Events - July 28
1866 - Although its use was not required, the metric system was legalized by the U.S. Congress for the standardization of weights and measures throughout the United States. And we still don’t have it figured out. How many yards in a meter or quarts in a litre?
1896 - The community of Miami, Florida was incorporated. The city had a population of 260. Today, the Miami area boasts a population of more than 5,500,000.
1933 - The singing telegram was introduced on this day. The first person to receive a singing telegram was singer Rudy Vallee, in honor of his 32nd birthday.
1939 - Judy Garland sang one of the most famous songs of the century with the Victor Young Orchestra. The tune became her signature song and will forever be associated with the singer-actress. Garland recorded "Over the Rainbow" for Decca Records. It was the musical highlight of the film, "The Wizard of Oz".
1942 - L.A. Thatcher of Stamford, CT received a patent by mail. Appropriately, Mr. Thatcher had patented a coin-operated mailbox. When money was inserted, a meter stamped the envelope.
1945 - A B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the fog-shrouded Empire State Building in New York City. Over a dozen people were killed.
1951 - The Walt Disney film "Alice in Wonderland" was released by RKO pictures.
1954 - The Crew Cuts reached the top spot of the "Billboard" pop singles chart with "Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream)". It became the fastest-moving record to hit the music charts, making it to the top ten in only three weeks. The tune stayed atop the pop music listing for seven weeks.
1958 - Three years after his "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" reached number one, Cuban-born bandleader Perez Prado captured the top spot again, with "Patricia". Prado was known as the Mambo King for his popular, Latin-flavored instrumentals.
1965 - The American Football Conference set a new record. More reporters showed up in Lowell, MA to cover an exhibition game than were on hand to cover the AFC championship game the year before. The preseason game between the New York Jets and the Boston (now New England) Patriots attracted all the attention because the Jets sported a new quarterback who had caught everyone’s fancy: Joe Namath.
1973 - On this day, exactly a year after their first date, TV’s "Six Million Dollar Man", Lee Majors, married one of "Charlie’s Angels", Farrah Fawcett. The new Farrah Fawcett-Majors was named one of the 10 most beautiful women on the campus of the University of Texas. Farrah, famous for her blonde mane and brilliant smile, and Majors were divorced February 16, 1982.
1984 - The 23rd Summer Olympic Games opened at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Southern California. Peter V. Uberroth, head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, welcomed 7,800 athletes from 140 nations during the 3-1/2 hour opening ceremonies.
1985 - Lou Brock, Enos Slaughter, Hoyt Wilhelm and Arky Vaughn were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York. Wilhelm of the Chicago White Sox was the first relief pitcher to make the Hall of Fame. Vaughn was the first player named Arky to make it...
1989 - Songstress Anne Murray opened the Anne Murray Centre in her hometown of Springhill, Nova Scotia. Packed with awards, photographs, memorabilia and audio-visual highlights of her life and career, the Centre is open every day from mid-May to mid-October.
1991 - National League teams Montreal and Los Angeles played ball and Dennis Martinez pitched. And, did he ever! It was the 13th perfect game in major league baseball. Martinez’ Montreal Expos won, 2-0.
1994 - Several coincidences occurred in major league baseball on this day. Kenny Rogers -- not the singer, but the pitcher -- threw the 14th perfect game in the history of major league baseball. It was three years to the day since the last time this event occurred. This time it was an American League game with Texas beating California, 4-0. Ten years earlier (9-30-84), the same two teams were playing when the 11th perfect game was hurled. The pitcher was Mike Witt and the winning team was reversed.
1998 - Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp. announced a $52.88 billion stock-swap deal to create the second-biggest telephone company -- behind AT&T. The resulting mega-corporation -- later to be named Verizon Communications -- would begin with 63 million local telephone lines in 38 states and revenue of $53 billion.
2000 - "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" debuted. Eddie Murphy is (most of) the Klumps: Professor Sherman Klump, Buddy Love, Cletus ‘Papa’ Klump/Young Cletus Klump, Anna Pearl ‘Mama’ Jensen Klump, Ida Mae ‘Grandma/Granny’ Jensen, Ernie Klump Sr., and Lance Perkins. Though complaints abounded about too much “bathroom humor”, the funny, if not filthy, flick did $42.52 million at U.S. box offices the first weekend.
Birthdays - July 28
1866 - Beatrix (Helen) Potter (children’s stories author: Peter Rabbit books; died Dec 22, 1943)
1892 - Joe E. (Evan) Brown (comedian, actor: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Around the World in 80 Days, Show Boat, Some like It Hot; died July 6, 1973)
1901 - Rudy (Hubert Prior) Vallee (singer: My Time is Your Time; actor: Live a Little, Love a Little, The Admiral was a Lady, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Second Fiddle; died July 3, 1986)
1914 - Carmen Dragon (classical music conductor, bandleader; father of singer, ‘Captain’ Daryl Dragon; died Mar 28, 1984)
1915 - Frankie Yankovic (Grammy Award-winning musician: accordion: Just Because, Blue Skirt Waltz; bandleader: polka band; died Oct 14, 1998)
1929 - Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (First Lady: wife of 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy; wife of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis; editor: Doubleday Publishing; died May 19, 1994)
1930 - Ted (Thaddeus Stanley) Lepcio (baseball: Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins)
1931 - Darryl Hickman (actor: The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis [as Dobie’s older brother, Davey], The Americans; executive producer: Love of Life; by the time he was 21, Darryl Hickman had appeared in over 100 motion pictures; brother of actor, Dwayne Hickman [who played Dobie Gillis])
1934 - Jacques d’Amboise (ballet dancer: New York City Ballet: Irish Fantasy, Tschaikovsky Suite No. 2)
1937 - Peter Duchin (pianist, bandleader; son of musician, Eddy Duchin; Board of Directors: Harlem Dance Theatre, NY State Council on Arts)
1938 - George Cummings (musician: guitar: group: Dr. Hook: Sylvia’s Mother, The Cover of Rolling Stone, [Freakin’ At] The Freakers’ Ball, A Little Bit More, Only Sixteen, When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman, Sharing the Night Together, Sexy Eyes, Better Love Next Time)
1943 - Bill Bradley (Basketball Hall of Famer: Princeton Univ., Olympic gold medalist [men’s basketball: Tokyo/1964], NY Knicks; politician: US Senator [New Jersey: elected 1978, 1984, 1990]; author: Life on the Run, Time Present, Time Past)
1943 - Rick Wright (musician: keyboards: group: Pink Floyd: Another Brick on the Wall; died Sep 15, 2008)
1945 - Jim Davis (cartoonist: Garfield)
1946 - Linda Kelsey (actress: Lou Grant, Day by Day)
1947 - Barbara Ferrell (National Track & Field Hall of Famer: Olympic medalist: silver: 100 meter dash, gold: 4x100 meter relay ; gold medalist: Pan American Games: 100 meters ; tied world record twice: 100 meters [11.1 seconds, 1967])
1947 - Sally (Ann) Struthers (Emmy Award-winning actress: All in the Family [1971-72, 1978]; Five Easy Pieces, The Odd Couple; promoter of the Christian Children’s Fund)
1948 - Georgia Engel (actress: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show, Goodtime Girls, Jennifer Slept Here, Coach)
1949 - Vida (Rochelle) Blue (baseball: pitcher: Oakland Athletics [Cy Young Award: 1971/all-star: 1971, 1975, 1977/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1971/World Series: 1972, 1973, 1974], SF Giants [all-star: 1978, 1980, 1981], KC Royals)
1949 - Peter Doyle (singer: group: The New Seekers: I’d like to Teach the World to Sing, Look What They’ve Done to My Song Ma)
1949 - Simon Kirke (musician: drums: groups: Free: All Right Now; Bad Company: Can’t Get Enough, Ready for Love, Feel like Makin’ Love)
1952 - Clint Longley (football: Dallas Cowboys quarterback)
1958 - Terry Fox (Marathon of Hope runner: 22 yr.-old cancer-victim with artificial leg completed 3,328 miles of 5,200 planned miles, raising $24 million for cancer research; died June 28, 1981)
1964 - Lori Loughlin (actress: The Night Before, Back to the Beach, Rad, Secret Admirer, The New Kids, Amityville 3: The Demon, The Edge of Night, Full House)
1972 - Elizabeth Berkley (actress: Saved by the Bell, The First Wives Club, Random Encounter, Any Given Sunday, Africa, The Elevator, Soulmates)
Chart Toppers - July 28
The More I See You - Dick Haymes
Dream - The Pied Pipers
Sentimental Journey - The Les Brown Orchestra (vocal: Doris Day)
Oklahoma Hills - Jack Guthrie
Song from Moulin Rouge - The Percy Faith Orchestra
April in Portugal - The Les Baxter Orchestra
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
Yellow Bird - Arthur Lyman Group
Heartbreak U.S.A. - Kitty Wells
In the Year 2525 - Zager & Evans
Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James & The Shondells
My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
Johnny B. Goode - Buck Owens
Looks like We Made It - Barry Manilow
I Just Want to Be Your Everything - Andy Gibb
I’m in You - Peter Frampton
It was Almost like a Song - Ronnie Milsap
Everytime You Go Away - Paul Young
Shout - Tears For Fears
You Give Good Love - Whitney Houston
Love Don’t Care (Whose Heart It Breaks) - Earl Thomas Conley
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.