Tuesday, September 1, 2015

His honest face was Septembered with many a vintage

September is the ninth month of the year, which is why its name is derived from the Latin Septem, meaning seven. (We have previously addressed this problem last month; see August, the Sixth Month.)  On  the French Revolutionary calendar, September is known as Vendémiaire (vintage,) and in Dutch, September is "the begining of autumn", "Hertmaand."  The Basque refer to it as "ear month," and the Congolese, "sánza ya libwá" (Ninth month), the Irish called it "the month of plenty", and the Samoan call it, "September."

September is:
the Great American Breakfast Month 
Internet Safety Month (remember always use protection while surfing the net
National Pleasure Your Mate Month (again - protection
Cable TV Month 
Pediculosis Prevention Month (I beg you, don't look it up) 
Metaphysical Awareness Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. 

So remember, if you notice someone with their thumbs up their ass, they may just be celebrating.

Since September is a return to months ending with an 'r', it was believed that Oysters were back in season.

Let's join Salman Rushdie explaining The Walrus and The Carpenter in their discussion of cabbages and kings, (Dare to eat an oyster today.)

It's Emma M. Nutt Day, the first woman telephone operator, hired in 1878. She was hired personally by Alexander Graham Bell. A few hours after Emma started work her sister Stella Nutt went into the family business and became the world's second female telephone operator.

Emma loved the job, and worked at it for 33 years. She, reportedly, was able to remember every single phone number in the New England Telephone Company directory.

She apparently had no life.

September 1, 1902 -
Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon),written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston, considered to be the first science fiction movie, was released on this date.

After finishing work on the film, Georges Méliès intended to release it in America and thereby make lots of money. Unfortunately, Thomas A. Edison's film technicians had already secretly made copies of the film, which was shown across the USA within weeks. Melies never made any money from the film's American showings, and went broke several years later (while Edison made a fortune on the film.)

September 1, 1938 -
Frank Capra bounced back from the disastrous reviews of Lost Horizon, released the previous year, with You Can't Take It with You, which opened in NYC on this date.

Lionel Barrymore plays Jean Arthur's grandfather in the film. In reality, he was only 22 years her senior.

September 1, 1947 -
The screwball comedy, in which Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple play sisters in the film yet Myrna Loy was more than 20 years older that Shirley Temple, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, opened nationwide on this date.

The film  won Sidney Sheldon an Academy Award for the screenplay.

September 1, 1972 -
David Bowie released John, I'm only Dancing in the U.K. on this date.

This song was originally slated to appear on the The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album but it was eventually released as a stand-alone single.  Top of the Pops banned the video as they considered it too provocative.

Today in History:
September 1, 1854 -

Engelbert Humperdinck was born on this date,

No, not that one,

this one,

the German opera composer.

September 1, 1897 -
The first subway in North America was opened in Boston on this date. Trolley car grid-lock and street congestion on main thoroughfares motivated the Massachusetts Legislature to authorize the construction of the subway. (Either that, or their unnatural love of dank, urine drenched underground stations.)

The "cut and cover" method of construction was used, with a deep trench dug or "cut" on Tremont Street, and a steel structure built around it and then filled in or "covered up." The Boston subway designers visited the Budapest Subway, and the later Paris Metro.

September 1, 1904  -
Helen Keller
with the tireless assistance of teacher Annie Mansfield Sullivan, graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College at age 24.

Helen Keller was the first non-seeing, non-hearing person to enroll in an institution for higher learning - and then to graduate with a degree.

September 1, 1914
The last passenger pigeon, a female named Martha, died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo on this date.

There are various reasons for the extinction of the passenger pigeon - the main one unfortunately was they tasted so damn good broasted.

Her body was frozen into a block of ice and sent to the Smithsonian Institution, where it was skinned and mounted.

Martha (named after Martha Washington) is in the museum's archived collection, and is once again on temporary display, until October of this year, (celebrating the 100th anniversary of her demise.)

September 1, 1923 -
The worst earthquake in Japan's history hit the Kanto Plain between Tokyo and Yokohama with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale. The earthquake and subsequent fires killed nearly 140,000 people and destroyed most of both cities.

The fires started because the earthquake occurred at noon, when charcoal cooking stoves were in use.

People, please stop using your hibachis in your rice paper houses.

September 1, 1939 -
Germany, ever eager to start their Second World War Tour (the Foreign Minister of Germany, Joachim von Ribbentrop was seen running around Europe in the Tour T-Shirt, months earlier,) began it at 5:30AM on this date when German troops invade Poland.

Hitler was so happy that day, he orders extermination of the mentally ill in Germany and Austria on this day as well.

September 1, 1939 -
Mary Jean Tomlin, Academy Award nominated, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winning actress, comedian, writer and producer was born on this date.

One of her first "professional" gigs was as a waitress in Howard Johnson's on Broadway near Times Square. Her comments to customers and staff heard over the eatery's microphone attracted her first big-city audience.

September 1, 1961  -
TWA Flight 529, a Lockheed Constellation L-049 propliner, crashed shortly after takeoff from Midway Airport in Chicago, killing all 73 passengers and 5 crew on board.

At the time, it was the deadliest single plane disaster in US history.

September 1, 1972 -
The anti-American and anti-Semitic (towards the end of his life) Bobby Fischer became the World Chess Champion in Reykjavik, Iceland, defeating Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union on this date.

He had become the youngest United States Junior Chess Champion at 13 years old followed by the US championship at age 14 and many consider him to be one of the greatest natural talent Chess Players ever.

And so it goes.

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