August 22, 1929 -
Walt Disney released the animated short film The Skeleton Dance (The first of Disney's Silly Symphony series,) animated by Ub Iwerks, on this date.
At the time, Walt Disney distributed his films through a company run by Pat Powers. But Powers couldn't sell it to distributors (who found the dancing skeletons odd and even gruesome). Undeterred, Disney was able to have the film screened at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles, where it was a rousing success.
August 22, 1930 -
W.C. Fields' classic short, The Golf Specialist, premiered on this date.
The picture of Bellweather on the wanted poster shows Fields in costume for his "Fatal Glass of Beer" sketch. It obviously is taken from a stage presentation of the well-tried routine as the comedian would not film it until 1933.
August 22, 1946 -
The last of Alfred Hitchcock's wartime thrillers, Notorious, premiered on this date.
Alfred Hitchcock and Ben Hecht consulted Nobel Prize winner Dr. Robert Millikan on how to make an atomic bomb. He refused to answer, but confirmed that the principal ingredient, uranium, could fit in a wine bottle.
August 22, 1972 -
The movie that introduced Monty Python and its seminal brand of comedy to American audiences, And Now for Something Completely Different, premiered on this date.
Shot between the first and second seasons of Monty Python's Flying Circus, this film contains several sketches that had been written for the second season but not yet performed, including the "Hungarian Phrasebook" sketch.
Today in History:
August 22, 1485 -
At the Battle of Bosworth, England's King Richard III was terminated for having made a fiscally irresponsible bid on a horse.
For evermore, kingdoms went for a great deal more than small pieces of hardware.
August 22, 1770 -
Captain James Cook claimed Australia for the British crown when he landed on a small island off the coast of Queensland.
August 22, 1776 -
George Washington asked the Continental Congress for permission to burn New York City, to stop the city from being used to quarter troops arriving via the British fleet. It is declined, but his soldiers set 1/4th of the town ablaze on September 21.
August 22, 1849 -
In the first air raid in history, Austria launched 200 pilotless balloons, each attached with 30-pound bombs, against the city of Venice on this date.
Hiroshima as a shrine of peace after a single nuclear bomb killed 130,000 people
August 22, 1864 -
12 nations sign the first Geneva Convention specifically calling for the protection of the wounded during times of active warfare on this date. This leads directly to formation of the Red Cross.
August 22, 1893 -
Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone
Dorothy Parker was born in New York City, to Henry and Eliza Rothschild (... My God, no, dear! We'd never even heard of those Rothschilds ....) on this date.
Her birth was two months premature, allowing her to say that it was the last time she was early for anything. She was quoted, when discussing her early years, "All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn’t sit in the same room with me."
While she was a successful writer, she was just plain lousy at committing suicide. Dorothy Parker attempted suicide four times herself before succumbing to a heart attack in 1967.
August 22, 1902 -
President Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. chief executive to ride in an automobile (a purple-lined Columbia Electric Victoria) in Hartford, Ct. on this date. The police detail covering the event rode bicycles.
August 22, 1920 -
The late great Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer whose works include The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, was born on this date.
As a young boy, a friend once ridiculed his collection of science fiction and comic books, and heckled him into throwing them away. A day later, Bradbury was heartbroken, feeling that he had trashed his best friends. He immediately rebuilt his collection.
August 22, 1962 -
A group called the OAS (Secret Army Organization in English) plotted an assassination attempt on President Charles De Gaulle, who they believed had betrayed France by giving up Algeria (in northern Africa) to Algerian nationalists.
Frederick Forsyth dramatized the events of that August in his best-selling novel The Day of the Jackal, later made into a film.
August 22, 1973 -
Henry Kissinger, German-born American bureaucrat, succeeded William Rogers as Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, on this date.
Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year, (he's also considered a war criminal by others.) He continued in office until 1977. (I really don't care about the man but it gave me an excuse to play the Python song.)
And so it goes.