1. 1956: Elvis made his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show
It was on this date in 1956 that Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. This would be the fifth time “The King” had been on television, but it was on this night he made history. A record 60 million viewers tuned in to watch as Elvis opened with two of his popular songs “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Love Me Tender”. That was almost 83% of the national TV viewing audience at that time making it the most watched broadcast of the decade. His previous spots on shows like the Steve Allen Show and Milton Berle Show had mixed reviews. Critics were shocked by the Kings dance moves and felt that maybe they were too provocative for TV. He even earned the nickname “Elvis the Pelvis” and it was reported that Ed Sullivan had actually deemed him inappropriate for his family style show. But when he saw the ratings his competitor Steve Allen had gotten when Elvis appeared oh his show a few months prior on July 1st, he quickly reconsidered. Elvis came out later in the hour to sing a couple more songs to close out the show, and he came out swinging. He finished with “Hound Dog” and Little Richard’s “Ready Teddy”, both of which were his faster rock and roll style songs.
2. 1893: First child of the President born in the White House
History is made on this date in 1893 when Esther Cleveland becomes the first child of a President to be born in the White House. There have been children born in the White House, both before and after Esther, but none of which belonging directly to the President. Otherwise, it was grandchildren or something along those lines. President Grover Cleveland had married his wife, Frances, on June 2, 1887, when she was just 21 years old, 27 years younger than her new husband. So not only was Frances the first first lady to give birth in the White House but also the youngest first lady in history. There was an interesting past between Clevland and Frances, he had literally known her since the day she was born because she was the daughter of one of his former law partners. It was reported that Frances’ father had passed away when she was just 11 years old. Since Cleveland was a close friend of the family he actually became her legal guardian and helped look out for her and her mother. Although there were many people that expected him to marry his former partner’s widow, he threw a curveball I guess you could say and married Frances as soon as she finished college.
3. 1965: Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game
The eighth perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball happened on this date back in 1965 after Sandy Koufax strikes out the side in the ninth inning. Koufax, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league at that time. He went up against fellow lefthanded pitcher, Bob Hendley, of the Chicago Cubs and it was a pitchers duel for the record books. Pitching the perfect game is the highest achievement a pitcher can accomplish in his career. A perfect game is defined as retiring 27 consecutive batters without a single player making it on base. No walks, no hits, beaned with the ball, anything like that. Basically it’s either a strikeout or a field out, “three up three down” as me and my dynamic duo shortstop/second basemen used to say playing little league. Hendley was having a great game as well and had Koufax not had the game of his life, he probably would’ve picked up the win. In the 5th inning, Hendley walked Lou Johnson and that would end up costing him the game. Johnson made it to second after a sacrifice hit and then went on to steal third. The catcher fumbled one of the next pitches and Johnson went for it, stealing home as well to score the Dodgers only run, but winning run. Because when your pitcher is Sandy Koufax throwing a perfect game it only takes 1. Koufax would end up striking out 5 of his last 6 batters that night securing his perfect game without question. He would finish the night with 14 strikeouts, which is currently tied as the most ever in a perfect game. The Dodgers would go on to win the World Series that year.