Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Boston

It's also the 382th anniversary of the founding of Boston, but since that's not divisible by 4 and Ted Kennedy is still dead, it can't possibly be significant.

Hey kids, today is the first full day of Rosh Hashanah, L'shanah tovah tikateyvu v'tichatemu to you all.

hope you got those good high holy day tickets from a reputable agent and not a scalper. And let's all say the joke together - I keep writing 5772 in my check book

September 17, 1949 -
Red Hot Riding Hood, the last of Tex Avery's variations on Little Rural Riding Hood, premiered on this date.

The character of Red Hot Riding Hood closely resembled one of the top pin-up girls at the time, Betty Grable. She is considered an amalgamation of the then popular Hollywood stars. Her singing voice in this particular short was reminiscent of Lena Horne's, while her speaking voice emulated that of Katharine Hepburn.

September 17, 1956 -
Vincente Minnelli's brilliant bio-pix, Lust for Life, opened in NYC on this date.

Parts of the film were shot in Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh lived and died. Kirk Douglas had his hair cut specially in the style of the artist and had it dyed to a similar reddish tint. This was enough to make some of the older inhabitants of the town believe that Van Gogh had returned.

September 17, 1961 -
William Faulkner's favorite TV show, Car 54 Where are You?, premiered on NBC TV, on this date.

For location shots, the patrol cars used were painted red so as not to confuse the people on the street.

September 17, 1964 -
Dick York started out as Durwood, I mean, Darrin as Bewitched premieres on ABC TV on this date.

(sorry about the colorized version)
Elizabeth Montgomery played the roles of Samantha Stephens and her more free-spirited cousin Serena. However in the cast listing, the role of Serena was listed as being played by Pandora Spocks. Many viewers didn't realize this, and wrote "Pandora" fan mail.

September 17, 1965 -
CBS TV premiered Hogan's Heroes, the first and perhaps only sitcom based in a German prisoner-of-war camp on this date.

Although the show was a hit in syndication in Germany, certain liberties had to be taken. It's illegal to say "Heil Hitler" in Germany today (and is considered bad taste), so when the German soldiers gave the party salute, the characters said, "How high is your corn?" The absurdity of it all was especially funny to German viewers. Also, anytime the show alluded to actual bombing and killing, the dialog there was modified as well. For instance, when the Americans destroyed a munitions factory, the German version made it a toilet paper factory. And when Sgt. Schulz reported the Allies having bombed Hamburg, it was revised to the Royal Air Force dropping planeloads of candy as a "propaganda maneuver".

Betcha didn't know that WWII was hilarious.

September 17, 1967 -
The first mission from the IMF team from Mission Impossible premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

Nearly every non-lead actor or actress that worked on Star Trek also appears in "Mission:Impossible". This is probably due to both shows filming at the Desilu Studios. Lead Star Trek performers, also guest appearing, include George Takei, William Shatner and eventual series regular Leonard Nimoy.

September 17, 1972 -
M*A*S*H, premiered on NBC TV on this date.

While most of the characters from the movie carried over to the series, only three actors appeared in both: Gary Burghoff (Radar O'Reilly) and G. Wood (General Hammond) reprized their movie roles in the series (though Wood appeared in only three episodes). Timothy Brown (credited as "Tim Brown") played "Cpl. Judson" in the movie and Spearchucker Jones in series.

Today in History:
 September 17, 1778 -
The United States signed its first treaty with a Native American tribe, the Delaware Nation.

Within a year the Delaware Indians were expressing grievances about the treaty. A delegation of Delawares visited Philadelphia in 1779 to explain their dissatisfaction to the Continental Congress, but nothing changed and peace between the United States and the Delaware Indians collapsed.  (The day should be called Lies the White Man told us day.)

On July 4, 1776, the American colonies told Britain to kiss their hairy American asses. This began the Revolutionary War, during which the Redcoats were coming, a shot was heard 'round the world' and Paul Revere could see the whites of their eyes and knew that their taxes were too high.

The complexities of war demanded organization between the states, so they established Articles of Confederation, which in turn created a Continental Congress. This Congress was adequate to see them through the war, but by the late 1780s it became clear that both the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation sucked.

Even way back then Americans didn't want anything to do with anything that sucked (unless it meant a substantial discount, which in this case it did not).

The Continental Congress tried to fix the Articles of Confederation in 1786. The Congress still sucked, of course, and so they failed.

In the spring of 1787 the states sent new delegates to a new convention designed to produce a government that wouldn't be so awful.

On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention voted its approval of a new Constitution, which they immediately ran out to have printed.

The Continental Congress acted with its usual efficiency, and by July 2 of the following year, the Constitution had become the law of the land. The last act of the Continental Congress was to schedule federal elections for their replacements.

Today is Constitution Day in the U.S. Celebrate by refusing to allow soldiers to be billeted in your home.

September 17, 1859 -
The San Francisco Call Bulletin published a notice on an inside page announcing that our old pal Joshua Norton, formerly a prominent businessman, had proclaimed himself Norton I, “Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico.” He annexed the whole of the US and suspended the Constitution. His Majesty remained on the job until his death in 1880.

The successor to Emperor Norton I has yet to be anointed. I am still consulting attorneys about this matter, as we speak.

September 17, 1908 -
Thomas E. Selfridge becomes the world's first airplane fatality when the Wright Flyer, a craft he's co-piloting with Orville Wright for the U.S. Army, crashes near Fort Meyer, Virginia.

An untested propeller ripped apart the plane's structure, causing it to nosedive from an altitude of 75 feet.

Orville walks away unscathed and Wilber never quite trusted his brother again, as he was supposed to fly the plane with his brother. And yet despite the tragic mishap, the War Department awarded the contract for the first military aircraft to Wright.

September 17, 1935 -
Len Koenecke was an outfielder with the Brooklyn Dodgers for most of 1935, but near the end of the season he was released for “behavior and erratic play.” The Dodger left St. Louis by passenger plane, but was ordered off in Detroit because of intoxication. Len chartered a three-seater plane for Buffalo that included both the pilot and the co-pilot.

The ballplayer began to play with the airplane controls, and would not stop when ordered. Koenecke and the pilot’s pal were soon fighting on the floor. Knowing that it was either him or us, the pilot grabbed a fire extinguisher and while still flying the plane he continued to whack on the offender’s head hard enough to knock him out. When the pilot finally landed near Toronto, Koenecke was dead at the age of 31.

So kids, please remain in you seat until the plain comes to a complete stop or may have to kill you.

September 17, 1939 -
The Soviet Union invades Poland, to fulfill its end of the secret protocols contained in the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. They partition the country along pre-decided lines.

As you well know the last laugh will be on the Russian, when Hitler turns on them.

September 17, 1978 -
The Camp David Peace Accords, a set of agreements between Egypt and Israel was signed on this date. The agreements were the culmination of years of negotiations for peace in the Middle East. Acting as a peace broker, President Jimmy Carter convinced Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to reach a compromise in their disputes.

Unfortunately, current events in the region lead one to believe there may not be hope for the Accords lasting much longer.

And so it goes

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