Thursday, August 25, 2016

The summer's not quite over yet

Get out and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the US National Park Service, formed on August 25, 1916.

If you're in NYC, you don't have to leave the city; just head uptown and visit Grant's Tomb.

August 25, 1962 -
Little Eva's record The Loco-Motion topped the charts on this date.

Gerry Goffin had actually had this song idea in the back of his mind for a couple of years, but had never found the right moment to bring it out. When he sat down to write it at last, he defended it to his songwriting partner, Carole King: "This is going to sound stupid, but what the hell."

August 25, 1972 -
American International Pictures released another film in the blaxploitation vein, Blacula, on this date.

William Marshall, who played Mamuwalde, went on to portray the King of Cartoons in Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

August 25, 1975 -
Bruce Springsteen's third album Born to Run was released on this date.

Springsteen played the title song, Born to Run, for the first time on May 9, 1974 when he opened for Bonnie Raitt at Harvard Square. Rock critic Jon Landau was at the show and wrote in Boston's Real Paper: "I saw rock and roll's future - and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Landau eventually became Springsteen's manager.

August 25, 1986
WEA Records released Paul Simon's award-winning Graceland album on this date.

At first, Simon considered the word "Graceland" a placeholder title until he could come up with something better - maybe something that had to do with Africa. After a while, he realized the title wasn't going away, and he got comfortable with it.

August 25, 1988 -
One of the best documentary films ever produced, Miramax released The Thin Blue Line, directed by Errol Morris, on this date.

The film was rejected by the Oscars for Best Documentary category in 1989 because it was considered to be a fictional film due to its scripted content.

Today in History:
It's the birthday of Declan Patrick MacManus, one of the most prolific musicians of the late 20th Century.

In addition to recordings as "Elvis Costello" (often backed by The Attractions), he has recorded music as "Declan MacManus", "Napoleon Dynamite and The Royal Guard", "The Coward Brothers" (with T-Bone Burnett), "Nick Lowe and His Sound", "The Emotional Toothpaste" and "The Imposter".

The Council of Nicaea ended on August 25, 325, resulting in the Nicene Creed. This established the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which proved that the Father and Son were not two, but three and therefore one. This controversial creed alienated many math teachers from the church.

Its repercussions eventually caused a Schism, which caused Infidels, which caused considerable bloodshed and ultimately resulted in more Political Philosophy.

August 25, 1718 -
French colonists, led by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur De Bienville, established the Louisiana settlement and fortress of Nouvelle Orleans.

In honor of the Big Easy, Laissez les bons temps rouler.

August 25, 1830 -
The 'Tom Thumb' steam locomotive, designed by Peter Cooper, ran the famous first race between a locomotive and a horse-drawn vehicle, over a nine mile stretch, between Relay and Baltimore, Maryland. The locomotive was off to a promising start, but broke down, and the horse won .

Strangely enough on this date in 1875, Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel,

traveling from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in less than 22 hours.

August 25, 1835
The New York Sun published stunning revelations that Sir John Hershel, having built a new super powerful telescope, had observed little men living on the surface of the moon.

The stories, now generally believed to be false, brought the paper record circulation.

August 25, 1900 -

No, Nietzsche is dead, on this date.

God finds this very amusing.

August 25, 1901 -
Clara Maass, a 25 year old army nurse, volunteered for an experiment to prove that the mosquito carries yellow fever.

Unfortunately for her, the experiment proved successful and Maass died. Her death roused public sentiment and put an end to yellow fever experiments on humans.

August 25, 1925 -
The Sleeping Car Porters' Union was established by A. Phillip Randolph, a political malcontent who'd been agitating for reform ever since his ejection from the Wide Awake Car Porters' Union.

Mr. Randolph was the principle organizer for the March on Washington in 1963.

August  25, 1944 -
The City of Paris, occupied since June 1940, was liberated from German occupation by Free French Forces under General Jacques LeClerc and his 2nd Tank division on this date (Charles De Gaulle might beg to differ.)

Although ordered by Adolf Hitler to leave Paris a smoldering ruin, Paris' military governor Major General Dietrich von Cholitz lied to his superiors and left the city's landmarks intact.

I bet Hitler wasn't a happy camper today.

August 25, 1967
George Lincoln Rockwell, the leader of the American Nazi Party, was relieved of his duties by means of the usual Nazi method: he was shot to bloody hell on this date.

Former party member John Patler was later convicted of the killing.

August 25, 1970 -
Elton John, a virtual unknown, started the first night of a six night engagement at the Troubador Club in Los Angeles on this date, making his first American public appearance.

After the first night, Robert Hilburn, music critic for the Los Angeles Times, wrote: “Tuesday night at the Troubadour was just the beginning. He’s going to be one of rock’s biggest and most important stars.” And as Hilburn predicted, in 1990 Rolling Stone magazine declared these shows to be among the 20 most important concerts in the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

And so it goes.

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