Today In History – February 8, 2012

1936 – The first National Football League draft was held. Jay Berwanger was the first to be selected. He went to the Philadelphia Eagles.

1960 – U.S. Congressional investigators began exploring the influence of payola in the radio and record industries. Alan Freed and American Bandstand host, Dick Clark, among others, were called to testify.

1963 – Lamar Hunt, owner of the American Football League franchise in Dallas, TX, moved the operation to Kansas City. He named the new team the Chiefs. Dallas got possession of an NFL franchise known as the Cowboys.

1969 – The last issue of the Saturday Evening Post was published, ending a magazine tradition that began in 1821.

1984 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers scored 27 points while leading his team to a 111-109 victory over the Boston Celtics. Abdul-Jabbar passed Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA career record of 12,682 field goals on this night.

1984 – The Winter Olympics opened in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina). Some 1,579 athletes from 50 nations participated. The Olympic facilities have since been all but destroyed by the war in Bosnia.

1985 – The Dukes of Hazzard ended its 6-1/2 year run on CBS television. The series was credited with using more stunt men than any other TV series in history. The show had used as many as eight cars per episode when the crash sequences got complicated. Waylon Jennings did the theme song, The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys).

1986 – Billy Olson, who actually claimed that he was afraid of heights, broke an indoor pole vault record for the seventh time in four months. He vaulted 19 feet, 5-1/2 inches.

1987 – The West beat the East in the NBA All-Star Game. A record was set for total points scored. The West won 154-149 in overtime.

1990 – Singer Del Shannon (Charles Westover) shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber rifle at his home in Santa Clarita, California. He was 50. Shannon’s first and biggest hit was Runaway, which hit number one in the U.S. April 24, 1961. His other top-20 singles included Hats Off to Larry, Little Town Flirt and Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow the Sun).

1992 – The XVIth Winter Olympic Games opened in Albertville, France. The games ran through Feb 23 and included 64 countries with 1801 athletes, 488 of whom were women.

1992 – The single by R*S*F (Right Said Fred), I’m Too Sexy, was #1 in the U.S. It was a smash, staying at number one for three weeks, then dropping to number two for three more. “I’m too sexy for my car; too sexy for my car; Too sexy by far; And I’m too sexy for my hat; Too sexy for my hat; what do you think about that…”

1996 – An agreement was reached between the city of Cleveland, the NFL and Art Modell, permitting Modell to move his football franchise, the Cleveland Browns, to Baltimore. As part of the agreement, the name Browns, its team colors, and storied history would remain in the proud city of Cleveland.