Saturday, December 23, 2006.  There were two great homecomings twenty years ago today.  The experimental aircraft Voyager completed a non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world; and Andrei Sakharov was allowed to return home to Moscow after seven years of internal exile.

Today's episode music is "Splat the Rat," by Father Rock.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.




Direct download: 20yearsago_42_122306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:33am EST
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Friday, December 22, 2006.  Twenty years ago today, an ordinance took effect in Platte City, Missouri, banning pit bull dogs.  I take a look at that ordinance, and the efforts to pass ones like it elsewhere in the country.

Today's episode music is from "The Warlock," by Scott Shannon.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_41_1202206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:27am EST
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Just a brief announcement to let folks know that "It Was 20 Years Ago Today" is going on a short hiatus.  My day job has been downright brutal (60+ hour work weeks) for the past several weeks, and looks to continue that way for quite some time (with, if all goes well, a short vacation between Christmas and New Years).  Taking a break from the podcast now will allow me to get some more shows written and recorded in advance, which will allow me to post new episodes consistently after the break.

Look for the next new episode to appear on Thursday, December 21.

Thanks so much for your understanding and support.
--Jamie


Category:Announcements -- posted at: 4:33pm EST
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Saturday, December 9, 2006.  Twenty years ago today, I turned twenty years old.  I talk about the age I was then, the age I am now, and the attitudes of the younger generations toward the older ones.  Some things haven't changed in twenty years, really.

Ironically, this is also my 40th podcast!  I didn't plan it this way, really.

Today's episode music is from "Celestial Voices," by Commander Yo.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_40_120906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:24am EST
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Friday, December 8, 2006.  Twenty years ago today, Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka gave his Nobel lecture, a call to action against the apartheid regime in South Africa.  I discuss Soyinka, his speech, as well as the efforts to change the situation in South Africa.  Those efforts included a famous protest song organized by Steven Van Zandt, "Sun City."

Podcast theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_39_120806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:18am EST
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Wednesday, December 6, 2006.  Twenty years ago today, the annual William Lowell Putnam mathematics competition was held.  See the questions for the 1986 competition.  (Link is to a PDF.)  I tell a little bit about the competition, and my relationship to math over the years.

Today's episode music is from "Confusion," by Commander Yo.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_38_120606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:46am EST
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Monday, December 4, 2006.  The Chicago Tribune announced the winners of its first annual Holiday Cookie Contest twenty years ago today.  I share the names of the winning recipes, and talk a little about my memories of cooking and baking.

This podcast is guaranteed to be non-fattening!

Episode music is from "Overnighter," by Jeremiah Fleming.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Edit December 5, 2006:  I've reposted this episode with the correct audio file, this time!  No more Gotti, it's really time for cookies!




Direct download: 20yearsago_37_120406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30am EST
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Sunday, December 3, 2006.  A key witness in the RICO trial of mob boss John Gotti began his testimony twenty years ago today.  I look at Gotti's history and how he went from being the Teflon Don in 1986 to the Velcro Don in 1992.

Today's episode music is "The Wood Between the Worlds," by Commander Yo.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_36_120306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:48pm EST
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Episode #35 -- Shenmue Wednesday, November 29, 2006.  The story of the video game Shenmue opens twenty years ago today.  I look at that game, and the state of video console gaming in the time Shenmue is set.

Official site -- Shenmue.com
Shenmue Dojo on GameSpy

Episode music is from the Shenmue game.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_35_112906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:40am EST
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Episode #34 -- William S. Burroughs Tuesday, November 28, 2006.  Twenty years ago today is the date of "Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1986" by William S. Burroughs.  The video clip of Burroughs reading the poem, directed by Gus Van Sant, can be found here.

Today's episode music is "El Coradobes," by Gringo Motel.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_34_112806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:55am EST
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Monday, November 27, 2006.  Twenty years ago today was Thanksgiving Day, and an article in the St. Petersburg Times was the first to characterize the next day as "Black Friday."  I take a look at that name, whether it really fits, and Christmas shopping.

Today's episode music is "See You In Seattle," by the Scottish Guitar Quartet.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_33_112706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49am EST
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Friday, November 24, 2006.  A meeting at the White House twenty years ago today set the tone for how the Reagan Administration would handle the scandal.  I look at some of the details of that meeting and the press conference that took place the next day.

Today's music is from "Warlock," by Scott Shannon.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_32_112406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55am EST
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Episode #31 -- Doctor Demento & Weird Al Thursday, November 23, 2006 -- Happy Thanksgiving!  The new single from Weird Al Yankovic's album Polka Party made its debut on the Doctor Demento Show twenty years ago today.  I've been a fan of both Weird Al and Doctor Demento since before 1986, and I share some history about these two luminaries of the comedy music world.

Today's theme music is "Press YES to Start Demo," by Aaron Derington.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.




Direct download: 20yearsago_31_112306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:29pm EST
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November 22, 2006.  Twenty years ago tody, Mike Tyson beat Trevor Berbick to become the youngest heavyweight boxing champ ever.  I talk about Tyson, and his rise and fall.

Today's episode music is "Taking You There," by Jeremiah Fleming.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_30_112206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:48am EST
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Twenty years ago today, there were a lot of documents being shredded in the offices of the NSA.  I take a look at who was doing the shredding, and why ... and exactly what I think of the whole idea.

Extra special thanks to Joe Medina of Ollin Productions for his help in getting the sound effects and editing done for this episode.

Theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_29_112106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:36am EST
Comments[0]

Sunday, November 19, 2006.  Twenty years ago today, a missile silo complex in Arkansas was demolished.  I look at how this was done and about the last big chill before the Cold War came to an end.

Today's episode music is "Bella," by Patrick Gorman.  Theme music composed and conducted by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_28_111906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:08pm EST
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November 18, 2006.  Twenty years ago today, a Japanese airline pilot spotted a UFO, in an incident that gained a great deal of public attention -- some six weeks after it actually happened.  Is this sighting a mystery, or something easily explained?

Today's episode music is "Confusion," by Commander Yo.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_27_111806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:53pm EST
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The issue of Time Magazine dated twenty years ago today featured an article looking at what turned out to be the beginning of the end of the small, independent video rental store.  I look at how that came to pass, and how the big chains might be facing the end of the line themselves.

Today's episode music is "Butt Quake," by Commander Yo.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_26_111706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:27am EST
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Some conflicting information about today's event led me to make this podcast a bit of a behind the scenes show, about the research that goes into making an episode of "It Was Twenty Years Ago Today."

Today's episode music is "October," by the Scottish Guitar Quartet.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_25_111506.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:14pm EST
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Twenty years ago today would forever after be known as "Boesky Day" on Wall Street, when financier Ivan Boesky's spectacular career came to an even more spectacular end.

I found this account of a oral history discussion between the lawyers involved in both sides of the Boesky case (PDF document) particularly helpful in preparing this podcast.

This episode's music is "Overnighter," by Jeremiah Fleming.  I found it at PodsafeAudio.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_24_111406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:15am EST
Comments[2]

Twenty years ago today, President Reagan spoke to the nation from the Oval Office, and denied that he sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the freedom of Americans held hostage in Lebanon.  It was a story that he would elaborate on -- and change a great deal -- in the days to come, as the Iran/Contra scandal began to unfold.

Today's episode music is "Green Forst," by Aaron Derington.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_23_111306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:52am EST
Comments[0]

Episode #22 -- Michael Jackson's "Bad" The music video for the title track of Michael Jackson's album "Bad" was being shot in New York City twenty years ago today.  I look at Michael Jackson, how he dominated the popular music scene back then, and wonder a bit about what he has become.

Music for this episode is "Over Under," by Father Rock.  Theme music was composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_22_111206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:27pm EST
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Character actor Roger C. Carmel died twenty years ago today.  His career included roles as wide as the Batman tv series, Smokey the Bear, and "Senor Naugles" in a very popular series of commercials for the now-defunct Naugles restaurant chain.  But his most famous role was that of Harry Mudd in the original Star Trek. 

The fall of 1986 was a pivotal time in the history of Star Trek.  The fourth film was due out soon and the series "Star Trek: the Next Generation" would be coming out a year later.  I talk about what Trek fandom was like in those days.

Today's episode music is "Meandering in the Sun," by Seraphic Panoply.  Theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.
Direct download: 20yearsago_21_111106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:52pm EST
Comments[0]

Episode #20 -- V.M. Molotov Twenty years ago today, Vyacheslav Mikhaylevich Molotov (pictured at right) died at the age of 96. I take a look at the life of a man who at the time of his death, was the last surviving major participant in the 1917 Russian Revolution. I also have a bit of trivia about the explosive that bears his name.

Today's episode music is "Zombie," by Devin Anderson.  Theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.
Direct download: 20yearsago_20_110806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:02am EST
Comments[0]

Episode #19 -- General Election The mid-term election of 1986 took place on this day.  I take a look at some of the results, particularly California Propositions 64 (dealing with the way AIDS was treated under public health law) and 65 (called in the day "the toxics initiative), and the recall of state Chief Justice Rose Bird (pictured at the right). Rose Bird died in 1999.

Today's episode music is "Tell Me T," by Father Rock.  Theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.
Direct download: 20yearsago_19_110406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:45pm EST
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Episode #18 -- Dias de los Muertos and Paul Frees Today is the second day of the Dias de los Muertos festival.  I offer a brief introduction to this Mexican holiday, as well as pay tribute to voice actor Paul Frees, who died on this day 20 years ago.

Today's episode music is "Muertos," by Gringo Motel.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.

(I am still a little behind the curve, but at least it's still November 2nd local time, if only just.  If all goes well I'll be back on schedule for the November 4 podcast.  Thank you all for your patience and indulgence.)


Direct download: 20yearsago_18_110206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:45am EST
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Episode #17 -- Harry Houdini [Apologies for the delay in getting this episode posted -- I'm running a bit behind the curve this week.]

October 31, 1986 was the 60th anniversary of the passing of arguably the greatest magician and escape artist of all time, Harry Houdini.  I take a look at the history of the Houdini seances, as well as some of the continuing developments of the Houdini legend.

Today's episode music is "8 Track SupaStar," by KCentric.  I found it at PodsafeAudio.com.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.

This marks the end of the first month of "It Was 20 Years Ago Today."  I've gotten great feedback on the podcast so far.  If you're enjoying the show and would like to see it continue, please let me know!
Direct download: 20yearsago_17_103106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:10am EST
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I share the story of my first novel, and the fate which it met somewhere around this day, twenty years ago.

Today's episode music is "Oh Manyo," by Father Rock.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_16_103006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EST
Comments[0]

The House Science Committee published the report of their investigations into the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on this day, 20 years ago.  I take a look at the committee's report, as compared with the better-remembered Rogers Commission report.  I also share some of my recollections of the disaster.

This episode's music is "Melodisturbed Remix," by J. Marie Anderson.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_15_102906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:32am EST
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Doctor Who actor and writer Ian Marter died on this day, 20 years ago.  I look at his contributions to the series.  In addition, I discuss some of the ways I've expressed my fondness for the show.

This episode's music includes "Woo Who," by KCentric.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_14_102806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:27am EST
Comments[0]

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act (ADAA) of 1986 was signed into law twenty years ago today.  It was one of the most sweeping changes to the drug laws in decades, and many of its provisions are still affecting us today.

Today's music is "Splat the Rat," by Father Rock.  Theme music composed and conducted by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_13_102706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:18am EST
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The US Government took several actions twenty years ago today pertaining to regulating tobacco and researching how best to educate young people about the dangers of smoking.  I take a look at these, the 19th Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, and my own experiences with smokers among my friends and family.

I also wanted to share a good web page of tips on how to quit, from MSNBC news anchor Keith Olbermann and his viewers. 

The Tobacco Timeline by Gene Borio was very useful to me as I prepared this podcast. 

The music for this episode is "Allmost There," by Father Rock.  Theme music was composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_12_102406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:15am EST
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The RMS Titanic Maritime Memorial Act (link is to a pdf document), an attempt to regulate salvage of the wreck of the Titanic, was signed into law twenty years ago today.  The debate over whether to salvage artifacts from the wreck, or to leave it as a memorial to those who died when she went down in 1912, had been going on since the wreck was found, and continue to this day.

Today's music is from "House of the Dead," by Scott Shannon.  I found it at PodSafe Audio.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_11_102106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:33pm EST
Comments[1]

The first draft script of Batman (the first Tim Burton movie) was written twenty years ago today.  I share some thoughts about the movie, and the comics that inspired it.
Direct download: 20yearsago_10_102006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:07am EST
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Steve Kinser, "King of the Outlaws," won a race 20 years ago today.  It was one of many in a career that continues to this day.  I take a look at Kinser and of my own enjoyment of motor sports through the years.

Today's episode music is "Reasontanker," by Father Rock.  Theme music was composed and performed by Marc Rose.
Direct download: 20yearsago_9_101806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:18am EST
Comments[0]

A young woman lost her life to the infamous Green River killer 20 years ago today.  I take a look at that case, and my own interest in true crime.

Today's music is "Over Under," by Father Rock.  I found it at PodSafe Audio.  Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_8_101706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:42am EST
Comments[0]

Since two days, perhaps three will go by between shows this time, I wanted to let you all know I haven't given up on the podcast.  A few other events have taken up some of my time but I am working on researching and writing new shows and will be back with a new episode on Monday at the latest.

Thank you all for bearing with me.  If you've been enjoying the show, please do spread the word.

Category:Announcements -- posted at: 2:13am EST
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A slightly longer podcast than usual today, as the event I look at actually happened over October 11 and 12, 1986 -- the summit meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev held in Reykjavik, Iceland.  Those talks centered on nuclear weapons, an issue that's very much on everyone's mind today, 20 years later.

Today's music is "Tracy's Lament," by Seraphic Panoply.  I found it at PodsafeAudio.  Theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_7_101206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:23am EST
Comments[1]

A discussion of what makes history, and a remarkable historical document which concluded on this day 20 years ago today.

Lottie Price's diary can be found here.

Today's music is "Duel Key Dreamer," by Father Rock.

Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.
Direct download: 20yearsago_6_101006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:15am EST
Comments[0]

The "fourth network," Fox, began broadcasting 20 years ago today.  I take a look at how it succeeded where others before had failed, as well as some of its most famous shows.

Today's music is "Newtecky" by Father Rock.  I found it at PodSafeAudio.

Theme music composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_5_100906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:19am EST
Comments[0]

The Independent began publishing 20 years ago today.  I take a look at that event, and my experience at about the same time as a reporter for the Del Norte Triplicate.

Today's music was from "The Birth of Language" by Harley Glotzer.

Theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.


Direct download: 20yearsago_4_100706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:05am EST
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Today I look back to the incident which opened up the Iran/Contra scandal, and the man who inadvertently started it all.  I also share a few thoughts on saturation news coverage.

Today's music is "Melodisturbed Remix," by J. Marie Anderson.  I found it at PodSafe Audio.

Theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.
Direct download: 20yearsago_3_100506.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:51am EST
Comments[1]

The fifth episode of "The Trial of a Time Lord" (or the first episode of "Mindwarp," depending on your point of view) aired for the first time 20 years ago today.  We look at a few facts about that episode of "Doctor Who," as well as the lengths I went to in those days to see even a little of my favorite TV show.
Direct download: 20yearsago_2_100406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:03am EST
Comments[3]

Welcome to the premier episode of "It Was 20 Years Ago Today."  Today we look back to October 3, 1986, when the Journal of the American Medical Association carried three different articles dealing with AIDS.

I found the AIDS Timeline at aegis.com very useful in preparing this episode.

The episode music is "Ambulance Ride for the Soon to Be Deceased," by Devin Anderson.  The theme music was composed and performed by Marc Rose.
Direct download: 20yearsago_1_100206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:10am EST
Comments[5]

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