Friday, October 14, 2011

Be Bald and Free Day

Let your freak flag fly - show off your chrome dome

Veritably and I show ours off every day, why don't you?

October 14, 1953 -
Possibly the ultimate film noir, Fritz Lang's The Big Heat opens in NYC on this date.

Columbia wanted to borrow Marilyn Monroe from 20th Century Fox to play the role of Debby Marsh, but Fox's asking price was too high. Gloria Grahame was cast instead.

October 14, 1972 -
The TV-series Kung Fu, starring David Carridine, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

The only reason this show went off the air was because star David Carradine quit the series. He had sustained so many injuries, he felt he could not go on. The show got high ratings all three seasons it aired.

Today in History:
October 14, 1651 -
Massachusetts passed laws prohibiting the poor from dressing excessively, on this date.

It was felt that persons of limited means should save their money and learn to get by with simple vinaigrettes.

October 14, 1893-
Lillian Diana Gish, was born on this date. Although she was the archetypal silent film heroine, she was a star of movies, television, radio, and the stage for nearly all of the 20th century. She closed her career in the 1987 film The Whales of August.

In summing up her career, Gish said “In the theater, I played with the best actors and tried never to get caught acting. I was never interested in money. … I just wanted films I’d be proud of because I felt they were permanent and I didn’t want to apologize for any of them.”

October 14, 1912 -
Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning for a return to office, was shot in Milwaukee by a saloonkeeper named John Schrank.

What saves Teddy was the bullet lodged in Roosevelt's chest only after hitting both his steel eyeglass case and a copy of his speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt declined suggestions that he go to the hospital, and delivered his scheduled speech.

He spoke vigorously for ninety minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, "I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose." Afterwards, doctors determined that he was not seriously wounded and that it would be more dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet than to leave it in his chest. Roosevelt carried it with him until he died.

Schrenk was captured and uttered the now famous words "any man looking for a third term ought to be shot."

Teddy Roosevelt, one of the original Avengers.

October 14, 1917 -
The German spy Mata Hari, a Dutchwoman named Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, was executed by the French on this date. There wasn't much actual evidence of espionage, but she had been seen naked with German officers and the French considered this distasteful enough to kill her.

(I think I've killed her off on various dates this year. Sorry about that Margaretha.)

October 14, 1944 -
Field Marshal Rommel (James Mason) of Germany was visited by two of Hitler's personal staff on this date in history.

They informed him that he was suspected of involvement in the July 20th plot to assassinate the Fuhrer and that he would therefore be required either to (a) stand trial and die, or (b) just die. They brought some poison along to facilitate his decision.

Hitler always liked him.

October 14, 1947 -
American pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in a rocket-powered airplane, on this date. Yeager insisted it was already broken and consequently refused to repair it despite repeated admonitions by his mother.

It remains broken to this day. (The sound barrier should not be confused with the Long Island Sound barrier, sometimes referred to as the Throg's Neck Bridge.)

October 14, 1959 -
Omni-sexual actor and Nazi sympathizer Errol Flynn, dubbed "the most despicable human being yet born" (and that was by a friend), died of a heart attack in Vancouver. Flynn reported didn't have a sexual preference, he merely slept with anything with an orifice including (but not limited to) Truman Capote, Howard Hughes, as well as countless Hollywood starlets.

Presumably, not at the same time.

And so it goes

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