Events - April 26
1803 - Over 2,300 meteorite stones, weighing between one quarter ounce and 20 pounds, rained down on the people of L’Aigle in northeastern France. The meteorites poured down along an 8-mile-long strip in this little town, 100 miles west of Paris. No one was hurt; but it was the first time scientists could verify that stones could come from outer space.
1819 - The first Odd Fellows lodge in the U.S. was established -- in Baltimore, Maryland. The official name of the organization is the Independent Order (of) Odd Fellows or IOOF. You can see these initials on many buildings in communities throughout the country. These are the Odd Fellows halls where the local, secret fraternal benefit meets. The first Odd Fellows group started in Great Britain in the 18th century.
1921 - Weather broadcasts were heard for the first time on radio when WEW in St. Louis, MO aired weather news. Weather forecasts continue to be the top reason why people listen to radio; rating higher than music, news, sports and commercials! A sunny day to you wherever you may be on the planet...
1932 - Ed Wynn was heard on radio’s "Texaco Star Theater" for the first time. Wynn, a popular vaudeville performer, demanded a live audience to react to his humor if he was to make the switch to radio. The network consented and Wynn became radio’s first true superstar. He would later make the switch to TV.
1937 - This was a tragic day in history as German planes attacked the town of Guernica in Northern Spain. Without warning, the planes swooped down on the sleepy village, subjecting the citizens to three hours of continuous bombing. The village was left in flames; those who survived the bombs and tried to escape to surrounding fields were shot down by machine-gun fire from the air.
1937 - The publisher of "LIFE" magazine just about passed out when he looked at his just-off-the-press publication and noticed that someone had forgotten to put the word “LIFE” in the upper left-hand corner! It was the only time that "LIFE" was nameless. Since hundreds of thousands of copies were already printed, the magazine hit the streets with no name on the cover! The reason? A picture of a rooster would have had an obscured comb if the logotype had been used in the upper left-hand corner as usual.
1937 - The initial broadcast of "Lorenzo Jones" was heard over NBC radio this day. Karl Swenson played the lead role for the entire run of the serial. And quite a run it was. "Lorenzo Jones" was on the air until 1955.
1952 - Patty Berg set a new record for major women’s golf competition. She shot a 64 over 18 holes in a tournament in Richmond, California.
1954 - Grace Kelly, “Hollywood’s brightest and busiest star,” was seen on the cover of "LIFE" magazine. In a couple of years, the actress would leave the U.S. to become Princess Grace of Monaco.
1964 - The Boston Celtics wrapped up an unprecedented sixth consecutive NBA championship. The Celtics still had two more crowns to win, however, before the string would come to an end.
1970 - The musical, "Company", opened on Broadway. It ran for 705 performances before parting company with appreciative audiences at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. "Company" starred Elaine Stritch.
1975 - On top of the "Billboard" popular music chart was B.J. Thomas, with the longest title ever for a number one song. "(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" was number one for one week, though it took that long just to say the title.
1983 - For the first time, the Dow Jones industrial average moved over the 1200 mark, just two months after smashing the 1100 barrier.
1986 - It was 1:23 a.m. in Pripyat in the Ukraine when the Chernobyl atomic power station exploded. A three-hundred-square-mile area was evacuated in an attempt to protect over 100,000 residents of the area from radiation poisoning. 31 people died and unknown thousands were exposed as the radioactive material carried in the atmosphere spread throughout the world.
1987 - Tennis star Chris Evert won her 150th career tennis tournament. She beat Martina Navratilova in Houston, Texas.
Birthdays - April 26
1785 - John James Audubon (ornithologist, artist: the original Birdman; died Jan 27, 1851)
1822 - Frederick Law Olmsted (landscape architect: Yosemite National Park, Central Park in New York City and other city parks in Boston, MA, Hartford, CT and Louisville, KY; died Aug 28, 1903)
1882 - Jessie Redmon Fauset (author: There is Confusion, Plum Bun, The Chinaberry Tree, Comedy, American Style; literary editor: Crisis [NAACP publication]; co-publisher & editor: The Brownie Book; died Apr 30, 1961)
1886 - Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey (Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett) (‘Mother of the Blues’: singer: C.C. Rider [aka See See Rider], Jelly Bean Blues, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Bo Weavil Blues; died Dec 22, 1939)
1893 - Anita Loos (author, playwright: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I Married an Angel, San Francisco, Saratoga, The Women; died Aug 18, 1981)
1897 - Douglas Sirk (Claus Detlef Sierck) (director: Imitation of Life, A Time to Love & a Time to Die, Tarnished Angels, Written on the Wind, Magnificent Obsession, First Legion; died Jan 14, 1987)
1900 - Charles Francis Richter (seismologist: invented the Richter scale for measuring the magnitude of earthquakes; died Apr 30, 1985)
1917 - Sal (Salvatore Anthony) Maglie (‘The Barber’: baseball: pitcher: NY Giants [all-star: 1951, 1952/World Series: 1951, 1954], Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Dodgers [World Series: 1956], NY Yankees, SL Cardinals; died Dec 28, 1992)
1924 - (Theodore Marcus) Teddy Edwards (jazz musician: tenor sax: Me and My Lover; died Apr 20, 2003)
1926 - Bambi Linn (Linnemier) (dancer, actress: Your Show of Shows, Oklahoma!)
1927 - John Ralston (football: coach: Cal State Univ at San Jose, Stanford Univ; Coach/GM: Denver Broncos)
1933 - Carol Burnett (Emmy Award-winning comedienne, actress: Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall [1962-1963], Carol & Company [1962-1963], Mad About You [1996-1997]; The Carol Burnett Show, Carol Burnett and Friends, The Garry Moore Show)
1937 - Robert Boozer (basketball: Kansas State Univ., U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team [1960 gold medal]; died May 19, 2012)
1938 - Nino Benvenuti (International Boxing Hall of Famer: European Junior Middleweight title [1957, 1959], Olympic boxing gold medal [Rome, 1960], Junior Middleweight Champ [1965-1966], Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year ; Middleweight Champ [1967-1970]; retired in 1971, total bouts: 90: won 82, lost 7, tied 1, knockouts 35)
1938 - Maurice Williams (singer, songwriter: group: Zodiacs: Stay)
1938 - Duane Eddy (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist: Rebel-’rouser, Forty Miles of Bad Road, Because They’re Young, Theme from Peter Gunn; actor: Because They’re Young, A Thunder of Drums, The Wild Westerners, The Savage Seven, Kona Coast)
1941 - Claudine Clark (singer: Party Lights)
1941 - (Dr.) Gary Cuozzo (football: Univ of Virginia all-American; NFL: QB: Baltimore Colts, NO Saints, Minnesota Vikings [Super Bowl IV], SL Cardinals; orthodontist [with his son] in Middletown NJ)
1941 - Bruce MacGregor (hockey: NHL: Detroit Red Wings, NY Rangers; VP: Edmonton Oilers)
1942 - Bobby Rydell (Robert Ridarelli) (singer: Wild One, We Got Love, Swingin’ School, Kissin’ Time, Volare, Forget Him; actor: Bye Bye Birdie, That Lady from Peking)
1947 - Donna De Varona (Olympic Hall of Famer: 400-meter individual swimming medley ; International Swimming Hall of Famer; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer; sportscaster; founder of Women’s Sports Foundation)
1947 - Boyd Matson (TV news anchor, correspondent: U.S.A. Today-The Television Series, The Real Story; TV host: National Geographic Explorer)
1947 - Amos (Joseph) Otis (baseball: NY Mets, KC Royals [all-star: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976], Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1980])
1958 - Giancarlo Esposito (actor: The Usual Suspects, Smoke, Reckless, Blue in the Face, Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, Sweet Lorraine, Bakersfield P.D.)
Chart Toppers - April 26
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
The Poor People of Paris - Les Baxter
Ivory Tower - Cathy Carr
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
Can’t Buy Me Love - The Beatles
Twist and Shout - The Beatles
Do You Want to Know a Secret - The Beatles
Understand Your Man - Johnny Cash
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack
Rockin’ Robin - Michael Jackson
I Gotcha - Joe Tex
Chantilly Lace - Jerry Lee Lewis
Call Me - Blondie
Ride like the Wind - Christopher Cross
With You I’m Born Again - Billy Preston & Syreeta
A Lesson in Leavin’ - Dottie West
Where Do Broken Hearts Go - Whitney Houston
Devil Inside - INXS
Wishing Well - Terence Trent D’Arby
I’ll Always Come Back - K.T. Oslin
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.