April 5, 2020
April 5th, 2020

Quiz: The Asteroid Belt is located in between what two planets?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is the origin of the term Okay?
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History for 4/5/2020
Birthdays: Plato, Swinburne, Booker T. Washington, Josef Lister, Bette Davis, Nadar, Jean Fragonard, animator Hicks Lokey, Nguyen Van Thieu, historian Robert Bloch, Gale Storm, Washington Atlee-Burpee the mail order seed king, Spencer Tracy, Frank Gorshin, Melvyn Douglas, Walter Huston, Nigel Hawthorne, Peter Greenaway, Gregory Peck, Roger Corman, Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA is 70, Colin Powell is 83, Pharrell Williams is 47.

To the ancient Romans this was the Feast Day of the Goddess of Good Fortune, Fortuna Virilis.

622 A.D.- BYZANTINE EMPEROR HERACLIUS began his military campaigns. Heraclius is one of the mysteries of history. He sat lethargic on his throne while the Persian Shah Chosroes II conquered the whole Middle East almost up to his doorstep. Then Heraclius got up, put on his armor and turned into Julius Caesar, Alexander and Rambo all rolled into one. In a lightning campaign he destroyed the Persian army, burned their capitol, sprinkled garbage on the grave of Zoroaster and chased them to the foot of the Himalayas. The Persians killed Chosroes just to make Heraclius go away.

Then Heraclius went back to his throne and did nothing for the rest of his reign. Moslem Arabs would soon appear from out of Arabia and wipe out both empires, which is why you probably never heard of him. Some speculate that his wife Empress Heracleonas was the real military genius but the scholars recorded the deeds all in the man’s name.

1242-" THE BATTLE ON THE ICE" Lake Pripous. Alexander Nevsky the Prince of Novgorod defeated the German monastic knights The Order of Sword Brothers. These warrior-monks had been sent by Rome to combat pagans in the Baltic lands, but after everyone had become Christian, they had switched their attention to "Greek Orthodox-Schizmatics". In 1939 Sergei Eisenstein did the famous film Alexander Nevsky about the battle with a musical score by Sergei Prokoviev.

1531- Richard Roose was boiled in oil for trying to poison the Archbishop of Canterbury.

1613- Princess Pocahontas, now baptized Lady Rebecca, married John Rolfe. She had been sold by her cousins to the Jamestown colonists as a hostage for a copper pot. Today many old families in Virginia claim a dynastic link to Pocahontas. John Rolfe is famous for inventing the American tobacco industry. The local Virginia weed was a bit too rough for Englishmen to puff on, so Rolfe had tobacco cuttings smuggled out of Brazil and planted in the James River delta. Since the English had found no gold-laden Aztecs, this settlement was at first viewed as a failure. But this tobacco crop made the Virginia Colony a success to profit hungry investors back home.

1614- King James I’s second parliament met. It was famous for enacting no laws, basically doing absolutely nothing. Britons rejoiced.

1759- A small Dutch fleet blown off course in a Pacific storm discovered a small island. Because it was Easter, they named it Easter Island.

1794- French Revolutionaries Danton and Camille Desmoulins were guillotined. They were arch-leftists but their old buddy Robespierre wanted them out of the way. So they were convicted of being treasonous counterrevolutionaries. When Danton mounted the scaffold he laughed:" When you take my head off, show it to the people. It will be worth it!"

1814- Now that Napoleon had agreed to abdicate, he wanted to assure his son would keep the throne of the French Empire. But the victorious allied monarchs in occupied Paris told Nappy’s emissary Caulaincourt that they refused negotiate with them any further. At the same time one of Napoleon’s generals and closest friends Marshal Marmont made his own deal and took his army over to the enemy. Marmont was the Duke of Ragusa and for the next few decades a Raguser became a synonym for traitor like Benedict Arnold or Quisling.

1815-the volcano Mount Tambora erupted in Indonesia killing 12,000 and effecting weather patters around the world. Many quaint Currier & Ives ice skating prints come from this year without a summer.

1827- Englishman Joseph Lister born. Lister was not only the inventor of Listerine but of hygienic medical practices. Before Lister insisted on sterilization hospitals were known as death traps of infection where surgeons would sharpen their scalpels on the sole of their boots before making their incision. He once stopped an epidemic in a hospital by noticing that the interns would go from dissecting cadavers to delivering babies without washing their hands!

1840- Six drunken friends met in a tavern in Baltimore and pledged they would never drink again. They formed the Washingtonian Society, the earliest Temperance League.

1851- New York Mayor Ambrose Kingland proposed that a large park be built in Manhattan for health and recreation. Work on Central Park was begun in 1856.

1860- GARABALDI AND “THE THOUSAND RED SHIRTS” LAUNCH THEIR INVASION OF SICILY. Of the several Italian leaders struggling to unify Italy. Giuseppe Garibaldi was the least patient. While the King of Sardinia Vittorio Emanuel and his minister Cavour tried quiet gentle diplomacy, Garibaldi and his "red shirts" launched a unprovoked assault on the Bourbon Kingdom of Two Sicilies and told Vittorio-"You come from the North, I from the South." They met at the middle at Magenta and unified the entire Italian peninsula for the first time since the Roman Empire.
While in the south, Garabaldi's Northern Italian men wrote home of a new dish they tried- pasta with tomato sauce!

1862- During the Civil War Union General George McClellan paused in his march through Virginia to attack the old Revolutionary War village of Yorktown. A small force under a rebel leader named MacGruder fooled McClellan into believing he was facing a large rebel army when he actually outnumbered them 20 to one. MacGruder marched his little force in circles, making multiple campfires and constantly blowing bugles, trying to look like a larger force than they actually were. When the Yankees finally overran the rebel fortifications they found the heavy cannon pointed at them were harmless logs painted black. They called them Quaker Guns.

1862- Meanwhile in Shiloh Tennessee, Confederate Beauregard and Albert Johnston’s rebel army was sneaking up to surprise attack Ulysses Grants army. But Beauregard was concerned that their undisciplined men were whooping and shooting their guns off and the element of surprise was now lost. Johnston ended speculation by saying:” I intend to fight them tomorrow even if they are a million strong!” Past midnight, Yankee General Sherman received reports of rebs skirmishing with his sentries. He told his adjutant to forget it and get some sleep, as there would be no battle that day. Shortly afterwards the entire Confederate Army attacked his camp.

1869- Daniel Bakeman, recorded as the last surviving soldier of George Washington’s Revolutionary army, died at age 109. A man who looked George Washington in the face lived long enough to be photographed by Matthew Brady. He married at age 12 and he and his wife stayed married for 91 years.

1874- Johann Strauss Jr.’s operetta Die Fledermaus premiered in Vienna.

1887- Lord Acton wrote: “ Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

1892- THE JOHNSON COUNTY WAR- By the 1890's many great Wyoming cattle ranches were owned by Eastern or European companies. When cattle herds were decimated by the great frost of 1888 a labor dispute arose between the distant employers and the laid off cowboys, many of whom resorted to rustling to make a living. By 1892 the friction became so bad the Wyoming Cattlemen's Association hired a private train and filled it with hired Texas gunfighters and enough ammunition to kill everyone in three states and sent it to Johnson County. This day they pulled out of Cheyenne with orders to shoot or string up any and all rustlers, revolutionists and troublemakers. After killing two men on their list the word got out to the citizens of Casper Wyoming. They gathered en masse and surrounded the Texans in a ranch house laying siege to it, throwing lit dynamite sticks from an armored wagon and shooting at any cowpoke who dared show his face in a window.
The hapless hit men were finally rescued by the U.S. Army, who granted all a general amnesty. The incident was the basis for the movie "Heaven's Gate".

1913- Ebbets Field opened in Flatbush. The Brooklyn Dodgers defeat the New York Highlanders (Yankees) 3-2

1915- Jess Willard knocked down Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion in a title fight in Havana Cuba. The older Johnson retired after the fight. He wouldn’t hold the title long though, on July 4th Willard lost to new kid Jack Dempsey.

1923- Lois Armstrong, King Oliver and the Creole Jazz Band took a train from Chicago to Richmond Indiana to record Chimes Blues. Satchmo’s first record.

1930 -James Dewar invented the Twinkie. He said he got the name when he drove by a billboard advertising "Twinkle-Toe Shoes" and modified it to Twinkie. Dewar ate two every day of his life, and called them, “The best darn-tootin idea I ever had!”
As an experiment, in 1996 five top French pastry chefs were given the assignment of trying to recreate a Twinkie using natural ingredients. They all failed.

1931- Fox Film Company dropped their option on young star John Wayne as a dud not going anywhere. Wayne eked out an existence doing cheap westerns for Republic and Monogram until John Ford of RKO made him a star in 1939’s Stagecoach.

1939- For German children, membership in the Hitler Youth corps became mandatory.

1945- The first Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon.

1951- Republican Senator Robert Short read General Douglas MacArthur’s proclamation to the Communist Chinese on the floor of Congress. It read that if they didn’t withdraw from Korea, MacArthur would restart the Chinese Civil War and “Rain Nuclear Fire down upon their cities”.
MacArthur had no permission from the State Department to make such a rash statement, and it ruined all the behind the scenes maneuvers to get the Chinese to negotiate an end to the Korean War early. The previous December, MacArthur had been given a direct order from the President not to make any public statements about Korean policy, but the General chose to ignore it.
President Harry Truman concluded-“I’m gonna fire that pompous Sonofabitch!”

1951- The Atomic Spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death for espionage.

1955- Elderly Prime Minister Winston Churchill finally retired. He was succeeded as PM by Anthony Eden. Churchill, already the author of several books, joked with his cabinet:” Gentlemen, History shall be kind to us, for I intend to write it!”

1963- The Lava Lamp invented by Dr. Edward Craven Walker.

1965- Julie Andrews had created the role of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady on Broadway. But when filming the motion picture, the studio head Jack Warner decided she was not a big enough star, so he used Audrey Hepburn with a dubbed singing voice. But Andrews had her revenge. At the Academy Awards this night My Fair Lady won Best Picture among a bunch of others, but Julie Andrews won the best actress Oscar for Mary Poppins. She famously said "I would like to thank Jack Warner for making this award possible!"

1969- Pope Paul VI abolished those silly big wide brimmed red hats (galeros) the cardinals wore.

1976- Eccentric Billionaire Howard Hughes died at age 76. Hughes had inherited his fathers oil rig tool company at 17, and built the mighty Hughes aircraft empire, and ran RKO pictures. But after surviving several test plane crashes, he became addicted to pain killers and became increasing withdrawn from the world. He died a strange shut in, long haired and living on a diet of drugs and saving his urine in mason jars.

1985- Singer David Lee Roth quit the rock band Van Halen to pursue a solo career.

1994- Grunge rock star Kurt Kobain shot himself. His body wasn’t discovered until two days later.

2003- Invading American forces began the Battle for Baghdad.

2030- FIRST CONTACT- According to Star Trek, this is the day Professor Zephram Cochran adapted an old World War III ICBM missile and invented the Warp Drive, enabling the Earth to begin deep space exploration, and during whose maiden flight he made the first contact with an alien race- from the planet Vulcan.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the term Okay?

Answer: OK originated in America in the early XIX Century. There are several theories about a misprint in a newspaper of “ All correct”, but the most popular one was about Martin van Buren. He was originally from Kinderhook New York. Before he was president, Van Buren was considered a master politician and political strategist. If there was any problem that needed to be solved, it would work out if you put Old Kinderhook on it. It would be OK.


April 3, 2020
April 3rd, 2020

Quiz: Who coined the term- to start from scratch?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is a rubric?
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History for 4/3/2020
Birthdays: King Henry IV of England (1361), Washington Irving, William Marcy "Boss" Tweed, Sally Rand the Fan Dancer, Ma Rainey, Iron Eyes Cody, Wayne Newton, Doris Day, Robert Sherwood, Virgil Grissom, Marsha Mason, Melissa Etheridge, Marlon Brando, Amanda Byrnes, David Hyde Pierce, Alec Baldwin is 62, Eddie Murphy is 59

In Ancient Greece the beginning of April was the Aphrodisia- the Festival of Aphrodite. Greeks would offer sacrifices to the Goddess of Love, and some would visit the sacred prostitutes in the great temple in Corinth. Rich old matrons would put aside in their wills some money to purchase slaves to work in the sacred brothels.

127AD- Today is the day Pope Sixtus I was martyred under the Emperor Trajan. Sixtus is remembered as the pope during the Mass when the priests chanted Holy, Holy, Holy -Hosanna in the Highest, etc. he insisted it be sung by everyone in the congregation.

628AD-After being defeated by Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, Persian King Chosroes II was murdered by his own son’s followers, and his body chucked down a well.

1043- Edward the Confessor crowned King of England.

1312-The Vatican, under the influence of the French King Phillip the Fair, abolished the Holy Order of the Knights Templar. The order was rich in international finance and none of it taxable and because they were monks there were no relatives to sponge off. They invented the personal check, so a Templar didn’t have to ride from castle to castle with those heavy bags of gold. Just write out a note (or have your scribe do it if you were illiterate) and affix your seal to it. I wonder if they had pretty sunsets printed on them...

1367-The Battle of Navarette- during a lull in the Hundred Year War, Edward the Black Prince of England goes to Spain to help King of Aragon Pedro the Cruel press his claims against Navarre. He defeats a Franco-Navarrese force of knights and captures the great French knight Bertrand DeGuesclin (De-Gue-Klan). But when Edward refused to turn over his prisoners to Pedro so he could behead them ( why else have a nickname like Cruel ?), even refusing to hand over DeGuesclin for his weight in pure silver, Pedro refused to pay the Englishmen's wages and Edward went home broke and annoyed.

1657- Oliver Cromwell formally refused the title King of England and preferred to remain the Lord Protector of the English Republic.

1714-THE FIRST BRITISH PRIME MINISTER-Before this time men who ran the government of England at the kings pleasure held a variety of titles: Lord High Admiral, Chancellor, Mayor of the Palace, etc.. As the complicated checks & balances of democratic government evolved more dependable positions were needed.
When The British Crown was offered to the German George I of Hanover, he was bewildered by how complicated English parliamentary democracy was! He also refused to learn English, switching to French or Latin when no one responded to him in German.
Couldn't I just work with one man who could get what I wanted done? So Minister of the Exchequer (treasury) Sir Robert Walpole (father of writer Horace Walpole), who's party was in the majority in Parliament became First Minister, later Prime Minister. The reason the job evolved out of the Treasury is that minister could grease the rights palms to get things done.
King George wanted Walpole in close touch so he gave him a house near Whitehall Palace. He had just foreclosed on a modest row house called #10 Downing Street. Walpole said he didn't want it seen as a royal bribe. He would vacate it when he left office for his successor.

1730 -EMPEROR MOYTOY OF AMERICA- An English conman, Sir Alexander Cummings, had ingratiated himself into the council of the Cherokee Nation, then occupying most of Georgia, the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee. In a scam to make himself look like the representative of all native Americans, Cummings convinced one Cherokee chief named Amatoya Moytoy to travel to England and do ritual submission to King George II. He dubbed him Emperor Moytoy of America! The Indians were confused but went along with the silliness if it meant good trading relations with the redcoat white men. Cummings disappeared shortly after the truth came out, undoubtedly a much wealthier man.

1764- Aging Empress Maria Theresa of Austria raised her son Joseph II to be co-emperor. He was the Emperor in the movie Amadeus. This day he was crowned at Frankfurt. He later wrote his mother “...a lot of elegant people mouthing idiocies.”

1791- The French Revolution Assembly National decided to convert the Church of Saint Genevieve to a secular temple to contain the remains of the great leaders of the French Nation. It was renamed the Pantheon after the ancient Roman name. The bones of Mirabeau, Voltaire, Rousseau and more were soon moved there.

1814-THE MARSHALS STRIKE. Napoleon’s top generals, the Marshals, gathered around him at Fontainbleau Palace to try to convince him to step down. These men had their fortunes made in his service. They had fought and bled for him on a hundred battlefields. But after twenty years, France was overrun by five foreign armies, Paris had fallen, the French were down to drafting fifteen-year olds. The war was obviously lost.

The discussion soon grew ugly. Marshals Ney, Oudinot, Moncey and Lefebvre told him if ordered they would not follow him to try to retake Paris. Napoleon shouted:” You just want to protect your titles and estates! I can replace you all with sergeants!”

Finally he was made to accept the inevitable. He had tried first to resign in favor of his three year old son and save his dynasty. The Allies were amenable to this if it represented what the French people really wanted. However certain French government officials scheming for the return of the Bourbon Kings staged street demonstrations for the old monarchy, and convinced one of Napoleon's closest friends, Marshal Marmont the Duke of Ragusa, to defect to the enemy with his entire army.

This gesture decided the allies that the French people would rather have King Louis return rather than the boy Napoleon II. Napoleon was forced to abdicate completely, and the name "Raguser" became a word for traitor like Benedict Arnold.

1860-The Pony Express system starts. Relay riders from Saint Louis across the prairies and deserts all the way to Sacramento, California. Ten days to get a letter from St. Jo to Denver. For all it's romance, it failed after just 1-1/2 years. Stagecoaches and telegraph wires soon covered the same message business much more easily.

1861- Seven days before the Civil War would begin, tensions between North and South built to the point of explosion. At Fort Sumter South Carolina a Boston ship, the R. H. Shannon, with a cargo of ice bound for Savannah put in a stop at Charleston Harbor. She sailed right in between the itchy fingered Yankee and Rebel cannons. The captain rarely read newspapers so he was completely unaware of the political situation. When he heard a warning shot, he ran up the Stars and Stripes. Suddenly cannons started to boom out all around him. Mystified, he lowered the flag, the gunfire stopped and the Shannon sailed on...

1869- First performance of Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor.

1882- JESSE JAMES SHOT-The famous outlaw had been living quietly with his family under the alias of Mr. Howard when he was murdered by his own gang members, his cousins Bob and William Ford. Jesse was shot in the back of the head while he was standing on a chair straightening a picture frame. His last words were: ”My, it’s awfully hot today...” He was 34. Jesse’s older brother Frank took the hint and went straight. Bob Ford went on tour giving lectures, re-enacting how he had killed Jesse. Finally in a mining camp someone blew him away with a shotgun. The last thing he heard was,” …oh, Bob….”

1897-composer Johannes Brahms died.

1920- Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald got married.

1922- JOSEF STALIN made General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. In the scramble for power after the death of Lenin this move allowed him to consolidate his his hold on the top job and push out Leon Trotsky and the other top Bolsheviks like Zioniev, Kamieniev and Krupskaya. He made sure Lenin's last will and political testament was never made public.

1936-Bruno Richard Hauptmann was electrocuted for the murder of the Lindbergh baby.

1943- Chuck Jones short Super Rabbit premiered. Bugs Bunny spoofing the Man of Steel.

1948 -THE MARSHAL PLAN signed into law by President Truman. It called for 5 billion U.S. dollars to be spent to help 16 European countries rebuild their shattered economies after World War II.

1968- In Memphis, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was supposed to give a sermon at the Temple Baptist Church, but excused himself because of his workload. Since he had openly come out against the Vietnam War, the death threats had increased and it all weighed heavily on his mind. Rev. Ralph Abernathy telephoned from the church that the crowd was disappointed Dr. King had not showed up. "Martin, they don't want to hear me. They're all here to hear you."
So Dr. King went to the church, and delivered off-the-cuff the last great speech of his life: "I have been to the Mountaintop and have Seen the Promised Land. And though I may not get there with you, it is alright…..". At one point he was startled when the wind outside caused a shutter to bang. Then he returned to the Lorraine Motel.

1968- Stanley Kubrick's epic film "2001: A Space Odyssey" premiered. The N.Y. Times review said it was: " Somewhere between hypnotic and boring". Pauline Kael called it "monumentally unimaginative!" Writer Arthur C. Clarke always said HAL the computer was not a coded reference to IBM. At the Oscars, Clarke and Kubrick lost the best screenplay award to Mel Brooks for The Producers. 2001 won only one Oscar, for visual effects. It was the only Oscar a Stanley Kubrick film ever won.

1973- Standing on the corner of 6th Ave in Manhattan, Motorola scientist Marty Cooper made the first cell phone call. He called his competitor Joel Engel at Bell Labs to tell him he had lost the race to invent the cell phone. He said that first phone, “It was the size of a leg of lamb.”

1974- Even while the Watergate Scandal continued, this day the IRS reported President Richard Nixon had been paying taxes based on an income of only $15,000 a year, when he was making at least $200,000 a year.

1975- Eccentric chess champion Bobby Fischer was stripped of his World Chess Championship for refusing to play any more matches to defend his title.

1984-THE COFFEE SHOP CONVERSION. Future President George W. Bush was a cocaine-snorting alcoholic who had been busted for drunk driving. This day he became Born-Again Christian after a meeting with an evangelist in a coffee shop.

1994-Disney chief executive Frank Wells was killed in a helicopter crash on a skiing trip. It’s been speculated that blowing snow off some high peaks caused an ice ball to be sucked into the copter’s air intake manifold. Clint Eastwood was supposed to be on that trip but couldn't make it. Billie Joel and Christie Brinkley had a similar scare with their helicopter on the same day. The death of the Disney CEO set in motion the events that would lead to Jeffrey Katzenberg leaving Disney and forming Dreamworks, as well as Michael Ovitz’s brief tenure as a mouseketeer and Michael Eisner’s eventual fall in 2006. In 1999 the Hollywood Reporter estimated that the little iceball cost the Walt Disney Company over one billion dollars.

1996- Ron Brown, the first African American to be Chairman of the Democratic Party, was killed in a plane crash near Dubrovnik, Croatia.

1999- Egypt repealed a 1904 law that said a rapist could escape prison for his crime if he married his victim!
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a rubric?

Answer: In academia, a rubric is a guide that that affords information to students and some consistency for instructors in the grading processes by establishing the parameters for evaluating and scoring tests, papers, assignments and projects.
( Thanks FG)


April 2, 2020
April 2nd, 2020

Question: What is a rubric?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a nosegay?
History for 4/2/2020
Birthdays: Frankish Emperor Charlemagne, Giacomo Casanova, Hans Christian Andersen, Marvin Gaye, Emile Zola, Max Ernst, Buddy Ebsen, Sir Alec Guinness, Frederick Bartholdi, Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Hunt, Isaiah Washington, Karl Castle.

304B.C. Alexander IV, the young child of Alexander the Great, began his reign under the regency of the Macedonian General Perdiccas.

430AD. Today is the feast day of Saint Mary the Egyptian, a former prostitute who repented by living naked and alone in the desert for 49 years, only appearing briefly at Easter time to take communion, and to get some more sunblock. 1459- Vlad II "Dracula" -Little Dragon, duke of Wallachia, shows why he got the nickname Vlad the Impaler by impaling the city council of Brasov high on stakes then eating lunch, laughing under their quivering bodies. Impaling was a torture where you had a huge sharpened stake hammered up into your body, then standing it up. A good executioner could keep the stake from piercing too many important organs, prolonging the agony of your death.
This was Vlad’s preferred method of getting rid of inconvenient people. No wonder in the 1890’s when British author Bram Stoker was collecting folk tales in the Transylvanian mountains to use as source material for a gothic vampire novel he chose Dracula for its title.

1502- King Henry VII Tudor’s primary heir Arthur of Britain died at age fifteen. King Henry had just married Arthur to the Catharine daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain a few weeks before. Now Henry didn’t want to lose the Spanish alliance, and he was too cheap to send back Catharine’s huge dowery. So he remarried her to his other son, Henry VIII. Catherine and Henry VIII’s marriage problems would lead to the English Church’s break with Rome. 1520- Somewhere off the coast of what will one day be Argentina, Magellan's captains, convinced this crazy Portuguese didn’t know where he was going, try to mutiny and go home to Spain.

1800- Beethoven's First Symphony premiered. Vienna's leading music critic called it - 'a vulgar, impertinent explosion, more expected from a military band than an orchestra!’

1801- BATTLE OF COPENHAGEN- The British Navy had a one day war with Denmark. The fleet was sent by London to intimidate the Danes into leaving Napoleon's anti-British blockade, but the Danes were more worried about a Russian-Swedish alliance forcing them to remain. So Admiral Nelson sailed his fleet into Copenhagen harbor and shot it out with the Danish Navy and shore batteries. Nelson’s ships sailed up and down the drydocks blasting the parked Danish battleships in for repairs. Despite fearful manpower losses the British don't lose one ship while sinking or capturing 17 Danish ships of the line.
The one-eyed, one armed Nelson gloried in battle. When a Danish cannon ball struck his mainmast showering him and his staff with hot burning splinters, he laughed and said: "Hot work, what?" At one point the action got so desperate, that Nelson's superior Admiral Hyde Parker raised the ensign flags to break off battle and retreat. Nelson ignored them. He jokingly raised his spyglass to his blind eye and said, "What ensign flags? I don't see any ensign flags!"
Denmark made peace the next day and all the surviving combatants had a lovely dinner together at the Copenhagen Palace, as though nothing had happened.

1814- Now that Paris was occupied by enemy armies, the French Senate led by Talleyrand declared the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte officially deposed.

1836- Charles Dickens married Elizabeth Howarth.
1865- The Confederate capitol Richmond fell to U.S. armies. More destruction to the city was done by looting Confederates and released prisoners than the enemy. Several large fires created the type of total urban destruction not to be seen again until the World Wars in the 20th Century.
Mrs. Robert E. Lee (a grandniece of George Washington) was at her town home in the city while her husband was still out with his army. General Phil Sheridan stationed a guard to protect her door, but she protested bitterly that he was a black soldier and thought it was meant to offend her. Which knowing Phil Sheridan, it probably was meant to be.

1865- Abe Lincoln awakened from a strange dream. He told Mary that he was wandering in an empty White House, and heard women weeping. When he asked a guard at the East Room what had happened, the guard said the president had been assassinated.
1877- First man shot out of a cannon.

1877- The first White House egg-rolling contest.

1916- Edinburgh Scotland was bombed by German zeppelins. They tried to bomb Edinburgh castle, but missed. The one o'clock signal gun was turned on them as a defense. The only damage they managed to cause was to destroy an Innes & Grieve warehouse packed with whiskey, which burned very brightly. This made the Scots very angry.
1917- Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin arrived by train at St. Petersburg's Finland Station to cheers and salutes. He was smuggled from Geneva to Russia by the German High Command in a sealed railroad car. the German secret service also paid for the printing presses for Pravda. He begins to organize the Communist plot to seize the Russian Government.

1917- President Woodrow Wilson called a special session of Congress to ask for a declaration of war against Germany. ‘The World Must be made Safe for Democracy!” he said.

1934- Ward Kimball’s first day at Walt Disney as an inbetweener.

1943- Disney short 'Private Pluto' the first Chip & Dale cartoon.

1943- This day Harvard Dean Henry Chauncey supervised the distribution to 316,000 High School seniors of the Army-Navy College Qualifying Test, later re-titled the Scholastic Aptitude Tests or SAT. The SAT became a standardized test that manages every year to raise the stress level of seniors regardless of race, class or religion.
Go On To Next Page.

1951- Author Jack Kerouac began writing his masterpiece On the Road, on one long roll of teletype paper. He tried to write in a marathon, reinforced by cigarettes, coffee and Benzedrine. The book was one long paragraph, with no page or chapter breaks.“ The only people for me are the mad ones…”

1974-While actor David Niven was speaking at the Academy Awards telecast a nude streaker named Bob Opel ran past him on nationwide television. Mr. Niven, completely unflustered, dryly commented: "The only laugh that man will ever get is by stripping off his clothes and showing off his shortcomings. "

1974- Later at that same Oscar telecast, Francis Ford Coppola presented the last award of the evening, the Best Picture to Cabaret. But he held up the show to launch into a speech that a Revolution was coming in Digital Technology “that will make the Industrial Revolution seem like a small town try-out!”
The audience was confused and annoyed at being delayed any longer to get to their parties. No one knew what he was talking about.
1978-The TV show "Dallas" debuts. 1982- THE FALKLANDS WAR-Britain declared war on Argentina over their military takeover of the Falkland Islands.
1981- John Welsh made CEO of General Electric. After automating factories and firing one third of his employees, he earned the name "Neutron Jack" after the bomb that kills people but leaves buildings intact.

1993- Bullocks Wilshire department store with the famous Tea Room closed.

1996- Lech Walesa, who led the first great people’s movement to overthrow a Communist dictatorship and was president of Poland for two terms and a Nobel Prize winner, got his old job back repairing electric batteries at the Gydansk shipyard. The shipyard was later closed. Capitalism’s a bitch, ain’t it?

2004- Walt Disney Studio released Home on the Range.

2005-Polish Pope John Paul II died after reigning for 26 years.

Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a nosegay?

Answer: In the XVIII and XIX Century, it was the way for a genteel person to shield their nose from the noxious smells of the street.
By Victorian times it became a tiny fragrant bouquet worn on the lapel just under your nose. Some even had their own pewter stands to perch on your table while at home.


March 31, 2020
March 31st, 2020

Question: During the Korean War, who were chicoms?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Who sat on the Peacock Throne?

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History for 3/31/2020
Birthdays: Rene' Descartes, Franz Josef Haydn, Serge Diaghilev, Harald von Braunhut 1926- the inventor of Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Specs, Richard Chamberlain, Cesar Chavez, Herb Alpert, Gordie Howe, Liz Claiborne, Gabe Kaplan, Rhea Perlman, Shirley Jones is 86, Richard Kiley, Volker Schlondorf, William Daniels, Lucille Bliss the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Christopher Walken is 77, Colin Farrell is 42, Ewan McGregor is 49, Al Gore is 72, Ed Catmull is 75.

250AD- Roman general Constantius born. He was called Constantius Chlorus or the Pale. He was the most powerful general and virtual ruler of Northwestern Europe at the end of Diocletian’s rule. His son Constantine became Emperor of Rome in 312.

307AD. Roman Emperor Constantine married his wife Fausta. Mother of his children, he later had her suffocated in her bath for sleeping around with her slaves.

1146- St. Bernard preached the Holy Crusade at Vezalay, so King Louis VII of France and Emperor Conrad of Germany declared the SECOND CRUSADE. After the ready-made pilgrim cross emblems ran out, Saint Bernard tore his own cloak to pieces for cross making material. Folks don't remember much about the Second Crusade because it was pretty much a non-event.
Conrad took the land route through the Balkans to the Holy Land and by the time he got to Jerusalem his army was down to about 5 guys. The French king’s army arrived intact but he was more of a tourist than a conqueror, after visiting the holy places and gathering some medieval tourist trinkets ( 'My folks went on Crusade and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt!") then he went home.
They wasted most of their time in an unprovoked attack on the Emir of Damascus, who at the time was one of the Crusaders only Muslim allies. The most memorable person on the voyage was the French Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had an affair with a Saracen Prince, and legend has it inspired the troops by riding bare-breasted to Damascus. Later she would leave Louis and marry Henry Plantagenet of England and give birth to Richard Lionheart.

1776- In a letter from Abigail Adams in Quincy Mass to her husband John Adams at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, she wrote:
"I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

1796- Touissaint L’Ouverture named Lieutenant Governor of the island of Saint Dominique, now called Haiti.

1814- PARIS FALLS- Since his Retreat from Moscow, Napoleon seemed to be fighting all of Europe. Today the allied armies of Austria, Sweden, Prussia and Russia entered Paris despite a spirited defense in the suburbs of Montmartre by Marshals Moncey and Marmont. Moncey had reformed the municipal police and is considered the father of the Paris Gendarmerie. But now German army tents went up in the Bois Du Bolongne and Cossacks watered their steppe ponies in the Seine.
In the South, Wellington and his Anglo-Portuguese army moved down from the Pyrenees to take Toulouse. Napoleon was at Fountainbleau with the tatters of his little army. He tried to make the best of it. Saying that now that he was free of covering the capitol he could maneuver in the enemies rear, but everyone but him had had just about enough.

1824- The British Parliament declared that any ships they caught transporting slaves would be treated as pirates and punished accordingly. They tried to get the United States to agree to make it an international law, but the U.S. refused.

1836- Charles Dickens first work published "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club."

1840- Congress lowers the minimum workday for federal workers from 11.4 hours a day to 10 hours a day. At this time in mines and factories people worked an average 12-16 hour day. The 8 hour day wasn’t achieved until 1913, not until 1941 in Hollywood and it’s still a dream in most digital studios today.

1860- Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper refers to Harriet Lane, President James Buchanan's niece as "FIRST LADY of the Land". Buchanan was a bachelor and was probably gay, So Ms. Lane performed the duties of the White House hostess. Earlier in 1840 President Zachary Taylor eulogized Dolly Madison as First Lady, before that Martha Washington and Abigail Adams were referred to as Lady Washington and Lady Adams. But this is the first official use of the term First Lady for the President’s consort.

1889- The Eiffel Tower first opened to the public, to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Twice as tall as the Saint Peter's in Rome or the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Wizard of Iron Gustave Eiffel also designed the armature holding up the Statue of Liberty. Eiffel’s original deal with the French government called for the tower to only stay up for twenty years, then pulled down if no further use can found for it. Eiffel agonized about what to do as the deadline approached but fortunately by 1909 Wireless radio transmissions became important and the Eiffel Tower was a great broadcast antenna.

1905- The Tangiers Incident. Germany tries to provoke an incident with France by sending the Kaiser to Morocco, then a target of French colonial expansion. Kaiser Wilhelm rode around on a temperamental white Arabian stallion and spent the ceremony looking nervously at the welcoming crowd for Spanish anarchist assassins. He gave the Moroccan Sultan a gift of his own personal machine gun that the delighted boy liked to fire at his running courtiers. The whole thing looked silly but it scared the hell out of diplomats in Paris and London.

1905- THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought back his famous sleuth in a new series of adventures. Conan Doyle had created Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in 1887 but by 1893 he had tired of the characters, he wanted to write more serious fiction like his novel The White Company. So he killed him off. Holmes fell to his doom fighting Prof. Moriarity at the Reichenbeck Falls. The reaction of the public was astonished outrage. It seemed whenever Conan Doyle went out inevitably someone would stop him and say "You Blackguard! How Could You ?!" Finally Conan-Doyle bowed to public pressure and resumed the career of the inhabitants of #221B Baker Street. He would later refer to Holmes success as “ his monstrosity.”

1918- The Battle of Ykaterinadar- Anti-Communist White Russian armies invaded the Kuban region of southern Russia to fight a battle that was considered so unnecessary that one officer said it was “ A march to Hell to collect bluebirds.” Although the Kuban and Don Cossacks were anti Bolshevik, the workers and peasants of the town were pro-Red and outnumbered them heavily.
So when the White commander General Kornilov ordered an attack his aristocratic second General Markov dryly joked “Better wear your clean underwear if you have any left gentlemen, because whether or not we take Ykaterinadar, we are all going to be killed!” But fate intervened. Before the attack could commence, a lucky artillery shell dropped right on top of their commander General Kornilov and blew him to bits. Breathing a sigh of relief, his army immediately turned around and went home.

1930- Floyd Gottfredson began drawing Disney’s Mickey Mouse comic strip after Ub Iwerks quit. He continued to do the strip uninterrupted for 45 years, until his retirement in 1975.

1930 -Reacting to charges that the movies had become too naughty, Hollywood producers accept the MOTION PICTURE CODE. It was regulated by Will Hays, former Republican Party Chairman. The regulation wouldn't really start to have strength until 1935-36 when pressure groups like the Catholic League of Decency went after Mae West and the Tarzan pictures.

The Hays Code forbade open sex and obscenity:
- twin beds only in a bedroom, nightclothes buttoned to the neck.
- if a couple were seated together on a bed they must have at least one foot touching the floor,
-"kisses with a duration of no longer than 3 seconds, parting with lips closed."
- One other little known clause was the forbidding of members of different races from kissing on camera. So Anna Mae Wong, the greatest Chinese actress of her time, could not play a Chinese heroine if her co-star was a Caucasian made up to look Asian.
Lots of jokes were spawned like: "Give him the bird!" "If the Hays Commission would let me, I'd give him the bird!"

1931- ITT transmits the first message by microwave, from Dover to Calais.

1932- Ford introduces the V-8 Engine.

1933- Max Fleischer's short cartoon "Snow White" (starring Betty Boop) premiered. Cab Calloway singing the "St. James Infirmary Blues" is a highlight.

1943- Rodger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" debuts. Despite the opinion of producer Mike Todd -"No legs, No Laughs, No Chance", the musical becomes one of the great hits of American musical Theater.

1950- Thor Heyderthal's book of his exploits Kon Tiki published. This was an account of his 4,200 mile voyage which proved ancient mariners could have traveled from Peru to Polynesia on boats made from tied reeds.

1959- The Dalai Lama fled the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet and began his long exile.

1962- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Blvd. No, it didn’t display customized surfboards or the ideal tuna melt with sprouts, but an exhibit of paintings by Bonnard.

1967- In a small London nightclub, rising young rock & roller Jimmy Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time. Rock luminaries like Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and Pete Townsend sat in the audience stunned at the technical brilliance of this unknown former paratrooper who played left handed. The pieces of his guitar were purchased by Microsoft chairman Paul Allen and today are in his Seattle Rock Museum.

1968- Depressed over Vietnam War, the strong primary surge of Sen. Eugene McCarthy and the challenge of his old enemy Bobby Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would not run for re-election. Borrowing the words of General Sherman in 1884, he says: "If Nominated Ah will not Run, If elected Ah will not serve.." In retirement Johnson resumed cigarette smoking and neglected his health. He was dead in four years.

1973- Comic strip hero Smilin' Jack gets married, the strip concludes next day.

1991- Former child star Danny Bonaduce arrested for a fist fight with a transvestite prostitute.

1995- In Corpus Christy Texas legendary Tejana singer Selena Perez was shot and killed by an obsessed fan. The woman Yolanda Saldivar was president of the Selena Fan Club. “The gun just went off, I didn’t mean to shoot anybody.”

1999- The movie The Matrix opened in theaters.
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Yesterday’s Answer: Who sat on the Peacock Throne?

Answer: The Peacock throne was a very ornate Indian throne, used by the Moghul emperors until it was captured during a war with Persia (Iran). After that, it was used by Shahs. The last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Pahlavi, overthrown in 1979, was referred to as sitting on the Peacock Throne. (thanks FG)


March 30, 2020
March 30th, 2020

Question: Who sat on the Peacock Throne?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is an agnostic?
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History for 3/30/2020
Birthdays: Maimonides- Moses Ben Maimon, Anna Sewell (the author of Black Beauty), Vincent Van Gogh, Francisco Goya, John Astin is 90, Peter Marshall, Warren Beatty is 83, Eric Clapton is 75, Arthur Lee Harrington the designer of the first Jeep, Tracey Chapman, Robby Coltrane, Paul Reiser, Celine Dion, Nora Jones is 41, Disney animator Marc Davis

To the Romans this was the Festival of Salus, the God of Public Works.

1282- THE BIRTHDAY OF THE MAFIA- The Sicilian Vespers. Because of the strategic location of the island of Sicily, her people were rarely allowed their own self-rule. Sicilians were constantly being conquered by Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Crusaders. So while they were under the harsh rule of French-Norman knights, they formed secret societies.
This night at the ringing of the evening vesper bells, they all ran out and stabbed every Frenchman they saw. This was the first "hit". Later at the turn of the century Mafia families like "Il Mano Negro (The Black Hand) and La Cosa Nostra (our way) brought their clan structure to the U.S., supplanting the earlier Anglo-Jewish-Irish gangsters.
No one is really sure just what the word Mafia means; "Morte Alla Francia Irredenta Arreghana", the Arab response “Ma Fi”- Don’t Ask Me…or the woman who’s daughter was raped by a French knight and called out MaFilia!- My Daughter!

1492-THE JEWS EXPELLED FROM SPAIN- Shortly after conquering the last Moorish strongholds in Spain their Most Catholic Majesties Ferdinand & Isabella issue an edict giving all Jews three months to convert or leave the country. Jewish people had held exalted positions in the Moorish Emirates of Granada and Cadiz like the philosopher Maimonides, some even became Vezirs or prime ministers. Ferdinand & Isabella’s own personal physician Abraham Senior was Jewish.
Some Jews tried to flee to Portugal, but most went to Moslem countries like Turkey and Morocco where the persecution of the children of Issac was less fierce among the children of Ishmael. Many Jews who live in Bosnia and Kossovo speak Old Spanish- Ladino instead of Yiddish or Hebrew. The Inquisition made any Jewish practice a crime, even people who changed their sheets on a Friday or turned to the wall to die were accused of Jewish Heresy.

1534- The English Parliament passed the Act of Succession declaring King Henry VIII’s divorce from Catharine of Aragon and marriage to Anne Boleyn legal and any criticism of it to be treason. All Englishmen and women were required to take an oath of loyalty to ensure their agreement. This oath was what got Sir Thomas Moore and Bishop Fisher beheaded.

1788- The great French philosopher Francois Voltaire had been exiled to estate at Fernay away from court for decades because of his criticism of the Catholic Church. Now at age 84 and the most famous writer in the world, he returned to Paris to see his last play Irene debut, but in reality to die. This night his passage to the theater became a triumphant procession as his coach was mobbed by cheering people shouting Vive Voltaire! After the play he was too frail to take a bow so a bust of him was placed center stage and adorned with garlands and flowers.

1789- Father of the U.S. Navy John Paul Jones is accused in Russia of having sex with a ten year old minor. He later proved the girl was being pimped around by her mother, but Catherine the Great told him to leave her country anyway. After the American Revolution, Jones had turned mercenary and organized Catherine's Black Sea fleet. He retired to Paris, ill and exhausted. Thomas Carlyle said he looked “like an empty wine skin.” Abigail Adams said “ He was so small I could have wrapped him in wool and kept him in my pocket…” He died in 1817.

1809- First Lady Dolly Madison began the tradition of regular White House receptions in the Drawing Room. Her husband James Madison, despite being the writer of the Bill of Rights, was a timid person and was not good in crowds and a poor speaker. But the vivacious Dolly dominated these soirees and accomplished more politicking than many of her male counterparts.

1822- FLORIDA ACQUIRED BY THE U.S. During the War of 1812 Spain allowed Britain to use Florida as a base for attacking the U.S. They also provided safe haven for the hostile Seminole Indians. This annoyed American politicians who wanted to have Florida anyway. General Andy Jackson concluded the First Seminole War by invading Florida and throwing the Spanish Governor out of Pensacola in 1818. What Jackson had started roughly, John Quincy Adams concluded diplomatically, with the Adams-Otis Treaty, buying Florida from Spain for $5 million.

1842- Dr. Crawford Long of Georgia uses Ether as an anesthetic in an operation. Before that surgeons had to have good biceps to hold down their patients while sawing on them. Surgery was actually less painful in ancient times because the patient was invited to chew an opium bulb “The Food of the Gods” before operating. In 1846 another doctor named W.T.G. Morton did a public demonstration of the Ether anesthesia process and tried to hog the glory of the invention, refusing to share any prizes with Dr. Long.

1858- The pencil eraser patented. The Eraser, or Rubber outside the U.S., was developed in 1770, but Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia first put it on the top of a pencil.

1856- Tsar Alexander II emancipates the Russian serfs. He's later blown up by terrorists.

1867- Seward’s Folly. Secretary of State William Seward negotiated the deal with Czarist Russia to buy Alaska for $7.2 million or two cents an acre.

1918- Thomas Edison sold his studio and got out of the movie business. He fired W.K.L. Dickson, inventor of the movie studio set, Edwin Porter the inventor of the narrative film, and J. Stuart Blackton, the inventor of cartoon animation, for annoying him too much about filmmaking. Edison was more interested then in finding a way to extract iron ore from rocks using magnets.

1968- In New York City’s Bowery district two children find the dead body of a homeless drug addict. The John Doe is later identified as Bobby Driscoll, 31, Walt Disney child star and the voice of Peter Pan.

1981- PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN SHOT. After only few weeks in office President Ronald Reagan is shot by lunatic John Hinckley. Hinckley was trying to impress actress Jodie Foster. Reagan recovers. Jodie Foster was unimpressed. John Hinckley was a Republican.
In a bit of bizarre theater during the confusion Presidential Security advisor General Alexander Haig went to the media and announced he was in control: “ I am minding the store.” This is in direct conflict with the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which states plainly the line of succession goes from the President to the Vice President the Speaker of the House to the Senate Leader Pro-Tem. Fortunately, no one took Haig seriously.
Presidential press secretary James Brady was shot in the head, which left him permanently brain damaged. He and his family later sponsored the Brady Handgun Bill, which was passed by President Clinton, but not renewed by Pres. George W. Bush.
Ironically, one of the reason Ronald Reagan’s life was saved was because Secret Service agents rushed him to the nearest emergency room, which was a Washington DC ghetto hospital with much too much experience with gunshot wounds. Reagan quipped to the doctors working on his collapsed lung- ”Hey, you guys aren’t Democrats, are you?”

2000- Dreamworks animated feature the Road to El Dorado premiered.

2007- Disney’s Meet the Robinsons.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is an agnostic?

Answer: An agnostic is a person who practices no formal religion, yet will not say there is no god at all (atheist).


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