Showing posts with label April. Show all posts
Showing posts with label April. Show all posts

Thursday, April 19, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 19

"Love Will Keep Us Together" was released on April 19, 1975.

“Love Will Keep Us Together” Released

On this day in 1975, America heard the lyrics of “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Toni Tennille and Daryl Dragon, aka The Captain the Tennille for the first time. The couple married in November of that year and became one of the most successful husband/wife musical duos. The couple produced seven top 10 singles in the next five years with themes about love, marriage and even, gasp, marital sex. Their most recent album, ICON, was released in 2013. For years, no one would doubt that the pair were a happy couple. Unfortunately, on January 16, 2016, Tennille filed for divorce from the Captain after 39 years of marriage! No more "muskrat love" for these two apparently.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 18

The first crossword puzzle book was published on April 18, 1924.

The First Crossword Puzzle Book is Published

Although crossword puzzles had arrived a few years earlier in 1913 in the pages of the New York World, it wasn’t until this day in 1924 when Simon & Schuster published the first book of the addicting craze. The story is that Richard Simon’s aunt asked him if there were any books about the puzzles that she could give to a friend. When he discovered that there wasn’t, he and M. Lincoln Schuster printed the first one. The very  first book came with a pencil and to this day, Simon & Schuster are still the company to beat in the publishing world of crossword puzzle books.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 17

Apollo 13 arrived back to earth on April 17, 1970.

The Apollo 13 Spacecraft Returns to Earth

The Apollo 13 mission was the seven in the American Apollo Space program and the third with an intention of landing on the Moon. James Lovell, John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise launched into space from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 11, 1970. Two days later, an oxygen tank exploded which caused limited power, heat and potable water. Swigert calmly reported, “Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here.” Much damage was made to the Service Module which meant that a safe lunar landing was impossible and so the mission was aborted, however, there was still the matter of getting back home. No words can effectively explain the stress the astronauts and ground crew faced while thinking on the fly a makeshift repair to the carbon dioxide removal system, but the Ron Howard 1995 film, Apollo 13, does a good job of making you feel as if you were there. The crew “splashdowned” safely on this day in 1970.

Monday, April 16, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 16

No books won the fiction Pulitzer Prize fiction award on April 16, 2012.

No Book Won the Fiction Prize

As the Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on this day in 2012, no books in the fiction category won. The three books nominated were The Pale King by David Foster Wallace, Swamplandia! By Karen Russell and Train Dreams by Denis Johnson. Because none of the book received a majority of the votes, the Pulitzer Prize Board decided to not award any of the three. The really odd thing is this wasn’t the first time for this to happen. The last time was in 1977 and there were 10 other times before that in Pulitzer history where no fiction book won. Pulitzer Prizes first began giving awards in 1917.

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.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 14

President Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865.

President Abraham Lincoln is Shot

After attending a speech given by President Abraham Lincoln just two days earlier where Lincoln spoke about giving African Americans the right to vote, John Wilkes Booth became so upset that he vowed to assassinate the president. He learned that Lincoln would be attending the play Our American Cousin on Good Friday at the Ford Theatre. Lincoln’s bodyguard, John Parker, left the president’s side during intermission to have a drink at the saloon located next door. It was then that Booth snuck up behind Lincoln and shot him at a very close range mortally wounding him. Major Henry Rathbone was able to apprehend Booth momentarily but was stabbed by Booth who then ran off and escaped on this day in 1865. After being in a coma for nine hours, Lincoln passed away at 7:22 a.m. on April 15, 1865. It was another 12 days later when Booth was found hiding on a farm in Virginia. When he refused to surrender, he was shot by Sergeant Boston Corbett.

Friday, April 13, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 13

Sidney Poitier is the First African American Male to Win the Best Actor

Sidney Poitier became the first African American Male to win the Oscar for Best Actor on this day in 1964 for his role in the movie, Lilies of the Field. The 1963 movie based on the novel of the same name by William Edmund Barrett also starred Lilia Skala, Stanley Adams, and Dan Frazer. The title comes from the Bible passage, Luke 12:27-30 and story itself is about an African American itinerant worker who finds that a group of East German nuns believe that he was sent to them to build a new chapel. In 1970, the story was turned into a Broadway musical and re-titled, Look to the Lilies.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 12

Disneyland Paris opened on April 12, 1992.

Disneyland Paris Opens for the First Time

It was on this day in 1992 that the “happiest place on earth” got a sibling in France. Originally known as the Euro Disney Resort, the theme park had an uphill battle from the very beginning. Many critics feared it would fuel an unhealthy consumerism or that it would be a symbol of America within France. Some considered the park to be a “cultural Chernobyl.” On opening day, there were rumors that a crowd of a half a million people traveling in 90,000 cars could be on the road wanting to make the trek to the land of Mickey Mouse. In reality, less than 25,000 people showed up making the park only half full. The park continued to struggle to receive a healthy-sized audience for two years, but in May of 1995, things began to turn around when the park added the addition of its own Space Mountain. Today, the resort covers 4,800 acres, features two theme parks (Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park), seven resort hotels, seven associated hotels, a golf course, railway station, an outlet center and a shopping mall. One of the most popular attractions in the park is the dark ride, “Ratatouille: The Adventure,” based on the Paris-themed Pixar movie, Ratatouille.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 11

Singin’ in the Rain Premieres

Singin’ in the Rain premiered in theaters on this day in 1952 and starred Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. The film’s namesake scene with Kelly dancing in a downpour took 2-3 days to film, the water caused his wool suit to shrink and he danced while suffering from 103°F fever. Reynolds was not a dancer prior to the filming, something that Kelly was not happy with. Fred Astaire happened by the set one day and offered to help her. She is quoted in saying that Singin’ and childbirth were two the hardest things she ever had to do in her life. For O’Connor, he had to be hospitalized after filming the “Make ‘em Laugh” sequence due to smoking four packs of cigarettes a day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 10

"The Great Gatsby" was published on April 10, 1925.

'The Great Gatsby is Published - Became a Hit Later

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was published on this day in 1925. Set in the fictional town of West Egg on Long Island in 1922, the story centers on the young millionaire, Jay Gatsby and his obsession with the former debutante, Daisy Buchanan. Themes included in the story dealt with a twisted version of the American Dream with decadence, idealism and social upheaval during the roaring twenties. Some have described the story as a cautionary tale. When it was first published, the book received mixed reviews and did not sell well – only 20,000 copies of the book were sold during the first year. Sadly, Fitzgerald died in 1940 feeling as if he were a failure but after World War II, the book experienced a revival and today is considered a literary classic that is often used with English studies in American high schools. Some consider The Great Gatsby to be a good example of the “Great American Novel.”

Monday, April 9, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 9

First Indoor Baseball Game is Played

The Houston Astrodome opened its doors for the first time on this day in 1965. It was the world’s first domed sports stadium and nicknamed, “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” On its opening day, 47,879 people watched the first indoor baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. The game was played on “Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass” which was created for indoor use. The ceiling had many semitransparent panes of Lucite which caused a glare and made it difficult for the players to follow fly balls. Many of the panes were painted over with white paint, but then the grass died due to lack of sunlight. For the remaining season, the Astros played on green painted dirt. For the next year, a “new” artificial grass was installed called “ChemGrass” but became better known as “AstroTurf.”

Sunday, April 8, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 8

"South Pacific" premiered on Broadway on April 8, 1949.

South Pacific Premieres on Broadway

South Pacific, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s 5th musical, premiered on Broadway on this day in 1949. Starring Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin, it became an immediate hit. Based on the James A. Michener’s book, Tales of the South Pacific, the show ran for 1,925 performances, becoming the second-longest running Broadway musical up to that point. Besides thinking that they could create a financially successful stage show, they also favored presenting a strong message on racism. Some popular songs featured in the show include "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair", "Some Enchanted Evening", "There Is Nothing Like a Dame” and "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy.” It was turned into a film in 1958 and had a Broadway revival in 2008 where it won seven Tonys including Best Musical Revival.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 7

Roger Ebert published his first movie review on April 7, 1967.

Roger Ebert Publishes His First Movie Review

It was on this day in 1967 that the new unknown film critic, Roger Ebert, would publish his first review for the Chicago Sun-Times.  He would continue to publish his reviews for the paper until his death in 2013. In between the two, he was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975. Also that year, he teamed up with fellow critic, Gene Siskel for the PBS show Sneak Previews in 1975. It later changed to At the Movies. Together, they trademarked the phrase “Two Thumbs Up.” In 2005, Ebert was the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His final review in the Chicago Sun-Times was for the film To the Wonder.

Friday, April 6, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 6

Candace Cameron Bure was born on April 6, 1976.

Candace Cameron Bure is Born

For many years, Candace Cameron was better known as Kirk Cameron’s younger sister, but today the actress and celebrity has made a name for herself. It was on this day in 1976 that Candance was born. Following in her brother’s footsteps, Candace got her start in acting by appearing in many TV commercials followed by guest starring roles on various TV series before landing her big break, Full House in 1987. She played the role of D.J. Tanner for eight years. The following year, Candace married Russian NHL hockey player Valeri Bure. Ironically, the two were first introduced by former hockey player and then fellow Full House actor, Dave Coulier. The couple have three children born in 1998, 2000 and 2002. Candace went back to acting in 2009 with the ABC Family TV series, Make It or Break It, which ran through 2012. In 2014, Candace competed on Dancing with the Stars and made it to the semifinals. In 2015 she joined the cast of the daytime talk show The View where she didn’t shy from her Christian beliefs and added some tension to the show. In 2016, she reprised her role as D.J. Tanner in the spin-off series, Fuller House for Netflix which has aired two seasons to date.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 5

Phil Wickham was born on April 5, 1984.

Phil Wickham is Born

It is was on this day in 1984 in San Diego, California that contemporary Christian singer, Philip David was born into the Wickham family and grew up as the middle child. Wickham’s parents, John and Lisa, were once members of the Christian band, Parable. At age 13, Phil followed his father’s footsteps and began leading worship for his church youth group. Phil’s first album, Give You My World, was released in 2003. In 2008, he married his longtime girlfriend. Today, they have three daughters and one so. Telling a singer that they can no longer sing is cruel, but it happened to Wickham in 2014 when he had a polyp removed from his vocal cords and was “prescribed” a month of silence to allow this throat to heal.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 3

The "Unibomber" was arrested on April 3, 1996.

The “Unabomber” is Arrested

The title of “Unabomber” was a mashup of the words, “university,” “airline” and “bomber” and went to John Kaczynski, a former professor-turned terrorist accused of 16 mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others over a 18-year period. Initially, federal investigators thought that the attacker was targeting just universities and airlines, but later it became clear that Kaczynski had issues with “America's industrial and technological society” as he himself reported in his 35,000-word thesis titled, "Unabomber's Manifesto." The famous drawing of the suspect was drawn in 1987 and shown on TV and newspapers, but it wasn’t until this day in 1996 that the Unibomber was finally arrested. In January of 1998, Kaczynski pleaded guilty on all counts and is currently serving four life sentences plus 30 years.

Monday, April 2, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 2

The first permanent movie theater opened its doors on April 2, 1902.

First Permanent Movie Theater Opens

Though the date is up for debate, the common theory is that on this day in 1902 Tally’s Electric Theatre opened its doors for the first time in Los Angeles. Before then, movies where shown in miscellaneous empty locations. Initially, the theatre was open from 7:30-10:30 p.m. but matinee showings were added soon after. Ten years later, the theatre was the first to show a color film. Tickets prices were just ten cents.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 1

Wrigley Jr. Company was formed on April 1, 1891.

The Wrigley Company is Formed

The William Wrigley Jr. Company was formed on this day in 1891 in Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois and began selling items like soap and baking powder. In what sounds like an April Fool’s joke, Wrigley began including packs of chewing gum with the baking powder. It is no surprise that the gum became more popular and the company began to focus sole only chewing gum. Today, it is still the largest manufacturer of chewing gun in the world. The company’s big three brands were and still are Juicy Fruit (1893), Spearmint (1893) and Doublemint (1914). In 2005, the company bought out Lifesavers and Altoids from Kraft Foods. Then, in 2008, Mars purchased Wrigley.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for April 30

Lou Gehrig played his last baseball game on April 30, 1939.

Lou Gehrig Played His Last Game

Lou Gehrig, baseball first baseman for the New York Yankees, played an incredible 17 seasons for the team before retiring on this day in 1939. A seven-time All-Star and six-time World Series champion, Gehrig won the Triple Crown in 1934 and was twice named the American League's “Most Valuable Player.” In 1939, Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disorder now known more commonly as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for April 29

Jerry Seinfeld was born on April 29, 1954.

Jerry Seinfeld was Born

Who knew that Jerry Seinfeld was born with the name Jerome Allen Seinfeld on this day in 1954? (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) The versatile comedian, actor, writer and producer is most famous for playing himself in the NBC sitcom, The Seinfeld Chronicles, later shortened to just Seinfeld. It was a “show about nothing” that ran from 1989-1998. Seinfeld’s brand of humor has been labled, “observational humor” focusing of personal relationships and he has said that he has been inspired by the 1950’s sitcom The Abbott and Costello Show. During its 11 year run, the show tackled just about every subject matter you could think of, the funniest were the ones that were essentially about “nothing.” Ironically, for such a beloved show, many fans were disappointed with the show’s finale. It had a different tone than the rest of the episodes and ended with the four main character put in jail, guilty of being jerks.