Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's the Run for the Roses

Don't forget today is the 140th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs

Chop that mint for the juleps for the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.  (Our money's on Danza!)

Once again, it's Lumpy Rug Day.

Besides celebrating spring cleaning, today is the day one should examine old secrets and issues that you've hidden and deal with them.

May 3, 1903 -
Harry Lillis Crosby
, singer, actor, reformed alcoholic, pot smoker and child beater was born on this date.

Hey, maybe Bing wasn't such an awful father. Maybe it's just coincidentally all of the stuff in his private life.

May 3, 1928 (or 1933, you can't expect the hardest working man in show business to keep track of small details like which year he was born.) -
James Brown, The Godfather of Soul, was born in Augusta, Georgia on this date.

In 1992, Brown was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards.

May 3, 1941 -
Frank Capra's
darkly comedic drama, Meet John Doe, premiered on this date

I've often thought how this film would play with one of Capra's alternate endings - the one in which Cooper does commit suicide.

This is the film you should watch on Christmas Eve.

Today in History:
Niccolo Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469.

Machiavelli proved that the yen justifies the beans, and is therefore reviled.

May 3, 1494 -
Columbus first sighted the island of Jamaica on this date.

He and his crew remained on the island for some time, no doubt attracted by the tropical drinks, lush golf courses, exciting night life, and parasailing, but in the end were driven away by the high prices.

May 3, 1937 -
A short little southern lady wrote a novel for her own amusement, and with solid support from her husband, she kept her literary efforts a secret from all her friends. She would hide the voluminous pages under towels, disguising them as a divan, or hide pages in her closets or under her bed. She wrote in a haphazard fashion, writing the last chapter first, and skipping around from chapter to chapter.

In a nutshell, her novel was about a young woman who spend nearly 400 pages chasing after a man that she realizes in the end that she never really loved and (possibly) loses the man that she really does.

It was a great surprise to Ms. Mitchell that on June 30, 1936 when her voluminous novel was published. Even more shocking, on May 3, 1937, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Gone With the Wind.

May 3, 1942 -
Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was issued by Lt. General John DeWitt from his headquarters in the SF Presidio on this date. It called for the evacuation of Japanese-Americans from Los Angeles effective May 9. Some 110,000-112,000 Japanese-Americans were settled in 10 relocation camps, the first of which was in Manzanar in Owens Valley, Ca. In the Bay Area most Japanese-Americans were sent to the Tanforan racetrack where they were put up in stables and later relocated to Topaz, Utah.

Soon after, the War Relocation Authority hired Dorothea Lange, a photographer already well-known for her striking Depression-era photos of migrant workers, to document the internment process.

Lange's poignant photos reflected her disagreement with government policy and brought her into conflict with her employers.

May 3 1945 -
British torpedo bombers attack the Cap Arcona and the Thielbek in the Baltic Sea. Both vessels are flying white flags, as there are almost 7,000 concentration camp prisoners aboard. In the process of abandoning ship, the German captain of the Arcona uses a machete to hack his way through the mass of people.

When the ships sink, virtually all of the prisoners drown, making this the single largest loss of life in the history of ocean travel.

You have to marvel at the honorable naval tradition of Germany.

May 3, 1952 -
The first airplane landed at geographic North Pole on this date. It was a ski-modified U.S. Air Force C-47, piloted by Lieutenant Colonel William P. Benedict of California and Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher of Oklahoma.

The pilots were mum about meeting Santa Claus while at the North Pole.

May 3, 1963 -
Eugene "Bull" Connor directed security forces in Birmingham, Alabama to unleash police dogs on civil rights protesters, and then blast them with high-pressure fire hoses. Unfortunately for segregationists, television networks brought the footage to a shocked national audience on this date.

In the wake of the overwhelming public response, President Kennedy quips that Connor "has done more for civil rights than almost anybody else."

May 3, 1971 -
All Things Considered premiered on 112 National Public Radio stations on this date and marked the emergence of National Public Radio (NPR), the US national, non-commercial radio network.

Follow me, if you will - do you remember the film, The Hunger with Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie (and Susan Sarandon) Anyway, remember when David Bowie's vampire character begins growing too old and Catherine Deneuve has to put him upstairs with all her other now elderly former vampire companions.

Well, when you start listening to NPR, you might as well tell David Bowie to move over, you're joining him.

May 3, 1973 -
Construction commenced on the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower) in Chicago in August 1970 and the building reached its originally anticipated maximum height on this date. When completed on this date, the Sears Tower had overtaken the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City as the world's tallest building.

The tower has 108 stories as counted by standard methods, though the building owners count the main roof as 109 and the mechanical penthouse roof as 110. The distance to the roof is 1,450 feet, 7 inches. The Willis Tower is the second tallest building in the United States and the six-tallest freestanding structure in the world, as well as the fifth tallest building in the world to the roof.  One World Trade Center is currently the tallest building in the US.

May 3, 1991 -
Jerzy Kosiński was not having a good day. The award-winning novelist decided to end his day with a fatal dose of barbiturates and his usual rum-and-Coke. Kosiński then placed a plastic bag over his head and taped it shut around his neck, a method of suicide suggested by the Hemlock Society.

His suicide note read: I am going to put myself to sleep now for a bit longer than usual. Call it Eternity.

And so it goes

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