Today in History: April 17

Legend has it that on this date in 1397, Geoffrey Chaucer (above) first recited The Canterbury Tales at the court of King Richard II. History has not recorded the date, but the likelihood that he did recite it one evening at court is great, and this date has been passed down for centuries as the date that this took place.

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Mickey Mantle made his major league debut for the New York Yankees 65 years ago today at home against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees won, and Mantle went one for four.

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“Porky’s Duck Hunt,” an animated short from Warner Bros., was released in 1937 on this date. It is the first film in which Daffy Duck appears, thus Daffy Duck is 79 today. It is also the first film for which voice actor Mel Blanc supplied the voices of both Porky Pig and Daffy Duck.

“Porky’s Duck Hunt”:

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Gabriel García Márquez died two years ago today.

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Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, known as Isak Dinesen, was born on this date in 1885. Thornton Wilder was born on this date in 1897. William Holden was born on this date in 1918. Harry Reasoner was born in 1923 on this date. Don Kirshner would be 82 today. The late Roddy Piper would be 62 today.

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Cynthia Ozick is 88 today. Jan Hammer is 68. Olivia Hussey is 65. Nick Hornby is 59. Sean Bean is 57. Liz Phair is 49. Throwback Sunday, with “Never Said”:

Jennifer Garner is 44 today. Victoria Beckham is 42.

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  1. lifelessons · April 17, 2016

    Wow.. those old cartoons were very involved! And hasn’t Porky Pig changed his look since then? How I loved these cartoons when I was little. Still rather enjoy them, actually!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lifelessons · April 17, 2016

    “whan that aprill with his shoures soote. . .”and so forth. I have an interesting story about the prelude to the tales, but perhaps not suitable for this venue. Chaucer was always my favorite and still is. Porky has certainly changed his look, hasn’t he? Those old cartoons were very involved. I loved them. Still do..Thanks for sharing all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Anton Wills-Eve · April 17, 2016

    Mark, as I studied Chaucer @ university both as a part of a language degree & a history doctorate I, like Judy, loved today’s dates. But which bit did he recite? The whole work would have taken à week at least! Trivia is my favourite subject ☺ciao Anton.
    PS: hope you enjoy your primaries on Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

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