Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's Another Cephalopod Awareness Days

Today is Squid Day/Cuttlefish Day, or Squidturday (if the 10th happens to fall on a Saturday.) Revel in all their inky delights.

Calamari could loom large in your day today - celebrate responsibly.

October 10, 1941 -
The last movie W C Fields starred in, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, premiered on this date.

In the soda-shop scene, Fields turns to the camera and announces that the scene was supposed to have been filmed in a saloon "but the censor cut it out". He was telling the truth.

October 10, 1956 -
George Steven's sprawling epic, Giant, premiered in NYC on this date.

The hat that Mercedes McCambridge wore in her exterior scenes was given to her by the wardrobe department. It was then "aged" by actor Gary Cooper so that it would look authentic. Mercedes McCambridge wrote in her memoirs that James Dean threatened to steal it.

October 10, 1957 -
Guy Williams galloped across TV screens as the masked hero, when Zorro, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

Although Zorro was the most popular show in its Thursday evening slot, the series was pulled in 1959 due to legal wrangling between the Disney Studios and the ABC network. Disney tried to keep the character before the audience by shooting four one-hour episodes for another anthology series, but by the time the lawsuit was settled, the studio had decided the public had lost interest in the character and the series was cancelled.

October 10, 1961 -
Elia Kazan's bittersweet romance, Splendor in the Grass, starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, premiered on this date.

Even though they were supposed to be playing teenagers, Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty were approximately 22 and 23 respectively at the time of filming. As a result, Elia Kazan decided that the other actors who were to play teenagers in the film should be in their early to mid-twenties as a way to make it easier for the audience to accept Wood and Beatty as teenagers rather than as adults playing teens.

October 10, 1962 -
The British Broadcasting Company bans Monster Mash -- the Halloween-themed novelty tune by Bobby "Boris" Pickett -- for being "offensive."

The BBC felt the song was offensive (but never specifies precisely why) and banned it from the airwaves until 1973. It was re-released in 1973 and the song rose to #3 in the charts in the UK. By this time, Boris Pickett was driving a cab in New York City to earn a living.

October 10, 1964 -
The Shangri-Las released their operatic hit, Leader of the Pack, on this date.

A young Billy Joel played the piano on this song - probably. He explained to Uncut in 1998: "I know I played piano on a session. The girls themselves weren't at the session, but that kinda happens all the time, the singers come in later. I played note for note what is on the record, but I wasn't in the musician's union – I was about 14 or 15 – so for all I know they may have got a union guy in to do it later. I never got paid, never got a form to show it was me on the record, so I can't say for sure it's me, but I like to think it was. Actually, it was my very first recording session – a guitar player friend got me in. I also did 'Remember (Walkin' In The Sand)' ".

Later in 1964, The Detergents recorded a parody of this song called Leader Of The Laundromat.

October 10, 1968 -
One of the silliest movies Jane Fonda (or anyone else, for that matter) ever made, Barbarella, landed in US theatres on this date.

When Virna Lisi was told to play the part of Barbarella, she terminated her contract with United Artists and returned to Italy.

October 10, 1969 -
King Crimson releases their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, considered by many to be the first progressive rock album.

Turn it up loud, spark it up and don't bogart that joint.

Today in History:
October 10, 1780 -
Over 48 hours, a slow-moving hurricane decimates Barbados, killing 4,326 (however according to the island's governor, "fortunately few people of consequence were among the number").

Over the next week, the catastrophic storm system moves on to Martinique (9,000 dead) and St. Eustatius (4-5,000). The unprecedented Great Hurricane of 1780 remains the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record.

October 10, 1910 -
You think "The Skull and Bones" Society rule this country. Several of the readers and I (and well as George Stephanopoulos) are members of the fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi.

Tau Epsilon Phi (TEF, commonly pronounced "TEP") is a predominantly American fraternity with approximately 40 active chapters, chiefly located at universities and colleges in the Northeastern United States. The organization was founded on this date, by ten Jewish men at Columbia University, as a response to the existence of similar organizations who would not admit Jewish members. The national headquarters is currently located in Voorhees, New Jersey and the official colors of the organization are lavender and white (although most chapters use purple instead of lavender).

But don't ask about our secret handshake or whose skull we have in the basement.

October 10, 1911 -
The Chinese revolution began in Hankow, on this date.

The revolution spread rapidly, resulting in the abdication of six-year-old Henry Pu-Yi, the Academy Award-winning "Last Emperor" of China.

October 10, 1913 -
Two years later on this date, President Woodrow Wilson was bored and wandering around the White House. He started fiddling aroung with things in his office and pressing buttons on his desk.

This triggered a blast which exploded the Gamboa Dike down in Panama and somehow the Panama Canal was completed on this date and a popular palindrome was born.

October 10, 1973 -
Bribe-happy Vice President Spiro T. Agnew finally resigned, after pleading Nolo contendere to federal income tax evasion on this date.

It should be noted that humorist Dave Barry points out that one can rearrange the letters in "Spiro Agnew" to spell "Grow A Penis."

October 10, 1985 -
If I could steal someone's dream myself, I'd have to go for one of Orson Welles. - Christopher Nolan

We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.

As to all, cheap wine hawker, voice-over whore and movie legend Orson Welles, whose remarkably innovative Citizen Kane was named the best American-made picture of all time in a 1998 American Film Institute poll, died of a heart attack at the age of 70 on this date.

Yul Brynner, Russian-born, Academy Award-winning Broadway and Hollywood actor died on October 10, 1985 (the same day as Orson Welles, his co star in The Battle of Neretva) in New York City. The cause of death was lung cancer brought on by smoking. Throughout his life, Brynner was always seen with a cigarette in his hand. In January 1985, nine months before his death, he gave an interview on Good Morning America, expressing his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial.

The clip from that interview was made into just such a public service announcement by the American Cancer Society and released after his death; it includes the warning "Now that I'm gone, I tell you, don't smoke."

If only he listened to himself.

And so it goes

Before I let you go - the wonderful Stan Freberg topped the charts on this date in 1953 with his record, St. George and the Dragonet:

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