Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Psst, don't mention the whole Goebbels thing.

My youngest daughter is fascinated by the Olympic Torch Relay.  She is intrigued by the concept of carrying a flame across a long distance.

We've been tracking it on and off for the past several weeks.  I left out of the discussions the whole Nazis part of the modern torch ceremony.  I'm a bad parent.

This could be the best commercial of the year, so far -

I want this expanded to a 90 minute movies

It used to be St. Christopher's Day on this date. St. Christopher once was the patron saint of bachelors, travelers, transportation workers, protector against sudden death and toothaches

Don't forget, James Dean forgot to wear his St. Christopher medal on the morning of September 30, 1955 and he had his unfortunate incident with a Spyder.

July 25, 1980 -
The very silly movie, Caddyshack, premiered on this date (watch it - you'll laugh in spite of yourself.)

The movie was inspired by writer and co-star Brian Doyle-Murray's memories working as a caddy at a golf club. His brother Bill Murray and director Harold Ramis also worked as caddies when they were teenagers.

Today in History:
July 25, 1689 -
King Louis XIV of France declared war on Britain for having joined the League of Augsburg and the Netherlands in order to oppose the French invasion of the Rhenish Palatinate.

This caused the Battle of Schenectady in New York. (Really.)  Please feel free to drop that at your next cocktail party.

July 25, 1848 -
British statesman Arthur James Lord Balfour was born on this date. In 1917, as Foreign Secretary of the British Government, Lord Balfour declared that "His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

This came to be known as the Balfour Declaration, acknowledged by scholars throughout the world as the beginning of the Middle East Peace Process.

July 25, 1865 -
Dr. James Barry, British military medical officer and senior inspector general, died on this date.

As the good doctor was being laid out, a charwoman, Sophia Bishop noticed that Barry was a ‘perfect female’. She satisfied her curiosity and also noticed what appeared to be stretch marks on Barry’s stomach indicating the doctor had once been pregnant. It was soon revealed that Dr. Barry was likely a female, born Margaret Ann Bulkley.

July 25, 1909 -
French aviator Louis Blériot became the first person to fly across the English Channel when his aircraft (a 28hp wooden monoplane tied together with piano strings) landed in Dover, on this date.

The 36-year-old took off at 5.00am from an airstrip near Calais and landed 43 minutes later. Blériot had followed his course by looking at ships below, having no compass in the airplane. Blériot claimed his prize of 1000 pounds, offered by the newspaper Daily Mail for this feat.

July 25, 1917 -
Margaret Zelle, also known as Mata Hari, was found guilty of spying and was sentenced to death, on this date.

There is no actual evidence that she is a spy, although she may have slept with half of the German army (and the French had a thing about that.)

July 25, 1936 -
After NYC's 'Master Builder' Robert Moses had millions of yards of brown and white sand shipped from the Rockaways, Northport and Sandy Hook to Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach, the Bronx Rivera, was opened to the public on this date.

At one time, this was the largest Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) project in New York City and the beach had one of the largest parking fields in the city.

July 25, 1943 -
Benito Mussolini attempted to resign as Head Rat Bastard of Italy on this date. He did not receive a gold watch. His 401(K) was in tatters (and had yet to mature.)

He was therefore machine-gunned to death, suspended upside down, and urinated on by the people of Italy on April 28, 1945, as a civic reminder of the severe penalty for early withdrawl of principle.

Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century is a Merrie Melodies cartoon created in 1952 and released on July 25, 1953, starring Daffy Duck as space hero Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as his assistant, and Marvin the Martian as his opponent.

Marvin the Martian had been introduced as a villain then named Commander X2 in Haredevil Hare (1948) playing opposite Bugs Bunny, but this cartoon was the first of many appearances of Duck Dodgers.

July 25, 1990 -
Ah, America, land of opportunity.

At a baseball game, actress Rosanne Arnold warbled the Star Spangled Banner, grabbed her crotch and endeared herself to an entire nation.

July 25, 1999 -
Woodstock '99 festival ended on this date with looting and rioting, leaving 12 trailers burned, towers toppled, and several women attacked during the course of the show.

About 500 state troopers were needed to quell the mass uprising of peace and love, apparently triggered by overpriced vendors and commercialization.

July 25, 2000 -
A right tire explosion on the Concorde causes the plane to crash after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, leaving 113 dead.

It is the first crash in Concorde's history, and the only supersonic commercial flight to ever crash.

And so it goes.

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