July 18, 2016
July 18th, 2016

Quiz: What is the Van Allen Belt?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a conifer?
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History for 7/18/2016
Birthdays: William Makepeace Thackeray, Chill Wills, Nelson Mandela, James Brolin, Elizabeth McGovern, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Hume Cronyn, Red Skelton, Hunter H. Thompson, Clifford Odets, Paul Verhoeven, John Glenn is 95!, Vin Diesel is 49.

Happy Ancient Egyptian New Year! The day when Cirius the Dog Star is seen in the Southern skies, it heralds the coming of the Nile’s flood. In modern times we call it the Dog Days of Summer.

390 B.C.- THE GAULS SACK ROME.- Migrating tribes of Gauls crossed the Alps, defeated the young republic's legions and stormed into the city as the population fled. When Gauls beheld aging, white haired Roman senators at first they thought they were gods. But when a Gaul pulled one of their beards and the man clopped him on the head , they knew they were just old men and slew them.

The Gauls took ransom and migrated back up to where France is today. The Romans would not meet them again until 300 years later when their empire expanded north. At one point the Romans holding out on the Capitoline Hill were alerted to a Gaulish surprise attack when the Sacred Geese of Juno started squawking. The Romans knew this must be the Goddess' intervention. St. Augustine said: "Right..,so your geese were awake while your gods were asleep !

1792- John Paul Jones died in Paris. Amazingly although Jones was one of the only captains sinking British warships in the whole Revolutionary navy he was never promoted to admiral. So he left in disgust and became a mercenary. He organized the Black Sea Fleet for Czarina Catherine of Russia, but left there after dodging a charge of sex with a minor. He retired to Paris. His sword and medals were pawned to pay for his funeral. The American Ambassador skipped his funeral, because he didn’t want to pass up on a dinner party.

1862- Confederate John Hunt Morgan took his rebel cavalry raiders into Yankee Indiana and attacked the town of Newburg.

1863- THE ASSAULT ON FORT WAGNER- Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and his 54 Mass. Regiment proved the courage of African-American men by a suicide attack on this bastion in the complex of forts around Charleston, South Carolina. Shaw and half of his command were killed but they held the outer works before being driven back.

The fort was never taken and today is under water. 5 Medals of Honor were given that day including a sergeant who dragged himself into camp that night with six bullet wounds and the regiments Stars & Stripes stuffed in his jacket. When Col. Shaw’s family asked for his remains, Confederate commissioners snapped: "We buried him with his n-rs!" Shaw’s father responded:" It’s what he would want, to be buried in the midst of his men." Ulysses Grant concluded: "If someone asks will a Slave fight, tell him no. But if asked will a Negro fight, tell him yes."

By the Civil War's end 180,000 black men had volunteered, 85% of the eligible male African American population who could fight. The level of integration in the U.S. army in 1865 would not be seen again until the 1950's.

1870- The Vatican published the bull Pater Aeternus, that declared Papal Infallibility. That even when the Pope is wrong he is still right because he’s the Pope and you are not.,

1877- Thomas Edison recorded sound on tin foil cylinder `Mary Had a Little Lamb-'

1925- The first volume of Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler was published. The original title was "My Four and a Half Years Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice". But publisher Max Aman prevailed upon him to edit it down to My Struggle.

1933- Jewish Agency leader David Ben Gurion met with Palestinian Nationalist leader Awni Abd Al’Haadi, the nephew of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and co-founder of Al Fatah. Ben Gurion asked "if it is possible to reconcile the ultimate goals of the Jewish people and the goals of the Arabs within Palestine? They only agreed to keep talking.

1939-MGM tried a sneak preview of the film The Wizard of Oz. Afterward they debated cutting the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow as slowing down the pace. Finally they decided to leave it in. The film debuted in August to wild success and acclaim.

1939- RKO pictures signed Orson Welles to direct movies in Hollywood. That Hollywood signed a 24 year old radio star who never directed a movie, and gave him complete freedom and final cut was an amazing deal.

1943-General Hideki Tojo's government resigned after the American victory at Saipan.

1950- Walt Disney’s live action film Treaure Island Premiered, with Robert Newton as Long John Silver, Capt Jack Sparrow’s role model. Arrrr-mateys!

1964- Bob McKimson’s "A False Hare", the last Bugs Bunny theatrical short for Warner Bros until 1985.

1966- Bobby Fuller who made the hit song "I fought the Law and the Law Won" was found in LA in his mothers Oldsmobile beaten and dead from "forcible inhalation of gasoline"- huffing.

1968- Engineer Bob Noyce quit Fairchild Semiconductor and founded a new company in Santa Clara Cal named Intel. His partners were Andy Grove and Gordon Moore, he of Moore’s Law. It sold a new thing called microprocessors. In 1980 they’d invent the silicon chip.

1969- Senator Ted Kennedy had been in a downward spiral of depression and drink since the murders of his brothers Jack and Bobby. This night Ted and a young campaign worker named Mary Joe Kopechne drove off the rural Dike Bridge at a place near Martha's Vineyard called Chappaquiddick. Kennedy escaped the sinking car, but Kopechne drowned. Kennedy was never able to explain why he waited four hours to report the accident to the police. Despite an illustrious Senate career, Chappaquiddick destroyed Ted Kennedy's chances of ever becoming President.

1981- John Henry Abbott was a murderer and bank robber doing hard time in prison. He started writing famous author Norman Mailor about life in prison and it turned out he was a pretty good author himself. Through Mailors’ influence Random House published his book "In the Belly of the Beast" and it got him released.

Well, this day despite his literary celebrity status Abbott fell back into his bad habits and murdered another person- a Richard Adan at the Bonibon Café in New York. John Abbott was went back to prison for life, and committed suicide in 2001. Norman Mailor refused to concede it may have been a mistake- "Culture is worth a little risk."

1998- Pokemon the First movie released in Japan, stoking the Pokemon craze.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a conifer?

Answer: A conifer is classification of any tree that drop cones like pine cones to distribute seeds.


July 17, 2016
July 17th, 2016

Quiz: What is a conifer?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who was Wrong Way Corrigan?
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History for 7/17/2016
Birthdays: James Cagney, John Jacob Astor I, Hyacinth Rigaud, Bernice Abbott, Chill Wills, Brian Trottier, Phoebe Snow, Daryl Lamonica, Prof. Peter Schickele a.k.a. PDQ Bach, Earl Stanley Gardner the creator of Perry Mason, Art Linkletter, Diane Carroll, David Hasslehoff is 64, Donald Sutherland is 81, Phyllis Diller

In ancient Rome, today was the feast of the god of Honor, Honorous.

924 – The death of Edward "the Elder", King of the West Saxons. During his reign, he annexed Wessex and the Danelaw up to the Humber River. Danelaw was the name for English territory governed by Danish Vikings.

1429- Charles the Dauphin is crowned King Charles VII at Rheims, thanks to the victories of Joan of Arc.

1453 Battle of Chatillon. The last battle of the Hundred Years War. English knight Sir John Talbot was blown away by the French with their newfangled cannons. Other names for the cannon were bombardons, culverins, and a variation on the catapult name for rock thrower- Mangonnel, shortened to Gonne or Gun.

1647- A Neopolitan fishmonger named Maisaniello led 100,000 Italians in a revolt against high taxes and tariffs. Maisaniello held power in Naples for ten days until his was assassinated this day by agents of the Spanish Viceroy the Count de Orsuna. One of Maisaniellos ideas was he reduced the price of bread by half, and if a baker didn’t comply, he was roasted in his own oven.

1789- Three days after the Bastille was stormed, King Louis XVI appeared on a balcony at Paris city hall the Hotel Du Ville and wore a red, white and blue cockade in a red Phyrgian liberty cap to the cheers of the multitude.

1793- Charlotte Corday, the assassin of French Revolutionary leader Jean Paul Marat, went to the guillotine. When her decapitated head was lifted out of the basket the executioner gave it a smack on her cheek for being a naughty little girl, to the laughter of the crowd.

1803- James T. Callender, editor of the Aurora newspaper, was among the worst scandal mongering journalists in early America. He broke the story of Alexander Hamilton’s extramarital affairs and Thomas Jefferson’s sleeping with his slaves. He called John Adams a "pernicious Hermaphrodite" and George Washington’s Farewell Address the "Last ravings of a diseased mind". Everyone hated him. This night his body was found floating the James River. Without an investigation, a court decided he fell in while drunk. But many wonder if he was not pushed.

1841 - British humor magazine "Punch" 1st published.

1867 - 1st US dental school, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, established

1873- The U.S. Secretary of War William Belknap approved the revised set of cavalry regulations called "Upton's Rules". It became the standard for the U.S. Cavalry throughout the Indian Wars. Belknap was forced to resign for pocketing defense funds in 1874.

1876- Battle of Warbonnet Gorge. Skirmish between the US 5th Cavalry pursuing hostile Indians soon after Custers Last Stand. The battle is remembered chiefly because Gen Phil Sheridan asked his old friend Buffalo Bill Cody to return from his play acting back east and scout for the army one more time. He looked rather incredible riding the prairie in his theatrical black velvet silver studded Mexican Vaquero britches and coat.

Bill Cody was challenged to single combat by a Cheyenne Chief named Yellow Tail. Bill killed the chief and scalped him, waving the hair in the air to the cheering troopers and announcing "The first scalp for Custer!" Buffalo Bill then returned to the East where his new stage production "The First Scalp for Custer" ran for weeks to sold out audiences.

1879 - 1st railroad opens in Hawaii.

1893- Representatives of fourteen stage unions meet to form IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical & Screen Engineers of the U.S. & Canada.

1917-President Woodrow Wilson approved U.S. troops to join an Anglo-French mission to Russia. Originally intended to help the Russians from the German Army, the mission became an attempt to help anti-Bolshevik forces overthrow Lenin and reopen the second front against the Kaiser. In effect the U.S., France and Britain invaded Soviet Russia.

The American general was named Graves; the British were led by General Ironside, a 6 foot 4, killing machine his friends nicknamed "Tiny". The Michigan wolverines sent to Archangel and Vladivostok were told they were going to capture German U-boat bases. This excuse wore thin when the Great War ended and they were still fighting Bolsheviks, without ever seeing a German.

They were never given any real instructions about what to do except support Anti-Bolshevik forces, who were pathetically few in number. The Allied forces were withdrawn from Russia in 1922.

1928- President of Mexico Alvaro Obregon was at a large banquet for former veterans of the Mexican Revolution. Part of the party was having an artist stroll about making caricatures of the guests. Obregon said to cartoonist Leon Toral: "Make sure you make me look good." Toral responded "Oh, I will.." and pulled a gun and shot the President to death. An assassin but still a professional artist, he actually completed the drawing before reaching for his pistol. Gotta watch them cartoonists….

1935 - Variety's famous headline "Sticks Nix Hick Pix" meaning audiences in rural areas were not attending movies with a rustic theme.

1936-. The Spanish Civil War began. A Spanish Fascist army led by Francisco Franco invaded Spain from North Africa. The first moves were to occupy the Canary Islands. The Fascists figured the takeover would only take a few days, but all over Spain the common workers, farmers, artists, even women and children took up guns to fight.

1937- the Nazis open an art exhibit of banned artworks and artists called Entartete Kunst- Degenerate Art. Works of Dali and Duchamp, Grosz, Lippschitz, Kandinsky and Miro, with appropriate insults underneath. The next day Hitler dedicated the Great German Art Collection, having cleansed the German art world for National Socialist art, mostly bad deco-greco nudes and dumb Nordic medieval fantasy scenes.

1944- Top German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was strafed by an Allied fighter plane as his open car sped down a French country road. Germans nicknamed these roaming planes JABOS, for jaeger-bomber or hunter bombers. By now Rommel was in the Generals Plot to overthrow Hitler. His last conversation was with an SS Panzer Division General named Sepp Deitrich. Rommel asked him cryptically": Would you obey an order from me, even if it ran counter to the wishes of the Fuehrer?" Deitrich said he would.

But the plane attack cut short his career as a conspirator. When the General's Plot to kill Hitler went off in three days Rommel, who the conspirators planned to make President of the new Reich, was in a coma in the hospital.

Even though the bomb failed to kill Hitler, if a healthy Rommel, who's fame was second only to Hitler, went on nationwide radio and announced an army coup against the Nazis and an immediate unilateral peace, it's intriguing to think what might have happened.

1944- The Port Chicago explosion. In Oakland Harbor, African American sailors were given the dreary but dangerous duty of loading ammunition onto ships. This day an accident with high explosives blew up 321 men. The blast broke windows in San Francisco across the bay and was heard as far away as Boulder City Nevada.

When the base commander ordered the men to immediately resume loading with no change in pattern or promise of investigation- the black sailors refused. They were court-martialed for mutiny and treason.

1945-THE FIRST POTSDAM MEETING-New President Harry Truman met Stalin and Churchill in a suburb of war ravaged Berlin. Halfway through the talks Churchill learned that he was defeated in parliamentary elections and would be replaced by Clement Atlee. Truman told Stalin about the atomic bomb and was surprised that Stalin wasn’t surprised. Stalin already knew because of spies he had at Los Alamos. Stalin told Truman the Japanese government was requesting peace talks asking that Russia act as intermediary, which they had no intention of doing.

Stalin called the Anglo-Americans his "soyuznicki" Little Allies. Truman called him "Uncle Joe". Paranoid Stalin disliked the name because he thought it was meant to be an insult.

1955 DISNEYLAND OPENED- Walt Disney's dream of a perfect family amusement park, called 'The Happiest Place on Earth" was declared open with movie celebrities like Ronald Reagan, Art Linkletter and the Mouseketeers in attendance. Walt hoped to get 10,000 visitors that first day. He got 100,000. Facilities broke down from the huge crowds and the haste with which the park was built. Concrete pavement which was poured the night before was still soft under people's feet, there were no working water fountains and the car parking was a nightmare. To the Disneyland workers opening day was nicknamed 'Black Sunday". But despite all, Disneyland became a huge success.

1955 - Arco, Idaho becomes 1st US city lit by nuclear power.

1967– The Monkees performed at Forest Hills NY, Jimi Hendrix was their opening act.

1968- In Iraq, the Bath party seized power under President Ahmad Hussain Al-Bakr. The following year his chief of police Saddam Hussein would overthrow him.

1968- The Beatles musical cartoon feature The Yellow Submarine premiered in London’s Piccadilly Circus. Look Out! It’s the Blue Meanies!!

1975-The first Apollo-Soyuz space linkup. A second linkup would not happen until 1995.

1979- Nicaraguan rebels called Sandinistas overthrow dictator Anastasio Somosa. He escaped to Miami with CIA help. The Reagan White House spent most of the 1980’s obsessed with these Communist rebels as a new escalation of the Cold War.

1988- A home video tape was released of actor Rob Lowe making whoopee with two underage girls in his hotel room.

1996- TWA Flt.#800- a jumbo jet flying from New York to Paris exploded over Long Island Sound shortly after take-off. Disturbing rumors of a missile bringing down the plane was squashed by authorities, despite the Air France pilot immediately behind and eyewitnesses describing a streak of light in the sky before the explosion. In Paris, elderly Kennedy press secty Pierre Salinger reported it as a missile, and was derided as senile. The official reason the FAA gave was "fumes ignited in a wing tank", but that explanation failed to satisfy the grieving relatives. Why a plane with a 30 year safety record should just blow up, and none have blown up that way since, remains a mystery.

2004- Katsuhiro Otomo’s film Steamboy premiered. Japanese interest in the idea of SteamPunk began to spread worldwide.

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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was Wrong Way Corrigan?

Answer: July 17, 1938- WRONG WAY CORRIGAN was the last of the pioneering aviators. A former mechanic for Lindbergh, Doug Corrigan bought a plane out of a junk heap and modified it for long distance travel. He asked permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to fly from New York City to Ireland. They denied his request, on the grounds that his plane was in poor condition. He seemed to accept the ruling, but when he took off for California, he banked sharply to the east and headed over the ocean.

He landed in Ireland, and complained of a faulty compass. No one believed his excuse, and he lost his pilot's license, but he was greeted as a hero back in New York. Over a million people came out for a ticker-tape parade. Supposedly his first words to the locals upon landing were. "Hello. I’m Corrigan, Where am I?"


July 16, 2016
July 16th, 2016

Question: Who was Wrong Way Corrigan?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who was Inigo Jones?

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History for 7/16/2016
Birthdays: Andrea Del Sarto, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Ginger Rogers, Pinchas Zukerman,
Orville Redenbacher, Roald Amundsen, Sunny Tufts, Barbera Stanwyck, Reuben Blades, Mary Baker-Eddy the founder of Christian Science, Phoebe Cates, Will Farrell is 49

1054 –The GREAT SCHISM- Eastern Greek Orthodox and Latin Roman Catholic Churches split. The Patriarch Of Constantinople Michael I Cerularius and Pope Leo IX mutually excommunicate one another. When Catholic Crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1209 they put a prostitute on the Orthodox Patriarch's throne just for laughs. The Greek Patriarch referred to the Vatican in Rome as a "Synagogue of Satan!"

Historian Ernle Bradford stated that his event marked the moment when Christianity ceased to be a supra-national force for unity in Europe the way Islam was in the Arab world. Europeans would now turn to nationalism as their identifying creed and Christianity took a backseat.

1099- JERUSALEM FALLS TO THE CRUSADERS- The knights of the First Crusaders broke into the city and committed horrible massacres of the population. The rampaging knights even cut down Armenian & Syrian Christians, because they looked dark and were dressed like Arabs. In an ironic twist of history the Jewish population fought shoulder to shoulder alongside their Arab cousins. When the massacre started they withdrew to a central synagogue where the Christians barred he doors and burned them to death.

The Crusaders then declared the Holy City free, and warlord Geoffrey de Boullion declared himself "Protector of the Holy Sepulcher" instead of king since in his opinion "There is no King here but Christ". After he died his younger brother Baldwin made himself King of Jerusalem.

1212-BATTLE OF LAS NAVAS DE TOLOSA- Christian Kings of Spain defeat the Moors and begin the "Reconquista", the gradual winning back of the Iberian peninsula lasting until 1492. King Pedro of Aragon was nicknamed Pedro the Lecher, because of his sexual appetite. Legend has him having to be helped into the saddle after taking on 100 women in one night !

1439 - Kissing is banned in England to stop diseases from spreading.

1690-After the collapse of his cause in the Battle of the Boyne, King James II Stuart fled Ireland for exile.

1721- Guilliame DuBois, archbishop of Cambrai was ordained a Cardinal. The Bishop was one of the most sexually promiscuous men in France, out done only by his master Phillipe D’Orleans, Regent for the boy King Louis XV. The memoirist Sainte Simon wrote His Eminence the Cardinal “had a face like a ferret and was a Cloaca Maxima of depravity” named for Rome’s largest Sewer. Yet despite his sexual appetite he ran Frances’ foreign policy almost as well as Cardinal Richelieu did a century earlier. France was at peace for 27 years. His only fear as Cardinal was that his wife would renege on the blackmail he paid her, and go public.

1769- Fra Junipero Serra founded his first Mission settlement in California- San Diego de Alcala, now present day San Diego. The master plan was to create a string of missions from San Diego to San Francisco one days ride apart- San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, San Gabriel, Santa Maria Reina de Los Angeles, etc.

1777- I WILL FIND YOU! -In frontier Kentucky outside of Boonesborugh Jemima Boone and her girlfriend are set upon by a Shawnee Indian warparty and kidnapped. Her daddy Daniel Boone with seven men tracked the warparty. This day after a sharp fight they freed the women. Despite killing the son of the Shawnee chief, Boone was later adopted into the tribe in his place. This incident was widely reported in the colonies and was the basis for James Fennimore Cooper’s novel The Last of the Mohicans.

1779- American colonial General "Mad" Anthony Wayne attacks the British garrison at Stony Point, New York.

1862- In Paris the French Emperor Napoleon III received John Slidell, the ambassador of the Confederate States. But France declined to intervene in the American Civil War.

1877- THE GREAT UPHEAVAL- The B&O Railroad cuts their workers wages 10% for the second time that year. (there had been a recession raging in the U.S. economy since 1873 ). Workers and engineers at Martinsburg Virginia went out on strike and started sabotaging trains. The strike soon spread coast to coast and became America's first nationwide strike. The laws protecting workers union rights were still far in the future so strikes were put down by troops randomly shooting into crowds, mass firings and vigilante murder of union leaders.
The violence shocked the rest of the world. Karl Marx wrote Engels "did you hear what is happening in America?” He always thought industrialized countries like America and England would go communist long before Russia and China.

1918-CZAR NICHOLAS ROMANOV AND FAMILY MURDERED. After abdicating the Czar's family was imprisoned in a house in Siberia. The anti-Communist While armies were about to capture the area. So from Moscow Vladimir Lenin sent orders that they all be killed. In the middle of the night commissar Yakov Sverdlov told the Czar they were to be moved and were ordered to wait in a basement room of their house. Outside Red guards revved a truck motor to mask the sound of the guns. Then a group of soldiers came in the room pulled out their pistols. Nicholas’ last word before the guns went off was "Schto? " What the-? They even shot the family doctor, the boys sailor bodyguard and the family dog.

The anti-Communist forces captured the area two weeks later and told the world about the crime. Seeing what happened to the Russian Czar may be part of the reason the Kaiser and Austrian Emperor slipped away quietly into exile after losing the Great War. Remains weren't discovered until 1988 and in 1993 DNA testing proved them to be the true remains of the Czar and his family. DNA Testing on the remains of a woman who died in 1984 named Anna Andersen, who claimed to be the child Duchess Anastasia was negative.

The reason the children's remains weren't in with the others was because the Bolsheviks first tried destroying their remains with sulfuric acid but found it took too long, so they cremated the rest. Czar Nicholas II and his family were made saints of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1994.

1932- Cecil B. DeMille shot the scene in his film Sign of the Cross where Claudette Colbert took a bath in asses milk. Legend has it that DeMille insisted on real milk in the bath and that by the second day the hot studio lights had curdled it to a smelly cheese. But production notes show the scene was all shot in one day. DeMille always got away with sexy semi-nude scenes by putting them in biblical settings. After all, who would criticize a morality tale from the Good Book?

1935- The first parking meter set up in Oklahoma City.

1936 - 1st x-ray photo of arterial circulation, Rochester, NY

1945-THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB EXPLODED at Alamagordo New Mexico (site code name was "Trinity'). Called at first the Super Cosmic Bomb, nicknamed "The Gadget". The Manhattan Project scientists weren't sure that once you started the chain reaction detonating particles of light when it would stop, if ever. Physicists Richard Fenyman and Enrico Fermi wagered a case of beer that they would incinerate the state of New Mexico. (funny guys). They were led by General Leslie Groves, a by-the-book army engineer who supervised the construction of the Pentagon, and Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a brilliant physicist and Berkeley radical who read Sanskrit to relax. When he saw the force of the blast, Oppenheimer recalled the Hindu verse: "Now have I become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds..."

1951- J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" published.

1954- Groundbreaking for the construction of Disneyland.

1956 –The Last time Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus performed under a canvas circus tent.

1963- Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space aboard Vostok 6.

1964- Conservative Republican Senator Barry Goldwater was nominated to run against Lyndon Johnson for president. Goldwater set the tone by his speech:" Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." LBJ’s campaign portrayed him as a dangerous warmonger and he lost in a landslide. In later years Goldwater’s conservative views were eclipsed by the even more conservative Reagan and Bush.

1966- Mao Tse Tung takes a swim in the Yangtzse River and gives permission for his young Red Guards to start the Cultural Revolution.

1969- Congress passed Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to have any contact with extraterrestrials or their spacecraft.

1973- WHO HAS THE TAPES ! Presidential attorney Alexander Butterfield admitted to the Senate Watergate Committee that President Richard Nixon had bugged the Oval Office and had recorded tapes of all of his conversations. The tape system was actually installed by Lyndon Johnson. When Nixon took office he was going to have it all removed. But his aides convinced him to keep the system to document his place in history. Why Nixon never destroyed these tapes that brought him down remains one of the mysteries of history.

1994- Comet Schoendacher-Levy 6 impacted with the Planet Jupiter, giving scientists a spectacular ringside seat to the processes of the creation of the Universe.

1999- JOHN-JOHN -Thirty years after the death of his father and uncle, 38 year old John Kennedy Jr. fell victim to the Kennedy curse when his small plane crashed on the way to a wedding in Martha’s Vineyard. His wife had delayed to have a pedicure, so he had to take off at dusk. He was too inexperienced to fly on instruments at dusk in fog and he lost his bearings, hitting the water at 150 miles per hour. The Kennedy’s have a history of bad luck with planes- Kathleen Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy’s parents and JFK’s older brother Joe Kennedy all died in small plane crashes. Senator Ted Kennedy barely survived a crash. Teddy refused to ever fly with John Jr., and died of old age in 2009.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was Inigo Jones?

Answer: Inigo Jones (1573-1652) British architect who brought Italian Renaissance architecture to England. He also designed the first moveable painted scenery for stage plays. And he had the coolest name in England.


July 15, 2016
July 15th, 2016

Quiz: Who was Inigo Jones?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is meant by plein-air painting?
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History for 7/15/2016
Birthdays: Rembrandt van Rijn, Inigo Jones, Sir Thomas Bullfinch, Mother Cabrini, Clemont Moore, Julian Bream, Linda Rondstadt, Alex Karras, Jan Michael Vincent, Lola Davidovich, Forrest Whitaker is 55, Brigette Neilsen, Jesse Ventura, Terry O’ Quinn is 64

Feast of St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain.

765 A.D.- Mayan Scientists hold a conference at Copan to discuss astronomy and adjust their calendar. By 1492 the Mayan civilization was already 2,000 years old. Their calendar was so perfect, the difference between it and our modern atomic clocks calculation of a lunar month is just 24 seconds! They used hieroglyphic writing but also a system of numbers including zero, which the Greeks and Romans never figured out. Among their surviving documents are calculations on the orbit of Venus.

Tikal, one of their cities, covered 23 square miles ( Rome of the Caesars covered 8 ) and had a temple that was the tallest structure in America until the completion of the U.S. Capitol dome in 1863.

1205- Pope Innocent III declared that because they have rejected Christ, the Jewish people must be subjected to perpetual servitude and subjugation, It took several more centuries of oppression and holocaust for the Vatican to officially "forgive" Judaism in 1947. Pope John Paul II apologized in 2000.

1410- Battle of Grunwald, King Jagiello of Poland, Witold Wytautas of Lithuania and their Tartar allies defeated the Prussian Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Sword Brothers under Grand Master Ulrich Von Junnigen.

1685- James the Duke of Monmouth was executed. Monmouth was the bastard son of King Charles II and tried to overthrow his step-uncle James II in Monmouth’s Rebellion.
Monmouth New Jersey had been named for him.

1780- American Colonial General Benedict Arnold sneaked a coded message to British General Sir Henry Clinton. In it, he offered to betray the fortress of West Point to the British for 20,000 English pounds. Arnold wasn’t even West Point’s commander yet, but he expected Gen. George Washington to confirm him in the job any day. The only person who warned that Gen. Arnold might be up to something, was a female spy planted in British Headquarters in occupied New York. Her cover was kept so complete, that her name is lost to history. We only know her as agent “355”.

1789- Astronomer Jean Sylvain Bailly is proclaimed first mayor of Paris. Since Medieval days when the Hero Mayor Etienne Marcel had defied the King, Paris had no mayor but was under direct royal control through an appointed prefect. Today the mayor of Paris is such an important position it is considered the stepping stone to the Presidency of the Republic.

1795 - "Le Marseillaise" became officially the French national anthem.

1806- American captain Zebulon Pike set off on his trek of discovery through the new Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado territory. Near Santa Fe New Mexico he was apprehended by Spanish Authorities for trespassing and put on a boat back home. In Colorado, Pike discovered the mountain named for him- Pike’s Peak.

1815- Napoleon boards HMS Bellerophon for the trip to St. Helena. On the trip he teaches himself English and makes friends with the British sailors to such an extent that their officers reprimand them. He said to his Irish doctor O'Meara:" So you are a doctor and I am a general. How many men have you killed? I'll wager more than me!"

1861- During the Civil War a beautiful Washington D.C. socialite named Rose Greenhow moved in the highest circles of government and was personal friends with top Congressmen and Generals. But Rose was also a Southern spy. This day she got out a message to Confederate General Beauregard that the main Union army would commence their march on Richmond that week. This bit of espionage would contribute to the great Union disaster at Bull Run. Rose Greenhow was later arrested and her home turned into a women’s prison.

1862- THE WILD RIDE OF THE C.S.S. ARKANSAS- Union Admiral David Farragut (the 'Damn the Torpedoes!' guy) had moved his big battle fleet up the Mississippi above the Confederate fortress town of Vicksburg and was preparing to bombard the town. Southern Captain Issac Brown was told he would take command of an ironclad called the Arkansas, and sailed it right into the middle of the Union navy, firing on all sides. One ship attacked 34 warships!
Farragut was taking a nap and was so surprised he fought the battle in his nightshirt. Although pounded by dozens of heavy cannonballs Brown's homemade ironclad not only held up but she inflicted so much damage on Farragut's wooden ships he was forced to leave Vicksburg and retreat to the Gulf. At one point Capt. Brown was knocked senseless by some shrapnel and when he woke up he had been laid out on a pile of dead corpses. But he had done his job. No further attempts to attack Vicksburg occurred until the end of that year. One ship had defeated a navy.

1863- Yankee leaders were so frustrated by the actions of Confederate guerrillas in Missouri and Kansas that they resorted to a controversial solution. They arrested the wives, sisters and girlfriends of the guerrillas and lodged them in Kansas City. They hoped to ship them to rebel held Arkansas, thinking this would draw off their menfolk. But on this day an unforeseen tragedy struck. The old Grand St Hotel they were in collapsed, killing many of the innocent women. The country was shocked and the rebels vowed revenge. Cole Younger lost his mother and two sisters. He never believed the collapse was an accident. Bloody Bill Anderson rode into battle tearfully shouting his baby sisters name.

1870 -The Hudson's Bay Company sold Prince Rupertland to Canada, which was the entire Canadian west from the Ontario border to the Pacific and from the Montana border up to the Arctic Circle. Up to then it had been a corporate businessman's dream, the largest land mass ever managed by a board of directors, almost as large as the United States. The Hudson's Bay CEO, Sir Roger Simpson had been called the 'Emperor Simpson' by his detractors. Canada suddenly became bi-coastal. But the French-Indian fur trappers called the Metiz understood the threat Anglo town settlers would bring to their way of life and rose in revolt under their leader Louis Riel.

1882- In Springfield Illinois, “The Crazy Old Lady” who lived alone in the big house with the curtains always drawn finally died. Mary Todd Lincoln, the widow of Abraham Lincoln, had always been high strung and a little paranoid. Now, her spirit was broken by her husbands murder and all of her children dying except her eldest son Robert. And he kept trying to get her committed to a lunatic asylum before she spent all of their family fortune. Mary wore nothing but black, constantly wept, packed and unpacked trunks all day, and lived on chloral hydrate, opium and other narcotics. This day she finally got her fondest wish, to join her husband in death.

1915- A Secret Service agent was presented with a suitcase left by a German diplomat on a New York City subway seat. In the satchel was a complete list of known German spies and saboteurs working in the U.S., a nation still officially neutral in the war between Britain, France and Germany.

1916- The Boeing Aircraft Corporation (originally Pacific Aero) formed in Seattle by William Boeing.

1928- The first Enigma Machine invented.

1938- Max Fleischer Popeye cartoon "With the Jeep" introduced Eugene the Jeep. The character was created in the Thimble Theater comic strip two years earlier. The funny little character later gave its name to the army’s new General Purpose Vehicle, the G.P. or Jeep.

1941- President Franklin Roosevelt sent federal mediator Stanley White to try and solve the labor strike between Walt Disney and his cartoonists.

1945- President Truman was shown intercepted communiqués from Japanese military command saying that all that was left of the Japanese army was massing on the Southern beaches of Kyushu preparing to meet the expected American invasion.

1951-A Syrian nationalist shot and killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Riyadh Bey-Ehrsault in Beirut.

1953- English serial killer Jack Christie was executed. In his home at Number 10 Rillington Place police found the bodies of several women buried in the garden. Two bodies weren’t even Christies, they were credited to an abortionist who was a previous tenant who had botched two and they died of internal bleeding.

1953- The film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes premiered starring Marylyn Monroe and Jane Russell.

1971- President Nixon announced he had accepted an invitation to visit Red China.

1971- Producer Steve Krantz announced the production of the first X-rated cartoon, Fritz the Cat, to be directed by newcomer Ralph Bakshi.

1979- THE OIL CRISIS. July 15, 1979- In a nationwide address, President Jimmy Carter laid out the oil/gas crisis. He stated flatly that the U.S. and the world was trapped in an increasing dependence on diminishing stocks of foreign oil. We need to move to develop solar and other alternative fuels immediately. “ When we import oil, we import rising prices and unemployment."
He said we should establish a Solar Bank to eventually take on 20% of the nations energy needs. But the media focused on his negative tone, his speaking of a “ crisis of confidence” They called it the “national malaise” speech, even though he never said that.
The next President, Ronald Reagan, ignored Carter’s initiatives and tore off the solar panels from the roof of the White House. The cost of gas then was .86 cents a gallon.

1982-Coca-Cola introduced Diet Coke. Coke officials are proud of the fact that within a year it's sales top that of Tab, but Tab was owned by Coke as well. ( duh..?)

1997- Famed clothing designer Gianni Versace was murdered outside his Miami mansion by a deranged serial killer on a spree since leaving Minnesota. The killer, Andrew Cunanan, was later found in a houseboat with a self-inflicted bullet in his head.

2011- Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and the Ballad of Nessie opened in theaters.

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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is meant by plein-air painting?

Answer: Plein-air roughly translates to “in the air," so plein-air painting means painting in the open, as opposed to the studio. It is painting what one sees in nature, capturing the actual setting rather than painting something fabricated or from one’s imagination. This was especially evident with the Impressionists and landscape inspired groups like the Hudson River School.


July 14, 2016
July 14th, 2016

Quiz: What is meant by plein-air painting?

Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was Taki 183?
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History for 7/14/2016
Birthdays: Issac Bashevis Singer, Mr. Maytag, inventor of the electronic washing machine-1857, Emiline Pankhurst, Woody Guthrie, Gerald Ford, Ingmar Bergman, Jerry Rubin, Scott Rudin, Rosie Grier, Harry Dean Stanton is 90, Polly Bergen, Gustav Klimt, Terry Thomas, Jimmy Hoffa, Dave Fleischer, Bill Hanna, Walt Stanchfield, Joel Silver, Vincent (Big Pussy) Pastore

1415-Joanna II, Queen of Naples called Joanna la Loca (Crazy Joanie), allows the prostitutes of Avignon to form their own guild. Solidarity Forever.

1756- In the opening moves of the Seven Years War, the French crossed Lake Ontario and captured Fort Oswego. The French commander Vaudreuil wrote: The cries and howling of our Canadians and Indians soon made the defenders decide to surrender."

1789- BASTILLE DAY-THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. In France the anger of the common people over economic hardship and arrogant indifference of the King and nobility finally exploded in mass violence. The focus of the people’s hate was the Bastille, a huge fortress- prison that towered over Paris rooftops, her cannon aimed at the people in the streets. The Parisians got guns and stormed the prison. Ironically, the royal government was intending to phase out the prison anyway.

When the gates were forced opened only a handful of petty thieves came out, including a lunatic who shouted:" I am God! " But the symbolism was what counted.

Miles away at Versailles, King Louis XVI had just written in his diary- July 14th 1789-" Nothing" when he heard the commotion. He said:" What is that? A revolt?" The Duc de la Rochfoucauld said:" No Sire, a revolution!"

1790- On the first anniversary of the French Revolution, the U.S. Congress voted a celebration in solidarity with a fellow republic.

1791- The Irish rebel Wolftone stands on the heights above Dublin and swears eternal opposition to the English. This is considered the legendary birth of the IRA.

1793- Charlotte Corday stabbed French Revolutionary leader Jean Paul Marat in his bathtub. Marat had to receive callers in his tub because of a skin affliction. He was known for sayings like "If we cut off a thousand heads today, it saves us cutting off ten thousand tomorrow!" and:" We'll strangle the last king with the guts of the last priest!" Corday was the daughter of one of his victims, a moderate politician called a Girondist. Young artist Madame Tussaud was allowed to make a death mask of Marat while still in the tub and David's painting shows him expiring with a Christ-like calm.

1798- President John Adams signed the ALIEN AND SEDITION ACTS, which stated you could be jailed, and if an immigrant deported, for saying anything critical of the U.S. government. Outraged Thomas Jefferson said he was afraid to write down his views anymore in the face of such a law. Despite the obvious conflict with basic Constitutional rights, the Alien and Sedition Acts were never successfully challenged in court. In 1801 the time limit on the Acts were allowed to elapse without renewal and incoming President Jefferson pardoned all those jailed under them.

The Acts come up every now and again when politicians need a legal precedent for jailing someone, like during the McCarthy period of the 1950’s. In 1998 they were alluded to when Judge Kenneth Starr wanted to jail people who wouldn’t cooperate in his Monica Lewinsky scandal probe, and in 2003 in the Patriot Acts.

1849-BLACK SHIP DAY-Commodore Perry sailed into Yedo Bay and convinced the Japanese to open trade by threatening to bombard Yokohama. This ended Japan's 300 year old isolation from the outside world. The Shogun's envoys receive the Americans by laying straw mattes under their feet and talking to them in a special pavilion. The Yankees thought this was special treatment but actually after they left the mattes and building were burned so they could say the foreigner's feet never polluted Japanese soil.

1850 - 1st public demonstration of ice made by refrigeration

1853 – In emulation of the London World Exposition at the Crystal Palace, the 1st US World's fair opens at the Crystal Palace NY.

1862- Every old sailors worst nightmare came true. This day the US Navy did away with the sailors daily rum ration, in effect outlawing all alcohol on a ship except for medicinal purposes. Spirits were the preferred drink on ships since ancient times because drinking water could give you a myriad of diseases: cholera, dysentery, etc.

1863- After their defeat at Gettysburg Robert E. Lee's Confederate army finally crossed the Potomac back to the safety of Virginia. Abe Lincoln was furious that his victorious General George Meade wouldn't pursue the defeated rebels and finish them off before they could escape, maybe shortening the Civil War by a year. But the cautious General Meade thought his own army too exhausted and didn’t want to press his luck. Meade then angered Lincoln further by issuing a public thanks to his army for" Driving the Enemy off our soil." Lincoln responded:" Pennsylvania is our soil, but so is Virginia! They are not a foreign army!" Lincoln superceded Meade in authority with Grant who kept him in a secondary role.

1868-Seward's Folly- Congress authorized the purchase of Alaska from Russia.

1881-BILLY THE KID SHOT- Fort Sumner New Mexico sheriff Pat Garrett hid in a closet in the Kid's hotel room and shot him in the back as he was taking his boots off. Billy's last words were:" Who's there?" Backshooting was how Billy killed most of his victims. Billy was 21. After blasting away, Pat Garret panicked and rushed out into the street without waiting to see their effect.
Billy had such a lethal reputation that a small crowd stood in fear outside his room for nearly an hour until they were sure the Kid wasn't just playing possum but was really dead. Even though Garrett was practically illiterate, he wrote several best selling books on the incident, heavily exaggerated by pulp ghostwriter Ned Buntine. Eventually Pat Garrett too was backshot, this time in an argument over ownership of some goats.

1882- Gunfighter Johnny Ringo found dead in Turkey Canyon Arizona. Ringo was not part of the Gunfight at the OK Corral but he later called out Doc Holliday. Wyatt Earp claimed he had hunted down Ringo and killed him, but the court ruled it a suicide.

1892- Civil War veterans who were wounded in service were awarded an additional $50 pension by the government. Female nurses of that conflict were awarded a $12 pension. Satirical writer and social critic Ambrose Bierce returned his money with the note" Thank you but this was not part of the original contract when I signed on to become an assassin for my Country."

1908- The Adventures of Dollie premiered, the first movie of D.W. Griffith.

1914 - 1st patent for liquid-fueled rocket design granted to Dr Robert Goddard. Goddard did some schooling at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA... until he blew up the chemistry building and they kicked him out. He then went down the road to a field in the town of Auburn to fire off that first successful liquid-fueled rocket.

After he became famous, WPI named the new building after him. The air pressure inside that building is kept lower than the outside pressure via a large pump in the basement... so that if the building were ever exploded again, it would implode and reduce collateral damage. It makes the outside doors really tough to open!

In l939 when the US government decided to take over the Guggenheim financed rocket experiments at Cal Tech and form the Jet Propulsion Labs they invited Goddard to join them. But Goddard didn’t want to lose his special status in his own labs by becoming a government scientist so he declined the offer.

1918- Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of Teddy Roosevelt became a fighter pilot in World War I. On this day he was shot down and killed. Teddy Roosevelt loved to brag about the manly virtues of war and as President continually rattled his saber at the world. But his own baby boy's death brought him down to earth and broke his spirit.
Teddy was never the same again and died within a year.

1921-Sacco & Vancetti convicted. These men were Italian immigrants and socialists who were accused of the murder of a Massachusetts storeowner. The evidence was slight but hey, they were foreigners and lefties. Despite protests around the world from folks like Picasso, George Bernard Shaw and Helen Keller, they were electrocuted. Folksinger Woody Guthrie wrote a dozen ballads in tribute to Sacco & Vancetti." Let me sing you a ballad of Sacco-Vancetti, pour me some wine and eat some spaghetti..."

1933- "Well Blow Me Down"- Max Fleischer's first "Popeye the Sailor" cartoon debuted. Vaudvillian Red Pepper Sam provided his salty mumbles throughout the post-sync track. When Sam asked for more money than Max Fleischer thought he was worth, he replaced him with assistant animator Jack Mercer, who was the voice ever after.

1946 - Dr Benjamin Spock's "Common Sense Book of Baby & Child Care" published

1948- The Israeli Army captured Nazareth.

1951 - 1st color telecast of a sporting event (CBS-horse race)

1951 –Triple Crown Winner Citation becomes 1st horse to win $1,000,000 in races.

1955-The Kaarman Ghia debuted. Volkswagen wanted an "image car" to compete with the sleek American designs like the Corvette and Thunderbird. So they subcontracted the Kaarman motorbus company who engaged an Italian design firm named Ghia and the distinctive little coupe was born.

1958- The last King of Iraq, Feisal II was overthrown and killed by a coup of army officers led by General Kassim. Feisals family was Jordanian, they were placed in Iraq by the British in the 1920’s to make up for losing the Hejaz (Saudi Arabia) to the house of Ibn Saud.

1967 - The new band called the Who began a US tour as the opening act for Herman’s Hermits.

1969- El Salvador and Nicaragua go to war over a soccer match.

1978- Lee Iacocca, exec in charge of the invention of the Ford Mustang, was fired by Ford Motor Co. Henry Ford III said :"I just don’t like the man." Iacocca went on to resurrecting the Chrysler Corporation and run KookARoo Chicken restaurants.

1980- The Republican Convention nominated former California Governor, actor and SAG president Ronald Reagan. The GOP under Robert Strauss & Lee Atwater completed restructuring itself after the disaster of Watergate by creating a new-conservative alliance of Sunbelt Evangelicals and Southern Dixiecrats.
Regular Republican stalwarts who disagreed with their agenda- Rockefeller, Goldwater, Nixon were out. At 69 Reagan was the oldest man to ever run for the presidency until McCain in 2008. Reagan said of the convention:" It’s the first time in a long while I saw myself on television in prime time."!"

2015- After a nine year voyage, the space probe New Horizon made a closer flyby of the planet Pluto than any spacecraft had ever done. It showed Pluto was perfectly round, and not a shapeless rock, and it has an ice cap.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was Taki 183?

Answer: Taki was the first graffiti “ tagger”. Before Taki, graffiti was profound pronouncements “ The End Is Coming!” or Joanie loves Billy. Starting around 1972, a man named Demetrius, nicknamed Demetaki, from 183 St in Manhattan stared spraying his name and street number all over NYC. Taki became famous, his tags appeared in movies and gallery shows.


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