Retro History: November 16 – November 22
World News & the American Experience:
1935 – The China Clipper (flying boat) takes off from Alameda, California, carrying 100,000 pieces of mail on its first trans-Pacific airmail flight.
1962 – President John F. Kennedy dedicates Washington Dulles International Airport (November 17th).
1963 – President John F. Kennedy is assassinated on November 22 in Dallas, Texas.
1964 – The Verrazano Narrows Bridge opens, connecting Staten Island to Brooklyn. It is (at the time) the world’s longest suspension bridge.
1973 – In Orlando, Florida, President Richard Nixon tells about 400 editors of the Associated Press, “I am not a crook.”
1974 – The Privacy Act of 1974, amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, is passed by Congress, following the abuse of privacy during the Richard Nixon presidency.
1977 – Scheduled service of the Concorde to fly from Paris and London to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport begins.
Movies & TV:
1928 – Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon with synchronized sound, debuts at the Colony Theatre in New York. The cartoon introduces Mickey Mouse to the world. (Originally named Mortimer.)
1947 – Meet The Press airs on NBC-TV for the first time. It has since become one of the longest-running shows on network television.
1975 – Dr. Zhivago appears on TV for the first time.
1980 – The largest TV audience ever, 82 million viewers, watches Dallas to see “Who Shot J.R?”.
Music & Radio:
1934 – “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” is first heard on Eddie Cantor’s show.
1944 – The Roy Rogers Show is first heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
1955 – Tennessee Ford has the #1 song with “Sixteen Tons”. It stays at #1 for 8 weeks.
1955 – “Cry Cry Cry” is Johnny Cash’s first song on the charts.
1955 – RCA pays around $25,000 to producer Sam Phillips for the rights to Elvis Presley’s music.
1959 – Alan Freed, the DJ who coined the term “Rock and Roll”, is fired for accepting bribes in the payola scandal.
1962 – The 4 Seasons with Frankie Valli go to the top of the charts with “Big Girls Don’t Cry”.
1967 – Lulu’s “To Sir with Love” stays at the top of the Billboard Top 100 chart for 5 weeks.
1967 – BBC unofficially bans “I Am the Walrus” by The Beatles.
1971 – The “Theme From Shaft”, by Isaac Hayes, stays at #1 for 2 weeks.
1974 – John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” is his only solo #1 song.
1981 – “Physical”, by Olivia Newton John, races to the #1 chart position and stays there for 10 weeks.
Arts & Entertainment:
1928 – The first issue of Time magazine is published with Japanese Emperor Hirohito on the cover.
1930 – The musical Smiles, with Bob Hope and Fred Astaire, premieres in New York City.
1932 – The most famous vaudeville theatre in America, The Palace in New York City, closes its doors. It opened as a movie theatre later on with live performances shown before the film.
1932 – Wallace Beery and Fredric March tie for the Best Actor Academy Award.
1959 – The Sound of Music opens at Lunt Fontanne Theater in New York City for 1443 performances.
1966 – Cabaret opens on Broadway. 1,165 performances followed.
1966 – Don’t Drink the Water, Woody Allen’s first play, opens on Broadway.
1939 – Al Capone is released from jail after serving his sentence. He died a few years later from complications of third-stage neurosyphilis.
1960 – Clark Gable dies of a heart attack at age 59.
1984 – Michael Jackson receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1956 – Don Newcombe wins the National League MVP and first-ever Cy Young Award.
1958 – Mel Ott, NY Giant baseball star (1926-1947), dies at age 49.
1970 – Joe Frazier knocks out Bob Foster in round 2 for the heavyweight boxing title.
1986 – Mike Tyson KOs Trevor Berbick in round 2 for the heavyweight WBC boxing title.
Technology & Inventions:
1931 – American Telephone and Telegraph Company introduces the first commercial teletype service.
1947 – The world’s largest one-piece mirror, at 200 inches, arrives at Mt Palomar to be part of the Hale Telescope, the world’s largest telescope at the time.
1963 – The first touch-tone telephone is introduced. The Western Electric Model features 10 push buttons that replaced the rotary dial. The first commercial service is available in Pennsylvania for an extra charge.
1965 – Kellogg’s Pop Tarts pastries are created.
1932 – Richard Dawson, actor & game show host
1933 – Larry King
1936 – Hank Ballard, singer (Chubby Checker)
1936 – Dick Cavett, TV show host
1938 – Ted Turner
1939 – Dick Smothers, comedian
1942 – Calvin Klein
1942 – Martin Scorsese, director
1942 – Linda Evans, actress
1943 – Billie Jean King
1944 – Danny DeVito, actor
1944 – Lorne Michaels, comedy writer, producer
1953 – John McFee, rock guitarist (Doobie Brothers, Clover)