Everybody should be out there reading. And what better way to read something than, a light weight, portable and bio-degradable object - a paperback!
The reason for the celebration today is that Sir Allen Lane started what would become Penguin Books, and they published their first paperback book on July 30, 1935. I just finished reading The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky, on the beach in paperback just recently.
Flowers and Trees is a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Burt Gillett and released to theatres by United Artists on this date. It was the first commercially released film to be produced in the full-color three-strip Technicolor process, after several years of two-color Technicolor films.
The cartoon premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theater as the opening short to the feature Strange Interlude.
July 30, 1966 -
The Dynamic Duo make the jump from the TV scene to the movie scene - Batman, The Movie, premiered in Austin, Texas on this date.
Adam West was initially reluctant about making the movie. He decided to do it when told by producers that without his involvement in the film, the part of Batman/Bruce Wayne would be recast. West was also convinced to do the film partly with a stipulation to have more screen time as Bruce Wayne.
July 30, 1966 -
The Beatles' album Yesterday... & Today, went #1 and stayed #1 for 5 weeks, on this date.
The record was released just after John's infamous interview in which he stated that the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus", which angered Americans and provoked many bans on their music and public incinerations of memorabilia. But Yesterday And Today would take public disapproval to a whole new level, as the original cover featured the band in butcher's smocks with baby doll parts and raw meat covering them. The record was pulled almost immediately - creating an instant collector's item - and in the confusion that followed, several replacement covers were issued.
July 30, 1982 -
One of Ron Howard's early movie directorial efforts Night Shift, premiered on this date.
The fraternity having the party in the morgue is Delta Tau Chi (seen on the wall) which is the same fraternity as in Animal House.
July 30, 1999 -
Paramount Picture released the Gary Marshall Rom Com, Runaway Bride (a semi-remake of the Capra classic It Happened One Night) featuring the re-teaming of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, and featuring the always funny Joan Cusack, on this date.
In real life, Julia Roberts canceled her own wedding to Kiefer Sutherland only a few days before the ceremony in 1991.
July 30, 2004 -
The surprise hit stoner film, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, starring John Cho, Kal Penn, and the very funny Neil Patrick Harris, opened on this date.
As a "thank you" for all of the free advertising the film gave them, White Castle arranged to have collectible "Harold and Kumar" cups at all of their locations during the film's release. It marks the first time an R-rated comedy is advertised on fast food containers.
Another ACME PSA
Today in History:
Prague has always been a tough town for elected officials.
On July 30, 1419, Jan Zelivsky, a Hussite priest at the church of the Virgin Mary of the Snows, led his congregation on a procession through the streets of Prague to the Town Hall. The town council members had refused to exchange their Hussite prisoners, and an anti-Hussite threw a rock at one of the protesters. Enraged, the crowd stormed the town hall and threw seven of the council members from the windows onto the spears of the armed congregation below. Thus, the First Defenestration of Prague occurred.
Less you think that was the only defenestration in that tough old town, at Prague Castle on May 23, 1618, an assembly of Protestants tried two Imperial governors, Wilhelm Grav Slavata (1572 - 1652) and Jaroslav Borzita Graf Von Martinicz (1582 - 1649), for violating the Letter of Majesty (Right of Freedom of Religion), found them guilty, and threw them, together with their scribe Philip Fabricius, out of the high windows of the Bohemian Chancellery. They landed on a large pile of manure and all survived unharmed. Philip Fabricius was later ennobled by the emperor and granted the title "von Hohenfall" (lit. translating to "of Highfall").
But what there were more, a defenestration (chronologically the Second Defenestration of Prague) happened on September 24, 1483, when a violent overthrow of the municipal governments of the Old and New Towns ended with throwing the Old-Town portreeve and the bodies of seven killed aldermen out of the windows of the respective townhalls.
Sometimes, the name the Third Defenestration of Prague is used, although it has no standard meaning. For example, it has been used to describe the death of Jan Masaryk, who was found under the bathroom window of the building of the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 10, 1948, allegedly murdered by Communists, though the official Communist line claimed this to be a suicide.
It's tough to be an elected official in Prague.
So, here are some quick rules for avoiding defenestration:
7. Don't throw stones at angry mobs.
6. Watch out for Catholics.
5. Watch out for Protestants.
4. Don't piss off really powerful people.
3. Surround tall buildings with piles of manure.
2. Never go to Prague.
And, of course,
1. Never leave home.
Again, it's a tough town for politicians but it's the gravy train for glazers.
July 30, 1729 -
Happy Birthday Crab Cake Capital of the World
The city of Baltimore was founded on this date and is named after Lord Baltimore (Cecilius Calvert).
July 30, 1818 -
It's Emily Bronte's birthday.
The Brontes were three hideous sisters who dwelt in a cave and had to share a single eyeball between them. They were eventually outwitted and slain by wily Odysseus. (Unless that was the Gorgons, in which case the Emily Brontes were three Englishwomen who wrote poetry and novels in the middle nineteenth century.)
Women were not allowed to write books at the time because novels were still being written in the formal style, and it was feared that women would corrupt that classic form with their penchant for multiple climaxes. The Brontes therefore wrote under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Charlotte got to be Currer and this made the other girls jealous: Currer was the handsome and swarthy sailor, while Ellis was the stuttering librarian and Acton was the simpleminded shepherd.
As authors, the Emily Brontes were heavily influenced by the Romantics (Talking In Your Sleep), but most scholars contend that Emily's Wuthering Heights owes more to the Meteorologists.
She is perhaps best known for her invention of Heathcliff, most recently popularized by American cartoonist George Gately.
July 30, 1865 -
The Brother Jonathon, a paddle wheel steamer, sank off the coast of Northern California after it hit a rock near Crescent City, on this date. 225 passengers and crew died during the ensuing panic. There were only 19 survivors. It has been considered the worst US steamship disaster that had occurred.
July 30, 1871 -
The boiler on the Staten Island Ferry Westfield exploded, killing as many as 100 people and injured hundreds of others as well, on this date.
July 30, 1938 -
In his Dearborn, Michigan office Henry Ford proudly accepts a Nazi medal on his 75th birthday, on this date. The Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle was the highest award the Reich can bestow on foreigners. The medal arrives with a note of personal greetings from Adolf Hitler.
Hopefully, there isn't a Ford in your future.
July 30, 1947 -
As the 'Siegfried' leitmotif from Act III of Wagner's opera played in the background - Arnold Schwarzenegger, the last gasp of the dream of the Aryan 'Uberman', was spawned on this date.
I'm not quite sure that an overly greased muscle man in a speedo (who would become the governor of a bankrupt US state and fathered children out of wed-lock ) was what Hitler had in mind, but who knows.
July 30, 1965 -
As part of President Johnson's Great Society program, the president signed the Social Security Act of 1965 into law established Medicare and Medicaid in the United States, on this date.
July 30, 1975 -
Jimmy Hoffa was or wasn't killed on this date.
Jimmy is or isn't buried somewhere in the Meadowlands or a horse farm or was made into ground meat and consumed at some very unfortunate barbecue (the FBI still continue to try to sort it all out.)
And so it goes.