This Day in American History
1803- The first Roman Catholic Church in Boston was formally dedicated. (Catholics had not been permitted any religious freedom within this predominantly Puritan colony prior to the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.)
1850 - Pres. Millard Fillmore named Mormon leader Brigham Young as the first governor of the Utah Territory
1862 - Union General Jefferson C. Davis mortally wounds his commanding officer, General William Nelson, in Louisville, Kentucky. Davis had been upset by a reprimand handed down by Nelson. After quarreling in a hotel lobby, Nelson slapped Davis. Davis then chased him upstairs and shot him. Davis was never court-martialed, and it is thought that the influence of Indiana Governor Oliver Morton, who was with Davis at the time of the shooting, was instrumental in preventing a trial. Davis went on to serve with distinction at the Battles of Stones River, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga.
1907- Birthday of Gene Autry, born Tioga, Texas: ‘The Singing Cowboy', actor in over 100 cowboy westerns, singer, CMA Hall of Fame and the only person to have 5 Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. They were for film, radio, TV, stage and records; born Tioga, Texas. Autry made 635 recordings, including more than 300 songs written or co-written by him. His records sold more than 100 million copies and he has more than a dozen gold and platinum records, including the first record ever certified gold. His Christmas and children's records Here Comes Santa Claus and Peter Cottontail are among his platinum recordings. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer , the second all-time best selling Christmas single, boasts in excess of 30 million in sales. In 1950, Autry became the first major movie star to use the television medium. Always a man of vision, Autry excelled and for the next five years he produced and starred in 91 half-hour episodes of The Gene Autry Show for CBS Television. This success lead him to produce such popular TV series as Annie Oakley, The Range Rider, Buffalo Bill Jr., The Adventures Of Champion as well as the first 39 episodes of Death Valley Days. My father Lawrence Menkin wrote many of the episodes, plus served as story editor.
He is also very much remembered for his role in the formation of the Los Angeles-California-Anaheim-Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem, into which he poured his considerable love for the game.
1908-Birthday of Thomas Edward (Eddie) Tolan, Olympic gold medal sprinter born at Denver, CO). Tolan was the first black American athlete to win two gold medals, triumphing in the 100 meters and the 200 meters at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. At his death, he still held the Michigan high school record of 9.8 seconds in the 100-yard dash. Died at Detroit, MI, Jan. 31, 1967.
1918--EGGERS, ALAN LOUIS Medal of Honor Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Machine Gun Company, 107th Infantry, 27th Division. Place and date: Near Le Catelet, France, 29 September 1918. Entered service at: Summit, N.J. Birth: Saranac Lake, N.Y. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: Becoming separated from their platoon by a smoke barrage, Sgt. Eggers, Sgt. John C. Latham and Cpl. Thomas E. O'Shea took cover in a shell hole well within the enemy's lines. Upon hearing a call for help from an American tank, which had become disabled 30 yards from them, the 3 soldiers left their shelter and started toward the tank, under heavy fire from German machineguns and trench mortars. In crossing the fire-swept area Cpl. O'Shea was mortally wounded, but his companions, undeterred, proceeded to the tank, rescued a wounded officer, and assisted 2 wounded soldiers to cover in a sap of a nearby trench. Sgt. Eggers and Sgt. Latham then returned to the tank in the face of the violent fire, dismounted a Hotchkiss gun, and took it back to where the wounded men were, keeping off the enemy all day by effective use of the gun and later bringing it, with the wounded men, back to our lines under cover of darkness.
1918-LEMERT, MILO Medal of Honor Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company G, 119th Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: Near Bellicourt, France, 29 September 1918. Entered service at: Crossville, Tenn. Birth: Marshalltown, lowa. G.O. No.: 59, W.D., 1919. Citation: Seeing that the left flank of his company was held up, he located the enemy machinegun emplacement, which had been causing heavy casualties. In the face of heavy fire he rushed it single-handed, killing the entire crew with grenades. Continuing along the enemy trench in advance of the company, he reached another emplacement, which he also charged, silencing the gun with grenades. A third machinegun emplacement opened up on him from the left and with similar skill and bravery he destroyed this also. Later, in company with another sergeant, he attacked a fourth machinegun nest, being killed as he reached the parapet of the emplacement. His courageous action in destroying in turn 4 enemy machinegun nests prevented many casualties among his company and very materially aided in achieving the objective.
1918-LUKE, FRANK, JR. (Air Mission) Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 27th Aero Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, Air Service. Place and date: Near Murvaux, France, 29 September 1918. Entered service at: Phoenix, Ariz. Born: 19 May 1897, Phoenix, Ariz. G.O. No.: 59, W.D., 1919. Citation: After having previously destroyed a number of enemy aircraft within 17 days he voluntarily started on a patrol after German observation balloons. Though pursued by 8 German planes which were protecting the enemy balloon line, he unhesitatingly attacked and shot down in flames 3 German balloons, being himself under heavy fire from ground batteries and the hostile planes. Severely wounded, he descended to within 50 meters of the ground, and flying at this low altitude near the town of Murvaux opened fire upon enemy troops, killing 6 and wounding as many more. Forced to make a landing and surrounded on all sides by the enemy, who called upon him to surrender, he drew his automatic pistol and defended himself gallantly until he fell dead from a wound in the chest.
1918 --Captain GH Wilkins, official AIF photographer, rallies United States troops at the battle of the Hindenburg Line, while taking photographs for this action he is awarded a bar to his Military Cross, becoming the only Australian official photographer to be decorated for bravery in the field.
1923--On the same 1923 day as Lombard Street opened across town, the “crookiest street” in San Francisco, the Steinhart Aquarium in Golden Gate Park opened its sculpted bronze doors to the public. Ignatz Steinhart, a wealthy entrepreneur, donated the money to build the place in honor of his deceased brother Sigmund.
1927 - An outbreak of tornadoes from Oklahoma to Indiana caused 81 deaths and 25 million dollars damage. A tornado (possibly two tornadoes) cut an eight-mile long path across Saint Louis MO, to Granite City IL, killing 79 persons. The damage path at times was a mile and a quarter in width. The storm followed a similar path to tornadoes which struck in 1871, 1896, and 1959.
1935-Birthday of singer/piano player Jerry Lee Lewis. ("Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On," "Great Balls of Fire"), born Ferriday, LA.
1937-Birthday of guitarist Joe Hughes, Houston, Texas.
1938 -Charleston, SC was hit with 5 tornadoes, which killed 32 people and did $2 million in damage
1939 - Germany and the Soviet Union agree to divide control of occupied Poland roughly along the Bug River--the Germans taking everything west, the Soviets taking everything east.
1942- Hugh Mulzac, first Black captain of a US merchant ship, launches with the Booker T Washington,
1946 - "The Adventures of Sam Spade" premiered on CBS radio this Sunday night. In the summer of 1946, it had aired on ABC on Friday nights. "The Adventures of Sam Spade", starring Howard Duff as detective Spade, became a hit on Sunday night radio.
It was based on novels by writer Dashiell Hammet.
1947 - Musician Dizzy Gillespie (performing with Charlie Parker) made his Carnegie Hall debut in New York City. Playing with a full-sized band, Gillespie was the leader of a new wave of jazz known as bebop. Over time, Gillespie became one of the great jazz players of all time.
Feudin' and Fightin' - Dorothy Shay
I Wish I Didn't Love You So - Vaughn Monroe
I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now - Perry Como
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) - Tex Williams
1948-Brithday of broadcaster and amateur golfer Bryant Gumbel, born, New Orleans, LA.
1950--CHRISTIANSON, STANLEY R. Medal of Honor Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Seoul, Korea, 29 September 1950. Entered service at: Mindoro, Wis. Born: 24 January 1925, Mindoro, Wis. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Hill 132, in the early morning hours. Manning 1 of the several listening posts covering approaches to the platoon area when the enemy commenced the attack, Pfc. Christianson quickly sent another marine to alert the rest of the platoon. Without orders, he remained in his position and, with full knowledge that he would have slight chance of escape, fired relentlessly at oncoming hostile troops attacking furiously with rifles, automatic weapons, and incendiary grenades. Accounting for 7 enemy dead in the immediate vicinity before his position was overrun and he himself fatally struck down, Pfc. Christianson, by his superb courage, valiant fighting spirit, and devotion to duty, was responsible for allowing the rest of the platoon time to man positions, build up a stronger defense on that flank, and repel the attack with 41 of the enemy destroyed, many more wounded, and 3 taken prisoner. His self-sacrificing actions in the face of overwhelming odds sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. Pfc. Christianson gallantly gave his life for his country.
1953-- “Make Room for Daddy,” premiers on TV. Danny Thomas starred as Danny Williams, a nightclub singer and comedian, in this family sitcom. The series was renamed "The Danny Thomas Show" in 1956 after Jean Hagen (who played his wife, Margaret) left the show. Many cast members returned for the show's sequel, "Make Room for Granddaddy" in 1970. Thomas' co-stars were: Sherry Jackson and Penney Parker as Danny's daughter Terry; Rusty Hamer as son Rusty; Amanda Randolph as housekeeper Louise; Horace McMahon as Danny's agent, Phil Arnold; Jesse White as agent Jesse Leeds; Sid Melton as Charlie Halper, owner of the Copa Club; Ben Lessy as Danny's pianist, Ben; Mary Wickes as his publicist, Liz O'Neal; Hans Conried as Uncle Tonoose; Nan Bryant as Danny's mother-in-law and Marjorie Lord as his new wife Kathy O'Hara. Rusty Hamer was our next door neighbor growing up in Pacific Palisades, California. His brother was my age and we were best friends, double-dating all the time. Danny Thomas, who many now remember as Marlo's dad and Phil Donahue's father-in-law, is also remembered for many things that influenced television. At the suggestion of his friend, Desi Arnaz, Thomas negotiated a deal that would allow him to retain ownership rights to his programs, like Make Room for Daddy, which debuted this day on ABC-TV. Later, in 1957, the show would move to CBS under the Desilu/Danny Thomas Productions banner. The rest is, literally, TV history. His success allowed him to give something back to the world, in the form of his philanthropic efforts to build St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis. "All I prayed for was a break," he once told an interviewer, "and I said I would do anything, anything, to pay back the prayer if it could be answered. All I needed was a sign of what to do and I would do it." And so it was.
1954---Willie Mays made a fabulous over-the-shoulder catch that many regard as the most famous in baseball history. It came in the first game of the World Series as the New York Giants were playing the Cleveland Indians. Vic Wertz of the Indians hit a long drive to deep center field in the Polo Grounds. Bays turned on the ball, caught it running full stride about 475 feet from home plate, wheeled and threw. The Gaints won the game, 3-0, in 10 innings on Dusty Rhodes's pinch-hit home run and swept the Indians in the Series.
The Yellow Rose of Texas - Mitch Miller
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing - The Four Aces
Tina Marie - Perry Como
I Don't Care - Webb Pierce
1955 - Arthur Miller's play, A View from the Bridge, opened on Broadway on this date, and received mixed reviews from critics.
1956-So far, RCA Victor has received over 856,327 advance orders for Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender."
1958-The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" enters the US Pop chart, where it will top out at #6.
1959-Tommy Edwards' "It's All In The Game" lead the Billboard chart. The melody of the song had been written in 1912 by Charles Gates Dawes, who would become vice-president of the United States between 1925 and 1929. Updated lyrics were added in 1951.
1959-Little Anthony and the Imperials record "Shimmy Shimmy Koko Bop", which will reach #24 in the US early next year.
1959 -Hurricane Gracie made landfall near Beaufort, SC with sustained winds of 97 mph with a peak gust to 138 mph. 10 people were killed in South Carolina and Georgia. As the weakening storm moved through Virginia on the 30th, she spawned an F3 tornado at Ivy, VA which killed 11 people
1959 - The irreverent cartoon TV series, Rocky and Bullwinkle, created by Jay Ward, debuted on ABC on this date. It was the most sophisticated satirical cartoon series of the television era at that time. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis debuted on CBS on the same evening.
1958-"It's All in the Game" by Tommy Edwards topped the charts and stayed there for 6 weeks.
1958-The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" enters the pop chart at #27 and the Moonglows' "Ten Commandments of Love," enters the pop charts at #41.
1960 - ABC-TV brought "My Three Sons" into United States homes. Movie actor Fred MacMurray had a hard time adjusting to the small screen. "My Three Sons" did so well CBS bought it in 1965, for somewhere between seven and ten million dollars.
1962- President JF Kennedy authorized use of federal troops in integration of University of Mississippi. James H. Meredith was escorted onto the University of Mississippi campus by U.S. marshals. Tow men were killed in the ensuing mob violence, which was quelled with the aid of 3000 federal soldiers. The next day Meredith was enrolled and began to attend classes amid continuing disruption by protestors. On June 6, 1966, James Meredith was shot and wounded while on a lone march from Memphis, Tenn. to Jackson, Miss. to encourage black voter registration. Only June 26, 26 groups from across the country joined with Meredith to complete the march. From 1989 to 1991, Meredith served as a policy advisor to conservative Republican Senator Jesse Helms, who only ten years earlier had opposed the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. He is an author and businessman today.
1962 - My Fair Lady closed on this day after a run of 6½ years. At the time, the show held the Broadway record for longest-running musical of all time. 3,750,000 people watched the wonderful show and heard tunes like Wouldn't it Be Loverly, Show Me, Get Me to the Church on Time, I'm an Ordinary Man, I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face and the Vic Damone/Robert Goulet standard, On the Street Where You Live. The team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe turned George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion, into a colorful, musical production. They gave a new life to the rough- around-the-edges, cockney, flower girl; the subject of a bet between Professor Higgins (Just You Wait, 'Enry 'Iggins) and a colleague. The Professor bet that he could turn Eliza Doolittle into a proper lady (The Rain in Spain). With a Little Bit of Luck he did it. Eliza, looking and acting very much like a princess, sang I Could Have Danced All Night. After its Broadway success, My Fair Lady was made into a motion picture (1964) and won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture.
1966-Birthday of football player Kenneth Howard (Ken) Norton, Jr., born Jacksonville, IL.
Blue Velvet - Bobby Vinton
Sally, Go 'Round the Roses - The Jaynetts
Be My Baby - The Ronettes
Abilene - George Hamilton IV
1963-Rolling Stones 1st tour (opening act for Bo Diddley & Everly Bros)
1965 - Hanoi publishes the text of a letter it has written to the Red Cross claiming that since there is no formal state of war, U.S. pilots shot down over the North will not receive the rights of prisoners of war (POWs) and will be treated as war criminals.
1967 -”Alice” premiers on TV. Linda Lavin played the title role in this CBS comedy that was based on the 1975 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Alice Hyatt was the new girl in town--a widow raising her son while trying to make ends meet by waitressing at a diner. She also had dreams of making it big as a singer. Nine years later, Alice was able to leave her "temp" job for a gig. Lavin's co-stars were: Vic Tayback as diner owner Mel Sharples, Philip McKeon as Alice's son, Tommy, Beth Howland as waitress Vera Gorman, Polly Holliday as sassy waitress Flo Castleberry, Diane Ladd as Flo's replacement Belle Dupree, Celia Weston as waitress Jolene Hunnicut, Martha Raye as Mel's mother, Carrie and Marvin Kaplan as customer Henry Beesmyer. The last episode was on August 31, 1976.
1967 - Motown's Soul label released Gladys Knight and the Pips's I Heard It Through the Grapevine. It ultimately reached Number 2 on the pop charts and Number 1 on the rhythm and blues charts.
1967-Mickey Hart joins the Grateful Dead.
1970-- The New American Bible was published by the St. Anthony Guild Press. It represented the first English version Roman Catholic Bible to be translated from the original Biblical Greek and Hebrew languages. (The Rheims-Douai Version of 1610 had been based on Jerome's Latin Vulgate.)
Go Away Little Girl - Donny Osmond
Maggie Mae/Reason to Believe - Rod Stewart
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - Joan Baez
The Year That Clayton Delaney Died - Tom T. Hall
1973- "We're an American Band" by the Grand Funk Railroad topped the charts and stayed there for a week.
1974-- The U.S. Congress passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act designed to equalize credit opportunities for women and men. Under the new law, women's income had to be counted in the same way as men's income for credit ratings. It also decreed no one should be refused credit on account of sex or marital status.
1975- WGPR-TV Detroit, first Black-owned station in US, begins broadcasting.
1976 --Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. 'Smokey', compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club winning seven pennants and four world championships.
1977 - In history's most-watched prize fight, Muhammad Ali defeated Ernie Shavers, in a decision, to claim the heavyweight championship boxing crown. The bout was televised from Madison Square Garden in New York City to an estimated 70 million viewers on NBC-TV. The first woman official of a heavyweight title boxing match officiated the match.
1977 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band," Meco. The 15-minute song is a disco version of several themes from the top movie of 1977.
1979 - Cheap Trick's "Ain't That A Shame" peaks at #35 on the singles chart, while Robert Palmer's "Bad Case Of Loving You" peaks at #14, Nick Lowe's "Cruel To Be Kind" peaks at #12 and Dave Edmunds' "Girls Talk" peaks at #65.
1979 ---Gold hits record $400.20 an ounce in Hong Kong.
My Sharona - The Knack
Sad Eyes - Robert John
Rise - Herb Alpert
It Must Be Love - Don Williams
1982-The first poisoning of store merchandise known to have resulted in numerous deaths took place in and around Chicago, Il. In a three-day period from September 29 to October 1, 1982, seven people died after taking Tylenol, a brand of acetaminophen, which they had bought at a local drugstores and supermarkets. A murderer who was never apprehended had removed the bottles from store shelves, opened them, added cyanide to the capsule of Tylenol, and replaced them in the stores. Tylenol removed all their product from the stores and destroyed them. The poisonings led to the introduction of wraps and seals on all pharmaceutical products and many other products as well.
1983 - Heavy rains began in central and eastern Arizona which culminated in the worst flood in the history of the state. Eight to ten inch rains across the area caused severe flooding in southeastern Arizona which resulted in thirteen deaths and 178 million dollars damage. President Reagan declared eight counties of Arizona to be disaster areas.
1983- A Chorus Line became the longest-running show on Broadway, with performance number 3,389. Grease, the rock 'n' roll production, had been the previous box-office champ since 1980.
1984- "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince & the Revolution topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.
1984-The Cars' "Drive" peaks at #3 on the pop singles chart.
1985 - MacGyver, starring Richard Dean Anderson, debuted on ABC on this night.
Fortunately, the last detail is unimportant when compared to his astounding mind. Drawing on a vast practical knowledge of science, Macgyver is able to make use of any mundane materials around him to create unorthodox solutions to any problem he faces. The enemies of world peace and justice continually learn that underestimating this man is a fatal mistake for their plans. The popular series last seven years, perhaps making MacGyver a verb in our language for turning someting simple into a major tool.
1986 - The sitcom, Designing Women, starring Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts, and Jean Smart premiered on CBS. The well-written show had a loyal following, and touched on many female topics that few shows then, or now, tackle. Last episode: May 24, 1993
1987 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Didn't We Almost Have It All," Whitney Houston.
Didn't We Almost Have It All - Whitney Houston
Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
Lost in Emotion - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Three Time Loser - Dan Seals
1987--“Thirtysomething,” premiers on TV. This ABC drama series about a group of seven baby boomers was created by boomers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. The show's characters were very real to many viewers who were able to identify with their struggles--such as the death of a parent, disease, relationships, singlehood, marriage, divorce, career setbacks and the birth of a child. The cast featured Ken Olin as Michael Steadman; Mel Harris as his wife, Hope; Jade Mortimer and the Craven twins, Brittany and Lacey, as their daughter Jane; Timothy Busfield as Michael's business partner, Elliot Weston; Patricia Wettig (Olin's real-life wife) as Elliot's wife, Nancy; Luke Rossi as their son Ethan; Jordana Shapiro as their daughter Brittany; Polly Draper as Hope's friend Ellyn Warren; Melanie Mayron as Michael's cousin, Melissa Steadman and Peter Horton as family friend Gary Shepherd. The popular show lasted until 1991.
1987 - A slow moving cold front produced rain from the Great Lakes Region to the Central Gulf Coast Region. A late afternoon thunderstorm produced wind gusts to 62 mph at Buffalo NY. Warm weather continued in the western U.S. In Oregon, the afternoon high of 96 degrees at Medford was a record for the date.
1989 - Seven cities reported record high temperatures for the date, as readings soared into the 80s and low 90s in the Northern Plateau and Northern Plains Region. Record highs included 91 degrees at Boise ID, and 92 degrees at Sheridan WY. The high of 100 degrees at Tucson AZ marked their 51st record high of the year, and their 92nd day of 100 degree weather.
1990 - In Washington, DC, the National Cathedral (officially, the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul) was completed after 83 years of construction. Begun in 1907, the Gothic edifice had been used in its incomplete form since 1912.
1991-snow began in Caribou, ME at 8:35 p.m. on the29th and ending at 2 am on the 30th with 2.5 inches accumulating.
1994 - The Pointer Sisters receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star on Hollywood Boulevard was originally set to be unveiled in January, but an earthquake struck Los Angeles three days before the scheduled ceremony. The Pointers are the first African-American female music group to receive the honor.
1996-Astros Retiren's Number. The Houston Astros retired uniform number 34 in honor of their former pitcher, Nolan Ryan, who played for Houston for nine seasons.
The ceremony made Ryan the only player to have his number retired by three teams, the California Angeles, adn the Texas Rangers having previously accorded him the honor.
2001-Some 7,000 people marched for peace in Washington DC while an estimated 7-10 thousand marched in San Francisco. They marched to mourn terrorist victims, and to urge the nation to heal poverty and injustice that fuels global violence instead of focusing on military revenge.
2002--- Barry Bonds sets a new season mark for on-base percentage with a .582 OBP. The 38-year old Giant left fielder, who became the oldest first-time winner of a batting title hitting .370, easily surpassed the 1941 mark established by Ted Williams with a .553 OBP.
2004 ---Major League Baseball announces Washington D.C. will become the new home of the Montreal Expos in time for the 2005 season. The nation's capital, which was chosen over finalists including Las Vegas and Northern Virginia, will have baseball first time in 33 years since the expansion Senators left in 1971 to become the Texas Rangers.