(Massive internet problems this morning - just fixed them)
August 16, 1930 -
Fiddlesticks, was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's first sound cartoon. It is about a happy-go-lucky, needy frog, named Flip the Frog.
This cartoon was created by Ub Iwerks in 1930. He had drawn a frog and his girlfriend in Night, one of the last Silly Symphonies short films he drew while working for Walt Disney.
August 16, 1940 -
The first of Alfred Hitchcock's war-time thrillers, Foreign Correspondent, starring Joel McCrea, Laraine Day and Herbert Marshall, premiered on this date
Shooting on the film was completed on May 29, 1940, after which Alfred Hitchcock made a visit to England. He returned on July 3 with the word that the Germans were expected to start bombing at any time. Ben Hecht was hurriedly called in and wrote the tacked-on final scene set at a London radio station. It was filmed on July 5, and the real-life bombing started on July 10, 1940.
I think in the end, when you're famous, people like to narrow you down to a few personality traits. I think I've just become this ambitious, say-whatever's-on-her-mind, intimidating person. And that's part of my personality, but it's certainly not anywhere near the whole thing.
Happy Birthday to the Material Girl.
August 16, 1976 -
ABBA release Dancing Queen, the most popular single of the 70s, in Sweden on this date.
The song was conceived as a dance song with the working title Boogaloo. ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson drew inspiration from the 1974 George McCrae disco hit Rock Your Baby, and from the drumming on the 1972 album Gumbo by Dr. John.
Today in History:
August 16, 1819 -
Sixty cavalrymen charge into a crowd of approximately 70,000 protesters at St. Peter's Field in Manchester, England on this date.
The soldiers began to hack away at the people with their sabers and trample them under hoof. Eleven died and 400 were wounded in the Manchester Massacre, also called the Battle of Peterloo.
August 16, 1858 -
U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
However, once again America was ill advised by the request for Prince Albert in a can: Victoria was not amused. The cable stretched from Valentia, Ireland to Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada but failed after only five days and was discontinued being used by September of that year. The first permanent telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean was laid in 1866.
August 16, 1938 -
Blues musician Robert Johnson, who presumably sold his soul to the devil (the story was referred to in the movie Crossroads), was poisoned by a jealous husband in Three Forks, Mississippi and died on this date.
Besides being a seminal figure in the history of the Blues, Johnson is often cites as an early influence in the development of Rock and Roll.
August 16, 1948 -
Famed booze hound, skirt chaser and home-run slugger George Herman "Babe" Ruth died at age 53 in New York City.
He is credited with turning baseball from a game of speed and skill to one of power.
August 16, 1954 -
Sports Illustrated was first published by Time Inc. on this date. It was claimed that 250,000 subscriptions had been sold before the first issue came off of the presses.
August 16, 1956 -
Bela Lugosi, Broadway star, Hollywood star, portrayer of the undead in countless films and formaldehyde connoisseur, died of a heart attack on this day while lying in bed in his Los Angeles home. He was 73.
Bela Lugosi was buried wearing one of the many capes from the Dracula stage play, in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Contrary to popular belief, Lugosi never requested to be buried in his cloak; Bela Lugosi, Jr. has confirmed on numerous occasions that he and his mother, Lillian, made the decision.
August 16, 1977 -
Elvis Presley died (or not) in his home at the age of 42, while sitting on the toilet. While doing his business, he had been perusing The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus. Presumably, Elvis' search was concluded shortly thereafter.
Elvis has long left the building
Remember, add more bran to your diet.
August 16, 1987 -
Mercury, Venus and Mars all get bunched up near the Sun in what some call the Harmonic Convergence on this date.
August 16, 1991 -
Shamu the Whale died at 16, from respiratory failure, on this date.
And so it goes.