Your Week in History: Short papacies and Nixon's love of dogs - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Your Week in History: Short papacies and Nixon's love of dogs

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Devils Tower, shown here, was the first national monument. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Devils Tower, shown here, was the first national monument. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Urban VII, the shortest reigning pope, died Sept. 27, 1590. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Urban VII, the shortest reigning pope, died Sept. 27, 1590. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
William Faulkner was born Sept. 25, 1897. (Source: Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons) William Faulkner was born Sept. 25, 1897. (Source: Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)
The USS Enterprise, bottom, USS Long Beach, middle, and USS Bainbridge form Task Force One, the first nuclear-powered task force in 1964. (Source: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons) The USS Enterprise, bottom, USS Long Beach, middle, and USS Bainbridge form Task Force One, the first nuclear-powered task force in 1964. (Source: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons)
The F-22 Raptor first took flight Sept. 29, 1990. (Source: U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons) The F-22 Raptor first took flight Sept. 29, 1990. (Source: U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons)

(RNN) - It's almost fall.

Ugh. I'm a summer person. I love football, but I hate cold weather. This summer wasn't even all that summery. I mean, only one wasp got into my house. What kind of summer is that?

You know who else loved summer? John Wayne.

OK, I have no clue if Wayne liked summer or not, but he was an American and if you don't like summer you're not an American, therefore Wayne liked summer. Although all those movie shoots on horseback in dusty places would probably be more fun in the fall or spring.

Speaking of those movie shoots, here's some people who were there with him.

Arthur Hunnicutt died Sept. 26, 1979, and played a "noisy old Indian-fighter" named Bull in El Dorado. He was nominated for an Oscar for his role in The Big Sky and played Uncle Jesse in Moonrunners, which was the basis for the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard.

Actor and director Robert Montgomery starred with Wayne in They Were Expendable and directed some scenes in the movie. He died Sept. 27, 1981.

Walter Pidgeon starred in several movies, but is perhaps most notable as the villain opposite Wayne in The Dark Command. He was born Sept. 23, 1897, and died Sept. 25, 1984.

William Conrad was in The Conqueror and was not one of the people who was supposedly poisoned by the government and died of cancer. Conrad is best known as the voice of Marshal Matt Dillon in the radio version of Gunsmoke and the narrator of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. He was born Sept. 27, 1920.

Here are some of the events of note that happened between Sept. 23 and 29.

Life and Death

Several famous writers qualify for the category this week. F. Scott Fitzgerald was born Sept. 24, 1896, and William Faulkner was born a year and three days later. T.S. Eliot was born Sept. 26, 1888, and Dr. Seuss died Sept. 24, 1991.

The United States' most prolific fighter pilot was born Sept. 24, 1920. Richard Bong shot down 40 enemy planes during World War II, but he claimed to have shot down more and was awarded the Medal of Honor. He became a test pilot and was killed in an accident the same day an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Another famous World War II aviator and Medal of Honor recipient, Jimmy Doolittle, died Sept. 27, 1993. Doolittle led the famous bombing raid on Tokyo and on Sept. 25, 1929, performed the first "blind flight" to prove that an entire flight from take-off to landing could be performed using only the plane's instruments.

Muppets creator Jim Henson shares a birthday with Mean Joe Greene. Both were born Sept. 24 - Henson in 1936 and Greene in 1946. I'll let Kermit the Frog tie them together.

The Price is Right announcer Rod Roddy came on down Sept. 28, 1937, Jerry Clower was born the same day in 1926, Christopher Reeve was born Sept. 25, 1952, Johnny Appleseed was born Sept. 26, 1774, Harpo Marx died Sept. 28, 1964, and Ray Charles (Sept. 23, 1930) shares a birthday with Bruce Springsteen (Sept. 23, 1949).

Two short-lived papacies came to end this week with the deaths of Urban VII on Sept. 27, 1590, and John Paul I on Sept. 28, 1978. Urban VII is the shortest reigning pope, having been in office for 13 days. John Paul I was pope for 34 days and his death resulted in the most recent "year of three popes."

There have only been 13 years where there were three popes (in one, there were four), and the most recent after 1978 was 1605.

Overlooked Anniversaries

Congress passed 12 Amendments to the Constitution on Sept. 25, 1789, and sent them to the states to be ratified. Only 10 were ratified and today we know them as the Bill of Rights. But the numbers we know them by weren't their original numbers.

The First Amendment was actually the third one and all the others follow in succession. The two amendments not to be ratified were the first and second ones.

The first one provided for a guarantee of minimum representation in Congress. It says that every 30,000 people get a representative until there are 100 representatives after which representatives must be from districts no smaller than 40,000 people. Once there are 200 representatives, new representatives can't be from a district larger than 50,000 people. It was ratified by 11 states at the time and if ratified today would cause no change in Congressional representation, but could create issues for future positions.

The second one concerned when pay increases for Congress could go into effect. It was ratified by seven states at the time, but was later ratified by 38 more and went into effect as the 27th Amendment in 1992. To date, it is the last amendment to be ratified.

Richard Nixon invoked his children's love of dogs in the Checkers speech Sept. 23, 1952, after being accused of misusing campaign funds. Nixon was in danger of being removed as Dwight Eisenhower's running mate on the presidential ticket, but the speech galvanized public support for him and Eisenhower and they won huge over Adlai Stevenson.

The speech is 30 minutes long and the Checkers reference is at the 18-minute mark. (I watched all the boring stuff so you don't have to.)

Speaking of Nixon and vice presidents, the first episode of 60 Minutes aired Sept. 24, 1968. It didn't have its signature stopwatch ticking, but it did have Nixon talking on the phone with New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller (who we learn is impossible to get off the phone with) about his potential vice president. Nixon says he wants someone who can "campaign the whole country" and is "sophisticated in the city problem." He chose Spiro Agnew, who later resigned from the position.

Nixon was also involved in the first televised presidential debate Sept. 26, 1960, against John F. Kennedy, and it's entirely different than the debates of today. Nixon was perceived to have won the debate by those who listened to it on the radio, but Kennedy was perceived to have won by those who watched on TV.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints renounced polygamy Sept. 24, 1890, Neptune was discovered Sept. 23, 1846, the Rosetta Stone was deciphered Sept. 27, 1822, Phantom of the Opera was published Sept. 23, 1909, Devils Tower was named the first national monument Sept. 24, 1906, and penicillin was discovered Sept. 28, 1928.

Machine Gun Kelly gave federal agents their nickname "G-men" when he surrendered Sept. 26, 1933, but his acquisition was overshadowed by the prison escape of 10 members of John Dillinger's gang the same day.

Something About Sports

Tommy John surgery was performed for the first time Sept. 25, 1974. The surgery has been so successful at helping athletes, specifically pitchers, that a growing number of people recommend healthy athletes have the surgery before any problem with their arm is noticed.

Jose Canseco created the 40/40 Club on Sept 23, 1988. Only four players have ever hit 40 home runs and stolen 40 bases in the same season - Canseco in 1988, Barry Bonds in 1996, Alex Rodriguez in 1998 and Alfonso Soriano in 2006. Soriano is the only one that hasn't been linked to steroid use.

Nolan Ryan set an MLB record with his fifth no-hitter Sept. 26, 1981, and Jim Deshaies set an MLB record by striking out the first eight batters of a game Sept. 23, 1986.

The New York Knickerbockers were formed Sept. 23, 1845, and were the first baseball team to play under modern rules. They were also the first team to wear baseball uniforms.

The Week in Warfare

William the Conqueror, known at the time as William the Bastard, invaded England Sept. 28, 1066, to begin the Norman Conquest.

The first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, launched Sept. 24, 1960. It is the longest warship ever built. It was decommissioned last year and is currently being disassembled.

The F-22 Raptor made its first flight Sept. 29, 1990.

Holiday You Should Celebrate

Sept. 28 is Ask a Stupid Question Day. Do we really need a holiday for this?

Preview of next week

"Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny."

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