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June 23

Events - June 23
1868 - Christopher L. Sholes of Wisconsin patented his type-writer. A Mr. Remington later turned it into a more practical typewriter. Christopher’s version was a little cumbersome. It was about as big as a desk. And it didn’t have any correcting ribbon. The writer didn’t need any since the huge type-writer hid the paper inside itself so one couldn’t see any typos until after the fact ... a lot like when you forget to use the spell-checker on your computer.

1904 - The first American motorboat race got underway on the Hudson River in New York.

1917 - The ‘Sultan of Swat’ did just that on this day ... he swatted an umpire! Babe Ruth punched an umpire with his fist after he was given the “Yer outta here, Bub!” in a baseball game between Boston and Washington. Ruth, pitching at the time, threw four pitches, all called balls by the home plate umpire. Ruth stomped off the pitcher’s mound to the plate and tongue-lashed Brick Owens with a volley of unmentionable cuss words. Ruth was ejected and fined $100. Here’s the rub. Ernie Shore came into the game and pitched what would have been the fourth perfect game in major-league baseball history as the Red Sox defeated Washington 4-0. In truth it was the only perfect game ever thrown by a relief pitcher. However, Shore came into the game with Ruth’s walk on first so the entire game was not perfect. The base runner was cut down stealing second. “How about that!”

1931 - Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off on a ’round-the-world airplane flight aboard the "Winnie Mae".

1931 - A young couple, who unknowingly would become the royal family of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, married today. Anne Bledsoe and William ‘Bill’ Henry Getty France tied the knot. Together, they built NASCAR into the largest sactioning organization of auto racing in the world.

1933 - "The Pepper Pot" radio program welcomed a new host. Don McNeill took over the show and renamed it "The Breakfast Club". The show, a huge success for the NBC Blue network and later, ABC radio, became one of the longest-running radio programs in history. The show aired with McNeill as host until December 27, 1968. "The Breakfast Club" was a morning show that had its share of corny jokes, visiting celebrities and lots of audience participation.

1938 - Marineland opened near St. Augustine, Florida.

1941 - "Front Page Farrell" was heard for the first time on Mutual radio. In 1942, the program moved to NBC radio and stayed on the air until 1954. Sally and David Farrell were the central characters. A young actor, who would become a major motion picture star, played the role of David Farrell. He was Richard Widmark.

1941 - Lena Horne recorded "St. Louis Blues" for Victor Records and launched an illustrious singing career in the process. She was 23 years old at the time. Horne continued performing well into her 60s.

1947 - "Wendy Warren and the News" debuted on CBS radio. The broadcasts continued until 1958. No, the program was not a newscast, in the traditional sense. It was a serial -- one of many of the time. The unique thing about this particular show, however, was that "Wendy Warren and the News" did utilize a real three-minute newscast to open the show. The newscaster, delivering the news as part of the show, chose not to stay in the entertainment side of radio, but continued to be a true journalist and a legend at CBS. That newsman was Douglas Edwards.

1956 - The thoroughbred Swaps ran the 1-1/16 mile track at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, CA, in a blistering 1 minute, 39 seconds, setting a world record for thoroughbred race horses.

1960 - Cleon Turner finally found an entrance to what would become known as Crystal Onyx Cave. Turner had been searching for the place for 30 years. He and a friend found a promising location on the side of Pruitt’s Knob (Kentucky) on this day. They had been digging and digging and digging. Finally, with the help of a little dynamite, they created the new entrance.

1961 - The Antarctic Treaty, signed by twelve nations in 1959, finally took effect on this day. The treaty guaranteed that the continent of Antarctica would be used for peaceful, scientific purposes only. The twelve original signers of the treaty were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since that time, 28 other nations have signed on to the pact.

1963 - How lucky we all are that Walt Disney changed his mind, and instead of opening the Bird Cafe, a Chinese restaurant with an animated, talking Chinese elder spouting Confucius-type bits of wisdom, he created the Enchanted Tiki Room. On this day, the sounds of Polynesian drums heralded the opening of Disneyland’s first Audio-Animatronic attraction. “All the birds sing words and the flowers croon, in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room.”

1985 - Golfer Arnold Palmer won his first victory of the year by setting a senior record. Palmer won the Senior Tournament Players Championship by 11 strokes.

1987 - The first celebrity cover girl to grace "Cosmopolitan" magazine since Elizabeth Taylor in 1969 was Madonna and she did it on this day.

1993 - Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis with a butcher knife -- while he was sleeping. Police recovered the organ from the roadside where Lorena tossed it. It was surgically reattached to hubby John Wayne Bobbitt, who, by then, was wide awake. Lorena said that she chopped off John’s penis because he had forced himself on her.

1995 - Los Angeles Raiders media release: “The Raiders organization has chosen to relocate to Oakland.” In a deju-vu-all-over-again kind of situation, Raiders owner Al Davis made the decision to take his team back to where it had come from. And the Raiders sued the NFL, claiming it forced the team to move by insisting that a second team be allowed to play at a new stadium Davis wanted to build at Hollywood Park in suburban Inglewood. Davis said the other team would have crippled his team financially when it came to selling luxury suites and building fan loyalty. He demanded more than $1 billion for the ‘right’ to the LA market and for compensation to his team for revenue to be lost because of the failed deal. Davis and the Raiders lost the suit on May 21, 2001. Kimberly Hamilton, forewoman of the 7-man, 5-woman jury said, “I think the key for me was that the Raiders did not have enough evidence to meet the burden of proof.” An NFL spokesman said, “The notion that the Raiders ‘own’ the Los Angeles market also was entirely unsupported by the evidence in this case. The Raiders abandoned Los Angeles when they returned to Oakland in 1995, just as they deserted Oakland in 1982 when they moved to the Los Angeles Coliseum.”

1996 - Michael Johnson beat the oldest world record in the books (Italy’s Pietro Mennea’s 19.72 had stood for 17 years). Johnson ran 200 meters in 19.66 seconds to wrap up the Olympic Trials in Atlanta, Georgia.

1996 - Rusty Wallace ran out of gas while racing in the Miller 400 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI. Fortunately for Wallace, his tank ran dry after he had crossed the finish line to win the race.

1999 - Wayne Gretzky became the 10th and final player to have the 3-year waiting period waived by the Hockey Hall of Fame “by reason of outstanding pre-eminence and skill.” ‘The Great One’ had joined nine others by being inducted immediately after retiring (he retired April 18, 1999). Gretzky was the NHL’s all-time scoring leader with 2,857 points, 894 goals, and 1,963 assists with four teams (Edmonton Oilers, LA Kings, SL Blues, NY Rangers) in 20 seasons. Gretzky holds or shares 61 National Hockey League records: 40 for regular season, 15 for playoffs and six for all-star competition.

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Birthdays - June 23
1876 - Irvin S. (Shrewsbury) Cobb (humorist: Old Judge Priest, Those Times and These, A Laugh a Day; autobiography: Exit Laughing; died Mar 11, 1944)

1894 - Dr. Alfred Kinsey (sexual behavior researcher: The Kinsey Report, The Sexual Behavior in the Human Male; died Aug 25, 1956)

1894 - Edward Patrick David (England’s Duke of Windsor/Edward VIII: only British monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne; died May 28, 1972)

1910 - Jean (-Marie-Lucien-Pierre) Anouilh (playwright: Becket, Antigone; died Oct 3, 1987)

1910 - Lawson Little Jr. (golf: champ: US/British Amateur tourneys [1934, 1935], U.S. Open [1940]; died Feb 1, 1968)

1910 - Edward P. Morgan (radio/TV reporter: ABC: Edward P. Morgan and the News; commentator: Ford Foundation-funded Public Broadcasting Laboratory; died Jan 27, 1993)

1916 - Irene Worth (Tony Award-winning actress: Sweet Bird of Youth [1976], Tiny Alice [1965]; Lost in Yonkers; died Mar 10, 2002)

1918 - Gilbert Dodds (track: Sullivan Award-winner [1943]; AAU indoor mile champion [1942, 1944, 1947]; 1948 world record at Wanamaker Indoor Mile [4:05.3]; died Feb 3, 1977)

1925 - Larry Blyden (Ivan Lawrence Blieden) (actor: Harry’s Girls; TV moderator: What’s My Line [1972-75]; died June 6, 1975)

1927 - Bob (Robert Louis) Fosse (Oscar Award-winning director: Cabaret [1972]; Tony Award-winning choreographer: Big Deal [1986], Dancin’ [1978], Sweet Charity [1966], Little Me [1963], Bob Fosse [1959], Damn Yankees [1956], The Pajama Game [1955]; director/choreographer: Pippin [1973]; Emmy Award-winning director: Singer Presents Liza with a ‘Z’ [1972-73]; autobiographical film: All That Jazz; died Sep 23, 1987)

1929 - June Carter Cash (Grammy Award-winning country singer [w/husband, Johnny Cash]: Jackson, If I were a Carpenter; songwriter: Ring of Fire; died May 15, 2003)

1930 - Walter Dukes (basketball: NCAA Div. I Individual Record Holder: season rebounds [734]: Seton Hall [1953]; died March 13, 2001)

1940 - Adam Faith (Terence Nelhams) (singer: Somebody Else’s Baby, How about That, Lonely Pup in a Christmas Shop, The Time Has Come; actor: Minder, Down an Alley Full of Cats, Stardust, Budgie, Mix Me a Person, Beat Girl; died Mar 8, 2003)

1940 - Wilma Rudolph (Olympic Hall of Famer: Gold Medalist [3]: track & field sprints [1960]; died Nov 12, 1994)

1943 - James Levine (conductor: Cleveland Orchestra, New York Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra)

1944 - Rosetta Hightower (singer: group: The Orlons: The Wah Watusi, Don’t Hang Up, South Street; died Aug 2, 2014)

1946 - Ted Shackelford (actor: Knots Landing, Dallas)

1947 - Bryan Brown (actor: Breaker Morant, Full Body Massage, Blame It on the Bellboy, F/X series, Dead in the Water, Gorillas in the Mist, Cocktail, A Town like Alice, The Thorn Birds, The Winter of Our Dreams, Palm Beach, The Irishman)

1948 - Clarence Thomas (U.S. Supreme Court Justice [1991- ])

1952 - Marv Kellum (football: Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker: Super Bowl IX, X)

1957 - Frances McDormand (actress: Fargo, Blood Simple, Mississippi Burning, The Wonder Boys, Almost Famous)

1959 - Duane Whitaker (actor: Pulp Fiction, Hobgoblins, Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter, Tales from the Hood, Within the Rock, Spoiler, Tempest Eye)

1962 - Billy Wirth (actor: The Lost Boys, Body Snatchers, Venus Rising, Space Marines, Relax... It’s Just Sex; producer: MacArthur Park)

1972 - Selma Blair (actress: In & Out, Cruel Intentions, Kill Me Later, The Sweetest Thing)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - June 23
1950
My Foolish Heart - The Gordon Jenkins Orchestra (vocal: Eileen Wilson)
Bewitched - The Bill Snyder Orchestra
The Old Piano Roll Blues - Hoagy Carmichael & Cass Daley
I’ll Sail My Ship Alone - Moon Mullican

1958
All I Have to Do is Dream - The Everly Brothers
The Purple People Eater - Sheb Wooley
Hard Headed Woman - Elvis Presley
Guess Things Happen that Way - Johnny Cash

1966
Paint It, Black - The Rolling Stones
Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind? - The Lovin’ Spoonful
Barefootin’ - Robert Parker
Take Good Care of Her - Sonny James

1974
Billy, Don’t Be a Hero - Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods
You Make Me Feel Brand New - The Stylistics
Sundown - Gordon Lightfoot
This Time - Waylon Jennings

1982 - Ebony and Ivory - Paul McCartney with Stevie Wonder
Don’t You Want Me - The Human League
Rosanna - Toto
Slow Hand - Conway Twitty

1990 - It Must Have Been Love - Roxette
Step By Step - New Kids on the Block
Do You Remember? - Phil Collins
Love Without End, Amen - George Strait

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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