March 25th, 2009 weds
March 25th, 2009
Quiz: Did Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo ever meet each other?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: In motion picture filmmaking slang, what are appleboxes?
History for 3/25/2009
B-Days: English King Henry II Plantagenet, Joachim Murat, Gudson Borglum, David Lean, Gloria Steinhem, Mary Flannery-O’Connor, Arturo Toscanini, Aretha Franklin, Bela Bartok', Howard Cosell, Bonnie Bedelia, Anita Bryant, Simone Signoret, Sarah Jessica Parker is 44.
In the medieval calendar this was Lady Day, when street lights no longer had to be lit after dark.
1330- Battle of Zebras de Acholes- Scottish king Robert the Bruce on his deathbed asked Earl Douglas the Red Argyle to take his heart to the Holyland. The earl went on Crusade with the Bruce's heart embalmed in lead hanging from a silver chain around his neck. In Spain the Earl was ambushed by a large force of Moors. When the Red Douglas realized his hour had come, legend has it he hurled the box containing the Bruce's heart into the thickest of the foe and plowed after it, long sword in hand, to go down fighting.
1521-FIRST MAN CIRCUMNAVIGATES THE GLOBE- No, it was not Magellan. It was Magellan's slave, Enrique. Enrique was taken from his native Philippines by traders to Sumatra, then Madagascar where Fernan de Magellanes while serving with the Portuguese purchased him and brought him by sea around Africa to Lisbon then to Spain. Later Magellan took him with his fleet west to South America and around the Cape into the Pacific and eventually back to the Philippine Islands. On this day Enrique found on the Isle of Cebu he could converse with the natives. Magellan knew he had done it and reached the Indies by sailing West. After Magellan’s death Enrique jumped overboard and swam home.
1524- Explorer Guisseppi Verrazzano with a French fleet going up the coast of North America drop anchor off Cape Hatterras in North Carolina. Verrazzano could not see the Carolina coastline beyond the thin isthmus of Diamond Shoals so he decides the American Continent must become really thin in the middle before widening out to Canada. His men strain their eyes for signs of China beyond what he thinks is the" Pacific". For a century European maps reflect this silly mistake and Verrasano is later eaten by cannibals..
1634-The good ships Dove and Ark drop anchor in America bringing 128 English Catholics. The Colony of Maryland founded by Caelius Calvert Lord Baltimore under former Virginia Gov. De La Ware (Delaware). For the first time in English America a Catholic Mass was held.
1911- THE TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FIRE- 145 seamstresses, mostly teenage Jewish immigrant girls, burn to death in a terrible office building fire. They could not escape the flames because their employer padlocked them into their sweatshop so they wouldn't take so many breaks. The pavement was littered with girls who jumped ten stories to their death rather than burn while a helpless crowd looked on in horror. They would hold hands and leap to their deaths together.
The factory owners were never charged with any crime. The owners soon opened another clothes factory, that was also cited for fire safety violations. The tragedy was a major cause of the formation of the ILGWU now called UNITE,and first job safety regulations. One of the eyewitnesses to the tragedy, Frances Perkins, later became Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor. The last survivor of the fire died in 2001 at age 107.
1916 - Ishi, the last survivor of his Yaqui Indian tribe, died.
1931- The Scotsboro Boys. In Alabama nine young black men were accused of raping two white women in a freight car. Although convicted the case was appealed and retired four times, and only the spotlight of national attention prevented any from being lynched.
1931- Shortly after the invention of automobiles, there were automobile races. This day in the dry lake beds of Muroc California saw the first race car speed trials sanctioned by the American Automobile Assoc. It was the beginnings of NASCAR. Muroc was later named Edwards Air Force Base.
1932- Motion Picture Academy President William deMille, brother of Cecil B., started a 'Squawk Forum", inviting film industry workers to air their grievances with their studio heads. (and this way they won't ask for their own union ). The first boss on the hot seat was MGM's Louis B. Mayer. He was greeted with boos, insults and catcalls, mostly from writers. In a short time the forum devolved into a shouting free for all. Mayer furiously stormed out and proceeded to fire and cut the pay of all those Metro employees he could remember were there. The Squawk Forum idea was abandoned.
1933- Nazis Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels offers famed director Fritz Lang a job. Fritz said he’d think about it, then immediately packed his bag for Hollywood.
1944- During World War Two a British pilot bailed out of burning plane and when his chute failed to open he fell 18,000 feet. In a freak ocurance he hit a wet beach that broke his fall. He but suffered only a broken ankle. English film director Michael Powell made the strange incident the basis of a fantasy film with David Niven called "A Matter of Life and Death", released in the US as "The Big Staircase"
1945- The 322rd fighter group escorted a large contingent of bombers from Italy to Berlin and back. During the dogfights over Germany the unit’s P-51 fighter planes shot down three German Messerschmidt ME-262 Schwalbe jet fighters. No bombers were lost and the 322rd was awarded a special unite citation for bravery. The 322rd Fighter Group were the famed Tuskeegee Airmen, the all black pilots. Their commander Benjamin Davis became the first African American to become a US General.
1953- NUMBER 10 RILLINGTON PLACE.-A new tenant to this modest flat in London made an awful discovery- behind the walls were the bodies of 4 women with one more buried under the pea patch. The previous tenant Jack Christie confessed to the murders and was executed. Christie became the most infamous British serial killer since Jack the Ripper.
1954- Legend has it Walt Disney never liked the 1950's UPA design style of cartoons. He was away while the short TOOT,WHISTLE,PLUCK AND BOOM" was being completed. He first saw it without titles and didn't know it was his. Supposedly he turned to Ward Kimball and said:" Aren't you glad we don't make crap like that?" Today TOOT,WHISTLE,PLUCK & BOOM won the Oscar for best animated short.
1954- RCA began mass production and marketing of color television sets. At the time the set cost as much as an automobile -$1,000, 12 inch screen and there was very little programming in color.
1955- US Customs seize a shipment of 258 copies Alan Ginsburg’s poem Howl printed in the UK on the grounds it was obscene." I saw some of the finest minds of my generation destroyed by madness." Next year when Lawrence Ferlinghetti of San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore printed the poem he was arrested.
1957-The Rome Treaty establishing the European Economic Community.
1960- Thirty five years after it was written and published in Europe an American judge rules that D.H. Lawrence's novel 'Lady Chatterley's Lover" was not pornography and could finally be sold in the U.S.. Not porn ? Whaddaya think of that, John-Thomas ?
1960- The Moulin Rouge Agreement. After a lot of agitation and arm twisting from Frank Sinatra the owners of the Las Vegas casinos agree to integrate. It was so named for the Moulin Rouge Casino, which up to then had been the only casino that allowed black and white patrons to mix freely.
1967 -The Who & Cream make their US debut at Murray the K's Easter Show.
1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their week-long "love-in" for peace in the bed of Room 902 of the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam.
1990- The Happy Land Social Club fire. A Cuban immigrant man broke up with his girlfriend over drinks in a crowded Latino bar in New York City. The bouncers threw him out when he got abusive. He left the club then returned and splashed gasoline around the one entrance and set it on fire. 87 people died, some so fast that their remains still had their drinks in their hands. It was the worst fire in New York since the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, ironically on this same date.
Yesterday’s Question: In motion picture filmmaking slang, what are appleboxes?
Answer: They are the ubiquitous little black wooden boxes the film crew sets things on them to raise them up. They are used for film equipment, set props and quite often to make an actor appear taller, like when Humphrey Bogart had to be taller than Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. They were originally real apple boxes brought in from neighboring orchards.