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Today in History: Sunday, October 15, 2023

© by Viacom/CBS

Television and Radio
“I Love Lucy” turns 70. The beloved sitcom debuted on CBS in 1951. Airing for six seasons, “I Love Lucy” was an immediate sensation, finishing four seasons as the top-rated program in primetime. For more, click here…Period crime drama “The Untouchables, starring Robert Stack and produced by Desilu Productions, opened its four season run on ABC in 1959. Desilu president Desi Arnaz had originally offered the role of Eliot Ness to Van Johnson. Johnson’s wife and manager rejected the deal, and demanded double the salary offer. Arnaz refused and signed Stack instead…Late night talk show “Tomorrow” hosted by Tom Snyder debuted on NBC in 1973. It ran for eight years; its final year featured co-host Rona Barrett…Neurotic cringe comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” starring Larry DavidJeff GarlinCheryl HinesRichard Lewis and Susie Essman launched as a series on HBO in 2000.  Eleven seasons to-date have aired.

“The Great Dictator,” the satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin was released in 1940. In 1997, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant…The stop-motion animated “The Nightmare Before Christmas” directed by Tim Burton opened in 1993…Cult classic “Fight Club” starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton premiered in theaters in 1999.

Ringo Starr released single “A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll” in 1976…”Red Red Wine” by UB40 reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1988, five years after its initial release.

U.S. President Calvin Coolidge declared the Statue of Liberty a national monument in 1924…American radio and television evangelist Billy Graham was given the 1,900th star on Hollywood Boulevard in 1989, the first clergyman to be granted a star…In 1992, President George H. W. Bush famously erred in judgment during a televised presidential debate opposite Bill Clinton and Ross Perot by looking down at his watch…Nelson Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Despite injuries to both his legs, Kirk Gibson hit a pinch-hit two-run walk-off home run off of Oakland Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley to propel the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the World Series in 1988. Radio announcer Jack Buck famously remarked “I don’t believe what I just saw!Books:
Ernest Hemingway novel “To Have & Have Not” was published in 1937… “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White was published by Harper & Brothers in 1952.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Singer Barry McGuire is 88; actress Linda Lavin (“Alice”) is 86; legendary baseball pitcher Jim Palmer is 78; musician Richard Carpenter of The Carpenters is 77; “Lady in Red” singer Chris De Burgh is 73; Guitarist Tito Jackson is 70; actor-comedian Larry Miller is also 70; actor Jere Burns (“Dear John”) is 69; chef Emeril Lagasse is 64; singer Eric Benet is 57; actress Vanessa Marcil (“Las Vegas”) is 55; TV host Paige Davis (“Trading Spaces”) is 54; actor Dominic West (“The Wire”, “The Affair”) is also 54; R&B singer Elgin Baylor Lumpkin aka Ginuwine is 48; R&B singer Keyshia Cole is 42.

Did You Know?
The trials and tribulations of the Ricardos and the Mertzes continued on “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” (originally titled “The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show”) which produced 13 one-hour episodes from 1957 to 1960). Immediately following, William Frawley was back to work as grandfather Francis “Bub” O’Casey on sitcom “My Three Sons” effective on Sept. 29, 1960. Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance were back together on “The Lucy Show” effective on Oct. 1, 1962. For more, click here…The pilot for “The Untouchables” was a two-part episode entitled “The Untouchables” originally telecast on CBS’ “Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse” in April 1959.