On September 29…
“If you have sacrificed my nation to preserve the peace of the world, I will be the first to applaud you. But if not, gentlemen, God help your souls.”
Czechoslovakia’s Ambassador to Britain
Reacting to The Munich Agreement
1780 – British spy John André was court-martialed, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.
André, an accomplice of Benedict Arnold, had been captured by six days earlier when incriminating papers were found stashed in his boot.
It was the discovery of these papers that revealed the traitorous actions of Benedict Arnold to the U.S. authorities. Upon hearing of André’s capture, Arnold fled to the British warship Vulture and subsequently joined the British in their fight against his country.
John André was executed by hanging in Tappan, New York, on October 2, 1780. He was 31 years old.
1829 – Greater London’s Metropolitan Police was formed.
Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel had requested the action (the police were called ‘Bobbies’ in honor of him). The Bobbies’ first official headquarters were at Scotland Yard; and Scotland Yard later became the official name of the force.
1938 – British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini agreed on the Munich Agreement.
It forced the Czechoslovak Republic to cede the Sudetenland, including the key Czechoslovak military defense positions, to Nazi Germany.
They signed the agreement at 1:30 the following morning. Czechoslovakia was informed by Britain and France that it could either resist Nazi Germany alone or submit to the prescribed annexations.
The Czechoslovak government, realizing the hopelessness of fighting the Nazis alone, reluctantly capitulated and agreed to abide by the agreement.
The story continues tomorrow.
1941 – Nearly 34,000 Jews were brought to a suburban ravine known as Babi Yar on the outskirts of Kiev, where men, women, and children were systematically machine-gunned in a two-day orgy of execution.
In the months following the massacre, German authorities stationed at Kiev killed thousands more Jews there, as well as non-Jews including Gypsies, Communists, and Soviet prisoners of war.
It is estimated that 100,000 people were murdered in total at Babi Yar.
1954 – A Star Is Born, starring Judy Garland and James Mason, premiered in Hollywood at the Pantages Theatre.
The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Actress and Best Actor, but failed to win any.
It was the second of four official adaptations of the film, with the first in 1937 starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, the third in 1976 starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson and the fourth in 2018 starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
1954 – Willie Mays, centerfielder for the New York Giants, made an amazing over-the-shoulder catch of a fly ball hit by Cleveland Indians first baseman Vic Wertz to rob Wertz of extra bases in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series.
The catch is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of baseball.
1955 – Sergeant Preston of The Yukon premiered on ABC, beginning a three-year run.
Although the setting of the program was Alaska, the bulk of the series was filmed in Ashcroft, Colorado.
1959 – The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis premiered on CBS.
The series, which ran for four years, was significant as the first American network television program to feature teenagers as its lead characters, rather than as supporting characters in a program about a family.
1960 – My Three Sons, starring Fred MacMurray, premiered on ABC.
In 1965, it switched to CBS after ABC declined to underwrite the expense of producing the program in color. A constant change in casting through the seven years on CBS did little to affect the show’s positive ratings.
1963 – My Favorite Martian premiered on CBS. It lasted three years.
That’s really all I have to say about it.
1975 – Baseball Hall of Fame manager Charles “Casey” Stengel died of cancer of the lymph glands. The “Ol’ Perfessor” was 85.
As manager of the New York Yankees, Stengel won ten American League pennants in his twelve seasons, and won seven World Series (five of them consecutively from 1949–1953).
At the age of 70 – and shortly after losing the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates – Stengel was fired by the Yankees.
He wasn’t out of a job for long.
Stengel was hired to manage the expansion New York Mets beginning in 1962. The team proceeded to finish in last place for the next four seasons, prompting the always colorful Stengel to ask, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”
Following his retirement in 1965, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who elect members of baseball’s Hall of Fame, considered it unjust that Stengel should have to wait the usual five years after retirement for election, and waived the rule.
1975 – Jackie Wilson suffered a heart attack while onstage at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Wilson was performing his signature hit Lonely Teardrops and was singing the line “…My heart is crying” when his heart seized and he fell head-first to the stage.
Paramedics were slow to the scene and it took nearly 30 minutes to revive Wilson. By that time, he had suffered brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen to the head and he slipped into a coma.
He briefly emerged from that coma in early 1976, but soon slipped back into unconsciousness and was in a vegetative state for the remainder of his life as an inpatient at Medford Leas Retirement Community until his death on January 21, 1984 at Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, NJ.
Wilson was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
1987 – Roy Orbison and k.d. lang recorded Crying.
The song had been a 1961 solo hit for Orbison. He and lang recorded a version of it for a movie called Hiding Out which starred Jon Cryer long before he became a household name in Two and a Half Men.
“We were rehearsing the song in the studio with the band, and Roy and I happened to be sharing a mike,” lang later recalled. “When we got to a part where we were singing at the same time, we both leaned into the mike and our cheeks touched. His cheek was so soft, and the energy was so amazing. Not sexual but totally explosive, like the chemistry of some sort of kinship. I’ll never forget what that felt like.”
1990 – Construction of the Washington National Cathedral was finally completed, 83 years to the day after it started.
The total cost of building the Cathedral was $65 million, all of which was raised through private donations. It remains privately funded, with no direct funding for operations from the government or any national church.
Several notable American citizens are buried (or have their ashes interred) in Washington National Cathedral and its columbarium. They include President Woodrow Wilson, Admiral George Dewey and Helen Keller.
State funerals for four American Presidents (Eisenhower, Reagan, Ford, and George H.W. Bush) have been held at the cathedral.
Stained Glass Factoid: On September 6, 2017, the cathedral announced its decision to deconsecrate and remove stained glass windows – installed in 1953 after lobbying by the United Daughters of the Confederacy – honoring Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
“We recognize that these windows are more than benign historical markers. For many of God’s children, they are an obstacle to worship in a sacred space; for some, these and other Confederate memorials serve as lampposts along a path that leads back to racial subjugation and oppression.”
The decision was preceded by a debate that began in 2015 after a self-described white supremacist shot and killed nine African-Americans at a church in Charleston, SC, and was spurred after deadly rallies in Charlottesville, VA, saw white nationalists convene to protest the removal of a Lee statue.
1995 – Following closing arguments, the jury in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson received their final instructions from Judge Lance Ito.
Johnnie Cochran’s summation for the defense added controversy to an already very controversial trial.
Cochran compared the prosecution case to Hitler’s campaign against the Jews, and in the process he did everything but put Detective Mark Fuhrman on trial:
“There was another man not too long ago in this world who had those same views, who wanted to burn people, who had racist views, and ultimately had power over people in his country. People didn’t care. People said he’s crazy. He’s just a half-baked painter. And they didn’t do anything about it. This man, this scourge, became one of the worst people in the world, Adolf Hitler, because people didn’t care, didn’t stop him. He had the power over his racism and his anti-religionism. Nobody wanted to stop him….And so Fuhrman. Fuhrman wants to take all black people now and burn them or bomb them. That’s genocidal racism. Is that ethnic purity? We’re paying this man’s salary to espouse these views.”
The story continues on October 3.
2007 – Actress Lois Maxwell (best known for her portrayal of Miss Moneypenny in the first fourteen James Bond films) died of cancer at the age of 80.
2010 – Actor Tony Curtis died of cardiac arrest at the age of 85.
He starred in Houdini, Sweet Smell Of Success, Some Like It Hot, Spartacus, The Boston Strangler, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for The Defiant Ones).
Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2019 RayLemire.com / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.