Friday, March 13, 2015

Blah, blah, blah, be afraid or not

Here's a basis for Friday the 13th phobia (besides the whole Knights Templar satanic orgies of 1307) that dates back to Friday, October 13, 1066.

On this date, King Harold II was not having a really good day. William of Normandy (who was so important as not to need a last name, just an address) gave him the opportunity to relinquish his crown, and therefore England. Harold refused, which was not a good choice for him. The next day William took it by force at the Battle of Hastings, causing Harold’s demise. 

Somehow this led to today being unlucky for everyone else, who is not a monarch of an island nation.

March 13, 1949 -
Donald Fauntleroy Duck's birthday is officially recognized as June 9, 1934, the day his debut film was released, but in The Three Caballeros, his birthday is given as simply Friday the 13th. In Donald's Happy Birthday, the cartoon gives his birthday as March 13.  (The best guess is this would be Donald's 101th birthday.)

Things that make you go hmmmm - Donald doesn’t wear pants with his sailor shirt, but does wear swimming trunks when he goes for a swim.

March 13, 1954 -
It's Rocky's third appearance in a Bugs Bunny cartoon (and the funniest) - Bugs and Thugs, premiered on this date.

Near the end of the film, Bugs' office has a sign that says "-Member- Detective Guild, Local 839". Local 839 of the IATSE was the Animation Guild, whose members made the cartoon.

March 13, 1956 -
One of John Ford's greatest westerns, The Searchers, starring John Wayne (giving his finest performance) premiered on this date.

Reportedly this film was seen in a theater in Texas by Buddy Holly and his friends in the summer of 1956. They were so impressed with Ethan's (John Wayne) repeated use of the phrase "That'll be the day" that they used it as the title for their now standard rock song, which they composed soon after.

March 13, 1968 -
The Beatles release the single Lady Madonna in the UK on this date.

Paul McCartney said that this song is a tribute to women everywhere. It was inspired by a picture of an African woman suckling her kid, over the caption "Mountain Madonna."

Today in History:
March 13, 1781 -
Scottish astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered Uranus on this date, which he first mistook for a comet.

It is the first planet discovered with the aid of a telescope.

(If you are alone, once again, feel free to twitter like a small child.)

March 13, 1881 -
An anarchist Nikolai Rysakov, from the radical group People's Will threw a bomb which disrupts Czar Alexander II's motorcade. Startled but unharmed, Alexander thanked God for his deliverance, another anarchist Ignacy Hryniewiecki, yelled "It is too early to thank God" and throws a second bomb, causing severe injuries from which Alexander bled to death several hours later.

(Nicholas II, Alexander grandson, was one of the unfortunate witnesses to Czar's gruesome death.)

March 13, 1911 -
Today is the birthday of L. Ron Hubbard (the "L" is for Lafayette.) Mr. Hubbard invented Dianetics, which eventually led to Scientology, causing Scientologists and Personality Tests.

Scientologists are easily distinguished from Jehovah's Witnesses in that they don't ask you subscribe to The Watchtower and they can often be seen in major motion pictures.

March 13, 1917 -
Today on Oh That Wacky Russian Revolution:
The imperial guard, acting on the orders of the dissolved Duma, which had not been dissolved, took the Tsarina and her children (who had measles) into custody. A day later, England and France acknowledged the Executive Committee of the Duma as the official government of Russia.

Meanwhile, Nicholas II had taken a train to Pskov. He knew the revolutionaries would be unlikely to pursue him somewhere so difficult to pronounce.

That evening in St. Petersburg, the Executive Committee of the Duma met with the Petrograd Soviet and agreed that the Russian Cabinet should be dissolved, and also the Tsar.

They established a joint government, with Prince Grigori Lvov at its head, nicely countering the Czar's difficult pronunciation ploy. They put the Russian Cabinet in prison, next to the Russian Credenza.

March 13, 1964 -
A young woman, Kitty Genovese was murdered in front of multiple witnesses, all of whom fail to help her, in an incident which shocks the world and prompts investigation into the bystander effect. (This story have been proven a lie; many of her neighbors in fact did attempt to help.  Only two people, who actually witnessed the attack did nothing.)

Winston Moseley was found guilty of Genovese’s murder. He was initially sentenced to death, but that was commuted several years later and changed to life in prison, where he remains today. At 79, no living inmate has spent more time in the New York prison system.

Pope Francis has been on the job for two years now.

So far, the Pope's been given them a run for their money at the Vatican.

And so it goes.

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