Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oy, another meal with the mishpukhe

Passover official ends at sunset on April 26 (pace yourselves)

Please stop asking whether an extra large thin-crust pizza counts as unleavened bread.

April 19, 2005 -
Cliff from Cheers was elected the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church on this date.

At this point, I bet the Pope would be happy if you just thought about his Hitler youth group past (remember don't mention the whole kids molestation thing at the party.)

April 19, 1961 -
Frederico Fellini's iconic, La Dolce Vita, premiered in the United States on this date.

Dino De Laurentiis, the original producer of the film, was interested in casting Paul Newman in the lead. After Federico Fellini rejected the idea of casting Newman, Dino De Laurentiis left the project.

April 19, 1978 -
The Patti Smith Group released the song Because the Night on this date.

Bruce Springsteen wrote the majority of the song. He gave it to Patti Smith in 1976 because he thought it would suit her voice. He was also in a legal battle with his manager, Mike Appel, that kept him from recording for almost 3 years. The song remains one of the best known of Smith's recordings.

Today in History:
April 19, 1775 -
The American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord on this date. Eight Minutemen were killed and 10 wounded in an exchange of musket fire with British Redcoats.

In New York, Lexington seems to have won as there is no Concord Avenue.

April 19, 1824 -
Notorious drug user, buggerer, sister sleeping, club footed man about Europe, oh yeah, and poet, Lord George Gordon Byron, dies from fever in Greece.

His body is set back to England for burial (his heart, literally remains in his beloved Greece, buried under a tree in Messolonghi) but he is so infamous that neither the deans of Westminster and St Paul's will accept his body for proper burial. His family at last buries him in a small fault vault in Northern England.

April 19, 1906 -
It was a rainy day in Paris. One of those days that song writers write about. Nobel-winning chemist Pierre Curie was in a hurry and preoccupied. He tried to run across the street and did not look both ways. He slipped, and then was hit and run over by a horse drawn vehicle. His skull was badly fractured.

Kids' once again - Your mother is always right. Just because you're a Nobel winning - look both ways before crossing.

April 19, 1927 -
Mae West, suspected transvestite, was jailed for her performance in Sex, the Broadway play she wrote, directed, and starred in. She was sentenced to ten days in prison. While incarcerated on Roosevelt Island, she was allowed to wear her silk panties instead of the scratchy prison issue and the warden reportedly took her to dinner every night.

She served eight days with two days off for good behavior. Media attention to the case enhanced her career - it didn't make her change her act, but it did bring her national notoriety—and helped make her one of Hollywood's most memorable, and quotable, stars.

She said: "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."

April 19, 1927 -
Cecil B. Demille's silent-film version of The King of Kings premiered on this date.

His two stars, H.B. Warner and Dorothy Cumming, were required to sign agreements which prohibited them from appearing in film roles that might compromise their "holy" screen images for a five-year period. And yet for all of DeMille's precautions, H.B. Warner, who played Jesus, was involved in a real life scandal with an anonymous woman who was determined to blackmail Cecil B. DeMille by ruining the production. It is believed that DeMille paid the woman on the condition that she leave the U.S. Cecil B. DeMille did not want to take any chances with the film.

April 19, 1946 -
Raymond Chandler noir classic Blue Dahlia premiered on this date.

Shortly after this film released, a young woman named Elizabeth Short was murdered in Los Angeles. The local newspapers dubbed the case the Black Dahlia as a morbid twist on this film's title. Unlike the movie, the Short murder case is still unsolved.

April 19, 1987 -
The Simpsons make their television debut in the short Good Night a segment for The Tracey Ullman Show.

I wonder whatever happened to The Simpsons.

(I had to deal with the internet underground to get this blurry copy of the clip. I'd like to show you a better version of the clip but the goons, I mean lawyers from Fox would break my legs and I've just about gotten used to walking.)

April 19, 1993 -
More than 80 Branch Davidians burn to death in Waco, Texas as the FBI stages a disastrous final assault on their compound. This brings a sudden end to the 51-day siege.

They really pissed off Janet Reno.

April 19, 1995 -
At 9:02 am Oklahoma City, USA, a large car bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killing 168 people, and injuring 500 including many children in the building’s day care center.

Authorities charged Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, with the crime.

Both were convicted.

And so it goes

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