Tuesday, August 21, 2012

While landing, please remain seated

We've caught up with time, so we are going to return Mr. Peabody's wayback machine

Please try not to make too much noise, Sherman is still sleeping.

August 21, 1906 (or 1905?) -
Happy Birthday Friz

Isadore 'Friz' Freleng, one of the original tennants of Warner Bros. Termite Terrace, was born on this date.

August 21, 1912 -
Arthur R. Eldred was the first person to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest in the Boy Scouts of America.

Eldred later helped to save another Scout from drowning and was awarded the Bronze Honor Medal for his actions. (I wonder if he would have turned in his badge.)

Today's quiz:
What did Vicenzo Perruggia steal on August 21, 1911?

a. The Shroud of Turin
b. Home plate
c. The Mona Lisa
d. The Sistine Chapel
e. The Hope Diamond

Bonus: what was his day job?

August 21, 1938 -
Fats Waller recorded one of his most famous hits, Ain’t Misbehavin', on this date. (The song was originally written in 1929.)

A few years earlier, Waller had attended a party given by George Gershwin, where he delighted the crowd with his piano playing and singing. An executive of Victor Records, who was at the party was so impressed that he arranged for Fats to record with the company.

August 21, 1962 -
It's hard to imagine that Ferris is 50!

Matthew Broderick, actor and Native New Yorker was born on this date.

Today in History:
August 21, 1614 -
Erzsebet Bathory, ruler of Transylvania, died at 54, on this date. She had sought immortality by killing young virgins and bathing in their blood. It apparently didn't work.

I wonder if Elizabeth Arden is still offering this service and where are they finding enough virgins.

August 21, 1911 -
Pablo Picasso was having a very bad day.

His so called friend, French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who had once called for the Louvre to be "burnt down," came under suspicion when the Mona Lisa was stolen from on Lourve on this day; he was arrested and put in jail. Apollinaire, as all bad French dadaist poets would do, ratted out his friend Pablo Picasso, who was also brought in for questioning, but both were later exonerated.

Very nice guy.

At the time, the painting was believed to be lost forever, and it would be two years before the real thief was discovered. Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia stole it by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet and walking out with it hidden under his coat after the museum had closed. Peruggia was an Italian patriot who believed da Vinci's painting should be returned to Italy for display in an Italian museum.

Peruggia may have also been motivated by a friend who sold copies of the painting, which would skyrocket in value after the theft of the original. After having kept the painting in his apartment for two years, Peruggia grew impatient and was finally caught when he attempted to sell it to the directors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence; it was exhibited all over Italy and returned to the Louvre in 1913. Peruggia was hailed for his patriotism in Italy and only served a few months in jail for the crime.

August 21, 1952 -
The classic John Ford film, The Quiet Man was released on this date.

This was a significant departure for Republic Pictures, which specialized in low-budget westerns, comedies and war pictures. It was the company's first and only film to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

August 21, 1986 -
1,700 people are killed in Cameroon when Lake Nyos emits a huge cloud of fast-moving fog, quickly enveloping the villages of Nyos, Kam, Cha, and Subum.

The lethal mist, consisting mainly of carbon dioxide and water vapor, displaces the oxygen in the low-lying zones, killing thousands of cattle and even more birds and wild animals. One eyewitness later describes the landscape as being "littered with human remains and animal carcasses."

That would have ruined a vacation.

And so it goes.

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