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Sept. 17th, 2007 mon
September 17th, 2007

Birthdays: Hank Williams, Spiro T. Agnew, Jerry Colonna, Roddy MacDowell, composer Wendy Carlos Williams, Elvira- real name Cassandra Peterson, Anne Bancroft, cartoonist Jeff MacNelly, Rita Rudner

Feast of Saint Hildegard of Bingen, the medieval female composer.
I don't know why an octopus is dropping on her head while she is eating chili, but that is a contemporary image of Hildegard. Courtesy of Wilson's

1630- Happy Birthday Beantown! The Puritan colonists of New England decide to name their new settlement Boston, after a town in Lincolnshire. The site was an Algonquin village called Shawmut.

1787- The U.S. Constitution signed by the representatives of 12 of the thirteen states. Rhode Island boycotted the convention. “The business is closed.” George Washington wrote in his diary. Alexander Hamilton signed as the only representative of New York since the others left in protest. He was a prime mover of the Constitutional rewrite but was unimpressed with the final result: “Just more pork with the same old sauce, but it might lead the way for a better one later.”Aaron Burr was more blunt” I doubt if it will last 50 years.” Yet the US Constitution became the bedrock of the American system and is viewed with an almost religious dedication. When Ben Franklin emerged from the chamber an old woman asked:’ Well, Dr Franklin, what have you given us now?” Franklin replied:” A nation, mam, if you can keep it.”

1859- JOSHUA NORTON of San Francisco, a well known rice merchant, suffered a mental breakdown under the strain of work, bought a tricycle and a marching band uniform and declared himself Joshua Ist, By God's Grace Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico! Everybody went along with the gag including Abraham Lincoln, who Joshua would write to as "My Prime Minister" and Abe would answer "Your Majesty". He once signed an order outlawing the Republican and Democratic parties. When Joshua died in 1875 35,000 people turned out for a state funeral befitting royalty.

1876- THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA RAID-One old Hollywood myth is of the Western town cowering in fear while desperadoes shoot up the street whoopin and a’hollering. When the Jesse James & Cole Younger gang rode out of Missouri and tried to rob the Bank of Northfield they found a town full of old Civil War veterans, who hauled out their rifles and shot them to pieces from every window and doorway. Frank and Jesse are about the only ones who escaped. The laid low in Tennessee for three years until resuming their outlaw ways. Cole Younger was wounded, captured and did 25 years in prison. In 1903 Cole and Frank James went on tour with their own Wild West Show.

1880- The L.A. Athletic Club opened.

1965- If you ever wondered what could be funny about being held in a Nazi prison camp you could watch the TV sitcom HOGANS HEROES, which debuted this day. Nazi Commandant Colonel Klink was acted by Werner Klemperer, whose father was the famous orchestra conductor Otto Klemperer who had to flee Germany because they were Jewish. Sergeant Schulz and the Frenchman LeBeau were also played by actors who survived concentration camps- John Banner and Robert Clary.

1971- RCA pulled out of the computer market.

1972- Filmation's The Groovie Ghoulies" debuts. Some designs done by a Don Bluth.

1975- Psychotherapist Lucile Yaney opened one of LA’s most unusual restaurants- the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon. Built on the site of a countryhouse 1920’s evangelist Aimee Semple MacPherson brought her lovers. Premiere organic cuisine with berry wines, then you can browse the store for power crystals.