April 3rd in history:
The first run of the Pony Express between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California began on April 3rd, 1860.
Laptop computers have become the favorite means of communication for many people. IBM’s first laptop was introduced on April 3rd, 1986.
The first portable “cell phone” call made in New York City happened on this date in 1973.
Actor Alec Baldwin was once removed from an airplane parked at the Los Angeles airport when he refused to stop playing a word game on his cell phone. Baldwin, born on this date in 1958, played fictional TV network boss Jack Donaghy on the sitcom “30 Rock.”
Former college professor Ted Kaczynski sent messages to the media complaining about modern technology. His crusade against technology also included bombings which killed three people. Kaczynski, better known as the “Unabomber,” was arrested at a cabin in Montana on April 3rd, 1996.
March 20th in history:
The start of the GOP came exactly two years after the March 20th, 1852, publication of the anti-slavery novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Miniature houses and other structures were shown at the start of each episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Miniature versions of New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., made out of Lego blocks, are one of the attractions at the Legoland California theme park, which opened near Carlsbad on March 20th, 1999.
February 6th in history:
Ronald Reagan served two terms in the Oval Office after successful careers as a radio announcer, an actor, and Governor of California. The 40th president was born in Tampico, Illinois, on this date in 1911.
The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect on February 6th, 1933. The amendment clarified the order of succession to the presidency, and moved the start of a presidential term from March 4th to January 20th.
Cardinal Achille Ratti succeeded to the position of pope on February 6th, 1922, taking the name Pius XI. It took 14 ballots for the College of Cardinals to elect Ratti.
James II succeeded his brother, Charles II, as king of England on this date in 1685.
And Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of King George VI, became Queen Elizabeth II of England on February 6th, 1952. That was the second birthday of the daughter of another “King”: singer Natalie Cole, whose father was Nat “King” Cole.
January 17th in history:
The earth shook in Southern California on January 17th, 1994. The “Northridge Earthquake” caused 72 deaths and $20 billion in damage.
Eartha’s birthday is on January 17th — Eartha Kitt, that is — born in 1927. Kitt replaced Julie Newmar as Catwoman on the “Batman” TV show in 1967. Jim Carrey also is famous for playing a Batman villain, the Riddler, as well as portrayals of the Grinch and Horton the Elephant. Carrey, born in 1962, shares a January 17th birthday with Andy Kaufman (1949), whom he impersonated in the movie “Man on the Moon.”
And the man who discovered the planet Pluto, astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, died on this day in 1997. A few years after Tombaugh’s death, scientists declared that Pluto is not really a planet.
October 5 in history:
The city of Anaheim, California, was founded in 1857. It would become the site of Disneyland, and the home of the Angels baseball team, which won the World Series in 2002.
Another nearby franchise, the San Diego Padres, has played in the World Series twice without winning. The first time was 1984, the same year Padres owner Ray Kroc died. Kroc, who earned a fortune after buying the McDonald’s hamburger business from brothers Maurice and Richard McDonald, was born October 5th, 1902.
Comedian Larry Fine (pictured) was born the same day and year as Kroc. Larry teamed up with the Howard brothers (Moe, Shemp, and Curly) to form a successful comedy franchise…the Three Stooges.
Another popular comedy team made its debut on October 5th, 1969, when the first episode of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” was aired on the BBC.
August 11 in history:
Events and people from California stand out on August 11th in history…
On this date in 1934, the first civilian inmates arrived at the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.
The Watts riots in Los Angeles began on August 11th, 1965, when violence occurred after police tried to arrest an African-American man in the Watts neighborhood for drunk driving. The riots lasted nearly a week, with 34 people being killed and more than a thousand others injured.
The movie “American Graffiti” opened on this date in 1973. George Lucas’s film takes place during a single night near the end of summer in a small California town.
And California native Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers, was born on August 11th, 1950.