Peter Jennings, one of America’s most trusted voices in news, was a Canadian high school dropout. We remember Jennings’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Peter Jennings, one of America’s most trusted voices in news, was a Canadian high school dropout. For more than 20 years, Jennings anchored ABC’s “World News Tonight,” hosted numerous special news reports, and moderated presidential debates. In 2001, Jennings covered the 9/11 attacks for 17 hours straight, at one point sharing an emotional moment after receiving a phone call from his own children. He was no stranger to controversy, criticized for calling President George W. Bush a “deserter” and blocking Toby Keith from performing at a Fourth of July celebration. In 2003, Jennings became an American citizen. We remember Jennings’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1955: Dave Stevens, U.S. illustrator who created “The Rocketeer” character, is born in Lynwood, California.
When the Gulf War began in 1991, Jennings broke into coverage to report the first exchanges of gunfire – and he stayed on air for 20 of the first 48 hours of the war, keeping the American public informed. He also began a tradition that he carried on for many years: interpreting big news events for children. When coverage of the Gulf War broke into Saturday morning cartoons, Jennings worried about the impact that the news coverage would have on young viewers. He addressed his own concern by creating “War in the Gulf: Answering Children’s Questions” and airing it the following week during the weekend block of cartoons. In the years to come, Jennings would carry on his work of helping younger viewers understand scary topics with several news specials created just for them. Read more
1933: Lou Albano, Italian-American professional wrestler, manager, and actor who helped bring professional wrestling into the mainstream when he collaborated with singer Cyndi Lauper, is born in Rome, Italy.
Perhaps Albano was better cut out to be a manager. In 1971, he added “Captain” to his name to kick off his management career, and he soon established his skill at one of the pro wrestling manager’s greatest responsibilities: riling up wrestling fans. So masterful was Albano at “drawing heat” from the audience, he once had to escape an angry mob that chased him out of the venue, followed his car, and rioted in the bar where he tried to take cover. Of course, in the pro wrestling world, that’s what you call good publicity. Read more
1925: Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings legend, is born in Renfrew, Ontario.
1924: Robert Horton, U.S. actor known best for his role as Flint McCullough on the TV Western “Wagon Train,” is born in Los Angeles, California.
1924: Lloyd Bochner, Canadian actor who played Cecil Colby on “Dynasty,” is born in Toronto, Ontario.
1923: Jim Marshall, English businessman who was a pioneer of guitar amplification and founded the iconic Marshall Amplification, is born in London, England.
Marshall was long associated with the heavy guitar sounds his amps helped popularize in the 1960s, when Pete Townshend of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and others turned to stacks of Marshall amps to create a thunderous hard rock sound. He was not looking for musical precision in his amplifiers, but wanted a sound that conveyed raw, fuzzy power. Aficionados credit him with developing the “amp stack” that allowed garage bands to make a powerful noise in small dance halls and gymnasiums. Read more
1923: George Burditt, U.S. TV writer, and producer who co-wrote a number of episodes of “Three’s Company,” is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
1921: Richard Egan, U.S. actor whose films include “A Summer Place” and “Love Me Tender,” is born in San Francisco, California.
1916: Charlie Christian, U.S. jazz guitarist who played in Benny Goodman‘s band and helped create bebop, is born in Bonham, Texas.
1905: Clara Bow, U.S. film actress who was a major star of the silent era, known as the It Girl, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
So, what made Clara Bow an It Girl – or rather, the It Girl? Looks were a big part of it, to be sure. Bow’s lovely features and stylishly cropped hair caught the eye of many a moviegoer. She was a trend-setter, too, prompting a henna sales explosion when female fans learned she colored her hair red with the plant. But there was more to “It” than looks. “It” was also about personality, vivaciousness, charm. An It Girl was somebody you – whether you were male or female – couldn’t resist, and that irresistible quality came across whenever Bow appeared on screen. Read more
1905: Thelma Todd, U.S. actress who appeared in early comedies including the Marx Brothers‘ “Monkey Business” and “Horse Feathers,” is born in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
1905: Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish diplomat who was the second secretary-general of the United Nations, is born in Jonkoping, Sweden.
Powell starred in dozens of films during Hollywood’s golden age, starting with 1920s silents and moving on to play some of the most sophisticated and debonair heroes of the silver screen in the 1930s and beyond. He was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor three times –– the first for his portrayal of detective Nick Charles in “The Thin Man,” delighting audiences as he played opposite Myrna Loy as wife Nora. Charles was one of dozens of charming characters Powell played in a career that spanned decades, and Loy just one of his many lovely leading ladies. Read more
1885: Theda Bara, U.S. film actress who was one of the first sex symbols of the silent era, is born in Cincinnati, Ohio.