Friday, July 24, 2015

Today is National Tequila Day!

Tequila originated from Mexico in the 1800s and is now one of the most popular alcohols worldwide, especially in America.

While I am not a tequila man myself, I would not turn a Frozen Margarita away on a hot and humid day.

July 24, 1946 -
Paramount Studios released the film-noir classic, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott and Kirk Douglas (his film debut,) on this date.

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film.

July 24, 1948 -
... Crumbly Crunchies are the best
Look delicious on your vest
Serve them to unwanted guests
Stuff the mattress with the rest

A great Warner Bros. cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, Haredevil Hare, was released on this date. (It was the first appearance of Marvin the Martian, though he wasn't named until decades later.)

Look for a photo of then freshman California Congressman Richard M. Nixon who appears in the faux newspaper The Daily Snooze under the headline "Heroic Rabbit Volunteers As First Passenger."

July 24, 1965 -
Bob Dylan released his classic Like a Rolling Stone on this date.

The title is not a reference to The Rolling Stones. It is taken from the phrase "A rolling stone gathers no moss." Dylan got the idea from the Hank Williams song Lost Highway, which contains the line, "I'm a rolling stone, I'm alone and lost."

July 24, 1978 -
The truly execrable Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band starring the Brothers Gibbs was released upon an unsuspecting public on this date.

Peter Frampton wanted to get on the trampoline during the "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" sequence, but was disallowed because he wasn't insured.

July 24, 1998 -
The unflinchingly gritty Steven Spielberg war flick, Saving Private Ryan premiered on this date.

When Tom Hanks' character tells the rest of the unit what he does for a living back home, Hanks' speech was much longer in the original script. But Hanks felt that his character wouldn't have said so much about himself, and he told director Steven Spielberg so. Spielberg agreed, and the speech was shortened.

Today in History:
July 24, 1567
Mary of Guise, the French wife of Scotland's King James V, gave birth to a daughter named Mary in 1542. A week later King James died and the very young Mary became the Queen of Scotland.

Prince Edward of England proposed marriage to the Queen immediately and his proposal is therefore known as the Rough Wooing. While the pedophile Prince waited for the Queen to acquire enough verbal skills to reply, the Scottish parliament annulled the engagement.

Edward's father, the English King Henry VIII, considered this an insult and declared war. Following an especially nasty Scottish defeat in 1547, Mary was sent to France. It was hoped she would learn to read and write there, and perhaps reach puberty.

She was raised in the court of Henry II, which ought to have taught her some manners, but instead inspired her to marry a dolphin. Eventually the dolphin became king and died, leaving Mary the dowager queen of France. She was 18. Her mother had meanwhile died in Scotland, which caused the Protestants to rebel. They imported the Reformation and banned the Pope. Mary, being Catholic, returned to Scotland to work out a compromise: the country could be Protestant as long as she was allowed to be Catholic.

Four years later she married her cousin, Lord Darnley, a Two-Door Steward. Unfortunately he turned out to be disgusting, and even the birth of a son could not induce Lord Darnley to behave. He was therefore struck by an explosion the following year and subsequently died of strangulation.She was then kidnapped by one of the men suspected of strangling Lord Darnley, a certain Earl of Bothwell, whom she therefore made a Duke and married.

This angered the Protestants, who rose up against her and, on this very day in 1567, made her abdicate in favor of her son, who was immediately crowned as James VI.

She then escaped, raised an army, and was promptly defeated. She became a guest (or, in English, "prisoner") of Queen Elizabeth, until she was caught writing letters asking friends to support (or, in Scottish, "kill") the English Queen.

She was therefore beheaded, and remains dead to this day.

314 years ago today, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded a trading post at Fort Ponchartrain for France on the future site of the city of Detroit, Michigan, in an attempt to halt the advance of the English into the western Great Lakes region.

Mr Cadillac himself thereby came to be known as "the Rolls Royce of settlers."  M. Cadillac would be very ashamed of the on-going in Detroit today.

July 24, 1883 -
Captain Matthew Webb wasn't having a great day today. Webb, the first person to swim the English Channel in 1875, was attempting to swim across the Niagara River just below the falls.

The Captain was looking to collect a £12,000.00 fortune, when he jumped from his small boat into the raging torrent. He hit his head on jagged rocks and drowned while trying to swim across the Niagara River. His last words were (apparently,) "If I die, they will do something for my wife?"

July 24, 1915 -
Almost 850 Western Electric employees and their family members perish when the chartered steamer SS Eastland rolled over in Chicago harbor on this date. History blames the top-heaviness of the ship, exacerbated (ironically) by the recent addition of lifeboats.

Moral: Avoid company picnics.

July 24, 1959
While visiting a model kitchen in a U.S. exhibition in Moscow, Vice President Richard M. Nixon debated with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at a U.S. exhibition in the famous 'Kitchen' debate, on the merits of capitalism and communism

Nixon correctly said that the $100-a-month mortgage for the model ranch house was well within the reach of a typical American steelworker. (Stop dreaming about a $100-a-month mortgage.)

And so it goes.

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