December 16, 1938 -
MGM released its film version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, on this date.
Lionel Barrymore was originally set to play Scrooge, but had to back out due to illness. Barrymore instead suggested his friend Reginald Owen take over the role.
December 16, 1965 -
One of the classic cold war thrillers, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, starring Richard Burton, premiered in the US on this date.
When Richard Burton became attached to this film, he had already become an international star. He was able to insist that some of his old friends from his days working in the theatre were also cast in the film. This is how Claire Bloom, who was 34 at the time, was cast as the teenage, Nan Perry.
December 16, 1971 -
Don McLean's eight-minute-plus version of American Pie was released and became one of the longest songs to ever hit the pop charts.
If you prefer the clip with Don singing in it, here you go.
Kids, use the song as the Cliff notes for what happened during the 60's (do they still print cliff notes?)
Another early Christmas treat - That film that TBS plays all day long on Christmas
For anyone keeping count, Ralphie says he wants the Red Ryder BB Gun 28 times throughout the course of the movie. Mythbusters tested whether it was possible to get your tongue truly stuck on a piece of cold metal. Guess what? It is. So don’t triple dog dare your best friend to try it.
Today in History:
December 16, 1773 -
The Boston Tea Party took place 238 years ago today.
A group of young colonists, dressed as Native Americans, stormed a few British ships in Boston Harbor and tossed their tea cargo overboard in protest of the British insistence that Americans ride their horses on the left-hand side of the street. While this is often remembered as a defining historical moment in the development of our proud nation, it should not be forgotten that Boston Harbor was for a long time one of our most polluted waterways.
I equally deplores the ecologically disastrous precedent set by these hotheaded young good-for-nothings, and their demeaning depiction of native Americans as savage, tea-hating polluters. Also please do not confuse the Tea Party with Tea Bagging - two very different things although men wearing short skirts figure prominently in both of them.
December 16, 1950 -
President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight with communist North Korea in the Korean War.
With all the business going on in the world in the intervening 60 years, the order is still in effect, one of four current states of national emergency granting extraordinary powers to the President.
What the hell were we thinking?
December 16, 1977 -
Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta, went into general release on this date.
Oh John, it’s been a long strange trip since that polyester shirt.
When Tony's dad hit him in the back of the head the third time during dinner, his retort of "Just watch the hair!" and then his complaint about being hit on the hair after he had worked on it for so long was John Travolta's own reaction and not scripted, but since it was so in character for Tony Manero to say, it was left in.
Norman Wexler's screenplay was adapted from the "non-fiction" magazine article written by Nik Cohn. Years later, Cohn admitted that the story, supposedly a fact-based account detailing the lives of Brooklyn teenagers in the early days of the disco craze, was a complete fabrication.
December 16, 1985 -
What were you doing 26 years ago - I left work, cut through a parking garage in the middle of the block and walked passed the limos in front of the steak house on the next block.
John Gotti was looking to improve his position with IBM (the Gambino crime syndicate.) He had his boss Paul Castellano ventilated outside Spark's Steak House in Manhattan.
John and Paul are long gone but I still have an office in the same location.
4 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 9 more shopping days until Christmas.
And so it goes.
One last thing -
What if Calvin's Snowmen scenes came to life -