I started writing this post on Thursday afternoon. Blogger was off line at that point but I assumed that it would be back before too long. I'll never make fun of Friday the 13th again : )
Today is the lone "Friday the 13th" of 2011. Look out for those black cats.
The modern basis for Friday the 13th phobia probably dates back to Friday, October 13, 1307.
On this date, the Pope Clement in Conjunction with the King Philip of France secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France. The Templars were terminated (burned to a crisp) for apostasy, idolatry, heresy, "obscene rituals" and homosexuality, corruption and fraud, and secrecy, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long.
Those wacky Knights were such party animals.
It's International Frog Jumping Day - Frog Jumping Day celebrates Mark Twain's 'jumping frog' which made him famous.
The short story was first published in 1865 as Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog while Twain was still a struggling journalist in California - and two years later it was the main attraction of his first book. He never wrote another short story that had such widespread appeal and was so popular.
May 13, 1950 -
Steveland Morris Hardaway, musician was born prematurely, on this day. Too much oxygen in the incubator caused the baby to become permanently blind.
At the age of ten, Little Stevie Wonder, as he was called by Berry Gordy at Motown, was discovered singing and playing the harmonica. He had many hits during his teens including Fingertips and as an adult he has earned an Oscar and at least sixteen Grammy Awards.
It's too bad the whole blindness thing has held him back.
May 13, 1966 -
One of the more bizarre moments of parenting was when my youngest daughter was three and she was rocking out around the bathroom, naked, after her bath, to this song.
Rolling Stones released Paint it Black, in the UK on this date.
May 13, 1970 -
The Beatles' final movie, Let It Be, received its U.S. premiere, in New York City theaters on this date.
Let It Be earned the Beatles their only Academy Award, when they won the 1970 Oscar for Best Original Song Score. The film was briefly available on VHS in 1981, but is not yet available on DVD.
May 13, 1988 -
Assassins, gangsters, and enraged mobs of the past have employed a wide variety of methods to silence their victims. One such method involves chucking people out of windows, an act known as defenestration. A very rare way to shut yourself up involves self-defenestration.
Chet Baker, heroin addict and world famous jazz trumpet player, while on a successful world tour, died in Amsterdam after "falling" from a hotel window.
Today in History:
May 13, 1497 -
Pope Alexander VI excommunicated Girolamo Savonarola for heresy. In Florence the Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola had led the February 7th burning of musical instruments, books and priceless works of art (Bonfire of the Vanities.) He preached against corruption in the Church and civil government.
May 13, 1568 -
At the battle of Langside, Mary Queen of Scots was defeated by the English.
Her heroic stand is worthy of remembrance, but it's interesting to speculate how she might have fared if she had brought along some soldiers.
May 13, 1637 -
The table knife was created by Cardinal Richelieu in France, on this date.
Richelieu had the points rounded off all of the knives to be used at his table reputedly to cure dinner guests of the unsavory habit of picking their teeth with their knife-points.
May 13, 1787 -
The first fleet of ships carrying convicted criminals left England en route to a new British prison called Australia.
You'd think that by sending their religious nuts to North America and their criminals to Australia, the British would have created a pleasant little island paradise for themselves. Instead their empire has dwindled away over the past 100 years, while the religious nuts and criminals of the U.S. and Australia have established themselves as major powers at Wimbledon.
May 13, 1846 -
The United States, under President Polk, declared that a state of war already existed against Mexico, two months after fighting began.
This was in response to an incident where the Mexican cavalry surrounded a scouting party of American dragoons. $10 million was appropriated for war expenses by Congress. There are some in Arizona that haven't heard that the hostilities have long since ended.
May 13, 1913 -
The latest brainchild of Russian aircraft design genius Igor Sikorsky embarks on its maiden flight.
The Grand, easily the world's most luxurious passenger plane, includes such innovations as upholstered seats, a balcony, and even a lavatory (you just didn't want to live under the flight path.)
May 13, 1917-
Three small children in Fatima, Portugal receive the first of six visitations from the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
Over the next five months she lays some pretty heavy crap on the kids, including a three-part secret: a vision of Hell, a prophecy of war with godless Russia, and a third secret which involved Y2K.
May 13, 1981 -
A delusional Turk guns down Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square. Mehmet Ali Agca believes that the Vatican is an abomination before God and must be destroyed.
19 years later, the Church will disclose that the assassination attempt was foretold in 1917, as part of the third secret of Fatima. (Like how we tied both those item together.)
May 13, 2004 -
The last episode of Frasier aired on TV following an 11-year run on NBC-TV on this date.
In the pilot episode, Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and his father, Martin (John Mahoney) have a fight over Frasier just wanting to hear "thank you" from Martin for allowing him to move in. Before Martin hugs Frasier goodbye in this episode, his line is "Thank you, Frasier."
And so it goes.