Wednesday, August 10, 2016

(Psst, you can make them in the microwave.)

The most popular campfire treat is recognized each year on August 10th during National S’mores Day

This delicious, gooey treat is loved by millions across the United States.

Speaking of roasting something over an open fire; Today is the feast of St. Lawrence. St. Lawrence was said to have been martyred on an iron outdoor stove on this date in 258 AD. During his torture, Lawrence cried out "I' m already done on this side and it is time to turn me over."

He is, of course, the patron saint of comedians and chefs.

Interesting aside: the Perseid Meteor Shower has been known for years as the Tears of Saint Lawrence because they usually occur every year in mid-August, on or near Saint Lawrence's feast day.

This year the event peaks on the nights of August 11th and 12th (Thursday and Friday).

August 10, 1950 -
Billy Wilder's caustic, black-hearted masterpiece, Sunset Boulevard premiered in New York City, on this date.

Montgomery Clift quit the production because he was, like the character of Joe, having an affair with a wealthy middle-aged former actress, Libby Holman, and he was scared the press would start prying into his background.
August 10, 1960 -
The Rat Pack's summer vacation home movie, Ocean's Eleven, premiered on this date.

Significant portions of the movie interactions between major characters were ad-libbed. The actors playing the leading roles all knew each other well and improvised dialogue as well as or better than the script.

August 10, 1962 -
While not the worst film ever made - it is the sickest. The Brain That Wouldn't Die, premiered on this date. (Watch it now.)

At least a few of Virginia Leith's lines were dubbed by Doris Brent, who played a nurse in this film. Reportedly Leith hated the film so much she refused to return for post-production.

August 10, 1968 -
The Doors topped the charts with Hello, I Love You on this date.

Jim Morrison wrote this in 1965 after seeing a beautiful woman walking on the beach. He thought up the song and wrote it that night. The song was not recorded until three years later.  There is a vague rumor on the internet that the Kinks successfully sued the Doors for copyright infringement over their song All Day and All of the Night.

As far as I can actually tell, while discussions concerning a possible lawsuit occurred, nothing came of them.

August 10, 1970 -
Frank Perry's proto-independent film, Diary of a Mad Hosewife, written by Eleanor Perry and starring Carrie Snodgrass, premiered on this date.

The Neil Young song "A Man Needs a Maid" was inspired by Carrie Snodgress' performance in the film. Interestingly, a few months later the pair met and eventually became lovers.

August 10, 1894 -
United Artists released John Milius jingoistic war film Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey, on this date. It's was the first film to be released in the US with a Motion Picture Association of America PG-13 rating.

The film made the Guinness Book of Records for having the most acts of violence of any film up to that time. According to their calculations, 134 acts of violence occur per hour, 2.23 per minute.

Today in History:
August 10, 1628
The 228-foot Swedish warship Vasa, built by Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus to assist in his war with Poland, capsized and sank in Stockholm harbor on her maiden voyage because the ballast was insufficient to counterweight the 64 guns. The Vasa was the most expensive and richly ornamented warship of its time in Sweden. Twenty-five men and women drowned when the ship sank.

The ship remains submerged until it is raised in 1961 to become a tourist attraction.

A long time reader has pointed out that the ABBA museum is across the street from the Vasa museum in Stockholm.  I can think of no finer outing.

August 10, 1921 -
Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello, New Brunswick on this date. Mrs. Roosevelt acted as her partially paralyzed husband’s eyes and ears by traveling, observing and reporting her observations to him.

As First Lady, an author and newspaper columnist and, later, a delegate to the United Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt labored tirelessly for the poor and disadvantaged. In the words of historian John Kenneth Galbraith, she showed "more than any other person of her time, that an American could truly be a world citizen."

August 10, 1937 -
The world's first electric guitar patent # 2,089,171  was awarded to Electro String Corporation on this date.

Inventor G.D. Beauchamp, who teamed up with Adolph Rickenbacher from the Electro String Instrument Corporation in Los Angeles, was awarded the patent for his guitar, the Rickenbacker Frying Pan.

August 10, 1966 -
Last words of James French, sent to the Electric Chair by the state of Oklahoma: "How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? FRENCH FRIES."

There is nothing quite like a dying man who gives good copy.

August 10, 1968 -
According to the strip below, Snoopy's birthday is August 10.

There had, however, been no reference to this in previous years and it did not become an annual feature of the strip.

August 10, 1969 -
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were brutally murdered in their Los Feliz, California home by followers of Charles Manson.

Some of the victims' blood was used to smear the words 'HELTER SKELTER' on the refrigerator door.

August 10, 1977 -
Postal employee and avid dog listener David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, N.Y. on this date, accused of being the "Son of Sam" gunman responsible for six random slayings and seven woundings. Berkowitz is serving six consecutive terms of 25 years to life in state prison.

So much for the rantings of the neighbor's dog.

August 10, 1996 -
Heated by the sun, power lines begin to sag in Oregon. Somehow this triggers a series of failures which cascades throughout the Western states. Four million people lost electrical service in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana and Texas.

It was probably the worst power outage in US history.

And so it goes.

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