On This Day in History: May 14

On this day in 1936, Bobby Darin (born Walden Robert Cassotto) was born in the Bronx. In his short career he became the legend that he said he wanted to be before his death at 37 in 1973. His hits “Mack the Knife”, “Splish Splash”, “By the Sea”, “Dream Lover”, “Beyond the Sea” and “You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby” are still heard today. Darin successfully moved into movies garnering an Academy Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actor” in the movie Captain Newman, M.D. (1963).

In 1960, Darin married Sandra Dee. They had one son and divorced in 1967. In 1971, he underwent heart surgery in Los Angeles to repair damaged heart valves that he had lived with since childhood. He spent the next year recovering from that surgery and became a spokes person for the American Heart Association.

In 1973, after failing to take medication before a dental procedure, he developed a blood infection that further weakened his heart. On December 19, he under went a second surgery to repair the same two valves that had previously been repaired. After 6 hours of surgery that initially appeared to be successful, he died suddenly in Recovery without ever regaining consciousness on December 20.

This is from a TV special recorded 9 months before Bobby Darin’s death at age 37.

Happy Birthday, Bobby

1264 – Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England.

1483 – Coronation of Charles VIII of France (Charles l’Affable).

1509 – Battle of Agnadello: In northern Italy, French forces defeat the Venetians.

1607 – Jamestown, Virginia is settled as an English colony.

1610 – Henry IV of France is assassinated bringing Louis XIII to the throne.

1643 – Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1727 – Thomas Gainsborough, English artist (d. 1788)

1747 – A British fleet under Admiral George Anson defeats the French at first battle of Cape Finisterre.

1787Delegates to the Constitutional Convention begin to assemble in Philadelphia to confront a daunting task: the peaceful overthrow of the new American government as defined by the Article of Confederation.

1796Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox vaccination.

1804The Lewis and Clark Expedition departs from Camp Dubois and begins its historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River.

1811 – Paraguay gains independence from Spain.

1836 – The Treaties of Velasco are signed in Velasco, Texas.

1842Alfred, Lord Tennyson, publishes a volume called Poems.

1861 – The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite-type meteorite, strikes the earth near Barcelona, Spain.

1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Jackson takes place.

1864American Civil War: Union and Confederate troops clash at Resaca, Georgia. This was one of the first engagements in a summer-long campaign by Union General William T. Sherman to capture the Confederate city of Atlanta

1868 – Japanese Boshin War: end of the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle, former Shogunate forces withdraw northward to Aizu by way of Nikoo.

1870 – The first game of rugby in New Zealand is played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club.

1885 – Otto Klemperer, German-born conductor (d. 1973)

1889 – The children’s charity the NSPCC is launched in London.

1913 – New York Governor William Sulzer approves the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which begins operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.

1925 – Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is published.

1940 – World War II: Rotterdam is bombed by the German Luftwaffe.

1940 – World War II: The Netherlands surrenders to Germany.

1943 – A Japanese submarine sinks AHS Centaur off the coast of Queensland.

1948Israel is declared to be an independent state and a provisional government is established. Immediately after the declaration, Israel is attacked by the neighboring Arab states, triggering the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

1955Cold War: Eight communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, sign a mutual defense treaty called the Warsaw Pact.

1961 – American civil rights movement: The Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama, and the civil rights protesters are beaten by an angry mob.

1963 – Kuwait joins the United Nations.

1970 – The Red Army Faction is established in Germany.

1973Human Space Flight: Skylab, the United States’ first space station, is launched.

1998Frank Sinatra dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, at the age of 82.

2005 – The former USS America, a decommissioned supercarrier of the United States Navy, is deliberately sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after four weeks of live-fire exercises. She is the largest ship ever to be disposed of as a target in a military exercise.


1925 – Patrice Munsel, American opera soprano, 85

1925 – Al Porcino, American jazz trumpet player, 85

1934 – Sian Phillips, Welsh actress, 76

1942 – Byron Dorgan, American politician, 68

1943 – Elizabeth Ray, American sex scandal figure, 67

1944 – George Lucas, American film director, 66

1945 – Francesca Annis, British actress, 65

1952 – David Byrne, Scottish-born American musician (Talking Heads), 58

1952 – Robert Zemeckis, American film director, 58

1953 – Tom Cochrane, Canadian musician (Red Rider), 57

1961 – Tim Roth, English actor, 49

1967 – Tony Siragusa, American football player, 43

1969 – Cate Blanchett, Australian actress, 41

1969 – Danny Wood, American singer (New Kids on the Block), 41

1971 – Sofia Coppola, American director, 39

1983 – Amber Tamblyn, American actress, 27

1984 – Mark Zuckerberg, American internet entrepreneur, 26


  1. because I still find people who don’t know. It’s terrible what happened to Darin. BTW, I’m a Bronx kid too. But when I sing, horses stampede.

  2. is in my Mik bank…. one of my faves.

  3. I grew up in semi-rural Ohio about 75 miles from Sherman’s birthplace. Ohio had the highest rate of Union KIA in the Civil War.

    Revealing, perhaps prescient, quote from Sherman.

    There will soon come an armed contest between capital and labor. They will oppose each other, not with words and arguments, but with shot and shell, gun-powder and cannon. The better classes are tired of the insane howling of the lower strata and they mean to stop them.

    William Tecumseh Sherman

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