Friday, September 17, 2010

Once again it's Citizen's Day

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.

September 17, 1964 -
Dick York started out as Durwood, I mean, Darrin as Bewitched premieres on ABC TV on this date.

Elizabeth Montgomery didn't actually twitch her nose to cause Samantha's magic to occur; she twitched her upper lip, causing her nose to follow.

September 17, 1967 -
The first mission from the IMF team from Mission Impossible premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

Although the IMF usually received its instructions from a self-destructing reel-to-reel tape, this didn't become the norm until several seasons into the series. In early episodes, Briggs and Phelps got their instructions from other sources such as records and filmstrip projectors. The "tape scenes" for each episode (as they were known) were usually filmed in one block at the start of each season. Peter Graves said he never knew which episode would use which tape scene until it was broadcast.

September 17, 1972 -
M*A*S*H, premiered on NBC TV on this date.

This television series, set during the Korean War, lasted eleven seasons. The actual Korean War lasted only three years.

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 380th 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 -
The San Francisco Call Bulletin published a notice on an inside page announcing that our old pal Joshua Norton, formerly a prominent businessman, had proclaimed himself Norton I, “Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico.” He annexed the whole of the US and suspended the Constitution. His Majesty remained on the job until his death in 1880.

The successor to Emperor Norton I has yet to be anointed. I have been consulting attorneys for years about this matter, 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. And yet despite the tragic mishap, the War Department awarded the contract for the first military aircraft to Wright.

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 -
Betcha didn't know that WWII was hilarious.

CBS TV premiered Hogan's Heroes, the first and perhaps only sitcom based in a German prisoner-of-war camp on this date.

And so it goes

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