History

It Happened This Week! Historic Events & Nostalgic Memories: June 26 – July 2

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The 4th of July is drawing near, and you would think that with the heat and hoopla surrounding the holiday, it would be a quiet week for historic events. Well, surprise! Artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs never rest, it seems. And thank goodness, because they’re responsible for giving many of us our most treasured memories.

Where were you, for example, the first time that you heard “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face?” I remember exactly where I was, and though I wasn’t sure what Roberta Flack was singing about — I was not yet ten years old — her tender voice and the song’s melody stirred me. Later, when I was much older, I recognized that stirring as love — wanting and growing and losing and recovering love. Perhaps that’s why I consider its release a historic event.

Here are some more historic events that happened this, the last week of June, between 1851 and 1959. Happy Independence Day!

Disney made a star of Hayley Mills.

The Parent Trap movie hit theaters in 1961 and beguiled adults and children alike. Hayley Mills, playing dual roles as twins scheming to reunite their divorced parents, was its star. Though she had graced the big screen before, it was The Parent Trap that put her on the map. The film was later nominated for two Academy Awards.

A Kentucky schoolteacher wrote the world’s most popular song.

The “Happy Birthday to You” song was composed by schoolteacher Mildred J. Hill on June 27, 1859. More than 160 years later, it’s sung at birthday celebrations from Juneau to Japan. Bravo, Mildred! Can we blow the candles out now?

We fell in love with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

Roberta Flack’s album First Take came out in 1969, and it included the hit ballad “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” It quickly rose to the top of the charts, and today, it’s among the most popular choices for the bride and groom’s first dance.

Pixy Stix made their debut.

1959 was the year that straight sugar in straws with bright stripes made its debut, and to the chagrin of dentists everywhere, kids went mad for the stuff. Pixy Stix, as they were called, got their name after their creator, J. Fish Smith, had an idea while making sweetened drink powder.

We drove in to the drive-in.

America’s first drive-in movie theater opened near Camden, New Jersey, in 1933. Admission was 25¢ per car and an additional 25¢ per person. (You read that right — a quarter!!) The staticky speaker came free of charge.

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