Events - November 21
1783 - Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis Francois Laurant d’Arlandes made the first flight in a balloon, thus becoming the first men to fly - period. The pair flew nearly six miles around Paris in 25 minutes reaching an altitude of around 300 feet. Ben Franklin was one of the spectators at the big event. The flight came less than six months after the first (unmanned) public balloon demonstration.
1789 - The 12th of the 13 original colonies to become the United States of America, did so on this day. North Carolina or the Tar Heel State, boasts the brilliant red cardinal as its state bird, the graceful dogwood as its state flower, and lays claim to being the nation’s largest producer of tobacco and textiles. Raleigh is the state capital.
1871 - The cigar lighter was patented by Moses F. Gale of New York City.
1877 - Thomas A. Edison, who really dug the jazz he heard coming from his newest invention, told those gathered that he just invented the ‘talking machine’ (phonograph). On February 19, 1878, Edison received a patent for the device and was enrolled as a charter member of the Columbia House Record Club where he received his first 10 selections free -- with only six selections purchased at regular prices over the next three years...
1934 - Cole Porter’s "Anything Goes" opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. The show ran for 420 performances.
1937 - Following Carnegie Hall performances in both 1906 and 1919, Artur Rubinstein presented another historic and highly acclaimed performance at the arts center this day.
1938 - WBOE in Cleveland, OH became the first school-operated radio station (owned by a municipality) to receive a license from the FCC. WBOE went on the air as a 500-watt AM station and later became an FM station.
1938 - The first broadcast of "Central City" was heard. It was an adventure-mystery show set at the newspaper in, you guessed it, Central City. Elspeth Eric played the part of crime reporter Emily Olson; and Van Heflin was crime reporter Bob Shellenberger (later, the part was played by Myron McCormick). "Central City" aired until 1941.
1944 - “Happy trails to you, until we meet again....” "The Roy Rogers Show" was first heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Singing along with Roy (‘The King of the Cowboys’), were the Whippoorwills and The Sons of the Pioneers.
1944 - "I’m Beginning to See the Light", the song that would become the theme song for Harry James and his orchestra, was recorded this day. The song featured the lovely voice of Kitty Kallen ("Little Things Mean a Lot").
1955 - The first lady of the American stage, Helen Hayes, was honored for her many remarkable years in show business, as the Fulton Theatre in New York City was renamed the Helen Hayes Theatre.
1959 - Following his firing from WABC Radio in New York the day before, Alan Freed refused “on principle” to sign a statement that he never received money or gifts (payola) for plugging records. Incidentally, few may remember, but Freed left WABC while he was on the air. He was replaced in mid-record by Fred Robbins, who later became a nationally-known entertainment reporter for Mutual Radio.
1964 - The Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened. Actually, the upper deck was opened to traffic on this day. The bridge, linking Brooklyn and Staten Island, was the world’s longest suspension bridge at 4,260 ft.
1973 - Here’s one event that you can participate in without it costing you a dime or even one red cent. It’s easy, and it’s good for everyone. What could possibly be so wonderful? World Hello Day, that’s what. This friendly annual event began on this day and has grown enormously since. People in over 180 countries have participated and the heads of state of 114 countries have given their approval. Now here’s what you do to participate: you just say “hello” to ten people on this day. Greet them warmly and with a smile. And you can say “hello” in any language. The reason: World Hello Day will put us all one step further ahead in the attempt to advance world peace through personal communication.
1980 - The largest TV audience ever, an estimated 82 million people, watched as Sue Ellen’s sister, Kristin Shepard, shot J.R. Ewing on "Dallas". The jilted mistress was seen holding the smoking gun after a summer of viewers asking that haunting question, “Who Shot J.R.?” Eighty percent of all viewers watched the show.
1981 - Olivia Newton-John started the first of 10 weeks at the top of the pop music charts when "Physical" became the music world’s top tune.
1995 - The Beatles’ "Anthology I" sold 450,000 copies in its first day of release. Acording to Capitol Records, it was the most single-day sales ever for an album. Yeah, yeah, yeah...
1997 - These movies debuted in the U.S.: "Anastasia" (the lost Russian Princess Anastasia and her quest to find her true identity), starring Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Hank Azaria, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst and Angela Lansbury; "The Rainmaker" (young lawyer and cynical partner take on powerful law firm representing a corrupt insurance company), with Matt Damon, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, Mickey Rourke, Danny Devito and Danny Glover; and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (set in Savannah GA amid beautiful architecture and odd doings), starring Kevin Spacey, John Cusack, Jack Thompson, Lady Chablis, Alison Eastwood, Irma P. Hall, Paul Hipp and Jude Law.
Birthdays - November 21
1694 - Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire) (author, philosopher; died May 30, 1778)
1854 - Giacomo della Chiesa (Pope Benedict XV: 258th pope of the Roman Catholic Church [1914-1922]; died Jan 22, 1922)
1897 - ‘Handy’ Andy (Andrew Aird) High (baseball: Brooklyn Robins, Boston Braves, SL Cardinals [World Series: 1928, 1930, 1931], Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies; died Feb 22, 1981)
1904 - Coleman Hawkins (musician: tenor saxophone: solo w/Fletcher Henderson band: The Stampede, St. Louis Shuffle, Queer Notions, Hocus Pocus; jazz bandleader: Body and Soul; jazz sax solo: Picasso; died May 19, 1969)
1907 - Jim Bishop (newspaper columnist, author: The Day Christ Died, The Days of Martin Luther King, Jr., The Day Kennedy Was Shot; died July 26, 1987)
1908 - Paul (Rapier) Richards (baseball: catcher: Brooklyn Dodgers, NY Giants, Philadelphia Athletics, Detroit Tigers [World Series: 1945]; Manager: Chicago White 1951-61, 1976 Orioles; died May 4, 1986)
1916 - Sid Luckman (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Chicago Bears quarterback: 4 NFL Championships, MVP ; shares NFL individual record for touchdowns thrown in a game [7, Nov. 14, 1943]; died July 5, 1998)
1920 - Stan ‘The Man’ (Stanley Frank) Musial (Baseball Hall of Famer: SL Cardinals outfielder, first baseman [World Series: 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946/all-star: 1943, 1944, 1946-1963/Baseball Writers’ Award: 1946, 1948]; topped .300 mark 18 times, won seven N.L. batting titles with his famed corkscrew stance and ringing line drives; 3-time MVP played in 24 All-Star games; nicknamed ‘The Man’ by Dodger fans for the havoc he wrought at Ebbets Field; died Jan 19, 2013)
1924 - Vivian Blaine (Stapleton) (actress: State Fair, Guys and Dolls, Those Two; died Dec 9, 1995)
1927 - Joseph Campanella (actor: Ben, Meteor, Original Intent, The President’s Plane is Missing, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Sky Hei$t, The Colbys, The Lawyers, The Nurses, Mannix; narrator: The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau; host: Emergency Call; died May 16, 2018)
1931 - Jim Ringo (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Green Bay Packers: All-Pro center [1957, 1959-1963], Philadelphia Eagles: center; died Nov 19, 2007)
1933 - Jean Shepard (country singer: Satisfied Mind, Beautiful Lies, Slippin’ Away, Satin Sheets, w/Ferlin Husky: A Dear John Letter; died Sep 25, 2016)
1934 - Laurence Luckinbill (Emmy Award-winning executive producer: Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie [1992-1993]; actor: Lyndon, Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier, Messenger of Death, Cocktail, The Boys in the Band, The Delphi Bureau)
1936 - James DePreist (orchestra leader: Oregon Symphony; died Feb 8, 2013)
1937 - Marlo (Margaret) Thomas (Emmy Award-winning producer: Marlo Thomas and Friends in Free to Be ... You and Me [1973-74], Free to Be ... A Family [1988-89], actress: Nobody’s Child [1985-86]; That Girl, Tribute to Women in Comedy, The Joey Bishop Show, Held Hostage, In the Spirit, Jenny; wife of Phil Donahue; daughter of Danny Thomas)
1940 - Dr. John (‘Mac’ Malcolm John Rebennack) (musician: organ, guitar, singer: Right Place Wrong Time; songwriter: Lights Out, What’s Goin’ On, Lady Luck, Losing Battle)
1940 - Natalia Makarova (ballerina: Kirov Ballet [now Saint Petersburg Ballet]: 1959-1970])
1941 - Juliet Mills (Emmy Award-winning actress: QB VII, Parts 1 & 2, ABC Movie Special [1974-75]; Nanny and the Professor, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Cracker Factory; daughter of actor John Mills and sister of actress Hayley Mills)
1944 - Earl ‘The Pearl’ Monroe (Basketball Hall of Famer: Baltimore Bullets: Rookie of the Year ; New York Knicks: championship team [1972-73])
1944 - Harold Ramis (writer: Ghostbusters series, Armed and Dangerous, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Stripes, Meatballs; writer, director: Multiplicity, Groundhog Day, Club Paradise, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Caddyshack, actor: Ghostbusters series, Second City TV, Love Affair, Stealing Home, Baby Boom; died Feb 24, 2014)
1945 - Goldie Hawn (Btudlendgehawn) (Academy Award-winning actress: Cactus Flower ; First Wives Club, Bird on a Wire, Butterflies are Free, Housesitter, Death Becomes Her, Private Benjamin, Shampoo, The Sugarland Express, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Good Morning, World)
1948 - Lonnie (LeRoy) Jordan (musician: keyboard, singer: group: War: LPs: All Day Music, The World is a Ghetto, Why Can’t We Be Friends, Galaxy, The Music Band)
1949 - Barbara Jo Rubin (horse-racing jockey: 1st U.S. woman to win a flat race against male jockeys ; 1st woman to ride in NY & NJ)
1950 - Livingston Taylor (singer: I Will Be in Love with You; songwriter; brother of singer James Taylor)
1952 - Lorna Luft (singer, actress: Trapper John, M.D., Where the Boys Are ’84, Grease 2; daughter of singer-actress Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft; sister of singer-actress Liza Minelli)
1956 - Cynthia Rhodes (actress, dancer: Dirty Dancing, Flashdance)
1963 - Nicollette Sheridan (actress: Desperate Housewives,Paper Dolls, Knots Landing, Spy Hard, Silver Strand, Noises Off, Deceptions, The Sure Thing)
1965 - Björk (Guðmundsdóttir) (singer, songwriter: group: The Sugarcubes: Life’s Too Good; solo: Human Behaviour, Post, Telegram Homogenic, Selmasongs, Dancer in the Dark)
1966 - Troy Aikman (football: Dallas Cowboys quarterback: Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII; holds record for longest pass completion w/receiver Alvin Harper in a playoff game [94 yards, 1/8/95])
1969 - Ken (George Kenneth) Griffey Jr. (baseball: Seattle Mariners left-handed outfielder [all-star: 1990-1996/Gold Glove Award: 1990-1993]; shares individual record for consecutive games hitting home runs [8, July 20-28, 1993]; first son and father [Ken Griffey, Sr.] to play in major leagues at same time  and on same team at same time )
Chart Toppers - November 21
The Trolley Song - Judy Garland
I’ll Walk Alone - Dinah Shore
Together - Helen Forrest & Dick Haymes
Smoke on the Water - Red Foley
You Belong to Me - Jo Stafford
Glow Worm - The Mills Brothers
Because You’re Mine - Mario Lanza
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - Hank Williams
Stay - Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs
Are You Lonesome To-night? - Elvis Presley
Last Date - Floyd Cramer
Wings of a Dove - Ferlin Husky
Hey Jude - The Beatles
Those Were the Days - Mary Hopkin
Love Child - Diana Ross & The Supremes
I Walk Alone - Marty Robbins
Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright) - Rod Stewart
The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot
Love So Right - Bee Gees
Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missin’ Tonight) - Loretta Lynn
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham!
Purple Rain - Prince & The Revolution
I Feel for You - Chaka Khan
Give Me One More Chance - Exile
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.