March 15, 2019
March 14th, 2019

Question: At 66 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II has surpassed Queen Victoria as the longest reigning British monarch. She has one more royal to catch. Who was the longest reigning monarch in European history?

Yesterday’s Question: “ I’m on the job, you big Nabob. You ain’t never had a friend like me!” What is a Nabob?
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History for 3/15/2019
Birthdays: Andrew Jackson, Lee Schubert-one of Broadways Shubert Brothers, Ry Cooder, Sly Stone, Harry James, Lightnin' Hopkins, Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, Judd Hirsch, Norm Van Brocklin, Sabu, Fabio, Reni Harlin, David Cronenburg is 76, Eva Longoria is 44, David Silverman

508BC-525AD- In the Roman Republic this was the traditional day the newly elected Consuls and Senate assumed their offices and began governing.

44 BC -BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH- While attending the first day of the new Senate, Roman dictator Gaius Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by radical senators beneath the statue of his old rival Pompey Magnus. Two of the murderers, Brutus and Cassius were former officers of Pompey to whom Caesar granted amnesty. Marcus Brutus was a descendant of Junius Brutus the founder of the Roman democracy. He was even rumored to have been Caesar's illegitimate son, since his mother Servilla had an affair with Jules.
Even though Caesar was stabbed 23 times, it still took him several hours to die, left lying alone on the floor. Unlike Shakespeare, Julius Caesar never said "Et Tu Brute'" Even you, Brutus? in Latin. His last words were the equivalent in Greek-"Touto kai teknon mou" which translates, "Even this my child?". Greek was to the Romans like French is to us.
At the time, Caesar was preparing a new campaign to attack Persia via Arabia Felix
(Saudi Arabia).

1079- The Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan assassinated by followers of his old Vizier, Nizam Al Mulk. The vizer had been killed by the Assassins, the original terrorists of the Islamic world, hired by Alp Arslan. Witness to all this was Omar Al Khayyam, poet, mathematician and astronomer. Legend said Alp Arslan had mustachios so long he had to pin them up on his turban so he could shoot his bow. Arslan’s successor was Gelalladin or the Malik Shah. His reign was considered the high point of Seljuk civilization.

1493- Columbus returned to Palo, Spain from his first voyage to America. The Santa Maria had broke up on reefs in America and Captain Pinzon had taken the Pinta on ahead to take credit for himself, or so Columbus worried. He himself got home in the little bark the Nina and at one point had to put in at a Portuguese port where he and his men were impounded for a few days. Captain Pinzon did reach home first, but fortunately King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella refused to listen to him. When Pinzon got his own voyage to the New World, all the attention was on his navigator- Amerigo Vespucci.

1517-Pope Leo X was left a full treasury by his predecessor Pope Julius II. But being a major party animal he quickly blew it all. This day he decided to pay his bills by ordering a new campaign to sell indulgences. Indulgences were sort of "after-life insurance" By paying a donation the bearer could be forgiven some sins and time in Purgatory. Leo extended it to forgive sins you may intend to commit in the future. You could also buy a reprieve to someone already dead. When this refinance scheme reached Germany it was the provocation that sent Martin Luther to pin up his 95 Theses challenging the authority of Rome and start the Reformation.

1582-WILLIAM OF ORANGE ASSASSINATED. The Spanish Viceroy of the Netherlands the Duke of Parma didn’t know how to cope with the Dutch Independence movement led by William of Orange, also called William the Silent. They defeated him in battle but they could never capture him or destroy his forces. Finally Parma came up with a solution. He published a decree declaring William "A criminal and outcast from God and Society" That anyone who killed William would receive 25,000 gold pieces and be made a noble. Such a deal!
Within three days a man shot William in the head, but he recovered. Then a year later this day Belgian Bartholomew Girard shot William three times and killed him. Girard was executed, but his family received the reward, and his severed head was displayed in Cologne Cathedral like a holy relic. For year afterwards and German Catholics tried to get Girard made a saint. William of Orange was dead but his 12 children carried on the fight for Dutch Independence and his family still rules Holland today.

1780- BATTLE OF GUILFORD COURTHOUSE, Virginia. Colonial General Nathaniel Greene battled British Lord Cornwallis to a draw but Cornwallis had to withdraw to Yorktown for supplies. At one point Cornwallis ordered his artillery to fire into his own redcoats to get through to the rebels- not exactly a great morale booster. Back in London, Sir Horace Walpole remarked: " Lord Cornwallis has conquered. He has conquered his troops out of shoes and provisions, and conquered himself out of troops."

1781-THE NEWBURGH CONSPIRACY- The closest the United States ever came to a military dictatorship. George Washington's officers were fed up with the indecision of their bankrupt Congress. The Revolutionary War was over, but the army hadn’t been paid in months. Like Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army in Britain a century before, there were loud calls to march on the Congress and chuck the rascals out! They talked of establishing a junta of generals to run the United States! But what of their commander? The ringleaders assured: "we can handle the old man."
This day General Washington called a staff meeting at his HQ at Newburgh, New Jersey and faced down his angry troops. He appealed for understanding and patriotism. Tears were shed when he put on his spectacles, implying he'd broken his health and had aged prematurely in the service of his country. He was only 49, yet he looked much older. That won them over. George Washington not only wasn’t "handled", but convinced his sulky soldiers to go back their farms peacefully, paid with nothing but a paper IOU.

1782- The English House of Commons, fed up with his bungling of the American Revolution and the heavy-handed style of Lord North’s government, voted the first ever vote of no-confidence. The Lord North government resigned five days later.

1820- Maine became a state.

1865- Confederate Guerrilla Sue Mundy was hanged in Kentucky. Long haired soldier Jerome Clark once got drunk, and for a gag his buddies put him in a dress and declared him Queen of the May. Instead of being insulted, Clark liked dressing like a woman, and ravaged the countryside as the guerrilla leader Sue Mundy. Until the Yankees caught him no one was quite sure whether he was a man or woman.

1869-The Cincinnati Red Stockings become the first professional baseball team. Players had been taking payments under the table for years to concentrate on their skills, now it was out in the open. Still some newspapers accused them of being "Shiftless young men debasing the game with their greed."

1890- Kaiser Wilhelm II forced Chancellor Otto von Bismarck into retirement and decided to run Germany himself. Bismarck "the Old Pilot" who had unified Germany had set up a highly centralized autocracy that he ran from behind the throne. His relations with the other statesmen like Disraeli assured Europe had thirty years of complete peace. He never imagined he would be sacked by the young, emotionally unstable grandson of his old friend Wilhelm I.

1892- The first voting machines in the US went into service. After 1972 metal voting machines were phased out in favor of the cheaper punch card system but the controversy over presidential elections fraud continues to cause new change.

1909- Harry Gordon Selfridge, formerly manager of Chicago’s Marshal Fields, opened Selfridges, London’s first Department Store. Selfridge invented the Bargain Basement, the Annual Sale, and the motto “ The Customer is Always Right.”

1913- President Woodrow Wilson held the first presidential news conference.

1915- Universal Studios formed. Carl Laemmele bought a huge track of Burbank farmland and set up his studio. Laemmele had wooden bleachers built next to the movie sets where he charged people a nickel to come watch the filming. He used so many of his relatives in production that Ogden Nash quipped: "Carl Laemmele has a very large Faemmele." Universal actually had been operating as a film company since 1912 but the company counts today as its birthday.

1917-CZAR NICHOLAS II ABDICATED THE THRONE OF RUSSIA with a note scribbled in pencil. He had tried to abdicate in favor of his younger brother Archduke Michael as regent for his son Alexis, and save the dynasty. But Michael wanted none of it and the revolutionary forces tearing at Russian society. He ignored his pleas. After 303 years, the Romanov Dynasty was at an end.

1919- American veterans of World War I founded a veteran’s society on the model of the Civil War’s vets Grand Army of the Republic. They called it the American Legion.

1929- Scarface Al Capone was called before a Chicago grand jury to explain his involvement in the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Big Al’s alibi was he was in Key Biscayne Florida at the time having lunch with the Dade County prosecutor. They couldn’t pin nothing on him and no one was ever charged with the massacre.

1933- Young animator Chuck Jones first hired at Leon Schlesingers Looney Tunes cartoon studio.

1941- The daughter of Cecil B. DeMille, Katherine DeMille, had married actor Anthony Quinn. This day tragedy struck the family. On a visit to Cecil B.’s estate the couple’s three year old son Christopher walked off into neighbor W.C. Fields yard where he fell into Fields unsupervised swimming pool and drowned. The parents were so shattered they divorced afterward. Anthony Quinn refused to talk about the rest of his long life. Fields was so depressed he had the pool filled in and landscaped so no reminder of the tragedy would remain.

1944- The DeHAVILAND CASE- A judge ruled actress Olivia DeHaviland free of her exclusive seven year personal contract to Warner Bros. For years movie stars like Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and James Cagney had been fighting in court the system of exclusive contracts the studios used to keep them under control. They had no choice in the type of films they did, no residuals, and studios could lend them out to other studios for higher fees, and keep the money.
If the actor complained they were put on disciplinary leave by the studio, without pay, and the penalty time added onto the end of their contract. Garbo called it the closest thing to White Slavery. Some contracts even ordered some stars not to get married for fear it would erode their sex appeal. The DeHaviland Case broke that system and allowed actors to make their own deals.

1956- Lerner & Lowe’s musical "My Fair Lady" premiered.

1956- The Sci Fi Classic Forbidden Planet premiered in theaters.

1962- The discovery of anti-matter.

1964- Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton, for the first time.

1964- The book The Feminist Mystique by Betty Freidan first published. The first major book to point out women were unhappy with their second class roles. And it coined the term Feminist.

1969- Worst clashes between Soviet Russia and Red China across their long mutual border. While the free world feared a monolithic global Communist conspiracy, the fact was the animosity between Russia and China got so bad it threatened to go nuclear.

During a lighter incident the Chinese People’s Liberation Army showed what they thought of their Russian comrades by lining up along a river bank, dropping their trousers, bending over and giving them a mass-mooning. The next time the Chinese did it the Russians were ready. As their butts went up the Russians held up portraits of Mao Tse Tung, the Chinese leader. The mooning stopped.

1969- Two young heirs to the Polident false Teeth Company and two hippy promoters announced a rock festival would be held that summer in the farm community of Woodstock New York.

1977- Television sitcom Threes Company debuted.

1979- Strange lights danced in the night skies over Phoenix Arizona from 8:30 pm until 11:00 pm. The military dismissed them as experimental flares but the duration and patterns seemed unusually long for mere flares. Was it a UFO light show?

1985- THE SAVINGS & LOAN SCANDALS- The Reagan White House’s policy of removing all business regulation played havoc within the savings & loan system. The problem became a public issue when this day Gov. Richard Celeste of Ohio suspended business in thrift banks in his state to stop the complete collapse of the system. One of the most underreported and little understood stories of the 1980’s was the cost of the Savings & Loan mess. It came out to be near $28 billion dollars, double the total cost to win World War II. Scores of crooked Savings & Loan execs like Charles Keating and Neil Bush accumulated vast fortunes, leaving you and I to pay the bills.

1985- Symbolic.com is assigned the first registered private domain site on the Internet.

2002- Blue Sky’s hit animated film Ice Age premiered.

2004- Cal Tech Scientists announce the discovery of Planet Xenia, the tenth planet orbiting our Sun, beyond Pluto. Some want to call it Sedna, an Inuit goddess who lived under the ice.

2012- The Syrian Civil War broke out. For over fifty years the Assad Family ruled Syria as absolute dictators. This day the reforming wave of the Arab Spring protests tried to bring about change, and was met with a brutal response, including chemical weapons. Further complicating the issue was that secular dictator Bashir al Assad was being challenged by rebels who were Muslim fundamentalists formed into a rogue state called ISIS. The US, Iran, Turkey, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia soon became embroiled.
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Yesterday’s Question: “ I’m on the job, you big Nabob. You ain’t never had a friend like me!” What is a Nabob?

Answer: A nabob was a wealthy Muslim official under the Moghul empire of India. Today it generally is used to describes an ostentatious rich person.


March 14, 2019
March 14th, 2019

Question: “ I’m on the job, you big Nabob. You ain’t never had a friend like me!”
What is a Nabob?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who wrote,” First they came for the Jews, But I did not speak out. Because I was not a Jew…”
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History for 3/14/2019
Birthdays: Georg Phillip Telemann, Johann Strauss Sr., Albert Einstein, Casey Jones, Quincy Jones is 85, astronaut Frank Borman, Les Brown, Hank Ketcham, Wolfgang Petersen, Diane Arbus, Chris Klein, Michael Cain born Maurice Mickelwhite is 86, Billy Crystal is 71

On the Roman religious calendar this was the Second Equirra, the Blessing of the Horses. The Romans had no weekly Sabbath day, but they had 154 feast days out of 366. Sorry about that deadline boss, but I have to go bless the Horses...

44BC –The night before their planned assassination, Brutus and Cassius met with the other conspirators. They had heard that tomorrow at the opening of the senate, outgoing consul Lucius Cotta planned to declare Julius Caesar their king.
The senators resolved to kill him, then debated whether they should then kill more of Caesars followers like Marc Anthony and Octavian. Marcus Brutus successfully argued that if they killed all their political enemies, then this gesture would just look like another partisan brawl. They would strike down one man, the dictator Caesar, in the name of Liberty, and all would respect the purity of their motives.
It turned out this was a big mistake, because the men whose lives they spared were the ones who hunted them down.

44BC- This same night Julius Caesar held a dinner party. Guests remembered at one point the conversation went to the topic-“What is the best kind of Death?” Caesar answered: " That which is quick and unexpected."

Today is also the Feast of Saint Matilda, wife of German Emperor Henry the Fowler and mother of Otto the Quarrelsome.

1590- Battle of Ivry- Henry IV defeated his political enemies and establishes the Bourbon Dynasty in France. The Bourbon family is still the Royal House of Spain and are rested and ready if France ever wants a monarchy again. Henry's motto was: "I make Love, I make War, and I Build." During the battle he was climbing a ladder up a windmill to get a better look, when a cannonball flew between his legs and smashed the ladder. It almost left him with two out of three...

1757- THE ADMIRAL WAS SHOT AT NOON- English Admiral of the Blue John Byng was shot by firing squad on the poopdeck of his own flagship, the HMS Monarch. He had lost a battle off Minorca to the French fleet so was court-martialed. The admiral was seen as a scapegoat for London's slow response to the enemy threat to Minorca. Byng had already been absolved by court martial of cowardice and treason. Even he wondered just why he was being executed. Pleas for mercy even came from his French opponent, the Marquis De Gallissoniere.
Years later whenever the Duke of Wellington or Lord Nelson was going through a bad stretch, they would wonder: " If I fail, they’ll probably shoot me like Byng..."

The writer Voltaire has his comic hero Candide entering Portsmouth Harbor, witnessing an admiral being shot. When he asks why, his English guide replies "It is good idea to shoot an admiral from time to time..."

1794- Eli Whitney patented the Cotton "Gin" short for engine. Some folks call this simple machine the beginning of American Industry. However it also revitalized the institution of Slavery, which had been dying out economically the way it had in Europe and the northern states. Suddenly huge fields needed hundreds of laborers to pick cotton.

1872- Stanley says goodbye to Dr. Livingston. After finding the English missionary at his desolate African post, Henry Stanley spent 4 months with him, then left for England.

1883- Karl Marx died in London. Marx's last words were:" Get out of Here!
Last words are for fools who haven't said enough already!"

1885- Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado premiered in London.

1903- President Teddy Roosevelt established Pelican Island as the first Federal Wildlife Preserve.

1917-THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION BEGAN- In St. Petersburg a general strike was festering since the 23rd. Today soldiers and police start to join demonstrators instead of arresting them. Shouts of :"Cossacks! Don't shoot your brothers! Enough of blood! We want Peace and Bread!" The law courts were torched, prisons opened and the protestors grab the Czar's Rolls Royce and drive it around town draped in red flags. Government officials start to flee the city. Demonstrators in the Russian capitol Petrograd formed a revolutionary workers council (Soviet). Today the Petrograd Soviet ordered all soldiers and police to stop obeying the Czar and only take orders from them. Czar Nicholas out at his military headquarters received the news that the nations capitol was no longer under his control.

1923- President Warren Harding became the first President to file an Income Tax Return.

1932-Inventor GEORGE EASTMAN shot himself- The inventor of the Roll-film camera, who named his celluloid strips 'film' and founded Eastman/Kodak. He had been suffering from a long illness and left the note: " To my friends: The End is near, why wait? "

1941- Xavier Cugat and his orchestra recorded "Babalu".

1943- THE BATTLE OF IMPHAL- The Japanese 15th Army began an invasion of Northern India from occupied Burma. Japan called it the "Drive on Dehli". For the next several months the Japanese, British, Indians, Nepalese, Gurkhas and Draguts fought on the plains of Imphal with tanks, planes, samurai swords and kukhris- the famous Gurkha boomerang shaped blade.

1943- Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" premiered. George Szell conducting. Young Leonard Bernstein once asked Copland how he could write more "American" sounding music. The maestro answered:" Lenny, just shuttup and write. You're American. It's all going to sound that way anyway!"

1967- Nine executives of the German pharmaceutical firm Grunethal were indicted over the Thalidomide scandal. Thalidomide was prescribed as a sedative for pregnant women , but the drug caused thousands of children to be born with deformed limbs.

1986- The IPO or initial public offering of stock of a new company called Microsoft. Twenty-seven dollars a share.

1991- Lyricist Howard Ashman (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) died of HIV/AIDS.

1992- The official Soviet newspaper Pravda- Truth, ceased publication.

1998- The epic disaster movie Titanic surpassed Star Wars and Jurassic Park as the greatest money earning film (until Avatar). It cost over $200 million to make but it earned at least $1 billion in box office alone. Quote director James Cameron: I’m King of the World!!
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Quiz: Who wrote,” First they came for the Jews, But I did not speak out. Because I was not a Jew…”

Answered: A German clergyman named Martin Niemoller wrote this about his countrymen’s tacit acquiescence to the Nazis:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


March 13, 2019
March 12th, 2019

Quiz: Who wrote,” First they came for the Jews, But I did not speak out. Because I was not a Jew…”

Yesterday’s Question answered below: In music, what is a Glissando?
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History 3/13/2019
Birthdays: Hugh Walpole, Charles 2nd Earl Grey 1764- English Prime Minister whom the tea blend 'Earl Grey Tea " is named for, Pope Innocent XII (1615), Abigail Powers Filmore- First Lady of Millard Filmore, Hugo Wolf, Ted Sears, Sammy Kaye, Danny Kaye, Neil Sedaka, L. Ron Hubbard, William Macy is 69, Dick Katz, Annabell Gish, Joe Ranft

27BC- AUGUSTUS BECAME THE FIRST ROMAN EMPEROR- For a few decades the Roman Republic had been a football contested for by powerful politicians- Marius & Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, Mark Anthony and more. Julius Caesar said that Rome was now a Republic in name only. Since vanquishing Anthony & Cleopatra, Caesar Octavian had been the first man in Rome (Princeps), yet he needed to solidify his hold on power. But Romans hated the title of King.
So this day in a carefully staged bit of political theater, Octavian told the Senate he was tired of responsibility. He would resign all his offices and retire. Senators shouted for him to reconsider. They voted him the title GAIUS CAESAR AUGUSTUS, IMPERATOR- PRINCEPS. Imperator used to be the name for a generals military authority and we get the word Emperor, Kaiser and Czar came from it. Augustus meant Father of His Country- with all the absolute power a father had in his family. Princeps meant first citizen. Rome had emperors until 476AD and continued on at Constantinople until 1453.

4 B.C.- King Herod the Great died. The vibrant king who guided Israel to independence through Rome’s Civil Wars and rebuilt the temple of Solomon aged badly. He became increasingly paranoid. When a bastard son convinced him his legitimate offspring was trying to kill him, he had them executed. This may be the explanation why he could order the infamous scene in the New Testament known as the Massacre of the Innocents. On his deathbed Herod ordered village elders across Israel rounded up and killed when he died. " I know I am hated, so I want all Israel to mourn". After his death his guards ignored the order and released everyone.

1639- Richard Burbage died. Burbage was the famed Elizabethan actor and friend of William Shakespeare. On his tombstone was a simple epitaph- EXIT BURBAGE.

1758- BATTLE ON THE SNOWSHOES-Col. Robert Rogers with "Roger's Rangers" American colonial frontiersmen in British service, got ambushed by a large French Huron Indian war party. The leathershirts scattered, and Rogers eludes his pursuers by walking with his snowshoes turned backwards from the edge of a cliff. When the Indians see his tracks ending into thin air, they decided the Hipi-Manitou Spirit was with him, so they gave up the pursuit.

1778- The French ambassador informed the British Government that France had recognized the independence of the United States and had made an alliance with them.

1781- The discovery of the planet Uranus by British astronomer William Herschel. The first planet discovered since prehistoric times. Galileo and Kepler used their early telescopes to spot the rings and Saturn and moons of Jupiter, but no planets. Herchel wanted to call his discovery Georgium Sidus after King George III, but other astronomers convinced him to keep to the pattern of naming planets after Roman gods. Hershel emigrated from Germany and played violin in several symphony orchestras before becoming interested in astronomy. He brought his sister over, and she became an opera singer, as well as observing and naming 5 comets.

1865- With the South overrun by Yankee armies, at the request of Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Confederate Congress finally authorized the enlistment of Black soldiers to fight for Dixie. They got 367 volunteers. On the Yankee side, 180,000 enlisted, almost 80% of the eligible population of free black men.

1881-Czar Alexander II assassinated. -He was the Czar-Liberator that freed the Russian serfs but he was still seen by patriotic movements as a symbol of oppression.
On this day young revolutionaries of the People’s Will movement had already hurled one bomb at the Czar's carriage but harmed no one. The Czar was getting out when another revolutionary (this one was Polish) stepped forward shouting "It's too early to thank God!" And threw a bomb which blew Alexander to bits. Later in the spring thaw St. Petersburg housewives were finding little bits of Czar on their rooftops when they cleaned.

1884- Chester Greenwood of Maine invented ear-muffs.

1920-THE KAPP PUTSCH - In postwar Berlin anarchy reigned as Bolshevik and right wing paramilitary groups fought in the streets for control. On this day the Kaiser's former army officers marched on Berlin and tried and overthrow the Weimar Republic and restore the monarchy. They failed, but the weak government could do no more than let them march away scot free. They even paused to fire into a heckling crowd of civilians. After this rebuff the old Prussian aristocratically -led German Army would remain aloof from politics until getting behind Hitler's Nazi Reich in the late 1930’s.
One of the central conspirators of the Putsch was a bizarre figure named Trebitsch Lincoln, a Hungarian Jew who moved to England, ran for Parliament and won, was a German spy during the World War I, and finished his life as a Lama in Tibet named Chao-Kung.

1921- Mongolia declared its independence from China.

1928- In New York City, Walt Disney sent a telegram to his brother Roy back in California, informing him of his disastrous meeting with producer Charles Mintz. That Mintz had exercised a clause in their contract to take the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit away from them. He cabled “ Leaving Tonight, stopping over KC. Arrive Sunday Morning. Don’t Worry. All Will be Well.” Later on the train home, Walt with Ub Iwerks, Les Clark and his wife Lillian came up with a new character named Mickey Mouse.

1929- The White House never had much security. When you rang the bell, President Thomas Jefferson himself answered the door in his robe and slippers. Abe Lincoln had one bodyguard, and after the Civil War the one soldier guarding the front door was removed. Presidents like Grant & McKinley would take a stroll at night down by the Potomac with no guards. Children played baseball and sheep grazed on the White House lawn.
This night President Herbert Hoover was having dinner with Hollywood producer David O’ Selznick when a homeless man wandered into the room and asked the president for a job. He just walked through the front door while the butler was preoccupied. The next day by Executive Order, the Secret Service took over direct control of the White House security and could command the D.C. police.

1938- At the height of Stalin’s purges top Bolshevik Nicholai Bukharin was shot.

1939- Hollywood recognized the Screen Director’s Guild, later called he DGA. After a nasty battle lasting several years Guild President Frank Capra signed the contracts representing 80% of movie directors. They also contractually ensured the custom of the director’s credit being the last one seen at the opening title sequence of a film.

1943- Radio station WNYC goes on the air.

1944- Abbot & Costello copyrighted their baseball routine ‘Who’s on First?"

1945- After systematically destroying the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Nagoya, this day the hundreds of massed B-29 bombers reduced the city of Osaka to burning rubble.

1946- The UAW struck General Motors. In 1936 businessmen had asked the Rand Corporation to come up with a solution to workers labor unions. The Rand Group came up with a pamphlet called the Mohawk Valley Rules. It said the way to defeat unions was not in the streets with vigilantes and tear gas but in the press. Make their arguments seem unAmerican and subversive. All sides took a hiatus to win World War II so this was the first major strike where the Mohawk Rules were put into practice. So even though the union won concessions in the settlement they lost popular support. People blamed unions for the higher car prices and Communistic activity while the heads of GM and other defense corporations made 400%+ profits from the war. Today people still think unions are not important even though wages have not risen in 20 years, and CEO salaries have jumped 1,400 %.

1957- The F.B.I. arrested Teamster’s Union President Jimmy Hoffa on bribery charges.

1964- The Kitty Genovese murder. A sad moment in urban history when a New York cocktail waitress was jumped and murdered in front of her Queens apartment complex. 38 of her neighbors heard her screams "He's stabbing me! He's killing me!" They watched from their windows but no one bothered to come down to her aid.

1965- Guitarist Eric Clapton quit the band The Yardbirds.

1969- Disney’s comedy about a Volkswagen beetle,"The Love Bug" premiered.

1970- Under pressure from U.S. diplomat Henry Kissinger, Cambodian leader Prince Siahnnouk asked the Vietcong and Khmer Rouge armies to get out of his country. The civil war in Cambodia immediately grew from a lukewarm insurgency to a full-scale holocaust, resulting in the government’s defeat, and the Killing Fields of 1975.

1983- The Larry King Show debuted on HBO, later moving to CNN. King retired that show in 2010, but he still does shows on cable.

1988- Overly endowed porn star John Holmes, also called Johnny Wad, died of HIV/AIDS. He claimed to have had sex with 14,000 women and a few men in his career, but that he contracted the disease through intravenous drug use. He also got involved with some drug dealers and was implicated in a murder. The film Boogie Nights was based on his career.

1997- In Malaysia, a man named Hassan Abdallah had his penis cut off by his wife in his sleep. She claimed she was sleep walking, and dreamed she was only strangling him.

2002- In a national press conference President George W. Bush declared he did not know where top 9-11 terrorist Osama Ben Laden was, and that he no longer cared much about him.

2013- Pope Francis I elected aka Pope Frank. The first Argentine Pope. The first pope from the New World.
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Yesterdays Question: In music, what is a Glissando?

Answer: In classical music, a glissando is a slide up or down between two notes.


March 12, 2019
March 12th, 2019

Question: In music, what is a Glissando?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: When you measure things in picas and points, what are you doing?
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History for 3/12/2019
Birthdays: Jack Kerouac, Billy "Buckwheat "Thomas, Darryl Strawberry, Edward Albee, Andrew Young, Joan Kennedy, Eugene Ormandy, Gordon McCrae, Liza Minelli is 74, Courtenay Vance, James Taylor, Frank Welker, Al Jareau, Maurice Evans, porn star Ron Jeremy, Barbara Feldon- agent 99 in Get Smart, DeWitt Bodeen- writer of the 1942 film Cat People. Aaron Eckart is 51

To the Zoroastrians of Persia, this was the Festival of Marduk, the God of Storms.

81 BC- Roman dictator Sulla grants his general Pompey the right to hold a triumph to celebrate his victories. A triumph was the grand parade through the streets of Rome, hero in his chariot and all that, like in the movies. Pompey is the guy we get the term "pompous" from. As a young man he already insisted people refer to him as Magnus- The Great. Instead of his gold chariot being borne by the traditional four milk white horses, he wanted four milk white elephants! Sulla felt Rome’s arches and street weren't of sufficient width, so Pompey reluctantly settled for one white elephant.

222AD- The Roman Emperor Elagabulus was assassinated. Elagabulus was a sicko-tyrant like Nero and Caligula. When his guards turned on him he first hid in a toilet but was found and stabbed. His body was dragged behind a chariot in the Circus Maximus to the cheers of the crowd, then dumped in the Tiber River. General Severus Alexander took over the Empire.

1507-After being run out of Rome after his father Pope Alexander VI 's death, Caesare Borgia became a petty mercenary in Navarre. During a battle he spurs his horse into the thickest of the foe, and on a pre-arranged signal none of his men follow. He was cut to pieces.

1579- The Duke of Ferrara Ludovigo D’Este had a problem. He was long the patron of a poet named Torquato TASSO and Tasso loved one of his daughters. But Tasso was mentally unstable, probably schizophrenic.
This day, in the midst of a ceremony celebrating the Dukes third marriage, Tasso began raving and screaming and had to be dragged off to a mental hospital. At the same time Tasso’s greatest poem JERUSALEM DELIVERED was published. The poem became world famous – Montaigne, Cervantes and Queen Elizabeth of England all loved it. Christian Europe felt they finally had an epic poet to rival the pagans Virgil and Homer. Musicians like Handel and Monteverdi made operas of its characters, Armida, Tancredi and Reynaldo.
And Duke Ludovico? For all his trouble, all he got was criticism for his perceived bad treatment of Italy’s greatest poet since Dante.

1773- The Virginia Legislature voted to make common cause with the other American colonies and establish regular communications, particularly with Massachusetts who was having the most trouble with the government in London at that time. Up to now even clear thinkers, like Ben Franklin, doubted all the various American colonies could ever agree on anything.

1781- In one of the more desperate schemes of the American Revolution, a letter signed this day by General George Washington gave permission to a plan for secret agents to kidnap Prince William, the Duke of York, while he was visiting British troops in America! The letter insists the Royal hostage should be treated properly. The plan never was carried out. Forty years later, when William, now King William IV, heard of the scheme, he commented: "I thank Mr. Washington for his kind intent while being thankful I was never made subject to his hospitality!"

1796- After a two-day honeymoon at her place, Malmaison, Napoleon leaves Josephine
to go conquer Italy. And don't forget to pick up the some milk on the way back!

1877-In Philadelphia, Sam Wanamaker was unsure just what kind of retail he wanted to go into, he just wanted his business to be big. So he opened a large building with different types of goods sold in separate departments. Wanamakers became the first true Department Store.

1884- The Dervish army of El Mahdi completed its surrounding of the Sudanese capitol of Khartoum defended by British General Charles Gordon. They would finally break into the city and kill him by next January. Yet despite the hopelessness of his situation Gordon was in merry spirits. Gordon was a religious zealot who prayed and preached at length. English society considered him something of a Missionary Saint. He never married but had a Victorian penchant for picking up poor street boys, bathing them and photographing them...ahem.

1912-The Girl Scouts was founded in Savannah, Georgia, by Juliet Low, a friend of Sir Anthony Baden-Powell, English founder of the Boy Scouts.

1928- THE SAINT FRANCIS DAM DISASTER- The second worst disaster to hit California after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
Following up his triumph bringing water to Southern California by aqueduct, William Mulholland had designed several dams and reservoirs north of Los Angeles in the Santa Clarita Valley. On this night at midnight the largest of them exploded from structural weakness, and sent a wall of water 30 feet high across the rural towns of Santa Paula and Fillmore down to Oxnard and the Pacific. 400 people drowned in their beds without warning.
Mulholland took full responsibility for the disaster and resigned all his city offices. "I envy the dead", he said. He died a few years later. Today when driving around the Valencia-Newhall area you can still see huge boulders with steel retaining rods sticking out of them. They are not natural rocks but chunks of the dam carried miles by the torrent of water.

1930-Mohandas K Ghandi, of India, called the Mahatma or the Great Soul, began his Salt March. This gesture of defying the British Empire's monopoly on salt production was a gesture akin to throwing tea into Boston Harbor. He set out from his ashram with 78 followers and a lot of press coverage; by the time he reached the Indian Ocean his followers had become tens of thousands and was famous around the world.

1932- Disney short "Mickey’s Revue" featuring Dippy Dog, now turned into a new character named "the Goof" or Goofy.

1933-THE FIRESIDE CHATS- Just 8 days after taking office President Franklin Roosevelt began a series of national radio broadcasts detailing his plans to fight the economic problems of the country, called by newsman Robert Trout his Fireside Chats. FDR amazed the American public by speaking quietly and candidly, instead of using the bombastic political speeches of the day.

1939- While war clouds grew in Europe Eugenio Pacelli was crowned Pope Pius XII. Pius’ authoritarian style dominated Catholic thinking into the 1950’s. He was nicknamed "Hitler’s Pope" for his cozy relationship with the Fascists and Nazis, never speaking out against the Holocaust even when the Jews of Rome were being dragged away under his window. But he did censure American anti-Semitic radio star Father Coughlin. In the 1950’s he threatened with excommunication any Catholics who became Communists, or even worse, any who married Protestants!
For short trips he liked to be driven around in a Cadillac with a throne built into the backseat. He died in 1958 and his successor Pope John XXIII instituted the liberal reforms known as Vatican II.

1945- Anne Frank died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at age 15.
Her father discovered her diary after the war.

1945- The Japanese military ordered every child over the age of seven to enter the military, or factories, to fight the coming American invasion.

1945-THE WAR OF HOLLYWOOD BEGAN-Throughout the 1930’s and 40’s several national unions battled studios and each other to represent Hollywood film workers. The Teamsters, the FWPC, the Brotherhood of Electricians.

By 1945 only two remained, the IATSE and the CSU.(International Alliance of Theater and Screen Engineers and the Conference of Studio Unions) IATSE had a reputation of gangsterism and making cozy deals with the studio heads. The CSU, a much more militant group with past ties to communist organizations, was headed by a charismatic scenery painter named Herb Sorrell who had helped win the Disney strike for the cartoonists in 1941. Sorrel called several citywide strikes that paralyzed Hollywood in 1945, 46 and 47. President Richard Walsh of IATSE fought them and rioting in front of the studios was commonplace.

1947-THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE- In a speech to Congress President Harry Truman called for millions in aid to Greece and Turkey to stop them from going Communist. This speech was the de-facto declaration of the Cold War. Truman stated that it would be the policy of the United States to aid "any minority fighting Communist coercion".

1948- The Hell’s Angels motorcycle club formed in Oakland Cal. Instead of boozy teenagers, the first motorcycle clubs were formed by former World War II combat fighter pilots who missed the thrill and camaraderie of flying in formation. During the war motorcycle scouts kept their bike engines un-muffled and loud to scare German snipers into thinking a tank or some other big ordnance was coming. The long handlebars and low seat of the chopper was evolved as a defense against booby trap wires strung across a road at a height to decapitate a hapless scout.

1951- Former Disney assistant animator Hank Ketcham was trying his hand as a print cartoonist. He had some success selling gags to the New Yorker Magazine. His baby son Dennis was a precocious infant. Once after she caught the child smearing the contents of his diaper around the house, his mother exclaimed to Hank-“ Your son is a Menace!” That gave Ketcham an idea. Today the first Dennis the Menace comic strip was published.

1955- BIRD DIED- Jazz genius Charlie "Bird" Parker had a lifelong drug addiction. Since the death of his infant daughter earlier that year his drug use had spiraled out of control. He was sleeping on the couch in the NY apartment of the Baroness du Rothschild-Konigswarter, a jazz supporter. He awoke to watch TV. While laughing at a juggler on the Dorsey Brothers Variety Show, he died. The coroner said death was by heart failure, cirrhosis and pneumonia. He estimated Parker’s age at 65. He was really 34. When his band heard of his death they paused between sets to shoot up with heroin in his honor. "Seems silly now, come to think of it." Said one musician later.

1964- Malcolm X announced his break with the Nation of Islam in the US. Since returning from Mecca he was disillusioned with founder Elijah Mohammad’s leadership.

1969- Mrs. Robinson –a song written by two young folk singers named Simon & Garfunkel, won a Grammy award.

1969- Paul and Linda McCartney married.

1989- Tim Berners-Lee flicked a switch and the World Wide Web became operational, connecting several regional web systems into a global network.

1992- Warren Beatty married Annette Benning.

2000- Pope John Paul II officially apologized on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church for the Crusades, The Inquisition, 2000 years of Anti-Semitic persecution, the Fires of Smithfield, Bloody Mary, burning at the stake Jan Hus and Giordano Bruno, Silencing Galileo and Copernicus, the Thirty Years War, The forced conversions of indigenous peoples, ignoring the Holocaust, uhh. Did we leave anything out? Comedian John Stewart said Judaism officially apologized for the Barbara Streisand movie "Yentl."

2003 –The female vocal group the Dixie Chicks were tops of the country-western world. They had preformed at last years Super Bowl. But in an interview during a concert in Britain, singer Natalie Maines expressed her sadness over America’s invasion of Iraq. “ Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence. And we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas." Starting today the conservative backlash from this comment destroyed their careers. They made a documentary about it in 2006 entitled “ Shut Up and Sing.”
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Yesterdays’ question: When you measure things in picas and points, what are you doing?

Answer: In the pre-digital era, this was the way a typesetter or commercial artist measured print space for lettering.


March 11, 2019
March 10th, 2019

Quiz: When you measure things in picas and points, what are you doing?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What Italian leader was called Il Magnifico?
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HISTORY FOR 3/11/2019
Birthdays: Torquato Tasso, Marius Pretipa, Raoul Walsh. Rupert Murdoch is 88, Charlie Ruggles, Lawrence Welk, Samuel “Shemp” Howard, British PM Harold Wilson, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Bobby McFerrin, Sam Donaldson, Antonin Scalia, Jerry Zucker, Vannevar Bush- MIT scientist who in 1945 predicted personal computers. Joey Buttafuco, Jules Engel, Douglas Adams, Rob Paulsen is 63, Terence Howard is 50

In ancient Rome, today was the Festival of Hercules

1513- Giovanni de Medici, a son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, was elected Pope Leo X.
He was ordained a priest two days later- hey, details, details! Leo was the quintessential Renaissance Party-Pope. He blew the Vatican treasury on lavish entertainment, artists, poets and buffoons. He was quoted as saying:” God has given us the Papacy, so let us enjoy it.”

1669- Sicily’s Mt Etna erupted and killed 20,000 people.

1801- Czar Paul I was strangled. It had been said the Czar was showing signs of mental instability. Others historians say that story was circulated by the nobility who were against the Czars land reform for peasants. The murder had the tacit approval of his son Alexander who became Czar.
In 1812 after Napoleon's invasion was driven out, one of the top French generals, Dominique Vandamme, was captured. When Vandamme was reproached by Czar Alexander for attacking Russia, the Frenchman shot back:" Well at least Sire, I didn't murder my own father!"

1810- Prussian Chancellor von Hardenburg granted civil rights to the Jews of Germany.

1829- BachMania!-The Rediscovery of Johann Sebastian Bach-. Bach was little known in his time and after his death in 1750 was soon forgotten. Even his son Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach though his dad’s music old-fashioned. But a century later the stirrings of German nationalism led to the re-examination of this obscure organist. This night at the Singadakademie in Berlin, musical superstar Felix Mendelsson performed The “St. Matthew Passion” and other Bach works. The musicians performed for free. The concert caused a sensation and Bach is soon being played all over Europe and influencing everyone from Berlioz to Wagner. Goethe and Hegel declared him a genius.

1851-Guisseppi Verdi's grand opera" Rigoletto "debuts. Considered Verdi's first mature work, it made him an international star. Based on Victor Hugo's "L'roi's amuse", originally about the lustful abominations of King Francois I of France, Verdi changed it to the Duke of Mantua and steered away from the class politics to a family melodrama. Victor Hugo didn't like it.

1861- the seceded southern states adopted a constitution based on the old Articles of Confederation passed in 1778, hence the name the Confederate States of America. It provided for a President with a six-year term with no eligibility for a second term.

1888- THE YEAR OF BLUE ICE- The Great Blizzard of '88. In New York and Boston 40 inches of snow fell in 36 hours. Record low temperatures, 80 mile an hour winds and ice storms so severe that all the telephone and telegraph wires between New York and Boston snapped. To contact anyone you had to be routed through London England. 400 people died in New York City alone. Policemen set up frostbite checkpoints to rub the ears of pedestrians as they walked by.
Out West so many head of cattle died that a serious beef shortage the following year created a labor problem with unemployed cowboys that led to the Johnson County Wars of 1890. Teddy Roosevelt was a Dakota rancher at the time and he saw cattle freeze to death where they stood. Later in the spring thaw, these "cowsickles" would be bobbing up and down in the Dakota River with the ice flows.

1889- The California Legislature splits Orange County from LA County.

1917- Czar Nicholas called out the army garrisoned in Petrograd to put down the rioting strikers in the streets. Although some shoot at the demonstrators, most of the soldiers broke ranks and joined them.

1918- THE GREAT SPANISH FLU PANDEMIC- Today influenza is controlled by antivirals and you feel miserable for a few days, but back before such drugs, it was a killer. This day the first noticeable rise in a strange new flu occurred at Camp Funston Kansas. It was called the Spanish flu because even though it broke out all around the world, Spain was one of the few countries that didn’t have wartime press censorship, so they reported it first.

In only one year this new flu virus killed 21 million people around the Earth, 640,000 in the U.S. alone- everyone from Kaiser Wilhelm to Blackjack Pershing got sick. In places as far away as China to Calcutta to Russia thousands died. The epidemic killed as many people as the just concluding World War I. HIV/AIDS killed 22 million in 25 years, Spanish Flu killed 21 million people in only 8 months.
Then it disappeared as rapidly as it appeared.

1926- Eamon De Valera renounced his opposition to Irish government politics and resigned from Sinn Fein. In 1933 he was elected first president of the Republic of Ireland, a job he held off and on until 1973.

1927- The first Roxy Theater opens at 50th st. & Seventh Ave. in New York. Roxy was a nickname of theater owner Samuel L. Rothaphel who pioneered the movie palace and is called the father of De-Luxe presentation.

1938- ANSCHLUSS- The Nazi takeover of Austria. Hitler had been organizing a covert takeover of the Vienna government by Austrian Nazis until the Austrian Prime Minister Schussning declared they would put the issue of uniting with the German Reich to a public plebiscite. Rather than risk asking the public Hitler ordered his tanks to roll. Gen. "Panzer Heinz" Guderian had his men adorn their tanks with flowers act like it was more of a German family reunion than an invasion.

Viennese intellectuals like Albert Einstein had to flee. Sigmund Freud was not allowed to leave until he signed a note saying he was treated well-" I'd personally recommend the Gestapo to anyone". Painter Alphonze Mucha wrote a letter to his friends in America saying he was in the care of the Nazis and that he was fine. He died shortly afterwards…?

Eric Wolfgang Korngold was in Hollywood debating whether to score the latest Errol Flynn picture for Warner Bros.- "The Adventures of Robin Hood" or return to Vienna to produce his opera- "Die Kathrin". When he heard his Vienna apartment was one of the first the Gestapo raided he decided to stay and do the Flynn picture. He later inscribed the music score to Jack Warner; "to Jack. Thanks for saving my life."

1939- The Nazis take over the rest of Czechoslovakia that they didn't absorb through the Munich Pact. This leads Britain’s Prime Minister Chamberlain and France’s Premier Daladier to declare any attempt on Hitler’s next target-Poland, would be met with force.

1941- The U.S. enacted the Lend-Lease program to send valuable military equipment to Britain without getting directly involved yet in World War II.

1943- The Broadway musical team of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein opened their first collaboration “Away We Go!”

1958- The U.S. Air Force accidentally dropped an H-Bomb on South Carolina near Mars Bluff. The safety catches insured it wouldn’t go off. The incident was kept top secret.

1971- Philo Farnsworth died of pneumonia at 64. The young Utah native in 1922 he had invented the television set, but by the 1960’s he was forgotten, broke and addicted to painkillers. The only recognition he got was as a contestant on the quiz show I Got a Secret. He won an $80 check and a carton of Winston Cigarettes. Today Farnsworth is considered one of the true inventors of Television, along with John Logie-Baird.

1977- Film director Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) was arrested for having sex with a 13 year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s home after he got her stoned on quaaludes. Polanski was charged with statutory rape. He jumped bail and fled Hollywood for exile in Paris. LA courts have been trying unsuccessfully to get him extradited ever since.

1984 - NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND, adapted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, was released in Japan.

1985- Since the death of Lenoid Brehznev the Soviet Union’s Central Committee was having a problem: every elderly Bolshevik they named as Soviet Premier -Yuri Andropov, Constantin Chernenko, had quickly died themselves of old age. On this day they selected the youngest member of their ranks to the leadership. He would be the last Premier of the Soviet Union- Mikhail Gorbachov.

1990- Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare its independence. By 1991 the unwieldy Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had flown to pieces and the Russian Federation was formed in its place.

2004- Al Qaeda terrorists set off ten bombs in Madrid commuter trains at the height of the morning rush hour. 200 dead, 1500 hurt.

2011- FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI- The northern coast of Japan was struck by one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded. The quake sent a tsunami wave that erased whole towns and killed 20,000. A ripple wave went across the Pacific and sank boats in harbor at Santa Cruz, California and Oregon. The tsunami also damaged 5 reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, sending clouds of radioactive steam into the atmosphere and water. No one seems to be clear about just how badly polluted the Pacific is now with radiation.
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Yesterday’s Question; What Italian leader was called Il Magnifico?

Answer: The leader of Florence when she was at the peak of her power, Duke Lorenzo di Medici, called Lorenzo the Magnificent. He was a great patron of the arts, particularly Donatello and Michelangelo.


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