Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cross At the Green and Not In Between

September 14, 1899 -

Let us salute Henry Hale Bliss.

Mr Bliss was the first person killed by a motor vehicle accident in the United States, when on September 13, 1899 he had just stepped off a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West and was struck by a passing taxicab. It knocked him unconscious, crushing his skull and chest. He died the following morning.

The driver of the cab (an electric-powered vehicle,) Arthur Smith, was arrested and charged with manslaughter. The charges were dropped after it was determined that Bliss' death was unintentional. The Taxicab union was obviously very strong back then.

Mickey Rourke, actor and small dog fancier, was born on this date.

As I mentioned earlier this summer, our brush with greatness was when Mickey complemented my oldest daughter on her sparkly sneakers on the way back from her fifth grade graduation.

September 14, 1965 -
The end of the Civil War was near ...

F-Troop premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

Melody Patterson was only 16 when she auditioned for the part, not really expecting to get it. When she found out that she did indeed get it, she and her mother put off telling the show's producers her real age until just before shooting started. By that time she had turned 17, still not of legal age. That's the main reason that, although you'll see Wrangler Jane pursue Wilton Parmenter at every conceivable opportunity, grabbing and kissing him whenever she gets the chance, he never kisses her first or even returns a kiss. In the second season - by which time Melody had turned 18 - Wilton is seen to be a bit more affectionate.

September 14, 1972 -
America went up Walton's Mountain to see the Waltons on CBS-TV for the first time on this date.

The names of the Walton's pets are as follows: Blue the mule, Chance the cow, Reckless the dog, Rover the peacock, Lance the deer and Myrtle the Goat.

Today in History:
September 14 1849 -

Ivan Pavlov was born on this date. Pavlov was a Russian scientist who discovered that dogs drooled whenever bells were rung. Only after his death were his ideas discredited by a group of Swedish scientists who determined that dogs also drooled when a nice juicy steak was dangled in front of them.

In the decades since, science has repeatedly and conclusively demonstrated that dogs will sometimes drool and sometimes not drool.

September 14, 1812 -
Napoleon's army invaded the city of Moscow, on this date. He began the invasion of Russia in June of that year, hoping to continue his "One Europe, One Cuisine" Tour. The Russian forces kept retreating, burning the farmland as they went so the French wouldn't be able to draw provisions from the land.

The troops were exhausted and hungry by the time they reached Moscow on this day, in 1812. The gates of the city were left wide open. And as the French came through, they noticed that all over the city small fires had begun. The Russians had set fire to their own city. By that night, the fires were out of control.

Napoleon watched the burning of the city from inside the Kremlin, and barely escaped the city alive. The retreat began across the snow - covered plains, one of the great disasters of military history. Thousands of troops died from starvation and hypothermia. Of the nearly half million French soldiers who had set out in June on the invasion, fewer than 20,000 staggered back across the border in December.

September 14, 1901 -
President William McKinley succumbs to his gunshot wound, on this date - the third American president to be assassinated. He had won a landslide victory in the election of 1900. He had gone on a tour of the country, a victory tour, which he ended in Buffalo, New York, where the Pan-American Exposition was being held near Niagara Falls.

McKinley was shaking hands with a long line of people on September 6, when a 28-year-old anarchist from Cleveland named Leon Czolgosz came up to shake his hand. Czolgosz's right hand was wrapped in a handkerchief which concealed a gun. He shot the president twice, hitting him in the abdomen. At first it seemed as though the wound was minor and that McKinley would recover, but he died on this day in 1901. He died, historians believe, because he needed an infusion of fluids and nutrients, and the IV had not been invented yet.

It didn't help matters that Teddy Roosevelt kept peeking into his hospital room, shouting, "Is he dead yet? Am I president yet? Bully, bully!!!"

September 14, 1927 -
Legendary dancer Isadora Duncan was killed in Nice, France when her long silk scarf gets tangled in the rear wheel of the convertible she's riding in on this date. Her neck wais broken and an artery severed. Some accounts have her thrown against the pavement and dragged for 100 feet. The freak accident occurs in full view of a number of friends.

Strange but true fact - the mother of famed 40's comedy director, Preston Sturges, was known for her friendship with Isadora Duncan, even giving her the very scarf that led to Duncan's freakish death.

Kids, remember what Gertrude Stein said, "affectations can be dangerous and Alice, where the hell is my hash pipe."

September 14, 1936 -
Surgeons Walter Freeman and James W. Watts perform America's first prefrontal lobotomy on a depressed, 63-year-old Kansas woman in Washington, D.C. They successfully create a lethargic dullard, and the duo hails the result for years to come as a medical triumph, despite the fact that two of their next twenty lobotomy subjects end as fatalities.

Here's a easy way you can remember this, "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."

September 14, 1938 -
Graf Zeppelin II, world's largest airship, (LZ 130) was the sister ship of the Hindenburg (LZ 129). Her design and construction were nearly identical to her predecessor: at 804 feet in length, these two ships remain the largest flying craft in history. By the time the Graf Zeppelin was completed, it was one of the largest flying craft in history. The ship was christened and made her first flight on this date.

The Graf Zeppelin ultimately flew a total of thirty missions, many for the Luftwaffe. She touched down on her last flight at 9:38 p.m. on August 20, 1939, ending the age of rigid airships.

September 14, 1982 -
Grace Kelly, American-born princess of Monaco, died after a high speed car crash the previous day. She and daughter Princess Stephanie were badly injured when their British Rover 3500 plunged into a ravine, tumbling 45 feet.

In the official version of events, Grace suffered a mild stroke while driving; however, although rumors persist that 17-year-old Princess Stephanie was actually behind the wheel, there is no truth to the rumor that she was engaging in a sodomistic act with three Latvian boy scouts, a farm animal and a water-based lubricant.

So dammit, please stop printing these lies.

And so it goes

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