Events - July 21
1861 - It isn't often that people are invited to a picnic to watch a war; but that's what happened on this day. It was the first major battle of the Civil War between the North and the South. U.S. Federal troops under the leadership of Major General Irwin McDowell attacked Confederate troops led by General Beauregard. It was the Battle of Bull Run Creek at Manassas Junction, Virginia. The Confederates, with the help of General E. Kirby Smith and General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson held back the Union troops like a stone wall. Many folks, dressed in their Sunday best, came to watch and picnic as 60,000 men fought for over ten hours. When a shell destroyed a wagon blocking the main road of retreat, panic sent Union troops and picnickers scurrying back to Washington D.C.
1873 - The first train robbery in America was pulled off by Jesse James and his gang. They took $3,000 from the Rock Island Express at Adair, IA. Stick ’em up. And don’t try to grab my mask!
1930 - The Veterans’ Administration of the United States was established this day.
1931 - Ted Husing was master of ceremonies for the very first CBS-TV program. The gala show featured singer Kate Smith, composer George Gershwin and New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker.
1944 - Harry S Truman accepted the Democratic party’s nomination for vice president of the U.S. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected for a fourth term that year -- with Truman as his VP. On April 12, 1945, Roosevelt died and Truman became president.
1957 - Althea Gibson became the first black woman to win a major U.S. tennis title. She won the Women’s National clay-court singles competition.
1958 - The last of "Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts" programs aired on CBS-TV. Many artists got their start on "Talent Scouts", including Tony Bennett, Pat Boone, The McGuire Sisters and a singer named Connie Francis -- who not only sang, but played the accordion, as well.
1959 - A U.S. District Court judge in New York City ruled that "Lady Chatterley’s Lover" was not a dirty book. The ruling was upheld in U.S. appeals court one year later. The book, incidentally, has been called a literary work of art. We recommend pages 21, 46 and 319.
1968 - Arnold Palmer became the first golfer to make a million dollars in career earnings after he tied for second place at the PGA Championship. Palmer accomplished the feat in just 13 years and 2 months as a professional golfer. He won 52 golf tournaments during that period.
1969 - Just one day after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Duke Ellington and a portion of his band performed a 10-minute composition on ABC-TV titled "Moon Maiden". The work featured piano, drums, bass and vocals.
1973 - "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" reached the top spot on the "Billboard" pop-singles chart, becoming Jim Croce’s first big hit. Croce died in a plane crash two months later (September 20, 1973).
1985 - The 10 sexiest men in the U.S., according to "Playgirl" magazine, included comedian John Candy, New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Representative Jack Kemp.
1985 - Sandy Lyle became the first British golfer in 16 years to win the British Open golf title. Tony Jacklin was the previous winner from Great Britain (1969).
1985 - Race horse John Henry retired. The thoroughbred was originally purchased for $1,100. The 1984 Horse of the Year had career winnings of $6.5 million. John Henry won 39 of 83 races and was 10 years old when he retired.
1987 - TV personality Mary Hart of "Entertainment Tonight" made news as she had her legs insured by Lloyd’s of London for $2 million.
1989 - Former president Ronald Reagan was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame, in recognition of his role as George Armstrong Custer in "The Santa Fe Trail" (1940) and as host of TV’s "Death Valley Days" (1965-1966).
1990 - Some 250,000 people celebrated at the site where the Berlin Wall once stood in East Berlin. Included in the benefit concert was an all-star cast performing Pink Floyd’s "The Wall." Artists who performed: The Band, The Scorpions, Ute Lemper, Thomas Dolby, Sinead O'Connor, Joni Mitchel, James Galway, Brian Adams, Jerry Hall, Van Morrison, Marianne Faithfull, Albert Finney. Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters (organizer of the concert) performed together with his group The Bleeding Heart Band. “Organizing this show was certainly a lot of hard work,” Waters said, “but it was excellent to work with Bryan Adams, Van Morrison, Cyndi Lauper and all the others.”
Birthdays - July 21
1864 - Frances Cleveland (Folsom) (wife of 22nd U.S. President Grover Cleveland; died Oct 29, 1947)
1899 - Ernest (Miller) Hemingway (Pulitzer Prize  & Nobel Prize-winning writer : The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls; died July 2, 1961)
1911 - (Herbert) Marshall McLuhan (professor, writer: Understanding Media, The Medium is the Massage; “The medium is the message.”; died Dec 31, 1980)
1920 - Isaac Stern (concert violin impresario: soundtrack: Fiddler on the Roof; died Sep 22, 2001)
1922 - Kay Starr (Katherine Starks) (singer: Rock and Roll Waltz, My Heart Reminds Me, Wheel of Fortune, Side By Side; died Nov 3, 2016)
1924 - Don Knotts (comedian, Emmy Award-winning actor: The Andy Griffith Show [1960-1961, 1961-1962, 1962-1963, 1965-1966, 1966-1967], Matlock, Three’s Company, The Don Knotts Show, The Steve Allen Show; died Feb 24, 2006)
1926 - Paul Burke (actor: Anatomy of Terror, Valley of the Dolls, Francis in the Navy, Twelve O’Clock High, Noah’s Ark, Naked City, Hot Shots, Dynasty; died Sep 13, 2009)
1926 - Norman Jewison (director: Moonstruck, Agnes of God, And Justice for All, Jesus Christ, Superstar, Fiddler on the Roof, Rollerball)
1930 - Gene Littler (golf champion: U.S. Open )
1931 - Gene Fullmer (International Boxing Hall of Famer: World Middleweight Champion , NBA Middleweight Champion [1959-1962]; died Apr 27, 2015)
1938 - Janet Reno (U.S. Attorney General 1993-2001)
1943 - Edward Herrmann (actor: Big Business, Beacon Hill, Reds, The Paper Chase, Mrs. Soffel, The Great Gatsby, Eleanor & Franklin; died Dec 31, 2014)
1943 - Jerry McGee (golf: champ: Pensacola Open , IVB-Philadelphia Classic , Kemper Open , Sammy Davis, Jr.-Greater Hartford Open )
1945 - Leigh Lawson (actor: Battling for Baby, O Pioneers!, Tears in the Rain, Tess, Love Among the Ruins, Brother Sun, Sister Moon)
1948 - Cat Stevens (Stephen Demetre Georgiou, Muslim name: Yusuf Islam) (singer: Wild World, Moon Shadow, Peace Train, Oh Very Young)
1948 - Garry Trudeau (cartoonist: Doonesbury)
1949 - Al (Alan Thomas) Hrabosky (‘The Mad Hungarian’: baseball: pitcher: SL Cardinals, KC Royals, Atlanta Braves)
1951 - Robin Williams (Academy Award-winning actor: Good Will Hunting ; comedian and/or actor: Mork and Mindy, Good Morning, Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poet’s Society, Popeye, The Fisher King, Hook, Comic Relief, Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, Jumanji, Jakob the Liar; died Aug 11, 2014)
1952 - Phil Russell (hockey: NHL: Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Flames, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres)
1957 - Jon Lovitz (comedian, actor: Saturday Night Live, A League of Their Own, City Slickers: The Legend of Curly’s Gold)
1958 - Henry Priestman (singer: group: The Christians)
1960 - Lance Guest (actor: Lou Grant, Knots Landing, Life Goes On, The Wizard of Loneliness, Jaws: The Revenge, The Last Starfighter, Halloween II: The Nightmare isn’t Over)
1960 - Matt Mulhern (actor: Biloxi Blues, Major Dad)
1961 - Jim Martin (musician: guitar: group: Faith No More)
1978 - Josh Hartnett (actor: Pearl Harbor, Cracker, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, The Virgin Suicides)
Chart Toppers - July 21
The Gypsy - The Ink Spots
They Say It’s Wonderful - Frank Sinatra
Surrender - Perry Como
New Spanish Two Step - Bob Wills
Little Things Mean a Lot - Kitty Kallen
Sh-Boom - The Crew Cuts
Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight - The McGuire Sisters
Even Tho - Webb Pierce
Roses are Red - Bobby Vinton
The Wah Watusi - The Orlons
Johnny Get Angry - Joanie Sommers
Wolverton Mountain - Claude King
Mama Told Me (Not to Come) - Three Dog Night
(They Long to Be) Close to You - Carpenters
Band of Gold - Freda Payne
He Loves Me All the Way - Tammy Wynette
Shadow Dancing - Andy Gibb
Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty
Miss You - The Rolling Stones
Only One Love in My Life - Ronnie Milsap
Invisible Touch - Genesis
Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
Nasty - Janet Jackson
Until I Met You - Judy Rodman
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.