January 12th in history:
Just a month after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt took action on January 12th of 1942 to prevent major industries from shutting down. Roosevelt created the National War Labor Board, to stop strikes by workers at businesses supplying vital materials for the war.
It wasn’t Roosevelt that Archie and Edith Bunker wanted to see again, but Herbert Hoover. Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton, as the Bunkers, praised Hoover in the song “Those Were the Days” to open the first episode of “All in the Family” on CBS, January 12th, 1971.
January 12th was the premiere date for “Batman” on ABC in 1966. For most of its three years on the air, “Batman” was seen twice a week, with a story beginning on the Wednesday episode and building to a cliff-hanger ending to be resolved on Thursday, “same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.” Many stories began with Bruce Wayne/Batman (Adam West) receiving his assignment over the “Batphone” from Police Commissioner Gordon of Gotham City.
For 23 years, Kenesaw Mountain Landis was the commissioner of bats, balls, diamonds, and all things related to baseball in the US. Landis, a federal judge, was elected the first commissioner of baseball on January 12th, 1921.
And happy birthday to Mr. Freese…not a “Batman” villain, but saxophone player Jason Freese, born on this date in 1975. Freese has performed with Green Day and other popular rock bands..
December 27 in history:
Raise a glass of wine (or milk, if you prefer) to toast the birthday of scientist Louis Pasteur, born December 27th, 1822. Pasteur lent his name to the pasteurization process of reducing organisms in food, especially dairy products and wine. He also developed a rabies vaccine.
Another scientific pioneer began an important journey on this date in 1831, when 22-year-old naturalist Charles Darwin boarded the HMS Beagle at Plymouth, England. During a five-year voyage around the world, Darwin’s studies of plant and animal life led him to develop his theory of evolution.
America’s favorite beagle, Snoopy, appeared atop his doghouse on the cover of the December 27th, 1971, issue of Newsweek magazine. The “Merry Christmas” cover drawn by Charles Schulz also featured Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Woodstock. Other pop-culture figures to appear on Newsweek’s cover during ’71 included Mick Jagger, golfer Lee Trevino, and the cast of “All in the Family.”
An operatic parody of “All in the Family” was featured on the premiere of “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” on December 27th, 1971. The show had been revived after a successful six-episode run in the summer. Famed tenor Robert Merrill played Archie Bunker in the “Family” sketch, with Cher as Edith, Sonny as Mike, a then-unknown Teri Garr as Gloria, and the “real” Archie (Carroll O’Connor) as a CBS censor.