Nov 25, 2015
November 25th, 2015

Question: Nittering Nabobs of Nihilism. So what is a nabob ?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What American President was once nicknamed “ Old Rough & Ready”?
History for 11/25/2015
Birthdays: Lope de Vega, St. Pope John XXIII, Andrew Carnegie, Tina Turner, Joe Dimaggio, Carl Benz of Mercedes Benz, Virgil Thompson, Jeffrey Hunter, John Kennedy,Jr., Percy Sledge, Ben Stein, Ricardo Montalban, Bob Matheson, John Larroquette, Gloria Steinem, General Augusto Pinochet, Christina Applegate, Bucky Dent, Bill Kroyer

1177-Battle of Montgisard- 19 year old Baldwin the Leper-King and his Crusaders defeated Saladin.

1758- In the Pennsylvania wilderness a British force including frontier scout Daniel Boone and militia Captain George Washington captured Fort Duquesne from the French. They renamed it for their current Prime Minister William Pitt, hence the name Pittsburgh.

1783- EVACUATION DAY- Treaties ending the American Revolution signed, the last British troops left U.S. soil, sailing out of New York Harbor for Nova Scotia. This also marks the beginning of the exodus to Canada of Americans who sided with England, maybe as many as 130,000. Tories, or United Empire Loyalists, as you prefer. About 3,000 slaves liberated by the British requested to return to Africa and were sent to Sierra Leone. Among their number was the personal cook of George Washington’s, who bolted through the lines the moment he heard about the offer. Washington demanded his return, and the British refused.

The last shot fired of the American Revolution was as the British fleet passed by Staten Island, so many people were at the shoreline jeering, British warship fired a cannon at them. The shot landed harmlessly in the water. One British officer wrote “ I wish Columbus had never discovered this cursed place.” Washington led American forces into the city at around 1:00PM. Evacuation Day was a holiday in New York for years afterwards.

1795- English architect Henry Latrobe left Europe for a life in the U.S.
Latrobe was the architect who built the U.S. Capitol building.

1817- First sword swallower performed in the US.

1864- In a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at New York’s Winter garden Theater the three Booth brothers- John Wilkes, Edwin and Junius Booth appeared together for the only time. Other famous acting families of the time included the Powers, whos descendant was the movie star Tyrone Power and the Barrymores, who’s line continues down today from John to John Drew to Drew Barrymore.

1867- Alfred Nobel patented dynamite. The riches he accumulated from this and Nitro-Glycerine he used to fund the Nobel Prize.

1869- Ned Buntline was a hack dime novelist who understood that selling stories about gunfighters of the west would be easier if you could occasionally produce one in the flesh. So on a trip to Nebraska he found among the cavalry scouts an accommodatingly colorful rogue named William Cody, who everybody called Buffalo Bill. This day Ned Buntline announced in the New York Weekly the first installment of a serial series “Buffalo Bill King of the Bordermen”. Buntline and Cody collaborated to make Buffalo Bill the first true American media star, entertaining millions including crowned heads until 1916.

1915- In a rally at Stone Mountain Georgia, a group of white southerners inspired by D.W. Griffith’s film ‘The Birth of a Nation” declared the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. The original Klan had been formed in 1865 by disaffected Confederate veterans as a terrorist force to combat Yankee occupation. But by 1867 most had been rounded up by the authorities. It died out in part because all their goals of denying black Americans their civil rights were been achieved by legal means anyway. This new Klan in 1915 broadened their appeal to hatred of not only black Americans but also immigrants, Jews and Catholics. Instead of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, the modern KKK appealed to strict U.S. patriotism and the Protestant Religion. Many areas other than the Old South invited in the Klan, like in 1921 the governor and most of the state legislature of Indiana were Klansmen. In the 60s there were Klan in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles.

1929- Alfred Hitchcock’s film Blackmail opened in London. It was the first full length talkie in Britain.

1932- At Sam Houston High School in rural Texas, a young teacher got a phone call. It was from Congressman Richard Clayburgh. He said he needed an executive aide in Washington, and he heard this guy was a go-getter. The teacher said yes, and packed his one suit in a cardboard suitcase. Lyndon B. Johnson’s career in politics began.

1944- A German V-2 missile hit a Woolworth’s store in Deptford England while people were shopping. 160 killed.

1949- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry hit number one on the musical charts.

1952- The stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery the Mousetrap opened in London’s West End and became one of the longest running plays in history.

1956- Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 88 followers departed Mexico in a ramshackle boat called the Granma to start the revolution in Cuba.

1960- CBS canceled its remaining five radio soap operas, most of them now on television.

1963- THE FUNERAL OF JOHN F. KENNEDY. The massed muffled drums, bagpipes, bands blaring Chopin’s Funeral March, the riderless horse with the boots in the stirrups turned inward, a tradition that went back to Genghis Khan, the black horse drawn artillery caisson modeled on Abraham Lincoln's. The day was also John Kennedy, Jr.'s birthday and a big party had been planned with lots of little tots. Jackie knew that John-john didn't understand the gravity of what had transpired so after the funeral she changed out of her widows weeds and ran a kiddie party.

1970- Japan's greatest modern poet-playwright Yukio Mishima committed suicide
(seppuku) after attempting a coup at a military base. He felt Japan was losing her spiritual soul to crass materialism and the ancient Bushido warrior code was the only way back. The Japanese Defense Force soldiers he appealed to just laughed at him
In a poll conducted in a magazine at the time about 75% of Japanese women said they would rather commit suicide than sleep with Yukio Mishima.

1971- Con man D.B. Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient passenger plane after stealing $ 200,000. He parachuted out of the 727 airliner with the money during a thunderstorm over Washington State and disappeared forever. Searchers found rotting bits of money in the forest but never a body. D.B. Cooper became a folk legend. In 1999 a man in South Carolina named Dwayne Weber was dying of liver cancer. Before he died he turned to his wife Jo and said “Before I go, I gotta tell ya something. I’m Dan Cooper” His wife said he loved singing at piano bars and his favorite song was “You’ll never know..”

1975- According to the first movie Rocky, this was the date of the first prizefight portrayed in the film where we meet Rocky Balboa.

1975- Happy Surinam Independence Day.

1986- President Reagan announced the firing of National Security advisor Admiral Poindexter and his assistant Marine colonel Oliver North. That night North’s secretary Fawn Hall smuggled incriminating documents out of her office stuffed in her brassiere and under her skirt. The NSC was engaged in an illegal scheme of selling weapons to Iran through middlemen then funneling the money made to the Nicaraguan Contras rebels in defiance of Congress.
A $40 Congressional investigation could never definitively tie Reagan to the scheme, even though North openly admitted he was only the designated fall guy. Admiral Poindexter got a job in the GW Bush administration and Ollie North is a radio talks show host.

1992- Disney’s Aladdin opened wide in theaters.

1995- Legendary Corporate CEO Akio Morita resigned as the leader of Sony. Under his guidance Sony went from a little postwar maker of cheap electric rice cookers to the largest electronics giant in the world. His official reason was health problems but insiders said the real problem was his headaches with Sony's Hollywood studios -MGM, Columbia, TriStar losing $2 billion. By the time he died in 1999 the Sony movie studios had pulled out of their slump and were on top with movies like Men in Black.

1997- Pixar’s A Bugs Life and Geri’s Game premiered.

2009- Disney’s Princess and the Frog released.
Yesterday’s Question: What American President was once nicknamed “ Old Rough & Ready”?

Answer: Zachary Taylor.

Nov 24, 2015
November 24th, 2015

Question: What American President was once nicknamed “ Old Rough & Ready”?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: You think you know your Founding Fathers? So who was Felix Muhlenberg?
HISTORY FOR 11/24/2015
Birthdays: Spinoza, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Scott Joplin, Zachary Taylor, Carrie Nation, Dick Powell, Garson Kanin, Cass Gilbert-the architect of the first skyscraper, Alvan Barkley-Truman’s VP, William F. Buckley, John Lindsay, Dale Carnegie- author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Steve Yeager, Denise Crosby, Billy Connolly is 73

800 AD- Charlemagne or Charles the Great, the King of the Franks (France), arrived in Rome to spend the Christmas season with his old pal Pope Leo III. At the Christmas service, Pope Leo would crown him Emperor.

1221- The Mongol horde of Genghis Khan destroyed the Persian army of Shah Jellaladin in the Indus Valley in present northwestern Pakistan.

1326- Hugh Despenser the Younger, onetime gay lover of King Edward II, was executed by order of Eddie’s wife Queen Isabella the She-Wolf of France. She had his penis and testicles amputated and burned in front of him as he hanged.

1681- YOU UGLY MUG! The Earl of Shaftesbury acquitted of treason. In the restoration politics of King Charles II’s England the Earl was frequently in opposition to the Kings policy. He started the first political party in loyal opposition, the Green Ribbon Club, later the Whig Party. This was a new idea. Before this, disagreeing openly with the Crown was considered treason. But now after the English Civil War and the Restoration, open political debate was considered acceptable.

Politics at the time was discussed in coffee houses on Fleet St. where only wealthy gentry could afford to dally over a cup of rare Java or hot cocoa imported from the Americas. And Charles II ‘s queen Catherine of Braganza introduced Tea drinking. The Earl of Shaftesbury’s face was printed on coffee mugs by his partisans, as were other images of leading politicians. This is when the word mug also came to mean a face:” I don’t like your mug!”

1688- English King James II was facing an invasion led by his own daughter Mary and his son-in-law William of Orange. In the middle of the night the commander of the royal army, the Duke of Marlborough, and all 40 of his top generals deserted and rode over to the rebel camp. Next morning the King awoke to find his entire army had run away!
Even James other daughter Anne went to the rebel side. These defections meant that the Glorious Revolution of 1688 would be bloodless and not a repeat of the devastating Civil War of 1642-49.

1789- The first issue of France’s national newspaper Le Moniteur.

1832- THE NULLIFIERS- A controversy had been brewing since the U.S. Constitution was adapted whether the individual states or federal government had the final say on a law. Southern states in particular declared they had the right to “nullify” Federal laws they didn’t agree with. This day South Carolina refused to pay a new tariff imposed by Washington. President Andy Jackson, also a southerner, angrily ordered the army to mobilize. But the crisis was averted by a compromise the following spring. The issue continued to plague U.S. politics until it was settled by the Civil War thirty years later.

1859- Charles Darwin published the Origin of the Species.

1863- THE BATTLE ABOVE THE CLOUDS or Missionary Ridge. Gen. Grant's army had to break through a Confederate Army dug in on a mountaintop above Chattanooga, Tennessee. At first it was the 24th Wisconsin Infantry that was ordered to take the rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge. This was intended as a diversion to the two flanking attacks occurring at the same time. When the Wisconsin soldiers swept the pits, they confused their orders and just continued the assault. They felt stopping for cover or retreating on the bare mountain slope was more suicidal than attacking. More units joined in the mad scramble up the summit and soon the mistake became an unauthorized general assault that blew the rebel army off the mountaintop.

Grant had a great, if unplanned for victory. The first soldier to plant the U.S. flag on the summit was Lt. Arthur MacArthur, the father of World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur. Lt. Arthur MacArthur took the Wisconsin regimental flag after the rest of the officers had been killed and led the charge up the slope, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. How did Lt. MacArthur inspire his men? He kept yelling "On Wisconsin!" This tradition inspired the Wisconsin football fight song "On Wisconsin" still sung to this day and perennially voted one of the five best fight songs in college football..
For some reason, the Wisconsin assault on Missionary Ridge was the subject of a crayon/pastel painting by a young recruit of the 101st Airborne Division. The painting is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The artist? Jimmy Hendrix.

1871- The National Rifle Association formed.

1874- Cacaobao, the high chief of the Cannibal Isles (modern Fiji) submits his people to the British Empire. He figured they were gonna get it anyway. He sends Queen Victoria his personal war club as a symbol.

1874- Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire, which made it possible to fence in the Great Plains for farming. In 1899 in the Boer War it was the white South African Boers who first came up with the idea of using barbed wire to slow down enemy infantry.

1904- Alfred Steiglitz and Edward Steichen opened 291, the first art gallery dedicated exclusively to the art of photography.

1909- THE UPRISING OF THE TWENTY THOUSAND. Mary 'Mother' Jones led three fifths of the immigrant garment workers of New York out on strike to demand better conditions and recognition of their union, the ILGWU. Several Golden 400 socialites would meet the strikers at the old Water Tower in Greenwich Village to dispense food and day care. One of them was Betsy Morgan, the youngest daughter of J.P. Morgan, who was also involved in a lesbian affair with designer Elzie DeWolfe.

1922- Irish writer Robert Erskine Childers was put up against the wall and shot. Erskine Childers was the writer of the Riddle of the Sands, one of the first true spy novels, but he was also a leader of the IRA and after Irelands Treaty with Britain he sided with Eamon de Valera and the anti-treaty rebels in the Irish Civil War. Erskine Childers was executed by an Irish Army firing squad. His son became President of Ireland in 1973.

1933- The RKO movie Flying Down to Rio opened, originally as a starring vehicle for Dolores Del Rio, but what we remember is it is the first pairing of the famous dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1937- The Andrew Sisters record their Boogie-Woogie version of “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon”, an old Yiddish song that was updated by Bennie Goodman.

1938- LENI DOES TINSELTOWN -Hitler's top filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl arrived in Hollywood to meet the film community and show off her new documentary 'Olympia". Nazis charges de’ affaires in L.A. Gerhard Gyssling had bragged to the press that all Hollywood was dying to meet Germany’s top film artist. But Hollywood had different ideas. Paramount, Warner Bros., Columbia, Fox and Goldwyn refused to speak to her and picketers hounded her every step. Well known Conservatives like Louis B. Mayer and Gary Cooper were polite but begged off the bad publicity.

The only studio heads who would meet Leni Reifenstahl were Hal Roach and Walt Disney. Uncle Walt gave her a tour of the studio but begged off running her film, saying the union projectionist would make trouble. ( uh-huh....) Years later Disney said he didn't really know who she was. ( uh-huh......) Leni told LA historian Robert Nudleman years later that she thought Walt met her because his professional curiosity got the better of him. That he wanted to see Olympia, because it was the only film to beat his Snow White at the Venice Film Festival, then the world’s most prestigious.

1941- After suffering a strike and declining revenue because of the war in Europe, Walt Disney’s studio was in trouble. Animator Ward Kimball noted in his diary for this day: “ 100 layoffs announced. Studio personnel from 1600 down to a Hyperion level of 300. Geez, It this the writing on the wall?” Disney saved itself with doing training films for the Army, and after limping through the 1940’s, with Cinderella was back on top.

1947- THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST- 50 Hollywood moguls like Harry Cohn, Jack Warner and Dori Charey meet at the Waldorf Astoria in New York to formulate a group response to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee anti-commie hearings that were targeting Hollywood. Besides the heat from the feds their stockholders were clamoring for them to get the Reds out! They agreed to enforce an industry-wide blacklisting of anyone refusing to cooperate with the HUAC Committee. Nothing was ever officially written down or published, if you were blacklisted you suddenly were unable to find any work.

Eric Johnston, spokesman for the Motion Pictures Assoc. said on this day: "As long as I live, I will never be party ot anything as unAmerican as a blacklist!”.
Two days later on Nov. 26th he said: " We will forthwith discharge and never again knowingly employ a Communist. Loyalty oaths for the Entertainment Industry are now compulsory." Many Hollywood artists signed Communist Party cards in the 1930's when it was chic' to be lefty and the Communists were the only open opponents of segregation and Hitler. Writer Bud Schulberg’s excuse was CP parties had the prettiest girls. Out of an estimated 15,000 entertainment workers only around 300 were ever actually proven to be Communists. Famous blacklist victims included Zero Mostel, Lillian Hellman, Lloyd Bridges, Dashell Hammett, Gale Sondergaard, Edward G. Robinson, Sterling Hayden & Dalton Trumbo. Sidney Poitier was blacklisted for no other reason than he was friends with black activist-actor Canada Lee; 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' composer Yip Harburg was blacklisted for writing a song: 'You Gotta Friend Named Joe" which the committee took to mean Russian dictator Josef Stalin.

1948- Hib Johnson, the President of Johnson's Wax had just moved into a home designed for him by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Called Wingspread, it was considered the culmination of Wrights prairie style. But there was a problem. Johnson called Frank Lloyd Wright to complain that the roof was leaking rainwater onto his Thanksgiving dinner! The water was leaking right on Hib's head as he sat at the head of the table. He refused to budge, had the phone cord stretched so he could make the
call, and spoke to Wright with the drops splashing off his bald head. What was Frank Lloyd Wright’s response? " So move your table..."

1950- Gen. Douglas MacArthur announced his "Home by Christmas Offensive" to finish off the North Korean army and end the Korean War. The following day he was attacked by 180,000 Red Chinese. MacArthur was fired and the war dragged on until 1953.

1950- The musical Guys & Dolls opened. “ I got da horse right here, his name is Paul Revere, I know a jock who tells me Never Fear, Can Do- Can Do..The Jock sez da horse can –do ”

1958- The musical film Gigi opened, music by Lerner & Lowe. Based on the writings of French author Collette, Collette herself had insisted young unknown Dutch actress Audrey Hepburn play the lead.

1963- To complete the surreal drama that shocked America into the Sixties, JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was shot on nationwide T.V. by smalltime gangster Jack Ruby. He was taken to the same hospital and had the same doctors as Kennedy but still died. Ruby, real name Jacob Rubenstein, always hung around the Dallas police station, so no one thought it was unusual to see him around.

1968- Hey Jude by the Beatles topped the pop charts while Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man headed the Country & Western listing.

1991- Freddy Mercury, lead singer of the rock group Queen, died of HIV/AIDS.

1998- America On Line bought their chief competitor Netscape.

1999- Pixars Toy Story 2. in theaters.

2000- Catherine Zeta-Jones married Michael Douglas.

2010- Disney’s Tangled released.
Yesterday’s Question: You think you know your Founding Fathers? So who was Felix Muhlenberg?

Answer: He was the first Speaker of the House of Representatives (1789).

Nov 23, 2015
November 23rd, 2015

Question: You think you know your Founding Fathers? So who was Felix Muhlenberg?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Who was Jan Christian Smuts?
HISTORY FOR 11/23/2015
Birthdays: German Emperor Otto Ist- 972AD, Edward Rutledge –Declaration of Ind signer, President Franklin Pierce, Krystoff Penderecki, Manuel DeFalla, William Henry Pratt better known as Boris Karloff, William Bonney better known as Billy the Kid, Susan Anspach, Victor Jory, Vincent Cassel is 49, Joe Esterhaus is 73, Miley Cyrus is 23.

Feast of Saint Clement and Saint Columban.

1499- PERKIN WARBECK hanged for trying to overthrow King Henry VII Tudor.
Warbeck maintained he was one of the murdered young "Princes in the Tower", allegedly done in by Richard III in 1485.

1654- BLAISE PASCAL was one of the great minds of French civilization. A scientist who invented an early computer. He loved debating science with Rene Descartes and Johannes Kepler. Descartes joked about Pascal’s championing the existence of a vacuum: “The only vacuum that exists, is in Monsieur Pascal’s head!” This day he almost died when his carriage plunged off a Seine River Bridge. The carriage remained precariously perched above the water allowing Pascal to escape.

That night in his trauma he had the first of several religious revelations. Blaise Pascal became a philosopher and one of the great Christian apologists. He wrote of that night:” The God of Abraham and Issac appeared to me, The God of Jacob –
Reassurance. Certainty. Peace.”

1874- Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy first published.

1876- The first intercollegiate College Football association set up in Springfield Mass.

1889- The first Juke Box installed at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. Created by Louis T. Glass, it used Edison cylinders instead of records and cost 5 cents a play. Juke comes from Juke Joint, a slang term then for a dance hall.

1897-First Royal performance for Queen Victoria of a Cinematograph moving picture, at Windsor Castle. Also on the program was Monsieur Taffary's Calculating Dogs.

1903- Italian tenor Enrico Caruso made his debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in Verdi’s Rigoletto. The great singer loved drawing caricatures, collecting police badges, pinching ladies bottoms and doing practical jokes, like filling your hat with flour. Painter Norman Rockwell recalled when he was paying his way through school by being a Met stagehand Caruso liked to talk art with him and he asked about George Bridgemans class, the great anatomy teacher.

1921- Tightening the Prohibition laws, President Warren Harding signed the Willis-Cambell Act. It was nicknamed the Anti-Beer Bill, because it forbade doctors to prescribe beer or other liquors for medicinal purposes.

1936- The first florescent lighting tubes are installed in the U.S. Patent office.

1936- Time Magazine owner Henry Luce launched LIFE Magazine. The first picture on the cover was a dam photographed by Margaret Bourke-White. The second picture was a doctor slapping a newborn baby with the caption: “Life Begins!”

1938- Bob Hope recorded his signature tune “Thanks for the Memory” for the movie The Big Broadcast..

1941- Operation Crusader- Battle of Sidi Rezegh. Although Rommel the Desert Fox had outmaneuvered the British 8th Army under Sir Claude Auchinleck, his own forces were so spent that he had to withdraw and give up the siege of Tobruk. At this time the British 7th Armored Division got the nickname The Desert Rats.

1942- PLAY IT AGAIN SAM- The movie CASABLANCA premiered. Based on an never produced musical, “Everybody Comes to Ricks’, Howard Koch and the Epstein Brothers adapted the play into one of the most memorable Hollywood movies ever. It was never expected to be more than a rehash of the popular Charles Boyer film Algiers. Humphrey Bogart acted opposite Ingrid Bergman, although he had to stand on boxes to appear taller than his Swedish leading lady.

During the famous scene where the French exiles drown out the singing Germans with a stirring rendition of le Marseillaise the Germans are singing Watch On the Rhine. The director wanted them to sing the Nazi Party anthem the Horst Wessel Song but the Warner Legal Dept discovered it was copyrighted! Don’t want them Nazis to sue!

At this time the real Casablanca was still in a war zone so director Michael Curtiz and his art director Carl Jules Wyl had to fake what a North African French colonial city might look like. A decade later while filming in Almeida, Spain, he took the ferry over to Casablanca to see how close they came. Driving around Curtiz remarked “Carl, this doesn’t look anything like our movie!!”

1945- The U.S. government ends most wartime food and gas rationing.

1947- THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS- Prof E. L. Sukenik of Hebrew University in Israel was first told of a discovery made by two Bedouin shepherds in a cave near Qumran. Hebrew sacred scrolls dated from 200BC to 70AD, many were found to corroborate translated passages in the modern Bible.

1948- Japanese Prime Minister Gen. Hidecki Tojo was hanged for war crimes.
Throughout the war Tojo’s official limousine was a Buick. Must have been tough getting parts.

1952- Animator Fred Moore, who drew Mickey Mouse in Fantasia and the Brave Little Tailor, died from cerebral injuries incurred in an auto accident in the Big Tujunga Canyon area of Los Angeles. He was 41.

1960- The Hollywood Walk of Fame is dedicated, featuring over 1,500 names- but not Charlie Chaplin, who was banned until 1972 because of his lefty political views.

1963- The night after the JFK Assassination, the presidential party was back in Washington from Dallas. Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine was guarding the home of new president Lyndon Johnson. During the night he raised his weapon at a shadowy figure approaching him. He was about to shoot when he saw the figure was President Johnson! OOPS! Gerald Blaine didn’t admit this incident until 2010.

1963- The very first episode of Dr. Who premiered on the BBC TV. William Hartnell played the first Dr. Who. There have been eleven doctors since.

1966- The film “ Spinout “ premiered. Elvis Presley pioneered the genre movie of bored male movie stars who use their studio muscle to make us watch movies of them racing cars. James Garner in Grand Prix-arguably the best one, Steve McQueen in LeMans, Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, Sly Stallone in Driven, etc.

1973- THE BOSTON STRANGLER- Albert DeSalvo molested and murdered 13 women and kept Beantown in fear between 1962 and 1964. In '64 he was finally apprehended and sentenced to life in prison, just getting in after the states death penalty was repealed. On this date another prisoner did what the State would not do, he knifed him to death in an argument.

1990- 37 year old baseball catcher Bo Diaz was crushed to death by a large satellite dish he was trying to install.
Yesterday’s Question: Who was Jan Christian Smuts?

Answer: The first Prime Minister of South Africa, military commander and philosopher.

Nov 22, 2015
November 22nd, 2015

Question: Who was Jan Christian Smuts?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: In Flanders Fields the poppies grow…Where is Flanders?
History for 11/22/2015
Birthdays: French explorer Sieur de LaSalle, George Elliot- pen name for Mary Anne Evans, Benjamin Britten, Charles DeGaulle, Andre Gide, Wiley Post, Billy Jean King, Boris Becker, Geraldine Page, John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner, Hoagy Carmichael, Rodney Dangerfield, Terry Gilliam is 76, Robert Vaughn, Tom Conti, Mark Ruffalo, Victoria Paris- porn star of such classics like Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo, Stevie Van Zandt is 64, Jamie Lee Curtis is 57, Scarlett Johanssen is 31

1220- Pope Honorius III crowned Frederick Barbarossa the Holy Roman Emperor.

1622- English poet John Donne ordained the deacon of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The poet had written some of the most erotic poetry in English literature, now he devoted himself as fervently to religious contemplation.

1739- Georg Frederich Handel premiered the oratorio Ode to Saint Cecilia’s Day.

1809- Baltimore native Peregrine Williamson given a patent for a re-usable steel pen. This finally freed the western world from sharpening goose quills and other feathers to write.

1864- The Battle of Griswold. After Sherman’s army had burned Atlanta they began ravaging the Georgia countryside. Except for some horsemen most of the state was defenseless before the Union juggernaut.
This day a pathetic collection of Georgia state militia led by a drunk, accidentally blundered into Sherman’s line of march. The untrained boys and elderly men were enraged how the Yankees had burned their homes and crops. So despite the ridiculous odds they attacked- 2,000 charged 34,000. They were easily mowed down and Sherman’s men resumed their march.

1880- Actress Lillian Russell made her debut on the New York Stage. Russell exemplified the sex appeal of the era- big figured, big bustle, tiny waist and big caboose.

1886- Melbourne’s Victoria Street Streetcar starts. A Seattle entrepreneur later purchased a number of Melbournes’ old decommissioned streetcars and set them running along the Seattle waterfront.

1888- According to Edgar Rice Burroughs this is the birthday of the boy who would become Tarzan.

1903- Franklin Roosevelt proposed to his cousin Eleanor Roosevelt. She was President Teddy Roosevelt’s niece, Franklin was his 5th cousin.

1916- Author Jack London died at 40 in Glen Ellen California of kidney disease. The author of White Fang and Call of the Wild was a lifelong socialist and supporter of the labor movement. In 1919 radical Emma Goldman eulogized in an article in The Masses: “It’s a pity that brother Jack never lived long enough to see the Red Flags of Freedom flying over the Kremlin!”

1917- The National Hockey League-NHL, was founded in Montreal. The first teams The Quebec Bulldogs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Arenas, and Montreal Maroons.

1923- President Calvin Coolidge pardoned Lothkar Witzke, a German spy who had set off the Black Tom Pier explosion in New York Harbor in 1916.

1928- Ravel’s Bolero Suite premiered in Paris.

1935- The First Pan Am China Clipper service began from San Francisco to Honolulu and Manila. Captain Edwin Musik took off with 20.000 people waving bon voyage.

1942- Operation Uranus- The German 6th Army surrounded at Stalingrad. As the Russian pincers were closing around him, Gen.Von Paulus wired Hitler for permission to pull back and maneuver. Hitler promoted him to Field Marshal and ordered him not to withdraw one millimeter. The 6th Army was slowly starved, frozen and pounded on all sides. By February, 100,000 surviving German troops surrendered. They were sent to Stalin's gulags in Siberia where most of them died. The bitter Von Paulus became as diehard a communist as he had been a diehard Nazi.

1950- The Lowest Scoring Basketball game in NBA history. The Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18. They later became the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers.

1957- The Miles Davis Quintet debuted.

1963- ONE DAY IN DALLAS- At 12:30 Central time, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. Whether you believe the assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, The Military Industrial Complex, Vice President Johnson, the Mafia, Corsican contract killers, The C.I.A., Fidel Castro, Anti-Castro Cubans, space aliens, or all of the above, it remains one of the traumatic moments of US History.
John Kennedy had been warned about all the hateful conservative rhetoric originating in Texas. He said to Jackie about Dallas " We're going to Nut Country." One of the last things President Kennedy heard before the bullets struck him, was the wife of Texas governor John Connolly, who said:” Well Mr. President, now nobody can say they don’t love you in Dallas!”

After the shots, reporter Robin MacNeill ran into the nearest building to phone in the story. He ran into the Texas Book Depository and asked a skinny t-shirted man where the nearest phone was. Two days later when watching TV of the assassin being arrested, he realized he had been talking to Lee Harvey Oswald!

Jackie Kennedy, who after flying to D.C. from Dallas still wearing the blood soaked pink Channel dress “let the people see what they’ve done!” immediately started going over the funeral arrangements. Before retiring she had her staff comb the National Archives for the details of the 1865 Lincoln Funeral.

In 1966 evidence from the Kennedy assassination including the presidents brain disappeared. For years people claiming knowledge of a conspiracy died in strange ways, like karate chops and boating accidents. Much testimony is still under seal. Before she died, Jackie Kennedy left a personal affidavit with her lawyers that is not allowed to be made public until the year 2050. Only 15% of Americans believed Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. One Mafia don said in his memoirs:” If you believe Oswald, a rather lackluster Marine, could get off three carefully aimed shots from an bolt action rifle in just six seconds, you have a vivid imagination.”

1963- Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa had been fighting off indictments and racketeering charges pressed by the aggressive Attorney General Robert Kennedy. When Hoffa heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas his first reaction was to laugh:” Now Bobby is just another lawyer!” Hoffa was himself whacked in 1975.

1963- Aldous Huxley died. The author of Brave New World had inoperable cancer so his wife kept him high on LSD,

1965- The musical The Man of La Mancha opened on Broadway. “ To Dream, the Impossible Dreaaammm…”Brings back memories of middle school band practice.

1967- The United Nations passed Resolution# 242 calling upon all the belligerents in the recently ended Arab-Israeli Six Day War to live in peace and trade back conquered territories like the West Bank for permanent peace. But because the resolution is vague on ideas like what exactly is meant by “conquered territories” the nations of the Middle East continue to argue over it’s meanings.

1974- The United Nations seated the Palestinian Liberation Organization as an unofficial observer group. Yassir Arafat was allowed to address the world body with a noticeable pistol stock sticking out of his belt.

1975- Two days after the death of Generalissimo Franco, Juan Carlos became the first King of Spain since 1936.

1980- Screen goddess Mae West died at 87. He apartment suite at the Ravenswood in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles has been lovingly restored, since the owner claims her ghost nagged him to put her furniture back!

1985- Apple ended a long lawsuit with Microsoft and Hewlett Packard that allowed them to share the visual characteristics of the Macintosh displays in their Windows software.

1986- 20 year old Mike Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick to become the youngest Heavyweight Champion of the World.

1990- Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of English politics, resigned her offices to successor John Major. After 11 years in power her popularity was low because of her poll tax, and resistance to English cooperation in the European Community.

1993- Sir Anthony Burgess died. The author of A Clockwork Orange had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and told he had one year to live, back in 1959.

1995- Pixar’s Toy Story opened, the first all CG movie, and the first true CG hit.

2005- Microsoft Xbox 360 goes on sale.
Yesterday’s Question: In Flanders Fields the poppies grow…Where is Flanders?

Answer: In Belgium, between Germany and France, it was some of the most contested ground in WWI.

Nov 21, 2015
November 21st, 2015

Question: In Flanders Fields the poppies grow…Where is Flanders?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does it mean to take umbrage? Do you have to give it back?
History for 11/21/2015
Birthdays: Francios Arouet called Voltaire, Marlo Thomas is 77, Adolphe Marx called Harpo, Colman Hawkins, Stan ' The Man' Musial, Tom Horn, Pope Benedict XlV, Earl the Pearl Monroe, Harold Ramis, Rene Magritte, Goldie Hawn is 70, Dr. John (born Malcolm Rebennack), Mariel Hemingway, Troy Aikman, Bjork is 50

53BC- Marcus Licinius Crassus, the Roman consul who conquered Spartacus, doesn’t do as well with the Parthians in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Today he was captured in battle. Well known as a millionaire, the Parthians killed him by pouring molten gold down his throat. Then his body dragged by a chariot, then stuffed and mounted in the temple of victories.

1620- THE PILGRIMS LAND AT PLYMOUTH ROCK- Legend has it Mary Chilton and John Alden were the first ones to set foot upon The New World. The English religious sect after first leaving England had lived in Utrecht. But the Dutch couldn't stand them either. They had set sail for Virginia but bad weather had blown them to the coast of Massachusetts. The area they were settling was some of the most densely populated Indian land in North America, but the smallpox spread by preceding European explorers had decimated the tribes, leaving entire villages empty. When the Pilgrims saw this they held a thanksgiving service in honor of: "He who prepares a way for His people by sweeping away the heathen."

The Plymouth Rock enshrined in modern Plymouth was identified in 1677 by an elderly survivor of the landing, as the huge rock escarpment they landed on. The city fathers tried to pry it loose but only a little chunk broke off. That’s why the current enshrined Plymouth Rock looks pretty small for a big ship to park on.

1718- BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE KILLED. William Teech from Bristol had served on privateers fighting the French. When the war was over he went into business for himself. He grew a huge black beard, which he tied lit cannon fuses into the ringlets to scare people. This day two sloops of Royal Marines sent from Virginia colony led by a Lieutenant Maynard RN, boarded Blackbeard’s ship when she ran aground on the coast of North Carolina. The fighting was all hand to hand. Blackbeard went down after he was shot five times and slashed with cutlasses 25 times. Blackbeard had stationed a boy with a lit match in the powder magazine, with orders to blow everything to hell the moment the battle was lost, but the boy was killed before he could accomplish his task. After the battle Lt. Maynard found papers proving the Royal Governors of Bermuda and North Carolina were receiving bribes from the pirate for safe harbor. Blackbeard’s head was cut off and hung it from the bowsprit for the trip home. They threw the rest of his corpse into the ocean where legend says it swam around the ship once before sinking.

1774- Sir Robert Clive had won the great Battle of Plassey that had won India for the British Empire and avenged the Black Hole of Calcutta. But like every general since Scipio Africanis would discover, success in battle breeds jealousy at home. His London enemies pushed lawsuits alleging he used his power in Bengal to embezzle riches. Although he was acquitted of every charge the experience broke his spirit. This day high on opium he committed suicide.

1794- Honolulu Harbor discovered by British explorers.

1812- During Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow Marshal Ney and his III Corps were given the assignment of protecting the rearguard of the army. This meant fighting off five pursuing Russian armies and hordes of marauding Cossacks while trying not to freeze to death in the subzero cold. Ney became the soul of the retreat. Every morning when men wanted to lie still in the snow and die, they would feel his boot in their backs, shouting, cursing, encouraging them to get up and live another day. He cold-shaved with snow every morning. On November 17th he was cut off from the main army and surrounded. Russian General Miloradovich offered surrender terms, but Ney refused.” A Marshal of France Never Surrenders!” Leaving dummy campfires, Ney marched east and up around the Russian armies until this day he fought his way back to Napoleons main force. Of 10,000 effectives he now had barely 900 left. Napoleon called Ney “The Bravest of the Brave.”

1818- Since annexing Poland and the Ukraine, the Czar of Russia also governed the largest grouping of Jews in the world. This day Jews petitioned Czar Alexander 1st for a homeland in Palestine. The Czar said he would consider it, then ignored their request.

1852- The Methodist Congregation of Randolph County North Carolina charted a school called the Union Institute later renamed Trinity College. In 1924 a man named James B. Duke gave the school $20 million bucks, so they renamed it Duke University.

1864- THE BIXBY LETTER- President Abe Lincoln was moved to write a Massachusetts mother upon learning she had lost 5 sons in the Civil War. It is one of the most eloquent examples of presidential prose. “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” The original of the letter had never been found. Mrs Bixby was not a Lincoln supporter, and may have destroyed it. It later turned out only two of her sons were killed. Two others were POWs and another a deserter.

1871-The cigar lighter patented by Moses Gale.

1916- During World War I the hospital ship HMS Britannic struck a German mine in the Aegean Sea, and sank killing 30 people. What makes this sinking stand out, is that Britannic was the sister ship of HMS Titanic, that sank in 1912.

1920- Bloody Sunday- In Dublin IRA chief Michael Collins sent out his best assassination squad, nicknamed the Twelve Apostles. In the early morning they rounded up 20 of the top British counter terrorist police inspectors, nicknamed the Cairo Gang, and executed them. In some cases they forced the inspectors wives to watch their husbands die. In retaliation, the British paramilitaries called the Black & Tans entered a soccer stadium with an armored car during a match, and opened fire on the players and fans with machine guns. 25 innocent people were cut down.

1933- Film director Frank Capra went to Claudette Colbert’s home to talk her into delaying her holiday vacation long enough to star with Clark Gable in “It Happened One Night”. Colbert said she would only do it for double her normal salary and if they would be done by Dec 23rd so she could spend Christmas with friends at Squaw Valley Idaho.
They made the picture on a rush, and Colbert later told her friends:” I just finished the worst picture in the world!” It Happened One Night” became a big hit for Capra, Columbia and is one of Colbert’s most memorable performances.

1934- Cole Porter's musical 'Anything Goes!' opened on Broadway. Ethel Merman starring, In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked upon as somewhat shocking. Now Heaven knows- Anything Goes!”

1942- Warner's "A Tale of Two Kitties" the first Tweety Pie. I tawt I taw a puddy cat !

1946- Harry Truman became the first president to go underwater in a submarine.

1959- The day after he was fired WABC radio, DJ Alan Freed refused to sign a statement that he never received cash payments or payola to run Rock & Roll records on the air, which is exactly what he did.

1959- Jack Benny with his violin played a duet with Vice President Richard Nixon on piano.

1963- President John F. Kennedy and Jackie fly into San Antonio for a swing through Texas to gather support for a possible re-election run. Tomorrow would take them to Houston for breakfast then through Dallas....

1963- U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge III decided enough is enough. He started off to Washington to advise President Kennedy that involvement in the Vietnam War was pointless and the U.S. should pull all forces out. Kennedy in several memos had been leaning towards a pullout but a week earlier had ordered troop strength boosted. When Lodge arrived in Hawaii next day he got the news from Dallas.....

1963- Robert Stroud, the 'Birdman of Alcatraz' died behind bars at 73. Jailed in 1916 for murdering a man who beat up his girlfriend, he spent 54 years in prison, 42 in solitary confinement. His study of birds enabled him to become an expert in bird diseases, he wrote three books. Burt Lancaster played him in the movies as a tragic hero, but those who knew him said he was a morose psychopath who stabbed another inmate and murdered a guard. He was known to shave off all his body hair and drink alcohol distilled from the birdseed admirers sent him. His own mother hoped he'd never be paroled.

1964- The Verrazano Narrows Bridge opens in New York Harbor. I remember the first person through the gate was a motorcyclist who "popped a Wheelie" and tried to cross the bridge balanced on his back tire.

1967- US commanding General William Westmoreland announced that the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were losing the Vietnam War. Two months later US forces were attacked on all sides by the massive Tet Offensive.

1980- “The Who Shot J.R.?” episode of the TV show Dallas.

1980- Australian Olivia Newton John’s disco anthem to aerobic exercise “Let’s Get Physical ” goes to number one of the pop charts and stays there for ten weeks.

1985- Jonathan Pollard, a Navy research analyst was arrested for compromising US security and passing intelligence to Israel. After serving 34 years in prison, he was released just yesterday.

1989- Junk bond king Michael Milken pleads guilty to insider stock trading and 98 counts of fraud. He now does lectures on ethics in business.

2008- Walt Disney’s film Bolt premiered.

Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to take umbrage? Do you have to give it back?

Answer: Taking umbrage means to be offended, insulted, or resentful.