440 International Those Were the Days
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December 27

Events - December 27
1845 - Dr. Crawford Williamson Long used anesthesia for childbirth for the first time, when he delivered his own child in Jefferson, Georgia.

1900 - Carrie Nation staged her first raid on a saloon at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kansas. She broke each and every one of the liquor bottles she could see, which means, about all of them behind the bar, for sure. Nation usually did her damage with a hatchet; calling her vandalism, hatchetation.

1903 - The barbershop quartet favorite, "Sweet Adeline", was sung for the first time -- in New York City. The song was composed by Henry Armstrong with the words of Richard Gerard. The title of the song came from a theatre marquee that promoted the great operatic soprano, Adelina Patti. Now female barbershop quartets call themselves Sweet Adelines.

1927 - The Jerome Kern (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) musical, "Show Boat", opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. Its star, Helen Morgan, received excellent reviews from critics of the show; a musical about riverboat show people and their romances and disappointments. It was inspired by the novel, "Show Boat", written by Edna Ferber in 1926.

1932 - Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City. It was the largest indoor theatre in the world. The gala grand opening show was a six-hour extravaganza that lost half a million dollars within three weeks. The theatre has since been renovated to recapture its original decorative charm. An Art Deco cathedral of entertainment, it seats more than 6,200 people and is still a must-see for those visiting New York. During the holiday season, audiences continue to get a kick out of seeing the world-famous Rockettes perform in precision on Radio City Music Hall’s nearly 10,000-square-foot stage.

1939 - "The Glenn Miller Show", also known as "Music that Satisfies", started on CBS radio. The 15-minute, twice-a-week show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes and was heard for nearly three years.

1940 - Singer Al Jolson and actress Ruby Keeler were divorced after 12 years of marriage. They had separated a year earlier; but Jolson talked Keeler into co-starring with him in the Broadway show, "Hold on to Your Hats". She left the show before the opening and then left the marriage.

1946 - The American team won the Davis Cup for the first time since 1938. The competition was held at Melbourne, Australia.

1947 - “Hey kids... What time is it? It’s Howdy Doody time!” Buffalo Bob (Smith), Clarabelle the Clown (Bob Keeshan), Judy Canova and a host of others joined "Howdy Doody" on NBC-TV. The show stayed on the air for 13 years.

1968 - "The Breakfast Club" signed off for the last time on ABC radio, after 35 years on the air.

1971 - Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Woodstock of Charles Schulz’ famous "Peanuts" comic strip made the cover of "Newsweek" magazine this day.

1975 - The Staple Singers reached the top spot on the pop music charts for the second time in their career. This time with "Let’s Do It Again". The song, the theme from the movie soundtrack of the same name, was the last hit the group would have. "I’ll Take You There" was The Staple Singers’ first number one hit (June 3, 1972).

1980 - The John Lennon hit, "(Just Like) Starting Over", began a five-week stay at #1 on the pop charts. The hit was from the album, "Double Fantasy". Lennon was murdered on December 8th of that year, as the single and LP had started their climb up the charts.

1984 - British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was the woman most admired by the American people, according to a Gallup Poll. It marked the third consecutive year that the ‘Iron Lady’ received that honor.

1986 - Corazon Aquino, President of the Philippines, was named "TIME" magazine’s Man of the Year. The only other women who had been so named were Queen Elizabeth II in 1952; and the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Warfield Simpson, in 1936.

1991 - Amid strained U.S.-Philippine relations, the Philippine government ordered the U.S. to close its Subic Bay naval base near Manila by January 12, 1992.

2001 - U.S. officials announced that Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners captured in Afghanistan would be held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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Birthdays - December 27
1571 - Johannes Kepler (‘founder of modern optics’: formulated eyeglass design for nearsightedness and farsightedness; coined term: Dioptrice, describing real, virtual, upright and inverted images and magnification; discovered the properties of total internal reflection; astronomer: 1st to correctly explain planetary motion; used stellar parallax caused by the Earth’s orbit to measure distance to the stars; suggested that Sun rotates about its axis, that tides are caused by the Moon; formed basis of integral calculus; derived the universally accepted birth year of Christ; writer: Astronomia Pars Optica, Dioptrice, Stereometrica Doliorum; died Nov 15, 1630)

1773 - Sir George Cayley (pilot: first manned glider flight; scientist: ‘father of aerodynamics’: designed gliders, helicopters, airplanes; died Dec 15, 1857)

1822 - Louis Pasteur (chemist, scientist: developed pasteurization process, rabies vaccination; died Sep 28, 1895)

1879 - Sydney Greenstreet (actor: Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Across the Pacific, Passage to Marseilles, Malaya; died Jan 18, 1954)

1901 - Marlene Dietrich (Maria Magdelene von Losch) (actress: The Blue Angel, 1st German talkie; Morocco, Kismet, Destry Rides Again, Judgment at Nuremberg, Witness for the Prosecution; died May 6, 1992)

1906 - Oscar Levant (musician, actor: An American in Paris, The Bandwagon, Romance on the High Seas; died Aug 14, 1972)

1911 - Anna Russell (comedienne: operatic parodies: The Ring of the Nibelungs, How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera; died Oct 18, 2006)

1915 - William H. Masters (physician: Human Sexual Response, On Sex and Human Loving; died Feb 16, 2001)

1926 - Lee Salk (child psychologist, writer: Preparing for parenthood : understanding your feelings about pregnancy, childbirth, and your baby; died May 2, 1992)

1931 - Walter Norris (pianist, composer: Drifting; died Oct 29, 2011)

1933 - Dave Marr (golf champion: PGA [1965]; died Oct 5, 1997)

1939 - John Amos (actor: Good Times, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Coming to America, Future Cop)

1940 - Jerry Lambert (horse jockey; died Feb 23, 2015)

1941 - Phil (Philip Joseph) Gagliano (baseball: SL Cardinals [World Series: 1967, 1968], Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds)

1941 - Les Maguire (musician: piano: group: Gerry and The Pacemakers: Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying, I Like It)

1943 - Roy (Hilton) White (baseball: NY Yankees [World Series: 1976-1978/all-star: 1969, 1970])

1944 - Mick Jones (musician: guitar: group: Foreigner: Feels like the First Time, Cold as Ice, Long Long Way from Home, Hot Blooded, Blue Morning Blue Day, Double Vision, Waiting for a Girl like You, I Want to Know What Love Is, That Was Yesterday)

1946 - Rich Jones (basketball: San Antonio Spurs)

1947 - Bob McKay (football: Univ. of Texas; NFL: Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots)

1947 - Mickey Redmond (hockey: Detroit Red Wings player/broadcast color analyst)

1948 - Gerard Depardieu (actor: A Pure Formality, My Father the Hero, Cyrano deBergerac, Jean De Florette, The Return of Martin Guerre, Tartuffe, Choice of Arms, Loulou, Going Places, The Holes)

1952 - Tovah Feldshuh (actress: Holocaust, The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal, Brewster’s Millions, Blue Iguana, A Day in October)

1952 - David Knopfler (musician: guitar, singer: group: Dire Straits: Sultans of Swing; solo: Romeo & Juliet, Tunnel of Love, Skateaway; LPs: Release, Behind the Lines, Cut the Wine)

1952 - (Gordon) Craig Reynolds (baseball: pitcher: Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners [all-star: 1978], Houston Astros [all-star: 1979])

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - December 27
1948
Buttons and Bows - Dinah Shore
On a Slow Boat to China - The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood)
My Darlin, My Darling - Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae
A Heart Full of Love (For a Handful of Kisses) - Eddy Arnold

1956
Singing the Blues - Guy Mitchell
A Rose and a Baby Ruth - George Hamilton IV
Garden of Eden - Joe Valino
Singing the Blues - Marty Robbins

1964
I Feel Fine - The Beatles
She’s a Woman - The Beatles
Goin’ Out of My Head - Little Anthony & The Imperials
Once a Day - Connie Smith

1972
Me and Mrs. Jones - Billy Paul
You Ought to Be with Me - Al Green
Clair - Gilbert O’Sullivan
Got the All Overs for You (All Over Me) - Freddie Hart & The Heartbeats

1980
(Just Like) Starting Over - John Lennon
Love on the Rocks - Neil Diamond
Hungry Heart - Bruce Springsteen
That’s All That Matters - Mickey Gilley

1988
Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison
My Prerogative - Bobby Brown
Two Hearts - Phil Collins
When You Say Nothing at All - Keith Whitley

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


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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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