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This Day in Pop Culture for March 15


1869: The First Baseball Team

Called America’s favorite pastime, baseball’s first professional team began as the Cincinnati Base Ball Club in 1866. It took little time before the nickname, the Red Stockings (referring to the player’s long red socks which were unusual for a team uniform). The team became baseball’s first all-professional team consisting of ten paid players on a salary that lasted for eight months beginning on this day in 1869. Their first game against the Great Westerns of Cincinnati was held on May 4, 1869 winning 45-9. That was just the first of 57 games. They won them all. The only perfect season in American baseball history. (Image: Wikipedia)

1956: My Fair Lady Opens on Broadway

The Tony award-winning musical, My Fair Lady premiered on this day in 1956 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, My Fair Lady’s book and lyrics were written by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story about Professor Henry Higgins teaching a Cockney flower girl how to become a lady starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. The original cast recording became the best-selling album in the country in 1956. During the musical’s original run, it set a record for the longest run on Broadway up to that time ending on September 29, 1962 after 2,717 performances. My Fair Lady had revivals in 1976, 1981 and 1993. A film version was made in 1964 that also starred Harrison but Audrey Hepburn was asked to step in for Julie Andrews. However, Hepburn’s singing voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon.

1959: I Can’t Believe It’s Fabio’s Birthday

On this day in 1959, Fabio Lanzoni, the Italian fashion model, artificial butter spokesperson, and model for hundreds of romance novels was born. Famous for being famous, Fabio is probably best known for making fun of himself. He has parodied himself in a whole string of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” commercials and has played cameo roles in dozens of movies and TV shows. In 1994, he released Fabio After Dark, an album which shared his philosophies on love. In 2005, he hosted the Mr. Romance TV show. His most recent stunt took place in 2011 for Old Spice in which he “threatened” to replace Isaiah Mustafa as the Old Spice Guy. The challenge took place on YouTube and Fabio received more than 9 million views for his campaign. (Image: Wikipedia)

Birthdays

  • 270: Saint Nicholas (Greek bishop)
  • 1767: Andrew Jackson (7th President of the U.S.)
  • 1935: Judd Hirsch (actor)
  • 1935: Jimmy Swaggart (televangelist)
  • 1943: David Cronenberg (film director)
  • 1943: Sly Stone (singer)
  • 1955: Dee Snider (singer)
  • 1963: Bret Michaels (singer)
  • 1975: Eva Longoria (actress)
  • 1975: Will I. Am (rapper)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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