June 25, 2017
June 25th, 2017

Quiz: What does it mean when someone describes something as a “ sea change” like “Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980 was a sea change in American politics.” ( not seed change. I checked.)

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: Walt Disney had older brothers, Herb, Ray and Roy. Did he have any sisters?
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History for 6/25/2017
Birthday: George Orwell, Marc Charpentier, Lord Louis Mountbatten, General Hap Arnold, Cajun musician Clifton Chenier, Sidney Lumet, Walter Brennan, Willis Reed, George Abbott, Carly Simon, June Lockhart, Alex Toth, Peyo (the creator of the Smurfs), Jimmy Dyne-o-Mite Walker, George Michaels, Mike Myers is 54, Ricky Gervais is 56.

841- Charlemagne had made all Europe from Spain to Hungary the Frankish Empire. But the grandchildren of Charlemagne divided the empire according to Frankish custom. Instead of the eldest son inheriting everything (primogeniture), all the sons got an equal share. This ensured civil wars to reunite and consolidate power. After knocking off their brother Lothar, Charles the Bald & Louis the German fixed the borders for a final division of their kingdoms. These would become France and Germany.

1630 – The Fork was introduced to American dining by Plymouth Gov Winthrop.

1673- The Dutch open their dykes and flood the land around Amsterdam to stop an invading French army.

1744- The first Methodist conference convened, in London.

1789- This day representatives from the Revolutionary National Assembly went to Paris city hall and told King Louis’ Royal administrators to get lost. They would now run Paris.

1815- After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, now it that it was safe, King Louis XVIII returned to France. He was the younger brother of the Louis XVI guillotined in the Revolution. The slow, rotund Louis XVIII, called Dix-Huit -Deez-Hweet in French, was nicknamed "Louis Biscuit" by the British because he rode into to Paris with the supply wagons of Wellington’s Army. The French called him Louis Dix-Huitres meaning Louis Ten Oysters. One British officer called him "A French Falstaff, a Fat Disgrace."

1835- Antoine Baron Gros was a celebrated painter under Napoleon and a friend of David and Ingres. But politics and tastes change. In a royalist postwar France dominated by Delacroix and Gericault, Baron Gros lived on forgotten and melancholy. This day the 64 year old artist drowned himself in the Seine.

1857- Writer Gustav Flaubert went on trial for pornography for his first novel Madame Bovary. He was acquitted, and went on to write his next book Salammbo the Carthaginian princess who strangled herself with her own hair. Don’t try this at home ladies!

1863- During the Civil War siege of Vicksburg, Yankee engineers dug a tunnel under the rebel lines and filled it with explosives. The huge blast accomplished little, but blew a black cook named Abraham up through the air and over into Union lines. Abraham was badly frightened by his strange flight to freedom, but miraculously unhurt . Soldiers of an Iowa regiment immediately put him in a tent and charged people five cents to come look at him.

1867 - 1st barbed wire patented by Lucien B Smith of Ohio. It was considered the perfect tool to protect crops from free-range cattle and other marauders. During the Boer War in 1898 South Africa the Boers got the novel idea of stringing the stuff in front of the attacking British regiments. It’s been used as a tool to herd people ever since,

1876- CUSTER'S LAST STAND called by the Sioux the Battle of the Greasy Grass- George Armstrong Custer and 300 of his 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and the combined Sioux, Cheyenne nations (approximately 1,700 warriors).

There had been defeats of the whites like this before: Fetterman's Massacre, The Little Rosebud Battle, but nothing captures the imagination like the Little Big Horn. And for Native-Americans it marks the last coming together of the tribes and the last great victory .The Ogalala Sioux, Hunkpapa, Miniconjou, Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne all united to resist the violation of their sacred Black Hills. No U.S. Army commander ever expected so many different tribes could unite and field thousands of warriors at once.

Custer trusted in his audacity. "Custer's Luck". The boy general –just 23 years old in the Civil War, he was always at the head of his men in costly, reckless attacks yet personally suffered nothing more severe than the flu. Now at age 36 his luck ran out.

Accounts by natives were sketchy and no one is sure just how Custer died. The last white soldier who saw him alive was a courier sent away with a message " Benteen, come up quick. Big Village. Bring packs". The courier was an Italian immigrant named Giusepppi Martini who couldn’t speak English. The famous image of Custer standing to the last with Old Glory in hand was made up by an artist named Paxton for an Anheuser-Busch beer advertisement in 1877. One Crow Indian scout who escaped said Custer was the first casualty and that his being shot down panicked the troopers. Others say the last they saw of Custer he was crawling on all fours with blood trickling down his mouth. He was found in a pile of bodies with a bullet wound in the left side and one in the temple. The Indians didn’t even know they had killed Yellow Hair until told days later.

The tribes afterwards dispersed and headed for Canada. The only 7th Cavalry survivor was Commanche, Capt. Mile’s Keough's horse. He was treated with honor by the army and fed a bucket of beer every payday for the rest of his life. Custer was hallowed with martyrdom. Ulysses Grant was quiet about the affair but privately thought it a badly botched operation. Sitting Bull was more blunt- "The soldiers were fools, they rode to their deaths."

Mrs. Libby Custer lived until 1933 and met FDR. The last living eyewitness of the battle, Mrs. Kate Bighead of the Cheyenne who was taken on the battlefield by her mother as a young girl, died in 1959.

1870- Toi Yo ta Hoooo! Richard Wagner's opera Die Walkure premiered in Munich.

1906- Famed New York architect Stanford White was having dinner at Madison Square Garden (back when it was still a garden, on Madison Ave. and still square) when he was shot to death by millionaire Harry Thaw, the husband of his mistress Evelyn Nesbitt. The eccentric Thaw was obsessed by White, hiring detectives to follow the artist, and report his amorous pursuits. He would only date women who had dated White first. Thaw’s defense attorney’s got him acquitted of murder by reason of temporary insanity.

So instead of the electric chair Harry Thaw spent a few years in a mental home living on squab and champagne. The crowd cheered him when he was freed. The key defense witness was 22 year old Mrs. Evelyn Nesbitt-Thaw, one of the beautiful "Gibson Girls’. She gave juicy details of her kinky relationship with White, like the red velvet swing she would ride in the nude over the admiring architect’s head. After Thaw was released they divorced. Before Evelyn Nesbitt died of old age in 1967, she admitted Stanford White was the only man she ever really loved. The incident was the basis for I.L. Doctorow's novel and movie "Ragtime".

1910- First performance of Stravinsky's ballet "Firebird" by Diagheilev and his Ballet Russe. Stravinsky used to refer to the dancers as "A bunch of knock-kneed Lolitas".

1910- Congress passed the Mann Act, sometimes called the White Slave Trafficking Act. It stated you couldn’t coerce a woman across state borders for immoral purposes. Penalties are doubled for legal minors, but the law says nothing about boys.

1934- Milt Kahl's first day at the Walt Disney Studios. It was said he was the first artist to ever show Walt a real portfolio of drawings to get hired.

1940- Young actor, and liberal labor activist Ronald Reagan married his first wife, actress Jane Wyman.

1942- A staff officer named Dwight Eisenhower was named by General George Marshall to overall command of all US forces in Europe. Picked over 400 other officers Eisenhower was chosen for his organizational skills, although up until then he had never actually led troops in combat.

1944- Three weeks after the D-Day landings with 650,000 Allied troops now in France, German Western Front army commander Von Rundstedt still believed the main allied invasion hadn’t arrived yet.

1945- President Truman wrote in his diary about how to end the war with Japan ” Should I invade, or bomb, and blockade? This is the hardest decision I ever had to make...” Truman knew about the atomic bomb, but didn’t know if it would work until July 16th.

1949- Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny short “ Longhaired Hare” premiered.

1951- After losing a power struggle to Dory Schary, Louis B. Mayer announced he was stepping down as head of MGM. Mayer in his time was the most powerful man in Hollywood. He kept an all white office modeled after Mussolini’s in Rome.

1951 - 1st color TV broadcast-CBS' Arthur Godfrey from NYC to 4 cities.

1956- The last Packard automobile was produced.

1967- The "Our World" Beatles concert, the first television event to attempt a worldwide satellite linkup. They sing and record "All You Need is Love" live in front of an audience of 400.

1968- Pierre Elliot Trudeau elected Prime Minister of Canada. For the next twenty-five years he and his flower-child wife Margaret will be one of Canada’s most colorful leaders.

1973- White House counsel John Dean testifies to the Congressional Watergate Committee "There is a Cancer on the Presidency." For the first time one of President Nixon's closest advisers hinted publicly that the President himself was personally involved in the Watergate scandal.

1981- Bill Gates and Paul Allen file papers to incorporate their company Microsoft.

1982- Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film Blade Runner opened.

1991-The Fifth Balkan War- also called the Yugoslav Civil Wars began. After the death of aged Communist dictator Josef Tito, the union of South Slavs called Yugoslavia started to come apart. This day Slovenia & Croatia declared their independence. Serbia had allocated to itself the bulk of the armaments of the former Yugoslav army and attacked them with it.
During these wars it was almost impossible to tell Serbs, Bosnian-Moslems or Croats apart. At times they killed each other based on what their automobile license plate read.

1980- Disney’s film Herbie Goes Bananas, premiered.

1997- Disney's animated film Hercules opened in theaters.

2009- Michael Jackson, called the King of Pop, died after his personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray administered a powerful sedative named Propofol to help him sleep and stopped his heart instead. He was 50 and been performing on stage since the age of 5.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Walt Disney had older brothers, Herb, Ray and Roy. Did he have any sisters?

Answer: He had one kid sister, Ruth.


June 24, 2017
June 24th, 2017

Quiz: Walt Disney had older brothers, Herb, Ray and Roy. Did he have any sisters?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: Why is the Turkish Empire called the Ottoman Empire? Did everyone like foot cushions?
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History for 6/24/2017
Birthdays: Earl Kitchener, the Sirdar of Omdurman, Roy O. Disney, E.I. Dupont, Ambrose Bierce, Jack Dempsey, John Ciardi, Mick Fleetwood, Phil Harris- singer and voice of Baloo in Disney’s Jungle Book, Billy Casper, Michelle Lee, Claude Chabrol, Chief Dan George, Pete Hamill, Peter Weller, Sherry Springfield

Happy St. John the Baptist or St. Jean Baptiste’s Day.

1203- The armies and fleets of the Fourth Crusade arrive before the Walls of Constantinople. The knights of Europe had signed on to fight Moslems for the Holy City of Jerusalem but Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo convinced them to help him destroy the Byzantine Greeks first. This was a purely economic act because the Byzantine Greeks were Venice’s chief competition for Mediterranean trade.

1219- Pope Innocent III set today as the deadline for deadbeat knights who volunteered to go on Crusade to get off their ironclad butts and get going. Knights had an economic incentive to taking the Crusading vow: no one could collect a bad debt from you and you couldn't be imprisoned for owing money. So some knights would take the vow to Crusade, but then stalled making the dangerous trip to the Middle East, where two out of three never returned.

1324- THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN- Scottish King Robert the Bruce defeated the invading army of King Edward II of England and secured the crown of Scotland for the next 300 years. The Bruce fought in the midst of his troops, hacking down Sir Hugh de Bohun in single combat with his battle-axe. Edward’s father, Edwards Longshanks, had developed winning tactics of using Welsh archers to shoot up an enemy before the mounted knights charged. But Edward II’s bad generalship bungled the system. Knights and footmen scrabbled to get at the Scots not allowing the bowmen a clear target.

1374- In the French town of Aix la Chapelle was the first recorded outbreak of St. John’s Dance. Groups of people frothing at the mouth danced madly around uncontrollably until they fell over dead from exhaustion.

1441- Eton College created by King Henry VI of England.

1488-The PIED PIPER OF HAMLIN-The story is a romantic fairy tale but on this day one version of the story has the real man doing something more like Jeffrey Dahmer. Because the town fathers refused to pay his salary he spirited a hundred children out of Hamelin and they all disappeared. People later found young body parts. These fairy tales, like Red Riding Hood and others were for peasants more warnings of peril than amusements.

1497-English explorer John Cabot discovered Canada -Eh!

1534- The great medical pioneer Paracelsus led a mass burning of medical textbooks at Basel University. The eccentric scholar took frequent sips of laudanum (a heavy opiate he developed) from a container in the hollow handle of his sword. He pioneered the use of minerals in medicine and invented the term Tartar for teeth.

He also practiced Astrology and would never give an enema during the full moon. With this book-burning stunt Paracelsus claimed that all medical text before him was quackery and mumbo-jumbo. Burning in St. John’s Fire was the least it deserved. Truth be told he was right. His middle name Bombast became a synonym for bragging.

1535- The Anabaptists, a radical religious sect, had driven out the Bishop of the German city of Munster and established a commune like city-state they called the New Jerusalem. This day after a long siege, a spy opened a gate to the German Imperial soldiers and the city was captured with a horrible massacre.

The Anabaptist leader John of Leyden, who had lived like an Old Testament King with a harem of wives, was tied to a stake and clawed with red-hot pincers. His tongue was torn out with pliers. Finally, when they couldn’t think of any more ways to torture him a dagger was pounded into his heart and his body burned. The Anabaptist sect was suppressed in Cologne, Trier, Amsterdam and Leyden.

1675- King Phillips War began. The Massachusetts Pilgrims repay the hospitality of the Wampanoag Indians with whom they spent the first Thanksgiving by wiping them out. King Phillip was the Christian name of the chief who was the son of Massacoit, the Wampanoag who welcomed the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.

1668- Margaret Brent entered the legislature of the colony of Maryland and demanded the right to vote. She was chased out of the building.

1812- NAPOLEON INVADES RUSSIA with the largest army yet assembled.
Around 600,000. By December, barely 30,000 came out alive. This day while inspecting the troops Napoleon’s horse stepped in a rabbit hole and threw him on his butt. This was taken as an ill omen.

1853- Joaquin Murietta was an outlaw who ranged up and down the California midlands. Called the Terror of the Stanislaus. He and his friend Three-Fingered Jack were finally hunted down and killed in a shootout by Marshal Harry Love. This day Murietta’s head and Jack’s three-fingered hand in a jar of spirits went on display in front of the Stockton Cal jailhouse.

1876- CUSTER APPROACHES THE LITTLE BIG HORN- General Custer's scouts reported a large Indian camp at the Little Big Horn River. Custer decides to attack tomorrow without waiting for the other armies to catch up. Through his interpreter Mitch Boyer, he tells his Indian scouts that after he has destroyed the Sioux, he will go back east and become the Great White Father. The Republican presidential nominating convention was next month.
The Crow and Mandan scouts were troubled by the signs and began to sing their death-songs. Embedded N.Y. Herald reporter Mark Kellogg made a final entry in his diary: "I go to ride with Custer and will be there at the death...”
In the dawn's light a survivor from Major Reno’s command overheard chief scout Bloody Knife tell Custer: " You and I are going Home today -but by a different path."

1889- The Bank of Telluride Colorado was robbed by a lapsed Mormon miner named Robert Parker, who now called himself Butch Cassidy.

1901- The first exhibit in a Paris salon on the Rue Lafitte of a Spanish artist named Pablo Picasso.

1924- As the Zionist Jews labored to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine, disagreements arose between Ultra-Orthodox and more secular Jews. The orthodox objected to the founding of a Jewish State before the coming of the Mossiach or Messiah, they objected to the everyday use of Hebrew, which they considered a sacred tongue.
This day an Ultra Orthodox leader named Rabbi Israel Dehar was assassinated by the Hagannah, the Israeli underground. Rabbi Dehar had just had meetings with the Sheik of Trans-Jordan and had announced he was going to go to London to demand the British authorities create a separate protectorate for Orthodox Jews that would not be under the rule of the mainstream Jewish community.
Even though many Zionist leaders like Abba Eban felt the killing of a fellow Jew was wrong, they could not endure such a fracturing of the Jewish position. So Rabbi Dehar had to be stopped.

1930- The first test of radar to detect an airplane, this test over Anacostia flats near Washington DC.

1939- Pan-Am airlines began regular transatlantic passenger flights from New York to London.

1944- Three Jews escaped Auschwitz, traveled via Switzerland to bring evidence of the Holocaust to London and Washington. American and British Jewish leaders demand bombing the rail links to the concentration camps. A shocked Winston Churchill wrote RAF Air Marshal Tedder: "Get anything out of the air force you can." Strangely, nothing ever happened. The plans were always stalled in lower echelons.
Three times U.S. Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy wrote, "Kill this plan.” While massed Allied bombers were reducing German cities to ruins, there was never one single air attack upon a concentration camp. The gas chambers and crematoriums worked uninterrupted until they were finally overrun by the land armies. It's one of the war's more shameful mysteries.

1945- The Russian Victory Parade over the German Third Reich. Moscow rejoiced as thousands of Red Army troops marched in Red Square and tossed captured Nazi flags at the foot of Lenin’s tomb. This in imitation of their ancestors who tossed Napoleon’s battle flags in a heap on the steps of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. There next to Stalin stood future President Dwight Eisenhower representing the United States.

Top military genius Marshal Gyorgi Zhukov, the victor of Stalingrad and Berlin, was allowed to review the troops on a prancing white horse. This display aroused jealousy in Stalin who was suspicious of rivals and not anxious to share the credit. Within a year of the victory, Stalin had Zhukov disgraced and sent to Mongolia, and the heads of the Soviet Navy and Airforce demoted and tortured. Stalin then awarded all the top war medals to himself.

1945- Meet the Press debuted on radio. Two years later it moved to television and it remains TV’s longest running program.

1947-The Berlin Airlift- Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was furious when the western powers decided to unify their sections of defeated Germany back into an independent country and top Nazis supporters like industrialist Gottfried Krupp were being let out of jail and put back into positions of power. He decided to strike back at isolated Berlin.
When Stalin ordered all land routes to West Berlin sealed off hoping to starve the city into submission, U.S. President Truman ordered the city supplied by round the clock air flights. The planes brought 4 thousand tons of supplies a day. A plane landed every three minutes. The Germans called them "candy-bombers" because they dropped candy on the children from above.

1947- THE FIRST MODERN UFO SIGHTING. A commercial airline pilot flying out of Seattle notices 6 silver disc shaped objects hovering over Mt. Reynier near Seattle. They then shot off at terrific speed. They are never identified nor explained. The pilot, Kenneth Arnold had impeccable credentials as an ex-combat Marine pilot and chamber of commerce member. The government response was to hit him with an IRS audit. The "flying-saucer" craze, with allegorical overtones to postwar atomic paranoia, sweeps the American imagination throughout the 1950’s.

1949 - "Hopalong Cassidy" becomes the1st network western on television-NBC.

1950- THE KOREAN WAR BEGAN- June 25th in some records because of the International Date Line- 30 North Korea divisions armed with heavy Soviet tanks and artillery crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea. The attack was a complete surprise and most South Korean officers were at a party dedicating a new Officer’s Club. The US had deliberately kept the Korean Army lightly armed to diffuse Cold War tension. Mao and Stalin were equally surprised by Kim Il Sung’s offensive. Declassified wire messages between Bejing and Moscow read “ Did you tell him to do that?” I thought you did…?”

That previous January, Secretary of State Acheson had said during a conference that the US "was not interested in the Korean Peninsula." But when President Harry Truman was informed of the invasion he responded in typical Truman fashion:" We gotta stop those Sons of Bitches!" At this time there were only 500 US troops in Korea called KMAG, for Korean Military Advisory Group, which one Yank changed to Kiss My Ass Goodbye! This is considered the first war fought by the United Nations, since Truman pushed through a resolution sending troops under the UN banner. The Russians were boycotting the Security Council over its refusal to seat Red China, so they were not there to veto the resolution.

1963 - 1st demonstration of a home video recorder, at BBC Studios, London

1970 – The movie "Catch 22" opened in movie theaters.

1973- Eamon de Valera resigned as President of the Irish Republic at age ninety. The American-born Irish patriot had been a guerrilla in the 1916 Easter Sunday Uprising and was president since 1932.

1997- Brian Keith, actor (Family Affair, Dirty Dingus McGee), shot himself at 75. He was suffering from incurable cancer and tired of the pain fighting the disease.

2004- On the Senate floor during a routine Congressional group photo, the Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney, told the Democratic Senate Minority leader, Patrick Leahy, “Go F**k Yourself!” Republican Majority Leader, Senator Tom Delay, said the Vice President “was having a hard day”. The Vice President never apologized for this vulgar breach of etiquette, like he has never really apologized for anything.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is the Turkish Empire called the Ottoman Empire? Did everyone like foot cushions?

Answer: The name comes from the Royal Dynasty of Turkish Sultans, the family line of Osman, or Ottoman. Every proper late Victorian home had a "Turkish Corner" or room called a Divan, that featured a small sitting stool that became nicknamed an ottoman.
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June 23, 2017
June 23rd, 2017

Quiz: Why is the Turkish Empire called the Ottoman Empire? Did everyone like foot cushions?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Is it a good thing or a bad thing to call someone a mensch?
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History for 6/23/2017
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Augustus, Josephine Bonaparte, Alan Turing, Bob Fosse, James Levine, Dan Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather, Joss Whedon, Dr Alfred Kinsey the sex researcher, Edward VIII, aka the Duke of Windsor, Selma Blair, Justice Clarence Thomas, Frances MacDormand is 60

1565- Siege of Malta -the fortress of St. Elmo fell to Turkish assaults. Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent was shocked at how many fine troops he lost to reduce the smaller of two forts defending Valetta, the capital of Malta. He could imagine the cost to take the larger fort, St. George. So Sulieman gave up the siege. The victorious Knights of St. John Hospitaller, looking for a home since the Crusades, would now be the Knights of Malta. Their emblem, the Maltese Cross, is four barbed arrowheads forming a cross.

1611- In Hudson’s Bay, Canada, Henry Hudson's crew mutinied and set him and his son adrift in a rowboat. They were never seen again. When back in Holland the mutineers were never charged because they claimed to have discovered the Northwest Passage to the Indies, which luckily for them they never had to prove.

1683- William Penn signed a treaty with the Lenni-Lenapi Indians at Shackamaxon under the Treaty Elm to start his new Quaker colony called Pennsylvania. Penn wrote of the Indians: "Their language is narrow, yet lofty like the Hebrew…one word suffices in place of three."

1757- Battle of Plassey- Sir Robert Clive with 900 English and 1300 Indians defeated an army of 50,000 under Siraj-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Bengal who perpetrated the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta. Daula was killed and the victory assured the British domination of India.

1789- Since June 20th, when the French Estates General had adjourned to a Tennis Court and declared itself the National Assembly, everyone wondered what King Louis XVI would do. This day the King held a Royal Levee with the legislators and court to announce his decision.
From his golden throne Louis said that while he agreed to most of their political reforms, but the idea that a regularly sitting Parliament of common people could overrule royal authority he declared was "illegal and void". He would stay an absolute monarch, answerable only to God, thank you.

After the King ended the meeting, his Royal Herald called upon the legislators in his tennis court to go home. The orator Mirabeau cried" We shall not leave this hall except by the power of the bayonet!" When told this, the King sighed "Oh... the Devil with them. Let them stay." The stand off persisted until July 14th when the attack on the Bastille started the French Revolution.

1793- During the French Revolution, Josephine De Beauharnais is condemned to be guillotined. In a prison filled with nobles and intellectuals she found her first husband Alexandre the Vicomte du Beauharnais. They had been estranged for years and she had become quite a scandalous woman. When the jailer read out the names to go to the blade that day he read: "DeBeauharnais!" without specifying which DeBeaharnais was to go. The husband stepped forward and said: "Madame, just this once allow me to go first." When the Reign of Terror was overthrown she was released and she became the love of Napoleon.

1810- The Pacific Fur Company was set up by John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant merchant. His ambition was to set up a string of fur trading posts along the route traveled by Lewis & Clark. It is the beginning of the great Astor fortune.

1815 –A week after his defeat at Waterloo. Napoleon abdicated for good. He abdicated to his son 4-year-old Napoleon II then being held in Austria, but everyone ignored that wish.

1859- Battle of Solferino- Garabaldi and Napoleon III defeated the Austrian army. This victory and the next battle of Magenta freed Milan and the Po Valley. All Italy is united for the first time since the Roman Empire. The completion of the unification process Italians called The Irredenta. In return, Italy gave France the city of Nice.
After the carnage of the battle the suffering of the wounded was so pitiable that a Swiss volunteer doctor named Dr. Henry Dunant was inspired to found the International Society of the Red Cross. He was soon bankrupt and forgotten but his organization was taken up at the first Geneva Convention in 1864 and made international law.

1865- The U.S. Secret Service set up.

1865- Two months after Lee surrendered to Grant, at Fort Towson in Indian Territory, General Stand Watiee, aka De-Ga-Ta-Ga, surrendered his Cherokees. This is the last Confederate force in the Civil War. Confederate Jo Shelby rather than give up rode his Iron Legion of rebel cavalry across the Rio Grande into Mexico. After two years exile he returned and accepted the Yankee amnesty.

1868- Christopher Latham Scholes patents the typewriter. In 1873, he sold his patent to the Remington Company who had made rifles. In 1874 Mark Twain secretly admitted to a friend that he enjoyed writing on the newfangled technology.

1940- HITLER THE TOURIST. After the defeat of France, Adolph Hitler takes his one vacation out of Germany. A plane flies him to Paris in the early morning and he is driven around to see the sites. While his Mercedes is waiting at a traffic light a newsboy, not realizing who he was, thrust a morning newspaper under his nose yelling "le Matin! Le Matin!” Hitler was back in Berlin that evening.

1944- Franklin Roosevelt's last fireside chat on the radio.

1953- Prime Minister Winston Churchill suffered a stroke during a dinner for the Italian Prime Minister. By agreement with the Fleet St press barons it was all kept secret from the nation and the world. Churchill recovered with amazing speed, and was back wheeling and dealing by the end of the summer.

1971- Three Soyuz 11 cosmonauts were found dead in their space capsule upon landing. The capsule must have had a pressure leak upon re-entry. Soviet accidents in space were kept secret until after the fall of communism in 1990.

1972- Title IX passed by the US Government. It called for women’s collegiate sports to be funded equally as the men’s sports.

1976- Work completed on Toronto’s CN Tower. Called the world’s tallest free-standing structure.

1979- The Knack released the single My Sharona.

1989- Tim Burton’s film " Batman" opened.

1992- Head of the New York Mafia John Gotti was sentenced to life in prison for murder and racketeering. It had been so hard to pin anything on Gotti that he was nicknamed the Teflon Don. Finally, city prosecutor Rudy Giuliani secured the testimony of the Dons top henchman Sammy ‘the Bull’ Gravano. For turning informant, Sammy dodged any penalties himself, despite admitting killing 32 people, including his own brother in law, whose body parts he buried in his backyard. John Gotti died in prison in 2002.

1993- Lorena Bobbit had tired of her abusive husband John Wayne Bobbit. So this night while he was drunk, she severed his penis and drove off, casually tossing it into a nearby field. Doctors recovered the free willy and reattached it, starting a media sensation. They divorced and John Bobbitt for a while became a porn star.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Is it a good thing or a bad thing to call someone a mensch?
  
Answer: Mensch translates to “human being” or ”man” so, calling someone a mensch is a complement, meaning you are a terrific person, honorable, the salt of the earth.


JUNE 22, 2017
June 22nd, 2017

Quiz: Is it a good thing or a bad thing to call someone a mensch?

Yesterday’s question answered below: In our parents slang, when you went to “ drop a dime” what did that mean you were doing?
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History for 6/22/2017
Birthdays: Captain George Vancouver, Eric Maria Remarque, John Dillinger, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Mike Todd, Billy Wilder, Joe Papp, Bill Blass, Oskar Fischinger, Pistol Pete Maravich, Klaus Maria Brandauer is 73, Ed Bradley, Emmanuelle Seigner, Prunella Scales, Meryl Streep is 67, Konrad Zuse, Kris Kristofferson is 81, Matt Doherty, Floyd Norman is 82.

168 BC Battle of Pydna- Roman General Lucius Aemelius Paulus defeated the Macedonian army of King Perseus. This victory, besides giving Rome control over Greece, destroyed the fading reputation of the army of Alexander the Great, and announced to the world Roman supremacy. The old tactics of the Greek Phalanx was eclipsed by the Roman Legions.

109AD- The Baths of Trajan first opened to the Roman public.

1342 – According to JRR Tolkeins’ book the Hobbit, this day Bilbo Baggins returned to his home in the Shire with the one true Ring.

1535- Sir Thomas Moore and Bishop John Fisher were beheaded for refusing to support King Henry VIII's divorce, and the King's assertion that he was head of the English Church. The Vatican made them both saints. Moore said on the scaffold: "I die the King's good servant, but God's first." The stairs up to the scaffold were rickety. Moore quipped to the guards “ I pray you warden see me safe up. As for the coming down leave me to shift for myself."
The Pope had named Bishop Fisher a cardinal. After Fisher’s decapitated head was stuck on a spike on London Bridge, King Henry laughed “Now he can go to Rome and get his Cardinal’s Hat.”

1675 - Royal Greenwich Observatory established in England by Charles II.

1774- THE QUEBEC ACT- We like to remember the American Revolution as our forefathers rebelling against unjust persecution, but the Quebec Act irritated them as much as the Stamp Actty6, because it ordered us to tolerate Roman Catholics!
The Royal Governor of Canada, Sir Guy Carleton, seeking to heal the anger between English and French Canadians since the Seven Years War, wrote and shepherded this act through Parliament. It made Quebec one huge province extending to the Ohio River, cutting the Yankee colonies off from western expansion. Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois would be part of Canada.
But the tolerance of the practice of the Catholic religion is what really drove the New England Yankees crazy: "Popish, Romish Heathen Idolatry and Slavery! This is a great threat to American Civil Liberties and the Protestant Religion! We must now learn the art of war." Said Dr. Joseph Warren who was killed at Bunker Hill. Thomas Jefferson mentioned the Quebec Act in an early draft of the Declaration of Independence.

One year later when the Revolution had broken out and Americans invaded Quebec, even though George Washington had warned his troops not to disrespect the Catholic population, the French Canadians remembered and would not help "Les Bostonnais".

1876- Gen. Custer and the Seventh Cavalry ride out of Fort Lincoln. Custer was to scout for a larger army under General Terry and not to engage the Indians when he found them but wait for the main army to catch up. Custer turned down an offer of two companies of Colorado militia, artillery and Gatling guns for fear it would slow him down. Many men upon leaving the fort immediately emptied their canteens and refilled them with rotgut whiskey bought from peddlers. As Custer rode by Gen. Gibbon called out: "Remember George, save some Indians for us!" Custer laughed: "No I won't!"

1893- British Admiral Sir George Tryon ordered his fleet to accomplish a complex grand maneuver that ended up with his battleships ramming into one other. OOPS!

1894 - Harry Houdini marries Bessie Rahner. She remained devoted to him even after his death. Every Halloween for twenty years she held a séance to try and contact him.

1897- THE BRITISH EMPIRE- Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. Now considered the zenith of the British Empire. In Victoria's reign the empire grew ten times its early size, encompassing one quarter of the globe and one third of the world's population. The little queen dressed in her habitual black with a little gray bonnet started the festivities by pushing an electric button that send a congratulatory message around the world simultaneously to Delhi, Capetown, Ottawa and Sydney. Praises poured in from notaries like Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle and her grandson Kaiser Wilhelm.

1898- US Troops including Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders landed on the Cuban coast near the town of Daiquiri. This is when the mixed drink named Daiquiri was introduced to American drinkers as well as the Cuba-Libre, which we now call a Rum & Coke.

1903- The Williamsburg Bridge opened. The second spanning of New York’s East River after the Brooklyn Bridge was not as celebrated but very functional.

1910- Dr Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet. German scientist Dr Paul Ehrlich announced the definitive cure for syphilis, a disease that had bedeviled mankind since Columbus’ sailors brought it from the New World.

1933- In Germany, the Nazis outlawed all other political parties but theirs.

1938- In Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, Joe Louis "the Brown Bomber" KO's German Max Schmelling in one round to regain the world heavyweight title. There was wild partying in the streets of Harlem The bout had the heavy ideological overtones of Nazis claims to be a master race. Schmmeling ironically was anti-Nazi and had hid Jews from arrest. After the loss Hitler would have nothing to do with him and Schmelling joined the army.

1941- THE CURSE OF TAMERLANE- In the 15th century Timur Khan or Tamerlane conquered an empire almost as large as Genghis Khan’s. This day in 1941 Russian archaeologists in Samarkand first broke into his tomb. The grave had an inscription:” Do not disturb my Tomb, ere a Fate Worse than Mine awaits You.” That same day a thousand miles east, the Hitler’s invasion of Russia began.

1941-BARBAROSSA- The code word “Dortmund” issued to leading Wehrmacht units. Operation Barbarrossa, the Nazi invasion of Russia begins. Three million steel helmeted troops and three thousand tanks in three huge pincers pierce the Russian heartland.
Hitler called it: “The Final War of Extermination with the World Conspiracy of Jewish-Bolshevism.” Jews found this sadly ironic, because Stalin himself was anti-Semitic.
While 695,000 Americans died in World War II almost all of which were military personnel, 27 million Russians died, 20 million were civilians. More than half the 7 million German casualties in the war, 3 out of every 5, were caused by the Red Army.

1942- Second Battle of Tobruk. The British holding North African seaport of Tobruk had bedeviled Rommel’s Afrika Corps for weeks. This time Rommel’s attack was much more successful.

1942- A Japanese submarine fired its cannon at Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.

1943- British tanks and Indian troops broke the Japanese siege of Imphal. Since March the Japanese 15th Army had attacked from Burma into India in what Japanese troops hoped was “ The Drive to Delhi”. They fought for months with tanks, planes, samurai swords and Gurkhas wielding their Kukhris- the famous boomerang shaped knife.

1944- Congress passed the Rankin-Barden Servicemen’s Adjustment Act, better known as the "GI Bill" giving college and home loans to returning veterans.

Answering the need for manpower in a war-depleted economy the first ship load of immigrants from the Caribbean arrived in England. They had no place to stay so for awhile the government reopened the Clapham Junction WWII bombshelter. This day marked the beginning of the pluralization of British society.

1955- Walt Disney’s Lady and the Tramp released.

1966 – The film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" opened. Based on the play by Edward Albee and starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. It was the first to use four letter words. Just a year before comedian Lenny Bruce had gone to jail for saying the same words, although everyone including President Johnson swore in everyday parlance.

1969- Singer actress Judy Garland OD’s on sleeping pills. She was 47. Whether it was an accident or a suicide we will never know. A pillhead from early age, she had gotten hooked when MGM chief Louis B. Mayer ordered studio nurses to put her on amphetamines so she would have the energy to finish the Wizard of Oz. Fellow contract actress June Allyson explained- “You didn’t argue when the nurses brought them to you. They told us they were vitamins!”

1970- President Nixon signed the law lowering the voting age in the U.S. from 21 to 18.

1977- Walt Disney’s The Rescuers opened in theaters.

1978 - James Christy's discovery of Pluto's moon Charon announced.

1990- "Checkpoint Charlie" the main dividing gate between East and West Berlin was dismantled. John Le Carre' and other spy novel writers mourn. There is a replica and a Cold War Museum at the site today.

1996- Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame opened.
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 Yesterday’s Quiz: In our parents slang, when you went to “ drop a dime” what did that mean you were doing?

  
Answer: You were about to make a phone call on a pay phone. Pay calls only cost ten cents. The phrase originated as a police informant giving a tip, then became general parlance.


June 21, 2017
June 21st, 2017

Question: In our parents slang, when you went to “ drop a dime” what did that mean you were doing?

Yesterday’s Question: The Duke of Wellington had an older brother, who lived as long as he did. So if he was elder, why didn’t he become Duke of Wellington?
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History for 6/21/2017
Birthdays: Martha Washington, Alexander Pope, Berke Breathed, Al Hirschfeld, Al Martinez, Jean-Paul Sartre, Judy Holliday, Benazir Bhutto, Jane Russell, Mariette Hartley, Bernie Koppel, Rick Sutcliffe, Maureen Stapleton, Joe Flagherty, Juliet Lewis, Tony Scott, Chris Pratt is 38, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge is 35.

Happy Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. The sun, at dawn, aligns perfectly with the entrance to Stonehenge. In Persia, the Zoroastrians would light ceremonial fires on altars to the sungod Ahura Mazda.


217BC- Hannibal defeated a Roman army on the shore of Lake Trasimenio in central Italy.

1527- Political theorist Niccolo' Macchiavelli died. - His last words were:
"I hope I shall go to Hell, for there I shall meet kings, popes and princes.
In Heaven one can only meet beggars, monks and apostles."

1582- Japanese warlord Nobunaga Oda assassinated. Called the first of Japan’s Unifiers. He was the most pro-western of Japan's feudal lords and in western Japan, a folk hero, sort of a samurai Robin Hood. Under his protection the Catholic missionaries flourished, and Oda liked to parade around in his western-imported suit of armor. His enemy Tokugawa Ieyasu later became Shogun and banned all contact with the outside world.

1789- RATIFICATION OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION- New Hampshire becomes the 9th state to ratify the new document giving the majority of two thirds of the states. This despite angry anti-federalist sentiment from critics like Patrick Henry and John Hancock. They felt the new system was too centralized and could be tyrannical. Copies of the constitution were burned by mobs in Albany and Williamsburg. But eventually everyone got behind the system. Benjamin Rush noted: "We are now a Nation."

1791- THE FLIGHT TO VARENNES- After the fall of the Bastille in 1789, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette tried to work things out as constitutional monarchs but moderates like Mirabeau and Lafayette were losing control of the angry people, exploited in medieval poverty for so long. So tonight the royals decided to sneak away and escape across the border.
The escape plot was organized by Count Axel Fersen, a lover of Queen Marie Antoinette. They slipped away in the dead of night and traveled 150 miles to the Belgian border before they were stopped. At Varennes they were recognized and brought back to Paris by the city's fishwives led by Jean-Baptiste Drouet, the postmaster of Ste. Menehould. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were eventually both guillotined and their son Louis XVII died rotting in prison. Ironically, a troop of loyalist cavalry, who were to meet them on the road and escort them, got lost a quarter mile away.

1791- The first Ledger entry.

1813- Battle of Vittoria- Wellington defeats the French in Spain to end the Peninsular War and Beethoven writes a really silly overture to celebrate it. The Overture to Wellington's Victory has musical scoring for cannons and musket volleys. It was commissioned by a mechanical calliope inventor named Wilhelm Deitzel. It actually made Beethoven more money than anything else he ever wrote.

1815- Napoleon reached Paris after his defeat at Waterloo. Napoleon had regained power in France with the understanding he would rule as a constitutional monarch. As enemy armies closed in around Paris, the Chamber of Deputies now voted itself in permanent session and began arguing his fate. Royalists and the old Marquis De Lafayette called for his abdication.
Napoleon still had 100,000 men in the field, and the common people were with him. Napoleon’s brother Lucien advised him to ignore the Deputies and rule as a dictator. But curiously enough, despite his reputation as a warmonger, Napoleon never could bring himself to start a civil war. He said “ The fate of one man is not worth drenching Paris in blood.” Waterloo seemed to have broken his self confidence and will to go on.

1854 -During service in the Baltic in the Crimean War –Ships Mate C D Lucas, Royal Navy, HMS Heracela, received the a new medal called the Victoria Cross, or VC.

1864- FATHER ABRAHAM- President Abraham Lincoln visited General Grant’s Union army attacking Lee in Petersburg, Virginia. One highlight of the tour was when Lincoln was shown the 18th corps, a unit of black soldiers. General Grant complimented their excellent discipline and courage under fire. The black troops broke ranks and cheered wildly for Lincoln, their liberator. Hundreds strained just to touch his coat. One said: Now I know I shall go to Heaven, for I have seen Father Abraham, he that hath struck off my chains, and the Day of Jubilee is nigh!” For Lincoln it was a cathartic moment. Whatever his real motives for freeing the slaves, political expediency or moral obligation, he was deeply moved by the demonstration. Tears flowed freely down his face and for once he was speechless.

1866- First recorded train robbery by Jesse James.

1871- The Los Angeles Star newspaper announced the first trainload of pretzels had reached town!

1877-10 members of the Molly Maguires hanged. Irish immigrants in the Pennsylvania coal mines formed secret societies to combat inhuman working conditions and prejudice. At one point they went on strike to reduce their working day to 13 hours! The Molly Maguires was the name of a supposed terrorist fringe that assassinated company men and informers.

1879 - F W Woolworth opens his 1st five and ten cent store.

1893- The FERRIS WHEEL -George Washington Ferris, Jr. decided that the Columbia Exhibition, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery, needed to surpass the French Eiffel Tower (introduced in 1889 during the centennial celebration of the French Revolution). So he created his wheel so each compartment could hold 12 people plus a butler in a parlor-like atmosphere and rotate them 250 feet in the air. People were afraid they would gasp for oxygen up so high but it was a big hit anyway.

1907 - E W Scripps founded United Press Agency.

1913 - Tiny Broadwick is the 1st woman to parachute from an airplane.

1916- General Blackjack Pershing had violated Mexican territory with US troops to hunt down Pancho Villa. This day the diplomatic mess got worse when Pershing’s troops were attacked by regular Mexican army troops at Carrizal. Pershing never did catch Villa and US troops were withdrawn in Jan 1917 because World War I in Europe beckoned.

1919- After WWI ended, in Scapa Flow, Scotland, German Admiral Von Reuter scuttled 21 of his interned battleships rather than turn them over to the victorious Allies. On shore, vacationing Scottish schoolchildren cheered, thinking it was a fireworks display for their benefit.

1939- Eugene O’Neill’s wife Carlotta wrote in her diary- “Gene kept me up all night talking about his outline for a new play about his family”- The Long Days Journey into Night. It took him two years to write and it almost killed him.

1940- In a theatrical act of revenge Adolph Hitler forced France to sign her surrender in the same railroad car in Compiegne that the Germans surrendered in 1918. They broke into a museum to pry loose the exact same Wagon-Lit train car so it could be moved to the exact spot. The treaty meant half of France was occupied by Germany while the other half was French governed from the mineral water spa town of Vichy by a puppet government led by old Marshal Petain.

1948- THE ATALENA INCIDENT- THE ISRAELI CIVIL WAR- Before the Independence of Israel there were two underground militia groups fighting for a Jewish homeland- the Hagnnah and the more violent Irgun. After the State of Israel was declared, Leader David Ben Gurion ordered both to form the new Israeli Defense Force. But the Irgun resisted assimilation. While a tenuous four-week truce with the Arabs held the Irgun filled a ship, the Atalena, with weapons and fighters in France and this day it arrived off the coast of Tel Aviv. Ben Gurion gave a direct order to turn over the weapons to the Army and assimilate the fighters, but Irgun leader Menachem Begin refused.

When Israeli troops converged on the beached ship to unload it, the Irgun opened fire on them with machine guns. In the gun battle, Jews killed Jews in front of Tel Aviv. Begin screamed he wanted to go down with the ship. The captain replied that that was unlikely since the ship had already run aground. The ship caught fire and the captain had the cargo of high explosives dumped overboard and when Begin became hysterical the captain had him, too, dumped into the sea. After several deaths, the Irgun surrendered and agreed to cooperate.
Ben Gurion called them all traitors but was compelled to be lenient because of the greater threat of the Arab armies. Menachem Begin was rehabilitated, formed the Likud Party and eventually won the Nobel Peace Prize.

1947- To silence a jeering crowd of racists at a Dodgers-Cincinnati game, Kentucky native PeeWee Reese put his arm around Jackie Robinson.

1948- At the University of Manchester, John McCauley started up the first modern computer, the Manchester Mark I, that could store a program in it’s memory and reopen it.

1948- The last Japanese holdout defenders surrender on Okinawa, unaware that the war had been over for three years.

1948- Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3-rpm long playing record, the LP. Inventor Peter Goldmark was annoyed that he had to change his 78 rpm records several times to hear just one Brahms Symphony. He decided to invent a way to fit all of a symphony on one side of a record. His immediate supervisors told him to stop it because people would not throw away all their 78 rpm records to replace them with his. So Goldmark went over their heads to CBS chief William Paley and Paley loved the idea. RCA and David Sarnoff tried to compete with the 45-rpm record, but all it was good for was singles. The 33 1/3 dominated recording until replaced by the Compact Disc in the 1980’s.

1964- In Mississippi, Ku Klux Klansmen murdered three Civil Rights volunteers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schermer and dumped their bodies in a swamp. The subsequent FBI investigation and trials further pushed the rural south towards desegregation. The mastermind behind the murders, Edgar Ray Killen, was not convicted until 2005.

1965- The Byrds release record Hey Mr. Tambourine Man.

1978 - Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice's musical "Evita," premieres in London.

1982- John Hinkley was found innocent by reason of insanity in the assassination attempt on President Reagan.

1988- Who Framed Roger Rabbit? premiered at Radio City Music Hall. It opened generally three days later.

1989- The Supreme Court rules in the case Texas vs. Johnson that burning a US flag is a form of free speech and is so legally protected under the First Amendment. While more important issues are at hand the Neo-Conservative dominated Congress spent the next few years in repeated attempts to amend the Constitution. Pundits joked that the next constitutional amendment they would demand would be that cheeseburgers only have American cheese on them.

1998- Paleontologists in Canada announced the discovery of the largest Tyrannosaurus turd yet found. The search intensified for a T-Rex with a relaxed look on his face.

2002- Lilo & Stitch premiered.

2004- The first flight in the privatization of Space, Bert Routans’ company financed by Microsoft head, Paul Allen, sent SpaceShip 1 up to the edge of the atmosphere. Test pilot Mike Nelvil was the first civilian astronaut.
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Yesterday’s Question: The Duke of Wellington had an older brother, who lived as long as he did. So if he was elder, why didn’t he become Duke of Wellington?

Answer: Wellington was born Arthur Wellesley, the third son of the Marquis of Wellesley. When his father died, his elder brother Richard became Marquis. Arthur made his own way in life, and was given the title Duke of Wellington in acknowledgment of his victories in battle. There were no dukes of Wellington before Arthur.


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