When Elvis was king, a look back at 1956

In 1956,

Bach: The Goldberg Variations was released;

Five US missionaries were killed by the Huaorani people of Ecuador;

The Winter Olympics were held in Cortina d’Ampezzo;

Elvis Presley released, “Heartbreak Hotel,”

Doris Day’s released her signature song “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be),”

Morocco and Tunisia declared independence from France,

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over 500 for the first time,

My Fair Lady opened on Broadway,

Marty was named the best film of 1955

Pakistan became the first Islamic republic,

As the World Turns debuted on CBS,

Grace Kelly married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco;

Rocky Marciano retired without losing a boxing match in his career;

The United Methodist Church allowed women to become clergy for the first time,

The first Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast;

Elvis Presley performed a controversial version of “Hound Dog” on The Milton Berle Show;

The Summer Olympics were held in Melbourne;

Gamal Abdel Nasser became the 2nd President of Egypt;

Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller;

President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act;

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performed their last comedy show together;

In God we trust” became the US National motto;

Elvis Presley made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show;

The hard disk drive was introduced by IBM;

Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in the World Series;

13-year-old chess prodigy Bobby Fischer defeated grandmaster Donald Byrne in The Game of the Century;

Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal;

The Huntley-Brinkley Report debuted on NBC;

Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg was published;

Hungary attempted to leave the Warsaw Pact;

The United States Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling in Browder v. Gayle, holding bus segregation in Alabama was unconstitutional;

Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson for the second time to win reelection as President of the United States;

Floyd Patterson became world heavyweight champ;

The “Million Dollar Quartet” played together in Memphis;

Japan joined the United Nations;

To Tell the Truth debuted on CBS;

Bob Barker made his television debut;

Mel Gibson, Davis Caruso, Imelda Staunton, Bill Maher, Geena Davis, Mimi Rogers, Johnny Rotten, Nathan Lane, Aileen Wuornos, Tim Daly, Bryan Cranston, Dana Delany, Steve Ballmer, Ray Combs, Diamond Dallas Page, Andy Garcia, Lars von Trier, Dan Patrick, Sugar Ray Leonard, Bob Saget, Patricia Cornwell, Kenny G., Joe Montana, Randy Jackson, Anthony Bourdain, Chris Isaak, Tom Hanks, Sela Ward, Tony Kushner, Charlie Crist, Dorothy Hamill, Delta Burke, Jim Neidhart, Bruce Greenwood, Rusty Wallace, Adam Arkin, Joan Allen, Paul Molitor, David Copperfield, Gary Cole, Linda Hamilton, Christoph Waltz, Danny Boyle, Carrie Fisher, Dwight Yoakam, Rita Wilson, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Richard Curtis, Warren Moon, Bo Derek, Dale Jarrett, William Fichtner, and Larry Bird were born;

While Sir Alexander Korda, H.L. Mencken, A.A. Milne, Connie Mack, Fred Allen, Edward Arnold, Jean Hersholt, Jackson Pollock, Bela Lugosi, Alfred Kinsey, Babe Zaharias, Art Tatum, and Tommy Dorsey died.

The following is a list of my ten favorite films released in 1956:

Continue reading “When Elvis was king, a look back at 1956”

“That’ll never happen” — a look back at 2016

In 2016:

The World Health Organization announced the outbreak of the Zika virus;

The United Kingdom voted in a nationwide referendum to leave the European Union;

The Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro;

The website www.abevigoda.com changed its status;

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America;

The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Superbowl 50;

Peyton Manning retired from professional football;

The Cleveland Indians overcame a 3 game to 1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors and capture their first NBA Championship;

The Chicago Cubs battled back from a 3 game to 1 deficit to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series, ending a 108 year drought;

Four films grossed over $1 billion: Captain America: Civil War; Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryFinding Dory; and Zootopia;

The Big Bang Theory aired its 200th episode while The Simpsons aired its 600th episode;

American Idol aired its final episode;

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature;

The Powerball lottery prize surpassed $1 billion for the first time;

Uptown Funk” won the Grammy for Record of the Year;

President Obama became the first US president to visit Cuba since 1928;

Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan retired from professional basketball;

Hamilton won the Tony Award for Best Musical;

The US Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20;

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison for paying “hush” money to victims he had sexually abused;

Ringling Bros, and Barnum and Bailey Circus ceased featuring elephants during their live shows;

Hillary Clinton’s use of private e-mail to conduct State Department business while she was Secretary of State became a major scandal;

President Obama became the first US President to visit Hiroshima;

Thirty five years after he attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, John Hinckley Jr. was released from institutional psychiatric care;

Game of Thrones won the Emmy for Best Drama while fellow HBO program Veep won the Emmy for Best Comedy;

A 2005 video of candidate Donald Trump making lewd comments about women was released;

David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Antonin Scalia, Boutrous Boutros-Ghali, Umberto Eco, Harper Lee, George Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, George Martin, Larry Drake, Keith Emerson, Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Doris Roberts, Chyna, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Kimbo Slice, Peter Schaffer, Gordie Howe, Anton Yelchin, Pat Summitt, Michael Cimino, Elie Wiesel, Abbas Kiarostami, Hector Babenco, Garry Marshall, Marni Nixon, Tim LaHaye, David Huddleston, Kenny Baker, Fyvush Finkel, Arthur Hiller, Mr. Fuji, Gene Wilder, Jon Polito, Phyllis Schlafly, Edward Albee, Curtis Hanson, Arnold Palmer, Shimon Peres, Andrzej Wajda, Dario Fo, Leonard Cohen, Janet Reno, Robert Vaughn, Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, Ron Glass, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Richard Adams, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds died.

These are my top ten films released in 2015:

Continue reading ““That’ll never happen” — a look back at 2016″

Mr. Holland smoked some locusts in the park with Adaline; now he’s departed

Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

Musician Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfus) takes a temporary job as a music teacher, but, as his idol John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” After thirty years in this temporary job, Mr. Dreyfus is forced to retire. On his last day of school, a cadre of his former students assemble in the school auditorium for a surprise performance of his long-delayed orchestral piece.

Continue reading “Mr. Holland smoked some locusts in the park with Adaline; now he’s departed”

Best of the 2010s

Incendies (2010)

Incendies (2010)

When Nawal Marwan dies, she leaves instructions for her twin children, Jeanne and Simon, to find their father and half-brother.

Continue reading “Best of the 2010s”

The 14th year of the reign of second Queen Elizabeth, a look back at the films of 1966

In 1966,

Ken Kesey hosted the first Acid Test;

The Georgia House of Representatives refused to seat Julian Bond;

Vernon Dahmer was murdered in Mississippi;

Robert C. Weaver became the first Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the first African-American member of the Cabinet of the United States;

Indira Gandhi was elected Prime Minister of India;

Mr. Ed aired its final episode;

NASA astronauts Charles Bassett and Elliot See were killed in an aircraft accident;

John Lennon told a reporter for the London Evening Standard the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus;”

Ronnie Kray murdered George Cornell;

Bobby Hull scored 51 goals for the Chicago Blackhawks;

With five African-American starters, the Texas Western Miners basketball team defeated the University of Kentucky Wildcats to win the NCAA Championship;

The Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen in England;

The Soviet space probe Luna 10 became the first manmade object to orbit the moon;

Leonid Brezhnev became General Secretary of the Soviet Union;

Time asked “Is God Dead?

The Sound of Music was named the best film of 1965;

Haile Selassie visited Jamaica for the first time;

Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon;

The Church of Satan was formed;

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup;

The Rolling Stones released their song “Paint it Black;”

The Busch Memorial Stadium opened in St. Louis;

The Cultural Revolution began in China;

The Beach Boys released Pet Sounds;

Bob Dylan released Blonde on Blonde;

Gertrude Baniszewski was convicted of the murder of Sylvia Likens;

Guyana was granted independence from Great Britain;

It’s a Small World opened in Disneyland;

The final episode of The Dick van Dyke Show aired;

In Miranda v. Arizona, the US Supreme Court ruled suspects must be informed of their rights before they can be questioned;

Pope Paul VI abolished the Index Librorum Prohibitorum;

Dark Shadows premiered on ABC;

The  National Organization for Women was founded;

US President Lyndon Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act;

England won the FIFA World Cup;

Richard Speck murdered eight nurses in Chicago;

The Australian children’s program Play School premiered;

Bob Dylan was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in New York;

Charles Whitman murdered fourteen people from a tower at the University of Texas;

Caesars Palace opened in Las Vegas;

The Beatles released Revolver;

A  performance in Candlestick Park is the last scheduled performance for the Beatles;

Star Trek debuted;

The Monkees premiered on NBC;

The The Metropolitan Opera House opened;

Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton founded the Black Panther Party;

The Toyota Corolla was introduced;

The Montreal Metro opened;

The AFL and NFL announce plans to merge into one league;

John Lennon met Yoko Ono;

The second Doctor debuted;

Edward Brooke became the first African-American elected to the US Senate since Reconstruction;

In a long awaited second trial, Sam Sheppard was acquitted for the murder of his wife;

Truman Capote hosted the Black and White Ball in honor of Katharine Graham;

Barbados became an independent nation;

Patrick Dempsey, Rainn Wilson, Neal McDonough, Cindy Crawford, Rachel Dratch, Billy Zane, Téa Leoni, Zack Snyder, Michael Irvin, Rodney Peete, Tom Glavine, Robin Wright, Michael Imperioli, Greg Maddux, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, John Daly, Stephen Baldwin, Darius Rucker, Janet Jackson, Thurman Thomas, Mindy Cohn, Lisa Edelstein, H. Jon Benjamin, Helena Bonham Carter, Julianna Margulies, Dikembe Mutombo, J.J. Abrams, John Cusack, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mike Tyson, Matthew Fox, Tim Brown, Dean Cain, Tim Wakefield, Jimmy Wales, Halle Berry, Rik Smits, Tim Hardaway, Salma Hayek, Toby Jones, Adam Sandler, Soledad O’Brien, Sherman Alexie, David Cameron, Luke Perry, Jon Favreau, Matt Drudge, Andy Richter, Adam Horowitz, David Schwimmer, Gordon Ramsay, Curt Shilling, Daisy Fuentes, Sophie Marceau, Troy Aikman, Vincent Cassel, Larry Walker, Fred Armisen, C. Thomas Howell, Sinéad O’Connor, Kirsten Gillibrand, Anthony Mason, and Kiefer Sutherland were born;

While  Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton, Sophie Tucker, Chester Nimitz, William Frawley, Alice Pearce, Flann O’Brien, Evelyn Waugh, Bob Elliott, Montgomery Clift, Lenny Bruce, Francis X. Bushman, Margaret Sanger, Clifton Webb, and Walt Disney died.

These are my ten favorite film released in 1966:

Continue reading “The 14th year of the reign of second Queen Elizabeth, a look back at the films of 1966”

While the twenties roared, the films were silent: a look back at the films of 1925

In 1925:

Nellie Tayloe Ross became the governor of Wyoming, the first female governor in the United States,

The New Yorker was first published,

Calvin Coolidge was inaugurated as US President,

Tennessee passed the Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in the state’s public schools which led directly to the Scopes Trial,

F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby,

The Butcher of Hanover was beheaded,

Percy and Florence Arrowsmith were married,

The Chrysler corporation was founded,

Adolf Hitler published volume one of Mein Kampf,

Meher Baba began a 44 year self-imposed silence,

40,000 people attended a Ku Klux Klan rally in Washington D.C.,

Mount Rushmore was dedicated,

The first Surrealist art exhibition opened in Paris,

The Grand Ole Opry debuted,

New York City passed London to become the most populous city in the world,

and John DeLorean, Lee Van Cleef, Paul Newman, Dorothy Malone, Elaine Stritch, Jack Lemmon, Hal Holbrook, George Kennedy, Robert Altman, Sam Peckinpah, Flannery O’Connor, Rod Steiger, Yogi Berra, Malcolm X, Pol Pot, Tony Curtis, Barbara Bush, William Styron, Maureen Stapleton, Audie Murphy, Farley Granger, Medgar Evers, Merv Griffin, Bill Haley, Mike Douglas, Donald O’Connor, Peter Sellers, Mel Tormé, B.B. King, Elmore Leonard, Margaret Thatcher, Lenny Bruce, Angela Lansbury, Johnny Carson, Richard Burton, Doris Roberts, Jonathan Winters, Rock Hudson, Robert F. Kennedy, William F. Buckley Jr., Julie Harris, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dick Van Dyke were born.

The following is a list of my top ten films released in 1925:

Continue reading “While the twenties roared, the films were silent: a look back at the films of 1925”

Eleven years before the first NBA game, a look back at 1935

In 1935,

Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of kidnapping Charles Lindbergh Jr.,

The first canned beer was sold in the United States,

Parker Brothers began selling Monopoly,

The famously loyal dog Hachiko died,

Porky Pig debuted,

Persia was renamed Iran,

Fibber McGee and Molly premiered,

Sun Myung Moon claimed to experience a vision where he is chosen to complete the mission of Christ,

The first nighttime baseball game was played between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds,

Babe Ruth played in his last Major League Baseball game,

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded,

The first parking meters were installed in Oklahoma City,

President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act,

Will Rogers was killed in a plane crash,

Carl Weiss assassinated Huey Long,

The Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship,

The Melody Inn opened in Indianapolis,

Haile Selassie I was named Time’s Man of the Year,

Floyd Patterson, Elvis Presley, Bob Denver, the Amazing Kreskin, Gene Vincent, Sonny Bono, Jimmy Swaggart, Judd Hirsch, M. Emmett Walsh, Mahmoud Abbas, Herb Alpert, Dudley Moore, Charles Grodin, David Prowse, Jack Kemp, Donald Sutherland, Ron Paul, Frank Robinson, Ken Kesey, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Mathis, Julie Andrews, Bruno Sammartino, Luciano Pavarotti, Jerry Orbach, Peter Boyle, Bob Gibson, Woody Allen, Lee Remick, Paul Hornung, and Sandy Koufax were born,

While Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Jane Adams, Alfred Dreyfus, T.E. Lawrence, and Ma Barker died.

The following is a list of my favorite films released in 1935:

Continue reading “Eleven years before the first NBA game, a look back at 1935”

Welcome to the Atomic Age, a look back at 1945

In 1945:

FDR was inaugurated to his fourth term as US President and died soon after,

Harry Truman became the 33rd US President,

Anne Frank died,

The Yalta Conference took place,

The Battle of Iwo Jima occurred and the famous photo Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima was published,

The Academy Awards were broadcast on radio for the first time,

The Arab League was formed,

Sylvester the Cat debuted,

Benito Mussolini was executed,

Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun and committed suicide the next day,

The United Nations Charter was signed,

Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after the 1945 general elections,

The United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

Mahatma Gandhi demanded all British troops leave India,

Women were allowed to vote in the French legislative election for the first time,

Ebony was published for the first time

The first cartoon featuring Casper, the Friendly Ghost premiered,

The Nuremberg Trials began,

The world’s first general purpose electronic computer, ENIAC went online,

Pippi Longstocking was first published,

In a radio program, Superman met Batman for the first time,

Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, Tom Selleck, Bob Griese, Bob Marley, Mia Farrow, John Heard, Micky Dolenz, Pat Riley, Walt Frazier, Eric Clapton, Peter Gammons, August Wilson, Rita Coolidge, Kurt Loder, Bob Seger, Keith Jarrett, Pete Townshend, John Fogerty, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Helen Mirren, George Pataki, Brenda Fricker, Carly Simon, Debbie Harry, Burt Ward, Dean Koontz, Jim Davis, Steve Martin, Vince McMahon, Van Morrison, Jose Feliciano, Phil Jackson, Don McLean, Dusty Rhodes, Brian Doyle-Murray, Neil Young, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Chris Matthews, Ernie Hudson, and Diane Sawyer were born,

While Eric Liddell, Ernie Pyle, JohnS. McCain Sr., Bela Bartok, George Patton, and Theodore Dresier died.

The following is a list of my ten favorite films released in 1945:

Continue reading “Welcome to the Atomic Age, a look back at 1945”

Before Elvis and his gyrating hips ruined everything, a look back at 1955

In 1955:

Marian Anderson became the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera,

The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, launched,

60,000 non-white residents of Sophiatown were evicted as a result of the South African policy of apartheid,

The short-lived Baghdad Pact was signed,

US President Dwight Eisenhower sent the first US advisors to Vietnam which would eventually lead to US involvement in the Vietnam War,

Jim Henson built the first version of Kermit the Frog,

Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks were arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to abide by laws regarding segregation of the city’s buses.

The Broadway musical adaptation of Peter Pan debuted on American television,

6,000 people rioted in Montreal to protest the suspension of the Canadiens star player, Maurice Richard,

Eighty year old Winston Churchill resigned his second term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,

Richard J. Daley won his fist election as Mayor of Chicago, a position he held for the next 21 years,

The  Salk polio vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration,

Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald’s,

The $64,000 QuestionGunsmokeAlfred Hitchcock PresentsThe Mickey Mouse ClubThe Honeymooners, and Captain Kangaroo debuted on American television.

Ruth Ellis was the last woman executed in the United Kingdom,

Disneyland opened,

Hurricane Diane struck the northeastern US, causing over one billion dollars in damage,

The first edition of the The Guinness Book of Records was published,

Argentinian President Juan Peron was ousted in a coup,

James Dean was killed in a car accident,

Emmett Till was murdered,

Lady and the Tramp premiered,

Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel, Lolita, was published,

The world’s population was 2.7 billion people,

Rowan Atkinson, J.K. Simmons, Kevin Costner, Eddie Van Halen, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, John Grisham, Greg Norman, Kelsey Grammer, Jeff Daniels, Steve Jobs, Penn Jillette, Gary Sinise, Bruce Willis, Moses Malone, Reba McEntire, Earl Campbell, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Rooker, Barbara Kingsolver, Dodi Fayed, Judy Davis, Kate Mulgrew, Donatella Versace, Tom Bergeron, Chris Berman, Mark David Chapman, Jack Morris, Debra Winger, Bill Paxton, Chow Yun-Fat, Dana Carvey, Sandra Bernhard, Tim Berners-Lee, Laurie Metcalf, Jimmy Smits, Willem Dafoe, Iman, Billy Bob Thornton, Wayne Knight, Peter Gallagher, Mike Huckabee, Yo-Yo Ma, Darrell Hammond, Bill Gates, Maria Shriver, Roland Emmerich, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Nye, Howie Mandel, Billy Idol, and Jane Kaczmarek were born,

While  John Mott, Sir Alexander Fleming, Charlie Parker, Albert Einstein, Cordell Hull, Wallace Stevens, Carmen Miranda, Cy Young, Dale Carnegie, Shemp Howard, and Honus Wagner died.

The following is a list of my ten favorite films released in 1955.

Continue reading “Before Elvis and his gyrating hips ruined everything, a look back at 1955”

Back when Ronald Reagan was most famous for being the 33rd Governor of California, A look back at 1975

In 1975:

Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac,

Wheel of Fortune debuted,

Space Mountain opened at the Magic Kingdom,

Margaret Thatcher became the leader of the Conservative Party,

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico,

The Vietnam War ended with the Fall of Saigon,

Junko Tabei became the first woman to climb Mount Everest,

Cape Verde, Comoros, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and East Timor became independent countries,

Jimmy Hoffa was reported missing,

Saturday Night Live premiered on NBC,

The Louisiana Superdome opened,

Manson follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Sara Jane Moore each attempted to assassinate US President Gerald Ford,

Elizabeth Ann Seton became the first US-born Roman Catholic saint,

Patty Hearst was arrested for her involvement with the Symbionese Liberation Army,

Fawlty Towers premiered on British television,

Carlton Fisk’s 12th inning home run propeled the Boston Red Sox to a win in game 6 of the World Series, but the Red would go on to win the Series,

The Sex Pistols played their first gig and Iron Maiden was formed.

Danica McKeller, Bradley Cooper, Sara Gilbert, Big Boi, Natalie Imbruglia, Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler, Eva Longoria, will.i.am, Fergie, Zach Braff, Tiki Barber, Johnny Galecki, David Beckham, Enrique Iglesias, Ray Lewis, Andre 3000, Daniel Tosh, Russel Brand, Angelina Jolie, 50 Cent, Jack White, Judy Greer, Alex Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Michael Bublé, Jimmie Johnson, Jason Sudekis, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Tara Reid, David Ortiz, Dierks Bientley, and Tiger Woods were born,

While P.G. Wodehouse, George Stevens, Susan Hayward, Aristotle Onassis, Fredric March, Ozzie Nelson, Rod Serling, Casey Stengel, and Francisco Franco died.

These are my top ten films released in 1975:

Continue reading “Back when Ronald Reagan was most famous for being the 33rd Governor of California, A look back at 1975”