Friday, October 28, 2016

Killers, thieves, and lawyers

Today is International Animation Day, commemorating the first public performance of Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris in 1892.

So Kids make sure you watch your favorite cartoons.

October 28, 1947 -
An overlooked yet still powerful film-noir, Nightmare Alley, was released on this date.

Tyrone Power gave a memorable performance. Audiences, unfortunately weren't able to deal with him cast against type and he never had such a dramatically heavy role again.

October, 28, 1957 -
Federico Fellini's Le Notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria) opened in the US on this date. (A good friend of mine named her daughter after Giulietta Masina. )

According to Federico Fellini's assistant Dominique Delouche, actor Francois Perier was hired so the film could get financing as a French co-production.

Today in History:
October 28, 4004 BC
You never write, you never call - God.

According to Biblical calculations by our pal, Archbishop James Ussher,

God created Adam and Eve five days after the rest of the universe.

October 28, 1886 -
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated at Liberty Island, New York, by President Grover Cleveland on this date. The statue weighs 225 tons and is 152 feet tall. It was originally known as Liberty Enlightening the World. Lady Liberty, as she came to be called, quickly become a symbol of America, partly because she was such a striking visual symbol of our national reverence for liberty, partly because of the five-dollar hot dogs and ten-dollar plastic replicas sold at her feet.

The statue's inscription was written by poet Emma Lazarus, and attributes the following exhortation to Lady Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

(Cynics like to point out that construction of the golden door was never completed.)

Exactly thirty-three years later, in 1919, Congress passed a law prohibiting alcohol (The Volstead Act.)

Ultimately, it resulted in toxic, bootlegged alcohol that killed more people than legal alcohol had. With alcohol outlawed, only outlaws had drinks and the atmosphere fosters Mafia encroachment into legitimate businesses. Fortunately there were an awful lot of them and they overturned the law as soon as they were sober enough to vote.

October 28, 1922 -
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini seizes power in Italy, with the assistance of the Catholic Church. Pope Pius XI declared Mussolini is a man sent by divine providence.

In return for this endorsement, the silly dictator signs the Lateran treaty, restoring papal sovereignty over the Vatican.

But at least the trains ran on time.

October 28, 1948 -
The Nobel committee announces that Swiss chemist Paul Müller had won the 1948 chemistry prize on this date.

He discovered the unusual insecticidal properties of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2- bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane. Thanks to Mueller, the world embraces the phenomenal bug-killer... until somebody discovers that the hydrocarbon, popularly known as DDT, also excels at causing cancer.

October 28, 1955 -
William Henry Gates III was born in Seattle on this date.

With the economic downturn, Bill's agressive coupon clipping has helped him maintain the number one position on Forbes' world billionaire list. I believe he is holding his own with the 1%ers.

October 28, 1962 -
The Cuban Missile Crisis officially ended when Nikita Khrushchev formally agreed to dismantle the Soviet missiles and remove them from Cuba. In exchange, the US agreed not to invade Cuba and respect its sovereignty.

The world breathed a sigh of relief as the tense situation that almost caused a nuclear war came to an end.

October 28, 1963 -
A New York DJ, Murray Kaufman, played a song from a little known British group on this date.

It is believed that Murray the K's playing of She Loves You by The Beatles was the first time a Beatles song was played on an American radio station.

October 28, 1965 -
Pope Paul VI issued a decree, Nostra Aetate, which among other things, absolved Jews of collective guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

I can chart my moral decline to this date.  When informed of this a few years later, I told my seventh grade religious teacher, "Gee, that was awfully big of him."

October 28, 1965 -
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, the tallest memorial in the US, was completed on this date. The famous arch, designed by architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel, is 603 feet (about 184 meters) tall and 630 feet (about 192 meters) wide.

The memorial was built as a monument to Thomas Jefferson and all those pioneers for who St. Louis was the Gateway to the West.

And on a personal note:

Happy Birthday Olivia

And so it goes

Before you go - I saw scooting around the intraweb again and came upon an old favorite - a Mashup of Cookie Monster and Tom Waits

All I'm saying is you never see Tom and Cookie together at the same time.

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