Monday, January 30, 2012

Here's your treat for the day

Find some time today and watch one of this year's five animated short films -

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

It's National Inane Answering Message Day. Observed on January 30th every year, this holiday encourages you on this day to bring an end to all of the mindless and endlessly long answering machine messages that annoy and waste the time of callers.

Or, you could leave a long, drawn out, insane message on your machine this day. The choice is up to you.

January 30, 1931 -
Charlie Chaplin's City Lights (A Comedy Romance in Pantomime) premiered at Los Angeles Theater on this date. The episodic film includes a complete musical soundtrack and various sound effects - but no speech or dialogue.

Chaplin faced extreme pressure to make the film as a talkie, but such was his popularity and power in Hollywood that he was able to complete and release the film as a silent at a time when the rest of the American motion picture industry had converted to sound.

January 30, 1969 -
At a free concert at their Apple corporate headquarters in London, The Beatles made their last-ever public appearance as a group on this date.

Their performance of Get Back was filmed for the movie Let It Be.

Today in History:
January 30, 1649 -
If history teaches us anything, it's that sometimes, it not good to be the king.

King Charles I of England, was beheaded for treason at Banqueting House on this date. It is reputed that he wore two shirts as to prevent the cold January weather causing any noticeable shivers that the crowd could have been mistaken for fear or weakness. He put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signaled the executioner when he was ready; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke.

It was common practice for the head of a traitor to be held up and exhibited to the crowd with the words Behold the head of a traitor!; although Charles' head was exhibited, the words were not used.

January 30, 1835 -
Andrew Jackson is the subject of the first recorded assassination attempt on a U.S. president. Jackson was crossing the Capitol Rotunda following the funeral of a Congressman when Richard Lawrence approached Jackson and fired two pistols, which both miraculously misfired. Jackson proceeded to beat the living daylights out of Lawrence with his cane, prompting his aides to restrain him.

As a result, Jackson's statue in the Capitol Rotunda is placed in front of the doorway in which the attempt occurred. Lawrence was later found to be mentally ill, having accused Jackson of preventing him from becoming King of England.

January 30, 1889
Kids, your history teachers lied to you once again - World War I really started on this date.

The bodies of Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, syphilitic, depressive, whore mongering heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, and his air headed 17 year old mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera, were discovered in the Imperial hunting lodge at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods on this date.

The Prince had either a.) shot himself after killing his mistress, b.) been killed by his mistress in a suicide pact or c.) been a victim of a political assisination. Their death and the resulting cover-up left Rudolf's cousin, The Archduck Ferdinand heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

And you see where that got Europe.

January 30, 1948 -
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent - Gandhi

Sometimes, it's not good to be the world's greatest advocate of non violence.

Mohandas K. Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse on his way to morning prayers on this date.

January 30, 1968 -
The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Communist forces launched a surprise offensive on the lunar New Year Tet holiday truce that became known as the Tet Offensive on this date.

Although the Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major setback for the US and its allies and shocked the complacent American television viewer who had been led to believe the war was won.

Faced with an unhappy American public and depressing news from his military leaders, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to end the escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

January 30, 1976 -
George H.W. Bush became the 11th director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a position which he held until 1977.

And you still wonder how Dubya won.

And so it goes.

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