Tuesday, May 17, 2022

We owe a great deal to the rubber tree

Today is Rubber Band Day. The day honors Inventor Stephen Perry's receiving a patent for the rubber band on this date in 1845 (We've also seen it listed as March 17th but we can be sure, no one from ACME was there at the time.)

(The ACME Corporation is in no way endorsing this sort of behavior. But what these people do in the privacy of their own homes is their own constitutionally protected business.)

The U.S. Post Office is the largest consumer of rubber bands in the world – they order millions of pounds per year.

Here's another reason to legalize marijuana, stay with me - think of the savings if USPS switched to hemp rope (and the number of very mellow postal employees - Please hold your e-mails, I know you can't get high from smoking hemp.)

May 17, 1899 -
Thomas Alva Edison copyrighted the first western film, The Cripple Creek Bar Room, which he had shot at his Black Maria studio in West Orange, New Jersey, on this date.

Although there was little, if any, plot to this short film (please note, the role of a barmaid was played by a man,) it was the first with a setting in the west.

May 17, 1940 -
Garson Kanin's screwball comedy, My Favorite Wife, opened on this date.

Leo McCarey was supposed to direct the film, but shortly before the filming began, he was injured in an automobile accident and had to hand over the direction to Garson Kanin. Gail Patrick has stated that the severity of McCarey's injuries had an effect on the film's cast, and they found it very difficult to enter into the spirit of the comedy with the serious hospital bulletins they were hearing. .

Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, who play rivals in this film, lived together for twelve years from 1932 to 1944 (The ACME Corporation has no comment on this sort of behavior. But what these two young men did in the privacy of their own home, beach house, or bath house was their own constitutionally protected business.)

May 17, 1950 -
Nicholas Ray's excellent film noir, In a Lonely Place, starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame premiered on this date.

Gloria Grahame and husband and Director Nicholas Ray quietly separated during filming, keeping it a secret for fear that one of them would be replaced. Ray slept on the studio set, saying that he needed to work late on preparation for the remainder of the film. It worked, and nobody suspected that their marriage was on the rocks.

May 17, 1955 -
Paramount Pictures put into general release, The Country Girl, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and William Holden, based on the Clifford Odets play, on this date.

During filming, Grace Kelly managed to have affairs with Bing Crosby, Clark Gable and William Holden, simultaneously (but we assume not on the same date.) The ACME Corporation has been legally barred from commenting on this sort of behavior. But what the future Princess of Monaco did concurrently with three other dead Hollywood stars in the privacy of their own home or hotel room was their own constitutionally protected business.

May 17, 1980 -
Call Me by Blondie reached No. #1 on the Billboard charts on this date.

Call Me was the most successful of all Blondie singles in the USA, where it was the best-selling single of 1980.

Today's moment of Zen

Today in History:
May 17, 1444 -
Sandro Botticelli, renown Renaissance painter, best known for works such as The Birth Of Venus, was born on this date. (He didn't paint The Birth of Venus on this date, smarty pant.)

He died on this date except it was 66 years later.

May 17, 1673 -
Louis Joliet, who unwittingly loaned his name to a prison, and Jacques Marquette, who loaned his name to an excellent BBQ joint in Minneapolis, first set out to explore the source of the Mississippi, which they believed would lead them to paradise on this date. (Again, according to a very devoted reader, the headwaters of Minneapolis are as close to paradise as you could hope to be.)

Unfortunately it only took them to New Orleans, and they were out of beads.

May 17, 1792 -
24 drunken stock brokers got together outside of 68 Wall Street in New York under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street which earlier was the site of a stockade fence and signed an agreement with two provisions:

1) the brokers were to deal only with each other. Thereby eliminating the auctioneers, and
2) the commissions were to be .25%.

Thus the New York Stock Exchange was born (and none of it involved a trade war with China.)

May 17, 1866 -
Erik Alfred Leslie Satie, French composer, was born.

Satie’s music represents the first definite break with 19th-century French Romanticism; it also stands in opposition to the works of composer Claude Debussy. Feel free to drop that tidbit at your next Zoom cocktail party.

May 17, 1954 -
The U.S. Supreme Court on this date, in an unanimous decision ruled for school integration in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka.

The Brown v. Board of Education decision serves to greatly motivate the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and ultimately led to the abolishment of racial segregation in all public facilities and accommodations.

May 17, 1973 -
The US Senate began its televised hearings into the Watergate scandal and the role of President Richard Nixon played in it, on this date.

The Watergate affair was a disaster for Pres. Nixon and captivated the nation for over a year, until Nixon finally resigned to avoid being impeached.

May 17, 1974 -
During a gun battle with members of the Symbionese Liberation Army on this date, the LAPD fired tear gas into their Watts hideout. The canisters ignited a fire which soon consumed the house.

Three other SLA members, including kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, watched the events unfold on TV in their motel room down the street from Disneyland.

Proving once again, it is the happiest place on earth.

May 17, 1992 -
The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses on this date.

You go over there and play the accordion. I'll stay here and beat off the band.

The same day, bandleader, accordion player, and soap bubble junkie Lawrence Welk died of pneumonia in his beachfront condo in Santa Monica, California (not that there's any connection between the two events.)

May 17, 2004 -
Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey were married at Cambridge City Hall in Massachusetts on this day as the first legally married same-sex couple in the US.

Over 70 other same-sex couples were married on this day as well, sparking a few protests but many more celebrations.

And so it goes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

their own constitutionally protected business, indeed