1750 – The first Shakespearean play in America was presented at the Nassau Street Theatre in New York City. The play enjoyed by the audience was the famous “King Richard III”. 1821 – James Monroe became the first President of the United States to be inaugurated on March 5th. The reason? The usual inauguration date of March 4th fell on a Sunday that year and a President cannot be inaugurated on the Sabbath. It’s still the law, even though the Inauguration Day was officially set back to January 20th.
1864 – For the first time, Oxford met Cambridge in track and field competition in England.
1872 – George Westinghouse of “You can be sure if it’s Westinghouse” fame patented the air brake on this day. They were, and remain, especially important to trains, big trucks, buses and amusement park rides.
1922 – Annie Oakley broke all existing records for women’s trap shooting. She smashed 98 out of 100 clay targets thrown at 16 yards while at a match at the Pinehurst Gun Club in North Carolina. She hit the first fifty, missed the 51st, then the 67th.
1923 – Old-age pension laws were enacted in the states of Montana and Nevada.
1925 – Lace up those bowling shoes, keglers, grab that 16-pounds of rubber or hi-tech plastic and let it rip down the lane, as we bring you bowling news. Frank Caruana of Buffalo, New York, became the first bowler to roll two perfect games in a row and an amazing 29 strikes in succession! He rolled five strikes in a row in a third game in sanctioned play, as well.
1936 – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s “Mutiny On The Bounty” (produced by Irving Thalberg and Albert Lewin) was voted Outstanding Production, as they used to say. The 8th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles. Director/producer/writer/actor Frank Capra hosted the big giveaway honoring the films of 1935, which saw Victor McLaglen take the Best Actor prize for “The Informer” (John Ford won for directing this one). Best Actress was Bette Davis in “Dangerous”. In case you are wondering, they didn’t start handing out those Supporting Actor/Actress awards until 1937. The Best Music/Song award winners were Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics) for the song “Lullaby of Broadway” from “Gold Diggers of 1935”. An Oscar for Short Subject/Cartoon was awarded to some guy named Walt Disney for his ’toon, “Three Orphan Kittens”.
1946 – Winston Churchill delivered his famous Iron Curtain Speech at Fulton, MO, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”
1960 – Elvis Presley returned to civilian life after a two-year hitch in the U.S. Army. Not since General Douglas MacArthur returned from battle has a soldier received such publicity. Elvis said he probably would not be growing his famous and long sideburns back, though he did relent in later years.
1963 – Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hankshaw Hawkins were killed in a plane crash at Camden, TN, near Nashville. The famous country music stars were returning from a benefit performance. Cline, the ‘Queen of Country Music’ was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. Jessica Lange played Patsy in the 1985 biographical film, “Sweet Dreams”, named after one of Cline’s hugely popular songs. Willie Nelson wrote her biggest hit, “Crazy”, which become a number one country hit and a top 10 pop song in November, 1961.
1969 – The rock magazine, “Creem”, was published for the first time this day.
1973 – Roberta Flack, riding at #1 on the pop music charts with, “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, could hardly wait to rip into the fancy frame containing her brand new gold record. She flew to the stereo machine and set the needle down on the shiny surface, only to hear “Come Softly to Me”. She was so impressed by this unexpected turn of the table that she wound up humming the old Fleetwoods song for three days.
1984 – The Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League signed quarterback, Steve Young, from Brigham Young University, to a “substantial” contract on this day. The football all-American inked a pact that would earn him $40 million dollars over a 43-year period, in one of the most complicated contracts ever — lasting until 2027. The USFL folded not long after he signed the lucrative deal. Young became the back-up quarterback for football legend, Joe Montana, in San Francisco. In 1994, when Montana moved to the Kansas City Chiefs, Steve Young took over the reins to lead the 49ers.
1985 – Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders became the first National Hockey League player to score 50 goals in eight consecutive seasons. Two players have scored 50 goals in six seasons: Wayne ‘The Great One’ Gretzky of Los Angeles and Guy Lafleur of Montreal.
1993 – Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was banned for life from racing by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) after he failed a dope test. He also had been forced out of the 1988 Seoul Olympics after failing a drug test.