1986: Captain Midnight Attacks HBO
It was on this day in 1986 during a showing of the film The Falcon and the Snowman on HBO that John R. MacDougall jammed the pay channel’s satellite signal on Galaxy 1. Using the pseudonym “Captain Midnight”, the electrical engineer was able to interrupt the programming for about four and half minutes before being put to a stop. During this time, a SMPTE color bar slide was shown with these words printed on top of the image: “Good evening HBO from Captain Midnight. $12.95/Month? No way! [Showtime/Movie Channel beware!” At the time, some people called it “video terrorism” while others called it “electronic graffiti. MacDougall even became sort of a folk hero by others upset with the company’s charges.
1981: Xerox PARC Introduces the Computer Mouse
The concept of the computer mouse goes back to 1946 when Ralph Benjamin created the trackball for a post-World War II-era fire-control radar plotting system. In 1964, Bill English and Douglas Engelbart built the first prototype calling it a “mouse” as its cord looked like a mouse’s tail. Xeorox PARC included its first mouse with its Xerox 8010 Star computer in 1981.
1991: Baby Baby is #1
It was on this day and through May 10th of 1991 that Amy Grant’s song, “Baby Baby,” was the #1 hit pop song in America. Written by Grant and Keith Thomas, it was the first single released from her album, Heart in Motion. Grant became the first Christian pop singer to have a number one single in the U.S., although the song itself wouldn’t be considered a “Christian song” since it has no religious meaning to it. It is a simple love song, but Grant had trouble writing the lyrics, but after looking into her daughter Millie’s six week-old face, she had found the inspiration she needed. The music video of the song, which was directed by D.J. Webster, was up for nomination for “Best Female Video of 1991” by MTV. A remake of the song featuring Grant and Tori Kelly was released in 2016 for the song’s 25th anniversary.
- 1822: Ulysses S. Grant (18th U.S. president)
- 1922: Jack Klugman (actor)
- 1926: Tim LaHaye (pastor)
- 1927: Coretta Scott King (activist)
- 1932: Casey Kasem (voiceover actor)
- 1932: Chuck Knox (football coach)
- 1945: August Wilson (playwright)
- 1959: Sheena Easton (singer)
- 1976: Sally Hawkins (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.