Saturday, September 04, 2010
Birthday wishes go out today to Mitzi Gaynor, the vivacious comedienne, singer, and dancer who graced many a film in the 1950s, and many a nightclub stage thereafter. In fact, many of the acts she wowed 'em with in Las Vegas were broken in at The Cave - that legendary Vancouver night spot - making her one of the first Hollywood types to develop an affinity for our little town. From the start the feeling was decidedly mutual, and remains so to this day...
Everything Old Is New Again was written by Peter Allen and Carole Bayer Sager; Miss Gaynor is seen here performing it on a 1976 television special, Mitzi...Roarin' in the 20's, which is technically an impossibility, since she was born in 1931. I figured that posting this would be slightly less obvious than I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair, which of course she sang in the 1958 film South Pacific. It's a performance I've never understood, as I'd never wash Rossano Brazzi out of anything of mine, and that's a fact!
Then again, I always was more partial to her performance in the 1957 film Les Girls anyway, so what do I know?
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It was on this day in 1957 Arkansas governor Orval Faubus deployed the National Guard to protect the state from the severe threat of nine black teenagers (7 of them female) trying to get their education at Central High in Little Rock...
The stoic determination of the Little Rock Nine throughout the ensuing Little Rock Crisis would serve the cause of the Civil Rights Movement almost as well as the hatred on the white faces visible in this photograph.
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[Observe the hilarity ensuing all over the place in this episode of
Mort Walker's Beetle Bailey, and try not to hurt yourself laughing.]
476 CE - Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed and Odoacer was declared King of Italy; this event is generally regarded by historians as the fall of ancient Rome, the demise of the Western Roman Empire, and the beginning of the Middle Ages in Western Europe.
626 CE - Li Shimin, posthumously known as Emperor Taizong of Tang, assumed the throne of China's Tang Dynasty following the death of his father Li Yuan, who was himself posthumously known as Emperor Gaozu; together they are considered the co-founders of the dynasty.
1260 - The Sienese Ghibellines - supported by the forces of King Manfred of Sicily, his commander Farinata degli Uberti, and (nominally, at least) the Holy Roman Empire - defeated the Florentine Guelphs (supporting Pope Alexander IV) at the Battle of Montaperti, which was itself part of the larger ongoing conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italy; the action gained a certain notoriety for an act of treachery that turned the tide of the battle, which was immortalized by Dante Alighieri in his poem Divine Comedy.
1725 - France's King Louis XV married Polish princess Maria Leszczyńska.
1781 - Los Angeles was founded by a group of forty-four settlers known as 'los Pobladores'; the city's original name was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula.
1812 - The Battle of Fort Harrison began when the fort - near Terre Haute, Indiana - was set on fire by a combined force of Miami, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Winnebago raiders led by Joseph Lenar and Stone Eater; although the siege would last for nine days, it would also provide the US with its first victory on land in the War of 1812 and it's commander, Zachary Taylor, a lot of swell war stories to tell when he was later successfully campaigning to become the republic's 12th President.
1870 - France's Emperor Napoleon III was deposed and the Third Republic was declared, just two days after he'd been captured by German forces at the Battle of Sedan during the Franco-Prussian War. The last Emperor of France, Charles-Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte had also been that country's first president (between December 1848 and December 1852, at which time he was promoted to Emperor).
1886 - After almost 30 years of fighting in the Indian Wars, Apache leader Geronimo and his remaining warriors surrendered to General Nelson Miles at Arizona's Skeleton Canyon; today there is a monument at the site where the surrender took place.
1888 - George Eastman's Kodak camera was patented; Eastman's innovation would bring photography to the masses, and his other invention - roll film - would be the single greatest innovation in photography until the advent of digital technology rendered it obsolete more than a hundred years later.
1919 - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, gathered a congress in Sivas comprising members of the Turkish National Movement to make decisions as to the future of Anatolia and Thrace.
1923 - The first US airship, the USS Shenandoah - which famously crashed and burned one day shy of two years later - had its maiden flight.
1948 - Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicated.
1949 - The so-called Peekskill Riots erupted in Van Cordtlandville, New York, following a concert by Paul Robeson. The only other thing that's ever ever happened in Peekskill was that one time on The Facts of Life when Tootie bought a bong. Remember, and Mrs. Garrett got so mad? Good times*...
*Not to be confused with Good Times, which was an entirely different sitcom.
1950 - Mort Walker's comic strip Beetle Bailey made its newspaper debut; Walker's other offering, Hi and Lois, appeared in 1954.
1957 - The Wolfenden Report was released, advocating the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults in the United Kingdom; the report had been prompted by several high-profile court cases involving gay men, such as that of Peter Wildeblood.
1964 - Scotland's Forth Road Bridge - near Edinburgh - officially opened.
1970 - Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile.
1984 - (Neo)Conservative Brian Mulroney was elected Prime Minister of Canada for the first time.
1998 - Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University. All hail the Great Google!
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