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This Day in Pop Culture for May 11

Peter Paul and Mary

1963: ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ is #2

The song, “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary, appeared in the number two spot on the pop charts on this day in 1963. The lyrics for the song were based on a poem written by a nineteen-year old Leonard Lipton who himself was inspired by the poem, Custard the Dragon written by Ogden Nash. It turns out that Lipton was friends with Peter Yarrow’s roommate when they were in college together at Cornell University. The song is about an ageless dragon and his friend, Jackie Paper who later outgrows him. An urban legend claims that the song was a reference to smoking pot, but Yarrow has said, that Puff “never had any meaning other than the obvious one” and is about the “loss of innocence in children”

1997: Computer Beat World-Champion at Chess

In was on this day in 1977 in New York City when world-champion chess player, Garry Kasparov was beaten by a computer by IBM known as Deep Blue during a re-match. Kasparov had won the first game but lost the second. The the next three games were draws. And the sixth game lasted only a little over an hour after just 19 moves.

(Wikimedia)

Birthdays

  • 1888: Irving Berlin (composer)
  • 1904: Salvador Dali (artist)
  • 1911: Phil Silvers (comedian)
  • 1982: Cory Moneith (actor)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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