Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Citizen's Day Today

Mary Travers, member of the legendary 60s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, died in a Connecticut hospital after battling leukemia for several years.

If only she still had that hammer when Death came a'calling.

September 17, 1949 -
Little Rural Riding Hood, the last of Tex Avery's variations on 'Red Hot Riding Hood', premiered on this date.

In animation historian Jerry Beck's 1994 poll of animators, film historians and directors, this cartoon was rated the 23rd greatest cartoon of all time.

September 17, 1956 -
Vincente Minnelli 's brilliant bio-pix, Lust for Life, opened in NYC on this date.

Kirk Douglas' tortured portrail of artist of Vincent Van Gogh was a little too real for some of the older residents of Auvers-sur-Oise where parts of the film were shot. Kirk Douglas had had his hair cut specially in the style of the artist and had it dyed in a similar reddish tint. This was enough to make some of the older inhabitants of the town believe that Van Gogh had returned.

Today in History:
On July 4, 1776, the American colonies told Britain to kiss their hairy American asses. This began the Revolutionary War, during which the Redcoats were coming, a shot was heard 'round the world, and Paul Revere could see the whites of their eyes.

The complexities of war demanded organization between the states, so they established Articles of Confederation, which in turn created a Continental Congress. This Congress was adequate to see them through the war, but by the late 1780s it became clear that both the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation sucked.

Even way back then Americans didn't want anything to do with anything that sucked (unless it meant a substantial discount, which in this case it did not).

The Continental Congress tried to fix the Articles of Confederation in 1786. The Congress still sucked, of course, and so they failed.

In the spring of 1787 the states sent new delegates to a new convention designed to produce a government that wouldn't be so awful.

On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention voted its approval of a new Constitution, which they immediately ran out to have printed.

The Continental Congress acted with its usual efficiency, and by July 2 of the following year, the Constitution had become the law of the land. The last act of the Continental Congress was to schedule federal elections for their replacements.

Today is Constitution Day in the U.S. Celebrate by refusing to allow soldiers to be billeted in your home.

It's also the 379nd anniversary of the founding of Boston, but since that's not divisible by 3 and Ted Kennedy is dead, it can't possibly be significant.

September 17, 1859 -
Our old pal, San Francisco resident Joshua A. Norton proclaims himself Emperor of these United States, a title he retains until his death in 1880.

The successor to Emperor Norton I has yet to be anointed. I am still consulting attorneys, as we speak.

September 17, 1908 -

Thomas E. Selfridge becomes the world's first airplane fatality when the Wright Flyer, a craft he's co-piloting with Orville Wright for the U.S. Army, crashes near Fort Meyer, Virginia. An untested propeller ripped apart the plane's structure, causing it to nosedive from an altitude of 75 feet.

Orville walks away unscathed and Wilber never quite trusted his brother again, as he was supposed to fly the plane with his brother

September 17, 1939 -
The Soviet Union invades Poland, to fulfill its end of the secret protocols contained in the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. They partition the country along pre-decided lines.

As you well know the last laugh will be on the Russian, when Hitler turns on them.

September 17, 1965 -
CBS television premieres Hogan's Heroes, the first and perhaps only sitcom based in a German prisoner-of-war camp.

The show is proof once and for all that Nazis are hilarious.

And so it goes

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