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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

July 8, 1958

Are you ready for another edition of the Tuesday Timeline?  I certainly hope so, because today's entry will begin in just a few minutes.  In fact, I'm going to be kicking off this edition of the Timeline with a little bit of a game to introduce this subject...

...well, right after we talk about other events that took place on this date, as well as some celebrity birthdays.

So, what happened in the history books on the 8th of July?  Lots of things!

1099 - Fifteen thousand starving Christian soldiers march in a religious procession around Jerusalem as Muslim defenders look on during the First Crusade

1663 - John Clarke is granted a Royal charter to Rhode Island by Charles II of England

1730 - Over 620 miles of the Chilean coastline is damaged following a tsunami caused by a magnitude 8.7 earthquake

1758 - French forces hold Fort Carillon against the British at Ticonderoga, New York

1822 - Chippewas turn over a huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom

1831 - John Pemberton (d. 1888) - the inventor of Coca-Cola - is born in Knoxville, Georgia

1839 - American businessman John D. Rockefeller (d. 1937) is born in Richford, New York

1853 - United States Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Edo Bay with a treaty requesting trading

1885 - Fashion designer Hugo Boss (d. 1948) is born in Germany

1889 - The very first issue of the Wall Street Journal is published

1892 - The Great Fire of 1892 destroys much of the community of St. John's, Newfoundland

1932 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at 41.22 - the lowest it had ever gotten since the Great Depression

1947 - News reports circulate about a UFO crash landing in Roswell, New Mexico

1968 - The Chrysler wildcat strike commences in Detroit, Michigan

1982 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is the subject of an assassination attempt in Dujail

1992 - Television drama "Melrose Place" debuts on FOX

1994 - Dick Sargent of Bewitched dies of cancer at the age of 64

2011 - Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the United States Space Shuttle program

And, I want to wish a happy birthday to the following people; Irwin Hasen, Steve Lawrence, Janice Pennington, Jeffrey Tambor, Kim Darby, Raffi, Dale Hoganson, Wolfgang Puck, Anjelica Huston, Jack Lambert, Toby Keith, Joan Osborne, Rocky Carroll, Lee Tergesen, Billy Crudup, Michael Weatherly, Beck Hansen, Amanda Peterson, Kathleen Robertson, Jamal Woolard, Eric Chouinard, Sophia Bush, Jamie Cook, and Jaden Smith.

Okay, so now comes the fun part.  First, let's reveal today's Tuesday Timeline date.

Excellent.  July 8, 1958.  Great date.

Now let's get on with the game.  How many of you have heard of the game known as "Six Degrees of Separation".  I first learned about this game some eighteen, nineteen years ago when I was housebound all weekend because of horrible weather.  I watched a marathon of music videos on MuchMusic, and at the time they were having a sort of event where people who called in with the correct answers would win a prize.  You were shown three music videos, and you had to find the connection between the first two and then find the connection between the last two.  Some of them were easy to figure out.  Others were quite difficult.  But one thing that you could say for certain was that this game was based on a popular pop culture trend that has been going on since at least the 1990s.  A game that linked every single celebrity in the world to one man.

Would you believe that Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is two degrees separated from this celeb?  And that former American President Jimmy Carter is three degrees separated from this man?  And how about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg?  He's four degrees from this man.

It's a phenomenon that people refer to as the Bacon Number.  The smaller the Bacon Number, the closer you are to him.  Don't believe me?  Well, let's have a look at Mark Zuckerberg's chart.

1.  Mark Zuckerberg is connected to Ehren McGherey via "Our Time".
2.  Ehren McGherey is connected to Johnny Knoxville via "Jackass:  Number Two".
3.  Johnny Knoxville is connected to Sarah Jessica Parker via "Life Without Dick".
4.  Sarah Jessica Parker is connected to
Kevin Bacon via "Footloose".

Yes, today we'll be celebrating the life of the only man with a Bacon Number of zero.  The man who has a last name that meat-eaters love.  Kevin Bacon is the spotlight of the Tuesday Timeline this week.

And, a very happy 56th birthday to the man, might I add.

I think that we could have a lot of fun with this blog entry.  In fact, why don't we make this whole entry a little bit of a game by doing random facts about Kevin Bacon's life and times by playing a few rounds of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon!  Doesn't that sound like fun?

Okay, so how should we begin this?  Well, why don't we take a look at one of Kevin's first roles.  It happens to be a soap opera.  And, well...let's have a little bit of fun with this one.  Why don't we connect soap opera actors to each other to bring us back to Kevin Bacon?  In this case, we'll weave our way through daytime television to somehow link soap star Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke on "The Bold and the Beautiful") to Kevin Bacon in just four steps.  Let's try it.

1.  Katherine Kelly Lang starred with Jon Hensley on "The Bold and the Beautiful".
2.  Jon Hensley starred with Hillary B. Smith on "As The World Turns".
3.  Hillary B. Smith starred with Jerry Ver Dorn on "One Life To Live".
4.  Jerry Ver Dorn starred with Kevin Bacon on "Guiding Light".

(Bacon played the role of alcoholic teenager Tim Werner from 1980-1981 on "Guiding Light".)

Okay, next degree.  We all know that Kevin Bacon's first big movie was 1978's "National Lampoon's Animal House".  But what was the movie that really made critics take notice?  Here's an easy one for you.  To find the answer, you need to connect "L.A. Law" actress Jill Eikenberry to Kevin Bacon in just two steps.  Think you can do it? 

1.  Jill Eikenberry starred with her husband Michael Tucker in "L.A. Law".
2.  Michael Tucker starred with Kevin Bacon in "Diner".

(And, if you click HERE, you can read the review that I did on that movie a year ago.  I can't guarantee you that the video clips will work, but it's still a good read.  At least, I think so anyway.)

Next trivia question.  You all know the story of how Kevin Bacon was cast in the movie "Footloose", about a boy who challenged the town's anti-dancing rulebook to bring the funk back into small town America.  You also know that the film was remade in 2011 which was not as good as the other one.  In two degrees, can you connect 2011 Footloose star Kenny Wormald to 1984 Footloose star Kevin Bacon?

1.  Kenny Wormald starred with Kim Dickens in "Footloose (2011)"
2.  Kim Dickens starred with Kevin Bacon in "Hollow Man".

(Remind me to do a blog entry on "Hollow Man" one of these Saturdays.  Really interesting film.)

Ready for another Bacon Number challenge?  This one is a tricky one.

The man pictured above is William Rufus Shafter.  If you don't recognize him, it's okay.  He's been dead for over one hundred years, taking his last breath in 1906 - fifty-two years before Kevin Bacon was even born. 

But here's the challenge.  Shafter is connected to Bacon.  His Bacon Number is SEVEN.  Can you do it?  I'll give you some Jeopardy music to think it over.  And, no doing the Bacon number cheat either!

I admit that was a hard one.  But, here we go...

1.  William Rufus Shafter and Joseph Wheeler appeared in "Surrender of General Toral".
2.  Joseph Wheeler and Russell A. Alger appeared in "General Wheeler and Secretary of War Alger at Camp Wikoff".
3.  Russell A. Alger and William McKinley appeared in "President McKinley's inspection of Camp Wikoff".
4.  William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt appeared in "President McKinley Inauguration".
5.  Theodore Roosevelt and Tom Brokaw appeared in "Food, Inc."
6.  Tom Brokaw and Ryan Reynolds appeared in "Definitely, Maybe".
7.  Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Bacon appeared in "R.I.P.D."!

(Okay, maybe that was a stretch, but it works.)

You know, all this talk about Bacon Numbers makes me wonder what my own Bacon Number would be...even though I've never really had any brushes with celebrity, I wonder how far removed I am from Kevin Bacon...hmmm...

1.  Matthew W. Turcotte met Jim Cuddy (lead singer of "Blue Rodeo") at the Clemency for Leonard Pelletier concert at Barrymore's in Ottawa in 2000.
2.  Jim Cuddy appeared with Levon Helm in "The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico".
3.  Levon Helm appeared with Kevin Bacon in "End of the Line". Bacon Number is THREE!  That's so cool!  I didn't expect it to be so low, to be honest...even if I am stretching it a bit.

But you know, I suppose that when you've been in as many things as Kevin Bacon has been in, it's easy to see just how connected he is to the rest of the world...or at least the world of Hollywood.  He's been in some really huge movies over the years.  "Animal House", "Friday the 13th", "Diner", "Footloose", "She's Having A Baby", "Flatliners", "JFK", "The River Wild", "Apollo 13", "Sleepers", "My Dog Skip", "Beauty Shop", and so much more!  He's easily one of the hardest working actors in the business.  Why wouldn't he be so connected to Hollywood?

After all, his wife Kyra Sedgwick is also an actress (and Bacon Number of 1, might I add). 

And with him being a part of a band with his brother Michael (known as the Bacon Brothers), he's getting more and more connections with the music industry as well.

Kevin Bacon.  At the center of the whole Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon universe.  And today he turns 56!

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