October 19, 1966 -
The first pairing of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (who went on to work together in 11 additional films), The Fortune Cookie, premiered on this date.
This was director Billy Wilder's second film in a row in which one of his lead actors suffered a heart attack. In preceding film, 1964's Kiss Me, Stupid, Peter Sellers' health problem forced Wilder to replace him with Ray Walston. In Fortune Cookie, Walter Matthau suffered attack midway through production but shooting was postponed until he recovered; his drastic weight loss from scene to scene is noticeable.
Today in History:
October 19, 1879 (I've also seen the date as 10/21/79, 10/22/79, 10/25/79 or 11/03/79 - I'm guessing geniuses can't be bothered when they're filing other people patents under their name every 12 minutes or crushing their competition with false and scurrilous rumors.) - Thomas A. Edison successfully demonstrates the electric light.
Unfortunately, it took several years to straighten out his first electric bill.
October 19, 1890 -
My favorite self-circumcising, Muslim passing, male brothel going, Late-Victorian pornographer and international man of mystery Richard Francis Burton, explorer, British consul, translator, died on this date.
October 19, 1901 -
Alberto Santos-Dumont successfully circled the Eiffel Tower in his Santos-Dumont No. 6 dirigible within a half hour and won a 100,000 franc prize.
In the midst of the First World War, Salvation Army volunteers in France found themselves stymied by inadequate supplies and ovens for baking. Unable to prepare the cakes and and pies they so badly wanted to bake for the troops, they came up with the novel idea of frying rather than baking the dough.
Two Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. This resulted in the appearance of the world's first fried donut on a WWI front on October 19, 1917.
The donut should not be confused with the bagel, despite their physical resemblance. The bagel is boiled and baked, whereas the donut is fried (but sometimes baked.)
Bagels are found in varieties such as onion, garlic, salt, poppy-seed, and sesame-seed, and are frequently consumed with cheese and fish.
Donuts are found in varieties such as glazed, chocolate, chocolate-frosted, strawberry-frosted, powdered, jelly-filled, and sprinkled.
They are rarely consumed with cheese or fish, but they go pretty damn well with coffee (or tea.)
October 19, 1953 -
After Julius La Rosa had finished singing Manhattan on Arthur Godfrey Time, the host (and general scum bag) Arthur Godfrey fired him on the air, announcing, "that was Julie's swan song with us."
Unaware the firing was coming (or what the phrase "swan song" meant), La Rosa tearfully met with Godfrey after the broadcast and thanked him for giving him his "break."
October 19, 1982 -
Maverick carmaker John DeLorean was arrested in Los Angeles with $24 million dollars worth of cocaine in his suitcase on this date.
The case was later thrown out of court when a judge rules that the FBI sting operation constituted entrapment.
And so it goes