Monday, April 22, 2024

The Earth is what we all have in common.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.

Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.

Happy Earth Day!

Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

So perhaps you're ready to brave to great outdoors, with or withour your mask and hug a tree.

If you don't want to be this familiar with nature, give a deep bow to your house plants.

April 22, 1939 -
Warner Bros. released the film, Dark Victory, starring Bette Davis (in one of her favorite roles) and George Brent (her favorite actor with whom she had an affair) on this date.

Bette Davis pestered Warner Brothers to buy the rights to the story, thinking it a great vehicle for her. WB studio chief Jack L. Warner fought against it, arguing that no one wanted to see someone go blind. Of course, the film went on to become one of the studio's biggest successes of that year.

April 22, 1942 -
One of Hitchcock's brilliant World War II efforts (and with his first all-American cast), Saboteur, premiered in Washington D.C. on this date.

When the French liner, the S.S. Normandie burned and partially sank in New York City harbor, Alfred Hitchcock quickly dispatched a Universal newsreel crew to the scene to get footage that he incorporated into this movie, intercut with studio shots of the saboteur smiling from the back seat of a taxi as he looks out on the supposedly sabotaged ship.

April 22, 1953 -
Twentieth Century Fox releases the surrealistic science fiction film Invaders from Mars, directed by William Cameron Menzies on this date.

The genesis of this film was when the wife of writer John Tucker Battle woke him up one morning to recount a vivid and disturbing dream she had of Martians invading Earth. He had her tell him as much as she could recall, and he developed the rest of the story from there.

April 22, 1966 -
The Troggs' (who were originally called The Troglodytes) song, Wild Thing was released in the U.S. on this date.

The song went on to reach No.1. Fronted by Reg Presley, Wild Thing became a major influence on garage rock and punk rock.

April 22, 1974 -
Maude and Walter finally leave Tuckahoe, New York and moves to Washington D.C. when she was elected as a congresswoman during the last episode of Maude, Maude's Big Move, aired on CBS TV on this date.

The producers of Maude liked the idea of a show centered around a new Congressional representative (even though they had watched a D.C.-politics show called All's Fair from their studio barely make it through the 1976-77 season) and remade this show three times. The first was the pilot for Onward and Upward, starring John Amos as the Congressman. Amos, who had quit Good Times after its third season, quit this series before any new shows could be made. The next try was called Mr. Dugan (after a couple of name changes) and scheduled for a limited run in 1979 with Cleavon Little in the title role. For third try the producers moved the whole show to a college campus, Hanging In, added a fifth character named Rita (Darrian Matthias) as a wide-eyed student assistant. They also picked up Bill Macy in the lead role and filmed four shows. They aired on CBS-TV in August 1979 and sank into obscurity.

April 22, 1978 -
The Blues Brothers (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) make their debut on Saturday Night Live, on this date, later becoming the first characters from the show to get their own movie.

Steve Martin performs King Tut on the same Saturday Night Live episode, popularizing goofy Egyptian dancing.

The song, which portrays the pharaoh as his "favorite honky," goes on to sell over 500,000 copies.

Word of the Day

Today in History:
April 22, 1451 -
Isabella I, Queen of Castille, was born on this date. She also became the Queen of Aragon in 1479.

She was Christopher Columbus' patron, and must therefore share some of the responsibility for the many thousands of casinos across America.

April 22, 1500 -
Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral, on a voyage to India, sails far to the southwest and discovers Brazil, claiming it for Portugal. The indigenous people of the area may have had something to say about it but as historian Eddie Izzard has observed, "...they didn't have a flag."

The land was first visited earlier in the year by a Spaniard, Vicente Yanes Pinzon, but in his rush to get two-for-one Caipirinhas, he left his flag on-board ship and failed to claim it for Spain.

April 22, 1870 -
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was born on this date He later became Lenin, invented the Communist Party in Russia and made himself first Head Bastard of the Soviet Union.

It's interesting to note that Alexander Kerensky, the leader of Russia's provisional revolutionary government in 1917 until overthrown by Lenin, was born on the same day as Lenin, only eleven years later.

Well, it's interesting to some people.

April 22, 1886 -
Ohio passes a statute that makes seduction unlawful, on this date. Covering all men over the age of 18 who worked as teachers or instructors of women, this law even prohibited men from having consensual sex with women (of any age) whom they were instructing.

The penalty for disobeying this law ranged from two to 10 years in prison. So watch it, Bub!

April 22, 1904 -
Robert Oppenheimer was born on this date. Mr. Oppenheimer is known as the Father of the Atomic Bomb.

The bomb's mother has never been identified to anyone's satisfaction, which only underscores the lax security at Los Alamos.

April 22, 1923 -
I never kept up with the fashions. I believed in wearing what I thought looked good on me..

Bettie Mae Page was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on this date.

April 22, 1946 -
The rudest possible gift is a gift card. It means you think the person is stupid and has no interests. The only good gift card is Bitcoin. You practically have to be a hacker to know about it.

John Waters, film director, actor, raconteur, and the owner of the world's greatest pencil-thin mustache was born on this date.

April 22, 1950 -
Peter Frampton, musician, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, was born on this date.

If you were a teenager in the mid 70s, you were issued your standard copy of Frampton Comes Alive to face your 'awkward' years. (Mr. Frampton appears doing well these days and has continued his farewell tour.)

April 22, 1952 -
About 200 reporters from across the country gathered on a mound of volcanic rock on the edge of Yucca Lake in Nevada, on this date, to witness the detonation of a nuclear bomb, Operation Big Shot, once again, on United States soil.

Such tests had been in operation for more than a year, but for the first time, the press had been invited to record and broadcast the nuclear explosion.

April 22, 1964 -
President Johnson opened the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadow, Corona Park, New York, on this date.

The Fair also is remembered as the vehicle Walt Disney utilized to design and perfect the system of "audio-animatronics," in which a combination of sound and computers control the movement of life-like robots to act out scenes. In the It's a Small World attraction at the Pepsi pavilion, animated dolls and animals frolicked in a spirit of racially-insensitive unity on a boat-ride around the world.

Once the fair was over, Walt feverishly pushed his Imagineers to build him an 'actual' President. Historians argue that this was the beginning of Ronald Reagan campaign for the Presidency.

April 22, 1994 -
Richard M. Nixon suffered a fatal stroke on this date. His body was laid to rest in the unhallowed grounds of his Presidential Library.

His head was severed from his body and wooden stakes were driven through his heart to make sure he was dead.

Before you go: Passover starts tonight - please bone up on those four questions.

Remember you will not be graded on a curve!

While it's not as bad as not finding the missing easter egg, by all means, please find the Afikoman, (no one wants to accidentally eat a piece of exceptionally stale cracker.)

And so it goes.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

I'm tired

(Yesterday was a tough day. And I'm glad I'm the other side of it.)

April 21, 1930 -
Lewis Milestone's adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, starring Louis Wolheim, and Lew Ayres, premiered in Los Angeles on this date.

Lewis Milestone deliberately made the film without music so as not to take away from the seriousness of the subject. Much to his chagrin, however, some movie theaters added music in of their own choosing, as they weren't used to having films delivered to them without any form of background scoring.

April 21, 1951 -
Les Paul and Mary Ford topped the charts with their hit of the classic How High the Moon on this date.

Although it was written by lyricist Nancy Hamilton and composer Morgan Lewis for the 1940 musical Two For The Show, the definitive version of How High The Moon was recorded by the husband and wife team of Les Paul and Mary Ford. This recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1979.

April 21, 1974 -
Julie and Dick In Covent Garden, a music and comedy special starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, with Carl Reiner, premieres on ABC-TV on this date.

The program was directed by Blake Edwards, (Julie Andrews' husband). Edwards also directed Andrews in The Tamarind Seed that year.

April 21, 1975 -
Teenages everywhere have themselves a good cry when Eric Carmen's song, (a mash-up of his own song, Let's Pretend and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18,) All By Myself entered the charts on this date.

When he wrote this, Carmen thought the Rachmaninoff music was in the public domain, meaning he could use it free of charge. After this song came out, he found out it wasn't and agreed to a settlement with the Rachmaninoff estate.

April 21, 1979 -
Amii Stewart cover of Eddie Floyd's song Knock on Wood went no. #1 on the Billboard chart on this date.

It was the only hit for Stewart, who was also a dancer and actress - she starred in the Broadway musical Bubbling Brown Sugar.

April 21, 1981 -
Weird Al Yankovic made his first national television appearance on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder.

He never receives royalties from the single's initial release because the record company has gone bankrupt.

April 21, 1982 -
The DJs at WKRP spun their last platter when the final episode of the original WKRP in Cincinnati series, Up and Down the Dial aired on CBS TV on this date.

The show was famous for playing music of up-and-coming bands. Many artists have said that their music being on the show helped their popularity, including Blondie, U2, The Cars, TOTO, The Knack, and Devo. Blondie was so grateful for the show making their song, Heart of Glass, a hit that they gave their Gold Record to the producers. It's hanging in the WKRP bullpen in seasons 2 to 4.

April 21, 1986
Geraldo Rivera hosted a live, highly promoted two-hour syndicated special from the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault, on this date.

Internal Revenue Service agents and a medical examiner stood at the ready should any cash or corpse lay inside. When demolition crews finally made their way inside the only contents were a dirt pile and a bottle of bathtub gin. The hype generated a record rating of 57 with an estimated audience of 30,000,000. The term "Al Capone's Vault" has come to mean any over-hyped event that leads to nothing.

April 21, 1989 -
The film grown men openly wept watching - Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster, premiered on this date.

Burt Lancaster was unaware that Timothy Busfield was part of the cast and had him fetching water and chairs before realizing Busfield was going to be in the scene with him.

April 21, 1990 -
The day after all your 420 celebrations, the largest anti-drug PSA effort in history: the Saturday morning simulcast of Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue broadcast on the ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox networks respectively.

This monumental anti-drug (and, to a lesser extent, anti-alcohol) collaboration came at the apex of Nancy Reagan's "just say no!" era.

April 21, 1990 -
Sinead O'Connor's cover of Prince's Nothing Compares 2U, went to No 1 on the Billboard Charts, on this date.

The attention from the song hitting no. 1 had some deleterious effects on the singer. Sinead O'Connor claimed she hated the fame the song brought her, and she struggled with the commercialization of her music. Nothing Compares 2 U earned her a Grammy for Best Alternative Performance (it was also nominated for Record Of The Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Short Form Music Video) but she rejected the award along with all others offered to her, and refused to appear at the ceremony in protest of materialism in the music industry. O'Connor believed she was being honored for putting up impressive sales figures, not for her art. She wanted no part of it.

Prince wrote and recorded this song in 1984, but didn't release it. He did release a live version with Rosie Gaines on his 1993 album The Hits/The B-Sides, but his original solo recording didn't appear until 2018, when his estate released it from the vault. His version is guitar-based, with more of a rock feel. (Unfortunately, Prince was found dead at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57, on this date in 2016.)

Did you make it through Jimmy Scott's version without crying? Stronger people than you couldn't.

April 21, 1995 -
Buena Vista released the rom-com, While You Were Sleeping, starring Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle, Glynis Johns, and Jack Warden on this date.

The role of Lucy was written for Demi Moore. Sandra Bullock took the role, saying she could relate to it having just broken up from a four-year relationship.

April 21, 2005 -
Paul Haggis' film Crash starring Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, and Ryan Phillippe premiered at the Newport Beach International Film Festival on this date.

With only a budget of $6 million for this film, director Paul Haggis had to cut the costs by using his own house for scenes and even his own car for other scenes.

Another bookfrom the back shelves of The ACME Library

Today in History:
April 21, 753 BC -
Today is the traditional date of the foundation of Rome by Romulus and his brother, Remus, as a refuge for runaway slaves and murderers who captured the neighboring Sabine women for wives (they are hoping to finish building it any day now.)

But since the Gregorian Calendar was just a gleam in Pope Gregory eye - who knows. But by all means, please bring enough lubricant with you to the commemorative orgy tonight.

April 21, 1526 -
Mongol Emperor Zahir-ud-din Babur annihilated Indian Army of Ibrahim Lodi at the Battle of Panipat.

Babur, King of Kabul, established in this year the Mughal dynasty at Delhi. Also, Babur's guns proved decisive in battle, firstly because Ibrahim lacked any field artillery, as well as, the sound of the cannon frightened Ibrahim's elephants, causing them to trample his own men.

But what the hell do you care, you don't own elephants.

April 21,1792 -
Jose da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes, considered by many to be Brazil's George Washington, was having an extremely bad day. The Portuguese rulers of Brazil were not happy with his seditious talk of independence. Tiradentes was hung in Rio de Janeiro on this date. His body was broken into pieces.

With his blood, a document was written declaring his memory infamous. His head was exposed in Vila Rica. Pieces of his body were exposed in the cities between Vila Rica and Rio, in an attempt to scare the people who had listened to the independence ideas of Tiradentes.

He began to be considered a national hero by the republicans in the late 19th century, and after the republic was proclaimed in Brazil in 1889 the anniversary of his death (April 21) became a national holiday.

April 21, 1836 -
With the battle cry, 'Remember the Alamo!' Texan forces under Sam Houston defeated the army of Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, assuring Texas independence .

According to legend, Santa Anna was astride a mulatto, or "yellow" prostitute, Emily Morgan, who came to be celebrated in song as The Yellow Rose of Texas.

Now you know.

April 21, 1910 -
Halley's comet reappeared on this date. It had been last seen in 1835, the year Samuel Clemens was born.

The Earth passes safely through the comet's tail with no perceptible effect, of course, not counting the death of Mark Twain on this date. Twain wrote on his deathbed in Memorandum, "Death the only immortal who treats us all alike whose pity and whose peace and whose refuse are for all-the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved."

This time, the reports were not exaggerated.

April 21, 1918 -
German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as The Red Baron, was shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme in France on this date.

There is no truth to the rumor that Snoopy fired the fatal shot.

The following people were born on this day:
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor (1926),

James Newell Osterberg (1947),

Patti Ann LuPone (1949),

Anthony Salvatore Iadanza (1951),

and Robert Smith (1959)

Make of this coincidence what you will

April 21, 1932 -
As a woman, they think I want to show that I'm a nice person. I'm no one to be feared. When it comes down to it in the end, you're just as rotten as any guy. You'll fight just as hard to get your way..

Elaine May, one of the funniest human being who ever lived, was born on this date.

April 21, 1962 -
President John F. Kennedy took time out of his busy schedule, of engaging in sexual congress with starlets and interns, two, three at a time, to push a button in Palm Beach, Florida and officially open the Top of the Needle (the first revolving restaurant in the United States,) atop the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington on this date.

The President was so high on pain killers that he did not realize that he wasn't in Seattle at the time.

April 21, 1997 -
The ashes of Timothy Leary and Gene Roddenberry were launched into orbit (this marked the beginning of the space funeral industry,) on this date.

I guess this is the highest Dr. Leary will ever get.

April 21, 2003 -
Nina Simone, dubbed the high priestess of soul, died in France on this date.

Kids go out and buy one of her CD's, your life will be better for it.

And so it goes.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Put the needle on the record

Since 2007 (give or take a year), record stores on six continents are set to celebrate Record Store Day,

an annual event, held one Saturday (typically the third) every April and every Black Friday in November, in order to 'celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store'.

Click here to see which albums are being released exclusively for Record Store Day.

Bunkies, if you or your kid cut school or work today, once again, lock up the snacks. They may come home with a case of the munchies.

Be thankful though, they're not out celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Klara Hitler's bouncing baby little evil bastard named Adolf on this date in 1889, (smack them hard across the back of the head if they were thinking about it though.)

Or that you should be concerned if they were celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Columbine attack.

Perhaps you'll probably spent the better part of the day,if you're over 65 or have a compromised immune system, thinking about the FDA's recommendation to get another booster shot for COVID or RSV and contemplating the life of St. Agnes of Montepulciano on her feast day.

But what ever you do, celebrate responsible.

April 20, 1939 -
During the 1939 World's Fair, David Sarnoff, president of RCA, unveiled the first commercial publicly accessible television broadcast, on this date. In Flushing NY, Sarnoff proclaimed "Now we add sight to sound" and during the opening ceremonies of the fair on April 30th, FDR became the first president to ever be televised.

The speech is broadcast by RCA subsidiary NBC to two hundred televisions across the state of New York. It might have had a larger audience had more TV sets been available - at this time, there were only a few hundreds TV set in America. By the end of the year, a thousand receivers woull be sold in the U.S. Screens are initially only about five inches across.

April 20, 1976 -
George Harrison, who is good friends with Eric Idle, joined Monty Python on stage at the comedy troupe's show at New York's City Center, on this date. Dressed as a Canadian Mountie, Harrison joins the chorus for The Lumberjack Song. No mention is made of Harrison's appearance, and few in the audience recognize him.

The next night, Harry Nilsson shows up to perform the same feat, but with disastrous results, as he fell into the audience and broke his arm.

April 20, 1977 -
Annie Hall, at 93 minutes, the shortest color film to ever win the Best Picture Oscar, premiered on this date (Marty, in glorious B & W was 91 minutes.)

The house under the rollercoaster where Alvy grew up is actually the Kensington Hotel in Coney Island, Brooklyn which was located underneath the Thunderbolt rollercoaster. Allen discovered it while searching locations during filming. The hotel and rollercoaster were demolished in 2000.

April 20, 1981 -
ABC unceremoniously aired the final episode of Soap, leaving many of the plotlines unresolved.

Susan Harris, the creator of the series, went on to create The Golden Girls and Empty Nest, using many of the same actors who first appeared on Soap.

April 20, 1992 -
The life and music of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who died five months earlier following complications from AIDS, was celebrated in a star-studded concert, A Concert For Life, at London’s Wembley Stadium, on this date.

Organized by Mercury’s bandmates, the event not only featured an array of luminaries (including Elton John, David Bowie, Phil Collins, George Michael, and Metallica) but also raised funds for AIDS research, launching the Mercury Phoenix Trust.

April 20, 1993 -
Aerosmith releases their 11th studio album Get a Grip, on this date.

Get a Grip went on to sell more than seven million copies in the U.S. and 20 million copies worldwide, ensuring the album's place as Aerosmith's most successful studio album in terms of global sales.

April 20, 2002 -
An English dubbed version of the Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi,) premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival, on this date.

It was the first anime film to be nominated for (and win) an Academy Award. At 125 minutes, it also has the longest runtime of any other film nominated or winning in that category.

Don't forget to tune in to The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today

Today in History:
April 20, 1233 -
Pope Gregory IX placed the Inquisition, in existence since 1227, under the aegis of the Dominican Order on this date.

Torture is apparently sometimes necessary to save souls, and the office continues to exist today as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

And the congregation was once headed by ex-Pope (and ex- Nazi Youth), Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

April 20, 1841 -
Edgar Allen Poe’s story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, first appears in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine, on this date. The tale is generally considered to be the first detective story.

The story describes the extraordinary “analytical power” used by Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin to solve a series of murders in Paris. Like the later Sherlock Holmes stories, the tale is narrated by the detective’s roommate.

April 20, 1916 -
The Chicago Cubs played their first game at their new home at Weeghman Park (renamed Wrigley Field in 1926 after William Wrigley bought controlling interest in the Cubs), between themselves and the Cincinnati Reds, on this date.

The Cubs besting the Reds 7–6 in eleven innings. This proved to be the highlight of an otherwise unremarkable season. (And you are saying to yourself, "What's new about that!"

April 20, 1940 -
Vladimir Zworykin, better known as a co-inventor of television, demonstrates the first electron microscope for RCA on this date.

The company was among the first to develop the electron microscope, which remains widely used in many forms of scientific research today.

April 20, 1964 -
The first transcontinental picturephone call is made between the Bell System exhibit at the World’s Fair in New York City and Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The device consists of a telephone handset and a small monitor. The system allows users to see each other as a fuzzy video image as they talk.

A three-minute call between the special booths AT&T set up in Chicago, New York, and Washington cost between $16 and $27. The system will be offered commercially in Chicago, but it will never become popular.

April 20, 1979 -
President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a Killer Swamp Rabbit, while on vacation in Plains GA on this date. The rabbit swam menacingly towards him, and he had to repel the ferocious creature with a paddle. There were no injuries.

Press Secretary Jody Powell leaked the story to the press, and the White House had a lot of explaining to do.

April 20, 1992 -
Alone in his apartment watching TV, British comedic legend Benny Hill suffered a fatal heart attack on this date.

His bloated toupee-less body with his underwear around his ankles was found days later.

Sorry but I guess there's nothing funny about that.

April 20, 2010 -
While drilling at the Macondo Prospect, there was an explosion on the rig, Deepwater Horizon, caused by a blowout which killed 11 crewmen and ignited a fireball visible from 35 miles away. The resulting fire could not be extinguished, and, on this date, Deepwater Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the sea floor and causing the largest offshore oil spill in United States history.

BP announced on April 18, 2012 that it has reached a class-action settlement with attorneys representing thousands of businesses and individuals who made claims after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As late as January of 2014, BP was still attempting not to pay claims made against them in the suit. The court has rejected BP attempts.

BP originally projected that its settlement costs would be $7.8 billion. A federal judge approved a $20 billion settlement to end years of litigation. The settlement will be paid over 16 years.

April 20, 2008 -
26-year-old Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Montegi in Montegi, Japan, making her the first female winner in IndyCar racing history.

She finished the 200-lap race 5.8594 seconds ahead of Helio Castroneves, then a two-time Indy 500 champ. At the 2009 Indy 500, Patrick came in third behind winner Castroneves and second-place finisher Dan Wheldon. Patrick retired from IndyCar after the 2011 season and fully retired from racing in 2018.

And so it goes.