Today we commemorate some of the greatest political pooches our country has ever known. On September 23, 1952, responding to accusations that he diverted $18,000 in contributions into his pocket, Senator Richard M. Nixon rescues his candidacy for Vice President by insisting that he had never accepted any money.
Although Nixon does admit he accepted a cocker spaniel named Checkers for his daughter Tricia. The televised monologue rescues his political career.
September 23, 1944 -
Frank Capra's screwball comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace finally gets it US general release on this date. The film was based on a hit play and had to wait to be released until after it Broadway run had ended.
Some 20 years before filming this movie, actress Jean Adair had helped to nurse a very sick vaudeville performer named Archie Leach back to health; by the time she was asked to reprise her Broadway Arsenic and Old Lace role as Aunt Martha for this film, Adair and Leach, now known as Cary Grant, were old friends.
September 23, 1962 -
The Jetsons debuted on ABC-TV's Sunday night's prime time lineup on this date. It was the network's first program ever to be broadcast in color.
The design of the Jetsons' flying car was inspired by a 1954 Ford concept car, the FX-Atmos, notable for its all-glass bubble canopy, dashboard radar screen, and jet-plane-like tail fins.
September 23, 1967 -
The Letter by Box Tops topped the charts on this date.
At 1:58, the Box Tops' version of this was the last #1 hit to be shorter than two minutes in length. (You can thank me for the earworm later.)
September 23, 1968 -
Lucille Ball's third TV series, Here's Lucy premiered on this date.
Originally, Doris Singleton, who played the recurring character of Caroline (originally Lillian) Appleby on I Love Lucy was supposed to co-star on the series. Her character was supposed to be Harry's efficient morning secretary, opposed to Lucy, his scatterbrained afternoon secretary. Her character was dropped after the first episode, because it was decided to show more of Lucy's family life with the kids, than her job.
September 23, 1969 -
Marcus Welby MD, starring the not terribly sober Robert Young, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.
The exterior of Dr. Welby's office was the same building used as the Cleaver family home on Leave It to Beaver with only Welby's shingle as the new addition to the set.
September 23, 1970 -
The only American film Akira Kurosawa almost directed, Tora! Tora! Tora!, was released on this date. Akira Kurosawa agreed to direct the Japanese part of the film only because he was told that David Lean was to direct the American part. This was a lie, David Lean was never part of the project. When Kurosawa found out about this, he tried to get himself fired from the production - and succeeded.
Contrary to popular belief, the title of this movie means neither 'Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!' nor 'Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!' in Japanese. The phrase actually comes from the first syllables of Totsugeki (meaning attack) and Raigeki (for torpedo attack) yielding TO-RA, TO-RA, TO-RA, which incidentally has the same pronunciation as tiger repeated thrice.
September 23, 1990 -Ken Burns' powerful 11 hour miniseries The Civil War premiered on PBS on this date.
Shelby Foote became a sudden celebrity after the success of this series. Foote's phone number was listed in his local phone book and he received frequent calls from fans. He never removed his number from the phone book and received calls whenever the series aired for the rest of his life.
The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today
Today in History:
September 23, 480 BC -
It's the birthday of the Greek poet Euripides, born near Athens on this date.
Remember - Euripides, I ripa dos.
September 23, 63 BC -
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Augustus Caesar) was born on this day. The first real Roman Emperor, Caesar introduced the famous Pax Romana. This was a political policy which stated that any country which did not object to being conquered by Rome would be conquered by Rome.
Countries not wishing to be conquered by Rome stood in violation of this policy, and were therefore invaded until they agreed to be conquered. This ensured peace throughout the world.
September 23, 1779 -
During the Revolutionary War, while on break from Led Zeppelin, the American navy under Scotsman John Paul Jones (Robert Stack), commanding from Bonhomme Richard, defeated and captured the British man-of-war Serapis on this date. Jones, chose to name the ship after Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard’s Almanac.
Fierce fighting ensued, and when Richard began to sink, Serapis commander Richard Pearson called over to ask if Richard would surrender and Jones responded, "I have not yet begun to fight!"--a response that would become a slogan of the U.S. Navy. Pearson surrendered and Jones took control of Serapis. Imagine the amount of rum consumed (it was an American Ship - I'm sure there was no sodomy!)
September 23, 1939 -
Sigmund Freud was not having a good day. He had been suffering from the late stages of cancer of the jaw when he decided to commit suicide with the help of his personal physician, Max Schur on this date.
The good doctor administered 21 mg of morphine -- a lethal dose, in three large doses in the space of several hours. Sometimes 21 mg of morphine is just 21 mg of death.
September 23, 1949 -
Happy Birthday Bruce!
If you are of a certain age, at one point, Bruce meant everything to you.
September 23, 1950 -
Congress passes the McCarran Act, also known as The Internal Security Act of 1950, overriding Harry Truman's veto. The act provides for severe restrictions on civil liberties, suspension of free speech, and placing of undesirable Americans in concentration camps.
Much of the Act has been repealed, but some portions remain intact.
So watch it, bub.
September 23, 1969 -
An article in the Northern Illinois University student newspaper propagated the rumor that Paul is dead.
I'm so Tired from the White Album (and smoke an enormous amount of dope,) you hear Paul McCartney Is Dead.
And so it goes
Before you go - Breaking News: Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts
Yesterday, Puddles released a great mash-up of Queen's Under Pressure and the Disney song, Let It Go. Bet you didn't see that one coming.