Friday, March 31, 2017
Here's another book I haven't read
March 31, 1943 -
Ronald Walken, possibly the most imitated actor in America, was born on this date.
In his over 35 years in film, he has acted in well over 90 films. He rarely turns down a part, under the belief that making movies (whether they turn out good or bad) is always a rewarding experience.
March 31, 1953 -
Stanley Kubrick's first feature film, a war drama titled Fear and Desire, premiered in New York on this date.
Stanley Kubrick disowned the film soon after it's release and wanted to make sure it was never seen again by not re-releasing the print. What he didn't know was that Kodak when making the print had a policy of making an extra print for their archives
March 31, 1957 -
The original version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, starring Julie Andrews, aired live in color on CBS on this date (only black-and-white kinescopes exist today.)
The only production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein version to be telecast while Hammerstein was still alive. He died in 1960, five years before the second television production of the musical was telecast.
March 31, 1975 -
The TV show Gunsmoke, which premiered in 1955, aired its last original episode on this date.
The show was canceled in September of the previous year. According to James Arness, the cancellation caught them by surprise. The cast and crew were expecting the series to go at least three more years.
March 31, 1987 –
20 minutes into the future, US network television’s very first cyberpunk series, Max Headroom premiered on ABC-TV, 30 years ago today.
The futuristic graphics used on the show were created by a top-of-the-line computer of 1987, a Commodore Amiga.
March 31, 1994 -
Madonna appeared on Late Show with David Letterman on this date. She dropped the f-bomb more than a dozen times, exchanged less- than-friendly barbs with Dave and then stubbornly refused to leave the set.
This made the episode the most censored in American network television talk-show history; it also resulted in some of the highest ratings of Letterman's late-night career.
The extra credit question, who was the musical guest that evening? - Counting Crows.
March 31, 1999 -
The Wachowskis', (formerly known as The Wachowski Brothers,) groundbreaking sci-fi action thriller, The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne, premiered on this date.
The Wachowskis approached Warner with the idea of the Matrix and Warner balked at the budget they had submitted, which was over $80 million. Warner instead agreed to give them $10 million. The Wachowskis took the money and filmed the first ten minutes of the movie (the opening scene with Carrie-Anne Moss) using the entire $10 million. They then showed the executives at Warner the opening scene. They were impressed, and green-lit the original asking budget.
Today in History:
March 31 1492 -
With the issuance of the Alhambra Decree on this date, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel expel all of the Jews from Spain, except those willing to convert to Christianity. Even with the infusions of gold and silver arriving during the 16th century from the Americas, this is an act from which Spain never recovered.
I guess that didn't quite go the way they had planned.
March 31, 1811 -
Robert Bunsen, whose name we associate with the burner, was a 19th-century German chemist of some renown, was born on this date. He worked on explosive organic arsenic compounds--leading to the loss of one eye--and, later, on gases from volcanoes, geysers and blast furnaces.
With Gustav Kirchhoff, he contributed to our understanding of the meaning of spectra lines. (He also gained note for not bathing--one woman of polite society remarked that Bunsen was so charming that she would like to kiss him, but she would have to wash him first.)
March 31, 1889 -
French engineer Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French tricolor from atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion on this date, but its history dates back to Gallic times.
Documents that have been carbon-dated to roughly 200 B.C. indicate that King Catatonix of the Hellatians decreed, for no apparent reason, the construction of a big tower on the very site where the Eiffel Tower can be found today.
In Caesar’s Reflections on the Garlic Wars, the Roman general reminisces on having found “a curious wooden tower, tall and strange.” Baffled by this peculiar cultural monolith, and never happy to be baffled, he burned it to the ground.
During subsequent invasions by and entanglements with Normans, Saxons, Angles, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Lolligoths, the Tower was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, always for no apparent reason. It had become a sort of habit by now, a national obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Rene Descartes was born on March 31, 1596. Descartes said that he existed because he thought, and although he said it in Latin everyone still had to admit that it looked like Reason had finally entered the world.
Therefore the Franks (who now called themselves the French, primarily to irritate Germany) lost interest in the tower, and at last abandoned the effort.
Unfortunately, in 1870 German chancellor Otto von Bismarck defeated the French army in a Sedan and laid siege to Paris. This made the French lose their heads (see also the French Revolution). They forgot all about Reason and made Gustave Eiffel build a Tower, this time using steel, which was stronger than cheese and not quite as flammable as wood. It stands to this day, a proud monument French culture, without which we would not have Champagne, Camembert, Brigitte Bardot, or Marcel Proust.
March 31, 1959 -
The Dalai Lama was forced to leave Tibet, after the Red Communists (Evil Bastards) make it very unpleasant for him to stay, on this date.
He accuses the Chinese of making genocide against the Tibetan people, by systematic destruction of Tibetan culture and execution of thousands of prominent citizens (At the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky to get takeout delivered to my house.)
March 31, 1968 -
In a televised speech to the nation on this date, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced a partial halt of bombing missions over North Vietnam and proposed peace talks.
Citing national divisions over the war in Vietnam, President Johnson also announced that he would not run for re-election. The stock market soared the next day.
March 31, 1995 -
The president of the Selena Fan Club, Yolanda Saldivar, killed the Tejano music popstar Selena in Corpus Christi, TX. "It just went off, I didn't mean to do it. I didn't mean to kill anybody".
That might be true, but the jury did not believe her.
Remember folks, never let a crazy fan with a gun license and bad credit be the head of your fan club.
And so it goes
Before you go - Don't forget the 12th Annual Giant Pillow Fight is again in Washington Square Park tomorrow at 3 PM - and the theme is VIKINGS!