With apologies to Knute Rockne and Herb Brooks, the following remains the greatest pre-game speech ever:
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s Day.”
Of course, it wasn’t ever actually given, it’s taken from Shakespeare’s play, “Henry V,” and it’s Henry giving a speech to the troops as they get ready to take on the French in “The Battle of Agincourt,” on October 25, 1415. (It probably didn’t hurt Kenneth Branagh’s chances that he had a young Batman on his side.)
Michael Myers hit the big screen today in 1978 in a movie that scared the crap out of the nation. “Halloween” was about a 6-year old who stabbed his sister to death on Halloween night in 1963 and then escapes the psych ward 15 years later and returns to his home town to stalk the local teenagers. Nobody ever looked at goalie masks the same way again.
The Mary Tyler Moore show hit its creative peak today in 1975 with the episode, “Chuckles Bites the Dust”. Ted Baxter was forced to turn down the job of grand marshal for a circus parade and is replaced by Chuckles the Clown. Chuckles is then killed at the parade by an elephant. The news-staff at WJM-TV can’t stop making jokes about the death, much to Mary’s horror. At the funeral, things are reversed and it’s Mary who can’t stop laughing.
Ok, it wasn’t quite Agincourt, but the U.S. Marines hit the shores of Grenada today in 1983, beginning Operation Urgent Fury.
Today in 1960, 17-year old Keith Richards ran into former schoolmate Mick Jagger at a train station in London. Richards noticed some R&B albums tucked under Jagger’s arm and the two started chatting about music. They soon started a group called Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys. Four years to the day and they made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show as The Rolling Stones. The Stones caused such a ruckus that Sullivan swore they would never be on again. They were on five more times.
Today in 1968 the Jimi Hendrix Experience released “Electric Ladyland.” The album was well received, but since Hendrix died at 27, the album has taken on mythical status since.
Today in 1990, “Cheers” aired its 200th episode, in it Norm tried to save the Hungry Heifer from going out of business.
In a very strange, sad story, today in 1999 Payne Stewart and five others were killed when the private plane they were on slowly lost cabin pressure. All aboard died of hypoxia and the plane continued to fly on autopilot. It finally ran out of gas and crashed in a field near Aberdeen, South Dakota. Stewart had bested Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open just a few months earlier.
— Bill Hubbell