Thursday, July 20, 2017

It takes about 251 licks

It's National Lollipop Day; but don’t go too overboard on the sugary treats.

Shhh, I believe this holiday is a huge conspiracy perpetrated by a large Big Sugar Syndication.

They're the real power in Washington D.C.

July 20, 1984 -
20th Century Fox
releases the comedy film Revenge of the Nerds, starring Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards on this date.

The University of Arizona agreed to let the filmmakers shoot at the campus, then revoked permission after reading the script. Eventually they changed their minds and let them shoot. Many students were used as extras.

July 20, 1986 -
The Alex Cox biography Sid and Nancy, starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, premiered in London, on this date.

Gary Oldman wore Sid's real chain necklace in the movie. When doing his research, Sid's mom gave him the necklace to wear during filming.

July 20,2007 -
The musical version of John Waters 1988 cult classic film (and the 2002 Broadway musical of the same name,) Hairspray directed by Adam Shankman and starring  John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, and Nikki Blonsky premiered on this date.

It took John Travolta four hours to put on the 30-pound fat suit and 5 gel-filled silicone face prosthetics to become Edna Turnblad.

Sorting out the confusion

Today in History:
July 20, 1402
At the Battle of Angora, Tamerlane led his huge army of Taters against the Ottomans (or Ottomen). Tamerlane captured the Sultan (Head Ottoman), and this is why we call some sweaters Angoras to this day.

Angora, however, is now called Ankara.

(Co-incidentally in 1991, on this date President Bush, visiting Turkey, was cheered by thousands of people in Ankara.)

July 20, 1801 -
According to legend, a 1,235 pound cheese ball was pressed at the farm of  Elisha Brown Jr. and taken to Washington D.C. by a horse-driven wagon.

He presented it as a gift to President Thomas Jefferson at the White House on this date.

(Or it could have been given to him on January 1st, 1801; I don't know, I wasn't there.)

July 20, 1903 -
The Ford Motor Company took its first order for a two-cylinder Model A car on July 15th 1903 and shipped the car on this date.

In early July of 1903, Ford’s cash balance was just $223.65 and it was doubtful if payroll could be fulfilled long enough to complete the existing works-in-progress. Chicago dentist named Ernst Pfenning bought the car for $850. His purchase and two other orders that week, kept the Ford Motor Company in business.

July 20, 1944 -
In an attempt on Hitler's life, a time bomb explodes in the situation room of the Wolf's Lair, killing four Nazi officers but only wounding the Fuhrer. After his close call, Hitler becomes even more paranoid. A massive purge is to follow, resulting in the execution of thousands of officers.

Hollywood's favorite 'frequently married little person (not Mickey Rooney)' starred in a film version of the event.

July 20, 1951 -
In Jerusalem at the al-Aqsa Mosque, King Abdullah of Jordan was shot three times in the head and chest by Mustapha Shukri Usho, a Palestinian opposed to peace with Israel.

Abdullah died on the spot.

July 20, 1968 -
The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held on this date, a joint venture between the Kennedy Foundation and the Chicago Park District.

The first games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, and more than 150 countries worldwide sent more than 1,000 athletes competed.

July 20, 1969 -
As a world-wide audience held their collective breathe, Neil Armstrong steps foot on the Moon. It was a brave thing to do (and unfortunately caused Buzz Aldrin to have his post-Apollo 11 period of alcoholism and depression.)

It was also the first mission to bring back samples from a foreign planetary body — the samples dated back 3.7 billion years.

And whatever you do, don't ask Buzz if it was faked.

July 20, 1973 -
In Hong Kong, martial artist Bruce Lee fell into a coma and died of cerebral edema on this date. He had been experiencing brain problems beginning in May, which included sporadic loss of consciousness (I've always hated when that happens.)

Lee's death happened shortly before the release of Enter the Dragon, his most successful film.

July 20, 1976 -
Hank Aaron
, considered one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history, hit his last home run (#755) off the California Angels' Dick Drago at Milwaukee County Stadium, on this date.

He is perhaps most famous for breaking the record for career home runs, which he held until Barry Bonds topped him on September 23, 2006. (Aaron did it without being on the juice, that's all I'm saying.)

July 20, 1976 -
The US spacecraft Viking 1 was the first craft ever to land on Mars on this date. It holds the record for having the second longest mission on Mars' surface: 6 years and 116 days.

NASA terminated communications with the craft on August 17, 1980.  So technically, it's still there (unless the martians have stripped the craft and have it up on blocks.)

July 20, 1994 -
O.J. Simpson offered a $500,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the Real Killers on this date.

To this day progress remains elusive, although Simpson continues his search throughout the prison shower stalls of Lovelock, Nevada (although he might be granted parole this afternoon.)

And so it goes.

Before you go
- Ready for a trip down memory lane?  The site thepeterson on youtube has been creating fun videos remembering pop culture from specific years - the most recent is 2006


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