Dec 9, 2019
December 9th, 2019

Question: There is evidence, and there is empirical evidence. What is the difference?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does it mean to be jocular?
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History for 12/9/2019
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, Hermoinie Gingold, Dalton Trumbo, John Cassavettes, Broderick Crawford, Dick Butkus, Red Foxx, Cesar Franck, John Malkovich is 66, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Buck Henry is 89, Felicity Huffman, Mario Cantone, Judy Dench is 85, Kirk Douglas-born Issur Danielevitch is 103!

536- The legions of Byzantine General Belisarius captured Rome from the Ostrogoths.
This was part of Emperor Justinian’s unsuccessful plan to win back the western half of the old Roman Empire.

1783- First executions began at England’s 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. 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 bitter political enemy standing behind you proved impractical. The Amendment also defined the order of succession: President, Vice President, Secretary of State. Speaker of the House, Senate Leader Pro-Tem. In 1945 the 22nd Amendment excluded the Secretary of State, who was never 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 San Antonio the following Spring.

1840- Dr. David Livingstone set sail for Africa to do missionary work. He met Stanley
in 1871.

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
Kandahar.-“Ol’ Bobs”.

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 marched on Damascus. To promote harmony between Arabs and Jews, Allenby ordered the building a huge YMCA in the Old City. The people that schvitz together….

1931- Disney short Mickey’s Orphans debuted.

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 “A Love Supreme”. Late on
foggy nights Trane liked to take his saxophone out onto the middle of San Francisco’s
Golden Gate Bridge in the night fog, and practice by himself.

1965- Bill Melendez's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" the first half hour animated TV 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? At the preview screening for CBS executives, the show was met with deathly silence; when the show concluded, one executive said to the director Bill Melendez, "Well, you gave it a good try." Estimates are that 15,490,000 households and 36 million people watched Charlie Brown and his friends that night.
" A Charlie Brown Christmas has run every year for 53 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.

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.

2008- Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested for corruption, and having a really bad hair cut.

2340- Mr Worf, the Klingon officer of Star Trek Next Generation was born.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be jocular?

Answer. Another word for someone who likes to be happy, prone to see the humor in circumstances and easy to laugh.


Dec 8, 2019
December 8th, 2019

Question: What does it mean to be jocular?

Yesterdays Question answered below: What is the origin of the term- to be well-heeled?
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History for 12/8/2019
Birthdays: Horace (Quintus Horatius) 65BC, Mary Queen of Scots, Gustavus Adolphus, Queen Christina, Jean Sibelius, Camille Claudel, George Melies the father of Motion Picture Special Effects 1861, Elzie C. Segar (Popeye), Joel Chandler Harris (Uncle Remus), James Thurber, Richard Fleischer, Eli Whitney, Jim Morrison, Diego Rivera, Emile Reynaud, Sammy Davis Jr, Maximillian Schell, Flip Wilson, Sam Kinison, Teri Hatcher is 55, Sinead O’Connor is 53, Kim Basinger is 66

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

1660- Mrs. Margaret “Peg” Hughes played Desdemona in Shakespeares’ Othello at the Vere St Theatre in London. Peg was the first woman to appear on an English stage. All during the Elizabethan Era, boys substituted for women on stage. Legend has it when a play which King Charles II was watching suddenly stopped. When he sent servants to see what the problem was, it was found that the man that was supposed to play one of the female parts was still shaving. Odds Fish, sayeth the King! And lo, the ban was lifted.

1776- George Washington’s exhausted soldiers were rowed across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, chased by a large British army. This marked the end of the hit & run pursuit across New York and New Jersey that had been going on since August 24.

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 met 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 mechanical 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 written into the music score. The overture made Beethoven much more money than his Seventh Symphony, which debuted at the same concert.

1854- 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 Sherman’s 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 them all up. 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.

1923- Developer S.H. Woodruff flipped the switch to illuminate the completed Hollywood Sign. Originally Hollywoodland, the “land” fell off eventually, as did the light bulbs.

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 also voted against the First World War 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. That evening, an official at the Navy Dept telephoned Disney and offered him a commission for twenty short films on aircraft and warship identification.

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 USS Guam without much resistance. Capt. Smith later made a 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 use in World War II, but the "egg-beaters" or "flying windmills" played an important role in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

1949-After being defeated by Mao Zedong’s Red Chinese Army, Generalissimo Chiang Kai Chek’s Kuomintang government voted to relocate to the island of Taiwan-Formosa.

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.

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 4 times in the back. John Lennon was 40. The area of Central Park across from the apartment was dedicated to him as Strawberry Fields.

1991- Steven Spielberg’s Hook premiered.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the term- to be well-heeled?

Answer: High heels for women had been found in ancient Egyptian and Chinese tombs. In the Renaissance, large heels for women and men’s shoes became a popular fashion. They were only for the rich, the gap between heel and sole fit a horses stirrup better. Poor people wore wood clogs if they wore any footwear at all. So a rich person is one who is well-heeled.


Dec 7, 2019
December 7th, 2019

Question: What is the origin of the term- to be well-heeled?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What is an onomatopoeia?
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History for 12/7/2019
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 original voice of Donald Duck, Eli Wallach, Tom Waits, Jeffrey Wright is 55

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, Marc Anthony and Octavian 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 the Emperor 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- The U.S. Navy granted a lieutenants’ commission 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- The Mystery of Marshal Ney. Michel Ney was Napoleon's right hand. Called Le Rougeaud -the Redhead, because his hair color was inherited from his father, a Scots rebel for Bonny Prince Charlie. After Waterloo, the restored French Bourbon royalty needed a scapegoat to blame for the embarrassing ease with which the Corsican upstart took back France. So Michel Ney was court-martialed for treason 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. The Duke of Wellington in charge of the occupational authorities was heavily criticized for allowing this travesty of justice to occur.

But maybe he didn’t? Recently some theorists claim the execution was a sham arranged by Wellington so that Ney could escape. They said 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, Ney 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 Bourbons arrested the officer in charge of the firing squad.

Twenty-two years later, in 1837, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina, a French schoolteacher named Michael Stewart died of old age. On his deathbed, he told his confessor " I swear before God that I am Michel Ney, Marshal of France." While embalming, his family saw his body was covered with scars from 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 flesh and entrails while the combatants watched in horror.
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 Sheely for a union officer who had killed his brother, Bloody Bill Anderson, during the Civil War. While attempting to escape, Anderson’s horse bucked and dragged him down the street by his stirrup.

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”.

1927- Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 150-meter freestyle, one minute 25 and 2/5th seconds. He competed in two Olympics and was never beaten. 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. Lt. Kermit Tyler 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.." 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!”
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. 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.

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. 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 a 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 went into an orbit around Jupiter.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is an onomatopoeia?

Answer: An onomatopoeia is a word that sound like the object it is describing. Some examples are honk, beep cuckoo, smack, whoosh, buzz.


Dec 6, 2019
December 6th, 2019

Question: What is an onomatopoeia?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What did you get when you asked a bartender to make you a Bromo?
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History for 12/6/2019
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, Agnes Moorehead, Tom Hulce is 66, Wally Cox, Lynn Fontaine, Steven Wright, JoBeth Williams, Judd Apatow is 51, Nick Park is 62

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 family 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 Batu Khan destroyed 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 -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 back 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 political enemies ridiculed his ideas as idiotic and wasteful. They charged the president of wasting taxpayer money on depraved European luxuries like a billiard table. Adams 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 Pasqual- A Mexican victory in the U.S.-Mexican War. The US Army was so sure that California was conquered that General Phil Kearny sent away half of his army to go 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 dragoons at first laughed at the silly “pig-stickers”, until they realized the previous nights rainstorm had made their gunpowder useless. Kearnys force was routed. 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 extended 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 PATENTED 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 all top secret documents. He ran all over D.C. trying to get someone to listen, but it was a quiet weekend like any other.
Sunday morning Mrs. Dorothy Edgers of the Navy cryptographic division translated long decoded instructions 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- WONDER WOMAN, Psychologist William Moulton Marston was an educational consultant for Detective Comics, Inc. (DC Comics). Marston saw that the DC line was filled with images of super men like Green Lantern, Batman, Superman. On a suggestion of his wife Elizabeth, he wondered why there was not a female hero? DC head Max Gaines, was intrigued by the concept and told Marston that he should create a female hero - a "Wonder Woman." Marston's 'good and beautiful woman' made her debut in All Star Comics #8.

1941- NY City Council voted to build a second municipal airport- Idylwild Airport, later renamed John F. Kennedy Airport.

1942- Val Lewton’s atmospheric movie The Cat People with Simon-Simon premiered.

1957- In their first reaction to the Russians launching sputnik, the 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 Autry, the California Angels.

1964- The first concert at the Los Angeles Music Center.

1964- Rankin Bass' TV special 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' first broadcast. And it has run every year since.

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, Meredith Hunter, 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 Church. 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?”
In recent years, Jim Baker has made a comeback. He has another big church and is a loud supporter of Pres. Trump.

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.
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Yesterday’s Question: What did you get when you asked a bartender to make you a Bromo?

Answer: A Bromo Seltzer, which was the name of an over-the-counter powder that, when mixed with water became a fizzy bicarbonate of soda, an antacid that would help settle your upset stomach. (thanks FG)


Dec 5, 2019
December 5th, 2019

Question: What did you get when you asked a bartender to make you a Bromo?

Yesterdays Question Answered Below: What is Stockholm Syndrome?

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History for 12/5/2019
Birthdays: Pope Julius II, Martin Van Buren, Walt Disney, Fritz Lang, Eugene Debs, George Armstrong Custer, Little Richard Penniman, Strom Thurmond, Otto Preminger, Lin Piao, Calvin Trillin, Joan Didion, Jim Plunkett, Jose Carrerras, Margaret Cho is 51

Faunalia- the ancient Roman festival for rustic god Faunus.

1212-THE WONDER OF THE WORLD.- Fredrick II Hohenstaufen became Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation at 18. The son of Henry VI the Lion, Freddy was called "stupor mundi et immutator mirabilis” The Marvelous Transformer and Wonder of the World”.

1349- People in Europe were at a loss to explain why the Black Death plague was killing everyone. So, they settled on their age-old answer- It must be the Jews fault! This day in Nuremberg 500 Jews were killed by rioters.

1484- Pope Innocent VIII raises the practice of Witchcraft from a minor sin to a major heresy. Included in the definition of witchcraft is any remaining vestiges of local animist customs, herbalism or treating illnesses with home grown medicines. He ordered the Holy Office of the Inquisition to look into all cases. From 1484 to 1750 maybe 200,000 people died in Europe and America. As late as 1784 a woman in Belgium was executed for bewitching a child. The last burning of the Spanish Inquisition was in 1817.

1492- Christopher Columbus, still looking for Japan, now discovered Haiti.

1502- Columbus last voyage was hit by a hurricane. For twelve days his ships were battered by wind and waves. At one point Columbus saw a waterspout in the ocean near them. He read a Rite of Exorcism at it and made the sign of the Cross with his sword. Tradition says it then went away.

1560- King Francis II of France died at age 16. His mom Catherine de Medici didn’t fret, she had more sons. She made her next son Charles IX king at age 10.

1704- In Hamburg, towards the end of the opera Cleopatre, composer Georg Frederich Handel and soloist Johann Mattheson started bickering over who should bow and receive the audiences applause. As the curtain came down and the cheers rang out, Handel and Mattheson began furiously wrestling over the harpsichord. Finally they rushed out into the snowy public square and fought with swords. The audience followed them and cheered on this unique encore. Neither was hurt in the end, and they even made up over their next opera.

1766- London auction house Christies held it’s first auction.

1791-MOZART DIED- The 35 year old composer was slaving away on a commission for a Requiem Mass when he died of scarlet fever and kidney failure complicated by exhaustion and alcoholism (and he didn't work in animation ) Mozart was buried in a pauper's grave and when his wife came to mourn him a few days later nobody could recall where he was buried.
The theories about Antonio Salieri poisoning him out of jealousy or the FreeMasons doing him in began only a few years later. Schiller wrote a play in 1817 called Mozart & Salieri where he has Salieri doing the dastardly deed. Salieri lived into his 80s. In 1827 one of Beethoven's pupils wrote the Maestro about going up to the sanitarium to visit the ancient composer: "Salieri is in one of his fits again, shouting “I killed Mozart! Mozart forgive me!”"

1791- First Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton presented his Report on Manufactures to Congress. This was considered a revolutionary document because here was this illegitimate snob telling his half wild nation of farmers and trappers with dead raccoons on their heads, that their future lay in developing heavy industry closely regulated by a strong centralized government. Thomas Jefferson among many others thought it was a big mistake, but modern scholars declare The Report on Manufactures as the true beginning of the US economy.

1804- The Presentation of the Eagles- Part of Napoleon’s reforming of the French Army after becoming Emperor was to standardize the battle flags. The old tattered flags of the Revolution were collected and a red, white and blue flag with gold trim was distributed, each surmounted by a brass Eagle patterned on an ancient Roman design. In 1807 the flag was standardized as the modern French tricolor we know today. Also given out was an emerald green flag with golden harps to the Irish Volunteer brigade. Jacques Louis David did a beautiful painting of the event but the truth be told it was a lousy rainy day and there was a lot of confusion.

1837- Hector Berlioz chorale Requiem premiered.

1854- Aaron Allen of Boston patented the theater chair that folded up so you could exit.

1865-The steel industry is transformed when Sir Henry Bessemer received an American patent for the Bessemer Steel process, which made steel harder with less impurities.

1912- New York Hat directed by D.W. Griffith starring Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore premiered. The first movie script written by19 year old Anita Loos to be produced. She became one of the finest Hollywood screenwriters and Broadway playwright, who penned films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She died in 1981 at age 92.

1933- Prohibition was repealed in the U.S. with the ratification of the 21st Amendment. Interestingly enough the final state to ratify the repeal amendment was Utah. Canadian cities like Moose Jaw Saskatchuan, where Al Capone had set up huge distilleries to run-rum across Lake Michigan, went into mourning. Bootleggers like Josef Bronfman of Seagrams and Joe Kennedy Sr. had to look for new sources of income.

1938- The FCC concludes there was no malicious intent in Orson Welles Halloween broadcast of The War of the Worlds, and no fines would be imposed.

1941- Marshal Zhukov commenced the first Soviet counterattack since the Nazis invasion began in June. As the Red Army pushed the Germans 100 miles back from the outskirts of Moscow. The Germans first came up against the new Soviet T-34 Stalin Tank. German tank expert Heinz Guderian wrote to a colleague” I have just seen a most amazing tank, and if the Russians are mass producing them, we may lose the war!”

1941- Admiral Halsey moved his carrier fleet- USS Lexington & Enterprise out of Pearl Harbor to go on maneuvers. They would not be there for the Japanese attack on Pearl. This is why Admiral Yamamoto was disappointed with the battle’s final results.

1945- Flight 19, a routine training patrol of 5 Navy Avenger torpedo bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale at 2:00PM and flew into the Bermuda Triangle. Two hours later the commander radioed that his compass and backup compass had failed and his position was unknown. The 14 men and their planes were never seen again. In the next few months hundreds of planes and ships searched the waters for some signs of wreckage with no success. In 1986 and 1991 claims were made that wreckage was found, but so far but so far nothing has ever been confirmed.

1951- Shoeless Joe Jackson died. The most powerful baseball batter of his age, he taught Babe Ruth how to hit. But he was implicated in the Black Sox scandal of 1919 and permanently banned from baseball. He spent the rest of his life running a hardware store near his rural Georgia home.

1952- The Abbott & Costello Television Show premiered. Where’s Hilary, Mr Fields and Stinky? “ Niagara Falls! Slooowwlly I turn! Step by Step! Step by Step!”

1952- A killer smog blanketed London and southern England for a week. Visibility was reduced to barely a yard. Before it dispersed it killed 4,000-12,000 people. The crisis spurred Britain to ban the use of coal fires to heat homes.

1953- Josef Stalin died. He was in a coma after a stroke but his doctors were too terrified to treat him. They left him on the floor for hours. Before he died, Stalin was preparing a new purge, aimed at doctors.

1953- Russian Composer Sergei Prokoviev died, but the news was overshadowed by the death of Stalin.

1974- The Seattle Seahawks football team formed.

1974- The BBC aired the last Monty Python show.

1978- Under the Jimmy Carter administration, a federal judge ruled that religious schools could no longer be segregated, and still claim religious tax-exempt status. This made many mega churches decide to shift their activities towards Republican politics.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is Stockholm Syndrome?

Answer: Stockholm Syndrome is the unique situation where someone is kidnapped, and in the course of the close relationship with his/her captor begins to sympathize with their cause.


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