March 22, 2020
March 22nd, 2020

Quiz: Who was Maimonides?

Quiz: What was a more recognizable Roman name for the Greek god Ares? The one that Wonder Woman defeated.
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History for 3/22/2020
Birthdays: Anthony Van Dyck, Marcel Marceau, Stephen Sondheim, Karl Malden, Werner Klemperer- Colonel Klink in Hogan’s Heroes, George Benson, James Gavin, Allen Neuharth, Milt Kahl, Fanny Ardant is 71, Lena Olin is 65, Bruno Ganz, Reese Witherspoon is 44, William Shatner is 89.

In ancient Rome, this day was the Festival of the Entry of the Tree- when the priestesses of Cybele, Goddess of the Harvest, would lead a procession through the streets carrying pine or palm branches. In later times the Christians took this and made it Palm Sunday.

1622- POWHATAN INDIANS SUPRISE ATTACK JAMESTOWN- While the Pilgrims were still thinking of coming to America and Plymouth Rock was just another rock, Jamestown Virginia was the only English settlement in North America.
After the deaths of Pocahontas and Powhatan in in 1619, Opescanacough- pronounced Opee-cantanoo, became Mamanatowick- overall chief of the Virginia Powhatan Confederation. He had hated the English since the days of John Smith. So he resolved to rid his land of the white settlers once and for all with a simultaneous assault on them from all sides on the same day.
The settlers were taken completely by surprise, many while tending their fields. 300 were killed, among them John Rolfe, the husband of the late princess Pocahontas.
Despite such heavy losses the English recovered and in a slow war of attrition eventually killed Opescanocough and wiped out the Powhatan people.

1687- Jean Francois Lully was court composer to Louis XIV the "Sun King" and by all accounts a champion opportunist. In an age when the baton had not come into use for conductors, Lully conducted his orchestra by beating a large pole on the ground to the tempo of the music. One day during a performance he poked a hole in his own foot with the pole and died of blood poisoning.
On his deathbed he asked a priest for Last Rites but the priest refused unless he burned his latest opera "Atys" which the church considered blasphemous. Lully admitted his sins and burned the manuscript of ATYS in front of the priest, who then gave him the sacrament. A friend came in afterward and said:" How could you burn your work?" Lully replied:" Don't worry. I have another copy here in my desk. "

1719- King Frederick Wilhelm Ist announced the end of serfdom in Prussia-Germany.

1820 - Commodore Stephen Decatur was killed in pistol duel with Commodore James Baron outside Wash. D.C. Decatur was a colorful naval hero of the War with Tripoli and War of 1812 who said "My Country Right or Wrong" .

1882- Congress outlaws polygamy.

1894- First Stanley Cup Game- Montreal 3, Ottawa I.

1901- Japan announces that Russia better keep their hands off Korea.

1905-WELTSMACHT (world power) Kaiser Wilhelm in a speech for a dedication ceremony in Bremen tells the Germans that it is their natural right to dominate the world. It was another of his emotionally immature statements that sent chills through an already tense world situation.
We sometimes think German government officials then were like the Nazis, robotic and fanatical. But in the Kaiser’s time many of his officials were just as cynical as anyone else. German diplomats despaired whenever Wilhelm put his foot in his mouth. One attache tried to release an edited text to the press. The Kaiser complained: “Bauer, you’ve left out all the good parts!”
Another time after the Kaiser did a candid interview for the London Globe & Mail where he called the English people a "Race of Mad Bulls." The German ambassador in London said to a colleague "Oh Well, we might as well start packing right now..."

1913- Jack London (White Fang, The Call of the Wild) wrote fellow writers HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill, and asked them how much they get paid? He was unsure what to charge.

1933- The first SS run concentration camp Dachau opened.

1935- The first regular electronic television service began in Berlin as Deutscher Fernseh Rundfunk. Broadcasting from the Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow, it used a 180-line system, and was on air for 90 minutes, three times a week. Very few receivers were ever privately owned, and viewers went instead to Fernsehstuben (television parlors). During the 1936 Summer Olympics, broadcasts, up to eight hours a day, took place in Berlin and Hamburg.

1944- When the evidence became overwhelming, President Franklin Roosevelt in a national radio address first told the American people of Hitler’s holocaust of the Jews. He warned that all persons aiding in these war crimes would be hunted down. Still no attempt was ever made to bomb Auschwitz, Dachau or even the railroad links to them. US Immigration quotas had been tightened since 1938. Although Jewish groups had complained for years, the US public never really understood the full horror of the death camps until the film footage returned from the land armies a full year later.

1945- Several Arab nations including Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt form the Arab League. Their goal is the eventual unity of all Arab peoples from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf, but about the only thing they all agreed on was hostility to a Jewish state in Israel. Today the Arab League is trying to stop the fighting in Syria without much luck.

1947- President Truman signed an Executive Order # 9835 ordering background checks of all government employees to see if they were commies, and to take an Oath of Loyalty to the United States. Two million took the oath, only 129 were sacked for refusing.

1958- Hollywood producer Mike Todd was killed in a small plane crash. He produced hit movies like Around the World in 80 Days and romanced starlets like Gypsy Rose Lee and Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor and Todd had been married for one year and she was devastated by the accident. Years and many marriages later Taylor said Mike Todd was the only man she ever really loved.

1960- Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes patented the laser beam. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation or LASER. Pussycats rejoice!

1970- The Beatles broke up. Paul McCartney filed papers in a London court for a formal dissolving of the Fab Fours partnership.

1972- Concluding a five-year study, the National Commission on Drug Abuse recommended ending all penalties and laws prohibiting marijuana. No one in authority listened to them.

1972- Congress passed the ERA, the Equal Rights Amendment, forbidding any discrimination by sex. The ERA was first proposed by women’s rights groups in 1923. With the heady atmosphere of Women’s Liberation in the early 70s the amendment seemed a no-brainer, even Ronald Reagan supported it. However the Conservative backlash led by anti-feminists like Phyllis Schlafly slowly stunted its ability to win over states for ratification. The ERA died unratified in 1982.

1978- Karl Wallenda, 73 year old scion of the daredevil family the Flying Wallendas, fell to his death from a tightrope between two resort hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1991- Ivana Trump divorced Donald Trump. A celebrated court case ensued to see how the huge Trump fortune would be divided. Newspapers cried, Ivanna More Money!

1995- First day of shooting on that utterly classic film- Dinosaur Valley Girls!

2004- Israeli missiles blew up Sheik Ahmed Yasin, the quadriplegic founder of the Palestinian group Hamas.
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Yesterdays Quiz: What was a more recognizable Roman name for the Greek god Ares? The one that Wonder Woman defeated.

Answer: Mars, god of war.


March 21, 2020
March 21st, 2020

Todays Question: What was a more recognizable Roman name for the Greek god Ares? You know, the one that Wonder Woman defeated.

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Bread and Circuses, what does that mean?
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History for 3/21/2020
Birthdays: Plato, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benito Juarez, Modest Mussorgsky, Fats Waller, Josef Pulitzer, Florenz Ziegfeld, Bronco Billy Anderson, Rev Ralph Abernathy, Armand Hammer, Harold Robbins, Matthew Broderick is 58, Gary Oldman is 62, James Coco, Timothy Dalton is 74, Rosie O’Donnell is 58, animator Kathy Zielinski.

Today in Switzerland this is the Feast of St. Nicholas Von Flue, who was married, had ten children, and made war. In 1481 when the Swiss Confederation was in danger of breaking apart Swiss leaders came to his monk's cell to seek his advice. Though he could neither read nor write, he worked out the Compromise of Stans, which saved peace and Swiss unity forevermore.

717 A.D. Battle of Vinciacus- Charles Martel, aka Charles the Hammer", defeated Ragenfridus and the Merovingian pretenders and assured the Carolingian line on the throne of the Franks, aka the French. Charles Martel’s grandson was Charlemagne. His great-grandson Pippin was made into a musical by Bob Fosse and Stephen Schwarz in the 1970's. A musical called "Ragenfridus!" just doesn't have the same ring.

1617-Pocahontas, now called Lady Rebecca Rolfe, died at Gravesend, England after being taken off the homeward bound ship, too ill with smallpox to continue. She was 21. Her children with John Rolfe became the beginnings of one of the largest families in Virginia, with many scions of the Old Dominion tracing their ancestry to Pocahontas.

1740- Composer Antonio Vivaldi - Il Pietro Rosso- the Red Priest, conducted his last concert at the Ospedale Della Pietra in Venice. It was a home for orphaned girls so it was an all-girl orchestra. The 64 year old Vivaldi went to Vienna to see if he could get any commissions from the Austrian Emperor, but caught an illness on the way and died.

1804- The Duc D'Enghein shot by firing squad. The Bourbon nobleman was setting up a conspiracy just beyond the French border in Germany to overthrow the French Republic and re-establish the king. Napoleon sent a covert strike force of fast riding cavalry across the border to kidnap him and bring him back. Napoleon prided himself on not executing political dissenters like the masses that were guillotined in the Revolution. But this Duke was too dangerous to keep alive. Still, the cold-bloodedness of this action bothered Napoleon, and he referred to it often with regret.

1804-THE CODE NAPOLEON- That same day the French Assembly gave final approval to Napoleon’s revising the legal system. The French civil law courts had been in a hopeless muddle with 368 separate regional law codes some dating back to the Middle Ages. Nappy tackled the problem like he did a battle. He presided over 35 of 87 all day meetings of the jurists- once waking up the drowsy legislators with the cry “Come Gentlemen, Let us Earn our Salaries!” The CODE NAPOLEON became the basis for all French civil property rights and family law and is still in use in Louisiana and Quebec Canada today. Napoleon said: ” When the memory of my forty battlefield victories have faded, what will live forever is my Civil Code.”

1829- The British Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington had to work hard to get a Bill of Catholic Emancipation through Parliament. This day he had to fight a duel with an opposition MP, a Lord Winchelsea. They popped away at each other without doing any harm, and that seemed to satisfy everyone’s honor.

1859- The first public zoo opened in the U.S.

1864- Nevada statehood. Lincoln at this time was pushing several territories into statehood early so he could get emancipation and Civil rights legislation through congress with a majority against the rebellious Southern States.

1871- William Stanley set out to find Dr. David Livingstone. Livingstone was an explorer –missionary who had disappeared into the African jungle. No one had heard from for two years. Stanley, an illegitimate Welshman, had been a soldier in the American Civil War and fought on both sides. He undertook this African expedition financed by the New York Herald. His Swahili name was “Bula Matari” the Breaker of Rocks.

1871- German Chancellor Bismarck convened the first Reischtag (parliament) of the unified Germany.

1915- President Woodrow Wilson hosted a private screening of D.W. Griffith’s film “The Birth of a Nation” at the White House.

1917- Buster Keaton first stepped in front of a movie camera.

1918- The Ludendorf Offensive (second battle of the Somme) begins. When Lenin took over Russia he immediately made peace with the Germans to end the Great War in the East. This freed up one million troops for the Western Front. German strategist Erich Von Ludendorf hurled them into one last attack to win the war before the American armies could arrive in significant numbers. Ludendorf (who was such a stiff Prussian it was said he made love with his monocle on.) called the action "Kaiserschlacht" (Kaiser's Battle") and he promised the Kaiser that he would be in Paris by April 1st. When this attack was stopped by the fresh American forces, the German High Command admitted their chances of winning the World War I were kaput.

1921- Chicago mobster Big Jim Colosimo was murdered by a new face in gangsterdom, a hitman for Johnny Torrio named Alfonso “Scarface” Capone. When Al Capone became famous, he showed his appreciation to Torrio by killing him, too.

1921- Russian Communist leader Nicholai Lenin announced at a party conference the New Economic Policy. Russian state controls applied too quickly combined with the hardships of a civil war had destroyed the Russian economic infrastructure. A terrible famine raged. The New Economic Policy allowed for a certain amount of capitalism and free trade to occur until Russia could get back on her feet again. Stalin replaced the NEP with the first Five Year Plan in 1928.

1930- Col. Lyman Sanders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken.

1933- On the anniversary of Bismarck's parliament the Nazis dominated Reichstag passes the Enabling Act, giving newly elected Chancellor Adolph Hitler complete dictatorial powers to combat anarchy and terrorism. Hitler kept elderly President Hindenburg around for image sake until his death a year later. The Weimar Republic ended and the Third Reich began. Also passed today was an edict called the Heimtuckegesetz, or Malicious Practices Law, which made it a crime to criticize the Nazis.

1935- Persia renamed Iran and Mesopotamia renamed Iraq.

1951- HOLLYWOOD COMMIES- House UnAmerican Acitivities Commitee (HUAC) under Judge J. Parnell Thomas from Washington and sets up in Hollywood to continue rooting out Communist subversion in the movies. They began in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and later move to the federal building downtown.

Their concerns weren’t total fantasy, actor Sterling Hayden confessed he was ordered by his communist operatives to try and influence the Screen Actor’s Guild. Still the point remains whether the authorities overreaction was justified and whether Congress could get more publicity looking for spies in Tinseltown than the Department of Games and Fisheries.

Out of 15,000 people who made a living in the movies and television, only 295 were ever proven or confessed communists. It was an open secret that for $5,000 delivered to the right committee member, your dossier would be moved to the bottom of the pile. The hearings stopped in 1956, the blacklist was broken in 1960 and Judge J. Parnell Thomas went to jail for embezzlement.

1952- DJ Alan Freed put on an event of the new pop music in Cleveland Ohio. Called the MoonDog Coronation Ball, it was the very first Rock Concert.

1960- THE SHARPEVILLE MASSACRE- White South African police confronting a peaceful demonstration in the black township of Sharpeville open fire with machine guns into the crowd, killing 69 and injuring hundreds. Nelson Mandela and other African National Congress leaders abandon for a time peaceful protest and form a militant wing of their movement- Spear of the Nation.

1961- The Beatles first perform at the Cavern Club in Hamburg Germany.

1961- based on the success of the first Playboy Club in Chicago, Playboy Clubs with their Bunny waitresses opened in New York, Miami and LA.

1963- On orders from Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Alcatraz Prison was closed.

1963- Barbara Streisand married Elliot Gould.

1965- Rev Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights marchers reached Montgomery from Selma.

1976- ASPEN MURDER- Jet setter Claudine Longet, a model who was formerly married to singer Andy Williams, shot and killed her lover Spider Sabich, an Olympic skiing champion. Even though their relationship was foundering she said it was an accident, that the Luger went off in his abdomen when he was showing her how to use it. In the bathroom. Uh Huh. Imagine being in the bathroom shaving and your girlfriend pops in “Honey, I’m having problems with the safety on my luger. Here darling I’ll just –oops!”
She spent 30 days in jail for negligent manslaughter, then married her defense attorney.

1980- Mafia capo Angelo Bruno received a shotgun blast to the head while he sat in his car after dinner. The Genovese family had his former capo Phil "Chicken Man" Testa take over rackets in Atlantic City.

1988- the Screen Actor's Guild hits the bricks for the fourth time in twenty years, this time striking Hollywood for residuals for cable and videocassette income.

2006- The first Tweet sent on the new format Twitter. Scientist Jack Dorsey tweeted his friends “Setting up my twttr…” Twitter went public that July.

2010- Pres Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) into law.
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Yesterday’s Question: Bread and Circuses, what does that mean?

Answer: The Roman writer Jurvenal complained that under the Caesars, the Romans had forgotten how to love liberty. That all that they wanted was Panem et Circenses. i.e. food and entertainment.


March 20, 2020
March 20th, 2020

Question: Bread and Circuses, what does that mean?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who were the Symbionese Liberation Army?
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History for 3/20/2020
Birthday: Roman poet Ovid 43BC, Napoleon’s son Napoleon II "l'Aiglon" The eaglet, Henryk Ibsen, Lauritz Melchior, Ray Goulding, Mr. Rogers, Bobby Orr, , B.F. Skinner, Pat Riley, Sir Michael Redgrave, Edgar Buchanan, Holly Hunter is 63, William Hurt is 71, Sheldon "Spike" Lee is 63, Carl Reiner is 98, Chris Wedge is 63

Happy Saint Cuthbert's Day !

44BC- The Great Funeral of Gaius Julius Caesar. The spot in the Forum where the common people tearfully cremated Caesar’s body is still there today. Caesars lieutenant Marc Anthony won the Roman populace over by appealing to their love of Caesar.” Friends Romans Countrymen Lend me your Ears!” as Shakespeare wrote. At a key moment Anthony revealed Caesar’s bloody toga. The assassins Marcus Brutus and Cassius Longinus thought the people would proclaim them heroes for saving the democracy. But they committed a fatal error by staying out of sight during this ceremony. They lost public sympathy, and soon fled Rome.

269AD- Roman emperor Gallienus was assassinated while conducting a siege of the city of Mediolanum (Milan).

1413- Prince Hal ascended the throne of England as King Henry V. He spent most of his reign trying to conquer France and won the stunning victory at Agincourt. If he hadn’t died of dysentery at age 35 he might have united the kingdoms of France and England. Once more into the breach my friends!

1549- Thomas Seymour the Lord High Admiral of England was beheaded for treason. In the unstable regency following King Henry VIII’s death Seymour tried for the top job by wooing Princess Elizabeth and Princess Mary and stockpiled secret stores of arms and ammunition. This execution weakened the political status of his brother the Earl of Somerset who was running the kingdom. Somerset eventually lost his head too.

1760- The Great Fire of Boston.

1777- Benjamin Franklin was officially presented at the court of Versailles to meet King Louis XVI. Spain, Russia and Sweden withheld their ambassadors, both not wishing to cause a rift with England. His eyes teared up when he was introduced, not as representing rebellious English colonies, but as “ DR FRANKLIN, CONSUL FROM THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA!” This is the beginning of U.S. foreign policy.

1782-British Prime Minister Lord North resigned his government after thirteen years in power. Lord North was infamous for doing King George’s bidding almost exclusively and bungling the American War of Independence. After the big defeat at Yorktown he was the target of the first ever Vote of No Confidence in Parliament. Lord North resigned before Parliament could vote on a resolution ordering unilateral withdrawal from America.

1800- Alessandro Volta announced he had invented the electric battery.

1815- Napoleon Bonaparte was borne on the shoulders of a cheering Parisian mob back into the Tuileries palace as fat King Louis XVIII hightailed it to England. From this day to Nappy's abdication after Waterloo is referred to as the Hundred Days.

1841- Edgar Allen Poe's The Murder's in the Rue Morgue first published in Graham’s Magazine. Called the first true detective novel, Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin was inspired by a real French sleuth named Jules Vinquoc who used disguises and scientific technique to solve crimes the Paris police could not handle. Dupin was the inspiration for Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.

1852- Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" first published. It sold one million copies within six months. The book was the first to treat the horrors of slavery directly and portray slave families not as dumb brutes or happy minstrels but victimized human beings. Because of this book, Yankee soldiers referred to Southerners as women whippers, and baby sellers. Mrs. Stowe said modestly: “I didn’t write it, God did. I just took dictation.” When she visited the White House President Lincoln met her with:”So here’s the little lady who started the big war.”

1899- In Sing-Sing prison Martha Place becomes the first woman in the U.S. to be electrocuted. She had killed her stepdaughter. Because Sing-Sing Prison in Ossining New York was situated up the Hudson River from New York City, the phrase to be” sent up the River” as meaning going to jail, became popular.

1903- Henri Matisse exhibits at the Salon des Independents in Paris.

1931- Cantors Kosher deli opened in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles.

1932- The German airship Graff Zeppelin began a regular passenger service between -Cologne Germany to Buenos Aires Argentina.

1940- KATYN- When the Nazi blitzkrieg crushed Poland, the remains of the Polish Army and government fled East only to fall into the hands of Stalin. Stalin didn’t want this group to form the nucleus of a revived Polish state after the war. In an order signed this day Stalin ordered the execution of 14,000 Polish officers and a further 10,000 Polish government workers. When the Nazis invaded Russia the following year they uncovered the mass graves at Katyn, the Hill of Goats. All the bodies had the NKVD signature- one bullet hole in the back of the head. Strange, Nazis denouncing a mass murder. Stalin claimed the Germans did it, and the news of Katyn was forgotten in the larger scale of the Holocaust. In 1991 Russia officially apologized.

1942- After a harrowing escape from the Philippines through Japanese lines by PT boat, submarine and plane, General MacArthur arrived at the Australian town of Darwin. His first radio message was to tell the occupied Philippine people “ I Shall Return!” The U.S. State Department later asked MacArthur to amend his message to the more democratic We Shall Return, but the imperious general refused.

1943-Battle of Mersa Martruh, Rommel vs. Montgomery in the Egyptian desert.

1943-MGM's "Dumb Hounded" the first Droopy Cartoon.

1956-Habib Bourghiba and Prime Minister Mollet of France conclude talks for the independence of Tunisia.

1965- After the confrontation on the Edmund Pettis Bridge President Lyndon Johnson ordered 4,000 US troops to protect the Civil Rights protestors led by Martin Luther King marching from Selma to Montgomery. Alabama Governor George Wallace had sent attack dogs and police on the marchers after promising the President not to.
Johnson referred to Gov. Wallace as “a treacherous, lying SOB!”

1969-John Lennon married Yoko Ono on the Rock of Gibraltar.

1976- Heiress Patty Hearst, aka Tanya, convicted of bank robbery. How she could be tried for bank robbery and her Symbionese Liberation Army captors, simultaneously tried for kidnapping her, is one of the riddles of American jurisprudence. She was finally pardoned by Bill Clinton in one of those last day in office pardons.

1985- Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Alaskan Iditarod dog-sled race. She would win it a total of four times.

1987- The U.S. food and drug administration finally approved AZT for use in treating the effects of AIDS.

1991- In 1955 Walt Disney recorded Peggy Lee to sing “He’s a Tramp” for the film Lady and the Tramp. For that she was paid $3,500. This day a judge ordered the Walt Disney Company to pay Peggy Lee $3.8 million for the songs she wrote and performed in the film. This additional income was from videocassette sales for a re-issue of the soundtrack.

1995-A Japanese doomsday cult called Aum Shinrikio released a deadly nerve gas called Sarin into the Tokyo subway system. It killed 13 and sickened 5,500. The cult had tried on several occasions to release anthrax and other germs into the air to kill millions but their attempts always failed. Their philosophy Poa stated the souls salvation could be achieved through mass-murder. Two days later Tokyo police raided Aum Shinrikio’s headquarters and arrested their leader Matsumoto Chuizo.

1999- After years of attempts and failures involving millionaires like Richard Branson, Rocky Aoki and Malcolm Forbes, Dr Bertrand Picard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of the UK became the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a balloon. It was named the Breitling Orbiter 3. Dr Picard said: “I am with the Angels and completely happy.” Mr Jones said: First thing I’ll do is phone my wife, then like a good Englishman I’ll have a cup of tea.”

1999- Legoland opened in Carlsbad Cal.
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Yesterdays’ question: Who were the Symbionese Liberation Army?

Answer: In the 1970s, emulating the Black Panthers and Young Lords movements, an number of odd splinter groups formed, vowing resistance against modern racist society. The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) were never more than a handful of crazies led by a guy named Donald Defreeze, robbing a bank, two murders and kidnapping heiress Patty Hearst.


March 19, 2020
March 19th, 2020

Today’s Question: Who were the Symbionese Liberation Army?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: The patron saint of Ireland was St. Patrick. The Patron Saint of Scotland was St Andrew. The patron saint of England was St. George. Who is the patron saint of Wales?
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History for 3/19/2020
Birthdays: George De La Tour, Wyatt Earp, Dr. David Livingston, William Jennings Bryan, Sir Richard Burton (The African explorer), Charles M. Russell, Jacky Moms Mabley, Adolf Eichmann, Phillip Roth, Adolf Galland, Ursula Andress, Patrick McGoohan, Ornette Coleman, Bruce Willis is 65, Glenn Close is 73, Richard Williams

Roman Festival ANCILIA when the Salii, the Leaping Priests of Mars, take the Sacred Shields of Mars the Avenger, that dropped down from Heaven for Romulus, and do the leaping dance of Mars. A ceremony to mark the beginning of campaigning season.

Today is Saint Joseph’s Day, when the swallows come back to Capistrano.

1330- Edmund the Earl of Kent was beheaded by order of his mother.

1611- The first Burning of Moscow. During the period called the Time of Troubles, a Polish army captured the Kremlin and tried to get the son of the Polish King Wladyslaw IV or Ladislas made Czar. The Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, Hermogenes, forbade any good Russian from swearing allegiance to the Roman Catholic Ladislas. So the Poles threw the Patriarch in a dungeon where he soon died. This day a rebel army organized by a Prince Troubetskoy and peasant butcher Kosma Minin attacked the foreign occupiers and in the ensuing conflict, the city caught fire.

1628- A group called Puritans, differing from the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony, were granted a Royal Charter to set up their own colony in Massachusetts. Oliver Cromwell once considered immigrating to this colony, but eventually opted to stay in England.

1644- Si Sang, the last emperor of China's Ming Dynasty, committed suicide.

1687- French explorer Sieur de LaSalle was killed by his own men on the shores of the Mississippi in an argument over scarce food rations. He was 43.

1799- Franz Josef Haydn’s oratorio The Creation premiered. Haydn was inspired when he heard Handel’s The Messiah in London.

1812- When Napoleon’s armies occupied Spain in 1808 the Spanish people formed independent bands and fought on in the hills as "guerrillas"- "Little Wars". These militias sent delegates to a free, independent parliament called the Supreme Cortes in the city of Cadiz. This day they declared a constitution for Spain, acknowledging exiled King Ferdinand, abolishing torture and the Inquisition, but keeping the Catholic Church. These men were first called by the term Free Men, Liberales or Liberals.

1831- The First U.S. Bank Robbery. English immigrant Edward Smith alias Edward Honeywell made a duplicate set of keys and robbed the City Bank of New York of $245,000 bucks. He did ten years in Sing Sing, but only half the money was ever found.

1847- THE MORMON BATALLION reached Los Angeles. Brigham Young, in order to quiet Federal suspicions that his Utah commune didn't want to be loyal to the U.S., formed a volunteer battalion to help in the War with Mexico. This troop makes one of the longest infantry marches in U.S. history, across the arid desert, and arrived in El Pueblo de Los Angeles in time to interrupt a fiesta. They tell the startled locals that they were now Americans.

1853- Charles Dicken’s novel Bleak House first appeared in magazine installments. It is the first novel to ever mention dinosaurs-" It would be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill…"

1859- Charles Gounod's opera 'Faust" premiered. It was so popular that after a while in New York wags nicknamed the Metropolitan Opera the "Faustspeilhaus" ( it's a pun on Wagner's theater in Bayreuth being called a Festspeilhaus, so Faustspeilhaus..heh-heh,.get it ?....look, don't blame me...its a Gilded Age joke....)

1866- H.M.S. MONARCH OF THE SEAS left Liverpool with 2,000 tons, 700
immigrants, and freight, bound for New York. and disappeared forever. No wreckage, no survivors, no distress signals. One of the Mysteries of the Deep...

1875- Mark Twain admitted in a letter to a friend that he now likes to use a typewriter, a new technology accused of ruining the art of writing.

1895- The Lumiere Brothers shot their first movie, employees leaving their dad’s factory.

1914- A fire in the negative vaults of the Eclair Studios in New Jersey destroyed forever all the American work of pioneer French animator Emile Cohl. He had come to the U.S. to animate the first cartoon series, George McManus’ "The Newlyweds" later to be renamed in comic strip form "Life With Father".

1916- The first mission of the U.S. Airforce. The First U.S. Aero Squadron flew reconnaissance missions this day to aid General Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa.

1918- As a wartime measure, the Congress created Daylight Savings Time separate from Standard Time.

1920- U.S. Congress rejects U.S. admission into the League of Nations. The refusal of the worlds largest economy who's President (Wilson) was the architect of the plan as well as the refusal to admit Soviet Russia doomed the League to impotence. Wilson ruined his health crossing the country lobbying for support for the League, and was heartbroken at its failure. In 1945 after another horrible war, the world would try again with the United Nations.

1928- the Amos & Andy radio show debuted. NBC Blue Network, WMAQ in Chicago.

1931- Nevada legalized gambling.

1935- Harlem riots. When the rumor spread that a young shoplifter had been beaten to death by police in the basement of a Kress department store, 10,000 Harlem residents rioted in the streets and burned shops. Two people were killed. The child made an appearance and in fact had never been harmed.

1945- THE NERO ORDER- While allied armies pour into Germany, Adolph Hitler in his bunker issued an order to destroy all bridges, water and telephone systems, dams, schools, anything that could be of any use after the war is over." The Allies will have conquered nothing by ashes!" An immolation worthy of Wagner's Gotterdammerung.
Despite some Nazis fanatical wish to fight to the end, most rational Germans including Albert Speer completely ignored this order. And Hitler down in his bunker didn't know one way or another. German generals started to refer to the Fuhrer's strange mood swings with a German word: VookenCuckooshein- that translates as "Cloud-Cuckoo-Land".

1953- First T.V. broadcast of the Oscar ceremony. That utterly memorable circus film
"The Greatest Show on Earth" won top honors. Ironically it was Cecil B. DeMille’s only Oscar of his career. Before TV, the Oscars ceremony included a dinner and an hour of dancing before the awards were presented.

1954- Singer Sammy Davis Jr. lost an eye in an auto accident in the California desert. He was left lying bleeding unattended in a hallway in Riverside County Hospital. This was because he was black and it was a segregated facility. Finally, actor Jeff Chandler found him and forced the doctors to treat him. Friend Frank Sinatra urged Davis out of his depression and got him out on stage again. That first night at Ciro’s nightclub the entire Ratpack- Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford each preformed on stage wearing a black eye patch similar to Davis’.

1957- Elvis Presley purchased an estate outside Memphis Tennessee called Graceland from Ruth Moore for $100,000.

1957- Skiing aficionado Pete Seibert was wounded in both legs during World War II, and it was feared he would never walk again. He not only walked, but he got back on skis and by 1950 made the US Olympic skiing team. This day, he hiked with a friend up to an isolated Valley in Colorado named Vail. He exclaimed:" My God Earl, we’ve climbed all the way to Heaven!” Pete Seibert built Vail into a world-class ski resort and town.

1959- North Vietnamese nationalist leader Ho Chi Minh declared a war of unification against the Republic of South Vietnam.

1959- Disney released The Shaggy Dog, their low budget live action comedy hit.

1962- Vasily Stalin, near-do-well son of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, died of acute alcoholism at age 40. After his father died, he was imprisoned in Siberia, but in 1958 he was allowed to retire to obscurity with a small pension.

1962- The first Pillsbury Doughboy commercial.

1964- IBM gave the green light to plans for the 360 series. The first compatible computers.

1964- First day shooting on the James Bond film Goldfinger.

1973- During the Watergate Scandal, President Richard Nixon's lawyer John Dean tells him "There is a cancer on the Presidency."

1974- The band Jefferson Airplane changed its name to Jefferson Starship.

1979- C-Span cable channel started broadcasting live from the floor of Congress. The first Congressman to speak on camera was Al Gore.

1982- Randy Rhoads, the lead guitarist for Ozzy Ozbourne died when he playfully flew his plane buzzing the bands travelling bus and smacked into a farmhouse.

1984- I’LL BE BACK- James Cameron began shooting the film the Terminator. He first considered casting O.J. Simpson for the cyborg killer before settling on Austrian weightlifter Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1987- Reverend Jim Baker resigned as head of the PTL Ministries. The Televangelist had been accused of hanky-panky with secretary Jessica Hahn and defrauding his parishioners of millions to put air conditioning in his dog’s house, and build a Christian Theme Park named Heritage USA. Evangelist turned comedian Sam Kinison joked:
"I imagine up in Heaven Jesus must be flipping through the New Testament saying "Hey, where did I say anything about a Water Slide?!" Today he has rebuilt his ministry, is rich again, and supports Pres. Trump in the press.

1993- Monkey-cam debuted on the David Letterman Show.

2003- SHOCK AND AWE, THE WAR IN IRAQ BEGAN- The United States, Britain and a loose coalition of small states manipulated public outrage over the 9-11 attacks to invade Saddam Husseins’ Iraq, and march on Baghdad.
Although Iraq had never bothered the US directly, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney declared they had solid evidence that Saddam had the ability to attack America with nuclear weapons in 45 minutes. By 2008 all these claims proved to be lies. Bush and Cheney blamed it on the bad intelligence, after giving their CIA chief George Tenent the Medal of Freedom. 5,000 American dead, ten thousand Americans mutilated or disabled, 106,000 Iraqi dead.

2004- Brian Maxwell, the inventor of the Power Bar nutrition snack, died of a heart attack at age 51.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: The patron saint of Ireland was St. Patrick. The Patron Saint of Scotland was St Andrew. The patron saint of England was St. George. Who is the patron saint of Wales?

Answer: St David.
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March 18, 2020
March 18th, 2020

Quiz: The patron saint of Ireland was St. Patrick. The Patron Saint of Scotland was St Andrew. The patron saint of England was St. George. Who is the patron saint of Wales?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: In British slang, what is a Yob?
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History for 3/18/2020
Birthdays: Amerigo Vespucci, John Calhoun, Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov, Neville Chamberlain, Wilson Picket, Edgar Cayce, John Updike, Grover Cleveland, Edward Everett Horton, Vanessa Williams, F. W. DeKlerk, George Plympton, Peter Graves, Irene Cara, Luc Besson, Queen Latifah is 51

44BC- This would have been the day Julius Caesar would have left Rome to lead his legions against the Parthians (Iran), had he not been assassinated.

566- The Feast of Saint Frediano (St Fred), who redirected a river near Lucca with his rake.

1286- King Alexander III of Scotland accidentally rode his horse off a cliff.

1554- Princess Elizabeth was sent to the Tower of London on a charge of treason. An uprising of English Protestants under Sir Thomas Wyatt had been crushed. Wyatt under torture confessed his goal was to put Elizabeth on the throne. Elizabeth claimed she never heard of Wyatt, but her stepsister Queen Mary Tudor was suspicious. You could imagine what Elizabeth was thinking when she was rowed into the Tower through the Traitor’s Gate, the same way her mother Anne Boleyn was. For the next several weeks Elizabeth played a dangerous game pretending to be a loyal Catholic. Mary soon died of ovarian cancer and Elizabeth became Queen.

1584- Czar Ivan the Terrible died while playing chess. Nobody is sure why, except for
"a noticeable swelling of his cods." He had no natural heir, especially after beating his eldest son's brains out with a mace, and his youngest son Dmitri was also dead. Chancellor Boris Gudunov said during an epileptic seizure, the boy whipped out his knife and slashed his own throat. (yeah...right...) Then Boris Gudunov crowned himself Czar. Russia entered a period of dynastic struggle known as "the Time of Troubles".

1662- French philosopher Blaise Pascal, who had invented an early computer device, tried to start a municipal bus system.

1815-VIVE L'EMPEREUR! While marching on Paris to overthrow King Louis XVIII Napoleon is stopped near Grenoble by the Royal French army led by his old friend Marshal Michel Ney. Ney had promised the king he would bring Bonaparte to Paris in an iron cage. The whole Royal Army was Nappy’s old troops anyway, just with a different flag. Soldiers who had served side by side for twenty years suddenly were facing each other. Instead of civil war, Napoleon quietly walked up to their raised guns and smiled: " Soldiers! You all know me. If any of you want to kill your Emperor, here I am." After an agonizing pause, the army cheered and went over to him en masse, including Ney.

1831- The U.S. Supreme Court rule that the Cherokee Nation are a “Domestic Dependent” and not a foreign nation, and therefore cannot sue in federal court.

1834- The Tolpuddle Martyrs. Six Dorchester laborers were arrested and banished to the Australian penal colony for trying to organize a labor union. It is considered the beginning of British trade unionism. Public agitation forced the government to pardon them and invite them home. Only one went back to Dorchester, the rest moved to Canada.

1852- New York City steamboat skipper Henry Wells and mailman William Fargo form the Wells Fargo Company. In 1873 they went into a joint venture with several other freight shipping companies they called American Express.

1871- Citizens of Paris, disgusted with the inept handling of the Franco Prussian war and horrible siege they had to endure, declared a workers revolutionary state, The COMMUNE OF PARIS. Artist Honore' Daumier was named to it's governing board. Karl Marx, living in London, said it was the wrong type of revolution.

The Communards were enthusiastic but inefficient revolutionaries. They tried to burn down Notre Dame but it was so old and damp it wouldn't burn. Then they tried to execute the eighty year old archbishop of Paris by firing squad. They all missed on the first try.

They were eventually crushed by the regular French Army after bitter street fighting that destroyed a lot of Paris including the Tuileries Palace, the Hotel deVille and the Palace of St. Cloud. In Pere' Lachaise cemetery you can still see the 'Wall of the Comunards', where 150 were lined up and shot. They took as their banner the red flag of revolution. Young student Nikolai Lenin, when studying the Commune, adopted their red flag for his and it became the symbol of world communism. When Yuri Gargarin went into orbit in 1959 he had a relic piece of a Commune flag with him.

1902- BIRTHDAY OF THE RECORDING INDUSTRY. The RCA Victrola company sent it's engineers to Milan to record ten discs of the young singer Enrico Caruso. He became a world celebrity and the phonograph moves from being a scientific curiosity to something every home had to have.

1910- Rosie O’Neill invented the Kewpie Doll.

1913- On the streets of Salonika, the King of Greece was assassinated by anarchist Alexandros Skinos.

1915- THE BATTLE OF The DARDANELLES or POINT HELLAS - As part of World War I’s Gallipoli Campaign, a large British fleet attacked the shore installations guarding the sea approaches to Istanbul. The British Navy hadn't suffered a major defeat since the days of Lord Nelson, but now they were so badly shot up by the Turkish shore batteries that they had to withdraw. The First Sea Lord, Jack Fisher, resigned. King George V grumbled that Fisher should have been hung from a yardarm. The British Navy stayed formidable but its myth of the invincibility was damaged. Ship captains had discouraged target practice, because firing their cannon soiled the nice polished shine on the barrels. Historian Jan Morris said they had tried to beat the Turks by merely 'Looking Superb".

1924-The film “The Thief of Baghdad” starring Douglas Fairbanks released. Directed by Raoul Walsh and designs by William Cameron Menzies. It is considered the first great special effects blockbuster.

1925- THE GREAT MIDWEST TORNADO- One of the largest tornadoes ever recorded. A Force 5 monster that traveled 300 miles from Mississippi to Illinois traveling at 73 miles an hour. It wiped out two large towns and killed 689 people.

1928- William T. Hones was planting horseradish in Petersburg Virginia when he dug up a 32 carat diamond. He took it home as a curiosity and only figured out it’s value 15 years later. It was the largest diamond found in North America.

1931- Schick, Inc. introduced the electric razor.

1942- Paramount’s “The Lost Dream” the first Little Audrey cartoon.

1943- The Nazi Gestapo arrested serial killer Bruno Ludke. Ludke admitted to murdering 85 people. He would dress as a laundry delivery man and strangle his victims, mostly women, then commit unnatural acts with their remains. Ludke was sent to a Vienna hospital for medical experiments, then executed in a concentration camp in 1944.

1947- William Durant, the executive who built General Motors into an industrial giant, died the manager of a bowling alley in suburban Chicago. He had been ruined in the 1929 Stock Market Crash.

1962- President DeGaulle of France and Algerian FLN sign an accord giving Independence to Algeria.

1965- Cosmonaut Sergei Leonov is the first human to walk in space.

1965- The Rolling Stones are fined 5 English pence for urinating on a wall in Stratford at ABC recording studio Romford.

1967- The Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened at Disneyland, designed by master animator Marc Davis. In recent years political correctness has disturbed the pirates fun. One diorama that portrayed a lusty buccaneer chasing a wench around a table while she giggles. It was changed to show he was only interested in her sandwich tray. An animatronic of Jack Sparrow was sandwiched in.

1980- At the Soviet Union’ secret Plesetsk space center a Vostok rocket exploded on the launch pad, killing fifty top scientists.

1981- Ronald Reagan’s Vice President George H.W. Bush got into a traffic accident in Washington D.C. while driving his secretary/mistress Jennifer Fitzgerald to dinner. Desperate to keep his affair out of the papers, Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Attorney General William French-Smith went to DC police HQ and erased any record of the accident from the daily police blotter. George H.W. Bush ran for president on a platform touting his family values.

1986- The New York Times reported that a 17-year-old student in New Jersey had tracked the launch of the new Soviet space station, Mir, before the Soviet government formally announced it. Phillip Naranjo tracked transmissions between space vessels and control centers on Earth. Just before the Russians announced Mir on February 20, the teen had picked up their Cyrillic code.

2011- The first space probe went into orbit around Mercury.
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Yesterdays’ question: In British slang, what is a Yob?

Answer: George Orwell noted that British slang changed frequently. That modern slang would sound alien to Dickens. In the 1960s a yob was a term for a working class guy, usually a street-tough. This opposed to a nob, which was a wealthy, stylish guy.


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