440 International Those Were the Days
June 24

Events - June 24
1916 - The most lucrative movie contract to the time was signed by actress, Mary Pickford. She inked the first seven-figure Hollywood deal. Pickford would get $250,000 per film with a guaranteed minimum of $10,000 a week against half of the profits, including bonuses and the right of approval of all creative aspects of her films. Not a bad deal for the former vaudeville and stage actress, who once appeared on Broadway with Cecil B. DeMille in "The Warrens of Virginia" for a measly $25 a week.

1922 - The American Professional Football Association took on a new name. They decided to name themselves the National Football League.

1940 - TV cameras were used for the first time in a political convention as the Republicans convened in Philadelphia, PA.

1947 - Looking skyward this night, Kenneth Arnold of Boise, Idaho reported seeing flying saucers over Mt. Rainier, Washington.

1948 - Berlin, Germany was completely isolated from the outside world. Joseph Stalin, premier of Soviet Russia, who had already cut rail and road access to the city three months earlier, now blocked all ground and water access and cut electricity to the Western sector. Within a few days, the great Berlin Airlift began. U.S. planes dropped up to 13,000 tons of goods per day - for the next 10 months -- until Stalin lifted the blockade on May 23, 1949.

1949 - The movie features of Hopalong Cassidy premiered on TV. The films were edited to thirty and sixty-minute versions starring William Boyd as Hopalong and Edgar Buchanan as his sidekick, Red Connors. Eventually, all 66 original films were shown on TV, so Boyd produced more "Hopalong Cassidy" episodes just for TV.

1953 - Al Kaline signed with the Detroit Tigers on this day (following his graduation from high school). The future all-star of the Tigers was 18 years old.

1960 - "The Romance of Helen Trent" was heard for the last time on radio. Helen and her boy-toy, Gil Whitney, were about to be married, but the loving couple never made it to the altar -- just in case the show would ever be renewed. "Helen Trent" and her romance aired for 27 years -- a total of 7,222 episodes -- on the CBS radio network.

1962 - The New York Yankee’s longest extra-inning game was played. The 22-inning contest went on and on and on and on. The Yankees finally edged the Detroit Tigers, 9-7.

1970 - Raquel Welch starred in the movie "Myra Breckinridge", which premiered in New York City. Movie reviewers headed for the exits and gave the movie not only “thumbs down,” but “fists down.” Audiences, however, thought the movie was pretty nifty and made it a box office smash, despite the fact that critic Rex Reed was also featured in the film.

1971 - The National Basketball Association modified its four-year eligibility rule to allow for collegiate hardship cases.

1972 - Baseball’s first woman umpire, Mrs. Bernice Gera, called the balls and strikes in her first game and resigned just a few hours after it was over.

1972 - "I Am Woman", by Helen Reddy, was released by Capitol Records. The number one tune (December 9, 1972) became an anthem for the feminist movement. Reddy, from Australia, made her stage debut when she was only four years old. She had her own TV program in the early 1960s. Reddy came to New York in 1966 and has appeared in the films "Airport 1975", "Pete’s Dragon" and "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band". Reddy also had four million-sellers: "I Am Woman", "Delta Dawn", "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)" and "Angie Baby". She had a total of 14 hits on the pop music charts.

1985 - The 1983 Heisman Trophy winner, Mike Rozier, jumped from the United States Football League to the Houston Oilers of the NFL. Rosier signed for more than two million dollars over a four-year period. That’s about the same as Mary Pickford’s deal in 1916.

1985 - The motion picture "Cocoon", directed by Ron Howard, grossed some $7.9 million during its opening weekend across the country. "Cocoon", which had a brilliant cast, including screen legend Don Ameche, beat out "Rambo: First Blood, Part II" starring Sylvester Stallone, in first-weekend receipts. Howard first became famous as a child star (Opie) on the "Andy Griffith Show"; and then later, as Richie Cunningham on "Happy Days".

1987 - ‘The Great One’, Jackie Gleason, died on this day, at the age of 71. Gleason was one of TV’s biggest stars in the 1950s and 1960s. He started on the DuMont Television Network, became a celebrated fixture on CBS-TV, and later, a movie star. He starred in honored films such as, "Gigot" and "The Hustler". He also starred in "Smokey and the Bandit". Jackie Gleason is best remembered from TV, however, as bus driver Ralph Kramden in "The Honeymooners", which still ranks as one of TV’s greatest sitcoms.

1992 - Portland, Oregon became the first city outside of New York to host the NBA (National Basketball Association draft). At the Portland Memorial Coliseum, the first overall pick went to the Orlando Magic who picked 7'1" center Shaquille O’Neal of LSU.

1998 - AT&T announced that it was buying cable TV giant TCI for $31.7 billion. The deal let AT&T move closer to its goal of providing local phone and high speed Internet service to millions of U.S. homes. (The FCC approved the merger on Feb 18, 1999).

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - June 24
1895 - Jack Dempsey (boxer: ‘The Manassa Mauler’: world heavyweight boxing champion [1919-1926]; NY restaurateur; died May 31, 1983)

1901 - Chuck Taylor (basketball; Converse sneaker spokesperson [his name was/is on their high-top canvas basketball sneakers [“Chucks”: over 500 million pairs sold since 1917]; died June 23, 1969)

1910 - Irving Kaufman (judge: First Amendment, civil rights, antitrust cases: U.S. vs. N.Y. Times, Taylor vs. Board of Education; sentenced Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to death for espionage; died Feb 1, 1992)

1915 - Norman Cousins (journalist: Anatomy of an Illness; died Nov 30, 1990)

1916 - John Ciardi (poet: Homeward to America, Other Skies, Live Another Day, I Marry You, Lives of X; died Mar 30, 1986)

1919 - Al Molinaro (actor: Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, The Odd Couple, The Family Man; died Oct 30, 2015)

1922 - Manny Albam (composer: Drum Suite, La Vie en Rose, Afro-Dizzyac, Country Man; music educator: Eastman School of Music)

1923 - Jack Carter (Chakrin) (comedian, host: The Jack Carter Show, Cavalcade of Stars, American Minstrels of 1949; died Jun 28, 2015)

1930 - Claude Chabrol (director: La Femme Infidele, The Cousins, Madame Bovary; died Sep 12, 2010)

1931 - Billy Casper (golf champion: Masters [1970], U.S. Open [1959, 1966]; PGA Player of the Year [1966, 1968, 1970]; died Feb 7, 2015)

1933 - Sam Jones (Basketball Hall of Famer: Boston Celtics: 10 championship teams; NBA Silver Anniversary Team [1971]; coach: Federal City College, North Carolina A&T U)

1935 - Pete Hamill (journalist, syndicated columnist: New York Post; editor in chief: New York Daily News; writer: Piecework: Writings on Men and Women, Fools and Heroes, Lost Cities, Vanished Friends, Small Pleasures, Large Calamities, and How the Weather Was, A Drinking Life)

1935 - Ron Kramer (football: Green Bay Packers tight end: Associated Press All-Pro [1962]; College Football Hall of Famer; died Sep 11, 2010)

1942 - Michele Lee (Dusick) (actress: Knots Landing, The Love Bug, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)

1943 - Georg Stanford Brown (actor: Colossus: The Forbin Project, The Rookies; director: Alone in the Neon Jungle)

1944 - Jeff Beck (musician: guitar: groups: The Yardbirds, The Jeff Beck Group, The Honeydrippers; car collector: classic Fords)

1944 - Arthur Brown (Wilton) (singer: group: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown: Fire; actor: Tommy)

1944 - John ‘Charlie’ Whitney (musician: guitar: group: Family: Hung Up Down, The Weaver’s Answer, No Mule’s Fool, In My Own Time, Burlesque)

1945 - Colin Blunstone aka Neil MacArthur (singer: solo: She’s Not There, I Don’t Believe in Miracles; group: The Zombies: Time of the Season)

1946 - Lt. Col. Ellison S. Onizuka (astronaut: mission specialist aboard ill-fated space shuttle "Challenger" [he was killed when shuttle exploded 1 minute 13 seconds after launch Jan 28, 1986])

1947 - Mick Fleetwood (musician: drums: group: Fleetwood Mac: Dreams, Don’t Stop)

1947 - Peter Weller (actor: Screamers, Mighty Aphrodite, Decoy, Sunset Grill, Naked Lunch, RoboCop series, A Killing Affair, Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the Eighth Dimension)

1949 - John Illsley (musician: bass: group: Dire Straits: Sultans of Swing, Romeo & Juliet, Tunnel of Love, Skateaway, Telegraph Road, Private Investigation, Money for Nothing, Walk of Life, The Man’s Too Strong, Goin’ Home, Smooching)

1950 - Nancy Allen (actress: Carrie, Robocop, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, I Wanna Hold Your Hand)

1952 - Dave Lapham (football: Cincinnati Bengals guard: Super Bowl XVI)

1956 - Joe Penny (actor: Jake and the Fatman, The Gangster Chronicles, Riptide, Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife, The Prophet's Game)

1959 - Andy McCluskey (singer: group: Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark: Electricity, Red Frame, White Light, Messages, Enola Gay, The More I See You, Souvenir, Joan of Arc, Genetic Engineering, Talking Loud & Clear, Telsa Girls, Forever [Love & Die])

1961 - Iain Glen (actor: Silent Scream, The Young Americans, Tomb Raider)

1961 - Curt Smith (musician: bass, singer: group: Tears For Fears: Suffer the Children, Mad World, Change, Pale Shelter)

1967 - Jeff Cease (musician: guitar: group: The Black Crowes)

1967 - Sherry Stringfield (actress: N.Y.P.D. Blue, ER)

1970 - Glenn Medeiros (singer: [w/Bobby Brown]: She Ain’t Worth It)

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Chart Toppers - June 24
Too Young - Nat King Cole
On Top of Old Smokey - The Weavers (vocal: Terry Gilkyson)
How High the Moon - Les Paul & Mary Ford
I Want to Be with You Always - Lefty Frizzell

Personality - Lloyd Price
Lonely Boy - Paul Anka
Along Came Jones - The Coasters
The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton

Groovin’ - The Young Rascals
She’d Rather Be with Me - The Turtles
Windy - The Association
All the Time - Jack Greene

Love Will Keep Us Together - The Captain & Tennille
When Will I Be Loved - Linda Ronstadt
Wildfire - Michael Murphey
You’re My Best Friend - Don Williams

Flashdance...What a Feeling - Irene Cara
Time (Clock of the Heart) - Culture Club
Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant
You Can’t Run from Love - Eddie Rabbitt

Rush, Rush - Paula Abdul
Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
Unbelievable - EMF
The Thunder Rolls - 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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