Today In History – April 26, 2012

Events
April 26
1803 – Over 2,300 meteorite stones, weighing between one quarter ounce and 20 pounds, rained down on the people of L’Aigle in northeastern France. The meteorites poured down along an 8-mile-long strip in this little town, 100 miles west of Paris. No one was hurt; but it was the first time scientists could verify that stones could come from outer space.

1921 – Weather broadcasts were heard for the first time on radio when WEW in St. Louis, MO aired weather news. Weather forecasts continue to be the top reason why people listen to radio; rating higher than music, news, sports and commercials! A sunny day to you wherever you may be on the planet…

1932 – Ed Wynn was heard on radio’s Texaco Star Theater for the first time. Wynn, a popular vaudeville performer, demanded a live audience to react to his humor if he was to make the switch to radio. The network consented and Wynn became radio’s first true superstar. He would later make the switch to TV.

1937 – This was a tragic day in history as German planes attacked the town of Guernica in Northern Spain. Without warning, the planes swooped down on the sleepy village, subjecting the citizens to three hours of continuous bombing. The village was left in flames; those who survived the bombs and tried to escape to surrounding fields were shot down by machine-gun fire from the air.

1937 – The publisher of LIFE magazine just about passed out when he looked at his just-off-the-press publication and noticed that someone had forgotten to put the word “LIFE” in the upper left-hand corner! It was the only time that LIFE was nameless. Since hundreds of thousands of copies were already printed, the magazine hit the streets with no name on the cover! The reason? A picture of a rooster would have had an obscured comb if the logotype had been used in the upper left-hand corner as usual.

1937 – The initial broadcast of Lorenzo Jones was heard over NBC radio this day. Karl Swenson played the lead role for the entire run of the serial. And quite a run it was. Lorenzo Jones was on the air until 1955.

1952 – Patty Berg set a new record for major women’s golf competition. She shot a 64 over 18 holes in a tournament in Richmond, California.

1954 – Grace Kelly, “Hollywood’s brightest and busiest star,” was seen on the cover of LIFE magazine. In a couple of years, the actress would leave the U.S. to become Princess Grace of Monaco.

1964 – The Boston Celtics wrapped up an unprecedented sixth consecutive NBA championship. The Celtics still had two more crowns to win, however, before the string would come to an end.

1970 – The musical, Company, opened on Broadway. It ran for 705 performances before parting company with appreciative audiences at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. Company starred Elaine Stritch.

1975 – On top of the Billboard popular music chart was B.J. Thomas, with the longest title ever for a number one song. (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song was number one for one week, though it took that long just to say the title.

1983 – For the first time, the Dow Jones industrial average moved over the 1200 mark, just two months after smashing the 1100 barrier.

1986 – At 1:23 a.m. in Pripyat in the Ukraine when the Chernobyl atomic power station exploded. A three-hundred-square-mile area was evacuated in an attempt to protect over 100,000 residents of the area from radiation poisoning. 31 people died and unknown thousands were exposed as the radioactive material carried in the atmosphere spread throughout the world.

1987 – Tennis star Chris Evert won her 150th career tennis tournament. She beat Martina Navratilova in Houston, Texas.

Birthdays
April 26
1785 – John James Audubon
ornithologist, artist: the original Birdman; died Jan 27, 1851

1822 – Frederick Law Olmsted
landscape architect: Yosemite National Park, Central Park in New York City and other city parks in Boston, MA, Hartford, CT and Louisville, KY; died Aug 28, 1903

1882 – Jessie Redmon Fauset
author: There is Confusion, Plum Bun, The Chinaberry Tree, Comedy, American Style; literary editor: Crisis [NAACP publication]; co-publisher & editor: The Brownie Book; died Apr 30, 1961

1886 – Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey (Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett)
‘Mother of the Blues’: singer: C.C. Rider [aka See See Rider], Jelly Bean Blues, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Bo Weavil Blues; died Dec 22, 1939

1893 – Anita Loos
author, playwright: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I Married an Angel, San Francisco, Saratoga, The Women; died Aug 18, 1981

1897 – Douglas Sirk (Claus Detlef Sierck)
director: Imitation of Life, A Time to Love & a Time to Die, Tarnished Angels, Written on the Wind, Magnificent Obsession, First Legion; died Jan 14, 1987

1900 – Charles Francis Richter
seismologist: invented the Richter scale for measuring the magnitude of earthquakes; died Apr 30, 1985

1917 – Sal (Salvatore Anthony) Maglie
‘The Barber’: baseball: pitcher: NY Giants [all-star: 1951, 1952/World Series: 1951, 1954], Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Dodgers [World Series: 1956], NY Yankees, SL Cardinals; died Dec 28, 1992

1924 – (Theodore Marcus) Teddy Edwards
jazz musician: tenor sax: Me and My Lover; died Apr 20, 2003

1926 – Bambi Linn (Linnemier)
dancer, actress: Your Show of Shows, Oklahoma!

1927 – John Ralston
football: coach: Cal State Univ at San Jose, Stanford Univ; Coach/GM: Denver Broncos

1933 – Carol Burnett
Emmy Award-winning comedienne, actress: Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall [1962-1963], Carol & Company [1962-1963], Mad About You [1996-1997]; The Carol Burnett Show, Carol Burnett and Friends, The Garry Moore Show

1937 – Robert Boozer
basketball: Kansas State Univ., U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team [1960 gold medal]

1938 – Nino Benvenuti
International Boxing Hall of Famer: European Junior Middleweight title [1957, 1959], Olympic boxing gold medal [Rome, 1960], Junior Middleweight Champ [1965-1966], Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year [1968]; Middleweight Champ [1967-1970]; retired in 1971, total bouts: 90: won 82, lost 7, tied 1, knockouts 35

1938 – Maurice Williams
singer, songwriter: group: Zodiacs: Stay

1938 – Duane Eddy
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist: Rebel-’rouser, Forty Miles of Bad Road, Because They’re Young, Theme from Peter Gunn; actor: Because They’re Young, A Thunder of Drums, The Wild Westerners, The Savage Seven, Kona Coast

1941 – Claudine Clark
singer: Party Lights

1941 – (Dr.) Gary Cuozzo
football: Univ of Virginia all-American; NFL: QB: Baltimore Colts, NO Saints, Minnesota Vikings [Super Bowl IV], SL Cardinals; orthodontist [with his son] in Middletown NJ

1941 – Bruce MacGregor
hockey: NHL: Detroit Red Wings, NY Rangers; VP: Edmonton Oilers

1942 – Bobby Rydell (Robert Ridarelli)
singer: Wild One, We Got Love, Swingin’ School, Kissin’ Time, Volare, Forget Him; actor: Bye Bye Birdie, That Lady from Peking

1947 – Donna De Varona
Olympic Hall of Famer: 400-meter individual swimming medley [1964]; International Swimming Hall of Famer; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer; sportscaster; founder of Women’s Sports Foundation

1947 – Boyd Matson
TV news anchor, correspondent: U.S.A. Today-The Television Series, The Real Story; TV host: National Geographic Explorer

1947 – Amos (Joseph) Otis
baseball: NY Mets, KC Royals [all-star: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976], Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1980]

1958 – Giancarlo Esposito
actor: The Usual Suspects, Smoke, Reckless, Blue in the Face, Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, Sweet Lorraine, Bakersfield P.D.

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Chart Toppers
April 26
1948

Now is the Hour – Bing Crosby
Manana – Peggy Lee
The Dickey Bird Song – The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Glenn Hughes)
Anytime – Eddy Arnold

1956

Heartbreak Hotel/I Was the One – Elvis Presley
The Poor People of Paris – Les Baxter
Ivory Tower – Cathy Carr
Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins

1964

Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles
Twist and Shout – The Beatles
Do You Want to Know a Secret – The Beatles
Understand Your Man – Johnny Cash

1972

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
Rockin’ Robin – Michael Jackson
I Gotcha – Joe Tex
Chantilly Lace – Jerry Lee Lewis

1980

Call Me – Blondie
Ride like the Wind – Christopher Cross
With You I’m Born Again – Billy Preston & Syreeta
A Lesson in Leavin’ – Dottie West

1988

Where Do Broken Hearts Go – Whitney Houston
Devil Inside – INXS
Wishing Well – Terence Trent D’Arby
I’ll Always Come Back – K.T. Oslin

Source: 440.com

Today In History – February 16, 2012

1914 – The first airplane flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco took place.

1918 – Lithuania proclaimed its independence.

1923 – Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922.

1932 – The first fruit tree patent was issued to James E. Markham for a peach tree which ripens later than other varieties.

1937 – Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon. Carothers was a research chemist for Du Pont.

1938 – The U.S. Federal Crop Insurance program was authorized.

1945 – During World War II, U.S. troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.

1946 – The first commercially designed helicopter was tested in Connecticut.

1948 – NBC-TV began airing its first nightly newscast, “The Camel Newsreel Theatre”, which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels.

1959 – Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista.

1960 – The U.S.S. Triton began the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip ended on May 10.

1962 – Jimmy Bostwick defeated his brother, Pete, to win the U.S. Open Court-Tennis championships for the third time.

1963 – Paul Anka married Marie-Ann DeZogheb in Paris.

1968 – In the U.S., the first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, AL.

1970 – Joe Frazier began his reign as the undefeated heavyweight world champion when he knocked out Jimmy Ellis in five rounds. He lost the title on January 22, 1973, when he lost for the first time in his professional career to George Foreman.

1972 – Wilt Chamberlain (Los Angeles Lakers) reached the 30,000-point mark in his NBA career during a game against the Phoenix Suns.

1977 – The Anglican archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum, was killed in automobile accident. Two other men were also killed.

1985 – “Kojak” returned to network television after an absence of seven years with the CBS-TV special, “Kojak: The Belarus File.”

1987 – John Demjanjuk went on trial in Jerusalem. He was accused of being “Ivan the Terrible”, a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling.

1989 – Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, announced that a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was the reason that Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down the previous December. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground were killed.

1999 – A bomb exploded at the government headquarters in Uzbekistan. Gunfire followed the incident. The event apparently was an attempt on the life of President Islam Karimov.

1999 – Kurds seized embassies and held hostages across Europe following Turkey’s arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

1999 – Testimony began in the Jasper, TX, trial of John William King. He was charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. King was later convicted and sentenced to death.

2002 – The operator of a crematory in Noble, GA, was arrested after dozens of corpses were found stacked in storage sheds and scattered around in the surrounding woods.

2005 – The Kyoto global warming pact went into effect in 140 nations.

2005 – The NHL announced the cancellation of the 2004-2005 season due to a labor dispute. It was the first time a major sports league in North America lost an entire season to a labor dispute.