440 International Those Were the Days
July 25

Events - July 25
1854 - The paper shirt collar was patented by Walter Hunt of New York City. The once-popular collar was very much a part of a clergyman’s wardrobe. You can, literally, count your blessings that other, more comfortable collars have come along since. Imagine having to wear a paper collar in the heat of July or the dog days of August ... or anytime, for that matter. Amen.

1860 - Harvard and Yale University freshmen met in the first intercollegiate billiards match -- at Worcester, MA.

1866 - Ulysses S. Grant was elevated to full (four-star) general of the U.S. Army, becoming the first American officer to reach that rank.

1871 - Seth Wheeler of Albany, NY patented perforated wrapping paper.

1909 - Louis Bleriot of France crossed the English Channel in a 28-hp monoplane with a wingspan of just 23 feet. It was the first time that trick had been accomplished. Actually, it was the world’s first international, overseas flight. Today, one may also travel between France and England by way of the ‘chunnel’ that runs beneath the English Channel. A train will take you over, or rather, under and back. Or, you can do what several others have done -- swim the Channel. Not very time efficient, but it gets the job done, as long as you have no baggage, or no more clothes than just a swim suit...

1925 - Station 2XAG in Schenectady, NY became the first radio station in the U.S. to broadcast with a 50,000-watt transmitter. The station, soon known as WGY Radio, could broadcast with 50,000 watts, since it was owned by the General Electric Company -- a company that knew lots about watts. Today, WGY still broadcasts with its original call letters and is still using 50,000 watts of power.

1942 - Capitol Records first number one hit made it to the top this day. It was one of their first six records released on July 1. The new company’s hit was "Cow Cow Boogie", by Ella Mae Morse and Freddie Slack.

1946 - Crooner Dean Martin and comedian Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a team this day in 1946, at Club 500 in Atlantic City, NJ. Actually, the two had met while performing -- separately -- at the Glass Hat in New York City and decided to try an ad-lib act -- together. The rest is entertainment history.

1947 - Fortune Gordien of Oslo, Norway set a world record discus throw of 178.47 feet.

1956 - 52 of the 1,662 passengers and crew on board the "Andrea Doria" died in a collision with the Swedish-American liner "Stockholm" near Cape Cod. Launched on June 16, 1951 and named after a famous Italian admiral, the "Andrea Doria" was Italy’s most luxurious liner. For three years the "Andrea Doria" reigned supreme on the Atlantic cruise routes while gaining the moniker ‘Grand Dame of the Sea’. At 11:10 p.m., sixty miles from Nantucket Island, the heavily reinforced bow of the "Stockholm" tore through the starboard side of the "Andrea Doria". Thanks to the ship’s S.O.S. signals, a group of ships soon arrived and provided much-needed lifeboats to complete the abandonment of the "Andrea Doria". Newsmen and cameras caught her eventual fate and the entire world listened on the radio as she slid beneath the waves to settle in 225 feet of water at 10:09 a.m. All of the 52 who were lost died as a direct result of the initial collision.

1965 - Bob Dylan appeared on stage at the Newport Folk Festival with an electric guitar. He was not well received. The “poet laureate of a generation” was booed and hissed by the audience for being amplified.

1978 - Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Pete Rose broke the National League record for hitting safely in consecutive games as he hit safely in his 38th straight game. He passed Tommy Holmes who had held the record since 1945. Charlie Hustle, as Rose was known, went on to extend his streak to 44 games (streak dates: June 14-July 31, 1978). Joe DiMaggio set the American League -- and major-league -- record, hitting safely in 56 consecutive games (May 15-July 16, 1941).

1978 - The first test-tube baby was born -- in England. Louise, a daughter born to Lesley and Gilbert Brown, was the first baby conceived outside the mother’s body.

1981 - Walter Payton signed a contract to play with the Chicago Bears of the NFL on this, his 27th birthday. The famed running back earned almost $2 million over three years. Sweetness, as he was nicknamed (because of his disposition), became the highest-paid player in the National Football League.

1987 - The Salt Lake City Trappers set a professional baseball record as the team won its 29th game in a row. The Class ‘A’ team beat Pocatello (Idaho) 13-3.

1997 - "Air Force One", with President Harrison Ford, er, James Marshall on board, is skyjacked by some despicable bad guys. The running time of the movie is 188 minutes, which is about 30 minutes too long, but plenty long enough for President Ford, er Marshall to fight his way out of all kinds of impossible situations. Unfortunately, the airplane itself couldn’t be saved. Folks all over the U.S. did fly to their neighborhood theatres to drop off some $37.13 million the first weekend.

1999 - Lance Armstrong rode to victory in the Tour de France, capping an amazing comeback from cancer. He was only the second American to win cycling’s showcase race.

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Birthdays - July 25
1775 - Anna Harrison (Symmes) (wife of 9th U.S. President William Henry Harrison; died Feb 25, 1864)

1844 - Thomas Eakins (realist painter: Walt Whitman, The Thinker, The Clinic of Dr. Gross, The Clinic of Dr. Agnew, Max Schmitt in a Single Scull; died June 25, 1916)

1894 - Walter (Andrew) Brennan (Academy Award-winning actor: Come and Get It [1936], Kentucky [1938], The Westerner [1940]; The Tycoon, To Rome with Love, The Real McCoys, The Guns of Will Sonnett; singer: Old Rivers, Dutchman’s Gold, Mama Sang a Song; died Sep 21, 1974)

1902 - Eric Hoffer (political, social philosopher, author: The True Believer, The Ordeal of Change, The Temper of Our Time; died May 21, 1983)

1908 - Jack Gilford (Jacob Gellman) (actor: Cocoon series, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Caveman, Wholly Moses!, Save the Tiger, Catch-22, Enter Laughing, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, The Duck Factory, The David Frost Revue, The Arrow Show; died June 2, 1990)

1923 - Estelle Getty (actress: Golden Girls, Golden Palace, Tootsie, Mask, Mannequin; workout video: Young at Heart Body Conditioning; died Jul 22, 2008)

1926 - Whitey (Carroll Walter) Lockman (baseball: NY Giants [World Series: 1951, 1954/all-star: 1952], SL Cardinals, SF Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds; died Mar 17, 2009)

1927 - Stanley Dancer (harness racer: Hall of Fame of the Trotter: only driver to win two trotting triple crowns [1968, 1972]; only driver to win the Yonkers Trot six times; died Sep 9, 2005)

1934 - Don Ellis (Grammy Award-winning jazz musician: trumpet, composer: Theme from the French Connection [1973]; New Nine, 3-3-2-2-2-1-2-2-2, Tears of Joy, Milo’s Theme, Star Children; soloist: NY Philharmonic; died Dec 17, 1978)

1935 - Barbara Harris (actress: Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things about Me, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Peggy Sue Got Married, Plaza Suite, A Thousand Clowns)

1940 - John Pennel (pole-vaulter: 1st to break 17' barrier [1963]: held world record [17'10 3/4"] 1969-1973; 1963 Sullivan Award for outstanding amateur athlete of the year; broke or tied the world pole vault record eight times from 1963 through 1969; died Sep 26, 1993)

1941 - Manuel Charlton (musician: guitar, singer: group: Nazareth: Love Hurts)

1941 - Nate Thurmond (Basketball Hall of Famer: San Francisco/Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers; NBA record: 18 rebounds in one quarter [1965])

1943 - Janet Margolin (actress: Annie Hall, The Game of Love, The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal; died Dec 17, 1993)

1944 - Buddy (Charles William) Bradford (baseball: Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, SL Cardinals)

1944 - Jim McCarty (musician: drums: groups: Renaissance, Shoot, Box of Frogs, The Yardbirds: For Your Love, Heart Full of Soul, I’m a Man, Shapes of Things, Over Under Sideways Down; songwriter [w/Samwell-Smith]: Still I’m Sad)

1948 - Tony Cline (football: DE: Oakland Raiders [1970-75], San Francisco 49ers [1976]; father of Buffalo Bills TE, Tony Cline)

1951 - Verdine White (musician: bass, singer: group: Earth, Wind & Fire: Shining Star, Sing a Song, Got to Get You into My Life, After the Love Has Gone, Boogie Wonderland, Let’s Groove, Best of My Love)

1954 - Walter Payton (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Chicago Bears RB: Super Bowl XX; NFL individual record-holder: rushing yards gained in one game [275], in career [16,726]; career [1975-87] touchdowns scored [110]; died Nov 1, 1999)

1955 - Iman (model, actress: The Human Factor, Out of Africa, L.A. Story, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Exit to Eden)

1957 - Ray Billingsley (cartoonist: Curtis)

1957 - Steve Podborski (skier: World Cup Ski Champion)

1961 - Bobbie Eakes (actress: The Bold and the Beautiful, JAG, Choosing Matthias)

1962 - Doug (Douglas Dean) Drabek (baseball: pitcher: NY Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros [all-star: 1994])

1965 - Illeana Douglas (actress: The Perfect Woman, To Die for, Grace of My Heart, Chasing Amy, Picture Perfect, Weapons of Mass Distraction, Bella Mafia, Message in a Bottle, The Next Best Thing)

1967 - Matt LeBlanc (actor: Friends, TV 101, Reform School Girl, Ed, Lost in Space, Charlie’s Angels, All the Queen’s Men)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - July 25
Bewitched - The Bill Snyder Orchestra
Mona Lisa - Nat King Cole
I Wanna Be Loved - The Andrews Sisters
I’m Moving On - Hank Snow

Hard Headed Woman - Elvis Presley
Poor Little Fool - Ricky Nelson
Little Star - The Elegants
Alone with You - Faron Young

Hanky Panky - Tommy James & The Shondells
Wild Thing - The Troggs
Lil’ Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Think of Me - Buck Owens

Rock Your Baby - George McCrae
Annie’s Song - John Denver
Rock and Roll Heaven - The Righteous Brothers
Maria Laveau - Bobby Bare

Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Rosanna - Toto
Hurts So Good - John Cougar
Take Me Down - Alabama

She ain’t Worth It - Glenn Medeiros featuring Bobby Brown
Hold On - En Vogue
Cradle of Love - Billy Idol
The Dance - Garth Brooks

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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