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May 21, 2007 monday
May 21st, 2007

Birthdays: Plato, Fats Waller, Albrecht Durer, Andre Sakharov, Armand Hammer, Raymond Burr, animation director John Hubley, Dennis Day, Al Franken, Harold Robbins, Judge Reinhold, Mr. T. originally named Larry Terro

1885- The pieces of the Statue of Liberty leave for the U.S. I wonder if the crates said "Some Assembly Required"? .The sculptor, Felix Bartholdi was requested to do something so that “Liberty does not leave France”, so he a made a smaller copy of the lady that is placed on the Seine facing westward. She and the Liberty in New York are facing one other.

1878- Mr. D.A. Buck of Waterbury Conn. received a patent for a low cost mass produced watch. Within a few years he was selling half a million Waterbury Watches a year at $3.50 each.

1892- Leoncavallo's opera "I Pagliacci" debuts at La Scala.

1908 - 1st horror movie “Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde” premiered in Chicago.

1922- On the Road to Moscow , the first political cartoon to win a Pulitzer prize.

1927-LINDBERGH- Charles Lindbergh-Lucky Lindy, The Lone Eagle, etc. reaches a field outside Paris called Le Bourget after flying nonstop across the Atlantic. In a recent biography Lindbergh’s letters reveal he owed his life to hallucinations he imagined he saw in the back of his plane. There was no such thing as an auto-pilot yet and he had to stay awake and alert for 55 hours straight. He also had a Felix the cat doll to keep him company. Over Le Bourget huge searchlights were beamed on his plane and the light temporarily blinded him so that he almost crashed. When he landed people swarmed around the whirring propellor, narrowly missing another tragedy. But Lindy landed and history was made. It was possible to fly from America to Europe by airplane.

1945- BOGEY LOVES BABY-Humphrey Bogart married Lauren Bacall on a friends farm in Ohio. He was 48 and she was 21. Her real name was Betty Persky and when the publicity photographers came in, they were under strict instructions from Jack Warner to frame out of the shots Bacall’s more Jewish-looking relatives

1952- Actor John Garfield died. Some say he died in the midst of wild fornications; in truth he died alone of alcohol abuse at 40. The matinee idol of “The Postman Rings Twice” and “Kid Galahad” was too politically left for the conservative postwar age. When a young stage actor he had run guns to the IRA, later he supported progressive union movements, anti-fascism and desegregation. His outspoken politics got him blacklisted in Hollywood, his friends deserted him and he was ruined.

1952- Famed writer Lillian Hellman testified before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee HUAC but refused to name names. “I cannot cut my conscience to fit the fashions of the day.” She escaped a contempt of Congress wrap but she was blacklisted and at one point was reduced to working in a department store.

1968 - Paul McCartney & Jane Asher attend an Andy Williams concert.
Drugs are a terrible thing.

1968- Future President George W. Bush graduated Yale with a C Average.

1972- A Hungarian lunatic shouting I am Jesus Christ attacked Michelangelo’s statue La Pieta with a hammer. He is the reason why today we can only enjoy this beautiful sculpture from behind 3 inch thick bulletproof glass.

1979 - Elton John becomes 1st western rocker to perform live in USSR.

1980 – Star Wars “The Empire Strikes Back" premiered.

1983 - David Bowie's "Let's "Dance," single goes #1. The tracks featured a then little know guitarist named Stevie-Ray Vaughn.

1992- Tonight Show host Johnny Carson did his last show “I bid you a very heartfelt goodnight.” After a behind the scenes political tussle with David Letterman, comic Jay Leno became the permanent Tonight Show host. Carson retired into seclusion, and for the rest of his life jealously guarded his privacy, even refusing to appear for Tonight Show and NBC anniversaries.