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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

December 9, 1965

And so arrives Day #9 of THE POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR.  And with the arrival of said ninth day comes the TUESDAY TIMELINE portion of the week.

And, as always, I tried to come up with a topic that was relevant to Christmas and holidays and all that fun stuff. 

Here's the catch though.  I found the absolute perfect subject to talk about on this date.  The problem is...I already did a blog on it back in 2011.  And no other event that took place on December 9 was as Christmas oriented at this particular one!  I certainly can't do two blog entries on the same exact subject...

...or, CAN I?

Hmmm...maybe there is a way that I can make this work after all.  In the meantime, why not enjoy the list of other things that took place on December 9.

1793 - New York City's first daily newspaper - The American Minerva - is established

1851 - The first YMCA in North America is established in the city of Montreal

1872 - P.B.S. Pinchback of Louisiana becomes the first African-American governor of a U.S. State

1875 - The Massachusetts Rifle Association is founded

1905 - The law separating church and state is established in France

1914 - "Days of our Lives" actress Frances Reid (d. 2010) is born in Wichita Falls, Kansas

1932 - Talk show host Morton Downey Jr. (d. 2001) is born in Los Angeles, California

1935 - Jay Berwanger is the first recipient of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy - which would later come to be known as the Heisman Trophy

1941 - The Republic of China, Cuba, The Philippine Commonweath, and Guatemala all declare war against Japan and Germany as World War II continues

1950 - Harry Gold is sentenced to thirty years behind bars for aiding Klaus Fuchs pass information about the "Manhattan Project" to the Soviet Union

1960 - The British drama "Coronation Street" airs its first episode - as of 2014, it is currently the longest running drama series still on the air

1962 - The Petrified Forest National Park is established in Arizona

1968 - Douglas Engelbart debuts hypertext, the computer mouse, and the bit-mapped graphical user interface using the oN-Line System (NLS)

1979 - The eradication of the smallpox virus is certified

1996 - Lead singer of The Waitresses, Patty Donahue, dies of lung cancer at just 40 years of age

2008 - Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is arrested by federal officials on several charges including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama

2012 - Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera is killed in a plane crash at the age of 43

2013 - A train crash near Bintaro, Indonesia kills seven and injures 63

And for celebrity birthdays, we have quite a few to announce.  Happy birthday to Kirk Douglas, Dick Van Patten, Buck Henry, Ashleigh Brilliant, Dame Judi Dench, Beau Bridges, Dick Butkus, Michael Nouri, John Malkovich, Donny Osmond, Nick Seymour, David Anthony Higgins, Joe Lando, Felicity Huffman, Spencer Rochfort, Brian Bell, Jakob Dylan, Allison Smith, Sebastian Spence, Kara DioGuardi, Lance Krall, Reiko Aylesworth, Tre Cool, Imogen Heap, Jesse Metcalfe, Simon Helberg, and Elle Evans.

Okay, so we have a lot of information presented, and not one piece of it deals with Christmas.  You see my dilemma.

Sigh...I suppose I'll have to come up with a way to talk about a previously discussed topic while making it seem fresh and new.  I'm not sure how to go about it, but here goes nothing.

The date we're going back to?  Nearly fifty years ago.  December 9, 1965.

And, it was on this date that the very first television special starring Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy first aired on network television.

Yes, it was on December 9, 1965 that "A Charlie Brown Christmas" made its television debut.  It's a television special that has aired annually for almost fifty Christmases and counting, and probably contains the best pro-Christmas speech ever heard in a television special.  Take it away, Linus.

Wasn't that beautiful? 

Now, here's the problem.  I already talked about this special three years ago when this blog was still in its toddler stages.  And, at this stage in the game, I really don't want to do duplicate posts on the same subject.  What am I going to do?

Well, what if I talk about the special from a different angle?  Like, what if I saw myself as one of the Peanuts gang?  What if I was in the special myself?

What if I built my own psychiatric help booth and charged the Peanuts gang a nickle dime oh, hell, with inflation, I'd charge $500 an hour for the gang to ask me for advice.  I wonder what I would say to them?

I mean, let's face it...this Christmas special is one that features a lot of different characters, and each one certainly has room for improvement.

Well, everyone except Linus Van Pelt anyway.  Because Linus, as we already established, is the pinnacle of rationality and coolness.

Okay.  Let's go with that idea.  Oh, but first, let's play a little bit of music to get us into the mood, courtesy of Vince Guaraldi.  

CHARLIE BROWN:  Good grief, man, when the heck are you going to get a backbone?  You consistently get whipped by Lucy, humiliated by your supposed friends, and even your own dog can't stand you half the time.  And you know why?  Because you let them walk all over you.  Believe me, I know what that is like.  So, my advice to you is to stand up straight, tuck in your yellow zig-zag shirt and set them all straight.  There wouldn't have been a Christmas play if you didn't step up and direct it!  And when those kids started to laugh and you and call you a blockhead after bringing the most darling little tree to the play with you, you should have just taken that tree and gone home.

Oh, wait.  You did that.  Nevermind.

Anyway, no charge this time.  You've been through enough.

LUCY:  If only you were more sensitive, kind-hearted, and joyful like your little brother, Linus.  Instead, you come across as a know-it-all pain in the neck!  Clearly, you are someone who is a full-fledged material girl right down to the plastic, fake, aluminum Christmas tree that you wanted Charlie Brown to get for the pageant.  And, clearly, you don't like losing control to anyone.  From threatening to punch your own brother to harassing poor Schroeder to basically directing Charlie Brown in directing the play, you're certainly not coming across as a likeable person this Christmas.  I actually cheered when Snoopy kissed you, knowing that you liked it.  Believe me, with your attitude, you deserved a lot more.

Eventually you came around and helped Charlie Brown decorate his little tree.  But you're still getting a lump of coal and a final bill for $500.

SNOOPY:  Okay.  You may have been guilty of laughing at Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, but you did slobber all over Lucy.  You're okay.  And, apparently when it comes to decorating houses for Christmas, you have a talent!

LINUS:  Frankly speaking, you are the star of this special.  You also epitomize the real meaning of what Christmas is all about.  Well played, sir.  Well played.  And, good on you for not following the crowd either.  You are a person who doesn't take

SHERMY, VIOLET, FRIEDA, and PIG-PEN:  Let us get one thing straight.  You are not leaders.  You are followers.  That is why you never see any specials called "It's the Garbage Dump, Pig-Pen", or "It's Your First Date, Shermy".  You were basically only at the play because you had to be, and you went along with teasing Charlie Brown because you had the "everyone else is doing it, and I don't want to feel left out" mentality.  Of course, this worked out in your redemption as well, as you helped decorate Charlie Brown's tree.  But, seriously, your following along with the crowd will not get you noticed.

SALLY:  You may be Charlie Brown's little sister, but you seem to have taken on a Lucy type personality.  Okay, so you aren't mean and bossy, but asking Santa Claus for tens and twenties for Christmas?  Do you know how much twenty bucks was back in the 1960s?  Talk about dreaming big!  Sally, set realistic goals.  Please.

3, 4, and 5:  You probably don't know them by their names...ahem...numbers...but by this photo, you probably know who they are.  5 is the boy in orange, 3 and 4 are the twin girls.  And, let's just say that they won't be winning "Dancing With The Stars" anytime soon.  My advice to you three...keep practicing.

Anyway, that's all that I have to say about that.  Your bills will be in the mail.  In the meantime, let's close off this Tuesday Timeline special by listening to another classic song from "A Charlie Brown Christmas", which first aired nearly fifty years ago.

And do tune in for Day #10 of the advent calendar.  You never know what subject will be on my mind for "WHO AM I WEDNESDAY".

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