Events - May 21
1819 - The first bicycles in the United States were called swift walkers and were seen for the first time on the streets of New York City on this day.
1881 - The United States National Lawn Tennis Association was formed in New York City.
1891 - From the You Won’t Believe Your Eyes department: Peter Jackson and Jim Corbett fought to a draw in San Francisco, CA. Nothing wrong with that except the boxing match went an unprecedented 61 rounds! No wonder it was a draw. The boxers couldn’t raise their arms anymore! What did they do, holler at each other? And was there a dinner break? How about other necessities of nature? Was the crowd enthusiastic the entire time? How many times did the fighters just stand around and stare at each other for an entire round? Inquiring sports minds want to know!
1906 - Louis H. Perlman of New York City received his patent for the demountable tire-carrying rim -- similar to the ones we use on our cars, only wider.
1922 - The cartoon, "On the Road to Moscow", by Rollin Kirby, won a Pulitzer Prize. It was the first cartoon awarded the Pulitzer.
1927 - Charles A. Lindbergh arrived to a hero’s welcome in Paris, in his spindly monoplane, "The Spirit of St. Louis" (the famous plane is now displayed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC). Lindbergh’s flight marked the first time that a person had flown across the Atlantic Ocean. The event got more press coverage than any other single even in history to that time. In American newspapers alone, it was estimated that some 27,000 columns of words were used to describe Lindbergh’s epic journey. A depiction of that famous flight was portrayed by one of America’s great motion picture actors, Jimmy Stewart, in the film, "The Spirit of St. Louis". Upon his return to American soil, Lucky Lindy was given another hero’s welcome.
1929 - The first automatic electric stock quotation board was put into operation by Sutro and Company of New York City.
1940 - Will Bradley and his orchestra recorded one of the best of the Big Band era. Ray McKinley played drums and did the vocal for the boogie-woogie tune, "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar". The song, on Columbia Records, was so long it took up both sides of the 78rpm platter.
1945 - Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart were married. Legend has it that the couple fell in love in 1943 during making of the film, "To Have and Have Not". Theirs would become one of Hollywood’s most enduring marriages.
1947 - Joe DiMaggio and five of his New York Yankees teammates were slapped with $100 fines. Why? They had not fulfilled contract requirements to do promotional duties for the team.
1955 - Chuck Berry went into a recording session for Chess, performing a restyled version of "Ida Red". What came out of that hot session was Ida Red's new name and Chuck Berry's first hit, "Maybellene". "Maybellene" topped the R & B charts at #1, and the pop charts at #5. And Beethoven rolled over...
1959 - "Gypsy", a musical based on the life of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, opened on Broadway. Ethel Merman played Gypsy’s mother, Rose, who pushed her two daughters into burlesque. With music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, "Gypsy" closed on March 25, 1961 after 702 performances.
1973 - The sensual "Pillow Talk", by Sylvia (Sylvia Vanderpool), earned a gold record. The artist first recorded with Hot Lips Page for Columbia Records back in 1950 and was known as Little Sylvia. She was half of the singing duo Mickey & Sylvia, who recorded "Love is Strange" in 1957. "Pillow Talk" was her only major solo hit and made it to number three on the pop music charts.
1985 - Marvin Gaye’s last album was released. "Dream of a Lifetime" featured songs that critics considered too offensive, such as the controversial, pop version of "The Lord’s Prayer". Three of the songs from the album were completed after Gaye’s death. Marvin Gaye was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
1991 - The prime minister of India from 1984 until 1989, Rajiv Gandhi was in the midst of a campaign rally for reelection when a bomb exploded in his hand. Like his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. The bomb was hidden in a bouquet of flowers handed to Rajiv by a so-called admirer.
Birthdays - May 21
1471 - Albrecht Durer (artist: Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand, Adoration of the Magi, Young Hare; engraver: Knight, Death and the Devil, The Smaller Passion; died Apr 6, 1528)
1688 - Alexander Pope (poet: the Pastorals, An Essay on Criticism, The Rape of the Lock, The Art of Sinking in Poetry, The Dunciad, An Essay on Man; died May 30, 1744)
1844 - Henri Rousseau (artist: The Sleeping Gypsy; died Sep 2, 1910)
1898 - Armand Hammer (industrialist: Occidental Petroleum Co.; physician: donated millions to aid cancer research; died Dec 10, 1990)
1901 - Horace Heidt (bandleader: Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights; radio show host: Pot O’ Gold; talent show host: Youth Opportunity; died Dec 1, 1986)
1904 - Robert Montgomery (Henry Montgomery Jr.) (actor: Private Lives, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Here Comes Mr. Jordan; director: Eye Witness, Lady in the Lake, The Gallant Hours; host: Robert Montgomery Presents; father of actress, Elizabeth Montgomery; died Sep 27, 1981)
1904 - Fats (Thomas Wright) Waller (blues musician: piano, organ, song writer: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Honeysuckle Rose; led sextet: It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie, Smarty, All My Life, Two Sleepy People; actor: King of Burlesque, Hooray for Love, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Stormy Weather; died Dec 15, 1943)
1909 - Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel (kindergarten art teacher: her work was inspiration for the famous Hummel figurines; died Nov 6, 1946)
1916 - Dennis Day (Eugene Denis McNulty) (singer: Mam’selle, Danny Boy, Clancy Lowered the Boom; actor: The Jack Benny Show, The RCA Victor Show, The Dennis Day Show, The Powers Girl, I’ll Get By, Golden Girl; died June 22, 1988)
1916 - Harold Robbins (Francis Kane) (writer: The Carpetbaggers, The Piranhas, Stiletto, The Dream Merchants, The Betsy; died Oct 14, 1997)
1917 - Raymond (William Stacy) Burr (actor: Perry Mason, Ironside, Rear Window, A Place in the Sun, The Defense Never Rests, Godzilla; died Sep 12, 1993)
1920 - Anthony (Maitland) Steel (actor: Wooden Horse, The Malta Story, Perfect Crime; married to actress Anita Ekberg; died Mar 21, 2001)
1921 - Andrei Sakharov (physicist: produced first Soviet atomic bomb, also hydrogen bomb; human rights activist: formulated concepts of perestroika and glasnost; died Dec 14, 1989)
1923 - Ara Parseghian (College Football Hall of Famer: head coach: Notre Dame, Northwestern, Miami; TV sports commentator; chairman of Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation)
1924 - Peggy (Mary Margaret) Cass (comedienne: To Tell the Truth; actress: The Hathaways, Women in Prison, Aunty Mame, Paddy, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, Cheaters; radio serial: The Doctors; died Mar 8, 1999)
1924 - Ed (Edward Raymond) Fitz Gerald (baseball: catcher: Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals, Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians)
1926 - Robert Creeley (author: Have a Heart; poet: Windows; died Mar 30, 2005)
1930 - Tommy Bryant (jazz/studio musician: bassist: played w/Dizzy Gillespie, Jo Jones, Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson; [brother of Ray Bryant]; died Jan 3, 1982)
1939 - David Groh (actor: General Hospital, Rhoda, Hot Shot, Broken Vows, Illegal in Blue; died Feb 12, 2008)
1939 - Heinz Holliger (musician: oboe virtuoso, composer, conductor: Siebensgesang for oboe voices and orchestra)
1941 - Ronald Isley (singer: group: The Isley Brothers: Shout, Twist and Shout, This Old Heart of Mine [Is Weak for You], It’s Your Thing, That Lady, Fight the Power)
1944 - Marcie Blane (singer: Bobby’s Girl)
1944 - Janet Dailey (novelist: The Glory Game, Silver Wings, Santiago Blue, The Pride of Hanna Wade, Calder Saga, Notorious, The Rogue, Rivals, Tangled Vines, The Keeper; died Dec 14, 2013)
1945 - Richard Hatch (actor: Battlestar Galactica, Ghetto Blaster, Party Line, Delta Force, Commando 2; radio host: Love on the Edge; died Feb 7, 2017)
1948 - Carol Potter (actress; Beverly Hills 90210, Today’s F.B.I.)
1948 - Leo Sayer (Gerard Hugh Sayer) (singer: Long Tall Glasses, You Make Me Feel like Dancing, When I Need You, More Than I Can Say)
1952 - Mr. T (Lawrence Tureaud) (actor: The A-Team, Rocky III, The Magic of the Golden Bear: Goldy 3, Spy Hard, Inspector Gadget)
1955 - Stan Lynch (musician: drums: group: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: American Girl, Don’t Do Me like That, Don’t Come Around Here No More, Jammin’ Me)
1957 - Judge Reinhold (Edward Ernest Reinhold Jr.) (actor: The Wharf Rat, The Right to Remain Silent, Beverly Hills Cop series, Baby on Board, Ruthless People, Gremlins, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Stripes)
1960 - Kent (Alan) Hrbek (baseball: Minnesota Twins [all-star: 1982/World Series: 1987, 1991])
1972 - The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) (rapper: LPs: Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again; shot and killed in Los Angeles Mar 9, 1997 [his killer has not been identified])
Chart Toppers - May 21
Riders in the Sky - Vaughn Monroe
Again - Gordon Jenkins
Forever and Ever - The Russ Morgan Orchestra (vocal: The Skylarks)
Lovesick Blues - Hank Williams
All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
School Day - Chuck Berry
Love Letters in the Sand - Pat Boone
A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation) - Marty Robbins
Ticket to Ride - The Beatles
Help Me, Rhonda - The Beach Boys
Back in My Arms Again - The Supremes
Girl on the Billboard - Del Reeves
You are the Sunshine of My Life - Stevie Wonder
Little Willy - The Sweet
Frankenstein - The Edgar Winter Group
What’s Your Mama’s Name - Tanya Tucker
Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
Just the Two of Us - Grover Washington, Jr./Bill Withers
Being with You - Smokey Robinson
I Loved ’Em Every One - T.G. Sheppard
Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul
Real Love - Jody Watley
Soldier of Love - Donny Osmond
If I Had You - 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
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.