Events - November 20
1866 - The rotary-crank bicycle was patented by Pierre Lallement in Paris, France. The bike, incidentally, was known as the bone shaker.
1919 - The first municipally-owned airport in the nation opened -- in Tucson, Arizona. The entire community turned out for the big celebration.
1929 - The first broadcast of "The Rise of the Goldbergs", with Gertrude Berg as Molly, was heard on the NBC Blue radio network. Later, the title would be shortened to "The Goldbergs". Mrs. Berg, incidentally, wrote the first scripts for the 15-minute program and starred in the show -- for $75 a week. The program continued until 1945 (it returned for one season in 1949-1950). Gertrude Berg brought "The Goldbergs" to TV in 1949, entertaining audiences with New York style, motherly phrases like, “Button up your neck. It’s cold outside.”
1929 - Leo Reisman and his orchestra recorded "Happy Days are Here Again" for Victor Records. The classic was recorded just three weeks after the stock market crash that plunged the nation into the Great Depression. Some people have a unique sense of timing, don’t they?
1931 - The first commercial teletype service was introduced by American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
1947 - A royal wedding this day, as Princess Elizabeth (who would be Queen in four years) and Lt. Philip Mountbatten were married.
1959 - One of America’s great rock jocks was fired from WABC radio in New York. The ‘Moondoggy’ himself, Alan Freed, was axed in the midst of the payola music scandal.
1966 - "Cabaret" opened on Broadway for the first of 1,165 stellar performances. Joel Gray starred in the hugely successful musical that is an adaptation of both the play, "I Am a Camera", and the novel, "Goodbye to Berlin".
1969 - Soccer star Pelé collected his 1,000th career goal -- in Rio de Janeiro.
1971 - Isaac Hayes of Memphis, TN got his first #1 hit as the "Theme from Shaft" began a two-week stay at the top of the charts.
1984 - “You deserve a break today...” by knowing that 35 years and 11 months after the very first McDonald’s hamburger was sold, the 50 billionth burger was made by Edward Rensi, president of Mickey D’s. The milestone was celebrated this day at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
1992 - Fire erupted at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth's official residence west of London, causing much damage. The queen and Prince Andrew pitched in to help save priceless artworks and other valuables housed in the fortress. The fire burned for 15 hours damaging or destroying nine principal rooms and over a hundred other rooms. It took a million and a half gallons of water to put out the blaze. The next five years would be spent restoring the Castle to its former glory.
1998 - It was movie debut day for: Woody Allen’s "Celebrity", starring Hank Azaria, Kenneth Branagh, Judy Davis, Leonardo Dicaprio and Melanie Griffith; "Enemy of the State" (“It's Not Paranoia if They’re Really After You.”), starring Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight and Regina King; and the animated "The Rugrats Movie" (“An adventure for anyone that ever wore diapers.”), with the voices of David Spade, Whoopi Goldberg, Elizabeth Daily, Christine Cavanaugha and Cheryl Chase.
Birthdays - November 20
1841 - Sir Wilfrid Laurier (eighth Prime Minister of Canada [1896-1911]; died Feb 17, 1919)
1858 - Selma Lagerlöf (author: Gosta Berling’s Saga, Jerusalem, Christ Legends, The Wonderful World of Nils, Liljecrona’s Home, The Ring of the Lowenskolds; first woman to receive Nobel Prize in Literature ; died Mar 16, 1940)
1889 - Edwin Powell Hubble (Rhodes Scholar, lawyer, astronomer: developed the concept of an expanding universe; Hubble Space Telescope bears his name; died Sep 28, 1953)
1900 - Chester Gould (cartoonist: Dick Tracy; died May 11, 1985)
1908 - Sir Alistair Cooke (author: America; Emmy Award-winning TV narrator/writer: America [1972-73], TV host: Masterpiece Theatre [1974-75]; Omnibus; 8th Annual ATAS Governor’s Award ; died Mar 30, 2004)
1913 - (Juliette) Judy Canova (comedienne, actress: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Oklahoma Annie; died Aug 5, 1983)
1914 - Emilio Pucci (Marchese deBarsento) (fashion designer; died Nov 29, 1992)
1916 - Evelyn Keyes (actress: Before I Hang, Gone with the Wind, The Jolson Story, The Seven Year Itch, Return to Salem’s Lot; author: autobiography: Scarlet O’Hara’s Younger Sister; died Jul 4, 2008)
1917 - Robert Byrd (legislator: Democratic whip of U.S. Senate ; died Jun 28, 2010)
1921 - Phyllis Thaxter (actress: Three Sovereigns for Sarah, Superman: The Movie, Jim Thorpe: All American, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo; died Aug 14, 2012)
1923 - Nadine Gordimer (writer: July’s People, Lifetimes Under Apartheid; won Nobel Prize in Literature ; died Jul 13, 2014)
1925 - Kaye Ballard (Catherine Balotta) (actress, comedienne: What a Dummy, The Steve Allen Comedy Hour, The Perry Como Show, The Mothers-in-Law, Henry Morgan’s Great Talent Hunt, The Doris Day Show)
1925 - June Christy (Shirley Luster) (singer: My Heart Belongs to Only You; sang with Stan Kenton band; died June 21, 1990)
1925 - Robert F. (Francis) Kennedy (U.S. Attorney General under brother President John F. Kennedy; U.S. Senator [from New York]; shot by Sirhan Sirhan June 5, 1968, died June 6, 1968)
1927 - Estelle Parsons (Academy Award-winning actress: Bonnie and Clyde; Dick Tracy, For Pete’s Sake, Don’t Drink the Water, Roseanne, Backstairs at the White House)
1932 - Richard Dawson (actor: Hogan’s Heroes, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, The Running Man, The Devil’s Brigade; TV host: Family “Survey says!” Feud; panelist: I’ve Got a Secret; died Jun 2, 2012)
1939 - Dick Smothers (comedian: The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Smothers Brothers Show, The Steve Allen Show; actor: Speed Zone, Tales of the Unexpected)
1940 - Tony Butala (singer: group: The Lettermen: When I Fall in Love, Goin’ Out of My Head, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You)
1942 - Norman Greenbaum (singer: Spirit in the Sky, The Eggplant That Ate Chicago)
1943 - Veronica Hamel (actress: Hill Street Blues, Taking Care of Business, The Gathering series, Cannonball)
1945 - Jay (John William) Johnstone (baseball: California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees [World Series: 1978], SD Padres, LA Dodgers [World Series: 1981], Chicago Cubs)
1945 - Rick (Robert James) Monday (baseball: KC Athletics, Oakland Athletics [all-star: 1968], Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers [World Series: 1977, 1978, 1981/all-star: 1978]; broadcaster)
1946 - (Howard) Duane Allman (musician: lead guitar: group: Allman Brothers Band; killed in motorcycle crash in Macon GA Oct 29, 1971)
1946 - Ray Stiles (musician: bass, singer: group: Mud: The Cat Crept In, Crazy, Myna-Mite, L-L-Lucy, Lean on Me, Lonely This Christmas, Moonshine Sally, Oh Boy, Rocket, The Secrets That You Keep, Shake It Down, Show Me You’re a Woman, Tiger Feet; The Hollies)
1946 - Judy Woodruff (TV news anchor/host: PBS: Frontline, CNN)
1947 - Joe Walsh (musician: guitar, singer: groups: James Gang; The Eagles: Hotel California, New Kid in Town, In the Fast Lane, Heartache Tonight; solo: Life’s Been Good, A Life of Illusion, All Night Long)
1948 - Richard Masur (actor: Hiroshima, The Man Without a Face, And the Band Played On, Stephen King’s It, Rent-A-Cop, Heartburn, The Burning Bed, Under Fire, Risky Business, The Thing, East of Eden, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Semi-Tough, Picket Fences, Hot L Baltimore, One Day at a Time)
1952 - John Van Boxmeer (hockey: Nova-Scotia Voyageurs, Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Rockies, Buffalo Sabres, Fredericton Express, Quebec Nordiques, Rochester Americans)
1956 - Bo Derek (Mary Cathleen Collins) (actress: 10, Bolero, A Change of Season, Tarzan, the Ape Man, Ghosts Can’t Do It, Shattered Image; married to producer/director John Derek)
1956 - Mark (Marcus) Gastineau (football: NY Jets defensive end: AFC Defensive Player of the Year )
1957 - Jimmy Brown (musician: drums: group: UB40: King, Food for Thought, My Way of Thinking, I Think It’s Going to Rain, Dream a Lie, The Earth Dies Screaming, If It Happens Again, Red Red Wine, Don’t Break My Heart, Sing Our Own Song, Amandla Awethu [The Power is Ours])
1959 - Sean Young (actress: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Fatal Instinct, Cousins, Blade Runner, No Way Out)
1963 - Ming-Na (actress: The Joy Luck Club, ER, The Single Guy, One Night Stand, Mulan, Teddy Bears’ Picnic)
1965 - Mike D (Diamond) (rap singer: group: The Beastie Boys: No Sleep Till Brooklyn, She’s On It, [You Gotta] Fight for Your Right [To Party])
Chart Toppers - November 20
Sin (It’s No) - Eddy Howard
Because of You - Tony Bennett
Down Yonder - Del Wood
Slow Poke - Pee Wee King
Mr. Blue - The Fleetwoods
Don’t You Know - Della Reese
Heartaches by the Number - Guy Mitchell
Country Girl - Faron Young
To Sir with Love - Lulu
Soul Man - Sam & Dave
Incense and Peppermints - Strawberry Alarm Clock
It’s the Little Things - Sonny James
Island Girl - Elton John
Who Loves You - Four Seasons
That’s the Way (I like It) - KC & The Sunshine Band
Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way - Waylon Jennings
All Night Long (All Night) - Lionel Richie
Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
One of a Kind Pair of Fools - Barbara Mandrell
Cream - Prince & The N.P.G.
Can’t Stop This Thing We Started - Bryan Adams
When a Man Loves a Woman - Michael Bolton
Shameless - Garth Brooks
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.