Monday, May 9, 2011

It's kind of a slow day

It was a long weekend, so here's a assortment of clips with James Cagney making strange noises

Hey, there are four other montages

Today in History:
May 9, 1926 -
Explorers Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett made the first flight over the North Pole. Two teams of aviators competed to be the first to fly over the North Pole. American Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd and pilot Floyd Bennett claimed victory when they circled the North Pole.

On May 11, in spite of his disappointment, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen launched the dirigible Norge on its planned flight, not merely over the pole, but all the way across the Arctic to Alaska. Byrd and Bennett in Josephine Ford briefly accompanied Norge in a gesture of goodwill. Amundsen reached Alaska on May 14, but even today experts suspect that faulty navigation caused Byrd to miss the North Pole.

May 9, 1949 -
William Martin Joel, Grammy Award-winning rock vocalist/singer was born on this date.

I'm old enough to remember when one used to eagerly await a new Billy Joel album as much as a Bruce Springsteen album (not that many people still eagerly await a Springsteen album anymore.)

May 9, 1950 -
L. Ron Hubbard publishes the first edition of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

This follows on the heels of a feature article in the pulp sci-fi magazine Astounding Science Fiction.

A book review in the The New Republic describes the work as "a bold and immodest mixture of complete nonsense and perfectly reasonable common sense, taken from long-acknowledged findings and disguised and distorted by a crazy, newly invented terminology." The subsequent movement goes on to become one of the scariest, most powerful pseudoreligious cults in modern history.

But you didn't here this from me.

May 9,1958 -
Alfred Hitchcock's thiller Vertigo starring James Stewart and Kim Novak premiered in San Francisco on this date.

It seems unbelieveable but this film was a box office flop at the time, specifically because of Jimmy Stewart being perceived as miscast. Hitchcock never worked with Stewart, previously one of his favorite collaborators, again.

May 9, 1978 -
The body of former Italian premier Aldo Moro is discovered in the back seat of a Renault. He had been kidnapped 54 days prior by the Red Brigades, who demanded the release of their incarcerated comrades.

When Italian authorities refused to give in, Moro's captors killed him, but not before forcing the hostage to hold a newspaper announcing his own death.

May 9, 1980 -
35 people are killed in Tampa, Florida when the Liberian cargo ship Summit Venture smashes into a supporting pier of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Seven vehicles, including a Greyhound bus, topple into the water 150 feet below.

May 9, 1983 -
Pope John Paul II retracts the Catholic Church's condemnation of astronomer Galileo Galilei, issued in 1633 by Pope Urban VIII. The Church had convicted the scientist of heresy, sentenced him to house arrest, and forced him to recant central scientific truths.

In the end, this error only took 350 years to correct. A speedy correction by church standards.

May 9, 1992 -
Final episode of Golden Girls airs on NBC-TV.

That must have been some after party.

And so it goes

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