November 2, 1934 -
Ernst Lubitsch charming adaptation of the famous Viennese operetta The Merry Widow starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald premiered on this date.
The Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier did not get along on this film. He called her a "prude" and she called him "a bottom pincher". Their relationship had been deteriorating for some time and this was the final film collaboration between Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald and director Ernst Lubitsch.
November 2, 1940 -
Well now I've seen everything!
Another funny Porky Pig Looney Tunes, The Sour Puss, premiered on this date.
November 2, 1942 -
Another Preston Sturges laugh out loud comedy, The Palm Beach Story, opened on this date. (Sturges, himself, had to shove a handkerchief in his mouth to avoid ruining a take by laughing.)
Preston Sturges's perfectionism slowed down production. He refused to move on to close-ups until he had a perfect master shot, and he would stop and do a new take if an actor changed a word of the script. William Demarest, who appeared in eight Sturges films, would later say, "He had a great memory. If you changed anything, he'd say, 'Wait a minute,' and, goddamn, he was right."
November 2, 1946 -
Walt Disney's 'politically incorrect' feature, the partially- animated film, Song of the South, was released on this date.
Owing to the significant and continued controversy surrounding the film's treatment of slavery and the portrayal of its African American characters, Disney has been reluctant to reissue the film in the United States, having last been seen legally in said territory in 1986. The studio did make the film available on video in Europe and Asia, and bootleg copies are frequently derived from them.
November 2, 1957 -
The often edited for S & P (I definitely should know) Bugs vs. Daffy Looney Tunes cartoon, Show Biz Bugs, premiered on this date.
The segment when Bugs and Daffy were dancing to "Tea for Two" was used for the opening scene, (as other Warner Brothers' popular animation stars walked across from right to left behind Bugs and Daffy, during their dance) of the "Bugs Bunny and Friends" TV series on WNEW-TV in New York for much of the 1970s and into the early 1980s.
November 2, 2001 -
The Disney-Pixar computer-animated movie Monsters, Inc. opened in general release on this date.
Billy Crystal was originally offered the role of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story and he declined. They offered Crystal a future role in a Pixar film that they would tailor to his talents. Crystal told them to "do what's best for your movie and don't forget me when something good comes around." They didn't and offered him the role in this film.
Today in History:
November 2, 1944 -
Thomas Midgley Jr., an American chemist who developed both leaded gasoline and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), was notoriously known as "the one human responsible for more deaths than any other in history".
As if it was nature's idea to get revenge on him he was left disabled in his bed due to lead poisoning and polio at the age of 51.
Keeping his inventive juices flowing, he designed a complicated system of strings and pulleys on his bed so that he could lift himself up when needed. This invention was the cause of his death at the age of 55 when he was accidentally entangled in the ropes of his bed and died of strangulation.
Talk about double irony.
November 2, 1947 -
In California, industrialist, film producer/director, philanthropist, syphilitic bisexual germaphobe Howard Hughes flew the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.
The plane was crafted out of 200 tons of plywood. The war ended before the plane was deployed
November 2, 1948 -
President Harry S.Truman somehow roused himself from his alcoholic stupor and was re-elected in an upset victory over the presumptive winner, Republican Thomas E. Dewey.
The Chicago Tribune had printed a banner headline 'DEWEY WINS!' prematurely. Truman defeated Dewey by 2.2 million popular votes and 114 electoral votes.
November 2, 1959 -
Game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a House subcommittee that he'd been given questions and answers prior to appearances on Twenty-One, the NBC game show.
November 2, 1963 -
South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother were assassinated in a military coup. Coup leader Duong Van Minh explained that "They had to be killed - Pres. Diem was too much respected among simple, gullible people in the countryside."
A 3rd brother was later tricked into surrendering to US forces and was turned over to coup leaders and killed by firing squad. (President Johnson admitted the CIA's part in the coup.)
Once again, American diplomacy at work.
November 2, 1984 -
Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the United States since 1962 for the murder of her mother, her boyfriend and two others with rat poison in their food.
That will learn her.
November 2, 1988 -
The Internet Worm was released by Cornell grad student Robert Morris on this date. His ingenious program was meant to explore the Internet harmlessly, but due to a bug, it crashed some 6,000 computers.
Morris parlayed the incident into a career, he is now an associate professor at MIT.
Kids, this is not the way to get ahead.
And so it goes.