Friday, August 5, 2016

The Games of the XXXI Olympiad start today

The eyes of the world, and everyone in my home, will be turned to Rio to watch the opening ceremonies this evening. (Caipirinha for everyone.)

Hopefully a tidal wave of waste, Zika infected mosquitoes or Donald Trump won't ruin them

Today is International Beer Day! International Beer Day, founded in 2007,  is a global celebration of the second most popular beverage in the world: beer!

International Beer Day festivities take place in pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, breweries, backyards and anywhere else you can enjoy a cold one. (Hey International Beer Consortium, you can contact my lawyers about my commission.)

August 5, 1922 -
The silent-film classic, Blood and Sand, starring Rudolph Valentino and Lila Lee, was released on this date.

Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova hoped to have the film shot in Spain, but the studio ultimately elected to shoot it on the back lot in Hollywood.

August 5, 1953 -
Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr got busy in the surf and someone may have gotten a horse head telegram delivered to their bedroom - From Here to Eternity premiered in NYC on this date.

Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and author James Jones were very close during the filming, frequently embarking on monumental drinking binges. Clift coached Sinatra on how to play Maggio during their more sober moments, for which Sinatra was eternally grateful.

August 5, 1955 -
Alfred Hitchcock's surprisingly light comedic touch is on full display in, To Catch A Thief, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, opened in NYC on this date.

John Robie mentions that as a youth he was in a trapeze group that traveled around Europe. In real life, Cary Grant was in an acrobatic troupe that toured around Europe (and eventually came to America) when he was young.

August 5, 1966 -
This was a big day in Beatles history:
The Beatles released their Revolver album in UK on this date.

and they also released Yellow Submarine and Eleanor Rigby as a double A single in UK. A lot of kids weekly allowance must have flown out the door on this date.

Today in History:
August 5, 1861
Folks, please note: The US government established the first income tax on US citizens on this date (Abraham Lincoln was president at the time.)  The Revenue Act of 1861 established a tax of 3 percent on incomes of more than $800 Dollars.

The tax, which was used for financial aid during the Civil War, was rescinded in 1872.

August 5, 1884
The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor on this date.

Children and horses were kept indoors on that day for fear of offending their delicate nature.

August 5, 1914 -
The first electric traffic signal, based on a design by James Hoge, was installed on this date.

The system of red and green lights, indicating stop and go, was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, on the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue.  Lost in the miasma of time is the name of the person that first ran the red light.

August 5, 1926 -
Harry Houdini stayed in a coffin, submerged in the swimming pool of New York's Hotel Shelton for one hour and a half, on this date.

Note: He currently has exceeded his own record substantially.

On August 4, 1955, Carmen Miranda suffered a heart attack during a segment of the live TV show The Jimmy Durante Show, although she did not realize it. After completing a dance number, she fell to her knees, and Durante instinctively told the band to "stop da music!".

He helped Miranda up to her feet as she laughed "I'm all out of breath!". "Dat's OK, honey, I'll take yer lines", Durante replied. Miranda laughed again and quickly pulled herself together, finishing the show. At the end of the broadcast, she smiled and waved, then exited the stage. She died later that night, on August 5, 1955, after suffering a second heart attack at her home in Beverly Hills.

As with all great performers - the show had to go on.

August 5, 1957
American Bandstand, a local Philadelphia show dedicated to the teenage "baby-boomers" by playing the songs and showing popular dances of the time, hosted by Dick Clark,debuted nationally on the ABC television network on this date.

Please be careful,  Mr. Clark still doesn't realize that he's dead, and is roaming the nation in search of brains to feast upon.

August 5, 1962 -
54 years ago today, a very unhappy Marilyn Monroe (Norma J. Mortenson) died of natural causes, aggravated by sleeping pills, in her Brentwood home.

Unless she was murdered.

August 5, 1981 -
As dementia continued to take its karma toll, President Ronald Reagan began firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work on this date.

The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slows air travel for months.

And so it goes.

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