Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Gooba, Gaba, Gooba Gaba, One of us, One of us ...

It's going to be a hot one out there today - Keep hydrated!

July 8, 1932 -
W.C. Fields
' very funny political satire, Million Dollar Legs, opened on this date.

Writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz was inspired to write this film by the wild events of the 1928 Olympic games held in Amsterdam, particularly by an Albanian pole-vaulter who took to the field wearing a pair of goatskin shorts.

July 8, 1932 -
Tod Browning's
groundbreaking shockfest Freaks, featuring genuine carnival sideshow performers, premieres at the Rialto theater in New York on this date.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was a member of the MGM writing department at the time the movie was in production. He never felt quite at home with all the movie stars and powerful moguls, and so he often dined in the commissary at the table of the sideshow attractions from the film during his lunch hour.

July 8, 1958 -
The center of the Hollywood Universe was born today in 1958.

Remember even you are only a few degrees away from Kevin Bacon.

July 8, 1964 -
Probably Jerry Lewis' best directorial effort, The Patsy, premiered on this date. (This was Peter Lorre's last film; he died four days after completing his role.)

This is the only Jerry Lewis solo film that mentions Dean Martin by name. Ed Sullivan includes Martin & Lewis in a list of famous acts that made their debuts on his show.

July 8, 1964 -
Universal Studios
released Frankenstein Conquers the World (Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon,) directed by Ishiro Honda and starring Nick Adams, Tadao Takashima and Kumi Mizuno, to U.S. theaters on this date.

The film's story came from an unused 1962 screenplay titled King Kong vs. Frankenstein, written by King Kong special effects technician Willis H. O'Brien. In the story, Dr. Frankenstein's grandson created a 20 ft. monster from the remains of animals, and that monster ended up fighting Kong. The story never got past the screenplay, thought concept art depicting Kong and the Frankenstein monster exist. The screenplay was given to John Beck, who sold it to Toho, who made Kingu Kongu tai Gojira and Frankenstein Conquers the World. O'Brien was never paid for his contribution.

Today in History:
July 8, 1115 -
Peter the Hermit
died on this date. Peter is notable for his invention of The Crusades and never bathing. He whipped up support for the first Crusade as an attempt to dislodge the Seljuk Turks from Jerusalem: over three hundred thousand Christians perished in less than a year, during which they destroyed hundreds of villages throughout Europe and Asia Minor and killed tens of thousands of European Jews and fellow Christians on their way to a holy land they never reached.

As a result of this astonishing success, the Crusades were serialized and ran for several centuries.

July 8, 1776 -In Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell rang out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall), summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, by Colonel John Nixon on this date.

The bell had the inscription: proclaim liberty throughout all the land onto all the inhabitants thereof. An interesting aside - On July 8, 1835, the Liberty Bell cracked (again) while being tolled during the funeral procession for Chief Justice John Marshall. It was never rung again.

July 8, 1800 -
The first smallpox vaccine was administered on this date in the US. Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse (no relation to Price) of Massachusetts introduced Edward Jenner's method of vaccination of cowpox serum to his five-year-old son Daniel and a household servant.

Neither ever contracted smallpox and the vaccination was determined to have been an udder success.

July 8, 1856 -
The crank-operated machine gun was patented on this date by C.E. Barnes of Lowell, Massachusetts, and the revolving gun turret was invented exactly six years later by Theodore Timby.

Both inventions enabled mankind to kill itself off with unprecedented ease and efficiency, thereby launching the modern era.

July 8th was a Sunday in 1881, so when a hot young man entered Edward Berner's drugstore in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and ordered an ice-cream soda, his request was denied. Ice-cream sodas could not be served on the Sabbath owing to the ancient Mosaic injunction against them.

The hot young man pleaded his case so eloquently, however, that Berner felt sympathetic and came up with a compromise: he plopped a scoop of ice-cream into a dish and poured the chocolate-flavored syrup directly over it.

This religious dodge quickly became popular and came to be known as the Ice Cream Sundae. (The spelling was later changed to conceal the heretical origins of the dish.) Since that glorious day, hundreds of millions of Americans have consigned themselves to Hell.

July 8, 1969 -
The U.S. Patent Office issued a patent for the game Twister. (Yes smartpants, the game came out in 1966 but the patent wasn't issued until this date.)

Remember kids, if you are going to play nude Crisco Twister - always use protection.

July 8, 1976 -
Former President Richard M. Nixon was disbarred by the New York Bar Association. Nixon attempted to resign voluntarily, as he had from the California and U.S. Supreme Court bars, but New York refused to accept his resignation unless he acknowledged that he had obstructed justice during the Watergate coverup.

Bad, Nixon, Bad.

July 8, 1999 -
The last electric chair execution in Florida took place. when Allen Lee Davis ordered his last meal and walked his last mile on this date. His execution drew particular attention because his nose bled during the botched execution and he was burned on his leg, groin and head.

The US Supreme Court ruled death by electric chair was cruel and unusual punishment in 2008, ending the practice, which by then was only used in Nebraska.

(If you sick puppies want to - there are photos on the ethernet of Mr. Davis after his less than professional execution - I'm just not going to link to them.)

And so it goes.

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