It's the Feast of San Lorenzo. St. Lawrence was said to have been martyred on an iron outdoor stove on this date in 258 AD. During his torture, Lawrence cried out "I' m already done on this side and it is time to turn me over."
Interesting aside: the Perseid Meteor Shower has been known for years as the Tears of Saint Lawrence because they usually occur every year in mid-August, on or near Saint Lawrence's feast day. This year the event peaks the morning of August 12 around 1 a.m.
August 10, 1950 -
Billy Wilder's caustic, black-hearted masterpiece, Sunset Boulevard premiered in New York City, on this date.
Montgomery Clift, originally signed to play the part of Joe Gillis, but broke his contract just two weeks prior to the start of shooting. Clift quit the production because he was, like the character of Joe, having an affair with a wealthy middle-aged former actress - Libby Holman. She pressured him to back out of the role.
August 10, 1960 -
The Rat Pack's summer vacation home movie, Ocean's Eleven, premiered on this date.
Shirley MacLaine's tipsy uncredited cameo was ad-libbed by the actress, for which she reportedly received a brand new car from Warner Bros. as compensation. Her line, "I'm so drunk I don't think I could lie down without holding on," was a rehash of a classic Dean Martin line.
August 10, 1962 -
While not the worst film ever made - it is the sickest. The Brain That Wouldn't Die, premiered on this date. (Watch it now.)
The film was rejected for UK cinema in 1961 when submitted as "Head That Wouldn't Die" and finally received a DVD certificate in 2006.
August 10, 1968 -
The Doors topped the charts with Hello, I Love You on this date.
It was the first Doors song that was successful in Europe. Jim Morrison wrote the song in 1965 after seeing a beautiful woman walking on the beach. He thought up the song and wrote it that night. There is a vague rumor on the internet that the Kinks successfully sued the Doors for copyright infringement over their song All Day and All of the Night.
As far as I can actually tell, while discussions concerning a possible lawsuit occured, nothing came of them.
Today in History:
August 10, 1628 -
The 228-foot Swedish warship Vasa, built by Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus to assist in his war with Poland, capsized and sank in Stockholm harbor on her maiden voyage because the ballast was insufficient to counterweight the 64 guns and ballast. Vasa was the most expensive and richly ornamented warship of its time in Sweden. Twenty-five men and women drowned when the ship sank.
The ship remains submerged until it is raised in 1961 to become a tourist attraction.
If you think I'm going to make a joke about the Polish Navy here, the joke's on you.
August 10, 1921 -
Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello, New Brunswick on this date. Mrs. Roosevelt acted as her partially paralyzed husband’s eyes and ears by traveling, observing and reporting her observations to him.
As First Lady, an author and newspaper columnist and, later, a delegate to the United Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt labored tirelessly for the poor and disadvantaged. In the words of historian John Kenneth Galbraith, she showed "more than any other person of her time, that an American could truly be a world citizen."
August 10, 1966 -
Last words of James French, sent to the Electric Chair by the state of Oklahoma: "How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? FRENCH FRIES."
August 10, 1969 -
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were brutally murdered in their Los Feliz, California home by followers of Charles Manson.
Some of the victims' blood was used to smear the words 'HELTER SKELTER' on the refrigerator door.
August 10, 1977 -
Postal employee and avid dog listener David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, N.Y. on this date, accused of being the "Son of Sam" gunman responsible for six random slayings and seven woundings. Berkowitz is serving six consecutive terms of 25 years to life in state prison.
August 10, 1996 -
Heated by the sun, power lines begin to sag in Oregon. Somehow this triggers a series of failures which cascades throughout the Western states. Four million people lose electrical service in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana and Texas.
And so it goes.