March 27, 2015
March 27th, 2015

Quiz: What does it mean to have ennui?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: What does it mean when you call someone or something “bourgeois”?
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History for 3/27/2015
Birthdays: French King Louis XVII –the boy during the Revolution who died in prison after his Royal parents were guillotined, Patty Smith Hill 1868- The composer of the song Happy Birthday to You, Edward Steichen, Gloria Swanson, Sarah Vaughn, Maria Schneider, Mies Van der Rohe, Snooky Lanson, Wilhelm Roentgen the discoverer of X-Rays, Nathaniel Currier of Currier & Ives, Donald Duck artist Carl Barks, cellist Mtisislav Rostropovich, Michael York is 72, Quentin Tarantino is 51, Mariah Carey is 44

The ancient Romans called today Washing Day, the origin of our concept of Spring Cleaning.

47BC – In Alexandria, Julius Caesar defeated the royal forces of Cleopatra ‘s brother Ptolomey.

33AD- Ecce Homo- Behold the man, Traditional date for when Roman Governor Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus to death.

715 AD- Saint Rupert was a Frank who did missionary work around Austria and Bavaria. When he arrived at the abandoned Roman town of Juvenum he revived the areas salt works and named it The Salt-Fortress, or Salzburg.

922- Persian mystic Al Hallij Mansur was beheaded at age 64 by order of the Caliph.

1513- Juan Ponce De Leon sighted the coastline of Florida. He claimed it for His Most Catholic Majesty the King of Spain. For years Spanish maps called all of North America- Las Floridas.

1536- Swiss Cantons sign the First Helvetic Confession, declaring their common support of the Protestant religion.

1599- Queen Elizabeth Ist appointed her toyboy the Earl of Essex to be Governor General of Ireland. In his 6 months there he was ordered to put down the rebels under Earl Tyrone of O’Neill, which he couldn’t; not to make any peace treaties without consulting London, which he did; and not to leave Ireland without permission, which he left. Eventually Essex thought he could handle the Queen. He lost his head instead.

1625- King Charles Ist ascended the throne of England. The king who lost his head in the English Civil War. Dutch painter Jan Van Dyck had a premonition about him. When doing his portrait he said the English monarch had” The saddest face he’d ever done.”

1790- The invention of modern shoelaces!

1802-The Peace of Amiens- A rare three years of peace breaks out in Europe. This interrupted the constant warfare that had been raging since 1792 and would resume 1805 -1815. Around this time Napoleon was being annoyed by a queer American inventor named Robert Fulton who had some strange plans for a ship with no sails, only steam powered paddles. He even proposed another ship that could travel underwater! Robert Fulton had tried the British Admiralty first, but got nowhere. Napoleon kept him cooling his heels in his waiting room until he gave up and returned to America.

1814- THE BATTLE OF HORSESHOE BEND-The last great Indian battle in the American South. The War of 1812 coincided with Shawnee chief Tecumseh's called for all Indians regardless of tribe to unite to drive back the white man. Chief Red Eagle and the Creek Nation tried to fight Gen. Andrew Jackson and his volunteer army of frontiersmen down in the Alabama territory. Jackson's army included Davey Crockett, Sam Houston and future Senator Thomas Hart Benton.
Jackson (Indians named him "Sharp Knife") destroyed the Creeks in one huge battle. In a switch on Hollywood image, in this battle the Indians fought from inside a wooden walled fort and the whites charged around it. After the carnage Jackson ordered his men to cut off the dead brave's noses so he could make an accurate count. Andy Jackson became a national hero and carried a lead bullet around in his shoulder for the rest of his life, Sam Houston got shot in the groin, and Chief Red Eagle put on a suit & tie, and changed his name to William Weatherford.

1836- The first Mormon temple is set up in Kirkland Ohio. Mormon ladies broke up their fine china to mix into the plaster so the walls had a sparkling effect.

1836-GOLIAD- After wiping out the Texas rebels at the Alamo, Mexican Gen. Santa Anna surrounded the next little fort at Goliad. Their commander, Colonel Daniel Fanin, seeing the result that resistance brought the men of the Alamo, tried the other tack and surrendered. Santa Anna, who was infuriated by the losses he suffered at the Alamo, wanted to make an example of the Yanqui Texans. He had Fanin and his whole command executed by firing squads. But instead of being intimidated, Texans just got madder.

1855- Abraham Gesner patented Kerosene.

1865-The City Point Conference. Lincoln, Grant and Sherman meet on the steamboat River Queen about how to finish off Robert E. Lee and end the Civil War. Lincoln stressed that after the war the South should be treated mildly, no mass treason trials, hangings or reparations.” Let’s let ‘em up easy..”
It's the last time Grant and Sherman would ever see Lincoln alive.

1866- Andrew Rankin received the first patent for the upright porcelain urinal.

1884-The first long distance telephone call-New York to Boston.

1886- GERONIMO! After a whirlwind campaign across Arizona being chased by three U.S. armies, Geronimo and his Chiracuha Apaches surrendered. With only 32 braves and their families, Geronimo evaded 5,000 troops. The Apaches nicknamed their pursuing enemy General George Crook "General Day-After-Tomorrow" for his inability to keep up with them.
Finally they were cornered and forced to give up. Geronimo and the Chiracua were shipped off to a Florida swamp for ten years before being allowed to return to their homelands. Many White Mountain Apaches who hated Geronimo acted as scouts for the army. Afterwards they were rewarded by being shipped off as well.

1908- Bud Fisher's comic strip Mutt & Jeff born.

1912- Washington DC received it’s famous cherry trees, 3,020 in number, a gift from the Japanese government.

1914- In Belgium the first successful blood transfusion was performed.

1939- Madrid fell to Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

1940- “Rebecca,” the first Hollywood movie by Alfred Hitchcock opened.

1941- After democratic Yugoslavs overthrow the pro-Nazi regime of Prince Paul, Hitler ordered an invasion.

1943- Companies in Los Angeles doing war work are forbidden to discriminate by race.

1945- Nazis fire the last V-2 rockets at London before the Allied armies overrun their launchpads. The last rockets hit Stepney and Kent. Chief scientist Dr. Werner Von Braun and his scientists started taking English lessons.

1945- Argentina declared war on Nazi Germany. This is seen as a bit of political theater since President Juan Peron openly admired Hitler and Mussolini and Argentina gave safe haven to many top Nazis after the war.

1952- U.P.A.’s cartoon “Rooty-Toot-Toot” premiered. It’s music score was by jazzman Phil Monroe, the first African American to receive a screen credit for scoring a movie.

1952- “Singing in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor premiered.

1957- California Reverend Robert Schuller opened the first Drive-In Church.

1958- Nikita Khruschev became Soviet Premier in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.

1964-THE ANCHORAGE,ALASKA EARTHQUAKE- The largest in the western hemisphere in the Twentieth Century..9.2 on the Richter Scale. It created a tsunami tidal wave that hit the coastlines of Alaska, British Columbia and Hawaii with a 100 foot wall of water. 164 people died.

1973- In one of the more celebrated stunts in Hollywood history, when Marlon Brando won an Oscar for his role in The Godfather, he sent a buckskin clad model named Sashin Littlefeather to refuse the award, and deliver a protest about treatment of Native Americans.

1974- Mariner 10 visited the Planet Mercury.

1977- In the largest aviation disaster in history. A KLM 747 jumbo jet taking off crashed into another PanAm 747 jumbo landing at Tenerife Canary Islands. 582 people were killed.

1978- The first draft script of the film Norma Rae completed. The film dramatized the life of Christa Lee Jordan, a mill worker who was blackballed by the J.P. Stevens millworks for wanting a union.

1989- Who Framed Roger Rabbit earned four Oscars at the Academy Awards. Sound Effects, Visual Effects, Film Editing and a special one for Richard Williams for the animation.

1996- Fearful of mad cow disease, The European Community banned the export of beef from Britain for one year.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean when you call someone or something “bourgeois”?

Answer: Bourgeois means “middle class.” Over time, the word has taken a derogatory tone, meaning conventional, small-minded, materialistic. Karl Marx used the term to mean those who defend capitalism and property over and above human rights. (Thanks FG)


March 26, 2015
March 26th, 2015

Quiz: What does it mean when you call someone or something “bourgeois”?


Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Why is the speed of a ship measured in knots?
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History for 3/26/2015
B-Days: Robert Frost, Chico Marx, Conde Nast, Tennessee Williams, Alfred Houseman, Joseph Cambell, General William Westmorland, Erica Jong, Duncan Hines, Bob Woodward, Leonard Nimoy, Alan Arkin, James Caan is 75, Diana Ross is 71, Justice Sandra Day-O¹Connor, Martin Short, Bob Elliot of Bob & Ray, Michael Imperioli is 49, Keira Knightley is 30

1199- English King Richard Lionheart died of blood poisoning from an arrow scratch. He was 42. After returning from the Crusade and getting ransomed from prison in Austria, Richard embarked on a campaign of regaining lands in central France he lost while he was away. He received his fatal wound attacking a small castle named Chalus in Limousin. Since he shunned the company of women and never made a direct heir, his brother evil Prince John became king anyway.

1660- Since the death of the dictator Oliver Cromwell, the military junta ruling Britain was breaking down. In Holland exiled young Prince Charles II Stuart received this day the first messages from Puritan General Monck inviting him to return to England and be their king.

1791- The French politician Mirabeau had guided the French Revolution from the Bastille towards creating a constitutional monarchy on the English model. But being now the most famous man in France, Mirabeau lived and played hard. This night he “entertained” several female dancers all night and woke up with violent intestinal cramps. He was dead by April 2nd. Without Mirabeau the French Revolution spun out of control into the Reign of Terror then the dictatorship of Napoleon.

1796- Napoleon Bonaparte takes command of the French Army in Italy. His promotion came mainly because new bride Josephine urged her old boyfriend Barras who was head of the French government to grant the little general with the Italian accent the assignment.

1811- Poet Percy Shelley was expelled from Oxford for writing a pamphlet that argued that God didn¹t exist.

1827- Ludwig van Beethoven died at age 56. Six people visited him while he was sick, 20,000 attended his funeral in Vienna. Romantic legend says he died at the violent peak of a thunderstorm raising his fists skyward in a last act of defiance to God and the elements, but in actual fact he died peacefully in his sleep.
He lived in an abandoned monastery given him as public housing by the Austrian government along with a small pension. He constantly complained about his poverty so that the Philharmonic Society of London sent him 1,500 gold English pounds from a benefit concert. After his death they found around 20,000 gold pieces hidden in cupboards and pots.

1830- Vermonter Joseph Smith, 24, first published "The Book of Mormon." Smith said the archangel Moroni in a dream aided his discovery of a later testament of Jesus written on golden plates in ³Reformed Egyptian¹ which Smith was able to translate with the aid of the "Urim & Thummim" stones.

1832- Artist George Catlin began his first trip to the West. He departed up the Missouri River on the American Fur Trading steamer the Yellowstone. Catlin¹s paintings of Plains Indians became famous.

1860- The tip of the Kowloon peninsula and Stonecutter¹s Island ceded by China to Great Britain. This would become the site of Hong Kong. A British Empire diplomat called it "The notch by which the tree will be eventually felled.." meaning that like India eventually all China would be a British colony.

1865- At City Point Virginia, the Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stephens had a covert meeting with Abraham Lincoln to discuss possible peace terms to end the Civil War. But they couldn¹t agree on anything- Even at this late date Lincoln was offered a cash compensation of $4 million for the loss of slaves but Stephens said the deal breaker was Southerners would not admit they were wrong and ask for pardons. Alexander Stephens went back to Richmond empty handed and the war went on.

1883-To inaugurate her opulent new 5th Ave. mansion Mrs. Cornelia Vanderbilt held one of the lavish costume balls in New York City history. She and Mrs. Astor had formed the Social Register, also called the Golden 400, the ranking of the top families in polite society first invented by the Venetian Republic. If you weren¹t on their list, then darling, you simply weren¹t anybody.

The mansion stood where Bergdorf Goodman¹s faces the Plaza Hotel today. The party set new standards for the conspicuous wealth and excess of the Gilded Age. Many guests dressed as Venetian nobility and Mrs. J.P. Morgan dressed as ³Electric Light: The Wonder of the Age.²

1900- The Happy Hooligan comic strip.

1909- The U.S. Board of Censorship created.

1920- This Side of Paradise, the first novel published by a young Minnesota writer named F. Scott Fitzgerald. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a descendant of Francis Scott Key, writer of the Star Spangled Banner.

1937- A statue of Popeye the Sailor unveiled at the Crystal City Texas Spinach Festival.

1942- The first trainload of Jewish people were sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

1943- Just outside of Chicago gangster Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti took a walk down a railroad track, took a swig of bourbon, put a 32mm pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. He first waved to get the attention of some track workers so they could witness that he was taking his own life and was not the victim of another gangster. The successor to Al Capone was going to be indicted the next day on Federal charges of racketeering and he knew they had enough from stoolies to put him away for a long time.

1953-The Salk Vaccine for Polio announced.

1953- President Dwight Eisenhower increased US aid to the French fighting the Vietnamese in Indochina, but refused outright intervention.

1958- The Mau-Mau Rebellion in Kenya. It's debatable just how extensive or violent the Mau-Maus were, or even if there ever was such an organization, but the British colonial authorities used it as the excuse to jail the real nationalists like Njomo Kenyatta.

1959- Writer Dashell Hammett died.

1969- The western movie 100 Rifles premiered. It broke taboos, because it featured uber-sexy Raquel Welch making love to uber sexy black hero Jim Brown. And Burt Reynolds as the bandito Yaqui Joe Herrerra.

1969- On this day a frustrated young writer named John Kennedy Toole committed suicide. When his mother went through his things she found the manuscript of a novel in an old shoebox. Seven years after John Kennedy Toole killed himself, his mother forced the manuscript upon novelist Walker Percy to read. He was teaching at Loyola University in New Orleans. He was stunned with what he read and that lead to it being published by Louisiana State University Press. The book the " Confederacy of Dunces "went on to be a critically acclaimed bestseller and win the Pulitzer Prize.

1970- Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul & Mary admitted to having sex with a 14 year old girl. ³ If I had a Hammer …²

1975 - The Who¹s rock opera "Tommy" premiered in London.

1976- USC sophomore Levar Burton screen tested for the role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark TV miniseries Roots.

1976 - Wings release "Wings at the Speed of Sound" album .

1977 - Elvis Costello releases his 1st record "Less Than Zero"

1978- The skull of Swedish scientist-philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg auctioned at Sotheby¹s for $3200. Swedenborg's family had found it in a antique shop and kept it until the auction. They said they needed the money.

1979- Camp David Peace Accords signed between Israel and Egypt. Israel¹s Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt¹s leader Anwar Sadat at one point were so uncooperative President Carter had to walk from cabin to cabin because they wouldn¹t meet in the same room.
Menachem Begin liked to mess with people¹s minds. At one point to cut the tension Presidential advisor Zbignew Brezshinski invited Begin to play chess. As they sat Begin said softly “ I haven¹t played chess in 40 years. Not since the day the Nazis kicked in my door and dragged me and my family off to Auschwitz.”
While Brezshinski was thinking about the enormity of that statement, Mrs. Begin came in and said: “Oh, I see you¹re playing chess, it¹s Menachem¹s favorite. He never stops playing!”

1982 - Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder release "Ebony & Ivory" in the UK

1982- In Washington DC, groundbreaking for the Vietnam War Memorial. aka The Wall.

1989- The first free elections in Russia made Boris Yeltsin President.

1992- Heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson is convicted of rape.

1997- Turner Animation's film 'Cat's Don't Dance" featuring the last film work of Gene Kelly. He was a consultant on the dance sequences.

2008- Arnold Schwarzenegger fired Clint Eastwood. No, its’ not a movie plot line. The former actor, turned Republican Governor, objected to a position of the actor/director and former Republican mayor took on the California State Parks Commission.

2228 - According to Star Fleet records- James T. Kirk, captain of Federation Star Ship Enterprise (Star Trek) was born.
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Yesterday’s Question : Why is the speed of a ship measured in knots?

Answer: In the XVIII Century a sailing ship measured it’s speed by dropping a drag line with knots in the rope at intervals. As the knot ran between a mate’s fingers he would shout “Mark” so another could time it with an hourglass. A knot is considered one nautical mile per hour.


March 25, 2015 weds
March 25th, 2015

Question: Why is the speed of a ship measured in knots?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who was the guy who first yelled “Eureka! “ when he figured something out?
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History for 3/25/2015
B-Days: English King Henry II Plantagenet, Joachim Murat, Gudson Borglum, David Lean, Gloria Steinem is 81, Mary Flannery-O’Connor, Arturo Toscanini, Aretha Franklin, Bela Bartok', Howard Cosell, Bonnie Bedelia, Anita Bryant, Simone Signoret, Elton John is 67, Sarah Jessica Parker is 50.

In ancient times this was the feast of the goddess of comedy Thalia, one of the Nine Muses. In Latin she was called Hilaria.

In the medieval calendar this was Lady Day, when streetlights no longer had to be lit after dark.

421AD- People fleeing the depredations of Atilla the Hun, flee into the marshes and found the city of Venice.

1306-Robert the Bruce crowned King of Scotland.

1330- Battle of Zebras de Acholes- Scottish king Robert the Bruce on his deathbed asked Earl Douglas of Argyle to take his heart to the Holyland. Red Argyle went on Crusade with the Bruce's heart embalmed in lead hanging from a silver chain around his neck. In Spain, the Earl was ambushed by a large force of Moors. When Red Douglas realized his hour had come, legend has it he hurled the box containing the Bruce's heart into the thickest of the foe and plowed after it, long sword in hand, to go down fighting.

1441-During the Council of Clermont the Vatican invited Czech Jan Hus under an amnesty to come and explain his Protestant doctrines. After he explained his case, they burned him at the stake.

1521-FIRST MAN CIRCUMNAVIGATES THE GLOBE- No, it was not Magellan. It was Magellan's slave, Enrique. Enrique was taken from his native Philippines by traders to Sumatra, then Madagascar where Fernan de Magellanes while serving with the Portuguese purchased him and brought him by sea around Africa to Lisbon then to Spain. Later Magellan took him with his fleet west to South America and around the Cape into the Pacific and eventually back to the Philippine Islands. On this day Enrique found on the Isle of Cebu he could converse with the natives. Magellan knew he had done it and reached the Indies by sailing West. After Magellan’s death Enrique jumped overboard and swam home.

1524- Explorer Guisseppi Verrazzano with a French fleet going up the coast of North America drop anchor off Cape Hatterras in North Carolina. Verrazzano could not see the Carolina coastline beyond the thin isthmus of Diamond Shoals so he decides the American Continent must become really thin in the middle before widening out to Canada. His men strain their eyes for signs of China beyond what he thinks is the" Pacific". For a century European maps reflect this silly mistake and Verrasano is later eaten by cannibals..

1634-The good ships Dove and Ark drop anchor in America bringing 128 English Catholics. The Colony of Maryland founded by Caelius Calvert- Lord Baltimore under former Virginia Gov. De La Ware (Delaware). For the first time in English America a Catholic Mass was held.

1668-First recorded horse race in America .

1815- After Napoleon seized back power in Paris he asked Europe for peace. This day the assembled powers meeting in Vienna declared him an outlaw and enemy of Europe. The issue was decided on the field of Waterloo.

1843-In London, the Thames Tunnel opened. The first tunnel under a major river.

1865- The Battle of Fort Steadman. Robert E Lee tried to break a hole in Ulysses Grants encircling army so he could rush reinforcements to Joe Johnston’s rebel army. They were trying to stop Sherman in South Carolina from marching north and uniting with Grant. It didn’t work.

1911-THE TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FIRE- 145 seamstresses, mostly teenage Jewish immigrant girls, burn to death in a terrible office building fire. They could not escape the flames because their employer padlocked them into their sweatshop so they wouldn't take so many breaks. The pavement was littered with girls who jumped ten stories to their death rather than burn, while a helpless crowd looked on in horror. They would hold hands and leap to their deaths together.

The factory owners were never charged with any crime. The owners soon opened another clothes factory that was cited for fire safety violations. The tragedy was a major cause of the formation of the ILGWU now called UNITE and the first job safety laws. One of the eyewitnesses to the horror, Frances Perkins, later became Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor. The last survivor of the fire died in 2001 at age 107.

1915- The first modern submarine disaster. The US F-4 went down with 21 sailors.

1916 - Ishi, the last survivor of his Yaqui Indian tribe, died.

1931- The Scottsboro Boys. In Alabama nine young black men were accused of raping two white women in a freight car. Although convicted the case was appealed and retired four times, and only the spotlight of national attention prevented any from being lynched.

1931- Shortly after the invention of automobiles, there were automobile races. This day in the dry lake beds of Muroc California saw the first race car speed trials sanctioned by the American Automobile Assoc. It was the beginning of NASCAR.

1932- Motion Picture Academy President William DeMille, the brother of Cecil B., started a 'Squawk Forum", inviting film industry workers to air their grievances with their studio heads. (and this way they won't ask to unionize ). The first boss on the hot seat was MGM's Louis B. Mayer. He was greeted with boos, insults and catcalls, mostly from his writers. The forum quickly devolved into a shouting, screaming free for all. Mayer furiously stormed out and preceded to fire all those Metro employees he could remember were there. The Squawk Forum idea was abandoned.

1933- Nazis Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels offered famed director Fritz Lang a job. Fritz said he’d think about it, then immediately packed his bag for Hollywood.

1944- During World War II a British pilot bailed out of burning plane and when his chute failed to open. He fell 18,000 feet. In a freak occurrence he hit a wet beach that broke his fall. He suffered only a broken ankle. English film director Michael Powell made the strange incident the basis of a fantasy film with David Niven called "A Matter of Life and Death", released in the US as "The Big Staircase"

1945- The 322rd fighter group escorted a large contingent of bombers from Italy to Berlin and back. During the dogfights over Germany the unit’s P-51 fighter planes shot down three German Messerschmidt ME-262 Schwalbe jet fighters. No bombers were lost and the 322rd was awarded a special unite citation for bravery. The 322rd Fighter Group were the famed Tuskeegee Airmen, the all black pilots. Their commander Benjamin Davis became the first African American to become a US General.

1945- General Eisenhower told Marshal Stalin that the allied armies would hold back and allow the Soviet Red Army to take Berlin.

1953- NUMBER 10 RILLINGTON PLACE. A new tenant to this modest flat in London made an awful discovery- behind the walls were the bodies of 4 women with one more buried under the pea patch. The previous tenant Jack Christie confessed to the murders and was executed. Christie became the most infamous British serial killer since Jack the Ripper.

1954- RCA began mass production and marketing of color television sets. At the time the set cost as much as an automobile -$1,000, 12 inch screen and there was very little programming in color.

1955- US Customs seize a shipment of 258 copies Alan Ginsburg’s poem Howl printed in the UK on the grounds it was obscene." I saw some of the finest minds of my generation destroyed by madness." Next year when Lawrence Ferlinghetti of San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore printed the poem he was arrested.

1957-The Rome Treaty establishing the European Economic Community.

1960- Thirty five years after it was written and published in Europe an American judge rules that D.H. Lawrence's novel 'Lady Chatterley's Lover" was not pornography and could finally be sold in the U.S.. Not porn ? Whaddaya think of that, John-Thomas ?

1960- The Moulin Rouge Agreement. After a lot of agitation and arm twisting from Frank Sinatra the owners of the Las Vegas casinos agree to integrate. It was so named for the Moulin Rouge Casino, which up to then had been the only casino that allowed black and white patrons to mix freely.

1965- Viola Gregg Liuzzo was a fiesty red-haired wife of a Detroit Teamster official who was so moved watching Martin Luther King’s freedom marchers being beaten up by cops that she drove down to Alabama to offer her help. When her children feared they would never see her again Mrs Liuzzo replied she would "live to pee on your graves".

This night she was driving black marchers from Selma to Montgomery when three Ku Klux Klansmen pulled along side her car and shot her at point blank range. Her case reached up as high as the White House where President Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover spent several anxious meetings over what to do. The Klansmen were rounded up but acquitted by an all-white Alabama jury, then the a Federal court gave them six years for violating Mrs. Liuzzo’s civil rights. Viola Liuzzo was the only white woman ever murdered in the 60’s Civil Rights Movement.

1966 - Beatles pose with mutilated dolls & butchered meat for the cover of the "Yesterday & Today" album, It was later pulled.

1967 -The Who & Cream make their US debut at Murray the K's Easter Show.

1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their week-long "love-in" for peace in the bed of Room 902 of the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam.

1975- King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by a nephew. The nephew was beheaded.

1990- The Happy Land Social Club fire. A Cuban immigrant man broke up with his girlfriend over drinks in a crowded Latino bar in New York City. The bouncers threw him out when he got abusive. He left the club then returned and splashed gasoline around the one entrance and set it on fire. 87 people died, some so fast that their remains still had their drinks in their hands. It was the worst fire in New York since the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, ironically on this same date.
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Quiz: Who was the guy who first yelled “Eureka! “ when he figured something out?

Answer: Greek Scientist Archimedes of Syracuse, when he observed that his bath water rose as he stepped out of a tub. He reasoned that the weight of his body displaced the same amount of water, thereby solving the problem of determining the volume of objects.


March 24, 2015
March 24th, 2015

Quiz: Who was the guy who first yelled “Eureka! “ when he figured something out?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Pope Francis is the first Pope from The New World, but there have been Popes who were not Europeans. How is that possible?
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History for 3/24/2015
Birthdays: Steve McQueen, Lawrence Ferlingetti, Ub Iwerks (the first Disney animator), John Wesley Powell, Harry Houdini aka Eric Weiss, Edward Weston, Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde, Bob Mackie, Robert Carradine, Jesus Alou, Laura Flynn-Boyle, Alyson Hannigan, Joe Barbera, R. Lee Ermey drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket ( Hoo-Rah!), Peyton Manning, Sir Elton John is 69

To the ancient Romans this was the Day of Blood- when the priests of the Goddess Cybele would end a nine day fast by walking through the streets practicing self-flagellation with whips, atoning for sins with blood. Some scholars theorized that the Christians incorporated this custom into the story of Good Friday.

1185- Battle of Dano-Ura. Huge Japanese samurai battle fought at sea. The Minamoto Genji Clan defeated the Taira-Hekki Clan and seized the throne. The 7 year old Hekki Emperor and many of his retainers drowned themselves. To this day local fishermen find small crabs with shells like samurai face masques on them.

1241- The Mongol hordes sent into Europe by Genghis Khan’s general Subotai. While one pincer marched into Hungary, another force under Vuldai and the Tartar Paidar burn the Polish capitol of Krakow. A trumpeter trying to give a warning from a church tower was shot through the throat with an arrow. Since then in his memory, in the town square every hour on the hour a trumpeter plays the bugle call and stops short at the same note -The Heynal.

1603- Queen Elizabeth Ist of England dies of a gum inflammation, James VI of Scotland, son of Mary Queen of Scots, becomes King James I Stewart of the United Kingdom. Elizabeth was 69 and had ruled England since she was 25. She was famous for being frugal but she loved extravagant clothing. At her death she left 2,000 dresses. When an Anglican bishop in a sermon tried to criticize her for vanity, the Queen stood up and warned him to hold his tongue, ”ere ye may yet attain Heaven before your time”.

1663- King Charles II granted lands in the newly forming American settlements called Carolina to noblemen who supported him in the recently ended English Civil War.

1765- the British Parliament passed the American Quartering Act, which means you have to let a redcoat soldier sleep and leave cans of Holsten Pils and Marmite jars around whether you like it or not ! You even had to give them your extra food and candles at no charge! Up to now all the British army was on the frontier protecting against Indians, now it seemed the redcoats were moved into towns and settlements to keep an eye on the Americans! This and the Stamp Act was another of the sort of thing that bugged Americans about being a colony.

1794- Hero of the American Revolution Thaddeus Kosciuszko raised the banner of Revolt to liberate Poland from the Russians, Austrians and Germans. They were unimpressed. In spirit of American and French liberty he appeared in the great square of Krakow in a peasants jacket and cap and declares a fight to the death. He finished the war in a Russian prison. Eventually released, he visited America in 1797 and was paid $3,947 in back pay as an American army officer. He spent all the money buying black slaves and freeing them.

1808- Napoleons’ French army entered Madrid.

1843- THE BATTLE OF HYDERABAD- Sir Charles Napier and the British Army of India defeated the Balouki tribesmen and conquered the region of the Indus Valley called the Sindh.
One problem generals always have after a big battle is coming up with a good name. This battle was fought near a village called Dabaa, but in Hindi that means Greasy Animal Skins. Charles Napier didn’t want to be known as the Viscount Greasy Animal Skin, so he sent an officer to ride around until he found a town with a more suitable name. Finally they chose the town of Hyderabad.
Back in London Napier was hailed as the Conqueror of Sindh. Punch magazine punned that his report consisted of one word-PECCAVI- Latin for “ I have Sinned.- get it? “ Victorian Conquest humor!

1882 -In Berlin, German scientist Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacillus that caused Tuberculosis, enabling a vaccine to at last be created. T.B. or consumption, was the AIDS of the 1800's- killing everyone from Frederic Chopin to Doc Holliday to Aubrey Beardsley.

1912- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyles adventure novel The Lost World, first published in magazine installments. It was the first of the Land-of-the-Dinosaurs type stories.

1934-The Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour debuted on radio. It became a national craze to see who could be a future star. Frank Sinatra was among their finds. The show eventually moved to television and later spawned the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, Chuck Barris the Gong Show, Star Search, American Idol and the Voice.

1939- The film the Hound of the Baskervilles premiered with actors Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson . They became the most famous interpreters of the characters and went on to make a dozen more films.

1943 - The first Japanese anime’ feature premiered "Momotaro's Sea Eagles".

1944- The Nazi Gestapo in Rome retaliated for a car bomb that killed 33 Germans by pulling innocent people at random off the street and executing them.

1944- THE GREAT ESCAPE- 60 Allied POWs dug a tunnel and escaped from an elite prison in Poland. All but 5 were recaptured, and Hitler had 40 shot.

1954- The Nash-Kelvinator Company and the Hudson Car Company merge to form American Motors Corporation or AMC automobiles.

1955- Tennessee William's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuts at Broadway's Marosco Theater. Barbera Bel-Geddes was the first Cat, and Burl Ives was " Big Daddy".

1958- Elvis Presley inducted into the Army. G.I. Blues!

1962- No one had been a more loyal supporter of President John F. Kennedy than Frank Sinatra. The singer got his Ratpack friends to stump for the candidate, and even got Mafia money to support a man who’s brother Bobby was busy busting the rackets. But the President was warned that association with such a known libertine would cost him family values votes one day. So when Kennedy next visited Palm Springs he not only refused an invitation to stay with Sinatra, he stayed with more wholesome singer Bing Crosby, a Republican! Sinatra in a rage took a sledgehammer to the private helicopter landing pad he was preparing for JFK, and broke off his friendship with JFK’s brother-in-law actor Peter Lawford.

1973- In Buffalo, a drunk fan bit singer Lou Reed on the ass.

1989- The supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil in Prince William Sound Alaska. It was claimed it’s Captain Joseph Hazelwood was drunk. But Insiders claim Exxon fabricated the drunk-captain story to excuse the inadequate detection and warning equipment. The route was well charted and easy to maneuver. Despite lots of promises to clean it up completely, today much of Prince William Sound is still contaminated and the wildlife was decimated.

1999- The U.S. and NATO began to bomb Belgrade over Serbian attacks in Kossovo.

2005- A Colorado Rockies big league baseball game was called off on account a swarm of bees. The bees were attracted by the coconut oil in the starting pitchers hair gel.

2006- 13 year old Miley Cyrus debuts on TV as Disney’s Hanna Montana.
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Yesterday’s Question: Pope Francis is the first Pope from The New World, but there have been Popes who were not Europeans. How is that possible?

Answer: There have been several Popes from Africa in the Late Roman Empire. The coastal cities of North Africa during that time were predominantly Semitic-Greek in population.


March 23, 2015 mon
March 23rd, 2015

Question: Pope Francis is the first Pope from The New World, but there have been Popes who were not Europeans. How is that possible?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: In Hollywood jargon, what is the Martini Shot?
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History for 3/23/2015
Birthdays: US Vice President Schuyler Colfax, Akira Kurosawa, Joan Crawford, Dr Werner Von Braun, Juan Gris, Chaka Khan, Paul Grimault, Sidney Hillman Jack Ruby, Joan Collins, Eric Fromm, Fanny Farmer, Catherine Keener is 56, Hope Davis is 51

In ancient Rome today was the Tubilustrum, the Festival of the Sacred Trumpets of Minerva. Yes, the word is the origin of the word Tuba, although the modern tuba wasn’t invented until 1835.

Today is the Feast day of the Irish Saint Gwinear. Gwinear loved animals so much that once when he was thirsty he struck the ground with his staff to make a clear pool appear, then again to make another one for his dog and horse.

1721- Johann Sebastian Bach sent the first copy of his Brandenburg Concertos to the Margrave of Brandenburg. When the Margrave died and an inventory was made of his holdings in Berlin, the value placed on each concerto was six groschen, or about $5 each.

1775- During the debate in the Virginia House of Burgesses, Patrick Henry
said the only way to deal with England was :"I KNOW NOT WHAT COURSE OTHERS MAY FOLLOW, BUT FOR ME -GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH !" Henry became Gov. of Virginia, but later he was forgotten in the formation of the new nation, especially after he declared publicly that the Constitution was a big mistake and Tom Jefferson was an incompetent coward.

1806-After exploring the Pacific coast around the mouth of the Columbia River, Lewis and Clark start back for home.

1857- Stewart's department store in New York installs the first of Mr. Otis's new invention, the elevator. There were earlier steam elevators, but the danger of falling frightened off customers. Mr. Otis’ system of brakes and cut offs in the event of a cable failure made elevators popular and the age of skyscrapers possible.

1877- Mormon elder John D. Lee was convicted of the murder of 120 settlers when he ordered his men to attacked a pioneer wagon train as it passed through Utah in 1857, the infamous Mountain Meadow Massacre. On this day John D. Lee was marched to the massacre site, stood beside his own coffin and shot by firing squad.

1877- the first telephones installed in the White House.

1894- Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan-Doyle was in Davo Switzerland helping his wife recover from tuberculosis at a spa in the Alps. While there, the Swiss introduced him to a new sport that he quickly took to. This day he wrote to London about enthusiastically- Ski-Running, or Skiing. Conan-Doyle predicted in the Strand Magazine “Within a generation thousands of English people will be coming to the Alps to ski.” Today there are no statues to Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle in England, but there is one of him in Davo, Switzerland.

1903- Orville and Wilbur Wright kept looking for someone to build them a motor light enough to power their airplane design. Finding no takers they built the thing themselves, and the propeller and this day took out an U.S. patent on the Airplane. They didn’t actually fly in it until nine months later.

1918- In a final attempt to break French morale during World War I, the Germans begin firing giant "Big Bertha" cannons at Paris. The monster shells fly 77 miles and took three minutes to reach their targets. The first shell hit Place De La Republique. A German gunner said the discharge of the cannon sounded like an "enormous vomiting dachshund'.

1919-Benito Mussolini founds the Parti Fasci di Combatimento or Fascist Party in Italy. He started his career as a socialist union leader but swung to the other side later (better benefits?) . He named his ultra-right group after the wrapped bundle of sticks with an axe sticking out that was carried before ancient Roman consuls, the fasces, it symbolized Roman power. In a previous generation Garabaldi's men were called Red-Shirts so Mussolini adopted the Black-Shirts. Later Hitler made his storm troopers Brown-Shirts.

1936- Ollie Johnston got a job as Fred Moore’s assistant at the Walt Disney Studio.

1945- THE FIRST JET FIGHTER ATTACK- In a last ditch attempt to stop the allied armies entering Germany, the Luftwaffe mounts an attack on two captured Rhine river bridges by fifty jet fighters. The Messerschmidt ME-262 Schwalbe (Swallows).

Half never get off the ground, others get lost and the rest don't accomplish anything. The Luftwaffe aces like Adolph Galland thought the jets were ideal for shooting down big B-17 bombers, but Hitler insisted they carried bomb loads, which slowed them down enough for propeller planes to hit them. The experimental jet fuel was so unstable that it had to be mixed by a chemist as it was being poured into the gas tank. If the mixing was done improperly the whole thing could explode on the runway.

1945- Later that day General George Patton led a group of journalists and photographers out to the center of the Rhine bridgehead. One journalist asked his thoughts now that he was breaching Hitler’s vaunted Seigfried Line and daring to go where no foreign soldier had stepped since Napoleon.

As cameras clicked the General undid his fly and took a long healthy whiz in the Rhine River. “I waited all morning to do that! Yessir, the pause that refreshes!” My father remembered signal corps photo lab assistants made a brisk business selling copies of the famous incident on left over scraps of enlargement paper. That photo was taken by Tech Sgt. Paul Dougherty of the 737 Tank Battallion.

1957- Art Clokey's "Gumby" Show.

1971- US Congress lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

1973-White House attorney John Dean tells President Nixon:" There's a cancer on the Presidency...."

1976- Panamanian middleweight Roberto Duran was being honored in Havana. Fidel Castro casually remarked to Duran “Hey, what do you think would happen if my fighter Teofilo Stevenson met Muhammad Ali?” Duran laughed ” Ali would kill him!” Duran was suddenly on a plane home that night.

1977- The first Richard Nixon-David Frost interview.

1983- STAR WARS- President Ronald Reagan announced in a nationwide speech the Strategic Defense Initiative, dubbed the Star Wars Program. He said US scientists were going to create a protective umbrella of laser satellites in orbit that would shoot down hostile nuclear missiles.

This program would cost trillions and even if it worked it could never stop all the missiles launched in a Soviet first strike. Conservative apologists said that the re-escalation of the cold war arms race drove the Soviets crazy and their inability to keep up with arms spending sped their economic collapse. Star Wars wasted billions of U.S taxpayer dollars before it was stopped.

On the day of the 9-11 World Trade Center Attack Dr Condoleeza Rice was scheduled to make a major speech announcing the resuming of Star Wars spending.

1989-COLD FUSION - Two physicists named Ponds & Fleischman make incredible claims that they had discovered a way to make electric power from Cold Fusion. This would mean limitless cheap power that left little waste. It could use nuclear waste as a fuel. After a lot of excitement upon closer scrutiny the formula didn’t work. Oh well.

1990- President George Bush Sr. banned broccoli from the White House.
He joked; "Read My Lips ! I hate Broccoli !"

2003- Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, Beating out Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet.
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Yesterday’s Question: Quiz: In Hollywood jargon, what is the Martini Shot?

Answer: The Martini Shot means the last take of the day, before everyone can adjourn, usually to have a drink. I’ve been on movie shoots on the Warner and Fox lots, and before the director calls “action”, the AD and crew chief do indeed call out loud MARTINI SHOT!


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