Huzzah, it's Melba Toast Day. The toast so named for the the Australian Opera singer Nellie Melba by her great admirer (and world famous French chef Auguste Escoffier.)
but folks, get a grip, it's just toast.
March 23, 1910 -
Akira Kurosawa, Japanese film director (Rashomon, The Seven Samurai, Ran), was born in Tokyo, Japan on this date.
One his closest friends was Ishirô Honda, the writer-director behind Godzilla. Unbeknownst to many people, Kurosawa had always wanted to make a Godzilla film of his own, but the executives at Toho Co., Ltd. (the Japanese studio that produces all the Godzilla films) wouldn't let him because they feared it would cost too much.
Today in History:
March 23, 1369 -
Pedro the Cruel, King and tyrant of Castile and Leon, was murdered on this date. Enrique, the illegitimate son of Alfonso XI of Castile, killed his half brother Pedro I in the Castilian civil war and became King Enrique I the Bastard of Castile.
March 23, 1534 -
Pope Clement VII declared that the marriage between Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon was still valid, even though they'd been divorced the previous year and Henry had already married Anne Boleyn.
March 23, 1908 -
You have to be self-reliant and strong to survive in this town. Otherwise you will be destroyed.
Joan Crawford, actress (both legitimate films and porno), executive and child beater was born on this date.
March 23, 1912 -
Wernher von Braun, German - born rocket pioneer who led the development of the V-2 rocket during World War II was born on this date.
He was deemed one of the The Good Germans we collected as a bonus prize at the end of the war. Von Braun was said to be the preeminent rocket engineer of the 20th century.
March 23, 1919 -
Benito Mussolini founded his own party in Italy on this date. He had tried all the other parties, but he was an awkward young man and had a hard time getting to know people. His Fasci di Combattimento ("Evil Fascist Bastards Party") was extremely popular, however, and even the cool kids came.
It got so crowded that the neighbors started complaining, which ended up starting a big fight, and the rest is history.
March 23, 1925 -
Tennessee Governor Austin Peay signs the Butler Act into law, making illegal the teaching in public school "any theory that denies the story of divine creation of man as taught in the Bible", on this date.
Teacher John Scopes couldn't think of anywhere else to teach evolution, so he ignored the ban and was later prosecuted in what became known as the Scopes Monkey Trial, which resulted in an Oscar for Spencer Tracy.
March 23, 1961 -
Valentin Bondarenko was a young cosmonaut who had been doing routine medical tests in a pressure chamber as part of an isolation exercise, on this date. He removed some biosensors from his body and used a cotton ball moistened with alcohol to wash the sticky stuff off his skin.
He tossed the cotton ball aside and it landed on an electric hot plate, where it caught fire. Because the chamber's atmosphere was pure oxygen, the fire spread quickly. Bondarenko was removed from the chamber alive, but he died soon after of shock.Bondarenko's death was kept secret for 25 years. The fatal Apollo 1 disaster could have been averted if NASA had been aware of the accident
March 23, 1965 -
NASA launched Gemini III, nicknamed the “Molly Brown,” from Cape Canaveral on this date. It was the United State’s first maneuverable two-man mission. The mission was crewed by astronauts Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom and John W. Young.
The flight was the first for Young, who breaks quarantine regulations by smuggling a sandwich into orbit to share with Grissom. Before the end of the mission, Young would become the first man to eat a corned beef sandwich in space. Crumbs from the "weightless" sandwich scattered throughout the Gemini 3 spacecraft, posing a potential, if unintentional, flight safety risk. This rules violation caused NASA to clamp down on what astronauts could and could not carry into space.
March 23, 1989 -
A 1000-foot diameter asteroid misses the Earth by only 500,000 miles on this date.
March 23, 1997 -
Five dead bodies are found arranged in a cross formation at the burned Quebec home of Didier Queze. They were members of the Solar Temple cult who in 1994 to 1996 had totaled 69 suicides in Europe and North America.
I believe this is the corollary to Thoreau's 'beware of all enterprises that require new clothes' - NEVER join a cult that requires you to remove your genitals.
And so it goes.
I nearly forgot - here are the answers to yesterday's quiz