July 28, 2014 Mon
July 28th, 2014
Quiz: Why is a plain pizza called a Margherita?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What was the origin of the term “to overturn your soup kettles” as a sign of revolt?
History for 7/28/2014
Birthdays: Jacqueline Kennedy, Richard Rogers, Ibn al’ Arabi- philosopher 1165, Marcel Duchamp, Rudy Vallee. Sally Struthers Peter Duchin, Vida Blue, Joe E. Brown, Jim Davis the creator of Garfield, Frank Yankovic the Polka King, Elizabeth Berkley, Earl Tupper the inventor of Tupperware, Hugo Chavez
450AD- Roman emperor Theodosius II died without a designated heir.
754 A.D. Pope Stephen III crowns Pepin the Short King of the Franks or French. Pepin was the son of Charles the Hammer and the father of Charlemagne. Pepin had asked for the Pope’s help to legitimatize his overthrow of the last king of the Merovingian Dynasty, Childeric IV, whom he had locked up in a monastery. In return he gave his military guarantee to the Vatican’s hold over a buffer state in the center of Italy. The Papal States would remain a political reality for 1,100 year until absorbed into united Italy in 1870.
1428- The Aztecs overthrow the Tepanec kingdom and begin their rise to empire. While the Inca in Peru were a homogeneous empire the Aztec ruled Mexico by conquest and subjugation of other tribes. So when Cortez and the Spaniards arrived in 1519 they found hundreds of Indians willing to join them against the Aztec.
1540- Henry VIII married his fourth queen Catherine Howard. This was seen as an old man's autumn fancy. Henry was in his 50's and Catherine a teenager who still had the hots for boys her own age, a bad idea if she wanted to keep her head.
1586 - Sir Thomas Harriott first introduced potatoes to Europe. At first people thought they were poisonous because their blossom resembled that of toxic nightshade.
1588- The English sea captains led by Thomas the Earl of Leicester and Sir Francis Drake were playing a game of bowls when they were told the Spanish Armada had been sighted off the coast of Cornwall. The Armada was so big, its front row of ships reached seven miles across. Leicester cooly said:" Come Drake, there’s time to finish the game." They finished their game, and defeated the Armada the next day.
1609- Sir George Somers was shipwrecked on the uninhabited island of Bermuda.
He stayed to found a settlement, claiming the island for Britain.
1615- French explorer Samuel de Champlain reached Lake Huron.
1655- Poet, playwright and duelist Cyrano de Bergerac died in Paris. The famous play about him and his big nose was written by Edmond Rostand in 1895.
1750-Composer Johann Sebastian Bach died. He had suffered blindness in his old age but is eyesight returned shortly before his fatal stroke. Elderly and ill, he one of his final compositions was a chorale prelude: "Come, Kindly Death- come for my life is dreary, and of earth I am weary, etc."
He and his wife Anna Magdelena had 17 children,, and 7 more by his first wife. Many of whom became composers Johann Christian Bach, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, etc. Bach’s music was soon forgotten until rediscovered by Mendelsson and others in the 1820s.. Albert Einsteins brother Alfred said Bach’s music" almost makes one want to become Christian."
1788- Master British portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds visited the other master British portrait painter Sir Thomas Gainsborough, who was dying or cancer. They had been enemies for years, but now at the end they made up. When Reynolds left him, Gainsborough said "Goodbye until we meet in the Hereafter, Van Dyck in our company."
1808- The Turkish Janissaries, the royal guard, depose Sultan Mustapha VI and replaced him with his cousin Mehmed II. The Janissaries were the real power in Istanbul at this time, keeping a supply of royal princes in the harem, to be taken out as needed. Sultans sometimes picked what Harem girl they would favor that night by how many cloves she could hold in her bellybutton.
1809- Battle of Talavera. General Sir Arthur Wellesley defeated the French army in Spain and for that was made Viscount Wellington. Sir Hugh Gough, who would later earn fame conquering the Punjab in India, was a major at the time. In this battle Gough was so grievously wounded he was laid out on a pile of corpses for dead. Wellington was commenting to his staff upon his bravery, when to prevent being buried alive, Hugh signaled by pushing his arm up out of the corpses, and waved his hat at the startled Wellington." Uhh..M’Lord, I’m not dead yet…"
1812- General Light Horse Harry Lee was a Revolutionary War hero and had eulogized George Washington as "First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of his Countrymen".
But this year the old general got involved with mob violence in Baltimore while trying to protect a publisher friend who was against "Mr. Madison’s War with the British”, what we now call the War of 1812. Despite his fame Lee was dragged by a mob and beaten senseless, one of his eyes almost gouged out. He went to the West Indies to convalesce –and escape his creditors, but he never fully recovered. His 5 year old son was future Civil War General Robert E. Lee.
1821- Peru declared independence from Spain.
1839- Italian revolutionary Guisseppe Fleschi wanted to assassinate the king of France, King Louis Phillipe. He rigged up a strange device that could fire 25 gun barrels simultaneously. He pointed this machine at the king during a military parade and pulled the string. All the guns went off but not one hit their intended target. Ironically the only person killed was the elderly war minister Marshal Mortier, an old general of Napoleon's who had spent thirty years amid shot and shell and had never been scratched.
1841- The body of Mary Cecilia Rogers was pulled out of New York Harbor. The sensational murder of the “Beautiful Cigar Girl” inspired Edgar Allen Poe to write “ The Mystery of Marie Roget.”
1858- The French photographer Nadar went up in a balloon and took the first aerial photograph.
1866-BUFFALO SOLDIERS- An act of Congress called for the creation of two all black cavalry regiments to serve in the peacetime army's frontier duty. These units, the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry became the famous "Buffalo Soldiers". They were so named by the Indians because an African-Americans hair resembled the tuft of hair between a buffalo's horns to them, a symbol of magical strength. Buffalo Soldiers finally defeated the Apaches and charged up San Juan Hill right alongside Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Their captain in Cuba named John Pershing was given the nickname Blackjack Pershing not for a love of cards but for preferring to lead Black troops to white.
1867- The Daughters of St. Crispin, the first women's labor organization.
1896- Happy Birthday Miami! The City of Miami incorporated.
1882- Parsifal, the last opera of Richard Wagner was produced at Bayreuth. As a way to ensure its financial solvency Wagner left instructions to never tour Parsifal but it should stay at Bayreuth. This lasted a few decades.
1898- Spain asks for peace talks with the United States to end their war. The Spanish American War began in April and ended in December.
1914- THE RUSH INTO WORLD WAR I ACCELLERATES. Britain suggested an international conference to settle Austria’s grievances against Serbia. Austrian Foreign minister Berchtold informed the British ambassador that it was too late for mediation because Austria had already declared war. The German Kaiser was having second thoughts but slipped out of Berlin to go yachting to avoid the Russian ambassador who was trying to make him commit to discussing peace terms. Part of the muddle that aggravated the meltdown of diplomacy, was many of the top European statesmen were on their Summer vacations while this crisis deepened.
1932-THE BATTLE OF ANACOSTIA FLATS- Capitol Hill was surrounded by 20,000 Bonus Marchers- poor World War One veterans and their families who desperately marched to Washington to demand help from the ravages of the Depression and their promised back pay.
On this day President Hoover's response was to order the US Army to drive them away by force. Gen. Douglas MacArthur with his aides Patton and Eisenhower send tanks, saber wielding cavalry and bayonet armed troops to break up the homeless peoples dwellings. Facing them on the makeshift barricades eyewitnesses saw a black man waving a large American flag and Charles Frederick Lincoln, a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln. These poor veterans and their families had come from as far as Honolulu and no record was kept of how many were killed or died on the walk home.
Pres. Hoover was jubilant that order was restored, and the public was jubilant when they voted him out of office later that year.
1933- The first singing telegram. It was delivered to singer Rudy Valee by Western Union operator appropriately named Lucille Lipps.
1945- Congress endorses United Nations Charter. Congress' refusal to join the League of Nations in 1919 help doom that organization.
1945-A B-25 Mitchell bomber flying in thick fog struck the 78th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City. It killed a dozen people, including some when one of it's 1,500 lb engines shot through the building and down onto 33rd street. One woman in an elevator had the cables cut and fell 80 stories at 200 miles an hour to the basement. Miraculously she lived.
Despite the devastation the building did not collapse but stayed sound. As a result US and World air traffic control standards were stiffened, air traffic controllers finally got the power to order planes down, and large planes kept away from flying over large urban areas.
1948- In honor of the death of D.W. Griffith, all Hollywood studios observed three minutes of silence.
1948- The Premiere of that utterly memorable film " ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN." For you hardcore film trivia fans this film is the only other time than the original Tod Browning movie that Bela Lugosi played Count Dracula on film.
1965-VIETNAM- President Lyndon B. Johnson had been wrestling with a problem since June 5th. In Vietnam the war against the Commie Viet Cong was going badly. Strategic bombing of the North has failed to stop incursions in the South and the latest government in Saigon had fallen and been replaced by a group of generals led by Ngyen Kao Key. Johnson had to pull out or expand US commitment.
This day, at a routine Friday 12:30 PM press briefing, calculated to not be well attended, LBJ made the announcement that US forces in Vietnam would be expanded dramatically from 75,000 to 125,000- eventually to 450,000 by the end of 1967. What LBJ wasn’t saying was he had now decided that US ground troops would carry the bulk of the fighting. Not just to prop up the South Vietnamese, but to defeat the Communists outright. He would still try to do his Great Society Programs while running a trillion-dollar war that all his experts doubted was winnable.
This one decision destroyed Johnson’s Presidency, and cracked the thriving post war economy creating recession and domestic political turmoil.
1971- Photographer Diane Arbus probed increasingly darker subject matter, circus freaks, severe birth defects. This day she committed suicide by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills, then slitting her wrists.
1998- In Afghanistan the Taliban ordered mass destruction of television sets. They also forbade the Internet, and shaved the heads of their national soccer team for daring to wear shorts.
1999- Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco declared today Marilyn Chambers Day, in honor of the San Francisco native, and star of classic porn like Behind the Green Door.
2061- The next predicted appearance of Halley’s Comet.
Yesterday’s Question: What was the origin of the term “to overturn your soup kettles” as a sign of revolt?
Answer: The Turkish Sultan’s royal guards were the Janissaries. By the late 1600s they controlled who would become Sultan. Their signal of a revolt and coup was to overturn their soup kettles.
July 27, 2014 sun
July 27th, 2014
Quiz: What was the origin of the term “to overturn your soup kettles” as a sign of revolt?
Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What was the Chautauqua Movement?
History for 7/27/2014
Birthdays: Confucius, Alexander Dumas fils, Enrique Granados, Hillaire Belloc, Norman Lear, Maureen McGovern, Keenan Wynn, Leo Durocher, Peggy Fleming, Bobby Gentry, Jerry Van Dyke, Vincent Canby, Betty Thomas, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Ilya Salkind, David Swift –director of the Haley Mills Disney films like The Parent Trap, Maya Rudolph is 42, Jonathan Rhys Meyers is 37.
1214- THE BATTLE OF BOUVINES-England loses her lands on continental Europe.
Ever since 1066 there was a technically sticky point of medieval etiquette, because the King of England was also Duke of Normandy, thereby a vassal of the King of France. For years nobody pushed the question.
Finally paranoid English King John Lackland had his boy nephew Arthur of Brittany castrated and then killed for fear he would try and overthrow him. King Phillip of France convened a Feudal grand jury over the murder and as his Feudal Suzerain formally stripped King John of Aquitaine, Gascony, Poitou, Brittany, Vexin, Anjou and hereditary Normandy, the so-called "Angevin Empire". King John naturally didn't go along with this and the issue was decided by battle. After the battle King Phillip was called Phillip Augustus, King John's nickname was changed from John Lack-land to John Softsword.
The French victory doubled the size of France and cut England off from the continent of Europe. Although the English tried several more times to get back Normandy, England went on to develop her own unique society, instead of being a Norman adjunct. King John even grew to prefer speaking English over French!
1586- Sir Walter Raleigh brought the first tobacco pipe home to England from America.
Columbus had of course brought cigars and other duty-free home years earlier but tobacco was one of the goodies that kept England interested in American colonies after everyone realized there weren’t any more gold-rich Aztec-Inca Empires to plunder. King James I called smoking a filthy and unhealthful habit, but Raleigh persisted. He even paused for a few last puffs before putting his head on the executioners block.
1661- England passes the Navigation Act, spurring shipbuilding, especially in the U.S colonies. The masts of the British Navy were harvested from tall New Hampshire oaks.
1667- At Sulzbach near Baden a lucky cannonball killed Marshal Turenne, general of Louis XIV. Turenne was one of the most brilliant commanders of the age and idolized by military strategists like Napoleon.
1861- One week after losing the Battle of Bull Run, Union Army commander Irwin MacDowell was replaced by General George B. McClellan. “Little Mac” McClellan was a brilliant organizer with a Napoleon complex a mile wide. He once kept President Lincoln and the Secretary of War cooling their heels for hours in his drawing room while he took a nap. Never able to defeat Robert E. Lee, he would persist in writing friends letters like “Once Again God has chosen me to be the savior of My Country.”
1880-BATTLE OF MAIWAND: The Afghan leader Ayub Khan's tribesmen destroy a British invasion force. Dr. Watson told Sherlock Holmes he was there . One of the heroes of the battle was a little terrier named Bobbie who was a regimental mascot and was wounded several times. He was brought to London and received a medal from Queen Victoria, but was later run over by a London taxi.
1900- HUNS-In Bremerhaven, Kaiser Wilhelm II addressed a contingent of German marines about to embark to go to China to help in the international effort to put down the Boxer Rebellion. Caught up in the the moment, Wilhelm said: "Take no prisoners! Kill all those who fall into your hands! As the deeds of the Huns of Attila resound through history for their ruthlessness, so like the Huns, make the name of Germany live in Chinese annals for a thousand years!"
An embarrassed chancellor Von Bulow called it "The worst speech of the year and possibly of the Kaiser's career." He tried to release an edited version to the press but someone leaked the full text. When the Kaiser read the edited speech, he said: My dear Bulow. You left out all the good parts." Germans got the nickname Huns for years afterwards.
1914-Austria declared war on Serbia. The first declaration of World War I.
1921- Two Toronto scientists, Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolate the hormone Insulin to treat diabetes.
1921- SHAKESPEARE & CO. opens in Paris. The English language bookshop on the Seine owned by Sylvia Beach was the most famous hangout for the U.S. expatriate intellectuals. Shakespeare & Co. championed writers like James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Carlos Santayanna, Gertrude Stein, Sherwood Anderson and more. After the Nazi occupation the shop was liberated personally by Ernest Hemingway who shot snipers off it's roof. After paying his respects to Sylvia, Hemingway and his G.I. buddies went on to liberate the Ritz hotel and it's famous wine celler.
1937- The invading Japanese Army enters Beijing, then called Peiping, the former Peking. Most of the art treasures of the old Imperial City had been crated up and moved to Taipei.
1939- Nazi High Command gave secret orders for German supply ships to put to sea, fill up on supplies like fuel oil at neutral harbors in the Americas and take their positions in the Atlantic. In effect, this is the first hostile move against Britain, four and a half weeks before the attack on Poland and the declaration of war.
1940- HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUGS BUNNY. Warners short-"A Wild Hare”-There were several earlier prototypes of the famous rabbit, white with a different voice, but this is the short that launched his career. Bugs says “Whats Up Doc?” for the first time, co-opting a line uttered by Clark Gable while chewing a carrot in the Frank Capra film “It Happened One Night”.
1946- Writer Gertrude Stein died. Her last words to Alice B. Toklas were:" What is the Answer?" When Alice said nothing, Gertrude said:" Well then, What's the Question?"
1953- THE KOREAN WAR ENDS- The Treaty of Panmunjom. After 170,000 Americans casualties and millions of Koreans & Chinese killed, the treaty fixed the border basically where it was when the war started in 1950. The South Korean Government was outraged and considered it a betrayal, because it acknowledged the permanent breakup of Korea in to two parts. South Koreans weren’t even allowed at the negotiating table. But America and China were tired of the endless death and stalemate and wanted out.
Before the treaty went into effect, South Korean President Sygmun Ree opened all POW camps and let all the North Korean troops who didn’t want to return home, run free. South Korea never signed the treaty so is still technically at war with the North.
1953- The Tonight Show debuted on NBC. It's first host was Steve Allen.
1965- The U.S. Government forces cigarette companies to print warning labels on the their packages about the hazards of smoking.
1977- John Lennon got his green card. Richard Nixon considered him a dangerous radical. Several times in 1972 he was under 60 day notice to leave the country.
1986- Gregg Lemond became the first American to win the Tour de France bicycle race.
1993- IBM announced it would eliminate 35,000 white-collar jobs. Downsizing becomes a popular sport in corporate America. The more workers laid off, the higher your stock rose. The chairman of General Electric Jack Welch, was nicknamed “Neutron Jack” after the neutron bomb that kills off people but leaves buildings intact. He wrote op-eds in the NY Times defending the practice of outsourcing jobs.
1996- A bomb packed with nails goes off during Olympic celebrations in Atlanta Georgia. One woman was killed and dozens injured. While hunting the bomber, the media decided to focus on an overweight security guard named Richard Jewel. Ironically Jewell was the one who first alerted police to the suspicious package, and tried to evacuate the area, otherwise more people would have been killed. After weeks of merciless hounding by the press, the FBI declared Jewel completely innocent. In 2003 the police finally caught the real culprit, abortion clinic bomber and backwoods fruitcake Eric Rudolph.
2007- The Simpson’s Movie debuted.
Yesterday’s Question: What was the Chautauqua Movement?
Answer: In 1874 a reverend John Heyl Vincent began an adult education program at a summer camp at Lake Chautauqua NY. To reach out to isolated, rural people and bring them culture, lectures, and concerts. The Chautauqua Movement spread nationwide in open-air tents every summer. Chautauqua died out in the 1920s with the advent of radio and more of the lectures transitioned into Pentecostal evangelism.
July 26, 2014 Sat
July 26th, 2014
Question: What was the Chautauqua Movement?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who invented the term “to jump the shark”..?
History for 7/26/2014
Birthdays: Salvador Allende, Serge Koussevitsky, George Bernard Shaw, Gracie Allen,
Carl Jung, Stanley Kubrick, Blake Edwards, George Grosz, Pearl Buck, Jason Robards Jr, Aldous Huxley, Jean Shepard, Vivian Vance, Emil Jannings, Sandra Bullock is 50, Kevin Spacey is 53, Kate Beckinsdale, Mick Jagger is 71
1533- Athawuallpa, Emperor of the Incas, was executed by Francisco Pizzarro. The Great Inca was captured by ambush at Cajamarca and forced to fill a large room with gold and two of silver to get his release. This was accomplished, but Pizzarro decided to kill him anyway. Athawallpa accepted baptism out of fear of being burned alive, the Inca mummified their kings and carried their remains around like saints relics, being burned denied you access into the next world. So he was garroted-strangled with a twisting stick behind the rope. The Spaniards then burned his body anyway.
The Inca didn't completely submit but withdrew deeper into the Andes and fought on for 70 more years. Pizzarro became first governor of Peru and lived in Lima where he was run through with a sword during a feud with another Spanish noble family.
1656– Rembrandt van Rijn declared bankruptcy.
1694- The Bank of England opened on London's Threadneedle Street. It issued the first bank checks.
1757- Battle of Hastenbeck- The Duke of Cumberland, the bastard son of King George II who had defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden, took over a Hanoverian army in the Netherlands. The British general was so badly beaten that he signed a treaty of his own at Klosterzeven with the French pledging not to militarily intervene anymore in Central Europe and even giving up Hanover, King George’s family home. In London Prime Minister Pitt called Cumberland “a Coward and Traitor!”
1758- Admiral Boscowen’s fleet with the aid of New England militia captured the French fortress of Louisbourg on the mouth of the Saint Lawrence, This was the first step in the British conquest of Canada.
1775- U.S. Postal System begins. Ben Franklin as first postmaster general. The year before Franklin had been fired by the Kings Privy Council in London from his post as postmaster of the Colonies. Interesting enough the only time a US postal system ever operated at a profit was the Confederate Postal System ran by a man named John Regan.
1790- The Funding Bill passed in Congress that was the first step in the master plan of Alexander Hamilton to start the US economy. He struck a deal with states rights politicians like Thomas Jefferson that allowed the US government to assume all the outstanding debts the individual states accrued during the Revolution. This act bound all the loose knit states more firmly under the Federal Government’s leadership. In return Hamilton proposed moving the site of the American Capitol from Philadelphia to a more southern site, like some area in Maryland near George Washington’s Virginia home.
This site for the federal City would eventually be Washington DC. Of course all of this create a huge federal budget deficit, but in Hamilton’s thinking big deficits were good for a country, they implied solidity.
1815- THE WHITE TERROR- It was said after the French Revolution that the Royal Bourbon family had learned nothing but remembered everything. After the Battle of Waterloo smashed Napoleon's power forever, restored King Louis XVIII issued his Royal Ordinances, lists of Bonaparte supporters to be arrested. Some like Marshal Ney and General Labedouyere were shot, some jailed, Marshal Brune was lynched, most fled into exile in America where Napoleon’s brother Joseph had resettled the Bonaparte family in Philadelphia.
Others fled to New Orleans where for years they defiantly waved the Tricolor flag at arriving French merchant ships. When Andrew Jackson fought British troops at New Orleans over the roar of the guns French volunteers sang Le Marseillaise at the bagpiping Highlanders, A group of Napoleon’s veterans tried to found a colony on an island off Galveston Texas, but were driven away by a hurricane . One of the exiles hanging around Philadelphia, a 16 year old draftee named Michel Bouvier was the ancestor of Jacqueline Kennedy.
1822- The Liberators meet. Simon Bolivar confers with Jose San Martin
at Guayaqui, Equador.
1826- School teacher Cayetano Ripoll became the last person executed for heresy by the Spanish Inquisition, which had been raging since 1492. Napoleon had suspended their activities when he occupied the country in 1808, but they restarted after he left.
1835 - 1st sugar cane plantation started in Hawaii.
1847- The Republic of Liberia was declared, the first democratic republic in Africa. Joseph Jenkins-Roberts elected first president. When the US government finally outlawed the African slave trade in 1825 one problem was what to do with all the boatloads of slaves still at sea completing the Middle Passage and all the unsold slaves in harbor depots? It was decided to send all these people to a specific beach on the West African Coast. The freed slaves called themselves Liberia and named their capitol Monrovia in honor of James Monroe, who was US president at the time of their liberation.
1861- Mark Twain left St. Jo Missouri to go west and sit out the Civil War. He went with his brother Oren Clemens who had been appointed to administer the Nevada territory.
1887 - 1st Esperanto book published.
1903 –FIRST TRANSCONTINENTAL AUTO TRIP- Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, mechanic Sewell J. Crocker and Bud the Wonderdog in their Winton Touring Car rode into New York City, having left San Francisco sixty-three days before. They are the first to cross the United States by automobile. They did it to win a $50 bet that you could cross the country by auto in 90 days. Jackson won the bet but spent $8,000 of his own money to do it. He was hailed as the Great Automobilist and his car was put on display bedecked with flags.
1917- The last two-horse street car made it’s final run down Broadway. There were now more automobiles than horses on the streets of American cities.
1925- Exhausted by his verbal battle with Clarence Darrow in the just concluded Scopes Monkey Trial, famed statesman William Jennings Bryan died in his sleep.
1926 - National Bar Association incorporates.
1941- Angered by Japan's refusal to stop it's invasion of China and now Indochina, President Roosevelt orders Japan's overseas assets frozen and embargoes oil and steel.
Since the U.S. was then the world's leading producer of oil and steel this meant Japan's imports were cut by 90% and her industry would soon dry up. Japan had a strategic oil reserve that could last only three years. FDR also closed the Panama Canal to all Japanese shipping. The generals in Japan now felt war with America was inevitable.
1945-The Potsdam Declaration-Truman and Churchill call upon Japan one more time to surrender unconditionally. All the leaders now knew about the Atomic Bomb- including Stalin, who had been told by an American spy Klaus Fuchs. With a tentative schedule of dropping it the first week of August, they wanted to give Japan one more chance. The Japanese cabinet decided to ignore the Potsdam Declaration, and hope to use a diplomatic route to Stalin to force negotiations. They were unaware that Stalin was planning to attack Japan also.
1945- While the Big Three Potsdam conferences were going on, at home a British general election turned Winston Churchill out of office. He had to embarrassingly leave the conference and was superceded by Labor candidate Clement Atlee, who assumed a junior role in the talks. Churchill used to refer to Atlee as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing”
1947- HAPPY BIRTHDAY CIA ! Pres. Truman signs the National Security Act, creating the CIA, the NSC, The Joint Chiefs and all those other groups that draw unscrutinised federal budgets.
1948- President Truman issues Exec Order # 9981 to the U.S. military to ban segregation. At the time the US Army was more segregated than it had been in 1865 or 1776.
(What's this with Truman and July 26th?)
1951- Charlie Chaplin driven into exile by red-baiters. He was on a holiday to Britain when he learned his visa had been revoked by the U.S. government. He didn't return until 1972. Despite his immense achievements in Hollywood History, when the Hollywood Walk of Fame was dedicated later that year, Chaplin’s name was deliberately excluded.
1952- Evita Peron the beautiful First Lady of Argentina died at age 33.
1953- Fulgensio Batista had suppressed the evolution of democracy in Cuba and ruled as a dictator. This day a 25 year old lawyer and part time left handed baseball pitcher named Fidel Castro with a few followers tried to start a revolt by raiding the impregnable Morcado Barracks. The pathetic assault was immediately crushed and the survivors including Castro jailed. But the event was seen by the people and the world that Cubans would not submit quietly. When Castro was released in 1956 and started his more organized guerrilla campaign he called his group the July 26th Movement.
1956- The Suez Crisis. Egypt's Gamal Nasser, on the anniversary of the exit of King Farouk I (1952) and the declaration of the Republic, nationalized the Suez Canal, which had been run by an Anglo-French cooperative. Britain, France and Israel invaded Egypt but the war was stopped by the intervention of the US and USSR.
1958- Top US test pilot Ivan Kinchilo was killed in a plane crash. His F-104 malfunctioned only 800 feet off the ground and he ejected, but couldn’t prevent his parachute from delivering him into the fireball of wreckage. Kinchilo has been called the First Spaceman, since in 1956 piloted a Bell-X test plane to the edge of the stratosphere. A friend of Neil Armstrong and the Gemini astronauts, many say had Kinchilo lived he would have been an important figure in the NASA Space Program.
1959- KPFK , Los Angeles lefty alternative radio of the Pacifica Network, starts up.
1979- Alvin Texas recorded 43 inches of rain in one day.
1984- Edward Gein died peacefully in a prison for the criminally insane. Gein was arrested in 1957 and sentenced to life for mass murder. Police found his farm in Wisconsin decorated with human body parts and heads in the freezer and in the stove, and the dried cadaver of his mother. His story inspired "Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs".
1991 – Children’s comic Paul Reubens aka Pee Wee Herman was arrested in Florida for masterbating in an adult movie theater. The film was Naughty Nurse Nancy.
1995- After a year of investigation the General Accounting Office noted that all documents pertaining to the Rosswell UFO Incident of 1947 had disappeared or been destroyed. …Hmmm.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Who invented the term “to jump the shark”..?
Answer: The term was coined by writer Jon Hein because in Sept 1977 the fifth season of the TV show Happy Days featured the Fonz waterskiing in his trademark leather jacket, and literally jumping over a shark. Since then it has come to mean where a quality TV show goes past the point of no return into banality and silliness.
July 25, 2014 fri.
July 25th, 2014
Quiz: Who invented the term “to jump the shark”..?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for 61
years, but she is not yet the longest reigning English Monarch. Who is?
History for 7/25/2014
Birthdays: Bishop Theitmar of Merseberg-975AD, Arthur Balfour, Thomas Eakins,
Maxfield Parrish, Stuart K. Hine 1899 missionary who wrote the hymn "How Great
Thou Art", Walter Payton, Walter Brennan, David Belasco, Adnan Khashoggi, Imam,
Jack Gilford, Illeana Douglas, Estelle Getty, Matt LeBlanc, Louise Brown, the
first "test-tube" baby-conceived by in vitro fertilization in 1978.
Today is the Feast of Saint James, called San Diego or Santiago de Compostela in
325 A.D. The Council of Nicea- The Roman Emperor Constantine called all the
Bishops and Patriarchs of Christianity to answer the problems posed by the Arian
(Gnostic) Christian sect. The Arrians asked: "If Jesus was God on Earth, then
who was minding the store upstairs? And how can you kill God? Maybe he was just
pretending to be dead..." They came up with the Nicean Creed (The Apostles
Creed) and the Mystery of the Trinity, "One In Being with the Father" If you
can't figure this out, some nun would be happy to rap your knuckles for asking.
1554- Queen Mary I of England "Bloody Mary" married King Philip II of Spain in
Winchester Cathedral. Phillip didn’t linger long in England and Mary was much
older than him and beyond child bearing years.
1570- Czar Ivan IV once more demonstrated why his got the name Ivan the Terrible
by ordering mass executions of his supposed enemies in Moscow. This day he had
Boyar Prince Viskavati hanged from a gallows and slowly sliced up with knives,
allowing him to live just long enough to watch Ivan rape his wife and daughter.
1593- Henry IV, after a bloody religious-civil war had made himself King of all
of France except Paris, which was holding out against him. When he asked why
they were so stubborn in their resistance they said it was because he was a
Protestant. "Well then," the King said-"Paris is well worth a Mass!" and he
converted to Catholicism. Henry’s family, the Bourbons, became the royal dynasty
of France and today is still on the throne of Spain. Just last month Henry IV
remains were found, a pierced ear for a pearl earring.
1788- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his Symphony #40 in G minor.
1792- THE BRUNSWICK MANIFESTO- The Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia
sent armies invading into France to help their brother-king Louis XVI put down
the unruly French Revolution. This day the military commander of the invasion,
Charles Willliam the Duke of Brunswick issued a proclamation to the French
people that if they didn’t knuckle under to their King like all good little
peasants should do he was going to kick their butts! He especially threatened
Paris with a "memorable-vengence". This arrogant threat enraged the French
people and all but decided King Louis and Marie-Antoinette would be executed.
Danton and Marat called for a mass rising of the French nation. The Duke de
Brunswick was defeated in battle by rampaging Frenchmen shouting Aux
1814- Battle of Lundy’s Lane. American forces defeat a British invasion force
near Niagara Falls.
1822- General Augustin Iturbide has himself crowned Emperor of Mexico.
1846 -The Spanish-Californios residents of Los Angeles chase the U.S. occupying
force out of town a second time.
1871- Samuel Colt patents the "peacemaker", the most famous Western sixgun.
Gunfighters filed off the barrel sight so it wouldn't catch on your clothes
during a quickdraw, and carried it "5 beans in the wheel" meaning while walking
they kept it set at the one empty chamber, so it doesn't accidentally go off in
the holster and shoot you in the foot, which might look embarrassing. Most
gunfighters carried it in their belts or a waist high holster. Wild Bill Hickock
carried his 1860 Navy Colts backwards in a red sash. The familiar low-on-the-hip
two gun holsters didn't become common until cowboys saw them in the Buffalo Bill
Wild West Show in the 1880’s.
Colonel Colt got very rich from his invention, and had an annoying habit of
shooting his guns off in courtrooms and restaurants like Yosemite Sam.
1871 An electric carousel was patented by Wilhelm Schneider, Davenport, Iowa
1894-the Sino Japanese War. The Japanese surprise attack the Korean peninsula
amphibiously at the Bay of Inchon, giving Douglas MacArthur the same idea 57
1897- Young writer Jack London went to the Klondike to look for gold. He didn’t
find much but did get material for a lot of good stories.
1898- The US army invaded Puerto Rico. Spain had granted the island home rule
but America got possession of it in the treaty ending the Spanish American War.
It’s been a US commonwealth ever since. Puerto Ricans were given full US
citizenship in 1917 and self government in 1942. As of the last referendum in
1993 Puerto Ricans still preferred the status of commonwealth.
1909-THE WRISTWATCH- Frenchman Louis Bleriot flew the English Channel. Bleriot
had no fuel gauge in his plane. He knew the rate that his plane burned fuel so
he kept a clock in his cockpit to mark the time. But a problem was the engines
vibrations would rattle the clock to uselessness. So he asked his friend Charles
Cartier the jeweler to make him a reliable timepiece free from vibrations.
Cartier created a pocketwatch that you could strap to your wrist with the
clockface showing- the Wristwatch. By World War One wristwatches supplanted
pocketwatches as the standard male accessory.
1918- In Russia the anti-Communist White Guards entered Ykaterinburg one week
too late to prevent the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family. They
discovered the bullet ridden blood soaked room and after capturing one of the
Bolshevik agents involved in the murder spread the news to the world of the
crime. Soviet apologists for years maintained that the murder of the Imperial
Family was done upon the initiative of the local Soviet council under Commissar
Yakovlev. But documents discovered in 1989 revealed the murder of Nicolas II was
a direct order from Lenin.
1920- The French Army occupies Damascus after Lawrence of Arabia and Faisal's
All-Arab Congress government fail. Faisal's son was given the Kingdom of
Mesopotamia (Iraq) after his claims to the Hejaz region was trumped by Saudi
King Ibn Saud. The French would hold Syria as a colony after World War II, which
is why the Syrians have never been very pro-western since.
1927- The Tanaka Memorial- Japanese statesman Baron Tanaka spelled out for the
Japanese government a strategy of conquest for the next twenty years, calling
for Japan to achieve economic dominance by creating a Greater East Asian
Economic Sphere from Korea to Australia. This document was considered by
Anglo-American strategists the "Mein Kampf " of the Japanese.
1934- Nazi agents assassinated the Austrian Chancellor Englebert Dolfuss for
resisting Fascist encroachment, and having a very silly name.
1936- Orchard Beach opened in the North Bronx.
1940- In Nazi occupied Paris a Gestapo agent walks into the French offices of
MGM studios and confiscates the release prints of "Gone With The Wind." They are
taken to Berlin for a screening for top Nazis officials. Gone with the Wind was
one of Hitler’s favorite movies.
1943- The Birth of L.A. Smog! A newspaper headline from this date mentions a
'gas-attack' of exhaust and haze that reduced visibility to three short blocks.
1943 - Benito Mussolini was overthrown as premier of Italy and imprisoned while
the Italian government tried to open negotiations with the allies. Hitler
responded by rescuing Mussolini and militarily occupying Italy.
1944- Operation Cobra- The Allies break out of the Normandy beachheads and
hedgerows and unleash Patton's fresh Third army into the French interior
countryside. Between now and the Battle of the Bulge the German Army can do
little more than retreat to the Rhine.
1951- CBS conducts the first broadcast of color television. NBC made color tv
popular in the mid 1960's.
1953-Chuck Jone's "Duck Dodgers in the 24 and 1/2 Century".
1953- New York City Subway fares rise from 10cents to 15 cents. Subway tokens
are issued for the first time.
1959-"The Kitchen Debates" Vice President Richard Nixon traded catty comments
with Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev at the American kitchen of the future
exhibit in a Moscow Trade Show.
1965 – Folk Music star Bob Dylan was booed off stage at the Newport Folk
Festival for using an electric guitar. Alan Lomax the great Smithsonian Folk
Music historian got into a fistfight over it and Pete Seeger threatened to pull
the electric plugs.
1968-Pope Paul VI published the encyclical Humane Vitae, which set the Church
policy against all forms of birth control other than the Rhythm Method. No to
the Pill, Condoms and other contraception. This made the Pope a real drag to the
1969 - 1st performance of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the Fillmore East in
1969 – Senator Edward Kennedy plead guilty to leaving scene of an accident a
week after the Chappaquiddick car accident that killed his campaign worker Mary
1972- The story was broken of the Tuskegee Experiments- that in the late 1940’s
and 50’s the US Government did medical experiments on unwilling humans,
injecting with them with syphilis and other diseases. The subjects used were
exclusively African American men. One went mad and leapt out of a window.
President Clinton officially apologized to the survivors in 1993.
1975 - "A Chorus Line," longest-running Broadway show (6,137), premiered.
1984- Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became 1st woman to walk in space
1985- Movie star Rock Hudson publicly acknowledged that he had AIDS.
1990 - Roseanne Barr sings the National Anthem at a San Diego Padre game, joke-
impersonating ball players by spitting, grabbing her crotch and screeching
during her rendition. It didn’t go over well with the more patriotically minded
in that conservative town.
2000- An Air France Concord supersonic airliner exploded on takeoff, killing
everyone on board. The investigation proved a piece of metal debris that fell
off the previous Continental Airliner exploded one of the Concords tires and the
resultant wreckage was sucked into the planes engine. Both Britain and France
suspended SST flights for over a year and in 2003 discontinued them forever as
being too expensive.
Queen Elizabeth II had reigned for 61 years, but she is not yet the longest
reigning English Monarch. Who is?
Yesterday’s Question: Answer: She’ll have to rule 7 more years to catch Queen
Victoria, who ruled for 68 years.
jul 24, 2014
July 24th, 2014
Question: Queen Elizabeth II had reigned for 62 years, but she is not yet the longest reigning English Monarch. Who is?
Yesterday’s Question Answered below: On a crucifix, above Christ’s head are the letters INRI. What does that mean?
History for 7/24/2014
Birthdays: Simon Bolivar, Amelia Earhart, Alexander Dumas fils, Ambrose Bierce, Robert Graves, Pat Oliphant, Bela Abzug, Zelda Fitzgerald, Ruth Buzzi, Lynda Carter, Chief Dan George, Robert Hays, Gus Van Sant, Anna Paquin, Michael Richards, J-Lo Jennifer Lopez is 44
634 A.D. Accession of Omar as the third Caliph after Mohammed. This event caused the great split in the Moslem world. After the death of the Prophet his first successor was his best friend and companion during the Hijrah, Abu Bakir. But after his death the unrelated general and second best friend supporter Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, nicknamed "the Just" was nominated successor.
Mohammed's daughter Fatima and son-in-law and cousin Ali Ibn-Abu Taleb split off with their followers. After the death of Ali and his two sons Hassan and Hussein their group under the third Fatimid Caliph, Osman Ibn-'Affan became the Shiite sect of Islam while the main branch under Omar became the Sunnite.
The rivalry is similar to the Protestant-Catholic split in Western Christendom.
1567- Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned by the Scots and forced to abdicate her throne to her 1-year-old son James VI. Mary was raised in exile at the French court and her autocratic French ways and Catholic religion didn’t sit well with the Presbyterian Scots lords and their chaplain John Knox. So as soon as the succession was secure with a baby Mary was bundled off to prison and later turned over to Elizabeth of England for execution.
1568- Don Carlos was the eldest son of King Phillip II of Spain, the most powerful monarch in the world at the time. But Carlos and his dad didn’t get along, it all started when the King Phillip decided to marry the 16 year old bride Margaret of France, originally intended for Carlos. When Carlos showed signs of mental instability, he decided to take the side of Dutch rebels and made noises like he wanted to overthrow his father. Phillip had him imprisoned. He died of dysentery after fasting three days then gorging on meat and ice water, but many in Europe accused his father of poisoning him.
1656- Jewish philosopher Benedict Spinoza was excommunicated by the Rabbis of the Portuguese Synagogue in the Hague. His radical ideas of God made Jews, Catholics, Protestants and even some other humanists attack him, but his ideas formed the basis for modern rationalist philosophy. A German writer called Spinoza “Der Gott bedrunken Mensch” The Man Drunk on God. Albert Einstein, Kant, Goethe and Voltaire were all inspired by the philosophy of Spinoza.
1701- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOTOWN!- After paddling in birchbark canoes 49 days from Quebec, French explorer Antoine de al Mothe-Cadillac and several families found the City of Detroit.
1758 – Mr. George Washington Esq., admitted to the Virginia House of Burgess.
1784- On his way home from France after the American Revolution, Dr Benjamin Franklin stopped on the British Isle of Wight. While there he met his only son William Franklin, the former Royal Governor of New Jersey. While Franklin was a leading patriot William stayed loyal to Britain and suffered imprisonment and exile. The two men loathed one another, they only agreed to meet to humor grandson Temple Franklin.
After an all night conversation nothing was settled and Franklin never spoke nor wrote to him ever again. When Franklin died he wrote William out of his will. “ It’s only what he would have done to me.” Temple never recovered any salaries Congress owed Ben Franklin, but he did inherit lands in New Jersey from his Tory father.
1794-The End of the "Reign of Terror". After tens of thousands of deaths and fear rampant, a group of French politicians called the Directorate overthrow Maximillien Robespierre and have him and his Jacobin followers guillotined. Robespierre didn't go quietly, a soldier named Charles Merda shot him in the face shouting Vive la Republique!" His brother Augustin Robespierre tried to escape out a window but just succeeded in breaking his hip.
At the guillotine Robespierre’s second in command Saint-Just was defiant to the end:
" I curse the dust I'm made of! I give it to you! Scatter my bones and Republics shall spring from them!" Robespierre wasn't so eloquent on the scaffold. He just bellowed in pain from the jaw wound. A woman shouted at him:" Go to Hell, Villain, and go knowing with you go the curses and maledictions of every wife, every mother !" When his head plopped into the basket Parisians cheered and applauded for 15 minutes. Then they overthrew and smashed the fearsome guillotine.
Napoleon was careful to keep few political prisoners and if he executed any he used a firing squad. He shrank from ever using the hated guillotine. He renamed the place where the Guillotine was set up Place de la Concord.
1824- The Harrisburg Pennsylvanian published the results of the first ever US public opinion poll- a clear lead for Andrew Jackson for president.
1832- French immigrant Benjamin Booneville led the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains in Southern Wyoming. Booneville was a US Army captain who answered personally to President Jackson. Many believed he used the wagon train as an opportunity to assess British power in the Northwest.
1847- The Mormons reach the Great Salt Lake. After trekking 1500 miles for17 months since Illinois, leader Brigham Young said :"Enough. This is the place.'
1847 - Rotary-type printing press patents by Richard March Hoe, NYC.
1901- William Porter, also known as O.Henry, was released from jail after doing time for embezzlement. While in jail he found he had a talent for writing.
1923- Treaty of Lausanne - The western powers end the Greek-Turkish War and confirm the Turkish Republic's borders from the old Ottoman Empire. The Turks keep Anatolia and their Aegean coastline, The French Syria, The Greeks the Ionian islands, the British Palestine, the Bolshevik Russians get Yerevan and the Armenians and Kurds get nothing.
1934- Cecil B. DeMille’s epic film Cleopatra premiered. It starred Claudette Colbert wearing skimpy metal lingerie that Lady Gaga could envy.
1938 - Instant coffee invented.
1948-HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARVIN THE MARTIAN- Warner's "Haredevil Hare" featuring the first Marvin the Martian.
1965- Bob Dylan released the song “Like a Rolling Stone”.
1966- Actor Montgomery Clift died at age 45.
1967-VIVE QUEBEC LIBRE. French President Charles DeGaulle was on a state visit to Canada. While giving an address to a huge crowd of in Quebec City he uses the same words he used in 1940 to call for French freedom from Nazi tyranny to announce his tacit support of French Canadian independence: “Vive Le France, Vive Quebec, Vive Quebeque Libre!” Long Live Free Quebec.
The Ottawa government cut short the remainder of his trip and packed him off back to Paris. But his words set the province aflame. All the separatist sentiment dividing Canada for next two decades-national referendums, the Meech Lake accords, the FLQ conspiracy and the Quebec Separatist movement, can trace their beginnings to those three words said on that day.
1969- After successfully landing on the moon and returning to Earth, Apollo 11 safely splashed down in the ocean.
1980- In London’s Dorchester Hotel, comedian and actor Peter Sellers died of a heart attack. He was 54.
1983-George Brett of the Kansas City Royals had a second homerun he hit nullified after Yankee manager Billy Martin complains he had too much pine tar on his bat.
1985-Walt Disney's "The Black Cauldron" premiered.
1998- Russell Weston was a schizophrenic who believed Navy Seals were hiding in his cornfield. He had shot his mothers twenty five cats because they had fleas. This day he went to Washington and tried to shoot his way into the US Congress, He killed two security guards before he was brought down in a hail of bullets. I wonder if the Congress was debating gun control at the time?
2002- Only once since the Civil War had a U.S. Congressman been officially expelled. Today the House of Representatives voted 420 to 1 to expel Congressman James Trafficante for his conviction on Bribery and extortion charges, and having the worst haircut on Capitol Hill.
2005- American Lance Armstrong won the Tour du France bicycle race for an unprecedented 7th time, even after surviving testicular cancer that had spread to his spine and brain. Steroids or not, it was still one hell of an achievement. After he confessed to juicing, his medals were taken away.
Yesterday’s Question: On a crucifix, above Christ’s head are the letters INRI. What does that mean?
Answer: In Latin Ieazus Nazarenensis Rex Iudaeum. Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.