Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today is World Turtle Day.

The purpose of World Turtle Day, sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.

It's celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities.

May 23, 1929 -
Walt Disney released the ninth film in the Mickey Mouse film series, The Karnival Kid on this date

This is first cartoon in which Mickey Mouse speaks. His first words are "Hot dogs!"

May 23, 1966 -
The Beatles released the single Paperback Writer on this date

This was a song that led the transition from early Beatles style to later Beatles style, from love songs to opening up the subject of songs to a wider variety of subjects. Paul's Aunt had been bugging him for months, challenging him to "Write a song that wasn't about love." So he wrote this just to shut her up.

May 23, 1969
... It's a boy Mrs. Walker, it's a boy ....

The Who released Tommy, the first rock opera on this date.

Somehow this may or may not be connected with the fact that

the BBC gave the go-ahead for 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus on this date as well.

May 23, 1980 -
Stanley Kubrick's
classic horror thriller The Shining, opened on this date (I remember seeing it at the midnight showing on this date in Time Square.)

At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.

May 23, 1984 -
Steven Spielberg/ George Lucas' theme park thrill ride film, Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom, opened on this date.

The rope bridge used during the final fight scene was actually suspended up a couple of hundred feet across a gorge on location in Sri Lanka. Acrophobic Steven Spielberg would never walk over it, and had to drive a mile and a half to reach the other side. Harrison Ford on the other hand had no such fear, and would run across it at full speed.

May 23, 1997 -
Steven Spielberg's sequel monster movie, The Lost World: Jurassic Park opened nationally, on this date (this date must be a lucky day for Steve.)

Julianne Moore admitted that she did this film to pay off a divorce settlement.

Better lives through pharmaceuticals

Today in History:
May 23, 1430
The French, they are a strange race.

A little french shepherdess goes out into a field for a picnic. And instead of getting food poisoning, which was common, heard the voice of God, which is not.

Joan, heeding God's command, heads the army of France to rout the English and help crown a new French King. And for her troubles, Joan of Arc captured by Burgundians today at Compiegne, who sold her to the British. The British, known for their sense of humor, gave Joan the ultimate hot foot.

This is what comes from being the messenger of God.

May 23, 1498
What a day for an auto da fe...

Religious fundamentalist Girolamo Savonarola was executed in Florence, Italy, on this date, for his many heresies, after being excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI. The Catholic Church had already excommunicated the Dominican friar the year before, but Savonarola continued to preach for radical reforms. Among other things, he held bonfires of the vanities for his parishioners' worldly possessions, because they competed with the word of God for attention.

Brother Savonarola was first hanged along with two accomplices and their bodies burned. He was burned on the same spot as his famous 'bonfire of the vanities.'

This is what comes from trying to follow your own understanding of God's words. (Karma's a bitch.)

May 23, 1618 -
In what is later called the Second Defenestration of Prague, (yes there was a First) three men representing the soon-to-be Emperor Ferdinand II are thrown from a window in the Hradshin Palace by Protestant noblemen.

Luckily for the imperial emissaries, they land on a large pile of manure and survive (Catholics immediately proclaimed that God’s angels had saved them from certain death.) But when Ferdinand assumes the throne the following year, all hell breaks loose in Europe, starting with Bohemia.

Thus begins the horrific religious conflict that comes to be known as the Thirty Years War. Shockingly, given the European sense of time, the war actually lasted 30 years. It is generally agreed that the war set back the continent a full century.

May 23, 1701 -
Captain William Kidd was hanged in London on this date. After the first attempt fails when the rope snaps, Kidd was brought right back to the gallows and the process repeated. After death, the body is slathered in tar, chained up, and suspended over the Thames where it remains for years as an example to others considering a life of piracy.

Again, the British and their sense of humor.

May 23, 1734 -
Friedrich Anton Mesmer was born on this date.

Mr. Mesmer was a physician and hypnotist who developed a peculiar method of therapy-by-suggestion that bears his name to this day: Antonism.

(Antonism should not be confused with antonyms, an antonym for synonyms. Synonyms should not be confused with cinnamon, which is used on hot buns. It will spare embarrassment at the breakfast table if hot buns are confused with hot buns.)

May 23, 1873 -
The Northwest Mounted Police were founded on this date.  The Northwest Mounted Police was one of the first police forces in the Northwest Territories - present day Alberta and Saskatchewan - and the predecessor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, also known as the Mounties.

Please rise for the playing of the Mounties Anthem

Yes, this has nothing to do with that fine organization but isn't your day just a little better for having heard this again?

May 23, 1900 -
Sergeant William Harvey Carney from Company C of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, was the first African-American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, on this date, (although he did not get his medal until nearly 40 years after the battle.)

Carney was a soldier in the Civil War, and received the medal for saving the Union flag during a fierce battle, the Battle of Fort Wagner outside of Charleston, S.C. on July 18, 1863, despite the fact that he was severely wounded.

May 23, 1911 -
More than one million books were set in place for the official dedication of The New York Public Library (on Fifth Avenue on the site of the old Croton Reservoir and the largest marble structure in the US) on this date – exactly 16 years to the day since the historic agreement creating the Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations had been signed.

The ceremony was presided over by President William Howard Taft and was attended by Governor John Alden Dix and Mayor William J. Gaynor.

Please, all of you who forgot to return your books from the opening day, return them. All is forgiven.

No questions asked.

May 23, 1934 -
A group of FBI agents and police officers from two states ambush the notorious Bonnie and Clyde on a highway near Gibsland, Louisiana, on this date.

The men open fire as the bank robbers drive past the concealed posse, unloading hundreds of rounds into the car.

And so it goes.


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