Events - September 29
1829 - Greater London’s Metropolitan Police went into action. There was much opposition to the act of Parliament that authorized the police force. Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel had requested the act (the police were called ‘Bobbies’ in honor of him). The Bobbies first official headquarters were at Scotland Yard; and Scotland Yard became the official name of the police force.
1920 - Radios for 10 bucks! That’s what Joseph Horne Company’s department store in Pittsburgh, PA was selling. The radios were advertised in "The Pittsburgh Sun" for $10 and up. One could get a ready-made radio in a box with headphones and tuning knob. This way, one could do away with the Quaker Oats round box and the cat’s whisker wire, which was a pain in the butt to tune.
1930 - “This is Lowell Thomas.” Those words were spoken for the first time as a young Lowell Thomas made his debut on CBS Radio. He replaced Floyd Gibbons on the nightly (6:45 p.m.), 15-minute newscast. Thomas, who started as a reporter for the New York "Daily News" (at age 19), was heard on the radio for the next 46 years.
1930 - “Ba, ba, ba, boo. I will, ba ba ba boo ... marry you!” ‘Der Bingle’, better known as Bing Crosby, America’s premier crooner for decades, married Dixie Lee.
1940 - "Double or Nothing", a radio quiz show, was first heard on the Mutual Radio Network. Each time contestants answered questions correctly, their winnings would double -- from $20 to $40 to the big payoff of $80. If they gave an incorrect answer, they were gone! Nobody bet on how long the show would last. Good thing. It kept going for a dozen years. Among the sponsors: Feen-A-Mint, Chooz breath candy and Campbell’s soup.
1946 - Mystery fans remember when "The Adventures of Sam Spade" debuted on CBS radio this Sunday night. (It had aired in the summer of 1946 on ABC on Friday nights.) "The Adventures of Sam Spade", with Howard Duff playing Spade, became a big hit in the Sunday night radio lineup. And now a word from our sponsor: “Use Wildroot Cream Oil, Charlie ... it keeps your hair in trim...”
1947 - Dizzy Gillespie presented his first Carnegie Hall concert in New York, adding a sophisticated jazz touch to the famous concert emporium. Diz would become one of the jazz greats of all time. His trademark: Two cheeks pushed out until it looked like his face would explode. But, as the hepcats said, “Man, that guy can blow!”
1951 - The University of California defeated the University of Pennsylvania 35-0 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. It was the first network football game to be televised in color -- on CBS.
1953 - Danny Thomas, who many now remember as Marlo’s dad and Phil Donahue’s father-in-law, is also remembered for many things that influenced television. At the suggestion of his friend, Desi Arnaz, Thomas negotiated a deal that would allow him to retain ownership rights to his programs, like "Make Room for Daddy", which debuted this day on ABC-TV. Later, in 1957, the show would move to CBS under the Desilu/Danny Thomas Productions banner. The rest is, literally, TV history. His success allowed him to give something back to the world, in the form of his philanthropic efforts to build St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis. “All I prayed for was a break,” he once told an interviewer, “and I said I would do anything, anything, to pay back the prayer if it could be answered. All I needed was a sign of what to do and I would do it.” And so it was.
1960 - "My Three Sons" was welcomed into U.S. homes on ABC-TV. Fred MacMurray, who was a movie actor, had a difficult time making the adjustment to the small screen. But adjust he did, and "My Three Sons" endured so well that CBS bought the successful hit for somewhere between seven and ten million dollars in 1965.
1962 - "My Fair Lady" closed after a run of 6½ years on Broadway. At the time, it held the record for the longest-running musical of all time on Broadway. 3,750,000 people watched the show and heard tunes like "Wouldn’t it Be Loverly", "Show Me", "Get Me to the Church on Time", "I’m an Ordinary Man", "I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face" and the Vic Damone/Robert Goulet standard, "On the Street Where You Live".
1977 - It was the most-watched prize fight in history, as Muhammad Ali beat Ernie Shavers (in a decision) to claim the heavyweight championship boxing crown. The bout was televised from New York City’s Madison Square Garden and was officiated by the first woman official of a heavyweight title boxing match. Ali “floated like a butterfly ... stung like a bee” before an estimated 70 million viewers -- on NBC-TV.
1982 - The first of seven deaths was reported in the Chicago area from Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide. Later, Johnson and Johnson introduced a triple sealed, tamper resistant Tylenol bottle.
1983 - On the Great White Way, "A Chorus Line" became the longest-running show on Broadway, with performance number 3,389. "Grease", the rock ’n’ roll production, had been the previous box-office champ since 1980.
1984 - Elizabeth Taylor, undergoing rehabilitation at the Betty Ford Clinic and overcoming a nagging weight problem, was voted as the world’s most beautiful woman in a Louis Harris poll released this day.
1986 - Mary Lou Retton, who stunned audiences with perfect 10 scores in the Olympics of 1984, called it quits from the wide world of gymnastics.
1996 - The Nintendo 64 video game system, known as the first ‘true’ 64-bit system, hit North American shelves. That first day, Nintendo sold 500,000 systems, with the Mario64 game selling the same with it. Needless to say, Nintendo’s system was a big sucess.
2000 - Movies released in the U.S.: "Beautiful", with Minnie Driver, Joey Lauren Adams, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Kathleen Turner; "Best in Show", starring Jennifer Coolidge, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock; "The Broken Hearts League", Timothy Olyphant, Zach Braff, Dean Cain, Andrew Keegan; and "Remember the Titans", starring Denzel Washington, Will Patton and Wood Harris.
Birthdays - September 29
1547 - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (author: Don Quixote; died Apr 23, 1616)
1758 - Horatio Nelson (military: British Navy: Battle of Trafalgar hero; killed during that battle Oct 21, 1805)
1904 - Greer Garson (Academy Award-winning actress: Mrs. Miniver ; Sunrise at Campobello, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Singing Nun; died Apr 6, 1996)
1907 - (Orvon) Gene Autry (‘The Singing Cowboy’: actor: 100+ cowboy westerns; singer: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine, The Death of Mother Jones, You are My Sunshine, Mexicali Rose, Back in the Saddle Again; owner: California Angels, Golden West Broadcasting; CMA Hall of Famer; only person to have 5 Hollywood Walk of Fame stars [film, radio, TV, stage, records]; died Oct 2, 1998)
1907 - Richard Harkness (radio/TV journalist: NBC Washington correspondent [1943-1970]; died Feb 16, 1977)
1912 - Michelangelo Antonioni (director: Blowup, Zabriskie Point, The Red Desert, The Passenger, Love in the City; died Jul 30, 2007)
1913 - Trevor (Wallace) Howard (actor: Superman: The Movie, Gandhi, Mutiny on the Bounty, Ryan’s Daughter, The Count of Monte Cristo; died Jan 7, 1988)
1913 - Stanley Kramer (director: The Defiant Ones, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Inherit the Wind, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Judgment at Nuremberg, Ship of Fools, On the Beach; died Feb 19, 2001)
1923 - Bum Phillips (football coach: Houston Oilers; died Oct 18, 2013)
1931 - Anita Ekberg (actress: La Dolce Vita, War and Peace; died Jan 11, 2015)
1935 - Jerry Lee Lewis (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer : singer: Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On, Great Balls of Fire, Breathless; cousin of singer Mickey Gilley, and evangelist Jimmy Swaggart)
1938 - Mike (Michael Francis) McCormick (baseball: pitcher: NY Giants, SF Giants [all-star: 1960, 1961/Cy Young Award: 1967], Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, NY Yankees, KC Royals)
1939 - Larry Linville (actor: M*A*S*H, Grandpa Goes to Washington, Blue Movies, Earth Girls Are Easy, West From North Goes South, A Million to Juan, Pressure Point; died Apr 10, 2000)
1940 - Mike Eischeid (football: punter: Oakland Raiders Super Bowl II. Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl VIII, IX)
1941 - Kermit Zarley (golf: PGA Tour: joined in 1963, Senior PGA Tour: joined in 1992)
1942 - Madeline Kahn (Tony Award-winning actress: The Sisters Rosensweig ; Blazing Saddles, Paper Moon, What’s Up, Doc?, High Anxiety, Young Frankenstein, Oh Madeline, Mr. President; died Dec 3, 1999)
1942 - Ian McShane (actor: Grand Larceny, Con Man, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Grace Kelly Story, Yesterday’s Hero, The Fifth Musketeer, Code Name: Diamond Head, The Last of Sheila, If It’s Tuesday It Must Be Belgium, Lovejoy, Roots, Dallas, Bare Essence)
1943 - Lech Walesa (Nobel Peace prize-winner : founder of Polish solidarity)
1944 - Mike Post (Grammy Award-winning composer, arranger, musician: Classical Gas , The Rockford Files [1975: w/Pete Carpenter], The Theme From Hill Street Blues [1981: w/Larry Carlton], The Theme From L.A. Law ; Emmy Award: Main Title: Murder One ; Baa Baa Black Sheep, CHiPs, The Night Rider, Magnum, P.I., The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Hunter, Stingray, Quantum Leap, Doogie Howser, M.D., Silk Stalkings, Martial Law, Sins of the City, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)
1946 - Patricia Hodge (actress: The Heat of the Day, The Shell Seekers, Sunset, Diamond’s Edge, Dust to Dust, Betrayal, The Elephant Man, Rumpole of the Bailey)
1947 - Altie Taylor (football: Utah State, Detroit Lions)
1948 - Mark Farner (musician: guitar: singer: Grand Funk Railroad: We’re an American Band, Walk Like a Man; solo: LP: Mark Farner, No Frills)
1948 - Bryant Gumbel (TV host: Today [NBC], Real Sports [HBO], Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel [CBS], The Early Show [CBS]; brother of Greg)
1949 - Steve (Steven Lee) Busby (baseball: pitcher: KC Royals [all-star: 1974, 1975])
1953 - Warren (Livingston) Cromartie (baseball: Montreal Expos, KC Royals)
1956 - Sebastian Coe (runner: world record: 800-meters [1:41.73: June 10, 1981]; eight world records and two Olympic gold medals)
1957 - Andrew Dice Clay (actor: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Private Resort, Pretty in Pink, Amazon Women on the Moon, Andrew Dice Clay: Banned for Life)
1957 - Tim (Timothy Earl) Flannery (baseball: SD Padres [World Series: 1984])
1970 - Emily Lloyd (actress: Under the Hula Moon, Scorchers, A River Runs Through It, In Country, Wish You Were Here)
Chart Toppers - September 29
Feudin’ and Fightin’ - Dorothy Shay
I Wish I Didn’t Love You So - Vaughn Monroe
I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now - Perry Como
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) - Tex Williams
The Yellow Rose of Texas - Mitch Miller
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing - The Four Aces
Tina Marie - Perry Como
I Don’t Care - Webb Pierce
Blue Velvet - Bobby Vinton
Sally, Go ’Round the Roses - The Jaynetts
Be My Baby - The Ronettes
Abilene - George Hamilton IV
Go Away Little Girl - Donny Osmond
Maggie Mae/Reason to Believe - Rod Stewart
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - Joan Baez
The Year That Clayton Delaney Died - Tom T. Hall
My Sharona - The Knack
Sad Eyes - Robert John
Rise - Herb Alpert
It Must Be Love - Don Williams
Didn’t We Almost Have It All - Whitney Houston
Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
Lost in Emotion - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Three Time Loser - Dan Seals
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.