Friday, July 25, 2014

Turn the mad dog loose

It used to be St. Christopher's Day on this date. St. Christopher once was the patron saint of bachelors, travelers, transportation workers, protector against sudden death and toothaches



The Saint Christopher feast day of July 25 was removed from the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in 1969.  But by all means, please feel free to continue to pray to this beleaguered saint (or non-saint.)


July 25, 1953 -
The Merrie Melodies
cartoon, Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, starring Daffy Duck as space hero Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as his assistant and Marvin the Martian as his opponent, was released on this date



It will go on to become one of the most famous of the Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoons, and in 2003, after many years of cult status, it will be briefly spun off into its own animated series.


July 25, 1980 -
The very silly movie, Caddyshack, premiered on this date (watch it - you'll laugh in spite of yourself.)



After filming wrapped each day, most of the cast and crew spent the nights partying, which eventually took its toll before the end of filming as cast and crew began to show up late for morning calls, holding up filming for hours at a time.


Today in History:
July 25, 1689
-
King Louis XIV of France declared war on Britain on this date, for having joined the League of Augsburg and the Netherlands in order to oppose the French invasion of the Rhenish Palatinate.

This caused the Battle of Schenectady in New York. (Really.)

Please feel free to drop that at your next cocktail party.


July 25, 1848 -
British statesman Arthur James Lord Balfour was born on this date. In 1917, as Foreign Secretary of the British Government, Lord Balfour declared that "His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."



This came to be known as the Balfour Declaration, acknowledged by scholars throughout the world as the beginning of the Middle East Peace Process.


July 25, 1865 -
Dr. James Barry, British military medical officer and senior inspector general, died on this date.



As the good doctor was being laid out, a charwoman, Sophia Bishop noticed that Barry was a ‘perfect female’. She satisfied her curiosity and also noticed what appeared to be stretch marks on Barry’s stomach indicating the doctor had once been pregnant. It was soon revealed that Dr. Barry was likely a female, born Margaret Ann Bulkley.


July 25, 1909 -
French aviator Louis Blériot became the first person to fly across the English Channel when his aircraft (a 28hp wooden monoplane tied together with piano strings) landed in Dover, on this date.



The 36-year-old took off at 5.00 am from an airstrip near Calais and landed 43 minutes later. Blériot had followed his course by looking at ships below, having no compass in the airplane. Blériot claimed his prize of 1000 pounds, offered by the newspaper Daily Mail for this feat.


July 25, 1917 -
Margaret Zelle
, also known as Mata Hari, was found guilty of spying and was sentenced to death, on this date.



There is no actual evidence that she is a spy, although she may have slept with half of the German army (and the French had a thing about that.)


July 25, 1936 -
After NYC's 'Master Builder' Robert Moses had millions of yards of brown and white sand shipped from the Rockaways, Northport and Sandy Hook to Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach, the Bronx Rivera, was opened to the public on this date.

At one time, this was the largest Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) project in New York City and the beach had one of the largest parking fields in the city.


July 25, 1943 -
Benito Mussolini attempted to resign as Head Rat Bastard of Italy on this date. He did not receive a gold watch. His 401(K) was in tatters (and had not yet matured.)



He was therefore machine-gunned to death, suspended upside down, and urinated on by the people of Italy on April 28, 1945, as a civic reminder of the severe penalty for early withdrawal of principle.


July 25, 1946 -
The US conducted the first underwater test of the atomic bomb, as part of the Operation Crossroads series of nuclear bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific



The bomb, called Baker was detonated 90 feet underwater. Its explosion contaminated the target ships so badly that the Navy had to cancel the one remaining nuclear weapon test called Charlie.


July 25, 1956 -
Yes, I know that the ships Andrea Doria and Stockholm collided off Nantucket on this date

We're going to talk about it tomorrow


July 25,  1984 -
Russian astronaut Svetlana Savitskaya performed a space walk while stationed on the Soviet space station Salyut 7, becoming the first woman who walking in space.



She also was the second woman in space — the first was Russian astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, 17 years earlier.


July 25, 1990 -
Please rise for the singing of our National Anthem
-



At a baseball game, actress Rosanne Arnold warbled the Star Spangled Banner, grabbed her crotch and endeared herself to an entire nation on this date.


July 25, 1999 -
Woodstock '99
festival ended on this date with looting and rioting, leaving 12 trailers burned, towers toppled, and several women attacked during the course of the show.



About 500 state troopers were needed to quell the mass uprising of peace and love, apparently triggered by overpriced vendors and commercialization.


July 25, 2000 -
A right tire explosion on the Concorde caused the plane to crash after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris on this date, leaving 113 dead.



It is the first crash in Concorde's history, and the only supersonic commercial flight to ever crash.



And so it goes.

2 comments:

Jim Haas said...

Not to brag (OK, just a little), but it was my second cousin, Paolo Vigneri, who lead the Caribinieri unit that took Mussolini into custody on this date in 43. After some weeks as a prisoner, Mussolini was rescued by the Nazis. That didn't work out.

Kevin said...

I remembered this fact from a previous comment you had made but couldn't figure out how to incorporate that into the posting.