Events - June 11
1793 - The first patent for a stove was issued -- to Robert Haeterick.
1912 - From the Hey! Let’s Have a Bit of Fun file: Silas Christoferson thought and thought of how to use his 15 minutes of fame and darn-near came close to using it all and then some with this stunt. Mr. Christoferson became the first airplane pilot to take off from the ROOF OF A HOTEL! He did the deed from atop the Multnomah Hotel in Portland, OR.
1919 - Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes in New York to become the first horse to capture the Triple Crown. This was the first time that the Belmont Stakes had been run as part of thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious trio of events. Sir Barton had already won the first two jewels of the Triple Crown -- the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky and the Preakness Stakes in Maryland.
1927 - Charles A. Lindbergh was presented the first Distinguished Flying Cross. No, he never took off from the roof of a hotel.
1928 - King Oliver and his band recorded "Tin Roof Blues" for Vocalion Records.
1936 - The Presbyterian Church of America was formed in Philadelphia, PA.
1939 - The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon; later known as the Queen Mother) of Great Britain were in America to visit with President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. As is befitting of such a grand event, the King and Queen were fed some of the gourmet foods of the United States. In fact, it was the first time that both the King and Queen had tasted hot dogs. Must have been a pretty low-key state dinner... “Pass the mustard, old chum!” “Grey Poupon?”
1940 - The Ink Spots recorded "Maybe" on Decca Records. By September, 1940, the song had climbed to the number two position on the nation’s pop music charts.
1949 - Hank Williams sang a show-stopper on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. He sang the classic "Lovesick Blues", one of his most beloved songs.
1950 - Golfing legend Ben Hogan, returning to tournament play after a near-fatal auto mishap, won the U.S. Open golf tourney in a three-way playoff with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio.
1961 - Roy Orbison was wrapping up a week at number one on the "Billboard" record chart with "Running Scared", his first number one hit. Orbison recorded 23 hits for the pop charts, but only one other song made it to number one: "Oh Pretty Woman" in 1964. He came close with a number two effort, "Crying", number four with "Dream Baby" and number five with "Mean Woman Blues". Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987; but suffered a fatal heart attack just one year later.
1979 - One of America’s greatest legends, both as a movie star and as a symbol of patriotism, died this day. Marion Michael Morrison, known as John Wayne, died following a courageous fight with cancer. ‘The Duke’ was 72. He had been a Hollywood hero for almost 50 years and with some 200 movies to his credit, including "The Alamo", "Island in the Sky", "The Longest Day", "Rio Bravo", "The Sons of Katie Elder" and "True Grit" (his only Oscar-winning performance). Wayne was born in 1907 and went to school at North Hollywood High School in Los Angeles.
1981 - The first baseball player’s strike in major-league history began during mid-season after Seattle defeated Baltimore 8-2 at the Kingdome in Seattle. For two months, the nation’s favorite pastime was watching negotiations between the players’ union and team owners.
1982 - The movie "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" opened. Steven Spielberg directed this classic. It dazzled audiences with state-of-the-art special effects and a touching, humorous, story line, grossing over $100 million in its first 31 days of theatrical release.
1985 - Von Hayes of the Philadelphia Phillies became the 21st player in major-league baseball history to hit a pair of home runs in one inning as he led the Phillies to a 26-7 cakewalk over the New York Mets.
1993 - U.S. audiences rumbled to theatres for a first look at Jurassic Park. The Steven Spielberg-directed dinosaur blockbuster billed a gigantic $47.06 million -- just for openers.
1996 - Republican Senator Bob Dole ended his Senate career (to make a run for the U.S. Presidency) with an emotional farewell speech before a packed Senate chamber. He had spent some 27 years as a U.S. Senator.
1999 - "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" premiered at theatres across the U.S. Dr. Evil (played by Mike Myers) travels back to 1969 to steal Austin Powers’ (also played by Mike Myers) mojo. Powers (now “shagless”) must travel to ’69 to get his mojo back (can you dig it?). Big stars in the movie include the not-so-big Mini-Me (Verne Troyer), CIA agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham), Basil Exposition (Michael York), Number Two (Robert Wagner), Young Number Two (Rob Lowe) and Fat Bastard (that Myers guy again). All this silliness was taken very seriously by fans at the box office. "Austin Powers II", as the flick is also known, opened to the tune of $54.92 mil the first weekend. As of May 2001 it had grossed $205.4 million. Yeah, baby! (One other film opened in the U.S. this day: "The Red Violin", starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carlo Cecchi, Irene Grazioli and Don Mckellar.)
Birthdays - June 11
1572 - Ben Johnson (actor: The Poetaster, Satiromastix; poet: Song: To Celia; playwright: Every Man in His Humour, Every Man Out of His Humour, Cynthia’s Revels, War of the Theatres, Sejanus, His Fall, The Masque of Owles, The Alchemist, The Devil is an Ass; died Aug 6, 1637)
1776 - John Constable (landscape artist: The White Horse, The Hay-Wain, The Cornfield, Stoke-by-Nayland, Arundel Mill and Castle; died Mar 31, 1837)
1864 - Richard Strauss (composer: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Don Quixote, Till Eulenspiegel; died Sep 8, 1949)
1880 - Jeannette Rankin (U.S. Congresswoman: first woman to be elected to this position; only dissenting vote as Congress passed a Declaration of War against Japan ; died May 18, 1973)
1900 - Lawrence (Edmund) Spivak (producer: Washington Exclusive, TV host: Meet the Press, The Big Issue; magazine publisher: F&SF (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction); died Mar 9, 1994)
1910 - Jacques-Yves Cousteau (marine explorer: PBS-TV producer; co-inventor of Aqua-Lung; died June 25, 1997)
1913 - Vince Lombardi (Pro Football Hall of Famer: coach: Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl I, II; “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”; died Sep 3, 1970)
1913 - Risë Stevens (Risë Steenberg) (mezzo-soprano: New York Metropolitan Opera: Orpheus; Mozart’s Cherubino and Dorabella; Delilah of Biblical fame; La Giocanda’s Laura; Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus; and Carmen [her role was described as "voluptuous, earthy, and white-hot in her alternating moods of passion and anger."]; President: of Mannes College of Music, New York; radio: frequent guest appearances; actress: The Chocolate Soldier, We Must Have Music, Going My Way, Journey Back to Oz; died March 20, 2013)
1919 - Richard Todd (Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd) (actor: The Hasty Heart, The Longest Day, The Big Sleep, House of the Long Shadows, Never Let Go)
1920 - Shelly Manne (composer, musician: drummer: Peter Gunn score; actor: Man with the Golden Arm; died Sep 26, 1984)
1925 - William Styron (author: Sophie’s Choice, The Confessions of Nat Turner; died Nov 1, 2006)
1933 - Gene Wilder (Jerome Silberman) (actor: Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Producers, The Woman in Red, Silver Streak, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Murder in a Small Town, The Lady in Question; died Aug 29, 2016)
1937 - Chad Everett (Raymon Cramton) (actor: Medical Center, The Dakotas, The Singing Nun, The Jigsaw Murders, Airplane 2: The Sequel, McKenna; died Jul 24, 2012)
1939 - Wilma Burgess (country singer: Baby, Misty Blue, Don’t Touch Me, Tear Time; died Aug 26, 2003)
1939 - Jackie Stewart (John Young Stewart) (auto racer: 3-time World Grand Prix champion, sportscaster)
1940 - Joey Dee (Joseph DiNicola) (singer: group: Joey Dee and The Starliters: Peppermint Twist, Shout, Hot Pastrami with Mashed Potatoes; films: Hey, Let’s Twist, Two Tickets to Paris)
1945 - Adrienne Barbeau (actress: Swamp Thing, Maude, Cannonball Run, Silk Degrees, Double-Crossed, Two Evil Eyes)
1946 - John Lawton (singer: solo: LP: Take No Prisoners; groups: Rough Diamond, Uriah Heep, Lucifer’s Friend)
1948 - Dave (David) Cash (baseball: second baseman: Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1971], Philadelphia Phillies [all-star: 1974, 1975, 1976], Montreal Expos, SD Padres)
1949 - George Willig (stunt man: climbed World Trade Center)
1950 - Serge Lajeunesse (hockey: NHL: Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers)
1951 - Doug Kotar (football: Univ. of Kentucky, NY Giants)
1952 - Donnie Van Zandt (musician: guitar, singer: group: .38 Special: Hold on Loosely, Fantasy Girl, Caught Up in You, You Keep Runnin’ Away, LPs: Tour De Force, Strength in Numbers)
1954 - Gary Fencik (football: Chicago Bears safety: Super Bowl XX)
1956 - Joe Montana (football: San Francisco 49ers quarterback: Super Bowl XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV: Super Bowl career records for yards gained, passes completed, touchdowns thrown and highest completion percentage; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback)
1965 - Pamela Gidley (actress: C.S.I., The Pretender, Angel Street, Freefall, Jane Austen's Mafia!)
1978 - Joshua Jackson (actor: Dawson’s Creek, The Mighty Ducks series, On the Edge of Innocence)
Chart Toppers - June 11
The Gypsy - The Ink Spots
All Through the Day - Perry Como
They Say It’s Wonderful - Frank Sinatra
New Spanish Two Step - Bob Wills
Little Things Mean a Lot - Kitty Kallen
Three Coins in the Fountain - The Four Aces
If You Love Me (Really Love Me) - Kay Starr
(Oh Baby Mine) I Get So Lonely - Johnnie & Jack
I Can’t Stop Loving You - Ray Charles
Lovers Who Wander - Dion
(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance - Gene Pitney
She Thinks I Still Care - George Jones
Everything is Beautiful - Ray Stevens
Which Way You Goin’ Billy? - The Poppy Family
Up Around the Bend/Run Through the Jungle - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Hello Darlin’ - Conway Twitty
You’re the One that I Want - John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
Shadow Dancing - Andy Gibb
Feels So Good - Chuck Mangione
Georgia on My Mind - Willie Nelson
Live to Tell - Madonna
On My Own - Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald
I Can’t Wait - Nu Shooz
Happy, Happy Birthday Baby - Ronnie Milsap
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.