Tuesday, May 2, 2017

If everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place.

Today is Play Your Ukulele Day!

May 2, 1932 -
Walt Disney
released another animated-cartoon, Mickey's Revue, on this date.

Goofy (then known as Dippy Dawg) makes his debut in this cartoon.

May 2, 1936 -
Sergei Prokofiev was commissioned by The Central Children's Theatre of Moscow to create a symphonic tale for children. Peter and the Wolf had its world premiere in Moscow on this date.

Prokofiev felt, in his own words, the work had an inauspicious opening at best: "...[attendance] was poor and failed to attract much attention."

If you listen very carefully you'd hear the duck quacking inside the wolf's belly, because the wolf in his hurry had swallowed her alive.

May 2, 1946 -
James M. Cain's
excellent crime thriller, The Postman Always Rings Twice, opened on this date.

John Garfield and Lana Turner had a brief affair, according to Garfield's friend, Warner Bros. director Vincent Sherman. He said Turner was the only co-star with whom Garfield ever became romantically involved. There had been sparks between the two since the first day of shooting, and the delays had sparked a close friendship. Finally, they shared a moonlit tryst on the beach but that was their only night together. The two realized that whatever was happening on-screen, off-screen they had no sexual chemistry together. They remained friends nonetheless.

May 2, 1957 -
The first color film from the Hammer studio, The Curse of Frankenstein, opened on this date.

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing's friendship was sparked when Lee stormed into Cushing's dressing room, complaining that "I've got no lines!" Cushing kindly responded, "You're lucky. I've read the script."

May 2, 1965 -
The Rolling Stones made their second appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on this date.

The Stones performed three songs: The Last Time, Someone to Love, and Little Red Rooster.

May 2, 1979 -
The film Quadrophenia, based on The Who's album and featuring Sting, premiered in London on this date

John Lydon (the former Johnny Rotten) was originally approached for the role of Jimmy and even screen-tested for the role. However the distributors refused to insure him for the part and he was replaced.

May 2, 1997 -
New Line Cinema released Jay Roach's mega-hit Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery starring Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, and Michael York, on this date.

Mike Myers has said in interviews that the Austin Powers character was created based on a couple of instances involving his family. His father loved watching British comedies with actors like Peter Sellers and Alec Guinness, so Myers always wanted to play an English character in a comedy. He also said that one night after coming home from hockey practice, he started flirting with his wife in an English accent. His wife laughed and told him to write the routine down, so he could do it again. Writing the routine down led to this script.

Summer Wishes

Today in History:
On May 2, 1729, Catherine the Great was born. More than any Russian head of state before her, she embraced a closer union with Europe.

And please people, let's stop it with all this talk about the horses - she died of a stroke while sitting on the toilet.

Let's give the woman some dignity.

May 2 1863 -
At the Battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was accidentally shot three times by his own men. Jackson's left arm is amputated and Jackson died of complications of pneumonia on May 10, 1863. In his delirium, his dying words were, "Let us cross over the river and rest in the shade of the trees." His body was moved to the Governor's Mansion in Richmond for the public to mourn, and he was then moved to be buried in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia. However, the arm that was amputated on May 2 was buried separately by Jackson's chaplain, at the J. Horace Lacy house, "Ellwood", in the Wilderness of Spotsylvania County, near the field hospital.

Upon hearing of Jackson's death, Robert E. Lee mourned the loss of both a friend and a trusted commander. The night Lee learned of Jackson's death, he told his cook, "William, I have lost my right arm" (deliberately in contrast to Jackson's left arm) and "I'm bleeding at the heart."

Baron Manfred von Richtofen was also born on May 2, but in 1892. The World War I flying ace, better known to students of military history as the Red Baron, shot down over 80 enemy aircraft in World War I, sending dozens of handsome young men to fiery, terrible deaths and thereby earning himself a place in the Peanuts comic strip.

(Which hardly excuses Snoopy's reprehensible bloodlust. But then again, we all know that Snoopy was a sociopath with a multiple personality disorder.)

May 2, 1915 -

May 2, 1921 -
The director is the only person who knows what the film is about.

The eminent Indian film director, Satyajit Ray, was born on this date.

May 2 1946 -
Six prisoners attempt to escape the federal prison on Alcatraz island. They take over their cellblock but fail to gain access to the outside. One guard held hostage is executed by prisoners, and another dies in the attempt to retake the cellblock.

The Battle of Alcatraz ends only after the deaths of three prisoners, and two others are subsequently executed at San Quentin.

I bet there was a lot of angry after-riot prison sex that night.

May 2, 1957 -
Senator Joseph McCarthy died of hepatitis on this date, brought about by unabated alcoholism. Two and a half years prior he had been censured by the Senate for his "inexcusable" and "reprehensible" conduct during his highly-publicized Communist witch-hunt.

McCarthy eventually discovered that it was far more effective to have private industry oppress its workforce, rather than the government oppress its citizenry.

May 2 1957 -
Vincent 'the Chin' Gigante approached Mob Figure Frank Costello and shot him in the head, first shouting “This is for you, Frank,” on this date. Instead of killing him, the bullet circumnavigates between his skin and cranium, exiting through the original wound.

Costello retires from the Mafia soon thereafter.

The Mafia was practicing using 'magic' bullets.

May 2, 1972
World famous paranoid old drag queen and longtime G-man died in his sleep at the age of 77 on this date.

Most of Washington insiders breathe a huge sigh of relief. (During the Watergate hearings, it was subsequently revealed that the FBI had illegally protected President Richard Nixon from investigation.)

It's my friend Sharon's birthday today. And there is no truth to the rumor that she personally loaned Divine Mr. Hoover's cha-cha heels that she had purchased at a Baltimore Flea Market.

And so it goes


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