Jan 12, 2019
January 12th, 2019

QUIZ: What was the Riddle of the Sphinx?

Answer to yesterdays question below: Who was Maynard G. Crebs? (hint: classic television)
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History for 1/12/2019
Birthdays: Pilgrim leader John Winthrop, Charles Perrault (Mother Goose), John Hancock, Edmund Burke, John Singer Sargent, Jack London, James Farmer the founder of CORE, Herman Goering, "Smokin' Joe" Frazier, Tex Ritter, Martin Agronsky, Howard Stern is 64, Rush Limbaugh, Oliver Platt is 59, Wayne Wang, Tiffany, Kirstie Alley is 63, Disney Animator John Sibley, John Lasseter is 62

Festival of Sarasvati –the Hindu Goddess of Wisdom.

1493- All Jews ordered to leave Sicily.

1519-Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Spanish discoverer of the Pacific, was convicted of treason, rebellion and mistreatment of Indians and beheaded. The cause was probably more that the local colonial governor Pedro de Arias hated him.

1641- The Virginia Colony passed a law that if any Indian committed a crime, the first Indian seen, even if he was completely innocent, would be compelled to pay his fine.

1669- Buccaneer Henry Morgan convened a meeting of the Captains of the Coast, a meeting of pirates on board his frigate the Oxford. In their meeting they resolved to attack Cartagena Columbia, a rich Spanish port and staging area for Spanish treasure galleons. During the drunken celebrations someone fired a gun off in the Oxford’s powder magazine and the ensuing explosion killed 200. Arrr..!

1800- The frigate USS Experiment was attacked by ten pirate ships off Hispaniola.

1809- A group of Viennese businessmen convinced Ludwig Van Beethoven not to move to another city by paying him a yearly allowance. Beethoven continually worried about money and pleaded poverty, yet after his death people found thousands of silver coins hidden in little pots and cupboards throughout his home. He used to charge people three marks to look at him through his window while he composed.

1812- The first Mississippi steamboat brought a cargo of cotton bales from Natchez to New Orleans to be loaded onto a transatlantic ship. This is the beginning of the riverboat trade Mark Twain made famous.

1898- Nationalist riots broke out in the Spanish colony of Cuba. U.S. President McKinley sent the battleship Maine to Havana harbor to protect American interests. Americans have coveted Cuba since James Madison's time. Just before the Civil War broke out, Southern businessmen paid mercenaries to conquer Cuba from Spain and bring her into the union as a new slave state. The U.S. threatened Spain with war over Cuba in 1870 and 1874 as well.

1928- NY police raid Alfred Knopf publishing offices, and seized 852 copies of the novel “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall, because it was thought to turn innocent girls into lesbians!

1928- Henry Grey and Ruth Snyder are electrocuted in Sing-Sing Prison for the murder of Mrs. Snyder's husband. The love triangle was the inspiration for the films 'Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice' and 'Body Heat". Press photographer Thomas Howard taped a small camera to his ankle and snapped a photo of Mrs Snyder frying in the chair. The New York Daily News published the photo on its front page.

1942- German submarine U-123 torpedoed the American tanker S.S. Norness right outside the entrance to New York Harbor. The night before the U-123 had actually sailed up the Hudson, right past the Statue of Liberty in the dead of night. Captain Reinhard Hardegen was surprised the Americans had not instituted black-out rules yet. The lights of Manhattan twinkled brightly. The incident sent panic up and down the Eastern seaboard. The New York Museum of Natural History even moved its Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to Pittsburgh, to save it from Nazis attack.

1945- To the overture of thousands of heavy cannons and Katyusha rockets the Red army crossed the Vistula in Poland to begin its final offensive against the Third Reich. This would end at with Hitler’s death and the surrender of Berlin. The German’s nicknamed the multiple firing Katyushas “Stalin’s Pipe Organ”.

1945- Japan signed licensing contracts and received from Nazi Germany their plans for jet fighters. Work was begun on a Japanese version of the Messerschmidt ME 262, the worlds’ first jet fighter, but they were too late to effect the wars end. The first Japanese fighter jet flew over Tokyo on Aug 6th, 1945, the day Hiroshima was atomic-bombed.

1960-” The Scent of Mystery”- the first film in Smell-O-Vision.

1962- President John F. Kennedy signed Executive order 10988, mandating federal workers had the right to join unions and bargain collectively. In 2001 in the trauma over 9-11, President George W. Bush demanded his newly organized 50,000 member Department of Homeland Security be forbidden to unionize.

1965- NBC TV premiered Hullabaloo, a Rock & Roll dance show with lots of mini-skirted go-go dancers. ABC responded with Shindig.

1966- Holy Cult Classic! The TV show "Batman" with Adam West and Burt Ward premiered.

1969- Super Bowl III at the Orange Bowl, Broadway Joe Namath and the underdog NY Jets upset the Baltimore Colts led by the legendary Johnny Unitas 16-7.

1970- The Boeing 747 makes it’s first flight.

1970- The Biafran Civil War ended.

1971- “ ALL IN THE FAMILY” Norman Lear's TV sitcom about racism and the 60's, debuted. Based on a successful British show Steptoe and Son, it broke new ground for American sitcoms by frankly discussing race prejudice, menopause, rape and other taboo subjects. The first show featured the sound of a toilet flushing. The networks were so worried about its explosive content ABC rejected the show twice, and CBS ran the first episodes with a long apologetic disclaimer. Carrol O’Connor, the actor who played Archie Bunker, was so convinced the show would flop, he demanded as part of his contract a round trip plane ticket home. The show ran for 13 years, a bushel of Emmy Awards and made Archie Bunker a folk-hero.

1971- Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan, nun Sister Elizabeth McAllister and several others were indicted in Federal court for conspiracy. The Catholic clerics were trying to bring an end to the Vietnam War through non-violent acts of civil disobedience. After handcuffing themselves to missiles and the gates of army bases the government alleged their scheme was to kidnap top Nixon diplomat Henry Kissinger and sabotage the State Department heating systems in the dead of winter. All charges were eventually overturned.

1987- No mystery, Agatha Christie dies at 88 of natural causes.

1995- Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen announced the name of their new partnership would be 'Dreamworks SKG'. Someone in Florida immediately bought the domain name “Dreamworks.com” and waited for their buyout offer. I heard it was $5,000.

1997-According to Arthur C. Clarkes 1968 book "2001, a Space Odyssey", the HAL-9000 computer was booted up today.

1998-The LEWINSKY SCANDAL- Former White House staffer Linda Tripp was frustrated her career in the Clinton Administration was going nowhere. This day she appeared in the office of independent special prosecutor Kenneth Starr with tape recordings she secretly made of her friend Monica Lewinsky. They admitted to a sexual affair with the President. Conservative Judge Starr had been investigating Slick-Willie Clinton for years. After spending $54 million tax dollars, he hadn’t found much. So he immediately leaped at this opportunity, and asked the Attorney General for an extension of his mandate.
Ms. Lewinsky had meant to keep her affair a secret, despite her telling 11 friends. By autumn the resultant scandal brought Washington to a standstill and only the second presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. President Clinton first lied, then admitted to the affair, but was acquitted and served out his term anyway. Then Linda Tripp asked the public for donations for her legal defense fund for her violating federal wiretap laws “I am one of you...a David against a Goliath...Even $1,000 dollars would do..” She took the money and got a facelift.

2001- The Cohen Bros film Oh, Brother Where Art Thou? Goes into general release.

2002-The Refusenik Movement began in Israel when 53 Israeli Army officers announced they refused to enforce the Likud Government’s policy in the West Bank & Gaza.
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Yesterdays’ Question: Who was Maynard G. Crebs? (hint: classic television)

Answer: He was the Beatnik best bud of Dobie Gillis from the TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.


Jan 11, 2019
January 11th, 2019

Quiz: Who was Maynard G. Crebs? (hint: classic television)

Yesterday’s question answered below: What is a platitude?
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History for 1/11/2019
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Theodosius I, Alexander Hamilton, Gliere, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Harry Selfridge the London department store guy, Rod Taylor, David Wolper, Lyle Lovett, Ben Crenshaw, Naomi Judd, Joan Baez, Stanley Tucci, Disney animator Prez Romanillos, Amanda Peet is 47

Roman festival Carmentalia, or the Feast of the Nine Muses.

1025- Byzantine Emperor John Tzimisces poisoned. He had become Emperor after seducing the previous emperor’s wife and assassinating him. John was succeeded by Basil II "the Bulgar Slayer".

1775- Frances Salvador, a South Carolina plantation owner was elected to the colony’s legislature. This makes him the first person of the Jewish faith to ever hold office in America. He was known as the Paul Revere of the South, because he raised the alarm through the countryside when the redcoats approached Charleston. One year later he was killed by British allied Cherokees.

1803 –U.S. diplomats James Monroe and Robert Livingston sailed for France to try and make a deal with Napoleon for the city of New Orleans. Instead, Napoleon sells them the entire U.S. Midwest, from the Bayous to Montana. Such a deal!

1813- SAUVE’ QUI PEUT! “Every Man for Himself.” Joachim Murat was a bold cavalryman who rose to high command under Napoleon. He married Napoleon’s sister Caroline and was made the King of Naples. Back then that meant the bottom half of Italy, south of Rome. But after Napoleon’s disastrous Retreat From Moscow, Murat began the New Year by changing sides. He abandoned the freezing French army recovering in Poland and announced he was taking Naples into the Grand Alliance against Napoleon. Even Nappy’s own sister Caroline endorsed his decision. But this amazing act of betrayal didn’t save his throne. Murat was still overthrown and executed.

1862- Abraham Lincoln accepted the resignation of Simon Cameron as Secretary of War. Lincoln said:” The only thing that man never stole was a red hot stove.” He replaced him with Edwin Stanton, a lawyer who was the first to get a client off a murder charge with a plea of temporary insanity.

1863- The Confederate Armies in Tennessee and Kentucky were commanded by General Baxton Bragg, a conscientious if sour and unimaginative man. Bragg wasted two near victories at Perryville and Stones River by ordering a retreat just when the Yankees were beaten. Southern newspapers called for his ouster.
This day Bragg demanded a letter of support from all his generals. His top divisional commanders Hardee, Cleburne, Cheatham and Breckenridge not only refused, they sent their own letters to Richmond calling him an incompetent coward. Nathan Bedford Forrest hated Bragg so much, he once pulled his sword on him. But Bragg had a friend in President Jefferson Davis. Baxton Bragg convinced Davis he was the innocent victim of a conspiracy. So Davis reconfirmed Bragg in command. Only after losing most of the state of Tennessee was Bragg finally replaced. He was promoted, kicked upstairs.

1863- Battle of Arkansas Post. Union forces under John McClernand and David Dixon Porter capture a large Confederate fort guarding the conflux of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers. McClernand at one point was angling with the War Dept. to replace that drunk Ulysses S. Grant.

1874- Gail Borden, the inventor of condensed milk, died and was buried beneath a tombstone made to look like one of his milk cans.

1879- THE ZULU WAR began. British control over the Boers (white afrikkaners of South Africa ) was always strained. The Governor of Capetown. Lord Chelmsford, decided to distract the Boers by picking a fight with neighboring KwaZulu, the Zulu Empire, the largest centralized black state in Africa. He had only vague instructions from the Foreign Office to do so. Still he was confident a few natives with spears wouldn't give a modern European army too much trouble. On Jan. 22nd the Zulu wiped out his army at Ishandlwana, inflicting the worst defeat on a British army in a generation. The full weight of the British Empire, including units brought from India and Canada, were required to finish a war started over nothing by a regional governor.

1892- French impressionist painter Paul Gaughin, aged 46, married a 13 year old Tahitian girl named Tehura.

1908- President Teddy Roosevelt declared the entire Grand Canyon a National Monument. “The Ages have been at work at it and Man can only mar it.”

1913- Horse drawn public transport ended in Paris. As the last horse-omnibus moved through the streets. Parisians held mock funerals.

1922- Insulin first used to treat diabetes.

1942- Japanese forces attacked the Dutch East Indies and Borneo.

1943- American Communist writer Carlos Tresca was shot and killed on a New York street. His killer was never found. It’s been speculated he was killed by agents of Mussolini or even agents of Stalin.

1944- Mussolini has his foreign minister Count Ciano and his army chief Marshal De Bono, shot by firing squad. Count Ciano was his own son-in-law.

1948- President Harry Truman called for the creation of free, two-year community colleges for all those who desired a college education.

1949- The first recorded snowfall in Los Angeles.

1949- Cornerstone laid for Washington D.C.’s Islamic Center, the first major mosque in the US.

1963- A record was released in Britain called “Please, Please Me” recorded by a working class rock & roll band from Liverpool called The Beatles. It was their first major hit.

1964- U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry gave the first warnings against smoking.

1965- Whisky-A-Go-Go, the first Disco opened on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Discotecque is French for record library. An earlier Whisky had opened in Chicago. The LA Whisky a Go Go opened with a live band led by Johnny Rivers, featuring a mini-skirted female DJ spinning records between sets from a suspended cage at the right of the stage. That July, the DJ danced during Rivers' set. The audience thought it was part of the act and the concept of Go-Go dancers was born. Groovy!

1995- Warner Bros purchased a dozen metromedia television stations around the US and this day started them off as the WB Network.

1999- John Stewart became the anchor of the Daily Show on Comedy Central.

2004- Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg registered the domain name Facebook.com.

2018- President Donald Trump earned the anger of the world when in an open meeting with senate leaders he said “Why are we accepting people from shithole countries like Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, when we could have people from Norway?”
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Yesterday’ Question: What is a platitude?

Answer: Platitudes are well worn moral sayings that have been used so often and in so many contexts that they no longer carry any appreciable meaning.
A pointless and inane statement presented as though it was of grave importance.


Jan 10, 2019
January 10th, 2019

Quiz: What is a platitude?

Yesterday’s question answered below: In a recent broadcast, Rachel Maddow used the word Picayune as an adjective. There is a newspaper called the Times Picayune, but what does it mean to call something picayune?
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History for 1/10/2019
Birthdays: Ethan Allen, Marshal Michel Ney, Frank James -Jesse's brother, Francois Poulenc, Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz), Al Goldstein the publisher of Screw Magazine, Stephen Ambrose, Sherrill Milnes, Pat Benatar, Sal Mineo, Jim Croce, Rod Stewart, Walter Hill, George Foreman, Linda Lovelace, Roy E Disney Jr, Jermaine Clement of Flight of the Concords is 45

50 B.C.- "Jacta Esta Alea!" Gaius Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River near modern Rimini with his legions and began a civil war for control of the Roman Empire. Caesar had been ordered by the Senate to give up his army command in Gaul and not bring his troops down. Once stripped of command he could be open to lawsuits, investigation and criminal charges. Years before Scipio Africanis, the defeater of Hannibal, was ruined by his political enemies this way. So instead Caesar attacked. The Rubicon was the border between the outer provinces and the home territory of Rome. Since then, "Crossing the Rubicon" means committing to a course of action you cannot turn back from. Caesar said "Alea jacta est" which means "The die is cast".

1072- Robert Giscard captured Palermo. At the same time Norman warriors under William the Conqueror were overrunning England and Scotland, other Normans were traveling south and spreading out across Southern Italy, Sicily and Dalmatia. They weren’t a national conquering army under a king, just professional mercenaries out for personal gain. They occupied Sicily and became the shock troops of the First Crusade. The Normans were finally driven out of Sicily in 1282.

1529- Michelangelo elected to design the military defenses of Florence. They failed to keep out the enemy, but they must have looked really beautiful!

1538- Martin Luther declared that Purgatory does not exist. " God in the Gospel of Mark has placed two ways before us- Salvation by faith or Damnation by unbelief."

1642- King Charles I slipped out of London as the city grew increasingly hostile to his cause. Londoners threw garbage out their windows at his Royal Guards. He traveled north to gather supporters. Parliament superseded the authority of the Mayor of London and called up the city militia. The English Civil War would break out in September.

1744- Bonnie Prince Charlie left exile in Rome to go to Scotland and start his uprising.

1775- PUGACHEV’S RISING. Yemelian Pugachev was an illiterate Cossack. One day, for a laugh, his friends shaved his beard off while he was too drunk to notice. Without the beard they discovered he bore an amazing likeness to the Catherine the Great's dead husband, Czar Peter III. There was deep resentment in Russia among the common folk against the rule of Czarina Catherine. She was modernizing Russia against it's will and wasn't even Russian (she was a German princess).
Pugachev declared himself the Czar Peter, back to reclaim his throne for the Muziks (peasants) and the Old Religion. Pugachev's Rising cost tens of thousands of lives before Catherine's armies stamped it out. Today Pugachev was brought to Moscow in an iron cage, then beheaded. A comparable Russian people's uprising would not be seen again until 1905.

1776- COMMON SENSE published. Thomas Paine's pamphlet explaining the case for liberty was considered psychologically decisive in garnering mass support among average Americans. Washington called it -"more valuable than a hundred cannon." Englishman Paine, a former corset maker, had only been living in America for one year.

1855- The Clackamas People of the Oregon territory sold some most of their prime timberland for $500 and some food.

1861- Benito Juarez elected President of the Mexican Republic. The statesman spoke Zapotec before he learned Spanish, and became the first Indian head of Mexico since the last Aztec Emperor Guatamoc in 1519. During Emperor Maximillian’s French occupation, Juarez's government was constantly on the run along the Texas border but he refused to ever cross it. He felt his legitimate government must never leave Mexican soil.

1861- Florida became the third state to secede from the Union.

1863-The world's first Subway Train line opened in London at Baker's Street Station.

1870- John D. Rockefeller first formed the company called Standard Oil. In 1911 it changed its name to Esso and Humble, then in 1973 Exxon.

1878- the first Amendment proposing to give women the right to vote is proposed in Congress. Suffragette leaders Elizabeth Cady-Stanton and Susan B. Anthony looked for three months for a senator with the guts to sponsor it. It was defeated but it was brought up at every congressional session for the next 45 years. (see below 1917-1918)

1888-date of LOUIS LePRINCE's claim of a patent on Motion Pictures, predating Edison 1893 and the Lumiere Brothers1895. LePrince even had as proof a film he shot of his mother, who had died in 1887. Despite this, LePrince could get no one to take him seriously. One day he boarded a train from Dijon to Paris and disappeared from the face of the Earth.

1901- SPINDLETOP- BLACK GOLD, TEXAS TEA..- Conventional wisdom up till then was America’s oil reserves were chiefly around the Great Lakes and Pennsylvania. On this day Texas wildcat drillers strike oil in Beaumont Texas. The Spindletop gusher is so gigantic, 3,000 barrels an hour, it doubles the total U.S. oil production output overnight. Companies like Gulf and Texaco spring up to compete with industry leader Standard Oil (Exxon). The era of the Texas Oil Tycoons began and until they ran dry in the 1970s, America controlled 80% of the worlds petroleum output.

1906- The London Daily Mail coined a new term for women politically agitating to gain suffrage, or the right to vote, "Suffragettes".

1910- Joyce Clyde Hall started the company that became Hallmark Cards.

1917- On the anniversary of the first women’s right to vote bill The Women's Suffragette Movement began a 24 hour round the clock protest in front of the White House. It is the first time the White House was ever publicly picketed. Ten suffragettes are jailed but are immediately replaced by ten more, who when arrested are replaced by more, then more.

1917- Frontiersman and master showman Buffalo Bill Cody died at 70 of uremia poisoning. His last words after he was told his end had come was "Ah forget it boys, let's play a round of High-Five." Today his grave still overlooks the city of Denver.

1918- 45 years after being first proposed, The Nineteeth Amendment granting American women the right to vote passed in The House of Representatives. It failed at first to get the necessary 2/3 vote in the Senate, but after more votes and wrangling. It finally passed in Feb 1919.

1919- The League of Nations formed. The United States refusal to join and the Leagues refusal to admit Soviet Russia would doom this early attempt at a United Nations. Being dominated by old colonial powers like Britain and France it ignored the national aspirations of 3rd world countries like Syria and Vietnam. Finally the aggressive actions of the Fascist powers like Germany, Italy and Japan revealed the impotence of the League. The Leagues failure and World War II was used to make the point about the United Nations in 1945.

1923- When the defeated Germans proved too slow in paying the massive postwar indemnities (cash payments) to the Allies for World War I, a Franco-Belgian army occupied the Ruhr Valley industrial area. This cuts off the already ruined German economy from 80% of its steel and coal. The French leave after massive steel strikes and riots, and leave the Germans fresh hatreds to avenge later.

1924- Columbia Pictures created, ruled by Harry Cohn, whose motto was "I don't get ulcers, I give them!"

1927- Fritz Lang’s masterpiece film Metropolis premiered.

1929- Herge’s comic character Tin Tin first appeared in a Belgian newspaper XXe Siecle.

1939- Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov sold his first story to Amazing Stories Magazine "Marooned off Vesta".

1941- The comedy play ARSENIC AND OLD LACE opened on Broadway. Playwright Joseph Kesselring originally wrote it as a drama based on true events, until he was advised - and, wisely so - to turn it into a dark comedy instead, guaranteeing a larger audience. He made the title a joke on a popular turn of the century romance novel, Lavender and Old Lace. When someone joked that Mortimer’s evil brother looked Boris Karloff, the character was indeed played by famous horror movie star Boris Karloff. He was an investor in the play. When buying the movie rights Warner Bros agreed to wait until the play ended its theatrical run. They thought plays usually are done in a few months so they had Frank Capra make it into a classic screwball comedy with Cary Grant and Raymond Massey. The play Arsenic and Old Lace ran on Broadway for three years, until 1944. Then Warner Bros could finally release the movie.

1949- For years the recording industry had been working on ways to improve the 78 RPM record –RPM means Rotations Per Minute. RCA records announced the invention of the 45 RPM record. Columbia (CBS) had announced the LP (Long Playing) 33 rpm record and originally offered to share the technology but RCA (NBC) was having none of it. But the 33 stored more music and could use old 78 rpm turntables adapted so the 45 soon became a vehicle for hit singles.

1958- Jerry Lee Lewis single "Great Balls of Fire" topped the pop charts.

1958- GET MARRIED, OR ELSE! Blond actress Kim Novak had starred in Hitchcock’s Vertigo and was touted as the new Marilyn Monroe. In 1957 she began a love affair with black entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. Davis was a member of Sinatra’s Ratpack and he challenged America’s racial barriers with his great talent. But this high profile interracial match was just too much for Hollywood society to handle. Columbia’s studio head Harry Cohn said of Novak-"That fat Polack Bitch! How could she do this to me?! "
Legend has it Cohn called the Chicago Mafia and put a contract out on Sammy Davis. L.A. mobster Mickey Cohen told Davis’ father that if Sammy didn’t marry a colored girl in 24 hours he would have his legs broken and his remaining good eye poked out.
On this day in Las Vegas’ Sands Hotel, Sammy Davis Jr. married black actress Loray White. Harry Belafonte was the best man. The couple honeymooned separately and divorced 6 months later. But the affair with Novak was over and Harry Cohn died of a heart attack the same year. In 1960 Sammy Davis married blonde German actress May Britt.

1961- Writer Dashell Hammett died.

1967- Lester Maddox was sworn in as Governor of Georgia. Maddox was a high school dropout who gained national stature when he refused to allow black people to eat at his restaurant, the PickNick Café in Atlanta. Maddox passed out axe handles to white patrons to beat Civil Rights workers. Maddox finally closed his restaurant rather than integrate.

1970- Masterpiece Theater debuted on US TV with host Alastair Cooke. The first show was the BBC series The First Churchills. These shows were so popular that for awhile people thought PBS meant Preferably British Shows.

1972- The liner Queen Elizabeth 1, on her retirement journey to the scrap yard, mysteriously caught fire and sank in Hong Kong harbor.

1992- The GREAT RUBBER DUCKY DISASTER- A North Pacific storm causes a ship to lose 29,000 plastic rubber duck toys overboard. They joined 61,000 Nike sneakers already bobbing in the water from a similar maritime accident. Scientists used the rubber ducky migration to track Pacific Ocean currents around Alaska.

1993- CAMILLAGATE- As speculation grew that the English Prince and Princess of Wales' marriage was on the rocks a London tabloid published tapes of phone conversations between Prince Charles and his long term mistress Lady Camilla Parker Bowles. The highly embarrassing transcripts included the Prince expressing a wish that he could be Ms. Bowles' tampon. Camilla's husband divorced her and Charles and Diana soon divorced as well. Within a year of Princess Diana's fatal auto accident Camilla resumed spending the night at Kensington Palace. Camilla and Charles married in 2005.

2000- AOL and Time Warner announced a $165 billion dollar merger that made it the world’s largest media company. Considered now one of the worst business deals in history, the company lost $80 billion in one year. The deal almost sank both companies, uprooted both chairmen, and they detached permanently in 2009.

2004- NY based Writer and actor Spaulding Gray spent the day taking his kids to the movies. They saw Tim Burton’s movie Big Fish. Gray put his kids into a taxi home and from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, called his wife to say he would be home soon and that he loved her. Then he took the ferry, jumped into the harbor and drowned himself. He had waged a long battle with depression and his mother had commit suicide. His body did not resurface until March 9.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: In a recent broadcast, Rachel Maddow used the word Picayune as an adjective. There is a newspaper called the Times Picayune, but what does it mean to call something picayune?

Answer: It means of little value, trivial, petty worthless. From an old Spanish coin, half a real.


Jan 9, 2019
January 9th, 2019

Quiz: In a recent broadcast, Rachel Maddow used the word Picayune as an adjective. There is a newspaper called the Times Picayune, but what does it mean to call something picayune?

Yesterdays’ question answer below: What was the Dewey Decimal System?
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History for 1/9/2019
Birthdays: Richard Nixon, Woody Guthrie, Ray Bolger, William Powell, George Balanchine, Judith Krantz, Bob Denver, Crystal Gayle, Joan Baez, Simone de Beauvoir, Sir Rudolph Bing, Herbert Lom, Gypsy Rose Lee, Joely Richardson, J.K. Simmons is 64.

Festival of Janus, the namesake of January, Roman God of gateways and doors. Not to be confused, of course, with Terminus, God of borders and terminal points, Lemintinus the God of threshholds and stoops. Cardea the Goddess of hinges, or Forculus the God of the door leaves and sectioned doors.

1349- The Jews of Basel Switzerland were locked up in a warehouse and burned to death. Their neighbors accused them of bringing the Black Plague.

1570- Ivan the Terrible, just getting the suspicion that the city of Novgorod may be plotting a revolt, surrounded the city and massacred 20,000 people. Afterwards he told the survivors: " Forget your wrongs."

1768- Former English cavalry sergeant Phillip Astley combined trick riding in a tight circular ring, with a clown act, and some jugglers and took it all on the road. The first traveling circus.

1769- Gaspar De Portola and St. Junipero Serra set sail from Mexico to colonize California. The California coastline had been explored by Juan De Cabrillo, Sir Francis Drake and others 250 years earlier. But since there were no more gold-rich Aztec-type cities to plunder, it was quickly forgotten. Conquistadors don’t surf. By the 1760s, Spain’s King Charles III was finally moved to order the colonization of California to limit the encroachment of Russian fur traders coming down into Mendocino, and the English claims to the Oregon territory.

1793- Aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard and his dog flew by hot air balloon from Philadelphia to Woodbury New Jersey. President George Washington was a spectator.

1806- In London, this day was the great funeral of Admiral Horatio Nelson, killed at the moment of victory in the Battle of Trafalgar. He was interred under the center of Saint Pauls Cathedral in a tomb built for Henry VIII's chancellor Cardinal Woolsey. Woolsey fell from royal favor before he ever got a chance to use it. The huge stone coffin stayed around in storage until a suitable hero popped up. An early example of recycling.

1825- Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams have dinner. The presidential election was deadlocked between Adams and Andrew Jackson with Clay a distant third. Andrew Jackson had won the popular votes, but the electoral votes were tied. Over sherry, Henry Clay offered all his electoral votes to Adams in exchange for the job of Secretary of State. So John Quincy Adams won the presidency with the electoral votes of states like Kentucky where hardly a soul had voted for him. People were furious over King Caucus and called it the stolen election. In the next election cycle Andy Jackson won easily and began major reform of the electoral system.

1847- THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES-after a small skirmish near San Gabriel Mission, Commodore Richard Stockton and the U.S. cavalry retake Los Angeles and end resistance by the native Mexican population 'the Californios', to U.S. rule. The Californios had driven out the Yankee occupiers three times before.

1847- First U.S. governor of New Mexico territory Charles Bent is murdered and scalped by angry Indians after the U. S. conquering army had moved on. His trading post- Bent’s Fort, still stands today.

1857- The Fort Tejon earthquake shook Los Angeles This was the last major quake in Southern Cal of the great San Andreas Fault, an estimated 8.0! Stay tuned….

1860- The Star of the West, a ship sent to re-supply Union held Fort Sumter sitting out in Charleston Harbor, was fired on by South Carolina shore batteries on Morris Island and forced to turn around. These are the first hostile shots fired between North & South. But the incident was not enough to trigger the U.S. Civil War.

1914 -John Randolph Bray takes out patents on the principles of film animation: cycles, arcs, keys and inbetweens. He even tried to sue Winsor McCay, who had already been using them for years.

1924- The breakfast cereal Wheaties invented.

1936- Actor John Gilbert died of a heart attack after years of alcohol abuse. The accepted reason was he was a has-been silent film star who's voice was too thin and squeaky for talking pictures. Actually his voice wasn't too bad, some of it may of had to do with his punching Louis B. Mayer in the mouth when Mayer made a crude remark about Gilbert's relationship with Greta Garbo -something like "Why marry her when you're getting it anyway ?.."-BOP! . Mayer got up and screamed: "I'll ruin you if it costs me millions!"
Gilbert's fading popularity and decline into alcohol as his second wife Virginia Bruce’s film career blossomed, was the inspiration for "A Star is Born".

1939- Top Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin was hired by Walt Disney. He quit after two fruitless years, and he wrote a children’s book called the "Bear that Wasn’t" about his experiences. An early vice president of the Cartoonists Guild, he also joined the Mouse House to help unionize the studio. After a stint at Screen Gems, in 1945 Frank Tashlin went to Paramount’s live action division and became the director of the Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis comedies.

1959- The TV series Rawhide debuted, starring a young actor named Clint Eastwood. President Lyndon Johnson and Ladybird were big Rawhide fans.

1968- THE BATTLE OF QUE SANH- Que Sanh was a U.S. Marine firebase at the western tip of the Vietnamese DeMilitarized Zone. It was so placed to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This day Firebase Que Sanh was surrounded and attacked by huge North Vietnamese forces. General William Westmorland growled to his corps commanders "This will NOT be the American Dien Bien Phu !" Dien Bien Phu was the 1954 siege that defeated the French. The Battle of Que Sanh lasted until April with the Marines fighting off huge attacks.
The U.S. media at the time portrayed Que Sanh as an epic showdown in the tradition of Gettysburg or Guadalcanal, but to the Vietnamese General Ngyun Vo Giap, it was a feint to distract from the real offensive when the Tet Lunar holiday began....

1972- In a rare press conference by telephone from the Bahamas, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes declared the biography done of him by Clifford Irving was a total fabrication.

1976- First day of shooting in Philadelphia of the movie Rocky. It was the first movie to utilize the Steadicam, a system that balanced hand-held camera shots.

1987- THE OCTOBER SURPRISE- The Ronald Reagan White House released a memorandum from 1980 proving the sales of weapons to Iran did bring about the release of the American Embassy hostages. Ronald Reagan had declared there was no ransom paid. His media spinners encouraged the idea that all the Old Gipper had to do was show up in the White House for the mad mullahs to release our people and hightail it outta’ town! Now the truth was out that Reagan lied, but it was too late, and not enough of a sound bite for a dazed & confused public.

2007- Steve Jobs introduced the i-phone.

2008- After his surprise win in the New Hampshire Primary, Barack Obama electrified the country with his speech:” Yes We Can.”
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Yesterday’s Question: What was the Dewey Decimal System?

Answer: In 1873 Melvin Dewey invented a system of organizing library materials within a series of categories and sub-categories, with a decimal notation allowing books to be identified and added to, or omitted from, a library’s catalogue. The system made it easy to find books in a library collection and eventually also provided a way to easily review publication details and even provide a small contextual synopsis. It became ubiquitous throughout the worlds libraries until the advent of computers.


Jan 8, 2019
January 8th, 2019

Question: What was the Dewey Decimal System?

Answer to yesterdays question below: Which state ‘s people and teams have the nickname Hoosiers?
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History for 1/8/2019
Birthdays: Elvis Presley would have been 83, Robert Schumann, Jose Ferrer, Shirley Bassey, Peter Arno, Yvette Mimieux, Larry Storch is 96, John Nierhardt, Bruce Sutter, Charles Osgood, Gen. James Longstreet, publisher Frank Doubleday, Saheed Jafray, Soupy Sales, David Bowie, Kim Jong Un, Steven Hawking.

In 1963, Doctors told 21 year old Steven Hawking he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and he had at best two years to live. He lived to be 77.

Today is the Feast day of St. Severinus of Noricum, one of the first missionaries to the pagan Austrians 482 AD.

794AD- The great Christian monastery of Lindisfarne was sacked by Vikings.

871- Battle of Ashdown- English warriors of Wessex defeated a large force of Vikings led by Halfdan the Black, Bascecg and Ivar the Boneless. On the English side under his brother King Ethlered was future king Alfred the Great.

1297-MONACO FORMED- Francois the Cunning was the leader of the Grimaldis, a prominent Genoese clan. On this day he disguised himself as a monk and sneaked into Monaco castle where he stabbed the guards, then opened the gate for his troops. The Grimaldis became Princes of Monaco in 1659. In 1851 Prince Charles III Grimaldi opened the first gambling casino. In gratitude of it's success, the people named the hill town they lived in Mount Charles, or Monte Carlo. The Grimaldi family still rule Monaco today under their present Grimaldi- Prince Albert Raynier II.

1642- Astronomer Galileo Galilei died at 77 of 'slow fever'. After being forced by the Holy Inquisition to recant his support of the theories of Copernicus in 1616, he lived under a loose house arrest. He became blind, but he played his lute and still published scientific papers smuggled out to be printed in Holland. Other great thinkers like English poet John Milton could visit him.
The Church admitted in 1837 that he may have been right about the Earth going around the Sun. The Vatican originally refused to allow him to be buried in consecrated ground, but relented in 1727 and he was moved to the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. During the move someone cut off three of his fingers for souvenirs. Two of the fingers were eventually recovered and his middle finger is displayed in the Florentine Museum of Science. It is displayed in the upright position.

Jan 8, 1654- Hetman of the Ukraine Bogdan Khmelnitsky pledged loyalty to the Russian Czar in Moscow. The wild steppes between the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia, the Tatars of the Crimea and the Turkish Ottoman Empire was a refuge for runaways and fringe folks much like the American West or the Australian Outback. These Cossacks formed communities adopting Tartar customs and a fierce sense of independence. Khemlnitsky tapped into this independent streak to unite these disparate groups and used them to drive out their Polish Catholic overlords. He ruled the Ukraine like Oliver Cromwell in England. After several major wars maintaining a balance between the Poles, Turks and Russians, Khmelnitsky decided to throw in his lot with Moscow.
After Bogdans’ death, the furious Poles dug up his grave and threw his bones to the dogs, but the deed was done. Despite several major revolts, the Ukraine and the Voivode of Ruthenia (Moldova & Belorus) would stay a part of Russia until 1989. And today we see the strife still between Russia and the Ukraine.

1675- The first American Corporation chartered- The New York Fish Company.

1705- George Frederich Handel’s first opera Almira opened.

1790- George Washington starts a custom of the President delivering an annual speech reporting on the nation's progress in the past year, later known as the State of the Union Address. Because he was the first, Washington had to invent a lot what a President does, as long as it did not look like he acting like was a king. Article II of the Constitution said the President should annually report to Congress how things were doing. So George went to Congress and delivered his report in person in a speech. Tom Jefferson, who disliked public speaking, discontinued the custom and sent his report in writing. It stayed that way until in 1913 Woodrow Wilson revived the custom of a grand address to a joint session of Congress.

1815 "In Eighteen Fifteen we took a little Trip. With Colonel Andy Jackson down the Mighty Missa-sipp" BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS. The last engagement of the War of 1812 and the last battle ever fought between Britons and Americans was actually fought AFTER the peace treaty had been signed. While the battle was raging, the news of the peace treaty was still crossing the Atlantic.
General Andrew Jackson (that fellow on your twenty dollar bill ) had a pathological hatred of anything English. When he heard of their landing, he roared: "By Eternal God I will not have them sleeping on our soil!" He told the terrified New Orleanaise -still more French than American, that he would defend their city to the last, then burn it to the ground.
At Chalumette plantation, the redcoats were met by Jackson's ragtag force of regulars, militia, Jean Lafitte's pirates, Cherokees and slaves, dug-in in a dry canal. Interestingly enough, the slaves proved to be the deadliest shots. Many slave families were denied meat for their diet. One or two men a family were allowed to keep a bird rifle to bring home small game. To them bullets were precious, so they learned to make every shot count. At Chalumette they were given Kentucky long rifles with a range accuracy 300 yds. to the British "Brown Bess" musket 's 150 yds. The British grand assault never got within range before they were annihilated. It was all over in half an hour.

Their commander Sir Edward Packenham, was a brother-in-law to the Duke of Wellington. Wellington himself declined the American command as being militarily impractical. Had the Iron Duke accepted he might have beat Jackson but would certainly have missed the Waterloo Campaign. Sir Edward Packenham caught a bullet between the eyes legend has it fired by a slave child. His body was shipped back to England sealed in a rum barrel. During the voyage home the barrels were mixed up and Sir Edward was tapped for the sailor’s rum rations. Even his officers toasted his memory unknowingly with the same rum. Upon arriving at Portsmouth his lordship had been reduced to brown sludge. EEwwwww!!

1853- The equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson unveiled in Lafayette Park in Washington D.C.

1856- Borax discovered in the California desert by Dr John Veatch. Now where’s that 20 mule team?

1877- Battle of the Tongue River. US Cavalry under General Nelson Miles surprise-attacked Crazy Horse’s winter camp in a Montana snowstorm.

1889- Herman Hollerith received a patent for the electronic counting machine. The machine fed numbers onto punch cards and was used in the U.S. census of 1890. In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company, which later was renamed International Business Machines or IBM.

1904- Pope Pius X banned women wearing low cut dresses in front of clergy.

1916- The British Navy withdrew their forces from the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

1918- THE FOURTEEN POINTS- President Woodrow Wilson had pondered the reason why the world had torn itself apart in World War I. He had his aide Colonel House chaired a committee of top intellectuals and jurists called the Inquiry. They came up with Fourteen Points for lasting world peace. It asked for new ideas like people should be allowed to decide what government controlled them, and freedom of the seas.
Wilson made it the cornerstone of his foreign policy, and airplanes dropped printed leaflets on the Germans. England & France were willing to use the document as propaganda, but were not interested in its ideas. French Premier Clemencau said:" God gave us Ten Commandments, and we broke them. Wilson now gives us Fourteen Points. We will see."

1959- Charles DeGaulle returned to power as President of the Fifth French Republic.

1962- The Mona Lisa traveled to America and went on display today at the National Gallery in Washington. It was loaned in a deal brokered by Jackie Kennedy and French cultural minister Andre Malreaux.

1964- President Lyndon B. Johnson declared his War on Poverty campaign.

1973- Carly Simon got a gold record for "You’re So Vain".

1992- At a state dinner in Tokyo, President George H.W. Bush , suffering from a flu, vomited onto the lap of Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone in front of press cameras. There is now a word in Japanese- BUSHURU, meaning to barf on the person next to you.

2002- Pres George W. Bush Jr. signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law.

2011- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was holding an informal town hall meeting, when a lunatic named Gerald Loughner pulled out a gun and started firing. He killed six people, including an 8 year old girl, and wounded 13. Rep Giffords, shot in the head, barely survived. When her astronaut husband tried to speak out for reasonable gun restrictions, they were declared enemies by the NRA.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Which state ‘s people and teams have the nickname Hoosiers?

Answer: Indiana. There is a theory attributed to Gov. Joseph Wright that we derived Hoosier from an Indian word for corn, "hoosa", but the origin of the term remains a matter of debate.


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