December 25 in history:
Charlemagne was already King of the Franks when he was crowned the Emperor of Rome on December 25th of 800. Pope Leo III presided over the ceremony.
Another legendary king received his crown on this date in 1066. William the Conqueror became the Norman King after defeating the reigning king of England earlier that year.
The American colonies were fighting against King George III of England at Christmas of 1776, when General George Washington led a surprise attack against Hessian forces. On the night of December 25th, Washington and his troops made the famous crossing of the Delaware River from Pennsylvania into New Jersey.
Christmas is the birthday of the “King of Somewhere Hot,” the lord of “Margaritaville,” and leader of the Parrotheads. Singer Jimmy Buffett was born December 25th, 1946.
The first movie made from a Stephen King novel, Brian De Palma’s “Carrie,” made Sissy Spacek a star. A Christmas baby in 1949, Spacek won an Oscar for playing country music queen Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
In a way, “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling was the Stephen King of his day. Best known for hosting “Zone” and another spooky TV series, “Night Gallery,” Serling (born Christmas Day of 1924) made his reputation in the 1950’s for writing live TV dramas such as “Requiem for a Heavyweight.”
November 25 in history:
The British occupation of New York City, which began in 1776, ended on November 25th, 1783. That was several weeks after the Treaty of Paris was signed to end the American Revolution. New York became the capital of the U.S. for several years, through the inauguration of George Washington as president in 1789.
President Dwight Eisenhower had a stroke on this date in 1957. Although it was a minor stroke, the health scare was serious enough for the president to write a letter authorizing Vice President Richard Nixon to assume power, if Eisenhower was unable to carry out his duties. The crisis was one factor leading to the creation of the 25th Amendment, which also permits the appointment of a vice president if that office becomes vacant.
An amendment dealing with presidential succession was discussed again after the John F. Kennedy assassination. President Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25th of 1963 — the day his son John Junior turned three years old. Film footage shows young John saluting at his father’s funeral procession.
Two other presidential children — twins Jenna and Barbara Bush, the daughters of George W. Bush — were born on this date in 1981. Their grandfather George Herbert Walker Bush was in his first year as vice president at the time.
September 28 in history:
The battle which ended the American Revolution began on September 28th, 1781. The British surrendered three weeks into the Battle of Yorktown in Virginia.
“Revolution” was the flip side of the Beatles’ single “Hey Jude,” which became the number-one song in America on this day in 1968, replacing “Harper Valley P.T.A.” “Hey Jude” stayed on top of the charts for two months.
The Beatles led the “British Invasion” of American popular music when they first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964. Sullivan was born September 28th, 1901…the same day and year as his long-time boss at CBS, network founder William S. Paley.
September 22 in history:
Nineteen people were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, during a seven-month period in 1692, for allegedly practicing witchcraft. The final hanging happened on September 22nd that year.
Twenty-one-year-old Nathan Hale was hanged as a spy by the British on this date in 1776 in New York City. Hale had gone behind enemy lines to observe the movements of British troops.
The American colonists were rebelling against England’s King George III, who was crowned on this date in 1761. George set a record as England’s longest-reigning monarch, serving for 59 years — a record broken on September 22nd, 1896, by his granddaughter, Queen Victoria.
Anne of Cleves was queen of England for a very short time, only six months. She was the fourth wife of King Henry VIII, who had the marriage annulled. Anne was born on September 22nd, 1515.
September 3 in history:
England’s King Richard the 1st, the Lionheart, was crowned on September 3rd, 1189. Ironically, Richard primarily spoke French, and spent little time in England during his 10 years on the throne.
The United States formally separated from England with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on this date in 1783, officially ending the American Revolution. John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were among the signers for the U.S.
“Signing in” on a blackboard was the way contestants made their entrance on the long-running game show “What’s My Line?” The original Sunday night version of “Line” ended its 17-year run on CBS on September 3rd, 1967. A daily syndicated version was launched a year later.
Other countries have broadcast their own versions of “What’s My Line?”…including Sweden, where the show was called “Gissa mitt jobb,” roughly translated to “Guess My Job.” On the same day in 1967 that “Line” had its final episode on CBS, Sweden complicated the jobs of traffic cops, and drivers, by requiring automobile drivers to use the right lane of the road instead of the left lane, following the example of neighboring countries. The switch was preceded by a major public-education campaign.
Actress and singer Kitty Carlisle Hart occasionally appeared as a panelist on “What’s My Line?”, but was more famous as a regular panel member on “To Tell the Truth.” She was born on this date in 1910.
April 18th in history:
Paul Revere and other colonists rode through the Boston area during the ‘Midnight Ride’ of April 18th, 1775, to warn of movements by the British army. The American Revolution began the next morning.
The towns reached by the late-night riders included Brookline, Massachusetts, where late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien was born on this date in 1963.
The old Yankee Stadium opened on this date in 1923, with the Yankees defeating the Boston Red Sox, 4-1.
A group the U.S. never joined, the League of Nations, disbanded on April 18th, 1946.
And it’s the birthday of “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera (1984).