As it is generally understood that it is impolite to point out a woman's age,
I will merely report that the still lovely Catherine Deneuve was born on this date.
October 22, 1942 -
This is Bette Davis at her peak. Now, Voyager opened in NYC on this date.
While Bette Davs gives a stand out performance in this film, Claude Rains and Paul Henreid are also noteworthy. It must have been a very busy year for both men - weeks after finishing principle photography on the picture, both men had to show up on the set of 'Casablanca' to begin shooting.
October 22, 1971 -
Peter Bogdanovich's break out film, The Last Picture Show opened on this date.
The "last picture" shown in the movie theatre was Red River (1948).
Today's word of the day:
Aporrhoea: noun, a bodily emanation; body odor. I wondered why the approaching train car was empty until the doors opens and the aporrhoea of the sleeping homeless man hit me like a fist.
Today in History:
October 22, 1797 -
Once upon a time in the eighteenth century, a man named J.P. Blanchard threw a dog wearing a rudimentary parachute out of a hot-air balloon. History does not divulge the outcome of this experiment. Mr. Blanchard may simply have been a disgruntled cat person.
There lived at that time a swindler by the name of Andre-Jacques Garnerin, who traveled around France offering (for a fee from his spectators) to ascend into the sky in a hot-air balloon and leap to the earth in a parachute. Strangely enough, his balloon never managed to get off the ground. Refunds were never offered.
One day an angry spectator brought Garnerin's con to the attention of the local authorities, who promptly arrested him. He was given a choice: he could either get his balloon to fly and make the promised jump or he could go directly to jail.
And so, one early evening 211 years ago today, Garnerin's balloon rose 3000 feet into the evening air above Paris. Then it exploded.
Fortunately, Garnerin was already in his parachute and survived the landing. The suddenly successful showman didn't die his inevitable horrible aviation-related death for a full quarter-century.
It was on this day in 1836 that Sam Houston was sworn in as the first president of the Republic of Texas. Texas had become an independent nation after winning its independence from Mexico, and would not be incorporated into the United States as a state until 1845. There are some who insist to this day that Texas was never properly admitted into the Union because, like everything else, its admission had been Unconstitutional. (There are also people who insist that extraterrestrial poodles have been fixing the Super Bowl.)
Readers interested in the very curious question of Texan sovereignty are referred to TexasRepublic.org, which is either brilliant satire or terrifying sincerity.
(Readers interested in the curious question of sports-fixing extraterrestrial poodles are referred to a competent behavioral healthcare provider.)
October 22, 1844 -
The Second Coming fails to occur for the Seventh Day Adventists, led by Bible scientist William Miller. The Millerites were expecting the End Times to accompany the appearance of Jesus Christ, so that didn't happen either.
Oops, I guess Mr. Miller has some explaining to do.
The Gare Montparnasse, one of the six large terminus train stations of Paris, became famous for a derailment on 22 October 1895 of the Granville-Paris Express that overran the buffer stop. The engine careened across almost 100 ft off the station concourse, crashed through a two foot thick wall, shot across a terrace and sailed out of the station, plummeting onto the Place de Rennes more than 3o feet below, where it stood on its nose.
All on board the train survived, five sustaining injuries: two passengers, the fireman and two crewmembers; however, one woman on the street below was killed by falling masonry. The accident was caused by a faulty Westinghouse brake and the engine drivers who were trying to make up for lost time. The conductor incurred a 25 franc penalty and the engine driver a 50 franc penalty; he was also sent to prison for two months.
Do you think the passangers got their money back?
October 22, 1934 -
Here's another story of your tax dollars at work.
FBI agents, led by the ambitious Melvin Purvis and local Ohio authorities captured and killed Public enemy No. 1, Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd, in a shoot out on this day. Or so the official story goes. But as many of you loyal readers know the 'authorized' version and actual facts of events can differ wildly.
Chester Smith, a retired East Liverpool Police Captain, the sharpshooter who claimed that he shot Floyd first, stated in a 1979 interview, that after he had (deliberately) wounded, but not killed, Floyd.
"I knew Purvis couldn't hit him, so I dropped him with two shots from my .32 Winchester rifle."
Smith claims that he then disarmed Floyd, and that Melvin Purvis, the agent in charge, ran up and ordered: "Back away from that man. I want to talk to him." Purvis questioned him briefly and then ordered him shot at point-blank range, telling agent Herman Hollis to "Fire into him." The interviewer asked if there was a coverup by the FBI, and Smith responded: "Sure was, because they didn't want it to get out that he'd been killed that way." This account is extremely controversial. If true, Purvis effectively executed Floyd without benefit of judge or jury.
October 22, 1965-
The Rolling Stones release 'Get off my Cloud' in the U.K. on this date.
It was written as a follow-up single to the successful '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'.
And so it goes