Five days before Halloween, we can celebrate National Pumpkin Day and Howl at the Moon Day.
I'll take any excuse to play the Ramones.
October 26, 1959 -
A gentle and yet still relevant Cold War comedy, The Mouse the Roared, opened in the US on this date.
Peter Sellers made this film in part as a means of emulating his hero, Alec Guinness, by playing multiple roles in one movie.
October 26, 1962 -
The horror camp classic Crawford - Davis paring, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? opened in NYC on this date.
While touring the talk show circuit to promote the movie, Bette Davis told one interviewer that when she and Joan Crawford were first suggested for the leads in this film, Warner Bros. studio head Jack L. Warner replied: "I wouldn't give a plugged nickel for either one of those two old broads." Recalling the story, Davis laughed at her own expense. The following day, she reportedly received a telegram from Crawford: "In future, please do not refer to me as an old broad!"
October 26, 1967 -
An excellent (though almost forgotten) thriller from the 60's, Wait Until Dark premiered on this date.
As a way to get people to see the movie, the filmmakers made a print ad
and cautionary trailer that read: 'During the last eight minutes of this
picture the theatre will be darkened to the legal limit, to heighten
the terror of the breathtaking climax which takes place in nearly total
darkness on the screen. If there are sections where smoking is
permitted, those patrons are respectfully requested not to jar the
effect by lighting up during this sequence. And of course, no one will
be seated at this time.' It worked and the film became a huge success
because of it.
October 26, 1982 -
TV's longest dream sequence, St. Elsewhere, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.
The show was known for its inside jokes. The writers named characters
after series staff members, they wrote lines that referenced other TV
shows, movies, plays and books. One had to be up on current events and
the arts to understand some of the humor.
October 25, 1985 -
Robert Zemeckis' seminal time travel epic Back to the Future opened on this date.
Michael J. Fox was allowed by the producer of Family Ties to film this movie on the condition that he kept his full schedule on the TV show - meaning no write-outs or missing episodes - and filmed most of the movie at night. He was not allowed to go on Back to the Future promotional tours.
Today in History:
October 26, 1440 -
Gilles de Rais, French marshal and (alleged) depraved killer of 140 children, was strangled then thrown onto slow fire on this date.
In 1825, New York City becomes a World Port with the opening of the Erie Canal; a river waterway between Hudson River and Lake Erie opened. It cut through 363 miles of wilderness and measured 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep. It had 18 aqueducts and 83 locks and rose 568 feet from the Hudson River to Lake Erie.
Toll receipts paid back the $7.5 million construction cost within ten years. (This will all be on the test.)
October 26, 1881 -
Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holliday showed up at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, to disarm the Clanton and McLaury boys, who were in violation of a ban on carrying guns in the city limits.
This became the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLowery were killed; Earp's brothers were wounded.
October 26, 1944 -
Freemason and Vice President Harry S Truman publicly denies (yet again) ever having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
October 26, 1965 -
Queen Elizabeth decorated The Beatles with Order of British Empire, at Buckingham Palace, on this date.
The Beatles, ever polite, allowed Her Majesty to add chintz curtains and tufted sofas in their living rooms.
October 26, 1970 -
Doonesbury, the comic strip by Gary Trudeau, premiered in 28 newspapers across the U.S on this date.
October 26, 1979 -
Kim Jae Kyu, director of South Korea's central intelligence agency, "accidentally" shot President Park Chung Hee to death, also killing Park's bodyguard. Park had been president (dictator, effectively) since 1961. Kim was executed the following May for his attempted coup d'etat. (I hate when someone in my cabinet tries to assassinate me.)
In 2005, at the New York Film Festival, the film, The President's Last Bang, recounted the events.
October 26, 1984 -
19-year-old John McCollum shot and killed himself while listening to Ozzy Osbourne records on this date. One year later, McCollum's parents file suit against Ozzy and CBS Records, alleging that the song Suicide Solution from the album Blizzard of Ozz contributed to their son's death.
Except that the song's subject was quite plainly alcohol addiction. The trial court dismissed the McCollum's complaint. (Please, only watch the video once, with adult supervision. And for heaven's sake, don't try to play it backwards!)
October 26, 1991 -
A sudden wind uprooted a 485-pound umbrella, part of an outdoor 'art project' installed by Christo, in the Tejon Pass north of Los Angeles and struck Lori Keevil-Matthews, 33 years old, of Camarillo, California, crushing her to death against a boulder.
And so it goes.