Events - March 8
1855 - A train passed over the first railway suspension bridge -- at Niagara Falls, NY.
1887 - The telescopic fishing rod, made of steel tubes inside one another, was patented by Everett Horton.
1894 - A dog license law was enacted in the state of New York. This was the first such animal control law in the U.S. It cost dog owners a $2 annual fee per pooch in cities with a population over 1,200,000. (People population, incidentally, not dog population.)
1925 - Bernard McFadden was a physical culturist who had a radio show in New York City. But not for long. McFadden failed to show up for his daily morning program, causing a young, studio engineer, John Gambling, to ad-lib on the air for a solid hour. As a result, the radio station (WOR) decided to give Gambling the morning announcer’s job. John Gambling stayed at WOR for many years, then turned the mike over to his son, who, finally, turned the program over to his son ... all named John. Mr. Gambling’s "Rambling with Gambling" program attracted tri-state (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) audiences in record numbers for over 70 years on the 50,000 watt talk-radio powerhouse at 710 AM on your radio dial from New York each morning.
1930 - Babe Ruth signed a two-season contract with the New York Yankees for the sum of $80,000.
1941 - Horace Heidt and his orchestra recorded "G’bye Now" for the nice folks at Columbia Records. The vocal on the piece was done by Ronnie Kemper.
1948 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in public schools violated the constitution.
1957 - The International Boxing Club was ruled a monopoly, in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. One could say that the organization was ‘boxed in’ by Congress...
1962 - The Beatles performed for the first time on the BBC in Great Britain. John, Paul, George and ... Pete Best. He played the drums as Ringo hadn’t joined up yet. Paul McCartney sang "Dream Baby" on the show, "Teenager’s Turn" on ‘Auntie Beeb’ (as the BBC was known).
1968 - Rock show promoter and impresario, Bill Graham of San Francisco, moved to the other side of the U.S. to open Fillmore East in New York City.
1969 - Sly and the Family Stone were starting their fourth (and final) week at number one on the pop music charts (also #1 on the soul charts) with "Everyday People". When presented with the coveted gold record for this achievement, Sly ripped it out of its case, threw it on the platter player and heard, "People", by Barbra Streisand. He was heard to utter a few words that are not printable here (this being a family feature).
1971 - A new undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion was crowned. ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier, of Philadelphia, won a decision over Muhammad Ali, who had been previously undefeated. For the night’s work, both Frazier and Ali collected the tidy sum of $2,500,000.
1975 - Olivia Newton-John reached the top spot on the pop charts with "Have You Never Been Mellow". In addition to "Mellow", Olivia also reached the peak of pop stardom with "I Honestly Love You", "You’re the One That I Want" (with John Travolta), "Magic" and "Physical".
1983 - The House Foreign Affairs Committee endorsed a nuclear weapons freeze with the Soviet Union. The proposal denounced by President Ronald Reagan as “a very dangerous fraud.” Reagan described the Soviet Union as “an evil empire.”
1985 - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxed themselves to discover that 407,700 Americans were millionaires -- more than double the total of just five years before.
1989 - Country/gospel singer/songwriter Stuart Hamblen died in Santa Monica, California of cancer. He was 80 years old. Hamblen was best known for his spiritual tunes, including It Is No Secret What God Can Do and This Ole House, which Rosemary Clooney turned into a million-seller. Hamblen’s mid-life conversion to Christianity following a visit to a Billy Graham revival show led him to run for the anti-alcohol Prohibition Party in the 1952 U.S. presidential election. He lost to Dwight Eisenhower by about 24,000,000 votes.
1994 - The U.S. Defense Department announced a smoking ban for workplaces ranging from the Pentagon to battle tanks.
1999 - The Clinton administration directed the firing of nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee from his job at the Los Alamos National Laboratory because of alleged security violations.
2001 - The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted for an across-the-board tax cut of nearly $1 trillion (over a decade). The vote handed President George W. Bush a major victory only 48 days into his term.
2003 - Thousands of U.S. women staged Code Pink marches against a possible war with Iraq. Some 4,000 marched near the White House.
2006 - U.S. law enforcement officials arrested three college students (Matthew Lee Cloyd, Benjamin Nathan Moseley and Russell Lee DeBusk Jr.) for setting fire to nine rural churches in Alabama in February 2006.
2008 - U.S. Senator Barack Obama captured the Wyoming Democratic caucuses, seizing momentum in the close, hard-fought race with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination.
Birthdays - March 8
1783 - Hannah Van Buren (wife of Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the U.S. [she died Feb 5, 1819 -- before he was elected president])
1841 - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (jurist: associate justice of U.S. Supreme Court [1902-1932]; writer: The Common Law; died Mar 6, 1935)
1888 - Stuart Chase (writer: Men and Machines, Power of Words, A New Deal [inspired Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal]; died Nov 16, 1985)
1902 - Louise Beavers (Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame actress: Beulah, Imitation of Life, Tammy and the Bachelor, The Jackie Robinson Story, Dixie Jamboree, Reap the Wild Wind, General Spanky, Coquette; died Oct 26, 1962)
1910 - Claire Trevor (Wemlinger) (Academy Award-winning [supporting] actress: Key Largo ; Stagecoach, The High and the Mighty, The Mountain, Marjorie Morningstar, The Stripper, How to Murder Your Wife; died Apr 8, 2000)
1921 - Alan Hale Jr. (actor: Gilligan’s Island, Johnny Dangerously; died Jan 2, 1990)
1922 - Cyd Charisse (Tula Ellice Finklea) (dancer: Grand Hotel, Singin’ in the Rain; actress: Silk Stockings, Party Girl, Deep in My Heart; died Jun 17, 2008)
1922 - Carl (Anthony) Furillo (‘Skoonj’, ‘The Reading Rifle’: baseball: Brooklyn Dodgers [World Series: 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956/all-star: 1952, 1953], LA Dodgers [World Series: 1959]; died Jan 21, 1989)
1924 - Sean McClory (actor: Charade, Fools of Fortune; died Dec 10, 2003)
1927 - Dick Hyman (pianist: Moritat; music director for Arthur Godfrey)
1928 - Mendy Rudolph (NBA basketball referee [1953-1978], 1st NBA official to work 2,000 games; sportscaster; died Jul 4, 1979)
1936 - Sue Ane Langdon (Lookoff) (actress: Frankie and Johnny, A Guide for the Married Man, Roustabout, Zapped!)
1937 - Raynoma Liles (co-founder of Motown [with husband Berry Gordy]; died Nov 11, 2016)
1939 - Jim (James Alan) Bouton (baseball: pitcher: NY Yankees [World Series: 1963, 1964/all-star: 1963], Houston Astros, Seattle Pilots, Atlanta Braves; broadcaster: WABC-TV, WCBS-TV; author: Ball Four: My Life and Hard Times Throwing the Knuckleball in the Big Leagues, Strike Zone, Home Games)
1940 - Susan Clark (actress: Coogan’s Bluff, Airport 1975, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Night Moves, Babe, The Choice, Webster)
1942 - Dick (Richard Anthony) Allen (baseball: Philadelphia Phillies [all-star: 1965-1967], SL Cardinals [all-star: 1970], LA Dodgers, Chicago White Sox [all-star: 1972-1974/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1972], Oakland Athletics; “Don’t Call Me Richie”)
1942 - Ralph Ellis (musician: banjo, singer: group: The Swinging Blue Jeans: Hippy Hippy Shake)
1943 - Lynn Redgrave (actress: Georgy Girl, House Calls, Chicken Soup, Centennial, Rehearsal for Murder; died May 2, 2010)
1945 - Mickey Dolenz (singer, drummer: group: The Monkees: I’m a Believer, Last Train to Clarksville; actor: Circus Boy)
1946 - Randy Meisner (singer: base: group: The Eagles: Take it Easy, Best of My Love, Take it to the Limit)
1947 - Mike Allsup (musician: guitar: group: Three Dog Night: Try a Little Tenderness, Easy to be Hard, Eli’s Coming, Mama Told Me [Not to Come], Joy to the World, Black & White, Shambala)
1947 - Carole Bayer Sager (singer, songwriter: That’s What Friends are For; w/Tony Wein: Groovy Kind of Love; w/Albert Hammond: When I Need You; w/Bruce Roberts: You’re the Only One; w/Marvin Hamlisch: Break It to Me Gently, Looking Through the Eyes of Love, Nobody Does It Better)
1948 - Little Peggy March (Margret Annemarie Batavio) (singer: I Will Follow Him)
1949 - Frank Sanders (hockey: Univ of Minnesota, US Olympic Ice Hockey Team ; WHA: Minnesota Fighting Saints)
1953 - Jim (James Edward) Rice (baseball: Boston Red Sox [all-star: 1977-1980, 1983-1986/AL MVP: 1978])
1954 - Cheryl Baker (Rita Crudgington) (singer: group: Bucks Fizz: Making Your Mind Up, Land of Make Believe, My Camera Never Lies, Now Those Days are Gone, If You Can’t Stand the Heat; TV host)
1957 - Clive Burr (musician: drums: group: Iron Maiden [1979-1983]: Eddie the Head)
1958 - Gary Numan (Webb) (singer: Cars, Are Friends Electric, I Die You Die, We Take Mystery to Bed, Music for Chameleons, White Boys and Heroes, Warriors, Sister Surprise, Berserker; songwriter: I Dream of Wires)
1959 - Aidan Quinn (actor: Legends of the Fall, Avalon, All My Sons, Desperately Seeking Susan, A Streetcar Named Desire)
1964 - Peter Gill (musician: drums: group: Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Relax, Two Tribes, The Power of Love, Ferry Cross the Mersey)
1965 - Kenny Smith (basketball [point guard]: NBA: Sacramento Kings [1987–1990], Atlanta Hawks , Houston Rockets [1990–1996: NBA titles 1994, 1995], Detroit Pistons , Orlando Magic [1996–1997], Denver Nuggets ; TV basketball analyst: NBA on TNT)
1965 - Gordon Kennedy (actor: Speak of the Devil, Rembrandt, Kokken)
1970 - Andrea Parker (actress: ER, The Pretender, First Monday, Delicate Instruments, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct: Ice, XXX’s and OOO’s, Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story, Body Shot, JAG, Murder, She Wrote)
1976 - Freddie Prinze Jr. (actor: Family Matters, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, Detention: The Siege at Johnson High, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Wing Commander, Summer Catch, Scooby-Doo, Scooby 2, The Swedish Job)
1976 - Hines Ward (football [wide receiver]: Univ of Georgia; NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl XL [MVP], Super Bowl XLIII, Super Bowl XLV; CNN studio analyst)
Chart Toppers - March 8
The Anniversary Song - Dinah Shore
Managua, Nicaragua - The Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocal: Don Rodney)
Oh, But I Do - Margaret Whiting
So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed - Merle Travis
Sincerely - McGuire Sisters
The Crazy Otto (Medley) - Johnny Maddox
The Ballad of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes
In the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce
Walk like a Man - The 4 Seasons
Rhythm of the Rain - The Cascades
You’re the Reason I’m Living - Bobby Darin
The Ballad of Jed Clampett - Flatt & Scruggs
One Bad Apple - The Osmonds
Mama’s Pearl - The Jackson 5
Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
I’d Rather Love You - Charley Pride
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? - Rod Stewart
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Tragedy - Bee Gees
Golden Tears - Dave & Sugar
Livin’ on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
Jacob’s Ladder - Huey Lewis & The News
Somewhere Out There - Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram
Mornin’ Ride - Lee Greenwood
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.