October 5th in nerd history: The bloodiest strike in Hollywood's past

October 5th in nerd history: The bloodiest strike in Hollywood's past
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October 5 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on October 5th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.

I.

Birthdays of honor: Kate Winslet (1975), Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958), Jesse Eisenberg (1983), Karen Allen (1951), Mario Lemieux (1965), Steve Miller (1943), Clive Barker (1952).

II.

Think the strikes in Hollywood today are bad? Let's just be glad set decorators aren't involved.

Today is the 78th anniversary of Hollywood Black Friday. In 1945, set decorators were six months deep into a contentious strike, and a picket line of about 300 people were seething at the gates of Warner Bros. Studios.

When replacement workers showed up and tried to drive through the crowd, some kind of decorator rage switch got flipped, and the crowd started overturning cars. Apparently, both sides called in reinforcements — the picketers swelled to close to 1,000 and police and security beefed up.

And I guess those replacement workers really wanted that paycheck, because when the mob of strikers came at them they responded with chains, hammers, pipes, tear gas, and nightsticks. All this while police and security were also firing tear gas and spraying the crowds with firehoses.

Incredibly, nobody died, but 40 injuries were reported and over 300 police officers had been called to the scene. The general shock around the incident led to an agreement between the studios and union, and the scabs went home with their random assortment of weapons.

It also helped to lead to the passing of the Taft–Hartley Act in 1947, restricting the power and activity of labor unions.

III.

In 1962 the first ever single from The Beatles was released. "Love Me Do" was issued in the UK by Parlophone, and would see modest success, peaking at no. 17 on the UK charts. "P.S. I Love You" was the B-side.

Two years later it would be released in the U.S. and reach no. 1 along with six other Beatles songs to hit no. 1 in the same year.

IV.

Today in 1961 Audrey Hepburn brought us one of the most iconic characters in American cinema history when Breakfast at Tiffany's hit wide release.

Moviestillsdb.com

Holly Golightly, adapted from Truman Capote's novella, is possibly most memorable with her hair in a high chignon and carrying that oversized cigarette holder. Capote allegedly hated the way Hepburn portrayed his character, but the rest of America seemed to disagree.

And we can't complete this section without a shoutout to future A-Team star George Peppard, who played main love interest and struggling writer, Paul Varjak.

V.

I might be in the minority on this one, but 23 years ago one of the most underrated RPGs of all time was released: Skies of Arcadia for the Sega Dreamcast.

Of course, the fact that it was released for the ill-fated Dreamcast didn't do a lot to help its fortunes, and despite widespread critical acclaim it failed to reach any real level of commercial success. But this game kicks ass — it's largely based on classic RPG elements like turn-based combat, but it's the exploration factor that really opens things up.

You get to explore the vast world of Arcadia, where everything and everyone pretty much lives in the sky. The airships and airship battles in this game are what really stand out for me, and I'm not sure anyone has ever been able to replicate that aspect. If you're looking for a way to kill some time that doesn't involve having to shell out hundreds of dollars for a next-gen console, this game might be worth a revisit.