“I don’t want the talents of any American to go to waste. I know that there are those who want to turn everything over to the government. I don’t at all. I want the individuals to meet their responsibilities. And I want the states to meet their responsibilities.”
~Sen. John F. Kennedy
First Presidential Debate 1960
“We are for programs that will expand educational opportunities; that will give to all Americans their equal chance for education, for all of the things which are necessary and dear to the hearts of our people.”
~Vice President Richard M. Nixon
First Presidential Debate 1960
1820 – Pioneering frontiersman Daniel Boone died quietly in his sleep at his son’s home (shown above) near present-day Defiance, Missouri. He was 86.
His last words were, “I’m going now. My time has come.”
Made a legend in his own time by John Filson’s Boone Autobiography and Lord Byron’s depiction of him as the quintessential frontiersman in the book Don Juan, Boone became a symbol of the western pioneering spirit for many Americans.
1892 – It was 20 years ago today … no, wait, that was a different band. Hold on while I dig this up.
Ah, here it is…
The Sousa Band made their public debut in Plainfield, NJ.
The band was the brainchild of John Philip Sousa, who after leading the United States Marine Band for twelve years, had resigned to form his own civilian band.
For the next 40 years, the Sousa Band performed at over 15,000 concerts in the U.S. and Europe.
Sousa Factoid: His father was a trombonist in the Marine Band, and he enlisted Sousa in the United States Marine Corps as an apprentice at the age of 13 to keep him from joining a circus band.
Stars and Stripes Factoid: Sousa’s most celebrated work, The Stars and Stripes Forever was composed in 1896, and by a 1987 act of the U.S. Congress, it is the official National March of the United States of America.
1908 – An ad for the Edison Phonograph appeared in The Saturday Evening Post.
The phonograph offered buyers wax cylinders recorded by the Democratic candidate, William Jennings Bryan, and the Republican candidate, William Howard Taft.
The two-minute duration of these records forced an eager Bryan and a reluctant Taft to excerpt their nuanced speeches and get to the point.
Bryan spoke about “The Security of Bank Deposits,” and Taft talked about the “Rights and Progress of the Negro.”
Thus began the 20th century’s march to the sound bite … and the redefinition of political communications for all time.
1933 – As gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly surrendered to the FBI, he allegedly cried out, “Don’t shoot, G-Men! Don’t shoot, G-Men!”
The term, which had applied to all federal investigators, became synonymous with FBI agents.
At least that was the story concocted by FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. What a shame that very little of it is true.
According to Sergeant William J. Raney, the arresting officer, Kelly actually said, “Okay, boys,” dropping the gun to the floor. “I’ve been waiting all night for you.”
1938 – Adolf Hitler issued an ultimatum to Czechoslovakia, demanding that Germans living in the Sudetenland section of Czechoslovakia be reunited with their homeland.
Hitler denounced Czechoslovakia as being a fraudulent state that was in violation of international law’s emphasis of national self-determination.
In that speech, Hitler gave Czechoslovakia a deadline of September 28 to cede the Sudetenland to Germany or face war.
1942 – SS Lieutenant General August Frank issued a memorandum detailing how Jews should be “evacuated”.
The chilling – and that is a major understatement – memorandum provided a measure of the detailed planning that Frank and other Nazis put into the carrying out the Holocaust, right down to the disposition of all clothing, including the underwear, of the murdered Jews.
The directive came to light after World War II and played a key role in refuting Frank’s claims that he had no knowledge that Jews were being murdered en masse in extermination camps.
Nuremberg Factoid: At his 1947 trial, the court ruled that Frank was criminally answerable for the slave labor program and the looting of Jewish property, but he escaped criminal liability for the murders themselves, as the court viewed him as generally being only involved after the people had already been murdered.
Frank was sentenced to life in prison by the tribunal but his sentence was later commuted to 15 years.
1944 – Operation Market-Garden, a plan to seize bridges in the Dutch town of Arnhem, failed as thousands of British and Polish troops were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.
British Gen. Bernard Montgomery (shown above) conceived an operation to take control of bridges that crossed the Rhine River, from the Netherlands into Germany, as a strategy to make “a powerful full-blooded thrust to the heart of Germany.”
The Germans quickly destroyed the railroad bridge and took control of the southern end of the road bridge. The Allies struggled to control the northern end of the road bridge, but soon lost it to the superior German forces.
The only thing left was retreat-back behind Allied lines. But few made it. Of more than 10,000 British and Polish troops engaged at Arnhem, only 2,900 escaped.
The disastrous operation was the inspiration for the 1977 film, A Bridge Too Far.
1945 – Lt. Col. Peter Dewey, a U.S. Army officer with the Office of Strategic Services in Vietnam, was shot and killed in Saigon.
Dewey was the head of a seven-man team sent to Vietnam to search for missing American pilots and to gather information on the situation in the country after the surrender of the Japanese.
He was the first of nearly 59,000 Americans killed in Vietnam.
1957 – West Side Story, composed by Leonard Bernstein, opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway.
For the groundbreaking musical, Bernstein provided a propulsive and rhapsodic score that many celebrate as his greatest achievement as a composer.
In 1961, a film version starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, was an enormous hit and took home 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
1959 – Typhoon Vera, the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in recorded history, made landfall, killing 4,580 people and leaving nearly 1.6 million others homeless.
Damage totals from Vera reached $600 million (equivalent to $5.16 billion today).
1960 – For the first time in U.S. history, a debate between major party presidential candidates was shown on television.
The presidential hopefuls, John F. Kennedy, Democratic senator of Massachusetts, and Richard M. Nixon, the vice president of the United States, met for the first of four televised debates.
Nixon was considered to have the upper hand due to his knowledge of foreign policy and proficiency in radio debates.
However, because of his unfamiliarity with the new format of televised debates, his underweight and pale appearance, his suit color blending in with the debate set background, and refusing television makeup, led to a very poor performance.
Many observers have regarded JFK’s win over Nixon in the first debate as a turning point in the election
1962 – The Beverly Hillbillies premiered on CBS.
Although the program was savaged by critics as “strained and unfunny” and “painful to sit through,” it ranked among the top 20 most-watched programs on television for eight of its nine seasons, twice ranking as the number one series of the year.
1964 – Gilligan’s Island premiered on CBS. While it felt like the series went on forever, it only lasted three years … but here are the questions of the day:
1/ If the survivors had set out to take a “three-hour tour,” why did they have so many changes in wardrobe?
2 / The castaways built framed huts with thatched grass sides and roofs, along with bamboo closets strong enough to withstand hurricane-force winds and rain, but they couldn’t repair a hole in the side of the damn ship?
1969 – The Brady Bunch premiered on ABC, starting a five-year run.
While the series was never a critical or ratings success during its original run (never finishing higher than #31), it become a popular staple in syndication, especially among children and teenaged viewers.
1969 – The Beatles released the Abbey Road album in England.
The album debuted at #1 in the UK and stayed there for eleven straight weeks. It was issued in the U.S. a week later and topped the Billboard album chart for twelve weeks.
It has since gone on to sell over 31 million copies world wide.
The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all four Beatles participated. Although Let It Be was the final album the Beatles released before the band’s dissolution in April 1970, most of that album had been recorded before the Abbey Road sessions began.
The image of the Beatles crossing the street on the Abbey Road cover has become one of the most famous and imitated in recording history.
1983 – The longest winning streak in sports – 132 years – was broken.
It was the America’s Cup race and the United States team was expected to maintain their title; one they were defending for the 25th time.
In the seventh and deciding match race, challenger Australia II defeated the American Liberty by 41 seconds.
1984 – Prince released the Purple Rain single.
The title track from the film (and soundtrack album) of the same name, the single reached #2 in the United States and #8 in England. Following Prince’s death in 2016, the song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #4
The song was recorded live during a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theatre at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis on August 3, 1983.
For release as a single, the song was edited down from 8:41 to 4:05.
1999 – The 33rd Ryder Cup concluded at The Country Club in Brookline, MA.
The American team, trailing 10-6 going into the singles matches, put on a furious rally to win by a margin of 14½ to 13½.
But that isn’t what the day is remembered for.
The behavior of both U.S. spectators and the U.S. team was criticized by both American and European media. U.S. spectators heckled and abused European players.
Notoriously, the U.S. team raucously invaded the 17th green after Justin Leonard had holed his 45-foot birdie putt but before José María Olazábal had attempted his shorter putt to halve the hole.
The “early celebration” was viewed by many as appalling sportsmanship. Veteran broadcaster Alistair Cooke described the last day of the tournament as “a date that will live in infamy.”
A bit dramatic, to be sure, but not wrong.
2002 – MV Le Joola, a ferry from Senegal, capsized off the coast of Gambia.
Although the ship was designed to carry a maximum of 580 passengers and crew, an estimated 1,863 passengers and crew of 44 are believed to have been on board
Only 64 were rescued, making it the second-worst non-military maritime disaster in history.
2003 – Singer Robert Palmer died from a heart attack at the age of 54.
He found success in his solo career with hit songs Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor), Addicted To Love and Simply Irresistible.
As lead singer with the Power Station, Palmer hit the Billboard charts with Some Like It Hot and a blistering cover version of Get It On (Bang a Gong).
2008 – Paul Newman, one of the leading movie stars of the 20th century, died at the age of 83 from cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut.
In a career spanning more than five decades, Newman made over 65 movies, including the classics Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Harper, Hombre and The Sting.
He was nominated nine times for Best Actor Academy Awards: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Absence of Malice, The Verdict, Nobody’s Fool, and finally won for The Color Of Money.
In one of his final film appearances, Newman was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in The Road To Perdition.
As reported in The New York Times, Newman’s talent as an actor was drawn from his “physical grace, unassuming intelligence and good humor that made it all seem effortless.”
2010 – Actress Gloria Stuart died of natural causes at the age of 100.
She had film roles in The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man, and The Three Musketeers – all of them in the 1930s – but she is best known for her film role as the 101-year-old Rose Dawson Calvert in the Academy Award-winning film Titanic – for which she was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress.
2016 – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off at New York’s Hofstra University for their first presidential debate.
The often contentious debate was divided into six segments; the economy and job creation, trade, the federal deficit, race relations and policing, the war on terror, foreign policy, and each candidate’s experience in the political and business realm.
Every scientific poll suggested that viewers thought Clinton outperformed Trump in each segment.
The debate set the record as the most-watched in television history, with 84 million viewers, surpassing the previous record of 80.6 million viewers set by the debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2019 RayLemire.com Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.