Saturday, May 7, 2016

Psst - tomorrow is Mother's Day

Get out there and start shopping (but maybe not for lube.)

Also, don't forget today is the 142nd Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.

Chill those cups and chop that mint for the juleps for the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports

(I have to stop discussing where the heavy money is being bet in my home - the feds frown upon minors betting.)

May 7, 1901 -
In Westerns you were permitted to kiss your horse but never your girl.

Gary Cooper, one of Hollywood's original boytoy, iconic actor and womanizer, was born on this date.

May 7, 1977 -
Hotel California topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on this date.

The lyric, "Warm smell of colitas," is often interpreted as sexual slang or a reference to marijuana. When asked, Don Felder said: "The colitas is a plant that grows in the desert that blooms at night, and it has this kind of pungent, almost funky smell. Don Henley came up with a lot of the lyrics for that song, and he came up with colitas."

May 7, 1987 -
Shelly Long made her last appearance as a regular on the NBC series Cheers, on this date.

To keep Shelley Long's departure from the series under wraps, three endings were shot. The aired ending, which had Diane leaving and promising to return in six months, and two additional endings. One had Sam and Diane getting married, and a third ending that the producers have not disclosed to this date.

Today in History:
May 7, 399 BC (according to Plato) -
... Socrates, what is truth?' 'Socrates, what is beauty?' Never once did any of you guys say 'Socrates, hemlock is poisonous.' Thanks a lot, you guys ...

Greek authorities forced philosopher Socrates to end his life by drinking a potion containing hemlock for his teaching methods which aroused skepticism and impiety in his students.

Those must have been some parties, if you get condemned to death afterward.

May 7, 1895 -
In Saint Petersburg, Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrated to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention - the first in the world radio receiver.

Unfortunately, since no one had invented regularly scheduled broadcasts, the demonstration was a confusing affair.

May 7, 1915 -
A very minor league Archduck and his wife got themselves killed in the Balkans. Before you you say conflagration, half the world was at war. On February 4, 1915, Germany declared the seas around the British Isles a war zone and any Allied ships in the area would be sunk without warning. King GeorgeV's government chose to ignore the warnings, as they were written in German. This seems odd, as George spoke German, his grandfather was German (Prince Albert) and his first cousin was Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Anyway, a German submarine, U-20, sank the Lusitania, killing 1200, on this date. There were no star-crossed young lovers aboard, however, so instead of making a movie about it, the U.S. had to enter World War I.

May 7, 1920 -
With much fanfare the Treaty of Moscow was signed on this date. Soviet Russia recognized the independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

No one bothered to tell Lenin and the Soviets invade the country six months later.

May 7, 1937 -
The Hindenberg wreckage still lies smoldering having crashed and burned in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing thirty-six yesterday.

The good news was, it provided a really cool cover for Led Zeppelin's first album and a fairly good basis for a novel by E. L. Doctorow.

May 7, 1954 -
In what was seen as a shocking turn of events in the West, French forces were overrun at Dien Bien Phu, on this date. Many in the West had considered the Viet Minh as a minor threat.

This marked the end of French involvement in Vietnam, and the beginning of serious US involvement in the war.

May 7, 2000 -
Vladimir Putin became the president of Russia (for the first time) on this date.

Putin served eight years as president, and is credited with bringing Russia back from the brink of economic collapse.  What will he be credited with at the end of his second time around. (If you are reading this in Russia, look away, I wouldn't want you to break any laws scanning this illegal meme.)

And so it goes

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