Friday, December 31, 2010

Remember the Ice Bowl? Nobody mentioned climate change then!



Image result for ice bowl imagesAs a new arrival in Wisconsin, I found myself falling in love with the Packers.  The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965, so Lombardi’s Packers were the only local team around.  (I did love the 1965 A.L. champion Minnesota Twins because they had four great Cuban players, but that’s for another post)
On December 31, 1967, the Ice Bowl, as they now call it, was played under the old NFL rules: the NFL champ met the AFL champ in what they later called the Super Bowl.
It was a brutally cold morning.  It was so cold that my mother asked my brother and me in Spanish: “Are they going to cancel the game?”  We responded that they didn’t cancel games in the U.S.! 
The Packers-Cowboys came down to the last few minutes.  Green Bay was down, and Bart Starr got to work:
On first and 10, Starr faked a double[-]handoff to Mercein and Anderson and then threw a swing pass to Anderson, who gained 6 yards in the right flat.  Mercein then ran right for 7 yards and a first down.
Starr hit Dowler over the middle for 13 yards.  Dowler suffered a concussion on the play when Cowboys cornerback Cornell Green tackled him and his helmet slammed into the frozen ground.
On the next play, Mercein missed a chip block on Townes, who tackled Anderson for a 9-yard loss.  But then Starr threw consecutive passes to Anderson in the right flat.  The first went for 12 yards and the second for 9 and a first down.
Then Starr lobbed a pass to Mercein, who was alone in the left flat.  Mercein eluded linebacker Dave Edwards and gained 19 yards before stumbling out of bounds at the Cowboys’ 11.
The drive, before John Elway coined the term, was amazing.  I watched it recently, and it is just fabulous to watch Starr outfox the Cowboys.
Eventually, Starr himself took the ball in, and Green Bay beat Dallas once again in the NFL title game.
A ton of years have flown by since my brother and I watched that game.  My father had a second job at a hotel that day, and he called in a couple of times for game updates.  My mother had little to say, but she did tell us to wear something heavy if we decided to go out and play football in the snow.
Today, I live in Dallas, and that game draws a totally different reaction from my friends down here.
Of course, it was so cold back then, and nobody called it climate change.  They called Wisconsin weather, as I recall!
I miss that NFL a lot!
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1967: The Beatles' "Hello goodbye" was # 1 on Billboard USA this week

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The Beatles ended 1967 with "Hello goodbye" as the # 1 song on Billboard USA.....It was also included in the US version of "Magical Mystery Tour"..........in the UK, the film soundtrack was issued in a double EP format..........the B-side was "I am the walrus" and it got some radio airplay............

We remember Roberto Clemente (1934-72)

Roberto Clemente was killed in a plane crash many years ago:
"On December 31, 1972, an airplane chartered by the professional baseball player Roberto Clemente to bring food and other relief supplies to survivors of a recent earthquake in Nicaragua crashes shortly after takeoff from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Five people were killed in the crash, including Clemente, whose body was never recovered."
Like most of you, I was shocked to hear the news.       

Clemente hit .317 and got # 3,000 on his last at-bat of the 1972 season.   He was the MVP of the 1971 World Series and hit .318 in the postseason.

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We remember General George Marshall (1880-1959)



We remember George Marshall, who was born on this day in Uniontown, PA, in 1880.  He died in 1959.


Looking back, it was one of the greatest decisions of the 20th century. It probably saved Western Europe. (Postwar Challenges)  It gave France, Germany, Italy, and others a chance to rebuild their cities and industries.   This is a portion of the speech:
"Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist." (The Marshall Plan - George C. Marshall, Harvard University (June 5, 1947)

So we remember a great military man with a wonderful diplomatic achievement.

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December 31, 1972: The day we lost Roberto Clemente


As I recall, I heard the news early the next morning.    It was truly shocking because we had also heard about the horrible earthquake in Nicaragua that month.    Clemente was carrying some supplies to Nicaragua when his plane was lost taking off from Puerto Rico.

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We remember John Denver (1943-1997)

John Denver was born on this day in 1943.   He died in a plane crash in 1997.

In the 1970's, Denver dominated the pop charts with songs like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Annie's song".     Great songwriter and singer! His songs are HERE.

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1966: Eddie Matthews traded from the Braves to the Astros in the offseason



Eddie Matthews' long association with the Braves ended on this day in 1966.    
He was traded to the Astros in the off-season and finished with the Tigers a year later.  
He was the only man who played for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.   Spahn played in Boston but not in Atlanta.  Aaron played in Milwaukee and Atlanta but not in Boston.

Matthews' greatest years came in Milwaukee where he hit over 450 HR.   He led the league in 1953 and 1959 and was a huge part of the Milwaukee teams who won the NL pennant in 1957 and 1958.   The Braves tied LA for the NL pennant in 1959 but lost a playoff.   

Overall, Matthews finished with 512 HR and 1,453 RBI.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lucy Webb Hayes, the first wife to be referred to as First Lady

Future President Rutherford Hayes married Lucy Webb on this day in 1852.     

Hayes won the extremely controversial election of 1876 against Governor Samuel Tilden of New York.  

Hayes lost the popular vote by 300,000 out of the 8 million cast.   After weeks of negotiations, Hayes won the electoral college 185-184.   

Historians believe that Mr Hayes' election was part of a deal to get federal troops out of the South.

Hayes had problems governing, in large measure because of his disputed election.   

Nevertheless, First Lady Lucy was quite a charm:The wife of the president has properly been referred to as "The First Lady" ever since!

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We remember Davy Jones (1945-2012)



Here is Davy Jones and The Monkees.

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Daydream Believer.........The Monkees.... https://t.co/AFiluXbCY9 via @amazon







We remember Skeeter Davis (1931-2004)



The End of the World (song by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee) - Wikipedia
Skeeter Davis was born Mary Frances Penick in Kentucky on this day in 1931.  She died in 2004. According to her biography, she enjoyed success in pop and country radio.

Her signature song was the sad of sad songs "The End of the World":
"Why does the sun go on shining?
Why does the sea rush to shore?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
'Cause you don't love me anymore
Why do the birds go on singing?
Why do the stars glow above?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when I lost your love
I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything's the same as it was
I can't understand, no, I can't understand
How life goes on the way it does
Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when you said goodbye
Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when you said goodbye"
Is this the saddest song ever recorded? I think so!

"The end of the world" continues to get a lot of airplay on country and pop stations. It also shows up in movie soundtracks.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We remember Mary Tyler Moore 1936-2017

Image result for mary tyler moore imagesWe remember  Mary Tyler Moore who was born on this day in 1936.   She died in 2017.

We remember her as the wonderful Laura Petrie in "The Dick Van Dyke" then Mary Richards in her own show and finally in the drama "Ordinary lives".

She was great and a big part of our lives.

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Habana vs Almendares: A little “beisbol” in Cuba

We remember an important anniversary in Cuban baseball
"On December 29, 1878, the first game is played between two teams of the first professional baseball league in Cuba, later known as the Cuban League. Representing the city of Havana, the Habana club faced off against their greatest rivals, a club from the neighboring suburb of Almendares. Habana, coached by Esteban Bellán, the first Cuban to play professional baseball in the United States, won that inaugural game 21-20." 
The first game eventually turned into the very successful Almendares-Habana rivalry, the Cuban version of the Yankees-Red Sox story. Eventually, there was a winter league with teams like Marianao and Cienfuegos.  

It all started today in 1878!

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1878: Pro baseball started in Cuba


On this day in 1878,  professional baseball started in Cuba.    


The first game was between Habana and Almendares, the two teams that would be great rivals until Castro dissolved the league after the 1960-61 season.    


The league had four teams in the 1950s:   Habana, Almendares, Marianao, and Cienfuegos.   


It was great and very passionate baseball.


Along the way, many major leaguers played winter ball in Cuba, from Willie Mays to Brooks Robinson.   


During the summer, Havana was also a AAA franchise, the Havana Sugar Kings in the Cincinnati organization.    Havana played in The International League with other teams in Montreal and Toronto.


For more on Cuban baseball history, check out "The pride of Havana".

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Dec 29, 1845: Texas entered the Union

Image result for texas map images 
Over time, Texas became the second largest economy in the US and a huge political factor as well.     

Years ago, James Michener wrote a good novel about Texas.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

1972: Operation Linebacker had the communists running for their lives

Image result for operation linebacker images
By Election Day 1972, most U.S. troops were out of Vietnam.  The election results had confirmed that most Americans were supportive of the Nixon approach.
President Nixon had two objectives: first, get North Vietnam to agree to ending the conflict and arrange for the release of POW’s.
Like good communists, North Vietnam decided to play games with secretary of state Henry Kissinger.  The North Vietnamese decided to delay the accords and play games with international opinion.
President Nixon had enough and decided to send a Christmas greeting to North Vietnam.  It was called Operation Linebacker II.  We call it the Christmas bombing of 1972:
President Nixon initiated the full-scale bombing campaign against North Vietnam on December 18, when the North Vietnamese – who walked out of the peace talks in Paris – refused an ultimatum from Nixon to return to the negotiating table.  
During the 11 days of the operation, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1,000 fighter-bomber sorties dropped an estimated 20,000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong. 
President Nixon was vilified at home and abroad for ordering the “Christmas bombing,” but on December 28, the North Vietnamese did agree to return to the talks in Paris. When the negotiators met again in early January, they quickly arrived at a settlement. 
The Paris Peace Accords were signed on January 23 and a ceasefire went into effect five days later. 
Naturally, President Nixon was called every name on the book, from war criminal to Hitler to whatever else the left could come up with.
However, the bombing worked, and the accord was signed, ending the war and recognizing South Vietnam.
Also, a timetable for releasing POWs was accepted.  They started coming home in March.  That was also awesome – to watch those men get out of the planes and greet their families.
Operation Linebacker was a great name, and it clearly stymied the communists’ offense.  It was fun to watch a U.S. president exercise power and get results.  Unfortunately, Vietnam was lost later, when the Democrats pulled the plug.
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1973: The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn



The Gulag Archipelago was published many years ago today:
"Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "literary investigation" of the police-state system in the Soviet Union, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956, is published in the original Russian in Paris. The book was the first of the three-volume work. The brutal and uncompromising description of political repression and terror was quickly translated into many languages and was published in the United States just a few months later."
It is a very difficult book to read but worth the effort.  The USSR collapsed at the end of 1991 but we can not forget what was done in the name of communism.
 
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"Wilson", a 1944 movie about President Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson was born on this day in 1856 in Virginia.  He was the 28th president of the US (1913-21).  Before The White House, Mr. Wilson was a college professor, university president and governor of New Jersey.     

Mr. Wilson got 42% of the popular vote in 1912 but carried most of the states in a 3-way race.   His reelection in 1916 was very close:  277-254.

A few months ago, I watched the movie "Wilson" released in 1944.   It is a very favorable movie of Mr. Wilson and his presidency.   We also leaned a lot about Mrs. Wilson, who died during his first term, and the second Mrs. Wilson, who was a rather controversial figure.

Overall, a good movie that takes you back to a time when men wore hats and ladies dressed rather elegantly.   

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We remember "super glove man" Aurelio Rodríguez (1947-2000)


We remember Aurelio Rodriguez.   He was born in Mexico on this day in 1947 and died tragically in 2000.
Aurelio broke with the Angels in 1967.    He hit 19 HRS with 83 RBI in 1970.  
After that, he was better known for his incredible glove at third base.   He finally won the Gold Glove in 1976 after Brooks Robinson of the Orioles won 16 in a row.
Overall, he hit .237, 124 HR & 648 RBI in 2,017 games.   He was a great defensive third baseman and that's why he played such a long career with the Angels, Tigers & Yankees.  
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Monday, December 27, 2010

1947: "Dark passage" is a rather good movie with Bogart & Bacall


Image result for dark passage lauren bacall imagesWhat can you say about "Dark passage" featuring Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall?   or a movie from 1947 with Anges Morehead?   Remember Agnes as Samantha's mother in "Bewitched"?

The movie starts with Bogart escaping out of prison.   Then Bacall walks into his life and takes him to her apartment.    

The rest is on you.    You will enjoy it, specially hearing Bogart's voice for much of the movie without seeing his face.     

Watch it!   It's a little slow but you will enjoy it!

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We remember Scotty Moore (1931-2009)


In 1954, fate put Elvis and Scotty Moore in the same studio.    And the rest is musical history and some of rock's most famous recordings.   

He was born Winfield Scott Moore III on this day in 1931 in Tennessee.    


He is # 29 in Rolling Stone's Top 100 guitarists.  
You can hear him in those great Elvis' songs.

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2007: The assassination of Benazir Bhutto



Image result for benazir bhutto assassination newspaper images
On this day in 2007, a suicide bomber in Pakistan reminded us that the world is a very nasty place when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.  It happened 12 days before the Iowa Caucus of 2008.  It was a reminder of the terrorism threat that we continue to face.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

1975: Top 10 WABC radio New York this week

Image result for fly robin fly images

  1. That's the Way (I Like It) -                                 
                    KC & the Sunshine Band (T.K.)  
  2. I Love Music, Part 1 - The O'Jays (Philadelphia Int'l)      
  3. Saturday Night - The Bay City Rollers (Arista)              
  4. Feelings - Morris Albert (RCA)                              
  5. Sky High - Jigsaw (Chelsea)                                 
  6. Let's Do It Again - The Staple Singers (Curtom)             
  7. Love Rollercoaster - The Ohio Players (Mercury)             
  8. Fly Robin Fly - Silver Convention (Midland International)   
  9. Nights on Broadway - The Bee Gees (RSO)                     
 10. Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) -  Diana Ross (Motown) 

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1972: President Harry Truman died in Missouri

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We remember that Pres Truman died on this day in 1972.  He was the 33rd president of the US and one of the most consequential figures of the 20th century.

VP Harry Truman became president when President Roosevelt died in April 1945.  As President, he faced some huge challenges in Europe and Japan, such as dropping two atomic bombs in Japan.  It was a tough decision but it ended the war.


President Truman was elected on his own in 1948 but his second term was very tough, from economic problems to the war in Korea.  As a consequence, he left the presidency with very low approval ratings and was succeeded by the very popular President Eisenhower.

Today, we think of President Truman as a decisive and strong president.  His legacy gets stronger and stronger with time.  He made decisions and that was his greatest asset.

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1941: PM Churchill addressed Congress


churchill-congress-512x357
UK Prime Minster Winston Churchill addressed the US Congress on this day in 1941.   It was 3 weeks after Pearl Harbor.  
In a few months, US troops headed to Europe and the Pacific.   They would fight a terrible war for the next 4 years.
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We remember Phil Spector (1939-2021)


Image result for phil spector images
Phil Spector was born in the Bronx, NY, on this day in 1939 and died in prison in January 2021.    A few years ago, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for the 2003 fatal shooting of actress Lana Clarkson.

From "Be my baby" "You've lost that loving feeling" to the excessively produced Beatles "Let it Be" LP to a great "Christmas album", Spector was regarded as a master of production.

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2006: President Ford died in California


We remember today that President Ford died on this day in 2006.

As many of us remember, VP Ford became President Ford in 1974 when President Nixon resigned.  He became VP Ford when VP Agnew resigned in 1973.  In other words, Congressman and Minority Leader Gerald Ford changed address 3 times in less than a year.  Not bad for a man who had promised his wife that they'd retire after his 1972 campaign.  President Ford, now running as the incumbent, was defeated by Governor Carter in 1976 who ran as an outsider and won a very close election.

And he was my first vote for President in 1976.  

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A couple of recent presidents who died on this day



Image result for ford truman images
We remember two amazing men of the Midwest who died on this day.   

President Truman died in 1972:

Truman served as president for two terms from 1945 to 1953, when he and his wife Bess happily retired to Independence, Missouri, where he referred to himself jokingly as “Mr. Citizen.” He was hospitalized on December 4, 1972, with lung congestion, heart irregularity, kidney blockages and failure of the digestive system. He died on December 26. A very subdued and private funeral, fitting for the down-to-earth Truman, was held in Independence according to his and his family’s wishes.

I remember the day that he died.   I recall the news flash on the radio.   It was not a surprise since Mr. Truman had been very ill for days.   

President Ford died in 2006 very late in the day in California.    Most of his obituaries were actually published on December 27.   Like me, most people I did not hear about it until the next day:

Thrust by Mr. Nixon’s resignation into an office he had never sought, Mr. Ford occupied the White House for just 896 days. 
But they were pivotal days of national introspection, involving America’s first definitive failure in a war and the first resignation of a president. 
It was Mr. Ford’s uncommon virtue to have presided with a common touch.

Mr. Ford had been out of the public view for a long time.  I do remember him at the 2000 GOP convention.   In 2004, President Bush paid him a visit during the campaign.

As we mentioned above, VP Truman became president when President FDR died in 1945.  He was not well known and it must have been quite a task to follow a political giant of the 20th century.  

Nevertheless, It was President Truman who made the decision to drop nuclear bombs in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  He also gave us The Truman Doctrine, CIA, NATO, The Marshall Plan and a few other things that left his footprint on US history in the 20th century.

VP Ford became president when President Nixon resigned in 1974.  He is the only man never elected to the office.  

In 1976, Governor Carter ran as the outsider in "a change election".  We must point out that Mr. Ford made quite a comeback that year and it ended up a lot closer than anyone predicted that summer during the conventions.  

President Ford served about 30 months but did much to restore confidence in the presidency after Watergate.  

His pardon of Nixon was vindicated over time, a profile in courage!   It was the right thing to do as he always said when asked about it.

They were both Midwestern men, of great integrity and character.    

They also did not aspire to be president but rather took over and performed to the best of their abilities.   

And I say often, I was very proud to cast my first vote for president for President Ford in 1976.

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