Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fiddling about

March 26, 1942 -
Up in the sky, look! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!

The Bulleteers, part of the Fleischer Superman animated series, was released on this date

March 26, 1971
Balding, middle-aged, and portly (hey I better watch out, that's starting to describe me) - Cannon with William Conrad premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

Frank Cannon was a pipe smoker. He was shown with a pipe in the first two seasons but it was seen occasionally in the third and fourth season before it was subsequently dropped altogether. In reality, William Conrad was a pipe smoker.

March 26, 1975 -
The Who's
rock opera Tommy, directed with his usual flair by Ken Russell premiered in London on this date.

The building that is seen to be on fire, part of Tommy's holiday camp, is in fact really burning down. It is South Parade Pier in Southsea. A fire was accidentally started during the filming and the crew decided to include the footage in the film. The fire-crews and the fire are genuine. The pier was rebuilt and is still in use today.

March 26, 1977 -
Less Than Zero
, the debut single from Elvis Costello, was released by the newly formed Stiff Records in London, England on this date.

This was Costello's first single. At the time, he had a day job working on a computer at Elizabeth Arden cosmetics. The Mr Oswald referred to in the song was Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists. He died in 1980.

March 26, 1989 -
The science fiction series, Quantum Leap, starring Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.

Al's cigar was the idea of actor Dean Stockwell, who said it was "a good way to get free cigars for five years".

Today in History:
March 26, 1199
All seemed right with the Medieval world. Richard the Lionheart was taking an evening stroll around the castle perimeter without his chain mail, investigating the progress of soldiers trying to destroy the fortress in which he was seeking refuge. Arrows were occasionally fired from the castle walls, but these were given little attention.

One defender in particular was of great amusement to the King - a man standing on the walls, cross bow in one hand, the other clutching a frying pan which he had been using all day as a shield to beat off missiles (this is what passed for amusement in 1199). He deliberately aimed an arrow at the King, which the King applauded. However, another arrow then struck him in the left shoulder near the neck. He tried to pull this out in the privacy of his tent, but failed; a surgeon, called a 'butcher' by Hoveden, removed it, 'carelessly mangling' the King's arm in the process. However, the wound swiftly became gangrenous.

Accordingly, Richard asked to have the cross bowman brought before him - the man proved a boy. This boy claimed that Richard had slain the boy's father and two brothers, and that he had slain Richard in vengeance. The boy expected to be slain; Richard, as a last act of mercy, forgave the boy his crime, saying, "Live on, and by my bounty behold the light of day," before ordering the boy to be freed and sent away with 100 shillings. Richard then set his affairs in order, bequeathing all his territory to his brother John and his jewels to his nephew Otto.

Richard died on Tuesday, April 6, 1199 in the arms of his mother; it was later said that "As the day was closing, he ended his earthly day." His death was later referred to as 'the Lion [that] by the Ant was slain'. His last act of chivalry proved pointless: as soon as Richard was dead, his most infamous mercenary captain Mercadier had the boy who fired the fatal arrow flayed alive and then hanged.

So much for pardons.

March 26, 1827 -
German composer Ludwig Van Beethoven died in Vienna on this date. He had been deaf for the later part of his life, but said on his death bed "I shall hear in heaven."

I wonder how that worked out for him?

March 26, 1830 -
Joseph Smith
published The Book of Mormon on this date, after translating it from golden plates turned over by the angel Moroni.

Smith maintained that the text contained in the tablets were written in Reformed Egyptian which he read by means of two magic stones from the Old Testament, the Urim and Thummim.

March 26,1920
They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

I don't know why I bother bringing this up but F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel was published on this date, bringing his talents into the spotlight.

The novel This Side of Paradise immediately launching 23-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald to fame and fortune.

But what do you care, you don't read anything, anyway.

March 26, 1931 -
As if some cosmic force far greater than any of us can understand, Leonard Nimoy was born four day after William Shatner.

March 26, 1953 -
Dr. Jonas Salk announced he had a vaccine for polio, on this date. Following Salk's discovery, a nationwide inoculation campaign began in 1955.

By 1957, the number of new polio cases dropped from 58 thousand to under six thousand.

March 26, 2233 - (There is some controversy surrounding this date)
James Tiberius Kirk will be born to Winona & George Samuel Kirk, Sr. in a small farming community in Riverside, Iowa. As the Captain will be quoted in the future, "I'm from Iowa, I only work in outer space."

Although born on Earth, he was apparently raised, at least for a time, on Tarsus IV, where he was one of only nine surviving witnesses to the massacre of 4,000 colonists because of utilitarian extermination by Kodos the Executioner so that the colony could survive a devastating famine.

And so it goes.

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