I watched the VMAs with my daughters and I barely had an idea of who the performers were (I knew who some of them were.) I lasted about an hour into the program, gave up and went to bed.
August 29, 1953 -
Warner Brothers introduced Speedy Gonzalez in the cartoon Cat-Tails for Two on this date.
While this is the first cartoon featuring the character Speedy Gonzales, his depiction here is vastly different from the character he would later become. It wasn't until his second appearance, Speedy Gonzales (two years later,) that he was re-designed as the character we know him as today.
August 29, 1964 -
Roy Orbison’s single, (Oh,) Pretty Woman, was released on this date.
Roy Orbison and his wife Claudette had recently reconciled after some tough times, but as this song was climbing the charts, Roy found out she had been cheating on him and filed for divorce. In 1966, they remarried, but two months later Claudette was killed when the motorcycle she was riding was hit by a truck.
August 29, 1964 -
Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins opened in general release on this date. This is first movie I ever saw (but not on this date.)
When founder and (now former) chief archivist at the Walt Disney Archives Dave Smith went on a search for the snowglobe from this movie, which featured birds flying around Saint Paul's Cathedral, he finally found it on a shelf in a janitor's office. The janitor explained that he saw the snowglobe sitting in a trash can, but found it too pretty to throw away and kept it himself.
August 29, 1967 -
ABC's television ratings soared through the roof as David Janssen and Barry Morse starred in the final episode of The Fugitive on this date.
Richard Kimble was originally fleeing his hometown in Wisconsin until the producers discovered that Wisconsin did not execute murderers. The locale was quickly changed to Indiana.
Today in History:
August 29, 29/30AD ( The date is a best guess, and the subject of much debate. Once again, Romans were too busy with their orgies and draining lead-lined wine goblets to accurately document events of the day.)
John the Baptist (cousin of the itinerant carpenter of Nazareth) received a severe haircut from King Herod, because his teenage step-daughter, Salome (the Miley Cyrus of her day,) couldn't keep her shorts on while dancing.
Children are always such a handful.
August 29, 1533 -
Atahualpa, the last Incan Emperor, discovered on this date, that the European exploration of the new world was not going to go well for the indigenous people. Francisco Pizarro, one in a long line of Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Andes, with a bible in one hand and a sword in the other. Atahualpa was quickly captured by the Spanish and held for ransom. After paying an immense ransom for his release (a room, 22 ft by 17 ft by 8 ft high, once filled with gold and twice with silver within two months), Pizarro decided it was better to kill his hostage and keep the random.
Atahualpa was condemned to be burnt at the stake - which was anathematic since the Inca believed that the soul would not be able to go on to the afterlife if the body were burned. Atahualpa offered and paid an additional random to be ritualistically garroted after a proper Christian baptism, which occurred on this date in 1533.
And in keeping with the true spirit of diplomacy, Pizarro had Atahualpa corpse burned afterwards.
More on Political Philosophy ...
Jean Baptiste Colbert was born on August 29, 1619.
Another important political philosopher was born this week: John Locke was born on August 29, 1632. Mr. Locke was a political philosopher, and many of his ideas found their way into the American Constitution.
He is best known for his essay concerning human understanding, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which remains famous to this day as the shortest essay ever written.
August 29, 1896 -
Here is one of those bright dividing lines: if you know what Chop Suey is - you're old. If you've tasted Chop Suey - you're really old.
The Chinese-American dish Chop Suey was invented in New York City by the chef to visiting Chinese Ambassador Li Hung-chang on this date.
August 29, 1915 -
Ingrid Bergman, the Swedish three-time Academy Award, two-time Emmy Award, and Tony Award - winner was born (and died in 1982) on this date.
Many of her shorter male co-stars, such as Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains, had to wear lifts to avoid looking small next to her 5' 10" stature.
August 29, 1920 -
Charles Christopher "Bird" Parker, jazz saxophonist and composer was born on this date.
Along with trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie, he created the sporadic rhythms known as "be bop" in the 1950s.
August 29, 1949 -
The Soviet Union joined the nuclear club on this date when they detonated a nuclear weapon, code-named First Lightning (Pervaya Molniya) at a test site in Kazakhstan. American experts were shocked and dismayed because they had thought the Soviets were still years away from having a workable bomb.
The resultant fear helped trigger an arms race that would see the Americans and Soviets stockpile approximately 32,000 and 45,000 nuclear devices.
August 29, 1958 -
Michael Joseph Jackson, the self-crowned King of Pop was born on this date.
He has achieved the dubious distinction of being in the number one position on Forbes magazine's list of "Top-Earning Dead Celebrities", four years in a row.
Last year, Jackson's posthumous earnings were $115 million dollars (Jackson beat out his former dead father-in-law Elvis, who earned over $55 million dollars.)
August 29, 1966 -
The Beatles performed their last concert before paying fans at in San Francisco's Candlestick Park on this date.
The performance marked the end of a four-year period dominated by touring and concerts including nearly 60 U.S. appearances and over 1400 internationally.
August 29, 1991 -
After a vote in the Soviet Union's parliament, the Supreme Soviet, dissolved the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on this date.
August 29, 2005 -
Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. The death toll eventually reached at least 1,600. An estimated 300 Louisiana residents died out of state; some 230 people perished in Mississippi. Property damage estimates were in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
The name Katrina was officially retired on April 6, 2006 by the World Meteorological Organization at the request of the U.S. government. The name will never again be used for another North Atlantic hurricane.
And so it goes.