Oct. 30, 2020
October 30th, 2020

Question: What is triskaidekaphobia?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does it mean to be chagrined?
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History for 10/30/2020
Birthdays: John Adams, Christopher Columbus, English playwright Richard Sheridan,
Ezra Pound, Emily Post, Louis Malle, Henry Winkler is 73, Charles Atlas, Ruth Gordon,
Claude Lelouche, Dick Gautier, Louis Malle, Ted Williams, Grace Slick, Diego Maradona, Ivanka Trump is 39

1270- The Pope declared the 8th Crusade to try to save the city of St Jean D’Acre, the last Crusader bastion in Palestine. Acre surrendered to the Saracens two years later.

1501-THE BALLET OF THE CHESTNUTS, or His Holiness throws an orgy.
One of the most notorious incidents in PreReformation Rome. Pope Alexander VI Borgia, with his children Cesare and Lucretia Borgia, throw a party of parties at the Vatican. The wild revelry was highlighted by a race of nude prostitutes on hands and knees through an obstacle course of silver candlesticks, gobbling up
chestnuts. The pope later gave prizes to the courtiers and ladies who demonstrated the greatest sexual stamina. This was the kind of holy hedonism that drove the Protestant reformers nuts and caused the final rift in the Christian world.
One participant in these revelries was the chef of the French ambassador. He was intrigued to see the pope’s guests not wasting time to be served dinner, but just getting their own plates of food from large tubs set in a row along the wall. He thought this was a neat way to serve food. His name was Pierre Buffet.

1628- The French City of LaRochelle had been acting as the capitol of an independent
Huguenot nation- electing officers and collecting taxes independent of Catholic
Paris. But France was now in the hands of the wily Cardinal Richelieu. Although a Catholic priest, Richelieu really didn’t care a figgy about Protestants, but this independence thing had to go. The Cardinal had LaRochelle under siege for months.

When the starving citizens finally surrendered it was the Cardinal who entered the city in armor on a white charger. But rather than sack the city, and burn heretics, Richelieu
had his men distribute bread and medicine. He granted freedom of worship to all
Huguenots.

1811- Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility published.

1864- Gold miners founded the boomtown of Helena Montana.

1891- Henri Boulanger, a French general who dreamed of Napoleonic power before falling into disgrace, shot himself over his mistress’s grave.

1905- THE OCTOBER MANIFESTO- Trying to calm his rebellious subjects, Czar Nicholas II issues an imperial ukase (edict) transforming Russia from a completely autocratic state to a semi-constitutional monarchy. He created the Duma, Russia's elected
parliament. However all didn't go well. When the elected representatives called
for more freedom, release of political prisoners and dismissal of all government
officials not approved by the Duma, Nicholas shut it all down.

1918- The Empire of Turkey signed an armistice at Modras with Britain, France and
America to get out of World War I.

1918- While the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor Karl desperately tried to hold his
disintegrating empire together, today even his German speaking subjects declared
themselves to be the new Federal Republic of Austria.

1918- Kaiser Wilhelm moved his staff from riot-ravaged Berlin to Spa on the Belgian
frontier to prepare for the armistice to end the Great War. Socialist leader Franz
Ebert told Chancellor Prince Max of Baden the Kaiser had to abdicate to avoid civil
war. But Wilhelm still imagined that after making peace with the Allies, he could
turn the German army around and put down his own rebellious subjects. But after
four years and two and a half million dead, all the German army wanted to do was
go home. Whole regiments were throwing away their weapons and walking away.

1931- first day shooting on the movie Tarzan the Ape Man, starring former Olympic Gold Medal swimming champ Johnny Weissmuller.

1936- London publishers George Allen & Unwin had received a manuscript from an Oxford ancient languages professor named J.R.R. Tolkein. The publisher gave it to his ten-year old son Raynar Unwin, to read. Raynar read it and made a report, “This book will be a very good read for children from ages 5-7.” For his troubles, the young lad was paid a shilling. Based on his recommendation, they published “The Hobbit”.

1938-"THE NIGHT THAT PANICKED AMERICA- 27 year old Orson Wells broadcast on CBS a radio update of H.G. Well’s story "The War of the Worlds". Despite periodic station announcements that it was only a fictional re-enactment, one million people across the U.S. go bonkers that an actual Martian invasion had landed in Grover’s Mill New Jersey.
In Hollywood, famed actor John Barrymore, drunk as usual, went over to his
kennel of prize winning racing greyhounds and open their cage doors, saying: "Fend
for yourselves!" Interestingly enough, the broadcast was only #2 in the ratings. More people listened to the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show.

In 1949 Ecuador, and 1969 Buffalo NY, radio stations did updated versions of the broadcast, and they also started panics.

1941-The REUBEN JAMES INCIDENT-Five weeks before the Pearl Harbor attack, the neutral U.S. destroyer Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat, drowning dozens of American sailors. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill thought this would be the incident to anger Americans enough into getting into World War II like the Lusitania did a generation earlier. Woody Guthrie sang: "Oh tell me what were
their names, tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good old
Reuben James?" However Adolf Hitler apologized and offered immediate monetary
reparations. Popular anger cooled. Roosevelt told his cabinet:" I think I can keep us out of this war for one more year unless Germany or Japan does something stupid."

1947- Bertoldt Brecht, the playwright of Mother Courage and The Threepenny Opera,
testified to the Hollywood HUAC committee. He smoked a large cigar through the whole
session. Next day, as he had once fled Hitler’s Germany, he now fled the U.S. and resettled in East Germany.

1961- Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev has his old boss Stalin’s body removed from
its glass case pickled next to Lenin, and has it buried in a simple grave in the back.

1963- The first Lamborghini 350GTV went on sale.

1966- An inventory done at the National Archives revealed that medical evidence
of John F. Kennedy's assassination autopsy were missing. This included JFK’s brain.
They have never been found. Kennedy’s brother Robert was still attorney general
at the time. Some historians think he hid evidence of conspiracy to hide his
brothers mob connections, and so preserve the purity of the Camelot myth.

1973- The Carlin Case- Radical radio station WBAI in New York broadcast hippy comedian George Carlin’s routine about the “Seven Deadly Words” the naughty words you can’t say on the air. I can’t write them because children read this column but you all know what they are anyway. The FCC slapped a heavy fine and WBAI sued for free speech and the case made it to the Supreme Court. Today the High Court found for the FCC and those 7 deadly words remain banned from airwaves today. Aw, Sh*t!

1975- King Juan Carlos assumed the throne in the restored monarchy of Spain.

1991- Middle East Peace Conference began in Madrid Spain. These first days about
the only thing the Arabs and Israeli’s could agree upon was to politely refuse the
lunch the Spaniards had set out for them- ham sandwiches.

1992- QUANTRILL’S FUNERAL- William Quantrill’s Raiders were infamous during the Civil War for their depredations in Kansas and Missouri. After being shot dead in 1865, an admirer dug up his remains and kept them. Passing through several hands the bones were put up for sale, displayed in a glass case and even used by Ohio State fraternities for their initiation rituals. Billy Quantrill’s skull was discovered in a refrigerator behind the tuna sandwiches and Coke in the Dover Historical Society. This day the remains were finally laid to rest in his birthplace of Dover Ohio.

2002- Rap star of Run-DMC Jam Master Jay was shot dead in the lounge of his recording studio in Queens NY. The killer was never found.

2005- Disney feature Chicken Little premiered.

2012- The Walt Disney Company announced it was buying out George Lucas holdings (including the Star Wars franchise) for $4.05 billion.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be chagrined?

Answer: If you are chagrined, you might be annoyed, exasperated, indignant or humiliated.


Oct. 29, 2020
October 29th, 2020

Question: What does it mean to be chagrined?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: James Cameron has had good fortune with the name Pandora, for the planet in his movie Avatar. Who or what was the original Pandora?
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History for 10/29/2020
Birthdays: James Boswell, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Keats, Sir Edmund Halley, Louis Blanc, Fanny Brice, Joseph Goebbels, Zoot Sims, Winona Ryder, Jesse Barfield, Kate Jackson, Bill Mauldin, Akim Tamiroff, Rufus Sewell, Neal Hefti-composer of the theme song for TV shows like Batman and the Odd Couple. Richard Dreyfus is 73, Ralph Bakshi is 82, Dan Castellenata, the voice of Homer Simpson.

1618- Sir Walter Raleigh celebrated his birthday by being beheaded. Raleigh was once Queen Elizabeth’s favorite, but by now he was getting on King James nerves, by opposing the Kings peace overtures to Spain. Also Raleigh was implicated in a plot to keep James from attaining the throne. The king had him dangling on a commuted death sentence for treason for 15 years. Finally when Raleigh attacked Spanish settlements in Brazil against his direct orders not to, that was enough. Off with his head! On the scaffold Raleigh thumbed the axeman’s blade. He joked:" This is sharp medicine, but it cures all ills." The man credited with introducing tobacco to Northern Europe, he puffed his pipe for one last time before putting his head on the block. His wife kept his severed head in a cabinet for the rest of her life.

1762- Battle of Freiburg. Frederick the Great’s brother Prince Henry defeated the Austrians in the final major battle of the Seven Years War.

1764-The Hartford Current debuts. The U.S.'s oldest continuously running newspaper.

1776- During the American retreat from the British across New Jersey, General George Washington is accidentally handed a letter from one of his officers to another. He read it and it accused him of incompetence: "The only thing worse than a Blundering Commander is an Indecisive one!" Up till then Washington had thought that the writer, Thomas Mifflin, was a friend of his. Washington passed on the note without any comment other than an apology for having opened it.

1787- Wolfgang Amadeus’s opera DON GIOVANNI premiere in Prague. Mozart had partied the night before and after midnight sat down and wrote the overture. As the musicians were sitting down he ran from stand to stand handing out the music. Goethe and Schiller loved it. Giacomo Rossini called it “the Greatest of All Operas”. After Don Giovanni, his lyricist Lorenzo da Ponte left Europe for America and settled down in New Jersey. His niece had an affair with the son of Francis Scott Key and married a general who fought at Gettysburg.

Oct. 29, 1795- NAPOLEON MET JOSEPHINE- After quelling anti-government riots in Paris, General Bonaparte ordered the citizens to turn in all weapons. Beautiful socialite Josephine de Beauharnais came this day to thank the young General for allowing her son to keep the sword of his guillotined father.
Napoleon was at once smitten, and their romance became legend. He would write her letters from the battlefield like “Don’t send me your kisses, they burn my blood!”,
And “ I shall be home in a week, please don’t bathe until then, I want to smell you!”

1796- The SS Otter out of Boston under Captain Ebeneezer Dorr entered Monterrey Bay, the first American visitor to Spanish Alta-California.

1825- In Dublin, British Marquis de Wellesley married American socialite Miss Margaret Patterson. What makes this society wedding memorable was Miss Patterson's sister Betsy was married to Napoleon's younger brother Lucien Bonaparte. The Marquis of Wellesley was the older brother of the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon had died in 1821 but had he still been alive he would have had his Waterloo nemesis Wellington for a brother-in-law! It would have made for some interesting family gatherings.....

1836- The young nephew of Napoleon, Louis Napoleon, tried again to overthrow the French Government the way his famous uncle did. Instead of cheering, people chased him through the streets of Strasbourg yelling :"Shut Up you Blockhead!" He will eventually become Emperor Napoleon III.

1936- The resolutions of the First Geneva Convention announced. It attempted to regulate the treatment of civilians and prisoners in wartime. It was set up by Henry Dunant, who also helped found the International Red Cross. More Geneva Conventions would be signed by nations in 1925 and 1949.

1901- Leon Czogolsz was electrocuted for the assassination of President William McKinley. Immigrant anarchist Czogolsz had a nervous breakdown, and became so crazy, that even other anarchists avoided him as a nut.

1904--Mayor MacClellan opened the New York City Subway System. For 5 cents you could go 722 miles of tunnel, under 30 square miles, the largest system in the world. The Mayor was given a solid silver ceremonial throttle, took controls of the first train and drove it around himself. When asked to hand the controls back he refused “Go away, I’m running this train now.” He went full throttle from Bleecker St to 146th. Later that day after the VIP’s concluded the party the subway was opened for the first commuters.

1923-General Mustapha Kemal abolished the Ottoman Sultans and declared Turkey a secular Republic. For this he was named Ataturk, or "Father of the Turks". To this day Islamic fundamentalism has had a harder time in Turkey, where the example of Ataturk is respected as much as George Washington here. It is a federal crime to even criticize Ataturk.

1923- The musical Running Wild opened on Broadway, introducing the dance craze the Charleston.

1929- BLACK TUESDAY-THE STOCK MARKET CRASH AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION BEGINS. The falling stock crisis which had been gaining momentum since early September finally culminated in the greatest ever one day collapse of the U.S. Economy. Millions of people who weren't ruined by last Thursday’s crash were ruined today. One third of all U. S. banks failed- 2,500. Eyewitnesses to that day all remember the strange low roar echoing through the glass canyons of Wall Street, it was the continuous moans of thousands of investors being simultaneously ruined. Businessmen jumped to their deaths from windows. Two executives held hands as they jumped because they had a joint account. The chairman of General Motors William Durant finished his life managing a bowling alley in Chicago.

The Union Club wallpapered it's bar with worthless stock certificates. Venerable firms like Morgan and Lehman Brothers allowed 'apple-breaks' for their brokers to go out on the street and supplement their income by selling apples. By years end all U.S. industry was working at 17% of capacity and unemployment would soon soar to 55% in many major cities. The newl Empire State Building was nicknamed the "Empty State Building".

The Hoover Administration, which espoused the traditional hands-off attitude towards Wall Street, watched in horror as every trick known to financial wizards like Rockefeller and Lamont failed to stop the slide. People questioned whether capitalism itself was now a failure. Hoover's Vice President Charles Curtis, (for whom the nickname "Goodtime Charlie" was invented) continued to party while things collapsed. He responded to hungry, unemployed people protesting during his speech that they were all "Too damn dumb" to understand economics. His sister socialite Dolly Curtis said that she felt that the Depression, such as it was, maybe was already ending. This prompted one newspaper to run the headline:' DOLLY CALLS IT OFF!"

1936- Ella Crawford-Smith was a real estate magnate whose first husband was killed in a gangland hit. She had the Hollywood bungalow where the murder occurred torn down, and brought in Arte-Moderne architect Robert Derrah to create something unique. Today the project, Crossroads of the World, was dedicated. It was an early form of open-air mall, designed to look like an ocean liner coming into port. It’s still there today.

1938-"SALUD CAMERADE!" The Farewell Parade in Barcelona of the International Brigade. 40,000 men-young intellectuals, German and French anti-fascists groups all united to help in the Spanish Civil War. The losing Spanish Republic had gambled that if they sent the International fighters home Franco would remove his Nazis and Italian allies . It didn't work. Their story was glamorized by writers like Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell. Ironically many Americans who fought in the Lincoln Brigade were denied advancement in the U.S. Armed forces when World War II began. The army labeled them "Premature Anti-fascists".

1956- SUEZ WAR-Britain and France were mad at Egypt over the nationalizing of the Suez Canal. They hatched a plan with Israel to start a war with Egypt then reoccupy the canal. This day the first phase went into effect when Israeli forces rolled into Sinai, preceded by a daring stunt. A flight of six Israeli P-51 Mustang fighters flew a top speed barely 12 feet off the ground slicing Egyptian telephone wires with their propellers.

1957- A lunatic lobbed a hand grenade into the Israeli Knesset, wounding Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

1957- Louis B. Mayer died. His last words were: "Nothing Matters..." The head of MGM Studios lorded over Hollywood like a monarch, made and broke moviestars, ordered Judy Garland fed a steady stream of narcotics and had his office redesigned all white to resemble Mussolini, whom he admired. Humphrey Bogart was at his funeral. When asked if he was close to Mayer, Bogie replied: Nah, I'm just here to make sure he's dead!

1959- Goscinny and Uderzo’s comic character Asterix first appeared in Pilote magazine.

1969- At the trial of the Chicago 7, Judge Hoffman ordered Blank Panther leader Bobby Seale to be bound and gagged in his seat, for outbursts in the courtroom.

1969- THE INTERNET- After the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Defense Department asked the Rand Corporation to create a communication system that could survive Russian atomic bombs. They conceived of a “net” of computers all in communication with another around the world. Because there was no center, a bomb could not knock out the entire system.
At 10:30PM In the basement of UCLA’s Boelter Hall, Lick Licklider, Leonard Kleinrock, Vin Cerf, Robert Kahn, Larry Roberts and Bob Taylor set up the first call to Stanford. “ We typed the “L” and we asked on the phone “ Did you see the “L”? “Yes, we see the “L,” was the response. Then we typed O and asked Did you see the O?” Yes, we see the O” was the response. Then we typed G, and then the system crashed!” But when they rebooted, and the system sprung to life again. The people at UCLA were able to type in LOG, to which the Stanford folks replied IN.
They called it ARPANET- Advanced Research Projects Agency-NET, a few years later Internet. By 1978 the Defense Department didn’t want to run the thing anymore so they offered to turn over the entire Internet to AT&T for free. AT&T said no thanks, we just don’t see the value in it. In 1992 the US government made the Internet public and the gold rush was on.

1975- Years of bad fiscal management had brought New York City close to bankruptcy. This day President Gerald Ford announced that the United States Treasury would not help New York City out of it’s fiscal problems with any emergency loans. Although he reversed his position soon afterward, New Yorkers remembered his attitude. The New York DAILY NEWS papers headline “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD!” remained in people’s minds as they voted overwhelmingly for Jimmy Carter.

1993- Tim Burton’s fantasy A Nightmare Before Christmas, directed by Henry Selick, opened across the US.

1994- An emotionally disturbed Colorado upholsterer named Francisco Duran fired a Chinese AK-47 machine gun at the White House. He told authorities a multi-colored Alien told him to kill President Clinton in order to disperse a cosmic mist that had been over the White House for a thousand years. Pretty amazing mist, since the White House is only 200 years old. Bill Clinton was oblivious, watching football on TV.

2012- Hurricane Sandy –a late season hurricane the size of Europe collided with a storm front coming from the west, and a cold front from Canada, and it all slammed into the mid Atlantic coastline. 233 killed, 6 million without power and the Wall St area flooded, The Atlantic City boardwalk, Asbury Park and the Jersey Shore were destroyed.

2012- Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph premiered.

2016- Federal guidelines say the FBI should not insert itself into an Election thirty days before election day. This day FBI director James Comey announced he was directing his investigators to reopen investigating Hillary Clinton’s e-mail use. The news of an equal investigation into Donald Trumps campaign was suppressed by the media. They never found anything bad but the fake news helped defeat Hillary in favor of Trump, who then fired FBI Director Comey.
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Yesterday’s Question: James Cameron has had good fortune with the name Pandora, for the planet in his movie Avatar. Who or what was the original Pandora?

Answer: Pandora was the Greek goddess who opened the box of troubles, unleashing the, on mankind..


Oct. 28, 2020
October 28th, 2020

Question: James Cameron has had good fortune with the name Pandora, for the planet in his movie Avatar. Who or what was the original Pandora?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Where is the Gobi Desert?
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History for 10/28/2020
Birthdays: Elsa Lanchester, Cleo Lane, Charlie Daniels, Evelyn Waugh, Jonas Salk, Bruce Jenner, Joan Plowright, Edith Head, Chef August Escolfiere the great French Chef who created Peche Melba and moved French cuisine to the front rank of world cooking, Charles Grovesnor the founder of National Geographic magazine, Joaquin Phoenix is 46, Dennis Franz, Julia Roberts, Bill Gates is 65, Don Lusk.

FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON ZEALOT & ST. JUDE- In the Middle Ages people mixed up St. Simon with St. Simeon the " Hobgoblin Saint", and St. Jude (The patron saint of Lost Causes) with Judas Iscariot- I guess they felt God made him a saint as a consolation prize. So today was considered a good day for conjurers, sorcerers, necromancers and other practitioners of the Black Arts. One 17th century sorcerer, Bruno of Prague, claimed he could summon up St. Jude this day to grant you a wish. But if you showed any sign of fear or hesitation, St. Jude would box your ears and disappear.

312AD- BATTLE OF THE MULVIAN BRIDGE-The day before his showdown with his enemy emperor Maxentius at the gates of Rome, Caesar Constantine had a vision: a fiery Cross appeared in the sky with the device "IN HOC SIGNO VINCE" -By This Sign shalt thou Conquer". He decided this must be Christianity calling, so when Constantine won the battle, he ended Nero's 300 year ban on the outlaw religion, and later made it the official religion of the Empire.
Yet despite his efforts in the cause of this new religion, and his mother Saint Helena being a devoted Christian, Constantine himself prayed to Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun most of his life. He made the Church move the Christian Sabbath from the Hebrew Saturday to the Sun's day. Constantine himself wasn't baptized until on his deathbed 37 years later.

1147- Battle of Iconium- Saracens-1, Crusaders-0

1492- Christopher Columbus reached the island of Cuba. Here the Indians showed him how to smoke tobacco, which they called cochiba.

1575- THE PACIFICATION OF GHENT- The 17 provinces of the upper and lower Netherlands agreed to unite under the leadership of William of Orange. They also call for complete religious freedom and cut all ties with the Spanish Hapsburg Empire.

1726- Jonathan Swift published "Gulliver's Travels"-"To Vex the World rather than Divert it."

1872- EVANGELIST SEX SCANDAL! After the Civil War, minister Henry Ward Beecher of Brooklyn's Plymouth Church was the most famous clergyman in America. He was a great abolitionist, friend of Presidents and brother of writer Harriet Beecher Stowe. On this day feminist Victoria Woodhull revealed Beecher's habit of seducing the ladies of his congregation. Woodhull was a radical socialist who believed in Spiritualism and Free Love, and she admitted she herself had slept with the good reverend and even participated in a ménage a' trois with Beecher and the wife of his publisher Elizabeth Tilton! Beecher's friends locked up Woodhull for slander and tried every lawsuit possible. His sister Harriet wrote lampoons of Mrs.Woodhull calling her Aurelia Dangereyes. But the famous reverend fell from grace in American eyes. In later years Rev Beecher preached sermons that Hell didn’t exist. Critics said it was because he was afraid that he knew it was his own eventual destination.

1916- Oswald Boelcke, German air ace and tutor of Baron von Richtofen the Red Baron, died during a dogfight when he accidentally collided mid-air with one of his own wing man. Boelcke was a jolly fellow who if he heard one of the Allied pilots he shot down was captured, he would appear at his bedside with chocolate, schnapps and tobacco to party with him.

1918- The first signs begin that the Kaiser's government was crumbling under the strain of the Great War. On this date at Kiel the entire German High Seas Fleet mutinied and refused to set sail to attack the British Navy one more time. When soldiers were brought in to shoot the sailors, they joined the mutiny too. Factory worker uprisings broke out in Hamburg and in Munich. The willingness to carry on the war and obey the Kaiser was breaking down all over Germany. Germanys closest ally, Austria Hungary was asking the Allies for a cease fire.
In 1940 Newspaperman William Shirer noticed how pampered and well treated the sailors of the Third Reich’s navy were. Herr Hitler never forgot that revolution in Russia and Germany started in the Navy.

1918- The Czechs, Bohemians, Sudetens, Moravians and Slovaks form themselves into the Republic of Czechoslovakia. In 1991 the Slovakians split off from the Czech Republic.

1919- Congress overrode the veto of President Woodrow Wilson and passed the Volstead Act. The act gave enforcement powers to the Prohibition (XIX) Amendment forbidding the sale and consumption of alcohol. Named for House Judiciary Chair Andrew Volstead (R. Minn), the act was actually drafted by Wayne Wheeler, powerful lobbyist of the Anti-Saloon League. Andrew Volstead went along with the act, and lost re-election. The Volstead Act gave government the power to seize and destroy alcohol and distilleries, and shut down bars. This set the stage for the Roaring Twenties.

1928- Mussolini and his Fascists complete their March on Rome. Mussolini had started his political career as a socialist labor leader but soon decided there were more opportunities on the other side. He was Italy's youngest Prime Minister before forming his right wing extremists into a party and seizing power. He actually already had control of the government, he had just promised his men a dramatic march and didn’t want to let them down. Pope Pius XI said:” Mussolini is a man sent by Divine Providence.”

The word "Fascist" comes from their symbol "fasces" the bundle of sticks with an axe sticking out of them you sometimes see on gov't buildings. It was an allusion to the symbols of Roman power he wished to revive. In the previous generation Guisseppi Garabaldi's men were nicknamed the Red Shirts, so Mussolini dressed his men in Blackshirts, which led Hitler to make his stormtroopers Brownshirts.

1929- Composer Irving Berlin scolded George Gershwin for his lack of patriotism that he unloaded his stocks and bonds. The Great Stock Market Crash the following day bankrupted Irving Berlin but Gershwin escaped unscathed. Stick to music, Irv...

1948- Swiss chemist Paul Mueller received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. It was for inventing DDT. After the world war whole populations and jungles were sprayed with DDT to kill bugs and parasites. It wasn’t until 1970 that someone finally noticed it also caused cancer.

1949- Kay Kamen, Walt Disney Studios merchandising mastermind, was killed in a plane crash in the Azores. For almost two decades the Baltimore-born ad man was the mastermind behind the creation of Disney merchandising, including the wildly successful Mickey Mouse watch. By the time of his death, Disney merchandising was earning the studio $100 million a year.

1949- A top secret meeting of the Special Advisory Committee met at the Atomic Energy Commission to discuss whether to respond to the Russian atomic bomb by building a bigger Super “Hydrogen” Bomb. The Special Committee included father of the A-Bomb Robert Oppenheimer, Edward Teller, Enrico Ferme, two Nobel Prize winners and the President of Harvard. The scientists unanimously concluded that the H-Bomb “would not be a weapon of war but a weapon of Mass Genocide, and so a Moral Evil.” They advised against it. The US government ignored them and built one anyway.

1962- THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS ENDED- Soviet Chairman Nikita Khruschev withdrew his nuclear missiles from Cuba in exchange for a promise from Kennedy not to invade Cuba and to withdraw missiles from Turkey -they were obsolete and had been planned for de-activation anyway. Kennedy told the U.S. public there was no deal made. Generals on both sides were furious. Gen. Curtis LeMay called it America's greatest defeat. But the world breathed a sigh of relief. And Fidel Castro? Well, nobody bothered to tell him. He came out of his bunker after he found out the news on the Voice of America broadcast that evening.

1963- First day of demolition of New York’s City Pennsylvania Station, a massive Beaux Artes building. It signaled the triumph of the automobile over the train. It took three years to demolish and today it is considered a great cultural crime. The remade Pennsylvania station was an all underground facility. One writer said:” We used to enter New York like gods, now we come in like rats.” The angry reaction over the destruction of Penn Station fostered the creation of the New York Landmarks Commission.

1965- Pope Paul VI published an encyclical Nostra Aetate, that officially absolved the Jewish people for any responsibility in the death of Jesus Christ.

1965- St. Louis Gateway Arch completed.
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Yesterday’s Question: Where is the Gobi Desert?

Answer: China near Mongolia.


Oct. 27, 2020
October 27th, 2020

Question: Where is the Gobi Desert?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Was the goddess Venus ever married?
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HISTORY FOR 10/27/2020
B-Days: Captain James Cook, Theodore Roosevelt, Dylan Thomas, Nicolo Paganinni, Gerhard Von Gneisenau, Sylvia Plath, Roy Lichtenstein, John Cleese is 81, Freddy De Cordova, Ruby Dee, Roberto Benigni, Bernie Wrightson, Dr. Stamen Grigorov 1878, Bulgarian microbiologist who discovered the bacillus that made natural yogurt.

1553- In Geneva, after a trial prosecuted by the great religious reformer John Calvin, the Protestants burned at the stake fellow Protestant theologian Michael Servetus. His doctrines about Christ were too radical even for them. Servetus argued that Christ may have been just a powerful prophet but not God, and the Greek text speaking of Mary could have mistranslated Young Woman to Virgin. Servetus was refused a quick death. With his books chained to his chest he was slow burned, taking a half an hour of agony to die.

1560- Berserk conquistador, and Amazon explorer Aguirre, who called himself the Emperor of El Dorado, and we know from a movie as Aguirre the Wrath of God, was killed in Venezuela by Spanish loyalists.

1788-THE FEDERALIST PAPERS- While the new American republic was still trying to decide what kind of government it wanted, this day the first in a series of editorial letters appeared in American newspapers. The 85 essays argued the case for a strong federal government and judiciary, superceding the authority of individual states. Under the pseudonym "Publius". The essays were written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. Today they are called collectively the Federalist Papers.

1806- After defeating the Prussian Army at Jena, Napoleon’s French army marched into Berlin, all bands blaring Le Marseillaise. Part of his sightseeing Napoleon went to Potsdam and visited the tomb of Frederick the Great, the previous generation’s military genius.

1864-"BLOODY BILL" ANDERSON BUSHWHACKED-Among the Missouri bandits who called themselves Confederate guerillas like Quantrill and Jesse James, Bill Anderson was one of the worst. A complete psychopath, he had union soldier' scalps hanging from his horses bridle, and to avenge his sister’s death he made a knot in a silk cord every time he killed a Yankee. He rode into battle tearfully shouting her name. By the time the Yankees finally killed him and stuck his head on a telegraph pole, the silk cord had 54 knots in it.

1886-THE STATUE OF LIBERTY DEDICATED- Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was originally asked by Ferdinand de Lesseps to create a huge statue of a woman to welcome Europeans sailing into the Suez Canal at Port Said. After that deal didn’t work out Bartholdi revamped the design for the Americas. The face looks like a classic Greek beauty although some insist it’s the artist’s mother. Bartholdi’s masterpiece, held up by Gustav Eiffel's superstructure, was supposed to be unveiled at the American Centennial celebrations in 1876, but was a little over deadline, about ten years. President Cleveland had started giving his opening remarks when the curtain revealing the statue was dropped early and he was drowned out by cheers, boat whistles, cannon salutes and fireworks. Women suffragettes rented a boat and floated alongside the parade bearing a large banner "She's beautiful, but she can not vote!"

1886- Musical fantasy "A Night on Bald Mountain" premiered in Russia. Composer Modest Mussorgsky worked as a florist during the day and wrote music at night. He was convinced he couldn’t make a living otherwise.

1916- The entertainment trade magazine Variety has the blurb: "Chicago has added recently to it’s number of so-called Jazz bands." Now jazz had been around in black neighborhoods for years, but the form was labeled Ragtime or Syncopation. This is the earliest known use in print of the word Jazz.

1919- New Orleans, Louisiana was unique because it governed itself using French law. This day saw the last execution of a criminal by axeman in the Big Easy, twenty years after most of America had gone from hanging to the electric chair.

1941- The Chicago Tribune announced in an editorial that there was no chance that the US would go to war with Japan.

1947- The "You Bet Your Life" quiz show premiered on radio. "Say the Secret Word and Win Fifty Dollars". Comedian Groucho Marx had struggled after his brothers act the Marx Brothers broke up. During a live radio program with Bob Hope at one point Hope dropped his script. Before he could pick it up Groucho stepped on the pages, threw his own away and the two improvised their conversation. The result was much funnier that anything anybody had written. The producer of the show was so impressed he hired Groucho and built a quiz show around him.

1954- Benjamin O. Davis became the first black general in the US Army.

1954- The" Disneyland" television show premieres. Up until then the major Hollywood Studios were all boycotting the new upstart medium of television, then mostly done in New York by blacklisted stage actors and writers. MGM Production head Dori Schary called TV “ the Enemy”. Walt Disney is the first to break ranks with the major film studios and get into television production. He even filmed the show in Technicolor, figuring television will develop color broadcasting eventually.

1962- THE DAY THE WORLD ALMOST ENDED- Black Saturday, the Darkest day of the Cuban Missile Crisis, The US and Russia had enough nuclear weapons to destroy all life on Earth 22 times over, and this day they came closest to doing just that.
Soviet and American battle fleets were faced off in the ocean. At the Berlin Wall tanks were muzzle to muzzle, some with nuclear artillery shells. All B-52's were in the air, waiting for the signal to enter Russian air space. Russian subs off the U.S. coast with nuclear missiles trained on American cities. All code Red, DEF CON-2- TOTAL WAR status. At a signal from The White House, the U.S. was poised to drop 7,000 nuclear weapons capable of killing 100 million people in an instant. The Russians had 64 hydrogen bombs operational in Cuba, mounted on missiles that could hit Washington and New York in just five minutes. Also 9 tactical nukes were under the direct control of two Soviet generals in Cuba, the only time that permission has ever been given.
Then suddenly a Cuban anti-aircraft missile shot down an American U-2 spy plane, killing the pilot. Pres. Kennedy complained to his staff:" Khrushchev doesn't think I have the guts to push the button!" Attorney General Robert Kennedy almost in tears from the strain, cried to Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin: " Things are moving beyond all human control!"
The Kremlin got a secret telegram from Fidel Castro in his underground bunker begging them to fire the nukes immediately, saying Cuba is proud to sacrifice itself on the ramparts of Socialism (Fidel sent it from an underground bunker). KGB director Yuri Andropov passed Castro's note on to Khrushchev after he penciled red question and exclamation marks all over it.( !!!??!?!? ) Khrushchev also later mentioned that he received an appeal from philosopher Bertrand Russell that he credited with helping him make up his mind to send Kennedy the offer of a compromise.

1964- Sonny & Cher married. I got you babe!

1964- The “You Choose Speech” Actor and TV pitchman Ronald Reagan made his maiden political speech at a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. He had made political speeches in the past, but this one marks his shedding his acting and union careers to become a full time conservative politician.

1966- Bill Melendez's Peanuts TV special "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'.

1967- the Worlds Fair in Montreal called Expo 67 closed.

1967- Anti-Vietnam War protestors in Baltimore broke into the Selective Service offices and poured human blood on draft files and records.

1981- Former UN ambassador and presidential aide Andrew Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta Georgia.

1986- The NY Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox to win the baseball World Series.

1989 - World Series play resumes between Oakland and San Francisco after a ten day delay from the 1989- Bay Area Earthquake.

2004- After not winning it for half the history of baseball, since 1918, this day the Boston Red Sox swept the Saint Louis Cardinals to finally win a World Series. They go on to win several more.

2018- The LA Dodgers defeated the Boston Red Sox 3-2 in the longest World Series game in history. 18 innings, 7 ½ hours, ending at 12:30am.
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Yesterday’s Question: Was the goddess Venus ever married?

Answer: Venus’ husband was Vulcan (Greek: Hephaestus), god of the forge. The marriage was more than rocky, with both Venus and Vulcan having numerous affairs and children. Vulcan was well aware that he was a cuckold, actually capturing Venus and Mars (Greek: Ares) in flagrante delicto, using an unbreakable net he forged for that purpose. (Thanks FG)


Oct. 26, 2020
October 26th, 2020

Question: Was the goddess Venus ever married?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: The Greek god Aphrodite was the Roman god Venus. The Greek god Posiedon was the Roman god Neptune. The Greek God Artemis was…?
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History for 10/26/2020
Birthdays: Danton, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir “Bill” Tytla - Disney animator who gave life to Dumbo, Grumpy and the Devil from Bald Mountain, Francois Mitterand, Domenico Scarlatti, Charles W. Post of Post Cereals, Bob Hoskins, The last Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, Mahalia Jackson, Clive Barker, Bootsie Collins, Marla Maples, Count Helmuth von Molkte the Elder -German strategist of the Franco-Prussian War, Dylan McDermott, Cary Elwes, Jaclyn Smith, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Seth McFarlane is 47, and Pat Sito.

Feast of Saint Evaristus, a Hellenic Jew who was made pope during the Roman persecutions. He is counted as a martyr even though there is no evidence that he did die that way. It's just assumed that all those early popes became toast sooner or later.

901 AD- English King Alfred the Great died. One of two English kings ever to be called The Great. (the other being the Danish Canute). He drove the Vikings from England and unified most of the island under his rule.

1326- Hugh Despenser, the boyfriend of King Edward II, is hanged on orders of Edward's wife, Queen Isabella the" She-Wolf of France".

1440- French nobleman Giles De Rais beheaded. If the concept of "medieval justice" always seemed like an oxymoron, the case of Giles De Rais is a notable exception.
Giles was a powerful warlord of Joan of Arc who went bizarrely wrong in his later years. He was so paranoid about losing his fortune, he listened to a sorcerer who told him the Devil would help if Giles sacrificed some children to him.
When children began disappearing in large numbers from around his castle, even the Royal court and aristocracy couldn't ignore the outcry. The knight was tried, beheaded and his remains burned without Christian rites. His castle Chevrenault outside Tours was leveled, so no memory of the horrible episode would remain. Giles De Rais is sometimes called Bluebeard, a name also given to the insurance murderer Nicholas Landru in 1928.

1555- After being given the kingdom of the Netherlands by his father Charles V, this day King Phillip II of Spain pledged to respect Dutch freedom. But his Catholic zeal was offended by the rising conversion rates to Calvinist Protestantism. Phillip soon unleashed the Dukes of Alva and Parma to tortured and executed thousands. The Dutch responded with revolutionary force and after an 80 year struggle, won their independence.

1825-THE ERIE CANAL COMPLETED, on budget and ahead of schedule. Governor Dewitt Clinton poured a ceremonial bucket of Great Lakes water into the Hudson River. Once called Clinton’s Big Ditch, even elderly Thomas Jefferson thought the plan was madness. The 350 mile Erie Canal tied the Midwest interior of America to its Atlantic coast and makes New York the economic capitol of the nation. It also set off a boom in canal boat building. Remember at this time trains weren’t invented yet and roads were so poor, it took Jefferson two weeks to travel from Washington to Charlottesville Virginia, a distance today driven in two hours!

1858- The rotary drum washing machine patented by H. E. Smith of Philadelphia.

1863- The English Football Association formed to standardize the rules for soccer.

1863- We all know the Transcontinental Railroad was completed when the Golden Spike was driven in, on May 10,1867. Well today the first nails of that four year, 800 mile track were hammered in ceremonies in Missouri on the East and Sacramento California on the West.

1881-The GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL- The grudgefight between the Earp Brothers and the Clantons only lasted about 90 seconds but remains the most famous gunfight of the Old West. The fight may have actually happened in front of McFly's Photo-Parlor, but the Tombstone Gazette decided the OK Corral, a block away, sounded more macho. Deputy Marshal Wyatt Earp later told so many different versions of what happened that he's totally discredited as a witness today.

1918- As the German war effort in World War I was falling apart, the Kaiser’s government asked for secret talks to get a ceasefire. Everyone knew this meant defeat and General Erich Ludendorf was having none of it. He denounced liberal Chancellor Prince Max of Baden’s peace efforts and vowed to fight on. Prince Max went to the Kaiser and said" He’s got to go. It’s Ludendorf or me!" Kaiser Wilhelm reluctantly ordered Ludendorf to submit his resignation.
Ludendorf refused a limousine; he walked alone to his house and sat silent in his parlor chair in the dark for several hours. Finally, he emerged and said to his wife:" In a fortnight we shall have no more Empire and no more Emperor. You will see." He was right to the day. Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated November 9th.

1929- Henry Ford invited President Herbert Hoover out for a picnic at Greenfield Michigan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the invention of Electricity. Greenfield was a theme park recreation of a pre-industrial American farm town Ford's innovations had done so much to change forever. Other guests include Thomas Edison, William Dupont, Henry Firestone and Madame Curie. During their picnic the President received ominous news of the growing crisis on Wall St. Hoover told Ford not to worry, but later quietly ordered his broker to sell all his personal stocks. Three days later the Stock Market crashed.

1942- Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands- American and Japanese planes dogfight for supremacy in the fourth carrier battle of the Pacific War. The carrier USS Hornet was sunk but the damaged Japanese fleet had to draw off and give up plans to re-supply their troops on Guadalcanal. In a strange bit of bad luck a torpedo rigged under the wing of a damaged PBY Catalina flying boat accidentally dropped into the ocean and after several mad circles sank the destroyer USS Porter.

1944- End of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

1947-HOLLYWOOD FIGHTS BACK- Members of Hollywood's progressive elite tried to answer the McCarthy hearings and the blacklist with a nationwide radio broadcast "Hollywood Fights Back” -Starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Danny Kaye, John Huston, Gene Kelly and Edward G. Robinson.
The event was a public relations fiasco. Nobel laureate Thomas Mann used his airtime to launch into a longwinded intellectual defense of Communism. When word reached them that some of the Hollywood writers they were defending really were communists Bogart and Bacall felt they had been hoodwinked. "As politicians we stink!" quote Bogie.

1951- Despite being past his prime famed heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis The Brown Bomber came out of retirement to attempt a comeback and pay off back taxes. This day he was knocked out by young champ Rocky Marciano. Growing up, Marciano had idolized Louis and afterwards apologized to him.

1952- David Wolper’s documentary Victory at Sea, first premiered ,with its majestic score by Richard Rogers.

1955- The Greenwich Village Voice, later called simply The Voice, first published. It ended in 2018.

1955- Ngo Dinh Diem declared himself the first President of the Republic of (South) Vietnam.

1957- Vatican Radio began broadcasting.

1962- During the tense standoff of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this day a KGB contact named Frohman met Peter Scholly, an ABC news correspondent, at a quiet Washington DC coffee shop. He gave the newsman a letter containing an offer from Khruschev to take to the White House that would eventually end the superpower standoff. No personal emails or texts then.

1965- The rock band the Beatles received MBEs (most excellent Member of the British Empire) medals at Buckingham Palace. John Lennon later returned his as a protest.

1970- Doonesbury born. Yale law graduate Gary Trudeau was convinced by Jim Andrews his classmate now an editor at Universal Press syndicate, to recreate his funny comic he did in the campus newspaper. Its original name was 'Bull Tales".

1972- Nixon advisor Dr Henry Kissinger announced "Peace is at Hand" in Vietnam.

1979 - Kim Jae-kyu, head of the South Korean intelligence agency, blew away their country's President, Park Chung-hee with a machine gun at a state banquet. Park had been president/dictator since 1961. The assassin was executed some months
later. He claimed it was an accident.

1984-" I’LL BE BACK…" James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller THE TERMINATOR first released. Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered a Hollywood joke before this film made him a major star. An interesting what-if, was that before Arnold was cast in the role of the cyborg assassin, the producers were first considering O.J. Simpson.

1985- The original date Marty McFly time travels from in the film Back to the Future.

2001- President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act, which gave him power to read your mail, tap your phones, bypassing all the safeguards demanded by Congress and the Bill of Rights, even the Magna Carta.

2015- The Supergirl TV show staring Melissa Benoist premiered.

2028- Asteroid 1977 FX11 will pass within 600,000 miles of the Earth. In 1998 The Smithsonian announced the asteroid would hit the planet or maybe pass closer than the moon's orbit 30,000 miles, causing global meteorological convulsions. The following day the Jet Propulsion Lab and Mount Palomar Observatory announced a correction of the calculations to prove it will miss us by a wide distance. So stick around, we're going to find out.
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Yesterday’s Question: The Greek god Aphrodite was the Roman god Venus. The Greek god Posiedon was the Roman god Neptune. The Greek God Artemis was…?

Answer: Diana.


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