Retro History: December 7 – December 13
World News & the American Experience:
1941 – Dec 7 – “A date which will live in infamy,” Pearl Harbor Day. 1100 men are lost as America’s Pacific Fleet is attacked. The catastrophic event leads the US to declare war and enter into World War II.
1962 – The International Typographical Union goes on strike for 114 days, closing nine New York City newspapers.
1964 – Martin Luther King, Jr. becomes the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize at 35 years old. He donates his winnings to the Civil Rights Movement.
1980 – John Lennon is shot and killed by Mark David Chapman on December 8 as he stands outside his New York City apartment house.
Movies & TV:
1937 – NBC Radio gets into trouble with the Federal Communications Commission for broadcasting a racy skit with Mae West. As a consequence, West is banned from its airwaves for 15 years.
1948 – The Horace Heidt Youth Opportunity Program is broadcast for the first time on NBC TV.
1952 – The first TV acknowledgement of pregnancy happens on I Love Lucy.
1965 – A Charlie Brown Christmas premieres.
Music & Radio:
1926 – Benny Goodman’s first recording session takes place (at age 17). He plays clarinet with the Ben Pollack and his Californians.
1944 – The Chesterfield Supper Club premieres on NBC radio.
1949 – Fats Domino records his first songs for Imperial Records, starting with “The Fat Man”.
1961 – Surfin’, The Beach Boys first record, is released on Candix Records. It didn’t hit the Top 40 for another year.
1963 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy – A Memorial Album sells 4 million copies in 6 days, becoming the fastest-selling record of all time.
1979 – “Babe” by Styx hit #1 in the U.S. and stayed there for 2 weeks.
1984 – Band Aid, a group of musicians from Great Britain recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas” to raise money and gather food for starving Ethiopians.
Arts & Entertainment:
1939 – Betty Grable is featured on the cover of LIFE.
1949 – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Carol Channing, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City.
1953 – Hugh Hefner publishes the first issue Playboy, with Marilyn Monroe as the centerfold.
1972 – The rock opera Tommy opens in London with Keith Moon, Rod Stewart and Roger Daltrey.
1957 – Jerry Lee Lewis weds his cousin Myra Gale Brown, 13, while still married to his 1st wife, Jane Mitcham.
1961 – Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) dies at the age of 101.
1963 – Frank Sinatra Jr. is kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. His father pays a large ransom and the boy is returned. Three men were convicted of the crime and sent to prison.
1967 – Otis Redding and four members of his back-up group, the Bar-Kays, are killed in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin.
1988 – Roy Orbison, rocker (Pretty Woman), dies of a heart attack at 52.
1937 – The Red Sox acquird the contract of 19-year-old Ted Williams.
1939 – Lou Gehrig, 36, is elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
1951 – Joe DiMaggio retires from Major League Baseball.
1959 – Bruce McLaren becomes the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix race at age 22.
1963 – Instant replay is used for the first time during the Army-Navy game by CBS-TV.
1981 – Muhammad Ali fights his last fight, losing to Trevor Berbick. It was his 61st fight of his career.
1985 – The Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew release their “Superbowl Shuffle”.
Technology & Inventions:
1926 – The household refrigerator, operating on gas, is patented by Electrolux Servel Corporation.
1931 – Coaxial cable is patented.
1945 – The Microwave oven is patented by Dr. Percy Spencer of Raytheon Corp.
1960 – The Univac 1107, a new computer using thin-film memory, is introduced by the Sperry Rand Corporation.
1916 – Kirk Douglas, actor
1922 – Redd Foxx (John Elroy Sanford), comedian, actor
1925 – Sammy Davis Jr.
1928 – Dick Van Patten, actor
1931 – Rita Moreno, actress
1934 – Curtis Williams, singer
1940 – Dionne Warwick
1941 – Beau (Lloyd III) Bridges, actor
1943 – Jim (James Douglas) Morrison
1947 – Gregg Allman
1948 – Ted Nugent, singer, musician
1952 – Sam Kinison, comedian
1956 – Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
1957 – Donny Osmond