Today in History: Dec. 3

NBC aired Elvis, a one-hour TV special starring Elvis Presley and his band on this date in 1968. In subsequent years, the show came to be known as Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special, and it was the biggest television hit in 1968.

Elvis, clad in a black leather jumpsuit, made the world notice something: that it missed having an Elvis Presley who performed live. For part of the show, Presley and his band performed in front of a small audience, which was seated around the stage, in NBC’s Burbank television studio in June 1968. It was his first live performance since 1961.

The rest of the show was bigger: choreographed with dancers and set changes, but the intimate show, with Elvis informally joking with the audience and band, is what is remembered.

“Trying to Get to You,” from the show:

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The musical Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe opened at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway on this date in 1960. Richard Burton Julie Andrews, Robert Goulet, and Roddy McDowall starred.

Ed Sullivan introduces Burton and Andrews singing “What Do the Simple Folk Do?”:

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Until the election of 1848, American voters cast their ballots throughout the month of November in election years.

The only Presidential election that concluded on December 3 is the election of 1800, in which Thomas Jefferson defeated President John Adams.

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Wilt Chamberlain made his varsity college basketball debut 60 years ago today for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. He scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds as the team beat Northwestern, 87–69.

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Robert Louis Stevenson died on this date in 1894. Mary Baker Eddy died on this date in 1910. Madeline Kahn died on this date in 1999. Scott Weiland died one year ago today.

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Joseph Conrad was born on this date in 1857. Nino Rota was born on this date in 1911. Mel Smith was born on this date in 1952.

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Jaye P. Morgan is 85. Ozzy Osbourne is 68. Julianne Moore is 56. Daryl Hannah is 56 today. Katarina Witt is 51. Brendan Fraser is 48. Amanda Seyfried is 31.

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