Wednesday, July 22, 2015

That's easy for you to say

July 22nd is Spooner's Day, honoring Reverend William Archibald Spooner, a 19th Century British clergyman, who was born on this date in 1844. Spoonerisms are usually a two-word phrase in which the first letters (and occasionally the initial vowels) of the words are reversed. 

Reverend Spooner was adept at the art of the oopsy linguae, or misspeak. As a result, certain verbal miscues have been tagged Spoonerisms.

July 22, 1964 -
One of Hitchcock's most underrated (and sexually twisted) films, Marnie premiered on this date.

Alfred Hitchcock, following his usual practice, bid for the film rights to Winston Graham's novel anonymously, so as to keep the price down. However, in this instance, the scheme backfired - the anonymity of the purchaser made Graham suspicious, although he regarded the amount of money on offer as extremely generous. He instructed his agent to ask for twice as much. Hitchcock agreed, on condition that the deal be closed immediately. When Graham discovered who it was who had bought the rights, he said he would have given them away free for the honor of having one of his stories filmed by Alfred Hitchcock.

July 22, 1967 -
The Toho Studio released King Kong Escapes, directed by Ishiro Honda in Japan on this date. (Despite the master villain being named Dr. Who, this film has no connection to Doctor Who.)

Two costumes of King Kong were made. The arms of the first costume were very long, so Haruo Nakajima's hands did not reach those of the costume. He had to grasp onto sticks that were attached to the hands of the costume. He wore a second costume with shorter arms whenever they were shooting footage of King Kong battling other monsters.

Today in History:
July 22, 1587
Roanoke, the colony founded by Sir Walter Raleigh, might have gone missing on this date.

Recent development point to the fact that the inhabitants of Roanoke didn't go missing, they appear to have originated the joke that after certain people left, everyone else moved and didn't leave a forwarding address.

July 22, 1933 -
Wiley Post
(who possessed his flying license signed by Orville Wright) took off from Floyd Bennett Field in New York City and traveled 15,596 miles over a period of 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes and became the first person to fly solo around the world on this date.

Post lands back at Floyd Bennett Field in New York, completing the first round-the-world solo flight. His return was greeted by some 50,000 people.

July 22, 1934 -
John Dillinger
was shot dead outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre,on this date in history. And one of the most bizarre urban legends is born.

According to the rumor, J Edgar Hoover, pug ugly head of the FBI and notorious transvestite, rushes to Chicago to see the corpse himself. Dillinger, Public Enemy No. 1. Dillinger was a ladies man and was reported to be very specially endowed.

Hoover, after viewing the nude lifeless body of Dillinger in the morgue, orders Dillinger's member to be removed and preserved as a 'specimen' for his private files.

Rumors of Hoover's trophy dogged him for the rest of his life. He even went to the extraordinary step of stating sometime in the late '60's that he "did not now nor even have Dillinger's privates in a jar". His comments were not taken seriously as he was wearing a size 28 Dior outfit with matching handbag (and Raymond Burr Nipple Rouge) at the time.

The Smithsonian museum is still flooded with requests annually to view this 'special exhibition'.

July 22, 1951 -
It's the first episode of Dogs In Space

Two Russian dogs, Dezik and Tsygan, were the first canines to make a sub-orbital flight in history on this date.

The Russian space program used dogs quite often to determine whether a particular space mission would be safe for humans. Little know fact: the real reason Nikita Khrushchev slammed his shoe on the desk in the UN - Khrushchev had just been passed a note about a ten year investigation of Tsygan's over-familiarity with his shoe.

At the time of his death on this date in 1982, King Sobhuza II was the longest-reigning monarch in the world. His death also established him as the most recently-deceased monarch in the world. Today he is on a long list of continuously dead rulers.

Sobhuza began his career as Paramount Chief of the Swazi in 1921, but was not recognized as king by Great Britain, which ran the nation as a protectorate, until 1967. (The forgetful Brits have a long history of failing to recognize kings, perhaps owing to the difficulty of seeing clearly in the London fog.)

The Brits wrote a Constitution before they left, but Sobhuza did not discover it until 1973, at which point he discarded it on the grounds of its being British. Five years later he implemented a better Constitution that, surprisingly enough, left all political power in his own hands.

He died in 1982. The Constitution declared that he should be succeeded by one of his children, which seemed simple at first but was complicated by the revelation of his having had over 600 children.

(Apparently he had time on his hands for more than political power.) It took four years to find the right son, and King Mswati III has reigned ever since.

July 22, 1982 -
It's a happy 33rd anniversary for over 2000 couples who were married by Rev. Moon in NYC on this date in Madison Square Garden.

As far as I can find out, nearly 75% of the couples are still married (although, perhaps not to each other.)

And so it goes. 

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