65 years ago today, the first transistor radio was sold by Texas Instruments and Regency Division of I.D.E.A. Rather than the large vacuum tubes of previous radios, the small portable receiver used transistor-based electronic circuitry and required far less power to operate. With mono earphone jacks included, the Regency TR-1 cost $49.95 (equivalent to $466 today) and sold about 150,000 units. The shock-resistant devices were extremely successful because of the large number of young people born in the baby boom, a public with disposable income amidst a period of prosperity, and the growing popularity of rock ‘n’ roll music. The smaller and cheaper Japanese models released a few years later, led to the transistor radio becoming the most popular electronic communication device of the 1960s and 1970s. (1954)

Photo of the Regency TR-1 by Gregory F. Maxwell, GDFL license

More Good News on this Day:

  • Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick was first published, as The Whale (1851)
  • Chuck Berry, the guitarist, singer-songwriter, and music pioneer who combined rhythm and blues with unique showmanship to make rock and roll distinctive with songs like “Maybellene”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Rock and Roll Music”, and “Johnny B. Goode” was born (1926–2017)
  • The Nobel Prize was awarded to American Dr. James Watson and Britons Dr. Francis Crick and Dr. Maurice Wilkins for recognizing the double-helix molecular structure of DNA (1962)
  • Azerbaijan declared independence from the Soviet Union (1991)

And, on this day in 1977, Reggie Jackson, playing for the N.Y. Yankees, hit 3 consecutive home runs, each on the first pitch, off three different Dodgers pitchers in the deciding World Series game.

Reggie Jackson

He was nicknamed “Mr. October” for his record breaking clutch hitting in the postseason. In 27 World Series games, Jackson amassed 10 home runs – a record-breaking five during the 1977 Series (4 homers on 4 consecutive swings of the bat in 2 games, against four different Dodger pitchers) – and 24 RBI, with a .357 batting average. In his career Reggie Jackson hit 563 home runs and was an American League All-Star for 14 seasons, helping the Yankees win two World Series titles.

And, on this day in 1967, The Jungle Book animated movie was released to theaters. Based on the book by Rudyard Kipling’, Jungle Book was the last film to be produced by Walt Disney himself, who died during its production.

The plot follows Mowgli, a feral child raised in the jungle by wolves, whose animal friends, including Baloo the bear, try to protect him against the evil tiger Shere Khan. Acclaimed for its soundtrack, the film grossed tens of millions. WATCH the “Bare Necessities” number…

And, on this day in 1961, West Side Story, starring Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, opened in movie theaters, a film adaptation of the acclaimed Broadway musical. The romantic musical tragedy inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 10, including becoming the record holder for the most wins for a movie musical. The music for the film contained new arrangements of original songs by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, including the classic, Something’s Coming, America, I Feel Pretty, and Somewhere. WATCH the energetic trailer…

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