Retro History: September 28 – October 4

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Headlines & Tidbits from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s & 80s

World News & the American Experience:

1971 – Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida opens.

1974 – Watergate cover-up trial opens in Washington DC.

1975 – Bill authorizes admission of women to military academies.

Leave It To Beaver Cast

The cast of Leave It To Beaver

Movies & TV:

1949My Friend Irma is the first of 12 films starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

1951The Red Skelton Show debuts on NBC-TV.

1953Make Room for Daddy, starring Danny Thomas, premieres on ABC-TV.

1954A Star is Born, starring Judy Garland & James Mason, premieres at theaters.

1954Father Knows Best debuts on TV.

1955The Honeymooners premieres on television.

1955The Mickey Mouse Club debuts.

1957Leave It to Beaver, debuts on CBS.

1959 – Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS-TV.

1960My Three Sons, starring Fred MacMurray, premieres on ABC-TV.

1960The Flintstones premieres as the first prime-time animation show on TV.

1961Doctor Kildare debuts on NBC-TV.

1961The Dick Van Dyke Show premieres on CBS-TV

1961Mr. Ed premieres.

1962The Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show debuts on ABC-TV.

Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson hosting The Tonight Show

1962 – Johnny Carson hosts his first Tonight Show with Joan Crawford as the guest.

1963The Judy Garland Show debuts on CBS-TV.

1963My Favorite Martian, starring Ray Walston, premieres on CBS-TV.

1976Alice debuts on CBS-TV.

1982Cheers premieres on NBC-TV.

1985MacGyver, starring Richard Dean Anderson, debuts on ABC-TV.

Music & Radio:

1935The Adventures of Dick Tracy is heard for the first time on the Mutual Radio Network.

1939Captain Midnight is broadcast for the first time on the Mutual Radio Network.

1940 – The radio quiz show, Double or Nothing, is first heard on the Mutual Radio Network.

1946The Adventures of Sam Spade debuts on CBS Radio.

1957 – “Honeycomb”, by Jimmie Rodgers, hits #1.

1962 – Barbra Streisand signs her first recording contract with Columbia.

1963 – “Little Deuce Coupe”. by The Beach Boys. peaks at #15.

1963 – The Rolling Stones starts their first big UK tour as the opening act for Bo Diddley & The Everly Brothers.

Pink Floyd 1967

Pink Floyd (1967)

1967 – Pink Floyd’s first US tour begins.

1968 – “Hey Jude”, by The Beatles, is #1 on the charts for nine weeks.

1973 – “We’re An American Band”, by Grand Funk, hits #1.

1974 – “Rock Me Gently”, by Andy Kim, peaks at #1.

The Arts:

1950 – The first strip of Charlie Brown, called “Li’l Folks”, (later “Peanuts”) is printed in 9 papers.

1962My Fair Lady closes after a run of 6½ years on Broadway, breaking the record for the longest-running musical of all time.

1983A Chorus Line becomes the longest running Broadway show at 3,389 performances.


James Dean

James Dean

Celebrity Headlines:

1930 – Bing Crosby marries Dixie Lee.

1955 – James Dean dies of injuries suffered in a car crash. He was 24 when the fatal crash took place in Cholame, CA at the intersection of Routes 46 and 41.

1968 – Janis Joplin announces she’s leaving Big Brother & Holding Co.

1976 – Jerry Lee Lewis, attempting to shoot soda bottles, hits his bass player Norman Owens twice in the chest. Owens survives.


1955 – The World Series is broadcast in color for the first time on NBC. The Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees 4-3.

1960 – Baseball legend Ted Williams hits his final homer #521 on his last at bat.

1971 – Billie Jean King becomes the first female athlete to win $100,000.

1977 – Muhammad Ali beats Ernie Shavers to win the Heavyweight Boxing Championship. It was broadcast from Madison Square Garden and was the most-watched fight in television history.

Technology & Inventions:

1950 – The Telephone Answering Machine is created by Bell Laboratories. It would not be made available to the public for many years.

Famous Birthdays:

1934 – Brigitte Bardot, actress

1935 – Jerry Lee Lewis, musician

1938 – Ben E. King, musician

1941 – Chubby Checker, singer

1954 – Barry Williams, actor (Greg-Brady Bunch)

1954 – Stevie Ray Vaughan, musician

Last updated: Sep 29, 2014
Filed under: This Week In History Tagged with: history, retro headlines