THAT’S NO ISTANBUL

March 28th in history:

On March 28th, 1854, Britain and France declared war on Russia, bringing those countries into the Crimean War. The largest numbers of troops fighting the war came from Russia, France, Britain, and Turkey.

On this day in 1930, the city of Constantinople was given the more Turkish name Istanbul. The change inspired a popular song, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” which was a hit for the Four Lads in 1953 and later covered by They Might Be Giants.

The 1964 heist movie Topkapi is set in Istanbul.  British actor Peter Ustinov won his second Supporting Actor Oscar for Topkapi (his first Oscar was for Spartacus).  Ustinov, also known as an author and playwright, was 82 when he died on this date in 2004.

Ustinov was born Peter Alexander von Ustinov (or Ustinow). The singer born Stephani Germanotta, now known as Lady Gaga, was born this day in 1986, and is known for hits such as “Poker Face” and “Born This Way.”  And popular radio DJ John Records Landecker really was born that way, with the middle name “Records,” on March 28th, 1947.  Landecker is best known for working at Chicago station WLS in the ’70s and ’80s.

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