... Just get people to stop reading them.
August 22, 1920 -
The late great Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer whose works include The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, was born on this date.
Though considered by many to be the greatest science-fiction writer of the of the 20th century, he suffers from a fear of flying and driving. He has never learned to drive, and did not fly in an airplane until October, 1982.
August 22, 1930 -
W.C. Fields' classic short, The Golf Specialist, premiered on this date.
The picture of Bellweather on the wanted poster shows Fields in costume for his "Fatal Glass of Beer" sketch. It obviously is taken from a stage presentation of the well-tried routine as the comedian would not film it until 1933.
August 22, 1946 -
The last of Alfred Hitchcock's wartime thrillers, Notorious, premiered on this date.
Alfred Hitchcock and Ben Hecht consulted Nobel Prize winner Dr. Robert Millikan on how to make an atomic bomb. He refused to answer, but confirmed that the principal ingredient, uranium, could fit in a wine bottle.
August 22, 1972 -
The movie with which Monty Python introduced its seminal brand of comedy to American audiences, And Now for Something Completely Different, premiered on this date.
Shot between the first and second seasons of Monty Python's Flying Circus, this film contains several sketches that had been written for the second season but not yet performed, including the "Hungarian Phrasebook" sketch.
Today in History:
August 22, 1485 -
At the Battle of Bosworth, England's King Richard III was terminated for having made a fiscally irresponsible bid on a horse.
For evermore, kingdoms went for a great deal more than small pieces of hardware.
August 22, 1770 -
Captain James Cook claimed Australia for the British crown when he landed on a small island off the coast of Queensland.
August 22, 1776 -
George Washington asked the Continental Congress for permission to burn New York City, to stop the city from being used to quarter troops arriving via the British fleet. It is declined, but his soldiers set 1/4th of the town ablaze on September 21.
There are still many in the government that would like to enact Washington's plan right now.
August 22, 1864 -
12 nations sign the first Geneva Convention specifically calling for the protection of the wounded during times of active warfare on this date. This leads directly to formation of the Red Cross.
In 1882, U.S. President Chester Arthur signed the treaty, making the U.S. the 32nd nation to do so.
August 22, 1893 -
Dorothy Parker was born in New York City, to Henry and Eliza Rothschild (... My God, no, dear! We'd never even heard of those Rothschilds ....) on this date.
Her birth was two months premature, allowing her to say that it was the last time she was early for anything; her early writing was a following in the exquisite footsteps of Edna St. Vincent Millay, unhappily in my own horrible sneakers.
While she was a successful writer, she was just plain lousy at committing suicide. Dorothy Parker attempted suicide four times herself before succumbing to a heart attack in 1967.
... The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity...
August 22, 1902 -
President Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. chief executive to ride in an automobile (a purple-lined Columbia Electric Victoria) in Hartford, Ct. on this date. The police detail covering the event rode bicycles.
I'm sure he had a bully time, but the truth is a year earlier William McKinley rode in a car, although it was the electric ambulance that took him to the hospital after he was shot.
August 22, 1942 -
The Battle of Stalingrad began on this date, which many historians think of as the turning point of World War II. Hitler had already conquered all of Europe except for England, Switzerland and Monaco and he began the invasion of Russia in the summer of 1941 with an army of four million men. The Germans reached Stalingrad on this day in 1942 and flew more than 2,000 bombing raids in just the first day of the battle. They hit oil storage tanks that flowed into the river and caught fire and laid siege to the city. It went on for months.
It's been called the most terrible battle the world has ever known, and in the end the Russians won, thanks to the approach of winter. The German troops were not prepared for fighting in below zero weather.
By February of 1943, all the German soldiers had surrendered or been killed, the first defeat of Hitler's army.
August 22, 1973 -
Henry Kissinger, German-born American bureaucrat, succeeded William Rogers as Secretary of State under President Nixon, on this date.
Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year, (he's also considered a war criminal by others.) He continued in office until 1977. (I really don't care about this but it gave me an excuse to play the Python song.)
And so it goes.