It's Manhattanhenge time again. It was great foresight on the part of our beloved city forefathers to lay out the city in such a way that this happens every year just around my birthday.
July 12, 1960 -
In 1955, a French electrician named André Cassagnes got an idea for a new toy after seeing how an electrostatic charge could hold aluminum powder to glass. He worked up a prototype for the toy—based on the design of a television screen—in his basement workshop and called it L’Ecran Magique, or the magic screen.
The first Etch-A-Sketch went on sale on this date.
July 12, 1984 -
Madonna's Like a Virgin video premiered on MTV on this date and became an instant hit.
Not sure what to make of it but Madonna broke down on stage last week while singing this song. Did she suddenly just realize that she'll still having to sing this song 28 years later?
Today in History:
July 12, 100 BCE -
Julius Caesar was born on this date. He is famous for fighting the Garlic Wars and dying of the unkindest cut. His death so shocked the people of Rome that they buried him instead of praising him, although this may have been because he was a Proud Man.
Interesting to note that in between, fighting across most of Europe, Julie baby was quoted as saying, "It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life."
July 12, 1843-
Mormon numero uno Joseph Smith discloses a divine revelation instructing his followers to take multiple wives, in what the LDS Church calls "plural marriage" but everyone else calls polygamy.
The Mormons are ultimately forced to disclaim the practice in September 1890.
July 12, 1908 -
Milton Berle was an Emmy-winning American comedian who was born Milton Berlinger, on this date. As the manic host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater (1948-1955), he was the first major star of television. He became known as Uncle Miltie to millions during TV's golden age.
That's all well and good but the real reason you want to know about Uncle Miltie is his prodigious member.
Now try getting that out of your mind's eye.
July 12, 1912 -
The first foreign-made film to premiere in America, Queen Elizabeth (Les Amours de la Reine Élisabeth), starring Sarah Bernhardt premiered on this date in NYC.
Rumors that Bernhardt performed in the film uniped are untrue. Bernhardt did lose her leg to gangrene in 1915.
July 12, 1962 -
The Rolling Stones, (so more precisely, the group that became) gave their first concert on this date. The
concert was held in London at the Marquee Club. Yes, that makes the Stones 50 years old.
At the time, the band was called The Rollin' Stones — they got their current name in 1963. One of the most successful groups in history, the band has sold more than 200 million albums and was inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
July 12, 1979 -
Bonanno boss Carmine Galante, the "cigar problem", was whacked at Joe and Mary's Restaurant in Brooklyn. Galante dies with a cigar still in his mouth.
Almost everyone in the New York mob feared the ruthless crime boss, so the killing was sanctioned by the consensus of Paul Castellano, Joe Bonanno and Santo Trafficante.
July 12, 1979 -
It is "Disco Demolition Night" at Chicago's Comiskey Park, where baseball tickets cost only $.98 if the purchaser brings along a disco record for the bonfire.
During the second game of the doubleheader, thousands of vinyl LPs fly onto the field, generating enough chaos that the White Sox are forced to forfeit.
July 12 birthdays include:
Henry David Thoreau (1817)
George Washington Carver (1861)
(God bless you Dr. Carver, for your work on alcohol.)
Oscar Hammerstein II (1895)
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895)
"Curly" Joe DeRita (1909)
Bill Cosby (1937)
Richard Simmons (1948)
Kristi Yamaguchi (1971)
On a personal note: It's another anniversary of my 39th birthday. I very happy that I'm not even remotely young enough to be picked for the Hunger Games.
And so it goes.
Before I let you go:
There are 166 days until Christmas.
There are 162 days until End of Days (according to the Mayans.)