Today is National Inane Answering Machine Day, observed on January 30th every year. This holiday encourages you on this day to bring an end to all of the mindless and endlessly long answering machine messages that annoy and waste the time of callers.
Or, you could leave a long, drawn out, insane message on someone's machine this day.
The choice is up to you.
Today is Hansen's Disease Day (celebrated on the last Sunday in January). Celebrate World Leprosy Day - be like St. Francis - lick a leper's sores.
Or not. Once again, the choice is yours.
January 30, 1931 -
Charlie Chaplin's City Lights (A Comedy Romance in Pantomime) premiered at Los Angeles Theater on this date. The episodic film includes a complete musical soundtrack and various sound effects - but no speech or dialogue.
Charles Chaplin's penchant for perfection carried over into all aspects of the production. He had a very clear vision as to how every scene should play. Robert Parrish, who had a small part as one of the newsboys who pelt The Tramp with peashooters, remembered in an interview in 1991: "Chaplin was a dervish. He would blow a pea from the peashooter, playing both my part and the part of Austen Jewell, the other newsboy. He then would run over and react as the Tramp being hit by it, then back to the newsboys and blow another pea. He would then play Virginia Cherrill's part of the Blind Girl. Then he was the Tramp. Then he would instruct what the background people should be doing. Everyone watched as he acted out all the parts for us. When he felt he had it all worked out, he reluctantly gave us back our parts...I believe he would have much rather played them all himself if he could."
January 30, 1961 -
The Shirelles' single, Will You Love Me Tomorrow? hits #1 in the US on this date. It's the first big hit for the songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
Shirelles lead singer Shirley Alston initially disliked the song, dismissing it as "too Country and Western" for the four-girl group from Passaic, New Jersey. Their producer Luther Dixon convinced her they could do it in their style, and asked King and Goffin if they could add strings and turned it into an uptempo song, which they did.
January 30, 1969 -
At a free concert at their Apple corporate headquarters in London, The Beatles made their last-ever public appearance as a group on this date.
The performance, filmed for the documentary Let It Be, was eventually halted when police arrived after neighbors complained about the racket. (I strongly encourage you to seek out the Peter Jackson documentary, Get Back.)
January 30, 1981 -
Universal Pictures released the Joel Schumacher film The Incredible Shrinking Woman, starring Lily Tomlin and Charles Grodin, on this date.
Make-up artist Rick Baker portrays Sidney the Gorilla himself in this movie which was released in the same year that An American Werewolf in London was released, the movie that Baker won the first ever Academy Award (Oscar) for Make-Up.
January 30, 1987 -
Woody Allen's warm remembrance of the Golden Age of Radio, Radio Days premiered on this date.
The amusement park young Joe walks by in the film is old Rockaway Playland, located in Rockaway Beach, New York. The park was in its last year of operation when the film was being made in 1987 and was subsequently closed and demolished. After remaining an empty lot for many years, the property, in the late nineties, had been developed with houses built on it. Ironically the Beach 98th train station on the IND A train still holds the name PLAYLAND in its station name.
Another book from the back shelf of the ACME library
Today in History:
January 30, 1649 -
If history teaches us anything, it's that sometimes, it NOT good to be the king.
King Charles I of England, was beheaded for treason at Banqueting House on this date. It is reputed that he wore two shirts as to prevent the cold January weather causing any noticeable shivers that the crowd could have been mistaken for fear or weakness. He put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signaled the executioner when he was ready; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke.
It was common practice for the head of a traitor to be held up and exhibited to the crowd with the words Behold the head of a traitor!; although Charles' head was exhibited, the words were not used.
January 30, 1835 -
Andrew Jackson was the subject of the first recorded assassination attempt on a U.S. president. Jackson was crossing the Capitol Rotunda following the funeral of a Congressman when Richard Lawrence approached Jackson and fired two pistols, which both miraculously misfired. Jackson proceeded to beat the living daylights out of Lawrence with his cane, prompting his aides to restrain him.
As a result, Jackson's statue in the Capitol Rotunda is placed in front of the doorway in which the attempt occurred. Lawrence was later found to be mentally ill, having accused Jackson of preventing him from becoming King of England.
January 30, 1889 -
Kids, your history teachers lied to you once again - World War I really started on this date.
The Prince had either a.) shot himself after killing his mistress, b.) been killed by his mistress in a suicide pact or c.) been a victim of a political assassination. Their death and the resulting cover-up left Rudolf's cousin, The Archduck Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
And you see where that got Europe.
January 30, 1948 -
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. - Gandhi
Sometimes, it's not good to be the world's greatest advocate of non violence.
Mohandas K. Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse on his way to morning prayers on this date.
January 30, 1968 -
The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Communist forces launched a surprise offensive on the lunar New Year Tet holiday truce that became known as the Tet Offensive on this date.
Faced with an unhappy American public and depressing news from his military leaders, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to end the escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
January 30, 1976 -
George H.W. Bush became the 11th director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a position which he held until 1977.
And so it goes