Saturday, November 11, 2017

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month ...

World War I ended on this date in 1918 -

It's Veterans Day in the United States and Armistice Day for many in Europe (and it's Singles Day in China, 11/11- it's considered China's Anti-Valentine's Day, but we're not going to discuss that now.)

I'd like to thank our veterans for having fought, and in many cases died, to preserve my liberties -

and I'd like to apologizes for having made such foolish use of them.

November 11, 1943 -
The under-appreciated wartime-drama Sahara, starring Humphrey Bogart premiered on this date.

Two thousand tons of sand were transported to the filming set in order to create the feel of loose desert sand, so reported the New York Times. The newspaper also reported that shadows were spray-painted on desert hills to make them be seen more clearly by the audience. Moreover, sand dune ripples were created by spray-painting the sand with light paint and then turning on a wind-machine.

November 11, 1947 -
Elia Kazan's
searing expose of anti-Semitism, Gentleman's Agreement, starring Gregory Peck premiered in New York on this date.

Despite winning an Oscar for his direction, Elia Kazan revealed in a later interview that he was never fond of this movie, feeling that it lacked passion on his part and he thought that the romance was too forced. Gregory Peck did not get along with director Elia Kazan. Kazan told the press he was very disappointed with Peck's performance and the two men never worked together again.

November 11, 1958 -
The (relatively unknown) British-comedy The Horse's Mouth, starring Alec Guinness, opened in the US on this date.

The director, Ronald Neame was introduced to the Joyce Carey novel by Claude Rains, who was very anxious to play Gulley Jimson, but the director tried and failed to read the book. Several years later Alec Guinness came to him with his own adaptation. Neame reread the book and thought Guinness was perfect for the role.

Do yourself a favor and watch this one.

November 11, 1959 -
The beginning of American independent cinema can be traced to this date when Shadows, directed by John Cassavetes, premiered in NYC.

John Cassavetes was the guest on a Manhattan radio show, promoting Johnny Staccato, a TV series Cassavetes was starring in. Somehow the conversation moved into making a feature film, and Cassavetes told listeners that if he were to make a feature film, they should donate a dollar or two by sending it to the station. A few days later, a surprised Cassavetes had received a couple of thousand dollars from listeners sending money to the station, which he put toward the making of this film.

Don't forget to tune into The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour

Today in History:
November 11, 397
St. Martin of Tours, another in the series of anorexic visionaries is a patron saint of France, soldiers (he is known as the he man's saint), reformed alcoholics and winemakers. When the armistice fell on the Saint Martin’s Day, November 11, 1918, the French people saw it was a sign of his intercession in the affairs of France.

Martin, after another of his life long practice of fasting, has a dream about Jesus wearing the cloak he had recently given to a naked beggar. Pieces of Martin's actual 'cloak' were revered as holy relics and the derivation of the name of the priest who looked after these relics became 'chaplain'.  (My father-in-law always reminded us that today is the day when the grapes you pressed and bottled turned into wine.)

And now you know.

November 11, 1215 -
The Fourth Lateran Council met on this date. They adopt the doctrine of Transubstantiation, meaning that bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ.

This means all Catholics are essentially cannibals on a feeding schedule, but who am I to judge a theology of which I am a nominal member.

November 11, 1634 -
Following pressure from Anglican bishop John Atherton, the Irish House of Commons passes "An Act for the Punishment for the Vice of Buggery". Seven years later, the good Bishop Atherton is himself is found well hanged under the Act.

I guess the religious right has always been a little loose on this issue.

November 11, 1821 -
We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, Russian novelist who wrote Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, was born on this date.

November 11, 1862  -
Joe Green's
(stage name - Giuseppe Verdi) Opera, La Forza Del Destino premiered in St Petersburg, Russia on this date.

La Forza Del Destino is an opera that many old school Italian singers felt was "cursed" and brought bad luck. The very superstitious Luciano Pavarotti avoided accepting a role in the opera for this reason.

November 11, 1921 -
One year after unknown soldiers were simultaneously buried at Westminster Abbey, London, and the Arc de Triomphe in France, President Warren G. Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (a white marble sarcophagus in Arlington National Cemetery.)

The tombstone itself, designed by sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones, was not completed until 1932, when it was unveiled bearing the description “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.” The World War I unknown was later joined by the unidentified remains of soldiers from America’s other major 20th century wars and the tomb was put under permanent guard by special military sentinels.

November 11, 1925
Something I'll always remember - when I was a kid, I shook hands with Orville Wright. Forty years later, I shook hands with Neil Armstrong. The guy that invented the airplane and the guy that walked on the moon. In a lifetime, that's kinda wild when you think about it.

Jonathan Winters, the great improvisational comedian and actor, was born on this date.

November 11, 1978 -
A perennial favorite suicide location, the renovated Hollywood Sign is unveiled, due in large part to the public campaign to restore the landmark by pornographer Hugh Hefner and shock rocker Alice Cooper.

The original sign was built in 1923, and said "Hollywoodland".

This year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will arrive in New York City this morning.

The 75-foot Norway Spruce from State College was cut down Thursday morning and loaded on a truck. The spruce  made the 244-mile trip from Pennsylvania to Manhattan on the back of a flatbed truck.

And so it goes

Before you go - This is a very British thing but the John Lewis Christmas Commercial is out -

Apparently, besides the Queen's Christmas speech, here's how you mark the holidays in England.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Barclaycard advert from a few years back? It remains my favorite.