November 17 in history:
Television history was made on this day in 1968, when a Sunday afternoon game between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders was running long. NBC was contracted to broadcast a new version of “Heidi,” sponsored by Timex watches, precisely at 7 p.m. Eastern time that night, whether the game was over or not. A last-minute network decision to delay “Heidi” until after the game did not get to the right people, and the football broadcast for most of the U.S. was cut off with one minute left to play, and the Jets ahead by three points. The game ended with two quick touchdowns by the Raiders, who won by a score of 43-32. The fan uproar that resulted led to the now-common practice of delaying all regular programming on the networks rather than disrupting football games in progress.
President Richard Nixon made history on live television by stating “I’m not a crook” during a broadcast news conference on November 17th, 1973. The question-and-answer session was part of an Associated Press meeting at Disney World, in the middle of the Watergate scandal. Nixon made the “crook” remark while telling the reporters that he had never profited from his years of public service.
The Nixon news conference was aired live on network TV on a Saturday night. The producer of “Saturday Night Live,” Lorne Michaels, was born on this day in 1944…the same day and year as frequent SNL host Danny De Vito, known for the TV series “Taxi” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
TV coverage of a concession speech by Howard Dean has been blamed for costing him the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. Dean was portrayed as being too emotional and out of control when he shouted to supporters after losing the Iowa caucuses. Dean, a former governor of Vermont, was born on November 17th, 1948.
John Boehner has never run for president, but he was third in line for the Oval Office as Speaker of the House. The Ohio Republican was born on this date in 1949.
April 17th in history:
April 17th was a big day in Mickey Mantle’s baseball career. Mantle made his major league debut with the New York Yankees on April 17th, 1951, at Yankee Stadium, and even scored a run against the Red Sox. Two years later, on April 17th, 1953, Mantle swatted a 565-foot home run for the Yankees in a game against the Senators at Washington.
Two reasons why April 17th, 1964, was a notable day in New York: At the World’s Fair, Ford introduced the Mustang; In Flushing Meadows, Shea Stadium opened. It was the home field of the New York Mets for 45 years, and of the New York Jets football team for 20 years.
Norman “Boomer” Esiason was a quarterback for the Jets, the Bengals, and other teams before becoming a sports broadcaster. He was born in the state of New York on this date in 1961.