Friday, June 12, 2009

Goodnight, Analog

2009 Digital Conversion deadline is reached -- all analog TV signals turned off by midnight on 6/12/09, home users either need to receive DTV signal via cable or satellite service, over the air with digital converter box and antennae or with a digital-ready television with antennae.

So hopefully all you cheapskates have gotten your converter boxes.

Here is your Today in History -

In early 1381 England imposed a new tax, which was called the "Pole Tax" because everyone got the shaft.

The Swiss Army Knife was patented on June 12, 1897. It was the fruit of centuries of Swiss research, development, and testing. Its release was heralded as the dawn of a golden age of Swiss technology.

Switzerland may not have won a war since, but they've never been caught without a corkscrew.

June 12, 1942
For her thirteenth birthday on June 12, 1942, a young girl living in the Netherlands received a book which she had pointed out to her father in a shop window a few days earlier. Although it was an autograph book, bound with red-and-white plaid cloth and with a small lock on the front, Anne had already decided she would use it as a diary. She began writing in it almost immediately, describing herself, her family and friends, her school life, boys she flirted with and the places she liked to visit in her neighborhood. While these early entries demonstrate that, in many ways, her life was that of a typical schoolgirl, she also refers to changes that had taken place since the German occupation. Some references are seemingly casual and not emphasized. However, in some entries she provides more detail of the oppression that was steadily increasing. For instance, she wrote about the yellow star which all Jews were forced to wear in public, and she listed some of the restrictions and persecutions that had encroached into the lives of Amsterdam's Jewish population.

The diary, which was given to Anne Frank on her thirteenth birthday, chronicles her life from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944. It was published as The Diary of a Young Girl and eventually translated from its original Dutch into many languages and became one of the world's most widely read books. There have also been several films, television, theatrical productions, and even an opera based on the diary. Described as the work of a mature and insightful mind, it provides an intimate examination of daily life under Nazi occupation and in hiding; through her writing, Frank has become one of the most renowned and discussed of Holocaust victims.

So parents, chose wisely when giving your children birthday gifts.

June 12, 1963 -
The four-hour film spectacle Cleopatra debuts, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, premieres in New York City, on this date.

Adjusting for inflation, this is one of the most expensive movies ever made. Its budget of $44 million is equivalent to $297 million 2007 dollars.

June 12, 1978 -
David Berkowitz is sentenced to 365 consecutive years in prison without the possibility of parole. Berkowitz killed six New Yorkers between 1976 and 1977, known collectively as the Son of Sam murders.

Harvey, Sam Carr's dog, was not charged with any crime.

June 12, 1981 -
Hard to believe but Mel Brooks' History of the World Part 1 and Lucas/ Spielberg Raiders Of The Lost Ark both premiered on this date.

These are two film you never think of together.

June 12, 1987 -
U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate.

Although there is some disagreement over how much influence, if any, Reagan's words had on the destruction of the wall, the speech is remembered as an important moment in Cold War history.

June 12, 1994 -
Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman meet a ghastly end in front of Simpson's condominium complex in Brentwood, California.

O.J. Simpson, the most likely suspect, is currently hunting for the killer inside the Lovelock Correctional Center.

Go, O. J. Go.

And so it goes.

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