The official state bird of New Jersey is the Eastern Goldfinch.
The state tree is the red oak (Quercus borealis maxima). The state flower is the common meadow violet (Viola sororia). The state shell is the knobbed whelk, also known as the conch shell (Busycon carica gmelin). The state fish is the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), the state animal is the horse (Equus caballus),
and the state dinosaur is the Hadrosaurus (Hadrosaurus foulkii).
The eggplant is not the official vegetable of New Jersey because it's not a vegetable. It's a fruit - berry, actually - and New Jersey claims to produce two-thirds of all the eggplant in the world. (It's a bogus claim, and one that leaves me wondering not so much about the world eggplant situation, but the mindset of whoever thought it would enhance New Jersey's reputation if people thought it was the world's leading producer of eggplant. I mean, eggplant?)
It's the third night of Hanukkah -
Move on to the donuts. (Good-bye Stephen)
December 18, 1957 -
David Lean's epic glimpse into the insanity of war, The Bridge on the River Kwai, premiered in the US on this date.
The elephants employed in helping build the bridge would take breaks every four hours and lie around in the water - whether the crew wanted them to or not.
December 18, 1966 -
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas aired for the first time on CBS on this date.
Boris Karloff's voice changes when he speaks for the Grinch. Originally he spoke in his "Narrator" voice throughout. After recording was complete, the highs in his voice were mechanically removed for the Grinch, giving him the gravelly voice heard in the finished version.
Today's Christmas countdown - Holiday Cartoons
December 18, 1966 -
The Pink Panther cartoon series premiered with the episode titled The Pink Phink on this date
The Pink Panther character, created for the animated opening credits of The Pink Panther movie, was so popular that this short was produced as a starring vehicle for the character. This short marks the only time a studio has won an Oscar with its first cartoon release.
Why not finish writing out your Christmas cards (or start helping Santa wrap those presents) and play this Christmas special in the background - December 18, 1989 -
An I Love Lucy Christmas episode, nicknamed "The Lost Episode" because it was not included in the syndication package, was shown for first time in over 30 years on this date.
The Christmas episode was not included in the usual syndication package because of its holiday theme and because it mostly consists of flashbacks to previous episodes. CBS aired a colorized version (as you may know, I'm not a fan of colorized versions.)
December 18, 1998 -
Warner Brothers releases the romantic film You’ve Got Mail (A remake of the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner,) directed by Nora Ephron and starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, on this date.
This is the third time that Meg and Tom act together, the previous two being: Joe Versus the Volcano and Sleepless in Seattle.
Today in History:
December 18, 1626 -
Christina (Kristina), Queen of Sweden , later known as Maria Christina Alexandra, Minerva of the North, Protectress of the Jews at Rome and sometimes Count Dohna, was born on this date. Like most royalty and some presidents, Christina did not have to carry money, a passport or consistently spell her name the same way.
Queen Kristina, or the Girl King as she liked to be known, (as opposed to King Ludwig of Bavaria the Boy Queen, but that's another story) chose the rather shockingly ungodly motto (probably sarcastically) that "Wisdom is the Prop of the Realm." She abdicated in 1654 converted to Catholicism and dashed around Europe on a white horse, wearing men's clothing and studying philosophy and sleeping with men and women. She is one of the only few women buried within St. Peter's Basilica.
In the 1930s, she was portrayed by Greta Garbo in the film Queen Christina. Garbo basically modeled her later life on this character except for the converting thing.
December 18, 1892 -
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite publicly premiered in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the Maryinsky Theater on this date.
The first performance of The Nutcracker was not deemed a success. The reaction to the dancers themselves was ambivalent. Reception was better for Tchaikovsky's score.
Quick pop quiz -
On December 18, 1940, Adolf Hitler issued his plans for…
a. The Volkswagen
b. An extremely white Christmas
c. The bombing of Britain
d. The invasion of Russia
e. The conquest of Cyprus
f. Recovery of the lost Ark of the Covenant
And so it goes
There are 7 days until Christmas