Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - The Autumnal Equinox occurs in 32 days.
The 2020 Presidential Election occurs in 74 days.
August 21, 1952 -
The classic John Ford film, The Quiet Man was released on this date.
This was a significant departure for Republic Pictures, which specialized in low-budget westerns, comedies and war pictures. It was the company's first and only film to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
August 21, 1965 -
The protest song Eve of Destruction, written by P. F. Sloan, was released by Barry McGuire, on this date.
When P.F. Sloan wrote this song, he was a pop songwriter and half of a surf-rock duo called The Fantastic Baggys with Steve Barri. Sloan had been listening to the music of folk singers like Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, which prompted the change of direction in his songwriting, and also the change in moniker - he was known to this point as Phil Sloan.
August 21, 1965 -
The Lovin' Spoonful's released their first no. 1 hit, Do You Believe In Magic on this date.
The Lovin' Spoonfil turned down an offer from Phil Spector because they didn't want to "be swallowed up under his name," The Lovin' Spoonful signed to a new record label called Kama Sutra. This was the first song they recorded for the label, and it was the first of a string of hits for the group, which included Daydream, Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? and Summer In The City.
August 21, 1979 -
Gary Numan released his hit Cars from his album The Pleasure Principle, on this date.
Numan made a video for this with special effects that look ridiculous now, but were cutting edge in 1979. When MTV went on the air in 1981, it was one of about 200 videos they had, so they played it over and over. This made the song a hit in the US.
August 21, 1981 -
John Landis' classic comedy horror film, An American Werewolf in London, starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne, premiered in the US on this date.
Rick Baker claimed to have been disappointed by the amount of time spent shooting the face changing shot for the transformation after having spent months working on the mechanism. John Landis only required one take lasting about seven seconds. Baker felt he had wasted his time until seeing the film with an audience that applauded during that one seven second shot.
August 21, 1987 -
The low-budget film, directed by Emile Ardolino, Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Cynthia Rhodes, and Jerry Orbach, premiered in the US on this date.
While the exteriors and cabin scenes were filmed at Mountain Lake in Virginia, the lake scene was filmed at Lake Lure in North Carolina in October. There are no close-ups because the cast members were so cold that their lips were blue.
August 21, 1991 -
The Coen Brothers take on 30s Hollywood, Barton Fink, starring John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, and Jon Polito went into general release on this date.
John Turturro took classes at a secretarial school to learn how to use a typewriter for the role. Between takes, he wrote a rough outline for Romance & Cigarettes, written on the typewriter he used in the film. The Coen brothers executive produced that film.
At 5 pm today, have a good thought for poor Ryan Reynolds
Today in History:
August 21, 1614 -
Erzsebet Bathory, ruler of Transylvania, died at 54, on this date. She had sought immortality by killing young virgins and bathing in their blood (or so they say.) It apparently didn't work.
Now that Elizabeth Arden's in Union Square is closed, I wonder who is still offering this service and where are they finding enough virgins.
August 21, 1888 -
William Seward Burroughs of St. Louis, Missouri (grandfather of Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs) was granted four patents for the first successful “Calculating-Machine,” sometimes referred to as an “adding and listing machine.” (US No. 388,116-388,119)
One year after making his first patent application on January 10, 1885, he incorporated his business as the American Arithmometer Corporation, with an investment of $100,000.
August 21, 1906 (or 1905?) -
Happy Birthday Friz
Isadore 'Friz' Freleng, one of the original tennants of Warner Bros. Termite Terrace, was born on this date.
August 21, 1911 -
Pablo Picasso was having a very bad day.
His so called friend, French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who had once called for the Louvre to be "burnt down," came under suspicion when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Lourve on this day; he was arrested and put in jail. Apollinaire, as all bad French dadaist poets would do, ratted out his friend Pablo Picasso, who was also brought in for questioning, but both were later exonerated.
Very nice guy.
At the time, the painting was believed to be lost forever, and it would be two years before the real thief was discovered. Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia stole it by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet and walking out with it hidden under his coat after the museum had closed. Peruggia was an Italian patriot who believed da Vinci's painting should be returned to Italy for display in an Italian museum.
Peruggia may have also been motivated by a friend who sold copies of the painting, which would skyrocket in value after the theft of the original. After having kept the painting in his apartment for two years, Peruggia grew impatient and was finally caught when he attempted to sell it to the directors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence; it was exhibited all over Italy and returned to the Louvre in 1913. Peruggia was hailed for his patriotism in Italy and only served a few months in jail for the crime.
August 21, 1912 -
Arthur R. Eldred was the first person to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest in the Boy Scouts of America.
A few weeks after becoming the first Eagle Scout, Eldred helped to save another Scout from drowning and was awarded the Bronze Honor Medal for his actions.
August 21, 1959 -
Hawaii became the 50th state to enter the Union when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the order, granting the stolen island nation, Hawaii statehood on this date.
Several bills for Hawaii had been presented to the US Congress, in 1919, 1935, 1947 and 1950, but none had passed until this day in 1959. (Nixon gleefully looking on. He was ensuring that little Barry Obama would be born on U.S. soil. Nixon was at the heart a many a conspiracy.)
August 21, 1983 -
Longtime political opponent of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, former Philippine senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. was not having a very good day. As Benigno stepped off a airplane at the Manila airport (ending his three years of self-imposed exile in the US,) he was assassinated on this date.
He was returning home to run in the Philippine's next election. These kind of things tend to put people off of travel.
August 21, 1986 -
1,700 people were killed in Cameroon when Lake Nyos emitted a huge cloud of fast-moving fog, quickly enveloping the villages of Nyos, Kam, Cha and Subum on this date.
The lethal mist, consisting mainly of carbon dioxide and water vapor, displaces the oxygen in the low-lying zones, killing thousands of cattle and even more birds and wild animals. One eyewitness later describes the landscape as being "littered with human remains and animal carcasses."
That would have ruined a vacation.
And so it goes.