Friday, October 27, 2006

On This Date In History: October 27, 1960

It was on this date at 12:05 PM Central time that a doctor at Scott Air Force Base Hospital outside of Belleville, Illinois delivered a male child into this world who would go on to become the proprietor of this humble blog. I thought it might be interesting to step into the time machine and see what else happened on this historic date.

With the elections less than two weeks away and a spirited fight between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon taking place, the campaign held center stage. JFK spent the day stumping in New York City, climaxed by a speech in Washington Square before 4000 NYU students. Kennedy closed his day by placing a phone call to the wife of Martin Luther King, expressing his support for the civil rights leader at that time in jail in Atlanta for violating tresspassing laws. Also, the New York Times announced their endorsement of Kennedy, their first for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1944.

Eleanor Roosevelt was particularly busy on the campaign trail in the Midwest; she made stops in Indianapolis, Champaign, Illinois, and St. Louis on behalf of Senator Kennedy that day. Another Democratic heavy hitter, former President Harry Truman, was in Seattle making a campaign speech for JFK.

Vice-President Nixon and his wife Pat appeared on CBS-TV's Person to Person program, while President Eisenhower spoke in Virginia at a ceremony honoring the late President Woodrow Wilson.

Also on this day, Ben E. King cut two of the all-time great R&B sides, "Stand By Me" and "Spanish Harlem" with producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. And the American League admitted two expansion franchises, the second incarnation of the Washington Senators (today's Texas Rangers) and the Los Angeles Angels (known at various times as the California Angels, Anaheim Angels, and today, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).

Through the miracle of the internets, we even know who appeared on The Tonight Show that night. Jack Paar hosted a star-studded lineup that included Jack Lemmon, Anne Bancroft, and Peggy Cass. Also appearing was someone known only as Genevieve; the only information available on her is that she once appeared as a mystery guest on What's My Line?.

A couple of other items that reflect the times: Declassified materials reveal that the Soviet Union had an "incident" involving one of their nuclear reactors that day. And an attorney in Lexington, Kentucky reported spotting a UFO.