Events - February 8
1802 - Simon Willard patented the banjo clock. He couldn’t play it a lick, but it did keep good time...
1887 - The Aurora Ski Club of Red Wing, MN became the first ski club in the United States.
1910 - Chicago businessman William D. Boyce of Chicago incorporated the Boy Scouts of America. He didn’t, however, conceptualize the scouting movement -- the Boy Scouts were originated by Englishman, Sir Robert S.S. Baden-Powell. It seems that Mr. Boyce was visiting England and one foggy day in London town, he lost his way. A young boy guided him, but refused any monetary reward. A surprised Mr. Boyce queried as to why. The boy replied that he was a Scout and Scouts did not accept a reward for doing a good turn. This gesture of good will so inspired Boyce that he searched out Baden-Powell to learn more about the British Scouts. Upon his return to the United States, he formed the Boy Scouts of America.
1918 - "The Stars and Stripes", the weekly newspaper of the American Expeditionary Forces, was published for the first time.
1924 - John Joseph Carty of the Bell Telephone System spoke in Chicago, IL. His speech was carried across the nation on the first coast-to-coast radio hookup. An estimated 50-million people heard the speech.
1927 - The original version of the motion picture, "Getting Gertie’s Garter", opened at the Hippodrome Theatre in New York City. The movie centered on a young lawyer who, believe it or not, didn’t know the difference between a bracelet and a garter.
1936 - The first National Football League draft was held. Jay Berwanger was the first to be selected. He went to the Philadelphia Eagles.
1960 - U.S. Congressional investigators began exploring the influence of payola in the radio and record industries. Alan Freed and "American Bandstand" host, Dick Clark, among others, were called to testify.
1963 - Lamar Hunt, owner of the American Football League franchise in Dallas, TX, moved the operation to Kansas City. He named the new team the Chiefs. Dallas got possession of an NFL franchise known as the Cowboys.
1969 - The last issue of the "Saturday Evening Post" was published, ending a magazine tradition that began in 1821.
1984 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers scored 27 points while leading his team to a 111-109 victory over the Boston Celtics. Abdul-Jabbar passed Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA career record of 12,682 field goals on this night.
1984 - The Winter Olympics opened in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina). Some 1,579 athletes from 50 nations participated. The Olympic facilities have since been all but destroyed by the war in Bosnia.
1985 - "The Dukes of Hazzard" ended its 6-1/2 year run on CBS television. The series was credited with using more stunt men than any other TV series in history. The show had used as many as eight cars per episode when the crash sequences got complicated. Waylon Jennings did the theme song, "The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)".
1986 - Billy Olson, who actually claimed that he was afraid of heights, broke an indoor pole vault record for the seventh time in four months. He vaulted 19 feet, 5-1/2 inches.
1987 - The West beat the East in the NBA All-Star Game. A record was set for total points scored. The West won 154-149 in overtime.
1990 - Singer Del Shannon (Charles Westover) shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber rifle at his home in Santa Clarita, California. He was 50. Shannon’s first and biggest hit was "Runaway", which hit number one in the U.S. April 24, 1961. His other top-20 singles included "Hats Off to Larry", "Little Town Flirt" and "Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow the Sun)".
1992 - The XVIth Winter Olympic Games opened in Albertville, France. The games ran through Feb 23 and included 64 countries with 1801 athletes, 488 of whom were women.
1992 - The single by R*S*F (Right Said Fred), "I’m Too Sexy", was #1 in the U.S. It was a smash, staying at number one for three weeks, then dropping to number two for three more. “I’m too sexy for my car; too sexy for my car; Too sexy by far; And I’m too sexy for my hat; Too sexy for my hat; what do you think about that...”
1996 - An agreement was reached between the city of Cleveland, the NFL and Art Modell, permitting Modell to move his football franchise, the Cleveland Browns, to Baltimore. As part of the agreement, the name Browns, its team colors, and storied history would remain in the proud city of Cleveland.
Birthdays - February 8
1820 - William Tecumseh Sherman (army officer: Civil War hero: famous for his march through Georgia: “War is hell.”; died Feb 14, 1891)
1828 - Jules Verne (‘the father of science fiction’: writer: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days; died Mar 24, 1905)
1888 - Dame Edith Evans (actress: Scrooge, Look Back in Anger, David Copperfield, The Madwoman of Chaillot; died Oct 14, 1976)
1919 - Buddy Morrow (Moe Zudekoff) (bandleader: Night Train, Hey Mrs. Jones, theme from Man with the Golden Arm; died Sep 27, 2010)
1921 - Lana (Julia Jean) Turner (actress: Ziegfeld Girl, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Madame X, Love Finds Andy Hardy; died June 29, 1995)
1922 - Audrey Meadows (Emmy Award-winning actress: The Jackie Gleason Show ; The Honeymooners, That Touch of Mink; sister of actress, Jayne Meadows; died Feb 3, 1996)
1925 - Jack Lemmon (John Uhler Lemmon III) (Academy Award-winning actor: Mr. Roberts , Save the Tiger ; The Apartment, The Odd Couple, Grumpy Old Men series, Some Like It Hot, The China Syndrome, Airport ’77, The Fortune Cookie, Irma La Douce, Days of Wine and Roses, Bell, Book and Candle, My Fellow Americans, Out to Sea; died June 27, 2001)
1930 - Jim Dooley (football: Chicago Bears; head coach: Chicago Bears [1968-1971: 20-36-0]; died Jan 8, 2008)
1930 - Alejandro Rey (actor: The Grace Kelly Story, Fun in Acapulco; died May 21, 1987)
1931 - James (Byron) Dean (actor: Giant, East of Eden, Rebel Without A Cause; killed in car crash Sep 30, 1955)
1932 - John Williams (Academy Award-winning composer: film scores: Schindler’s List , E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial , Star Wars , Fiddler on the Roof ; Jurassic Park, Home Alone series, JFK, Indiana Jones series, Born on the Fourth of July, The Accidental Tourist, Superman series, Jaws series, The Deer Hunter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Black Sunday, Midway, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, The Paper Chase, The Poseidon Adventure; conductor: Boston Pops)
1936 - Larry Verne (singer: Please Mr. Custer; died Oct 8, 2013)
1937 - Billy Cannon (football: Heisman Trophy winner: LSU ; Oakland Raiders tight end: Super Bowl II)
1938 - Ray Sharpe (singer: Linda Lu)
1940 - Ted Koppel (journalist; anchor: Nightline)
1941 - Nick Nolte (actor: Down and Out in Beverly Hills, The Deep, Blue Chips, 48 Hours, The Prince of Tides, Extreme Prejudice)
1942 - Robert Klein (comedian: TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes)
1943 - Creed Bratton (musician: guitar, banjo, sitar: group: The Grass Roots: Sooner or Later, Let’s Live for Today)
1943 - Bob (Robert Lee) Oliver (baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates, KC Royals, California Angels, Baltimore Orioles, NY Yankees)
1944 - Bunky Henry (golf: PGA Tour, SPGA Tour; football: 21st Gator Bowl , Georgia Tech Hall of Fame)
1947 - Larry Walton (football: Detroit Lions)
1949 - Brooke Adams (actress: Days of Heaven, Gas Food Lodging, O.K. Crackerby)
1953 - Mary Steenburgen (actress: Nixon, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Back to the Future, Part 3, Parenthood, Melvin and Howard)
1955 - John Grisham (author: A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker; attorney; legislator)
1961 - Vince Neil (Wharton) (singer: group: Motley Crue: LP: Theatre of Pain)
1968 - Gary Coleman (actor: Diff’rent Strokes, Webster, The Kid from Left Field, The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins; died May 28, 2010)
1970 - Alonzo Mourning (basketball: Georgetown Univ; NBA: Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat; earnings: $110 million over 7 years)
Chart Toppers - February 8
My Heart Cries for You - Guy Mitchell
Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
If - Perry Como
There’s Been a Change in Me - Eddy Arnold
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
The All American Boy - Bill Parsons
Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
Billy Bayou - Jim Reeves
I’m a Believer - The Monkees
Georgy Girl - The Seekers
Kind of a Drag - The Buckinghams
There Goes My Everything - Jack Greene
Fire - Ohio Players
You’re No Good - Linda Ronstadt
Boogie on Reggae Woman - Stevie Wonder
Then Who Am I - Charley Pride
Africa - Toto
Baby, Come to Me - Patti Austin with James Ingram
Shame on the Moon - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Inside - Ronnie Milsap
The First Time - Surface
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C & C Music
Factory featuring Freedom Williams
Play that Funky Music - Vanilla Ice
Daddy’s Come Around - Paul Overstreet
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.