The great jazz legend 'Little' Jimmy Scott died yesterday at the age of 88.
If you're not familiar with Mr. Scott's work, please do yourself a favor and watch him sing on You Tube; but remember to bring plenty of tissues.
Please remove your hat while reading this:
It was on this date in 1777 that the Stars and Stripes was adopted as the official flag of the United States of America.
The first Flag Day observance was not held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes on June 14, 1877, as some sites might tell you, but read on my friend, this seems to the real story:
In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, a man named George Morris persuaded his city of Hartford, Conn., to undertake a patriotic celebration on behalf of the Union. But the concept didn't catch on, there or elsewhere.
So now you know. (You may now put your hat back on.)
June 14, 1949 -
This truly dark comedy, Kind Hearts and Coronets, starring the ever present Alec Guinness, was released on this date.
Alec Guinness nearly drowned in the scene where The Admiral goes down with his sinking ship. Guinness was held down by wires while the set filled up with water. Once the scene was wrapped, the crew started to leave until one technician suddenly realised that they had forgotten to release the actor from the wires holding him underwater. He immediately dove into the waters with some wire-cutters and freed Guinness.
June 14, 1967 -
One of the iconic films from the 60s, the British drama To Sir, with Love, starring Sidney Poitier premiered in the US on this date.
The London bus that appears in several sequences at the start of the film, LLU 829, and in some later sequences, still survives today as a preserved vintage vehicle, and can be seen at the East Anglia Transport Museum, Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, England.
June 14, 1976 -
The Gong Show debuted on NBC on this date. People with dubious talents perform their acts before a celebrity panel of judges, who are free to eject the performer at any time by banging a large gong. The best non-gonged performer each night wins $516.32.
During the time the show is on the air, it's creator, Chuck Barris, suffered a complete mental breakdown, he said from the stress of being a secret CIA hit man.
No really, I'm not kidding you.
June 14, 1985 -
One of John Houston's last films, the black comedy Prizzi's Honor, opened on this date.
Julie Bovasso taught Jack Nicholson how to speak "Brooklynese". Researching the role, he hung out in lowlife dives in Brooklyn.
Today in History:
June 14, 1648 -
Midwife Margaret Jones was hanged in Boston for witchcraft on this date.
June 14, 1940 -
Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund had a quick drink as they planned to leave Paris ahead of the Nazi invasion. Little does Rick know that Ilsa does not plan to join him (but that's another story ....)
Paris falls to the Nazis on this date. Marshal Philippe Petain became the head of the French government and sued for peace. Gertrude Stein translated Petain's speeches and hailed him as a hero of the French nation.
And sometimes, a rose is just a collaborator.
June 14, 1954 -
At the Lincoln Memorial, President Dwight Eisenhower signs a law inserting the words "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance. Eisenhower declares: "From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty." Precisely which Almighty is left to the listener's imagination.
June 14, 1961 -
Sometimes you surprise yourself with what you can handle, and if you come out the other end with some wisdom, then it's not such a bad thing.
1980s pop music star George Alan O'Dowd was born in Kent, England on this date.
June 14, 1962 -
Albert Henry DeSalvo, a small time petty criminal confessed that he murdered Anna Slesersby, a petite divorcee, by strangling her with the belt from her robe on this date. She was only the first victim of The Boston Strangler.
June 14, 1966 -
The Vatican announced the abolition of its Index librorum prohibitum (Index of Prohibited Books), originally instituted in 1557 by Pope Paul IV. Notable novelists on the list were Laurence Sterne, Voltaire, Daniel Defoe, Honor de Balzac, Jean-Paul Sartre.
June 14, 1989 -
Zsa Zsa Gabor was arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer and driving with an expired license. Afterwards Zsa Zsa complains to the press that the handling she received from the BHPD "was like Nazi Germany."
And on a personal note:
Happy Birthday Thierry
And so it goes.