Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Kids, you should demand gifts on this date.

Today is the Feast of Saint Nicholas (yes, that St. Nick.)



Amongst other things, he is the patron saint of children and was known for his generosity. He's also known as the patron saint of sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, prostitutes (Huh), repentant thieves, pharmacists and broadcasters.



The biggest gift he ever gave was to a poor man and his three daughters. The man had no dowry to pay for his daughters and was worried that if they never married they would have no choice but to become prostitutes. Hearing this, Saint Nicholas visited the poor man at night and anonymously threw three purses filled with gold through his window. Because of this, he became the patron saint of pawnbrokers. Traditionally, three golden baubles are hung in the window of pawn shops to represent the three purses of money.

So now you know.


December 6, 1940 -
MGM released the 10th Marx Brothers film, Go West, on this date.



The elaborate chase climax was going to be deleted before filming because MGM execs thought it was too expensive.


December 6, 1964 -
One of the first neurotic holiday Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, premiered on this date



In the original TV version of the show, Rudolph, Hermey the elf and Yukon Cornelius visit the Island of Misfit Toys and promise to help them, but the Misfits are never mentioned again. After it was shown, the producers were inundated with letters from children complaining that nothing had been done to help the Misfit Toys. In response, Rankin-Bass produced a new short scene at the end of the show in which Santa and his reindeer, led by Rudolph, land on the Island and pick up all the toys to find homes for them, which has ever since been the standard version of the show run during the holidays.


December 6, 1969
The group Steam hit No. 1 on the Billboard Charts with their song Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye on this date.



The song is commonly used at sporting events when the home team is about to win or an opposing player is removed from the game. It seems almost custom made for that purpose, with a stadium-ready chorus that is taunting but playful. The first major league stadium to put it in their regular rotation was the Chicago White Sox, whose organist, Nancy Faust, started playing it in 1977.


December 6, 1990 -
Twentieth Century Fox production of Tim Burton's Edward Scisshorhands, starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest and Vincent Price (in his last role,) premiered in Los Angeles on this date.



Vincent Price's role was intended to be larger, but the veteran actor was very ill with emphysema and Parkinson's disease so his scenes were cut to a minimum.


December 6, 1991
Nicholas Meyer's contribution to the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, starring, well you know who was in it, premiered in the US on this date.



The film, Frankie and Johnny, was being filmed in the same studio, and required Al Pacino to have a surprised expression on his face after opening a door. Director Garry Marshall arranged for Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) be on the other side of the door that Pacino opened.


December 6, 2005
The more frank remake of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee and starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, premiered in NYC on this date.



When asked if he had any fears about playing a gay man, Heath Ledger replied that he was not afraid of the role, only that he wasn't mature enough to do it justice. According to those on the set, Heath Ledger nearly broke co-star Jake Gyllenhaal's nose while filming a kissing scene.


Today's Holiday Special has a lot going on


Today in History:
December 6, 1768 -
The first edition of the Encyclop√¶dia Britannica (Latin for “British Encyclopaedia”) is published under the title “Encyclopedia Britannica, or, A dictionary of arts and sciences, compiled upon a new plan.”



The series will eventually become the oldest continuously published English-language encyclopedia. The first edition is published in one hundred installments, which will later be bound into three volumes.


December 6, 1877 -
Thomas Edison records his own recitation of “Mary had a Little Lamb” onto a cylinder wrapped with tin foil using his newly completed prototype hand-cranked phonograph at his Menlo Park Laboratory.



For all intents and purposes, it is the first recording of a human voice. (The clip is from a re-recording in 1927.  The original 1877 recording was not saved and no longer exists.)


December 6, 1896 -
Ira Gershwin, lyricist (and major writer of the American Song Book) was born on this date.

The Man That Got Away -




But Not for Me -




I Got Rhythm -




Someone to Watch Over Me -



If you're of an age, it part of the music you hear in your head as you walk down the street.


December 6, 1917 -
On the morning of December 6, the munitions ship Mont Blanc explodes in Halifax harbor after being struck by another ship, the Norwegian ship Imo.



It is the largest explosion before the atomic age. The ship was carrying 200 tons of TNT, 61 tons of gun cotton, 35 tons of Benzyl, and 2,300 tons of picric acid; the explosion destroys 325 acres of the city, leaving 1,900 people dead and injuring over 9,000.



A nicer remembrance of the days tragic events is the official Boston Christmas tree, which sits in Boston Common.  The tree is a gift from the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has been sent every year since the 1970s. It is in recognition of the swift and sustained relief effort the people of Boston put together to aid Halifax after the explosion. (Not to look a gifted horse in the mouth but many Nova Scotians might be surprised that according to an investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the province’s taxpayers footed a $179,000 bill for cutting, shipping, and surrounding last year’s tree with plenty of holiday pomp and circumstance.  Before everyone calls for an investigation, the amount of positive international press Nova Scotia gets for its very generous gift is priceless.)


December 6, 1955 -
N.Y. psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers won the top prize on the TV quiz show The $64,000 Question by correctly answering questions on boxing .



Dr. Joyce Brothers is the only person to win both The $64,000 Question and The $64,000 Challenge.


December 6, 1957
A Vanguard rocket (TV3) carrying the first US satellite blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on this date.



It rose about four feet and collapsed. Its fuel tanks rupture as it fell against its firing structure, and the rocket topples to the ground on the northeast, ocean side of the structure in a roaring, rolling ball of flame.  It wasn't a good day at NASA.


December 6, 1960 -
Domino's Pizza was founded by Thomas S. Monaghan on this date.



And the pizza still sucks.


December 6, 1969 -
A concert by the Rolling Stones at Altamont ends in the death of a fan at the hands of the Hells Angels, who were hired for security. He was a fat hippie anyway. (Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name...)



(Contrary to a popular urban legend, Sympathy for the Devil was not playing while Meredith Hunter was being stabbed, rather, the song was Under My Thumb.)

And Mr. Hunter was not a fat hippie but an African American with a gun.)


December 6, 1973 -
House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the first unelected Vice President, succeeding US Vice President Spiro T. Agnew (under President Richard M. Nixon.)



Agnew, the only VP to resign in disgrace, resigned on October 10, and pleaded no contest to one charge of income tax invasion in return for the dropping of all other charges, and was fined $10,000 and given three year's probation .


December 6, 1989 -
Andy, Opie, make Aunt Bee another Rum Toddy.

Frances Bavier - "Aunt Bee" on The Andy Griffith show died of heart failure on this date.

Suffering from advance stages of senility, Ms. Bavier became convinced that she was "Aunt Bee" towards the end of her life.


December 6, 2002
Winona Ryder whose six-day shoplifting trial drew national attention and stirred tabloid frenzy, was found guilty on November 7, 2002, of grand theft and vandalism in a New York City courtroom.

She was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 480 hours of community service after stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills, California. She also paid restitution and a fine.



And so it goes.


1145


Before you go -
I haven't posted anything from Mylo the Cat in a long time; he just posted a great mash-up of Cookie Monster rapping along to Woo Hah!! by Busta Rhymes.



all this and Ian McKellen, too.



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