Saturday, November 7, 2015

They really had nothing today

Today is a celebration of Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds

November 7, 1955 -
The neo-realist film classic, Umberto D., was released in the US on this date.

Ingmar Bergman cited Umberto D. as his favorite film.

November 7, 1956 -
An early masterpiece from Fellini, I Vitelloni, was released in the US on this date.

Riccardo is played by Fellini's brother Riccardo Fellini.

November 7, 1963
The comedy that features one of the largest collections of American comedians ever brought together, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, premiered on this date.

Don Rickles reportedly wanted to be in the movie but was never asked. He never let Stanley Kramer live it down, either, even heckling him about it from the stage whenever Kramer came to see Rickles' show.

November 7, 1979
Loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin, the film, The Rose, starring Bette Midler, was released on this date.

Mark Rydell would only agree to direct if he could cast Bette Midler in the lead. Up to that time, Midler had only appeared in bit parts in films, and was known primarily as a nightclub singer.

Today in History:
Maria Sklodowski
was born in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867. Poland was controlled by Russia at the time, so Maria was referred to as Manya, causing her mother to die. This left Manya and her four older siblings in care of their father, who was caught teaching Polish and therefore prohibited from earning money.

To help support her father, Manya began tutoring a family in the country outside Warsaw. Her sister Bronya moved to Paris to study medicine and become a famous doctor, so Manya sent money to her, also. This allowed Bronya to marry another medical student and begin practicing medicine in Paris.

Bronya and her husband invited Manya to live with them in Paris and study at the Sorbonne, where she could call herself Marie. This appealed to the young woman, who quickly earned master's degrees in physics and mathematics. She enjoyed Paris so much she couldn't bear to return to Poland and to understand her attraction to Paris she began a study of magnetism.

To conduct her magnetism research she needed a larger lab, however, so she married a Frenchman named Pierre and used his. One of Pierre's friends had been experimenting with uranium, which piqued Marie's curiosity. She began experimenting with it herself, and ultimately discovered something she called "radio-activity." This eventually led to her discovery of radium, for which she received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911.

Marie Curie's research would eventually culminate in the development of the atomic bomb, but unfortunately she died before having the opportunity to see the full flowering of her hard work.

November 7, 1872 -
The cargo ship Mary Celeste sailing from New York, never reached Genoa. Four weeks later it is found completely abandoned, whereabouts of the ten man crew unknown.

The ship's cargo was alcohol, so you decide.

November 7, 1874 -
The famous political cartoonist Thomas Nast (a staunch Republican) first used an elephant to symbol for the Republican Party on this date.

He choice the elephant because of the animal's great size, intelligence, strength, and dignity.

November 7, 1940
The newly completed Tacoma Narrows Bridge, opened barely four months before, swayed and collapsed in a 42 mile-per-hour wind on this date.

There were no casualties except a dog trapped in a car stranded on the bridge. A rescue was attempted (by the man with the pipe), but the frightened animal would not leave the car.

November 7, 1962  -
Richard M. Nixon, 49, who had been in politics for 16 years, failed in a bid to become governor of California, held what he called his last press conference, telling reporters, "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore," on this date.

Nixon was able to come back from his defeat and be elected president of the United States just six years.

November 7, 1965
The Pillsbury Doughboy made its first appearance on this date.

You may refer to the creature as it; marketing may call it a Doughboy but there is no evidence of genitalia.

November 7, 1983 -
An anonymous phone called notified the White House authorities that a bomb had been placed close to the Senate chamber by the "Armed Resistance Unit" and was set to explode. The Senate chamber was empty at the time, and nobody was injured.

The bomb did, however, cause about $250,000  in damage. Six Resistance Conspiracy members were arrested for the bombing five years later.

A portrait of Daniel Webster, received the explosion’s full force.  The blast tore away Webster’s face and left it scattered across the Minton tiles in one-inch canvas shards.  Quick thinking Senate curators rescued the fragments from debris-filled trash bins.  Over the coming months, a capable conservator painstakingly restored the painting to a credible, if somewhat diminished, version of the original.


And so it goes.

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