Magic Johnson stunned the sports world today in 1991 when he announced that he had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and that he was retiring from the NBA. Johnson’s announcement was a bombshell as up to that time AIDS had been thought of as a disease only gotten by homosexuals.
Zenyatta, perhaps the greatest racehorse since Secretariat, won the Breeder’s Cup Classic today in 1999. She had been undefeated heading into the Breeder’s Cup, but many still doubted her as she had raced only in California and not against the top competition. Zenyatta, named after the “Zenyatta Mondatta” album by the Police, looked to be a huge flop and that her critics were right through the first three quarters of the race. Then the legend was born, in what will be a great movie some day.
As IAH pointed out earlier today, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid were famous movie cliff jumpers. The American outlaws jig was up today in 1908, when they were shot down by authorities in San Vicente, Bolivia.
Fiorello La Guardia was elected as the 99th mayor in New York Cities history. At just 5 feet tall, he was probably the shortest, but stood tall, serving for 11 years.
The Pillsbury Doughboy made his television commercial debut tonight, the start of what would become one of the most iconic commercial characters in history.
The NHL was rocked with a massive trade today in 1975. The Boston Bruins sent the league’s leading scorer, Phil Esposito, to the New York Rangers for Brad Park, Jean Ratelle and others. It was perhaps the biggest trade of more than one superstar in NHL history.
Ted Nugent was in twitter news last night for his rants on the election. Today in 1974 he won the “National Squirrel Shooting Archery Contest” by hitting a squirrel from 150 yards with a bow and arrow.
Today in 2003 saw the release of two movies that have become December classics, Elf and Love Actually.
Happy Birthday to Joni Mitchell, who turns 69 today. Enjoy.
— Bill Hubbell