October 8 in history:
Famous fires broke out on the shores of Lake Michigan on October 8th, 1871. The deadliest of those fires occurred in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, along Green Bay. As many as 2500 people may have died in the forest fire that destroyed Peshtigo and other communities. The better-known fire of October 8th was the Great Chicago Fire, which claimed about 300 lives and destroyed four square miles of the city.
Minister and political activist Jesse Jackson, the founder of Operation PUSH in Chicago, was born October 8th of 1941. Jackson shares a birthday with comedian Darrell Hammond (1955), who impersonated him and dozens of other celebrities during a 14-year run on “Saturday Night Live.” Hammond occasionally imitated SNL announcer Don Pardo on the show, and in 2014, was hired to succeed the late Pardo as the program’s new announcer.
Chevy Chase played President Gerald Ford in sketches during the first two seasons of SNL. Chase, born October 8th, 1943, went on to play Clark Griswold in the “Vacation” movie series, and returned to TV as a cast member of “Community.” He co-starred in “Deal of the Century” with Sigourney Weaver, born this day in 1949. Weaver played Ripley in the “Alien” movies, and appeared in “Avatar” and “Ghostbusters.”
Live from New York, baseball fans saw and heard history being made on October 8th, 1956, when Game 5 of the World Series was broadcast from Yankee Stadium. Don Larsen of the Yankees became the first man to pitch a perfect game during a World Series, defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0.
October 4 in history:
Work crews at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota began carving the faces of four U.S. presidents into the mountainside on October 4th, 1927. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum took 12 years to complete the task, starting with the face of George Washington, and leaving Theodore Roosevelt until last.
A chase on Mount Rushmore concludes the 1959 Hitchcock movie “North by Northwest,” which also features major scenes aboard a train. “The General,” about a Civil War train, was a silent movie hit for actor and director Buster Keaton, born on this day in 1895.
“Murder on the Orient Express” was a popular hit movie of 1974. The actual Orient Express train made its first run between Paris and Romania on October 4th, 1883.
A spectacular circus train crash is a highlight of the 1952 film “The Greatest Show on Earth,” starring Charlton Heston, born on this day in 1923. Heston’s famous roles include the title character in “Ben-Hur,” astronaut Taylor in “Planet of the Apes,” and Moses in “The Ten Commandments.”
The leader of the Catholic Church visited the U.S. for the first time on October 4th, 1965. Pope Paul VI flew to New York, where he spoke at the United Nations and attended an outdoor mass at Yankee Stadium.
And another historic flight occurred on this day in 1957, when the Soviet satellite Sputnik became the first man-made object to orbit the earth.
April 18th in history:
Paul Revere and other colonists rode through the Boston area during the ‘Midnight Ride’ of April 18th, 1775, to warn of movements by the British army. The American Revolution began the next morning.
The towns reached by the late-night riders included Brookline, Massachusetts, where late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien was born on this date in 1963.
The old Yankee Stadium opened on this date in 1923, with the Yankees defeating the Boston Red Sox, 4-1.
A group the U.S. never joined, the League of Nations, disbanded on April 18th, 1946.
And it’s the birthday of “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera (1984).
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.