March 16 -
St. Urho's Day, Patron saint of Finnish vineyard workers. Attributed to him is the miracle of banishing grasshoppers from Finland which he accomplished with a few choice Finnish phrases, thereby saving the season's grape crop.
But in reality a bunch of very drunk people made this up in 1956.
March 16, 1926 - Joseph Levitch, comedian, actor, producer, writer, director, singer, Légion d'honneur recipient and the dollar sign in Dean Martin eyes, was born on this date.
Remember, You'll never walk alone.
March 16, 1934 -
An (almost) all singing Popeye cartoon, The Man on the Flying Trapeze, premiered on this date.
Look for Olive Oyl's mom in the cartoon.
March 16, 1954 -
Max Ophüls beautifully acted film, La Ronde, premiered in the US on this date.
This is a must-see film - look for the remastered version from Criterion.
March 16, 1954 -
Elia Kazan's powerful family drama, East of Eden, premiered in Los Angeles on this date (this is the only one of the "big three" James Dean films to be released before his death.)
It's hard to remember how innovative James Dean's acting was in the '50's. Dean would provoke Raymond Massey off-camera so that the elder actor would hate him and he could get into character easier.
Today in History -
March 16 1190 -
More than 150 and perhaps as many as 500 Jews, secured in Clifford's Tower at York, die from suicide and massacre after they are sieged by townspeople under Richard Malebys. Malebys was a nobleman who owed money to the Jews; after their siege all records relating to moneylending were destroyed.
It is the largest massacre of Jews in the history of the United Kingdom.
March 16 1792 -
At a masquerade ball, a disgruntled Captain Jacob Johan Ankarstroem shoots Swedish King Gustav III near the heart with a bullet composed of lead and carpet tacks. It took him almost two weeks to die and for his effort the bad Captain is drawn and quartered.
Shakespeare never wrote about Gustavus, probably because Gustavus was born well after Shakespeare's death, but Giuseppe Verdi (or his stage name, Joe Green) wrote an opera about the affair called Un Ballo in Maschera ("A Bull in Mascara"). As punishment, the Captain is decapitated, drawn, and quartered.
March 16 1949 -
It's Erik Estrada's birthday today.
Reason enough to live another day.
March 16 1978 -
Italian Red Brigades kidnap former Italian Premier Aldo Moro for release of imprisoned comrades.
Moro was murdered and his body was later found on May 9, 1978.
BTW - it's National Hiccup Day today
It's also known as synchronous diaphragmatic flutter or singultus
Now you know.
And so it goes.