July 14, 1918 -
Arguably one the the greatest film directors ever, Ingmar Bergman, was born on this date.
In an interview in 2004, Bergman said that he was "depressed" by his own films and could not watch them anymore.
July 14, 1933 -
The iconic Popeye the Sailor, appeared in his first eponymous titled cartoon, on this date. (Kids, Betty, who is probably underage in this film, is not wearing a bra - so avert your eyes.)
Popeye's appearance is based on that of a fighter named Francis "Rocky" Fiegel whom his creator, Elzie Segar, used to know. Because of this, a tombstone was put on his hitherto unmarked grave in 1996. Segar paid Fiegel a small fee for the use of his likeness, as he was still alive when Popeye first appeared.
Today in History:
July 14 1789 -
Paris was not a happy city in 1789. Paris has never been an especially happy city, especially for those who don't speak French, but in that fateful year, it was especially grouchy. And it wasn't just the city, but the whole country. All of France was being cranky and irritable, and all the other countries were like, "What?"
Finally the queen said they should eat cake and the nation snapped. The people rose up in protest and, it being time for the French Revolution, they stormed the Bastille (Bastille) on July 14, 1789.
A mob of 20,000 people storms Bastille Prison in Paris, killing its personnel and freeing all seven prisoners incarcerated therein: four forgers, an accomplice to murder, the Marquis de Sade (yes that guy), and an insane Irishman. The warden was decapitated and his head carried around on a pike. So begins the French Revolution.
It quickly became clear that the peasants were revolting. (Not that anyone ever thought they were all that attractive.) The storming of the Bastille gave way to a Rain of Terror, a meteorological cataclysm in its own right, which eventually caused Napoleon and led to both Waterloo and Able Was I Ere I Saw Elba, all of which have been covered in previous postings and can therefore be ignored for the time being. Eventually the French (who had always been winers) immersed themselves in Bourbon.
On July 14, 1867, Alfred Nobel first demonstrated his newest invention: dynamite. Mr Nobel spent the rest of his life blowing things up in the interests of world peace.
Sadly, world peace was not achieved in his lifetime. Upon his death he therefore endowed a foundation with billions of dollars to give prizes to men and women of future generations who brought the world closer to peace by blowing things up.
At the rate things have been blowing up lately, world peace is obviously just around the corner.
July 14, 1881 -
In the Summer of '81, at the New Mexico home of his friend Pete Maxwell, notorious outlaw Billy the Kid (Paul Newman/ Kris Kristofferson) stepped into a darkened bedroom and was shot dead by sheriff Pat Garrett (Thomas Mitchell/ James Coburn). Billy's last words were "Quién es?" (Who is it?).
How Jane Russell's breasts are involved in this story is another matter completely.
July 14, 1902 -
One day after workmen noticed a large crack in the structure, the Belltower of St. Mark's collapsed into a hill of white dust, on this date.
July 14, 1906 -
Tom Carvel, the gravelly-voiced ice cream mogul, was born on this date.
Please order a Cookie Puss or Fudgie the Whale ice cream cake in his honor.
July 14, 1943 -
Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated $30,000 to the George Washington Carver National Monument, on this date, the first US National Monument honoring a black man. The site, near Diamond, Missouri, is housed on the former plantation where Carver lived as a child.
July 14, 1963 -
The Soviet spacecraft Vostok 5 was launched into orbit on this date. Over the course of the next five days, Cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky will set a new record for the longest manned space flight in history.
The record would later be broken by the crew of Gemini 7, but Bykovsky will continue to hold the endurance record for a solo flight.
July 14, 1969 -
Although they are still technically legal tender in the United States, they have virtually disappeared from everyday use. I would be happy to give a home to any wayward $1,000 bills.
And so it goes.