Saturday, July 18, 2009

An American Icon has passed.

Walter Cronkite died last night after a long battle with cerebral vascular disease.

He was often cited in viewer opinion polls as "the most trusted man in America" because of his professional experience and kindly demeanor.

It's Screamin' Jay Hawkins Birthday. Turn this on up really loud and dance around the room in your underwear

Don't ask, just do it.

Today in History
July 18, 64 -
Most of imperial Rome was burned to the ground because Emperor Nero had been playing the fiddle. This resulted in the persecution of Christians, many of whom were believed to have encouraged him.

You know how those early Christians love their city burning, fiddle playing, crazed Emperors.

July 18 1870 -
At the end of Vatican I, Catholic popes are proclaimed infallible by chapter four of the papal bull Pastor Aeternus. His declarations on matters of faith are protected from error by the Holy Spirit. In a nutshell: whatever he says about the scripture, goes. This is an interesting doctrine, considering how often St. Peter is himself contradicted by the Gospels.

Jul 18 1925 -
July 18 marks the 84nd anniversary of the 1925 publication of Adolf Hitler's best-selling political memoir, Mein Kampf (or, in English, "I'm Crazy and I'm Gonna Kill You"). The book remains extremely popular with genocidal sociopaths and is therefore experiencing a renaissance of sales.

The book's original title was Four-and-a-Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice.

Taking him at his word and assuming the little lance-corporal really had struggled against lies, stupidity, and cowardice for 54 months, one has to ask, in light of his later activities, if maybe lies, stupidity, and cowardice aren't so bad.

July 18 1939 -
Hunter S. Thompson's birthday is today. He was once considered, armed, and dangerous. Now he is no more than soot on the window sills of his and his neighbors homes. Dr. Thompson founded the Gonzo school of journalism in the 1970s; graduates from that school can today be seen every night on cable news.

Dr. Thompson inspired the character "Uncle Duke" in the comic strip Doonesbury, by former Canadian Prime Minister Gary Trudeau.

("Uncle Duke" first appeared in Doonesbury on July 8, 1974.) Several movies have been made about Dr. Thompson's life and work and psychotic episodes. He is perhaps the only American journalist to have been played on-screen by both Bill Murray

and Johnny Depp.

July 18 1966 -
In Los Angeles, the beaten corpse of Bobby Fuller is found sprawled across the front seat of his mother's Oldsmobile. Fuller, whose band The Bobby Fuller Four released the hit "I Fought The Law," is found to have died from "forced inhalation of gasoline."

Technically, Fuller died from huffing... although circumstances point to murder.

July 18 1969 -
Driving home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Ted Kennedy's car goes over the side of Dike Bridge and flips over into a pond. Kennedy manages to free himself from the automobile, but his passenger, one Mary Jo Kopechne, drowns.

For some reason, Kennedy tells no one about the accident for at least an hour, and waits until the following morning to notify local police.

July 18 1988 -
Rock and Roll performer / heroin addict Nico wipes out on her bicycle on Ibiza and dies from a brain hemorrage - that combined with a lack of medical treatment.

And so it goes.

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