Friday, October 21, 2011

Hopefully, you're still here

If you haven't floated away because of the Rapture, there are 10 days until Halloween, 33 days until Thanksgiving and 64 days until Christmas - so get cracking.

"Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

Carrie Fisher, actress and writer was born on this date. You can't say anything bad or funny about her that she hasn't already said better herself.

October 21, 1937 -
A great screwball comedy, starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, The Awful Truth, premiered on this date.

It was in this film that Irene Dunne first utters the name 'Jerry The Nipper' implying that Grant's character was often fond of a stiff drink or two. The following year in Bringing Up Baby, in the scene when they're all in the 'lock up', Katherine Hepburn says "Haven't you heard of Jerry The Nipper?" To which Grant replies that "She's making it up out of Motion Pictures she's seen".

October 21, 1942 -
The first of three movie musicals in which Judy Garland and Gene Kelly starred in, For Me and My Gal , premiered in New York City on this date.

After initial previews, much of the film's ending was re-shot in order to make Gene Kelly's draft-dodging character Harry Palmer more sympathetic to wartime audiences. The scenes in which Palmer becomes a hero in combat were among those added.

October 21, 1954 -
The episode of Climax!, an anthology series - broadcast live, on this evening was the first time James Bond (Barry Nelson) appeared on-screen in Casino Royale, and more than half a century later Bond is still making movies.

Barry Nelson was the first actor, and only American, to play James Bond in an authorized production, although Richard Conte was the drawing model for the British paperback cover of "Casino Royale" 1955 reprint. Linda Christian played the first ever Bond Girl, Valerie Mathis (combining two book characters, Vesper Lynd and Rene Mathis). Peter Lorre played Le Chiffre, the first ever Bond villain in film.

October 21, 1957 -
The film Jailhouse Rock starring Elvis Presley opened in Memphis, Tennessee on this date.

Elvis Presley purportedly never watched the completed movie because of his co-star, Judy Tyler's tragic accidental death in a car wreck July 4, 1957, three days after filming was completed.

October 21, 1964 -
Possibly the most fully realized movie musical, My Fair Lady premiered at the Criterion Theater in New York, on this date.

Rex Harrison wanted Julie Andrews for the role of Eliza, since they had played together in the Broadway version. He was concerned that Audrey Hepburn, whose mother was a Dutch baroness, would not be able to play a "guttersnipe" effectively. However, after finishing the film, Harrison had the highest regard for Hepburn's performance, and later referred to her as his favorite leading lady of them all.

Today in History:
October 21, 1805 -
The Battle of Trafalgar was a historic sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy - the battle, it self, was the most decisive British victory of the Napoleonic Wars and was a pivotal naval battle of the 19th century.

Admiral Lord Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle, becoming and remaining Britain's greatest naval war hero.

Nelson's body was placed in cask of brandy, mixed with camphor and myrrh, and returned to England for a spectacular funeral. An enduring rumor has evolved that the sailors aboard ship kept taking a sip from Nelson's liquory tomb hence the phrase "Nelson's blood' came into use for rum.

October 21, 1837 -
It's another banner day for the relations between the United States and the Native American tribes. During the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), under a flag of truce during peace talks, U.S. troops under Gen. Thomas S. Jesup violated a truce and captured Indian Seminole Chief Osceola in Florida and sent him and several other leaders to prison, where he later died a year later of malaria.

Osceola's capture by deceit caused a national uproar. General Jesup and the administration were condemned. Makes you proud to be an American.

October 21, 1869 -
The first shipment of fresh oysters came West overland from Baltimore via refrigerated train cars on this date.

Fresh cases of E-coli poisoning, Salmonella and Hepatitis A cases followed soon thereafter.

October 21, 1879 -
Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Alva Edison demonstrated the incandescent electric lamp on this date (or some other date, as previously mentioned.)

That invention was the fruit of study, hard work, and years of persistent experimentation, rendering it entirely inappropriate for discussion here.

More worthy of our attention is Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize, born on this date in 1833.

Mr Nobel is interesting because his fortune was founded in large part on the commercial success of something he invented in 1866: dynamite.

Dynamite proved so lucrative for Mr Nobel that he was able to spend most of the rest of his life blowing things up in the interests of world peace. World peace was not achieved in his lifetime, however, so he endowed a foundation with millions of dollars to give prizes to the men and women of future generations who helped bring the world closer to peace by blowing things up.

October 21, 1973 -
John Paul Getty III's ear was cut off by his kidnappers and sent to a newspaper in Rome; It doesn't arrive until November 8.

So much for the Italians getting the trains to run on time.

October 21, 1992 -
A day after her Erotica album was released, Madonna's erotic-book "Sex" went on sale in the nation's bookstores on this date.

Shirley Booth, 94, Emmy, Oscar and Tony award winning actress accidentally flipped through the book and promptly dropped dead on this date as well.

And so it goes

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