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March 27

Events - March 27
1841 - The first steam fire engine was tested in New York City.

1860 - The device which, officially, is a “covered gimlet screw with a ‘T’ handle”, or corkscrew, was patented this day by M. L. Byrn of New York City. Hooray for M. L.! After all, if it wasn’t for the invention of the corkscrew we’d be pulling corks out of those wine bottles with our teeth ... and what would the sommeliers use?

1912 - First Lady Helen (Nellie) Taft, wife of U.S. President William Howard Taft, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two cherry trees in Washington DC. The trees are Yoshino cherries, and are still standing several hundred yards west of the John Paul Jones statue at the south end of 17th Street.

1931 - From the Put Foot in Mouth Department: New York Giant’s Manager John McGraw told reporters that night baseball would never supplant baseball in its natural setting, under a warm sun.

1943 - "Blue Ribbon Town" was first heard on CBS radio. The show lasted only a year, but it became widely known as the program that introduced audiences to the one, the only, Groucho Marx.

1945 - Ella Fitzgerald and the Delta Rhythm Boys recorded "It’s Only a Paper Moon" for Decca Records.

1950 - Jazz pianist Erroll Garner became one of the first jazz instrumentalists to give a solo concert. He played the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH. In 1954, Garner would gain international applause for writing and recording a standard that has been presented many times since: "Misty". Johnny Mathis and Sarah Vaughan are but two of many recording artists to offer vocal renditions of this renowned Garner composition. Play "Misty" for me.

1951 - Frank Sinatra recorded "I’m a Fool to Want You" for Columbia. This was one of the last songs Sinatra recorded for Mitch Miller, who had taken over as head of recording for the label.

1955 - Steve McQueen made his network TV debut on "Goodyear Playhouse". McQueen starred in "The Chivington Raid". In 1958, McQueen was starred in his own TV series, "Wanted Dead or Alive", on NBC.

1957 - Jerry Lewis (in Hollywood) and actress Celeste Holm (in New York City) hosted the 29th Annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theater, Los Angeles. Looking at the list of winners and nominees, it seems as if 1956 was the year for bigger-than-life extravaganzas, epics and star-studded casts from the Best Picture, "Around the World in 80 Days" (Michael Todd, producer), to Cecil B. DeMille’s "The Ten Commandments". Others of that genre included "The Rainmaker"; "Richard III"; "The Bad Seed"; King Vidor’s "War and Peace"; and "High Society"; "Written on the Wind", "The King and I" and "Anastasia". "Around the World in 80 Days" received additional accolades for Best Writing/Best Screenplay - Adapted (James Poe, John Farrow, S.J. Perelman); Best Cinematography/Color (Lionel Lindon); Best Film Editing (Gene Ruggiero, Paul Weatherwax); and Best Music/Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Victor Young). The Oscar for Best Director went to George Stevens for "Giant". Best Actor was Yul Brynner for "The King and I" and the Best Actress prize was given to Ingrid Bergman for "Anastasia". Anthony Quinn was Best Supporting Actor in for "Lust for Life" and Dorothy Malone was Best Supporting Actress in "Written on the Wind". The Best Music/Song Oscar was awarded to Jay Livingston and Ray Evans for "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" from "The Man Who Knew Too Much".

1958 - CBS Laboratories announced a new stereophonic record that was playable on ordinary LP phonographs, meaning, monaural. In stereo, on the proper equipment, a new rich and fuller sound was heard. It eventually became a standard for record and equipment buyers.

1971 - UCLA became the first team ever to win five consecutive NCAA basketball titles. The Bruins defeated Villanova 68-62. UCLA, under coaching legend John Wooden, dominated NCAA tournament play until 1974, when North Carolina State won the tourney. The Bruins roared back in one season to win the championship once more.

1971 - Janis Joplin started her second (and final) week at the top of the pop music charts with the hit, "Me and Bobby McGee", written by Kris Kristofferson.

1972 - Adolph Rupp of the the University of Kentucky retired after 42 years of coaching the Wildcats. During his long tenure at Kentucky, Rupp won 874 games for a winning average of 82.1 percent. Rupp was second only to Clair Bee who coached at Rider College in New Jersey and at Long Island University.

1973 - It was Oscar night (for the 45th time) at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The show was hosted by Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston and Rock Hudson. Most people, when offered an Academy Award, can’t get up to the stage fast enough to claim the little gold guy. But, Marlon Brando said, “You can keep it," when AMPAS offered him the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as "The Godfather". Brando refused to accept the award because he felt that the U.S. and Hollywood were discriminating against American Indians. "The Godfather" (Albert S. Ruddy, producer) also was awarded the the prize for Best Picture. That Oscar was accepted, as were several for "Cabaret": Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Actress (Liza Minnelli) and Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey). Best Supporting Actress was Eileen Heckart for "Butterflies are Free" and the Best Music/Song prize went to Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn for "The Morning After" from "The Poseidon Adventure".

1985 - Billy Dee Williams received a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. His place, for those looking to visit, is located between Joan Davis and Harry Carey.

1995 - OK, into the limousine, as we head for the 67th Annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. David Letterman was the host at these awards for the motion pictures of 1994. The Best Picture was "Forrest Gump" (Wendy Finerman, Steve Starkey, Steve Tisch, producers). Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks won Oscars for Best Director and Best Actor, respectively, in ... you got it ... "Forrest Gump". The Best Actress prize was claimed by Jessica Lange for "Blue Sky". Best Supporting Actor was Martin Landau for "Ed Wood" and the Best Supporting Actress award went to Dianne Wiest for "Bullets Over Broadway". The Best Music/Song Oscar went to Elton John (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics) for the fine job they did for the animated movie, "The Lion King", with the song, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight".

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Birthdays - March 27
1797 - Alfred de Vigny (poet, novelist: Poemes, Cinq-Mars, Servitude et Grandeur Militaires; died Sep 17, 1863)

1813 - Nathaniel Currier (lithographer: Currier & Ives hand-colored lithograph prints of 19th century daily life; died Nov 20, 1888)

1845 - Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (Röntgen) (Nobel Prize-winning scientist [1901]: discovered x-rays; died Feb 10, 1923)

1868 - Patty Smith Hill (songwriter: Good Morning to All [predecessor of Happy Birthday to You]; died May 25, 1946)

1879 - Edward Steichen (artist, photographer: US Army supervisor of aerial photographic operations [WWI], Vogue, Vanity Fair, US Navy special unit of photographers shot naval aviation and combat [WWII], Director of Dept. of Photography at Museum of Modern Art, New York; died Mar 25, 1973)

1892 - (James) Thorne Smith Jr. (author: Topper, Rain in the Doorway, The Stray Lamb; died June 21, 1934)

1899 - Gloria Swanson (Gloria May Josephine Svensson) (actress: Airport ’75, Sadie Thompson, Sunset Boulevard, Teddy at the Throttle; author: Swanson on Swanson; died Apr 4, 1983)

1914 - Richard Denning (Denninger) (actor: Mr. & Mrs. North, Hawaii Five-O, Alice Through the Looking Glass, An Affair to Remember, Black Beauty, Creature from the Black Lagoon; died Oct 11, 1998)

1914 - Snooky Lanson (Roy Landman) (singer: By the Light of the Silvery Moon; vocalist on Your Hit Parade on radio and TV; died July 2, 1990)

1920 - Richard Hayman (musician: house conductor for Mercury Records; harmonica player: Ruby; Theme from The Three Penny Opera [Moritat]; died Feb 5, 2014)

1924 - Sarah Vaughan (‘The Divine One’: jazz singer: Broken-Hearted Melody; Make Yourself Comfortable, Whatever Lola Wants, Passing Strangers [w/Billy Eckstine]; Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award [1989]; died Apr 3, 1990)

1927 - Anthony Lewis (author: Gideon’s Trumpet, Make No Law, The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment; died Mar 25, 2013)

1927 - Mstislav (Leopold) Rostropovich (composer, musician: cello: his most important legacy is the large number of works written for him by greatest composers: Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Miaskovsky, Shostakovich, Britten, Lutoslawski, Bliss, Dutilleux; conductor: National Symphony Orchestra; humanitarian; died Apr 27, 2007)

1931 - Burt Collins (jazz musician: trumpet, flugel horn: played w/Jess Roden Band, Lalo Schifrin, T. Rex; died Feb 24, 2007)

1931 - David Janssen (David Harold Meyer) (actor: The Fugitive, The Green Berets, Two Minute Warning, Francis Goes to West Point, Once is Not Enough; died Feb 13, 1980)

1932 - Wes Covington (baseball: Milwaukee Braves [World Series: 1957, 1958], Chicago White Sox, KC Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers [World Series: 1966]; died Jul 4, 2011)

1939 - Cale Yarborough (auto racer: Daytona 500 winner [1968, 1977, 1983, 1984])

1940 - Austin Pendleton (actor: Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Guarding Tess, My Cousin Vinny, What’s Up Doc?, Petulia)

1942 - Michael York (York-Johnson) (actor: Cabaret, The Three Musketeers, Murder on the Orient Express, Logan’s Run, The Heat of the Day, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Wrongfully Accused, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me)

1946 - Bill (William Paul) ‘Suds’ Sudakis (baseball: LA Dodgers, NY Mets, Texas Rangers, NY Yankees, California Angels, Cleveland Indians)

1947 - Tom Sullivan (singer, composer: If You Could See What I Hear)

1947 - Doug Wilkerson (football: North Carolina Central, Houston Oilers, SD Chargers)

1950 - Tony Banks (musician: keyboards: group: Genesis)

1950 - Vic (Victor Lanier) Harris (baseball: Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, SL Cardinals, SF Giants, Milwaukee Brewers)

1951 - Bobby Lalonde (hockey: NHL: Vancouver Canucks, Atlanta Flames, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames)

1952 - Maria Schneider (actress: Last Tango in Paris, Les Nuits Fauves; died Feb 3, 2011)

1953 - Annemarie Moser-Proell (skier: held all-time record six women’s World Cup championships, five in succession [1971-75])

1959 - Andrew Farriss (musician: keyboards: group: INXS: Just Keep Walking, The One Thing, Original Sin, Me, Melting in the Sun, This Time)

1963 - Quentin Tarantino (Academy Award-winning screenwriter: Pulp Fiction [1994]; writer, director: From Dusk Till Dawn, Four Rooms, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Reservoir Dogs)

1970 - Mariah Carey (Grammy Award-winning singer: Vision of Love, Best New Artist [1991]; LPs: Mariah Carey, Emotions, MTV Unplugged, Music Box, Merry Christmas, Daydream, Butterfly, Rainbow; has sold more than 120 million albums and singles since her debut in 1990; only artist with a #1 single in every year of the 1990s; has spent more weeks at #1 than any other artist)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - March 27
1950
Music, Music, Music - Teresa Brewer
There’s No Tomorrow - Tony Martin
If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake - Eileen Barton
Chatanoogie Shoe Shine Boy - Red Foley

1958
Don’t/I Beg of You - Elvis Presley
Tequila - The Champs
Breathless - Jerry Lee Lewis
Ballad of a Teenage Queen - Johnny Cash

1966
The Ballad of the Green Berets - SSgt Barry Sadler
19th Nervous Breakdown - The Rolling Stones
Nowhere Man - The Beatles
Waitin’ in Your Welfare Line - Buck Owens

1974
Dark Lady - Cher
Sunshine on My Shoulders - John Denver
Mockingbird - Carly Simon & James Taylor
There’s a Honky Tonk Angel (Who’ll Take Me Back In) - Conway Twitty

1982
I Love Rock ’N Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Open Arms - Journey
We Got the Beat - Go-Go’s
She Left Love All Over Me - Razzy Bailey

1990
Black Velvet - Alannah Myles
Love Will Lead You Back - Taylor Dayne
I Wish It Would Rain Down - Phil Collins
Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart - Randy Travis

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
from 440 International

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