“Shift that fat ass, Harry…but slowly, or you’ll swamp the damned boat.” — George Washington, to General Henry Knox.
Today in 1776 at McKonkey’s Ferry, George Washington crossed the Delaware River late at night for a surprise raid on Hessian forces at Trenton.
Today in 2002 at the Las Vegas Bowl game, Katie Hnida attempted to kick an extra point for the University of New Mexico. The kick was blocked, but Hnida became the first female to play in a Division I football game.
There were several women players attempting to make inroads into college football beginning in the mid 1990s. Hnida was on the team roster at University of Colorado and Santa Barbara City College before playing for University of New Mexico. She successfully kicked two extra points out of two attempts August 30, 2003, becoming the first woman to score during a Division I game.
On a discouraging note, in 2004 Katie told Sports Illustrated she had been sexually harassed, bullied, and even raped by a teammate while at University of Colorado. Several other women joined her in such accusations. Hnida did not press charges and a case was not pursued.
Today in 1941 Bing Crosby sang “White Christmas” to the world for the first time on the NBC radio program The Kraft Music Hall. The song went on to become one of the most commercially successful singles of all time, and top-selling single ever until surpassed by Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” (1997).
The lyrics were written by Irving Berlin, December of 1939 or January 1940. Berlin did not celebrate Christmas but he did visit his son’s grave on that day, who died on December 25, 1928, at age three weeks.
According to author Jody Rosen, “It’s very melancholy….And I think this really makes it stand out amongst kind of chirpy seasonal standards [like] ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ or ‘Let It Snow.’….I think that’s one of the reasons why people keep responding to it, because our feelings over the holiday season are ambivalent.”
Today in 1968 President Andrew Johnson granted general amnesty to all those involved in the Civil War.
Happy birthday Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton, teacher, nurse, and founder of the American Red Cross, born today in 1821 at Oxford, Massachusetts. Clara Barton died April 12, 1912 at Glen Echo, Maryland. She was age 90. She is buried at Oxford, Massachusetts. Her home in Oxford is preserved and a National Monument.
Happy birthday, Humphrey DeForest Bogart, actor and cultural icon, born today 1899 at New York City.
Bogart’s acting career spanned from 1921 on Broadway to 1956 with appearances in 75 movies. His most memorable roles include The African Queen, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Leading Man (1951); Casablanca (1942); and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Bogart’s last movie was The Harder They Fall (1956).
Humphrey Bogart died of cancer January 14, 1957, at Los Angeles, California. He was age 57. He is buried at Glendale, California.