March 19, 1921 -
The German silent film classic, Das Kabinett Des Docktor Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - wait a minute, I know that title from somewhere), starring Werner Kraus and Conrad Veidt premiered in the US on this date.
Producer Erich Pommer wanted to have Fritz Lang as the film's director. Lang was interested, but then decided to work on another film. Director Robert Wiene added the opening and closing scenes to Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer original script in order to make the film more commercially viable. Fritz Lang claims to have suggested the introductory scene when first presented with the script.
March 19, 1947 -
Another Bob Hope film (at the peak of his career), My Favorite Brunette, opened in Los Angeles on this date.
Bob Hope wanted Bing Crosby's cameo as Harry so much that he paid him $5,000 to appear. The sum was later donated to a charity.
March 19, 1958 -
The film based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical, South Pacific, was released on this date.
The love scenes between characters Joe Cable and Liat were considered shocking by the still conservative standards of the late 1950s.
March 19, 1962 -
Luis Buñuels sacrilegious masterpiece, Viridiana, opened in the US on this date.
Initially banned in Spain and completely denounced by the Vatican - a ringing endorsement if there ever was one.
Today in History -
It's the Feast of St. Joseph, stepdad to Jesus.
Remember to go out and have the very delicious Sicilian pastry that bears his name. It's so good, it brings you that much closer to God.
Also, if you live in Capistrano,
remember the swallows are coming back today, eat you pastries indoors.
March 19, 1943 -
Francesco Raffaele Nitto, better known as, Frank 'The Enforcer' Nitti, one of the top henchmen of Alphonse "Big Al" "Scarface" Capone and later the front man for the mob Capone created, the Chicago Outfit, was having a very bad day. Many top members of the Chicago Outfit were indicted for extortion. The Outfit was accused of trying to strong arm some of the largest Hollywood movie studios. The studios had cooperated with The Outfit to avoid union trouble stirred up by the mob.
The day before his scheduled grand jury appearance, Nitti shared breakfast with his wife in their Riverside, Illinois home at 712 Selborne Road. As his wife was leaving for church, Nitti told her he planned to take a walk. After his wife left, Nitti began to drink heavily. He then loaded a .32 caliber revolver, put it in his coat pocket, and walked five blocks to a local railroad yard. Two railroad workers (William F. Sebauer and Lowell M. Barnett) spotted Nitti walking on the track of an oncoming train and shouted a warning. They thought the train hit him, but Nitti had managed to jump out of the way in time. Then two shots rang out.
The trainmen first thought Nitti was shooting at them, but then realized he was trying to shoot himself in the head. The two bullets went through his hat. Nitti finally sat on the ground against a fence and, with the railroad workers watching from a distance, shot himself in the head on this date.
March 19, 1945 -
The Third Reich's World Tour is drawing to an abrupt close. And the band members are understandably depressed. The ever wacky and truly evil bastard Adolf Hitler orders all military and industrial facilities within the Third Reich destroyed.
Albert Speer, gave himself a birthday present today (avoiding the noose at the Nuremberg trials) and does everything he can to stop this from happening, in direct defiance of Hitler. Speer knew he had some precedent, Hitler also had decreed that Paris should be left a smoking ruin the previous summer, but Dietrich von Choltitz thought better of his Fuhrer's order.
March 19, 1957 -
Elvis Presley was touring and has a vision. Before he immediately act upon it, St. Elvis wolfed down seven fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and agreed to purchase the 14 acre Graceland estate from Ruth Moore for $100,000 on this date.
It is now his cemetery. Or is it?
March 19, 1982 -
The guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, died during the Diary of a Madman tour after the plane he is flying in buzzes the band's tour bus and clips the wing of the plane, crashing into a nearby farmhouse.
Kids, once again, repeat after me, drugs are bad.
March 19, 1987 -
Televangelist Jim Bakker resigns his PTL ministry after it is revealed he was delivering a little too much spiritual healing to former church secretary and future Playboy playmate Jessica Hahn.
Some $265,000 in ministry funds had been used to keep Hahn quiet about a one-time sexual encounter in 1980.
March 19, 2005 -
John Zachary DeLorean former American engineer and executive in the U.S. automobile industry, and drug dealer died on this date.
He quit GM in 1973 to launch the DeLorean Motor Car Co. in Northern Ireland. Eight years later, the DeLorean DMC-12 hit the streets. 8,900 cars were built.
And so it goes.