Thursday, July 5, 2018

We seem to be back on track

(Big shout out to the two Verizon technicians who came out, in the heat yesterday, working more than two hours in my building's basement and getting us back into the 21st Century.

If the internet hadn't come back any sooner, I thought for a moment, SOS and Godzilla were going to organize a prison riot.)

Hope you all had a great time last night and all got home safely from where ever you were celebrating.

But remember don't try to light any unexploded fireworks you might find along the road; you don't know where it's been and you don't know what you could pick up.

July 5, 1954 -
Elvis Presley recorded his first commercial song, That’s All Right (Mama) on this date.  The song, which hadn't been rehearsed by Elvis, was recorded at Sun Records by Sam Phillips (who is commonly credited for discovering him.)

The following evening, Blue Moon of Kentucky was recorded as the B side. That’s All Right (Mama) was played on Memphis, Tennessee's own WHBQ radio program Red, Hot and Blue just two days after it was recorded and became Elvis' first hit.

You know what to do.

July 5, 1956 -
MGM released boxer Rocky Grazaiano's film biography, Somebody Up There Likes Me, starring Paul Newman and Pier Angeli on this date.

Eileen Heckart who plays Rocky Graciano's mother was only sic years older than Paul Newman. She was born in 1919 and he, in 1925.

It's the 20th anniversary of the Rev. J. R. "Bob" Dobbs pronouncement that the world would be destroyed by invading alien armies known as the X-ists on July 5, 1998.

Although the world did not end in 1998 (unless this is an elaborate alternate universe), 20 years on, the pipe and the slacks of Bob still comfort me.

July 5, 1989 -
The pilot for Seinfeld, called The Seinfeld Chronicles (Good News, Bad News) aired on NBC on this date.

Jason Alexander had to audition twice for the part of George. He was up against actors Nathan Lane, David Alan Grier, Steve Buscemi, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ (who does not appear in the episodes) husband, Brad Hall.

Everyone's gone to the movies

Today in History:
July 5, 1794
Sylvester Graham was born in Suffield, Connecticut, on this date. He was ordained in 1826 as a Presbyterian minister. He was an early advocate of dietary reform in United States most notable for his emphasis on vegetarianism, and the temperance movement, as well as sexual and dietary habits.

Graham believed that a firm, crusty bread made of coarsely ground whole-wheat flour was more nutritious and healthy. He correctly argued that chemical additives in bread that make it whiter in color and more commercially appealing also made it unwholesome.

Graham was also inspired by the temperance movement and preached that a vegetarian diet was a cure for alcoholism, and, more importantly, sexual urges. The main thrust of his teachings was to curb lust. While alcohol had useful medicinal qualities, it should never be abused by social drinking. For Graham, an unhealthy diet stimulated excessive sexual desire which irritated the body and caused disease. While Graham developed a significant following known as Grahamites, known for stuffing Graham crackers in their mouths when the urge came over them (as opposed to Sodomites known for stuffing ... oh never mind.) He was also ridiculed by the media and the public for his unwavering zealotry.

According to newspaper records, many women fainted at his lectures when he aired opinions both on sexual relations and the wearing of corsets. Whether their fainting was due to the subject matter or the tight corsets they wore is still debated.

July 5, 1801 -
Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, born on this date, was the first senior officer of the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and full admiral of the Navy. He is remembered in popular culture for his possibly apocryphal order at the Battle of Mobile Bay, usually paraphrased: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!".

If you have the time go out and see him, he's in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York. (I guess that's only convenient if you're near the Bronx.)

If you're not in the Bronx,

you can check out his Memorial statue in Madison Square Park in Manhattan.

July 5, 1865 -
Booth led boldly with his big bass drum - (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

The Salvation Army began with the efforts of two founders, William Booth and Catherine Booth, to bring salvation to the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and the destitute. On this date, William Booth established The Christian Mission in London, England, which would later be called as The Salvation Army in 1878. The name was changed to The Salvation Army (apparently by the request of an initial member; the Christian Mission's mission-statement originally called the organization a 'volunteer army', and the speaker felt that he wasn't strictly a 'volunteer') and a quasi-military outlook was adopted.

When William Booth became known as the General, Catherine was known as the “Mother of The Salvation Army.” William preached to the poor, and Catherine spoke to the wealthy, gaining financial support for their demanding work. She also ministered, which was a revolutionary act at the time. From the beginning it was already clearly stated in the Foundation Deed of the Christian Mission, that women had the same rights to preach as men. Together the Booths worked tirelessly to help others and brought a spiritual and practical message of rejuvenation. As William said, “The three ‘S's’ best expressed the way in which the Army administered to the 'down and outs': first, soup; second, soap; and finally, salvation".

The memorable "Spam" was rebranded on July 5, 1937,  when the product, whose original name was far less memorable (Hormel Spiced Ham), began to lose market share. The name was chosen from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name Spam was "Shoulder of Pork and hAM". According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam – The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president. At one time, the official explanation may have been that the name was a syllabic abbreviation of "SPiced hAM", but on their official website, Hormel denies this and states that "SPAM is just that. SPAM." The fact that the originator was given a $100 prize for coming up with the name, however, still appears on the site's SPAM FAQs.

Other varieties of Spam include Spam Less Sodium, Spam Garlic, Spam and Cheese, Spam with Bacon (Hormel bacon), Spam Spread, Spam Lite (containing pork and chicken), Spam Golden Honey Grail, Spam Hot and Spicy (with Tabasco sauce), Spam Hickory Smoked and Spam Oven Roasted Turkey - the latter is a halal food, meaning that it is allowed under Islamic law, and is especially popular in Muslim markets.

July 5, 1942 -
Psst, do you want to know a secret?

Ian Fleming graduated from a training school for spies in Canada on this date.

But you didn't hear it from me.

July 5, 1946 -
The bikini bathing suit, was created by Louis Réard, a French automotive engineer who was running his mother's lingerie business, made its debut during a fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris on this date.

A famous nude dancer, Micheline Bernardin, modeled the two-piece outfit at the show.

Réard, hoping to capitalize on the notoriety, named his new two-piece, atom-sized swimsuit after the Bikini Atoll Island Nuclear test site.

July 5, 1958 -
Often it takes some calamity to make us live in the present. Then suddenly we wake up and see all the mistakes we have made..

Bill Watterson, cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes cartoon series, was born on this date.

July 5, 1975 -
31-year-old Arthur Ashe beat 22-year-old Jimmy Conners in four sets at Wimbledon on this date, winning the fourth set 6-4. With his win, Arthur Ashe became the first African-American to win the tennis singles title.

Ashe won 51 tournaments in his career, and the US Open home court was named after him in 1997.

And so it goes

Happy Birthday Augie Iannuzzi wherever you are!


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