April 23, 2014 wed
April 23rd, 2014

Question: One hundred years ago, when European powers declared war on each other to start WWI, what did Japan do..?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Seriously, why are people encouraged to yell Geronimo when sky diving.?
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History for 4/23/2014
Birthdays: William Shakespeare, President James Buchanan, Sergei Prokoviev, J.M.W. Turner, Vladimir Nabokov, Senator Stephen Douglas the Little Giant, Shirley Temple, Roy Orbison, Halston, Sandra Dee,Valerie Bertinelli, Lee Majors is 73, Judy Davis, Simone Simon, Michael Sporn, Tony Esposito, Michael Moore is 59, Herve Villechaise- da plane ! da plane!

This was the ancient Roman Feast of the Vinalia, the feast of the first grapevine plantings.

301AD- This is the Feast of St. George.- George of Nicomedia was a native of Illyria (Croatia) and a member of the Praetorian Guards, who went up to the Emperor Diocletian’s palace and tore up his edict banning Christianity. Then Diocletian had George torn up. And what about St. George fighting the dragon? In the old tradition of borrowing from pagan myths, the Coptic Christian monks took from the Ancient Egyptian religion the famous battle between Horus and his evil uncle Seth, God of Sandstorms, often represented in temple art as a weird dragon-like animal.

1014- BATTLE OF CLONTARF- Irish High King Brian Boru defeated the Vikings and drove them from Ireland. Boru himself was too elderly to fight, so he was praying in a church when a renegade group of Danes surrounded the church and set it on fire.
Oh well, at least he won...

1348- The Order of the Garter created in England.

1374- The King of England grants the writer Geoffrey Chaucer a pension that included a pot of wine every day for the rest of his life. What more could a writer ask for !

1500- Explorer Pedro Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal.

1538- Protestant theologian John Calvin was asked to leave his ministry in Geneva for being, uhh, well.. too Puritan. Geneva went party wild. Two years later the city fathers called Calvin back to clean up the town.

1616-After a night out partying with Ben Johnson, John Draydon and other old buddies from Ye Old Mermaid Tavern, William Shakespeare caught a fever and died on his fifty second birthday.

1746-THE GLASS HARMONICON- German composer Johann Christoph Witobald Gluck had premiered his first opera La Caduta de Giganti in London to weak box office . Today he hit it rich by playing an entire concerto on twenty-six drinking glasses with water raised to different levels to effect the pitch. He played it by rubbing his fingers along the rims. The crowd went wild. Another triumph of musical taste.

1784- Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson’s plan to extend government to territories west of the Appalachian Mountains but reject his suggestion that ten states be organized with classical names like Metropotamia and Polypotamia. Some of his suggestions for Indian names like Michigania and Illinoia sounded better however.

1789- President-elect George Washington and Martha move in to their temporary U.S. capitol of New York City. Traveling from Virginia up to New York every town he passed through greeted him with huge parades and celebrations. When moving through Philadelphia the artist John Singleton Copley had designed a triumphal arch that as Washington moved under it sprang a strange mechanical device that plopped a gold laurel wreath on his head. Annoyed, the startled statesman tore it off.

Once set up as President, Washington realized that the first Presidential residence Franklin House had no furniture, and Congress was broke. He had to pay out of his own pocket for all the furnishings and dinnerware, large enough for state dinners of thirty or more. When he left office in 1796 he offered to John Adams to sell him his furniture. When the frugal New Englander balked at the price, Washington left the new President of the United States an empty mansion with a few candle sticks and one crystal punch bowl.

1809- Napoleons army captured Ratisbon ( Regensburg ) from the Austrians and Robert Browning did a nice poem about it.

1867- William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, an optical toy predating motion pictures..

1896-THE FIRST PROJECTED MOVIES IN THE U.S.- The first projection of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope film by means of Thomas Armat’s Vitascope at Koster & Bials Music Hall on 28th street and Broadway in New York City.. Edison had to be nagged into this by his engineer W.K.L. Dickson. Edison thought projecting movies like the Lumiere Brothers were doing in Europe would never catch on and the future of film was nickelodeon machines. The movie show featured the sultry Annabella the Dancer and a boxing match, but the real hit of the evening was footage of Waves Hitting the Rocks on Shore, which made people instinctively duck to keep from getting wet.

1900- A celebration held in Russian Georgia was addressed by a young revolutionary who had been expelled from the Tiflis Theological Seminary where he was studying to become a priest. Josef Dzugashvili was later encouraged by other revolutionaries to change his name so the Czar’s police wouldn’t pick up his family. He changed his name to Man of Steel- Josef Stalin.

1903- The first game of the New York Highlanders (later Yankees) baseball team. They defeated the Washington Senators, 7-2.

1914- Happy 100th Birthday Chicago’s Wrigley Field!

1942-The Baedecker Raids- In reprisal for an allied bombing raid on Lubeck the German Luftwaffe began bombing medieval English cities like Norwich and Canterbury based on their rating in the Baedecker Tourist guidebooks. If a place got three or more stars it became a target.

1945- As the Red Army was reaching the suburbs of Berlin, S.S. Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler quietly contacted Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte and requests peace terms with the Allies. From his hiding place in Bavaria Hermann Goring was also trying to make peace as well. When Hitler found out from Martin Borman, he was furious and ordered both of them under house arrest.

1951- Comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for a stunt where he dressed as a priest and solicited funds in a leper colony.

1971- Vietnam veterans protest the continued U.S. presence in the war by ceremoniously returning their medals, in some cases tossing them over the White House fence. One angry soldier who tossed his medals was future Democratic Senator John Kerry. Meanwhile Lt. George W. Bush was in the Texas Air Guard, tossing his cookies.

1985- Coca Cola introduces New Coke. It's reception by the public is so overwhelmingly bad that the company returned to the original formula 90 days later. The chairman of rival Pepsi Cola exulted: " We've been eye to eye for decades and I think the other guy's just blinked! New Coke became a symbol for large-scale executive incompetence,

1998- Microsoft chairman Bill Gates introduced Windows 98 to a 4,000 industry leaders. When he ceremonially opened the first window, the system crashed-.Doh!

2003- Boston area Catholic priests began to get busted for child molestation and the coverup by the Archdiocese was exposed. One priest, a Father Shayne was a registered member of the Man-Boy Love Society (NAMBLA). Outraged parishioners demanded the eventual resignation of their Cardinal Bernard Law. Instead Cardinal Law was recalled to Rome were he was made pastor of the Church of Maria Maggiore.

2005- The first You-Tube video was uploaded- Me At the Zoo.
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Yesterday’s question answered below Seriously, why are people encouraged to yell Geronimo when sky diving.?

Answer: Yelling Geronimo before you pull the rip cord to open your parachute, gives you enough time get to clear of the plane, and the people behind you pause until they hear Geronimo to jump, so they don’t tangle in your chute. Pilots can also her you, so they now when everyone has left the plane.


APRIL 21, 2014
April 21st, 2014

Quiz: One of the biggest, most important cities in the ancient world after Rome and Athens was Antioch. Which modern country is where Antioch was located?
Egypt, Israel, Greece, Lebanon.

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who was the famous Italian composer who's name in English is Joe Green?
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History for 4/21/2014
Birthdays: Edwin S. Porter, Charlotte Bronte', John Muir, Freiderich Froebel the inventor of kindergarten-1782, Anthony Quinn, Patti Lupone, Iggy Pop, Charles Grodin, Anna Magnani, Andie MacDowell is 56, Tony Danza, Elaine May, James McAvoy is 35, Rob Riggle is 44, Queen Elizabeth II is 88

Happy Palilia- Roman festival of the rustic god "Pales" for whom the Palatine Hill in Rome was named.

43BC- Battle of Mutina ( Modena), One year after the assassination of Julius Caesar, his heirs squabble. Legions sent by Octavian defeat Mark Anthony and drive him into the Alps.

1526- The First Battle of Panipat. Mogul Emperor Babur defeated the Indian army of Ibrahim Lodi and captured Delhi. This established the Moghul Empire in India. Babur’s army fought with Mongol bows, elephants and he introduced cannon to India.

1831- NAT TURNER'S REBELLION- The most serious slave revolt in the South before the Civil War. Using an eclipse as a sign from heaven, Turner and 75 other slaves turned on their masters, and went on a rampage through Virginia. It took 3,000 troops to crush them. Turner was taken and hanged, defiant to the end. Nat Turner’s Rebellion hardened opinions of both pro and anti-slavery groups in the U.S, and accelerated the slide towards civil war.

1836-BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO-. After chasing Sam Houston’s men across Texas almost to the Louisiana border, General Santa Anna thought so little of these rag-tag gringo rebels that he no longer bothered to post sentries. When the Texans attacked at 1:00PM, the Mexican army was having it's afternoon siesta. General Santa Anna was bedded down with his mistress he called his Yellow Rose, the origin of the song Yellow Rose of Texas.
Suddenly Houston's wild frontiersmen, filled with rage over the massacres of the Alamo and Goliad rushed into the Mexican camp and routed them. After the battle Houston couldn't restrain the Texans from killing running fugitives, and even scalping some. Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign a peace.

1847- The 4th rescue team removed the last survivors of the Donner Party wagon train from their snowed in camp on Lake Truckee in the Sierras down to the settlement on the Sacramento River. A furious winter trapped the Donners in the mountains last Oct 31st with almost no food and all their oxen dead. Of 86 pioneers 41 died and the others ate their corpses to survive. Louis Keyesburg, the only settler who spoke openly of eating human flesh and was called a ghoul, moved to Sacramento and opened a restaurant.

1865- UNCLE BILLY’S POLITICAL LESSON. In North Carolina, General William T. Sherman had offered Confederate Joe Johnston’s army the same terms for surrender that Grant had given Robert E Lee. But Johnston handed Sherman new terms rewritten by crafty Confederate President Jefferson Davis. It asked for political and property amnesty for all Confederate leaders; that the US Government would leave all Southern state officials at their posts.
This went much further than one army surrendering to another, it was in effect a treaty that no one would be punished for the Civil War. But Billy Sherman didn’t seem to see the fine print. He thought that’s what old Abe Lincoln had wanted before he was killed. So he signed it and passed it on to Washington.

When new President Andrew Johnson and General Grant read the terms they were thunderstruck. They ordered Sherman to tear that treaty up and offer nothing but unconditional surrender. Hotheaded Secretary of War Stanton denounced Sherman in the newspapers as a traitor. Sherman the Hero of Atlanta was furious at being made a fool of. He resolved the rest of his life to have nothing more to do with politics, which is probably why we never had a President William T. Sherman.

1865- President Lincoln’s funeral train left Washington DC for the long trip back to Springfield Ill.

1911- LENIN WANTS A LIBRARY CARD. Russian communist revolutionary N. Lenin was living in exile in London. In a letter dated this day he applied to the British Museum Library collection to study it's documents. His letter was in perfect English and he signed his name under his alias Jacob Richter.

1910- Mark Twain died of congenital heart failure at 75 as Haley's comet appeared overhead. He once wrote: " When arriving in Heaven feel free to ask all the questions you want of Saint Peter. You may ask for his autograph, however don’t take any Kodak photos or bring your dog. Admittance to Heaven is based on favor, not merit, else the dog would be allowed to go in and you kept out."

1915- THE ARMENIAN MASSACRES- The Ottoman Turkish Empire had always been a amalgamation of ethnic peoples held together by force. As the Empire aged and became the 'Sick Man of Europe', one by one these subject peoples-Greeks, Serbs, Egyptians asserted their independence and broke away.
So when the Armenians also demanded autonomy the Sultan Abdul Hamid IV came up with a bloodthirsty solution. On this day the first 200 Armenian elders of a village were shot, signaling a general nationwide pogrom that would eventually kill one million people. The first person first brought the massacre story to the world was a German doctor on the scene who complained to the Kaiser.

1915- THE FIRST GALLIPOLI LANDINGS- This was young First Sea Lord Winston Churchill's idea to knock Turkey out of World War One. A British-Anzac force amphibiously landed on the beaches south of Constantinople to capture the enemy capitol. It turned into one of the biggest British fiascos of the war and knocked Churchill into resignation. The army of Gen. Ian Hamilton did surprise the Turks but then they sat on the beaches for weeks while reinforcements were brought up by a dynamic young Turkish General named Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, who would later become President of Turkey.

1918-THE RED BARON SHOT DOWN- In the wild duels in the air above the World War I trenches Baron Manfred Von Richtofen was the best of the best. The Red Baron had shot down more planes than anyone -80 confirmed kills.
On this day, von Richtofen got onto the tail of one plane and was about to add #81, when Canadian Roy Brown got behind him and filled the back of his plane with machinegun bullets. Other experts claim The Red Baron was his by Australian ground fire. Mortally wounded, The baron still managed to land his red fokker triplane before slumping over dead. Manfred von Richtofen was 26.

Roy Brown got the credit, but couldn't handle his celebrity status. He committed suicide after the war.

1921- The Coconut Grove nightclub opened in Hollywood.

1933- The Nazis ban kosher meat processing in Germany.

1938- Disney animator Bill Tytla married artists model Adrienne LeClerc.

1948- HAIFA- As the British occupying troops were being withdrawn from Palestines second largest city, they had given up trying to keep Arabs and Jews fighting. This day the British informed city leaders that he was withdrawing his garrison. The British commander wagered a friend a bottle of whisky that neither side would have control of Haifa for weeks. The Jewish militia the Hagannah secured control of the city in 48 hours. The Arab population began a mass evacuation of the city,

1960- Brazil moved it’s capitol from Rio De Janiero to Brasilia, a modern architects fantasy built in the middle of the jungle.

1961- Two groups of British teenage rock bands meet each other for the first time- The Beatles met the Rolling Stones.

1964- British TV viewers double their pleasure- BBC 2 goes on the air. Their first program is Play School.

1973- The pop song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree” became a number one hit on the US, Canadian and UK pop charts. The song spawned the custom of a yellow ribbon as a symbol of remembering a soldier overseas, which reached its’ peak during the Iran Hostage Crisis. That in turn spawned variations like the red AIDS ribbon, the pink breast cancer ribbon, and so on.

1975- As North Vietnamese armies roll towards his capitol, South Vietnamese President Nygun Van Thieu resigned and went into exile. The Roman Catholic French-educated Thieu tearfully blamed America for the defeat. Vice President Nygun Kao Key moved to Orange County Cal and opened a convenience store.

1989- Oil executive George W. Bush became part of a ownership consortium that bought the last place baseball team the Texas Rangers." As soon as I knew they were for sale I went after them like a pit bull on a pants leg….It doesn’t get much better than this…"

1997-The first Intergalactic Funeral. The ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 1960's drug guru Dr. Timothy Leary were shot into space.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who was the famous Italian composer who's named in English is Joe Green?

Answer: Giuseppe Verdi


Happy Easter!
April 20th, 2014



April 20, HAPPY EASTER, Commemorating the time when Jesus Christ was crucified and after three days rose from the dead. For those of you who always wondered why Easter moves around so much when the other holidays stay put, the Medieval Church wanted the festival of Jesus moved from any connection with the Jewish Passover. So Church doctors decided the Easter feast would be the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox-Spring. Makes sense to me..

Easter is named for Oster, Eostre or Aster, German goddess of the East Wind that brings Spring, who’s sacrifice was painted eggs laid at her alter. In 63AD. Baodicea, The British warrior queen who battled the Roman legions of Nero had on her flags the Great Moon-Hare, who was the servant of Oster.

In 1680 a German writer named Georg Franck published a story of a fantastic rabbit who laid magic eggs and hid them for lucky children to find. How this all got mixed up with Jesus, you gotta ask Mel Gibson

We owe a big colorful Easter Eggy thanks to druggist, William Townley who invented Easter egg dye tablets in his Newark, New Jersey drug emporium in 1880. He branded his five-color dye kits, Paas, which comes from the word Passen, the Pennsylvania Dutch name for Easter.


April 20, 2014
April 20th, 2014

Quiz: Who was the famous Italian composer who's named in English is Joe Green?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: - In the ancient world, Ephesus was a Greek maritime city allied to Rome. St Paul preached to the Ephesians. So, where exactly was Ephesus?
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History for 4/20/2014
Birthdays: Harold Lloyd, Juan Miro', Adolf Hitler, Tito Puente, Nina Foch, Gregory Ratoff, Ryan O'Neal, Daniel Day Lewis, Jessica Lange, Luther Vandross, Don Mattingly, Rosalyn Summers, Crispin Glover, Betty-Lou Gerson the voice of Cruella da Vil, George Takei, Carmen Electra is 39, Andy Serkis, Bob Kurtz

Happy Pot Day. See below 1970.

1605- King James I granted charters to the Virginia Company to found colonies in the New World. Jamestown and Williamsburg Va. are the result.

1653- After the English Civil War beheaded King Charles Ist, General Oliver Cromwell sat listening to the Barebones Parliament arguing over trivial issues. He had already arrested everyone who disagreed with him and those who were left were too afraid to discuss anything else. Finally, Oliver rose and exploded in rage:” Drunkards! Whoremasters! You are no Parliament! “
He ordered his troops to run them all out. England would remain under Cromwell’s military dictatorship until his death in 1659. A note was tacked onto the locked doors of the House of Commons-“ This House to Let, Unfurnished.”

1689-Deposed English King James II had landed in Ireland and raised the Irish to help him regain his throne from his daughter and son-in-law William & Mary. This day his army surrounded the City of Londonderry and began an epic 4 month siege. Like every battle in those days the conflict had a heavy religious connotation, James Irish were Catholics while the besieged Loyalists were Protestants. Despite starvation and heavy bombardment the Londonderriers held off James until help arrived and James was beaten at the Battle of the Boyne.

1759- Composer George Freidrich Handel died after collapsing in the orchestra pit while conducting the Messiah. He was 74, almost blind and suffering from a number of illnesses.

1769- Ottawa Chief Pontiac had organized a great rebellion against the whites that united all the Great Lakes tribes and made his name feared from Detroit to Maine. After capturing and burning scores of forts and towns his forces were defeated by the British and American settlers and he was forced to swear allegiance to King George. Ten years later old Pontiac was visiting a French merchant at a settlement across from modern Saint Louis called Caholkia when a Peoria Indian clubbed and stabbed him to death. It was never known why but it’s rumored he was bribed by an English businessman. The Indian was rewarded by a barrel of whiskey, the very stuff Pontiac warned would ruin all Indians.

1814- Napoleon sent to Elba, a little island off the coast of France. He quoted the famous palindrome "Able was I ere I saw Elba." he had been learning English.

1836- Wisconsin Territory established.

1859- " It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times..." Charles Dicken's novel "A Tale of Two Cities" began to be published in magazine form.

1865- Robert E. Lee, now a private citizen in occupied Richmond, wrote President Jefferson Davis still on the run. He urged Davis to give up the struggle and allow the remaining Confederate forces to lay down their arms and go home.

1902- Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium.

1903- THE KISHNIEV POGROM- The word Russian Jews feared most was Pogrom. It meant the Czars police agreed to stand back and do nothing while mobs of Anti-Semites were encouraged to murder and violate the homes of Jews. This day in the city of Kishniev, mobs killed 43 Jews and mutilated their bodies, and several hundred Jewish women were raped. There were protests around the world about the Kishniev massacre but nothing official was ever done. When Jewish leaders went to the Czar to protest, they were rebuffed and answered with another pogrom in Gomel. Czar Nicholas II would refer to his Jewish subjects with the word Zhijdt- the equivalent of N-. Back in America, old Mark Twain donated money to groups advocating the Czars overthrow. Twain said:” If it takes dynamite to overthrow that regime well then thank God for Dynamite!”

1909- Mary Pickford, the first Movie Star, goes in front of a camera for the first time.

1912- The first baseball game played at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Stockings, defeated the New York Highlanders (Yankees), 6-1.

1914- Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs opened. Commuters on the “El” could see how their cubbies were doing by looking for the W or L flag flying.

1914- THE LUDLOW MASSACRE- In Colorado a violent strike was being waged between coal miners and the Standard Oil Company of John D. Rockefeller. This night militia, Pinkerton detectives and strikebreakers attacked a tent camp of striking miners and their families in the dead of night. They poured kerosene on their tents while they were sleeping, set them alight and shot down all those who ran out for safety. 20 died, half were women and children. As in most labor murders, no one was ever tried or convicted. President Woodrow Wilson sent federal troops to occupy Colorado and restore order. Even then, John Rockefeller refused mediation until the strike was broken.

1916- Mauser Day- A German U-Boat surfaces off the coast of Ireland and lands two IRA leaders, Sir Roger Casement and Patrick Pearse, and a ton of rifles and ammunition.
Casement was arrested by authorities while still on the beach, but the rifles are used to start the Easter Sunday Rebellion.

1925-The Warner Bros. Moving Picture company merge with Vitagraph and begin experimenting with fixing sound on to film.

1931- LA MAFIA- Charles “Lucky” Lucciano became a top crime figure in New York after he murdered Joey the Boss Masseria. Lucciano and Masseria were having dinner in Coney Island when Lucciano excused himself to go to the lavatory. Once gone, four gunmen burst in and filled Masseria with bullets. Lucciano later hit the other top capo of New York, Salvatore Maranzano. Maranzano and Masseria were the last of the “Mustache Petes” the old guard Sicilian immigrants still pursuing feuds brought over from the old country. After this the Mafia became more American than Sicilian and Luciano organized his gangs along a corporate model. Lucky’s young gunmen- Joey Adonis, Al Anastasia, Vito Genovese and Bugsy Seigel, all became important gang bosses in the years to come.

1935- Radio program “Your Hit Parade” premiered.

1938- On Hitler’s birthday was the Berlin premiere of Leni Reifenstahl’s film Olympia, about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

1939- RCA president David Sarnoff dedicates RCA pavilion at World's Fair in New York City. First U.S. news event filmed on television. Sarnoff predicted that one day everyone would have a television in their home!

1940- RCA labs demonstrated the first Electron Microscope.

1942- The' Bataan Death March' ends and the prison camps at Butan and Palayu. Half the captive 16,000 Phillipino and 10,000 American troops died.( there was two animators there who I later worked with at Filmation- Don Schloat and Len Rogers..)

1942- On his birthday, Adolf Hitler was presented with his favorite kind of present, a new tank. The first Tiger Tank.

1945- Adolph Hitler celebrated his last birthday (56) in his bunker and announced his decision to remain in Berlin. He did allow the military high command OberKommando Wehrmacht or OKW, to relocate out of the doomed city. There was a plan for a breakout to the Bavaria to organize a National Redoubt in the mountains and use Germany's poison gas stockpile, but the Fuhrer wanted his Wagnerian immolation in Berlin.
The U.S. sent him a birthday present of the last 1000 plane bombing raid. Soviet pilots later said after this raid they discontinued bombing missions over Berlin because "every target we could think of had already been destroyed." One effect of the bombing, several great apes in the Berlin Zoo died of heart attacks from the stress.

1951- After being fired by President Truman, General Douglas MacArthur was given a massive ticker tape parade on Wall Street in his honor.

1968- Pierre Elliot Trudeau sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada. Trudeau became one of Canada’s more colorful leaders with his flower-child wife Margaret.

1970- San Rafael Cal, started a tradition of smoking marijuana en masse at 4:20, supposedly the police code for a drug bust. The Greatful Dead took up the tradition and now everyone tokes at 4:20PM.

1974 - Paul McCartney and Wings releases "Band on the Run"

1976 - George Harrison sang the Lumberjack Song with the Monty Python comedy troop.

1977- Woody Allen & Diane Keaton starred in the film “Annie Hall”.

1980- The Mariel Boat Lift. Fidel Castro made a mockery of President Jimmy Carter's policy of admitting seaborne political refugees from Cuba by opening his prisons and creating a flood of boat people, including many hardened criminals.

1999-COLUMBINE- Teenagers Ryan Harris and Dylan Kleibold enter their Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado and shoot their classmates with semi-automatic guns. 15 died including the two gunmen and 26 were hurt. Despite making videotapes in which they bragged about their intentions, and leaving shotguns and ammunition around their rooms, their parents didn’t think anything was unusual.

2010- The BP DEEP WATER HORIZON oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and drenching the U.S. Gulf Coast with millions of gallons of crude oil and dispersal chemicals. BP could not stop the leak until July 15th. Despite the disaster, that year the TransAmerica Company, that built the rig, awarded their top execs bonuses for their safety record. The gov’t allowed BP to write off the 8 billion in costs to clean up their own accident.
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Yesterday’s Question: - In the ancient world, Ephesus was a Greek maritime city allied to Rome. St Paul preached to the Ephesians. So, where exactly was Ephesus?

Answer: Ephesus was a city on an island off the Ionian Coast of Turkey. When it’s harbor silted up, the site was abandoned.


April 19, 2014 sat
April 19th, 2014

Quiz- In the ancient world, Ephesus was a Greek maritime city allied to Rome. St Paul preached to the Ephesians. So, where exactly was Ephesus?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: European nobility are Dukes, Counts and Barons. England has nobles called Earls. Why only in England?
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History for 4/19/2014
Birthdays: Paulo Verronese, Elliot Ness, Jayne Mansfield, Dudley Moore, Paloma Picasso, Iwao Takamoto, Ashley Judd, James Franco is 36, Kate Hudson is 35, Tim Curry is 68, Anna Porchicova is 27

Cerealia-an ancient Roman agricultural festival. Ceres the mother of Persephone, was the Goddess of Growing and Planting. To say “Fit for Ceres” was the ancient Roman way of saying “Awesome”.

1521-THE TESTAMENT OF WORMS- Two days after reformer Martin Luther told him to take a flying leap, German Emperor Charles V announced he was against Luther’s reformation and called all German princes to support him. Half decided not to. Even Charles’ own sister became a Lutheran.

1587- SIR FRANCIS DRAKE RAIDS CADIZ- The bold English captain attacked the ships of the Spanish Armada in their harbor and so doing delayed the sailing of the Great Armada for one year. With him on the raid are men like Capt. Newport and Capt. Martin who in 1607 will be with John Smith at Jamestown.

1775- LEXINGTON AND CONCORD- The American Revolution begins.
For years after the French and Indian War the British government tried to save money by getting the North American colonies to defend themselves. The local committees that organized the American colony's militia had slowly been taken over by radical political groups like the "Sons of Liberty". To the British, these Minutemen seemed to be training to fight them instead of Indians.

In 1774 a General, Sir Thomas "Old Tom" Gage was appointed Royal Governor of Massachusetts to show the colonists that Mother England was not going to tolerate any more foolishness. Gage pulled his troops out of frontier patrols and concentrated them in Boston harbor. This annoyed citizens further, thinking the only reason they pay taxes now is to have troops watching them instead of protecting them. In early 1775 Gage warned London that the situation was deteriorating fast. Ironically Gage liked America and had a good friend named George Washington. Finally Gage received permission to send out a force to seize a stockpile of illegal weapons at the town of Concord.

After being awakened by Paul Revere, some 70 farmers spent all night at Buckman's Tavern drinking and trying to decide whether to fight or run away. By 4:00 a.m. John Hancock talked them into staying to fight. Then Hancock ran away. The redcoat column was met on Lexington green by the minutemen. "Stand aside, ye dammed Rebels!" Captain Pitcairn shouted. Pitcarin was later killed at Bunker Hill. " Stand fast boys, if they want a war, let it start here!" was Captain Parker's reply. The regular troops open fire and easily dispersed that group. But by the time the British reached Concord bridge, hordes of farmers were shooting at them from bushes and rooftops. Finally they were forced to withdraw to Boston. Lord Percy complained even 'American women were pointing muskets out of their kitchen windows and firing at us!" One 80 year old man shot down three Englishmen down from his front porch, before he was bayoneted. He lived 7 more years. And most of the Yankee muskets were British government-issue.

Americans call Lexington “The Shot Heard Around the World”, but the British Crown regarded this situation at first as little more than mob disturbance. It barely made the back pages of the London newspapers. But by Bunker Hill they realized they had a real trans-ocean war on their hands. As late as December, elements in the Colonial Congress kept asking London if we could still be friends and talk it over.

1782- Holland became the first nation to officially recognize the United States of America. Ambassador John Adams hung a Stars & Stripes out his hotel room window, calling it the first official American Embassy in Europe.

1824- Poet Lord Byron died of fever and uremic poisoning at Missolonghi Greece.

1861- Maryland tried to join the Confederacy. In Baltimore a mob attacked the Sixth Massachusetts regiment marching to protect Washington D.C. 4 killed, 30 wounded. A young nurse named Clara Barton first took over the responsibility of treating the injured.
If Maryland seceded the nation’s capitol would've had to be abandoned. Colonel Ben Butler solved the situation on his own initiative. He filed troops into the Maryland legislature to point guns at the delegates as they voted. They wisely voted to stay loyal.

1863- GRIERSON'S RAID. Gen. Ulysses Grant, laying siege to the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, detaches a hard riding cavalry brigade to loot and burn their way through the deep south from Vicksburg through Baton Rouge to Union occupied New Orleans. Greirson himself was an Illinois music teacher who disliked horses and kept a jaw's-harp in his pocket he liked to play periodically. In the later Indian Wars it was said any unit he commanded always had the best band. John Ford’s movie “The Horse Soldiers” was based on this event.

1881- Former British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli died. When asked if he would like a final visit from Queen Victoria, Disraeli answered:" No, not now, she'd only ask me to take a message to Albert." His political arch-enemy William Gladstone wrote him a moving eulogy, but he confided in his diary that it gave him diarrhea doing it.

1910- The Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet.

1927- Mae West found guilty of indecent behavior in writing, producing and starring in a Broadway musical entitled “SEX”. She said:” Everyone thinks I am opposed to censorship. Actually, I’m in favor of censorship. I’ve made a fortune from it!”

1951- General MacArthur had been fired from his Korean command by President Harry Truman. This day he did his famous speech to Congress” An Old Soldier never Dies, He just Fades Away, and like that old soldier I now close out my military career, and just fade away. An Old Soldier who tried to do his duty, as God showed him the light to do that duty, etc.” Republican Senator Robert Short shouted “We’ve just heard the Voice of God!” President Harry Truman watched the speech on TV and called it “The biggest bunch of bullshit I ever heard!”

1956-Movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco.

1961-The BAY OF PIGS INVASION DEFEATED The CIA sponsored landing of AntiCastro Cubans failed on the beach of Bahia De Los Cochinos. After sanctioning some initial US Air Force bombing attacks the first day, JFK relented and cut off any further help, including a refusal to evacuate them when trapped. 200 Cuban insurgents were killed and 1497 imprisoned. This earned him the everlasting anger of the Miami Cuban community. An aide said the day after the surrender Kennedy went alone to a secluded D.C. golf course and spent hours hitting golf balls, moaning:” How could I have been so Stupid!” after each whack.

1970- XEROX PARC – The Xerox Company announced the set up of a research group in Palo Alto Cal. This group pioneered the development of the personal computer and laser printer.

1973- Three years later Xerox Parc booted up the Alto, the first personal computer. They invented a new mouse, point and click windows, graphic interface and digital printer. President Carter installed one in the White House. Yet Xerox didn’t know what to do with them, they were in the copier business. The Alto cost $16,500 each, too expensive for most, so the idea bombed. One day in 1979 a group from Apple visited led by Steve Jobs. The group was inspired by their progress, and they went back to Apple and put what they learned into the development of the Lisa and Apple II Computer.

1993- Branch Davidian cultists led by their messianic leader David Koresh immolate themselves in their compound at Waco, Texas during a furious shootout with the F.B.I.

1995-THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING- On the second anniversary of the Waco tragedy, emotionally disturbed Gulf War veterans named Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols wanted revenge against the U.S. Government. So they denoted a bomb at the Murrow Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Among the 156 dead were a dozen pre-school children in a daycare center on the first floor. McVeigh called the dead children “collateral damage.” He was executed in 2001, and Nichols got life in prison.

2005- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany elected Pope Benedict XVI. The first German Pope since Hildebrandt in 1077 and the first pope to have been a soldier in the Nazi army. He was drafted in 1945 as a child. Italian writers call him The German Shepherd.
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Yesterday’s Question European nobility are Dukes, Counts and Barons. England has nobles called Earls. Why only in England?

Answer: Duke and Count come from Roman military governors, in Latin Duces and Comes. Earl comes from Anglo Saxon, akin to a Viking chieftain, a Jarl.


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