Nutcrackers - Friday, July 24, 2015

As we celebrate Christmas-In-July Eve here at the American Treasure Tour, the timing seems just a little too perfect to honor a staple of America's favorite winter holiday.  So, we are going to talk about nutcrackers today.  These guys are represented in the Toy Box by the dozen, standing at attention among the calliopes and carousels in our circus room.

Nutcrackers once appeared on the dinner tables of many German families, as far back as the 15th century.  Early versions were often made of metal, with wooden nutcrackers appearing around 1800.  They were presented as soldiers or members of royalty.  Strong characters with mouths strong enough to break into the shells of various types of nuts.  Their designs inspired conversation and, eventually, became works of art.  Now, of course, they are best known as items of beauty, often associated with the Christmas holiday in no small part because of the beautiful music written by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.   
QUESTION:  In what year was Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite first debuted?
A)  1851
B)  1891
C)  1892
D)  1907

TRICKY DICK.  A pivotal decision in the Watergate Scandal was reached on this day in 1974 by the United States Supreme Court when they declared that President Richard Nixon did not have the right to withhold subpoenaed White House audio recordings.  Nixon argued that his office gave him the authority to retain the information on his tapes for his own purposes but, when the Supreme Court decided this, he knew the information on them would spell the end of his presidency.  With impeachment proceedings inevitable, Nixon resigned the highest office in the land on August 9th, two weeks later.  But don't worry.  Four weeks after that, new President Gerald Ford pardoned him.

WHAT'S THE BUZZ?  Rhode Island native Ruth Buzzi is celebrating her 79th birthday today. The head cheerleader in her high school, Buzzi became a natural with physical comedy, touring the country with Rudy Vallee before going out on her own.  She made appearances in many different television shows before hitting it big with the popular Sixties iconic comedy Laugh-In.  She has the distinction of being the only actor on the show to appear in every single episode broadcast.  Buzzi remains in show business, occasionally doing voice work or appearing on awards programs; otherwise, she enjoys her time at the family ranch in Texas.  Enjoy the day, Ruth!

QUOTE:  Life has all sorts of hills and valleys, and sometimes you don't end up doing what you had your heart set out on, but sometimes that makes it even better! - Ruth Buzzi

ANSWER:  C)  1892