Little Bits of History

June 27

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2017

1971: Fillmore East closes. Wulf Wolodia Grajonca was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany. The family had emigrated from Russia before the rise of the Nazis and Wulf’s father died two days after his only son’s birth. Because of rising animosity toward Jews in Germany, his mother put him and one sister into an orphanage. They were able to get to France in an exchange of Christian children for Jewish children. France fell to Germany but Wulf was able to be snuck out of France and was brought to America. He was one of the One Thousand Children – mostly Jewish children who were able to escape Hitler’s European Holocaust. Wulf’s mother died at Auschwitz but four of his sisters survived. His youngest sister died during the trip to flee France and never reached the US.

Wulf was placed in a foster home in the Bronx and changed his name to Bill Graham, lost his German accent, and tried to assimilate against taunts of being a Nazi because of his German accent. He graduated from City College as an “efficiency expert”. He was drafted into the US Army and served in the Korean War, winning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. After discharge, he went to work in the Catskill Mountain resorts during their heyday. Here he learned the skills needed for his life’s career, that of rock star promoter. He left New York and moved to San Francisco and organized his first concert, a benefit to help another artist who had been arrested on obscenity charges. He was on his way to promoting ever bigger names and opening venues in which to host concerts.

He opened his venue in the west, but eventually moved back “home” to New York City. A theater at 105 Second Avenue was originally built as a Yiddish theater in 1925. It went through several iterations in the next half century. Graham took it over in 1967 when the building was in disrepair with a small marquee and façade hiding the seating capacity of nearly  2,700. He named it Fillmore East, a compliment to his existing Fillmore in San Francisco. It opened on March 8, 1968 and was quickly a hot spot, called The Church of Rock and Roll. He often had two show, triple bill concerts several nights a week with acts alternating between the two coasts.

Because the acoustics were excellent, many top acts used Fillmore East to record live albums. The Allman Brothers recorded three albums as did Miles Davis and the Jefferson Airplane, while the Grateful Dead recorded four. Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon and Yoko Ono each recorded live there once along with a host of other bands. The music industry was changing and there was large growth in the concert industry so Graham closed his East venue on this day with a stellar performance by several big names. He was one of the biggest rock promoters in the business and died in a helicopter crash, returning from a Huey Lewis and the News concert in 1991 at the age of 60. His legacy continues at part of Live Nation, run by former employees and his sons.

Rock and roll is here to stay. – Neil Young

You see, rock and roll isn’t a career or hobby – it’s a life force. It’s something very essential. – The Edge

Music, Rock and Roll music especially, is such a generational thing. Each generation must have their own music, I had my own in my generation, you have yours, everyone I know has their own generation. – Ronnie James Dio

The ’60s are gone, dope will never be as cheap, sex never as free, and the rock and roll never as great. – Abbie Hoffman

Battle of Berne

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2015
Hungarian soccer team

Hungarian soccer team

June 27, 1954: Hungary and Brazil meet in a quarter-final game of the FIFA World Cup series. The 1954 FIFA World Cup was played in Switzerland at six different cities with this day’s match held at the Wankdorf Stadium in Berne. Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, and Zürich also hosted games. The Wankdorf Stadium had the largest seating capacity at 64,000. Geneva’s stadium, Charmilles, only held 9,250. The FIFA World Cup was founded in 1930 as a worldwide competition for football/soccer. The tournament is played every four years (with 1942 and 1946 cancelled due to World War II). Brazil has been included in every single FIFA match (the only team to do so) and been the most successful team with five titles.

Thirty-two teams compete in the tournament which lasts about a month. The 1954 games were played between June 16 and July 4 – a period of 19 days. There were 26 matches played with a total of 140 goals scored for an average of 5.38 per match, a record. Brazil had already beaten Mexico (5-0) and tied with Yugoslavia (1-1). Hungary had already beaten South Korea (9-0) and West Germany (8-3). The day’s weather was pouring rain which led to slippery conditions and difficulty controlling the ball. Within minutes of the start, Hungary took the lead and before ten minutes had gone by, the score was 2-0 Hungary. Brazil made a goal on a penalty kick and at half time the score was 2-1.

Soon after the start of the second half, Hungary was awarded a penalty and scored to bring the score to 3-1. Brazilian journalists and officials were outraged and had to be ushered off by the police. The game became a battlefield with increasingly nasty fouls and borderline tactics. A Hungarian player was fouled and he and his opponent got into a fight on the field and both were sent off. The final score was 4-2 Hungary. There were 42 free kicks and 2 penalties awarded during the game along with 4 cautions and 3 dismissals. The end of the game did not mean the end to the hostilities. After the game, the Brazilian players entered the Hungarian dressing room to continue the fight. The game became known as the Battle of Berne.

The final match for the 1954 FIFA World Cup was a rematch between West Germany and Hungary. West Germany won (their first win) and Hungary was in second place with Austria and Uruguay in third and fourth places respectively. Brazil was out of the top four but came back to win the 1958 Cup. They went on to win again in 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002. Hungary has made nine appearances at the World Cup with the first in 1934. Their best outcome has been as runners up in 1938 and in this event. The German team has been in 18 World Cup tournaments and took first place in this one as well as 1974, 1990, and 2014.

One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it. – Knute Rockne

I would advise all youths aspiring to athletic fame or a professional career to practice clean living, fair play and good sportsmanship. – Major Taylor

Sportsmanship and easygoing methods are all right, but it is the prospect of a hot fight that brings out the crowds. – John McGraw

Professionalism is not sportsmanship. If you don’t succeed, you won’t be in your profession for long. In our society, it’s not about good or bad. It’s about who’s on top. – Chili Davis

Also on this day:  The Oscar of the Children’s Library – In 1922, the Newbery Medal was first awarded.
Collinswood – In 1966, Dark Shadows premiered.
ATM – In 1867, the world’s first ATM was installed.
Helen Keller –  In 1880, Helen was born.
High Score – In 1899, the highest score in cricket was made by AEJ Collins.

High Score

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2014
AEJ Collins

AEJ Collins

June 27, 1899: AEJ Collins scores 628 runs not out in cricket. This is the highest ever recorded score in the game. Collins was 13 years old at the time and the score was accumulated over four days. He was born in India, where his father served as a judge in the Indian Civil Service. Both parents had died before he started school at Clifton College in September 1897. He played both rugby and cricket and received a bronze medal for boxing at the public school tournament in 1901. Collins was playing for Clarke’s House against North Town House and the teams were playing on an outfield which has since been renamed Collins Piece. The field was rough and in an unusual shape with a narrow field. Because of the oddity of field shape, the three short boundaries only counted for two runs.

The match began on Thursday, June 22 because there was a holiday while the college team played an annual match against Old Cliftonians nearby. Collins won the toss and chose to bat first with the game starting around 3.30 PM. When play ended at 6 PM, he had scored 200 runs. School lessons permitted another 2.5 hours of play on Friday and news of the boy’s achievement had reached the college audience who abandoned the older boys to watch young Collins. He ended the day with a score of 509 although it was misreported in the papers as 510 and his name was listed as AEG Collins. The play resumed on Monday during the lunch hour and he ended with a score of 598. On Tuesday, June 27, the school authorities permitted a longer playing time to attempt to finish the match. Play ended with Collins scoring 628 – 1 six, 4 fives, 31 fours, 33 threes, 146 twos, and 87 singles.

Despite all this, Collins never played professional sports. Instead he chose an army career and passed entrance exams to the Royal Military Academy which he entered in September 1901. He represented the Academy in both rugby and cricket and scored a century for them as well. He joined the British Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1904. He continued to play sports for the military but never played first-class cricket. He was sent to France when World War I broke out and was killed in action on November 11, 1914 at the First Battle of Ypres having attained the rank of Captain.

Cricket is a bat and ball game played between two teams, each with 11 players. A rectangular 22-yard long pitch lies in the center of the field. Each team takes turn to bat and attempt to score runs while the other team fields. The bowler delivers the ball to the batsman who attempts to hit the ball away from the fielders so he can run to the other end of the pitch – which is counted as a run – without getting run out. Each batsman continues batting until he is out. The batting team continues batting until ten batsmen are out. There is always one “not out” batsman as the last one has no partner to bat with. The game has been played in England since the 16th century and she brought it to many of her colonies. In the mid 1800s, the first international match was held.

I hate losing and cricket being my first love, once I enter the ground it’s a different zone altogether and that hunger for winning is always there. – Sachin Tendulkar

To me, it doesn’t matter how good you are. Sport is all about playing and competing. Whatever you do in cricket and in sport, enjoy it, be positive and try to win. – Ian Botham

To me, cricket is a simple game. Keep it simple and just go out and play. – Shane Warne

I tend to think that cricket is the greatest thing that God ever created on earth – certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either. – Harold Pinter

Also on this day: The Oscar of the Children’s Library – In 1922, the Newbery Medal was first awarded.
Collinswood – In 1966, Dark Shadows premiered.
ATM – In 1867. the world’s first ATM was installed.
Helen Keller –  In 1880, Helen was born.

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Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2013
Dark Shadows cast

Dark Shadows cast

June 27, 1966: Dark Shadows premieres on ABC. The show was created by Dan Curtis and based on an episode called “The House” written by Art Wallace and aired on Goodyear Playhouse in 1957. The original story “bible” had no supernatural elements. The action took place at the Collinswood Mansion, a 40 room house that was built in 1795 by Joshua Collins and trouble brewed within its walls.

Victoria Winters arrived at Collinswood as governess to David Collins. Vicki, an inquisitive young woman, sought out the strange family history. The set was eventually occupied by vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, monsters, witches, and warlocks. Creatures not only traveled through time to both the past and future, but also to a parallel universe. The whole show was portrayed against the eerie background music provided by Robert Colbert.

The soap opera ran until April 2, 1971. In that time, over 200 cast members had appeared in 1,245 30-minute episodes. Due to pre-empted holiday dates, news interruptions, and other vagaries of daytime TV “only” 1,225 shows were aired. One of the reasons for the unparalleled success was an airtime coup. The groundbreaking series ran at 4 PM Eastern / 3 PM Central – a time slot that permitted teenagers just home from school to turn in while adults were busy with household tasks, like making dinner.

The show has gained a cult following and remains in syndication even 30 years after it was cancelled. It was sold on VHS tape and is now available in DVD sets, one of only two soaps to reach this milestone (the other is the Australian Prisoner). There have been unsuccessful attempts to revive the series as well as movies based on Collinswood and its occupants. There is talk of making a new movie and Johnny Depp may get to fulfill a childhood dream and become one of his heroes, Barnabas Collins, the vampire.

“My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is beginning. A journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me and link my past with my future. A journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place, to the edge of the sea high atop Widows’ Hill – a house called Collinwood. A world I’ve never known, with people I’ve never met. People who tonight are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows.” – Dark Shadows opening

“For most men, time moves slowly, oh so slowly, they don’t even realize it. But time has revealed itself to me in a very special way. Time is a rushing, howling wind that rages past me, withering me in a single, relentless blast, and then continues on. I’ve been sitting here passively, submissive to its rage, watching its work. Listen! Time, howling, withering!” – Barnabas Collins

“Of course a woman is going to kill me. I wouldn’t have it any other way!” – Quentin Collins

“I wonder why Willie went in the secret room? Maybe there’s something in there he doesn’t want anyone to see-maybe something… horrible!” – David Collins

This article first appeared at in 2009. Editor’s update: Dan Curtis, nee Daniel Mayer Cherkoss, was born in Connecticut in 1927. While he is famous for this soap opera, he has other credits to his name. His film, The Night Stalker, was the most watched TV movie for many years and it inspired other series as well. He usually used the macabre genre for his many films, but it 1978, he wrote and produced When Every Day Was the Fourth of July, a semi-autobiographical work about growing up in Connecticut. His miniseries The Winds of War was nominated for several Emmy Awards. He directed War and Remembrance, a miniseries to follow The Winds of War. It was split into two series since it was 30 hours in length. It received 15 Emmy nominations and won for best miniseries, special effects, and single camera production editing. Also nominated were best actor (John Gielgud), best actress (Jane Seymour), and best supporting actress (Polly Bergen).

Also on this day: The Oscar of the Children’s Library – In 1922, the Newbery Medal was first awarded.
ATM – In 1867. the world’s first ATM was installed.
Helen Keller –  In 1880, Helen was born.

Helen Keller

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2012

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

June 27, 1880: Helen Keller is born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Helen’s father was the son of former Confederate Captain Arthur H. Keller and Kate Adams Keller. Helen was born at the family plantation, Ivy Green. Her mother was Robert E. Lee’s cousin and the daughter of a Confederate general. Helen was born a healthy baby and remained so until she was 19 months old. She was then struck by a disease described as “an acute congestion of the stomach or brain.” Modern doctors have thought the disease was either scarlet fever or meningitis. Helen was not ill for very long, however, she was left both blind and deaf as a result of the illness.

The toddler was befriended by the cook’s daughter, six-year-old Martha Washington. They communicated using signs and eventually, the two children had over 60 home signs used to converse. This is said to have been crucial to Helen’s ability to later converse with her tutor. The Keller family brought their daughter to Baltimore, after hearing about another blind child being successfully educated. Laura Bridgman had been treated by Dr. J. Julian Chisolm. He consulted with the Kellers and sent them to Alexander Graham Bell who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell sent them to Perkins Institute for the Blind and this is where they were introduced to Anne Sullivan. Sullivan, only twenty years old, was sent to help young Helen.

Anne arrived at Helen’s house in March 1887. She immediately began spelling words into the young girl’s hand. D-o-l-l. She handed the doll to Helen, but the relationship was not clear to the child. The connection between sign and word came when Anne held her hands under water while continually spelling the word. Once the relationship between Anne’s sign against Helen’s palm and the words they represented became clear, Helen was off and running. She began schooling at Perkins in May 1888.

Helen became a successful author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first blind-deaf person to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her life story has been told in the play and movie, The Miracle Worker. Helen was a pacifist, a socialist, and campaigned for women’s suffrage and workers’ rights. She authored 12 books and many articles. While visiting Japan, she was taken with the breed of dog from Akita Prefecture. She was given one to bring home and when it fell ill and died, a second dog was offered. She is credited with bring the peaceful and loyal dogs to America. She died in her sleep in 1968 at the age of 87.

All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.

Once I knew only darkness and stillness… my life was without past or future… but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living. – all from Helen Keller

Also on this day:

The Oscar of the Children’s Library – In 1922, the Newbery Medal was first awarded.
Collinswood – In 1966, Dark Shadows premiered.
ATM – In 1867. the world’s first ATM was installed.

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Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2011

Automatic Teller Machine

June 27, 1967: The world’s first ATM is installed at Barclay’s, a bank in Enfield, London. A New York City bank had a similar machine installed back in 1939, but it was pulled after six months because no one would use it. A quarter-century later, John Shepherd-Barron was frustrated when he couldn’t access his accounts on weekends. He was a managing director at De La Rue Instruments and devised a machine that would allow him better access to his money. He created an “auto-teller.”

The De La Rue Automatic Cash System worked with chemically coated cheques that were purchased in advance and could then be used when the bank itself was closed. Reg Varney, a British television personality was the first person to use the new machine. By the early 2000s, there were over 800,000 machines worldwide. Diebold, NCR, and Wincor Nixdorf are the top three manufacturers, but De La Rue still holds 20% market share.

ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine and so when calling them an ATM machine, it is rather redundant. Other fun names for the ubiquitous helper are Drink-Link [Ireland], Hole-in-the-Wall [New Zealand, Australia, UK], and Bancomat [Europe and Russia].

Today’s machines accept plastic cards with a magnetic stripe or smartcards with a chip. The magnetic stripe or chip contains information regarding accounts and data associated with them. Access is made after confirmation by entering your Personal Identification Number [PIN] into the machine. Some fees may apply when using an ATM, especially if you are outside your banking institution’s network. Security and safety are issues as well. Software solutions are updated regularly and location issues are dealt with by teaching customers routine safety precautions. Security cameras are often utilized and there is spacing etiquette while others are using a machine. There are also maximum amounts of cash that can be withdrawn.

“ATM machines are all over the place. They’re in Croatia. They’re in Hungary. It’s the way people operate all over Europe.” – Carol Mickelsen

“Eighty-six percent of institutions will charge you for using a different bank’s ATM.” – Greg McBride

“With the branches that remain open, there will be longer lines. Sometimes a bank will basically close the larger branches and push people onto ATMs or even supermarket branches.” -Kenneth Thomas

“ATMs are the black hole of finance.” – Dee Lee

Also on this day:
The Oscar of the Children’s Library – In 1922, the Newbery Medal was first awarded.
Collinswood – In 1966, Dark Shadows premiered.

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The Oscar of the Children’s Library

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2010

The Newbery Medal

June 27, 1922: The Newbery Medal, awarded for excellence in children’s literature, is presented for the first time to Hendrik Willem van Loon for The Story of Mankind. Van Loon, a Dutch-American journalist and history professor, wrote the book for his grandchildren. It is a history of Western civilization. There are runners-up each year as well as the Newbery winner and they receive the Newbery Honor, both awards named for John Newbery, an 18th century publisher of juvenile books.

The American Library Association conceived of the award which is given to the most distinguished American children’s book published in the preceding season. The Newbery Medal is the first children’s book award in the world. It, along with the Caldecott Medal – for best artist of an illustrated book – are the top prizes for children’s literature. The bronze medals given to the winners of these prestigious awards were both designed by Rene Paul Chambellan.

The criteria for winner of the Newbery are 1) technical adeptness and excellence of presentation for the desired audience; and 2) the contribution to literature, as well as others. It is not a popularity contest. In fact, both Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White and Old Yeller by Fred Gipson were runners-up rather than winners. White’s book lost to Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan  Clark and Gipson’s lost to Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen.

There are several other awards given yearly for children’s literature. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors lifetime achievements rather than a year’s authorship. The Andrew Carnegie Medal rewards exceptional videography. The Batchelder Award honors books translated into English for American readers. And beginning in 2006, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given to an author or illustrator who contributes to the beginning reader’s quest for entertainment.

“We read to train the mind, to fill the mind, to rest the mind, to recreate the mind, or to escape the mind.” – Holbrook Jackson

“You can never read bad literature too little, nor good literature too much.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism, what will be grasped at once.” – Cyril Connolly

Also on this day, in 1966 Dark Shadows premiered.

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