440 International Those Were the Days
December 22

Events - December 22
1894 - The United States Golf Association was formed -- in New York City.

1920 - WEAF, in New York City, aired the first broadcast of a prize fight from ringside. The fight was broadcast from Madison Square Garden where Joe Lynch defeated Peter Herman to retain the bantamweight title. Bantamweights top the scales at 118 pounds. Just think, either of those boxers could have been mistaken for the microphone stand.

1937 - The Lincoln (named for the U.S. president of the same name) Tunnel in New York opened to traffic. Originally called the "Midtown Hudson Tunnel", the tube between Weehawken, New Jersey and midtown Manhattan allowed only one lane of traffic in each direction. (A new northbound-only tube opened to traffic Feb 4, 1945 and a southbound tube opened May 25, 1957.)

1941 - Jimmie Lunceford and his orchestra recorded "Blues in the Night" on Decca. The song became one of Lunceford’s biggest hits. Between 1934 and 1946 Jimmy Lunceford had more hits (22) than any other black jazz band (except Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway).

1943 - Sporting goods manufacturers received permission to use synthetic rubber for the core of baseballs. The move, of course, produced livelier baseballs. Announcers said, “Back - back - back - back - back,” a lot.

1958 - The Chipmunks were at the #1 position on the music charts. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore sang with David Seville. "The Chipmunk Song", the novelty tune that topped the charts for a month, is still a Christmas favorite today.

1972 - Folk singer Joni Mitchell received a gold record for the album, "For the Roses". The album included the song, "You Turn Me on, I’m a Radio".

1975 - Mike and Gloria Stivic (Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers) had a baby on "All In the Family" on CBS-TV.

1981 - London was the scene of a rock ’n’ roll auction where buyers paid $2,000 for a letter of introduction from Buddy Holly to Decca Records. John and Cynthia Lennon’s marriage certificate was worth $850 and an autographed program from the world premiere of the Beatles film "Help!" brought $2,100.

1984 - CBS Records announced plans for the release of Mick Jagger’s first solo album, set for February, 1985. The Rolling Stone went solo after a 20-year career with the self-proclaimed “greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world.” The album: "She’s the Boss".

1986 - Joe Paterno was named Sportsman of the Year by "Sports Illustrated" magazine. It marked only the second time a coach had won the honor. The first to do so was UCLA’s basketball legend, John Wooden. The magazine also chose this issue to change its own logo to a two-line design (which had absolutely nothing to do with Joe Paterno).

1995 - These motion pictures opened in the U.S.: The funny "Dracula: Dead and Loving It", starring funny folks Leslie Nielsen, Peter Macnicol, Steven Weber, Amy Yasbeck, Lysette Anthony, Harvey Korman and Mel Brooks; the cute/entertaining "Grumpier Old Men" with Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann- Margret, Sophia Loren, Kevin Pollak, Daryl Hannah, Burgess Meredith and Ann Guilbert; and the thriller "Sudden Death", starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Powers Boothe, Ross Malinger, Kate Mcneil, Dorian Harewood and Raymond J. Barry.

1996 - Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers ran 80 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of an 18-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers. His was the longest scoring run by a quarterback in NFL history.

1998 - The American Basketball League (ABL) suspended operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The league blamed its problems on a lack of both TV exposure and sponsor support.

1999 - Two astronauts from the U.S. space shuttle "Discovery" started three days of spacewalks to repair the crippled Hubble Space Telescope so it could focus correctly on stars, galaxies and other celestial objects.

1999 - Movies opening in U.S. theatres: "Angela’s Ashes", the drama based on the best-selling autobiography by Irish expatriate Frank McCourt, with Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens and Michael Legge; the pro-football flick "Any Given Sunday", starring Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid and James Woods; and "Man on the Moon", starring Jim Carrey as the late Andy Kaufman.

2000 - Flicks debuting in the U.S.: "Cast Away", with Tom Hanks starring as a FedEx systems engineer stranded on a desert island with only a volleyball to talk to; "Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000", starring Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell and Gerard Butler as Dracula; "The Family Man", with Nicolas Cage as a Wall Street bachelor who wakes up in a suburban New Jersey bedroom married ... with children; "Miss Congeniality", starring Sandra Bullock as a bumbling FBI agent in her undercover job as a contestant in the Miss United States pagent; and the comedy "State and Main", with Alec Baldwin, Charles Durning, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Patti Lupone, William H. Macy and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - December 22
1696 - James Oglethorpe (colonist: founded city of Savannah, Georgia; colonized Georgia; died June 30, 1785)

1858 - Giacomo Puccini (musician, Italian opera composer: La Boheme, Tosca, Madame Butterfly; died Nov 29, 1924)

1862 - Connie (Cornelius Alexander) Mack (McGillicudy) (‘The Tall Tactician’: Baseball Hall of Fame catcher: Washington Statesmen, Buffalo Bisons, Pittsburgh Pirates; Baseball Hall of Fame manager: Pittsburgh Pirates [1894-1996], Philadelphia Athletics [1901-1950: retired at age 88]: record for managing most games [7,755], most wins [3,731] and most losses [3,948]; built two championship dynasties w/four pennants in five years (1910-1914) and three in a row: 1929-1931; died Feb 8, 1956)

1869 - Edwin Arlington Robinson (Pulitzer prize-winning poet: Collected Poems [1922], The Man Who Died Twice [1925], Tristram [1928]; Richard Cory, Miniver Cheevy; died Apr 6, 1935)

1885 - Deems Taylor (composer: operas: The King’s Henchman, Peter Ibbetson; writer; music critic: New York World [1921-25], New York American [1931-32]; intermission commentator for Sunday radio broadcasts of NY Philharmonic [1936 to 1943]; president of ASCAP; married to poet and playwright Mary Kennedy; died July 3, 1966)

1901 - Andre Kostelanetz (music conductor: with Perry Como: Prisoner of Love; arranger: Broadway show tunes; died Jan 13, 1980)

1907 - Dame Peggy (Edith Margaret Emily) Ashcroft (Academy Award-winning actress: Passage to India [1984]; The Heat of the Day, The Jewel in the Crown, Secret Ceremony, The Nun’s Story, The 39 Steps; British Olivier Award [lifetime achievement - 1991]; died Jun 14, 1991)

1912 - Lady Bird (Claudia Alta) Johnson (First Lady: wife of 36th U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson; died Jul 11, 2007)

1915 - Barbara Billingsley (actress: Leave It to Beaver, Back to the Beach, Eye of the Demon, Airplane; died Oct 16, 2010)

1917 - Gene Rayburn (Rubessa) (comedian: The Steve Allen Show, Tonight; TV game-show host: Match Game, Make the Connection, Break the Bank; TV panelist: The Name’s the Same; died Nov 29, 1999)

1918 - Frankie Darro (Johnson) (actor: Vanishing Legion, Westward the Women, Broadway Bill, Riding High, Black Gold, Irish Luck; died Dec 25, 1976)

1922 - Ruth Roman (actress: The Killing Kind, Love has Many Faces, Since You Went Away, The Window, Knots Landing; died Sep 9, 1999)

1927 - Peggie Castle (Blair) (actress: The White Orchid, The Finger Man; died Aug 11, 1973)

1934 - David Pearson (International Motorsports Hall of Famer: Daytona 500 winner [1976])

1936 - Hector Elizondo (actor: Chicago Hope, Popi, Freebie and the Bean, Foley Square, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Casablanca, Perfect Alibi, Beverly Hills Cop 3, Frankie and Johnny, Pretty Woman, The Flamingo Kid, Young Doctors in Love, The Fan, Cuba, American Gigolo, The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three, Pocket Money, Born to Win)

1938 - Matty (Mateo Rojas) Alou (baseball: SF Giants [World Series: 1962], Pittsburgh Pirates [all-star: 1968, 1969], SL Cardinals, Oakland Athletics [World Series: 1972], NY Yankees, SD Padres; died Nov 3, 2011)

1940 - Ellie (Elrod Jerome) Hendricks (baseball: catcher: Baltimore Orioles [World Series: 1969-1971], Chicago Cubs, NY Yankees [World Series: 1976]; died Dec 21, 2005)

1944 - Steve (Norman) ‘Lefty’ Carlton (Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher: SL Cardinals [World Series: 1967, 1968/all-star: 1968, 1969, 1971], Philadelphia Phillies [all-star: 1972, 1974, 1977, 1979-1982/Cy Young Award: 1972, 1977, 1980, 1982/World Series: 1980, 1983], Chicago White Sox, SF Giants, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins; won 329 games [second only to Warren Spahn among lefties]; his 4,136 strikeouts exceeded only by Nolan Ryan; shares N.L. record w/19 strikeouts in a game; six 20-win seasons; first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards)

1944 - Barry Jenkins (drummer: groups: Nashville Teens, Animals)

1945 - Diane Sawyer (TV journalist: 60 Minutes, Prime Time Live, 20/20, Good Morning America)

1946 - Rick Nielsen (musician: guitar, singer: group: Cheap Trick: I Want You to Want Me, Ain’t That a Shame, Dream Police, Voices)

1948 - Steve (Steven Patrick) Garvey (baseball: L.A. Dodgers: [World Series: 1974, 1977, 1978/all-star: 1974-1981/N.L. Baseball Writers’ Award: 1974]; SD Padres [World Series: 1984/all-star: 1984, 1985])

1949 - Maurice Gibb (musician: bass, songwriter: group: Bee Gees: score for Saturday Night Fever, How Deep is Your Love, Stayin’ Alive; married to singer Lulu; died Jan 12, 2003)

1949 - Robin Gibb (musician, songwriter: group: Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart; see Maurice Gibb: twins; died May 20, 2012)

1949 - Ray Guy (football: star punter for Southern Mississippi [1970-72], Oakland Raiders: Super Bowl XI, XV, XVII)

1950 - Bob Fitchner (hockey: NHL: Quebec Nordiques)

1951 - Jan Stephenson (golf champion: Du Maurier Classic [1981], LPGA [1982], U.S. Open [1983]; centerfold model)

1952 - Charles Phillips (football: Oakland Raiders safety: Super Bowl XI)

1953 - Ian Turnbull (hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, LA Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins)

1957 - Ricky Ross (singer: group: Deacon Blue: LPs: Raintown, Riches, When the World Knows Your Name)

1962 - Ralph Fiennes (Tony Award-winning actor: Hamlet [1995]; Schindler’s List, The English Patient, The Avengers, The Prince of Egypt, The End of the Affair, The Miracle Maker, Double Down)

1968 - Dina Meyer (actress: Poodle Springs, Johnny Mnemonic, Dragonheart, Starship Troopers, Deadly Little Secrets)

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Chart Toppers - December 22
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way - Carl Smith

Heartaches by the Number - Guy Mitchell
Why - Frankie Avalon
The Big Hurt - Miss Toni Fisher
El Paso - Marty Robbins

Daydream Believer - The Monkees
Woman, Woman - The Union Gap
Boogaloo Down Broadway - The Fantastic Johnny C
It’s the Little Things - Sonny James

That’s the Way (I Like It) - KC & The Sunshine Band
Let’s Do It Again - The Staple Singers
Saturday Night - Bay City Rollers
Convoy - C.W. McCall

Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Say It Isn’t So - Daryl Hall-John Oates
Union of the Snake - Duran Duran
Black Sheep - John Anderson

Black or White - Michael Jackson
It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday - Boyz II Men
All 4 Love - Color Me Badd
My Next Broken Heart - Brooks & Dunn

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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