Sunday, July 12, 2015

It's Manhattanhenge time again.

It was great foresight on the part of our beloved city forefathers to lay out the city in such a way that this happens every year just around my birthday. (Shhh, it's a plot by the Illuminatis.)

Once again, the sun will be perfectly lined up with the east-west streets of New York.

So get outside and enjoy it. (You can catch it one last time tomorrow night.  And hey, pay attention to the traffic  lights.  Don't ruin my birthday by getting run over by a car!)


July 12, 100 BCE -
Julius Caesar was born on this date. He is famous for fighting the Garlic Wars and dying of the unkindest cut. His death so shocked the people of Rome that they buried him instead of praising him, although this may have been because he was a Proud Man.



Interesting to note that in between, fighting across most of Europe, Julie baby was quoted as saying, It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.


July 12, 1908 -
Milton Berle was an Emmy-winning American comedian who was born Milton Berlinger, on this date. As the manic host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater (1948-1955), he was the first major star of television. He became known as Uncle Miltie to millions during TV's Golden Age.



That's all well and good but the real thing you want to know about Uncle Miltie is his prodigious member.



Now try getting that out of your mind's eye.


Other notable July 12 birthdays include:
Henry David Thoreau (1817)




George Washington Carver (1861 - there is no actual documentation on his exact birth date)



(God bless you Dr. Carver, for your work on alcohol.)


Oscar Hammerstein II
(1895)




R. Buckminster Fuller
(1895)




"Curly" Joe DeRita (1909)




Christine McVie (1943)




Richard Simmons (1948)




Me (1960)



Kristi Yamaguchi (1971)





July 12, 1912
-
The first foreign-made film to premiere in America, Queen Elizabeth (Les Amours de la Reine √Člisabeth), starring Sarah Bernhardt premiered on this date in NYC.



Rumors that Bernhardt performed in the film uniped are untrue.  Bernhardt did lose her leg to gangrene in 1915.


On July 12, 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first president to employ a helicopter while in office. The first helicopter put into presidential service was the HMX-1 "Nighthawks."

Though helicopters had been in operational use by the American military since 1944, concerns over their safety caused the Secret Service to bar their use for the nation’s chief executive except in case of emergency.


July 12, 1962 -
The Rolling Stones
, (or more precisely, the group that they became) gave their first concert on this date. The concert was held in London at the Marquee Club. Yes, that makes the Stones more than 50 years old.

At the time, the band was called The Rollin' Stones — they got their current name in 1963. One of the most successful groups in history, the band has sold more than 200 million albums and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.


July 12, 1986 -
The band, Simply Red's hit Holding Back the Years topped the charts on this date.



Simply Red's
singer Mick Hucknall ("Red" was his nickname because of his red hair) originally recorded this in 1979 with his band The Frantic Elevators. Hucknall wrote this in his bedroom at his father's house. He was still a teenager.


July 12, 1984 -
Madonna's
Like a Virgin video premiered on MTV on this date and became an instant hit.



Nile Rodgers
produced this and recorded it using real musicians instead of relying on synthesized tracks that were characteristic of Madonna's first album.


Today in History:
July 12, 1843
-
Mormon numero uno Joseph Smith discloses a divine revelation instructing his followers to take multiple wives, in what the LDS Church calls "plural marriage" but everyone else calls polygamy.



The Mormons are ultimately forced to disclaim the practice in September 1890.


July 12, 1960 -
In 1955, a French electrician named Andr√© Cassagnes got an idea for a new toy after seeing how an electrostatic charge could hold aluminum powder to glass. He worked up a prototype for the toy—based on the design of a television screen—in his basement workshop and called it L’Ecran Magique, or the magic screen.



The first Etch-A-Sketch went on sale on this date.


July 12, 1979 -Bonanno boss Carmine Galante, the "cigar problem", was whacked at Joe and Mary's Restaurant in Brooklyn on this date. Galante died with a cigar still in his mouth.

Almost everyone in the New York mob feared the ruthless crime boss, so the killing was sanctioned by the consensus of Paul Castellano, Joe Bonanno and Santo Trafficante.


July 12, 1979 -
It was "Disco Demolition Night" at Chicago's Comiskey Park, where baseball tickets cost only $.98 if the purchaser brought along a disco record for the bonfire on this date.



During the second game of the doubleheader, thousands of vinyl LPs flew onto the field, generating enough chaos that the White Sox are forced to forfeit.


On a personal note: It's another anniversary of my 39th birthday. If you'd like to you can check out my Desert Island Disc selection here. I've now reached an age that I am well past the half way point and close to seeing the final quarter but ultimately, it's all good.



And so it goes.

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