We had a very good time on the beach this weekend. We stayed a little bit later than expected, so here's a delayed somewhat abbreviated posting (given all that's going on.)
August 23, 1940 -
Preston Sturges' Oscar winning satire on political corruption, The Great McGinty, premiered on this date.
Brian Donlevy and Akim Tamiroff reprised their roles as Governor McGinty and The Boss in Preston Sturges's The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.
August 23, 1957 -
20th Century Fox released its film adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel, The Sun Also Rises, on this date.
Fans of Tyrone Power were shocked by his tired and aged appearance in the movie, since he was only 42 at the time of filming. Years of chain smoking cigarettes and drinking heavily had taken a toll on his looks. In addition he was reportedly taking pills so he could survive with only three hours sleep every night.
August 23, 1969 -
The Rolling Stones hit, Honky Tonk Women reached number one on the pop-singles charts, on this date.
Mini quiz for all you kids, What was the b-side of the single? You Can't Always Get What You Want
August 23, 1996 -
One of the most bizarre films ever made (starring Marlon Brando) The Island of Dr. Moreau, was released on this date.
Rent it just to see the scene where Marlon and his mini-me play piano, I'll say no more.
It's Gene Kelly's birthday.
Everybody run outside and dance!
Today in History: August 23, 1305 -
Scottish patriot William Wallace (Mel Gibson) was persuaded to take an early retirement.
According to one eyewitness: "He was hung in a noose, and afterwards let down half-living; next his genitals were cut off and his bowels torn out and burned in a fire; then and not till then his head was cut off and his trunk cut into four pieces. At this point he was given a gold watch, and a humorous card that we had all signed."
August 23, 1914 -
Japan declared war on Germany. Much confusion and embarrassment ensues about 25 years later when this point is brought up at a meeting of the Axis powers.
August 23, 1926 -
Rudolph Valentino died and caused a worldwide frenzy among his fans, on this date. Sales of the Sheik condoms soar.
There's a very dirty joke I could insert here but recent FCC rulings prevent me.
August 23, 1927 -
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, convicted of murder in 1921, were executed in Boston in spite of worldwide protests, on this date.
Their guilt is still disputed.
August 23, 1939-
Joachim von Ribbentrop and Josef Stalin signed a non-aggression pact, allowing Germany to attack Poland and the USSR to invade Finland without fears of reprisal. Three years later, the Battle of Stalingrad began. (The battle of Stalingrad was fought by Germans and Russians, in case the irony was lost on you.)
Moral: secret wartime pacts with evil conquering bastards aren't any more reliable in the real world than they are in a game of Risk.
August 23, 1944 -
Romanian Prime Minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael (another cousin of Elizabeth and her itinerant sailor husband Philip Mountbatten), paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.
King Michael organized a coup against the pro-Nazi dictator, Marshal Ion Antonescu, but was double-crossed by Joseph Stalin and betrayed by the Allies who ceded the country to the Russians at the Yalta summit in 1945.
August 23, 1968 -
The Youth International Party designates Pigasus as their choice of candidate for U.S. President. The boar hog is introduced at a press conference outside the Chicago Civic Center, with the slogan "They nominate a President and he eats the people. We nominate a President and the people eat him."
The gathering is broken up shortly thereafter when the Chicago PD takes into custody the Yippie organizers and their pig.
And so it goes.