February 12, 1294 -
... Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Kublai Khan, the conqueror of Asia, died at the age of 80.
February 12, 1924 -
George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York on this date.
It has become one of the most popular American concert works.
On this day in 1940, Superman appeared on a radio station (a Mutual Radio station WOR in New York City) for the first time, the first time in a non-print medium. It was the debut of the radio show called The Adventures of Superman and the episode was called "The Baby From Krypton."
We don't get to hear Superman speak though until the second episode: "Clark Kent, Reporter" (February 14, 1940.)
February 12, 1943 -
Much of the cast of Citizen Kane/ The Magnificent Ambersons was reunited for the Action/ Thriller, Journey Into Fear, directed by Norman Foster and starring Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio, Ruth Warrick, Agnes Moorehead, and Orson Welles, opened in NYC on this date.
It is widely believed that Orson Welles directed this film, or at least large portions of it. However, in "This Is Orson Welles", he states he only acted in it and the directing credit should go to Norman Foster.
February 12, 1955 -
Another in the series of Westerns director Anthony Mann collaborated with Jimmy Stewart, The Far Country, opened in NYC on this date.
James Stewart often said that his horse, Pie, a sorrel stallion was, "One of the best co-stars I ever had." Pie appeared as Stewart's horse in seventeen Westerns, and James developed a strong personal bond with the horse.
February 12, 1972 -
The Rev. Al Green's song, Let's Stay Together, hit no. 1 on this date.
You do not have to place your hands upon the screen when listening to the good reverend; just hearing his voice will send the healing power directly to your nether regions.
Word of the Day
Today In History:
On February 12, 1554, The sixteen year old Lady Jane Grey, puppet Queen of England for nine days, was beheaded in the Tower of London, on this date.
Questions arose as to where to bury this semi-queen, until it was decided to place her among the beheaded former wives of Henry VIII.
Adolf Frederick was King of Sweden until he died of digestion problems on February 12, 1771 after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sour cabbage, smoked herring and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favorite dessert: semla (a hot cross bun filled with cream) served in a bowl of hot milk.
He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as the king who ate himself to death.
Kids remember - push away from the dessert tray.
February 12, 1789 -
Ethan Allen died in a drunken sleigh accident while crossing the frozen Lake Champlain, reminiscing with friends and rye. Much of the circumstance remains a mystery.
Immanuel Kant, a real pissant, died on February 12, 1804. His last words were reportedly "It is good."
This is hard to believe, since Kant did not speak English.
It's the 209th birthday of both Abraham Lincoln, a man with only a years' worth of formal education and still became our 16th President
and Charles Darwin, the man who tried to ride a dog to the tropics and the uncle of most monkeys.
Go try preserving a union and question people's fundamental religious beliefs in their honor.
On February 12, 1894, Hans von Bulow died, (yes, Klaus is related to him).
Emperor Pu Yi of China's Manchu dynasty abdicated on February 12, 1912, allowing the establishment of a provisional republic under Sun Yat-sen, eventually causing Red China.
And the making of a fine movie.
February 12, 1912 -
With pilot Frank Coffyn flying the plane, American Press Association photographer Adrien C. Duff, shot the first ever film of New York City from overhead on this date
By doing so, this made Duff the very first airplane passenger over New York Harbor. Mr Duff spent the next 10 years getting a full body cavity search from the TSA.
February 12, 1935 -
The 785-foot USS Macon, the last US Navy dirigible (ZRS-5), crashed on its 55th flight off the coast of California. After takeoff from Point Sur, California, a gust of wind tore off the ship's upper fin, deflating its gas cells and causing the ship to fall into the sea. Two of Macon 's 83 crewmen died in the accident.
The U.S. Navy lost the airships Shenandoah in 1925 and Akron in 1933. Some considered airships too dangerous for the program to continue at that point, and work on them in the United States was halted temporarily.
February 12, 1967 -
Police in London arrest Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull on this date, after they discover amphetamine pills, cannabis resin, and Marianne scandalously naked but for a fur rug. (There has been rumors for years that either Paul McCarthy or George Harrison were at the party and were allowed to leave before the arrest were made - they were MBE's and it would have been awkward to arrest them at the time.)
Questions still persist - where exactly was that Mars Bar anyway?
February 12, 1976 -
Sal Mineo, film and theater actor, was stabbed to death in Los Angeles while coming home from a play rehearsal on this date.
A pizza deliveryman, Lionel Ray Williams, was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 57 years in prison for killing Mineo and for committing 10 robberies in the same area.
February 12, 2004 -
After 43 years together, Barbie and Ken, shocked the nation when they announced that they were breaking up on this date.
The couple had met on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961.
Don't worry, those crazy kids have patched things up and they're still going strong.
And so it goes.