On this day in 1973, the only actor to bring to life all four major monsters of the 20th century – The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, the Mummy and Dracula, “The Screens Master Character Creator” – Lon Chaney Jr. died from a heart attack at the age of 67.
On this day in 1984, Presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale named New York Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro as his running mate, making her the first woman to run on a major party ticket.
Julius Caesar: was born on this day in 100 BC in Rome
Henry David Thoreau: Born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts.
Oscar Hammerstein II: Born Oscar Greeley Clendenining Hammerstein on July 12th, 1895 at New York, New York. Died: August 23, 1960 Writer, theatrical producer, and director of musicals. Winner of eight Tony Awards, 2 Academy Awards for “Best Original Song.” Author of over 850 songs – and lyricist and playwrite with Jerome Kern, Vincent Youmans, Rudolf Frimi and Sigmuncd Romberg. But most famous for his work with Richard Rodgers. His best known songs were: “Ol’ Man River” from Show Boat; “Indian Love Call” from Rose Marie ;”People Will Say We’re in Love” and “Oklahoma” from Oklahoma!; “Some Enchanted Evening”, from South Pacific; “Getting to Know You” from The King and I and The theme song from “The Sound of Music” as well as “Climb Every Mountain”. Four albums of Hammerstein’s musicals were named to the RIAA “Songs of the Century” The Sound of Music at # 36; Oklahoma! at #66; South Pacific at #224; The King and I at #249 and Show Boat at #312
Milton Berle: Born Milton Berlinger on July 12, 1908 at Manhattan, New York. Died March 27, 2002. One of the first major stars of television, when the technology of television was still new, was still in black & white, you needed an antenna to receive the stations and a lot of money – because it was really expensive! The host and star of NBC’s Texaco Star Theater – he soon became known as Uncle Miltie to all and Mr. Television to millions.
Van Cliburn: Born Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn Jr. in Shreveport, Louisiana. Exploded onto the worldwide stage in 1958 when at the ripe old age of 23 won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the cold war. He returned from Moscow to a ticker-tape parade in New York City, the only time such an honor has been accorded a classical musician. He even made the cover of Time magazine, where the headline blared – “The Texan Who Conquered Russia.”
Bill Cosby: born William Henry Cosby Jr. at Philadelphia, PA on July 12th, 1937
Christine McVie: Born Christine Anne Perfect near Greenodd, Cumbria, England in 1943. Rock Singer, Keyboard player and long time front person for the British / American rock band Fleetwood Mac.
Cheryl Ladd: Born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor in 1951 at Huron, South Dakota. Actress, model and author. Best known for her staring role on the original Charlie’s Angels as the replacement for Farrah Fawcett Majors.
Kristi Yamaguchi: Born Kristine Tsuya “Kristi” Yamaguchi-Hedican, on July 12th, 1971 in Hayward, California. Gold medalist in the Winter Olympics, World Championships, U.S. Championships, Goodwill Games, Skate America, and Nationals Cup this American figure skater was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in December of 2005. Not slowing down a bit – she has taken the reins of commentating on figure skating in the 2006 Winter Olympics, and was even the Celebrity Champion in the 6th season of Dancing with the Starrs.