Monday, November 6, 2017

It's National Saxaphone Day, apparently

November 6, 1814 -
Adolphe Sax, instrument maker and inventor of the saxophone, was born in Belgium.

So what.

November 6, 1948 -
Sylvester in his prime - Kit for Cat, premiered on this date.

The actors in the radio drama, Mel Blanc and Bea Benaderet, call each other by their real first names, Melvin and Beatrice.

November 6, 1947 -
Meet the Press, the longest-running show on network TV, premiered on NBC-TV on this date .

Meet the Press made its initial debut two years earlier – as a radio program American Mercury Presents: Meet the Press with Martha Rountree and Lawrence Spivak as producers.

November 6, 1965 –
The Rolling Stones
song Get Off of My Cloud became their second song to hit #1 on the Billboard charts on this date.

There was a bit of controversy over this song, as it sounded like it could be about drugs. Some radio stations shied away from the song.

November 6, 1981 -
One of Terry Gilliam's critically acclaimed features, Time Bandits, premiered on this date.

Ruth Gordon was cast as Mrs. Ogre but was injured before production. Katherine Helmond was originally slated to play the role in heavy make-up to look like her husband, but then decided it would be funnier if Mrs. Ogre was an ordinary person. Terry Gilliam agreed.

November 6, 1987 -
Richard Attenborough's biopix about South African civil rights leader Steven Biko, Cry Freedom, starring  Denzel Washington, and Kevin Kline, premiered in the US on this date.

The film was shot in Zimbabwe, rather than South Africa, due to the political unrest and sensitivities that were present there at the time.

November 6, 1998 -
Todd Haynes take on the early days of 70s glam rock in Britian, Velvet Goldmine, starring Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Toni Collette, Eddie Izzard, and Alastair Cumming, went into limited release in the US on this date.

The film was originally supposed to feature some of David Bowie's music, hence the title, which was a Bowie song from the 1970s; however, when Bowie learned that the script for the film was partially based on the unauthorized biographies, he threatened the producers with a lawsuit. Bowie's songs were, therefore, not used, and the script was partially re-written to avoid unnecessary resemblance between Bowie and the Bowie-style character Brian Slade.

November 6, 2003 -
Richard Curtis' romantic comedy, Love Actually, starring Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, and Rowan Atkinson premiered in the US on this date.

When casting the part of Sarah, Richard Curtis auditioned a great many British girls, but kept saying, "I want someone like Laura Linney..." The Casting Director eventually snapped and said, "Oh, for fuck's sake, get Laura Linney then." She then auditioned and got the part.

Word of the Day

Today in History (There will be a quiz at the end) -
November 6, 1860 -
US President Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to be elected President on this date. He beat out three other candidates and won 40 percent of the popular vote.

By the time he was inaugurated in March of 1861, however, seven states had seceded from the Union and had elected Jefferson Davis as their president. The American Civil War began about a month later.

November 6, 1893 -
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the greatest Russian composer of all time, was having the worst month in his life. Rumors of his homosexuality had become so well known that a coterie of his former classmates got together and forced him to drink cholera tainted (arsenic) water. Shortly after meeting with his 'old friends', Tchaikovsky suffered from acute diarrhea and stomach pains.

Tchaikovsky refused to call a doctor, and tried to carry on with his day, taking cod liver oil in an attempt to ease his stomach. Within days he was much worse, and a doctor diagnosed him with cholera. The mortality rate for cholera at that time was more than 40%, but he seemed to get better, then he would get worse again with more pains and cramps. Eventually his kidneys failed, a priest was called, and he died on this date.

The take away lesson from this is: avoid reunions with 'old friends'.

On November 6, 1911, Maine became a dry state on this date.

How a state with 3500 miles of shoreline could dry out in a single day is beyond me, but I can't always expect to understand the historical information I gather. It may just have been a really low tide.

November 6, 1917 -
Hey kids here another episode of the Wacky Russian Revolution:

For some reason, Lenin and Trotsky take control of Petrograd to direct the October Revolution (even though it's November in most of the world.)

On November 6, 1923, the price of a loaf of bread in Berlin was reported to be about 140 billion German marks.

And yet when we think of fine baking, we tend to think of France -

clearly, we have done the Germans a disservice.

November 6, 1989 -
Today is the Feast of St. Kitty, the patron saint of the victims of long draw out campaign battles (see Pat Nixon, the Methodist saint.)

Kitty Dukakis, wife of Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, was hospitalized after ingesting rubbing alcohol on this date.

With 88 days between the equinox on September 23 and the solstice on December 21, we are considered halfway through the relevant seasons

(Autumn or Fall in the northern hemisphere; Spring in the southern hemisphere) on this day.

While you are considering that, keep this in mind:

Make your plans, as you see fit.

Don't forget - No matter who you're going to vote for, even if it's a write-in candidate - go to the polls tomorrow.

Remember that voting is one of the only civic responsibilities you have as a citizen.

And so it goes


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