Today is the first day of autumn.
By happy coincidence, it's also the first day of fall.
Many people in the northern hemisphere are disturbed by the changes they see around them at about this time each year. It gets darker earlier, temperatures drop, leaves change color and die, and the Red Soxs tend to drop out of playoff contention.
There have been myths about the changing of the seasons as long as there have been children to lie to. Some primitive peoples believed that leaves changed color because Nature was pining for her abducted daughter; others blamed it on the seasonal absence of sunlight-fed chlorophyll, allowing xanthophyll, carotene, and antocyanin to determine leaf color. We may never know the truth.
The first day of autumn is sometimes also referred to as the Autumnal Equinox. Don't be alarmed by the title. It's just fall.
With courage and some heavy drinking, we can get through this thing.
September 23, 1962 -
The Jetsons debuted on Sunday night's prime time lineup on this date.
This cartoon series marked the debut of color television on the ABC network.
The youth of America want to know, "Don't they use a pooper scoop in the future?"
Today in History -
September 23, 480 BC -
It's the birthday of the Greek poet Euripides, born near Athens on this date.
Euripides has the greatest number of plays that have survived for the modern reader -19 of them—including Medea.
Remember Euripides, I ripa dos.
September 23, 63 BC -
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Augustus Caesar) was born on this day. The first real Roman Emperor, Caesar introduced the famous Pax Romana. This was a political policy which stated that any country which did not object to being conquered by Rome would be conquered by Rome.
Countries not wishing to be conquered by Rome stood in violation of this policy, and were therefore invaded until they agreed to be conquered. This ensured peace throughout the world.
September 23, 1779 -
During the Revolutionary War, While on break from Led Zeppelin, the American navy under Scotsman John Paul Jones (Robert Stack), commanding from Bonhomme Richard, defeated and captured the British man-of-war Serapis on this date. Jones, chose to name the ship after Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard’s Almanac.
Fierce fighting ensued, and when Richard began to sink, Serapis commander Richard Pearson called over to ask if Richard would surrender and Jones responded, "I have not yet begun to fight!"--a response that would become a slogan of the U.S. Navy. Pearson surrendered and Jones took control of Serapis. Imagine the amount of Rum consumed (it was an American Ship, I'm sure there was no sodomy!)
The Bonhomie Richard sank two days after the battle.
September 23, 1939 -
Sigmund Freud commits suicide with the help of his personal physician, Max Schur. The good doctor administered 21mg of morphine -- a lethal dose, in three large doses of morphine in the space of several hours.
Sometimes 21 mg of morphine is just 21mg of death.
September 23, 1944 -
Frank Capra's screwball comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace finally gets it US general release on this date. The film was based on a hit play and had to wait to be released until after it Broadway run had ended.
Some 20 years before filming this movie, actress Jean Adair had helped to nurse a very sick vaudeville performer named Archie Leach back to health; by the time she was asked to reprise her Broadway "Arsenic and Old Lace" role as Aunt Martha for this film, Adair and Leach, now known as Cary Grant, were old friends.
September 23, 1949 -
It's the birthday of the Boss.
... nuns run bald through Vatican halls pregnant, pleadin' immaculate conception. And everybody's wrecked on Main Street from drinking unholy blood...
If Bruce didn't exist, we'd have to invent him.
September 23, 1950 -
Congress passes the McCarran Act, also known as The Internal Security Act of 1950, overriding Harry Truman's veto. The act provides for severe restrictions on civil liberties, suspension of free speech, and placing of undesirable Americans in concentration camps.
Much of the Act has been repealed, but some portions remain intact.
So watch it, bub.
September 23, 1952 -
Responding to accusations that he diverted $18,000 in contributions into his pocket, Senator Richard M. Nixon rescues his candidacy for Vice President by insisting that he had never accepted any money.
Although Nixon does admit he accepted a cocker spaniel named Checkers for his daughter Tricia. The televised monologue rescues his political career.
Little is know about this political operative, Checkers. Recently unclassified FBI documents reveal that Checker advised Nixon not to shave just prior to his famous televised debate with Kennedy. Checkers was also recorded on his deathbed in late '68 advising Nixon's men about creating a list of enemies of the future President.
September 23, 1969 -
An article in the Northern Illinois University student newspaper The Northern Star propagates the rumor that "Paul is dead."
But if you play I'm so Tired from the White Album (and smoke an enormous amount of dope,) you hear the question Is Paul McCartney Dead?
And Revolution #9 implores, Turn me on dead man.
Well, sort of. Remember it's I buried Paul and not Strawberry Jam.
September 23, 1969 -
First broadcast of Marcus Welby MD on ABC-TV on this date.
Robert Young became so well identified with his wise doctor persona that he became famous as the commercial spokesman for an aspirin product, saying, "I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV", while wearing a lab coat.
All those free aspirin must have been a great help to Mr. Young, who was a raging alcoholic by this time.
September 23, 1970 -
The only American film Akira Kurosawa almost directed, Tora! Tora! Tora!, was released on this date. Akira Kurosawa agreed to direct the Japanese part of the film only because he was told that David Lean was to direct the American part. This was a lie, David Lean was never part of the project. When Kurosawa found out about this, he tried to get himself fired from the production - and succeeded.
At the time of its initial movie release, Tora! Tora! Tora! proved to be a major box office flop in U.S. theatres although it was a major hit in Japan; however, over the years, video releases provided an overall profit
September 23, 1990 -
PBS premiered Ken Burns powerful 11 hour miniseries The Civil War on this date.
The documentary took six long years to make - two years longer than the actual war.
And so it goes