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Aug 31, 2012 fri.
August 30th, 2012

Question: What is SMPTE Time Code?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What famous American statesman was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis?
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History for 8/31/2012
Birthdays: Caligula 12AD*, Commodus 161AD**, Amilcare Ponchielli, Eldridge Cleaver, Buddy Hackett, James Coburn, Itshak Perleman is 67, Van Morrison, Arthur Godfrey, Richard Baseheart, Rocky Marciano. Alan J. Lerner, Hugh Harman,, Maria Montressori (of the Montressori Method of education), William Saroyan, Richard Gere is 63, Chris Tucker is 40.

• Caligula was a nickname. His real name was Gaius but as a child in his dad's army camp the troops dressed him up in his own little uniform. An army issued boot was a Caligae, so they called him Caligula, or Little Army Bootie. As Emperor if you called him that to his face he'd have you killed.

** Commodus was yet another mad Roman Emperor . He'd have you killed if you reminded him that he had the same birthday as Caligula. Romans refused to believe such a loser as Commodus could be the son of the great philosopher Marcus Aurelius. The rumor was the empress coupled with a gladiator while Marcus was away in Germany. When Marcus found out he was …uh…philosophical.

1422- King Henry V of England had settled the Hundred Years War in England’s favor after the great victory of Agincourt. But this day he died of dysentery at age 35 before the peace could hold. Had he lived, the Hundred Years War would have been the 90 Years War.

1535- Pope Paul II excommunicated English King Henry VIII for this Protestant –Reformation thing he was doing.

1798- Haitian leader Touissaint L’Overture signed a secret peace treaty with British General Maitland. In it the British and Spanish resolved to stop trying to invade Haiti and in turn Touissaint promised to not spread his revolution to the slaves of British Jamaica.

1829- Giacomo’s Opera Guglielmo Tell debuted in Paris. The William Tell overture was heard for the first time- Hi Ho Silver!

1837- Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered his American Scholar speech in Cambridge Mass. “Our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands is drawing to a close.” People called it an intellectual declaration of independence.

1879- THE RETREAT TO KANADAHAR- The British hold on Afghanistan and the Khyber Pass was difficult and dangerous. After a British force was wiped out by Ayub Khan at Maiwand, General Primrose reported he was surrounded at Khandahar. Lord Roberts ,or “Lil’ Bobs” conducted his army on an epic march from Kabul to Khandahar under heavy attack on all sides from Afghan tribesmen. Once there he discovered to his annoyance that Primrose had overreacted and the Khandahar garrison wasn’t in any serious danger. Roberts proceeded to defeat the forces of Ayub Khan and later was also victorious in the Boer War.

He received the thanks of Parliament and was made Lord Roberts of Khandahar. Even his horse received a medal. Kipling wrote a poem in his honor “Our Bobs”. Roberts was five foot three, blind in one eye and liked to sip champagne while directing a battle.

1881- The first men’s singles competition in tennis was held in Newport Rhode Island. The winner was Richard Sears.

1887- Thomas Edison patented the plans for a Kinetoscope, his original version of Motion Pictures using George Eastmans new celluloid roll film. Most of the actual grunt work was done by Canadian technician W.K.L. Dickson. He drove himself sick designing, building and improving the device as well as the camera and studio, but Edison gets all the credit. Edison wrote Edweard Muybridge at the time that he doubted the Kinetoscope would have much commercial value beyond the science lab.

1888-THE FIRST JACK THE RIPPER MURDER. Then called the Whitechapel Murders. The unique detail was that the Ripper killed his victim Mary Ann Nichols with a simple throat cut, then proceeded to remove her internal organs with the precision of a surgeon. Was the sadist murderer the syphilitic Duke of Clarence? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle suggested it was a woman, a psychotic midwife. An anti-Semitic issue appeared when a cryptic clue at the murder scene was interpreted by some to think the Ripper was Jewish. Then the message was thought to be a freemasons symbol.

After six ghastly killings the murders stopped as mysteriously as they had started. In 1891 an Australian-born abortionist named Dr. Edward Cream was hanged for poisoning a prostitute. As he dropped through the trapdoor and the rope snapped he shouted: "I AM JAC-...!"

1907- Russia and the British Empire sign an entente or alliance. Russia and England had not been allies since the Age of Napoleon. They had fought a war against each other in 1854, competed over Afghanistan and almost went to war again in 1877. When World War One started, the Russian diplomat Isvolsky proudly boasted: " This is MY War !!"

1909- A geologist named Walcott hiking in the Canadian Rockies discovered the Burgess Shale. The first fossilized proof of the period before the dinosaurs called the Cambrian Era.

1919- The American Communist Party founded in Chicago with John Reed and Carlos Tresca. This was distinct from Socialist Party tickets. Socialists had been active for years before and around 1912 Socialist Eugene Debs polled over a million votes in his run at the Presidency. In 1945 the CP/USA was outlawed but reinstated in the 1960s. Black militant professor Angela Davis once ran for president on the Communist ticket. She didn’t win.

1920 -Detroit radio station is 1st to broadcast a news program on the air.

1928- In Berlin the ThreePenny Opera premiered, music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertholdt Brecht with Lotte Lenya as Pirate Jenny. Mackie Messer or Mack the Knife is born

1914- The Battle of Tannenberg ended. The Russian assault, called the great Russian Steamroller, was stymied in the forests of Prussia by an old General named Hindenberg who had been reactivated out of retirement.

1935- Disney cartoon Plutos’ Judgement Day.

1938- Walt Disney puts ten thousand down to buy 51 acres on Buena Vista Street in Burbank. He will build his modern studio there.

1939- Adolph Hitler sent out "Wartime Order #1-Force White" calling for the attack on Poland to begin on schedule and war to commence without a formal declaration. It also told all German ships at sea to be on alert for the news of hostilities with Britain and France.

1939- In Saint Moritz, exiled King of Spain Alfonso XI doubted there was going to be a world war. Even if one did break out, he predicted, it will all be over within a year.

1941 –The Great Gildersleeve, a spin-off of Fibber McGee & Molly debuts on NBC radio.

1946- Looney Toon short 'Walky Talky Hawky' the first Foghorn Leghorn. The character was based on a Fred Allen radio character Senator Clayton Langhorn, that poked fun at bombastic Southern conservative politicians.

1948- Disney's 'Melody Time' premiered.

1948- Movie star Robert Mitchum was busted for smoking pot with a blonde in the Hollywood Hills. This would have normally smoked his career but the new postwar outlaw, noir attitude was in vogue. So bad-boy Mitchum emerged from county jail more popular than ever.

1950- Heaviest North Korean attacks on the Pusan Perimeter, a last stand line of the South Koreans and Americans only 23 miles long and 200 miles deep. General Bulldog Walker told his men:” This will not be another Dunkirk or Bataan, There is no further retreat, it is a fight to the finish!” While Walker and his men held on at Pusan, Douglas MacArthur prepared the amphibious counterattack behind the Koreans at Inchon.

1955 - 1st microwave TV station operated in Lufkin, Texas.

1955-1st sun-powered automobile demonstrated, Chicago, Ill. Ed Begley didn’t buy it.

1954- Make a note of it, the US Census Bureau founded.

1957- Malaysia gained independence from Britain.

1964 - Ground is broken for Anaheim Stadium, future home of the California Angels

1969- Former Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano died in a plane crash in Newton Iowa. He had been hurrying home to attend a birthday party in his honor. He was 45.

1972- Russian Olga Korbut won a gold medal in gymnastics at the Olympics. She was the first of the cutsey little 15 year old girl gymnasts with the bright smile to catch the world’s attention.

1997- PRINCESS DIANA OF WALES died in a high speed car crash in Paris. Her Mercedes had been trying to avoid paparrazzi hounding her and her current boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed, the son of the Egyptian tycoon owner of Harrods. The drivers body tested above normal for alcohol and drugs. Princess Di was 36. Britain reacted with an outpouring of grief not seen since the death of Nelson. The rapacious British paparazzi worked overtime to absolve themselves of hounding the poor woman to death. Rupert Murdoch personally flew to London to direct the spin campaign defending his papers.

2001- The NY Stock Exchange tries to avoid a Recession and bolster growth, by getting Michael Jackson and Jerry Lewis to ceremonially open trading sessions. Didn’t work.
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Yesterday’s Question: What famous American statesman was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis?

Answer: Alexander Hamilton, born to as the illegitimate son of a businessman named James Hamilton. Nevis was then part of the Dutch Antilles. Hatred of Hamilton is the prime reason the rule was written into the Constitution that the President can never be foreign born.


August 30, 2012 Thurs
August 30th, 2012

Question: What famous American statesman was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who said,” These are times that try men’s souls...” ?
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History for 8/30/2012
Birthdays: Mary Shelley, Jacques Louis David, Huey Long, Fred MacMurray, Raymond Massey, Ted Williams, John Blondell, Timothy Bottoms, Jean-Claude Killy, Shirley Booth, John Landis, Tug McGraw, R. Crumb is 68, Lewis Black, Cameron Diaz is 39

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Fiacre, the Patron Saint of Gardeners.

30 BC- Cleopatra committed suicide at age 39. Some accounts have her allowing herself to be bitten by a poison asp concealed in a basket, another said she took poison concealed on a hairpin. It was said she killed herself to join her lover Marc Anthony, more likely it was because the victorious Augustus planned to have her dragged through the streets of Rome in a cage for the crowd's amusement, then quietly strangled. The snakebite was thought by Egyptians to bestow immortality.

After Julius Caesar's murder, Marc Anthony and Augustus had divided up the Roman Empire east and west. Cleopatra fell in love with Anthony and governed with him from 41 to 31BC. Augustus conquered them in the naval battle of Actium. Octavian Augustus was only Julius Caesar's nephew. Cleopatra had borne Caesar a natural son, Caesarion. Augustus discovered the boy during this turmoil and had him quietly killed. Octavia, Anthony’s jilted wife, took Cleo’s two other children by Anthony and raised them as her own.

304 AD-Today is the feast of Saints Felix and Adauctus. Felix was sentenced to be beheaded when a voice in the crowd called out :"I too believe in what this man confesses! Take me too!" So the Romans beheaded both of them but forgot to get the other guy's name. Adauctus means "That other guy" So it's Saint Felix and Saint Whats-His-Name.

1483- French King Louis XI, “the Spider King” died.

1721- The Treaty of Nystad ending the Great Northern War . The twenty year struggle ended Sweden’s status as a butt kicking world power and the coming of Russia as a major player. The aging Czar Peter returned to his new capitol Saint Petersburg to cries of Mir Mir!- Peace! He was being called Pyotr Vyelke- Peter the Great.

1784- The Empress of China, a fast sailing American clipper ship established trade between New England and China. Far East trade had been cut off by the British since the Revolution broke out.

1813- The Fort Mims Massacre- Red Eagle and his Creek warriors kill and scalp 500 whites. This was the pretext for the U.S. army driving the Creek Nation out of Alabama and Mississippi. Red Eagle eventually was defeated by Andy Jackson at Horseshoe Bend and changed his name to William Weatherford and became a Methodist.

1850- Honolulu became a city.

1861- Western explorer William Freemont was given the Civil War command of the department of the west. This included the embattled states of Missouri and Kansas. The Missouri Governor and most of the legislature were pro-Southern. Gen.Freemont declared that all slaves that fell into his hands would be set free and all citizens caught in arms against the United States would be executed. President Lincoln made him rescind these orders. He was not ready to free the slaves…just yet.

1873- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police- The Mounties formed.

1867- At the University of Göttingen, Albert Niemann isolated the chemical elements of the Columbian coca plant and names the powdery substance Cocaine.

1880- Diablo, chief of the Cibecue Apache, was killed fighting the White Mountain Apache.

1919- THE RED TERROR- Think of the famous assassins of history- Brutus, John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Fanny Kaplan…..Fanny Kaplan? Yep, on this day in Moscow Socialist Fanya Kaplan fired several bullets into Nikolai Lenin. Several hours before this attack the head of the Saint Petersburg secret police Moishe Uritsky was assassinated. Uritsky was from an Orthodox Jewish family but joined the Communists like many Jews who hated the Anti-Semitic regime of the Czar. Lenin survived, Fanny was executed and the Communist police terror consumed all remaining critics of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Founder of the Communist Secret police Felix Derzhinsky said: Our purpose is not to find justice, but to mete out retribution!” In twenty months they jailed and executed more Russians than the Tsar’s police did in the entire Nineteenth Century. A defining moment in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was when Russians pulled down the huge statue of Derzhinsky in front of KGB headquarters.

1935- “Top Hat” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers premiered.

1939- The last peacetime voyage of the HMS Queen Mary evacuated Americans fleeing the impending war in Europe. Among the crowd was a large contingent of Hollywood stars like Bob Hope and Jack Warner who planned to attend the first Cannes Film Festival (postponed until 1946). The Queen Mary kept radio silence across the ocean to hide from U-Boats. This was a wise because her sister ship HMS Athenia was torpedoed.

1945- THE AMERICAN SHOGUN- Gen. Douglas MacArthur lands on mainland Japan as military governor.
After the ceasefire was announced, there still was a lot of distrust on both sides, and in the streets of Japan gangs of outraged youths and kamikaze pilots fought loyal troops trying to restart the war. Into this turmoil General MacArthur and his staff flew in alone ahead of any other allied occupying troops. He even ordered his staff to leave their pistols behind to show their fearlessness to the Japanese. He also wanted to get there before Admiral Nimitz and the Navy got there first and stole his spotlight.
In a sight that alarmed his staff as MacArthur drove to Yokohama the road was lined on both sides with 30,000 crack Japanese troops standing silent with fixed bayonets.
They were not threatening but saluting their new Shogun. They even faced backwards from the road not looking at MacArthur, a gesture of respect reserved only for the Emperor.
While the still new Truman administration concentrated on Stalin and postwar Europe MacArthur was left with a free hand to reshape Japanese society as he saw fit. He used the power of unquestioning Japanese social discipline to give women the vote, form labor unions and rewrite their constitution, setting the basis of Japanese democracy.

1963- The HOT LINE is set up between the White House and the Kremlin.
It was never really a red telephone, more a coded teletype machine. It was to prevent misunderstandings like the Cuban Missile Crisis. We know now that in 1973 Nixon had put U.S. forces on red alert war footing to prevent the Soviets from intervening in the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War. In 1980 the Fail Safe system failed and reported 12,000 Soviet missiles were coming at us over the North Pole .Jimmy Carter had 5 minutes to decide whether it was a mistake or the first strike warranting our full retaliation. We're all still here so I guess you know how Carter chose.

1968- The first 7-11 store opened in Palmdale California. Have a Slurpee !

1975- Ralph Bakshi's film "Coonskin". Bad boy Bakshi's portrayal of African-American urban violence was deemed so offensive that it caused the first riot ever at the Museum of Modern Art, and died at the boxoffice. The film was retitled on video "Streetfight".
When Ralph resurfaced he turned his attention to Sword & Fantasy films.

1979- President Jimmy Carter claimed that while boating on vacation in Georgia he was attacked by an enraged rabbit.

1980- Willie Nelson released his hit “On the Road Again.”

1983- Lt. Guion Bluford , the first African American in Space, went up on the Challenger spaceshuttle.

1993-The David Letterman Show premiered on CBS. Letterman was wooed away from NBC for 42 million bucks.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who said,” These are times that try men’s souls...” ?

Answer: A few years into the Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote a follow up to his pamphlet Common Sense, called The Crisis- “THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”


August 29, 2012 weds
August 29th, 2012

Quiz: Who said,” These are times that try men’s souls...” ?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: Which person was not born in Scotland? Sean Connery, Margaret Atwood, Robert Louis Stephenson, or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. ?
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History for 8/29/2012
Birthdays: King James II Stuart, John Locke, Oliver Wendel Holmes Sr., Jean Dominique Ingres, Charlie Parker, Preston Sturges, Ingrid Bergman, William Friedkin is 74, Dinah Washington, George Montgomery, Slobodan Milosevic, Robin Leach, Michael Jackson, Richard Attenborough is 89, Donald O’Connor, Elliot Gould is 74, Rebecca DeMornay, Joel Schumacher, choreographer Mark Morris, Charles Kettering inventor of the automobile ignition, Joyce Clyde Hall the founder of Hallmark greeting cards.

29 AD- Estimated date of the beheading of John the Baptist.

1664- The name of the colony of Niew Amsterdam is officially changed to New York by the occupying British forces. This was a birthday present to the King Charles’s brother James, the Duke of York.

1709-PORT ROYAL and the JANSENISTS- Cornelius Jansen was a Dutch Catholic who formulated an extreme reform movement inside Catholicism. He said the only way the Roman Church could re-unite Christianity would be to adopt disciplines that were in essence not too dissimilar to Protestant Calvinism. His ideas won great favor at the French Cistercian Convent of Port Royal and it became the stronghold of the movement under their charismatic Abbess Mere Angelique. Cardinal Richelieu ignored them as he ignored most spiritual issues, but later King Louis XIV and the Jesuits would not.

After almost a century of controversy this day the King closed the Abbey of Port Royal and outlawed Jansenism. King Louis XIV had such a distaste for Jansenism that he held up the appointment of one judge because he thought he was a devotee. But upon being reassured that the man was merely a complete atheist, Louis then approved the appointment.

1756- THE SEVEN YEARS WAR began. This could arguably be called the true first World War. Britain, France, Prussia and Russia, Austria, Poland, Sweden and Turkey fought each other all over the globe. Armies battled from Prague to Pennsylvania, Belgium to Gibraltar, to Madras, Quebec and Sri Lanka. In America it is called The French & Indian War. If you are a film buff consider this: Barry Lyndon and the Last of the Mohicans are happening at the same time as part of the same war.

1776- The Long Island Campaign ends. George Washington's army was badly beaten in open battle by the British, driven off Brooklyn Heights and pinned up against the East River. All night the fishermen of Marblehead Massachusetts ferried the remainder of his troops across to Manhattan while the British Navy sat strangely inactive around Staten Island. Even the weather helped with a thick fog that shrouded all activity until 8:00AM in the morning.

A Loyalist homeowner named Mrs. Rapalie sent her slave to warn the British that the rebels were getting away. The man was intercepted by some German Hessians who couldn’t understand any thing he said in his thick Brooklyn-Colonial accent. So they arrested him as a spy.

1793- Commissioner of the French Revolutionary Republic, Leger Felicite’ Sonthonax proclaimed the abolition of slavery in San Dominique- now Haiti.

1831 - Michael Faraday demonstrated the 1st electric transformer.

1864 - William Huggins published a study of the chemical composition of nebulae

1885 - Boxing's 1st heavyweight title fight with regulation 3-oz gloves & 3-minute
rounds fought between John L Sullivan & Dominick McCaffrey. Before this bareknuckle fights could go on for 75 rounds and only be stopped when one of the other opponent was too bloody to continue.

1889 - 1st American Intl pro lawn tennis contest -Newport RI.

1893- Whitcomb Judson invented the zipper.

1896- Chop Suey invented in New York City.

1897- The FIRST WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS opened in Basel, Switzerland. Jews from all around the world met to agree on a strategy of returning to Palestine to build a Jewish homeland and getting a major world power to sanction their efforts. They also agreed to adopt the revived Hebrew language as the common mother tongue. Russian Socialist Theodore Herzel, called the Father of Zionism , at one point almost split the movement with a scheme for all Jews to move to Uganda,. There was also another group who wanted Argentina to be the Jewish Homeland, but Palestine finally won out over all.

1908 - NY gives a parade to returning US Olympians from London. Wall Street brokers come up with the idea of throwing shredded stock ticker tape out the windows.
The first ticker tape parade.

1909 - World's 1st air race held in Rheims France. Glenn Curtiss (USA) wins.

1914- Mass march of women in black with muffled drums down New York’s Fifth Avenue to demand the U.S. stay out of World War One.

1916- FeldMarshals Paul von Hindenberg und Eric Ludendorf were given overall command of the Germany’s armies, and in effect run their country as well. This was the opposite of the great Clauswitz's rules that war should be subservient to diplomacy and never waged for it's own sake. The Kaiser, so belligerent at the beginning of the war was by this point was merely a figurehead. To contribute to the war effort he agreed to limit his meals to four courses and drink beer instead of champagne. War is Hell !

1925 - After a night on the town, Babe Ruth shows up late for batting practice Yankee manager Miller Huggins suspended Ruth & slapped a $5,000 fine on him. Whenever the Yankees were on the road and were safely winning a game Ruth would take himself out of the lineup early so he could scout out a good bar for the team to go to later.

1929- New York City was having competitions between builders for who could build the tallest office building. The Chrysler Building had recently surpassed the Bank of Manhattan Building. On this day William Ratzengauer and former Presidential candidate Al Smith announced they would build a monster building, much higher than any other. It would be on the site of the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel and they would call it the Empire State Building.

1949- Soviet Russia detonated it's first atomic bomb "First Lightning". The scientists won medals, automobiles and dachas. They knew that if it had not worked they all would have been shot. Yet Stalin made no public announcement until he could fill his larder with nukes. A CIA sniffer plane picked up the evidence of the bomb and dubbed it "Joe-1" after Joe Stalin. It was announced on Sept 23rd. The U.S. reacted to this news and the news of Mao's taking over China with shock. It fueled the great Red-scare of the 1950's.

1953-Warner's "Cat Tails for Two" introduces Speedy Gonzales.

1954 – San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opened.

1955- Mamie Van Doren married Ray Anthony.

1958 - George Harrison joins the Quarrymen -Lennon-McCartney and Sutcliffe. The later rename themselves the Beatles.

1962- The Kennedy State Department sent poet laureate Robert Frost on a goodwill tour of Soviet Russia.

1966- Egyptian writer Sayyid Qutb was executed for plotting against the government. Qutb is considered by many the philosopher of the new radical offshoot of Islam in the world today. His pupil who took up his cause was Ayman Al Zuwahiri. He is the man in the horn rimmed glasses who took over for Osama Bn Laden.

1967- Final Episode of the television series "The Fugitive". Dr. Richard Kimble catches the one-armed-man and clears his name.

1974- THE RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE- Prizefighter Mohammed Ali wins back his heavyweight crown from George Foreman in a wild showbiz event set up in Kinshasa, Zaire. While the African government was trying to use the press attention to highlight the modern society they had developed, Ali was making jokes about witchdoctors, missionaries in stewpots and other cliches. "Tonight they'll be a thousand guys named Mohammed out there rooting for me, and another thousand guys named Ali rooting for me, but their won't be anybody else out there named George Foreman!" Foreman left boxing, became a minister, then returned in his 40’s to win the heavyweight crown and a fortune when most athletes are retired.

1976 - Anissa Jones, the child actress who played Buffy on the television show Family Affair), died of a drug overdose at age 18.

1989 -Hotel millionaire Leona Helmsley had said : "Only little people pay taxes". This day she was sentenced to four years in prison and fined two million dollars for 33 counts of income tax evasion. According to a London newspaper one servant under oath admitted he hated The Queen of Mean so much that whenever he had to bring her a Perrier, he would unzip his fly and use a rather unique stirrer for her drink. Leona died in 2007 and left the bulk of her estate to her lapdog.

2002- Peep-O-Rama, Times Square’s last remaining peep show, closed.

2005- HURRICANE KATRINA destroyed the cities of New Orleans, Gulfport Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi. Tidal surges up to 30 feet collapsed levees, sending walls of water across the Big Easy. Thousands died, 800,000 homeless and billions of dollars in damage. The tragedy proved that for all the fuss about preparedness after 9-11, America was still woefully confused in a real crisis.

While people drowned in their attics and critical care patients were left on the sidewalks to die, the government fumbled for almost a week. Long lines of relief trucks and ambulances were kept waiting outside the city with no permission to move in.

Meanwhile President Bush played air guitar at a Navy base in San Diego and compared himself to Franklin Roosevelt, then partied with John McCain on a golf course for his birthday. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff attended a Bird Flu seminar and FEMA head David Brown was sending e-mails to friends like “Did you see me on camera with my new tie? -Fabulous!”

2008- CARIBOU BARBIE- Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain surprised the political world when he named Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his choice for running mate. It is still argued today whether this unconventional choice was good or bad. She energized the far right wing base of her party, but her obvious unpreparedness for high office offended Republican intelligentsia and scared off their few remaining independent voters.
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Yesterday’s Question: Which person was not born in Scotland? Sean Connery, Margaret Atwood, Robert Louis Stephenson, or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. ?

Answer: Margaret Atwood was born in Canada.


August 27, 2012 mon.
August 27th, 2012

Quiz: In Texas, Houston is named for Sam Houston, Austin is named for Stephen Austin. Who is Galveston named after?

Question: Which person does not belong with the others? Betty Freidan, Phyllis Schlafly, Gertrude Stein, Jane Fonda.
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HISTORY FOR 8/27/2012
Birthdays: Man Ray, Martha Ray, LBJ ( Lyndon Baines Johnson), Hegel, C.S. Forester, Hannibal Hamlin- Abe Lincolns first term vice president, Barbara Bach, Theodore Dreiser, Lady Antonia Fraser, Tommy Sands, Tuesday Weld is 69, Mangesuthu Buthelezi, Paul Rubens-aka Pee Wee Herman is 60

53 B.C.- JULIUS CAESAR LANDED IN ENGLAND- Caesar paused from his conquest of Gaul to check out the British Isles. He didn't stay long because Channel storms were playing havoc with his supply ships. Just long enough to fight some Celts under their chief Cassilvelaunus, collect some tribute and add a chapter to his memoirs.

The Romans returned in A.D. 61 under instructions from Claudius to conquer and colonize. London, Colchester and York were originally Roman army camps. The Romans never considered Britain a good investment though, for the two legions that had to be stationed there year round to protect colonists from the Scottish Picts (Painted People), all the Romans got was some tin, slaves and a bigger road map.

1506- Pope Julius II attacks Perugia and Bologna for Holy Mother Church. After the conquest Julius has Michelangelo cast a nine foot statue of him to remind the Perugians who kicked their butts. Michelangelo created his largest free standing bronze caste, but we don't have it anymore. In 1512 Julius's enemies liberated Perugia and the happy people melted down the statue and cast it into a cannon they nicknamed :"La Julia".

1660- Poet John Milton's books were publicly burned on Tyburn hill. It wasn't because of any great suppression of humanist ideas. Milton was an outspoken supporter of Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan regime that had governed England. But now the King was back on the throne and unimpressed with his writings.

1664- NIEUW AMSTERDAAM BECOMES NEW YORK. The English had disputed Holland's stake in America based on the early exploration of John Cabot. Now with the growth of the New England colonies, the English Civil War over and the Spanish Menace diminishing England sent a large battle fleet under Colonel Rollins to New Amsterdam to demand the surrender of the colony.

The Dutch governor was an old one-legged mercenary named Peter Stuyvesant. He wanted to make a fight of it and had even set up a battery of cannon on -where else? the Battery. However his city council were men of commerce, not soldiers. They told him if he wanted to fight he should do it himself because they were surrendering. Even his own son was against fighting. Stuyvesant in a rage shouted at the burghers:" Keep to your shovels and barrows!" The governor himself hobbled up to the cannon pointed at the British fleet and lit a match to fire the first shot. He paused and noticed the silent stares of all those around him. The chaplain of the colony, Dominie Megapolensis, silently took Stuyvesant by the hand down from the fort and Stuyvesant signed the surrender.

He was allowed to keep his large farm, or in Dutch, his Bouwerie -the Bowery. Five years later the English named renamed the city after King Charles II's brother the Duke of York for his birthday. The Duke of York's protection kept Long Island from being made part of Connecticut. The first English colony planted after the conquest was named for the only part of Britain to remain loyal to King Charles during the Cromwell period, the Isle of Jersey (New Jersey). Charles main supporter was James Leslie, Baron Newark. (Newark N.J.) and his son the Duke of Monmouth. Still the old Dutch roots were deep and even in George Washington's time Dutch was the predominant language on New York's streets. In 1832 Martin Van Buren became our first knickerbocker President.

1667- The first record in English of a Hurricane, this one striking near Jamestown Virginia. Of course the Spanish in the Caribbean had been seeing hurricanes since Columbus’s third voyage in 1503.

1776- THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND- The worst defeat for Americans in the Revolutionary War. The British regiments destroy George Washington’s army in Brooklyn while he was in Manhattan still waiting for the main attack. Washington sent two generals to command, Generals Sullivan and William Alexander, who insisted everyone call him Lord Stirling in memory of some Scottish inheritance he claimed he was cheated out of.

The British General Henry Clinton marched down the Kings Highway to Jamaica then found a secret path behind Yankee lines, guarded by only 5 militiamen. Clinton had walked these paths when he was a young officer stationed in NY. His superior Lord William Howe at first refused the idea- he said it smacked of the German School of Tactics. He felt the Americans were too stupid to panic when their flank was turned. But the Yankees did panic and Lord Howe won a great victory.
The British had gotten over their shock of the American’s Indian style of guerrilla fighting. They countered by using German jaeger battalions, professional hunters turned soldier who were accustomed to shooting from behind rocks and trees. Generals Sullivan and Lord Stirling were forced to surrender after furious fighting around the Cortelyou House. One Scots Redcoat officer wrote: “Multitudes of retreating Americans who attempted to escape across the Gowanus River were drowned or suffocated in the morasses- a proper punishment for Rebels!”
1789- The French Revolutionaries publish THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN. They wanted the American ambassador Thomas Jefferson to help them write it, but he worried it would compromise his diplomatic immunity. So he agreed to look over their shoulder during revisions. Most foreign ambassadors had fled Paris. But the French radicals considered America a fellow Republic.

1813- BATTLE OF DRESDEN. After the retreat from Moscow the previous year, Napoleon is attacked by Austria, Russia, Sweden, Prussia, and just about everybody else in Europe but the Spice Girls. In reorganizing his army Napoleon ordered a stripped down staff and no more dessert served at the Imperial dinner table. War is Hell.

Napoleon whupped the Allies in this first battle at Dresden, and a famous French turncoat general named Moreau was killed by a cannonball. Moreau had been counseling the Russians on how best to kill his countrymen. His death was seen as a sign of Divine Justice by both sides. During a temporary truce Napoleon was offered by the Allies the chance to negotiate a peace. World history would have been different, but he refused. When he asked Polish Prince Poniatowski what he would do, the Prince replied: 'I would make peace now, to wage war better later.' But Napoleon countered :"I'd rather make war now to win a better peace." He lost.

1814- President James Madison and the remains of the U.S. Government came out of hiding in the forests of Arlington and re-entered the burned out remains of Washington D.C.. It had been left by the British Army after being put to the torch. Looters scampered over the smoldering remains of the White House and Congress. Secretary of War Armstrong, who inadequately defended the Capitol, resigned after blaming everyone but himself. Mayor Blakes‘s fear upon his return was of a rumored slave insurrection, so he armed every available white male for police duty. Meanwhile the exhausted inhabitants of Washington could hear another British force across the Potomac looting the town of Alexandria, given up without a fight.

1814- As the British invaders roamed the Maryland countryside an elderly Scottish immigrant doctor named Beanes was dragged out of his house by Royal Marines and packed off to the flagship off shore. He was accused of mistreating captured British soldiers. Since he was born in Scotland he could face a charge of treason. When local residents petitions to have Dr Beanes released were refused, an appeal was made to a respected Georgetown attorney named Francis Scott Key to go try and win his release. Key showed up at the ship with written affidavits from the incarcerated British wounded affirming Dr. Beanes innocence. The British agreed to release them both, but only after their big assault on Baltimore. This is why Key was on the British warship in time to watch the Rockets Red Glare, the Bombs Bursting in Air , etc.

1814- Meanwhile in England poet Percy Shelley eloped with Mary, the only daughter of John Godwin and Mary Wollenstonecraft. Godwin had objected to Shelley’s proposal for his daughters hand because he was an opium addict, a sexual libertine, an atheist and already married with a baby daughter! Yeah, but besides all that what’s your objection? They ran off followed by Mary’s stepsister Claire who started sleeping with Lord Byron. Mary of course was the author of Frankenstein. If I knew all this maybe I would have paid more attention in English Lit 101.

1910- The first radio message sent from an airplane.

1912- Edgar Rice Burroughs published Tarzan of the Apes.

1915- Italy declared war on Germany and Austria and entered World War One.

1917- Straight Shooting, the first film directed by John Ford released.

1930- Lon Chaney Sr. died of throat cancer. During filming of a remake of the Unholy Three a wind machine blew an artificial gypsum snowflake into Chaney's mouth - it caused an irritation that became a tumor.

1941- Japan’s Prime Minister Prince Konoye requested a summit meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt to try and avoid war. Konoye was an anti-fascist and foresaw the coming holocaust but he couldn’t control Japans military. Ironically when the war ended in 1945 Prince Konoye was arrested by US authorities for war crimes. The anti-war statesman committed hari-kiri.

1942- Stalin called Marshal Zhukov, the hero of Leningrad, to go to Stalingrad and assume command there before the Nazis captured the city.

1955- The first Guinness Book of World Records published.

1950- NBC and General Foods abruptly canceled the hit television show “the Aldrich Family” when a pamphlet called Red Channels accused one of the show’s stars Jean Muir, of being a communist.

1953- The film Roman Holiday introduced a new young actress from Holland named Audrey Hepburn.

1964- The movie version of Mary Poppins premiered.

1967- Beatles manager Brian Epstein overdosed on sleeping pills.

1979- Retired Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed by the IRA , from a bomb on board his yacht.

1968- Former master animator Bill Tytla's request to return to Disney was turned down. The artist who animated Grumpy the Dwarf, Dumbo and the Devil on Bald Mountain even offered to do a free "trial animation test" to show he still had it. Disney exec W.H. Anderson wrote him:" We really have only enough animation for our present staff."
Tytla died later that year.

1990- Guitar great Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash outside Alpine Valley Wisconsin, after an "All Stars of the Blues" show. Stevie Ray took the last remaining seat on the helicopter, after Eric Clapton got off, claiming he'd rather take a limo back to Chicago, which was about an hour away.

2008- Barack Obama nominated for President of the United States. The first African American candidate from a major party.
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Yesterday’s Question: Which person does not belong with the others? Betty Friedan, Phyllis Schlafly, Gertrude Stein, Jane Fonda.

Answer: Phyllis Schlafly is a fierce Conservative ideologue, who led the opposition to the Women’s Movement and the Equal Rights Amendment.


Aug 26, 2012 Sun.
August 26th, 2012

Question: Which person does not belong with the others? Betty Friedan, Phyllis Schlafly, Gertrude Stein, Jane Fonda.

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: Quiz: Who wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
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History for 8/26/2012
Birthdays: Sir Robert Walpole the first British Prime Minister, Mother Theresa, Albert the Prince Consort, John Wilkes Booth, Guilliame Appollinaire who coined the term Surrealism, General Maxwell Taylor, Christopher Isherwood, McCauley Culkin is 32, Geraldine Ferrarro, Dr. Lee DeForrest, Ben Bradlee, Barbet Schroeder, Branford Marsalis, Chris Pine is 32, Melissa McCarthy is 42

480 BC- The Persian Army of Xerxes the Great King marched into Athens. They found an empty city. Athenian leader Themistocles had ordered the population to evacuate to the small island of Salamis. Themistocles defeated Xerxes later at an epic sea battle.

580AD An ancient Chinese inventory of the household of a nobleman makes the first recorded reference to toilet paper. The ancient Romans used a sponge tied to a small stick. You were expected to rinse it out afterwards for use by the next person.

217AD- Today is the Feast of St. Zephyrinus, who didn't die violently but he is still counted as a Martyr because he had a lot of stress. (?) He was supposedly so charitable, that Saint Hippolytus found him annoying.

1346-Battle of Crecy – The English beat the French in the Hundred Years War., The Welsh longbows rained powerful armor piercing arrows on the French knights from long range. The King of France’s friend King John of Bohemia rode into the thick of the battle despite his being elderly and completely blind. His horse’s reins were held by retainers galloping alongside him. When Edward the Black Prince of Wales discovered the king's dead body after the battle, he plucked three white plumes from his helmet and assumed his motto "Ich Dein" or "How's dat, ye blind old bugger !" They became the symbols of the Prince of Wales. Also appearing at this battle for the first time were the big rock throwing fire pipes they called Bombardons, but we call cannon.

1498- Michelangelo gets a job. The big Florentine stone cutter was commissioned by Pope Alexander VI to carve the Pieta, a Mary lamenting over the body of Jesus.

1572- In Paris four days after the Great Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, someone noticed the hawthorns were flowering out of season in the little cemetery of the Holy Innocents. The Bishop of Paris thought this was a divine sign and ordered the church bells to ring. But when the dumbass people heard the bells they thought it was a signal to resume the massacre, so everyone ran out and started killing each other again.

1576- Great artist Titian died at age 99. He outlived all the artists of the Renaissance, worked every day of his life and might have gone on, had he not caught the plague.

1648-French peasant uprising known as La Fronde.-The Fronde was a reaction to the king's government being controlled by scheming cardinals like Richielieu and his protege, Cardinal Mazarin. Had the movement more legal structure to their demands, France might have developed an English style representative government. The English were in the middle of their Civil War over the same issues at the same time. But the Fronde was more about blind class rage, and after it was crushed it left a deep impression on the mind of child King Louis XIV. He concluded that giving the common people any voice or power was a bad idea.

1790- THE KINGDOM OF YAZOO- Before the Louisiana Purchase the area around Spanish Mississippi territory and American Tennessee was a no man’s land of swamps Creek Indians. An Irish adventurer named O’Fanlon with a group of leathershirts and yahoos tried to declare themselves an independent nation -named for the Yazoo River.

1814- After completing their work of burning Washington D.C. to the ground , the British redcoats under Admiral Cockburn march away in good order back to their ships. One old grandfather yelled at the British:" If General Washington had been alive you would not have gotten off so easily!" Admiral Cockburn paused his horse and replied -"Sir, if General Washington had still been President, we should never have thought of coming here."

1838- American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson met English writer Thomas Carlyle.

1846- W.A. Bartlet became first American mayor of Yerba Buena, in 1850 renamed San Francisco.

1868- First practical typewriter patented by Christopher Scholes. The Remington Company who were famous for making firearms took up the typewriter and mass produced it. In 1874 Mark Twain admitted to a friend that he preferred writing on it.

1914- During World War I, the German army bombarded the defenseless Belgian city of Louvain, destroying it’s 600 year old library. It was considered the first great cultural crime of the 20th Century, but alas, not the last.

1939- In preparation for the impending war with Germany, the Tower of London was closed to tourists and the English Crown Jewels smuggled out and hidden.

1944- Charles DeGaulle walked in triumph down the Champs Elysee among thousands as Parisians celebrates their liberation after four years of Nazi occupation.

1946 - George Orwell published "Animal Farm". Orwell said he conceived the idea for the novel while watching out his window a small boy driving a huge draft horse. The horse could have easily crushed the boy had it the free will but instead patiently endured the boys taunts and flicks with a small switch.

1946- First day of shooting on Jean Cocteau’s film Belle et le Bete, Beauty & the Beast.

1958-First day of shooting on the Alfred Hitchcock film North By Northwest. Conceived as a plot that ended in a chase across the stone faces of Mt. Rushmore. The original title of Ernst Lehman’s script was The Man Who Hung From Lincoln’s Nose.

1961- The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto dedicated.

1964-The Tokyo subway system opens.

1967 – The Beatles, Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithful met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

1970- Tens of thousands of women across North America march in The Women’s Strike for Equality. It was led by Betty Friedan of NOW, the National Organization for Women.

1971- The New York Giants announced they would move from Yankee Stadium to a new complex being built in the Meadowlands of Rutherford, New Jersey.

1980- Fred "Tex" Avery died after collapsing in the parking lot of Hanna-Barbera. Two weeks before he was asked by a friend why he was working in Hanna & Barbera. Tex laughed:" Hey, Don’t you know? this is where all the elephants come to die!"

1985- The first Yugo economy car arrived in the US.

1997- Special effects house Boss Studios, closed.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Quiz: Who wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Answer: Robert Louis Stephenson.


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