Start checking off items on your 2012 bucket list, because we’ve only got 299 days left in this Mayan craziness. In the meantime, enjoy some savory March 7 tidbits about The Beatles, Monopoly, the immortal Taylor Dayne, and that time a murder scandalized Disneyland.
1933: The game of Monopoly is invented. The first Monopoly match began the next day, and it should probably finish up any minute now. But seriously, folks, do any of you remember the Monopoly game show? It aired in 1990 as a primetime summer draw alongside Super Jeopardy!, a version of the Alex Trebek favorite featuring past champions. I was literally 3 when Monopoly premiered, and you’ll have to forgive my divine Virtel memory genes, because I STILL remember its theme! “M-O-N-O-P-O-L-Y / Roll the dice / It’s paradise!” The familiar gameboard was present, but the gameplay included lame little trivia items. Unfortunately, the show didn’t survive, unless you count the lasting sonic paradise it created in my mind.
1962: The Beatles make their broadcasting debut on BBC radio. Aww. I’ve been racking my brain for the past 20 minutes thinking of something novel to say about the Beatles, and I finally have it: Their cover of “Please Mr. Postman” is somehow underrated! It rivals the Carpenters’ cover, and you know I believe Karen is an untouchable Downey-born super-goddess. I like to picture John Lennon literally pleading to a postman and alarming the neighbors and some local dogs.
1962: Taylor Dayne, arguably the finest singer of the “big-haired late-’80s ladies” set, is born. Yep, she’s 50 years old. Wow. Soon she’ll be singing “Don’t Rush Me” when getting out of a recliner or answering the front door.
1981: The first homicide at Disneyland is reported! An 18-year-old Riverside resident named Mel Yorba died after a miffed guy named James O’Criscoll accused him of touching his girlfriend, drew a knife, and shanked his Mickey-loving ass. A jury convicted O’Criscoll on second-degree murder charges. Perhaps more shockingly, the ever-dodgy Disney was forced to pay Yorba’s family $600,000 in damages. No wonder Disney’s 1981 theatrical release The Fox and the Hound was so freakishly sad.
1985: USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” is released internationally. Michael Jackson assembled the philanthropic supergroup following that year’s American Music Awards, and it’s a pretty unassailable lineup. Only LaToya Jackson and Dan Aykroyd seem like outliers, but in 1985, you’d have let Aykroyd schtup your boyfriend, let alone join your charity single.
1996: The Hubble telescope captures the first surface photos of Pluto. If you’re familiar with Jersey Shore, indulge my metaphor: Pluto is the Angelina Pivarnick of planets. It was included in the big show for a time, but it just didn’t have the force, size, and intrigue of its costars. Now it’s a dwarf planet. Maybe it’s time for a small-budget reality show on TLC.