440 International Those Were the Days
November 28

Events - November 28
1895 - The first automobile race in America began, as six cars traveled from Jackson Park in Chicago to Waukegan, Illinois. J. Frank Duryea was the winner, traveling at a blazing speed of 7 and 1/2 miles per hour! It took him 7 hrs. 53 minutes to make the trek (bathroom stops not included). He won $2,000 for the effort.

1922 - The first skywriting display happened on this day. The words “Hello USA” were written in the sky over New York City. It was a short time later that the invention of Captain Cyril Turner was applied for commercial use.

1932 - Groucho Marx performed on radio for the first time. Using his fast-paced, ingenious patter, he invented a new form of comedy that delighted audiences from coast to coast.

1942 - Coffee rationing began in the United States, lasting through the end of World War II.

1942 - A tragic fire at the famed Cocoanut Grove night club in Boston, MA killed nearly 500 people, including popular western actor Charles ‘Buck’ Jones. It is believed that the fire started in a corner of one of the lounges when a customer unscrewed a light bulbs to provide some privacy for himself and his date. The bartender ordered a busboy to replace the bulb, but the lounge was so dark that the busboy lit a match to find the socket. A short time later, flames appeared and spread to a nearby tinsel palm tree. When the ceiling (festooned in billows of blue satin fabric) exploded into flames, the entire crowd stampeded. The Cocoanut Grove fire prompted major efforts in fire prevention and control for U.S. nightclubs and other related places of assembly.

1953 - New York City began 11 days without newspapers when a strike of photoengravers shut down publication. The good news: Sales increased for magazines and paperback books. The bad news: Have you ever tried lining a bird cage with paperback books?

1956 - Holding the #1 spot on the music charts: Guy Mitchell singing "Singing the Blues". The song remained at the top of the Hit Parade for 10 weeks. Here’s a bit of trivia: Ray Conniff whistled the intro to "Singing the Blues".

1963 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced in a televised address that Cape Canaveral would be renamed Cape Kennedy in memory of President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated six days earlier. President Johnson said the name change had been sanctioned by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. Johnson also ordered the space facility to be renamed John F. Kennedy Space Center, NASA. On May 18, 1973 Florida Governor Rueben Askew signed a Florida statute requiring that Cape Kennedy be renamed Cape Canaveral. The name John F. Kennedy Space Center, NASA was not changed.

1966 - “Oh-bo-de-o-do...” The New Vaudeville Band received a gold record for "Winchester Cathedral" this day.

1974 - John Lennon appeared in concert for the last time -- at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. Lennon joined Elton John to sing "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" as well as "I Saw Her Standing There".

1981 - Alabama football coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant won his 315th victory to become college football’s all-time career victory leader. Bryant surpassed Amos Alonzo Stagg with the win. (This record was broken four years later, in October 1985, by Grambling head coach Eddie Robinson.)

1984 - Leaving Chicago behind, Phil Donahue headed to New York for his daily talk show that reached an estimated 7 million people each day. To that time, Phil and actress-wife Marlo Thomas had commuted for four years to be together in matrimony.

1986 - NBC’s Ahmad Rashad heard the acceptance of his marriage proposal from Phylicia Ayers-Allen during halftime of the Detroit Lions-New York Jets football game.

1988 - Picasso’s "Acrobat and Young Harlequin" brought £21 million at Christie’s in London. The painting was one of many that Adolf Hitler had sold in 1939 to ‘cleanse’ Germany of the disturbing images created by painters such as Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall.

1996 - The U.S. space shuttle "Columbia" had a screw loose. A stuck hatch (later blamed on that loose screw) prevented astronauts Tammy Jernigan and Tom Jones from taking a spacewalk. “I'm pushing as hard as I can,” Jones said. “It just doesn't seem to want to move,” Jernigan agreed.

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - November 28
1628 - John Bunyan (author: A Pilgrim’s Progress, Grace Abounding, The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, The Holy War; died Aug 31, 1688)

1632 - Jean Baptiste Lully (musician, opera composer: Cadmus and Hermione, Amadis de Gaule, Roland, Armide et Renaud; died Mar 22, 1687)

1757 - William Blake (poet: Songs of Innocence; artist: engraved his own poems and drawings on copper plates; died Aug 12, 1827)

1895 - José Iturbi (musician, pianist, conductor: Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; died June 28, 1980)

1907 - Charles Alston (artist: The Family, Black Man, Black Woman, Walking; died Apr 27, 1977)

1915 - Dick Vance (musician: trumpet; died Jan 1, 1985)

1922 - Wes Westrum (baseball: San Francisco Giants catcher [all-star: 1952, 1953]; NY Mets, SF Giants manager; died May 28, 2002)

1923 - Gloria Grahame (Hallward) (Academy Award-winning actress: The Bad and the Beautiful [1952]; Oklahoma!, It’s a Wonderful Life, Not as a Stranger, Rich Man, Poor Man-Book I; died Oct 5, 1981)

1929 - Berry Gordy, Jr. (founder: Motown Records)

1933 - Hope Lange (Emmy Award-winning actress: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir [1968-1969, 1969-1970]; Bus Stop, Peyton Place, The Young Lions, Wild in the Country, Pocketful of Miracles, That Certain Summer; died Dec 19, 2003)

1934 - Ethel Ennis (singer: w/Benny Goodman Orchestra)

1936 - Gary Hart (Gary Warren Hartpence) (U.S. Senator from Colorado; U.S. presidential candidate [1984])

1938 - Michael Ritchie (director: The Scout, Cops and Robbersons, Fletch, Semi-Tough, The Bad News Bears, The Candidate; died Apr 16, 2001)

1939 - Gary Troxel (singer: group: The Fleetwoods: Mr. Blue, Come Softly to Me)

1940 - Bruce Channel (singer: Hey! Baby, Going Back to Louisiana, Keep On)

1941 - Norm Beaudin (hockey: NHL: SL Blues, Minnesota North Stars)

1942 - Paul Warfield (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Miami Dolphins wide receiver: Super Bowl: VI, VII, VIII; Cleveland Browns)

1943 - R.B. Greaves (singer: Take a Letter Maria; singer Sam Cooke’s nephew; died Sep 27, 2012)

1943 - Randy (Randall Stuart) Newman (composer: scores for Toy Story, Avalon, Parenthood, The Natural, Ragtime; singer, songwriter: Short People, theme from The Marshall Chronicles: Fallin’ in Love, theme from Cop Rock: Under the Gun; songwriter: Love Story, Mama Told Me Not to Come, Sail Away)

1946 - Susan Spencer (news correspondent: CBS, 48 Hours)

1948 - Beeb Birtles (musician: guitar: group: The Little River Band: It’s a Long Way There, Help is on Its Way, Reminiscing, Lady, Lonesome Loser, Cool Change, The Night Owls, Take It Easy on Me)

1948 - Vern Den Herder (football: Miami Dolphins defensive end: Super Bowl: VI, VII, VIII, XVII)

1949 - Alexander Godunov (Boris Alexandrovich Godunov) (ballet dancer; actor: Die Hard, The Money Pit, Witness; died May 18, 1995)

1949 - Paul Shaffer (band leader: Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman; comedian: A Year at the Top, Saturday Night Live)

1950 - Ed Harris (actor: Riders of the Purple Sage, Nixon, Apollo 13, The Firm, Glengarry Glen Ross, China Moon, Places in the Heart, The Right Stuff, Knightriders)

1959 - Judd Nelson (actor: Blindfold: Acts of Obsession, Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Breakfast Club)

1962 - Jon Stewart (Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor: The Daily Show, The Larry Sanders Show, The Jon Stewart Show, Elmopalooza!, The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards)

1964 - Roy Tarpley (basketball: Dallas Mavericks; died Jan 9, 2015)

1967 - Anna Nicole Smith (model: Playboy Playmate [May 1992], Playmate of the Year [1993]; actress: The Hudsucker Proxy, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; died Feb 8, 2007)

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Chart Toppers - November 28
Sin (It’s No) - Eddy Howard
Because of You - Tony Bennett
And So to Sleep Again - Patti Page
Slow Poke - Pee Wee King

Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin
Mr. Blue - The Fleetwoods
Deck of Cards - Wink Martindale
Country Girl - Faron Young

Incense and Peppermints - Strawberry Alarm Clock
The Rain, the Park & Other Things - The Cowsills
Daydream Believer - The Monkees
It’s the Little Things - Sonny James

That’s the Way (I like It) - KC & The Sunshine Band
Fly, Robin, Fly - Silver Convention
The Way I Want to Touch You - Captain & Tennille
Rocky - Dickey Lee

All Night Long (All Night) - Lionel Richie
Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
Holding Her and Loving You - Earl Thomas Conley

When a Man Loves a Woman - Michael Bolton
Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - PM Dawn
That’s What Love is For - Amy Grant
Shameless - Garth Brooks

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...

Comments/Corrections: TWtDfix@440fun.com

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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