Today is Nat’l Winnie the Pooh Day

by HB Auld, Jr.

Today is National Winnie the Pooh Day. January 18th commemorates author A.A. Milne’s birthday in 1882.

Milne brought the adorable, honey-loving bear to life in his stories, which also featured his son, Christopher Robin. Milne’s lovable Pooh Bear, as he was fondly called, is a fictional bear inspired by a black bear named Winnie. Winnie lived at the London Zoo during World War I. The author’s son, Christopher Robin, would visit the bear often. Christopher named his own teddy bear after her and a swan named Pooh. (Thanks to National Day Calendar)

Happy National Winnie the Pooh Day and happy birthday to A.A. Milne.

Ten things you didn’t know about Winnie the Pooh:

1. Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne named the boy in his stories after his son, Christopher Robin Milne.

2. The original Pooh bear was purchased at Harrods department store in London and given by A. A. Milne to Christopher Robin on his first birthday. At first, the toy was named Edward (proper form of Teddy) Bear.

3. Later, Christopher Robin changed the name of the toy to Winnie, after a real-life bear he saw at the London Zoo.

4. Real-life Winnie was a female black bear that belonged to Harry Colebourn, who was from Winnipeg, Canada. He brought her to England, where he served during World War I. Winnie’s permanent residence became the London Zoo. That’s much different from the fictional Winnie the Pooh, who is golden, male and British.

5. The fictional Hundred Acre Wood was based on the real Five Hundred Acre Wood in Ashdown Forest in Southeast England. Milne lived on the edge of the forest and took his son there.

6. The original manuscripts for “Winnie the Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner” are held at The Wren Library at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in England, A. A. Milne’s alma mater.

7. You can visit some of the real stuffed animals that inspired beloved Pooh characters. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga and Tigger are on display at The New York Public Library in New York City.

8. Jim Cummings, an American voice actor, has been voicing Pooh since 1988, when the animated series “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” began. He is the current voice of Tigger, too.

9. Pooh got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006, joining other Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Donald Duck.

10. The most recent Pooh movie was the live-action “Christopher Robin,” released in August 2018. It starred Ewan McGregor and grossed more than $197 million in worldwide box office sales, according to Box Office Mojo.

(Thanks to USA TODAY newspaper)


‘American Pie’ Hits #1 On Billboard Charts 50 Years Ago Today

From The History Channel

Fifty years ago today: January 15, 1972, “American Pie,”, an epic poem in musical form that has long been etched in the American popular consciousness, hit #1 on the Billboard charts.

“The story of Don McLean’s magnum opus began almost 13 years before its release, on a date with significance well-known to any American who was alive and conscious at the time. Tuesday February 3, 1959, was the date of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson—a date that would be imbued with transcendent meaning by Don McLean when he labeled it ‘the Day the Music Died.’

“One might reasonably point out that the baby-boom generation has since invested its entire rock-and-roll experience with transcendent meaning, but don’t blame Don McLean for starting the trend. “American Pie” wasn’t written to be a generation-defining epic; it was written simply to capture McLean’s view of ‘America as I was seeing it and how I was fantasizing it might become.’

“When asked to explain what exactly he was trying to say with some of his more ambiguous lyrics, McLean generally declined. Many others applied themselves to the task, however, and even today the Internet bristles with exhaustively reasoned interpretations of “American Pie” and its web of lyrical references to the youth culture of the 1950s and 60s. The meaning of the Stolen Crown and Marching Band may be of interest only to the most obsessive of baby boomers, but almost all of us know the chorus of “American Pie” better than we know our own national anthem, and the chances are good that our great-grandchildren will, too. Which isn’t bad for a song that was written and recorded by a struggling folk singer who merely hoped that it would “earn two or three thousand dollars and make survival for another year possible.”


Explosions Kill 27 Sailors Aboard USS Enterprise 53 Years Ago Today

From The History Channel

Fifty-three years ago today on January 14, 1969, 27 Sailors were killed aboard the USS ENTERPRISE (CVAN 65) when the aircraft carrier was rocked by an explosion of an onboard rocket. More than 300 others were injured in the ensuing fire.

The History Channel explained it this way:

“An explosion aboard the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE killed 27 people in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on January 14, 1969. A rocket accidentally detonated, destroying 15 planes and injuring more than 300 people.

“…the first ever nuclear-powered aircraft carrier….”

THE HISTORY CHANNEL

“The ENTERPRISE was the first-ever nuclear-powered aircraft carrier when it was launched in 1960. It had eight nuclear reactors, six more than all subsequent nuclear carriers. The massive ship was more than 1,100 feet long and carried 4,600 crew members.

“At 8:19 a.m. on January 14, a MK-32 Zuni rocket that was loaded on an F-4 Phantom jet overheated due to the exhaust from another vehicle. The rocket blew up, setting off a chain reaction of explosions. Fires broke out across the deck of the ship, and when jet fuel flowed into the carrier’s interior, other fires were sparked. Many of the ENTERRISE’s fire-protection features failed to work properly, but the crew worked heroically and tirelessly to extinguish the fire.

“In all, 27 sailors lost their lives and another 314 were seriously injured. Although 15 aircraft (out of the 32 stationed on the ENTERPRISE at the time) were destroyed by the explosions and fire, the ENTERPRISE itself was never threatened.

“The USS ENTERPRISE was repaired over several months at Pearl Harbor and returned to action later in the year.”

The USS ENTERPRISE (CVAN 65) was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth United States naval vessel to bear the name. Like her predecessor of World War II fame, she was nicknamed “Big E”.  She was inactivated December 1, 2012, and decommissioned February 3, 2017.


Rocker Ronnie Spector: Dead at 78

by HB Auld, Jr.

The 1960s iconic rock and roller, Ronnie Spector, lead singer of The Ronettes, died today.

Mark Kennedy of The Associated Press said it best in The Washington Post obituary: “Ronnie Spector, the cat-eyed, bee-hived rock ‘n’ roll siren who sang such 1960s hits as “Be My Baby,” “Baby I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain” as the leader of the girl group The Ronettes, has died. She was 78.

“Spector died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer, her family said. “Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face. She was filled with love and gratitude,” a statement said. No other details were revealed.”

Rest In Peace and thanks for all the great memories, Ronnie Spector.