Events - May 25
1927 - The Ford Motor Company announced that its popular automobile model, the Model T, known as the Tin Lizzie, would not be rolling off assembly lines anymore. Instead, the discontinued car would be replaced by the more modern Model A. The first Model T was manufactured in 1908, designed, the Ford Motor Company stated, “as an inexpensive vehicle for the great multitude.” It was also the first item produced on an assembly line (Henry Ford’s new production system). By 1918, half of all motor cars in the entire world were Tin Lizzies.
1927 - The "Movietone News" was shown for the first time at the Sam Harris Theatre in New York City. Charles Lindbergh’s epic flight aboard the "Spirit of St. Louis" was featured. These newsreels were produced for showing in theatres until 1967 when competition from TV news forced them into extinction.
1935 - Babe Ruth, then of the Boston Braves, hit home runs 713 and 714 on this day at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh -- home of the Pirates. These would be the last round-trippers for the ‘Sultan of Swat’. The Bucs, however, still beat the Braves, 11-7. Guy Bush is credited with serving up the historic home runs to Ruth.
1935 - This was “the greatest day in the history of track,” according to "The New York Times". Jesse Owens of Ohio State University broke two world sprint records, tied a third, and broke a long-jump world record in a meet at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
1939 - An audience of 18,000 people waited patiently at Madison Square Garden in New York City to hear the piano virtuoso Ignacy Jan Paderewski begin a much-anticipated piano recital. However, the 78-year-old former premier of Poland was unable to perform for the enormous crowd. Paderewski suffered from ‘chilled fingers’, a severe arthritic condition that made it impossible for him to play the piano.
1965 - From the Look But Don’t Blink file: A very short, heavyweight title fight happened in Lewiston, ME. Cassius Clay knocked out challenger Sonny Liston in one minute and 56 seconds of the first round. Liston never saw the punch coming. Neither did an unbelieving crowd at ringside, nor those in theatres all over the world watching the fight on closed-circuit TV. The phantom punch was never explained, but Liston was knocked cold from whatever Clay threw at him.
1981 - From the Don’t Try This at Home, Kids file: Twenty-five year old Dan Goodwin was looking to have some fun. So, with nothing but three suction cups and a Spiderman cartoon costume, Goodwin began to scale the world’s tallest building -- the Sears Tower in Chicago, IL. Goodwin climbed for six hours, with Chicago’s boys in blue doing their best to safely stop him from the perilous climb. When Goodwin reached the 50th floor of the skyscraper, he stopped for a few minutes, talked with the police and, assuring them of his safety, made the rest of the climb in about an hour. The police had agreed not to bother him until he got to the top where he was arrested for trespassing. Goodwin was released after paying a fine.
1983 - "Return of the Jedi" topped all previous opening day box office records with a gross of $6,219,629. It opened on 1,002 movie screens around the U.S.
1984 - The Detroit Tigers tied the 1916 New York Giants as they won their 17th road game in a row, beating the California Angels 5-1. That game broke the American League mark of 16 that was previously held by the Washington Senators -- dating back to 1912. The Seattle Mariners put a stop to that streak the following night, defeating Detroit 7-3.
1985 - The pop/rock group, Wham!, featuring George Michael, became the first group since the Bee Gees in 1979 to place three consecutive singles in the number one spot on the music charts. "Everything She Wants" started a 2-week run at number one on this day. The other Wham! number one-ers were "Careless Whisper" (2/16/85 - 3 weeks) and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (11/17/84 - 3 weeks).
1998 - St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire made baseball history this day. The major-league player hit his 25th home run before June 1. Until this home run in the first inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies, McGwire was tied with Ken Griffey Jr., the only players in major-league history to hit 24 home runs before June 1 in a baseball season. McGwire finished out the month with a total of 27 home runs, the 26th on May 29th, and the 27th HR the next day, both against the San Diego Padres. These homers also gave McGwire the distinction of breaking the record for most home runs hit in one month (17) for the St. Louis ball club, a record he previously held with 15.
Birthdays - May 25
1803 - Ralph Waldo Emerson (writer: Essays, Representative Men, Nature; poet: Days; editor: The Dial; died Apr 27, 1882)
1878 - Bill ‘Bojangles’ (Luther) Robinson (vaudeville dancer: Sammy Davis, Jr. and Shirley Temple's tap-dancing coach; in films: The Little Colonel, The Littlest Rebel, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Just Around the Corner, Harlems Heaven; on Broadway in: Lew Leslie's Blackbirds of 1928, Ain't Misbehavin'; died Nov 25, 1949)
1886 - Philip Murray (labor leader: founded Congress of Industrial Organizations [CIO]: “Unions are created to make living conditions just a little better than they were before they were created, and the union that does not manifest that kind of interest in human beings cannot endure.”; died Nov 9, 1952)
1889 - Igor Sikorsky (engineer: developed 1st successful helicopter; died Oct 26, 1972)
1897 - Gene (James Joseph) Tunney (World Heavyweight Boxing Champion ; died Nov 7, 1978)
1915 - Ginny Simms (singer, actress: That’s Right You’re Wrong , Seven Days’ Leave , Broadway Rhythm , Disc Jockey ; died Apr 4, 1994)
1919 - Lindsay Nelson (sportscaster: CBS Sports, Cotton Bowl Football, NCAA College Football, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants; author: Hello Everybody, I’m Lindsay Nelson; died June 15, 1995)
1921 - Hal David (Oscar-winning songwriter [w/Burt Bacharach (music)]: Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head ; The Four Winds and the Seven Seas, American Beauty Rose, Broken-Hearted Melody; w/Burt Bacharach: The Story of My Life, Magic Moments; president of ASCAP; died Sep 1, 2012)
1923 - John Weitz (fashion designer: “Underwhelm them.”)
1925 - Jeanne Crain (actress: Pinky, State Fair, People Will Talk; died Dec 14, 2003)
1926 - Claude Akins (actor: The Caine Mutiny, From Here to Eternity, Rio Bravo, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Inherit the Wind, B.J. and the Bear, Austin City Limits; died Jan 27, 1994)
1926 - Kitty Kallen (Genevieve Agostinello) (singer: Little Things Mean a Lot, Go on with the Wedding [w/George Shaw], If I Give My Heart to You, My Coloring Book; died Jan 7, 2016)
1926 - Bill Sharman (Basketball Hall of Famer: Boston Celtics NBA Champion teams [1957, 1959, 1960, 1961]; coach: NBA Coach of the Year: LA Lakers, Lakers General Manager & President; died Oct 25, 2013)
1927 - Robert Ludlum (novelist: The Gemini Contenders, The Rhinemann Exchange; died Mar 12, 2001)
1929 - Beverly Sills (Belle Silverman) (opera soprano; chairperson of Lincoln Center; National Chair of March of Dimes’ Mothers’ March on Birth Defects; died July 2, 2007)
1932 - K.C. Jones (Basketball Hall of Famer: Boston Celtics; Olympic Gold Medalist ; head coach: Boston Celtics, Capitol Bullets, San Diego Conquistadors, Brandeis University)
1934 - Ron Nessen (newsman: NBC; White House Press Secretary: Ford administration; president Mutual News)
1935 - Cookie Gilchrist (football: Buffalo Bills [shares record of 5 touchdowns in a game (Dec. 8, 1963) w/Jim Brown, Ernie Nevers and James Stewart]; died Jan 10, 2011)
1936 - Tom T. Hall (singer: P.S. I Love You; songwriter: Harper Valley P.T.A.; syndicated host: Pop Goes the Country, The Nashville Network)
1938 - Raymond Carver (poet: A New Path to the Waterfall; died Aug 2, 1988)
1939 - Dixie Carter (actress: Family Law, Designing Women, Diff’rent Strokes, Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, Ladies Man; died Apr 10, 2010)
1939 - Sir Ian McKellen (Tony Award-winning actor: Amadeus ; Jack and Sarah, Richard III, The Shadow, Six Degrees of Separation, And the Band Played On, Windmills of the Gods, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Last Action Hero)
1943 - John ‘Poli’ Palmer (musician: sax, flute, keyboard: group: Family: No Mule’s Fool, Weaver’s Answer, In My Own Time, Burlesque)
1943 - Leslie Uggams (singer: Sing Along with Mitch, The Leslie Uggams Show; actress: Skyjacked, Roots, Backstairs at the White House, All My Children)
1944 - Frank Oz (Richard Frank Oznowicz) (puppeteer: voice of Miss Piggy)
1947 - Jessi Colter (Mirian Johnson) country singer: I’m Not Lisa; widow of singer Waylon Jennings
1947 - Mitch Margo (singer: groups: Cross Country: In the Midnight Hour; The Tokens: Tonight I Fell in Love, The Lion Sleeps Tonight)
1947 - Karen Valentine (actress: Room 222, Karen, The Love Boat, Children in the Crossfire)
1948 - Klaus Meine (singer: group: Scorpions: LPs: Animal Magnetism, Love at First Sting, World Wide Live)
1950 - John (Joseph) Montefusco (‘The Count of Montefusco’: baseball [pitcher]: SF Giants [all-star: 1976], Atlanta Braves, SD Padres, NY Yankees)
1955 - Connie Sellecca (actress: Hotel, The Great American Hero, The Brotherhood of the Rose)
1971 - Justin Henry (actor: Andersonville, Sixteen Candles, Kramer vs. Kramer)
Chart Toppers - May 25
Dream - The Pied Pipers
Candy - Johnny Mercer & Jo Stafford
Sentimental Journey - The Les Brown Orchestra (vocal: Doris Day)
At Mail Call Today - Gene Autry
Song from Moulin Rouge - The Percy Faith Orchestra
I Believe - Frankie Laine
April in Portugal - The Les Baxter Orchestra
Mexican Joe - Jim Reeves
Mother-In-Law - Ernie K-Doe
Daddy’s Home - Shep & The Limelites
Travelin’ Man - Ricky Nelson
Hello Walls - Faron Young
Get Back - The Beatles
Love (Can Make You Happy) - Mercy
Oh Happy Day - The Edwin Hawkins’ Singers
My Life (Throw It Away if I Want To) - Bill Anderson
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
Couldn’t Get It Right - Climax Blues Band
I’m Your Boogie Man - KC & The Sunshine Band
Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) - Waylon Jennings
Everything She Wants - Wham!
Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears for Fears
Axel F - Harold Faltermeyer
Radio Heart - Charly McClain
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
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