Sunday, November 22, 2020

Do you still eat frozen TV dinners?

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - A Thanksgiving mix-up inspired the first TV dinners.

In 1953, a Swanson employee accidentally ordered a colossal shipment of Thanksgiving turkeys (260 tons, to be exact). To deal with the excess, salesman Gerry Thomas took inspiration from the prepared foods served on airplanes. He came up with the idea of filling 5,000 aluminum trays with the turkey – along with cornbread dressing, gravy, peas, and sweet potatoes to complete the offering. The 98-cents meals were a hit, especially with kids and increasingly busy households.

Today is the feast day of St. Cecilia. According to legend, Cecilia was a young Christian of high rank betrothed to a Roman named Valerian. Through her influence, Valerian was converted, and was promptly martyred along with his brother, Tiburtius.

The legend about Cecilia’s death first involved an insufficiently heated scalding bath. When that didn't work, Cecilia was struck three times on the neck with a sword (obviously not honed correctly,) she lived for three days, and asked the pope to convert her home into a church. St. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians, singers and music.

Today is Go For A Ride Day. The day is supposed to encourages you to get out into the world – hop on your bike, into your car, or simply get your walking boots out of storage and go on a trip. Don’t worry too much about where you’re going, just enjoy the journey.

If you're planning to have Thanksgiving dinner at your home next week, you should be planning on wearing your mask to take a trip to your local supermarket.

November 22, 1940 -
The Letter, starring Bette Davis (at her best) premiered in NYC on this date.

The first scene that William Wyler shot was the famous opening shot in which we see Leslie shoot Geoffrey Hammond. The opening shot, which lasted two minutes on screen, took an entire day to film, and that was before even a single word of dialogue was spoken. The studio expected him to shoot at a rate of 3-4 script pages a day, but the opening shot reflected a mere paragraph on page one.

November 22, 1963 -
Phil Spector unfortunately chose this date to release his holiday record, A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector, which he worked on all summer with his best musicians.

Given the timing with the events in Dallas this day, the album suffers dismal sales initial. Later, the album would go on to be ranked No. 142 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2012. And in 2017, it was ranked the 130th greatest album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.

November 22, 1967 -
Embassy Pictures' film, The Producers, directed by Mel Brooks (in his directorial debut,) and starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Dick Shawn, and Kenneth Mars, premiered in Pittsburgh, PA, on this date.

Mel Brooks cannot read music. Springtime for Hitler and Prisoners of Love (as were all the songs Brooks writes for his films) were hummed into a tape recorder and transcribed by an expert. When Brooks adapted the movie into a stage musical, he wrote the entire score by himself using the same method.

November 22, 1968 -
The Beatles released their long-awaited double album, simply called The Beatles, but better known as The White Album.

The album was the first the Beatles undertook following the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, and the first released by their own record label, Apple.

November 22, 1975
KC and the Sunshine Band song, That’s the Way (I Like It), hit No #1 on the Billboard Charts on this date.

This was the second of an astounding five US #1 hits from KC and The Sunshine Band. Their first #1 was Get Down Tonight, which gave them the template for songs like this. Like all their hits, this was written by their bass player/producer Rick Finch and frontman Harry Wayne Casey.

November 22, 1989 -
Universal Pictures releases the science fiction film, Back to the Future Part II, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and Thomas F. Wilson, in general release in the U.S. on this date.

According to Michael J. Fox, he found out there was going to be a sequel to Back to the Future when he watched the VHS version and the words "To be continued" were added at the end. He immediately called his agent to make sure he was going to be in the sequel.

November 22, 1991 -
Barry Sonnenfeld take on Charles Addams New Yorker Cartoons, The Addams Family, starring Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci, premiered on this date.

After the movie premiered, children would frequently recognize Raul Julia as Gomez Addams out in public, which according to him, always brought a smile to his face. Julia stated that Gomez Addams was by far his favorite role, and his family said this recognition was especially meaningful to him in the final months of his life because he loved performing for children and making them happy whenever the opportunity presented itself.

November 22, 1995 -
Toy Story was released, as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery, on this date.

Billy Crystal was originally offered the chance to voice Buzz Lightyear, but declined. After seeing the finished film, he said the decision was the biggest mistake of his career. Upon learning this, John Lasseter telephoned Billy's house to offer him the role of Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc. Billy's wife answered the telephone and said "John Lasseter wants to speak to you." Billy took the telephone from his wife and said "Yes".

We've all read this book before

Today in History:
November 22, 1888 -
According to the Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel,

Tarzan of the Apes
(Lord Greystoke) was born on this date.

November 22, 1928 -
Maurice Ravel composition Boléro has it's first public performance in Paris on this date.

Boléro became Ravel's most famous composition, much to the surprise of the composer, who had predicted that most orchestras would refuse to play it.

November 22, 1963 -
We, in this country, in this generation, are - by destiny rather than choice - the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. - from the address that President John F. Kennedy never got to deliver in Dallas on this date.

A covert CIA operation privately funded by a plutocratic cabal of multinational industrial interests acting in conjunction with extraterrestrial forces and the Knights Templar succeeded in making it appear that Lee Harvey Oswald had assassinated President Kennedy, on this date.

Or if this is too much for you, you can always believe in the MAGIC BULLET.

November 22, 1963 -
The Steam Ferry Cornelius G. Kolff vanished without a trace, on this date. On its way with nearly 400 hundred people, mostly on their way to work, the disappearance of the Cornelius G. Kolff remains both one of New York’s most horrific maritime tragedies and perhaps its most intriguing mystery.

You probable think that you never heard about this event because it was overshadowed by the assassination of JFK that same day - but you never heard about it because it never happened. Artist Joe Reginella created the elaborate hoax using slick brochures, a web site and even a statue are luring hapless tourists to a far corner of Staten Island in search of a museum devoted to the made-up tragedy.

November 22, 1968 -
Many a KKK member and Daughter of the Civil War were given the vapors on this date in history.

Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) share the first interracial kiss in TV history on Star Trek on this date.

November 22, 1975 -
Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias was proclaimed King of Spain after he confirms with advisers that Francisco Franco planned to be dead for a while.

Juan Carlos
is related to both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (and as you know they are related to each other.) To confuse matters even more, his wife Queen Sofia, is related to all three of them. King Juan Carlos had to abdicate in favor of his son, Felipe VI (who is so related to Prince Charles through all four of the above mentioned people that they are practically first cousins,) proving once again, sometimes it's not good to be the king who spends too much money.

Oh, love among the royals.

And so it goes


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