Saturday, May 20, 2017

Today is chockablock full of stuff

Dancing is poetry with arms and legs. - Charles Baudelaire



Today is the 11th Annual Dance Parade in NYC, which steps off at 21st Street and Broadway with Grand Marshal  Maurine Hines and buck and wngs its way down to Tompkin Square Park.


The 2017 Preakness Stakes, the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes, is promoted as the "middle jewel" of thoroughbred horse racing's traditional Triple Crown.

The race is held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.


Today is Who wants to be a Millionaire Day. It's the day to celebrate the desire to win the lottery and go tell your boss where they can stick it.  Sources say that the word millionaire was coined by Lord Byron sometime in 1816 but I believe he was too busy sleeping with anything that moved to worry about becoming a millionaire.



Remember, most millionaires are not celebrating this day; they are waiting to celebrate Be A Billionaire Day.


May 20, 1891 -
The first public demonstration of a prototype Kinetoscope was given to an invited audience of from the National Federation of Women’s Clubs at Edison’s laboratory on this date.



A three second 'film' directed, produced by, and starring William Dickson is used for the demonstration. It is purported, the second 'film' ever made in the USA


May 20, 1967 -
BBC disc jockey Kenny Everett gave the official preview of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the radio show Where It's At, broadcast on the BBC Light Program on this date.



He was unable to play the final track A Day in the Life, which the BBC had banned a day earlier due to drug references.


May 20, 1982 -
The last episode of the series Barney Miller aired on this date.



The producers were approached during the run of the series about doing a feature film based on the show using the regular cast members. The film was never made.


May 20, 1993
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The last episode of the series Cheers aired on this date.



Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman and George Wendt are the only actors to appear in all 273 episodes of the series.


May 20, 1996
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NBC aired the final episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on this date.



The show was actually cancelled during its fourth season, with The Philadelphia Story serving as the finale. The overwhelming response, with viewers writing in by the truckload to NBC and Will Smith, convinced the network to go back on this decision, allowing it to run for what became two more seasons.


Don't forget to tune in the old Philco to The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour.


Today in History:
May 20, 1498
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Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was the first European to reach India by sea on this date. He accomplished this amazing feat by actually taking the correct route and not traveling to the Caribbean, for the tropical drinks and cheap but potent ganja, instead.



His trip helped set up a very profitable trade route for Portugal, which helped it become the foremost exploring power in the early 1500s.


Honore de Balzac was born in France on May 20, 1799 (or May 19th.) The exact date could not be determined as all of France had just started on a drinking binge that has only recently just ended. Balzac created a vast body of literature that he called La Com├ędie Humaine (“A Vast Body of Literature”).

It consisted of dozens of novels, short stories, and plays interwoven with many of the same characters, places, events, horses, etc. One of his most popular characters was the brilliant and big-hearted Dr. Bianchon. It is rumored that Balzac’s dying words were, “If Bianchon were here, he would save me!

The anecdote is probably apocryphal, as Balzac didn’t speak English.


May 20 1867 -
Queen Victoria laid the foundation stones in the Royal Albert Hall on this date.

Two thoughts immediately came to mind:
a.) Who thought she would do it in the road?
b.) Wow, Keith Richards is really old.


May 20, 1873
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent (#139121) for blue jeans with copper rivets.





19 years later, on this date, George Sampson patents the clothes dryer. It's just that simple.


May 20, 1921 -
Noble Prize winner, Marie Curie visited the White House on this date.



She did not asked to visit any broom closets with the president.


May 20, 1927 -
Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y.,



at 7:40 AM aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France on this date.


May 20, 1932 -
Amelia Earhart took off for Ireland from Habor Grace, Newfoundland on this date, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.



She would later land her plane in Ireland after a thirteen-hour, thirty-minute flight from Canada rather than in her intended destination, France.


May 20, 1946 -
Cherilyn Sarkisian
, pop singer-songwriter, Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award, three Golden Globe Awards and a People's Choice Award winner was born on this date.









Wig manufacturer's everywhere celebrate this day as an international holiday.

(Probably coincidentally, but I like to think not, the Supreme Court struck down, 6-3, a Colorado constitutional amendment banning laws that protect homosexuals from discrimination on this date in 1996.)


May 20, 1956 -
The first hydrogen bomb to be dropped from the air was exploded over the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific (Operation Redwing), but it was a much earlier (July 1, 1946,) non-aerial atomic detonation that originally inspired the bikini swimsuit.



According to the U.S. Department of Energy, $90 million has been appropriated by Congress "to be used by the Bikinians to clean up their atoll" since 1990. How embarrassing must it have been for the guy who had to call the Bikinians and tell them we had soiled their atoll—that we wanted to help them clean their filthy atoll?

(Which isn't to say it'd be a cakewalk being called a Bikinian.)


May 20, 1960 -
Music DJ Alan Freed, originator of the term "Rock and Roll," was indicted in New York in the Payola scandal of the day.

Freed had accepted $30,650 from five record companies to play their records, although to be fair "pay for play" was the accepted practice up to that point.


May 20, 1989
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The Chinese government imposed martial law on Beijing on this date, in response to student-led protests that had brought millions of people onto the streets.

The demonstrations continued, however, until the brutal military crackdown on June 3 and 4 in Tiananmen Square, in which thousands of Chinese dissidents were killed by the Chinese military. In a June 9 speech, DengXiaoping announced that the government had suppressed a "counterrevolutionary rebellion" in which the "dregs of society" had tried to "establish a bourgeois republic entirely dependent on the West."

I'm still not winning any friends with the Chinese Government.


May 20, 1989 -
While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness







Gilda Radner, Emmy Award winning American comedienne and actress, best known for her five years as part of the original cast of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live, died at 42 of ovarian cancer on this date.



And so it goes


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