Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Are you a Mod or a Rocker?

May 2, 1936 -
Walt Disney released another animated-cartoon, Mickey's Revue, on this date.

Goofy (then known as Dippy Dawg) makes his debut in this cartoon.

May 2, 1936 -
Sergei Prokofiev was commissioned by The Central Children's Theatre of Moscow to create a symphonic tale for children. Peter and Wolf had its world premiere in Moscow on this date.

Prokofiev felt, in his own words, the work had an inauspicious opening at best: "...[attendance] was poor and failed to attract much attention."

If you listen very carefully you'd hear the duck quacking inside the wolf's belly, because the wolf in his hurry had swallowed her alive.

May 2, 1946 -
James M. Cain's excellent crime thriller, The Postman Always Rings Twice, opened on this date.

Notice the fact that although Lana Turner's character is inherently evil, she's wearing white throughout the film.

May 2, 1979 -
The film Quadrophenia, based on The Who's album and featuring Sting, premiered in London on this date

The Who appear not just on the edition of Ready, Steady, Go! that Jimmy watches and an album sleeve at the house party, but also a portrait of Pete Townshend is on the boy's bedroom wall.

Today in History:
On May 2, 1729, Catherine the Great was born. More than any Russian head of state before her, she embraced a closer union with Europe.

And please people, let's stop it with all this talk about the horses - she died of a stroke while sitting on the toilet.

Let's give the woman some dignity.

May 2 1863 -
At the Battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson is accidentally shot three times by his own men. Jackson's left arm is amputated and Jackson died of complications of pneumonia on May 10, 1863. In his delirium, his dying words were, "Let us cross over the river and rest in the shade of the trees." His body was moved to the Governor's Mansion in Richmond for the public to mourn, and he was then moved to be buried in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia. However, the arm that was amputated on May 2 was buried separately by Jackson's chaplain, at the J. Horace Lacy house, "Ellwood", in the Wilderness of Spotsylvania County, near the field hospital.

Upon hearing of Jackson's death, Robert E. Lee mourned the loss of both a friend and a trusted commander. The night Lee learned of Jackson's death, he told his cook, "William, I have lost my right arm" (deliberately in contrast to Jackson's left arm) and "I'm bleeding at the heart."

Baron Manfred von Richtofen was also born on May 2, but in 1892. The World War I flying ace, better known to students of military history as the Red Baron, shot down over 80 enemy aircraft in World War I, sending dozens of handsome young men to fiery, terrible deaths and thereby earning himself a place in the Peanuts comic strip.

(Which hardly excuses Snoopy's reprehensible bloodlust. But then again, we all know that Snoopy was a sociopath with a multiple personality disorder.)

May 2 1946 -
Six prisoners attempt to escape the federal prison on Alcatraz island. They take over their cellblock but fail to gain access to the outside. One guard held hostage is executed by prisoners, and another dies in the attempt to retake the cellblock.

The Battle of Alcatraz ends only after the deaths of three prisoners, and two others are subsequently executed at San Quentin.

I bet there was a lot of after-riot prison sex that night.

May 2 1957 -
Senator Joseph McCarthy dies of hepatitis, brought about by unabated alcoholism. Two and a half years prior he had been censured by the Senate for his "inexcusable" and "reprehensible" conduct during his highly-publicized Communist witch-hunt.

McCarthy eventually discovered that it was far more effective to have private industry oppress its workforce, rather than the government oppress its citizenry.

May 2 1957 -
Mob figure Frank Costello was shot in the head by Vincent "the Chin" Gigante on this date. Instead of killing him, the bullet circumnavigates between his skin and cranium, exiting through the original wound.

Costello retires from the Mafia soon thereafter.

The Mafia was practicing using 'magic' bullets.

May 2, 1972 -
World famous paranoid old drag queen and longtime G-man dies in his sleep at the age of 77 on this date.

Most of Washington insiders breathe a huge sigh of relief.

It's my friend Sharon's birthday today. And there is no truth to the rumor that she held the cab door open for Mr. Costello moments before his unfortunate encounter with The Chin.

And so it goes

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