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This Day in Pop Culture for April 9


1976: ‘All the Presidents Men’ is Released

It was on this day in 1976 that one of the most successful films about the Watergate scandal was brought to theaters. Directed by Alan J. Pakula with a screenplay by William Goldman, All the President’s Men was based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford portrayed the journalists working for The Washington Post investigating the Watergate break-in which brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon. The film grossed $7,016,001 in its first week from 604 theatres placing it number one at the US box office and eventually grossed $70.6 million. The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four for Best Art Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound and Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards). (Image: Warner Bros.)

(Wikimedia)

1965: The First Indoor Baseball Game

The Houston Astrodome opened its doors for the first time on this day in 1965. It was the world’s first domed sports stadium and nicknamed, “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” On its opening day, 47,879 people watched the first indoor baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. The game was played on “Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass” which was created for indoor use. The ceiling had many semitransparent panes of Lucite which caused a glare and made it difficult for the players to follow fly balls. Many of the panes were painted over with white paint, but then the grass died due to lack of sunlight. For the remaining season, the Astros played on green painted dirt. For the next year, a “new” artificial grass was installed called “ChemGrass” but became better known as “AstroTurf.”

1950: Bob Hope’s 1st TV appearance

Comedian Bob Hope once said that he couldn’t be paid enough to work on television, but a representative of the Frigidaire Company found Hope’s agent and asked just how much money it would take for him to perform on TV. As it turns out, the two parties agreed to five specials where Hope would get paid $40,000 for the first and $37,500 for the remaining four! The first special, Star Spangled Revue aired on this day in 1950 on NBC. He continued making specials for the network through 1996.

1967: The First 737 Flight

Dreamed up in 1964, the narrow-body aircraft known as the Boeing 737 (100 series) made its maiden flight from its Renton, Washington factory on this day in 1967. It too another 10 months before one would go into service with Lufthansa Airlines. The lengthened 200 service entered service in April 1968. It was the highest-selling commercial aircraft until being surpassed by the competing Airbus A320 family in October 2019.

Birthdays

  • 1937: Marty Krofft (producer)
  • 1987: Jesse McCartney (singer)
  • 1990: Kristen Stewart (actress)
  • 1998: Elle Fanning (actress)
  • 2000: Jackie Evancho (singer)

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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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