Nov 16, 2014 sun
November 16th, 2014
Question: What is mendacity?
Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Which one of these celebrities never worked in an animation studio? A) Jack Nicholson, B) Roger Moore, C) Marlon Brando D) Beverly D’Angelo
History for 11/16/2014
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Tiberius, Paul Hindemith, George S. Kaufmann, W.C. Handy, Burgess Meredith, Daws Butler, Bob Watson, Zina Garrison, Dwight Gooden, Maggie Gylenhall is 37
HAPPY SADIE HAWKINS DAY! Fictional hillbilly footrace race made famous by Al Kapp in his comic strip Little Abner. Don’ jes Stand by Yer Man, ketch him!
1532- THE MASSACRE OF CAJAMARCA- with promises of peace talks, Francisco Pizzarro tricked the Inca Emperor Athahualpa and his court into a narrow corral apart from their massive army. The monk Fra Francisco Valverde gave a bible to the Great Inca, declaring 'this is the voice of the Living God!" Athahualpa, who had never seen a book or European writing before, examined it a minute. "It says nothing to me" he said, and dropped it in the dust. Fra Valverde signaled and the Spaniards rushed out from all sides, slaughtering 9,000. Athahualpa was captured and later executed. Fra Valverde became Archbishop of Lima, supervised the destruction of much of Inca culture, until he was finally eaten by cannibals.
1632- BATTLE OF LUTZEN- Largest battle of the Thirty Years War, the great conflict where Protestant and Catholic countries chose up sides and battled for the dominance of Europe. The Catholic German-Spanish army of Archduke Wallenstein and the Protestant German-Swedes and of King Gustavus Adolphus pound each other all day. Gustavus had been shot out of his saddle while leading an attack and surrounded by Croat cavalry. Recognizing a leader they said:" Who are you?” Gustavus answered:" I am the King of Sweden, who do seal the religion and freedom of all Germany with my blood!"
Thereupon the Croats stabbed him to death. Duke Bernard of Saxe-Weimar assumed command and the revengeful Swedes swept all from their path. After the battle ,Wallenstein continued to lead the German Emperor's armies until his boss the Emperor assassinated him. The Thirty Years War continued until Catholic France joined the Protestant side, the Protestant Germans fought the Protestant Swedes, and everyone who started it died. Soon nobody could remember what it was all about to begin with.
1776-THE FIRST SALUTE -The U.S.N. Andrea Doria - not the famous Italian ocean liner but a US brig of war- entered the harbor of Saint Eustachius in the Dutch West Indies. It was a trading center that today we would call an international arms market. When the Andea Doria fired the customary salvo saluting her host's flag the Governor Johannes DeGraff returned the salute to the Stars and Stripes. So in effect Holland became the first nation to recognize the United States of America as an independent country.
1776- FORT WASHINGTON- When George Washington’s minuteman army was driven out of New York City, a rearguard force volunteered to stay behind and try to stall the British advance. They fortified themselves in Fort Washington, a little stronghold in the wild country of North Manhattan approximately where the George Washington Bridge now is. When called upon to surrender, Colonel Magaw refused, saying that Americans had "joined to fight in the most glorious cause mankind has ever known!"
After three months of holding off superior British forces, this day Fort Washington fell. 3,000 Yankees surrendered to Hessian General Knyphausen. General Washington was criticized for indecisiveness over whether to evacuate the forts defenders until it was too late.
Today for some strange reason the park where the fort stood is named Fort Tryon Park, after the Tory governor of New York who was so hated by the populace he had to administer his colony from a British warship anchored in New York Harbor.
1788- KING GEORGE III COLLAPSES IN CONVULSIONS, the first signs of mental illness that would make him a blind shut-in for the last years of his reign. His condition is now known as a rare blood disorder called Porpheria, but then it had no known cure. Bleeding and ice water dowsing was the standard18th century medical treatments. He recovered for a time but the last ten years of his reign are called Regency Period, because even though he still was king his son the Prince of Wales ruled for him. George III's aides sensed something was not right with the King when while riding in his carriage in Hyde Park, George leapt out and called a large oak tree as the King of Prussia. He embraced the tree and shouted in French: "Aah, Le Roi du Prusse!"
1801- The first issue of the New York Post. Alexander Hamilton and his Federalists wanted a paper to print their views. Editor James Coleman once had to kill a man in a duel that morning and get back to the office to get the afternoon edition out. But the elitist snobs of 1800 could not see the trashy tabloid the NY Post would become in our time.
1821-William Becknell reached Santa Fe New Mexico from Independence Missouri, proving it was a faster and easier land route than traveling from Mexico City. His route became a primary path for wagon trains and stagecoaches- the Santa Fe Trail.
1863- THE MARCH TO THE SEA- After burning the City of Atlanta to the ground, General William Tecumseh Sherman turned his 50,000 Yankee army eastward for his epic March to the Sea. His men cut a wide swath through the rich farm country of Georgia, burning homes, crops, looting, killing livestock and freeing thousands of slaves. He was mostly unopposed, Confederate forces off in Virginia and Tennessee could only watch helplessly.
It was the first time since the Thirty Years War, two hundred years earlier, that an army made war solely on civilians. Sherman spared civilian lives but destroyed everything else. The discovery of skeletal Northerners POWs escaped from Andersonville Prison only increased the rage of the men to commit acts of destruction. The psychological effects of the march left deep scars on Southerners for decades to come.
1906- Opera superstar Enrico Caruso was charged for pinching a ladies butt while visiting the Bronx Zoo. Caruso claimed a monkey did it.
1907- Oklahoma and Indian territories became a state.
1915-BIRTH OF THE COKE BOTTLE- The owners of Coca Cola were concerned that the success of their soft drink was being subverted by all the various cheap imitations. They decided if they had a distinctive bottle people would recognize genuine Coca Cola. This day the first Coca-Cola appeared in their distinctive curved little green bottles, created by the Ross Glass Co. of Indiana.
1922- In the Crimea after Trotsky’s Red Army breached his defenses on the Turkish Wall, Baron Wrangel evacuated 150,000 anti-communist Russian soldiers and their dependents by sea to exile in Turkey. The end of the Russian Civil War.
1924- THE MURDER OF THOMAS INCE- Thomas Ince was a film director and early Hollywood studio owner who’s property later became the site of MGM. This day he boarded William Randolph Hearst’s yacht Oneida for a birthday party in his honor. On the boat among the guests was Charlie Chaplin and Hearsts’ mistress Marion Davies. When the boat docked Ince was dead and everyone very troubled. The official cause of death was a heart attack but there was no autopsy or investigation and the Hearst press quickly hushed things up. The legend goes Hearst discovered Chaplin and Davies in flagrante-delicto and in a jealous rage shot Ince when he came in between them. We’ll never know for sure.
1932- VAUDEVILLE DIED- Vaudeville was the generic name for one admission to a showcase of short theatrical acts- singers, comics, jugglers, trained animals, etc. Vaudeville gave their first opportunities to many great twentieth century performers like Chaplin, Jolson, the Marx Brothers, Mae West , Gypsy Rose Lee and W.C. Fields. But it was slowly supplanted by more modern forms of entertainment like Movies and Radio. If you asked experts to pinpoint a date for the official end of the popular venue, many it would say it was the date that the New York Palace Theater on Broadway, the premiere palace for Vaudeville, switched from live shows to purely Movies.
1943- Six British agents were dropped into Nazi occupied France near Angers. Three were arrested by the Gestapo before they reached Paris. The remaining three established contact with the French resistance and organized the "Vic" pipeline to smuggle shot down airmen and other allied POWs out to England. One of the resistance contacts was Francois Mitterand, who in 1981 became President of France.
1946- The Television Academy of Arts and Sciences founded. Fred Allen once said: "We call television a Medium because nothing on it is Rare or Well Done."
1952- The first time in a Peanuts comic strip where Lucy pulls away the football as Charlie Brown was attempting to kick it.
1960- CLARK GABLE DIED- The 59 year old star had just completed the film the Misfits, a film in which director John Huston demanded a great deal of physical exertion. He had told his agent that the unprofessional antics of his moody co-star Marilyn Monroe had driven him so nuts they were going to give him a heart attack. Gable had one after shooting, and on this day while convalescing in Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital reading a magazine, a second heart attack killed him. He wrote his own epitaph, but it was never used- " Oh Well, Back to Silents."
1981- Actor William Holden died. The star of such classics as Sunset Blvd, Stalag 17 and Network, was told as a young actor to take a few drinks to calm the pre-camera jitters. But by now he was a hopeless alcoholic. This night at home alone and drunk, he fell and hit his head on a table edge. Too inebriated to call for help, he dabbed his forehead with bunches of Kleenex tissues until he bled to death.
1990- Disney’s feature film the Rescuers Down Under premiered. The first traditionally animated film to be painted digitally on computer instead of acetate cels and paints.
1996- Warner Bros Space Jam, where Bugs Bunny met NBA star Michael Jordan.
2001- The film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone premiered to great fanfare and massive box office. Harry Potter’s creator J.K. Rowling had been so poor she at one time had been on the dole, now she was one of the richest women in the world. In England second only to Madonna and the Queen.
2002-The mysterious flu like disease SAARS first reported in Kwantung China. The epidemic spread around the world killing hundreds but was contained by the following summer.
Question: Which one of these celebrities never worked in an animation studio? A) Jack Nicholson, B) Roger Moore, C) Marlon Brando D) Beverly D’Angelo
Answer: Marlon Brando. Jack Nicholson worked as a production assistant on Tom & Jerry at MGM, Roger Moore was once an assistant animator in London, and Bev D’Angelo painted Scooby-Doo cels at Hanna & Barbera.
NOv 15, 2013 sat
November 15th, 2014
Question: Which one of these celebrities never worked in an animation studio? A) Jack Nicholson, B) Roger Moore, C) Marlon Brando D) Beverly D’Angelo
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does it mean to speak in Atavistic terms? What is Atavism?
History for 11/15/2014
B-Days: Georgia O'Keefe, Bill Melendez, Irvin Rommel the "Desert Fox", Avrial Harriman, Daniel Barenboim, George Bolet, William Pitt the Elder, Veronica Lake, Beverly D'Angelo is 63, Mantovanni, Ed Asner is 85, Sam Waterson is 74, Otis Armstrong, Petula Clark is 82
64 AD-THE ROMAN EMPIRE OUTLAWED CHRISTIANITY- It's hard to believe today, but the Roman Empire was proud of it's religious toleration. There was a harmony to the pagan world, A Goth knew his god Odin or Wotan was called Jove in Rome and Zeus in Athens and Mithra in Persia. So the Judeo-Christian concept of One God exclusively and everybody else’s gods were demons just didn't quite fit in.
The only other religion persecuted as vigorously as Christianity was the Druids, but that was because the Druids preached constant rebellion to Roman rule. The Romans dispersed the Jews as a nation, but Julius Caesar left strict laws about never violating Jewish dietary or Sabbath Laws.
Anti-Semites claim Messalina the wife of Nero was a Jewish convert and convinced her husband to ban the Christian cult, but the answer goes deeper than that. Secrecy and fear of its alien practices bred suspicion that would last 300 years.
1532- After marching his Spanish conquistadors for six months through steaming jungles and over tall mountains Francisco Pizarro reached the border of the mysterious Inca Empire. At the little border town of Cajamarca his 200 men suddenly found themselves face to face with 40,000 Inca warriors. The Imperial Inca Army was outfitted in gold and “they shined like the sun!”
1754- First use of the modern trombone. It was played at a child's funeral.
1777- The ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION passed by Congress. An early attempt at a U.S. Constitution that gave all real power to the individual states, similar to the provincial system in Canada. It required a majority vote of 9 out of 13 states to get anything done and had no president. With rules like that, indeed nothing did get done. There were no laws regulating national commerce so goods travelling state to state paid tariffs like they were going through foreign countries!
By 1787 the Articles were junked for the more centralized U.S. Constitution but States Rights supporters would resurrect it later for their Southern Cause, hence the Confederacy.
1828- Author Victor Hugo signed a contract with Gosselin's Publishing House to write a story about the cathedral of Notre Dame du Paris. He was paid 4,000 francs in advance, The HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME was the result.
1849- In Rome, Vatican lay government minister Count Pelligrino Rossi was stabbed and as he walked through an Italian nationalist mob. Italians desiring the unification of Rome to the newly forming State of Italy rioted and looted the Popes Palace. Pope Pius IX,” Pio Nono” had to flee disguised as a plain priest. He returned a year later behind a French army to reinstate the Papal States. Rome was annexed into Italy in 1870.
Pius IX came to power professing liberal reforms but soon went back on his word and threatened excommunication against “Treasonous Democracy”. In Italy another name for a liar was a Pio Nono.
1860- Shortly after Abraham Lincoln’s election as president a large meteor was seen in the skies over the Eastern U.S. Most took this as a bad omen of troubles to come.
1864- SHERMAN BURNS ATLANTA- Atlanta was the economic center of the South, an enormous depot far from the front with railroad tracks linking all the coastal ports. William Tecumseh Sherman drove out the civilian population of the city and torched it. He called his tactics 'Hard War" but today we call it 'Total War" Sherman had an army band serenaded him beneath his window playing the "Miserere'" from Verdi's "Il Trovatore", while he observed the burning, impatiently chewing on an unlit cigar.
1881- The American Federation of Labor AF of L formed under the leadership of former cigar-maker Samuel Gompers. In 1951 they merged with the CIO.
1889- Emperor Pedro II abdicated, the Republic of Brazil is declared.
1907- The comic strip Mutt & Jeff debuted. The strip was so popular that it’s creator Harry “Bud “ Fisher became a celebrity and negotiated the first large backend deal.
1920- The League of Nations held it’s first meeting in Geneva.
1926- FIRST NETWORK BROADCAST- NBC hooks up 20 cities across America and Canada for a radio program "The Steinway Hour" with Arthur Rubinstein. It came from the Steinway building penthouse on 57th St. in Manhattan.
1934- Animator Bill Tytla started work at Walt Disney's on a trial basis for $150 a week. He would create Grumpy the Dwarf, The Devil in Fantasia and Dumbo.
1937- The U.S. Congress gets air-conditioning.
1941- Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordering the arrest and deportation to concentration camps of all homosexuals and Gypsies.
1957- Patriarch Ignatius Yacoub III established the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the U.S. and Canada.
1958- Movie star Tyrone Power was filming a sword duel with George Sanders on the film Solomon and Sheba. He paused and told the director “ I have to stop, I don’t feel well”. He then dropped dead of a heart attack. He was 44. His father Tyrone Power Sr had also died on a Hollywood movie set in 1931 of a heart attack,
1965- Walt Disney announced he planned to build a second Disneyland, this time in Orlando Florida.
1979- ABC news announced they would broadcast a daily update of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The late night show became Nightline.
1989- Disney's The Little Mermaid debuted.
1990- It was revealed that the Grammy winning pop group Milli Vanilli didn’t sing on their own album but lip synced to the music.
1995- According to the Starr report, President Clinton had his first sexual tryst with intern Monica Lewinsky. At one point he was on the phone to a member of Congress while getting serviced from the chubby chick from Beverly Hills High.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to speak in Atavistic terms? What is Atavism?
Answer: In biology it is a regression to an earlier physical trait. Sort of "un-evolution.” Socially or physiologically, atavism is a preference or an instinct for things ancestral or primitive. (thanks FG).
Nov 14, 2014 fri.
November 14th, 2014
Question: What does it mean to speak in Atavistic terms? What is Atavism?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does it mean to “ turn the tables” on someone?
History for 11/14/2014
Birthdays: Robert Fulton, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Claude Monet, Aaron Copeland, McClean Stevenson, Jarahwahal Nehru, Mamie Eisenhower, Brian Keith,
Louise Brooks, Ellis Marsalis, Harrison Salisbury, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Yanni,
P.J. O'Rourke, George Petrovic' called KaraGeorge "Black George" Serbian nationalist 1762, Astrid Lungren the creator of Pippi Longstockings, Prince Charles is 66, Laura San Giacomo is 52, Patrick Warburton is 50, Zhang Yimou is 63
1565- King Phillip II of Spain ordered the Holy Inquisition to enforce his edicts against protestants in the Netherlands. While Dutch emissaries like William of Orange, nicknamed William the Silent for his diplomatic skill, urged moderation towards the growing population of Dutch Calvinists, Phillip said: “I would rather that thousands lose their lives, than reign over a kingdom of heretics”.
1666- English diarist Samuel Pepys recorded witnessing the first experimental blood transfusion done on two dogs.
1798- WolfTone, the young Irish revolutionary leader, committed suicide in prison after his capture. He knew he was certain for a hangman’s noose. He is sometimes called the founder of the IRA, although this is more a romantic notion than historical fact.
1805- Napoleon’s French Army captured Vienna. Composer Ludwig Van Beethoven had dedicated his Symphony #3 Eroica to him when he considered Bonaparte a force for human rights, but after Napoleon became an emperor he angrily crossed it out. “So, he is just a man after all!” Now ironically with all the Austrian society run out of town Beethoven was forced to premiere his symphony to an audience of French army officers.
1832- The First regular horse drawn streetcar service began in New York.
1851- Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick, or the Whale” was first published in the U.S. by Harper & Row. Melville in part was inspired by a report of a whale named Mocha-Dick who had sunk seven ships off the coast of Java and a New Bedford whaling ship Nantucket that was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale in 1839. For the famous author of Typoo and Billy Budd, Moby Dick was a critical and financial disaster. What's now considered one of the greatest works of American literature was ridiculed in its time. Melville, broken in spirit, sank into obscurity and finished his life as a customs agent for the Port of New York. When he died, he was so forgotten the New York Times misspelled his name in it's obituary. Today his great-great grandson Moby is a rock star.
1875- British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and banker Sir Lionel Rothschild had lunch. Their brandy and Stilton was interrupted by an agent with the secret message that the Khedive of Egypt needed money and was willing to sell the unfinished Suez Canal zone to England. But Disraeli had to get the money on the spot. Disraeli knew Parliament was out of session and probably wouldn't agree to the sum anyway. "Well, how much do you need?" Rothschild asked. Disraeli replied "Four million Pounds Sterling" ( $44 million in modern money ). "No Problem" quote Sir Lionel. So Rothschild lent the Crown the money on the spot and the Suez Canal was built and maintained by Britain until 1956.
1883- London’s World newspaper printed an exchange of telegrams between writer Oscar Wilde and painter James MacNeil Whistler. “ When you and I are together we never talk about anything but ourselves.”-Wilde. Whistler:” No, no, Oscar. When you and I are together we never talk about anything except me.”
1889- Inspired by Jules Verne's book Around the World in Eighty Days, New York World reporter Nellie Bly real name Elizabeth Cochrane, set out to travel the world in the declared time. She did it in 72 days.
Bly was considered by Victorian society scandalously independent, she was a war correspondent, she had herself committed to a lunatic asylum to report on mistreatment of the mentally ill, she went up in a balloon and was the first woman to go down in a diving bell- bathosphere.
1918- The Czechs declared their independence from the collapsing Austrian Empire.
1921- Winston Churchill told his political constituents that so far the "Twentieth Century has been a terrible disappointment." Just wait, Winnie, you ain't see nothing yet.
1922- Happy Birthday B.B.C.! the British Broadcasting Companies first regular radio service 2LO goes on the air with general election results.
1927- Stalin’s victory as paramount Russian leader was completed. His chief rival Leon Trotsky was this day officially expelled from the Soviet Communist Party. Trotsky went into exile and was eventually murdered in Mexico City.
1937- SPAM introduced! Shoulder-Pork And HaM.
1940- The Nazi Luftwaffe bombed the English city of Conventry, not for any military reason, but as a terror warning to the British. Ironically the British had broken the Nazis secret code and knew about the attack, but if they issued a warning the Nazis would have realized their code had been compromised and would change it. Churchill had to make the terrible decision that the secret was more valuable than all those civilian casualties.
1943- When Bruno Walter was too ill to conduct the New York Philharmonic, 24 year old Leonard Bernstein was asked to assume the baton. Bernstein became an overnight sensation.
1943- During naval maneuvers in the South Atlantic the destroyer William S. Porter accidentally fired a live torpedo at the battleship Iowa carrying President Franklin Roosevelt! The Porter reported the mistake in time so the Iowa could take evasive actions and the torpedo exploded harmlessly in her wake. But the captain and crew of the William S. Porter were arrested and courts-martialed back at port. The incident kept top secret until the 1970’s. For years afterwards whenever the William S. Porter came into harbor she was greeted with the cry “DON’T SHOOT, WE’RE REPUBLICANS!”
1957-THE APALLACHIN CONFERENCE- The top Dons of the Mafia decided to meet at a small upstate New York town near Binghampton. The estate of Joseph Barbara, the President of the Canada Dry soda pop company was clogged with black Cadillacs and Lincolns driven by guys in silk suits. All the heads of the Five Families were there, Joe “Bananas” Bonano, Joey Profacci, Carlo Gambino, Vito Genovese, Paul Castellano, Joey Catena and Louis Tafficante.
No one’s quite sure what this meeting was about. Theories are it was an attempt to broker a peace after the hits on Al Anastasia and Frank Costello, and to decide whether the Old Sicilian capos would agree to the younger men’s request that the mob organize narcotics. As luck would have it two New York State troopers investigating a bad-check case noticed the gangland gathering and called for the estate to be surrounded. Once the cops raid commenced it was a free for all of mobsters jumping out of windows and running like rabbits through the corn stalks.
The raid produced few convictions, but the headlines focused national attention on the Mafia. It proved without a doubt what had always been feared, that the Mafia was not a loose term for some local immigrant gangs but an highly centralized national organization. Congressional hearings like the McClellan Committee began to bust up the rackets. Mobsters who write of this time say the Appalachin mistake was the beginning of the end of the Mafia’s nationwide solidarity and power.
1957-The Supreme Court refused to review the challenge to government obscenity laws brought by Irving Klaw and his wife, producers of the Betty Page kinky pinup photos.
1959- In Holcomb Kansas two men break into a farm home and murder four people. The subsequent trial and execution was attended by writer Truman Capote, who wrote the book “In Cold Blood”.
1960- Anthony Mann began shooting the film El Cid with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren with her pre-collagen Lips.
1961- President John F. Kennedy ordered the number of U.S. military advisors in Vietnam increased from 1,000 to 16,000. There has always been conflicting evidence about just what JFK thought about the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Some scholars point to writings that said Kennedy by 1963 was having second thoughts about involvement and wanted to begin pulling out after the 64 election, but Lyndon Johnson had deeper ties to the South Vietnamese regime and big military contractors like Bell-Huey. Others say if JFK wasn’t assassinated, he still would have done the same Vietnam policy that Lyndon Johnson later did.
1963- Volcanoes push up out of the sea the island of Circe, now part of Iceland.
1965- BATTLE OF IA DRANG- The First major engagement between U.S. combat troops and Vietnamese regulars. Ho Chi Minh wanted to see how his troops could withstand a major engagement with this new adversary. General William Westmoreland couldn’t think of any other way to say the battle was a success than by counting the number of enemy dead.
Based on this defeat the Vietnamese would not challenge the Americans again in open battle like they had defeated the French but went underground and fought a guerrilla war for the next three years. Ia Drang was also the first battle where troops where brought in, out, and supplied totally by helicopters. Among the units involved were the reconstituted 7th Cavalry. The battle was dramatized in the Mel Gibson 2002 movie “We Were Soldiers.”
1973- Britain's Princess Anne wed Captain Mark Phillips. They divorced in 1992.
1967- Jack Warner, the last surviving Warner Brother, sells out his stake of Warner Bros and it’s huge film library to a Canadian company called Seven Arts.
1968- Frank Sinatra announced that the smog and air pollution in Los Angeles had gotten so bad that he was moving out to the desert in Palm Springs.
1986- Wall Street Tycoon Ivan Boesky who defined the 1980's with mottos like "Greed is Good, Greed is Natural", pleaded guilty to insider trading and stock fraud and willingly finked on everyone at Drexel Bernham-Lambert who helped him.
1995- Because of a deadlocked budget debate between President Bill Clinton and Congressional leader Newt Gingrich, the U.S. Government shut down.
National parks and tourist attractions like Yosemite and the Statue of Liberty turned people away because their staffs were unpaid.
1998- Pixars A Bugs Life Premiered.
1998- Colorful and eccentric NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman married beautiful supermodel Carmen Electra. There was some doubt at first as to the validity of the story as Rodman admitted he was blind drunk throughout and didn’t remember the ceremony. They divorced shortly after.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to “ turn the tables” on someone?
Answer: In some ancient board games like Backgammon, one maneuver allows you to turn the board around so you play your opponents winning pieces, and he suddenly is at your mercy. The earliest use of the term “ the tables have turned” can be traced to the 1630s.
Nov 13, 2014 thurs.
November 13th, 2014
Question: What does it mean to “ turn the tables” on someone?
Question: What land was referred as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire?
History for 11/13/2014
Birthdays: Saint Augustine 354 AD, King Edward III of England, Robert Louis Stephenson, Edwin Booth, Oskar Werner, Jean Seberg, Whoopi Goldberg- real name Karen Johnson is 59, Erte', Jack Elam, Judge Louis Brandeis (the first Jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice), Alexander Scourby, Hermoine Badderly, Eugene Ionesco, Garry Marshall is 80, Mel Stottlemyre, Joe Mantegna is 67, Jimmy Kimmel is 47, Gerald Butler is 45, Will Ryan- the modern voice of Disney’s Eeyore, and Pegleg Pete.
In Ancient Rome, today was Epulium Jovis, or the Feast of Jupiter Reclining.
In London it is Lord Mayor’s Day
1749- The University of Pennsylvania, originally called the Franklin Institute is established as the first non-sectarian American college. See below 1874.
1789- Ben Franklin wrote " Nothing is certain except Death and Taxes."
1842- Lewis Carroll noted in his diary today:" Began writing the fairy tale of Alice. Hope to be done by Christmas.."
1861- THE TRENT AFFAIR- All through the American Civil War, Abe Lincoln's biggest fear, and Jefferson Davis’ greatest hope, was direct intervention of the great European powers. With England in Canada and France in Mexico and the British Navy ruling the seas, this was a real possibility. The British and French thought nothing of intervening in conflicts all over the world like the Greek Revolution or the war between Argentina and Uruguay. Almost as soon as the guns of Fort Sumter boomed, Emperor Napoleon III of France and the German Elector of Baden were offering their services as mediators.
On this day a U.S. Navy frigate fired on the British ship HMS Trent and removed from her two Confederate diplomats. Mason and Slidell were being sent as ambassadors to the Court of Saint James. They claimed diplomatic immunity, the U.S. said they were citizens in rebellion. London reacted to the insult to her flag with an explosion of war talk. General Garnet Woolsey volunteered to raise new regiments for an invasion of New York State via Canada. Abe Lincoln's reaction was "One War at a time." He apologized and offered reparations. On the other side Prince Albert helped keep the peace.
1868- Giacomo Rossini died at 68. He retired at 37 from performing and lived on royalties. It was said he became so lazy he laid about in bed all day. One day when writing a concerto his score dropped to the floor as he leaned over to fill his glass. Rather than bend down to pick it up he took a fresh sheet and wrote a sonata. He still could do a nice piece on occasion, like The Fantastic Toy Shop.
1874 -At the sesquicentennial celebrations of the University of Pennsylvania Robert Green invented the Ice Cream Soda.
1914- Clothing designer Carez Crosby took two handkerchiefs and some ribbon off some baby bonnets and invented the Brassiere.
1917- THE RUSSIAN CIVIL WAR- After Lenin’s Communist Party seized power in Saint Petersburg disaffected officers and businessmen fled to the edges of the Russian Empire to organize resistance to the new regime. This day some "White" soldiers under General Krasnoe skirmished with some of Trotsky’s Red Guards. These were the first shots of a bloody Civil War that would rage for 4 years and kill millions. After just completing a World War and two Revolutions, when she heard this news one Russian poet exclaimed : "Oh God, You Mean its Not Over?!"
1940- Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' opened. as Walt put it, "this'll make Beethoven!"
Frank Lloyd Wright's opinion was 'I love the visuals, but why did you use all that old music?"
1953- An Indiana Judge ordered his local school district to remove any school books with references to the character Robin Hood. All the "take from the rich and give to the poor" it was obvious to the judge that the medieval rogue of Sherwood Forest was a Communist.
1956- The Supreme Court declares Montgomery Alabama’s segregation laws involving interstate buses are unconstitutional.
1969- President Richard Nixon’s’ Vice President Spiro Agnew accused the national news media of bias and partisanship. He excoriates them as "Nittering nabobs of Negativism" and gained a reputation for pithy use of the language. In reality Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan wrote all of Spiros’ best lines.
Up to then White House reporters were a compromising bunch when asked, winking at John Kennedy’s bimbos and Franklin Roosevelt’s wheelchair. But Nixon’s paranoia led him to declare the press his enemy and the press reacted in kind. You can date the birth of the modern rapacious, scandal obsessed press corps from this speech.
1970- A giant typhoon carrying 100 foot tidal waves smashed into Bangladesh, then called East Pakistan. 150,000 died.
1971- ABC TV. movie "the Duel" premiered. It starred Dennis Weaver as a hapless motorist on a lonely freeway menaced by an unseen truck driver. The movie was directed by a young protégé of Lew Wasserman, named Steven Spielberg.
1971- Walt Disney’s The Aristocats opened.
1974- Atomic plant worker Karen Silkwood was the first person to expose lax safety practices at the US nuclear power plants. For this she was rewarded with demotion, harassment, lawsuits. Even a radioactive isotope was put under her car seat. On this night she was finally killed in a car accident. She was on her way to talk to a New York Times reporter and it’s been alleged her car was deliberately run off the road. The files she was going to hand over to the press were taken from the car. The crash was ruled an accident.
1978- Mickey Mouse got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1986- President Ronald Reagan attempting to explain the festering Iran Contra Scandal said on nationwide TV:" We did not and I repeat did not…trade weapons or ransom for hostages, or would we ever." But that was exactly what he was doing.
1986- Directors John Huston and Woody Allen denounced the fad promoted by Ted Turner of computer colorizing classic Black & White films like the Maltese Falcon. Supposedly one of the last things Orson Welles said on his deathbed was "Keep Ted Turner and his crayons away from my movies!"
1991- Disney's animated film Beauty and the Beast opened, the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
2001- President Bush issued an order that all people apprehended as terrorists would be tried by secret military commissions that dispense with our traditional American rights that we fought for in the Revolution. But it didn’t go as far as to call them prisoners of war, because then they could also ignore the Geneva Conventions. When Pres. Obama came in, he kept this system in place.
Yesterday’s Question: What land was referred as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire?
Answer: India, again.
Nov 12, 2014 weds
November 12th, 2014
Question: What land was referred as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What nation begins its annual independence celebration at “ The Red Fort”?
History for 11/12/2014
Birthdays: Auguste Rodin, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Bahi-ullah 1817 founder of the Bahii faith, Elizabeth Cadie -Stanton, Cecil B. DeMille, Grace Kelly, Edward G. Robinson, Jack Oakie, Kim Hunter, Shamus Culhane, Charles Manson, Neil Young, Edvard Munch, Nadia Comenici, Tanya Harding, Wally Shaw, Megan Mullally is 56, Anne Hathaway is 32, Ryan Gosling is 34, David Brain.
1035- Canute the Great died. He was the Viking King of Denmark and England simultaneously. It was Canute who once tried to command the ocean tide to go out.
He got his feet wet.
1623- In Vilnius Lithuania, Catholic priest St. Joseph of Polotsk was torn apart by an angry mob. Polish Catholic legislators led by chancellor Jan Zamoyski tried to reconcile the practices of their Ukrainian and Belarus subjects by creating the Church of the Uniate Rite. Clergy could keep their Eastern Orthodox rituals and wives, but acknowledge the Pope. This compromise didn't suit all tempers, and such acts of violence broke out into the Great Cossack Revolt of 1648.
1792- The Revolutionary French Republic issued a declaration that any other European kingdom that wants to overthrow their king and chop his head off, is welcome to come join the fun and France would help.
1859- The first trapeze act was demonstrated at the Cirque Napoleon in Paris. The act caused such a sensation that the daredevil was immortalized by his tights becoming a fashion named in his honor- Jules Leotard.
1861- THE CURRAUGH CAMP AFFAIR- When 20 year old Edward the Prince of Wales went to Oxford he was kept on a short leash by his worried parents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They expected his college life to be- well, Victorian. He was to reside off campus, limited his diet to bland foods and soda water, and absolutely no smoking or carousing with women! This draconian regimen only stiffened Bertie’s rebellious nature.
When allowed to attend maneuvers in Ireland and bunk with a company of hard drinking cavalry officers, he was at last free to go wild. By unfortunate coincidence the gossip about the Prince’s all night drinking binges and bedding actresses reached his father just as Albert was showing the first signs of the typhoid fever that would kill him. For years afterwards, Queen Victoria blamed her son for contributing to his father's death by breaking his heart. In his adult years King Edward VII was never without a cigar in his teeth, a girl on his lap and a drink in his hand.
1912- SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC- in the Antarctic this day the frozen bodies of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott and his men were found. He had lost his race to find the South Pole to Norwegian Piers Ammundsen then was stranded by a blizzard only 30 miles from his base camp on the Ross Ice Shelf. His last diary entry (March 29th ) said "We are showing that Englishmen can still have a bold spirit, fighting it out to the end. This diary and our dead bodies will be the proof. I should like to write more but I haven't the strength..."
1917- At the first meeting of the Russian Duma since the Bolshevik Revolution Lenin and Trotsky revealed their radical plan to reform Russian Society into a Communist Worker’s State dominated by the Soviets -workers and peasants councils.
1918- The day after the Armistice ending World War I, dozens of German army regiments against orders began to march back across their borders in perfect order. Then defying the shouts and threats of their officers, the men threw away their helmets and uniforms, disbanded themselves and walked home.
1918- With their Hapsburg emperor fled, Austria declared itself a republic.
1920- In the wake of the "Black Sox" Baseball scandal, the first rigged World Series, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis was elected first Commissioner of Baseball. He ordered all those involved in the scandal including Shoeless Joe Jackson permanently banned from baseball, even though they had been acquitted in a civil trial.
1923- In Clarksburg West Virginia a man shot his wife for smoking a cigarette. After World War One the psychologist nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edmund Bernayz left the office of war propaganda and went into the advertising business. He later bragged that it was he who created the campaign equating woman’s emancipation and voting rights with smoking cigarettes. He created ad campaign calling cigarettes "Freedom Sticks".
1927- The Holland Tunnel completed. It runs under the Hudson River connecting New York and New Jersey. It’s not named for the Netherlands, but for the engineer Clifford Holland, who died shortly before it’s completion.
1933- Hugh Gray of the British Aluminum Company takes the first photographs of what he claimed was a monster in Loch Ness. He would be the first of many to have claimed to have seen Nessie.
1937- Alan Turing delivered his famous paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem" at Kings College, Cambridge.
In it he postulated on the ability to create a "universal machine" that used numbers to solve problems and could be re-programable for different tasks. In his day they were called Turing Machines, but we know them now as Computers.
1938- The Madagascar Plan. Nazi Herman Goring announced a new plan to create a homeland for European Jews in French Madagascar off the coast of Africa. It sounds goofy but they got it from an idea of 19th century Zionist leader Theodore Herzl and the just concluded international conference at Evian France showed the reluctance of the western democracies to take in large amounts of refugees. The idea went nowhere.
1944- THE BATTLESHIP TIRPITZ is sunk. After the big battle with the Bismarck, Nazi admirals built an even bigger superbattleship, the Tirpitz. The allies however, found out through intelligence when it would sail and attacked this one as soon as it left it's harbor. They pounded it with bomber and torpedo planes and midget submarines day and night until it rolled over and sank. Survivors recalled as the ship was sinking they could hear through the hull the sound of the doomed sailors singing "Deutschland Uber Alles".
This caused a British Admiral to remark:" It's tragic that such men follow such a cause."
1946- Disney's "Song of the South" with James Baskett as Uncle Remus.
1946- The Exchange Bank in Chicago opened the first drive in bank.
1948- After World War II, Japanese leaders were sentenced for war crimes by a world court like the top Nazis leaders were at Nuremberg. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, Generals Homma and Yamashita and 900 others were executed or imprisoned for crimes against humanity and genocide, including waterboarding American prisoners.
1955- This is the date Marty McFly returns to in the film Back to the Future.
1975- Portland Oregon had a large dead gray whale on its beach. It decided it would be easier to dispose if they blew it up. As an audience watched they stuffed it with half a ton of dynamite. The explosion drew cheers from the audience, then everyone ran for cover as they were showered by 50 pound chunks of stinky blubber and guts.
1981- The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for the second time. First reusable spacecraft.
1990- Akihito became Emperor of Japan.
Yesterday’s Question: What nation begins its annual independence celebration at “ The Red Fort”?
Answer: India. In 1648 Moghul emperor Shah Jahan built a huge fortress palace that was the largest structure in Delhi. Because of its red sandstone color, people call it Lal Quila, The Red Fort. So every year on Independence Day, the flag is raised over the Red Fort, and the Prime Minister delivers a speech.