Events - October 17
1845 - According to a Boston newspaper, the entire audience walked out of a reading that included "The Raven". The audience walked out, not because of the material, but because of their objection to Edgar Allan Poe, the reader and author of the macabre poem.
1888 - The first issue of "National Geographic Magazine" was on newsstands this day. The highly acclaimed magazine was published on a somewhat irregular basis at first. Material was hard to come by in the early years, so the publisher just waited to publish the next issue until enough material accumulated to fill it. The science and travel magazine, the official journal of the National Geographic Society (incorporated January 27, 1888), soon became a monthly and it wasn’t long before it was famous for its maps and photographic essays of exotic locales and peoples.
1919 - The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was formed. The company became a giant in electronics, especially radios and TVs. It would later own its own TV network (NBC) and other broadcast interests.
1933 - Dr. Albert Einstein moved to Princeton, NJ, after arriving in the United States from his troubled homeland of Germany.
1938 - This was a big day in Tinseltown. NBC moved to the corner of Sunset and Vine, the ‘Crossroads of the World’. The new Radio City Hollywood drew thousands of visitors ready to fill studio-audience seats for popular radio programs.
1940 - One year before recording that memorable song, "Fry Me Cookie, with a Can of Lard", Will Bradley’s orchestra recorded "Five O’Clock Whistle", also on Columbia Records.
1945 - Actress Ava Gardner made news. She married bandleader Artie Shaw.
1953 - The first concert of contemporary Canadian music presented in the U.S. was performed by conductor Leopold Stokowski at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
1962 - Though the ‘Fab Four’ would appear on both radio and television, on what they would call ‘Auntie Beeb’ (the BBC), The Beatles made their first appearance this day on Great Britain’s Granada TV Network. The show from Manchester, England was "People and Places".
1967 - “Gimme a head with hair. Long, beautiful hair...” The rock musical "HAIR" opened at the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater for a limited run. After much trial and error, involving several openings and closings, "HAIR" eventually opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theater on April 29, 1968. It closed on July 1, 1972 after 1,742 performances.
1971 - Roberto Clemente’s bat, Steve Blass’ pitching, and the leadership of Willie Stargell made the Pittsburgh Pirates World Series winners. After losing the first two games, the Bucs came back to win three consecutive -- and eventually their fourth world championship. Steve Blass hurled a four-hitter and Roberto Clemente homered as the Pirates won Game 7, 2-1.
1974 - The Oakland A’s beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 games to 1, to win the World Series. In Game 5, played this day, Joe Rudi connected with a homer off Dodger reliever Mike Marshall to break a 2-2 tie. Oakland's bullpen ace, Rollie Fingers preserved the one run lead and the A’s were world champions for the third consecutive year. The A’s were the only team other than the Yankees to win 3 straight series.
1978 - The New York Yankees were pounded 11-to-5 in the opening game of the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers also took game two 4-to-3. No American League team had ever recovered from an 0-2 deficit in the World Series -- until then. The Yankees won the next four games to clinch their 22nd world championship.
1979 - After being down three games to one, Willie ‘Pops’ Stargell’s third World Series homer gave the Pittsburgh Pirates their third straight win, 4-1, and the world championship, four games to three. Stargell was Series MVP.
1985 - Intel introduced the 32-bit 80386 microcomputer chip. It was the first Intel/*86 chip to handle 32-bit data sets. It ran at ‘clock speeds’ of up to 33 MHz -- blazingly fast in 1985.
1989 - Millions were watching the third game of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, when much to their horror, the seats at Candlestick Park began to rock, light towers swayed, and 58,000 fans became eerily quiet. An earthquake, measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale, had hit the San Francisco Bay area at 5:04 p.m. Homes crumbled, gas lines ruptured, ‘earthquake-safe’ structures fell and the upper section of a two-tiered freeway collapsed onto the lower level at the height of rush hour -- trapping commuters in flattened cars. The tremor and its aftershocks reached north to Sacramento and south to Los Angeles, causing an estimated 270 deaths, 3,000 injuries, and damages up to $3 billion. TV audiences stayed glued to their sets as fires burned, rescue workers went about their jobs and real stories unfolded. At the World Series game (postponed because of earth shaking), the fans cheered when the tremor stopped. They were the victors of nature’s game.
1997 - “Ever have a body that just won’t stay dead?” The creepy "I Know What You Did Last Summer" opened in the U.S. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr. play high-school kids who run over a mysterious person on the road. They decide to dump the ‘body’ and forgetta bout it. Hah! As you might guess, that’s easier said than done. At last check (Oct 2001), "I Know What You Did Last Summer" had scared up $72,219,000 at the box office.
1998 - The single, "One Week", by Barenaked Ladies, was number one -- for one week.
Birthdays - October 17
1711 - Jupiter Hammon (poet: An Evening Thought; died between 1790 and 1806)
1780 - Richard Mentor Johnson (9th U.S. Vice President [1837-1841: under President Martin Van Buren]; died Nov 19, 1850)
1886 - Spring Byington (actress: Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Angels in the Outfield, In the Good Old Summertime, Jezebel, Little Women, Laramie, December Bride; died Sep 7, 1971)
1900 - Jean Arthur (Gladys Georgianna Greene) (actress: Shane, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Devil and Miss Jones, The Jean Arthur Show; died June 19, 1991)
1902 - Irene Ryan (Noblette) (actress: The Beverly Hillbillies, Heading for Heaven; died Apr 26, 1973)
1909 - Cozy (William Randolph) Cole (musician: drums: played w/Cab Calloway, Louie Armstrong; solo: Topsy; in films: Make Mine Music, The Glen Miller Story; developed a drummers’ school w/Gene Krupa; died Jan 31, 1981)
1912 - Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I: 263rd pope of the Roman Catholic Church [Aug 26, 1978 to Sep 28, 1978]; died Sep 28, 1978)
1914 - Jerry (Jerome) Siegel (cartoonist: Superman [w/Joe Shuster]; died Jan 28, 1999)
1915 - Arthur Miller (Tony Award-winning playwright: Death of a Salesman ; Emmy Award-winning playwright: Playing for Time [1980-81], Death of a Salesman [1966-67]; It Takes a Thief, Rhinoceros, The Misfits; died Feb 10, 2004)
1918 - Rita Hayworth (Margarita Carmen Cansino) (actress: Miss Sadie Thompson, Pal Joey, Separate Tables, They Came to Cordura, You’ll Never Get Rich; died May 14, 1987)
1920 - Elie Abel (journalist: NBC News; writer: What’s News : the Media in American Society, The Missile Crisis; dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism; died Jul 22, 2004)
1920 - (Edward) Montgomery Clift (actor: From Here to Eternity, Suddenly Last Summer, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Misfits, A Place in the Sun, Raintree County; died July 23, 1966)
1921 - Tom Poston (Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor: The Steve Allen Show [1958-59]; On the Rocks, Bob, Mork & Mindy, Newhart; TV panelist: To Tell the Truth, A Perfect Little Murder, Up the Academy; died Apr 30, 2007)
1926 - Beverly Garland (Fessenden) (actress: My Three Sons, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Bing Crosby Show, DOA, The Desperate Hours; died Dec 5, 2008)
1927 - Johnny (John Calvin) Klippstein (baseball: pitcher: Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Redlegs, LA Dodgers [World Series: 1959], Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Minnesota Twins [World Series: 1965], Detroit Tigers; son-in-law of former pitcher Emil ‘Dutch’ Leonard; died Oct 10, 2003)
1928 - Jimmy Breslin (newspaper columnist; author: Table Money; died Mar 19, 2017)
1938 - Evel Knievel (Robert Craig) (motorcycle daredevil; died Nov 30, 2007)
1941 - Alan Howard (musician: bass: Brian Poole & The Tremeloes: Twist and Shout, Do You Love Me, Someone, Someone)
1941 - Jimmy Seals (singer, musician: guitar, saxophone, fiddle: group: Seals and Crofts: Summer Breeze, Diamond Girl, Hummingbird, We May Never Pass this Way Again, Get Closer, You’re the Love, I’ll Play for You)
1942 - Gary Puckett (singer: group: The Union Gap: Young Girl, Woman, Woman, This Girl is a Woman Now, Over You, Lady Willpower)
1946 - Bob Seagren (National Track & Field Hall of Famer: Olympic gold medalist: pole vault , silver ; first American to clear 18 feet; winner of World Superstars competition )
1946 - Jim Tucker (musician: guitar: group: The Turtles [until 1965])
1947 - Michael McKean (actor: LaVerne & Shirley, Grand, The Brady Bunch Movie, Radioland Murders, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, This is Spinal Tap, Coneheads, The Big Picture, Used Cars)
1948 - Margot (Ruth) Kidder (actress: Superman series, The Amityville Horror, Vanishing Act, Nichols)
1948 - George Wendt (actor: Cheers, Man of the House, Never Say Die, Fletch, No Small Affair)
1949 - Bill Hudson (comedian, singer: group: The Hudson Brothers: So You are a Star, Rendezvous; TV: The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Comedy Show; was married to actress Goldie Hawn)
1950 - Howard E. Rollins Jr. (actor: In the Heat of the Night, A Soldier’s Story, Ragtime, The Member of the Wedding; died Dec 8, 1996)
1955 - Sam Bottoms (actor: The Witching of Ben Wagner, Project Shadowchaser 3000, Return to Eden, East of Eden, Bronco Billy, Apocalypse Now, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Class of ’44, The Last Picture Show; died Dec 16, 2008)
1957 - Vincent Van Patten (tennis; actor: The Break, The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission, Payback, Charley and the Angel, Apple’s Way; son of actor Dick Van Patten)
1957 - Steve McMichael (football: Chicago Bears DT)
1958 - Alan Jackson (singer: Chattahoochie, Don’t Rock the Jukebox)
1963 - Norm Macdonald (actor, comedian, celebrity impersonator: Saturday Night Live, Billy Madison, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Doctor Dolittle, The Norm Show, Screwed)
1969 - Ernie Els (Theodore Ernest Els) (golf champ: U.S. Open [1994, 1997])
1971 - Chris Kirkpatrick (singer: group: *N Sync: LPs: *N Sync, Home For Christmas, No Strings Attached)
1972 - Eminem (Marshall Bruce Mathers III) (rapper: LP: Slim Shady; film songwriter: Strangeland, Scary Movie, Down to Earth)
1978 - Sharon Leal (actress: Boston Public, Legacy, The Guiding Light, Face the Music)
Chart Toppers - October 17
You’re Breaking My Heart - Vic Damone
Someday - Vaughn Monroe
That Lucky Old Sun - Frankie Laine
Slipping Around - Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely
Chances Are/The Twelfth of Never - Johnny Mathis
Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
Keep a Knockin’ - Little Richard
Wake Up Little Susie - The Everly Brothers
Yesterday - The Beatles
Treat Her Right - Roy Head
A Lover’s Concerto - The Toys
Behind the Tear - Sonny James
Half-Breed - Cher
Ramblin’ Man - The Allman Brothers Band
Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
Ridin’ My Thumb to Mexico - Johnny Rodriguez
Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) - Christopher Cross
Start Me Up - The Rolling Stones
For Your Eyes Only - Sheena Easton
Party Time - T.G. Sheppard
Miss You Much - Janet Jackson
Love Song - The Cure
Mixed Emotions - Rolling Stones
Killin’ Time - Clint Black
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.