April 19, 1927 -
Cecil B. Demille's silent-film version of The King of Kings premiered on this date.
While Cecil B. DeMille was shooting the Crucifixion scene, pioneering director D.W. Griffith visited the set, and the two talked for a while. Just before DeMille got ready to shoot the next scene, he impulsively handed Griffith the megaphone and said, "You shoot this". Griffith then shot a scene of a group of Christ's persecutors gathered around the foot of the Cross.
April 19, 1946 -
Raymond Chandler's film-noir classic The Blue Dahlia premiered on this date.
One of the reasons that Veronica Lake was selected to star opposite of Alan Ladd was because of her height. Ladd was a notably short leading man, and Lake's similarly diminutive stature meant that the filmmakers did not have to make Ladd appear taller by comparison.
April 19, 1961 -
Frederico Fellini's iconic, La Dolce Vita, premiered in the United States on this date.
The film contributed the term "paparazzo" to the language. The term derives from Marcello's photographer friend Paparazzo. Federico Fellini took the name "Paparazzo", as he explained in a later interview, from the name of someone he met in Calabria (Southern Italy) where Greek names are still common. "Paparazzi" is the plural meaning.
April 19, 1967 -
MGM released a truly bizarre James Bond spoof, Casino Royale, starring just about everybody, including Woody Allen(?), premiered on this date.
Peter Sellers and Orson Welles hated each other so much that the filming of the scene where both of them face each other across a gaming table actually took place on different days with a double standing in for the other actor.
April 19, 1987 -
The Simpsons make their television debut in the short Good Night - a segment for The Tracey Ullman Show.
(Once again, I had to hang around the murky world of the internet underground to get this blurry copy of the clip. I'd like to show you a better version of the clip but the goons, I mean lawyers from Fox would break my legs and I've just about gotten used to walking.)
I wonder whatever happened to The Simpsons.
April 19, 1978 -
The Patti Smith Group released the song Because the Night on this date.
Bruce Springsteen wrote this song. He gave it to Patti Smith in 1976 because he thought it would suit her voice. He was also in a legal battle with his manager, Mike Appel, that kept him from recording for almost three years.
Today in History:
April 19, 1775 -
Alerted by Paul Revere, the American Revolutionary War began at Lexington Common with the Battle of Lexington-Concord on this date. Eight Minutemen were killed and 10 wounded in an exchange of musket fire with British Redcoats.
In New York, Lexington seems to have won as there is no Concord Avenue.
April 19, 1824 -
Notorious drug user, buggerer, sister sleeping, club footed man about Europe, oh yeah, and poet, Lord George Gordon Byron, died from malaria fever in Greece on this date.
His body was set back to England for burial (his heart, literally remains in his beloved Greece, buried under a tree in Messolonghi) but he was so infamous that neither the deans of Westminster and St Paul's would accept his body for proper burial. His family at last buried him in a small family vault in Northern England.)
April 19, 1906 -
It was a rainy day in Paris. One of those days that song writers write about. Nobel-winning chemist Pierre Curie was preoccupied and in a hurry. He tried to run across the street and did not look both ways. He slipped and then was hit and run over by a horse drawn vehicle. His skull was badly fractured.
April 19, 1927 -
Mae West, suspected transvestite, was jailed, on this date, for her performance in Sex, the Broadway play she wrote, directed, and starred in. She was sentenced to ten days in prison. While incarcerated on Roosevelt Island, she was allowed to wear her silk panties instead of the scratchy prison issue and the warden reportedly took her to dinner every night.
She said: "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."
April 19, 1993 -
More than 80 Branch Davidians died in Waco, Texas as the FBI stages a disastrous final assault on their compound on this date. This brought a sudden end to the 51-day siege.
As you about to see, this helped us a great deal.
April 19, 1995 -
At 9:02 am, 21 years ago today, a large car bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, and injuring 500 including many children in the building’s day care center.
Authorities charged Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, with the crime.
Both were convicted. McVeigh was executed in 2001 and Nichols is currently serving a life sentence.
And so it goes