You currently have five golden rings, eight calling birds, nine French hens, ten turtledoves and five partridges in their respective pear trees (begin thinking preserves.) (The fifth day of Christmas is also the Feast of St. Thomas Becket who was the Archbishop of Canterbury and martyred on this date in 1170 AD.) The five golden rings represent the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible.
Let's hope your true love does not know this, you do not need to add avian flu into the mix at this time.
Tonight is the Fourth night of Kwanzaa.
December 29, 1933 -
One of their best remembered films, Laurel and Hardy's Sons of the Desert, premiered on this date.
During the shooting, Stan Laurel was also seeing someone else, Virginia Ruth Rogers, even though his divorce from his first wife was not yet final. Rogers even filled in as a crowd scene extra and also stood closely by during the filming of the rooftop downpour scene. As the soaking wet Laurel finished shooting, she threw a towel around him, rushed him to his dressing room, ran a hot shower, and made him a hot toddy of whiskey, lemon and sugar. She said Laurel began to cry in gratitude, noting how his wife never took any interest in his work or showed her concern for him in that way.
Rogers later became his second (and fourth!) wife.
December 29, 1939 -
Charles Laughton's masterful turn as Quasimodo in William Dieterle's remake of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, co-starring Maureen O'Hara, premiered in the US on this date.
The movie was filmed during one of the hottest summers up to that time, with temperatures regularly topping 100 degrees as Charles Laughton labored under the heavy makeup and costume. It was so hot at night that he had to sleep in wet sheets to keep cool, and the moisture usually evaporated within minutes. On top of that, he had to be at the studio by 4 a.m. each day to get into the makeup.
December 29, 1939 -
The classic Western comedy, Destry Rides Again, premiered on this date.
The role of Tom Destry was originally intended for Gary Cooper, but he wanted more money than the producers were willing to pay him. It was then offered to Jimmy Stewart, who took it.
December 29, 1940 -
Carol Reed's nearly forgotten wartime drama Night Train to Munich, starring Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, and Paul Henreid premiered in the US on this date.
The second of four cinematic appearances by Charters and Caldicott (played by Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne). They first appeared in The Lady Vanishes, also written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder. They later appeared in Crook's Tour, and in Millions Like Us, which was also written by Gilliat and Lauder.
December 29, 1965 -
Thunderball - the best James Bond title - premiered in US on this date.
Sean Connery performed the gun-barrel sequence for the first time because of the new Panavision process used in the movie. Beginning with this movie, the sequence would be performed by the actor playing Bond in the movie.
December 29, 1967 -
The scene in which Kirk is buried in an avalanche of tribbles took eight takes to get right. The tribbles were thrown into the hatch by members of the production crew. The crew members were not sure when to stop because they were unable to see the scene. This is why additional tribbles keep falling on Kirk one by one. William Shatner can be seen looking perplexed as to why more tribbles keep falling on him.
December 29, 1967 -
Sergio Leone's iconic Spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach, premiered in the US on this date. The term originated in the 1960s, when it was cheaper to make movies in Italy than the United States. Moviemakers made their westerns there and had English dubbed in for the Italian actors. Ironically. many of them were actually filmed in Spain, so they probably should have been referred to as Paella Westerns.
According to Eli Wallach, when it came time to blow up the bridge, Sergio Leone asked the Spanish Army Captain in charge to trigger the fuse, as a sign of gratitude for the Army's collaboration. They agreed to blow up the bridge when Leone gave the signal "Vai!" (Go!) over the walkie-talkie. Unfortunately, another crew member spoke on the same channel, saying the words "vai, vai!", meaning "it's okay, proceed" to a second crew member. The Captain heard this signal, thought it was for him, and blew up the bridge. Unfortunately, no cameras were running at the time. Leone was so upset that he fired the crewman, who promptly fled from the set in his car. The Captain was so sorry for what happened that he proposed to Leone that the Army would rebuild the bridge to blow it up again, with one condition: that the fired crewman be re-hired. Leone agreed, the crewman was forgiven, the bridge was rebuilt, and the scene was successfully shot.
Another ACME Safety Film
Today in History:
December 29, 1170 -
Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was slashed to death by four of King Henry II's knights at the altar of the Virgin Mary. "Is there no one who will rid me from this turbulent priest", cried Henry in frustration earlier that month.
It was apparently not a serious demand for Becket's death, but that did not stop his brains from being splattered in Canterbury Cathedral.
Henry II was forced to walk to Becket's grave while being flogged by eighty monks as penance for his death.
So kids remember, don't ask for things that you don't really want (the whole tears in heaven/ answered prayers thing.)
December 29, 1848 -
James Polk became the first president to install gas lighting in the White House on this date, though it had been used sporadically around the country since 1816.
December 29, 1851 -
It's fun to stay at the YMCA.
No, I'm not going to play that song.
December 29, 1852 -
Emma Snodgrass, referred to by East Coast newspapers as "the girl who has recently been visiting parts of New England in pants" was "again" arrested in Boston on a charge of vagrancy. Since Emma was regularly employed as a clerk, and paid her bills, the vagrancy charge didn't hold.
I tremble to think what would have happened if the judge had seen what was going on at the Boston YMCA.
December 29, 1876 -
Today's lesson: taking your job too seriously, can get you seriously killed.
The bridge was owned by the Lake Shore and Michigan railroad, and was the joint creation of Charles Collins, Engineer, and Amasa Stone, Chief Architect and Designer. After testifying before an investigative jury, Charles Collins quietly went home and shot himself in the head. Amasa Stone committed suicide approximately 7 years later. Stone was held partly responsible for the disaster by the same investigative jury before which Collins had testified, and was publicly scorned for many years. Please remember that YOU are not your job (unless you feel personally responsible from the horrible death of about 100 men, women and children.)
December 29, 1890 -
The Wounded Knee Massacre took place at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on this date, as over 200 Sioux were killed by US troops, led by Colonel James Forsyth, who was sent to disarm them.
Forsyth was later charged with killing the unarmed men women and children, but later exonerated.
Another proud moment in American history.
December 29, 1946 -
Baroness Sacher-Masoch (Marianne Evelyn Faithfull), English singer, songwriter, actress
and inventor of the Mars bar tampon, was born on this date.
December 29, 1959 -
Paula Poundstone, comedian, was born on this date.
Don't forget to catch Paula's podcast Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone.
December 29, 1972 -
Life ended the weekly publication of their magazine with the issue titled Year in Pictures, on this date. From 1936 it had produced over 1,860 issues.
December 29, 1993 -
Former child star Todd Bridges (who played Willis on Different Strokes) arrested for transportation of methamphetamine.
And so it goes.