Sunday, June 19, 2011

⅏Did You Know: Global Smurfs Day, Julius and Ethel Rosenbergs' Execution, Brazil's Pele and more!

Did You Know...

Global Smurfs Day - The Celebration of the Comic's Belgian Creator, Peyo, is held this year on his birthday, June 25, 2011?  What makes this celebration so unique is that gatherings will take place around the world as part of Global Smurfs Day.
London's O2 arena becomes the O-Blue, Taiwan's landmark Red House turns into the Blue House and New York City's South Street Seaport turns into Smurf Street Blueport.

The Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs) is a comic and television franchise centered on a group of small blue fictional creatures called Smurfs, created and first introduced as a series of comic strips by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) on October 23, 1958. The original term and the accompanying language came during a meal Peyo was having with his colleague and friend André Franquin in which, having momentarily forgotten the word "salt", Peyo asked him (in French) to pass the schtroumpf. Franquin replied: "Here's the Schtroumpf — when you are done schtroumpfing, schtroumpf it back" and the two spent the rest of that weekend speaking in schtroumpf language.  The name was later translated into Dutch as Smurf, which was adopted in English.
Peyo - 1990
Peyo was born in 1928 in Brussels as the son of an English father and a Belgian mother. On Christmas Eve 1992, Peyo died of a heart attack in Brussels at age 64.
He took on the name "Peyo" early in his professional career, based on an English cousin's mispronunciation of Pierrot (a diminutive form of Pierre).
The 50th anniversary of The Smurfs and the 80th anniversary of the birth of its creator, was recently celebrated by issuing a high-value collectors' coin: the Belgian 5 euro 50th anniversary of The Smurfs commemorative coin, minted in 2008.

Continuing the celebration...

Also as part of a promotion for the upcoming film The Smurfs, all fans are encouraged to dress Smurfy-style (white hat, white pants and shoes - with a blue body). Hats and t-shirts will be supplied at venues.
The event is an attempt to set a new Guinness World Records title for the "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Smurfs within a 24-hour period in Multiple Venues."

Representatives from Guinness will be on hand in 12 cities around the world.

Then there's "The Smurfs" 3D movie.  The upcoming animated and live-action film follows the tiny blue Smurfs when they are chased out of their village by the evil wizard Gargamel. The Smurfs land in Manhattan's Central Park trying to find their way back home.
Sony Pictures chose to host an event promoting the movie in Juzcar -- on the condition that the facades of the village's buildings be covered with blue paint.
Hence, the residents of Juzcar, a small village of some 250 people in Spain's Malaga province, got in on the action when they literally painted the town a nice shade of blue!
Many "smurf-ified" themselves on the day of the event, donning blue body paint plus the signature smurf uniform of white pants and cap. Sony has promised to repaint the town white after the premiere.

The film releases in North America July 29, in Belgium August 3 and in France, Hong Kong, Spain and the UK on August 10, rolling out internationally through August and September.


Did You Know?  For the month of
back in.....

  • 1867, June 19, Emperor of Mexico Executed.  Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, installed as emperor of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1864, is executed on the orders of Benito Juarez, the president of the Mexican Republic.
  • 1892, June 19, A Bloody Fingerprint Elicited a Mother's Evil Tale in Argentina.  Francesca Rojas' two young children were stabbed to death in their home in the small town of Necochea, Argentina. Rojas blamed a man named Velasquez saying he had threatened her when she rejected his sexual advances. Police arrested and questioned Velasquez, but he denied any involvement, even after some rather painful interrogation techniques were used to obtain a confession. Law enforcement officials even tried tying him to the corpses of the children overnight. When that didn't produce any results, Velasquez was tortured for another week. Still, he maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal.  Eventually, fingerprint identification was used.  Even with only a rudimentary understanding of forensic identification, investigators were able to determine that the print on the door belonged to Rojas. Using this new piece of evidence against her, detectives were able to exact her confession.Apparently, Rojas had killed her own children in an attempt to improve her chance of marrying her boyfriend, who was known to dislike children, and then pegged the crime on Velasquez. She was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Rosenbergs Execution

    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg,
     separated by heavy
    wire screen
    Pic by Wiki user DavePape
    1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Executed.  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a married couple accused and convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage - heading a spy ring that passed top-secret information concerning the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union, in 1951, are put to death in the electric chair. This was the first execution of civilians for espionage in United States history and marked the dramatic finale of the most controversial espionage case of the Cold War. 

    Police photograph of
    Ethel Rosenberg
    Pic by Wiki user Fastfision

    Julius was arrested in July 1950, and Ethel in August of that same year. The Rosenbergs vigorously protested their innocence, but after a brief trial in March 1951 they were convicted. On April 5, 1951, Judge Irving Kaufman under Section 2 of the Espionage Act of 1917, 50 U.S. Code 32 (now 18 U.S. Code 794), which prohibits transmitting or attempting to transmit to a foreign government information "relating to the national defense, sentenced them to death. 

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