CGP Grey has created another great video: this one is a timely one given the eminent royal arrival - How to Become the British Monarch
On second thought - I'm a proud American and 'naturally dead', so what does it matter to me.
July 17, 1955 -
That place is my baby, and I would prostitute myself for it. - Walt Disney
Disneyland, the happiest place in the world, opens in Anaheim, California on this date. Things didn't go so well on that first day.
A 15 day heat wave raised temperatures up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, due to a plumbers strike, few water fountains were operating in the hot weather. Asphalt still steaming, because it had been laid the night before, literally "trapping" high heeled shoes. To add to the chaos, a gas leak forced the closing of several sections of the park.
If things didn't turn around, I shudder at the thought of Ole Walt, having to walk the street in matching lipstick, handbag and stiletto, offering to 'go around the world' for 20 bucks to pay back his loans.
You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling. - Billie Holiday
Today is the 54th anniversary of the death of Billie Holiday.
July 17, 1943 -
Originally released in B & W (re-release as a color version in 1968 & 1990,) Porky Pig's Feat premiered on this date. A rare appearance for Porky Pig, Daffy Duck & Bugs Bunny (his only appearance in a theatrical black and white film.)
This is the first time the Raymond Scott composition Powerhouse is used in a Warner Bros. cartoon.
July 17, 1956 -
The musical version of The Philadelphia Story, High Society, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly & Frank Sinatra, premiered on this date.
Grace Kelly, recently engaged to Prince Rainier of Monaco, wore her actual engagement ring for her character's engagement ring.
July 17, 1959 -
Alfred Hitchcock's superlative North By Northwest, starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, premiered on this date.
Journalist Otis L. Guernsey Jr. suggested to Alfred Hitchcock the premise of a man mistaken for a nonexistent secret agent. He was inspired, he said, by a real-life case during WW II, known as Operation Mincemeat, in which British intelligence hoped to lure Italian and German forces away from Sicily, a planned invasion site. A cadaver was selected and given an identity and phony papers referring to invasions of Sardinia and Greece. A British film, The Man Who Never Was, recounted the operation.
Today in History:
July 17 1913 -
On this date, audiences attending the silent film A Noise from the Deep observed Mabel Normand striking Fatty Arbuckle in the face with a pie. It was purportedly the first use of the pie-in-the-face routine in film history.
The act of hitting someone in the face with a pie was itself nothing new. Hieroglyphics engraved on the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian King Amenhotep III, for example, depict that merry lord hurling pies of polished stone at his subjects with such force that they were frequently decapitated.
Plutarch describes the wanton Messalina "grinding her pie in the face of a slave."
Roughly a century later, Shakespeare introduced the routine to Elizabethan audiences with memorable pie-in-the-face scenes in King Lear, Hamlet and Othello. Scholars have recently unearthed a draft of what Shakespeare clearly intended to be his comedic masterwork, Two Bakers of Venice.
After Shakespeare's pioneering work in the field, the pie-in-the-face became a staple of popular entertainment. Seen in this context, the celebrated Arbuckle pie facial was just one more step on a very long journey.
Indeed, being struck in the face by baked goods is likely to remain the most hilarious thing in the world for centuries to come.
July 17, 1917 -
Britain's King George V issues a royal proclamation changing his family's surname from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor.
Speaking of George's cousin, Russian Czar Nicholas II was murdered with his family and servants by the Bolsheviks at Yekaterinburg on this date in 1918 (they were murdered in the middle of the night on the 17th of July.) It's too bad his cousin, George V was more concerned with changing his Germanic surname then saving his cousin.
This included his daughter Anastasia, who may not actually have been killed with the rest of them but was almost certainly killed along with the rest of them despite persistent rumors to the contrary--even in the face of almost insurmountable evidence suggesting otherwise (except when interpreted differently). Even if she wasn't dead then, she's certainly dead now. This has been scientifically proven by scientists who ought to know.
July 17, 1918 -
The RMS Carpathia, famous for rescuing 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic six years earlier, sank off the coast of Ireland after being torpedoed by a German U-boat, on this date.
While 5 crew member were killed in the attack, 57 passengers and the remaining 218 crew members survived to board lifeboats off the sinking vessel.
July 17, 1936 -
General Francisco Franco, low level Spanish Evil Stooge, seizes control of the Canary Islands (in the misguided belief that Spain could become a world power by controlling the supply of small yellow birdies), signaling the start of the three-year Spanish Civil War.
July 17, 1938 -
On this date, Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field for a cross-country flight to the west coast in his nine-year-old, single-engine Curtiss Robin airplane.
Twenty-eight hours later he landed in Dublin, Ireland, thus earning himself the nickname "Wrong Way Corrigan" and becoming the patron saint of baggage handlers.
July 17, 1947 -
Jackie Robinson was playing his historic first season with the Dodgers, the Yankees finally lost after 19 straight victories and Perry Como topped the Billboard charts with “Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go to Sleep)” and Jack Kerouac began his “On the Road” trip, on this date. He left his mother’s apartment in Ozone Park and wound up on the West Side IRT local, passing Columbia, where he had dropped out, and got off the train at the 242 Street terminal. At 242 Street, (near Van Cortlandt Park) he boarded a trolley for Yonkers, transferred to another for as far as it would go, then hitchhiked farther up the Hudson. He wanted to take the “long red line called Route 6” that he had seen on a map, and the nearest place for him to join it was the Bear Mtn Bridge.
When he got there, he discovered that little traffic passed through that semi-wilderness, and while waiting futilely for a ride, he got drenched in a thunderstorm. Humiliated by his “stupid hearthside idea that it would be wonderful to follow one great red line across America,” he ended up taking a bus back to NYC and another all the way to Chicago. He took a third bus to the Chicago suburbs and began hitchhiking to Denver, to see friends he had made in NYC, including Neal Cassady.
Such is the stuff of great literature - a subway ride that many of you loyal readers have made countless times, is transformed into the the opening trip of the classic novel of the Beat Generation, On the Road.
July 17, 1952 -
It's David Hasselhoff's (noted 'actor', 'singer', talent judge, hamburger connoisseur and drunk) birthday!
Yay for David! Yay for Germany!
July 17, 1968 -
Premiere of the drug-induced, Big Blue Meanie-infested cartoon Beatle film Yellow Submarine, at the London Pavilion on this date.
When the producers approached The Beatles about this film, the group, which hated the TV cartoon show of them (The Beatles, also produced by Al Brodax and George Dunning), agreed to it only as an easy way of completing their movie contract. As such, they contributed only a few old songs and four quickly produced numbers: "Only a Northern Song", "Hey Bulldog", "All Together Now" and "It's All Too Much". However, when they saw the finished film, they were so impressed by it that they decided to appear in a short live action epilogue to the film.
July 17, 1975 -
Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 successfully docked and crew member of the two shuttles shook hands in space on this date.
Itwas the first orbital docking of spacecraft of two different nations
July 17, 1996 -
TWA flight 800, bound for Paris, exploded 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy airport, killing all 230 people on board, on this date.
Though there was speculation, no evidence of a terrorist attack was ever found.
And so it goes.