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July 31st, 2008 thur
July 31st, 2008

Nice teaser trailer for Disney's 2D comeback film PRINCESS AND THE FROG.

http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/princessandthefrog/

copyright WDP

Lessez le Bon Temps Rollez


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Quiz: What was the original language the Old Testament was written in?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What language was Beowulf written in?
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History for 7/31/2008
Birthdays: Liberace, Sebastian Sperling Kresge the founder of S.S.Kresge stores. Wesley Snipes, Milton Friedman inventor of supply side economics, Sherry Lansing, Geraldine Chaplin, Kurt Gowdy, Dean Cain, Leon “ Bull “Durham, Primo Levi, Ted Cassidy who played Lurch in the Adams Family, and according to J.K. Rowling this is the birthday of Harry Potter

1620- The Pilgrims set sail for America. They were aiming for Virginia but washed up in Massachusetts instead. Comedian Eddie Izzard noted:” The Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth and landed in…. Plymouth…how convenient for them!”

1763- Battle of Bloody Bridge. British Captain Dalyell tried a surprise attack on Chief Pontiac’s camp to relieve the Indian attacks on Fort Detroit. But Pontiac was forewarned. His warriors shot up Dalyell's force. He slew the captain, then ate his heart. yum!

1793- THE BIRTH OF THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM IN AMERICA- Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson informed President George Washington of his intention to resign. Jefferson was frustrated with his endless feuds with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Adams. Although he told Washington he wished to retire to Monticello, in reality he planned to direct the strategy of his new opposition party the Democratic-Republicans. The party that became the Democratic Party was first called the Republicans, the term “democrat” was then seen as an insult. Jefferson called Hamilton’s Federalist party “the Monocrats” because he felt they had royal ambitions. From now on with few exceptions the U.S. President’s cabinet would not be a coalition of differing viewpoints but all from one party. The modern Republican Party would not be born until Lincoln’s time, 60 years in the future. Washington was appalled that his old friend and fellow Virginia planter Jefferson would take partisanship so far that he would desert him. Washington thought political parties a bad thing because it encouraged people to put the needs of their party over the needs of their country…. Heh, he should see things now.

1873- San Francisco's famous cable car system starts up.

1904- Russia completed the Trans-Siberian Railroad, linking European Russia with the Pacific Coast.

1914- Europe spirals down into world war. The Czar of Russia changed his mind one more time and ordered the Russian Army to mobilize. He told his chief of staff ” You may smash your telephone now, for I will not change my mind again.” The French government decided to reject the last minute German warning to keep away from their coming war with Russia and orders general mobilization. The leader of the French Socialists and best hope for European pacifists, Jean Jaure' was assassinated that night. He was shot through a window while sipping wine in a Paris café’. Jean Jaure’ had helped diffuse a similar crisis the previous year by chairing a last minute international summit in Switzerland. This time someone didn’t want him to spoil their fun. The murderer was never found.

1914- Meanwhile in America the reaction to the war in Europe was THE WALL STREET PANIC OF 1914. American investors feared the war would cut off European markets for their goods and thus be disastrous for business. So many sell orders deluged the exchange that on the advice of Treasury Secretary MacAdoo and J.P. Morgan, Jr. the New York Stock Exchange closed down completely until December. Brokers began to meet in the street around Wall and Nassau streets and make deals anyway. These 'Gutter-Brokers" were the world's only open functioning stock market for several months.
Ironically the war proved a boon to U.S. industry ( stock in Dupont went up 400% ) and caused the U.S. to supplant England as the world's largest creditor nation.

1922- Ralph Samuelson invented water skis.

1930- Radio mystery show “The Shadow” premiered. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows…heh, heh, heh.” Orson Welles did the voice of the crime fighting Shadow for a year in 1937 for $185 a week.

1948- President Truman dedicated New York City’s second major airport Idlewild Field. In 1963 the airport was renamed Kennedy Airport.

1971- Apollo 15 astronaut went for a drive on the surface of the moon in their land-rover.

1977- Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz had kept normally unflappable New York City in the grip of fear for one year. This night he killed his last victim and was caught because of his Volkswagen beetle being illegally parked. When writing the ticket the policeman noticed the 44 cal. pistol sticking out of a paper bag on the seat. Berkowitz was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and today says he is a born-again Christian and he doesn’t like to dwell on the past. ( too bad ).

1995- The Walt Disney Company bought the ABC Network, the Discovery Channel and ESPN.

2008- The Mars Rover robot found water on Mars.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What language was Beowulf written in?

Answer: English. Beowulf is considered the first work of English literature. Although it’s tough to read it in it’s original. The developing language looks much more like German or Scandinavian.


Animation educator Dave Master was doing an online interview when yesterday's earthquake struck. The epicenter was close to his house.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baqQd2JqbH0

Glad everyone in ToonTown came through alright. It still felt light compared to the Northridge Quake of 1994.

Oh well, this is part of the joys of Southern Cal living. Its' what we get in exchange for no snow or humid summers.


July 30th, 2008 weds
July 30th, 2008

Quiz: What language was Beowulf written in? Hint: Don't guess by trying to figure out that weird accent from Alexander that Angelina Jolie's used.

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What language was the Thousand and One Nights originally written in?
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History for 7/30/2008
Birthdays: Georgio Vasari, Henry Ford, Emily Bronte', Casey Stengel*, Vladimir Zworykin who invented the television picture tube, Arnold Schwarzenegger aka the Governator is 61, Ed "Kookie" Byrnes, Peter Bogdanovich is 69, Delta Burke, Henry Moore, Anita Hill, Lawrence Fishburne is 47, Jean Reno is 60, Hilary Swank is 34, Christopher Nolan, Lisa Kudrow is 45

(* Mets Baseball manager, who’s memoirs were titled “I managed good, but boy did they play terrible!”)

101 B.C.- Marius of Rome defeats two migrating hordes of German barbarians, the Teutons and Cimbri, at Raudine Plains. Marius built a fortified camp in their path and held them off until he was ready and his men got over their fear of these strange looking wildmen. Warriors taunted the Romans: “Do you have any messages for your wives? For we shall be with them soon !” When one frustrated German warchief marched up to the gates and challenged Marius to single-combat, Marius laughed and sent out a gladiator, "Here, fight him. He loves to fight." When he felt they were at last ready Marius marched out his legions and they made mincemeat of the barbarians. Years later Marius would give the first career opportunities to a young kid named Gaius Julius Caesar.

1540- When King Henry VIII broke England away from the Catholic Church he spent some time trying to decide just how Protestant England should be. The confusion was made manifest this day when at Smithfield the Crown burned at the stake three Catholics for not wanting to be Protestant and three Protestants for questioning Catholic doctrine!

In Tudor times if the executioners wanted to be merciful they would end your suffering on the stake early by stuffing a bag of gunpowder between your legs, so you go out with a bang.

1729- Happy Birthday Baltimore! The favorite city of John Waters and Barry Levinson came into being.

1733- The first lodge of Freemasons in the US opened in Boston.

1810- Father Miquel Hidalgo, who began the Mexican revolution against Spain, was shot by firing squad. But the revolt continued until Mexico achieved independence in 1823.

1847 - Queen Victoria noted in her diary today she took a swim in the ocean for the first time. She entered a cottage on wheels called a bathing house and while she changed into her fully covered bathing costume the cottage was rolled into the water by means of cranks and pulleys. Another time she was at the beach at Ostend, Holland she noticed the curious habit there of women swimming with their hair loose," down to their hips like penitents."

1864- THE CRATER- One of the strangest battles of the Civil War. A Pennsylvania coal mine engineer convinced General Grant to dig a tunnel under Robert E. Lee's army and fill it with 8 million of pounds of gunpowder. The massive explosion blew 4,500 troops and guns into the air and created the first man-made mushroom cloud. It created a crater 30 feet deep and 200 yards wide. No one had ever seen anything so terrible. However the follow up Union attack was so badly bungled the rebels had time to recover from the shock and fight back. Instead of using a highly trained fresh black regiment, Grant instead sent in two exhausted frontline regiments who were told they were going to a rest area. He didn’t want to be accused of racism. The Union troops were supposed to attack around the rim of the crater, Instead they crowded down into it through a bottleneck and were massacred by the rebs from above as they tried to climb up the steep 30 foot walls. Troops bayoneted each other trying to get out of the slaughter pen. Another golden chance to end the war early was ruined. Grant sacked the commander, a General Ledlie, who spent the battle drinking brandy in the rear. "The generals dismissal was a great loss to the enemy" one officer wrote. It all accomplished nothing. One soldier said:"I hope we never make war like that again".

1867- After the Civil War the conquered states of the South were divided up into districts of military occupation. On this day General Phil Sheridan was reassigned from the military governorship of Texas and Louisiana. During his two years in charge Sheridan had fired the Governors of Texas and Louisiana, as well as the mayors of New Orleans, Shreveport and Galveston. He hated Texans as unreconstructed rebels - "If I owned both Hell and Texas and was forced to choose I'd sell Texas and live in Hell !"

1889- Start of the Sherlock Holmes mystery, the Naval Treaty.

1916-The Black Tom Pier Explosion- Throughout World War One German spies and saboteurs were active on American waterfronts. On this day German agents Kurt Jahnke and Lothar Witzkhe detonated two million pounds of explosive destined for the European battlefields on a New Jersey pier behind the Statue of Liberty. It caused 45 million dollars in damage, windows on Wall Street shattered and the Statue's arm was knocked slightly askew. In later years the park service would forbid tourists from climbing up to the torch. The success of German agents in America in World War One was a reason why in World War Two-army intelligence struck a deal with the Mafia to keep peace at home.

1917- Republican Senator and future President Warren G. Harding was caught by two New York hotel detectives in bed with an underage girl. He bought them off with $20 each. "I thought I wouldn't get off for under a thousand!" he told a friend. Later as President he always kept a guard at the door...

1929 -The Hollywood Bowl musicians go on strike.

1932-Walt Disney’s “Flowers and Trees” the first Technicolor Cartoon. Disney had worked out a deal with Technicolor creator Herbert Kalmus to use his technique exclusively for two years to show larger Hollywood studios its quality.

1932- The first Los Angeles hosting of the Olympic Games in their spanking new Coliseum. Gold medallist in swimming Larry Buster Crabbe later became a movie star. Another medalist, the Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, began to teach the Californians about a new sport- surfing!

1935- THE FIRST PAPERBACK BOOK- Andre Maurois 'Ariel, a Life of Shelley', published in this new form by Penguin Books of London.

1936- Producer David O. Selznick buys the movie rights to the best selling book “Gone With The Wind” from an ailing Irving Thallberg. The "boy genius" Thallberg was hoping that Selznick would ruin himself in the process of making this film. Thalberg was convinced that GWTW would prove to be a massive flop because "Costume dramas are box office poison." Doh!

1938- Adolf Hitler awarded the Third Reich’s highest civilian medal to American industrialist Henry Ford on his birthday. He admired Ford’s anti-Semitic views. Ford paid for copies of the racist book Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be placed in American libraries. Writer William Shirer noted when interviewing Hitler that he had translations of Ford’s own newspaper the Dearborn Independent on his desk. The Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce also got a medal from Der Fuehrer in recognition the international corporate support of the Nazi regime. They admired the way Hitler suppressed Communists, unions the 8 Hour Work Day and other bad-for-business items.

1948 - Professional wrestling premieres on prime-time network TV ( DuMont )

1954 - Elvis Presley joins Local 71, the Memphis Federation of Musicians. “Uhh.Thankyuh..thankyuh…uhh, solidarity foh-eiveah!”

1956 - US motto "In God We Trust" authorized and put on coins. It was used in 1864 for coins, during the dark days of the Civil War. This was around the same time "under God" was also added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

1962-Italy announced a total ban on cigarette advertising. Consumption of cigarettes doubled.

1963 –Escaped British spy Kim Philby was found living in Moscow.

1965- President Lyndon Johnson signs the Medicare Act and issues the first medicare card (#00001) to former president Harry Truman.

1974- President Richard Nixon turned over his White House tapes on Watergate after being forced to by the Supreme Court. That same day the House Judiciary Committee voted three acts of impeachment against the President.

1975- Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared while on the way to a lunch meeting with Teamster officials at a small Detroit restaurant. He once said: "Bodyguards? Who needs bodyguards?" He hated Bobby Kennedy so much that when he learned of his assassination he ordered the half masted flag at his union office run back up to the top and spent the day at the track celebrating. Rumor has it he currently resides under the goalposts at Giants Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. Another story is that he was strangled by a Mafia hit man named Sal Briguglio, then his body was taken to an auto fender factory, cut up and the pieces thrown into vats of boiling zinc. Briguglio was himself whacked in 1978.

1988- The last of the original Playboy Clubs in America closed. It was in Lansing, Mich. The Bunny waitress costumes only appear now in Halloween shops. In 2006 an elderly Hugh Hefner opened a new Playboy club themed casino in Las Vegas.
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Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What language was the Thousand and One Nights originally written in?

Answer: Persian - Farsi. Baghdad Caliph Harun Al-Rashid, who ordered the compilation of stories called the Thousand And One Nights, was fluent in Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Latin and was even known to correspond personally with Charlemagne in Frankish. But, like all his dynasty of the Abbassids, when he wanted to have a good time privately, he was more comfortable with the local language Persia,. The first translation into Arabic would come almost a hundred years later, way after Harun's death.


While at the Comicon I got my copy of Dean Yeagle's new Mandy book, The Mandy Portrait Gallery. Dean was an excellent animator, who came to his senses and began a second career as a cartoonist for Playboy Magazine. Many agree that Mandy has the most character and personality seen since Kurtzman's Little Annie Fanny.
WARNING: These cartoons are not for children, strickly ADULTS ONLY.



What makes this book different was Dean asked a bunch of us cartoonists to do our own versions of Mandy. Tony White, Stephen Silver, Nancy Beiman, Sergio Aragones,Patrick Mate, Bill Stout and Yours Truly all contributed our best variations on the buxom beauty.

Thanks again Dean, for including me in such august company! It was great fun.

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Quiz: What language was A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, first written in?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: Who created the first comic book?
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History for 7/29/2008
Birthdays: Alex de Tocqueville, Benito Mussolini, Grigori Rasputin The Mad Monk, Clara Bow, Dag Hammarskjold, Peter Jennings, Michael Spinks, Ken Burns is 55, Booth Tarkington, Professor Irwin Corey, David Warner, Steven Dorff,Tony Sirico- Paulie Walnuts is 66

1014- Battle of Bala Thistau- Byzantine Emperor Basil II the Bulgar-Slayer defeated an entire Bulgar horde, and had all the thousands of captured warriors blinded. They left one man in a hundred with one eye to lead them all home. When the Bulgar Khan Samuel beheld his mutilated army, he supposedly dropped dead of grief.

1030- Battle of Stiklestaad- One of the largest Viking battles ever- King Olaf the White went down fighting the still pagan Norsemen of Demmark and Sweden and became St. Olaf the Martyr. Olaf's method of converting Vikings to Christianity was similar to his uncle King Olaf Tryggvason, which was to sail a big fleet of dragon ships up and down the coast and slay anybody who refused baptism. But while Tryggvason's death in battle at Svoldr spawned some great epic poems and music by Edvard Grieg, Olaf the Saint's death spawned miracles and shrines. Anxious vikings who wanted to fence-sit in this struggle over religion took to wearing an amulet that turned one side resembled the Cross, while turned over became the Hammer of Thor.

1588- The SPANISH ARMADA DEFEATED. The great armada was sent originally to ferry the Prince of Parma's army from Holland over to England. Elizabeth didn't have much in the way of militia so the crack Spanish troops once landed probably could have taken London without too much difficulty. The admiral in charge of the fleet, the Duke of Medina-Sidonia was a replacement for the late famous captain Don John of Austria and the equally late Marquis of Santa Cruz, and he admitted he knew nothing about ships. This day was the BATTLE OF GRAVELINES, largest engagement of the Armada and the English navy under Francis Drake. They pounded one another and after Medina Sidonia discovered he could not pick up Parma’s army he resolved to sail home. The bulk of the Armada was destroyed by a North Sea storm off Ireland. When Medina-Sidonia appeared before King Phillip II, he allegedly replied: “I told Your Majesty I knew nothing about ships!”Among the Spanish sailors was famed poet and playwrght Lope De Vega.
Although this great victory of the British Navy saved England, Queen Elizabeth's budget for them was amazingly stingy. More British sailors died from rancid food than Spanish gunfire. The English fleet had to break off it's attack when they ran out of their meager supply of cannonballs. Spain sent other armadas at England over the next few years but this was the most famous.

1890- Near the Chateau de Auvers, Vincent Van Gogh went behind a hay bale and shot himself. He managed to miss any thing important but died of blood infection.

1900- King Umberto Ist of Italy was shot and killed by anarchists. The assassin was Angelo Bresci, a silk merchant from Patterson New Jersey who had returned to the old country to rid her of monarchs. Umberto’s Queen Margherita is the person for whom the basic pizza pie is named for –Pizza Margherita. While traveling through Naples local chefs wanted to present her with a dish with the colors of the Italy’s flag on it. So the pizza is tomatoes-red, mozzarella cheese-white and oregano- green.

1927-Dr Phillip Drinker and Dr Louis Shaw installed the first Iron Lung breathing apparatus at Bellevue Hospital in New York.

1936 - RCA shows the first true TV show: dancing, a film on locomotives,a Bonwit
Teller fashion show & a monologue from the Tobacco Road radio hour.

1938- Three Missing Links- a Three Stooges comedy with the boys as cave men and Ray Crash Corrigan in a gorilla suit. Nyyyaaahahhhhahhhhh!

1942- Orson Welles left Rio De Janiero after RKO fired him, fired the producer who hired him, and stopped production of "It's All True". They also had “the Magnificent Ambersons” re-cut from three hours to a more acceptable 90 minutes.

1946- In Los Angeles Jazz great Charlie Parker had learned of the death of his baby daughter back in New York. He showed up for a recording session so drunk and high his producer had to hold him up in front of the mike. Later that night he fell completely apart, ran naked down the street, set fire to his hotel room smoking in bed. The cops had to shake him violently to wake him, he fought with them and they beat him up and threw him in jail. He was committed to the Camarillo Mental Hospital.

1948- Former Disney animator Hank Ketcham was trying to sell comic panels to the New Yorker while his baby son Dennis drove his wife crazy. One day after the child smeared the contents of his diaper around the room Mrs. Ketcham exclaimed: YOUR SON IS A MENACE! This gave Ketcham an idea. Today the comic strip "Dennis the Menace," 1st appeared.

1952 - 1st nonstop transpacific flight by a jet.

1957-Happy Birthday NASA! President Eisenhower signed the bill creating the National Aeronautics and Space Agency or NASA to oversee the space program separate from the military.

1962- The film “Dr No” premiered, introducing the world to the suave spy James Bond 007 played by actor Sean Connery.

1965 - Beatles movie "Help" premiered, Queen Elizabeth attended.

1972- Mamas and the Papa's lead singer Mama Cass Eliot dies of a stroke, not as was widely believed from choking on a sandwich.

1976 -SON OF SAM- Demented postman David Berkowitz committed his first murder in the Bronx. Berkowitz believed his neighbor’s dog Sam was Satan and was telling him to go out and kill. He would point his 44 cal. gun at random at a young couple on the street or in a car and shoot them. As the year went on and he was undetected he wrote letters taunting the police and New York newspaper columnist Pete Hamill. See next entry.

1977- THE DAY OF HATE- Son of Sam Killer David Berkowitz announced in the press that he would kill again on the one year anniversary of his first shooting- the Day of Hate. By now New York City was thoroughly in a panic. The seeming randomness of the killings got under the skin of the usually blasé’ New Yorkers. Nightclubs and discos closed ,women clipped and dyed their hair because Sam liked to shoot long haired brunettes. Even the Godfather John Gotti pledged the services of the Mafia to catch the lunatic. After a tense night nothing happened. Berkowitz was caught two days later.

1981- Prince Charles of England married Lady Diana Spencer. The ill fated fairy tale wedding was seen around the world on live television. The only European royalty not present was King Juan Carlos of Spain, who was mad about Britain keeping Gibraltar. Unknown to Di Prince Charles at this time was already romantically involved with Camilla Parker-Bowles but she was married.

1987- Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry announce the flavor Cherry Garcia, named for rock singer Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.

2007- The I-35 Bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the river killing 14 people.
The collapse is symbolic of America's decaying infrastructure. While everyone wants to cut taxes and balance the budget by cutting domestic spending, next year over 50% of US bridges and tunnels will be over 50 years old.

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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who created the first comic book?

Answer: To trace the idea of storytelling with pictures, you can go back to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Trajan’s Column and the Bayeux Tapestry among others. The modern American comic book was begun 75 years ago in 1933. Print salesman Max C. Gaines was intrigued watching people read the comic strips in a newspaper by folding the paper in half, then in quarters. He reprinted collections of comicstrips in an 8X10 format and called it Funnies on Parade. He stuck a ten cent sticker on each one and dropped them off at newsstands round New York City. They sold out almost immediately. The following year Major Malcom Wheeler-Nicholson founded New Fun, a comic book that featured original adventure stories written for the new format. Max Gaines’ son was Bill Gaines, the publisher of EC Comics and Mad Magazine.

Gaines second comic book




The San Diego Comicon was a lot of fun.
The great sombrero wearing donut & IEric Goldberg signing books

I saw a lot of old friends and met lots of Click and Clack CarTalk fans. We saw Eric Goldberg signing his new book Character Animation Crash Course, and J.R. Goldberg signing her book as well. Plus Dean Yeagle, Stephen Silver, Bat Lash and Sergio Aragones signing their works. Heard Frank Miller speak at the Eisner Awards. Lots more tables of comic books dealers than I saw last year.
I heard 160,000 attended. Compare to SiGGRAPH that has 30,000.

Favorite costume this year was the 5 year old little girl Star Wars Imperial Storm Trooper. With a lovely blond braid sticking out from under her helmet.

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Quiz: Who created the first comic book?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who said: First in War, First in Peace, First in the hearts of his countrymen?
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History for 7/28/2008
Birthdays: Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Richard Rogers, Ibn al’ Arabi- philosopher 1165, Marcel Duchamp, Rudy Vallee. Sally Struthers Peter Duchin, Vida Blue, Joe E. Brown, Jim Davis the creator of Garfield, Frank Yankovic the Polka King, Elizabeth Berkley, Earl Tupper the inventor of Tupperware

1586 - Sir Thomas Harriot introduced potatoes to Europe from America.

1609- Sir George Somers was shipwrecked on the uninhabited island of Bermuda
and stayed to found a settlement, claiming the island for Britain.

1655- Poet, playwright and duelist Cyrano de Bergerac died in Paris. The famous play about him and his big nose was written by Edmond Rostand in 1895.

1750-Composer Johann Sebastian Bach died. He had suffered blindness in his old age but is eyesight returned shortly before his fatal stroke. Elderly and ill, he one of his final compositions was a chorale prelude: "Come, Kindly Death- come for my life is dreary, and of earth I am weary, etc." He and his wife Anna Magdelena had 17 children,, and 7 more by his first wife. Many of whom became composers Johann Christian Bach, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, etc. Bach’s music was soon forgotten until rediscovered by Mendelsson and others in the 1820s.. Albert Einsteins brother Alfred said Bach’s music" almost makes one want to become Christian."

1788- Master British portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds visited the other master British portrait painter Sir Thomas Gainsborough, who was dying or cancer. They had been enemies for years but now at the end they made up. When Reynolds left him Gainsborough said "Goodbye until we meet in the Hereafter, Van Dyck in our company."

1808- The Turkish Janissaries, the royal guard, depose Sultan Mustapha VI and replace him with his cousin Mehmed II. The Janissaries were the real power in Istanbul at this time, keeping a supply of royal princes in the harem like cold storage, to be taken out as needed. The signal Jannissaries gave for their Palace insurrections was to overturn their large soup kettles. Sultans sometimes picked what Harem girl they would favor that night by how many cloves she could hold in her bellybutton. that’s my method too.

1858- The French photographer Nadar went up in a balloon and took the first aerial photograph.

1896- Happy Birthday Miami! The City of Miami incorporated.

1933- The first singing telegram. It was delivered to singer Rudy Valee by Western Union operator appropriately named Lucille Lipps.

1945-A B-25 Mitchell bomber flying in thick fog struck the 78th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City. It killed a dozen people, including some when one of it's 1,500 lb engines shot through the building and down onto 33rd street. One woman in an elevator had the cables cut and fell 80 stories at 200 miles an hour to the basement. Miraculously she lived. Despite the devastation, the building did not collapse but stayed sound. As a result, US and World air traffic control standards were stiffened. Air traffic controllers got the power to order planes down, and large planes kept from flying over large urban areas.



1948- In honor of the death of D.W. Griffith, all Hollywood studios observed three minutes of silence.

1948- The Premiere of that utterly memorable film " ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN." For you hardcore film trivia fans, this film is the only other time than the original Tod Browning movie that Bela Lugosi played Count Dracula on film. After this Lou Costello, who was an ardent admirer of Senator Joseph MacCarthy, insisted all his staff sign loyalty oaths. He fired the two writers of this movie Robert Lees and Frederic Rinaldo, over their refusal to comply. Unfortunately for Abbott & Costello, they were their best writers. They never had a successful movie again.

1965-VIETNAM- President Lyndon B. Johnson had been wrestling with a problem since June 5th. In Vietnam the war against the Commie Viet Cong was going badly. Strategic bombing of the North has failed to stop incursions in the South and the latest government in Saigon had fallen and been replaced by a group of generals led by Ngyen Kao Key. Johnson had to decide to pull out or expand US commitment. This day at a routine 12:30 PM press briefing, calculated to not be well attended, LBJ made the announcement that US forces in Vietnam would be expanded dramatically from 75,000 to 125,000- eventually to 450,000 by the end of 1967. What LBJ wasn’t saying was he had now decided that US ground troops would carry the bulk of the fighting and not just to prop up the South Vietnamese government but to defeat the Communists outright. He would still try to do his Great Society Programs while running a trillion-dollar war that in private even he doubted was winnable. This one decision destroyed Johnson’s Presidency, gave America it’s first military defeat and cracked the thriving post war economy, creating recessions and domestic political turmoil for the next twenty years.

1971- Photographer Diane Arbus probed increasingly darker subject matter, circus freaks, severe birth defects. This day she committed suicide by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills, then slitting her wrists.

1998- The Taliban, Afghan fundamentalist leaders ordered mass destruction of television sets. The also forbade the Internet and shaved the heads of their national soccer team for daring to wear shorts to play.

1999- Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco declared today Marylin Chambers Day, in honor of the star of porn films like Behind the Green Door.

2061- The next predicted appearance of Halley’s Comet.

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Yesterday’s Question: Who said: First in War, First in Peace, First in the hearts of his countrymen?

Answer: Revolutionary War General Light-Horse Harry Lee. He said it at the funeral of George Washington in 1799. Lee was the father of Civil War leader Robert E. Lee.


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