Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm running really late this morning

... He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispin's day

It's Saints Crispin and Crispinian's Day. (it comes up later)

They are the patron saints of cobblers, tanners and leather workers. So remember, if you're walking through the West Village this morning and you see a bleary-eye Leather Daddy walking his 'boy' home on a leash, wish them a Happy St. Crispin's Day!

October 25, 1928 -
Carl Theodor Dreyer silent masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc starring the amazing Marie Falconetti premiered in Paris on this date.

The film was thought to be lost forever, the negative was accidentially burned. Dreyer went to his grave, believing his masterpiece would never be seen again. And then, miraculously, in 1981 a complete print was found in an Oslo mental institution’s janitor’s closet.

October 25, 1957 -
One of Frank Sinatra's best movie performances, Pal Joey was released on this date.

Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn suggested Marlene Dietrich for the role of Vera Simpson. Dietrich turned down the part but suggested her friend Frank Sinatra for the role of Joey after Gene Kelly was denied the part. Cohn suggested Jack Lemmon before Sinatra was eventually cast.

October 25, 1957 -
The greatest 50s Drive-in movie, The Amazing Colossal Man, opened in NYC on this date. (American International Pictures released Cat Girl in a double feature with this  film.)

 In the 1958 film, Attack of the Puppet People, a clip of this film is shown at a drive-in movie theater.

October 25, 1965 -
Jean-Luc Godard's take on Sci-Fi Film Noir, Alphaville, opened in NYC on this date.

Despite the fact that the film is a work of science fiction and supposed to be in a city of the future, all the sets were existing locations in Paris in 1965, and all the weapons are conventional firearms.

October 25, 1967 -
The Lerner and Loewe take on the the Arthurian legend, Camelot, starring  Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero, premiered on this date.

Richard Harris desperately sought the lead role, despite being repeatedly refused due to his limited singing ability. At one point he even paid a man to carry a board down the Strand that said, "Harris Better than Burton, Only Harris for Camelot".

October 25, 1971 -
The PBS children's show The Electric Company premiered on this date.

Each episode of the pseudo-soap opera Love of Chair ended with the narrator (Ken Roberts) asking the cryptic question "And what about...Naomi?" referring to Naomi Foner-Gyllenhaal, an associate producer of the show during its first two seasons.

October 25, 1975 -
Quite arguably the funniest episode ever broadcast on network TV, The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Chuckles Bites the Dust first aired on this date.

Mary Tyler Moore recalled in her autobiography that the insides of her cheeks were almost raw from biting them so hard to keep from laughing during the actual taping of the episode.

October 25, 1978 -
The independently produced horror film Halloween, directed by John Carpenter and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, premiered in the US on this date.

For years after Halloween was released, people would tell writer/director John Carpenter how horrified they were by Michael Myers grotesquely disfigured face, glimpsed when Laurie pulls his mask off for a moment towards the end of the film. But actually all they saw was the ordinary face of the actor Tony Moran playing the role, perfectly normal except for the small knife wound inflicted by Laurie during their struggle in the closet which was created using Special Effects makeup.

October 25, 1982 -
Bob Newhart's second successful-sitcom Newhart, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

Darryl and Darryl were originally named Larry. They altered their given names to avoid confusion both at home and at obedience school.

Today in History -
It's 1415, as it has been often said, times were hard - the only way to tell who the king was in England was looking for the person with the least amount of crap on him. The wastrel son of a usurping King led a ragtag army into another sovereign nation on this date.

After giving a stirring speech, the outnumbered army beats the far superior and well fortified army and wins the decisive Battle of Agincourt on this day. More than one hundred years later, either William Shakespeare or a bunch of other people wrote a slew of Henry plays

It's 1854, this time. The British want to maintain their naval superiority of the globe and continue to enjoy the fruits of sodomy on the open seas. The Russian Tsar (or Czar, as most monarchs are to busy to get a proper education, so they could barely figure out what type of monarch they are) decided that the Russian naval needed to get into a little of those high seas hijinks, began moving his army towards Turkey, hoping for a Russian port in the black sea. Thus, buggery is one of the underlying causes of The Crimean War.

It typical British fashion, on the morning of October 25, 1854, the English were winning the Battle of Balaclava (not Baklava, the delicious Greek pastry wars, to be described at a future date, but the goofy hat war with the ear flaps) when Lord Cardigan (yes, of sweater fame) received his order to attack the Russians fortifications.

Unfortunately for the Light Brigade, the Russian army was also on the other side of the valley that they were charging towards. The brigade was decimated by the heavy Russian guns, suffering 40 percent casualties.

It was later revealed that the order was the result of Alfred Lord Tennyson needing a new hit poem and not intentional.

October 25, 1881 -
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, the Spanish-born doodler and noted womanizer (considered the most influential artist of the 20th century) was born on this date.

I wonder if his paintings are still worth anything?

October 25, 1920 -
On a fine October day in 1920, King Alexander of Greece (cousin of my favorite Greek itinerant sailor - Philip) was walking in the gardens of the royal palace in Athens. The young monarch was walking with his favorite dog when they were attacked by a pair of wild monkeys (once again, I can't make this stuff up.) Alexander attempted to drive the monkeys away from his dog but was bit during the scuffle.

The incident proved fatal for both parties. King Alexander suffered an infection and died from sepsis on this date and the monkey was destroyed when the Greek people sought revenge for the regicide. His father, the former King Constantine I (Philip's uncle) was called back into service to be king until his disastrous actions in the Greco-Turkish War.

Winston Churchill said, 'It is perhaps no exaggeration to remark that a quarter of a million people died from this monkey bite.'

Once again, sometimes it stinks to be the king .

October 25, 1931 -
In every home there is a heartbreak

This story is truly not for the faint of heart.

Elena Hoyos, a pretty and vivacious 21 year old Cuban-American girl died from tuberculosis in Florida on this date. While this is sad, it wouldn't be noteworthy other than for her middle aged neighbor with a strange infatuation with Elena. Carl Tanzler (also known as Carl von Cosel), German-born radiologist became obsessed with his young neighbor. Not only did Mr. Tanzler attempted to treat and cure Hoyos with a variety of medicines, as well as x-ray and electrical equipment, that were brought to the Hoyos' home but Tanzler showered Hoyos with gifts of jewelry and clothing, and allegedly professed his love to her.

In April, 1933, Tanzler removed Hoyos' body from the mausoleum, carted it through the cemetery after dark on a toy wagon, and transported it to his home. Carl, with a little help from some home embalming, lived with Hoyos' corpse until October, 1940, when Elena's sister Florinda heard rumors of Tanzler (now known as Von Cosel) sleeping with the disinterred body of her sister, and confronted Tanzler at his home, where Hoyos' body was eventually discovered. Von Cosel was not charged with a crime because the statute of limitations on grave robbing had expired. Elena Hoyos was eventually buried at a secret location. Von Cosel, separated from his love, used a death mask to create a life-sized dummy of her, and lived with it until his death in 1952.

(This story is even more disturbing then you think, I've left some of the very unsavory details out for those readers with a more delicate nature.)

October 25, 1938 -
The Archbishop of Dubuque, the Most Reverend Francis J.L. Beckman, denounces the newfangled Swing music

-- the latest craze -- as nothing more than "a degenerated musical system... turned loose to gnaw away the moral fiber of young people" on this date.

Its cannibalistic rhythms are said to lead one down the "primrose path to Hell."

October 25, 1955 -
Sadako Sasaki
was a Japanese girl who lived near Hiroshima, Japan. She was only two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. As she grew up, Sadako was a strong, courageous and athletic girl. In 1954, at age eleven, she became dizzy and fell to the ground. Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia, the "atom bomb disease".

While in the hospital, a friend gave her a golden paper crane and retold the story about the paper cranes (one who folded 1,000 cranes was granted a wish.) She may or may not have completed her goal in August of 1955, reports vary, and continued to fold cranes.

During her time in the hospital her condition progressively worsened. Around mid-October her left leg became swollen and turned purple. After her family urged her to eat something, Sadako requested tea on rice and remarked "It's good." Those were her last words. With her family around her, Sadako died on the morning of October 25, 1955 at the age of 12.

October 25, 1957 -
In chair number four of the barber shop at the Park Sheraton hotel in Manhattan, Mafia don Albert Anastasia, the Lord High Executioner of Murder Inc., was shot five times by the Gallo Brothers, under orders from Carlo Gambino.

The barber shop is now a Starbucks - such is life.

October 25, 1983 -
In order to maintain an uninterrupted supply of nutmeg to satisfy global demand, the United States of America invaded the Caribbean island of Grenada.

The invasion was rationalized as a rescue mission for the American medical students at the local school. A good friend of mine was at the school at the time and was widely quoted in the media.

October 25, 1991 -
On the way back from a Huey Lewis concert, rock promoter Bill Graham was killed when his helicopter hits high-voltage power lines in Vallejo, California on this date.

So, he died because he had to listen to Hip To Be Square.

And so it goes

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