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July 31, 2013 wed
July 31st, 2013

Quiz: What does it mean to be ebullient?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who was Clyde Tumbaugh? (Hint: astronomy).
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History for 7/31/2013
Birthdays: Liberace, General George H. Thomas the "Rock of Chickamagua", Sebastian Sperling Kresge the founder of S.S.Kresge stores, Milton Friedman, Sherry Lansing, Geraldine Chaplin, Kurt Gowdy, Dean Cain, Leon “ Bull “Durham, Primo Levi, Ted Cassidy who played Lurch in the Adams Family, Wesley Snipes is 51, and according to J.K. Rowling, this is the birthday of Harry Potter

1358- The Mayor of Paris Etienne Marcel was killed trying to defend his city from the King of France’s army. Marcel tried to use the chaos of the English Hundred Years War to gain independence for Paris like the city-states of Italy. He governed the city with a bodyguard of Malletards, workmen who wielded huge two-handed sledgehammers. After Marcel fell, the king would never grant that much power to a Parisian again, Paris was governed by a royal appointee. There would be no Mayor of Paris until the Revolution in 1789. Today the Mayor of Paris is considered a direct step to the French Presidency.

1498- Christopher Columbus discovered Trinidad.

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

1703- In London writer Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe) was made to stand in pillory for writing critical satires of the Her Majesties government and Church. The pamphlet was The Shortest Way with Dissenters.

1720- Height of the Great Plague of Marseilles- A bubonic plague of such ferocity hits the city that the regional parliament at Aix en Provence drew a line around the city and forbade anyone to enter or leave. Order within the city collapsed and the Bishop of Marseilles with his Jesuits took over the day by day functions. Everyday the Bishop, seated on a huge wagon of corpses pulled by convicts chanting the "Miserere' would lead a procession to church. Ahh, the good ole' days.. In later years people never forgot the heroism of the prelate. When the French Revolution ordered the despoiling of churches, the people of Marseilles refused to throw down the statue of their hero bishop.

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

1776- Francis Salvador, a South Carolina plantation owner was killed in a skirmish with British troops. He became the first of the Jewish faith to die for American Independence.

1790- The U.S. Patent Office opened.

1793- THE BIRTH OF THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM IN AMERICA- Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson informed President George Washington of his intention to resign. Jefferson was frustrated with his endless feuds with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Adams. Although he told Washington he wished to retire to Monticello, in reality he planned to direct the strategy of his new opposition party the Democratic-Republicans. The party that became the Democratic Party was first called the Republicans, the term “democrat” was then seen as an insult. Jefferson called Hamilton’s Federalist party “the Monocrats” because he felt they had royal ambitions.

From now on with few exceptions the U.S. President’s cabinet would not be a coalition of differing viewpoints but all from one party. The modern Republican Party would not be born until Lincoln’s time, 60 years in the future. Washington was appalled that his old friend and fellow Virginia planter Jefferson would take partisanship so far that he would desert the cabinet. George Washington thought political parties a bad idea because it encouraged people to put the needs of their party over the needs of their country…. Heh, he should see things now.

1798- Admiral Horatio Nelson sighted Napoleon's fleet anchored in the bay of Aboukir at the mouth of the Nile. Since it was too late that evening to fight, the one-eyed, one armed admiral ordered dinner to be served. Over port he told his captains; "Gentlemen, tomorrow I shall gain either a peerage, or a crypt in Westminster Abbey."

1813- The British invade New York State at Plattsburgh.

1830- The Revolution of the Ten Days- King Charles X of France overthrown and replaced with his cousin Louis Phillipe d'Orleans as a constitutional monarch, The event was remembered by Delacroix in his painting "Liberty Leading the People". The Royal French Army was deliberately held back from suppressing the rebellion by their leaders, they were Napoleon’s old Generals Marmont and Soult. Honore Daumier liked to draw new King Louis Phillipe“ The Bourguois Monarch” as a fat pear in a top hat. Prince Metternich the premier of Austria correctly predicted this uprising would signal a new round of revolutionary ferment throughout Europe:.”When Paris Sneezes, Europe catches the cold.” King Louis Phillipe’s descendants, the D’Orleans branch of the Bourbon family, are the present heirs to the throne, should the French Nation ever desire a monarchy again.

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

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

1914- Europe spirals down into world war. The Czar of Russia changed his mind one more time and ordered the Russian Army to mobilize. He told his chief of staff ” You may smash your telephone now, for I will not change my mind again.” The French government decided to reject the last minute German warning to keep away from their coming war with Russia and orders general mobilization.

The leader of the French Socialists and best hope for European pacifists, Jean Jaure' was assassinated that night. He was shot through a window while sipping wine in a Paris café’. Jean Jaure’ had helped diffuse a similar crisis the previous year by chairing a last minute international summit in Switzerland. This time someone didn’t want him to spoil the fun. The murderer was never found.

1914- Meanwhile in America the reaction to the war in Europe was THE WALL STREET PANIC OF 1914. American investors feared the war would cut off European markets for their goods and thus be disastrous for business. So many sell orders deluged the exchange that on the advice of Treasury Secretary MacAdoo and J.P. Morgan, Jr. the New York Stock Exchange closed down completely until December.

Brokers began to meet in the street around Wall and Nassau streets and make deals anyway. These 'Gutter-Brokers" were the world's only open functioning stock market for several months. Ironically the war proved a boon to U.S. industry ( stock in Dupont went up 400% ) and caused the U.S. to supplant England as the world's largest creditor nation.

1917-The PASSCHENDALE OFFENSIVE also called the Third Battle of Ypres- Field Marshall Sir Douglas "Whiskey Doug" Haig proved he learned nothing in the last 3 1/2 years of trench war by ordering a massive standing infantry attack right into the German machine guns. Even today the War Office is vague on the losses, but the estimate is tens of thousands of young Britons died to move the front line 1/2 a mile. When hearing of the high casualties Sir Douglas reacted:" Oh dear, have we really lost that many ?"

1922- Ralph Samuelson invented water skis.

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

1945- Truman still at the Potsdam conference issues the orders to use the Super Cosmic Bomb (a-bomb) on Japan but not before Aug 2nd to see if Japanese peace overtures through the Swedish Embassy were sincere. He conferred with General Eisenhower but Ike was against the decision:” It was unnecessary to use that thing on those people.”

1945- Allied authorities find arch-collaborator Pierre Laval hiding in Austria. Laval was the premier and chief organizer of the pro-Nazi Vichy French government. He cooperated in the transporting of thousands of French Jews to Nazi death camps and many others of his countrymen to slave labor camps. After a sensational trial Laval tried to poison himself, but was nursed back to health long enough so he could hang.

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

1954- Steve Allen married Jayne Meadows.

1966- Birmingham Alabama held a massed rally to burn Beatles records after John Lennon joked that the Beatle had become more popular than Jesus.

1960- Elijah Mohammed set up the African-American movement the Nation of Islam, called by some the Black Muslims.

1962- Malaysian independence.

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

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

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

2006- Elderly, ailing, Communist dictator Fidel Castro handed over leadership of Cuba to his brother Raul Castro and went into retirement.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was Clyde Tumbaugh? (Hint: astronomy).

Answer: Sir Percival Lowell had founded the Lowell Observatory and had been looking for signs of a distant planed –x beyond Neptune since 1910; In 1930 Clyde Tumbaugh was the amateur astronomer who when allowed to use Lowell’s telescope discovered Pluto.


July 30, 2013 Tues.
July 30th, 2013

Quiz: Who was Clyde Tumbaugh? (Hint: astronomy).

Yesterday’s Question: We all know Richard Wagner was anti-Semitic, but during his time (XIX Century Romanticism). there were two well known composers of Jewish ancestry. Who were they?

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History for 7/30/2013
Birthdays: Georgio Vasari, Henry Ford, Emily Bronte', Casey Stengel*, Roy Williams, Vladimir Zworykin who invented the television picture tube, Arnold Schwarzenegger aka the Governator is 67, Ed "Kookie" Byrnes, Peter Bogdanovich is 75, Delta Burke, Henry Moore, Anita Hill, Lawrence Fishburne is 52, Jean Reno is 65, Hilary Swank is 39, Christopher Nolan, Lisa Kudrow is 50

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

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

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

1619- The Virginia House of Burgesses formed, the first legislative body in the US.

1700- the British Succession Crisis- The 11 year old Duke of Gloucester, only surviving child of Princess Anne and the grandson of King Charles II, died of smallpox. This left England with no future prince, only a gouty old princess who had 17 miscarriages or dead children and widowed King William III of Orange- childless, asthmatic and tuberculant. The exiled Catholic king James II Stuart was waiting to be recalled and many Whig politicians even wanted to chuck the whole system and make Britain a Republic!

Claimants from as far as Savoy in Italy offered to be king of England. Zounds!

Parliament solved the crisis with the Act of Settlement of 1701- That Anne would reign as Queen after William of Orange died and then the Protestant family of her cousin the German elector of Hanover, George Ist would reign. It also reinforced the law that a Catholic could never again rule England.

1729- The City of Baltimore founded. Named for Cecilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore.

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

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

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

1864- Confederate raiders led by Jubal Early looted and burned the Northern town of Chambersburg Pennsylvania, in retribution for Yankee depredations down south.

1864- THE CRATER- One of the strangest battles of the Civil War. A Pennsylvania coal mine engineer convinced General Grant to dig a tunnel under Robert E. Lee's army and fill it with 8 million of pounds of gunpowder. The massive explosion blew 4,500 troops and guns into the air and created the first man-made mushroom cloud. It created a crater 30 feet deep and 200 yards wide.

No one had ever seen anything so terrible. However the follow up Union attack was so badly bungled the rebels had time to recover from the shock and fight back. Instead of using a highly trained fresh black regiment, Grant instead sent in two exhausted frontline regiments who were told they were going to a rest area. He didn’t want to be accused of racism. The Union troops were supposed to attack around the rim of the crater, Instead they crowded down into it through a bottleneck and were massacred by the rebs from above as they tried to climb up the steep 30 foot walls. Troops bayoneted each other trying to get out of the slaughter pen.

Another golden chance to end the war early was ruined. Grant sacked the commander, a General Ledlie, who spent the battle drinking brandy in the rear. "The generals dismissal was a great loss to the enemy" one officer wrote. It all accomplished nothing. One soldier said:"I hope we never make war like that again".

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

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

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

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

1929 -The Hollywood Bowl musicians go on strike.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1956 - US motto "In God We Trust" put on coins. This was around the same time "under God" was also added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

1959- Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor patented the integrated circuit.

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

1963 –Escaped British spy Kim Philby was found living in Moscow. 1965- President Lyndon Johnson signs the Medicare Act and issues the first medicare card (#00001) to former president Harry Truman.

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

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

1988- The last Playboy Club in America closed. It was in Lansing, Mich. In 2006 Hugh Hefner opened a Playboy Club themed casino in Las Vegas.
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Yesterday’s Question: We all know Richard Wagner was anti-Semitic, but during his time (XIX Century Romanitism). there were two well known composers of Jewish ancestry. Who were they?

Answer: Jacob Meyerbeer, and Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn was born to a prominent Jewish family, but he was raised agnostic and baptized Christian as an adult.


July 29, 2013 mon
July 29th, 2013

Question: We all know Richard Wagner was anti-semitic, but during his time (XIX Century Romanitism). there were two well known composers of Jewish ancestry. Who were they?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: In the theater, what was the origin of the term groundlings?
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History for 7/29/2013
Birthdays: Alex de Tocqueville, Benito Mussolini,, Clara Bow, Natalie Wood, Paul Taylor, Sig Romberg, Dag Hammarskjold, Peter Jennings, Michael Spinks, Dave Stevens cartoonist creator of the Rocketeer, Ken Burns is 60, Booth Tarkington, Professor Irwin Corey, David Warner, Steven Dorff,

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

1030- Battle of Stiklestaad- One of the largest Viking battles ever- King Olaf the White went down fighting the still pagan Norsemen of Demmark and Sweden and became St. Olaf the Martyr. Olaf's method of converting Vikings to Christianity was similar to his uncle King Olaf Tryggvason, which was to sail a big fleet of dragon ships up and down the coast and slay anybody who didn't want to be baptized.

But while Tryggvason's death in battle at Svoldr spawned some great epic poems and music by Edvard Grieg, Olaf the Saint's death spawned miracles and shrines and he was canonized a year later. Anxious Vikings who wanted to fence-sit in this struggle over religio,n took to wearing an amulet that turned one side resembled the Cross, while turned over became the Hammer of Thor.

1527- King Charles of Spain informed his ambassador in England that he would advise the Pope to refuse a divorce for King Henry VIII and his wife Catharine of Aragon. And since King Charles had the Pope in prison, I would say that about settled the matter.

1565 - Mary Queen of Scots married her cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

1567-The ten month old baby James VI, the offspring of Lord Darnley and Mary Queen of Scots was named King of Scotland in Edinburgh. It’s the last James would ever see of his mother. His father was murdered and his mom beheaded by Queen Elizabeth, but after a number of guardians James had the last laugh. Eventually he become King of both Scotland and England.

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

1693- Battle of Neerwinden- With the command “En Advance!” the French under Marshal Turenne attack William of Orange with these newfangled "bayonets", combining the power of a pike or spear with a musket. One of the French leaders was Pierre Montesqiou Comte D'Artagnan, the model for the hero of Dumas' novel The Three Musketeers.

1792- Maximillien Robsepierre stood up in the National Assembly and for the first time openly called for the dethronement of their King Louis XVI.

1813- General Junot, veteran of a dozen battles suffers a nervous breakdown and jumped out of a window to his death. It was said he went mad but could it possibly have been an early example of post-traumatic stress? Junot was a boyhood friend of Bonaparte yet he couldn’t rise above the rank of general because he just didn’t have the ability. Ironically there was a costume ball that night and he jumped in his costume.

1848- The Tipperarry Revolt. At the height of the great potato famine William Smith O’Brien and his Young Ireland Movement try to declare Independence. After a skirmish with police in a cabbage patch they are all arrested and exiled to Tasmania New Zealand.

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

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

1914- Czar Nicholas of Russia changed his mind about mobilizing his army, writes his cousin Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany in English, their common tongue, and warns rising pressures were forcing him to declare war. "Could not the Austro-Serbian dispute be settled by the Hague Conference? Your Loving Nicky".
Wilhelm scrawled in the margin "Rubbish". Later Wilhelm too had second thoughts about blowing up Europe and went up to his Bavarian hunting lodge to sulk about it. The German army chief of staff Von Moltke talked him out of his funk." How could you let down all those wonderful guys working long hours at the general staff by declaring peace?"

1920 - 1st transcontinental airmail flight from NY to SF

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

1931- George Bernard Shaw traveled to Moscow and met Josef Stalin.

1936 - RCA shows 1st real TV program: dancing, a film on locomotives, a Bonwit
Teller fashion show & monologue from the Tobacco Road radio comedy show.

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

1942- Orson Welles leaves Rio De Janiero after RKO fires him and stops production of "It's All True". They also have “the Magnificent Ambersons” re-cut to a more acceptable 90 minutes.

1944-THE WARSAW UPRISING-As the Red Army under Marshall Voroshilov approached the eastern Praga suburbs of Warsaw, Radio Moscow broadcast a cryptic message to Poles inside their occupied capitol to “resist the occupying forces”. The Polish underground resistance the Home Army or the AK took this as the signal to rise and take the city the way the French had risen in Paris. But Stalin tricked them. He had no intention of cooperating after the war with an independent Polish force. He let the AK battle the Nazis for weeks alone and the Red Army didn’t move into downtown Warsaw until they were all dead.

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

1948- Former Disney animation assistant Hank Ketcham’s comic strip "Dennis the Menace," 1st appeared.

1952 - 1st nonstop transpacific flight by a jet.

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

1962- The film “Dr No” premiered, introducing the world to the suave spy James Bond 007. They first considered Cary Grant, David Niven and Patrick McGoohan, James Mason, who all turned them down. So the producers picked young Scots actor Sean Connery. Ian Fleming wrote of the decision “ Disaster!!”

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

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

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

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

1981- Prince Charles of England married Lady Diana Spencer. The ill fated fairy tale wedding was seen around the world on live television. Unknown to Di at the time was Prince Charles was already romantically involved with Mrs. Camilla Parker-Bowles.

1987- Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry announce the flavor Cherry Garcia, named for rock singer Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.
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Yesterday’s Question: In the theater, what was the origin of the term groundlings?

Answer: In the Shakespearian stage, groundlings were the audience who paid one pence to stand on the ground floor level.




This week I'll be giving talks on CG history at the Hollywood Animation Guild Local 839 on Tuesday evening, and one at Dreamworks Glendale Campus at noon.

Planning my tour of East Coast schools in September.


July 28, 2013 Sun
July 28th, 2013

Quiz: In the theater, what was the origin of the term groundlings?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: If Elizabeth II is queen, and William is Prince of Wales, what is the title of Elizabeth’s husband Phillip?
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History for 7/28/2013
Birthdays: Jacqueline Kennedy, Richard Rogers, Ibn al’ Arabi- philosopher 1165, Marcel Duchamp, Rudy Vallee. Sally Struthers Peter Duchin, Vida Blue, Joe E. Brown, Jim Davis the creator of Garfield, Frank Yankovic the Polka King and father of Weird Al Yankovic, Elizabeth Berkley, Earl Tupper the inventor of Tupperware, Hugo Chavez

754 A.D. Pope Stephen III crowns Pepin the Short King of the Franks or French. Pepin was the son of Charles the Hammer and the father of Charlemagne. Pepin had asked for the Pope’s help to legitimatize his overthrow of the last king of the Merovingian Dynasty, Childeric IV, whom he had locked up in a monastery. In return he gave his military guarantee to the Vatican’s hold over a buffer state in the center of Italy. The Papal States would remain a political reality for 1,100 year until absorbed into united Italy in 1870.

1428- The Aztecs overthrow the Tepanec kingdom and begin their rise to empire. While the Inca in Peru were a homogeneous empire the Aztec ruled Mexico by conquest and subjugation of other tribes. So when Cortez and the Spaniards arrived in 1519 they found hundreds of Indians willing to join them against the Aztec.

1540- Henry VIII married his fourth queen Catherine Howard. This was seen as an old man's autumn fancy. Henry was in his 50's and Catherine a teenager who still had the hots for boys her own age, a bad idea if she wanted to keep her head.

1586 - Sir Thomas Harriott introduced potatoes to Europe. At first people thought they were poisonous because their blossom ressembled that of toxic nightshade.

1588- The English sea captains led by Thomas the Earl of Leicester and Sir Francis Drake were playing a game of bowls when they were told the Spanish Armada had been sighted off the coast of Cornwall. The Armada was so big, its front row of ships was seven miles across. Leicester cooly said:" Come Drake, there’s time to finish the game." They finished their game, and defeated the Armada the next day.

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

1615- French explorer Samuel de Champlain reached Lake Huron.

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

1750-Composer Johann Sebastian Bach died. He had suffered blindness in his old age but is eyesight returned shortly before his fatal stroke. Elderly and ill, he one of his final compositions was a chorale prelude: "Come, Kindly Death- come for my life is dreary, and of earth I am weary, etc."

He and his wife Anna Magdelena had 17 children,, and 7 more by his first wife. Many of whom became composers Johann Christian Bach, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, etc. Bach’s music was soon forgotten until rediscovered by Mendelsson and others in the 1820s.. Albert Einsteins brother Alfred said Bach’s music" almost makes one want to become Christian."

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

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

1809- Battle of Talavera. General Sir Arthur Wellesley defeated the French army in Spain and for that was made Viscount Wellington. Sir Hugh Gough, who would later earn fame conquering the Punjab in India, was a major at the time. After Talavera Gough was so grievously wounded he was left for dead. Wellington was commenting to his staff upon his bravery, when to prevent being buried alive, Hugh signaled by pushing his arm up out of a pile of corpses, and waving his hat at the startled Wellington." Uhh..M’Lord, I’m not dead yet…"

1812- General Light Horse Harry Lee was a Revolutionary War hero and had eulogized George Washington as "First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of his Countrymen".
But this year the old general got involved with mob violence in Baltimore while trying to protect a publisher friend who was against "Mr. Madison’s War with the British, what we now call the War of 1812. Despite his fame Lee was dragged by a mob and beaten senseless, one of his eyes almost gouged out. He went to the West Indies to convalesce –and escape his creditors, but he never fully recovered. His 5 year old son was future Civil War General Robert E. Lee.

1821- Peru declared independence from Spain.

1839- Italian revolutionary Guisseppe Fleschi wanted to assassinate the king of France, King Louis Phillipe. He rigged up a strange device that could fire 25 gun barrels simultaneously. He pointed this machine at the king during a military parade and pulled the string. All the guns went off but not one hit their intended target. Ironically the only person killed was the elderly war minister Marshal Mortier, an old general of Napoleon's who had spent thirty years amid shot and shell and had never been scratched.

1841- The body of Mary Cecilia Rogers was pulled out of New York Harbor. The sensational murder of the “Beautiful Cigar Girl” inspired Edgar Allen Poe to write “ The Mystery of Marie Roget.”

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

1866-BUFFALO SOLDIERS- An act of Congress called for the creation of two all black cavalry regiments to serve in the peacetime army's frontier duty. These units, the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry became the famous "Buffalo Soldiers". They were so named by the Indians because an African-Americans hair resembled the tuft of hair between a buffalo's horns to them, a symbol of magical strength. Buffalo Soldiers finally defeated the Apaches and charged up San Juan Hill right alongside Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Their captain in Cuba named John Pershing was given the nickname Blackjack Pershing not for a love of cards but for preferring to lead Black troops to white.

1867- The Daughters of St. Crispin, the first women's labor organization.

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

1882- Parsifal, the last opera of Richard Wagner was produced at Bayreuth. As a way to ensure its financial solvency Wagner left instructions to never tour Parsifal but it should stay at Bayreuth. This lasted a few decades.

1898- Spain asks for peace talks with the United States to end their war. The Spanish American War began in April and ended in December.

1914- THE RUSH INTO WORLD WAR ONE ACCELLERATES. Britain suggested an international conference to settle Austria’s grievances against Serbia. Austrian Foreign minister Berchtold informed the British ambassador that it was too late for mediation because Austria had already declared war. The German Kaiser was having second thoughts but slipped out of Berlin to go yachting to avoid the Russian ambassador who was trying to make him commit to discussing peace terms. Part of the muddle that aggravated the meltdown of diplomacy, was many of the top European statesmen were on their Summer vacations while this crisis deepened.

1932-THE BATTLE OF ANACOSTIA FLATS- Capitol Hill was surrounded by 20,000 Bonus Marchers- poor World War One veterans and their families who desperately marched to Washington to demand help from the ravages of the Depression and their promised back pay.

On this day President Hoover's response was to order the US Army to drive them away by force. Gen. Douglas MacArthur with his aides Patton and Eisenhower send tanks, saber wielding cavalry and bayonet armed troops to break up the homeless peoples dwellings. Facing them on the makeshift barricades eyewitnesses saw a black man waving a large American flag and Charles Frederick Lincoln, a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln. These poor veterans and their families had come from as far as Honolulu and no record was kept of how many were killed or died on the walk home.

Pres. Hoover was jubilant that order was restored, and the public was jubilant when they voted him out of office later that year.

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

1945- Congress endorses United Nations Charter. Congress' refusal to join the League of Nations in 1919 help doom that organization.

1945-A B-25 Mitchell bomber flying in thick fog struck the 78th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City. It killed a dozen people, including some when one of it's 1,500 lb engines shot through the building and down onto 33rd street. One woman in an elevator had the cables cut and fell 80 stories at 200 miles an hour to the basement. Miraculously she lived.

Despite the devastation the building did not collapse but stayed sound. As a result US and World air traffic control standards were stiffened, air traffic controllers finally got the power to order planes down and large planes kept away from flying over large urban areas.

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

1948- The Premiere of that utterly memorable film " ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN." For you hardcore film trivia fans this film is the only other time than the original Tod Browning movie that Bela Lugosi played Count Dracula on film.

1965-VIETNAM- President Lyndon B. Johnson had been wrestling with a problem since June 5th. In Vietnam the war against the Commie Viet Cong was going badly. Strategic bombing of the North has failed to stop incursions in the South and the latest government in Saigon had fallen and been replaced by a group of generals led by Ngyen Kao Key. Johnson had to decide to pull out or expand US commitment.

This day, at a routine Friday 12:30 PM press briefing, calculated to not be well attended, LBJ made the announcement that US forces in Vietnam would be expanded dramatically from 75,000 to 125,000- eventually to 450,000 by the end of 1967. What LBJ wasn’t saying was he had now decided that US ground troops would carry the bulk of the fighting. Not just to prop up the South Vietnamese, but to defeat the Communists outright. He would still try to do his Great Society Programs while running a trillion-dollar war that all his experts doubted was winnable.

This one decision destroyed Johnson’s Presidency, and cracked the thriving post war economy creating recession and domestic political turmoil.

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

1998- In Afghanistan the Taliban ordered mass destruction of television sets. They also forbade the Internet, and shaved the heads of their national soccer team for daring to wear shorts.

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

2061- The next predicted appearance of Halley’s Comet.
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Yesterday’s Question: If Elizabeth II is queen, and William is Prince of Wales, what is the title of Elizabeth’s husband Phillip?

Answer: Phillip the Prince-Consort.


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