Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Gentle Reminder

If you didn't have the chance to hear Terry Gross' very moving interview with the late Maurice Sendak, just before his death, the NYT has created a wonderful encapsulation (with beautiful illustrations) of the piece.

The light kept shining in the east. Both Elvis the King (who was born on this date in 1935,)

(As I always say - lay your hand upon the screen and feel his power emanate from your loins.)

And Davy Jones (who was born on this date in 1947 - I hope where I'm over 65, people can touch the screen and feel me heal them with my loins)

were both born on this date.

January 8, 1973 -
Carly Simon received a gold record for the single, You're So Vain on this date.

It's pretty much agreed upon that she is singing about David Geffen. Unless, of course, it's about Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson or Cat Stevens or ...

January 8, 1968 -
Welcome to zee exotic world of undersea explorer...

The first episode of the documentary series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau: Sharks premiered on this date.

Today in History -
The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, with General Andrew Jackson in command, defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans and America's vast western lands.

Unfortunately the war ended with the signing of The Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814. News of the peace would not reach New Orleans until February.


The only 'recognized' monarchy to reign in the United States died on this date.

Joshua Norton was a businessman in San Francisco in the 1800's. In the 1840's, just before the Gold Rush, he tried to corner the market on rice and failed. He went from being very wealthy to being destitute overnight and the experience completely shattered his reason. A couple of months after this event, he put on a formal admiral's uniform, complete with gold braid and epaulets and strode in to the office of the newspaper. He handed the editor a large, official looking proclamation which stated in quite formal language that, due to popular demand, he hereby declared himself Emperor Norton I of San Francisco, California, and Mexico. He bade all his subjects show him loyalty and the other courtesies due a person of such eminent stature.

On the evening of January 8, 1880, Joshua Norton collapsed on the corner of California Street and Dupont Street (now Grant Avenue) while on his way to a lecture at the Academy of Sciences. His collapse was immediately noticed by another citizen who raised the alarm, and "the police officer on the beat hastened for a carriage to convey him to the City Receiving Hospital." Norton died before the carriage could arrive.

Norton's funeral was a solemn, mournful and large affair. Some accounts report that as many as 30,000 people lined the streets to pay homage, and that the funeral cortege was two miles long. He was buried at the Masonic Cemetery, at the expense of the City of San Francisco.

The day after his funeral, January 11, 1880, the San Francisco skies were blackened with a solar eclipse.

January 8, 1964 -
Lyndon B. Johnson declares his War on Poverty during his State of the Union address on this date.

Unfortunately, poverty continues to win.

January 8, 1992 -
Sushi, anyone?

George Bush, sick with the stomach flu, decided to revenge the US for the raid of Pearl Harbor at a Tokyo state dinner. He vomited in the lap of the Japanese Prime Minister while cameras are rolling, to the great amusement of everyone except the Prime Minister.

And so it goes.

Before you go - This is the new definition of TMI

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