Monday, August 8, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it.

If you spent any time this weekend watching the news, this song had to be running through you head.

I'm not quite sure how I feel with the world economy quickly circling the drain and everyone in Washington blaming each other.

August 8, 1963 -
John Sturges' adventure film, The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, premiered on this date.

For the train sequences, a railroad engine was rented and two condemned cars were purchased and modified to house the camera equipment. Scenes were shot on the single rail line between Munich and Hamburg, and a railroad representative was on hand to advise the filmmakers when to pull aside to avoid hitting scheduled oncoming trains.

(We have some unexpected emergency home repair going on this week so things might be spotty at best this week.)
Today in History:
August 8 1925 -
40,000 robed Klansmen march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. -- a bit less than 1% of total Klan membership (and the Klan membership included about 15% of the nation's eligible voting population.)

Very scary, boys and girls, very scary.

August 8, 1929 -
Taking off from Lakehurst N.J., heading east, the German airship Graf Zeppelin began its 21-day, around-the-world flight.

The flight was partly sponsored by American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, who paid for about half the cost of the flight in return for exclusive media rights in the United States and Britain.

August 8, 1945 -
Wanting to help their allies, USSR declares war against Japan in WW II after confirming the situation in Hiroshima. Soviet troops launched a massive surprise attack (August Storm) against Japanese occupation forces in northern China and Korea. Within days, Tokyo's million-man army in the region had collapsed in one of the greatest military defeats in hist

A large nuclear explosion is a great way to clear one's mind.

August 8, 1960 -
Brian Hyland's song Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini reaches number one on the pop charts.

August 8, 1963 -
The Kingsmen release the song, Louie, Louie.

Here are (purportedly) the lyrics -

Inexplicably radio stations around the county label it obscene, even though no foul or suggestive language can be found in the song.

August 8, 1963 -
By tampering with railway signals, a 15 man team halts the Glasgow-to-Euston Royal Mail train in Buckinghamshire. The criminals make off with 120 sacks containing £2.6 million in cash. The incident goes down in history as "The Great Train Robbery."

For some bizarre reason, Phil Collins stars in a movie based on one of the men involved in the robbery.

August 8, 1973 -
VP Spiro T Agnew branded as "damned lies" reports he took kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland.

He vowed not to resign (Right!)

August 8, 1974 -
Richard M. Nixon resigned the office of the presidency on this date, the first American president in history to do so (actually Millard Fillmore had resigned from office several times but as no one in the country took any notice of him, he had no one to turn his resignation in to, so he remained in office). His policies as president had been rather liberal. He began arms control agreements with the Soviet Union. He eased relations with China. He established the Environmental Protection Agency, expanded Social Security and state welfare programs and tried to create a national health insurance system. He was also a chronic alcoholic, suffered from a raging persecution complex and had overly active sweat glands

He won re-election in 1972 in a landslide, but in that same year a group of men broke into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, and in that break-in were the seeds of his downfall.

August 8, 1987 -
Lynne Cox became the first to swim across the icy-cold waters of the Bering Strait from Alaska to the Soviet Union.

Her accomplishment eased Cold War tensions as Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev both praised her success.

August 8, 1988 -
Believe it or not, NYC hits a record high of 88 on 8/8/88.

And so it goes.

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