September 20 in Pop Culture History

September 20th Fun Facts, Trivia and History

September 20th History Highlights

  • 1946 – The first Cannes Film Festival was held, having been delayed seven years due to World War II.
  • 1973 – Singer Jim Croce, songwriter and musician Maury Muehleisen and four others died when their light aircraft crashed.
  • 1977 – Fonzi ‘jumped the shark’ on Happy Days
  • 2011 – The United States military ended the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, allowing gay men and women to serve openly for the first time.
  • If you were born on September 20th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… December 28th (prior year)

The Battle of the Sexes

Thirty thousand people sat in the Houston Astrodome on September 20, 1973, and watched Billie Jean King win in three sets against Bobby Riggs. Nationwide, 90 million households watched, and millions more watched on television worldwide.

Hal Shaw told ESPN that Riggs, a tennis icon with $100,000 in gambling debts, orchestrated the match between himself and Billie Jean King at the US Open in New York City. He regularly took bets and used tricks to challenge other players, such as adding chairs to his side of the court as obstacles or targets and keeping a dog on a leash during the game. Riggs had made almost laughable claims against his female opponent prior to the first set of his match against King.

Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the showdown at the Astrodome in Houston. King accepted the trophy and held it aloft after beating him in a winner-take-all match in one of the first televised tennis matches in US history. The reigning Wimbledon singles champion and former world number one was challenged to a one-on-one match against his former rival Billy Jean King.

September 20th is…

Pepperoni Pizza Day
Rum Punch Day
String Cheese Day

Pepperoni Pizza Day

No matter how much you try to experiment with modern-day pizza, nothing can come close to pepperonis on them. After all, there’s a reason this topping is one of the most popular ones of the lot.

Every year, millions of pounds of pepperoni are consumed, so it’s safe to say that by now that these thin slices of love are very much a part of the American culture.

While the roots of pizza go back to Italy, pepperoni is a new world addition. Even modern food critics and writers refer to it as an “Italian-American” creation. However, the word “pepperoni” in Italian refers to uncured salami and large bell peppers. Therefore we can conclude that Pepperoni pizza was, in fact, an American creation.

As per some historians, pepperoni was first found in some Italian-American markets after the first World War. However, it wasn’t actively used as a pizza topping yet. Menus from the 1950s suggest that pepperoni may have been used as a topping in some eateries, but until the 1930s, the toppings were majorly dominated by salami, bacon, and sausage.

Interestingly, just like many other toppings, pepperoni was also a result of immense experiments where restaurants would initially offer them as cured meat appetizers. The use of pepperoni as a pizza topping could have something to do with the rising popularity of pizzas as fast food in the first place.

Several chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut initially struggled to find inexpensive toppings. However, as soon as they discovered pepperoni, their mass production started, and well, the rest is history.

Today, pepperoni pizza is one of the most widely consumed pizzas in the world. From large chains to small shops, everything has at least one menu item with a pepperoni topping, and pepperoni pizzas are obviously a major hit in every market.

September 20th Birthday Quotes

“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
– George R. R. Martin

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
– Upton Sinclair

“Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion.”
– Thornton Wilder

“People’s attitudes about sex aren’t healthy anywhere, except maybe in those tribes where they go around naked.”
– Asia Argento

“I’d much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0.”
– Sophia Loren

September 20th Birthdays

1844 – William H. Illingworth, English-American photographer (died in 1893)
1878 – Upton Sinclair, American novelist, critic, and essayist (died in 1968)
1917 – Fernando Rey, Spanish actor (died in 1994)
1920 – Jay Ward, American animator, producer, and screenwriter, founded Jay Ward Productions (died in 1989)
1925 – Bobby Nunn, American R&B singer (died in 1986)
1929 – Anne Meara, American comedic actress, and playwright (died in 2015)
1934 – Sophia Loren, Italian actress
1948 – George R.R. Martin, American novelist, and short story writer
1975 – Asia Argento, Italian actress

September 20th History

1498 (Earthquake & Tsunami) Nankaido, Japan

1960 – The Flintstones debuted on ABC

1969 – #1 Hit September 20, 1969 – October 17, 1969: The Archies – Sugar, Sugar

1973 – An estimated 90 million people watched ‘The Battle of the Sexes.’ Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in a televised tennis match at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.

1975 – #1 Hit September 20, 1975 – September 26, 1975: David Bowie – Fame

1977 – The Fonz jumped a shark on Happy Days, forever immortalizing the phrase “jumping the shark” as a metaphor for when something has passed its peak.

1979 – Buck Rogers in the 25th Century premiered on NBC

1984 – The Cosby Show premiered on NBC

1984 – Who’s The Boss debuted on ABC.

1986 – #1 Hit September 20, 1986 – October 10, 1986: Huey Lewis and the News – Stuck with You

1989 – East End Show – Miss Saigon (Musical) September 20, 1989

1990 – The Flash premiered on CBS

1993 – Vicki Van Meter took off from Maine, landing in San Diego three days later, becoming the youngest female pilot to fly across the U.S.

1998 – The Iron Man Rested – Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. sat out a game, ending his consecutive MLB game playing streak. Cal “Irom Man’ Ripken played 2,632 consecutive games over 16 seasons.

1999- Law & Order: SVU debuted on NBC

2006 – Top Gear co-host Richard Hammond was seriously injured after crashing a car at 280 mph

2009 – Barack Obama appeared on five Sunday news/talk shows on the same day: CBS’s Face the Nation, ABC’s This Week, CNN’s State of the Union with John King, NBC/MSNBC’s Meet The Press and on Univision.

September 20, 2013 – The Apple iPhone 4S, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5S were released.

2014 – #1 Hit September 20, 2014 – November 28, 2014: Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass

September 20, 2468 Birthday (fictional) Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly, TV

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart”

Biggest film of 1935: Top Hat (Musical) earned ~ $2,000,000

Centuries ago, having molten gold poured down the throat was the preferred means of death by molten metal.

TV Quotes… “Who loves you, baby?” (Kojak) on “Kojak”

I wash my hands in public bathrooms more than my home, so strangers don’t judge me.

People get very offended when you tell them how to raise their child unless you wrote a book about it. Then they’ll pay you for it.

All of art is humans trying to show everyone else what they see in their head.

If there are 500,000,000 credit cards out there, and 10,000 different PIN possibilities, I’m sharing my PIN with 50,000 different people.

The Capital of Liechtenstein is Vaduz

The blue LED was invented in 1993, nearly 30 years after red and green LEDs. The inventors received Nobel prizes in 2014.

If I wore a British flag sweater while in the UK, people would assume I’m a tourist. If I wore an American flag sweater while in America, they’d assume I’m a local.

What if aliens haven’t visited the Earth because they are offended at their portrayal in movies? #feelings

“Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” – Lawrence Walsh (Joe Mantell) in Chinatown, 1974

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