August 29, 2016
August 29th, 2016
Question: In Europe when they speak of The Peninsula, what countries do they mean?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who first called a timid person a milquetoast?
History for 8/29/2016
Birthdays: King James II Stuart, John Locke, Oliver Wendel Holmes Sr., Jean Dominique Ingres, Charlie Parker, Preston Sturges, Ingrid Bergman, William Friedkin is 80, Dinah Washington, George Montgomery, Slobodan Milosevic, Robin Leach, Michael Jackson, Joel Schumacher, choreographer Mark Morris, Charles Kettering inventor of the automobile ignition, Joyce Clyde Hall the founder of Hallmark greeting cards, Richard Attenborough, Donald O’Connor, Elliot Gould is 77, Rebecca DeMornay, John McCain is 80.
29 AD- Estimated date of the beheading of John the Baptist.
1664- The name of the colony of Niew Amsterdam is officially changed to New York by the occupying British forces. This was a birthday present to the King Charles’s brother James, the Duke of York.
1709- PORT ROYAL and the JANSENISTS- Cornelius Jansen was a Dutch Catholic who formulated an extreme reform movement inside Catholicism. He said the only way the Roman Church could re-unite Christianity would be to adopt disciplines that were in essence not too dissimilar to Protestant Calvinism. His ideas won great favor at the French Cistercian Convent of Port Royal and it became the stronghold of the movement under their charismatic Abbess Mere Angelique. Cardinal Richelieu ignored them as he ignored most spiritual issues, but later King Louis XIV and the Jesuits would not.
After almost a century of controversy this day the King closed the Abbey of Port Royal and outlawed Jansenism. King Louis XIV had such distaste for Jansenism that he held up the appointment of one judge because he thought he was a devotee. But upon being reassured that the man was merely a complete atheist, Louis then approved the appointment.
1756- THE SEVEN YEARS WAR began. This could arguably be called the real First World War. Britain, France, Prussia (Germany) and Russia, Austria, Poland, Sweden and Turkey fought each other, all over the globe. Armies and fleets battled from Prague to Pennsylvania, Belgium to Madras, Quebec and Sri Lanka. In America it is called The French & Indian War. If you are a film buff consider this: Barry Lyndon and the Last of the Mohicans are happening at the same time as part of the same war.
1776- The Battle of Long Island ended. George Washington's army was badly beaten in battle by the British, and pinned against the East River. All night the fishermen of Marblehead Massachusetts ferried the remainder of his troops across to Manhattan while the British Navy sat strangely inactive around Staten Island. If the warships had moved up to block the retreat, the Revolution would be over. Even the weather helped with a thick fog that shrouded all activity until 8:00AM in the morning.
A Brooklyn Loyalist named Mrs. Rapalie sent her slave to warn the British that the rebels were getting away. The man was stopped by some German Hessians who couldn’t understand anything he said in his thick Brooklyn-Colonial accent. So they arrested him as a spy.
1793- Commissioner of the French Revolutionary Republic, Leger Felicite’ Sonthonax proclaimed the abolition of slavery in San Dominique- now Haiti.
1831 - Michael Faraday demonstrated the 1st electric transformer.
1864 - William Huggins published a study of the chemical composition of nebulae.
1885 – The first heavyweight title fight with regulation 3-oz gloves & 3-minute
rounds fought between John L Sullivan & Dominick McCaffrey. Before this bareknuckle fights could go on for 75 rounds and only be stopped when one of the other opponent was too bloody to continue.
1889 - 1st American Intl pro lawn tennis contest -Newport RI.
1893- Whitcomb Judson invented the zipper.
1896- Chop Suey invented in New York City.
1897- The FIRST WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS opened in Basel, Switzerland. Jews from all around the world met to agree on a strategy of returning to Palestine to build a Jewish homeland and getting a major world power to sanction their efforts. They also agreed to adopt the revived Hebrew language as the common mother tongue. Orthodox rabbis objected, because they felt Hebrew was a sacred tongue and should not be used for everyday profane speech. Hungarian Socialist Theodore Herzel, called the Father of Zionism, at one point almost split the movement with a scheme for all Jews to move to Uganda,. There was also another group who wanted Argentina to be the Jewish Homeland, but Palestine finally won out over all.
1908 - NY gives a parade to returning US Olympians from London. Wall Street brokers come up with the idea of throwing shredded stock ticker tape out the windows.
The first ticker tape parade.
1909 - World's 1st air race held in Rheims France. Glenn Curtiss (USA) wins.
1914- Mass march of women in black with muffled drums down New York’s Fifth Avenue to demand the U.S. stay out of World War One.
1916- Field Marshals Paul von Hindenberg & Eric Ludendorf were given overall command of the Germany’s armies, and in effect run Germany as well. This was the opposite of the great Clauswitz's rules that war should be subservient to diplomacy and never waged for it's own sake. The Kaiser, so belligerent at the beginning of the war was by this point was merely a figurehead. To contribute to the war effort he agreed to limit his meals to four courses and drink beer instead of champagne. War is Hell!
1925 - After a night on the town, Babe Ruth shows up late for batting practice Yankee manager Miller Huggins suspended Ruth & slapped a $5,000 fine on him. Whenever the Yankees were on the road and were safely winning a game Ruth would take himself out of the lineup early so he could scout out a good bar for the team to go to later.
1929- New York City was having competitions between builders for who could build the tallest office building. The Chrysler Building had recently surpassed the Bank of Manhattan Building. On this day William Ratzengauer and former Presidential candidate Al Smith announced they would build a monster building, much higher than any other. It would be on the site of the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel and they would call it the Empire State Building.
1949- Soviet Russia detonated it's first atomic bomb "First Lightning". The scientists won medals, automobiles and dachas. They knew that if it had not worked they all would have been shot. Yet Stalin made no public announcement until he could fill his larder with nukes. A CIA sniffer plane picked up the evidence of the bomb and dubbed it "Joe-1" after Joe Stalin. It was announced on Sept 23rd. The U.S. reacted to this news and the news of Mao's taking over China with shock. It fueled the great Red-scare of the 1950's.
1953- Warner's "Cat Tails for Two" introduced Speedy Gonzales.
1954- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opened.
1955- Mamie Van Doren married Ray Anthony.
1958 - George Harrison joins the Quarrymen -Lennon-McCartney and Sutcliffe. The later rename themselves the Beatles.
1962- The Kennedy State Department sent poet laureate Robert Frost on a goodwill tour of Soviet Russia.
1966- Egyptian political writer Sayyid Qutb was executed for plotting against the government. Qutb is considered by many the philosopher of the new fundamentalist Islam in the world today. His pupil who took up his cause was Ayman Al Zuwahiri. He is the man in the horn rimmed glasses who took over from Osama bin Laden.
1967- Final Episode of the television series "The Fugitive". Dr. Richard Kimble catches the one-armed-man and clears his name.
1974- THE RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE- Prizefighter Mohammed Ali wins back his heavyweight crown from George Foreman in a wild showbiz event set up in Kinshasa, Zaire. While the African government was trying to use the press attention to highlight the modern society they had developed, Ali was making jokes about witchdoctors, missionaries in stewpots and other cliches. "Tonight they'll be a thousand guys named Mohammed out there rooting for me, and another thousand guys named Ali rooting for me, but their won't be anybody else out there named George Foreman!" Foreman left boxing, became a minister, then returned in his 40’s to win the heavyweight crown and a fortune when most athletes are retired.
1976 - Anissa Jones, the child actress who played Buffy on the television show Family Affair), died of a drug overdose at age 18.
1989 -Hotel millionaire Leona Helmsley had said: "Only little people pay taxes". This day she was sentenced to four years in prison and fined two million dollars for 33 counts of income tax evasion. According to a London newspaper one butler under oath admitted he hated The Queen of Mean so much that whenever she asked for a Perrier, he would unzip his fly and use his rather unique stirrer for her drink. Leona died in 2007 and left the bulk of her estate to her dog.
2002- Peep-O-Rama, Times Square’s last remaining peep show, closed.
2005- HURRICANE KATRINA slammed into the cities of New Orleans, Gulfport Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi. 165 mph winds, Tidal surges up to 30 feet collapsed levees, sending walls of water across the Big Easy. 1,800 died, 800,000 homeless and billions of dollars in damage. The tragedy proved that for all the fuss about government preparedness after 9-11, America was still woefully confused in a real crisis.
While people drowned in their attics and critical care patients were abandoned on the sidewalk to die, the government fumbled for almost a week. Long lines of relief trucks and ambulances were kept waiting outside the city with no permission to move in. A rescue caravan full of Canadian Mounties actually drove from Winnipeg to New Orleans quicker than the U.S. government did.
Meanwhile President Bush played air guitar at a Navy base in San Diego and compared himself to Franklin Roosevelt, then partied with John McCain on a golf course for his birthday. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff attended a Bird Flu seminar and FEMA head David Brown sent e-mails to friends like “Did you see me on camera with my new tie? -Fabulous!” Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco (a Republican) said “ Our state response is the laughing stock of the nation.”
2008- CARIBOU BARBIE- Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain surprised the political world when he named Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his choice for running mate. It is still argued today whether this unconventional choice was good or bad. She energized the far right wing base of her party, but her obvious unpreparedness for high office offended Republican intelligentsia and scared off their few remaining independent voters.
Yesterday’s Question: Who first called a timid person a milquetoast?
Answer: 1920’s cartoonist M.K. Webster created a series of cartoons in the Herald Tribune about a hapless everyman he named Casper Milquetoast. They became famous and by 1939 the term was in the dictionary.
AUG 28, 2016
August 28th, 2016
Question: Who first called a timid person a milquetoast?
Yesterday’s Answer Below: Augustus was the first Roman Emperor. Who was the last?
History for 8/28/2016
Birthdays: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Leo Tolstoy, George Villiers the Duke of Buckingham- minister of James I, Sean O'Flagherty, Donald O'Connor, Charles Boyer, Karl Boehm, Bruno Bettleheim, Disney designer Ferdinand Horvath, Ben Gazzara, Marvel cartoonist Jack "King" Kirby, Janet Evans, Ron 'Louisiana Lightning' Guidry, Nancy Kulp, Daniel Stern, Shania Twain, anim historian Charles Solomon, Jack Black is 47, Rita Coolidge is 55.
In Hong Kong, today is the Festival is the Festival of Hungry Ghosts.
29BC- In ancient Rome, dedication of the altar to Victory.
79AD- POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM DESTROYED-The great volcano Versuvius erupted, burying the two Roman cities. The Emperor Titus rushed a fleet commanded by the natural scientist Pliny to rescue as many as he could. Pliny was overcome by the sulphurous fumes and died. His son, Pliny the Younger, eyewitnesses it all and wrote a moving account of the tragedy in his 'letters'. Scientists have been digging at the site of Pompeii since it's rediscovery in 1726, but estimates are there's as many as 30,000 skeletons still buried.
390AD-This was the Feast of Saint Augustine of Hippo. He was the Saint who tried every weird cult he could find before converting to Christianity, He drove his mother Saint Monica crazy but his experiences helped him develop an answer to every anti-Christian argument. His famous book was "the City of God". For a Saint he could have done stand-up. He was famous for one liners like when someone asked him "What did God do before he created the world?" Augustine answered: "He made a hell for people who ask stupid questions!" His other great motto was "Lord, Make me Chaste- but not just yet..."
476AD- The Last Roman Emperor of the West, the boy Romulus Augustulus, was deposed. It was done by his counselor and actual power behind the throne, the barbarian warlord named Odoacer. Odoacer sent the Imperial diadem and insignia to the Zeno the Emperor of the East in Constantinople and declared himself King of the Germans in Italy.
1296- The Ragman Roll- Scottish nobles in Parliament were called upon to pledge allegiance to King Edward I of England, or else. Edward Longshanks dropped his pretense of protection of the Scottish crown and instead moved for direct annexation to England. The only resistance came from peasant born leader William Wallace. The ceremony went on for so long such it coined a term for long inane formalities- Rigamarole.
1526- Battle of Mohacs. The Turkish Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent defeated the Hungarian army of Jan Hunyadi the "White Knight of Christendom", and pushes the borders of the Moslem World up to the gates of Vienna Austria.
1565 - Oldest city in the US, St Augustine Fla, established.
1609- Henry Hudson explored Delaware Bay.
1678- THE POPISH PLOT- A man named Titus Oates came before King Charles II and the Parliament and declared he had uncovered a plot by English Catholics, Jesuits, the Bishop of Armaugh and the Pope to kill King Charles, enthrone his Catholic brother James, burn London and land an army of mercenaries to force the English people back into Roman Church by force! Odds Fish! King Charles at first laughed it off but the public took him seriously.
There may have been one or two forlorn Catholic schemes but nothing on the scale Oates described, yet England went crazy for the next several months executing anybody accused. Titus Oates became very rich, but he finally was caught in his lies and sent to prison. When a mob of anti-Catholic Londoners attacked the carriage of the kings mistress Nell Gywnn thinking it was one of Charles’ French tootsies, Nell poked her head out of the carriage and cried: ” Peace be with you Good Citizens! I am the PROTESTANT Whore!” the mob then cheered.
1776 – The day after George Washington’s Army was defeated by the British in Brooklyn this day heavy rain and fog canceled any actions. After the battle the British pushed the colonials up against the East River and could have brought their fleet up from Staten Island, captured Washington’s army, and destroyed the Revolution while the ink was still wet on the Declaration of Independence.
But they hesitated. Was it contrary winds in New York Harbor? Was it British memories of Bunker Hill preventing them from assaulting fixed colonial positions? Maybe it was because the English commanders Lord William Howe and his brother Admiral Richard 'Black Dick" Howe were Whigs in political opposition to the Tories in London. They saw a decisive military victory in America as a justification of the Lord North Government's policies.
So Howe hesitated finishing off the rebels and requested peace talks. If he could succeed in pacifying the colonies he would have the credit to run for Prime Minister. Washington stalled him and while they exchanged polite notes, the rebels slowly escaped by boat across the East River to fight on.
1830 - 1st locomotive in US, "Tom Thumb," runs from Baltimore to Ellicotts Mill.
.By 1835, the B &O was exclusively a steam affair.
1837 - Pharmacists John Leah & William Perrins invent Worcester Sauce.
1850- Lohengrin, the first opera written by Richard Wagner, premiered in Weimar. The Third Act chorus “Treulich Gefuhrt” became famous for weddings as “Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed in White”. Wagner asked his friend Franz Liszt to produce the opera because he was in exile for his political opinions. Wagner himself did not see Lohengrin performed until 1861.
1859-In Titusville Pennsylvania, the first U.S. oil well strikes oil. Before the industrial revolution crude oil or coal tar was considered a smelly nuisance. It was called Indian-Oil because Indians wore it as black warpaint, it was great for tarring and feathering rapscallions. Some entrepreneurs even tried to bottle it as health tonic. By this era it was refined into kerosene which was seen as a cheap plentiful substitute for whale-oil lamps. Unemployed railroad conductor Edwin Drake built the first oil well drilling apparatus out of components of a steam engine. By 1939 America exported 80% of the world’s crude oil.
1867- The U.S. Navy annexed Midway Island out in the Pacific.
1907- UPS small package delivery service started in Seattle.
1922- The first broadcast commercial on radio. It was for a real estate firm Queensboro Realty lasting ten minutes, and cost $100 dollars. The firm selling suburban homes in Queens NY immediately did $100,000 worth of business. The business world took note of this new method of advertising.
1934-Writer Upton Sinclair was nominated for Governor of California on the Democratic ticket by over half a million votes. This shocked the California power-elite because Sinclair was a radical whose grass roots organization EPIC (End Poverty in California) advocated socialist solutions to the Depression. Even FDR kept his distance from Sinclair.
Powerful forces enlisted Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg and other Hollywood conservatives to ensure Sinclair's defeat by creating the first modern negative media campaign. This included phony newsreels of actors dressed as hobos saying how they're going to California to sponge off the taxpayers. Walt Disney's lawyer, Gunther Lessing, demanded Ward Kimball take the "Sinclair for Governor" sign off his car window.
Governor Frank Merriam who earlier that year had ordered troops to shoot down striking San Francisco longshoremen and their families won re-election.
1937- The Nazis began mass arrests of Jehovah's Witnesses.
1938- Northwestern University conferred an honorary degree upon the ventriloquist puppet Charlie McCarthy- Edgar Bergen’s famed dummy. The Dean of the School of Speech conferred a Master of Innuendo and Snappy Comeback upon the wooden celebrity.
1941- Rudolf Lichtenburg, pastor of St. Hedwig's Church the largest Lutheran congregation in Berlin, attacked the Nazi regime in an open letter to Dr. Leonardo Conti, Chief Reich Physician: "As a Human Being, As a Christian, a priest and a German I demand you answer for your crimes, which will call forth the Judgement of God upon the heads of the German People!" He was arrested by the Gestapo and died in Dachau.
1945- Chinese Communist Mao Tse Tung or Mao Zse Dong, conferred with Generalissimo Chiang Kai Chek over how to keep the Civil War from starting up again now that the War with Japan was over. The meeting was arranged by American Ambassador Patrick Hurley, an Oklahoma senator who greeted Mao and the Chiang with a loud Indian-style war whoop. We don’t know what Mao and Chiang thought of this curious form of welcome, but they couldn’t stand one another. Almost as soon as their conference was over the Chinese Civil War began again. Mao defeated Chiang and drove him to Taiwan in 1949.
1953-Between the Israeli War of Independence and the Suez War guerrilla violence raged in small border settlements with terrorism killing innocent civilians. The Israeli Army tried forming a secret commando team called Unit 101 to stop Arab attacks on Israeli settlers by committing their own acts of revenge “an-eye-for-an-eye”. After one raid this day Unit 101 went into action, shooting up a Palestinian refugee camp in Egyptian Gaza and killed a number of women and children. The attack was so cold-blooded that the unit was soon disbanded by an embarrassed government. The young officer in command of Unit 101 was future Prime Minister Arial Sharon.
1963- Dr. Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the climax of the first ' Poor People's March 'on Washington”. Organizer A. Phillip Randolph conceived a poor people’s march taking weeks not unlike the Bonus Marchers of 1929. The sympathetic John F. Kennedy administration prevailed upon them to keep it to one day to reduce the chance of violence and maximize media exposure. They had planned for 100,000 but they got 400,000. Movie stars like Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, James Garner, and Charlton Heston attended.
1968- THE CHICAGO DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION- While thousands of anti-war hippie and yippie protestors battled the Chicago Police in Grant Park, the Democrats nominated Hubert Horatio Humphrey, the "Happy Warrior" their candidate to replace the assassinated Bobby Kennedy. Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, the Yippie and SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) leaders tried to get a live 100 pound pig into the convention and get it nominated for President. The Chairman of the DNC decried Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's "Gestapo Tactics" from the rostrum. Ironically Boss Daley opposed the Vietnam War, but he would not tolerate kids making him look bad on national TV.
Newsman Dan Rather was gut-punched by a Chicago cop on camera on the convention floor. My friend writer John Culhane was clubbed down by police despite wearing all his press credentials and a baby blue army helmet with Newsweek painted on it. While the police and demonstrators battled poet Alan Ginsburg and Timothy Leary grabbed a loudspeaker and chanted the Buddhist "Ohhhmmmmm" to calm people down. The student leaders -the Chicago 7 in reality 8, were put on trial for incitement to riot but after a year long media circus all the charges were overturned. Republican Richard Nixon won the election. The Democrats wouldn't go near Chicago again for thirty years.
1990- Computer pioneer Sandy Lerner was fired from the company she founded- Cisco Systems.
1996- The Prince and Princess of Wales Charles & Diana got divorced. This was the first Royal divorce since Henry VIII annulled Anne of Cleves in the 1530's, not counting George IV's secret marriage to Mrs. Fitzherbert, which was hushed up, and his later cavorting with Lady Cunningham who was nicknamed "the Vice-Queen", and Edward VII's sleeping with every woman in Europe but his wife, etc.
2007- Conservative “Family Values” Senator Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested for soliciting gay sex in a men’s room in the Minneapolis Airport. Craig vigorously maintained that he merely had a wide stance in his stall, but older gay men said “toe-tapping” was a standard way to solicit a sex-partner. Larry Craig soon resigned from the Senate.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Augustus was the first Roman Emperor. Who was the last?
Answer: The boy Romulus Augustulus, see above 476AD.
Aug 26, 2016
August 25th, 2016
Question: People from New York are New Yorkers. People from Washington are Washingtonians. What are people from Utah called?
Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: What is the oldest political alliance between two countries still in effect?
History for 8/26/2016
Birthdays: Sir Robert Walpole the first British Prime Minister, Mother Theresa, Albert the Prince Consort, John Wilkes Booth, Guilliame Appollinaire who coined the term Surrealism, General Maxwell Taylor, Christopher Isherwood, McCauley Culkin is 35, Geraldine Ferrarro, Dr. Lee DeForrest, Ben Bradlee, Barbet Schroeder, Branford Marsalis, Chris Pine is 36, Melissa McCarthy is 46
480 BC- The Persian Army of Xerxes the Great King marched into Athens. They found an empty city. Athenian leader Themistocles had ordered the population to evacuate to the small island of Salamis. Themistocles defeated Xerxes later in an epic sea battle.
55 B.C.- JULIUS CAESAR LANDED IN ENGLAND- Caesar paused from his conquest of Gaul to check out the British Isles. He didn't stay long because Channel storms were playing havoc with his supply ships. Just long enough to fight some Celts under their chief Cassilvelaunus, collect some tribute, and add a chapter to his memoirs.
The Romans returned in A.D. 61 under instructions from Claudius to conquer and colonize. London, Colchester and York were originally Roman army camps. The Romans never considered Britain a good investment though, for the two legions that had to be stationed there year round to protect colonists from the Scottish Picts ( the Painted People), for that the Romans got was some tin, slaves and a bigger road map.
580AD- An ancient Chinese inventory of the household of a nobleman made the first recorded reference to toilet paper. Meanwhile in Europe, the ancient Romans used a sponge tied to a small stick. You were expected to rinse it out afterwards for use by the next person.
217AD- Today is the Feast of St. Zephyrinus, who didn't die violently but he is still counted as a Martyr because he had a lot of stress. (?) He was supposedly so charitable, that Saint Hippolytus found him annoying.
1346-Battle of Crecy – The English beat the French in the Hundred Years War., The Welsh longbows rained powerful armor piercing arrows on the French knights from long range. The King of Frances’ friend King John of Bohemia rode into the thick of the battle, despite his being elderly and completely blind. His horse’s reins were held by retainers galloping alongside him. When Edward the Black Prince of Wales discovered the king's dead body after the battle, he plucked three white plumes from his helmet and assumed his motto "Ich Dein" or "How's dat, ye blind old bugger !" They became the symbols of the Prince of Wales. Also appearing at this battle for the first time were the big rock throwing fire pipes they called Bombardons, but we call cannon.
1498- Michelangelo gets a job. The big Florentine stonecutter was commissioned by Pope Alexander VI Borgia to carve the Pieta, Mary lamenting over the body of Jesus.
1572- In Paris four days after the Great Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, someone noticed the hawthorns were flowering out of season in the little cemetery of the Holy Innocents. The Bishop of Paris thought this was a divine sign, and ordered the church bells to ring. But when the dumbass people heard the bells they thought it was a signal to resume the massacre, so everyone ran out and started killing each other again.
1576- Great artist Titian died at age 99. He outlived all the artists of the Renaissance, worked every day of his life, and might have gone on had he not caught a touch of plague.
1648- French peasant uprising known as La Fronde. The Fronde was a reaction to the king's government being controlled by scheming cardinals like Richelieu and his protege, Cardinal Mazarin. Had the movement more legal structure to their demands, France might have developed an English style representative government. The English were in the middle of their Civil War over the same issues at the same time. But the Fronde was more about blind class rage, and after it was crushed it left a deep impression on the mind of child King Louis XIV. He concluded that giving the common people any voice or power was a bad idea.
1790- THE KINGDOM OF YAZOO- Before the Louisiana Purchase the area around Spanish Mississippi territory and American Tennessee was a no man’s land of swamps Creek Indians. An Irish adventurer named O’Fanlon with a group of leathershirts and yahoos tried to declare themselves an independent nation -named for the Yazoo River.
1814- After completing their work of burning Washington D.C. to the ground , the British redcoats under Admiral Cockburn marched away in good order back to their ships. One old grandfather yelled at the British:" If General Washington had been alive you would not have gotten off so easily!" Admiral Cockburn reigned in his horse and replied -"Sir, if General Washington had still been President, we should never have thought of coming here."
1838- American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson met English writer Thomas Carlyle.
1846- W.A. Bartlet became first American mayor of Yerba Buena, in 1850 renamed San Francisco.
1868- First practical typewriter patented by Christopher Scholes. The Remington Company who were famous for making firearms took up the typewriter and mass produced it. In 1874 Mark Twain admitted to a friend that he preferred writing on it.
1914- During World War I, the German artillery bombarded the Belgian city of Louvain, destroying it’s 600 year old medieval library. It was considered the first great cultural crime of the 20th Century, but alas, not the last.
1918- 17 year old Walt Disney dropped out of high school and faked his parents signature in order to enlist to fight in World War I. Turned down for his age, he volunteered for the Red Cross. Assigned to the ambulance corps, he arrived in Europe just as the war was ending.
1939- In preparation for the impending war with Germany, the Tower of London was closed to tourists and the English Crown Jewels smuggled out and hidden.
1944- Charles DeGaulle walked in triumph down the Champs Elysee among thousands as Parisians celebrates their liberation after four years of Nazi occupation.
1946 - George Orwell published "Animal Farm". Orwell said he conceived the idea for the novel while watching out his window a small boy driving a huge draft horse. The horse could have easily crushed the boy had it the free will, but instead patiently endured the boys taunts and flicks with a small switch.
1946- First day of shooting on Jean Cocteau’s film Belle et le Bete, Beauty & the Beast.
1958- First day of shooting on the Alfred Hitchcock film North By Northwest. Conceived as a story that ended in a chase across the stone faces of Mt. Rushmore. The original title of Ernst Lehman’s script was The Man Who Hung From Lincoln’s Nose.
1961- The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto dedicated.
1964- The Tokyo subway system opens.
1967 – The Beatles, Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithful met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
1970- Tens of thousands of women across North America march in The Women’s Strike for Equality. It was led by Betty Friedan of NOW, the National Organization for Women.
1971- The New York Giants announced they would move from Yankee Stadium to a new complex being built in the Meadowlands of Rutherford, New Jersey.
1980- Director Tex Avery died after collapsing in the parking lot of Hanna-Barbera. Two weeks before he was asked by a friend why he was working in Hanna & Barbera.
Tex laughed:" Hey, Don’t you know? this is where all the elephants come to die!"
1985- The first Yugo economy car arrived in the US. From Yugoslavia.
1997- Special effects house Boss Studios, closed.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the oldest political alliance between two countries still in effect?
Answer: The Alliance between England and Portugal in 1373 at Windsor, is still in effect. Britain and Portugal have been allies ever since.
Aug 25, 2016
August 25th, 2016
Quiz: What is the oldest political alliance between two countries still in effect?
Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: The Presidents Executive Mansion was covered in white paint soon after the British burned it in 1814. But when did it official become known as The White House?
History for 8/25/2016
Birthdays: King Ludwig II the Mad of Bavaria, Leonard Bernstein, Walt Kelly, Bret Hart, Lola Montez (flamenco dancing mistress of Ludwig I, King of Bavaria), Alan Pinkerton, Elvis Costello is 63, Clara Bow, Ruby Keeler, Monty Hall, Van Johnson, Willis Reed, Frederick Forsythe, Wayne Shorter, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dr. Bruno Bettleheim, Rolly Fingers, Gene Simmons, Anne Archer, Tim Burton is 58, Sean Connery is 86, Claudia Schiffer is 45
Opiconsiva- Ancient Roman festival of the first harvest.
1127- Princess Matilda, granddaughter of William the Conqueror, married Geoffrey of Anjou, a powerful noble family in central France. After the Conqueror’s sons died, England went through a confusing period of dynastic struggle that only ended when Matilda and Geoffrey's son Henry becomes King Henry II of England. Geoff D’Anjou was a zitty little nonentity, who, other than producing the great English royal line of Richard the LionHeart and Henry V was also known for putting a little flower in his hat. In Latin a planta-genesta. His family name was called Plantagenet.
1718- The FIRST BOATLOAD OF FRENCH COLONISTS LAND IN LOUISIANA- Sieur de la Moyne- Bienville established a fort and trading post on some low ground between the Mississippi and Lake Ponchartrain. He named the place for Phillip of Orleans, then ruler of France in the name of the child King Louis XV. The French and Dutch always had a problem with their American colonies, in that nobody wanted to leave home to go live there. One solution the French thought up involved sweeping the streets of all the hookers, cutthroats and riffraff and shipping them all to America. Though it wasn't exactly "Pilgrim's Progress", this influx of cardsharks and sportin' ladies helped New Orleans quickly establish it's rep as one of the wildest ports in the New World.
1814- The British Army occupying Washington D.C. continued their work of burning the city- The State Department, War Office, Library of Congress, The Treasury Building and more were torched. British Admiral Cockburn made a point of destroying the offices of the National Intelligencer, a newspaper run by an English immigrant named Joseph Gales who loved writing insulting editorials about him. An early morning summer thunderstorm doused some fires but added to the misery of Washingtonians cowering in the forests of Arlington.
President James Madison spent most of the night in the saddle looking for his wife Dolly, and trying to rally his scattered government. He was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Dolly Madison with a carriage full of the furniture from the White House tried to enter an inn called Wileys Tavern. But the owner’s wife threw the First Lady out: “You can leave Mrs Madison! Thanks to your husband, mine is out fighting in the war! Damn You!”
1829- The Mexican Government refused US President Andrew Jackson’s offer to purchase Texas. Jackson then explored other means. Sam Houston, first President of Texas, and its first governor under the US flag was a protégé of Jackson.
1830- Brabant Rebellion, Belgium separates from Holland.
1830- This is the day of the legendary race between the locomotive the Tom Thumb and a horse and buggy outside of Baltimore. The Tom Thumb weighing in at about a ton and developing a whopping one-horse power. The boiler driven fan broke down near the end, so the horse won. Still, the train’s performance was so impressive that the first U.S. railroad, the Baltimore & Ohio, shifted from horse drawn to steam railroad.
1835- The New York Sun newspaper ran a story that British astronomer Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of Neptune, had observed little men living on the surface of the Moon! The story proved false, but it boosted the sales of the paper.
1875- Matthew Webb became the first person to successfully swim the English Channel.
1893- Colored People’s Day at the Columbia Exhibition in Chicago. How thoughtful!
1896- The Journal Examiner's Yellow-Fellow Transcontinental Bicycle Relay race.
1900- Is God dead? No, just Frederich Neitszche, this day
1912- In Shanghai, Dr. Sun Yat Sen formed the Kuomintang or Chinese Nationalist Party. (KMT)
One Hundred Years Ago- 1916- President Woodrow Wilson created the National Parks Service out of 35 separate departments.
1928- Commander Byrd set off to explore the Antarctic.
1944- PARIS LIBERATED. Adolf Hitler had ordered the Germans to dynamite all the major landmarks: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame etc, But when the time came, the German commander Gen. Deitrich von Choltitz refused to do it. There was street fighting but the heavier German tank units had voluntarily evacuated the city. Free French General LeClerc led the allied columns into the City of Lights.
Ernest Hemingway and a few paratroops liberated the Ritz Hotel's wine cellar and Shakespeare and Company bookstore. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were discovered by CBS correspondent Eric Severaid living unharmed outside of town.
1945- In an incident in postwar China, U.S. troops scuffle with Communist Chinese soldiers and a Capt. John Birch was killed. In the growing Cold War hysteria, Capt. Birch was lauded as the first martyr in the Crusade against Communism, and a society in his name was formed. The John Birch Society became a powerful force for Conservative politics in the 1950's and 60's. One of their founders was Fred Koch, the father of the modern Koch Bros, who use their money to influence political power in the U.S.
1967 – In Mississippi George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of American Nazi Party, was blown off the speaker’s platform by a shotgun. Although not as significant as the Martin Luther King or the Kennedy’s assassinations, it was another incident in the violent 1960’s. George Lincoln Rockwell was also a distant cousin of Norman Rockwell, although the famed artist was embarrassed to admit it.
1970- A young singer named Elton John did his first US tour, opening at the Troubadour in LA.
1980- The premiere of the Broadway musical version of the classic movie 42nd Street. In a moment of Broadway melodrama producer David Merrick came out on stage and startled the cast and audience by announcing that the director of the play Gower Champion had died that very day. 42nd Street went on to be a smash hit. The play itself is about a Broadway director who works himself to death creating a hit musical.
1989- Congressman Barney Frank confirmed that he had paid for the services of a gay male prostitute named Stephan Gobie. The unrepentant Frank continued to serve in Congress another twenty-five years.
1989- The Voyager 2 probe left Neptune and shot off into deep space, completing it reconnaissance of the outer planets of our solar system. It discovered the rings of Jupiter and Neptune, the additional moons of these planets, and the volcanoes of the Jovian moon Io, and the ice of Europa. Today you have ten times more computing power in your laptop than in the Voyager spacecraft, yet all these years later it continues to transmit signals back to Earth. Voyager is currently in the Heliosheath, outer border of our solar system.
1991- At the Emmy ceremony, comic Gilbert Gottfried (AFLACK duck) upset the audience by a flood of masturbation jokes about Pee Wee Herman. Fox Network apologized the next day.
2001-Beautiful 22 year old R&B singer Alleiya was killed, when her overloaded charter plane crashed on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.
Yesterday’s Quiz: The Presidents Executive Mansion was covered in white paint soon after the British burned it in 1814. But when did it official become known as The White House?
Answer: It had the nickname of the White House unofficially for years, But Teddy Roosevelt began using it officially on his stationary in 1905.
Aug 24, 2016
August 24th, 2016
Quiz: The Presidents Executive Mansion was covered in white paint soon after the British burned it in 1814. But when did it official become known as The White House?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Hannibal ad portas!
History for 8/24/2016
Birthdays: Jorge Luis Borges, William Wilberforce, Marlee Matlin, Yasir Arafat, Max Beerbom, Cal Ripken Jr, Joshua Lionel Cowan the inventor of Lionel toy electric trains, Kenny Baker-C3PO in Star Wars, Stephen Fry is 59, Durward Kirby- 1960s T.V. announcer, Duke Kahanamoku-1890- Olympic medalist who popularized the Hawaiian sport of Surfing. Kirk Wise, Dave Chappelle is 43, Steve Guttenberg is 58
410 A.D. ROME FALLS TO THE BARBARIANS- Alaric the Visigoth marched a horde of Goths, Vandals and Huns to the gates of Rome. At midnight, escaped Goth slaves opened the Salarian Gate to them. Romans awoke next morning to the sound of barbarian horns. The Goths plundered the capitol of the Roman Empire for three days. Roman Emperor Honorius had moved his Imperial Court to Milan and there was an Eastern Emperor in Constantinople.
The Roman Senate continued to meet until 578 AD. But the symbolic significance of the Roman Empire losing Rome was devastating. Even though the Empire staggered along for a few more years, this event marks the end of the Ancient World and the beginning of the Dark Ages. St. Jerome wrote:” It is the end of the world, I cannot write for the tears.”
1215 – After getting a hefty “donation” from English King John Lackland, Pope Innocent III declared the Magna Carta invalid. Luckily for future democracies, the English lords ignored him.
1217-THE BATTLE OF SANDWICH: FIRST VICTORY OF THE BRITISH NAVY- King John Lackland was a pretty lousy king, but he did understand that an island nation needs a kickass navy. So he ordered land be purchased at Plymouth and Portsmouth and Greenwich for royal dockyards. This legacy didn't bear fruit until shortly after his death. A large French invasion fleet was defeated in the Channel by English ships lead by Sir Hugh de Bourg. The French didn't really have a navy yet either, these ships were hired freelancers led by a mad pirate named Eustace the Monk.
After the battle the victorious English found Eustace hiding in the bilge of his flagship. They sailed home merrily with his severed head decorating the top of their mainmast. This victory of Sandwich forced the French king to make peace and withdraw his occupying troops from London.
1227- GENGHIS KHAN DIED. A man called Temujin united a few small nomadic tribes into one of the greatest empires in history. He was named the Prince of Conquerors or the Genghis Khan. How he died is a mystery. The Mongols kept almost no records and all accounts are second and third hand. One said the old conqueror, now over sixty, had died of a fever, another in battle, my favorite is a captive Queen of the Tanguts concealed a piece of metal in her veejay and he lacerated his willy when ...you know... and he bled to death.
Part of Genghis’ funeral cortege was a riderless horse with boots reversed, a symbol of a fallen leader handed down to the funerals of Lincoln, JFK and Ronald Reagan.
1632- Battle of Alte Feste (the other castle). Archduke Wallenstein and his Catholic army stalled Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus and his Protestants outside Nuremburg.
1662 - Act of Uniformity required all English subjects to accept Book of Common Prayer, or else!
1800- Alexander Hamilton ruined President John Adams chances of re-election by today publishing a pamphlet accusing Adams of incompetence “On the Presidency of John Adams, Esq.” Hamilton was a member of Adams Federalist Party. Hamilton wasn’t a fan of Tom Jefferson either but he hated Adams even more. In the final vote tabulation The President ran a distant fourth.
1814- BRITISH TROOPS BURN WASHINGTON D.C.- A large British task force filled with veteran redcoats fresh from defeating Napoleon, came up from Chesapeake Bay. With most of the US Army trying to invade Canada or on the Western frontier the only defense of America’s capitol was some scanty Maryland militia and a few beached Marines.
Generals, the Secretary of War, President Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe all galloped about in confusion barking orders. At noon at Bladensburg Maryland, the American force exchanged some gunfire with the British, panicked and ran away. The U.S. Army and government ran so fast that the incident was nicknamed "The Bladensburg Races". President James Madison had to leave in such a hurry that his evening dinner was still on the table. British Admiral Cockburn said he: "mightily enjoyed Master Jimmy 's sherry."
First Lady Dolly Madison fled the White House but saved Gilbert Stuart's painting of George Washington, cut out of its frame with a penknife by her butler French John –Jean Pierre Sioussat. The Declaration of Independence was hidden under a front porch in Baltimore and the US Treasury hidden in a wagon at a solitary Maryland farm.
At 9:00PM Admiral George Cockburn, sat in the speakers chair in Congress and said to his laughing troops:" Well lads, what shall we do with this vile nest of Yankee democracy ?" "Burn it!" they cried. The redcoats set fire to Congress, the Presidents Mansion, the Navy Yard and marched 6 abreast in good order down Pennsylvania Ave. Around 11:30 PM Cockburn and his staff entered Mrs Sutters Boarding House on 15th & Pennsylvania Ave. for a late supper. Cockburn blew out the candles on the dinner table, leaving the room illuminated by the bright glow of the burning city. He joked” THIS, is the light by which I prefer to eat.”
The humiliation unified American anger not unlike Pearl Harbor centuries later. It was no longer "Mr. Madison's War." On a Hudson riverboat author Washington Irving punched a man in the mouth he saw laughing over the President's flight." The National Honor must be Avenged!" After the British troops withdrew the President's burned out mansion was hastily covered over with the paint that was most in supply, white. The White House it was known thereafter.
1832- In a little London flat in the dead of night top Tory party leaders led by the old Duke of Wellington executed a strange task. They huddled around a coal stove burning love letters. What made it unusual was they were the love letters of King George IV to his secret Irish-Catholic wife Mrs. Fitzherbert. The King while Prince Regent had secretly married her in 1788 but it was quickly hushed up, leaving him officially free to marry Princess Caroline of Brunswick.
Sir Charles Fox had declared on the floor of Parliament that the rumors were false and the Prince was not married. Mrs. Fitzherbert was paid to be quiet even after George IV had died. By this late date old Wellington wanted to be sure before she died that her secret would never come out.
1847 - Charlotte Bronte finished the manuscript of her novel "Jane Eyre".
1853 – Saratoga Springs hotel resort chef George Crum invented Potato Chips, or crisps.
1887- The US set up a weather station in Greenland.
1913- Congress okayed the creation of the Parcel Post system- UPS.
1939- Mr. Leslie Mitchell became the first British Television announcer.
1940- In Milan the first successful jet flight- the Italian Camponi CC-2.
1942- Walt Disney’s film Saludos Amigos received its world premiere in Rio De Janeiro.
1944-The French Resistance in Paris with most of the police Gendarmes rise up to seize key points in the city as the Allied armies drew near. Gen. DeGaulle convinced General Eisenhower that Free-French units should be first to enter the city.
1951- Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. The film won the Grand Prize and first showed the world that Japanese Cinema was a new force in the film world.
1958- The United States threatened to drop atomic bombs on China over two dinky islands called Quemoy and Matsu. Some of Chiang Kai Shek’s Nationalist armies had taken refuge there after being defeated by Mao. The islands were close enough to the mainland to be shelled by Red Chinese artillery. This caused Pres. Eisenhower to threaten them with the A-Bomb if they didn’t knock it off.
1973- One month after Bruce Lee’s death his last film Enter The Dragon opened in the US to wild acclaim. It renewed interest in the late star and helped spawn the Chinese Martial Arts craze in the US.
1992- HURRICANE ANDREW tore through southern Florida. One a scale of one to five Andrew was a force 5 hurricane. One meteorologist watched his wind velocity measuring device rip off his roof and dance down the street.
1993- LAPD announced an investigation of pop star Michael Jackson for possible child molestation. The investigation never led to any indictments but the publicity tarnished his image. Equally damaging to his public image were revelations of his eccentric lifestyle, like his keeping chimps and mannequins around the house to talk to, and all the tap water and showers of his mansion spouting Evian water. Jackson was tried and acquitted of all charges in 2005.
1995- Microsoft's Windows 95 introduced.
1997- According to the 1984 James Cameron film The Terminator this was the day the Skynet computer system became self aware, and began the War of the Day of Judgement.
2011- Washington D.C. and much of the east coast was shaken by an earthquake. The first in 121 years. Californians were told not to snicker too much.
2011- Steve Jobs announced he was resigning his positions at Apple, Pixar and Disney due to his failing health.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Hannibal ad portas!
Answer: Latin for Hannibal is at the Gates! Hannibal came closest to defeating Rome, at one point marching his army close to the eternal city before being driven back to Africa. For years afterward Hannibal is at the Gates was a saying used to scare children. In later years Romans used it as a way of saying “ the jig is up.”