April 29, 2017
April 29th, 2017

Question: Who first said camouflage was “ Cubism gone to War.” ?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What is a seer-sucker suit?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/29/2017
Birthdays: Emperor Hirohito, Duke Ellington, Duke Wellington, Sir Thomas Beacham, Zuben Mehta is 80, Tom Ewell, Rod McKuen, Fred Zinnemann, Jerry Seinfeld is 61, Michelle Pfeiffer is 58, Daniel Day Lewis is 59, Uma Thurman is 46

Today is the feast day of the Patron Saint of Italy, no, not Frank Sinatra, Saint Catherine of Sienna.

1429- At around 8:00PM, the Royal French Army entered the City of Orleans surrounded on three sides by the besieging English. The torchlight glinted off the armor of the great warriors like the Duke DuAlencon, Giles Des Rais, Etienne LaVignoles” the Angry-One”. But all eyes were on their warchief, a little 17 year old peasant girl in white armor- Joan La Pucelle, Joan the Maid. Since she was illiterate she immediately dictated a letter to the English army: “Surrender to the Maid, sent by God the King of Heaven, the keys to all the French towns you have despoiled and go home!”

1749- In Philadelphia inventor Ben Franklin hosted a dinner party where he used his new battery to electrocute the turkeys to be roasted for the amusement of his guests. .

1771- Artist Benjamin West unveils his painting of the “Death of General Wolfe” at the Royal Academy in London. Wolfe was killed in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which decided that Canada would be English. West’s portrayal of Wolfe in his actual uniform instead an idealized Grecian god was considered scandalously realistic and revolutionized painting.

1786- The day before his opera THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO was to premiere, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sat down after dinner and wrote the famous overture. Friends said he liked to think while playing billiards.

1818- The ARBUTHNOT & ARMBRUISTER INCIDENT- Henry Arbuthnot was a 70 year old British merchant who sympathized with the Seminole Indians of Florida. Together with a former Major Armbruister they aided this tribe in its struggle with the expanding United States. When U.S. Gen. Andy Jackson invaded Spanish Florida in 1818 he captured these men. Jackson nursed a hatred of English people since as a young boy in the Revolution his home was burned and he was slashed with a saber by a redcoat officer. Jackson’s mother and older brother died in an English prison.

So Jackson was not interested in hearing about native rights or the eccentricities of Britishers. He executed them on the spot, hanging old Arbuthnot from the mast of his own schooner. This mistreatment of foreign nationals proved an embarrassment to President Monroe and earned Jackson a reputation for cruelty that would follow him to his own presidential runs.

1861- "All we wish is to be left alone." In a speech Southern President Jefferson Davis spells out the policy of the Confederacy with regard to the war with the United States. The speech was aimed at Britain and France for international support. Davis was adopting the traditional defensive strategy of insurgents, that not being crushed out of existence is a victory in itself. However by yielding the initiative and not occupying Washington D.C. after the U.S. army was destroyed at Bull Run, the rebels probably lost their best chance to win the Civil War.

1862- Admiral Farragut captured New Orleans. Farragut was a Southerner so at first the War Department doubted his loyalty. He was only able to swing a fleet command through his father-in-law, Admiral David Dixon Porter.

1863- General Stonewall Jackson had spent the last three weeks peacefully enjoying the company of his wife Ann and his baby boy. They had celebrated his 38th birthday together. On this day Jackson received word that the Yankee Army was on the move. He said good bye to his family and rode off. When Ann saw him next, he was dying.

1914- THE SILENT PROTEST- Writer Upton Sinclair gained national prominence as an activist by standing with other intellectuals silently in front of the Standard Oil headquarters in Washington D.C.. The protest was to accuse the company of the infamous Ludlow Massacre, when company hired vigilantes set upon a camp of striking unionists and murdered them and their families including 11 children. When loud protests in front of Standard Oil’s office were outlawed by DC marshals, Sinclair resorted to this silent protest.

1916- The phase of World War I in Mesopotamia (Iraq) effectively ended when Lord Townshend surrendered his Anglo-Indian invasion force to the Turks after being surrounded at the Iraqi city of Kut.

1929- The film "All's Quiet on the Western Front" premiered. The world war one battlefield was constructed on a California ranch and dozens of veterans hired to be extras. When the antiwar film debuted in Germany, Nazis agitators were sent out to Berlin theaters to release rats, skunks and snakes in the theaters to scare people away. The star of the movie Lew Ayres ruined his career when he declared himself a conscientious objector during World War II.

1939- It’s strangely ironic that Adolf Hitler’s Government while murdering millions also waged the first campaigns against smoking. This day the Nazi Party officially banned smoking in all their offices because of health concerns. The rest of the world wouldn’t even begin to think of linking cancer with cigarette smoking until the 1960’s.

1944- Dancing Romeos, the last Our Gang comedy short was produced by MGM, which had bought the franchise in 1938 from Hal Roach.

1945- ADOLPH AND EVA'S WEDDING- With the Red Army knocking on the door, Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun get married in their bunker. They celebrate by having dinner of spaghetti and a small green salad and then commit suicide.

1945- DACHAU liberated- American combat troops of the 45th Rainbow Division shot their way into the concentration camp and liberated 32,000 survivors like future Nobel Laureate Eli Weisel.
The Americans were so horrified by the nightmare they found, including 30 railroad cars packed with decomposing corpses, that when a clean cut, blonde haired SS commander surrendered by snapping a crisp Sieg-Heil salute, the American major he had directed it to pulled out his pistol and shot him dead on the spot. 346 SS guards were killed by the U.S. troops and camp survivors.

Many of the U.S. troops there were African American and Nisei (Japanese American) so when the newsreels sent back images back home, they were careful to film the backs of their helmets so you didn't see their faces.

1949- MGM chief Louis B. Mayer fired Frank Sinatra for making a joke about him. Mayer had hurt his hip riding, and Sinatra joked he got hurt not from falling off his horse, but falling off Jean Howard, a young actress Mayer was chasing.

1962- President John Kennedy hosted a dinner for a group of Nobel Prize winners at the White House. Kennedy said: “ I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined here alone.”

1975- In the wee hours of the morning Communist North Vietnamese began their final assault on the South Vietnamese capitol of Saigon. Missiles struck the runway at Tahn Sun Nhut Airport, so the big Air Force C-130 cargo planes could not land. The evacuation out to the US 7th Fleet offshore would be done all by helicopters. It was the biggest helicopter airlift in history. The signal on the radio to begin the air evacuation was Saigon radio began broadcasting Bing Crosby’s recording of White Christmas.

1981-Marylin Barnett “outs” tennis champion Mrs. Billy Jean King, the most famous American female athlete of her time. She said they had a lesbian affair for seven years.

1986- Los Angeles Central Library burns down. A lot of the costs of rebuilding was raised by private donation, much raised by a wild local televangelist named Dr. Gene Scott. Scott would preach his own strange brand of Bible study while smoking a cigar and wearing funny hats on camera. He also liked to laugh at other evangelists.

1988- On this day many Midwestern evangelicals awaited the Rapture and Apocalypse that the Bible foretold within one generation of the restoration of the Temple -- which
they took to mean within forty years of the re-institution of the Nation of
Israel... and guess what? We're still here.

25th Anniversary 1992- THE GREAT LOS ANGELES RIOT- Los Angeleanos go berserk after an all white jury in Simi Valley acquitted four policemen who beat up drunk motorist Rodney King while being videotaped. 63 killed, 2500 businesses destroyed, $1.5 billion dollars in damage, 13,200 arrests and large sections of Los Angeles put under martial law. Even Rodney King was moved to go on TV and proclaim: " Can't we all just get along?"
Part of the reason the disturbance spun out of control was the autocratic chief of the LAPD, Darryl Gates, was incommunicado for several hours at the beginning of the crisis at a fundraising party in Bel Air to get money to fund his quarrel with Mayor Tom Bradley. One irony was the loot-crazed mob ran right past the L.A. County Art Museum to sack a Mays department store on the next corner. I guess they felt that there was nothing of value in it, which is in agreement with many art critics. The Beverly Hills Police, a separate entity, kept the peace by simply arresting everyone they saw.

2001- Pioneer 10 was a space probe launched to the outer planets in 1972. After sending the first photos of Jupiter and Pluto in 1973, Pioneer 10 left our solar system and headed for deep space in 1997. It is aimed at the Constellation Taurus. On this day 7 billion miles away Pioneer 10 phoned home to say it was fine. Its last message was received in 2003. I wonder if it asked if Richard Nixon was still president?

2004- The last Oldsmobile made, ending the 106 year old line.

2011- Prince William married Catherine (Cate) Middleton in Westminster Abbey.
==============================================================

Yesterday’s Question: What is a seer-sucker suit?

Answer: Seersucker is a light, somewhat rough-textured cotton fabric, usually striped or similarly patterned, used to make clothes that are cool and wear well in hot climates. From the Victorian British in India wanting to look fashionable without melting. Seer Sucker comes from the Persian sheer and shaker, meaning Milk & Sugar.


April 28, 2017
April 28th, 2017

Quiz: What is a seer-sucker suit?

Answer to Yesterdays Quiz- What does it mean to raise your hackles?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/28/2017
Birthdays: English King Edward IV (1442), President James Monroe, Lionel Barrymore, Oskar Schindler, Carolyn Jones-aka Morticia Addams of the TV Addams Family, Ann Margaret is 77, Jay Leno is 67, Saddam Hussein, Jean Redpath, James Baker III, Penelope Cruz is 43, Jessica Alba is 38, Godzilla is 63- see below.

In ancient Egypt today was Wake up and Smell the Breeze Day, The first known Spring Festival in history. As part of the holiday, Egyptians ate a small dried fermented fish called Fessig, which they thought prevented diseases blown in by the desert.

357AD- Roman Emperor Constantius II visited Rome for the first time. Like his father Constantine he was now ruling the Empire from Constantinople. Later Western emperors preferred to rule from Milan for faster access to the Rhine or Danube frontiers.

1192- CONRAD OF MONFERRAT SLAIN BY THE ASSASSINS OF ALAMUT-
The word "assassin" comes from "hash-a-shin" or "eaters of Hashish". Their leader Sheik Ibn-Abdel Sinan, was called "The Old Man of the Mountain", established his murder cult on a mountain fortress in Iran. He got his followers stoned in a pleasure garden filled with pretty girls, telling them they had just spent time in Paradise. And if they were good he’d let them in for more visits. This is the origin of followers so fanatically devoted that all Abdel Sinan had to do is point, and a man would leap off the battlements to his death.

Sheik Abdel Sinan ran his sect like an extortion racket throughout the Middle East. In exchange for gold, he wouldn't have one of his stoned followers knife you. When the Crusaders arrived in the Holyland, no one had clued them in to this system. So when Conrad laughed off the Assassin's emissary, he was stabbed by hitmen disguised as Christian monks.

Conrad was the other leader of the Third Crusade with Richard Lionheart and Phillip Augustus of France. Many believed Richard paid Abdel Sinan to murder Conrad. That's the reason Richard was imprisoned on his way home by Leopold of Austria, Conrad's uncle. The Assassins were finally exterminated a century later by the Mongols, whose horde happened to be riding by when they thought their fortress would be good practice to destroy.

1376-The Good Parliament- English parliaments in the Middles Ages were held so rarely that they were remembered by nicknames "The Rump, The Mad, The Thoroughly Bollucks'd-Up, etc. This parliament achieved new rights by electing the first speaker and demanding the impeachment of a bad minister who was an appointee of the King.

1686- Sir Issac Newton published the first volume of his Principia Mathematica, outlining the Theory of Gravity. The earliest account of the apple story was in 1738. Voltaire writing about Newton claimed his niece told him when the scientist had left Cambridge for the country during the Great Plague of 1666- "He observed an apple falling from a tree and fell into a deep meditation on what was this force that drew all objects in a straight line that until interrupted would continue to the center of the Earth."

1789-THE MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY. The HMS Bounty had been sent around the world to bring back breadfruit samples to see if the plant could be a nutritional supplement for slave laborers in Jamaica and Bermuda. During the return voyage from Tahiti the crew led by first mate Fletcher Christian, set upon the Captain, William Bligh, and set him adrift in a rowboat to die. They then sail with their Tahitian families to settle permanently on an island.

They choose Pitcairn Island because of it's remoteness. Squabbles arose among the British and natives and their leader Fletcher Christian was killed while tending his sweet potatoes. Today a majority of the islands inhabitants claim ancestry from the Bounty mutineers.
Captain Bligh got to safety after navigating his little rowboat 1,500 miles to East Timor with almost no food, an unparalleled feat of seamanship. He was cleared by an Admiralty board and served with distinction in the Napoleonic Wars, although another ship mutinied on him. On top of everything else, when Bligh got home he discovered his wife had been made pregnant by the nephew of the Duke of Wellington -'Wicked Willie' Wellesley.

Like many 'famous' incidents, this passed by it's time with little or no notice. What made the Mutiny on the Bounty world famous was a best selling novel written in the 1920's by two Americans, Charles Nordoff and James Norton Hall, who met when pilots in the World War I Lafayette Escadrille. Then it became a popular movie with Clark Gable.

1813- Marshal Kutusov, the one-eyed Russian general who chased Napoleon out of Russia, died the following year of exhaustion.

1828- English monarchs kept a menagerie of exotic animals at the Tower of London. Most were gifts from foreign rulers. Lions, apes, giraffes, canaries and more. By the XIX Century the crown allowed tourists to visit and it became quite the attraction. When old soldier the Duke of Wellington became Constable of the Tower, he found the animals and the tourists annoying. The Tower should be a military bastion, not a tourist attraction!
So this day all the animals were moved to a new spot in Regents Park, and the London Zoo was created.

1881- Notorious gunfighter Billy the Kid had given himself up to New Mexico authorities on condition he would get a fair trial. That fair trial sentenced him to hang. He was being kept shackled in the town of Maisella New Mexico by two deputies. One deputy named Pecos Bob Ollinger enjoyed tormenting the Kid with descriptions of how gruesome his death was going to be- dancing in the air, slowly choking, eyes bulging, etc. One night Ollinger left his shotgun by the door and crossed the street to have dinner.

The Kid asked the other deputy to unshackle him so he could use the outhouse. A friend had secretly planted a gun in the outhouse. When Ollinger returned he found his deputy dead and Billy the Kid pointing his shotgun right at his face. "Hello Bob!" the smiling kid said, then he blew his head off.

1897- The first distress signal sent by wireless at sea. The S.O.S. (Save Our Ship) code wasn't invented until 1912.

1925- Tory minister Mr. Winston Churchill announced in Parliament that Britain was going back on to the Gold Standard. The result was an economic panic, nationwide strikes and a widening of the postwar depression already affecting Germany and France. Churchill's party led by Stanley Baldwin would be kicked out of office in the elections of 1926, and Churchill would remain in political oblivion until 1940.

1925- T.S. Elliot landed a job at Faber & Fabers Publishing. His enabled the poet to quit his job as a bank teller at Lloyds and get serious about his literary career.

1937- Italy’s movie studio Cinecitta’ dedicated.

1944- EXERCISE TIGER-The greatest coup of Axis espionage. German spies discovered that the allies were going to rehearse their D-Day invasion landings off Slapton Sands, England. They sent a surprise attack of torpedo boats across the Channel to catch the defenseless transports packed with troops, bobbing in the water unawares. They sank several, drowning hundreds of men in the 44f degree water.

Another big mistake was many of the GIs were wearing their life belts incorrectly around the waist instead of under the arms so when they leapt into the water the belt was useless and their heavy packs dragged them down. More G.I.s died in this incident than at Utah Beach on D-Day. For many years it was all kept top secret. After WWII, the head of German espionage, Reinhard Gehlen, was given a job with the CIA.

1945-BENITO MUSSOLINI DIED- Il Duce was on the run with his mistress Clara Petracci when they were apprehended by a roving band of Italian Partisans and stood up against a wall. Mussolini's last words before the guns went off were: "-But, but Colonel...."
My father in the US Army remembered driving into Milan to see his body hanging upside down, with townspeople invited to spit, shoot at or otherwise insult his corpse.

1947- Thor Heyderthal set out on a balsa wood raft called Kon Tiki to prove ancient Peruvians could have used the ocean current to reach Polynesia.

1952- The American military occupation of Japan ended, and Japan was restored to full self-government.

1954- Happy Birthday Godzilla! The movie by Ichjiro Honda was inspired when a Japanese fishing boat was fatally exposed by radioactive fallout from a U.S. hydrogen bomb test. Godzilla is an Anglicized version of the Japanese Kohjira, which is a combination of Gorilla and Whale. The parallels to the Hiroshima experience reached eerie levels when the film has a long sequence of a funeral dirge sung to the dead of Tokyo as we survey the devastation.
The famous roar was done by rubbing a resin-covered glove down some bass fiddle strings. The film was later released in the U.S. with American actor Raymond Burr (actually, Canadian actor..) acting in inserted scenes. The complete Japanese version of the film was not seen in North America until 2004.

1961-At La Scala, When tenor Guiseppi Di Stefano took ill, a young schoolteacher from Modena took the lead role in the opera La Boheme. Lucciano Pavarotti debuted.

1965- At the same time he was sending the first combat troops to Vietnam, President Lyndon Johnson also sent 22,000 Marines to overrun the Dominican Republic. He said it was to save it from "Communist Dictatorship", but no Communist ties to the rebels was ever proven.

1967- Citing his Black Muslim religion, world champion prizefighter Cassius Clay, now renamed Muhammad Ali, refused to be drafted into the army to fight in the Vietnam War. "I’m not mad at any Vietnamese person over there." The World Boxing Federation stripped Ali of his championship title but he won it back during the 'Rumble in the Jungle" prizefight against George Foreman in 1974.

2004- ABU GHARIB-American network news confirmed a story first aired on Arab TV that U.S. and British soldiers were torturing Iraqi prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention. The government asked the compliant American media to sit on the story, until after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified to the 9-11 Commission.

Graphic photos went around the internet from a prison called Abu Gharib. It was once a prison used by dictator Saddam Hussein. President Bush and Rumsfeld claimed they had no knowledge the abuses, while in reality documents released later said they knew and approved it all in detail. The Pentagon investigations in 2004 cleared all the top officials of any wrongdoing. Just a few low level National Guard soldiers were blamed, and their commander General Jane Kaminski was reprimanded.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yesterday’s Question: Quiz: What does it mean to raise your hackles?

Answer: When a rooster gets angry, the feathers on his neck extend and ruffle. They are called hackles. So to raise your hackles means to make you upset.


April 27, 2017
April 27th, 2017

Quiz: What does it mean to raise your hackles?

Yesterday’s Quiz: What kind of work employed guys like Lauritz Melchior, Richard Tauber and Ragnar Ulfung?
------------------------------------------------
History for 4/27/2017
Birthdays: Ulysses S. Grant, King Edward IV, Samuel Morse, Mary Wollenstonecraft, Edward Gibbon, Anouk Aimee, Sheena Easton, Sandy Dennis, Coretta Scott King, Kasey Kasem, Jack Klugman

1278-Today is the Feast day of Saint Zita of the Magic Beans, the patron saint of domestic servants.

1521- HAPPY LAPU-LAPU DAY! Fernan' De Magellan was the explorer who found a way around the Americas into the Pacific. Although he was ordered by the King of Spain to conquer the Portuguese Moluccas, he paused after his discovery of the Philippines to convert the population to Catholicism. Magellan tried to demonstrate the power of the Spanish to the Lord of Cebu, by attacking a village called Mactan, who was his enemy.

Almost at once everything started to go wrong. First the village was too far inland for his ships cannon. So his men had to wade ashore. In doing so their powder got wet, so their guns were useless. Then while fighting hand-to-hand, a lucky fishbone tipped spear hurled through Magellan's helmet visor and killed him. The Lord of Cebu was unimpressed. The Spanish captains tried to barter for his body, but the tribesmen said such a powerful enemy must stay for dinner, as the main course. The Chief of Mactan who killed Magellan was named Lapu-Lapu, and today he is considered a national hero.

1567- THE DUKE OF ALBA was given by King Phillip II of Spain the job of Governor General of the Netherlands and ordered him to "stamp out all Heresy, Rebellion and Freedom". Alba recruited an army of 10,000 soldiers and two thousand registered prostitutes and set up shop in Antwerp. His "Council of Troubles" prosecuted thousands of Dutch Calvinists, sometimes arresting 1500 a day. The Dutch called it the "Council of Blood". The largest mass execution in the US history was 60 Sioux warriors in 1864. Throughout 1568 alone, The Duke of Alba executed 60 Dutch per day. This reign of terror gave Breughel such grim inspiration for his paintings.

1642- The English city of Hull refused to open its gates for King Charles Ist when he directly commanded them to. The King’s forces were still too weak to do anything but slink away. This was the first open act of defiance to Royal authority in what would become the English Civil War.

1667- Blind poet John Milton sold his masterpiece "Paradise Lost" to publisher Samuel Simmons for ten pounds. Ten years earlier under Oliver Cromwell’s patronage Milton was getting over a thousand pounds each for his poems

1763- PONTIAC’S REBELLION. After France surrendered Canada to England, the Great Lakes Indian tribes were offended by their treatment from their new British masters. The redcoats ended many of the subsidies and gift giving the French provided.
This day an Ottawa chief named Pontiac called a secret council on the Ecorse River about ten miles below Detroit. More than 400 chiefs and warriors from the Huron, Sauk, Fox, Pottawatomis , Miamis and Ottawas attended. Chief Pontiac spoke of the words he heard from the mysterious Delaware Prophet. Delaware Prophet said he had traveled up to the Spirit World to meet the Master of Life himself, who said he was sad that the Indian had fallen victim to the White Man. The whites should be driven back across the waters to the lands the Great Spirit had set aside for them and stay there. Pontiac said only by all tribes uniting as one could they drive away the white man.

The assembled Indians pledged to join him on an attack on Fort Detroit and were soon joined by other Great Lakes Tribes. Chief Pontiac organized a simultaneous attack on all thirteen forts in the Great Lakes states, a powerful offensive now known as Pontiac’s War.

1784- Over the protests of King Louis XVI, Pierre d’Beaumarchais play The Marriage of Figaro premiered at the Opera Comique in Paris. It was the first play to openly criticize the nobility for being no better than anyone else except for being born with money. This concept alone was radical and it caused a sensation. Napoleon described it as "The Revolution already in action".

1805-THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI- William Eaton led a small group of U.S. Marines and some Greek mercenaries capture Derna, stronghold of the Barbary Pirates and end the War with Tripoli.

1813- In the War of 1812, U.S. troops burn Toronto, then called York. They couldn't hold the territory and quickly withdrew back into New York State. The American commander Zebulon Pike, for whom Pike's Peak is named, was killed when a slow burning match left by the retreating redcoats ignited the fort's powder magazine.

1861- President Lincoln suspended the Right of Habeas Corpus for the length of the Civil War. The old municipal jail where the modern Supreme Court Building is now began to fill up with critics of the government, pro-southern journalists and suspected spies.

1865- SULTANA DISASTER- Union P.O.W.'s liberated from the horrible prisons of Andersonville and Libby crowd onto a Mississippi steamboat called the Sultana for the ride home. After embarking from Vicksburg the boat's boiler accidentally exploded, killing 1,700.

1884- The British government declared that Christopher Wrens 1675 observatory at Greenwich would be the central meridian point for calculating time zones. This would aid in calculation of longitudes, which is crucial in navigating the worlds oceans. Starting at Greenwich, they divided the world into 24 time zones each 15 longitudinal degrees apart.

1918- Former race car driver Eddie Rickenbacker, now a fighter pilot in WWI, shot down his first enemy plane. By Nov. he shot down 63 planes and became America’s premiere ace.

1919- In the chaos of postwar Germany leftist and right wing paramilitary groups battled in the streets for political power. This day in Munich Communist gangs broke into a military barracks to arrest a corporal they heard was an anti-Communist orator. They took 16 men as hostages but the corporal fended them off with a pistol. Later the hostages were found in a ditch all murdered. The lucky corporal who escaped was Adolf Hitler.

1940- SS leader Heinrich Himmler ordered the construction of a new concentration camp in Poland near Krakow called Auschwitz.

1950- South Africa passes the Group Areas Act, one of the first official acts separating the races and creating the system known as Apartheid.

1964- The John Muir National Wilderness created.

1970- THE FIRST ATM- Automatic bank teller machine, opened at the Surety National Bank in downtown Los Angeles.

1975- The South Vietnamese capitol Saigon was surrounded by North Vietnamese forces.

1979 -Navajo Indians protest Gulf Oil drilling for uranium on a sacred mountain.

1981- Ringo Starr married Barbera Bach, his costar on the film 'Caveman'. UngaBunga!

1986- Reporter Geraldo Rivera hosted a primetime TV special in an old Chicago Hotel that was once a headquarters for gangster Al Capone. After wasting an hour speculating on discovering buried treasure or mobster skeletons, they broke into a room sealed since 1932. All they found were some old dusty bottles.

2005- Maiden flight of the world's largest passenger plane- the Airbus A-380.

2014- With retired Pope Benedict in attendance, Pope Francis declared previous Popes John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints of the Catholic Church.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yesterday’s Quiz: What kind of work employed guys like Lauritz Melchior, Richard Tauber and Ragnar Ulfung?

Answer: They were opera tenors, German Heldentenors to be specific.


April 26, 2017
April 25th, 2017

Quiz: What kind of work employed guys like Lauritz Melchior, Richard Tauber and Ragnar Ulfung?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What do these men have in common? Anton Chekov, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Che Guevara, Oliver Wendell Holmes.
-------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/26/2017
Birthdays: Marcus Aurelius, French Queen Marie De Medicis, Pasquale Paoli, John James Audubon, Frederick Law Olmstead, Eugene Delacroix, Syngman Rhee, Dr. Lee DeForrest, John Grierson founder of the National Film Board of Canada, Rudolf Hess, Bobby Rydell, Anita Loos, I. M. Pei, Carol Burnett is 84, Eyvind Earle, Giancarlo Esposito is 61, Kevin James, Amos Otis, Joan Chen is 55, Jimmy Giuffre, Rocker Duane Eddy- 77, Jet Li- born Li Lian jie is 54

1478-THE PAZZI CONSPIRACY- Pope Sixtus planned to take over Florence by arranging a hit on Duke Lorenzo de Medici "The Magnificent". Francesco Pazzi and Bernardo Bandini attacked the Duke in church just as the consecrated Host was being raised. Lorenzo escaped harm but his brother Giuliano was cut down.
Furious Florentines fell on the felons (repeat three times fast) and nailed their smoking hearts to the door of the cathedral. People blamed Archbishop Salviati for being part of the plot. The mob chased the archbishop up the bell tower, wrapped the bell chords around his neck and tossed him out to ring the bells for awhile. The people shouted "Long Live the Balls!" for the six gold balls that were the heraldic emblem of the Medici Family Bank. This emblem of three gold balls has come down to us as the universal sign for pawnbrokers.
Michelangelo created a beautiful tomb for murdered Giuliano de Medici. Duke Lorenzo ordered artists to paint the portraits of the murderers corpses. Giuliano’s illegitimate son became Pope Clement VII.

1607-THE ENGLISH LAND AT JAMESTOWN. The good ship Susan Constant and two small pinnances land 150 men. These men were mostly professional adventurers and gentlemen. Capt. Martin and Capt. Archer served with Sir Francis Drake. Of the 150 only 12 men actually could do a trade other than fighting. Their actual purpose was to find Aztec Empires like the Spaniards found in Mexico and send gold back home. In a years time all but 50 of them would be dead from fever and cholera.
Oh yeah, there was that John Smith guy too. He wouldn’t meet Pocahontas until around Christmas.

1846- Since annexing Texas, the U.S. and Mexico quarreled over where the border was. Mexico said it was the Nueces River while the U.S. said it was the Rio Grande. President Polk ordered an army into a disputed border area in the hope Mexico would attack them and then Washington could declare war with a clear conscience. This day outside Matamoros, Mexican General Arrista ordered his men fired on some Yankee woodcutters. General Zachary Taylor wrote to Washington " Hostilities have commenced" The War with Mexico was on.

1865- Near Bowling Green Virginia, President Abe Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth was cornered in the barn of Garretts tobacco farm. The troopers set fire to the barn, and as Booth emerged he was shot by Sgt. Boston Corbett. Booth died looking at his hands muttering "Useless, useless..."Corbett was a religious fanatic who had castrated himself with a bayonet to be free of sin. Years after killing Booth, Corbett committed suicide.

1877- The people of Minnesota held a state-wide day of prayer to ask the Almighty to deliver them from a plague of grasshoppers infesting their farmland. It must have worked because they were gone by the end of the summer.

1878- The Oxford dons who oversaw the Oxford University Press charged Scottish scholar James Murray with completing the first complete Oxford Dictionary of the English Language. This would be the first comprehensive dictionary of the King’s English since Dr Johnson’s in 1755. The project had been started by the son of the poet Samuel Coleridge but he died of consumption. James Murray was a self taught scholar who as a boy tried to teach his cows to respond to commands in Latin.

1926- The British General Strikes- Unions across Great Britain joins in sympathy with miners to paralyze the nation. Troops and tanks are stationed in WhiteHall for fear of a Bolshevik-style rising. The horrible poverty resulting from defeating the strikers accelerate the Depression already gripping postwar Europe.
When the Prince of Wales (future Edward VIII) was shown the medieval squalor the Midlands miners lived in he was deeply shocked, but eyewitnesses said after returning to Kensington Palace for a bath and a whiskey & soda, he had quite forgotten about it.

1928- Los Angeles City Hall dedicated.

1933 The Nazi government forms an internal police force called the Gehime Staatspolitzei- the Gestapo.

1937- GUERNICA- In Spain the Stuka bombers of the German Condor Legion, Nazi subcontractors for Franco, bombed an innocent basque village killing 5,000 and provoking an international outcry and a painting by Picasso. Attacking at the height of the market time for three hours the planes bombed and strafed the helpless civilians with no military target in sight. Combatants in WWI tried to avoid harming civilians, but this act and the simultaneous Japanese attacks in China signaled a new tactic, sowing terror by treating civilians as targets.

1941-An organ is played for the first time at a baseball game in Chicago.

1945- The War Department in their new headquarters in the Pentagon issued orders to General Eisenhower in Europe to begin Operation Paperclip- "to preserve from destruction and take under your control records, plans, documents files and other information and data belonging to German organizations engaged in military research." Included in the haul were dozens of German rocket scientists who regardless of their political sympathies were spirited away for the burgeoning US missile program.

1965- Fred Smith, a student at Yale, got his economics paper back with a "c'" and a note stating the idea he espoused was impractical. The idea was an overnight air-freight service which he founded six years later as Federal Express.

1969- PAUL IS DEAD. The height of a strange rumor that excited the rock & roll world that Paul McCartney of the Beatles had died and the news was being kept a secret. Evidence was presented in the cryptic lyrics of "I am the Walrus", songs played backwards and the record album photo where Paul is the only figure with his back to the camera.
A TV special hosted by attorney F. Lee Bailey, the Nancy Grace of his day, explored the controversy. Finally, this day Paul and Linda McCartney held a news conference and declared he was very much alive and what on Earth was everyone on about?

1977- In New York City, Studio 54, the mecca of 70’s Disco culture opened.

1982- Argentina gave in to Britain's demands ending the Falklands War. The military junta ruling in Buenos Aires fell a year later.

1986- CHERNOBYL- The Chernobyl nuclear reactor explodes. While the Soviet Government acknowledged 400 deaths, accounts put it as high as 9,000. 100,000 square miles of the Ukraine contaminated and tainted food shipped to 65 million people. Historian Igor Medvedev (who died from radiation induced cancer) reported on the bizarre fumbling at the beginning of the crisis.

When one engineer entered the reactor core, he saw the devastation of the explosion while absorbing the radiation equivalent of 23 Hiroshima atomic bombs. He went out and told his supervisor: "Reactor Number Three has exploded." His supervisor told him: "That’s impossible! Go back and look again." So he dutifully re-entered the reactor core, absorbing another 23 atomic bomb’s worth of radiation and came out and said:" Yes, it’s true, it’s really blown up." And he died shortly afterwards.

1986- Arnold Schwarzenegger aka Conan the Republican, married Maria Shriver, the niece of John F. Kennedy.

1993- NBC announced former Simpsons and Saturday Night Live comedy writer Conan O’Brien would take David Letterman’s old Late Show spot.

2004- Michael Eisner of Disney named to Forbes list of the Worst CEO’s in America.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yesterday’s question: What do these men have in common? Anton Chekov, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Che Guevara, Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Answer: They all began their careers as doctors.


April 25, 2017
April 25th, 2017

Quiz: What do these men have in common? Anton Chekov, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Che Guevara, Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: How long is a fortnight?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/25/2017
Birthdays: Roman emperor Otho -32AD, English King Edward II-1284, Oliver Cromwell-1599, Guiseppi Marconi, Edward R. Murrow, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Pacino is 77, Jason Lee is 47, Meadowlark Lemon, Talia Shire, Paul Mazursky, Hank Azaria is 53, Rene Zellwellger is 48, Ron Clements

TODAY is the feast of the god Robigus, Roman god of Rust and Mildew.

It is also the part of the Festival of Venus for the male prostitutes of Rome to celebrate.

404BC- ATHENS SURRENDERED TO SPARTA- After the victory of Aegespotamoi, Spartan General Lysander had the Long Walls of Athens demolished to the sound of flutes. It ended the Peloponnesian War and the Athenian dominance of Greece. Lysander had delayed the surrender at one point to allow for the funeral procession of old Sophocles the playwright to move between the lines.
Spartan domination of Greece was short lived. They were defeated by a coalition led by Epaminondas of Thebes and in 323 Macedonian armies led by Alexander the Great’s father Phillip crushed all resistance to his uniting Greece under Macedonian rule.

799AD- Pope Leo III was attacked by a Roman mob. He was beaten up and he had to hide in a monastery until Frankish King Charlemagne came to rescue him.

It is also the FEAST OF ST. MARK- the evangelist whose mummy was smuggled by Venetians out of Egypt in a case of pig fat in 981A.D. Venetian clerics later made up a great story to justify the act. St. Mark was rowing a boat in the marshes where Venice would one day stand. Suddenly God appeared to him and said: "Pax Tibi Marce, Evangelista Meus- Tues Corpus Reposituam." "Peace be with you Mark, my Evangelist, here your bones will lay".(after the pig fat) You see this inscription on most Venetian stuff along with the saint’s symbol, a winged lion..
Italians returned his bones to Egypt in the 1970’s.

1185- Battle of Dan-no-mura. Epic Japanese sea battle when legendary warlord Minamoto Yuritomo defeated the Taira Clan.

1684- The thimble invented.

1719- The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe first published.

1792-THE NATIONAL RAZOR- Highwayman and murderer Nicholas Pelletier becomes the first man guillotined. Dr. Guillotine’s invention was considered a more humane way to kill a person than breaking on the wheel, which was the way of execution in France of lowborn malefactors. Ironically in the memoirs of the court executioner Charles Samson it is alleged that no less than King Louis XVI himself suggested the distinctive angled blade in place of a semicircular one. The King would discover for himself it’s killing power the following January.
Contrary to myth Dr. Guillotine didn't die by his own device, he died in bed of old age. During World War II the Nazis added their own personal touch, turning the victim on his back so he could watch the blade come down. The last man guillotined was in 1977.

1792- A captain from Arras named Roget du Lilse wrote a patriotic song for his Marseille regiment. LA MARSEILLAISE is sung for the first time in Strasbourg. It became the French National Anthem and one of the most stirring revolutionary hymns ever written. In 1986 French first lady Mrs. Francois Mitterand tried to get the more bloodthirsty parts of the song re-written, but ultimately failed. Aux Armes Citoyens!

1850- Paul Julius Baron de Reuter used 40 carrier pigeons to carry stock market prices between Paris and London. He went on to form Reuters, the first international news agency.

1859- First sand dug for the Suez Canal. It took ten years to finish. It’s been estimated that maybe as many as 100,000 Egyptian peasants died while digging. Egyptian sources said every family in the country wound up mourning a father, husband or a son. Ever since that time black became the traditional costume of women in Egypt.

1862- Union superior General William Henry Halleck rewarded Ulysses Grant for his victory at Shiloh by having him removed from command. Halleck was an administrator and intellectual who was nicknamed Old Brains. But in command of armies he was a loser. After the rebels made him look stupid at the siege of Corinth, Lincoln restored Grant to command.

1865- Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Grant left Joe Johnston commanding the second largest army of Southern troops, still facing Sherman in North Carolina. After several meetings and confused negotiations this day Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered General Johnston to resume fighting and fall back towards Texas. Johnston, like Lee, felt any further bloodshed was now pointless. He chose to ignore his president and accept Sherman’s surrender terms.

1886- In the Gilded Age most American workers worked a 10-12 hour day, seven days a week. This day The New York Times attacked the outcry among American union workers for an 8-hour workday as: A Seditious, riotous notion that would collapse the American economy and lead to sloth, drunkenness and debauchery. It was probably the idea of foreign extremists."
The eight-hour day doesn’t become a norm in America until 1913 (in animation until 1941) and is still under attack today.

1898- THE US DECLARED WAR ON SPAIN America’s first war to announce itself a world power. Secretary of War John Hays (who was once Abe Lincoln's secretary) called it: "A splendid little War'. It was the first time men from all the states would come together since the Civil War. Eyewitnesses were amazed that all the old regional anger was gone.

1901- New York State became the first to require automobiles to show license plates.

1915- ANZAC DAY- GALLIPOLI - This was young First Sea Lord Winston Churchill's idea to knock Turkey out of World War I. A British-Anzac force amphibiously landed on the beaches south of Constantinople to capture the enemy capitol. It turned into one of the biggest British fiascos of the war and knocked Churchill into resignation. The army of Gen. Ian Hamilton did surprise the Turks but then they sat on the beaches for weeks while reinforcements were brought up by a dynamic young Turkish General named Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, who would later become President of Turkey.
The Australian and New Zealand regiments fighting at Gallipoli rose from their trenches and charged headlong into the massed Turkish guns to achieve death and glory and not much else. The Peter Weir movie Gallipoli staring a young Mel Gibson dramatized the event.

1926- Giacomo Puccini's last opera Turnadot premiered in Milan. Puccini died before it's completion so students had to finish the work based on the masters notes. Conductor Arturo Toscanini put down his baton at the beginning of the Third Act, turned to the audience and said:" Here is where the Maestro died." He then left the podium and let another finish. He was too upset to complete the performance.

1928- The German shepherd named Buddy became the first seeing-eye dog for the blind.

1945- U.S. Army advancing from Normandy and the Soviet Army advancing since Stalingrad finally meet each other at the Elbe River in Germany.

1953- Watson & Crick announced the DNA Molecular Construction Theory. The world sees for the first time the twisted ladder model. A female researcher named Rosalind Franklin may have actually done all the real research, but Watson & Crick took the credit. The facts are still in dispute. This day, Watson went down to his local pub and told the barkeep:" Set up a round of lager, for I just discovered the Secret of Life!"

1956- Elvis Presley’s song Heartbreak Hotel goes to #1 in the pop charts.

1970- Policeman Frank Serpico’s story of rampant corruption in the NYPD explodes on the pages of the New York Times. The practices of decades of graft are exposed by the Knapp Commission and the police commissioner and several captains resign in disgrace.
Serpico’s story was made into a film starring Al Pacino.

1972- Witty, urbane actor George Sanders (All About Eve, Samson & Delilah, Sher Khan in Jungle Book) had turned age 65. He complained he had been famous and rich, and was not looking forward to old age, and having a nurse wipe his bottom. So he committed suicide and left a witty, urbane note. "Dear World: I am leaving because I am bored. Adieu, I leave you with your worries in this sweet cesspool."

1981- Dixie, the worlds oldest living mouse died at age 6 1/2.

1982- In accordance with the Camp David Peace Accord, Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, turning over to Egypt the resort port of Sharm El Sheik.

1996- "Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk" opened on Broadway.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yesterdays Question: How long is a fortnight?

Answer: Two weeks. From the Old English for fourteen. fēowertyne niht, "14 nights "


RSS