April 16, 1889 -
Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr, actor, writer, songwriter, composer, film producer and director was born on this date.
According to his daughter Geraldine Chaplin, in the last years of his life Chaplin began to worry that he might not be remembered after his death. This was a major reason why he allowed his trademark character The Little Tramp to appear on several commercial products in the 1970s.
April 16, 1932 -
The Music Box, moment by moment one of the funniest Laurel and Hardy sound movies, premiered on this date.
The idea for the film came to a Hal Roach comedy writer in 1927 when he passed a long flight of stairs in the Silverlake area of L.A. and thought it would be a good idea to have Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy trying to move something heavy up them.
April 16, 1936 -
Frank Capra's Oscar winning romantic comedy, Mr. Deed Goes to Town, starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur premiered in New York on this date.
Columbia and Frank Capra intended to make a sequel to this movie, starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur, entitled Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington, based on the story The Gentleman from Wyoming (alternately called The Gentleman from Montana by both contemporary and modern sources) by Lewis Foster. This story was instead turned into the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, directed by Frank Capra and starring Arthur and James Stewart.
April 16, 1939 -
Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, one of the leading pop singer and entertainer of the 1960's was born on this date.
The uniqueness of Dusty Springfield's voice was described by Burt Bacharach as: "You could hear just three notes and you knew it was Dusty."
April 16, 1962 -
This is the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite
(this clip is from last year)
Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of The CBS Evening News on this date.
Today in History:
April 16, 173 BC -
"We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,-- One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
A solar eclipse may have marked the return of Odysseus, legendary King of Ithaca and one of the most recurrent characters in Western literature, to his kingdom after the Trojan War on this date.
April 16, 1865 -
President Abraham Lincoln lay in state on this date. Two days previously, he receives a cranial gunshot wound from a member of the nation's most famous acting families, John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln died the following day, primarily from ill-advised attempts to extract the bullet lodged in his brain.
So once again, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?
April 16, 1866 -
Dmitry Karakozov, a minor nobleman from Kostroma attempted to assassinate Tsar Alexander II of Russia at the gates of the Summer Garden in St.Petersburg on this date.
A mid-1950s construction worker involved in the demolition of the J. C. Wilber Building finds a box inside a cornerstone. He opens it to reveal a singing, dancing frog (that came to be called Michigan J. Frog,) complete with top hat and cane.
According to the cartoon, One Froggy Night (1955), the box also contains a commemorative document dated April 16, 1892.
April 16, 1912 -
Harriet Quimby, in a Bleriot monoplane, became the first woman to fly solo over the English Channel on this date.
Her achievement was overshadowed in the press however, by reports of the sinking of the Titanic.
April 16 1912 -
The remains of the R.M.S. Titanic comes to rest at the bottom of the sea. The unsinkable ship sank after being torn by iceberg. Of a total of 2,208 people, only 712 survived; 1,496 perished.
If the lifeboats had been filled to capacity, 1,178 people could have been saved. Of the first-class, 201 were saved (60%) and 123 died. Of the second-class, 118 (44%) were saved and 167 were lost. Of the third-class, 181 were saved (25%) and 527 perished. Of the crew, 212 were saved (24%) and 679 perished. The majority of deaths were caused by victims succumbing to hypothermia in the 28 °F (-2 °C) water. Of particular note, the entire complement of the 35-member Engineering Staff (25 engineers, 6 electricians, two boilermakers, one plumber, and one writer/engineer's clerk) were lost.
The entire ship's orchestra was also lost. Led by violinist Wallace Hartley, they played music on the boat deck of the Titanic that night to calm the passengers. It will probably forever remain unknown what this orchestra selected as their last piece. Based on evidence from various sources some argue it was Nearer my God to Thee while others say it was Autumn.
April 16, 1943 -
LSD was first synthesized on April 7, 1938 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, as part of a large research program searching for medically useful ergot alkaloid derivatives. Its psychedelic properties were unknown until five years later, when Hofmann, acting on what he has called a "peculiar presentiment," returned to work on the chemical. He attributed the discovery of the compound's psychoactive effects to the accidental absorption of a tiny amount through his skin on this date.
Here is the first instance of the defense I did not inhale - I accidentally dropped acid.
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Hofmann's diary concerning this day -
... Last Friday, April 16,1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away....
Oh wow, the colors, the lights, man.
April 16, 1947 -
The French freighter Grandcamp, loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer, exploded at a port in Texas City, Texas on this date. The blast caused other explosions at a nearby chemical plant, spreading fires across oil refineries along the port.
An estimated 600 People were killed by the blast and the ensuing fires which swept the port and the surrounding town. The accident is considered the worst industrial accident in US history because of the high number of fatalities.
On a personal note, I want to wish Michael and Stephanie a very Happy Anniversary.
And so it goes .