Thursday, December 7, 2017

How lovely are thy branches

This evening, a huge Christmas tree will be lit by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo, in Trafalgar Square.

The people of Oslo, Norway donate the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree every year in gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during WWII.  This historic tradition has happened every year since 1947.

December 7, 1945 -
Universal Pictures
released the horror film House of Dracula, directed by Erle C. Kenton and starring Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Martha O’Driscoll and Lionel Atwill, on this date.

House of Dracula actually features four different actors in the role of the Frankenstein Monster. In addition to Glenn Strange, Boris Karloff plays the Monster in footage lifted from Bride of Frankenstein and the climax uses scenes of both Lon Chaney Jr. and his stunt double, Eddie Parker, as the Monster from The Ghost of Frankenstein.

December 7, 1958
Tim Butler, bass player and co-founder of the Psychedelic Furs was born on this date.

We'll let him serenade Joan, the birthday girl. (It would be very rude to ask how old she is?)

December 7, 1960 -
MGM released the science fiction film Village of the Damned, directed by Wolf Rilla and starring George Sanders on this date.

Originally begun in 1957 as an American picture to star Ronald Colman, MGM shelved the project, when Colman passed away in 1958 and was replaced by George Sanders. Interesting fact George Sanders married Colman's widow Benita Hume in 1959.

December 7, 1969 -
Another Rankin/Bass production, Frosty the Snowman, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

June Foray provided the voices of Karen, the Teacher and the other children. However, starting with the third airing of the special, most of her recordings as Karen and the other children were replaced with the voices of actual young children.

December 7, 1979 -
Paramount Pictures
released the science fiction film Star Trek: The Motion Picture, directed by Robert Wise and starring a bunch of TV actors on this date.

The cast hated the uniforms, which required assistance in order to be removed. In fact, one of the cast's conditions for returning in a sequel was to have new uniforms.

December 7, 2001 –
Steven Soderbergh's
remake of franks Sinatra's 1960 summer vacation movie, Ocean’s Eleven, starring George Clooney,  Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy García, and Julia Roberts opened in US theaters on this date.

The script was sent to Julia Roberts with a $20 bill attached. Included was a note from George Clooney that said "I hear you're getting 20 a picture now". This of course is a joke referencing Julia Roberts becoming the highest paid actress at $20 million per picture.

Today's holiday special: Can you think of a better thing to do with frozen water?

Today in History:
December 7, 43 BC
Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, famous Roman writer and orator, literally gets his head handed to him on this date, when soldier in Marc Antony's army chopped off his head and right hand then displayed them in the Roman Forum.

Now there's a holiday display you don't see that often.

December 7, 185 -
Emperor Lo-Yang of China took a stroll on in his imperial garden on this evening and saw a Supernova.

Who knew he was such a Frankie Goes To Hollywood fan?

December 7, 1907 -
Christmas Seals
first went on sale in the United States went to raise funds to treat tuberculosis, after Emily Bissell, a social worker and activist, read about the program in an article by Jacob Riis.

In 1903, Einar Holbøll, a Danish postal clerk developed the idea of adding an extra charitable stamp on mailed holiday greetings during Christmas. The money raised could be used to help children sick with tuberculosis.

It was on this day in 1941 that Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor. The attack came after the United States had frozen Japanese assets and declared an embargo on shipments of petroleum to Japan.

On the morning of December 7, soldiers at Pearl Harbor were learning how to use a new device called radar, and they detected a large number of planes heading toward them. They telephoned an officer to ask him what to do. The officer said they must be American B-17s on their way to the base, and he told the soldiers not to worry about it.

A sailor named James Jones, who would go on to write the novel From Here to Eternity, was in the mess hall that morning.

There were ultimately 2,390 Americans killed at Pearl Harbor and 1,178 wounded. Two days after the attack, the Navy passed out postcards to the survivors and told them to write to their families, but not to describe what had happened. Some families did not get their postcards until this past February.

December 7, 1949 -
It's Tom Waits' birthday today.

Tom Traubert's Blues
  (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen) -

God's Away On Business  -

Downtown Train

Take One Last Look  -

And the Acme Corp. is always happy to sponsor that Christmas Classic, Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis -

As alwayss, let's stay up all night, get drunk and sing really sad songs in a raspy voice in his honor.

December 7, 1968 -
The Rolling Stones released their album Beggar’s Banquet in the US (one day after it was released in the UK,) on this date.

They soon filmed a television extravaganza entitled The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. After reviewing the program, the Stones felt that they were upstaged by the Who’s performance and the film was shelved until 1996, when it was finally released officially.

December 7, 1972
Apollo 17, the sixth and last Apollo moon mission, was launched from Cape Canaveral on this date.

It will land on the Moon December 11 and Flight Commander Eugene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, will be the last men to step on the Moon for decades to come..

And so it goes.

Before you go - I couldn't resist this mashup of I Melt With You and Frosty The Snowman by The Skivvies

I should have known what the costumes for The Skivvies were going to be.


1 comment:

Jim H. said...

Mr. Waits' song "Postcard from a Hooker in Minneapolis" is one of my all-time favorites. Listeners should know that there is no Euclid Avenue in Minneapolis and the state did away with discretionary parole release in about 1982. But we Minneapolitans grant Mr. Waits poetic license (as if he needs it). Thanks for posting that video.