Category Archives: On This Day

Today In History: July 20, 1969

President Kennedy to the joint session of Congress on May 25 1961: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson: “Free Enterprise. The American Dream. Horatio Alger gone mad on drugs in Las Vegas. Do it now. Pure Gonzo journalism.”

Thompson on his favorite meal of the day: I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong … Continue reading

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The Storming of the Bastille: “Let conflagration rage; of whatsoever is combustible!”

July 14, 1789 Thomas Carlyle’s majestic intimidating The French Revolution (it took me 3 years, off and on, to complete; it’s so dense and almost hallucinatory, hard to take in large doses, but rewarding!) describes the Siege of the Bastille … Continue reading

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On This Day: July 5, 1954 – Elvis Presley Recorded “That’s All Right”

All photos of Sun Studio in this post were taken by me. “That’s All Right”, what would be the first single, which went off like a bomb (at least in Memphis, although other regions of the South would follow) was … Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July

Marvin Gaye Sings Star Spangled Banner – 1983 All Star Game – Los Angeles, CA from Neil Gronowetter on Vimeo.

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Happy Birthday, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Today is the birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Here is an extraordinary excerpt from Wind, Sand and Stars – a book I last read in high school, when I was in my Richard Bach-airplane-writing-soulmate-search phase. Listen to this prose. And … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, poet Frank O’Hara

“Attention equals Life.” – poet Frank O’Hara Sometimes I feel that I know everything I need to know about Frank O’Hara just from reading his work. A fascinating guy off the page, he’s still one of those people whose personality … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Peter Lorre

A letter from Groucho Marx to Peter Lorre (included in the wonderful The Groucho Letters: Letters from and to Groucho Marx), that pleases me no end. October 5, 1961 Dear Peter: It was very thoughtful of you to send me … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Billy Wilder

Billy and Audrey Wilder I love him for his humor, his realistic (cynical) view of human beings (Ace in the Hole: PROPHETIC), his versatility (noirs, melodramas, war movies, comedies). Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, Some Like It Hot, Double Indemnity, The … Continue reading

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On This Day: June 6, 1944: “I really think I’m too young for this.”

Sgt. Lee Pozek: “We yelled to the crew to take us in, we would rather fight than drown. As the ramp dropped we were hit by machine-gun and rifle fire. I yelled to get ready to swim and fight. We … Continue reading

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