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May 31, 2017
May 31st, 2017

Quiz: Did Abe Lincoln sign the U.S. Constitution?

Answer to Yesterday’s Quiz Below: One of the most common Star Wars costumes has been described as an "iconic white carapace.” What is a carapace?
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History for 5/31/2017
Birthdays: King Manuel I of Portugal –1495, Walt Whitman, Fred Allen, Don Ameche, Prince Ranier, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Ranier Fassbinder, Brooke Shields, Joe Namath, Richie Valens, John Kemeny-the co-creator of BASIC, Tom Berenger, Denholm Elliot, Peter Yarrow, Lea Thompson, John Bonzo Bonham of Led Zepplin, Colin Ferrell is 41, Clint Eastwood is 87

1578- A farmer plowing a vineyard near Rome causes the ground to collapse beneath him revealing the long buried Ancient Roman catacombs. Antonio Bosio studied them and writes in 1632 "Underground Rome".

1669 -Samuel Pepys was forced to discontinue the diary he had kept from 1660 due to failing eyesight.

1759- Under pressure from religious groups, the Royal Colony of Pennsylvania banned theatrical plays. You could be fined 500 pounds for trotting the boards.

1790- The U.S. Congress passed its first laws protecting the copyright of written works. This law was lobbied for by Noah Webster, who later wrote the first American dictionary.

1793- LA TERREUR- THE REIGN OF TERROR BEGAN- French extremists the Jacobins named for their meeting place, near the monastery of St.Jacob- Danton, Robespierre and Marat take over the French Government. They declare anybody who doesn't agree with them to be counterrevolutionary dead meat. Robsepierre said: “Virtue without Terror is Impotence, Terror without Virtue is Criminal.”
Until 1794 their Committee of Public Safety guillotined 17,000 people, including Madame DuBarry, the great scientist Lavoisier, poet Andre Chenier and finally even fellow revolutionaries Danton and Camille Desmoulins. They also drowned hundreds in barges. One method of execution was the Republican Marriage- that meant tying up a man and woman face to face then throwing them into the sea to drown.
Napoleon, Josephine, Roget Du Lisle -who wrote Le Marseillaise, even American Thomas Paine barely escaped with their heads. Marat said: "If we cut off 10,000 heads today, it saves us having to cut off 100,000 tomorrow!" Robespierre kept a servant playing a little accordion in his office so he wouldn't have to listen to the screams and pleas of the condemned dragged off to execution. To their credit they enacted much needed social reforms, For the first time the public could enjoy the Royal art collections like the Louvre and the royal parks like the Luxembourg Gardens.
The modern concept of the restaurant also arises at this time. The name comes from a place to Restore-Your Health- Restaurant. In previous ages you could get a meal at an inn or public house, but it was never very good. The former chefs of great estates, now unemployed because their employer’s decapitated heads were in baskets, opened shops and cooked their grand cuisine for the average Jacques & Jill.

1837 - Joseph Grimaldi, England’s greatest clown (king of pantomime), died at 57. On stage since the age of 3 at Sadler-Wells, he never appeared in a circus ring. Instead, his
act was stage pantomime. In tribute to him, all English clowns are known as “Joey’.

1859- The famous clock Big Ben began running and its chimes sounded out across London for the first time.

1866- The FENIAN BROTHERHOOD, 1,500 Irish Union Army veterans decide the way to liberate Ireland from Britain is to invade Canada from New York State. - (?)
They don't get very far.

1870- President Ulysses Grant calls for the U.S. purchase and annexation of Santo Domingo (modern Haiti). Congress defeats the measure as being too costly. Grant was disgusted, hadn't the gov't wasted millions already to purchase the frozen wastes of Alaska in 1868? Other times in American history we've made moves on Cuba and Nicaragua and occupied Haiti in the 1920s and the Dominican Republic in the 1960s.

1873- SCHLEIMANN FOUND TROY. German archaeologist Heinrich Schleimann unearthed the horde of gold known as Priam's Treasure in a mound near Hysarlik Turkey. This proved this site was the Troy of Homer and the Trojan War was not a myth but a real historical event. There were actually 9 Troys on the site- from a Bronze Age village to a Late Roman Empire city. The Troy of the Trojan War was Troy number 4. It showed signs of destruction by fire.

1879- New York’s Madison Square Garden opened. Designed by Stanford White to resemble a Venetian Palazzo. The modern sports complex was opened in the 1960s.

1889-The Johnstown Flood. The South Fork Dam swollen by heavy rains burst and sent a 35-foot wall of water and debris over the town. 2,295 were killed.

1894- Happy Birthday Kellogg’s Corn Flakes! Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek Michigan patents "flaked cereal and the process for making same." He felt whole foods like Corn Flakes could help Victorian people curb their sexual urges.

1902-THE BOER WAR ENDS. After English troops entered Praetoria, Boer survivors signed the Treaty of Vereeniging. Tranvaal President Kruger "Oom Paul"-Uncle Paul- fled to Holland. When the Queen of Holland appealed for help for the Boers, who were ethnically Dutch-German. The Kaiser was noncommittal. The leader of the second largest population of Germans, President Teddy Roosevelt of the United States, said, "It is right and natural that the larger nations should dominate the smaller."

On a troopship returning from South Africa volunteer doctor Arthur Conan-Doyle was told by a Welsh doctor of a legend of a big ghostly dog that attacked people on the moors of his home estate. Conan-Doyle thought this would be a swell story for his character Sherlock Holmes to solve. The Hound of the Baskervilles was the result.

1904- On the first day of a new Parliament the right honorable member Mr. Winston Churchill entered the House of Commons, bowed to the Speaker, then took a seat with the Liberal Benches, publicly abandoning his Tory Party. In 1924 he changed his mind again and rejoined the Tories. This was why he was so shunned in the 1930’s. He was seen as a shameless opportunist, and not trusted by many of his peers.

1910- Not even ten years after the Boer independent state was crushed in the Boer War, the British form it into the self-governing commonwealth known as The Union of South Africa, with former Boer General Jan Christian Smuts as it’s head.

1911- RMS Titanic launched from the Belfast shipyards. In a strange premonition of her eventual fate she was never christened at launch time.

1913- The 17th Amendment was ratified. It called for senators to be elected by popular vote instead of nominated by the various state legislatures.

1916-The BATTLE OF JUTLAND. German and British battleships boom away
at each other in the only major naval fleet engagement of World War I. Giant battleships called Dreadnoughts were the nukes of the turn of the century power game. Yet when the first and third largest fleets in the world finally grappled it was a tie. British Admiral Beatty was annoyed with the performance of his fleet: "Blast ! Why are all me bloody battlecruisers sinking?” But the German High Seas fleet went back into Kiel harbor and didn't emerge again for the rest of the war.

1921-The deadliest race riot in US History. After a white woman in Tulsa Oklahoma claimed a black man grabbed her arm, marauding white mobs attacked the black neighborhood of Greenwood. They burned 35 blocks of houses and kill at least 300 innocent people. The Tulsa community finally apologized in the year 2000.

1928- The song “ Old Man River “sung by Pail Robeson came out as a single.

1929- Steamboat Willie was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, but Mickey didn’t speak much. He just whistled, yelped and laughed. In the cartoon released this day “the Carnival Kid” Mickey spoke his first words “ Hot Dogs!” The voice was musician Carl Stalling.

1948- The various guerrilla groups fighting for the new state of Israel, the Palmach, Haganna and Irgun, combine to officially become the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force,

1957- Malaya received its independence from Britain.

1958 - Dick Dale invents "surf music" with "Let's Go Trippin".

1962- Israel hanged Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann. His body was cremated and the ashes scattered in the sea.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Give Peace a Chance." It became the theme song of the Anti-Vietnam War movement. Because of this song and Lennon’s support of the Hippie protesters the Nixon White House kept a file on him. Lennon spent most of 1972-73 under a constant threat of 60-day deportation from the US.

1979- The nation of Rhodesia reformed as the Republic of Zimbabwe under rebel leader Robert Mugabe. But unlike his contemporary Nelson Mandela, Mugabe made himself president for life and crushed all opposition.

1984- Martial arts movie star Steven Segal married soap opera star Adrienne LaRussa. But what Adrienne didn’t know was he already had a wife named Miyako Fujetani and two kids waiting for him in Japan. A few months after this he fell for another actress named Kelly LeBrock.

1985- John Sculley was a former exec from Pepsi brought in by Apple Computer founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to help run the company. This day his solution to help the company run better was to fire Steve Jobs. Wozniak retired and Sculley eventually moved on. Before his death, Steve Jobs came back to Apple and make it the worlds most profitable company, as well as run PIXAR and be on the board of the Walt Disney Company.

1989- "Skinhead Day at the Magic Kingdom" Disneyland refused to admit a rally of skinheads, Nazis and Klansmen.

1990- Television sitcom Seinfeld premiered based on a TV special about the standup comedian called the Seinfeld Chronicles. No Soup for You!

1995- A young Mexican-American Tejana singer named Selena was gaining a growing crossover appeal in pop music and there seemed no limit. This day her career was cut short when she was shot and killed by the Yolanda Saldivia, the president of the Selena Fan club.

1996- Despite grief over the assassination of Labor Prime Minister Ytshak Rabin, the Israeli public voted for the right wing Likud today, making Benjamin “Bibi” Netnayahu Prime Minister. He was turned out in 1999, but re-elected in 2009.

2000- The first Survivor show premiered, shepherding in a new era in America of TV Reality shows.

2003- A wild dove got into the Pentagon and flapped around the Air Force Secretary's office on the 4th floor. Can we say- symbolic?
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Yesterday’s Question: One of the most common Star Wars costumes has been described as an "iconic white carapace.” What is a carapace?

Answer: A carapace is the hard part of the outer shell of invertebrates like insects or crabs, or vertebrates like turtles and tortoises. In this Star War context it is the hard shell of protective armor worn by the Imperial Stormtroopers. (thnks FG)


May 30, 2017
May 30th, 2017

Quiz: One of the most common Star Wars costumes has been described as an "iconic white carapace.” What is a carapace?

Yesterday’s Quiz: What does it mean to “gin up” something ?
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History for 5/30/2017
Birthdays: Czar Peter the Great, Benny Goodman, Mel Blanc, Stepin Fetchit, Boris Pasternak, Irving Thalberg, Milt Neil, Howard Hawks, Gale Sayers, Michael J. Pollard, Wynonna, Keir Dullea is 81, Ceelo Green is 42, Idina Menzel is 46

1431- At Place de Vieux-Marche’ in English controlled Rouen, St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. She was only 19. Her last request was for a priest to hold up high a crucifix, so she could pray aloud above the flames. When an English knight watched the maid call out to Christ as she died, he exclaimed in grief: "Brothers, we are lost, because I think we have just killed a Saint! ". Recently scientists opened her tomb for study, and only found the remains of a cat.

1593- English playwright Christopher Marlowe was stabbed to death in an argument over a restaurant check at the Bulls Tavern in Depford. Marlowe, whose plays included “Tamburlane” and “Dr Faustus", was one of Shakespeare's competitors and found time for some espionage on the side. Writer Sir Anthony Burgess theorized there may have been more spy-stuff to this case than not wanting to pay for ale & kippers. The murderer, Ingram Frizer, was quickly pardoned by Queen Elizabeth I, and Marlowe was buried in an unmarked grave.

1630- King Gustavus Adolphus gave an emotional farewell speech to the Swedish Diet as he prepared to leave with his army for Germany. He had pledged to take up the Protestant cause in the brutal Thirty Years War then raging across Europe. Gustavus won many victories but he never saw Sweden again because he was killed in battle at Lutzen in 1632.

1787- THE CRUCIAL VOTE in creating the U.S. Constitution. The delegates of the thirteen states (actually twelve, Rhode Island refused to participate) had originally come to Philadelphia to iron out some bugs in the system called the Articles of Confederation.
On this day they were instead convinced to accept “the Virginia Plan” authored by James Madison and strongly backed by Alexander Hamilton. In effect, they voted to scrap the entire U.S. government used up till then and create a new strong central government with a two chamber Congress based on the Roman Senate and an elected chief magistrate called, at first, 'The Executive" and later the President. Some politicians not attending the meeting, like Patrick Henry and Sam Adams, were outraged. Thomas Jefferson, then ambassador in Paris, was dubious about the elected-president idea. “So they’ve decided to saddle us with a Polish King” he quipped, meaning an elected figurehead monarch with no real power. Aaron Burr wrote:” Same old pork, different sauce.”

1788- French philosopher Francois Voltaire died of uremic illness at age 84. He breathed his last cradled in the arms of Benjamin Franklin. He had been trying to write a chapter of a new dictionary, trying to keep himself going by drinking 20 cups of coffee a day. A great critic of the Catholic Church, he refused the Sacrament up to the last but was still smuggled away after death to be buried in sacred ground. In 1793 his remains and Rousseau’s were moved to the Pantheon.
In 1814 a Royalist ghoul broke into Voltaire and Rousseau’s tombs, stuffed their bones into a sack and threw them into a garbage dump. The whereabouts of his remains are unknown to this day.

May 30, 1806- ANDREW JACKSON KILLED CHARLES DICKINSON IN A DUEL. -the hotheaded Jackson challenged Dickinson after he welched on horse racing bet. After Jackson accused him, he made insulting remarks about Jackson’s wife Rachel, calling her a scarlet lady. In Long County, Kentucky they faced off with pistols at ten paces.
Dickinson got off a shot first. Eyewitnesses said you could see the puff of dust from Jackson's jacket where the bullet entered his ribs. Amazingly, instead of falling, Jackson just coldly stood there, staring. He then lifted his gun and shot Dickinson dead.
Jackson would carry the lead ball in his chest for the rest of his life, alongside two others earned in Indian wars.
When asked why he didn’t forgive Dickinson and shoot wide, He replied: "I'd have killed Dickinson, even if he had put a bullet in my brain!"

1821 - James Boyd patents the Rubber Fire Hose.

1848- William Young patents the ice cream freezer.

1883- A rumor among the strollers on the Brooklyn Bridge that the bridge was falling caused a panic and 12 people were trampled. Young street kid Al Smith recalled being under the bridge and seeing a rain of bowler hats and parasols as the crowd pushed and shoved. To prove the bridge was absolutely safe, the mayor had P.T. Barnum parade his circus elephants over to Brooklyn.

1899- Female outlaw Pearl Hart robbed the Globe, Arizona stagecoach.

1913- It’s Albanian Independence Day! The Treaty of London signed, ending the First Balkan War and acknowledging the independence of Albania. The Second Balkan War started thirty days later.

1919- Hollywood entrepreneur Charles Tolman bought a natural declivity north of Hollywood Blvd called Daisy Dell. People had been picnicking in the grass there for years. Now Tolman wanted to build a concert amphitheatre. Conductor Hugo Kirchhofer remarked “ It looks like a big bowl!” So it became the Hollywood Bowl thereafter.

1922- The Lincoln Memorial dedicated. The huge statue of Lincoln seated was carved by an Italian immigrant family in the Bronx. While President Harding talked, a guest of honor was 86 year old Robert Todd Lincoln, Abe and Mary Lincoln’s only surviving child. He was a former Secretary of War. It was his last public appearance.

1927- In one of the more disturbing Memorial Day parades in New York City history, one thousand Ku Klux Klansmen and blackshirted Italian Fascists tried to march down Broadway, and got into fistfights with bystanders.

1930- The Lockheed Terminal rededicated as Burbank Airport.

1935 - Babe Ruth's final game. He goes hitless for the Braves against Phillies.

1942- The British RAF launch the first of their 1000 plane bombing raids on Germany, this one flattened the city of Cologne.

1955- The New York chapter of the Catholic League of Decency pressured Loews Theater on Broadway to take down a giant 30-foot billboard of Marilyn Monroe trying to push her skirt down.

1961- Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo was ambushed in his Chevrolet. Shot five times, he was left dead in the street.

1962- Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem had its first performance.

1972- Director choreographer Bob Fosse filmed a live performance of Liza Minelli’s one-woman show Liza with a Z. It was telecast in Sept. and became a sensation.

1994 - Death of Baron Marcel Bich, Italian-born French engineer and industrialist who created an empire through his disposable BIC pens, lighters and razors.

2003- Pixar’s Finding Nemo opened.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What does it mean to “gin up” something ?

Answer: Before a battle, the British Army and Navy were known to pass out rations of gin or rum to settle the men’s nerves and drum up enthusiasm for the fight. So ginning up meant to generate or increase something by dishonest means.


May 28, 2017
May 28th, 2017

Quiz: The theme music of the Warner Bros, Leon Schlesinger Looney Tune cartoons was “The Merry Go Round Broke Down.” But what was the theme song of their other series, the Merry Melodies? It was different.

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: The song Zippity-Doo-Dah was written for what movie?
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History for 5/28/2017
Birthdays: Solomon 970 BC, Noah Webster, Dr. Joseph Guillotine, William Pitt the Younger, General Pierre Beauregard, Ian Fleming, Jim Thorpe, The Dion Identical Quintuplets 1930, Gladys Knight, Jerry West, Dietrich Fisher-Deiskau, Sandra Locke, T-Bone Walker, Taffy Abel (one of the first professional hockey stars), John Fogarty is 72, Carey Mulligan is 32, Carol Baker is 86. Frank Gladstone

585 BC- The first recorded Solar Eclipse. It struck blind people who dared to look at it, and it scared away the armies of Cyaxerxes of Media and Alyattes of Lydia who were about to fight a battle. Thales of Miletus, the first Greek Philosopher, predicted it.

20AD- Tiberius’ general Drusus celebrated a triumph over the Pannonians (Hungary).

1358-THE JACQUERIE- In the Middle Ages the oppression of the peasantry coupled with the Black Death and the Hundred Years’ War reaches the breaking point and major peasant revolts begin to break out across Europe. In Italy they’re called the Ciompi, in England Wat the Tyner’s revolt, and outbreak today in France was called the JACQUERIE (after "poor Jacques" or peasant). The outraged peasants burned manor homes and castles and massacred nobility without any real plan. To English and French knights class meant more than national feuds, so they took time out from their Hundred Years’ War to join together to chop up their uppity peasants.

1453- The night before his final assault on Constantinople, Turkish Sultan Mohammed II, addressed his troops:" I give you the capitol of the ancient Romans, the greatest city in the world! I give you her women and children, her silks and jewels. All I ask is that you leave me her buildings and monuments. I want the city for myself!" Then battalions of belly dancers danced for the men, but no sex was permitted until the battle ended.

1494- The official "birth" of Scotch - though it probably had been around much earlier, on this date, the Scottish Exchequer records a purchase of malt by a friar to make "aqua vitae", the first written reference to spirits in Scotland. Hoot Man!

1742 - 1st public indoor swimming pool opens at Goodman's Fields, London.

1786- French explorer the Comte de Perouse became the first European to set foot on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. "The climate of Mowhee is quite delightful." He wrote. Then spending only three days there he hurried his ship on to the Northwest coast of America.

1853- THE CRIMEAN WAR BEGAN- England and the French Empire declare War on Russia over Russia’s trying to beat up Turkey and annex the Bosporus. England and Russia spent the nineteenth century in a tactical struggle for supremacy in Central Asia not unlike the Cold War the Soviet Union fought with America after World War Two. The name for the Anglo-Russian duel was "the Great Game". It only heated up once, producing such artifacts as the Charge of the Light Brigade, Balaclava Helmets and Florence Nightingale. Roger Fenton also followed the army to the Crimea as the first war-photographer.

1871- THE COMMUNE OF PARIS CRUSHED- As the occupying Prussian Army looked on, the regular French army loyal to the conservative government of President Alphonse Thiers recaptured Paris from the workers-revolutionary government called the Paris Commune. In the fierce house to house fighting the Hotel Du Ville -city hall was completely destroyed, as well as the Royal Palace of the Tuileries (the open area of the Louvre in front of there the glass Pyramid is.) and the Palace of Saint Cloud.

One hundred and fifty revolutionaries were lined up against the wall in Pere Lachaise Cemetery and shot. Today the Wall of the Communards is still there and you can see the bullet holes. In Russia young Nikolai Lenin studied the Commune and when he formed his Bolshevik Party he took as his flag the Red banner of the Commune.

1892- The Sierra Club formed.

1905- Second day of the Battle of Tsushima Straights- Japanese Admiral Togo, having shot up the first half of the Russian Navy waits for the other half.... They were slowly chugging their way around the world being sent from the Black and Baltic seas to the Sea of Japan.

1928 - Dodge Brothers Automobile Inc & Chrysler Corp merged.

1929 - 1st all color talking picture, "On With the Show" exhibited (NYC).

1935- Tortilla Flat published. The first novel by John Steinbeck.

1940- Throughout World War I the tiny Belgian Army held out heroically against huge German forces. In World War II the story was different. As the Allied frontlines crumbled before the relentless Nazis armored Blitzkrieg, this day the Belgian Army surrendered unconditionally. The surrender left retreating British and French forces dangerously exposed, were it not for quick thinking divisional commander who plugged the line and enabled the escape to Dunkirk. General Bernard Law Montgomery first caught the notice of Churchill and the English high command.

1941- THE WALT DISNEY STRIKE- Labor pressures had been building in the Magic Kingdom since promises made to artists over the success of Snow White were reneged on, and Walt Disney’s lawyer Gunther Lessing encouraged a hard line with his employees. On this day, in defiance of federal law, Walt Disney fired animator Art Babbitt, the creator of Goofy, and thirteen other cartoonists for demanding a union. Babbitt had emerged as the union movements’ leader. Studio security officers escorted him off the lot.
That night in an emergency meeting of the Cartoonists Guild, Art’s assistant on Fantasia, Bill Hurtz, made the motion to strike, and it was unanimously accepted. Bill Hurtz will later go on to direct award winning cartoons like UPA’s "Unicorn in the Garden". Picket lines go up next day in cartoon animation’s own version of the Civil War.

Walt Disney nearly had a nervous breakdown over the strike and a federal mediator was sent by Washington to arbitrate. In later years, Uncle Walt blamed the studio’s labor ills on Communists. The studio unionized completely, but the hard feelings remained for their rest of their lives.

1948- During the Israeli War of Independence the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem surrendered after a long siege by the Arab Legion. The Legion was a force organized and led by a British soldier of fortune Sir John Bagot-Glubb or Glub-Pasha. The main Jewish community was in west Jerusalem but the Holy places of the Old City were in the eastern part. Jews lost the Wailing Wall until retaken in the Six-Day War of 1967.

1954- Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder in 3D premiered.

1960- George Zucco 74, a character actor who specialized in horror movies like Blood from the Mummies Hand, died. One version says he died of fright in a mental hospital in San Gabriel California. He was convinced that H.P. Lovecraft's Great God Cthulu was after him. He actually died of natural causes in a nursing home.

1961 -Amnesty International, a human rights organization, is founded. It was the result of an Appeal for Amnesty, written in the London Daily Observer by a British author who read of several Portuguese students who were arrested because they were overheard making a toast to Freedom in a café.

1966- the It’s a Small World exhibit, which had been created for the 1964 NY Worlds Fair, reopened at Disneyland, California.

1977- George Lucas film Star Wars opened in general release across the country.

1981- The Bambi Murders- Police hunt Playboy Bunny Bambi Bemenek for shooting her husband’s ex-wife in Milwaukee. She was captured but escaped prison in 1990.
Just follow the little stiletto high heel footprints.

1983- “What a Feeling” the theme from the film Flashdance by Irene Cara reaches the top of the pop charts. Everyone dancing with leggings and baggy sweaters.

1987- A young German student named Matthias Rust rented a Cessna airplane in Helsinki, and flying low to avoid radar flew into the heart of the Soviet Union. Evading a forest of missiles, radar and anti-aircraft weapons, he landed his little plane in the middle of Red Square in the Kremlin. The ensuing furor and humiliation cost many Russian generals their jobs.

1998- Saturday Night Live comedian Phil Hartman was shot to death by his wife Brynne as he slept. She was a heavy drinker and pill user. At 6:00am as the LAPD were knocking Brynne turned the gun on herself.

2005- The great London clock Big Ben mysteriously stopped for 45 minutes.

2005- Actress Lindsay Lohan was photographed passed out in her car shortly after a court hearing for a previous DUI.
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Yesterday’s Question: The song Zippity-Doo-Dah was written for what movie? (Hint: Disney)

Answer: Walt Disney’s Song of the South.


May 27, 2017
May 27th, 2017

Question: The song Zippity-Doo-Dah, Zippity Ay, was written for what movie?



Yesterday’s Question: Who was it who didn’t die, but floated away on a boat to the mystical island of Avalon?

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History for 5/27/2017

Birthdays: James 'Wild Bill' Hickock, Julia Ward Howe, Aemelia Jenks-Bloomer, Dashell Hammett, Vincent Price, Dr. Henry Kissinger is 94, Leopold Goldowsky (the inventor of Kodachrome film), Hubert H. Humphrey, Herman Wouk, Harlan Ellison, Christopher Lee, Joseph Feines, Richard Schiff is 62, Peri Gilpin, Paul Bettany is 46



595 AD, Today is the Feast day of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, who saw children in the slave docket and when told 'Those are Angles"-The barbarian tribe that England is named for. Augustine replied: Non Sunt Anglicai, Sunt Angeles” -Those are not Angles, those are Angels" -please forgive my Latin grammar. Augustine of Canterbury should not be confused with the Saint Augustine of Hippo, who wrote the Confessions.

1647-The first witch execution in Salem Massachusetts. Contrary to popular perception, more witches were hanged than burned at the stake.



1647- Peter Stuyvesant inaugurated as Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam. The one legged old soldier was a staunch Calvinist who was sent by The Dutch West India Company to “clean up the town”.



1703- Czar Peter the Great laid the cornerstones for his new capitol Saint Petersburg. The Baltic Port was called at one time Petrograd and Leningrad but was changed back to the original name in 1989. It was the capitol until Lenin moved it back to Moscow in 1917.



1831- Mountain man Jedediah Smith was killed fighting Commanches.



1874- Prostitution was outlawed in Los Angeles central business district.

1895 - British inventor Burt Acres patented a film camera/projector

1905- BATTLE OF THE TSUSHIMA STRAIGHTS- Grand Admiral Togo and the Japanese Navy destroy the Imperial Russian fleet in a battle that announced to the world Japan had become an world power. It had been only 55 years since Admiral Perry forced the opening of its feudal society. Mahatma Ghandi said also the victory was a beacon to all colonialized peoples that the Europeans could be defeated at their own game.

Of course the Japanese weren't fighting for altruistic motives but to see who would take over Manchuria and Korea. One-eyed Admiral Togo was trained as a samurai until their profession was abolished in 1877. When a midshipman cadet in England, had been nicknamed "Joe Chinaman" by the tars. After this battle he became one of the most respected naval strategists of the age. Ishoruku Yamamoto, the mastermind of Pearl Harbor, was his ensign at the time.

1930- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTCH TAPE -Chemist Richard Drew of Saint Paul Minnesota invented cellophane tape, marketed by the 3M Company under the brand Scotch. It was called Scotch after the stereotype perception that Scots people are frugal with money, so it’s a good value. Three years later Drew invented Masking Tape as a way for car manufacturers to paint cars two tone.



1933- Disney’s cartoon “The Three Little Pigs” premiered, whose song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” became a national anthem of recovery from the Depression.

Director of the short Burt Gillette left Disney afterwards to run the Van Beuren Studio in New York.



1935- The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Franklin Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act (The NRA) program. Roosevelt responds by trying to stack the court with judges more to his liking. He referred to them as 'The Nine Old Men', a sobriquet Walt Disney would borrow in 1949 for his animators.

1937- San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opened.

1941- The German battleship Bismarck finally sunk by massed Royal Navy ships and torpedo planes. The British sailors of the battleship HMS Prince of Wales helped the German sailors out of the water saying: ”Now you, one day it may be us.” That December HMS Prince of Wales sent to the Pacific where it was sunk by the Japanese.

In 1981 I heard CBC radio interview with the last surviving flag-deck officer of the Bismarck, a Baron von Mullenheim-Rechburg, who had just published a memoir. The radio interviewer asked him:" When did you get the idea to write this book? He replied:" When I was floating around in the burning water..." The interviewer then asked incredulously" Then why did you wait forty years? He replied:" Well...you know, things come up..."



1942- Top Nazis in occupied Czechoslovakia Nazi leader Reynhard Heydrich was assassinated by the resistance, who threw a bomb into his car. Hitler angrily responded by ordering the SS to select a Czech village at random and destroy it. They picked Lidice; they leveled it and murdered all its innocent inhabitants.



1942- The aircraft carrier USS Yorktown limped into Pearl Harbor after being shot up in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The crew expected to be sent Stateside for weeks of major repairs, but the word came down from Admiral Nimitz that the Yorktown had to be ready for battle in just three days! Nimitz needed all his forces for an anticipated Japanese strike at Midway. 1,500 dockworkers labored around the clock patching her up. The Yorktown left on schedule to achieve the victory at Midway Island on June 5th.



1943- In a secret meeting in German occupied Paris, young French resistance leader Jean Moulin got all the various separate underground movements to unite under Charles DeGaulle's Free French. Moulin was eventually captured by the Gestapo and tortured to death, but le Maquis- i.e. resistance, continued the fight until the liberation.



1948- Walt Disney feature Melody Time released, featuring Pecos Bill.



1949- Actress Rita Hayworth married Arab playboy Prince Aly Khan. Prince Aly Khan, 1911-1960, was born in Italy a son of dispossessed Pakistani royalty to the Aga Khan II. He lived his life as an international playboy, socialite and sportsman, making love to women from actress Rita Hayworth to Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law Pamela Churchill-Harriman. Cole Porter wrote him into a song. He died when he crashed his sportscar in France



1961 – The first black light is sold



1969 – Construction on Walt Disney World Florida began.



1977-The Sex Pistols release their Punk hit God Save the Queen, the Fascist Regime, in time for the Queen’s Jubilee year. She preferred the Beatles’ All You Need is Love.



1968- At this time 350 Americans a week were being killed in Vietnam, and in 12 days George W. Bush’s student deferment would be up! But never fear, his family was pulling strings. So even though the normal wait was a year, this day George W. Bush was accepted into the Texas Air National Guard on the same day he applied.



1991- The Milwaukee police question serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer after finding a distraught, bleeding young Laotian immigrant in the street. The boy was struggling to shake off the effect of date-rape drugs given him by Dahmer. After deducing that it was merely a quarrel between lovers, the police returned the boy to Dahmer, who killed and ate him later.



1994 – Nobel Prize winner and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia after a twenty year exile.



1995- Actor Christopher Reeve was left paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in an equestrian event in Charlottesville, Va. He became a spokesman for stem-cel research, but his effort in the US was frustrated by powerful religious lobbyists. Christopher Reeves died in 2004.



1997- President Bill Clinton liked to appease his critics by appointing conservative judges despite popular perception of him as a Liberal. This day this practice came back to bite him when the conservative Supreme Court of William Rheinquist unanimously rejected Clinton’s plea that a President should not be subject to a private law suit while in office. A woman named Paula Jones with heavy funding from the religious right wing of the Republican Party was suing him for sexual harassment.

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Yesterday’s question: Who was it who didn’t die, but floated away on a boat to the mystical island of Avalon?



Answer: King Arthur. He was fatally wounded defeating the evil Mordred at the Battle of Camlann


May 26, 2017
May 26th, 2017

Question: Who was it who didn’t die, but floated away on a boat to the mystical island of Avalon?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who was Prince Aly Khan?
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History for 5/26/2017
Birthdays: The Duke of Marlborough, Pope Clement VII the Medici Fox-1478, Mary Wollenstonecraft Godwin 1759- early feminist writer and mother of Mary Shelley, Alexander Pushkin, Isadora Duncan, Norma Talmadge, Paul Lukas, John Wesley Hardin the shootist, John Wayne, Al Jolson, Jay Silverheels (Tonto), Peter Cushing, Robert Morley, Peggy Lee, Sally Ride, Pam Grier is 68, Helen Bonham Carter is 51, Bobcat Golthwaite is 57, Matt Stone the co-creator of South Park

17AD- In Rome, the General Germanicus celebrated a triumph over the German barbarians, the Alemani. Germanicus was the father of Caligula.

735- Famous English monk The Venerable Bede died on the floor of his cell, singing "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit". He was buried in Durham Cathedral. Bede wrote the first Chronicle of the English People, and is considered the father of English history.

1574- The Siege of Leyden begins- Through a series of confusing dynastic trades the Lowlands of Holland wound up owned by Catholic Spain. The Protestant provinces united under their leader William the Silent and fought tenaciously for their freedom. The Spanish army was the finest in the world but the Dutch had a pretty good navy, nicknamed "the Sea Beggars". So when the Spaniards attacked the city of Leyden the Dutch flooded their dykes behind the infantry and floated their ships in to fight them.

1805- Lewis and Clark first sight the Rocky Mountains.

1828- THE MYSTERY OF KASPAR HAUSER- On this day on a street in Nuremberg a judge came upon a filthy boy unable to read, write or even speak. As the boy's trauma eased and he could communicate he said he had been kept in a dungeon since he was three years old, never seeing another human soul. One day he was suddenly released. His name was Kaspar Hauser and his case became a cause celebre throughout Europe. Some thought he was the rightful prince of the German State of Baden. Then one day while walking in the park a man came up and stabbed Kaspar Hauser. He bled to death. The judge who first cared for him was poisoned. The murderers were never found and the mystery never solved.

1864- Montana territory created.

1865- General William Kirby-Smith surrendered the last organized body of Confederate troops to Yankee General Canby in New Orleans. Rather than surrender, rebel Gen. Joe Shelby took his cavalry over the border to Mexico where a Confederate exile community was forming under protection of the French Emperor Maximillian.

1868- At Newgate prison Irish nationalist Michael Barrett was the last man in England to be publicly hanged. England switched to a system of execution behind prison walls. The hangman later sold Barrett’s clothes and the noose for souvenirs. Meanwhile in the American West the spectacle of a public necktie party remained popular for years, the citizenry sometimes hauling out their shooting irons and popping away at the dangling body to give him a good send off. Yee-Hah!

1895 -Nicholas II crowned Czar-Autocrat of all the Russias. During the ceremony a reviewing stand collapsed and several hundred people were crushed. Not a good omen.

1896- Charles Dow started his stock index named the Dow Jones Index. The first Dow Jones closing is 40.94.

1897- A novel by a London theatre manager named Abraham “Bram” Stoker appeared in bookstores. It was titled Dracula.

1913- Actors Equity formed.

1933- Jimmy Rogers "the Singing Brakeman", considered the father of modern country music, died of tuberculosis at age 31. Shortly before his death he recorded a song called "TB Blues".

1937- The Battle of Millers Overpass- Henry Fords hired thugs beat up Walter Reuther and four other UAW union men for handing out union literature.

1940- The Miracle of Dunkirk- When German panzers overrun France they surround the British army and pin them against the Normandy coastline. Instead of finishing them off Marshal Goering asks Hitler's permission to use the Luftwaffe (airforce) to administer the coup de grace. Britain mobilized all available ships and hundreds of small boat owners volunteer to cross the channel under dive bombing and strafing and in ten days evacuate 340,000 troops. 40,000 stayed behind and surrendered. The British force was decimated but not destroyed, and would live to fight again.

1942- The "Witches Cauldron"- Rommel the "Desert Fox" and his Afrika Corps defeat the British army in a whirling, confused, desert tank battle.

1949- The People’s Liberation Army entered Shanghai, winning the Chinese Civil War.

1960- THE MOULIN ROUGE AGREEMENT- Las Vegas gambling casinos finally integrate. Before this stars like Sammy Davis Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald could headline in the clubs but had to exit via the kitchens and sleep across town in the colored section. Singer Nat King Cole was requested to keep his eyes on his piano keys for fear if he looked up he would seduce young white girls. Frank Sinatra played a big part in pressuring the Vegas wise guys to change with the times. Marlene Dietrich grabbed Lena Horne by the arm and stormed into a casino bar defying any reaction. None came. The Moulin Rouge was the first completely integrated casino.

1960-UN ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge complained that the gift of a wood carving of the Great Seal of the United States given the US Embassy by Moscow had a concealed microphone in it.

1962- The Isley Brothers single “Twist & Shout” released.

1969- John Lennon and Yoko Ono have their "Bed-In for Peace" news conference in New York. One of the most acerbic exchanges was one Lennon had with Lil' Abner cartoonist and curmudgeon Al Capp.

1980- South Korean President Chun Do Hwan orders his army to fire on pro-democracy protestors in Kwang-Ju. 2,000 were killed.

1994- Singer Michael Jackson married Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic. They keep the wedding a secret for six weeks, then divorced 18 months later.

1995- Looney Tunes director Friz Freleng died at age 89.

1995- In a memo to Microsoft, founder Bill Gates declared the Internet the “most important single development” since the personal computer.

2008- To commemorate Memorial Day, President Bush went on camera and asked all Americans to stop what they were doing at 3:00PM to remember the sacrifices of all our soldiers. He then went mountain biking.
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Yesterday’s question: Who was Prince Aly Khan?

Answer: Prince Aly Khan, 1911-1960, was born in Italy a son of dispossessed Pakistani Muslim royalty to the Aga Khan II. He lived his life as an international playboy, socialite and sportsman, making love to women from actress Rita Hayworth to Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law Pamela Churchill-Harriman. Cole Porter wrote him into a song. He died when he crashed his sportscar in France.


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