed by Mack Sennett and was lovingly titled, "Tillie’s Punctured Romance".
1937 - Walt Disney presented the first, full-length, animated feature which debuted on this day at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Hollywood, CA. The cost to produce "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was $1.5 million. Disney got his total investment back in the first year of the film’s showing. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (now on video) is 83 minutes in length and is the work of 750 artists. Nearly one million drawings were made, of which 250,000 were used in the final print of the classic film.
1945 - U.S. General George Patton died in a German hospital this day. ‘Old Blood and Guts’, whose Third Army swept across France and into Germany after the Normandy Invasion, had been injured in a car crash near Mannheim, Germany twelve days earlier. He is buried among the soldiers who died in the Battle of the Bulge in Hamm, Luxembourg.
1966 - The Beach Boys received a gold record for the single, "Good Vibrations". A-one, and a-two and... “...I’m pickin’ up good vibrations. She’s givin’ me excitations...”
1967 - The Rolling Stones LP, "Their Satanic Majesties Request", was released. It cost $50,000 to produce and came complete with a 3-D photograph of the Stones on the cover.
1981 - Cincinnati defeated Bradley 75-73 in seven overtimes! The game became the longest collegiate basketball game in the history of NCAA Division I competition. The marathon game was played in Peoria, IL. If it can play there... it can play anywhere!
1983 - The NCAA men’s basketball rules committee rescinded the controversial, last-two-minute, free-throw rule. It had been enforced at the beginning of the 1983 season to eliminate excessive fouling at the end of a game. The idea bombed. There were even more fouls after the rule was enacted.
1985 - Bruce Springsteen’s album, "Born in the USA", passed Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" to become the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10. It stayed there for 79 weeks. Only "The Sound of Music" with Julie Andrews lasted longer: 109 weeks.
1985 - Heart’s album, "Heart", was #1 (for one week) in the U.S. The tracks are: "If Looks Could Kill", "What About Love", "Never", "These Dreams", "The Wolf", "All Eyes", "Nobody Home", "Nothin’ at All", "What He Don’t Know" and "Shell Shock".
1986 - Atlanta center Jeff Van Note played his 246th and final NFL game as Atlanta downed Detroit, 20-6. At age 40, Van Note was the oldest player in pro football.
1988 - Pan Am World Airways Flight 103 was the target of a terrorist attack this day. The Boeing 747 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland killing 259 passengers and crew, plus eleven people who were on the ground at the site of the crash. (In Jan 2001 Libyan Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi was found guilty of planting the bomb that blew up the plane.)
1991 - The Soviet Union formally ceased to exist and was dissolved into Russia and fourteen other independent countries. The U.S. supported the change and pledged to extend as much help as possible to the new Russian state under Boris Yeltsin.
1998 - Israel appeared headed for early elections after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to restore unity to a government badly shaken up over his decision to suspend the Wye River land-for-security accord brokered by the United States in October 1998. The embattled Netanyahu was heckled by members left and right of the political spectrum when he rose to address Israel’s 120-member parliament, the Knesset. (Netanyahu was indeed defeated in 1999 by Ehud Barak.)
2000 - Fears about a harsh economic slowdown and continuing weakness in corporate earnings sent U.S. stocks sliding, with the Dow Jones industrials giving up more than 260 points, dropping to 10,318.93. The Nasdaq hit its low for the year, falling 178.93 (or 7 percent) to 2,332.78. “Investors are seeing a confirmation from the Fed that the economy is very weak and that earnings are going to be pretty poor and that assistance from the Fed is not going to be right away,” said A.C. Moore, chief investment strategist for Dunvegan Associates in Santa Barbara, CA. (The Fed [Federal Reserve System Board] did respond in 2001, dropping interest rates eleven times, pushing rates to the lowest level since 1961.)
Birthdays - December 21
1639 - Jean Baptiste Racine (dramatist: Alexandre, Andromaque, Les Plaideurs, Britannicus, Berenice, Bajazet, Mithridate, etc.; died Apr 21, 1699)
1804 - Benjamin Disraeli (author, statesman: “No government can be long secure without a formidable opposition.”; died Apr 19, 1881)
1860 - Henrietta Szold (humanitarian: founding president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America; died Feb 13, 1945)
1879 - Joseph Stalin (Dzhugashvili) (Russian dictator; died Mar 5, 1953)
1892 - Walter Hagen (golf champion: U.S. Open [1914 & 1919], British Open [1922, 1924, 1928-1929], PGA [1921, 1924-1927]; died Oct 5, 1969)
1908 - Sylvester ‘Pat’ Weaver (President of NBC-TV, credited with the idea for Today and Tonight shows; father of actress Sigourney Weaver; died Mar 17, 2002)
1913 - Andor Foldes (pianist: played with Budapest Philharmonic at eight years of age; died Feb 9, 1992)
1917 - Heinrich Böll (Nobel Prize-winning author ; Group Portrait with Lady, The Clown, Billiards at Half-Past Nine; died July 16, 1985)
1918 - Kurt Waldheim (government official: President of Austria; U.N. Secretary-General; died Jun 14, 2007)
1920 - Alicia Alonso (Martinez Hoyo) (dancer)
1922 - Paul Winchell (comedian, ventriloquist: TV: The Paul Winchell-- Jerry Mahoney Show; remember Knucklehead Smith?)
1926 - Freddie Hart (country singer: Easy Loving; TV: Home Town Jamboree; quote: “I try to put down in my songs what every man wants to say, and what every woman wants to hear.”)
1926 - Joe Paterno (football coach: Penn State [1966-2011]; died Jan 22, 2012)
1928 - Ed Nelson (actor: Peyton Place, Anatomy of a Seduction, Deadly Weapon; died Aug 9, 2014)
1935 - Phil Donahue (TV talk show host: Donahue; married to actress Marlo Thomas)
1937 - Jane Fonda (Academy Award-winning actress: Coming Home , Klute ; Barbarella, The China Syndrome, Cat Ballou, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, On Golden Pond; ex-wife of Time-Warner’s Ted Turner; daughter of actor Henry Fonda; sister of actor Peter; exercise videos; Vietnam- era peace activist)
1940 - Frank Zappa (musician, songwriter, singer: group: Mothers of Invention; Valley Girl [w/daughter Moon]; died Dec 4, 1993)
1941 - Paul (Paulino Ortiz) Casanova (baseball: catcher: Washington Senators [all-star: 1967], Atlanta Braves)
1941 - Jared Martin (actor: The New Gladiators, Karate Warrior)
1942 - Carla Thomas (singer: B-A-B-Y, I’ll Bring It on Home to You, What a Fool I’ve Been, Let Me Be Good to You, Knock on Wood, Lovey Dovey)
1944 - Michael Tilson Thomas (jazz band conductor: led London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic)
1945 - Gordon Kannegiesser (hockey: Des Moines Oak Leafs, KC Blues, SL Blues, Seattle Totems, Denver Spurs, Houston Aeros, Indianapolis Racers)
1946 - Josh Mostel (actor: City Slickers series, The Chase, Little Man Tate, Wall Street, Radio Days, The Money Pit, Sophie’s Choice, Harry and Tonto, Jesus Christ, Superstar, The King of Marvin Gardens, Murphy’s Law, Delta House, At Ease)
1946 - Carl Wilson (musician: guitar, group: The Beach Boys: I Get Around, Help Me Rhonda, Good Vibrations, California Girls, Surfin’ USA, Little Deuce Coupe, Surfer Girl, Be True to Your School; brother of Brian and Dennis; original group: Carl and the Passions; died Feb 6, 1998)
1947 - Elliott Maddox (baseball: Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators, Texas Rangers, NY Yankees [World Series: 1976], Baltimore Orioles, NY Mets)
1948 - Samuel L. Jackson (actor: Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Pulp Fiction, Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Jackie Brown, Sphere, Rules of Engagement, Shaft, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones)
1950 - Jeffrey Katzenberg (movie producer: The Prince of Egypt, Chicken Run, Joseph: King of Dreams, Shrek)
1951 - Nick Gilder (singer: Hot Child in the City)
1954 - Chris Evert (tennis champion: Women’s singles: Australian Open [1982, 84], French Open - a record for most wins [1974-75, 1979-80, 1983, 1985-86], Wimbledon [1974, 1976, 1981], U.S. Open [1975-78, 1980, 1982])
1955 - Jane Kaczmarek (actress: Malcolm in the Middle, Uncommon Valor, Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac, The Heavenly Kid, Without Warning, Cybill)
1957 - Ray Romano (comedian, actor: Everybody Loves Raymond, Hollywood Squares, CBS: The First 50 Years)
1959 - Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo-Jo) (track star: Olympic gold medalist [100, 200-meter run: Seoul: 1988]; died Sept. 21, 1998 of a heart seizure)
1960 - Andy (Andrew James) Van Slyke (baseball: SL Cardinals [World Series: 1985], Pittsburgh Pirates [all-star: 1988, 1992, 1993/The Sporting News NL Player of the Year: 1988/Golden Glove: 1988-1992], Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies)
1965 - Andy Dick (actor: NewsRadio, The Ben Stiller Show, Reality Bites, The Cable Guy, Inspector Gadget, Being John Malkovich, Dude, Where's My Car?, The Andy Dick Show, Dr. Dolittle 2)
1966 - Kiefer Sutherland (actor: An Eye for an Eye, The Vanishing, The Three Musketeers, A Few Good Men, Young Guns series, Flatliners, Bright Lights Big City, Brotherhood of Justice, Twin Peaks; son of actor Donald Sutherland)
1966 - Karri Turner (actress: JAG, Wild Oats, Hollywood Squares, The X Files)
1968 - Khrystyne Haje (actress: Head of the Class, Hearts are Wild, Attack of the 5'2" Women, Scanner Cop II, Demolition University)
1969 - Julie Delpy (actress: The Three Musketeers, Killing Zoe, White, An American Werewolf in Paris, Crime and Punishment)
1969 - Jack Noseworthy (actor: Encino Man, The Brady Bunch Movie, Barb Wire, Trigger Affect, Event Horizon, Breakdown, Idle Hands, U-571)
Chart Toppers - December 21
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Nevertheless - Jack Denny
If You’ve Got the Money Honey I’ve Got the Time - Lefty Frizzell
The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
Problems - The Everly Brothers
One Night - Elvis Presley
City Lights - Ray Price
Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen
Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band
That’s Life - Frank Sinatra
Somebody Like Me - Eddy Arnold
Cat’s in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
Angie Baby - Helen Reddy
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White
I Can Help - Billy Swan
Maneater - Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Girl is Mine - Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney
Steppin’ Out - Joe Jackson
Somewhere Between Right and Wrong - Earl Thomas Conley
Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - Stevie B
Justify My Love - Madonna
Impulsive - Wilson Phillips
I’ve Come to Expect It from You - George Strait
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.