Dec 10, 2013 tues.
December 10th, 2013
Question: What does it mean when you’re asked to “ drink the Kool-Aid”..?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who was the only sitting U.S. President to get married in the White House?
History for 12/10/2013
Birthdays: English King Edward VII “Bertie”, Emile Dickinson, E. H. Shepard the illustrator of Winnie the Pooh. Chet Huntley, Morton Gould, Victor McLaughlin, Dan Blocker, Tommy Kirk, Fionnula Flanagan, Kenneth Branaugh is 54, Dorothy Lamour, Susan Dey is 61, Michael Clarke Duncan, Rod Blagojevich
Happy World Freedom Day.
969AD- Byzantine Emperor Nicephorous II Phocas had no better administrator than John Tzimisces. But John was also the lover of Nicephorous’s wife Empress Theophano. This day she had Nicephorous assassinated. Theophano had earlier poisoned her own father-in-law Emperor Romanus II to help Nicephorous seize the throne. But now she was bored with him. To please the angry Greek Patriarch, John Tzmisces exiled Theophano to a convent and reigned as a pretty good emperor. But he too was poisoned, by Basil II the Bulgar Slayer. Believe it or not, this was a happy period in Byzantine history.
1041- Byzantine Michael IV the Paphlagonian died. Before his death he had his sickbed moved to the Monastery of Saint Demetrios and changed his golden robes for monks rags.
1198-The death of the Moorish philosopher Averroes.
1508- Pope Julius II formed a grand alliance to crush the Republic of Venice. Called the League of Cambrai, the Vatican, France, The German Emperor, Spain and Naples all pledged to destroy the Most Surene Republic. The Venetians fought back tenaciously, noblewomen patriotically pawning their jewels to pay the troops. After being attacked on all sides for 4 years the League of Cambrai finally broke up when Pope Julius decided he’s rather have fellow Italians for neighbors rather than foreigners after all. The Republic of Venice survived, but her status as a world power was broken. She lapsed into an elegant, pleasure-loving decline until absorbed into Italy by Napoleon in 1796.
1513- Former Florentine politician Niccolo Machiavelli was living in a small town after being thrown out of power and even twisted on a torture rack. Still missing his life in power, he declared today to a friend he was writing a book on political theory to present to the Medici duke of Florence. He hoped by doing so he’d be called back to office. It didn’t get him a job, but his book THE PRINCE became one of the great works of political philosophy, the handbook of unscrupulous politicians everywhere.
1518- Ulrich Zwingli was chosen to be the Gross Munster or chief vicar of the Swiss city of Zurich. Zwingli became a top leader of the Protestant Reformation like Martin Luther and John Calvin.
1520- Protestant reformer Martin Luther shows the Pope what he thinks of his Bull of Excommunication on him by burning it in public. Pope Leo’s command Exsurge Domine went up in smoke along with the Canons of Roman Church Law to the cheers of students.
1577- The Union of Brussels- The 17 provinces of the Netherlands and Belgium formalize their union. This is why Holland is also known as the United Provinces.
1607- Captain John Smith left the Jamestown camp with two men to find food. They were captured by the Indians who killed the other men and dragged Smith before chief Powhatan. He ordered Smith’s head to be placed on a flat stone and bashed in with a war club. But Powhatan’s favorite daughter Pocahontas threw herself over Smith and protected him. Smith could speak no Algonquin and the Indians no English and neither could sing any Broadway tunes. Was this an execution prevented or a ritual of admission into the tribe? Powhatan was known to extend his rule through dynastic alliances with other tribal leaders, and he was well aware of the white strangers, wiping out a Spanish attempt to land on his beach in 1600. Maybe this was his way of wanting to bring the white mans powers to his side. No one knows for sure. Smith didn’t write of this incident until back in England 14 years later.
1641- King Charles I issued a Royal Declaration ordering all Britons to conform to the practices of the Church of England, or else!. This Declaration was King Charles’ defiant answer to a list of demands called the Great Remonstrance given him ten days earlier that accused him of debasing the Protestant faith. This was a poke at all the Puritans, Pilgrims, Levellers, Anabaptists and Roundheads who were clamoring that the Anglican Church had gotten too Catholic-looking in it's rituals.
Indeed at the insistence of monarchs since Elizabeth the reformed English service had re-introduced crucifixes, communion plate and sulplice aprons for the priests. The declaration was one more provocation building the conflict that would soon break out as the English Civil War. When violence broke out the Puritans dragged out the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Laud and chopped his head off. Laud was seen as the instigator of this declaration and the Kings policy on religion and was branded as Laudism.
1672- New York colonies Royal Governor Sir Thomas Lovelace announced the establishment of a regular monthly mail delivery between New York and Boston.
1800- Congress debated a bill to build a mausoleum for George Washington to be placed in the center of the Congress. But Martha Washington cut off such efforts by citing George’s specific instructions that his remains not be turned into some kind of regal national shrine. He insisted on and still sleeps in his simple family tomb at Mt. Vernon.
1710-Battle of Villaviciosa- Phillip V of Spain defeats an Anglo-Portuguese invasion (no, not the Costa del Sol vacationers) and assures the throne for the Bourbon family.
his descendant is the present king Juan Carlos.
1817- Mississippi statehood.
1839- THE GREAT GAME- A large British army left the Kashmir to invade Afghanistan. The 15,000 troops carried with them 38,000 camp followers including camels laden with raspberry jam, cigars, cricket bats and fox hunting dogs. One British officer alone brought sixty servants. The British claimed they were invading to contain Russian expansionism. The duel between Britain and Russia for the Indian Northwest that lasted until 1947 was nicknamed The Great Game. By 1841 this army would all die in the terrible Retreat from Kabul and its sole survivor would be one doctor who got lost from the main column. The British officer who coined the term the Great Game was beheaded by the Emir of Bokhara and thrown into a pit of reptiles.
1864- Sherman’s army reaches the sea at the Georgia coast near Savannah.
1877- Siege of Plevna ends. Russia and Austria force Turkey to grant independence to Serbia and Bosnia. Austria’s later efforts to swallow up Bosnia became the issue that sparked the Great War.
1869- Wyoming Territory grants women the vote, the nation follows 58 years later (California in 1911).
1898- Spain and the U.S. make peace ending the Spanish American War. Secretary of State John Hay who was once Abe Lincoln’s secretary called it “A Splendid Little War.” Critics Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce called it the Yanko-Spanko War. The United States becomes a global power with colonies in Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, and the Philippines.
The Philippinos, who were fighting for independence under their leaders like Aquinaldo, suddenly discover they were now American property. The U.S. declared they fought for their freedom from Spain yet never officially recognized their national independence movements. The Philippines gained its full independence in 1946 and the last American base Subic Bay wasn’t removed until the 1990s.
1899- Battle of Magersfontein (more Boer-Woer). Our post-Apartheid opinion of white South Africans was not very high, but in 1899 most of Europe and America sympathized with their fight against the awesome might of the British Empire. The Queen of Holland begged the German Kaiser to help them (the Boers were ethnically Dutch-German). Crowds in Paris and Brussels would jeer the visiting Prince of Wales with the cry "Vive les Boers!"
When a delegation of German-Americans ask Vice President Teddy Roosevelt to intervene, Roosevelt replied:" It is right and natural for stronger nations to dominate weaker ones."
1901- The First Nobel Prize is given. Alfred Nobel made millions by inventing dynamite and nitro-glycerine. But as much as his discoveries were used for constructive purposes they also made it possible for armies to blow each other up much more efficiently. He felt guilty and after an accident with the stuff killed his own brother. He resolved to create something positive from his fortune. Hence the Nobel Prize. Nobel died on Dec 10th 1896 and the awards are given each year on the anniversary. President Teddy Roosevelt won the first Peace Prize in 1910 for mediating an end to the Russo-Japanese War. President Obama is the third U.S. President to receive the Peace Prize.
1905- O. Henry’s short story “ A gift from the Magi” first published.
1915- President Woodrow Wilson married Edith Bolling Galt in a ceremony in the White House.
1938- To make the film "Gone With the Wind" Producer David Selznick and director Victor Fleming shot the massive "Burning of Atlanta" in Culver City, California. The sequence was storyboarded and designed by William Cameron-Menzies, who designed the sets for Intolerance for D.W. Griffith. Selznick used the opportunity to clean the studios backlot storage, destroying sets from King Kong, Little Lord Fauntelroy and Last of the Mohicans in the inferno. They shot the scenes with three Rhett Butler stand ins.
1941-The Hollywood Victory Committee formed. Top Hollywood agents like Abe Lastfogel, Lou Wasserman and Myron Selznick (David's brother) start signing up movie stars for bond drives and touring shows for the troops.
The committee later created the Hollywood Canteen, a nightclub for servicemen on Ivar near Sunset. A soldier or sailor could come in for a free meal served by Tyrone Power or Red Skelton and have a dance with celebrities like Rita Hayworth or Dina Shore.
One animation painter who worked in the kitchen told me the only celebrity who would stay until closing, even mopping and washing coffee cups was Marlene Deitrich.
1941-Japanese planes sink the battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse in just 90 minutes. The prized British Battleships had participated in the sinking of the German dreadnought Bismarck in the Atlantic a year earlier but had been transferred to the Pacific to boost the defenses of Singapore. The next day a lone Japanese plane dropped a wreath at the site of the sinking in tribute to the 884 British sailors who died there.
1941- A Japanese Army of 4,000 under General Homma landed on the Philippine Islands at Luzon and Vigan while a third force overran the U.S. outpost on Guam.
1941- The New York Metropolitan Opera announced that in light of the Pearl Harbor attack they were suspending any further performances of Madame Butterfly for the duration. Other opera companies also stopped doing Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado.
1942-OPERATION WINTERSTORM- General Von Manstein was ordered by Hitler to swing his panzers north and attempt to break through the Russian forces encircling the trapped German 6th Army at Stalingrad. But Von Manstein’s rescue mission was halted by Russian resistance and wintery conditions just 30 miles short of their goal. The 6th Army surrendered in February.
1948- The United Nations adopts Article XIX, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The committee, spending months drafting the resolution, was chaired by the Eleanor Roosevelt. By this act she debuted not just as a former first lady and widow of FDR but as a stateswoman and diplomat in her own right.
1949- After being defeated by Mao zse Tungs Communists, Kuomintang Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek flew to Taiwan. Two and a half million Han Chinese evacuated to the island of Formosa-Taiwan, which continues today to call itself the ROC- Republic of China. This ended the Chinese Civil War. Since 1924 China suffered 2 million deaths in it’s first civil war, 20 million in the Japanese invasion and World War II, and 5 million more killed in the final civil war.
1966- The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” hit #1 in pop charts.
1967- R&B star Otis Redding and four of his band the Bar Kays were killed in a small plane crash near Madison Wisconsin. He was 26. Redding had recorded his hit “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” just three days earlier.
1974- Powerful Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Congressman Wilbur Mills resigned in disgrace after being busted by the DC police for getting drunk with a stripper named Fanne Fox and taking her for a 2:00 AM skinny dip in the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial. Fanne was later christened the “Tidal Basin Bombshell.”
1994- The Unabomber sent an explosive device that killed Thomas J. Mosser, an advertising executive at Young & Rubicam who handled the public relations spin for Exxon after the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster.
1995- Worst recorded snowstorm in Buffalo, NY history. 37.9 inches in just 24 hours!
Yesterday’s Question: Who was the only sitting U.S. President to get married in the White House?
Answer: Woodrow Wilson. See above, 1915.
Dec 9, 2013 mon
December 9th, 2013
Question: Who was the only sitting U.S. President to get married in the White House?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Where are the Pillars of Hercules?
History for 12/9/2013
Birthdays: Sappho, John Milton, Jean De Brunhoff, Emile Waldteufel the composer of the Skaters Waltz, Admiral Grace Hopper 1906 who wrote the earliest computer language, Elzie Segar the creator of Popeye, Hermoinie Gingold, Dalton Trumbo, John Cassavettes, Broderick Crawford, Dick Butkus, Kirk Douglas-born Issur Danielevitch is 98, Red Foxx, Cesar Franck, John Malkovich is 60, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Buck Henry is 83, Felicity Huffman, Judy Dench is 79
536- The legions of Byzantine General Belisarius captured Rome from the Ostrogoths.
This was part of Emperor Justinians’ unsuccessful plan to win back the western half of the old Roman Empire.
1658- Dutch explorers land at the Indian harbor of Quilon, beginning the European
interference in India that would last until 1947.
1783- First executions began at Englands Newgate Prison, replacing the traditional
public hanging, drawing, quartering, branding, beheading place of Tyburn Hill- approximately where London’s Marble Arch is today.
1803- Congress passed the Twelfth Amendment calling for the President and Vice President to be of the same party and defining the order of succession: President-Vice President, Secretary of State. Speaker of the House, Senate Leader Pro-Tem. Before this the system was the Vice President was the loser of the presidential election, thus the people’s second choice. But trying to govern with your political enemy standing next to you proved clumsy. In 1945 this system was amended again by the 22nd Amendment, to exclude the Secretary of State, who is not an elected official.
1824- Battle of Ayacucho- Simon Bolivar defeated the last Spanish Army in the Americas.
1825- THE LATIN AMERICAN BUBBLE- The London Stock Exchange crashed over rampant stock speculation in the potential wealth in the new emerging Latin American republics. Financier Nathan Rothschild became a national figure when he lent the Bank of England millions to stay solvent. Thanks to new communications and international investment for the first time the London panic reached across national borders and caused the U.S. Stock Exchange and the Paris Bourse to also crash. This kind of speculation
in futures caused the South Sea Bubble in France and the Tulip craze a century earlier.
We’ve seen it in our own times with global credit crash of 2008.
1835- First battle of San Antonio de Bexar. Angry Texas citizens forced Mexican
General Cos to abandon a post in an old mission called the Alamo and give up a store
of valuable cannon. This was the inciting incident that provoked President Santa
Anna into attacking the following Spring.
1840- Dr. David Livingstone set sail for Africa to do missionary work. He met Stanley
1854- Albert Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" published.
1861- The first ever government oversight committee formed. The Joint Congressional
Committee on the Conduct of the War. It was created because Congressmen were afraid
President Lincoln was a naïve hillbilly lawyer who was losing the Civil War. All they succeeded in doing was give Lincoln more stress and at one point they even accused First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln of being a Confederate spy.
1889- The Chicago Auditorium dedicated. The landmark building’s architect Louis
Sullivan had hired a new assistant to help with the drawings-Frank Lloyd Wright.
1899- BLACK WEEK-Battle of Stormberg Junction. A series of small battles in which
British forces were defeated by Boer guerrillas in South Africa.
The commanding British general Sir Redvers Buller, was considered so slow moving
that one wag suggested they periodically hold a mirror up to his nostrils to check
for signs of life. He was later replaced with the more energetic Lord Roberts of
1905- Richard Strauss’s opera Salome premiered in Dresden. The lead role demands
a soprano with big Wagnerian lungs but also a flat stomach to do the strip tease
the Dance of the Seven Veils. When the opera debuted in New York old millionaires
like J.P. Morgan were shocked at its’ blatant sexuality. They threatened to cut
off funding until Sal and her skimpy veils was banished from the schedule.
1907- the first Christmas Seals go on sale to fight tuberculosis.
1909- Mary Harris a.k.a. Mother Jones speaks at the Thalia Theater in support of
the "The Strike of the 20,000" Immigrant seamstresses in New York's garment
district. "Every strike I have ever been in has been won by women !"
1917- During World War I, Field Marshal Allenby and the British army entered Jerusalem while Lawrence of Arabia and the Arab forces headed for Damascus. To promote harmony between Arabs and Jews Allenby decided to build a huge YMCA in the Old City.
1936- The first cookery show appeared on British television.
1937- In the path of advancing Japanese armies, Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai
Shek and his government abandoned the capitol Nanking and moved to Chunking.
1946- Damon Runyon died, the writer whose characters the musical "Guys and
Dolls' are based. His philosophy: "All life is six to five against."
1948-Actor Ossie Davis married actress Ruby Dee.
1960- Coronation Street premiered on British ITV.
1964-John Coltrane recorded his landmark jazz album “The Love Supreme”. Late on
foggy nights Trane liked to take his saxophone out onto the middle of San Francisco’s
Golden Gate Bridge and practice by himself.
1965- Bill Melendez's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" the first half hour
animated t.v. special featuring the music of Vince Guaraldi. Producer Lee Mendelson
had heard Guaraldi's jazz combo perform in San Francisco. He never scored a
film before:" How many yards of music do you want?" A Charlie Brown Christmas has run every year for 48 years.
1967- At a Doors concert lead singer Jim Morrison was sprayed with mace and arrested
by Miami police for “lewd behavior” on stage, but probably more for referring to
the cops as pigs.
1967- Nicholas Ceaucescu became dictator of Communist Romania.
1968- Douglas Engelbardt of Stanford held the Mother of All Demos at Brooks Hall in SF.
1992-Britains Prime Minister John Major announced the separation of Prince Charles
and Diana of Wales.
1994- Disney Animators in California move into their new Animation building designed
by Robert Stern.
1994- The Surgeon-General of the United States, Dr Jocelyn Elders, was forced to
step down after her statements that sex education in primary schools include masturbation
outraged many conservatives.
2004-Mia Hamm and the stars of the Women’s National Soccer Team played their last
game, defeating Mexico 5-0. Mia Hamm became a role model of women’s sports in the
US. Like hundreds of boys who want to be like Michael Jordan or Joe DiMaggio, now
scores of little girls want to be like Mia.
2008- Rod Blagojevich the Governor of Illinois was arrested for corruption, and having a bad hair cut.
2340- Mr Worf, the Klingon officer of Star Trek Next Generation was born.
Yesterday’s Question: Where are the Pillars of Hercules?
Answer. They are the huge rocks like Gibraltar that mark the entrance from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. Ancients believed Hercules set the stones up as a tribute during one of his adventures.
Dec 8, 2013 sun
December 8th, 2013
Question: Where are the Pillars of Hercules?
Yesterdays Question answered below: Where was John Lennon when he was shot?
History for 12/8/2013
Birthdays: Horace (Quintus Horatius), 65BC, Mary Queen of Scots, Gustavus Adolphus, Queen Christina, Jean Sibelius, George Melies the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, James Thurber, Richard Fleischer, Eli Whitney, Jim Morrison, Diego Rivera, Emile Reynaud, Sammy Davis Jr, Maximillian Schell, Flip Wilson, Sam Kinison, Ann Coulter, Teri Hatcher is 49, Sinead O’Connor is 47, Kim Basinger is 60
Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
1660- Mrs. Margaret Hughes played Desdemona in Shakespeares’ Othello in London. She was the first woman to appear on an English stage. All during the Elizabethan Era, boys substituted for women on stage.
1776- George Washington’s exhausted minutemen were rowed across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, chased by a large British force. This marked the end of the pursuit across New York and New Jersey that had been going on since August.
1793- MADAME DUBARRY GUILLOTINED. During the French Revolution this day the old kings mistress Madame DuBarry was guillotined. She was originally of humble birth but lived in grand style and was very arrogant. She once dumped the contents of a chamber pot out of a palace window onto Princess Marie Antoinette for a laugh. "Garde du Lou!" Now on her way to the blade she screamed and wept aloud:" Save me good people, for I am one of you!" It didn't help, the executioner hurried his task to shut her up to the laughter of the crowd. Her last words were "Just one more minute, executioner!" Her husband the Comte’ du Barry had not seen her since the day they were married in 1769 for the convenience of the King. Now upon learning the news of his wife’s death he immediately married his mistress.
1813- Ludwig Van Meets Pop Culture. The most well received of all the musical pieces of Ludwig Van Beethoven was not his 5th Symphony or Moonlight Sonata, but a silly piece called the Overture to Wellington’s Victory which premiered this day in Vienna. A calliope designer named Wilhelm Deitzel commissioned the piece to show off his music machines that could recreate orchestra sounds. The music celebrated Wellington’s great victory in Spain over Napoleon’s forces. It had cannon shots and musket volleys in the music score. The overture made Beethoven much more money than his Seventh Symphony which debuted at the same concert.
1954- Pope Pius IX promulgated the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. That the Virgin Mary stayed forever free of sin even though Jesus had brothers and sisters.
1864- During General Shermans’ epic March through Georgia his bluecoats first encounter a new invention ominously familiar to our present day. Explosive charges buried under the ground that explode when a friction trigger was stepped on. They called them Land Torpedoes but today we know them as LAND MINES. When a Yankee lieutenant lost his foot the hot tempered Sherman ordered all the Confederate prisoners driven to the front line and forced to dig up the weapons. When they protested this was inhumane, Sherman roared back:" Your people planted these cowardly things so if some of you get blown up removing them it's no concern of mine!"
1868- According to Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, tonight is the night Captain Nemo’s fantastic submarine the Nautilus attacked and sank a US warship and captured Professor Aronax and harpooner Ned Land.
1881- RINGSTRASSE THEATER FIRE IN VIENNA Two hundred people were killed when fire broke out during a performance of Offenbach's "Duchess du Gerolstein".
1886-The American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed. The first president was former cigar maker Samuel Gompers.
1913- ground broken for the construction of San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts.
1891- George O'Brien invented the electric tattooing needle, making modern tattooing possible.
1940- Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo remarry. The two great Mexican artists had been married for ten years but divorced for a year because of their mutual infidelities. Diego also wanted to protect Frida from fallout from his political activities. But after a year apart that decided they couldn’t live without one another and remarried.
1941-DAY OF INFAMY Aftermath- On the day after the Pearl Harbor sneak attack, President Roosevelt did his famous "Day of Infamy" speech. Congress voted almost unanimously to declare war on Japan. Interestingly enough the U.S. did not declare war on Germany along with Japan. Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. four days later. The only vote against the war was Montana Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, who had voted against the First World War also in 1917.
With the American Fleet sunk or scattered, the US Pacific Coast braced for Japanese attack. In California, Fourth interceptor Command reported two formations of enemy planes flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles. They turned out to be seagulls. Another panicky report of an approaching Japanese task force turned out to be Monterey tuna boats. Blackouts began, as did mass arrests of Japanese-Americans. In Hollywood the Paramount Studio baseball team was allowed to finish it's game with the L.A. Nippons 6-3, after which the FBI arrested the entire team. The civil defense command placed anti-aircraft guns on the Walt Disney Studio lot because of it's proximity to the aircraft plant of Lockheed. Walt Disney himself was turned away at the gate for not wearing his identity badge.
1941- Following up on their successful attacks on Pearl Harbor and Hong Kong, Japanese task forces attacked the Philippines, invaded Malaya and another force captured Bangkok.
1941- The gunboat USS GUAM was serving in Shanghai as a station ship for the US Consulate. Its skipper was Lt Commander Columbus Darwin Smith, an old China hand. Smith was onshore, at home, when he received a phone call in the wee hours announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. he put on his uniform, and went to the waterfront. Japanese soldiers had quickly occupied the International Settlement--but would not arrest
Smith, who argued with them to let him aboard his ship .
The Japanese had already taken the Guam by surprise and without a fight. Smith later
made an daring escape over 200 miles to Kumming in "free China" The USS Guam was the only US warship to be captured intact by the enemy in WWII.
1941- Russian immigrant inventor Igor Sikorsky invented the first practical Helicopter.
They were developed too late for World War Two but the "egg-beaters" or "flying windmills" played an important role in the Korean conflict.
1949-After being defeated by Mao Tse Tung’s Red Chinese Army, Generalissimo Chiang Kai Chek’s Kuomintang government voted to relocate to the island of Taiwan.
1953- Thurgood Marshal’s final arguments to the Supreme Court in the desegregation case Brown Vs. Board of Ed.
1953- The Atoms for Peace Speech. President Eisenhower proposed to the United Nations that nuclear power be developed for peaceful purposes, and not just for bombs. The world builds civilian nuclear power plants, then makes bombs with them.
1958- THIS IS JAZZ- Landmark live CBS television broadcast of jazz greats Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Lester Young , Coleman Hawkins and Thelonius Monk .
1961-"Surfin’" the first record by the Beach Boys started to climb the local LA pop charts.
1963- Frank Sinatra Jr was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe. After four tense days he was released unharmed, partly because he was part of the plot. Dad was not pleased.
1980- The Bravo Channel began. Remember when it played only classical concerts and ballets ?
1980- JOHN LENNON MURDERED. As he went in to his apartment building the Dakota in New York City, Beatle-Composer John Lennon was stopped by a fan named Mark David Chapman for an autograph. A few hours later Lennon emerged from the building on another errand. Chapman was still there, except this time he pulled out a gun and shot Lennon in the back. John Lennon was 40. The area of Central Park across from the apartment was dedicated to him as Strawberry Fields.
Yesterday’s Question: Where was John Lennon when he was shot?
Answer: He was going into the front entrance of his his apartment in the Dakota, an apartment building in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Dec 7, 2013 sat
December 7th, 2013
Question: Where was John Lennon when he was shot?
Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Roman Legions marched under banners that had the device SPQR on them. Today in Rome, mailboxes and manhole covers read SPQR. What does SPQR mean?
History for 12/7/2013
Birthdays: Willa Cather, Larry Bird, Piero Mascagni, Madame Tussaud-1761, Johnny Bench, Louis Prima, Ted Knight –real name Wladsyslaw Konopka, Victor Kiam II, Noam Chomsky, Ellen Burstyn-real name Edna Mae Gilhooley, Harry Chapin, Clarence Nash the voice of Donald Duck, Tom Waits, Jeffrey Wright is 48, Eli Wallach is 98
43 B.C.- Marcus Tullius Cicero executed. The great orator/writer was a declared enemy of Julius Caesar, yet Caesar preferred to ignore him. After Caesar’ murder at the Ides of March, Marc Anthony and Augustus were not so forgiving, They drew up lists of all those to be aced and the old philosopher's name was at the top. Cicero tried to flee by sea, but got so seasick he went back to his estate. The death squad caught him trying to flee again. When he saw it was no use, he calmly bared his neck to the soldiers. Gaius Pompilius Linus, the centurion who slew him, had once been successfully defended by Cicero in the law courts. Linus gave Cicero’s head and hands to Mark Anthony, who happily nailed them to the speakers rostrum in the Roman Forum.
Decades later, When Augustus was an old man, he caught his grandson reading Cicero’s writings. Augustus paused to read some verses. He sighed:
” A learned man, and a patriot.”
185AD- Emperor LoYang wrote of seeing a bright star that was probably a supernova.
983- German Emperor Otto the Red died at age 28.
1671- In London two scientists- Nehemiah Grew and Italian Marcello Malpighi presented their findings on plants. This established the Science of Botany. That plants derive nutrients from the soil and grow from increased exposure to light and water, and not because they are urged to grow by a “Vegetable Soul”. That they cannot grow in a vacuum. That stamens, pistils and pollen are sexual organs and the veins of a leaf function much like the veins and arteries of humans. Malpighi later went on to human anatomy and discovered the capillaries and the human taste buds.
1775- A lieutenants’ commission in the new U.S. Navy was granted to a young Scotsman named Paul Jones, who sometimes called himself John Paul and we know as John Paul Jones. When Abigail Adams met him she was surprised at his stature :” He is so small, I could wrap him in wool and carry him in my pocket.” She said. He had been a prospering merchant captain until he stabbed a rowdy shipmate in Tobago and fled his ship. He wandered about looking for employment for 20 months until the American Revolution gave him a new identity.
1787- Delaware became the first state to ratify the constitution, which is why it calls itself “the First State of the Union” on its license plates.
1815- MARSHAL NEY SHOT. Michel Ney was Napoleon's right hand. Called Le Rougeaud -the Redhead, because his hair color was inherited from his father, a Scot’s follower of Bonny Prince Charlie. After Waterloo, the restored French royalty needed a scapegoat to blame for the embarrassing ease with which the Corsican upstart took back France. So Michel Ney was court-martialed by his peers and put up against the wall in the Luxembourg Gardens.
The fiery warrior offered no regret, and even gave the "Ready, Aim, -Fire!" order himself. Recently some theorists claim the execution was a sham arranged by Wellington and that Ney lived on. Their reasons were first the public was kept away from the execution site and the soldiers of the firing squad were handpicked from Ney’s old veterans. When shot he fell forward instead of backwards after being hit by 12 -68 caliber musket balls, and no coup d' grace pistol shot to the brain was administered, instead the body was immediately bundled up into a carriage and driven away. That night the Royalist government arrested the officer in charge of the firing squad.
Twenty-two years later, in 1837, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, a French immigrant schoolteacher named Michael Stewart died of old age in South Carolina. On his deathbed he told his confessor " I swear before God that I am Michel Ney, Marshal of France." When embalming the body his family saw he was covered with scars from old musket and saber wounds.
1842- The New York Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S., gave its first concert, performing works of Beethoven under the baton of Ureli Corelli Hill.
1862- Battle of Prairie Grove- Brutal Civil War battle in Missouri where the chief recollection was how wounded soldiers stuck between the armies crawled into haystacks for shelter. Cannon shots ignited the hay and the 200 men roasted to death, Then the smell of barbecued flesh brought out local hogs who feasted on the human legs and entrails while the combatants watched in horror. So next time you have pork chops don’t feel guilty. Remember those little piggies would do the same to you if they had the chance.
It was one of the few battles that future outlaws Frank James and Cole Younger were present at. Frank later wrote:” All those men standing around for hours trying to kill each other. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time…”
1869- The Davis County Savings Bank in Gallatin Missouri was robbed by some Clay County boys who began to get a reputation – Jesse James and Frank James. The bank manager Capt. Sheely was shot dead by another gang member Ed Anderson. Anderson had mistook him for a union officer who had killed his brother Bloody Bill Anderson during the Civil War. While attempting to escape Andersons horse bucked and dragged him 40 feet down the street by his stirrup, until he got loose.
1872- The Los Angeles Library Association formed.
1916- David Lloyd George became Prime Minister of Great Britain. The little Welshman with Ferret-black eyes was considered one of England’s great statesmen despite helping to create some of the biggest problems of our time- The 1923 Anglo-Irish treaty that created Northern Ireland, The Versailles Treaty that spawned World War II and the Balfour Declaration that helped create Israel with no solution for the dispossessed Arabs. In is old age Lloyd George visited Hitler in Bertchesgarden and found him “A most fine fellow.”
1919- “Blind Husbands” premiered, the first film by Erich Von Stroheim. Originally a Viennese hat salesman, Stroheim cultivated his Germanic aristocratic image on the silver screen. The premiere issue of the New Yorker in 1923 glibly noted how “Mr. Stroheim has grown a very stylish “Von” in the Southern California Sun”.
1925- Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 150-meter freestyle, one minute 25 and 2/5th seconds. He later went to Hollywood and was the star of the Tarzan movies.
1934- Aviator Wiley Post discovered the strong air current in the upper atmosphere called the Jet Stream.
1941-THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR- At dawn on a quiet Sunday morning 360 Japanese planes surprise attacked and sank most of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, causing 4,000 casualties. Simultaneous attacks were made on British and Dutch military posts in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. The White House butler recalled a general telling President Franklin Roosevelt-“ It’s Pearl! They got the whole g*ddamn navy!”
Japan had begun her previous foreign wars with surprise attacks: against China in 1891 and Russia in 1905. It had it's philosophical roots in the Emai school of Samurai, that of dealing a death stroke with one decisive blow.
While average Americans were enraged by the "Day of Infamy" sneak attack, the U.S. government was bracing for some kind of attack since July when FDR embargoed Japan’s steel and oil imports. Most experts expected a strike at Manila. Lt. William Higgins was awakened by the radar post on Diamond Head reporting hundreds of unknown planes headed towards them. His famous reply:" Well...don't worry about it.."
The fact that Japan had sent a special envoy to Washington named Kurusu to negotiate the crisis even while preparing this attack was even more maddening to Americans. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Harvard class of 1926, masterminded the plan. He was anti-war and knew a war with America was a long shot. When he heard that the surprise was complete but delivered before the war declaration in Washington, he said:" All I fear we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with terrible resolve."
1942- An RAF bomber pilot named Lumsden filed a report about seeing a UFO following his plane in the night skies over the English Channel. British pilots nicknamed the unexplained lights Foo Fighters, after a phrase in the Smokey Stover comic strip.
1945- The microwave oven patented.
1964- Height of student uprising at Berkeley College in California. Students won more liberalized curriculum and open teaching and created the first major student protest of the tumultuous 1960's and earned Berkeley the national reputation of the nations most radicalized school. The Oakland police were later nicknamed the Blue Meanies after the villains in the Beatles cartoon Yellow Submarine.
1974- The disco song “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas hit #1 in the pop charts.
1983- The first execution by lethal injection. The man’s name was Charles Brooks, a murderer in Texas. Interestingly enough the barbiturate used was Sodium Pentothal, the “truth serum” when administered in small dosage. Comedian George Carlin asked;” When they give you a lethal injection, why do they swab your arm with alcohol first?”
1988- A huge earthquake in Armenia killed 100,000 and left 5 million homeless.
1995- The Galileo space probe reached an orbit around Jupiter.
Yesterday’s Question: Roman Legions marched under banners that had the device SPQR on them. Today in Rome, mailboxes and manhole covers read SPQR. What does SPQR mean?
Answer: It was the motto of the Roman Republic- Senatus PopulusQue Romanum- The Senate and the People of Rome.
Dec 6, 2013 friday
December 6th, 2013
Question: Roman Legions marched under banners that had the device SPQR on them. Today in Rome, mailboxes and manhole covers read SPQR. What does SPQR mean?
Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Where is the Hellespont?
History for 12/6/2013
Birthdays: King Henry VI of England-1422, English Puritan General George Monck-1608,, John Eberhard 1822, builder of the first large pencil factory in the US, John Singleton-Mosby the Grey Ghost, Henry Jarecki, Baby Face Nelson, William S. Hart, Ira Gershwin, Dave Brubeck would have been 93, Agnes Moorehead, Tom Hulce is 60, Wally Cox, Lynn Fontaine, Steven Wright, JoBeth Williams, Judd Apatow is 46, Nick Park is 55
Today is the FEAST of SAINT NICHOLAS, the patron saint of sailors and children. In the 350 AD Bishop Nicholas heard of a man so poor that he was about to sell his daughters into prostitution. Nicholas climbed into the man’s window and placed gold coins in the families socks drying by the fireplace. In some cities during the Middle Ages the custom was this day to elect a Boy Bishop who would reign in an honorary style until the Feast of the Holy Innocents December 28th.
1196- The northern coast of Holland was flooded, the Saint Nicholas Flood.
1240- The Mongol hordes of BatuKhan destroy the city of Kiev. This ended the old kingdom of Kievan Russ.
1534- Spanish settlers in Equador found the city of Quito.
1648- PRIDE'S PURGE or the BIRTH OF THE RUMP- The final move of the Cromwell’s Army to secure power in post-Civil War England. His army had occupied London after Parliament had given him a direct order to disband. Soldiers led by a Colonel Thomas Pride stood at the entrance to the House of Commons with a list and as the Parliament members walked in he pulled out 60 of them for arrest. Outraged statesmen demanded to know what was his commission? Pride sneered " This sword point is my commission !"
Thus cowed, the truncated remainder was nicknamed the Rump Parliament. General Oliver Cromwell was discreetly out of town, but he was doubtless in on the planning of the purge. England was now a military dictatorship and would remain so for ten years until Cromwell's death when General Monk called back the monarchy.
1757-Battle of Leuthen- Frederick the Great beats the Austrian Army outnumbering him three to one. Austrian commander Archduke Charles was contemptuous of the smaller Prussian army, calling them a “Berlin Watch Parade” i.e. a police force. But the Prussians defeated the Austrians badly, and sang their hymn Nun Danket Alle Gott on the blood soaked snow. Napoleon called Leuthen Frederick’s masterpiece.
1790- Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia to await construction of it’s final home in the new Federal City in Maryland, already being called by some Washington-City. George Washington himself would occasionally ride out from Mt Vernon and meet with Jefferson and Madison to inspect the construction site.
1825- President John Quincy Adams in his first message to Congress called for increased funding for scientific research, the founding of a national university and a national observatory. His ideas are ridiculed as idiotic and his political credibility was damaged by this speech. He also installed the first indoor toilets in the White House. People started calling the newfangled commodes a John Quincy or simply a John.
1846- Battle of San Pasquale- A Mexican victory in the U.S.-Mexican War. The US Army was so sure that California was conquered that General Phil Kearny detached half of his army to join Zachary Taylor in Mexico while he pushed on to the Pacific Coast. Just outside of San Diego Harbor he was attacked by California Vacqueros brandishing lances. The Yankee militia at first laughed at the silly “pig-stickers”, until they realized the previous nights rainstorm had made their gunpowder useless. Kearnys force was chased away. Only with great difficulty did they escape under Kit Carson’s guidance to the sheltering guns of the US Fleet in San Diego harbor. The battlefield is near the town of Julian California.
1849- Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland and began her underground railroad to smuggle runaway slaves from the South up North. After the Fugitive Slave Act was passed she extend her route to Canada. At one point she wanted to join John Browns insurrection in Harpers Ferry but illness prevented her, and probably saved her life.
1877- First edition of the Washington Post.
1915- MAX FLEISCHER PATENTS THE ROTOSCOPE TECHNIQUE- This system enables you to film an actor then draw the cartoons over the still frames of the live action to achieve a realistic motion. (an early form of Motion Capture) Max would film his brother Dave in a clown suit then draw Koko the Clown over him. Dave had already owned the clown suit because he had been seriously considering a change in careers. The Fleischer's New York studio would be Disney's chief rival for most of the 1920's-30's.
1921- IRISH INDEPENDENCE- Irish home rule announced. It had been an Irish dream since William Strongbow and the Norman English invaded in 1085. After decades of Parliamentary pressure from advocates like Charles Parnell and Daniel O'Connell, a long guerrilla war with the IRA and public exhaustion from the Great War, London was ready to talk terms. But the British Crown insisted on a compromise of letting the 6 Protestant Counties of Ulster remain under British rule and an oath of loyalty to the king. Prime Minister Lloyd George threatened a full war on Ireland with all the resources of the British Empire as the alternative.
Irish negotiators Michael Collins and Alexander Griffith knew this deal would cause resentment, but they felt it was the best they could get. In the following months both men would be dead and a civil war broke out. The loyalty oath was ignored and full Irish independence declared in 1946.
1929- Turkey under Kemal Ataturk gave women the right to vote.
1933- U.S. Federal Judge Woolsey decides James Joyce's "ULYSSES" is not a dirty book and can be published in the U.S by Viking Press. The book had been out in Europe since 1922.
1941- Admiral Nagumo turned his carriers into the wind and began to prepare to launch the attack on Pearl Harbor. Colonel William Bratton of army intelligence in Washington decoded a message from Tokyo to the Japanese Embassy telling them after their final message to destroy their cyphers and top secret documents. He ran all over D.C. trying to get someone to listen, but it was a quiet weekend like any other.
Saturday morning Mrs. Dorothy Edgers of the Navy cryptographic division translated long decoded intrstructions to the Japanese Consul Kita in Honolulu to provide up to date intelligence on Pearl Harbor's ship movements and armaments. When she pointed this out to her immediate supervisor, he told her "Ummm..We'll get back to this on Monday."
1941- NY City Council decided to build a second municipal airport- Idylwild Airport, later renamed John F. Kennedy Airport.
1942- Val Lewton’s strange movie the Cat People with Simon-Simon premiered.
1957- In a reaction to the Russians launching sputnik, the first US attempt to launch a satellite into space failed- the Vanguard I rocket blew up on the launch pad.
1960- Baseball’s American League granted an expansion franchise team to old cowboy singer Gene Autrey, the California Angels.
1964- The first concert at the Los Angeles Music Center.
1964- Rankin Bass' t.v. special 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' first broadcast.
1969- The Rolling Stones do the last big rock festival of the 60s in Altamont California. The festival turned ugly when Hells Angels motorcyclists, hired to guard the stage, started fighting with fans. One man was killed.
1980- Reverend Jim Baker of the PTL ministry had sex in a motel room with Church volunteer Jessica Hahn. His reasoning to her was “when you help the shepherd, you help the flock”. But later he paid her hush money. This indiscretion would help pull down his career. Baker’s ministry included a lavish lifestyle, air-conditioned doghouse for his pets and a Christian theme park called Heritage USA. Ex-evangelist turned comic Sam Kinison joked: I can imagine up in heaven, Jesus is thumbing through the New Testament saying” Hey, where the Hell did I ever say anything thing about a water slide?”
1994- Orange County California, one of the richest counties in the United States declared bankruptcy because an official gambled and lost the county's funds on speculative investments like junk-bonds. One billion dollars disappeared in less than a week of day trading.
Yesterday’s Question: Where is the Hellespont?
Answer: the Hellespont, also called the Dardanelles, is the narrow stretch of water between Turkey and Greece, connecting the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara, the little inland body of water before the Black Sea.