Today is the first day of Autumn.
By happy coincidence, it's also the first day of Fall.
Many people in the northern hemisphere are disturbed by the changes they see around them at about this time each year. It gets darker earlier, temperatures drop, leaves change color and die and the Red Sox tend to drop out of playoff contention.
There have been myths about the changing of the seasons as long as there have been children to lie to. Some primitive peoples believed that leaves changed color because Nature was pining for her abducted daughter; others blamed it on the seasonal absence of sunlight-fed chlorophyll, allowing xanthophyll, carotene, and antocyanin to determine leaf color. We may never know the truth.
The first day of Autumn is sometimes also referred to as the Autumnal Equinox (the autumnal equinox is when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south.) The autumnal equinox brings the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere on: September 23 at 4:21 A.M. Don't be alarmed by the title. It's just fall.
With courage and some heavy drinking, we can get through this thing.
It's Yom Kippur today. If you're celebrating it today (strange choice of words,) you shouldn't be reading this today. May your fast pass easily.
Hopefully your sins are so few that you really can cast them upon the water.
September 23, 1944 -
Frank Capra's screwball comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace finally gets it US general release on this date. The film was based on a hit play and had to wait to be released until after it Broadway run had ended.
Cary Grant considered his acting in this film to be horribly over the top and often called it his least favorite of all his movies.
September 23, 1962 -
The Jetsons debuted on Sunday night's prime time lineup on this date.
The Jetsons only ran for only 24 episodes during the 1962-1963 TV season.
The youth of America want to know, "Where did all that dog poop go?"
September 23, 1967 -
The Letter by Box Tops topped the charts on this date.
At 1:58, the Box Tops' version of this was the last #1 hit to be shorter than two minutes in length. (You can thank me for the earworm later.)
September 23, 1969 -
Marcus Welby MD, starring the not terribly sober Robert Young, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.
The exterior of Dr. Welby's office was the same building used as the Cleaver family home on Leave It to Beaver with only Welby's shingle as the new addition to the set.
September 23, 1970 -
The only American film Akira Kurosawa almost directed, Tora! Tora! Tora!, was released on this date. Akira Kurosawa agreed to direct the Japanese part of the film only because he was told that David Lean was to direct the American part. This was a lie, David Lean was never part of the project. When Kurosawa found out about this, he tried to get himself fired from the production - and succeeded.
The film was considered a flop when it was released in the United States, but was a huge success in Japan.
September 23, 1990 -
PBS premiered Ken Burns powerful 11 hour miniseries The Civil War on this date.
The documentary took six long years to make - two years longer than the actual war.
Today in History:
September 23, 480 BC -
It's the birthday of the Greek poet Euripides, born near Athens on this date.
Remember - Euripides, I ripa dos.
September 23, 63 BC -
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Augustus Caesar) was born on this day. The first real Roman Emperor, Caesar introduced the famous Pax Romana. This was a political policy which stated that any country which did not object to being conquered by Rome would be conquered by Rome.
Countries not wishing to be conquered by Rome stood in violation of this policy, and were therefore invaded until they agreed to be conquered. This ensured peace throughout the world.
September 23, 1779 -
During the Revolutionary War, while on break from Led Zeppelin, the American navy under Scotsman John Paul Jones (Robert Stack), commanding from Bonhomme Richard, defeated and captured the British man-of-war Serapis on this date. Jones, chose to name the ship after Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard’s Almanac.
Fierce fighting ensued, and when Richard began to sink, Serapis commander Richard Pearson called over to ask if Richard would surrender and Jones responded, "I have not yet begun to fight!"--a response that would become a slogan of the U.S. Navy. Pearson surrendered and Jones took control of Serapis. Imagine the amount of rum consumed (it was an American Ship - I'm sure there was no sodomy!)
September 23, 1939 -
Sigmund Freud was not having a good day. He had been suffering from the late stages of cancer of the jaw when he decided to commit suicide with the help of his personal physician, Max Schur on this date.
The good doctor administered 21 mg of morphine -- a lethal dose, in three large doses of morphine in the space of several hours. Sometimes 21 mg of morphine is just 21 mg of death.
September 23, 1949 -
Happy Birthday Bruce!
If you are of a certain age, at one point, Bruce meant everything to you.
September 23, 1950 -
Congress passes the McCarran Act, also known as The Internal Security Act of 1950, overriding Harry Truman's veto. The act provides for severe restrictions on civil liberties, suspension of free speech, and placing of undesirable Americans in concentration camps.
Much of the Act has been repealed, but some portions remain intact.
So watch it, bub.
September 23, 1952 -
Responding to accusations that he diverted $18,000 in contributions into his pocket, Senator Richard M. Nixon rescues his candidacy for Vice President by insisting that he had never accepted any money.
Although Nixon does admit he accepted a cocker spaniel named Checkers for his daughter Tricia. The televised monologue rescues his political career.
September 23, 1969 -
An article in the Northern Illinois University student newspaper The Northern Star propagated the rumor that "Paul is dead."
And Revolution #9 implores, Turn me on dead man.
Well, sort of. Remember it's I buried Paul and not cranberry sauce.
And so it goes