Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It doesn't have to come out of a machine

It's National Daiquiri Day.

It's been very humid the past few days, so it more than appropriate to celebrate.

Every year on this day, since about 1104, any married couple who could prove they had been faithful and loving to one another for one year was awarded half a pig, known as a flitch of bacon.

(I want to know how that couple is going to bring home that side of pork.)

July 19, 1960 -
The initial pilot for what would become The Dick Van Dyke Show, Head of the Family, premiered on this date.

Carl Reiner has said that he let this pilot sit for about a year after it didn't sell, and then he showed it to Sheldon Leonard who told him he liked it and it had potential, but it "needs better actors, including you!"

July 19, 1980 -
Billy Joel's hit, It's Still Rock and Roll to Me, topped the charts on this date.

This was one of Joel's most popular songs, this was his first #1 hit on the Hot 100, spending two weeks at the top spot. The single went on to be certified Platinum, with sales in excess of 2 million copies.

Today in history:
July 19, 1692
Five Salem witches were hanged for the crime of witchcraft on this date, based primarily on the accusations of little girls who were bewitched.

Eventually, the village executed a total of 20 witches. That was one nasty little girl

July 19, 1870
France attempted to declare war on Russia. Due to a typographical error, however, France inadvertently declared war on Prussia on this date and caused the Franco-Prussian War. This eventually led to the creation of Germany, which led to World War I, World War II, and the Volkswagen.

Moral: always proofread.

July 19, 1919 -
Raymonde de Laroche, the first woman to pilot a plane in 1909 and first woman to receive a pilot's license, died in an plane crash at Le Crotoy airport in France, on this date.

Raymonde de Laroche had miraculously survived three serious crashes before the fourth one claimed her.

July 19, 1937 -
The Nazis opened Entartete Kunst, the Degenerate Art show, in Munich on this date. The traveling exhibition offers up Expressionism for ridicule, carefully arranged by (offensive) subject.

The German youth were not admitted, lest they become tainted.

July 19, 1941  -
Prime Minister Winston Churchill launched his "V for Victory" campaign in Europe on this date.

The BBC World Service began regular broadcasting throughout Europe with the opening four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, which in Morse Code spell V for "Victory."

July 19, 1952 -
Keep watching the skies.

During a series of UFO sightings in Washington, D.C. occurring over July 13-29, unidentified objects are picked up on D.C.'s National Airport radar system. Sightings in the region are so extensive the Air Force is prompted to hold a press conference. Conveniently, these are all "radar mirages" resulting from "temperature inversions."

July 19, 1966 -
Frank Sinatra married Mia Farrow in Las Vegas on this date.

Ava Gardner's famous comment on the union: Hah! I always knew Frank would end up in bed with a little boy!


July 19, 1969 -
John Fairfax, after an amazing 180 days alone at sea, became the first person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. (When Fairfax was asked what he did for a living, he would usually answer, "I'm a professional adventurer. I not only enjoy it, I try to make money off it.")

Two year later he rowed across the Pacific with his then-girlfriend Sylvia Cook; the trip took them 361 days. They became the first people to accomplish that feat.

July 19, 1984 -
I stand before you to proclaim tonight, America is a land where dreams can come true for all of us.

32 years ago today,  U.S. Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York won the Democratic nomination for vice president at the party's convention in San Francisco. (Co-incidentally,  the first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY on this date in 1848.)

And so it goes.

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