Events - August 7
1782 - U.S. General George Washington wanted to honor several courageous soldiers of the revolutionary war with a Badge of Military Merit. So on this day, he ordered the creation of a purple, cloth heart with a silver, braided edge. The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers. On the bicentennial of the first U.S. President's birthday, February 22, 1932, the badge was reinstated. This time it was called the Order of the Purple Heart, a purple-enameled, gold-bordered heart with a profile of Washington in the center. The Purple Heart now decorates those members of the United States armed forces who have been wounded in battle (if they die, it is awarded to their next of kin).
1888 - Theophilus Van Kannel of Philadelphia went around and around with the U.S. Patent Office for a time, but, finally, got a patent for the revolving door. To celebrate, we suggest going to your favorite building that has one of the fun doors that makes that whoosh-whoosh noise when you go through it -- and go through it twice!
1900 - ‘Sunny’ Jim Fitzsimmons had his first horse race victory as Agnes D won at Brighton Beach Race Track in New York. By the end of his illustrious 50-year career, Fitzsimmons logged more than 2,000 winners.
1907 - Walter Johnson pitched his first major-league victory by leading the Washington Senators to a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. Johnson won 414 games in his career.
1937 - Bunny Berigan and his orchestra recorded "I Can’t Get Started" for Victor Records. The song became Berigan’s longtime theme song.
1941 - Television station WNBT, Channel 4 in New York City, broadcast the first audience-participation show. Studio guests played charades as part of the fun.
1948 - A new Olympic Games record was set when 83,000 spectators attended the final day of track and field events. The Games, held in London, England, had gate receipts totaling more than $2 million.
1949 - "Martin Kane, Private Eye" was first heard on Mutual radio. William Gargan starred on the Sunday afternoon program.
1970 - Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac as the group’s first female member. McVie was married to bass player John McVie. She quit touring with the group in 1991.
1972 - Yogi Berra, Sandy Koufax, Lefty Gomez and Early Wynn were among eight players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this day.
1974 - Musician Peter Wolf married actress Faye Dunaway in Beverly Hills, California.
1974 - French daredevil Philip Petit tightroped his way between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The stunt caused a massive traffic jam on the street -- 1,350 feet below. The secret to this trick is to not look down.
1975 - The Rolling Stones received a gold album for "Made in the Shade".
1981 - After 128 years of publication, "The Washington Star" ceased operation. Only one daily newspaper remained to serve the nation’s capital: "The Washington Post".
1984 - An urbanologist at the University of Chicago issued a report stating that the richest community in America was Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Per capita income in that neighborhood was $32,000.
1987 - "Back to the Beach" opened at theatres around the country. The film reunited Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, who played middle-aged parents with rebellious kids -- kids like Frankie and Annette had played in their "Bikini Beach" movies in the 1960s.
1993 - The rap trio Cypress Hill saw their "Black Sunday" hit #1 on U.S. LP charts. The group, which brought a Latin flavor to hip-hop, was made up of Sen Dog (real name Senen Reyes), B-Real (real name Louis Freese) and D.J. Muggs (real name Larry Muggerud). A sampling of the cuts: "I Wanna Get High", "Legalize It", "Hits from the Bong", "Cock the Hammer", "Hand on the Glock" and the single smash "Insane in the Brain". Said B-Real, “I never dreamed it would be number one.” Surprised us too.
1996 - A federal appeals court in New York ruled that two former members of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers waited too long to claim that they were cowriters of the group’s legendary 1955 hit "Why Do Fools Fall in Love". A previous court ruling had cleared the way for royalties to go to Jimmy Merchant and Herman Santiago for writing the song with lead singer Frankie Lymon (he died of a overdose of heroin on Feb 28, 1968).
1997 - Garth Brooks played to a crowd estimated at between 250,000 and 900,000 -- with an HBO audience of more than 15 million. The crowd at the free concert, was the laregest ever for a concert in New York’s Central Park. Said Garth of the preparations required, “We rehearse indoors at a place here in New York. Then we rehearse with no sound for the camera guys, so they will hopefully be in the vicinity of what’s going on. And then the rest of it’s really, man, just fly by the seat of your pants. You know, once the show starts, all the rules are out the window.”
1998 - A pair of major explosions near U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. “Clearly, this is a terrorist attack,” U.S. State Department spokesman Lee McClenny said.
Birthdays - August 7
1742 - Nathaniel Greene (General: American Revolutionary War; died June 19, 1786)
1876 - Mata Hari (Gertrud Margarete Zelle) (dancer, courtesan, double agent: German spy: Agent H-21; executed by firing squad near Paris Oct 15, 1917)
1884 - Billie (Mary William Ethelbert Appleton) Burke (comedienne, actress: The Wizard of Oz, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Father of the Bride, Topper, The Young Philadelphians; died May 14, 1970)
1886 - Bill (William Boyd) ‘Deacon’ McKechnie (Baseball Hall of Famer: Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Braves, NY Yankees, Indianapolis Hoosiers, Newark Peppers, Cincinnati Reds, NY Giants; manager: Pittsburgh Pirates, SL Cardinals, Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians; 1st manager to win pennants with 3 different teams; died Oct 29, 1965)
1903 - Rudolf Ising (Academy Award-winning cartoonist: Milky Way ; w/Hugh Harmon: Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, 1st talkie cartoon synchronizing soundtrack dialogue with on-screen action; died July 18, 1992)
1904 - Ralph Bunche (Nobel Peace Prize-winner : United Nations official; died Dec 9, 1971)
1921 - Warren Covington (bandleader: trombone: played with Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights; died Aug 24, 1999)
1925 - Felice Bryant (songwriter [w/husband Boudleaux]: Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have to Do is Dream, Bird Dog, Devoted to You, Problems, Only the Lonely; died Apr 22, 2003)
1926 - Stan Freberg (comedian: Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, The Old Payola Roll Blues, St. George and the Dragonet, John and Marcia; commercial producer; died Apr 7, 2015)
1927 - Rocky (Everett Lamar) Bridges (baseball: Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Redlegs, Washington Senators [all-star: 1958], Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, SL Cardinals, LA Angels; died Jan 27, 2015)
1929 - Don (James) Larsen (baseball: pitcher: SL Browns, Baltimore Orioles, NY Yankees [World Series: 1955, 1956: *only perfect game in World Series history: Oct. 8, 1956, Yankees vs Dodgers*, 1957, 1958], KC Athletics, Chicago White Sox, SF Giants [World Series: 1962], Houston Colt .45’s, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs)
1939 - Ron Holden (singer: Love You So; died Jan 20, 1997)
1942 - Garrison Keillor (humorist, radio host: A Prairie Home Companion; author: Radio Days)
1942 - B.J. (Billy Joe) Thomas (singer: Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, Hooked on a Feeling, [Hey Won’t You Play] Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song, I Just Can’t Help Believing, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry)
1943 - Lana Cantrell (entertainer, singer: LPs: Act III, And then there was Lana, Lana!, The now of Then!)
1944 - John Glover (actor: Julia, Melvin and Howard, Great God Brown, In the Mouth of Madness, Night of the Running Man, Dead on the Money, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Scrooged, A Killing Affair, An Early Frost, The Evil that Men Do, Last Embrace, Annie Hall, Batman-The Animated Series [voice of The Riddler])
1944 - David Rasche (actor: Out There, Dead Weekend, The Masters of Menace, An Innocent Man, Native Son, Manhattan, Sledge Hammer!, Nurses)
1945 - John Gilliam (football: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver: Super Bowl VIII, IX)
1945 - Alan Page (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle: Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX, XI; Supreme Court Justice, Minnesota; 1st black elected to statewide office in Minnesota)
1950 - Dave Wottle (Olympic Gold Medalist: 800-meter ; track coach: Bethany College, WV)
1951 - Gary Hall (International Swimming Hall of Famer: U.S. Olympic team captain ; opening ceremonies U.S. flag bearer [1976); silver medalist: 400-meter medley , 200-meter butterfly , bronze: 100-meter butterfly; Doctor of Ophthalmology)
1952 - Caroline Aaron (actress: Crimes and Misdemeanors, Edward Scissorhands, Husbands and Wives, Sleepless in Seattle, Weapons of Mass Distraction, Primary Colors, Running Mates)
1952 - Andy Fraser (musician: bass: group: Free: All Right Now, My Brother Jake, Little Bit of Love)
1952 - Alexei Sayle (actor: Stuff, Alexei Sayle’s Stuff, Gorky Park, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Carry On Columbus)
1954 - Steve (Steven F) Kemp (baseball: Detroit Tigers [all-star: 1979], Chicago White Sox, NY Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers)
1955 - Wayne Knight (actor: Seinfeld, Dead Again, JFK, Jurassic Park, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Space Jam, For Richer or Poorer, Toy Story 2)
1957 - Alberto Salazar (marathon runner: winner: Boston Marathon )
1958 - Bruce Dickinson (singer: group: Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, Running Free)
1960 - David Duchovny (actor: The X-Files, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, Beethoven, Red Shoe Diaries series, Playing God)
1961 - DeLane Matthews (actress: Dave’s World, FM, Eisenhower & Lutz)
1971 - Sydney Penny (actress: The Thorn Birds, Santa Barbara, All My Children, Pale Rider, Running Away, Bernadette, St. Elsewhere)
1975 - Charlize Theron (actress: That Thing You Do!, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, The Devil’s Advocate, Hollywood Confidential, Mighty Joe Young, The Cider House Rules, Reindeer Games)
Chart Toppers - August 7
Bewitched - The Gordon Jenkins Orchestra (vocal: Mary Lou Williams)
Mona Lisa - Nat King Cole
Count Every Star - The Ray Anthony Orchestra (vocal: Dick Noel)
Mississippi - Red Foley
Poor Little Fool - Ricky Nelson
Patricia - Perez Prado
Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) - Domenico Modugno
Alone with You - Faron Young
Wild Thing - The Troggs
Lil’ Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Summer in the City - The Lovin’ Spoonful
Think of Me - Buck Owens
Annie’s Song - John Denver
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me - Elton John
Feel like Makin’ Love - Roberta Flack
Rub It In - Billy "Crash" Craddock
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Hurts So Good - John Cougar
Abracadabra - The Steve Miller Band
Honky Tonkin’ - Hank Williams, Jr.
Vision of Love - Mariah Carey
Cradle of Love - Billy Idol
Rub You the Right Way - Johnny Gill
Good Times - Dan Seals
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.