CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 11, 2017 – In the scheme of things October 11 might not appear to have much going for it, but it is a day that marks the beginning of several noteworthy American events.
Saturday Night Live Debuts: Starting with perhaps the biggest event of the day and, therefore, one that will likely be reported most, is the 42nd anniversary of Saturday Night Live.
SNL began on this day in 1975 and has launched the careers of countless celebrities who have gone on to become comedic icons in America. Today it is the longest running and highest rated late-night television show.
Created by Canadian-born comedy writer Lorne Michaels, Saturday Night Live has been broadcast live from Studio 8H in the GE Building at Rockefeller Center since it began. Featuring a different guest host and musical act each week, each show ends its opening sketch with one actor saying, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
Cutting-edge comedian George Carlin hosted the debut episode of SNL. Later in the year, Candace Bergen became the first female host and, in 1982, seven-year-old Drew Barrymore hosted the show to become the youngest emcee. Steve Martin has opened on 14 times occasions.
Over the years SNL has introduced a myriad of pop culture characters and catchphrases including Gilda Radner’s Roseanne Roseannada, the Coneheads, Billy Crystal’s Fernando (“You look mahvelous”), Dana Carvey’s Church Lady (“Isn’t that special?”), bodybuilders Hans and Franz (“We’re going to pump you up”), the Blues Brothers and King Tut. Several political figures have also been parodied on a regular basis.
Originally called NBC’s Saturday Night due to another ABC program titled Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell, the network purchased naming rights in 1977. Though Cosell is still an American icon, the name of his program has long since disappeared from memory, yielding to today’s version of Saturday Night Live.
Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize: Former President Jimmy Carter was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002″ for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
The peanut farmer from Georgia was instrumental in mediating peace talks between Israel and Egypt in 1978. Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat made the agreement, but Carter could not receive the prize that year because he had not been nominated by the official deadline.
Since 1984, Carter and his wife Rosalynn have been heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity to build homes and raise awareness of homelessness.
He was the third US president to win the award following Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919, and that ain’t peanuts.
Pope opens Vatican II: When Pope John XXIII convened an ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, it was the first in 92 years. In summoning the council—a general meeting of the bishops of the church—the pope hoped to bring spiritual rebirth to Catholicism and cultivate greater unity with the other branches of Christianity.
Born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli in 1881, Pope John was the son of an Italian tenant farmer.
Though popular, few thought Roncalli would ever be pope, but after Pope Pius XII died in 1958, he was elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church on the 12th ballot.
Pope John XXIII quickly surprised the Vatican’s conservative leadership by deciding to modernize the church by meeting with political and religious leaders from around the world.
John was the first modern pope to travel freely in Rome, breaking with the tradition that made the pope a “prisoner of the Vatican.”
The high point of his tenure was the Second Vatican Council, nicknamed Vatican II, which opened October 11, 1962. In calling the ecumenical council, he sought a “New Pentecost,” a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Apollo 7 launched: Under the command of Walter (Wallie) M. Schirra, Jr. Apollo 7 became the first manned Apollo mission into space. Along with Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham, Schirra’s team achieved an 11-day orbit of Earth and transmitted the first live television broadcasts from space.
“The Boss” records his first pop hit: Though Bruce Springsteen had recorded two albums by 1975, he had yet to produce a major hit record. That all changed with “Born to Run” when the “Street Poet”, also known as the “Poet Laureate of the Jersey Shore”, released his first epic single.
For two years Springsteen had been touted as the “New Dylan” but it took “Born to Run” to launch him into the international spotlight.
Springsteen’s third album, also titled “Born to Run”, proved to be his breakthrough moment, in which Greil Marcus, likened The Boss’ style to “a ’57 Chevy running on melted down Crystals records.”
Bill Clinton marries Hillary Rodham: On this day in 1975, William Jefferson Clinton married Hillary Rodham in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bill and Hillary met in 1972 while both were studying law at Yale University.
Happy Anniversary, Bubbas!
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people, and http://www.MagellanTravelClub.comultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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