Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's a perfect day

The weather's fine, why not have an ice cream soda?

It's National Ice Cream Soda Day. Remember to pour the soda over the ice cream (you get a thicker ice cream soda foam.) If you added a little Kahlua in first, even better.

June 30, 1989 -
One of Spike Lee's big early films, Do The Right Thing, premiered on this date.

Supposedly, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama saw this movie on their first date in 1989.

June 30, 1995 -
Houston, we have a problem ...

Ron Howards' film about the ill-fated 13th Apollo mission bound for the moon, Apollo 13, premiered on this date.

Today in History:
June 30, 1520 -
After witnessing the murder of Montezuma II (or committing the murders themselves,) the Conquistador, led by Hernan Cortes, did what any red-blooded Spaniard would do and looted Tenochtitlan, the ancient Mexican capital of the Aztec empire on this date. The retreating Spaniards were attacked by an angry Aztec mob. Tied down by armor and treasure, they are no match for the natives and nearly half of Hernan Cortes' men lose their lives.

... Conquistador, your stallion stands in need of company ...

June 30, 1837 -
England outlaws the use of the pillory on this date.

This still leaves the British Navy the three things they love the most - the lash, buggery and rum.

June 30, 1882 -
Charles Guiteau, the assassin of President Garfield, was hanged on this date.

Tickets for the event went for as much as $300. Proving once again, give the people what they want and they'll show up.

June 30, 1894 -
One of London's most iconic symbols, The Tower Bridge was officially opened on this date by The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII.)

The bridge can be opened, allowing river traffic to pass and closed, allowing the resumption of road traffic in five minutes.

June 30, 1908 -
An explosion near the Tunguska River in Siberia incinerated some 300 sq. km. that encircled the impact of an estimated 60 meter diameter stony meteorite. It flattened some 40,000 trees over 900 sq. miles and caused damage equivalent to a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb.

The explosion in Siberia, which knocked down trees in a 30-mile radius and struck people unconscious some 40 miles away, is believed by some scientists to be caused by a falling fragment from a meteorite.

June 30, 1934 -
Acting on behalf of the Fuhrer, SS troops around Germany arrest hundreds of loyal SA stormtroopers under the charge of treason in order to eliminate the group.

One squad descends on a Bavarian resort, where it interrupts a contingent of SA men engaged in homosexual festivities. Lieutenant Edmund Heines is caught in bed with a teenaged boy, and shot to death on the spot. The rest are taken into custody. Hitler sacrificed Ernst Rohm (his pal and head of the SA stormtroopers) rather than lose the support of the military. He personally confronted Rohm in a jail cell and left a single shot pistol in the cell. Ten minutes later, Rohm had killed himself (unless he didn't, in which case, he was executed at point blank range by Hitler's goons - reports are sketchy.)

Nobody ruins a good orgy like Hitler's goons.

June 30, 1936 -
It's the 75th anniversary of publication of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind on this date.

It had been extensively promoted, chosen as the July selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club, and so gushed about in pre-publication reviews -- "Gone With the Wind is very possibly the greatest American novel," said Publisher's Weekly -- that it was certain to sell, though few predicted the sustained, record-breaking numbers. Though she had been eager and active for her fame, Mitchell too was caught off guard.

One trip to an Atlanta department store for a dress ended with a clutch of curious women throwing back the fitting room doors to stare at Mitchell in her petticoat: "They wanted to know the size of my intimate wearing apparel. They screamed to one another about me as I stood there like an animal in a cage, one asking the other: 'Ain't she skinny?' while still another observed: 'I expected her to look more middle-aged around the hips.'"

And so it goes.

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