August 1 in history:
A new London Bridge over the Thames opened on August 1st, 1831. The 900-foot bridge replaced another span that had been used for about 600 years. When this London Bridge was being replaced in the 1960’s, the city of London sold it to businessman Robert McCulloch, who partially rebuilt the bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
A big-city bridge disaster occurred on August 1st, 2007, when a bridge on Interstate 35-W in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour. Thirteen people died, and more than 100 others were injured. The bridge had been used for 40 years. A design flaw and excess weight on the span were blamed for the collapse.
Major TV networks and cable channels sent their top anchors to Minneapolis to cover the I-35-W collapse, including Brian Williams of “NBC Nightly News.” “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” changed its name to “NBC Nightly News” on August 1st, 1970, a day after the retirement of co-anchor Chet Huntley. John Chancellor was the main anchor of Nightly News during the 70’s, followed by Tom Brokaw in the 1980’s, and Williams in 2004.
A pioneering cable TV channel made its debut on August 1st, 1981, when MTV (Music Television) signed on in the U.S. At the start, MTV mostly played music videos. The very first video shown on MTV was “Video Killed the Radio Star,” and the first hour of programming also featured songs by Pat Benatar, the Who, and the Pretenders.
The Pretenders song “My City Was Gone” introduced America to a new radio star on August 1st, 1988, when “The Rush Limbaugh Show” debuted as a nationwide program. The success of Limbaugh’s program led to a resurgence in national talk shows on AM radio, especially politically-oriented shows with conservative hosts.