September 17, 1949 -
Little Rural Riding Hood, the last of Tex Avery's variations on 'Red Hot Riding Hood', premiered on this date.
The character of Red Hot Riding Hood closely resembled one of the top pin-up girls at the time, Betty Grable. She is considered an amalgamation of the then popular Hollywood stars. Her singing voice in this particular short was reminiscent of Lena Horne's, while her speaking voice emulated that of Katharine Hepburn.
September 17, 1956 -
Vincente Minnelli's brilliant bio-pix, Lust for Life, opened in NYC on this date.
Director Vincente Minnelli had a portion of a field spray-painted yellow to closer resemble Vincent van Gogh's painting.
September 17, 1964 -
Dick York started out as Durwood, I mean, Darrin as Bewitched premieres on ABC TV on this date.
The show had an unusual amount of roles played by more than one person: two Darrins, two Gladys Kravitzes, two Louise Tates, two of Darrin's father. Dick York left the show in 1969 due to health problems; his role of Darrin was taken over by Dick Sargent. When Alice Pearce died, her role of Mrs. Kravitz was taken over by Sandra Gould.
September 17, 1967 -
The first mission from the IMF team from Mission Impossible premiered on CBS-TV on this date.
The main reason for Briggs, and later Phelps, looking through the photos to select the various members of the team for each mission was that many of the early episodes would feature guest stars as members of the team. However, once it became apparent that the same members were chosen every time, the practice was eventually abandoned.
September 17, 1972 -
M*A*S*H, premiered on NBC TV on this date.
Radar's teddy bear, once housed at the Smithsonian, was sold at auction July 29, 2005, for $11,800. (It was originally found on the Fox Ranch, where the series was filmed, and became part of the show.)
Today in History:
On July 4, 1776, the American colonies told Britain to kiss their hairy American asses. This began the Revolutionary War, during which the Redcoats were coming, a shot was heard 'round the world, and Paul Revere could see the whites of their eyes and knew that their taxes were too high.
The complexities of war demanded organization between the states, so they established Articles of Confederation, which in turn created a Continental Congress. This Congress was adequate to see them through the war, but by the late 1780s it became clear that both the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation sucked.
Even way back then Americans didn't want anything to do with anything that sucked (unless it meant a substantial discount, which in this case it did not).
The Continental Congress tried to fix the Articles of Confederation in 1786. The Congress still sucked, of course, and so they failed.
In the spring of 1787 the states sent new delegates to a new convention designed to produce a government that wouldn't be so awful.
On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention voted its approval of a new Constitution, which they immediately ran out to have printed.
The Continental Congress acted with its usual efficiency, and by July 2 of the following year, the Constitution had become the law of the land. The last act of the Continental Congress was to schedule federal elections for their replacements.
Today is Constitution Day in the U.S. Celebrate by refusing to allow soldiers to be billeted in your home.
It's also the 381th anniversary of the founding of Boston, but since that's not divisible by 4 and Ted Kennedy is still dead, it can't possibly be significant.
September 17, 1859 -
The San Francisco Call Bulletin published a notice on an inside page announcing that our old pal Joshua Norton, formerly a prominent businessman, had proclaimed himself Norton I, “Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico.” He annexed the whole of the US and suspended the Constitution. His Majesty remained on the job until his death in 1880.
The successor to Emperor Norton I has yet to be anointed. I am still consulting attorneys about this matter, as we speak.
September 17, 1908 -
Thomas E. Selfridge becomes the world's first airplane fatality when the Wright Flyer, a craft he's co-piloting with Orville Wright for the U.S. Army, crashes near Fort Meyer, Virginia.
An untested propeller ripped apart the plane's structure, causing it to nosedive from an altitude of 75 feet.
Orville walks away unscathed and Wilber never quite trusted his brother again, as he was supposed to fly the plane with his brother. And yet despite the tragic mishap, the War Department awarded the contract for the first military aircraft to Wright.
September 17, 1935 -
Len Koenecke was an outfielder with the Brooklyn Dodgers for most of 1935, but near the end of the season he was released for “behavior and erratic play.” The Dodger left St. Louis by passenger plane, but was ordered off in Detroit because of intoxication. Len chartered a three-seater plane for Buffalo that included both the pilot and the co-pilot.
The ballplayer began to play with the airplane controls, and would not stop when ordered. Koenecke and the pilot’s pal were soon fighting on the floor. Knowing that it was either him or us, the pilot grabbed a fire extinguisher and while still flying the plane he continued to whack on the offender’s head hard enough to knock him out. When the pilot finally landed near Toronto, Koenecke was dead at the age of 31.
So kids, please remain in you seat until the plain comes to a complete stop or may have to kill you.
September 17, 1939 -
The Soviet Union invades Poland, to fulfill its end of the secret protocols contained in the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. They partition the country along pre-decided lines.
As you well know the last laugh will be on the Russian, when Hitler turns on them.
September 17, 1965 -
CBS TV premiered Hogan's Heroes, the first and perhaps only sitcom based in a German prisoner-of-war camp on this date.
The Stalag 13 outdoor set was located at the NW corner of the Forty Acres backlot in Culver City, CA. After the series cancellation, the set was used as Medical Camp 9 in the Nazi sexploitation thriller Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS. The location was previously used for the Tara plantation façade in the epic classic Gone with the Wind.
Betcha didn't know that WWII was hilarious.
September 17, 1978 -
The Camp David Peace Accords, a set of agreements between Egypt and Israel was signed on this date. The agreements were the culmination of years of negotiations for peace in the Middle East. Acting as a peace broker, President Jimmy Carter convinced Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to reach a compromise in their disputes.
Unfortunately, only yesterday Essam Sharaf, Egypt's current prime minister triggered angry consternation in Israel after declaring that the historic Camp David accords underpinning peace between the two countries were "not a sacred thing".
And so it goes