Checking the calendar again:
It's the half way point of summer today and there are 141 days until Christmas
August 6, 1926 -
One of John Barrymore's classic silent movies, Don Juan, co-starring a young Mary Astor, opened in NYC on this date.
Mary Astor had a brief affair with John Barrymore during and shortly after the filming of this movie, but they remained good friends thereafter until Barrymore's death.
August 6, 1938 -
... In this corner, at 203 and one-third pounds, the most magnificent marvelous multiple monstrous mad mauling mass of meaty muscles ever to master, modify, mat, make mince-meat, and mangle many menacing monsters from Manitoba to Minneapolis!
An early pairing of this comedy duo, Porky and Daffy, was released on this date.
August 6, 1960 -
Chubby Checker performs his version of The Twist on American Bandstand starting a worldwide dance craze. The song soon reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart—and then, again, for a second time in 1962, making it the only song to hit No. 1 twice.
This started a dance craze that got so popular because it was so easy to do. Even the severely rhythm-challenged could do The Twist (Chubby Checker explained it as "like putting out a cigarette with both feet and coming out of a shower and wiping your bottom with a towel to the beat"). This helped bridge a generation gap, since both kids and adults could do it.
August 6, 1965 -
The Beatles released their fifth album, Help! — the soundtrack to their second film, on this date.
Originally, the album cover showed The Beatles spelling out the word "Help" using the semaphore system of communicating with flags, which was usually used by ships. The photographer, Robert Freeman, didn't like the pose because it looked unbalanced, so he had them hold the flags in a way that looked good, but spelled N-U-J-V. Only those who understood semaphore noticed.
August 6, 1982 -
Alan Parker's rock-musical interpretation of the classical album, Pink Floyd The Wall, premiered in NYC on this date.
In his autobiography Is That It?, Bob Geldof says that his agent first told him about the project while he was riding in a taxi, and that he said that he didn't want to do it because he didn't like the music of Pink Floyd. Roger Waters knows this story, not because he read it in Geldof's book, but because the taxi driver was actually Waters' brother.
August 6, 1993 -
Sheryl Crow releases her first album, Tuesday Night Music Club on this date. It takes about a year to catch on, but eventually sells over 7 million copies.
Tuesday Night Music Club was Crow's first album, released when she was 31. It took nearly a year for the album to catch on as Crow toured small theaters while she built an audience. She got a lot of exposure in 1994 when she opened for the Eagles on their reunion tour and played Woodstock II. All I Wanna Do was her breakthrough hit, reaching #2 in America on October 8, 1994, 14 months after the album was released.
August 6, 1994 -
Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories single, Stay (I Missed You), from the original movie soundtrack to Reality Bites, went to No. 1 on the Billboard Charts on this date.
Lisa Loeb's friend, Ethan Hawke, brought it to the attention of Ben Stiller, who saw Loeb perform and used her song in his movie. It was a huge break for Loeb, who did not have a record deal at the time. When she found out the song was going on the soundtrack, she knew it was the end of her temp work - she had a gig with the consulting firm Ernst & Young at the time).
August 6, 2015 -
This show isn't ending. This is just a pause in the conversation ...
Jon Stewart gave up his very reluctant mantle as the 'most trusted man on television' when he hosted his final episode (of his more than a decade long career) on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, on this date.
Don't forget to tune in to The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today
Today in History:
August 6 is noted historically as the official end of the Holy Roman Empire, which collapsed on that date in 1806 as Emperor Francis II abdicated.
Discuss amongst yourselves.
August 6, 1890 –
At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed by electric chair on this date.
The first shock of electricity did not kill Kemmler, and a second shock was required. The second jolt lasted until the smell of burning flesh filled the room, about four minutes. As soon as his charred body stopped smoldering, Kemmler was pronounced dead.
It was not a pretty sight.
August 6, 1911 -
One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself..
A comment from a member of the preview audience of Follow the Fleet about bit-player Ball: "You might give the tall gum chewing blonde more parts and see if she can't make the grade - a good gamble."
August 6, 1926 -
Gertrude Ederle becomes first woman to swim the English Channel. Before setting out from Cap Griz-Nez, France, at 7:09 a.m., Ederle coated her body with layers of lard and petroleum jelly to insulate her from the cold waters.
Only five men had been able to swim the English Channel before Ederle. The best time had been 16 hours, 33 minutes by an Italian-born Argentine, Enrique Tiraboschi. Ederle walked up the beach at Dover, England after 14 hours and 39 minutes. The first person to greet her was a British immigration officer who requested a passport from "the bleary-eyed, waterlogged teenager."
That man's name is no longer remembered but truly he is the spiritual grandfather of the TSA.
August 6, 1930 -
NY state Supreme Court Judge Joseph Force Crater (infamously known in New York tabloids for his alleged corruption and frequent affairs with showgirls,) dined at a West 45th Street steakhouse with a group of friends. Crater had earlier withdrawn $5,150 from a pair of bank accounts. He was last seen at 9:15 p.m., climbing into the cab. Judge Crater was never seen again.
Evidence in 2005 suggested that several men killed the judge and buried him under the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn.
August 6, 1945 -
The first atomic bomb used in combat was dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay, piloted by Col. Paul Tibbets, on this date.
President Truman ordered the use of the first nuclear bomb, which the military referred to as "Little Boy." Harry had been vice president for only 82 days when President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945 and didn't even know of the existence of the 9,600 pound bomb until he was told about it upon his assumption of the presidency.
In minutes the massive blast and the firestorm it produced destroyed the majority of the city and killed 66,000 people instantly and a total of as many as 166,000 died over a period of months from the nuclear fallout (a third of Hiroshima's population.)
August 6, 1965 -
One of the crowning achievements of the civil rights movement, The Voting Rights Act, was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, 57 years ago on this date.
One of it key aims was to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
August 6, 1991 -
On December 25, 1990, Tim Berners-Lee (not Al Gore,) successfully connected an http client with an Internet server, thus inventing the World Wide Web.
And so it goes.