“As vice president, Bush once visited a children’s leukemia ward in Krakow. Thirty-five years before, he and Barbara had lost a daughter, Robin, to the disease. In Krakow, a small boy wanted to greet the American vice president. Learning that the child was sick with the cancer that had taken Robin, Bush began to cry.
“To his diary later that day, the vice president said this: ‘My eyes flooded with tears, and behind me was a bank of television cameras. And I thought, I can’t turn around. I can’t dissolve because of personal tragedy in the face of the nurses that give of themselves every day. So I stood there looking at this little guy, tears running down my cheek, hoping he wouldn’t see. But if he did, hoping he’d feel that I loved him.'”
~Historian Jon Meacham
Funeral of George H.W. Bush
1864 – The Confederate Army of Tennessee suffered a devastating defeat after its commander, General John Bell Hood, ordered a frontal assault on strong Union positions around Franklin, Tennessee.
The loss cost Hood six of his finest generals, including Patrick Cleburne, one of the Confederate army’s finest division commanders.
Of 15,000 Union troops engaged, some 200 were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded.
The Confederates had 23,000 men at Franklin; approximately 1,750 died and 5,500 were wounded or captured. 60 of Hood’s 100 regimental commanders were killed or wounded.
Just two weeks later, Hood hurled the remnants of his army against the Yankees at Nashville with equally disastrous results.
1902 – Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan, the second-in-command in Butch Cassidy’s “Wild Bunch” crew, was sentenced to 20 years hard labor in a Tennessee prison.
Though the movie Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid portrayed Harry Longabaugh (Sundance) as Cassidy’s main partner, Logan was his true sidekick and right-hand man.
In 1901, Butch and Sundance fled the country for Bolivia, and no one is certain what became of them.
The evidence for Logan’s fate is somewhat clearer. After escaping from a Knoxville prison in June of 1903, he fled to Colorado, where it is believed he was wounded by pursuers and took his own life on June 17, 1904.
Lurch Factoid: In the film Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Logan was played by actor Ted Cassidy, famous for his role as Lurch in The Addams Family television series.
1940 – Lucille Ball married Desi Arnaz. The marriage lasted 20 years.
On March 3, 1960, a day after Desi’s 43rd birthday (and one day after the filming of Lucy and Desi’s last episode together), Ball filed papers in Santa Monica Superior Court, claiming married life with Desi was “a nightmare” and nothing at all as it appeared on I Love Lucy.
On May 4, 1960, just two months after filming the final episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, the couple divorced.
1950 – President Harry S. Truman announced during a press conference that he was prepared to authorize the use of atomic weapons in order to achieve peace in Korea.
At the time of Truman’s announcement, communist China had joined North Korean forces in their attacks on United Nations troops, including U.S. soldiers, who were trying to prevent communist expansion into South Korea.
Truman said the U.S. would take “whatever steps were necessary” to contain communist expansion in Korea. A reporter asked “Will that include the atomic bomb?” to which Truman replied, “That includes every weapon that we have.”
After affirming that a president always had to consider the use of nuclear weaponry in any scenario involving U.S. troops, Truman went on to assure the press that he never wanted to see the bomb used again.
“It is a terrible weapon, and it should not be used on innocent men, women, and children.”
1954 – A meteorite crashed through the roof of a house in Sylacauga, Alabama, landed in the living room, bounced off a radio, and struck Ann Hodges, who was sleeping on a couch at the time of impact.
The space rock was a sulfide meteorite weighing 8.5 pounds and measuring seven inches in length. Mrs. Hodges was not permanently injured but suffered a nasty bruise along her hip and leg.
1964 – Petula Clark released Downtown in the U.S.
When the single hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965, Clark became the first British female artist to have a U.S. #1 hit during the rock and roll era.
1965 – 32-year-old lawyer Ralph Nader published Unsafe At Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile.
The book became an immediate bestseller. It also prompted the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, seat-belt laws in 49 states (all but New Hampshire) and a number of other road-safety initiatives.
1967 – Senator Eugene J. McCarthy (D-Minnesota), an advocate of a negotiated end to the war in Vietnam, declared that he intended to enter several Democratic Presidential primaries in 1968.
McCarthy believed that the majority of Americans were unhappy with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s handling of the war, and he planned to challenge the president for the Democratic nomination.
McCarthy shocked the political establishment when he almost defeated Johnson in the New Hampshire primary. When Johnson announced that he would not run for re-election, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey defeated McCarthy for the presidential nomination at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
1971 – Brian’s Song premiered on ABC.
The ABC Movie of the Week recounted the true life story of Brian Piccolo (played by James Caan), a Chicago Bears football player stricken with terminal cancer after turning pro in 1965, told through his friendship with Bears teammate Gale Sayers (played by Billy Dee Williams).
The film received 8 Emmy Award nominations, winning for Best Dramatic Program, Best Screenplay, and Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Drama (Jack Warden, in the role of Bears coach George Halas).
Idle Thought: On a tearjerker scale of 1-10, it was a 9.9.
1977 – David Bowie appeared on Bing Crosby’s 42nd (and last) Christmas special on CBS. The two sang a medley of Little Drummer Boy and Peace On Earth.
The scene was shot on September 11, about one month before Crosby’s death from a heart attack.
1979 – Pink Floyd released The Wall.
It was the last studio album released with the classic lineup of Roger Waters, guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, and keyboardist Richard Wright – although Wright was fired midway through the recording process and was not given a credit on the album.
In 2005, the classic-era lineup took the stage as part of Live 8, a benefit concert meant to raise awareness of poverty, debt and the AIDS crisis in developing nations.
It was the first time they had appeared together since a 1981 concert at Earl’s Court in London. Their appearance sparked rumors of a reunion but Wright’s death on Sept. 15, 2008 put an end to that.
They closed their set with this legendary song from The Wall album.
1982 – Gandhi premiered in New Delhi, India.
The film was based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India’s non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the United Kingdom.
It was nominated for Academy Awards in eleven categories, winning eight, including Best Picture and Best Director for Richard Attenborough, Best Actor for Ben Kingsley, and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for John Briley.
1982 – Michael Jackson released the Thriller album.
With estimated sales over 53 million worldwide, it is the best-selling album of all time and won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards, including Album of The Year.
Seven singles were released from the album, all of which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1989 – Richard Mallory, a store owner in Palm Harbor, Florida, was last seen taking a ride with Aileen Wuornos.
The following day, his car was found abandoned in a remote area of Ormond Beach.
Nearly two weeks later, his body turned up in a Daytona Beach junkyard with three bullets in his chest.
Mallory’s murder was the first of seven committed by Wuornos over the next year.
1993 – During a White House ceremony attended by James S. Brady, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Control Bill into law.
The law required a prospective handgun buyer to wait five business days while the authorities check on his or her background, during which time the sale is approved or prohibited based on an established set of criteria.
In 1981, Brady, who served as press secretary for President Ronald Reagan, was shot in the head by John Hinckley, Jr., during an attempt on President Reagan’s life outside a hotel in Washington, D.C.
Reagan himself was shot in his left lung but recovered and returned to the White House within two weeks. Brady, the most seriously injured in the attack, was momentarily pronounced dead at the hospital but survived and began an impressive recovery from his debilitating brain injury.
Brady passed away in 2014.
1993 – Schindler’s List premiered in Washington, DC.
It was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, winning seven, including Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
Idle Thought(s): This will read like a rant (which it is) but that’s because this movie is my favorite film of all time, so here goes.
1 / Liam Neeson, in the role of Oskar Schindler, was nominated for Best Actor but the winner was Tom Hanks for his performance in Philadelphia. I didn’t – and still don’t – agree with that but I can live with it.
2 / Ralph Fiennes was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the brutal Amon Göth, but the winner was Tommy Lee Jones for The Fugitive. Sorry, I can’t accept that.
3 / But this one really irritates me! Ben Kingsley, who was nothing short of spectacular as Itzhak Stern, wasn’t even nominated for Best Supporting Actor! Totally Unacceptable!
Spoiler Alert: This is the powerful final scene.
1994 – The Achille Lauro caught fire and sank near Somalia. The large luxury liner had a checkered history that included deaths and terrorism prior to its sinking.
In 1971, the ship rammed an Italian fishing boat in the Mediterranean Sea, killing one person.
Ten years later, a fire on board the ship killed two people.
The most infamous incident in the history of the Achille Lauro, though, occurred in 1985, when it was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists who shot and killed an American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer.
On this day, the ship was carrying 1,000 passengers near the Horn of Africa when a fire broke out on board. The lifeboats were launched as the fire caused the huge ship to list to the port side.
A tug boat was sent to bring it back to shore, but as the tug was trying to connect to the ship, there was a huge explosion. Two people died and the doomed ship sank to the bottom of the ocean.
1996 – Tiny Tim (born Herbert Khaury – Tip-Toe Thru The Tulips With Me) died of cardiac arrest at the age of 64.
He was playing at a gala benefit hosted by the Women’s Club of Minneapolis. He was not feeling well, but did not want to disappoint the fans. While performing his last number of the evening, he suffered a heart attack on stage in the middle of a rendition of his hit song.
His wife was helping him back to their table when he collapsed. He never regained consciousness.
2000 – Scott Smith (bass guitar with Loverboy – Working For The Weekend) drowned.
Smith was sailing on his 37-foot sailboat, the Sea Major, along with two friends off the coast of San Francisco when a 25-foot wave knocked him into the ocean.
Despite a massive search by the United States Coast Guard and his family, his body was never found. He was 45.
2001 – Gary Ridgway was arrested for the murders of four women in Washington State whose cases were linked to him through DNA evidence.
He would eventually admit to killing 48 women between 1982 and 1998, and in exchange for a guilty plea, the “Green River Killer” was spared a death sentence and given 48 life terms.
2007 – Stuntman Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel died of pulmonary disease at the age of 69.
During his career, he suffered 433 bone fractures attempting more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps, and a canyon jump across Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a steam-powered rocket – which failed.
2017 – Actor Jim Nabors died at the age of 87.
He first came to prominence playing the role of Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show. The character proved popular, and Nabors was given his own spin-off show Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Nabors possessed a wonderful baritone singing voice and nowhere was that more evident than in an episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. in which his character of Pyle sang The Impossible Dream in Washington, D.C., at a U.S. Navy relief show, accompanied by the Marine Corps Band.
2018 – Former president George H.W. Bush died at the age of 94 after a prolonged battle with vascular Parkinson’s disease.
Bush served in the U.S. House of Representatives, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, as Director of Central Intelligence, and as the 41st president of the United States.
Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2019 RayLemire.com / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.