A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Even if you don’t believe in astrology, you’ll have to admit that the musical planets are somehow aligned on September 23rd. Ray Charles was born on this day in 1930. Like him or don’t, Julio Iglesia was also born on this day in 1943, as well as Bruce Springsteen in 1949 and Ani Difranco in 1970. Pretty darn strange and — OMG — Ani DiFranco is 40!
1806 – Lewis and Clark arrived back in St Louis after a two year journey to explore the west (recently purchased from Napoleon by Thomas Jefferson) and find the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean had always been there, and all the people they encountered didn’t realize there had even been a real estate deal. Anyway, they found the Pacific, which they inexplicably named Cape Disappointment, and returned home safely. This was mainly because they had with them the very first, truly portable GPS – a young Shoshone woman named Sacajawea.
1952 – Vice Presidential candidate Richard Nixon went on national television to deliver the first in a series of “I am not a crook!” speeches. He had been accused of keeping a slush fund and was there to deny it. The press called it the “Checkers Speech” because Nixon tear-jerked the audience with an anecdote about his children’s dog, named Checkers. From there Nixon went from failure to failure until he was finally elected president in 1968. In 1972, the Watergate break-in revealed he was presiding over the second most corrupt organization in North America and he resigned.
1939 – Sigmund Freud, the first guy to tell us we had a brain. He then proceeded to tell us it didn’t work. Thousands of psychiatrists have followed in his footsteps, telling us how to fix it, and, of course, just how much money it’s going to take to do that.
1987 – Bob Fosse, primarily known as a choreographer. He won 8 Tony Awards for choreography in his career, but he was also a pretty good director. In 1973, he was the first — and so far the only — director ever to win a Tony, (Pippin), an Emmy, (Liza with a “Z”) and an Oscar, for (Cabaret) — all in the same year.