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March 31, 2016
March 31st, 2016

Question: Who was the last American president to have facial hair while in office?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: If some one gives you a sack, you can carry some potatoes in it. But if someone gives you some sack, what do you do?
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History for 3/31/2016
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus (the Pale), Rene' Descartes, Franz Josef Haydn, Serge Diagheliev, Harald von Braunhut 1926- the inventor of Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Specs, Richard Chamberlain, Cesar Chavez, Herb Alpert, Gordie Howe, Liz Claiborne, Gabe Kaplan, Rhea Perlman, Shirley Jones is 82, Richard Kiley, Volker Schlondorf, William Daniels, Lucille Bliss the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Christopher Walken is 73, Colin Farrell is 38, Ewan McGregor is 45, Al Gore is 68, Ed Catmull is 71.

250AD- Roman general Constantius born. He was called Constantius Chlorus or the Pale. He was the most powerful general and virtual ruler of Northwestern Europe at the end of Diocletian’s rule. His son Constantine became Emperor of Rome in 312.

307AD. Roman Emperor Constantine married his wife Fausta. Mother of his children, he later had her suffocated in her bath for sleeping around with her slaves.

1146- St. Bernard preaches the Holy Crusade at Vezalay, King Louis VII of France and Emperor Conrad of Germany declare the SECOND CRUSADE. After the ready-made pilgrim cross emblems were all distributed Saint Bernard tore his own cloak to pieces for cross making material. Folks don't remember much about the Second Crusade because it was pretty much a non-event.

Conrad took the land route through the Balkans to the Holy Land and by the time he got to Jerusalem his army was about 5 guys. The French king’s army arrived intact but he was more of a tourist than a conqueror, after visiting the holy places and gathering some medieval tourist trinkets ( 'My folks went on Crusade and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt!") he went home.

They wasted most of their time in an unprovoked attack on the Emir of Damascus, who at the time was one of the Christians’ only Moslem allies. The most memorable person on the voyage was the French Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had an affair with a Saracen Prince, and legend has it inspired the troops by riding bare-breasted to Damascus. Later she would leave Louis and marry Henry Plantagenet of England and give birth to Richard Lionheart.

1796- Touissaint L’Ouverture named Lieutenant Governor of the island of Saint Dominique, now called Haiti.

1814- PARIS FALLS- Since his Retreat from Moscow, Napoleon seemed to be fighting all of Europe. Today the allied armies of Austria, Sweden, Prussia and Russia captured Paris despite a spirited defense in the suburbs of Montmartre by Marshals Moncey and Marmont. Moncey had reformed the municipal police and is considered the father of the Paris Gendarmerie. But now German army tents went up in the Bois Du Bolongne and Cossacks watered their steppe ponies in the Seine.
In the South, Wellington and his Anglo-Portuguese army moved down from the Pyrenees to take Toulouse. Napoleon was at Fountainbleau with the tatters of his little army. He tried to make the best of it. Saying that now that he was free of covering the capitol he could maneuver in the enemies rear, but everyone but him had had just about enough.

1824- The British Parliament declared that any ships they caught transporting slaves would be treated as pirates and punished accordingly. They tried to get the United States to agree to make it an international law, but the U.S. refused.

1836- Charles Dickens first work published "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club."

1840- Congress lowers the minimum workday for federal workers from 11.4 hours a day to 10 hours a day. At this time in mines and factories people worked an average 12-16 hour day. The 8 hour day wasn’t achieved until 1913, not until 1941 in Hollywood and it’s still a dream in most digital effects studios today.

1860- Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper refers to Harriet Lane, President James Buchanan's niece as "FIRST LADY of the Land". Buchanan was a bachelor and was probably gay, So Ms. Lane performed the duties of the White House hostess. Earlier in 1840 President Zachary Taylor eulogized Dolly Madison as First Lady, before that Martha Washington and Abigail Adams were referred to as Lady Washington and Lady Adams. But this is the first official use of the term First Lady for the President’s consort.

1889- The Eiffel Tower opened to the public to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Twice as tall as the Saint Peter's in Rome or the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Wizard of Iron Gustave Eiffel also designed the armature holding up the Statue of Liberty. Eiffel’s original deal with the French government called for the tower to only stay up for twenty years, then pulled down if no further use can found for it. Eiffel agonized about what to do as the deadline approached but fortunately by 1909 Wireless radio transmissions became important and the Eiffel Tower was a great broadcast antenna.

1905- The Tangiers Incident. Germany tries to provoke an incident with France by sending the Kaiser to Morocco, then a target of French colonial expansion. Kaiser Wilhelm rode around on a temperamental white Arabian stallion and spent the ceremony looking nervously at the welcoming crowd for Spanish anarchist assassins. He gave the Moroccan Sultan a gift of his own personal machine gun that the delighted boy liked to fire at his running courtiers. The whole thing looked silly but it scared the hell out of diplomats in Paris and London.

1905- THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought back his famous sleuth in a new series of adventures. Conan Doyle had created Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in 1887 but by 1893 he had tired of the characters, he wanted to write more serious fiction like his novel The White Company. So he killed him off. Holmes fell to his doom fighting Prof. Moriarity at the Reichenbeck Falls. The reaction of the public was astonished outrage. It seemed whenever Conan Doyle went out inevitably someone would stop him and say "You Blackguard! How Could You ?!" Finally Conan-Doyle bowed to public pressure and resumed the career of the inhabitants of #221B Baker Street.

1918- The Battle of Ykaterinadar- Anti-Communist White Russian armies invaded the Kuban region of southern Russia to fight a battle that was considered so unnecessary that one officer said it was “ A march to Hell to collect bluebirds.”Although the Kuban and Don Cossacks were anti Bolshevik the workers and peasants of the town were pro-Red and outnumbered them heavily.

So when the White commander General Kornilov ordered an attack his aristocratic second General Markov dryly joked “Better wear your clean underwear if you have any left gentlemen, because whether or not we take Ykaterinadar, we are all going to be killed!” But fate intervened. Before the attack could commence, a lucky artillery shell dropped right on top of their commander General Kornilov and blew him to bits. Breathing a sigh of relief, his army immediately turned around and went home.

1930 -Reacting to charges that the movies had become too naughty, Hollywood producers accept the MOTION PICTURE CODE. It was regulated by Will Hays, former Republican Party Chairman. The regulation wouldn't really start to have strength until 1935-36 when pressure groups like the Catholic League of Decency went after Mae West and the Tarzan pictures.

The Hays Code forbade open sex and obscenity:
- twin beds only in a bedroom, nightclothes buttoned to the neck.
-if a couple were seated together on a bed they must have at least one foot touching the floor,
-"kisses with a duration of no longer than 3 seconds, parting with lips closed."
Lots of jokes were spawned like: "Give him the bird!" "If the Hays Commission would let me, I'd give him the bird!" One other little known clause was the forbidding of members of different races from kissing on camera. So Anna Mae Wong, the greatest Chinese actress of her time, could not play a Chinese heroine if her co-star was a Caucasian made up to look Asian.

1931- ITT transmits the first message by microwave, from Dover to Calais.

1932- Ford introduces the V-8 Engine.

1943- Rodger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" debuts. Despite the opinion of producer Mike Todd -"No legs, No Laughs, No Chance", the musical becomes one of the great hits of American musical Theater.

1950- Thor Heyderthal's book of his exploits Kon Tiki published. This was an account of his 4200 mile voyage which proved ancient mariners could have traveled from Peru to Polynesia on boats made from tied reeds.

1959- The Dalai Lama fled the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet and began his long exile.

1962- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Blvd. No, it didn’t display customized surfboards or the ideal tuna melt with sprouts, but an exhibit of paintings by Bonnard.

1967- In a small London nightclub rising young rock & roller Jimmy Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time. British rock luminaries like Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Pete Townsend sat in the audience stunned at the technical brilliance of this unknown former paratrooper who played left handed. The pieces of his guitar were purchased by Microsoft chairman Paul Allen and today are in his Seattle Rock Museum.

1968- Depressed over Vietnam War, the strong primary surge of Sen. Eugene McCarthy and the challenge of his old enemy Bobby Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would not run for re-election. Borrowing the words of General Sherman in 1884, he says: "If Nominated Ah will not Run, If elected Ah will not serve.." In retirement Johnson resumed cigarette smoking and neglected his health. He was dead in four years.

1973- Comic strip hero Smilin' Jack gets married, the strip concludes next day.

1991- Former child star Danny Bonaduce arrested for a fist fight with a transvestite prostitute.

1995- In Corpus Christy Texas legendary Tejana singer Selena Perez was shot and killed by an obsessed fan. The woman Yolanda Saldivar was president of the Selena Fan Club. “The gun just went off, I didn’t mean to shoot anybody.”
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Yesterday’s Answer: If some one gives you a sack, you can carry some potatoes in it. But if someone gives you some sack, what do you do?

Answer: You drink it. Sack in Shakespeare’s time meant fortified wine like sherry or port.


March 30, 2016
March 30th, 2016

Question: If some one gives you a sack, you can carry some potatoes in it. But if someone gives you some sack, what do you do?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: If someone handed you a sackbut or an ophicleide, what would you do?
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History for 3/30/2016
Birthdays: Maimonides- Moses Ben Maimon, Anna Sewell (the author of Black Beauty), Vincent Van Gogh, Francisco Goya, John Astin, Peter Marshall, Warren Beatty is 79, Eric Clapton is 71, Arthur Lee Harrington the designer of the first Jeep, Tracey Chapman, Robby Coltrane, Paul Reiser, Celine Dion, Nora Jones is 37, Disney animator Marc Davis

To the Romans this was the Festival of Salus, the God of Public Works.

1282- THE BIRTHDAY OF THE MAFIA- The Sicilian Vespers. Because of the strategic location of the Isle of Sicily her people were never allowed their own government. Sicilians were constantly being conquered by Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Crusaders. So while they were under the harsh rule of French-Norman knights, they formed secret societies.

This night at the ringing of the evening vesper bells as a signal, they all ran out and cut up every Frenchman they saw. This was the first "hit". Later at the turn of the century Mafia families like "Il Mano Negro (The Black Hand) and La Cosa Nostra ( our way) brought their clan structure to the U.S., supplanting the earlier Anglo-Jewish-Irish gangsters.

No one is really sure just what the word Mafia means; "Morte Alla Francia Irredenta Arreghana", the Arab response “Ma Fi”- Don’t Ask Me…or some woman who’s daughter was raped by a French knight called out MaFilia!- My Daughter! Italian comic Pat Cooper said Mafia meant “the Mothers and Fathers Italian Association”.

1492-THE JEWS EXPELLED FROM SPAIN- Shortly after conquering the last Moorish strongholds in Spain their Most Catholic Majesties Ferdinand & Isabella issue an edict giving all Jews three months to convert or leave the country. Jewish people had held exalted positions in the Moorish Emirates of Granada and Cadiz like the philosopher Maimonides, some even became Vezirs or prime ministers. Ferdinand & Isabella’s own personal physician Abraham Senior was Jewish.
Some Jews tried to flee to Portugal, but most went to Moslem countries like Turkey and Morocco where the persecution of the children of Issac was less fierce among the children of Ishmael. Many Jews who live in Bosnia and Kossovo speak Old Spanish- Ladino instead of Yiddish or Hebrew. The Inquisition made any Jewish practice a crime, even people who changed their sheets on a Friday or turned to the wall to die were accused of Jewish Heresy.

1534- The English Parliament passed the Act of Succession declaring King Henry VIII’s divorce from Catharine of Aragon and marriage to Anne Boleyn legal and any criticism of it to be treason. All Englishmen and women were required to take an oath of loyalty to ensure their agreement. This oath was what got Sir Thomas Moore and Bishop Fisher beheaded.

1788- The great French philosopher Francois Voltaire had been exiled to estate at Fernay away from court for decades because of his criticism of the Catholic Church. Now at age 84 and the most famous writer in the world, he returned to Paris to see his last play Irene debut, but in reality to die. This night his passage to the theater became a triumphant procession as his coach was mobbed by cheering people shouting Vive Voltaire! After the play he was too frail to take a bow so a bust of him was placed center stage and adorned with garlands and flowers.

1789- Father of the U.S. Navy John Paul Jones is accused in Russia of having sex with a minor. He later proved the girl was over 16, but Catherine the Great told him to leave her country anyway. After the American Revolution, Jones had turned mercenary and organized Catherine's Black Sea fleet. He retired to Paris, ill and exhausted. Thomas Carlyle said he looked “like an empty wine skin.” Abigail Adams said “ He was so small I could have wrapped him in wool and kept him in my pocket…”

1809- First Lady Dolly Madison began the tradition of regular White House receptions in the Drawing Room. Her husband James Madison despite being the writer of the Bill of Rights was a timid person and was not good in crowds and a poor speaker. But the vivacious Dolly dominated these soirees and accomplished more politicking than many of her male counterparts.

1822- FLORIDA ACQUIRED BY THE U.S.. During the War of 1812 Spain allowed Britain to use Florida as a base for attacking the U.S.. They also provided safe haven for the hostile Seminole Indians. This annoyed American politicians who wanted to have Florida anyway. General Andy Jackson concluded the First Seminole War by invading Florida and throwing the Spanish Governor out of Pensacola in 1818. What Jackson had started roughly, John Quincy Adams concluded diplomatically, with the Adams-Otis Treaty, buying Florida from Spain for $5 million.

1842- Dr. Crawford Long of Georgia uses Ether as an anesthetic in an operation. Before that surgeons had to have good biceps to hold down their patients while sawing on them. Surgery was actually less painful in ancient times because the patient was invited to chew an opium bulb “The Food of the Gods” before operating. In 1846 another doctor named W.T.G. Morton did a public demonstration of the Ether anesthesia process and tried to hog the glory of the invention, refusing to share any prizes with Dr. Long.

1853- The pencil eraser patented.

1856- Tsar Alexander II emancipates the Russian serfs. He's later blown up by terrorists.

1867- Seward’s Folly. Secretary of State William Seward negotiated the deal with Czarist Russia to buy Alaska for $7.2 million or two cents an acre.

1918- Thomas Edison sold his studio and got out of the movie business. He fired W.K.L. Dickson inventor of the movie studio set, Edwin Porter the inventor of the narrative film, and J. Stuart Blackton the inventor of cartoon animation for annoying him too much about filmmaking. Edison was more interested in finding a way to extract iron ore from rocks using magnets.

1968- In New York City’s Bowery district two children find the dead body of a homeless drug addict. The John Doe is later identified as Bobby Driscoll, 31, Walt Disney child star and the voice of Peter Pan.

1981- PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN SHOT. After only few weeks in office President Ronald Reagan is shot by lunatic John Hinckley. Hinckley was trying to impress actress Jodie Foster. Reagan recovers. Jodie Foster was unimpressed. John Hinckley was a Republican.
In a bit of bizarre theater during the confusion Presidential Security advisor General Alexander Haig went to the media and announced he was in control: “ I am minding the store.” This is in direct conflict with the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which states plainly the line of succession goes from the President to the Vice President the Speaker of the House to the Senate Leader Pro-Tem. Fortunately, no one took Haig seriously.

Presidential press secretary James Brady was shot in the head, which left him permanently brain damaged. He and his family later sponsored the Brady Handgun Bill, which was passed by President Clinton, but not renewed by Pres. George W. Bush.

Ironically, one of the reason Ronald Reagan’s life was saved was because Secret Service agents rushed him to the nearest emergency room, which was a Washington DC ghetto hospital with much too much experience with gunshot wounds. Reagan quipped to the doctors working on his collapsed lung- ”Hey, you guys aren’t Democrats, are you?”

2000- Dreamworks animated feature the Road to El Dorado premiered.

2007- Disney’s Meet the Robinsons.
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Yesterday’s Question: If someone handed you a sackbut or an ophicleide, what would you do?

Answer: You would blow into them. They were old types of musical wind instruments.


March 29, 2016
March 29th, 2016

Quiz: If someone handed you a sackbut or an ophicleide, what would you do?

Yesterday’s Question: What was the name that writer Amantine Lucile-Aurore Dupin published stories under?
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HISTORY FOR 3/29/2016
Birthdays: President John Tyler, Sir William Walton, Eric Idle is 74, former English P.M. John Major, Bud Cort is 68, LaToya Jackson, Eugene McCarthy, Jennifer Capriati, M.C. Hammer, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Cy Young, Christopher Lambert is 61, Disney animator Jack Kinney, Brendan Gleeson is 61, Lucy Lawless, Elle MacPherson, Amy Sedaris is 53

327AD- St. Jonah was squished to death in a wine press.

1461- Battle of Towdon. Edward IV Yorkist army defeated the last organized Lancastrian forces, ending the War of the Roses.

1519- Pope Leo X sent uppity monk Martin Luther an invitation to come to Rome and explain his curious opinions. Luther quickly understood his chances- once in the Vaticans hands, at best he would be sent to some obscure Italian monastery to live out his days in a vow of silence. At worst he would burn at the stake on a slow fire with a nail hammered through his tongue, like earlier papal critics Jan Hus and Savonarola. Martin Luther decided to tell Rome thanks but no thanks, he’d stay in Germany where it was safe.

1638- The first Swedish colonists arrive in America. Remember at this time Sweden was just as big a kickass power in Europe as England or France. In Delaware they built a settlement they call Fort Christina. Twenty years later the Dutch under Peter Stuyvesant captured the fort and drove them out. Despite their short stay, the Swedes left a lasting impression on the New World. They brought with them plans for steam baths and invented the Log Cabin.

1697- FRONTIER LIFE- French allied Abanaki Indians raided the cabins of Haverhill Massachusetts. The Indians carried off Mrs. Hannah Dustin and her maid. When Mrs. Dustins baby began to cry the Indians killed it, then being Catholic converts they paused to say a Rosary over him. But the mother was not in a forgiving mood.
This night when the warriors who guarded them slept, Mrs. Dustin and her maid quietly rose, grabbed tomahawks and murdered all the Abanakis. Then being aware of the Massachusetts bounty on Indian scalps she paused before fleeing to scalp all the bodies. She made it back home and earned 25 English pounds in prize money.
Rev. Cotton Mather included her story in his 1697 book Humiliations Follow’d with Deliverances, an early American best seller.

1814- As Russian, Swedish, Austrian and Prussian armies closed in around Paris Napoleons court led by Empress Marie Louise fled the city. Napoleon himself was at Troyes with his army. He rushed but arrived too late to save the city.

1886-COCA-COLA Invented. Atlanta Pharmacist and liver pill salesman John Pemberton developed the carbonated drink originally with some Cocaine in it. His bookkeeper Francis Robinson penned the famous script logo still in use today. Advertising for the drink claimed it cured everything from hysteria, cholic and the common cold.
The formula is still a secret. During World War II the Nazis openly worried how a break with the United States would effect their supply of Coca Cola, so Dr Goebbels arrested Coke execs in Germany and forced them to develop Fanta Cola.

1903- THE BIRTH OF THE DRIVE IN RESTAURANT? New York tycoon CKG Billings wanted to celebrate his new racing stables in Washington Park. So he invited 50 of the top New York financial society to a formal black tie dinner at Sherry’s Restaurant, except the entire dinner would be eaten on horseback. The horses were kept in a circle and a canvas painting of the English countryside provided the backdrop to the room. The moguls ate from solid silver trays and sipped champagne from straws in their saddlebags. The Horseback Dinner was one of the more outrageous examples of Gilded Age wealth and excess .

1936- Republic Pictures formed.

1939- Moviestars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard marry. They had a happy marriage until Lombard was killed in a plane crash in 1942. It’s been said the first California King Size mattress, slightly larger than normal king size, was ordered custom made for Gable and Lombard for their rather exuberant assignations at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

1951- 'The King and I' debuts on Broadway with Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, who shaved his head for the first time for the role.

1952- President Harry Truman announced he would not seek reelection.

1962-THE BILLY SOL ESTES AFFAIR- Estes was the "fertilizer king" and considered an insider in the Kennedy White House. His arrest by the F.B. I. for selling $30 million dollars in fraudulent fertilizer tanks implicated several heads of the agriculture department. It became the only major scandal of John F. Kennedy’s administration. Before his career in fertilizer Estes tried running a funeral parlor but went out of business, ran for local office but was defeated by a write-in candidate. He became a campaign manager for the failed 1956 Presidential bid of Adlai Stevenson. As campaign manager he paid for large quantities of parakeets to be dropped by plane over major American cities and chant in unison "Vote for Adlai!"

1971- First day of shooting on the film the Godfather. Francis Coppola wanted young actor Al Pacino for the Michael Corleone role, but Pacino had signed with Fox to do a different film- The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Producer Robert Evans begged and pleaded with Fox exec James Aubrey "The Smiling Barracuda" to get Pacino released from his contract. Finally Aubrey replaced him with Jerry Ohrbach. He called Evans and said:" All right, you can have the midget."

1973- Last U.S. combat Troops leave Vietnam. President Nixon that night announced " We have Peace with Honor". Communists conquered South Vietnam in 1975.

1974- Mariner 10 was the first satellite to reach the planet Mercury.

1975- The Communist North Vietnamese capture DaNang, South Vietnam’s second largest city, signaling the beginning of the final drive to Saigon to end the Vietnam War.

1979- The House Committee Investigation into Assassinations, published their conclusions. They concluded that "President John F. Kennedy was in all probability killed by a conspiracy " but just who and why and what to do about it, they didn’t know.

1989- As part of one of the silliest Oscar telecasts in history, actor Rob Lowe (The West Wing) had to dance and sing 'Proud Mary" with Las Vegas showgirl Eileen Bowman dressed as Disney’s Snow White.
Rob Lowe had just been embarrassed by the publication of a videotape shot in a hotel room of him having sex with two teenagers. The Walt Disney Company immediately threatened a lawsuit and the Academy apologized and replaced director Alan Carr with Gilbert Cates.

1989- At that same Oscar ceremony Pixar’s short Tin Toy became the first CG animation to ever win an Oscar.

1992- Presidential candidate Bill Clinton uttered the legendary American phrase:" I smoked pot- but I didn’t inhale!"
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What was the name that writer Amantine Lucile-Aurore Dupin published stories under?

Answer: George Sand.


March 28, 2016
March 28th, 2016

Quiz: What was the name that writer Amantine Lucile-Aurore Dupin published stories under?

Yesterdays Question answered below: In a symphony orchestra, the second in command to the conductor is called the Concert Master. What instrument do they play?
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History for 3/28/2016
Birthdays: Paul Whiteman, Pearl Bailey, Freddy Bartholemew, Dirk Bogarde,
Confederate Gen.Wade Hampton, pianist Rudolph Serkin, Swifty Lazar, Marlin Perkins, Diane Weist is 68, Reba McEntire, Vince Vaughn is 46, Julia Stiles is 35, Lady Gaga is 30

193 A.D. -THE DAY THE WORLD WAS AUCTIONED- The Roman Emperor Pertinax had just been slaughtered by his Guards and the Praetorian Prefect Marius Maximus wisely turned down the promotion- bad retirement benefits, you know. The men realized they can't be Imperial Guards without an Imperial type person to guard. They might even get sent back to the frontier! So they posted an announcement that "whoever wanted to be Emperor of the Known World" should come to the Praetorian camp that night and submit a bid.

Several senators competed. The winner was Didius Julianus, with a winning bid of 15,000 silver pieces per man in the 1,500 man Guards. Almost none of the Roman generals went along with this dippy solution to the succession to the throne of the Caesars. Julianus was soon bumped off in a violent civil war that eventually saw Septimius Severus the winner.

1456- Today is the feast of St. John Capistrano. The Saint of the Swallows of California was born in Italy and was a preacher, was married, fought the Turks in Hungary, and in later life after becoming a monk was put in charge of the Holy Inquisition in Central Europe. He burned Protestant reformers and ordered all Jews to wear yellow badges so as not to seduce good Christians. He was so hated, that a century after his death from plague the Calvinists dug up his grave and threw his bones down a well.
The Mission St. John Capistrano in California was named so by monk Fra Junipero Serra even though the Saint never visited the Golden State.

1778 -GEORGE WASHINGTON ANNOUNCED MAJOR GENERAL BARON VON STEUBEN, LATELY OF KING FREDERICK THE GREAT'S SERVICE, WOULD TRAIN THE AMERICAN ARMY.- It turned out later Von Steuben was not a real Baron, never met the Great Frederick and never rose higher than Major. One British source claimed his medals were fakes purchased at a London theatrical costume shop.

But America was the land where if you want to be called Baron, you could be a baron. Von Steuben did an excellent job training the farmers and shopkeeps in modern warfare. He wrote: “ In Germany I order a soldier to do something and they do it. In America when I order a soldier to do something I must then explain WHY I want him to do it and WHY it is important!” The minutemen enjoyed watching him scream in a language they didn't understand, and at night around the campfire his big pet greyhound Azor howled along to the music.
Proof of his methods success was at the Battle of Monmouth, Lord Cornwallis groused: ” Hmpf! Damned rebels formed up well.”

1800- Congress voted to extend Franking privileges to Martha Washington. Franking meant she could mail letters without having to pay for postage.

1862- SIBLEY'S RAID. THE BATTLE OF LA GLORIETA PASS-The Gettysburg of the Far West. Confederate Henry Hastings Sibley pitched the idea to the High Command in Richmond that since most of the US Army was now back East fighting the Civil War there was no one to stop them from expanding the Confederacy from Texas to the gold fields of California and the Pacific Coast! Richmond let him equip a brigade of Texas Volunteers and they quickly overran Santa Fe, Alberquerque and won a skirmish at Valverde. Plans were made for the Confederate conquest of Colorado, Utah and set up a new rebel state in Arizona. Fighting got as far west as some Pima villages that one day would be Phoenix.

But what Richmond didn’t appreciate was the regional rivalry – As soon as Colorado and New Mexico men heard they were being invaded by Texans, they rushed to fight them. And Sibley turned out to be a bad leader- because of his drinking habits his men called him a Walking Whiskey Barrel.

This day a pitched battle was fought outside of Tuscon in Glorieta or Apache Pass. The Confederates won the battle but during the confusion a Yankee captain named Chivington sneaked behind the Rebel lines and burned Sibley’s supply train. This proved decisive since you can’t march armies in the Western deserts without supplies and water. Sibley had to fall back to Texas, he riding in a remaining wagon drunk with officers wives while his men marched with no water. On the Yankee side there were several leaders including a Colonel Slough who the Colorado men hated so much they planned to shoot him during the battle, frontier scout Kit Carson and many Hispanics led by Andres Pico, who once led Mexican troops against Yankees in the Mexican War. I guess he felt one change of flag in a lifetime was enough.

1870- THE ROCK OF CHICKAMAGUA KILLED BY A NEWSPAPER.- Gen. George H. Thomas, retired Union war hero had a heart attack in a St. Louis Hotel after reading an editorial saying all in all he wasn't that great a general and all his victories were mistakes. Survivor of shot and shell, they found Thomas in his room, clutching a written rebuttal to his chest.

1881- P.T. Barnum formed a partnership with his chief competitor James Bailey to create Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. He proclaimed it the Greatest Show on Earth!

1920- Silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks & Mary Pickford married.

1928- Via radio broadcast, the public heard the voice of Charlie Chaplin for the first time.

1930- The name of the City of Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul, Turkish for “The City”. Angora was renamed Ankara.

1935- Leni Reifenstahl’s hypnotic movie paean to Nazism- Triumph of the Will, premiered.

1941-Battle of Matapan-British Navy sank Mussolini's Navy off the coast of Ethiopia.

1941- English writer Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the River Ouse in Sussex. Her body was never found.

1942- Albert Hurter, brilliant Swiss designer for Walt Disney's "Snow White' and 'Pinnochio" died of rheumatic fever.

1953- Senator Joseph McCarthy, the grandstanding Commie chaser, held a news conference where he decried that European countries that were receiving US aid from the Marshall Plan were also trading with Communist countries. He announced he had received a pledge from a Greek shipping concern not to trade with Communist states in the future.
This speech elicited a storm of protest, under Secretary of State Symington accused the Wisconsin senator of conducting his own foreign policy. Yet the new Eisenhower administration stayed silent and did nothing, which encouraged McCarthy to grow bolder.

1958- The Killer Slide- US 1, The Pacific Coast Highway has always been at the mercy of wind and weather erosion effecting the unstable cliffs it was carved from. This day while repairing a large landslide construction workers were caught in an even bigger hillside collapse- Bulldozers rode on top of the avalanche but several on foot were killed.

1979- THREE MILE ISLAND- Partial Meltdown of the Pennsylvania reactor panicked the nation. Despite the official attempts to belittle the danger Governor Richard Thornburg in Harrisburg moved his office underground to a bunker and Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia gave the entire county of Lancaster and Harrisburg a blanket unction (Last Rites). just in case.... The accident spawned the largest civilian protests since the Vietnam War and nuclear energy business has never quite recovered.

1999- Matt Groening’s cartoon series Futurama debuted.
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Yesterday’s Question: In a symphony orchestra, the second in command to the conductor is called the Concert Master. What instrument do they play?

Answer: It is usually the First Violinist. If anything happens to the conductor, the concert master is prepared to take their place.


March 27, 2016
March 27th, 2016

Quiz: In a symphony orchestra, the second in command to the conductor is called the Concert Master. What instrument do they play?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: The music created by Handel and Vivaldi is now known as Baroque music. The music of Brahms and Wagner is called Romantic Music. What is the period of Mozart and Haydn known as?
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History for 3/27/2016
Birthdays: French King Louis XVII –the boy during the Revolution who died in prison after his Royal parents were guillotined, Patty Smith Hill 1868- The composer of the song Happy Birthday to You, Edward Steichen, Gloria Swanson, Sarah Vaughn, Maria Schneider, Mies Van der Rohe, Snooky Lanson, Wilhelm Roentgen the discoverer of X-Rays, Nathaniel Currier of Currier & Ives, Donald Duck artist Carl Barks, cellist Mtisislav Rostropovich, Michael York is 73, Quentin Tarantino is 52, Mariah Carey is 45

The ancient Romans called today Washing Day, the origin of our concept of Spring Cleaning.

47BC – In Alexandria, Julius Caesar defeated the royal forces of Cleopatra ‘s brother Ptolomey.

33AD- Ecce Homo- Behold the man, Traditional date for when Roman Governor Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus to death.

HAPPY EASTER, Commemorating the time when Jesus Christ was crucified and after three days rose from the dead. The Resurrection story has roots in other cultures- Osiris in Egypt, Dionysius and Orpheus in Greece and Odin in Scandinavia all had death and resurrection myths about them. Roman writer Flavius Josephus in 120AD said of the Jesus story" The gods can bring a man back from the dead if they want. And if angels take mortal form among us, I guess they could. So, I can't really say for sure."
Some say Easter is named for Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility. Others that Easter is named for Oster, Eostre or Aster, German goddess of the East Wind that brings Spring, who’s sacrifice was painted eggs laid at her alter.
In 63AD. Baodicea, The British warrior queen who battled the Roman legions of Nero had on her flags the Great Moon-Hare, who was the servant of Oster.
In 1680 a German writer named Georg Franck published a story of a fantastic rabbit who laid magic eggs and hid them for lucky children to find.
How this all got mixed up with Jesus, you gotta ask Mel Gibson

715 AD- Saint Rupert was a Frank who did missionary work around Austria and Bavaria. When he arrived at the abandoned Roman town of Juvenum he revived the areas salt works and named it The Salt-Fortress, or Salzburg.

922- Persian mystic Al Hallij Mansur was beheaded at age 64 by order of the Caliph.

1513- Juan Ponce De Leon sighted the coastline of Florida. He claimed it for His Most Catholic Majesty the King of Spain. For years Spanish maps called all of North America- Las Floridas.

1536- Swiss Cantons sign the First Helvetic Confession, declaring their common support of the Protestant religion.

1599- Queen Elizabeth Ist appointed her toyboy the Earl of Essex to be Governor General of Ireland. In his 6 months there he was ordered to put down the rebels under Earl Tyrone of O’Neill, which he couldn’t; not to make any peace treaties without consulting London, which he did; and not to leave Ireland without permission, which he left. Eventually Essex thought he could handle the Queen. He lost his head instead.

1625- King Charles Ist ascended the throne of England. The king who lost his head in the English Civil War. Dutch painter Jan Van Dyck had a premonition about him. When doing his portrait he said the English monarch had” The saddest face he’d ever done.”

1790- The invention of modern shoelaces!

1802-The Peace of Amiens- A rare three years of peace breaks out in Europe. This interrupted the constant warfare that had been raging since 1792 and would resume 1805 -1815. Around this time Napoleon was being annoyed by a queer American inventor named Robert Fulton who had some strange plans for a ship with no sails, only steam powered paddles. He even proposed another ship that could travel underwater! Robert Fulton had tried the British Admiralty first, but got nowhere. Napoleon kept him cooling his heels in his waiting room until he gave up and returned to America.

1814- THE BATTLE OF HORSESHOE BEND-The last great Indian battle in the American South. The War of 1812 coincided with Shawnee chief Tecumseh's called for all Indians regardless of tribe to unite to drive back the white man. Chief Red Eagle and the Creek Nation tried to fight Gen. Andrew Jackson and his volunteer army of frontiersmen down in the Alabama territory. Jackson's army included Davey Crockett, Sam Houston and future Senator Thomas Hart Benton.
Jackson (Indians named him "Sharp Knife") destroyed the Creeks in one huge battle. In a switch on Hollywood image, in this battle the Indians fought from inside a wooden walled fort and the whites charged around it. After the carnage Jackson ordered his men to cut off the dead brave's noses so he could make an accurate count. Andy Jackson became a national hero and carried a lead bullet around in his shoulder for the rest of his life, Sam Houston got shot in the groin, and Chief Red Eagle put on a suit & tie, and changed his name to William Weatherford.

1836- The first Mormon temple is set up in Kirkland Ohio. Mormon ladies broke up their fine china to mix into the plaster so the walls had a sparkling effect.

1836-GOLIAD- After wiping out the Texas rebels at the Alamo, Mexican Gen. Santa Anna surrounded the next little fort at Goliad. Their commander, Colonel Daniel Fanin, seeing the result that resistance brought the men of the Alamo, tried the other tack and surrendered. Santa Anna, who was infuriated by the losses he suffered at the Alamo, wanted to make an example of the Yanqui Texans. He had Fanin and his whole command executed by firing squads. But instead of being intimidated, Texans just got madder.

1855- Abraham Gesner patented Kerosene.

1865-The City Point Conference. Lincoln, Grant and Sherman meet on the steamboat River Queen about how to finish off Robert E. Lee and end the Civil War. Lincoln stressed that after the war the South should be treated mildly, no mass treason trials, hangings or reparations.” Let’s let ‘em up easy..”
It's the last time Grant and Sherman would ever see Lincoln alive.

1866- Andrew Rankin received the first patent for the upright porcelain urinal.

1884-The first long distance telephone call-New York to Boston.

1886- GERONIMO! After a whirlwind campaign across Arizona being chased by three U.S. armies, Geronimo and his Chiracuha Apaches surrendered. With only 32 braves and their families, Geronimo evaded 5,000 troops. The Apaches nicknamed their pursuing enemy General George Crook "General Day-After-Tomorrow" for his inability to keep up with them.
Finally they were cornered and forced to give up. Geronimo and the Chiracua were shipped off to a Florida swamp for ten years before being allowed to return to their homelands. Many White Mountain Apaches who hated Geronimo acted as scouts for the army. Afterwards they were rewarded by being shipped off as well.

1908- Bud Fisher's comic strip Mutt & Jeff debuted.

1912- Washington DC received it’s famous cherry trees, 3,020 in number, a gift from the Japanese government.

1914- In Belgium the first successful blood transfusion was performed.

1939- Madrid fell to Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

1940- “Rebecca,” the first Hollywood movie by Alfred Hitchcock opened.

1941- After democratic Yugoslavs overthrow the pro-Nazi regime of Prince Paul, Hitler ordered an invasion.

1943- Companies in Los Angeles doing war work are forbidden to discriminate by race.

1945- Nazis fire the last V-2 rockets at London before the Allied armies overrun their launchpads. The last rockets hit Stepney and Kent. Chief scientist Dr. Werner Von Braun and his scientists started taking English lessons.

1945- Argentina declared war on Nazi Germany. This is seen as a bit of political theater since President Juan Peron openly admired Hitler and Mussolini and Argentina gave safe haven to many top Nazis after the war.

1952- U.P.A.’s cartoon “Rooty-Toot-Toot” premiered. It’s music score was by jazzman Phil Monroe, the first African American to receive a screen credit for scoring a movie.

1952- “Singing in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor premiered.

1957- California Reverend Robert Schuller opened the first Drive-In Church.

1958- Nikita Khruschev became Soviet Premier in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.

1964-THE ANCHORAGE, ALASKA EARTHQUAKE- The largest in the western hemisphere in the Twentieth Century..9.2 on the Richter Scale. It created a tsunami tidal wave that hit the coastlines of Alaska, British Columbia and Hawaii with a 100 foot wall of water. 164 people died.

1973- In one of the more celebrated stunts in Hollywood history, when Marlon Brando won an Oscar for his role in The Godfather, he sent a buckskin clad model named Sashin Littlefeather to refuse the award, and deliver a protest about treatment of Native Americans.

1974- Mariner 10 visited the Planet Mercury.

1977- In the largest aviation disaster in history. A KLM 747 jumbo jet taking off crashed into another PanAm 747 jumbo landing at Tenerife Canary Islands. 582 people were killed.

1978- The first draft script of the film Norma Rae completed. The film dramatized the life of Christa Lee Jordan, a mill worker who was blackballed by the J.P. Stevens millworks for wanting a union.

1989- Who Framed Roger Rabbit earned four Oscars at the Academy Awards. Sound Effects, Visual Effects, Film Editing and a special one for Richard Williams for the animation.

1996- Fearful of mad cow disease, The European Community banned the export of beef from Britain for one year.
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Yesterday’s Question: The music created by Handel and Vivaldi is now known as Baroque music. The music of Brahms and Wagner is called Romantic Music. What is the period of Mozart and Haydn known as?

Answer: It’s officially known as the Classical Period.


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