Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yes, that line forms on the right, babe

August 30, 1959 -
Bobby Darin's jazzy interpretation of Mack The Knife began its 26-week stay on the pop-singles charts.

This won Record Of The Year at the 2nd Grammy Awards in 1959. This was the first time the Grammys were televised, and back then the ceremonies took place in November or December instead of February, so when Darin performed this song on the November 30th show and took the award, the song was still at #1 in America. Darin also won for Best New Artist at the ceremonies.

August 30, 1967 -
John Boorman's crime drama thriller, Point Blank, premiered on this date.

This was the first major picture to film on location at Alcatraz Island after the closure of the federal prison in 1963.

August 30, 1968 -
Apple Records released its first single, Hey Jude by The Beatles on this date.

This was the first song released on Apple Records, The record label owned by The Beatles. It was recorded at the Trident Studios, London, on July 31 and August 1, 1968 with a 36 piece orchestra. Orchestra members clapped and sang on the fadeout. They earned double their normal rate for their efforts.

Today in History:
On August 30, in the year 30 BC, Egypt's Queen Cleopatra VI clutched a snake to her breast and died. History has judged this a suicide, but there is room for doubt: she had previously clutched Julius Caesar and Marc Antony to her breast without dying, and may have therefore considered herself immunized.

Dilligent readers will realize that this is the second time in recent months that I have mentioned the death of Cleopatra - the dates came from different sources. (Folks, as I mentioned in the past, the Romans, excellent at empire building and aqueduct making (except for the whole lining the aqueduct with lead), not so great at accurate note taking.  Oh, they can remember that it's dies Iovis, so the orgy is at Marc Antony's villa, remember to bring the olive oil. But remember when the queen of the Egypt killed herself, it's always ... was it in Sextilis or Augustus?)

August 30, 1780 -
General "Eggs" Benedict Arnold secretly promised to surrender the West Point fort to the British army during the American Revolution. The measure of Arnold's treachery was made worse by the fact that he was considered by many to be the best general and most accomplished leader in the Continental Army.

In fact, without Arnold's earlier contributions to the American cause, the American Revolution might well have been lost; notwithstanding, his name, like those of several other prominent traitors throughout history, has become a byword for treason and a brunch staple.

August 30, 1859 -
At the University of Göttingen, PhD candidate Albert Niemann isolates the alkaloid C17H21NO4 from leaves of the plant Erythroxylum coca.

Niemann names his white, powdery discovery cocaine and observes firsthand its peculiarly strong anesthetic effect: "it benumbs the nerves of the tongue, depriving it of feeling and taste."

Oh, that's what cocaine does. Now I know.

August 30, 1918 -
Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin should have been having a great day. Six weeks earlier, Lenin had the previous tenant of Kremlin, Tsar Nicholas II, permanently taken off the lease. After speaking at a factory in Moscow, Lenin was shot twice by Fanya Kaplan, a member of the Social Revolutionary party. Lenin narrowly survived an assassination attempt, but was severely wounded.

As Lenin was a 'godless' communist, he did not turn the other cheek. The assassination attempt set off a wave of reprisals by the Bolsheviks against the Social Revolutionaries and other political opponents. Thousands were executed as Russia fell deeper into civil war.

August 30, 1930 -
Warren Edward Buffett often called the "Sage of Omaha", "Oracle of Omaha", or "Omaha Steak", American investor, businessperson and philanthropist is born on this date. Buffett has amassed an enormous fortune from astute investments managed through the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, of which he is the largest shareholder and CEO.

With an estimated current net worth of around $44 billion, he was ranked by Forbes as the third-richest person in the world as of March 2012, behind Bill Gates and Mexican businessman Carlos Slim HelĂș.

I, on the other hand, did not make a blip on the list.

August 30, 1993 -
The Late Show with David Letterman premiered on this date, on CBS-TV.

Bill Murray was his first guest and Billy Joel was the first musical guest.

And so it goes.

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