Retro History: December 28 – January 3

Retro Staff Comments
President Franklin D Roosevelt in wheelchair

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

World News & the American Experience:

1934 – Alcatraz officially becomes a federal prison.

1938 – The March of Dimes is established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to fight polio.

1945 – Congress officially recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance.

1946 – President Truman proclaims the end of World War II.

1977 – Ted Bundy escapes from jail in Colorado.

Movies & TV:

1963Let’s Make A Deal debuts on NBC-TV.

1971 – Tobacco ads, representing $20 million dollars in advertising, are banned from broadcast.

1980The Wonderful World of Disney is broadcast for the last time.  It was the longest-running series in prime-time history.

1981 – CNN Headline News premieres.

Bing Crosby Sings

Bing Crosby

Music & Radio:

1942 – Mr. and Mrs. North debuts on NBC radio, with Joseph Curtin and Alice Frost.

1943 – Bing Crosby records “San Fernando Valley”.  It becomes a huge hit.

1955 – Barbra Streisand records her first song, “You’ll Never Know”, at age 13.

1957 – “At the Hop”, by Danny and The Juniors, hits #1 on the music charts and stays there for 7 weeks.

1961 – The first performance by The Beach Boys with their new name takes place.

1962Match Game debuts on NBC with host Gene Rayburn.

1963 – The Dear Abby show premieres on CBS radio and runs for 11 years.

1966 – The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” hits #1 and stays there for 7 weeks.

Simon and Garfunkel 1966

Simon and Garfunkel (1966)

1966 – Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” reaches #1.

1968 – The Beatles’ “White Album” is #1 and stays there for 9 weeks.

1969 – Peter, Paul and Mary earn a gold record for the single, “Leaving On a Jet Plane”.

1971 – George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” is #1 on U.S. album charts. Harrison was the first ex-Beatle to hit #1 with a solo album.

1972 – Don McLean receives a gold record for his hit, “American Pie”.

1974 – Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks join Fleetwood Mac.

Elvis Presley White Jumpsuit


1975 – Elvis Presley performs at the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI.  He earns $800,000 – a world record for a single concert by a solo artist.

1976 – The Cars play their first gig.

Arts & Entertainment:

1935 – Charles Darrow patents Monopoly.

1944 – Leonard Bernstein’s first big success, On the Town, opens in New York featuring the hit song, “New York, New York”.

1948Kiss Me, Kate opens at New Century Theater New York City for 1077 performances.

1972 – The last weekly issue of LIFE hits the newsstands.

1983 – Annie closes on Broadway at the Uris Theatre after 2,377 performances.

Celebrity Headlines:

1936 – A famous feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen begins between each other’s radio show. It lasts ten weeks.

1942 – Frank Sinatra opens at New York’s Paramount Theatre. Thousands of teenage girls throng the streets and it takes 400 policemen to calm the crowds.  From there after, he was known as “The Voice”.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

1947 – Roy Rogers and Dale Evans marry.

1953 – Hank Williams dies at the age of 29.

1957 – Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme wed.

1960 – Johnny Cash plays the first of many free concerts from jail.

1970 – Paul McCartney sues his bandmates to dissolve The Beatles.

1979 – Sid Vicious’ trial for murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen begins.

Dennis Wilson The Beach Boys

Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys

1983 – The Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson drowns while diving in Marina Del Ray, California.

1984 – Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses his arm in a car crash.

1985 – Ricky Nelson, his fiancee, Helen Blair, and five members of the Stone Canyon Band are killed in an airplane crash.


1937 – Babe Ruth becomes the manager for the Class D De Land Reds of the Florida State League.

1953 – Willie Shoemaker breaks his own record as he wins his 485th race of the year.

1986 – Pat Davis, ranked 412th among world tennis competitors, wins the Davis Cup.

Transistor Hearing Aid 1952

Transistor Hearing Aid (1952)

Technology & Inventions:

1952 – Sonotone Corporation begins selling the first transistorized hearing aid.

1957 – The Hamilton Watch Company is the first to introduce an electric watch.

1985 – IBM-PC DOS Version 3.2 is released.

Famous Birthdays:

1937 – Mary Tyler Moore

1937 – (Noel) Paul Stookey, Peter Paul and Mary

1938 – Jon Voight

1943 – John Denver

1943 – Pete Quaife, The Kinks

1945 – Davy Jones, The Monkees

1947 – Jeff Lynne, Electric Light Orchestra

1948 – Donna Summer

Last updated: Dec 30, 2014
Filed under: This Week In History Tagged with: history, retro headlines