Events - September 21
1784 - America’s first daily paper, "The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser", was published in Philadelphia.
1897 - 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon had written a letter to "The New York Sun": “I am eight years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in "The Sun", it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?” Editor Frank Church wrote the response that was printed for the first time on this day: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
1946 - After being tested on a regional basis, "The Second Mrs. Burton" was heard for the first time on the entire CBS radio network. "The Second Mrs. Burton" fared very well, having a relationship with the network for 14 years.
1948 - "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC-TV chose this night to make one of its oft-appearing hosts the permanent host. Milton Berle stayed on as the regular host until 1967. He was so much a part of "The Texaco Star Theater" that it became known as "The Milton Berle Show".
1948 - The serial "Life With Luigi" debuted on CBS radio. Luigi Basko was played by J. Carroll Naish. Naish, an Irish-American, became typecast as an Italian immigrant, and went on to play the same role in the TV version in 1952.
1955 - Boxing fans all over the world held their collective breaths as Archie Moore, the light heavyweight champion, knocked the heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano, to the floor on this night. But the champ got up ... just as he had done in every fight before this ... and went on to defeat Moore. Rocky Marciano was the only world champion at any weight to have won every fight of his professional career (1947 to 1956). 43 of his 49 fights were won either by KO’s or because the fight had to be stopped.
1957 - Famed trial lawyer "Perry Mason" came to TV. The creation of attorney/novelist Erle Stanley Gardner, "Perry Mason" found fame first as a series of novels, then as a CBS radio series (1943-1955). TV’s "Perry Mason", which continued for 9 seasons (TV’s longest-running lawyer series) on CBS, starred Raymond Burr in the lead role. Della Street was played by Barbara Hale.
1970 - ABC-TV debuted "Monday Night Football", with Howard Cosell, ‘Dandy’ Don Meredith and Keith Jackson. (Frank Gifford replaced Jackson the following year.)
1981 - For 191 years, the U.S. Supreme Court had existed without a woman sitting on the bench. That changed as Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 99-0 vote. She became the first female Justice of that august body.
1989 - Hugo is a nice enough sounding name -- unless you put a hurricane behind it. Hurricane Hugo tore into Charleston, South Carolina this day, leaving a trail of destruction calculated at over eight billion dollars.
1991 - "I Adore Me Amore", by Color Me Badd, rose to #1 on U.S. singles charts. The hit, from their "The Best of Color Me Badd" LP, was number one for two weeks.
Birthdays - September 21
1788 - Margaret Taylor (Smith) (First Lady: wife of 12th U.S. President Zachary Taylor; died Aug 14, 1852)
1866 - H. G. (Herbert George) Wells (writer: War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The Outline of History; died Aug 13, 1946)
1912 - Chuck Jones (cartoonist: The Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew, Wiley Coyote; died Feb 22, 2002)
1924 - Gail Russell (actress: Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour, Angel and the Badman, The Great Dan Patch, The Lawless, The Silent Call; died Aug 26, 1961)
1931 - Larry Hagman (actor: I Dream of Jeannie, Dallas, Staying Afloat, Ensign Pulver, In Harm’s Way, Fail-Safe; son of actress Mary Martin; died Nov 23, 2012)
1934 - Leonard Cohen (singer, songwriter: group: The Army: Famous Blue Raincoat, Joan of Arc, Avalanche; died Nov 7, 2016)
1935 - Henry Gibson (Bateman) (comedian: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In; Nashville; died Sep 14, 2009)
1941 - Dickey Lee (Lipscomb) (singer: Patches, I Saw Linda Yesterday, Never Ending Songs of Love, Rocky; songwriter: She Thinks I Still Care)
1942 - Sam (Samuel Edward Thomas) McDowell (‘Sudden Sam’: baseball: pitcher: Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971], SF Giants, NY Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates; led American League in strikeouts five times in six years)
1945 - Richard Childress (auto racer; racing car team owner: six Winston Cup championships, one NASCAR Truck Series championship, 79 victories)
1947 - Don Felder (musician: guitar, singer: group: The Eagles: One of These Nights, Lyin’ Eyes, Best of My Love, New Kid in Town; solo: LP: Airborne)
1947 - Stephen King (author: Pet Sematary, Christine, The Duel, Misery, The Stand, Carrie, The Shining)
1947 - Marsha Norman (Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright: ’Night Mother )
1947 - Reggie Rucker (football: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver: Super Bowl V)
1949 - Artis Gilmore (basketball: Chicago Bulls: holds league record for career field goal percentage [.599], Kentucky Colonels: Rookie and Player of the Year )
1950 - Bill Murray (Emmy Award-winning comedy writer: Saturday Night Live [3/12/77]; actor: Stripes, Ghostbusters series, Groundhog Day, Mad Dog and Glory, What About Bob?, Scrooged, Rushmore, Cradle Will Rock, Scout’s Honor, Hamlet, Charlie’s Angels , Speaking of Sex, Osmosis Jones, The Royal Tenenbaums, Lost in Translation)
1952 - Brent McClanahan (football: Minnesota Vikings running back: Super Bowl IX, XI)
1953 - Mike Collier (football: Pittsburgh Steelers running back: Super Bowl X)
1953 - Arie Luyendyk (racecar driver: Indy 500 winner [1990, 1997]; People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People list )
1954 - Philthy Animal (Philip Taylor) (musician: drums: group: Motorhead)
1959 - Dave Coulier (actor: Full House; TV host: America’s Funniest People)
1960 - David James Elliott (actor: JAG, Police Academy 3: Back in Training, Knots Landing, Melrose Place, Clockwatchers, The Shrink is In)
1961 - Nancy Travis (actress: Fluke, Body Language, The Vanishing, Chaplin, Three Men and a Little Lady, Loose Cannons, Married to the Mob, Three Men and a Baby, Harem, Almost Perfect, Duckman)
1962 - Rob Morrow (actor: Numb3rs, Northern Exposure, Quiz Show, Tattingers)
1963 - Cecil Grant Fielder (baseball: Detroit Tigers 1st base; Toronto Blue Jays)
1967 - Faith Hill (singer: LPs: Take Me as I Am, It Matters to Me, Faith; sold eleven million records, eight #1 singles, ten #1 videos)
1968 - Trugoy the Dove (David Jolicoeur) (musician: group: De La Soul)
1968 - Ricki Lake (TV talk show host; in films: Serial Mom, Hairspray)
1971 - Alfonso Ribeiro (actor: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Silver Spoons, Ticks, The Mighty Pawns)
Chart Toppers - September 21
Peg o’ My Heart - The Harmonicats
That’s My Desire - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Don Cornell)
I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now - Perry Como
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) - Tex Williams
The Yellow Rose of Texas - Mitch Miller
Maybellene - Chuck Berry
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing - The Four Aces
I Don’t Care - Webb Pierce
Blue Velvet - Bobby Vinton
Heat Wave - Martha & The Vandellas
Sally, Go ’Round the Roses - The Jaynetts
Abilene - George Hamilton IV
Go Away Little Girl - Donny Osmond
Spanish Harlem - Aretha Franklin
Ain’t No Sunshine - Bill Withers
The Year That Clayton Delaney Died - Tom T. Hall
My Sharona - The Knack
After the Love Has Gone - Earth, Wind & Fire
The Devil Went Down to Georgia - The Charlie Daniels Band
You’re My Jamaica - Charley Pride
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You - Michael Jackson with Siedah Garrett
Didn’t We Almost Have It All - Whitney Houston
Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
This Crazy Love - The Oak Ridge Boys
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.