Events - April 30
1812 - There aren’t many states that can boast an abundance of pelicans, but Louisiana, the 18th state to enter the United States of America, has plenty. That’s why it calls itself the Pelican State and the state bird is the eastern brown pelican. Named in honor of Louis XIV of France, Louisiana has several other nicknames: Sportsman’s Paradise, Sugar State, and Creole State. The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge and the beautiful magnolia is its adopted flower while the state tree is the bald cypress. All together now, let’s sing "You are My Sunshine", Louisiana’s state song. "Give Me Louisiana" is also considered a state song, and the state motto is: Union, justice and confidence. We’re not too confident in choosing which song to sing, though.
1889 - The first national holiday in the United States was celebrated. The citizens of the U.S. observed the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration. Although this is no longer a national holiday, you’ll be happy to know that there are now at least half a dozen holidays -- most on Mondays -- that give folks in the U.S. a day off from work and a reason to have a parade, picnic, or go shopping at the mall to take advantage of the holiday sales. These national holidays include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day.
1900 - Train engineer Casey Jones was killed when trying to save the "Cannonball Express" as it highballed its way through Vaughn, MS. The famous song about Jones is loosely relatable to the train accident which cost the railroad engineer his life.
1903 - Victor Records made its first Red Seal recording this day. The premiere disk featured Ada Crossley, an opera contralto.
1922 - Charlie Robertson of the Chicago White Sox pitched the major league’s fifth perfect game. The Chisox defeated the Detroit Tigers, 2-0.
1939 - The first railroad car equipped with fluorescent lights was put into service. The train car was known as the "General Pershing Zephyr".
1939 - Baseball’s ‘Iron Horse’, Lou Gehrig, played his last game with the New York Yankees on this day.
1939 - Public Television began. President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first chief executive to appear on TV. Roosevelt spoke at the opening ceremonies of the New York World’s Fair in Flushing, NY on WNBT in New York.
1940 - Jimmy Dorsey and his band recorded the bandleader’s signature song, "Contrasts", for Decca Records. The song went on to become one of the most familiar big band themes of the era.
1940 - Belle Martell was licensed in California by state boxing officials to be the first American woman prize-fight referee!
1944 - The New York Giants (of baseball) whipped the Brooklyn Dodgers 26-8. They also set a major-league record for runs driven in by a team in a single game.
1945 - “How would you like to be queen for a day!” That opening line, delivered by host, Jack Bailey, was first heard on Mutual radio on this day. The first "Queen for a Day" was Mrs. Evelyn Lane. Years later Bailey would take the show to TV for a long, popular run.
1945 - Arthur Godfrey began his CBS radio morning show. His theme was "Seems Like Old Times". "Arthur Godfrey Time" ran until this very same day in 1972. Godfrey’s show was different in that he used live talent and not records. His popularity with listeners was the major reason that several sponsors gave Godfrey the freedom to ad-lib their commercials and, from time to time, joke about the products as well.
1947 - Maps had to be changed as Boulder Dam was changed back to its original name, Hoover Dam. Some people, mostly those who live in the community of Boulder, Nevada, still refer to the dam as Boulder Dam. Many of them think that changing the dam’s name was a damn shame.
1953 - Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle became a team this day at Capitol Records in Hollywood. Sinatra’s new musical style, under Riddle’s direction, brought the crooner to the top of the record world for the second time in his illustrious career.
1964 - TV sets would be drastically different after a ruling by the FCC stating that all TV receivers should be equipped to receive both VHF (channels 2-13) and the new UHF (channels 14-83). As a result, TV dealers scrambled to unload their VHF-only models as fast as possible. Antenna manufacturers were kept busy, as the new UHF receivers required new antennas too.
1975 - Saigon -- and all of Vietnam -- fell into communist hands this day, the unofficial end of the Vietnam War. As the U.S. withdrew completely from Saigon, the old noncommunist capital fell to North Vietnamese tanks. Americans commemorate the fall of Saigon with memorial services for the 58,153 Americans who died in Southeast Asia during the war.
1987 - Three more compact discs of music by The Beatles went on sale for the first time. The discs were "Help!", "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver". All became hits again for the Fab Four.
Birthdays - April 30
1899 - Ellis Wilson (artist: Guggenheim Fellowship winner ; The Open Market of Charleston, Haitian Funeral Procession; died Jan 1, 1977)
1908 - Eve Arden (Eunice Quedens) (Emmy Award-winning actress: Our Miss Brooks , Anatomy of a Murder, Grease, Stage Door, Tea for Two; died Nov 12, 1990)
1914 - Vermont Royster (Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, editor: The Wall Street Journal; columnist: Thinking Things Over; author: Journey through the Soviet Union, A Pride of Prejudices, My Own, My Country’s Time: A Journalist’s Journey; died July 22, 1996)
1916 - Robert Shaw (conductor: Robert Shaw Chorale; music director of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; died Jan 25, 1999)
1923 - Percy Heath (jazz musician: bass: founder of Modern Jazz Quartet; group: The Heath Brothers; died Apr 27, 2005)
1923 - Al Lewis (Albert Meister) (actor: The Munsters, Car 54 Where are You?, My Grandpa is a Vampire, Married to the Mob; died Feb 3, 2006)
1926 - Cloris Leachman (Academy Award-winning actress: The Last Picture Show ; Emmy Award-winner: A Brand New Life [1972-73], The Mary Tyler Moore Show [1973-74], Cher [1974-75], Screen Actor’s Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration [1983-84]; Phyllis, Backstairs at the White House, The Facts of Life)
1933 - Willie Nelson (Grammy Award-winning singer: Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, Good Hearted Woman, To All the Girls I've Loved Before, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys; songwriter: Crazy [Patsy Cline], Night Life [Ray Price], Hello Walls [Faron Young]; leads annual Farm Aid benefit to raise money for poor farmers)
1938 - Gary Collins (actor: Born Free, The Iron Horse, Roots, The Sixth Sense, The Wackiest Ship in the Army; died Oct 13, 2012)
1940 - Burt Young (actor: Excessive Force, A Family Matter, Rocky series, Once Upon a Time in America, Convoy, Chinatown, Cinderella Liberty, Roomies)
1941 - Johnny Farina (musician: rhythm guitar: group: Santo & Johnny: Sleepwalk, Tear Drop)
1943 - Bobby Vee (Robert Velline) (singer: Devil or Angel, Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby, Run to Him, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Come Back when You Grow Up; died Oct 24, 2016)
1944 - Jill Clayburgh (actress: An Unmarried Woman, Luna, Portnoy’s Complaint, Semi-Tough, The Silver Streak, Terminal Man, Firestorm: 72 Hours in Oakland, Honor Thy Father and Mother; died Nov 5, 2010)
1944 - Richard Shoff (singer: group: The Sandpipers: Guantanamera, Come Saturday Morning)
1946 - Don Schollander (Olympic Hall of Famer: 1st swimmer to win 4 gold medals in one Olympics , also won two gold in 1968; International Swimming Hall of Famer: set 8 world records in the 400-meter freestyle and 9 in the 200-meter in his career; Sullivan Award (U.S. outstanding athlete )
1948 - Perry King (actor: A Cry in the Night, Kaleidoscope, The Lord’s of Flatbush, Mandingo, Search and Destroy, Switch)
1953 - Merrill Osmond (singer: [w/Jessica Boucher]: You’re Here to Remember, I’m Here to Forget; group: The Osmonds: Anytime; brother of Alan, Donny, Jay, Marie, Wayne, Jimmy)
1967 - Turbo B (Durron Butler) (rap singer: group: Snap)
Chart Toppers - April 30
I Love You - Bing Crosby
It’s Love, Love, Love - The Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocal: Skip Nelson)
San Fernando Valley - Bing Crosby
Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry - Al Dexter
Wheel of Fortune - Kay Starr
Anytime - Eddie Fisher
Blacksmith Blues - Ella Mae Morse
(When You Feel like You’re in Love) Don’t Just Stand There - Carl Smith
Stuck on You - Elvis Presley
Sink the Bismarck - Johnny Horton
Sixteen Reasons - Connie Stevens
He’ll Have to Go - Jim Reeves
Honey - Bobby Goldsboro
Cry like a Baby - The Box Tops
Young Girl - The Union Gap
The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde - Merle Haggard
Disco Lady - Johnnie Taylor
Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers
Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale
Together Again - Emmylou Harris
Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) - Phil Collins
Hello - Lionel Richie
Hold Me Now - The Thompson Twins
Right or Wrong - George Strait
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.