Tuesday, September 07, 2010

POPnews: September 7th

[When Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece the Mona Lisa was discovered missing from the Musee du Louvre by Louis Béroud, French police likely shrugged and made a maddeningly apathetic sound, as if to say 'Yeah, but what are you going to do, ah?'; although Guillaume Apollinaire was briefly jailed for the crime, and he in turn tried to implicate Pablo Picasso, neither of them was guilty. It would be two years before Vincenzo Peruggia got done for doing the deed, when he tried to sell the work to the Uffizi Gallery in Firenze.]

1191 - England's King Richard I defeated Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf during the Third Crusade. 

1776 - In what came to be known as the world's first submarine attack, the American submersible craft Turtle under the command of Ezra Lee attempted to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe's flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor. Although Lee's efforts would be for naught - he gave up after two failed tries - it didn't stop the Turtle's builder, David Bushnell, from trying various sea-going means of sabotage, including an attack on the HMS Cerberus in 1777 using floating mines. 

1812 - At the Battle of Borodino Napoleon and his Grande Armée defeated the Russian forces of Alexander I under Mikhail Kutuzov near the village of Borodino; it would prove to be the single bloodiest day of the French invasion of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars, with fatalities in the tens of thousands. 

1818 - King Carl III of Sweden was crowned King of Norway in Trondheim, uniting the kingdom of Sweden-Norway under his personal rule as per the terms of the Treaty of Kiel. 

1822 - Dom Pedro I declared the independence of Brazil from Portugal on the shores of São Paulo's Ipiranga River with the words 'Independence or death!'; the Portugese regent's declaration greatly appealed to Brazilian nationalists, and would later became known as 'O grito do Ipiranga' or 'The Cry of Ipiranga'. 

1876 - In Northfield, Minnesota, Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang attempted to rob the town's bank but were surrounded by an angry mob and nearly killed; in addition to some of the members of the gang, Joseph Lee Heywood and Nicholas Gustafson perished on that day. The event was later immortalized in the 1972 film The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid which starred Robert Duvall as Jesse James and Cliff Robertson as Cole Younger. 

1901 - The Boxer Rebellion in China officially ended with the signing of the Boxer Protocol; contrary to popular belief, Barbara Boxer had nothing to do with either the rebellion or the protocol that ended it, since there is no popular belief of the sort. I just made that up to see if you've been paying attention. 

1911 - French poet Guillaume Apollinaire was arrested and put in jail on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Musee du Louvre on August 21st of that year when in fact it was Vincenzo Peruggia who hid in a broom closet until after closing and walked out of the museum with it under his coat.

1915 - Former cartoonist Johnny Gruelle was awarded a patent for his Raggedy Ann doll; the doll was marketed in conjunction with a series of children's books, in what was then a new innovation. 

1921 - The first Miss America Pageant was held, in Atlantic City, New Jersey; originally a two-day event called the Atlantic City Pageant, the winner of its beauty contest (named Margaret Gorman) wasn't even called Miss America until the following year, but she did win a three-foot tall trophy of a golden mermaid.  Just what every woman needs... 

1936 - Benjamin, the last Tasmanian Tiger, died - rendering the species thylacine extinct. 

1953 - Nikita Khrushchev became head of the Soviet Union's Central Committee. 

1963 - The Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in Canton, Ohio, with 17 charter members. 

1969 - The first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus was recorded; when it aired on October 5th it was diffidently received, although in a very short span of time it would go on to give generations of geeks entire routines to memorize, which they would do instead of dating. 

1978 - While walking across London's Waterloo Bridge, Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated by Bulgarian secret police agent Francesco Gullino by means of a ricin pellet fired from a specially-designed umbrella. Markov died four days later, whereas Gullino is thought to be a free man to this day. 

1979 - The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (or ESPN) made its debut. 

1986 - Desmond Tutu became the first black man to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa. 

1996 - Rapper Tupac Shakur was shot four times at the intersection of East Flamingo Road and Koval Lane in Las Vegas after he attended the Mike Tyson/Bruce Seldon bout at the MGM Grand; he died six days later. 

2008 - Jonathan Larson's musical Rent closed on Broadway after ripping off Sarah Schulman's novel People In Trouble for 12 years.

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Seumas Gagne said...

I found beauty pageants creepy even as a child.

Seumas Gagne said...

Monty Python was an emblematic fetish for my Anglophilic friends in High School. If you missed a Python reference thrown into conversation you were on the B list for a day. ha ha.

michael sean morris said...

Imagine how you'd have found them if they'd ended in the presentation of a three-foot-tall Golden Mermaid trophy.

michael sean morris said...

How is that different now? Then if you missed a Python reference it was "no Venezuelan beaver cheese for you"; today if you miss a Little Britain reference, you get to be the only gay in the village.

Eh! Eh!! Eh!!!