Tuesday, December 6, 2016

We'll discuss Krampus another time.

Today is the Feast of Saint Nicholas (yes, that St. Nick.)

Amongst other things, he is the patron saint of children and was known for his generosity. He's also known as the patron saint of sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, prostitutes (Huh), repentant thieves, pharmacists and broadcasters.

The biggest gift he ever gave was to a poor man and his three daughters. The man had no dowry to pay for his daughters and was worried that if they never married they would have no choice but to become prostitutes. Hearing this, Saint Nicholas visited the poor man at night and anonymously threw three purses filled with gold through his window. Because of this, he became the patron saint of pawnbrokers. Traditionally, three golden baubles are hung in the window of pawn shops to represent the three purses of money.

So now you know.

December 6, 1896 -
Ira Gershwin
, lyricist (and major writer of the American Song Book) was born on this date.

How Long Has This Been Going On?

I've Got a Crush on You -

My Ship -

Someone to Watch Over Me -

If you're of an age, it part of the music you hear in your head as you walk down the street.

December 6, 1940 -
MGM released the 10th Marx Brothers film, Go West, on this date.

The name of Groucho Marx's character, S. Quentin Quayle, caused a stir when the film was first released due to the subtle but clear joke: the use of the term San Quentin quail, which means jail bait.

December 6, 1964 -
One of the first neurotic holiday Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, premiered on this date

When Yukon Cornelius throws his pick axe into the ground and takes it out and licks it, he's checking neither for gold nor silver. The original concept for the special stated that Yukon was in fact searching for the elusive peppermint mine, which he found eventually.

December 6, 1990 -
Twentieth Century Fox production of Tim Burton's Edward Scisshorhands, starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest and Vincent Price (in his last role,) premiered in Los Angeles on this date.

Vincent Price's role was intended to be larger, but the veteran actor was very ill with emphysema and Parkinson's disease so his scenes were cut to a minimum.

Today's Holiday Special - celebrating a plethora of holiday celebrations

Today in History:
December 6, 1877
Thomas Edison records his own recitation of “Mary had a Little Lamb” onto a cylinder wrapped with tin foil using his newly completed prototype hand-cranked phonograph at his Menlo Park Laboratory.

For all intents and purposes, it is the first recording of a human voice. (The clip is from a re-recording in 1927.  The original 1877 recording was not saved and no longer exists.)

December 6, 1917 -
On the morning of December 6, the munitions ship Mont Blanc explodes in Halifax harbor after being struck by another ship, the Norwegian ship Imo.

It is the largest explosion before the atomic age. The ship was carrying 200 tons of TNT, 61 tons of gun cotton, 35 tons of Benzyl, and 2,300 tons of picric acid; the explosion destroys 325 acres of the city, leaving 1,900 people dead and injuring over 9,000.

A nicer remembrance of the days tragic events is the official Boston Christmas tree, which sits in Boston Common.  The tree is a gift from the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has been sent every year since the 1970s. It is in recognition of the swift and sustained relief effort the people of Boston put together to aid Halifax after the explosion. (Many Nova Scotians might be surprised that according to an investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the province’s taxpayers footed a $179,000 bill for cutting, shipping, and surrounding last year’s tree with plenty of holiday pomp and circumstance.  That's a really nice gift.)

December 6, 1955 -
N.Y. psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers won the top prize on the TV quiz show The $64,000 Question by correctly answering questions on boxing .

Dr. Joyce Brothers is the only person to win both The $64,000 Question and The $64,000 Challenge.

December 6, 1960 -
Domino's Pizza was founded by Thomas S. Monaghan on this date.

And the pizza still sucks.

December 6, 1969 -
A concert by the Rolling Stones at Altamont ends in the death of a fan at the hands of the Hells Angels, who were hired for security. He was a fat hippie anyway. (Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name...)

(Contrary to a popular urban legend, Sympathy for the Devil was not playing while Meredith Hunter was being stabbed, rather, the song was Under My Thumb.)

And Mr. Hunter was not a fat hippie but an African American with a gun.)

December 6, 1973 -
House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the first unelected Vice President, succeeding US Vice President Spiro T. Agnew (under President Richard M. Nixon.)

Agnew, the only VP to resign in disgrace, resigned on October 10, and pleaded no contest to one charge of income tax invasion in return for the dropping of all other charges, and was fined $10,000 and given three year's probation .

December 6, 1989 -
Andy, Opie, make Aunt Bee another Rum Toddy.

Frances Bavier - "Aunt Bee" on The Andy Griffith show died of heart failure on this date.

Suffering from advance stages of senility, Ms. Bavier became convinced that she was "Aunt Bee" towards the end of her life.

And so it goes.

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