This Day In History December 15
349th day of 2010 - 16 remaining
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
GONE WITH THE WIND DAY
The cinema spectacular, Gone With the Wind, premiered at Loew’s Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on this day in 1939. It was the first movie premiere ceremony to be televised. The governor of Georgia proclaimed the day a state holiday in commemoration of the event and the holiday celebrations continued for three days.
Earlier the same year on June 27th, a ‘wrap’ party was held to celebrate the completion of the major cinematography of GWTW. David O. Selznick had paid author Margaret Mitchell $50,000 for the movie, and ultimately, the TV rights to her novel. MGM then paid out $1.25 million to help finance the film, to convince Clark Gable to play the role of Rhett Butler, and to receive a fifty percent share of the movie’s profits. Two versions of the film were produced. One contains Rhett Butler’s famous farewell to Scarlett, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a ****.” For including the word ‘****’, Selznick was fined $5,000. The other version had Gable’s Butler saying, “Frankly my dear, I just don’t care.”
Author Margaret Mitchell’s working name for her lead character was Pansy O’Hara. The final version of GWTW read Scarlett O’Hara. Among the many actresses considered for the role before Vivien Leigh was chosen to star were Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Miriam Hopkins, Susan Hayward, Paulette Goddard, Norma Shearer, Lana Turner, Jean Arthur, and Joan Bennett. Vivien Leigh earned $30,000 for the role that keeps on playing.
Ironically, Hollywood’s most famous, and possibly America’s greatest film, has resided permanently in Atlanta for some years. A theatre at the CNN Center Cinemas shows only "Gone With the Wind". The famous flick plays continuously on a daily schedule. The movie is now owned by Ted Turner. He acquired the entire MGM film library for TBS & TNT. We figure MGM made its money back and then some.
Events December 15
1791 - The Bill of Rights was ratified this day in Virginia. The Bill of Rights is comprised of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
1854 - Philadelphia residents were amazed as the first street cleaning machine was put into operation. A series of brooms attached to a cyclinder mounted on a cart was turned by a chain driven by the turning of the cart’s wheels.
1874 - The first reigning king to visit the United States was David Kalakaua, King of the Hawaiian Islands. Kalakaua was received by President Ulysses S. Grant on this day. Kalakaua became king on February 13, 1874, and began the colorful reign that characterized him as the ‘Merrie Monarch’. He was the first Hawaiian sovereign to visit the United States. His trip to Washington was undertaken to rally support for the long-delayed Reciprocity Treaty sought by the kingdom (the treaty was finalized in 1875). Among many other remembrances of him in Hawaii, King Kalakaua has a street named after him in Waikiki. Kalakaua Avenue is the main drag thru the world-famous beach-front district.
1890 - Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and eleven other tribe members were killed in Grand River, South Dakota during a fracas with Indian police.
1939 - Nylon yarn was sold to hosiery mills to make women’s stockings, marking the first use of commercial yarn for apparel. The DuPont product enabled a record number of ladies’ hose to go on sale for the first time in May 1940. And it all started in nylon’s hometown: Wilmington, Delaware.
1941 - A musical standard was recorded this day on Victor Records. Lena Horne sang the torch classic that became her signature: Stormy Weather. “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky. Stormy weather...”
1943 - Famed composer, blues singer, piano and pipe organ player, Fats (Thomas Wright) Waller died at the age of 39 from pneumonia. He began playing piano at the age of six, recording songs by 16. In the early years, some of his songs became smash hits, unfortunately after he had sold them outright. Songs like On the Sunny Side of the Street and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love. Waller was such a prolific composer of shows and hit songs that it would take pages to name them all. Some of the titles you may be familiar with are: Ain’t Misbehavin’, I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Fallin’, Honeysuckle Rose, I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter and It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie.
1944 - On this day, as World War II raged, news spread of the loss of an airplane somewhere over the English Channel between England and Paris. On board the ill-fated aircraft was Major Glenn Miller on his way to lead his Air Force Band in a Christmas concert.
1949 - After a decade on radio, Captain Midnight was heard for the final time. Put your secret decoder away now, kids.
1954 - Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter was featured on Walt Disney’s TV series for the first time. Crockett was played by Fess Parker. It wasn’t long before the Davy Crockett craze brought a new number one song to the pop music charts. “Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.”
1961 - Adolf Eichmann was sentenced by a Jerusalem court to be hanged. As a former German Gestapo official and administrator of the so-called “final solution,” Eichmann supervised the transportation of prisoners to concentration camps. Adolf Eichmann played a major role in the Nazi murder of some six-million Jews in World War II.
1962 - The first record album to poke fun at a U.S. President became the #1 LP in the country. Vaughn Meader’s The First Family made the humorist a household word. The album stayed at #1 for three months.
1962 - Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics set a National Basketball Association record as he made his 5,926th field goal. His sterling career included the NBA’s MVP Award in 1957, and the record of 30 free throws in one game on March 21, 1953 when the Celtics played the Syracuse Nationals. Four of those free throws were made in overtime.
1966 - One of the greatest names in children’s television and movie production died on this day. Walt (Walter Elias) Disney died in Burbank, California. Mr. Disney was 65 years old. What a legacy he left the world!
1967 - The Silver Bridge, on U.S. 35 between Point Pleasant, WV and Gallipolis, OH, collapsed during afternoon rush hour. 46 people died. Although many states (including California and New York) had instituted bridge inspection programs, it was not until this tragedy that the issue of bridge safety was brought into national focus.
1973 - Sandy Hawley became the first jockey in history to win 500 races in a single year. With this victory in the third race at Laurel racetrack on Charlie Jr., he broke the legendary Bill Shoemaker’s 20-year-old record. Hawley recorded his 6,000th career victory in 1992 aboard Summer Commander at Greenwood racetrack.
1973 - Charlie Rich’s hit, The Most Beautiful Girl, hit #1 (for two weeks) in the U.S. “Hey, if you happen to see the most beautiful girl that walked out on me ... Tell her, "I'm sorry." Tell her, "I need my baby." Won't you tell her that I love her.”
1974 - Bert Jones, quarterback of the Baltimore Colts, set an NFL record by completing seventeen consecutive passes in a game against the New York Jets.
1979 - The deposed Shah of Iran left the United States for Panama.
1979 - Chris Haney and Scott Abbott invented the game of Trivial Pursuit. Haney and Scott were ready for a game of Scrabble in Montreal, but noticed pieces of the game missing. Instead of getting a new Scrabble set, they decided to invent a game of their own...
1980 - DAVE Winfield signed a ten-year contract with the New York Yankees for somewhere between $1.3 and $1.5 million. He become the wealthiest player in the history of U.S. team sports. The total package for the outfielder was said to be worth over $22 million.
1982 - Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant announced that he was retiring as head football coach at the University of Alabama. Bryant had 232 victories and only 46 losses while coach of the Crimson Tide.
1988 - James Brown, charged with numerous offences, including illegal possession of drugs and firearms, aggravated assault and failure to stop for the police, was sentenced to six and a half years’ imprisonment. He was released from the South Carolina prison in 1991, having reportedly written new material while locked up.
1989 - U.S. President George Bush (I) sent U.S. troops into Panama to battle Panamanian forces supporting General Manuel Noreiga. Panama named Noriega head of government and declared a state of war with the United States.
1993 - Called “a beautiful film about the holocaust horror,” Steven Speilberg’s film Schindler’s List opened in U.S. theatres. The haunting, black-and-white movie stars Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes and Caroline Goodall. "Schindler’s List" won many awards, including Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director.
1994 - U.S. President Bill Clinton, in a prime-time address, presented a package of tax cuts for middle-income families raising children (Middle Class Bill of Rights), and outlined deep reductions in government programs to help pay for them.
1995 - The leaders of the European Union were gathered in Madrid to discuss the shape of a single European currency. They decided on a name for it: the Euro.
1995 - New movies in U.S. theatres: Heat, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine and Kevin Gage; and Jumanji, with Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Bradley Pierce, Kirsten Dunst, Bebe Neuwirth and David Alan Grier.
1996 - Boeing Co. jolted the aerospace world with a $13.3 billion deal to buy McDonnell Douglas Corp. The merger formed the world’s largest aerospace company.
1996 - Tyco Toys’ Tickle Me Elmo stuffed animal that giggled and said, “that tickles”, when squeezed, retailed for $30 was selling out across the U.S.
1997 - The Pentagon ordered all 1.4 million men and women in U.S. uniform to be inoculated against anthrax.
1998 - The Endeavour space shuttle and crew returned to Cape Canaveral in a night landing following NASA’s first space station-building mission.
2000 - These memorable movies premiered in the U.S.: Walt Disney Pictures’ animated The Emperor’s New Groove (“Llama llama ding dong”), with the voices of David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton and Wendie Malick; Dude Where’s My Car? (“After a night they can't remember, comes a day they'll never forget.”), with Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Garner, Marla Sokoloff, Kristy Swanson and Hal Sparks; and What Women Want (“He has the power to hear everything women are thinking. Finally... a man is listening.”), starring Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Mark Feuerstein, Lauren Holly, Ashley Johnson, Delta Burke, Valerie Perrine and Alan Alda.
2000 - The long-troubled Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine was Closed for good. The shutdown came fourteen years after a fire engulfed a reactor and triggered the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
2000 - Federal regulators ordered an overhaul of California’s electricity market in a push to control skyrocketing prices and curtail supply shortages.
2000 - U.S. First Lady, and Senator-elect, Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to an $8-million book deal with publisher Simon and Schuster for her White House memoirs.
2001 - The Leaning Tower of Pisa was reopened to the public after a 27,370,000-Euro realignment that took over a decade to complete. The project decreased the leaning of the tower by 40.6 centimeters. The tower had begun to lean at the beginning of its construction in 1173 because of the marshy ground on which it rests; the inclination had continued to increase each year up to the decision to intervene in 1990.
2002 - Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents took part in one of the territory’s biggest marches in years, denouncing plans for an anti-subversion law they feared would erode civil liberties.
2002 - Japan won golf’s World Cup for the first time in 45 years after American stars Phil Mickelson and David Toms double-bogeyed the final hole at Vista Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
2003 - The late U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond’s family acknowledged Essie Mae Washington-Williams’ claim that she was Thurmond’s illegitimate mixed-race daughter.
2004 - Sprint and Nextel announced a $35-billion merger of their wireless telephone companies.
2005 - Voting got underway in Iraq to elect the first permanent 275-member Iraqi National Assembly under Iraq’s new Constitution. Turnout for the election was reported to be 70%.
2006 - Films debuting in the U.S.: Charlotte’s Web, starring Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer, André Benjamin, Thomas Haden Church, Robert Redford, Reba McEntire and Kathy Bates; Eragon, with Ed Speleers, John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou, Robert Carlyle and Sienna Guillory; and The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith, Thandie Newton and Jaden Smith.
2006 - 1.5 million homes and businesses in Washington and Oregon had no power after howling windstorms and heavy rains killed several people. The storms caused flooding that Closed the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and Hood Canal Bridge.
2006 - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service released new guidelines that required taxpayers to provide bank records or other proof when claiming deductions for charitable donations of money.
2007 - Hamas marked the 20th anniversary of its founding with a huge rally in Gaza City. Hamas was founded in Gaza after the first Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.
2008 - Iraqis took to the streets to demand the release of a reporter who had thrown his shoes at U.S. President George Bush (II). Arabs across many parts of the Middle East hailed the journalist as a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off for the unpopular U.S. president.
2008 - Madonna settled her divorce with ex-husband Guy Ritchie for a reported £50 million ($76 million).
2008 - Siemens, Europe’s largest engineering conglomerate, pleaded guilty to charges of bribery and corruption and agreed to pay a record total of about €1 billion ($1.6 billion) to American and European authorities. The fines were imposed to settle charges that Siemens routinely used bribes and slush funds to secure huge public works contracts around the world.
2009 - The U.S. government ordered the window covering industry to recall more than 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds. This, after reports of babies and toddlers strangling themselves when becoming entangled in the the cords.
2009 - Televangelist Oral Roberts died in Newport Beach, CA. He was 91 years old. The pioneer Oklahoma-based radio and TV preacher began broadcasting his revivals in 1954 and founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa in 1963.
Birthdays December 15
1832 - Gustave Alexandre Eiffel
engineer: designed Paris’ Eiffel Tower and helped design Statue of Liberty; died Dec 27, 1923
1859 - Ludwig (Lazarus) Zamenhof
linguist: developed international language: Esperanto; died in 1917
1892 - J. (Jean) Paul Getty
oil magnate: Getty Oil; once the richest man in the world; art collector: his art formed the nucleus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu CA; died June 6, 1976
1904 - Kermit Bloomgarden
Tony Award-winning producer: The Diary of Anne Frank ; Death of a Salesman, The Music Man, Equus; died Sep 20, 1976
1909 - Jack Barry
radio singer: The Jack Berry Show; died Sep 23, 1982
1911 - Stan Kenton
orchestra leader, pianist: Chorale for Brass, Piano and Bongo, Kenton Blues, I Breen Down in Texas, And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine; died Aug 25, 1979
1916 - Buddy (Edwin) Cole
pianist: group: The Buddy Cole Trio; sang with Rosemary Clooney: LP: Swing Around Rosie; died Nov 5, 1964
1918 - Jeff Chandler (Ira Grossel)
actor: Merrill’s Marauders, Return to Peyton Place, Broken Arrow; died June 17, 1961
1920 - Eddie (William Edward) Robinson
baseball: Cleveland Indians [World Series: 1948], Washington Nationals [all-star: 1949], Chicago White Sox [all-star: 1951, 1952], Philadelphia Athletics [all-star: 1953], NY Yankees [World Series: 1955], KC Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers
1922 - Alan Freed
disc jockey: WJW, Cleveland, WINS & WABC, New York: The Moondoggy Show; fired on air at WABC for alleged involvement in the payola scandal of the late 1950s; died Jan 20, 1965
1928 - Ernest Ashworth
Country Music Hall of Fame singer: Talk Back Trembling Lips; Member of Grand Ole Opry; died Mar 2, 2009
1928 - Friedrich Hundertwasser
artist, printer, painter, ecologist: believed that the straight line was from the devil; public buildings should be like nature, simple, yet complex, colorful, efficient and self-sustaining; died Feb 19, 2000
1928 - Jimmy Nelson
ventriloquist: Danny O’Day, Farfel the Dog; LP: Jimmy Nelson’s Instant Ventriloquism
1928 - Jerry Wallace
singer: Primrose Lane, Shutters and Boards, A Touch of Pink, If You Leave Me I’ll Cry; actor: Hec Ramsey; died May 5, 2008
1930 - Edna O’Brien
author: Time and Tide, Country Girls Trilogy
1933 - Tim Conway
actor, comedian: McHale’s Navy, The Tim Conway Show, The Carol Burnett Show, various Dorf videos
1939 - Cindy Birdsong
singer: group: Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles, group: Diana Ross and The Supremes: Love Child, Someday We’ll Be Together, River Deep-Mountain High [with Four Tops]
1940 - Nick Buoniconti
Pro Football Hall of Famer: Miami Dolphins LB: Super Bowl VI, VII, VIII; TV football analyst: HBO: Inside the NFL
1942 - DAVE Clark
singer: group: The DAVE Clark Five: Bits and Pieces, Do You Love Me, Glad All Over, Everybody Knows, Red Balloon, Good Old Rock & Roll, Everybody Get Together; TV producer: Hold On It’s the DAVE Clark Five, Ready Steady Go!; actor: Time; stunt man
1943 - Pete Duranko
football: Notre Dame All-American DE-LB, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos
1944 - Stan (Stanley Raymond) Bahnsen
baseball: pitcher: NY Yankees [Rookie of the Year: 1968], Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Montreal Expos, California Angels, Philadelphia Phillies
1946 - Carmine Appice
composer, drummer: groups: Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, KGB, King Kobra; co-wrote [w/Rod Stewart]: Da Ya Think I’m Sexy
1948 - Doug (Douglas James) Rau
baseball: pitcher: LA Dodgers [World Series: 1977, 1978], California Angels
1948 - Charlie Scott
basketball: University of North Carolina; Boston Celtics, 3-time NBA all-star
1949 - Don Johnson (Donnie Wayne Johnson)
actor: Nash Bridges, Miami Vice, Harrad Experiment, A Boy and His Dog, The Long, Hot Summer, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Revenge of the Stepford Wives
1953 - Eli Gold
sports announcer: CBS-TV, the Nashville Network, Motor Racing Network
1955 - Paul Simonon
musician: bass: group: The Clash: 1977, Capital Radio, Career Opportunities, I’m So Bored with the USA, Police and Thieves, Complete Control, [White Man] in Hammersmith Palais, English Civil War, Stay Free, Brand New Cadillac, Death or Glory, Jimmy Jazz, Rock the Casbah, Train in Vain [Stand by Me]
1961 - Reginald Hudlin
director: The Great White Hype, Cosmic Stop, Boomerang; writer: Bebe’s Kids; writer, director: House Party; brother of producer, director Warrington Hudlin
1961 - Daryl Turner
football: Michigan State, Seattle Seahawks
1963 - Helen Slater
actress: Parallel Lives, Lassie, Chantilly Lace, City Slickers, Ruthless People, Legend of Billie Jean, Supergirl, Capital News
1970 - Lawrence Funderburke
basketball [forward]: Ohio State Univ; NBA: Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls
1970 - Rick Helling
baseball [pitcher]: Stanford Univ; Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers
1970 - Michael Shanks
actor: Stargate SG-1, The Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon, Escape from Mars, Suspicious River, Mr. Fortune’s Smile, The Artist's Circle
1972 - Rodney Harrison
football [strong safety]: NFL: San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots
1972 - Stuart Townsend
actor: About Adam, Shooting Fish, Venice Project, The Queen of the ****ed, 24 Hours
1976 - Troy Walters
football [wide receiver]: Stanford Univ; NFL: Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts
1979 - Adam Brody
actor: Missing Brendan, The Ring, American Pie 2, Growing Up Brady, Never Land, Judging Amy, Family Law, Smallville, The O.C.
1981 - Brendan Fletcher
actor: Eighteen, Paper Moon Affair, Mojave, Ginger Snaps Back, The Final Cut, The Death and Life of Nancy Eaton, Freddy Vs. Jason
Chart Toppers December 15
1950All My Love - Patti Page
A Bushel and a Peck - Perry Como & Betty Hutton
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
I’m Moving On - Hank Snow
1959Heartaches by the Number - Guy Mitchell
Mr. Blue - The Fleetwoods
In the Mood - Ernie Fields Orchestra
The Same Old Me - Ray Price
1968I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
Abraham, Martin and John - Dion
Who’s Making Love - Johnnie Taylor
Born to Be With You - Sonny James
1977You Light Up My Life - Debby Boone
Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue - Crystal Gayle
How Deep is Your Love - Bee Gees
Here You Come Again - Dolly Parton
1986The Way It Is - Bruce Hornsby & The Range
Walk Like an Egyptian - Bangles
Hip to Be Square - Huey Lewis & The News
Hell and High Water - T. Graham Brown
1995One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
Hey Lover - LL Cool J
Diggin’ on You - TLC
Tall, Tall Trees - Alan Jackson
2004Over And Over - Nelly featuring Tim McGraw
My Boo - Usher & Alicia Keys
I Don’t Want to Be - Gavin DeGraw
Nothing On but the Radio - Gary Allan
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Happy Birthday Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes,