April 20, 2018
April 20th, 2018

Quiz: - Of 45 American Presidents, seven had been generals- Washington, Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, Grant, Garfield and Eisenhower. How many British Prime Ministers were generals?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: Roman Hibernia is modern Ireland. Roman Gaul became France. What is the modern name for Lusitania?
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History for 4/20/2018
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 43, Andy Serkis is 55, 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 every politician 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 followers 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 Friedrich 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 Indian People.

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 discovered 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- their equivalent of N-.
Back in America, elderly 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 people as they ran out to 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.

1912- A slightly built London theater manager and failed author named Abraham “Bram” Stoker died. He managed the theater that famed stage actor Henry King performed. If anyone noticed him, it was because he worked with Henry King. Stokers seven books and several plays made little money in his time. But a decade later a play adapted from one of his novels entitled Dracula made him world famous.

1925-The Warner Bros. Moving Picture Company merged with Vitagraph, and began experimenting with fixing sound on to film.

1931- LA MAFIA- Charles “Lucky” Lucciano became a top crime boss in New York after he murdered Joe 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 Joey the Boss with bullets. Lucciano later whacked 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 Siegel, 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 dedicated 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, the police code for a drug bust. The Grateful 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 for two and a half months. 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 $9 billion in costs to clean up their own accident.
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Yesterday’s Question: Roman Hibernia is modern Ireland. Roman Gaul became France. What is the modern name for Lusitania?

Answer: Portugal.


April 19, 2018
April 19th, 2018

Quiz- Roman Hibernia is modern Ireland. Roman Gaul became France. What is the modern name for Lusitania?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Paris has the Seine. New York has the Hudson. What river runs through Berlin?
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History for 4/19/2018
Birthdays: Paulo Verronese, Elliot Ness, Jayne Mansfield, Dudley Moore, Paloma Picasso, Scooby doo creator Iwao Takamoto, Ashley Judd, James Franco is 41, Kate Hudson is 40, Tim Curry is 73

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 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 began.
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 John Hancock ran away. The redcoat column was met on Lexington green by the minutemen. "Stand aside, ye dammed Rebels!" Captain Pitcairn shouted. " 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 three Englishmen 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 a small 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.
She later founded the American Red Cross.
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 liked to strum his jaw-harp on the march. In the 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 to do 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 changed his mind 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, GUIs 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. There was no internet yet, except for government communications. 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.

1987- The first Simpsons short aired today. "Good Night Simpsons" MG01 was on the 3rd episode of The Tracey Ullman Show, airing Sunday, 4/19/87 at 9pm. Animated by Wes Archer, Bill Kopp, and David Silverman.

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 their revenge against the U.S. Government. So they denoted a truck 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 called him “The German Shepherd.”
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Yesterday’s Question: Paris has the Seine. New York has the Hudson. What river runs through Berlin?

Answer: The Spree.


April 18, 2018
April 18th, 2018

Quiz: Paris has the Seine. New York has the Hudson. What river runs through Berlin?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What figure in mythology knowingly ate his own children?
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History for 4/18/2018
Birthdays: Lucretzia Borgia, Franz Von Suppe’, Haley Mills, Leopold Stokowski, Miklos Rosza, Herb Sorell, Wahoo Sam Crawford, Conan O’Brien is 55, James Woods is 71, Eric Roberts, Rick Moranis is 66, Maria Bello is 51, David Tennant is 47, Disney animator Phil Young is 78

185AD- Today is the Feast Day of the Roman martyr Saint Apollonnius.

1506- Pope Julius II lays the cornerstone for St. Peter's Basilica. He had pulled down the old St. Peters, which had stood for 1200 years. The new structure designed by Bramante with the Dome by Michelangelo and the interiors by Sangallo and later Bernini.
With true Renaissance modesty, Julius originally wanted his own tomb in the center under the altar, borne aloft by four giants carved by Michelangelo. I guess nobody mentioned the grave of St. Peter, overtop which this Basilica was being built. Eventually Julius scaled down his plans, and when he died his enemies put him in another church altogether (San Pietro Vincoli). Saint Peters was completed a little over schedule, in 1626.

1521-THE CONFESSION OF WORMS- German Emperor Charles V called Protestant reformer Martin Luther to come to the Imperial Diet at the city of Worms and explain his criticism of the Catholic Church. Ordered by the Papal Legate and the Emperor to renounce his heretical views, Luther defied them all." Here I stand, I can do no other, God help me."
What makes this historically momentous is for the first time a common man stood before the Church, The Emperor and the assembled Princes of Europe and said "No. I won¹t obey". And he got away with it. The news ran like wildfire through Germany. That night someone hung on the council doors a placard with a farmer¹s shoe painted on it- the German traditional symbol of revolt.

1775- PAUL REVERE'S RIDE- Informers in Gen. Gage's office learned the British planned to send troops to seize an illegal arms cache in Lexington and arrest two radical leaders named John Hancock and Sam Adams. So silversmith Paul Revere, Thomas Dawes and a country doctor out on a date named Dr. Prescott were sent to warn them and raise the minutemen on the way, after getting the two lantern signal in the old North Church. "One if by land and two if by sea, etc." Dr. Prescott actually completed the mission. Revere was arrested by a British patrol soon after warning Adams & Hancock and sent home without his horse.
At daybreak Paul Revere walked over to Lexington green in time to watch the Revolutionary War begin. Longfellow's poem never mentioned Prescott or Dawes. Paul Revere never said "The British are Coming!" because he considered himself British like everybody else in America at the time. He would have said: "The Regulars are Coming! "meaning the regular army.

1778- THE WHITEHAVEN RAID- Former Scotsman John Paul Jones wanted to show the British public that the American Revolution wasn't just a distant war across the sea.
So he decided to raid the British Isles. An ulterior motive Jones had in attacking a seaport called Whitehaven was that Jones always suspected he was the illegitimate son of a Lord Selkirk, who resided there. It was his boyhood home. So through the dead of night, while the sailors of the U.S.S. Ranger were burning and plundering the harbor, John Paul Jones was out looking to kidnap his own father!
By dawn they were gone. The British Navy never regarded Jones as more than an irritant, but the raid was a great morale booster in the States. Jones couldn't locate his deadbeat dad, so he had to content himself with stealing his silverware.

1847- Battle of Cerro Gordo- General Winfield Scott defeated the Mexican army of Santa Anna and opened the way to Mexico City.

1857- Vice President Rufus King died of tuberculosis. President James Buchanan was totally distraught. There has been speculation that James Buchanan might have been our first Gay President. He was a lifelong bachelor, his niece Harriet Lane filled in for the social duties of First Lady. Only once in his life did Buchanan have an affair with a lady, which he broke off abruptly without explanation. When James Buchanan and Rufus King were colleagues in the Senate they roomed together and were inseparable. Old Andy Jackson liked to refer to Senators King and Buchanan " Little Miss Nancy and Mrs. Buchanan".

1861-Mr. LINCOLN'S LOUSY DAY PART I- America’s top soldier Robert E. Lee declined Lincoln's offer to command the U.S. Army and instead sided with the Confederacy. In his letter doing so he confesses: "I foresee the Country will go through a terrible ordeal, a necessary expiation for our national sins."

1861-Mr. LINCOLN'S LOUSY DAY PART II- As if that news wasn't bad enough, on the same day Lincoln got a telegram from the pro-Southern Governor of Maryland saying not only would he refuse to cooperate in fighting the rebels, but he was cutting the telegraph wires and railroads into and out of Washington D.C.! Until the main union armies reached the capitol on the 24th, Washington was deserted, surrounded by a hostile slave state, with only a few Massachusetts volunteers to defend them. Maryland was only prevented from joining the Confederacy by Col. Ben Butler's initiative of sending troops into the state legislature to point their guns at the members as they voted. They voted to stay loyal.

1870- John D. Rockefeller files papers to form the Standard Oil Corporation of Ohio. One the largest companies in the world, today it is called Exxon-Mobil.

1906- THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE. 3,500 deaths and the city destroyed in the most frightening earthquake in U.S. History. Writer Jack London wrote:” Never has a modern Imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone!” Enrico Caruso was in town with the Metropolitan Opera on tour. He later sat on his suitcase in front of the ruined Palace Hotel and said- "Helluva Place! Ah’ma ’never coming back!"

Drew Barrymore’s grandfather the great actor John Barrymore was in a San Francisco hotel room when the quake struck. He ran into the bathroom and sat shivering in the bath until it was over. Afterward the National Guard put him to work clearing rubble looking for bodies. When they read his telegram, the other Barrymores refused to believe the story. Old John Drew, a patriarch of the acting family, felt otherwise. "It took an Act of God to get John out of bed and into a bathtub, and the National Guard to get him to go to work. I believe every word." Amadeo Gianini, founder of the Bank of America, then called the Bank of Italy, gathered up his bank's papers and stocks and buried them in his garden under the begonias until his new office could be set up. He soon set up for business again on a pier. City government was set up in the undamaged St. Francis Hotel on Powell Street and a large mahogany bar was moved out to the street to serve free drinks to calm nerves.

San Franciscans dusted themselves off and rebuilt. By 1913 they were doing well enough to host the World’s Fair. A little ditty of the time said:
"They say God spanked the town, for being rather frisky.
Then why'd He knocked the churches down, yet leave up
Hotaling's Whiskey ?"

1914-. The full feature length movie premiered in Turin, Italy. "Cabiria" directed by Giovane Patrone. It was believed to be the first full length movie ever until the discovery of a 1912 version of Quo Vadis. D.W. Griffith’s 1915 classic the Birth of a Nation popularized the format for feature films.

1923- The First Yankee Stadium dedicated. Yankees win the opener against Boston, 4-1 in front of over 72,000 fans, Babe Ruth hit the park's first home run. The new $2.5 million ballpark is the first to feature three decks. This Yankee Stadium was replaced in 2009.

1934- The first automatic Laundromat opened in Ft. Worth Texas.

1938- Switzerland closed its’ borders to all Jews in a pact made with the Nazi government. The Swiss government never admitted this fact until 1995.

1942- The DOOLITTLE RAID. Gen. Jimmie Doolittle led 16 B-25s to fly long distance and drop bombs on Tokyo. It was a desperate mission. They did it knowing they didn't have enough fuel to return to the carrier USS Hornet, so they continued on to China and took their chances where they landed. Some of the men shot down and captured were hanged or beheaded by irate Japanese. The raid was had no strategic value and did little damage, but after weeks of unbroken Japanese success the American public needed a morale booster. General Doolittle survived the war and lived to be 97, dying in 1993.

1943- The Second Uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto.

1945- The German army surrounded in the Ruhr Pocket surrendered. 350,000 went into prison camps. Conscious that it was probably their last major battle in Europe, the Americans called it Operation Kaput. The same day British Prime Minister Churchill ordered Field Marshal Montgomery’s army to stop racing to Berlin and turn north towards Lubeck on the Baltic. "There is no reason for the our friends the Russians to occupy Denmark, and our presence at Lubeck would save a lot of argument later on."

1945- Famed journalist Ernie Pyle is killed by Japanese machine gun fire during the fighting at Okinawa.

1955- Scientist Albert Einstein died in Princeton New Jersey at 75. As he fell in and out of a coma his last words were in German. Since no one around his bed could understand German, we don't know what his last words were.

1958- A U.S. court ruled that poet Ezra Pound no longer had to stay at a Washington D.C. mental hospital for the criminally insane. The Idaho born Pound had moved to Italy in the 1920s and became an ardent supporter of Fascists like Mussolini. He felt artists thrived under strongman rule. Gertrude Stein couldn’t stand him because of his open Anti-Semitism. When World War II ended he was arrested for treason and sent to this mental hospital. After his release after 13 years incarceration he returned to Italy and died in 1972.

1958- At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels, defeating the new San Francisco Giants, 6-5.

1980- The white minority dominated African nation of Rhodesia transitioned into the black majority nation named Zimbabwe and elected rebel leader Robert Mugabe as it’s first president.

1994- Disney’s first theatrical musical based on an animated film, Beauty and the Beast A New Musical, opened on Broadway.

2000- Earlier that spring some of the worlds biggest internet companies –e-Bay, Amazon and CNN were paralyzed by a virus spreading hacker. Today the FBI made an arrest. The culprit was a Canadian High School student who went by the domain name of Mafia Boy. He received probation and a promise to only use his computer for schoolwork for two years.

2008- Pope Benedict XVI visited the U.S. When he gave an address at the White House, President George W. Bush went up to him and said:” Your Holiness, that speech was AWESOME!”
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What figure in mythology knowingly ate his own children?

Answer: Saturn or Chronos. He was convinced his children were going to overthrow him. The survivor, Zeus did just that.


April 17, 2018
April 17th, 2018

Quiz: What figure in mythology knowingly ate his own children?

Yesterday¹s Question: Ben Franklin liked to repeat this little piece of doggerel:” Tis better to swim in the sea below, then to swing in the air & feed the crow, says jolly Ned Teach of Bristol.” What was Ned Teach of Bristol better known as?
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History for 4/17/2018
Birthdays: artist Tobias Stummer-1539, Duke Maximillian Ist of Bavaria- leader of the Catholic League 1579, Nikita Khruschev, Thorton Wilder, Clarence Darrow, Arthur Schnabel, Olivia Hussey is 67, Gregor Piatigorsky, Don Kirschner, William Holden, Harry Reasoner, Boomer Eiseason, Sean Bean is 59, Victoria Beckham, Martha Sigall, Ron Miller, Jennifer Garner is 46, Rooney Mara is 33.

161 AD- Today is the Feast of Saint Anicteus, who may have died a martyr's death in the reign of the Roman Emperor Antoninus, but more likely he was simply worn out over the argument about when exactly Easter should take place.

1421- Dort Dyke, one of the largest water barriers in Holland, ruptured and the ensuing flood killed thousands.

1492- After 8 years of interviews, waiting in antechambers and being laughed at and called crazy, King Ferdinand of Spain finally signed a commission for Christopher Columbus to outfit a fleet and sail west across the Atlantic to find Asia. Ferdinand gave him a diplomatic letter for the Great Khan of Cathay- now called China. The legend of Queen Isabella pawning her jewels to give him money didn¹t happen. She suggested doing so, only to embarrass the crowns financial minister to accelerate Columbus’ funding.

1524- A French expedition led by Florentine navigator Giuseppe De Verrasano sailed into New York Harbor. He thought it was a lake. Verrazano claimed the lands for France but upon returning home found the French King Francis too busy with his wars in Germany and Italy to bother with discoveries in the distant New World. Verrazano was later eaten by cannibals in the Caribbean. The big harbor was forgotten until Henry Hudson with the Dutch came upon it 80 years later.
This is probably good in the long run because then New York Harbor would have been called the Bay of Anghouleme, and Manhattan the Isle deValois. Newport Connecticut he called “Refugio”. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge now spans the waters named for him.

1525-THE MASSACRE OF WEINSBURG- Count Ludwig von Helfenshein was a German lord hated by his people for his cruel severity. This day the Great German Peasant Revolt army reached the walls of his castle at Weinsburg near Heilbronn. A small group under a flag of truce asked for a parley. Count Ludwig’s knights slew them.

So the peasant army with enthusiastic help from the townspeople stormed the town and captured the Count. Now he begged for his life and offered his entire fortune as ransom. But the peasants only wanted revenge. They made Count Helfensheim run a gauntlet of peasants armed with knives, pitchforks and axes. As they chopped away at him they added their curses" You killed my father! You imprisoned my brother for not taking off his hat as you rode by!" etc. Then they slaughtered all the other nobles.

1534- Sir Thomas Moore the Chancellor of England was ordered to the Tower of London by his King Henry VIII.

1656- Battle of Warka- Poles under Hetman Czarniecki defeated the Hungarians under Georgi Rackoszy.

1792- British Captain Vancouver explored Puget Sound. He founds a settlement and names it for then Prime Minister Granville. In 1886 Granville (sometimes called Gastown after Gassy-Jack the saloon keeper) was renamed Vancouver.

1770- At a dinner party in Versailles, Madame Necker the wife of France¹s first minister, suggested a subscription be held for the great artist Pigalle to make a statue of old philosopher Francois Voltaire. Rousseau and King Frederick the Great of Prussia donated money. The bust of the smiling old cynic became one of the well known images of the XVIII Century.

1793-The Battle of Warsaw- American Revolution hero Thaddeus Kozciuszko tried unsuccessfully to defend the Polish capitol from Catherine the Great’s Russian army led by Marshal Suvarov.

1800- The Senate passed a bill for the moving of the U.S. government from Philadelphia to the new Federal City, being called Washington D.C.

1808- Napoleon ordered US ships trading with England seized when entering French harbors.

1839- The Republic of Guatemala declared.

1861- The State of Virginia voted to secede from the United States and join the rebel Confederacy. Virginia, The largest and most populous Southern State had wavered undecided and in a preliminary vote had voted 2-1 not to leave. But the violence at Fort Sumter and Lincoln's call for troops to put down rebellion made her decide to join her Southern brethren. Abe Lincoln now could see out of his White House office window a Confederate flag flapping in the breeze across the Potomac at Alexandria.

1865- In Washington DC At ten o¹clock in the evening Federal agents show up at Mary Surrat¹s Boarding House and arrest the remaining conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln: George Atzenrodt, Lewis Paine and Mrs Surrat. Their leader John Wilkes Booth with David Herold were on the run in the back country of Virginia. The four mentioned were hanged and a dozen others implicated were given prison sentences. But historians disagree about how extensive the conspiracy was. As Lewis Paine said when he was captured:" You don¹t know the half of it!" perhaps we never will.

1869- The first professional baseball game ever played sees the Cincinnati Reds defeat the rival Cincinnati Amateurs, 24-15

1875- The billiard game Snooker was invented by Sir Joseph Chamberlain, the uncle of the future British Prime Minister.

1924- Metro Pictures, Goldwyn and Mayer Films all merged to become Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer. By 1940 MGM was the largest studio in Hollywood.

1929- Baseball great Babe Ruth married Ziegfeld Follies dancer Marge Colson in a morning ceremony. Then he drove to Yankee Stadium and hit a home run.

1937 "Porky's Duck Hunt" The birth of Daffy Duck. One legendary story is that newly hired voice actor Mel Blanc in part designed Daffys distinctive lisp to be an impression of the Looney Tunes boss Leon Schlesinger. When they screened this cartoon all the artists stood in dread of how Leon would take the joke. Leon never made the connection that the Ducks voice was an imitation of him:" Gee Fellers, dat Duck iz pretty Ffffunny!"

1941-Yugoslavia surrendered to the Nazis. Serb guerillas rallied in the mountains and continued to fight under Josef Broz Tito.

1945- As Allied armies overran Germany a massed raid of American bombers destroyed 752 German planes on the ground. This was all that was left of the Luftwaffe, once the world¹s largest air force.
At the same time Field Marshal Walter Model, who had been directing much of the German army operations in the west since Normandy, was sitting in a forest listening to Propaganda Chief Goebbels on the radio tell the German people that everything was going well. “ I’ve sacrificed my life to those bastards!” Model sighed. He then drew his pistol, put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

1946- Syrian Independence Day. The last French colonial troops leave Damascus.

1960- Cleveland Indians traded Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers.

1961-THE BAY OF PIGS INVASION-.The US CIA started landing 1,400 anti-Castro Cuban fighters in La Bahia de los Cochinos. When John Kennedy became president he was shown a CIA plan that had been developed to land anti-Castro guerrillas in Cuba. Once there they would start a popular uprising to overthrow the cigar smoking commie. Kennedy went along with the plan, it failed and he looked stupid to the rest of the world.

1964-The Ford Mustang introduced by Lee Iacocca.

1971- The song "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night tops the pop charts.

1975- The Khmer Rouge entered Pnom Penh, the Cambodian War ends. The Khmer Rouge led by a junta with Premier Pol Pot at it's head declare it to be Year Zero and began emptying the city people into the countryside. The holocaust known as Killing Fields began and when it was finally ended by a Vietnamese invasion a few years later almost one third of Cambodia's population had been murdered or driven into exile.

1987- Comedian Dick Shawn ­the Hippy-Hitler in the original Mel Brooks film the Producers- was doing his one-man show The Second Funniest Man in the World at UC San Diego. After one particularly funny punch line he fell over dead from a heart attack. The audience roared for several more minutes at him lying there face down because they thought it was part of the act.

1989-The Polish Government removes the ban on the Solidarity trade union. During the attempts to round up and imprison the ringleaders of the movement, one Zomo (secret police) got so close he had collared a man who leaped out of his jacket to escape. Later the same cop and dissident found themselves across a table discussing government powersharing. The cop nonchalantly mentioned:" Oh, by the way, here is your coat."

2011- The first season of Game of Thrones premiered in the U.S. on HBO.
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Yesterday’s Question: Ben Franklin liked to repeat this little piece of doggerel:” Tis better to swim in the sea below, then to swing in the air & feed the crow, says jolly Ned Teach of Bristol.” What is Ned Teach of Bristol better known as?

Answer: Edward Teach of Bristol was the notorious pirate Blackbeard.


April 16, 2018
April 16th, 2018

Quiz: Ben Franklin liked to repeat this little piece of doggerel:” Tis better to swim in the sea below, then to swing in the air & feed the crow, says jolly Ned Teach of Bristol.” What was Ned Teach of Bristol better known as?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the game of Go?
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History for 4/16/2018
birthdays: King John II “The good” of France (1319), Elisabeth Vignee-Lebrun, Wilbur Wright, Charlie Chaplin, J.P. Morgan, Kingsley Amis, Anatole France, Henry Mancini, Peter Ustinov, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bobby Vinton, Spike Milligan, John Halas, Edie Adams, Hans Sloane, Disney artist Victor Haboush, Martin Lawrence is 53, John Cryer is 53, Ellen Barkin is 64, Claire Foy, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is 91.

1260- Chartres Cathedral completed. Art history teachers rejoice!

1632- Battle of the Lech River- in the Thirty Years War the Protestant army under Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus defeated the Catholics under Johan Von Tilly. The 74 year old mercenary general Tilly, his hip smashed by a cannon ball, died soon after.

1746- BATTLE OF CULLODEN- The last pitched battle fought on British soil. British armies under the Duke of Cumberland crushed the Scottish Highlanders raised by Prince Charles Stuart. It is considered a movement of Scottish independence, although Bonnie Prince Charlie’s goal was not an independent Scotland but recapturing the English throne for his deposed family.
Historians harp on what a forlorn hope it was to conquer the mighty British Empire but truth be told the Highland Army got pretty far pretty easy, down into England as far as Derby before falling back into Scotland. With the majority of the British army running around North America, Gibraltar and India, there were fewer than 15,000 redcoats to defend the homeland. But the initial surprise was lost as most of the Highland Chieftains spent most of the time arguing. They paid their troops with Oatmeal.

Bonnie Prince Charlie made a daring escape across the moors and fens that has been much romanticized, truth was he was a depressed wife beating alcoholic who got soused soon after the battle. He was staying at the house of a fence-sitting Scottish laird when they could hear the tromp of pursuing English cavalry in the courtyard below. The Laird had to pry the wine bowl from Charlie’s fingers to get him to leave. In Edinburgh Castle today you can see the bowl on display, with two chipped pieces where the prince’s thumbs were holding the bowl as it was yanked away. The vengeful British banned for a time the clan system, tartans, bagpipes and the Gaelic language for decades.

1787- What some consider the first professionally produced American play- Royall Tyler’s The Contrast- debuted at New York City’s John Street Theater. It was a comedy that poked fun at aristocracy. Gen. George Washington was in the audience. At this time the Broadway theater district and Times Square was a quiet forest clearing.

1828- Spanish artist Francisco Goya died at 82 in Bordeaux, France. Years later when his remains were moved to Madrid, it was discovered Goya wasn't exactly alone in his grave. His friend Martin Goesochea's remains were in with him. Maybe there was a two-for-one sale.

1862- Union Admiral David Dixon Porter's fleet of ironclad warships run past the batteries of Vicksburg ferrying Grant and his army to the town of Hard Times. One of the cannon thundering at Porter was the famous Rebel 18 pounder "Whistlin' Dick". It was so named because the rifling of it's barrel gave it's shells an erratic spin and recognizable whistle.

1865- Confederate leader Robert E. Lee had surrendered his army to Grant and had returned as a private citizen to his Richmond brownstone. This day a scout from Mosby’s Raiders slipped into his home and asked Lee if they should keep fighting guerrilla style. Lee told him. “Tell General Mosby and his command to be good boys and go on home”

1874- AMERICA'S CANNIBAL, Gold prospector Albert Packer went up into the Colorado Rockies with several friends to look for gold. They were stranded by blizzard conditions and reduced to eating their moccasins for food.
On this day Packer, the only survivor, came down to civilization and admitted under examination that he and his friends resorted to cannibalism to survive. Upon further questioning Packer admitted he didn't always wait for his friends to die, he'd hatchet them in the head as they slept, then fricassee them. Packer became the only American ever convicted of cannibalism. The University of Colorado Student Grill is named in his honor.

1905- Andrew Carnegie established the Carnegie Foundation to distribute his philanthropy. The former Scottish orphan coal miner Carnegie renounced his robber baron career and dedicated himself to donating the bulk of his fortune to building libraries and hospitals. He claimed: “A man who dies rich dies disgraced!” Mark Twain wrote him satirical letters “To Saint Andrew from Saint Mark”

1912- Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly the English Channel.

1926- The Book-Of-The-Month-Club distributed it’s first selection-Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner.

1935- Fibber McGee and Molly debut on radio.

1943- BICYCLE DAY-In Basil Switzerland, chemist Dr. Albert Hoffman discovered the hallucinogenic properties of LSD. He had become very interested in the relationship between ergot (wheat rust), and had done a great deal of research about the Oracle at Delphi. He had synthesized LSD in 1938 but couldn't figure out what to do with it. However, when he made up a batch of the drug the second time, he probably inhaled enough from it to start hallucinating. Since he had already tried mescaline, so he had a pretty good idea of what was happening to him. He closed up his lab, got on his bicycle and pedaled home to Binnigen, a suburb on the southern edge of Baselstadt, a trip of four or five miles, hallucinating all the way.
The next day he went back to the lab and made up a dose of LSD the size of a reasonable dose of mescaline, without realizing that that amounted to a tenfold overdose of LSD. Twenty minutes later he said 'Oh oh,' got on his bike and pedaled back to Binnigen. A scientist reader to this site added this: I believe the first hope for LSD was that it would produce an 'experimental psychosis,' which would allow scientists to study schizophrenia in otherwise 'normal' patients or subjects. In the 1950s and 60s the CIA experimented with LSD as a mind-expanding aid.

1940- On Baseball Season’s opening day President Franklin D. Roosevelt's ceremonial first pitch smashed a Washington Post camera. The Chief Executive was not charged with a wild pitch. Red Sox hurler Lefty Grove blanked the Washington Senators, 1-0.

1946-The Brothers Chevrolet- Louis and Arthur Chevrolet were Louisiana race car drivers at the beginning of the 20th Century who were invited by General Motors to design a line of high performance vehicles. But their business skills were never as good as their engineering abilities. After a number of bad deals, cheated opportunities and hard luck Louis died a common mechanic on his own Chevrolet assembly line. This day Arthur Chevrolet, broke and alone, committed suicide.

1947- The Zoom Lens patented.

1952- THE NUNIVAK INCIDENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPUTER – American coastal air defenses had been neglected since the end of WWII. But by 1952 the Cold War raised tensions. America knew the Soviets had Tupelov bombers capable of reaching the US mainland with nukes. This night, a radar station at Nunivak Alaska, and another at Presque Isle Maine both reported flights of unidentified aircraft headed towards the U.S. They turned out to be false alarms, but the reports of the planes took four hours to reach Washington! The resultant scandal in Strategic Air Command resulted in the rapid building up of a new early warning system. This fostered the birth of the SAGE computer systems, inventing the computer screen, the keyboard and the stylus.

1953- PORK CHOP HILL- In the Korean War, today marked the heaviest Red Chinese assaults to retake Hill 255, because of its shape called Pork Chop Hill. This hill had very little strategic value, but the Chinese and UN forces placed great symbolic meaning to it as a test of strength. Pork Chop Hill was battled over from June 1952 practically until the Peace Treaty of Panmunjom in mid 1953.

1959- John McCarthy of MIT invented the computer language LISP.

1962- Walter Cronkite took over the job of anchor at the CBS Evening News, building a reputation for journalistic integrity almost equaled to Edward R. Murrow. Nicknamed the Most Trusted Man in America, many credit Cronkite for breaking the news to America that the U.S. was not going to win the Vietnam War. President Lyndon Johnson said: If I lost Cronkite then I’ve lost middle America.” When Cronkite retired, the redoubtable CBS News Division descent into tabloid stupidity and irrelevance began.

1983- Disney Channel debuted.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is the game of Go?

Answer: It is a Japanese board game emphasizing strategy like Chess.


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