This Day In History: A Rabbit Hole of Curious History and Smug Nostalgia
I’m sure if we dug hard enough, there wouldn’t be a single day of the year that didn’t host a bunch of anniversaries for cool and crazy things. But there’s something about this time in mid-September to early October when the “On This Day In History” list seems extra weird or extra long or extra important. Throughout history on this day, September 14th, a LOT of things keep happening. Some are historically important, but many are just an opportunity for us to remember how great things were back in our day. Clear the youths off the lawn, it’s history time.
—In 1984, MTV held the first-ever Video Music Awards. For, you know, music videos. It was hosted by Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd. It was also where Madonna gave the iconic wedding dress performance of “Like a Virgin.”
And, just because I know we all love some good “Things Were Better In My Day” ammunition, other big wins of the night went to “China Girl,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Thriller,” TWO ZZ Top songs, and Herbie Hancock’s Pee-Wee Herman horror house video “Rockit.”
—In 1978, Mork and Mindy premiered on ABC.
—In 1985, The Golden Girls premiered, complete with an immediately discarded gay manservant character NBC thought would be necessary to get a wider audience.
—In 1981, Entertainment Tonight was born.
—In 1965, My Mother the Car premiered. It was cancelled shortly after. I can’t imagine why.
—In 1947, Sam Neill was born, at which point it was only a matter of time before we got this moment:
—In 1940, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, allowing for the U.S.’s first-ever peacetime draft.
—In 1978, The Grateful Dead took their hippie culture to Egypt and played the Pyramids.
—In 1994, the MLB cancelled the rest of the baseball season on the 34th day of the players’ strike. It was the first time the World Series was cancelled in 90 years. It also caused a whole lot of people to have major league baseball for a long, long time afterwards.
—In 1752, the British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar, and skipped straight from September 2nd to the 14th. So if you’re feeling disoriented at any point today, blame it on the Empire and their missing 11 days.
—And finally, if you’ve noticed that there are more faces than usual in your Birthdays This Week sidebar on Facebook, let’s all be grateful for our friends’ parents who had nothing else to do on New Year’s Eve than to get busy.