Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Columbus Tells a Lie Day!

October 12, 1492 -
Christopher Columbus, not the brightest bulb in the explorers club, reached America, making his first landing in the New World on one of the Bahamas Islands.

Columbus believed he had reached India.

It was discovered that Columbus' ships really landed on the 13th of October  1492, he was persuaded by Dutch sailor Piet de Stuini (or DeStynie) to change it to the 12th in the logs because he said that the number 13 might frighten sailors and future investors away. An Italian study group called the Colombiani detected this change.

And for some reason it's Canadian Thanksgiving today!

October12, 1950 -
One of the first comedy series to make the successful transition from radio to television The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

Similar to the format of the radio program in which George Burns and Gracie Allen played themselves, the comedy was set in their home, the first television series to depict the home life of a working show business couple. The half-hour series was broadcast live for the first two seasons.

October 12, 1966 -
This was a particularly busy date in history.

Sammy Davis, Jr. makes a cameo appearance on the ABC-TV series Batman, during one of their legendary Batclimbs.

October 12, 1993 -
Touchstone Pictures releases the stop-motion animated feature film The Nightmare Before Christmas, directed by Henry Selick, produced by Tim Burton, on this date.

Vincent Price was originally cast as Santa Claus. However, after the death of Price's wife, his own health began to fail and his voice performance was very frail and weak. The tracks were deemed unusable which led to, much to Henry Selick's regret, the role being recast.

Today in History:
October 12, 1810 -

The first Oktoberfest began on this date as a festival celebrating the marriage of Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and Prince Louis of Bavaria (later King Ludwig I) in Munich, Germany.

The festival was such a success, the locals decided to hold it annually.  (a great little known fact - because she tried to promote a non-sponsoring wine during a trip through the festival, Paris Hilton is permanently banned from Oktoberfest.)

October 12, 1915 -

British nurse Edith Cavell, was executed by a German firing squad in Brussels for helping Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I. The night before her execution she told the Anglican chaplain, Rev. Gahan, who had been allowed to see her, 'Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.' These words are inscribed on her statue in St. Martin's Place, near Trafalgar Square in London.

Her final words to the German pastor, Le Saur were recorded as 'Ask Mr. Gahan to tell my loved ones later on that my soul, as I believe, is safe, and that I am glad to die for my country.'

Pretty tough cookie.

October 12, 1960 -
Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev disrupted a U.N. General Assembly session by pounding his desk with a shoe during a dispute on this date.

This resulted in the popular stereotype of the Soviet Dictator who pounds his desk with his shoe.

In fact, many Soviet Dictators did not pound their desks with their shoes. They had their deputies do it for them.

October 12, 1964
The Soviet Union launched Voskhod 1 with astronauts Boris Yegorov, Konstantin Feoktistov and Vladamir Komarov on board (the first space flight to carry more than one crewman into orbit.)

This was also the first mission flown without space suits.

October 12, 1969 -
The Soyuz 7 spacecraft was launched on this date. The main goals of this mission in the official version was to test spacecraft systems and designs, maneuvering of the space craft with respect to Soyuz 6, which had launched a day earlier.

When it achieves orbit, it marks the first time in history that five people are in space at the same time (the three astronauts aboard Soyuz 7 and the two aboard Soyuz 6.)

Wait for it, there's more to this story.

October 12, 1970 -
During his court martial for the My Lai Massacre, Lt. William Calley testified that Cpt. Ernest Medina had ordered that anybody they couldn't move would be "wasted."

Which is why Calley said he and his men killed 350 Vietnamese, including more than 100 civilian men, women, and children.

October 12, 1973 -
U.S. President Richard Nixon nominated House Minority Leader Gerald Ford for the vice presidency, under the 25th Amendment, to replace Spiro Agnew, who had resigned two days earlier.

As I've mentioned before, Ford was on the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. When Nixon resigned, Ford became president. One of his first acts was to pardon Richard Nixon.

I'm not saying that there is a connection but it gives you pause.

October 12, 1997
Folk singer John Denver died when the small plane he was piloting crashed into Monterey Bay on the California coast.

Divers later recover most of the body, but not the head. Denver was ultimately identified by his fingerprints.

Perhaps you really didn't want to know that part.

October 12, 2000 -
In the port of Aden in Yemen, a large bomb, carried by two suicide terrorists on a rubber raft, caused heavy damage to the USS Cole, killing 17 sailors and injuring another 39.

This event was the deadliest attack against a U.S. Naval vessel since 1987.

And so it goes

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