Friday, November 18, 2016

There's a guy they call little Mickey Mouse

November 18, 1928 -
Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse (even though this is his third appearance in a cartoon.) I've stopped arguing with the Disney corporation since Darth Vader's been working there.



Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, was released on this date.


November 8, 1931 -
The groundbreaking film, M├Ądchen in Uniform, premiered in Berlin, on this date.



The movie was banned when first released in Germany and the United States. The Nazi regime tried to burn all the copies of this movie. It wasn't until First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw the importance of the movie that the ban was lifted in the US.


November 18, 1959 -
The Biblical spectaculars to end all spectaculars, Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston, had its world premiere in New York, on this date.



The chariot race required 15,000 extras on a set constructed on 18 acres of backlot at Cinecitta Studios outside Rome. Tour buses visited the set every hour. Eighteen chariots were built, with half being used for practice. The race took five weeks to film.


November 18, 1987 -
Bernardo Bertolucci's magnificent take on Pu Yi, The Last Emperor, premiered in NYC on this date.



Security was so tight around the shoot, that when, one day, Peter O'Toole forgot his pass, he was denied entrance to the set.


November 18, 1992 -
The biopic of the influential Black Nationalist leader, Malcolm X, premiered on this date.



The first non-documentary film that was given permission to film in Mecca. The film's second unit filmed all the scenes at Mecca. Spike Lee did not accompany them because he is not a Muslim; only Muslims are allowed to enter Mecca.


Today in History:
November 18, 1307
-
Local Child Services authorities in Uri, Switzerland reported that a William Tell shot an apple off his son's head on this date



- Charges may still be pending.


November 18, 1421 -
A seawall at the North Sea (and not the Zuiderzee, as I have joked in the past) dike breaks, in the Netherlands, flooding 72 villages and killing somewhere between 4,000 and 10,000 people on this date.

Please try to refrain yourselves from make jokes about the killer dikes.


November 18, 1477 -
William Caxton published the first book printed in England, on this date. The book was a translation of The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, by Frenchman Guillaume de Tignoville. The translation to English was performed by Anthony Wodville, Earl Rivers, who had devoted a considerable portion of his life to the study of philosophers' dictes.

Wodville first formulated the theory that the length of a philosopher's dicte was less important than its thrust. He has also been credited with originating the theory that a philosopher's dicte was commensurate with his shoe size. Neither theory is given much credence by contemporary philosophers, most of whom appear to be dicteless anyway.


November 18, 1686
-
Louis XIV's, King of France, anal fistula was operated on this date, by surgeon Charles Francois Felix, with great success, in front of the horrified yet fascinated court. To prepare for the operation Felix practiced his surgery on anuses of the peasantry, with some fatalities at first but improving his technique in time for the royal bung.

This is what passed for entertainment at the french royal court.


November 18, 1922 -
Marcel Proust, a pioneer of the modern novel (A la Recherche du Temps Perdu), died at 51 on this date.



While it is generally agreed upon that he died of pneumonia and a pulmonary abscess, I believe he was crushed by the sheer weight of the unedited proof of his massive novel.

(Please feel please as punch with yourself that you've read about Proust twice in one week.)


November 18, 1966 -
After this final "meatless" day of sacrifice, the American Roman Catholic Church would withdraw its edict forbidding meat consumption on Fridays.

No one knows how much the American Jellied Ox Tongue Consortium 'donated' to the church on that day.


November 18, 1970 -
Singer/polygamist Jerry Lee Lewis divorced his third wife Myra Gail, after 12 years of marriage. Not only was she jailbait when they got married (being 13 at the time), but Lewis was married to Jane Mitcham at the time.

It's so hard to keep details like the number of wives you have straight in your mind.


November 18, 1978 -
Congressman Leo Ryan was slain at the People's Temple compound in Guyana, after which over 900 members of the cult led by the Reverend Jim Jones drank cyanide laced Flavor Aid (a Kool Aid knockoff), including over 270 children. It was probably not a pretty sight.



The Kraft Foods Company would like you guys to stop making those damn 'drink the Kool Aid' jokes

- it wasn't them.


November 18, 1985 -
Cartoon strips approached their zenith on this date.

The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, created by Bill Watterson, was first published on this date. We learn of Hobbes' love for tuna fish



And so it goes



Begin laying down your wine choices - if you're having a house full of people, you'll need it.

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