The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) has come up with a new way of fighting off Russian submarines in the Stockholm archipelago: a subsurface sonar system called 'The Singing Sailor', which sends out Morse code and features the message "Welcome to Sweden. Gay since 1944".
Any submarines lurking in the capital's waters will now come across an animated neon sign of a dancing sailor wearing underpants along with the message "Sweden – gay since 1944" (referring to when Sweden legalized homosexuality).
It's Israel's 67th anniversary today (Israel became a nation at midnight May 14th , in 1948, upon the termination of the British mandate.)
I'm not sure any of Israel's neighbors will be sending them a birthday card any time soon.
Today is National Chicken Dance Day - so dance you sinners, dance!
Although I'm sure that Werner Thomas, the creator of the original Chicken Dance music ( "Der Ententanz" (The Duck Dance)) never have Iggy's dancing in mind
May 14, 1925 -
A middle-aged society matron goes shopping for flowers for her party and World War I veteran, suffering PTSD, decides to commit suicide rather than be institutionalized, all on the same afternoon. Much internal contemplation ensues.
Virginia Woolf's novel, Mrs. Dalloway was published on this date. The novel is considered one of Virginia Woolf's best, and was revolutionary in its time for its themes of neuroses, homosexuality, and feminism.
May 14, 1936 -
Walden Robert Cassotto, singer, actor, Bronx Science grad, was born in NYC on this date.
Bobby Darin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
May 14, 1951 -
The seminal It's Time For Ernie, debuts on NBC on this date.
Show like as Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Uncle Floyd Show, Saturday Night Live, The David Letterman Show and even Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street were influenced by Kovacs and his television work.
TV has never been quite the same since.
May 14, 1989 -
Moonlighting, one of the better "boy/girl detective show" airs it's last episode on ABC on this date.
Even after the series had long since 'jumped the shark', Bruce Willis' toup was a thing to behold.
May 14, 1998 -
The final episode of Seinfeld aired on this date.
Jerry Seinfeld holds both the record for the "most money refused" according to the Guinness Book of World Records by refusing an offer to continue the show for $5 million per episode, and another record for the Highest Ever Annual Earnings For A TV Actor, while the show itself held the record for the Highest Television Advertising Rates until 2004, when the final episode of Friends aired.
Not too shabby for a show about nothing.
Today in History:
May 14, 964 -
Pope John XII died of injuries inflicted eight days prior by a jealous husband who caught him in flagrante delicto with his wife.
Give me that old time religion.
The first inoculation against smallpox was administered on May 14, 1796, by Edward Jenner, when Jenner took fluid from a cowpox blister and scratched it into the skin of James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy
(a brief aside - how much do you trust your kid's doctor -
"Good Afternoon Mr & Mrs. Phipps. Little Jimmy seems fine, nothing out of the ordinary. I'll see him next year for his check up. Oh by the way, I'd like to smear some pus from a cow sore into a small open wound I've just inflicted upon Jimmy. It's no big deal.")
This medical wonder came only four days after Napoleon's army defeated the Austrians in the Battle of Lodi.
Louis XV had died of smallpox (on May 10, 1774. Bizarrely enough, Louis' ancestors, Henry IV was assassinated on May 14, 1610 and his son, Louis XIII died on May 14, 1643.)
When he died, Louis XVI became king, and only five years later (on La Quatorze Juillet, French for "the Fourth of July"), the Revolution began (mostly because Louis' wife kept telling everyone to eat cake), which resulted in the Rain of Terror, which resulted, eventually, in Napoleon.
Which practically brings it all full circle, if you're not a stickler for circularity.
May 14, 1878 -
Robert A. Chesebrough begins selling Vaseline (registered trademark for petroleum jelly (U.S. Patent 127,568).)
Insert dirty joke here (of course liberally lubricated with Vaseline.)
May 14th, 1932 -
New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker, organized a day-long Beer rally known as the "We Want Beer Parade." Nearly 100,000 people showed up in support of repeal and the legalization of beer.
May 14, 1943 -
At approximately 4:10 a.m., Australia’s AHS Centaur, a hospital ship, was sunk without warning after it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.
Of the 332 medical personnel and civilian crew aboard, only 64 survived.
May 14, 1973 -
The last Saturn V rocket was launched on this date, carrying Skylab One, the first manned space station. At the time, it was the largest payload launched into space by any nation .
During the following nine months, three successive teams of astronauts would crew Skylab. The space station would fall back into the Earth’s atmosphere in July 1979, accidentally scattering debris across Western Australia (luckily no one was injured.)
May 14, 1998 -
I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life... I just go on from day to day, taking what comes. - Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert Sinatra, Ole' Blue Eyes, died on this date.
Chairman of the Board may have summed up his career when he said, ''Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe, I'm honest.''
And so it goes.