Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Please stand and salute Old Glory

It was on this date in 1777 that the Stars and Stripes was adopted as the official flag of the United States of America.

I was wrong - I've been under the misapprehension that the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes on June 14, 1877, but nay nay, read on bunkie, this seems to the real story:

In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, a man named George Morris persuaded his city of Hartford, Conn., to undertake a patriotic celebration on behalf of the Union. But the concept didn't catch on, there or elsewhere.

Two decades later, in 1885, a 19-year-old Waubeka schoolteacher named Bernard Cigrand plunked a small flag into an inkwell on his desk and assigned his students to write essays on patriotism. Later he traveled the country to promote respect for the flag, becoming president of the American Flag Day Association.

So now you know.

A friend of mine passed along this very funny short film directed by Gordon Grinberg and I'll pass it along to you:

The punchline and the look are priceless

June 14, 1967 -
One of the iconic films from the 60's,the British drama To Sir, with Love, starring Sidney Poitier premiered in the US on this date.

Sidney Poitier status was of such a high calibre that the films' overt sexual tension between a pupil and teacher did not hold the film back from becoming a surprise hit for Columbia Pictures.

June 14, 1985 -
One of John Houston's last films, the black comedy Prizzi's Honor, opened on this date.

Anjelica Huston's performance as Maerose is still a sight to behold

Today in History:
June 14, 1648 -
Midwife Margaret Jones was hanged in Boston for witchcraft on this date.

It is the first such execution for the Massachusetts colony, but not the first in the colonies.

June 14, 1940 -
Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund have a quick drink as they plan to leave Paris ahead of the Nazi invasion. Little does Rick know that Ilsa does not plan to join him (but that's another story.)

Paris falls to the Nazis on this date. Marshal Philippe Petain became the head of the French government and sued for peace. Gertrude Stein translated Petain's speeches and hailed him as a hero of the French nation.

And sometimes, a rose is just a collaborator.

June 14, 1949 -
The wonderful black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets, starring the ever present Alec Guinness, was released on this date.

The right of peers to be tried in the House of Lords was abolished in 1949, the same year the film was released. The two were not connected, the right was abolished due to a combination of a Labour Government and reaction from a drunk driving case where the lordly defendant was tried in the House of Lords.

June 14, 1954 -
At the Lincoln Memorial, President Dwight Eisenhower signs a law inserting the words "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance. Eisenhower declares: "From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty." Precisely which Almighty is left to the listener's imagination.

I would like to think that Ike was thinking about the Aboriginal god - Daramulun.

June 14, 1961 -
1980s pop music star George Alan O'Dowd was born in Kent, England on this date.

That's the strange thing about love. One minute you can have your tongue up someone's arse, and the next you can't even communicate. - Boy George

No truer words were ever spoken.

June 14, 1962 -
Albert Henry DeSalvo, a small time petty criminal confessed that he murdered Anna Slesersby, a petite divorcee, by strangling her with the belt from her robe on this date. She was only the first victim of The Boston Strangler.

Or did he?

June 14, 1966 -
The Vatican announces the abolition of its Index librorum prohibitum (Index of Prohibited Books), originally instituted in 1557 by Pope Paul IV. Notable novelists on the list were Laurence Sterne, Voltaire, Daniel Defoe, Honor de Balzac, Jean-Paul Sartre.

If you are ever in doubt of what to read - check out the Index.

June 14, 1976 -
The Gong Show debuted on NBC on this date. People with dubious talents perform their acts before a celebrity panel of judges, who are free to eject the performer at any time by banging a large gong. The best non-gonged performer each night wins $516.32.

During the time the show is on the air, it's creator, Chuck Barris, suffered a complete mental breakdown, he says from the stress of being a secret CIA hit man.

No really, I'm not kidding you.

June 14, 1989 -
Zsa Zsa Gabor is arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer and driving with an expired license. Afterwards Zsa Zsa complains to the press that the handling she received from the BHPD "was like Nazi Germany."

Ultimately, Gabor is convicted and sentenced to 72 hours in jail.

At this point, we should all have kind thoughts and wishes for Zsa Zsa.

And on a personal note:

Happy Birthday Thierry

And so it goes.

No comments: