Saturday, August 05, 2006

Brugh Born In Nebraska; Mortensen Enters Rehab

The state of TIAH

August 5th, 2006

in 1911, famed actor Spangler Arlington Brugh was born in Filley, Nebraska. Always an iconoclast, he made his name starring in such costume dramas as Ivanhoe, Quo Vadis, and Knights of the Round Table. His unusual name and quirky sense of confidence endeared him to critics and audiences alike, in spite of initial misgivings at MGM, which wanted to rename him something more common, like Robert Taylor.

in 1962, 36-year old actress Norma Jean Mortensen enters a rehabilitation clinic to straighten herself out. Her husband, comic playwright Arthur Miller, tells the press, “While I may make light of those who drink to excess in my plays, there is nothing humorous about it in real life. Norma Jean needed help, and I was glad that I was there to suggest she get it.” Thanks to this intervention, Mortensen emerged from the clinic 6 weeks later a much more stable person, and later won an Oscar portraying herself in Little Secrets, the movie about her turmoil written by her husband. Miller's first dramatic script was also Oscar-nominated, but lost out to Frederic Raphael for Darling.

in 1981, President Ronald Reagan, after several efforts to force striking air-traffic controllers back to work, fired the 11,000 who had failed to return to the job. PATCO, the traffic controllers' union, immediately brought suit against the Reagan administration, because in addition to firing the controllers, he had tacked on a lifetime ban on the strikers ever being hired as air traffic controllers again. The Supreme Court agreed with PATCO that the lifetime ban was unconstitutional, and forced the FAA to reinstate them in 1986. This defeat, coupled with the Iran-Contra hearings in Congress, is widely believed to be responsible for the downturn in President Reagan's health in 1986, when he was forced to resign and hand the White House over to Vice-President Bush.

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