Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hush my darling, don't fear my darling...

November 13, 1961 -
The group the Tokens released The Lion Sleeps Tonight on this date..

In the 1950s, Miriam Makeba recorded this with the Zulu lyrics, and Pete Seeger recorded it with his band, The Weavers (who dominated the charts with "Goodnight Irene"). The Weavers recorded the refrain of the song (no verses) and called it Wimoweh.

November 13, 1789 - Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to a friend in which he said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

I always took Ben to be a more cheerful fellow.

November 13, 1940 -
Walt Disney's film Fantasia, opened in New York on this date.

Fantasia, despite its initial commercial failure, went on to become one of the most popular films of all time and is today considered a classic film.

November 13, 1954 -
Looney Tunes first (and only foray into) 3D cartoon, Lumber Jack Rabbit, starring Bugs Bunny, premiered on this date.

Chuck Jones briefly left Warner Brothers and went to work at Walt Disney over the production of this cartoon, which he felt was unsatisfactory.

November 13, 1955 -
Happy Birthday Caryn

Whoopi Goldberg (Caryn Elaine Johnson) actress, comedienne, and television host, was born on this day.

Today in History -
November 13, 1927 -

New York's Holland Tunnel officially opened today, the first underwater tunnel built in the United States, providing access between New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River, ushering in a massive wave of Dutch immigration (and more fools them - The tunnel was named after its chief engineer, Clifford Milburn Holland, who died of a heart attack on the operating table while undergoing a tonsillectomy, as a posthumous honor, starting the trend for the NY/NJ interstate crossings to have names with no relation to their geographic locations).

Most of the Dutch returned to Holland after learning that New Amsterdam had become New York.

While it is a particularly uneventful day in history, let us opine these words:

"The students are beyond control and their behavior is disgraceful. They come blustering into the lecture-rooms like a troop of maniacs and upset the orderly arrangements which the master has made in the interest of his pupils. Their recklessness is unbelievable and they often commit outrages which ought to be punishable by law, were it not that custom protects them."

People concerned about the pace of change in human affairs can find solace in knowing that these familiar sentiments were expressed about sixteen centuries ago by St. Augustine, who was born on November 13, 354 AD.

Like many other theological luminaries, Augustine began life as a debauched young man who sought his pleasures in wine, women, and song. Eventually he became old and cranky and declared his youth wasted.

One would have thought that the drunken orgies of his youth recounted in his Confessions would have been a natural fit for an MTV reality series to follow Jersey Shore.

November 13, 1974 -
Karen Silkwood, a technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Okla., was killed in a 'car crash' while on her way to meet a reporter.

The Kerr-McGee nuclear fuel plants closed in 1975. The grounds of the Cimarron plant were still being decontaminated 25 years later.

And so it goes.

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