Monday, June 13, 2011

He must have weighed heavily on Marcel Proust's mind.

It's the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padua. One of the most beloved of saints, his images and statues are ubiquitous. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946, he is sometimes called the Evangelical Doctor.

He is especially invoked for the recovery of things lost; as well as against starvation, barrenness; patron of amputees, animals, boatmen, Brazil, diocese in Beaumont, Texas, domestic animals, the elderly, expectant mothers, faith in the Blessed Sacrament, Ferrazzano, fishermen, harvests, horses, lower animals, mail, mariners, oppressed persons, Padua, paupers, Portugal, sailors, scholars, sterility, swineherds, Tigua Indians, travel hostesses, travellers, and watermen.

Here is a current Profile in Courage

June 13, 1952 -
The seventh collaboration of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Pat and Mike, was released on this date.

Of the nine movies she made with Spencer Tracy, this was Katharine Hepburn's favorite.

June 13, 1962 -
Stanley Kubrick's take on Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel, Lolita, premiered on this date.

Sue Lyon went horse-back riding everyday after filming. Kubrick told her, "If you get thrown, roll over. Don't hurt your face."

June 13, 1967 -
Sean Connery's fifth appearance as James Bond - You Only Live Twice, opened in the US on this date.

This is the first film in the series where James Bond does not wear his trademark tuxedo.

Today in History:
June 13, 323 BC (or June 11, who's to say, once again there was no dependable calendar. Most people involved in accurate record keeping were also involved in vigorous sodomy) -
A youthful Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell or Richard Burton, take you pick) died in Babylon (NOT Long Island, smart ass) on this date.

The precise cause of his death has baffled modern science for thousands of years. Many historians believe he died of either malaria or hybris, also known as Syphilis or the Greek Fire.

Alexander had a horse named Bucephelas, and is best known for having devoured the Gordian Nut.

June 13, 1381 -
In Medieval England, the famous Wat Tyler's Rebellion began, on this date.

Since most of you reading this don't live in England, most of you don't give a damn.

June 13, 1865
William Butler Yeats, Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures in 20th century literature, was born on this date.

He was brother of the artist Jack Butler Yeats, the son of John Butler Yeats, and along with J. M. Synge and Sean O'Casey, was one of the driving forces behind the Irish Literary Revival. Together with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn he founded Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief playwright.

(I can feel quite smug as I know the head of the Yeats Society here in NY.)

June 13, 1886 -
The recently-deposed monarch of Bavaria wasn't having a great day today. Mad King Ludwig II, who wasn't so much mad as gay, had been under house arrest ever since his uncle, Prince Luitpold von Bayern, staged a coup a few days earlier, let it be known that he wasn't happy about his current situation.

That afternoon, the bodies of the King and his physician, Dr. Gudden, were discovered floating face-down in Lake Starnberg.

It's alway a problem when you're the King of Bavaria and your family can't accept that you're gay.

June 13, 1917 -
18 German Gotha bomber planes flew over London in the first aerial bombardment in history (not counting Zeppelins). They were met by over 90 British fighters, but not one Gotha was brought down. This bombing raid caused 162 deaths.

On June 13, 1944, Germany commemorated the anniversary by launching the first of its V-1 flying bombs, also called the doodlebug (Fieseler Fi-103), on southern England. Only one of the four missiles London saw that day caused any casualties, but a steady stream of V-1s causing severe damage and casualties fell on London in coming months.

On June 13, 1990, East Germany began tearing down the Berlin Wall. The date apparently has some significance in the Teutonic psyche.

Don't make any sudden moves when you come in contact with men in lederhosen.

June 13, 1920 -
The United States Postal Service rules that children may not be sent via Parcel Post. Before that, children had been clogging the mail chutes of America.

Dammit, I need to figure out another way to get the kids to summer camp this year.

June 13, 1934 -
Two months before becoming Fuhrer, Hitler meets Mussolini in Venice. Unfortunately, Mussolini refuses to have an interpreter and his German is not good, so neither man can understand the other.

Unimpressed, Mussolini gathers a general impression of the German as "a silly little monkey."

June 13, 1970 -
The Beatles had their last number one song, The Long and Winding Road, on this date.

I hope they saved some of their money after this move.

June 13, 1971 -
Next to the White House wedding photo of President Nixon's daughter Tricia, the New York Times ran its first story on the Pentagon Papers, a top secret DoD analysis authored by the RAND Corporation detailing every mistake and deception made during the 30-year history of the Vietnam War.

Attorney General John Mitchell manages to block any further publication of the embarrassing documents, but the court order is countermanded two weeks later in a Supreme Court decision.

Today approximately 7,000 pages, including the previously reported 11 redacted words, of the finally declassified documents, will be released.

And so it goes.

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