Category: September

CRIME-BUSTERS

September 19 in history:

On September 19th, 1934, a team of detectives arrested Bruno Hauptmann in New York City for the kidnapping and murder two years earlier of the infant son of aviator Charles Lindbergh. Hauptmann was tried, convicted, and executed in New Jersey.

James A. Garfield died in New Jersey on this date in 1881, making him the second U.S. president to be assassinated.  Garfield had been in office only four months when he was shot on July 2nd of that year. Assassin Charles Guiteau was arrested immediately after the shooting, but doctors who attended Garfield for weeks were never able to locate a bullet that remained in his body.

Actor David McCallum, known for playing a crime-solving doctor on the TV show “NCIS,” was born on September 19th, 1933. McCallum portrayed crime-fighting spy Illya Kuryakin on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and shares his September 19th birthday with another TV crime-fighter of the 60’s, “Batman” star Adam West (1928).

“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon has played a costumed crime-fighter, as one of the “Ambiguously Gay Duo” in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. Fallon was born on this day in 1974. Another September 19th baby co-starred with Jimmy Fallon on SNL in the late 1990s:  Cheri Oteri (born 1962), who played Arianna of the Spartan Spirit cheerleaders.

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THE TRUMAN SHOW

September 18 in history:

On September 18th, 1837, a stationery store opened on Broadway in New York.  It was founded by John B. Young and Charles Tiffany. After a few years, the Tiffany and Young store became just Tiffany and Co., and concentrated on selling jewelry.

The 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” based on a book by Truman Capote, opens with Audrey Hepburn window-shopping outside the famous store.  Hepburn got a major career break on this date in 1951, when she screen-tested for the film “Roman Holiday” at the Pinewood Studios in England.  She won the female lead, and won an Oscar for the role.

Another Capote book which inspired a famous movie was the real-life crime thriller “In Cold Blood.”  That film gave a major career break to former child actor Robert Blake, who later went on to play the TV detective “Baretta.”  Blake was born September 18th, 1933.

It wasn’t Truman Capote, but Harry S Truman, who launched an institution that began on September 18th, 1947.  The Central Intelligence Agency was founded on that day, the result of a National Security Act signed by President Truman.

REACH FOR THE SKY

September 17 in history:

Freaks and Geeks Wild West Style

Army Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge became the first person to die in a plane crash on September 17th, 1908.  Orville Wright was flying the plane, and Selfridge was his passenger, in a demonstration at Fort Myer, Virginia. The plane went into a nose-dive after a propeller broke.

On this date in 1916, German Baron von Richthofen, the “Red Baron,” shot down his first enemy plane during World War One.  The English plane was the first of 80 that Richthofen downed before he was shot down himself a year-and-a-half later.

Soldiers shoot at an airplane carrying IMF agents at the end of the pilot of “Mission: Impossible,” which debuted on CBS on this date in 1966.  One year earlier, two series with heroes performing nearly impossible or secret missions premiered on CBS on September 17th, 1965:  “The Wild Wild West” and “Hogan’s Heroes.”

“Mission: Impossible” star Peter Graves played an ill-fated pilot in the movie comedy “Airplane!”  An ill-fated airplane flight to Las Vegas which has to be diverted to Casper, Wyoming, is a highlight of the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids,” directed by Paul Feig, born on September 17th, 1962.  Feig, also known for directing the 2016 “Ghostbusters” reboot and creating the TV series “Freaks and Geeks,” was born the same day and year as Australian movie director Baz Luhrmann, whose films include “Moulin Rouge!” and the 2013 remake of “The Great Gatsby.”

Below: Triviazoids’ Brad Williams quizzed on September 17 TV trivia on “Live with Regis and Kelly”, as seen in the documentary, “Unforgettable”.

MORE MASSACHUSETTS CONNECTIONS

September 16 in history:

More than 100 “pilgrims” left Plymouth, England on September 16th, 1620, aboard the Mayflower.  They were headed to Virginia, but landed instead at Cape Cod in Massachusetts that November.

Ten years later, on September 16th, 1630, another Massachusetts settlement named Shawmut was renamed after a town in England. The community’s new name was “Boston.”

When the sitcom “Cheers,” set in Boston, ended in 1993, a spinoff was created for supporting character Frasier Crane, who moved to Seattle and started a radio talk show.  “Frasier” debuted on this date in ’93, and like “Cheers,” it lasted for 11 years.

Actress Amy Poehler, Boston College Class of ’93, shares a September 16th birthday (1971) with another veteran of “Saturday Night Live,” Molly Shannon (1964).  Poehler joined “SNL” in 2001, a few months after Shannon ended a six-year run on the show.

SIX DEGREES OF JFK

September 15 in history:

September 15th of 1901 was Theodore Roosevelt’s first full day as president, after the assassination of William McKinley.  Roosevelt had been vice president for only six months before succeeding McKinley.  It was the 44th birthday of William Howard Taft, who would follow T.R. into the Oval Office eight years later.

Taft is one of only two U.S. presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  The other is John F. Kennedy.  Two men associated with the 1991 movie “JFK” were both born on September 15th, 1946:  the film’s director, Oliver Stone, and actor Tommy Lee Jones.

The Hollywood star most closely associated with JFK filmed what is probably her most famous movie scene on this date in 1954. Early that morning. Marilyn Monroe stood over a subway grate on Lexington Avenue in New York as air from the grate blew her skirt above her knees, for a scene in “The Seven Year Itch.”  The actual New York footage was not used in the movie.  The scene was re-created on a Hollywood lot.

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.