Events - October 15
1860 - Grace Bedell, age 11, wrote Abe Lincoln with a suggestion. She urged Lincoln to grow a beard. If he did, she’d try to get her four brothers to vote for him for president. Lincoln won the election in November -- then he grew a beard.
1892 - The U.S. government convinced the Crow Indians to give up 1.8 million acres of their reservation for 50 cents per acre. On this day, by presidential proclamation, the land in the mountainous area of western Montana was opened to settlers.
1905 - President Grover Cleveland wrote an article for "Ladies Home Journal", joining others in the U.S. who opposed women voters. The president said, “We all know how much further women go than men in their social rivalries and jealousies... sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.”
1931 - The production of "The Cat and the Fiddle" opened in New York. It played for 395 performances. Meow!
1932 - The War Memorial Opera House became the first municipally-owned opera palace -- in San Francisco, CA. "Tosca" was the first opera presented.
1946 - With two outs, and St. Louis Cardinals’ Enos Slaughter on first, Harry Walker hit a line drive to left-center. Slaughter got an early jump as Boston Red Sox pitcher Bob Klinger failed to hold him on the bag. Leon Culberson (in center) bobbled Walker’s single and shortstop Johnny Pesky hesitated on the cutoff (checking the runner on first instead of throwing home). Ignoring third base coach Mike Gonzalez, Slaughter rounded third and scored. Pitcher Harry Brecheen shut down the Red Sox in the ninth and St. Louis won the game, 4-3, and the World Series, four games to three. The ’46 Series will always be remembered in Red Sox lore as the one in which “Pesky held the ball.”
1951 - "I Love Lucy" debuted on CBS-TV. For the next 20 years, Lucille Ball would be a TV regular. She did take 1956 off. Why? No, having little Ricky had nothing to do with it. She starred in "Wildcat" on Broadway that year.
1953 - "The Teahouse of the August Moon" opened on Broadway to begin a long and successful run (1,027 performances).
1955 - The "Grand Ole Opry" finally made it to TV on this day. The ABC network carried just one hour of "Opry" (it continued through the night), live from Nashville. This arrangement only lasted for one year; although the "Grand Ole Opry" was used as a staging arena for other successful shows like "Classic Country Featuring Stars of the Grand Ole Opry" and "Hayride". Then, Grand Ole Opry came to TV to stay. In 1985, the Nashville Network (TNN) positioned the show on Saturday nights. In July 2001, Opry moved to Country Music Televison (CMT).
1959 - Van Johnson was originally slated to play Eliot Ness, but he backed out in a dispute over money the weekend before filming was to begin. Robert Stack was hastily recruited for the starring role in "The Untouchables" on a Sunday morning. He was fitted for costumes in the afternoon, and started filming the first episode, "The Empty Chair", on Monday morning. "The Untouchables", with the chatter of machine-gun fire and the squeal of tires on the streets of Chicago, began a four-year run this day on ABC-TV. With Stack, as G-man Ness, were Nick Georgiade (as Enrico Rossi), Jerry Paris (as Martin Flaherty), Abel Fernandez (as William Youngfellow), Anthony George (as Cam Allison), Paul Percerni (as Lee Hobson), Steve London (as Agent Rossman) and Bruce Gordon (as Frank Nitti). The unforgettable narrator was radio’s famous Walter Winchell.
1964 - An American treasure died. Cole Porter, renowned lyricist and composer, died at age 73. "I’ve Got You Under My Skin" and hundreds of other classics crossed all musical style and format boundaries throughout his long and rich career.
1964 - For St. Louis, it was the first time a Cardinal team had appeared in the World Series since 1946 (see above), and the first of three Series appearances in the 1960s. For the Yankees, it was their last Series appearance for 12 years, and the last hurrah in a long string of Fall Classics for legendary players Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle. The Cards won the Series in seven games, with Bob Gibson’s complete game, nine strike-out performance in game seven. Lou Brock’s fifth-inning home run triggered a second 3-run inning and a 6-0 lead for Gibson. Mickey Mantle, Clete Boyer, and Phil Linz homered for New York, but it wasn’t enough. The Cards won the game, 7-5, and the series, four games to three.
1970 - The Baltimore Orioles overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 9-3, and win the World Series in five games. It was the first Series on artificial turf and the first at Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati). And it was the Brooks Robinson show. With the Orioles’ third baseman leading the way, the Orioles avenged their World Series loss (to the NY Mets) of a year earlier by getting beating the Reds in five games.
1971 - Rick Nelson was booed off the stage when he didn’t stick to all oldies at the seventh Annual Rock ’n’ Roll Revival show at Madison Square Garden, New York. He tried to slip in some of his new material and the crowd did not approve. The negative reaction to his performance inspired Nelson to write his last top-40 hit, "Garden Party", which hit the top-ten about a year after the Madison Square Garden debacle. "Garden Party", ironically, was Nelson’s biggest hit in years, “...If you gotta play at garden parties, I wish you a lotta luck; But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck.”
1973 - “From those of us working the late shift in Southern California, sweet dreams.” Tom Snyder would use this phrase to close his late-night show, "Tomorrow", which debuted on NBC-TV this night. Tom would yuk it up with some of TV’s most interesting chatter -- right after the "Tonight" show. NBC would later add critic Rona Barrett to the show. "Tomorrow" ran until January of 1982.
1984 - Public telephones flew on 20 flights beginning this day for those who had credit cards. Costs for the Airfone service: $7.50 for a three-minute call, $1.25 for each additional minute anywhere you wanted to call in the United States.
1988 - "Red Red Wine", by UB40, was the first reggae hit to make it to number one in the U.S. From the album "Labour of Love", "Red Red Wine" was #1 for only one week, but turned out to be UB40’s signature song.
1990 - Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the USSR (1985-1991), won the Nobel Peace Prize. Gorbachev is widely credited for “helping to end the Cold War, change the map of Europe and usher in a new era in world affairs.”
1993 - African National Congress leader Nelson (Rolihlahla) Mandela and South African President F.W. (Frederik Willem) de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to usher in reforms that 1) ended South Africa’s era of white minority rule and 2) laid the foundations for democracy.
1994 - REM’s "Monster" was a monster of an album -- #1 in the U.S. The album, featuring "What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?", "Crush with Eyeliner", "King of Comedy", "I Don’t Sleep, I Dream", "Star 69", "Strange Currencies", "Tongue", "Bang and Blame", "I Took Your Name", "Let Me In", "Circus Envy" and "You", was number one for two weeks.
1997 - British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green drove (piloted?) the first land-based vehicle (at Black Rock Desert, NV) to break the sound barrier: a two-way average speed of 763.035 mph – mach 1.020. And, considering he had to use one hand just to hold on to his hat, that is an impressive feat...
Birthdays - October 15
70 B.C. - Virgil (poet: The Aeneid; died Sep 21, 19 B.C.)
1844 - Friedrich Nietzsche (philosopher: “Plato was a bore.”; The Birth of Tragedy, Thoughts out of Season, Human, All Too Human, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morals, Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist; died Aug 25, 1900)
1858 - John L. Sullivan (International Boxing Hall of Famer: World Heavyweight champion [1881-1889], Marquis of Queensbury Champion [1885-1892]; last bareknuckle championship fight [75 rounds in 1889]; actor: The Great John L. Sullivan, vaudeville; died Feb 2, 1918)
1881 - P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse (author: Leave It to Psmith, The Inimitable Jeeves, The Code of the Woosters, French Leave, Carry on Jeeves, Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves; died Feb 14, 1975)
1900 - Mervyn LeRoy (director: Gypsy, Mister Roberts, The Bad Seed, The F.B.I. Story, Homecoming, Little Women, Madame Curie, A Majority of One, Quo Vadis, Rose Marie, Random Harvest, Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, Three on a Match; died Sep 13, 1987)
1903 - Mule (George William) Haas (baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Athletics [World Series: 1929-1931], Chicago White Sox; died June 30, 1974)
1904 - Marty Mann (social activist: first woman to stay sober in Alcoholics Anonymous [AA], founded National Committee for Education on Alcoholism; author: A New Primer on Alcoholism; died Jul 22, 1980)
1908 - John Kenneth Galbraith (economist; author: The Affluent Society, The New Industrial State, The Anatomy of Power; U.S. ambassador to India [1961-1963]; died Apr 29, 2006)
1909 - Robert Trout (journalist: radio/TV; TV moderator: Presidential Timber; emcee: Who Said That?; died Nov 14, 2000)
1913 - David Carroll (musician, conductor, arranger: Melody of Love, It’s Almost Tomorrow; record producer for The Diamonds, The Platters; died Mar 22, 2008)
1917 - Arthur (Meier) Schlesinger Jr. (Pulitzer Prize-winning author/historian: The Age of Jackson [1946 prize in history], A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House [1966 prize in biography]; The Age of Roosevelt, The Imperial Presidency, Robert F. Kennedy and His Times; presidential special assistant and speech writer [1961-64]; died Feb 28, 2007)
1920 - Chris Economaki (auto sports writer, broadcaster: ABC Sports; died Sep 28, 2012)
1920 - Mario Puzo (novelist: The Godfather, Fourth K.; screen playwright: The Godfather series, Earthquake, Superman: The Movie, Superman 2, The Cotton Club, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery; died July 2, 1999)
1924 - José Quintero (director: Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, Medea; died Feb 26, 1999)
1924 - Lee (Lido) Iacocca (mechanical engineer, automobile executive: chairperson of Chrysler Corporation, president of Ford Motor Company; author: Iacocca; chairperson: centennial rehabilitation of Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island foundation)
1925 - Mickey (McHouston) Baker (musician: guitar, singer: duo: Mickey & Sylvia: Love is Strange, There Oughta Be a Law, Baby You’re So Fine; solo: session player: Losing Hand, [Mama] He treats Your Daughter Mean; died Nov 27, 2012)
1926 - Jean Peters (actress: Three Coins in the Fountain, Apache, Broken Lance, Viva Zapata, It Happens Every Spring; died Oct 13, 2000)
1934 - Peter Haskell (actor: Robot Wars, Child’s Play, Christina, Bracken’s World, The Law and Harry McGraw, Rich Man, Poor Man-Book II, Rituals)
1935 - Barry McGuire (singer, songwriter: group: The New Christy Minstrels: Green, Green; solo: Eve of Destruction)
1935 - Bobby Morrow (National Track & Field & Olympic Hall of Famer: Gold Medalist: [3-1956]: 100-meter, 200-meter, 4x100 relay; Sullivan Award )
1937 - Linda Lavin (Tony Award-winning actress: Broadway Bound ; Alice, Barney Miller, Room for Two)
1938 - Marv Johnson (singer: You Got What it Takes, I Love the Way You Love, Come to Me, I Miss You Baby [How I Miss You]; in film: The Teenage Millionaire ; died May 16, 1993)
1942 - Dick Lotz (golf: PGA Tour ; champ: [Kemper Open: 1970])
1942 - Don Stevenson (musician: drums, singer: group: Moby Grape: LPs: Moby Grape, Wow, Grape Jam)
1943 - Penny (Carole) Marshall (actress: Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, The Bob Newhart Show; director: Renaissance Man, Big, A League of Their Own, Awakenings, Jumpin’ Jack Flash; sister of director, producer Garry Marshall)
1945 - Jim (James Alvin) Palmer (Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher: Baltimore Orioles [World Series: 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1983/all-star: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1978/Cy Young Award-winner: 1975, 1976]; broadcaster: ABC Sports; spokesperson, model: Jockey underwear)
1946 - Richard Carpenter (musician, composer, singer: Grammy Award-winning group: Carpenters: [They Long to Be] Close to You , Best New Artist , LP: The Carpenters ; We’ve Only Just Begun, Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar, Goodbye to Love, Yesterday Once More, Sing, Top of the World, Only Yesterday; TV host: Make Your Own Kind of Music)
1946 - Victor Banerjee (actor: Bitter Moon, Foreign Body, The Home and the World, A Passage to India)
1946 - Jim Beirne (football: Purdue [All-American: 1966], Houston Oilers)
1948 - Chris De Burgh (Christopher John Davidson) (singer, songwriter: The Lady in Red, A Spaceman Came Travelling, Ship to Shore, Don’t Pay the Ferryman, High on Emotion, The Ecstacy of Flight [I Love the Night], Transmission Ends)
1951 - Roscoe Tanner (tennis champion: Australian Open )
1953 - Tito (Toriano) Jackson (singer: group: The Jackson Five: I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save, I’ll Be There; brother of Michael, Janet, Jermaine, LaToya)
1955 - Tanya Roberts (Leigh) (actress: Charlie’s Angels, Deep Down, Sins of Desire, Body Slam, A View to a Kill, Tourist Trap, California Dreaming, Forced Entry)
1959 - Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York: ‘Fergie’)
1959 - Emeril Lagasse (celebrity chef, TV host: Emeril Live, Essence of Emeril; actor: Emeril; restaurateur: owns restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando)
1965 - Trace Armstrong (football: Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders)
Chart Toppers - October 15
I Wish I Didn’t Love You So - Vaughn Monroe
Feudin’ and Fightin’ - Dorothy Shay
Near You - The Francis Craig Orchestra (vocal: Bob Lamm)
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) - Tex Williams
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing - The Four Aces
Autumn Leaves - Roger Williams
Black Denim Trousers - The Cheers
The Cattle Call - Eddy Arnold
Sugar Shack - Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs
Be My Baby - The Ronettes
Cry Baby - Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters
Talk Back Trembling Lips - Ernest Ashworth
Maggie Mae/Reason to Believe - Rod Stewart
Superstar - Carpenters
Yo-Yo - The Osmonds
How Can I Unlove You - Lynn Anderson
Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
Rise - Herb Alpert
Sail On - Commodores
Last Cheater’s Waltz - T.G. Sheppard
Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
Lost in Emotion - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Carrie - Europe
The Way We Make a Broken Heart - Rosanne Cash
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.