Showing posts with label This Day in Pop Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label This Day in Pop Culture. Show all posts

Saturday, March 17, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 17

St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 A.D.

St. Patrick Dies

On this day in 461 A.D., Saint Patrick died in Ireland. Much of what people think of Patrick is wrong. He was not Irish, but served as a missionary to Ireland. We don’t celebrate his birth, we celebrate his death. After being kidnapped at age 16 in Great Britain, Patrick served the next six years as a shepherd against his will in Ireland. After his finally escaped and returned home, he felt an overwhelming need to go back and preach the gospel to the very people who treated him so badly. He served 40 years converting thousands of the Irish to Christianity and built many churches along the way. He used the three-sided clover as a way of describing the holy trinity. It is not known if he drank any green beer.

Friday, March 16, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 16

"The Absent Minded Professor was Released on March 16, 1961.

Disney's ‘The Absent-Minded Professor' is Released

Though color films had been around for many years, Walt Disney’s, The Absent-Minded Professor was created in black and white and released on this day 1961. The film that starred Fred MacMurray and Nancy Olsen, was full of costly special effects. It featured Richard and Robert Sherman’s first song for a Disney feature (“Medfield Fight Song”) and used Wally Boag, a Disneyland stage performer, to serve as a stunt double for MacMurray.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 15

"My Fair Lady" opened on Broadway on March 15, 1956.

My Fair Lady Opens on Broadway

The Tony award-winning musical, My Fair Lady, premiered on this day in 1956 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, My Fair Lady’s book and lyrics were written by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story about professor Henry Higgins teaching a Cockney flower girl how to become a lady starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. The original cast recording became the best-selling album in the country in 1956. During the musical’s original run, it set a record for the longest run on Broadway up to that time ending on September 29, 1962 after 2,717 performances. My Fair Lady had rivals in 1976, 1981 and 1993. A film version of the Broadway show was made in 1964 that also starred Harrison but Audrey Hepburn was asked to step in for Julie Andrews. However, Hepburn’s singing voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 14

The first national Pi Day was held on March 14.

National Pi Day

Today is National Pi Day. Celebrated on 14th day of the third month (recognizing the numbers of pi: 3:14), the first National Pi Day (or at least the largest event held on the day up to that point) was celebrated on this day in 1988. The event was held at the San Francisco Exploratorium and was organized by Larry Shaw. Today the event is celebrated by math enthusiasts and pie lovers and oftentimes, both. Years later in 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution recognizing March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 13

The Encyclopedia Britannica was printed for the last time on March 13, 2010.

The Printed Encyclopedia Britannica is No More

The first printed edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published between 1768 and 1771 in Edinburgh as the “Encyclopedia Britannica, or, A Dictionary of Arts and Sciences compiled upon a New Plan.” On this day in 2012, Britannica's president, Jorge Cauz, announced that it would not produce any new print editions and that the 2010 15th edition would be the last. Today the company only focuses on the online edition and other educational tools.

Monday, March 12, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 12

Coca-Cola was bottled for the first time on March 12, 1891

Coca-Cola is Bottled for the First Time

Though the earliest versions of Coca-Cola were first created in 1886, then considered a medicinal tonic, it wasn’t until this day in 1891 that the beverage was bottled. The first bottles, (far left) look nothing like the bottles we see today. Coke was originally bottled in Vicksburg, Mississippi at the Biedenharn Candy Company. In 1899, the first official Coca-Cola Bottling Company was opened in Chattanooga, Tennessee. And in 1915, the shape of the bottle changed to the “hobble skirt” design that we all know and love.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 11

Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) died on March 11, 1845.

Johnny Appleseed Dies

John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman was both a promoter of apples and the gospel. He introduced apple trees by planting nurseries of apples to those living in Pennsylvannia, Ohio, Inidiana and Illinois. It is said that he would tell stories to children and spread the New Church gospel to adults in exchange for a floor to sleep on. He was a lover of Native Americans and stated that he “traveled more than 4,000 miles about this country, and I have never met with one single insolent Native American." Chapman was born on September 26, 1774 and died on this day in 1845.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 10

The first speech transmitted by telephone occurred on March 10, 1876.

Speech is Transmitted by Telephone

Teenage girls in the late 1800’s had no idea what would be in store for them in the future. On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first speech given over a telephone system. It wasn’t a very exciting piece of gossip though. He called his assistant in another room saying “Mr. Watson, come here; I want you.” Bell wasn’t the only one working on a phone at the time. Another inventor, Elisha Gray filed for a patent on his similar device, but Bell filed first, so he was awarded the patent and all the glory. The following year he created the Bell Telephone Company, which later became led by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) and later yet, became one of the largest corporations in the world.

Friday, March 9, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 9

"Krononauts" held a party for time travelers on March 9, 1982.

The Time Traveling Party That No One Attended

According to the New York Times, it was on this day in 1982 when a group of people gathered for “an epidemic of temporary lunacy” waiting for visitors to arrive from the future. The nine planets were as close together than they had ever been in about 200 years and so a group Known as “Krononauts,” the group anxiously waited for “visitors from the futures” to arrive at a party set up just for them. While the group drank, danced and some even took off their clothes, it wasn’t enough to entice time travelers to show up. Two days later, one of the group’s leaders, Kirby Malone, was asked what happened to his guests. ''We really don't know. One possibility is that they came and didn't want to be visible. Another that occurs to me is that there is no future, so there was no place for the people to come from. Another, of course, is that the people came and just decided they didn't want to be here.'' He didn’t blame them.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 8

James Van Der Beek was born on March 8, 1977.

James Van Der Beek Is Born

Now forever known as Dawson Leery from the TV series, Dawson’s Creek, James David Van Der Beek was born on this day in 1977 in Cheshire, Connecticut. James was not a child actor and it wasn’t until he was 15 that he went to New York City to find an agent with his mother and give professional acting a try. A year later, James performed at an off-Broadway stage performing in Finding the Sun. The next year he performed in the musical, Shenandoah at the Good Speed Opera House. James made his film debut in 1995’s Angus and then auditioned for three different TV series in 1997, one of them for Dawson’s Creek which debuted in 1998 and ran for six seasons. Years later, unable to shake his TV persona, James played a fictionalized version of himself for the sitcom Don’t Trust the “B” in Apartment 23. James’ most recent appearance has been playing the role of Senior Field Agent Elijah Mundo in the TV series CSI: Cyber which ran on CBS from 2015-2016.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 7

Lina Wertmueller became the first female director to win an Oscar on March 7, 2010.

First Female Director Wins an Oscar

Up until this day in 2010, only three women had been nominated for a Best Director Oscar: Lina Wertmueller for 1975’s Seven Beauties, Jane Campion for 1993’s The Piano and Sofia Coppola for 2003’s Lost in Translation. However on this day, the fourth woman, Kathryn Bigelow, became the first female director to win an Academy Award. She won for the movie, The Hurt Locker during 82nd ceremony. Ironically, one of her competitors was James Cameron, who was up for Avatar and whom she was previously married to from 1989 to 1991! The movie also won for Best Picture, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Original Screenplay.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 6

National Dress Day was formed on March 6, 2016.

National Dress Day Becomes a Thing

Ashley Lauren Kerr, founder of TEAMfabulous created National Dress Day to “honor all of the ways dresses help us celebrate the significant moments of our lives” on March 6, 2016. “I have fond memories wearing dresses and I realized that dresses hold such powerful emotions for women,” said Ashley Lauren. “I remember the dresses I wore to my prom, first job interview, first date, competing in a pageant, my first red carpet event, the list goes on. This is a fun day to cherish and celebrate those memories. To me this day is about empowering women to celebrate our femininity and cherish memories of wearing dresses. It’s the women and their stories behind the dresses that make this day so special.”

Monday, March 5, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 5

Wham-O received the trademark for the "Hula-Hoop" on March 5, 1963.
The Hula-Hoop Receives a Trademark
Although invented for hundreds of years earlier, Arthur Melin, founder of Wham-O products, received a trademark for “his” version of the hoop toy on this day in 1963. The Hula-Hoop was the first hoop toy to be made with plastic with the “shoop shoop” sound inside. The very first were sold for $1.98 and twenty million hoops were sold in the first six months of production. It was a big hit world-wide except for Japan who thought it incited improprieties and Russia who thought it was an example of the “emptiness of American culture.” In 1999, the Hula-Hoop was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 4

John Lennon made his controversial comment about Jesus on March 4, 1966.

The Beatles Become More Popular Than Jesus

There is no doubt that the Beatles were extremely popular in the mid 1960s and apparently, they knew it. During this time, Maureen Cleave of the London Evening Standard ran a series called “How Does a Beatle Live?” interviewing each of the Beatles. On this day in 1966, Cleave interviewed John Lennon in his home where she spotted a copy of The Passover Plot by Hugh J. Schonfield which influenced Lennon’s views on Christianity. During the interview, he was quoted saying, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first—rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.” Apparently those in the UK were not fazed by his comments, but those living in the U.S. were up in arms.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 3

Time magazine published for the first time on March 3, 1923.
Time is Published for the First Time
It was on this day in 1923 that the weekly news magazine, Time, published its first issue. It was the first of its kind and still the strongest. Today, it has the largest circulation of any weekly news magazine in the world. Total readership sits at 25 million with 20 million of them coming from the U.S. Initially, the magazine was to be called Facts emphasizing brief articles so that busy men could it the publication in an hour. It was changed to Time with the slogan, “Take Time – It’s Brief.” For decades, the cover featured a single person. The first was Joseph G. Cannon, the retired Speaker of the House of Representatives. The cover price was just .15 cents.

Friday, March 2, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 2

'The Sound of Music' Comes to Theaters

It was on this day in 1965 that many of us learned that the hills were alive with the sound of music as The Sound of Music was released in theaters. Since then, many of more of us have learned that lesson from numerous annual viewings of the film on TV. Adapted from the Broadway musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, the movie is loosely based on the real Trapp Family Singers. The story follows a young nun, Maria (Julie Andrews) who is sent to act as a governess for the seven children of the wealthy Captain Georg von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). The two fall in love and the family began a career as singers. While not a huge hit with critics (even Plummer has been known to have called the film “The Sound of Mucus”), it was a commercial success becoming the #1 movie for four weeks and the highest-grossing movie of that year. The movie received five Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director) and two Golden Globe Awards (for Best Motion Picture and Best Actress), the Directors Guild of America Award (for Outstanding Directorial Achievement) and the Writers Guild of America Award (for Best Written American Musical). In 2001, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Thursday, March 1, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 1

Yellowstone became the U.S.'s first national park on March 1, 1872.

The First National Park is Established

It was on this day in 1872 that President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law that Yellowstone, located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho become the first national park of the United States if not the world. It is the home of the Old Faithful Geyser, hundreds of species of animals, the subject of many Disney cartoon shorts featuring Humphrey the Bear and Forest Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore and was used as a model for the fictional Jellystone Park featured in the classic Yogi Bear cartoons. It spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles of land which includes lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one the largest high-elevation lakes in North America.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for February 28

‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge’ Aired twice on ‘The Twilight Zone’

‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge’ Airs on ‘The Twilight Zone’

The 1962 short French film, La Rivière du hibou (The Owl River) was based on the American short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. The film won awards at both the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Awards. Two years later, producer William Froug, paid $25,000 to air it as part of The Twilight Zone TV show which aired on this day in 1964. Purchasing the story and re-editing the beginning and ending with Rod Serling giving a narration was significantly cheaper than the show’s regular episodes. However, there was a catch. The rights were given for only two airings, so it became a “missing episode” years later when The Twilight Zone went into syndication. The story involved a prisoner who was to be hanged on the bridge. Just as the man is to be hanged, the rope comes undone as the man falls and makes a clean getaway only to wake up realizing that his escape was just a dream and he dies from being hanged for real. The story was The Twilight Zone’s last episode to be produced but was not the last episode to air on TV.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for February 27

The TV show "Cliffhangers" debuted on NBC on February 27, 1979.

‘Cliffhangers’ Debuts

Those of a certain age will remember that on this day in 1979, NBC had attempted to bring back the old movie serial for the modern age with three shows in one. Cliffhangers was three mini genre shows shown back in a one-hour time slot with each episode ending with a … cliffhanger. The interesting test began with the mystery, Stop Susan Williams, which was inspired by The Perils of Pauline and starred Susan Anton. The middle adventure show, The Secret Empire, was inspired by The Phantom Empire and starred Geoffrey Scott. The last was the horror story of The Curse of Dracula which starred Michael Nouri who played the Count living in 1979 San Francisco. Cliffhangers did not fare well against ABC's Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. The show was cancelled after 10 airings which only featured the ending of the Dracula story. The others left the air as … you guessed it … cliffhangers.

Monday, February 26, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for February 26

The Grand Canyon became a national park on February 26, 1882.

The Grand Canyon Becomes a National Park

The very bill to designate the Grand Canyon in Arizona as a national park began in 1882 by Senator Benjamin Harrison and would it have gone through, would have become the United States second national park after Yellowstone. It did not. The bill was reintroduced in 1883, 1886, 1910 and 1911. It wasn’t until this day in 1919 that it was recognized as a national park under the care of the National Park Service which was created three years earlier. In 2010, the park was featured on one of the “America the Beautiful” Quarters program.