March 24, 2017
March 24th, 2017

Quiz: In Homer’s Odyssey, while Ulysses was out at sea fighting monsters, his wife was home fending off suitors by making and unmaking a tapestry. What was her name?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Helen of Troy sparked the Trojan War when she left her husband King Menelaus of Sparta to go with her lover to Troy. What was the name of her boyfriend?
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History for 3/24/2017
Birthdays: Steve McQueen, Lawrence Ferlingetti, Ub Iwerks (the first Disney animator), John Wesley Powell, Harry Houdini aka Eric Weiss, Edward Weston, Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde, Bob Mackie, Robert Carradine, Jesus Alou, Laura Flynn-Boyle, Alyson Hannigan, Joe Barbera, R. Lee Ermey drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket (Hoo-Rah!), Peyton Manning, Sir Elton John is 71

To the ancient Romans this was the Day of Blood- when the priests of the Goddess Cybele would end a nine day fast by walking in procession through the streets practicing self-flagellation with whips, atoning for their sins with their blood. Some scholars theorized that the Christians incorporated this custom into the story of Good Friday.

1185- Battle of Dano-Ura. Huge Japanese samurai battle fought at sea. The Minamoto Genji Clan defeated the Taira-Hekki Clan and seized the throne. The 7 year old Hekki Emperor and many of his retainers drowned themselves. To this day local fishermen find small crabs with shells like samurai face masques on them.

1241- The Mongol hordes sent into Europe by Genghis Khan’s general Subotai. While one pincer marched into Hungary, another force under Vuldai and the Tartar Paidar burn the Polish capitol of Krakow. A trumpeter trying to give a warning from a church tower was shot through the throat with an arrow. Since then in his memory, in the town square every hour on the hour a trumpeter plays the bugle call and stops short at the same note -The Heynal.

1603- Queen Elizabeth Ist of England dies of a gum inflammation, James VI of Scotland, son of Mary Queen of Scots, becomes King James I Stewart of the United Kingdom. Elizabeth was 69 and had ruled England since she was 25. She was famous for being frugal but she loved extravagant clothing. At her death she left 2,000 dresses. When an Anglican bishop in a sermon tried to criticize her for vanity, the Queen stood up and warned him to hold his tongue, ”ere ye may yet attain Heaven before your time”.

1663- King Charles II granted lands in the newly forming American settlements called Carolina to noblemen who supported him in the recently ended English Civil War.

1765- the British Parliament passed the American Quartering Act, which means you have to let a redcoat soldier sleep and leave cans of Holsten Pils and Marmite jars around whether you like it or not ! You even had to give them your extra food and candles at no charge! Up to now all the British army was on the frontier protecting against Indians, now it seemed the redcoats were moved into towns and settlements to keep an eye on the Americans! This and the Stamp Act was another of the sort of thing that bugged Americans about being a colony.

1794- Hero of the American Revolution Thaddeus Kosciuszko raised the banner of Revolt to liberate Poland from the Russians, Austrians and Germans. They were unimpressed. In spirit of American and French liberty he appeared in the great square of Krakow in a peasants jacket and cap and declares a fight to the death. He finished the war in a Russian prison. Eventually released, he visited America in 1797 and was paid $3,947 in back pay as an American army officer. He spent all the money buying black slaves and freeing them.

1808- Napoleons’ French army entered Madrid.

1843- THE BATTLE OF HYDERABAD- Sir Charles Napier and the British Army of India defeated the Balouki tribesmen and conquered the region of the Indus Valley called the Sindh.
One problem generals always have after a big battle is coming up with a good name. This battle was fought near a village called Dabaa, but in Hindi, Dabaa meant Greasy Animal Skins. Charles Napier didn’t want to be knighted in Westminster Abbey as the Viscount Greasy Animal Skins, so he sent an officer to ride around until he found a town with a more suitable name. Finally they chose the town of Hyderabad.

Back in London Napier was hailed as the Conqueror of Sindh. Punch magazine punned that his report consisted of one word-PECCAVI- Latin for “ I have Sinned.- get it? “ Victorian Conquest humor!

1882 -In Berlin, German scientist Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacillus that caused Tuberculosis, enabling a vaccine to at last be created. T.B. or consumption, was the AIDS of the 1800's- killing everyone from Frederic Chopin, Doc Holliday, Aubrey Beardsley and Mimi in La Boheme.

1900- Mayor Robert Anderson Van Wyck turned over the first shovel-full of dirt on the project to build the New York City subway system.

1912- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyles adventure novel The Lost World, first published in magazine installments. Conan Doyle was inspired when he in 1905 he attended a lecture at the Royal Geographic Society, when an Amazon explorer described finding dinosaur bones. It was the first of the Land-of-the-Dinosaurs type stories.
In 1925, Willis O'Brien made the Lost World into the first dinosaur monster movie.

1934-The Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour debuted on radio. It became a national craze to see who could be a future star. Frank Sinatra was among their finds. The show eventually moved to television and later spawned the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, Chuck Barris the Gong Show, Star Search, American Idol and the Voice.

1939- The film the Hound of the Baskervilles premiered with actors Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. They became the most famous interpreters of the characters and went on to make a dozen more films.

1943 - The first Japanese anime’ feature premiered "Momotaro's Sea Eagles".

1944- The Nazi Gestapo in Rome retaliated for a car bomb that killed 33 Germans by pulling innocent people at random off the street and executing them.

1944- THE GREAT ESCAPE- 60 Allied POWs dug a tunnel and escaped from an elite prison in Poland. All but 5 were recaptured, and Hitler had 40 shot.

1954- The Nash-Kelvinator Company and the Hudson Car Company merge to form American Motors Corporation or AMC automobiles.

1955- Tennessee William's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuts at Broadway's Marosco Theater. Barbera Bel-Geddes was the first Cat, and Burl Ives was " Big Daddy".

1958- Elvis Presley inducted into the Army. G.I. Blues!

1962- No one had been a more loyal supporter of President John F. Kennedy than Frank Sinatra. The singer got his Ratpack friends to stump for the candidate, and even got Mafia money to support a man who’s brother Bobby was busy busting the rackets. But the President was warned that association with such a known libertine would cost him family values votes one day. So when Kennedy next visited Palm Springs he not only refused an invitation to stay with Sinatra, he stayed with more wholesome singer Bing Crosby, a Republican! Sinatra in a rage took a sledgehammer to the private helicopter landing pad he was preparing for JFK, and broke off his friendship with JFK’s brother-in-law actor Peter Lawford.

1973- In Buffalo, a drunk fan bit singer Lou Reed on the ass.

1989- The supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil in Prince William Sound Alaska. It was claimed its Captain Joseph Hazelwood was drunk. But insiders claim Exxon fabricated the drunk-captain story to excuse their inadequate detection and warning equipment. The route was well charted and easy to maneuver. Despite lots of promises to clean it up completely, today much of Prince William Sound is still contaminated and the wildlife was decimated.

1999- The U.S. and NATO began to bomb Belgrade over Serbian attacks in Kossovo.

2005- A Colorado Rockies big league baseball game was called off on account a swarm of bees. The bees were attracted by the coconut oil in the starting pitchers hair gel.

2006- 13 year old Miley Cyrus debuts on TV as Disney’s Hanna Montana.
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Yesterday’s Question: Helen of Troy sparked the Trojan War when she left her husband King Menelaus of Sparta to go with her lover to Troy. What was the name of her boyfriend?

Answer: Paris.


March 23, 2017
March 22nd, 2017

Question: Helen of Troy sparked the Trojan War when she left her husband King Menelaus of Sparta to go with her lover to Troy. What was the name of her boyfriend?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: Who was the legendary hero who slayed the dragon Fafnir, then took a bath in his blood?
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History for 3/23/2017
Birthdays: US Vice President Schuyler Colfax, Akira Kurosawa, Joan Crawford, Dr Werner Von Braun, Juan Gris, Chaka Khan, Paul Grimault, Sidney Hillman Jack Ruby, Joan Collins, Eric Fromm, Fanny Farmer, Catherine Keener is 58, Hope Davis is 53

In ancient Rome today was the Tubilustrum, the Festival of the Sacred Trumpets of Minerva. Yes, the word is the origin of the word Tuba, although the modern tuba wasn’t invented until 1835.

Today is the Feast day of the Irish Saint Gwinear. Gwinear loved animals so much that once when he was thirsty he struck the ground with his staff to make a clear pool appear, then again to make another one for his dog and horse.

1721- Johann Sebastian Bach sent the first copy of his Brandenburg Concertos to the Margrave of Brandenburg. When the Margrave died and an inventory was made of his holdings in Berlin, the value placed on each concerto was six groschen, or about $5 each.

1775- During the debate in the Virginia House of Burgesses, Patrick Henry
said the only way to deal with England was :"I KNOW NOT WHAT COURSE OTHERS MAY FOLLOW, BUT FOR ME -GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH !" Henry became Gov. of Virginia, but later he was forgotten in the formation of the new nation, especially after he declared publicly that the Constitution was a big mistake and Tom Jefferson was an incompetent coward.

1806-After exploring the Pacific coast around the mouth of the Columbia River, Lewis and Clark start back for home.

1857- Stewart's department store in New York installs the first of Mr. Otis's new invention, the elevator. There were earlier steam elevators, but the danger of falling frightened off customers. Mr. Otis’ system of brakes and cut offs in the event of a cable failure made elevators popular and the age of skyscrapers possible.

1877- Mormon elder John D. Lee was convicted of the murder of 120 settlers when he ordered his men to attacked a pioneer wagon train as it passed through Utah in 1857, the infamous Mountain Meadow Massacre. On this day John D. Lee was marched to the massacre site, stood beside his own coffin and shot by firing squad.

1877- the first telephones installed in the White House.

1894- Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan-Doyle was in Davo Switzerland helping his wife recover from tuberculosis at a spa in the Alps. While there, the Swiss introduced him to a new sport that he quickly took to. This day he wrote to London enthusiastically abiout Ski-Running, or Skiing. Conan-Doyle predicted in the Strand Magazine “Within a generation, thousands of English people will be coming to the Alps to ski.” Today there are no statues to Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle in England, but there is one of him in Davo, Switzerland.

1903- Orville and Wilbur Wright kept looking for someone to build them a motor light enough to power their airplane design. Finding no takers they built the thing themselves, and the propeller and this day took out an U.S. patent on the Airplane. They didn’t actually fly in it until nine months later.

1918- In a final attempt to break French morale during World War I, the Germans begin firing giant "Big Bertha" cannons at Paris. The monster shells fly 77 miles and took three minutes to reach their targets. The first shell hit Place De La Republique. A German gunner said the discharge of the cannon sounded like an "enormous vomiting dachshund'.

1919-Benito Mussolini founds the Parti Fasci di Combatimento or Fascist Party in Italy. He started his career as a socialist union leader but swung to the other side later (better benefits?) He named his ultra-right group after the wrapped bundle of sticks with an axe sticking out that was carried before ancient Roman consuls, the fasces, it symbolized Roman power. In a previous generation Garabaldi's men were called Red-Shirts so Mussolini adopted the Black-Shirts. Later Hitler made his storm troopers Brown-Shirts.

1936- Ollie Johnston got a job as Fred Moore’s assistant at the Walt Disney Studio.

1945- THE FIRST JET FIGHTER ATTACK- In a last ditch attempt to stop the allied armies entering Germany, the Luftwaffe mounts an attack on two captured Rhine river bridges by fifty jet fighters. The Messerschmidt ME-262 Schwalbe (Swallows).
Half never get off the ground, others get lost and the rest don't accomplish anything. The Luftwaffe aces like Adolph Galland thought the jets were ideal for shooting down big B-17 bombers, but Hitler insisted they carried bomb loads, which slowed them down enough for propeller planes to hit them. The experimental jet fuel was so unstable that it had to be mixed by a chemist as it was being poured into the gas tank. If the mixing was done improperly the whole thing could explode on the runway.

1945- Later that day General George Patton led a group of journalists and photographers out to the center of the Rhine bridgehead. One journalist asked his thoughts now that he was breaching Hitler’s vaunted Seigfried Line and daring to go where no foreign soldier had stepped since Napoleon.
As cameras clicked the Patton undid his fly and took a long healthy whiz in the Rhine River. “I waited all morning to do that! Yessir, the pause that refreshes!” My father remembered signal corps photo lab assistants made a brisk business selling copies of the famous incident on left over scraps of enlargement paper. That photo was taken by Tech Sgt. Paul Dougherty of the 737 Tank Battallion.

1957- Art Clokey's "Gumby" Show. Clokey created the green clay fellow for his USC college thesis film.

1971- US Congress lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

1973-White House attorney John Dean tells President Nixon:" There's a cancer on the Presidency...."

1976- Panamanian middleweight Roberto Duran was being honored in Havana. Fidel Castro casually remarked to Duran “Hey, what do you think would happen if my fighter Teofilo Stevenson met Muhammad Ali?” Duran laughed ” Ali would kill him!” Duran was suddenly on a plane home that night.

1977- The first Richard Nixon-David Frost interview.

1983- STAR WARS- President Ronald Reagan announced in a nationwide speech the Strategic Defense Initiative, dubbed the Star Wars Program. He said US scientists were going to create a protective umbrella of laser satellites in orbit that would shoot down hostile nuclear missiles.
This program would cost trillions and even if it worked it could never stop all the missiles launched in a Soviet first strike. Conservative apologists said that the re-escalation of the cold war arms race drove the Soviets crazy and their inability to keep up with arms spending sped their economic collapse. Star Wars wasted billions of U.S taxpayer dollars before it was stopped.
On the day of the 9-11 World Trade Center Attack National Security Advisor Dr Condoleeza Rice was scheduled to make a major speech announcing the Bush White House resuming of the Star Wars program.

1989-COLD FUSION - Two physicists named Ponds & Fleischman make incredible claims that they had discovered a way to make electric power from Cold Fusion. This would mean limitless cheap power that left little waste. It could even use nuclear waste as a fuel. After a lot of excitement, upon closer scrutiny their formula didn’t work. Oh well.

1990- President George Bush Sr. banned broccoli from the White House.
He joked; "Read My Lips ! I hate Broccoli !"

2003- Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, Beating out Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who was the legendary hero who slayed the dragon Fafnir, then took a bath in his blood?

Answer: Siegfried.


March 22, 2017
March 22nd, 2017

Quiz: Who was the legendary hero who slayed the dragon Fafnir, then took a bath in his blood?

Quiz: What is a hurly-burly?
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History for 3/22/2017
Birthdays: Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Marcel Marceau, Stephen Sondheim, Karl Malden, Werner Klemperer- Colonel Klink in Hogan’s Heroes, George Benson, James Gavin, Allen Neuharth the founder of USA-Today, Milt Kahl, Fanny Ardant is 68, Lena Olin is 62, Bruno Ganz is 76, Reese Witherspoon is 41, William Shatner is 86.

In ancient Rome this day was the Festival of the Entry of the Tree- when the priestesses of Cybele, Goddess of the Harvest, would lead a procession through the streets carrying pine or palm branches. In later times the Christians took this custom and made it Palm Sunday.

1622-POWHATAN INDIANS SUPRISE ATTACK JAMESTOWN- While the Pilgrims were still thinking of coming to America and Plymouth Rock was just another rock, Jamestown Virginia was the only English settlement in North America.
After the deaths of Pocahontas and Powhatan in in 1619, Opescanacough- pronounced Opee-cantanoo, became Mamanatowick- overall chief of the Virginia Powhatan Confederation. He had hated the English since the days of John Smith. So he resolved to rid his land of the white settlers once and for all with a simultaneous assault on them from all sides on the same day.
The settlers were taken completely by surprise, many while tending their fields. 300 were killed, among them John Rolfe, the husband of the late princess Pocahontas.
Despite such heavy losses the English recovered and in a slow war of attrition eventually killed Opescanocough and wiped out the Powhatan people.

1687- Jean Francois Lully was court composer to Louis XIV the "Sun King" and by all accounts a champion opportunist. In an age when the Baton had not come into use for conductors, Lully conducted his orchestra by beating a large pole on the ground to the tempo of the music. One day during a performance he poked a hole in his own foot with the pole and died of blood poisoning.
On his deathbed he asked a priest for Last Rites but the priest refused unless he burned his latest opera "Atys" which the church considered blasphemous. Lully admitted his sins and burned the manuscript of ATYS in front of the priest, who then gave him the sacrament. A friend came in afterward and said:" How could you burn your work?" Lully replied:" Don't worry. I have another copy here in my desk. "

1719- King Frederick Wilhelm Ist announced the end of serfdom in Prussia-Germany.

1820 - Commodore Stephen Decatur was killed in duel with Commodore James Baron outside Wash. D.C. Decatur was a colorful naval hero of the War with Tripoli and War of 1812 who said "My Country Right or Wrong" .

1882- Congress outlaws polygamy.

1894- First Stanley Cup Game- Montreal 3, Ottawa I.

1901- Japan announces that Russia better keep their hands off Korea.

1905-WELTSMACHT (world power) Kaiser Wilhelm in a speech for a dedication ceremony in Bremen tells the Germans that it is their natural right to dominate the world. It was another of his emotionally immature statements that sent chills through an already tense world situation.
We sometimes think German government officials then were like the Nazis, robotic and fanatical. But in the Kaiser’s time many of his officials were just as cynical as anyone else. German diplomats despaired whenever Wilhelm put his foot in his mouth. One attache tried to release an edited text to the press. The Kaiser complained: “Bauer, you’ve left out all the good parts!”
Another time after the Kaiser did a candid interview for the London Globe & Mail where he called the English people a "Race of Mad Bulls." The German ambassador in London said to a colleague "Oh Well, we might as well start packing right now..."

1913- Jack London (White Fang, The Call of the Wild ) wrote fellow writers HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill and asked them how much they get paid. He was unsure what to charge.

1933- The first SS run concentration camp Dachau opened.

1944- When the evidence became overwhelming President Franklin Roosevelt in a national radio address first told the American people of Hitler’s holocaust of the Jews. He warned that all persons aiding in these war crimes would be hunted down. Still no attempt was ever made to bomb Auschwitz, Dachau or even the railroad links to them. US Immigration rules had been tightened since 1938. Although Jewish groups had complained for years, the US public never really understood the full horror of the death camps until the film footage returned from the land armies a full year later.

1945- Several Arab nations including Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt form the Arab League. Their goal is the eventual unity of all Arab peoples from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf, but about the only thing they all agreed on was hostility to a Jewish state in Israel. Today the Arab League is trying to stop the fighting in Syria without much luck.

1947- President Truman signed an Executive Order # 9835 ordering background checks of all government employees to see if they were commies, and to take a Oath of Loyalty to the United States. Two million took the oath, only 129 were sacked for refusing.

1958- Hollywood producer Mike Todd was killed in a small plane crash. He produced hit movies like Around the World in 80 Days and romanced starlets like Gypsy Rose Lee and Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor and Todd had been married for one year and she was devastated by the accident. Years and many marriages later Taylor said Mike Todd was the only man she actually loved.

1960- Arthur Shawlow and Charles Townes patented the laser beam. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation or LASER. Pussycats rejoice!

1970- The Beatles break up. Paul McCartney filed papers in a London court for a formal dissolving of the Fab Fours partnership.

1972- Concluding a five-year study, the National Commission on Drug Abuse recommended ending all penalties and laws prohibiting marijuana.
No one in authority listened to them.

1972- Congress passed the ERA, the Equal Rights Amendment, forbidding any discrimination by sex. The ERA was first proposed by women’s rights groups in 1923. With the heady atmosphere of Women’s Liberation in the early 70s the amendment seemed a no-brainer, even Ronald Reagan supported it. However the Conservative backlash led by anti-feminists like Phyllis Schlafly slowly stunted its ability to win over states for ratification. The ERA died unratified in 1982.

1978- Karl Wallenda, 73 year old scion of the daredevil family the Flying Wallendas, fell to his death from a tightrope between two resort hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1991- Ivana Trump divorced Donald Trump. A celebrated court case ensued to see how the huge Trump fortune would be divided. Newspapers cry Ivanna More Money!
Today she is writing her memoirs of her time with the current President.

1995- First day of shooting on that utterly classic film- Dinosaur Valley Girls!

2004- Israeli missiles blew up Sheik Ahmed Yasin, the quadriplegic founder of the Palestinian group Hamas.
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Yesterdays Quiz: What is a hurley-burley?

Answer: From Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Witch. When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain? 2 Witch. When the hurlyburly ’s done, When the battle ’s lost and won….
It is rhyming slang for hurling, as an obsolete term for a general disturbance. A ruckus.


March 21, 2017
March 21st, 2017

Todays Question: What is a hurley-burley?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What does it mean to have a heuristic quality?
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History for 3/21/2017
Birthdays: Plato, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benito Juarez, Modest Mussorgsky, Fats Waller, Josef Pulitzer, Flo Ziegfield, Bronco Billy Anderson, Rev Ralph Abernathy, Armand Hammer, Harold Robbins, Matthew Broderick is 55, Gary Oldman is 59, James Coco, Timothy Dalton is 71, Rosie O’Donnell is 55,

It’s National Puppy Day!

Today in Switzerland this is the Feast of St. Nicholas Von Flue, who was married, had ten children, and made war. In 1481 when the Swiss Confederation was in danger of breaking apart Swiss leaders came to his monk's cell to seek his advice. Though he could neither read nor write, he worked out the Compromise of Stans, which saved peace and Swiss unity forevermore.

717 A.D. Battle of Vinciacus- Charles Martel, aka Charles the Hammer", defeated Ragenfridus and the Merovingian pretenders and assured the Carolingian line on the throne of the Franks, aka the French. Charles Martel’s grandson was Charlemagne. His great-grandson Pippin was made into a musical by Bob Fosse and Stephen Schwarz in the 1970's. A musical called "Ragenfridus!" just doesn't have the same ring.

1617-Pocahontas, now called Lady Rebecca Rolfe, died at Gravesend, England after being taken off the homeward bound ship, too ill with smallpox to continue. She was 21. Her children with John Rolfe became the beginnings of one of the largest families in Virginia, with many scions of the Old Dominion tracing their ancestry to Pocahontas.

1740- Composer Antonio Vivaldi - Il Pietro Rosso- the Red Priest, conducted his last concert at the Ospedale Della Pietra in Venice. It was a home for orphaned girls so it was an all-girl orchestra. The 64 year old Vivaldi later went to Vienna to see if he could get any commissions from the Austrian Emperor, but caught an illness on the way and died.

1804- The Duc D'Enghein shot by firing squad. The Bourbon nobleman was setting up a conspiracy just beyond the French border in Germany to overthrow the French Republic and re-establish the king. Napoleon sent a covert strike force of fast riding cavalry across the border to kidnap him and bring him back. Napoleon prided himself on not executing political dissenters like the masses that were guillotined in the Revolution. But this Duke was too dangerous to keep alive. Still, the cold-bloodedness of this action bothered Napoleon, and he referred to it often with regret.

1804-THE CODE NAPOLEON- That same day the French Assembly gave final approval to Napoleon’s revising the legal system. The French civil law courts had been in a hopeless muddle with 368 separate regional law codes some dating back to the Middle Ages. Nappy tackled the problem like he did a battle. He presided over 35 of 87 all day meetings of the jurists- once waking up the drowsy legislators with the cry “Come Gentlemen, Let us Earn our Salaries!” The CODE NAPOLEON became the basis for all French civil property rights and family law and is still in use in Louisiana and Quebec Canada today. Napoleon said: ” When the memory of my forty battlefield victories have faded, what will live forever is my Civil Code.”

1829- The British Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington had to work hard to get a Bill of Catholic Emancipation through Parliament. This day he had to fight a duel with an opposition MP, a Lord Winchelsea. They popped away at each other without doing any harm, and that seemed to satisfy everyone’s honor.

1859- The first public zoo opened in the U.S.

1864- Nevada statehood. Lincoln at this time was pushing several territories into statehood early so he could get emancipation and Civil rights legislation through congress with a majority against the rebellious Southern States.

1871- William Stanley set out to find Dr. David Livingstone. Livingstone was an explorer –missionary who had disappeared into the African jungle. No one had heard from for two years. Stanley, an illegitimate Welshman, had been a soldier in the American Civil War and fought on both sides. He undertook this African expedition financed by the New York Herald. His Swahili name was “Bula Matari” the Breaker of Rocks.

1871- German Chancellor Bismarck convened the first Reischtag (parliament) of the unified Germany.

1915- President Woodrow Wilson hosted a private screening of D.W. Griffith’s film “The Birth of a Nation” at the White House.

1918- The Ludendorf Offensive (second battle of the Somme) begins. When Lenin took over Russia he immediately made peace with the Germans to end the Great War in the East. This freed up one million German troops for the Western Front. German strategist Erich Von Ludendorf hurled them into one last attack to win the war before the American armies could arrive in significant numbers. Ludendorf (who was such a stiff Prussian it was said he made love with his monocle on.) called the action "Kaiserschlacht" ( Kaiser's Battle") and he promised the Kaiser that he would be in Paris by April 1st. When this attack was stopped by the fresh American forces, the German High Command admitted their chances of winning the World War I were now kaput.

1921- Chicago mobster Big Jim Colosimo was murdered by a new face in gangsterdom, a hitman for Johnny Torrio named Alfonso “Scarface” Capone. When Al Capone became famous, he showed his appreciation to Torrio by having him rubbed out too.

1921- Russian Communist leader Nicholai Lenin announced at a party conference the New Economic Policy. Russian state controls applied too quickly combined with the hardships of a civil war had destroyed the Russian economic infrastructure. A terrible famine raged. The New Economic Policy allowed for a certain amount of capitalism and free trade to occur until Russia could get back on her feet again. Stalin replaced the NEP with the first Five Year Plan in 1928.

1933- On the anniversary of Bismarck's parliament the Nazis dominated Reichstag passes the Enabling Act, giving newly elected Chancellor Adolph Hitler complete dictatorial powers to combat anarchy and terrorism. Hitler kept elderly President Hindenburg around for image sake until his death a year later. The Weimar Republic ended and the Third Reich began. Also passed today was an edict called the Heimtuckegesetz, or Malicious Practices Law, which made it a crime to criticize the Nazis.

1935- Persia renamed Iran and Mesopotamia renamed Iraq.

1951- HOLLYWOOD COMMIES- House UnAmerican Acitivities Commitee (HUAC) under Judge J. Parnell Thomas moves from Washington and sets up in Hollywood to continue rooting out Communist subversion in the movies. They began in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and later move to the federal building downtown.

Their concerns weren’t total fantasy, actor Sterling Hayden confessed he was ordered by his communist operatives to try and influence the Screen Actor’s Guild. Still the point remains whether the authorities overreaction was justified and whether Congress could get more publicity looking for spies in Tinseltown than the Department of Games and Fisheries.

Out of 15,000 people who made a living in the movies and television, only 295 were ever proven or confessed communists. It was an open secret that for $5,000 delivered to the right committee member, your dossier would be moved to the bottom of the pile. The hearings stopped in 1956, the blacklist was broken in 1960 and Judge J. Parnell Thomas went to jail himself for embezzlement.

1952- DJ Alan Freed put on an event of the new pop music in Cleveland Ohio. Called the MoonDog Coronation Ball, it was the very first Rock Concert.

1960- THE SHARPEVILLE MASSACRE- White South African police confronting a peaceful demonstration in the black township of Sharpeville open fire with machine guns into the crowd, killing 69 and injuring hundreds. Nelson Mandela and other African National Congress leaders abandon for a time peaceful protest and form a militant wing of their movement- Spear of the Nation.

1961- The Beatles first perform at the Cavern Club in Hamburg Germany.

1961- based on the success of the first Playboy Club in Chicago, Playboy Clubs with their Bunny waitresses opened in New York, Miami and LA.

1963- On orders from Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Alcatraz Prison was closed.

1963- Barbara Streisand married Elliot Gould.

1965- Rev Dr Martin Luther King’s civil rights marchers reached Montgomery from Selma.

1976- ASPEN MURDER- Jet setter Claudine Longet, a model who was formerly married to singer Andy Williams, shot and killed her lover Spider Sabich, a Olympic skiing champion. Even though their relationship was foundering she said it was an accident, that the Luger went off in his abdomen when he was showing her how to use it. In the bathroom. Uh Huh. Imagine being in the bathroom shaving and your girlfriend pops in “Honey, I’m having problems with the safety on my Luger.. Here darling I’ll just –oops!”
She spent 30 days in jail for negligent manslaughter, then married her defense attorney.

1980- Mafia capo Angelo Bruno received a shotgun blast to the head while he sat in his car after dinner. The Genovese family had his former capo Phil "Chicken Man" Testa take over rackets in Atlantic City.

1988- the Screen Actor's Guild hits the bricks for the fourth time in twenty years, this time striking Hollywood for residuals for cable and videocassette income.

2006- The first Tweet sent on the new format Twitter. Scientist Jack Dorsey tweeted his friends “ Setting up my twttr…” Twitter went public that July.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to have a heuristic quality?

Answer: Heuristic means a learning process that allows a person to problem solve by their own experience, knowledge and inference. Having a heuristic quality means something that is generally open to individual, self-motivated investigation and personal conclusions.


March 20, 2017 mon
March 20th, 2017

Question: What does it mean to have a heuristic quality?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What musical instrument did Victor Borge say “ Sounds like a clarinet with a cold.” ……?
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History for 3/20/2017
Birthday: Roman poet Ovid 43BC, Napoleon’s son Napoleon II "l'Aiglon" The eaglet, Henryk Ibsen, Lauritz Melchior, Ray Goulding, Mr. Rogers, Bobby Orr, Sheldon "Spike" Lee is 59, B.F. Skinner, Pat Riley, Sir Michael Redgrave, Edgar Buchanan, Holly Hunter is 59, William Hurt is 67, Carl Reiner is 94, Chris Wedge is 59

Happy Saint Cuthbert's Day !

44BC- The Great Funeral of Gaius Julius Caesar. The spot in the Forum where the common people tearfully cremated Caesar’s body is still there today. Caesars lieutenant Marc Anthony won the Roman populace over by appealing to their love of Caesar.” Friends Romans Countrymen Lend me your Ears!” as Shakespeare wrote. At a key moment Anthony revealed Caesar’s bloody toga. The assassins Marcus Brutus and Cassius Longinus thought the people would proclaim them heroes for saving the democracy. But they committed a fatal error by staying out of sight during this ceremony. They lost public sympathy and soon fled Rome.

269AD- Roman emperor Gallienus was assassinated while conducting a siege of the city of Mediolanum (Milan).

1413- Prince Hal ascended the throne of England as King Henry V. He spent most of his reign trying to conquer France and won the stunning victory at Agincourt. If he hadn’t died of dysentery at age 35 he might have united the kingdoms of France and England. Once more into the breach my friends!

1549- Thomas Seymour the Lord High Admiral of England was beheaded for treason. In the unstable regency following King Henry VIII’s death Seymour tried for the top job by wooing Princess Elizabeth and Princess Mary and stockpiled secret stores of arms and ammunition. This execution weakened the political status of his brother the Earl of Somerset who was running the kingdom. Somerset eventually lost his head too.

1760- The Great Fire of Boston.

1777- Benjamin Franklin was officially presented at the court of Versailles to meet King Louis XVI. Spain, Russia and Sweden withheld their ambassadors, both not wishing to cause a rift with England. His eyes teared up when he was introduced, not as representing rebellious English colonies, but as “ DR FRANKLIN, CONSUL FROM THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA!” This is the beginning of U.S. foreign policy.

1782-British Prime Minister Lord North resigned his government after thirteen years in power. This is because of the first ever successful vote of no-confidence in Parliament. North was infamous for doing King George’s bidding almost exclusively and bungling the American War of Independence. After the big defeat at Yorktown he was the target of the first ever Vote of No Confidence in Parliament. Lord North resigned before Parliament could vote on a resolution ordering unilateral withdrawal from America.

1800- Alessandro Volta announced he had invented the electric battery.

1815- Napoleon Bonaparte was borne on the shoulders of a cheering Parisian mob back into the Tuileries palace as fat King Louis XVIII hightailed it to England. From this day to Nappy's abdication after Waterloo is referred to as the Hundred Days.

1841- Edgar Allen Poe's The Murder's in the Rue Morgue first published in Graham’s Magazine. Called the first true detective novel, Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin was inspired by a real French sleuth named Jules Vinquoc who used disguises and scientific technique to solve crimes the Paris police could not handle. Dupin was the inspiration for Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.

1852- Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" first published. It sold one million copies within six months. The book was the first to treat the horrors of slavery directly and portray slave families not as dumb brutes or happy minstrels but victimized human beings. Because of this book, Yankee soldiers referred to Southerners as women whippers, and baby sellers. Mrs. Stowe said modestly: “I didn’t write it, God did. I just took dictation.” When she visited the White House President Lincoln met her with:”So here’s the little lady who started the big war.”

1899- In Sing-Sing prison Martha Place becomes the first woman in the U.S. to be electrocuted. She had killed her stepdaughter. Because Sing-Sing Prison in Ossining New York was situated up the Hudson River from New York City, the phrase to be” sent up the River” as meaning going to jail, became popular.

1903- Henri Matisse exhibits at the Salon des Independents in Paris.

1931- Cantors Kosher deli opened in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles.

1932- The German airship Graff Zeppelin began a regular passenger service between -Cologne Germany to Buenos Aires Argentina.

1940- KATYN- When the Nazi blitzkrieg crushed Poland, the remains of the Polish Army and government fled East only to fall into the hands of Stalin. Stalin didn’t want this group to form the nucleus of a revived Polish state after the war. In an order signed this day Stalin ordered the execution of 14,000 Polish officers and a further 10,000 Polish government workers. When the Nazis invaded Russia the following year they uncovered the mass graves at Katyn, the Hill of Goats. All the bodies had the NKVD signature- one bullet hole in the back of the head. Strange, Nazis denouncing a mass murder. Stalin claimed the Germans did it, and the news of Katyn was forgotten in the larger scale of the Holocaust. In 1991 Russia officially apologized.

1942- After a harrowing escape from the Philippines through Japanese lines by pt. boat, submarine and plane, General MacArthur arrived at the Australian town of Darwin. His first radio message was to tell the occupied Philippine people “ I Shall Return!” The U.S. State Department later asked MacArthur to amend his message to the more democratic We Shall Return, but the imperious general refused.

1943-Battle of Mersa Martruh, Rommel vs. Montgomery in the Egyptian desert.

1943-MGM's "Dumb Hounded" the first Droopy Cartoon.

1956-Habib Bourghiba and Prime Minister Mollet of France conclude talks for the independence of Tunisia.

1965- After the confrontation on the Edmund Pettis Bridge President Lyndon Johnson ordered 4,000 US troops to protect the Civil Rights protestors led by Martin Luther King marching from Selma to Montgomery. Alabama Governor George Wallace had sent attack dogs and police on the marchers after promising the President not to.
Johnson referred to Gov. Wallace as “a treacherous, lying SOB!”

1969-John Lennon married Yoko Ono on the Rock of Gibraltar.

1976- Heiress Patty Hearst, aka Tanya, convicted of bank robbery. How she could be tried for bank robbery and her Symbionese Liberation Army captors, simultaneously tried for kidnapping her, is one of the riddles of American jurisprudence. She was finally pardoned by Bill Clinton in one of those last day in office pardons.

1985- Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Alaskan Iditarod dog-sled race. She would win it a total of four times.

1987- The U.S. food and drug administration finally approved AZT for use in treating the effects of AIDS.

1991- A judge ordered the Walt Disney Company to pay Peggy Lee $3.8 million for the songs she wrote and performed in the film Lady and the Tramp. This additional income was from videocassette sales for a re-issue of the soundtrack. In 1955 she was paid $3,500.

1995-A Japanese doomsday cult called Aum Shinrikio released a deadly nerve gas called Sarin into the Tokyo subway system. It killed 13 and sickened 5,500. The cult had tried on several occasions to release anthrax and other germs into the air to kill millions but their attempts always failed. Their philosophy Poa stated the souls salvation could be achieved through mass-murder. Two days later Tokyo police raided Aum Shinrikio’s headquarters and arrested their leader Matsumoto Chuizo.

1999- After years of attempts and failures involving millionaires like Richard Branson, Rocky Aoki and Malcolm Forbes, Dr Bertrand Picard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of the UK became the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a balloon. It was named the Breitling Orbiter 3. Dr Picard said: “I am with the Angels and completely happy.” Mr Jones said: First thing I’ll do is phone my wife, then like a good Englishman I’ll have a cup of tea.”

1999- Legoland opened in Carlsbad Cal.
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Yesterdays’ question: What musical instrument did Victor Borge say “ Sounds like a clarinet with a cold.” ……?

Answer: The oboe.


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