Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Star Wars fans rejoice!

May 4th is called Star Wars Day.

You get it - May the Fourth be with you.

Oh, never mind.

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day. National Teacher Appreciation Day is observed on the Tuesday of the first full week in May. Today day is part of Teacher Appreciation Week, which is the first full week in May of each year.

In 1944, an Arkansas teacher named Mattie Whyte Woodridge began a campaign to establish a national day that would honor teachers.

Woodridge wrote letters to politicians, education leaders, and eventually the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1953, Mrs. Roosevelt convinced Congress to proclaim the first National Teacher Day. National Education Association describes National Teacher Dayas a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.”

May 4, 1943 -
Billy Wilder's under-rated wartime drama, Five Graves to Cairo, starring Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff, and Erich von Stroheim, premiered in Los Angeles, on this date.

The tank seen at the start of the picture was an actual American army tank but not authentically a British one. It was loaned to the production by a neighboring American army base. The production had attempted to get a real British tank but their request was turned down.

May 4, 1944 -
George Cukor's atmospheric thriller, Gaslight, starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, and an 18-year-old Angela Lansbury (in her film debut,) premiered in the US on this date.

The first time Ingrid Bergman met Charles Boyer was the day they shot the scene where they meet at a train station and kiss passionately. Boyer was the same height as Bergman, and in order for him to seem taller, he had to stand on a box, which she kept inadvertently kicking as she ran into the scene. Boyer also wore shoes and boots with two-inch heels throughout the movie.

May 4, 1949 -
The tenth pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, The Barkleys of Broadway, premiered on this date.

Originally planned to star Fred Astaire and Judy Garland after their success together in Easter Parade, but when Garland's addiction to over-the-counter drugs spiraled out of control, producer Arthur Freed replaced her with Ginger Rogers. The original title of the film was supposed to be You Made Me Love You, after a hit song of Garland's.

May 4, 1959 -
Originally called the Gramophone awards, the first Grammys were handed out on this date, to honor the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. The ceremony was hosted by comedian Mort Sahl and held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. At the same time, Recording Academy members convened for a simultaneous function at the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City.

Ella Fitzgerald along with Count Basie became the first African American singers to win Grammy Awards at the first annual ceremony. The very first Grammy Awards for Record of the Year went to Domenico Modugno's Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu (Volare) and Henry Mancini's The Music From Peter Gunn soundtrack winning Album of the Year. The Champs' Tequila, for some reason, takes home Best Rhythm and Blues Performance.

May 4, 1959 -
François Truffaut's seminal New Wave film, The 400 Blows, starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on this date.

The title of the film comes from the French idiom "faire les quatre cents coups", meaning "to raise hell".

May 4, 1984 -
Universal Pictures released John Hughes' directorial premiere, Sixteen Candles, starring Molly Ringwald (her first film), Paul Dooley, Justin Henry, and Anthony Michael Hall, premiered on this date.

Based on his performance as another father character in Breaking Away, Paul Dooley was offered his role in this film but turned it down as he felt the character was just a stock Dad character without much development. Dooley said it's typical if you turn down a role, you get offered more money but turned it down again, due to the character's development. John Hughes called Dooley personally and told him that he wrote a scene with Dooley and Ringwald's character, which became an iconic moment in the film. Dooley said later on, he'd have viewers come to him and tell him that they wished he were their father, based on the scene.

Today's moment of Zen.

Today in History:
May 4, 1626 -
Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on what is now Manhattan island, where a little settlement had been established on the southern tip by the Dutch East India Company, called New Amsterdam.

While the Indians have been pissed off even since then, there are some in Congress are investigating whether or not they can sell NYC back to the Indians.

May 4 1854 -
Joseph Tussaud returned to London with the well-used blade of the guillotine he purchased from Clement Sanson, the last in a line of Sansons who held the office of Executioner of Paris for over 150 years.

The blade is now part of Tussaud's Wax Museum collection.

May 4, 1886 -
At Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour workday turned into a riot when a bomb exploded. Seven policemen were killed and some 60 others injured. Only one policeman was killed in the strike.

Three labor leaders were executed November 10, 1887, for the bombing. The Haymarket Affair is generally considered to have been an important influence on the origin of International May Day observances for workers.

May 4, 1891 -
Noted apiarist and amateur detective, Sherlock Holmes reportedly 'died' during a fight with master criminal (and his one time math tutor) Professor James Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls on this date.

Mr. Holmes re-appears three years later next to discuss his 'disappearance'. It has been speculated that his friend and chronicler, Dr. John H. Watson, attempted to cure Holmes of his life long addiction to cocaine and morphine during this time period.

May 4, 1954 -
An Old Man goes fishing. It was a good day to fish. He catches a fish. It was a big fish. It was a good day for the fish to die. Sharks, big sharks eat the big fish before the old man gets back to shore. The Old Man goes home to his shack and falls asleep. It was a deep sleep. He dreams about lions in Africa. They are big lions.

Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize on this date.

So class, either Santiago is a defeated hero or an undefeated hero. Throw in references to Jesus Christ, Joe DiMaggio, the sin of pride and greed and "A man can be destroyed but not defeated" and you have your Master's Thesis.

May 4, 1970 -
28 Ohio National Guardsmen read protesting students of Kent State the riot act, but the students, as was their wont, did not disperse. So they shot them.

The Guardsmen killed four students and wounded nine others at Kent State University on this date. Neil Young later memorialized the sad incident in the song Ohio. A very odd bit of trivia: this tragic event in American history led to the formation of Devo, as Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale were both on campus and horrified by the events.

May 4, 1973 -
The first time on network TV (if you consider PBS network TV) - Female Nudity - Valerie Perrine appears in the altogether in Bruce Jay Friedman's Steambath.

I can't embed any clip of Ms. Perrine from this production: they has all be moved to porno sites (and I can't embed clips from movies porno sites or the blog will be moved to an 'adult' site.)

May 4, 1979 -
Margaret Thatcher was sworn in as (the first female) prime minister (PM) in Britain, on this date, and was known as the Iron Lady for her tough rhetoric.

She also served the longest continuous term in office as PM, with three consecutive terms.

May 4, 1991 -
To celebrate his father's birthday the previous day, Bing Crosby's son Dennis Crosby put a shotgun to his head, ending his life in a boarding house in California. A younger brother, Lindsay, had also killed himself with a shotgun two years earlier.

Once again, Bing must have been a lovely person.

May 4, 2001 -
After dinner at Vitello's in Studio City, film and television actor Robert Blake remembers that he left something at the restaurant. When he returns to the car, he discovers his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley Paulakis Gawron Moon Besly Brooksher Webber Telufson Wolfe Ray Blake (yes, she was married to nine other men before Blake), slumped over in the passenger seat. She had been shot in the head by person or persons unknown. Bakley later died of her injury.

One year later, Blake was charged with the murder. To the astonishment of some, he was later acquitted of the charges. It was actually suggested during the trial, by the defense, that a list of people with possible motives to kill Bonnie Lee would be longer than the Los Angeles Phone Directory. (Bakley's three children filed a civil suit against Blake asserting that he was responsible for their mother's death. On November 18, 2005, the jury found Blake liable for the wrongful death of his wife and ordered him to pay $30 million.)

And so it goes.

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