Today's History Trivia for May 3
1973 The Sears Tower The Sears Tower is topped offed, making it the tallest building in the world. At 1,454-feet-high, 108 stories, it held this distinction for 25 years. It is now known as the Willis Tower.
1988 Presidential Astrologer Excerpts from U.S. President Ronald Reagan's former chief of staff, describing astrologer Joan Quigley's role in White House decisions, are printed in Time magazine. See For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington
1937 Gone With The Wind Margaret Mitchell's Civil War novel is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It sold a million copies in its first six months.
1845 First black lawyer admitted the bar Macon B. Allen of Massachusetts.
1833 Mormons The religious groups adopts the name "Latter Day Saints."
1820 Slavery Missouri Compromise, banning slavery west of the Mississippi above the lower Missouri border, except in Missouri.
1798 U.S. Department of the Navy is established.
1765 First U.S. Medical School College of Philadelphia Department of Medicine (now the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) is established.
1654 First American Toll Bridge Richard Thurlow opens his bridge over the Newbury River at Rowley, Massachusetts. The toll was for animals, people passed for free. Source Famous First Facts
Today's Birthdays for May 3
1903 Bing Crosby d. 1977 (Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr.), American Oscar-winning actor, singer. He has sold over a billion records. Film: Going My Way (1944, Oscar as Father O'Malley). His 1942 recording of White Christmas sold 25,000,000 copies.
1951 Christopher Cross (Christopher Geppert), American Grammy-winning singer. Music: Sailing (1980, #1) and Arthur's Theme (1981, #1 and Best Original Song Oscar).
1947 Doug Henning d. 2000 Canadian magician. He helped to revive the art of magic in the 1970s. He later quit what he now called "fake magic" in order to pursue Transcendental Meditation (TM) in the attempt to learn to levitate. When diagnosed with liver cancer, he chose to forego traditional medicine in favor of TM. He died five months later.
1944 Pete Staples British guitarist, founding member of the Troggs. Music: Wild Thing (1966, #1).
1934 Frankie Valli (Frank Castelluccio), American singer. With the Four Seasons. Music: Sherry (1962), Big Girls Don't Cry (1962), and December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) (1975).
1933 James Brown d. 2006 American soul singer, "The Godfather of Soul." Music: I Feel Good (1965) and Living in America (1986).
1933 Alex Cord (Alexander Viespi), American actor, rodeo performer. TV: Airwolf (1984-86, Michael Archangel).
1927 Mell Lazarus d. 2016 American cartoonist. Creator of Miss Peach (1957-2002) and Momma (1970-2016).
1926 Ann B. Davis d. 2014 American Emmy-winning actress. TV: The Brady Bunch (Alice Nelson, the housekeeper).
1921 Sugar Ray Robinson d. 1989 (Walker Smith Jr.), American welterweight boxing champion and five-time world middleweight champion.
1920 Dan Bankhead d. 1976 American baseball player, first black pitcher in major league baseball (1947), with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1919 Pete Seeger d. 2014 American folk singer. Music: If I Had a Hammer (1949, co-writer) and Turn! Turn! Turn!
1906 Mary Astor d. 1987 (Lucille Vasconcellos Langhanke), Oscar-winning actress, The Maltese Falcon (1941) and The Great Lie (1941, Oscar).
1898 Golda Meir d. 1978 (Golda Mabovitch), Israel's first female Prime Minister (1969-74) and signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence (1948).
1889 Beulah Bondi d. 1981 (Beulah Bondy), American Emmy-winning actress She died from injuries caused by tripping over her cat. Film: It's a Wonderful Life (1946, George Bailey's mother).
1874 Francois Coty d. 1934 French perfume maker and newspaper publisher. The Father of Modern Perfumes.
Deaths for May 3
1989 Christine Jorgensen b. 1926 (George William Jorgensen Jr.), American sex change recipient (c1952). She had the surgery in Denmark and was the first widely-known sex change recipient in the United States. On her return to the U.S., the New York Daily News ran a front page story with the headline "Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Bombshell" making her an instant celebrity. Writings: Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography.
2011 Jackie Cooper b. 1922 (John Cooperman Jr.), American actor, Emmy-winning director, called "America's Boy". He was the first child actor to receive an Academy Award nomination. He appeared in 15 Our Gang films. Film: The Champ (1931), Sooky (1931), Superman (1978, Superman's boss).
2008 Ted Key b. 1912 American cartoonist. Creator of Hazel (1943) and Peabody's Improbable History (1959).
2007 Walter M. Schirra Jr b. 1923 American astronaut, one of the seven original Project Mercury astronauts. He was the only person to fly in all of America's first three space programs (Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo).
2003 Don Johnson b. 1940 American ten-pin bowler, PBA Hall of Famer, Bowler of the Year (1971-72).
1976 David Bruce b. 1914 (Andrew McBroom), American actor. TV: Beulah (Harry Henderson). Film: The Mad Ghoul (Ted Allison)
1816 James McHenry b. 1753 Irish-born American surgeon, statesman, signer of the U.S. Constitution, and for whom Fort McHenry is named. He was U.S. Secretary of War (1796-1800).
1758 Benedict XIV b. 1675 Italian religious leader, 247th Pope (1740-58).