Events - May 2
1853 - Franconi’s Hippodrome opened at Broadway and 23rd Street in New York City. The 4,000-seat facility opened in grand style for a hippodrome (an arena for a circus or games) with a chariot-and-ostrich race.
1885 - A new magazine for homemakers went on sale this day. You can still get it by mail or find it right next to the cash register at your favorite grocery store. The magazine is "Good Housekeeping". It has our seal of approval.
1887 - Hannibal W. Goodwin of Newark, NJ applied for a patent for celluloid photographic film -- the stuff from which movies are shown.
1932 - NBC radio introduced an entertainer this night. The comic genius started working for a salary of $1,400 a week. His name: Jack Benny.
1938 - Ella Fitzgerald recorded one of her biggest hits, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", with Chick Webb’s band. Following Webb’s death, Fitzgerald took over the band for some three years.
1941 - The Federal Communications Commission agreed to let regular scheduling of TV broadcasts by commercial TV stations begin on July 1, 1941. It was the start of what would become network television.
1953 - Dark Star defeated the heavily favored Native Dancer to win the Kentucky Derby. A $2 wager to win on this dark horse would have put some change in your pocket. Dark Star was a 25-1 long shot.
1954 - Stan ‘The Man’ Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals smacked five home runs in a twin bill against the New York Giants -- establishing a major-league record.
1960 - Harry Belafonte presented his second Carnegie Hall concert in New York City.
1964 - Northern Dancer, with jockey Bill Hartack, won the Kentucky Derby. Hartack had been on quite a win streak, completing four major victories in six months. The racing legend was atop Iron Liege, Venetian Way, Decidedly and Northern Dancer (not all at the same time, of course). Hartack then rode Northern Dancer to a win in the Preakness Stakes in Maryland. Interesting aside: In 1964 another jockey had ridden Northern Dancer three times then suddenly switched to Hill Rose for the Run for the Roses in Louisville. He was Willie Shoemaker.
1965 - Ed Sullivan had said he would not have this British rock group on his CBS-TV Sunday night show again. This night, however, Ed softened up and allowed Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones to make a second appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show". The Stones got satisfaction at last!
1970 - The ‘First Lady of Horse Racing’ (first to ride at a major track, first to win a major feature), Diane Crump, rode Fathom and made history as the first woman jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby. She finished in 12th place.
1974 - Filming got underway for the motion picture, "Jaws", in Martha’s Vineyard, MA. What was to be a 58-day shooting schedule for the film inspired by the Peter Benchley novel soon gave way to 120 days. Costs soared from what was to be a $3.5 million project to $8 million. The director, Steven Spielberg, was able to explain away the rise in costs and the picture did very well at the box office and, later, on video cassette.
1981 - Scottish singer Sheena Easton made it to the top spot on the pop music charts for her first -- and only -- time. "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" knocked "Kiss on My List", by Daryl Hall and John Oates, out of the top of the music charts. "Morning Train" pulled into the top spot for a two-week stay. Easton had been an actress, appearing as a singer in the 1980 BBC TV documentary, "The Big Time"; and this time she made it to the big time, winning the 1981 Best New Artist Grammy Award. On U.S. TV, she is remembered as Sonny Crockett’s wife in five episodes of "Miami Vice" in the 1980s and for singing the title song in the James Bond flick, "For Your Eyes Only". Easton scored 14 hits on the charts between 1981 and 1991. Seven of those hits made it to the top ten. "The Lover in Me" in 1988 was the closest she ever came to having another number one hit. It stopped climbing at number two. Once again, the countdown continues...
1985 - The General Motors X-Cars rolled off the assembly line in Detroit, MI for the final time on this day. The cars were a dismal failure, despite being a hit in the beginning. The X-Cars were subject to massive recalls which cost G.M. many millions of dollars.
1986 - The photo essay, "A Day in the Life of America", began as two hundred photojournalists covered the USA to take 350,000 pictures. For publication of the beautiful coffee table book, only 350 pictures were selected. Several spin-off books such as "A Day in the Life of Hawaii", etc. have joined it on coffee tables throughout the world.
Birthdays - May 2
1729 - Catherine the Great (Catherine II) (Ekaterina Alekseevna) (Russian leader [1762-1796]; died Nov 17, 1796)
1837 - Henry M. (Martyn) Robert (U.S. Army General; author: Robert’s Rules of Order, the standard for parliamentary procedure; died May 11, 1923)
1887 - Vernon Castle (dancer, actor: The Whirl of Life; died Feb 15, 1918)
1895 - Lorenz Hart (composer, lyricist: half of famous team of (Richard) Rodgers & Hart: I Wish I Were in Love Again, Where or When, With a Song in My Heart, I Could Write a Book, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, There’s a Small Hotel, Little Girl Blue, The Lady is a Tramp, Blue Moon, My Funny Valentine; died Nov 22, 1943)
1902 - Brian Aherne (actor: A Night to Remember, Titanic, The Best of Everything, The Waltz King; died Feb 10, 1986)
1903 - Benjamin Spock (baby doctor, author: The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care; died Mar 15, 1998)
1904 - Bing (Harry Lillis) Crosby (‘der Bingle’: Grammy Award-winning [Lifetime Achievement Grammy: 1962] crooner: White Christmas, I Surrender, Dear, Where the Blue of the Night [Meets the Gold of the Day]; about 2600 records, 120 LPs sold estimated 400 million [by 1975]; Academy Award-winning actor: Going My Way ; Big Broadcast of 1932; over 60 films; passed away Oct 14, 1977; According to Steven Lewis in his WWW Bing Crosby page, “...During his lifetime, Bing claimed May 2, 1904 as his birthday. Bing had no birth certificate, and it was only after his death in 1977 that a Tacoma priest disclosed Roman Catholic Church baptismal records that revealed Bing’s actual birthdate as May 3, 1903.”)
1907 - Pinky Lee (Pincus Leff) (entertainer: burlesque; The Pinky Lee Show [early ’50s TV]; died Apr 3, 1993)
1913 - Nigel Patrick (Wemyss) (actor: The Jack of Diamonds, Raintree County, Johnny Nobody, The Mackintosh Man; director: How to Murder a Rich Uncle, Johnny Nobody; writer: The Jack of Diamonds; died Sep 21, 1981)
1921 - Satyajit Ray (Academy Award-winning [life-time achievement award] director: Pather Panchali, Aparajito, The World of Apu, Distant Thunder, The Adversary, Devi; died Apr 23, 1992)
1924 - Theodore Bikel (singer, actor: Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, The African Queen, The Pride and the Passion, The Defiant Ones, The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming; died Jul 21, 2015)
1929 - Link Wray (Frederick Lincoln Wray Jr.) (musician: guitarist, composer: Link Wray and His Ray Men: Rumble, Raw Hide, Jack the Ripper; died Nov 5, 2005)
1933 - Françoise Fabian (Michele Cortes De Leon y Fabianera) (actress: Reunion, The French Woman, Dressmaker, My Night at Maud’s)
1936 - Engelbert Humperdinck (Arnold George Dorsey) (singer: After the Lovin’, Release Me, There Goes My Everything, The Last Waltz, A Man Without Love, Winter World of Love, Les Bicyclettes de Belsize)
1937 - Lorenzo Music (actor: voice of Garfield, Carlton the Doorman [in Rhoda]; Emmy Award-winning producer: Carlton, Your Doorman [5/21/80]; died Aug 4, 2001)
1939 - Gates (William James) Brown (baseball: Detroit Tigers [World Series: 1968])
1941 - Clay (Palmer) Carroll (‘Hawk’: baseball: pitcher: Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1970, 1972, 1975/all-star: 1971, 1972], Chicago White Sox, SL Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates)
1943 - Mickey (Lee Oddis) Bass III (jazz composer, musician: group: New York Powerhouse Ensemble)
1945 - Bianca Jagger (actress, model; Mick Jagger’s ex)
1945 - Goldy McJohn (musician: organ: group: Steppenwolf: Born to Be Wild, The Pusher, Magic Carpet Ride, Rock Me)
1946 - Leslie Gore (singer: It’s My Party, Judy’s Turn to Cry, She’s a Fool, You Don’t Own Me, Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows, California Nights; actress: Girls on the Beach, Ski Party, The T.A.M.I. Show; died Feb 16, 2015)
1947 - Gerald Irons (football: Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns)
1948 - Larry Gatlin (musician, Grammy Award-winning country singer: Broken Lady , I Don’t Wanna Cry, Houston (I’m Comin’ to See You), Love is Just a Game, Take Somebody with Me When I Fall, Statues Without Hearts, All the Gold in California)
1950 - Lou Gramm (singer: groups: Black Sheep, Foreigner: Feels like the First Time, Cold as Ice, Long Long Way from Home, Double Vision, Hot Blooded, Blue Morning Blue Day, Urgent, Waiting for a Girl like You, I Want to Know What Love Is, That was Yesterday)
Chart Toppers - May 2
Oh, What It Seemed to Be - The Frankie Carle Orchestra (vocal: Marjorie Hughes)
Day by Day - Frank Sinatra
All Through the Day - Perry Como
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter
Wanted - Perry Como
Young at Heart - Frank Sinatra
Make Love to Me - Jo Stafford
Slowly - Webb Pierce
Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley
Soldier Boy - The Shirelles
Stranger on the Shore - Mr. Acker Bilk
Charlie’s Shoes - Billy Walker
ABC - The Jackson 5
American Woman/No Sugar Tonight - The Guess Who
Love or Let Me Be Lonely - The Friends of Distinction
My Woman My Woman, My Wife - Marty Robbins
Night Fever - Bee Gees
If I Can’t Have You - Yvonne Elliman
Can’t Smile Without You - Barry Manilow
Every Time Two Fools Collide - Kenny Rogers & Dottie West
Kiss - Prince & The Revolution
Addicted to Love - Robert Palmer
West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
Now and Forever (You and Me) - Anne Murray
Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...
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
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.