Edited From Those Were The Days
1784 – America’s first daily paper, The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, was published in Philadelphia.
1897 – 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon had written a letter to The New York Sun: “I am eight years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?” Editor Frank Church wrote the response that was printed for the first time on this day: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
1946 – After being tested on a regional basis, The Second Mrs. Burton was heard for the first time on the entire CBS radio network. The Second Mrs. Burton fared very well, having a relationship with the network for 14 years.
1948 – The Texaco Star Theater on NBC-TV chose this night to make one of its oft-appearing hosts the permanent host. Milton Berle stayed on as the regular host until 1967. He was so much a part of The Texaco Star Theater that it became known as The Milton Berle Show.
1948 – The serial Life With Luigi debuted on CBS radio. Luigi Basko was played by J. Carroll Naish. Naish, an Irish-American, became typecast as an Italian immigrant, and went on to play the same role in the TV version in 1952.
1957 – Famed trial lawyer Perry Mason came to TV. The creation of attorney/novelist Erle Stanley Gardner, Perry Mason found fame first as a series of novels, then as a CBS radio series (1943-1955). TV’s Perry Mason, which continued for 9 seasons (TV’s longest-running lawyer series) on CBS, starred Raymond Burr in the lead role. Della Street was played by Barbara Hale.
1970 – ABC-TV debuted Monday Night Football, with Howard Cosell, ‘Dandy’ Don Meredith and Keith Jackson. (Frank Gifford replaced Jackson the following year.)
1981 – For 191 years, the U.S. Supreme Court had existed without a woman sitting on the bench. That changed as Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 99-0 vote. She became the first female Justice of that august body.
1989 – Hugo is a nice enough sounding name — unless you put a hurricane behind it. Hurricane Hugo tore into Charleston, South Carolina this day, leaving a trail of destruction calculated at over eight billion dollars.
1991 – I Adore Me Amore, by Color Me Badd, rose to #1 on U.S. singles charts. The hit, from their The Best of Color Me Badd LP, was number one for two weeks.