Monday, September 22, 2014

... the year's last, loveliest smile

Today is the first day of Autumn.

By happy coincidence, it's also the first day of Fall.

Many people in the northern hemisphere are disturbed by the changes they see around them at about this time each year. It gets darker earlier, temperatures drop, leaves change color and die and the Red Sox tend to drop out of playoff contention.

There have been myths about the changing of the seasons as long as there have been children to lie to. Some primitive peoples believed that leaves changed color because Nature was pining for her abducted daughter; others blamed it on the seasonal absence of sunlight-fed chlorophyll, allowing xanthophyll, carotene, and antocyanin to determine leaf color. We may never know the truth.

The first day of autumn is sometimes also referred to as the Autumnal Equinox. The autumnal equinox brings the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere on: September 22 at 10:29 P.M. Don't be alarmed by the title. It's just fall.

With courage and some heavy drinking, we can get through this thing.

September 22, 1957
The comedy-western series Maverick, premiered on ABC-TV on this date .

James Garner claimed that during filming one day they had less than an hour until overtime would have to be paid, but they still needed to shoot a complicated fight scene. Spying a group of tall weeds, he suggested that he throw his opponent into the weeds and have the fight proceed with much shaking of the weeds, and people being ejected from the weeds, only to immediately run back in. The results were extremely funny, and thus the cast and crew began to look for "funny" ways to cut corners, turning the show into a semi-comedy.

September 22, 1958 -The Private Eye series, Peter Gunn, starring Craig Stevens premiered on this date

This was one of the first television shows to have its own original score and it was the first to feature modern jazz for a soundtrack. Previously, producers used generic music scores that were used in many television productions.

September 22, 1960 -
Joan Marie Larkin
, singer/ musician extraordinaire was born on this date.

If you love Rock and Roll, you love Joan

September 22, 1964 -
Napoleon Solo
and Illya Kuryakin, who kept the world safe on The Man from U.N.C.L.E, made their first appearance on NBC-TV on this date.

U.N.C.L.E. stands for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.  The meaning of the acronym THRUSH was never spelled out in the series, though a meaning was created for one of the UNCLE novels published at the time (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity).

September 22, 1994 -
You could get a cup of coffee at Central Perk (and if you're in NYC, head to 199 Lafayette St. for a free cup of coffee at a replica of the shop) for the first time when Friends, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.

(yes the audio is sped up in the episode above - sorry)
The cast members were paid equally throughout the series. They started out making $22,500 per episode and ended up making $1,000,000 per episode. All negotiations were done in unison. Kudrow said, "The six of us are far stronger than just one person."

Today in History:
September 22, 1761 -
George III
and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz were crowned King and Queen of the Great Britain. Which is funny because George was not British. He was German. He had been Elector of Hanover. (Although he was the first King of England in a very long time that spoke English as his first language, if at all.)

But he ended his days, completely blind, increasingly deaf and totally insane locked up in Windsor Castle, with his son acting as Regent for the remainder of George III's life.

I've said it before - sometimes it's not so good to be King.

September 22, 1776 -
An American Captain was hanged as a spy with no trial by the British, under the orders of General William Howe, in New York City during the Revolutionary War on this date. He was considered as one of the incendiaries of the burning of NYC.

Moments before his execution, he expressed regret that he couldn't be hanged more than once. This remark catapulted him to posthumous fame (but only after his death), and Nathan Hale is revered to this day.

September 22, 1869 -
Richard Wagner's
opera Das Rheingold premieres in Munich on this date.

Beer drinkers around the world rejoice!!!

September 22, 1961 -
President John Kennedy took a break from hanging out with Frank Sinatra, shooting speed and having sex with Marilyn Monroe to sign a congressional act establishing the Peace Corps on this date.

The government-funded volunteer organization was created to fight hunger, disease, illiteracy, poverty, and lack of opportunity around the world.

Sometimes it good to be the President (and sometimes it sucks, as Mr. Kennedy would eventually find out.)

September 22, 1980 -
In a stunning blow to America's feminine hygiene, consumer products manufacturer Procter & Gamble initiates the largest tampon recall in history, pulling Rely Tampons from store shelves, starting on this date.

The action results from the ongoing Toxic Shock Syndrome controversy.

No comment.

And so it goes.

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