Monday, December 12, 2016

Hooray for Big Brother

December 12, 1954 -
BBC Television broadcasted the landmark adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighy-Four on this date. It is the most expensive drama produced to date.

When first screened by the BBC there were numerous public complaints and these led to questions being asked in the House of Commons. Although, following remarks by the Duke of Edinburgh that he and the Queen had "thoroughly enjoyed" the broadcast, the live repeat, four days later, attracted the largest television audience since the Coronation.

December 12, 1967 -
Stanley Kramer's (for the time,) controversial film, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, starring Spencer Tracy (in his last role), Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn, was released on this date.

In the scene near the end where Spencer Tracy gives his memorable soliloquy, Katharine Hepburn can be seen crying in the background. This was not acting: she knew how gravely ill her longtime companion was and was moved by his remarks about how true love endures through the years.  Katharine Hepburn never saw the completed movie. She said the memories of Tracy were too painful.

December 12, 1972 -
Irwin Allen's ocean disaster movie, The Poseidon Adventure, premiered in NYC on this date.

Red Buttons and Carol Lynley, whose characters fall in love in the movie, actually disliked each other intensely during filming. They refused to have anything to do with each other except when the cameras were rolling. Ironically, after being constantly reminded of this, they ended up becoming great friends in later years.

December 12, 1973 -
Columbia Picture released the Hal Ashby film The Last Detail, starring Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Carol Kane and Michael Moriarty, on this date.

Nancy Allen was originally offered the part of the Young Whore. But she turned it down because she felt she would be too nervous to speak while being nude on-camera.

December 12, 1980 -
Well, whip it good!

Whip It earned Devo a gold record on this date. It is the first distinction of its kind for any song about masturbation to earn a gold record.

Today's holiday special:  It's his holiday; we just celebrate it

Today in History:
December 12, 1531
It's the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an indigenous peasant, had visions of the Virgin Mary. Legend held that the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego outside Mexico City and left an imprint on his cactus-fiber poncho. The poncho became an icon for the Virgin of Guadalupe.

So now you know.

December 12, 1899 -
Dentist George Grant was granted a patent (U.S. patent No. 638,920) for the modern golf tee on this date. The design, basically, lifts a golf ball slightly off the ground.

This additional height gives the golfer better control in his hit. Before the invention of the golf tee, golfers would often make a small mound of dirt or sand to serve as a tee. Groundskeepers everywhere rejoice.

December 12, 1915 -
It's the birthday of Francis Albert Sinatra today. This year, I'm making no jokes about Mr. Sinatra's alleged organized crime connection (Please note - I did not use the word, Mafia.)

And once again, We here at ACME would to remind the various gentlemen from Bensonhurst, we did not resort to any cheap gimmicks to slander the Chairman of the Board, greatest singer of the 20th century. (Now will you please return our pet - the children miss her.)

December 12, 1917 -
With a rent payment of $90 borrowed from a friend, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, NE in an old Victorian mansion on this date.

Flanagan's archbishop allowed Flanagan to focus on the boy's home and assigned nuns to help him.

December 12, 1937 -
Japanese aircraft shell and sink US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze River in China. Japan apologized, disciplining those involved and paying $2.2M reparations.

You think we might have seen something was brewing.

December 12, 1968 -
Only good girls keep diaries. Bad girls don't have time.

After a long and well enjoyed life, Tallulah Bankhead died in St. Luke's Hospital in New York City of double pneumonia, complicated by emphysema and malnutrition, on this date.

Her last coherent words reportedly were "Codeine... bourbon." (I must remember that, except substitute gin for bourbon at the end.)

And so it goes.

There are 12 days until
the start of Hanukkah.
There are 13 days until Christmas.

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