Events - February 5
1846 - "The Oregon Spectator" became the first newspaper published in American territory west of the Rocky Mountains.
1861 - Samuel Goodale of Cincinnati, OH patented the moving picture peep show machine. One put in a coin and turned a crank on the side of the ornately decorated box and voila, a flickering movie appeared! There still are peep shows today, but of an entirely different variety. They cost between $5.00 and $25.00 a peep, we’re told.
1916 - Enrico Caruso recorded "O Solo Mio" for the Victor Talking Machine Company, which eventually became Victor Records, then RCA Victor.
1922 - DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace offered 5,000 copies of their magazine for sale for the first time. Today, the Reader’s Digest continues to be widely read in a dozen languages the world over. In fact, it has become the most-read periodical in history with a circulation of some ten million.
1928 - Singer Jessica Dragonette was seen on one of the first television shows. She was used only to test the new medium. She didn’t even get to sing. Now, before you start feeling too badly for Jessica, it must be noted that she enjoyed an illustrious radio career. For more, be sure to tune in to "Those Were the Days" on February 18th...
1931 - Eddie Cantor’s long radio career got underway as he appeared on Rudy Vallee’s "The Fleischmann Hour".
1937 - "Modern Times", the first Charlie Chaplin talkie, was released. Actually, Chaplin’s voice was heard in the film, although he was difficult to understand because he was just singing a bunch of gibberish that no one understood. The star of the movie was Paulette Goddard, who played the part of a waif.
1940 - "Amanda of Honeymoon Hill" debuted on radio. Joy Hathaway starred as ‘the beauty of flaming red hair’. The program stayed for six years on the NBC radio network.
1940 - One of the great classic songs of the Big Band era was recorded. Glenn Miller and his band played "Tuxedo Junction" at the RCA Victor studios in Manhattan. The flip side of the record (released on the Bluebird label) was "Danny Boy".
1953 - Walt Disney’s film, "Peter Pan", opened at the Roxy Theatre in New York City. Although the film is now recognized as a great work, not all of the critics in 1953 took to the Disney stylization of the J.M. Barrie play.
1958 - A year after its founding, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) formed a New York chapter. NARAS is better known as the Grammy Awards organization.
1961 - The Shirelles were winding up their first week at #1 on the music charts with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". The song was at the top for two weeks. It was the group’s first #1 tune and the first #1 tune from the pen of a New York Brill Building songwriter who worked right down the hall from Neil Sedaka. She became a huge star in her own right with several #1 singles and albums in the 1970s. Her name: Carole King.
1969 - For one of the few times in television history, a scheduled series (usually 13 or 26 weeks of shows) turned into a one-night wonder. ABC-TV premiered "Turn On", hosted by Tim Conway, a show similar to NBC’s "Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In". TV critics called the show, “offbeat and distasteful.” It never aired again.
1972 - Bob Douglas became the first black man elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. Douglas not only coached the New York Renaissance, an all-black team which won 88 consecutive games in 1933, he owned the team.
1974 - U.S. satellite Mariner 10 returned the first close-up photos of the cloud structure on Venus.
1981 - A military jury in North Carolina convicted Marine PFC Robert Garwood of collaborating with the enemy while a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
1987 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 2,200-point mark for the first time. The market closed at 2201.49.
1997 - Investment companies Morgan Stanley Group Inc. and Dean Witter, Discover & Co. announced their intention to merge. The $10 billion deal, completed on May 31, 1997, created the largest U.S. securities firm.
1999 - These films opened in the U.S.: "Payback", with Mel Gibson and Gregg Henry; "Rushmore", starring Jason Schwartzman, Olivia Williams, Brian Cox and and Bill Murray; and "Simply Irresistible", with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flanery.
2002 - At a U.S. Senate hearing, Deborah Perrotta, a laid-off Enron employee, wept as she described how her retirement savings all but disappeared when the company failed.
2003 - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell made his case before the U.N. Security Council that Iraq had defied all demands to disarm. Powell presented tape recordings, satellite photos and statements from informants that he said was “irrefutable and undeniable” evidence that Saddam Hussein was concealing weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
2004 - CIA Director George Tenet acknowledged that U.S. spy agencies may have over-estimated Iraq’s illicit weapons capabilities.
2004 - A U.S. federal judge ruled that high school football players could skip college and head straight to the NFL.
2005 - The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awarded Jamie Foxx its best actor award for his role as Ray Charles in Ray. Hilary Swank won best actress for her role as a boxer in Million Dollar Baby. Cate Blanchett (The Aviator) and Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) won the supporting actress and actor awards.
2006 - Super Bowl XL (Ford Field, Detroit MI): Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Seattle Seahawks 10. The Steelers saved their best gimmick play for last, as Antwaan Randle El’s 43-yard TD pass to Hines Ward clinched their fifth Super Bowl victory (tying the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys for the league’s highest total). Pittsburgh prevailed in what was, overwhelmingly, a home game for the Steelers. The fans wearing black and gold and waving their Terrible Towels outnumbered their Seahawks counterparts by a ratio somewhere beyond 25-to-1. MVP: Hines Ward: The wide receiver had five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Steelers’ head coach Bill Cowher, who had made the playoffs 10 times in 14 seasons, finally won his first Super Bowl and followed through on his driving goal to hand owner Dan Rooney that sterling silver trophy. Tickets: No longer available to the general public; distributed through NFL teams only.
2007 - U.S.President George Bush (II) sent a $2.9-trillion spending plan to the Democratic-controlled Congress and proposed spending billions more on his war in Iraq.
2008 - Super Tuesday Democratic voting: Barack Obama won 13 states; Hillary Rodham Clinton won 8 plus American Samoa; but Clinton won California and scored the most delegates (her total was 845 to Obama’s 765). Republican voting: John McCain won 9 states; Mitt Romney won 7. Huckabee said he would press on, emboldened by 5 wins in the South.
Birthdays - February 5
1744 - John Jeffries (physician and one of America’s first weather forecasters: kept detailed records of weather conditions [1774-1816]; died Sep 16, 1819)
1788 - Robert (aka Bobbie) Peel (English statesman: London’s finest, known as Bobbies, were named after him; died July 2, 1850)
1900 - Adlai Stevenson (Democratic party candidate for US president [1952, 1956]; governor of Illinois, UN representative from U.S. [1961-1965]; died July 14, 1965)
1906 - John (Richmond Reed) Carradine (‘The Bard of the Boulevard’ actor: appeared in over 200 films including: The Bride of Frankenstein, Captains Courageous, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, House of Dracula; died Nov 27, 1988)
1914 - William Seward Burroughs II (Beat Generation writer: Naked Lunch, The Ticket That Exploded, Soft Machine, Nova Express, The Last Words of Dutch Schultz, The Adding Machine, The Western Lands; died Aug 2, 1997)
1919 - Red Buttons (Aaron Chwatt) (comedian, actor: The Red Buttons Show, The Longest Day, The Poseidon Adventure, Sayonara, They Shoot Horses Don’t They; died July 13, 2006)
1923 - Claude King (singer: Wolverton Mountain, All for the Love of a Girl; actor: The Blue & The Gray; died Mar 7, 2013)
1928 - Andrew Greeley (author: Happy are the Merciful, An Occasion of Sin; died May 29, 2013)
1929 - Al (Allan Fulton) ‘Red’ Worthington (baseball: pitcher: NY Giants, SF Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins [World Series: 1965])
1930 - Don Goldie (trumpeter: Basin Street Blues [vocal by Jack Teagarden]; died Nov 19, 1995)
1934 - Hank (Henry Louis) Aaron (‘Hammerin’ Hank’: Baseball Hall of Famer: Milwaukee Braves [all-star: 1955-1965, 1975/World Series: 1957, 1958], Atlanta Braves [all-star: 1965-1974]; home run champ : eclipsed Babe Ruth’s record of 714; baseball executive: Atlanta Braves)
1937 - Stuart Damon (actor: General Hospital, Chairman of the Board, Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss, Star 80, Young Doctors in Love, Nightmare for a Nightingale, A Touch of the Casanovas)
1939 - Jane Bryant Quinn (financial commentator, Newsweek contributing editor)
1941 - David Selby (actor: Falcon Crest, Rich and Famous, Flamingo Road)
1941 - Barrett Strong (singer: Money [That’s What I Want]); songwriter: Just My Imagination, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Ball of Confusion)
1942 - Roger Staubach (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Dallas Cowboys QB: Super Bowl V, VI, X, XII, XIII; Heisman Trophy Winner: Navy )
1943 - Craig Morton (football: Dallas Cowboys QB: Super Bowl V, VI; Denver Broncos: Super Bowl XII)
1943 - Chuck Winfield (musician: group: Blood, Sweat & Tears: Hi De Ho)
1944 - John Beasley (basketball: Texas A&M)
1946 - Charlotte Rampling (actress: The Verdict, Farewell My Lovely, Georgy Girl)
1947 - David Ladd (actor: The Treasure of Jamaica Reef, Catlow, Misty, A Dog of Flanders)
1947 - Darrell Waltrip (auto racer: Daytona 500 winner )
1948 - Christopher Guest (Emmy Award-winning comedy writer: Lily Tomlin ; comedian: Saturday Night Live)
1948 - Barbara Hershey (Herzstein) (actress: Hannah and Her Sisters, With Six You Get Eggroll, Beaches, The Right Stuff, The Natural, From Here to Eternity, The Monroes)
1962 - Jennifer Jason Leigh (Morrow) (actress: Shortcuts, The Hudsucker Proxy, Single White Female, Rush, Backdraft, Miami Blues, The Big Picture, Easy Money, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Eyes of a Stranger)
1964 - Laura Linney (actress: Primal Fear, Congo, Absolute Power, The Truman Show, Running Mates, Tales of the City series)
1969 - Bobby Brown (Grammy Award-winning singer: Every Little Step ; My Prerogative, LP: King of Stage, Don’t be Cruel; married to singer, Whitney Houston)
1971 - Sara Evans (singer: Cryin’ Game, True Lies, No Place that Far, Born to Fly, Almost New, Three Chords and the Truth)
1987 - Darren Criss actor: A Very Potter Musical, Glee, Girl Most Likely; singer: LPs: Me and My Dick, Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers; Broadway: How to Succeed in sBusiness Without Really Trying [revival]
Chart Toppers - February 5
Golden Earrings - Peggy Lee
How Soon - Jack Owens
Ballerina - Vaughn Monroe
I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) - Eddy Arnold
Rock and Roll Waltz - Kay Starr
See You Later, Alligator - Bill Haley & His Comets
No, Not Much! - The Four Lads
Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford
I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
You Don’t Own Me - Leslie Gore
Out of Limits - The Marketts
Begging to You - Marty Robbins
American Pie - Don McLean
Let’s Stay Together - Al Green
Day After Day - Badfinger
One’s on the Way - Loretta Lynn
Rock with You - Michael Jackson
Do that to Me One More Time - The Captain & Tennille
Coward of the County - Kenny Rogers
I’ll Be Coming Back for More - T.G. Sheppard
Need You Tonight - INXS
Could’ve Been - Tiffany
Hazy Shade of Winter - Bangles
Wheels - Restless Heart
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.