Sunday, August 6, 2017

In case this skipped your mind

It's the half way point of summer today.

Hopefully you've made plans, if you haven't had a good summer so far.

August 6, 1911 -
The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.

Lucille Ball, film and television executive, actress and comedian, was born on this date.

A comment from a member of the preview audience of Follow the Fleet about bit-player Ball: "You might give the tall gum chewing blonde more parts and see if she can't make the grade - a good gamble."

August 6, 1926
One of John Barrymore's classic silent movies, Don Juan, co-starring a young Mary Astor, opened in NYC on this date.

Warner Brothers premiered its Vitaphone system in New York with the premiere of this film. (The film was the first feature-length film with synchronized Vitaphone sound effects and musical soundtrack, though it has no spoken dialogue.)  The tickets went for the astronomical price of $10 a head.

August 6, 1938 -
... In this corner, at 203 and one-third pounds, the most magnificent marvelous multiple monstrous mad mauling mass of meaty muscles ever to master, modify, mat, make mince-meat, and mangle many menacing monsters from Manitoba to Minneapolis!

An early pairing of this comedy duo, Porky and Daffy, was released on this date.

August 6, 1982 -
Alan Parker's
rock-musical interpretation of the classical album, Pink Floyd The Wall, premiered in NYC on this date. (Kids, turn out the lights, send the adults out to eat and spark 'em up; it's the whole movie.)

In his autobiography "Is That It?", Bob Geldof says that his agent first told him about the project while he was riding in a taxi, and that he said that he didn't want to do it because he didn't like the music of Pink Floyd. Roger Waters knows this story, not because he read it in Geldof's book, but because the taxi driver was actually Roger Waters' brother.

A moment of zen

Today in History:
August 6 is noted historically as the official end of the Holy Roman Empire, which collapsed on that date in 1806 as Emperor Francis II abdicated.

As always, please note, the Holy Roman Empire was not holy, roman or an empire (per se).

Discuss amongst yourselves.

August 6, 1890
At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed by electric chair on this date.

The first shock of electricity did not kill Kemmler, and a second shock was required. The second jolt lasted until the smell of burning flesh filled the room, about four minutes. As soon as his charred body stopped smoldering, Kemmler was pronounced dead.

It was not a pretty sight.

August 6, 1926 -
Gertrude Ederle
becomes first woman to swim the English Channel. Before setting out from Cap Griz-Nez, France, at 7:09 a.m., Ederle coated her body with layers of lard and petroleum jelly to insulate her from the cold waters.

Only five men had been able to swim the English Channel before Ederle. The best time had been 16 hours, 33 minutes by an Italian-born Argentine, Enrique Tiraboschi. Ederle walked up the beach at Dover, England after 14 hours and 39 minutes. The first person to greet her was a British immigration officer who requested a passport from "the bleary-eyed, waterlogged teenager."

That man's name is no longer remembered but truly he is the spiritual grandfather of the TSA.

August 6, 1945 -
The first atomic bomb used in combat was dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay, piloted by Col. Paul Tibbets, on this date.

President Truman ordered the use of the first nuclear bomb, which the military referred to as "Little Boy." Harry had been vice president for only 82 days when President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945 and didn't even know of the existence of the 9,600 pound bomb until he was told about it upon his assumption of the presidency.

In minutes the massive blast and the firestorm it produced destroyed the majority of the city and killed 66,000 people instantly and a total of as many as 166,000 died over a period of months from the nuclear fallout (a third of Hiroshima's population.)

August 6, 1965 -
One of the crowning achievements of the civil rights movement, The Voting Rights Act, was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, 52 years ago on this date.

One of it key aims was to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

August 6, 1991 -
On December 25, 1990, Tim Berners-Lee (not Al Gore,) successfully connected an http client with an Internet server, thus inventing the World Wide Web.

Less than a year later, on this day, the first website built was at CERN within the border of France, and was first put online.

Checking the calendar again:

There are 141 days until Christmas

And so it goes.

Before you go
- 2 guys playing Trent Reznor's Hurt on the cello

Now you may go.


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