Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In case you needed to know

454 U.S. dollar bills weigh exactly one pound (as do 454 $100 dollar bills.)

November 2, 1934 -
Ernst Lubitsch charming adaptation of the famous Viennese operetta The Merry Widow starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald premiered on this date.

MGM spared no expense for this lavish production. The film hired at least 500 extras for the Merry Widow dance number. The 1,000 gas chandeliers on the sets took two hours to turn on.

November 2, 1940 -
Another funny Porky Pig Looney Tunes, The Sour Puss, premiered on this date.

Well now I've seen everything!

November 2, 1942 -
Another Preston Sturges laugh out loud comedy, The Palm Beach Story, opened on this date. (Sturges, himself, had to shove a hankerchief in his mouth to avoid ruining a take by laughing.)

Look for Preston Sturges making a rare Hitchcock-style appearance as the chubby, mustachioed leader of the crew toting Claudette Colbert's luggage, as Joel McCrea and Mary Astor stroll on the pier from Rudy Vallee's yacht.

November 2, 1946 -
Produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures, the partially- animated film, Song of the South, on this date.

As times and tastes change, because of its stereotypical portrayal of blacks, the film is now considered 'politically incorrect' and the film has never been released in its entirety on home video in the USA.

November 2, 1957 -
The often edited for S & P (I definitely should know) Bugs vs. Daffy Looney Tunes cartoon, Show Biz Bunny, premiered on this date.

The exploding xylophone gag is reused from 1951's Ballot Box Bunny, where it was tried on Bugs by Yosemite Sam with a piano, using the same tune and with the same result.

Today in History:
November 2, 1944 -
Thomas Midgley, an American chemist who developed both leaded gaasoline and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), was notoriously known as "the one human responsible for more deaths than any other in history". As if it was nature's idea to get revenge on him he was left disabled in his bed due to lead poisoning and polio at the age of 51.

Keeping his inventive juices flowing, he designed a complicated system of strings and pulleys on his bed so that he could lift himself up when needed. This invention was the cause of his death at the age of 55 when he was accidentally entangled in the ropes of his bed and died of strangulation.

Talk about double irony.

November 2, 1947 -
In California, industrialist, film producer/director, philanthropist, syphilitic bisexual germaphobe Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.

The plane was crafted out of 200 tons of plywood. The war ended before the plane was deployed

November 2, 1948 -
President Truman somehow roused himself from his alcoholic stupor and was re-elected in an upset victory over the presumptive winner, Republican Thomas E. Dewey.

The Chicago Tribune had printed a banner headline 'DEWEY WINS!' prematurely. Truman defeated Dewey by 2.2 million popular votes and 114 electoral votes.

November 2, 1959 -
Game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a House subcommittee that he'd been given questions and answers prior to appearances on Twenty-One, the NBC game show.


November 2, 1963 -
South Vietnamese President Ngo Dihn Diem and his brother were assassinated in a military coup. Coup leader Duong Van Minh explained that "They had to be killed - Pres. Diem was too much respected among simple, gullible people in the countryside."

A 3rd brother was later tricked into surrendering to US forces and was turned over to coup leaders and killed by firing squad.

Once again, American diplomacy at work.

November 2, 1984 -
Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the United States since 1962 for the murder of her mother, her boyfriend and two others with rat poison in their food.

That will learn her.

November 2, 1988 -
The Internet Worm is released by Cornell grad student Robert Morris. His ingenious program was meant to explore the Internet harmlessly, but due to a bug, it crashed some 6,000 computers.

Morris parlays the incident into a career, he is now an associate professor at MIT.

Kids, this is not the way to get ahead.

And so it goes.

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