On This Day: May 8

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1884 – Harry S. Truman was born

Truman

On this day in 1884, Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri. He joined the army at the relatively advanced age of 33 in 1916 to fight in World War I. Truman went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1934 until he was chosen as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fourth vice president in 1945. Truman served as president for two terms from 1945 to 1953. He and his wife Bess happily retired to Independence, Missouri, where he often referred to himself jokingly as “Mr. Citizen.” He died there on December 26, 1972.

1963 – Sean Connery in his first Bond movie

BondMovie

In the first James Bond film, Dr. No, the immortal character created by Ian Fleming was played by the legendary Sean Connery. Connery had acted in repertory theater and television before landing his first significant role in the big screen. Harold Saltzman and Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, the producers of Dr. No, had other actors in mind for the part. However, Connery swift them away and became the legendary 007.

 

1970 – Knicks beats Lakers for NBA title1970-–-Knicks-beats-Lakers-for-NBA-title

 

1970, in the seventh game of the NBA Finals, the New York Knicks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers and won their first NBA championship. The final game of the series was named by ESPN “the greatest-ever Game 7 in finals history”, featuring a return from injury for Willis Reed who dominated the game. After the game in the Knicks locker room, Howard Cosell told Reed on national television: “You exemplify the very best that the human spirit can offer.”

1976 – The theme song “Welcome Back, Kotter” is the #1 song in America

BackKotter

In 1975, John Sebastian, member of the 60s’ pop group “The Lovin’ Spoonful”, was asked to write the theme song for a brand-new television show with the title Kotter. Sebastian took a more thoughtful approach to the task at hand and came up with a song about finding purpose in the life you had left behind. That song, “Welcome Back,” not only became the #1 pop single, but it also led the show’s producers to change its title to “Welcome Back, Kotter”.

2010 – Betty White becomes the oldest Saturday Night Live host

BettyWhite

7 years ago, 88-year-old actress Betty White, known for her former roles on “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” becomes the oldest talent to host the late-night TV comedy show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). As the eldest host, White earned generally glowing reviews, and the show drew its highest ratings in almost two years.