September 18, 1951 -
20th Century Fox premiered the science fiction classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise and starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal, in New York, on this date.
The role of Gort was played by Lock Martin, the doorman from Grauman's Chinese Theater, because he was extremely tall. However, he was unable to pick up Helen because he was so weak and had to be aided by wires (in shots from the back where he's carrying her, it's actually a lightweight dummy in his arms). He also had difficulty with the heavy Gort suit and could only stay in it for about a half-hour at a time.
September 18, 1963 -
The show that taught elderly men, twin cousins might be lured into immoral acts with the purchase of grilled sausages - The Patty Duke Show, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.
For most of the scenes featuring both Patty and Cathy, actress Rita Walter played "the back of either Patty's or Cathy's head", as appropriate. She can also be seen in several episodes as a background character.
September 18, 1964 -
The most normal family's ever presented on US televsion, The Addams Family premiered on ABC-TV on this date.
Jackie Coogan was originally rejected as Uncle Fester. He went home, shaved his head, and did his own Fester makeup and costume. This won him the part.
September 18, 1965 -
Kleenex stock rose precipitously as I Dream of Jeannie premiered on this date.
(sorry for the colorized version)
Major Nelson's three wishes were 1) For Jeannie to speak English, 2) for a ship off the island he was stranded on and 3) For Jeannie to be free.
September 18, 1965 -
Mel Brooks and Buck Henry started making the world safe from KAOS when Get Smart premiered on NBC-TV on this date.
When Don Adams was negotiating his salary, he had his choice between more money per week and no ownership stake in the show or less money per week and part ownership. He chose the ownership deal and never regretted it.
September 18, 1968 -
The film musical Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand premiered in NYC.
William Wyler was asked by a friend whether Barbra Streisand had been hard to work with. He replied, "No, not too hard, considering it was the first movie she ever directed."
September 18, 1978 -
We first started living on the air in Cincinnati when WKRP in Cincinnati, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.
The character of Herb Tarlek was known for wearing very tacky suits. In one episode, after Venus sees Herb wearing a particularly outrageous suit, he remarks, "Somewhere out there there's a Volkswagen with no seats." In fact, one of Herb's suits actually WAS made from the seat covers of an old Volkswagen.
September 18, 1987 -
Pet bunnies felt a cold breeze on their neck when Fatal Attraction, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, opened on this date.
Glenn Close still has the knife she used in the movie hanging in her kitchen.
September 18, 1994 -
Ken Burn's series about America's favorite past time Baseball, premiered on PBS on this date.
When discussing Yogi Berra's many interesting quotes, a friend of Yogi's is alleged to have said, "Hey, Yogi, what do you know?" Yogi allegedly replied, "I don't even suspect anything." This exchange is actually taken from an exchange Charles Chaplin had in a Parisienne café in Monsieur Verdoux.
Today in History:
Once again, I must ask all children and those with delicate natures to turn away from their computer screens as we discuss the bizarre deviant sexual behavior on the part of our founding fathers:
On September 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the foundation stone for the U.S. Capitol. According to numerous sources, President Washington "laid the stone in a Masonic ceremony... preceded by a parade and followed by celebration and feasting."
September 18, 1851 -
The New York Times published its first edition on this date. The newspaper, initially called the New-York Daily Times, was founded by Henry Jarvis Raymond, a politician and journalist.
September 18, 1932 -
24-year-old starlet Peg Entwistle dives head first from the letter "H" of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign in Los Angeles. She is the first person to commit suicide at the landmark.
Her body was discovered in the brush at the base of the hill two days later, and pronounced dead. When police examined her belongings, in her purse they found a note that read:
"I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E."
Two days later, in an ironic twist, Entwistle's uncle opened a letter addressed to her from the Beverly Hills Playhouse; it was mailed the day before she jumped. In it was an offer for her to play the lead role in a stage production—in which her character would commit suicide in the final act.
September 18, 1961 -
Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary-General of the UN, was killed in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia)on this date. He was flying to negotiate a cease-fire in the Congo.
Hammarskjold was the son of a former Swedish prime minister. In 1953, he was elected to the top UN post and in 1957 was reelected. During his second term, he initiated and directed the United Nation's vigorous role in the Belgian Congo.
Strangely enough, for the past 32 year, I have worked in an office in one of the building that bears his name.
September 18, 1970 -
Jimi Hendrix died in his sleep, in London, from of a barbiturate overdose when chunks of his vomited tuna sandwich wound up in his lungs, causing him to choke, on this date. He was 27 years old.
At least his family could take comfort that he did not choke on someone else's vomit.
Once again I must remind you that Cass Elliot did not choke to death on a ham sandwich. It is an urban myth born out of a quickly discarded speculation by the coroner, who noted a part eaten ham sandwich and figured she may have choked to death. In fact, she died of heart failure.
So cut it out.
September 18, 1977 -
NASA's unmanned space probe Voyager 1 snapped the first photograph of the Moon and the Earth in the same frame while on its mission to study the Solar System and its boundaries. At the time, Voyager 1 was 7.25 million miles (11.66 million kilometers) from Earth.
September 18, 1992 -
Two weeks after being outed in the New York weekly QW, attorney John Schlafly admits in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner that he enjoys the love that dare not speak it's name. This causes a certain amount of consternation for his mother, archconservative gay rights opponent Phyllis Schlafly.
September 18, 1994 -
Vitas Gerulaitis was killed in his sleep the previous night in the guest cottage of a friend's Long Island estate. His body was discovered on this date. The professional tennis player died from carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a faulty propane swimming-pool heater.
And so it goes