1956: This is the day Elvis Presley made that famous appearance of The Ed Sullivan Show. Everyone remembers that Elvis was shot only from the waist up, lest his hip-swiveling action corrupt that youth of America and scandalize their elders. A then-record 54 million Americans are watching (83% of the country’s TV sets are tuned to the show).
The next day, advance orders for “Love Me Tender” (performed on the show) shoot through the roof, causing RCA Victor to rush the single out two weeks ahead of schedule.
What no one remembers is that Ed Sullivan did NOT host that show. He was ill. Actor Charles Laughton was the emcee that night.