Today is the first day of summer, also known as the Summer Solstice. It's the longest day of the year (and the shortest night).
The actual moment of the solstice will occur at about 7:09 p.m. this evening, while the sun sits directly above the Pacific Ocean to the west of Hawaii. Don't complain about the heat today, remember that it's the beginning of Winter in Australia. (The naked run is optional - please.)
June 20, 1942 -
It's Brian Wilson's birthday today.
At this point, Brian may outlive us all.
June 20, 1946 -
Rex Harrison's first American movie, Anna and the King Of Siam, with Irene Dunne, opened in theaters on this date.
While most of the Caucasian actors playing Asians in this film wore dark make-up, Gale Sondergaard was allergic to the make-up being used. Instead, through several weeks of cautious sunbathing, she acquired a deep enough tan to compensate.
June 20, 1974 -
Forget about it Jake. It's Chinatown
The unforgettable film noir classic, Chinatown, was released on this date.
The scene where Roman Polanski slits Jack Nicholson's nose was extremely complex to film, and the two men involved got so tired of explaining how it was done (by using a specially-constructed knife with a short hinge that would be safe as long as it was handled VERY carefully) that they began to claim Nicholson's nose was actually cut.
June 20, 1975 -
Steven Spielberg's thriller, Jaws, premiered on this date. Beach vacations were never the same again.
During pre-production, director Steven Spielberg, accompanied by friends Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and John Milius, visited the effects shop where "Bruce" the shark was being constructed. Lucas stuck his head in the shark's mouth to see how it worked and, as a joke, Milius and Spielberg sneaked to the controls and made the jaw clamp shut on Lucas' head. Unfortunately, and rather prophetically, considering the later technical difficulties the production would suffer, the shark malfunctioned, and Lucas got stuck in the mouth of the shark. When Spielberg and Milius were finally able to free him, the three men ran out of the workshop, afraid they'd done major damage to the creature.
Today in History:
June 20, 1793 -
Eli Whitney applied for a patent on his Cotton Gin on this date. More affordable than gin distilled from grain alcohol and juniper berries, Cotton Gin quickly became the drink of choice among America's rural poor.
This led to widespread outbreaks of Cotton Mouth and eventually caused the Civil War.
June 20, 1756 -
In Calcutta, 146 British prisoners are placed in a 18 foot by 14 foot cell known as The Black Hole by a Bengali, Siraj-ud-daula, and held there until the following morning.
Of those imprisoned, only 23 survive. Even with the economic downturn, an apartment that size would sell for $300,000.00 in Manhattan.
June 20, 1782 -
Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States on this date.
Although several people on the committee were Masons, the Masonic institutions themselves deny that the Seal is Masonic; therefore, any resemblance is purely coincidental.
June 20, 1791-
King Louis XVI and his family attempted their escape from Paris to the royalist citadel of Montedy on this date.
They were captured at Varennes-en-Argonne when they were recognized. It didn't go too well for them after this.
June 20, 1893 -
Lizzie Borden is found innocent of giving her stepmother and father 40 and 41 whacks, respectively.
Once O.J. finds the real killers of his wife while in prison, he promised to get cracking on this case as well.
June 20, 1947 -
Bugsy Siegel (Warren Beatty) is shot to death at Virginia Hill's (Annette Bennings) mansion, on orders purportedly from Meyer Lansky.
The drive-by shooting never was solved and remains an open case.
And so it goes.