Events - March 13
1852 - The New York "Lantern" newspaper published an Uncle Sam cartoon for the first time. The drawing was the work of Frank Henry Bellew. Through the years, the caricature changed with Uncle Sam becoming symbolic of the U.S. being just like a favorite uncle. A prime example of this symbolism were U.S. Army posters that portrayed Uncle Sam pointing and saying, “I want you!” As a result, many of us joined his ranks.
1877 - Chester Greenwood of Farmington, ME patented the earmuff. Of course, being in very Northern Maine, he picked the right place to patent such much-needed outdoor gear, as it is extremely cold in upstate Maine for, oh, about 10 months a year. So cold, that some wear earmuffs indoors. We do here, as well, just to keep the office roar down to a minimum. Thank you Mr. Greenwood!
1923 - A great improvement in radio receivers was advertised. The new models had a concealed speaker and eliminated the need for headphones, which were considered a nuisance because they were so heavy to wear and messed up hairdos. The new radios were also said to have a ‘foolproof’ design.
1930 - It was announced that the planet Pluto had been discovered by astronomers who had been looking for another planet in the solar system.
1935 - Parimutuel betting became a reality as horse race bets were legalized in the state of Nebraska. There are still U.S. states where horse racing, betting or other forms of legalized gambling still ‘nag’ legislatures, despite the fact that other states have been participating in these activities for decades.
1942 - Bing Crosby and Mary Martin were heard having a bit of fun as they joined together to record "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie" for Decca Records.
1943 - Frank Dixon became the first great black miler in track as he won the Columbian Mile in New York City. Dixon ran the mile in a record time of 4 minutes, 9.6 seconds.
1947 - "The Best Years of Our Lives", produced by Samuel Goldwyn, was a big favorite winning the Best Picture prize at the 19th Academy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Actor/producer/comedian Jack Benny hosted the glittering gala. "The Best Years of Our Lives" won Oscars for Best Director (William Wyler); Actor (Fredric March); Supporting Actor (Harold Russell); Film Editing (Daniel Mandell); Screenplay (Robert E. Sherwood); and a shared award with "The Jolson Story" for Best Score. Other awards for the best of 1946: Actress: Olivia de Havilland in "To Each His Own", and Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Baxter in "The Razor’s Edge". The Best Song was "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" (from "The Harvey Girls") by Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren. Foreign-made films showed up in these Oscars, bringing an end to Hollywood’s then exclusive rights to the coveted awards. Of the foreign movies nominated, three were British ("Henry V" - producer, Laurence Olivier; "Brief Encounter" starring Celia Johnson; "Perfect Strangers" which won the Oscar for Best Writing/Original Story [Clemence Dane]), one was French ("Les Enfants du paradis", an original screenplay by Jacques Prévert) and one Italian ("Roma, città aperta", screenplay written by Sergio Amidei, Federico Fellini).
1947 - The musical "Brigadoon" opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. The show ran for 581 performances and was later staged in London (1949). Memorable melodies from "Brigadoon" include "I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean", "The Heather on the Hill", "Come to Me, Bend to Me", "Almost Like Being in Love" and "There but for You Go I".
1954 - The North Vietnamese (the Viet Minh), under General Vo Nguyen Giap, started to attack the French at Dien Bien Phu in northwestern Vietnam. The French were defeated in the battle and surrendered May 7, 1954. The first Indochina War (1946-1954) then came to an end July 20, 1954.
1961 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy started the Alliance for Progress. It (Alianza para el Progreso) was described by JFK as “a vast cooperative effort, unparalleled in magnitude and nobility of purpose..., to satisfy the basic needs of the American (north and south) people for homes, work and land, health and schools - techo, trabajo y tierra, salud y escuela.” The Alliance for Progress initiative focused on maintaining democratic government, on industrial and agrarian development, and on more equitable distribution of wealth.
1968 - The Byrds received a gold record for the album, "Greatest Hits", which featured "Turn! Turn! Turn!", written by Pete Seeger (excerpted from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible); "Eight Miles High"; "Mr. Spaceman"; "Mr. Tambourine Man"; "All I Really Want to Do"; and "My Back Pages". The group consisted of Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Mike Clarke. Kevin Kelly, Gram Parsons, Clarence White, John York and Gene Parsons were also members of the group through the years. The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
1970 - The cover of "LIFE" magazine was extremely popular. It showed the extremes of the new hemline hassle that was raging -- a battle between long versus short skirts.
1970 - Austrian skier Karl Schranz won a second straight World Cup title.
1972 - "The Merv Griffin Show", starring perennial game show and late-night TV host, singer and pianist, Merv Griffin, debuted in syndication for Metromedia Television. Griffin had a number one song with the Freddy Martin Orchestra in the 1940s. "I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts" launched him to fame and fortune. He battled against Johnny Carson on CBS-TV late night. Merv lost. He also went against Joey Bishop over on ABC late night. Again, Merv lost; but won big in the Metromedia show; and in ownership of stations such as WPIX-TV in New York, WPOP Radio in Hartford, CT. Later, he devised "Wheel of Fortune" and the formula for the popular, syndicated show, "Jeopardy"; making him one of the richest entertainment moguls in the world at one time.
1976 - The Four Seasons, featuring the falsetto voice of Frankie Valli, returned to the pop charts after a 10-year absence. The group scored with "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)", which became the top song in the country. Valli’s real name is Castelluccio and with him were Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito. Joe Long and Charlie Callelo were made members in the 1960s, when Gaudio concentrated on producing for the group and DeVito left. Bob Crewe was the group’s original producer. The name, The Four Seasons was taken from a New Jersey bowling alley. In all, the group charted 30 songs plus Valli had nine solo hits. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
1980 - Henry Ford II resigned as chairman of the Ford Motor Company. His retirement marked the first time in company history that a Ford was not at the helm. He remained chairman of the Finance Committee until his death in 1987.
1987 - Jack Morris, pitcher with Sparky Anderson’s Detroit Tigers, received the largest arbitration settlement in professional baseball. He was awarded $1.85 million to play for the Tigers in 1988.
1993 - The Blizzard of '93 rolled up the U.S. east coast. The storm killed 212 people, and dumping one foot to more than four feet of snow with 15-foot drifts, from Alabama to Maine.
1998 - Candice Bergen and the cast of Murphy Brown filmed the 247th and final episode of the award-winning and sometimes controversial CBS sitcom. The episode, titled Never Can Say Goodbye (Part 2), featured appearances by Julia Roberts, George Clooney, and Mike Wallace, as well as Bergen’s real mother, Frances; it aired May 18, 1998.
1999 - Evander Holyfield, the WBA and IBF champion, and Lennox Lewis, the WBC champion, kept their respective titles after fighting to a controversial draw in New York.
2003 - Robert Sørlie of Norway won the Iditarod Trail sled dog race in Alaska. It had taken Sorlie and his dog team nine days, 15 hours, 47 minutes to complete the course -- a couple of hours shorter thean Sorli’s winning time just the year before.
2005 - The Disney Corporation board of directors named Robert Iger to succeed Michael Eisner as Chief Executive Officer.
2008 - Indian police arrested 100 Tibetan exiles who were beginning a 6-month walk to their homeland. The trek was part of a Tibetan protest of China’s control of their homeland.
Birthdays - March 13
1733 - Joseph Priestley (chemist: discovered oxygen; his scientific works covered chemistry, physics, electricity, magnetism, and optics; died Feb 6, 1804)
1798 - Abigail Fillmore (Powers) (U.S. First Lady, wife of 13th President Millard Fillmore; instituted the White House library; died Mar 30, 1853)
1813 - Lorenzo Delmonico (restaurateur: the famous Delmonico’s in NYC; the Delmonico cut of steak is named for him; died Sep 3, 1881)
1855 - Percival Lowell (astronomer: founder: Lowell Observatory; initiated search for planet Pluto; died Nov 12, 1916)
1860 - Hugo Wolf (composer, songwriter of late romantic period; died Feb 22, 1903)
1910 - Sammy Kaye (bandleader: Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye: Too Young, "A" - You’re Adorable, Harbor Lights; died June 2, 1987)
1911 - L. Ron Hubbard (founder: Church of Scientology; author: Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health; died Jan 24, 1986)
1913 - Tessie O’Shea (singer, actress: The Way Ahead, The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!, The Entertainers, Bedknobs and Broomsticks; died Apr 21, 1995)
1914 - Bobby Haggart (musician: bass: groups: Bob Cats; Peanuts Hucko’s Pied Piper Quintet, Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band, composer; died Dec 2, 1998)
1916 - Ina Ray Hutton (Odessa Cowan) (tap dancer; Ziegfeld Follies; pianist, bandleader; singer: Every Man a King; actress: The Big Broadcast of 1938, Ever Since Venus; died Feb 19, 1984)
1918 - Eddie Pellagrini (baseball: Boston Red Sox, SL Browns, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates; died Oct 11, 2006)
1923 - Helen St. Aubin (Callaghan) (‘The Ted Williams of Women’s Baseball’: Minneapolis Millerettes, Ft. Wayne Daisies, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League; inspiration for film: A League of Their Own; died Dec 8, 1992)
1924 - Dick Katz (pianist, composer: Tony Scott Quartet, J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding groups; died Nov 10, 2009)
1925 - Roy Haynes (modern jazz drummer, bandleader: Hip Ensemble)
1929 - Peter Breck (actor: Benji, Highway 61, Shock Corridor; died Feb 6, 2012)
1929 - Jan Howard (country singer: The One You Slip Around With, Evil on Your Mind, My Son; toured with Carter sisters)
1932 - Ordell Braase (football: Baltimore Colts defensive end: Super Bowl III)
1933 - Mike Stoller (record producer, songwriter with Jerry Leiber: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Up on the Roof, On Broadway, score for Jailhouse Rock)
1935 - Leslie Parrish (Marjorie Helen) (actress: The Manchurian Candidate, Sex and the Single Girl, The Invisible Strangler, Li’l Abner)
1938 - Joseph Bellino (football: Heisman Trophy Winner: Navy )
1939 - Neil Sedaka (songwriter, singer: Oh! Carol, The Diary, Stairway to Heaven, Calendar Girl, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, Bad Blood, Laughter in the Rain)
1940 - Candi Staton (singer: Young Hearts Run Free, You Got the Love, Destiny, Nights on Broadway, Honest I Do Love You, Victim, When You Wake Up Tomorrow)
1949 - Donny York (singer: group: Sha Na Na)
1951 - Steve Craig (football: Minnesota Vikings tight end: Super Bowls IX, XI)
1953 - Andy Bean (golf: PGA Tour champ: Doral-Eastern Open Invitational ; Kemper Open, Danny Thomas Memphis Classic, Western Open ; Atlanta Classic ; Hawaiian Open ; Bay Hill Classic ; Doral-Eastern Open ; Greater Greensboro ; Doral-Eastern Open,Byron Nelson ; career earnings: $3,359,549)
1953 - Deborah Raffin (actress: Foul Play, Noble House, Death Wish 3; died Nov 21, 2012)
1955 - Glenne Headly (actress: Mr. Holland’s Opus, Grand Isle, Mortal Thoughts, Dick Tracy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Purple Rose of Cairo; died Jun 8, 2017)
1960 - Adam Clayton (musician: group: U2: Sunday Bloody Sunday, With You or Without You)
1965 - Gigi Rice (actress: Frasier, The John Larroquette Show, Columbo: Columbo Cries Wolf, Mr. Write, A Night at the Roxbury, Hard Time: The Premonition)
1971 - Annabeth Gish (actress: The X-Files, The West Wing, Brotherhood, Shag, Mystic Pizza, Double Jeopardy, Texas Killing Fields, The Chaperone, At Risk, Of Murder and Memory, Mojave Phone Booth, The Celestine Prophecy)
1971 - Scott Sullivan (baseball [pitcher]: Auburn Univ; Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals)
1972 - Leigh-Allyn Baker (actress: Will & Grace, Good Luck Charlie, Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas, Back at the Barnyard, The 7D)
1976 - Danny Masterson (actor: That ’70s Show, Hold On, Comic Book Villains, Dracula 2000, Too Pure, Wild Horse, The Faculty, Face/Off)
1980 - Caron Butler (basketball [forward]: NBA: Miami Heat [2002–2004]; Los Angeles Lakers [2004–2005]; Washington Wizards [2005–2010]; Dallas Mavericks [2010–2011]: 2011 NBA champs; Los Angeles Clippers [2011–2013]; Milwaukee Bucks [2013–2014]; Oklahoma City Thunder ; Detroit Pistons [2014- ])
1985 - Emile Hirsch (actor: Milk, Imaginary Heroes, The Girl Next Door, The Emperor’s Club, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Gargantua)
Chart Toppers - March 13
Mairzy Doats - The Merry Macs
Besame Mucho - The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Bob Eberly & Kitty Kallen
No Love, No Nothin’ - Ella Mae Morse
Rosalita - Al Dexter
Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
Tell Me Why - The Four Aces
Please, Mr. Sun - Johnnie Ray
Wondering - Webb Pierce
The Theme from "A Summer Place" - Percy Faith
Wild One - Bobby Rydell
Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes) - Dinah Washington & Brook Benton
He’ll Have to Go - Jim Reeves
Love is Blue - Paul Mauriat
(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls - Dionne Warwick
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
Take Me to Your World - Tammy Wynette
December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) - The Four Seasons
All by Myself - Eric Carmen
Take It to the Limit - Eagles
The Roots of My Raising - Merle Haggard
Jump - Van Halen
Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Somebody’s Watching Me - Rockwell
Going, Going, Gone - 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.