Events - July 18
0064 - Rome burned on this day -- while Nero fiddled, literally.
1743 - "The New York Weekly Journal" published the first half-page newspaper ad.
1914 - The Aviation Section of the U.S. Signal Corps was created, giving status to the air service for the first time. The first flying unit had twelve officers, 54 enlisted men, and six airplanes assigned to it at North Island (San Diego, CA).
1927 - Ty Cobb set a major-league baseball record by getting his 4,000th career hit. Cobb recorded 4,191 hits before his career came to an end the following year -- after 23 years in the big leagues.
1936 - The critically acclaimed, experimental theatre of the air, "The Columbia Workshop", debuted on CBS radio.
1936 - Carl Mayer, nephew of Oscar Mayer, invented a quaint entry into Americana: the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. The first Wienermobile rolled out of General Body Company's factory in Chicago on this day. The Wienermobile tours around the U.S. fascinating children of all ages as it promotes the famous Oscar Mayer wiener. If you've had the pleasure of seeing the Wienermobile in person, don't think only the folks in your part of the U.S.A. are the lucky ones, because today there are six of the silly-looking cars. For those of you who have never seen it - it's a giant hot dog on wheels - there's just no other way to describe the Wienermobile.
1951 - After trying four times without success, ‘Jersey’ Joe Walcott became the world heavyweight boxing champ by knocking out Ezzard Charles (whose real name was actually Charles Ezzard) in Pittsburgh, PA. Walcott became the oldest heavyweight titlist to the time (age 37).
1964 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds connected for the only grand-slam home run of his career. It came against the team he would later play for -- the Philadelphia Phillies. Rose had been in the major leagues for only two years and was just 22 at the time. Dallas Green (later to become manager of the Phillies) gave up the gopher ball to Rose.
1964 - The 4 Seasons reached the top spot on the record charts with "Rag Doll", the group’s fourth hit to climb to the #1 position. The song stayed on top for two weeks. Other #1 hits by Frankie Valli and company include, "Big Girls Don’t Cry", "Walk Like a Man", and "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)".
1968 - Hugh Masekela struck gold with the breezy, latin-soul instrumental "Grazing in the Grass", while Gary Puckett and The Union Gap received a similar honor for the hit, "Lady Willpower". Masekela, a trumpeter since age 14, saw "Grazing in the Grass" go to number one for two weeks (July 20/27). "Grazing" was his only entry on the pop music charts. The Union Gap scored three more million-sellers in the late 1960s: "Woman, Woman", "Young Girl" and "Over You". The Union Gap was formed in 1967 and named after the town of Union Gap, Washington. As always, I’m Casey Kasem. Keep your feet off the sofa and, um, you know the rest.
1969 - ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath got out of the restaurant/nightclub business after agreeing to terms suggested by then NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle. Namath owned half of Bachelors III in New York City.
1970 - Ron Hunt of the San Francisco Giants was hit by a pitch for the 119th time in his career, earning him the dubious distinction of being the most-beaned baseball player in the major leagues.
1976 - Nadia Comaneci, the 14-year-old star gymnast from Romania, stunned those watching the Olympic Games by executing perfect form to collect a perfect score of ‘10’ from the judges. This was the first perfect score ever recorded on the uneven parallel bars. Nadia went on to collect seven perfect scores, three gold medals, a silver and a bronze. She also won two gold and two silver medals in the 1980 Olympics. Pretty heavy stuff for the tiny lady.
1983 - Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel took to the road to begin a 19-city tour beginning in Akron, OH. It was the first tour by the popular singing duo since their success in the 1960s.
1992 - America’s reigning pop princess Whitney Houston wed R&B artist/bad boy Bobby Brown. The ceremony was held in a gazebo on Houston's Mendham, New Jersey estate. Among the 800 guests: Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Isiah Thomas, Donald Trump.
1999 - David Cone pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees. Cone befuddled the Montreal Expos, throwing the 16th perfect game in baseball history, while leading the Yankees to a 6-0 victory.
Birthdays - July 18
1720 - Gilbert White (‘father of British naturalists’: author: The Natural History of Selborne; died June 26, 1795)
1811 - William Makepeace Thackeray (author: Vanity Fair, Pendennis; died Dec 24, 1863)
1902 - Chill Wills (actor: Billy the Kid, McClintock, Giant, The Yearling, Tarzan’s New York Adventure, The Wheeler Dealers; died Dec 15, 1978)
1906 - S.I. (Samuel Ichiye) Hayakawa (U.S. Senator; president of San Francisco State College; writer: language textbooks; led initiative declaring English as official language of California; died Feb 27, 1992)
1906 - Clifford Odets (playwright: Waiting for Lefty, Awake and Sing, The Golden Boy, The Big Knife, The Country Girl, The Flowering Peach; died Aug 18, 1963)
1909 - Harriet Hilliard Nelson (Peggy Lou Snyder) (singer: Ozzie Nelson’s orchestra; actress: The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Follow the Fleet, Rick & Dave’s mother; died Oct 2, 1994)
1910 - Joe ‘Fingers’ Carr (Lou Busch) (musician: piano, arranger, composer: Sam’s Song, Down Yonder, Portuguese Washerwoman; died Sep 19, 1979)
1911 - Hume Cronyn (Blake) (actor: Sunrise at Campobello, The Seventh Cross, Cocoon, The Four Poster, Fox Fire, The Gin Game; Jessica Tandy’s husband; died June 15, 2003)
1913 - Marvin Miller (Mueller) (actor: Kiss Daddy Goodbye, Red Planet Mars; died Feb 8, 1985)
1913 - Red (Richard) Skelton (Emmy Award-winning comedian: The Red Skelton Show [1951, 1960-61]; ATAS Governor’s Award [1985-86]; recording artist: The Pledge of Allegiance; “Goodnight ... and may God Bless.”; died Sep 17, 1997)
1918 - Nelson Mandela (Nobel Peace prize-winner ; South African President; imprisoned for 28 years; died Dec 5, 2013)
1921 - John Glenn Jr. (astronaut: first to orbit Earth [Feb 20, 1962]; oldest to fly in space [oldest space-shuttle crew member: age 77: Oct 1998]; U.S. Senator [Ohio: 1975-1999]; died Dec 8, 2016)
1929 - Richard Button (figure skater: 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist [1948, 1952]; first to land a double axel [1948 Olympics]; Sullivan Award ; sportscaster)
1929 - Screamin’ Jay (Jalacy) Hawkins (R&B singer, pianist: I Put a Spell on You [Rolling Stone magazine voted it one of 50 greatest songs of the 1950s]; died Feb 12, 2000)
1931 - ‘Papa Dee’ (Thomas) Allen (musician: conga: group: War: "Spill The Wine", "The Cicso Kid"; LPs: All Day Music, The World is a Ghetto, Why Can’t We Be Friends?; died Aug 30, 1988)
1935 - Tenley Albright (Olympic Hall of Famer: figure-skating silver medal , gold : first American woman to win event; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer)
1939 - Dion DiMucci (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer: singer: group: Dion and the Belmonts: A Teenager in Love, Where or When; solo: Runaround Sue, The Wanderer, Abraham, Martin and John, Ruby Baby, Donna the Prima Donna)
1939 - Brian Auger (musician: keyboards: groups: Mahavishnu Players, Oblivion Express; played harpsichord for Yardbirds: For Your Love)
1940 - James Brolin (Bruderlin) (actor: Hotel, Marcus Welby, M.D., Angel Falls, Westworld, Von Ryan’s Express, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Fantastic Voyage, The Boston Strangler, The Amityville Horror; married to singer/actress, Barbra Streisand)
1940 - Joe (Joseph Paul) Torre (baseball: Milwaukee Braves [all-star: 1963, 1964, 1965]], Atlanta Braves [all-star: 1966, 1967], SL Cardinals [all-star: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1971], NY Mets; manager: St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, NY Mets, NY Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers; broadcaster)
1941 - Lonnie Mack (McIntosh) (musician: guitar: Memphis; died Apr 21, 2016)
1941 - Martha Reeves (singer: group: Martha and the Vandellas: Power of Love, Heat Wave, Quicksand, Dancing in the Street, Nowhere to Run, Jimmy Mack, Come and Get These Memories)
1943 - Don Awrey (hockey: NHL: Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Rockies)
1943 - Robin McDonald (musician: guitar: group: Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas: From a Window, Little Children, Trains and Boats and Planes, Bad to Me)
1944 - Rudy May (baseball: pitcher: California Angels, NY Yankees [World Series: 1981], Baltimore Orioles, Montreal Expos)
1950 - Glenn Hughes (singer: group: The Village People [mustachioed, leather-clad biker]; died Mar 4, 2001)
1951 - Bruce (Alan) Lietzke (golf pro: nine PGA tour victories; won four tournaments twice: Colonial [1980, 1992], Byron Nelson [1981, 1988], Tucson Open [1977, 1979], Canadian Open [1978, 1982])
1954 - Ricky Skaggs (Grammy Award-winning instrumentalist [banjo, fiddle, guitar]: Wheel Hoss ; singer: I Don’t Care, Crying My Heart Out over You; CMA Male Vocalist of the Year , Entertainer of the Year )
1955 - Terry Chambers (musician: drums: group: XTC: Making Plans for Nigel, Sgt Rock [Is Going to Help Me], Senses Working Overtime)
1956 - Audrey Landers (actress: Dallas, Somerset, California Casanova)
1958 - Nigel Twist (musician: drums: group: The Alarm: Guns, Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke?, The Bells of Rhymney)
1961 - Elizabeth McGovern (actress: Ordinary People, Racing with the Moon, The Bedroom Window)
1962 - Lee Arenberg (actor: Cradle Will Rock, Robocop 3, Waterworld, Bob Roberts, The Apocalypse, Cross My Heart, Dungeons & Dragons)
1963 - Al Snow (Allan Sarven) (pro wrestler/actor: WWF Monday Night RAW, WWF Judgement Day, Wrestlemania XV, Royal Rumble)
Chart Toppers - July 18
Too Young - Nat King Cole
Mister and Mississippi - Patti Page
The Loveliest Night of the Year - Mario Lanza
I Wanna Play House with You - Eddy Arnold
Lonely Boy - Paul Anka
Waterloo - Stonewall Jackson
Tiger - Fabian
The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton
Windy - The Association
Little Bit o’ Soul - The Music Explosion
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli
All the Time - Jack Greene
Love Will Keep Us Together - The Captain & Tennille
The Hustle - Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
Listen to What the Man Said - Wings
Movin’ On - Merle Haggard
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant
Never Gonna Let You Go - Sergio Mendez
The Closer You Get - Alabama
Rush, Rush - Paula Abdul
Unbelievable - EMF
Right Here, Right Now - Jesus Jones
Don’t Rock the Jukebox - Alan Jackson
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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