Monday, July 25, 2011

The clock is ticking

The game of chicken Washington is currently playing is no longer funny.

Someone, anyone there, has to be an adult and solve this mess quickly.

July 25, 1980 -
The very silly movie, Caddyshack, premiered on this date (watch it - you'll laugh in spite of yourself.)

Bill Murray filmed all of his scenes, including the famous scene with Chevy Chase, in six days. (Many people expected them to have another confrontation as they had had during Chase's return to Saturday Night Live years before. They were professional and didn't show any signs of their alleged previous feud.

It used to be St. Christopher's Day on this date. St. Christopher once was the patron saint of bachelors, travelers, transportation workers, protector against sudden death and toothaches

Don't forget, James Dean forgot to wear his St. Christopher medal on the morning of September 30, 1955 and he had his unfortunate incident with a Spyder.

Today in History:
July 25 1485 -
In Toledo, Spain, over 400 dead bodies are charged with heresy and burned in effigy, in a great public spectacle.

What a wonderful thing, this Spanish Inquisition.

July 25, 1689 -
King Louis XIV of France declared war on Britain for having joined the League of Augsburg and the Netherlands in order to oppose the French invasion of the Rhenish Palatinate.

This caused the Battle of Schenectady in New York. (Really.)

July 25, 1848 -
British statesman Arthur James Lord Balfour was born on this date. In 1917, as Foreign Secretary of the British Government, Lord Balfour declared that "His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

This came to be known as the Balfour Declaration, acknowledged by scholars throughout the world as the beginning of the Middle East Peace Process.

July 25, 1865 -
Dr. James Barry, British military medical officer and senior inspector general, died on this date.

As the good doctor was being laid out, a charwoman, Sophia Bishop noticed that Barry was a ‘perfect female’. She satisfied her curiosity and also noticed what appeared to be stretch marks on Barry’s stomach indicating the doctor had once been pregnant. It was soon revealed that Dr. Barry was likely a female, born Margaret Ann Bulkley.

July 25, 1917 -
Margaret Zelle, also known as Mata Hari, is found guilty of spying and is sentenced to death.

There is no actual evidence that she is a spy, although she may have slept with half of the German army (and the French had a thing about that.)

July 25, 1936 -
After NYC's 'Master Builder' Robert Moses had millions of yards of brown and white sand shipped from the Rockaways, Northport and Sandy Hook to Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach, the Bronx Rivera, was opened to the public on this date.

At one time, this was the largest Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) project in New York City and the beach had one of the largest parking fields in the city.

July 25, 1943 -
Benito Mussolini resigned as Head Evil Bastard of Italy. He did not receive a gold watch. His 401(K) was in tatters.

He was therefore machine-gunned to death, suspended upside down, and urinated on by the people of Italy as a civic reminder of the importance of retirement planning.

Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century is a Merrie Melodies cartoon created in 1952 and released on July 25, 1953, starring Daffy Duck as space hero Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as his assistant, and Marvin the Martian as his opponent. Marvin the Martian had been introduced as a villain then named Commander X2 in Haredevil Hare (1948) playing opposite Bugs Bunny, but this cartoon was the first of many appearances of Duck Dodgers.

The plot of the cartoon involves Duck Dodgers' search for the rare element Illudium Phosdex, "the shaving cream atom." In the future, the only remaining supply of the element is on the mysterious Planet X, which fortunately is found when Dodgers follows a path leading from Planet A to Planets B, C, D, and so on. Assisting him in his space explorations is Porky Pig , playing the role of the Eager Young Space Cadet. Dodgers is about to claim Planet X in the name of the Earth when Marvin the Martian lands on the same planet (in a ship called the Martian Maggot) and claims it in the name of Mars. The stage is set for a battle of wits (or lack thereof) between the two cartoon stars.

July 25, 1990 -
At a baseball game, actress Rosanne Arnold warbles the Star Spangled Banner, grabs her crotch, and endears herself to an entire nation.

Ah, America, land of opportunity.

July 25, 1999 -
Woodstock '99 festival ends in looting and rioting, leaving 12 trailers burned, towers toppled, and several women attacked during the course of the show.

About 500 state troopers were needed to quell the mass uprising of peace and love, apparently triggered by overpriced vendors and commercialization.

July 25, 2000 -
A right tire explosion on the Concorde causes the plane to crash after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, leaving 113 dead.

It is the first crash in Concorde's history, and the only supersonic commercial flight to ever crash.

And so it goes.

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