July 16, 1948 -
John Huston's version of Maxwell Anderson's play, Key Largo, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall premiered in New York on this date.
Lionel Barrymore was severely disabled by arthritis (clearly visible in his hands) and was confined to a wheelchair, making the scene in which his Mr. Temple character gets up and falls taking a swing at Toots more than a dramatic moment.
July 16, 1951 -
One of the best adaptations of a Charles Dickens' novel, David Lean's Oliver Twist was released in the US on this date.
The film was released in England in 1948 but the film's release in the US was delayed until 1951 because of protests from Jewish pressure groups, who judged Alec Guinness' portrayal of Fagin to be anti-Semitic.
July 16, 1958 -
The classic Vincent Price Sci-Fi film, The Fly, opened in San Francisco on this date.
In the scene where the fly with Andre Delambre's head and arm is caught in the spider's web, a small animatronic figure with a moving head and arm was used in the spiderweb as a reference for actors Vincent Price and Herbert Marshall. Price later remembered that filming the scene required multiple takes, because each time he and Marshall looked at the animatronic figure, with its human head and insect body, they would burst out laughing.
July 16, 1983 -
The Police song about an obsessive stalker, (completely misunderstood by most of their fans,) Every Breath You Take topped the charts on this date.
The Police performed this when they were inducted in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2003. They were inducted by No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani,
July 16, 1999 -
Stanley Kubrick final film, Eyes Wide Shut, was released on this date.
Director Stanley Kubrick reportedly watched movies like Showgirls, Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction during the editing phase, to get the idea of how explicit the sex scenes in the movie could be and still retain the R-rated movie he had contractually agreed to deliver.
Today in History:
July 16, 1054 -
The 'Great Schism' between the Western and Eastern churches began over rival claims of universal pre-eminence. (In 1965, 911 years later, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I met to declare an end to the schism.)
Mary Baker Eddy was born on this date in 1821.
Ms. Eddy invented Christian Science, and was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1995 for having been the only American woman to found a worldwide religion without exposing her breasts.
July 16, 1860 -
A decree from Emperor Norton I of San Francisco, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, ordered the dissolution of the United States of America on this date.
July 16, 1945 -
...If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One - I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds....
Code-named Trinity, the first experimental plutonium bomb (The Gadget) was detonated in a United States test of an atomic explosion at Alamogordo Air Base, Los Alamos, New Mexico on this date. The explosion yields the equivalent 18,000 tons of TNT.
July 16, 1948 -
In the first skyjacking of a commercial plane, three armed men stormed the cockpit of the Miss Macao on this date, a passenger seaplane operated by Cathay Pacific airline.
July 16, 1951 -
The Catcher in the Rye was published 63 years ago today. The book contained secret code words by means of which its author, J.D. Salinger, was able to communicate diabolical commands to his evil minions. (Exactly fourteen years later, the tunnel connecting France and Italy through Mont Blanc was opened to the public.
Draw your own conclusions.)
Holden Caulfield, the hero and narrator of Salinger's slim classic, may be the finest portrait of twentieth-century American teenage angst bequeathed to posterity.
Either him or Archie, it's hard to say.
July 16, 1964 -
In accepting the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, Barry M. Goldwater said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" and that "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
Goldwater's speech ultimately doomed his candidacy but revived the American Conservative movement and gave birth to the political rise of Ronald Reagan.
July 16, 1969 -
45 years ago on this date, the 363-foot-tall Apollo 11 space vehicle was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, at 9:37 a.m. (I only put it together now that some sick puppies at NASA arranged to have the launch on the anniversary of the Trinity test.)
It carried Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr.
July 16, 1973 -
In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (the Ervin Committee on Watergate), former presidential assistant Alexander Butterfield disclosed that President Richard Nixon had tape recorded all of his conversations in the White House and Executive Office Building.
Bad, Nixon, bad.
July 16, 1999 -
15 years ago today, John F.Kennedy Jr. was killed along with his wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette when the aircraft he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. (Don't hitch a ride with a Kennedy.)
He was flying a Piper Saratoga II HP from Essex County Airport in New Jersey to Martha's Vineyard. Kennedy and his wife were traveling together to the wedding of his cousin Rory in Hyannis, Massachusetts, while Lauren was to have been dropped off at Martha's Vineyard en route.
And so it goes.