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Release of Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Contributed by Andy "CandyGram4Mongo"

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a parody of the King Arthur mythology that has been continuously quoted since its release, particularly by Information Technology professionals born in the late 1950's and early 1960s.

Notable quotes include:

  • "It's just a flesh wound"
  • "I'm not dead yet"
  • "What's your favorite color?"
  • "One, two, five [THREE SIR], three"

Monty Python and the Holy Grail did to the Medieval Film Genre what Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein had done to Westerns and Fright flicks the previous year - it incorporated common themes recognizable by all and lampooned perfectly by the Monty Python team.

For preppers whose plan includes "Comfort Food", board games, and other tools to help everyone maintain an even keel when SHTF, this is another title that may be worth having available to break the tension.

American Amnesia: How the Democrats forgot that they Murdered more than 2 Million People

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

The Vietnam War is over. The Paris Peace Accords are signed, but as the USA supplies South Vietnamese troops with arms as per the agreement, the Soviet Union supplies the North at a ratio of 4 to 1. The Democrat Congress tries to reduce the promised aid. Then President Nixon resigns 3 months before the mid-term elections. President Gerald Ford's subsequent pardon of Nixon renders the Republicans politically dead. The Democrats come in with veto-proof majorities. The Pentagon Papers had embarrassed the Democrats, so in turn, Nixon's victory in Vietnam had to be tarnished. With malice and forethought, the Democrat Congress forced Cambodia and South Vietnam into defeat by cutting off the funding promised in the Peace Accords. President Ford begged the Democrats to keep the US promise. Now Saigon has fallen. Over the next few years, 2 million Vietnamese will take to their boats to escape. More than half will die before they reach refuge. At least 1.7 million Cambodians will be marched into the Killing Fields to be hacked to death by the Maoist Khmer Rouge. It didn't have to happen. All we had to do was keep our promises. Now no one will trust us. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Democrats certainly are forgetful people. They have forgotten that they rounded up the Japanese and placed them in concentration camps. Forgotten that they dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities. Forgotten how they turned hoses on Black demonstrators, blocked the Civil Rights Acts and killed American soldiers in Vietnam by trying to run the war by remote control. What was one more case of amnesia? It was just a few million deaths. This was one of the turning points in my life. I knew it was happening, but I could do nothing about it. I wanted to be a good Democrat. I really did, but I was too ashamed. I cannot stand with a political party that would murder millions to cover their own worthless backsides. I would rather die than call myself a Democrat ever again. F THEM! F EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM! They did it, and they'd do it again! I cry every time I think of it. After all these years, it still hurts that much. [9] [10]

Stockholm Embassy Attack

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

On April 24th, 6 members of the RAF took over the West German embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. The Red Army Faction was a far-left West German terrorist group, and their attack in retaliation for the death of one their fellow members, Holger Meins, who had starved to death during a hunger strike in the Wittlich Prison. They called themselves the "Holger Meins Commandos" in reference to his death. They stormed the embassy and took 13 hostages, including the ambassador. When the Swedish police didn't back off when requested to, the RAF took a German military attaché to a landing on the upper floor they were occupying and shot him. After this, when the police prepared to storm the building, the embassy was rocked by an explosion, which resulted in all of the hostages suffering severe burns. Two of the terrorists died, one from a grenade he dropped, and the other a few days after the attack from his burns. [11][12]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
This is not the Stockholm attack that resulted in the name "Stockholm Syndrome". That was a bank robbery that took place in 1973. This incident goes to show how often the tough guy talk that many politicians use can cost lives. The Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Schmidt refused to negotiate at all with the RAF, which was why the group executed the attaché. While I don't think we should be doing what terrorists want whenever they make a threat, because this might save a few lives in the short term, but cost many more lives in the long term, the situations should be handled with more finesse and tact that it was here, to allow the terrorists to be apprehended or killed while costing the least amount of lives of the hostages as is possible.

The First Successful "Hobby Computer" and the Birth of Microsoft

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

In the January issue of Popular Electronics, the cover features the new Altair 8800, a "mini-computer" based on the Intel 8080 microprocessor. It sells for $498 fully assembled. (That is over $2100 in 2015.) It is essentially a metal box with a front panel filled with lights and toggle switches. To "boot" the machine you must enter a jump command in binary code... that is... ones and zeros. The company expects to sell 200 of the things. Hopefully a little more. Instead they receive thousands of orders from eager hobbyists. Among them are Bill Gates and Paul Allen. They see an opportunity and offer to demo their "BASIC" interpreter that runs on the Altair. Imagine that! The only problem is... Bill and Paul are frickin' dreamin'. They don't have a BASIC interpreter for the Altair. Normal people would call this LYING, but in the computer industry this is known as "common business practice." Paul has a BASIC interpreter he can adapt on the fly, so while he is actually flying, he is still working on it. When he gets there, it boots the first time. Success! Microsoft is born. [13] [14] [15]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In those days software was distributed via paper tape (a sort of continuous punch card) or by cassette. It was a tedious process to load a program into memory. I know. I had to do it. The Altair had the advantage of being expandable. The S-100 bus allowed a hobbyist to create his own expansion card, or to install extra memory, or various accessories like an 8 inch floppy disk drive or maybe even a keyboard. (GASP!) Today an expansion bus is seen as that slot that you stick your video card into, but back then, the S-100 bus could be used for almost anything. That was its virtue, and its problem. It depended on how one interpreted the specifications. Eventually Apple Computer solved the problem by making their computers a closed box. What you see is what you get. No fooling around inside. For the rest of the Universe, the quest for the perfect expansion bus continues, although the need for one has lessened. Most of the functions that consumers require are already designed into the motherboard. The only real choices left are the video and sound cards. So I suppose, Apple had it right all along. [16] [17]

Notable Births

Note: This list will be getting smaller as we move forward in time.

  • Heather O'Rourke (died 1988, age 12): She was the little girl in Poltergeist that delivered the famous line, "They're here." She died from a misdiagnosis of a small-bowel obstruction that led to heart failure while in surgery.
  • -- In Movies: Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron and Drew Barrymore. [18]
  • -- In TV: Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives). [18]
  • -- In Music: Michael Bublé and 50 Cent. [18]
  • -- In Sports: Ray Lewis, Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez and Tiger Woods. [18]

This Year in Film

  • Jaws: (I'll never go in the water again--alexshrugged). [19]
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Nurse Ratchet! (This is why mental institutions were emptied out.--alexshrugged ). [19]
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: (This is why mental institutions should be filled up again.--alexshrugged). [19]
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: An irreverent look at King Arthur seeking the Holy Grail. (I felt compelled to buy a shrubbery!--alexshrugged) [19]
  • And death to them all with... Death Race 2000, The Stepford Wives, and Rollerball (From the excellent short story, "Roller Ball Murder". The movie is less excellent.--alexshrugged) [19] [20]

This Year in TV

  • Saturday Night Live: First guest host: George Carlin! [21]
  • ABC's Good Morning America!: Easy-going news to start your day (because they can't compete with the real news offered on the NBC's Today Show). [21]
  • -- In Situation Comedy: Barney Miller, The Jeffersons and Welcome Back, Kotter (featuring John Travolta). [21]
  • -- In Game Shows: Wheel of Fortune with Chuck Wollery. Pat Sajak will replace him in 6 years. [21]
  • -- In Crime Shows: S.W.A.T., and Baretta. [21]

This Year in Music

  • I'm Not In Love: 10cc. (FYI, he really is in love.--alexshrugged) [22]
  • Rhinestone Cowboy: Glen Campbell. [22]
  • Una Paloma Blanca: The George Baker Selection. (I prefer Slim Whitman's yodeling version. Makes me laugh.--alexshrugged) [22]
  • Space Oddity: David Bowie. "This is ground control to Major Tom!" [22]
  • Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen. (It's my favorite from the band.--alexshrugged) [22]

This Year in Video Games

  • Pong is now wireless!: The Japanese console transmits over UHF. [23]
  • Taito releases the first gunfighter game: "Western Gun" is also the 1st game to use a microprocessor. (It's the Intel 8080 running at a screaming 1.9968 Mega Hertz.) [23]
  • The first interactive fiction game is created: Colossal Cave Adventure is text-based. Think of The Princess Bride and the video game the grandson was playing. [23]

In Other News

  • The Pet Rock is Born: It doesn't need to be fed. It won't die. It is the perfect pet. 1 million are sold during the Christmas season at $4 a piece or about $17 in 2015 (I bought one.--alexshrugged) [24] [25]
  • President Gerald Ford survives 2 assassination attempts: One by Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (a Charles Manson follower) and another by Sara Jane Moore (an FBI informant). [26]
  • New York City gets a federal bailout: It's a swing loan of 2.3 billion, repaid each year for the next 4 years. (They had been cooking the books, and then they were too big to fail.--alexshrugged) [26]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1975, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Khmer Rouge Killing Fields - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “Analysis of 20,000 mass grave sites by the DC-Cam Mapping Program and Yale University indicate at least 1,386,734 victims of execution. Estimates of the total number of deaths resulting from Khmer Rouge policies, including disease and starvation, range from 1.7 to 2.5 million out of a 1975 population of roughly 8 million.”
  2. The Killing Fields. roch.edu (2007). Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “Out of a population of approximately 7 million, about 2 million Cambodians were systematically exterminated, starved, or worked to death by the Khmer Rouge government (known to the people as simply, Angkar, or "the organization"). Over 25% of the Cambodian people died at the hands of the Angkar To put it in terms Americans will understand, the American equivalent of the Cambodian genocide would mean the death of 70 million Americans.”
  3. "Why the world should not forget Khmer Rouge and the killing fields of Cambodia - The Washington Post", August 7, 2014. Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “Between 1975 and 1979, 1.7 million Cambodians are believed to have lost their lives. For a such a small country, that created an effect that lasts to this day: Almost one in five people living in Cambodia at the time is believed to have died as a result of Cambodian genocide.” 
  4. "Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields", The New York Times, 1997. Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “Parents lost their children. Families were separated. We were not allowed to cry or show any grief when they took away our loved ones. A man would be killed if he lost an ox he was assigned to tend. A woman would be killed if she was too tired to work. Human life wasn't even worth a bullet. They clubbed the back of our necks and pushed us down to smother us and let us die in a deep hole with hundreds of other bodies. They told us we were VOID. We were less than a grain of rice in a large pile. The Khmer Rouge said that the Communist revolution could be successful with only two people. Our lives had no significance to their great Communist nation, and they told us, 'To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.'” 
  5. Khmer Rouge History - Cambodia Tribunal Monitor. Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “By early 1973, about 85 percent of Cambodian territory was in the hands of the Khmer Rouge, and the Lon Nol army was almost unable to go on the offensive. However, with US assistance, it was able to continue fighting the Khmer Rouge for two more years. April 17, 1975 ended five years of foreign interventions, bombardment, and civil war in Cambodia. On this date, Phnom Penh, a major city in Cambodia, fell to the communist forces.”
  6. Fall of Saigon - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “American evacuation planning was set against other administration policies. Ford still hoped to gain additional military aid for South Vietnam. Throughout April, he attempted to get Congress behind a proposed appropriation of $722 million, which might allow for the reconstitution of some of the South Vietnamese forces that had been destroyed. Kissinger was opposed to a full-scale evacuation as long as the aid option remained on the table because the removal of American forces would signal a loss of faith in Thiệu and severely weaken him.”
  7. The Killing Fields (1984) - IMDb. Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.”
  8. The Killing Fields (1984) Trailer - YouTube. Retrieved on 3 April 2017.
  9. Herschensohn, Bruce. An American Amnesia: How the U.S. Congress Forced the Surrenders of South Vietnam and Cambodia. Beaufort Books. 
  10. Alex Shrugged notes: I deeply appreciate Bruce Herschensohn's book "An American Amnesia", but I knew this subject matter long before I read the book. It was good to see the situation placed in context, and so well thought out. I recommend the book highly.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_German_Embassy_siege
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Army_Faction
  13. Altair 8800 - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  14. David Bunnell - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  15. Altair 8800 Microcomputer - National Museum of American History. Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “H. Edward Roberts, the Florida-born former U.S. Air Force officer who headed MITS, decided to design a small, affordable computer around the Intel 8080. His daughter named the new machine after the star Altair. It was the first microcomputer to sell in large numbers. In January 1975, a photograph of the Altair appeared on the cover of the magazine Popular Electronics. The caption read 'World's First Minicomptuer Kit to Rival Commercial Models.' According to the magazine, the machine sold as a kit for $395, and assembled for $498. Roberts had hoped to break even by selling 200 Altairs. Within three months he had a backlog of 4,000 orders.”
  16. History of Computers and Computing, Birth of the modern computer, Personal computer, Altair 8800. history-computer.com (2017). Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “The Altair had enough power to be actually useful, and was designed as an expandable system, that opened it up to all sorts of applications.”
  17. MITS Altair 8800 computer. oldcomputers.net (2016). Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “The entire Altair 8800 system is comprised of a metal case, a power supply, a front panel with switches, and a passive motherboard with expansion slots. All of the circuitry - the CPU and memory, are on cards which plug into the expansion slots, which MITS called the 'Altair Bus'. This became a very easy and popular method of designing computers, and numerous other systems from competing manufacturers were released utilizing the same Altair Bus - the IMSAI 8080 was the first - the first computer clone. The Altair Bus became an industry standard, but MITS didn't appreciate it being renamed as the S-100 bus (it has 100 pins).”
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 1975 Births - Wikipedia.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 1975 in film - Wikipedia (1975). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  20. Rollerball (1975 film) - Wikipedia (1975). Retrieved on 2 April 2017. “The screenplay by William Harrison adapted his own short story, 'Roller Ball Murder', which had first appeared in the September 1973 issue of Esquire.”
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 1975 in television - Wikipedia (2017).
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 1975 in music - Wikipedia (1975). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 1975 in music - Wikipedia (1975).
  24. Pet Rock - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 31 March 2015. “In April 1975, Gary Dahl was in a bar (which is now Beauregard Vineyards Tasting room in Bonny Doon) listening to his friends complain about their pets. This gave him the idea for the perfect 'pet': a rock. A rock would not need to be fed, walked, bathed, or groomed; and would not die, become sick, or be disobedient. He said they were to be the perfect pets, and joked about it with his friends.”
  25. "Gary Dahl dies at 78; creator of Pet Rock, 1970s pop culture icon - LA Times", April 1, 2015. Retrieved on 3 April 2017. “Teaming up with a designer, Dahl produced a cardboard carrying case complete with 14 air holes. On the outside was printed 'This box contains one genuine pedigreed PET ROCK.' Inside was the instruction manual and a smooth Mexican beach stone on a bed of straw.” 
  26. 26.0 26.1 1975 - Wikipedia.

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