On this day in 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his, “I Have a Dream” speech. The 17-minute speech was given on the front steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and was the defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. A 1999 group of scholars of public address called it the greatest American speech of the 20th century. (Coach Taylor‘s speech before the state championship had to be in the top five, right?)
The distant runner up for political oratory for August 28th happened in 1957, when Senator Strom Thurmond took to the Senate floor to filibuster to keep the group from voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Thurmond babbled on and on for 24 hours and 18 minutes straight, the longest filibuster ever given by a single senator. There were probably several dreams had in that time.
It was on this day in 1898 when Caleb Bradham made what we’d have to say was a smart business decision in changing the name of his invented beverage from, “Brad’s Drink” to Pepsi-Cola. Well, it was certainly smarter than “New Coke”. Bradham had invented the beverage earlier in the decade at his drug store in New Bern, North Carolina. He wanted a fountain drink that not only tasted delicious, but would help with digestion and boost energy. Pepsi-Cola was shortened to Pepsi in 1961 and it’s been giving people an energy boost for going on 120 years. Be a smart ass and order a “Brad’s Drink” the next time you’re out.
Things have tended to fall apart on August 28– the Chicago Riots broke out at the Democratic Convention in 1968, the collapse of the old Soviet Union became official in 1991 when Mikhail Gorbachev resigned his position as General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, and five years after that the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana became official.
Arnold Palmer was 24 years old when he won the U.S. Amateur in 1954, and 40 years later to the day, Tiger Woods won the Amateur for the first of three consecutive years at age 18. In 1972 Mark Spitz won his first two of seven gold medals at the Munich Olympics. This day in 1977 was the last official game played by Pele, who helped lead the New York Cosmos to the NASL Championship in a thrilling 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders. It could be argued that this game was the peak of soccer in the United States as the NASL took more of a hold on the U.S. sporting public than it ever had before or sense. The Cosmos were a loaded team of European All-Stars, but Seattle was lead by the sterling play of goal keeper Tony Chumsky, who stopped both Pele and Franz Beckenbauer on free kicks. Giorgio Chinaglia’s header goal with 13 minutes remaining was the difference for the Cosmos.
We’ll give first runner up for athletic achievement on this day to Sebastian Coe, who set the world record for the mile in 1981 with a time of 3:47:33. What’s remarkable about that is that Coe’s mark was the third time the record in the mile had been broken in 10 days. Coe had set a new mark 10 days previous, but his time had been bested by countryman Steve Ovett just days later. That must not have sit well with Coe, who went back out and got his record back.
All those feats pale in comparison to what 12 year-old Lloyd McClendon did in 1971. Yes, this is the McClendon who went on to a big league career and later managed the Pittsburgh Pirates. McClendon hit a 3-run HR in his first at bat in the Little League World Series championship game against Chinese Taipei, prompting the Chinese manager to order McClendon walked for the rest of the game. Now get this: for the three games McClendon played at the Little League World Series, he was walked five times and pitched to five times. When he was pitched to, he was five for five with five home runs, all on the first pitch.
He must have been drinking a lot of Pepsi-Cola.
Birthday wishes to Lou Piniella and David Soul who were both born this day in 1943. I think Piniella would hang out with Hutch, but not the guy who sang, “Don’t Give Up On Us”. Having said that, Soul did turn down a professional baseball contract when he was 19. Also, Shania Twain turns 47 today. Which is as good a reason as any for a picture of Shania Twain.
– Bill Hubbell