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June 7, 2007 thurs.
June 7th, 2007

Birthdays: Beau Brummel, Paul Gauguin, Chick Corea, Tom Jones, Jessica Tandy, James Ivory, Virginia McKenna, Liam Neeson, Prince

1769- Frontiersman Daniel Boone reached Kentucky by charting a way through the Cumberland Gap. Though they seem quaint hills today in Colonial times the Allegheny Mountains presented an insurmountable barrier preventing further movement west from the colonies of the Atlantic coast. Boone’s achievement was the first penetration of this wall. Daniel Boone was once asked if he ever got lost. “ Nope” he said: “But I was bewildered once.”

1776- In the Continental Congress representative Richard Henry Lee stands up and proposes a resolution calling for American Independence. " Be it Resolved that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States." This began the fateful debate that lasted until July 2nd. John Adams calculated that at this time only one third of the American public was for full independence, one third was for reconciliation with Britain and one third was fence sitting.

1860- Workmen in San Francisco began laying track on Market Street for a light rail system, the famous Cable Cars.

1932- During the Great Depression about one third of the independent banks in the U.S. failed. On this day Hollywood was affected because the First Bank of Beverly Hills went under, erasing the assets of many important Hollywood figures.
Greta Garbo lost one million dollars overnight. Louis B. Mayer, ever one to capitalize on a situation, offered her an advance if she would sign an exclusive 7 year contract with MGM. Garbo's back was to the wall so she signed, but then got her revenge in her own way- namely she immediately went on a 6 month vacation to Europe and took a lesbian lover named Mercedes DeAcosta whom she tongue-kissed in public.

1954- Scientist Alan Turing was considered one of the fathers of the digital computer. His developments influenced computer research throughout the 1940s, and he predicted one day computers would be able to think like humans. But when Turing was revealed to be gay he had to chose jail or medical treatment in a mental hospital. Medical procedures to “cure” homosexual inclinations could include electro-shock, lobotomy and narcotics. This day after a humiliating examination Alan Turing committed suicide at age 42.

1955- The t.v. quiz show The $64,000 Question premiered.

1975- Happy Birthday VCR’s ! This day Sony announced the first home videotape playing system, the Betamax. They were about $25,000 each but we were promised as they became more popular the price would come down. Today they average around a hundred bucks.

1993- Rockstar Prince celebrated his birthday by changing his name to that funny symbol no keyboard can reproduce and no one can say. In 2000 he switched back to Prince.