Sunday, September 1, 2013

The summer seems to have come and gone

September is the ninth month of the year, which is why its name is derived from the Latin Septem, meaning seven. (We have previously addressed this problem last month; see August, the Sixth Month.) The Dutch call it "fish month," and the Saxons, "Gerst-monath" (barley-month), or Hærfest-monath (harvest month), the Irish called it "the month of plenty", and the Welsh, "the month of reaping."

September is Great American Breakfast Month, Internet Safety Month (remember always use protection while surfing the net), National Pleasure Your Mate Month (again - protection), Cable TV Month (except for Time Warner subscribers) and Pediculosis Prevention Month (I beg you, don't look it up), as well as International Gay Square Dance Month and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

So remember, if you notice someone with their thumbs up their ass, they may just be celebrating.

It's Emma M. Nutt Day, the first woman telephone operator, hired in 1878. She was hired personally by Alexander Graham Bell. A few hours after Emma started work her sister Stella Nutt became the world's second female telephone operator.

She loved the job, and worked at it for 33 years. Emma, reportedly, was able to remember every single phone number in the New England Telephone Company directory.

She apparently had no life.

September 1, 1939 -
How appropriate then that Mary Jean Tomlin, Academy Award nominated, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winning actress, comedian, writer and producer was born on this date.

One of her first "professional" gigs was as a waitress in Howard Johnson's on Broadway near Times Square. Her comments to customers and staff heard over the eatery's microphone attracted her first big-city audience.

September 1, 1938 -
Frank Capra bounced back from the disastrous reviews of Lost Horizon, released the previous year, with You Can't Take It with You, which opened in NYC on this date.

Shortly before filming began, Lionel Barrymore lost the use of his legs to crippling arthritis and a hip injury. To accommodate him, the script was altered so that his character had a sprained ankle, and Barrymore did the film on crutches. Barrymore would receive injections every hour to help relieve the pain of his arthritis.

September 1, 1947 -
The screwball comedy, which won Sidney Sheldon an won an Academy Award for the screenplay, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, opened nationwide on this date.

Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple play sisters in the film yet Myrna Loy was more than 20 years older that Shirley Temple.

September 1, 1972 -
David Bowie released John, I'm only Dancing in the U.K. on this date.

Several months prior to this song's release, Bowie had claimed to be bisexual in an interview with the Melody Maker and this song's gay connotations meant it was overlooked in America until its inclusion on the ChangesOneBowie in 1976.

Today in History:
September 1, 1854 -
Engelbert Humperdinck was born on this date,

No, that that one,

this one, the German opera composer.

September 1, 1897 -
The  first subway in North America was opened in Boston on this date. Trolley car grid-lock and street congestion on main thoroughfares motivated the Massachusetts Legislature to authorize the construction of the subway.

The "cut and cover" method of construction was used, with a deep trench dug or "cut" on Tremont Street, and a steel structure built around it and then filled in or "covered up." The Budapest Subway, and the later Paris Metro, were visited by the Boston subway designers.

September 1, 1902 -
Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon),written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston, considered to be the first science fiction movie, was released on this date.

It is loosely based on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells.

September 1, 1914
The last passenger pigeon, a female named Martha, died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo on this date. There are various reasons for the extinction of the passenger pigeon - the main one unfortunately was they tasted so damn good broasted.

Her body was frozen into a block of ice and sent to the Smithsonian Institution, where it was skinned and mounted. Currently, Martha (named after Martha Washington) is in the museum's archived collection, and not on display.

September 1, 1923 -
The worst earthquake in Japan's history hit the Kanto Plain between Tokyo and Yokohama with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale. The earthquake and subsequent fires killed nearly 140,000 people and destroyed most of both cities.

The fires started because the earthquake occurred at noon, when charcoal cooking stoves were in use.

People, please stop using your hibatchis in your rice paper houses.

September 1, 1939 -
Germany, ever eager to start their Second World War Tour, began, it at 5:30AM on this date when German troops invade Poland.

Hitler was so happy that day, he orders extermination of mentally ill on this day as well.

Since September ends with an 'r',

join The Walrus and The Carpenter in their discussion of cabbages and kings (Dare to eat an oyster today.)

And so it goes.

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