Events - March 7
1854 - Charles Miller received a patent for the sewing machine that stitches buttonholes! Imagine what our clothes would be like without buttonholes! We’d use Velcro? Safety pins? Fishing hooks? Snaps? Paper clips? Staples? All of the above? And just why is it that women’s clothes have buttonholes on the opposite side of men’s clothes? Yet, so many women wear men’s clothes. It’s all so confusing. Time to take a nap to think about it.
1876 - Alexander Graham Bell of Salem, MA ‘rang’ up a patent for his invention, the telephone. It was an invention, incidentally, that almost bankrupted his company in the beginning. Now, it’s his invention that almost bankrupts those of us who use the phone to call long distance each month...
1911 - Willis Farnsworth of Petaluma, CA patented the coin-operated locker. So, if you hang around the bus or train station or visit an amusement park today, remember this when placing your belongings inside a locker. And remember, we are not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Thank you.
1933 - CBS radio debuted the first daytime radio serial. "Marie the Little French Princess" had a successful run of two years on the air.
1933 - Charles Darrow created the game we know as "Monopoly". Or did he? Maybe Lizzie J. Magie’s "The Landlord’s Game", patented in 1904, was the real monopoly game. Or was it? A Reading, Pennsylvania college student, Dan Layman, and his pal, Louis Thun, played the version his friends called "Monopoly" in the late 1920s. Thun even copyrighted several rules that the two had written. Or was it Ruth Hoskins? She learned how to play the game from a friend of Layman’s in Indianapolis. She then moved to Atlantic City and shared it with friends. In 1930, they made a version complete with Atlantic City street names like Boardwalk and Park Place; even including Marven Gardens, a residential area near Atlantic City. Darrow was introduced to "Monopoly" by mutual friends of Hoskins. He made some modifications, misspelled Marven Gardens as Marvin Gardens, added copyrighted artwork and produced games which he began to sell on this day. He could not keep up with the demand for the game and sold his ‘rights’ to Parker Brothers becoming a millionaire at age 46. And that's a fact.
1939 - Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians recorded one of the most popular songs of the century. The standard, "Auld Lang Syne", was recorded for Decca Records ... about two months and a week late, we’d say.
1944 - Norman Corwin hosted a program titled, "Columbia Presents Corwin" on the CBS radio network this day. It was the first time the show was broadcast.
1945 - U.S. forces crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany. The troops used the damaged but still standing Ludendorff Bridge.
1946 - Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard was the site of the 18th Annual Academy Awards celebration. Bob Hope hosted the first half of the show with James Stewart stepping up to the mike for the second half. The Best Motion Picture of 1945 was Paramount’s "The Lost Weekend", produced by Charles Brackett. It also won for Best Director (Billy Wilder), Best Actor (Ray Milland), and Best Writing of a Screenplay (Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder). The Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role went to James Dunn for "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Best Actress was Joan Crawford for her perfomance in "Mildred Pierce". The votes for The Best Actress in a Supporting Role prize went to Anne Revere for "National Velvet". The Best Music/Scoring of a Musical Picture Oscar went to Georgie Stoll for "Anchors Aweigh" and Best Music/Song was "It Might as Well Be Spring" (from "State Fair") by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers.
1954 - Russia defeated Canada 7-2 to capture the world ice-hockey title in Stockholm, Sweden. It marked the first time that Russia participated in the ice-hockey competition and started a dynasty -- until being checked by Team USA in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, NY.
1955 - "Peter Pan", with Mary Martin and Cyril Richard, was presented as a television special for the first time.
1955 - Comedienne Phyllis Diller made her debut at the Purple Onion in San Francisco, CA, leading to a stage, club and television career that spanned more than three decades ... and as many facelifts.
1955 - Baseball commissioner Ford Frick indicated that he was in favor of legalizing the spitball. The commissioner said, “It’s a great pitch.” Many, like Gaylord Perry and others would agree, but the rules never changed to allow the pitch. Catchers often said that when catching a spitball, one needed to wear a raincoat for protection.
1956 - Lonnie Donegan’s hit song, "Rock Island Line", was doing well on the pop music charts from across the big pond. The popular music from Great Britain’s ‘King of Skiffle’ ushered in the new music craze called ‘skiffle’. Donegan was born in Glasgow, Scotland and was a member of Chris Barber’s Jazz Band. He had one other major hit on the U.S. pop charts even bigger than "Rock Island Line". In 1961, Donegan’s "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It’s Flavor (On the Bedpost Over Night)" made it to the top five in America. The song was a top-10 hit in 1924 by Ernest Hare and Billy Jones. However, instead of "Chewing Gum" in the original title, it was "Spearmint". Donegan recorded his version of the song in 1959, two years before it became a hit. Incidentally, John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles both started their careers in skiffle bands.
1962 - The U.S. Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO I) was launched to begin the first comprehensive study of the sun from a satellite.
1967 - Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa started an eight-year jail sentence at Lewisburg Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. Hoffa had been convicted of defrauding his union and jury tampering. (The sentence was commuted Dec 23, 1971 by President Richard M. Nixon.)
1973 - The comet Kohoutek was discovered by Dr. Lubos Kohoutek, a Czechoslovakian astronomer, at Hamburg Observatory, Bergedorf, West Germany. As with most modern discoveries, this one was made photographically.
1979 - Scientists spotted a ring around Jupiter while examining photographs taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Astronomers had discovered rings around Saturn in 1610 and Uranus in 1977.
1985 - The song "We Are the World", from the album of the same name, was played on the radio for the first time. Forty-five of pop music’s top stars had gathered together to combine their talents to record the music of Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson. Richie and Jackson sang, too, while Quincy Jones did the producing of the USA for Africa record. The proceeds of the multimillion-selling recording went to aid African famine victims. The project, coordinated by Ken Kragen, was deemed a huge success.
1987 - World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champ, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, became the youngest heavyweight titleist ever as he beat James Smith in a decision during a 12-round bout in Las Vegas.
1993 - Authorities said David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians, was becoming irritable and had rejected proposals to end a week-long standoff at his compound near Waco, Texas.
1995 - New York Governor George Pataki used pens which had belonged to two slain New York Police officers to sign a new law reinstating the state’s death penalty. New York was the 38th of the 50 states to establish capital punishment.
2000 - Texas Governor George W. Bush and U.S. Vice President Al Gore were the big winners in the Super Tuesday primaries.
2004 - The Samson, a ferry carrying 113 people, vanished after it was caught in cyclone Gafilo as it sailed between the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros and Madagascar. Only two people survived. The drownings brought the death toll from the cyclone to 154.
2007 - A Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737 crash-landed and erupted in flames at Adisucipto International Airport, near Yogyakarta, on the island of Java, Indonesia. Twenty-two people were killed, but 115 escaped through emergency exits as black smoke billowed around them.
Birthdays - March 7
1849 - Luther Burbank (naturalist: creator of new varieties of flowers, trees, edible fruits and vegetables; died Apr 11, 1926)
1875 - Maurice Ravel (composer: Bolero; died Dec 28, 1937)
1908 - Anna Magnani (actress: The Rose Tattoo, The Miracle, The Fugitive Kind, Bellissimo: Images of the Italian Cinema; died Sep 26, 1973)
1917 - Lee Young (jazz musician: drummer: Nat King Cole Trio, Lee Young Band; died Jul 31, 2008)
1922 - Andy Phillip (NBA Basketball Hall of Famer: Univ. of Illinois [‘floor general’: Whiz Kids]; Philadelphia Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons; Associated Press all-time All-American team ; died Apr 29, 2001)
1923 - Mahlon Clark (musician: clarinet/reeds: Lawrence Welk’s band; died Sep 20, 2007)
1927 - James Broderick (actor: Alice’s Restaurant, Dog Day Afternoon; died Nov 1, 1982)
1930 - Tom (Thomas James) Acker (baseball: pitcher: Cincinnati Redlegs, Cincinnati Reds)
1934 - Willard Scott (Willard Herman Scott Jr.) (weatherman: Today show)
1938 - Homero Blancas (golf: champ: Phoenix Open )
1938 - Janet Guthrie (auto racer: first woman in Indianapolis 500; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer)
1940 - Daniel J. Travanti (Emmy Award-Winning actor: Hill Street Blues [1980-81, 1981-82], Weep No More My Lady)
1942 - Tammy Faye Bakker (Tamara Faye LaValley) (TV evangelist; once married to founder of PTL CLub, Jim Bakker; died Jul 20, 2007)
1942 - Pete Beathard (football: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback: Super Bowl I)
1943 - Bill MacMillan (hockey: NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, Atlanta Flames, NY Islanders; coach/GM: New Jersey Devils)
1943 - Rick (Richard) Redman (football: Washington State, Univ. of Washington; San Diego Chargers)
1943 - Chris White (musician: bass: group: The Zombies: She’s Not There, You Make Me Feel Good, Tell Her No, She’s Coming Home, I Want You Back Again, Time of the Seasons)
1946 - Matthew Fisher (musician: organ: group: Procol Harum: Whiter Shade of Pale; solo: LPs: Journey’s End, I’ll be There, Matthew Fisher, Strange Days; operated own recording studio)
1946 - John Heard (actor: The Pelican Brief, Radio Flyer, Home Alone series, Rambling Rose, The Milagro Beanfield War, Big, Beaches, First Love, Between the Lines, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town; died Jul 21, 2017)
1946 - Peter Wolf (Blankfield) (singer: group: J. Geils Band: Centerfold; Lights Out, Freeze-Frame)
1950 - Franco Harris (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Pittsburgh Steelers running back: Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV)
1950 - Bernie MacNeil (hockey: NHL: SL Blues)
1950 - Billy Joe DuPree (football: Dallas Cowboys tight end: Super Bowl X, XII, XIII)
1951 - Jeff Burroughs (baseball: Washington Senators, Texas Rangers [all-star: 1974], Atlanta Braves [all-star: 1978], Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays)
1956 - Bryan Cranston (Tony Award-winning actor: All the Way ; Emmy Award actor: Breaking Bad [2008–2010, 2014]; Hard Four, Illusion, Seeing Other People, Thanksgiving Family Reunion, Terror Tract, The Big Thing, Saving Private Ryan, Malcolm in the Middle)
1952 - Lynn Swann (football: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver: Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV; TV sportscaster)
1959 - Tom Lehman (golf champ: 1996 Open Championship; only golfer in history to have been awarded Player of the Year honor on all three PGA Tours: the regular PGA Tour, the Web.com Tour and the PGA Tour Champions)
1960 - Ivan Lendl (tennis champion: Australian Open [1989,1983,1990], French Open [1984, 1986, 1987], U.S. Open [1985, 1986, 1987])
1962 - Taylor Dayne (singer: Tell It to My Heart, Prove Your Love, I’ll Always Love You, Don’t Rush Me, Every Beat of My Heart, Love Will Lead You Back; actress: Fool’s Paradise, Martial Law, Rude Awakening; LPs: Tell It to My Heart, Can’t Fight Fate)
1966 - Paul Davis (musician: keyboards: group: Happy Mondays)
1975 - T.J. Thyne (actor: Bones, Dharma and Greg, Walker Texas Ranger, Erin Brockovich, Something’s Gotta Give, Huff, The Pardon)
1978 - Katie Gold (actress [1997-2011]: X-rated films: The Mobster’s Wife, Pornogothic, Daily Grind, Katie Gold Cock Star, Stick It in My Face! 2, Spring Break Sex Kittens, Stiffer Competition, Down the Hatch)
1980 - Laura Prepon (actress: That ’70s Show, October Road, American Dad!, King of the Hill, How I Met Your Mother, Medium, Castle, Are You There, Chelsea?, Men at Work, Orange Is the New Black)
Chart Toppers - March 7
Let It Snow - Vaughn Monroe
Symphony - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
Oh, What It Seemed to Be - The Frankie Carle Orchestra (vocal: Marjorie Hughes)
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter
Make Love to Me! - Jo Stafford
Young-At-Heart - Frank Sinatra
Cross Over the Bridge - Patti Page
Slowly - Webb Pierce
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
Hey! Baby - Bruce Channel
Break It to Me Gently - Brenda Lee
Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Travelin’ Band/Who’ll Stop the Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Rainy Night in Georgia - Brook Benton
It’s Just a Matter of Time - Sonny James
(Love Is) Thicker Than Water - Andy Gibb
Sometimes When We Touch - Dan Hill
Emotion - Samantha Sang
Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys - Waylon & Willie
Kyrie - Mr. Mister
Sara - Starship
Living in America - James Brown
You Can Dream of Me - Steve Wariner
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.