Thursday, August 05, 2010

January 1, 1967 to January 14, 1967

I’m going to do my history portion a little differently this time. I’m going to go through the year a couple of weeks at a time and squeeze whatever interesting stuff I can get from that particular fortnight. So we’ll just start off at the beginning of the calendar.

New Years Day 1967 came on a Sunday and our New Year baby was photographer Spencer Tunick. He’s famous for taking pictures of huge crowds of naked people in urban settings. On May 6th of 2007, he set a record by shooting a series of photos of a crowd of 18,000 nude models in Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City.

Is it just me, or does he look a little like Randy Quaid? 

On Monday the 2nd, Tia Carrere was born in Honolulu. If you’re around my age, you probably remember her as Wayne’s hot girlfriend in the Wayne’s World movies. 

Tuesday the 3rd saw the passing of Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby at the age of 55. He had been diagnosed with cancer and admitted to Parkland Hospital a mere 25 days before, as they were setting the date for his new trial. Just over three years had passed since he shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald on live television. 

Parkland Hospital in Dallas, besides being the location of Ruby’s death was also where Oswald died and where Kennedy was pronounced dead. 

Unfortunately for Mr. Ruby, he never got to hear the music of the Doors. He probably wouldn’t have liked it. On Wednesday the 4th, the eponymous debut of the LA band was released. 

In London, on Thursday the 5th, a 77 year old Charles Chaplin attended the premiere of his last movie, “A Countess from Hong Kong”, starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren. The critics didn’t like it. It’s on my list, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

The weekend saw increased activity in Vietnam. US Marines and South Vietnamese Marines hit the Mekong Delta on Friday the 6th as Operation Deckhouse Five began. 7 US Marines died during the operation. 

Two days later, on Sunday the 8th, Operation Cedar Falls, the largest ground operation of the Vietnam War, was launched against the Iron Triangle north of Saigon. 72 Americans were killed during the course of the operation. 

In Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday the 9th, musician Dave Matthews was born. I’m not a huge fan, but I like his music. 

On Tuesday the 10th, segregationist restaurateur Lester Maddox was sworn in as the 75th Governor of Georgia.

Interestingly, he lost the Democratic primary but was close enough to force a runoff that he did win. He also lost the general election but, because neither candidate received a majority of votes, the election was thrown to the state Assembly which selected Maddox. 

Dr. James Bedford died on Thursday the 12th. You may be asking yourself, “Who was Dr. James Bedford?” He was a UCLA psychology professor who wrote books on occupational counseling. He was also very interested in cryonics and when he succumbed to cancer at the age of 73 he became the first human ever to undergo cryonic preservation. His body is still preserved in liquid nitrogen at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. 

I’m hoping to go this route myself. Some people think I’m crazy, but the way I figure it, if it works, fantastic, I’m immortal. If it doesn’t work, I’m not going to be any deader. Besides, if given the choice between spending eternity in a hole in the ground or a giant thermos, I think the thermos sounds way more appealing. 

On the same day that Dr. Bedford was being frozen, NBC was defrosting an old classic. Jack Webb brought Dragnet to the radio in 1949 and television in 1951. The original TV series ran on NBC until 1959. The show was re-launched on this day in 1967 and ran until 1970. They started off the new series with a story about LSD, the famous “Blue Boy” episode. 

Saturday the 14th marks the birth of the best actress of her generation, the remarkable Emily Watson. 

Her portrayal of Bess McNeill in Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves was possibly the finest performance I’ve ever seen by any actress. 

On that same Saturday, more than 20,000 people gathered in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for the Human Be-In. 

It was a seminal event in the development of the 1960s counterculture. Among the attendees was Dr. Timothy Leary who told the crowd to “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.” 

It was an eventful couple of weeks to kick off an eventful year. I hope you guys like this stuff. Let me know what you think.

I'll be back soon with my review of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

Comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged.

Thank you for your interest.

No comments: