Browsing: Lil’ History Chips

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On March 3, 1951, music history was made when the first song deemed to be “rock and roll” was recorded.  Called “Rocket 88,”  the lively song was recorded by Chess Records at Sam Phillip’s studio in Memphis and is credited to Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats who were actually Ike Turners’s band, the Kings of Rhythm.  In fact, the song was written by Brenston and Turner, though Turner was not originally credited.  Based on the 1947 hit “Cadillac Boogie” and influenced by the instrumental hits “Rocket 88 Boogie” parts 1 and 2,” “Rocket 88” was also about the popular Oldsmobile model, …

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On February 25, 1336, the 4,000 defenders of the medieval Lithuanian fortress of Pilénai thought they had no other choice but to make the horrible decision to kill themselves and their families after torching and destroying everything they had of value to deny their Teutonic besiegers the spoils of victory and the opportunity to kill or enslave them. The number of women and children sacrificed is unknown, but even just the number of defenders, recorded at 4,000, is more than enough to rank as history’s largest mass suicide, eclipsing the 900+ dead at Masada in 37-31 B.C. and the…

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On February 24, 1942, less than 3 months after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the city of Los Angeles seemed to be under attack from a mysterious flying object.  Later claimed by the government to have been a false alarm, something had to have caused numerous air raid alerts to go off and give anti-aircraft gunners something to shoot at.  Shoot they did, and a furious firefight ensued with .50 caliber machine guns and 3-inch artillery shells, about 1,400 rounds of which exploded over the city,  showering it with metal fragments. General Marshall later speculated that unknown…

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On February 22, 2014, the Headlines trumpeted the success story of Marit Bjørgen of Norway as she won the 30 km freestyle cross-country skiing event at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, giving her her 10th Olympic medal. Born in 1980, this remarkable athlete has so far won 6 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in the Winter Olympics of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.  Though she is tied with 2 other women for total number of Olympic medals, she has more Olympic gold medals than any other female athlete.  In…

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On February 20, 1952, Los Angeles-native Emmett Ashford became the first African-American umpire to work in integrated (mainly white) professional baseball when he left his Post Office job to work for the International Southwestern League. Ashford then went on to umpire in other mostly white professional leagues, reaching his minor-league pinnacle as the Umpire-in-Chief of the Pacific Coast League, where he trained and directed all the umpires and mediated arguments over rules.  In 1966, Ashford became the first black major league umpire, officiating in the American League. Ashford worked as a major league umpire until…

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