On This Day, August 21

Posted on 21st Aug 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

It’s Tuesday, August 21 and on this day in 1911 The Mona Lisa was stolen by a Louvre employee.  The Louvre was closed for a week while the crime was investigated.  The painting is now behind glass and, personally, I was totally underwhelmed at my one and only viewing.  Hopefully I’ll have another look in October.

The Mona Lisa, of course, has been acclaimed as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.”  I wonder what they mean by ‘parody’?

On this day in 1959, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.  Now, I think it was Benny Hill who first presented me with the old joke about whether the state is pronounced ‘Hawaii’ or ‘Havaii’ – they ask a passer-by who says that it is pronounced, ‘Havaii’ – they thank him and he says, “You’re velcome”…

To those born on this day…

In 1920, Christopher Robin Milne, the inspiration for all those Winnie-the-Pooh stories…

In 1938, country singer, Kenny Rogers, who is currently touring Australia.  Happy 74th Kenny and that face looks, ooooh, I’d say 10 years younger at a stretch.

In 1944, film director Peter Weir (Witness, Dead Poet’s Society, The Truman Show, Master and Commander).  Now, I should be able to name-drop here, but I can’t – but I can illustrate how small this country can be sometimes…

Weir and I went to the same school in Sydney, but ten years apart (I’m younger!).  He worked as a production assistant on The Mavis Brampton Show – I have worked with six of the ‘Mavis’ actors, including both Mavises, the show’s original director and one of the writers… Weir made Picnic at Hanging Rock – my lovely wife once shared a flat with that movie’s leading lady and another of the actors has a brother who was my dentist.  Weir also made Gallipoli, which was written by David Williamson (yep, know him) and starred a young Mel Gibson (met him)…  So there you go…

Weir was born the same day as Jackie DeShannon who had hits in the 1960’s like Needles and Pins and When You Walk in the Room.  Her big break came when she was given the support act job for the Beatles first tour of the USA.  She once dated Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and was a competent songwriter with credits like Bette Davis Eyes for Kim Carnes and Put a Little Love in your Heart.

And happy birthday to Usain Bolt – he turns 26 today.  Going to be interesting to see what career path he takes now.  I’m guessing Long Jump Gold for Brazil and then something entrepreneurial.