440 International Those Were the Days
June 12

Events - June 12
1880 - Baseball’s first El Perfecto, a perfect game, was recorded. A perfect game is when no batter reaches a base during a complete game of at least nine innings. A southpaw, left-handed Lee Richmond of the Worcester (Massachusetts) Ruby Legs, pitched himself to perfection with a 1-0 shutout of the Cleveland Spiders in a National League game. Five days later, on June 17, the second, official perfect game was pitched by John Ward in another National League game between Providence and Buffalo. It was two and a half decades later before this feat was accomplished again.

1912 - Lillian Russell, famed theatrical actress, married for the fourth time on this day and said that she was retiring from the stage. Marriage will sometimes do that to people.

1923 - Harry Houdini, while in a straitjacket, suspended 40 feet in the air, amazed a large and quite disbelieving audience as he freed himself of the constraints.

1935 - Ella Fitzgerald recorded her first sides for Brunswick Records. The tunes were "Love and Kisses" and "I’ll Chase the Blues Away". She was featured with Chick Webb and his band. Ella was 17 at the time and conducted the Webb band for three years following his death in 1939.

1939 - The Baseball Hall of Fame was formally dedicated at Cooperstown, NY. The shrine to major-league baseball stands in honor of baseball greats of the past.

1942 - Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded "Travelin’ Light" on Capitol Records of Hollywood, California. On the track with Whiteman’s orchestra was the vocal talent of ‘Lady Day’, Billie Holiday.

1947 - People gathered around the radio to listen to "Sergeant Preston of The Yukon" for the first time. The show, with the Canadian Mountie and his trusty dog, King, continued on the radio until 1955 (and on TV from 1955-1958). "Sgt. Preston" was created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, who also created "The Lone Ranger" and "The Green Hornet".

1948 - Ben Hogan won his first U.S. Open golf classic on this day.

1957 - Stan ‘The Man’ Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals set a National-League baseball record by appearing in his 823rd consecutive game. The old record (822) had been held by Gus Suhr of the Pirates (& Phillies). Musial went on to extend his consecutive game streak to 895 in late August 1957.

1963 - Elizabeth Taylor starred in the $40,000,000 film epic, "Cleopatra". The movie certainly gave ticket buyers their money’s worth. It lasted for four hours, three minutes. "Cleopatra" opened at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City on this day. Richard Burton starred as Marc Antony, Rex Harrison played Julius Caesar, Hume Cronyn played Sosigines, Carroll O’Connor was Casa and Roddy McDowell appeared as Octavian. We were at a loss, however, to find the name of the asp that bit Cleopatra. We do know where she was bitten -- just not what happened to the little snake. Sorry.

1965 - The Queen of England announced that The Beatles would receive the coveted MBE Award. The Order of the British Empire recognition had previously been bestowed only upon British military heroes, many of whom were so infuriated by the news, they returned their medals to the Queen. In fact, John Lennon wasn’t terribly impressed with receiving the honor. He returned it (for other reasons) four years later.

1981 - Larry Holmes, 31, defended his heavyweight boxing title by earning a third-round TKO (technical knockout) over Leon Spinks in Detroit, MI. Spinks, who had lost his two front teeth in previous bouts, was understandably discouraged at being beaten so early and was quoted as having said, “Thith ith weely, weely a thame, youth know? Like, I wuth weddy, weely weddy, but, I got whupped up pwetty badth, I gueth.”

1982 - A major political rally attracted the largest crowd ever to such an event in New York City’s Central Park. Entertainers Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Linda Ronstadt gathered before 750,000 to rally for the cause of nuclear disarmament.

1985 - The National Hockey League Celebration of Excellence recognized ‘The Great One’, hockey star Wayne Gretzky, by awarding him his sixth Hart Trophy. The honor is earned by the Most Valuable Player in the NHL each year.

1987 - President Ronald Reagan delivered a now-famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Destruction began November 9, 1989 on the Berlin Wall that had divided the city for some 28 years.

1994 - The gruesomely-murdered bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were discovered outside Nicole’s Brentwood, California condominium. Within days, actor/football legend O.J. Simpson was charged by police. He was acquitted in criminal court [1995], but found liable for the deaths in a civil suit [1997].

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - June 12
1897 - Sir (Robert) Anthony Eden (British Prime Minister [1955-1957]; died Jan 14, 1977)

1914 - William Lundigan (actor: I’d Climb the Highest Mountain, The Fighting 69th, Pinky, Love Nest, The White Orchid; died Dec 20, 1975)

1915 - Priscilla Lane (Mullican) (actress: Varsity Show, Million Dollar Baby, Arsenic and Old Lace; died Apr 4, 1995)

1915 - David Rockefeller (banker: chairman: Chase Manhattan Bank; modern-art lover: trustee/chairman: Museum of Modern Art; chairman: Rockefeller University; died March 20, 2017)

1916 - Irwin Allen (producer, director: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Towering Inferno, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; died Nov 2, 1991)

1916 - Ivan Tors (producer, director: Flipper, Zebra in the Kitchen, Namu, the Killer Whale, Gentle Ben, Salty; died June 4, 1983)

1919 - Uta (Thyra) Hagen (Tony Award-winning actress: The Country Girl [1950], Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [1963]; films: The Boys from Brazil, Reversal of Fortune; died Jan 14, 2004)

1921 - James A. Houston (author: Ghost Fox, The White Dawn, The Ice Master: A Novel of the Arctic; died Apr 17, 2005)

1924 - George (Herbert Walker) Bush (41st U.S. President [1989-1993]; married to Barbara Pierce [four sons, two daughters]; nickname: Poppy; VicePresident under President Reagan, U.S. Congressman from Texas, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.; father of 43rd U.S. President George W. (Walker) Bush)

1927 - Al Fairweather (jazz musician: groups: Al Fairweather-Ralph Laing All Stars, Fairweather-Brown all Stars; died Jun 21, 1993)

1928 - Vic Damone (Vito Rocco Farinola) (singer: On the Street Where You Live, An Affair to Remember, You Were Only Fooling; died Feb 11, 2018)

1930 - Innes Ireland (auto racer: champ: American Grand Prix [1961]; died Oct 22, 1993)

1930 - Jim Nabors (actor: Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., The Andy Griffith Show, The Jim Nabors Hour; singer: Back Home Again in Indiana; died Nov 30, 2017)

1931 - Rona Jaffe (author: The Last Chance, Class Reunion; films: The Best of Everything, Mazes and Monsters; died Dec 30, 2005)

1941 - Marv Albert (Marv Philip Aufrichtig) (sportscaster: NBC-TV)

1941 - Chick (Armando) Corea (Grammy Award-winning jazz composer/musician: No Mystery [1975], The Leprechaun: Leprechaun's Dream [1976], Friends [1978], In Concert, Zurich, Oct 28, 1979 [1981], GRP Super Live In Concert: Light Years [1988], Akoustic Band [1989], Native Sense: Rhumbata [1999], Like Minds [2000], Corea.Concerto: Spain [2001])

1942 - Len Barry (Leonard Borisoff) (singer: 1-2-3, Like a Baby; group: The Dovells: The Bristol Stomp, You Can’t Sit Down)

1944 - Cornelius Johnson (football: Baltimore Colts guard: Super Bowl III, V)

1945 - Reg Presley (singer: group: Troggs: Wild Thing, Give It to Me, Love is All Around; died Feb 4, 2013)

1947 - John Clifford (choreographer: New York City Ballet, Artistic Director of LA Ballet, ballet master/repetiteur for George Balanchine Trust)

1947 - Steve Kiner (football: Dallas Cowboys linebacker: Super Bowl V)

1951 - Bun Carlos (Brad Carlson) (musician: drums: group: Cheap Trick: I Want You to Want Me, Ain’t That a Shame, Dream Police, Voices)

1951 - Brad Delp (musician: guitar, singer: group: Boston: More Than a Feeling, Long Time, Piece of Mind, Don’t Look Back, Man I’ll Never Be, Amanda)

1957 - Timothy Busfield (actor: Thirtysomething, Byrds of Paradise, Little Big League, Field of Dreams, Revenge of the Nerds, Sneakers, The West Wing)

1958 - Rory Sparrow (basketball: Villanova Univ., New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings; NBA Player Programs Director)

1959 - Jenilee Harrison (actress: Three’s Company, Dallas, Fists of Iron, Prime Target, Curse 3: Blood Sacrifice, Tank)

1963 - Jerry Lynn (pro wrestler/actor: ECW Hardcore TV, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Raw Is War, Sunday Night Heat)

1964 - Paula Marshall (actress: The Wonder Years, Snoops, Cupid, Spin City, Chicago Sons, The Single Guy, Seinfeld)

1971 - Mark Henry (pro wrestler/actor: Raw is War, Wrestlemania XIV, Sunday Night Heat, WWF Judgement Day, WWF Smackdown!, Armageddon)

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Chart Toppers - June 12
Mam’selle - Art Lund
Linda - Buddy Clark with the Ray Noble Orchestra
My Adobe Hacienda - Eddy Howard
Sugar Moon - Bob Wills

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado
Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley & His Comets
Learnin’ the Blues - Frank Sinatra
In the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce

It’s My Party - Lesley Gore
Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto
Da Doo Ron Ron - The Crystals
Lonesome 7-7203 - Hawkshaw Hawkins

Want Ads - The Honey Cone
Rainy Days and Mondays - Carpenters
It’s Too Late/I Feel the Earth Move - Carole King
You’re My Man - Lynn Anderson

Love You Inside Out - Bee Gees
We are Family - Sister Sledge
Just When I Needed You Most - Randy Vanwarmer
She Believes in Me - Kenny Rogers

You Keep Me Hangin’ On - Kim Wilde
Always - Atlantic Starr
Head to Toe - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
I Will Be There - Dan Seals

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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