Today in History: Dec. 13

James Dean made his television—and professional acting—debut on this date in 1950. He was 19 years old, and he was one of several young people seen in a live, minute-long TV ad for Pepsi-Cola.

The young people are at a party, and Dean puts money in the player piano, as seen in the photo at top. The piano doesn’t work and Dean “fixes” it.

The ad (after the jump);

* * * *
One day after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore effectively halted a recount of votes in the state of Florida (by declaring: 1. that the recount was unconstitutional; 2. that even if a recount was needed, no constitutionally valid one could be conducted by the very next day, which was considered to be a “safe harbor” deadline, after which any results would be learned too close to Inauguration Day for an incoming President to start work on that day; and 3. so don’t bother), Al Gore conceded the Presidential Election of 2000 on this date 16 years ago to Texas Governor George Bush.

* * * *
Grandma Moses died 55 years ago today. Richard Holbrooke died six years ago today. Russell Hoban died five years ago today.

* * * *
Ross Macdonald was born 101 years ago today. James Wright was born in 1927 on this date.

* * * *
Dick Van Dyke is 91 today. He is still working. In the video below from 2015 he appears with his wife and The Dustbowl Revival:

Christopher Plummer is 87 today. John Davidson is 75 today. Ferguson Jenkins is 74. Jeff “Skunk” Baxter is 68. Wendie Malick is 66. Steve Buscemi is 59. Morris Day is 59. Jamie Foxx is 49. Amy Lee is 35. Taylor Swift is 27 today.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


  1. wscottling · December 13, 2016

    I’m gonna have that Pepsi song stuck in my head now. Thanks. 😛


  2. rogershipp · December 17, 2016

    Enjoyed many of DIck van Dyke’s shows…..


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