A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
1936 – Jim Henson, the alter-ego of Ernie and Kermit the Frog. He began using puppets on TV while he was still in college and incorporated a bunch of his creations into Muppets Inc., in 1963. It was Sesame Street, in 1969 that brought his work to a national audience, and at one time Big Bird was getting more fan mail than any other TV personality. His other television show The Muppets produced one of the greatest love stories of all time: alter-ego Kermit and ultra-ego Miss Piggy.
1959 – Steve Whitmire, who took over the personalities of Ernie and Kermit the Frog after Jim Henson passed away suddenly in 1990. Whitmire and Henson were born on the same day. Coincidence? I hope so.
1947 – The fictitious date of the fictitious memo supposedly signed by President Truman to create a secret government committee in response to the fictitious alien landing at Roswell in July of 1947. According to the memo, the committee was called Majestic 12. The original purpose of Majestic 12 was to coordinate all the alien stuff that the government was hiding from us, but since the memo was a fake in the first place, Majestic 12 has since become the cornerstone of a boatload of UFO conspiracy theories.
1979 – Pioneer computer company CompuServe introduced the first consumer Internet package which included electronic mail. No! there is no connection between the first e-mail and a fake memo about aliens.
1991 – Theodor Seuss Geisel, an author and illustrator. Dr. Seuss, as he is commonly called, began writing children’s books in 1937. He has written over 60 of them — about such impressive characters as Horton who heard a Who, the Grinch who tried to steal Christmas and Sam I Am. His most delightful character, The Cat in the Hat, was created in response to a Life Magazine article about child illiteracy in 1954. It was published in 1957 and is still a favourite even though it was totally screwed up in the movie. Seuss is also credited with coining the word “nerd” in his book If I Ran the Zoo.
1994 – Jeff Moss, a composer and lyricist for Sesame Street. He wrote such classics as “I Love Trash,” “Who are the People in your Neighbourhood,” and “Rubber Duckie.”