On this Day May 10
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1899 – Oscar and Emmy-winning dancer-singer-actor Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz (d. 1987)
1902 – Oscar-winning producer David O. Selznick (“Gone With the Wind,” “Rebecca”) (d. 1965)
1934 – Disc jockey and voice actor Gary Owens, best remembered as the suave announcer in the NBC comedy series “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” (d. 2015)
1946 – Singer-songwriter-guitarist Donovan, born Donovan Leitch (“Sunshine Superman,” “Mellow Yellow,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Jennifer Juniper”)
1957 – Punk rock legend and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, born John Simon Ritchie (d. 1979)
1960 – U2 frontman Bono, born Paul David Hewson
1978 – Actor-comedian Kenan Thompson (“Kenan & Kel,” “The Mighty Ducks” movie series, “Good Burger,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Going in Style”)
1869 – The heads of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific meet in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial golden spike into the track that connects their lines. Completion of the transcontinental railroad made the American West easily accessible, paving the way for trade, business and population growth.
1924 – J. Edgar Hoover is named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI). By the end of the year, he is promoted to director, beginning a 48-year tenure in power during which he personally shapes American criminal justice in the 20th century.
1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the globe, logging about 42,000 miles in the process.
1970 – Bobby Orr scores the winning goal 40 seconds into sudden-death overtime to lift the Boston Bruins over the St. Louis Blues for the Stanley Cup title — the Bruins’ first championship in 29 years.
1977 – Oscar-winning actress Joan Crawford dies at the age of 72. Crawford won a Best Actress Oscar for her starring role in 1945’s “Mildred Pierce” and received two Oscar nominations in later years.
1980 – Decades before the GM-bailout, the nearly bankrupt Chrysler Corporation secures $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees — the largest rescue package ever granted by the U.S. government to an American corporation at that time.
1994 – John Wayne Gacy, convicted of the sex-related killings of 33 young men and boys, is put to death by lethal injection as the nation’s worst serial killer on record.
1954 – Bill Haley and His Comets release “Rock Around the Clock,” which, 14 months later, becomes the first rock and roll record to reach No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart.
1969 – “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures),” by The 5th Dimension, is in the middle of six weeks on top of the pop chart. Billboard has ranked the medley at 66th place in its “Greatest Songs of All Time” survey. It was originally written for the 1967 musical, “Hair.”
1975 – Stevie Wonder and his band Wonderlove perform for 125,000 fans at a free concert near the Washington Monument to celebrate Human Kindness Day.
1975 – “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You),” by Tony Orlando and Dawn, is in the midst of a three-week hold on the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
1980 – Blondie rules the Billboard singles chart with “Call Me,” the theme song from the Richard Gere movie, “American Gigolo.” The song holds the top spot for six weeks.
1986 – “West End Girls,” by the British pop duo Pet Shop Boys, is the hottest single on the radio. It’s their first No. 1 single in the U.S.
1999 – Poet, cartoonist and children’s book author Shel Silverstein, who also wrote songs like “Cover of a Rolling Stone,” “Sylvia’s Mother” (both hits for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show) and Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue,” dies of a heart attack at age 68.