Tuesday, May 15, 2018

C is for Cookie

Today is National Chocolate Chip Day. It should always be National Chocolate Chip Day - Celebrate the day by enjoying the sweet morsels in every bite of a chocolate chip cookie.

Go out and eat some raw cookie dough to celebrate (I still pretty sure that they've licked the whole salmonella poisoning thing - so all you'll just be filled with shame and raw cookie dough.)

May 15, 1928 -
Plane Crazy was the first animated cartoon to feature Mickey Mouse as well as Minnie Mouse (Mickey's girlfriend). The short was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.

Iwerks was also the main animator for this short and reportedly spent six weeks working on it. Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising were credited for assisting him; these two had already signed their contracts with Charles Mintz, but he was still in the process of forming his new studio and so for the time being they were still employed by Disney.

The cartoon was pretty much produced in secret, as Walt Disney was still contracted to the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit series for Universal.

May 15, 1953 -
Another Luchino Visconti neorealism classic, Bellassima, starring Anna Magnani opened in New York City on this date.

In the final scene of the film, Anna Magnani hears the film playing outside her room and remarks that she hears Burt Lancaster. Magnani would win an Oscar four years later for The Rose Tattoo, in which she would costar with Lancaster.

May 15, 1958 -
Vincente Minnelli's
lush valentine to La Belle Époque era, Gigi premiered in NYC on this date. (Just try not thinking the whole teen-age prostitution angle of the film and you'll enjoy it.)

From 1954-56, Arthur Freed had to battle the Hays Code in order to bring Colette's tale of a courtesan-in-training to the cinema. He eventually convinced the film industry's Code Office to view the story as condemning rather than glorifying a system of mistresses.

Today's moment of Zen

Today in History:
May 15, 1886 -
Emily Dickinson
finally heard the buzzing of that damn fly and gave up the ghost on this date.

Miss Dickinson died in Amherst, Mass. in the same house, where she had lived in seclusion for the previous 24 years.

This day is little remembered and yet of great import. It was on May 15, 1916, that Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and François Georges-Picot of France, with Russia's assent, confirmed their agreement to carve up the tottering Ottoman Empire between them.

Most of the mess that was the 20th Century can be traced back to the accord. In brief, here are some of the some of the issues these knuckleheads were trying to sort out -

Russia vs Turkey vs Greece over Constantinople, the Straits and Thrace

France vs the Arabs vs Turkey over Syria

Britain vs France vs the Arabs vs the Zionists over Palestine

Greece vs Turkey vs Italy over Smyrna and southwest Asia Minor

Britain vs France vs the Arabs vs Turkey over Kurdish northern Iraq

France vs Turkey over southeastern Asia Minor and Alexandretta
Russia vs Turkey over Armenia and the southeast Black Sea coast

America, for once, had no dog in this fight.

May 15, 1918 -
The US Post Office Department (later renamed the USPS) begins the first regular airmail service in the world (between New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.).

Of course this new service was a rousing success - the plane got lost and the mail finally had to be sent via train days later.

The Postal Service had already begun running in the red and it has not improved much since then

May 15, 1930 -
Ellen Church, a young nurse from San Francisco, became one of the first airplane stewardess on this day. She was actually certified as a pilot, but she and seven other nurses began flying on a US Airways flight from Oakland, California, to Chicago, Illinois.  Miss Church was on the job for 18 months.

Early stewardesses did much more than pass out drinks though — they also acted as luggage loaders, made small repairs to the plane, and even helped push the plane back into the hangar at the end of flights.

In December 1942, she took to the air again -- this time as a captain in the Army Nurse Corps, Air Evacuation Service. For distinguished work in North Africa, Sicily, England and France, she was presented with the Air Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with seven bronze service stars, the American Theatre Campaign Medal, and the Victory Medal.

May 15, 1942 -
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation, that when into effect on this date, establishing the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.

The act, signed into law some five months after the United States entered World War II, created a voluntary enrollment program for up to 150,000 women to join the war effort in noncombat roles.

May 15, 1960 -
The Soviet Union launches Sputnik IV, a three-ton spacecraft containing a "dummy cosmonaut,"  (There is a consistent rumor that there was an actual cosmonaut on-board but the Soviets have denied this.) The mission goes fine until they attempt to retrofire.

A bug in the guidance system had pointed the capsule in the wrong direction, so instead of dropping into the atmosphere the satellite moves into a higher orbit.

May 15, 1972 -
On February 16, 1972, Arthur Bremer quit his job as a janitor. Two weeks later, he began his diary on March 1 with the words, "It is my personal plan to assassinate by pistol either Richard Nixon or George Wallace". His purpose was "to do SOMETHING BOLD AND DRAMATIC, FORCEFUL & DYNAMIC, A STATEMENT of my manhood for the world to see".

In his haste, the gunman forgets to yell his carefully-chosen catchphrase, "Penny for your thoughts!"  And when Gov. George Wallace survived the assassination attempt, albeit confined to a wheelchair, Bremer's name was soon forgotten.

And on a personal note -
Happy Birthday Michael.

And so it goes


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