April 24, 2019
April 24th, 2019

Quiz: The English King beheaded by Oliver Cromwell was Charles I. When the current Prince Charles becomes King, what number will he be?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: Where is Spuyten Duyvel Creek? (Hint: Eastern USA)
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History for 4/24/2019
Birthdays: Daniel Defoe, William de Kooning, St. Vincent de Paul, Morgan Earp, Jack E. Leonard, Dame Ethel Smyth, Jill Ireland, Eric Bogosian, Sue Grafton, Robert Penn Warren, Barbara Streisand is 77, Cedric the Entertainer is 56, Shirley MacLaine is 85

1184 B.C. (est.) TROY FALLS TO THE GREEKS- Despite the warnings of the seers Cassandra and Laocoon, the Trojans bring Ulysses' great wooden horse into the city, and at night the Greeks climb out and open the city gates to destruction. The reason we have any date for this was this day the Romans celebrated a festival commemorating the event.
The Romans embraced the story that they were descended from the Trojan survivors led to Italy by the hero Aeneas. This seemed way more cool than being a grubby little Latin tribe who got their act together before their neighbors.
They loved this myth so much that in 190B.C. when the legions of Publius Scipio Asiaticus marched into Turkey to make war on Antipater the Greek king of Syria, they paused first to go to the plains of Illium (the field where Troy once stood).
The writer Livy states" There the grim warriors embraced and wept aloud like babes, for after countless generations, the children of Troy had come home at last." (Livy, History: Book XXXVII: 35)

1584- Japanese Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi ordered the Heii Shrine in Edo (Tokyo) to dedicate a new heraldic design - the red disc Asahi - Rising Sun flag is created.

1800- The U.S. Congress set up the Library of Congress. By 1814 it had three thousand volumes, but they were destroyed when a British Army burned Washington. Thomas Jefferson then donated his own private library to restart the collection. Today it numbers in the millions of volumes.

1833- The Soda Fountain is patented.

1861- The minister of the independent German city-state of Bremen, Johann Schlieben, offered his services to Abraham Lincoln to open shuttle diplomacy with the rebellious Confederate States. He carried a message or two between Washington and Richmond. Eventually Lincoln told him thanks but no thanks. Blood had been shed and the flag insulted; it was too late for negotiations.
Similar offers of mediation by a delegation of Virginia moderates led by former President John Tyler were also refused.

1874- Jesse James married his cousin Miss Zerelda Mimms, who he called Z.

1901-The First American League baseball game. The Cleveland Blues vs. the Chicago White Stockings.

1913- The Woolworth Building was dedicated in lower New York. It’s cornices decorated like the campanile of Saint Marks in Venice. At the time it was the tallest skyscraper in the world. President Woodrow Wilson illuminated its electric lights by flipping a switch long distance in the White House.

1915- THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE- The Ottoman Turkish Empire had always been an amalgamation of ethnic peoples. As their Empire aged and became the 'Sick Man of Europe', one by one these subject peoples- Greeks, Serbs, Egyptians, asserted their independence and broke away.
So when the Armenians also demanded autonomy, the Sultan Abdul Hamid IV came up with a bloodthirsty solution. After a botched Turkish offensive into Russia was defeated, this day the first 200 Armenian elders of a village were shot, signaling a general nationwide pogrom that would eventually kill over 1.5 million people. The first person to bring the massacre story to the world was a German, Dr. Armen Wegner. On the scene for the Red Cross he complained to the Kaiser and the Berlin press. The refusal to even discuss this event is a sore point dividing the nations to this day.

Supposedly when a top Nazi suggested to Adolf Hitler that his plans for the Jews would bring down on Germany the condemnation of the world, Hitler replied “…and who remembers the Armenians?”

1916- THE IRISH EASTER SUNDAY UPRISING -Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Michael Collins, Eamon De Valera and followers seize the O'Connell Street post office in downtown Dublin and proclaim the Irish Republic. After furious streetbattles with British troops diverted from the World War I battlefields, the rebellion is put down. All the ringleaders were executed. Connolly was so badly wounded that they had to prop up his stretcher before the firing squad, and pinch his cheeks so he'd be awake for his own death. Eamon De Valera used his U.S. citizenship to avoid execution. Initially the Irish people hadn't wholly supported the futile rising, but the fierce police crackdown had the effect of arousing sympathy. It sparked the major IRA campaigns in the 1920's and eventual Independence.

1933- Ub Iwerk's "Fiddlesticks" the first Flip the Frog cartoon, done in a simple two-color process. Iwerks was the first designer and animator of Mickey Mouse, who had left Walt Disney to open his own studio.

1944- Film Noir classic film Double Indemnity premiered.

1945- As the Russian Army fought their way into the center of Berlin, Adolf Hitler gathered his remaining staff in his bunker deep under the Reich Chancellery. He told his people that all was lost and that they should escape the city as best they could. Most decided to stay and discussed how best to commit suicide. The Fuehrer himself lapsed into apathy. His secretary recalled seeing Hitler sitting quietly in a hallway, cradling a puppy in his lap, rocking back and forth, staring off, hollow-eyed.

1949- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed.

1948- The Chinese Communists under their leader Mao zse Tung and their generals Chu Teh and Lin Piao began their final campaign to unite all of China under their rule.

1954- Handsome English actor Peter Lawford married John F. Kennedy’s sister Patricia Kennedy. This union would give JFK his link to Hollywood, Frank Sinatra and the RatPack.

1961- First day of shooting on the film King of Kings, the Christ story starring Jeffrey Hunter. Called by one critic” I was a Teenage Jesus” In 1966 Jeffrey Hunter turned down a TV series after doing the pilot episode. His wife worried that he’d be typecast. The role of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, went instead went to William Shatner.

1967- Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first acknowledged fatality in the conquest of Space, when the parachute of his re-entering capsule got snarled and he fell four miles to Earth.

1980- After months of fruitless negotiations to get the U.S. hostages held in the American Embassy in Teheran freed, President Jimmy Carter tried force. A Delta Force of eight helicopters met at their staging area in the Iranian desert. Once there it was discovered three of the helicopters had mechanical problems and they had fallen badly behind schedule so the mission was scrapped. As they were leaving one of the helicopters crashed into a transport plane killing 8 soldiers. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned in protest. No more military adventures were planned and the Iran Hostage Crisis dragged on throughout 1980. The hostages were released in exchange for arms in January 1981 shortly after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.

1981- Small companies like Apple and Commodore had dominated the personal computer market while giants like IBM stuck with large business systems. Now IBM weighed in with The IBM PC –personal computer, with basic software language DOS provided by Microsoft. It soon came to dominate the market.

1983- THE HITLER DIARIES HOAX- Gerd Heideman, a top correspondent for Germany’s top magazine Die Stern was contacted by a mysterious Professor Fischer that he had in his possession the long lost personal diary of Adolph Hitler. Heidemann was an eccentric who collected fascist memorabilia like Herman Goerings yacht and a pair of Idi Amin’s underwear. Fischer sold him the Hitler diary manuscripts for $4 million.
After Heidemann got British Historian Sir Hugh Trevor Roper and several handwriting analysts to declare them genuine, the Hitler Diaries went public in Die Stern and Rupert Murdoch’s London Times. When Sir Hugh began to express doubts over the authenticity of the diary, Times mogul Rupert Murdoch reacted in typical fashion: ”F**k him. I’m in the entertainment business!”
This day a Bonn laboratory declared the diaries high quality but completely phony. Professor Fischer was actually an art forger named Konrad Kujau who knew suckers when he saw them. He had an expensive girlfriend and wife to keep so he was writing the diaries in his garage on 1940’s vintage paper and ink. Careers were ruined and everyone looked pretty stupid. Even when they were all in jail, Gerd Heidemann refused to believe the truth. Konrad Kujau sent him a letter in Hitler’s handwriting admitting he did the forgery.

1984- David Kennedy, the eldest son of Robert F. Kennedy, was found dead in his hotel room of a drug overdose. As a child he had watched his father assassinated on live television and had never gotten over it. He was a drug addict by 15 and dead by 28.

1990- The Hubble Space Telescope was carried into orbit by the Space Shuttle Challenger.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Where is Spuyten Divel Creek? (Hint: Eastern USA)

Answer: It is the northern most tip of Manhattan Island, dividing it from the Bronx. Named Spouting Devil Creek by the Dutch.


April 23, 2019
April 23rd, 2019

Question: Where is Spuyten Duyvel Creek? (Hint: Eastern USA)

Yesterday’s question answered below: Where is the Straights of Juan de Fuca?
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History for 4/23/2019
Birthdays: William Shakespeare, James Buchanan, Sergei Prokoviev, J.M.W. Turner, Vladimir Nabokov, Senator Stephen Douglas the Little Giant, Shirley Temple, Roy Orbison, Halston, Sandra Dee, Valerie Bertinelli, Lee Majors is 79, Judy Davis, Simone Simon, Michael Sporn, Tony Esposito, Michael Moore is 65, Herve Villechaise

This was the ancient Roman Feast of the Vinalia, the feast of the first grapevine plantings.

301AD- This is the Feast of St. George. George of Nicomedia was a native of Illyria (Croatia) and a member of the Praetorian Guards, who went up to the Emperor Diocletian’s palace and tore up his edict banning Christianity. Then Diocletian had George torn up. And what about St. George fighting the dragon? In the old tradition of borrowing from pagan myths, the Coptic Christian monks took from the Ancient Egyptian religion the famous battle between Horus and his evil uncle Seth, God of Sandstorms, often represented in temple art as a dragon-like animal.

1014- BATTLE OF CLONTARF- Irish High King Brian Boru defeated the Vikings and drove them from Ireland. Boru himself was too elderly to fight, so he was praying in a church when a renegade group of Danes surrounded the church and set it on fire.
Oh well, at least he won...

1348- The Order of the Garter created in England.

1374- The King of England grants a pension to the writer Geoffrey Chaucer that includes a pot of wine every day for the rest of his life. Chaucer lived near Westminster Abbey, and when he died in 1400 he was buried there. So by chance he started the tradition of 'sections"-the poets corner at Westminster Abbey.

1500- Explorer Pedro Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal.

1538- Protestant theologian John Calvin was asked to leave his ministry in Geneva for being, uhh, well.. too Puritan. Geneva went party wild. Two years later the city fathers called Calvin back to clean up the town.

1616- After a night out partying with Ben Johnson, John Draydon and other old buddies from Ye Old Mermaid Tavern, William Shakespeare caught a fever and died on his fifty third birthday.

1746- THE GLASS HARMONICON- German composer Johann Christoph Witobald Gluck had premiered his first opera La Caduta de Giganti in London to weak box office . Today he hit it rich by playing an entire concerto on twenty-six drinking glasses with water raised to different levels to effect the pitch. He played it by rubbing his fingers along the rims. The crowd went wild. Another triumph of musical taste.

1784- Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson’s plan to extend government to territories west of the Appalachian Mountains, the Old Northwest. They reject his suggestion that ten states be organized with classical names like Metropotamia and Polypotamia. Some of his suggestions for Indian names like Michigania and Illinoia sounded better however.

1789- President-elect George Washington and Martha move in to their temporary U.S. capitol of New York City. Traveling from Virginia up to New York every town he passed through greeted him with huge parades and celebrations. When moving through Philadelphia the artist John Singleton Copley had designed a triumphal arch that as Washington moved under it sprang a strange mechanical device that plopped a gold laurel wreath on his head. Annoyed, the startled statesman tore it off.

Once set up as President, Washington realized that the first Presidential residence Franklin House had no furniture, and Congress was broke. He had to pay out of his own pocket for all the furnishings and dinnerware, large enough for state dinners of thirty or more. When he left office in 1796 he offered to John Adams to sell him his furniture. When the frugal New Englander balked at the price, Washington left the new President of the United States an empty mansion with a few candle sticks and one crystal punch bowl.

1809- Napoleons army captured Ratisbon ( Regensburg ) from the Austrians and Robert Browning did a nice poem about it.

1867- William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, an optical toy predating motion pictures..

1896-THE FIRST PROJECTED MOVIES IN THE U.S.- The first projection of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope film by means of Thomas Armat’s Vitascope at Koster & Bials Music Hall on 28th street and Broadway in New York City. Edison had to be nagged into this by his engineer W.K.L. Dickson. Edison thought projecting movies like the Lumiere Brothers were doing in Europe would never catch on, and the future of film was in nickelodeon machines. The movie show featured the sultry Annabella the Dancer and a boxing match, but the real hit of the evening was footage of Waves Hitting the Rocks on Shore, which made people instinctively duck to keep from getting wet.

1900- A celebration held in Russian Georgia was addressed by a young revolutionary who had been expelled from the Tiflis Theological Seminary where he was studying to become a priest. Josef Dzugashvili was encouraged by other revolutionaries to change his name so the Czar’s police wouldn’t pick up his family. He changed his name to Steel- Stalin.

1903- The first game of the New York Highlanders (later Yankees) baseball team. They defeated the Washington Senators, 7-2.

1914- Chicago’s Wrigley Field opened.

1942-The Baedecker Raids- In reprisal for an allied bombing raid on Lubeck the German Luftwaffe began bombing medieval English cities like Norwich and Canterbury based on their rating in the Baedecker Tourist guidebooks. If a place got three or more stars it was bombed.

1945- As the Red Army was fighting in the suburbs of Berlin, S.S. Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler quietly contacted Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte and requests peace terms with the Allies. From his hiding place in Bavaria Hermann Goring was also trying to make peace as well. When Hitler found out from Martin Borman, he was furious and ordered both of them placed under house arrest.

1951- Comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for a stunt where he dressed as a priest and solicited funds in a leper colony.

1968- Anti Vietnam War student protesters seized the administrative offices of Columbia University. They occupied it for a week until driven out by police.

1970- Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane was inadvertently invited to a tea party at the White House by Pres. Nixon’s daughter Trisha. She had invited Slick because under her maiden name Grace Ward, she was a fellow alumni of Finch College. Grace Slick and her escort Abbie Hoffman were in line to get into the event, when at the last minute White House security recognized them and turned them away. It was too bad, because she had a plan to slip LSD into President Nixon’s tea.

1971- Vietnam veterans protest the continued U.S. presence in the war by ceremoniously returning their medals, in some cases tossing them over the White House fence. One angry combat veteran who tossed his medals was future Senator John Kerry. Meanwhile, Lt. George W. Bush was in the Texas Air Guard, tossing his cookies.

1985- Coca Cola introduces New Coke. They decided to make the basic formula slightly sweeter to appeal to younger people. Its reception by the public was so overwhelmingly bad that the company returned to the original formula 90 days later. The chairman of rival Pepsi Cola exulted: " We've been eye to eye for decades and I think the other guy's just blinked! New Coke became a symbol for large-scale executive incompetence,

1998- Microsoft chairman Bill Gates introduced Windows 98 to a 4,000 industry leaders. When he ceremonially opened the first window, the system crashed- Doh!

2003- Boston area Catholic priests began to get busted for child molestation and the cover up by the Archdiocese was exposed by the Boston Globe. One priest, a Father Shayne, was an openly registered member of the Man-Boy Love Society (NAMBLA). Outraged parishioners demanded the resignation of their Cardinal Bernard Law. Instead Cardinal Law was recalled to Rome were he was made pastor of the Church of Maria Maggiore.

2005- The first You-Tube video was uploaded- Me at the Zoo.
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Yesterday’s question answered below: Where is the Straights of Juan de Fuca?

Answer: In British Columbia Canada, outside of Vancouver and Victoria. So named because when Capt. Vancouver was exploring the area in 1792, he was accompanied by a Juan de Fuca, Spanish explorer up from San Francisco. Spain and England were then allies against revolutionary France.


April 22, 2019
April 22nd, 2019

Quiz: Where is the Straights of Juan de Fuca?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What modern country is the old kingdom of Prussia part of?
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History for 4/22/2019
Birthdays: Queen Isabella I of Castille, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Immanuel Kant, Madame De Stael, Alexander Kerensky, Aaron Spelling, Eddie Albert, Glen Cambell, Betty Page, Marilyn Chambers, Charlie Mingus, Peter Frampton, John Waters is 73, Jack Nicholson is 82

Happy Earth Day (see below- 1970)

753 B.C.- Founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus. The reason we know this date was because the Romans celebrated a festival about it on this date. Romans counted time from this date. So 1 AD to them was 754 AUC or Anno Urbis Conditae- from “The Founding of the City". So this year 2019 is 2,775 AUC.

1370-Beginning of construction on the castle/prison in Paris called La Bastille. The Bastille was leveled by angry revolutionaries in 1789.

1567- Dutch protestant leader William of Orange was such a shrewd leader and diplomat his nickname was William the Silent. This day as the persecutions of Dutch Protestants by Catholic Spanish Inquisitors increased William resigned all his offices and fled to Germany to raise an army to fight for Dutch Independence. He was eventually assassinated but not before he had united the Dutch provinces under his leadership. His family still rules Holland today.

1621- FRANCIS BACON -Philosopher and writer Sir Francis Bacon had become the first judge and minister in the England through hard work and furious ass-kissing. He was so unscrupulous he prosecuted to death his first benefactor the Earl of Essex. But King James 1st trusted him to run England whenever he was away. Finally the pushy Parliament brought Bacon up on charges of bribery and corruption.
This day Bacon pled guilty to all charges and left his public offices. The King waived his fines and imprisonment. Francis Bacon on his estate free of his addiction to power could now focus on his true love, philosophy and science. He became one of the greatest minds in Western thought, to be ranked with Aristotle and Descartes. He published the Great Renewal and Res Atlantica, two works that revolutionized the study of philosophy and science.
Historian Will Durant called Francis Bacon the finest mind of his time after Shakespeare.

1741- Georg Frederich Handel dipped his quill into ink and began to write the Messiah.

1769- Madame DuBarry officially presented at the French Court. King Louis XV’s earlier mistresses like Madame La Pompadour were women of breeding and culture. But DuBarry was a saucy little trollop who had already schtupped most of the men of the court. When the Duc d’ Richelieu asked Louis what he saw in this vulgar new toy, His Majesty replied:" She makes me forget that I shall soon be sixty."

1778- THE CONWAY CABAL- During the American Revolution, a conspiracy (or cabal) of colonial officers led by a Major Conway, and former Washington aide Thomas Mifflin plotted behind George Washington's back to get Congress to replace him for incompetence. Their choice for command of the American army was General Gage, whose career was undistinguished other than the Battle of Saratoga. The plot was exposed and Conway made to resign. Washington stayed the symbol of the American war effort even though he lost more battles than won.

1793- THE UNITED STATES DECLARED IT'S NEUTRALITY IN THE NAPOLEONIC WARS. This decision caused the split in American opinion that formed our two party system and soured the last years of George Washington’s presidency. The France that helped us win the Revolution was Louis XVI's Royal France, but she had now become a people’s republic like ours, the only other in the world. The French Revolutionary Convention had a Stars and Stripes flag hanging proudly in it's hall. Americans danced in the streets when the Bastille fell and started calling each other "citizen".

Thomas Jefferson’s followers felt we owed it to France to support a fellow people’s republic against the European autocrats. The more conservative Federalists like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams were afraid of guillotines and anarchy and openly wanted Mother Britain to win. Jefferson called them Monocrats, they called his side Democrats. Europeans tried to push America into choosing a side: America almost declared war on France in 1797,1804 and 1808, and almost declared war on Britain in 1800 and finally did in 1812. Napoleon had hoped America would then send over her navy to ferry his army across the Channel to get at England. Small wonder George Washington’s advice upon retiring was "Avoid entangling foreign alliances."

1811- Last of the Parthenon Marbles pried off their walls in Greece and sent back to England on a British frigate. Lord Byron was on board and called Lord Elgin, the supervisor of this act, "The Spoiler". Today the Elgin marbles are still at the British Museum and the Greeks are still annoyed about it.

1836-GENERAL SANTA ANNA the Dictator of Mexico was captured after the Battle of San Jacinto and brought to Texas Gen. Sam Houston. Santa Anna was disguised in peasants clothes, but when brought into the Anglo camp the Mexican prisoners gave him away by cheering El Presidente! Santa Anna was suffering from nervous exhaustion so Houston offered him some of his opium. Houston was an alcoholic nursing a shattered ankle.
As they sat under a tree Santa Anna said to Houston: " Great is the destiny of the man who can defeat the Napoleon of the West!" Everyone (including many Mexicans) wanted to kill the man who massacred the Alamo, but Houston used him as a hostage to draw off the remaining Mexican armies still in Texas. Not only did Santa Anna get released unhurt, but ten years later the U.S. Government even covertly helped him regain power in Mexico.

1876- Composer Peter Tchaikovsky completed his score for the ballet Swan Lake.

1889-At noon on the signal of a cannon shot The Great Oklahoma Land Rush began. The town of Oklahoma City was set up in one day-population 10,000. The settlers who slipped in early were nicknamed Sooners and Oklahoma became known as the Sooner State. This eats up the remaining land of the Cherokee Nation, who once owned all of Georgia, the Carolinas and Alabama. The Cherokee kept their land communally, which to U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge was their downfall: "The Cherokee possess many fine attributes except Greed, which we all know is the basis for Civilization."

1898- Teddy Roosevelt formed the First US Volunteer Cavalry, called the Rough Riders. It was a curious mix of Teddys' personal tastes- Harvard bluebloods and polo champions mixed with rough western cowboys and rodeo stars.

1906- In earthquake-destroyed San Francisco, one day after the last of the fires were declared officially out, the Market Street cable car began running once more.

1915- Second Battle of Ypres- First use of poison gas WWI. German Jewish Dr. Fritz Hauber was a friend of Albert Einstein. He was convinced his experiments to create poison gas would win wars. He ran from battlefield to battlefield ensuring it was being used correctly. Einstein thought he was a fool. Hauber’s wife committed suicide. The chlorine clouds did cause a huge panic in the British ranks, that opened the way to Paris, but the German generals were too cautious to follow up their surprise and the Canadians fought fiercely to close the gap. Although they had no gas masks, a quick thinking Canadian doctor ordered his men to urinate into their own handkerchiefs, then tie them around their faces. Although exceedingly gross, the ammonia counteracted the gas enabling them to survive.

1922- Albert the Duke of York married Scottish socialite Lady Elizabeth Beaux-Lyons. Bertie was shy and had a speech impediment and it took him three proposals before she said yes. The Archbishop of Canterbury refused to allow a live radio broadcast of the marriage ceremony for fear it would be broadcast in pubs, where uncouth men would not doff their hats.
What Bertie and Elizabeth couldn’t know would be in 1936 Berties older brother Edward VIII would abdicate and they become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. After her husband died in 1952 and her daughter Elizabeth II ascended the throne, the Queen Mum lived on, dying at age 101 in 2002.

1934- In Little Bohemia Hunting Lodge in Wisconsin, Public Enemy No.1 John Dillinger shot his way out of a FBI ambush. The FBI not only failed to stop Dillinger, they shot an innocent bystander who got caught in the crossfire.

1940- Writer Ernest Hemingway cabled his editor Max Perkins from Havana about a new novel he was writing.-" Title is "For Whom the Bell Tolls" from passage John Donne Oxford Book of English bottom page seventy one STOP Please register immediately."

1945- While the Red Army was attacking the outskirts of Berlin, Adolph Hitler sent away to the south his personal belongings and files in a final Luftwaffe flight of ten planes. One plane was shot down carried some of his most private possessions. When Hitler heard the news, he called it a catastrophe. What was in that plane that he valued so much? The wreckage was never found. It’s a mystery to this day.

1952- The first nuclear bomb test shown on network TV -Tommy Turtle says duck and cover!

1954- THE ARMY–McCARTHY HEARINGS on live nationwide TV began. Senator Joe McCarthy’s Senate committee chasing communists finally bit off more than it could chew when it took on the U.S. Army. Sparked by the drafting of Private G. David Shine, a young crony of chief counsel Roy Cohn, a hearing was held to investigate charges that the Army Secretary and several other top Pentagon officers were Russian spies.

The hearing soon devolved from an indictment of the army into a probe of Senator McCarthy’s red baiting tactics. It lasted for three months and held the nation spellbound. At one point Senator McCarthy submitted a note that the television cameras be turned off for a minute so he could wipe his nose. After one heated session, Roy Cohn and Robert Kennedy had to be separated before a fistfight broke out. Finally under the withering condemnation of Joseph Walsh "Senator, have you no shred of decency?!" McCarthy’s power was broken.

1954- The U.S. Congress added the phrase "In God We Trust" on to US currency

1961- THE PARATROOP COUP- The decision of whether to give up Algeria, the colony they owned since 1832 agonized the French nation. It was further complicated by a large population of Algerian-born French people, the "Pied-noirs". They felt they were being sold out to terrorist guerillas. The Foreign Legion's headquarters was at Sidde Abbes, and for generations their blood had spilled into the Sahara's sands to keep Algeria French. So on this night French paratroop generals and the Legion plotted to stop President Charles DeGaulle from granting Algerian independence. They planned a night parachute jump over downtown Paris to seize the government.
After the rebels grabbed the governor of Algeria and a few key posts, President Degaulle went on nationwide TV and exposed the plot, calling upon all Frenchmen to defend the nation. The conspirators lost their nerve and melted away. The Paris jump never occurred. The trials afterwards saw strange scenes like Croatian and Thai legionnaires falling before firing squads, shouting "Vive La France!!"

1964- The opening day of the New York World’s Fair. It was in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, built on the site of the 1939 Worlds Fair.

1970- The first Earth Day. The idea was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin "The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy," Senator Nelson said, "and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda."

1972- Magnavox announced the Magnavox Odyssey. Created by Ralph Baer in his spare time, it was the first home videogame console.

1978- Comic actors Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi debut two new characters on the Saturday Night Live TV show, Joliet Jake and Ellwood Blues. The Blues Brothers are born.

1996- Christopher Robin Milne dies at age 75. The young boy who’s fascination with a bear in the London Zoo called Winnie inspired his father A.A. Milne to write the Winne the Pooh stories. Christopher Robin wasn’t always appreciative of all the attention. He said of his father: "Someday I’ll write some verses about him and see how He likes it!"

2000- The estranged wife of Mr. Juan Gonzales of Cuba had grabbed their son Elian and tried to escape by boat to the United States. The wife and her lover drowned in the attempt but little 6 year old Elian survived and became a cause–celebre of the Cuban exile community in Miami. But Mr. Gonzales had come from Havanna to get his son back. Back in Havana, Fidel Castro had a ball making political hay out of the Yankee Imperialistas stealing children from their parents. Finally, after months of media circus, Attorney General Janet Reno ordered federal marshals to forcibly grab Elian Gonzales from his uncles home and give him back to his father. His father pledged:" I want no one to ever stick a camera in my son’s face again!"

2004- Pat Tillman was a football star who was moved by the 9-11 attacks to sacrifice a multi-million dollar contract in the NFL to join the army and fight for his country. This day Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. He was 27 and left a wife and two children. The Pentagon played up his heroism, while lying to his grieving family and burning his diary and uniform. At the funeral, when presented with the casket’s flag, Tillman’s father snapped “ Keep your f*cking flag!” Pat Tillman was an atheist and it further annoyed his family to hear conservative politicians go on about him in Heaven among the warriors of Christ. After several hearings a general was reprimanded for the poor handling of the affair.
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Yesterday¹s Question: What modern country is the old kingdom of Prussia part of?

Answer: North Eastern Germany, Northern Poland, and part of Latvia.


April 21, 2019
April 21st, 2019

Quiz: What modern country is the old kingdom of Prussia part of?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who or what was Chronos?
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History for 4/21/2019
Birthdays: Edwin S. Porter, Charlotte Bronte', John Muir, Freiderich Froebel the inventor of kindergarten-1782, Anthony Quinn, Patti Lupone, Iggy Pop, Charles Grodin, Anna Magnani, Andie MacDowell is 61, Tony Danza, Elaine May, James McAvoy is 40, Rob Riggle is 49, Queen Elizabeth II is 93

Happy Palilia- Roman festival of the rustic god "Pales" for whom the Palatine Hill in Rome was named.

43BC- Battle of Mutina (Modena), One year after the assassination of Julius Caesar, his heirs squabble. Legions sent by Octavian defeat Mark Anthony and drive him into the mountains. Octavian defeated Anthony ten years later at Actium.

1526- The First Battle of Panipat. Mogul Emperor Baibur defeated the Indian army of Ibrahim Lodi and captured Delhi. This established the Moghul Empire in India. Babur’s army fought with Mongol bows, elephants, and cannon.

1831- NAT TURNER'S REBELLION- The most serious slave revolt in the South before the Civil War. Using an eclipse as a sign from heaven, Turner and 75 other slaves turned on their masters, and went on a rampage through Virginia. It took 3,000 troops to crush them. Turner was taken and hanged, defiant to the end. Nat Turner’s Rebellion hardened opinions of both pro and anti-slavery groups in the U.S, and accelerated the slide towards civil war.

1836-BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO-. After chasing Sam Houston’s men across Texas almost to the Louisiana border, General Santa Anna thought so little of these rag-tag gringo rebels that he no longer bothered to post sentries. When the Texans attacked at 1:00PM, most of the Mexican army was having an afternoon siesta. General Santa Anna was bedded down with his mistress he called his Yellow Rose, the origin of the song Yellow Rose of Texas.
Suddenly Houston's wild frontiersmen, filled with rage over the massacres of the Alamo and Goliad, rushed into the Mexican camp and routed them. After the battle Houston couldn't restrain the Texans from killing running fugitives, and even scalping some. Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign a peace.

1847- The 4th rescue team removed the last survivors of the Donner Party wagon train from their snowed in camp on Lake Truckee in the Sierras down to the settlement on the Sacramento River. A furious winter trapped the Donners in the mountains last Oct 31st with almost no food. Of 86 pioneers 41 died and the others ate their corpses to survive. Louis Keyesburg, the only settler who spoke openly of eating human flesh and was called a ghoul, moved to Sacramento and opened a restaurant.

1865- UNCLE BILLY’S POLITICAL LESSON. In North Carolina, General William T. Sherman had offered Confederate Joe Johnston’s army the same terms for surrender that Grant had given Robert E Lee. But Johnston handed Sherman new terms rewritten by crafty Confederate President Jefferson Davis. It asked for political and property amnesty for all Confederate leaders; that the US Government would leave all Southern state officials at their posts.
This went much further than one army surrendering to another, it was in effect a treaty that no one would be punished for the Civil War. But Uncle Billy Sherman didn’t seem to see the fine print. He thought that’s what Lincoln had wanted before he was killed. So he signed it and passed it on to Washington.
When new President Andrew Johnson and General Grant read the terms they were thunderstruck. They ordered Sherman to tear that treaty up and offer nothing but unconditional surrender. Hotheaded Secretary of War Stanton denounced Sherman in the newspapers as a traitor. Sherman the Hero of Atlanta was furious at being made a fool of. He resolved the rest of his life to have nothing more to do with politics, which is probably why we never had a President William T. Sherman.

1865- President Lincoln’s funeral train left Washington DC for the long trip back to Springfield Ill.

1911- LENIN WANTS A LIBRARY CARD. Russian communist revolutionary Nikolai Lenin was living secretly in exile in London. In a letter dated this day he applied to the British Museum Library collection to study its documents. His letter was in perfect English and he signed his name as Jacob Richter.

1910- Mark Twain died of congenital heart failure at 75 as Haley's comet appeared overhead. He once wrote: " When arriving in Heaven feel free to ask all the questions you want of Saint Peter. You may ask for his autograph, however don’t take any Kodak photos or bring your dog. Admittance to Heaven is based on favor, not merit, else the dog would be allowed to go in and you kept out."

1918- THE RED BARON SHOT DOWN- In the wild duels in the air above the World War I trenches Baron Manfred Von Richtofen was the best. The Red Baron had shot down more planes than anyone -80 confirmed kills. (two more claimed but unconfirmed)
On this day, von Richthofen got onto the tail of one plane and was about to add #81, when Canadian Roy Brown got behind him and filled the back of his plane with machine gun bullets. Other experts claim The Red Baron was hit by Australian ground fire. Mortally wounded, von Richtofen still managed to land his red fokker triplane before slumping over dead. Manfred von Richthofen was 26.
Roy Brown got the credit, but couldn't handle his celebrity status. He committed suicide after the war.

1921- The Coconut Grove nightclub opened in Hollywood.

1933- The Nazis ban kosher meat processing in Germany.

1938- Disney animator Bill Tytla married artists model Adrienne LeClerc.

1944- During WWII, the French Committee of National Liberation (in exile in London) voted to give the women of France the right to vote. The first election French women could vote in would be the following Spring, after the liberation.

1948- HAIFA- As the British occupying troops were being withdrawn from Palestine’s second largest city, they had given up trying to keep Arabs and Jews from fighting. This day the British informed city leaders that he was withdrawing his garrison. The British commander wagered a friend a bottle of whisky that neither side would have control of Haifa for weeks. The Jewish militia the Hagannah secured control of the city in 48 hours. The Arab population began a mass evacuation of the city,

1960- Brazil moved its capitol from Rio De Janiero to Brasilia, a modern architects fantasy built in the middle of the jungle.

1961- Two British teenage rock bands meet each other for the first time- The Beatles met the Rolling Stones.

1964- British TV viewers double their pleasure- BBC 2 goes on the air. Their first program is Play School.

1973- The pop song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree” became a number one hit on the US, Canadian and UK pop charts. The song spawned the custom of a yellow ribbon as a symbol of remembering a soldier overseas, which reached its’ peak during the Iran Hostage Crisis. That in turn spawned variations like the red AIDS ribbon, the pink breast cancer ribbon, and so on.

1975- As North Vietnamese armies roll towards his capitol, South Vietnamese President Nygun Van Thieu resigned and went into exile. The Roman Catholic French-educated Thieu tearfully blamed America for the defeat. Vice President Nygun Kao Key moved to Orange County Cal with much of the exile community.

1986- Reporter Geraldo Rivera hosted a live primetime TV special in an old Chicago Hotel that was once a headquarters for gangster Al Capone. After wasting two hours speculating on discovering buried treasure or mobster skeletons, they broke into a room sealed since 1932. All they found were some old dusty bottles, trash and a few dollar bills.

1989- Oil executive George W. Bush became part of an ownership consortium that bought the last place baseball team the Texas Rangers." As soon as I knew they were for sale I went after them like a pit bull on a pants leg….It doesn’t get much better than this…"

1997-The first Intergalactic Funeral. The ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 1960's LSD guru Dr. Timothy Leary were shot into space.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who or what was Chronos?

Answer: The Greek name for the titan Saturn, who devoured his children and was overthrown by Zeus-Jupiter.
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April 20, 2019
April 20th, 2019

Quiz: Who or what was Chronos?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What is higher, a duke or an archduke?
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History for 4/20/2019
Birthdays: Harold Lloyd, Juan Miro', Adolf Hitler, Tito Puente, Nina Foch, Gregory Ratoff, Ryan O'Neal, Daniel Day Lewis, Jessica Lange, Luther Vandross, Don Mattingly, Rosalyn Summers, Crispin Glover, Betty-Lou Gerson the voice of Cruella da Vil, George Takei, Carmen Electra is 44, Andy Serkis is 56, Bob Kurtz

Happy Pot Day. See below 1970.

1605- King James I granted charters to the Virginia Company to found colonies in the New World. Jamestown and Williamsburg Va. are the result.

1653- After the English Civil War beheaded King Charles I, General Oliver Cromwell sat listening to the Barebones Parliament arguing over trivial issues. He had already arrested any politician who disagreed with him, and those who were left were too afraid to discuss anything else. Finally, Oliver rose and exploded in rage:” Drunkards! Whoremasters! You are no Parliament! “
He ordered his troops to run them all out. England would remain under Cromwell’s military dictatorship until his death in 1659. A note was tacked onto the locked doors of the House of Commons-“ This House to Let, Unfurnished.”

1689- Deposed English King James II Stuart had landed in Ireland and raised the Irish to help him regain his throne from his daughter and son-in-law William & Mary. This day his army surrounded the City of Londonderry and began an epic 4 month siege. Like every battle in those days the conflict had a heavy religious connotation, James’ Irish followers were Catholics while the besieged loyalists were Protestants. Despite starvation and heavy bombardment the Londonderriers held out until help arrived, and James II was beaten at the Battle of the Boyne.

1759- Composer George Friedrich Handel died after collapsing in the orchestra pit while conducting the Messiah. He was 74, almost blind, and suffering from a number of illnesses.

1769- Ottawa Chief Pontiac had organized a great rebellion against the whites that united all the Great Lakes tribes and made his name feared from Detroit to Maine. After capturing and burning scores of forts and towns, his forces were defeated by the British and American settlers, and he was forced to swear allegiance to King George. Ten years later old Pontiac was visiting a French merchant at a settlement across from modern Saint Louis called Caholkia when a Peoria Indian clubbed and stabbed him to death. It was never known why, but it’s rumored he was bribed by an English businessman. The Indian was rewarded by a barrel of whiskey, the very stuff Pontiac warned would ruin all Indian People.

1814- Napoleon sent to Elba, a little island off the coast of France. He quoted the famous palindrome "Able was I ere I saw Elba." he had been learning English.

1836- Wisconsin Territory established.

1859- " It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times..." Charles Dicken's novel "A Tale of Two Cities" began to be published in magazine form.

1865- Robert E. Lee, now a private citizen in occupied Richmond, wrote President Jefferson Davis still on the run. He urged Davis to give up the struggle and allow the remaining Confederate forces to lay down their arms and go home.

1902- Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radium.

1903- THE KISHNIEV POGROM- The word Russian Jews feared most was Pogrom. It meant the Czars police agreed to stand back and do nothing while mobs of Anti-Semites were encouraged to murder and violate the homes of Jews. This day in the city of Kishniev, mobs killed 43 Jews and mutilated their bodies, and several hundred Jewish women were raped. There were protests around the world about the Kishniev massacre but nothing official was ever done. When Jewish leaders went to the Czar to protest, they were rebuffed and answered with another pogrom in Gomel. Czar Nicholas II would refer to his Jewish subjects with the word Zhijdt- their equivalent of N-.
Back in America, elderly Mark Twain donated money to groups advocating the Czars overthrow. Twain said:” If it takes dynamite to overthrow that regime well then, thank God for Dynamite!”

1909- Mary Pickford, the first Movie Star, goes in front of a camera for the first time.

1912- The first baseball game played at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Stockings, defeated the New York Highlanders (Yankees), 6-1.

1914- Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs opened. Commuters on the “El” could see how their cubbies were doing by looking for the W or L flag flying.

1914- THE LUDLOW MASSACRE- In Colorado a violent strike was being waged between coal miners and the Standard Oil Company of John D. Rockefeller. This night militia, Pinkerton detectives and strikebreakers attacked a tent camp of striking miners and their families in the dead of night. They poured kerosene on their tents while they were sleeping, set them alight and shot people as they ran out to safety. 20 died, half were women and children. As in most labor murders, no one was ever tried or convicted. President Woodrow Wilson sent federal troops to occupy Colorado and restore order. Even then, John Rockefeller refused mediation until the strike was broken.

1916- Mauser Day- A German U-Boat surfaces off the coast of Ireland and lands two IRA leaders, Sir Roger Casement and Patrick Pearse, and a ton of rifles and ammunition.
Casement was arrested by authorities while still on the beach, but the rifles were used to start the Irish Easter Sunday Rebellion.

1912- A slightly built London theater manager and failed author named Abraham “Bram” Stoker died. He managed the theater that famed stage actor Henry King performed. If anyone noticed him, it was because he worked with Henry King. Stokers seven books and several plays made little money in his time. But a decade later a play adapted from one of his novels entitled Dracula made him world famous.

1925-The Warner Bros. Moving Picture Company merged with Vitagraph, and began experimenting with fixing sound on to film.

1931- LA MAFIA- Charles “Lucky” Lucciano became a top crime figure in New York after he murdered Joey the Boss Masseria. Lucciano and Masseria were having dinner in Coney Island when Lucciano excused himself to go to the lavatory. Once gone, four gunmen burst in and filled Joey the Boss with bullets. Lucciano later whacked the other top capo of New York, Salvatore Maranzano. Maranzano and Masseria were the last of the “Mustache Petes” the old guard Sicilian immigrants, still pursuing feuds brought over from the old country. After this the Mafia became more American than Sicilian and Luciano organized his gangs along a corporate model. Lucky’s young gunmen- Joey Adonis, Al Anastasia, Vito Genovese and Bugsy Siegel, all became important gang bosses in the years to come.

1935- Radio program “Your Hit Parade” premiered.

1938- On Hitler’s birthday was the Berlin premiere of Leni Reifenstahl’s film Olympia, about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

1939- RCA president David Sarnoff dedicated RCA pavilion at World's Fair in New York City. First U.S. news event filmed on television. Sarnoff predicted that one day everyone would have a television in their home!

1940- RCA labs demonstrated the first Electron Microscope.

1942- The' Bataan Death March' ends and the prison camps at Butan and Palayu. Half the captive 16,000 Phillipino and 10,000 American troops died.( there was two animators there who I later worked with at Filmation- Don Schloat and Len Rogers..)

1942- On his birthday, Adolf Hitler was presented with his favorite kind of present, a new tank. The first Tiger Tank.

1945- Adolph Hitler celebrated his last birthday (56) in his bunker and announced his decision to remain in Berlin. He did allow the military high command OberKommando Wehrmacht or OKW, to relocate out of the doomed city. There was a plan for a breakout to the Bavaria to organize a National Redoubt in the mountains and use Germany's poison gas stockpile, but the Fuhrer wanted his Wagnerian immolation in Berlin.
The U.S. sent him a birthday present of the last 1000 plane bombing raid. Soviet pilots later said after this raid they discontinued bombing missions over Berlin because "every target we could think of had already been destroyed." One effect of the bombing, several great apes in the Berlin Zoo died of heart attacks from the stress.

1951- After being fired by President Truman, General Douglas MacArthur was given a massive ticker tape parade on Wall Street in his honor.

1968- Pierre Elliot Trudeau sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada. Trudeau became one of Canada’s more colorful leaders with his flower-child wife Margaret.

1970- San Rafael Cal, started a tradition of smoking marijuana en masse at 4:20, the police code for a drug bust. The Grateful Dead took up the tradition and now everyone tokes at 4:20PM.

1974 - Paul McCartney and Wings releases "Band on the Run"

1976 - At a stage performance at City Center NYC, George Harrison secretly slipped in and sang the Lumberjack Song with the Monty Python comedy troop. John Cleese recalled: “George was wonderful. He came up on stage with us as a Mountie and sang the 'Lumberjack Song’ impeccably, and I don’t suppose 10 percent of the audience knew he was up there."

1977- Woody Allen & Diane Keaton starred in the film “Annie Hall”.

1980- The Mariel Boat Lift. Fidel Castro made a mockery of President Jimmy Carter's policy of admitting seaborne political refugees from Cuba by opening his prisons and creating a flood of boat people, including many hardened criminals.

1999- COLUMBINE- Teenagers Ryan Harris and Dylan Kleibold enter their Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado and shoot their classmates with semi-automatic guns. 15 died including the two gunmen and 26 were hurt. Despite making videotapes in which they bragged about their intentions, and leaving shotguns and ammunition around their rooms, their parents didn’t think anything was unusual.

2010- The BP DEEP WATER HORIZON oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and drenching the U.S. Gulf Coast with millions of gallons of crude oil and dispersal chemicals. BP could not stop the leak for two and a half months. Despite the disaster, that year the TransAmerica Company, that built the rig, awarded their top execs bonuses for their safety record. The gov’t allowed BP to write off the $9 billion in costs to clean up their own accident.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is higher, a duke or an archduke?

Answer: An Archduke. In many countries, the equivalent of a prince.


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