On This Day October 1
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1921 – Tony and Emmy-winning actor James Whitmore (“The Asphalt Jungle,” “Them!,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Battle Cry,” “Oklahoma!,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” “The Serpent’s Egg,” “Nuts,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Majestic.” (d. 2009)
1890 – Yosemite National Park, located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California and home to such natural wonders as El Capitan and Half Dome as well as the giant sequoia trees, is established by an act of Congress. In recent years, the sprawling 750,000-acre park typically drew about four million visitors a year.
1961 – New York Yankee Roger Maris becomes the first Major League baseball player to hit more than 60 home runs in a single season. He hits his 61st homer on the final day of the season against the Boston Red Sox.
1962 – Johnny Carson begins hosting “The Tonight Show” on NBC. He succeeds Jack Paar, who took over from the original host, Steve Allen. Carson remains host until turning his seat and microphone over to Jay Leno in May 1992.
1982 – A revolution in the way we listen to music takes place, as the first compact disc (CD) player goes on sale in Japan for about $1,000. It’s the Sony CDP-101, and it lands in stores around the world six months later. The first CD to officially hit the market is Billy Joel’s “52nd Street.”
2005 – “Gold Digger,” by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx, is in the middle of a 10-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100. The track, which samples Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman,” is the second chart-topper for West and Foxx. It goes on to capture a Best Rap Solo Performance Grammy.