Happy Birthday Mel Brooks
It's always a good day to know that Mel is still around.
Today in History:
June 28, 1778 -
It was a hot day in New Jersey on this date. Temperatures reportedly reached 96 degrees in the shade. Possibly invented historical character, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, "Molly Pitcher," wife of an American artilleryman, carried water to the soldiers during the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth, N.J. and, supposedly, took her husband's place at his cannon after he was overcome with heat.
According to myth she was presented to General George Washington after the battle.
June 28, 1820 -
Robert Gibbon Johnson proved that tomatoes were not poisonous when he ate two homegrown tomatoes in front of a horrified crowd on the steps of the courthouse in Salem, New Jersey.
June 28, 1902 -
Today is the birthday of nefarious American philosopher John Dillinger, born in 1902. (He is also believed to have been born on June 22, 1903.)
At the age of twenty, a precocious young Dillinger attempted to illustrate the transient nature of material goods by depriving a stranger of his automobile. When a warrant was issued for his arrest by Indiana police disinclined to accept Dillinger's delicate epistemological point, the young man cleverly joined the navy to demonstrate the redemptive powers of patriotism.
Philosophers have historically encountered resistance from the military, and Dillinger was no exception. He fled the service, returned home, got married, and robbed a grocer. The robbery went awry and Dillinger went to jail for nine years.
Jail hardened Dillinger and made him a very bitter man. Upon his release, he began robbing banks almost immediately. He quickly became Public Enemy Number One, which enabled him to be shot to death by the FBI outside the Biograph movie theatre in Chicago. And as stated previously, it is widely rumored (but hotly denied) pug ugly transvestite FBI chief, J. Edgar Hoover, ordered Dillinger's well-endowed member detached from his corpse and pickled, for his private files.
His philosophy, however, endures to this day, and is practiced widely and successfully by various tax authorities around the world.
Jun 28 1905 -
At 5:30 a.m. on this date, a murderer named Henri Languille lost his head on the guillotine in Orleans. Dr. Jacques Beaurieux, an official witness to the execution, picks up the freshly-severed head of Languille just after it drops into the guillotine basket (don't worry, he's an official - the French just don't let anybody pick up freshly severed heads) and shouts the man's name three times. According to the doctor's report: "Languille's eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves. ... I was dealing with undeniably living eyes which were looking at me."
June 28 1914 -
Franz Ferdinand was having an extremely bad day.
Sophie. The purpose of his tour was to get Serbia to calm down, it having become extremely irritable for reasons known only to itself, possibly having to do with Austria's occupation of the region. (Either that or gas.)
During their tour, Nedjelko Cabrinovic tosses a grenade into the automobile carrying Archduck Franz Ferdinand and wife Sofia. But Ferdinand knocks the bomb away with his arm and his driver speeds away from the would-be assassin. The driver was naturally addled and the Archduck and Mallard Sophie became lost and stopped to ask for directions from a young boy on the side of the road (and as most men know this is a no-no - if you are lost, never ask for directions). The conversation went something like this:
"Say, lad, I'm the Austrian Archduck Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne and this is my wife, the Mallard Sophie. We seem to be lost. If we don't find our way back I might never have the chance to take the Austrian throne and continue the ruthless and relentless persecution of the Serbian peoples. Could you give us a hand?"
The boy was Gavrilo Princip and he had just started World War I. The war ended exactly five years later, on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles is best known for having caused the second World War.
Gavrilo Princip died of tuberculosis in his jail cell. After his death, the following graffiti was discovered on the wall:
Our ghosts will walk through Vienna And roam through the Palace Frightening the Lords.
June 28, 1956 -
The film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical, The King and I premiered in New York City, on this date.
Dorothy Dandridge was one of the original choice for the role of Tuptim. It has been reported that Miss Dandridge, who had just made history as the first African American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in Carmen Jones, was strongly advised to refuse the role because Tuptim was a slave. The role went to Rita Moreno instead. Rita Moreno said that the heavy Siamese headdresses she and the ballet dancers wore in The Small House of Uncle Thomas ballet sequence gave all of them headaches, which lasted for days.
June 28, 1969 -
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, a Mafia run bar in Greenwich Village, the gay community fought back against routine police harassment that persecuted sexual minorities. Police raided the bar this time because it had refused to pay an increase in bribery. This incident is regarded by many as history's first major protest on behalf of equal rights for the LGBT community.
44 years later (almost to the day) the Supreme Court overturned DOMA. (I bet Scalia is still obsessing about state sponsored homosexual sodomy right now.)
June 28 1997 -
Mike Tyson was disqualified from a championship boxing bout after biting off a large portion of Evander Holyfield's ear.
Yeah, it tastes like chicken.
And on a personal note: Happy Birthday Angie
And so it goes