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Today in History: Wednesday, July 10, 2024

© by Image courtesy of Enlarge Image Jay Leno’s 6 greatest moments Margaret Norton/NBC

NBC introduced the television version of music series “Your Hit Parade” in 1950 as a replacement for dramatic anthology “Robert Montgomery Presents.” The concept was introduced on NBC Radio in 1935 in a format featuring the top songs of the week countdown to the number one pick. Following a four week summer run, “Your Hit Parade” returned as a regularly scheduled series in October 1950, simulcast with the radio version…”World News Tonight“, the ABC evening news telecast that was reformatted with this new title, launched in 1978. It was anchored by Frank Reynolds (from D.C.), Max Robinson (from Chicago) and Peter Jennings (from London) with special reports by Barbara Walters and Howard K. Smith. Robinson became the first African-American anchor on a nightly network newscast…In 1985, Coca-Cola announced the return of the original Coke formula and renamed it Coca-Cola Classic. This followed the dismal, short-lived release of New Coke in April 1985…Fox drama “Beverly Hills, 90210” opened its second season in 1991 with a batch of summer-themed episodes that helped solidify its status as a bona fide hit. The series ultimately aired for 10 seasons, producing 294 episodes in total…Hugh Grant was a guest on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in 1995 to promote the film “Nine Months” when host Jay Leno pointedly asked him “What the hell were you thinking?” The appearance came two weeks following Grant’s arrest for solicitation of a prostitute in Los Angeles. The night officially marked the ascension of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” as the new No. 1 show in late night over rival “The Late Show with David Letterman” on CBS.

The United States women’s soccer team defeated China 5-4 in the penalty shootout to win the Women’s World Cup at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California in 1999, the second Cup for the U.S. Its most iconic image was USA’s Brandi Chastain ripping off her jersey and falling to her knees in a sports bra while celebrating her championship-winning kick.

“Escape from New York,directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine, Adrienne Barbeau and Donald Pleasance, opened in theaters on this day  in 1981. Carpenter wrote the film in the mid-1970s in reaction to the Watergate scandal. After the success of “Halloween” in 1978, he had enough influence to begin production and filmed it mainly in St. Louis, Missouri on an estimated budget of $6 million...Live-action/animated hybrid “Cool World,” starring Brad PittGabriel Byrne and the voice of Kim Basinger opened in 1992.

The Beatles released “A Hard Day’s Night,” their 3rd studio album, in 1964...The Rolling Stones scored their 1st U.S. #1 single “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in 1965…Coldplay released their debut album “Parachutes” in 2000…Also reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100: “Afternoon Delight” by Starlight Vocal Band in 1976; “Weak” by SWV in 1993; “I Believe“, the debut single from “American Idol” season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino, in 2004.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actor William Smithers (“Dallas”, “Peyton Place”) is 97; singer Mavis Staples is 85; actor Mills Watson (“B.J. and the Bear”) is 84;  actress Phyllis Smith (“The Office”) is 73; actress Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve”) is 66; “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara is 52; actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years A Slave”) is 50; “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier is 48; pop singer Jessica Simpson is 44.

Did You Know?

Adrienne Barbeau is remembered primarily for portraying Maude’s (Bea Arthur) daughter Carol in the 1970s Norman Lear sitcom. But during the 1990s, she became known for providing the voice of Catwoman on “Batwoman: The Animated Series” and subsequent “Batman” cartoon series…When Shannen Doherty left “Beverly Hills, 90210” after the fourth season in 1994, Drew Barrymore was offered a part on the series but she turned it down to focus on her film career. Other contenders before Tiffani Thiessen was cast as Valerie Malone were Alyssa Milano and Alicia Silverstone. Doherty ultimately reprised her role as Brenda Walsh in seven episodes of the “90210” revival on The CW from 2008-09. And the original cast — Jason Priestley, Jennie GarthTori SpellingIan ZieringBrian Austin GreenGabrielle Carteris and Shannen Doherty — returned for failed reboot “BH90210 on Fox last summer.