Daily Almanac for Friday, April 29, 2022

On this date in 1961, ABC’s Wide World of Sports premiered

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

ABC’s Wide World of Sports was an American sports anthology television program that aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from April 29, 1961 to January 3, 1998, primarily on Saturday afternoons. Hosted by Jim McKay, with a succession of co-hosts beginning in 1987, the title continued to be used for general sports programs on the network until 2006. In 2007, Wide World of Sports was named by Time on its list of the 100 best television programs of all time.

Weekend sports news updates on sister radio network ABC Sports Radio, operated by Cumulus Media Networks, continue to be branded under the similar title ABC’s World of Sports. The program also lent its name to an athletic facility at Walt Disney World, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – which was originally known as Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex from its opening in 1997 (one year after The Walt Disney Company acquired ABC and an 80% stake in ESPN) – until 2010.

“The thrill of victory … and the agony of defeat”

The melodramatic introduction became a national catchphrase that is often heard to this day. While “the thrill of victory” had several symbols over the decades, ski jumper Vinko Bogataj, whose dreadful misjump and crash during a competition on March 21, 1970 was featured from the early 1970s onward heard over the sentence “…and the agony of defeat”, became a hard-luck hero of sorts, and an affectionate icon for stunning failure. Previously, the footage played with that phrase was that of another ski jumper who made a long, almost successful jump, but whose skis lost vertical alignment shortly before landing, leading to a crash.

Later in the 1990s, an additional clip was added to the “agony of defeat” sequence after Bogataj’s accident: footage of a crash by Alessandro ZampedriRoberto Guerrero and Eliseo Salazar during the 1996 Indianapolis 500 showed a car flipping up into the catch fence. The “oh no!” commentary that accompanies it, however, is dubbed from commentary by Benny Parsons of Steve Grissom‘s crash in the 1997 Primestar 500 (part of the NASCAR Winston Cup series). Bogataj’s mishap is also commemorated in Rich Hall‘s book Sniglets as “agonosis”, which is defined as “the syndrome of tuning in on Wide World of Sports every weekend just to watch the skier rack himself.”

TODAY’S ALMANAC

National Arbor Day

“Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.” These are the words of J. Sterling Morton, the originator of the Arbor Day idea. He was among the many pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854. With the decided lack of trees on the Nebraskan plains, Morton made it his cause to plant trees, not just for beautification but also to preserve the soil. He encouraged civic organizations to join in the effort, proclaiming the first Arbor Day in 1872. By 1885, Arbor Day was officially observed by the entire state and then by other states and schools nationwide. Today the most common date for the state observances is the last Friday in April, although many states celebrate it whenever conditions there are best for planting trees. Several U.S. presidents have proclaimed a national Arbor Day. Read more about Arbor Day.

Question of the Day

I’ve heard that if you cut your hair on a full Moon, your hair grows healthier and faster. Is this true?According to folklore, if hair is cut during the Moon’s waxing phase (between new and full), growth is encouraged. The opposite will occur if hair is cut during the waning phase (the day after the Moon is full to the day before it’s new).

Advice of the Day

Dream of kisses, and you dream of treachery.

Home Hint of the Day

A board foot is a unit of measure corresponding to a block of wood 12-inch long x 12-inch wide x 1-inch thick.

Word of the Day

StaunchStrong and tight; sound; firm; as, a stanch ship.

Puzzle of the Day

What do frogs eat with their hamburgers?French flies.

Born

  • William Hearst (editor/publisher) – 1863
  • Duke Ellington (musician) – 1899
  • Hirohito (emperor of Japan) – 1901
  • Fred Zinnemann (director of film) – 1907
  • Dale Earnhardt (race car driver) – 1951
  • Jerry Seinfeld (comedian & actor) – 1954
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (actor) – 1957
  • Eve Plumb (actress) – 1958
  • Carnie Wilson (singer) – 1968
  • Uma Thurman (actress) – 1970
  • Andre Agassi (tennis player) – 1970

Died

  • Alfred Hitchcock (filmmaker) – 1980
  • William J. Bell (writer and producer) – 2005
  • Bob Hoskins (actor) – 2014

Events

  • Jacob Hummel received patent for varnish of elastic gum– 1813
  • Theta Xi, first professional fraternity, founded, Troy, New York– 1864
  • A landslide in Frank, Alberta, killed at least 70 people– 1903
  • U.S. president Hoover received King and Queen of Siam– 1931
  • Prisoners liberated at Dachau– 1945
  • ABC’s Wide World of Sports premiered– 1961
  • Proposed Newfoundland flag design was revealed– 1980
  • The first condor to be conceived in captivity hatched at the San Diego Wild Animal Park helping to bring the species back from the brink of extinction– 1988
  • The World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., opened to the public– 2004
  • A perfect pink ring around the Sun was visible for several hours from Key Largo to Key West, Florida. It’s known as the rare halo phenomenon, a refraction of light through multiple layers of ice-crystal clouds in the upper levels of the atmosphere. A halo usually indicates that rain is on the way.– 2008
  • Prince William married Catherine Middleton– 2011
  • Mikah Meyer completed a 3-year journey to visit all 419 U.S. National Park Service sites– 2019

Weather

  • 2.4 inches of rain fell within 15 minutes in Taylor, Texas– 1905
  • Weather device TOTO hit by weak tornado– 1984
  • A storm produced a flash of lightning that stretched a horizontal distance of 477.2 miles across Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The event set a world record for the longest single lightning bolt. – 2020

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