One of the rare ballad for The Rolling Stones, Angie became a #1 hit on this date.
Many rumors have swirled around the meaning of the song. Mick Jagger had this to say about it: "People began to say that song was written about David Bowie's wife but the truth is that Keith wrote the title. He said, 'Angie,' and I think it was to do with his daughter. She's called Angela. And then I just wrote the rest of it."
October 20, 1939 -
The 9th Marx Brothers film, At the Circus, premiered on this date.
For Groucho Marx's performance of the song 'Lydia, the Tattooed Lady,' additional lyrics were written by lyricist E.Y. Harburg exclusively for screenings of the film for Allied servicemen in European war zones. The special lyrics included the line 'When she stands the world grows littler; When she sits, she sits on Hitler.'
Oct 20, 1955 -
Harry Belafonte, advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes, recorded the famous "Day-O" (Banana Boat Song) on this date.
The reached number five on the Billboard charts in 1957 and later became Belafonte's signature song. (Now try getting it out of your head today.)
Today in History:
October 20, 1818 -
49th Parallel as their mutual boundary (known as the International Border) for most of its length from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky mountains.
The International Boundary is commonly referred to as the world's longest undefended border, but this is true only in the military sense, as civilian law enforcement is present. But we're keeping an eye on those sneaky Canadians and their cheese curd fries.
October 20, 1918 -
Rarely seen now, but one of Charlie Chaplin most popular films at it time, Shoulder Arms, was released on this date.
Many in Hollywood advised Chaplin not to tackle the subject of WWI but with his usual keen sense of what material was right for him, Chaplin would go on to direct what was to become the most popular film of the entire war period.
October 20, 1930 -
Death row murderer Wiliam Kogut committed suicide in San Quentin prison with MacGyver like ingenuity.
He tore the red spots from a deck of playing cards, the the time the red dye used on the pack of cards was made from nitrocellulose, saturated them with water, and jammed them into a length of steel pipe from his bed frame. Kogut placed the bomb on the heater and waited for science to take it's course.
I wonder if he went to a specialized High School.
October 20, 1947 -
Chaired by J. Parnell Thomas (one of the committee's members was Richard M. Nixon), The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood.
The resulting hysteria results in the creation of a blacklist in the film industry, preventing certain individuals from working in the business for years.
October 20, 1967 -
Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin reported that on this date they had captured a purported Sasquatch on film at Bluff Creek, California. This came to be known as the Patterson-Gimlin film, which is purported to be the best evidence of Bigfoot by many advocates.
If only that had named their film - Bigfoot: America's Hairy Sex God, perhaps it would have done better box office in it's opening weekend.
Many years later, Bob Heironimus, an acquaintance of Patterson's, claimed that he had worn an ape costume for the making of the film. Organizations such as Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization have suggested that that Heironimus himself is a fraud.
October 20, 1973 -
The Saturday Night Massacre: Richard Nixon fired Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus when they each refuse to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox on this date. Who was the man who finally fired Cox:
Robert Bork - it's that evil beard.
October 20, 1977 -
Drunken frat boys everywhere mourn and cry out, "Play 'Freebird' man".
And so it goes.