Events - March 16
1850 - The novel, "The Scarlet Letter", by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published for the first time. Attention: Any sweater with a big letter “A” on it should not be worn today! So, please, put the letter sweaters away for a day, ok? Thank you. In case you forgot, other novels by Mr. Hawthorne included "The House of Seven Gables", "The Marble Faun", "Twice-Told Tales", "Tanglewood Tales" and "The Wonder Book".
1882 - The U.S. Senate approved a treaty allowing the United States to join the Red Cross.
1926 - Robert H. Goddard tested his first liquid-fuel rocket. The rocket traveled for 2 1/2 seconds and covered 184 feet at a speed of 60 mph. It attained a maximum height of 41 feet. (The Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD is named for him.)
1934 - The 6th celebration of movieland’s achievements, The Academy Awards for the films of 1932 and 1933, was held at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles with humorist/actor/writer Will Rogers as host. Only one film from 1932 captured honors. Harold C. Lewis of the Paramount Studio Sound Department won the Best Sound/Recording award for "A Farewell to Arms". The Best Picture and Best Director Frank Lloyd) prizes went to the 1933 flick, "Cavalcade" produced by Winfield R. Sheehan. The Best Actor was Charles Laughton in "The Private Life of Henry VIII", and the Best Actress was Katharine Hepburn in "Morning Glory" (1933). This was her first Academy Award, and the last she would receive for 34 years. The second cartoon to take home (to their little brick house) an Oscar was Walt Disney’s "The Three Little Pigs" for Best Short Subjects/Cartoons.
1937 - Former world champion hurdler, Percy Beard, was hired by the Brooklyn Dodgers to teach the faltering baseball team how to run.
1942 - Fats Waller recorded "The Jitterbug Waltz" in New York for Bluebird Records.
1943 - The Battle of the Atlantic climaxed with 27 merchant ships sunk during the week by German U-boats.
1947 - A Convair liner was the first U.S. twin-engine pressurized airplane to be tested.
1950 - Congress voted to remove federal taxes on oleomargarine.
1955 - "The Ballad of Davy Crockett", by Bill Hayes, reached the number one spot on the pop music charts and stayed for five weeks beginning this day. The smash hit song sold more than 7,000,000 records on more than 20 different labels. Everyone seemed to be singing the song that saluted the frontier hero who was “Born on a mountain top in Tennessee...” Coonskin caps were seen everywhere as the Crockett craze spread like a frontier fire.
1963 - Peter, Paul and Mary released the single, "Puff The Magic Dragon". Through the years, controversy continually surrounded the song. It was banned by several radio stations whose management figured that the song was about the illicit joys of smoking marijuana. The group denied this startling assumption. “It’s about a magic dragon named Puff,” they said. So there. The trio recorded a dozen hits that charted between 1962 and 1969. "Puff" was their third song. It went to number two on the pop charts and puffed around for nearly three months. The group next did a Bob Dylan protest song, "Blowin’ in the Wind" and ended a sterling career with a John Denver song -- the group’s biggest -- "Leaving on a Jet Plane".
1964 - Paul Hornung, ‘The Golden Boy’, and Alex Karras, the guy who punched out a horse in the movie, "Blazing Saddles", were reinstated to the NFL after an 11-month suspension for betting on football games.
1968 - The My Lai Massacre took place during the Vietnam War. An army report later said U.S. troops killed at least 175 men, women and children -- and that “the number may have exceeded 400.”
1976 - British Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced his resignation on this day -- five days after his 60th birthday. The motives behind his resignation, which took place three years before the next scheduled election, were unclear. He was succeeded by James Callaghan on April 5.
1984 - Lt. Colonel William F. Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, was kidnapped by gunmen. (He died in captivity.)
1991 - Seven members of country singer Reba McEntire’s band and her road manager were among 10 people who died when their Hawker-Siddeley private jet failed to clear a mountain top and crashed near San Diego, California. McEntire was not on the plane.
1995 - Some 130 years after the rest of the U.S., Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment -- to abolish slavery. Mississippi had rejected the amendment December 4, 1865.
1998 - Sweepstakes company American Family Publishers reached an agreement with 32 states to change the way it promotes its contests. It agreed to reserve use of the term ‘winner’ for contestants who have actually won. The company, which used celebrities Dick Clark and Ed McMahon as spokesmen, also agreed to pay $1.25 million to 26 states under the voluntary consent agreement.
2003 - Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein warned that if Iraq were attacked, he would take the war anywhere in the world “wherever there is sky, land or water.”
2005 - A California judge affirmed Scott Peterson’s death sentence for the 2002 murders of his wife and unborn son.
2008 - The Dalai Lama called for an international investigation into China’s crackdown on protesters in Tibet. Internet users in China were blocked from accessing YouTube.com after dozens of videos about protests in Tibet appeared on the popular video Web site.
Birthdays - March 16
1751 - James Madison (4th U.S. President [1809-1817]; married to Dorothea ‘Dolly’ Todd; nickname: Father of the Constitution; died Jun 28, 1836)
1822 - Rosa Bonheur (artist: famous for her animal paintings: The Horse Fair; 1st woman to be awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion d’Honneur; died May 25, 1899)
1897 - Conrad Nagel (actor: The Mysterious Lady, The Kiss, The Divorcee; died Feb 24, 1970)
1906 - Henny (Henry) Youngman (comedian: “Take my wife ... please.”, Joe & Dad, The Henny and Rocky Show; actor: Amazon Women on the Moon, National Lampoon Goes to the Movies, The Unkissed Bride, Goodfellas [cameo]; died Feb 24, 1998)
1912 - Pat Nixon (Ryan) (former U.S. First Lady: Married to 37th U.S. President Richard M. Nixon; died Jun 22, 1993)
1920 - Leo McKern (actor: A Foreign Field, The Mouse that Roared, A Man for All Seasons, Help, Rumpole of the Bailey, Ladyhawke, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Blue Lagoon, Ryan’s Daughter; died Jul 23, 2002)
1926 - Jerry Lewis (Joseph Levitch) (‘King of Crazy’: comedian, entertainer: Martin & Lewis; actor: That’s My Boy, The Caddy, The Nutty Professor; singer: Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody; fund raiser: Muscular Dystrophy Association; died Aug 20, 2017)
1927 - Daniel Patrick Moynihan (U.S. Senator from New York; died Mar 26, 2003)
1927 - Ruby (Reuben) Braff (modern jazz musician: trumpet, cornet; actor: Pipe Dream; died Feb 9, 2003)
1929 - Betty Johnson (singer: I Dreamed, Little White Lies, The Little Blue Man, Dream)
1930 - Hobie (Hobert Neal) Landrith (baseball: catcher: Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Redlegs, Chicago Cubs, SL Cardinals, SF Giants, Baltimore Orioles, NY Mets, Washington Senators)
1932 - Don (Lee) Blasingame (baseball: SL Cardinals [all-star: 1958], SF Giants, Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1961], Washington Senators, KC Athletics; died Apr 13, 2005)
1932 - R. Walter Cunningham (astronaut: Apollo 7 mission [circled Earth 173 times: Oct, 1968]; chief of Skylab applications program [supervised development and design])
1934 - Ray Walker (singer: group: The Jordanaires: Amazing Grace, Crying in the Chapel, How Great Thou Art, Just a Closer Walk With Thee, Peace in the Valley, God Bless the USA; backed Elvis Presley on many of his hits; more)
1941 - Bernardo Bertolucci (Academy Award-winning director: The Last Emperor ; Stealing Beauty, Little Buddha, Once Upon a Time in the West, Last Tango in Paris, The Grim Reaper)
1942 - Roger Crozier (hockey: NHL: Detroit Red Wings [Stanley Cup playoff MVP: 1966], Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals; died Jan 11, 1996)
1942 - MacArthur Lane (football: Green Bay Packers)
1942 - Jerry Jeff Walker (Paul Crosby) (country singer, guitarist: Mr. Bojangles, Good Loving Grace, My Old Man, Hill Country Rain, Charlie Dunn)
1947 - Tom (Thomas William) Bradley (baseball: pitcher: California Angels, Chicago White Sox, SF Giants)
1949 - Erik Estrada (actor: C.H.I.P.S., Twisted Justice, Night of the Wilding, Caged Fury, The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission)
1950 - Kate Nelligan (actress: Up Close and Personal, Fatal Instinct, Eye of the Needle, Frankie and Johnny, The Prince of Tides, Dracula, The Count of Monte Cristo)
1950 - Tim Stokes (football: Univ of Oregon, LA Rams)
1951 - Brian McKenzie (hockey: NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins)
1953 - Isabelle Huppert (actress: Le Ceremonie, The Separation, Violette, Story of Women, Entre Nous)
1954 - Hollis Stacy (golf champion: U.S. Open [1977, 1978, 1984]; Du Maurier Classic )
1954 - Nancy Wilson (Nancy Lamoureux Wilson) (musician: guitar, singer: group: Heart: Crazy on You, Magic Man, Barracuda, Straight On; actress: Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Wild Life; died Dec 13, 2018)
1956 - Ozzie Newsome (Pro Football Hall of Famer [tight end]: Univ of Alabama; NFL: Cleveland Browns: 662 receptions, 7,980 yards, scored 47 touchdowns, caught passes in 150 consecutive games played in three Pro Bowls)
1964 - Patty Griffin (Grammy award-winning musician [guitar, piano], singer-songwriter: Downtown Church ; Living with Ghosts, Flaming Red, 1000 Kisses, Impossible Dream, Children Running Through)
1973 - Tim Kang (actor: The Mentalist, Third Watch, Rambo , Mister Green)
1976 - Paul Schneider (actor: Parks and Recreation, Bright Star, Water for Elephants, Flowers of War, The Babymakers)
1978 - Brooke Burns (actress: Baywatch, Out of the Blue, To Tell the Truth)
Chart Toppers - March 16
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
The Ballad of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes
Sincerely - McGuire Sisters
Pledging My Love - Johnny Ace
In the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce
Walk like a Man - The 4 Seasons
Our Day Will Come - Ruby & The Romantics
You’re the Reason I’m Living - Bobby Darin
The Ballad of Jed Clampett - Flatt & Scruggs
One Bad Apple - The Osmonds
Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
For All We Know - Carpenters
I’d Rather Love You - Charley Pride
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Tragedy - Bee Gees
Heaven Knows - Donna Summer with Brooklyn Dreams
Golden Tears - Dave & Sugar
Jacob’s Ladder - Huey Lewis & The News
Somewhere Out There - Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram
Let’s Wait Awhile - Janet Jackson
Baby’s Got a New Baby - S-K-O
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.