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Today in History: Monday, July 31, 2023

MGM’s Leo the Lion roared for the first time in 1928. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, “White Shadows on the South Seas”Chet Huntley retired from NBC in 1970, which resulted in the renaming of daily newscast “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” to the “NBC Nightly News. The initial anchors of the “NBC Nightly News” were David BrinkleyJohn Chancellor and Frank McGee…In 1984, Leeza Gibbons made her first appearance on “Entertainment Tonight”…

The Living Daylights,” the 15th film of the James Bond franchise, opened in wide release in 1987. It marked Timothy Dalton‘s debut in the role of 007; the first of his two films as Bond…Two dark comedies opened in 1992: Robert Zemeckis‘ “Death Becomes Her” starring Bruce WillisMeryl Streep and Goldie Hawn; and, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry. “Buffy” made a greater impression five years later as a TV series for The WB network which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar.

As a posthumous honor in 1995, Selena became the first Latin artist to have an album debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. That album was entitled “Dreaming of You“…Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100: the Carole King-penned “You’ve Got A Friend” by James Taylor in 1971; “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera in 1999.

The “Peanuts” comic strip in 1968 introduced its first black character, who was named Frankin…The last of the remaining Playboy Clubs closed in Lansing, Michigan in 1988…Nintendo released the hand-held gaming device Game Boy in the United States in 1989.
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play by Jack Thorne with contributions by J.K. Rowling was published worldwide in 2016.
The United States upset world champion China to capture the team gold medal in men’s gymnastics at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984…In 1990, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers became the 20th pitcher in MLB history to win at least 300 career games…New York Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton celebrated their inductions into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstein, NY in 1994…In 2007, the Boston Celtics traded seven players to the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire former MVP and then-10-time All-Star Kevin Garnett in what was the then-largest-ever NBA trade for one player. The acquisition immediately paid dividends: 11 months later, the Celtics became NBA champions for the first time since 1986.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actor Don Murray (“Bus Stop”) is 93; actress Susan Flannery (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 83; “Shark Tank’s” Mark Cuban is 65; actor Wesley Snipes (“Passenger 57”) is 60; musician Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim is 59; “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is 57; actor Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark”) is 56; actor B.J. Novak (“The Office”) is 43: “Modern Family” co-star Rico Rodriguez is 24.
Did You Know?
Rico Rodriguez appeared opposite his “Modern Family” TV cousin Ariel Winter in 2009 movie “Opposite Day”…Nine years after prematurely exiting “Knots Landing,” Don Murray returned to CBS for one-hour drama “Sons and Daughters” opposite Lucie Arnaz in 1991. It lasted only nine episodes. “Knots Landing” ultimately exited on May 13, 1993 after 14 seasons (and 344 episodes).