Sept 19, 2018
September 19th, 2018

Question: Julius Caesar’s nephew Octavian defeated Anthony and Cleopatra. He later changed his name. What was his other name?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Only one nation of all those in the English Speaking World, has never elected a female head of state. Which is it?
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History for 9/19/2018
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, Saladin, Hungarian nationalist Leopold Kossuth, Brian Epstein, "Momma" Cass Elliot, Frank Tashlin, Dr. Ferry Porsche- inventor of the Porsche race car, Twiggy– real name Leslie Hornby, William Golding author of The Lord of the Flies, Paul Williams, Adam West, Frances Farmer, David McCallum, Duke Snyder, Jeremy Irons is 70, Jimmy Fallon is 44.

1356- BATTLE OF POITIERS- During the Hundred Years War Edward the "Black Prince" defeated the French army and captured the French King and Dauphin.
French King John II "The Good" was held for ransom in the Tower of London. Once there, he found he could have all the benefits of Kingship without any of the stress, so he partied hardy. Even when the Dauphin Charles V got his freedom, and started to organize a heroic resistance to the English invasion, John the Good ignored his son’s pleas to escape.
Some apologist historians say John sacrificed his freedom for the honor of the French Nation. Other historians like Henri Guizot found the money spent on dwarves, feasts, mistresses, and hunting dogs- "disgraceful".

1493- Pope Alexander VI had never made it a secret that he had a growing family of children. He wanted to make his son Caesar Borgia a Cardinal at 26 and his daughter Lucretzia a duchess but first there was the problem that they were illegitimate. Well, that’s no problem for the Vicar of Christ! This day he declared them legitimate offspring, of his cousin. Everyone winked at the twisted logic and went along with it.

1580- The family of Miguel de Cervantes ransomed the writer from the Barbary Pirates. He wrote Don Quixote de la Mancha in 1604.

1692- One of the few men convicted in the Salem Witch Trials was executed. Pilgrim Rev. Giles Corey had a wooden board laid on top of him and his neighbors piled large stones on top until he was squished to death. At one point his tongue was sticking so grotesquely out of his head that the magistrate pushed it back into his mouth with the tip of his cane. His family descendent was Walt Disney.

1741- When the Austrian emperor died leaving only daughter Maria Theresa as heir, the surrounding powers like Prussia and France horned in to carve up her territory, the War of Austrian Succession began. Many lascivious cartoons were made of the symbolic ravishing of the young woman monarch. But Maria Theresa was made of tougher stuff. On this day, she went to her Hungarian parliament and in a dramatic piece of political theater, holds her infant son aloft and calls for the defense of the Homeland. The Hungarian noblemen go wild, and hundreds of drawn swords wave in the air. The people rise en-masse and drive out the invaders. Maria Theresa reigns as one of the strongest leaders of the XVIII century.

1777- First Battle of Saratoga, also called Freeman’s Farm- Gen. Johnny Burgoyne's British invasion down the Hudson was stopped. Burgoyne’s plan was to cut the rebel colonies in two with his thrust down from Canada being met from the South by Lord Howe coming up from New York City and another force east from Oswego. But Lord Howe disregarded the plan in favor of another shot at George Washington and Philadelphia. Back in London, Lord Charles Germain neglected to write out the necessary orders for Howe to support Burgoyne because he was late to go on his vacation and couldn’t be bothered.

And the Oswego force was stopped by colonials using a lunatic hermit named Ute Schuyler who spooked the British-allied Indians into deserting. Algonquins thought the mentally ill were possessed by Hipi-Manitou spirits and so were bad luck. The net result was Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne's army was alone in the forest, far from supplies and surrounded by the Americans.

1783- Jacques Montgolfier launches the first hot air balloon in Paris. The first aeronauts were a sheep, duck and rooster. Montgolfier made his fortune in paper. To this day if you get some high quality stationary with a balloon and French flag in the watermark that is Papier Canson et Montgolfier, his company.

1796- President George Washington’s farewell address was first published in Claypools American Daily Advertiser, then reprinted in other papers throughout the country. Washington warned to “avoid entangling foreign alliances and asked for national unity above partisan politics. He thought political parties were a big mistake. But party politics had firmly taken root. One opposition paper called Washington’s speech “the last loathings of a sick mind..”

1797-The Marquis de Lafayette was released from an Austrian prison after negotiations successfully conducted by Napoleon. Lafayette at first tried to channel the passions unleashed by the French Revolution to forge the kind of democracy he saw in America. But it almost got him guillotined and after he escaped across the French frontier the Austrians locked him up. He rotted in prison for five years. Napoleon hoped to use Lafayette as an ally in his grab for power, but Lafayette laid low during the period of Napoleon’s Empire.

1819- On a beautiful English autumn day poet John Keats was moved to write his Ode to Autumn.

1827- Fight at the Vidalia Sandbar- Famous Mississippi gamblers brawl in which Jim Bowie uses his famous knife to carve up a gang of sore losers who shot him twice. The Bowie knife may not have been designed by Jim Bowie but by his brother Rezin Bowie, who wanted an intimidating blade to brandish after he almost died in an similar altercation.

1841- The first railroad tracks to cross an international border was completed. From Strasbourg France, to Basel Switzerland.

1849-First commercial laundry set up in Oakland Cal.

1864- Battle of Winchester- General Phil Sheridan's Yankees whup Jubal Early's Confederates. The feisty son of an Irish ditch digger, Abe Lincoln called Sheridan "A runty little man with a bullet shaped head and not enough neck to hang him." But he proved his value today. He rode fearlessly down the battle line shouting to his men:" Pour it into them boys! Knock every sonofabitch down before you !" One sonofabitch killed was Confederate General George S. Patton, the grandfather of the World War II general. Sheridan's army had no less than three future U.S. presidents on staff- Gen James Garfield, Gen. Rutherford Hayes and Major William McKinley.

1876- Melvin Bissell of Grand Rapids Michigan invented his carpet sweeper. 1881- PRESIDENT JAMES GARFIELD DIED- Garfield had been shot in the back at Washington rail station by Charles Guiteau on July 2nd.The President lingered these many weeks in agony before finally dying. Garfield might have lived had it not been for all the doctors poking around in his wound without antiseptic conditions. Even inventor Alexander Graham Bell was invited to search for the bullet with a newly invented metal detector. James Garfield died of blood poisoning and infection. Interestingly enough, for the two and a half months the President was out of action and Congress was not called into session, yet the U.S.A. ran just fine.

1893- New Zealand becomes the first nation in the world to give women the vote.
Sept 19, 1898- THE RACE TO FASHODA- It is hard to imagine that World War I might have been Britain vs. France instead of Germany.
Since 1832, France and Britain had been competing to see who could build a bigger colonial empire and grab up more of Africa. This "scramble for Africa" reached it's climax with a race to a small mud fort in southern Sudan called Fashoda. It was critical to Britain owning to the whole Nile River and land lengthwise down from Egypt to Capetown, as well as critical to France's claim widthwise from Atlantic Senegal to East coast Ethiopia.
On this day at Fashoda the French commander Captain Marchand stood face to face with the British General Kitchener, exchanging champagne toasts while cordially threatening to annihilate the other. Both Paris and London threatened war.
The French Army, exhausted by the Dreyfus scandal and lack of public support, backed down by November. The British offered a compromise to evacuate Egypt as soon as the political situation settled down. They left Egypt in 1956.
As for the Africans? No one cared what they thought. The Dinka people of southern Sudan referred to this period as: "The time the world was spoilt."

1926- THE BIG ONE- This day Miami Florida was destroyed by a huge Hurricane. They didn’t have names then. The storm stopped a real estate boom in South Florida. SnowBirds from up north invested millions in land that turned out to be under water. The Marx Brothers poked fun at the craze in their 1929 film The Cocoanuts. As Groucho said:” Florida Folks. Sunshine, Sunshine, now let’s get the auction started before there is a tornado.”

1931- The Marx Brothers comedy “Monkey Business” premiered.

1934- Bruno Richard Hauptman was arrested and charged with the kidnap murder of the Lindbergh baby. He pleaded innocence up until he fried in the electric chair, but he was found with a significant part of the ransom money on him.

1936- Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald record “Indian Love Call”. When I’m Calling You, Oooh-ohhoohhh, Ohhhh-ohhh-oohhhhhhh”, etc.

1939- Geli Raubel, Adolf Hitler’s 23 year old niece was found dead with a gunshot in the head. Hitler had a passion for his niece that she did not return. It remains a mystery whether she killed herself or she was murdered, and made to look like a suicide. Even though Eva Braun worshipped him, years later Adolf admitted Geli was the only woman he ever really loved.

1942- Chuck Jones cartoon The Dover Boys released. http://media.giphy.com/media/2tVvtQbgkmTV6/giphy.gif

1945- Little Shirley Temple, now all grown up, married actor John Agar, who she met on the set of John Ford's film Fort Apache. The RKO studio turned the marriage into a media circus by inviting 12,000 people. John Ford teased Agar mercilessly, calling him Mr. Temple. John and Shirley divorced five years later. Shirley Temple remarried and became a career diplomat, and John Agar went on to star in sci-fi flicks like 'Tarantula", The Brain from Planet Aurous". Eventually he built his own theme dinosaur park by an Arkansas freeway, "John Agar's House of Kong'.

1945- Klaus Fuchs, a spy in the British delegation member of the Los Alamos Atomic bomb program, delivered the plans of the plutonium 'Nagasaki" bomb to a courier for Soviet intelligence in Moscow.

1955- Juan Peron, the President of Argentina, was overthrown in a military coup.

1961- This is the night Betty and Barney Hill claimed they were picked up by a flying saucer and experimented on. It is one of the more famous abduction stories because it was one of the first, and it holds up under hypnosis. Hey little guy, what are you planning to do with that anal probe?

1968 - "Funny Girl" opened in theaters, starring a young singer named Barbra Streisand. Hello Gorgeous!

1970- The Mary Tyler Moore TV Show premiered.

1985- Mexico City devastated by a large earthquake 8.1 on the Richter scale. The next day the city was rocked again by a 7.5 earthquake. 10,000 people died. Curiously enough 80% of the cities ancient landmarks were undamaged, only modern buildings collapsed. People camped out in Aztec ruins, figuring they’ve stood for centuries and would stand now.

1991- UTZI- Two German tourists hiking in the Austrian Alps discovered the remains of an Ice Age man, killed with an arrow over 5,000 years ago. The body, exposed from the ice by global warming, was in such an excellent state of preservation, that they thought it was a modern homicide. Called Utzi, or Frozen Fritz, he was 42. He had 50 tattoos, a copper axe, a full stomach and Lime Disease.

1994- The US invaded Haiti- again. We also invaded in 1919 and 1922.

1995- Orville Reddenbacher 'the Popcorn king' died.

1995- The NY Times and Washington Post printed the 35,000 word manifesto of the Unabomber. He promised to stop sending bombs to people if they printed his message. He accused technology of subverting American society and that the Democrats stoke the fears of the poor, and the Republicans believe in nothing but pure self-interest.

2004- Chinese leader Zhiang zsi Minh retired and handed over his offices to his successor Hu Zhin Tao. It marks the first peaceful regular transition of power in China since the Manchu emperors over a century ago.
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Yesterday’s Question: Question: Only one nation of all those in the English Speaking World, has never elected a female head of state. Which is it?

Answer: The United States.


Sept 18, 2018
September 18th, 2018

Question: Only one nation of all those in the English Speaking World, has never elected a female head of state. Which is it?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does it mean to be in a “Faustian Bargain”?
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History for 9/18/2018
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajan 53AD, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Frankie Avalon, Greta Garbo, Claudette Colbert, Leon Foucault (Foucault's Pendulum), Jack Warden, Canadian PM John Diefenbaker, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Rossano Brazzi, Joe Kubert, Debbie Fields founder of Mrs. Field's Cookies, Jada Pinkett-Smith, James Gandolfini, June Foray


96 A.D. ROMAN EMPEROR DOMITIAN ASSASSINATED- Domitian was a crazy tyrant in the mold of Nero and Caligula. He once ordered all the fortunetellers, sorcerers, swamis and such driven out of Rome. Their guild got together and retaliated by doing a group prediction of Domitian's assassination: Sept. 18th on the eleventh hour.

Domitian pretended not to care but on the day spent all day locked indoors with a sword under his pillow. He didn't come out until his slaves and butlers assured him the eleventh hour had passed. Domitian came out and was promptly murdered by his slaves and butlers. They lied. It was the eleventh hour. -BUT WAIT! IT GETS WEIRDER... A Roman mob drags Domitian's body through the streets on a hook and chain. They tried to stuff him into the sewer but he was too fat, so they tore the body to pieces and threw the chunks into the Tiber.

-BUT WAIT! IT GETS EVEN WEIRDER!!-The Roman Senate told his wife the Empress Valeria no hard feelings, if she needed anything.... She requested to be allowed to keep one statue of her husband in the Forum. The Senate approved. Unbeknown to them fishermen had fished out the pieces of Domitian. Valeria took the fish-knawed chunks to an Egyptian doctor and had him sew them back into something resembling a human being. Then she told her artists to make a statue of what they saw.
This horrid statue she put in the forum to remind Roman's of 'their ingratitude'.

324 A.D.-Battle of Chalcedon-Constantine, Roman Emperor of the West,
defeated Licinius, Emperor of the East and takes over the whole Roman Empire. One result of this battle was he took the Christian religion, which he had earlier removed the ban on, and raised it to the official state religion of the Roman Empire.

1572-the painter El Greco first appeared in history in a document paying his union dues to the Guild of St. Lawrence, the artists guild of Rome. His real name was Domenico Theotocopoulos. People just called him 'the Greek Guy" -El Greco.

1705- PIRATES TAKE OVER NEW YORK CITY and hold it a few days until the British Navy drove them away.

1793- At the building site of the new capitol city (Washington D.C.) the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol building was set in a ceremony presided over by President George Washington and a group of Freemason masters from GW's local lodge.
At one point Washington dismissed the crowd so the Freemason's could do their mystical rites in secret. No regular clergy was invited nor conventional Christian benedictions given. The US Capitol as we know would not be completed until 1863.

1804- Napoleon inspected Baron Gros new painting The Plague Victims of Jaffa and liked it. Nappy considered paintings part of propaganda and commissioned artists to project his image.

1811- A Portuguese 'Projectionist' (experimenter with Magic Lanterns) offers the Duke of Wellington to burn up Napoleon's army with a series of convex lenses and mirrors. Wellington says thanks, but no thanks...

1812- The Great Fire of Moscow finally out, Napoleon sent to Czar Alexander informing him of the tragedy and once more calling upon him to submit to peace talks. The Czar sent no reply but told his troops and court: “I will continue to fight so long as I have one soldier. Rather than surrender to the invaders I’d grow my beard to my waist, go to Siberia and live on potatoes!”

1851-First issue of the New York Daily Times, later just the New York Times.

1870-THE SIEGE OF PARIS BEGAN- The main French armies defeated and Emperor Napoleon III a prisoner, Paris alone refused to surrender to Prussia. As the great Krupp guns boom shells into the city, American General Phil Sheridan stood as a tourist in between Chancellor Bismarck and the Kaiser. Painter August Renoir would go outside the city walls to sketch and was once picked up and accused of espionage. Parisians starved in the siege and elegant restaurants were soon offering 'roast cat in orange sauce with a decorative garnish of mice'. Top fashion guru Worth of Paris declared it chic' to have some decorative ruins in your garden. After the siege the Paris city walls were demolished. They were approximately where the freeway "peripherique" around the city is today. The fiercest fighting was where the suburb of La Defense is (hence the name). Young Emile Cohl was inspired by the military wall posters he saw to become an artist. He later became the first true animation artist.

1873- THE GREAT PANIC AND DEPRESSION OF '73- Contrary to modern belief the Depressions of 1929 and 2008 weren't the only times the U.S. economy collapsed. This panic began when the huge Bank of Cooke & Sons closed. In those times you would say "to be rich as Jay Cooke' was like saying rich as a Rockefeller or Trump today. Cooke got the news of his ruin while having breakfast with President Grant and broke down and wept in front of the befuddled chief executive. The run on the collapsing market got so out of control that the New York Stock Exchange shut down for ten days. The Depression lasted ten years. 1907,1819,1893,1914, 1832, 1987 and 2008 also saw financial panics.

1895- In Davenport Iowa, Daniel David Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment session. Crack!

1917-Writer Aldous Huxley got a job teaching at Eton. One of his students was Eric Blair, who would write under the name George Orwell.

1927-The Columbia Broadcasting System-CBS broadcast its first program, an opera called the King’s Henchman.

1931- THE MUKDEN INCIDENT- The Japanese army rig a supposed Chinese ambush at a small railway junction near Shenyang. This served as the pretext for a mass invasion of Manchuria. This is technically the first violence of World War II, since the Sino-Japanese conflict would continue until 1945.

1932-Frustrated movie actress Peggy Enwhistle jumped off the Hollywood Sign. In case you are curious she jumped off the “H”. She also didn’t hit the ground immediately but hit a cactus patch, dying slowly later in great pain. Ironically in her mail that day was a script and a job offer. The role was of a woman who commits suicide.

1939- LORD HAW-HAW. Shortly after World War II broke out in Europe, today Britons first heard an English voice reading propaganda news from Radio Berlin. English fascist William Joyce became the voice of Nazi Germany in English, making pro-axis commentary not unlike Tokyo Rose was doing in Asia. He was nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw because of his assumed upper-class British accent. He was actually of Irish ancestry and lived in Brooklyn New York for awhile, but he considered himself English. After Germany’s defeat Joyce was captured and executed for treason.

1947- The US Army Air Force is reformed as an independent department of the armed services. The US Air Force is born.

1961- United Nations General Secretary Dag Hammerskjold was killed in a plane crash in Africa. He left behind a book of philosophical musings called Markings that became a best seller. Today the central plaza in front of the United Nations Building is named for him.

1965- I Dream of Genie debuted on television. Network Standards & Practices said Barbara Eden could wear the harem outfit so long as her belly-button didn’t show. At first the reviews were not good. The Variety TV critic said: “The only thing that stands out in this show is Barbera Edens cleavage.”

1970- Jimmy Hendrix (27) was found dead of drug and alcohol abuse. He had passed out and choked on his own vomit. Janis Joplin's reaction was"G-ddammit! He beat me to it !" Joplin herself died three weeks afterwards.

1981- France outlaws capitol punishment and the guillotine.

1987- Disney’s TV show Ducktales premiered.

1991- Comedian Redd Foxx was famous for doing bits like faking a heart attack. This day on the set of his new series the Royal Family, while joking with Della Reese, he clutched his chest and fell over dead. Everyone thought he was faking and laughed.

1994- Tennis star Vitus Gerulaitis was found in his home dead from carbon monoxide poisoning.

2001- ANTHRAX- While America was still in shock from the 9-11 attacks, government and media offices started getting envelopes in the mail containing weapons grade Anthrax powder. 22 people are sickened and 5 died. The Bush Administration immediately claimed it was the work of Al Qaeda and later Saddam Hussein, but the only culprit the FBI could pinpoint was a disgruntled chemist at the Army Biological Weapons Lab who committed suicide. Nothing was ever proven conclusively.

2003- In Scotland paleontologists discover the world’s oldest genitalia. From a dinosaur era insect ancestor of the preying mantis. Great Giant Mantis Balls!”
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What does it mean to be in a “Faustian Bargain”?

Answer: In the original legend, an alchemist named Dr. Faustus signed away his soul to the Devil so he could have money and power in this world. Since then, a Faustean Bargain means to sacrifice anything to succeed, even making a deal with an enemy who wishes you harm. Today like the extreme Right Wing Israeli politicians making deals with Right Wing American Pentacostals, who believe Jews will burn in the Last Judgement


Sept 17, 2017
September 17th, 2018

Question: What does it mean to be in a “Faustian Bargain”?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: “… Take Me Mandingo!”
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History for 9/17/2018
Birthdays: Hank Williams, Spiro Agnew, Ken Kesey, Jerry Colonna, Roddy MacDowell, George Blanda, Wendy Carlos Williams, Elvira- real name Cassandra Peterson, Anne Bancroft, Jeff MacNelly, John Ritter, Sir Frederick Ashton, Rita Rudner, Tim Walker, Baz Luhrmann is 56

1179- Feast of Saint Hildegard of Bingen, the medieval female composer.

1630- Happy Birthday Beantown! The Puritan colonists of New England decide to name their new settlement Boston, after a town in Lincolnshire. The site was an Algonquin village called Shawmut.

1632- BATTLE of BRIETENFELD- Biggest battle of the religious Thirty Years War. South Germans, Austrians, Italians, Spaniards on the Catholic side, Swedes, Danes, Hungarians and North Germans on the Protestant side. Catholic general Joachim Tchserclas Von Tilly lost, despite dedicating the battle to the Virgin Mary and having twelve cannon named for the Twelve Apostles. Protestant Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus sang morning prayers with his army from the saddle.
I wonder if their battle cry was:" Prince of Peace! CHAAAAARGE !!"

1787- The completed U.S. Constitution was signed by the representatives of 12 of the thirteen states. Rhode Island boycotted the convention. “The business is closed.” George Washington wrote in his diary. Alexander Hamilton signed as the only representative of New York since the others left in protest. Yet the US Constitution became the bedrock of the American system and is viewed with an almost religious dedication. When Ben Franklin emerged from the meeting, an old woman asked:’ Well, Dr. Franklin, what have you given us now?” Franklin replied:” A Nation, mam, if you can keep it!”

1859- JOSHUA NORTON of San Francisco, a well known rice merchant, suffered a mental breakdown under the strain of work, bought a tricycle and a marching band uniform and declared himself Joshua I, By God's Grace Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico! Everybody went along with the gag including Abraham Lincoln, who Joshua would write to as "My Prime Minister" and Abe would answer "Your Majesty". When Joshua died in 1875, 35,000 San Franciscans turned out for a state funeral befitting royalty.

1862- BATTLE OF ANTIETAM or Sharpsburg. Abe Lincoln needed a Union victory before freeing the slaves so the act wouldn't look like the last desperate gamble of a losing side. Robert E. Lee had invaded Maryland but his secret orders wrapped around some cigars were discovered by Yankee trooper. "At last I've got him!' crowed Gen. George B. "Little Mac" McClellan, the Union commander who was a great organizer but a terrible battlefield commander. The two sides batter each other in one of the bloodiest days in U.S. history, double the U.S. casualties of D-Day in World War II. McClellan delayed sending in his reserves at a critical moment to break Lee's center, so the battle was a draw. Lee withdrew into Virginia -he was leaving Maryland anyway, so it was kind of, sort of, a Union success.
Yet despite Lincoln's pleading, McClellan refused to pursue. Lil' Mac was convinced Lee had 100,00 troops (he had barely 30,000.). Never one for modesty, McClellan wrote his wife: "Once again God has made me His instrument to be the Savior of my country."
Lincoln fired him, but published his Emancipation Proclamation anyway.

1880- The L.A. Athletic Club opened.

1915- During World War I, Australians seized the German colony of Papua New Guinea.

1921-SWASTIKA- New leader of the German National Socialist or Nazi Party Adolf
Hitler sent his first memo to party members. He had spent a lot of time researching graphic symbols in a Munich library with a Professor Pluskau, who specialized in Oriental cultures. Now Herr Hitler advised all party members to adopt as their emblem an ancient symbol of a crooked cross, called a Swastika, Sanskrit for good well being. This was to be worn as an armband and on party stationary topped with an eagle in imitation of imperial Rome. CBS news correspondent William Shirer noticed that at early rallies, Nazis actually sold brand merchandise to fund their movement.

1925- In Mexico City, a streetcar crashed into a schoolbus carrying 14 year old Frida Kahlo. It fractured her pelvis, when she had already been dealing with polio. The difficulty she suffered recovering had a great impact on her painting.

1932- Mickey Mouse short The Whoopee Party, premiered.

1939- Russian forces join German troops in the invasion of Poland and occupied the Balkan countries Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. These nations would not regain their independence until 1990.

1940- After the failure of the German Luftwaffe, Hitler postponed Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of the British Isles. The Battle of Britain was over, but air raids on London would continue. Hitler would resume bombing London with rocket weapons in 1943 in the period called 'The Blitz".

1941- As Stuka Bombers drop incendiary explosives over their heads, Dmitri Shostakovich performs the first two movements of his Symphony #7 the "Leningrad" to a Leningrad audience. Shostakovich wrote the symphony during the terrible 900-day siege by the Nazi's, often pausing to join the fire brigade in putting out fires.

1944- OPERATION MARKET GARDEN- British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery convinced Eisenhower that one way to shorten the war would be to drop the allied parachute divisions to seize key bridgehead crossings at Arnhem, Eindhoven and Nijmegen in Holland and then send tank units racing up to secure their breakthrough. The area to be attacked was well behind the front lines and supposed to be undefended. But just before this attack two crack Nazi SS Panzer divisions had been withdrawn there to rest. The operation was one of the biggest Allied disasters of the war. The Allies dropped troops on one side of Arnhem and their supplies on the other side, with the Germans in between.
The assault was broken and the valiant British paratroops under General Urquhart & Col. Ross holding one side of Arnhem Bridge were forced to surrender. Of the 10,000 men of the British First Parachute Division only 2,000 were not killed, wounded or captured. An Arnhem eyewitness who would one day grow up to be a famous actress was a little Dutch refugee named Audrey Hepburn. General Patton, who was not fond of Montgomery, summed it all up unkindly: “Monty says he wants a dagger thrust into the heart of Germany. Knowing Monty, it would be more like a butter knife!” In 1967 shortly before his death, Montgomery stated:” I still feel Market Garden could have worked.”

1948- Count Bernadotte, the UN commissioner for Palestine was assassinated by Jewish terrorists while trying to arbitrate a ceasefire between Israel and the Arabs. A shocked Prime Minister Ben Gurion ordered the disbanding of all Jewish militias like the Irgun and Stern Gang operating independently of the Israeli central command. During World War II, Bernadotte had used his diplomatic immunity to save Jews from the Holocaust.

1951- Battle of the Yalu River. General MacArthur’s UN army reached the edges of North Korea.

1965- If you ever wondered what could be funny about being held in a Nazi prison camp you could watch the TV sitcom HOGANS HEROES, which debuted this day. Commandant Colonel Klink was acted by Werner Klemperer, whose father was the famous orchestra conductor Otto Klemperer. They had to flee Germany because they were Jewish. Sargent Schulz and the Frenchman LeBeau were also played by actors who survived the Holocaust- John Banner and Robert Clary.

1971- RCA gave up and pulled out of the retail computer market.

1972- Filiation’s The Groovier Ghoulies" debuts.

1975- Psychotherapist Lucile Yaney opened one of LA’s most unusual restaurants- the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon. Built on the site of a country house 1920’s evangelist Aimee Semple MacPherson brought her toyboy lovers. Premiere organic cuisine with berry wines, then you can browse the store for power crystals, I-Ching sticks and literature from Alastair Crowley and Edgar Cayce. Faaar- Out !

1978- After thirteen days of intense negotiations President Jimmy Carter announced the Camp David Peace Accords, the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab neighbor- Egypt. Prime Minister Menachem Begin shook hands with President Anwar El Sadat.

1980- Saddam Hussein’s Iraq attacked the Ayatollah Khomeni's Iran. An 8 year war resulted. Because at the time we hated the Ayatollah’s Iran more, the US actively supplied Saddam with arms, CIA intelligence on Iranian troop movements and a lot of those hand held rockets Iraqis shot at us later in 1991 and 2003.

1982- THE SABRAH and SHATILAH MASSCRES- The Israeli Army had invaded Lebanon and intervened in the Lebanese Civil War, which had been raging since 1975. Their original purpose was to destroy PLO bases with which the Palestinians used to attack northern Israel. The Israeli army went all the way to Beirut and surrounded two large Palestinian refugee camps, hoping to destroy the PLO command structure. After the Christian President of Lebanon Bashir Gemayel was assassinated, the Israeli Army let his Christian Lebanese militia fighters into the two camps to take out any remaining PLO fighters. Instead, the enraged militiamen went on a rampage of revenge. Hundreds were killed. When the press was finally allowed to inspect the camps, the images shocked the world.
The Lebanon Invasion polarized Israeli society, many Israeli army officers joined Peace-Now and refused to serve. Defense Minister Ariel Sharon “The Beast of Beirut” was made to resign because of his complicity in this tragedy. He became Prime Minister in 1998.

1991- The TV show Home Improvement debuted, making a star out of stand up comedian Tim Allen.

2008- the entire nation of Iceland declared bankruptcy.

2008- the first revelations that George W. Bush’s Department of the Interior officials were having sex with prostitutes and taking drugs with lobbyists for the Oil companies. One official admitted snorting meth off an office toaster oven. Meanwhile they winked at the oil companies forgetting to pay hundred of millions of dollars in environmental penalties and fees. Two years later, two oilrigs exploded and polluted the Gulf off Louisiana.

2011- THE 99% PROTESTS, average people gathered in parks by Wall Street in Manhattan to protest the terrible economy, while Wall Street mavens reaped big bonuses. Despite vilification by Right Wing Media, the protests grew to hundreds of thousands of protesters across America and went on for months. There was even Occupy Alaska, Occupy Honolulu, and Occupy the South Pole. Yet lack of organization and a clear message allowed the movement to eventually fritter away.
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Yesterday’s Question: “… Take Me Mandingo!”

Answer: Mandinga is a language group in West Africa, but this term came from a sensational 1957 novel about sex in the Old South, where the name for a male breeder slave was a Mandingo. In 1975 boxing champ Ken Norton starred in a blacksploitation film called Mandingo that made the term famous.


Sept 16, 2018
September 16th, 2018

Question: “… Take Me Mandingo!”

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What U.S. state is known as the Empire State?
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History for 9/16/2018
Birthdays: J.C. Penney (James Cash Penney), B.B. King, Anne Francis, Linda Darnel, Nadia Boulanger, Alan Funt, George Chakiris, Peter Falk, Ed Begley Jr, Jennifer Tilly, Molly Shannon, Marvin Middlemark 1919-the inventor of the rabbit ears TV antenna, Mickey Rourke is 62, Lauren Bacall

218BC -Estimated date that Hannibal and his Carthaginian army completed their crossing of the Alps and descended into the Po River Valley of Italy. Of 32 elephants only 2 actually survived the journey from Africa via Spain.

1498-The Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada died peacefully. He presided over the torture and execution of up to 17,000 people during the Spanish Inquisition. He also oversaw the expulsion of Jews and Christian Arabs from Spain. Even the Borgias asked him to calm down. Today the name Torquemada has become a synonym for judicial cruelty.

1776-BATTLE OF HARLEM HEIGHTS- From Washington's defeat by the British at New York City until Christmas he fought several rearguard actions as the British chased him and his raggedy ass army up into White Plains, across the Hudson, and across New Jersey into Pennsylvania. Historians graciously call these desperate hit and run actions battles, Harlem Heights, Throggs Neck, White Plains, Ft. Washington.
The British were now so cocky about knocking the rebels about, that when the advance scouts spotted the American positions they didn't use the usual trumpet signals but sounded fox-hunting calls. The British referred to the Americans as Mr. Washington’s Army, because they refused to honor him with the title of General.

1830- The Liverpool-Manchester railroad inaugurated. The first trip was an all VIP affair, with the Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington and most of the government along for the ride. At one point during a stop the elderly Duke watched a member of the House of Lords Sir William Huckison, step out on to the track and get his leg severed by another train. The first known fatality by train.

1859- In Old San Francisco, California State Senator David Broderick called California Supreme Court Justice David Terry a “pro-slavery crook, knave and poltroon”. The chief justice in a rage challenged Broderick to a duel. They had to reschedule their meeting several times to elude the police but finally met on this date on site near present day Stinson Beach. Broderick's gun discharged prematurely near Terry's feet. Terry, instead of being satisfied and firing wide, took aim and drilled Broderick through the chest. He died three days later.

1864- THE NILE DEBATE- On this day a debate was scheduled in the British city of Bath between famous African explorers Richard Burton and John Speeckes as to whether Speeckes had discovered the source of the Nile River at Lake Victoria Nyanza. They had started the expedition together as friends but came ot hate one another. The debate would be moderated by another famed explorer Dr. David Livingstone. However fate, or Speeckes, ensured the debate would never take place. On the day before the high strung Speeckes had gone hunting to break the tension and had accidentally shot himself in the chest. Whether he had intentionally or unintentionally committed suicide remains a mystery. A different explorer, Henry Stanley, proved Speeckes correct in 1873.

1893- THE LAST GREAT OKLAHOMA LAND RUSH-After appropriating some of their land in 1889, in 1893 the U.S. Gov't takes over the last huge stretch of land owned by the Cherokee Nation, who once owned all of Georgia and the Carolinas and Tennessee. They rename the Cherokee Strip Oklahoma and at the sound of a signal gun at noon one hundred thousand white settlers swarmed over it like a mad gold rush, on horseback, bicycle and carriages. By days end 40,000 claims averaging 160 acres a claim were made. Senator Henry Dawes of Mass. who sponsored the land grab, said of the Cherokee: " The defect in their system is obvious. Because they hold their land in common there is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of all Civilization."

1898- Indianapolis attorney Albert Beveridge advocated the conquest of the Philippines in a speech entitled “The March of the Flag,” the classic manifesto of U.S. Imperialism.

1901- A British Imperial Academy of Sciences team began to excavate a Wooly Mammoth frozen in Siberia. Most of the head had been eaten by wolves and the ears and trunk were gone, but the hair, skin and contents of its’ stomach were still there.

1908- General Motors Car Company formed. Calvin Coolidge had once said:" What's good for General Motors is good for the Nation."

1917- TANKS make their first appearance on the Somme battlefield. The inventors wanted them to be called “Land-Battleships” but the British had shipped their secret weapon across the Channel in crates marked "water-tanks" to fool spies, so the name Tank stuck.

1919- An unemployed ex-corporal named Adolf Hitler drifted through Munich, today joined a new right wing political party called the German Socialist Workers Party, later the National Socialists or Nazis. He also began attending meetings of the ultra-nationalist Thule Society. It was a group that espoused Aryan racial supremacy and Anti-Semitism.

1920- FOR THOSE WHO THINK TERRORISM IS A MODERN PROBLEM- On this day anarchists planted a time bomb in a wagonload of scrap iron and parked it in the middle of Wall Street on a busy business lunch hour. The blast killed 38 and injured hundreds, blowing out the ground floor of J.P. Morgan's bank. Bankers described nightmarish scenes like a woman's decapitated head with her stylish bonnet still on, imbedded like a cannonball in a marble inlaid wall by the force of the blast. One of the victims was a sailor named Watson who had survived the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine. He survived this one as well but had to get a steel plate in his head. He eventually went mad. Another man knocked senseless and almost killed was young bank executive Joseph Kennedy Sr., father of the Kennedy Dynasty. The perpetrators were never caught. In 2001 the headquarters of Morgan/Stanley were in the World Trade Center.

1920- Enrico Caruso made his last recordings for the Victor Recording Company.

1938- Los Angeles Mayor Frank Shaw recalled for corruption. The city father's frustration with the mob corruption of politicians and police back east moved them to create the unique city charter that made the Los Angeles City Council more powerful than the Mayor, and made the LAPD an independent entity. So after the LA riots, when Mayor Tom Bradley tried to fire LAPD chief Darryl Gates for incompetence, he couldn’t.

1940- Congress passed the Burke-Wadsworth Act, creating the first peacetime draft in US History. The Selective Service Agency is born.

1940- Texan Sam Rayburn became Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rayburn was a mentor of young Lyndon Johnson. In 1945 VP Harry Truman was having a bourbon and poker party with Rayburn in his office when he was given the news of Franklin Roosevelt’s death, and he was now president.

1941- CBS Radio premiered the Arkansas Traveler Show. In it bandleader Bob Burns played a strange instrument made out of a stovepipe he called a Bazooka. Later when the US Army issued the first hand-held anti-tank rocket launchers to their infantry, the GI’s called the things Bazookas because it resembled Burns instrument.

1949- Chuck Jones "Fast and Furrious" the First Road Runner-Coyote cartoon.

1953- The St. Louis Browns Baseball team moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Orioles.

1963- The Beatles record “She Loves You-Yeah,Yeah,Yeah.” on the Swan Records label.

1963- The sci-fi thriller series The Outer Limits premiered- Do not attempt to adjust your television- We control the horizontal, We control the vertical, etc.

1964- The Peter Potamus Show debuted. Time for my hippo-hurricane-holler.

1965- The Dean Martin Show premiered on NBC. “Well, Ah think I’m gonna go to da couch now..”

1966- the last LOOK magazine published.

1966- The new Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center had its opening night. A performance of Samuel Barbers Anthony & Cleopatra sung by Leontyne Price and Justino Diaz. It was a near disastrous night because Ms Price got locked in a pyramid for awhile and couldn’t get out.

1969- President Nixon appears on the TV comedy "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" and says:" Sock it to Me?"

1973- American Indian Activists Russell Means and Dennis Banks were acquitted of all charges in the Wounded Knee shootout and siege. That Banks and Means were shooting it out with the FBI was beyond question. The reason was the judge objected to the governments illegal bungling of evidence and witnesses.

1976- The U.S. Episcopal Church approved the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

1983- Arnold Schwarzenegger became a US citizen.

1984- “Miami Vice” TV show debuted.

1985-The Congressional Budget Office announced that the United States had gone from a Creditor Nation that had bankrolled most of the world in the Twentieth Century, to a Debtor Nation.

1985- Steve Jobs was kicked out of the chairmanship of Apple. CEO John Scully denies he actually fired Jobs. He just stripped him of all his authority and this day Jobs quit. Jobs always claimed he had been fired. Jobs went on to run his new company Next and Pixar. In Dec 1996, after failing revenue, Steve Jobs was invited back to take over Apple. At the time of his death in 2007, Apple was the richest corporation on earth.

2001- U. S. Vice President Dick Cheney told the public that in order to fight terrorists, America needed to “ go to the Dark Side….”

2003- Sheb Wooley, the composer of the 1951 hit “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater” and the theme song of the TV show Hee Haw, died in Henderson Tennessee at age 82.
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Yesterday’s Question: What U.S. state is known as the Empire State?

Answer: New York.


Sept 15, 2018
September 15th, 2018

Question: What U.S. state is known as the Empire State?

Yesterday’s Question: In Shakespeare’s the Merchant of Venice, did Shylock die at the end?
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History for 9/15/2018
Birthdays: James Fennimore Cooper, William Howard Taft, Porfirio Diaz- Mexican President 1884-1911, Agatha Christie, Cannonball Adderly, Bruno Walter, Yuri Noorstein, Merlin Olsen, Oliver Stone, Jean Renoir (film director and son of painter August Renoir), Alexander Korda, Jesse Norman, Robert Benchley, Ron Shelton, Fay Wray, Tommy Lee Jones is 72, Britain’s Prince Harry is 34

In Japan, this is Respect For the Aged Day.

7 BC- THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM…? According to astronomical records kept by the Persian Magi, starting this day an alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars caused a rare bright star that glowed both day and night. Another explanation of the star may have come from Chinese astronomers who recorded a comet during the year 5 BC. Remember according to the modern calculations Jesus may have been born in 6 BC.

533 A.D. BATTLE OF THE TENTH MILESTONE (Decimum)- Byzantine general Belisarius defeated the Vandals of Africa -a really, really lost tribe of German Barbarians living in the region that one day would be Libya. Belisarius was sent by his emperor Justinian to win back the Western half of the Roman Empire for him. The Vandals while in Spain didn't leave much except giving their name to the Southern Spanish coast- Andalusia (Vandalusium) and the custom of defacing walls.

After conquering North Africa and half of Italy and Spain, Justinian rewarded Belisarius by taking away his army, having him blinded with boiling vinegar and given a begging bowl. Justinian thought he was getting TOO successful, that he might grab for his throne. The Byzantines couldn't hold on to the African and Italian provinces, so The Rome Empire stayed fallen.

1776- The BATTLE OF NEW YORK- Lord Howe's British Army crossed the East River from Brooklyn and attacked Manhattan at Turtle Bay, approximately between E 30th and 31st Streets. Colonial troops panicked and fled uptown while George Washington futilely tried to rally them approximately where the 42nd St. Public Library now is. As the last panic stricken farmer scampered off tossing his weapons away, George Washington threw down his hat and exclaimed: "Lord, have I such soldiers as these?"

Legend has it the only reason the British let the Yankees escape was the commanders paused to have tea with a Quaker lady acquaintance. New York was an occupied city for the rest of the Revolutionary War. Hundreds of colonial prisoners were kept in rotting prison ships moored in the harbor, where many died of disease and neglect.

1810 -El GRITO aka MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE- As the bells ring peasant priest Father Miquel Hidalgo waved the banner of the Virgin of Tonantzin-Guadalupe and published a revolutionary tract-The Cry of Dolores. New Spain declared their Independence as Mexica, the name of the ancient Aztec nation. Hidalgo was later captured and shot but not before setting the people aflame:" Will you recover the lands stolen three hundred years ago from our forefathers by the hated Spaniards? Long Live Our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to the gachupines!” -Aztec for Euro-Honkies. The war continued for a decade until Spain acknowledged Mexican independence in 1821.

1858- The Butterfield Overland Mail service started up, driving stagecoaches throughout the Old West.

1894- Japanese defeat the Chinese at Ping Yang. They take Korea and Taiwan.

1901- After the funeral of assassinated President McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt strode into the White House for his first day as President. Bully!

1925- The Grand Order of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan take out a copyright on their logo – the white cross on the red circle with the black square in the center. After all, some other racist hate group might try to copy their cool duds!

1928- Walt Disney stages the first recording session for the music for Steamboat Willie. He pawned his car to raise the cash to make it happen.

1930- The first Blondie comic strip.

1930- Hoagy Carmichael first recorded “Georgia on My Mind”.

1935- “The Law Protecting German Blood and German Honor” aka the Nuremberg Edicts passed in Nazi Germany. They make Anti-Semitism official state policy. It took civil rights away from Jews and set up levels of Jewishness to determine pure Aryan bloodlines.” Jews are forbidden to marry other Germans or hold public office, including college professorships.

1936- MGM producer Irving Thallberg, the "Boy Genius" of Hollywood, died of a pneumonia at age 31. He was the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Last Tycoon". His boss Louis B. Mayer was beginning to resent his popularity. When actress Gloria Swanson asked Mayer how he felt about Thallberg's death, Mayer replied:" God has been very kind to me."

1940- Climax of the BATTLE OF BRITAIN-Herman Goring tries some final huge bomber raids to flatten London and wipe out the R.A.F., in preparation for Operation Sea Lion on Sept 21, the German invasion of Great Britain. Germans thought this was the day the attack across the Channel would happen at last. Hundreds of planes dogfight in the skies over London and Saint Paul’s Cathedral is wreathed in flame and smoke. 65 German planes were shot down in one day. American CBS news correspondent Edgar R. Murrow gained national fame in the U.S. by fearlessly standing on a rooftop at the height of the battle and reporting a live radio broadcast.

1945-In occupied Berlin, composer Anton Webern was shot and killed by an American sentry when he went outside for a smoke in violation citywide night curfew orders.

1950- The INCHON LANDINGS. Gen Douglas MacArthur's masterstroke to amphibiously land an army behind the North Korean invaders and drive them from South Korea. It was an unlikely landing beach- short pebbly beach with a high craggy cliffs and the high tides in the world – 37 feet, from low to high tide, make the area inaccessible for most of the day. But MacArthur had remembered the Japanese had used this spot as a landing site in 1894 and it worked decisively. Mao Tse Tung had guessed that MacArthur might try a landing at Inchon and warned North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. But Sung ignored the warnings and was taken completely by surprise. Within a week Seoul was recaptured and the North Korean Army was in full retreat.

1954- The day of shooting on the film The Seven Year Itch, when Marilyn Monroe stood over the subway grate and let the breeze blow her dress up, much to the annoyance of her husband, baseball star Joe Dimaggio. Her little white halter dress was thereafter known as a Marilyn Dress.

1956- Surgeons Walter Freeman and Egas Moniz perform America's first prefrontal lobotomy on a depressed, 63-year-old Kansas woman in Washington, D.C.

1957-The TV series Bachelor Father starring John Forsythe premiered.

1959- Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev arrived in the U.S. for a good will tour that included farms and factories. Americans found the earthy bald peasant with the broad smile charming, and not at all the bogeyman everyone feared. At one point Khruschev requested to visit Disneyland, the “workers playground”, but Walt Disney refused:” In 1942 we lent those Commie bastards a print of Snow White and they released in their theaters with their own credits on it!” Khruschev also praised American white bread. “Russian Bread is made one day and goes stale. American bread can stay on shelf for weeks and still be soft!”

1963- In Birmingham Alabama, white racists set off a bomb in the First Baptist Church that killed four little girls. The Church was seen as the headquarters of the Black Civil Rights activists and Freedom Riders, but these girls had only arrived early for choir practice. The man who planted the bomb was not convicted until 2001. One of the slain little girls schoolmates would one day grow up to become a Secretary of State- Dr. Condoleeza Rice.

1965- "Green Acres" TV show debuted. Arnold Ziffel the pig gains national prominence.

1971 –The environmental political movement Greenpeace founded in Vancouver by twelve members of the Don’t Make a Wave Committee.

1973- Star Trek animated series by Filmation premiered. This was the first time Kirk, Spock, Sulu and Uhura were untied again with a Roddenberry script since the original series was cancelled.

1982- During the Lebanese Civil War the Christian Maronite President of Lebanon Bashir Gemayel had made a deal with the Israelis to rid his country of the PLO, who were using South Lebanon as a base since being thrown out of Jordan in the Black September of 1971. Israel invaded Lebanon but Gemayel refused to sign an alliance, just a non-aggression pact. This day Gemayel was assassinated by Muslim fighters. His murder provoked the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres.

1998- Rap star Coolio is busted in Lawndale Cal for driving on the wrong side of the road, using an expired license and having a 9mm pistol and bag of marijuana in his car.

2004- A mob of demonstrators protesting fox hunting season break into the English House of Commons. The last time Parliament was attacked like this was the Gordon Riots in 1744. There was a swipe card security gate, but it was broken that day, and no one had bothered to fix it.

2008- THE GREAT RECESSION- George W. Bush touted himself as the CEO President, proud of his cabinet’s business experience. Today the US Stock Market went into a panic nosedive after two of the nation’s oldest investment banks- Merrill Lynch and Lehman Bros collapsed. Lehmans was $613 billion in debt. This shock added to the news of the government taking over the insolvent mortgage insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and doubling gas prices suppressing car sales. The American financial crisis panicked stock markets around the world. It was the most total financial collapse since the Great Depression of 1929.
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Yesterday’s Question: In Shakespeare’s the Merchant of Venice, did Shylock die at the end?

Answer: He was not killed, but forced to convert to Christianity.


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