Monday, January 21, 2013

Take the first step in faith.

You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Besides being a sales day at the Department Stores, it's Martin Luther King Day.

To celebrate the day and the man, I'd like you to once again opine these words:

... Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.

Hopefully your life will be filled with many of these moments.  Among the special events celebrating the day, the President is being inaugurated (again) for the second time.

January 21, 1966 -
George Harrison married model/actress Patti 'Layla' Boyd whom he met on the set of the Beatles movie, Hard Day's Night on this date.

The couple later divorced in 1974 and she married Eric Clapton (whom she divorced in 1989.)

Today in History:
January 21, 1793 -
On a chilly Monday, stripped of all titles and honorifics by the republican government, citizen Louis Capet was guillotined in front of a cheering crowd in what today is the Parisian Place de la Revolution. The executioner, Charles Henri Sanson, testified that King Louis XVI had bravely met his fate.

An early urban legend has the King months earlier suggesting a slant and beveling of the blade, for better cutting action.

Sometimes, people should just keep their opinions to themselves.

January 21, 1908 -
New York City's Board of Aldermen passed the Sullivan Ordinance that effectively prohibited women from smoking in public.

Two weeks later the measure was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr.

January 21, 1924 -
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Vladimir I. Lenin) driving force behind the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the first great dictator of the Soviet Union dies from a massive stroke on this date.

Lenin, idolized during his life -- an icon after his death, helped along by an unusual effort to preserve his corpse. For decades after his death, Russians lined up in all weather to view Lenin's body on display in a glass container inside a special mausoleum in Red Square. A triumph of the embalmer's art, the corpse was removed on a regular basis for the special top-secret treatments that kept it looking remarkably lifelike.

I'm going to let you sick puppies go on your own to this site - you can enjoy the sight of the nude, mummified corpse of Lenin getting his rejuvenating bath.

January 21, 1954 -
The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus (named after the submarine in Jules Vernes' Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea) was launched on the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut on this date.

First lady Mamie Eisenhower launched the submarine, which went on to break many submarine distance and depth records.

January 21, 1957 -
Patsy Cline sang Walking After Midnight on Arthur Godfrey's nighttime television show, quickly launching her career on this date.

If only she sang Don't Go Flying in Inclement Weather, things might have been different.

January 21, 1959 -
Former Our Gang child star Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer arrived at Moses 'Bud' Stiltz's home in Mission Hills, California, to settle an alleged debt owed to Switzer on this date.

Previously, Switzer had borrowed a dog from Stiltz which was lost, but eventually found, Switzer paying the man who returned the dog $50. Switzer went to Stiltz's house to collect the money "owed" him. He banged on Stiltz's front door, demanding that he let him in, flashing a fake police badge. Once Switzer got inside he and Stiltz got into an argument. Switzer informed Stiltz that he wanted the money owed him. However, when Stiltz refused to hand over the money, the two engaged in a physical fight. Switzer bashed Stiltz in the head with a lamp, which caused Stiltz to bleed from his left eye. Stiltz retreated to his bedroom and returned holding a gun, but Switzer immediately grabbed the gun away from Stiltz, which resulted in a shot being fired but neither man being hit. Then Switzer forced Stiltz into a closet, despite Stiltz having gotten his hands back on the gun. Switzer then allegedly pulled out a knife and was attempting to stab Stiltz with it. But just as Switzer was about to charge Stiltz, Stiltz raised the gun and shot Switzer in the chest. Switzer died of intense blood loss while on his way to the hospital. He was 31 years old.

Switzer's death was largely ignored in the media, mainly because director Cecil B. DeMille had died on the same day.

Kids, never loan a dog to a former child star.

January 21, 1960 -
The Little Joe 1B was a Launch Escape System test of the Mercury spacecraft, conducted as part of the U.S. Mercury program, on this date. The mission also carried a female Rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) named Miss Sam in the Mercury spacecraft. The six pound monkey survived the 8 minute 35 second flight in good condition.

Miss Sam retired from the space program and enjoyed a successfully career in the "Straw Hat" theatre circuit, starring in, among other things, The Little Foxes and A Doll's House.

January 21, 1968 -
A B-52 bomber crashes near Thule Air Base, contaminated the area after its nuclear payload ruptured on this date. One of the four bombs remains unaccounted for after the cleanup operation is complete.

If you have the bomb, the US government would be happy to take it off your hands - no questions asked.

And so it goes.

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