Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fear is the enemy of logic.

December 12, 1915 -
I've been trying to avoid the annual visit from an Italian Benevolent Organization, who ask (more like threaten - they are a large group of business men of Italian ancestry from Philadelphia ) not to bring up Frank Sinatra's supposed mafia connections, so today we will not be resorting to that cheap gimmick to slander the Chairman of the Board, greatest singer of the 20th century.

It's Francis Albert Sinatra's birthday today. (Alright, I wrote it the way you asked, would you please let my brother go?)

Today's holiday specialHe wishes you the merriest.

December 12, 1954 -
BBC Television
broadcasted the landmark adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighy-Four on this date. It is the most expensive drama produced to date.

When first screened by the BBC there were numerous public complaints and these led to questions being asked in the House of Commons. Although, following remarks by the Duke of Edinburgh that he and the Queen had "thoroughly enjoyed" the broadcast, the live repeat, four days later, attracted the largest television audience since the Coronation. 

December 12, 1972 -
Irwin Allen's ocean disaster movie, , premiered in NYC on this date.

Shot in sequence, taking advantage of the fact that the principals became dirtier and more tattered and suffered injuries - some real and some artificial - as they progressed.

December 12, 1973 -
Columbia Picture released the Hal Ashby film The Last Detail, starring Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Carol Kane and Michael Moriarty, on this date.

Jack Nicholson turned down the role of Johnny Hooker in The Sting (ultimately played by Robert Redford), to appear in this film, which was written by his good friend Robert Towne. Nicholson thought that The Sting was too commercial. Both he and Redford were nominated as Best Actor of 1973 at the Academy Awards, losing out to 'Jack Lemmon' in Save the Tiger.

Today in History:
December 12, 1531
It's the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an indigenous peasant, had visions of the Virgin Mary. Legend held that the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego outside Mexico City and left an imprint on his cactus-fiber poncho. The poncho became an icon for the Virgin of Guadalupe.

So now you know.

December 12, 1917
With a rent payment of $90 borrowed from a friend, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, NE in an old Victorian mansion on this date.

Flanagan's archbishop allowed Flanagan to focus on the boy's home and assigned nuns to help him.

December 12, 1937 -
Japanese aircraft shell and sink US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze River in China. Japan apologized, disciplining those involved and paying $2.2M reparations.

You think we might have seen something coming up.

December 12, 1968 -
If you know your Bible and your Shakespeare and can shoot craps, you have a liberal education.

After a long and well enjoyed life, Tallulah Bankhead died in St. Luke's Hospital in New York City of double pneumonia, complicated by emphysema and malnutrition, on this date.

Her last coherent words reportedly were "Codeine... bourbon." (I must remember that, except substitute gin for bourbon.)

December 12, 1980 -
Well, whip it good!

Whip It earned Devo a gold record on this date. It is the first distinction of its kind for any song about masturbation to earn a gold record.

And so it goes.

13 more shopping days until Christmas.

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