1792 - Benjamin West became the first American artist to be selected president of the Royal Academy of London.
1882 - Professor Robert Koch announced the discovery of the tuberculosis germ -- in Berlin, Germany.
1932 - Belle Baker hosted a radio variety show from a moving train ... a first for radio broadcasting. The program originated from a Baltimore and Ohio train that chugged its way around the New York area. The broadcast was heard on WABC in New York City.
1935 - After a year as a local show from New York City, "Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour" was heard on the entire NBC radio network. The show stayed on the air for 17 years. Later, Ted Mack took over for Bowes and made the move from radio to television.
1941 - Glenn Miller began work on his first motion picture for 20th Century Fox. The film was "Sun Valley Serenade".
1949 - The Academy Awards were passed out for the 21st time on this night in 1949. "Hamlet", produced by Lawrence Olivier, won Best Picture of 1948. Olivier also was pronounced Best Actor for his portrayal of Hamlet. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" won three Oscars and was the first time a father and son both won Academy Awards on the same night. Walter Huston was awarded an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and his son, John, received honors for Best Director and for Best Screenplay (based on a B. Traven story). Other winners that night: Jane Wyman for Best Actress (film: "Johnny Belinda"); Claire Trevor for Best Supporting Actress (film: "Key Largo"); Jay Livingston and Ray Evans for Best Music/Song ("Buttons and Bows" from the Bob Hope/Jane Russell flick, "The Paleface").
1955 - The Tennessee Williams play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", opened on Broadway. The hit ran for 694 shows and won the Critics’ Circle Award as the Best American Play. The movie version was a big hit as well and featured Burl Ives, Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor in starring roles. Paul, Liz and the movie received Oscar nominations.
1958 - Elvis Presley reported to local draft board 86 in Memphis, TN. He became US 53310761. Oddly, since Elvis was now ‘government property’ serving his time in the Army, Uncle Sam stood to lose an estimated $500,000 in lost taxes each year that Private Presley was in the Army.
1960 - A U.S. appeals court ruled that the novel, "Lady Chatterly’s Lover", was not obscene and could be sent through the mail. Try it and see...
1973 - Professional track debuted with Kip Keino defeating Jim Ryun in the mile run at the International Track Association meet held in Los Angeles, CA.
1980 - Capitol Records released some rare Beatles tracks. Included in the album were stereo versions of "Penny Lane" and "She Loves You", sung by the group in German, under the title, "Sie Liebt Dich". Also included was a German version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" or, in the Teutonic tongue, "Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand".
1985 - The Golden Raspberry Awards were presented to parody the Oscar Awards. The movie, "Bolero", won the big award, for John and Bo (I’m a 10!) Derek; winning honors for worst director and worst actress, respectively.
1985 - Actress Jacqueline Bisset made her television debut in "Forbidden", a Home Box Office (HBO) presentation. Her second TV role came just two nights later in the CBS-TV adaptation of Tolstoy’s "Anna Karenina".
1986 - The 58th Academy Awards show was held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. It took three hosts (Alan Alda, Jane Fonda and Robin Williams) to handle the MC duties this time. The Best Picture was "Out of Africa" (Sydney Pollack, producer). It also won Best Director (Sydney Pollack); Best Writing/Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Kurt Luedtke); Best Cinematography (David Watkin); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Stephen B. Grimes, Josie MacAvin); Best Sound (Chris Jenkins, Gary Alexander, Larry Stensvold, Peter Handford); and Best Music/Original Score (John Barry). But "Out of Africa" didn’t win everything. Other Oscars went to "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (Best Actor: William Hurt); "The Trip to Bountiful" (Best Actress: Geraldine Page); "Cocoon" (Best Supporting Actor: Don Ameche - his first Oscar) and "Prizzi’s Honor" (Best Supporting Actress: Anjelica Huston). The award for Best Music/Song was given to Lionel Richie for "Say You, Say Me" from "White Nights". Other memorable movies in 1985 (some Oscar winners, some not): "The Color Purple" (11 nominations - no Oscars), "Back to the Future", "Ladyhawke", "Rambo: First Blood Part II", "Agnes of God", "Silverado" and "Witness", to name just a few...
1989 - At four minutes past midnight, the Exxon Valdez, a 987-foot supertanker loaded with 1,264,155 barrels of North Slope crude oil, ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. 11.2 million gallons of oil spilled into the sea, mucking up nearly five hundred miles of shoreline. Thousands of workers spent three years cleaning things up. The costs exceeded $2.1 billion. It is estimated that some 300,000 birds were killed. Some common forms of algae were reduced by half. 2,650 sea otters in Prince William Sound were killed. The spill was even damaging to south central Alaska’s fisheries, with the local population suffering economic, social and psychological consequences that lasted for years. Exxon wound up paying well over a billion dollars in civil settlements and fines.
1997 - It was time to party, party, party at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) awarded prizes for the best of the movie biz in 1996. Comedian/actor Billy Crystal hosted this 69th awards show. Let’s rip into the envelopes and get on with it. Best Picture: "The English Patient" (Saul Zaentz, producer); Best Director: Anthony Minghella for "The English Patient"; Best Actor: Geoffrey Rush for "Shine"; Best Actress: Frances McDormand for "Fargo"; Best Supporting Actor: Cuba Gooding, Jr. for "Jerry Maguire"; Best Supporting Actress: Juliette Binoche for "The English Patient"; Best Music, Song: Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Tim Rice (lyrics) for "You Must Love Me" from "Evita". And the Oscar goes to ... "The English Patient", "The English Patient", "The English Patient" ... for a total of 9 Oscars.
Birthdays - March 24
1797 - Antonio Rosmini-Serbati (philosopher: founded Institute of Charity aka the Rosminians; died July 1, 1855)
1834 - William Morris (poet, artist, socialist reformer; died Oct 3, 1896)
1834 - John Wesley Powell (geologist, explorer: Director of U.S. Geological Survey [1881-1894]; died Sep 23, 1902)
1855 - Andrew William Mellon (industrialist; founder: Mellon Bank; U.S. Secretary of the Treasury [1921-1932]; U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, [1932-1933]; died Aug 26, 1937)
1874 - Harry Houdini (magician: the great Houdini, escape artist; died Oct 31, 1926)
1887 - Fatty (Roscoe Conkling) Arbuckle (actor: The Lizzies of Mack Sennett, Mabel and Fatty, Keystone Comedies with Charlie Chaplin; died June 29, 1933)
1899 - Capt. Dorothy Stratton (organized SPARS [Semper Paratus - Always Ready women’s branch of U.S. Coast Guard]; national executive director of Girl Scouts of America; died Sep 17, 2006)
1900 - June (Algeria Junius) Clark (musician: trumpet; died Feb 23, 1963)
1910 - Richard (Nicholas Peter) Conte (actor: I’ll Cry Tomorrow, The Godfather, Hotel, A Walk in the Sun, They Came to Cordura; died Apr 15, 1975)
1919 - Lawrence Ferlinghetti (author: Coney Island of the Mind)
1920 - Gene Nelson (Eugene Leander Berg) (actor, dancer: Lullaby of Broadway, Oklahoma, Tea for Two, The West Point Story, The Atomic Man; died Sep 16, 1996)
1922 - Dave Appell (arranger for big bands: Benny Carter, Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines; TV music director: "The Ernie Kovacks Show"; record producer: "The Twist", "Let's Twist Again", "Bristol Stomp", "South Street", "In the Midnight Hour" [w/Hank Medress]; singer, songwriter, musician: group: Dave Appell and the Applejacks)
1924 - Norman Fell (Feld) (actor: Three’s Company, The Graduate, Pork Chop Hill; died Dec 14, 1998)
1928 - Vanessa Brown (Smylla Brind) (actress: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Three Husbands, The Fighter, Witch Who Came from the Sea; died May 21, 1999)
1928 - Byron Janis (Yanks) (pianist: NBC Symphony Orchestra; well-known piano performance on Hugo Winterhalter’s "Rhapsody in Blue" recording)
1930 - (Terence Steven) Steve McQueen (actor: The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Papillon, Towering Inferno, The Sand Pebbles, Love with the Proper Stranger, Hell is for Heroes, Bullitt, The Hunter, Le Mans; died Nov 7, 1980)
1933 - William Smith (biker, cowboy, actor: "Eye of the Tiger", "L.A. Vice", "Maniac Cop", "East L.A. Warriors", "Emperor of the Bronx", "Angels Die Hard", "Platoon Leader")
1937 - Bob (John Robert) Tillman (baseball: catcher: Boston Red Sox, NY Yankees, Atlanta Braves; died June 23, 2000)
1940 - Bob Mackie (fashion and costume designer: 6 Emmy Awards, 3 Academy Award nominations; client list includes: Cher, Carol Burnett, Diahann Carroll, Bernadette Peters, Madonna, Carol Channing and RuPaul, The Carol Burnett Show [entire 11-year TV run])
1942 - Jesus (Maria Rojas) Alou (baseball: SF Giants, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics (World Series: 1973, 1974), NY Mets)
1946 - Lee Oskar (Oskar Hansen) (musician: harmonica: group: War)
1951 - Pat Bradley (golf champion: U.S. Open , Nabisco Dinah Shore , DuMaurier Classic [1980, 1985, 1986], LPGA )
1951 - Dougie Thomson (musician: bass: group: Supertramp: Dreamer, Bloody Well Right)
1951 - Earl Williams (basketball: Boston Celtics)
1954 - Robert Carradine (actor: Revenge of the Nerds series, Body Bags, Double-Crossed, The Long Riders, Coming Home, Massacre at Central High, The Cowboys; son of actor, John Carradine; brother of actors David and Keith Carradine)
1954 - Donna Pescow (actress: Policewoman Centerfold, Saturday Night Fever, Glory Years, Angie)
1970 - Lara Flynn Boyle (actress: The Practice, Twin Peaks, Threesome, Wayne’s World, Dead Poets Society, Red Rock West, Poltergeist 3)
Chart Toppers - March 24
The Anniversary Song - Dinah Shore
Managua, Nicaragua - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Stuart Wade)
Oh, But I Do - Margaret Whiting
So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed - Merle Travis
The Ballad of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes
Sincerely - McGuire Sisters
Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup - Nat ‘King’ Cole
In the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce
Our Day Will Come - Ruby & The Romantics
The End of the World - Skeeter Davis
He’s So Fine - The Chiffons
Still - Bill Anderson
Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
She’s a Lady - Tom Jones
Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me) - The Temptations
I’d Rather Love You - Charley Pride
Tragedy - Bee Gees
What a Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers
Heaven Knows - Donna Summer with Brooklyn Dreams
I Just Fall in Love Again - Anne Murray
Lean on Me - Club Nouveau
Let’s Wait Awhile - Janet Jackson
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship
I’d Still Be Loving You - Restless Heart