Events - May 12
1831 - The first indicted bank robber in the U.S., Edward Smith, was sentenced to five years hard labor on the rock pile at Sing Sing Prison.
1847 - As you jog around the block today, think of Mormon pioneer William Clayton. It was on this day that he got tired of counting the revolutions of a rag tied to a spoke of a wagon wheel to figure out how many miles he had traveled. So, while he was crossing the plains in his covered wagon, he invented the odometer.
1917 - The first imported horse to win the Kentucky Derby was the English-bred colt, Omar Khayyam. He won $49,070 -- the top prize.
1950 - The American Bowling Congress abolished its white males-only membership restriction after 34 years.
1953 - The Boston Red Sox dropped Dom DiMaggio, Joe’s brother. As a result, Dom announced that he was retiring from baseball.
1955 - Sam Jones of the Chicago Cubs pitched a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning 4-0. Jones became the first black pitcher to throw a major-league no-hitter.
1955 - Gisele MacKenzie played a singer on the NBC-TV program, "Justice". She introduced her soon-to-be hit song, "Hard to Get". The song went to number four on the "Billboard" pop music chart by September.
1955 - Passengers crowded in to ride the last run of the Third Avenue elevated, "The El", in New York City. The way-above-ground train trip down memory lane went from Chinatown to the Bronx.
1957 - A.J. Foyt earned his first auto racing victory in Kansas City, Missouri. He went on to become a four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 -- in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977.
1970 - Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs smacked home run number 500. He would get 12 more before his great career as first baseman (and shortstop) with the Cubbies came to a close in 1971.
1971 - The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger married Bianca Perez Morena de Macias. Mick couldn’t remember her whole name very well, so she became known as Bianca the world over.
1976 - Sixteen-year-old, racing-jockey Steve Cauthen rode in his first race. He finished far back in the pack at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. However, Cauthen got his first winner just five days later.
1977 - The Eagles earned a gold record for the hit, "Hotel California". The award was the second of three gold record singles for the group. The other million sellers were "New Kid in Town" and "Heartache Tonight". Two number one songs by The Eagles -- "Best of My Love" and "One of These Nights" -- didn’t quite make the million-seller mark.
1978 - From the And You Thought We Had This Straightened Out By Now file: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that it would alternate men’s and women’s names in the naming of hurricanes. It was seen as an attempt at fair play. Hurricanes had been named for women for years, until NOAA succumbed to pressure from women’s groups who were demanding that Atlantic storms be given unisex names. “It’s not fair that women should get all the attention for causing damage and destruction,” one women’s activist claimed. David, Allen, Hugo, Mitch and Andrew agreed.
1985 - Lionel Richie received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama (his alma mater). Richie had put 14 hits on the pop charts in the 1980s, including one platinum smash, with Diana Ross, "Endless Love" and four gold records ("Truly", "All Night Long", "Hello" and "Say You, Say Me"). All but one song ("Se La") of the 14 charted made it to the top ten.
Birthdays - May 12
1812 - Edward Lear (illustrator, poet, champion of the limerick: Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense; died Jan 29, 1888)
1820 - Florence Nightingale (health activist, nurse: promoted the nursing profession, contributed to modern nursing procedures, founded Nightingale Training School for Nurses; author: Notes on Nursing; died Aug 13, 1910)
1828 - Dante Rossetti (poet: The Blessed Damozel, Sister Helen, The House of Life; artist: The Annunciation; brother of poet Christina Rossetti; died Apr 9, 1882)
1900 - Captain Mildred McAfee (Horton) (1st Director of U.S. Navy WAVES [Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service); Wellesley College President; Distinguished Service Medalist ; died Sep 2, 1994)
1907 - Katharine Hepburn (Academy Award-winning Actress: Morning Glory [1932-33], Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner , The Lion in Winter , On Golden Pond ; Adam’s Rib, Pat and Mike, The African Queen, The Rainmaker, Rooster Cogburn, Suddenly Last Summer, Mary of Scotland, Love Affair; died June 29, 2003)
1914 - Howard K. (Kingsbury) Smith (journalist, TV anchorman: ABC News; died Feb 15, 2002)
1921 - (Otis W.) Joe Maphis (country singer with wife, Rose Lee: entertainer: Hometown Jamboree, Town Hall Party, Hee Haw; songwriter: Dim Lights Thick Smoke and Loud, Loud Music; died June 27, 1986)
1922 - Bob Goldham (hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings; died Sep 6, 1991)
1925 - Yogi (Lawrence Peter) Berra (Baseball Hall of Famer: catcher: NY Yankees [World Series: 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963/all-star: 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962], NY Mets; manager: NY Yankees, NY Mets; died Sep 22, 2015)
1928 - Burt Bacharach (Oscar-winning composer [w/ Hal David]: Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head ; Tony award for score for Promises, Promises; What the World Needs Now, Walk on By, Close to You, I Say a Little Prayer, Do You Know the Way to San Jose; Oscar-winning team w/wife, Carol Bayer Sager: Arthur’s Theme ; That’s What Friends are For)
1929 - Samuel Nujoma (President of Namibia [1990-2005])
1935 - Felipe (Felipe Rojas) Alou (baseball: SF Giants [World Series: 1962/all-star: 1962, 1966, 1968], Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics, NY Yankees, Montreal Expos, Milwaukee Brewers)
1935 - John Bucyk (Hockey Hall of Famer: NHL: Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins [Lady Byng Trophy winner: 1971])
1936 - Tom Snyder (broadcast journalist: WNBC, KNBC; host: The Late Show with Tom Snyder, Tomorrow, Contact, The Tom Snyder Radio Show; died Jul 29, 2007)
1936 - Frank Stella (abstract artist, sculptor, painter: Empress of India, Guadalupe Island)
1937 - George Carlin (comedian: The George Carlin Show, Award Theater, 1st host of Saturday Night Live, The Kraft Summer Music Hall, Wonderful W-I-N-O, Seven Dirty Words, actor: Prince of Tides, That Girl, Car Wash, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure; died June 22, 2008)
1937 - Susan Hampshire (Emmy Award-winning actress: The Forsythe Saga [1969-70], The First Churchills [Masterpiece Theatre, 1970-71], Vanity Fair [Masterpiece Theatre, 1972-73]; The Story of David, Cry Terror, David Copperfield)
1938 - Millie Perkins (actress: Wall Street, Ensign Pulver)
1939 - Ronald L. Ziegler (journalist, Press Secretary for U.S. President Richard M. Nixon; died Feb 10, 2003)
1942 - Ian Dury (singer: Rough Kids, Billy Bentley, Upminster Kid; songwriter: What a Waste, Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick, Sink My Boats, This is What We Find, Reasons to be Cheerful, Delusions of Grandeur, Dance of the Crackpots, The Body Song, Spasticus Autisticus, Profoundly in Love with Pandora; group: Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Sweet Gene Vincent, Billericay Dickie, Paistow Patricia; actor: No. 1, Pirates, King of the Ghetto, Talk of the Devil, Rocinante, Hearts of Fire; died Mar 27, 2000)
1942 - Ted (Theodore Rodger) Kubiak (baseball: KC Athletics, Oakland Athletics [World Series: 1972, 1973], Milwaukee Brewers, SL Cardinals, Texas Rangers, SD Padres)
1943 - David Walker (musician: guitar: group: Gary Lewis & The Playboys: This Diamond Ring, Everybody Loves a Clown, She's Just My Style)
1945 - Ian McLagan (musician: keyboards: solo LPs: Troublemaker, Bump in the Night; group: The Faces: Stay with Me, Debris, Cindy Incidentally, Pool Hall Richard, You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything; died Dec 3, 2014)
1948 - Lindsay Crouse (actress: The Juror, The Arrival, Desperate Hours, Places in the Heart, The Verdict, Slap Shot, House of Games, Eleanor & Franklin, All the President’s Men, Traps)
1948 - Steve Winwood (singer: groups: Blind Faith; Traffic; Spencer Davis Group: Gimme Some Lovin’; solo: While You See a Chance; Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do, Higher Love, The Finer Things, Roll with It)
1950 - Bruce Boxleitner (actor: Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Babe)
1950 - Pat (Patrick Leonard) Darcy (baseball: pitcher: Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1975])
1950 - Billy Squier (singer: Everybody Wants You; wrote and sang on soundtrack: Fast Times at Ridgemont High)
1958 - Kim Greist (actress: Homeward Bound series, Throw Momma from the Train, Brazil, Chicago Hope)
1961 - Billy Duffy (musician: guitar: group: The Cult: Spiritwalker, Resurrection Joe, She Sells Security)
1962 - Emilio Estevez (actor: Breakfast Club, Repo Man, Young Guns, Stakeout, The Mighty Ducks, Men at Work, Freejack; Martin Sheen’s son, Charlie’s brother, Paula Abdul’s ex)
1966 - Stephen Baldwin (actor: Fled, The Usual Suspects, Under the Hula Moon, Threesome, The Great American Sex Scandal, Born on the Fourth of July, Home Boy, The Young Riders, The Prodigious Hickey, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; brother of actors Alec, William and Daniel Baldwin)
1969 - Kim Fields (actress: The Facts of Life, Living Single, Baby, I’m Back)
Chart Toppers - May 12
Now is the Hour - Bing Crosby
Manana - Peggy Lee
The Dickey Bird Song - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Glenn Hughes)
Anytime - Eddy Arnold
Heartbreak Hotel/I Was the One - Elvis Presley
Standing on the Corner - The Four Lads
The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
Hello Dolly! - Louis Armstrong
Do You Want to Know a Secret - The Beatles
My Guy - Mary Wells
My Heart Skips a Beat - Buck Owens
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack
I Gotcha - Joe Tex
Betcha By Golly, Wow - The Stylistics
Grandma Harp - Merle Haggard
Call Me - Blondie
Ride like the Wind - Christopher Cross
Lost in Love - Air Supply
Beneath Still Waters - Emmylou Harris
Wishing Well - Terence Trent D’Arby
Anything for You - Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Pink Cadillac - Natalie Cole
Cry, Cry, Cry - Highway 101
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.