October 25, 1971 -
The TV show The Electric Company premiered on this date.
The title "The Electric Company" was a play on the original working title "The Eclectic Company" as the originators of the show planned on using a wide variety of characters, skits, and techniques to teach reading. The name change to "The Electric Company" and the corresponding theme song was creatively designed to show how literacy "empowers" an individual by enabling them to read and understand knowledge.
October 25, 1982 -
Bob Newhart's second successful-sitcom Newhart, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.
Early episodes of the show were videotaped, later episodes were filmed.
It's Saints Crispin and Crispinian's Day
They are the patron saints of cobblers, tanners and leather workers. So remember, if you see a Leather Daddy and his 'boy', all decked out in leather gear, staggering their way home this morning, wish them a Happy St. Crispin's Day!
October 25, 1957 -
One of Frank Sinatra's best movie performances, Pal Joey was released on this date.
After Columbia producer Harry Cohn saw the success of Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth in Cover Girl, he promised this film to them. (Kelly had his big break by creating the role of Joey Evans on Broadway.) Sadly, the story took another 15 years to reach the screen and by that time, Rita Hayworth was offered the role of the rich older woman keeping Frank Sinatra as her boy toy. In real life, Hayworth was only in her late thirties when she made this film and was three years younger than Sinatra.
October 25, 1957 -
Another classic 50's Drive-in movie, The Amazing Colossal Man, opened in NYC on this date.
While the 50 foot Woman had only nice this to say officially about Colonel Manning, confidentially he appears not to have been too colossal.
October 25, 1965 -
Jean-Luc Godard's take on Sci-Fi Film Noir, Alphaville, opened in NYC on this date.
Keep an eye out for the fact that the film is set in the future, but all the weapons are conventional firearms.
Today in History -
It's 1415, as it has been often said, times were hard - the only way to tell who the king was in England was looking for the person with the least amount of crap on him. The wastrel son of a usurping King led a ragtag army into another sovereign nation on this date.
After giving a stirring speech, the outnumbered army beats the far superior and well fortified army and wins the decisive Battle of Agincourt on this day. More than one hundred years later, either Wm. Shakespeare or a bunch of other people wrote a slew of Henry plays
It's 1854, this time. The British want to maintain their naval superiority of the globe and continue to enjoy the thrill of sodomy on the open seas. The Russian Tsar (or Czar, as most monarchs are to busy to get a proper education, so they could barely figure out what type of monarch they are) decided that the Russian naval needed to get into a little of those high seas hijicks, began moving his army towards Turkey, hoping for a Russian port in the black sea. Thus, buggery is one of the underlying causes of The Crimean War.
It typical British fashion, On the morning of October 25, 1854, the English were winning the Battle of Balaclava (not Baklava, the delicious Greek pastry wars, to be described at a future date, but the goofy hat war with the ear flaps) when Lord Cardigan (yes, of sweater fame) received his order to attack the Russians fortifications.
Unfortunately for the Light Brigade, the Russian army was also on the other side of the valley that they were charging towards. The brigade was decimated by the heavy Russian guns, suffering 40 percent casualties.
It was later revealed that the order was the result of Alfred Lord Tennyson needing a new hit poem and not intentional.
October 25, 1881 -
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, the Spanish-born doodler and noted womanizer (considered the most influential artist of the 20th century) was born on this date.
I wonder if his pictures are still worth anything?
October 25, 1920 -
On a fine October day in 1920, King Alexander of Greece (cousin of my favorite Greek itinerant sailor - Philip) was walking in the gardens of the royal palace in Athens. The young monarch was walking with his favorite dog when they were attacked by a pair of wild monkeys( once again, I can't make this stuff up.) Alexander attempted to drive the monkeys away from his dog but was bit during the scuffle.
The incident proved fatal for both parties. King Alexander suffered an infection and died from sepsis on this date and the monkey was destroyed when the Greek people sought revenge for the regicide. His father, the former King Constantine I (Philip's uncle) was called back into service to be king until his disastrous actions in the Greco-Turkish War.
Winston Churchill said, 'It is perhaps no exaggerration to remark that a quarter of a million people died from this monkey bite.' Once again, sometimes it stinks to be the king .
October 25, 1931 -
This story is truly not for the faint of heart.
Elena Hoyos, a pretty and vivacious 21 year old Cuban-American girl died from tuberculosis in Florida on this date. While this is sad, it wouldn't be noteworthy other than for her middle aged neighbor with a strange infatuation with Elena. Carl Tanzler (also known as Carl von Cosel), German-born radiologist became obsessed with his young neighbor. Not only did Mr. Tanzler attempted to treat and cure Hoyos with a variety of medicines, as well as x-ray and electrical equipment, that were brought to the Hoyos' home but Tanzler showered Hoyos with gifts of jewelry and clothing, and allegedly professed his love to her.
In April, 1933, Tanzler removed Hoyos' body from the mausoleum, carted it through the cemetery after dark on a toy wagon, and transported it to his home. Carl, with a little help from some home embalming, lived with Hoyos' corpse until October, 1940, when Elena's sister Florinda heard rumors of Tanzler (now known as Von Cosel) sleeping with the disinterred body of her sister, and confronted Tanzler at his home, where Hoyos' body was eventually discovered. Von Cosel was not charged with a crime because the statute of limitations on grave robbing had expired. Elena Hoyos was eventually buried at a secret location. Von Cosel, separated from his love, used a death mask to create a life-sized dummy of her, and lived with it until his death in 1952. (This story is even more disturbing then you think.)
All of love's in vain
October 25, 1938 -
The Archbishop of Dubuque, the Most Reverend Francis J.L. Beckman, denounces the newfangled Swing music
-- the latest craze -- as nothing more than "a degenerated musical system... turned loose to gnaw away the moral fiber of young people" on this date.
Its cannibalistic rhythms are said to lead one down the "primrose path to Hell."
October 25, 1955 -
Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese girl who lived near Hiroshima, Japan. She was only two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. As she grew up, Sadako was a strong, courageous and athletic girl. In 1954, at age eleven, she became dizzy and fell to the ground. Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia, the "atom bomb disease".
While in the hospital, a friend gave her a golden paper crane and retold the story about the paper cranes (one who folded 1,000 cranes was granted a wish.) She may or may not have completed her goal in August of 1955, reports vary, and continued to fold cranes.
During her time in the hospital her condition progressively worsened. Around mid-October her left leg became swollen and turned purple. After her family urged her to eat something, Sadako requested tea on rice and remarked "It's good." Those were her last words. With her family around her, Sadako died on the morning of October 25, 1955 at the age of 12.
October 25, 1957 -
In chair number four of the barber shop at the Park Sheraton hotel in Manhattan, Mafia don Albert Anastasia, the Lord High Executioner of Murder Inc., was shot five times by the Gallo Brothers, under orders from Carlo Gambino.
The barber shop is now a Starbucks.
October 25, 1983 -
In order to maintain an uninterrupted supply of nutmeg to satisfy global demand, the United States of America invades the Caribbean island of Grenada.
The invasion is rationalized as a rescue mission for the American medical students at the local school. A good friend of mine was at the school at the time and was widely quoted in the media.
October 25, 1991 -
On the way back from a Huey Lewis concert, rock promoter Bill Graham was killed when his helicopter hits high-voltage power lines in Vallejo, California.
So, he died because he had to listen to Hip To Be Square.
And so it goes