Friday, May 24, 2013

A word to the wise

Kids, when the police come a knockin' on your door,

don't react by throwing your bong out the window.  It doesn't look right.


May 24, 1941 -
Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham Zimmerman, a young boy from a small shtetl in the great state of Minnesota, don't ya know, who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades, was born on this date.







Hopefully, someday he'll get a larger audience


May 24, 1968 -
The Rolling Stones released Jumping Jack Flash, in Britain, on this date.



The Rolling Stones have played Jumping Jack Flash during every tour since its release; it ranks as the number the band has played in concert most frequently.


May 24, 1989 -
The third movie in Steven Spielberg's salute to Saturday afternoon serials, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, premiered nationwide on this date.



Steven Spielberg is on record as saying he made the film for two reasons: 1) to fulfill a three-picture obligation he had with George Lucas, and, 2) to atone for the criticism that he received for the previous installment, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.


Today in History:
May 24, 1610 -
Buggery was criminalized for the first time in North America by Sir Thomas Gates, when the Virginia colony declares that "no man shall commit the horrible, and detestable sinnes of Sodomie upon pain of death."

This was all probably due to the lack of proper lubricant and the fact that Sir Thomas was a troll.


May 24, 1626 -
Peter Minuit was the director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland who was credited with the purchase of the island of Manhattan on this date.



According to legend, he persuaded the natives—perhaps a Metoac band of Lenape known as the Canarsee, who were actually native to what is now Brooklyn—to "sell" the island for a handful of trade goods worth approximately 60 guilders (appx. $24.)

 I've often said that there are those in Congress looking to give New York back to the Indians.


May 24, 1686 -
Gabriel Fahrenheit was born on the date. Mr Fahrenheit did pioneering work in the field of temperature. It was his dream to develop a more sophisticated temperature measurement system than the accepted worldwide standard of his era, which consisted of only seven gradations: brr!, cold as hell, chilly, warm, hot, hot as hell and ow!.

Hard at work on the same problem was his colleague Anders Celsius. Mr Fahrenheit eventually discovered the "degree." It took 32 of Mr Fahrenheit's degrees to freeze water and 212 of them to boil it. Mr Celsius, meanwhile, had discovered a different kind of "degree."

It took only a hundred of his degrees to bring water to a boil, and, even more impressively, he discovered that water would freeze without any degrees at all.

By requiring fewer degrees to get things done, and less tick marks on thermometers, Mr Celsius's system was more compact and economical than Mr Fahrenheit's. This made it a natural for the crowded lands of Europe, where storage came at a premium. In the great unsettled expanse of the New World, however, space was not an issue and Mr Fahrenheit's system took hold.


May 24, 1819 -
Queen Victoria was born as Princess Alexandria Victoria at Kensington Palace, London on this date. Through a series of accidents, debauched living and bad planning on the part of her uncles, she became Queen. She reigned for 64 years, and lent her name to an era best remembered for its prudery and chastity.




Remember, this was the time when one put skirts on piano legs for fear of arousing the passions of young men. This pent up frustration resulted in so many citizens having to stay home and care for their children, since Victoria's reign also saw the largest population explosion in British history.


May 24, 1844 -
Samuel F. B. Morse formally opens America’s first telegraph line, when he demonstrated a magnetic telegraph, sending a message from the chambers of the Old Supreme Court courthouse in Washington D.C. to his partner, Alfred Vail, at the Mount Clare Depot of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in Baltimore, Maryland, on this date.



Vail responded by retransmitting the same message back to Morse.  The message, "What hath God wrought?" was the first message sent on a commercial telegraph line.


May 24, 1856 -
A small gang led by abolitionist John Brown murdered five unarmed pro-slavery homesteaders in Franklin County, Kansas, on this date, hacking them to pieces with swords.




The event comes to be known as the Pottawatomie Massacre.


May 24, 1883 -



The Brooklyn Bridge (originally the New York and Brooklyn Bridge), one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, stretches 5,989 feet (1825 m) over the East River connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn opened for business today. On completion, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. Since its opening, it has become an iconic part of the New York Skyline and is still considered one of the Wonders of the Modern World.



The first person to jump from the bridge was Robert E. Odlum (and not Steve Brodie) on July 23, 1886. Robert, a swimming teacher, made the jump in a costume bearing his initials. He survived the pre-announced jump, but died shortly thereafter from internal injuries. Apparently, no one told him taking the high dive off the bridge would get him killed.

This showed him.


May 24, 1920 -
Senile French President Paul Deschanel fell off a train bound for Montbrison, and is later discovered wandering along the track in his pajamas. The Station master's wife later commented that she knew he was a gentleman because he had such "clean feet."

Soon afterwards, Deschanel walked out of a state meeting, straight into the fountains at the Rambouillet chateau, fully clothed.

As I mentioned yesterday, The French, they are a strange race.


May 24, 1941 -
During the Battle of the Denmark Strait (World War II,) the German battleship Bismarck sank the HMS Hood on this date



More than 1,400 crewmen died; only three survived.



And so it goes.

2 comments:

Jim Haas said...

My wife's grandpa and uncle ran a barbershop in the Androy Hotel in downtown Hibbing, MN That's where little Bobby Zimmerman had his bar mitsvah. The ghost of uncle Bill Ratican is said to haunt Hibbing High auditorium, where Bob played as a teenager. Our ancestral brush with greatness...

Kevin said...

Wow - that really is brush with greatness.