Events - September 18
1763 - An instrument named the spinet was mentioned in "The Boston Gazette" newspaper on this day. John Harris made the spinet, a small upright piano with a three to four octave range. There is no verifiable evidence to support the rumor that a man named Spinetti made the first spinet.
1830 - A race was held between a horse and an iron horse. "Tom Thumb", the first locomotive built in America, was pitted against a real horse in a nine-mile course between Riley’s Tavern and Baltimore. "Tom Thumb" suffered mechanical difficulties including a leaky boiler. If you had your money on the horse, you won! "Tom Thumb" lost by more than a nose.
1851 - "The New York Times" began publishing “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” The "Times" is now a media conglomerate involving radio, TV, cable and the Internet.
1891 - Harriet Maxwell Converse (her Indian name was Ga-is-wa-noh: the Watcher) became the first white woman to be named chief of an Indian tribe. Converse became chief of the Six Nations tribe at Tonawanda reservation in New York. She had been adopted by the Seneca tribe 7 years earlier because of her efforts on behalf of the tribe.
1895 - If you’ve ever had a chiropractic adjustment you owe it to not only your chiropractor, but to Daniel David Palmer. He gave the first chiropractic adjustment to Harvey Lillard in Davenport, Iowa (now the home of Palmer Chiropractic College).
1927 - The Columbia Broadcasting System was born, although its rival, NBC, had been on the air for some time. “The Tiffany Network,” as CBS was called, broadcast an opera, "The King’s Henchman", as its first program. William S. Paley put the network together, purchasing a chain of 16 failing radio stations. The controlling interest cost between $250,000 and $450,000. The following year, the 27-year-old Paley became President of CBS. It only took one more year for him to profit 2.35 million dollars as the network grew to over 70 stations.
1947 - Country singers Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff performed at Carnegie Hall. It was the first country show for the NYC venue.
1947 - The U.S. Air Force, an independent military service, was established by the National Security Act. Originally, U.S. military aviation began as part of the U.S. Army in 1907.
1955 - What had been "The Toast of the Town" on CBS Television (since 1948) became "The Ed Sullivan Show". This “rilly big shew” remained a mainstay of Sunday night television until June 6, 1971. Sullivan was a newspaper columnist/critic before and during the early years of this pioneering TV show.
1957 - "The Big Record", hosted by ‘the singing rage’, Miss Patti Page, debuted on CBS-TV. "The Big Record" was a live musical showcase featuring established artists singing their big songs. "The Big Record" lasted one big season.
1965 - Larry Hagman (Captain Tony Nelson) and Barbara Eden (Jeannie) starred in the first episode of "I Dream of Jeannie" on NBC-TV. Capt. Nelson had been forced to make a parachute landing on a desert island. He happened upon an old bottle that had washed up on the shore. He popped the top and - bingo! Out popped Jeannie, a 2000-year-old, very pretty genie. Jeannie took to Tony and started making weekly magic that lasted until September 1, 1970.
1970 - Rock radio mourned the loss of rock music legend, Jimi Hendrix. He died at age 27 of an overdose of sleeping pills. His "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady" became anthems for a generation at war in Vietnam.
1975 - Publishing heiress Patricia Hearst was rescued/captured by the FBI in San Francisco, CA. She had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army on Feb 4, 1974, but had apparently fallen in with her captors and had participated in a bank holdup. Hearst was convicted of bank robbery on Mar 20, 1976. On Feb 1, 1979, her sentence was commuted to time served by President Jimmy Carter, but her conviction stood. On Jan 20, 2001, outgoing President Bill Clinton granted Patricia Hearst a full pardon.
1977 - The "Voyager I" spacecraft (launched on Sep 5, 1977 from cape Canaveral, FL) snapped the first photograph showing the earth and moon together. ("Voyager I" is further away from Earth than any other man-made object.)
1988 - The Seoul Summer Olympics were the first since Munich in 1972, to have no organized boycotts going on. On this first day of competition, the Soviet Union was first to claim a gold medal -- in the women's air rifle event. U.S. swimmers won silver and bronze in women’s platform diving.
1993 - Garth Brooks’ "In Pieces" debuted at #1 in the U.S. on both the "Billboard" "Hot 200" and Country LP charts. The album has sold over 8 million copies.
1997 - Time Warner vice-chairman Ted Turner pledged one billion dollars for United Nations programs over ten years. The money came from Time Warner shares Turner acquired in the Time Warner-Turner Broadcasting merger.
Birthdays - September 18
1709 - Samuel Johnson (writer: created the first true dictionary of the English language in 1755; poet; essayist; novelist: Rasselas: Prince of Abyssinia; died Dec 13, 1784)
1779 - Joseph Story (associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court [1811-1845]; died Sep 10, 1845)
1895 - John (George) Diefenbaker (Canadian Prime Minister [1957-1963]; died Aug 16, 1979)
1898 - George (Ernest) Uhle (‘The Bull’: baseball: Cleveland Indians [World Series: 1920], Detroit Tigers, NY Giants, NY Yankees; died Feb 26, 1985)
1903 - Bun (Frederick) Cook (Hockey Hall of Famer: NHL: NY Rangers [Stanley Cup: 1928, 1933], Boston Bruins; coach: Providence Reds [Calder Cup: 1938, 1940], Cleveland Barons [five Championships 1945-1954]; died Mar 19, 1988)
1905 - Greta (Lovisa) Garbo (Gustafsson) (actress: Camille, Grand Hotel, Ninotchka, Mata Hari, The Painted Veil, Anna Christie; died Apr 15, 1990)
1905 - Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson (actor: Jack Benny Show, Birth of the Blues, Gone with the Wind, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; died Feb 28, 1977)
1910 - Ray Geiger (editor: The Farmer’s Almanac [1934-1993]; the longest-held position of any almanac editor in America; died Apr 1, 1994)
1911 - Syd (Sydney) Howe (hockey: NHL: Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Eagles, Detroit Red Wings [1943-1944 record: scored six goals in game]; died May 20, 1976)
1916 - Rossano Brazzi (actor: South Pacific, Three Coins in the Fountain, The Barefoot Contessa, Formula for a Murder; died Dec 24, 1994)
1920 - Jack Warden (Emmy Award-winning actor: Brian’s Song [1971-72]; N.Y.P.D., Bad News Bears, Crazy like a Fox, Shampoo, From Here to Eternity, All the President’s Men, Problem Child, Used Cars; died July 19, 2006)
1925 - Harvey Haddix (‘The Kitten’: baseball: pitcher: SL Cardinals [all-star: 1953, 1954, 1955], Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Redlegs, Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1960/lost 12-inning perfect game to Milwaukee Braves in 13th inning: 5-26-1959], Baltimore Orioles; died Jan 8, 1994)
1926 - Bob Toski (golf: Graffis Award )
1927 - Phyllis Kirk (Kirkegaard) (actress: The Red Buttons Show, The Thin Man, House of Wax; died Oct 19, 2006)
1929 - Teddi King (singer: Mr. Wonderful; died Nov 18, 1977)
1933 - Robert Blake (Michael James Vijencio Gubitosi) (Emmy Award-winning actor: Baretta [1974-1975]; In Cold Blood, Pork Chop Hill, PT 109, Our Gang, Little Beaver & Red Ryder series)
1933 - Jimmie Rodgers (singer: Honeycomb, Kisses Sweeter than Wine, Oh-Oh, I’m Falling in Love Again, Secretly, Are You Really Mine; TV host: The Jimmie Rodgers Show)
1940 - Frankie (Frances) Avalon (Avellone) (singer: Venus, Bobby Sox to Stockings, A Boy Without a Girl, Just Ask Your Heart, Why, Dede Dinah; actor: Disc Jockey Jamboree, Guns of the Timberland, The Carpetbaggers, Beach Party series, Back to the Beach)
1948 - Ken (Kenneth Alven) Brett (baseball: Boston Red Sox [World Series: 1967], Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates [all-star: 1974], Chicago White Sox, NY Yankees, California Angels, LA Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, KC Royals; broadcaster: California Angels; died Nov 18, 2003)
1949 - Kerry Livgren (musician: guitar, keyboards: group: Kansas: Dust in the Wind)
1951 - Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin) (musician: guitar: group: The Ramones: Howling at the Moon, Do You Remember Rock ’n’ Roll Radio; died June 5, 2002)
1951 - Darryl Stingley (football: Purdue Univ., NE Patriots; paralyzed in a collision with Oakland Raiders’ Jack Tatum ; founder: Daryl Stingley Youth Foundation; died Apr 5, 2007)
1951 - Tony (Anthony) Scott (baseball: Montreal Expos, SL Cardinals, Houston Astros)
1959 - Ryne (Dee) Sandberg (baseball: Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs [all-star: 1984-1993/Baseball Writers’ Award: 1984])
1961 - James Gandolfini (Emmy Award-winning actor: The Sopranos [2000, 2001]; A Stranger Among Us, Terminal Velocity, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, The Juror, 12 Angry Men , A Civil Action, 8MM; died Jun 19, 2013)
1962 - Joanne Catherall (singer: group: Human League: Don’t You Want Me, [Keep Feeling] Fascination, Mirror Man, The Lebanon, Life on Your Own, Louise)
1964 - Holly Robinson Peete (actress: 21 Jump Street, Hanging with Mr. Cooper)
1967 - Ricky Bell (singer: group: New Edition)
1971 - Jada Pinkett Smith (actress: The Nutty Professor, A Different World, Menace II Society, If These Walls Could Talk, Scream 2, Woo, Bamboozled, Collateral; married to actor Will Smith)
1973 - James Marsden (actor: X-Men, In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco, Boogies Diner, On the Edge of Innocence, Disturbing Behavior, Ally McBeal)
Chart Toppers - September 18
I’ll Walk Alone - Dinah Shore
Swinging on a Star - Bing Crosby
Time Waits for No One - Helen Forrest
Soldier’s Last Letter - Ernest Tubb
Wish You Were Here - Eddie Fisher
Auf Wiedersehn, Sweetheart - Vera Lynn
Half as Much - Rosemary Clooney
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - Hank Williams
It’s Now or Never - Elvis Presley
The Twist - Chubby Checker
My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own - Connie Francis
Alabam - Cowboy Copas
People Got to Be Free - The Rascals
Harper Valley P.T.A. - Jeannie C. Riley
1,2,3, Red Light - 1910 Fruitgum Co.
Mama Tried - Merle Haggard
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
I’d Really Love to See You Tonight - England Dan & John Ford Coley
A Fifth of Beethoven - Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band
I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You - Jim Ed Brown/Helen Cornelius
What’s Love Got to Do with It - Tina Turner
Missing You - John Waite
She Bop - Cyndi Lauper
You’re Getting to Me Again - Jim Glaser
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.