440 International Those Were the Days
June 28

Events - June 28
1894 - U.S. President Grover Cleveland signed an act of Congress, making Labor Day a federal holiday in the U.S. The first Monday of September is when Labor Day is celebrated as a salute to working men and women across the country.

1907 - The Washington Nationals stole 13 bases in a single baseball game against the New York Highlanders. The New York catcher, incidentally, fared far better as a baseball executive in later years. That catcher became baseball commissioner Branch Rickey.

1914 - World War I began. Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated while at (what is now known as) Sarajevo, Bosnia.

1919 - With the signing of "The Treaty of Versailles", World War I ended - exactly five years after it began.

1919 - Elizabeth ‘Bess’ Wallace became Bess Truman when she married the future U.S. President, Harry S Truman.

1937 - In a poll conducted by a New York City newspaper, players for the Giants, Yankees and Dodgers said they opposed the proposed baseball players’ union.

1940 - As a summer replacement for blind, piano virtuoso Alec Templeton, "The Quiz Kids" was first heard on radio. The show continued on NBC until 1953.

1943 - "The Dreft Star Playhouse" debuted on NBC radio. Jane Wyman (the former Mrs. Ronald Reagan) starred in the first broadcast, titled "Bachelor Mother".

1944 - "The Alan Young Show" debuted on NBC radio. It was a summer replacement for the popular Eddie Cantor. The show became a regular in the fall NBC lineup. Young, incidentally, made the switch to TV in 1961. He became a CBS star with a talking horse, of course, of course, named "Mister Ed".

1948 - Football star Tom Harmon announced his retirement from professional football. Harmon later became one of the big names in sportscasting for ABC radio and TV.

1951 - An old favorite of radio audiences made the switch to TV. "Amos ’n’ Andy" moved to CBS-TV. Two years later, a protest by the NAACP forced the network to drop the show.

1976 - Detroit Tiger pitcher Mark ‘The Bird’ Fidrych was called “...the most interesting player since Dizzy Dean” on ABC’s nationally televised coverage of a Tigers-Yankees match-up. The 21-year-old rookie sensation led the Tigers past the Yankees and made the All-Star team two weeks after the TV appearance.

1976 - Women entered the Air Force Academy for the first time on this day. President Gerald R. Ford had actually opened the door by signed legislation [Oct 7, 1975] allowing women to enter the nation’s military academies. The first Air Force Academy class with women graduated in May 1980.

1979 - Billie Jean King defeated Linda Siegel with a first at the 102-year-old Wimbledon tennis championships. Not only did King defeat Siegel, but in an embarrassing moment, Siegel, wearing a plunging neckline tennis top became partly naked when the neckline plunged too far.

1981 - Jerry Pate won the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic after three years of disappointment on the men’s PGA tour. Pate celebrated with a birdie on the last hole. He was so excited, Pate handed his putter and his sun visor to his caddie and jumped into the lake that bordered the 18th green.

1985 - A survey by the U.S. Transportation Department indicated that 42 percent of drivers polled said that they drove faster than the legal 55 MPH speed limit. Three motorists out of four confessed to driving faster on the nation’s interstate highways. Slow down and buckle up, please. I’m Chief Matthews. Now back to the show...

1985 - Route 66, the 59-year-old highway of 2,200 miles of blacktop, was decertified as a U.S. highway. The highway that was a legendary part of Americana saw highway crews removing the classic roadway shield-markers that designated it as the highway west. Route 66 started in Chicago, Illinois and continued into Santa Monica, California. To travel from one end of Route 66 to the other, one would go through eight states and three time zones.

1987 - American League baseball hitters put their batting faces on as the league combined to hit a record 28 home runs in a seven-game day.

1988 - Founder Berry Gordy Jr. sold Motown Records to MCA Records and Boston Ventures, an investment firm, for $61 million.

1992 - A very strong earthquake shook the high desert of Southern California at 4:57 a.m. The M7.3 earthquake was centered on the eastern side of the San Bernardino Mountains near the town of Landers. The quake was the largest to strike California since the Kern County M7.7 earthquake in 1952. Vigorous rocking and rolling was felt 100 miles away in L.A. and the quake was felt as far away as Central California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Property damage: $56 million, including collapsed buildings, ruptured utility lines and widespread nonstructural damage. Human toll: One killed, 25 seriously injured, 372 treated for some sort of earthquake-related injuries, millions awakened with nightmares for weeks.

1994 - The U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) announced it would begin experimenting with a UV (ultraviolet) Index, “To enhance public awareness of the effects of overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and to provide the public with actions they can take to reduce harmful effects of overexposure, which may include skin cancer, cataracts and immune suppression.”

1996 - The Citadel, which had fought to keep one woman from enrolling as a cadet in its all-male military academy in 1993, abruptly ended its opposition to enrolling qualified female cadets. The change of policy happened after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a similar all-male policy at the Virginia Military Institute was unconstitutional. The court said the school could not refuse to accept women while receiving federal or state tax dollars. Had the Citadel decided to retain its 153-year-old men-only policy, it would have lost public tax dollars. As usual, money talked.

1997 - The headlines screamed: “Fight Bites into MGM Earnings,” “Bit Part for Tyson,” “Pay-Per-Chew Bout,” and the one that said it all, “Tyson Disqualified After Ripping Piece of Holyfield’s Ear.” Needless to say (but we will anyway), Evander Holyfield retained his World Boxing Association heavyweight championship after Mike Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield, not once, but twice. The Nevada Athletic Commission revoked Mike Tyson’s boxing license for a year and fined him $3 million.

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - June 28
1491 - Henry VIII (King of England [1509-1547]; Henry’s six wives: Catherine of Aragon [divorced], Anne Boleyn [beheaded], Jane Seymour [died], Anne of Cleaves [divorced], Catherine Howard [beheaded], Catherine Parr [survived]; plagued by illness brought on by overeating, Henry died Jan 28, 1547)

1577 - Sir Peter Rubens (artist: Elevation of the Cross, Coronation of Marie de Medicis; died May 30, 1640)

1703 - John Wesley (religious leader: founder of ‘Methodism’ [forerunner of Methodist church]; writer: A Plain Account of Christian Perfection; died Mar 2, 1791)

1712 - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (French philosopher; died July 2, 1778)

1876 - Clara Maass (nurse: victim of yellow fever medical experiments; died Aug 24, 1901)

1902 - Richard Rodgers (Academy Award-winning composer: It Might as Well be Spring [1945]; half of Rodgers and (Lorenz) Hart and Rodgers and (Oscar) Hammerstein: The Sound of Music, Love Me Tonight, My Funny Valentine, The Lady is a Tramp, Oklahoma!, State Fair, The King and I, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Carousel, Getting to Know You, Some Enchanted Evening; died Dec 30, 1979)

1905 - Ashley Montague (author, anthropologist: “Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.”; died Nov 26, 1999)

1906 - Maria Goeppert Mayer (Nobel Prize-winning physicist [w/J. Hans Jensen & Eugene Wigner - 1963]: nuclear shell theory; 1st American woman to win Nobel Prize; died Feb 20, 1972)

1909 - Eric Ambler (writer: The Dark Frontier, Journey into Fear; died Oct 22, 1998)

1923 - Pete (Walter) Candoli (musician: trumpet: Superman with a Horn; died Jan 11, 2008)

1924 - George Morgan (singer: Candy Kisses, Rainbow in My Heart, Room Full of Roses, Crybaby Heart, I’m in Love Again; DJ: WSM, Nashville; died July 7, 1975)

1926 - Mel Brooks (Kaminsky) (director, actor: Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, The Producers; comedy writer: Your Show of Shows, Get Smart; Broadway producer: The Producers)

1932 - Pat (Noriyuki) Morita (actor: Happy Days, Karate Kid, Babes in Toyland, Thoroughly Modern Millie; died Nov 24, 2005)

1936 - Cathy Carr (singer: Ivory Tower; died Nov 22, 1988)

1937 - George Knudson (golf: champ: 5 CPGA titles, 12 PGA victories [1961-1972]; died Jan 25 1989)

1941 - Al (Alphonso Erwin) Downing (baseball: pitcher: NY Yankees [World Series: 1963, 1964/all-star:1967], Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, LA Dodgers [World Series: 1974])

1943 - Gary Veneruzzo (hockey: NHL: St. Louis Blues)

1945 - David Knights (musician: bass player: group: Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale)

1946 - Bruce Davison (actor: Widow’s Kiss, It’s My Party, Six Degrees of Separation, Longtime Companion, The Ladies Club, The Gathering, Mother, Jugs and Speed, Mame, Ulzana’s Raid, Last Summer, Hunter, Harry and the Hendersons)

1946 - Gilda Radner (Emmy Award-winning comedienne, actress: Saturday Night Live [1977-78]; Haunted Honeymoon [w/husband Gene Wilder]; died May 20, 1989)

1948 - Kathy Bates (Academy Award-winning actress: Misery [1990]; Fried Green Tomatoes, Home of Our Own, Prelude to a Kiss)

1949 - Don Baylor (baseball: manager: Colorado Rockies; California Angels MVP [1979])

1949 - Clarence Davis (football: Oakland Raiders running back: Super Bowl XI)

1950 - Chris (Edward) Speier (baseball: SF Giants [all-star: 1972, 1973, 1974], Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins, SL Cardinals, Chicago Cubs)

1954 - Alice Krige (actress: Star Trek: First Contact, Joseph, Sharpe’s Honour, Sleepwalkers, Barfly, Chariots of Fire, A Tale of Two Cities, In the Company of Spies)

1960 - John Elway (football: Denver Broncos quarterback: Super Bowl XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXXII, XXXIII: MVP; car dealership tycoon)

1964 - Mark (Eugene) Grace (baseball: San Diego State Univ, Chicago Cugs, Arizona Diamondbacks)

1966 - John Cusack (actor: Money for Nothing, The Player, True Colors, Bullets over Broadway, The Grifters, Say Anything)

1966 - Mary Stuart Masterson (actress: Kate Brasher, Heaven’s Prisoners, Radioland Murders, Funny About Love, Benny & Joon, Fried Green Tomatoes, Heaven Help Us)

1967 - Gil Bellows (actor: The Shawshank Redemption, Ally McBeal)

1969 - Danielle Brisebois (actress: All in the Family, Knots Landing, Annie, Mom, the Wolfman and Me)

1971 - Tichina Arnold (actress: Little Shop of Horrors, Martin, Big Momma’s House)

1973 - Alessandro Nivola (actor: Jurassic Park III, Face/Off, Timecode)

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Chart Toppers - June 28
I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder - Eddy Howard
Peg o’ My Heart - The Harmonicats
Mam’selle - Art Lund
It’s a Sin - Eddy Arnold

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado
Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley & His Comets
Unchained Melody - Al Hibler
Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young - Faron Young

Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto
Blue on Blue - Bobby Vinton
Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer - Nat King Cole
Act Naturally - Buck Owens

It’s Too Late/I Feel the Earth Move - Carole King
Indian Reservation - Raiders
Treat Her Like a Lady - Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
When You’re Hot, You’re Hot - Jerry Reed

Hot Stuff - Donna Summer
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
The Logical Song - Supertramp
Nobody Likes Sad Songs - Ronnie Milsap

I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston
In Too Deep - Genesis
Alone - Heart
Forever and Ever, Amen - Randy Travis

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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