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July 13, 2007 friday.
July 13th, 2007

Birthdays: French Admiral Bailly de Suffren, Harrison Ford, is 64, Cheech Marin- remember him in Oliver and Company?, Father Flannagan, Cameron Crowe, Woye Solenka, Dave Garroway, Patrick Stewart is 66, Jack Kemp, Chef Paul Prudhomme, Michael Spinks, Film special effects artist Jim Danforth, Dr. Erno Rubik inventor of the Rubik’s Cube

HAPPY FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH-The combination of Friday, the day Jesus was crucified and Adam died with the number thirteen- Judas Iscariot is called the Thirteenth Apostle and the Vikings considered wicked Loki the Thirteenth God. So today is considered an unlucky combination. But you have a Lucky Day!

1798- Poet William Wordsworth visited Tinturn Abbey and was inspired to write his famous elegy on the ruins.

1865- P.T.Banham’s American Museum in New York City burned down in a spectacular fire. Barham rebuilt but after that one burned as well he got the idea of getting into the circus business. In his American Museum , more a sitting menagerie and sideshow than a museum as we know it, Barnum invented the idea of advanced hype and created kiddie matinees.

1898-Giusseppi Marconi patents wireless transmissions, the Radio. Marconi believed that sound never dies, it just grows fainter. In his old age he was trying to invent a machine that could pick up the traces of the voice of Jesus.

1923- Paleontologist George Olsen while digging in the Gobi Desert discovered the first fossilized dinosaur eggs.

1925- Walt and Lillian Disney marry. Lillian and her sister in law Edna were among the first women in cartoons to be cel painters.

1930- Six thousand people in formal evening wear crowded into London’s Albert Hall to hear a special message from Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle. It was extra special because everyone knew he had died five days ago. Conan-Doyle was a champion of spiritualism and declared he could get a message through from beyond the grave. An empty chair was placed on stage in hopes of his apparition taking a seat. Hymns were sung and a clairvoyant medium claimed she saw Sir Arthur. Others saw nothing and thought it was all a big humbug.

1930 – David Sarnoff the head of the NBC radio network said in the NY Times that " The new invention of Television would be a theater in every home". Sounded crazy back then.

1939- Frank Sinatra recorded his first album, this one with the Harry James Orchestra.

1949- Producer David O. Selznik left his first wife Irene, the daughter of Louis B. Mayer, and married actress Jennifer Jones.
Irene went on to become a producer herself, and produced Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire on stage.

1960- Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts nominated for President by the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. The day continued with rounds of fierce backroom deals to decide the running mate. Although the Kennedys wanted Stuart Symington of Missouri it finally was decided to go with Lyndon Johnson the powerful Senate leader from Texas, to help with Southern conservatives. Johnson had asked his Texas mentor Cactus Jack Garner if he should accept the job. Cactus Jack was Franklin Roosevelt’s Veep for his first two terms. The 90 year old Garner said:”Lyndon, the Vice Presidency ain’t worth a bucket a warm spit!” Bobby Kennedy considered offering Lyndon the Vice Presidency a token gesture to mollify his anger at losing the nomination and he was surprised when Johnson accepted. Before going to Ciro’s with Frank Sinatra to celebrate Presidential aide Kenny O’Donnell recalled JFK making the best of it:” The Vice Presidency doesn’t mean anything. I’m forty three and I don’t plan to die in office….”

1977- The Great New York City Blackout of '77. For the second time in 20 years the whole darn East Coast power grid system breaks down. Unlike the 1964 Blackout it was much longer, much hotter, and there was no full moon to illuminate the city.
My wife Pat remembers being in the Bronx on the phone to her boyfriend in Hoboken, when her lights went out. She told him and he raced to the Jersey shore just in time to see the Skyline of Manhattan blacking out a section at a time like a huge set of dominoes. The next day posh Eastside clubs had guys drive to Jersey for ice so they could offer a cold cocktail on the sidewalk for $25 each. There was some looting and other civil disturbances and at the same time the lunatic killer the Son of Sam was on the prowl. No wonder they called it Fun City!

1985- Boomtown Rats vocalist Bob Geldorf organized a massive live concert called LIVE AID. Televised and seen by 1.5 billion people, it raised money for African famine relief. Madonna, Santanna, Paul MacCartney, The Beach Boys and reunions of Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Who and Led Zeppelin.

1985- A cancerous growth was removed from President Ronald Reagan’s colon. Stand up comic Paul Rodriguez said:” Reagan is amazing: He got cancer in his nose, he got cancer in his butt, he got shot full of bullets- he’s like the Terminator President..”

2305- According to Star Trek Next Generation Captain Jean Luc Picard was born.