A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
1925 – B.B. (Riley) King, one of the greatest guitarists of all time, who was suddenly recognized as a Rock and Roll legend when he became the opening act for the Rolling Stones’ 1969 tour even though he’d been a successful Blues musician for over 20 years.
1387 – Henry V, the English king who beat the French at the Battle of Agincourt but probably never said “Once more into the breach…” and may not have even have been born on September 16th . However, Shakespeare turned him into a great king, and Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branaugh made great movies out of him.
1630 – Legend has it that the village of Shawmut Massachusetts changed its name to Boston. Good thing, too, otherwise we’d be cheering for the Shawmut Bruins and booing the Shawmut Red Sox.
1984 – Miami Vice premiered on NBC. The first entry in the “new” style MTV cop shows, it influenced most of the TV crime dramas which followed it. It also convinced Miami to preserve its historical neon electric Art Deco architecture and inspired a whole generation of unattractive men to wander around with a half-a-day’s growth of beard on their grubby little faces.
1498 – Tomas de Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition. In his day, Torquemada hunted heretics the way nerds hunt movie anomalies. He worked on the simple principle that you were guilty until you confessed, and — to this day — still holds the World Record for “Most People Burned at the Stake.”
2003 – Sheb Wooley, the original Weird Al Yankovic. He wrote and performed the one-hit-wonder, “One-eyed, One-horned, Flying Purple People Eater.”