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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

March 4, 1974

Welcome to this week's edition of the Tuesday Timeline.  It's the first one for March 2014, and I think that we're going to have a really good time today.  I've got a topic that I hope that all of you will love, and it certainly will be a topic that has a lot of pictures associated with it.  But first, I think that we have some other business to attend to.

We've got celebrity birthdays coming up in just a moment, but first...a look back at all of the historic happenings that took place on March 4.  And, I hope that you're reading this as you're sitting down in front of a nice stack of hot pancakes, as today happens to be Shrove Tuesday! 

Mmmm...pancakes...drools over self.

Ahem...where was I?  Oh, yes.  March 4 events.  Okay, let's start with...

51 - Future Roman Emperor Nero is given the title princeps iuventutis (head of the youth)

1628 - The Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter

1665 - King Charles II declares war on the Netherlands, kicking off the Second Anglo-Dutch War

1776 - The Continental Army fortifies Dorchester Heights with cannon leading British troops to abandon the Siege of Boston during the American Revolutionary War

1789 - The United States Bill of Rights is written and proposed to Congress, and the United States Constitution is put into effect

1791 - Vermont becomes the fourteenth American state

1837 - The city of Chicago, Illinois is incorporated

1882 - In East London, Britain's first electric trains begin running

1895 - Three Stooges star Shemp Howard (d. 1955) is born in New York City

1917 - Jeannette Rankin becomes the first female member of the United States House of Representatives

1918 - The first cases of Spanish flu are diagnosed, which quickly spreads to pandemic level worldwide

1933 - Frances Perkins becomes the first female member of the United States Cabinet following her appointment as United States Secretary of Labor

1943 - The Battle of The Bismarck Sea comes to an end during World War II

1945 - Finland declares war on Nazi Germany

1960 - One hundred people lose their lives following the explosion of the French freighter La Coubre

1983 - Bertha Wilson is appointed as the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada

1985 - The Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS infection

1996 - Country music legend Minnie Pearl passes away at the age of 83

2001 - A car bomb detonates outside of the BBC Television Centre in London, killing one person

Wow...who knew that March 4 was such a great day for Women's History?  That's really interesting to discover.

Also equally interesting are the number of celebrities who are celebrating a birthday today!  Birthday wishes go out to
Dick Savitt, Don Perkins, Paula Prentiss, John Aprea, Gloria Gaither, Bobby Womack, Lindy Chamberlain, Brian Cummings, Chris Rea, Ronn Moss, Emilio Estefan, Kay Lenz, Catherine O'Hara, Mykelti Williamson, Patricia Heaton, Ray Mancini, Jason Newsted, Daniel Roebuck, Stacy Edwards, Chaz Bono, Matt Tilley, Andrea Bendewald, Shavar Ross, Nick Stabile, Brittney Powell, Jeremiah Green, Dan Wells, Jessica Heap, Scott Michael Foster, Whitney Port, Tamzin Merchant, and Cody Longo.

Okay, that's a lot of people.  And, I suppose it's appropriate that we're going to be talking about people in this blog because people are a very big part of today's Tuesday Timeline...



...which takes us back forty years to March 4, 1974

You see...40 years ago today, a particular magazine debuted its first issue.  And 40 years later, the magazine can still be found on newsstands, supermarket checkout counters - and these days, can be access through computers, tablets, and smartphones.  But even though the world has changed over the last four decades, this magazine certainly has not.  It's devoted itself to covering all things pop culture including exclusive interviews with famous and infamous people, picks and pans of movies, television shows, music, and books, and other celebrity gossip. 

And, this was the magazine's very first cover subject.



Now, the cover story is all about Mia Farrow and her involvement in the film project "Gatsby".  And, as you can tell, other stories include articles on William Peter Blatty, Gloria Vanderbilt, Jim Croce, and Richard Petty...all the famous people of the 1970s and more!

Yes, it was on this date 40 years ago that People Magazine first came off the printing presses.  And, here's a more recent cover from earlier this year.



In this case, the cover story is on recent Oscar hostess Ellen DeGeneres, and features articles on Bruce Jenner's changing look, a reality show couple's baby, and a feature on rescuing Sochi's abandoned doggies.  But whether you got hooked on People Magazine the day it was released, or are new to the party, it's no argument that People Magazine remains one of the best selling entertainment magazines of all-time, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Now, I always say that a picture is worth a thousand words...so I thought that rather than type a whole history of the magazine, I would post iconic covers from the magazine's 40 year history.  After all, if something huge happened in the world, People Magazine would cover it.

I already showed you the very first cover...let's stick with the 1970s as we continue this look through People's past...through magazine covers.



Remember when Elvis Presley turned 40?  I don't.  That momentous occasion was six years before I was born.  But certainly in People's early years, Elvis Presley was certainly a star that the magazine loved to learn more about.  Hard to believe that just two and a half years after this magazine was released, Elvis would breathe his last breath.



It was never easy when a favourite celebrity passed away.  In the case of John Lennon, who was tragically gunned down on December 8, 1980, People Magazine devoted its entire cover to John and Yoko Ono along with the caption "John Lennon 1940-1980".  A solemn, but memorable cover.



Sometimes People Magazine would cover controversial topics by interviewing celebrities about their experiences, as well as getting different points of view from pro and anti camps.  Long before talk shows like "The View" and "The Talk", People Magazine tackled such issues, such as in this 1985 issue where Ali McGraw and others talk about abortion - a hot topic in the mid-1980s, and even today.



Remember that day in 1986 when Mark Harmon was the Sexiest Man Alive?  Well, admittedly, I don't.  But People's Sexiest Man Alive issue has been a tradition for the magazine since 1985, and past winners include Mel Gibson, John F. Kennedy Jr., Patrick Swayze, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, and Channing Tatum.



Another popular magazine feature is the "Best and Worst Dressed" issue that is published annually.  This happens to be the issue from 1992.  And, thank goodness fashion trends are constantly changing, as I am having a really hard time telling apart the best from the worst based on this cover!



And, did you know that People Magazine began a second version of the magazine that was solely marketed for teenagers entitled "Teen People"?  Here's an issue of the magazine from early 2000, back when Britney Spears was still a rising star.  I don't even know if "Teen People" is even still in print anymore, but it certainly was good while it lasted...well, provided you were a teen.



Of course, not every issue of People Magazine was always light-hearted.  Whenever a tragic news story occurred that seemed to make the world stop and pause, People Magazine was there, as this 1994 issue which focused on the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.



Or, this special commemorative cover in 1997 which was released just a few days after the death of Princess Diana in a Parisian tunnel following a high speed car crash.



Or, this cover, which really needs no explanation.

But over the last few years, People Magazine has featured loads of good news stories as well as the bad.




People Magazine covered bad news stories that had happy endings, such as the kidnapping and rescue of Elizabeth Smart.




People Magazine featured light hearted reunions of former sitcom cast members and reunited people who acted together in one iconic movie.  Check out this cover from 2009 which had five of the seven principal cast members of "Saved By The Bell" coming together for a photo shoot.  My guess is that Screech and Mr. Belding were attempting to open up a fish taco stand at the mall set of "Saved By The Bell: The New Class" when this photo was shot.  




And, at the end of the year, People Magazine would always have a retrospective issue, which detailed the biggest news stories of the year, the celebrities we lost during the year, and the fads, new lingo, and fashions trends that the year brought us.  This is the one that wrapped up 2011.

So, as you can see, People Magazine has managed to not only survive, but thrive.  And in a world where magazines are folding up at an alarming rate, this is definitely something to celebrate.

Happy 40th birthday, People Magazine!

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