Thursday, February 8, 2024

I guess you should always be courteous and kind

Today is National Boy Scout Day. Boy Scout Day celebrates the birthday of Scouting in America.

On this date in 1910, Chicago publisher William Dickson Boyce filed incorporation papers in the District of Columbia to create the Boy Scouts of America.

Oh wait a minute, this may not be the right video for the anniversary.

February 8, 1936 -
Warner Brothers released the classic film The Petrified Forest starring Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart on this date.

The character of Duke Mantee was mainly inspired by bank robber John Dillinger. Humphrey Bogart happened to closely resemble the gangster, and he studied film footage of Dillinger to perfect his mannerisms.

February 8, 1968 -
Planet of The Apes premiered in NYC on this date, confirming Charlton Heston's position as one of the greatest "One Note Actors" of his generation.

At one of the first test screenings, a woman walked up to Charlton Heston and asked him how he was. Heston had no clue who she was until she revealed that she was Kim Hunter. He simply hadn't recognized her as he hadn't seen her outside of her ape make-up.

February 8, 1973
The cult classic film The Harder They Come (the breakthough film for Reggae music in the US,) was released in New York by Roger Corman's New World Pictures, on this date.

The movie is in Jamaican Patois, a creole language which can be understood to some extent by English speakers. There are subtitles in English for much of the movie on the original theatrical print.

February 8, 1974 -
The spin-off from the sitcom Maude, that wasn't quite a spin-off, Good Times, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

Norman Lear hired artist Ernie Barnes to paint the pictures which J.J. used in the show. Barnes' work displays elongated African-American subjects in everyday scenes. Eddie Murphy owns the original The Sugar Shack painting by Barnes.

February 8, 1975
Ohio Players' single Fire went to No. # 1 on the Billboard Charts on this date.

Prior to Fire, the group's highest-charting Hot 100 entry was Funky Worm, an influential novelty number led by keyboardist/vocalist Junie Morrison that hit #15 in 1973. When the band left the Detroit-based Westbound label for a major deal at Mercury Records, Morrison stayed behind and, after pursuing a solo career, eventually joined up with Parliament-Funkadelic. Billy Beck replaced him on keys and Jimmy "Diamond" Williams took over on drums, forming the Ohio Players' classic lineup. Fire, which boasted the hit title track, was the band's second Mercury album. It was their first and only chart-topper on the US albums chart.

February 8, 1976 -
Martin Scorsese's elegy to the swiftly disappearing squalor of 70's New York, Taxi Driver premiered on this date.

Jodie Foster claims that Robert De Niro would regularly phone her up and suggest they have coffee together. They would then rehearse the diner scene over and over to the point where Foster got bored, but still De Niro would insist they continue rehearsing.

February 8, 1979 -
The Garry Marshall sitcom Angie, starring Donna Pescow, Robert Hays, and Doris Roberts, premiered on ABC TV, on this date.

While appearing in this series, Robert Hays co-starred in Airplane! in which he danced to The Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive, the song that opened Saturday Night Fever in which Donna Pescow made her feature debut.

February 8, 1986 -
John Woo's hugely influencial crime drama, A Better Tomorrow, starring Ti Lung, Leslie Cheung and Chow Yun-fat premiered in Hong Kong on this date.

The movie is actually a remake of a 1967 Cantonese film called The Story of a Discharged Prisoner. The film's producer, Hark Tsui had been toying with the idea since his days in the TV business, but because of an overwhelming workload, had to pass the directorial reigns to John Woo.

Another ACME Safety Film

Today in History:
February 8, 1587 -
After some 19 years in prison, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded on this date.

She had spent the last hours of her life in prayer and also writing letters and her will. She expressed a request that her servants should be released. She also requested that she should be buried in France. The scaffold that was erected in the great hall was three feet tall and draped in black. It was reached by five steps and the only things on it were a disrobing stool, the block, a cushion for her to kneel on, and a bloody butcher's axe that had been previously used on animals. At her execution she removed a black cloak to reveal a deep red dress - the liturgical color of martyrdom in the Catholic Church.

The execution was badly carried out. It is said to have taken three blows to hack off her head. The first blow struck the back of her head, the next struck her shoulder and severed her subclavian artery, spewing blood in all directions. She was alive and conscious after the first two blows. The next blow took off her head, save some gristle, which was cut using the axe as a saw.

Various improbable stories about the execution were later circulated. One which is thought to be true is that, when the executioner picked up the severed head to show it to those present, it was discovered that Mary was wearing a wig. The headsman was left holding the wig, while the late queen's head rolled on the floor. Another well-known execution story concerns a small dog owned by the queen, which is said to have been hiding among her skirts, unseen by the spectators. Following the beheading, the dog rushed out, terrified and covered in blood. It was taken away by her ladies-in-waiting and washed, but it did not survive the shock.

All of this must have been a pretty sight.

February 8, 1861 -
The southern states which had seceded from the United States agreed to reunite in The Confederate States of America.

This caused the Civil War, a period of unprecedented bloodshed in American history, which surely could have been avoided through a rigorous U.N. regimen of plantation inspections.

Co-incidentally, or not
February 8, 1915 -
D.W. Griffith's controversial film The Birth of a Nation (The Clansman) premiered in Los Angeles on this date.

It is widely believed that after viewing this film in the White House, President Woodrow Wilson remarked that it was "like writing history with lightning." However, the reality is that Wilson disapproved of the "unfortunate production". It is believed by some of Wilson's aides that the apparent endorsement and approbation was a ruse generated by Thomas F. Dixon Jr., the author of the original novel.

February 8, 1924 -
Breathe deeply.

The first person to die in Nevada's new gas chamber was Chinese born Gee Jong on this date for the murder of Tom Quong Kee, a member of a rival gang. His lawyers had fought a long battle in the courts to show that the gas chamber was a "cruel and unusual punishment" and as such was illegal under the Eight Amendment to the Constitution.

The execution commenced at 9:30 a.m. when Gee Jong was led from a holding cell and secured to the chair within the chamber. He appeared to struggle a little after the gas was manually pumped in and then lapse into unconsciousness but as no external stethoscope had been used he was left in the chamber for 30 minutes to ensure death.

February 8, 1942 -
Robert Klein, comedian and actor, was born on this date.

Really, please stop writing him, Mr. Klein has run out of records starting with the letter D.

February 8, 1960 -
Beer heir Adolph Coors III (who was ironically allergic to beer), was killed after a failed kidnapping attempt in Colorado on this date. By October, Joseph Corbett Jr. was arrested in Canada after an national manhunt.

Corbett was convinced and sent to prison. He was pardoned in 1978. Mr Corbett committed suicide in 2010, still maintaining his innocence in the crime.

I guess Mr. Corbett didn't get his deposit back.

February 8, 1968 -
Gary Coleman, actor, security guard, perp and ultimately, a corpse was born on this date.

What else is there to say.

Before you go - Today's Super Bowl commercial preview - Marty had some time off, so his daughter shows him how to create a website for his commercial:

And here's his commercial

Francesca reaction is exactly the same as my daughters when I try to use any new slang.

And so it goes

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