Sunday, September 23, 2018

Get out there and enjoy the day

Today is the first full day of Autumn (some call it Fall.)

Take advantage of the day (there are only 99 more of the left this year.)


September 23, 1944 -
Frank Capra's
screwball comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace finally gets it US general release on this date. The film was based on a hit play and had to wait to be released until after it Broadway run had ended.



On stage, Boris Karloff played the monstrous Jonathan Brewster, Raymond Massey's film character, who, in eerie-looking screen makeup, resembled Karloff, which was a running gag throughout the picture. Karloff eagerly wanted to do this film, but he was kept under contract by the Broadway play producers and was not allowed to do the picture, to his immense displeasure.


September 23, 1962 -
The Jetsons
debuted on ABC-TV's Sunday night's prime time lineup on this date. It was the network's first program ever to be broadcast in color.



The Seattle (WA) Space Needle inspired the "skypad" apartment buildings on the show whose stilts grew or shrunk, depending on the sun or rain.

The Jetsons' phone number is VENUS-1234


September 23, 1967 -
The Letter by Box Tops topped the charts on this date.



When the group recorded this they still did not have a name. One band member suggested, "Let's have a contest and everybody can send in 50 cents and a box top." Producer Dan Penn then dubbed them The Box Tops.


September 23, 1968 -
Lucille Ball's
third TV series, Here's Lucy premiered on this date.



The show came about because of a business transaction. In 1968, The Lucy Show had been running for six seasons, and the ratings remained solid. Lucille Ball sold the Desilu studio that year. So, in order to retain ownership of her series, she ceased production on The Lucy Show, and created this show. The new series had a slightly different plot, and new character names (plus roles for Lucy's kids), but continued with the same cast and timeslot.


September 23, 1969 -
Marcus Welby MD
, starring the not terribly sober Robert Young, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



The exterior of Dr. Welby's office was the same building used as the Cleaver family home on Leave It to Beaver with only Welby's shingle as the new addition to the set.


September 23, 1970
-
The only American film Akira Kurosawa almost directed, Tora! Tora! Tora!, was released on this date. Akira Kurosawa agreed to direct the Japanese part of the film only because he was told that David Lean was to direct the American part. This was a lie, David Lean was never part of the project. When Kurosawa found out about this, he tried to get himself fired from the production - and succeeded.



The thirty plus Japanese airplanes flown in the movie were all converted American trainers. No genuine Japanese warbirds were to be found in flying condition at the time. Instead, several American planes had to be rebuilt at a cost of about thirty thousand dollars each. They were later sold at auction for fifteen hundred dollars or so apiece, and most of them are still flying in private hands.


September 23, 1990 -
Ken Burns'
powerful 11 hour miniseries The Civil War premiered on PBS on this date.



Shelby Foote became a sudden celebrity after the success of this series. Foote's phone number was listed in his local phone book and he received frequent calls from fans. He never removed his number from the phone book and received calls whenever the series aired for the rest of his life.


September 23, 1992
-
NBC first introduced us to Paul and Jamie Buchman (and Murray) when Mad About You first premiered on this date.



Paul and Jamie met at a newsstand both looking for the Sunday edition of The New York Times.


September 23, 2009 -
ABC-TV first introduced us to Jay Pritchett, his children and their families when the mockumentary Modern Family first premiered on this date.



While still living in her native Colombia, SofĂ­a Vergara used to watch the Spanish-dubbed version of Married with Children featuring her co-star-to-be Ed O'Neill. After she landed the role as Ed's wife Gloria on Modern Family, she was disappointed to learn that Ed spoke no Spanish.


Maybe I've read this book (with a different title.)


Today in History:
September 23, 480 BC
-
It's the birthday of the Greek poet Euripides, born near Athens on this date.

Euripides has the greatest number of plays that have survived for the modern reader -19 of them—including Medea.

Remember Euripides jean, you pay for them.


September 23, 63 BC -
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Augustus Caesar) was born on this day. The first real Roman Emperor, Caesar introduced the famous Pax Romana. This was a political policy which stated that any country which did not object to being conquered by Rome would be conquered by Rome.



Countries not wishing to be conquered by Rome stood in violation of this policy, and were therefore invaded until they agreed to be conquered. This ensured peace throughout the world.


September 23, 1779 -
During the Revolutionary War, while on break from Led Zeppelin, the American navy under Scotsman John Paul Jones (Robert Stack), commanding from Bonhomme Richard, defeated and captured the British man-of-war Serapis on this date. Jones, chose to name the ship after Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard’s Almanac.



Fierce fighting ensued, and when Richard began to sink, Serapis commander Richard Pearson called over to ask if Richard would surrender and Jones responded, "I have not yet begun to fight!"--a response that would become a slogan of the U.S. Navy. Pearson surrendered and Jones took control of Serapis. Imagine the amount of rum consumed (it was an American Ship - I'm sure there was no sodomy!)

The Bonhomme Richard sank two days after the battle.


September 23, 1939 -
Sigmund Freud was not having a good day. He had been suffering from the late stages of cancer of the jaw when he decided to commit suicide with the help of his personal physician, Max Schur on this date.



The good doctor administered 21 mg of morphine -- a lethal dose, in three large doses in the space of several hours. Sometimes 21 mg of morphine is just 21 mg of death.


September 23, 1949 -
Happy Birthday Bruce!







If you are of a certain age, at one point, Bruce meant everything to you.


September 23, 1950
-
Congress passes the McCarran Act,  also known as The Internal Security Act of 1950, overriding Harry Truman's veto. The act provides for severe restrictions on civil liberties, suspension of free speech, and placing of undesirable Americans in concentration camps.



Much of the Act has been repealed, but some portions remain intact.

So watch it, bub.


Today we commemorate some of the greatest political pooches our country has ever known. On September 23, 1952, responding to accusations that he diverted $18,000 in contributions into his pocket, Senator Richard M. Nixon rescues his candidacy for Vice President by insisting that he had never accepted any money.



Although Nixon does admit he accepted a cocker spaniel named Checkers for his daughter Tricia. The televised monologue rescues his political career.

Little is know about this political operative, Checkers. Recently unclassified FBI documents reveal that Checkers advised Nixon not to shave just prior to his famous televised debate with Kennedy. Checkers was also recorded on his deathbed in late '68 advising Nixon's men about creating a list of enemies of the future President.


September 23, 1969
-
An article in the Northern Illinois University student newspaper propagated the rumor that Paul is dead.

And if you play I'm so Tired  from the White Album (and smoke an enormous amount of dope,) you hear Paul McCartney Is Dead.



And so it goes


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Saturday, September 22, 2018

... why does it seem so inviting? ...

Today is the first day of Autumn.



By happy coincidence, it's also the first day of Fall.



Many people in the northern hemisphere are disturbed by the changes they see around them at about this time each year. It gets darker earlier, temperatures drop, leaves change color and die and the Red Sox tend to drop out of playoff contention.

There have been myths about the changing of the seasons as long as there have been children to lie to. Some primitive peoples believed that leaves changed color because Nature was pining for her abducted daughter; others blamed it on the seasonal absence of sunlight-fed chlorophyll, allowing xanthophyll, carotene, and antocyanin to determine leaf color. We may never know the truth.



The first day of Autumn is sometimes also referred to as the Autumnal Equinox (the autumnal equinox is when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south.) The autumnal equinox brings the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere on: September 22 at 9:54 PM ET. Don't be alarmed by the title. It's just Fall.



With courage and some heavy drinking, we can get through this thing.


September 22, 1957 -
The comedy-western series Maverick, premiered on ABC-TV on this date .



Producer Roy Huggins stated the writers' guiding principle for the Maverick series was his belief that, "In the traditional Western, the situation was always serious, but never hopeless. In a 'Maverick' story, the situation is always hopeless, but never serious."


September 22, 1958 -
The Private Eye series, Peter Gunn, starring Craig Stevens premiered on this date



The pianist who played the well known piano portion of the Peter Gunn Theme was future film composer John Williams.


September 22, 1964 -
Napoleon Solo
and Illya Kuryakin, who kept the world safe on The Man from U.N.C.L.E, made their first appearance on NBC-TV on this date.



U.N.C.L.E. stands for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. The meaning of the acronym THRUSH was never spelled out in the series, though a meaning was created for one of the UNCLE novels published at the time (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity).


September 22, 1990
-
The Coen Brothers' take on the classic gangsters film, Miller's Crossing,  premiered in NYC on this date.



The Coen Brothers reportedly turned down the 1989 version of Batman because it would have interfered with this film.


September 22, 1994 -
You could get a cup of coffee at Central Perk for the first time when Friends, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



During the first season of the show the main cast were paid $22,500 per episode, but during the second season, only Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer were given a pay raise, to $40,000 an episode. For the third season and onward, the cast decided to conduct all salary negotiations in unison to ensure equal pay, an unusual practice at the time. By the final two seasons the main cast were making $1 million per episode. Lisa Kudrow, who according to an Entertainment Weekly profile was "the group leader", stated, "The six of us are far stronger than just one person."


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


Today in History:
September 22, 1761
-
George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz were crowned King and Queen of the Great Britain. Which is funny because George was not British. He was German. He had been Elector of Hanover. (Although he was the first King of England in a very long time that spoke English as his first language, if at all.)



But he ended his days, completely blind, increasingly deaf and totally insane locked up in Windsor Castle, with his son acting as Regent for the remainder of George III's life.

I've said it before - sometimes it's NOT so good to be King.


September 22, 1776
-
An American Captain was hanged as a spy with no trial by the British, under the orders of General William Howe, in New York City during the Revolutionary War on this date. He was considered as one of the incendiaries of the burning of NYC.

Moments before his execution, he expressed regret that he couldn't be hanged more than once. This remark catapulted him to posthumous fame (but only after his death), and Nathan Hale is revered to this day.


September 22, 1869 -
Richard Wagner's
opera Das Rheingold premieres in Munich on this date.



Beer drinkers around the world rejoice!!!


September 22, 1960  (or 1958) -
Joan Marie Larkin,
singer/ musician extraordinaire was born on this date.



If you love Rock and Roll, you love Joan


September 22, 1961 -
President John Kennedy took a break from hanging out with Frank Sinatra, shooting speed and having sex with Marilyn Monroe to sign a congressional act establishing the Peace Corps on this date.

The government-funded volunteer organization was created to fight hunger, disease, illiteracy, poverty, and lack of opportunity around the world.

Sometimes it good to be the President (and sometimes it sucks, as Mr. Kennedy would eventually find out.)


September 22, 1966
  -
In between inviting the press to watch him use the bathroom and calling a tailor to order pants with extra long zippers, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated Columbus Day a federal public holiday to be celebrated on October 12.

In 1968, he moved it to the 2nd Monday of October.  In 2004, President George W. Bush set it to October 11. Columbus Day in 2018 is on Monday, the 8th of October.


September 22, 1980 -
In a stunning blow to America's feminine hygiene, consumer products manufacturer Procter and Gamble initiates the largest tampon recall in history, pulling Rely Tampons from store shelves, starting on this date.



The action results from the ongoing Toxic Shock Syndrome controversy.

No comment.



And so it goes.

Before you go - Today is the 265th day of the year with 100 days remaining.



There are 94 days until Christmas


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Friday, September 21, 2018

My thoughts are with you

Do you remember the 21st Night of September?



... As we danced in the night ...


Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.



Given who the President of the United States is, it is insane how not close to peace we are this year.


Two giants of animation sharing the same birthday:

September 21, 1912 -
Chuck Jones
, animator and director of Warner Brothers cartoons Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, was born on this date.



Chuck was close friends with both, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Ray Bradbury.

September 21, 1920 -
Jay Ward,
cartoonist (Rocky and his Friends, Bullwinkle), was born on this date.



Jay drove a sound-truck across the U.S. to gather signatures for a Statehood for Moosylvania campaign, and then tried to storm the White House with them, right at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.


September 21, 1968 -
The police drama ADAM 12, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



In keeping with the reputation of Jack Webb's series being scrupulously accurate about police procedures, select episodes of this series were used in police academies as instructional films.


September 21, 1957 -
Our favorite nipple rouge wearing actor, Raymond Burr, had another go at episodic TV when Perry Mason premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



Raymond Burr originally auditioned for the role of Hamilton Burger, but was chosen for the title role instead.


September 21, 1975 -
Sidney Lumet's
amazing film, Dog Day Afternoon, starring Al Pacino and John Cazale, premiered on this date.



The entire film is mostly improvised, though around the script. After rehearsing the script for weeks with his cast, Sidney Lumet took the improvisations that were made while rehearsing and made that the official screenplay.


September 21, 1993 -
The police drama NYPD Blue, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



Prior to the show's premiere and immediately afterward there was enormous controversy over what was perceived to be high levels of offensive language and nudity. Many affiliates refused to air the show and several advertisers boycotted it. Steven Bochco negotiated intensely with the network for a certain amount of language and nudity to be allowed. He has said that because of the pressure on the network from this criticism the show would likely not have survived had it not been an instant hit.


September 21, 2001 -
A benefit concert organized by the four major U.S. television networks in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, America: A Tribute to Heroes, aired on this date. The program was shown on 35 separate broadcast and cable networks simultaneously.





Done in the style of a telethon, it featured a number of national and international entertainers performing to raise money for the victims and their families, particularly but not limited to the New York City firefighters. The telethon raised $150 million in pledges.


Make mine a double


Today in History:
September 21, 1327
-
Former King Edward II came to a particularly painful end on this date.

Edward had been overthrown by his wife, Isabella and her lover, Roger Mortimer. Edward had pissed off Isabella royally for among other things, sleeping with men. Isabella and Mortimer had Edward II imprisoned, after his abdication in favor of his son, Edward III.



It was rumored that Edward had been killed by the insertion of a piece of copper into his rectum (later a red-hot iron rod, as in the supposed murder of Edmund Ironside - King Edmund II was murdered in a lavatory; stabbed in the bowels when he sat down to relieve himself). Murder in this manner would have appeared a natural death, as a metal tube would have been inserted into the anus first, thus allowing the iron rod to penetrate the entrails without leaving a burn on the buttocks.

As I have said in the past, sometimes it is NOT good to be the king.


September 21, 1897 -
The New York Sun
ran its famous editorial that answered a question from 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon: "Is there a Santa Claus?"on this date.



Obviously, times were different back then given that The New York Sun was printing an editorial about Christmas in September.


September 21, 1915 -
With a winning bid of  £6,600, Mr. Cecil Chubb purchases Stonehenge and 30 acres of land at auction. He donates the monument to the British state three years later.



He donated the monument because he could not figure out how to reset Stonehenge correctly.


September 21, 1937 -
George Allen and Unwin, Ltd. of London published the first edition of  J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit on this date. It was illustrated with many black-and-white drawings by Tolkien himself.



The original printing was only a 1,500 run and sold out by December due to enthusiastic reviews.


September 21, 1950 -
Somewhere there's a score being kept, so you have an obligation to live life as well as you can, be as engaged as you can.



William James Murray, one of the funniest sentient human beings was born on this date


September 21, 1975 -
Self-proclaimed revolutionary Sara Jane Moore attempted to kill President Gerald Ford as he walked from a San Francisco hotel on this date.



A bullet she fired slightly wounded a man in the crowd but once again President Ford walks away unscathed.


September 21, 1981 -
On August 19 1981, President Reagan, who had pledged during the 1980 presidential campaign to appoint the first woman to the Supreme Court, nominated  Sandra Day O'Connor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, replacing the retiring Potter Stewart. Ms. O'Connor was confirmed by the Senate 99-0 on this date and took her seat September 25.



In her first year on the Court, O'Connor received over sixty thousand letters from the public, more than any other justice in history.


September 21, 1983 -
In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on this date, Interior Secretary James G. Watt jokingly described a special advisory panel as consisting of 'a black ... a woman, two Jews and a cripple.'

Although Watt apologized, he later resigned .

Oops!


Before you go: Today is the last day of Summer -



Savor the day.



And so it goes.


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