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January 31st, 2008 thurs
January 31st, 2008

Quiz: Why is a self propelled automaton called a Robot?

Answer to yesterdays mix and match question on presidential insults answered below.
History for 1/31/2008
Birthdays: Gouverner Morris, Zane Grey, James G. Blaine*, Franz Schubert, Tokugawa Ieyasu the Shogun, Sir John Profumo, Phillip Glass, Johnny Rotten, Ernie Banks, Norman Mailer, Nolan Ryan, Susanne Pleshette, Minnie Driver, Anthony LaPaglia, Tallulah Bankhead, Justin Timberlake is 27

(*James G. Blaine was a corrupt politician and failed presidential candidate that Thomas Nast loved to make cartoons of. Blaine also pioneered the connection of the Republican Party and Big Business )

Today is the Feast day of St. John Bosco, patron saint of Catholic Schools (AAARRGH!)

Happy National Dress up in a Gorilla Suit Day. First advocated by Don Martin, cartoonist for MAD Magazine.

1839- Englishman William Fox Talbot says Frenchman Louis Daguerre is full of pate' when he announces he had invented photography (1/7/39). Talbot declares HE invented it first. Actually a Belgian priest experimenting with capturing light on chemically treated glass or paper as early as 1817, Thomas Wedgewood in 1770 and Louis Niepce, with whom both Daguerre and Talbot were familiar. While the principles of capturing a shadow had been known for some time, no one had worked out how to fix the image so earlier attempts faded away in a few hours. Niepce' work predates both Talbot and Daguerre by about 10 years and constitute the earliest "photographic" images still extant. But Talbot and Daguerre are considered the fathers of Photography, provided you like history English or a’ Francais.

1876- The U.S. Congress ordered all remaining Indian tribes to move into reservations or be declared hostile.

1925- Scotch brand invisible tape introduced by the 3-M Company.

1940- Mrs. Ida Mae Fuller of Ludlow Vermont received the first Social Security check- $22.50.

1950- THE H-BOMB - Despite the unanimous recommendation of the civilian Atomic Energy Commission that a "Super" or Hydrogen Bomb "would not be a weapon of war but an instrument of mass genocide and calamity" President Harry Truman announced to the world that the U.S. was going to build one anyway. Physicist. I. G. Rabi said he was shocked that Truman should have announced a bomb we still didn't yet know how we were going to build ,and accelerate the arms race. When Dr. Robert Oppenheimer protested Truman called him a “sissy-scientist.”Secretary of State Dean Acheson groaned privately to a friend: “What a horrible world we’re living in.”

1954- Howard Armstrong, the inventor of FM Radio, driven to despair by constant lawsuits with RCA Corporation over his patents, jumped to his death out of a hotel window. He first put on his hat, overcoat and gloves because he didn't want to be cold...(?) Armstrong loved heights and used to climb hundreds of feet in the air to meditate on top of his radio antennas. By 1977 his family won all the lawsuits. Today, most radio, television and air traffic communications are by FM band.

1958- FIFTY YEARS AGO- The U.S. enters the Space Race with the launching of satellite Explorer- 1.

1963- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara declared to the press:” The War in Vietnam is going quite well…”

1968- TET- The North Vietnamese army combined with the Viet Cong guerrillas surprise attack American Forces all over South Vietnam. Even the capitol Saigon and the American Embassy became battle zones. Despite an alert issued the night before, 200 US intelligence officers attended a pool party and were as surprised as everyone else. Although all the Vietnamese attacks were defeated and the VietCong destroyed, the U.S. public was shocked that such an attack could happen from what they had been told was “ A defeated enemy” It was the turning point of the Vietnam war. The military blamed the media.

1968- The Seattle city council concluded that there was no legal means to curb hippies hanging out in the downtown U- District.

1974- Apollo 14 blasted off for the moon. This voyage is chiefly remembered for Alan Shepard playing golf on the lunar surface.

1978- Polish director Roman Polanski fled the U.S. for exile after being charged for having sex with a thirteen year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s house.

1989- LaToya Jackson posed nude for Playboy.

1995- First Meeting of the WTO- World Trade Organization.
Yesterday's Question: Names: 1. Honest Ape the original Gorilla, 2. King Andrew the Adulterer, 3. Tricky Dick, 4. Slick Willy, 5. Colonel Corpone, 6. The Joe Stalin of America, 7.The Dalai
Lama of America, 8.The Smirking Chimp, 9. The Crazy Cowboy, 10. Little Miss Nancy, 11. Old Bubblehead.

Presidents: a. George W. Bush, b. Bill Clinton, c.Richard Nixon, d. Teddy Roosevelt,
e. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, f. Abraham Lincoln, g. Dwight Eisenhower, h. Lyndon
B. Johnson, i. Andrew Jackson, j. James Buchanan, k. George Washington.

answer: 1f, 2i, 3c, 4b, 5h, 6e,7k, 8a, 9d, 10j, 11g

NOTE: Some readers today are voicing the opinion that I am editorializing my own titles on the presidents. Rest assured, my friends, that each one of these labels were created in their own time by their peers.

George Washington was called the Dalai Lama of America in 1796 by James Calendar the editor of the Aurora Newspaper, he also called John Adams "a Pernicious Hermaphrodite". Franklin Roosevelt was called Joe Stalin by the McClintock press Chicago Tribune in 1935. Abe Lincoln was called the Original Gorilla by his own Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and General McClellan, Teddy Roosevelt was called a crazy cowboy in 1901 by Republican Senate leader Mark Hannah and James Buchanan was a labelled a "Little Miss Nancy" by retired former President Andrew Jackson. And so on.

I left out Woodrow Wilson calling Chester Allan Arthur a "Nothing with whiskers"... Teddy Roosevelt calling Benjamin Harrison " A bigot, an idiot and from Indiana, and I don't know what is worse!" And TR calling his own handpicked successor William Howard Taft a "Fathead" and his former boss President William McKinley as "having the backbone of a chocolate eclair!". So fear not, good citizens, today's politics are following a long and proud tradition!

January 30th, 2008 weds
January 30th, 2008

Quiz: People today say politics have never been so nasty, and so little respect shown the president. Well, here are some of the things the American presidents have been called in the past. Try and match the man to his insult.

Names: 1. Honest Ape the Original Gorilla, 2. King Andrew the Adulterer, 3. Tricky Dick, 4. Slick Willy, 5. Colonel Corpone, 6. The Joe Stalin of America, 7.The Dalai Lama of America, 8. The Smirking Chimp, 9. The Crazy Cowboy, 10. Little Miss Nancy, 11. Old Bubblehead.

Presidents: a. George W. Bush, b. Bill Clinton, c.Richard Nixon, d. Teddy Roosevelt, e. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, f. Abraham Lincoln, g. Dwight Eisenhower, h. Lyndon B. Johnson, i. Andrew Jackson, j. James Buchanan, k. George Washington.

Answer to yesterday’s question below: Who said :” Go tell the Spartans?”

History for 1/30/2008
Birthdays: Barbara Tuchman, Gene Hackman is 78, Walt “Moose” Dropo, Olaf Palme, Vanessa Redgrave is 71, Dick Martin, Louis S. Rukeyser, Dorothy Malone, Boris Spassky, John Ireland, Phil Collins, Christian Bale, VP Dick Cheney is 67

1649- KING CHARLES I of ENGLAND BEHEADED-The Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell condemns the King "That man of Blood" and abolished the English monarchy. As Charles laid his head upon the block he said:" I go from a corruptible crown to one which is Incorruptible." -Splat! The Government worried that if the identity of the headsman was ever found out avengers may harm his family. They kept the secret so well that his name for a time was lost to history. His name was Richard Brandon. In Alexander Dumas' sequel to “The Three Musketeers”, he makes the executioner to be the son of Madame DeWinter and the Duc de Rochefort.

1661-HAVE YOU SEEN OLIVER CROMWELL'S HEAD? English dictator General Oliver Cromwell died of natural causes in 1659. After the restoration of the British monarchy a mob celebrated by breaking into Cromwells’ tomb and bouncing the corpse around, taking the head and putting it on London Bridge where criminals are usually exhibited. After the head fell off it's spike and rolled around on the ground a priest took it home and later sold it to a travelling circus.( It was a very popular attraction during the French Revolution: “Speaking of Heads! I just happen to have.....”)
Eventually it was donated to Cambridge University, to whom Cromwell had been a benefactor. The college interred it but will not divulge where.

1835- THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL ASSASINATION ATTEMPT -A lunatic named Richard Lawrence emerged from a crowd in the lobby of the House of Representatives and fired two pistols at President Andrew Jackson. They both miss. Jackson, an old army man who carried around two lead bullets in his body from Indian fights and duels, was so outraged that he grabbed Lawrence and started drubbing him on the head with his silver tipped cane. He beat him so badly that the Washington police had the strange task of saving the assassin from his intended victim.

1894-Charles King of Detroit patented the pneumatic jackhammer.

1917- The German General Staff gambled that resuming unrestricted U-Boat warfare would economically destroy England and win the Great War even if it angered the United States enough to declare war. Admiral Keppel told the Kaiser that even if the United States did enter the war they would never get enough soldiers across the ocean past his U-Boats to accomplish anything. “The threat from America is less than nothing. Nothing!”

1931- Hollywood Premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Later at a dance at the Biltmore Hotel writer Herman Mankewicz (Citizen Kane, Duck Soup) got into a drunken fistfight with producer David O. Selznick (Gone With the Wind, Rebecca). You’ll never eat turtle-soup in this town again!

1933- HI-YO SILVER!! The Lone Ranger debuts on Radio. The Masked man was invented by the WXYZ station owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker with absolutely no experience of cowboys or Indians. They just wanted a hero like Zorro with a strict moral code. He was later voiced by actor William Conrad who did the Rocky & Bullwinkle narration and the tv series Cannon.

1934- Artist Salvador Dali married Gala.

1933- ADOLF HITLER TAKES POWER. After a general election President Von Hindenberg was forced to appoint the Nazi Party leader Chancellor. Hindenberg had earlier growled” Chancellor? I’ll make him a postmaster so he could lick stamps with my face on it!” But he was forced to give in. Germans were fed up with skyrocketing inflation and political anarchy so they voted for the little man with the Charlie Chaplin mustache. The Nazis didn’t win by a landslide vote, it was a 37-42% majority, with the rest divided among splinter parties. The German Army at first didn’t cooperate with the Nazis. Their real power came when Hitler made a bargain with the major German corporations like Krupp, Seimans, Bayer and Daimler to take the ‘socialist” out of National Socialists and arrest all communists, unions and other bad-for-business types. All this was applauded by big business in the US like JP Morgan, Chase and Hearst who loaned money to German firms. With their new corporate clout and money the Nazis quickly called a new election to gain an overwhelming parliamentary majority in the Reichstag. After ancient President Hindenberg died in 1934 the Reichstag voted dictatorial powers to Hitler making him Der Fuehrer.

1945- As the Red Army pushed the borders of the Third Reich back into Germany the German populations of isolated Baltic cities like Memel, Riga and Konigsberg tried to escape by sea. It was a Nazi Dunkirk, evacuations with ships full of people being bombed and strafed from the air. This day a large ship named the Wilhelm Gustoff was torpedoed by a Russian submarine. 1,500 people died on the Titanic, 7,700 people drowned in the frigid waters from the Wilhelm Gustoff- the most deaths ever in one sea disaster.

1946- The first US dimes with Franklin Roosevelt on the head were issued.

1948- 78 year old Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi the Mahatma, was shot and killed by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse while walking to morning prayers.

1956- Elvis Presley recorded Blue Suede Shoes.

1960- STRAVINSKY SPEAKS OUT. For years after the making of Fantasia, critics had pondered Igor Stravinsky's cryptic reaction to Disney's portrayal of his "Rite if Spring".
Disney p.r. said he was "speechless with admiration!" In a Saturday Review article of this date Stravinsky said Stokowski's editing of his music was 'execrable' and the visuals "an unresisting imbecility". His opinion still didn't stop him from selling the studio film rights to several other of his pieces including "The Firebird' in 1942. He needed the cash.

1961-H-B's the Yogi Bear Show.

1969- The rock band the Beatles last public appearance as a group. They tried to do a free concert in the London streets but were banned by police for fear of congestion and noise complaints. So they withdrew to a rooftop above their recording studio and played anyway. John Lennon ended the concert by saying: ‘Thank you very much on behalf of the band and myself and I hope we passed the audition.”

1976- George Bush Sr. became head of the CIA. Poppy Bush revived the organization which had been wracked by scandal after the Frank Church Congressional Committee revealed details of the Alende coup in Chile, overseas assassination, illegal surveillance of Americans and schemes to put chemicals in Fidel Castro’s food to make his beard fall out.

2002- President George W. Bush Jr salutes his Vice President Dick Cheney on his birthday by saying “You are the best Vice President this country has ever had!” He may have forgotten that his own father George Bush Sr was also once a vice president. I’m sure his mom reminded him later.

Yesterday’s Question: Who said :” Go tell the Spartans?”

Answer: It was said of Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, not for having the hottest pects and abdomen, but for their spotless dedication and sacrifice. After their epic last stand at Thermopylae, a tombstone was erected over their bones with the inscription:

Well the show I've been working on finally has it's own name. After a nationwide radio contest, the winner is

Pat and I with CLick & Clack the Magliozzi Brothers at their recording studio at WBUR Boston. Click to enlarge

I'm in New York to meet the contest winner and record him for a cameo in the show.

CLICK & CLACK will premiere this summer.
Of course, this is not Tom & Ray's first adventure in animations. Here is their cameo in the film CARS.
courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.

I think it will be a lotta fun. It's also PBS first primetime animated series. GO check out the Cartalk website, at the my links here..

Who said :” Go tell the Spartans?”

Answer to yesterdays’ Quiz below: Who first said, “ It will be The Mother of All Battles?”
History for 1/29/2007
Birthdays: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Thomas Paine, Oprah Winfrey, William Claude Dunkenfeld known as W.C. Fields, Victor Mature, Paddy Chayefsky, Tom Selleck, Heather Graham, Ed Burns, Greg Louganis, John D Rockefeller Jr., Claudine Longet (model, singer and murderess) John Horsely (1817) the inventor of the Christmas Card-1842*

*Horsley was a Victorian artist at the Royal Academy in London who refused to draw nudes because it offended his morality. This earned him the nickname- Clothes Horsely.

1728-At this time all the rage in London was Italian Opera based on adaptations of Greek Mythology sung by castrated male sopranos. This day John Gay and Johann Pepuschs THE BEGGARS OPERA was first produced in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The play was a sensation because it was an opera in English using popular tunes of the time and told the story not of gods or noble heroes but highwaymen, bawdy girls and innkeepers.

1775-THE COCKPIT TAVERN, or BEN GETS HIS BUTT CHEWED- Benjamin Franklin was postmaster general of the American Colonies and was feeling pretty good about his ability to represent his homelands interests in London. He successfully argued the American's opposition to the Stamp Tax in the House of Commons. He offered to pay back exporters who lost money from the Boston Tea Party. On this day he was invited to the Cockpit Tavern for what he thought was a private party. He was quickly ushered into a secret room where he faced the entire King’s Privy Council! The royal ministers spent the next 4 hours dressing him down, Prime Minister Lord North finished by shouting in 70 year old Ben’s face:" Spy, Traitor, Rebel, Thief! " He was fired as postmaster and ordered home to America before they threw him in prison. Ben Franklin entered the tavern a loyalist and left believing in complete independence from England.

1813- Jane Austin’s novel Pride and Prejudice first published.

1820- After spending the last ten years of his long reign as a blind insane shut-in, King George III died at age 82. His son the Prince Regent finally became King George IV. Furniture from this period is known as Regency Period. Americans remember George III as the tyrant of the Revolution, but Britons truly loved their old monarch and his simple family-man tastes " Shopkeeper George". While his German grandfather George II was barely mourned at all, all the Empire lamented the passing of Old King George.

1845- Edgar Allen Poe's poem the Raven first published. Nevermore.

1886-In Karlsruhe Germany, Dr. Karl Benz patented the internal combustion engine. To prevent gasoline explosions it utilized a fuel distribution system based on a ladies perfume atomizer spray ( the carburetor ). He called his horseless carriage at first a Motorvagen, but later names it after his partner Godfried Daimler’s daughter, Mercedes.

1891- After the death of King David IV Kalakoua, Lilioukalani was proclaimed Queen of Hawaii. Besides being the last monarch of Hawaii, Lilioukalani composed the song "Aloha-Oi, Aloha-Oi, Until we meet Again."

1920- Walt gets a job. Nineteen year old Walt Disney was hired by a local Kansas City commercial art studio to draw ads for newspapers and slides for theaters.

1936- Dictator Benito Mussolini lays the first stone of Cinecitta’ Movie Studios.

nt in, 6 came out. Colonel Darby himself survived the battle, but was killed two days before the World War Two ended.

1957- Patsy Cline recorded "Walkin' After Midnight."

1964- Stanley Kubrick's nuclear comedy "DR STRANGLOVE –OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB." premiered. It's use of hand held camera for action sequences and cutting inspired by the European New Wave ushered in a new style in Hollywood cinema. So, who was Tracey Reed? She played Miss Scott, George C. Scott’s bikini clad secretary and the only woman in the entire movie.

1977- Comic TV. star of "Chico and the Man " Freddy Prinze (23) blew his brains out. Some said he suffered from a survivor's depression about why he had succeeded in life while all his friends from the Barrio were dead from gang killings or drugs. Family members said that he was just stoned on Quaaludes and was clowning around with a gun.

1979- President Jimmy Carter commuted the jail sentence of Patty Hearst.

1986- The National Geographic Society announced the discovery of the largest fossil find in North America. Estimated 10,000 fossilized remains in Nova Scotia They include penny sized dinosaur footprints, the smallest ever found. Best guess are they are from the Triassic-Jurassic boundary – a time of mass extinction.

2002-THE AXIS OF EVIL- In his State of the Union speech President George W. Bush coined the term " The Axis of Evil". He labeled as charter members Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Iran is a Shiite religious theocracy, Iraq a Sunnite secular fascist dictatorship and North Korea an atheistic Communist state- all with nothing in common and little mutual contact. The speechwriter originally wrote "Axis of Hate" but the Bush people like the Good vs. Evil thing. They also substituted North Korea for Libya because they wanted a non-Moslem power included so they didn’t look biased.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Who first said, “ It will be The Mother of All Battles?”

Answer: Saddam Hussein, commenting on the coming battle with America over Kuwait in 1991. Since then it’s become a pop buzz-term. The Mother of all nosebleeds, the Mother of all tacos, etc.

January 28th, 2008 mon
January 28th, 2008

Quiz: Who first said, “ It will be The Mother of All Battles?”

Yesterday’s quiz answered below: What is the origin of the term Red Tape?
History for 1/28/2008
Birthdays: King Henry VII Tudor, Jose Marti, Colette, Jackson Pollack, Claus Oldenburg, Arthur Rubenstein, Ernst Lubitsch, Animation director Connie Rasinski, Susan Sontag, Alan Alda, Barbie Benton, William Burroughs (1855) the inventor of the calculator, Mo Rocca, Elijah Wood is 28

1393- DANSE MACABRE- At a masquerade ball given at the French court King Charles VI 'the mad' and several of his closest friends dressed up as 'wild men' to amuse the court. They had fur and hair attached to their bodies with tar. While everyone was enjoying the capering of these strange anonymous creatures a torch touched their tar covered bodies and the group exploded into flame. While the court watched these beings writhe in agony, one duchess screamed" Oh My God! That's the King!" King Charles was saved when that same duchess smothered his flames in her skirts and petticoats. Another duke saved himself by diving headlong into a vat of Beaujolais, but the others roasted to death. The common people weren't sympathetic. One duke liked to step on your neck while sneering 'Down Peasant!". As his barbecued remains were carried through Paris, people laughed and sang 'Down M'Lord!" Edgar Allen Poe wrote a poem called “Hop Frog” about the incident and Roger Corman put it into his 1964 film- Masque of the Red Death.

1547- English Henry VIII died leaving his ten year old sickly son Edward VI "Gods Imp" king. He was 55 years old but his hard living had aged him early. Increasingly suspicious of all around him as he aged, one of his last acts was to have the Earl of Surrey beheaded for changing the coat of arms of his father the Duke of York into something more like a Royal Heir-Apparent. The Duke was also scheduled to be executed but was saved when the king died first.
1596- Sir Francis Drake died at sea off the coast of Nicaragua while trying to mount one more big raid on the Spanish Main. The Devonshire preacher's son had raided there as a young man. But by now, the Spaniards had learned his tricks so they were prepared. The trip was a failure and he died on deck of yellow fever in late middle age. Which isn't bad for an old sea dog. Better than Hudson, who was cast adrift by mutineers, Pizzarro was run through with swords, Columbus was imprisoned, Walter Raleigh and Balboa were beheaded; Magellan,Verrassano and Capt. Cook were eaten by cannibals, or Marco Polo who spent his old age trying to get somebody to believe him. British tradition speaks of the ghostly sound of Drake's Drum, which sounds aloud at night on the Devonshire coastline whenever the realm is in danger. People swear they heard it in 1940.

1829- BURKE & HARE- In the early nineteenth century scientific experiments on cadavers were still outlawed as desecration of the dead, so doctors secretly hired grave robbers to get them specimens to experiment on. Burke & Hare were the most infamous of Edinburgh's "ressurrectionists" because they didn't always wait for the subject to die, but murdered them in their boardinghouse. To Burke someone became slang for suffocating them. Doctors and later police became suspicious of the freshness of their specimens and Hare finked on Burke to save himself. On this day Burke was hanged before a crowd of thousands and his body later medically dissected. The notoriety of this case helped pass laws allowing doctors more legal use of human remains. Their story was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's story "The Body Snatcher."

1902- Andrew Carnegie was a rough crude Steel tycoon with a ruthless streak that saw him ruin his competitors and pay vigilantes to murder his striking employees and their families. But after all the rough and tumble of the Gilded Age business world he showed a new side of his character in retirement. He set up the Carnegie Institute in Washington and resolved to give away the bulk of his $350 million dollar fortune in philanthropic causes like concert halls and orphanages. “A man who dies rich dies disgraced!”

1926- Composer Kurt Weill married his Pirate Jenny- Lotte Lenya.

1930- Warner Brothers Cartoons Born. Leon Schlesinger, the head of Pacific Art and Title, signed a deal with several unemployed Disney animators who had left Walt to form their own studio but had been stiffed by their contacts. Schlesinger had connections with the Warner Bros. since he helped them get funding for the 'Jazz Singer'. They create Leon Schlesinger's Studio Looney Toons, in imitation of Disney's Silly Symphonies. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and more result. Schlesinger sold to Warners Bros. and retired in 1943.

1949- The Admiral Broadway Review premiered on television. The one and a half hour comedy review starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. The show was so popular Admiral was swamped for orders for new televisions and ironically was forced to cancel the show to focus on their production needs. The show was revived as Your Show of Shows, one of the great shows of early television.

1956- Young singer Elvis Presley first appeared to television audiences on the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show.

1978- Premiere of Hanna Barbera's the Three Robonic Stooges.

1982- Danny DeVito married Rhea Perlman.

1986- THE CHALLENGER DISASTER- As the world watched the Space shuttle Challenger exploded 74 seconds after takeoff killing twelve crew members. They included New Hampshire schoolteacher Christie McAuliffe who had won the ride in a contest.. It was blamed on defective O-rings in the rocket booster.

2003- President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address says that he had proof that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had sent agents to the African nation of Niger to buy uranium yellowcake, a component to make atomic bombs. It is one of the major reasons that led to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. When Senator Joseph Wilson, who was an inspector in Africa, declared this proof a fiction, Then someone in the administration leaked to the media that Sen. Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame was a covert CIA agent.
Yesterday’s Question : What is the origin of the term Red Tape?

Answered: In Ancient Rome, Imperial orders were delivered rolled up, and tied with a red ribbon, called a protocol. Many important documents of Henry VIII’s England were also tied with red tape as well as veterans records from the American Civil War. Such records could mean getting a pension or bonus from the government, if you could “only cut through all the red tape!”

January 27th, 2008 sun
January 27th, 2008

Now that Lionsgate has signed an interim deal with the WGA, they can resume making the second season of Mad Men.
Bliss! Created by one of the main writers of the Sopranos, for some strange reason HBO passed on this show. But two Golden GLobes proves its got quality. It does a great job of evoking the Madison Ave advertising age of 1959-1960. I came into making commercials just as that era was ending, but I remember some of those grey flannel suit guys when I was a freelancer for Jack Zander, Perpetual, Blechman and Ovation Films. Zanders was in the Young & Rubicom Building on Madison and 40th St. Everyday packed in an elevator with a horde of these guys in the same suit and Jimmy Breslin style ochre raincoat. Back in the days when you didn't hide the bar in your office, every desk had an ashtray and they didn't trust you if you didn't drink scotch.
QUIZ: What is the origin of the term Red Tape?

Yesterdays question answered below: Who coined the term a Last Ditch Effort?
History for Jan. 27, 2008
Birthdays-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is 253, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Charles Dodgson-better known as Lewis Carroll, Eduard Lalo, William Randolph Hearst, Samuel Gompers, Jerome Kern, Skitch Henderson, Donna Reed, Bridgette Fonda is 44,, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kate Wolf, Ross Bagdasarian a.k.a. David Seville- creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Alan Cumming, James Cromwell is 68, Mimi Rogers is 52

Today is celebrated as Thomas Crapper Day, when we recognize the inventor of the indoor toilet. Besides making life more comfortable his systems of valves and vents preventing waste odors and germs from re-entering the home. This did a lot to combat disease in the 19th century.

1307- The poet Dante Alighieri got his ass kicked out of Florence. At least being exiled from politics left his mind free to concentrate on his poetry, like the Divine Comedy.

1888- The first magazine published of the National Geographic Society.

1900- Italian opera composer Guiseppi Verdi died. On his instructions no music was to be played at his funeral.

1918- Warner Bros. Pictures incorporated. The Brothers Warner- Sam Albert, Harry and Jack were the sons of Jewish immigrants who had moved from Poland in 1882 and set up a bicycle repair shop in Ohio. Their first movie was Five Years in Germany. Throughout the 1920’s their little studio survived making pictures with dog star Rin Tin Tin. They called him the Mortgage Lifter, because the profits from his pictures paid their bills. Later they bought Vitagraph and gambled with the new Sound technology. When they made the Jazz Singer with Jolson, Warner Bros became a major studio.

1925- IDITEROD- THE SERUM RUN BEGAN- At this time Nome Alaska was totally depended on supplies brought by sled dog teams. When a serious outbreak of diptheria threatened to become a major epidemic Alaska had only two airplanes, and they were boxed up for the winter. Governor Scot C. Bone decided to get the vaccination serum to Nome by a relay of twenty mushers in the depth of winter, temperatures averaging around -40 degrees below zero farinheight. It normally took a dog sled twenty days to cover the 650 miles, but these men did it in 5 days 7 hours, limiting the epidemic to only 5 deaths.
This day the serum arrived by train at Nenana sealed in a metal cylinder wrapped in furs and was loaded onto the first dog sled. Wild Bill Shannon called out to his malamutes and mushed down the frozen Tanana river into history. The Iditerod dog race run in memory of this.

1926- Englishman John Logie Baird demonstrated his televisor system- the first true television image.

1927- Charlie Chaplin’s short comedy The Circus premiered.

1944- WAS WALT A RED? Walt Disney donated money and may have attended a tribute to leftist cartoonist Art Young in New York. Art Young was a close friend of John Reed and Louise Bryant, founders of the American Communist Party. The F.B.I. noted the event was sponsored by the radical socialist newspaper The New Masses and other attendees included progressives like Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg.
Disney was already a founding member of the Hollywood Society for the Preservation of American Ideals, a grouping of conservative Hollywood celebrities meant to counteract the rampant Hollywood Liberals. Disney later became an F.B.I. informant, but like Reagan, it may have been after the F.B.I. reminded him of his attendance at this little soiree'....

1948- The Wireway Company announced the first tape recorder for sale using the new magnetic tape. It cost $150.

1973- Henry Kissinger and Li Duc To sign the Paris Peace Accords ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. President Nixon hailed the agreement as Peace with Honor but the defeat traumatized a generation of Americans and confused the public as to just what the American role in the world really was. Kissinger and Li Duc To won the Nobel Peace Prize for that year. Li Duc refused to accept it because his country was still at war. “if there's no peace, it would be hypocritical to receive a prize for it!" Henry the K didn’t have a problem accepting it and went to Oslo. North Vietnam overran South Vietnam two years later.

1992- Presidential candidate Bill Clinton was denounced by a woman named Jennifer Flowers of having a 12 year extramarital affair with her when governor of Arkansas. He goes on 60 Minutes with his wife Hilary and calls her a liar. Of course we now know they did have an affair, but hey, that’s politics.
Yesterdays question: Who coined the term a Last Ditch Effort?

Answer: In 1672 France invaded Holland and occupied most of the country. When a sympathetic English minister said to Dutch leader William of Orange, why don’t you admit your cause us lost? William replied:” A cause is not lost until you die in the last ditch.” William not only drove out the invaders, he became King of England in 1688.
During the American Revolution, the citizens of Westmoreland issued a grandiloquent proclamation in 1778 saying, 'In War We know but one additional Obligation, To die in the Last Ditch or uphold our Nation'. So a Last Ditch Effort means a final desperate attempt.