April 23, 1896 -
Thomas Edison presented the first publically-projected Vitascope motion picture (with hand-tinting) in the US to a paying American audience on a screen, at Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York City (at 34th Street and Broadway), with his latest invention - the projecting kinetoscope or Vitascope.
Customers watched the Edison Company's Vitascope project a ballet sequence in an amusement arcade during a vaudeville act.
April 23, 1931 -
William A. Wellman pre-code crime drama masterpiece, the Public Enemy, James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Mae Clarke, Edward Woods, Donald Cook, and Joan Blondell premiered in the NYC on this date.
Because of the famous grapefruit scene, for years afterward when dining in restaurants, fellow patrons would send grapefruit to James Cagney, which--almost invariably--Cagney would happily eat.
April 23, 1947 -
Carol Reed's IRA drama Odd Man Out starring James Mason, Robert Newton, and Cyril Cusack premiered in the US on this date.
James Mason called this his best performance of his career, and his favorite Carol Reed film.
April 23, 1958 -
Orson Welles' noir thriller Touch of Evil, starring Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh, was released on this date.
Orson Welles initially despised the title Touch of Evil, having had nothing to do with its conception. Over the years, however, he grew to like it, and eventually considered it the best title out of all his films.
April 23, 1977 -
Please get ready to shake your groove thang - Thelma Houston's remake of the song, Don’t Leave Me This Way reached no.1 on the Billboard charts on this date.
This song was originally recorded by Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes with a soulful lead vocal by Teddy Pendergrass. Released on their 1975 album Wake Up Everybody, it wasn't issued as a single in America.
April 23, 1988 -
... And I am not frightened of dying. Any time will do, I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it – you've got to go sometime....
Pink Floyd's album Dark Side Of The Moon, after spending the record total of 741 consecutive weeks (over 14 years) on the Billboard 200, left the charts for its first time ever.
How did they ever make ends meet?
Word of the day
Today in History:
April 23, 303 -
St George, the future patron saint of England, literally lost his head when he annoyed the Emperor Diocletian so much that the emperor had him separated from his head.
According to legend, George, saved a Libyan king's daughter (Cleodolinda) from a fiery dragon. You'd think people would be more patient with a local dragon slayer.
William Shakespeare was born on this date in 1564 and wrote a lot of plays then died in the end—on April 23, 1616.
His accomplishments are all the more remarkable when you consider that he died on the same day he’d been born.
April 23, 1616 -
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra died the very same day as Shakespeare. Mr. Cervantes was a brilliant Spanish humorist, best known for his novel Don Quixote, in which an old man suffering from acute mental illness rides around the Spanish countryside hallucinating, then dies.
Sometimes that's all there is.
April 23, 1867 -
The Zoetrope was patented (#64,117) by William E. Lincoln of Providence, Rhode Island on this date. The device was the first animated picture machine.
It provided an animation sequence of pictures lining the inside wall of a shallow cylinder, with vertical slits between the images. By spinning the cylinder and looking through the slits, a repeating loop of a moving image could be viewed .
April 23, 1899 -
Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.
(This is some kind of trifecta for writers.) Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, writer and avid butterfly collector, was born in Saint Petersburg on this date. His work included Lolita, Pnin and Pale Fire.
April 23, 1936 -
I've really learned a lot, really learned a lot, love is like a stove, burns you when it's hot.
Roy Orbison, the coolest singer in sunglasses,was born on this date. ( Luxuriate in the voluptuousness of despair.)
April 23, 1940 -
A fire broke out in the Rhythm Night Club in Natchez, Mississippi on this date. More than 200 people died, making it one of the worst fires in US history at the time.
News of the tragedy reverberated throughout the country, especially among the African American community, and blues performers have recorded memorial songs such as The Natchez Burning and The Mighty Fire ever since.
April 23, 1967 -
The USSR launched Soyuz One on this date.
The next day, forced to return to earth, cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first casualty of space flight when his capsule's parachute opened improperly.
April 23, 2005 -
The first video uploaded to YouTube, entitled Me at the zoo, made its online debut on this date. The 19-second video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky and shows YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo.
It racked up 19 million views in its first ten years online. It currently has over 48 million views.
And so it goes