Blog Posts from November 2009:
November 30th, 2009 monday
November 30th, 2009
Question: Today we know Air America as a lefty radio network, but it’s named for something previously in the 1960s. What was the original Air America?
Yesterday’s question answered below: What does it mean to have a Panglossian outlook?
History for 11/30/2009
Birthdays: Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Jonathan Swift, Shirley Chisholm, Gordon Parks, G. Gordon Liddy, Alan Sherman, Abbie Hoffman, Virginia Mayo, Ephram Zimbalist Jr, Richard Crenna, Robert Guiliame, Rex Reason, Mandy Patinkin, Luther Ingram, Ridley Scott is 72, David Mamet, Shuggie Otis, Billy Idol, Joan Ganz Cooney the creator of Sesame Street, Dick Clark is 81, Ben Stiller is 44
1731-An earthquake kills 100,000 in Peking.
1750- Marshal Saxe died. An illegitimate son of Polish King Augustus the Strong, the one–eyed old general spent the summer nights camping out Cossack style and letting wild steppe ponies gallop the grounds of his Chateau Chambord. A ladies man, he died after an all night "interview" with eight actresses. The king's physician wrote as the cause of death on the Death Certificate; "Une surfeit des femmes."- an overdose of women.
1776- As George Washington’s minuteman army retreated across New Jersey to escape the pursuing British Army, a third of his troop’s enlistment’s were up. In a cold rain 2,000 New Jersey and Maryland militiamen quit and walked home. Writer Thomas Paine was serving Gen. Nathaniel Greene as a secretary. He was moved by this pitiful sight to write the pamphlet: “The Crisis.”:”These are times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will shrink in this crisis from the service of his country. But he that stands now deserves the love and thanks of both man and woman.“ Washington called his downcast soldiers together and had the pamphlet read aloud to them.
1782- On a dark snowy day in an upstairs room on the Rue Bonaparte on Paris’ Left Bank, The United States and Britain signed the first of several protocols leading up to the full peace treaty ending the American Revolution. John Adams, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin and Richard Lawrence signed for America, a parliamentary delegation led by Lord Oswald signed for the Crown. On British diplomat said:” The Americans are the greatest quibblers I have ever dealt with, and I pray never to again in the future!”
1886- Paris’ famed naughty nightclub the Follies Bergere opened.
1900- Oscar Wilde died of meningitis in a hotel in Paris. His last words; "This wallpaper is appalling! Either it goes or I do."
1924- The first fax message sent. A photo of the Prince of Wales was wired across the Atlantic by radio transmission.
1940-Actress Lucille Ball married Cuban band leader Dezi Arnez. Together they pioneered the new art of Television. They divorced in 1960.
1941- President Franklin Roosevelt left Warm Springs Georgia and traveled by special train to meet that evening with Japanese ambassadors Hamada and Kurusu at the White House in a last effort to prevent war. Meanwhile the main Japanese carrier fleet weighed anchor and left Yokohama for the North Pacific. It’s code name was Kido Butai. It was officially scheduled for military exercises but once out at sea Admiral Nagumo ordered radio silence and following his instructions from Admiral Yamamoto turned his ships south-southeast towards Pearl Harbor Hawaii.
1954- Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga Alabama was hit by a meteorite. It shot through her roof, bounced off a radio and hit her on the hip. It gave her a nasty bruise and one heck of a story to tell. Broke her radio too.
1968- “Love Child” by Diana Ross and the Supremes hit #1 in the pop charts.
1970- First day shooting on William Freidkin’s film The French Connection.
1974- In a dry gully in Ethiopia Dr Dennis Johannsen discovered the perfect skeletal remains of one of the earliest human ancestors, an ape that walked upright named- Australiopithicus Afrancenis. She called it Lucy. Johannsen liked the Beatles tune Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
1976- After doing such a fine job lowering the journalistic standards of the London press Australian tabloid king Rupert Murdoch turned his attention to America and bought the New York Post. The Post, a newspaper originally started in 1794 by Alexander Hamilton, quickly gains notoriety as the trashiest newspaper in the U.S.
In an interview Murdoch said the only reason he didn’t put in the Post his “Page Three Girls” -topless photo spreads so successful in the London Daily Sun was because his wife objected...He later followed that up with buying New York Magazine and the Village Voice, whereupon half the staff immediately quit.
1979- ESPN, the 24 hour sports channel began broadcasting.
1982- Nova Pictures is founded, but due to conflict with a PBS t.v. show of the same name they change theirs to TriStar Pictures. In 1994 TriStar was merged into SONY Pictures.
1985-Punk band The Dead Kennedys released their album Frankenchrist.
1991- Battered wife Mrs Omeima Nelson killed her abusive husband, dismembered his body and ate him. “I did his ribs just like in a restaurant.” she said.
1993- President Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Bill into law. The bill was named for Reagan press secretary James Brady, who received a debilitating head wound in the assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981. President Bush let it expire without renewing it. The Ft Hood killer, Major Hasan, used two FT-57 semi-automatic pistols and 20 round clips that had been outlawed by the Brady Handgun Bill.
1999- Seattle protesters trying to disrupt the World Trade Organization battle riot police and turn the downtown area into a retro-sixties battle zone. For the next several years wherever the WTO met they were surrounded by hundreds of thousands of protesters, although the mainstream media tends to pooh-pooh their message.
2003- Roy Disney Jr, the last member of the Disney family, was forced to resign from the Walt Disney Company. It was claimed to be the mandatory retirement policy, but more likely he was forced out by the exec he hired to run the company in 1984- Michael Eisner. In 2005 Eisner himself was compelled to retire, and Roy Disney was restored to an emeritus board position.
QUESTION: What does it mean to have a Panglossian outlook?
Answer: Dr. Pangloss was a character in Voltaire’s satirical tale Candide. He was based on the philosopher/mathematician Gottfried Leibniz, who invented binary math. PANGLOSS is from panglossia--speaking all languages. He represented one who held to the insipidly optimistic philosophy that “this is the best of all possible worlds”.
November 29th, 2009
November 29th, 2009
QUESTION: What does it mean to have a Panglossian outlook?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who said” We didn’t land at Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us!”
History for 11/29/2009
Birthdays: Gaetano Donizetti, Busby Berkeley, C.S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Chuck Mangione, Vin Scully, Gary Shandling is 60, Cathy Moriarity, Don Cheadle, Joel Coen, Jacques Chirac, Kim Delaney, Diane Ladd, Anna Faris is 33
1890- The first Army-Navy football game held at West Point. Midshipmen beat the cadets 24-0.
1915- In the first years of animated films, one artist like Winsor McCay did everything. This day John Randolph Bray's "Colonel Heeza Liar in Africa" cartoon debuted. Bray adapted Henry Ford's assembly line system to making animation, creating positions of layout, background painters, inkers, cel painters, checkers and camera. After 1919 Bray shifted his studio’s focus from entertainment to technical and training films. Paul Terry, Walter Lantz, Max & Dave Fleischer and Shamus Culhane all got their start at Bray's.
1942- U.S. declared coffee would be rationed along with sugar, gasoline and rubber. And lots more. People put their cars up on blocks "for the duration". Gas Ration cards were listed as C, B & A. The C card meant essential war worker, police & fire, so they had unlimited access to gasoline. A cards were the least important.
1959-The Second Grammy Awards, broadcast for the first time on television. Bobby Darins’ rendition of Mack the Knife won top honors.
1961- NASA sent Enos the Chimp into orbit.
1963-THE WARREN COMMISSION- President Lyndon Johnson set up the Warren Commission to investigate the murder of John F. Kennedy. He had originally thought the Dallas Homicide Squad was sufficient, but public outrage demanded more.
The Commission was headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren and participants included future president Gerald Ford, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State Alan Foster Dulles and future Senator Arlen Spector, who as a young attorney argued for the validity of the "magic bullet" theory”. That one bullet went through Kennedy, bounced, went through Gov. Connolly, ricocheted, went through Connolly a second time, zinged, and wound up sitting in Gov. Connolly's bedsheets in the hospital with no surface dents or marks on it -or something like that.
After ten months the Warren Commission concluded that President Kennedy was killed by a lone nut and there was no conspiracy. In 1975 the House Committee on Assassinations concluded to the contrary that Kennedy probably was the victim of a conspiracy but what it was is unknown. To this date there are still two million documents pertaining to the case kept classified, including Lee Harvey Oswald's tax returns, and how in a cold war blacklist-happy country, someone like Oswald, who had renounced his U.S. citizenship and lived in Moscow could re-enter the United States without a passport. Theories abound –that Attorney General Robert Kennedy squelched evidence that might have tarnished his brother’s record by proving his links to mobsters, to the CIA, Castro or space aliens pulling the trigger. No matter, in the end the Warren Commission’s unsatisfying conclusions spawned a generation of conspiracy buffs.
1963- After the Kennedy assassination, comic Vaughn Meader announced he was giving up his act impersonating the dead president. Meader’s comedy album The First Family sold 7.5 million copies in 1962, but now it wasn’t funny anymore and Meaders career collapsed. He died of emphysema in 2004. When Lenny Bruce first took the stage after the Kennedy assassination, he opened with a long drag on his cigarette and sighed:” ….Man…. Vaughn Meader is really screwed!”
1967- Robert MacNamara, Secretary of Defense under Kennedy and Johnson and architect of the Vietnam War, resigned to become president of the World Bank.
2001- former Beatle guitarist and composer George Harrison died of cancer.
Question: Who said” We didn’t land at Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us!”
Answer: Malcolm X said it in a speech. He was alluding to the fact that African Americans were not brought here as willing immigrants.
November 28th, 2009
Sadness in the Sito household. Our oldest cat Chagadai, passed away Friday morning. She was very old, and suffering multiple strokes.
Named for one of Genghis Khan's mightiest Mongol warriors, she was a great hunter. Our floor was routinely festooned with mice heads and small bird parts. we tried to put a bell on her, and she just laughed it off, and let a wild finch loose in our most inaccessible bathroom.
She eventually grew into graceful old retirement. Arthritic and missing a fang or two, she would sit peacefully near the bird feeder, reminiscing when she was their terror. Friday morning as she lay on her favorite blanket on the floor, bathed in warm morning sunshine, she gently let her spirit free.
Question: Who said” We didn’t land at Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us!”
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What character was the first Macy Day balloon?
History for 11/28/2009
Birthdays: Jean Baptiste Lully, William Blake, Frederich Engels, Stefan Zweig, Ernst Roehm, Brooks Atkinson, Berry Gordy the founder of Motown Records, Randy Newman, Anton Rubinstein, Gary Hart, Vern Den Herder, Paul Warfield, Hope Lange, Ed Harris is 59, Paul Schaefer, Laura Antonelli, Joe Dante, Michael Ritchie, Anna Nicole-Smith, Judd Nelson, John Stewart is 47
1493- Christopher Columbus returned to San Salvador, to discover his first colony La Natividad wiped out by angry Indians.
1520- Having recovered and refitted from navigating the Straights of Magellan around the tip of South America, Fernan Magellan began his trip across the Pacific.
1895- The GREAT CHICAGO RACE- first American auto race. Two electric and four gas powered cars raced from Chicago to Evanston and back 54 miles despite several inches of snow on the ground. The winner Number 5 driven by inventor Charles Duryea reached a top speed of 7 miles an hour! Only one other car finished, the rest broke down. Duryea won $2000 and a good cold.
1911- The Chevrolet Automobile Company founded by the brothers Chevrolet.
1919- Lady Astor became the first woman elected to the British Parliament. She was the political as well as verbal nemesis of Winston Churchill who said "Mr. Churchill, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee!" To which Churchill replied:" Madame if I were your husband I would drink it !"
Lady Astor by John Singer Sargent and Chuchill
1922- The first Skywriting display. Former RAF pilot Cyril Turner wrote HELLO USA , CALL VANDERBILT 7-200 in the skies above New York City. 47,000 immediately telephoned the number.
1925- First radio broadcast from the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville.
1942- THE COCOANUT GROVE FIRE-The U.S. public was distracted for awhile from war news by reports of a terrible disaster in Boston. A fire broke out at a popular nightclub called the Cocoanut Grove and killed 492 people in only twelve minutes. The clubs decorations caught fire and created carbon monoxide gas and there were only two exits. Among the dead was western movie star Buck Jones. The tragedy created the first mandatory laws requiring public buildings to have fire exits opening outwards and safety testing of decorative materials.
1947- Disney's cartoon "Chip and Dale".
1948- Hopalong Cassidy premiered on television.
1951-Truman held a crisis cabinet meeting over the War in Korea.
U.S and United Nations forces had been attacked by 180,000 Communist Chinese, lost the capitol Seoul and were being driven back down the Korean peninsula. Gen. Douglas MacArthur recommended a limited dropping of at least ten atomic bombs on Chinese cities, spreading a belt of nuclear waste across the Sino-Korean border and inviting Chaing Kai Shek's Nationalist Chinese forces to attack China and restart the Chinese Civil War. This would mean Russia would step in with it's nuclear weapons and World War III would result.
Truman made the decision to keep the Korean War a "limited war" and not let it expand, no matter how dire allied losses became.
Gen. MacArthur was horrified. He was told we are not at war with Communist China, even though thousands of Chinese soldiers were even now locked in deadly battle with his troops. At first his calls for nuclear weapons sounds crazy, but his argument was it was crazy to fight wars to preserve a status-quo. If you go to the extreme of risking men's lives, do it to win or don’t go to war at all. In 1964 from his deathbed MacArthur sent a note to Pres. Johnson warning him not to go into Vietnam.
1953- Frank Olson, a US government employee, jumped out a window of the New York Statler Hotel. In 1975 it was revealed Olson was given LSD by Dr Sidney Gottleib given as part of a government “mind-control” experiment.
1953- Cartoonist writer Milt Gross died.
1981 - Moviestar Natalie Wood drunkenly toppled off her yacht near Catalina Island and drowned. Her husband Robert Wagner friend Christopher Walken, were onboard having an argument and unaware of her predicament. Wood had once confessed to a friend that she had a horror of drowning.
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What character was the first Macy Day balloon?
Answer- Felix the Cat in 1927. Many of these first balloons were designed by animator Tony Sarg.
November 27th, 2009 fri.
November 27th, 2009
Question: What cartoon character was the first Macy Day Parade balloon?
Yesterday’s answer below: If someone put you in a room with a sackbut, a euphonium and a double virginal, what were you expected to do?
History for 11/27/2009
Birthdays: Cornelius Vanderbuilt, Jimi Hendrix would have been 68, Bruce Lee- real name Lee Jun Fan would have been 69, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is 53, James Agee, Chaim Weizmann, Alexander Dubcheck, David Merrick, Marshal Thompson, Robin Givens, Judd Nelson, Buffalo Bob Smith, William Fichtner is 53, Katherine Bigelow is 58
176 AD- Marcus Aurelius named his son Commodus as co ruler and heir to the Roman Empire. Romes second Golden Age of Peace and prosperity called the Augustan Age ends. The Augustan Age was successful because the Emperors, who were mostly gay or bi-sexual, would adopt the best man for the job instead of a family member to rule Rome. So Rome enjoyed a series of excellent leaders- Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. But Marcus Aurelius spoiled the whole system by letting his natural son Commodus succeed him. Commodus turned into another sicko-tyrant like Nero and Caligula. It was rumored Commodus wasn’t even Marcus’ son but the Empress Faustina sired him with a gladiator, thus his fondness for the profession.
221AD- Today is the Feast Day of Saint James Intercisus, or Saint James 'Cut up into tiny pieces", which leaves but little speculation about the method of his martyrdom.
1582- William Shakespeare 27 married Ann Hathaway 25. They had a son who died and two daughters. In 1585 Shakespeare left his wife in Stratford on Avon, and by 1591 was known as an actor in London. He invested in land in Stratford and in 1616 retired to the country to spend time with his daughters and grandchildren but he never went back to Ann. It’s been speculated that she was a Puritan while Shakespeare enjoyed making fun of Puritans in Comedys like "Twelfth Night"."Just because thou art Virtuous thinks there shall be no more Cakes and Ale?"
1868- THE GREAT BATTLE ON THE WASHITA -as it was called in those days. Generals Sherman and Sheridan had had enough of chasing small bands of Indian warriors all over the prairie. They now ordered George Armstrong Custer to introduce to the plains their style of "Hard War"- that burned Atlanta and brought the Confederacy to it’s knees. With the sound of a band playing " Gary Owen" shattering the pre-dawn quiet Custer and his 7th Cavalry surprise attacked the village of Chief Black Kettle. The warriors were out foraging so they mostly killed women and children. They even shot the Indian’s ponies. Chief Black Kettle had recently signed a peace treaty with the white-eyes and felt so safe he flew a U.S. flag over his teepee. Black Kettle had survived a similar attack in 1864 called the Sand Creek Massacre. The excuse for the attack was that a white woman homesteader kidnapped by renegade Cheyenne may have been deposited for awhile at Black Kettle's encampment. The Victorian horror over inferred sexual outrages committed on Christian maidens goaded the troopers to ruthless fury, however after the battle Custer freely encouraged his officers to divide up the prettiest squaws for themselves.
One legend says Custer took a mistress named Meotzsi who bore him a child. So when Custer died at the Little Big Horn the reason his body was not scalped and mutilated like the others was the Cheyenne considered him family.
1910- New York’s Penn Station opened.
1921- English writer Alastair Crowley proclaimed himself Outer Head of the Order Templeis Orientalis- or Order of the Temple of the East. Alastair Crowley had spent years studying and mastering various occult devotions- Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Gnosticism, Iluminati in order to fuse them into his own form of black magick devotion- Thelema he called it based on the satires of the 1500’s French poet Rabelais. He boasted often that he wanted Crowleyism to eventually replace Christianity. His own mother called him: "The Wickedest Man in the World".
1924- The First Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The marvel of the parade were large displays that moved down the street thanks to small automobiles concealed under them. They seemed to "float",so they are called parade floats today. The huge balloons were added in 1927. Originally after the parade the balloons were let go to float away into the sky. Macy’s offered a bounty to people who found them after they landed, sometimes in rural New Jersey.
1933- Former Terrytoons animator Art Babbitt, now at Disney's, writes to fellow animator Bill Tytla encouraging him to move to California. "Terry owes you a lot and Disney has plans for a full length color cartoon!"
1936- Max Fleischer's cartoon featurette, "Popeye meets Sinbad the Sailor".
1941-While Admiral Yamamoto’s carrier fleet was getting it’s final orders to put to sea, at Pearl Harbor the U.S. army commander General Short got a top secret coded message from Washington: " Negotiations with Japan seem at an end for all practical purposes...future moves unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot be avoided the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act...Measures should be carried out so as not to alarm the civilian population or disclose intent."
1950- THE CHOSIN RESEVOIR- In Korea this day the US First Marine Division and British Commando 411 was cut off and attacked on all sides by massed Red Chinese armies. Commander Chesty Puller, a veteran of Guadalcanal, when told he was surrounded replied: "That just simplifies our problems of finding these people and killing them." The Marines slowly fought their way the trap in subzero cold across the frozen ice bringing out most of their wounded and some POWs. Survivors of the epic march refuse to call their campaign a retreat, they said they merely attacked in another direction. They called themselves "The Chosin Few" and the "Frozen-Chosin".
1953- Playwright Eugene O'Neill died of pneumonia and Parkinson's Disease at 65. He had been writing on cardboard laundry shirt boards because he needed something large to write on because his hands trembled so violently. When O’Neill realize his end was near he tore up six plays he was writing because he wanted no one else to complete them. He was staying at the Shelton Hotel in Boston. As his father was an actor his family traveled frequently. O'Neill's last words were : "I knew it! Born in a hotel room, and G-ddammit I'm dying in a hotel room! "
1960 – Gordie Howe becomes the first NHL player to score 1000 goals.
1967- The Beatles release Magical Mystery Tour.
1973- According to the X-Files this was the night Fox Mulder’s sister Samantha was abducted by aliens.
1978- Angry former city councilman Dan White, snuck into City Hall San Francisco and shot to death Mayor William Moscone, and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political figure. Their bodies were discovered by Diane Feinstein. White later pleaded the “ Twinkie Defense”, that eating too much junk food made him crazy.
1985- Steven Speilberg married Amy Irving. They divorced a few years later.
2002 Disney's Treasure Planet opened in theaters.
Yesterday’s Question: If someone put you in a room with a sackbut, a euphonium and a double virginal, what were you expected to do?
Answer: You would play them. They are musical instruments. A clever friend Nancy Beiman added- If you like the double entendre, you blow the first two, and run your hands all over the third one. The sackbut was a form of trombone, a euphonium a type of cornet and a virginal a keyboard instrument.
November 26th,2009 thanksgiving
November 26th, 2009
Question: If someone put you in a room with a sackbut, a euphonium and a double virginal, what were you expected to do?
Yesterday’s question answered below: What was the Golden 400?
History for 11/26/2009
Birthdays: John Harvard 1607(founder of Harvard University), Bat Masterson, Eugene Ionesco, Tina Turner, Charles "Sparky" Schulz, Cyril Cusak, Eric Severaid, Rich Little is 71, Wendy Turnbull, Robert Goulet
Happy American Thanksgiving! Since the earliest recorded times societies have had harvest festivals to give thanks to the appropriate deities that they're not going to starve come winter. Whether or not you believe in 1626 Pilgrim Gov. Winthrop invited Massacoit and his Wampanoag Indians to dinner, the custom of Thanksgiving was a New England holiday for decades thereafter. A few years later the New Englanders exterminated these same Indians and stuck the head of Massacoits son King Phillip on a post. In 1789 George Washington had called for a thanksgiving celebration in late November to celebrate the new Constitution but the holiday didn’t really become an annual custom until the Civil War. Sarah Hale the editor of the Ladies Magazine, the Martha Stewart of her time, had been lobbying the US Government to make the New England custom a national one.
In 1864 after the capture of Atlanta and Mobile Bay it looked obvious that the Union was finally going to win the Civil War. President Lincoln issued a decree that the last Thursday of November be set aside as a feast of national Thanksgiving –Old Abe had just won his re-election so he had lots to be thankful for as well. As blue clad troops chowed down on their turkey and chicken dinners the Confederates withheld their fire in honor of the new Yankee holiday. To this day Thanksgiving is still declared by Presidential decree, probably buried somewhere in the back of today’s newspaper.
1825-Kappa Alpha of Union College NY is established. The first college fraternity house.
1832- In New York the first public transportation began, a streetcar pulled along iron rails by a team of horses. A ticket cost 12 pennies. The last horse car bus stopped in 1926.
1865- Lewis Carroll sent a copy of the completed manuscript of his fantasy Alice in Wonderland to his12 year old friend and inspiration Alice Liddell. Carroll later published the book with his own money. This is one of the first books written solely to amuse children, and not to educate or discipline them.
1868- At first baseball games were played in a convenient cow pasture. Today the baseball game was played in an enclosed field. It was in San Francisco at Folsom & 25th St..
1896- AA. Stagg of University of Chicago invented the football huddle.
1913- THE DISAPPEARANCE OF AMBROSE BIERCE- Ambrose Bierce was one of the more popular U.S. writers of the late 19th century. A savage wit and social critic, a combat veteran of the Civil War, he pioneered sardonic anti-war fiction long before Kurt Vonnegut. But by 1913 the 71-year-old curmudgeon found himself alone, ill, his creative powers failing and not looking forward to old age. So on November 6th he announced his intention to travel to Mexico at the height of the revolution there and hopefully get killed: “Ah, to be an old gringo stood up before a Mexican firing squad, now that is Euthanasia!”
This day he gave his last known newspaper interview in Laredo Texas, then disappeared forever. A niece claimed he sent her a letter from Chihuahua on Dec. 26th but that letter has never been found. The popular story is that he was executed by Pancho Villa but Villa and his people never recalled meeting Bierce. Plus Villa was followed around by so many American news correspondents that a person as famous as Ambrose Bierce there was sure to be noticed. Other theories abound- that he volunteered to spy for the State Dept.; he faked the Mexico story so he could quietly kill himself in the recesses of the Grand Canyon, even that he was carried off by a demon who wanted men named Ambrose, which is why nobody names their kids Ambrose anymore! As he planned, Ambrose Bierce has the last laugh. “I want no one to find my bones!” And no one ever has.
1926- Potato Chips, or Crisps in the UK, were invented in the 1880’s and served in restaurants and fairgrounds. I remember in Brooklyn the Dugan’s Bakery Truck delivering potato chips in a large tin container. This day Ms Laura Scudder was the first to put potato chips in a bag and sold them as a handy snack food. She sold them out of the back of her pickup truck until the business picked up. She ran her own company until 1959.
1939- The first Woody Woodpecker Cartoon, "Knock-Knock.’
1945- Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis recorded KoKo, the first bebop Jazz single. The pianist at the session didn’t have his New York union card so after his solo, Dizzy dropped his trumpet and did the piano backup to Birds’ solo. The term Bop came from an earlier Lionel Hampton hit “Hey-Bop-A-ReBop”. Jazz critic Ira Gitler picked up on the witty interplay between musicians, and began wrote of the new sound as BeBop
1963- The day after John Kennedy’s funeral at a secret location in Lindenhurst New Jersey a meeting was held of Mafia under bosses to get a briefing on just what the heck happened in Dallas. Jack Ruby, who had shot JFK’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, was a known Mafia hitman used for “clean up jobs”. Retired Mafia Don Bill Bonano, the son of Joe Bananas, claims he and other crime bosses were told by representatives of Tony Marcello and Santos Traficante that they were behind the JFK shooting and it was all “ a local matter”. Both men were the targets of heavy government racketeering probes pursued by Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. They explained that there were four shooters that day including the patsy. Dallas officer Tibbet was supposed to take out Oswald the patsy right after the shooting but Oswald had killed him first, so Jimmy Roselli had arranged for small time hood Jack Ruby to go fix things. Believe it or not!
1965- France launched its first space rocket, the Dianant-1, into orbit.
1970- During a visit to Manila Pope Paul VI was attacked by a madman wielding a knife. The Pope was unhurt and continued his journey.
1975- Former Charles Manson follower Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is convicted of trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford with a starters pistol.
1976- Sex Pistols Punk single “Anarchy in the UK” released.
1998- Tony Blair became the first British Prime Minister to address the Irish Parliament. He said: We can no longer afford to be the Prisoners of History.”
2001- Neoconservative writer William Kristol proclaimed:” The endgame in Afghanistan is in sight!” And we’re uh….we’re still there.
2008- Terrorists attacked several top hotels in Mumbai ( Bombay). They focused on trying to capture or kill American and British citizens and they shot up a Orthodox Jewish Chabad charity house, killing a rabbi and his wife. After four days of battle with Indian forces they were all killed.
Yesterday’s Question: What was the Golden 400?
Answer: In 1883 to inaugurate her new 5th Ave. mansion, Mrs. Cornelia Vanderbilt held one of the greatest costume balls in New York City history. Mrs. Caroline Astor and social critic Ward McAllister with her created the Social Register, also called the Golden 400. The ranking of the top families in polite society, first invented by the Venetian Republic. If you weren’t on their list then darling, you simply weren’t anybody.