1957 – Humphrey Bogart dies

One of the silver screen’s all time great tough guys – and romantic leading men – Bogart was 57 years old when he died. In a film career that included 75 feature movies over three decades, Bogart was in some of the best films ever made: The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and, of course, Casablanca.

Bogart was the original leader of the Rat Pack, among other accomplishments – he also won an Oscar for his role in The African Queen. In 1999, decades after his death, the American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema – a claim that remains hard to argue with.

Referenced in:
Done Too Soon — Neil Diamond

1973 — Elvis Presley’s “Aloha From Hawaii” special is broadcast

Also known as “Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite”, this Elvis Presley concert was broadcast live from the Honolulu International Centre to South East Asia and Oceania. 28 European countries saw it the following day, while citizens of the USA had to wait until April to see it on tv (its original broadcast date conflicted with Super Bowl VII).

Of course, there was another way to see it: you could buy a ticket. Tickets went on sale in Hawaii a week before the concert, and all the funds raised by the concert (US $75,000) were donated to the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. That figure includes $1000 donated by Elvis himself, who took no payment for his performance. The concert cost an estimated $2.5 million dollars to stage, and Elvis Presley Productions claimed that 1.5 billion people watched it, a figure which has largely gone unchallenged (despite that fact that the total population of all the countries it was broadcast to was at that time less than 1.3 billion people).

Referenced in:
No More Fun — Roger Taylor

1977 — “Fantasy Island” premieres

The original run of “Fantasy Island” commenced with a made for tv movie screened on ABC on the night of January 14, 1977. A second such movie was screened more than a year later, on January 20, 1978, with the regular series commencing a week after that. By the time it finished in 1984, there had been 152 weekly episodes across seven seasons, and Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize were celebrities. Even now, shouting “the plane, the plane!” in a bad Spanish accent will bring back memories for many people.

Ironically, “Fantasy Island” was originally pitched as a joke, when Aaron Spelling asked an exec if what they really wanted was a show where tourists visited a tropical island to live out their sexual fantasies. The question was intended to be rhetorical, but the exec took it seriously, and the rest is history (albeit, probably less x-rated than Spelling’s sarcasm implied).

Referenced in:
TV Party — Black Flag

1984 — Boom Boom Mancini defeats Bobby Chacon

Mancini’s 1984 bout against Chacon was his fourth title defence (he had won the World Boxing Association Lightweight title in May 1982), and he once again triumphed, although this match was decided when the referee stopped it in the third round after a cut above Chacon’s eye began to bleed.

For Mancini, it was a last hurrah in many ways. A few months later, he would lose his next title bout, and after he lost a rematch for the title the following year, he largely stopped boxing, although he remained in the public eye.

Referenced in:
Boom Boom Mancini — Warren Zevon