Thursday, September 24, 2015

the spirits are about to speak

September 24, 1046 -
I was going to tell you that today is the feast day of St. Gerard Sagredo of Hungary.

During mass, hordes of heathens, stormed his church, bundled him up and wheeled him to the top of  Gellert Hill, in Hungary (but you don't care.)  Those heathen hordes shoved the cart down the hill, then beat him to death on this date (but I'm sure this is all meaningless to you because there's no Feast of St. Gerald Sagredo festival in your neighborhood.)

Today is National Punctuation Day!!?!

It's a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the every mysterious ellipsis (but screw the Oxford comma.)

September 24, 1938 -
One of the craziest cartoons Looney Tunes ever produced, Porky in Wackyland was released on this date.  You need to watch it a few times to really get everything that's going on in this one.

This cartoon set the bar for outlandishness in animation.

September 24, 1945 -
Michael Curtiz' tense film noir, Mildred Pierce, starring Joan Crawford and her enormous shoulder pads, was released on this date.

After seeing the film, James M. Cain sent Joan Crawford a signed first edition of the original novel. The inscription read: "To Joan Crawford, who brought Mildred Pierce to life just as I had always hoped she would be, and who has my lifelong gratitude."

September 24, 1958 -
The Donna Reed Show premiered on ABC-TV on this date. Ladies (and some men), don't you always wears heels, pearls and chic frocks to do the housework?

During the show's early years, whenever a scene takes place in a supermarket, look very closely in the background. Chances are, you'll see large amounts of Campbell's Soup, V-8 Vegetable Juice, Franco-American Spaghetti, and various Johnson & Johnson products including their famous baby powder. Not coincidentally, those brands were the series' original advertisers during its network run.

September 24, 1961 -
Students of Great Comedy lined up around the block to enroll in Whatsamatta U when The Bullwinkle Show moved to primetime on NBC TV on this date.

The first story of the season was an epic multi-part adventure about the moose and squirrel's search for the elusive Kirwood Derby. In November 1961, Durward Kirby threatened to file suit. Jay Ward reportedly responded to the threat, in his usual style, by offering to let Kirby use any name of his choosing for any character from his show.

September 24, 1964 -
We all visited 1313 Mockingbird Lane for the first time when The Munsters premieres on ABC-TV on this date.

The first season opening credits were an outrageous parody of the opening credits of The Donna Reed Show, which always began with Donna Reed lovingly passing out lunches to her departing family members as they left the house one by one. Yvonne De Carlo, as Lily Munster, did the same thing.

September 24, 1968 -
The TV show Mod Squad premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

Series creator Buddy Ruskin, a former Los Angeles police officer, used his experiences with a special L.A.P.D. youth squad as the basis for this show.

September 24, 1977
Everyone got to order their first drink from Isaac when The Love Boat set sail for the first time on ABC-TV on this date.

Gavin MacLeod, Bernie Kopell and Ted Lange are the only actors to appear in every episode of the series.

September 24, 1991 -
Nirvana's album Nevermind was released 24 years today on this date.

This album helped ignite the "grunge" craze, led by bands coming out of the Northwest. Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were other top Grunge bands of the era. Cobain would often dismiss the term as a meaningless label when asked about it in early interviews, but their bass player Krist Novoselic explained that it was a growling, organic guitar sound that defined it.

Today in History:
September 24, 1896
... Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go according to any rules. They're not like aches or wounds, they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material.

On this date in 1896, a young Minnesota woman gave birth to a depressive, witty young alcoholic named Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald.

The boy did badly in school and went to train for war in 1918. While training at Camp Sheridan in Alabama, he fell in love with Zelda Sayre, the mentally unstable daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge.

The war ended before Fitzgerald could be sent overseas and shot, however, so he went to New York to become rich and famous. He became neither, so Zelda broke off their engagement.

Fitzgerald then moved back to Minnesota. A year later he became a famous writer. He moved to Connecticut, Zelda married him, and they became drunken celebrity wrecks.

They spent a lot of time in Europe. This lasted until Zelda went mad and Fitzgerald died.

Fitzgerald is best remembered for having said the rich were different, even though Hemingway kept telling him to act like a man and strip down, grease himself up and get into a boxing ring.

Oh yeah, he also wrote several books.

... All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.....

September 24, 1947 -
Majestic 12
, a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, is allegedly established by a secret executive order issued by President Harry Truman (who may or may not have been sober at the time) to investigate UFO activity in the aftermath of the Roswell incident.

Conspiracy theorists consider the Majestic 12 major evidence supporting the government-cover-up theories. The FBI has since attempted to debunk any documents associated with the committee. Debate continues to this day about whether or not the committee existed.  (And remember, you didn't read any of this here.)

September 24, 1954 -
Steve Allen sat down at his piano and the Tonight Show premiered on NBC on this date.

Simply called Tonight, the show was a blend of comedy, interview and musical performance that set the basic template for future late-night television.

September 24, 1964 -
The Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, (which had occurred on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas,) was presented to President Lyndon B. Johnson on this date.

The report did little to quiet conspiracy theories, but it documented that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone and that the Secret Service had made poor preparations for JFK’s visit to Dallas, had failed to sufficiently protect him, and was not part of a larger-scale plot. 

President Johnson never slept another full nights' sleep again.

September 24, 1969 -
The trial of the "Chicago Eight" (later seven) began on this date. Demonstrations began outside the court house, with the Weatherman group proclaiming the "Days of Rage" in protest of the trial. The Chicago Eight staged demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago to protest the Vietnam War and its support by the top Democratic presidential candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey. These anti-Vietnam War protests were some of the most violent in American history as the police and national guardsmen beat antiwar protesters, innocent bystanders and members of the press.

Five defendants (Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger and Rennie Davis) were convicted of crossing state lines to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention; the convictions were ultimately overturned.

September 24, 1970 -
Luna 16
was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample to Earth. An automatic drilling rig was deployed and 101 grams of lunar soil was collected.

The samples were returned to Earth on this date and marked the first time lunar sampled were recovered by an unmanned spacecraft.

September 24, 1991 -
Theodor Seuss Geisel, an American writer and cartoonist best known for his classic children's books under the pen name Dr. Seuss, including The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, died on this date.

No greater tribute was given to the Doctor than when the Reverend Jesse Jackson appeared on SNL following his death.

And so it goes

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