And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Today is the first day of Summer, also known as the Summer Solstice. It's the longest day of the year (and the shortest night). There's a full moon tonight - The Strawberry Moon.
The actual moment of the solstice will occur at about 8:00 P.M. EDT, while the sun sits directly above the Pacific Ocean to the west of Hawaii. Don't brag about the good weather tomorrow; remember that it's the beginning of Winter in Australia. (The naked run is optional - please.)
June 20, 1942 -
It's Brian Wilson's birthday today, ushering in those lazy, hazy days of summer.
If you have a chance, Brian Wilson is on tour the rest of the year, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of Pet Sounds.
June 20, 1946 -
Rex Harrison's first American movie, Anna and the King Of Siam, with Irene Dunne, opened in theaters on this date.
While most of the Caucasian actors playing Asians in this film wore dark make-up, Gale Sondergaard was allergic to the make-up being used. Instead, through several weeks of cautious sunbathing, she acquired a deep enough tan to compensate.
June 20, 1974 -
Forget about it Jake. It's Chinatown
Writer Robert Towne was originally offered $125,000 to write a screenplay for The Great Gatsby, but Towne felt he couldn't better the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, and accepted $25,000 to write his own story, Chinatown, instead.
June 20, 1975 -
Steven Spielberg's thriller, Jaws, premiered on this date. Beach vacations were never the same again.
Several decades later, Lee Fierro, who plays Mrs. Kintner, walked into a seafood restaurant and noticed that the menu had an "Alex Kintner Sandwich". She commented that she had played his mother so many years ago. The owner of the restaurant ran out to meet her - none other than Jeffrey Voorhees, who had played her son. They hadn't seen each other since the original movie shoot.
Today in History:
June 20, 1793 -
Eli Whitney applied for a patent on his Cotton Gin on this date. More affordable than gin distilled from grain alcohol and juniper berries, Cotton Gin quickly became the drink of choice among America's rural poor.
This led to widespread outbreaks of Cotton Mouth and eventually caused the Civil War.
June 20, 1756 -
In Calcutta, 146 British prisoners are placed in a 18 foot by 14 foot cell known as The Black Hole by a Bengali, Siraj-ud-daula, and held there until the following morning.
June 20, 1782 -
Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States on this date.
Although several people on the committee were Masons, the Masonic institutions themselves deny that the Seal is Masonic; therefore, any resemblance is purely coincidental.
June 20, 1791-
King Louis XVI and his family attempted their escape from Paris to the royalist citadel of Montedy on this date.
They were captured at Varennes-en-Argonne when they were recognized. It didn't go too well for them after this.
June 20, 1837 -
The 18-year old Princess Victoria ascended the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV, on this date.
Her reign as the Queen lasted 63 years and 7 months, which is the second longest of any British monarch, after her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
June 20, 1893 -
Lizzie Borden was found innocent of giving her stepmother and father 40 and 41 whacks, respectively.
Once O.J. finds the real killers of his wife while in prison, he promised to get cracking on this case as well.
June 20, 1947 -
Bugsy Siegel (Warren Beatty) was shot to death at Virginia Hill's (Annette Bennings) mansion, on orders purportedly from Meyer Lansky.
The drive-by shooting never was solved and remains an open case.
June 20, 1967 -
The late great Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) had refused to serve in the U.S. military, stating that it went against his religious beliefs and his opposition to the Vietnam War. This led to his conviction of violating Selective Service laws on this date.
The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the conviction.
And so it goes.