Feb 20, 2017
February 20th, 2017

Question: Speaking of Sweden, when their sports teams play, their jersey has three crowns on it. What does that mean?

Yesterdays Quiz answered below: Who first said” I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”
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History for 2/20/2017
Birthdays: Honore' Daumier, Nancy Wilson, Ansel Adams, Cindy Crawford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robert Altman, Roger Penske. Phil Esposito, Jennifer O’Neill, Ivanna Trump, Mike Leigh, Lili Taylor, Sidney Poitier is 89

1258- The Mongol horde under Hulugau stormed Baghdad. They were ordered by Genghis Khan not to spill any royal blood, so they took the last Caliph, Al Mostassem- Billah, rolled him in a blanket then galloped their army over him. Ouch. The beautiful city of the Arabian Nights was sacked and burned for 40 straight days. Chroniclers said 800,000 died, and the streets ran with rivulets of liquid gold- melting from the gilded books in the burning libraries.

1702-British King William III went riding around Hampton Court when his horse Sorrel stepped in a molehole and threw him. He suffered a broken collarbone. But being already elderly, tuberculant and asthmatic, died within a week. Friends of his enemy the exiled Stuart king drank a hearty toast to the 'Little man in the velvet coat', meaning the mole who dug the hole.

1725- FIRST DOCUMENTED SCALPINGS- British militia scalped ten Indians in New Hampshire. Indians of the Eastern coast and Caribbean had done the practice before. Now colonial authorities encouraged allied tribes to bring in scalps as a way of proving how many of the enemy they had killed, before being paid a cash bounty. Scalps soon became a fashionable novelty item in for sale in London. Tribes adopted different scalp cuts so you would know who did it -the Cheyenne preferred a diamond cut, Sioux an oval pattern.

1792- U.S. Postal Service founded. Ironically, the only postal service that ever operated at a profit was the one established by the Confederacy under postmaster John Regan from 1861-65.

1816- "Fee-Garr-Row! Fig-Ar- Roww- Figaro-Figaro, Figaro, Figaro"- Giacomo Rossini's opera 'The Barber of Seville' premiered. Rossini endured bad press and heavy criticism at the time because the another opera of the Marriage of Figaro had just been premiered by Paisiello, an inferior composer who then was more popular than him.

1824- The first attempt to name and classify a dinosaur. At the Geological Society of London, Dean William Buckland announced the Megalosaurus or the Great Fossil Lizard of Stonesfield. Based on a leg bone he estimated it at 40 feet long and a bulk larger than an elephant. Before Darwin the conventional explanation was that these fossils were the remains of dragons, or creatures that missed Noah’s Ark and perished in the Flood.

1827- The Battle of Ituzaingo- The army of the Brazilian Empire defeated Argentina.

1839- The City of Washington DC outlawed dueling.

1845- The Battle of the Cahuenga Pass. Angry Spanish Californians rancheros led by Juan de Alvarado and Pio Pico clashed with the Mexican governor Miguel de Micheltorena. The only casualty was a mule. The story of Alvarado may be one of the origins of Zorro.

1862- Abraham Lincoln's youngest son Willie died of bilious fever in the White House. Today some theorize he died of cholera from drinking the swampy water of Washington.

1918- The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Lenin and the Bolsheviks had promised an end of Russia’s part in World War One. Its continuation had doomed the representative government of Alexander Kerensky after Tsar Nicholas was overthrown. Now Lenin decided to end the war at any cost. The Germans demanded huge parts of Poland and Ukraine as compensation. Since the Bolsheviks had demobilized the Russian Army Lenin had to give it all away. He was gambling that the allies would win eventually. He also planned setting up Communist Party cells in Germany that he hoped would overthrow the Kaiser. The Kaiser was defeated and toppled and Russia did get back all her lost territory.

1925- Willis O’Brien’s silent movie The Lost World premiered. Based on Conan-Doyles 1912 novel. The stop motion animation of dinosaurs and exploding volcanoes issued in a new era of special effects films. O'Brien later did King Kong and trained kids like Ray Harryhausen.

1933-"WE’VE HIRED HITLER !." German chancellor Adolf Hitler had a secret meeting with Germany's corporate leaders: Krupp, I.G. Faben, Seimans, Bayer, GAF, BASF, Daimler-Benz. He made a deal that if they financed his Nazi government, he would destroy the labor unions and communists, re-arm the nation and suspend the eight hour workday. The quote is by Gottfried Krupp after their meeting.
Most of the German corporate CEO's survived the war and became leaders in the postwar anti-Communist world.

1936- The film “Follow the Fleet” premiered, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1939- The American Nazi Party held their largest rally in Madison Square Garden in New York City. 20,000 Americans goose-stepped and Sieg-Heiled under a huge portrait of George Washington, while angry anti-Fascist and Jewish groups protested outside. By 1941 most of the German American Bund dissolved. During the war 10,000 German Americans were interned along with the Japanese and Italians. Fritz Kuhn, the organizer of the rally was jailed for embezzling his organizations funds. He was deported to Germany in 1946.

1947- In a lecture to the London Mathematical Society, Computer pioneer Alan Turing said the best way to test the intelligence of a computer would be to teach it to play chess. Earliest reference to interactive gaming.

1962- "God Go with You, John Glenn !" Mercury -7 sends the first American into orbit.
His first words upon emerging from the space capsule were:” It was hot in there.” Glenn later became a Democratic senator and in his 70’s went into space a second time on a space shuttle in 1998 John Glenn was a combat Marine pilot, test pilot and astronaut but even he sometimes got the willies.
In 1968 while traveling with the Robert Kennedy for President entourage their chartered plane hit turbulence. Bobby Kennedy undid his seat belt, stood up and said to the cabin “ I have an announcement- Colonel Glenn- is scared!”

1980- Bon Scott, vocalist for the band AC/DC, was found dead in a friend’s automobile choked in his own vomit.

1986- The Soviets launch the first permanent orbiting space station, Mir, which means Peace. After a long career in which 7 US astronauts among many others spent time there in 2001 it finally burned up in re-entry.

1986- Britain and France announced the project Napoleon had dreamed of 200 years earlier, a tunnel under the English Channel – the Chunnel.

1997- Chinese Chairman Deng Zhao Peng died at 92. Nicknamed Little Bottles, he was the last leader from Mao Zse Tung’s original Long March days.

2006- The animated film Wallace & Gromet: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, won the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for the best British Film of the year. It beat out the Constant Gardner, and Pride & Prejudice.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who first said” I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”

Answer: Abraham Lincoln. Being hounded by journalists in 1860 about whether he would run for president, Honest Abe said “ You fellas can’t get me to say whether I am or not. Reckon I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”


Feb 19, 2017
February 19th, 2017

Quiz: Who first said” I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”…….?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: What was the Mannheim Steamroller?
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HISTORY FOR 2/19/2017
Birthdays: Copernicus is 1542, Luigi Boccherini, Smokey Robinson, Andre Breton, Lee Marvin, Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Karen Silkwood, Paul Terry, Paul Krause, Merl Oberon, Amy Tam, John Frankenheimer, Jeff Daniels, Benicio Del Toro is 50, Hilary Duff

Today is the Feast of Saint Wulfstan of Worchester

197AD- General Septimius Severus of the African Legions had seized control of the Roman Empire and had himself declared emperor. This day he defeated his last rival, Albinus, the commander of the legions of Gaul. He left Albinus’ dead body in front of his headquarters, where for fun he trampled it repeatedly with his horse. Albinus‘ corpse lay around being torn by dogs and vermin for days until it stank so bad, it was flung into a nearby stream.

1600-In Rome philosopher Giordano Bruno was stripped naked and burned at the stake with a nail hammered through his tongue. The monk was one of the first modern free thinkers and skeptics. He raged against superstition and denied there was any such thing as Hell or Purgatory. But his chief sin that got him burned was his expansion on the Copernicus Theory. He said that not only is the Earth revolving around the sun but that the Universe is Infinite and unfathomable, that God should not be belittled, as being focused on one little people on one little rock. He is an Infinite Presence ruling over countless worlds. Later scientists like Galileo and Descartes kept Bruno’s fate in mind when they went too far in bucking Holy Mother Church.

1674- The Second Treaty of Breda settled the Third Dutch War with England. As part of the settlement, Holland gave up any chance of getting back her colonies in North America, now renamed by the English New York and New Jersey. Truth be told they weren’t bringing in any income anyway. They were considered of little value.

1725- The first recorded case of spontaneous combustion.

1736-Georg Frederich Handel’s oratorio Alexander’s Feast premiered at Covent Garden.

1807- ARRON BURR, former vice president of the U.S, is arrested in Alabama territory for treason. Napoleon's conquest of Spain put the Spanish Americas in confusion. Mexico declared her independence, the U.S. occupied West Florida (Alabama) and James Madison thought we should also take Cuba. Arron Burr was organizing a freelance military expedition (called a filibuster) to take over Texas from Spain but President Tom Jefferson suspected him of more sinister purposes. In this age of Napoleonic adventurers a frustrated ambition like Burr's might be thinking of taking over New Orleans (only American for 3 years) or even a march on Washington City!

Burr was put on trial but nothing could be proven. The state's chief witness General James Wilkinson was taken apart on the stand as a consummate liar - Chief Justice John Marshal tried to subpoena the President but Jefferson invented" Executive Privilege', saying a president can't be put under oath. So Marshal had no alternative but to acquit Burr. Jefferson in a rage later tried to have Burr's defense attorney jailed and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court impeached- Justice Marshal was Jefferson's cousin. So Burr was acquitted. He lived in Paris for awhile and when he died at 81 he was being sued by a woman for getting her pregnant.

1847-“ ARE YOU FROM CALIFORNIA OR ARE YOU FROM HEAVEN?” The Donner Party found at last. The wagon train of settlers had been trapped in the High Sierra mountains of California near Lake Truckee in blizzard conditions with no food since last October 31st. Half the settlers were dead and the rest subsisting on cannibalizing the dead for food. This day a survivor named John Reed who got to safety returned with a rescue party from Sutter’s Fort. Of the 89 original settlers only 45 made it out alive. One opened a restaurant.

1878- Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1913- Crackerjacks start putting toy prizes in every box. The name Crackerjack for the caramel corn was named for the reaction of Teddy Roosevelt trying it for the first time- These caramel-corns are Crackerjack!

1915- Grand Admiral von Tirpitz told German newspapers that his strategy to win the Great War was to use his submarine u-boats to blockade Britain and prevent food, fuel and supplies entering from the outside world.

1915- L.A. Times publisher and land baron Harry Chandler was indicted with 8 other prominent Angeleanos for conspiring to start a new revolution in Mexico. The Mexican government had seized their large land holdings there for land redistribution and this was their quaint little way of getting them back.

1920- THE MYSTERY OF ANASTASIA- This day came the first news reports that a emotionally disturbed young woman who tried to jump into a Berlin canal claimed to be the Archduchess Anastasia Romanov, youngest child of the Czar and Czarina of Russia. She somehow escaped the 1918 massacre of her family and tried to prove it by recalling minute details about the Imperial household. She was called Anna Anderson and was the toast of New York and Parisian society for awhile. But unlike the movies, the Romanov family in exile never took her seriously and Anna eventually married and settled down. In 1991 extensive laboratory attempts to match her DNA with the Romanovs proved she was not the little archduchess.

1942-Japanese planes bomb the Australian Port of Darwin, Australians brace for an invasion. In the beginning of the war Australia sent all her manpower to Europe to help mother England, figuring the U.S. Navy could handle anything in Asia. Now the U.S. Navy was sunk or on the run, the Japanese were massing for invasion while the Australian army was on the other side of the world in North Africa and Europe.

When the Australian prime minister asked Churchill for his divisions back to defend the homeland, Churchill refused, saying he couldn't spare them. In the end the Japanese never did invade, and relations between Aussies and Brits have been dodgy ever since.

1942-PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT signed Executive Order# 9066- The JAPANESE INTERNMENT ACT- All along the Pacific Coast first and second generation Japanese-Americans were uprooted from their homes and property and with what only they could carry were shipped off to camps in the desert. Few Japanese-Americans were interned in Hawaii however, because it would have seriously depleted the population. Many got no restitution for their lost property.
. Although the F.B.I. kept tabs on German and Italian agents in U.S. and pro-Fascist groups like the American Bund flourished in the 30’s, nothing like what happened to Japanese Americans occurred to them. Less than 10,000 were rounded up as opposed to over 100,000 Japanese Americans.

1943- Battle of Kasserine Pass ended. Nazis General Rommel the Desert Fox showed he had a few tricks left, beating up the American army in its debut, and embarrassing Eisenhower's first combat command. He lured the Yanks into a narrow pass and chopped them up. It was the only time in the European war that American G.I.s fled in panic.

1945- THE INVASION of IWO JIMA-The nine mile square bit of barren beach cost over 50,000 lives. This island and Okinawa were the test cases to judge how fiercely the Japanese would fight for mainland Japan. Iwo Jima was the first island that wasn't conquered territory of some other people but was considered part of the home Japanese Islands, only 700 miles from Tokyo.

1944- Writer John Steinbeck asked that his name be taken off of the credits for the Alfred Hitchcock film version of “Lifeboat”. “In view of the fact that my script for the picture was distorted in production.”

1945- While Allied armies crossed into Germany on all sides, Nazi S.S. leader Heinrich Himmler contacted the neutral Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte to try and open secret peace talks behind Hitler's back. Bernadotte asked as a condition that all concentration camps in the Reich be turned over to the International Red Cross. Himmler balks at this but agrees to allow food packages to be delivered to Nordic inmates. When Hitler finds out Himmler was trying to cut his own deal he was extremely upset and Himmler was under house arrest at the end of the war.

1951-Poet philosopher Andre Gide died in Paris. Several things were quoted as his last words, my favorite is " Before you quote me, please make sure I'm conscious."

1954- The prototype Ford Thunderbird auto completed.

1960- Bill Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts.

1963- The book The Feminine Mystique was published. Betty Freidan’s analysis of contemporary women’s issues is considered the first shot of the modern Women’s Movement.

1968- “ It’s a beautiful day in the Neighborhood…” Mister Roger’s Neighborhood debuted on National Education Television, later called PBS. Ordained Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers had been doing children’s shows similar in Pittsburgh and Canada since the 50’s but today was the start of his show that would run unchanged for thirty-five years.

1995- Busty actress Pamela Anderson married rocker Tommy Lee. On their honeymoon they shot a notorious sex tape on Lake Powell, that leaked onto the internet, becoming the first viral video. By 2000, one sixth of everything viewed on the world-wide web was just about Pamela Anderson.

1990- ILM VFX artist John Knoll helped his brother grad student Tom Knoll create a surfacing and paint system for home use. They called it ImagePro. Adobe bought it and today released it as Photoshop.
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Yesterdays’ question: What was the Mannheim Steamroller?

Answer: It was a New Age rock band in the 1970s that liked to blend themes from classical music.


FEB 18, 2017
February 18th, 2017

Quiz: What was the Mannheim Steamroller?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: What does it mean to be caught between Scylla and Charybdis?
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History for 2/18/2017
Birthdays: Queen Mary I Tudor -Bloody Mary, Pietro Guarnieri the violin maker, Harry Grover- Seeley one of the founders of Paleontology, Louis Tiffany, Andre Segovia, Wendell Wilkie, Billy de Wolfe, Enzo Ferrarri, Yoko Ono, Jack Palance, Milos Forman, Bobby Bachman of the Bachman Turner Overdrive, Gahan Wilson, Johnny Hart, Matt Dillon is 53, John Travolta is 63, John Hughes, Dr. Dre

Today is the feast day of Saint Simon, Jesus’ first cousin, who is often confused with Simon Zealots, one of the apostles. He was executed in the reign of the Emperor Trajan.

1386- IOGAILA WYTAUTAS also called Wladyslaw Jagiello, Grand Duke of Lithuania and grandson of Mendog the Terrible married Jadwiga of Poland and became King of Poland-Lithuania, Hetman of the Ukraine, Voivode of Ruthenia ( modern Moldova) and so on and so on.
When Jadwiga heard the news of who she was marrying her first reaction was to chop away at her door with a large axe. But later she accepted patriotically. Poland-Lithuania becomes the second largest power in Europe, and the Lithuanians are the last people in Europe to renounce Animist paganism for Christianity.

1814- Napoleon with his little army of 15 year old conscripts stop an invading Russian army at the Battle of Montereau.

1842- Two hundred of New York City’s high society and top politicians held a banquet in honor of the visiting English author Charles Dickens. Dickens spent the evening depressing everyone with talk about his tour of the cities prisons, slums and poorhouses.

1856- The KNOW NOTHING PARTY held their first –and only, presidential convention. Officially called the American Party, but known for responding to reporters questions as “they knew nothing” This 3rd party was formed over anger at growing immigration. They sought to curb the influx of non-native born Americans, especially Roman Catholics from Ireland and Italy. They nominated ex president Millard Filmore for re-election, but their ranks were broken up over disputes over slavery and their movement sputtered out

1878- THE LINCOLN COUNTY WARS- John Tunstall, a Scotsman who gave a number of young cowboys work on his ranch in New Mexico, was murdered while his bodyguards were hunting wild turkeys. Tunstall was buried in his clan tartan kilt. This murder sparked a running gun battle between Tunstall's group led by his attorney John McSweeny, a town merchant named Murphy, rancher John Chisum and most of the county. One of Tunstall's hired hands turned this range war into a personal vendetta that would make his name famous- Billy the Kid.

1885- Mark Twain's 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' published.

1888- The Hotel Coronado in San Diego Cal. opened for guests. It remains one of the largest remaining wood structures in the U.S.. Several presidents stayed there, the Duke of Windsor may have met Mrs. Simpson there and films like the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot and The Stuntman were shot there.

1930- The planet Pluto discovered- in 1909 Scientist Lord Percival Lowell had detected signs of a planet at the edge of our Solar System beyond Neptune but could not definitely confirm or identify it. They named it for the time being 'Planet X'. The Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona had searched in vain for decades until Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tumbaugh, an amateur astronomer who was allowed to occasionally use Lowell’s telescope to justify the public grants they got. Lord Lowell had just passed away before the discovery he had dedicated his life to. In 2009 a consortium of scientists demoted Pluto from a planet back to just a planetoid.

1950- First Mr. Magoo cartoon "Ragtime Bear".

1953- First 3-D stereoscopic movie, "B'wana Devil" starring Robert Stack.

1970- The Chicago 7, Yippie leaders of the anti-war rioting in front of the Democratic presidential convention of 1968 were found innocent of all charges. David Dillinger, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, Tom Hayden and the other guys. One of their offenses was trying to get a 250 pound pig onto the floor of the Convention so they could get it nominated for President.

1972- President Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon land in China.

1973- Richard Petty the Stock Car King won his first Daytona 500 race. He would go on to win 6 more and prove that NASCAR racing was one of America’s favorite though most underreported sports.

2001- Dale Earnhardt Sr, the reigning NASCAR racing car champion, died in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. His eldest son Dale Jr. placed second.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be caught between Scylla and Charybdis?

Answer: Scylla was an ocean bound, man-eating monster, having many heads. Charybdis was a giant gaping maw in the ocean that spouted deadly whirlpools (sometimes depicted simply as a single giant whirlpool). They were affixed to a spot in the ocean, and mythological sailors like Ulysses and Jason had to pass
in the narrow strait between them. "Between Scylla and Charybdis" has
come to mean a choice between two evils


Feb 17, 2017
February 17th, 2017

Quiz: What does it mean to be caught between Scylla and Charybdis?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a Zouave?
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History for 2/17/2017
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, Montgomery Ward, Red Barber, Marian Anderson, C'haim Potok, Jim Brown, Rene Russo, Michael Bay, Jerry O’Connell, Cybil Shepard, Lou Diamond Phillips is 55, Denise Richards is 46 and Paris Hilton is 36, Michael Jordan is 54, Hal Holbrook is 92, Joseph Gordon Levitt is 48

3,201BC- According to Sumerian records, from today in the month of Hilu to the month of Eshil-March 30th occurred the GREAT FLOOD, that the story of the flood of Noah in the Bible was based on. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1920’s theorized that the Great Flood was the tidal backwash caused by the sinking of the lost continent of Atlantis.

364 A.D.-Valentinian I proclaimed Emperor of Rome. Just to show you could "Be-All that You could Be.." in the Roman Army, Valentinian was born to an army family based in Pannonia (Hungary). He rose through the ranks and served in Africa (Tunisia), Persia (Iraq) and Gaul (France).

1673- MOLIERE DIED. The great playwright was suffering from tuberculosis and was in failing health, but he insisting on playing the lead in his final play "The Imaginary Illness". Tonight when asked to rest instead he responded" There are fifty workman here who won’t get paid if we don’t play". He played Argan, a hypochondriac who imagined himself dying.

In the final act he uttered the word "Juro I swear," and was seized with a violent coughing fit. He covered with a joke and finished the play, but later was carried home where he died choking on his own blood. The local priest refused to come and give him Last Rights because his play Tartuffe made fun of priests. Moliere was one of the greatest playwrights and poets of the age, and Frenchmen equate him with Shakespeare.

1814-Battle of Villeneuve- Napoleon beat somebody else once again. France had been invaded by 5 armies simultaneously. When Napoleon beat one force, the four others kept marching on Paris.

1817-Baltimore got the first city streets lit with gaslight .

1864-THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL SUBMARINE ATTACK-. The Confederate submarine Hunley, after testing that drowned 23 men including the inventor, sails, err, chuggs, actually it was driven with a screw turned propeller -screws it's way to Yankee ships blockading Charleston Harbor. It attaches a underwater bomb called a david to the hull of the U.S.S. Housatonic. The david exploded sinking the Housatonic, but it also dragged down the Hunley and it’s 13 man crew to a watery grave.
The first modern diesel/electric submarine was developed by John Holland in 1894. Recently archaeologists raised the Hunley from the harbor and even found the lucky gold dollar the captain kept in his pocket. Researchers also found the graves of one of the earlier test crews under the concrete foundation of a Charleston football stadium.

The first modern diesel/electric submarine was developed by John Holland of the Holland Electric Boat Company in 1894.

1865- Gen. Sherman burns Columbia, S.C. The POPULARITY OF THE CIGARETTE- Everyone knew the Civil War was almost over, yet try and reason with Uncle Billy. Sherman's army fresh from burning Georgia spread a wide path of destruction through the Carolinas. When Sherman's men reached the capitol of South Carolina they took special revenge in destroying the city where the first vote to secede took place. Yankee's sang "Hail Columbia, Happy Land; If I don't burn you I'll be damned!"

Cigarettes were gaining popularity in Spain and Latin American while in the U.S. tobacco was taken chiefly in cigars, pipes and chaw. A South Carolina planter in Durham had just finished developing the perfect mild blend of cigarette tobaccos, Bull Durham, when Sherman's bluecoats arrived to loot and torch the factory. Instead of tragedy, things worked out well for the fellow. After the Civil War the Yankees went home to towns from Maine to California and talked of the good smoke they had in Carolina. Soon it was a national passion.

1876- The invention of canned sardines.

1877- THE SATSUMA REBELLION-Ever wonder whatever happed to all those samurai in the movies? Part of the modernizing of Japanese society after the Mejii Restoration of 1868 was the phasing out of the samurai class. Some moved into the officer corps of the new western trained Japanese army. Some samurai, rather than bear the shame of being demoted to peasant, emigrated to Hawaii under the invitation of King David Kalakaua IV. But other samurai didn’t go quietly. When ordered by the government to give up their swords, samurai led by Takamuri Saigo revolted and had to be put down in several bloody battles. Takamuri committed suicide, but later all was forgiven. There is a statue of him today in Hokkaido.

1890- The Los Angeles City Council voted to change the name of their main street, called Fort Street, to Broadway.

1906- In a White House wedding ceremony President Teddy Roosevelt saw his eldest daughter Alice married to Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Ohio. Alice was as free spirited as her father, Once when confronted about her escapades Teddy remarked " I can run the country or control Alice, but I cannot do both."

1911- General Motors installed in their Cadillacs the first automatic starters, replacing the handcrank. It was developed by Charles Kettering, the reason he did it was because a friend of his stopped to assist a young lady's who's engine had stalled. When he tried to get the engine started again using the hand crank, it kicked back and hit him in the jaw, breaking it and eventually causing gangrene, which eventually killed him.
Kettering spent many years at GM and started the Delco brand of auto parts. He also was responsible for fast drying paint which allowed a car to be painted in almost instantly on an assembly line instead of days. He sold the idea to an unbelieving client by having his car taken from the parking lot, painted and returned over a long lunch.

1912- THE NEW YORK ARMORY SHOW-Mabel Dodge and Gertrude Stein introduce Post expressionist modern art to the U.S. public. The first U.S. showings of Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp and the Italian futurists. The show was denounced as a "chamber of horrors" and Matisse was burned in effigy in Chicago. Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase" was described by an art critic as "an explosion in a shingle factory". Duchamp was highly gratified, I believe.

1925- First issue of Harold Ross’s The New Yorker magazine.

1934- Pennsylvanian Amos Neyhardt started the first drivers education course.

1942- Ernst Lubitsch’s screwball comedy "To Be , Or Not To Be" debuted. Adolf Hitler enters a room and after everyone "Sieg Heil" salutes him, he replies "Heil Myself!" But the comedy flopped, in part because it’s female star Carole Lombard had died tragically in a plane crash just before the film opened.

1945- Nazi scientists abandoned the Pennemunde, the V-2 rocket testing site as Allied armies overran the area.

1958 – Johnny Hart’s comic strip "BC" 1st appears

1960- Dr Martin Luther King Jr was arrested for leading the Alabama bus boycott.

1967 – The Beatles release "Penny Lane" & "Strawberry Fields"

1979- A Prairie Home Companion radio show starring Garrison Keilor was first broadcast nationally. It was a feature on Minnesota Public Radio since 1974. Garrison retired in 2016.

1979- Barely four years after finishing the twenty year war with the United States and France to unify the country, The Communist government of Vietnam declared war on Communist Cambodia and picked a fight with Communist China, who invaded them. Go Figure. China calls it the Pedagogical War.

1987- Soviet premiere Mikhail Gorbachev revealed President Ronald Reagan's preoccupation with space aliens: "At our meeting in Geneva, the U.S. President said that if the earth faced an invasion by extraterrestrials, the United States and the Soviet Union would join forces to repel such an invasion. I shall not dispute the hypothesis, though I think it's early yet to worry about such an intrusion..."

1989- "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" premiered starring the most excellent Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. Whoah-Dude!

1992- Jeffrey Dahmer sentenced to life in prison without parole for drugging, torturing, murdering, cannibalizing 15 young men. Two years later he was beaten to death in prison by another murderer who said God told him to.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a Zouave?

Answer: Zouaves were members of Union army Civil War battalions. They were easily recognized by their distinctive, very colorful Moroccan style uniforms, which were, in turn, based on the uniforms of an elite French Army division.


Feb 16, 2017
February 16th, 2017

Quiz: What is a Zouave?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What is the oldest continuously played sporting event in the USA?
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History for 2/16/2017
Birthdays: The Great Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, Henry Adams, Charles Taze Russell founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edgar Bergen, James Baskett, Sonny Bono, John MacEnroe, Frank Welker, John Schlesinger, Faith Hubley, Katherine Cornell, John Corligiano, Kim Jong Il, Levar Burton is 60, Ice-T is 59

In ancient Rome it was the Festival of Quirinalia- when Romulus the founder of Rome was taken up into the clouds to become the god Quirinus.

Today is the feast of St. Juliana of Nicomedia, who was tortured by both her father AND her boyfriend. I know a lot of you girls out there can relate to that. She also liked to wrestle winged devils in her spare time.

1804- To The Shores of Tripoli....The U.S. Navy goes to North Africa to try and get the Barbary Pirates to leave Yankee merchant ships alone. The Barbary Pirates had been extorting money from Mediterranean shipping for three hundred years but they weren’t a problem while American shipping was under British Royal Navy protection. But now the little republic was on it’s own. When the Bey of Algiers demanded his usual payoff the U.S. Congress said: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for Tribute!" So the US Navy was sent.

The frigate U.S.S. Philadelphia was sent to Tripoli harbor to threaten, but only managed to get stuck on a sand bar and her entire crew became hostages. On this day Captain Stephen Decatur sneaked into Tripoli harbor and burned the Philadelphia. British Admiral Nelson said it was "one of the boldest actions of the age. "Actually more valuable was when Decatur landed a small force of U.S. Marines and Greek mercenaries who overland surprised the largest Algerian fortress at Dara and terrified the Bey of Algiers into making peace.

Decatur took full credit. He said "My country right or wrong", commanded Old Ironsides in the War of 1812, and was killed in a pistol duel in 1819.

1808- Napoleon invaded Spain. After he defeated the Spanish Army and occupied Madrid, the Spanish people didn’t roll over quietly like other nations. They fought on as Guerrillas, little wars. The violence in what the French called the Spanish Ulcer raged unabated until they were driven out by Wellington in 1814.

1842- British General Charles Gordon took command of the Ever Victorious Army in China to combat the Taiping Rebellion. The Ever Victorious Army was a force of mercenaries recruited by an American named Stone to help the Manchu Emperor defeat his enemies western style. The leader of the Taipings, Tzu Wang Ti, had told his followers he was the son of Jesus Christ come to Earth to lead them to victory. Gordon’s army soon destroyed the Taipings and Tzu committed suicide by eating as much gold leaf as was necessary.

1848- Frederic’ Chopin played his last concert in Paris. Slowly dying from tuberculosis, the 48 year old retired to the isle of Majorca, and died a year later.

1862-FORT HENRY & DONELSON.- Confederate strongholds Fort Henry and Ft. Donelson surrendered to an new Union general named Ulysses Grant. Rebel cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest on his own initiative cut his way out of the encircling bluecoats rather than surrender. Southern commander Simon Bolivar Buckner was a personal friend of Sam Grant before the war and even lent Grant money when he was broke. Buckner now expected favorable terms, but Grant bluntly demanded Unconditional Surrender! The initials matched his name and the little cigar smoking drunk became a hero to a demoralized North. But Simon Bolivar Buckner never forgave him and never spoke to him until Grant was on his deathbed in 1885.

1863- THE DRAFT- U.S. Congress passed the National Conscription Act. The Confederates had started drafting a year before. Riots broke out in Northern cities whenever the draft board set up. Rich men could buy their way out for $300. John Rockefeller, Grover Cleveland and Teddy Roosevelt’s father took that way out. There was a popular song of the era called "We are Coming Father Abraham, Three Hundred Thousand More" which was changed by bitter wags to “We are Coming Father Abraham, Three Hundred Dollars More."

1923- Bessie Smith made her first recording-"Downhearted Blues".

1937- Chemist Wallace Caruthers working for the Dupont Company received the patent for Nylon. He was trying to find something to replace horsehair bristles for toothbrushes. What he got was a fabric that could replace expensive silk. By World War II nylon stockings for women were so popular that limited by shortages resourceful women would draw a seam in pencil down their bare leg to impersonate the effect.

1942- Operation Drumroll- Hitler sent a wolfpack of 5 large longrange U-Boat submarines to sink ships along the American east coast.

1959- Fidel Castro takes the oath as President of Cuba.

1978- The first computer bulletin board goes on live. Two guys from Chicago named Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss built a Computerized Bulletin Board System that was an S-100 motherboard and CP/M, and a Hayes 300 baud modem. It still runs to this day, but the Internet has taken the place that BBS's used to have.

1987-"Family Dog" episode on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories show. The first direction by Brad Bird.

1994- Apple announced the introduction of the digital camera, the first camera that needed no film but could load images directly into a computer. Within ten years Polaroid and Kodak were filing for bankruptcy.
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Question: What is the oldest continuously played sporting event in the USA?

Answer: The Kentucky Derby, run each year since 1872.


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