Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The World changed on this day

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. Each team of hijackers included a trained pilot. The hijackers crashed two of the airliners into the World Trade Center in New York City, resulting in the collapse of both buildings soon afterward.

A third airliner was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Passengers and members of the flight crew on the fourth aircraft attempted to retake control of their plane from the hijackers; that plane crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In addition to the 19 hijackers, 2,973 people died; another 24 are missing and presumed dead.

As always, your friends at ACME remind you to hug your friends and family, call or write an old friend you haven't spoken to in awhile, say, "hello" to your neighbors or at least, say "Good Morning" to a stranger on the street.

September 11, 1932 -
MGM released the Edmund Goulding classic Grand Hotel, starring  Greta Garbo, John Barrymore and Joan Crawford, on this date.

Originally conceived by MGM production chief as one of the first All-Star vehicles. Conventional wisdom of the time was that you put no more than one or two of your biggest stars in a picture so as to lower production cost and to maximize profits. Grand Hotel featured 5 of MGM's top tiered stars and was one of the highest grossing pictures in studio history.

September 11, 1967 -
The Carol Burnett Show premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

In recent years, Carol Burnett has revealed that the idea for her starting off each show with a question-and-answer session with the studio audience came from the series' first executive producer, Bob Banner, based on Garry Moore's doing audience warm-ups himself (as opposed to a professional warm-up artist or stand-in) prior to the taping of each edition of The Garry Moore Show, which Banner had also produced.

Today in History:
September 11, 1792 -
During a week-long looting of the crown jewels in September of 1792, The French Blue Diamond, was stolen in Paris on this date. The 45.5-carat Hope diamond is thought to have been cut from the famous French Blue diamond that disappeared after this robbery.

The French Blue never resurfaced, but the Hope Diamond, which is likely one-half of the French Blue, did. It is now displayed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

September 11, 1789 -
Alexander Hamilton became the first US Secretary of the Treasury on this date.

President George Washington initially appointed Robert Morris, a senator and Superintendent of Finance, but he refused the appointment.

September 11, 1903 -
The world's oldest automobile race track, The Milwaukee Mile, held its first race on this date.

The Milwaukee Mile opened in West Allis, Wisconsin in 1903; it continues to host auto races every year there since then (except during U.S. involvement in World War II.)

September 11, 1936-
Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) by pressing a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam's first hydroelectric generator in Nevada.

Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall and 660 feet thick at its base. Enough rock is excavated in its construction to build the Great Wall of China. Contrary to urban myths, no workers are buried in the dam's concrete.

September 11, 1971 -
Former Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev suffered a fatal heart attack in his provincial exile on this date.

He was the first Soviet leader to die a natural death (Lenin was possibly poisoned by Stalin. Stalin was probably poisoned by Georgy Malenkov, Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Krushchev. Georgy Malenkov and Nikolai Bulganin were premiers before Krushchev but died after him.)

September 11, 1980 -
The famous 45-carat diamond, the Marlborough diamond, worth about $640,000, was taken from a jewelry store window display on this date. The robbers, Arthur "The Brain" Rachel and Joseph "The Monk" Scalise, mobsters from Chicago, Illinois staged a daring daytime theft of the jewelry.

They were caught just a few hours later, but the diamond, once one of the Crown jewels, has never been found. Both men were convicted and served nine year sentences.

In 2010, the duo, both in their 70's were arrested again for yet another jewel heist.

September 11, 1987 -
CBS-TV went dark for six minutes as news anchor Dan Rather walked off the set of "The CBS Evening News" on this date.

Rather left the set when the network continued showing a tennis tournament that had played into overtime. He walked off because he was angry that the news was cut short to report on sports news.

And so it goes.

Before I let you go:  In case you need a little laugh on such a sad and mournful day, watch this -

It's an actual anti-masturbation video by deaf Jehovah Witnesses set to an R. Kelly song.

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