Happy Friday, hobbitses, I mean F-Troopers.  Yes, today is the day that the Hobbit Movie (part one) opens.  I still can't figure how they are stretching that skinny book into 3 movies without cheating, but I will certainly go find out (but not tonight, opening night lines give me a headache).

Here is a sampling of Twitter noise:

Now, time for your history lesson!

On This Day

In 1819, Alabama became the 22nd U.S. state.

In 1836 , the Toledo War, a bloodless border dispute between Michigan and Ohio, unofficially ended with Michigan ceding the territory to Ohio in order to attain statehood.

In 1902, the first Pacific telegraph cable was laid by the Commercial Pacific Cable Company, stretching from San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii.

In 1911 – Roald Amundsen and his team, comprising Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, became the first expedition to (undisputedly) reach the South Pole.

In 1946 , the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish its headquarters in New York City.

In 1963, the Baldwin Hills Reservoir wall burst, killing five people and damaging hundreds of homes in Los Angeles.

In 2008, President George W. Bush was the target of two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a news conference in Baghdad.

Born on This Day

1503 – Nostradamus, French astrologer whose predictions are so vague that they MUST be true! If you can figure them out, that is (they work better after the fact). (d. 1566)

1824 – Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, French painter (d. 1898)

Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre (1824-1898) - 1883 The Dream (Musee d'Orsay, Paris) 1866 – Roger Fry, English artist and art critic (d. 1934)

1881 – Katherine MacDonald, American actress and film producer (d. 1956)


1884 – Jane Cowl, American actress and playwright (d. 1950)


1897 – Margaret Chase Smith, American politician (d. 1995)

1908 – Morey Amsterdam, American comedian and actor (d. 1996)

1911 – Spike Jones, American comedian and musician (d. 1965)

1916 – Shirley Jackson, American writer (d. 1965)

1917 – Elyse Knox, American actress (d. 2012)

Elyse Knox - c.1943

1920 – Clark Terry, American trumpeter

1932 – Abbe Lane, American singer and actress


1935 – Lee Remick, American actress (d. 1991)

Lee Remick

1946 – Jane Birkin, English-born French actress and singer

Jane Birkin

1946 – Patty Duke, American actress

1949 – Bill Buckner, American baseball player

1952 – John Lurie, American actor, musician, painter, director and producer

1958 – Mike Scott, Scottish singer-songwriter (The Waterboys)

1958 – Spider Stacy, English musician (The Pogues)

1970 – Beth Orton, English singer-songwriter

Died on This Day

1799 – George Washington, First President of the United States (b. 1732)

1861 – Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, consort of Queen Victoria (b. 1819)


1937 – Fabian de la Rosa, Filipino painter (b. 1869)


1953 – Marjorie Rawlings, American author (b. 1896)

1975 – Arthur Treacher, English actor (b. 1894)

1993 – Myrna Loy, American actress (b. 1905)


2003 – Jeanne Crain, American actress (b. 1925)

An original press still of Glenn Ford reassuring Jeanne Crain that the trouble they’ve been through before in other towns won’t happen again in this one in MGM’s classic Western “The Fastest Gun Alive” (1956).

2006 – Ahmet Ertegün, Turkish-born American music executive (b. 1923)

Today is

Monkey Day
National Bouillabaisse Day
National Biscuits and Gravy Day


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