Sunday, August 15, 2010

Abbey Lincoln RIP

Abbey Lincoln, jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress passed away yesterday.

She had a very long and productive career and continued to perform until the time of her death.

August 15, 1911 -
Procter and Gamble unveils its Crisco shortening .

I guess there's celebrations somewhere.

It's the feast of Assumption of Mary. If you had problems understanding the Immaculate Conception, please go bother an old lady in church saying her rosaries, I'm not even going to try explaining this one to you..

Hey remember - this is a Holy Day of Obligation (yeah, you have to go to church.)

August 15, 1979 -
The very long delayed epic, Apocalypse Now, premiered in NYC on this date.

George Lucas was originally set to direct Apocalypse Now from a screenplay by John Milius. Lucas' initial plan was to shoot the movie as a faux documentary on location in South Vietnam while the war was still in progress. Francis Ford Coppola, who was to be the executive producer, tried to get the film made as part of a production deal with Warner Bros. The deal fell through, and Coppola went on to direct The Godfather. By the time both men were powerful enough to get the film made, Saigon had fallen and Lucas was busy making Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Milius had no interest in directing the film. Lucas gave Coppola his blessing to direct the film himself.

I can't even begin to tell you what this film meant to me while I was in film school at the time.

Today in History:
August 15, 1057 -
Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire on this date.

He had been king of Scotland for 17 years. For those of you who do not know, you're not suppose to say the name of the Scottish king 'aloud'. It is more amazing if you can type the Scottish king's name (after a very tense birthday party for your progenitor - you can imagine the amount of alcohol involved.)

August 15, 1534 -
St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish ecclesiastic, founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in Paris with the aim of defending Catholicism against heresy and undertaking missionary work. Ignatius converted to Christianity while convalescing after a battle and wrote his Spiritual Exercises meant as a guide for conversion.

In Paris, Ignatius and a small group of men took vows of poverty, chastity and papal obedience. Ignatius formally organized the order in 1539 that was approved by the pope in 1540. The society‘s rapid growth and emphasis on scholarship aided in the resurgence of Catholicism during the Counter-Reformation.

Yes, as you may have have probably ascertained, I was taught by the Jesuits (and can only imagine the amount of alcohol I've consumed.)

August 15, 1935 -
Will Rogers, the most famous man in America, dies near Barrow, Alaska when his sea plane plunges into a lagoon. At the time, he and one-eyed aviator Wiley Post were surveying possible flight paths between Seattle and the Soviet Union.

Remember kids, let this be a lesson to you - don't take a flight with a drunken, one eyed pilot.

August 15, 1945 -
Harry Truman was still getting over the drunken bender he was on. He could not quite believe that he was President and got to drop not one but two atomic bombs.

Truman had announced the Japanese surrender the day before. But it was on this day in 1945 that the Allies officially declared V-J Day.

August 15, 1961 -
Two days after sealing off free passage between East and West Berlin with barbed wire, East German authorities begin taking Robert Frost a little too literally and built a wall--the Berlin Wall--to permanently close off access to the West.

For the next 28 years, the heavily fortified Berlin Wall stood as the most tangible symbol of the Cold War--a literal "iron curtain" dividing Europe.

August 15, 1965 -
The Beatles play to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, marking the birth of stadium rock.

August 15, 1969 -
The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair began on this date, on Max Yasger's farm in upstate New York.

The greatest gathering of marketing and advertising professionals in American history, the festival featured the musical artists behind some of today's hottest commercial jingles.

Today is the birthday of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769),

Julia Child, American Spy and Chef (1912),

Rose Marie (1925),

Oscar Peterson (1925),

Linda Ellerbee, (1944), (possibly the second greatest living American)

Jimmy Webb (1946),

Oh, and Liz
(but she knows how old she is.)

And so it goes.


Jim H. said...

The Berlin Wall wasn't a literal iron curtain because it was made of bricks (or cement or ...) something other than iron.

That aside, I do enjoy your historical notes, especially the occasional pun. Keep writing...

Anonymous said...

WOW. Who knew all that can happen on a day through the centuries -- or half of one. Thanks for citing my place in history.