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Question: Which American President never lived in the White House? George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson or Harry Truman?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is phrenology?
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History for 10/31/2009 Halloween
Birthdays: Jan Vermeer, John Keats, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek, John Candy, Dale Evans, Jane Pauley, David Ogden Stiers, Dan Rather, Lee Grant, Ethel Waters, Juliet Low-founder of the American Girl Scouts, Vanilla Ice, Stephen Rea, Rob Schneider, Peter Jackson, Ollie Johnston

courtesy of Alex Ross
HAPPY ALL HALLOWS EVE- The night before the Feast of All Saints, beginning the Christian season of Advent, was confused in Medieval custom with one of the four Druid fire festivals, All Hallows. In Ireland it was called Samhein, at this time all hearth fires in the land are extinguished then re-lit from the fire at the sacred grove. Add to this the early Church's attempt to eradicate the pagan custom of giving food to departed spirits -Greek Anthesterion in Feb., Roman Feralia and Lemuria in May- by moving the date to honor the dead to the Feast of All Saints on November 1st. Many cultures have customs of putting food offerings on doorsteps so the spirits would leave you in peace. So today's the last night for ghosties to romp.

1517- THE REFORMATION BEGINS- Augustine monk and theology professor Martin Luther had had enough of the growing corruption of the Church. Pope Leo X the party-animal Pope who had succeeded Pope Julius II the Warrior Pope, who succeeded Pope Alexander VI Borgia the “totally-out-of-control” pope, ordered a new sale of Indulgences throughout Europe to pay off a loan on St. Peter's construction to the Augsberg banker Jacob Fugger . An indulgence was sort of " after-life insurance" absolving you of sin. When Wilhelm Tetzel, the local Bishop selling indulgences showed up in his area Luther blew his cork. On a wagon Tetzel had a big barrel that had written on it: "For every Coin tinkles in my Well, another Soul is spared from Hell."
Luther nailed 95 theses or arguments against Roman primacy in religion to the door of the Palace Church, in effect challenging Tetzel to debate, the customary university challenge. He picked today to do it because he knew tomorrow being the Feast of All Saints there would be a large crowd to read it. But Martin Luther wasn't made into toast like Jan Hus or Wycliff, because was he was protected by German princes like Frederick the Wise of Saxony. They were tired of sending as much as a third of their GNP to Italy. Called Peter’s Pence. This is the official start date for the Protestant Reformation.

1663- THE GREAT PLAGUE OF LONDON- English writer Samuel Pepys noted in his famous diary: “The plague is much in Amsterdam and we in fears of it here”. The plague took another year to reach London but when it did it decimated the population for most of 1665 and 1666 until burned out by the Great Fire of London.

1820- PAPA HAYDN’S HEAD. Famous composer Franz Josef Haydn had died in 1809. The powerful Ezterhazy Family, who were great patrons of classical music, built a beautiful new tomb for him in 1820. There was only one problem. When they exhumed Haydn’s coffin it was found that his head was missing! It seems the Ezterhazy attorney Rosenbaum was a fan of Phrenology, studying the human mind through measuring bumps on the skull. He ordered Haydn’s head secretly removed three days after the burial for study. When Austrian police questioned Rosenbaum he hid Haydn’s skull under his wifes’ skirts. ( Darling, would you please do me a favor..?) The head bounced around several Viennese musical societies until it was Re-Capitated, returned to Papa Haydn’s tomb in 1939.

1846-THE DONNER PARTY MAKES CAMP- A wagon train of families, pinned down by an early autumn blizzard in the High Sierra Donner Pass made camp at Lake Truckee only 150 miles from help. They took this route because it was advertised back east by a charlatan named Lansford Hastings as a short cut. All their oxen were dead and their food almost gone and it was the worst winter for a generation. The hapless pioneers weren't rescued until the following April! In the meantime they starved, ate tree bark and dogs and finally resorted to cannibalism of their dead. Interestingly enough their Indian guides were the only ones who refused to join in the cannibalistic feast, they ran off. The Donner men caught up with the Indians, killed them and ate them too. So much for calling them savages. Of 86 pioneers, 41 died.....Oh, and the guy who sold them the map was eventually shot by one of the pioneer’s angry relatives.

1887- Charles Goodyear takes out the first patent for a rubber tire.

1914- In World War One during the First Battle of Ypres a British counterattack mauled the Second Bavarian Reserve division, then holding a small French chateau. Less than a third of the Bavarians made it out alive, but one of the survivors was private Adolph Hitler. It’s one of those interesting“what if’s “ of history, if Hitler had been killed.

1916- Charles Taze Russell,the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses, died of a heart attack on a train in Texas. He had predicted the Second Coming of Christ would happen in 1874 but no one would be aware of it and the world would end October 2,1914. He had asked to be buried in a Roman toga so his followers wrapped him in his Pullman car bed sheets.

1926 –The great magician Harry Houdini died. His real name was Eric Weiss but he had seen a French magician named Houdin who had inspired him. Some college boys in Detroit asked the great magician if it was true he could withstand any punch. When he said yes while reading his mail, a large student unexpectedly started punching him in the abdomen, rupturing his already aggrieved appendix. Perintoritis set in, and he died on this day.

He was buried in a coffin he had used for his escape acts. He promised his wife if there was an Afterlife, he would contact her. She held a séance on every Halloween hoping for a message but none ever came. She gave up after ten years.

1931- First day of shooting on the MGM film Tarzan the Ape Man, with Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller in the title role. Contrary to popular myth no one ever said “Me Tarzan, You Jane” in the film. MGM liked the films so much they never let Weissmuller star in any other type of film other than as Tarzan.

1936- NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena call today Nativity Day, because it commemorates the first firing of a liquid fuel rocket under the Galcit program ( Guggenheim Aeronautics Laboratory California Institute of Technology ) later renamed the Jet Propulsion Lab in 1944.

1938- In a speech President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned of big corporate tycoons who try to influence American politics. “ Organized Money is as great a threat to American democracy as organized mobs!”

1941-the sculpture group of U.S. Presidents on Mount Rushmore completed. Instead of just their heads artist–designer Judson Borglum wanted the sculpture to go down to the figures waists but he died in early 1941 and with war on the horizon his son and chief engineer rushed to complete the heads as is.

1945- The "War of Hollywood" Ends. The CSU union strike, the film business's longest and ugliest, falls apart and many of the former members drift into IATSE locals.

1956- Brooklyn ended all trolleycar service.

1964- Barbara Streisand single “People, People who need People..” goes to number one.

1964- Today in a taped phone conversation FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover gave President Lyndon Johnson tips on how to spot a closet homosexual: “It’s a thing you just can’t tell sometimes…There are some people who walk kinda funny. That you might think are a little bit off or kinda queer..” FBI director Hoover was gay himself.


1984- India's Prime Minister Indira Ghandi was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards in revenge for her ordering the military storming of the Golden Temple of Amritsar earlier that year. While she lay dying her staff argued over who had the right to donate blood first.

1993- Rising young movie star River Phoenix overdosed and died on the street in front of the Viper Room night club in L.A after partying with Johnny Depp and Alicia Silverstone. The club is owned by movie star Depp and was once the Melody Room owned by old mobster Bugsy Siegel. Ironically, as Phoenix was thrashing spasmodically people walked by unconcerned because it’s a common occurrence on the Sunset Strip.

2000- The first working crew blasted off from Kazakhstan to occupy the International Space Station. A NASA spokesman said ‘If all goes well today will mark the first day of Mans permanent colonization of Space. Yesterday was the last day that the cosmos would be completely devoid of human beings.”

2001- The acting Governor of Massachusetts officially overturned the convictions of the last six people executed in the Salem Witch Trials 300 years ago in 1692.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is phrenology?

Answer: A pseudo-science popular in the XIX Century, that you could analyze someone’s personality by studying the bumps on their head.

"oooh, you better gimme a LOTTA lumps!" --Pete Puma


October 30th 2009 friday.
October 29th, 2009

Question: What is phrenology?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What was Abe Lincoln’s nickname among his White House staff?
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History for 10/30/2009
Birthdays: John Adams, Christopher Columbus, English playwright Richard Sheridan,
Ezra Pound, Emily Post, Louis Malle, Henry Winkler, Charles Atlas, Ruth Gordon,
Claude LeLouch, Dick Gautier, Louis Malle, Ted Williams, Grace Slick, Diego Maradona

1501-THE BALLET OF THE CHESTNUTS, or His Holiness throws an Orgy.
One of the most notorious examples of depravity in PreReformation Rome. Pope
Alexander VI Borgia, with his children Cesare and Lucretia Borgia throw a party
of parties at the Vatican. The wild revelry was highlighted by a race of nude prostitutes
on hands and knees through an obstacle course of silver candlesticks gobbling up
chestnuts. The pope later gave gifts to the courtiers and ladies who demonstrated
the greatest sexual stamina.
On another occasion His Holiness closed off St. Peter's Square to worshipers
to stage a bullfight. This was the kind of holy hedonism that drove the Protestant
reformers nuts and caused the eventual rift in the Christian world. One participant
in these revelries was the chef of the French ambassador, who was intrigued to see
the guests getting their own plates of food from large tubs set in a row. He though
this was a neat way to serve food. His name was Pierre Buffet.

1811- Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility published.

1918- Kaiser Wilhelm moved his staff from riot-ravaged Berlin to Spa on the Belgian
frontier to prepare for the armistice to end the Great War. Socialist leader Franz
Ebert told Chancellor Prince Max of Baden the Kaiser had to abdicate to avoid civil
war. But Wilhelm still imagined that after making peace with the Allies he could
turn the German army around and put down his own rebellious subjects. But after
four years and two and a half million dead, all his exhausted army wanted to do was
go home.

1938-"THE NIGHT THAT PANICKED AMERICA- 27 year old Orson Wells broadcast a radio update of H.G. Well’s story "The War of the Worlds". Despite periodic
station announcements that it was only a fictional re-enactment, people across the
U.S. go bonkers that an actual Martian invasion had landed in Grover’s Mill New
Jersey. In Hollywood famed actor John Barrymore, drunk as usual, went over to his
kennel of prize winning racing greyhounds and open their cage doors, saying: "Fend
for yourselves!"

1941-The REUBEN JAMES INCIDENT-Five weeks before the Pearl Harbor attack the neutral U.S. destroyer Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat, drowning dozens of American sailors. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill thought this would be the incident to anger Americans enough into getting into World War Two like the Lusitania did a generation earlier. Woody Guthrie sang: "Oh tell me what were
their names, tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good old
Reuben James?" However Adolf Hitler apologized and offered immediate monetary
reparations. Popular anger cooled Roosevelt told his cabinet:" I think I can keep us out of this war for one more year unless Germany or Japan does something stupid."

1947- Bertholt Brecht, the playwright of Mother Courage and the Threepenny Opera,
testified to the McCarthy HUAC committee. He smoked a large cigar through the whole
session. Next day, as he had once fled Hitler’s Germany, he fled the U.S. and settled
in East Germany.

1961- Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev has his old boss Stalin’s body removed from
it’s glass case pickled next to Lenin, and has it buried in the back.

1963- The first Lamborghini 350GTV went on sale.

1966- An inventory done at the National Archives revealed that medical evidence
of John F. Kennedy's assassination autopsy were missing. This included JFK’s brain.
They have never been found. Kennedy’s brother Robert was still attorney general
at the time. Some historians think he hid evidence of conspiracy to hide his
brothers mob connections and preserve the purity of the Camelot myth. We may never
know.

1973- The Carlin Case- Radical radio station WBAI in New York broadcast hippy comedian George Carlin’s routine about the “Seven Deadly Words” the naughty words you can’t say on the air. I can’t write them because children read this column but you all
know what they are anyway. The FCC slapped a heavy fine and WBAI sued for free speech and the case made it to the Supreme Court. Today the High Court found for the FCC and those 7 deadly words remain banned from airwaves today. Aw, Sh*t!

1975- King Juan Carlos assumed the throne in the restored monarchy of Spain.

1991- Middle East Peace Conference began in Madrid Spain. These first days about
the only thing the Arabs and Israeli’s could agree upon was to politely refuse the
lunch the Spaniards had set out for them- smoked ham sandwiches.

1992- QUANTRRILL’S FUNERAL- The remains of William Clark Quantrill were buried in a cemetery in his birthplace of Dover Ohio. Quantrill’s Border Raiders were infamous during the Civil War for their guerrilla depredations in Kansas and Missouri. After being shot dead in 1865 an admirer dug up his bones and kept them. After passing
through several hands the bones were put up for sale, displayed in a glass case
and even used by Ohio State fraternities for their initiation rituals. Billy Quantrill’s head was discovered in a refrigerator behind the tuna sandwiches and Coca Cola in the Dover Historical Society.

2002- Rap star of Run-DMC Jam Master Jay was shot dead in the lounge of his recording
studio in Queens NY. The killer was never found.
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Yesterday’s Question: What was Abe Lincoln’s nickname among his White House staff?

Answer: The Old Tycoon. They didn’t mean tycoon as a rich industrialist, but in the original Chinese definition as an autocratic warlord.


October 29th, 2009 thurs
October 29th, 2009

Question: What was Abe Lincoln’s nickname among his White House staff?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Why is the Halloween celebration in October? The ancient Greek festival of the Dead was in February, the Roman one was in May.
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History for 10/29/2009
Birthdays: James Boswell, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Keats, Sir Edmund Halley, Louis Blanc, Fanny Brice, Joseph Goebbels, Richard Dreyfus, Zoot Sims, Winona Ryder, Jesse Barfield, Kate Jackson, Bill Maudlin, Akim Tamiroff, Ralph Bakshi, Denis Potvin Neal Hefti-composer of the theme song for TV shows like Batman and the Odd Couple.

1618- Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded on his birthday. Raleigh was once Queen Elizabeth’s favorite, but by now he was getting on King James nerves, by opposing the Kings peace overtures to Spain. Also Raleigh was implicated in a plot to keep James from attaining the throne. The king had him dangling on a commuted death sentence for treason for 15 years. Finally when Raleigh attacked Spanish settlements in Brazil against his direct orders that was enough. Off with his head!

On the scaffold Raleigh thumbed the axeman’s blade. He joked:" This is sharp medicine, but it cures all ills." The man credited with introducing tobacco to Northern Europe, he puffed his pipe for one last time before putting his head on the block. His wife kept the severed head in a cabinet for the rest of her life.

1787- Wolfgang Amadeus’s opera DON GIOVANNI premiered in Prague. Mozart had partied the night before and after midnight sat down and wrote the overture. As the musicians were sitting down he ran from stand to stand handing out the music. Goethe and Schiller loved it . Giacomo Rossini called it “the Greatest of All Operas”. After Don Giovanni his lyricist Lorenzo da Ponte left Europe for America and settled down in New Jersey. His niece had an affair with the son of Francis Scott Key and married a general who was wounded at Gettysburg.

1795- NAPOLEON MET JOSEPHINE- After quelling anti-government riots in Paris Napoleon ordered the citizens to turn in all weapons. Beautiful socialite Josephine de Beauharnais came this day to thank the young General for allowing her son to keep his slain fathers sword. Napoleon was at once twitterpated and their love became a legend. He would write her letters from the battlefield like “Don’t send your kisses, they burn my blood!” And “ I shall be home in a week, please don’t bathe until then, I want to smell you!”

1836- The young nephew of Napoleon, Louis Napoleon, tries again to overthrow the French Government the way his famous uncle did. Instead of cheering, people chased him through the streets of Strasbourg yelling :"Shut Up you Blockhead!" He will eventually become Emperor Napoleon III.

1936- The resolutions of the First Geneva Convention announced. It attempted to regulate the treatment of civilians and prisoners in wartime. It was set up by Henry Dunant, who also helped found the International Red Cross. More Geneva Conventions would be signed and ignored by nations in 1925 and 1949.

1904--Mayor McClellan opens the New York City Subway System. For 5 cents you could go 722 miles of tunnel under 30 square miles, the largest system in the world. The Mayor was given a solid silver ceremonial throttle, took controls of the first train and drove it around himself. When asked to hand the controls back he refused “Go away, I’m running this train now.” He went full throttle from Bleecker St to 146th. Later that day after the VIP’s concluded the party the subway was opened for the first commuters.

1923-General Mustapha Kemal abolishes the Ottoman Sultans and declared Turkey a secular Republic. For this he is named Ataturk, or "Father of the Turks". To this day Islamic fundamentalism has had a hard time in Turkey, where the example of Ataturk is respected as much as George Washington here. It is a federal crime to even criticize Ataturk.


1923- The musical Running Wild opened on Broadway, introducing the dance craze the Charleston.

1929-BLACK TUESDAY-THE STOCK MARKET CRASH AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION BEGINS. The falling stock crisis which had been gaining momentum since early September finally culminates in the greatest one day collapse of the U.S. Economy. Millions of people who weren't ruined by last Thursday’s crash were ruined today. One third of all U. S. banks failed- 2,500. Eyewitnesses to that day all remember the strange low roar echoing through the glass canyons of Wall street, it was the continuous moans of thousands of investors being simultaneously ruined. Businessmen jumped to their deaths from windows. Two executives held hands as they jumped because they had a joint account. The chairman of General Motors William Durant finished his life managing a bowling alley in Chicago.

The Union Club wallpapered it's bar with worthless stock certificates. Venerable firms like Morgan and Lehman Brothers allowed 'apple-breaks' for their brokers to go out on the street and supplement their incomes by selling apples. By years end all U.S. industry was working at 17% of capacity and unemployment would soon soar to 55% in many major cities. The newly built Empire State Building was nicknamed the "Empty State Building".
The Hoover Administration, which espoused the traditional Republican hands-off attitude towards Wall Street, watched in horror as every trick known to financial wizards like Rockefeller and Lamont failed to stop the slide. People questioned whether capitalism itself was now a failure. Hoover's Vice President Charles Curtis, (for whom the nickname "Goodtime Charlie" was invented) continued to party while things collapsed. He responded to hungry, unemployed people protesting during his speech that they were all "Too damn dumb" to understand economics. His sister socialite Dolly Curtis said that she felt that the Depression, such as it was, maybe was already ending . This prompted one newspaper to run the headline:' DOLLY CALLS IT OFF!"

1938-"SALUD CAMERADE !"The Farewell Parade in Barcelona of the International Brigade. 40,000 men-young intellectuals, German and French anti-fascists groups all united to help in the Spanish Civil War. The losing Spanish Republic had gambled that if they sent the International fighters home Franco would remove his Nazis and Italian allies . It didn't work. Their story was glamorized by writers like Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell. Ironically many Americans who fought in the Lincoln Brigade were denied advancement in the U.S. Armed forces when World War Two began. The army labeled them "Premature Anti-fascists".

1957- Louis B. Mayer dies. His last words were: "Nothing Matters..." The head of MGM Studios lorded over Hollywood like a monarch, made and broke moviestars, ordered Judy Garland fed a steady stream of narcotics and had his office redesigned all white to resemble Mussolini’s , whom he admired.

1969- FORTY YEARS AGO- THE BIRTH OF THE INTERNET- In 1957 after Sputnik scared the US the Defense Department asked the Rand Corporation to theorize a communication system that could survive Russian atomic bombs. They conceived of a “net” of computers all in communication with another around the world. Because there was no center a bomb could not knock out the entire system.

This day in 1969 UCLA scientists J.C.R. Licklieder, Robert Taylor and others working for the Defense Dept. successfully hooked up five computers at Stanford, UC Santa Barbara and Univ if Utah using long distance phone lines. They called it ARPANET- Advanced Research Projects Agency-NET, a few years later Internet. This night UCLA typed the message LOG, and Stanford replied IN, and then it crashed.

By 1978 the Defense Department didn’t want to run the thing anymore so they offered to turn over the entire Internet to ATT for free. AT&T said no thanks, we just don’t see the value in it. In 1992 the US government made the Internet public and the rush was on.

1975- Years of bad management had brought New York City close to bankruptcy. This day President Gerald Ford announced that the United States Treasury would not help New York City out of it’s fiscal problems with any special loans. Although he reversed his position soon afterwards New Yorkers remembered his attitude. The New York DAILY NEWS paper’s headline “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD!” remained in people’s minds as they voted overwhelmingly for Jimmy Carter.

1992- An examination of Soviet KGB Archives reveal that State Dept. official Alger Hiss never was a spy after all. The revelation in 1947 that top government biggies like Hiss may have been pawns of Moscow drove the nation Commie-paranoid and launched the careers of Joe MacCarthy, Robert Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

1994- An emotionally disturbed Colorado upholsterer named Francisco Duran fired a Chinese AK-47 machine gun at the White House. He told authorities a multi-colored Alien told him to kill President Clinton in order to disperse a cosmic mist that had been over the White House for a thousand years. Pretty amazing mist, since the White House is only 200 years old. Bill Clinton –The First Bubba, was watching football on TV.
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Yesterday’s Question: Why is the Halloween celebration in October? The ancient Greek festival of the Dead was in February, the Roman one was in May.

Answer: When the Christian Church wanted to make people forget the old pagan harvest celebrations, they surmounted them with the Advent Season of the birth of Jesus. This even though scholars estimate Jesus was really born in July or August. The festival of the Harvest Goddess Homona on Nov 1st became All Souls Day or All Hallows. Since the early Church regarded all the previous faiths deities as demons, this eve was seen as a last time for their followers to party. It combined with the Celtic spirit festival of Samhein, when you left food and treats on your doorstep for spooks to create the Feast of All Hallows Eve, of Halloween.


Oct. 28th, 2009 weds
October 28th, 2009

Question: Why is the Halloween celebration in October? The ancient Greek festival of the Dead was in February, the Roman one was in May.

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What American entertainment guild first called itself the Society of the White Rats?
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History for 10/28/2009
Birthdays: Elsa Lanchester, Cleo Lane, Charlie Daniels, Evelyn Waugh, Jonas Salk, Bruce Jenner, Joan Plowright, Bill Gates, Chef August Escolfiere the great French Chef who created Peche Melba and moved French cuisine to the front rank of world cooking , Charles Grovesnor the founder of National Geographic magazine, Joaquin Phoenix is 36

FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON ZEALOT & ST. JUDE- In the Middle Ages people mixed up St. Simon with St. Simeon the " Hobgoblin Saint", and St. Jude ( The patron saint of Lost Causes) with Judas Iscariot- I guess they felt God made him a saint as a consolation prize. So today was considered a good day for conjurers, sorcerers, necromancers and other practitioners of the Black Arts. One 17th century sorcerer, Bruno of Prague, claimed he could summon up St. Jude this day to grant you a wish. But if you showed any sign of fear or hesitation, St. Jude would smack you upside of the head.

312AD BATTLE OF THE MULVIAN BRIDGE-The day before his showdown with his enemy emperor Maxentius at the gates of Rome, Roman Caesar Constantine had a vision: a fiery Cross appeared in the sky with the device "IN HOC SIGNO VINCE" -By This Sign shalt thou Conquer". He decided this must be Christianity calling, so when Constantine won the battle, he lifted Nero's 300 year ban on the outlaw religion and later made it the official religion of the Empire.

1492- Christopher Columbus reached the island of Cuba. Here the Indians showed him how to smoke tobacco, which they called cochiba.

1726-Johnathan Swift published "Gulliver's Travels"-"To Vex the World rather than Divert it."

1872- EVANGELIST SEX SCANDAL! After the Civil War, minister Henry Ward Beecher of Brooklyn's Plymouth Church was the most famous clergyman in America. He was a great abolitionist, friend of Presidents and brother of writer Harriet Beecher Stowe. On this day feminist Victoria Woodhull revealed Beecher's habit of seducing the ladies of his congregation. Woodhull was a radical socialist who believed in Spiritualism and Free Love, and she admitted she herself had slept with the good reverend and even participated in a ménage a' trois with Beecher and publisher Charlene Tilton! Beecher's friends locked up Woodhull for slander and tried every lawsuit possible and his sister Harriet wrote lampoons of Mrs. Woodhull calling her Aurelia Dangereyes. But the famous reverend fell from grace in American eyes. In later years Rev Beecher preached a sermon that Hell didn’t exist. Critics said it was because he was afraid that was his eventual destination.

1918- The Czechs, Bohemians, Sudetens, Moravians and Slovaks form themselves into the Republic of Czechoslovakia. In 1991 the Slovakians split off from the Czech Republic.

1919- Congress overrides the veto of President Woodrow Wilson and passed the Volstead Act. The act gives enforcement powers to the Prohibition (XIX) Amendment forbidding the sale and consumption of alcohol. The Volstead Act gave government the power to seize and destroy alcohol and distilleries and shut down bars. This set the stage for the Roaring Twenties.

1928- Mussolini and his Fascists complete the March on Rome. Mussolini had started his political career as a socialist labor leader but soon decided there were more opportunities on the other side. He was Italy's youngest Prime Minister before forming his right wing extremists into a party and seizing power. He actually already had control of the government, he had just promised his men a dramatic march and didn’t want to let them down. Pope Pius XI said:” Mussolini is a man sent by Divine Providence.”

1929- Composer Irving Berlin scolded George Gershwin for his lack of patriotism that he unloaded his stocks and bonds. The Stock Market crashed the following day ruining Berlin but left Gershwin unscathed. Stick advice on music, Irv...

1948- Swiss chemist Paul Mueller received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. It was for inventing DDT. After the world war whole populations and jungles were sprayed with DDT to kill bugs and parasites. It wasn’t until 1970 that someone finally noticed it also caused cancer.

1949- A top secret meeting of the Special Advisory Committee met at the Atomic Energy Commission to discuss whether to respond to the Russian atomic bomb by building a Super or Hydrogen Bomb. The Special Committee included father of the A-Bomb Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Ferme, two Nobel Prize winners and the President of Harvard. The scientists unanimously concluded that the H-Bomb “would not be a weapon of war but a weapon of Mass Genocide, and so a Moral Evil.” They advised against it. The US government ignored them and built one anyway.

1962- THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS ENDED- Soviet Chairman Nikita Khruschev withdrew his nuclear missiles from Cuba in exchange for a promise from Kennedy not to invade Cuba and to withdraw missiles from Turkey -they were obsolete and had been planned for de-activation anyway. Kennedy told the U.S. public there was no deal made. Generals on both sides were furious. Gen. Curtis LeMay called it America's greatest defeat. But the world breathed a sigh of relief. And Fidel Castro? Well, nobody bothered to tell him. He came out of his bunker after he found out the news on the Voice of America broadcast that evening.

1963- First day of demolition of New York’s City Pennsylvania Station, a massive Beaux Artes Temple that signaled the triumph of the automobile over the train. It took three years to demolish and today it is considered a great cultural crime. The remade Pennsylvania station was an all underground facility. One writer said:” We used to enter New York like gods, now we come in like rats.” The anger over the destruction fostered the creation of the New York Landmarks Commission.

1965- Pope Paul VI published an encyclical Nostra Aetate, that officially absolved the Jewish people for any guilt in the death of Jesus Christ.

1976- Top Nixon White House aide John Ehrlichman began serving his jail sentence for the Watergate scandal at Swift Trail minimum security prison in Arizona.
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Yesterday’s Question: What American entertainment guild first called itself the Society of the White Rats?

Answer: Actors Equity, formed by Broadway performers in 1896. Then they called themselves in secret the White Rats, because Rats spelled backwards is Star.


Question: What American entertainment guild originally called itself the Society of the White Rats?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What country refers to itself as Suomi?
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HISTORY FOR 10/27/2009
B-Days: Captain James Cook, Theodore Roosevelt, Dylan Thomas, Nicolo Paganinni, Gerhard Von Gneisenau, Sylvia Plath, Roy Lichtenstein, John Cleese, Freddy De Cordova, Jerry-Curly Howard of the Three Stooges, Bernie Wrightson the creator of Swamp Thing

1560- Beserk conquistador and Amazon explorer Aguirre who called himself the Emperor of El Dorado and we know from a movie as Aguirre the Wrath of God, was killed in Venezuela by Spanish loyalists.

1788-THE FEDERALIST PAPERS- While the new American republic was still trying to decide what kind of government it wanted this day the first in a series of editorial letters appeared in American newspapers. The 85 essays argued the case for a strong federal government and judiciary, superceding the authority of individual states. Under the pseudonym "Publius".the essays were written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. Today they are called collectively the Federalist Papers.

1806- After defeating the Prussian Army at Jena Napoleon’s French army marched into Berlin, all bands blaring Le Marseillaise. Part of his sightseeing Napoleon went to Potsdam and visited the tomb of Frederick the Great, the previous generation’s military genius.

1864-"BLOODY BILL" ANDERSON BUSHWHACKED-Among the Missouri bandits who called themselves Confederate guerillas like Quantrill and Jesse James, Bill Anderson was one of the worst. A complete psychopath, he had union soldier' scalps hanging from his horses bridle and to avenge his sister’s death he made a knot in a silk cord every time he killed a Yankee. He rode into battle tearfully shouting her name. By the time the Yankees finally killed him and stuck his head on a telegraph pole, the silk cord had 54 knots in it.

1886-THE STATUE OF LIBERTY DEDICATED- Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was originally asked by Ferndinand deLasseps to create a huge statue of a woman to welcome Europeans sailing into the Suez Canal at Port Said. After that deal didn’t work out Bartholdi revamped the design for the Americas. The face looks like a classic Greek beauty but some insist it’s an image of the artist’s mother. This day Bartholdi’s masterpiece held up by Gustav Eiffel's superstructure was supposed to be unveiled at the American Centennial celebrations in 1876, but was a little over deadline, about ten years. President Cleveland had started giving his opening remarks when the curtain revealing the statue was dropped early and he was drowned out by cheers, boat whistles, cannon salutes and fireworks. Women Suffragettes rented a boat and floated alongside the parade bearing a large banner "She's beautiful but she can not Vote!"

1886-Musical fantasy "Night on Bald Mountain" premiered in Russia. Composer Modest Mussogorsky worked as a florist during the day and wrote music at night. He was convinced he couldn’t make a living otherwise.

1916- The entertainment trade magazine Variety has the blurb: "Chicago has added recently to it’s number of so-called Jazz bands." Now jazz was around in black neighborhoods for years before, but the form was labeled Ragtime or Syncopation. This is the earliest known use in print of the word Jazz.

1941- The Chicago Tribune announced in an editorial that there was no chance that the USA will go to war with Japan.

1947- The "You Bet Your Life" quiz show premiered on radio. "Say the Secret Word and Win Fifty Dollars". Comedian Groucho Marx had struggled after his brothers act the Marx Brothers broke up. In a live radio program with Bob Hope at one point Hope dropped his script. Before he could pick it up Groucho stepped on the pages, threw his own away and the two improvised their conversation. The result was much funnier that anything anybody had heard. The producer of the show was so impressed he hired Groucho and built a quiz show around him.

1954- Benjamin O. Davis became the first black general in the US Army.

1962-BLACK SATURDAY- THE DAY THE WORLD ALMOST ENDED- Darkest day of the Cuban Missile Crisis, The US and Russia had enough nuclear weapons to destroy all life on planet Earth 22 times over, and this day they came closest to doing just that.

Soviet and American battle fleets were faced off in the ocean, at the Berlin Wall tanks were muzzle to muzzle, some with nuclear artillery shells. All B-52's were in the air waiting for the order to enter Russian air space, Russian subs off the U.S. coast with nuclear missiles trained on American cities, all code Red, DEF CON-2- TOTAL WAR status. At a signal from The White House, the U.S. was poised to drop 7,000 nuclear weapons capable of killing 100 million people in an instant.

Recently the Russians revealed that 64 hydrogen bombs were already operational in Cuba mounted on missiles that could hit Washington and New York in five minutes. Also 9 tactical nukes were under the direct control of two Soviet generals in Cuba, the only time that permission has ever been given. Then suddenly a Cuban anti-aircraft missile shot down an American U-2 spy plane, killing the pilot. John Kennedy complained to his staff:" Khruschev doesn't think I have the guts to push the button !" Attorney General Robert Kennedy almost in tears from the strain cried to Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin: " Things are moving beyond all human control!"
courtesy of Aniketpangarkar.com

The Kremlin got a secret telegram from Fidel Castro in his underground bunker begging them to fire the nukes immediately, saying Cuba is proud to sacrifice itself on the ramparts of Socialism ( Fidel sent it from an underground bunker ). KGB director Yuri Andropov passed Castro's note on to Khruschev after he has red penciled question marks and exclamation marks all over it.( !!!??!?!? ) Khruschev decided to accept Kennedy's offer of a deal, before the unthinkable happened. Khruschev also later mentioned that he received an appeal from philosopher Bertrand Russell that he credited with helping him make up his mind. After the crisis passed the Hot Line was set up between Washington and the Kremlin to try and ensure such misunderstandings wouldn’t happen again.

Kennedy sent Khruschev a copy of Barbara Tuchman’s book the Guns of August, about how the world fell into World War One, when nobody really wanted to go to war.

1964- Sonny & Cher married. I got you babe!

1966- Bill Melendez's Peanuts TV special "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'. This film was the last film score of jazz musician Vince Guaraldi, who created the unique sound of Charlie Brown cartoons.

1967- the Worlds Fair in Montreal called Expo 67 closed.

1967- Anti-Vietnam War protestors in Baltimore break into the Selective Service offices and pour human blood on files and records.

2004- After not winning it for half the history of baseball, since 1918, the Boston Red Sox swept the Saint Louis Cardinals to win the World Series.
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Yesterday’s Question: What country refers to itself as Suomi?

Answer: Finland.


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