On July 4, 1776, the American colonies told Britain to kiss their hairy American asses. This began the Revolutionary War, during which the Redcoats were coming, a shot was heard 'round the world' and Paul Revere could see the whites of their eyes and knew that their taxes were too high.
The complexities of war demanded organization between the states, so they established Articles of Confederation, which in turn created a Continental Congress. This Congress was adequate to see them through the war, but by the late 1780s it became clear that both the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation sucked.
Even way back then Americans didn't want anything to do with anything that sucked (unless it meant a substantial discount, which in this case it did not).
The Continental Congress tried to fix the Articles of Confederation in 1786. The Congress still sucked, of course, and so they failed.
In the spring of 1787 the states sent new delegates to a new convention designed to produce a government that wouldn't be so awful.
On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention voted its approval of a new Constitution, which they immediately ran out to have printed.
The Continental Congress acted with its usual efficiency, and by July 2 of the following year, the Constitution had become the law of the land. The last act of the Continental Congress was to schedule federal elections for their replacements.
Today is Constitution Day in the U.S.
Celebrate by refusing to allow soldiers to be billeted in your home.
September 17, 1949 -
Little Rural Riding Hood, the last of Tex Avery's variations on Little Red Riding Hood, premiered on this date.
Because of budget restraints, animation of this cartoon is reused from Swing Shift Cinderella. The singing voice of Imogene Lynn was included with the reused section of Swing Shift Cinderella.
September 17, 1956 -
Vincente Minnelli's brilliant bio-pix, Lust for Life, opened in NYC on this date.
Parts of the film were shot in Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh lived and died. Kirk Douglas had his hair cut specially in the style of the artist and had it dyed to a similar reddish tint. This was enough to make some of the older inhabitants of the town believe that Van Gogh had returned.
September 17, 1961 -
William Faulkner's favorite TV show, Car 54 Where are You?, premiered on NBC-TV, on this date.
For the black-and-white location shots, the green parts of the normally black, white, and green patrol cars were painted red so as not to confuse the neighborhood people.
September 17, 1963 -
David Janssen started running when ABC-TV premiered The Fugitive, on this date.
It is commonly given that this show was based on the Samuel Sheppard murder case of 1954. While the show does feature some similarities to the case, Roy Huggins consistently denied that he based Richard Kimble on Sheppard or the fictional murder on the real one. Claiming that he was unfamiliar with the Sheppard case until the series began, he said the show was actually influenced by his love for Westerns, and he wanted to do a series about a modern character roaming around the country in a similar fashion to a mythic cowboy.
September 17, 1964 -
United Artists released the third James Bond thriller (in the UK,) Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery, on this date.
The recreation of the Fort Knox repository at Pinewood Studios was incredibly accurate considering no one involved in the film had been allowed inside the real location for security reasons. The set looked so real that a 24-hour guard was placed on the Fort Knox set at Pinewood Studios so that pilferers would not steal the gold bar props. A letter to the production from the Fort Knox Controller congratulated Ken Adam and his team on the recreation. Auric Goldfinger's 3-D Model Map used for his Operation Grandslam is now housed as a permanent exhibition at the real Fort Knox.
September 17, 1964 -
Dick York started out as Durwood, I mean, Darrin as Bewitched premieres on ABC-TV on this date.
(sorry about the colorized version)
When it became clear that Dick York could not continue with the series, William Asher considered canceling it, not only because of York's departure, but because he and Elizabeth Montgomery wanted to move on. However, the ratings were still high enough that the network wanted the show to go on. Dick Sargent was brought in to replace York, but there was still one problem: how to explain why Darrin looked and sounded different. Many people working on the show came up with ideas, but Asher thought the viewers understood this was an actor playing a role, so he decided that the best explanation was no explanation.
September 17, 1965 -
CBS-TV premiered Hogan's Heroes, the first and perhaps only sitcom based in a German prisoner-of-war camp on this date.
Werner Klemperer, Howard Caine, Leon Askin, and John Banner, that acted the chief Germans: Klink, Hochstetter, Burkhalter and Schultz, were in fact all Jewish. All of them also served in the US Armed Forces during World War II.
September 17, 1965 -
Artemus Gordon and the frequently bare-chested James T. West boarded their specially outfitted train for the first time when Wild, Wild, West premiered on ABC-TV on this date.
The series was ultimately canceled due to CBS being uncomfortable with the "excessive" violence of the series, rather than declining ratings.
September 17, 1967 -
The first mission from the IMF team from Mission Impossible premiered on CBS-TV on this date.
Nearly every non-lead actor or actress that worked on Star Trek also appears in Mission:Impossible. This is probably due to both shows filming at the Desilu Studios. Lead Star Trek performers, also guest appearing, include George Takei, William Shatner, and eventual series regular Leonard Nimoy.
September 17, 1967 -
The Doors appear on the Ed Sullivan Show on this date and things did not go as smoothly as the producers may have hoped.
The band had been asked by producer Bob Precht of the Sullivan Show, to alter the lyrics of the song, Light My Fire, so as to eliminate the phrase “we couldn’t get much higher.” The band agreed to change the lyrics but come show time, Jim Morrison sang the lyrics as originally written. As a result, The Doors were banned from ever again appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show.
September 17, 1972 -
M*A*S*H, premiered on NBC TV on this date.
Gary Burghoff was the very first actor cast. He was the only actor to reprise his role from the movie "MASH", on which this series was based. Gary Burghoff's left hand is slightly deformed, and he took great pains to hide or de-emphasize it during filming. He did this by always holding something (like a clipboard), or keeping that hand in his pocket.
Same Bat Time ...
Today in History:
September 17, 1778 -
The United States signed its first treaty with a Native American tribe, the Delaware Nation.
September 17, 1859 -
The San Francisco Call Bulletin published a notice on an inside page announcing that our old pal Joshua Norton, formerly a prominent businessman, had proclaimed himself Norton I, “Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico.” He annexed the whole of the US and suspended the Constitution. His Majesty remained on the job until his death in 1880.
September 17, 1908 -
Thomas E. Selfridge becomes the world's first airplane fatality when the Wright Flyer, a craft he's co-piloting with Orville Wright for the U.S. Army, crashed near Fort Meyer, Virginia on this date.
September 17, 1935 -
Len Koenecke was an outfielder with the Brooklyn Dodgers for most of 1935, but near the end of the season he was released for “behavior and erratic play.” The Dodger left St. Louis by passenger plane, but was ordered off in Detroit because of intoxication. Len chartered a three-seater plane for Buffalo that included both the pilot and the co-pilot.
September 17, 1939 -
The Soviet Union invaded Poland, to fulfill its end of the secret protocols contained in the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. They partition the country along pre-decided lines.
As you well know the last laugh will be on the Russian, when Hitler turns on them.
September 17, 1978 -
The Camp David Peace Accords, a set of agreements between Egypt and Israel was signed on this date. The agreements were the culmination of years of negotiations for peace in the Middle East. Acting as a peace broker, President Jimmy Carter convinced Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to reach a compromise in their disputes.
Mr. Carter is still alive and kicking.
And so it goes