Retro History: November 23 – November 29
World News & the American Experience:
1930 – Ruth Nichols becomes the first woman pilot on a transcontinental flight from New York to California. It took 7 days.
1942 – A tragic fire at the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, MA kills nearly 500 people.
1953 – A strike of photoengravers leave New York City without newspapers for 11 days.
1971 – D.B. Cooper hijacks a Boeing 727. He demands and receives $200,000, and then parachutes out over the Cascade Mountains in Washington, never to be seen or heard from again. In 1980, $5,880 was discovered on the banks of the Columbia River, but that is one of the only clues ever found.
1986 – The Iran-Contra affair comes to light. Members of Reagan’s administration, chiefly Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, are accused of dealing arms for hostages.
1940 – Woody Woodpecker is seen for the first time in the theatrical short Knock Knock.
1942 – Casablanca premieres at Hollywood Theatre in New York City.
1948 – Hopalong Cassidy premieres on TV.
1956 – The Price Is Right debuts on NBC.
1977 – Saturday Night Fever sets box office records and makes a megastar out of John Travolta. The soundtrack would sell more than 11 million copies.
Music & Radio:
1932 – Groucho Marx performs on radio for the first time.
1944 – The FBI in Peace and War is broadcast by CBS radio for the first time.
1949 – Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, by Gene Autry, becomes the musical hit of the Christmas season.
1956 – Bandleader Tommy Dorsey dies at the age of 51. His records sold more than 110,000,000 copies.
1958 – Richie Valens releases “Donna” and La Bamba.”
1958 – Harold Jenkins changes his name to Conway Twitty and hits #1 with “It’s Only Make Believe”.
1960 – Amos ‘n’ Andy airs its last broadcast on CBS radio.
1962 – The Beatles have their first recording session under their new name.
1966 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience debuts in London at Bag O’ Nails Club.
1969 – Cream has their final concert at Royal Albert Hall in London.
1976 – The Sex Pistols release their debut single, “Anarchy In The UK”.
1979 – The Wall, by Pink Floyd, is released, selling 6 million copies in 2 weeks.
Arts & Entertainment:
1936 – The first issue of Life magazine, created by Henry R Luce, is published.
1950 – Guys and Dolls opens at the 46th Street Theatre in New York City. It ran for 1200 performances.
1958 – The GE Theatre production of A Turkey for the President stars Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
1981 – Natalie Wood actress (West Side Story), drowns at 43 years old.
1986 – Actor Cary Grant passes away at the age of 82.
1984 – Doug Flutie throws a 48-yard pass to get a touchdown in the final play of the game that leads Boston College to beat Miami in the Orange Bowl. The play became known as “The Pass” or a “Hail Mary Pass”.
Technology & Inventions:
1944 – Johns Hopkins Hospital performs the first open heart surgery.
1948 – The Zoomar Lens is patented by Dr. Frank G. Back of New York City. It becomes a popular lens most often used in television production.
1948 – The first Polaroid camera is sold.
1935 – Marian Mercer, singer, actress
1939 – Tina Turner
1940 – Percy Sledge, singer
1940 – Bruce Lee
1942 – Jimi (James Marshall) Hendrix
1947 – Linda Laflamme, rocker
1957 – Caroline (Bouvier) Kennedy
1959 – Judd Nelson, actor
1960 – John F. Kennedy Jr.