Friday, August 10, 2012

When I have my own talk show

 I want the Byzantones to be the house band,

they could play in the foyer when my guest walk in the door of my apartment.

It's the Feast of San Lorenzo.  St. Lawrence was said to have been martyred on an iron outdoor stove on this date in 258 AD. During his torture, Lawrence cried out "I' m already done on this side and it is time to turn me over."

 He is, of course, the patron saint of comedians and chefs.

Interesting aside: the Perseid Meteor Shower has been known for years as the Tears of Saint Lawrence because they usually occur every year in mid-August, on or near Saint Lawrence's feast day. This year the event peaks the morning of August 12 around 1 a.m.

August 10, 1950 -
Billy Wilder's caustic, black-hearted masterpiece, Sunset Boulevard premiered in New York City, on this date.

The role of Norma Desmond was initially offered to Mae West (who rejected the part because she felt she was too young to play a silent film star), Mary Pickford (rejected it because she was afraid it would destroy her wholesome image), and Pola Negri (who, like Mae West, turned it down) before being accepted by Gloria Swanson.

August 10, 1960 -
The Rat Pack's summer vacation home movie, Ocean's Eleven, premiered on this date.

Most filming was accomplished early in the morning, before sunrise, since most of the actors also had shows in Las Vegas that they performed nightly during the shooting. The actors would wake up in the afternoon, do one or two shows in the evening, then go through make-up and arrive at the shooting locations for principal photography. Each shooting location was fully set up in advance so that minimal time would be wasted once the actors arrived.

August 10, 1962 -
While not the worst film ever made - it is the sickest. The Brain That Wouldn't Die, premiered on this date. (Watch it now.)

The film was shot in 13 days. Original plans were for last reel to be in color, with the doctor's head being cut off. Scenes were filmed with rats menacing the head. 

August 10, 1968 -
The Doors topped the charts with Hello, I Love You on this date. 

It was the first Doors song that was successful in Europe. Jim Morrison wrote the song in 1965 after seeing a beautiful woman walking on the beach.  He thought up the song and wrote it that night.  There is a vague rumor on the internet that the Kinks successfully sued the Doors for copyright infringement over their song All Day and All of the Night.

As far as I can actually tell, while discussions concerning a possible lawsuit occured, nothing came of them.

Today in History:
August 10, 1628 -
The 228-foot Swedish warship Vasa, built by Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus to assist in his war with Poland, capsized and sank in Stockholm harbor on her maiden voyage because the ballast was insufficient to counterweight the 64 guns and ballast. Vasa was the most expensive and richly ornamented warship of its time in Sweden. Twenty-five men and women drowned when the ship sank.

The ship remains submerged until it is raised in 1961 to become a tourist attraction.

If you think I'm going to make a joke about the Polish Navy here, the joke's on you.

August 10, 1921 -
Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello, New Brunswick on this date. Mrs. Roosevelt acted as her partially paralyzed husband’s eyes and ears by traveling, observing and reporting her observations to him.

As First Lady, an author and newspaper columnist and, later, a delegate to the United Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt labored tirelessly for the poor and disadvantaged. In the words of historian John Kenneth Galbraith, she showed "more than any other person of her time, that an American could truly be a world citizen."

August 10, 1966 -
Last words of James French, sent to the Electric Chair by the state of Oklahoma: "How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? FRENCH FRIES."

There is nothing quite like a dying man who gives good copy.

August 10, 1969 -
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca are brutally murdered in their Los Feliz, California home by followers of Charles Manson.

They took some of their victims' blood and smeared HELTER SKELTER on the refrigerator door.

August 10, 1977 -
Postal employee and avid dog listener David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, N.Y., accused of being the "Son of Sam" gunman responsible for six random slayings and seven woundings. Berkowitz is serving six consecutive terms of 25 years to life in state prison.

So much for the rantings of the neighbor's dog.

August 10, 1996 -
Heated by the sun, power lines begin to sag in Oregon. Somehow this triggers a series of failures which cascades throughout the Western states. Four million people lose electrical service in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Texas.

It was probably the worst power outage in US history.

And so it goes.

No comments: