Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Two holidays for the price of one

We can celebrate National Pumpkin Day and Howl at the Moon Day.

So don't make us wait - howl at the moon, preferably while eating pumpkin pie.

(Psst, there are 59 days until Christmas.)

Hey, I was very, very busy yesterday so I didn't need a drinking song to get me to my happy place.  Today I'd like to dedicate the song to today's birthday girl (although some might argue that she is causing them to drink heavily.)

Happy birthday Hillary.

October 26, 1959 -
A gentle and yet still relevant Cold War comedy, The Mouse the Roared, opened in the US on this date.

The Marseilles and New York harbor sequences were filmed in Southampton, UK. The presence of the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner there was a lucky coincidence.

October 26, 1962 -
The horror camp classic Crawford - Davis paring, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? opened in NYC on this date.

Bette Davis had a Coca Cola machine installed on set. This was to deliberately provoke Joan Crawford, who was married to the chairman of Pepsi.

October 26, 1967 -
An excellent (though almost forgotten) thriller from the 60s, Wait Until Dark, premiered on this date.

In his non-fiction book Danse Macabre, Stephen King declared this to be the scariest movie of all time and that Alan Arkin's performance "may be the greatest evocation of screen villainy ever."

October 26, 1982 -
TV's longest dream sequence, St. Elsewhere, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.

The show never won high ratings but it lasted six seasons on NBC because it appealed to the desirable (for advertisers) educated 18-49 year old demographic.

Today in History:
October 26, 1440
Gilles de Rais, French marshal and (alleged) depraved killer of 140 children, was strangled then thrown onto slow fire on this date.

A brilliant young French knight, he was believed to either have cracked over the torture and death of his true love, Jeanne d'Arc, the Maid of Orleans or some theorists consider Gilles the victim of a plot to acquire his lands.

On this date, in 1825, New York City becomes a World Port with the opening of the Erie Canal; a river  waterway between Hudson River and Lake Erie opened. It cut through 363 miles of wilderness and measured 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep. It had 18 aqueducts and 83 locks and rose 568 feet from the Hudson River to Lake Erie.

Toll receipts paid back the $7.5 million construction cost within ten years.  (This will all be on the test.)

October 26, 1881 -
Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holliday showed up at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, to disarm the Clanton and McLaury boys, who were in violation of a ban on carrying guns in the city limits.

This became the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLowery were killed; Earp's brothers were wounded.

October 26, 1944 -
Freemason and Vice President Harry S Truman publicly denies (yet again) ever having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Unfortunately for him, while never an active member, he did pay the $10 membership dues in 1922 in order to get backing for a judgeship he was seeking back in Missouri.

I can't even imagine the feeding frenzy that would have go on today.

October 26, 1965 -
Queen Elizabeth decorated The Beatles with Order of British Empire, at Buckingham Palace, on this date.

The Beatles, ever polite, allowed Her Majesty to add chintz curtains and tufted sofas in their living rooms.

October 26, 1970 -
Doonesbury, the comic strip by Gary Trudeau, premiered in 28 newspapers across the U.S. on this date.
The strip is still going strong: a new strip is published every Sunday. Who knew (who reads newspapers anymore.)

October 26, 1979 -
Kim Jae Kyu, director of South Korea's central intelligence agency, "accidentally" shot President Park Chung Hee to death, also killing Park's bodyguard. Park had been president (dictator, effectively) since 1961. Kim was executed the following May for his attempted coup d'etat.  (I hate when someone in my cabinet tries to assassinate me.)

In 2005, at the New York Film Festival, the film, The President's Last Bang, recounted the events.

October 26, 1984 -
19-year-old John McCollum shot and killed himself while listening to Ozzy Osbourne records on this date. One year later, McCollum's parents file suit against Ozzy and CBS Records, alleging that the song Suicide Solution from the album Blizzard of Ozz contributed to their son's death.

Except that the song's subject was quite plainly alcohol addiction. The trial court dismissed the McCollum's complaint. (Please, only watch the video once, with adult supervisionAnd for heaven's sake, don't try to play it backwards!)

October 26, 1991 -
A sudden wind uprooted a 485-pound umbrella, part of an outdoor 'art project' installed by Christo, in the Tejon Pass north of Los Angeles and struck Lori Keevil-Matthews, 33 years old, of Camarillo, California, crushing her to death against a boulder.

That must really suck being killed by an old Hollies song.

And so it goes.

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