Events - March 28
1797 - Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire patented a device we commonly call the washing machine. Back then, however, there was a whole different way of speaking -- and of spelling -- to describe this wonderful invention. “This device is an improvement in washing cloaths.” Wow! Cloaths! Good thing Nathaniel Briggs didn’t have anything to do with vacuum cleaner, garbage disposal or other modern conveniences...
1891 - The first world championship for amateur weightlifters was held in London.
1920 - Film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were married this day.
1922 - Bradley A. Fiske of Washington, D.C. patented a microfilm reading device.
1939 - Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded "Three Little Fishies" for Victor Records.
1941 - Louella Parsons hosted "Hollywood Premiere" for the first time on CBS radio. The gossip columnist introduced famous guests who appeared in dramatized stories.
1963 - Sonny Werblin announced that the the New York Titans of the American Football League was changing names. Instead of Titans, the team would be known as the New York Jets.
1964 - Radio Caroline debuted as the first pirate radio station to broadcast off the coast of England. On this day, the combination of rock music and lively disk jockey patter played to a huge audience in Great Britain; but well out of reach of British authorities. However, that didn’t stop them from trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to shut down the radio station ship. Radio Caroline had become competition to the staid and usually dull British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
1967 - Raymond Burr starred in a TV movie titled "Ironside". The show, about a wheelchair-bound detective, became very popular as a weekly series in the fall of 1967. Burr, known to millions as determined lawyer, "Perry Mason" (a past TV hit), played the part of Robert Ironside in the new show. He was joined by characters, Detective Sgt. Ed Brown (Don Galloway), Eve Whitfield (Barbara Anderson), Mark Sanger (Don Mitchell) and Commissioner Dennis Randall (Gene Lyons).
1974 - The group, Blue Swede, received a gold record for the single, "Hooked on a Feeling". As payback for tormenting listeners worldwide with the introduction of “ooga-chocka, ooga-chocka,” when the group played their gold record, they heard the original B.J. Thomas version of "Hooked on a Feeling". They were so excited by this development, they ooga-chocka’d all night long.
1974 - A streaker (i.e.: someone running around naked), ran onto the set of "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson". The clever NBC censors decided to blackout the lower half of the TV screen on the videotape to prevent an ‘X’ rating. The streaker was arrested, but released, for “lack of evidence,” said Johnny.
1977 - "Rocky", "Network", "All the President’s Men". Titles to remember from the 49th Annual Academy Awards presentation, held this day at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Hosted by a cast of, uh, four (Warren Beatty, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, and Richard Pryor), "Rocky" collected Oscars for Best Picture (Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, producers); Best Director (John G. Avildsen); and Film Editing (Scott Conrad, Richard Halsey). "Network" hauled in the gold for Best Actor (Peter Finch); Actress (Faye Dunaway); Supporting Actress (Beatrice Straight); and Writing (Paddy Chayefsky). "All the President’s Men" was given awards for Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards); Art Direction (George Jenkins); Set Direction (George Gaines); Sound (Dick Alexander, Les Fresholtz, Arthur Piantadosi, Jim Webb); and Writing (William Goldman). The Best Music/Song Oscar-winner titles are memorable too: Barbra Streisand (music) and Paul Williams (lyrics) for "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" from "A Star is Born".
1979 - Extensive reevaluation of the safety of nuclear power-generating operations in the U.S. began in earnest this day. The reevaluations were prompted by a series of accidents that began at 4 a.m. at Three Mile Island. Failures in equipment brought the nuclear power plant close to a uranium core meltdown. The fear of extensive radiation contamination spread throughout the rural Pennsylvania area and the state capital of Harrisburg, just ten miles away.
1981 - The group Blondie, featuring Debbie Harry, received a gold record for the tune, "Rapture". At the time, the pop-rock hit was perched at the top of the pop music charts. Blondie had eight charted hits. Four of them were million sellers, beginning with their first release, "Heart of Glass" in 1979. Four of the eight hits were number one on the charts, as well.
1985 - Roger Waters of Pink Floyd made radio history. His Radio City Music Hall concert in New York was broadcast live using a new high-tech sound system called ‘holophonics’. It is said to have recreated the stage experience in amazing detail. Didn’t surround (sound) start out that way?
1985 - Bill Cosby broke more records with "The Cosby Show" on NBC-TV. The program was the highest-rated program of any network series since 1983. It was also the first show in over a decade to nab the top Nielsen Ratings from the Academy Awards presentation (seen the same night). "The Cosby Show" became the highest-rated series since 1978 when "Mork and Mindy", starring Robin Williams and Pam Dawber, premiered on ABC.
1990 - U.S. President George Bush (I) presented the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to Jesse Owens for his humanitarian contributions. The medal was given to Owens’ widow, Ruth S. Owens.
Birthdays - March 28
1890 - Paul Whiteman (bandleader: Washboard Blues, Ol’ Man River, Felix the Cat, Heartache, Ain’t Misbehavin’; died Dec 29, 1967)
1899 - August A. Busch Jr. (beer magnate; St. Louis Cardinals owner; died Sep 29, 1989)
1903 - Rudolf Serkin (concert pianist: “An artist of unusual and impressive talents in possession of a crystalline technique, plenty of power, delicacy, and tone pure and full.”; “A masterly musician ... a scholar of profound art without pedantry, with the loftiest conceptions of beauty, whose every thought and emotion is for the glory of his art.”; died May 8, 1991)
1907 - Irving (Paul) ‘Swifty’ Lazar (Hollywood talent agent to the stars: Humphrey Bogart, Cole Porter, Lillian Hellman, Ernest Hemingway; died Dec 30, 1993)
1912 - Frank Lovejoy (actor: House of Wax, Strategic Air Command; died Oct 2, 1962)
1914 - Edmund S. (Sixtus) Muskie (governor of Maine [1955-1959]; U.S. Senator from Maine [1959-1980]; Democratic nominee for vice-president [1968 w/Hubert Humphrey]; Secretary of State [1980-1981]; died Mar 26, 1996)
1915 - Jay Livingston (composer: To Each His Own, Mona Lisa, Tammy; died Oct 17, 2001)
1919 - Vic (Victor John Angelo) Raschi (baseball: pitcher: NY Yankees [World Series: 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953/all-star: 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952], SL Cardinals, KC Athletics; died Oct 14, 1988)
1921 - Dirk Bogarde (Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde) (actor: The Damned, Death in Venice, The Vision, A Bridge Too Far, Night Flight from Moscow; died May 8, 1999)
1923 - Thad Jones (Thaddeus Joseph Jones) (musician: trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn: played with Count Basie, Thelonious Monk; bandleader: Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra; composer: A Child is Born; died Aug 20, 1986)
1924 - Freddie Bartholomew (Frederick Llewellyn March) (actor: Anna Karenina, Captains Courageous, David Copperfield, Little Lord Fauntleroy; died Jan 23, 1992)
1930 - Eric Dixon (musician: saxophonist/flutist: Count Basie orchestra; died Oct 19, 1989)
1940 - Kevin Loughery (basketball: Baltimore Bullets, Miami Heat; coach: New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers Miami Heat; TV host: CNN: This Week in the NBA; columnist: CNNSI.com)
1941 - Jim Turner (football: NY Jets kicker: Super Bowl III, Denver Broncos kicker: Super Bowl XII)
1942 - Jerry Sloan (basketball: Evansville (Indiana) College, Baltimore Bullets, Chicago Bulls; coach: Chicago Bulls, Utah Jazz)
1943 - Conchata Ferrell (actress: L.A. Law, Hearts Afire, A Peaceable Kingdom, McClain’s Law, Hot L Baltimore, E/R, B.J. and the Bear, The Buccaneers, True Romance, Mystic Pizza, Edward Scissorhands, Deadly Hero)
1944 - Rick Barry (basketball: Golden State Warriors: NBA Playoff Record for 8 steals in a game [shared with 5 others])
1944 - Ken Howard (actor: The White Shadow, The Thorn Birds, Country Girl, Oscar; died Mar 23, 2016)
1945 - Chuck Portz (musician: bass: group: The Turtles: It Ain’t Me Babe, Let Me Be, You Baby, Happy Together, She’d Rather be with Me, Elenore, You Showed Me)
1947 - Barry Miles (musician: drums, keyboards: group: Silverlight; Roberta Flack’s musical director)
1948 - Sam Lacey (basketball: New Mexico State Univ., Sacramento Kings)
1948 - Dianne Wiest (Academy Award-winning actress: Hannah and Her Sisters ; Bullets over Broadway, Radio Days, Edward Scissorhands, Little Man Tate, Footloose)
1948 - Milan Williams (musician: keyboards, drums, trombone, guitar: group: Commodores: Machine Gun, Just to be Close to You, Sweet Love, Easy, Sail On, Three Times a Lady, Still, Nightshift; died Jul 9, 2006)
1949 - Ronnie Ray Smith (sprinter: 1968 Olympics gold medal winner: 4-by-100 meter relay [w/Charles Greene, Melvin Pender & Jim Hines])
1955 - Reba (Nell) McEntire (multi Grammy, CMA, ACM Award-winning singer: How Blue, Somebody Should Leave, Who Ever’s in New England, What am I Gonna Do about You, For My Broken Heart, The Last One to Know [30 #1 singles, 14 #1 albums]; actress: Buffalo Girls, Forever Love, One Night at McCool’s; autobiography: Reba: My Story)
1966 - Salt (Cheryl James) (Grammy Award-winning rap singer: duo: Salt-N-Pepa: None of Your Business ; Push It, LP: Hot, Cool & Vicious)
Chart Toppers - March 28
If - Perry Como
Be My Love - Mario Lanza
Mockingbird Hill -Patti Page
The Rhumba Boogie - Hank Snow
Venus - Frankie Avalon
Tragedy - Thomas Wayne
Come Softly to Me - The Fleetwoods
Don’t Take Your Guns to Town - Johnny Cash
Happy Together - The Turtles
Dedicated to the One I Love - The Mamas & The Papas
There’s a Kind of Hush - Herman’s Hermits
I Won’t Come in While He’s There - Jim Reeves
My Eyes Adored You - Frankie Valli
Lady Marmalade - LaBelle
Lovin’ You - Minnie Riperton
Before the Next Teardrop Falls - Freddy Fender
Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me - Culture Club
Hungry like the Wolf - Duran Duran
Swingin’ - John Anderson
One More Try - Timmy -T-
Coming Out of the Dark - Gloria Estafan
This House - Tracie Spencer
Loving Blind - Clint Black
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.