Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy National Quiche Lorraine Day



Remember there's nothing wrong with eating quiche, damn it!

Today in History:
Honore de Balzac was born in France on May 20, 1799 (or May 19th.) The exact date could not be determined as all of France had just started on a drinking binge that only recently just ended. Balzac created a vast body of literature that he called La Com├ędie Humaine (“A Vast Body of Literature”).



It consisted of dozens of novels, short stories, and plays interwoven with many of the same characters, places, events, horses, etc. One of his most popular characters was the brilliant and big-hearted Dr. Bianchon. It is rumored that Balzac’s dying words were, “If Bianchon were here, he would save me!”

The anecdote is probably apocryphal, as Balzac didn’t speak English.


May 20 1867 -
Queen Victoria laid the foundation stones in the Royal Albert Hall.

Two thoughts immediately came to mind:
a.) Who thought she would do it in the road?
b.) Wow, Keith Richards is really old.


May 20, 1873
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent (#139121) for blue jeans with copper rivets.





18 years later, on this date, George Sampson patents the clothes dryer. It's just that simple.

May 20, 1944 -
Joe Cocker was born on this date.





Mad dogs and Englishmen celebrate this day as a national holiday.


May 20, 1946 -
Cherilyn Sarkisian, pop singer-songwriter, Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award, three Golden Globe Awards and a People's Choice Award winner was born on this date.





Wig manufacturer's everywhere celebrate this day as an international holiday. (Are we sure that's the same person in both videos?)


May 20, 1956 -
The first hydrogen bomb to be dropped from the air was exploded over the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific (Operation Redwing), but it was a much earlier (July 1, 1946), non-aerial atomic detonation that originally inspired the bikini swimsuit.



According to the U.S. Department of Energy, $90 million has been appropriated by Congress "to be used by the Bikinians to clean up their atoll" since 1990. How embarrassing must it have been for the guy who had to call the Bikinians and tell them we had soiled their atoll—that we wanted to help them clean their filthy atoll?

(Which isn't to say it'd be a cakewalk being called a Bikinian.)


May 20, 1960 -
Music DJ Alan Freed, originator of the term "Rock and Roll," is indicted in New York in the Payola scandal.



Freed had accepted $30,650 from five record companies to play their records, although to be fair "pay for play" was the accepted practice up to that point.


May 20, 1989 -
The Chinese government imposed martial law on Beijing on this date, in response to student-led protests that had brought millions of people onto the streets. The demonstrations continued, however, until the brutal military crackdown on June 3 and 4 in Tiananmen Square, in which thousands of Chinese dissidents were killed by the Chinese military. In a June 9 speech, Deng Xiaoping announced that the government had suppressed a "counterrevolutionary rebellion" in which the "dregs of society" had tried to "establish a bourgeois republic entirely dependent on the West."

China still has a veto on the U.N. Security Council.


May 20, 1989 -
Gilda Radner, Emmy Award winning American comedienne and actress, best known for her five years as part of the original cast of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live, died at 42 of ovarian cancer on this date.





And do it goes

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