June 4, 1938 -
Another extremely funny Warner Bros. Cartoon, Porky the Fireman, was released on this date.
The director, Frank Tashlin, is one of the few directors to successfully make the transition from animation to live-action, noted especially for his work with Jerry Lewis. Tashlin never made a picture that couldn’t be slotted firmly into the genre of comedy.
June 4, 1953 -
Joseph L. Mankiewicz's adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, Julius Caesar, starring Marlon Brando and just about ever middle aged British actor opened in general release on this date.
Director John Huston remarked on Brando's intense Method acting in this film as "like a hot furnace opening in a dark room."
June 4, 1963 -
The Nutty Professor, arguably Jerry Lewis' best directorial effort, was released on this date.
At the time of the making of this picture, Jerry was the commercial spokesman for Dr. Pepper explaining the product placement of a Dr. Pepper vending machine in the club scenes.
June 4, 1965 -
The Rolling Stones release Satisfaction on this date.
The final take was recorded just 5 days after Richards first came up with the idea. Three weeks later, it was released as a single in the US. An instant hit, it made The Stones stars in America. It helped that they were already touring the US to support it.
June 4, 1984 -
Bruce Springsteen released Born in the USA on this date.
This is one of the most misinterpreted songs ever. Most people thought it was a patriotic song about American pride, when it actually cast a shameful eye on how America treated its Vietnam veterans. Springsteen considers it one of his best songs, but it bothers him that it is so widely misinterpreted. With the rollicking rhythm, enthusiastic chorus, and patriotic album cover, it is easy to think this has more to do with American pride than Vietnam shame.
June 4, 1982 -
Paramount released the epic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (which should have been titled, Battle of the Outrageous Toups) opened on this date.
At the time of the movie, both William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban were starring on TV series produced by Aaron Spelling. Shatner was on TJ Hooker and Montalban was on Fantasy Island. Both aired on ABC-TV.
On the same day, Paramount released the horror classic, Poltergeist.
The production crew used real human skeletons because it was cheaper to purchase them instead of plastic ones.
Today in History:
June 4, 1070 -
Roquefort cheese was accidentally discovered in a cave near Roquefort, France, when a shepherd found a lunch he had forgotten several days before, chasing after a pretty girl.
Remember, this is an estimated date - history doesn't normally record the spoiled luncheon choices hungry shepherds have. This was a very brave (or very hungry) shepherd.
Also, how do they know he was chasing a pretty girl. Maybe he was chasing another virile and strapping youth. Maybe it was a fetching sheep with a come-hither look. What business is it of yours anyway?
The Freemasons were officially founded in London on June 4, 1717.
The Freemasons are not a secret society of assassins. They do not have Cesar Borgia's head preserved in an urn filled with grappa. They were not responsible for the French Revolution. They did not kidnap Anastasia Romanov. They are not in control of the Hale-Bopp comet. They did not invent horseradish.
They were masters of masonry, however, and they ushered in a golden age of making things out of rocks.
Freemasons first appeared in England and Scotland in the 1300s, not long after the first appearance of the Loch Ness monster but well before the advent of crop circles. Most laborers of the era were villains and therefore prohibited from travel; since most stone masonry projects (such as cathedrals, churches, and big piles of rocks) required specialized training and large numbers of workers, however, stone masons were permitted to travel freely. They became known as Freemasons; their curious lunchboxes came to be known as mason jars.
Whenever the Freemasons arrived in town to start work on a new project, they set up a common area where they could meet one another, receive their pay, get food, train apprentices, rest, and get roaring drunk. These came to be known as lodges.
As the centuries passed, the Freemasons did less and less work with rocks and more and more drinking at lodges. Today, the Freemasons are a friendly social organization with a secret handshake, and are therefore believed to be responsible for selling out the governments of the world to an invading extraterrestrial army.
June 4, 1783 -
The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrate their unmanned montgolfière (hot air balloon) on this date.
The first untethered flight was recorded by the brothers later that year on November 21, 1783 in Paris, France.
June 4, 1798 -
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt, Venetian adventurer, syphilis sufferer and author, died in relative obscurity as the librarian of Count Waldstein of Bohemia on this date. The Count often ignored him at meals and failed to introduce him to important visiting guests. More over Casanova, the testy outsider, was thoroughly disliked by most of the other inhabitants of the Castle of Dux. Casanova’s only friends seemed to be his fox terriers.
In despair, Casanova considered suicide, but instead decided that he must live on to record his memoirs, which he did until his death.
His main book Histoire de ma vie (History of My Life), part autobiography and part memoir, is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. His last words are said to have been “I have lived as a philosopher and I die as a Christian.”
June 4, 1989 -
Tiananmen Square protests (also know as the "June Fourth Incident") were ended in the typical manner of a totalitarian regime - with the People's Liberation Army soldiers and tanks, massacring the people they are supposed to serve.
Amnesty International estimated anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 Chinese democracy advocates were killed on this day. The Chinese government puts the death toll at 241. To celebrate the 25 year anniversary of the massacre, critics have been put under house arrest, newspapers and popular web sites and search engines have been censored by the Chinese government, in an effort to 'erase' the incident from the public conscience.
Once again, I'm not making any friends with the Chinese government.
And so it goes.