Category: Trivia

MISSING HISTORY

September 14 in history:

Do you remember what major event happened in England on September 13th, 1752?  You do?  LIAR!!  It was a trick question. Nothing happened in England, or America, or anywhere in the British Empire on that day, because the date did not exist.  The Gregorian calendar was adopted by the British on September 14th, 1752.  They had to eliminate 11 days from the calendar that year…September 3rd through the 13th…to make the British calendar match those used by other countries.  Also, before the change, the British used to start a new year on March 25th instead of January 1st.

Okay, do you remember the 1994 World Series?  Liar, liar, pants on fire!  There was no World Series that year, because on September 14th of ’94, major league baseball cancelled the rest of the season because of a players’ strike.

Now, do you remember a TV show called “My Mother, the Car”?  Liar, liar…oh, sorry, there really WAS a series by that name.  It starred Jerry Van Dyke as a guy whose late mother was rein-“car”-nated as an antique auto.  Mom (the voice of Ann Sothern) spoke to him through the car radio.  “My Mother, the Car” debuted on NBC on September 14th, 1965.  Longer-running series which began on this date over the years include “The Waltons” (1972), and “The Golden Girls” (1985).

BITS OF AMERICAN HISTORY

September 13 in history:

New York City became the first official capital of the United States on September 13th, 1788.  George Washington was sworn in as president there the following year.  By 1790, the capital was moved to Philadelphia.

Margaret Chase Smith was a pioneer at the U.S. Capitol.  Mrs. Smith had succeeded her late husband in the House, and on September 13th, 1948, she was elected to the U.S. Senate from Maine. That made her the first woman to be elected to both houses of Congress.

Maine was not a state yet during the War of 1812, so it was not represented on the “star-spangled banner” that flew over Ft. McHenry in Baltimore on this date in 1814.  Francis Scott Key wrote his famous poem about the 15-star, 15-stripe flag that continued to fly over the fort after a British attack.

FROM THE EARTH TO THE HONEYMOON

September 12 in history:

“How do I love thee…?”  Elizabeth Barrett showed her love for fellow poet Robert Browning by eloping with him in England on September 12th, 1846.  Barrett’s father did not approve of Browning.

Astronauts Mark Lee and Jan Davis became the first married couple to travel together in space on September 12th, 1992.  They were among the seven crew members aboard the shuttle Endeavour.  The eight-day mission was the first space flight for Davis, and the second for Lee.

“To the moon, Alice!”  On September 12th, 1970, “The Jackie Gleason Show” ended an eight-year run on CBS.  The hour-long variety show often featured musical episodes of “The Honeymooners” with Gleason as Ralph Kramden and Art Carney as Ed Norton.

The Gemini 11 mission was launched on this date in 1966. Astronauts Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon conducted tests to link two space capsules in orbit, a skill that would be needed on flights to the moon.

Pete Conrad was portrayed by actor Peter Scolari in an episode of the TV miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.”  Scolari, best known for his roles on “Newhart” and “Bosom Buddies,” was born September 12th of 1955.

WHAT ELSE HAPPENED

September 11 in history:

Since 2001, the date of September 11th brings to mind images of the terror attacks which occurred during one day in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.  As for other events in history on this day…

The U.S. ambassador to Libya was among four persons killed in an attack at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11th, 2012. The Obama White House and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been accused of trying to cover up the true circumstances surrounding the attack.

The Pentagon was hit by one of the airplanes hijacked on 9/11/01. September 11th was the day construction began on the Pentagon in 1941.

One of the airline passengers killed in the Pentagon attack was political commentator Barbara Olson, whose husband Theodore was Solicitor General at the time.  Ted Olson was born on September 11th of 1940…the same day as movie director Brian de Palma, who opened the movie “The Bonfire of the Vanities” with a long single-take shot inside the World Trade Center. De Palma’s other films include “Carrie,” “Scarface,” and “The Untouchables.”

September 11th was the day in 1609 that Henry Hudson sailed in what would become New York Harbor, and discovered the mouth of the river eventually named after him.

New York is where Tom Landry began his coaching career in pro football, on the staff of the Giants.  Landry, born on September 11th, 1924, left the Giants to become the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.  He shared his birthday, and a habit of wearing distinctive hats on the sidelines, with another legendary football coach, Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant (born 1913).

WINNERS AND LOSERS

September 10 in history:

Some historians believe that the Battle of Marathon between the Greeks and the Persians happened on September 10th in 490 B.C.  According to legend, a messenger ran non-stop more than 20 miles from the battlefield to Athens to deliver news of a Greek victory. That legend inspired the first “marathon” foot race during the Athens Olympics of 1896.

The U.S. lost an Olympic men’s basketball game for the first time on this date in 1972, when the Soviet team took the gold medal game, 51-50.  Members of the American team felt that the championship was stolen from them when the Soviets were given three chances to score the winning basket.  The Americans refused to accept the silver medal.

A belt with a gold buckle, called the Hickok Belt, was created to honor the top professional athlete of the year in the U.S.  Two years in a row, in 1960 and 1961, the winner of the Hickok Belt was an athlete born on September 10th…golfer Arnold Palmer (born in 1929), followed by baseball home-run record-setter Roger Maris (1934).

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

September 9 in history:

“United States” was chosen as the official name of the 13 American colonies by the Continental Congress on September 9th, 1776. The newly-independent nation had been known as the “United Colonies” before that.

Exactly 15 years later, on this date in 1791, the new nation’s capital along the Potomac River was named “Washington,” after the incumbent president.

Esther was the name of the first child of a president to be born at the White House. She was born September 9th, 1893.  Esther’s parents were President Grover Cleveland and his wife, Frances.

People in the audience at the Fox Theater in Riverside, California, didn’t know the name of the movie they were about to see on September 9th, 1939, after the scheduled showing of “Hawaiian Nights.” Therefore, they didn’t know they would be the first regular audience to watch a much-anticipated picture.  One witness said the crowd reaction was “thunderous” when the movie’s title appeared on the screen…”Gone With the Wind.”

NOW HERE’S SOMETHING NEW

September 8 in history:

On this date in 1892, a magazine called “The Youth’s Companion” printed a 22-word verse to be recited by U.S. schoolchildren that fall, on the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. It was the first published version of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Beginning on September 8th, 1991, people living in the far southern end of Yugoslavia could pledge their allegiance to the new Republic of Macedonia.  It was the day Macedonia declared its independence from the former Soviet bloc nation.

“Miss Independence” was one title considered for a TV show that debuted on September 8th, 1966.  It was a nickname given to the show’s star, Marlo Thomas.  The series became a hit for ABC under a different name:  “That Girl.”

Like many other shows of the 1960s, “That Girl” was filmed at Desilu Studios in Hollywood.  One of the last series actually produced by Desilu premiered on the same night as “That Girl”:  a space adventure show on NBC, called “Star Trek.”