Today is Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day. The day developed in stages. The first was in 1902 when Teddy Roosevelt refused to kill a captured bear tied up for the express purpose of allowing the president to kill a bear. The whole scene offended Teddy’s sense of fair play. In 1907, John Walter Bratton wrote an instrumental, “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic.” In 1932, James Kennedy wrote lyrics for the music. With the lyrics, the song became a classic with a number of memorable covers that have extended its life over several decades. July 10 was officially named National Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day in 1988. Disney has its own teddy bear launched in Tokyo but now well entrenched at Walt Disney World, Duffy. Go to EPCOT and visit Duffy, he's cuddly.
Today is Clerihew Day. A clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. An example:
Sir Christopher Wren
Said, “I am going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls
Say I am designing St. Paul’s.”
Clerihews are biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view and it pokes fun, mostly at famous people. It has four lines of irregular length and meter. The first line usually contains the subject’s name. You’ll find some clerihews at the entrance to the Haunted Mansion. I love the silly things.
Tonight is Hot Dog Night. Many baseball clubs, particularly minor league, will offer free or discounted hot dogs. Casey’s hot dogs aren’t free but if you have the dining plan you can pretend they are.
On this date in 1931, Jerry Herman was born in New York City. Herman was a fixture in Broadway musical theater and he is best known for the hit musicals, Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. Two of Herman’s tunes, “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and “It Only Takes a Moment” were used in Wall-E. You can get the feel of these songs on Main Street U.S.A. Take a moment to stroll along and enjoy the songs.
I don’t dwell on death in this blog but Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton died on this date in 1941 at the age of 55. Jelly Roll was a bandleader, composer and arranger. We’ll not cry for Jelly Roll, in fact go to the Boardwalk and enjoy one of Walt Disney World’s most joyous attractions, Jellyrolls. Now that’s fun.
1040: Lady Godiva rides naked on horseback to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes. No one was to look as she rode but one man did. His name was Tom. He is forever remembered as the first “Peeping Tom.” Go ride the Prince Charming Royal Carousel, keep your clothes on and you won’t have to worry about peeping Toms.
1985: Coca-Cola announces it will resume selling the old formula Coke. Go to Club Cool at EPCOT and enjoy Coke products from around the world.
1917: Don Herbert was born on this day in Waconia, Minnesota. Herbert was a scientist and TV host. You would remember him better as Mr. Wizard. Go ride Ellen’s Energy Adventure and visit Disney’s own version of Mr. Wizard, Bill Nye the Science Guy.
1920: David Brinkley was born in Wilmington, North Carolina. David Brinkley worked on the first national television news broadcast to feature anchors at different locations (the other being Chet Huntley). Their show was modeled on the evening news broadcast by WSAZ, channel 3, which had anchors in Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia. In One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios you can see a studio setup not too different from the ones they would have used in those days.
1926: Fred Gwynne was born in New York City. Star of, Car 54, Where Are You?, The Munsters, and My Cousin Vinny, in 1986 he appeared in an episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color titled “The Christmas Star.” Visit any of the numerous Christmas stores on Disney property.
1939: Lawrence Pressman was born in Cynthiana, Kentucky. Pressman is an actor with a long career in numerous television programs, including stops on The Drew Carey Show and my wife’s favorite show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Pressman appeared in an episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color titled “A Fighting Choice.” The show featured a risky, cutting edge surgery to treat epilepsy so let’s go to EPCOT and visit the post-show to Spaceship Earth, Project Tomorrow.
1947: Arlo Guthrie was born. The first movie I ever remember seeing was Alice’s Restaurant, which tells the story in Arlo’s song of the same name. Arlo did a special guest turn on The Muppet Show so let’s make our regular visit to Muppets 3-D at Hollywood Studios.
Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.