October 22, 1942 -
The biggest box office hit of Bette Davis' career, Now, Voyager opened in NYC on this date.
The film is remembered for the scene in which Paul Henreid places two cigarettes in his mouth, lights them, and then passes one to Bette Davis, but it wasn't an original idea - a similar exchange occurred ten years earlier between Davis and George Brent in The Rich Are Always with Us. Paul Henreid couldn't go anywhere without being accosted by women begging him to light cigarettes for them.
October 22, 1949 -
The second film in director John Ford's Cavalry Trilogy, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, premiered on this date.
The exterior shots of Capt. Brittles' quarters and the building where Major Mac Allshard, Commanding Officer Fort Starke has his HQ are still standing and in Monument Valley itself near to the town of Kanab. The HQ building is now a museum and both are open to the public.
October 22, 1971 -
Peter Bogdanovich's break out film, The Last Picture Show opened on this date.
Cybill Shepherd was cast with the option of backing out of her nude scenes if she so desired. She only agreed to do them after asking the opinions of three female costars - Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn and Eileen Brennan - who all thought she should do them.
Today in History:
October 22, 1797 -
Once upon a time in the eighteenth century, a man named J.P. Blanchard threw a dog wearing a rudimentary parachute out of a hot-air balloon. History does not divulge the outcome of this experiment. Mr. Blanchard may simply have been a disgruntled cat person.
There lived at that time a swindler by the name of Andre-Jacques Garnerin, who traveled around France offering (for a fee from his spectators) to ascend into the sky in a hot-air balloon and leap to the earth in a parachute. Strangely enough, his balloon never managed to get off the ground. Refunds were never offered.
One day an angry spectator brought Garnerin's con to the attention of the local authorities, who promptly arrested him. He was given a choice: he could either get his balloon to fly and make the promised jump or he could go directly to jail.
And so, one early evening 214 years ago today, Garnerin's balloon rose 3000 feet into the evening air above Paris.
Then it exploded.
Fortunately, Garnerin was already in his parachute and survived the landing. The suddenly successful showman didn't die his inevitable horrible aviation-related death for a full quarter-century.
It was on this day in 1836 that Sam Houston was sworn in as the first president of the Republic of Texas. Texas had become an independent nation after winning its independence from Mexico, and would not be incorporated into the United States as a state until 1845. There are some who insist to this day that Texas was never properly admitted into the Union because, like everything else, its admission had been Unconstitutional. (There are also people who question where in the Constitution the separation of church and state appears.)
Readers interested in the very curious question of Texan sovereignty are reminded that Presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry brought up the whole secession question two years ago - which may lead you to wonder about his candidacy or not.
(Readers interested in the curious question of the whole church/ state issue can read (gasp at) deep thinker/ unfortunately named Presidential candidate Rick Santorum opinions.)
October 22, 1844 -
The Second Coming fails to occur for the Seventh Day Adventists, led by Bible scientist William Miller. The Millerites were expecting the End Times to accompany the appearance of Jesus Christ, so that didn't happen either.
Oops, I guess Mr. Miller has some explaining to do. (No reasonable explanation was forthcoming from Mr Camping either yesterday.)
The Gare Montparnasse, one of the six large terminus train stations of Paris, became famous for a derailment on October 22, 1895 of the Granville-Paris Express that overran the buffer stop. The engine careened across almost 100 ft off the station concourse, crashed through a two foot thick wall, shot across a terrace and sailed out of the station, plummeting onto the Place de Rennes more than 3o feet below, where it stood on its nose.
All on board the train survived, five sustaining injuries: two passengers, the fireman and two crew members; however, one woman on the street below was killed by falling masonry. The accident was caused by a faulty Westinghouse brake and the engine drivers who were trying to make up for lost time. The conductor incurred a 25 franc penalty and the engine driver a 50 franc penalty; he was also sent to prison for two months.
Do you think the passengers got their money back?
October 22, 1907 -
President Theodore Roosevelt visited The Hermitage, the Nashville, Tenn., home of the late President Andrew Jackson on this date.
Years later, Maxwell House claimed that Roosevelt had praised a cup of its coffee during this visit by saying it was "good to the last drop."
October 22, 1934 -
Here's another story of your tax dollars at work.
FBI agents, led by the ambitious Melvin Purvis and local Ohio authorities captured and killed Public enemy No. 1, Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd, in a shoot out on this day. Or so the official story goes. But as many of you loyal readers know the 'authorized' version and actual facts of events can differ wildly.
Chester Smith, a retired East Liverpool Police Captain, the sharpshooter who claimed that he shot Floyd first, stated in a 1979 interview, that after he had (deliberately) wounded, but not killed, Floyd.
"I knew Purvis couldn't hit him, so I dropped him with two shots from my .32 Winchester rifle."
Smith claims that he then disarmed Floyd, and that Melvin Purvis, the agent in charge, ran up and ordered: "Back away from that man. I want to talk to him." Purvis questioned him briefly and then ordered him shot at point-blank range, telling agent Herman Hollis to "Fire into him." The interviewer asked if there was a coverup by the FBI, and Smith responded: "Sure was, because they didn't want it to get out that he'd been killed that way."
This account is extremely controversial. If true, Purvis effectively executed Floyd without benefit of judge or jury.
Floyd's body was quickly embalmed and shipped to Oklahoma. His funeral was attended by between twenty and forty thousand people. It remains the largest funeral in Oklahoma history.
October 22, 1965-
The Beatles record the song Nowhere Man for their influential album Rubber Soul on this date.
It was probably their first song that did not deal with romance or love.
And so it goes