Events - February 19
1856 - The tintype photographic process was patented by Professor Hamilton L. Smith of Gambier, OH.
1864 - The Fraternal Order of Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, DC. A dozen members formed what became Lodge No. 1.
1878 - Thomas Alva Edison, famed inventor, patented a music player at his laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ. (This music device is the one we know as the phonograph.) Here’s the real skinny on the story: Edison paid his assistant $18 to make the device from a sketch Edison had drawn. Originally, Edison had set out to invent a telegraph repeater, but came up with the phonograph or, as he called it, the speaking machine. When asked why he invented the machine, Edison told reporters, “How else am I gonna listen to my Dixie Chicks stuff?”
1910 - At a New York dinner party, Diamond Jim Brady amazed (not to mention, grossed out) his guests by eating five helpings of roast beef, gallons of stewed fruit, 84 oysters -- and three gallons of orange juice to wash it all down! Whoa... Nellie!
1922 - Ed Wynn became the first big-name vaudeville talent to sign on as a radio talent. Previously, top talent had not considered radio a respectable medium. For those of us who have worked in it for many years, we can attest to that fact.
1942 - If there was ever such a thing as a jam session, surely, this one was it: Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded "I’ll Take Tallulah" (Victor Records). Some other musical heavyweights were in the studio too, including Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers, Ziggy Elman and drummer extraordinaire, Buddy Rich.
1945 - Some 30,000 U.S. Marines landed on the Japanese-held Western Pacific island of Iwo Jima. The U.S. troops encountered ferocious resistance from Japanese forces. The Americans took control of the strategically important island after a month-long battle. AP photographer Joe Rosenthal shot the most memorable image of WWII: five Marines and a Navy medical corpsman raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.
1953 - William Inge’s Picnic premiered at the Music Box Theatre in New York City.
1949 - Thanks to the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University, starving poets have the opportunity to win thousands of dollars. The first Bollingen Prize in poetry ($5,000) was awarded to Ezra Pound on this day. Mr. Pound was presented with the prize for his poetry collection, "The Pisan Cantos". The Bollingen Prize was presented annually through 1963 when Robert Frost was the recipient, after which it became a biennial award. The $5,000 award was upped to $10,000 in 1989 when Edgar Bowers was the prize winner, and to $25,000 in 1995. The $25,000 award went to poet, Kenneth Koch.
1955 - Dot Records launched "Two Hearts, Two Kisses, One Love", the first single by Pat Boone.
1958 - Motown released its first Miracles single, "Got a Job" b/w "My Mama Done Told Me".
1963 - The Soviet Union informed U.S. President John F. Kennedy that it would withdraw “several thousand” of an estimated 17,000 Soviet troops in Cuba.
1972 - A Horse With No Name, by America, entered the U.S. charts on its way to number one. The group, formed by three sons of American servicemen stationed in Great Britain, was discovered by Jeff Dexter, a deejay for a British underground radio station.
1974 - Dick Clark staged the first American Music Awards. The awards became a big favorite with those fans and established some competition for the industry-dominated Grammy Awards.
1976 - Iceland broke off diplomatic relations with Great Britain after the two countries failed to agree on fishing rights in disputed waters. The dispute became known as the ‘Cod War’.
1978 - The Tony Award-winning musical, On the Twentieth Century, debuted at the St. James Theatre on Broadway. The show won Tonys for Best Book, Original Score and Drama Desk Outstanding Music and ran for 460 performances.
1981 - George Harrison was ordered to pay ABKCO Music the sum of $587,000 for “subconscious plagiarism” between his song, "My Sweet Lord" and the Chiffons early 1960s hit, "He’s So Fine". Of all the riffs, chords, melodies, octaves and notes out there, George had to go and pick those in particular. What are the odds of that?
1984 - The XIV Winter Olympic Games ended at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. The Soviet Union led all countries with 25 medals, the United States captured nine medals to tie for fifth place. Within the shadow of what was the Olympic Stadium, hundreds, maybe thousands, of Bosnians are now buried; the result of the civil war that began in the early 1990s.
1985 - Mickey Mouse was welcomed to China as part of the 30th anniversary of Disneyland. The touring mouse played 30 cities in 30 days. Tough schedule even for a mouse!
1985 - William Schroeder became the first artificial-heart patient to leave the confines of the hospital (where the historic operation was performed). He spent 15 minutes outside the Humana Hospital in Louisville, KY.
1985 - Cherry Coke was introduced by the Coca-Cola Company, not at company headquarters in Atlanta, but in New York City, instead. Many who grew up in the 1950s rushed to buy the canned and/or bottled taste of nostalgia; hoping it would taste the same as they remembered ... when they sat at the corner drug store’s soda fountain and ordered, “A Cherry Coke, please.”
1987 - A controversial anti-smoking ad aired for the first time on television. It featured actor Yul Brynner in a public service announcement that was recorded shortly before his October 1985 death from lung cancer.
1991 - U.S. President George Bush (I) told reporters a Soviet proposal to end the Persian Gulf War fell “well short of what would be required.”
1997 - Deng Xiaoping, the last of China’s major Communist revolutionaries, died at age 93. He had ruled China from 1978 until he retired in 1990, but his influence remained strong until his death.
1999 - These movies debuted in the U.S.: "Jawbreaker", with Rose Mcgowan Rebecca Gayheart; and "October Sky", starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern.
2001 - Stanley Kramer, Hollywood film producer and director, died in Woodland Hills, CA. He was 87 years old. His work included High Noon, The Caine Mutiny, The Defiant Ones, On the Beach, Judgment at Nuremberg, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
2002 - The U.S. Supreme Court approved peer grading in schools -- allowing students to score each other’s tests and call out the grades. The Court ruled peer grading does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
2004 - One Perfect Day opened in U.S. theatres. The drama stars Dan Spielman, Leanna Walsman, Kerry Armstrong, Abbie Cornish, Rory Williamson, Nathan Phillips, Syd Brisbane, Frank Gallacher and Alex Menglet.
2004 - Philip Anschutz, Denver billionaire and founder of Qwest Communications, purchased the Fang newspapers including the San Francisco Examiner for $20 million.
2005 - The USS Jimmy Carter entered the Navy’s fleet as the most heavily armed submarine ever built. The $3.2-billion submarine was also the last of the Seawolf Class of attack subs that the Pentagon had ordered during the Cold War’s final years.
2006 - A methane explosion and tunnel collapse trapped -- and killed -- 65 coal miners three hundred meters (984 feet) underground in Pasta de Conchos mine near Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, Mexico.
2007 - New Jersey became the third U.S. state to approve civil unions for gay couples.
2008 - 81-year-old Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba’s president after nearly a half-century in power.
Birthdays - February 19
1473 - Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernick) (Polish astronomer: the Copernican theory: the sun is the center of our universe; died May 24, 1543)
1717 - David Garrick (Shakespearean actor, playwright; died Jan 20, 1779)
1865 - Sven Anders Hedin (explorer, geographer: Tibetan region; died Nov 26, 1952)
1893 - Sir Cedric (Webster) Hardwicke (actor: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Stanley and Livingstone, Richard III, The Ten Commandments; died Aug 6, 1964)
1895 - Louis Calhern (Carl Henry Vogt) (actor: The Count of Monte Cristo, Duck Soup, Blackboard Jungle, Prisoner of Zenda, The Student Prince; died May 12, 1956)
1902 - John Bubbles (John William Sublett) (actor: Porgy and Bess [1935 Broadway version], films: Cabin in the Sky, Variety Show, A Song is Born, No Maps on My Taps; dancer: credited with creating ‘rhythm tap’; died May 18, 1986)
1902 - Nydia Westman (actress: Strange Justice, The Velvet Touch, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut; died May 23, 1970)
1908 - Susan Fleming (actress: Range Feud, Gold Diggers of 1937; widow of Harpo Marx; died Dec 22, 2002
1912 - Dick (Richard Walther) Siebert (baseball: Brooklyn Dodgers, SL Cardinals, Philadelphia Athletics [all-star: 1943]; died Dec 9, 1978)
1916 - Eddie (George) Arcaro (only jockey to win two Triple Crowns [1941, 1948]; died Nov 14, 1997)
1917 - Carson McCullers (Smith) (author: The Member of the Wedding, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Reflections in a Golden Eye; died Sep 29, 1967)
1917 - Merle Oberon (Thompson) (actress: Wuthering Heights, Stage Door Canteen, Deep in My Heart, Hotel, The Oscar, Interval; died Nov 23, 1979)
1924 - Lee Marvin (Academy Award-winning Best Actor: Cat Ballou ; The Caine Mutiny, The Dirty Dozen, Delta Force, Ship of Fools; died Aug 29, 1987)
1930 - John Frankenheimer (director: Days of Wine and Roses, Birdman of Alcatraz, The French Connection, The Manchurian Candidate; died July 6, 2002)
1935 - Bobby Engemann (singer: group: The Lettermen: When I Fall In Love, Goin’ Out of My Head, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You; died Jan 20, 2013)
1935 - Russ (Russell Eugene) Nixon (baseball: catcher: Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins)
1940 - Smokey (William) Robinson (Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer: group: The Miracles: Shop Around, I Second That Emotion, Tears of a Clown; songwriter: My Guy, My Girl; solo: Cruisin’, Bein’ with You; Motown VP)
1942 - Paul Krause (Pro Football Hall of Famer: NFL Individual Career Record for interceptions  for Washington Redskins & Minnesota Vikings [1964-1979])
1942 - Bob Menne (golf: champ: Kemper Open )
1943 - Lou Christie (Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco) (singer: Lightnin’ Strikes, Two Faces Have I, The Gypsy Cried, Rhapsody In the Rain, I’m Gonna Make You Mine)
1947 - Bruce Fairbairn (actor: Vampire Hookers, Cyclone, Nightstick)
1948 - Tony Iommi (musician: guitar: group: Black Sabbath: Paranoid)
1952 - Eddie Brown (football: University of Miami, Cincinnati Bengals)
1954 - Francis Buchholz (musician: guitar: group: Scorpions: LP: Love at First Sting)
1955 - Jeff Daniels (actor: Speed, Dumb and Dumber, Radio Days, Something Wild, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Terms of Endearment, Ragtime)
1957 - Falco (Johann Hölzel) (singer, songwriter: Rock Me Amadeus, The Sound of Musik, All Vienna; died Feb 6, 1998)
1960 - Prince Andrew (Duke of York) (British royalty)
1966 - Justine Bateman (actress: A Century of Women, Primary Motive, The Fatal Image, Family Ties, Men Behaving Badly)
1970 - Bellamy Young (actress: Scandal, Criminal Minds, Pound of Flesh, The Freebie, Mask of the Ninja, Trust Me, Mission: Impossible III, Larceny, We Were Soldiers; more)
1971 - Miguel Batista (baseball [pitcher]: Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins, ChicagoCubs, Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays)
1971 - William Henderson (football [fullback]: Univ of North Carolina; NFL: Green Bay Packers)
1971 - Jeff Kinney (writer: Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series)
1973 - Eric Lange (actor: Victorious, Lost, You Don’t Know Jack, Secretariat, Weeds, The Bridge)
1975 - Daniel Adair (musician: drums: groups: 3 Doors Down, Nickelback)
1975 - Vladimir Guerrero (baseball [right fielder, designated hitter]: Montreal Expos [1996–2003]; Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim [2004–2009]; Texas Rangers ; Baltimore Orioles ; 449 career home runs)
1980 - Dwight Freeney (football [defensive end]: Syracuse Univ; NFL: Indianapolis Colts [2002–2012]: 2007 Super Bowl XLI champs; San Diego Chargers [2013–2014]; Arizona Cardinals ; Atlanta Falcons ; Seattle Seahawks ; Detroit Lions )
1980 - Mike Miller (basketball: Univ of Florida; NBA: Orlando Magic [2001 Rookie of the Year], Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat [2012 NBA title])
1985 - Haylie Duff (actress: 7th Heaven, Napoleon Dynamite, Love Takes Wing, Love Finds a Home; sister of actress Hilary Duff)
Chart Toppers - February 19
Symphony - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
I Can’t Begin to Tell You - Bing Crosby with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra
Aren’t You Glad You’re You - Bing Crosby
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter
Oh! My Pa-Pa - Eddie Fisher
Secret Love - Doris Day
Till Then - The Hilltoppers
Wake Up, Irene - Hank Thompson
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
Norman - Sue Thompson
The Wanderer - Dion
Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)/Everybody is a Star - Sly & The Family Stone
Hey There Lonely Girl - Eddie Holman
No Time - The Guess Who
It’s Just a Matter of Time - Sonny James
Stayin’ Alive - Bee Gees
(Love Is) Thicker Than Water - Andy Gibb
Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel
Don’t Break the Heart that Loves You - Margo Smith
How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going - Billy Ocean
Kyrie - Mr. Mister
Makin’ Up for Lost Time (The Dallas Lovers’ Song) - Crystal Gayle & Gary Morris
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.