1588 - The Spanish Armada, a fleet of 130 huge ships, met defeat at the hands of English sailors and their smaller, more maneuverable vessels. Then a series of wicked Atlantic storms off the coast of Southern England took their toll. Only half of the 130 Spanish ships managed to limp ... at best ... home. The 60 or so English ships had saved England from the Spanish invaders.
1839 - Beta Theta Pi became the first Greek-letter fraternity west of the Alleghenies. The fraternity was a new arrival at Miami University in Oxford, OH.
1876 - Thomas A. Edison of Menlo Park, NJ patented the mimeograph machine. He described it as a method of preparing autographic stencils for printing. We don’t use mimeographs much these days, thanks to paper copiers and computer word processors. Mimeograph machines used to be cranked by hand and later models were electric. The mimeograph worked by first creating a spirit master which was placed on a large rotating drum. A strong smelling, purple ink would then print out on paper. We used to use these a lot in school back in the 1950s and 1960s. We remember the fumes, especially.
1900 - Competition began for the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy at the Longwood Cricket Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Donating the trophy was America's Dwight Davis. He had been the runner-up in the 1898 U.S. Championships. From then on, the event, the men's international team championship, was called the Davis Cup. There has been a Davis Cup match every year since 1900 except for 1901, 1910, and the war years of 1915-1918 and 1940-1945. Dwight Davis played on the winning team in 1900 and 1902.
1911 - Membership in the U.S. House of Representatives was established at 435. Every 211,877 residents of the U.S. were represented by one member of Congress.
1923 - Benny Goodman was 14 years old as he began his professional career as a clarinet player. He took a job in a band on a Chicago-based excursion boat on Lake Michigan.
1934 - Bing Crosby became the first singer to record for the newly created Decca Records. His songs, "Just A-Wearyin’ For You" and "I Love You Truly", were waxed as Decca number D-100. Place your ear next to the monitor and you’ll hear some of this classic recording... “Just a-wearyin’ for you. All the time a-feelin’ blue; Wishin’ for you, wond’rin when you’ll be comin’ home again.” We know the next verse, about “birds awake, singing for your sake” and all that, but, frankly it makes us a-wearyin’ to add it here...
1941 - Les Brown and His Band of Renown paid tribute to baseball’s ‘Yankee Clipper’, Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees, with the recording of "Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio" on Okeh Records. From that time on, DiMaggio adopted the nickname, Joltin’ Joe.
1960 - "Tell Laura I Love Her", by Ray Peterson, wasn’t a big hit in Great Britain. Decca Records in England said the song was “too tasteless and vulgar for the English sensibility.” They destroyed 25,000 of the platters this day.
1963 - Seven million dollars was stolen in Britain’s Great Train Robbery by a gang of fifteen thieves. Scotland Yard called the holdup up, “Britain’s biggest robbery ever attempted.” All but three of the gang were identified by fingerprints.
1974 - Roberta Flack received a gold record for the single, "Feel Like Makin’ Love". Flack, born in Asheville, NC and raised in Arlington, VA, was awarded a music scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC -- at the age of 15. One of her classmates became a singing partner on several hit songs. Donny Hathaway joined Flack on "You’ve Got a Friend", "Where is the Love" and "The Closer I Get to You". She had 10 hits on the pop charts in the 1970s and 1980s.
1984 - Carl Lewis won his third gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics. He won the 200-meter sprint. At the same time, Greg Louganis received his first gold medal in diving in the springboard competition.
1987 - The opening ceremonies of the Pan American Games were held in Indianapolis, Indiana. A two-hour extravaganza called "The Magic that’s America" was presented at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The big show included some 6,000 volunteer performers and stagehands who joined a 20,000-piece, animated, card section, along with 80 Disney characters and a 1,027-piece band.
1990 - This was a watershed day in the Middle East. Iraq announced that it had annexed the kingdom of Kuwait -- moving over 200,000 troops into the tiny, oil-rich country. As Iraq declared Kuwait to be its 19th Providence, U.S. President George Bush (I) warned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, “A line has been drawn in the sand,” and American forces began moving into Saudi Arabia.
Birthdays - August 8
1866 - Matthew Henson (explorer: North Pole expedition [1908-09 w/Robert Peary]; died Mar 9, 1955)
1899 - Russell Markert (choreographer: founded, directed: Radio City Music Hall Rockettes; died Dec 1, 1990)
1907 - Benny Carter (jazz musician: Honeysuckle Rose, Crazy Rhythm; arranger: I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket, One, Two, Button Your Shoe; composer: Jazz Cocktail, When Lights are Low; LPs: Benny Carter’s All Stars, American Jazz Orchestra, Central Cities Sketches, Somebody Loves Me; died July 12, 2003)
1910 - Sylvia Sidney (Sophia Kosow) (actress: Beetlejuice, You Only Live Once, Les Miserables, Love from a Stranger; Fantasy Island [1998 series]; died July 1, 1999)
1919 - Dino De Laurentiis (producer: The Bible, Barbarella, Jaws IV)
1921 - Webb Pierce (singer: In the Jailhouse Now, Honky Tonk Song, Tupelo County Jail, I’ve Got Leaving on My Mind, Back Street Affair, There Stands the Glass; died Feb 24, 1991)
1921 - Esther Williams (swimmer, actress: Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Dangerous When Wet, Neptune’s Daughter, Million Dollar Mermaid)
1922 - Rory Calhoun (Francis Durgin) (actor: Angel, Apache Uprising, River of No Return, Treasure of Pancho Villa; died Apr 28, 1999)
1923 - Jimmy Witherspoon (singer: Ain’t Nobody’s Business, Some of My Best Friends are the Blues, You’re Next; died Sep 18, 1997)
1926 - Richard Anderson (actor: The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Escape from Fort Bravo, The Long Hot Summer, Hit the Deck)
1926 - Urbie (Urban) Green (musician: trombonist: played w/Cab Calloway)
1927 - Johnny (John Ellis) Temple (baseball: Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Redlegs [all-star: 1956, 1957, 1959], Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1961], Baltimore Orioles, Houston Colt .45’s; died Jan 09, 1994; died Jan 9, 1994)
1930 - Joan Mondale (Adams) (wife of 42nd U.S. Vice-President Walter ‘Fritz’ Mondale)
1932 - Mel Tillis (singer, songwriter: I Believe In You, Coca-Cola Cowboy, Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town, Detroit City, I Ain’t Never, Commercial Affection, Good Woman Blues; autobiography: Stutterin’ Boy)
1933 - Joe Tex (Arrington, Jr.) (singer: I Gotcha, Hold What You’ve Got, Skinny Legs and All, Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman; died Aug 13, 1982)
1936 - Frank (Oliver) ‘Hondo’ Howard (‘The Capital Punisher’: baseball: LA Dodgers [Rookie of the Year: 1960/World Series: 1963], Washington Senators [all-star: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971], Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers)
1937 - Dustin Hoffman (Academy Award-winning actor: Rain Man , Kramer vs. Kramer ; The Graduate, Tootsie, Midnight Cowboy, Little Big Man, Dick Tracy, Hook, Search for Tomorrow, Outbreak, Sphere)
1938 - Connie Stevens (Concetta Ingolia) (singer: Sixteen Reasons, Kookie, Kookie [Lend Me Your Comb]; actress: Hawaiian Eye, The Grissom Gang, Parrish, Back to the Beach)
1939 - Phil Balsley (singer: group: The Statler Brothers: Flowers on the Wall, Bed of Roses)
1947 - Jose (Dilan) Cruz (baseball: SL Cardinals, Houston Astros [all-star: 1980, 1985], NY Yankees)
1947 - Larry Wilcox (actor: Lassie, CHiPs, The Dirty Dozen, Mission Manila, National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1)
1949 - Keith Carradine (actor: Pretty Baby, The Long Riders, The Moderns, Kung Fu, Will Rogers Follies, Nashville; singer: I’m Easy)
1949 - Brian Sipe (football: Cleveland Browns: NFL Player of the Year ; U.S. Football League [1985-86])
1950 - Andy Fairweather Low (musician: guitar, singer: group: Amen Corner: Gin House Blues, Bend Me Shape Me, [If Paradise Is] Half as Nice, Natural Sinner)
1951 - Randy Shilts (journalist, writer: And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic; died Feb 17, 1994)
1952 - Mike (Michael Wilson) Ivie (baseball: SD Padres, SF Giants, Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers)
1953 - Don Most (actor: Happy Days, Stewardess School, Dead Man’s Island)
1956 - Chris Foreman (musician: guitar: group: Madness: The Prince, Don’t Quote Me on That, Our House, My Girl, Baggy Trousers, Embarrassment, Return of the Los Palmos Seven, Cardiac Arrest, House of Fun, Tomorrow’s Just Another Day, Ghost Train)
1958 - Harry Crosby (singer; actor: Friday the 13th, Private History of a Campaign that Failed; Son of Bing Crosby and Kathryn Grant)
1958 - Deborah Norville (TV host: Today, Inside Edition)
1961 - David Evans (‘The Edge’: musician: guitar: soundtrack: Captive; group: U2: I Will Follow, Fire, Gloria, New Year’s Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride [In the Name of Love])
1976 - J.C. Chasez (singer: group: ’N Sync: I Want You Back, Tearin’ Up My Heart, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You, I Drive Myself Crazy, Music Of My Heart)
1977 - Lindsay Sloane (actress: Mr. Rhodes, The Wonder Years, Dharma & Greg, Working, My So-Called Life, Between Mother and Daughter)
1988 - Beatrice (Beatrice Elizabeth Mary Windsor) (Princess of York)
Chart Toppers - August 8
Too Young - Nat King Cole
Mister and Mississippi - Patti Page
Because of You - Tony Bennett
I Wanna Play House with You - Eddy Arnold
Lonely Boy - Paul Anka
A Big Hunk o’ Love - Elvis Presley
My Heart is an Open Book - Carl Dobkins, Jr.
Waterloo - Stonewall Jackson
Light My Fire - The Doors
All You Need is Love - The Beatles
A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
I’ll Never Find Another You - Sonny James
One of These Nights - Eagles
Jive Talkin’ - Bee Gees
Please Mr. Please - Olivia Newton-John
Just Get Up and Close the Door - Johnny Rodriguez
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Eurythmics
She Works Hard for the Money - Donna Summer
Your Love’s on the Line - Earl Thomas Conley
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You - Bryan Adams
P.A.S.S.I.O.N. - Rythm Syndicate
Summertime - D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
She’s in Love with the Boy - Trisha Yearwood