Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Today is Hansen's Disease Day.

Today, the Fourth day of the Chinese New Year is the day to welcome the kitchen god, the god of fortune and other gods. Families should stay at home to prepare abundant fruits, burn incense and light candles to welcome the gods. The sacrifices provided to the god of fortune should include goat head and carp.

(this is my kitchen god, her show The French Chef premiered on this date, in 1963.)

On the fourth day of the Lunar New Year, families can finally clean their house. They collect all the rubbish to one place and throw them all, which symbolize that they throw away all the bad luck and possible poverty of this year. And in some rural areas in North China, people will light a fire on a stick and throw the stick into a river to put off the fire. This shows that there will not be any fire disaster in this family in the whole year.

Today is Hansen's Disease Day. Celebrate World Leprosy Day - be like St. Francis - lick a leper's sores.

Or not.

You could think about the fact that Barry Manilow's song, Mandy went gold on this date in 1974.

January 31, 1921 -
John G. Agar, American's greatest B movie actor, first husband of Shirley Temple

and once the owner of the world's largest King Kong Statue (I kid you not),

was born on this day.

Sometimes, it's just a red letter day.

January 31, 1957 -
Terrorama! Double Horror Sensation!

Oh Roger Corman, we love you!

It's not to be believed but on a double bill, Attack of the Crab Monsters and Not of this Earth premiered on this date.

January 31, 1986 -
Paul Mazursky's
funny remake of Jean Renior's film Boudu Saved From Drowning, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, starring Nick Nolte, Bette Midler and Richard Dreyfuss, premiered on this date.

Nick Nolte's character remarks that he became a bum in part because he was "pretty active politically in the '60s. Sold some draft cards." In real life, Nolte received five years' probation for selling fake draft cards in the 1960s.

January 31, 1988 -
Everyone went back to the late 60s and early 70s when The Wonder Years, starring Fred Savage, Danica McKellar and Josh Saviano premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

Part of the show's running storyline is a falling-out between Kevin and Winnie, who becomes a background character for several months, until she and Kevin reconcile. The main reason for this part of the storyline was that actress Danica McKellar had had a growth spurt, and she and star Fred Savage, already shorter than McKellar, didn't look right standing together. The characters reconciled after Savage began to catch up in height.

Today in History:
January 31, 1606
Guy Fawkes and a group of English Catholics attempted to overthrow and assassinate King James I with the intention of installing his daughter, Princess Elizabeth as queen, on November 5, 1605. The failed attempt came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot.

Fawkes was sentenced to the traditional traitors' death - to be 'hanged, drawn and quartered'. In any event, on this date, he jumped from the gallows, breaking his own neck and thereby avoiding the horror of being cut down while still alive, having his testicles cut off and his stomach opened and his guts spilled before his eyes. His lifeless body was hacked into quarters and his remains sent to 'the four corners of the kingdom' as a warning to others.

While most of England celebrates the failed Gunpowder Plot as a national holiday on November 5, Guy Fawkes was also voted #30 in the BBC-sponsored list of "100 Greatest Britons" in 2002.

January 31, 1921 -
The Carroll A. Deering was a five-masted commercial schooner that was found run aground off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on this date. Its crew was mysteriously missing.

Theories abound about the the crews disappearance ranging from piracy, mutiny and victims of the dread 'Bermuda Triangle'.

The truth is out there.

January 31, 1940 -
The first monthly retirement check was issued to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, in the amount of $22.54. Miss Fuller, a Legal Secretary, retired in November 1939. She started collecting benefits in January 1940 at age 65 and lived to be 100 years old, dying in 1975.

Ida May Fuller worked for three years under the Social Security program. The accumulated taxes on her salary during those three years were a total of $24.75. During her lifetime she collected a total of $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits.

January 31, 1945 -
Private Eddie Slovik was the first U.S. soldier to be shot for desertion since the Civil War on this date.

Although over 21,000 American soldiers were given varying sentences for desertion during World War II, including 49 death sentences, Slovik's was the only death sentence carried out.

January 31, 1950 -
Coming off yet another three day bender, President Truman gives the go-ahead for the development of Edward Teller's hydrogen bomb on this date.

The "hell bomb," as it was called, served to greatly heighten US-USSR tensions in the Cold War.  Hopefully, the terrorists are not reading my blog and taking notes.

January 31, 1958 -
Explorer-I, officially Satellite 1958 Alpha (and sometimes referred to as Explorer 1), was the first Earth satellite of the United States, having been launched at 10:48 pm EST on this date, as part of the United States program for the International Geophysical Year.

The satellite was launched from LC-26 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on board a Juno I rocket.

Electrical power was provided by mercury chemical batteries that made up approximately 40 percent of the payload weight. These provided power that operated the high power transmitter for 31 days and the low-power transmitter for 105 days. (This is on the test.)

January 31, 1961 -
The United States sends its first space monkey into space, Ham the chimpanzee. His Mercury/Redstone 2 achieves an altitude of 158 miles. Ham's capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was recovered by a rescue ship later that day.

After the flight, Ham lived for 17 years in the National Zoo in Washington D.C., then at the North Carolina Zoo before dying at the age of 27 on January 19, 1983. Ham the Chimp was not the first animal in space. That honor goes to Laika the dog, who was sent into orbit by the Soviet Union in 1957. Ham could not deal with this fact; and NASA had to hide the fact that Ham had become a heroin addict.

January 31, 1966 -
The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program. Three days later, on February 3, 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to achieve a lunar soft landing and to transmit photographic data to Earth.

For unknown reasons, the pictures from Luna 9 were not released immediately by the Soviet authorities.

Now the truth can be told.

And so it goes.


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