Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hey, I think the Olympics end tonight?

And you know what that means -

only four more years until Rugby becomes an official Olympic sport again in 2016.

 August 12, 1927 -
The only silent film to win an Oscar for best picture, Wings, opened in NYC on this date.

With the thousands of extras battling on the ground, dozens of airplanes flying around in the sky and hundreds of explosions going off everywhere, the only two injuries on the entire picture were incurred.

August 12, 1939 -
The Bugs Bunny everyone knows takes another step forward when Hare-um Scare-um premiered on this date.

Bugs cross dresses for the first time in this cartoon when he dresses up as a female dog to distract the hunter's dog.

August 12, 1939 -
Considered one of the highlights of the Golden Age of Hollywood, The Wizard of Oz premiered on this date in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

When the film proved popular with audiences, MGM considered re-uniting the original cast for a sequel. Plans never got past the development stage, however, when Judy Garland became a major star, Margaret Hamilton expressed hesitation at reprising her role, feeling that the character of the Wicked Witch was already too scary for children, and the extreme budget overruns and production delays making the original film deterred the studio from moving forward. Since it's release, it is possibly the most-watched film ever made.

August 12, 1941 -
MGM premiered their version of Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring Spencer Tracy, in NYC on this date.

The film was a notorious critical and commercial failure when released. Spencer Tracy later said it was by far the least favorite of the films he had starred in, and that his performance was "awful". The New York Times famously described it as "not so much evil incarnate as ham rampant ... more ludicrous than dreadful."

Today in History:
August 12, 30 BC (Given how the Romans were keeping track of time at this point and were drinking a huge amount of wine from lead cups - this date is fluid at best.)-

O eastern star!

Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, former wife of Julius Caesar and mistress of Marc Anthony, committed suicide by means of the unusual practice of nursing a venomous snakebite.

August 12, 1676 -
Wampanoag chieftain Metacom (or Philip) was killed in a swamp near Mount Hope, PA on this date. Thus ends King Philip's War, the first war between Indians and European settlers.

Unfortunately, the Indians (or Native American, for the PC of you in the crowd) have been on the losing side, for the most part, ever since.

August 12, 1813 -
Austria declared war against Napoleon on this date.

An outraged England rushed to France's defense by declaring war against Austria exactly 101 years later when England official entered World War I on August 12, 1914.

August 12, 1869 -
In San Francisco on this date, Emperor Norton I issues a stern edict outlawing both the Republican and Democratic political parties.

Violators face a prison term of five-to-ten years. Oh, for that wise man today!

Not familiar with Norton I ? Read the amazing tale of Emperor Joshua Norton here.

August 12, 1898 -
The Spanish-American war ended on this date. Spain released Cuba and gave Puerto Rico to the United States. Americans rushed to Puerto Rico in gleeful droves, only to discover that everyone spoke Spanish and there were no luaus or volcanoes.

Their disappointment was profound.

They took Hawaii as a consolation prize (Hawaii was formally annexed by the U.S. - officially stolen) later that same day.

August 12, 1948 -
Russian schoolteacher Oksana Kosenkina was injured when she jumps out the window of the Soviet Consulate in New York City on this date.

Soviet officials claim they had rescued her from "White Russian" kidnappers, but Kosenkina says she was trying to escape from the Soviets. The US later expels the consul general and the Soviets closed their consulate.

August 12, 1953 -
In Siberia, the Soviet Union successfully tests its first thermonuclear device, based on Andrei Sakharov's fission-fusion "Layer Cake" design: alternating layers of uranium and hydrogen fuel sandwiched together and wrapped around a conventional Atomic Bomb. The fission explosion compresses the hydrogen, causing a fusion reaction.

Hopefully this is no longer a state secret or boy am I in deep trouble.

And so it goes.

And on a personal note:
I'd like to wish my mom a very Happy Birthday only if she could tear herself away long enough from the Baccarat gaming tables of Atlantic City.

No comments: