Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Only trouble is, gee whiz

June 7, 1958 -
The Everly Brothers record All I Have to Do Is Dream topped the charts on this date.

The song has also featured on several notable lists of the best songs or singles of all time, including Q's 1001 best songs ever in 2003. It was named one of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll" by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2004.

June 7, 1969
Tommy James and the Shondells released Crystal Blue Persuasion on this date.

While many people believed the song was about a type of very high grade LSD circulating on the West Coast at the time, Tommy James has mentioned that the song was a reference to the Book of Revelations from the Bible.

Talk about cosmic convergence -

it's Dean Martin's,

Tom Jones'

and Prince's birthday today.

Think of the number of children conceived listening to their music.

June 7, 1991
The Castle Rock Film which revived the career of Jack Palance, City Slickers, directed by Ron Underwood and also starring Billy Crystal, Danial Stern and Bruno Kirby premiered on this date.

Jack Palance
did not see the finished movie until after he won the Oscar for it.

For no particular reason

Today in History (it's not a rainbow and lollipop's day):
June 7, 1494 -
Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas (which divides the New World between the two countries. Hence, the Brazilians speak Portuguese rather than Spanish). In the volatile, war-torn world in which we live, many historical documents have become required reading. Not this one. You will never be standing at a cocktail party where someone says, "It's all because of that damn Treaty of Tordesillas."

No one will ever blame the failures of the Middle East Peace Process or the brinkmanship in South Asia on the harsh conditions of the Treaty of Tordesillas. You'll never see your favorite pundit toss off the "Treaty of Tordesillas" in an ironic and off-handed way. You won't hear Noam Chomsky cite it as a cause or effect of American imperialism. It will never attract the directorial eye of Michael Moore or Oliver Stone.

You already know more about that treaty than most people alive today. You may now forget it ever existed. It has no relevance to your life.

June 7, 1502 -
Ugo Buoncompagni was born on this date. He became Pope Gregory XIII in 1572 and remained the Pope until 1585. He is best known for reforming the Julian calendar, which is why it's now Gregorian instead of Julian.

Had he reformed the calendar before becoming Pope, it would be the Ugian Calendar. That would have been a calendar worth having.

(For some reason that I can't quite figure out - I think I've mentioned Pope Gregory XIII on these pages more than any human being.)

June 7, 1692 -
At 11:43 am, a catastrophic earthquake struck Port Royal, Jamaica, then known as "the richest and wickedest city in the world." Buildings are shaken apart and ships in harbor hurled onto busy streets.

In just three minutes, the temblor takes out 70% of the population, killing 1,600 and seriously injuring 3,000 others.

It was a beautiful weekend back in 1786, it's nice to know that the first day ice cream was sold in the US, on this date.

The Smithsonian Museum purports to have an inappropriate woodcutting of a very young Bernie Sanders making a rude gesture to either Martha Washington or Dolley Madison concerning how Alexander Hamilton cut ahead of him on line and how he'd fix those damn banks some day in the future.

June 7, 1892 -
Homer Plessy
, a shoemaker of mixed race from Louisiana, was arrested for refusing to move from a designated "white" seat on a train, on this date.

His arrest and subsequent trial (Plessy v. Ferguson) led to the landmark "separate but equal" decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896, which permitted segregation.

June 7, 1893 -
Co-incidentally or not, when traveling by train across South Africa, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was asked to leave the first-class compartment - for which he had a ticket - because another passenger complained of having to ride with a colored person.

He refused to move and authorities were called to force him and his luggage to disembark in Maritzburg. This was Gandhi's first act of disobedience.

June 7, 1937 -
While filming Saratoga, Jean Harlow was hospitalized with uremic poisoning and kidney failure, a result of the scarlet fever she had suffered during childhood.

In the days before dialysis and kidney transplants, nothing could be done and Harlow died on this date. She was 26.

(Most of you probably have not idea who the hell Jean Harlow was?)

June 7, 1954 -
Despondent over court-ordered estrogen treatments to cure his homosexuality, Alan Turing committed suicide by consuming an apple laced with cyanide. (His inspiration - Snow White, his favorite movie.)

Turing is considered the founder of modern computing, a pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence, and a crucial member of the team that cracked Germany's Enigma cipher in World War II.

So, apparently an apple a day does keep the doctor away - permanently.

June 7, 1965 -
I've always loved words. I ate up all the books I could get my hands on, and when I couldn't get books, I read candy wrappers and labels on cereal and toothpaste boxes.

The anything but dumb blonde, Judy Holliday (born Judith Tuvim, who reportedly had an IQ of over 170) died from the breast cancer that had plagued her for over five years, on this date. She was 43.

June 7, 1967 -
Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.

Dorothy Rothschild Parker, writer, poet, critic and screen writer, outlived many of her drinking buddies from the Algonquin Round Table, died of a heart attack at the age of 73 on this date.

Her 'troubles' did not end with her death as her executrix, Lillian Hellman, bitterly but unsuccessfully contested the final bequest of her estate to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. foundation and her ashes remained unclaimed in various places, including her attorney Paul O'Dwyer's filing cabinet, for approximately 17 years.

June 7, 1982 -
In an effort to defray its $500,000 annual upkeep costs, Priscilla Presley opened Graceland to the public only five years after Elvis died in an upstairs bathroom. The bathroom is kept off-limits to tourists.

Think of how much they could take in at the gate if you could sit on the King's final throne?

And so it goes.


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