November 19, 1959 -
Many of you know this famous line, Hey Rocky want to see me pull a rabbit out of my hat?
The first episode of Rocky & His Friends aired on this date.
But what you probably don't know is the line was originally, Hey Rocky, want to see me pull a hamster out of my ass?
TV censors were not amused.
November 19, 1975 -
One of Jack Nicholson's greatest performances, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, opened in the US on this date.
Kirk Douglas, who owned the rights, planned to star himself, but by the time they got around to making the film he was too old.
November 19, 1980 -
It fails so completely that you might suspect Mr. Cimino sold his soul to obtain the success of The Deer Hunter and the Devil has just come around to collect. - Vincent Canby
Michael Cimino's 'tainted masterpiece', Heaven's Gate premiered on this date.
At the time, it was the biggest and most expensive Hollywood flop ever. Its failure resulted in the sale of the United Artists studio to MGM. To date, Mr. Cimino's career has never really recovered.
Today in History -
November 19, 1581 -
Russian Czar Ivan The Terrible kills his son, Ivan The Merely Petulant. The younger Ivan interrupted the elder Ivan, who was beating Ivan Jr's pregnant wife because of her inappropriate garb. Still in a fit of range, dad smote his son with a staff, killing him.
This is what passed for family life amongst the Royals in the Middle Ages in Russia.
On November 19, 1620, a group of maniacal religious fanatics reached North America and stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock. Because America did not yet have a Puritan Government, they developed the Mayflower Compact while still at sea. (William Bradford had argued for a Sporty Coupe, but the more practical John Alden had carried the day.)
Eventually the descendants of these frugal and passionately religious people would invent the Internet and enable the transmission of pornography around the world at light speed.
November 19, 1703 -
The Man in the Iron Mask dies in the Bastille. He was a prisoner of Louis XIV, forced to wear a black velvet mask, and his identity has never been revealed.
Seven score and seven years ago today (i.e., November 19, 1863), President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
The speech remains an important part of American history on account of its having been written on the back of an envelope despite stringent postal requirements that addresses be printed clearly on the front.
November 19, 1954 -
Driving to Los Angeles, Sammy Davis, Jr. is in a serious automobile accident in San Bernardino.
He lost his left eye, but the resultant publicity greatly accelerated his career.
November 19, 1961 -
Michael Rockefeller, 23 year old son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (later Vice President), disappears while searching for Asmat wood carvings in the jungles near Atsj, Papua New Guinea. He was probably eaten by the Asmat.
Hence the motto, "Eat the Rich".
36 more shopping days until Christmas, 12 more shopping days until Hanukkah. (Black Friday is just 7 days away.)
And so it goes