Sunday, August 30, 2015

On a sidewalk, blue Sunday mornin'

August 30, 1959 -
Bobby Darin's jazzy interpretation of Mack The Knife began its 26-week stay on the pop-singles charts.

McDonald's used this song in the late '80s to promote their dinner specials as "Mac Tonight." They skipped the lyrics about killing a guy and dumping his body in the water in the versions used for the commercials.

August 30, 1967 -
John Boorman's
crime drama thriller, Point Blank, premiered on this date.

This was the first major picture to film on location at Alcatraz Island after the closure of the federal prison in 1963.

August 30, 1968 -
Apple Records released its first single, Hey Jude by The Beatles on this date.

This was the Beatles longest single, running 7:11, and at the time was the longest song ever released as a single. It was the first long song to get a lot of airplay, as radio stations still preferred short ones so they could play more of them. When this became a hit, stations learned that listeners would stick around if they liked the song, which paved the way for long songs like American Pie and Layla. Disc jockeys were the real winners here, as they could finally take a reasonable bathroom break.

Today in History:
August 30, 1780
General "Eggs" Benedict Arnold secretly promised to surrender the West Point fort to the British army during the American Revolution. The measure of Arnold's treachery was made worse by the fact that he was considered by many to be the best general and most accomplished leader in the Continental Army.

In fact, without Arnold's earlier contributions to the American cause, the American Revolution might well have been lost; notwithstanding, his name, like those of several other prominent traitors throughout history, has become a byword for treason and a brunch staple.

August 30, 1859 -
At the University of Göttingen, PhD candidate Albert Niemann isolates the alkaloid C17H21NO4 from leaves of the plant Erythroxylum coca.

Niemann names his white, powdery discovery cocaine and observes firsthand its peculiarly strong anesthetic effect: "it benumbs the nerves of the tongue, depriving it of feeling and taste."

Oh, that's what cocaine does. Now I know.

August 30, 1918 -
Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin should have been having a great day on this date. Six weeks earlier, Lenin had the previous tenant of Kremlin, Tsar Nicholas II, permanently taken off the lease. After speaking at a factory in Moscow, Lenin was shot twice by Fanya Kaplan, a member of the Social Revolutionary party. Lenin narrowly survived an assassination attempt, but was severely wounded.

As Lenin was a 'godless' communist, he did not turn the other cheek. The assassination attempt set off a wave of reprisals by the Bolsheviks against the Social Revolutionaries and other political opponents. Thousands were executed as Russia fell deeper into civil war.

August 30, 1930 -
Warren Edward Buffett often called the "Sage of Omaha", "Oracle of Omaha", or "Omaha Steak", American investor, businessperson and philanthropist is born on this date. Buffett has amassed an enormous fortune from astute investments managed through the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, of which he is the largest shareholder and CEO.

With an estimated current net worth of around $72.7 billion, he was ranked by Forbes as the third-richest person in the world as of yesterday afternoon, falling behind behind Bill Gates (with a net worth of $79.2 billion) and Carlos Slim Helu (with a net worth of $77.1 billion.)

I, on the other hand, did not make a blip on the list.

August 30, 1967 -
Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer who was best known for arguing the Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court, became the first black US Supreme Court Justice.

The US Senate voted 69 to 11 to appoint Marshall. He served on the Court from 1967 to 1991.

August 30, 1993 -
The Late Show with David Letterman premiered on this date, on CBS-TV.

Towards the end of the show, listen for Dave to mention that Robin Williams will be on the show tomorrow.

And so it goes.

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