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Today in History: Monday, May 6, 2024

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Bob Hope performed his first USO in 1941 at California’s March Field…An estimated 20 million American viewers (and 300 million worldwide) tuned in to the first televised royal wedding in 1960 when Princess Margaret wed Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey…Ron Howard and Donny Most exited ABC’s “Happy Days” in 1980 after seven seasons…A raging inferno engulfed Southfork on the sixth season finale of CBS prime time soap “Dallas” in 1983…Two competing network miniseries, NBC’s “V: The Final Battle” and ABC’s “The Last Days of Pompeii“, began in 1984. The NBC miniseries averaged a 25.1 household rating for its three night run…NBC sitcom “227” starring Marla GibbsJackée Harry and Regina King ended its 5-season run in 1990…Classic Sports Network began on cable in 1995…CBS detective drama “Jake and the Fatman, starring William Conrad, ended in 1992. It had run for five seasons…“Friends” concluded its 10-season run on NBC in 2004. A total of 236 episodes were produced.

“Shrek the Third” featured the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy premiered in Westwood, California in 2007.

The German airship Hindenburg, the largest dirigible ever built, burst into flames and collapsed to the ground while attempting to moor at Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937. As the airship burst into flames it crashed 200 feet to the ground and the hull of the airship incinerated within seconds as the hydrogen core ignited.

The Rolling Stones released single “Paint it Black” in 1966…The title track of Madonna‘s “Ray of Light” album was released as a single in 1998. It would debut at its peak position of No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in July of that same year….Michael Jackson and The Bee Gees were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

In 2013, Wal-Mart became the largest company by revenue on the Fortune 500 list.

Future Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Babe Ruth hit his first MLB home run in 1915…In only his fifth career start, Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood struck out 20 Houston Astros hitters in 1998 to tie the MLB record for most strikeouts in a single game, twice done previously by Roger ClemensMario Andretti set one-lap speed record at Indy at 218.204 MPH in 1987.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Baseball legend Willie Mays is 93; singer Bob Seger is 79; “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron is 69; actress Julianne Phillips (“Sisters”) is 64; Oscar winner George Clooney is 63; actress Leslie Hope (“24”) is 59; professional dancer Edyta Sliwinska (“Dancing with the Stars”) is 42; actress Adrianne Palicki (“Friday Night Lights”, “The Orville”) is 41; actress Gabourey Sidibe (“Empire”) is 41; Sasheer Zamata (“SNL”) is 38.

-Did You Know?:
Mirroring the Linda Lavin/Polly Holliday scenario on sitcom “Alice”, Marla Gibbs apparently was not pleased that  Jackée Harry became the breakout star as saucy Sandra on “227.” Harry filmed a pilot which aired in 1989 in which Sandra moved to New York to accept a job at a film studio. When it turned out that the studio in question made adult films, she instead took a job at a spa. After NBC declined to pick it up, Harry returned to “227” in a reduced role in the fifth – and final – season…The title of “Friends” was actually used prior to the NBC sitcom in a short-lived Aaron Spelling drama on ABC about three 11-year old best friends. It aired from March 25 to April 22, 1979, and it starred Jill Whelan (pre-“The Love Boat”), Janet MacLachlanJarrod JohnsonKaren Morrow and Roger Robinson.