Events - August 4
1753 - George Washington became a Master Mason on this day.
1821 - "The Saturday Evening Post" was published as a weekly for the first time.
1927 - Radio station 2XAG, later named WGY, the General Electric station in Schenectady, NY, began experimental operations from a 100,000-watt transmitter. Later, the FCC regulated the power of AM radio stations to not exceed 50,000 watts on ‘clear channels’ (where few, if any, stations would cause interference with each other).
1927 - Singer Jimmie Rodgers recorded his first sides for Victor Records in Bristol, TN. He sang "Sleep Baby Sleep" and "Soldier’s Sweetheart".
1934 - Mel Ott became the first major-league baseball player to score six runs in a single game.
1940 - "Crime Doctor" introduced a new kind of radio hero to audiences. The CBS radio program presented Dr. Benjamin Ordway, the show’s main character, who was a victim of amnesia. He once was a criminal, but got hit on the head, and suddenly began to work as a crime fighter. Nice twist.
1944 - Nazi police discovered Anne Frank and her family, hiding in secret quarters above her father’s factory in Amsterdam, Holland. Miss Frank was 15 years old and had kept a diary of her feelings, thoughts and fears during the two years of hiding from the Nazis. Anne and her sister were taken to a concentration camp following the arrest. Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen. Her diary was found later and has since been translated into 30 different languages, adapted as a dramatic play and a Hollywood film. Her diary is a symbol of the strength of the human spirit. She wrote: “I keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would like to be and what I could be, if there weren’t any other people living in the world.”
1956 - Wilhelm Herz was clocked at 210 miles per hour at Wendover, UT. He became the first person to race a motorcycle over 200 mph.
1957 - Juan Fangio won his final auto race and captured the world auto driving championship -- for the fifth consecutive year.
1963 - After two months out of the lineup due to a broken left foot, Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees got a tie-breaking, pinch-hit, home run in the ninth inning to lead the Yankees to a win over the Baltimore Orioles.
1964 - The murdered bodies of three civil rights workers were found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner had disappeared June 21, not long after they had been held for six hours in the Neshoba County, MS jail on charges of speeding. Their burned car was discovered on June 23, prompting a search by the FBI for the three young men.
1983 - New York Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield threw a baseball during warmups and accidentally killed a seagull! After the game, Toronto police surrounded the slugger and arrested him for “causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.”
1995 - Movies opening this day (in U.S. theatres): "Babe" -- about a pig who learns to be a sheep dog; "Something to Talk About" -- about a woman who sees her husband giving an unknown young woman a passionate kiss on his lunch hour; "Bushwacked" -- about a guy who is forced to hide out as a guide to a group of 10-year-old Scouts on their first wilderness outing.
2000 - Movies opening this day (in U.S. theatres): "Coyote Ugly" -- about a 21-year-old woman who takes a job as a barmaid at Coyote Ugly, the hottest spot in town; "Space Cowboys" -- about a group of almost-over-the-hill pilots called to undertake a space rescue mission; and "Hollow Man" -- about a scientist who develops a serum that induces complete invisibility (it brought in $26.41 million the first weekend -- the movie, not the serum).
Birthdays - August 4
1792 - Percy Bysshe Shelley (lyric poet: Prometheus Unbound, Epipsychidion, The Witch of Atlas, Hellas, Adonais, A Defence of Poetry, Ode to the West Wind; died July 8, 1822)
1884 - Isoroku Yamamoto (Japanese Admiral during WWII: planned attack on Pearl Harbor; killed when U.S. 13th Air Force shot down his plane Apr 18, 1943)
1900 - Elizabeth Angela Marguerite (Britain’s Queen Mother; died Mar 30, 2002)
1901 - Louis Armstrong (Satchmo: jazz musician: trumpet; Grammy Award-winning singer: Hello, Dolly! , Lifetime Achievement Award ; It’s a Wonderful World, Mack the Knife, Blueberry Hill; appeared in films: The Five Pennies, The Glenn Miller Story, Hello Dolly!, High Society; American ambassador of good will; inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ; died July 6, 1971)
1904 - Harry Cooper (‘Lighthorse’: World Golf Hall of Famer: Vardon Trophy winner ; Canadian Open champion [1932,1937]; Bing Crosby Pro Am ; died Oct 17, 2000)
1909 - Glenn Cunningham (Kansas Ironman: National Track & Field Hall of Famer: Sullivan Award : world record : mile [4:06.8]; Olympic silver medalist ; 1932 Olympic team member; director of physical education: Cornell College, Iowa; Glenn Cunningham Youth Ranch; died Mar 10, 1988)
1910 - William Schuman (Pulitzer Prize-winning composer: Secular Cantata No. 2, A Free Song ; President: Julliard School of Music, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; died Feb 15, 1992)
1912 - Raoul Wallenberg (architect; humanitarian: rescued at least 100,000 Jews from certain death in World War II; honored posthumously by the U.S. government: U.S. House of Representatives voted to award Mr. Wallenberg with honorary American citizenship : only the second person to receive such recognition [Winston Churchill was the first]; died in a Russian prison July 17, 1947)
1913 - Wesley Addy (actor: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Kiss Me Deadly, Seconds; died Dec 31, 1996)
1915 - Luke Easter (Luscious Luke: baseball: Cleveland Indians; died Mar 29, 1979)
1919 - Ted Kroll (golf: champ: San Diego Open ; died Apr 23, 2002)
1920 - Helen Thomas (journalist: UPI White House correspondent [from Kennedy to Clinton: 1961-2000]; author: Front Row at the White House; died Jul 20, 2013)
1921 - Herb (Mitchell) Ellis (musician: guitarist, singer: group: Soft Winds: I Told You I Love You, Now Get Out; Oscar Peterson Trio; died Mar 28, 2010)
1921 - Maurice Richard (‘The Rocket’: Hockey Hall of Famer: 18 NHL seasons [1942-1960] w/Montreal Canadiens: Hart Trophy ; eight Stanley Cup championships; first player to score 500 career goals ; died May 27, 2000)
1932 - Joe Leonard (Motorsports Hall of Fame motorcycle racer: Grand National Championship [1954, 1956, 1956]; race car driver: Indy 500 [1967, 1968], USAC titles [1971, 1972])
1934 - (George) Dallas Green (baseball: pitcher: Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Senators, NY Mets; mgr.: NY Yankees, NY Mets, Chicago Cubs; died Mar 22, 2017)
1938 - Hayes Jones (National Track & Field Hall of Famer: Olympic gold medalist : 110-meter hurdles [:13.6]; New York City’s Director of Recreation)
1939 - Frankie Ford (Guzzo) (singer: Sea Cruise; in film: American Hot Wax; died Sep 28, 2015)
1940 - Timi (Rosemarie) Yuro (singer: Hurt, What’s A Matter Baby [Is It Hurting You], Gotta Travel On, Down in the Valley; died Mar 30, 2004)
1942 - Cleon (Joseph) Jones (baseball: NY Mets [World Series: 1969, 1973/all-star: 1969], Chicago White Sox)
1943 - David Carr (musician: keyboards: group: The Fortunes: You’ve Got Your Troubles)
1944 - Richard Belzer (comedian, actor: Mad Dog and Glory, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Big Picture, The Groove Tube)
1949 - John Riggins (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Washington Redskins running back: NFL Individual Record: touchdowns  scored in a season : Super Bowl XVII, XVIII; NY Jets)
1952 - Kristoffer Tabori (Siegel) (actor: Chicago Story, Seventh Avenue)
1955 - Billy Bob Thornton (actor: One False Move, Tombstone, On Deadly Ground, Primary Colors, Armageddon, Pushing Tin, Franky Goes to Hollywood)
1958 - Mary Decker (track: AP & Sullivan Award: U.S. outstanding amateur athlete ; U.S. record holder: 800-meters [1:56.9], 1500-meters [3:57.12], 1,000-meters [2:34.8], 1-mile [4:16.71], 3,000-meters [8:29.69])
1960 - Dean Malenko (pro wrestler/actor: WCW Saturday Night, Raw Is War, WWF Smackdown!, Survivor Series)
1961 - Barack Hussein Obama II (44th U.S. President [2009- ], first African American to be elected U.S. President; U.S. Senator from Illinois [2005-2009]; Illinois State Senator [1997-2004]; president of Harvard Law Review ; married [Jun 1989] to Michelle Robinson; two daughters: Malia Ann and Natasha [‘Sasha’])
1961 - Lauren Tom (actress: The Joy Luck Club, When a Man Loves a Woman, Grace Under Fire, DAG, Max Steel)
1962 - (William) Roger Clemens (baseball: pitcher: Boston Red Sox [3-time Cy Young Award winner: 1986, 1987, 1991/World Series: 1986/all-star: 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992/Baseball Writer’s Award: 1986])
Chart Toppers - August 4
Peg o’ My Heart - The Harmonicats
That’s My Desire - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Don Cornell)
I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder - Eddy Howard
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) - Tex Williams
Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley & His Comets
Ain’t That a Shame - Fats Domino
Learnin’ the Blues - Frank Sinatra
I Don’t Care - Webb Pierce
So Much in Love - The Tymes
Fingertips - Pt 2 - Little Stevie Wonder
(You’re the) Devil in Disguise - Elvis Presley
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
You’ve Got a Friend - James Taylor
Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight
Draggin’ the Line - Tommy James
I’m Just Me - Charley Pride
Bad Girls - Donna Summer
Good Times - Chic
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
You’re the Only One - Dolly Parton
Shakedown - Bob Seger
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - U2
I Want Your Sex - George Michael
Snap Your Fingers - Ronnie Milsap
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.