Originally released in B & W (re-release as a color version in 1968 & 1990,) Porky Pig's Feat premiered on this date. This is the first time the Raymond Scott composition Powerhouse is used in a Warner Bros. cartoon.
A rare appearance for Porky Pig (his last appearance in a black and white cartoon,) Daffy Duck & Bugs Bunny (his only appearance in a theatrical black and white film.)
Dope never helped anybody sing better or play music better or do anything better. All dope can do for you is kill you - and kill you the long, slow, hard way. - Billie Holiday
Today is the 56th anniversary of the death of Billie Holiday.
July 17, 1956 -
The musical version of The Philadelphia Story, High Society, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly & Frank Sinatra, premiered on this date.
Elizabeth Taylor was the first choice for the part of Tracy Lord. She was unavailable so the part went to Grace Kelly. And interestingly, Grace Kelly does not sing a solo. Except for accompanying Bing Crosby on True Love and drunkenly shouting, "Sensational," she wouldn't sing at all.
July 17, 1959 -
Alfred Hitchcock's superlative North By Northwest, starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, premiered on this date.
James Stewart was very interested in starring in this movie, begging Alfred Hitchcock to let him play Thornhill. Hitchcock claimed that Vertigo's lack of financial success was because Stewart "looked too old". MGM wanted Gregory Peck, but Hitchcock instead cast Cary Grant, who, ironically, was actually four years Stewart's senior.
July 17, 1968 -
The premiere of the drug-induced, Big Blue Meanie-infested cartoon Beatles film Yellow Submarine, was held at the London Pavilion on this date.
Peter Batten was a deserter from the British army at the time of the creation of the film. In the final weeks of production he was arrested for desertion, and Paul Angelis had to finish voicing the part of George.
July 17, 1992 -
Walt Disney Pictures releases the science fiction comedy Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, directed by Randal Kleiser, on this date.
Rosebud, the sled from Citizen Kane and the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark are visible in the lab security warehouse.
July 17, 1999 -
The series, Spongebob Squarepants, created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, started airing on Nickelodeon on this date. (It's actually the second episode. The pilot episode had premiered in May of 1999)
The cartoon gained popularity in its second season and continues that popularity today. It's the highest-rated show on the Nickelodeon television network.
Today in History:
July 17 1913 -
On this date, audiences attending the silent film A Noise from the Deep observed Mabel Normand striking Fatty Arbuckle in the face with a pie. It was purportedly the first use of the pie-in-the-face routine in film history.
The act of hitting someone in the face with a pie was itself nothing new. Hieroglyphics engraved on the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian King Amenhotep III, for example, depict that merry lord hurling pies of polished stone at his subjects with such force that they were frequently decapitated.
Indeed, being struck in the face by baked goods is likely to remain the most hilarious thing in the world for centuries to come.
July 17, 1917 -
Britain's King George V issues a royal proclamation changing his family's surname from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor.
Speaking of George's cousin, Russian Czar Nicholas II was murdered with his family and servants by the Bolsheviks at Yekaterinburg on this date in 1918 (they were murdered in the middle of the night on the 17th of July.) It's too bad his cousin, George V was more concerned with changing his Germanic surname then saving his cousin.
This included his daughter Anastasia, who may not actually have been killed with the rest of them but was almost certainly killed along with the rest of them despite persistent rumors to the contrary--even in the face of almost insurmountable evidence suggesting otherwise (except when interpreted differently). Even if she wasn't dead then, she's certainly dead now. This has been scientifically proven by scientists who ought to know.
July 17, 1918 -
The RMS Carpathia, famous for rescuing 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic six years earlier, sank off the coast of Ireland after being torpedoed by a German U-boat, on this date.
While 5 crew member were killed in the attack, 57 passengers and the remaining 218 crew members survived to board lifeboats off the sinking vessel.
July 17, 1936 -
General Francisco Franco, low level Spanish Evil Stooge, seizes control of the Canary Islands (in the misguided belief that Spain could become a world power by controlling the supply of small yellow birdies), signaling the start of the three-year Spanish Civil War.
July 17, 1938 -
On this date, Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field for a cross-country flight to the west coast in his nine-year-old, single-engine Curtiss Robin airplane.
Twenty-eight hours later he landed in Dublin, Ireland, thus earning himself the nickname "Wrong Way Corrigan" and becoming the patron saint of baggage handlers.
July 17, 1945 -
President Harry Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II on this date.
Among the issues the delegates were there to negotiate terms for the end of World War II and to hash out were the borders of a post WWII Europe. What the delegates there didn't know was Truman had a coded telegram in his pocket confirming the success of the Trinity test and Churchill was about to lose a general election and be replaced as Prime Minister by Clement Attlee.
July 17, 1947 -
Jackie Robinson was playing his historic first season with the Dodgers, the Yankees finally lost after 19 straight victories and Perry Como topped the Billboard charts with “Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go to Sleep)” and Jack Kerouac began his “On the Road” trip, on this date. He left his mother’s apartment in Ozone Park and wound up on the West Side IRT local, passing Columbia, where he had dropped out, and got off the train at the 242 Street terminal. At 242 Street, (near Van Cortlandt Park) he boarded a trolley for Yonkers, transferred to another for as far as it would go, then hitchhiked farther up the Hudson. He wanted to take the “long red line called Route 6” that he had seen on a map, and the nearest place for him to join it was the Bear Mtn Bridge.
When he got there, he discovered that little traffic passed through that semi-wilderness, and while waiting futilely for a ride, he got drenched in a thunderstorm. Humiliated by his “stupid hearthside idea that it would be wonderful to follow one great red line across America,” he ended up taking a bus back to NYC and another all the way to Chicago. He took a third bus to the Chicago suburbs and began hitchhiking to Denver, to see friends he had made in NYC, including Neal Cassady.
Such is the stuff of great literature - a subway ride that many of you loyal readers have made countless times, is transformed into the the opening trip of the classic novel of the Beat Generation, On the Road.
July 17, 1952 -
It's David Hasselhoff's (noted 'actor', 'singer', talent judge, hamburger connoisseur and drunk) birthday!
Yeah for David! Yeah for Germany!
(David shares his birthday with Angela Merkel born two years later in 1954 - co-incidence, you be the judge.)
July 17, 1955 -
That place is my baby, and I would prostitute myself for it. - Walt Disney
Disneyland, the happiest place in the world, opens in Anaheim, California on this date. Things didn't go so well on that first day.
A 15 day heat wave raised temperatures up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, due to a plumbers strike, few water fountains were operating in the hot weather. Asphalt still steaming, because it had been laid the night before, literally "trapping" high heeled shoes. To add to the chaos, a gas leak forced the closing of several sections of the park.
If things didn't turn around, I shudder at the thought of Ole Walt and his pal J. Edgar, having to walk the street in matching lipstick, handbag and stiletto, offering to 'go around the world' for 20 bucks to pay back his loans.
July 17, 1975 -
Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 successfully docked and crew member of the two shuttles shook hands in space on this date.
It was the first orbital docking of spacecraft of two different nations
July 17, 1996 -
TWA flight 800, bound for Paris, exploded 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy airport, killing all 230 people on board, on this date.
Though there was speculation, no evidence of a terrorist attack was ever found.
And so it goes.