Events - May 16
1866 - The U.S. Treasury Department added another coin to American currency by authorizing the minting of the nickel, a five-cent coin, on this day. On its face was a shield, while on the reverse was the number 5.
1910 - The U.S. Bureau of Mines was authorized by the U.S. Congress.
1914 - The AHPA was formed in Kansas City, Kansas. Now, don’t throw a fit when we tell you that AHPA is the American Horseshoe Pitchers Association.
1929 - The first Academy Awards were presented on this night, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William C. de Mille. This first awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. It attracted an audience of 200 people. (The statuette we know so well as Oscar was not included in this first presentation for films made in 1927-1928. Oscar didn’t make an appearance until 1931.) Janet Gaynor was named Best Actress for her performance in "Seventh Heaven", which also won the Best Director/Dramatic Picture for Frank Borzage, and the Best Writing/Adaptation for Benjamin Glazer. Lewis Milestone was named Best Director/Comedy Picture for "Two Arabian Knights". Emil Jannings received two Best Actor awards, one for the 1927 flick,"The Way of All Flesh", the other for "The Last Command" (1928) and "Wings" was selected as Best Film Production. A second Best Film award was presented to "Sunrise" for Unique and Artistic Production. It also won for Best Cinematography (Charles Rosher and Karl Struss). Other countries honor their film industry each year, too. In Germany, the Oscar is called the Bambi for outstanding motion pictures. In Finland, the award is called the Snosiki. Two thumbs up for the movies!
1929 - Paul Whiteman and his orchestra backed Bing Crosby for the tune, "S’posin’", which ‘Der Bingle’ recorded for Columbia Records.
1939 - The Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Indians met at Shibe Park in Philadelphia for the first baseball game to be played under the lights in the American League. The Indians beat Philly 8-3 in 10 innings.
1946 - The Irving Berlin musical, "Annie Get Your Gun", opened at New York’s Imperial Theatre. It turned out to be one of the most successful shows presented on a Broadway stage and drew audiences to 1,147 performances.
1953 - Bill Haley and His Comets made it to the "Billboard" music charts for the first time with "Crazy Man Crazy". The tune went to number six and became the first rock ’n’ roll record to make the pop music chart.
1965 - "The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd", a Broadway musical starring Anthony Newley, made its premiere at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. Cyril Ritchard appeared in the production which entertained audiences for 231 performances.
1971 - An ounce of first-class mail rocketed to eight cents for delivery -- two cents more than the previous stamp.
1981 - "Bette Davis Eyes", by Kim Carnes, climbed to the top spot of the pop music chart and stayed there for five straight weeks, took a week off (replaced by "Stars on 45 Medley" by Stars on 45) and came back to number one for four more weeks! It was, obviously, a gold record winner and was played over and over and over for 20 weeks before becoming an instant oldie but goodie. "Bette Davis Eyes", incidentally, was written in part by Jackie DeShannon, who had two top ten hits in the 1960s: "What the World Needs Now is Love" in 1965 and the million-seller, "Put a Little Love in Your Heart", in 1969.
1985 - Michael ‘Air’ Jordan was named Rookie of the Year in the National Basketball Association. Jordan of the Chicago Bulls was the number three draft choice. At the time, he was third in league scoring with a 28.2 average and fourth in steals with 2.39 per game.
1987 - It was a grand day in New York Harbor. "Bobro 400", a huge barge, set sail within eyesight of the Statue of Liberty with 3,200 tons of garbage that nobody wanted. The floating trash heap soon became America’s most well-traveled garbage can as it began an eight-week, 6,000 mile odyssey in search of a willing dumping site. "Bobro 400" returned to New York Harbor after the lengthy journey -- and brought all that garbage back with it!
1990 - The entertainer who could do it all, Sammy Davis Jr., died of throat cancer at age 64, in Beverly Hills, California. From vaudeville at age three (with his father and uncle) to the star of Broadway’s "Mr. Wonderful", from Las Vegas nightclubs to hit records, the actor, singer, dancer, impersonator, and musician performed his way into the hearts of young and old everywhere. The world mourned the passing of Sammy Davis, Jr. at age 64 of throat cancer.
Birthdays - May 16
1801 - William Seward (U.S. Secretary of State: negotiated purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 [Seward’s Folly]; died Oct 10, 1872)
1804 - Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (educator: established 1st kindergarten in U.S. ; author, publisher: The Dial literary magazine, Kindergarten Messenger; sister-in-law of Nathaniel Hawthorne; died Jan 3, 1894)
1905 - Henry (Jaynes) Fonda (Academy Award-winning actor: On Golden Pond ; Grapes of Wrath, Advice and Consent, Mister Roberts, Young Mr. Lincoln; father of Jane & Peter Fonda; died Aug 12, 1982)
1912 - Studs (Louis) Terkel (writer: Hard Times, Working; died Oct 31, 2008)
1913 - Woody (Woodrow Charles) Herman (bandleader: Woodchopper’s Ball, The Sheik of Araby, Chloe, Caldonia; died Oct 29, 1987)
1919 - (Wladziu Valentino) Liberace (concert pianist & showman: The Liberace Show; Las Vegas entertainer; died Feb 4, 1987)
1922 - Eddie Bert (jazz musician: trombone; died Sep 27, 2012)
1926 - Rube (Albert Bluford) Walker (baseball: catcher: Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers [World Series: 1956], LA Dodgers; died Dec 12, 1992)
1928 - Billy (Alfred Manuel) Martin (baseball: NY Yankees [World Series: 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956/all-star: 1956], KC Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Braves, Minnesota Twins; manager: NY Yankees [5 times], Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Oakland A’s; died Dec 25, 1989)
1929 - Betty Carter (Lillie Mae Jones) (jazz singer: toured with Lionel Hampton & Miles Davis; died Sep 26, 1998)
1937 - Yvonne Craig (actress, dancer: Batman [TV], Barbara Gordon/Batgirl [TV], Digging Up Business, It Happened at the World’s Fair, The Young Land, Mars Needs Women; died Aug 17, 2015)
1943 - Donny Anderson (football: Green Bay Packers: running back, punter: Super Bowls I & II)
1947 - Barbara Lee (Jones) (singer: group: The Chiffons: He’s So Fine, One Fine Day, Sweet Talkin’ Guy; died May 15, 1992)
1947 - Bill Smitrovich (actor: Crime Story, Life Goes On, The Trigger Effect, Bodily Harm, Crazy People, Renegades, A Killing Affair, Splash, Manhunter, The Practice)
1947 - Darrel Sweet (musician: drums, singer: group: Nazareth: LPs: Love Hurts, Snaz; died Apr 30, 1999)
1948 - Jim Langer (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Miami Dolphins guard & center: Super Bowls VI, VII, VIII)
1949 - Rick (Rickey Eugene) Reuschel (baseball: pitcher: Chicago Cubs [all-star: 1977], NY Yankees [World Series: 1981], Pittsburgh Pirates [all-star: 1987], SF Giants [all-star: 1989/World Series: 1989])
1953 - Pierce Brosnan (actor: Mrs. Doubtfire, Remington Steele, The Manions of America, Noble House, The Heist, Detonator, The Fourth Protocol, Don’t Talk to Strangers, The Thomas Crown Affair , The Tailor of Panama; Bond ... James Bond: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough)
1953 - Rick (Richard Alan) Rhoden (baseball: pitcher: LA Dodgers [all-star: 1976/World Series: 1977], Pittsburgh Pirates [all-star: 1986], NY Yankees, Houston Astros)
1955 - Olga Korbut (Olympic Gold  Medalist: gymnast )
1955 - (Mary) Debra Winger (actress: Forget Paris, Shadowlands, A Dangerous Woman, Leap of Faith, Legal Eagles, Terms of Endearment, An Officer and a Gentleman, Urban Cowboy, French Postcards, Slumber Party ’57, Wonder Woman)
1958 - Glenn Gregory (singer: group: Heaven 17: We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thang, Temptation, Crushed by the Wheels of Industry, Soul Deep, The Foolish Thing to Do; on soundtrack of film: Insignificance)
1959 - Mare Winningham (Emmy Award-winning [supporting] actress: Amber Waves [1979-1980], George Wallace [1997-1998]; The Boys Next Door, Wyatt Earp, Fatal Exposure, Turner and Hooch, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Thorn Birds)
1966 - Janet Jackson (singer: Again, Control, Miss You Much, That’s the Way Love Goes, What Have You Done for Me Lately; LPs: Janet Jackson, Dream Street, Control, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, janet, Design of a Decade, The Velvet Rope [has sold some 40-million albums worldwide]; actress: Good Times, Fame, Diff’rent Strokes; Michael’s sister)
1968 - Ralph Tresvant (singer: group: New Edition: Candy Girl, Cool It Now, Mr. Telephone Man)
1969 - Tracey Gold (actress: Shirley, Goodnight Beantown, Growing Pains; TV host: That’s Incredible)
1970 - Gabriela Sabatini (tennis champion: U.S. Open )
Chart Toppers - May 16
Long Ago and Far Away - Helen Forrest & Dick Haymes
I’ll Get By - The Harry James Orchestra (vocal: Dick Haymes)
San Fernando Valley - Bing Crosby
Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry - Al Dexter
Blue Tango - The Leroy Anderson Orchestra
Kiss of Fire - Georgia Gibbs
Blacksmith Blues - Ella Mae Morse
The Wild Side of Life - Hank Thompson
Stuck on You - Elvis Presley
Cathy’s Clown - The Everly Brothers
Night - Jackie Wilson
Please Help Me, I’m Falling - Hank Locklin
Honey - Bobby Goldsboro
Tighten Up - Archie Bell & The Drells
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Hugo Montenegro
Have a Little Faith - David Houston
Boogie Fever - Sylvers
Silly Love Songs - Wings
Fooled Around and Fell in Love - Elvin Bishop
What Goes on When the Sun Goes Down - Ronnie Milsap
Hello - Lionel Richie
Hold Me Now - The Thompson Twins
Let’s Hear It for the Boy - Deniece Williams
To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before - Julio Iglesias & Willie Nelson
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.