Day By Day

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This Day In History

Today is "Physician Assistant Day" so find a physician and offer to assist him or her.

On this day in 1876 the American Library Association was founded in Philadelphia.

This is a momentous day in film history -- on this day in 1889 Thomas Edison showed a motion picture. He had already patented the concept in 1888 [he often did that, filing patents on an idea before he actually had a working device] and had a team of technicians headed by William Kennedy Laurie Dickson working on the project. Now he could actually demonstrate the concept, although the specific technique, using images mounted on a cylinder, was ultimately scrapped in favor of the kinetoscope.

And on this day in 1923 Ernie Padgett, playing for the Braves, executed the National League's first unassisted triple play. Of course it came against the Phillies.

And on this day in 1927 Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer" opened at Warners' flagship theater in New York City. In Hollywood legend it was the first of the "Talkies" but many short sound films had been made prior to it and the technology had been available in some form since the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The importance of "The Jazz Singer" was that it was a feature length film -- mostly silent, but with short sound segments -- that proved to be a commercial success. It demonstrated the economic feasibility of using sound in feature productions, and over the following few years "talkies" replaced silent films as the dominant form of the medium, at least in the United States [Europe took a bit longer].

This is also a momentous date in the history of the Middle East. In 1973 this date marked the outbreak of the "Yom Kippur War" [also called the "Ramadan War", the "Fourth Arab-Israeli War", and the "October War"] in which Israel was attacked by Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. The Israelis won handily and the humiliating Arab defeat led to peace negotiations that eventually produced a permanent agreement between Israel and Egypt at the 1978 Camp David accords. This separate peace on the part of Egypt infuriated Muslim radicals and three years later, on this very day, they assassinated Egyptian signatory President Anwar el-Sadat.

And also in film history, on this day in 1991 Elizabeth Taylor married for the eighth time, to construction worker Larry Fortensky. It didn't last.

And on that very same day David Cone tied a National League record by striking out nineteen players in one game. Of course his victims were the Phillies.