Thursday, January 10, 2013

You can hear the sound of the Underground trains

January 10, 1863 -
The London Underground (the Tube) opened to the public on this date. The Underground, a symbol of British culture, was the world's first underground railroad.

Passengers can still ride the original line, which ran between the London Paddington station and the Farringdon station.

January 10, 1949
45 RPM's - the term for the record format introduced by RCA on this date. This soon became the standard format used for vinyl “singles” for several decades. (Kids, RPM stands for “revolutions per minute.”)

Just think, all that pleasure with 7".

January 10, 1952 -
Cecil B. DeMille's circus extravaganza, The Greatest Show on Earth, opened on this date.

Charlton Heston was driving through Paramount Studios when he spotted Cecil B. DeMille, who he had never met. Heston waved. DeMille was so impressed by Heston's wave he made inquiries that ultimately led to Heston being cast as Brad in this film. This was only Heston's third film and skyrocketed him to fame.

January 10, 1964 -
The American version of the British program That Was The Week That Was (TW3), a weekly show of topical political satire, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.

Singer Nancy Ames, Buck Henry, Pat Englund and Alan Alda were among the regulars. The show proved equally groundbreaking in the United States and, like the British version, was no stranger to controversy.

Today in History:
Common Sense was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously (not that Tom didn't know his name - it was theoretically punishable by death to denounce the crown and Tom wasn't quick looking for death at that time) on January 10, 1776, before the American Revolution. Paine wrote it with editorial feedback from Benjamin Rush, who came up with the title.

The document denounced British rule, and through its immense popularity contributed to fomenting the American Revolution. The second edition was published soon thereafter. A third edition, with an accounting of the worth of the British navy, an expanded appendix, and a response to criticism by the Quakers, was published on February 14, 1776.

January 10, 1870 -
Victor Noir, French journalist, was killed by Prince Pierre Bonaparte. Noir had called on him with a companion to present his editor's challenge to a duel because of a journalistic dispute concerning Corsican politics. Bonaparte was so insulted to have been approached by mere "menials" (his phrase, apparently) that he slapped the hapless 22-year-old in the face, pulled out a pistol and shot him on the spot.

Over 10,000 people attended his funeral and public sentiment over Noir's death forces Napoleon III to abdicate. A statue of Noir s prostrate figure became a magnet for infertile women rubbing themselves against him as a sexual charm.

Once again, the french they are a funny race.

January 10 1883 -
A fire at the six-story Newhall Hotel in Milwaukee kills more than 71 people on this date. For years this was considered one of the worst single structure fires in the United States.

Two famous midgets residing there, General Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton) and his brother-in-law Commodore Nut, are rescued by firefighters.

January 10 1927 -
The film Metropolis premiered in Berlin on this date. It was the most expensive silent film of the time, costing approximately 7 million Reichsmark to make.

While that seems like a very large sum of money due to the incredibly crushing inflation running rampant in Germany at the time, you could also just about buy a decent loaf of marble rye with that amount of money.

January 10 1948 -
Donald Fagen, singer and front man of the rock band Steely Dan, was born on this date.

In spite of themselves, Steely Dan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001.

January 10 1982 -
You could no longer go to Paul Lynde to block on this date. Mr. Lynde was found dead of a heart attack, naked and holding a bottle of poppers in his West Hollywood home.

Mr. Lynde's bed companion, it appears, neglected to call 911 to report the emergency.

Kids, remember - don't count on that hustler to call the paramedics for you (that's always extra.)

January 10 1984 -
Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper became the first female recording artist since Bobbie Gentry (1967) to be nominated for five Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Performance (Female), Record of the Year and Song of the Year on this date.

She may be unusual but Cyndi is still going strong more than 25 years later.

And so it goes.

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