October 15 in history:
The submarine “H.L. Hunley,” the first sub to sink a ship, sank during a test run on this date in 1863. The man whose name was on the sub, Horace Hunley, was one of eight people aboard who died in the accident. The Hunley was brought back to the surface, but sank again a short time later. It stayed underwater until 2000.
The “Graf Zeppelin” airship completed its first flight across the Atlantic from Europe on October 15th, 1928, passing over several large American cities before landing in New Jersey.
The New York Municipal Airport was dedicated on this date in 1939. Years later, it was renamed for the man who was mayor of New York when it opened: Fiorello La Guardia.
A New York apartment on East 68th St. was the main setting for a TV comedy that premiered on October 15th, 1951, on CBS. Living in the apartment were a Cuban bandleader and his trouble-prone wife, played by real-life couple Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. “I Love Lucy” was one of the top-rated shows on TV during its original six-year run, and has been popular in reruns ever since.
Another television hit about a wacky pair, set in the 1950s, was “Laverne & Shirley.” Penny Marshall, who played Laverne De Fazio, was born on this day in 1943. After the TV series ended, Marshall became a movie director, making popular films including “Big” and “A League of Their Own.”
August 6 in history:
The Japanese city of Hiroshima became the first community destroyed by an atomic bomb in wartime on August 6th, 1945. About 80,000 people died in Hiroshima that day, when the American plane Enola Gay dropped a bomb on the city.
Protesters marking the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing stood outside the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on August 6th, 1966. They gathered there because President Lyndon Johnson was attending his youngest daughter’s wedding inside the church. Luci Baines Johnson was marrying Patrick Nugent.
Another famous “Lucy” had a birthday on this date. Lucille Ball, the star of ‘I Love Lucy,’ was born August 6th, 1911.
January 19th in history:
On this date in 1953, Lucille Ball had two babies — one in real life, and one on TV. Desi Arnaz, Jr. was born on the same day that Lucy Ricardo gave birth to “Little Ricky” on “I Love Lucy.” Two-thirds of the households in America watched “Lucy” that night.
In the 1960s, Indira Gandhi made history by becoming the first female prime minister of India. The daughter of former Prime Minister Nehru was elected to the job on January 19, 1966.
Mrs. Gandhi was still prime minister when U.S. President Gerald Ford was leaving office in 1977. One of Ford’s last official acts as president was to pardon Iva Toguri d’Aquino, who broadcast Japanese propaganda to American troops during World War II. She was the woman most identified with the nickname “Tokyo Rose.”