October 19, 1966 -
The first pairing of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, The Fortune Cookie, premiered on this date.
Billy Wilder came up with the idea for this film when he saw a player run into a cameraman on the sidelines while watching a football game.
Today in History:
October 19, 1879 (I've also seen the date as 10/21/79, 10/22/79, 10/25/79 & 11/03/79 - I'm guessing geniuses can't be bothered when they're filing other people patents under their name every 12 minutes or crushing their competition with false and scurrilous rumors.) - Thomas A. Edison successfully demonstrates the electric light.
Unfortunately, it took several years to straighten out his first electric bill.
October 19, 1890 -
My favorite self-circumcising, Muslim passing, male brothel going, Late-Victorian pornographer and international man of mystery Richard Francis Burton, explorer, British consul, translator, died on this date.
His wife, Lady Burton, spent several years burning most of his unpublished noted before published a (highly sanitized) biography of her late husband.
October 19, 1901 -
Alberto Santos-Dumont successfully circled Eiffel Tower in his Santos-Dumont No. 6 dirigible within a half hour and won a 100,000 franc prize.
An initial ruling said that he failed by 40 seconds because the race wasn’t finished until he touched ground. A 2nd vote granted him the win. This proved the airship maneuverable and parking was very bad in Paris at the turn of the previous century even for dirigibles.
In the midst of the First World War, Salvation Army volunteers in France found themselves stymied by inadequate supplies and ovens for baking. Unable to prepare the cakes and and pies they so badly wanted to bake for the troops, they came up with the novel idea of frying rather than baking the dough.
This resulted in the appearance of the world's first donut on October 19, 1917.
The donut should not be confused with the bagel, despite their physical resemblance. The bagel is boiled and baked, whereas the donut is fried.
Bagels are found in varieties such as onion, garlic, salt, poppy-seed, and sesame-seed, and are frequently consumed with cheese and fish.
Donuts are found in varieties such as glazed, chocolate, chocolate-frosted, strawberry-frosted, powdered, jelly-filled, and sprinkled.
They are rarely consumed with cheese or fish, but they go pretty damn well with coffee (or tea.)
October 19, 1953 -
After Julius La Rosa had finished singing "Manhattan" on Arthur Godfrey Time, the host (and general scum bag) Arthur Godfrey fired him on the air, announcing, "that was Julie's swan song with us."
Unaware the firing was coming (or what the phrase "swan song" meant), La Rosa tearfully met with Godfrey after the broadcast and thanked him for giving him his "break."
October 19, 1982 -
Maverick carmaker John DeLorean is arrested in Los Angeles with $24M worth of cocaine in his suitcase.
The case is later thrown out of court when a judge rules that the FBI sting operation constituted entrapment.
And so it goes