Events - April 11
1803 - A twin-screw propeller steamboat was patented by John Stevens. The boat was 25 feet long and four feet wide.
1921 - The first live sports event on radio took place this day over KDKA radio. Pittsburgh sports writer, Florent Gibson, gave an account of the action in the lightweight boxing match between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee.
1938 - The SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America) was founded by 26 singing, striped-shirted gentlemen. Now we know that's 6½ quartets worth, but that's what it took to get the organization humming. So, let's head for the barbershop and ask for a "shave & a haircut, two bits!" or a refrain of "Sweet Adeline".
1943 - "Nick Carter, Master Detective" debuted on Mutual radio. The show was based on a "New York Weekly" character who was first introduced in 1886.
1947 - Jackie Robinson became the first black player in major-league history when he played in an exhibition game for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1956 - Elvis Presley reached the top spot on the "Billboard" music chart with his first double-sided hit. The disk featured "Heartbreak Hotel" and "I Was the One." The RCA Victor record stayed at number one for eight weeks. Elvis also made the country and R&B charts, as well.
1961 - Carl Yastrzemski replaced Ted Williams in left field for the Boston Red Sox. The ‘Yaz’ was just 21 years old and had but two years experience in the minor leagues when he was called. In his first at-bat, he got a hit off Kansas City’s Ray Herbert. Yastrzemski retired in 1984, having played his entire major-league career in a Boston Red Sox uniform.
1961 - Bob Dylan made his professional singing debut in Greenwich Village. He sang "Blowin’ in the Wind".
1962 - The New York Mets played their first regular season game. The team, managed by Casey Stengel, lost its first ten games. The St. Louis Cardinals won by a score of 11-4 -- prompting Stengel to say, before a group of reporters and players, “Can anyone here play this game?”
1965 - For the second time, Jack Nicklaus won the Masters golf title. He shot a par 271. Runners-up in a tie for second place were Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. It was the first time the ‘Big Three’ finished 1, 2, 3 in a tournament.
1981 - Wedding bells chimed for guitarist, Eddie Van Halen and actress, Valerie Bertinelli of "One Day at a Time" (CBS-TV). The lovely couple was married in Los Angeles, California. Van Halen, who is so cool that his group is named after him, was born in Nijmegen, The Netherlands and moved to Pasadena, CA in 1968. David Lee Roth was a member of the group, as was rocker, Sammy Hagar, who replaced Roth in 1985. The group was founded in 1974. On the Van Halen hit list, these toe tappers: "Jump", "Dance the Night Away", "(Oh) Pretty Woman", "Why Can’t This Be Love", "Dreams" and "When It’s Love".
1983 - There were so many outstanding films in 1982, that the members of the Academy must have had a real struggle making up their minds in time for this night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Somehow, decisions were made and the 55th Annual Academy Awards ceremonies proceeded with hosts Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, Richard Pryor, and Walter Matthau. Those who voted for Best Picture had to choose between "E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial", "Missing", "Tootsie", "The Verdict" and "Gandhi". "Gandhi" (Richard Attenborough, producer) was the winner of this Oscar and seven more including Best Director Richard Attenborough; Best Actor Ben Kingsley; Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Stuart Craig, Robert W. Laing, Michael Seirton); Best Cinematography (Ronnie Taylor, Billy Williams); Best Costume Design (Bhanu Athaiya, John Mollo); Best Film Editing (John Bloom); Best Writing/Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (John Briley). Believe it or not there were some Oscars leftover for other deserving folks. The Best Actress golden statuette was awarded to Meryl Streep for "Sophie’s Choice"; while Jessica Lange received her Best Supporting Actress award for "Tootsie" and Louis Gossett, Jr. picked up his Best Supporting Actor award for "An Officer and a Gentleman". "An Officer and a Gentleman" was honored again for Best Music/Song: "Up Where We Belong" (Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie [music], Will Jennings [lyrics], with "Victor/Victoria" winning the category of Best Music/Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score (Henry Mancini, Leslie Bricusse). "Poltergeist", "Annie", "Rocky III", "Blade Runner", "Das Boot", "Diner", "The World According to Garp" were also among the nominees at this Oscar celebration. We told you the voters must have had a difficult time voting!!!
1988 - Cher was sure moonstruck at this the 60th Annual Academy Awards at LA’s Shrine Auditorium. And as well she should have been. After all, she won the Oscar for Best Actress ("Moonstruck"), over the likes of Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Sally Kirkland, and Holly Hunter. "Moonstruck" struck gold again as Olympia Dukakis picked up the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, and John Patrick Shanley won for Best Writing/Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Almost all of the other awards (9) that evening were won by "The Last Emperor" (Jeremy Thomas, producer) including Best Picture, and Best Director (Bernardo Bertolucci), except for Michael Douglas who received the Best Actor award for his performance in "Wall Street", Sean Connery for his Best Supporting Actor role in "The Untouchables", and "Dirty Dancing" which had the winning Music/Song, "(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life" (music: Frank Previte, John DeNicola and Donald Markowitz, lyrics: Frank Previte). Funny man Chevy Chase hosted the fun-filled event. Note: "The Last Emperor" won in every category in which it was nominated.
1991 - "Miss Saigon" opened at the Broadway Theatre in New York. The budget was a record $10 million and the best seats were priced at $100; also a Broadway first. The musical revolves around the love story of an American Marine and a Vietnamese prostitute. The show was produced by Cameron McIntosh with music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Lyrics by Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr. (based on the book by Alain Boublil).
Birthdays - April 11
1864 - Lillie P. Bliss (founder [with 2 other women] of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art; died Mar 12, 1931)
1893 - Lou Holtz (comedian, actor: Follow the Leader , School for Romance , When Do We Eat? ; died Sep 22, 1980)
1899 - Percy Julian (scientist: developer of synthetic progesterone, inexpensive production method to produce cortisone, a drug to treat glaucoma, chemical foam to smother oil fires; died Apr 19, 1975)
1907 - Paul Douglas (actor: The Mating Game, Panic in the Streets, Executive Suite, This Could be the Night, The Gamma People; died Sep 11, 1959)
1908 - Jane (Matilda) Bolin (attorney: first black woman graduate of Yale School of Law; first black, female judge; died Jan 8, 2007)
1912 - John Levy (jazz musician: bass: played with George Shearing quintet; died Jan 20, 2012)
1913 - Oleg Cassini (fashion designer; died Mar 17, 2006)
1921 - Dorothy Shay (Sims) (‘The Park Avenue Hillbilly’: singer: Feudin’ and Fightin’; actress: Comin’ Round the Mountain; died Oct 22, 1978)
1928 - Ethel Kennedy (Skakel) (widow of slain U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy)
1931 - Johnny Sheffield (actor: Tarzan Finds a Son, Tarzan’s Secret Treasure, Tarzan’s New York Adventure; died Oct 15, 2010)
1932 - Joel Grey (Katz) (Tony & Academy award-winning actor: Cabaret [1967 & 1972]; singer, dancer: Broadway: Stop the World - I Want to Get Off, George M!; films: Man on a Swing, Buffalo Bill & the Indians, Kafka, Buffy the Vampire Slayer; actress Jennifer Grey’s father)
1939 - Louise Lasser (actress: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex [But Were Afraid to Ask], Frankenhooker, Rude Awakening, The Night We Never Met, Slither)
1944 - Joe Beauchamp (football: Univ. of Iowa, SD Chargers)
1947 - Peter Riegert (actor: The Mask, Oscar, Crossing Delancey, Local Hero, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Middle Ages)
1950 - Bill Irwin (actor: Stepping Out, Scenes from a Mall, Hot Shots!, My Blue Heaven, Eight Men Out, Popeye; choreographer: The Regard of Flight)
1951 - Sid Monge (baseball: pitcher: California Angels, Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1979], Philadelphia Phillies, SD Padres, Detroit Tigers)
1955 - Neville Staple (singer: group: The Specials: Gangsters, A Message to You Rudy, Too Much Too Young, Ghost Town)
1958 - Stuart (William) Adamson (musician: guitar, singer: group: Big Country: Harvest Home, Fields of Fire, In a Big Country, Chance, Wonderland, East of Eden, Where the Rose is Sown; died Dec 16, 2001)
1966 - Lisa Stansfield (singer, songwriter: All Around the World, You Can’t Deny It, This Is the Right Time)
1970 - Delroy Pearson (singer: group: Five Star: System Addict, Find the Time, Rain or Shine)
Chart Toppers - April 11
Cruising Down the River - The Blue Barron Orchestra (vocal: ensemble)
Sunflower - The Russ Morgan Orchestra (vocal: The Skylarks)
Red Roses for a Blue Lady - Vaughn Monroe
Candy Kisses - George Morgan
Little Darlin’ - The Diamonds
All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
Party Doll - Buddy Knox
Gone - Ferlin Husky
I’m Telling You Now - Freddie & The Dreamers
The Birds and the Bees - Jewel Akens
Game of Love - Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders
King of the Road - Roger Miller
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia - Vicki Lawrence
Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) - Gladys Knight & The Pips
Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got) - Four Tops
Super Kind of Woman - Freddie Hart & The Heartbeats
Kiss on My List - Daryl Hall & John Oates
Just the Two of Us - Grover Washington, Jr./Bill Withers
Morning Train (Nine to Five) - Sheena Easton
You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma - David Frizzell & Shelly West
The Look - Roxette
She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young cannibals
Like a Prayer - Madonna
I’m No Stranger to the Rain - Keith Whitley
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.