I have no idea why anyone would want to celebrate the soul-numbing activity of having to punch into work. So instead, let's celebrate a great cut from the Elvis Costello album Punch the Clock, Shipbuilding.
We could also note that it's Thomas Crapper day (more about Mr. Crapper later.)
On January 21, 1901, the great maestro Joe Green (Giuseppe Verdi was merely his stage name) suffered a stroke while staying at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, in Milan. So revered was the composer that horses hooves were wrapped in blankets to muffle their noise as they passed the hotel where he rested.
Verdi gradually grew more feeble and died six days later, on this date. To date, his funeral remains the largest public assembly of any event in the history of Italy.
January 27, 1918 -
Tarzan of the Apes, the first Tarzan film, premiered at the Broadway Theater in NYC on this date.
In one scene a lion is supposed to crawl through the window of Tarzan's cabin to devour Jane. Tarzan grabs him and pulls him out. Rumor has it that the old and drugged lion turned on Elmo Lincoln who stabbed and killed him. "I stepped on him to beat my chest. As my foot pressed down on him, the remaining air in his lungs escaped with a loud whoosh. I was already shaken and you should have seen me jump!" The lion wound up as a lobby display when the picture opened on Broadway. However, Enid Markey and others from the cast have disputed this version of events, saying that the lion was actually killed off screen. Contrary to popular opinion, the death of the lion is not actually shown on screen. It is already dead when Elmo stabs at it, barely puncturing its skin.
January 27, 1976 -
Laverne and Shirley, a spinoff from Happy Days, starring Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, premiered on ABC-TV on this date .
Virtually all the scripts of the unsuccessful sitcom Hey, Landlord (1966) were eventually rewritten as scripts for this show .
Today in History:
January 27, 1756 -
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian musical genius, composer and fart joke lover, whose works included The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, was born on this date.
When Mozart died in 1791, probably of heart disease, he was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.
January 27, 1832 –
... Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Anglican deacon, children's author, mathematician, and photographer (child pornographer?) was born on this date.
January 27, 1859 -
Kaiser Wilhelm II, (Queen Victoria's first grandchild and first cousin to both King George V and Tsar Nicholas II) emperor who ruled Germany during World War I but was forced to abdicate in 1918, was born on this date.
Oh, those wacky royals.
January 27, 1900 -
Hyman Rickover, American admiral who is considered the "Father of the Atomic Submarine", was born on this date.
Creating a detail-focused pursuit of excellence to a degree previously unknown, Rickover redirected the United States Navy’s ship propulsion, quality control, personnel selection, and training and education, and has had far reaching effects on the defense establishment and the civilian nuclear energy field.
Hooray, it's Thomas Crapper Day
(The Germans have a word for that bone-chilling dread, and it reflects poorly upon us as a nation that we do not. The Germans also have a word for the feeling you get when you notice just as you’re locking your car door that the keys are still in the ignition. Clearly, they have more to offer the world than beer, pretzels, and maniacal plans for world conquest.)
The importance of toilets cannot be overstated, and anything that important deserves a good legend. Thomas Crapper may not have invented the toilet, and his name may not have been the source of our "crap" or "crapper," but that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate the truth. We can choose to embrace the legend of Thomas Crapper:
Thomas Crapper was born in 1839. He became a plumber. He invented the flush toilet, which is why people called it the "crapper," which eventually led to people calling the stuff they put into the toilet "crap."
It’s concise. It’s easy. It’s elegant. Reject the truth, and give thanks this day for Thomas Crapper.
January 27, 1967 -
A launchpad flash fire in the Apollo I capsule killed the astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward H White and Roger B Chaffee at Cape Canaveral on this date.
An investigation indicated that a faulty electrical wire inside the Apollo I command module was the probable cause of the fire .
January 27, 1973 -
North and South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and the United States signed the Paris Peace Accord on this day, ending one of the longest and most unpopular wars in American history.
Despite a ceasefire that had been put into effect a few days earlier, the last American troop to die in Vietnam was killed just 11 hours before the treaty was signed.
January 27, 1992 -
Candidate Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers mutually accuse each other of lying about whether or not they had a 12 year affair on this date.
Oh, that wacky Bubba
January 27, 2010 –
Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and whose books, such as A People's History of the United States, inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the American experience, died on this date.
Go out and buy his book, if not for a kid you know, buy it for yourself.
And so it goes.