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July 20, 2008 sun
July 20th, 2008

Quiz: In honor of Diana Rigg’s Birthday, how did her character in the Avengers TV Show, Emma Peel, get her name?

Yesterday: What is Newspeak?
history for 7/20/2008
Birthdays: Petrarch, Sir Edmund Hilary, Lord Elgin, Anne Hutchinson, Diana Rigg is 69, Natalie Wood, Theda Bara the Vamp, Carlos Santana, 1889- John, Lord Reith, the first Director General of the BBC. Giselle Bunchen is 28, Sandra Oh is 37

She's 69? Nyaah!!!

1773-The Vatican outlaws the Society of Jesus aka the Jesuits. The pope had gotten tired of all their intrigues and foreign entanglements. They went into hiding but were reformed in 1820. I noticed that at this time all their missionaries were withdrawn from the New World and replaced with Franciscans like Fra Junipero Serra. I wonder if a Jesuit had founded Los Angeles he might have named it "Ignatius Loyola" and we'd all have to sing:" I Love I.L. !"

1881- Sitting Bull returns to U.S. territory and surrenders. He and his people had been residing in Canada since the Little Big Horn. When Canadian officials first challenged them being in Canada, Bull produced out of his medicine bag old treaty medals stamped with King George III on them and said "We also are the children of the Great Redcoat Mother."

1919- Pancho Villa assassinated while driving in his new Dodge. Even with 16 bullets in him he still managed to kill one of his attackers. Three years later someone broke into his grave and stole his head.

1920- On the last day of testimony at the Scopes Monkey Trial defense attorney Clarence Darrow surprised everyone by calling prosecuting attorney William Jennings Bryan to the witness stand. In a dramatic all day debate Darrow and Bryan grappled over the validity of the Bible vs, Charles Darwin’s theory. The confrontation was dramatized in Stanley Kramer’s 1965 film “Inherit the Wind”.

1941-One of my personal favorite cartoons- Bob Clampett's cartoon"the Great Piggy Bank Robbery" with Daffy Duck as Duck Tracy premiered this day. "i'm gonna rrrrrrrrrrrubbb ya out, see !"

lipsync with lots of spit, courtesy of the great Rod Scribner

1944- THE GENERALS PLOT- A group of German generals plot to kill Adolph Hitler, take over the Third Reich and declare a ceasefire with the Allies before all Germany was destroyed. During a conference at Hitlers strategic HQ at Rastenberg Prussia one-eyed one armed Count von Stauffenburg planted a suitcase-bomb next to Hitler's feet and excused himself. But someone bumped against it and moved it out of the way. After watching the massive explosion Stauffenburg then relayed the code word "Valkyrie". This meant the plotters could begin to arrest key Nazis, disarm the SS and form a provisional government with Field Marshal Erwin Rommel as President. In the explosion many were killed but amazingly Hitler only suffered a punctured eardrum and a stiff left arm. He went on nationwide radio to announce he was all right and even read the weather in today's newspaper to prove it was not a pre-recording. The coup plotters were rounded up and executed, some hung with piano wire. Their deaths were filmed for Hitler's amusement at home. Rommel the Desert Fox was forced to commit suicide. After 5000 arrests the purge was halted only when an allied bomb hit the courtroom and blew up the judge.

Hollywood's idea of the plotters from the upcoming movie Valkyrie. Tom Cruise does not play a Nazi-Pirate, as Stephen Colbert noted, but Von Stauffenberg.

1964 - 1st surfin' record to go #1-Jan & Dean's "Surf City"

1968 - Iron Butterfly's "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" becomes the first heavy metal song to
hit charts, it comes in at #117 The song got it’s unique name because frontman Doug Ingle wrote it as “In the Garden of Eden” but was so drunk and stoned that all that came out was “Inagaddadavida” The album sold millions, was the first to win the new Platinum record and stayed in the top 100 for four years.

1969-Tranquility Base- The Eagle has Landed. Apollo11’s Lunar Module the LEM first landed on the Moon. The astronauts spent a night’s sleep and preparing and stepped out on the Lunar surface the next day.

1973- Bruce Lee died of cerebral endema one month before his last film Enter the Dragon premiered. The handsome martial arts movie star single-handedly made Kung Fu a national craze and the Chop-Socky genre film a regular in world movie theaters. He was buried in his Enter The Dragon Chinese outfit. Bruce Lee was 33.

1976-Warner\Lambert, makers of Trident sugarless gum, comes out with their famous slogan "Sugarless gum is recommended by four out of five dentists who chew gum". When people asked what gum did the fifth dentist recommend, they were brushed.

1976- The Viking I probe successfully landed on Mars.

1984 - Jim Fixx, creator of the Jogging craze through his hit book Running, died at 52 of a heart attack. Apologists for a health nut dying so young say Fixx would have died even younger without his physical routine. The creator of PowerBars also died in his fifties. Pass me another donut.

1994 - OJ Simpson offers $500,000 reward for evidence of ex-wife Nicole’s killer. No clues or suspects other than himself ever appeared. As David Letterman later said" OJ began to vigorously search for the real killer on all the major golf courses of the nation."

Yesterday’s Question: What it Newspeak?

Answer: George Orwell in his book on future technological tyranny- 1984, speculated that our language would corrupt into corporate acronyms, and such a destruction of the language would aid in the dumbing down of society. Doublethink, thoughtcrime- Citicorp, Petco, groupthink, downsizing, etc.