Events - March 9
1799 - Congress contracted with Simeon North of Berlin, CT for 500 horse pistols, costing the government $6.50 each. Horse pistols, for those of you born after 1800, were large pistols that used to be carried by -- you guessed it -- horsemen.
1832 - Abraham Lincoln of New Salem, IL announced that he would run for political office for the first time. He sought a seat in the Illinois state legislature. ‘Honest Abe’ was not successful. Less than thirty years later, however, he become President of the United States.
1858 - Albert Potts of Philadelphia, PA opened his letter box to find that he had been awarded a patent for -- the letter box. Way to go, Albert!
1859 - The National Association of Baseball Players adopted a rule that limited the size of bats to no more than 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
1929 - Eric Krenz of Palo Alto, CA became the first athlete to toss the discus over 160 feet. He bettered the the old mark by 8-3/4 inches.
1942 - Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded "Well, Git It!" for Victor Records. Ziggy Elman was featured on the session which was recorded in Hollywood. Sy Oliver arranged the Dorsey classic.
1945 - "Those Websters" debuted on CBS radio. Willard Waterman starred as George Webster. Later, Waterman would have an even more memorable starring role as the lead in "The Great Gildersleeve".
1949 - The first all-electric dining car was placed in service -- on the Illinois Central Railroad. Passengers enjoyed all-electric cooking between Chicago and St. Louis.
1954 - This was the day that critics called “TV’s coming of age.” Edward R. Murrow presented his report on the controversial Wisconsin Senator, Joseph R. McCarthy.
1959 - Jack Paar was featured on the cover of "LIFE" magazine on this day. He was accused, the article said, of “keeping the U.S. up nights.” With show regulars, Dody Goodman, Alexander King, Cliff Arquette, announcer Hugh Downs and bandleader Jose Melis, there was little wonder why Paar caused such excitement in television’s late night on NBC.
1974 - Many new musical faces were on the scene, including Terry Jacks, who was starting week two of a three-week stay at the top of the pop charts with his uplifting ditty, "Seasons in the Sun". Other newcomers: Jefferson Starship, Billy Joel, Kiss, Olivia Newton-John, Kool & the Gang and The Steve Miller Band.
1985 - The most requested movie in history, "Gone With The Wind", went on sale in video stores across the U.S. for the first time. The tape cost buyers $89.95. The film, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, cost $4.5 million to produce and has earned over $400 million, making it one of the biggest money-makers in motion picture history. "GWTW" is now the cornerstone of the massive MGM film library owned by Ted Turner.
1986 - Bill Cosby broke Liberace’s record and earned the biggest box-office gross in the 53-year history of Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
1987 - Chrysler Corporation offered to buy American Motors Corporation on this day. The car maker offered up to $1 billion dollars for the financially troubled AMC. Remember the Gremlin? How about the Rambler American -- the car with seats that reclined to a completely horizontal position?
1997 - Rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie) was returning to his hotel in Los Angeles, California after an awards party. A car pulled up beside his and opened fire. Biggie was killed almost instantly.
Birthdays - March 9
1454 - Amerigo Vespucci (merchant, explorer; America named for him; died Feb 22, 1512)
1856 - Eddie (Edwin Fitzgerald) Foy Sr. (actor, comic, dancer: entertained on the musical stage and in vaudeville for four decades; father of The Seven Little Foys; died Feb 16, 1928)
1902 - Will Geer (William Auge Ghere) (actor: Union Pacific, It’s a Small World, Broken Arrow, In Cold Blood, The Waltons; died Apr 22, 1978)
1918 - Mickey Spillane (Frank Morrison Spillane) (writer of Mike Hammer mysteries: I the Jury, My Gun is Quick, Kiss Me Deadly, Vengeance is Mine, The Killing Man; died July 17, 2006)
1921 - Carl Betz (actor: Deadly Encounter, The Meal, Spinout; died Jan 18, 1978)
1923 - Andre Courreges (French fashion designer: created go-go boots, brought mini-skirt look into fashion; died Jan 7, 2016)
1925 - Billy Ford (singer: group: Billy & Lillie: La Dee Dah, Lucky Ladybug; died in 1985)
1927 - Jackie (Jack Eugene) Jensen (baseball: NY Yankees [World Series: 1950], Washington Nationals [all-star: 1952], Boston Red Sox [all- star: 1955, 1958/Writer’s Award: 1958]; died Jul 14, 1982)
1932 - Keely Smith (Dorothy Jacqueline Keely) (singer: That Old Black Magic, How Are Ya’ Fixed for Love?; former Mrs. Louis Prima)
1933 - Lloyd Price (songwriter: Lawdy Miss Clawdy; pianist; singer: Stagger Lee, Personality, I’m Gonna Get Married; record label owner; producer; booking agent)
1934 - Yuri Gagarin (Russian cosmonaut: the first man to travel in space; killed plane crash Mar 27, 1968)
1934 - Joyce Van Patten (actress: Monkey Shines, The Goodbye Guys, Bad News Bears, Breathing Lessons; sister of actor Dick Van Patten)
1936 - Mickey Gilley (country singer: Academy of Country Music Top New Male Vocalist , 1976 awards: Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year: Gilley’s Smoking, Song of the Year: Don’t the Girls Get Prettier at Closing Time, Single of the Year: Bring It On Home; owned Gilley’s Club [honky-tonk that inspired movie Urban Cowboy]; owner: Mickey Gilley’s Theatre, Branson MO; Jerry Lee Lewis’ cousin)
1936 - Marty Ingels (Ingerman) (actor: If It’s Tuesday This Must be Belgium, A Guide for the Married Man; died Oct 21, 2015)
1940 - Raul Julia (Raul Rafael Carlos Julia y Arcelay) (actor: The Addams Family, Kiss of the Spider Woman; four Tony award nominations: Proteus, Mack the Knife; died Oct 24, 1994)
1941 - Jim Colbert (golf: eight-time PGA Tour winner; Senior PGA Tour leading money winner [1995, 1996] player of year ; ESPN color commentator)
1942 - Bert (Dagoberto Blanco) Campaneris (‘Campy’: baseball: shorstop: KC Athletics, Oakland Athletics, [all-star: 1968, 1972-1975/World Series: 1972-1974], Texas Rangers [all-star: 1977], California Angels, NY Yankees)
1942 - Mark Lindsay (musician: saxophonist, singer songwriter: group: Paul Revere & The Raiders: The Great Airplane Strike, Good Thing, Him or Me - What’s It Gonna Be, Indian Reservation; solo: Arizona, Silver Bird)
1943 - Bobby Fischer (World Chess Champion , U.S. Champion [1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966]; died Jan 17, 2008)
1943 - Charles Gibson (TV news host: Good Morning America, 20/20)
1943 - Trish Van Devere (Patricia Dressel) (actress: Hollywood Vice Squad, All God’s Children, The Day of the Dolphin, Deadly Currents, Where’s Poppa?, One is a Lonely Number)
1944 - Trevor Burton (musician: guitar: groups: The Move: Night of Fear, I Can Hear the Grass Grow, Flowers in the Rain, Fire Brigade, Wild Tiger Woman, Blackberry Way; Uglys)
1945 - Robin Trower (musician: guitar: group: Procol Harum: Whiter Shade of Pale)
1946 - Jim Cregan (musician: guitar: group: Family: It’s Only a Movie; Stud; Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel)
1948 - Jimmie Fadden (singer, musician: harmonica, guitar: group: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Mr. Bojangles, An American Dream, Make a Little Magic, Modern Day Romance, Long Hard Road [The Sharecropper’s Dream])
1948 - Jeffrey Osborne (musician: drums, singer, songwriter: group: L.T.D.)
1950 - Andy North (golf champion: U.S. Open [1978 and 1985])
1958 - Martin Fry (singer: group: ABC: Tears are Not Enough, Poison Arrow, Be Near Me, When Smokey Sings, King Without a Crown; founded magazine: Modern Drugs)
1960 - Linda Fiorentino (Clorinda Fiorentino) (actress: Unforgettable, Bodily Harm, The Last Seduction, Vision Quest, Men in Black)
1971 - Emmanuel Lewis (actor: Webster)
Chart Toppers - March 9
Now is the Hour - Bing Crosby
I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover - The Art Moonie Orchestra
Beg Your Pardon - Francis Craig
I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) - Eddy Arnold
Lisbon Antigua - Nelson Riddle
Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby - The Louvin Brothers
I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
She Loves You - The Beatles
Please Please Me - The Beatles
Saginaw, Michigan - Lefty Frizzell
Without You - Nilsson
Hurting Each Other - Carpenters
Down by the Lazy River - The Osmonds
Bedtime Story - Tammy Wynette
Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
Longer - Dan Fogelberg
Desire - Andy Gibb
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - Willie Nelson
Father Figure - George Michael
Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
I Get Weak - Belinda Carlisle
Face to Face - Alabama
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
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