To the discomfort of host Adolf Hitler, American Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, becoming the first U.S. athlete to win that many golds in one year. Owens earned his fourth gold medal in a relay on August 9th.
To the discomfort and dismay of many Canadian hockey fans, Wayne Gretzky was traded by the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings on August 9th, 1988.
This is the birthday of several athletes who have entered the Hall of Fame for their respective sports: basketball star Bob Cousy (1928), tennis pro Rod Laver (1938), Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (1967), and second-generation hockey star Brett Hull (1964).
Whitney Houston was born on this day in 1963. At the peak of her singing career, Houston performed the national anthem at the Super Bowl in January, 1991, shortly after the start of the Persian Gulf War. Her rendition of the anthem became a Top 40 hit. The Super Bowl performance was controversial because although Houston reportedly did sing live at a microphone, a pre-recorded version was played in the stadium and on TV in order to avoid any mistakes.
March 3rd in history:
“The Star-Spangled Banner” became the national anthem of the United States on March 3rd, 1931.
On this date in 1845, Florida became the 27th star in the flag when it joined the union.
The Apollo 9 mission was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on this date in 1969. It was the first test flight for the lunar landing module, and its three-man crew consisted of Jim McDivitt, Rusty Schweikart, and David Scott.
Another “Mr. Scott” well known for fictional space travels, actor James Doohan of the “Star Trek” TV series was born on March 3rd of 1920.
Another historic video was shot on March 3rd, 1991, when a man in Los Angeles filmed a police beating from his window. The beating of black driver Rodney King by white policemen touched off racial tensions, which led to riots in L.A. the following year when a jury acquitted the police officers.
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.