Events - July 12
1862 - The Medal of Honor was authorized on this day by the U.S. Congress.
1912 - The first foreign-made film to premiere in America, "Queen Elizabeth", was shown. The French film starred Sarah Bernhardt and Lon Tellegen.
1931 - A major-league baseball record for doubles was set as the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs combined for a total of 23 twin-sackers in St. Louis.
1946 - "The Adventures of Sam Spade" was heard on ABC radio for the first time. Howard Duff starred as the San Francisco detective in the summer replacement series. Sam Spade first appeared in the 1930 Dashiel Hammett novel "The Maltese Falcon" and in the 1931 original film version of "The Maltese Falcon", starring Ricardo Cortez. Humprey Bogart played Sam in the 1941 movie.
1949 - Football quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, a student at the University of Oregon, decided against another year of college and signed a professional NFL contract to play with the Los Angeles Rams.
1957 - Prince Karim left Harvard University in Cambridge, MA to become the leader of 20 million Ismaili Moslems. He became the Aga Khan for the religious sect. Prince Karim was 20 years old at the time of his calling.
1958 - "Yakety Yak", by The Coasters, became the number one song in the U.S.A., according to "Billboard" magazine. It was the first stereo record to reach the top of the chart.
1960 - The first Etch-A-Sketch went on sale. Over 50 million units were sold during the next 25 years. It was the favorite toy of many moms because it was self-contained and so-o-o quiet.
1979 - This was Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. Two Chicago radio DJs came up with the idea of having people bring unwanted disco records to the stadium. The spurned records would be burned between doubleheader games with the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Lead by the chant, “Disco Sucks!”, most of the records weren’t burned, but sailed through the stands during the game -- nearly inciting a riot. Some fans started their own fires and mini-riots. There was so much commotion that the ballplayers couldn’t even finish the last game of the doubleheader; the White Sox forfeited.
1982 - "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" broke all box-office records by surpassing the $100-million mark of ticket sales in the first 31 days of its opening.
1982 - The last of the distinctive-looking Checker taxicabs rolled off the assembly line in Kalamazoo, MI. The company had produced those cabs since 1922.
1984 - Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies earned his 100th strikeout of the season and led the Phils to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Carlton tied a record set by Walter Jonson by getting 100 or more strikeouts in 18 straight seasons. Carlton became baseball’s all-time strikeout leader with 3,813. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Phillies, and briefly, for the Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins before retiring and becoming a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1994 - The Rolling Stones’ "Voodoo Lounge" album was released. Their Voodoo Lounge Tour started in Toronto, July 19, 1994 and ended in Rotterdam on August 30, 1995 -- and holds the all-time North America tour ticket-sale record of $121.2 million.
Birthdays - July 12
1730 - Josiah Wedgwood (pottery designer and manufacturer; died Jan 3, 1795)
1817 - Henry David Thoreau (philosopher, writer: On Walden Pond; died May 6, 1862)
1849 - Sir William Osler (physician, author: Principles and Practice of Medicine; died Dec 29, 1919)
1854 - George Eastman (inventor: Kodak camera; flexible roll film; died Mar 14, 1932)
1864 - George Washington Carver (botanist: developed multiple uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes; died Jan 5, 1943)
1895 - Oscar (Greeley Clendenning) Hammerstein II (lyricist, songwriter w/Richard Rodgers: Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, Sound of Music; died Aug 23, 1960)
1908 - Milton Berle (Berlinger) (comedian: Uncle Miltie, Mr. Television: The Milton Berle Show, Texaco Star Theatre; actor: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Oscar, Side by Side; died Mar 27, 2002)
1909 - ‘Curly’ Joe DeRita (Joseph Wardell) (comedian: The Three Stooges: The Outlaw is Coming, Snow White and the Three Stooges, Have Rocket, Will Travel; died July 3, 1993)
1917 - Andrew Wyeth (artist: the Helga pictures, Christina’s World, Young Swede, Adrift, Wind from the Sea, Knapsack; died Jan 16, 2009)
1927 - Conte (Secondo) Candoli (musician: trumpet: bandleader; toured with Stan Kenton et al.; with brother Pete in film: Bell Book and Candle; died Dec 14, 2001)
1932 - Otis Davis (track: Olympic Gold medal winner [1960/Rome]: Men’s 4x400 meter relay w/Jack Yerman, Earl Young and Glenn Davis)
1934 - Van (Harvey Lavan) Cliburn (piano virtuoso; died Feb 22, 2013)
1937 - Bill Cosby (Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor: I Spy [1965-66; 1966-67, 1967-68], The Bill Cosby Special [1968-69]; The Cosby Show, Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids, Leonard VI, California Suite)
1943 - Christine (Perfect) McVie (musician, singer: group: Fleetwood Mac: Got a Hold on Me, Dreams, Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow)
1944 - Denise Nicholas (actress: Room 222, In the Heat of the Night, Ghost Dad)
1948 - Richard Simmons (weight loss expert, entertainer: Sweatin’ to the Oldies)
1948 - Jay Thomas (Emmy Award-winning actor: Murphy Brown: Gold Rush ; Mork & Mindy, Married People, Love & War, Cheers, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Straight Talk, Little Vegas, The Gig; died Aug 24, 2017)
1949 - John Wetton (musician: bassist, singer: group: Asia: Heat of the Moment, Only Time Will Tell; died Jan 31, 2017)
1950 - Gilles Meloche (hockey: California Golden Seals; 5 NHL teams over 18 seasons)
1951 - Cheryl Ladd (Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor) (actress: Dancing with Danger, Changes, The Grace Kelly Story, One West Waikiki, Charlie’s Angels, Poison Ivy)
1951 - Jamey Sheridan (actor: The House on Carroll Street, Shannon’s Deal)
1952 - Liz Mitchell (singer: group: Boney M: Daddy Cool, Brown Girl in the Ring, Rivers of Babylon)
1956 - Mel (Mary Ellen) Harris (actress: thirtysomething, Sharon’s Secret, The Spider and the Fly, Raising Cain, Desperate Motives, Wanted Dead or Alive)
1971 - Kristi Yamaguchi (Olympic gold medalist: figure skater ; U.S. and world champion )
Chart Toppers - July 12
Dream - The Pied Pipers
The More I See You - Dick Haymes
Bell Bottom Trousers - Tony Pastor
Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima - Bob Wills
Song from Moulin Rouge - The Percy Faith Orchestra
Ruby - Richard Hayman
I’m Walking Behind You - Eddie Fisher
It’s Been So Long - Webb Pierce
Tossin’ and Turnin’ - Bobby Lewis
The Boll Weevil Song - Brook Benton
Every Beat of My Heart - Pips
Heartbreak U.S.A. - Kitty Wells
In the Year 2525 - Zager & Evans
Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweat & Tears
Good Morning Starshine - Oliver
Statue of a Fool - Jack Greene
Undercover Angel - Alan O’Day
Da Doo Ron Ron - Shaun Cassidy
Looks like We Made It - Barry Manilow
I’ll Be Leaving Alone - Charley Pride
Sussudio - Phil Collins
A View to a Kill - Duran Duran
Raspberry Beret - Prince & The Revolution
She’s a Miracle - Exile
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
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