July 16, 2003 -
Research released on this date indicated that frequent masturbation, particularly in the 20s, helps prevent prostate cancer later in life.
Look out for the fifth doctor, he's looking to give you a hand. So kids, stroke 'em if you got 'em
July 16, 1951 -
David Lean's masterful adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist was released in the US on this date.
The film premiered in England in 1948 but the American release was held up for three years due to the allegedly anti-Semitic portrayal of the Alec Guinness' portrayal of Fagin.
July 16, 1958 -
Help me, help me ....
The classic Vincent Price Sci-Fi film, The Fly, opened in San Francisco on this date.
Michael Rennie was offered the title role but declined it because the extensive make-up would covering his head during most of the film.
Today in History:
July 16, 1054 -
The 'Great Schism' between the Western and Eastern churches began over rival claims of universal pre-eminence. (In 1965, 911 years later, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I met to declare an end to the schism.)
Remember kids, there's no schism like a great schism.
Mary Baker Eddy was born on this date in 1821.
Ms. Eddy invented Christian Science, and was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1995 for having been the only American woman to found a worldwide religion without exposing her breasts.
July 16, 1860 -
A decree from Emperor Norton I of San Francisco, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, ordered the dissoltion of the United States of America on this date.
(More on the good Emperor next month.)
July 16, 1945 -
...If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One— I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds....
First Atomic Bomb is exploded at Trinity, Alamagordo New Mexico. The explosion yields the equivalent 18,000 tons of TNT.
July 16, 1951 -
60 years ago today, The Catcher in the Rye was published. The book contained secret code words by means of which its author, J.D. Salinger, was able to communicate diabolical commands to his evil minions. (Exactly fourteen years later, the tunnel connecting France and Italy through Mont Blanc was opened to the public. Draw your own conclusions.)
Salinger was a one-hit wonder. (He did write several other books, but these are of interest only to insomniacs and those with wobbly furniture.) The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, and Salinger subsequently hid himself away in the hills of Vermont, emerging from this self-imposed cloister only once, briefly, to serve as Prime Minister of Canada and to appear as a corpse at his own funeral. For nearly half a century, The Catcher in the Rye has captured the imagination of the American teenager like no other book without pictures.
Holden Caulfield, the hero and narrator of Salinger's slim classic, may be the finest portrait of twentieth-century American teenage angst bequeathed to posterity.
Either him or Archie, it's hard to say.
July 16, 1969 -
The Apollo 11 mission was launched on this date.
It carried Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr.
July 16, 1973 -
In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (the Ervin Committee on Watergate), former presidential assistant Alexander Butterfield disclosed that President Richard Nixon had tape recorded all of his conversations in the White House and Executive Office Building.
Bad, Nixon, bad.
July 16, 1999 -
Stanley Kubrick final film, Eyes Wide Shut, was released on this date.
When it was announced that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman would be making the film with Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio (who played Private Pyle in Kubrick's film Full Metal Jacket) had this open advice for them: "Rent a house or apartment, because you're going to be in England for a while."
July 16, 1999 -
John F.Kennedy Jr. was killed along with his wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette when the aircraft he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
He was flying a Piper Saratoga II HP from Essex County Airport in New Jersey to Martha's Vineyard. Kennedy and his wife were traveling together to the wedding of his cousin Rory in Hyannis, Massachusetts, while Lauren was to have been dropped off at Martha's Vineyard en route.
And so it goes.