Nov 22, 2014 sat
November 22nd, 2014
Question: What does it mean when something is problematic?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: One of the titles the Pope has is Pontifex or Pontiff. What does that mean?
History for 11/22/2014
Birthdays: French explorer Sieur de LaSalle, George Elliot- pen name for Mary Anne Evans, Benjamin Britten, Charles DeGaulle, Andre Gide, Wiley Post, Billy Jean King, Boris Becker, Geraldine Page, John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner, Hoagy Carmichael, Rodney Dangerfield, Terry Gilliam is 74, Robert Vaughn, Tom Conti, Mark Ruffalo, Victoria Paris- porn star of such classics like Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo, Stevie Van Zandt is 63, Jamie Lee Curtis is 56, Scarlett Johanssen is 30
1220- Pope Honorius III crowned Frederick Barbarossa the Holy Roman Emperor.
1622- English poet John Donne ordained the deacon of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The poet had written some of the most erotic poetry in English literature, now he devoted himself as fervently to religious contemplation.
1739- Georg Frederich Handel premiered the oratorio Ode to Saint Cecilia’s Day.
1809- Baltimore native Peregrine Williamson given a patent for a re-usable steel pen. This finally freed the western world from sharpening goose quills and other feathers to write.
1864- The Battle of Griswold. After Sherman’s army had burned Atlanta they began ravaging the Georgia countryside. Except for some horsemen most of the state was defenseless before the Union juggernaut.
This day a pathetic collection of Georgia state militia led by a drunk, accidentally blundered into Sherman’s line of march. The untrained boys and elderly men were enraged how the Yankees had burned their homes and crops. So despite the ridiculous odds they attacked- 2,000 charged 34,000. They were easily mowed down and Sherman’s men resumed their march.
1880- Actress Lillian Russell made her debut on the New York Stage. Russell exemplified the sex appeal of the era- big figured, big bustle, tiny waist and big caboose.
1886- Melbourne’s Victoria Street Streetcar starts. A Seattle entrepreneur later purchased a number of Melbournes’ old decommissioned streetcars and set them running along the Seattle waterfront.
1888- According to Edgar Rice Burroughs this is the birthday of the boy who would become Tarzan.
1903- Franklin Roosevelt proposed to his cousin Eleanor Roosevelt. She was President Teddy Roosevelt’s niece, Franklin was his 5th cousin.
1916- Author Jack London died at 40 in Glen Ellen California of kidney disease. The author of White Fang and Call of the Wild was a lifelong socialist and supporter of the labor movement. In 1919 radical Emma Goldman eulogized in an article in The Masses: “It’s a pity that brother Jack never lived long enough to see the Red Flags of Freedom flying over the Kremlin!”
1917- The National Hockey League-NHL, was founded in Montreal. The first teams The Quebec Bulldogs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Arenas, and Montreal Maroons.
1923- President Calvin Coolidge pardoned Lothkar Witzke, a German spy who had set off the Black Tom Pier explosion in New York Harbor in 1916.
1928- Ravel’s Bolero Suite premiered in Paris.
1935- The First Pan Am China Clipper service began from San Francisco to Honolulu and Manila. Captain Edwin Musik took off with 20.000 people waving bon voyage.
1942- Operation Uranus- The German 6th Army surrounded at Stalingrad. As the Russian pincers were closing around him, Gen.Von Paulus wired Hitler for permission to pull back and maneuver. Hitler promoted him to Field Marshal and ordered him not to withdraw one millimeter. The 6th Army was slowly starved, frozen and pounded on all sides. By February, 100,000 surviving German troops surrendered. They were sent to Stalin's gulags in Siberia where most of them died. The bitter Von Paulus became as diehard a communist as he had been a diehard Nazi.
1950- The Lowest Scoring Basketball game in NBA history. The Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18. They later became the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers.
1957- The Miles Davis Quintet debuted.
1963- ONE DAY IN DALLAS- At 12:30 Central time, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. Whether you believe the assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, The Military Industrial Complex, Vice President Johnson, the Mafia, Corsican contract killers, The C.I.A., Fidel Castro, Anti-Castro Cubans, space aliens, or all of the above, it remains one of the traumatic moments of US History.
John Kennedy had been warned about all the hateful conservative rhetoric originating in Texas. He said to Jackie about Dallas " We're going to Nut Country." One of the last things President Kennedy heard before the bullets struck him, was the wife of Texas governor John Connolly, who said:” Well Mr. President, now nobody can say they don’t love you in Dallas!”
After the shots, reporter Robin MacNeill ran into the nearest building to phone in the story. He ran into the Texas Book Depository and asked a skinny t-shirted man where the nearest phone was. Two days later when watching TV of the assassin being arrested, he realized he had been talking to Lee Harvey Oswald!
Jackie Kennedy, who after flying to D.C. from Dallas still wearing the blood soaked pink Channel dress “let the people see what they’ve done!” immediately started going over the funeral arrangements. Before retiring she had her staff comb the National Archives for the details of the 1865 Lincoln Funeral.
In 1966 evidence from the Kennedy assassination including the presidents brain disappeared. For years people claiming knowledge of a conspiracy died in strange ways, like karate chops and boating accidents. Much testimony is still under seal. Before she died, Jackie Kennedy left a personal affidavit with her lawyers that is not allowed to be made public until the year 2050. Only 15% of Americans believed Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. One Mafia don said in his memoirs:” If you believe Oswald, a rather lackluster Marine, could get off three carefully aimed shots from an bolt action rifle in just six seconds, you have a vivid imagination.”
1963- Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa had been fighting off indictments and racketeering charges pressed by the aggressive Attorney General Robert Kennedy. When Hoffa heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas his first reaction was to laugh:” Now Bobby is just another lawyer!” Hoffa was himself whacked in 1975.
1963- Aldous Huxley died. The author of Brave New World had inoperable cancer so his wife kept him high on LSD,
1965- The musical The Man of La Mancha opened on Broadway. “ To Dream, the Impossible Dreaaammm…”Brings back memories of middle school band practice.
1967- The United Nations passed Resolution# 242 calling upon all the belligerents in the recently ended Arab-Israeli Six Day War to live in peace and trade back conquered territories like the West Bank for permanent peace. But because the resolution is vague on ideas like what exactly is meant by “conquered territories” the nations of the Middle East continue to argue over it’s meanings.
1974- The United Nations seated the Palestinian Liberation Organization as an unofficial observer group. Yassir Arafat was allowed to address the world body with a noticeable pistol stock sticking out of his belt.
1975- Two days after the death of Generalissimo Franco, Juan Carlos became the first King of Spain since 1936.
1980- Screen goddess Mae West died at 87. He apartment suite at the Ravenswood in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles has been lovingly restored, since the owner claims her ghost nagged him to put her furniture back!
1985- Apple ended a long lawsuit with Microsoft and Hewlett Packard that allowed them to share the visual characteristics of the Macintosh displays in their Windows software.
1986- 20 year old Mike Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick to become the youngest Heavyweight Champion of the World.
1990- Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of English politics, resigned her offices to successor John Major. After 11 years in power her popularity was low because of her poll tax, and resistance to English cooperation in the European Community.
1993- Sir Anthony Burgess died. The author of A Clockwork Orange had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and told he had one year to live, back in 1959.
1995- Pixar’s Toy Story opened, the first all CG movie, and the first true CG hit.
2005- Microsoft Xbox 360 goes on sale.
Yesterday’s Question: One of the titles the Pope has is Pontifex or Pontiff. What does that mean?
Answer: Pontifex Maximus was a title inherited from ancient Rome. The chief priest of Jupiter Optimus Maximus was called Pontifex Maximus or Pontiff for short.
Nov 20, 2014 thurs
November 20th, 2014
Question: What does it mean to take umbrage? Do you have to give it back?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: In WWII, Germany’s most famous battleship was the Bismarck. Who was it named after?
History for 11/20/2014
Birthdays: Robert F. Kennedy, Maya Plisetskaya, Gene Tierney, Dick Smothers, Bo Derek is 59, Sean Young is 49, Richard Dawson, Estelle Parsons, Barbera Hendricks, Duane Allman, Joe Walsh, Chester Gould the creator of Dick Tracy, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis the first baseball commissioner, Alastair Cooke, Ming Na -the voice of Muhlan
284AD- Diocletian became emperor of Rome.
866 A.D.- Saint Edmund the Martyr, King of the East Angles since being proclaimed by the Kingdoms of Norfolk and Suffolk at 14 years old in 855, was killed in battle with the Vikings. They said he ruled wisely and patterned his court after that of King David (sans Bathsheba). His story may be another feeder root for the legend of King Arthur.
1249-King Louis IX (St. Louis) arrived in the Middle East for his Crusade. His plan was to get to the Jerusalem by attacking Egypt, a much larger country. He didn’t get very far.
1272- King Edward Ist crowned king of England. Sometimes called the Great Plantagenet, the Hammer of the Scots or simply Longshanks- long legs.
1601-THE GOLDEN SPEECH- Elderly Queen Elizabeth Ist had ruled England for 42 years, a time of unparalleled prosperity and peace. This day the old queen gave her farewell speech to parliament: "Though God has raised Us to the Throne, the Glory of Our reign was ruling with the love of my people…… You may have had and may yet have mightier and wiser princes in this seat, but you will never have one who loved you more than I do." Elizabeth died two years later.
1620- Shortly before coming ashore in the New World, The Mayflower Compact was drawn up and signed by the 24 male Pilgrim settlers "To covenant and combine ourselves into a civile body-politick".
1718- " Fifteen men on a Dead Man’s Chest, Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Rum! Even though he knew the British Navy was going to attack him tomorrow, violent buccaneer Blackbeard spent this night drinking and partying with his crew.
1752- Death of John Shore, he was the most celebrated trumpet player of his time. Georg Frederich Handel and Henry Purcell wrote music for him, and he was the inventor of the Tuning Fork.
1777- In a speech in the House of Lords, elderly William Pitt the Elder, The Architect of the British Empire, denounced the Lord North’s government policy of trying to put down the American Revolution with military mercenaries bought in Germany." My Lords, you cannot conquer America! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while foreign troops were landed on my soil I would never lay down my arms- never, never, never!"
1783-In Paris, Benjamin Franklin is in the crowd watching the first humans go aloft in a balloon designed by the Montgolfier Brothers. For 25 minutes Piastre de Rosier and the Marquis d'Arland flew 500 feet over the Seine, sipping champagne. One member of the crowd sneered, "What good is it?" Franklin turned and said, "What good is a newborn baby?"
1895- Beethoven’s opera Fidelio premiered. He rewrote the overture four times and still wasn’t happy with it. So he rewrote it once more and published the other four as the Leonore Overtures.
1820- In the Pacific Ocean the Nantucket whaling ship Essex was sunk by an enraged sperm whale. Only six men survived floating on driftwood for ninety days, resorting to cannibalism before being rescued. This incident is thought to have been one of the inspirations for Herman Melville to write his novel Moby Dick.
1866- Howard University, the first college exclusively for African-American students, was founded by on armed Civil War General Oliver O. Howard.
1870- "YES , I AM A FREE LOVER!" In a speech in Steinway Hall to 3,000 people feminist Victoria Woodhull shocked polite society by declaring openly her right to her sexual freedom unfettered by law or social custom. That women had the right to own their own bodies. " To Love is a right higher than Constitution or laws!".
1875- Henry James published his first novel Rockwell Hudson.
1894- Prince Ananias premiered, the first operetta of Victor Herbert.
1910- General Porfirio Diaz had ruled Mexico as dictator for forty years. Now the Mexican Revolution broke out with a coalition of forces led by Francisco Madero.
1912- Carl Warr walked into Los Angeles City Hall with 60 sticks of dynamite strapped to him. As Police grab him, he set off his detonator. But nothing happened. He then begged police to kill him. Warr was sensationalized in the press as The Mad Bomber.
1914- First U.S. passports with photos issued.
1917- Lawrence of Arabia disguised himself as a Circassian peasant and slipped into the Turkish held Syrian town of Derea to get information. There he was captured and interrogated by Turkish authorities. They never realized who he was, they were just having some fun with a pretty faced boy. Lawrence was sexually molested, whipped and thrown back into the street. He admitted later the whole experience was fun.
1919- The first municipal airport ever opened at Tuscon Arizona.
1943- TARAWA. U.S. Marines attacked the Japanese held island of Tarawa. The Pacific Theater of Operations was divided into two sections, the northern Pacific was done by Marines under the command of Admiral Nimitz, the southern end by the regular Army under Douglas MacArthur. This command structure didn't always function smoothly.
Tarawa was a terribly bloody battle that General MacArthur criticized as being unnecessary. He said he would have gone around the island and left it isolated, the way he outmaneuvered the huge Japanese bases at Rabaul and Truk.
Tarawa was taken after 72 hours of vicious fighting. Of the 5000 Japanese defenders , only 16 soldiers and one officer surrendered, along with some Korean slave laborers. One thousand Marines died, more than had died than in all the months of island hopping campaigning that year. By accident the photos of Marine dead washing up on the beach got to the public uncensored and was deeply shocking to Americans used to sanitized images of war.
1945- The Nuremburg War Crimes Trial convened. An international court judged 21 top Nazis including Hermann Goring, Albert Speer Joachim Von Ribbentropp and Rudolf Hess. For the first time the world learned of the methodical workings of the Holocaust.
1947-Princess Elizabeth the future Queen Elizabeth II married her cousin Prince Phillip Mountbatten of the exiled royal family of Greece.
1947- The longest running television show in history- Meet the Press, premiered. And it is still on today.
1963- two days before his assassination the House of Representatives passed a preliminary version of John F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights bill. The following year his successor Lyndon Johnson pressed for complete adoption.
1963- Attorney General Robert Kennedy had a birthday party up at his house Washington D.C. suburbs called Hillsborough. There his brother President John F. Kennedy and he discussed the coming 1964 election. The President said he was looking forward to doing a campaign swing through Texas that weekend. When he left the house that night it was the last time Bobby Kennedy would ever see his brother alive.
1969- The U.S. Dept of Agriculture bans the use of the insecticide DDT.
1975- Spanish Fascist dictator Francisco Franco died at age 89, despite sleeping with the mummified arm of St. Theresa of Avila for a cure. Patriotic Spaniards start partying. Stores sold out of champagne by 10 a.m. As planned King Juan Carlos takes over and Spain converts to a constitutional monarchy.
1994- Rock & Roll star David Crosby received a new liver.
1998- Several state governments and the US tobacco industry reach a landmark settlement arising from lawsuits over smoking illnesses. The trial also killed off once and for all ads featuring The Marlboro Cowboy and Joe Camel, a cartoon character that at one point was as recognizable to children as Donald Duck.
1998- Pixar’s film A Bugs Life was generally released.
Yesterday’s Question: In WWII, Germany’s most famous battleship was the Bismarck. Who was it named after?
Answer: Otto von Bismarck was the Chancellor of Germany who unified the country around Berlin, and defeated the French Empire of Napoleon III.
Nov 19, 2014 weds
November 19th, 2014
Question: In WWII, Germany’s most famous battleship was the Bismarck. Who was it named after?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Many spots in America are named DeKalb. DeKalb Ave and DeKalb County. So who was DeKalb?
History for 11/19/2014
Birthdays: King Charles Ist of England, President James Garfield, Ferdinand de Lesseps, Roy Campanella, Tommy Dorsey, Ted Turner, Calvin Klein, Indira Ghandi, Dick Cavett, Larry King, Kathleen Quinlan, Alan Young -Mr. Ed’s friend, Ahmad Rashad, Allison Janey is 55, Meg Ryan is 53, Jodie Foster is 52, Terry Farrell
1493- On his second voyage to the New World, this day Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Puerto Rico.
1581- Czar Ivan the Terrible got so mad at his eldest son he beat him to death with a mace. Young Ivan tried to stop his dad from beating his pregnant wife, who he thought was wearing immodest garb. In one act of blind rage Ivan extinguished his family dynasty. Clearly Ivan had some anger management issues.
1619- A young French student named Renes Descartes had enlisted in the army of Elector Maximillian of Bavaria to fight the Thirty Years War. Outside of Neuberg one evening he climbed into a stove to keep warm. There he had the first revelation to invent analytical geometry and the mathematical applications of religion. Happens to me every time I climb into a stove, too. “ Cogito, Ergo Sum.” I think, therefore I am.”
1703- The "Man in the Iron Mask" died in the Bastille prison. Louis XIV had him locked up for forty years. He was first mentioned in Voltaire's History of the Age of Louis XIV as having a velvet mask, which writer Alexandre Dumas changed to iron for dramatic effect. No one ever discovered who he was or why his face was covered. Speculation was that he was everyone from an Italian diplomat, to the son of Oliver Cromwell, to a twin brother of King Louis XIV himself. It made for great literature but he remains a mystery.
1828- Composer Franz Schubert died of complications of gonorrhea at age 31.
1863- THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS-At the dedication of the soldiers cemetery on the Gettysburg battlefield, the crowd watched Rev. Edward Everett, a famous abolitionist, deliver a fiery two hour speech. Then President Abraham Lincoln stood up and in just two minutes delivered the most famous speech in U.S. History. "Forescore and Seven years ago Our Forefathers set Forth....And Government Of the People, By the People and For the People Shall Not Perish from the Earth. "
The crowd was polite but indifferent. The Times of London correspondent thought it "vague and uninspiring". Lincoln himself told his aide: "Lehman, that speech won't scowl !" meaning a plow blade that's too dull to cut. But Rev Everett was inspired “Mr. President, you said in two minutes much more than I did in two hours.” Contrary to legend Lincoln didn’t write it quickly on the back of an envelope, he worked long on his speeches and was seen doing corrections up to the last minute. There are three pencil copies of the speech still in existence. The photographer at the scene was still setting up his equipment when the brief speech ended and Lincoln started to sit down. He opened his shutter in time to get a blurry view of Lincoln's head in the crowd.
1903- Suffragette Carrie Nation tried to address the US Senate to plead for women’s voting rights and alcohol prohibition. She was barred admittance.
1915- I DREAMED I SAW JOE HILL LAST NIGHT.... Joe Hill executed in Utah- Swedish Immigrant Josef Hilstrom was a nationally known charismatic poet and union organizer. Large Utah copper mining companies that found Hill's folk song singing activism a nuisance had him convicted on trumped up murder charges. He was shot by firing squad despite pleas for clemency from President Wilson, Helen Keller and the Pope. Crowds of 10,000 marched in London and Sydney Australia for mercy for Joe Hill.
Hill's last words were:"I die as I have lived, a rebel. Don't mourn, Organize!" He stipulated in his will that his body be transported over the state line and buried in Colorado because: "I DON'T WANNA BE CAUGHT DEAD IN UTAH!" His body was cremated and the ashes sent in little envelopes to union offices across the nation.
1937- Japanese armies capture the Chinese city of Shouchow and pillage it with great slaughter.
1942-“ THE IVANS ARE COMING!” OPERATION URANUS- The big Russian counter-attack in the Battle of Stalingrad begins. The Battle for the city named for Stalin had stalemated into house to house fighting in cellars and factory rooms the Germans called Rattskrieg- Rats War. Meanwhile Marshal Gyorgi Zhukov had been massing forces on either end of the German 6th Army where weak Axis units of Romanian and Italian troops were holding the line. Luftwaffe commander Freiherr Von Richtofen reported the troop concentrations to army commanders but HQ remained strangely apathetic.
Today to the sound of thousands of Katyushka rocket launchers, nicknamed Stalin’s Pipe Organs, Marshal Zhukov launched two massive pincer assaults that blew through the German front, and joined up in the rear trapping 100,000 Nazis.
1942-GUERILLA MICE. A curious incident during the Battle of Stalingrad. While house to house battles raged in the inner city the main German tank forces sat quiet in fields outside since August. When the Russian attack began the tanks were started up. But soon their engines began to overheat and stall. In the long weeks of waiting field mice had crawled into the motors and ate away radiator hoses and electrical insulation. 68 of 100 tanks broke down thanks to enemy mousekis.
1942- In a concentration camp in Poland author-artist Bruno Schulz was executed. The author of “Street of Crocodiles” last act was being forced by a Gestapo officer to paint images from Brothers Grimm fairytales on his sons bedroom wall before he was shot.
1945- Trying to complete the plan of social services created by Franklin Roosevelt, President Harry Truman called for National Health Insurance. It was defeated in Congress after intense lobbying by the powerful insurance and pharmaceutical companies. It would also be blocked when reintroduced later by Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton. Until Pres. Obama created the ACA, the U.S. was the only nation in the front rank of developed nations to have no form of national health insurance.
1959- Jay Ward's television show 'Rocky and his Friends' debuts.
1961- Michael Rockefeller, the son of tycoon Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared in the jungles of New Guinea. It’s assumed he was killed by natives and probably eaten.
1969- The great soccer champion Pele scored his 1,000 goal.
1998- Film Director Alan J. Pakula was one of the Hollywood community who preferred living in New York City. This day he was driving on the Long Island Expressway when he was killed in a freak accident. A large truck kicked up in its tires a discarded piece of steel pipe. It flipped it through Pakula’s windshield, killing him instantly.
2002- HOMELAND SECURITY. Reacting to the 9-11 attack Congress approved President Bush’s plan for a cabinet level position called the Department of Homeland Security. This branch would concentrate the activities of US Customs & Immigration, FEMA, The Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies.
Despite insisting the new organization was all that stood between us and future 9-11 attacks, the Bush White House stubbornly refused to sign any bill that did not first bar it’s employees from joining the Gov’t Employees Service Union like the rest of Washington D.C.. By 2006 Homeland Security botched up the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and it’s fourth ranking executive was arrested by Polk County Fla police for soliciting sex from a 14 year old girl with leukemia.
2007- Disney film The Enchanted premiered.
2013- Disney film Frozen premiered. Let it Go! Let it Go!
Yesterday’s Question: Many spots in America are named DeKalb. DeKalb Ave and DeKalb County. So who was DeKalb?
Answer: Baron DeKalb was another European adventurer like LaFayette and Pulaski who came to fight for the American cause. The German nobleman was killed in battle in Camden South Carolina. As he expired he said ”I die the death I always prayed for: the death of a soldier fighting for the rights of man..”
MOVING INNOVATION new honor
November 19th, 2014
Nice to see Moving Innovation, a History of Computer Animation has made the MIT Press 2015 Catalog, and is called Outstanding Academic Title 2013, by Choice Magazine.
Nov 18, 2014 Tues.
November 18th, 2014
Question: In WWII, Germany’s most famous battleship was the Bismarck. Who was it named after?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Question: Many famous American entertainers are of Jewish ancestry. Which one of these people is NOT Jewish? a) Joan Rivers, b) Jimmy Kimmel, c) Larry David, d) Lewis Black.
History for 11/18/2014
Birthdays: Armelita Galli-Curci, Karl Maria Von Weber, W.S. Gilbert, Johnny Mercer,
Astronaut Alan Shepard, Louis Daguerre, Brenda Vaccarro, Eugene Ormandy, George Gallup, Warren Moon, Pam Dawber, Rocket Ishmail, Delroy Lindo, Kevin Nealon is 61, Owen Wilson is 46, Chloe Servigny is 40
500 A.D.- Today is the Feast day of the Irish Saint Mawes, who was born in a barrel floating in the sea.
It’s hand drawn animation day! See below- 1928.
1421-In Holland a dyke holding back the Zuyder Zee River gave way and the ensuing flood killed 10,000.
1602- In Transylvania, 22 year old English soldier of fortune John Smith killed three Turkish warriors in single combat. Such single matches were normal before a large battle. The Duke of Transylvania, Sigmund Bathory, granted the commoner Smith his own coat of arms, three Turkish heads. This is the same John Smith who will go to Virginia and meet Pocahontas in 1607.
1718- Francois Voltaire’s first play Oedipe, premiered in Paris.
1812- Battle of Krasnoe-Napoleon's frozen army, retreating from Moscow, fights it's way out of three encircling Russian armies trying to trap it. One of the armies was commanded by an admiral Tchitchagoff who's 20th century descendant would be the artist Erte'. Another general was the grandfather of writer Leo Tolstoy. General Tolstoy was an eccentric who rode into battle in a chauffeured carriage with a trained bear sitting next to him he'd taught to drink champagne.
1863- Abraham Lincoln boarded a train to Gettysburg to deliver “a few appropriate remarks” to dedicate the new national cemetery there.
1865 Mark Twain's first story "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County' published.
1883- THE DAY WITH TWO NOONS. Congress adopted William Allen’s plan to divide the United States into standard time zones corresponding to timetables set by the transcontinental railroads. At Noon in NYC, the bells of Saint Paul’s Church tolled. Ten minutes later, several blocks away, the bells of Trinity Church on Wall St. tolled noon Eastern Standard Time, 11:00AM Central Time, 10:00AM Mountain Time and 9:00AM Pacific Time. And so it has been ever since.
1902- THE TEDDY BEAR BORN-The Washington Evening Star published a story of how President Teddy Roosevelt while hunting couldn't bring himself to shoot a grizzly bear cub. Cartoonist Cliff Berryman illustrated the incident with one of his signature “dingbat” bear cubs in a gesture of “oh no!” Brooklyn toymaker Morris Mitchcom sewed a doll from the illustration in the newspaper and sent the first one to the White House.
1903- The Hay-Buneau-Varilla Treaty signed, giving the U.S. permission to dig a canal in Panama. When Nicaragua wanted too much money for the canal zone, President Roosevelt backed a revolution that created the nation of Panama. Such a deal!
1914- SABOTAGE - A secret message was sent out by Imperial German Naval Command to all diplomatic embassies to begin sabotage operations of war material being readied in America and Canada for shipment to England.
Bombs exploding in cargo ships and warehouses in New York, Boston and Baltimore became familiar sights. In one incident called the “Black Tom” pier explosion detonated two million pounds of explosive on a Jersey City wharf. The blast cracked windows on Wall St. and damaged the arm of the Statue of Liberty.
The success of German spies in the U.S. before America's entry into World War One sparked the buildup of a little known government office called the F.B.I. and the strict domestic counterintelligence work done in World War Two.
1928- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKEY MOUSE- At Universal’s Colony Theater in New York Walt Disney’s cartoon "Steamboat Willie" debuted before a movie called Gang War- The first major sound cartoon success and the official birth of Mickey Mouse. Two earlier silent Mickey's had been done, but they were held back when the sound experiment went ahead.
1942-The KEYES RAID- The British army in North Africa had had enough of their German adversary Rommel the Desert Fox, so they sent a suicide commando mission to the Afrika Korps HQ just to kill him. Desert warfare was so porous the front lines were virtually non-existent. Unfortunately, Rommel was far away in Rome the night 50 British and Australian commandos shot up his offices.
1953- Singer Frank Sinatra had been having trouble with his sputtering career and his crumbling marriage to screen sex goddess Ava Gardner. This day songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen found Old Blue Eyes on his bathroom floor with his wrists slashed. Heusen bound his wounds then called his agent rather than the police. Sinatra recovered and soon his career revived and he had a new marriage. His subsequent rough use of women afterwards, calling them “broads” and using and discarding them, may have come as a reaction to his rough treatment in the soft hands of La Gardner.
1963-The first push button telephones go into service. By 1980 they pretty much replaced the rotary dial phones.
1964- In a public statement to the press, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover called Dr. Martin Luther King “The most notorious liar in the country!” This in response to the criticism Dr. King made that the FBI wasn’t trying hard enough to track down the murderers of civil rights workers. Hoover always believed Dr. King and the whole NAACP were dangerous communists.
1970- At the Lakeside School in Seattle, a young kid named Bill Gates got his first start in computer programming.
1978- JONESTOWN- After visiting U.S. congressman Leo Ryan and his party were murdered, 912 American members of the Rev. Jim Jones cult in Jonestown Guiana commit suicide, many drinking from tubs of Kool Aid, spiked with cyanide.
1985- Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin & Hobbs debuted.
1988- Disney’s Oliver & Company released.
Question: Question: Many famous American entertainers are of Jewish ancestry. Which one of these people is NOT Jewish? a) Joan Rivers, b) Jimmy Kimmel, c) Larry David, d) Lewis Black.
Answer: Jimmy Kimmel is Irish Catholic.