Friday, June 10, 2011

Break out the hats and hooters

It's a happy day, with feasting and flag-waving in some isolated jungle villages in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, celebrating the birthday of my favorite itinerant Greek sailor Philip Mountbatten (Prince Philippos of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl├╝cksburg.)

The Duke of Edinburgh is worshipped as a god there. It must be nice for him to be worshipped somewhere.

It's National Black Cow Day -Everybody get a root beer float today and run around to celebrate

What day isn't a good day to play a Steely Dan song.

June 10, 1983 -
United Artists released the 13th (or the 12th or the 14th, depending on how you count 'em) James Bond film, Octopussy, starring Roger Moore in the US on this date.

Ian Fleming's next door neighbor (in Jamaica) and lover, Blanche Blackwell, gave him a small boat named Octopussy, which became the name of a man-eating pet octopus in the short story the film is based on. Ian Fleming also based the character Pussy Galore on Ms Blackwell, mother of Island Record founder Chris Blackwell.

Today in History:
June 10, 1692 -
Bridget Bishop, owner of two taverns, was hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem, Massachusetts after having been convicted of "certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcraft & Sorceries" on this date.

Bishop was just the first casualty of what will come to be known as the Salem Witch Trials. (Interestingly enough, a year after her death, her husband married one of the chief witnesses against her.)

June 10, 1935 -
It's the anniversary of the establishment of A(lcoholics) A(nonymous), in Akron, Ohio. It was founded by a stockbroker named Bill Wilson and a surgeon, Bob Smith, who found that the best way to keep from drinking was to spend time with other people who were trying to keep from drinking. Between the two of them, they developed the main traditions of AA: anonymity, confession and mutual support.

Alcoholics Anonymous grew rapidly in the '40s and '50s, but Bill Wilson refused to appear on the cover of Time, wouldn't accept an honorary degree from Yale, because believed in anonymity, and he stuck with it to the end.

June 10 1973 -
The 17-year-old grandson of J. Paul Getty was abducted in Rome on this date. When the kidnappers demand a $17 million ransom, the billionaire refuses. "I have 14 other grandchildren, and if I pay one penny now, then I will have 14 kidnapped grandchildren." After the grandson's severed ear arrives in the mail, Getty finally coughs up the money.

Even if he had to pay $17 million dollars for each of his grandchildren, it still would have left him well over $750 million dollars of his estimated $1 billion dollar fortune.

This is the kind of love you can only find in wealthy families.

June 10, 1953 -
Arguably, one of the worse films ever (save those of auteur Ed Wood), Robot Monster was released upon an unsuspecting public, on this date.

The film was reportedly shot in just four days, utilized no sets, and was entirely filmed outside.

A long standing film industry rumors has been that director Phil Tucker attempted suicide after the release of Robot Monster, due to the overwhelmingly negative critical reaction it received.

June 10, 2004 -
Ray Charles Robinson known by his stage name Ray Charles, American pianist and musician who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues, died on this date.

And so it goes.

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