Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Lhamo

July 6, 1935 -
The 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet's Lamaistic Buddhists, was born as Lhamo Thondup in Hong Ya, a mountain hamlet on the Tibetan Plateau. He was formally recognized as the reincarnated Dalai Lama at age 2 and was renamed Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom).

He became a Nobel Peace Prize winner (1989) for his efforts to end China's domination of Tibet. And once again, I've probably been blocked all throughout China.

Queen Elizabeth II will visit New York on Tuesday for the third time in her 58-year reign, addressing the United Nations General Assembly for the first time in half a century and making her first trip to Ground Zero, where she plans to lay a wreath.

What you don't know is - she wanted to go head to head with Takeru 'Tsunami' Kobayashi in a hot dog eating contest before his arrest on the 4th. The 84 year old monarch, an avid competitive eater, (competing under the nom de guerre Bessie 'Black Bottom' Mountbatten) once ate over 100 crumpets in 17 minutes.

Louis Armstrong, a foundational influence on jazz and Swiss Kriss (herbal laxative) enthusiast,

died on this date, in 1971

July 6, 1979 -
The B-52s, a New Wave band based in Athens, Georgia, released Planet Claire on this date.

Just a thought: if her Plymouth Satellite really was faster than the speed of light how did they see it?

July 6, 1994 -
Robert Zemeckis' technically amazing film, Forrest Gump, premiered on this date.

Tom Hanks wasn't paid for the film. Instead he took percentage points which ultimately netted him in the region of $40 million. Despite earning over $350 million at the box office, Paramount claimed that they were still $62 million out of profit due to the costs of promotion, distribution and interest.

This is how math works in Hollywood boys and girls.

Today in History:
July 6, 1535 -
Thomas More, the patron saint of politicians, was beheaded in England for treason, for refusing to renounce the Catholic church in favor of King Henry VIII's Church of England.

More’s sentence to death by hanging was commuted to beheading (what a lucky duck.) He was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1935.

July 6, 1415 -
Jan Hus is burned at the stake for various heresies by the Council of Constance.

Among other things, Hus had incited the citizens of Prague to protest against Antipope John XXIII and his policy of granting indulgences.

Those Antipopes are so moody.

July 6, 1921 -
Several members of the Chicago White Sox went on trial for throwing the 1919 World Series, on this date. The White Sox players despised their owner Charles Comiskey. He was notoriously stingy. He would offer bonuses for performance and then take them back at the last minute. Gamblers knew that the players were frustrated and angry and offered several of them money to throw the World Series. The night before the series began, a Sox pitcher found $10,000 under the pillow in his hotel bedroom. The next day his first pitch landed between the batter's shoulder blades. The Sox lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds 5 to 3.

Many journalists knew right away that the series had been fixed. One of the accused players, one of the most tragic figures, was Shoeless Joe Jackson, who admitted to taking money, but during the series he didn't make a single error. He also hit the only home run of the series. All of the White Sox players were acquitted for lack of evidence, but the commissioner of baseball banned them from the game for the rest of their lives. None of the gamblers was ever punished.

July 6, 1928 -
The first true sound picture, Lights of New York, (Jolson's 1927 The Jazz Singer was basically part-silent film part-sound film) previewed in New York on this date.

This filim was originally approved for production as a 2-reeler. Albert Warner approved expanding it to a 57-minute feature despite an untested director. It's $75,000 cost returned $2 million to the studio.

July 6 1944 -

Fire breaks out at a matinee performance of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Baily Circus burning, in Hartford, Connecticut, 168 people to death, and injuring an additional 250. The main tent had been waterproofed with wax thinned by gasoline. Said one of the Flying Wallendas, "I can never look down at a crowd again without smelling the flames and the burning flesh."

I believe with thoughts like this, even I would give up showbiz.

Among notable survivors, beside the Flying Wallendas, were Eunice Groark, first female lieutenant governor of Connecticut and Charles Nelson Reilly.

July 6, 1945 -
The Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation OVERCAST, intended to "exploit ... chosen rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use." The directive authorizes the immigration of up to 350 German and Austrian specialists, primarily experts in rocketry.

Operation OVERCAST is later renamed Project PAPERCLIP. This is how we got the 'Good Germans' to work on our space program.

July 6, 1964 -
Beatles' film Hard Day's Night premieres in London, on this date.

The word Beatles is never mentioned in the movie.

And so it goes.

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