On this anniversary of the terrible act at Sandy Hook,
It's Santacon today
Halcyon days, begin today, a week before the winter solstice and end a week after.
December 14, 1970 -
Another holiday special from Rankin &Bass, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town premiered on this date.
The film tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Claus-related Christmas traditions came to be. It is based on the Christmas hit of the same name, which was introduced on radio by Eddie Cantor in 1934.
Today's Christmas special: A Mobbed up Christmas
Today in History:
December 14, 1503 -
If you write vague enough prophecies, they will fool almost anyone.
December 14, 1702 -
A major part of Japanese history, the 47 Ronin were samurai until their master was ordered to commit suicide after killing an arrogant official. In revenge, the ronin killed the official, and were then ordered to commit suicide themselves.
The story of the 47 Ronin remains a popular Japanese legend, and the 47 Ronin are seen as examples of loyalty and faithfulness. Try getting your staff to turn in reports on time.
December 14, 1900 -
Max Planck published his theory of quantum mechanics, which is often considered one of the most radical scientific discoveries of the 20th century, on this date. It's even more radical than the belief in the collection of Turkish union dues or Iraqi clerics
But five years later, Albert Einstein took Planck's theory of light seriously, and wrote his first major paper exploring the idea of light traveling in packets, which he called photons. Even though he became better known for his theory of relativity, it was Einstein's work expanding on Planck's original ideas about light that won him a Nobel Prize. Einstein later said, "I use up more brain grease on quantum theory than on relativity."
With the discovery of quantum mechanics, physicists found that subatomic particles were by nature unpredictable. If you shot one across the room, you could guess where it might end up, but you could never be sure. This idea made Einstein miserable. He famously said, "I am at all events convinced God does not play dice."
Today quantum mechanics remains one of the most mysterious and difficult scientific theories ever. The Danish physicist Niels Bohr once said that a person who was not shocked by quantum theory did not understand it, and the physicist Richard Feynman once said that while only a modest number of people truly understand the theory of relativity, no one understands quantum mechanics.
Max Planck himself died in 1947 and he never came to fully accept the theory he discovered. But even if few people really understand it, quantum mechanics led to the development of modern electronics, including the transistor, the laser, and the computer.
December 14, 1944 -
Lupe Velez, Hollywood's Mexican Spitfire of the 1940's, committed suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills on this date.
Contrary to her plans of being found laid out on the bed in a silk nightgown, she is instead discovered in the bathroom with her head in the toilet. (This is just an urban legend but let it get in back of the list of others, like the death of Cass Elliot or Judy Garland. Don't even get me started about the death of Albert Dekker.)
What a way to go!!!
December 14, 1963 -
Dinah Washington, the "Queen of the Blues", juggled numerous prescription medications, primarily for dieting and insomnia, most of her life.
An unintentional but lethal combination of alcohol and pills forever stilled her magnificent voice on this date. She was only 39 and was thankfully found in bed.
In Victorian England, turkeys were popular for Christmas dinners. Some of the birds were raised in Norfolk, and taken to market in London. To get them to London, the turkeys were supplied with boots made of sacking or leather.
Now that was a career to hope for - bootmaker for the finest turkeys in England.
And so it goes..