Saturday, July 30, 2016

I'm glad the heat wave broke

The dog days were really upon us

Flowers and Trees is a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Burt Gillett and released to theatres by United Artists on this date. It was the first commercially released film to be produced in the full-color three-strip Technicolor process, after several years of two-color Technicolor films.

The cartoon premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theater as the opening short to the feature Strange Interlude.

July 30, 1966 -
The Dynamic Duo make the jump from the TV scene to the movie scene - Batman, The Movie, premiered in Austin, Texas on this date.

Adam West was initially reluctant about making the movie. He decided to do it when told by producers that without his involvement in the film, the part of Batman/Bruce Wayne would be recast. West was also convinced to do the film partly with a stipulation to have more screen time as Bruce Wayne.

July 30, 1966 -
The Beatles' album Yesterday... & Today,  went #1 and stayed #1 for 5 weeks, on this date.

The record was released just after John's infamous interview in which he stated that the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus", which angered Americans and provoked many bans on their music and public incinerations of memorabilia. But Yesterday And Today would take public disapproval to a whole new level, as the original cover featured the band in butcher's smocks with baby doll parts and raw meat covering them. The record was pulled almost immediately - creating an instant collector's item - and in the confusion that followed, several replacement covers were issued.

July 30, 1982 -
One of Ron Howard's early movie directorial efforts Night Shift, premiered on this date.

The fraternity having the party in the morgue is Delta Tau Chi (seen on the wall) which is the same fraternity as in Animal House.

Today in History:
Prague has always been a tough town for elected officials.

On July 30, 1419, Jan Zelivsky, a Hussite priest at the church of the Virgin Mary of the Snows, led his congregation on a procession through the streets of Prague to the Town Hall. The town council members had refused to exchange their Hussite prisoners, and an anti-Hussite threw a rock at one of the protesters. Enraged, the crowd stormed the town hall and threw seven of the council members from the windows onto the spears of the armed congregation below. Thus, the First Defenestration of Prague occurred.

Less you think that was the only defenestration in that tough old town, at Prague Castle on May 23, 1618, an assembly of Protestants tried two Imperial governors, Wilhelm Grav Slavata (1572 - 1652) and Jaroslav Borzita Graf Von Martinicz (1582 - 1649), for violating the Letter of Majesty (Right of Freedom of Religion), found them guilty, and threw them, together with their scribe Philip Fabricius, out of the high windows of the Bohemian Chancellery. They landed on a large pile of manure and all survived unharmed. Philip Fabricius was later ennobled by the emperor and granted the title "von Hohenfall" (lit. translating to "of Highfall").

Apparently, the streets of Prague were literally full of crap.

But what there were more, a defenestration (chronologically the Second Defenestration of Prague) happened on September 24, 1483, when a violent overthrow of the municipal governments of the Old and New Towns ended with throwing the Old-Town portreeve and the bodies of seven killed aldermen out of the windows of the respective townhalls.

Sometimes, the name the Third Defenestration of Prague is used, although it has no standard meaning. For example, it has been used to describe the death of Jan Masaryk, who was found under the bathroom window of the building of the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 10, 1948, allegedly murdered by Communists, though the official Communist line claimed this to be a suicide.

It's tough to be an elected official in Prague.

So, here are some quick rules for avoiding defenestration:

7. Don't throw stones at angry mobs.
6. Watch out for Catholics.
5. Watch out for Protestants.
4. Don't piss off really powerful people.
3. Surround tall buildings with piles of manure.
2. Never go to Prague.

And, of course,

1. Never go indoors.

Again, it's a tough town for politicians but it's the gravy train for glazers.

July 30, 1729 -
Happy Birthday Crab Cake Capital of the World

The city of Baltimore was founded on this date and is named after Lord Baltimore (Cecilius Calvert).

July 30, 1818 -
It's Emily Bronte's birthday.

The Brontes were three hideous sisters who dwelt in a cave and had to share a single eyeball between them. They were eventually outwitted and slain by wily Odysseus. (Unless that was the Gorgons, in which case the Emily Brontes were three Englishwomen who wrote poetry and novels in the middle nineteenth century.)

Women were not allowed to write books at the time because novels were still being written in the formal style, and it was feared that women would corrupt that classic form with their penchant for multiple climaxes. The Brontes therefore wrote under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Charlotte got to be Currer and this made the other girls jealous: Currer was the handsome and swarthy sailor, while Ellis was the stuttering librarian and Acton was the simpleminded shepherd.

As authors, the Emily Brontes were heavily influenced by the Romantics (Talking In Your Sleep), but most scholars contend that Emily's Wuthering Heights owes more to the Meteorologists.

She is perhaps best known for her invention of Heathcliff, most recently popularized by American cartoonist George Gately.

July 30, 1871 -
The boiler on the Staten Island Ferry Westfield exploded, killing as many as 100 people and  injured hundreds of others as well, on this date.

The ferry was owned by the president of the Staten Island Railway, Jacob Vanderbilt, who was arrested for murder, but was not convicted.

July 30, 1938 -
In his Dearborn, Michigan office Henry Ford proudly accepts a Nazi medal on his 75th birthday, on this date. The Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle was the highest award the Reich can bestow on foreigners. The medal arrives with a note of personal greetings from Adolf Hitler.

A rabid anti-semite, Ford paid for copies of the racist hoax Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to be deposited in major U.S. libraries.

Hopefully, there isn't a Ford in your future.

July 30, 1947 -
As the 'Siegfried' leitmotif from Act III of Wagner's opera played in the background - Arnold Schwarzenegger, the last gasp of the dream of the Aryan 'Uberman', was spawned on this date.

I'm not quite sure that an overly greased muscle man in a speedo (who would become the governor of a bankrupt US state and fathered children out of wed-lock ) was what Hitler had in mind, but who knows.

July 30, 1965 -
As part of President Johnson's Great Society program, the president signed the Social Security Act of 1965 into law established Medicare and Medicaid in the United States, on this date.

Both older Americans and people living in poverty benefited from passage of the Social Security amendments. Medicare initiated a basic program of insurance for those aged 65 and over, funded by a tax on employees wages and matched by employer contributions. Medicaid provided grants to states to establish health care programs for low-income individuals and families. The act also lowered the age at which widows could begin collecting benefits and added certain divorced women to the list of benefit recipients.

July 30, 1975 -
Jimmy Hoffa was or wasn't killed on this date.

Jimmy is or isn't buried somewhere in the Meadowlands or a horse farm or was made into ground meat and consumed at some very unfortunate barbecue (the FBI still continue to try to sort it all out.)

And so it goes.

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