Events - September 30
1641 - Once upon a time, New York and New Jersey were known as the New Netherlands. It was on this day that an ordinance by the authorities of the New Netherlands declared that an annual fair be held at Fort Amsterdam (now, New York City). The ruling actually stated that there would be two fairs, a Cattle Fair on October 15 and a Hog Fair on November 1; and that all who had any thing to buy or sell could attend. Anyone remember seeing a cow or a pig running around NYC lately?
1927 - A record for the most home runs in a season -- 60 -- was set by Babe Ruth. The record stood for 34 years until it was broken by Roger Maris.
1930 - First heard on the NBC Red radio network this day, "Death Valley Days" became one of radio’s biggest hits. The 30-minute, Western-adventure series starred Tim Daniel Frawley as the Old Ranger, Harvey Hays as the Old Prospector, John White as the Lone Cowboy, Edwin Bruce as Bobby Keen, Robert Haag as Sheriff Mark Chase and Olyn Landick as Cassandra Drinkwater. "Death Valley Days" was renamed "Death Valley Sheriff" in 1944 and "The Sheriff" in 1945. And Ruth Woodman continued to write the scripts. She even wrote scripts when "Death Valley Days" became a TV show. Buy some 20-Mule-Team Borax in commemoration.
1933 - The theme song was "Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here" and it opened the "National Barn Dance". The half-hour country music and comedy show, originally heard on WLS, Chicago since 1924, moved to the NBC Blue network this night. "National Barn Dance" was broadcast from the Eighth Street Theater in Chicago, where the stage was transformed into a hayloft every Saturday night. The host was Joe Kelly. Uncle Ezra was played by Pat Barrett who was known to say, “Give me a toot on the tooter, Tommy,” as he started dancing. A few of the other "Barn Dance" characters were Arkie, the Arkansas Woodchopper; Pokey Martin; the Hoosier Hotshots; the Prairie Ramblers; cowgirl, Patsy Montana; Pat Buttram; Lulu Belle and the Cumberland Road Runners. Gene Autry and Red Foley were heard early in their careers on "National Barn Dance". Although there were plenty of sponsors (Alka Seltzer, One-A-Day vitamins, Phillips Milk of Magnesia), the "National Barn Dance" was one of the few radio shows to charge admission!
1935 - “Calling all cars...” "The Adventures of Dick Tracy" came to radio for the first time -- on the Mutual Radio Network. Based on the comic strip created by Chester Gould, the 15-minute adventure show was heard Monday thru Friday at 5:45 p.m. The sponsors were Quaker Puffed Wheat and Quaker Puffed Rice.
1935 - “Summertime ... and the livin’ is easy.” "Porgy and Bess" was presented for the first time -- at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. It was a flop! (It was revived in
1942. It wasn’t a flop that time. It ran longer than any revival in the history of U.S. musical theater.)
1941 - The Larry Clinton Orchestra recorded their version of "That Solid Old Man", on Bluebird Records.
1947 - “Look sharp ... feel sharp...” The World Series came to television for the first time. The New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-3. The Gillette Safety Razor Company and Ford Motor Company were the sponsors. Together, they paid $65,000 for coverage of the entire series! Announcers: Bob Edge (who also did the razor commercials), Bob Stanton and Bill Slater.
1951 - “Thank you and may God bless.” "The Red Skelton Show" debuted on NBC-TV (almost 10 years to the day after Red made his radio debut). America’s ‘Clown Prince of Comedy’ was a hit for years on radio and an even bigger one on TV with characters like The Mean Wittle Kid (“I dood it!”), Clem Kadiddlehopper, Sheriff Deadeye, Cauliflower McPugg, Willie Lump-Lump, San Fernando Red, Bolivar Shagnasty and Freddie the Freeloader. Later, he would move to CBS-TV. Overall, "The Red Skelton Show" remained a fixture on U.S. television for 20 years.
1954 - Julie Andrews, who would later become a household name in movies, TV and on records, opened on Broadway for the first time. The future star of "The Sound of Music" appeared in "The Boy Friend" this night.
1955 - James Dean, the brooding film actor who won acclaim in "Giant", "East of Eden" and "Rebel Without a Cause", died from injuries suffered in a car crash at the intersection of routes 46 and 41, near Cholame, CA, a tiny farm town. Dean, who lived the life of James Stark (his character in "Rebel Without a Cause"), was killed when his Porsche Spyder ran into another car, head-on at 75 miles an hour. James Dean souvenirs are for sale at the Jack Ranch Cafe, a half-mile west of the crash scene. Located near the cafe is the Dean memorial, financed by Japanese fan Seita Ohnishi. Dean's mechanic, Rolf Wütherich, who was in the Porsche with Dean, was gravely injured, but gradually recovered. Ironically, Wütherich eventually returned to his native (West) Germany and died there in 1981 when his car skidded on a rain-slickened road and struck a tree.
1966 - Nazi war criminals Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach were freed from Spandau Prison after serving 20 years.
1971- A nine-member citizens committee was organized to investigate the Attica, New York prison riot earlier in the month. 10 hostages and 32 prisoners were killed in the rioting -- the worst in U.S. history.
1982 - The gang down at the Boston Beacon Street neighborhood bar called "Cheers" brought their antics into our homes beginning this night. "Cheers" was the place “Where Everyone Knows Your Name” as the theme song, written by Judy Hart Angelo and Gary Portnoy, told us. And we got to know everyone’s name like they were family. The original cast included owner/bartender Sam Malone, played by Ted Danson, his helper Ernie ‘Coach Pantusso’ (Nicholas Colasanto), waitresses Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) and Carla Tortelli LeBec (Rhea Perlman), and the regulars -- Norm Peterson (George Wendt) and Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger). "Cheers", created by Glen and Les Charles and James Burrows, became an American institution and was still the number one TV show when it ended its eleven-year run on August 19, 1993.
1984 - Mike Witt pitched a perfect games. With a final score of 1-0, and a California win over Texas, Witt was the 11th major-league baseball pitcher in 104 years to accomplish this feat.
1984 - "Doonesbury", Garry Trudeau’s comic strip, returned after a 20-month hiatus. Trudeau, married to former "Today" co-host Jane Pauley, revived the sometimes controversial strip by showing how Mike and the gang from Walden Pond “jumped from draft beer and mixers to cocaine and herpes.”
1993 - MS-DOS v6.2 was released by Microsoft. Why? As far as we can tell, it was because I.B.M. had just released their DOS v6.1.
1993 - More than 10,000 people were killed when an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, struck southern India. 7,600 people were killed and 130,000 left homeless by the pre-dawn temblor. It was the worst earthquake to hit India in 50 years, flattening 52 villages and damaging hundreds more.
1998 - A U.S. General Accounting Office audit of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and his predecessor, Robert Fiske, showed they had spent more than $40 million investigating President Bill Clinton -- from Whitewater to Monica Lewinsky. No matter what we may think of attorneys, we have to admit that they really do know how to spend money...
1999 - German novelist Guenter Grass won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences credited Grass’ first novel, "The Tin Drum", with restoring honor to German literature “after decades of linguistic and moral destruction.”
Birthdays - September 30
1861 - William Wrigley Jr. (chewing gum tycoon; died Jan 26, 1932)
1904 - Johnny (John Thomas) Allen (baseball: pitcher: NY Yankees [World Series: 1932], Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1938], Brooklyn Dodgers [World Series: 1941], SL Browns, NY Giants; died March 29, 1959)
1921 - Deborah Kerr (Trimmer) (actress: The King and I, From Here to Eternity, A Woman of Substance, The Night of the Iguana, Quo Vadis, Tea and Sympathy, Separate Tables; died Oct 16, 2007)
1922 - Oscar Pettiford (musician: bass, cello; played with Charlie Barnet, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Stan Getz; died Sep 8, 1960)
1924 - Truman (Streckfus) Capote (Persons) (writer: In Cold Blood, Other Voices, Other Rooms, Breakfast at Tiffany’s; actor: Murder by Death; died Aug 25, 1984)
1926 - Robin (Evan) Roberts (Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher: Philadelphia Phillies [World Series: 1950/all-star: 1950-1956/Sporting News National League Player of the Year: 1952, 1955], Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs; won 286 games in 19 seasons, six consecutive 20-victory seasons; died May 6, 2010)
1931 - Angie Dickinson (Brown) (actress: Police Woman, Cassie and Company, Wild Palms, Dressed to Kill, Rio Bravo, Ocean’s 11; Hollywood’s Best Legs Award )
1932 - Johnny (John Joseph) Podres (baseball: pitcher: Brooklyn Dodgers [World Series: 1953, 1955], LA Angeles Dodgers [all-star: 1958, 1960, 1962/World Series: 1959, 1963], Detroit Tigers, San Diego Padres; died Jan 13, 2008)
1935 - Jill Corey (Norma Jean Esperanza) (singer: Love Me to Pieces)
1935 - Johnny Mathis (singer: Wonderful, Wonderful, It’s Not for Me to Say, Chances Are, Misty, The Twelfth of Never, A Certain Smile, Small World, Gina, What Will Mary Say, Too Much, Too Little, Too Late [w/Deniece Williams], Friends In Love [w/Dionne Warwick])
1942 - Dewey Martin (musician: drums, singer: group: Buffalo Springfield: For What It’s Worth; died Feb 1, 2009)
1943 - Marilyn McCoo (Davis) (singer: group: The Fifth Dimension: Up, Up and Away; Aquarius; solo: One Less Bell to Answer, You Don’t Have to be a Star [w/husband, Billy Davis, Jr.]; TV hostess: Solid Gold [1981-1984, 1986-88]; TV music reporter: Preview)
1944 - Jody Powell (journalist; Press Secretary to U.S. President Jimmy Carter; died Sep 14, 2009)
1944 - Austin ‘Red’ Robbins (basketball: Univ. of Tennessee, Philadelphia 76ers; died Nov 18, 2009)
1946 - Sylvia Peterson (singer: group: The Chiffons: Tonight’s the Night, One Fine Day, He’s So Fine, A Love So Fine, I Have a Boyfriend, Sweet Talkin’ Guy)
1948 - Andy Maurer (football: guard, tackle: Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings: Super Bowl IX, Denver Broncos: Super Bowl XII; died Jan 2, 2016)
1950 - Victoria Tennant (actress: Flowers in the Attic, L.A. Story, The Winds of War, War and Remembrance)
1951 - Catie Ball-Condon (swimmer: Univ. of Florida, U.S. women’s Olympic 400 medley relay [gold medal: 1968])
1953 - Deborah Allen (Thurmond) (singer: Baby I Lied, Take Me in Your Arms and Hold Me [w/Jim Reeves]; songwriter: Don’t Worry ’Bout Me)
1954 - Barry Williams (Blenkhorn) (actor: The Brady Bunch, A Very Brady Christmas)
1961 - Eric Stoltz (actor: Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Mask, Some Kind of Wonderful, Our Town, Three Sisters, Two Shakespearean Actors, The Importance of Being Ernest, The Glass Menagerie, Pulp Fiction, Once and Again)
1961 - Crystal Bernard (actress: Wings, It’s a Living, Happy Days, As Good as Dead, Slumber Party Massacre 2)
1962 - Dave Magadan (baseball: NY Mets [NLCS: 1988], Seattle Mariners, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres)
Chart Toppers - September 30
A Tree in the Meadow - Margaret Whiting
It’s Magic - Doris Day
You Call Everybody Darlin’ - Al Trace (vocal: Bob Vincent)
Just a Little Lovin’ (Will Go a Long Way) - Eddy Arnold
Canadian Sunset - Hugo Winterhalter & Eddie Heywood
The Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2) - Buchanan & Goodman
Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2) - Bill Doggett
Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
Bread and Butter - The Newbeats
G.T.O. - Ronny & The Daytonas
I Guess I’m Crazy - Jim Reeves
Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me - Mac Davis
Saturday in the Park - Chicago
Back Stabbers - O’Jays
I Ain’t Never - Mel Tillis
Upside Down - Diana Ross
All Out of Love - Air Supply
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You - Dolly Parton
Don’t Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
I’ll Always Love You - Taylor Dayne
Love Bites - Def Leppard
Addicted - Dan Seals
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.