Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: open(/home/content/49/7882149/tmp/sess_avavnf9d4p0kc1qe0bn2ikp6n7, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in /home/content/49/7882149/html/~motcp/_auth.php on line 2

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/49/7882149/html/~motcp/_auth.php:2) in /home/content/49/7882149/html/~motcp/_auth.php on line 2

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/content/49/7882149/html/~motcp/_auth.php:2) in /home/content/49/7882149/html/~motcp/_auth.php on line 2
TomSito.com - TOM'S BLOG

BACK to Blog Posts

VIEW Blog Titles from April 2008

ARCHIVE

Blog Posts from April 2008:

April 30th, 2008 weds
April 29th, 2008

Quiz: What is meant by something being Ersatz? Like ersatz coffee?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What are the modern names of these countries? Formosa, IndoChina, New France, New Spain, Mauritania?
------------------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/30/2008
Birthdays: Franz Lehar,Max Skladanowsky German cinema pioneer, Czech novelist Jaroslav Hasek, Eve Arden, Jill Clayburgh, Alice B. Toklas, Willie Nelson, Isaiah Thomas, Cloris Leachman, Jane Campion, Lars von Trier, Burt Young,, Kirsten Dunst is 26

Happy Birthday Bill Plympton!

Walpurgisnacht- In the Hartz Mountains of Germany the eve the Feast Day of St. Walpurga the demon chaser is a Halloween kind of party, when the Devil can romp for a night. It's part of the inspiration for Mussogorsky's "Night on Bald Mountain".

1598-Conquistador Don Juan de Onate claimed for Spain all of "New Mexico", a province comprising Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and California. He began an aggressive colonization policy among the Pueblo Indians.

1789-FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES-wearing a suit of Connecticut homespun and a sword on his hip, George Washington was inaugurated on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York as the first President. John Hancock and John Adams were always annoyed that they weren't made first president before him. Thomas Jefferson originally thought the position of elected ruler ridiculous "So they've saddled us with a Polish King." (The Kings of Poland at the time were elected figureheads with no power). Jefferson was made first Secretary of State and felt the position was so useless since we had no foreign policy he asked to also be made attorney general so he could do something to pass the time. Alexander Hamilton wanted to be first Secretary of the Treasury so he could manipulate it into something resembling a Prime Minister. This was the way the Exchequer had evolved in England. At the same time Vice President Adams was hoping for the same kind of power. But Washington had his own ideas. His animosity with Adams may explain why the Vice Presidency evolved into the useless position it is. And Congress set up the Ways and Means Committee to curb the autocratic methods of Hamilton's Treasury Department. It's amazing that despite all this intrigue the system worked out the way it did....

1803- THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE - Spain had governed Louisiana since the French defeat in the Seven Years War. At first Napoleon dreamed of rebuilding France’s colonial empire, but after his naval defeats and the long war against rebels in Haiti he soured on the project. He had duped the King of Spain into giving him back Louisiana in exchange for the Italian Duchy of Parma. The King of Spain’s only stipulation was that should France ever wish to unload Louisiana it must come back to Spain. Napoleon said:"Trust Me!" then figured he could do the British most damage by giving it to the Yankees. Spain never did get Parma either. The US wanted to buy New Orleans from France the way they bought Alabama from Spain and Maine from England. America's nightmare was England taking Louisiana from France the way they took away Canada in 1759. Then American expansion would be permanently confined to the east coast and the U.S. would be a one time zone country. Napoleon decided not jut to sell them The Big Easy but the entire Deep South and Midwest up to Montana ! At the stroke of a pen the land mass of the United States doubled. Such a deal! Napoleon later wrote: "I have confirmed the might of the United States and in her raised a Rival to England, that will one day Humble her Pride !"

1859- CAMARONE DAY- National Holiday of the French Foreign Legion.
It commemorates a battle during the French Empire in Mexico. 175 legionaries were attacked at a little ranchero called Camarone by thousands of Juaristas. The legionaries fought until only 12 were left alive with no more bullets. When the Mexican commander called upon them to surrender Capt. Danjou ordered "Fix bayonets and Charge!"
Today the wooden hand of Capt. Danjou is a relic at the Legions headquarters outside Marseilles. Since then to do an insanely gutsy action, in Legion parlance, is a Camarone. In 1951 in Korea, when the Foreign Legion rose from their trenches to fight hand to hand with human wave attacks of Red Chinese, their war cry was "Camarone! Camarone!"

1897- The Discovery of the Electron. English Professor J.J Thompson discovered a subatomic particle 100 times smaller than a proton. He called it a 'corpusle' but later changed it to 'electron'.

1900- John Luther Jones , called CASEY JONES died in a spectacular train crash near Vaughn Mississippi. Jones' freight train was running 75 minutes late so he stoked up his engine to 100 mph. Suddenly a switching error put a passenger train in his path. Jones stayed at the controls, trying to stop the train while his crew jumped to safety. There was a head on collision, but because of Casey Jone’s bravery, his was the only death. A brakeman later wrote the famous folksong. Union activists prefer to remember that Jones was a strikebreaker running his train recklessly, in defiance of a strike, just to impress his employers. The union still paid his widow his $3000 dollar life insurance. Folksinger Joe Hill in his song "Casey Jones the Union Scab." told how when he went to heaven, the Angel’s Union Local #23 "fired Casey down the Golden Stair.."

1905- At Evansville Illinois, future baseball umpire Cy Rigler began the practice of raising his right arm to indicate strikes, so that friends in the outfield could distinguish calls.

1934- In Berlin hotel Chancellor Hitler met Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who showed him the plans for a cheap inexpensive car the average German could afford. A people’s car or VolksWagen. It would become the VW beetle.

1939- The 1939 World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows, NY. The Trylon & Perisphere presided over the gleaming Art-Deco paean to optimism, even as the world waited nervously for Hitler’s next move. With President Franklin D. Roosevelt in attendance the NBC network began regular television broadcasting. It only went to a few homes. Experts were not optimistic about the public taking to watching TV." It requires a darkened room and constant attention." one said.

1943- The body of an American Major named Martin washed up on shore in Italy. On the intelligence officer’s body was found sensitive documents outline the coming Allied Invasion of Italy through Sardinia. It was all an elaborate hoax set up by the OSS to fool Nazi strategists on Allied intentions. The body used was an unidentified corpse, which, during World War Two was not that hard to procure. It worked. In July when the Anglo-American forces invaded Sicily many of the German heavy forces were waiting in Sardinia.

1945- BERLIN FALLS. Sergeants Yegorov and Kantariya raise the red flag over the Reichstag as the last Nazi resistance in the capitol was stamped out. After a late supper of spaghetti and a tossed salad Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun bit down on cyanide capsules and Hitler put a revolver in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Dr. Josef Goebbels and his family took poison but secretary Martin Bormann decided to take his chances making a run for it. For years it was thought he had made it to Latin America but in the late 1980's excavations in Berlin found his skeleton under a collapsed building crouching behind a tank. Hitler even left instructions to have his Alsatian dog Blondi poisoned. The bodies were taken out to a ditch and burned with gasoline. A famous photo of a dead man with a Hitler mustache, was in reality a body double shown to the Russians to throw them off the track. Today, Adolf Hitlers’ skull is sitting in a filing cabinet in Moscow somewhere.
When Marshal Zhukov informed Soviet leader Josef Stalin by telephone of Hitler's death, Uncle Joe said:" Doigralsya, podlets!" So, that's the end of the bastard!" Soviet troops found in Hitler’s office that he did possess a large world globe like Charlie Chaplin’s film the Great Dictator. The globe had arrows drawn in red pen pointed at England and the United States with Hitler’s handwritten scribbles "Look out! Here I come!". Russians covered the Reich Chancellery building with graffiti- the most popular being "Svenia went to Berlin" a version of the American "Kilroy was Here".

1945- "Arthur Godfrey Time" debuts on CBS radio. Godfrey was a local Washington D.C.deejay who gained nationwide fame for his emotional coverage of the funeral of FDR. He then went from radio to television, hosting the first regularly successful television entertainment program. Godfrey in later life got increasingly hard on his employees and in an infamous incident actually fired singer Julius LaRosa live on the air.

1948- The first civilian Land Rover automobiles produced.

1948- David Ben-Gurion read the declaration of independence of the State of Israel to a cheering crowd in Tel Aviv.

1952 - Mr Potato Head is 1st toy advertised on television. In 2000 Rhode Island declared itself the Mr Potato Head State. the Hasbro Toy Company is headquartered in Pawtucket, a city just outside of Providence.

1973- As the Watergate Scandal accelerates, President Nixon tells all his senior White House Staff- H.R.Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Nicholas Katzenbach and attorney general John Mitchell that they were all fired.

1975 -SAIGON FELL. As Huey helicopters lifted the last panic stricken evacuees off of the US embassy roof, the South Vietnamese capitol city Saigon was taken by the Communist North Vietnamese army. Over 7000 people were lifted out by helicopter to the U.S. fleet, the largest helicopter evacuation ever. One of the last out was US ambassador William Martin, with the Stars & Stripes folded under his jacket. As North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Thin accepted the surrender of the city he told acting South Vietnamese President Big Minh “ Do not be sad. Only the Americans are defeated. Consider this a moment of Joy.” The Vietnam War ends. Vietnamese call it the War of Unification. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

1980- Bert Lance, White House budget director for President Jimmy Carter was cleared of nine charges of fraud. Lance had once explained the economy thus: " Think of the Inflationary Spiral as a giant Corkscrew, and think of yourselves as the Cork."

1988- Tom Hanks married actress Rita Wilson.

1993- In Hamburg, young tennis star Monica Seles had just completed a match when lunatic fan named Gunter Parche jumped out of the crowd and stabbed her in the back with a knife. He didn’t want Monica to overtake Stephy Graff, whom he was stalking . Monica Seles recovered and resumed competition but never again regained her world championship poise. Parche spent a little time in prison but was soon released. And Stephy Graff did stay the number one seed.

1992- BERN, the Geneva particle lab where the World Wide Web was developed by Tim Berner, declared that WWW. aka the Web would be open and free to all with no restrictions or royalties to be paid to them.

1993- The Walt Disney Company announced it’s purchase of the independent film producer Miramax. A few years later the Weinstein Brothers, who had made Miramax an independent power in Hollywood, left to built the Weinstein Company.

1997- In the last show of the season comedian Ellen Degenere’s character admits to Laura Dern that she’s gay. Disney cancelled the Ellen Show soon after. Ellen soon came back with a hit daytime show.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yesterday’s Question: What are the modern names of these countries? Formosa, IndoChina, New France, New Spain, Mauritania?

Answer: Taiwan ( Republic of China), Vietnam, Canada ( Quebec), Mexico, Morocco.


April 29, 2008 tues.
April 29th, 2008

What are the modern names of these countries? Formosa, IndoChina, New France, New Spain, Mauritania?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Why is the main beach in Sydney Australia called Botany Bay?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/29/2008
Birthdays: Emperor Hirohito, Duke Ellington , Duke Wellington, Sir Thomas Beacham, Zuben Mehta is 72, Tom Ewell, Rod McKuen, Fred Zinnemann, Jerry Seinfeld is 53, Michelle Pfeiffer is 50, Daniel Day Lewis is 51, Uma Thurman is 38

Today is the feast day of the Patron Saint of Italy, no.. not Frank Sinatra, Saint Catherine of Sienna.

1429- At around 8:00PM, the Royal French Army entered the City of Orleans surrounded on three sides by the besieging English knights. The torchlight glinted off the armor of the great warriors like the Duke DuAlencon, Giles Des Rais, Etienne LaVignoles” the Angry-One”. But all eyes were on their warchief, a little 17 year old peasant girl in white armor- Joan La Pucelle, Joan the Maid. Since she was illiterate she immediately dictated a letter to the English army : “Surrender to the Maid, sent by God the King of Heaven, the keys to all the French towns you have despoiled and go home!” Joan of Arc was once asked "Do you hate the English?" She replied- "I love the English -in England!"

1749-In Philadelphia inventor Ben Franklin hosted a dinner party where he used his new battery to electrocute the turkeys to be roasted for the amusement of his guests.

1771- Artist Benjamin West unveils his painting of the “Death of General Wolfe” at the Royal Academy in London. Wolfe was killed in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which decided that Canada would be English. West’s portrayal of Wolfe in his actual uniform instead an idealized Grecian god was considered scandalously realistic and revolutionized painting.


1786- The day before his opera THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO was to premiere, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sat down after dinner and wrote the famous overture. Friends said he liked to think while playing billiards.

1914- THE SILENT PROTEST- Writer Upton Sinclair gained national prominence as an activist by standing with other intellectuals silently in front of the Standard Oil headquarters in Washington D.C.. The protest was to accuse the company of the infamous Ludlow Massacre, when company hired vigilantes set upon a camp of striking unionists and murdered them and their families including 11 children. When loud protests in front of Standard Oil’s office were outlawed by DC marshals, Sinclair resorted to this silent protest.

1939- It’s strangely ironic that Adolf Hitler’s Government while murdering millions also waged campaigns against cancer and smoking. This day the Nazi Party officially banned smoking in all their offices because of health concerns. The rest of the world wouldn’t even begin to link cancer with cigarette smoking until the 1960’s.

1944- Dancing Romeos, the last Our Gang comedy short was produced by MGM, which had bought the franchise in 1938 from Hal Roach.

1945- ADOLPH AND EVA'S WEDDING- With the Red Army knocking on the door, Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun get married in their bunker. They celebrate by having dinner of spaghetti and a small green salad and then commit suicide.

1962- President John Kennedy hosted a dinner for a group of Nobel Prize winners at the White House. Kennedy said: “ I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

1975- In the wee hours of the morning Communist North Vietnamese began their final attack on the South Vietnamese capitol of Saigon. Missiles struck the runway at Tahn Sun Nhut Airport so the big Air Force C-130 cargo planes could not land. The evacuation out to the US 7th Fleet offshore would be done all by helicopters. It was the biggest helicopter airlift in history. The signal on the radio to begin the air evacuation was Bing Crosby’s recording of White Christmas.

1992- THE GREAT LOS ANGELES RIOT- Los Angeleanos go berserk after an all white jury in Simi Valley acquitted the policemen who beat up drunk motorist Rodney King while being videotaped. 58 killed, 2500 businesses destroyed, $1.5 billion dollars in damage, 13,200 arrests and large sections of Los Angeles put under martial law. Even Rodney King was moved to go on TV and proclaim: " Can't we all just get along?" Part of the reason the disturbance spun out of control was the hotheaded police chief of the LAPD Darryl Gates was incommunicado for several hours at the beginning of the crisis. He was at a fundraising party in Bel Air to get money to fuel his quarrel with Mayor Tom Bradley -a former LAPD officer. One irony was the loot-crazed mob ran right past the L.A. County Art Museum to sack a department store on the next corner. I guess they felt that there was nothing of value in it, which is in agreement with many art critics. The Beverly Hills Police, a separate entity, kept the peace by arresting everyone they saw.

2001- Pioneer 10 was a space probe launched to the outer planets in 1972. After sending the first photos of Jupiter and Pluto in 1973 Pioneer 10 left our solar system and headed for deep space in 1997. It’s aimed for the Constellation Taurus. This day 7 billion miles away Pioneer 10 phoned home to say it was fine. It’s last message was received in 2003. I wonder if it asked if Richard Nixon was still president?
-----------------------------------------------------
Yesterday’s Question: Why is the main beach in Sydney Australia called Botany Bay? Was there a botanist once there?

Answer: Yes. Scientist Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his voyage of discovery and settlement. When Banks set up his camp on the beach to gather specimens, people started calling it Botanist Bay, or Botany Bay.


April 28th, 2008 monday
April 28th, 2008

Quiz: Why is the main beach in Sydney Australia called Botany Bay? Was there a botanist once there?

Answer to yesterdays Quiz-What is the origin of the word Assassin? See below- 1192.
--------------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/28/2008
Birthdays: English King Edward IV (1442), President James Monroe, Lionel Barrymore, Carolyn Jones-aka Morticia Addams of the TV Addams Family, Ann Margaret is 67, Jay Leno is 58, Sadam Hussein, Jean Redpath, James Baker III, Penelope Cruz is 34, Jessica Alba is 29, Godzilla is 54- see below.

In ancient Egypt, today was Wake up and Smell the Breeze Day, the earliest known Spring festival in history. As part of the festivities, Egyptians ate a small dried fermented fish called Fessig, which they thought prevented diseases blown in by the desert.

1192- CONRAD OF MONFERRAT SLAIN BY THE ASSASSINS OF ALAMUT-
The word "assassin" comes from "hash-a-shin" or "eaters of Hashish". Their leader Sheik Ibn-Abdel Sinan, was called :"The Old Man of the Mountain". He established his cult on a mountain fortress in Lebanon and got his followers stoned in a pleasure garden filled with pretty girls, then telling them they had just spent some time in Paradise. And if they were good he’d let them in for more visits. Abdel Sinan ran his sect like an extortion racket throughout the Middle East. In exchange for gold tribute he wouldn't have one of his stoned followers knife you. There was a similar murder cult in India called the Thugs. When the Crusaders arrived in the Holyland no one had clued them in to this system. So when Conrad laughed off the Assassin's emissary, he was stabbed by hitmen disguised as Christian monks. Conrad was the other leader of the Third Crusade with Richard Lionheart and Phillip Augustus of France. Many believed Richard had actually bribed Abdel Sinan to murder Conrad. When Richard left that's the reason he was imprisoned by Leopold of Austria, Conrad's uncle. The Assassins were finally exterminated a century later by the Mongols, whose horde happened to be riding by when they thought their fortress would be fun to sack and destroy.

1376-The Good Parliament- English parliaments in the Middles Ages were held so rarely that they were remembered by nicknames "The Rump, The Mad, The Thoroughly Bollucks'd-Up, etc. This parliament achieved new rights by electing the first speaker and demanding the impeachment of a bad minister who was an appointee of the King.

1686- Sir Issac Newton published the first volume of his Principia Mathematica, outlining the Theory of Gravity. The earliest account of the apple story was in 1738. Voltaire writing about Newton claimed his niece told him the scientist had left Cambridge for the country during the Great Plague of 1666. "He observed an apple falling from a tree and fell into a deep meditation on what was this force that drew all objects in a straight line that until interrupted would continue to the center of the Earth."

1789-THE MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY. The HMS Bounty had been sent around the world to bring back breadfruit samples to see if the plant could be a nutritional supplement for slave laborers in Jamaica and Bermuda. During the return voyage from Tahiti the crew led by first mate Fletcher Christian, set upon the Captain, William Bligh, and set him adrift in a rowboat to die. They then sail with their Tahitian families to settle permanently on an island. They choose Pitcairn Island because of it's remoteness. Squabbles arose among the British and natives and their leader Fletcher Christian was killed while tending his sweet potato patch. Today a majority of the islands inhabitants claim ancestry from the Bounty mutineers. Captain Bligh got to safety after navigating his little rowboat 1,500 miles to East Timor with almost no food, an unparalleled feat of seamanship. He was cleared by an Admiralty board and served with distinction in the Napoleonic Wars, although another ship mutinied on him. On top of everything else, when Bligh got home he discovered his wife had been made pregnant by the nephew of the Duke of Wellington -'Wicked Willie' Wellesley. Like many 'famous' incidents, this passed by it's time with little or no notice. What made the Mutiny on the Bounty world famous was a best selling novel written in the 1920's by two Americans, Charles Nordoff and James Norton Hall, who met when pilots in World War One's Lafayette Escadrille.

1881- Notorious gunfighter Billy the Kid had given himself up to New Mexico authorities on condition he would get a fair trial. That fair trial sentenced him to hang. He was being kept shackled in the town of Maisella New Mexico by two deputies. One guard named Pecos Bob Ollinger enjoyed tormenting the Kid with descriptions of how gruesome his death was going to be- dancing in the air, slowly choking, eyes bulging, etc. At one point Ollinger left his shotgun by the door and crossed the street to have dinner. The Kid asked the other deputy to unshackle him so he could use the outhouse. A friend had secretly planted a gun in the outhouse. When Ollinger returned he found his deputy dead and Billy the Kid pointing his shotgun right at his face. "Hello Bob !" the smiling kid said, then blew his head off.

1925- T.S. Elliot landed a job at Faber & Fabers Publishing. His enabled the poet to quit his job as a bank teller at Lloyds and continue his literary career.

1937- Italy’s famed movie studio Cinecitta’ opened.

1945-BENITO MUSSOLINI DIED- Il Duce was on the run with his mistress Clara Petracci when they were apprehended by a roving band of Italian Partisans and stood up against a wall. Mussolini's last words before the guns went off were: "-But, but Colonel...." My father in the US Army Air Corps remembered driving into Milan to see Mussolini's body hanging upside down with townspeople invited to spit, shoot at or otherwise deface his remains.

1954- Happy Birthday Godzilla!.The movie by Ichjiro Honda was inspired when a Japanese fishing boat was fatally exposed by radioactive fallout from a U.S. hydrogen bomb test. Godzilla is an Anglicized version of the Japanese Kohjira, which is a combination of Gorilla and Whale. The parallels to the Hiroshima experience reached eerie levels when the film has a long sequence of a funeral dirge sung to the dead of Tokyo as we survey the devastation. The famous roar was done by rubbing a resin-covered glove down some bass fiddle strings. The film was later released in the U.S. with American actor Raymond Burr (actually, Canadian actor..) acting in inserted scenes. The Japanese version was not released in North America until 2004.

Happy Birthday to Yoou! I did assistant work on the Godzilla Power Hour in 1978. The voice of the big lizard was Ted Cassidy, who also was Lurch on the Addams Family.

1961-When tenor Guiseppi Di Stefano took ill, a young former schoolteacher from Modena took the lead role in the opera La Boheme. Lucciano Pavarotti debuted.

1967- Citing his Black Muslim religion world champion prizefighter Cassius Clay, now renamed Muhammad Ali, refused to be drafted into the army to fight in the Vietnam War. "I’m not mad at any Vietnamese person over there." The World Boxing Federation stripped Ali of his championship title but he won it back during the 'Rumble in the Jungle" prizefight against George Foreman in 1974.

2004- ABU GHARIB-American network news confirmed a story first aired on Arab TV that U.S. and British soldiers in Iraq were torturing Iraqi prisoners. The government asked American media to sit on the story, until after Rumsfeld testified to the 9-11 Commission. Graphic photos went around the internet from a prison called Abu Gharib. It was once a prison used by dictator Saddam Hussein. President Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said they had no knowledge the abuses, despite Defense Dept documents listed investigations into prisoner abuse went back to the previous November. The Pentagon investigations cleared all the top officials of any wrongdoing. Just a few National Guard soldiers were blamed, and their commander General Jane Kaminski was reprimanded. She said she was scapegoated for following higher orders.

-------------------------------------


April 27th, 2008 sun
April 27th, 2008

Quiz: What is the origin of the word assassin?

Yesterday’s Quiz: What are the modern names of these countries- Ceylon, Siam, Lusitania, Rhodesia, Frisia? Answer below….
--------------------------------------------------
History for 4/27/2008
Birthdays: Ulysses S. Grant*, King Edward IV, Samuel Morse, Mary Wollenstonecraft, Edward Gibbon, Anouk Aimee, Sheena Easton, Sandy Dennis, Coretta Scott King, Walter Lantz, Jack Klugman

* He was born Hiram Ulysses which he changed to Ulysses Hiram and his West Point administrator mistakenly noted Ulysses Simpson Grant which he just went along with. Close friends called him Sam.

1278- Today is the Feast day of Saint Zita of the Magic Beans, the patron saint of domestic servants. No, I’m not making this up.

1521- MAGELLAN EATEN- Fernan' De Maghellanes (Magellan) was the captain who found a way around the Americas to Asia. Although he was ordered to conquer the Portuguese Moluccas he paused after his discovery of the Phillipines to convert the population to Catholicism. Magellan tried to demonstrate the power of the Spanish King to the Lord of Cebu by attacking a village called Mactan who was the enemy of Cebu. Almost at once everything started to go wrong. First the village was too far inland for his ships cannon so his men had to wade ashore .In doing so their powder got wet so their guns were useless. Then while fighting hand-to-hand a lucky fishbone tipped spear hurled through Magellan's helmet visor and killed him. The Lord of Cebu was unimpressed. The Spanish captains tried to barter for his body but the tribesmen said such a powerful enemy must stay for dinner.

1667- Blind poet John Milton sold his masterpiece "Paradise Lost" to publisher Samuel Simmons for ten pounds. Ten years earlier under Oliver Cromwell’s patronage Milton was getting over a thousand pounds each for his poems

1763- PONTIAC’S REBELLION. After France surrendered Canada to England, the Great Lakes Indian tribes were offended by their treatment from their new British masters. The redcoats ended many of the subsidies and gift giving the French provided. This day an Ottawa chief named Pontiac called a secret council on the Ecorse River about ten miles below Detroit. More than 400 chiefs and warriors from the Huron ,Sauk, Fox, Pottawatomis , Miamis and Ottawas attended. Chief Pontiac spoke of the words he heard from the mysterious Delaware Prophet. Delaware Prophet said he had traveled up to the Spirit World to meet the Master of Life himself, who said he was sad that the Indian had fallen victim to the White Man. The whites should be driven back across the waters to the lands the Great Spirit had set aside for them and stay there. Pontiac said only by all tribes uniting as one could they drive away the white man. The assembled Indians pledged to join him on an attack on Fort Detroit and were soon joined by other Great Lakes Tribes. Chief Pontiac organized a simultaneous attack on all thirteen forts in the Great Lakes states, a powerful offensive now known as Pontiac’s War.

1784- Over the protests of King Louis XVI, Pierre d’Beaumarchais play The Marriage of Figaro premiered at the Opera Comique in Paris. It was the first play to openly criticize the nobility for being no better than anyone else except for being born with money. This concept alone was radical and it caused a sensation. Napoleon described it as "The Revolution already in action".

1805-THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI- William Eaton led a small group of U.S. Marines and some Greek mercenaries capture Derna, stronghold of the Barbary Pirates and end the War with Tripoli.

1919- In the chaos of postwar Germany leftist and right wing paramilitary groups battled in the streets for political power. This day in Munich Communist gangs broke into a military barracks to arrest a corporal they heard was an anti-Communist orator. They took 16 men as hostages but the corporal fended them off with a pistol. Later the hostages were found in a ditch all murdered. The lucky corporal who escaped was Adolf Hitler.

1950- South Africa passes the Group Areas Act, one of the first official acts separating the races and creating the system known as Apartheid.

1970- THE FIRST ATM- Automatic bank teller machine, opened at the Surety National Bank in downtown Los Angeles.

1981- Ringo Starr married Barbera Bach, his costar on the film 'Caveman'.UngaBunga!

1986- Investigative reporter Geraldo Rivera showed the first signs of his transition from serious journalist to sillyness by hosting a primetime TV special in an old Chicago Hotel that was once a headquarters for gangster Al Capone. After wasting an hour speculating on finding buried treasure or dead mobsters, they broke into a sealed room sized vault. All they found in the empty room was some old bottles.

2005- The world's largest passenger plane's maiden flight- the Airbus A-380.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Yesterday’s Quiz: What are the modern names of these countries- Ceylon, Siam, Lusitania, Rhodesia, Frisia?

Answert: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Portugal, Zimbabwe, The Netherlands.


April 26th, 2008 saturday
April 26th, 2008

Quiz: What are the modern names of these countries- Ceylon, Siam, Lusitania, Rhodesia, Frisia?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Many cities have a Roxy Theater. What does that mean? What is a Roxy?
-------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/26/2008
Birthdays: Roman Emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius, Queen Marie De Medicis John James Audubon, Frederick Law Olmstead, Eugene Delacroix, Dr. Lee DeForrest, John Grierson founder of the National Film Board of Canada, Bobby Rydell, Anita Loos, I.M.Pei, Carol Burnett is 75, Eyvind Earle, Alan Arkin, Amos Otis, Joan Chen is 47, Koo Stark, Saxophone and Clarinet Player Jimmy Giuffre, 87, Rocker Duane Eddy- 67,Jet Li is 45

1478-THE PAZZI CONSPIRACY- Pope Sixtus planed to take over Florence by arranging a hit on Duke Lorenzo de Medici "The Magnificent". Francesco Pazzi and Bernardo Bandini attacked the Duke in church just as the consecrated Host was being raised. Lorenzo escaped harm but his brother Giuliano was killed. Furious Florentines fell on the felons (repeat three times fast) and nailed their smoking hearts to the door of the cathedral. People blamed Archbishop Salviati for being part of the plot. The mob chased the archbishop up the bell tower, wrapped the bell chords around his neck and tossed him out to ring the bells for awhile. The people shouted "Long Live the Balls!" for the six gold balls that were the heraldic emblem of the Medici Family Bank. This emblem of three gold balls has come down to us as the universal sign for pawnbrokers.
Michelangelo created a beautiful tomb for murdered Giuliano de Medici. Duke Lorenzo ordered artists to paint the portraits of the murderers corpses. Giuliano’s illegitimate son became Pope Clement VII.

1607-THE ENGLISH LAND AT JAMESTOWN....The good ship Susan Constant and two small pinnaces land 150 men . These men were mostly professional adventurers and gentlemen. Capt. Martin and Capt. Archer served with Sir Francis Drake . Of the 150 only 12 men actually could do a trade other than fighting. Their actual purpose was to find Aztec Empires like the Spaniards found in Mexico and send gold back home. They didn’t bring a geologist so they sent barrels full of dirt that looked kinda yellow back to England thinking it was gold. They built their first fort in a swamp because it was a good defensive position. In a years time most of them would be dead from fever and cholera. Oh yeah, there was that John Smith guy too. He wouldn’t meet Pocahontas until Christmas.

1846- Since annexing Texas the U.S. and Mexico quarreled over where the border was. Mexico said it was the Nueces River while the U.S. said it was the Rio Grande. President Polk had ordered an army into a disputed border area in the hope Mexico would attack them and then Washington could declare war with a clear conscience. This day outside Matamoros Mexican General Arrista ordered his men fire on some Yankee woodcutters. General Zachary Taylor wrote to Washington " Hostilities have commenced" The War with Mexico was on.

1937- GUERNICA- In Spain the Stuka bombers of the German Condor Legion ,
Nazi freelancers for Franco, bomb an innocent basque village provoking an international outcry and a painting by Picasso. Attacking at the height of the market time for three straight hours the bombers bombed the helpless civilians with no military target in sight. As many as 5,000 may have died.

1941-An organ is played for the first time at a baseball game in Chicago.

1945- The War Department in their new headquarters in the Pentagon issued orders to General Eisenhower in Europe to begin Operation Paperclip- "to preserve from destruction and take under your control records, plans, documents files and other information and data belonging to German organizations engaged in military research." Included in the haul were dozens of German rocket scientists who regardless of their political sympathies were spirited away for the burgeoning US missile program.

1965-Fred Smith, a student at Yale, got his economics paper back with a "c'" and a note stating the idea he espoused was impractical. The idea was an overnight air-freight service which he founded six years later as Federal Express.

1969- PAUL IS DEAD. The height of a strange rumor that excited the rock & roll world that Paul McCartney of the Beatles had died and the news was being kept a secret. Evidence was presented in the cryptic lyrics of "I am the Walrus", songs played backwards and the record album photo where Paul is the only figure with his back to the camera. A t.v. special hosted by famed attorney F. Lee Bailey explored the controversy. Finally this day Paul and Linda McCartney held a news conference and declared he was very much alive and what on Earth was everyone on about.

1986- CHERNOBYL- The Chernobyl nuclear reactor explodes. While the Soviet Government acknowledged 400 deaths, accounts put it as high as 9,000. 100,000 square miles of the Ukraine contaminated and tainted food shipped to 65 million people. Historian Igor Medvedev (who died from radiation induced cancer) reported on the bizarre fumblings at the beginning of the crisis. When one engineer entered the reactor core, he saw the devastation of the explosion while absorbing the radiation equivalent of 23 Hirsoshima atomic bombs. He went out and told his supervisor: "Reactor Number Three has exploded." His supervisor told him: "That’s impossible! Go back and look again." So he dutifully re-entered the reactor core, absorbing another 23 atomic bomb’s worth of radiation and came out and said:" Yes, it’s true, it’s really blown up." Yes, he did die shortly afterwards.

1986- Arnold Schwarzenegger aka Conan the Republican, married Maria Shriver, the niece of John F. Kennedy and candidate for a double helping of lasagna.

1993- NBC announced former Simpsons and Saturday Night Live comedy writer Conan O’Brien would take David Letterman’s old Late Show spot. Yesterday it was announced that Jimmy Fallon would take O’Briens show when he takes over Jay Leno’s next year.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Yesterday’s question: Many cities have a Roxy Theater. What does that mean? What is a Roxy?

Answer: Theater owner S.L. Rothapfel was nicknamed Roxy. Like Sid Grauman in LA, he was famous for building elaborate movie houses “ cathedrals of cinema” in the 1920’s. Being an ex-marine, he put his ushers in tight uniforms and drilled them like soldiers. Roxy was manager of many theaters including Radio City in NYC, but his personal favorites were called a Roxy Theatre.


RSS