Star Wars premiers ….

The franchise began in 1977 with the release this date of the film Star Wars, which became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. It made stars of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. The epic action adventure movie created by George Lucas has been described as a space opera and Wagon Train to the stars.

The series spawned an extensive media franchise, including books, television series, computer and video games and comic books, making Star Wars the most successful film merchandising franchise. In 2015, the total value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at $42 billion.

One of the prominent elements of Star Wars is “the Force,” an omnipresent energy that can be harnessed by those with that ability. The Force allows users to perform various supernatural feats and mind control. While the Force can be used for good, known as the light side, it also has a dark side that, when pursued, imbues users with hatred, aggression, and malevolence.

The films feature the Jedi, who adhere to the light side of the Force to serve as peacekeepers and guardians, and the Sith, who use the dark side of the Force for evil in an attempt to destroy the Jedi Order and the Republic and rule the galaxy for themselves. Nine episodes have been released, including the December, 2016 prequel, Star Wars: Rogue One: it’s plot revolves around a group of rebels on a mission to steal the Death Star plans. Director Edwards stated, “It comes down to a group of individuals who don’t have magical powers that have to somehow bring hope to the galaxy.”

There is an untitled Han Solo film featuring him before the events of the 1977 film currently in production. Actor Alden Ehrenreich  (The Fault in Our Stars movie) is portraying Han Solo in the film written by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan. The film also stars Danny Glover, Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones) and Woody Harrelson. A third Anthology film is scheduled to be released in 2020. If it does, the movie franchise will have lasted 43 years!

 (from Wikipedia and me).

Advertisements

Red Nose Day

 

Today is Red Nose Day, a campaign dedicated to helping children and having fun. Proceeds benefit children in the US and some of the poorest communities in the world. Walgreens is making it even easier for Americans to “Get Seriously Silly” in support of a great cause. Buy your red nose, help children and have fun!

American Red Cross formed …

The American Red Cross is a is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education in the United States. It is the designated US affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies..

The organization offers services in four other areas: communications services and comfort for military service and family members; the collection, processing and distribution of blood and blood products; educational programs on preparedness, health and safety; and international relief and development programs.

The group was issued a corporate charter this date in 1881 by the United States Congress. It is governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, income from health and safety training and products and income from blood products. The group is headquartered in Washington, D.C. (from Wikipedia)

 

Hubble Space Telescope ….

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low Earth orbit and transmitted the first photographs from space this date in 1990. It remains in operation though I believe it has now left our sola system. Although not the first space telescope, Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile and is well known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy. The telescope is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, and is one of NASA’s Great Observatories, along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Hubble’s four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, ultraviolet, visible and near infrared spectra. Hubble’s orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere allows it to take extremely high-resolution images, with substantially lower background light than ground-based telescopes. Hubble has recorded some of the most detailed visible light images ever, allowing a deep view into space and time. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics,  such as accurately determining the rate of expansion of the universe. (from Wikipedia)

 

 

Ringling Brothers circus premieres…

Poster depicting the Ringling brothers, founders of the circus, c. 1899. The Ringling brothers are depicted in the upper left corner. (from Wikipedia)

In 1884, five of the seven Ringling brothers started a small circus this date in Baraboo, Wisconsin.This was about the same time that Barnum & Bailey were at the peak of their popularity. Similar to dozens of small circuses that toured the Midwest and the Northeast at the time, the brothers moved their circus from town to town in small animal-drawn caravans. Their circus rapidly grew and they were soon able to move their circus by train, which allowed them to have the largest traveling amusement enterprise of that time. Bailey’s European tour gave the Ringling brothers an opportunity to move their show from the Midwest to the eastern seaboard. Faced with the new competition, Bailey took his show west of the Rocky Mountains for the first time in 1905. He died the next year, and the circus was sold to the Ringling Brothers.

The Ringlings purchased the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth in 1907 and ran the circuses separately until 1919. By that time, Charles Edward Ringling and John Nicholas Ringling were the only remaining brothers of the five who founded the circus. They decided that it was too difficult to run the two circuses independently, and on March 29, 1919, “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows” debuted in New York City. The posters declared, “The Ringling Bros. World’s Greatest Shows and the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth combined into one record-breaking giant of all exhibitions.”

On July 16, 1956, at the Heidelberg Race Track in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the circus ended its season early, with President John Ringling North announcing that it would no longer exhibit under their own portable “big top”  tents and, starting in 1957, would exhibit in permanent venues, such as sports stadiums and arenas that had the seating already in place. In 1967, the Feld brothers and a Houston Judge Hofheinz bought the circus from the Ringling family. In 1971, the Felds and Hofheinz sold the circus to Mattel, buying it back from the toy company in 1982. Since the death of Irvin Feld in 1984, the circus has been a part of Feld Entertainment, an international entertainment firm.

With weakening attendance and high operating costs, Feld Entertainment announced in 2017 that the circus would, and did, close after 234 years. (from Wikipedia)