Sunday, April 10, 2011

Be Kind to your web-footed friends (as well as all other animals)

April 10, 1866 -
Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City, on this date.

Interesting enough, Bergh goes on, with a group of other like minded social reformers, to help found the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1874.

April 10, 1937 -
Another very funny Merrie Melodies cartoon, She Was an Acrobat's Daughter, was released on this date.

The list of "Cast Off Characters" for the movie The Petrified Florist, :

The Hero... Lester Coward
The Shero... Bettie Savis
Rich Man... John P. Sockefeller
Poor Man... John Dough
Begger Man... Kismet
Thief... Oph Bagdad
Doctor... Jekyll
Lawyer... Ima Shyster

April 10, 1953 -
Warner Bros.' first 3-D movie, House of Wax, starring Vincent Price, premiered on this date.

The film's director, André De Toth, was blind in one eye and hence could not see the effect.

Today in History:
April 10, 1848 -
250 people die in a bridge collapse in Yarmouth, England. They had gathered on the suspension bridge to watch a clown boat be pulled by a flock of geese.

Nothing good comes from clowns.

April 10, 1912 -
"When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experience in nearly forty years at sea, I merely say, uneventful. Of course there have been winter gales, and storms and fog and the like. But in all my experience, I have never been in any accident ... or any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort." -

Edward J. Smith (1907), the future captain of the RMS Titanic.

The RMS Titanic left port in Southampton, England for her first and last voyage on this date.

April 10, 1917 -
133 people are killed in an explosion at the Eddystone ammunition factory in Chester, PA. Satan is immediately implicated, with one official declaring the blast to be "the result of a diabolical plot conceived in the degenerate brain of a demon in human guise." It later turns out to have been caused by poorly-maintained powder loading machinery.

Satan writes a strongly worded Op-Ed piece for the Times complaining about his perceived negative image in the media.

April 10, 1919 -
Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata is ambushed and shot dead by government forces in Morelos.

Dubya's grandpappy did not attempt to steal his skull.

April 10, 1925 -
... He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . and one fine morning - So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

F. Scott Fitzgerald third book was published on this date. Among various titles considered were Among Ashheaps and Millionaires, Gold-Hatted Gatsby, The High-Bouncing Lover, On the Road to West Egg and Fitzgerald's favorite Trimalchio's Banquet based on a character from the Roman character Trimalchio from the Satyricon. At the last moment Fitzgerald agreed with his editor Max Perkins on the title, The Great Gatsby.

The novel was not popular upon initial printing and sold fewer than 25,000 copies during the remaining fifteen years of Fitzgerald's life. Fitzgerald was very disappointed about this happening.

Much alcohol consumption and dissipation ensued.

April 10, 1964 -
The Polo Grounds are demolished and a public housing project was erected on the site. Demolition of the Polo Grounds began in April of that year with the same wrecking ball that had been used four years earlier on Ebbets Field.

The wrecking crew wore Giants jerseys and tipped their hard hats to the historic stadium as they began the dismantling. It took a crew of 60 workers more than four months to level the structure.

And so it goes

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