Sunday, June 14, 2009

Yes- It is a grand old flag.

It was on this date in 1777 that the Stars and Stripes was adopted as the official flag of the United States of America.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes

This song popped into my head yesterday afternoon while I was walking down the street.

Which, if I think about it, is a good way for this song to come to you.

Here is your Today in History -
June 14, 1648 -
Midwife Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft.

It is the first such execution for the Massachusetts colony, but not the first in the colonies.

June 14, 1938 -
Jerry Seinfeld is whooping it up today:

Action Comics issues the first Superman comic.

June 14, 1940 -
Rick and Elsa have a quick drink as they plan to leave Paris ahead of the Nazi invasion. Little does Rick know that Elsa does not plan to join him (but that's another story.)

Paris Falls to the Nazis .

June 14, 1949 -
The wonderful black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets, starring the ever present Alec Guinness, was released on this date.

Thankfully, plans for a remake starring Will Smith and Robin Williams has been shelved.

June 14, 1954 -
At the Lincoln Memorial, President Dwight Eisenhower signs a law inserting the words "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance. Eisenhower declares: "From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty." Precisely which Almighty is left to the listener's imagination.

I would like to think that Ike was thinking about the Canaanite god - Baal.

Jun 14 1961 -
1980s pop music star Boy George is born in Kent, England.

As he later comes to describe his childhood, "I had five brothers and I was brought up drinking the same water and being fed the same doctrine as my brothers, but somehow I turned out to be a fabulous homosexual."

Jun 14 1962 -
Albert DeSalvo murders Anna Slesersby by strangling her with the belt from her robe. She is only the first victim of "The Boston Strangler."

Or did he?

Jun 14 1966 -
The Vatican announces the abolition of its Index librorum prohibitum (Index of Prohibited Books), originally instituted in 1557 by Pope Paul IV. Notable novelists on the list were Laurence Sterne, Voltaire, Daniel Defoe, Honoré de Balzac, Jean-Paul Sartre. If you are ever in doubt of what to read - check out the Index.

Jun 14 1976 -
The Gong Show debuts on NBC. People with dubious talents perform their acts before a celebrity panel of judges, who are free to eject the performer at any time by banging a large gong. The best non-gonged performer each night wins $516.32.

During the time the show is on the air, it's creator, Chuck Barris, suffered a complete mental breakdown, he says from the stress of being a secret CIA hit man. No really, I'm not kidding you.

Jun 14 1989 -
Zsa Zsa Gabor is arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer and driving with an expired license. Afterwards Zsa Zsa complains to the press that the handling she received from the BHPD "was like Nazi Germany."

Ultimately, Gabor is convicted and sentenced to 72 hours in jail. Francesca Hilton, Zsa Zsa's daughter, is Paris and Nicky Hilton's aunt.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

And on a personal note:

Dear Nephew Irving,

Happy Birthday. Tante and I send you a million hugs and kisses. Don't concern yourself with the fact that we have barely seen you this year. Tante is now utterly senile and believes herself to be the Empress Eugenie. Thank goodness for Depends.

We know that we are old and a great embarrassment to you. You should live your life, we will just die quietly.

You should be happy on your birthday.

And so it goes.

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