Events - April 12
1799 - Phineas Pratt patented the comb cutting machine -- a “machine for making combs.”
1833 - Charles Gaylor patented the fireproof safe in New York City. The safes are widely used to protect everything from priceless art to sensitive computer software. Some safes can burn at 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and the contents will still be as cool as a cucumber. Other units can sustain heat up to 400-500 degrees for about the same time without damaging the valuable contents within.
1847 - Yung Wing, one of several Chinese students to arrive in America this day, went on to become the first student from China to graduate from Yale University .
1861 - Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter (South Carolina) -- and the U.S. Civil War began.
1877 - James Alexander Tyng, while playing a baseball game in Lynn, MA, became the first ballplayer to wear a catcher’s mask.
1892 - Voters in Lockport, NY became the first in the U.S. to use voting machines.
1905 - The Hippodrome opened in New York City with the gala musical revue, "A Yankee Circus on Mars". Realize please, that this extraordinary event was done without the help of even one hippo...
1932 - The thrill-comedy, "Joe Palooka", which would also be a popular comic strip, made its debut on CBS radio.
1939 - One of the classic theme songs of the Big Band era was recorded for Decca. Woody Herman’s orchestra recorded "Woodchopper’s Ball".
1954 - Bill Haley and His Comets recorded "Rock Around the Clock" for Decca Records on this day. The song was recorded at the Pythian Temple, “a big, barnlike building with great echo,” in New York City. "Rock Around the Clock" was formally released a month later. Most rock historians feel the tune, featured in the 1955 film "Blackboard Jungle", ushered in the era of rock ’n’ roll. It hit number one on June 29, 1955 and stayed there for eight weeks, remaining on the charts for a total of 24 weeks. The record has now sold over 25,000,000 copies.
1955 - The polio vaccine of Dr. Jonas Salk was termed “safe, effective and potent” by the University of Michigan Polio Vaccine Evaluation Center.
1963 - Bob Dylan appeared in his first solo concert at Town Hall in New York City.
1964 - Arnold Palmer won his fourth Masters title and became the first golfer to make career earnings of $506,496.84. We haven’t a clue where the 84 cents came from.
1964 - Philadelphia singer Chubby Checker married former Miss World, the Dutch-born beauty Catharina Lodders
1967 - Jim Brown made his TV acting debut in "Cops and Robbers" on the NBC show "I Spy", starring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp. "I Spy" aired from 1965 through 1968. The primary characters, Cosby and Culp, were secret agents posing as a top-notch tennis star and his trainer-companion. "I Spy" was the first television series to co-star a black actor.
1969 - Lucy and Snoopy of the comic strip "Peanuts" made the cover of "Saturday Review".
1984 - Challenger astronauts made the first satellite repair in orbit by returning a healthy Solar Max satellite to space. The orbiting sun watcher had been circling the Earth for three years with all circuits dead before repairs were made.
1985 - Federal inspectors declared that four animals of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus were not unicorns, as the circus said, but goats with horns which had been surgically implanted. The circus was ordered to quit advertising the fake unicorns as anything else but goats. We assure you that no animals are harmed in the production of "Those Were the Days" and we use only first-rate, genuine unicorns.
1985 - Senator Joseph ‘Jake’ Garn became the first space politician as he lifted off this day from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
1987 - Larry Mize, 28, hit a miracle shot -- a 140-foot chip -- to win the Masters golf title in Augusta, GA. Mize defeated Greg Norman and Severiano Ballesteros in a playoff.
Birthdays - April 12
1777 - Henry Clay (‘The Great Pacificator’: U.S. Secretary of State under John Quincy Adams; three time unsuccessful candidate for president of U.S.: “I would rather be right than president.”; died June 29, 1852)
1898 - Lily (Alice Josephine) Pons (soprano singer, actress: I Dream Too Much, That Girl from Paris; died Feb 13, 1976)
1916 - Russ Garcia (musician, composer, orchestra leader: Waiter, Make Mine Blues [w/Anita O’Day]; Royal Wedding Suite [w/Oscar Peterson]; died Nov 19, 2011)
1919 - Billy (Richard) Vaughn (musician, orchestra leader: Melody of Love, The Shifting, Whispering Sands, Sail along Silver Moon; baritone singer with The Hilltoppers; music director: Dot Records; died Sep 26, 1991)
1923 - Ann Miller (Lucille Ann Collier) (actress, dancer: Easter Parade, Sugar Babies, You Can’t Take It with You, Hit the Deck, Kiss Me Kate, On the Town, Room Service, Lovely to Look At; died Jan 22, 2004)
1926 - Jane Withers (actress: Captain Newman, M.D., Giant, The Farmer Takes a Wife, Bright Eyes, TV commercials: Josephine the plumber)
1932 - Tiny Tim (aka Darry Dover, Larry Love) (Herbert Khaury) (ukulele playing, falsetto singer: Tiptoe Through the Tulips, Sonny Boy; film: You Are What You Eat, TV: Laugh In; died Nov 30, 1996)
1933 - Charlie (Charles Richard) Lau (baseball: Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Braves, Baltimore Orioles, KC Athletics, Atlanta Braves; died Mar 18, 1984)
1940 - Herbie Hancock (Oscar-winning jazz/fusion musician, composer of original score: Round Midnight ; TV score: Rockschool; singles: Riot, Cantaloupe Island, Rockit, Dolphin’s Dance)
1944 - Terry (Walter) Harmon (baseball: Philadelphia Phillies)
1944 - John Kay (Joachim Krauledat) (guitarist, vocalist: group: Steppenwolf: Born to Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride, Rock Me)
1946 - Ed O’Neill (actor: Married......with Children, Little Giants, Wayne’s World, Deliverance, Dragnet )
1947 - Dan Lauria (actor: The Wonder Years, Amazing Grace, In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco, Stakeout)
1947 - David Letterman (TV host & comedian: Late Night with David Letterman)
1949 - Scott Turow (author: Presumed Innocent, The Burden of Proof)
1950 - ‘Chip’ James Earl Carter III (son of 39th U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Roslyn Carter)
1950 - David Cassidy (actor: The Partridge Family, Spirit of ’76, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; singer: Cherish, I Think I Love You; son of actors: Jack Cassidy, Evelyn Ward; died Nov 21, 2017)
1951 - Alex Briley (singer: group: The Village People: YMCA)
1952 - Reuben Gant (football: Oklahoma State Univ., Buffalo Bills)
1956 - Andy Garcia (actor: When a Man Loves a Woman, A Show of Force, The Godfather: Part 3, The Untouchables, Blue Skies Again)
1957 - Vince Gill (Grammy Award-winning singer: When Love Finds You , I Still Believe in You , When I Call Your Name , Restless [w/Steve Wariner and Ricky Skaggs] ; Grammy Award-winning musician: guitar: Red Wing [w/Asleep at the Wheel] ; songwriter: If It Weren’t for Him [w/Roseanne Cash]; groups: Bluegrass Alliance, Sundance, The Cherry Bombs, Pure Prairie League)
1958 - Will Sergeant (musician: guitar: groups: Echo & the Bunnymen: Pictures on My Wall, Rescue; Electrafixion: LPs: Zephyr, Burned)
1971 - Shannen Doherty (actress: Beverly Hills 90210, Our House, Little House on the Prairie, Night Shift, Heathers)
1979 - Claire Danes (actress: How to Make an American Quilt, Home for the Holidays, Little Women, My So Called Life, Law & Order, The Mod Squad )
Chart Toppers - April 12
If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake - Eileen Barton
Music, Music, Music - Teresa Brewer
Peter Cottontail - Gene Autry
Long Gone Lonesome Blues - Hank Williams
Tequila - The Champs
He’s Got the Whole World (In His Hands) - Laurie London
Book of Love - The Monotones
Oh Lonesome Me - Don Gibson
The Ballad of the Green Berets - SSgt Barry Sadler
(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers
Daydream - The Lovin’ Spoonful
I Want to Go with You - Eddy Arnold
Sunshine on My Shoulders - John Denver
Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Swede
Bennie & The Jets - Elton John
A Very Special Love Song - Charlie Rich
I Love Rock ’N Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
We Got the Beat - Go-Go’s
Make a Move on Me - Olivia Newton-John
Big City - Merle Haggard
Love Will Lead You Back - Taylor Dayne
I’ll Be Your Everything - Tommy Page
All Around the World - Lisa Stansfield
Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart - Randy Travis
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.