Events - May 18
1798 - The first Secretary of the U.S. Navy was appointed. He was Benjamin Stoddert.
1860 - Abraham Lincoln of Springfield, IL was nominated for the U.S. Presidency by Republican party leaders at a meeting in Chicago.
1931 - Race jockey Eddie Arcaro rode his first race -- at Bainbridge, OH. He finished sixth. Later, Arcaro would become a racing legend, finishing first in over 4,100 races, including four Kentucky Derby wins. Arcaro won the Derby in 1941, 1945, 1948 and again in 1952. He rode Hill Gail, Hoop, Jr., Whirl-A-Way and Citation. Arcaro won the Triple Crown with Whirl-A-Way and Citation.
1942 - "David Harding, Counterspy" was heard on the NBC Blue network for the first time. The program enjoyed a long run on radio, lasting for 15 years.
1953 - The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles per hour.
1954 - Former heavyweight boxing titleholder Max Schmeling came back to the U.S. after 15 years. He returned to referee a boxing match in Milwaukee, WI. He stayed for the beer and bratwurst, no doubt...
1957 - Jockey Eddie Arcaro rode Bold Ruler to the winner’s circle in the Preakness Stakes in Maryland.
1968 - Tiny Tim’s warbly "Tiptoe through the Tulips" was released. An eventual top twenty hit, "Tiptoe" was a remake of a number one hit for Nick Lucas in 1929. Grab your banjo and sing along. “Ohhhhh, Tiptoe through the Tuuuuulips....”
1970 - Opening this night in New York City was "The Me Nobody Knows" at the Orpheum Theatre. The musical had a run of 586 performances.
1974 - "The Streak" started a 3-week run at number one on the "Billboard" pop music chart. The novelty tune, by Ray Stevens, was about people running nekkid where they shouldn’t be nekkid, like, in public. It was the second number one hit for the comedian who made numerous appearances on Andy Williams’ TV show in the late 1960s, as well as his own show in the summer of 1970. His first number one hit, just prior to "The Streak", was "Everything is Beautiful". Both songs won gold records, as did his comedic "Gitarzan", a top ten hit in 1969. “Booga-da, booga, da!”
1980 - 9,677-foot Mt. St. Helens, quiet for 93 years, blew its top. The volcanic blast was five hundred times more powerful than the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima. Steam and ash erupted more than eleven miles into the sky and darkened skies in a 160-mile radius. Forest fires erupted around the volcano and burned out of control. The eruption, and those that followed, left some sixty dead and caused damage amounting to nearly three billion dollars.
1992 - The season finale of "Murphy Brown" aired on CBS with Murphy Brown, played by Candice Bergen, giving birth to an illegitimate son (Avery Brown). The following day, U.S. V.P. Dan Quayle publicly lambasted the comedy, saying that the program ‘glorified’ single-parenthood. Quayle also complained that the TV situation made a mockery of families with fathers.
Birthdays - May 18
1897 - Frank Capra (Academy Award-winning director: It Happened One Night , Mr. Deeds Goes to Town , You Can’t Take It with You ; It’s a Wonderful Life, Lost Horizon, Pocketful of Miracles; died Sep 3, 1991)
1902 - Meredith Willson (Reiniger) (composer: The Music Man, The Unsinkable Molly Brown; died June 15, 1984)
1911 - Big Joe (Joseph Vernon) Turner (rhythm & blues singer: Corrine Corrina, Cherry Red, Still in the Dark, Chains of Love, Sweet Sixteen; died Nov 24, 1985)
1912 - Perry (Pierino) Como (Grammy Award-winning singer: Catch a Falling Star [1958, his first Grammy], Round and Round, Ko Ko Mo [I Love You So], Hot Diggity, It’s Impossible, Temptation, Dream along with Me [I’m on My Way to a Star], And I Love You So, Till the End of Time, Because, Prisoner of Love, Wanted, Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes, Papa Loves Mambo; 15 gold records; Emmy Award-winning TV show: The Perry Como Show [1954, 1955, 1956, 1958-9]; TV host: The Chesterfield Supper Club, The Kraft Music Hall; Christopher Award-winner ; Variety Club’s Personality of the Year ; Kennedy Center Honors ; films: Something for the Boys, Doll Face, If I’m Lucky, Words and Music; former barber; died May 12, 2001)
1914 - Pierre Balmain (fashion designer; died June 29, 1982)
1919 - Dame Margot Fonteyn (ballet dancer: Sadler Wells Company; danced with Rudolph Nureyev; died Feb 21, 1991)
1920 - Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) (264th pope of the Roman Catholic Church: the first Polish pope; died April 2, 2005)
1922 - Kai Winding (jazz musician: trombone: More [theme from Mondo Cane]; died May 6, 1983)
1924 - Jack Whitaker (Broadcasters Hall of Famer: CBS Sports, ABC Sports, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia)
1928 - Pernell Roberts (actor: Bonanza, Trapper John, M.D., Ride Lonesome; died Jan 24, 2010)
1931 - Robert Morse (Tony Award-winning actor: Tru , How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Secret Storm, Wild Palms, Where Were You When the Lights Went Out)
1934 - Dwayne Hickman (actor: The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Cat Ballou)
1937 - Brooks (Calbert) Robinson (Baseball Hall of Famer: third baseman: Baltimore Orioles [all-star: 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971m 1972, 1973, 1974/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1964/World Series: 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971])
1946 - Reggie (Reginald Martinez) Jackson (‘Mr. October’: Baseball Hall of Famer: Kansas City Athletics, Oakland Athletics [all-star: 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975/World Series: 1973, 1974/American League MVP: 1973], Baltimore Orioles, NY Yankees [World Series: 1977, 1978, 1981/all-star: 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981], California Angels [all-star: 1982, 1983, 1984]; World Series record: 10 home runs including 4 in a row, 24 RBI’s and a .357 batting average in 27 games; 563 career home runs [only Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Frank Robinson and Killebrew have hit more])
1948 - Joe Bonsall (singer: The Oak Ridge Boys: Talk about the Good Times, Where the Soul Never Dies, Cryin’ Again, American Made, Love Song, I Guess It Never Hurts to Cry Sometimes, Everyday, Make My Life with You, Little Things, Touch a Hand Make a Friend)
1949 - Dave Atkins (football: Univ. of Texas-El Paso, San Francisco 49ers, Honolulu Hawaiians [WFL], San Diego Chargers; coach: Univ. of Texas-El Paso, San Diego State, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings)
1949 - Rick Wakeman (songwriter, musician: keyboards: groups: The Strawbs; Yes: Roundabout; solo LPs: Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; composer: films scores: The Phantom of the Opera , Playing for Keeps, Creepshow 2, Bullet to Beijing, Midnight in St. Petersburg)
1950 - Rodney Milburn Jr. (Olympic Gold Medalist: 110-meter hurdles : set a world record of 13.1 seconds ; died in Nov 1997 after falling into a tank of scalding bleach at his workplace)
1951 - James Stephens (actor: The Paper Chase, Father Dowling Mysteries, Pancho Barnes, Mysterious Two, First Monday in October)
Chart Toppers - May 18
All Through the Day - Perry Como
The Gypsy - The Ink Spots
Shoo Fly Pie - The Stan Kenton Orchestra (vocal: June Christy)
New Spanish Two Step - Bob Wills
Wanted - Perry Como
Little Things Mean a Lot - Kitty Kallen
If You Love Me (Really Love Me) - Kay Starr
I Really Don’t Want to Know - Eddy Arnold
Soldier Boy - The Shirelles
Stranger on the Shore - Mr. Acker Bilk
She Cried - Jay & The Americans
She Thinks I Still Care - George Jones
American Woman/No Sugar Tonight - The Guess Who
Vehicle - The Ides of March
Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
My Love - Sonny James
If I Can’t Have You - Yvonne Elliman
The Closer I Get to You - Roberta Flack with Donny Hathaway
With a Little Luck - Wings
It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right - Dolly Parton
Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston
Why Can’t This Be Love - Van Halen
What Have You Done for Me Lateley - Janet Jackson
Ain’t Misbehavin’ - Hank Williams, Jr.
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.