Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's actually Geek Pride Day

Happy Towel Day

Remember a towel is "about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have."



Towel Day is celebrated every May 25th as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams. On this day, fans carry a towel with them to demonstrate their love for the books and the author, as referenced in Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.



(How cool was that)



So don't panic.



May 25, 1953 -
Universal-International
released their first 3-D feature film, It Came from Outer Space, directed by Jack Arnold (and based on a story written by Ray Bradbury,) starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, and Charles Drake in the US, on this date.



This was one of the few American movies from the 1950s to place its credits at the end rather than at the beginning.


May 25, 1966 -
Norman Jewison's Cold War
comedy, The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming, premiered on this date.



Ordinary townspeople were used as extras in the film. They were so thrilled to be a part of production that the rushes were shown at the end of each day in a local theater. The townspeople went every night, bringing the entire family just to watch the rushes.


May 25, 1977 -
In a time long ago and in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas began legally printing money with the release of the first Star Wars movie, which for reasons only know to George was titled - Stars War IV: A New Hope.



George realized that he did not have enough money so he released Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on this date in 1983.



George Lucas fired his friend and producer of the previous two Star Wars movies, Gary Kurtz, before production began (although some sources say he simply quit on his own) as Kurtz disagreed with Lucas' assertion that audiences didn't care for the story but for the spectacle.


May 25, 1979 -
Twentieth Century Fox released the science fiction film Alien, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt and John Hurt, on this date.



The blue laser lights that were used in the alien ship's egg chamber were borrowed from The Who. The band was testing out the lasers for their stage show in the soundstage next door.


Possible new sponsor


Today in History:
May 25, 1521
-
Charles V, a Holy Roman Emperor (Who was neither holy or a Roman - he was just a German King) issues the Diet of Worms edict (which neither helps you lose weight nor comprised of non-arthropod invertebrates,) on this date.



Martin Luther, German monk and all around killjoy, couldn't stomach this diet (as it declaring him an outlaw for not eating worms, banning his writings, and requiring his arrest) and goes off to start the Protestant Reformation.


May 25, 1793 -
The first Catholic priest, Father Stephen Theodore Badin, was ordained in the United States and sent on a mission in Kentucky, on this date.

Though Catholicism existed in the US before Badin's ordination, it was mostly in Maryland, and no priest had actually been ordained on American soil. Badin's ordination was a landmark in the spread of Catholicism in America.


May 25, 1803
-
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on this date. Emerson whose original profession, a Unitarian minister but secret calling was as, an amateur plumber, left the ministry to pursue a career in writing and public speaking.



Emerson became one of America's best known and best loved 19th century figures, writing such works as Trust Thyself and carry a self-threading snake and Bacchus on the chamber pot.


May 25, 1895 -
Lax laundry standards in Victorian England helped convict British playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde of "committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons," to wit: buggering some rent boys. Some of the evident against Wilde was presented by a hotel housekeeper who stated that she had seen young men in Wilde’s bed and  noticed that there were fecal stains on his bed sheets.



For his crime, Wilde was sentenced to two years of hard labor in Reading jail. Perhaps, he should have taken up forgery instead.


May 25, 1925 -
John Scopes
was indicted for violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, on this date, which prohibits the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution in Tennessee public schools. Evolution was a theory put forth by Charles Darwin, whose boat was named "the Beagle." People objected to this theory, which put forth the proposition that mankind had evolved from life forms with hairy red asses.



This resulted in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, in which Spencer Tracy gave a long monologue that changed everyone's minds even though it was so darn hot in the courtroom.

It is now commonly accepted as fact that mankind evolved from life forms with hairy red asses, a proposition that anyone who's been to the beach lately shouldn't find too hard to accept.


May 25, 1950 -
The Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel, the longest-continuous, underwater-vehicular tunnel (measuring 1.7 miles long between portals) in North America, opened in NYC, on this date.



A parade of dignitaries led by Mayor William O’Dwyer and Robert Moses, head of the newly created Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, traveled by motorcade through the tunnel where they were welcomed by a cheering crowd on the Manhattan side.


May 25, 1961 -
President John F. Kennedy proposed to Congress on this date, a goal for the U.S., "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."



The USSR had become the first country to send a man into space the month before, and Congress embraced Kennedy's plan.


May 25, 1996
-
The body of Bradley Nowell was discovered in his room at San Francisco's Ocean View Motel on this date.



Nowell, lead singer for radio trio Sublime, was killed by an accidental smack overdose.

Oops.


May 25, 2001 -
Erik Weihenmayer
was the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on this date. He also completed the Seven Summits in September 2002. His story was covered in a Time article in June 2001 titled Blind Faith.



He is author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye can See, his autobiography.



And so it goes



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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The streets will be awash with seamen

Make sure you are wearing your rubbers -



The 29th annual Fleet Week in NYC will take place from Wednesday, May 24, 2017 to Tuesday, May 30, 2017.


May 24, 1968 -
The Rolling Stones
released Jumping Jack Flash, in Britain, on this date.



The Rolling Stones have played Jumping Jack Flash during every tour since its release; it ranks as the number the band has played in concert most frequently.


May 24, 1989 -
The third movie in Steven Spielberg's salute to Saturday afternoon serials, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, premiered nationwide on this date.



Steven Spielberg is on record as saying he made the film for two reasons: 1) to fulfill a three-picture obligation he had with George Lucas, and, 2) to atone for the criticism that he received for the previous installment, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.


May 24, 1991 -
MGM released Ridley Scott's controversial (at the time) take on the 'buddy movie', Thelma & Louise, starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, on this date.



Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster were originally chosen for the leads and accepted the roles, but preproduction took too long and both actresses had to drop out due to other commitments. Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep wanted to make a movie together and Thelma & Louise was one of the scripts they considered. Ultimately, they decided to star in Death Becomes Her instead.


Don't forget to check out our other site: Dr. Caligari's Cupboard


Today in History:
May 24, 1610
-
Buggery was criminalized for the first time in North America by Sir Thomas Gates, when the Virginia colony declares that "no man shall commit the horrible, and detestable sinnes of Sodomie upon pain of death."

I've just read that the real punishment for breaking this new law was - Whipping -a good strong butt whipping.  I see. (This is what came from the lack of good lubrication in the early colonies.)


May 24, 1626 -
Peter Minuit
was the director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland who was credited with the purchase of the island of Manhattan on this date.



According to legend, he persuaded the natives—perhaps a Metoac band of Lenape known as the Canarsee, who were actually native to what is now Brooklyn - to "sell" the island for a handful of trade goods worth approximately 60 guilders (appx. $24.)

I've often said that there are those in Congress looking to give New York back to the Indians.


May 24, 1686 -
Gabriel Fahrenheit was born on the date. Mr Fahrenheit did pioneering work in the field of temperature. It was his dream to develop a more sophisticated temperature measurement system than the accepted worldwide standard of his era, which consisted of only seven gradations: brr!, cold as hell, chilly, warm, hot, hot as hell and ow!.

Hard at work on the same problem was his colleague Anders Celsius. Mr Fahrenheit eventually discovered the "degree." It took 32 of Mr Fahrenheit's degrees to freeze water and 212 of them to boil it. Mr Celsius, meanwhile, had discovered a different kind of "degree."

It took only a hundred of his degrees to bring water to a boil, and, even more impressively, he discovered that water would freeze without any degrees at all.



By requiring fewer degrees to get things done, and less tick marks on thermometers, Mr Celsius's system was more compact and economical than Mr Fahrenheit's. This made it a natural for the crowded lands of Europe, where storage came at a premium. In the great unsettled expanse of the New World, however, space was not an issue and Mr Fahrenheit's system took hold.


May 24, 1819 -
Queen Victoria was born as Princess Alexandria Victoria at Kensington Palace, London on this date. Through a series of accidents, debauched living and bad planning on the part of her uncles, she became Queen. She reigned for 64 years, and lent her name to an era best remembered for its prudery and chastity.



Remember, this was the time when one put skirts on piano legs for fear of arousing the passions of young men. This pent up frustration resulted in so many citizens having to stay home and care for their children, since Victoria's reign also saw the largest population explosion in British history.


May 24, 1844 -
Samuel F. B. Morse formally opens America’s first telegraph line, when he demonstrated a magnetic telegraph, sending a message from the chambers of the Old Supreme Court courthouse in Washington D.C. to his partner, Alfred Vail, at the Mount Clare Depot of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in Baltimore, Maryland, on this date.



Vail responded by retransmitting the same message back to Morse.  The message, "What hath God wrought?" was the first message sent on a commercial telegraph line.


May 24, 1856 -
A small gang led by abolitionist John Brown murdered five unarmed pro-slavery homesteaders in Franklin County, Kansas, on this date, hacking them to pieces with swords.



The event comes to be known as the Pottawatomie Massacre.


May 24, 1883 -



The Brooklyn Bridge (originally the New York and Brooklyn Bridge), one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, stretches 5,989 feet (1825 m) over the East River connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn opened for business today. On completion, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. Since its opening, it has become an iconic part of the New York Skyline and is still considered one of the Wonders of the Modern World.



The first person to jump from the bridge was Robert E. Odlum (and not Steve Brodie) on May 19, 1885.

Robert, a swimming teacher, made the jump in a costume bearing his initials. He survived the pre-announced jump, but died shortly thereafter from internal injuries. Apparently, no one told him taking the high dive off the bridge would get him killed.

This showed him.


May 24, 1920 -
Senile French President Paul Deschanel fell off a train bound for Montbrison, and was later discovered wandering along the track in his pajamas. The Station master's wife later commented that she knew he was a gentleman because he had such "clean feet."

Soon afterwards, Deschanel walked out of a state meeting, straight into the fountains at the Rambouillet chateau, fully clothed.

As I mentioned yesterday, The French, they are a strange race. (Interesting side note - the actress Zooey Deschanel is related to the former president.)


May 24, 1927 -
The final levee breach of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 occurred at McCrea, Louisiana, on the east bank of the Atchafalaya levee. The flood, which began several weeks earlier, along the Mississippi killed some 500 people and displaced thousands.



The levee system broke in 145 places and caused 27,000 square miles of flooding in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.


May 24, 1928  -
The airship Italia, commanded by General Umberto Nobile, crashed while attempting to reach Spitzbergen, during its return flight from the North Pole on this date.



Nine men, including Nobile survived the initial crash.


May 24, 1941 -
Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham Zimmerman
, a young boy from a small shtetl called Duluth, in the great state of Minnesota, don't ya know, who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades, was born on this date.







Even Zigman and Anna's grandson, Shabtai came back to the standards.


May 24, 1941 -
During the Battle of the Denmark Strait (World War II,) the German battleship Bismarck sank the HMS Hood on this date



More than 1,400 crewmen died; only three survived.


May 24, 1962 -
Scott Carpenter becomes the second American to orbit the Earth when he is launched into space aboard NASA's Aurora7 space capsule, on this date.



Carpenter circles the globe three times, reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles before his spacecraft splashes into the Atlantic Ocean about 1,000 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral about five hours later.


May 24, 1976  -
In France, on this date, two California wines won a tasting event over several French classics for the first time. Stephen Spurrier, English owner of a wine shop and wine school in Paris, held a competition tasting of French and American wines.



The best red wine was a 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. The best white wine was a 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, owned by Jim Barrett.



And so it goes.


Before you go - And now for something completely different - the history of the entire world:



Now that you know everything you need to - you may go on with your life.


Tomorrow is Towel Day, you know what you need to do - DON'T PANIC!



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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today is World Turtle Day.

The purpose of World Turtle Day, sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.







It's celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities.


May 23, 1929 -
Walt Disney released the ninth film in the Mickey Mouse film series, The Karnival Kid on this date



This is first cartoon in which Mickey Mouse speaks. His first words are "Hot dogs!"


May 23, 1966 -
The Beatles released the single Paperback Writer on this date



This was a song that led the transition from early Beatles style to later Beatles style, from love songs to opening up the subject of songs to a wider variety of subjects. Paul's Aunt had been bugging him for months, challenging him to "Write a song that wasn't about love." So he wrote this just to shut her up.


May 23, 1969
-
... It's a boy Mrs. Walker, it's a boy ....



The Who released Tommy, the first rock opera on this date.

Somehow this may or may not be connected with the fact that



the BBC gave the go-ahead for 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus on this date as well.


May 23, 1980 -
Stanley Kubrick's
classic horror thriller The Shining, opened on this date (I remember seeing it at the midnight showing on this date in Time Square.)



At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.


May 23, 1984 -
Steven Spielberg/ George Lucas' theme park thrill ride film, Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom, opened on this date.



The rope bridge used during the final fight scene was actually suspended up a couple of hundred feet across a gorge on location in Sri Lanka. Acrophobic Steven Spielberg would never walk over it, and had to drive a mile and a half to reach the other side. Harrison Ford on the other hand had no such fear, and would run across it at full speed.


May 23, 1997 -
Steven Spielberg's sequel monster movie, The Lost World: Jurassic Park opened nationally, on this date (this date must be a lucky day for Steve.)



Julianne Moore admitted that she did this film to pay off a divorce settlement.


Better lives through pharmaceuticals


Today in History:
May 23, 1430
-
The French, they are a strange race.

A little french shepherdess goes out into a field for a picnic. And instead of getting food poisoning, which was common, heard the voice of God, which is not.



Joan, heeding God's command, heads the army of France to rout the English and help crown a new French King. And for her troubles, Joan of Arc captured by Burgundians today at Compiegne, who sold her to the British. The British, known for their sense of humor, gave Joan the ultimate hot foot.



This is what comes from being the messenger of God.


May 23, 1498
-
What a day for an auto da fe...

Religious fundamentalist Girolamo Savonarola was executed in Florence, Italy, on this date, for his many heresies, after being excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI. The Catholic Church had already excommunicated the Dominican friar the year before, but Savonarola continued to preach for radical reforms. Among other things, he held bonfires of the vanities for his parishioners' worldly possessions, because they competed with the word of God for attention.



Brother Savonarola was first hanged along with two accomplices and their bodies burned. He was burned on the same spot as his famous 'bonfire of the vanities.'

This is what comes from trying to follow your own understanding of God's words. (Karma's a bitch.)


May 23, 1618 -
In what is later called the Second Defenestration of Prague, (yes there was a First) three men representing the soon-to-be Emperor Ferdinand II are thrown from a window in the Hradshin Palace by Protestant noblemen.



Luckily for the imperial emissaries, they land on a large pile of manure and survive (Catholics immediately proclaimed that God’s angels had saved them from certain death.) But when Ferdinand assumes the throne the following year, all hell breaks loose in Europe, starting with Bohemia.



Thus begins the horrific religious conflict that comes to be known as the Thirty Years War. Shockingly, given the European sense of time, the war actually lasted 30 years. It is generally agreed that the war set back the continent a full century.


May 23, 1701 -
Captain William Kidd was hanged in London on this date. After the first attempt fails when the rope snaps, Kidd was brought right back to the gallows and the process repeated. After death, the body is slathered in tar, chained up, and suspended over the Thames where it remains for years as an example to others considering a life of piracy.



Again, the British and their sense of humor.


May 23, 1734 -
Friedrich Anton Mesmer was born on this date.

Mr. Mesmer was a physician and hypnotist who developed a peculiar method of therapy-by-suggestion that bears his name to this day: Antonism.



(Antonism should not be confused with antonyms, an antonym for synonyms. Synonyms should not be confused with cinnamon, which is used on hot buns. It will spare embarrassment at the breakfast table if hot buns are confused with hot buns.)


May 23, 1873 -
The Northwest Mounted Police were founded on this date.  The Northwest Mounted Police was one of the first police forces in the Northwest Territories - present day Alberta and Saskatchewan - and the predecessor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, also known as the Mounties.



Please rise for the playing of the Mounties Anthem



Yes, this has nothing to do with that fine organization but isn't your day just a little better for having heard this again?


May 23, 1900 -
Sergeant William Harvey Carney from Company C of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, was the first African-American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, on this date, (although he did not get his medal until nearly 40 years after the battle.)

Carney was a soldier in the Civil War, and received the medal for saving the Union flag during a fierce battle, the Battle of Fort Wagner outside of Charleston, S.C. on July 18, 1863, despite the fact that he was severely wounded.


May 23, 1911 -
More than one million books were set in place for the official dedication of The New York Public Library (on Fifth Avenue on the site of the old Croton Reservoir and the largest marble structure in the US) on this date – exactly 16 years to the day since the historic agreement creating the Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations had been signed.

The ceremony was presided over by President William Howard Taft and was attended by Governor John Alden Dix and Mayor William J. Gaynor.

Please, all of you who forgot to return your books from the opening day, return them. All is forgiven.

No questions asked.


May 23, 1934 -
A group of FBI agents and police officers from two states ambush the notorious Bonnie and Clyde on a highway near Gibsland, Louisiana, on this date.



The men open fire as the bank robbers drive past the concealed posse, unloading hundreds of rounds into the car.




And so it goes.



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Monday, May 22, 2017

Kids, listen to your mom

May 22, 987 -     
Louis V le Faineant
, known as the Lazy, king of France (all of 20 years old,) was allegedly poisoned by his mother, on this date. It was reported that he fell off his horse during a hunting accident the day before.

Kids, when your mother tells you to clean up your room - do it!


May 22, 1947 -
David Lean's
classic, Great Expectations, premiered in NYC on this date.



David Lean
wanted his film to have a feeling of heightened realism. Working closely in conjunction with art director John Bryan and cinematographer Guy Green, he employed several tricks, such as forced perspective, to achieve this effect. The famous opening shot in the graveyard, for instance, features a brooding church in the background which in reality was only three meters high.


May 22, 1967 -

Today was the first day a soft spoken man slipped into your home and made himself more comfortable. But don't let his demeanor fool you, he was the power behind the throne of a kingdom where most of the royalty were mere "puppets".



Mister Rogers' Neighborhood premiered on WQED on this date.


May 22, 1980
-
Namco released the phenomenally popular arcade game, Pac-man (known as Puck-man), in Japan on this day.



An instantaneous hit, Pac-man is still considered a landmark in video gaming history.


May 22, 1992 -
The man most of America went to bed with every night for 30 years, finally got tired of having to try to satisfy so many people.



Johnny Carson's final appearance on the Tonight Show was broadcast on this date.



potential birthday gift



Today in History:
May 22, 337
-
Emperor Constantine died on this date. Although quite dead, his embalmed corpse continues to act as head of state, receiving state dignitaries and daily reports from ministers as if nothing had changed. Constantine's macabre leadership continues through winter.



Sometimes, it good to be the King, even after you're dead.


May 22, 1813 -
One of the most controversial personalities of the nineteenth century, Richard Wagner was born on this date. Wagner wrote some of its most controversial music. Hitler is said for most of his life to have kept only three books on his nightstand: Wagner's autobiography, Machiavelli's The Prince, and Young Aryan Youth, lederhosen around their ankles, sitting in a tub of Chocolate Pudding. (How Hitler ended up with Wagner's nightstand is a question best left alone.)



Wagner considered it his life's mission to create a new and purely German music, in German, about Germany, for Germans, and is therefore best known for having scored the helicopter scene in Apocalypse Now.


May 22, 1856 -
Massachusetts
Senator Charles Sumner was beaten unconscious with a cane on the Senate floor by South Carolina’s Preston Brooks on this date.



Brooks, a pro-slavery Democrat, attacked Senator Sumner, a Republican abolitionist from Massachusetts, so badly that he was unable to resume his duties for three years. Brooks resigned from his seat but was re-elected.

And you thought, things were contentious in the Senate now-a-days.


May 22, 1906 -
The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were granted a U.S. patent for their “new and useful improvements in Flying Machines.” (US No. 821,393)

It is the first airplane patent in the U.S.


May 22, 1907 -
Laurence Kerr Olivier
, director, producer and one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century, was born on this date.



Interestingly, Olivier is buried alongside some of the people he has portrayed in theatre and film, for example King Henry V, General John Burgoyne and Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding.


May 22, 1939 -
Italy and Germany allied themselves with the Pact of Steel on this day, forming the basis for the Axis powers, which would later include Japan.



Despite the fact that the two became allies, Hitler and Mussolini still did not trust each other, so the pact was a very uneasy alliance even after the Tripartite Agreement Pact in 1940, when Japan joined.


May 22, 1962 -
A bomb, placed by Thomas G. Doty in the lavatory of Continential Airlines Flight 11 (a Boeing 707-124 ), carrying 45 passengers and crew, exploded, tearing the airliner apart. This had the unfortunate distinction of being the very first sabotage of a commercial jet airliner in the world.



Wreckage rained down from south of Cincinnati to Unionville, Missouri where the major sections of the aircraft crashed. One passenger managed to survive that terrible night but died early the next morning from his injuries. He was 27 year old Takehiko Nakano, an engineer from Illinois.


May 22, 1964 -
Lyndon B. Johnson formally outlined his goal to create a "Great Society" through social reform during commencement exercises at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, on this day.



Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and of racial injustice. The most long-lasting programs of the Great Society include Medicaid and Medicare.


May 22, 1969 -
The lunar module of Apollo 10 (named Snoopy, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene A. Cernan aboard) separated from the command module, on this date, (named Charlie Brown piloted by John W. Young) and flew to within nine miles of the moon's surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.



Later that day, a disaster was averted after the Lunar Module separated from the descent stage began to roll violently due to the crew accidentally duplicating commands into the flight computer. Quick action by the crew saved them from crashing into the moon (on live TV, no less.)



And so it goes. 


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Before you go -  Here's a new Puddles Pity Party video -



I'm still waiting for him to do 'Heaven' by the Talking Heads.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Day That The Circus Left Town

 The very last performance of The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus happens today.



One of the final two shows of the Greatest Show on Earth will close its 146 year run at Nassau Coliseum, the other closed earlier this month in Providence, RI.


The weather is supposed to be quite pleasant today.

If you're not out there, walking for a cure, get outside and support them. (This year marks the 32nd annual AIDS Walk New York, the east coast’s first and the world’s largest AIDS fundraising event.) 


May 21, 1969 -
MGM
released the science fiction B-movie The Green Slime to U.S. theaters on this date.



This was the first film ever to be featured on the TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000. An edited version of the film appeared on the show's never-aired pilot episode.


May 21, 1980 -
George Lucas
didn't have enough money (the first time). He produces a sequel to his highly successful Star Wars, which somehow is Part V (don't ask or someone will go to great lengths to explain it all to you.)



The Empire Strikes Back premiered on this date.



The film contains, arguably the most shocking revelation - right next to what Rosebud was or Who actually is Keyser Söze?


May 21, 1983 -
David Bowie, with guitar work courtesy of Stevie Ray Vaughan reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with Let’s Dance, which stayed on top for one week.



David Bowie was impressed when he saw Stevie Ray Vaughan perform at the Montreaux Jazz festival a year earlier. When Vaughan received the call from Bowie to play on the record, he was (although not literally) in the middle of recording his own album, Texas Flood.


May 21, 1987  -
The series, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, starred Blair Brown premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



This is the first sitcom that from its original conception did not have an studio audience and did not have a laugh track. This was very precedent setting and would set the stage for shows like Arrested Development, Malcom in the Middle, The Simpsons, South Park and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.


May 21, 1990 -
The last episode of Newhart aired on CBS-TV on this date.



After the 7th season, Bob Newhart decided the 8th season would be the final season for the show. When he told his wife Ginny Newhart of his decision, she suggested that for the final episode, his character should wake up in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette, and that the series should be a dream.


May 21, 1992 -
Bette Midler
, the last scheduled guest, sang a touching impromptu duet with Johnny Carson, on the Tonight Show, on this date. (This was the apex of TV. It hasn't gotten any better than this.)



This penultimate show was immediately recognized as a television classic, and Midler would win an Emmy Award for her role in it.


Sometimes, it all Greek to me.


Today in History:
It was on this date in 1471 that King Henry VI of England was murdered in the Tower of London, concluding Part III of his reign.



Edward IV
assumed the throne as the world eagerly awaited Richard III and the dramatic conclusion of the War of the Roses.


May 21, 1904
-
... This is so nice, it must be illegal.







Thomas Wright (Fats) Waller, jazz pianist, organist, composer and entertainer, was born on this date.


May 21, 1917 -
One of the World's Greatest Actors, Raymond Burr was born on this date.



In celebration, may I suggest purchasing a small container of the fabulous nipple rouge bearing this man's name. This year, 'Bruised Aubergine".


May 21, 1924 -
Two
Chicago teenagers interrupted their daily sodomy practice and attempted to commit the perfect crime just for the thrill of it.



Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped 14-year-old Bobby Franks, bludgeoned him to death in a rented car, and then dumped Franks' body in a distant drainage ditch.

They didn't get away with it.


May 21,1927 -
Charles Lindbergh,
American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, racist, Neo-Nazi, Isolationist and serial philanderer became the first man to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean, on this date.



Exactly five years later Amelia Earhart became the first woman to do it, on this day as well.



This was an impressive step for feminism, and she did it without a bathroom break.


May 21, 1952 -
Mr. T
was born in the ghetto, on this date.



And his mama cried.


May 21, 1972 -
A deranged Australian geologist took a hammer on this date, to Michelangelo's Pieta, shouting "I am Jesus Christ -- risen from the dead!"



Laszlo Toth was never charged with any crime, instead receiving a free trip to an Italian insane asylum. Toth's name is later adopted by comedian and former SNL regular Don Novello (Father Guido Sarducci) for a long series of pranks by mail.

Everybody's a critic.



May 21, 2011
Radio broadcaster/preacher Harold Camping predicted that the world would end on this day. As far as we can tell, it didn’t.



Ever since then, today has been known as Rapture Day, (so you may want to party like it's 1999.)



And so it goes


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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Today is chockablock full of stuff

Dancing is poetry with arms and legs. - Charles Baudelaire



Today is the 11th Annual Dance Parade in NYC, which steps off at 21st Street and Broadway with Grand Marshal  Maurine Hines and buck and wngs its way down to Tompkin Square Park.


The 2017 Preakness Stakes, the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes, is promoted as the "middle jewel" of thoroughbred horse racing's traditional Triple Crown.

The race is held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.


Today is Who wants to be a Millionaire Day. It's the day to celebrate the desire to win the lottery and go tell your boss where they can stick it.  Sources say that the word millionaire was coined by Lord Byron sometime in 1816 but I believe he was too busy sleeping with anything that moved to worry about becoming a millionaire.



Remember, most millionaires are not celebrating this day; they are waiting to celebrate Be A Billionaire Day.


May 20, 1891 -
The first public demonstration of a prototype Kinetoscope was given to an invited audience of from the National Federation of Women’s Clubs at Edison’s laboratory on this date.



A three second 'film' directed, produced by, and starring William Dickson is used for the demonstration. It is purported, the second 'film' ever made in the USA


May 20, 1967 -
BBC disc jockey Kenny Everett gave the official preview of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the radio show Where It's At, broadcast on the BBC Light Program on this date.



He was unable to play the final track A Day in the Life, which the BBC had banned a day earlier due to drug references.


May 20, 1982 -
The last episode of the series Barney Miller aired on this date.



The producers were approached during the run of the series about doing a feature film based on the show using the regular cast members. The film was never made.


May 20, 1993
-
The last episode of the series Cheers aired on this date.



Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman and George Wendt are the only actors to appear in all 273 episodes of the series.


May 20, 1996
-
NBC aired the final episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on this date.



The show was actually cancelled during its fourth season, with The Philadelphia Story serving as the finale. The overwhelming response, with viewers writing in by the truckload to NBC and Will Smith, convinced the network to go back on this decision, allowing it to run for what became two more seasons.


Don't forget to tune in the old Philco to The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour.


Today in History:
May 20, 1498
-
Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was the first European to reach India by sea on this date. He accomplished this amazing feat by actually taking the correct route and not traveling to the Caribbean, for the tropical drinks and cheap but potent ganja, instead.



His trip helped set up a very profitable trade route for Portugal, which helped it become the foremost exploring power in the early 1500s.


Honore de Balzac was born in France on May 20, 1799 (or May 19th.) The exact date could not be determined as all of France had just started on a drinking binge that has only recently just ended. Balzac created a vast body of literature that he called La Comédie Humaine (“A Vast Body of Literature”).

It consisted of dozens of novels, short stories, and plays interwoven with many of the same characters, places, events, horses, etc. One of his most popular characters was the brilliant and big-hearted Dr. Bianchon. It is rumored that Balzac’s dying words were, “If Bianchon were here, he would save me!

The anecdote is probably apocryphal, as Balzac didn’t speak English.


May 20 1867 -
Queen Victoria laid the foundation stones in the Royal Albert Hall on this date.

Two thoughts immediately came to mind:
a.) Who thought she would do it in the road?
b.) Wow, Keith Richards is really old.


May 20, 1873
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent (#139121) for blue jeans with copper rivets.





19 years later, on this date, George Sampson patents the clothes dryer. It's just that simple.


May 20, 1921 -
Noble Prize winner, Marie Curie visited the White House on this date.



She did not asked to visit any broom closets with the president.


May 20, 1927 -
Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y.,



at 7:40 AM aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France on this date.


May 20, 1932 -
Amelia Earhart took off for Ireland from Habor Grace, Newfoundland on this date, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.



She would later land her plane in Ireland after a thirteen-hour, thirty-minute flight from Canada rather than in her intended destination, France.


May 20, 1946 -
Cherilyn Sarkisian
, pop singer-songwriter, Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award, three Golden Globe Awards and a People's Choice Award winner was born on this date.









Wig manufacturer's everywhere celebrate this day as an international holiday.

(Probably coincidentally, but I like to think not, the Supreme Court struck down, 6-3, a Colorado constitutional amendment banning laws that protect homosexuals from discrimination on this date in 1996.)


May 20, 1956 -
The first hydrogen bomb to be dropped from the air was exploded over the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific (Operation Redwing), but it was a much earlier (July 1, 1946,) non-aerial atomic detonation that originally inspired the bikini swimsuit.



According to the U.S. Department of Energy, $90 million has been appropriated by Congress "to be used by the Bikinians to clean up their atoll" since 1990. How embarrassing must it have been for the guy who had to call the Bikinians and tell them we had soiled their atoll—that we wanted to help them clean their filthy atoll?

(Which isn't to say it'd be a cakewalk being called a Bikinian.)


May 20, 1960 -
Music DJ Alan Freed, originator of the term "Rock and Roll," was indicted in New York in the Payola scandal of the day.

Freed had accepted $30,650 from five record companies to play their records, although to be fair "pay for play" was the accepted practice up to that point.


May 20, 1989
-
The Chinese government imposed martial law on Beijing on this date, in response to student-led protests that had brought millions of people onto the streets.

The demonstrations continued, however, until the brutal military crackdown on June 3 and 4 in Tiananmen Square, in which thousands of Chinese dissidents were killed by the Chinese military. In a June 9 speech, DengXiaoping announced that the government had suppressed a "counterrevolutionary rebellion" in which the "dregs of society" had tried to "establish a bourgeois republic entirely dependent on the West."

I'm still not winning any friends with the Chinese Government.


May 20, 1989 -
While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness







Gilda Radner, Emmy Award winning American comedienne and actress, best known for her five years as part of the original cast of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live, died at 42 of ovarian cancer on this date.



And so it goes


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Friday, May 19, 2017

Okay, everybody take a deep breath

Bunkies, yesterday was a very intense day, unless it wasn't for you.



Pace yourself; we have a long train wreck ahead


May 19, 1934 -
The very truly perverse horror film from Universal, The Black Cat, premiered in NYC on this date.



This film was made just before the Hays code went into effect. It is chockablock filled with Satanism, black mass orgies, necrophilia, pedophilia, sadistic revenge, murder and incest.

Oh, I forgot to mention Bela Lugosi slices off Boris Karloff's face.


May 19, 1951 -
The first in the series of the transvestite Bugs Bunny, the ever clueless Daffy Duck and bestiality minded Elmer Fudd's "Hunting Trilogy", Rabbit Fire was released on this date.



The powerful pachyderm that pummels and pounded Elmer Fudd's head once, is based on and was voiced by sometime-secondary Stooge Shemp Howard's first replacement, Joe Besser.


May 19, 1958 -
The iconic B movie classic, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, broke out on this date.



The movie was shot in eight days for $89,000, which was $10,000 under budget.


May 19, 1994 -
After eight series, the final episode of LA Law aired on NBC-TV on this date.



The series ended their last day of shooting their final episode the morning of May 10, 1994. Actor Corbin Bernsen called into the Howard Stern Show about a half hour before they wrapped for the last time.


May 19, 1999 -
The much-anticipated movie prequel, Star Wars: Episode One -- The Phantom Menace opened on this date.



When fully dressed and in make-up, Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley resembled each other so much, that even Knightley's mother Sharman Macdonald, who visited the set, had trouble identifying her own daughter.


May 19, 2005 -
Mr. Lucas needed more money to electronically remake the previous five Star Wars movies, so he released Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith on this date.



George Lucas
deliberately made the Darth Vader suit top-heavy (for instance adding weight on the helmet) to make Hayden Christensen not appear "too accustomed" to it in the movie.


Canoeing in the outer banks of the interweb last night, I came upon the Bill Murray lounge singer/ Star Wars skit



I thought that was pretty cool.


in memoriam



Today in History:
May 19, 1536
-
In the first public execution of an English queen, Anne Boleyn was beheaded on this date. In her speech, Boleyn has nothing but good things to say about her husband, Henry VIII: "I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord."



Except of course for this whole beheading thing.


May 19, 1890 -
Nguyen Tat Thanh was born in central Vietnam on this date. After World War I he devotes his life to the Communist cause, adopting a series of pseudonyms along the way. Finally he settles on "The Enlightener," that being the English translation of Ho Chi Minh.



As a birthday present, the US decides to bomb Hanoi in 1967 on this date. (There is the tiniest cognitive dissonance in the fact that we are supporting Viet Nam in their argument with China over islands in the South China Seas.)


May 19, 1885  -
Professor" Robert Emmet Odlum of Washington, D.C., a well named swimming instructor and author of pamphlets on diving, jumped from Brooklyn Bridge, on this date.

He entered the water feet first (as was the accepted diving position at the time) and shattered every bone in his frame from heel to skull. He was pulled from the river unconscious and died a half  hour later. Mr. Odlum was the first person to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, and was died doing so.


May 19, 1897 -
Oscar Wilde
was finally released from jail, literally a broken man. Wilde had been jailed when he lost his libel case against the Marquis of Queensberry and was charged with "gross indecency" (homosexuality.) His health deteriorated while in jail; he had become emotionally exhausted and was flat broke.



When he was released, he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol. A recurrent ear infection, caused by a fall in jail, became serious several years later, meningitis set in, and Oscar Wilde died on November 30, 1900.


May 19, 1935 -
Thomas Edward Lawrence
died after an motorcycle accident on this date. Lawrence was a British officer who rose to prominence during the Arabian campaigns of the First World War. Clad in the magnificent white silk robes of an Arab prince ... he hoped to pass unnoticed through London.

Alas he was mistaken.



He can also be seen in The Lion in Winter, Becket, What New, Pussycat and My Favorite Year.


May 19, 1945 -
Peter Townshend, Rock Singer/guitarist/vocalist/composer, was born on this date .





After he was rated as the 50th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone, Mr. Townshend fell into a deep depression and was reduced to appearing with another old time rocker, Roger Daltrey at benefit concerts.

How sad.


May 19, 1951
When I was a kid growing up in the '60s, music was an outlet for enlightenment, frustration, rebellion. It was more about individualism. Today it's just like a big business.



Joey Ramone, (Jeffrey Ross Hyman) punk rocker, songwriter and countercultural icon was born on this date.


May 19, 1952
(or 1948 - it's not for us to question a woman about her real age) -
I don't like people who hide things. We're not perfect, we all have things that people might not like to see, and I like to show my faults.





Grace Jones, singer, model, and actress was born on this date.


May 19, 1962 -
Democrats staged a fund-raiser in New York's Madison Square Garden that was billed as a birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy on this date.



JFK thanked Marilyn, saying, “I can now retire from politics after having had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.” It takes a certain kind of balls, and a major addition to pain killers, to have your mistress, Marilyn Monroe, performed a sultry rendition of Happy Birthday to You in front of your wife and the nation.


May 19, 1994
-
Even though people may be well known, they hold in their hearts the emotions of a simple person for the moments that are the most important of those we know on earth: birth, marriage and death.



It what can only be considered one of life's most bitter ironies, former first lady Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer in New York City on this date.



And so it goes



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Thursday, May 18, 2017

I guess I should have mentioned this yesterday.

It's No Dirty Dishes Day again. Some feel this day was established to have a day free of dirty dishes.

In other words, you should have gotten all the dishes done last night so that you can relax today.


Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, and Jimmy Stewart was born on May 20, 1908. Without them we would not have had such American classics as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Smith Goes Back to Washington, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Again, Mr. Smith: His Big Hands and His Even Bigger Feet, The Koch Brothers present Mr. Smith and the Tea Party, Mr. Smith is Really Very Serious about Term Limits and Mr. Smith Drops Dead in A Senate Cloakroom (astride a male intern.)



The duo also gave us It's a Wonderful Life with its own magnificent sequels: It's a Really Wonderful Life, It Just Doesn't Get Any Better Than Life and Life Is Just So Damn Good I Don't Know Whether to Take a Dump or Go Blind.


May 18,  2001 -
DreamWorks
released the animated comedy Shrek, featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz, in the US on this date.



Mike Myers recorded Shrek's voice in a natural accentless voice before the film was test-screened. After watching it, he decided that the voice didn't sound right and had all of his lines re-recorded with a Scottish accent, based on the voice his mother used when reading him bedtime stories as a child.


A brief weather report


Today in History:
On May 18, 1843, Joseph Smith made a specific prophecy -

"I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left."

Ominously, Smith's prophesy was proven true. By the Great Depression of 1888, most potsherds are only found in museums and the value of broken pottery plummets to near worthlessness.


May 18, 1926 -
Aimee Semple McPherson,
possibly the most famous woman in America at the time, went for a swim in the Pacific Ocean at Venice Beach and disappeared. McPherson was a hugely popular evangelist; she had a radio following of over a million, so when she disappeared, police pulled out all stops to try to find her.



She reappeared a month later, claiming to have been kidnapped, but it quickly became apparent that she had stepped out with a married engineer from her radio station, Kenneth Ormiston. The scandal rocked her ministry, and she faded out of the public eye, until she apparently 'accidentally overdosed' on Seconals in 1944.


May 18, 1936 -
Tokyo gangster Kichizo Ishida was accidentally strangled by his mistress during a session of rough sex. Ishida had been a "gasper," someone who enjoys the sexual effects of asphyxiation. The woman, Sada Abe, indulged him by wrapping her pink kimono belt around his neck. After her lover's death, Abe cuts off Ishida's penis and scrotum with a meat cleaver and carries them around until she is finally arrested, three days later.



40 years later, a taboo breaking film, In the Realm of the Senses, was released, retelling the events of this sordid tale.

Makes a great first date movie.


May 18, 1953 -
Jackie Cochran
, long-time aviation fan and a close friend of pilot Chuck Yeager, became the first woman to break the sound barrier on this date.



She was also the first woman to fly a bomber plane across the Atlantic, and the first pilot in general to make a blind landing, one which relies only on instruments. Years later, on June 3, 1964, Cochran piloted an F-104G Starfighter at twice the speed of sound, establishing a woman's world speed record of 1,429 miles per hour.


May 18, 1955 -
As an actor we're just like workers in a factory, we provide our services to directors. But I must do my job perfectly, and I love what I do.







The superstar Asian actor, Chow Yun-Fat, was born on this date.


May 18, 1980 -
The body of Ian Curtis, lead singer of dirge band Joy Division, was discovered hanging in the kitchen by his wife on this date. Curtis killed himself on the eve of Joy Division's U.S. tour.



His surviving band mates go on to form New Order.


May 18, 1980 -
After a 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Washington state, 57 people were killed in an avalanche of volcanic mud in the eruption of Mount St. Helens.



The volcano spews out 200 million cubic yards of of pumice, ash, and debris which covers 24 square miles of the valley below.

Kids, how many time do I have to remind you - Virgins, sacrifice virgins - not any old skank.


May 18,  2011 -
Don Gorske from Wisconsin, ate his record-breaking 25,000th Big Mac on this date. The retired prison guard had been keeping track of his consumption of the McDonald's burger for thirty-nine years and keeps close track of his overall consumption. (Last year Mr. Gorske consumed his 29,000th Big Mac.)



Despite doctors not recommending this diet, Gorske maintained a healthy weight and low cholesterol.  At this point, when Mr Goeske meets his maker, he will just need to be rolled next to an open flame - no burial necessary, he will go poof in the blink on an eye.



And so it goes




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Before you go - Vanity Fair has Nick Offerman share some words of wisdom during these troubled times -



And yes, Mr. Offerman has always had an upper lip.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today is Rubber Band Day

The day honors Inventor Stephen Perry's receiving a patent for the rubber band on this date in 1845.



(The ACME Corporation is in no way endorsing this sort of behavior.  But what these two young men do in the privacy of their own home 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 - think of the savings if USPS switched to hemp rope (and the number of very mellow postal employees - Please save 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.

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.



In her essay Humphrey and Bogey, Louise Brooks wrote that more than any other role that Humphrey Bogart played, it was the role of Dixon Steele in this movie that came closest to the real Bogart she knew.


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.



Giorgio Moroder told Billboard magazine that his difficult experience of recording this song with Blondie taught him not to work with rock bands. "There were always fights," he recalled. "I was supposed to do an album with them after that. We went to the studio, and the guitarist was fighting with the keyboard player. I called their manager and quit."


A comment


Today in History:
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 course 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 $2 billion dollar loss.)


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 -
Dear occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, this is a gentle missive to you:
The US Senate began its televised hearings into the Watergate scandal and the role of President 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


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