June 11 is an important day for American football fans and seems almost inevitably slated to someday become a national holiday. It's the birthdays of Vince Lombardi (1913) and Joe Montana (1956). Mr Lombardi played at Fordham University and was a Latin and chemistry teacher in New Jersey before becoming the head coach of the Green Bay Packers at the age of 46. They had won only one of twelve games the season before he was hired; they won seven his first year. Over the course of his brief career, the Packers won five NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls (Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II, in that order).
It was Coach Lombardi's background in Latin that persuaded the NFL to use Roman numerals to number the Super Bowls.
"Winning isn't everything," Coach Lombardi famously declared, "but it's awfully darn important in competitive endeavors." (He was the first NFL coach to hire a publicist and his statements were often edited for distribution to the Green Bay press corps.)
Over the course of his career, Joe Montana completed 3409 of 5391 passes and threw 273 touchdowns. In the playoffs, he completed 460 of 734 passes and threw 45 touchdowns. As a starter, he won 117 and lost 47 regular season games (for those who need to know.)
June 11, 1937 -
The Marx Brothers film, A Day at the Races, opened on this date. Groucho Marx cited "Dr. Hackenbush" as his favorite character from his films. -
This is the only film of The Marx Brothers to receive an Oscar nomination in a competitive category, being nominated for Dave Gould's dance direction. Groucho Marx would go on to win an honorary Oscar in 1974.
June 11, 1966 -
The song Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones hit no. 1 on the charts, on this date.
Jagger got the line "I turn my head until my darkness goes" from James Joyce's Ulysses. The single topped both the United States and the United Kingdom charts, making it the first ever US and UK number one single to feature a sitar.
June 11, 1977 -
Electric Light Orchestra’s record Telephone Line reached #7 on the Billboard Charts in the US, giving the band its first gold single.
ELO's first manager was Don Arden. When he lost interest in the group, he gave them to his daughter Sharon who ran Jet Records. Sharon married Ozzy Osbourne a few years later.
June 11, 1978 -
Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John opened, on this date.
Rizzo's hickeys were real. Stockard Channing said in an interview that Jeff Conaway insisted on applying them himself.
June 11, 1982 -
Steven Spielberg's film, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, opened on this date.
The filmmakers had requested that M&M's be used to lure E.T., instead of Reese's Pieces. The Mars company had denied their request and so Reese's Pieces were used instead. As a direct result, Reese's Pieces sales skyrocketed. Because of this, more and more companies began requesting that their products be used in movies. Thus, product placement was born.
June 11, 1986 -
John Hughes' comic masterpiece, Ferris Bueller's Day Off was released, on this date.
Using a couple of clue from the film, Ferris took his day off on June 5th.
June 11, 1993 -
Steven Spielberg's science fiction thriller, Jurassic Park, opened on this date.
The T-rex occasionally malfunctioned, due to the rain. Producer Kathleen Kennedy recalled, "The T. rex went into the heebie-jeebies sometimes. Scared the crap out of us. We'd be, like, eating lunch, and all of a sudden a T-rex would come alive. At first we didn't know what was happening, and then we realized it was the rain. You'd hear people start screaming."
His next installment of the series, opens tomorrow.
Today in History:
June 11, 1903 -
Another day, another defenstration ...
King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia were shot and their bodies mutilated and disemboweled during a military coup d'état on this date (organized by Russian operatives and the Black Hand secret society which would go on to assassinate Archduck Franz Ferdinand in 1914.)
According to eyewitness accounts, the unfortunate couple were then thrown from a second floor window of the palace onto piles of garden manure. I've often said, sometimes, it's sucks to be the king.
June 11, 1881 -
A phantom vessel appears in the sky to the passengers and crew of the ship the HMS Bacchante on this date, including Price Albert Victor and Prince George, both sons of the Prince of Wales.
June 11, 1910 -
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, filmmaker, scientist and explorer was born on this date.
Among his many and varied accomplishments, he co-developed the Aqua-Lung diving apparatus. BP executives are still very lucky that the Captain is no longer with us or there would be some major ass kicking going on.
June 11, 1939 -
Queen Elizabeth II, then a princess, and her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth tasted their first hot dogs at a White House party hosted by President and Mrs. Roosevelt on this date.
Royal physicians report that they believe that her sister and father passed away from the consumption of the meal. The event is the basis of the film Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray.
June 11, 1955 -
An Austin-Healy and Mercedes-Benz collided at the Le Mans Grand Prixon this date. The Mercedes drove into a dirt retaining wall, disintegrated, and the hood, chassis, and various auto parts sliced through the spectator crowd.
83 were killed, and 100 others were missing various "parts". They bought their tickets, they knew their chances.
June 11, 1962 -
Frank Morris and the brothers John and Clarence Anglin became the only prisoners to successfully escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island.
The following morning the officers awoke to find dummies lying in their beds and the prisoners missing. The FBI conducted one of the largest manhunts since the Lindbergh kidnapping to no avail. Bits of the raft and life preservers were later found in the bay. Also found was a waterproof bag containing personal effects of the Anglins. Although the authorities never found any bodies, they were certain the men had drowned. They pointed out that there were no robberies or car thefts that could have been attributed to them, as well as the fact that the men were habitual criminals and yet were never arrested again.
(Keep thinking about this story while you read the news about the escape of the prisoners from the New York state Clinton Correctional Facility)
However it was shown on MythBusters, that the raft could have possibly landed at the Marin Headlands, raising possible doubt over Morris' and the Anglins' deaths. The film Escape from Alcatraz is based on the famous escape. Morris was played by Clint Eastwood.
June 11, 1963 -
Governor George Wallace stands in the schoolhouse door, blocking admission of two 'colored students' (Vivian Malone and James Hood) to the University of Alabama. This became known as the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.
Wallace stood aside only after being confronted by federal marshals, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and the Alabama National Guard. However, there is evidence that the entire encounter was partially or wholly coordinated with the Kennedy administration to allow Wallace to save face with Alabama voters.
June 11, 2002 -
File this under: Everything that your teachers told you were lies.
The U.S. Congress, on this date, recognized that Italian inventor Antonio Meucci was the actual inventor of the telephone.
Alexander Graham Bell held the patent, but Congress argued that if Meucci had the funds to pay the $10 U.S. Dollar fee to maintain the patent after 1874, Bell wouldn't have been able to secure it.
(If this gets your panties in a bunch - stop wearing panties - once again everything that your teachers told you were lies.)
And so it goes.