440 International Those Were the Days
January 24

Events - January 24
1899 - Humphrey O’Sullivan, a nice Irish gent, patented the rubber heel on this day and, of course, nothing has ever been quite the same since. Please don’t leave black heel marks on the floor today!

1922 - Christian K. Nelson of Onawa, IA patented something quite sweet: It was an ice cream confection that we commonly know as an Eskimo Pie.

1930 - Ben Bernie (Benjamin Anzelwitz) began a weekly remote broadcast from the lovely Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

1935 - Krueger Brewing Company placed the first canned beer on sale -- in Richmond, VA. I’ll have a cold Krueger Light, please.

1936 - Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded one of the all-time greats, "Stompin’ at the Savoy", on Victor Records. The song became such a standard, that, literally, hundreds of artists have recorded it, including a vocal version by Barry Manilow; believe it or not. The ‘King of Swing’ recorded the song in a session at the Congress Hotel in Chicago.

1942 - "Abie’s Irish Rose" was first heard on NBC radio this day replacing "Knickerbocker Playhouse". The program was a takeoff on the smash play from Broadway that ran for nearly 2,000 performances. Sydney Smith played the part of Abie. Rosemary Murphy was played by Betty Winkler.

1946 - The United Nations established the International Atomic Energy Commission in reaction to the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

1950 - Jackie Robinson signed the highest contract ($35,000) in Dodger history.

1955 - The rules committee of major-league baseball announced a plan to strictly enforce the rule that required a pitcher to release the ball within 20 seconds after taking his position on the mound.

1964 - Willie Shoemaker topped Eddie Arcaro’s career earnings record by riding four winners at Santa Anita race track in California. Shoemaker’s total earnings reached $30,040,005.

1965 - Sir Winston Churchill, former prime minister (1940-1945 and 1951-1955), died from a cerebral thrombosis in London at age 90. “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.”

1973 - ‘Little’ Donny Osmond, of the famed Osmond Brothers/Family, received a gold record for his album, "Too Young". When he played the gold-plated disc on his Mickey Mouse phonograph, all he heard was "Ben" by ‘little’ Michael Jackson, a competitor in the ‘Kids Who Sing Really High Awards’ battle.

1982 - Super Bowl XVI (at Pontiac): San Francisco 49ers 26, Cincinnati Bengals 21. The first cold-weather Super Bowl, the game was played in the Pontiac, Michigan Silverdome. The 49ers led 20-0 at the half, but the Bengals chased and almost caught them in the second half. MVP: 49ers QB Joe Montana. Tickets: $40.00. The CBS telecast was viewed by 110.2 million fans and CBS radio counted 14 million listeners to its broadcast of the game.

1985 - Penny Harrington became the first woman police chief of a major city. She assumed the duties as head of the Portland, Oregon force of 940 officers and staff.

1986 - Singer and actor Gordon MacRae died of cancer in Lincoln, Nebraska at the age of 64. MacRae starred in many memorable movies, such as "Tea for Two", "On Moonlight Bay", "Oklahoma!" and "Carousel". He also starred on television as host of the "Colgate Comedy Hour" and "Lux Television Theatre". And he recorded many show tunes, primarily for Capitol Records. He fought a long battle against alcoholism, and once said that he had been so drunk during a concert in Greenville, South Carolina that he couldn’t remember any song lyrics. MacRae suffered a stroke in 1982 but struggled to keep performing until the cancer overtook him in 1985.

1997 - These films debuted in the U.S.: The comedy "Fierce Creatures", starring John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Michael Palin; the drama "In Love and War", with Sandra Bullock, Chris O'donnell, Mackenzie Astin and Emilio Bonucci; the drama "Kolya", starring Zdenek Sverak, Andrej Chalimon, Libuse Safrankova and Ondrez Vetchy; the true-life story "Prefontaine", with Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'neill and Breckin Meyer; and the family-oriented flick "Zeus and Roxanne", about a dog and a dolphin, with Steve Guttenberg, Kathleen Quinlan, Arnold Vosloo and Dawn Mcmillan.

1999 - The International Olympic Committee voted to expel six IOC members after charges that they had accepted money and other compensation from officials from cities bidding to host the Olympics. The cities included Sydney, Australia (2000 summer games) and Salt Lake City, Utah (2002 winter games).

2003 - The Department of Homeland Security (under Tom Ridge) became the 15th Cabinet department in the U.S.

2004 - Howard Dean sharply questioned John Kerry’s judgment on Iraq as Democratic presidential rivals raced through a final weekend of campaigning before the New Hampshire primary. This, as New Hampshire polling experts at American Research Group reported Kerry’s lead widening over Dean.

2004 - NASA’s Opportunity rover landed on Mars, arriving at the Red Planet exactly three weeks after Spirit, its identical twin, landed.

2005 - The Wall of Names holocaust memorial was unveiled in Paris.

2005 - JP Morgan Chase bank apologized for its predecessors (Canal Bank and Citizens’ Bank), which accepted slaves as collateral.

2005 - Alan Roy Williams, a U.K. doctor was charged with serious professional misconduct. The doctor had given evidence against Sally Clark who, it turned out, was wrongfully convicted of the murder of her two sons.

2006 - Merger mania raged on: Disney and Pixar animation studios merged in a US$7.4 billion deal; and CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. announce they would merge UPN and The WB TV networks into a new network called The CW.

2007 - Some 2,400 registered participants gathered at Davos, Switzerland, for the 4-day World Economic Forum, whose theme for 2007 was: The Shifting Power Equation.

2008 - U.S. congressional leaders put together a program of tax rebates ($300 to $1,200 for households), and business tax cuts, to jolt a jittery economy.

2008 - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) announced that he was “transitioning out” of the U.S. presidential campaign.

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Birthdays - January 24
1862 - Edith Wharton (Jones) (Pulitzer Prize winning author: The Age of Innocence [1921]; died Aug 11, 1937)

1905 - Marvin ‘Cyclone’ Wentworth (hockey: NHL: Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Maroons, Montreal Canadiens; died Oct 10, 1982)

1909 - Ann Todd (actress: The Human Factor, Scream of Fear, Madeleine, The Seventh Veil; died May 6, 1993)

1916 - Jack (John Beasley) Brickhouse (Radio Hall of Famer: WGN, Mutual Broadcasting System, DuMont Television Network; died Aug 6, 1998)

1916 - C. Gene Mako (tennis: U.S. Open runner-up [1938]; died Jun 14, 2013)

1917 - Ernest Borgnine (Academy Award-winning actor: Marty [1955], The Poseidon Adventure, The Dirty Dozen, McHale’s Navy; died Jul 8, 2012)

1918 - Oral Roberts (evangelist: founder: Oral Roberts University; died Dec 15, 2009)

1925 - Gus Mortson (hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs [all-star: 1949], Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings)

1925 - Maria (Betty Marie) Tallchief (prima ballerina: Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, New York City Ballet; formed ballet troupe and school (1974) which became Chicago City Ballet [1980]; wife of choreographer George Balanchine; died Apr 11, 2013)

1933 - Zeke Carey (singer: group: The Flamingos: I Only Have Eyes for You, That’s My Desire, Golden Teardrops, Jump Children, Dream of a Lifetime, Ko Ko Mo [I Love You So]; died Dec 24, 1999)

1936 - Doug Kershaw (musician: Cajun fiddle, songwriter, singer: Louisiana Man, Diggy Liggy Lo)

1937 - Julie Gregg (actress: Hell of Borneo, The Seekers; died Nov 7, 2016)

1939 - Ray Stevens (Harold Ray Ragsdale) (singer, entertainer: Everything Is Beautiful, Mr. Businessman; #1 novelty recording artist: Ahab, the Arab, Gitarzan, The Streak)

1941 - Neil Diamond (songwriter: Sunday & Me [Jay & The Americans], I’m a Believer, A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You [The Monkees], soundtrack: Jonathan Livingston Seagull; singer: Cherry, Cherry, Cracklin’ Rosie, Song Sung Blue, Beautiful Noise, If You Know What I Mean, Yesterday’s Songs, Longfellow Serenade, Forever in Blue Jeans, I Am, I Said, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers [w/Barbra Streisand]; actor/singer: The Jazz Singer, America, Love on the Rocks, Hello, Again)

1941 - Aaron Neville (Grammy Award-winning singer: Healing Chant [w/Neville Brothers: 1989], Don’t Know Much [w/Linda Ronstadt: 1989], All My Life [w/Linda Ronstadt: 1990], I Fall to Pieces [w/Trisha Yearwood: 1994]; singer: Tell It Like It Is; solo: LPs: Warm Your Heart, The Grand Tour, Aaron Neville’s Soulful Christmas)

1943 - Sharon Tate (actress: Valley of the Dolls, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Fearless Vampire Killers, The Wrecking Crew; murdered by members of the Manson family Aug 9, 1969)

1944 - Bobby Lee Bryant (football: Minnesota Vikings corner back, Super Bowls VIII, XI)

1945 - Elaine Giftos (actress: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, The Student Nurses, Gas-s-s-s, The Wrestler, Paternity, Angel, Mars and Beyond)

1946 - Michael Ontkean (actor: Legacy of Lies, Twin Peaks, Postcards from the Edge, Slap Shot, Peacekillers)

1947 - Warren Zevon (singer, songwriter: Werewolves of London, She Quit Me Man, Hasten Down the Wind, Poor, Poor Pitiful Me, Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner, The Envoy; died Sep 7, 2003)

1949 - John (Adam) Belushi (comedian: Second City improvisational troupe, original cast: Saturday Night Live; actor: 1941, The Blues Brothers; died Mar 5, 1982)

1949 - Guy Charron (hockey: NHL: Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, KC Scouts, Washington Capitals; assistant coach: Calgary Flames, NY Islanders)

1951 - Yakov Smirnoff (comedian: What a Country; actor: Night Court, Up Your Alley, Heartburn, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension)

1958 - Jools (Julian) Holland (musician: keyboard: group: Squeeze: Goodbye Girl, Up the Junction, Cool for Cats; solo: LP: Jools Holland & The Millionaires)

1961 - Nastassja Kinski (actress: Terminal Velocity, The Hotel New Hampshire, Paris Texas, Exposed, Tess, For Your Love Only)

1964 - Rob (Robert Keith) Dibble (baseball: pitcher: Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1990/all-star: 1990, 1991], Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers)

1968 - Mary Lou Retton (gymnast: Olympic Hall of Fame medalist [1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze: Los Angeles: 1984]; first American woman to win an individual medal in gymnastics)

1972 - Allison DuBois (author, medium: used her psychic abilities to assist U.S. law enforcement officials in solving crimes; the TV drama Medium [2005-2011] was based on Allison DuBois’s book, Don’t Kiss Them Good-Bye; more)

1973 - Chris Ferraro (hockey: NY Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, NY Islanders, Washington Capitals, Phoenix Coyotes; twin brother of hockey player Peter Ferraro; more)

1973 - Peter Ferraro (hockey: NY Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Phoenix Coyotes; twin brother of hockey player Chris Ferraro; more)

1974 - Ed Helms (comedian, actor: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Office, The Hangover film series, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Jeff, Who Lives at Home)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - January 24
1944 - My Heart Tells Me - The Glen Gray Orchestra (vocal: Eugenie Baird)
Shoo, Shoo, Baby - The Andrews Sisters
My Ideal - The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Bob Eberly)
Pistol Packin’ Mama - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

1952 - Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
Sin (It’s No) - Eddy Howard
Shrimp Boats - Jo Stafford
Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way - Carl Smith

1960 - Running Bear - Johnny Preston
The Big Hurt - Miss Toni Fisher
Go, Jimmy, Go - Jimmy Clanton
El Paso - Marty Robbins

1968 - Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - John Fred & His Playboy Band
Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin
Green Tambourine - The Lemon Pipers
Sing Me Back Home - Merle Haggard

1976 - Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) - Diana Ross
Love Rollercoaster - Ohio Players
Love to Love You Baby - Donna Summer
Convoy - C.W. McCall

1984 - Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
Talking in Your Sleep - The Romantics
In My Eyes - John Conlee

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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