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October 23

Events - October 23
1910 - Blanche S. Scott became the first woman aviator. Blanche was known, not as an aviator, but an aviatrix. She soared to an altitude of 12 feet over Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

1930 - The first miniature golf tournament came crashing to a close in Chattanooga, TN. The men’s title winner was J.K. Scott, who threatened (to shove a putter where the sun don’t shine) the first person to make a sound as he walked next to the windmill and the clown’s mouth. The women’s top ranker was J.E. Rankin, who scored triple points with an incredible bank shot off the left cushion and through the cowboy’s legs, into the duck’s bill, down its gullet (quack!) and through the mousetrap, into the cup beyond the three-foot-wide pond.

1932 - Fred Allen made his radio debut. His wife, Portland Hoffa, joined him on the CBS radio broadcast. Allen’s comedy-variety program was known as "The Linit Bath Club Revue". It then became "The Salad Bowl Revue", then, "The Sal Hapatica Revue", "The Hour of Smiles", "Town Hall Tonight", "The Texaco Star Theatre" and finally, someone with just a bit of sense, came up with "The Fred Allen Show". The comedic legend stayed on radio for 17 years.

1941 - "Clarinet a la King" was recorded by Benny Goodman and his orchestra -- on Okeh Records.

1950 - "LIFE" magazine was adorned with a cover picture of Ed Wynn, and the caption, "TV gets top comics."

1950 - "The World’s Greatest Entertainer" (a billing he gave himself), Al Jolson (Asa Yoelson), died at the age of 64.

1956 - Jonathan Winters became a TV star. Winters was seen coast to coast in the first videotape recording to be broadcast. The tape originated from WRCA-TV in New York City. The broadcast was developed for NBC network stations.

1958 - Russian poet and novelist Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He, however, was forced to refuse the honor because of negative Soviet reaction. Pasternak won the award for writing "Dr. Zhivago".

1961 - Dion’s "Runaround Sue" was the #1 U.S. single. It remained at the top for two weeks until being knocked off by Jimmy Dean’s "Big Bad John".

1970 - ‘Lady Soul’, Aretha Franklin, won a gold record for "Don’t Play that Song".

1976 - Just one of the highlights of the championship football season for the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh: Pitt’s Tony Dorsett rushed for 180 yards (at Navy, beating them 45-0) and set the NCAA all-time rushing record of 5,206 career yards.

1983 - Suicidal terrorists drove a truck loaded with TNT into the U.S. Marines headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon. The explosion that followed killed 240 U.S. personnel. Many French personnel were also killed in a similar attack on their location at the same time.

1989 - After 33 years of Soviet rule, Hungary became an independent republic.

1993 - After his winning home run gave the Blue Jays the win, Joe Carter stepped on home plate and touched off a SkyDome celebration. The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 2 in the World Series to win the title for the second year in a row.

1998 - New in U.S. movie theatres: "Apt Pupil", from Tristar Pictures, Ian Mckellen, Brad Renfro and David Schwimmer; and New Line Cinema’s "Pleasantville", with Joan Allen, William H. Macy And Reese Witherspoon.

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Birthdays - October 23
1835 - Adlai Ewing Stevenson (23rd Vice President of the U.S. [1893-1897]; grandfather of U.S. presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson [1952, 1956]; died June 14, 1914)

1893 - (Milton) ‘Gummo’ Marx (theatrical agent; vaudeville with his four brothers (Marx Brothers): The Four Nightingales, Fun in Hi Skule, Mr. Green’s Reception, Home Again; died Apr 21, 1977)

1905 - Gertrude Ederle (Olympic swimming medalist [1924]: gold: 4x100-meter relay team; bronze: 100-meter freestyle; 1st woman to swim English Channel [14 hrs., 31 minutes - set a world record]; swimming instructor of deaf children; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer; died Nov 30, 2003)

1914 - ‘Bruiser’ Frank Kinard (College and Pro Football Hall of Famer: University of Mississippi; NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers; AAFC’s NY Yankees; All-Pro: [1940, 1941, 1943, 1944]; ‘ironman of football’: played 708 out of 720 season minutes [1936]; missed only one game in nine years of pro ball; died Sep 7, 1985)

1918 - James Daly (Emmy Award-winning actor: Hallmark Hall of Fame: Eagle in a Cage [1965-1966]; Medical Center, Planet of the Apes, The Invaders; father of actress Tyne Daly; died July 3, 1978)

1922 - Ewell Blackwell (‘The Whip’: baseball: pitcher: Cincinnati Reds [all-star: 1946-1951], NY Yankees [World Series: 1952], Kansas City Athletics; died Oct 29, 1996)

1922 - Frank Sutton (actor: Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Jim Nabors Hour, Marty, Hurricane; died June 28, 1974)

1923 - Ned Rorem (Pulitzer Prize-winning composer: Air Music [1976])

1925 - Johnny Carson (Emmy Award-winning comedian, TV host: The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson [1977-1978, 1978-1979], 1979-1980, 1991-1992]; The Johnny Carson Show, Who Do You Trust?, Earn Your Vacation; died Jan 23, 2005)

1927 - Sonny (William) Criss (musician: saxophone: LP: The Bop Masters, Saturday Morning, Criss Craft, Out of Nowhere, Warm and Sonny; died Nov, 19, 1977)

1931 - Jim (James Paul David) Bunning (baseball: pitcher: Detroit Tigers [all-star: 1957, 1959, 1961-1963], Philadelphia Phillies [pitched seventh perfect game in history (against the NY Mets: 6-21-64)/all-star: 1964, 1966], Pittsburgh Pirates, LA Dodgers; U.S. Senator from Kentucky)

1931 - Diana Dors (Mavis Fluck) (actress: Children of the Full Moon, Oliver Twist, Unicorn, Theatre of Blood, The Devil’s Web, Baby Love; died May 4, 1984)

1935 - Juan ‘Chi-Chi’ Rodriguez (World Golf Hall of Famer: record for most consecutive wins on Senior PGA Tour [3]; established pro-am tournament: proceeds for Children’s Hospital in Puerto Rico; founded: Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation)

1939 - Charlie Foxx (singer: Mockingbird [w/sister Inez]; died Sep 18, 1998)

1940 - (Eleanor) Ellie Greenwich (Ellie Gay, Ellie Gee) (songwriter [w/Jeff Barry]: Be My Baby, Chapel of Love, Da Do Ron Ron, Then He Kissed Me, River Deep, Mountain High; singer: group: Raindrops: What a Guy, The Kind of Boy You Can’t Forget; solo: LP: Let It Be Written, Let It Be Sung; on Broadway: Leader of the Pack; died Aug 26, 2009)

1940 - Pelé (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) (Brazil’s soccer star; record for most wins: 3 winning teams [1958, 1962, 1970]; most career goals in international competition [97, 1957-70]; most career hat-tricks [92, 1956-77] in film: Escape to Victory)

1947 - Greg Ridley (musician [bass], singer: groups: Dino of Dino and The Danubes; The Dakotas; The Ramrods; VIPs; Art: LP: Supernatural Fairytales; Spooky Tooth: LPs: It’s All About, Spooky Two, Ceremony, Cross Purpose; Humble Pie: Town and Country, Sucking on the Sweet Vine, Big George [Rock On], Smokin', Street Rats; All Stars: LP: Marriott; Small Faces: LP: Playmates; died Nov 19, 2003)

1948 - John Holliman (TV news reporter: CNN; killed in car crash Sep 12, 1998)

1950 - Ed Smith (football: Colorado College, Denver Broncos)

1956 - Dwight Yoakam (songwriter, singer: I’ll be Gone, Bury Me, Miner’s Prayer, South of Cincinnati; LP: Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., A Town South of Bakersfield)

1959 - ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (singer, comedian: parodies: Eat It, My Bologna, Another One Rides the Bus, I Love Rocky Road, King of Suede, I Lost on Jeopardy, Polkas on 45, The Brady Bunch, Like a Surgeon; actor: The Naked Gun series, Spy Hard, 'Weird Al' Yankovic Live!)

1962 - Doug Flutie (football: Boston College quarterback: Heisman Trophy winner [1984]; CFL: British Columbia Lions [1991 record: passing yards gained in a season: 6,619]; NFL: Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers)

1962 - Mike Tomczak (football [quarterback]: Pittsburgh Steelers; Chicago Bears quarterback: Super Bowl XX)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - October 23
1947
Near You - The Francis Craig Orchestra (vocal: Bob Lamm)
I Wish I Didn’t Love You So - Vaughn Monroe
Feudin’ and Fightin’ - Dorothy Shay
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) - Tex Williams

1955
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing - The Four Aces
Autumn Leaves - Roger Williams
The Shifting, Whispering Sands - Rusty Draper
Love, Love, Love - Webb Pierce

1963
Sugar Shack - Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs
Be My Baby - The Ronettes
Busted - Ray Charles
Love’s Gonna Live Here - Buck Owens

1971
Maggie Mae/Reason to Believe - Rod Stewart
Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves - Cher
Do You Know What I Mean - Lee Michaels
How Can I Unlove You - Lynn Anderson

1979
Rise - Herb Alpert
Pop Muzik - M
I’ll Never Love This Way Again - Dionne Warwick
All the Gold in California - Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers

1987
Lost in Emotion - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
U Got the Look - Prince
I Think We’re Alone Now - Tiffany
Fishin’ in the Dark - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...


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Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams


Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
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