1926 – “Sam ‘n’ Henry” premieres on radio station WGN Chicago

Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll were a pair of comedians and actors who, in 1926, created one of the earliest serialised radio shows, a comedy (with occasional dramatic elements) entitled “Sam ‘n’ Henry”. Which is fine and dandy, although presenting one major problem to us today: Correll and Gosden were white men who parlayed an ability to impersonate black men into a highly successful career.

“Sam ‘n’ Henry” was an almost immediate hit, but disputes over syndication and payment saw Correll and Gosden jump ship after recording some 586 episodes (the show ran daily) before their final broadcast on January 29, 1928. The show limped on without them (the radio station owned the characters) until July of that year. Gosden and Correll were by then making headlines and fortunes with their new radio show, “Amos ‘n’ Andy” which had almost exactly the same premise as “Sam ‘n’ Henry” but different names for all the characters.

Referenced in:
Famous And Dandy (Like Amos And Andy) — The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy

1926 — Michio Kushi born

Japanese-born Michio Kushi is probably best known for introducing the ideas of modern macrobiotics to the USA in the Fifties.early 1950s. He arrived in the States in 1949, he and his wife Aveline have founded Erewhon Natural Foods, the East West Journal, the East West Foundation, the Kushi Foundation, One Peaceful World and the Kushi Institute. They have also written more than seventy books, mostly on the subjects of macrobiotics, spirituality and health.

Referenced in:

Black Man — Stevie Wonder

1926 – U.S. Route 66 formally proclaimed

Although the signs proclaiming its existence were not installed until the following year, Route 66 was signed into law by Congress on this day in 1926. One of the most important arteries connecting US cities, it ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, and along the way passed through the states of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, before terminating in California.

It was later decomissioned, but in its day it was one of the most important highways in the country, earning the nicknames “The Mother Road” and “The Main Street of America”. And considering that it ran through many different types of terrain and god only knows how many population centres along its nearly 2500 mile length, if you couldn’t get your kicks on Route 66, there was something terribly wrong with you 🙂

Referenced in:

(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 – Nat King Cole

“Route 66” is one of the most frequently covered songs in existence, and as such, I’ve listed only the very first version above, although the cds linked to contain numerous versions. A reasonably complete list of versions can be found here.