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Today in History: Sunday, July 24, 2021

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Short-lived daytime talk show “America Alive!,” hosted by Jack Linkletter, debuted on NBC in 1978. Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner) was one of the show’s traveling co-hosts…CBS sitcom “Morton & Hayes,” produced and hosted by Rob Reiner, began its six episode run in 1991…Real people took on the role of detectives to solve a fictional double homicide in the reality competition “Murder in Small Town X,” which premiered on Fox in 2001. Its 8-episode run was the one and only season produced for the series. The competition’s winner was New York City firefighter Angel Juarbe Jr.; the finale that featured his victory had aired on September 4, 2001. Seven days later, Juarbe was among the many firefighters killed at the World Trade Center in Manhattan…NBC announced in 2003 that Matt LeBlanc would be featured in spin-off “Joey” after “Friends” concluded in the spring of 2004. “Joey” lasted two seasons, producing 46 episodes from 2004-06.

The cartoon character of Marvin the Martian debuted in 1948 in the animated short “Haredevil Hare“…Two “Our Gang” shorts were released on this day: silent “It’s a Bear” in 1924; and “Night ‘n’ Gales” in 1938…Western “High Noon, starring Gary Cooper, opened in 1952…Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis ended their 10 year partnership in 1956… Charles Bronson‘s most famous film franchise “Death Wish” premiered in 1974…The Steven Spielberg WWII epic “Saving Private Ryan” starring Tom HanksMatt DamonEd Burns and Vin Diesel premiered in theaters in 1998. Spielberg would earn his second Academy Award for Best Director.


Single “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor from the “Rocky III” soundtrack began its six-week run at No. 1 on U.S. charts in 1982. It won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance…Another two songs from film had also reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100: the UB40 remake of the Elvis Presley Classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in 1993, from the Sharon Stone thriller “Sliver“; “Wild Wild West” by Will Smith featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee hit No. 1 in the U.S. in 1999. The song heavily sampled from the Steve Wonder 1976 hit “I Wish”… in 1976, The Manhattans‘ “Kiss and Say Goodbye” hit No. 1 in the U.S.

The Apollo 11 astronauts splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean in 1969.

Billy Martin was fired for the first of three times as the manager of the New York Yankees baseball team in 1978… in 1983 at Yankee Stadium, Kansas City Royals slugger George Brett went ballistic at umpires after his go-ahead home run against the New York Yankees was disallowed due to an excessive amount of pine tar on Brett’s bat.

Celebrity Birthdays
“Days of Our Lives” actor John Aniston (father to Jennifer Aniston) is 89; comedienne Ruth Buzzi (“Laugh-In”) is 86; actor Mark Goddard (“Lost in Space”) is also 86; actor Dan Hedaya (“Cheers”) is 82; comedian Gallagher is 76; actor Robert Hays (“Airplane!”) is 75; actor Michael Richards (“Seinfeld”) is 73; “Wonder Woman” star Lynda Carter is 71; director Gus Van Sant (“Good Wil Hunting”) is 70; country singer Pam Tillis is 65; NBA Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone is 59; 7-time National League MVP Barry Bonds is 58; Kadeem Hardison (“A Different World”) is 57; Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth is 54; actress Laura Leighton (“Melrose Place”) is also 54; Jennifer Lopez is 53; former L.A. Lakers guard Rick Fox is also 53; director Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman (2017)”) is 51; Rose Byrne (“Bridesmaids”) is 43; actress Anna Paquin (“True Blood”) is 40; actress Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”, “The Handmaid’s Tale”) is also 40; “Dancing with the Stars” winner Bindi Irwin is 24.

Did You Know?
According to Lynda Carter, the original trio on ABC’s “Charlie’s Angels” – Farrah FawcettJaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson – all auditioned to play Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman. Angie Bowie and Joanna Cassidy also tested for the role.