It Happened Today: The Inquirer Endorses Nutter, The Sabres Kill the Flyers’ Playoff Hopes, Sonny Liston Told He Can Fight Here, and The World’s First Telephonic Symphony

A look back at Philadelphia history

Normally, a conductor stands in front of his symphony, baton in hand. But on April 27, 1933, Philadelphia Orchestra maestro Leopold Stokowski stood hundreds of miles away in Washington, D.C.’s Constitution Hall with his hands on a sound mixer while his orchestra played in the Academy of Music. Three microphones in the Philadelphia concert hall picked up the audio, which was transmitted over three long lines to Washington and broadcast from three speakers, which Stokowski controlled. It was the first time that a concert was carried over telephone lines, and the experiment was sponsored by AT&T.

Other notable happenings: On a cold, rainy day in West Philadelphia, the grandstand collapses at the Penn Relays as thousands watch Charlie “Fastest Man In The World” Paddock sprint, though no one was seriously injured (April 27, 1928); after New York denied him a boxing license thanks to his criminal record, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission offers Sonny Liston a license here (April 27, 1962), allowing him to later win the World Heavyweight Championship by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round; the Buffalo Sabres crush the Flyers 6-1 in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs (April 27, 1998), a series that we would lose 4-1; Arlen Specter gets his first taste of the dismal future when he wins the Senate primary against Pat Toomey—who now occupies the seat—by less than two percent of the vote (April 27, 2004); in the middle of our little homicide problem (it would go on to be the first year that we’d top 400 in nearly a decade) Action News runs the story “4 Murders In 24 Hours” (April 27, 2006); and the Inquirer endorses Michael Nutter, who managed to get every major media endorsement, including one from Philadelphia magazine (April 27, 2007).