Friday, March 18, 2011

You probably didn't listen to me.

I know some of you did not heed my warning about yesterday being amateur night, so I'll go easy on you today.


March 18, 1924 -
The Thief of Bagdad, the Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckler adventure film which tells the story of a thief who falls in love with the daughter of the Caliph, was released on this date.




March 18, 1938 -
The under appreciated Ernst Lubitsch film, Bluebeard's Eighth Wife premiered on this date.



This film was the first collaboration of director Ernst Lubitsch with writers Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder.


March 18, 1964 -
In his first outing as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, Peter Sellers stars in The Pink Panther, premiered on this date.



In the bath scene with Capucine and Robert Wagner, an industrial-strength foaming agent is used, which burned both of the stars' skin. Wagner, who was completely immersed at one point, became blind for four weeks.


March 18, 1967 -
The Beatles' Penny Lane single goes #1 on this date.



Beatles producer George Martin has stated he believes the pairing of Penny Lane with Strawberry Fields Forever resulted in probably the greatest single ever released by the group.


March 18, 1968 -
Mel Brook's screamingly funny first film, a sendup of Broadway, The Producers, premiered in New York City on this date.



...We find the defendants incredibly guilty....


Today in History - March 18, 1314 -
Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, is burned at the stake during the final purge of the Templars in France.



Among the things de Molay admitted to the Inquisitor panel (though possibly coerced) were the obligation of Templars to deny Christ when they joined, and a sacrament that involved spitting on a crucifix.

Oh that wacky life during the Middle Ages.


March 18, 1584 -
Ivan IV of Russia died. He is better known by his nickname: Ivan the Terrible. He was the first king of Russia to call himself a Caesar, probably in the hopes that Shakespeare would write a play about him. He also replaced the sale of beer and mead with vodka at state-run taverns.



He couldn't pronounce Caesar, however, so he simply called himself "zar," and subsequent arguments over whether that should be spelled czar, tsar, zar, or tzar became so heated that they eventually resulted in Russian History.


March 18, 1913 -
(Once again kids follow along, it's complex.)
Itinerant sailor and general layabout Philip Mountbatten's (nee Philip Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl├╝cksburg) grandfather, Christian Wilhelm Ferdinand Adolf Georg of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl├╝cksburg (sibling to a king and two queens) was out on an afternoon stroll. This, in and of itself, is not remarkable, except for the fact that this minor Danish/ German prince had changed his name to George and became the King of Greece. Wilhelm/ George, like most royalty, went out for an afternoon stroll without any pocket change (royalty and presidents don't carry money.)



Alexandros Schinas, an alcoholic vagrant asked the King for some spare change and shot him in the back went the King refused to give him money. Wilhelm/ George died en route to the hospital,

Alexandros died five days later after he 'accidentally' fell out of a window at police headquarters.

So kids let this be a lesson to you, if you find yourself the ruler of a European nation - the change you carry, may save your life.


March 18, 1970 -
Country Joe McDonald (of Country Joe and the Fish) is convicted on obscenity charges after he asks for an F, a U, a C, and one other letter at a concert in Massachusetts.




March 18, 1980 -
A significant percentage of the Soviet space program's scientists are killed when a Vostok rocket explodes on the launch pad.

Fifty people die at the Plesetsk Space Center.



And so it goes.

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