October 3 in history:
The popular “Siegfried and Roy” magic act at the Mirage in Las Vegas was disrupted on October 3rd, 2003, when one of the duo’s famous tigers bit Roy Horn in the neck. The attack effectively brought an end to the long-running act, although Siegfried and Roy did comeback performances a few years later. The tiger attack happened on Roy’s 59th birthday.
A mouse and a “kangaroo” both began long-running children’s shows on TV on October 3rd, 1955. The mouse was Mickey Mouse, cartoon star of the original “Mickey Mouse Club” on ABC, featuring the Mouseketeers, talented kids wearing sweaters and mouse ears. Same day, different network: “Captain Kangaroo” made his debut on CBS. Bob Keeshan played the Captain as a grandfatherly host with a big mustache and deep-pocketed jackets. He had a number of “animal” co-stars, including Dancing Bear and the puppets Bunny Rabbit and Mr. Moose.
“Buffalo wings” were invented on this day in 1964. That is, a special recipe for chicken wings coated with cayenne pepper sauce, created at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y.
The Buffalo Bills football team featured Heisman winner O.J. Simpson on their roster for nine seasons. Millions tuned in to live TV on this day in 1995 to see Simpson acquitted in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. On the same date 13 years later, Simpson was found guilty in a kidnapping and armed robbery case in Nevada. He served nine years in prison in that case, and was released in 2017, just days before the October 3rd anniversary of both verdicts.
May 15th in history:
Some famous storytellers were born on May 15th. They include twins Anthony and Peter Shaffer (1926). Anthony wrote the play “Sleuth,” while Peter is famous for “Equus” and “Amadeus.” It’s also the birthday of L. Frank Baum (1856), who took readers to the Emerald City down the road of yellow brick in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
It may not have a yellow-brick road, but it does have a Golden Nugget (casino). The city of Las Vegas was founded on May 15th, 1905, when 110 acres of railroad property were auctioned off.
And the home of the Golden Arches and Chicken McNuggets was established on May 15th, 1940, when the McDonalds – brothers Dick and Mac – opened a restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
May 1st in history:
May 1st seems to be a big day for “kings” …
On May 1st of 1328, the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton recognized the Kingdom of Scotland as independent from the Kingdom of England. That declaration was reversed exactly 379 years later – May 1st, 1707 – when the Act of Union joined the Kingdoms of Scotland and England to form Great Britain.
King Kamehameha I established the Kingdom of Hawai’i on this date in 1785.
The star of “Blue Hawaii,” Elvis Presley (the King of Rock and Roll), married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas on May 1st, 1967.
The Empire State Building, a popular hangout of King Kong, was dedicated in New York on May 1st, 1931.
An obituary of Jack Paar called him the original “King of Late Night,” as host of the “Tonight Show” in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Paar was born on this date in 1918. Paar inherited the “Tonight” job from Steve Allen, whose TV shows often featured comedian Louis Nye, born today in 1913. Nye’s TV work included a recurring role as Sonny Drysdale on “The Beverly Hillbillies”.