Aug 12/ 2020
August 12th, 2020

Quiz: What is an arpeggio?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What company introduced the PC computer?

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History for 8/12/2020
Birthdays: King George IV, Cecil B. DeMille, The alien Alf- 1757, Cantinflas, Buck Owens, Edith Hamilton, Diamond Jim Brady, screenwriter William Goldman, Mtsislav Rostropovitch, Xenia Sharpe (educator who invented the children’s reader Dick & Jane) Kathy Lee Bates-the author of the song America the Beautiful, Klara Schickelgruber- Hitlers mom, Dominique Swain, Pete Samprass, Sam Fuller, John Casale-I'm not Fredo! , George Hamilton is 81, Casey Affleck is 45.

The Golden 12th. In England this is the beginning of grouse hunting season.

1508- Ponce de Leon landed in Puerto Rico.

1530- The Medici family had ruled the Republic of Florence previously as merchant politicians. When they tried to turned the city-state into the hereditary Duchy of Tuscany, the Florentines drove them out. This day the Republic ended when the city was stormed by a Medici-Papal army. The city fell, despite the fortifications designed by Michelangelo. They didn't stop the enemy, but they must have looked GREAT!

1553- Pope Julius III ordered the confiscation and burning of Jewish Talmuds.

1658-Happy Birthday NYPD! The first city police force in America was set up in New Amsterdam

1687- Second Battle of Mohacs- Austria takes Hungary from the Turkish Sultan.

1794-The GREAT WHISKEY REBELLION-In the colonial Northwest frontier -Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan- the chief medium of trade was whiskey. Gold was rare and nobody knew whether English pounds, Spanish doubloons or Yankee eagles were legal tender. Whiskey was also the easiest way to convert excess corn crop to a commodity before it spoiled. And drinking water could kill you with any number of diseases, while nothing can live in alcohol. So buying and trading was in whiskey. Abraham Lincoln's father sold their farm for whiskey.
So when George Washington's government decided to put a tax on hooch, the frontiersmen went wild, not that they weren't that way anyway. Rebellion is an exaggeration; it was never more than a few drunken yahoos shooting up a local post office. Still, mindful of the recent chaos of the French revolution, President Washington freaked and sent 5,000 troops to crush the rebellion. Touchy Joe, or George.

1799- Napoleon spent the night meditating at the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

1805- Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis and Clark, climbed a mountain peak in the Bitterroot Range of Rocky Mountains near the present day Montana -Idaho border. He had traveled this far on the theory of Thomas Jefferson’s that the Missouri River and Columbia River were the same river. So one should be able to travel from New Orleans to the Pacific Ocean by river. When Lewis climbed this mountain he expected to see on the other side gentle rolling plains to the Pacific. Instead, he saw even higher snowcapped mountains and still more mountains behind them. It dawned on Lewis that this is one big mother of a continent and that river theory thing was all wrong.

1812- Austrian Dr Joseph Lister is the first surgeon to use disinfectant during surgery. It took a long time for Lister’s hygienic practices to catch on. During the American Civil War surgeons would sharpen their scalpel on the sole of their boot before commencing the incision.

1813- British commander the Duke of Wellington liberated Madrid, Spain, forcing out the French under Napoleons brother, Joseph Bonaparte.

1821- Stephen Austin entered Texas with the first group of Anglo colonists invited by the Mexican government to bolster their sparse population. It brought a land rush of poor families from the U.S. They would write on their doors before they left G.T.T. or Gone To Texas.

1822- Viscount Lord Castlereagh, chief British diplomat during the Napoleonic wars, went mad after eating hot buttered toast and killed himself with a butter knife. He had been warned by his doctor Lord Graydon against eating hot buttered toast. Shortly afterward his doctor, Lord Graydon also committed suicide, but he did not have any hot buttered toast.

1833- The City of Chicago was founded. Chicago is an Indian word meaning “wild onions”. The site of Chicago had been mentioned by explorers like LaSalle since 1688, and a man of African-European descent named Jean Baptiste Pont du Sable homesteaded on the site in the 1780s. He has been called the Founder of Chicago.

1851- Mr Issac Singer received a patent on his new sewing machine. Elias Howe, who had invented the sewing machine first, immediately sued him. But Singers improved design was so much superior to Howes that he quickly recouped al the penalties paid and eventually bought out Howe. The Singer Sewing Machine Company is still around today.
Winaretta Singer, heiress to the resulting fortune, became the Princess de Polignac, one of the great patrons of the arts in turn of the century Paris.

1869- San Francisco lunatic Joshua Norton, who called himself Norton Ist, Emperor of the United States, today published an Imperial Edict outlawing the Democratic and Republican Parties. Hmmm… he may be on to something!

1877-THE BIRTH OF RECORDED SOUND. Thomas Edison announced his sound recording invention and demonstrates it by recording "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a tin cylinder. Edison never quite understood the possibilities of a music industry and was convinced that the recorded sound was going to be a used primarily for people to listen to the voices of deceased family, sort of like a voice from the grave. That idea was so popular that it translated to the Logo of the RCA Company with the familiar image of the dog listening to "His master's voice". The original image of that dog listening to his master's voice, had the dog sitting on a coffin.
A few years later Emile Berliner from Georgia invented the flat record disc. Edison thought the disc was clumsy and too fragile. In the future he declared, everyone would use recording cylinders.

1898- Annexation Day in Hawaii. The U.S. formally took over the Kingdom of Hawaii. The government of Queen Liliokalani had been overthrown a group of Yankee sugar plantation owners and handed over to U.S. gunboats in the harbor.

1915 - "Of Human Bondage," by William Somerset Maugham, published.

1927- the William Wellman movie WINGS opened with Clara Bow, Richard Arlen and Buddy Rogers, the first silent film to win best picture at the Academy Awards before the advent of sound. Director Wild Bill Wellman was himself a former fighter pilot and flew many of the stunt shots. He bolted cameras to the nose of planes and had the actors film themselves while flying.
The second silent film to ever win best picture was The Artist, in the year 2012.

1932 Aldous Huxley's Brave New World first published. Before anyone ever heard of stem cells, Huxley had written a scholarly paper on the moral dangers inherent in controlled eugenics. Writer H.L. Mencken urged Huxley to put his ideas in a fiction form to reach a wider audience. The title comes from Shakespeare's the Tempest " Oh Brave New World, that hath such people in it!'

1942- General Bernard Law Montgomery arrived at El Alamein to take over command of the British Eighth Army facing Rommel and the Afrika Corps.

1944- JOE KENNEDY JR. The Allies were at a loss at how to stop the German V-1 and V-2 rockets being fired at London. They had wreaked more havoc than the great German bombing raids in the Blitz four years earlier. Allied Bomber command came up with the idea of filling a B-26 with high explosive and after getting to the coast the pilots would bail out and the plane would complete it’s trip by remote control to destroy the rocket launching pads in Calais. The first pilot to volunteer for this dangerous mission was Joe Kennedy Jr., eldest son of the famous Kennedy clan.
After ten minutes in flight the plane exploded before Joe could bail out. Ironically the Germans had moved the V-2 base out of range anyway. Just before he left he telephoned a friend in London: I’m going into my act now. If I don’t make it back tell dad I love him. The grief-stricken elder Kennedy transferred his plans for political power to his second son John F. Kennedy.

1951- Bob McKimson’s Warner Bros short Hillbilly Hare. The short includes the long routine animated by Emery Hawkins when Bugs Bunny takes over calling a square dance and uses it to torture the two twin-brother hillbillies who are after him.

1953- The Soviet Union exploded its first Hydrogen Bomb, nicknamed "Joe-4" for Joe Stalin by the CIA. The scientific team led by Andrei Sakharov called it the Layer Cake-alternating layers of hydrogen and uranium fuel wrapped around a conventional atomic bomb. Like Robert Oppenheimer in America, Andre Sakharov later became a leading critic of the nuclear arms race.

1959- Under the gaze of howling and spitting crowds, the first 6 black students registered for class at Little Rock High School. When the governor of Arkansas declared he would use the National Guard to keep the school segregated President Eisenhower sent in the elite 101st Airborne division to enforce the federal court order and escort the children. Scholars today admit that Eisenhower was not exactly a champion of civil rights, but the Supreme Court ordered it, and to the old general, orders were orders.

1961-Soviet and East German troops begin to build the Berlin Wall, which remained a symbol of Cold War tension until it was pulled down by Berliners in 1989.

1968- The album Cheap Thrills released, from Big Brother and the Holding Company and their lead singer Janis Joplin. R. Crumb drew the famous cover.

1981- IBM introduced its first PC- personal computer and PC-DOS I. Unlike Apple, IBM shared the basic hardware design, so a myriad of cheaper competitor PC’s soon flooded the market.

1983- The Canadian animated feature Rock & Rule opened in theaters.

1988- Martin Scorcese’ film The Last Temptation of Christ opened in theaters to howls of protests from religious groups. There had been more inflammatory interpretations of the Christ story on screens in the past like Pasolini’s Gospel According to Saint Matthew and the Canadian film Hail Mary, but the church groups weren’t that media savvy yet. Like all these protest efforts, all the controversy really did was boost its box office.

1999- In Yorkshire England, Tish, the world’s oldest goldfish, died at age 43.

2000- In the waters off Norway the Russian submarine Kursk suffered an explosion and sank. No one is sure what happened, the theory is an old torpedo exploded in the bow. Out of pride, Russian Naval authorities refused offers of international help to rescue the remaining sailors trapped on the sea bottom. By the time they relented and accepted help, all 116 men were dead.

2008- Entertainer and producer Merv Griffin died at age 81. The creator of games shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, his last statement on his website was " I was planning to go on vacation, but this is not the destination I intended."
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Yesterdays Quiz: What company introduced the PC computer?

Answer: IBM, See above, 1981.


Aug 11, 2020
August 11th, 2020

Quiz: What company introduced the PC computer?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: There was an old Scottish song titled “ Roaming in the Gloaming”. What is gloaming?
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History for 8/11/2020
Birthdays: Antonio Salieri, Frederick Ludwig Jahn 1778- founder of the Gymnastics Movement, Alex Haley, Jack Haley, Rev Jerry Falwell, Hulk Hogan- real name Terry Bollier-is 72, Dick Browne the creator of Hagar the Horrible, Steve Wozniak the co-founder of Apple Computers, Raymond Leppard, Lloyd Nolan, Mike Douglas, Patti Duke Astin, Chris Helmsworth is 36

Today is the Feast day of Saint Claire of Assisi, who followed Saint Francis into renouncing the world and formed the sisterhood of nuns called the Poor Claires. Their rule of poverty was so severe that the Vatican criticized them for making everyone else in the Church look bad.

883AD- The Abbassid Caliphs capture Al Mukhtara, crushing the Zanj slave revolt. So you get your Arabian Nights movie costumes correct- The Ummoyad Caliphs who followed immediately after the Prophet flew Green banners; the Abbasids, or the dynasty the most famous Caliph of the Arabian nights Harun al Rashid, flew black banners.

1297-French King Louis IX canonized a saint. While St. Louis was running around the Middle East being Saintly, his mother Blanche of Castile was ruling France with an iron hand. She crushed revolts, beat back invasions, and in Paris built the beautiful cathedral of Sainte Chappelle. She created one of the most enlightened courts since Eleanor of Aquitaine. But since the Medieval mind couldn't accept that a woman could do anything like that, not much was written about her.

1270- Prince Edward of England leaves Dover for his Crusade. Nobody had pointed out to Eddie that the Crusades were pretty much over and done with by then.

1772- A volcanic eruption destroyed Papandayan Java, killing 3,000.

1860 – The nation's 1st successful silver mill opened in Virginia City, Nevada.

1866 - World's 1st roller skating rink opens (Newport RI)

1874 - Harry S. Parmelee patents the sprinkler head.

1896 - Harvey Hubbell patents electric light bulb socket with a pull chain.

1908- The Hearst syndicate press published a story today that Annie Oakley was destitute, and was arrested in Chicago trying to buy cocaine from a black man! The story was a phony. The woman arrested was a burlesque dancer who had previously impersonated Annie Oakley. The real Annie Oakley, one of the first big media stars, spent the next 6 years suing 55 newspapers. She won all but one lawsuit.

1909-The first S.O.S.-'Save Our Ship' Morse signal sent by the liner S.S. Arapahoe off Cape Hatteras North Carolina.

1932- The original Rin Tin Tin died. The German shepherd dog was the first animal movie star. Legend was he was rescued from a WWI battlefield by a doughboy named Lee Duncan who called him "Rinty". Later in Hollywood they said he was more spoiled than any human star. Before sound he was the mainstay of struggling little Warner Bros studio. Jack Warner called him “our little rent check.”
In 1967 Warner also admitted they had bred 16 duplicate dogs in case anything happened to him.

1934- The Mickey Mouse cartoon The Orphan’s Benefit. The first cartoon where Donald Duck lost his temper and did his fighting stance, and they started calling Dippy Dog by his new name- The Goof, or Goofy.

1942- Off the coast of Malta, the German U-Boat U-73 torpedoed and sank HMS Eagle, one of the world’s first aircraft carriers.

1942- A U.S. Patent was granted to Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr for her radio-guided torpedo. It was ignored in her time, but many years later the principles became the basis of Spread Spectrum Technology, revolutionizing wireless communications.

1944- THE FALAISE GAP- It took weeks for the Anglo-American armies to fight their way up from the Normandy beachhead. The allies began an encircling movement around the German armies forbidden by Hitler to pull back and maneuver. When wiser Generals like Rommel and Von Runstedt advised retreat, Hitler replaced them. Now their successor General Von Kluge finally made Hitler understand he was being surrounded. This day Hitler gave permission for a general withdrawal. Still, fifteen thousand trapped German troops in Falaise surrendered. The German retreat became a fighting rout across France, Belgium and Holland. Anglo Americans liberated hundreds of kilometers a day, and easily captured World War I battlefields their fathers bled for. The Allied advance wasn’t stopped until the Rhine was reached in October.

1946- Playwright Moss Hart married Miss America Kittie Carlisle.

1949- Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With the Wind" was hit by a taxicab crossing Peachtree Street in Atlanta, and died 5 days later. Her last request was for her husband to burn the original manuscript of Gone With The Wind, which he did. Once accused of being a racist, it came out later Mitchell quietly paid for scholarships for dozens of black students to attend medical school and become doctors.

1954- Formal peace treaties signed between French Colonial forces and Communist Viet Minh ending 7 1/2 years of war.

1956- Abstract Artist Jackson Pollack died when he drunkenly crashed his car into a tree near East Hampton Long Island. He was 44.

1957- The Toyota Car Company of Japan introduces itself to the United States with a car called the Toyopet. It's first years sales are so bad, they almost gave up on the U.S.

1960- Chad declared its independence.

1962- Actor Sir Lawrence Olivier founded the National Theatre in London.

1965- BURN, BABY, BURN- THE WATTS RIOTS- 6 days of urban warfare began when an angry crowd attacked some LAPD apprehending a black motorist named Marquette Frye. 34 deaths, 1000 injured. Similar riots erupted in a number of U.S. cities that year including Detroit, Newark and Washington D.C.

1972- San Antonio Texas holds its first annual Cheech & Chong Day.

1975- The Indonesian Army invaded East Timor, ostensibly to end a Civil War, but they stayed until 2009 after the final defeat of the rebel Tamil Tigers.

1984- COLD WAR CHUCKLES- President Ronald Reagan was asked to do some sound checks for a nationwide radio address. He said into the mike: "Today we have passed legislation that will ban Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes..." The joke got out to the press and didn't do much to calm new cold war tensions.

1995- The Walt Disney short Runaway Brain, featuring Mickey Mouse, premiered.

1997- LA police wrestle down and arrest actor Christian Slater. They encountered him in a drug-induced delirium, shouting “The Germans are coming to kill us all!”

2001-First day shooting on the film Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou.

2002- The Parliament of the Republic of Turkmenestahn passed a bill renaming the months of the year for their President Saparmurat Niyazov the Turkmenbashi- Father of all the Turkmen. Mr Niyazov had ruled the country since he was appointed Communist Party chief in 1985 when it was still part of the Soviet Union. He was made president for life in 1999.
He quickly developed a cult of personality, suppressing legitimate political opposition. Much of the cash for grandiose palaces and statues is thought to stem from deals involving Turkmenistan's rich oil and gas reserves. He has also issued a decree officially extending adolescence until the age of 25 and postponing old age officially until age 85. Saparmurat Niyazov died in 2006.

2014- Comedian Robin Williams committed suicide in his San Francisco home. He had been battling depression over a diagnosis of early onset Parkinson’s disease. He was 63.
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Yesterdays Quiz: There was an old Scottish song titled “ Roaming in the Gloaming”. What is gloaming?

Answer: Gloaming is the term for the last hour of sunset, the last warm golden light of day.


August 10, 2020
August 10th, 2020

Quiz: There was an old Scottish song titled “ Roaming in the Gloaming”. What is gloaming?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who were Olsen & Johnson?
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History for 8/10/2020
Birthdays: Alexander Glauzunov, Billie Holiday, Eddie Fisher, Leo Fender, Herbert Hoover, Polish King Jan III Sobieski, Norma Shearer, Rhonda Fleming, Jimmy Dean, Justin Theroux, Rosanna Arquette is 61, Antonio Banderas is 60

70 AD - JERUSALEM DESTROYED BY THE ROMANS- After a prolonged siege, the Roman legions of Vespasian and Titus break into the city and crush the Jewish Zealot revolt with great slaughter. The cedar panels and muslin curtains of the Great Temple of Herod caught fire and the entire temple was destroyed but for an outer building retaining wall, known thereafter as the Wailing Wall.

70AD - One mystery about the destruction of Jerusalem is the disappearance of the ARK OF THE CONVENANT, which was taken from the Great Temple of Herod by the Romans and kept as a treasure in Rome. Some say it was carried off by the Goths when Rome fell four hundred years later and buried with their king Alaric. Another legend said a Christian Roman Emperor named Valerian returned the Ark to Jerusalem but the Moslems sacked the monastery it was hidden in. Still another said it is supposedly in Ethiopia guarded for life by a family of Orthodox monks who keep it in a temple hewn out of rock, with one door and one key.

256 AD- St. Lawrence's day. He was the Saint whose emblem is the grill he was roasted on. Supposedly he showed his contempt for his torturers efforts by saying:" I think I'm done on this side." The Perseid Meteor Shower occurs around this time. It has been called the Burning Tears of Saint Lawrence.

1415- King Henry V of England and his army embarked from Dover to cross the Channel and kick some serious French butt!

1492- Cardinal Roderigo Borgia elected Pope, despite openly keeping his children Caesar and Lucretia Borgia. He promised so many bribes to the other cardinals that humorists make jokes comparing him to Christ giving his worldly riches to the poor. When asked what his Papal name would be he replied “by the name of the Invincible Alexander”, who was not even a Christian. So Pope Alexander VI it was.

1536- CANADA GETS ITS NAME-French explorer Cartier discovered a great river on St. Lawrence's Day, which he calls the St. Lawrence River. Cartier asks the Huron people "what people lived upstream?". They replied people who work with red copper, in their language" Caignetdaze". Cartier recorded in his log, the land "Chemin de Canada".

1557- Battle of San Quentin. King Henry II of France thought to see if the new young king of Spain Phillip II was as tough as his predecessor Charles V was. Phillip’s armies beat the French in this battle and threatened Paris before all sued for peace.

1628- Swedish King Gustavus built a huge battleship called the Vasa. In front of the whole court he launched it into a fjord and it immediately sank to the bottom. Doh!
333 years later it was brought up, and today is a nice attraction in a Stockholm museum.

1629- Spanish painter Diego Velasquez traveled to Italy to study the Renaissance Masters on the advice of his buddy, painter Peter Paul Rubens.

1675 - King Charles II lays foundation stone of Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

1680- THE GREAT PUEBLO INDIAN REVOLT. In Spanish New Mexico the Pueblo, Zuni, Hopi, Acoma and eastern Apache had had enough of Spanish colonists and their Christianity. A Pueblo leader named Pope' coordinated a simultaneous attack timed by giving each chief a rope with the days marked off with knots. Today the last knot was untied and the Indians attacked the Spaniards from all sides. 500 out of 2,000 Europeans were killed and the churches and town of Santa Fe burned. The Madonna brought from Valencia Spain called La Conquistadora was riddled with arrows, the marks of which you can still see today. The Spaniards retreated back to Old Mexico, but returned in force 13 years later.

1787- Mozart completes his Eine Kleine Nachtmusik -A Little Night Music.

1788- Mozart’s on a roll! This day he completed his Jupiter Symphony #41. It was his last symphony. He never heard it performed in his lifetime.

1792- The FRENCH REVOLUTION HEATS UP. Since the fall of the Bastille two years earlier France and King Louis XVI had tried to work as a constitutional monarchy guided by the Marquis de Lafayette. But Louis only played for time while negotiating with his royal relatives in Germany and Austria to send armies to help him put his peasants in their place.
By now the French nation had enough. Mobs stirred to anger by radicals like Danton and Marat marched on the Tuileries Palace demanding justice. The King Louis XVI's Swiss bodyguard opened fire on them. The enraged peasants tore the guards to pieces and looted the palace, sticking soldier's ears on the kings desk. The king and queen tried to escape out the back door but were grabbed by the mob. A flag was made from a Swiss red uniform coats- the very first Red Flag of Revolution. Lafayette later fled into exile and was imprisoned.
Standing in the street watching all this was a young unemployed lieutenant named Napoleon Bonaparte. He later wrote that if King Louis had the nerve to appear on a horse at the head of his supporters he could have triumphed.
Napoleons conclusion: " Quel connard!”- “What an asshole!"

1821- Missouri became a state. The first American state on the west bank of the Mississippi.

1867- Rather than put up with his pushy Secretary of War any longer, President Andrew Johnson asks for Edwin Stanton's resignation. Stanton (who formed the first American Secret Service and as a lawyer invented the "temporary insanity" plea) not only refused, he barricaded himself in his office and his partisans in the former Lincoln cabinet began impeachment proceedings against President Johnson.

1889 - Dan Rylands patented the screw -on cap.

1897 -German chemists working for the Bayer Company invent Aspirin, the first mass market over the counter drug. A powdered willow tree root that was known to the Native Americans for years. The Romans ground willow root and dissolved it in water for pain.

1913-The Treaty of Bucharest signed ending the Second Balkan War. Bulgaria was beat up by Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania over the territory they all took from Turkey.

1921- After a long day of physical exercise, Franklin D. Roosevelt told his family “ I feel funny. I’m going to bed.” He went to sleep and in the morning discovered he could no longer walk because of polio. He never walked on his own ever again.

1928- Calvin Coolidge dedicated the cornerstone of the monument at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. The last time a President of the United States rode a horse to attend an official event.

1942- HALELIEUYAH NIGHT- The Marines in the jungles of Guadalcanal were tensely awaiting a night attack by the Japanese. They convinced each other that because Japanese attempting to speak English have trouble pronouncing the letter “L”, all passwords should contain them. So when a few Korean slave laborers straggled into the camp perimeter, the alarmed Marines, thinking the attack had started, yelled to each other : “LOLLYPOP! LAPLAND! LOLLAPALOOZA!”

1945- After Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings a third atomic pile was delivered to Tinian island air base to be assembled into one more A-bomb. But it's dropping was canceled by President Truman. He told his aide Dean Acheson: "Another 100,000 people...I can't see killing any more kids." The military had plans for three more atomic bombings in September and three more in October before the land invasion of Kyushu on Nov. 2nd.

1945- Even after the two atomic bomb attacks the Japanese cabinet is still deadlocked 3 - 3 on whether to surrender. Prime minister Suzuki still thought he could get Russia to negotiate separately -Stalin had just declared war and sent troops to invade Manchuria and the Kurile islands. War minister Korechika Anami said the national honor demanded a final battle on the home soil:" Wouldn't it be wonderful to see all of Japan destroyed… like a beautiful flower!"
The impasse was broken by Emperor Hirohito, who broke with tradition and personally intervened "The time has come to bear the unbearable". Next morning a note requesting negotiations based on Japan's acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration was sent to the Swiss and Swedish consulates. Anami committed suicide.

1948 – Allen Funt's "Candid Camera" TV debut on ABC.

1964- Near Ely, Nevada the U.S. Forrest Service cut down a Bristlecone Pine that scientists thought to be the oldest living thing- 4,900 years old.

1966 - Daylight meteor seen from Utah to Canada. Only known case of a meteor seen
entering Earth's atmosphere & leaving it again.

1966- Murderer James French was sent to the electric chair by the state of Oklahoma. He joked; How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? FRENCH FRIES!

1969- The night after Charles Manson’s cultists murdered actress Sharon Tate, they attacked another Los Angeles home at random. They murdered attorney Leo and Rosemary LaBianca on Waverly Drive in the neighborhood of Los Feliz.

1970 - Jim Morrison is charged in Miami on "lewd & lascivious behavior"

1972 - Paul & Linda McCartney are arrested in Sweden on drug possession.

1973 –San Francisco’s first BART train travels through the transbay tube to Montgomery St Station.

1978- Ford announces a recall of it's Pinto series car after tests prove when bumped from behind the auto’s gas tank explodes into flames.

1979- Britain's first official nudist beach opened at Brighton.

1981- The animated movie Heavy Metal opened in theaters.

1983- Discovery of the Vega Galaxy. This was the first physical proof of a planetary system outside our Milky Way.

1984- Famed New Yorker cartoonist and former Disney artist Virgil “Vip” Partch died in a car crash with his wife, outside of Valencia, California.

1987- Clara Peller, the elderly actress who gained last minute advertising fame by saying Where's the Beef? died at 86. The director and writer of the spots was the father of J.J. Sedelmier, who created the Ambiguously Gay Duo and other TV Funhouse animations for SNL.

2001- Warner Bros film Osmosis Jones opened in general theaters.

2019- Jeffrey Epstein was a Wall St. financier who on the side ran an upscale prostitution ring. He even had his own pleasure island in the Caribbean where Princes, Presidents and CEOs could molest underage girls as young as 14. He finally was arrested and kept at the downtown Manhattan men’s detention center. Before he could reveal any of his clients names, this night he committed suicide. Although on a suicide-watch, the two guards assigned to watch him just happened to be missing, and the 24 hr camera on him just happened to be turned off.
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Quiz: Who were Olsen & Johnson?

Answer: They were a top vaudeville comedy duo whose act was made into the film Hellzapoppin. There specialty was a madcap style where anything could happen. But decades later they didn’t seem to have the staying power of The Marx Bros or The Three Stooges.


Aug 9, 2020
August 9th, 2020

Quiz: Who were Olsen & Johnson?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What was the name of Donald Trump’s dog?
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History for 8/9/2020
Birthdays: King Henry V of England, John Dryden, Sir Issac Walton-author of the Compleat Angler, Melanie Griffith, Whitney Houston, David Steinberg, Bob Cousy, Jill St. John, Robert Shaw, Robert Aldrich, Sam Elliot is 76, Gillian Anderson is 52, Pamela Travers –the creator of Mary Poppins, Marvin Minsky, Eric Bana is 54, Audrey Tautou is 44, Philippe Bergeron is 61

Today was the ancient Egyptian festival of Opet, when they carried the statue of Amon-Ra, to the temple of his wife the goddess Mut for their annual conjugal visit. Because it happened during a full moon, the other name for the festival was the Honeymoon, the origin of the term.

117 AD- In the city of Selinus in Cilicia, the Roman Emperor Trajan died of a stroke at age 64. He died without leaving an acknowledged heir. This day Trajan’s widow the Empress Plotina and several leading senators read out a document that declared that before his death Trajan had adopted his leading general Hadrian, and intended him to be his successor. Whether this was true or not was immaterial, since Hadrian already had the legions behind him.

378A.D. HADRIANOPLE- The "Custer's Last Stand' of the Roman Empire.
The Emperor Valens and his legions were wiped out by a horde of Goths led by Fritigern the Visigoth. This battle is considered the last battle of the ancient world and the beginning of the Medieval superiority of armored horsemen -which was the way the Goths fought. Valens co-emperor Valentinian gave him the Empire of the East because it was the easier of the two theaters and Valentinian was confident even a dummy like Valens couldn't mess it up. The migration of Germanic peoples into western Europe we call the Barbarian Invasions, they called more poetically "Die Volkvanderung-the Wandering of the People".

1378-THE GREAT SCHISM- French Cardinals escaped from the mobs in Rome met in France and declared the election of their last Pope, Urban VI the Wild Man of Naples, invalid. This because they did it under fear of the Italian mobs killing them. They now declared Robert of Geneva new Pope Clement VII. This caused a split in the Christian world, some supporting Urban and some Clement. Urban had one rebellious cardinal sewn into a sack and thrown down a well. The Holy Roman Emperor tried to solve the problem by declaring both Popes deposed and nominating his own man. So then there were three popes. By the time this mess was solved many common Europeans began to wonder if it was a wise to have one man be head of the Church at all.

1588- Queen Elizabeth I visited the camp at Tilbury to inspect the troops that would defend England from invasion by the Spanish Armada. The Armada had been driven off ten days ago but they were still somewhere in English waters, so it still seemed like a good idea to visit. She thrilled the troops by delivering the most famous speech of her career: “ I know that I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, Aye, and of a King of England too!”

1854- Henry David Thoreau published “Walden”, the first great work about nature conservation.

1877- THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA. Explorer Henry Morton Stanley reaches the Atlantic Coast after a 999 day trek across the middle of African continent from Zanzibar. He proved there were no unscalable "Mountains of the Moon" barring the way.
Stanley (an illegitimate Welshman who had found Dr. Livingston in 1871) had declared his expedition to be a charting of the Congo and Lualaba Rivers and to prove Specke's theory that the source of the Nile was Lake Victoria- Nyanza. In fact it was the starting pistol for the great European Colonial powers to begin dividing up Central Africa: England took Sudan, Nigeria and Uganda, France took Chad and Senegal, Italy to Ethiopia, Germany into Tanganyika and Belgium took the Congo. Up to this point African expeditions were small affairs of a missionary or scientist asking permission of a local chief with gifts. Stanley blasted his way across the jungle with a small army, being furiously attacked by 27 separate Bantu tribes whose territory he violated. His men mowed them down with repeating rifles and cannon. "The blacks do give us an immense amount of trouble"- he wrote. The Dinka people of Sudan call it "the Time when the World was Spoiled."

1910 - Alva Fisher patents the electric washing machine.

1919- The first story of Zorro appeared in All Story Weekly magazine. Created by Johnstom McCulley.

1929- Hollywood theater mogul Alexander Pantages was convicted of assaulting a young woman in a broom closet. The conviction was later overturned. The young woman, Eunice Pringle, later admitted that Joe Kennedy, who was trying to buy out Pantages' theatre chain for his RKO, paid her $10,000 to falsely accuse Pantages of rape. It was the first successful defense case of attorney Jerry Geisler, who became famous for getting movie stars and other Hollywood elites out of trouble with the law. The word in the studios when a movie star was naughty was “Get me Geisler!”

1930- Max Fleischer's cartoon "Dizzy Dishes" introduces Betty Boop. A singing star named Helen Kane sued Fleischer claiming that they stole her distinctive Boop-Ooop-a-Doop from her, but the case was thrown out when it was revealed Kane had stolen it herself from another singer. Betty was supposed to be a dog character to match her male counterpart Bimbo. But Animator Grim Natwick had done a lot of drawing of girls in Paris and New York and turned the character into a saucy little flapper.

1936- Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics. Host head of state Adolph Hitler refused to shake hands with him.

1941- One of the more legendary British air aces in the Battle of Britain was Wing Commander Douglas Bader. He was all the more novel because he was had no legs. This day Bader’s spitfire was shot down by the Luftwaffe over Belgium. Bader bailed out and was captured. But the German pilots were so impressed with this handicapped ace that they treated him like a rock star, touring him around airfields where other pilots could wine and dine him. Bader’s tin legs were damaged when his plane went down so the RAF dropped a substitute pair over a German airfield for him. But later as a POW he tried so many times to escape, the German commandant of his prison camp took away his legs. “I wish all my prisoners were so easily manageable.”

1942- The premiere of Walt Disney’s Bambi.

1942- After the US Naval defeat at Savo Island off Guadalcanal Admiral Jack Fletcher worried about the safety of his carrier fleet. There were still superior Japanese naval forces and land based attack planes in the area. He decided to pull back his fleet leaving the Marines on Guadalcanal stranded with just a 17 day food supply and the Japanese army massing to attack. Admiral Nimitz replaced Fletcher with a more aggressive Admiral, Bull Halsey.

1944- Antoine Du Saint-Exupery, the author of the Little Prince, died when he crashed his fighter plane. He was not shot down by the Germans, just wasn’t a very good pilot. The main protagonist of The Little Prince was an aviator who crashed his plane.

75 Years Ago-1945- NAGASAKI- the second Atomic Bomb "Fat Man" was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Nagasaki was the second choice target. The first Kokura, was so fogged in scientists couldn't study the bomb's effect. The B-29 bomber "Boxcar” was plagued by a violent thunderstorm, and they wasted precious fuel searching for their target. When they made it back to base after the 14 hour flight two of their four engines had run out of gas. 70,000 people were killed.

1945- At the same time President Harry Truman was reporting to Congress and the nation about his plan for post war Germany. He said among other things, that it was vital for democracy in Germany to break up the huge centralized corporations, and foster the rights of workers to form unions. Hmmm…we could use a plan like that in the US today….

1947 -The British government in an attempt to bolster revenue for their shattered postwar economy, announced a 300% import tariff on Hollywood films. The Big Eight-Hollywood studios retaliate by stopping the export of movies to Britain. The British film industry has a heyday and Disney starts producing films locally in Britain like 'Rob Roy Highland Rogue' and such.

1960- Near Cuernavaca Mexico, Harvard professor Timothy Leary took some magic mushrooms and experienced his first hallucinogenic trip. He called it “ a conversion.”

1961- Marvel creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first introduced their superhero team The Fantastic Four comic book. (Its dated today, but may have come out in November)

1963 – Britain’s rock & roll TV show, Ready Steady Go, premieres.

1967- Joe Orton, English actor/playwright (Leaf, Murdered), died at age 34.

1969- HELTER SKELTER- Charles Manson's cultists murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate and several houseguests of her husband/director Roman Polanski. One other guest killed was socialite Jay Sebring, who made cocaine fashionable and invented the 1970's blow-dry hair style for men. A Polish tourist named Woijech Frykowski who had the misfortune to be visiting that night was shot twice, bludgeoned and stabbed 51 times. Kill the Pigs was scrawled on the wall in blood. Charles Manson had a messianic concept that he could lead the Apocalypse devolving out of a race war if his followers first killed celebrities to advertise their cause. Manson had a hit list that included Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Liz Taylor. The California spawned Hippy-Flower-Child culture lost it’s innocent fun after Manson.

1974- After signing his resignation, Richard Nixon left the Presidency of the United States in disgrace. New President Gerald Ford of whom Lyndon Johnson once said "Sometimes I think Jerry played football once too often with his helmet off" was sworn in.

1975- Hurricane Belle destroyed the gulf coast.

1993- Heidi Fleiss, The” Hollywood Madam” arraigned for prostitution. The film community shuddered when she threatened to reveal the names of her clients in her “black book”. Most were suppressed except actors Charlie Sheen and Sean Penn who admitted as much early on. Fleiss wrote a memoir called “Pandering” and still thinks prostitution is an honorable profession. “I ran an 85% cash business.”

1995- Rocker Jerry Garcia died, the Grateful Dead broke up.

1995- THE HIGH TECH BUBBLE- Netscape first appeared on the stock market. The 15 month old company started by a Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark and a 22 year old college senior Marc Andreesen immediately shot up to $1.07 billion dollars in value. This IPO signaled the beginning of the gold rush in high tech stocks which five years later came crashing down as violently. Stocks like Lucent Technology, which sold at $84 dollars a share in 1998, dropped to .39 cents a share in 2001.

1997- NYPD cops of the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn drag an African immigrant named Abner Louima into a washroom. There they roughed him up and shoved a bathroom plunger stick up his butt. After several trials, the policemen were all acquitted.
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Quiz: What was the name of Donald Trump’s dog?

Answer: Donald Trump never owned any pets. He is the first president since James K. Polk to have no pets.


August 8, 2020
August 8th, 2020

Quiz: What was the name of Donald Trump’s dog?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is scrimshaw?
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History for 8/8/2020
Birthdays: Emiliano Zapata. Esther Williams, Gene Deitch, Dino DeLaurentis, Keith Carradine is 70, Rory Calhoun, Mel Tillis, Martin Brest, Peter Weir, Connie Stevens, Patricia Arquette, Dustin Hoffman is 82, Mamoru Oshii is 69, Robert Mueller

1143- Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus was killed in a hunting accident, when a poisoned arrow sitting in his own quiver scratched his leg. I don't know who hunts with poisoned arrows, but that's Byzantine politics for you.
1170- The birth of St. Dominic- Dominic was a Spanish zealot who wanted to preach to pagans, but the Pope sent him to south France to try and re-convert the Albigensian heretics, who were all former Catholics. After ten years of fasting, begging and praying his legendary summary of his efforts was:" Someone should take a stick to those people!" The Holy Office of the Inquisition was later administered by Dominicans.
Saint Dominic is reputed to have said “Nothing Cleans like Fire.”

1502 – King James II of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, the sister of English King Henry VII. Their child was Mary Queen of Scots. Her child James would be selected by Queen Elizabeth to succeed her as king of The United Kingdom.
1588- THE GREAT PROTESTANT WIND- Most of the Spanish Armada was not destroyed by the English Navy, but by a huge North Sea storm that hit them off the coast of Northern Ireland. This is why if you want to view relics of the great Spanish galleons don't go to Cadiz, go to the Museum of Belfast. Supposedly the thousands of Spanish and Italian sailors marooned on the Irish coast intermarried with the Irish population, who weren't enamored of the English either. They created the racial strain Black Irish, or Celts with milk white skin and black hair and eyes.
1662- We all have heard of how England captured New Amsterdam and named it New York, well on this date Dutch Admiral Van Tromp came back with a bigger Dutch fleet and took it back. He renamed New York "New Orange". But it didn't stick, and after the peace treaty of Utrecht was signed, New York went back to the English. New Yorkers didn't really much care so long as it didn't affect their business.

1709 - 1st known ascent in hot-air balloon indoors by Bartolomeu de Gusmao. 1811- THE IRON CROSS- Before medals common soldiers were rewarded for bravery with a few gold coins. George Washington and Napoleon made medals things soldiers competed of. General Gerhard von Gneisenau urged the King of Prussia to create a medal like the French Legion d'Honneur that all ranks in the German Army might aspire to. At first the sulky King was against anything that led soldiers to believe they were better than the common schweinhund he felt they were, but he finally was made to give in. The new medal was based on the heraldic symbol of the Crusader order of the Teutonic Knights, a black cross formed by four arrowheads. The "Iron Cross" medal was created. Goths, Surfers and Hells Angels rejoiced.

1818- 22 year old English poet John Keats returned from a trip to the Lakes District only to discover the first signs of the tuberculosis that would kill him.

1876 - Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph, a forerunner of the Xerox process. 1918- During World War I, this was the Breakout at Amiens, to the Germans "Der Schwarz Tag" The Black Day. The British mass 500 newfangled tanks, and burst through the German front line trenches, impregnable for four years. For the first time since Napoleon, the German army was on the run. But with their typical shortsightedness, the British commanders were so surprised by their success, they halted the attack to analyze it. Yet, master strategist Eric von Ludendorf now knew the Great War was kaput, and the best Germany could hope for was to negotiate a decent peace with the Allies.

1920- The German National Socialist -NSDP or Nazi Party formed.

1925- The National Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan staged a massive march in Washington D.C. Twenty thousand white hooded members of the Invisible Nation marched down Pennsylvania Ave. in broad daylight. It was the height of Klan influence in American politics. Soon scandal, corruption and public revulsion of their violent methods would help break them down.
It was said the FBI had half the Klan informing on the other half. In 1944 they re-formed themselves from a national organization to regional cells.

1942- THE BATTLE OF SAVO ISLAND- The US and Australian Navy suffer the worst defeat of the Pacific War since Pearl Harbor. In the waters between Guadalcanal and Tulagi Islands, the Japanese warships of Admiral Murayama attacked the Americans and Australians at 1:30AM in a spectacular surface night battle. Four American and one Australian cruiser were sunk. The only Japanese ship sunk was done afterwards by a roving US submarine completely unaware of the battle. The Japanese ships slipped in and out under American air cover. One reconnaissance PBY Catalina plane actually spotted the enemy battle fleet early. But instead of radioing an alarm, he casually continued on his patrol and back at his base he filed a routine report in writing!

1944 - Smokey the Bear, named after NYC fireman Smokey Joe Martin born. 1945- Two days after the Hiroshima bombing, the Soviet Union declared war on the Japan and began landing troops in Manchuria, Korea and the northern Kurile Islands. The Japanese cabinet had hoped to avoid a total unconditional surrender by first negotiating a separate peace with Stalin, then using him to force a deal with the Anglo-Americans. But Stalin had his own ideas. Even today with Stalin dead and Communism long gone, the Russians still won’t give back the Kuriles.
1960 – Brian Hyland’s song "Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Yellow Polka-dot Bikini" hits #1.

1963 – THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY- In Buckinghamshire England a small group of masked men stopped the London to Glasgow express and stole 2.6 million pound sterling, about $7.3 million U.S.. English police netted most of the gang, but the ringleader Ronald Biggs escaped. Biggs lived well in Rio de Janiero for 38 years and gave frequent interviews to British media. Old and sick, he finally returned to England and jail in 2001. “I just want one more pint in a pub” he sighed.

1963 – The Kingsmen released the song "Louie, Louie". Many labeled it obscene, although no one is quite sure just what the song lyrics mean. In the 1980s Northwestern University staged Louie-Louie Marathons- 44 straight hours of Louie-Louie, played by punk bands, polka bands, marching bands, folk trios, and singing water glasses.

1964 - Rolling Stones 1st Dutch concert.
1973-Vice President Spiro Agnew vows not to resign. He resigned shortly afterwards.

1974 – KNEEL WITH ME, HENRY. Richard Nixon decided to resign the U.S. Presidency, after Senators Howard Baker and Barry Goldwater informed him his last supporting congressmen on the Senate Impeachment Committee intended to change their vote to yes for impeachment. Insiders say his last call before making up his mind was to Dixiecrat George Wallace, who told the President he could no longer count on the support of Southern white conservatives. Tonight he went on nationwide TV and told the nation.

1978- The character of Odie the dog first met Garfield in Jim Davis’ comic strip.

2008- Russia invaded Georgia. Part of the opening attack was a Russian Cyber-Attack, crashing all the websites and web communications in Georgia. Russian bombers also targeted cell phone towers. Estonia offered to keep the Georgian gov’t ministry channels open. Elderly senator John McCain declared “ We are all Georgians!” Even though no one asked him to, and it was not the policy of the USA.

2008- The Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony, using 20,000 performers. As director Zhang Yimou said “Hey, we’ve got the people…”
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Yesterday’s Question: What is scrimshaw?

Answer: In the Age of Sail, mariners would carve intricate designs on whale bone or shark teeth.


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