Today in History

May 24 Events

1844 - Samuel F.B. Morse tapped out the message “What hath God wrought” in Morse Code. The development inaugurated America’s telegraph industry. The message was sent from Washington, DC to Baltimore, MD.

1883 - The Brooklyn Bridge, linking Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York City, officially opened. At the time, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge. It is held together with 5,296 bound-steel cables. The Brooklyn Bridge, designed by John A. Roebling, took 14 years to build. The span is 1,595 feet long, cost $16 million to construct and no, it’s not for sale!

1913 - The U.S. Department of Labor entered into its first strike mediation. The dispute of the Railroad Clerks of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad was settled nine days later.

1931 - The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) began service on the Columbian run between New York City and Washington, DC. The passenger train was the first train with air conditioning throughout.

1935 - The first major-league baseball game to be played under the lights saw the Cincinnati Reds defeat Philadelphia 2-1 at Crosley Field.

1938 - Art Kassel’s orchestra recorded a song for Bluebird Records that may not have been a smash hit, but had a title to die for: So You Left Me for the Leader of a Swing Band.

1950 - ‘Sweetwater’ (Nat) Clifton’s contract was purchased by the New York Knicks. Sweetwater played for the Harlem Globetrotters and was the first black player in the NBA.

1953 - A previously unknown actor, Rod Steiger, starred in Marty on the Goodyear Playhouse. Paddy Chayefsky wrote the original TV play and then adapted it for the Oscar-winning film.

1954 - The first traveling sidewalk in a railroad station was moving right along on this, its first day of operation, in Jersey City, NJ.

1969 - The Beatles hit number one with Get Back. The song stayed parked at the top of the hit heap for five weeks.

1974 - After nine years on TV, the last Dean Martin Show was seen on NBC. Dean’s lovely group, The Golddiggers, returned to bid farewell in the show that had been seen in a variety of formats on Thursday and, later, on Friday evenings.

1981 - Bobby Unser was first to the checkered flag for his third major victory since 1968. He won the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ the Indianapolis 500. The victory, however, was short lived, as race stewards took the win away from Unser the next day and awarded it to Mario Andretti. It was the first time a driver had been stripped of the championship. Race officials, looking at videotape, said that Unser had violated the caution light rule and penalized him one lap. Oooops.

1983 - The Brooklyn Bridge celebrated its 100th birthday with a huge fireworks display. Ooh, ah... Oh, it’s still not for sale!

1984 - Ralph Sampson, one of the twin towers of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, became the first unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year since Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabar) of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970.

1986 - Montreal skated past Calgary 4-3 to capture its 23rd National Hockey League Stanley Cup championship. No other major North American pro sports franchise had earned as many titles.

1986 - Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love of All was starting week number two of a three-week stay at number one ... one ... one...

2000 - Anthony Landini sold his pair of ruby slippers at Christie’s East, New York. Landini had purchased the slippers in 1988 for $165,000. The pair was one of several worn by Dorothy (Judy Garland) in the movie, The Wizzard of Oz. Landini had grabbed the slippers at an auction at Christie’s. He sold them at that same auction house 12 years later to movie memorabilia collector David Elkouby, who paid $600,000, plus a $66,000 commission. After the auction, Landini was quoted as saying, “There’s no place like Christie’s.” “There’s no place like Christie’s.”

May 24 Birthdays

1686 - Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit
-physicist: developed system for cleaning mercury to keep it from sticking to glass; inventor: alcohol thermometer [1709], mercury thermometer [1714]; created measure of temperature which bears his name [1724]; died Sep 16, 1736

1816 - Emanuel Leutze
-artist: Washington Crossing the Delaware, Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth, Columbus Before the Queen; died July 18, 1868

1883 - Elsa Maxwell
-gossip columnist, actress: Our Betters, Elsa Maxwell’s Hotel for Women, The Lady and the Lug; died Nov 1, 1963

1887 - Mick (Edward) Mannock
-WWI flying ace [Great Britain]: 73 hits; killed when his plane was shot down July 26, 1918

1895 - Samuel I. (Irving) Newhouse
-billionaire in communications and publishing industry: newspapers, magazines, TV, cable TV, radio stations; died Aug 29, 1979

1914 - Lilli Palmer (Lillie Marie Peiser)
-actress: Chamber of Horrors, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Boys from Brazil; died Jan 27, 1986

1937 - Tim Brown
-football: Baltimore Colts running back: Super Bowl III

1938 - Tommy Chong
-comedian: half of comedy team: Cheech and Chong

1941 - Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman)
-singer, songwriter: see Bobby Zimmerman Day [above]

1942 - Derek Quinn
-musician: guitar: group: Freddie and the Dreamers: If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody, I’m Telling You Now, You Were Made for Me, I Understand, Do the Freddie

1943 - Gary Burghoff
-Emmy Award-winning actor: M*A*S*H; Casino, Small Kill

1944 - Patti LaBelle (Patricia Louise Holte)
-singer: Down the Aisle, Lady Marmalade, On My Own, New Attitude

1945 - Priscilla Beaulieu Presley (Priscilla Ann Wagner)
-actress: Dallas, Naked Gun series; mother of Lisa Marie Presley, was married to Elvis Presley; coexecutor of the Elvis Presley estate, Priscilla transformed Graceland into a $50-million business

1946 - Ellie (Eliseo Delgado) Rodriguez
-baseball: catcher: NY Yankees, KC Royals [all-star: 1969], Milwaukee Brewers [all-star: 1972], California Angels, LA Dodgers

1948 - Judith Kahan
-actress: Mary, The Hogan Family, Ferris Bueller, Doc, All’s Fair

1950 - Jo Ann Washam
-golf: champ: Portland LPGA [1975]

1951 - Dwight McDonald
-football: San Diego State Univ.

1953 - Alfred Molina
-actor: Dead Man, Letter to Brezhnev, Ladyhawke, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ladies Man, Chocolat, Murder on the Orient Express [TV: 2001]

1955 - Roseanne Cash
-singer: LPs: Right Or Wrong, King’s Record Shop, Interiors, 10 Song Demo; writer: Bodies of Water; daughter of Johnny Cash

1969 - Rich Robinson
-musician: guitar: group: The Black Crowes: LPs: Shake Your Money Maker, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, Amorica, Three Snakes and One Charm

1970 - Jeanine Carbonaro (Me!)
-daughter, sister, granddaughter, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, Godmother, avid reader, geek, Scott Sigler Junkie

May 24 Chart Toppers

Long Ago and Far Away - Helen Forrest & Dick Haymes
San Fernando Valley - Bing Crosby
I’ll Get By - The Harry James Orchestra (vocal: Dick Haymes)
Straighten Up and Fly Right - King Cole Trio

Kiss of Fire - Georgia Gibbs
Blue Tango - The Leroy Anderson Orchestra
Be Anything - Eddy Howard
The Wild Side of Life - Hank Thompson

Cathy’s Clown - The Everly Brothers
Good Timin’ - Jimmy Jones
Cradle of Love - Johnny Preston
Please Help Me, I’m Falling - Hank Lockin

Tighten Up - Archie Bell & The Drells
Mrs. Robinson - Simon & Garfunkel
A Beautiful Morning - The Rascals
I Wanna Live - Glen Campbell

Silly Love Songs - Wings
Love Hangover - Diana Ross
Fooled Around and Fell in Love - Elvin Bishop
After All the Good is Gone - Conway Twitty

Hello - Lionel Richie
Let’s Hear It for the Boy - Deniece Williams
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before - Julio Iglesias & Willie Nelson


  1. Ha! You forgot "Junkie" !

  2. Clearly the most important event happened in 1970. Happy Birthday!

  3. Happy Fucking Birthday, Kid!!!!


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