May 28, 2017
May 28th, 2017

Quiz: The theme music of the Warner Bros, Leon Schlesinger Looney Tune cartoons was “The Merry Go Round Broke Down.” But what was the theme song of their other series, the Merry Melodies? It was different.

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: The song Zippity-Doo-Dah was written for what movie?
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History for 5/28/2017
Birthdays: Solomon 970 BC, Noah Webster, Dr. Joseph Guillotine, William Pitt the Younger, General Pierre Beauregard, Ian Fleming, Jim Thorpe, The Dion Identical Quintuplets 1930, Gladys Knight, Jerry West, Dietrich Fisher-Deiskau, Sandra Locke, T-Bone Walker, Taffy Abel (one of the first professional hockey stars), John Fogarty is 72, Carey Mulligan is 32, Carol Baker is 86. Frank Gladstone

585 BC- The first recorded Solar Eclipse. It struck blind people who dared to look at it, and it scared away the armies of Cyaxerxes of Media and Alyattes of Lydia who were about to fight a battle. Thales of Miletus, the first Greek Philosopher, predicted it.

20AD- Tiberius’ general Drusus celebrated a triumph over the Pannonians (Hungary).

1358-THE JACQUERIE- In the Middle Ages the oppression of the peasantry coupled with the Black Death and the Hundred Years’ War reaches the breaking point and major peasant revolts begin to break out across Europe. In Italy they’re called the Ciompi, in England Wat the Tyner’s revolt, and outbreak today in France was called the JACQUERIE (after "poor Jacques" or peasant). The outraged peasants burned manor homes and castles and massacred nobility without any real plan. To English and French knights class meant more than national feuds, so they took time out from their Hundred Years’ War to join together to chop up their uppity peasants.

1453- The night before his final assault on Constantinople, Turkish Sultan Mohammed II, addressed his troops:" I give you the capitol of the ancient Romans, the greatest city in the world! I give you her women and children, her silks and jewels. All I ask is that you leave me her buildings and monuments. I want the city for myself!" Then battalions of belly dancers danced for the men, but no sex was permitted until the battle ended.

1494- The official "birth" of Scotch - though it probably had been around much earlier, on this date, the Scottish Exchequer records a purchase of malt by a friar to make "aqua vitae", the first written reference to spirits in Scotland. Hoot Man!

1742 - 1st public indoor swimming pool opens at Goodman's Fields, London.

1786- French explorer the Comte de Perouse became the first European to set foot on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. "The climate of Mowhee is quite delightful." He wrote. Then spending only three days there he hurried his ship on to the Northwest coast of America.

1853- THE CRIMEAN WAR BEGAN- England and the French Empire declare War on Russia over Russia’s trying to beat up Turkey and annex the Bosporus. England and Russia spent the nineteenth century in a tactical struggle for supremacy in Central Asia not unlike the Cold War the Soviet Union fought with America after World War Two. The name for the Anglo-Russian duel was "the Great Game". It only heated up once, producing such artifacts as the Charge of the Light Brigade, Balaclava Helmets and Florence Nightingale. Roger Fenton also followed the army to the Crimea as the first war-photographer.

1871- THE COMMUNE OF PARIS CRUSHED- As the occupying Prussian Army looked on, the regular French army loyal to the conservative government of President Alphonse Thiers recaptured Paris from the workers-revolutionary government called the Paris Commune. In the fierce house to house fighting the Hotel Du Ville -city hall was completely destroyed, as well as the Royal Palace of the Tuileries (the open area of the Louvre in front of there the glass Pyramid is.) and the Palace of Saint Cloud.

One hundred and fifty revolutionaries were lined up against the wall in Pere Lachaise Cemetery and shot. Today the Wall of the Communards is still there and you can see the bullet holes. In Russia young Nikolai Lenin studied the Commune and when he formed his Bolshevik Party he took as his flag the Red banner of the Commune.

1892- The Sierra Club formed.

1905- Second day of the Battle of Tsushima Straights- Japanese Admiral Togo, having shot up the first half of the Russian Navy waits for the other half.... They were slowly chugging their way around the world being sent from the Black and Baltic seas to the Sea of Japan.

1928 - Dodge Brothers Automobile Inc & Chrysler Corp merged.

1929 - 1st all color talking picture, "On With the Show" exhibited (NYC).

1935- Tortilla Flat published. The first novel by John Steinbeck.

1940- Throughout World War I the tiny Belgian Army held out heroically against huge German forces. In World War II the story was different. As the Allied frontlines crumbled before the relentless Nazis armored Blitzkrieg, this day the Belgian Army surrendered unconditionally. The surrender left retreating British and French forces dangerously exposed, were it not for quick thinking divisional commander who plugged the line and enabled the escape to Dunkirk. General Bernard Law Montgomery first caught the notice of Churchill and the English high command.

1941- THE WALT DISNEY STRIKE- Labor pressures had been building in the Magic Kingdom since promises made to artists over the success of Snow White were reneged on, and Walt Disney’s lawyer Gunther Lessing encouraged a hard line with his employees. On this day, in defiance of federal law, Walt Disney fired animator Art Babbitt, the creator of Goofy, and thirteen other cartoonists for demanding a union. Babbitt had emerged as the union movements’ leader. Studio security officers escorted him off the lot.
That night in an emergency meeting of the Cartoonists Guild, Art’s assistant on Fantasia, Bill Hurtz, made the motion to strike, and it was unanimously accepted. Bill Hurtz will later go on to direct award winning cartoons like UPA’s "Unicorn in the Garden". Picket lines go up next day in cartoon animation’s own version of the Civil War.

Walt Disney nearly had a nervous breakdown over the strike and a federal mediator was sent by Washington to arbitrate. In later years, Uncle Walt blamed the studio’s labor ills on Communists. The studio unionized completely, but the hard feelings remained for their rest of their lives.

1948- During the Israeli War of Independence the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem surrendered after a long siege by the Arab Legion. The Legion was a force organized and led by a British soldier of fortune Sir John Bagot-Glubb or Glub-Pasha. The main Jewish community was in west Jerusalem but the Holy places of the Old City were in the eastern part. Jews lost the Wailing Wall until retaken in the Six-Day War of 1967.

1954- Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder in 3D premiered.

1960- George Zucco 74, a character actor who specialized in horror movies like Blood from the Mummies Hand, died. One version says he died of fright in a mental hospital in San Gabriel California. He was convinced that H.P. Lovecraft's Great God Cthulu was after him. He actually died of natural causes in a nursing home.

1961 -Amnesty International, a human rights organization, is founded. It was the result of an Appeal for Amnesty, written in the London Daily Observer by a British author who read of several Portuguese students who were arrested because they were overheard making a toast to Freedom in a café.

1966- the It’s a Small World exhibit, which had been created for the 1964 NY Worlds Fair, reopened at Disneyland, California.

1977- George Lucas film Star Wars opened in general release across the country.

1981- The Bambi Murders- Police hunt Playboy Bunny Bambi Bemenek for shooting her husband’s ex-wife in Milwaukee. She was captured but escaped prison in 1990.
Just follow the little stiletto high heel footprints.

1983- “What a Feeling” the theme from the film Flashdance by Irene Cara reaches the top of the pop charts. Everyone dancing with leggings and baggy sweaters.

1987- A young German student named Matthias Rust rented a Cessna airplane in Helsinki, and flying low to avoid radar flew into the heart of the Soviet Union. Evading a forest of missiles, radar and anti-aircraft weapons, he landed his little plane in the middle of Red Square in the Kremlin. The ensuing furor and humiliation cost many Russian generals their jobs.

1998- Saturday Night Live comedian Phil Hartman was shot to death by his wife Brynne as he slept. She was a heavy drinker and pill user. At 6:00am as the LAPD were knocking Brynne turned the gun on herself.

2005- The great London clock Big Ben mysteriously stopped for 45 minutes.

2005- Actress Lindsay Lohan was photographed passed out in her car shortly after a court hearing for a previous DUI.
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Yesterday’s Question: The song Zippity-Doo-Dah was written for what movie? (Hint: Disney)

Answer: Walt Disney’s Song of the South.


May 27, 2017
May 27th, 2017

Question: The song Zippity-Doo-Dah, Zippity Ay, was written for what movie?



Yesterday’s Question: Who was it who didn’t die, but floated away on a boat to the mystical island of Avalon?

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History for 5/27/2017

Birthdays: James 'Wild Bill' Hickock, Julia Ward Howe, Aemelia Jenks-Bloomer, Dashell Hammett, Vincent Price, Dr. Henry Kissinger is 94, Leopold Goldowsky (the inventor of Kodachrome film), Hubert H. Humphrey, Herman Wouk, Harlan Ellison, Christopher Lee, Joseph Feines, Richard Schiff is 62, Peri Gilpin, Paul Bettany is 46



595 AD, Today is the Feast day of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, who saw children in the slave docket and when told 'Those are Angles"-The barbarian tribe that England is named for. Augustine replied: Non Sunt Anglicai, Sunt Angeles” -Those are not Angles, those are Angels" -please forgive my Latin grammar. Augustine of Canterbury should not be confused with the Saint Augustine of Hippo, who wrote the Confessions.

1647-The first witch execution in Salem Massachusetts. Contrary to popular perception, more witches were hanged than burned at the stake.



1647- Peter Stuyvesant inaugurated as Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam. The one legged old soldier was a staunch Calvinist who was sent by The Dutch West India Company to “clean up the town”.



1703- Czar Peter the Great laid the cornerstones for his new capitol Saint Petersburg. The Baltic Port was called at one time Petrograd and Leningrad but was changed back to the original name in 1989. It was the capitol until Lenin moved it back to Moscow in 1917.



1831- Mountain man Jedediah Smith was killed fighting Commanches.



1874- Prostitution was outlawed in Los Angeles central business district.

1895 - British inventor Burt Acres patented a film camera/projector

1905- BATTLE OF THE TSUSHIMA STRAIGHTS- Grand Admiral Togo and the Japanese Navy destroy the Imperial Russian fleet in a battle that announced to the world Japan had become an world power. It had been only 55 years since Admiral Perry forced the opening of its feudal society. Mahatma Ghandi said also the victory was a beacon to all colonialized peoples that the Europeans could be defeated at their own game.

Of course the Japanese weren't fighting for altruistic motives but to see who would take over Manchuria and Korea. One-eyed Admiral Togo was trained as a samurai until their profession was abolished in 1877. When a midshipman cadet in England, had been nicknamed "Joe Chinaman" by the tars. After this battle he became one of the most respected naval strategists of the age. Ishoruku Yamamoto, the mastermind of Pearl Harbor, was his ensign at the time.

1930- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTCH TAPE -Chemist Richard Drew of Saint Paul Minnesota invented cellophane tape, marketed by the 3M Company under the brand Scotch. It was called Scotch after the stereotype perception that Scots people are frugal with money, so it’s a good value. Three years later Drew invented Masking Tape as a way for car manufacturers to paint cars two tone.



1933- Disney’s cartoon “The Three Little Pigs” premiered, whose song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” became a national anthem of recovery from the Depression.

Director of the short Burt Gillette left Disney afterwards to run the Van Beuren Studio in New York.



1935- The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Franklin Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act (The NRA) program. Roosevelt responds by trying to stack the court with judges more to his liking. He referred to them as 'The Nine Old Men', a sobriquet Walt Disney would borrow in 1949 for his animators.

1937- San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opened.

1941- The German battleship Bismarck finally sunk by massed Royal Navy ships and torpedo planes. The British sailors of the battleship HMS Prince of Wales helped the German sailors out of the water saying: ”Now you, one day it may be us.” That December HMS Prince of Wales sent to the Pacific where it was sunk by the Japanese.

In 1981 I heard CBC radio interview with the last surviving flag-deck officer of the Bismarck, a Baron von Mullenheim-Rechburg, who had just published a memoir. The radio interviewer asked him:" When did you get the idea to write this book? He replied:" When I was floating around in the burning water..." The interviewer then asked incredulously" Then why did you wait forty years? He replied:" Well...you know, things come up..."



1942- Top Nazis in occupied Czechoslovakia Nazi leader Reynhard Heydrich was assassinated by the resistance, who threw a bomb into his car. Hitler angrily responded by ordering the SS to select a Czech village at random and destroy it. They picked Lidice; they leveled it and murdered all its innocent inhabitants.



1942- The aircraft carrier USS Yorktown limped into Pearl Harbor after being shot up in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The crew expected to be sent Stateside for weeks of major repairs, but the word came down from Admiral Nimitz that the Yorktown had to be ready for battle in just three days! Nimitz needed all his forces for an anticipated Japanese strike at Midway. 1,500 dockworkers labored around the clock patching her up. The Yorktown left on schedule to achieve the victory at Midway Island on June 5th.



1943- In a secret meeting in German occupied Paris, young French resistance leader Jean Moulin got all the various separate underground movements to unite under Charles DeGaulle's Free French. Moulin was eventually captured by the Gestapo and tortured to death, but le Maquis- i.e. resistance, continued the fight until the liberation.



1948- Walt Disney feature Melody Time released, featuring Pecos Bill.



1949- Actress Rita Hayworth married Arab playboy Prince Aly Khan. Prince Aly Khan, 1911-1960, was born in Italy a son of dispossessed Pakistani royalty to the Aga Khan II. He lived his life as an international playboy, socialite and sportsman, making love to women from actress Rita Hayworth to Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law Pamela Churchill-Harriman. Cole Porter wrote him into a song. He died when he crashed his sportscar in France



1961 – The first black light is sold



1969 – Construction on Walt Disney World Florida began.



1977-The Sex Pistols release their Punk hit God Save the Queen, the Fascist Regime, in time for the Queen’s Jubilee year. She preferred the Beatles’ All You Need is Love.



1968- At this time 350 Americans a week were being killed in Vietnam, and in 12 days George W. Bush’s student deferment would be up! But never fear, his family was pulling strings. So even though the normal wait was a year, this day George W. Bush was accepted into the Texas Air National Guard on the same day he applied.



1991- The Milwaukee police question serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer after finding a distraught, bleeding young Laotian immigrant in the street. The boy was struggling to shake off the effect of date-rape drugs given him by Dahmer. After deducing that it was merely a quarrel between lovers, the police returned the boy to Dahmer, who killed and ate him later.



1994 – Nobel Prize winner and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia after a twenty year exile.



1995- Actor Christopher Reeve was left paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in an equestrian event in Charlottesville, Va. He became a spokesman for stem-cel research, but his effort in the US was frustrated by powerful religious lobbyists. Christopher Reeves died in 2004.



1997- President Bill Clinton liked to appease his critics by appointing conservative judges despite popular perception of him as a Liberal. This day this practice came back to bite him when the conservative Supreme Court of William Rheinquist unanimously rejected Clinton’s plea that a President should not be subject to a private law suit while in office. A woman named Paula Jones with heavy funding from the religious right wing of the Republican Party was suing him for sexual harassment.

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Yesterday’s question: Who was it who didn’t die, but floated away on a boat to the mystical island of Avalon?



Answer: King Arthur. He was fatally wounded defeating the evil Mordred at the Battle of Camlann


May 26, 2017
May 26th, 2017

Question: Who was it who didn’t die, but floated away on a boat to the mystical island of Avalon?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who was Prince Aly Khan?
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History for 5/26/2017
Birthdays: The Duke of Marlborough, Pope Clement VII the Medici Fox-1478, Mary Wollenstonecraft Godwin 1759- early feminist writer and mother of Mary Shelley, Alexander Pushkin, Isadora Duncan, Norma Talmadge, Paul Lukas, John Wesley Hardin the shootist, John Wayne, Al Jolson, Jay Silverheels (Tonto), Peter Cushing, Robert Morley, Peggy Lee, Sally Ride, Pam Grier is 68, Helen Bonham Carter is 51, Bobcat Golthwaite is 57, Matt Stone the co-creator of South Park

17AD- In Rome, the General Germanicus celebrated a triumph over the German barbarians, the Alemani. Germanicus was the father of Caligula.

735- Famous English monk The Venerable Bede died on the floor of his cell, singing "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit". He was buried in Durham Cathedral. Bede wrote the first Chronicle of the English People, and is considered the father of English history.

1574- The Siege of Leyden begins- Through a series of confusing dynastic trades the Lowlands of Holland wound up owned by Catholic Spain. The Protestant provinces united under their leader William the Silent and fought tenaciously for their freedom. The Spanish army was the finest in the world but the Dutch had a pretty good navy, nicknamed "the Sea Beggars". So when the Spaniards attacked the city of Leyden the Dutch flooded their dykes behind the infantry and floated their ships in to fight them.

1805- Lewis and Clark first sight the Rocky Mountains.

1828- THE MYSTERY OF KASPAR HAUSER- On this day on a street in Nuremberg a judge came upon a filthy boy unable to read, write or even speak. As the boy's trauma eased and he could communicate he said he had been kept in a dungeon since he was three years old, never seeing another human soul. One day he was suddenly released. His name was Kaspar Hauser and his case became a cause celebre throughout Europe. Some thought he was the rightful prince of the German State of Baden. Then one day while walking in the park a man came up and stabbed Kaspar Hauser. He bled to death. The judge who first cared for him was poisoned. The murderers were never found and the mystery never solved.

1864- Montana territory created.

1865- General William Kirby-Smith surrendered the last organized body of Confederate troops to Yankee General Canby in New Orleans. Rather than surrender, rebel Gen. Joe Shelby took his cavalry over the border to Mexico where a Confederate exile community was forming under protection of the French Emperor Maximillian.

1868- At Newgate prison Irish nationalist Michael Barrett was the last man in England to be publicly hanged. England switched to a system of execution behind prison walls. The hangman later sold Barrett’s clothes and the noose for souvenirs. Meanwhile in the American West the spectacle of a public necktie party remained popular for years, the citizenry sometimes hauling out their shooting irons and popping away at the dangling body to give him a good send off. Yee-Hah!

1895 -Nicholas II crowned Czar-Autocrat of all the Russias. During the ceremony a reviewing stand collapsed and several hundred people were crushed. Not a good omen.

1896- Charles Dow started his stock index named the Dow Jones Index. The first Dow Jones closing is 40.94.

1897- A novel by a London theatre manager named Abraham “Bram” Stoker appeared in bookstores. It was titled Dracula.

1913- Actors Equity formed.

1933- Jimmy Rogers "the Singing Brakeman", considered the father of modern country music, died of tuberculosis at age 31. Shortly before his death he recorded a song called "TB Blues".

1937- The Battle of Millers Overpass- Henry Fords hired thugs beat up Walter Reuther and four other UAW union men for handing out union literature.

1940- The Miracle of Dunkirk- When German panzers overrun France they surround the British army and pin them against the Normandy coastline. Instead of finishing them off Marshal Goering asks Hitler's permission to use the Luftwaffe (airforce) to administer the coup de grace. Britain mobilized all available ships and hundreds of small boat owners volunteer to cross the channel under dive bombing and strafing and in ten days evacuate 340,000 troops. 40,000 stayed behind and surrendered. The British force was decimated but not destroyed, and would live to fight again.

1942- The "Witches Cauldron"- Rommel the "Desert Fox" and his Afrika Corps defeat the British army in a whirling, confused, desert tank battle.

1949- The People’s Liberation Army entered Shanghai, winning the Chinese Civil War.

1960- THE MOULIN ROUGE AGREEMENT- Las Vegas gambling casinos finally integrate. Before this stars like Sammy Davis Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald could headline in the clubs but had to exit via the kitchens and sleep across town in the colored section. Singer Nat King Cole was requested to keep his eyes on his piano keys for fear if he looked up he would seduce young white girls. Frank Sinatra played a big part in pressuring the Vegas wise guys to change with the times. Marlene Dietrich grabbed Lena Horne by the arm and stormed into a casino bar defying any reaction. None came. The Moulin Rouge was the first completely integrated casino.

1960-UN ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge complained that the gift of a wood carving of the Great Seal of the United States given the US Embassy by Moscow had a concealed microphone in it.

1962- The Isley Brothers single “Twist & Shout” released.

1969- John Lennon and Yoko Ono have their "Bed-In for Peace" news conference in New York. One of the most acerbic exchanges was one Lennon had with Lil' Abner cartoonist and curmudgeon Al Capp.

1980- South Korean President Chun Do Hwan orders his army to fire on pro-democracy protestors in Kwang-Ju. 2,000 were killed.

1994- Singer Michael Jackson married Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic. They keep the wedding a secret for six weeks, then divorced 18 months later.

1995- Looney Tunes director Friz Freleng died at age 89.

1995- In a memo to Microsoft, founder Bill Gates declared the Internet the “most important single development” since the personal computer.

2008- To commemorate Memorial Day, President Bush went on camera and asked all Americans to stop what they were doing at 3:00PM to remember the sacrifices of all our soldiers. He then went mountain biking.
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Yesterday’s question: Who was Prince Aly Khan?

Answer: Prince Aly Khan, 1911-1960, was born in Italy a son of dispossessed Pakistani Muslim royalty to the Aga Khan II. He lived his life as an international playboy, socialite and sportsman, making love to women from actress Rita Hayworth to Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law Pamela Churchill-Harriman. Cole Porter wrote him into a song. He died when he crashed his sportscar in France.


May 25, 2017
May 25th, 2017

Quiz: Who was Prince Aly Khan?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: What is the origin of the phrase” To be Turned Down Flat?”
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History for 5/25/2017
Birthdays: Miles Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Josef Broz Tito, Igor Sikorsky, Pontormo, Bennett Cerf, Claude Akins, Leslie Uggams, Bill Bojangles Robinson, Frank Oz (Richard Frank Oznowicz), Beverly Sills, Robert Ludlum, Anne Heche, Irwin Winkler, Mike Myers is 54, Ray Stevenson is 53, Ian McKellen is 78

194BC- The Roman temple of Fortuna Virilis was dedicated on the Quirinal Hill.

1085- King Alfonso VI of Aragon took Toledo from the Moors.

1521- German Emperor Charles V declared Protestant reformer Martin Luther a heretic and an outlaw. The German states that rallied to Luther’s new teachings fought their emperor in the epic Schmalkalden Wars. Even Charles’ own sister became a Lutheran.

1660- RESTORATION DAY- After Oliver Cromwell executed King Charles I, he declared the British Monarchy abolished, and ruled England with a junta of generals as Lord Protector. When Cromwell died of natural causes in 1659 he tried to leave his son Richard Cromwell in his place. But the son is not the father. The rickety system didn’t work, and Richard got the nickname “Tumbledown-Dick”. The Puritan junta led by General Monck had no other remedy to avoid chaos other than recalling King Charles’ son Charles II from exile to be king of England. This day King Charles entered London. For many years Restoration Day was a holiday in the UK.

1720- John Copson became the first Insurance Agent in the New World.

1787- First meeting of delegates in Philadelphia to write the U.S. Constitution.
Interestingly enough, nobody really asked them to. They were only summoned by Congress to iron out some bugs in the Articles of Confederation. However James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York hatched a plan to chuck the whole system and write a new document.

1810- When Napoleon had conquered Spain, the colonies of Latin America puzzled about where to send taxes to. The French occupation government in Madrid or the Spanish Royal family in exile in Naples? This day Argentina had a better idea. They declared Independence.

1865- Mary Lincoln and her son Tad move out of the White House where she had been holed up in seclusion since the night of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. She had been too traumatized to attend the funeral or accompany the body back to Illinois.

1878- Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore premiered at the Savoy in London.

1895- Author and playwright Oscar Wilde sentenced to prison for sodomy.
The terrible conditions of his imprisonment in Redding Gaol will break his health and lead to his early death in exile in 1900. In a 1995 ceremony honoring him in Westminster Abbey it was revealed the laws that sentenced Wilde were still on the books in England.

The Victorian hypocrisy was compounded by the fact that so many great men of the British Empire privately acknowledged a preference for their own sex- Gordon of Khartoum, Sir Cecil Rhodes, Lawrence of Arabia, Nicholson the Tiger of the Punjab, and more. Queen Victoria once said after a meeting with Earl Kitchener of Omdurman: ”I was told my lord does not prefer the company of women. Still, I found him to be a pleasant speaker.”

1906- Putting on the Ritz! Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz opened London’s Ritz Hotel. The first hotel to feature unheard of luxuries like a telephone and an indoor toilet in every suite!

1911-The beginnings of Mexican Revolution forced longtime dictator Gen. Jose Porfirio Diaz into exile. As a young man Diaz had fought the French under Juarez but later seized power for himself and ruled for thirty years. Under him Mexico industrialized and gained railroads, electric power, telephones and schools. He once said:" My poor Mexico. Too far from Heaven and too close to the United States."

1911- Thomas Mann visited Venice Italy. On the Lido Beach he was inspired to write A Death in Venice.

1915- Following up on the widespread massacres of Armenians, today the Ottoman Turkish government began mass deportations of their Armenian citizens.

1917-In World War I, Germany bombed London for the first time not with zeppelins but with new Gotha biplane bombers.

1923- Britain and France recognize the Hashemite Kingdom of TransJordan ruled by Abdallah Ibn Hussein.

1927- Ford had put America on wheels with the Model T, the most successful car model in history. Today they stopped making the Model T after 15 million cars, costing on average $300 each, $26 dollars down with monthly payments.

1932- Flamboyant New York Mayor Jimmy Walker testifies before the Seabury Commission. The corruption scandals of his administration will force him to resign.

1932-Mickey’s Revue, the first Disney cartoon that featured the character that would eventually be called Goofy.

1935- Babe Ruth hits his final home runs. The Bambino was in his last year, working out his contract with the Boston Braves. This day in Pittsburgh, the Babe showed his old form when he hit three home runs and a single. His record of 714 home runs held for over sixty years.

1942- First day shooting on the film “ Casablanca”.

1944- Yugoslav partisan leader Marshal Tito escaped a massive German Blitzkreig attack designed just to kill him.

1946- Chuck Jones cartoon Hare Raising Hare, where Bugs meets a large shaggy monster named Gossamer “ Monsters are such inn…teresting people…”

1950- Brooklyn Battery Tunnel opened in NYC.

1957- Sid Caesar's Your Show of Show's canceled after nearly a decade. The show used future star writers like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen and Neil Simon. They pioneered the executive strategy of network programmer Pat Weaver to not let the show be owned by an entire sponsor, but the network would produce the show and would sell the sponsor commercial time in 30 second chunks. Pat Weaver’s daughter is Sigorney Weaver. Your Show of Shows was finally bested in the ratings by The Lawrence Welk Show.

1961- THE SPACE RACE- The United States had been chafing about how far ahead the Soviet Union was in the exploration of space. In an address to Congress this day President John F. Kennedy pledged the wealth and resources of the U.S. to beating the Soviets to the Moon. "Our pledge is within the next ten years to send a man to the moon and return him safely to Earth… We choose to go to the Moon not because it will be easy but because it is hard!" The Moon landing was achieved in 1969. Today it is acknowledged that without the motivation of the Cold War the conquest of the Moon would have happened much more slowly.

1965- The Saint Louis Gateway Arch dedicated.

1968- The Rolling Stones release the song Jumping Jack Flash.

1969- John Schlesinger’s film Midnight Cowboy premiered. The first X-rated film to ever win the Oscar for Best Film.

1977- The Hollywood premiere of George Lucas’ movie Star Wars. The movie opened on the 28th. Twentieth Century Fox picked up the distribution but let the backend go to Lucas, because they didn't think the film would do any serious business. Even George Lucas didn’t expect the film to break even. Fox's market research department told studio head Alan Ladd Jr, a) don't make this movie; no one will go see a science fiction movie; and b) change the title; no one will go see a movie with "War" in the title. Fox executives had predicted the studios monster hit for that summer would be "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" with Peter Fonda and Susan George.

Star Wars was a monster hit. It was like there were no other movies playing that summer. George Lucas became a seriously rich man and developed THX sound, digital animation and Industrial Light and Magic special effects. The film’s popularity ran so ahead of expectations, that at Christmas when you purchased a Star Wars Game you got a box with a pink IOU note in it pledging to get you the game when they printed more.

1979- Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic Alien opened. It featured the exotic designs of Hungarian artist Giger, and John Hurt with a classic case of chest pains!

1980- Evangelist Oral Roberts claimed he saw a 900-foot Jesus over his bed.

1983- Return of the Jedi opened. It was originally Revenge of the Jedi, but George Lucas changed the name just a month before.

1986- Hands Across America stunt to help hunger has 7 million people at one time holding hands at noon.

1994- First International Conference on the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee and CERN talked on how to implement and unify the new World Wide Web.

2000- It was revealed that in 1958 US scientists planned to explode an atomic bomb on the moon. There would be no mushroom cloud because that requires an atmosphere, and the flash would only be visible for a few seconds. What the purpose would be other than to scare the BeeJeezus out of the Russkies no one knew. This dumb-ass idea was soon scrapped.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase” To be Turned Down Flat?”

Answer: In the Victorian Era, when a gentleman desired to court a lady, he would leave his card du’visite [calling card] at her home. When he returned, if the card was upright on the mantle, then the lady in question desired to accept his courtship. But if she declined, he knew when he saw his card – turned down flat.


May 25, 2017
May 25th, 2017

Quiz: Who was Prince Aly Khan?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: What is the origin of the phrase” To be Turned Down Flat?”
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History for 5/25/2017
Birthdays: Miles Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Josef Broz Tito, Igor Sikorsky, Pontormo, Bennett Cerf, Claude Akins, Leslie Uggams, Bill Bojangles Robinson, Frank Oz (Richard Frank Oznowicz), Beverly Sills, Robert Ludlum, Anne Heche, Irwin Winkler, Mike Myers is 54, Ray Stevenson is 53, Ian McKellen is 78

194BC- The Roman temple of Fortuna Virilis was dedicated on the Quirinal Hill.

1085- King Alfonso VI of Aragon took Toledo from the Moors.

1521- German Emperor Charles V declared Protestant reformer Martin Luther a heretic and an outlaw. The German states that rallied to Luther’s new teachings fought their emperor in the epic Schmalkalden Wars. Even Charles’ own sister became a Lutheran.

1660- RESTORATION DAY- After Oliver Cromwell executed King Charles I, he declared the British Monarchy abolished, and ruled England with a junta of generals as Lord Protector. When Cromwell died of natural causes in 1659 he tried to leave his son Richard Cromwell in his place. But the son is not the father. The rickety system didn’t work, and Richard got the nickname “Tumbledown-Dick”. The Puritan junta led by General Monck had no other remedy to avoid chaos other than recalling King Charles’ son Charles II from exile to be king of England. This day King Charles entered London. For many years Restoration Day was a holiday in the UK.

1720- John Copson became the first Insurance Agent in the New World.

1787- First meeting of delegates in Philadelphia to write the U.S. Constitution.
Interestingly enough, nobody really asked them to. They were only summoned by Congress to iron out some bugs in the Articles of Confederation. However James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York hatched a plan to chuck the whole system and write a new document.

1810- When Napoleon had conquered Spain, the colonies of Latin America puzzled about where to send taxes to. The French occupation government in Madrid or the Spanish Royal family in exile in Naples? This day Argentina had a better idea. They declared Independence.

1865- Mary Lincoln and her son Tad move out of the White House where she had been holed up in seclusion since the night of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. She had been too traumatized to attend the funeral or accompany the body back to Illinois.

1878- Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore premiered at the Savoy in London.

1895- Author and playwright Oscar Wilde sentenced to prison for sodomy.
The terrible conditions of his imprisonment in Redding Gaol will break his health and lead to his early death in exile in 1900. In a 1995 ceremony honoring him in Westminster Abbey it was revealed the laws that sentenced Wilde were still on the books in England.

The Victorian hypocrisy was compounded by the fact that so many great men of the British Empire privately acknowledged a preference for their own sex- Gordon of Khartoum, Sir Cecil Rhodes, Lawrence of Arabia, Nicholson the Tiger of the Punjab, and more. Queen Victoria once said after a meeting with Earl Kitchener of Omdurman:”I was told my lord does not prefer the company of women. Still, I found him to be a pleasant speaker.”

1906- Putting on the Ritz! Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz opened London’s Ritz Hotel. The first hotel to feature unheard of luxuries like a telephone and an indoor toilet in every suite!

1911-The beginnings of Mexican Revolution forced longtime dictator Gen. Jose Porfirio Diaz into exile. As a young man Diaz had fought the French under Juarez but later seized power for himself and ruled for thirty years. Under him Mexico industrialized and gained railroads, electric power, telephones and schools. He once said:" My poor Mexico. Too far from Heaven and too close to the United States."

1911- Thomas Mann visited Venice Italy. On the Lido Beach he was inspired to write A Death in Venice.

1915- Following up on the widespread massacres of Armenians, today the Ottoman Turkish government began mass deportations of their Armenian citizens.

1917-In World War I, Germany bombed London for the first time not with zeppelins but with new Gotha biplane bombers.

1923- Britain and France recognize the Hashemite Kingdom of TransJordan ruled by Abdallah Ibn Hussein.

1927- Ford had put America on wheels with the Model T, the most successful car model in history. Today they stop making the Model T after 15 million cars, costing on average $300 each, $26 dollars down with monthly payments.

1932- Flamboyant New York Mayor Jimmy Walker testifies before the Seabury Commission. The corruption scandals of his administration will force him to resign.

1932-Mickey’s Revue, the first Disney cartoon that featured the character that would eventually be called Goofy.

1935- Babe Ruth hits his final home runs. The Bambino was in his last year, working out his contract with the Boston Braves. This day in Pittsburgh, the Babe showed his old form when he hit three home runs and a single. His record of 714 home runs held for over sixty years.

1942- First day shooting on the film “ Casablanca”.

1944- Yugoslav partisan leader Marshal Tito escaped a massive German Blitzkreig attack designed just to kill him.

1946- Chuck Jones cartoon Hare Raising Hare, where Bugs meets a large shaggy monster named Gossamer “ Monsters are such inn…teresting people…”

1950- Brooklyn Battery Tunnel opened in NYC.

1957- Sid Caesar's Your Show of Show's canceled after nearly a decade. The show used future star writers like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen and Neil Simon. They pioneered the executive strategy of network programmer Pat Weaver to not let the show be owned by an entire sponsor, but the network would produce the show and would sell the sponsor commercial time in 30 second chunks. Pat Weaver’s daughter is Sigorney Weaver. Your Show of Shows was finally bested in the ratings by The Lawrence Welk Show.

1961- THE SPACE RACE- The United States had been chafing about how far ahead the Soviet Union was in the exploration of space. In an address to Congress this day President John F. Kennedy pledged the wealth and resources of the U.S. to beating the Soviets to the Moon. "Our pledge is within the next ten years to send a man to the moon and return him safely to Earth… We choose to go to the Moon not because it will be easy but because it is hard!" The Moon landing was achieved in 1969. Today it is acknowledged that without the motivation of the Cold War the conquest of the Moon would have happened much more slowly.

1965- The Saint Louis Gateway Arch dedicated.

1968- The Rolling Stones release the song Jumping Jack Flash.

1969- John Schlesinger’s film Midnight Cowboy premiered. The first X-rated film to ever win the Oscar for Best Film.

1977- The Hollywood premiere of George Lucas’ movie Star Wars. The movie opened on the 28th.

1979- Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic Alien opened. It featured the exotic designs of Hungarian artist Giger, and John Hurt with a classic case of chest pains!

1980- Evangelist Oral Roberts claimed he saw a 900-foot Jesus over his bed.

1983- Return of the Jedi opened. It was originally Revenge of the Jedi, but George Lucas changed the name just a month before.

1986- Hands Across America stunt to help hunger has 7 million people at one time holding hands at noon.

1994- First International Conference on the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee and CERN talked on how to implement and unify the new World Wide Web.

2000- It was revealed that in 1958 US scientists planned to explode an atomic bomb on the moon. There would be no mushroom cloud because that requires an atmosphere, and the flash would only be visible for a few seconds. What the purpose would be other than to scare the BeeJeezus out of the Russkies no one knew. This dumb-ass idea was soon scrapped.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase” To be Turned Down Flat?”

Answer: In the Victorian Era, when a gentleman desired to court a lady, he would leave his card du’visite [calling card] at her home. When he returned, if the card was upright on the mantle, then the lady in question desired to accept his courtship. But if she declined, he knew when he saw his card – turned down flat.


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