440 International Those Were the Days
December 5

Events - December 5
1868 - The first American bicycle school opened in New York City. It announced courses for velocipede riding.

1876 - The fabulous Stillson wrench was patented by D.C. Stillson of Somerville, MA. What the heck is a Stillson wrench you ask? Actually, it was the first practical pipe wrench.

1908 - Numerals were used for the first time on football uniforms worn by college football players. The University of Pittsburgh Panthers proudly displayed their new numbers in a game with Washington and Jefferson.

1929 - The American League for Physical Culture was barely organized this day in New York City. Just what is the ALPC? If you guessed nudist organization, you were correct!

1933 - Drinkers toasted the end of Prohibition in the U.S. It had been 14 years between (legal) drinks. The long dry spell ended at 5:32 p.m., when Utah became the last of 36 states to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (repealing the 18th Amendment, which had prohibited all booze).

1948 - The first church service in sign language for the hearing impaired was broadcast from St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church for the Deaf in Jamaica, Long Island. WPIX-TV, Channel 11 in New York aired the telecast.

1951 - The first push button-controlled garage opened in Washington, DC. A single attendant, without entering a car, could automatically park or return an auto to or from the ‘Park-O-Mat’ in less than a minute.

1952 - "The Abbott and Costello Show" started a 52-episode, syndicated run on TV. Comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello became such big hits that those same 52 episodes were run over and over on local and network TV for years.

1952 - Mutual radio broadcast "The Green Hornet" for the final time. The show left the air after 15 years on Mutual, NBC and ABC. "The Green Hornet" reappeared in 1966, this time on TV.

1955 - On this day, after many years of rivalry, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to become the AFL-CIO. Not all national unions belong to the AFL-CIO. The Teamsters Union was kicked out in 1957 and the United Auto Workers pulled out in 1968.

1983 - The first video arcade game licensed by the National Football League was unveiled in Chicago. Bally Manufacturing named it, appropriately enough, "NFL Football".

1984 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at age 37, was the oldest player in the National Basketball Association. He decided to push those weary bones just one more year by signing with the Los Angeles Lakers -- for $2 million. Other NBA greats who played for 16 seasons include John Havlicek of Boston, Dolph Shayes of Philadelphia, Paul Ilas of Seattle and Elvin Hayes of Houston.

1985 - Walter Pleate, America’s oldest military veteran, died on this day at age 108. He was one of a dozen living veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898).

1992 - The rapper known as Ice Cube hit it big as his "The Predator" became the #1 album in the U.S. The tracks: "The First Day of School (Intro)", "When Will They Shoot?", "I’m Scared (Insert)", "Wicked", "Now I Gotta Wet’ Cha", "The Predator", "It Was a Good Day", "We Had to Tear This ________ Up", "________ ’Em (Insert)", "Dirty Mack", "Don’t Trust ’Em", "Gangsta’s Farytale 2", "Check Yo Self (Featuring DAS EFX)", "Who Got the Camera?", "Intergration (Insert)", "Say Hi to the Bad Guy".

1997 - These films debuted in the U.S.: 1) "Good Will Hunting", starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgard. Williams won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Affleck and Damon won for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; 2) "The Wings of the Dove", with Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alison Elliott, Elizabeth Mcgovern. This one was nominated for several Oscars, but did not win any.

1998 - James P. Hoffa won the Teamsters presidency after challenger Tom Leedham conceded defeat in the union's presidential election. Leedham said it was difficult to compete against Hoffa’s name recognition, financing and more than four years of campaigning for the top post of the largest private sector union in the U.S.

1998 - R. Kelly & Celine Dion were number one in the U.S with their single, "I’m Your Angel".

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Birthdays - December 5
1782 - Martin Van Buren (8th U.S. President [1837-1841]; first to be born a U.S. citizen; married to Hannah Hoes [four sons]; nickname: The Little Magician; died July 24, 1862)

1839 - General George Armstrong Custer (U.S. military officer; killed in battle at Little Bighorn, June 25, 1876)

1870 - Bill Pickett (rodeo cowboy: first to bulldog - wrestle a running steer to the ground; died Apr 2, 1932)

1894 - Philip K. Wrigley (corporate executive: Wrigley Gum; died in 1977)

1901 - Walt (Walter Elias) Disney (cartoonist: 1st color-animated cartoon: Steamboat Willie; creator of: Mickey Mouse, Disneyland; Emmy Award- winning producer: Disneyland film series [1955], Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color [1962-1963]; died Dec 15, 1966)

1902 - Strom Thurmond (U.S. Senator from South Carolina since 1954 [first person in U.S. history to be elected to a major office by write-in ballot]; governor of South Carolina [1947-1951]; died Jun 26, 2003)

1905 - Otto (Ludwig) Preminger (director: In Harm’s Way, Advise and Consent, Exodus, Anatomy of a Murder, Saint Joan, Bonjour Tristesse, The Man with the Golden Arm, The Moon is Blue, Forever Amber, Laura; died Apr 23, 1986)

1916 - Margaret (Maggie) Hayes (Florette Ottenheimer) (actress: Omar Khayyam, Blackboard Jungle, Sullivan’s Travels, In Old Colorado, Robert Montgomery Presents; died Jan 26, 1977)

1922 - Don Robertson (Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Famer: I Really Don’t Want to Know, I Don’t Hurt Anymore, Please Help Me I’m Fallin’, I Love You More and More Each Day; whistler: The Happy Whistler; died Mar 16, 2015)

1930 - Larry Kert (actor, singer, dancer: West Side Story original cast [1957]; died June 5, 1991)

1932 - Jim Hurtubise (auto racer: National Sprint Car Hall of Famer; died Jan 6, 1989)

1932 - ‘Little’ Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman) (singer: Good Golly Miss Molly, Tutti Frutti, Slippin’ and Slidin’, Long Tall Sally, Rip It Up, Ready Teddy, The Girl Can’t Help It, Lucille, Keep a Knockin’; preacher)

1934 - Joan Didion (author: Run River, After Henry, Democracy, A Star is Born)

1935 - Calvin Trillin (author: American Stories, Remembering Denny, Uncivil Liberties, If You Can’t Say Something Nice; writer: New Yorker magazine)

1936 - Chad Mitchell (singer: group: Chad Mitchell Trio: Lizzie Borden)

1938 - J.D. (John Delphus) McDuffie (NASCAR auto racer: killed in Watkins Glen crash Aug 11, 1991)

1944 - Jeroen Krabbé (actor: Immortal Beloved, King of the Hill, The Fugitive, Stalin, Robin Hood, The Prince of Tides, Crossing Delancey, Dynasty)

1945 - Pam Higgins (golf: touring pro: 3 victories in 14 years on the LPGA Tour)

1946 - Jose Carreras (singer: tenor: New York Metropolitan Opera)

1947 - Jim Messina (musician: duo: Loggins and Messina: Your Mama Don’t Dance, Danny’s Song, Thinking of You, My Music; groups: Buffalo Springfield, Poco; solo: LPs: Oasis, Messina)

1947 - Jim Plunkett (football: Oakland and LA Raiders quarterback: Super Bowl: XV, XVIII; Heisman Trophy winner: Stanford University [1970]; New England Patriots Rookie of the Year [1971], San Francisco 49ers)

1949 - Lanny Wadkins (golf: PGA champion [1977], PGA Player of the Year [1985])

1950 - Steve Furness (football: Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle: Super Bowl: IX, X, XIII, XIV)

1951 - Morgan Brittany (Suzanne Cupito) (actress: Dallas, Glitter, Moviola, Sundown, LBJ: The Early Years, The Prodigal, The Initiation of Sarah)

1957 - Art Monk (football: Washington Redskins wide receiver: Super Bowl XVIII, XXII, XXVI)

1960 - Les Nemes (musician: bass: group: Haircut 100)

1960 - Jack Russell (singer: group: Great White)

1963 - Carrie Hamilton (actress: Fame, Cool World, Shag: The Movie, Tokyo Pop, Hostage, daughter of comedienne, Carol Burnett; died Jan 20, 2002)

1964 - Pablo Morales (Olympic Gold Medalist: swimmer [1984, 1992]; holds men’s world record for 100 meter butterfly [1986])

1968 - Margaret Cho (actress: All-American Girl, TV guest host: Girls’ Night Out)

1973 - Shalom Harlow (fashion model [Donna Karen, Ralph Laure, Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Christian Dior]; actress: In & Out, Head Over Heels, Happy Here and Now)

1985 - Frankie Muniz (actor: Malcolm in the Middle, My Dog Skip, The Andy Dick Show, Dr. Dolittle 2)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - December 5
All My Love - Patti Page
A Bushel and a Peck - Perry Como & Betty Hutton
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
I’m Moving On - Hank Snow

To Know Him, Is to Love Him - The Teddy Bears
One Night - Elvis Presley
Problems - The Everly Brothers
City Lights - Ray Price

Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band
Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
Devil with a Blue Dress On & Good Golly Miss Molly - Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
Somebody Like Me - Eddy Arnold

I Can Help - Billy Swan
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
When Will I See You Again - The Three Degrees
Back Home Again - John Denver

Truly - Lionel Richie
Gloria - Laura Branigan
Mickey - Toni Basil
You and I - Eddie Rabbitt with Crystal Gayle

I’m Your Baby Tonight - Whitney Houston
Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - Stevie B
From a Distance - Bette Midler
Come Next Monday - K.T. Oslin

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...

Comments/Corrections: TWtDfix@440fun.com

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

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