Events - June 26
1284 - The Pied Piper exacted his revenge upon the German town of Hamelin this day. The townspeople had promised to pay the piper a large fee if he could rid their town the nasty rats running all over the place. He had played his trusty pipe and the rats had followed him out of town and into the River Weser. But once the rodents were eliminated, the local folks decided not to pay after all. The piper was not pleased and repaid the townspeople by playing his pipe for the children of Hamelin, just like he had done for the rats. And just like the rats, the children followed him out of town. The Pied Piper of Hamelin led the kiddies into a hole in a hillside. They were never seen again.
1819 - The bicycle was patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr. of New York City.
1897 - Thomas Lynch and John Heydler were umpires in a baseball doubleheader in Washington, D.C. “Yeah, so?” you ask. Well, smarties, each of these umpires went on to become a president of the National League. So there.
1933 - "The Kraft Music Hall" debuted. It turned out to be one of radio’s longest-running hits. The first program presented Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. Singer Al Jolson became the host of the show shortly thereafter. Several years later, crooner Bing Crosby was named the host. "The Kraft Music Hall" continued on NBC radio until 1949 and then on TV for many more years; the first year as "Milton Berle Starring in the Kraft Music Hall", then "Kraft Music Hall Presents: The Dave King Show" followed by "Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall" for four seasons. From 1967 on, "The Kraft Music Hall" featured a different host. Bring on the Velveeta and the Philadelphia brand cream cheese!
1945 - Fifty nations came together in San Francisco for the signing of the United Nations Charter.
1949 - Entertainer Fred Allen closed out his amazing radio career. Allen was making the transition to TV. His final radio guest was his old pal, Jack Benny. Allen’s caustic wit didn’t play well on TV and he found himself out of the medium in short order. Benny went on to become a television legend.
1959 - CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow interviewed his 500th -- and final -- guest on "Person to Person": actress Lee Remick. Just hours before this final broadcast, Murrow had presented his last news broadcast on the CBS radio network. CBS-TV had reportedly made $20 million from Murrow’s "Person to Person" series.
1964 - "A Hard Day’s Night" was released by United Artists Records. The album featured all original material by The Beatles and became the top album in the country by July 25, 1964.
1965 - "Mr. Tambourine Man", by The Byrds, reached the number one spot on the pop music charts. The song was considered by many to be the first folk-rock hit. The tune was written by Bob Dylan, as were two other hits for the group: "All I Really Want to Do" and "My Back Pages". The group of James Roger McGinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Mike Clarke charted seven hits. The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
1976 - The CN Tower opened in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At 1,815 feet, 5 inches high, the tower is the world's tallest building and the tallest freestanding structure.
1985 - You’ve heard of players, managers and owners being ejected from baseball games, right? But have you ever heard of an organist being given the heave-ho? It happened at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida (the home of the Philadelphia Phillies during spring training; a Class A League team uses the stadium the rest of the season). Wilbur Snapp played "Three Blind Mice" following a call by umpire Keith O’Connor. The umpire was not amused and saw to it that Mr. Snapp was sent to the showers.
1985 - "Big River", later to be a Tony Award-winning cast album, became the first cast soundtrack LP to be recorded in Nashville, TN. The celebrated album was released on MCA records and tapes.
1987 - “Just the facts, ma’am. Thank you.” "Dragnet", starring Dan Aykroyd in the Jack Webb role of Sgt. Joe Friday; and Tom Hanks in the Harry Morgan role of detective Stribeck, opened around the U.S. The movie became the first Hollywood film to feature a "condom-conscious" bedroom scene ... just right for the social mores of the 1980s. "Dragnet" was a smash theatrical hit, as it had been on radio and TV in the 1940s and 1950s. “This is the city...”
1990 - "The Arizona Republic" reported it was 122 degrees in Phoenix, hot enough to cancel some flights at the airport.
1998 - "Doctor Dolittle" opened in the U.S. Eddie Murphy stars as Dr. John Dolittle, who can converse with, and heal, animals. Audiences loved it: $29.01 million the opening weekend.
2000 - Principal photography for "Star Wars: Episode II" started in Australia, where shooting would last for two months before moving on to Italy, Tunisia and Spain. George Lucas directs Hayden Christiansen who plays the young Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker). Natalie Portman is Padmé Amidala and Ewan McGregor plays Obi-Wan Kenobi. Samuel L. Jackson stars as Mace Windu, Christopher Lee plays Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus and Jimmy Smits is Bail Organa.
2002 - The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court in San Francisco ruled that the “under God” phrase (inserted by Congress in 1954) in the Pledge of Allegiance is an endorsement of religion and violates the U.S. Constitution.
Birthdays - June 26
1819 - Abner Doubleday (baseball: founded the game in 1839; died Jan 26, 1893)
1891 - Sidney (Coe) Howard (playwright: screen play: Gone with the Wind; died Aug 23, 1939)
1892 - Pearl S. Buck (Nobel Prize-winning author: The Good Earth ; died Mar 6, 1973)
1900 - Hack (Lewis Robert) Wilson (Baseball Hall of Famer: NY Giants [World Series: 1924], Chicago Cubs [World Series: 1929/record: rbi in a season: 190 in 1930], Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies; died Nov 23, 1948)
1904 - Peter Lorre (László Löwenstein) (actor: The Maltese Falcon, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Casablanca, The Raven; died Mar 23, 1964)
1909 - Colonel Tom Parker (Andreas van Kuijk) (carnival barker, show business promoter: manager of Elvis Presley; died Jan 21, 1997)
1910 - Roy Plunkett (scientist: discovered polytetrafluoroethylene, better known as Teflon [Apr 6, 1938]; died May 12, 1994)
1911 - Babe (Mildred) Didrikson Zaharias (“The outstanding female athlete of the first half-century.” [AP 1950]; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer, Olympic Hall of Famer, World Golf Hall of Famer, LPGA Hall of Famer, National Track and Field Hall of Famer; died Sep 27, 1956)
1914 - Richard Maltby (bandleader: Theme from The Man with the Golden Arm, St. Louis Mambo; died Aug 19, 1991)
1915 - Charlotte Zolotow (author: Peter and the Pigeons, The Moon was the Best; died Nov 19, 2013)
1916 - Alex Dreier (‘Man on the Go’: radio reporter, newscaster: United Press, BBC, NBC, ABC; actor: The Boston Strangler, What’s It All About, World?, Murdock’s Gang, Invisible Strangler, It Takes a Thief, Mannix; died Mar 11, 2000)
1922 - Eleanor Parker (actress: The Sound of Music, Of Human Bondage, Caged, The Man with the Golden Arm, Dead on the Money; died Dec 9, 2013)
1934 - Dave Grusin (composer: film scores: On Golden Pond, Heaven Can Wait, Tootsie)
1936 - Hal Greer (Basketball Hall of Famer: Philadelphia 76ers; died Apr 14, 2018)
1938 - Billy Davis Jr. (singer: group: The 5th Dimension: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In, Up Up and Away; w/Marilyn McCoo: You Don’t Have to be a Star, Your Love)
1943 - Bill (William Henry) Robinson (baseball: Atlanta Braves, NY Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1979]; died Jul 29, 2007)
1943 - Georgie Fame (Clive Powell) (singer: The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde)
1950 - Dave (Rodriguez) Rosello (baseball: Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians)
1951 - Pamela Bellwood (actress: Airport ’77, Dynasty, Double Standard, Cellar Dweller, Deadman’s Curve, Choices of the Heart)
1952 - Steve (Stephen Shaddon) Bowling (baseball: Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays)
1952 - Danny Gruen (hockey: NHL: Detroit Red Wings, Colorado Rockies)
1955 - Mick Jones (musician: guitar, singer: groups: Big Audio Dynamite, The Clash: 1977, Capitol Radio, Career Opportunities, I’m So Bored with the USA, Police and Thieves, Complete Control, Remote Control, [White Man] In Hammersmith Palais, English Civil War, Stay Free, I Fought the Law, Brand New Cadillac, Death or Glory, Jimmy Jazz, Rock the Casbah)
1956 - Chris Isaak (actor: Little Buddha, Silence of the Lambs, Married to the Mob, Twin Peaks; singer, songwriter: Wicked Game, Blue Hotel, LP: Silvertone)
1961 - Terri Nunn (singer: group: Berlin: Take My Breath Away)
1970 - Chris O’Donnell (actor: The Three Musketeers, Dead Poets Society, Scent of a Woman, Fried Green Tomatoes, Circle of Friends, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, The Bachelor, Vertical Limit)
1970 - Sean Hayes (Emmy Award-winning actor: Will & Grace )
1970 - Matthew Letscher (actor: The Mask of Zorro)
1974 - Derek Jeter (baseball: NY Yankees)
1980 - Jason Schwartzman (actor: Rushmore, Slackers; musician: group: Phantom Planet)
Chart Toppers - June 26
Sentimental Journey - The Les Brown Orchestra (vocal: Doris Day)
Dream - The Pied Pipers
Laura - The Woody Herman Orchestra
At Mail Call Today - Gene Autry
Song from Moulin Rouge - The Percy Faith Orchestra
April in Portugal - The Les Baxter Orchestra
Ruby - Richard Hayman
Take These Chains from My Heart - Hank Williams
Quarter to Three - U.S. Bonds
Raindrops - Dee Clark
Tossin’ and Turnin’ - Bobby Lewis
Hello Walls - Faron Young
Get Back - The Beatles
Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet - Henry Mancini
Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Running Bear - Sonny James
Got to Give It Up (Pt. I) - Marvin Gaye
Gonna Fly Now (Theme from "Rocky") - Bill Conti
Undercover Angel - Alan O’Day
Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) - Waylon Jennings
Heaven - Bryan Adams
Sussudio - Phil Collins
Raspberry Beret - Prince & The Revolution
Little Things - The Oak Ridge Boys
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.