Archive | March 2016


March 31st Celebrates HBO

Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how on March 31st 1987, HBO known as (Home Box Office) earned its first Oscar for, “Down and Out in America.”’

Before we get into today’s story, who founded HBO?

Charles F. Dolan is the founder of Cablevision and HBO. Through super voting shares, Dolan today controls Cablevision, AMC Networks, and The Madison Square Garden Company, which at one point were all part of Cablevision itself.

HBO was launched on November 8th 1972, and is an American premium cable and satellite television network that is owned by Home Box Office Inc.
Now that you have a movie reel of information above how HBO got started. What was “Down and Out in America,” about that HBO earned an Oscar for?

Three sectors of American society hit by recession in the mid-1980s: heartland farms, factory workers out of a job, and the new homeless. In Minnesota, 250 family farms are being repossessed each week; men and women talk about their farms, the nature of their bank loans, the onslaught of corporate farming, and their sorrow and despair. In cities where 3,500 jobs per day go overseas, unemployed workers contemplate their options. The newly homeless talk about the jobs they’ve lost, “Justice Ville” in Los Angeles (bulldozed by court order), and squatting in New York’s abandoned buildings. A family living in a welfare hotel tells their story.

It was a 1986 documentary where all the main character including the narrator had played themselves I didn’t actually see the documentary because I don’t get HBO, but it does sound interesting.

Today’s YouTube video is clip from the documentary called, “Down and out in America,” shared by user name, (erp65) Poverty, foreclosure, and homelessness, circa 1986, directed by Lee Grant and winner of the 1986, Academy Award for Documentary Film.

With the recession going in America even though this documentary was filmed in 1986, it won accredit claim for its grittiness as a powerful film.

After poring over the grim statistics, which reveal millions homeless and millions more living in poverty, filmmaker Lee Grant studies three stories in depth: farmers plagued with debt, a group of homeless people in a town called Justiceville, and a bewildered, resentful young family forced out onto the streets after their apartment catches on fire.

I adore true life stories rather than fantasy films, one of my favorite quotes from Mike Todd was, “I’ve never been poor, only broke. Being poor, is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation.”

Having been poor myself, a few times in my life, you should never be ashamed of being poor, because having the right attitude while your poor makes you the richer wiser person within.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


Who Remembers Gomez Addams?

March 30th Celebrates Who Remembers Gomez Addams

Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how on March 30th 1930, the actor John Astin who played Gomez Addams, was born today.

John Allen Astin was born March 30, 1930, and is an American actor who has appeared in numerous films and television shows, as well as a television director and voice artist and is best known for the roles of Gomez Addams on The Addams Family, and other similarly eccentric comedic characters.

Astin started in theater, making his first Broadway appearance as an understudy in Major Barbara, and also did voice-over work for commercials. His first big break in film came with a small part in West Side Story in 1961.

From 1964 to 1966, he starred in The Addams Family as Gomez Addams, the head of the macabre family. He appeared in the TV show The New Addams Family as Grandpapa Addams in 1998, with the role of Gomez Addams played by Glenn Taranto.

Today’s YouTube presentation brought to you by user name, (Barry Cassidy) is the theme song of 1964 television show. As we celebrate John Astin’s birthday today on March 30th.

John Astin’s son Sean Patrick Astin is an American actor, director, voice artist, and producer best known for his film roles as Sam wise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Sean Astin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of actress Patty Duke. At the time, it was reported that entertainer Desi Arnaz, Jr. was his biological father.

When Michael Tell, a writer, music promoter and publisher of the newspaper The Las Vegas Israelite, came to sublet her apartment and offered to marry her as a way out of the scandal, Duke agreed. The marriage lasted only 13 days in 1970, and ended long before Astin was born.

On August 5, 1972, Patty Duke married actor John Astin, after having been in a relationship with him for two years. When the wedding guests were invited to speak, 18-month-old Astin looked at John and cried, “Daddy!” in which the Episcopal priest performing the ceremony remarked, “Well, that about does it!”

John Astin subsequently adopted Sean in 1973, and became his father.

John Astin served for four years on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, and has been active in community affairs in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

He has continued to work in acting, appearing in a string of Killer Tomatoes films as Professor Gangreen and as Professor Wickwire in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.

He also has toured the one-man play Edgar Allan Poe: Once upon a Midnight, written by Paul Day Clemens and Ron Magid.

In a December 2007 Baltimore Examiner interview, Astin said of his acting experience: “We all struggle, and I had plenty of that, but I’ve had a great time. I’ve done hundreds of TV shows and 30 to 40 movies, and I love acting. I’m very happy having done the Poe. That’s been really terrific.

As we remember John Astin today on his birthday, we remember what shows we’ve seen him and wish a wonderful 86th birthday!

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

The Founder of Wal-mart

March 29th Celebrates The Founder Walmart was Born Today

Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how Sam Walton who was the founder of Walmart was born today on March 29th 1918.

When I think of the store Walmart, its great source to buy cheap plastic crap, but today were celebrating Sam Walton’s birthday.

Walton began what would be a lifelong career in the retail business in 1940, when he took a job as a sales trainee at a J.C. Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa.

Walton was enthusiastic about his job, but he was never one of Penney’s most thorough employees. He hated to make customers wait while he fussed with paperwork, so his books were a mess. His boss even threatened to fire him, saying he was not cut out for retail work. Walton was saved by his ability as a salesman, and he added about $25 per month in commissions to his beginner’s salary.

Drafted into the United States Army in 1942, Walton served stateside as a communications officer in the Army Intelligence Corps for the duration of World War II. By the time he was released from the military in 1945, Walton had a wife and child to support, so he decided to strike out on his own. Putting up $5,000 of his own money and $20,000 that he borrowed from his father-in-law, at the age of 27, Walton purchased a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas.

Through hard work and a policy of pricing products well below what other retailers charged, Walton soon tripled his business, and by 1950, he owned the leading Ben Franklin store in a six-state region. The store’s success wasn’t lost on Walton’s landlord, who decided to acquire the business for his son. Sam had no intention of selling, so the landlord simply refused to renew his lease.

The experience would have caused most people to give up. But not Sam Walton. He searched the rural towns of Arkansas for a new place to do business, and found it in the tiny community of Bentonville. There he set up shop in a store on the town square, this time insisting on a 99-year lease.

Sam Walton single-handedly built Wal-Mart into the biggest retailer in the world, transforming the way America shopped and making himself one of the world’s richest men in the process. Thanks to his “aw, shucks” demeanor and his strategy of targeting rural areas, retailing giants like Kmart, Sears and Woolworth’s never saw the scrappy, pickup-driving country boy coming. And when they did, it was too late to stop him, as we wish Sam Walton a happy birthday today.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

First Washing Machine Patent

March 28th Celebrates First Washing Machine Patent

Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how on March 28th 1797, Nathaniel Briggs got a patent for his washing machine.

The earliest special-purpose mechanical washing device was the washboard, invented in 1797 by Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire. Back then you had to do everything by hand.

By the mid-1850s steam-driven commercial laundry machinery were on sale in the UK and US.

After the items were washed and rinsed, water had to be removed by twisting. To help reduce this labor, the wringer/mangle machine was developed, but who invented the washing machine?

In 1851, James King invented the drum washing machine, but it was still a hand powered washer. This machine used a hand powered spinner to agitate the water. The first rotary washing machine was patented in 1858 by Hamilton Smith.

Who invented the clothes dryer?

A hand-cranked clothes dryer was created in 1800 by M. Pochon from France. J. Ross Moore, an American inventor from North Dakota, developed designs for automatic clothes dryers during the early 20th century.

Who created the first electric washing machine?

The first electric washing machine was invented by Alva J. Fisher in 1907. Patents: James King patented the first washing machine that was not a scrub board in 1851. In 1858, Hamilton Smith patented the rotary washing machine. In 1910, Alva J. Fisher received a patent for the first electric washing machine.

Before 1800 not many people had seen a washing machine, let alone used one. For another century after that they were not found in many homes, even in developed countries where the industrial revolution was well under way.

The first United States Patent titled “Clothes Washing” was granted to Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire in 1797.

This was known as the Box Mangler, it consisted of a heavy frame containing a large box filled with rocks, resting on a series of long wooden rollers. Washing was laid flat on a sheet and wound round one of the rollers. Two people pulled on levers to move the heavy box back and forth over the rollers. It was large and expensive and required heavy labor to operate.

As we celebrate how on March 28th 1797, Nathaniel Briggs got a patent for his washing machine.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

The Cork Screw

March 27th Celebrates The Cork Screw

Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how on March 27th 1860, the cork screw was patented by M.L. Byrn.

What would without the cork screw?

Corkscrew inventors were inspired by a tool called the bullet screw or gun worm, a device that extracted stuck bullets from rifles and clean musket barrels.

Corkscrew historian Ron McLean from the “The Virtual Corkscrew Museum” notes that, “By the early 17th century corkscrews for removing corks were made by blacksmiths as using a cork to stopper a bottle was well established.”

The corkscrew has been a much-patented object since Englishman Samuel Henshall obtained one in 1795.

While the basic design that pointed helix that can twist its way downward, allowing the cork to be pulled from the bottle has remained mostly unchanged, inventors have come up with new and novel ways to power the removal process and make a sometimes onerous task simpler.

For the cork and corkscrew the question of “chicken and egg” is an easy one.

Exactly when or by whom the corkscrew was invented is unknown. But as corks became a more common way to cap containers, our beer or wine guzzling forefathers clearly needed a way to access the goods they had so wonderfully learned to seal.

The earliest reference to a corkscrew comes in 1681 where it is called a “steel worm used for the drawing of corks out of bottles.”

It was not until the early 18th century, however, that corks were used for wine in the way in which we are currently accustomed. After some major technology breakthroughs in the glass blowing industry, craftsmen were able to shape bottles with long straight sides and skinny necks a design that allowed later-day vintners to seal, and thus age, a bottle of wine.

So you know how the cork screwed its way through history but how many different types of cork screws out there?

There are six different types of cork screws out there, one is called the “Lever Style, “The Waiter,” “Twisting Pull,” “The Two Pronged,” “The Winged,” and “The Air Pump.”

The Waiter Cork Screw looks like Jack Knife, as it opens up it has other features as well, a soda bottle opener, a little knife, and the cork screw mechanism, I have one in my kitchen drawer at home that I hardly use.

The Twisting Pull Cork Screw has a handle at the end of it, which at some point after screwing down to the cork you just pull up.

The Winged Cork Screw, these cork screws also have a circular rim that is placed over the lip of the bottle. As you turn the corkscrew the wings lift higher and higher. When you think you have drilled the worm into the corkscrew far enough, grasp the wings and slowly bring them toward the bottle. This action causes the cork to pull out of the bottle.

The Two Pronged Cork Screw, these are not exactly corkscrews because they do not have a worm that you screw into the cork. Instead, you have two slim metal prongs that you enter into opposite sides of the cork in the bottle. One prong is a little longer than the other and that is the side you enter into the bottle first. You rock the device back and forth slightly until the prongs are fully entered. Then you gently pull up with a little twist, or rocking motion.

The Air Pump Cork Screw works on the principle of forcing air between the space in the bottle of wine between the cork and the wine. As you pump the device, air pressure forces the cork out of the bottle. There is a long thick, sharp needle that you push through the cork. It is a potentially dangerous way to remove a cork.

Now that you know a little about cork screws, the next time you celebrate a special event intrigued people around by telling them.

Did you know on March 27th 1860, the cork screw was patented by M.L. Byrn?

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

Ricky Nelson’s First Song

March 26th Celebrates Ricky Nelson’s first song

Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how on March 26th 1957, Ricky Nelson record his first song.

As we watched Ozzie and Harriet rear their kids up on that 1950’s show called, “Ozzie and Harriet,” who would ever know little Ricky Nelson wouldn’t become a recording star.

Ricky recorded, “A Teenager’s Romance” on March 26, 1957 as his first single.

Before the single was released, Nelson made his television rock and roll debut on April 10, 1957 lip-synching “I’m Walkin'” in the Ozzie and Harriet episode, “Ricky, the Drummer”.

Around the same time, he made an unpaid public appearance as a singer at a Hamilton High School lunch hour assembly in Los Angeles with the Four Preps and was greeted by hordes of screaming teens that had seen the television episode.

Who wrote the song called, “Teenager’s Romance?”

“A Teenager’s Romance” is a song written by David Gillam and performed by Ricky Nelson. The song reached #2 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1957.

Today’s YouTube presentation brought to you by user name, (John 1948 Tom) giving you Little Ricky Nelson singing his song called, “A Teenager’s Romance,” as celebrate how on March 26th 1957, Ricky Nelson record his first song.

Where’s Ricky Nelson now?

Ricky Nelson, who gained childhood fame on his parents’ radio and television programs and went on to became one of rock-and-roll’s earliest teen-age idols, was killed along with his fiancée and five other people when his DC-3 plane crashed in flames near De Kalb, Texas.

The pilot and copilot survived the crash, but were critically burned, according to Michael L. Cox, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin.

The plane was so hot from the fire that rescue workers could not get close enough to recover the bodies of the victims, Mr. Cox said. He said the investigating officers discovered Mr. Nelson’s identity because one of the survivors gave him a name to call and it turned out to be Mr. Nelson’s manager. The manager confirmed that the plane was Mr. Nelson’s from the registration number on the tail.

In the late 1950’s Ricky began to sing on the television show, and when he was 16 he recorded ”I’m Walkin’, ” a Fats Domino hit, and became an instant idol of the teenie-bopper set.

After the television show ran its course, Ricky Nelson devoted his time to singing, and over the years he recorded scores of singles and albums.

He also made several movies, including ”Rio Bravo” with John Wayne and ”The Wackiest Ship in the Army” with Jack Lemmon.

What talent Ricky Nelson was, and still is as we celebrate the song called, “A Teenager’s Romance,” on March 26th 1957 his first recorded song.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

The Palace Theatre

March 25th Celebrates The Palace Theatre

Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how on March 25th 1913 The Palace Theatre opened in New York City.

If you never heard of The Palace Theatre before, it was designed by Milwaukee architects Kirchoff & Rose, the 1,740-seat theatre was funded by Martin Beck, a vaudeville entrepreneur based in San Francisco.

When the theatre finally opened on March 24, 1913, with headliner Ed Wynn, it was not an instant success and lost money for months.

With the Great Depression came a rise in the popularity of film and radio, and vaudeville began its decline.

The transformation of all of Keith–Albee–Orpheum’s vaudeville houses into movie houses through a merger with RCA and the Film Booking Office at the hands of Joseph P. Kennedy in 1929, was a major blow but did allow many to see their favorite radio performers of the day on the Palace stage.

The ghost of acrobat Louis Borsalino is said to haunt the theatre. According to various versions of the story Borsalino “fell to his death in the 1950s” and that “Stagehands say that when the theater is empty, the ghost of Borsalino can be seen swinging from the rafters. He lets out a blood-curdling scream, then re-enacts his nose dive.”

However, in reality Borsalino, who was a member of the Four Casting Pearls, was only injured when he fell 18 feet during a performance on August 28, 1935, before 800 theatergoers.

Today’s YouTube video presentation below gives you a little history of the famous celebrities that first appeared before reaching stardom at The Palace Theater in New York.

Brought to you by user name, (End of the Rainbow Broadway), as we celebrate how on March 25th 1913 The Palace Theatre opened in New York City.

In the late 1980s, a towering hotel was built above the theater, cantilevered over the auditorium; today, the theater façade almost invisible behind an enormous wall of billboards beneath the skyscraper, and only the marquee is visible.

The organ was remarkably small in size for so prestigious a house, but perhaps the management of the time did not foresee the future dominance of film and the need that silent movies had for a good sized organ. Projectors had been installed in March, 1915 under a slight remolding by architect James S. Gavigan.
The theatre was wired for sound movies in 1929, a pivotal year in many respects.

As we celebrate the opening of The Palace Theatre today on March 25th opening its doors for the first time in the year 1913.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell