March 18, 2018
March 18th, 2018

Quiz: Why is a zero score in Tennis called Love?

Yesterdays’ question answered below- Why were police vans in the late XIX and early XX Centuries called Paddy Wagons?
History for 3/18/2018
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 49

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 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 his scepter, 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 named himself Czar. Russia enters 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 are 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 Nikolai Lenin, 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 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 it was 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. Captains discouraged target practice, because firing the cannon soiled the nice polished shine on their 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- Paramounts “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 rampant 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. Last week it was announced the brides auction diorama was going to be replaced.

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.

1986- The New York Times reports 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. With a group of friends, Phillip Naranjo tracked transmissions between space vessels and control centers on Earth. Just before the Russians announced Mir on February 20, the teens had picked up some Cyrillic code.

2011- The first space probe went into orbit around Mercury.

Yesterdays’ question: Why were police vans in the late XIX and early XX Centuries called Paddy Wagons?

Answer: A “Paddy" was street slang for an Irishman. For years a large portion of the police departments of larger American cities were of Irish descent (still holds true in cities like New York today) so the police vans were called paddy wagons, as the cops manning them and, on occasion, their “passengers" were Irish.

March 16, 2018
March 16th, 2018

Question: Who are the Black Irish?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown’s nemesis is Lucy. What is Lucy’s last name?
History for 3/16/2018
Birthdays: James Madison, Conrad Nagel, Dr. Josef Mengele the Nazi Angel of Death, Teresa Berganza, Christa Ludwig, Pat Nixon, Alice Bonheur, Harper Goff, Gore Verbinsky, Jerry Lewis, Bernardo Bertolucci, Eric Estrada, Kate Nelligan, Isabelle Huppert is 65, Lauren Graham is 51

597 BC- Babylonian King Nebuchanesser II captured Jerusalem and ended the Old Kingdom of Israel. He forced the Jewish people to relocate to Babylon. This period was called the Babylonian Captivity. After Cyrus the Persian king attacked Babylon and allowed the Jews to go home, they noticed two tribe had disappeared- the Lost Tribes of Israel.
These events were the basis for the term Babylon to be associated with ultimate evil in so much Judeo-Christian apocalyptic writings. It’s been speculated by some scholars that the Israelites at this time worshiped many gods but by the time they left captivity they had trimmed down to one god, the storm god Yahweh.

In the ancient Roman religion this was the first day of nine days of fasting leading up to the Day of Blood, sacred to the Goddess Cybele. Although Jesus fasted in the wilderness, he never asked anyone else to. This pagan festival may be where the Christian Church got the Lenten Fast.

50BC- After maneuvering Pompey and his senatorial enemies out of Rome, Julius Caesar entered the city and proclaimed a general amnesty. Between now and his murder in 44 he drained marshes, built forums, opened the first public libraries and started the first newspaper in human history. The Acta Diurna –The Daily Doings- a one sheet of the acts of the Senate and events. It was pasted on city walls or read aloud by heralds.

37 AD- The Roman Emperor Tiberius had lived to a great old age and spent his last years at his private villa on the Isle of Capri. He had raised his sister Agrippina’s son Caligula to succeed him upon his death. This day after weeks of failing health Tiberius seemed to breathe his last. Caligula took the signet ring from his finger and went out to receive the adulation of the Praetorian Guard and Senate as the new emperor. But suddenly word came that Tiberius had opened his eyes and was asking for wine. The embarrassed Caligula went back into the sickroom and himself smothered the old man with a pillow.

455 A.D.- Roman Emperor Valentinian III was assassinated by kinsmen of Aetius, the half barbarian Roman general who Valentinian had killed the previous September.

1758- THE ST. SABAA MASSACRE- The Apache had invited the westward expanding Spanish colonists to move into the Texas hill country near where Austin would one day be. This brought them into direct conflict with the fierce Commanche nation, just as the Apache had hoped. This day the Commanches descended upon the new Spanish Mission of St. Sabaa and wiped them out. 200 dead. After punitive expeditions failed, the Spaniards left the territory alone. It remained Commancheria until the American settlers overran it in the 1850s.

1778- In Paris, Benjamin Franklin first met Voltaire.

1792 -King Gustavus III Vasa of Sweden was assassinated at a masked ball. He had been warned and went incognito but the killers recognized him because of the bejeweled medals all over his costume. He was a good ruler to Sweden but like Catherine the Great of Russia had no use for democratic parliaments and ruled like an absolute monarch.

Giusseppi Verdi later wrote an opera based on the incident, "Un Ballo en Maschera" and invented a love story where the King falls for the wife of his Prime Minister. He was later forced to revise his story however because the Swedish government resented their late king portrayed as an adulterer. The King’s enemies in his time had accused him of being a child-molester. So to avoid any more hassle, Verdi made him the Duke of Boston.

1802- The fortress at West Point New York becomes the United States Military Academy. 40 student cadets without uniforms. Today West Point graduates about 4000 officers a year. The Long Grey Line.

1830- DULLEST DAY IN HISTORY OF STOCK MARKET- only 31 shares traded for a grand total of $ 3,740 dollars.

1848- King Ludwig Ist of Bavaria abdicated over the scandal of his mistress LOLA MONTEZ . Lola started off as an Irish nymph named Betty James who changed her name and passed herself off as an Argentine flamenco dancer. Ludwig was so besotted with her that after awhile she was hiring and firing gov't officials as the Bavarian economy careened towards bankruptcy. Ludwig protested publicly that all Lola and he ever did was spend evenings reading aloud from Thomas a' Kempis "An Imitation of Christ". Privately he confessed she possessed extraordinary internal muscles...ahem....
He gave the crown to his brother Maximillian and she published a best selling book on beauty tips and toured the U.S..

1850- Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter published.

1861- TEXAS voted to join the Southern Confederacy over the protests of elderly governor Sam Houston. Houston argued that a better course to follow was to invade Mexico again and this time conquer all of it, after which Americans would elect Houston President and he would redress all Southern grievances. Sam seemed a little out of it by now….
As the Texas legislature called out 7 times for Sam Houston to take the Oath to the Confederacy, Houston sat quietly in his chair whittling on a stick. He then retired to his ranch and died a year later. Thousands of Texans died in the Civil War and the state was under military occupation until 1877.

1906- The Rolls-Royce Motorcar Company incorporated. Mr. Charles Rolls and Sir William Royce quickly realized that they couldn’t compete with the mass produced low cost motorcars made by Henry Ford, so they appealed to the high end buyer with elegant hand made craftsmanship.

1898- Artist Aubrey Beardsley died of tuberculosis at 25. Having a religious conversion at the end of his life, but still the stickler for detail, his last words were:" Destroy all my erotic drawings...all the bad ones too...." Luckily for history his friends did neither.

1921- On the final day of the 10th Communist Party Congress Lenin laid down the statutes barring dissent in Russia. From now on Anarchism, Socialism, Centrism, Trade Unionism, in fact any dissent or disagreement with the Soviet Communist Party from Right of Left would be seen as Counter-Revolutionary Dead-Meatism.
Tired of arguing with old Bolsheviks over how Russian society should be transformed, he in effect stamped out the last sparks of democracy in Russia. The slogans of Russia belonging to the workers and peasants became just that- slogans. Russia really belonged to a small central committee controlling the Communist Party.

1926 -Robert Goddard launches the first liquid fueled rocket in Auburn Massachusetts. In later years he was invited to join Cal Tech and the Galcit group in forming the embryonic Jet Propulsion Lab. Goddard refused because at such a government facility he would no longer be the center of attention but just another scientist. Goddard also set up the first testing grounds in Rosswell New Mexico.

1934- Disney’s short The Three Little Pigs won an Oscar for best animated short.

1935- ADOLF HITLER surprised the world by announcing Germany's refusal to be bound by the Versailles Treaty anymore. He calls for universal conscription for a 100 division army, and reveals the secret massive illegal German arms buildup and the Luftwaffe, now the world's largest air force. He then waited for the Allies reaction, which was nothing.

1961- Walt Disney comedy The Absent Minded Professor with Fred MacMurray premiered.

1968-THE MY-LAI MASSACRE- U.S. troops brutalized and killed 500 Vietnamese civilians. The GI's were disgusted with the endless invisible ambushes and not being able to tell civilians from guerrillas. So this day they annihilated an entire village that intelligence said had aided in an ambush of an earlier patrol. They lined up people in front of an open pit and shot them down. They got so carried away that a Huey helicopter gunship commanded by Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson had to place itself between the soldiers and the fleeing women & children and threatened to fire if they didn't stop.
Atrocities conducted under wartime stress are sadly common in all wars, but this one and the clumsy attempt to cover it up particularly horrified the American public. The ensuing media coverage began the harsh public attitude towards returning veterans, unprecedented in American wars. Only one person, Lt. William Calley, ever went to jail. Thompson and the surviving crew of the helicopter that halted the massacre were not acknowledged for their bravery until 1998, by President Clinton.

1985- A.P. correspondent Terry Anderson kidnapped by terrorist militia in Beirut. He was held captive for seven years.

1994- Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding was arrested for obstructing the prosecution of the case of the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.

2007- Author Michael Crichton was the author of classics like The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park. He had been called the H.G. Wells of modern times. But today he shocked the scientific community by denouncing the theory of Global Warming.

2005- Old actor Robert Blake was acquitted of the murder of his wife Bonnie Lee Blakeley. She was shot in the head while in their car after having dinner together. Blake claimed he had returned to the restaurant to retrieve his gun. (?)
Another suspect has never been found.

2008- J.P. Morgan bought-out collapsing superbank Bear Sterns (BSC), the first major firm to fall in the great global economic collapse of 2008. One factor in the crisis was unregulated lying to stockholders and falsifying records. Just two of Bear-Stearns hedge-fund managers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, lost $1.6 billion, all while telling investors that everything was fine.
Yesterday’s Question: In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown’s nemesis is Lucy. What is Lucy’s last name?

Answer: Lucy Van Pelt.

March 15, 2018
March 15th, 2018

Question: In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown’s nemesis is Lucy. What is Lucy’s last name?

Yesterday’s Question: Caesar was warned “ Beware the Ides of March.” What are Ides?
History for 3/15/2018
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 75, Eva Longoria is 43, 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. Arslans 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 Delaware 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 being in drag 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 Ist.

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 Fammele." 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 veterans 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 rent 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.

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 domestic 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 with 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- 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.
Yesterday’s Question: Caesar was warned “ Beware the Ides of March.” What are Ides?

Answer: The Roman month was divided into three sections (weeks), of ten days each. The first was the Calends, the second the Ides, and the third week the Nones. So a Roman would call today The Fifth Day of the Ides of Mars.

March 14, 2018
March 14th, 2018

Question: Caesar was warned “ Beware the Ides of March.” What are Ides?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: In the original Mary Poppins movie, what was the name of the dancing chimney sweep played by Dick van Dyke ?
History for 3/14/2018
Birthdays: Georg Phillip Telemann, Johann Strauss Sr., Albert Einstein, Casey Jones, Quincy Jones is 84, astronaut Frank Borman, Les Brown, Hank Ketcham, Wolfgang Petersen, Diane Arbus, Chris Klein, Michael Cain born Maurice Mickelwhite is 85, Billy Crystal is 70

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.

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!"

1962- Ted Kennedy first announced he was a candidate for the United States Senate. He remained a senator until 2009.

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.

1972- The Godfather premiered.

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 ever (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!!
Quiz: In the original Mary Poppins movie, what was the name of the dancing chimney sweep played by Dick van Dyke ?

Answered: Bert.

March 13, 2018
March 13th, 2018

Quiz: In the original Mary Poppins movie, what was the name of the dancing chimney sweep played by Dick van Dyke ?

Yesterday's Question answered below: What does it mean when people say " Bob's Yer Uncle"?
History 3/13/2018
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 68, Dick Katz, Annabell Gish, Joe Ranft

27BC- AUGUSTUS BECOMES 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 eveyone.

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 Ubb 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 directors 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 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. Uh- huh….?

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 from the New World.
Yesterdays Question: What does it mean when people say "Bob's Yer Uncle"?

Answer: The career of British politician Sir Arthur Balfour was sponsored and promoted by the Prime Minister Lord Robert Salisbury, to whom he was a nephew. No matter what mistakes he made, he seemed to advance, because " Bob's your Uncle".