May 9, 1955
Harpo had suffered a recent heart attack and was warned by doctors not to continue performing. But, luckily for us, Harpo refused, and went on to appear in an episode of I Love Lucy, Lucy and Harpo Marx, which aired on this date.
The Lucy-Harpo "mirror routine" became a rare scene of I Love Lucy that was filmed without a live audience. Because of the complicated set-ups for the shot, the studio audience was sent home. Lucy and Harpo did take after take and the best shots were later spliced together, as one long scene, by the film editor. (After filming was over, Harpo stayed and played his harp for the cast and crew while Vivian Vance sang.)
May 9, 1958 -
Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Vertigo starring James Stewart and Kim Novak premiered in San Francisco on this date.
Kim Novak has told interviewers that while in her "Judy" costumes, she did not wear a bra (bralessness was extremely unusual for a woman of that time). Novak has said that it was an element of the Judy costuming that helped her feel much more comfortable as Judy than as Madeline, whose costumes were much more severe and stiff.
May 9, 1964 -
The Beatles' I Wanna Hold Your Hand had been the number one album for over three and a half months straight.
Louis Armstrong's show tune Hello Dolly finally ended the record-breaking run on this day, knocking the Beatles out of first place in the music charts.
May 9, 1992 -
Final episode of Golden Girls aired on NBC-TV on this date.
That must have been some after party.
May 9, 1994 -
Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait set fire to the guest chair on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno, on this date. While the action may have shocked and outraged both Leno and NBC, did not prevent them from using this inflammatory vignette in their advertising.
His actions not only got him banned from NBC, (a ban that seems to be in place to this day,) for his destructive behavior, but he had to pay a $2,700 fine for the incident and had to pay nearly $700 for the cost of the chair. In addition to the monetary dues he had obtained he was also forced to make fire safety public service announcements.
A film even ACME wouldn't produce
Today in History:
May 9, 1671 -
File this under - Balls, said the queen ...: Adventurer and criminal, Colonel Thomas Blood attempted to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London on this date.
He and his accomplices were captured and the jewels rescued. Far from being punished, Blood was pardoned by the King himself and awarded a pension of £500 a year.
May 9, 1926 -
Explorers Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett made the first flight over the North Pole. Two teams of aviators competed to be the first to fly over the North Pole. American Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd and pilot Floyd Bennett claimed victory when they circled the North Pole.
On May 11, in spite of his disappointment, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen launched the dirigible Norge on its planned flight, not merely over the pole, but all the way across the Arctic to Alaska. Byrd and Bennett in the Josephine Ford briefly accompanied Norge in a gesture of goodwill. Amundsen reached Alaska on May 14, but even today experts suspect that faulty navigation caused Byrd to miss the North Pole.
May 9, 1949 -
William Martin Joel, Grammy Award-winning rock vocalist/singer was born on this date.
Billy Joel will play his 42nd consecutive show at MSG on June 6, 2017. I can still remember when one used to eagerly await a new Billy Joel album as much as a Bruce Springsteen album.
May 9, 1950 -
L. Ron Hubbard published the first edition of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health on this date.
But you didn't hear this from me.
May 9, 1961 -
FCC Chairman Newton N Minow speaking at the NAB convention (the National Association of Broadcasters) gave one of the most quoted speeches of the 20th century.
His phrase "vast wasteland" has become an icon of American culture, memorialized in hundreds of editorial cartoons, listed in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, quoted in popular fiction, and featured as an answer to questions on TV game shows such as Jeopardy!, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Trivial Pursuit.
May 9, 1978 -
The body of former Italian premier Aldo Moro was discovered in the back seat of a Renault on this date. He had been kidnapped 54 days prior by the Red Brigades, who demanded the release of their incarcerated comrades.
When Italian authorities refused to give in, Moro's captors killed him, but not before forcing the hostage to hold a newspaper announcing his own death.
May 9, 1980 -
35 people were killed in Tampa, Florida when the Liberian cargo ship Summit Venture smashed into a supporting pier of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on this date.
Seven vehicles, including a Greyhound bus, topple into the water 150 feet below. So this is what comes from leaving the driving to racetrack dogs.
May 9, 1983 -
Pope John Paul II retracted the Catholic Church's condemnation of astronomer Galileo Galilei, issued in 1633 by Pope Urban VIII. The Church had convicted the scientist of heresy, sentenced him to house arrest, and forced him to recant central scientific truths.
In the end, this error only took 350 years to correct. A speedy correction by church standards.
May 9, 1989 -
Great moments in Vice Presidential history:
And so it goes