Friday, September 24, 2004

History Friday; Some Much Needed Trivia and Levity

A few weeks back I remarked that History Friday had become an unremitting procession of gloom, and that something was needed to lighten the mood. What followed was one week of goofy fun, followed by a return to the darker side of human nature. In order to make ammends, I humbly present this week's offering:

First up, one of the most joyous, deliriously silly moments from the history of British politics, as we celebrate the 14th anniversary of the resignation of Conservative minister David Mellor:
September 24, 1992: Mellor resigns over sex scandal
For those of you from other parts, youth on your side, or short memories, David Mellor was perhaps one of the most physically unprepossesing human beings to stalk the earth (and still is), who liked to pleasure the toes of his anorexic and vapid actress paramour. He did this while wearing a Chelsea FC replica football shirt. Proof indeed that then Prime Minister John Major's quest for a "classless society" had been realized.

On this day in Prophets Wandering the Desert news: an epoch making event as on this day in 622,
the prophet Muhammad
completes his Hegira, or "flight," from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution. In Medina, Muhammad set about building the followers of his religion--Islam--into an organized community and Arabian power. The Hegira would later mark the beginning (year 1) of the Muslim calendar

In Amazing Geniuses Who Work in Felt and Ping Pong Balls news, Muppet creator Jim Henson is born on this day in Greenville, Mississippi.

Some lovely musical birthday people for you sweet, sweet souls:

Lets put on a show right here and celebrate Mickey Rooney (Joe Yule, Jr.) 1920. I've always suspected that under his cheery persona, Rooney shelters the heart of a foul mouthed letching lush, not unlike the Punch and Judy man from British TV show Hi-De-Hi.

Bow down! Weep! Leap with joy! For today gave the world the twin gifts of John Coltrane (1926) and Ray Charles (1930)

And the lesser gift of comedy middle initial soulster Ben E. King (1938)

As well as the frankly baffling Iberian sex god, Julio Iglesias (1943)

Adamaandaeva ata da applea in-a-gada-da-vida thanks to the interminable Ronald Bushy (Iron Butterfly) (1945)

Bruce Springsteen was also born today, in 1949: his birth would have been shorter but he kept popping back into the womb so that he could come out and do never-ending encores.

Ten years later, we also welcomed former Runaway and axe goddess Lita Ford, as well as George from Seinfeld (excellent) and many other failed starring vehicles (not so good) Jason Alexander.

Finally on this day in music, high on PCP and brandishing a shotgun, James Brown interrupts an insurance seminar next door to his business office in Augusta, Georgia and accuses the attendees of using his private restroom. The resulting 90-minute interstate pursuit ends only after police shoot out his truck tires. The Godfather of Soul ends up serving two years in prison.

Other Birthdays of note:

1896 F Scott Fitzgerald St Paul Minn, author (Great Gatsby)
1931 Anthony Newley actor/song writer/singer (Dr Doolittle)
1939 Manfred Werner Secretary General of NATO
1941 Linda Eastman McCartney NYC, Mrs Paul McCartney, rocker (Wings-Ram)

This is also
Banned Books Week
a celebration of artistic freedom and a reminder of the constant need for vigilance against censorship.

And as we all know, it is also a great Baltic holiday! For today in ancient Latvia, the third day of Mikeli, was the only day of the year during which men proposed to their prospective wives.

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