440 International Those Were the Days
March 2

Events - March 2
1866 - The Excelsior Needle Company of Wolcottville, Connecticut began making sewing machine needles.

1903 - The Martha Washington Hotel opened for business in New York City. The hotel featured 416 rooms and was the first hotel exclusively for women.

1923 - The first issue of the weekly periodical "TIME" appeared on newsstands. The first issue was 32 pages and featured a charcoal sketch of Congressman Joseph Gurney Cannon on the cover. It was the United States’ first, modern, news magazine. Today, the worldwide news weekly, founded by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, is printed in several languages and is among the most popular magazines in history with readership topping four million.

1925 - State and federal highway officials developed a nationwide route-numbering system and adopted the familiar U.S. shield-shaped numbered marker. For instance, in the east, there is U.S. 1 that runs from New England to Florida and in the west, the corresponding highway, U.S. 101, from Tacoma, WA to San Diego, CA.

1927 - Babe Ruth signed a 3-year contract with the New York Yankees for a guarantee of $70,000 a year, thus becoming baseball’s highest paid player.

1940 - The first televised intercollegiate track meet was seen by TV viewers in New York City as W2XBS presented the action live from Madison Square Garden. New York University won the meet.

1944 - The 16th Academy Awards celebration moved from a banquet hall to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood; hosted by comedian/actor Jack Benny. The Outstanding Motion Picture was "Casablanca", directed by Michael Curtiz, who won an Oscar for his efforts. Best Actor of 1943 was Paul Lukas for "Watch on the Rhine" and Best Actor in a Supporting Role was Charles Coburn for "The More the Merrier". The Best Actress award was presented to Twenty-four-year-old Jennifer Jones for "The Song of Bernadette" and Best Actress in a Supporting Role was Katina Paxinou in "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Stephen Dunn of The RKO Radio Studio Sound Department and Sound Director for "This Land is Mine", picked up the Oscar for ... what else? ... Sound Recording. Best Music, Song winners were Harry Warren (music), Mack Gordon (lyrics) for the song, "You’ll Never Know", from the movie "Hello, Frisco, Hello". And, did you know that the United States Navy received an Oscar? It was for the Documentary (Short Subject) they produced, "December 7th". That was fun. Now, let’s go outside and look at all the hand prints in the cement along the boulevard.

1949 - The American USAF B-50 Superfortress, "Lucky Lady II", landed at Fort Worth, Texas. The airplane had completed the first nonstop flight around the world covering 23,452 miles in 94 hours. Captain James Gallagher of the U.S. Air Force refueled several times in midflight.

1951 - The U.S. Navy launched the K-1, the first modern submarine designed to hunt enemy subs.

1957 - Teenage heartthrob Tab Hunter’s song "Young Love" was number one in the U.S.

1958 - British geologist Dr. Vivian Fuchs reached McMurdo Sound in the Ross Sea, thus completing the first crossing of Antarctica by land. As a part of the International Geophysical Year, the Commonwealth of Nations organized the expedition, which covered 2,158 miles (3,473 kilometers).

1962 - Wilt ‘The Stilt’ Chamberlain scored 100 points and broke an NBA record as the Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks 169-147. Chamberlain broke NBA marks for the most field goal attempts (63), most field goals made (36), most free throws made (28), most points in a half (59), most field goal attempts in a half (37), most field goals made in a half (22), and most field goal attempts in one quarter (21). The 316 total points scored tied an NBA record. What’s not known is if Chamberlain set the record for most gallons of sweat pouring off a man’s body during a game.

1965 - Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker starred in the film adaptation of the popular Broadway hit, The Sound of Music. The musical, about the Trapp Family, was a hit on the Great White Way for over three years and one of the most popular motion pictures of all time. The movie brought instant stardom for Miss Andrews, who went on to star in other singing roles in the theatre, on television, in movies and as a popular recording artist.

1969 - The Concorde supersonic jet took off on its maiden flight this day.

1970 - Timothy Leary, former Harvard psychology professor and LSD advocate, was sentenced to ten years for in prison for smuggling marijuana. He escaped from a minimum security prison and fled with his wife to Algeria and then Switzerland. In 1973 Leary was arrested by DEA agents in Afghanistan and returned to prison in California. He served three years before being parolled 1976.

1974 - Stevie Wonder got five Grammy Awards for his album, "Innervisions" and his hit songs, "You Are The Sunshine of My Life" and "Superstition".

1974 - U.S. Postage stamps jumped from eight to ten cents this day for first-class mail. This way, your first-class letter came with a first-class price as well! Just wait another 20 years and see what happened...

1978 - Soyuz 28 carried two cosmonauts to Salyut 6. Czech pilot Vladimir Remek became the first non-Russian, non-American in space.

1984 - The first McDonald’s franchise was closed -- in Des Plaines, IL. After 30 years of selling burgers, Mickey D’s opened a new drive-in restaurant right across the McStreet.

1985 - Country singer Gary Morris hit #1 on the country charts for the first time with "Baby Bye Bye", from his album, "Faded Blue".

1987 - Government officials reported that the median price for a new home had topped $100,000 for the first time. The new six-figure price: $110,700, actually, was up from $94,600.

1993 - It was the third day of the standoff between federal agents and Branch Davidians near Waco, TX. Local radio stations broadcast a taped statement in which the group’s leader, David Koresh, promised to surrender...

1999 - Singer Dusty Springfield ("Wishin’ and Hopin’", "The Look of Love", "Son of a Preacher Man") lost her battle with breast cancer. She was 59 years old.

2001 - These films opened in the U.S.: "The Mexican", starring Brad Pitt. Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini and Bob Balaban; and "See Spot Run", with David Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb and Joe Viterelli.

2004 - NASA scientists reported that the Mars rover Opportunity had discovered evidence that water was once present on the surface the planet.

2007 - U.S. Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey resigned (under heavy pressure from Defense Secretary Robert Gates) as the Bush (II) administration tried to handle the outcry over poor treatment for veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

2008 - Russians voted in new President Dmitry Medvedev, outgoing President (and new Prime Minister) Vladimir Putin’s chosen successor. The fairness of the election was disputed, with the election monitoring group OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) refusing to monitor the voting because of what it called “severe restrictions on its observers by the Russian government.”

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - March 2
1793 - Sam Houston (fought for Texas’ independence from Mexico; President of Republic of Texas; U.S. Senator; Texas governor; died July 26, 1863)

1810 - Pope Leo XIII (Giocchino Vincenzo Pecci) (256th pope of the Roman Catholic Church [1878-1903]; died July 20, 1903)

1904 - Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) (Pulitzer Prize-winning author [1984]: The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham; died Sep 24, 1991)

1909 - Mel (Melvin Thomas) Ott (‘Master Melvin’: baseball: NY Giants [World Series: 1933, 1936, 1937/all-star: 1934-1945/consecutive batting record: walks in a row (7) June 16-18, 1943]; died Nov 21, 1958)

1914 - Martin Ritt (director: Norma Rae, The Front, Sounder, Hud; died Dec 8, 1990)

1917 - Desi Arnaz (Desiderio Alberto Arnez y De Acha III) (bandleader, singer: Babalu; actor: I Love Lucy; married to Lucille Ball; co-owner of Desilu Productions; introduced 3-camera sitcom technique; died Dec 2, 1986)

1919 - Jennifer Jones (Phyllis Isley) (Academy Award-winning actress: The Song of Bernadette [1943], Carrie, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, The Towering Inferno; died Dec 17, 2009)

1923 - (Arthel Lane) Doc Watson (Grammy Award-winning singer, musician: flat-picking guitarist: LPs: Then and Now [1973], Two Days in November [1974]; died May 29, 2012)

1930 - John Cullum (Tony Award-winning actor: Shenandoah [1975], On the Twentieth Century [1978]; Marie, Sweet Country, Northern Exposure, Secret Life of Algernon)

1931 - Mikhail Gorbachev (President of the Soviet Union [1990-1991])

1931 - Tom Wolfe (author: The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff; died May 14, 2018)

1932 - Chico (Humberto Perez) Fernandez (baseball: shortstop: Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, NY Mets; died Jun 11, 2016)

1934 - Howard Cassady (football: Heisman Trophy winner: Ohio State [1955])

1934 - Doug Watkins (jazz musician: bass: Pepper-Knepper Quintet, Hank Mobley Quartet, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers; killed in car crash Feb 5, 1962)

1935 - Al Waxman (Albert Samuel Waxman) (actor: Cagney & Lacey, The Victors, Wild Horse Hank, Meatballs III, Iron Eagle IV, The Hurricane; died Jan 18, 2001)

1942 - John Irving (author: Cider House Rules, The World According to Garp)

1942 - Lou Reed (Lewis Alan Reed) (singer, songwriter, guitarist: group: Velvet Underground; solo: Walk on the Wild Side, Charley’s Girl; I Love You Suzanne; appeared in Paul Simon film: One Trick Pony; died Oct 27, 2013)

1949 - Eddie Money (Mahoney) (musician, singer: Baby Hold On, I Wanna Go Back, Peace in Our Time, Take Me Home Tonight, I Think I’m in Love, Walk on Water)

1950 - Karen Carpenter (drummer, singer: Grammy Award-winning group: The Carpenters: Best New Artist, Group w/Vocal: Close to You [

1970]; We’ve Only Just Begun, Top of the World, Please Mr. Postman; passed away Feb 4, 1983)

1952 - Laraine Newman (comedienne, actress: Saturday Night Live)

1955 - Jay Osmond (singer: group: The Osmond Brothers)

1956 - John Cowsill (singer: group: The Cowsills: The Rain, The Park and Other Things, We Can Fly, Hair, Indian Lake)

1956 - Mark Evans (musician: bass: group: AC/DC: LP: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, For Those About to Rock)

1962 - Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi) (singer, musician, songwriter: You Give Love a Bad Name, Living on a Prayer, Blaze of Glory, LPs: Bon Jovi, 7800 Fahrenheit)

1968 - Daniel Craig (actor: Bond, James Bond: Spectre, Skyfall, Casino Royale [2006], Quantum of Solace; The Jacket, Sylvia, Copenhagen, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Munich, The Adventures of Tintin, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

1968 - Darren Turcotte (hockey [center]: NY Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets, SJ Sharks, SL Blues, Nashville Predators)

1977 - Chris Martin (musician: piano, guitar; singer: group: Coldplay: Sparks, Fix You, Don’t Panic, Warning Sign, Clocks, Help Is Around the Corner, Everything’s Not Lost; married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow)

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Chart Toppers - March 2
Far Away Places - Margaret Whiting
Powder Your Face with Sunshine - Evelyn Knight
Galway Bay - Bing Crosby
Don’t Rob Another Man’s Castle - Eddy Arnold

Young Love - Tab Hunter
Teen-Age Crush - Tommy Sands
Butterfly - Charlie Gracie
There You Go - Johnny Cash

This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis & The Playboys
My Girl - The Temptations
The Jolly Green Giant - The Kingsmen
I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail - Buck Owens

Killing Me Softly with His Song - Roberta Flack
Dueling Banjos - Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell
Could It Be I’m Falling in Love - Spinners
Rated "X" - Loretta Lynn

I Love a Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt
Woman - John Lennon
Keep on Loving You - REO Speedwagon
Southern Rains - Mel Tillis

Straight Up - Paula Abdul
Lost in Your Eyes - Debbie Gibson
The Lover in Me - Sheena Easton
I Sang Dixie - Dwight Yoakam

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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