Sunday, January 8, 2017

Nice when it falls on a weekend

In the mood to luxuriate, to lounge, to live the lazy life?

You're in luck, for today is Bubble Bath Day.

And the light kept shining in the east. Both Elvis the King (who was born on this date in 1935,)

(As I always say - lay your hand upon the screen and feel his healing power pulsate through your loins.)

And Davy Jones, who was born on this date in 1947 - (I still can't quite believe that he's gone.)

What a strange and wondrous world we live in that they were both born on this date.

January 8, 1968 -
Welcome to zee exotic world of undersea explorer...

The first episode of the documentary series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau: Sharks premiered on this date.

January 8, 1973 -
Carly Simon
received a gold record for the single, You're So Vain on this date.

Yeah, yeah, it's mostly about Warren Beatty.

Today in History -
The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, with General Andrew Jackson in command, defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans and America's vast western lands.

Unfortunately the war ended with the signing of The Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814. News of the peace would not reach New Orleans until February.


The only 'recognized' monarchy to reign in the United States died on this date.

Joshua Norton was a businessman in San Francisco in the 1800's. In the 1840's, just before the Gold Rush, he tried to corner the market on rice and failed. He went from being very wealthy to being destitute overnight and the experience completely shattered his reason. A couple of months after this event, he put on a formal admiral's uniform, complete with gold braid and epaulets and strode in to the office of the newspaper. He handed the editor a large, official looking proclamation which stated in quite formal language that, due to popular demand, he hereby declared himself Emperor Norton I of the United States, and the Protector of Mexico. He bade all his subjects show him loyalty and the other courtesies due a person of such eminent stature.

On the evening of January 8, 1880, Joshua Norton collapsed on the corner of California Street and Dupont Street (now Grant Avenue) while on his way to a lecture at the Academy of Sciences. His collapse was immediately noticed by another citizen who raised the alarm, and "the police officer on the beat hastened for a carriage to convey him to the City Receiving Hospital." Norton died before the carriage could arrive.

Norton's funeral was a solemn, mournful and large affair. Some accounts report that as many as 30,000 people lined the streets to pay homage, and that the funeral cortege was two miles long. He was buried at the Masonic Cemetery, at the expense of the City of San Francisco.

The day after his funeral, January 11, 1880, the San Francisco skies were blackened with a solar eclipse.

(Please check out the status of renaming the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in his honor.)

January 8, 1889
Dr. Herman Hollerith received the first U.S. patent (US patent No. 395, 782) for a tabulating machine, (making this technically the first computer patent.)

The 1880 census took eight years to tabulate by hand. With Dr. Hollerith's punch-card tabulating machine, the 1890 census was tabulated in just one year.

January 8, 1908 -
The Joralemon Street Tunnel carrying the 4 and 5 trains (of the NYC Subway) under the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn first opened for traffic on this date.

It was the first subway tunnel to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn.

January 8, 1963 -
The Mona Lisa was displayed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC on this date.  It was one of the few times the painting ever left France intentionally (without being stolen). The fact that it even came to the US at all was largely due to the influence of First Lady Jackie Kennedy, who mentioned to French cultural minister and writer, Andre Malraux that she would like to see it. He replied off the cuff that the painting should visit America, and President Kennedy ( 'the man who had accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris') held him to it.

In just 27 days, more than 518,000 visitors filed past the painting, including thousands of children brought in on specially arranged school trips. La Giocanda then headed to New York, for a month-long exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it drew more than a million people.

January 8, 1964 -
Lyndon B. Johnson
declares his War on Poverty during his State of the Union address on this date 53 years ago.

Unfortunately, poverty continues to win.

January 8, 1992 -
George Bush
, World War II veteran, sick with the stomach flu, decided to avenge the US for the raid of Pearl Harbor at a Tokyo state dinner on this date.

He vomited in the lap of the Japanese Prime Minister while cameras are rolling, to the great amusement of everyone except the Prime Minister.

Sushi, anyone?

January 8, 2002 -
George W. Bush began a major overhaul of the education system in the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act on this date, which rewarded schools based on their students' performance.

The act has been perceived as controversial, because some have seen it as forcing schools to sacrifice a good education in order to achieve good test scores.  On December 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed legislation replacing NCLB with the Every Student Succeeds Act.

And so it goes.

Before you go, I nearly forgot - today is the 16th annual No Pants Subway Ride (it's kind of cold out there boys and girls.).  The No Pants Subway Ride is an annual event staged by Improv Everywhere every January in New York City  (It is also a global event.)

If you are so inclined, please check out the No Pants site for official rules

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rawhide? Now I am getting old! I saw that first episode with my Dad and brother in Ireland, probably a few months after it aired in the US. I just watched a few minutes of it now to see how Clint Eastwood looked then, when suddenly I remembered the whole plot-line. Jeez, these days I can#t remember where I parked the car. OK, maybe the scripts were a little transparent back then.
In any case in the opening scene as they approach the river there is a long shot of riders and wagons, and then, there he is. It is impossible to recognize any faces in the scene, but no one, just NO one, rides a horse quite like Clint Eastwood.