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March 29

Events - March 29
1848 - For the first time in recorded history, Niagara Falls stopped flowing. An ice jam in the Niagara river above the rim of the falls caused the water to stop. We imagine that tours on the "Maid of the Mist" were canceled ... and that ticket prices were refunded.

1882 - The Knights of Columbus organization was granted a charter by the state of Connecticut. The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, fraternal service, family organization of almost 6 million members.

1914 - Seven papers joined together to distribute the first newspaper rotogravure section. This meant that the first picture section was developed.

1917 - Man o’ War, the famous American race horse, was foaled.

1932 - Comedian Jack Benny appeared on radio for the first time. He agreed to join then newspaper columnist, Ed Sullivan, on his radio interview show. Benny got a real taste of radio two months later when he got his own show on the NBC radio network.

1937 - The radio serial, "Our Gal Sunday", debuted. The question, “Can this girl from a small mining town in the West find happiness as the wife of a wealthy and titled Englishman?” was asked each day as the show continued for the next 22 years!

1951 - Actor/dancer/singer Fred Astaire was right at home in his tuxedo as he hosted the 23rd Annual Academy Awards. The big party was thrown at the RKO Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Best Picture (of 1950) was "All About Eve" (“It’s all about women --- and their men!”), produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It won six Oscars in all, including Best Supporting Actor for George Sanders, Best Director and Best Writing/Screenplay for Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Best Costume Design/Black-and-White for Edith Head and Charles Le Maire; and Best Sound/Recording (20th Century-Fox Sound Dept.). "All About Eve" also was nominated eight other times. The Best Actor award went to José Ferrer for "Cyrano de Bergerac" and the Best Actress was voted to be Judy Holliday for "Born Yesterday". Best Supporting Actress was Josephine Hull for "Harvey". Best Music/Song prizes were awarded to Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the Nat King Cole classic, "Mona Lisa", from "Captain Carey, U.S.A.".

1951 - The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I" opened on Broadway. "The King and I" starred Yul Brynner in the role of the King of Siam -- the king who, along with his subjects, valued tradition above all else. Anna, the English governess hired to teach the King’s dozens of children, was portrayed by Gertrude Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Brynner acted, danced and sang their way into our hearts with such memorable tunes as: "Getting to Know You", "Shall We Dance", "Hello, Young Lovers", "I Whistle a Happy Tune", "We Kiss in a Shadow", "I Have Dreamed", "Something Wonderful", "A Puzzlement", and "March of the Siamese Children". "The King and I" ran for a total of 1,246 outstanding performances at New York’s St. James Theatre.

1962 - Jack Paar left his highly successful late night TV talk show after five years. He left behind a salary of $250,000 and an estimated audience of eight-million people. Fill-in hosts were used, including one who would ultimately win the coveted position of host of "The Tonight Show". He was Johnny Carson.

1967 - The first nationwide strike in the 30-year history of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) began this day, lasting for 13 days. Many familiar faces were absent from the TV screen during the strike, including that of Walter Cronkite of CBS News. A chap named Arnold Zenker, formerly a radio announcer in Wilmington, DE, got the call to fill in for Cronkite during that period. After the strike was settled, Zenker was never heard from again on network television.

1973 - After recording "On the Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’", Dr. Hook finally got a group shot on the cover of Jann Wenner’s popular rock magazine. Inside, a "Rolling Stone" writer confirmed that members of the group (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) bought five copies of the mag for their moms -- just like in the song’s lyrics!

1976 - “And the Oscar goes to...” "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" (Saul Zaentz, Michael Douglas, producers) selected as the Best Picture of 1975. The Academy Awards were spotlighted -- for the 48th time -- at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Hosts for the gala gala were Goldie Hawn, Gene Kelly, Walter Matthau, George Segal and Robert Shaw. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" also scored the Best Director prize for Milos Forman, the Best Actor honor for Jack Nicholson and the Best Actress Oscar for Louise Fletcher, plus the Oscars for Best Writing to Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben. The Best Supporting Actor nod went to eighty-year-old George Burns for "The Sunshine Boys" and Best Supporting Actress was Lee Grant in "Shampoo". The Best Music/Song winner was Keith Carradine for "I’m Easy" from "Nashville". Other favorite winning and nominated flicks from the year 1975 include: "Dog Day Afternoon" which won the Oscar for Best Writing/Original Screenplay (Frank Pierson); "Jaws" which was awarded gold statuettes for Best Sound (Robert L. Hoyt, Roger Heman, Earl Mabery, John R. Carter), Best Film Editing (Verna Fields); and Best Music/Original Score (John Williams); "The Day of the Locust"; "Funny Lady"; and "Tommy".

1982 - The oldest soap opera on network television, "Search for Tomorrow", made a big change. It jumped from CBS, where it grew in popularity for 30 years, to the daytime schedule on NBC. During the change, the program, owned and sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, continued right along with the soap, going from one network to the other the following day. The company wanted to maintain its regular 12:30 p.m. time slot, but CBS had other plans for "Search". NBC agreed to the 12:30 time and "Search" became an NBC property. Lots of celebs have been featured on "Search for Tomorrow" including: Don Knotts, Sandy Duncan, Lee Grant, Tom Ewell, Roy Scheider and Hal Linden.

1982 - Fond memories surface as we remember the 54th Annual Academy Awards, presented this day at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. Talk-show host Johnny Carson acted as host for the party. Two of America’s most revered performers, Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn scored as Best Actor and Best Actress in "On Golden Pond". The Best Picture (1981) and Best Writing/Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Colin Welland) was "Chariots of Fire" (David Puttnam, producer). It also won the prizes for Best Costume Design (Milena Canonero) and Best Music/Original Score (Vangelis). The Best Director Oscar went to Warren Beatty for "Reds". Best Supporting Actor, John Gielgud, won for his work in "Arthur". The Best Supporting Actress was Maureen Stapleton for "Reds" and Best Music/Song prizes went to Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Christopher Cross and Peter Allen for "Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)" from "Arthur", of course. One of the night’s biggest winners (four Oscars -- Art Direction, Sound, Film Editing, Special Effects -- and four more nominations) was "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

1987 - Hulk Hogan took 11 minutes, 43 seconds to pin Andre the Giant before 93,136 Wrestlemania III fans at the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI. The event was the biggest indoor sports/entertainment promotion ever. 2.5 million people watched on Pay-Per-View TV, as well.

1989 - The 61st Annual Academy Awards ceremony was presented at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. "Rain Man" (Mark Johnson, producer) was awarded the Best Picture Oscar with its star, Dustin Hoffman, scoring as Best Actor, Barry Levinson getting the Best Director prize, and Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow picking up the award for Best Writing/Original Screenplay. Best Actress (of all the movies of 1988) was Jodie Foster for "The Accused". The Best Supporting Actor Oscar was won by Kevin Kline for "A Fish Called Wanda" and the Best Supporting Actress was Geena Davis in "The Accidental Tourist". Carly Simon won Best Music/Song for "Let the River Run" from "Working Girl". Other popular movies from 1988 including Oscar winners and non-winning nominees were: "Dangerous Liaisons"; "Mississippi Burning"; "Big"; "Gorillas in the Mist"; "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"; "Beaches"; "Die Hard"; "Beetlejuice", et al.

1993 - Hollywood was all aglitter again, for the 65th Annual Academy Awards extravaganza at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. Comedian/actor Billy Crystal hosted the show for the fourth straight year. Clint Eastwood was honored with Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for his "Unforgiven". He starred, directed and produced the gritty Western which also won an award for Best Film Editing (Joel Cox) and Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman). Best Actor was Al Pacino for "Scent of a Woman" and the Best Actress prize went to Emma Thompson for "Howards End". Marisa Tomei took home the award for Best Supporting Actress for "My Cousin Vinny". ’Toons winning tune awards was a popular 1990s event at the Oscars and this year was no different. "Aladdin" picked up two: Best Music/Song awarded to Alan Menken (music), Tim Rice (lyrics) for "A Whole New World" and Best Music/Original Score (Alan Menken).

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Birthdays - March 29
1790 - John Tyler (10th U.S. President [1841-1845]; the first president to marry while in office; married to: L. Christian, J. Gardiner [8 sons, 7 daughters]; nickname: Accidental President; died Jan 18, 1862)

1867 - Cy (Denton True) Young (Baseball Hall of Famer: pitcher: Cleveland Spiders [World Series: 1892, 1895, 1896], St. Louis Perfectos, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Somersets, Boston Pilgrims [World Series: 1903], Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Naps, Boston Rustlers; Cy Young Award [for best pitcher in both leagues] named for him; died Nov 4, 1955)

1874 - Lou Hoover (Henry) (wife of 31st U.S. President Herbert Hoover; died Jan 7, 1944)

1889 - Howard Lindsay (playwright: A Woman’s World; died Feb 11, 1968)

1914 - Phil Foster (Feldman) (stand-up comedian; actor: Bang the Drum Slowly, Conquest of Space, Hail; died July 8, 1985)

1918 - Pearl (Mae) Bailey (jazz singer: Takes Two to Tango, A Little Learnin’ is a Dangerous Thing [w/Sinatra]; actress: St. Louis Woman, Variety Girl, Porgy and Bess, lead in black cast of Hello Dolly; TV series; died Aug 17, 1990)

1919 - Eileen Heckart (Academy Award-winning supporting actress: Butterflies are Free [1972]; The Bad Seed, Bus Stop, Heartbreak Ridge, Up the Down Staircase; died Dec 31, 2001)

1927 - John McLaughlin (TV host: McLaughlin [CNBC Network]; editor, columnist)

1938 - Duane Rupp (hockey: NHL: NY Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins)

1943 - Eric Idle (actor: Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Casper, Splitting Heirs, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen)

1944 - Denny (Dennis Dale) McLain (baseball: pitcher: Detroit Tigers: [all-star: 1966, 1968, 1969/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1968/Cy Young Award: 1968/World Series: 1968], Washington Senators, Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics; entertainer)

1945 - Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier (Basketball Hall of Famer: Southern Illinois Univ. All-American; NY Knicks [1967-1977/NBA championship teams: 1970, 1973/NBA all defensive first team: 1969-1975/all-star: 1970-1976/MVP: 1975], Knicks’ all-time assists leader: 4,791; Cleveland Cavaliers; lifetime average of 18.9 points per game in 825 regular-season games, 20.7 points per game in 93 playoff contests; nickname [Clyde] taken from the folk-hero robber Clyde Barrow)

1947 - Bobby Kimball (Toteaux) (singer: group: Toto: Africa, Rosanna)

1948 - Ken Burrow (football: San Diego State Univ., Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders)

1948 - Bud Cort (Walter Edward Cox) (actor: Harold and Maude, Brewster McCloud, M*A*S*H)

1949 - Michael Brecker (jazz musician: reeds, group: The Brecker Brothers; died Jan 13, 2007)

1950 - Ed Ratleff (basketball: Long Beach State Univ., 1972 Olympics USA Men’s Basketball Team, Houston Rockets)

1953 - Tom (Thomas Hubert) Hume (baseball: pitcher: Cincinnati Reds [all-star: 1982], Philadelphia Phillies)

1955 - Earl Campbell (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Heisman Trophy winner: [Univ. of Texas: 1977], Texas All-American, Houston Oilers [1978-1984], New Orleans Saints [1984-1985]; career-high 1,934 yards rushing, including four 200-yard rushing games [1980], career stats: 9,407 yards, 74 TDs rushing, 121 receptions, 806 yards, played in five Pro Bowls)

1956 - Kurt Thomas (gymnast: first American male to win a world champion gymnastics event since 1932 [floor exercise - 1978, 1979]; Sullivan Award-winner [1979]; TV sports commentator; operates a gymnastics school)

1957 - Christopher Lambert (actor: Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, To Kill a Priest)

1964 - Elle MacPherson (supermodel, actress: South Kensington, A Girl Thing, Batman & Robin, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Sirens, Friends)

1976 - Jennifer Capriati (tennis champion: Olympic gold-medalist [1992], Wimbledon [1990])

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - March 29
1944
Besame Mucho - The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Bob Eberly & Kitty Kallen
Mairzy Doats - The Merry Macs
Poinciana - Bing Crosby
So Long Pal - Al Dexter

1952
Wheel of Fortune - Kay Starr
Anytime - Eddie Fisher
Please, Mr. Sun - Johnnie Ray
(When You Feel like You’re in Love) Don’t Just Stand There - Carl Smith

1960
The Theme from "A Summer Place" - Percy Faith
Wild One - Bobby Rydell
Puppy Love - Paul Anka
He’ll Have to Go - Jim Reeves

1968
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
Love is Blue - Paul Mauriat
La - La - Means I Love You - The Delfonics
A World of Our Own - Sonny James

1976
December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) - The Four Seasons
Dream Weaver - Gary Wright
Lonely Night (Angel Face) - Captain & Tennille
Til the Rivers All Run Dry - Don Williams

1984
Jump - Van Halen
Somebody’s Watching Me - Rockwell
Footloose - Kenny Loggins
Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler) - Alabama

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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