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June 20

Events - June 20
1782 - The Great Seal of the United States was adopted by Congress. William Barton designed the seal which consists of an eagle, an olive branch and 13 arrows -- one for each of the original 13 colonies.

1837 - Princess Victoria became Queen Victoria of England on this day, following the death of her uncle, King William IV. The Princess was only 18 when she was called to rule Britannia. Her first duty, "Hey, let’s call this the Victorian Age! Party on, subjects!" said she. And so it was for over 63 years until her death in 1901.

1863 - The National Bank of Philadelphia, PA received a charter from the U.S. Congress. It was the first bank to receive one.

1863 - Virginia’s cessation from the Union gave reason for the birth of West Virginia. 40 western counties of Virginia did not secede, and instead, formed their own government, officially entering the United States of America this day as the 35th state. Charleston is the capital of the Mountain State which boasts of having the most rugged terrain of any state east of the Mississippi. Throughout the forested hills of West Virginia, you’ll also find many cardinals (the state bird) and multitudes of the state flower, the big rhododendron.

1898 - It’s difficult to have a war when you don’t know there’s one going on and you don’t have any ammunition. So goes the story as to why, during the Spanish-American War, the Spanish commander of Guam surrendered to Captain Glass, the captain of the "USS Charleston".

1910 - Fanny Brice, born Fannie Borach, debuted in the New York production of the "Ziegfeld Follies". It wasn't long before Brice became known as America’s funny girl.

1921 - Alice M. Robertson of Oklahoma presided over the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the first woman to accept the task, even though it was only for a few minutes.

1939 - W2XBS (later WCBS-TV) in New York City televised the first TV operetta. "Pirates of Penzance", composed by Gilbert and Sullivan, was presented to a very small viewing audience. Television was a new, experimental medium at the time.

1948 - "Toast of the Town" premiered on CBS-TV. New York entertainment columnist and critic Ed Sullivan was the host. It started his TV career that would span 23 years on a weekly basis. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis made their television debut on the show. Also on the guest list: Rodgers & Hammerstein and pianist Eugene List. The first show of "Toast of the Town" cost $1375 to produce, including just $375 for the talent.

1950 - Willie Mays graduated from high school this day and immediately signed with the New York Giants for a $6,000 bonus. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ would play most of his career for the Giants -- in both New York and San Francisco -- becoming a baseball legend. As his career came to a close, Mays was traded to the New York Mets. Mays, an all-star center fielder, is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1960 - Floyd Patterson took back the world heavyweight title by knocking out Ingemar Johansson of Sweden in round five of a title bout at the Polo Grounds in New York City. (Patterson was knocked out in one round by Sonny Liston in a title bout in Chicago, Sep 25, 1962.)

1963 - The United States and the Soviet Union made a hot-line agreement. It was a way to establish emergency communications between the two superpowers during the Cold War. The system was tested, but never used.

1970 - "The Long and Winding Road", by The Beatles, started a second week in the number one spot on the pop music charts. The tune was the last one to be released by The Beatles.

1987 - Whitney Houston’s album, "Whitney", debuted on "Billboard" magazine’s album chart at number one. Houston became the first female to have an LP debut at the top. The singer, daughter of Cissy Houston and cousin of Dionne Warwick, began her singing career at age 11 with the New Hope Baptist Junior Choir in New Jersey. Houston first worked as a backup vocalist for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls; entered modeling in 1981, appearing in "Glamour" magazine and on the cover of "Seventeen". Whitney married soul singer, Bobby Brown, in the late 1980s.

1991 - “I’m very pleased to welcome to the White House the newly-elected President of the Russian Republic, Boris Yeltsin,” said (41st) U.S. President George Bush (George I), greeting Yeltsin in the Rose Garden. “We will be interested in his views on the critical issues confronting the U.S.S.R. and its place in the world.”

1993 - The Chicago Bulls won their third consecutive title with a 99-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns in game 6 of the NBA finals. Michael Jordan was named MVP -- the first player to be named most valuable player of the National Basketball Association finals three years in a row.

1996 - Westinghouse Electric agreed to buy Infinity Broadcasting for $3.9 billion, a move that would combine the two biggest players in radio. That was just the beginning, as they say, of the gobbling up of American radio by corporate America. Congress had passed the Telecommunications Act in February 1996 permitting expansion of TV and radio station holdings, and removing restrictions on how many stations could be owned by one entity (huge corporation) in one market (your town/city).

1999 - Payne Stewart made a 15-foot par putt on the 18th hole at famous Pinehurst Resort & Country Club's No. 2 course in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The putt was just enough to win the U.S. Open by one stroke over Phil Mickelson. Stewart, one stroke behind with three holes to play -- and apparently heading for a play-off round the next day -- made a 25-foot putt for par to catch Mickelson, a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to take the lead, and then his 24th putt of the day to win the championship.

1999 - (42nd) U.S. President Bill Clinton was pleased that Yugoslav troops were withdrawing from Kosovo. As NATO declared a formal end to its 11-week bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, Clinton said, “It’s a very happy day.”

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - June 20
1858 - Charles Chesnutt (novelist: The Conjure Woman, The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, The Colonel’s Dream; died Nov 15, 1932)

1909 - Errol (Leslie Thomson) Flynn (actor: Captain Blood, In the Wake of the Bounty, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Too Much Too Soon; autobiography: My Wicked, Wicked Ways; died Oct 14, 1959)

1921 - (Francisco Olegario) Pancho Segura (International Tennis Hall of Famer: Univ of Miami: U.S. Intercollegiate [1943, 1944 and 1945]; Grand Slam record: U.S. Doubles finalist [1944], mixed finalist [1943, 1947; writer: Pancho Segura’s Championship Strategy: How To Play Winning Tennis)

1924 - Chet (Chester Burton) Atkins (Grammy Award-winning guitarist: made over 100 albums; elected to Country Music Hall of Fame [1973]; died June 30, 2001)

1924 - Audie Murphy (American hero: most decorated GI of WWII [27 US decorations including Medal of Honor plus 5 decorations from France and Belgium]; actor: The Red Badge of Courage, The Unforgiven, Arizona Raiders, To Hell and Back; killed in plane crash May 28, 1971)

1928 - Martin Landau (Academy Award-winning supporting actor: Ed Wood [1994]; Mission Impossible, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Tucker: The Man and His Dreams, By Dawn’s Early Light, Mistress, North by Northwest, Pork Chop Hill)

1931 - Olympia Dukakis (Academy Award-winning actress: Moonstruck [1987]; Steel Magnolias, Working Girl, The Cemetery Club, Death Wish, Look Who’s Talking; cousin of U.S. presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis)

1931 - James Tolkan (actor: Dick Tracy, Back to the Future, Serpico, Mary, The Hat Squad, Cobra)

1933 - Danny Aiello (Daniel Louis Aiello, Jr.) (actor: Lady Blue, Moonstruck, Do the Right Thing, Ruby, Mistress, Me and the Kid, The Cemetery Club, The Pickle, The Godfather Part 2, Fort Apache, The Bronx, Harlem Nights, Dellaventura)

1933 - Brett Halsey (actor: Black Cat, Dangerous Obsession, Twice-Told Tales, Return to Peyton Place, The Crash of Flight 401)

1934 - Rossana Podesta (actress: The Sensual Man, Sodom and Gomorrah; died Dec 10, 2013)

1935 - Len Dawson (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback; sportscaster)

1936 - Billy Guy (singer: group: The Coasters: Down in Mexico, Searchin’, Young Blood, Yakety Yak, Charlie Brown, Along Came Jones, Poison Ivy, Little Egypt; died Nov 5, 2002)

1937 - Jerry Keller (singer: Here Comes Summer)

1940 - John Mahoney (actor: Frasier, Cheers, The Human Factor, Primal Fear, In the Line of Fire, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Ten Million Dollar Getaway, Love Hurts, The Russia House, Tin Men, Moonstruck, The Manhattan Project)

1942 - Brian Wilson (bass player, singer: group: The Beach Boys: 35 hits: I Get Around, Good Vibrations, Help Me, Rhonda, Surfin’ USA; inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [1988])

1943 - Andy (Andrew Auguste) Etchebarren (baseball: catcher: Baltimore Orioles [World Series: 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971/all-star: 1966, 1967], California Angels, Milwaukee Brewers)

1944 - Dave (David Earl) Nelson (baseball: Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, Texas Rangers [all-star: 1973], KC Royals)

1945 - (Morna) Anne Murray (Grammy Award-winning singer: Love Song [1974], You Needed Me [1978], Could I Have This Dance [1980], A Little Good News [1983]; Danny’s Song, Snowbird, You Won’t See Me, He Thinks I Still Care, Shadows In the Moonlight; TV: Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour)

1945 - Dave Rowe (football: Oakland Raiders defensive tackle: Super Bowl XI)

1946 - Bob Vila (TV host/fixer-upper: This Old House, Home Again with Bob Vila; Sears super salesman)

1946 - Andre Watts (musician: classical pianist: Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

1947 - Candy Clark (actress: American Graffiti, Handle with Care, The Big Sleep, National Lampoon Goes to the Movies, Johnny Belinda, Blue Thunder, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Radioland Murders, Niagara, Niagara)

1949 - Dave Elmendorf (football: LA Rams safety: Super Bowl XIV)

1949 - Lionel Richie (musician: tenor sax, songwriter, singer: group: Commodores: ASCAP Nashville Country Songwriter Award: Three Times a Lady [1978]; solo: Truly, All Night Long [All Night], Hello, Say You Say Me)

1949 - Dave Thomas (comedian, actor: Coneheads, Cold Sweat, Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird, Stripes, Second City TV, The New Show, Grace Under Fire; TV host: The Dave Thomas Comedy Show)

1952 - John Goodman (actor: Roseanne, The Flintstones, The Babe, King Ralph, Born Yesterday, Matinee, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, Blues Brothers 2000, What Planet Are You From?, O Brother, Where Art Thou?)

1953 - Alan Longmuir (musician: bass: group: Bay City Rollers: Keep on Dancing, Bye Bye Baby, Give Me a Little Love, Saturday Night)

1953 - Raul Ramirez (tennis: champ: Italian Open [1975])

1954 - Michael Anthony (musician: bass: group: Van Halen: Dance the Night Away, [Oh] Pretty Woman, Runnin’ with the Devil, Jump, I’ll Wait, Panama)

1958 - Dickie (Richard William) Thon (baseball: California Angels, Houston Astros [all-star: 1983], SD Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers)

1960 - Doug (Douglas Wayne) Gwosdz (‘Eye Chart’: baseball: catcher: SD Padres)

1960 - John Taylor (musician: guitar, bass: 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)

1961 - Gary Varsho (baseball: Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates [NL champs [1991, 1992], Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies)

1964 - Michael Landon Jr. (actor: Bonanza: The Return, Bonanza: The Ghosts)

1967 - Nicole (Mary) Kidman (Academy Award-winning actress [The Hours (2003)]; Days of Thunder, Far and Away, Malice, Batman Forever, Billy Bathgate, The Portrait of a Lady, Eyes Wide Shut, Practical Magic, Moulin Rouge)

1969 - MaliVai Washington (tennis: champ: Federal Express international [1992]; grand slam final: Wimbledon [1996]; created Mal Washington Kids Foundation)

1972 - Jozef Stumpel (hockey: NHL: center: Boston Bruins, LA Kings}

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Chart Toppers - June 20
1947
Peg o’ My Heart - The Harmonicats
Mam’selle - Art Lund
Linda - Buddy Clark with the Ray Noble Orchestra
It’s a Sin - Eddy Arnold

1955
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado
Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley & His Comets
It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie - Somethin’ Smith & The Redheads
Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young - Faron Young

1963
Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto
You Can’t Sit Down - The Dovells
Blue on Blue - Bobby Vinton
Act Naturally - Buck Owens

1971
It’s Too Late/I Feel the Earth Move - Carole King
Rainy Days and Mondays - Carpenters
Treat Her Like a Lady - Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
When You’re Hot, You’re Hot - Jerry Reed

1979
Hot Stuff - Donna Summer
We are Family - Sister Sledge
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
She Believes in Me - Kenny Rogers

1987
Head to Toe - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston
In Too Deep - Genesis
Forever and Ever, Amen - Randy Travis

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

1858 - Charles Chesnutt
novelist: The Conjure Woman, The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, The Colonel’s Dream; died Nov 15, 1932

1906 - Robert Trent Jones
golf course architect: designed or redesigned some 500 golf courses in 40+ U.S. states and 35 other countries around the world; Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail named for him; died June 14, 2000

1907 - Jimmie (Jimmy) Driftwood
musician: guitar; songwriter: The Battle of New Orleans, Tennessee Stud; singer: Fair Rosamond’s Bower, I’m Too Young to Marry, The Land Where the Blue Grass Grows, Sweet Betsy From Pike, I’m Leavin’ on the Wagon Train; died July 12, 1998

1909 - Errol (Leslie Thomson) Flynn
actor: Captain Blood, In the Wake of the Bounty, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Too Much Too Soon; autobiography: My Wicked, Wicked Ways; died Oct 14, 1959


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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