(I was unable to get to a working computer to finish work on today's entry - a stub was inserted until I was able to update.)
September 30, 1938 -
RKO Studios released the eighth Marx Brothers film, Room Service, on this date.
This is the only film The Marx Brothers made with R-K-O. During salary negotiations with R-K-O, Zeppo Marx (who hadn't appeared with his brothers professionally in a while) represented The Marx Brothers, threatening to "rejoin the group if their demands weren't met!"
September 30, 1948 -
Howard Hawks released his iconic western, Red River, starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift on this date.
John Wayne and Walter Brennan did not get along with Montgomery Clift, because of his outspoken political views (and the open secret in Hollywood that he was gay) and they stayed away from the young actor when not filming. Clift later turned down Dean Martin's role in Rio Bravo because he did not want to be reunited with those two actors.
September 30, 1952 -
The motion picture process Cinerama -- which employed three cameras, three projectors and a deeply curved viewing screen -- made its debut with the premiere of This Is Cinerama at the Broadway Theater in New York City on this date.
Cinerama technicians were working on the system right up to the last minute. The was no time for a trial run. It wasn't until the actual premiere in front of an audience that the entire presentation of this film, from start to finish, took place.
Today in History:
September 30, 1452 -
It's the anniversary of the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in Mainz, Germany on this date. It was the first book ever printed with movable type. What made Gutenberg's invention revolutionary was not that it allowed you to print letters on paper, but that you could print an infinite number of different pages from a small number of letter blocks simply by rearranging them.
The first section of the Bible came out on this day. He printed 180 copies on expensive Italian paper. It was designed to be used for public reading in the dining halls of monasteries. But within three decades there were print shops all over Europe, and Gutenberg's invention launched a revolution in education.
Today about four dozen copies of the Gutenberg Bible survive. One of the most recent copies to come on the market was auctioned in New York in 1987 and sold for more than $5 million.
September 30, 1630 -
Pilgrim John Billington, who arrived on the Mayflower, was hanged at Plymouth for killing John Newcomen with a musket on this date.
Billington was the first Englishman executed in New England.
September 30, 1927 -
Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run of the season, on this day.
(Mark McGwire was born on October 1, 1963, however, so this no longer matters to some. Although, the Bambino was only hopped up on booze.)
September 30, 1938 -
The Germans occupied the Sudetenland in late summer of 1938. This enraged the British and the English, who both feared for the loss of the Sudetenland's celebrated pea crops.
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet Hitler at Bertesgaden to discuss the situation, on this date.
Hitler assured him that there would be plenty of peas to go around, and Chamberlain returned to England with the famous proclamation of Peas in Our Time. World War II was therefore avoided and did not break out until some time later.
September 30, 1955 -
Teen idol James Dean was killed in a car accident that probably could have been avoided if he had had his car inspected and tuned up regularly, obeyed all posted highway signs, and driven only when alert and sober
(Remember kids, if you are going to drink til you drop, drop where you drink), on this date.
September 30, 1960 -
The first prime-time animated series aimed at adults, The Flintstones, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.
The four main characters (Fred and Wilma Flintstone and Barney and Betty Rubble) were based on the four main characters from The Honeymooners. Jackie Gleason came close to suing Hanna Barbera over The Flintstones' resemblance to The Honeymooners until friends pointed out to him that it might be bad for his image if he became known as 'the man who killed Fred Flintstone'.
September 30, 1982 -
Cheers, the comedy television series that ran eleven seasons from 1982 to 1993, premiered on this date.
The series was originally to have been set in Barstow, California, and Sam Malone was to originally to have been a retired football player. When Ted Danson was hired for the role, his character was rewritten to be a retired baseball player for the Boston Red Sox to match Danson's body type. (If you have a chance, check out a great article in GQ - an oral history of Cheers on it's 30th anniversary.)
And so it goes.