Showing posts with label 15. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 15. Show all posts

Sunday, April 15, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 15

April 15th is Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson: First African American to Play in the MLB

Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line on this day in 1947 when he played 1st base for the Dodgers. He was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. That same year, Robinson was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award. He later became an All-Star from 1949-1954 and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949. In 1997, the MLB retired Robinson’s uniform number of 42 across all major league teams. In 2007, April 15 was dubbed the first Jackie Robinson Day where every player on every team wore the number 42 in his honor, a tradition that continues today.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 15

"My Fair Lady" opened on Broadway on March 15, 1956.

My Fair Lady Opens on Broadway

The Tony award-winning musical, My Fair Lady, premiered on this day in 1956 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, My Fair Lady’s book and lyrics were written by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story about professor Henry Higgins teaching a Cockney flower girl how to become a lady starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. The original cast recording became the best-selling album in the country in 1956. During the musical’s original run, it set a record for the longest run on Broadway up to that time ending on September 29, 1962 after 2,717 performances. My Fair Lady had rivals in 1976, 1981 and 1993. A film version of the Broadway show was made in 1964 that also starred Harrison but Audrey Hepburn was asked to step in for Julie Andrews. However, Hepburn’s singing voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for February 15

"Cinderella" opened in theaters on February 15, 1950.

Cinderella Goes to the Ball

It was on this day in 1950 that Walt Disney Studios saw its greatest hit since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when Cinderella appeared in theaters for the first time. Before it, the studio was over $4 million in debt. To help reduce costs, Cinderella was the first feature to use extensive live action reference. About 90% of the film was actually filmed with a live model before the animation process began. Ilene Woods won the speaking role of Cinderella (Karen Overby was the singing voice) beating out 309 other women without actually auditioning. Woods made some recordings of Disney songs for her friends who then sent them to Walt Disney who thought she had the right “fairy tale tone” to her voice. The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Music and Original Song (“Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”). Two straight to video sequels were produced many years later and in 2015, a live action version of the story was filmed that starred Lily James.

Monday, January 15, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for January 15

The first Superbowl was held on January 15, 1967.

The First Superbowl

The annual championship game of the NFL, The Superbowl, was first played on this day back in 1967. Originally, the game was created as part of the merger between the NFL and the AFL. The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10, the halftime show was presented by the University of Arizona and the University of Michigan bands. The game was broadcast on CBS (24.43 million viewers) and NBC (26.75 million viewers) and the cost of a 30 second commercial cost $42,000. In comparison, last year’s Superbowl featured Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams during its halftime show, 164.1 million viewers tuned in and each 30 second commercial was fetched for $4 million.

Friday, December 15, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for December 15

"Gone With the Wind" was released on December 15, 1939.

'Gone With the Wind' Opens in Theaters

One of America’s most classic films, Gone with the Wind was released on this day in 1939. Directed by Victor Fleming, the story deals with the strong-willed southern belle Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), her secret crush Ashley (Leslie Howard), good friend Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) and the arrogant Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) during the American Civil War. About 1,400 women auditioned for the role of Scarlett. Filming of the picture was delayed by two years as producer David O. Selznick wanted to secure Gable for the role. At 221 minutes in length, some reviewers felt that the movie was overly long, but that was actually shorter than the original script length. The film received 13 Oscar nomination and won ten including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Hattie McDaniel won for Best Supporting Actress becoming the first African-American to win an Academy Award.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for November 15

Mean Joe Greene starred in the TV movie "The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid"

Mean Joe Greene Stars in Movie Based on His Coke Commercial

It was on this day in 1981 when NBC aired the made-for-TV movie, The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid, which was based on a commercial Mean Joe Greene did for Coca-Cola two years earlier. In the ad, a young boy offers the football player a Coke after he loses the game. As a thank you, the player tosses his sweaty jersey to the kid. Considered one of the best commercials of all time, the film expanded the story so that Greene and some of his teammates adopt the boy which was played by Henry Thomas, who would later star in E.T. The Extraterrestrial. While it may be the only movie to be based on aTV commercial, it wasn't the only commercial that made an impact. The short-lived sitcom, Cavemen, which aired on ABC in 2007, was based on a few GEICO insurance commercials.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for October 15

"I Love Lucy" debuted on October 15, 1951.

The World Falls in Love with Lucy

The CBS sitcom, I Love Lucy starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley debuted on this day in 1951. The series began with Lucy and Ricky Ricardo living in an apartment building where their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz served as the couple’s best friends. During the show’s second season, “Little Ricky” was born whose birth was timed to match Lucy’s real-life delivery of the couple’s son Desi Arnaz Jr. When the blessed (TV Show) event happened on January 19, 1953, over 70% of all households were tuned into the show. The show was the most-watched TV show in the U.S. for four of the series’ six year of broadcasting. Even today it is estimated that reruns of I Love Lucy is enjoyed by 40 million Americans every year. The show won five Emmy awards and in 2012, it was voted the “Best TV Show of All Time” by ABC News and People Magazine.

Friday, September 15, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for September 15

USA Today Prints its First Edition

The development of the USA Today newspaper began back in February 1980 when a secret task force began working on “Project NN” with Gannett Company. The first prototypes of the paper were printed on June 11, 1981 mailing two different proposed layout to various news-makers. One of the goals of the paper was to create a shorter form, concise and easy-to-read publication. It wasn’t until this day in 1982 that the first edition was printed, the start of a series of milestones. The paper was first distributed in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and gradually expanded nationwide. By the end of 1982, the circulation of the newspaper was over 362,800. On July 2, 1984, USA Today switched from a partially color publication to a full-color one. On April 8, 1985, the paper published its first special bonus section called “Baseball ’85.” Near the end of that year, the paper had become the second largest newspaper in the U.S. with a circulation of 1.4 million. It reached 5.5 million by 1987. On May 6, 1986, an international version of the publication began to be printed. On January 29, 1988, the largest edition of USA Today was printed previewing Super Bowl XXII. By July 1991, the circulation had grown to 6.6 million. On April 17, 1995, the first online version of USA Today appeared. When that wasn’t enough, USA Today Live appeared on TV sets on February 8, 2000. On September 12, 2001, the paper set a single-day sales record of 3,638,600 copies focusing on the Word Trade Center attack. By August 2010, readership of all newspapers began to decline and USA Today announced the layoffs of 130 staffers and in January 2011, the front cover was tweaked and then went through a major redesign in September 2012. On September 3, 2014, the paper announced that it would lay off roughly 70 more employees. Today, the national newspaper has a weekly circulation of over 1,000,600.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for August 15

Woodstock was held on August 15-17, 1969.

Woodstock is Held

Though expecting “no more than 50,000 people, about 400,000 people attended the Woodstock Music & Art Fair which began on this day in 1969. After numerous changes in venues, Woodstock finally landed at Max Yasgur's 600 acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Local townspoeple were unhappy about the concert and posted “Buy No Milk. Stop Max’s Hippy Music Festival.” Due to recent rains, the grounds were muddy, food supplies where great and the sanitation was poor. Newspaper headlines read, “Hippied Mired in a Sea of Mud.” Despite the conditions, it is reported that the festival was reasonable peaceful, but two deaths occurred (one from a heroin overdose and accident involving a tractor and an attendee sleeping in hay field nearby), two births and four miscarriages. Roy Rogers was asked to sing “Happy Trails” at the end of the festival, but he declined.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for July 15

Universal Studios Tram Tour began on July 15, 1964.

Universal Studios Tram Tour Introduced

Universal Studios has allowed guests to see the magic of making movies since 1915, but the official “GlamorTram” Tours began on this day in 1964. Guests are taken throughout the studios sound stages and backlot “neighborhoods,” but what has always made the trip special were the extra special effects that guests would experience while on the tram. The different effects has changed over the years but has included the collapsing bridge, a flash flood, an earthquake, an attack by Jaws, a rockslide, a runaway train, the avalanche tunnel, an encounter with King Kong and others.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for June 15

Nik Wallenda successfully walked a tightrope over the Niagara Falls on June 15, 2012.

First Person to Walk a Tightrope over Niagara Falls

The “King of the Wire,” Nik Wallenda, an American acrobat holds seven Guinness World Records for various feats but on this day in 2012, he conquered his most famous to date: he became the first person to walk a tightrope stretched across Niagara Falls. That was the final feat. The first feat was winning a two year battle for approval to do so. During the television broadcast of the event, Wallenda wore a microphone so that he could communicate with the TV crew. Short prayers to God were heard as well as he considers what he does is a gift from God. The born-again Christian credits God for his success…and safety.

Monday, May 15, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for May 15

McDonald's was founded on May 15, 1940.

McDonald’s is Founded

Before there was Ronald, there was Speedee. With his hamburger-shaped head and chef’s hat, Speedee was representative of Richard and Maurice McDonald’s Speedee Service System at their hamburger stand which opened on this day in 1940. The first location was built in San Bernardino, California. By 1955, there were nine locations and the 9th was owned by Ray Croc who later purchased the chain. It wasn’t until 1961 that the name “McDonald’s” was trademarked. Ronald didn’t enter the scene until 1967 and the term “golden arches” wasn’t part of American vocabulary until 1968. This year, McDonald’s announced that their faithful clown would be given a makeover, but he still has his feathered red hair and big red shoes.