Think less, Yo Yo more

Today is National Yo-Yo Day, falling on what is believed to have been Donald Duncan Sr.'s birthday (even the Duncan Company wasn't too sure if June 6 is the right date).

I'm sure you have one. Go into the desk drawer, dig around and pull your old yo-yo out - I'll give you a moment. (this year I found a butterfly model in the hall closet. How it got there - only God knows.)

Please celebrate responsibly - don't drink and go Around the World.

June 6, 1933 -
The first drive-in movie theater is opened on a ten acre site off Wilson Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey by garage owner Richard Hollingshead on this date. (The first film shown was Wives Beware.)

The theater features a 40 foot by 30 foot screen and a four hundred car capacity arranged in semi-circular rows. The original slogan of the Park-In Theater was “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.”

June 6, 1964 -
The Phil Spector wall-of-sound production of The Dixie Cups' song, Chapel Of Love, hits #1 in America, on this date, where it stays for three weeks.

Thanks in large part to The Beatles, there were plenty of "love" songs in 1964, but most of those were about some form of puppy love or about the feeling of falling in love. Chapel Of Love was different because it dealt with the wedding day, making it about the commitment that comes after the courtship. There's a promise at the end of the chorus: We'll never be lonely anymore.

June 6, 1972 -
David Bowie released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on this date.

Ziggy Stardust is a character Bowie created with the help of his then-wife, Angela. The character's name was inspired by the '60s psychobilly musician, Legendary Stardust Cowboy. Bowie performed under the Stardust persona for about a year. This specific song is about Stardust growing too conceited: "Making love with his ego, Ziggy sucked up into his mind." Stardust's band, The Spiders From Mars, consequently plan to get revenge on the egotistical front man: "So we bitched about his fans, and should we crush his sweet hands?" Bowie said that the song is "about the ultimate rock superstar destroyed by the fanaticism he creates."

June 6, 1983 -
Reading Rainbow, hosted by Levar Burton premiered on PBS on this date

While developing the show, the creators of Reading Rainbow met with Fred Rogers and Joan Ganz Cooney of Sesame Street and The Electric Company fame to find out how to make more engaging television programming.

June 6, 1992 -
The video for the Guns N' Roses' song November Rain premiered on MTV, on this date.

The 9-minute epic is the most expensive video ever made to this point, costing $1.5 million, but reaped rewards for the band, as it got a lot of play on MTV. It stars actress and model Stephanie Seymour, Axl Rose's girlfriend at the time. In the video, she and Axl get married with Slash serving as best man and the rest of the band in the front row. After the wedding, it starts raining and the next scene is Stephanie's funeral in the same church.

June 6, 1997
Farrah Fawcett made a bizarre appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman.

She went on long tirades and story-telling sprees that made little to no sense and was distracted by blinking lights in the studio. (It should be noted that Dave was unusually kind to her throughout the interview.)

June 6, 1998
The highly successful series, Sex and The City premiered on HBO on this date.

The medicine cabinet in Carrie's apartment was first spied by Sarah Jessica Parker at a flea market shortly before filming began. She and husband Matthew Broderick didn't buy it but reconsidered. When they went back, the cabinet was already sold to "some television show". When she showed up for filming, the medicine cabinet was there.

June 6, 1999 -
(Attention Class of 2023) Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen), on this date.

Actor Lee Perry read the narrative. The backing is the choral version of 'Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)', a 1991 song by Rozalla, used in the film William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. The lyrics are from an essay called "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" by columnist Mary Schmich. It first appeared in 1997 in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, although the article was originally wrongly credited as being a collegiate commencement speech delivered by author Kurt Vonnegut. (Just a brief aside - just went to my 45th High School reunion. The song cut very close to the bone.)

Today's moment of Zen

Today in History:
June 6, 1755 -
A boy was born in Coventry, Connecticut on this date. He grew up, went to Yale, and became a teacher. He never distinguished himself in any way. He never wrote or said anything of note, never committed any famous or infamous deeds, never married or had children. He seemed destined to be swallowed whole by the omnivorous mouth of obscurity. He was therefore recruited by the United States Military as an intelligence agent, dispatched behind enemy lines in British-occupied Manhattan, and captured.

He was hanged by the British on September 22, 1776.

Moments before his execution, he expressed regret that he couldn't be hanged more than once. This remark catapulted him to posthumous fame (but only after his death), and Nathan Hale is revered to this day.

June 6, 1844 -
... You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find many ways to have a good time ...

That 'fun' place to stay, The Young Men's Christian Association was founded in London, England by George Williams and a group of Evangelical Christians on this date. (If you find yourself dancing around while watching the video clip above, maybe you may have swam in the nude at the Y as a child, or maybe even as an adult.)

June 6, 1944 -
79 years ago today, the largest seaborne invasion in history began - the allied invasion of Normandy (Operation Overlord.) The date is also commonly known as D-Day. The military calls the date of every major operation D-Day, probably to confuse the enemy.

This would have been especially confusing in Normandy, which is in France, where Day begins with a J. German spies were probably waiting to hear something about J-Jour.

June 6, 1955 -
I'm very much an optimist. I don't think I could do my work if I didn't believe there was some kind of hope for humanity..

Sandra Bernhard, comedian/actress was also born on this day.

June 6, 1968 -
Senator Robert F. Kennedy died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles on this date.

The Democratic lawmaker had been campaigning for his party's Presidential nomination when he was shot three times by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan a day earlier.

Jun 6 1976 -
American expatriate J. Paul Getty, named the richest man in the world in 1957, died in London at age 83.

According to the oil baron, "If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars."

June 6, 1985 -
Authorities in Embu, Brazil exhume the grave of one Wolfgang Gerhard in order to determine its true identity. The remains are later proven to be those of Dr. Josef Mengele, Auschwitz's notorious Angel of Death.

Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in the ocean in February 1979.

June 6, 1989 -
During the Tehran funeral of the Ayatollah Khomeini, frenzied mourners accidentally tipped his corpse out of its coffin and onto the ground.

Three million horrified followers bore witness to the desecration.


June 6, 1990 -
US district court judge Jose Gonzalez ruled that the rap album by 2 Live Crew violated Florida's obscenity law.

Gonzalez declared that the predominant subject matter of the record is "directed to the 'dirty' thoughts and the loins, not to the intellect and the mind."

I've scoured the internet, they were not offering 'Interpreting dirty thoughts and the loins' when I was a freshman at Columbia.

On a personal note - Happy Birthday Joseph.

And so it goes.