Friday, October 28, 2011

The huddled masses in Zuccotti Park are yearning to keep warm

October 28, 1947 -
An overlooked yet still powerful film-noir, Nightmare Alley, was released on this date.

Tyrone Power gives a memorable performance. Audiences, unfortunately weren't able to deal with him cast against type and he never had such a dramatically heavy role again.

October, 28, 1957 -
Federico Fellini's Le Notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria) opened in the US on this date.

During the editing of this film, editor Leo Cattozzo developed the CIR self-perforating adhesive tape splicer (also known as "Costruzione Incollatrici Rapide", "the Cattozzo", Guillotine-, CIRO- or ARRI Splicer) which made him rich in the 1960s and for which he won an Academy Award in 1989.

Today in History:
October 28, 4004 BC -
God creates Adam and Eve five days after the rest of the universe,

according to Biblical calculations by Archbishop James Ussher. And you never write, you never call them.

October 28, 1858 -
Macy's Department Store in New York City, on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue, opened on this date

On the company's first day of business, the sales totaled $11.06. Betcha didn't know that Macy's was the first store to bring Santa inside to greet children (in 1862). Previously he stood ouside to draw crowds. Macy's also inaugurates elaborate holiday windows that year.

October 28, 1886 -
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated at Liberty Island, New York, by President Grover Cleveland. The statue weighs 225 tons and is 152 feet tall. It was originally known as Liberty Enlightening the World. Lady Liberty, as she came to be called, quickly become a symbol of America, partly because she was such a striking visual symbol of our national reverence for liberty, partly because of the five-dollar hot dogs and ten-dollar plastic replicas sold at her feet.

The statue's inscription was written by poet Emma Lazarus, and attributes the following exhortation to Lady Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

(Cynics like to point out that construction of the golden door was never completed.)

Exactly thirty-three years later, in 1919, Congress passed a law prohibiting alcohol.

With alcohol outlawed, only outlaws had drinks and the atmosphere fosters Mafia encroachment into legitimate businesses. Strangely, the lesson here has yet to be learned. Fortunately there were an awful lot of them and they overturned the law as soon as they were sober enough to vote.

October 28, 1922 -
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini seizes power in Italy, with the assistance of the Catholic Church. Pope Pius XI declared Mussolini is a man sent by divine providence.

In return for this endorsement, the silly dictator signs the Lateran treaty, restoring papal sovereignty over the Vatican.

But at least the trains ran on time.

October 28, 1948 -
The Nobel committee announces that Swiss chemist Paul Mueller has won the 1948 chemistry prize.

He discovered the unusual insecticidal properties of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2- bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane. Thanks to Mueller, the world embraces the phenomenal bug-killer... until somebody discovers that the hydrocarbon, popularly known as DDT, also excels at causing cancer.


October 28, 1955 -
William Henry Gates III is born in Seattle on this date.

With the economic downturn, Bill's coupon clipping has only helped him maintain the number two position on Forbes' world billionaire list. I believe he is still well esconced in the 1%.

October 28, 1963 -
A New York DJ, Murray Kaufman, played a song from a little known British group on this date.

It is believed that Murray the K's playing of "She Loves You" by The Beatles was the first time a Beatles song was played on an American radio station.

October 28, 1965 -
Pope Paul VI issued a decree, Nostra Aetate, which among other things, absolved Jews of collective guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

As I said, when first informed of this decree in seventh grade religion class, "Gee, that was awfully big of him."

My moral decline can be charted from that date.

And on a personal note:
Happy Birthday Olivia

And so it goes

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