Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We're back in the hovel that we call home

Mr. Teeny welcomed us back with open arms and as far as we can tell he didn't cause any of the international incidences that have occurred over the weekend.

We are all sleeping, with one eye open though.

July 6, 1928 -
The first true sound picture, Lights of New York, (Jolson's 1927 The Jazz Singer was basically part-silent film part-sound film) previewed in New York on this date.

This film was originally approved for production as a 2-reeler. Albert Warner approved expanding it to a 57-minute feature despite an untested director. It's $75,000 cost returned $2 million to the studio.

July 6, 1945 -
The Abbott and Costello film, The Naughty Nineties, directed by Jean Yarbrough was released on this date.

The laughter that can be heard faintly in the background during the "Who's on First" routine belongs to the film crew and director Jean Yarbrough. After numerous re-takes trying to eliminate it, Yarbrough just couldn't get the crew - or himself - to stop laughing during the routine, no matter how many times they heard it. So he just gave up and left the giggling in.

July 6, 1964 -
The Beatles' film Hard Day's Night premieres in London, on this date.

United Artists executives didn't really care about the film itself, they were mainly interested in exploiting a legal loophole which would allow them to distribute the lucrative soundtrack album. In fact, they fully expected to lose money on the film. With a final cost of about $500,000 and a box office take of about $8,000,000 in the first week, A Hard Day's Night is among the most profitable (percentage-wise) films of all time.

July 6, 1979 -
The B-52s, a New Wave band based in Athens, Georgia, released Planet Claire on this date.

Once again, I bet her Plymouth Satellite has a better mobile hot spot than the one used this weekend.

Today in History:
July 6, 1415
Jan Hus was burned at the stake for various heresies by the Council of Constance.

Among other things, Hus had incited the citizens of Prague to protest against Antipope John XXIII and his policy of granting indulgences.

Those Antipopes are so moody.

July 6, 1535 -
Thomas More, the patron saint of politicians, was beheaded in England for treason, on this date.  He got a little off the top for refusing to renounce the Catholic church in favor of King Henry VIII's Church of England.

More's sentence to death by hanging was commuted to beheading (what a lucky duck.) He was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1935.

July 6, 1919
The British airship R.34 landed in New York at Roosevelt Field on this date. (There's no word what was on sale at the Mall.)

It completed the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship. It had left Firth of Forth, Scotland, 108 hours earlier and there was no beverage cart service throughout the entire flight!

July 6, 1921 -
Several members of the Chicago White Sox went on trial for throwing the 1919 World Series, on this date. The White Sox players despised their owner Charles Comiskey. He was notoriously stingy. He would offer bonuses for performance and then take them back at the last minute. Gamblers knew that the players were frustrated and angry and offered several of them money to throw the World Series. The night before the series began, a Sox pitcher found $10,000 under the pillow in his hotel bedroom. The next day his first pitch landed between the batter's shoulder blades. The Sox lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds 5 to 3.

Many journalists knew right away that the series had been fixed. One of the accused players, one of the most tragic figures, was Shoeless Joe Jackson, who admitted to taking money, but during the series he didn't make a single error. He also hit the only home run of the series. All of the White Sox players were acquitted for lack of evidence, but the commissioner of baseball banned them from the game for the rest of their lives.

None of the gamblers was ever punished.

July 6 1944 -
Fire breaks out at a matinee performance of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Baily Circus, in Hartford, Connecticut, burning 168 people to death, and injuring an additional 250. The main tent had been waterproofed with wax thinned by gasoline. Said one of the Flying Wallendas, "I can never look down at a crowd again without smelling the flames and the burning flesh."

I believe with thoughts like this, even I would give up showbiz.

Among notable survivors, beside the Flying Wallendas, were Eunice Groark, first female lieutenant governor of Connecticut and Charles Nelson Reilly.

July 6, 1944  -
Lieutenant Jackie Robinson (yes that Jackie) while riding a civilian bus from Camp Hood, Texas, refused to give up his seat to a white man.

Lt. Robinson was court marshaled for refusing the order of a civilian bus driver to move to the back of the bus. He was acquitted of the charges.

July 6, 1945 -
The Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation OVERCAST, intended to "exploit ... chosen rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use," on this date. The directive authorizes the immigration of up to 350 German and Austrian specialists, primarily experts in rocketry.

Operation OVERCAST is later renamed Project PAPERCLIP. This is how we got the 'Good Germans' to work on our space program.

Louis Armstrong, an essential influence on jazz, and pot and Swiss Kriss (herbal laxative) enthusiast,

died on this date, in 1971.

I do not wish to imply that the supernal Mr Armstrong died in some freak pot/ laxative accident.

And so it goes.

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