Today in History: Oct. 20

According to Roger Patterson and his friend, Robert “Bob” Gimlin, the 950-plus frames of film they captured of a hairy creature wandering around in the great outdoors was shot on this date in 1967. The “Bigfoot film” is 49 today.

As with everything else that concerns this story, even the actual date of the filming remains unverified. Further, the original film stock itself was lost at some unrecorded point in time as it changed hands between film companies that tended to go out of business, as small independent film companies often do.

Was the film an honest-to-goodness recording of a real Bigfoot, a creature that has never been proved to exist? Or was it an honest recording of an honest-to-goodness attempt by otherwise unknown parties to play a hoax on the filmmakers? Or were the filmmakers in on a hoax and happy participants in it?

The filmmakers themselves (Patterson died in 1972) have sort-of, kind-of given a cheerful “Yes!” to any and all of the questions that they have ever been asked about the film, even though answering “Yes” to everything never clarifies anything. Ah, well. The film, or a copy that is on YouTube via a NatGeo program:

* * * *
The so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” took place on this date in 1973. U.S. President Richard Nixon wanted the independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox to be fired after he submitted a subpoena that requested copies of the president’s taped Oval Office recordings. Nixon’s Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, was ordered by the president to fire Cox. He refused and resigned in protest. Nixon then asked/ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox and he too refused and resigned in protest. The Solicitor General, Robert Bork, whose name re-entered history again in the 1980s, was now the highest-ranking member of the U.S. Justice Department and he complied with Nixon’s demand.

* * * *
Franz Peter Schubert composed his Second Symphony in B flat major between December 1814 and March 24, 1815, but it was not performed in public until this date in 1877, when Sir August Friedrich Manns conducted his Crystal Palace orchestra in its debut. Schubert’s Second Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lorin Maazel conducting:

* * * *
Helen Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, died 80 years ago today. President Herbert Hoover died on this date in 1964. Bob Guccione died five years ago today. Muammar Gaddafi died on this date in 2011.

* * * *
Arthur Rimbaud was born on this date in 1854. Margaret Dumont was born in 1882 on this date. Béla Lugosi was born on this date in 1882. The late Robert Craft was born on this date in 1923. (He died last November.) Art Buchwald was born on this date in 1925. Mickey Mantle was born on this date in 1931. Jerry Orbach was born on this date in 1935.

* * * *
Timothy West is 82. Juan Marichal is 79. Robert Pinsky is 76. Elfriede Jelinek is 70. Tom Petty is 66 today. “A Face in the Crowd,” from 1989:

Keith Hernandez is 63. Thomas Newman is 61. One of Newman’s more famous works:

Viggo Mortensen is 58. Snoop Dogg is 45.

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  1. loisajay · October 20, 2016

    Starting my day with Schubert and then you also give me Viggo?! Mark, you are a good person. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

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