Friday, January 27, 2017

Hooray, it's Thomas Crapper Day

In popular American folklore, the British Mr. Thomas Crapper was the man who invented and gave his name to the flush toilet. Unfortunately, there is little historical evidence to support Mr. Crapper as anything but a friendly British plumber.

Thomas Crapper died on January 27, 1910. To honor this day and the spirit of the man, we can choose to embrace the legend of Thomas Crapper.  We could also note that it's Punch the Clock day

I have no idea why anyone would want to celebrate the soul-numbing activity of having to punch into work. So instead, let's celebrate a great cut Let Them All Talk, from the Elvis Costello album Punch the Clock.

January 27, 1918 -
Tarzan of the Apes, the first Tarzan film, premiered at the Broadway Theater in NYC on this date.

Louisiana was chosen as the main shooting location because of the cooperation of the residents of Morgan City, the lush jungle vegetation, bayous, waterways, abundant black extras, and facilities such as hotels, a railway-serviced wharf and an adjacent storage warehouse.

January 27, 1976 -
Laverne and Shirley, a spinoff from Happy Days, starring Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, premiered on ABC-TV on this date .

Frustrated at TV shows constantly repeating who the characters are and what they do, Penny Marshall came up with the idea of Laverne having L's on all her clothes, figuring that would solve the problem. To her chagrin, they still had to say on a regular basis who was who and where the girls worked; she got tired of all the times Cindy Williams would say 'Laverne' in an episode.

Today in History:
January 27, 1756
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian musical genius, composer and fart joke lover, whose works included The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, was born on this date.

When Mozart died in 1791, probably of heart disease, he was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.

January 27, 1832
... Always speak the truth, think before you speak, and write it down afterwards.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Anglican deacon, children's author, mathematician, and photographer (child pornographer?) was born on this date.

January 27, 1859 -
Kaiser Wilhelm II, (Queen Victoria's first grandchild and first cousin to both King George V and Tsar Nicholas II) emperor who ruled Germany during World War I but was forced to abdicate in 1918, was born on this date.

Oh, those wacky royals.

January 27, 1900 -
Hyman Rickover, American admiral who is considered the "Father of the Atomic Submarine", was born on this date.

Creating a detail-focused pursuit of excellence to a degree previously unknown, Rickover redirected the United States Navy’s ship propulsion, quality control, personnel selection, and training and education, and has had far reaching effects on the defense establishment and the civilian nuclear energy field.

On January 21, 1901, the great maestro Joe Green (Giuseppe Verdi was merely his stage name) suffered a stroke while staying at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, in Milan. So revered was the composer that horses hooves were wrapped in blankets to muffle their noise as they passed the hotel where he rested.

Verdi gradually grew more feeble and died six days later, on this date. To date, his funeral remains the largest public assembly of any event in the history of Italy.

January 27, 1967 -
A launchpad flash fire in the Apollo I capsule killed the astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward H White and Roger B Chaffee at Cape Canaveral on this date.

An investigation indicated that a faulty electrical wire inside the Apollo I command module was the probable cause of the fire.

January 27, 1973 -
North and South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and the United States signed the Paris Peace Accord on this day, ending one of the longest and most unpopular wars in American history.

Despite a ceasefire that had been put into effect a few days earlier, the last American troop to die in Vietnam was killed just 11 hours before the treaty was signed.

January 27, 1992 -
Candidate Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers mutually accuse each other of lying about whether or not they had a 12 year affair on this date.

Oh, it's hard to keep the old hound dog on the porch.

January 27, 2010
Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and whose books, such as A People's History of the United States, inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the American experience, died on this date.

Go out and buy his book, if not for a kid you know, buy it for yourself.

And so it goes.

Hey it's Lunar New Year's Eve in many parts of the world tonight:

It's a busy night, in between hanging red lanterns, the New Year reunion dinners, setting off firecrackers, giving red envelopes to kids (I will never be too old to accept a red envelope,) staying up late  - Enjoy!


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