February 20, 2007 Fat tuesday
February 20th, 2007
Birthdays: Honore' Daumier, Nancy Wilson, Ansel Adams, Sidney Poitier, Cindy Crawford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robert Altman, Roger Penske, Jennifer O’Neill, Mike Leigh, Lili Taylor
Happy Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday- The day before Ash Wednesday ushering in the Catholic season of Lent is the cause for wild parties in many cultures- Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Quebec and other cities. Carne-Vale is Latin for Goodbye to Meat., the Lenten fast. The Mardi Gras custom in America started in Mobile Alabama around 1708 then went to New Orleans. It died out in more somber Victorian times but was renewed after the Civil War- so-' Lesse Le Bon Temps Rolle’! “Let the Good Times Roll!”Have you seen the Voodoo King?
1816- "Fee-Garr-Row! Fig-Ar- Roww- Figaro-Figaro,Figaro,Figaro"- Giacomo Rossini's opera 'The Barber of Seville' premiered. Rossini endured bad press and heavy criticism at the time because the another opera of the Marriage of Figaro had just been premiered by Paisiello, an inferior composer who was much more popular than he.
1845- The Battle of the Cahuenga Pass-Angry Spanish Californians led by Vaquero Juan de Alvarado clashed with the regular Mexican governor Miguel de Micheltorena. The only casualty was a mule. The story of Alvarado may be one of the origins of Zorro.
1925- Willis O’Brien’s silent movie the Lost World premiered. The stop motion animation of dinosaurs and exploding volcanoes issued in a new era of special effects films.
1936- The film “Follow the Fleet” premiered, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers tripping the light fantastic.
1962- "God Go with You, John Glenn !" Mercury -7 sends the first American into orbit. His first words upon emerging from the space capsule were:”It was hot in there.” Glenn later became a Democratic senator and in his 70’s went into space a second time on a space shuttle in 1998. John Glenn was a combat Marine pilot, test pilot and astronaut but even he sometimes got the willies. In 1968 while traveling with the Robert Kennedy for President entourage their chartered plane hit turbulence. Bobby Kennedy undid his seat belt, stood up and said to the cabin “ I have an announcement- Colonel Glenn is Scared!”
1986- The Soviets launch the first permanent orbiting space station, Mir, which means Peace. After a long career in which 7 US astronauts among many others spent time there in 2001 it finally was brought down to burn up in orbit.
2006- The animated film Wallace and Gromet: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, won the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for the best British Film of the year. It beat out the Constant Gardner, and Pride & Prejudice.