Events - October 21
1805 - The Battle of Trafalgar was fought this day. Admiral Horatio Nelson led the English fleet to victory over Napoleon’s combined French and Spanish navies. This win ended any threat to England by Napoleon. Unfortunately, Admiral Nelson was hit by an enemy musket ball and died as the enemy surrendered.
1849 - The tattooed Irishman, James F. O’Connell, was put on exhibition at the Franklin Theatre in New York. We imagine that a lot of folks came by just to needle him.
1879 - After 14 months of experimenting in Menlo Park, NJ, Thomas Alva Edison succeeded in producing a working prototype of the electric, incandescent lamp. It could burn for thirteen and a half hours.
1907 - "The Merry Widow" opened in New York. The play starred Ethel Jackson and Donald Brian. The operetta had been introduced in Europe two years before.
1908 - A "Saturday Evening Post" advertisement offered a chance to buy, for the first time, a two-sided record. It was on Columbia.
1924 - It was a big night for a big band in New York’s Cinderella Ballroom. The crowd loved the Wolverine Orchestra from Chicago and the guy on the cornet, Bix Beiderbecke, the ‘young man with a horn’.
1938 - "Quaker City Jazz" was recorded on the Bluebird label by Jan Savitt and his Top Hatters Orchestra. The tune would become the theme of the band. It was not, however, recorded in the Quaker City of Philadelphia. The song was waxed in New York City.
1953 - Randy Turpin got the stuffing beaten out of him at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was in a middleweight boxing match against Carl ‘Bobo’ Olson.
1958 - Orchestral strings were used for the first time in a rock and roll tune. Buddy Holly recorded "It Doesn’t Matter Anymore", written by Paul Anka. Sadly, it would be Holly’s last studio session. The song wasn’t released until after his death in February of 1959.
1960 - The fourth -- and last -- debate preceding the presidential election between U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy and U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon was televised from New York City.
1965 - The Nobel prize in Chemistry was awarded to Robert Burns Woodward for “for his outstanding achievements in the art of organic synthesis.”
1972 - Chuck Berry’s "My Ding-a-Ling" hit #1 in the U.S. It was number one for two weeks.
1972 - Curtis Mayfield’s "Superfly" movie soundtrack album started a four-week run at number one. The title song cracked the top-ten singles list in January 1973. Other tracks on the album: "Little Child Runnin’ Wild", "Pusherman", "Freddie’s Dead", "Junkie Chase", "Give Me Your Love", "Eddie You Should Know Better", "No Thing on Me" and "Think".
1973 - Baseball manager Dick Williams turned in his last lineup card as skipper as the Oakland A’s won their second straight World Series. Bert Campaneris and Reggie Jackson each hit two-run homers as the A’s defeated the New York Mets 5-2 in game 7, and took the Series four games to three.
1976 - American Saul Bellow won the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.”
1976 - The Cincinnati Reds beat the New York Yankees in the World Series four games to zip. In game four, played this day, with Johnny Bench slugging two home runs for five RBIs, the Reds rang up a 7-2 victory. It was the Red’s second straight World Series championship.
1980 - The Phillies won their first World Series title. Mike Schmidt knocked in two runs and Tug McGraw stopped Kansas City’s hitters, 4-1, in Philadelphia. The Phils won the Series, 4 games to 2.
1985 - William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry of the Chicago Bears led his team to a 23-7 win over the Green Bay Packers. Perry, weighing in at 325 pounds (more than some Frigidaires), became a folk hero as he cut a path for Walter Payton’s two TDs. He then plodded over the goal line himself for another score.
1995 - Mariah Carey’s "Daydream" was the number one album in the U.S. The album featured the smash hits "Fantasy" and "One Sweet Day" (both debuted on the singles chart at #1).
1997 - Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind 1997", was declared by "The Guinness Book of Records" to be the biggest-selling single record of all time. In 37 days, the single reached 31.8 million copies sold, eclipsing the previous record held by Bing Crosby’s "White Christmas". The Crosby song sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide -- in 55 years.
1998 - The invincible New York Yankees won their 24th World Series. They beat the San Diego Padres 3-0 this day to take the Series 4-0. It was New York’s second title in three years and its first sweep since 1950. Scott Brosius was MVP after finishing with a .471 batting average, eight hits, two home runs and six runs batted in. Mariano Rivera and Jeff Nelson both pitched in three Yankee games and both finished with a 0.00 ERA.
Birthdays - October 21
1772 - Samuel Coleridge (poet: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan; died July 25, 1834)
1833 - Alfred Nobel (chemist: invented dynamite; industrialist: revenues from his dynamite factories made Nobel a fortune; philanthropist: his will created the Nobel Prizes, awarded annually for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace; died Dec 10, 1896)
1912 - Sir Georg Solti (orchestra conductor: Chicago Symphony Orchestra; 1st complete recording of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen; died Sep 5, 1997)
1917 - Dizzy (John Birks) Gillespie (Grammy Award-winning musician: trumpet: Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie , Live at the Royal Festival Hall ; creator [w/Charlie Parker] of be-bop; trademark: puffed cheeks & bent trumpet; autobiography: To Be or Not to Bop; died Jan 6, 1993)
1921 - Sir Malcolm Arnold (composer: screen scores: David Copperfield, The Chalk Garden, Suddenly, Last Summer, Solomon and Sheba, Island in the Sun, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Trapeze, I Am a Camera, The Belles of St. Trinian’s series, Eye Witness; died Sep 23, 2006)
1926 - Bob Rosburg (golf: PGA champion ; sportscaster; died May 14, 2009)
1928 - Whitey (Edward Charles) Ford (‘Chairman of the Board’: Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher: NY Yankees [World Series: 1950, 1953, 1955-1958, 1960-1964/all-star: 1954-1956, 1958-1961, 1964/Cy Young Award: 1961]; pitching coach)
1929 - Ursula LeGuin (author: The Wind’s Twelve Quarters, A Wizard of Earthsea, Left Hand of Darkness)
1933 - Georgia Brown (Lillian Klot) (actress: Oliver, Cheers; died July 5, 1992)
1939 - Ted (Theodore Otto) Uhlaender (baseball: Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds [World Series: 1972]; died Feb 12, 2009)
1940 - Frances Fitzgerald (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author: Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam)
1940 - Manfred Mann (Michael Lubowitz) (singer, musician: group: Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers: Do Wah Diddy Diddy, The Mighty Quinn; Earth Band: Blinded by the Light; solo: High Time, I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Boy)
1941 - Steve Cropper (musician: guitar: group: Blues Brothers; Booker T and The MG’s: Green Onions, Hang ’Em High, Time is Tight)
1942 - Elvin Bishop (musician: guitar, singer: group: Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Drunk Again; Elvin Bishop Group; solo: Fooled Around and Fell in Love)
1943 - Ron Elliott (musician: guitar: group: Beau Brummels: Laugh, Laugh, Just a Little, You Tell Me Why; solo: LP: The Candlestick Maker)
1946 - Lee Loughnane (musician: brass: group: Chicago: If You Leave Me Now, Hard to Say I’m Sorry, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?)
1948 - Bill (William Ellis) Russell (baseball: LA Dodgers: [all-star: 1973, 1976, 1980/World Series: 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981])
1950 - Ronald E. McNair (physicist, astronaut: mission specialist aboard the ill-fated Challenger Space Shuttle; died Jan 28, 1986)
1953 - Charlotte Caffey (musician: guitar, singer: group: The Go-Gos: We Got the Beat, Our Lips are Sealed, Vacation, Head Over Heels, Turn to You)
1955 - Eric Faulkner (musician: guitar: group: Bay City Rollers: Saturday Night, Bye Bye Baby, Give Me a Little Love)
1956 - Carrie Fisher (actress: Star Wars series, The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, Hannah and Her Sisters, Shampoo; writer: Postcards from the Edge, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma; daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds; died Dec 27, 2016)
1957 - Julian Cope (musician: bass, guitar, singer: groups: Crucial Three, Nova Mob, A Shallow Madness, The Teardrop Explodes: Sleeping Gas, Bouncing Babies, Reward, Treason, You Disappear from View; solo: Competition, World Shut Your Mouth)
1957 - Steve Lukather (musician: guitar: group: Toto: Rosanna, Africa, Hold the Line; songwriter: Turn Your Love Around)
1959 - George (Antonio) Bell (baseball: Toronto Blue Jays [all-star: 1987, 1990], Chicago Cubs [all-star: 1991], Chicago White Sox)
1976 - Jeremy Miller (actor: Growing Pains, The Willies, Emanon)
Chart Toppers - October 21
I’ll Buy That Dream - The Pied Pipers
Till the End of Time - Perry Como
On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe - Johnny Mercer
You Two Timed Me One Time Too Often - Tex Ritter
Vaya Con Dios - Les Paul & Mary Ford
You, You, You - The Ames Brothers
Crying in the Chapel - June Valli
I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know - The Davis Sisters
Hit the Road Jack - Ray Charles
Runaround Sue - Dion
Bristol Stomp - The Dovells
Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
I Can’t Get Next to You - The Temptations
Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & The Family Stone
Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
Since I Met You, Baby - Sonny James
You Light Up My Life - Debby Boone
Nobody Does It Better - Carly Simon
That’s Rock ’n’ Roll - Shaun Cassidy
Heaven’s Just a Sin Away - The Kendalls
Take on Me - a-ha
Saving All My Love for You - Whitney Houston
Part-Time Lover - Stevie Wonder
You Make Me Want to Make You Mine - Juice Newton
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.