The third Thursday in November has been designated as The Great American Smoke Out.
Quitting smoking is very difficult. Try to help yourself by celebrating the release of Beaujolais Noveau this afternoon. Or, if you're also trying to quit drinking, remember it's National Baklava Day (the dessert not the hat.)
Keep passing the open windows
Today is Living with Uncertainty Day
November 17, 1942 -
Martin Scorsese, Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, producer, actor, film historian and asthmatic was born on this date.
Go watch a movie (even his new movie) in his honor. He won't mind.
November 17, 1933 -
Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honour, which is probably more than she ever did.
The unbelievable box office flop (at the time), Duck Soup, opened on this date.
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini banned the film from Italy because he thought it was a direct attack on him. When news of this reached The Marx Brothers, they were reportedly ecstatic.
(This film marks the last appearance of Zeppo Marx in a Marx Brothers film.)
November 17, 1951 -
There's going to be a sneak preview, and the sneaks ain't gonna like it.
Another in the series of Daffy and Porky buddy flicks, Drip-Along Daffy, opened on this date.
Today in History:
November 17, 1558 -
Elizabeth I of England ascended to the throne, on this date.
She is best known for her imperfect application of the cosmetic sciences, a flaw that is strikingly evident in all her portraits but that courtiers were apparently reluctant to address the issue.
November 17, 1796 -
Empress Catherine the Great dies of a stroke while sitting on the commode and not while astride her steed (or something like that) on this date.
So dammit, stop making those jokes.
November 17, 1869 -
The Suez Canal was opened in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and the Red seas. The 100 mile canal eliminated a 4000-mile trip around Africa.
Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, together with Ferdinand de Lesseps, chief architect of the canal, led the first file of ships from on board the French imperial yacht Aigle.
November 17, 1903 -
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's stubbornness split his Russian Social Democratic Labor Party into two factions: the slim majority who sided with him, and the vast minority who opposed him, on this date.
The Russian terms for majority and minority are Bolshevik and Menshevik, respectively, and so these factions took their names. Later the Mensheviks became the majority party, meaning that the Mensheviks had become Bolsheviks and the Bolsheviks Mensheviks.
This was confusing. If you asked someone what they were and they said "Bolshevik," you'd have no way of knowing whether they meant Bolshevik (Menshevik) or Menshevik (Bolshevik.) This state of affairs quickly became intolerable. All sorts of remedies were suggested placards, ID bracelets, hats, tattoos but it was impossible to arrive at a consensus until Lenin clarified matters by having all the Mensheviks shot.
It was easy after that.
November 17, 1917 -
The world famous 77 year old French Sculptor Auguste Rodin froze to death in an unheated attic in Meudon, France. He had applied to the government for quarters as warm as those wherein his statues were stored, but the government turned him down.
His case was so desperate that he asked to be permitted to have a room in the museum the Hotel Biron, formerly his own studio. The official in charge of the museum refused. Other officials and friends promised coal but never sent it, though his situation at Meudon, ill, and freezing to death, was apparently well known to all of them.
November 17, 1941-
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph C. Grew cables the US State Department that he has heard that Japan has 'planned, in the event of trouble with the United States, to attempt a surprise mass attack at Pearl Harbor.' His warning is ignored by the Office of Naval Intelligence.
His diplomatic relations with Japan were cordial until the late 1930s, when Japanese expansionism became openly aggressive toward Asian neighbors like China. The US increased economic pressures on Japan until, in late 1939, Grew had been predicting that the situation will soon come to a head. He told Roosevelt in October 1939 that 'if we start sanctions against Japan we must see them through to the end, and the end may conceivably be war.'
November 17, 1968 -
NBC preempts the final 1:05 from a very close Jets-Raiders NFL football game with Heidi. Two touchdowns were scored during this missing time.
Sports fans everywhere applaud and understand the network's decision.
November 17, 1973 -
People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook.
Thus spoke Richard M. Nixon on this date.
37 more shopping days until Christmas, 32 more shopping days until Hanukkah. (Black Friday is just 8 days away.)
And so it goes