Events: June 20
1782 – The Great Seal of the United States was adopted by Congress on this day. William Barton designed the seal that is still used today. It consists of an eagle, an olive branch and 13 arrows — one for each of the original 13 colonies.
1837 – Princess Victoria became Queen Victoria of England on this day, following the death of her uncle, King William IV. The Princess was only 18 when she was called on to rule Britannia. Her first duty, “Hey, let’s call this the Victorian Age! Party on, subjects!” said she. And so it was for over 63 years until her death in 1901.
1921 – Alice M. Robertson of Oklahoma presided over the U.S. House of Representatives on this day. She was the first woman to accept the task, even though it was only for a few minutes.
1937 – W2XBS (later WCBS-TV) in New York City televised the first TV operetta. “Pirates of Penzance”, composed by Gilbert and Sullivan, was presented to a very small viewing audience. Television was a new, experimental medium at the time.
1948 – “Toast of the Town” premiered this night on CBS-TV. New York entertainment columnist and critic, Ed Sullivan, was the host. It started his TV career that would span 23 years on a weekly basis. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis made their television debut on the show. Also on the guest list: Rodgers & Hammerstein and pianist, Eugene List. The first show of “Toast of the Town” cost $1375 to produce including just $375 for the talent.
1960 – Floyd Patterson took back the world heavyweight title this day by knocking out Ingemar Johanson of Sweden in round five of a title bout at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Patterson didn’t have much of a chance to reflect on regaining the title, however. He lost it six days later.
1963 – The United States and the Soviet Union made a hot line agreement this day. It was a way to establish emergency communications between the two superpowers during the Cold War. The system was tested, but never used.
1969 – Guitarist Jimi Hendrix earned the biggest pay-check ever paid to the time for a single concert appearance. Hendrix was paid $125,000 to appear for a single set at the Newport Jazz Festival near LA.
1970 – “Long And Winding Road” by The Beatles started a second week in the number one spot on the pop music charts. The tune was the last one to be released by The Beatles.
1987 – Whitney Houston’s album, “Whitney”, debuted on “Billboard” magazine’s album charts at number one. Houston became the first female to have an LP debut at the top. The singer,(daughter of Cissy Houston and cousin of Dionne Warwick), began her singing career at age 11 with the New Hope Baptist Junior Choir in New Jersey. Houston first worked as a backup vocalist for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls; entered modeling in 1981, appearing in “Glamour” magazine and on the cover of “Seventeen”. Whitney married soul singer, Bobby Brown, in the late 1980s.
1858 – Charles Chesnutt (novelist: The Conjure Woman, The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, The Colonel’s Dream)
1909 – Errol Flynn (actor: Captain Blood, In the Wake of the Bounty, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Too Much Too Soon; autobiography: My Wicked, Wicked Ways)
1921 – Pancho Segura (Cano) (tennis)
1924 – Chet (Chester Burton) Atkins (Grammy Award-winning guitarist: made over 100 albums; elected to Country Music Hall of Fame )
1924 – Audie Murphy (actor: The Red Badge of Courage, The Unforgiven, Arizona Raiders, To Hell and Back)
1931 – Olympia Dukakis (Academy Award-winning actress: Moonstruck ; Steel Magnolias, Working Girl, The Cemetery Club, Death Wish, Look Who’s Talking; cousin of U.S. presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis)
1931 – Martin Landau (actor: Mission Impossible, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Tucker: The Man and His Dreams, By Dawn’s Early Light, Mistress, North by Northwest, Pork Chop Hill)
1933 – Danny Aiello (actor: Lady Blue, Moonstruck, Do the Right Thing, Ruby, Mistress, Me and the Kid, The Cemetery Club, The Pickle, The Godfather Part 2, Fort Apache, The Bronx, Harlem Nights)
1933 – Brett Halsey (actor: Black Cat, Dangerous Obsession, Twice- Told Tales, Return to Peyton Place, The Crash of Flight 401)
1934 – Brian Barder (Former British diplomat)
Rossana Podesta (actress: The Sensual Man, Sodom and Gomorrah)
1935 – Len Dawson (Pro Football Hall of Famer: KC Chiefs quarterback; sportscaster)
1937 – Jerry Keller (singer: Here Comes Summer)
1942 – Brian Wilson (bass player, singer: group: The Beach Boys: 35 hits: I Get Around, Good Vibrations, Help Me, Rhonda, Surfin’ USA; inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame )
1943 – Andy Etchebarren (baseball: Baltimore Orioles catcher)
1944 – Dave Nelson (baseball)
1945 – Dave Rowe (football: Oakland Raiders defensive tackle: Super Bowl XI)
1947 – (Morna) Anne Murray (Grammy Award-winning singer: You Needed Me [ACM Song of the Year,1979], Danny’s Song, Snowbird, You Won’t See Me, He Thinks I Still Care, Shadows In the Moonlight; TV: Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour)
1949 – Dave Elmendorf (football: LA Rams safety: Super Bowl XIV)
1949 – Lionel Richie (musician: tenor sax, songwriter, singer: group: Commodores: ASCAP Nashville Country Songwriter Award: Three Times a Lady ; solo: Truly, All Night Long (All Night), Hello, Say You Say Me)
1952 – John Goodman (actor: Roseanne, The Flintstones, The Babe, King Ralph, Born Yesterday, Matinee, Raising Arizona)
1953 – Cyndi Lauper (Grammy Award-winning singer : Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Time After Time, True Colors; actress: Mad About You, Life with Mikey)
1953 – Raul Ramirez (tennis)
1958 – Dickie Thon (baseball: Houston Astros shortstop)
1960 – Doug Gwosdz (baseball)
1967 – Nicole Kidman (actress: Days of Thunder, Far and Away, Malice, Batman Forever, Billy Bathgate; married to actor, Tom Cruise)
I Want You, I Need You, I Love You – Elvis Presley
Transfusion – Nervous Norvus
Picnic – The McGuire Sisters
The Wayward Wind – Gogi Grant
Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups
A World Without Love – Peter and Gordon
I Get Around – The Beach Boys
Memphis – Johnny Rivers
The Candy Man – Sammy Davis, Jr.
Song Sung Blue – Neil Diamond
Outa-Space – Billy Preston
The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A. – Donna Fargo
Funkytown – Lipps, Inc.
The Rose – Bette Midler
Little Jeannie – Elton John
My Heart – Ronnie Milsap