440 International Those Were the Days
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June 8

Events - June 8
1783 - Iceland’s Laki volcano blew its top and continued to spew lava for eight more months. This, one of the most violent of volcanic eruptions, killed 9,350 people and caused a famine which lasted until 1790.

1786 - Commercial ice cream was manufactured for the first time -- in New York City.

1808 - The "Phoenix", the largest ocean-going steamboat in the world, left New York Harbor for Philadelphia, PA. It was the first ocean voyage ever taken by a steamboat. John Stevens built the mammoth boat.

1869 - Ives W. McGaffey of Chicago, IL received a U.S. patent for the suction vacuum cleaner. “You can be sure, if it’s McGaffey!”

1872 - A little-remembered piece of history happened on this day: The U.S. Congress authorized the penny postal card.

1927 - Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded "When Day is Done" on Victor Records. Listen to a CD version of the hits of the great bandleader and you’ll hear Henry Busse featured on the trumpet.

1942 - The comic soap opera "Clara, Lu ’n Em" was revived on CBS radio (the original show began in 1931 on NBC). Clara, Lu and Em were together again for just a short while before vanishing into radio oblivion.

1947 - "Lassie" debuted on ABC radio. It was a 15-minute show about an extraordinary collie. Animal imitator, Earl Keen provided the whines and other dog noises. The announcer was Charles Lyon; Marvin Miller and Betty Arnold played Lassie’s owners. The sponsor was Red Heart dog food.

1948 - Mr. Television, Milton Berle was the first host of "Texaco Star Theater". Others hosted the show during the summer, but Berle made the cut, becoming the permanent emcee, staying in the spotlight for another eighteen years. The format of "Texaco Star Theater" included the four Texaco Service Men singing the Texaco jingle which then worked into a musical introduction of Uncle Miltie. He would come on stage at this point, dressed in some outlandish costume. And the show went on...

1950 - The Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Browns, 29-4, as Sox fans saw Al Zarilla of Boston hit four doubles in the game.

1961 - A major-league baseball record was set. Four Milwaukee Braves batters hit consecutive home runs in the seventh inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds.

1968 - LA Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale’s major-league streak of scoreless innings pitched, was stopped at 58-2/3 as Howie Bedell, of the Philadelphia Phillies, hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. The Dodgers did go on to beat the Phillies 5-3 that day. The Drysdale record stood until 1987, when it was broken by Orel Hersheiser, also of the Dodgers (at that time).

1969 - Yankee Stadium in New York City was sold out as Number 7, Mickey Mantle, formally retired from baseball.

1969 - NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle announced that a single-league schedule would replace the separate NFL and AFL schedules in 1970.

1973 - Johnny Unitas signed a two-year contract to play out his football career with the San Diego Chargers. Unitas had quarterbacked the Baltimore Colts for 16 NFL seasons in some of the most exciting pro football ever seen.

1985 - Jockey Eddie Maple rode Creme Fraiche to victory in the Belmont Stakes, marking the fourth consecutive winner for trainer Woody Stephens. The win marked the highest number of successive Belmont wins since R.W. Walden captured his fifth Belmont Stakes win in 1882.

1998 - Actor Charlton Heston formally assumed the presidency of the National Rifle Association. He vowed to use his star power to communicate the message that NRA members are regular, all-American folk. “At least that’s a skill I have, and my public face is useful, too,” Heston said.

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - June 8
1810 - Robert Schumann (composer: Symphonic Etudes, Fantasia in C Major, Concerto in A Minor; died July 29, 1856)

1847 - Ida McKinley (Saxton) (First Lady: wife of 25th U.S. President, William McKinley; died May 26, 1907)

1867 - Frank Lloyd Wright (architect: Pennsylvania’s Falling Water, NYC’s Guggenheim Museum; “No house should be on any hill or on anything, it should be of the hill, belonging to it ...”; died Apr 9, 1959)

1917 - Byron ‘Whizzer’ White (football: Univ. of Colorado All-American [1937], NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers; associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court [1962-1993]; died Apr 15, 2002)

1918 - Robert Preston (Meservey) (actor: Victor Victoria, The Music Man, How the West was Won, Mame, Semi-Tough; died Mar 21, 1987)

1921 - Alexis (Gladys) Smith (actress: The Age of Innocence, The Young Philadelphians, Rhapsody in Blue; died June 9, 1993)

1923 - George Kirby (comedian, impressionist: The George Kirby Show, ABC Comedy Hour; died Sep 30, 1995)

1925 - Barbara Bush (Pierce) (First Lady: wife of 41st President of the U.S., George Bush)

1927 - Jerry Stiller (comedian: Stiller and (Anne) Meara; actor: Seinfeld, The King of Queens, Hairspray, Tattingers, The Paul Lynde Show; father of actor Ben Stiller)

1931 - Dana Wynter (Dagmar Winter) (actress: Airport, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Sink the Bismarck; died May 5, 2011)

1933 - Joan Rivers (Joan Alexandra Molinsky) (comedienne; author: Bouncing Back: I’ve Survived Everything... and I Mean Everything ...and You Can Too!; TV host: The Tonight Show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers; “Can we talk?”; died Sep 4, 2014)

1936 - James Darren (Ercolani) (singer: Goodbye Cruel World, Her Royal Majesty; actor: The Guns of Navarone, Because They’re Young, Gidget; host: Time Tunnel)

1939 - Bernie Casey (actor: Roots: The Next Generation, The Bay City Blues, In the Mouth of Madness, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Rent-A- Cop, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Backfire, Revenge of the Nerds, Never Say Never Again, Sharky’s Machine, The Martian Chronicles series; football player)

1940 - Nancy Sinatra (singer: These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, Sugar Town, Somethin’ Stupid [w/pop, Frank], Jackson [w/Lee Hazelwood]; actress: The Wild Angels, Speedway)

1942 - Chuck Negron (singer: group: Three Dog Night: Joy to the World, Black and White, One, Easy to Be Hard, Eli’s Coming, Mama Told Me Not to Come, An Old Fashioned Love Song, Shambala)

1943 - Willie Davenport (Olympic Gold Medalist: 110 meter hurdles [1968], bronze medalist [1976]; National Track & Field Hall of Famer: 60-yard hurdles champion [1966, 67, 69, 70, 71]; died Jun 17, 2002)

1944 - Mark (Henry) Belanger (baseball: shortstop: Baltimore Orioles [World Series: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979/all-star:1976], LA Dodgers; died Oct 6, 1998)

1944 - Don Grady (Agrati) (actor: My Three Sons, Mickey Mouse Club; died Jun 27, 2012)

1944 - Boz (William) Scaggs (musician, singer: Lowdown, Lido Shuffle, Miss Sun, Look What You’ve Done to Me; songwriter: Silk Degrees, Middle Man)

1947 - Mick Box (musician: guitar, songwriter: group: Uriah Heep: Gypsy, Salisbury, July Morning, Easy Livin’)

1947 - Sara Paretsky (writer: Burn Marks, Killing Orders)

1950 - Kathy Baker (Emmy Award-winning actress: Picket Fences [1992-1993, 1994-1995, 1995-1996]; Edward Scissorhands, Mad Dog and Glory, The Right Stuff, The Cider House Rules, Boston Public)

1951 - Bonnie Tyler (singer: Total Eclipse of the Heart, It’s a Heartache)

1955 - Griffin Dunne (actor: The Android Affair, Quiz Show, Love Matters, Straight Talk, Big Blue, Amazon Women on the Moon, Johnny Dangerously, An American Werewolf in London, The Other Side of the Mountain; producer: Head Over Heels, Running on Empty, White Palace, Joe’s Apartment)

1958 - Keenan Ivory Wayans (Emmy Award-winning producer: In Living Color [1990]; actor, writer, director: In Living Color, A Low Down Dirty Shame, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Hollywood Shuffle; actor: For Love and Honor)

1960 - Mick ‘Red’ Hucknall (singer: group: Simply Red: Money’s Too Tight to Mention, Holding Back the Years, The Right Thing)

1962 - Nick Rhodes (Bates) (musician: keyboards: group: Duran Duran: Planet Earth, Hungry like the Wolf, Save a Prayer, Rio, Is There Something I Should Know, Union of the Snake, Wild Boys)

1965 - Neil Mitchell (musician: keyboards: group: Wet Wet Wet: Love Is All Around, Angel Eyes, Goodnight Girl, With a Little Help From My Friends, Sweet Surrender)

1965 - Robert Pilatus (performer, lip-syncer: group: Milli Vanilli: Girl You Know It’s True, Blame It on the Rain; died Apr 2, 1998)

1966 - Julianna Margulies (actress: The Good Wife, ER, The Newton Boys, What's Cooking?, The Mists of Avalon)

1966 - Doris Pearson (singer, songwriter: group: Five Star: The Love You Bring to Me, Some Kind of Magic, Surely, I Give You Give)

1967 - Dan Futterman (actor: Judging Amy, The Fisher King, Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even, Another World, Shooting Fish, Urbania)

1970 - Kelli Williams (actress: The Practice, Zapped Again!, Switched at Birth)

1976 - Lindsay Davenport (tennis: champ: fourth player since computer rankings began [1977] to simultaneously hold world No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles [joining Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Martina Hingis])

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Chart Toppers - June 8
1951
Too Young - Nat King Cole
On Top of Old Smokey - The Weavers (vocal: Terry Gilkyson)
How High the Moon - Les Paul & Mary Ford
I Want to Be with You Always - Lefty Frizzell

1959
Dream Lover - Bobby Darin
Personality - Lloyd Price
Quiet Village - Martin Denny
The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton

1967
Respect - Aretha Franklin
Release Me (And Let Me Love Again) - Engelbert Humperdinck
Creeque Alley - The Mamas & The Papas
It’s Such a Pretty World Today - Wynn Stewart

1975
Thank God I’m a Country Boy - John Denver
Sister Golden Hair - America
Bad Time - Grand Funk
Window Up Above - Mickey Gilley

1983
Flashdance...What a Feeling - Irene Cara
Overkill - Men At Work
Time (Clock of the Heart) - Culture Club
Lucille (You Won’t Do Your Daddy’s Will) - Waylon Jennings

1991
More Than Words - Extreme
I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Badd
Rush, Rush - Paula Abdul
Meet in the Middle - Diamond Rio

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
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