Nov 12, 2018
November 12th, 2018

Question: What is a Sirocco, Mistral, or Santa Anna?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Trump joked that he had wanted the attorney general to be his “wartime consigliore”. What does that mean?
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History for 11/12/2018
Birthdays: Auguste Rodin, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Bahi-ullah 1817 founder of the Bahii faith, Elizabeth Cadie -Stanton, Cecil B. DeMille, Grace Kelly, Edward G. Robinson, Jack Oakie, Kim Hunter, Shamus Culhane would be 110, Charles Manson, Neil Young, Edvard Munch, Nadia Comenici, Tanya Harding, Wally Shaw, Megan Mullally is 60, Anne Hathaway is 36, Ryan Gosling is 38, David Brain.

1035- Canute the Great died. He was the Viking King of Denmark and England simultaneously. It was Canute who once tried to command the ocean tide to go out.
He got his feet wet.

1623- In Vilnius Lithuania, Catholic priest St. Joseph of Polotsk was torn apart by an angry mob. Polish Catholic legislators led by chancellor Jan Zamoyski tried to reconcile the practices of their Ukrainian and Belarus subjects by creating the Church of the Uniate Rite. Clergy could keep their Eastern Orthodox rituals and wives, but acknowledge the Pope. This compromise didn't suit all tempers, and such acts of violence broke out into the Great Cossack Revolt of 1648.

1792- The Revolutionary French Republic issued a declaration that any other European kingdom that wants to overthrow their king and chop his head off, is welcome to come join the fun and France would help.

1859- The first trapeze act was demonstrated at the Cirque Napoleon in Paris. The act caused such a sensation that the daredevil was immortalized by his tights becoming a fashion named in his honor- Jules Leotard.

1861- THE CURRAUGH CAMP AFFAIR- When 20 year old Edward the Prince of Wales went to Oxford he was kept on a short leash by his worried parents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They expected his college life to be- well, Victorian. He was to reside off campus, limited his diet to bland foods and soda water, and absolutely no smoking or carousing with women! This draconian regimen only stiffened Bertie’s rebellious nature.

When allowed to attend maneuvers in Ireland and bunk with a company of hard drinking cavalry officers, was at last free to go wild. By unfortunate coincidence the gossip about the Prince’s all night drinking binges and bedding actresses reached his father just as Albert was showing the first signs of the typhoid fever that would kill him. For years afterwards, Queen Victoria blamed her son for contributing to his father's death by breaking his heart. In his adult years King Edward VII was never without a cigar in his teeth, a girl on his lap and a drink in his hand.

1912- SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC- in the Antarctic this day the frozen bodies of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott and his men were found. He had lost his race to find the South Pole to Norwegian Piers Ammundsen then was stranded by a blizzard only 30 miles from his base camp on the Ross Ice Shelf. His last diary entry (March 29th ) said "We are showing that Englishmen can still have a bold spirit, fighting it out to the end. This diary and our dead bodies will be the proof. I should like to write more but I haven't the strength..."

1917- At the first meeting of the Russian Duma since the Bolshevik Revolution Lenin and Trotsky revealed their radical plan to reform Russian Society into a Communist Worker’s State dominated by the Soviets -workers and peasants councils.

1918- The day after the Armistice ended World War I, dozens of German army regiments against orders, began to march back across their border in perfect order. Then, defying the shouts and threats of their officers, the men threw away their helmets and guns, and simply walked home.

1918- With their Hapsburg emperor fled, Austria declared itself a republic.

1920- In the wake of the "Black Sox" Baseball scandal, the first rigged World Series, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis was elected first Commissioner of Baseball. He ordered all those involved in the scandal including Shoeless Joe Jackson permanently banned from baseball, even though they had been acquitted in a civil trial.

1923- In Clarksburg West Virginia a man shot his wife for smoking a cigarette. After World War I the psychologist nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edmund Bernayz left the office of war propaganda and went into the advertising business. He later bragged that it was he who created the campaign equating woman’s emancipation and voting rights with smoking cigarettes. He created ad campaign calling cigarettes "Freedom Sticks".

1927- The Holland Tunnel completed. It runs under the Hudson River connecting New York and New Jersey. It’s not named for the Netherlands, but for the engineer Clifford Holland, who died shortly before its completion.

1933- Hugh Gray of the British Aluminum Company takes the first photographs of what he claimed was a monster in Loch Ness. He would be the first of many to have claimed to have seen Nessie.

1937- Alan Turing delivered his famous paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem" at Kings College, Cambridge.
In it he postulated on the ability to create a "universal machine" that used numbers to solve problems and could be re-programable for different tasks. In his day they were called Turing Machines, but we know them now as Computers.

1938- The Madagascar Plan. Nazi Herman Goring announced a new plan to create a homeland for European Jews in French Madagascar off the coast of Africa. It sounds goofy but they got it from an idea of 19th century Zionist leader Theodore Herzl and the just concluded international conference at Evian France showed the reluctance of the western democracies to take in large amounts of refugees. The idea went nowhere.

1944- THE BATTLESHIP TIRPITZ is sunk. After the big battle with the Bismarck, Nazi admirals built an even bigger superbattleship, the Tirpitz. The allies however, found out through intelligence when it would sail and attacked this one as soon as it left it's harbor. They pounded it with bomber and torpedo planes and midget submarines day and night until it rolled over and sank. Survivors recalled as the ship was sinking they could hear through the hull the sound of the doomed sailors singing "Deutschland Uber Alles".
This caused a British Admiral to remark:" It's tragic that such men follow such a cause."

1946- Disney's "Song of the South" with James Baskett as Uncle Remus.

1946- The Exchange Bank in Chicago opened the first drive in bank.

1948- After World War II, Japanese leaders were sentenced for war crimes by a world court like the top Nazis leaders were at Nuremberg. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, Generals Homma and Yamashita and 900 others were executed or imprisoned for crimes against humanity and genocide, including waterboarding American prisoners.

1975- Portland Oregon had a large dead gray whale on its beach. It decided it would be easier to dispose if they blew it up. As an audience watched they stuffed it with half a ton of dynamite. The explosion drew cheers from the audience, then everyone ran for cover as they were showered by falling 50 pound chunks of stinky blubber and guts.

1981- The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for the second time. First reusable spacecraft.

1990- Akihito became Emperor of Japan.

2014- The European Space Agency successfully landed the first satellite Philae on a moving comet. Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It had been launched ten years before and had taken this long to reach it.
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Yesterday’s Question: Trump joked that he had wanted the attorney general to be his “wartime consigliore”. What does that mean?

Answer: According the 1972 movie The Godfather, during a battle with a rival gang, the Mafia leader relies on a trusted counselor for legal and logistical advice.


Nov 11, 2018
November 11th, 2018

Question: Trump joked that he wanted his attorney general to be his “wartime consigliore”. What does that mean?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: We call someone who is rude or boorish “uncouth”. So what is a couth?
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History for 11/11/2018
Birthdays: Abigail Adams, Alexander Borodin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gen. George Patton, Pat O’Brien, Kurt Vonnegut, Rene Clair, Carlos Fuentes, Jonathan Winters, Stubby Kay, Demi Moore is 56, Leonardo di Caprio is 44

Today in the Middles Ages this was "Martinmass" the feast of St. Martin of Tours, patron saint of France.

Happy Veterans Day in the U.S., Memorial Day in many European countries.

1534- The Parliament voted the Act of Supremacy, confirming that the King of England would be henceforth the Supreme Head of the Church in England, and no longer beholding to the Catholic Church in Rome. They called it The Church of England.

1572- Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe noted that he observed a bright new star in the region of Cassiopea. It was brighter in the sky than Venus, but after 16 months it disappeared. Not until 2008 did scientists determine that what Tycho saw was a White Dwarf exploding into a Supernova.

1647- King Charles I had been defeated in the English Civil War and was held a prisoner at Hampton Court. On this day, he gave his jailers the slip and escaped to the Isle of Wight to raise troops for what some historians call the Second English Civil War. His actions, not only of lying to escape but also of persuading a Scottish army to invade England on the promise to the Scots that he would forcibly convert England to Presbyterianism, as well as trying to raise a Catholic Army in Ireland, offended his few remaining friends. Oliver Cromwell concluded there was no use negotiating with a king who saw peace talks only as a delaying tactic. They must have the head of this 'Man of Blood"

1668- Mademoiselle Du Parc was a beautiful actress who dumped Moliere and his comic company to become the mistress of the tragic playwright Racine, causing Moliere and Racine’s friendship to break. Plus Racine didn’t like the way Moliere’s actors performed his plays. Three years later this day Mlle. Du Parc died under mysterious circumstances. Racine gave up his wild ways, got married and had a big family. In 1679 a notorious poisoner Madame Monvoisin claimed that Racine hired her to off his girlfriend! Was the French Shakespeare a Bluebeard or was La Voisin paid to slander him? The authorities considered arresting him, but King Louis XIV quashed the investigation because it would implicate the King’s favorite, Madame de Montespan.

1673- Battle of Cochim - Polish Hetman Sobieski and his "Winged Hussars" defeat a Turkish invasion in the Ukraine. The heavily armored Hussar cavalry wore wooden wings decorated with feathers like something out of a Christmas pageant, but the effect on enemies was terrifying. The flutter and hiss they made during their attack made them seem like warrior angels.

1807- The British Admiralty announced that all neutral commercial ships passing through European waters must put in to an English port and pay tax or be subject to attack and seizure by the British Navy. Britain further reserved the right to stop ships to search for deserters from the British Navy. By 1812 and estimated four thousand American sailors had been taken off ships on the high seas and imprisoned or impressed into English service. Because America desired to remain neutral in the Napoleonic Wars this was one of the roots of her declaring war on England in 1812.

1831- Nat Turner, who led the last large slave uprising before the Civil War, was hanged in Jerusalem Virginia. He confessed but expressed no regrets.

1858- John Landis Mason invents the Mason Jar.

1865- Mary Edward Walker, Union army surgeon became the first woman awarded the Medal of Honor. It was taken away from her in 1885 and only restored recently.

1887- THE HAYMARKET EXECUTIONS- Four leaders of an early American labor movement The Knights of Labor are hanged after being charged with responsibility for a bomb tossed at police during a demonstration in Chicago. Samuel Fielden, Adolphe Fischer, August Spies and Albert Parsons. It was never proven they actually had thrown the bomb, aww but they were a bunch of reds anyway...A later Chicago mayor ruined his political career when he proved publicly that the Haymarket defendants were innocent. Albert Parsons shouted as he dropped through the trapdoor:" Oh men of America, Let the Voice of the People be Heard!" They were demanding unheard of concessions like a six day work week and an eight hour day down from twelve to fourteen. A monument was erected in Haymarket not to Parsons but to the police. Hippies blew it up in 1968.

1889- Washington State admitted into the union.

1914- Sultan Mehmed V of Turkey who was also the last Caliph, honoring his alliance with Germany in World War I, declared a Grand Jihad on the allies. He said it was the duty of all good Moslems to fight the Christians, unless of course they were Germans, Hungarians, Bulgarians or Austrians. Historians say the effect of his declaration of Holy War was met in the Moslem world with resounding indifference. About the only one who listened was the Khedive of Egypt, who was promptly replaced by the British.

100th Anniversary- Nov. 11, 1918- ARMISTICE DAY- World War I ended. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns of the Great War fall silent. It sounds poetic but it was just a coincidence, the opposing sides had been negotiating since the 8th.
In a strange salute when the word went down the battlelines that the ceasefire would take effect at 11:00AM, at one minute before, thousands of cannons on both sides fired one last round simultaneously.
One German machine gunner fired off his last belt of bullets, then he climbed up on his parapet. In full view of both armies, he executed a deep, theatrical bow. Then he turned on his heel and simply walked away.
World War I's final tally was 22 million dead, almost 20% of the young male population in the opposing countries. In only 7 months of actual fighting 116,000 American died – as opposed to 5,000 after a decade in Iraq. This also marks the turning point of the Old World into the Twentieth Century: ethnic republics arose out of dying monarchies. The British, German, and French colonial empires were fatally wounded. Independence desires stirred in 3rd world colonies and the United States became a major global power and world financier.
People came home using wristwatches, trenchcoats, and referring to large weather systems as "fronts". A cold front, etc.

100th Anniv. Nov 11, 1918- TOMMY GUNS- While the Armistice was being celebrated, Sitting on a New York wharf, forgotten, was the first shipment of Thompson submachine guns, built for a war just ended.
John Thompson was an inventor who tried to solve the problem of close hand-to-hand fighting in trenches by inventing a light mobile machine gun that could be a “trench-broom” –spewing 800 bullets a minute. Because it fired small pistol bullets, it was called a “sub-machine gun”.
But the Great War was over and the U.S. Army wasn’t interested anymore, neither were most police departments. So in 1921 the Thompson Submachine Gun went on sale to the public as a “great home defense system”.
The people who did buy them were Gangsters and the IRA. They called them Choppers, Chicago Typewriters and Tommy Guns. Al Capone invented the novelty of hiding one in a violin case. John Dillinger was very proud of his.
Old John Thompson was horrified that his creation was being used by violent hoodlums to make incidents like the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre possible. He died in 1940, only weeks before the US Army would order tens of thousands of his Tommy Guns to fight World War II.

1920- On the second anniversary of the Armistice, the British entomb an Unknown Soldier to represent all war dead “A Soldier Whose Name is Known Only to God”. The French do it and the Americans think this a neat idea so do their own at Arlington in 1932. Bavarian corporal Adolph Hitler called himself the Unknown soldier of Germany, Now because of DNA identification identities of war dead will no longer be unknown. In 1998 the identity of the Unknown of the Vietnam War was discovered and the remains moved upon request of his family.

1925- Louis “Sachmo” Armstrong did the first recordings of his band the Hot Five. These records lift him from a local talent in Chicago and New Orleans to international stardom.
According to close friends Sachmo was a lifelong marijuana smoker. He called Pot his “antidote to racism”. Gives new meaning to the song “Laughing Louie”.

1925- The Nazis formed a second para-military force to augment their stormtroopers called the Schutz-Staffel or SS. Its leader was a one time chicken farmer named Heinrich Himmler. Himmler was heavily into the occult. He built officer training centers in a castle made up to look like King Arthur's round table. He also encouraged Germans to conceive children in graveyards, so the unborn could absorb the spirits of dead German heroes. The SS published a list of suitable graveyards for assignations.

1926- Work began building Route 66, the first interstate highway built for automobiles in the U.S. It will get finished in 1932. The world's first road exclusively for automobiles was opened in 1921, the Avus in suburban Berlin, followed by the Via Fiore Imperiali in Rome (1927).

1932- The Girls Scouts first offered freshly baked cookies for sale. The proceeds went to purchase camping gear. In 1936, the Girls Scouts signed a contract with Keebler to bake and package the cookies.

1937- Animation production wrapped on Disney’s first feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

1938- GOD BLESS AMERICA- Irving Berlin's song God Bless America sung for the first time by chubby chanteuse Kate Smith. Berlin had written the song in 1918 for a Broadway show Yip,Yap, Yaphank, but it didn’t fit in. So he threw it in a file cabinet and forgot about it. Twenty years later, he revived the song as a peace hymn faced with the growing threat of Hitler. This day at an Armistice Day radio concert it was sung by Kate Smith. It became a huge hit. Every few years there is a call to make it the national anthem.

1938- TYPHOID MARY- On this day 68 year old Mary Mallon died in an asylum. She was a carrier of the disease typhoid fever and, in 1910, while being a cook in a hotel resort she infected 1,000 people. Released from jail a few years later, she had promised not to resume her former profession. But soon she was in the kitchen again. She started the typhoid epidemic of 1915 and was arrested again. She herself never contracted the disease.

1938- The first day of shooting on the film 'The Wizard of Oz". Judy Garland met 125 little people hired to be the Munchkins. Judy's energy was fading under the heavy work schedule so L.B. Mayer ordered her put on Benzadrine (speed) every morning and Valium pills to sleep. June Alysson, another young MGM actress at the time said: "The studio nurse would give it to you and tell you it was vitamins." Judy Garland became a heavy drug addict and died of an overdose in 1969 at 47 years old.

1940- The Birth of the Jeep. The army introduces its first General Purpose vehicle-G.P. or Jeep, a name coinciding with a character in E.C. Segar's Popeye cartoons.

1940- Battle of Taranto (Italy) The RAF attacked the Mussolini’s fleet in port using torpedo planes. Convention wisdom of the time was plane-launched torpedoes wouldn't work in the shallow waters of a harbor. The British solved this by equipping their torpedoes with little fins that gave them greater buoyancy. Japanese Admiral Yamamoto said he wouldn't have attempted Pearl Harbor, if the British hadn't proved at Taranto that such torpedo runs were possible.

1941- On the night before mobster Abe Reles, alias Kid Twist, was due to testify what he knew of the Mafia, he was thrown out of a Coney Island hotel window to his death. He was under Federal protection. In 1962, Joe Valachi testified mobster Frank Costello had raised $100,000 to bribe NYPD cops to do the deed themselves. A popular toast around Brooklyn those days was: “ Here’s to Abe Reles, a canary who could sing but not fly.”

1954- Tolkein’s second book of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, first published.

1966- Gemini XII spacecraft went up into orbit. It was the last flight of the Gemini program and the first spaceflight of Buzz Aldrin who would later be the second man to walk on the moon.

1978- The renovated Hollywood Sign is unveiled. The second O was paid for by rock star Alice Cooper in memory of his idol, Groucho Marx.

1980- 'Heaven's Gate" Michael Cimino's $44 million dollar flop opened. Cimino originally said he could do the film for $8 million. Critic Pauline Kael said: "It's the kind of movie you want to deface. You want to draw mustaches all over it."

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Yesterday’s Question: We call someone who is rude or boorish “uncouth”. So what is a couth?

Answer: It comes from Old English (German) for known, plain, manifest. Uncouth originally meant strange, but now means without any manners or taste.


Nov 10, 2018
November 10th, 2018

Question: We call someone who is rude or boorish “uncouth”. So what is a couth?

Question: What is the difference between an incubus, and a succubus?
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History for 11/10/2018
Birthdays: Mohammad, Martin Luther, William Hogarth, Charles the Bold of Burgundy, Francois Couperin, King George II of England, Frederick Schiller, Claude Rains, Carl Stalling, Tim Rice, Richard Burton, Roy Scheider, Ann Reinking, MacKenzie Phillips, Russell Means, Sinbad, Brittany Murphy, George Fenneman-Groucho Marx’s TV announcer, Sue Kroyer, Tracey Morgan is 49

Today is the feast of Saint Leo the Great, the Pope who scared Attila the Hun away from Rome by playing on his superstitions about the invisible power of the Christian god.

1610- THE NIGHT OF DUPES- Cardinal Richelieu ruled France with a centralized authority that made him admired by King Louis XIII, but hated by just about everyone else. When the king was gravely ill, the Queen Mother nursed him back to health. In return she asked as her payment- the Cardinals head! She wanted him replaced by keeper of the seals Jean de Mariac. This day in the Luxembourg Palace, Mom told Louis "It’s either Richelieu or me!" On cue, the gaunt cardinal emerged from a secret door. The King made his choice- Bye Bye Mom. Oh and uh.,. Jean de Mariac was beheaded.

1766- In New Brunswick New Jersey Queens College was founded. It later changed its name to Rutgers University.

1770- Voltaire said:" If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

1775- The U.S. Marine Corps founded by Congress. Marines were originally the sharpshooters who climb up ships rigging during a sea battle and shoot down on the enemy decks. They have the nickname Leathernecks because part of their early uniform was a stiff leather collar worn under their cravat to ward off cutlass blows and "keep in the head up in a good military bearing."

1778- John Paul Jones had been beached in France for nine months. At the height of the American Revolution he had been told to send away his ship USS Ranger to await a bigger, better one from the French. But delay and red tape was making him crazy. Today his agents found him a new command- a fat, old, run down merchant tub named L’Duc du Durras. John Paul Jones fixed it up, and renamed her the USS BonHomme Richard after Ben Franklin’s bestselling book. The USS BonHomme Richard became the most famous ship in the young American Navy.

1782- English King George III wrote his Prime Minister Lord Shelburne about the recently lost American Revolution: " I should be miserable indeed if no blame for the dismemberment of America from this Empire not be laid at my door, however knowing that Knavery is so much a striking feature of it’s Inhabitants, it may Not in the end be such an Evil that they are now aliens to this kingdom."

1793- FESTIVAL OF THE GODDESS OF REASON- The radical French Revolutionaries had done away with the Catholic religion as a collaborator in tyranny, but they knew the common people wanted the consolation of religion. So they now substituted the worship of Reason in its place. Today was the first festival of the Goddess of Reason held at Notre Dame, with an actress personifying the new deity and chants and hymns and such silliness. It didn't last, it's inventor Pierre Chaumette was guillotined for not being radical enough. When Napoleon came to power he restored normal Catholic worship, although the French army permitted no chaplains.

1865- During the Civil War Swiss immigrant Henry Wirz was the Confederate commander of the infamous prison Andersonville where thousands of Yankee prisoners starved and perished. On this day he became the first military officer ever hanged for war crimes. He was also the first person to use the excuse "I was only following orders."

1871- STANLEY FINDS LIVINGSTON- No one in England had heard from the famous African explorer-missionary Dr. David Livingston for three years and he was feared dead. Henry Morton Stanley undertook the expedition partly as a publicity stunt funded by the Josef Pulitizer’s New York World newspaper. After one year of wandering through the jungle Stanley came upon the old missionary on the shores of Lake Tanganyika near Ujiji. Stanley introduced himself by saying: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Stanley also proved Speeckes theory of the source of the Nile River as Lake Victoria Nyanzaa.

1880- Ex Civil War general and New Mexico territorial governor Lew Wallace got his first novel published, and it came out pretty good- Ben Hur.

1885- Gottfried Daimler invented the first motorcycle.

1917- The Voting Rights for Women Movement or Suffragettes began a dramatic all day protest in front of the White House. Every time a protester was arrested and dragged off another would take her place. By the days end 41 women were arrested.

1918- After abdicating the German Empire, Kaiser Wilhelm decided he didn't want to stick around and end up executed like his cousin Nicky the Russian Czar. So, in the middle of night the German Imperial family slipped away by secret train and crossed the border into neutral Holland. The Hohenzollern Dynasty, which had ruled since 1685, was now gone. Wilhelm’s first words when reaching the Castle of Daun were : "I should now like a strong hot cup of English tea."

1918- The Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary and Empress Zita abdicate. Elderly Emperor Franz-Joseph II helped start World War I and then he conveniently died. His young grandnephew Karl tried to handle a bad situation he had no control over. He even attempted a peace overture behind the Kaiser's back as early as 1916. Ironically the Austro-German High Command helped to fund Russian revolutionaries like Lenin. German money paid the printing costs for Pravda.

After taking power in Petersburg Lenin immediately had soviet-style revolutionary cells set up in Vienna and Berlin. Like in Germany riots convulsed Austrian cities and whole regiments were throwing away their weapons and walking home. The Imperial Hapsburg family, which had reigned in Europe uninterrupted since 1265, piled into limousines and sped off for Switzerland before the Viennese Workers Soviet Committee could arrest them. Like the Kaiser, they too had heard how the Russian Czar and his whole family had been put up against the wall and shot. So they preferred not to suffer a similar fate. The Republics of Austria and Hungary were declared. In 2004 Pope John Paul II made Kaiser Karl I a Saint. Their son Crown Prince Otto lived to age 98 and died in 2011.

1950- Paramount's "Mice Meeting You" The first Herman and Katnip cartoon.

1951- The first long distance telephone call without needing an operator to make the connection.

1953- Disney’s short “ Toot Whistle, Plunk and Boom” released.

1969- The children’s education show SESAME STREET premiered on PBS TV. The world is introduced to Bert & Ernie, Cookie Monster, Grover, Big Bird and Mr Hooper.

1971- The US table tennis team arrived in Red China for a tour. Ping-Pong became an unlikely diplomatic tactic to begin the warming of relations between China and the US.

1975- S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sinks at Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior, drowning all 29 crew members and causing a famous 1970's folk song to happen.

1977- Pope Paul VI announced that Catholics who remarried or married Protestants were no longer automatically excommunicated.

1981- Innovative French film director Abel Gance died at age 92. Shortly before his death he saw his great widescreen 1925 movie Napoleon restored by British historian Kevin Brownlow and produced by Francis Ford Coppola with a live audience. At Radio City Music Hall, Brownlow stretched a telephone cord out on stage so the old man could hear the wild cheers of the NY audience.

1982- The Vietnam Veterans Wall designed by Maia Lin opened to the public in Washington D.C,

1995- Carolco, the Hollywood studio that produced many Arnold Schwarzenegger hits like "Total Recall" declared bankruptcy after producing $115 million dollar megaflop "Cutthroat Island".

2008- Just a few days after Pres. Barack Obama was first elected, Republican Georgia Congressmen Paul Broun was already calling him a “Marxist-Nazi.” This set the tone for the hysterical conservative hatred of the first black president that continued even after he left office.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is the difference between an incubus, and a succubus?

Answer: A incubus is a male demon, and a succubus is a female demon, who crawl into your bed while you sleep and have sex with you to draw out your life essence.


Nov 9,2018
November 9th, 2018

Question: What is the difference between an incubus, and a succubus?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who decided the American Republican Party should be represented by an Elephant and the Democrats by a donkey?
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History for 11/9/2018
Birthdays: English King Edward VII, Confederate Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill, Stanford White, Marie Dressler, Ed Wynn, Ann Sexton, Spiro Agnew, Tommy Dorsey, Dr. Carl Sagan, Whitey Herzog, Dorothy Dandridge, Dr. Herbert Kalmus the inventor of Technicolor film, Lou Ferrigno is 66, Sisqo

In ancient Rome this was the Mundus Patet, The Feast of Mania, with Pluto another god of the dead, The Mother of the Underworld. Like the Greek festival Anthesterion it was a time when the Gates of Underworld were said to be open and the shades of the dead could come up and visit their old haunts. This is where we get the word Maniac.

64BC- Marcus Tullius Cicero delivered the first of his great speeches against Catiline, a Roman noble he accused of gathering an army of the disaffected to overthrow the Roman Republic. Catiline was present in the Senate, but later in the day fled Rome.

1518- Pope Leo X tried some reform to calm the Protestant protests in Germany by repudiating some of the more outrageous claims of what buying indulgences could do. And that as Pope he could not get loved ones released from Hell or Purgatory, but could merely pray for God to forgive them. But it had no effect, the Protestant Reformation in Germany was going full steam ahead.

1781- After the Battle of Yorktown, George Washington watched his only stepson Jackie Custis die of camp fever or meningitis. Washington never having direct heirs probably saved America from ever developing an aristocracy. George Washington would not believe that his Yorktown victory had really ended the Revolutionary War. He proposed to Rocheambeau an immediate attack on Charleston South Carolina. but his French allies told him they were done for the season. The French fleet returned to the Caribbean for the winter.

1799- THE COUP OF THE 18TH BRUMAIRE- Napoleon seized power in France. The name referred to the date in the French Revolutionary calendar. The little general began by giving a speech in the National Assembly denouncing the Jacobin menace and the need to restore order. Throwing around the term Jacobin then was akin to calling people Terrorists today. However he was never as good a political speaker as he was a soldier. The senior politicians recognized baloney when they heard it and mobbed him. His brother Lucien who was a senator pulled him out of the crowd. So Nappy called in his troops and cleared the hall, pushing some senators out of the windows, it was a one-story building so the effect was purely symbolic.

At 2:00 AM a small group of friendly senators were convened to vote to create a leadership system of three Consuls with Nappy to share power, but he soon outmaneuvered the other two. Napoleon became dictator of France and declared the French Revolution completed and further action unnecessary. “I am the Revolution!” He was 31.

1872- The Great Fire of Boston. Much of the city center was destroyed because an equine virus, The Great Epizootic, had killed off the horses of the fire brigades.

1875- A treaty signed in 1868 had declared all of the Black Hills of South Dakota to be sacred protected Indian land “ So Long as Grass grows and Water Flows.” But prospectors supported by General George Custer had discovered gold in those hills and a gold rush began, Indians or no. This day a confidential memo from Supreme Commander of the U.S. Army Phil Sheridan with President Ulysses Grant’s approval ordered the frontier cavalry to cease preventing settlers and gold prospectors from entering the Black Hills. This memo violated the Treaty of 1868 and would lead to Custer's Last Stand next June.

1888- the last victim of Jack the Ripper found. 25-year-old prostitute Mary Reilly. After her murder the Ripper attacks ceased as mysteriously as they had started.

1906- President Teddy Roosevelt departed on board the battleship Louisiana to go inspect the Panama Canal dig. TR is the first sitting U.S. President to travel abroad.

1911-The first Neon sign illuminated.

1918- KAISER WILHELM ABDICATED. A curious fact was that in World War I the allies never made it to Berlin. The German government collapsed from within- bread riots, the economy in shambles, The entire Navy mutinied, Bolshevik Revolutionary Workers Committees were set up in eleven cities including Cologne, Munich and Hamburg.
At first Kaiser Wilhelm hoped to first sign the peace with the victorious Allies then use the German army to put down the riots and restore order. But changed his mind when 40 combat officers selected at random said 38 to 2 that they would refuse to kill other Germans to save the monarchy. Even then leaders resorted to polls. “What about the Fananeider-the German Soldiers Oath to die for the Monarchy?!” he asked General Von Groener. “Sire, today the Oath is just some empty words!” Even the Kaiser’s personal bodyguards were setting up a Revolutionary Workers Committee. So rather than wind up arrested and maybe shot like his cousin Nicky the Czar of Russia, Wilhelm abdicated.
Young university professor Albert Einstein wrote in his class log-“ Class canceled today due to revolution….”

1918- Meanwhile Berlin was in a confused panic, monarchists fighting communists in the streets. Chancellor Prince Max of Baden said to Reichstag leader Fritz Ebert:” I hand over to you the care of the German Empire.” Ebert replied:” I have lost two sons to that Empire.” Social democrat Karl Scheiderman was having lunch at the Reichstag when he was told the German Bolsheviks Karl Leibknecht and Red Rosa Luxemburg were about to publicly announce a soviet-style state. Scheiderman got up from his soup, walked out on the balcony and declared the Republic of Germany. Fritz Ebert became the first President.

1923- THE BEER HALL PUTSCH-Adolf Hitler's first attempt at a revolution styled to coincide with Napoleon's anniversary of coming to power in 1799. Old German war hero General Ludendorf stood by him in support. The coup attempt was easily put down by Munich police and Hitler only spent a year under house arrest. Hitler had a long memory. Eleven years later in 1934 when dictator Hitler was purging his stormtroopers, he remembered to look up the same Munich constable who had him arrested and had the poor man shot.

1928- Anthropologist Margaret Mead arrived in Ta’u, Samoa to begin work on her book “Coming of Age in Samoa” which will have a great effect on how people raise their children.

1932- Nadezhda Alliluyeva, the second wife of Josef Stalin and mother of his children, shot herself. The government announced she died of acute appendicitis.

1935- An aggressive group of labor unions led by United Mine Workers leader John L. Lewis break away from the AF of L and form the Congress of Industrial Unions or the CIO. The AFL and CIO reunited in 1951.

1938- KRYSTAL NACHT- In Paris, an angry German-Jewish exile shot and killed a German diplomat named Ernst Von Rapt. Ironically Rapt was anti-Nazi and was being watched by the Gestapo. Back in Germany the Nazis use this incident to order the mass destruction of 191 synagogues and 1,000 Jewish businesses. Then the Jewish community was ordered to pay fines up to $40 million to pay for the damage. The name Crystal Night pertains to the sound of smashing glass in the streets.
German boxing champion Max Schmelling was the media idol of Aryan Superiority for defeating American Joe Louis. One thing no one knew was that Schmelling concealed two Jewish boys on Krystalnacht and had them smuggled out of the country. In 1961 Schmelling was invited to a testimonial in his honor at the Sands Resort Casino in Las Vegas, now owned by one of those boys.

1964- First "Wizard of Id" comic strip published.

1953- Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died of alcohol poisoning and liver failure in New York City, after downing 18 straight shots of whisky. There's actually some debate as to whether or not Dylan Thomas intended to drink himself to death. Scholars have recently suggested that he was a diabetic and died of hypoglycemia. Whatever the actual agent of Thomas' demise may have been, the coroner wrote on his death certificate under the cause of death heading, "Insult to the brain."

1965- "WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?" The first Great East Coast Blackout. A transformer near Rochester shorts out and the surge overloads station after station until the entire eastern seaboard from Boston to Delaware is in darkness for 12 hours. Nine months later there was a notable rise in the birthrate. I guess there was nothing else to do.

1966- In London Beatle John Lennon went to an art exhibit and first met a Japanese avant garde photographer named Yoko Ono.

1981- The Screen Actor's Guild under President Ed Asner votes emergency moneys for striking PATCO air traffic controllers fired by the former SAG president, now U.S. President, Ronald Reagan.

1979- National Public Radio goes on the air. The first US national news show with women as anchor reporters. It was also the first news program in stereo.

1989- THE BERLIN WALL FELL. The East German authorities backed down as the people dance and sing on the hated symbol of Cold War division. A student points up at the TV cameras and shouted: "Look, the Whole World is Watching !" Some West German politicians drove to the scene of the spontaneous demonstration and they tried to get everyone to sing patriotic songs like "Deutschlandlied", but the crowd drowned them out, dancing to the theme from the movie:"GhostBusters".
The next day people found the streets covered in banana peels. It was the first thing East Germans bought in the west, and they ate their bananas as they window shopped.

1995- PLO leader Yassir Arafat had been warned it wouldn’t be wise to attend the funeral of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, killed on Nov 5th. This day he secretly sneaked into Jerusalem to make a courtesy call on Leia Rabin at her apartment to express his condolences. It was the only time the Jerusalem born Arafat ever visited Israel.

2004- The Jones Soda Pop Company of Seattle announced its new creation – Mashed Potato Flavored Soda. This was to follow up on their success last year of Roast Turkey and Gravy Soda.

2004- Mozilla-Firefox 1.0 started up.

2012- Steven Spielberg’s’ film Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis premiered.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who decided the American Republican Party should be represented by an Elephant and the Democrats by a donkey?

Answer: Cartoonist Thomas Nast. Some had been calling the Democrats stubborn as a mule since Andy Jackson’s time. After Lincolns death and the Civil War victory, the Republican Party attracted serious money and influence until they reached elephantine proportions. In elections in 1874 Cartoonist Nast, who first drew Santa Claus, defined the GOP as an Elephant and the Dems as a donkey in his political cartoons.


Nov 8,2018
November 8th, 2018

Question: Who decided the American Republican Party should be represented by an Elephant and the Democrats by a donkey?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who was -“The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships”?
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History for 11/8/2018
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Nerva, Bram Stoker, Sir Edmund Halley, June Havoc, Margaret Mitchell, Joe Flynn- the cranky Captain Binghampton in the 60’s TV show McHales Navy, Ricky Lee Jones, Bonny Raitt, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, Ester Rolle, Katherine Hepburn, Parker Posey is 50, Gretchen Mol is 46, Tara Reid.

393AD- Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius banned any further worship of the old pagan gods and closed their remaining temples.

641 A.D.- Cyrus the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria surrendered Egypt to the Arab army of Caliph Omar. Egypt had been a Byzantine province and the emperors in Constantinople had been persecuting their national church, the Coptic Rite, as a heresy. So the Egyptians opened their gates to the Moslem conquerors. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius appeared at the port of Alexandria with a large fleet. But after removing some personal effects, he abandoned the Paris of the Ancient World without a fight.

1519- Spanish Conquistador Hernan' Cortez first met the Aztec Emperor Montezuma II. Cortes was guided by Malinche', the "Pocahontas of the Aztecs". This noblewoman guided Cortez's little band into the heart of the empire. Eyewitness Bernal Diaz described how after dinner the Spaniards were given tobacco pipes to smoke, but a special pipe with different tobacco was given to Montezuma, after smoking it "The Emperor became merry, as we do when drunk with wine.." Cortez was also offered a cup of chocolate, then a bitter brew called Tchocolatl.

1620 -Battle of White Mountain.- Austrian Catholic armies crush the Czech rebels and their leader Frederick of the Palatinate, who is nicknamed: "The Winter King" for his brief reign. Unfortunately the Thirty Years War was just beginning. Future French philosopher Renes Descartes was a young soldier in the ranks. Although Frederick was married to the daughter of the English King, James wisely refused to get England embroiled in the European war. Fredericks son Prince Rupert later traveled to England and got involved in the English Civil War.
The Czech Protestant rebels mostly came from the province of Bohemia and their wandering exile in the cities of Europe caused the word "Bohemian" to become synonymous with a rootless lifestyle.

1789- Elijah Craig first distilled whiskey from Indian corn and strained it through a wool blanket. He lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky, so the stuff soon became popularly known as Bourbon.

1793- In one of the positive results of the Reign of Terror, the French Revolutionary Government opens the royal art collection of the Louvre to the public as a museum.

1805- Lewis and Clark stand on the sand at the Pacific Ocean near the mouth of the Columbia River.

1864- Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president over Democrat challenger George McClellan. It was the first U.S. election ever held during a war, and set the custom that Presidents in a war year never lose. Even most of the army voted for Old Abe. The inmates of the notorious Andersonville Prisoner of War Camp cast ballots, even if they had no way to send them to Washington.

1880- Famous actress Sarah Bernhardt made her American stage debut in La Dame aux Camelias. She made a further ten tours of the US, all billed as Farewell Appearances.

1887- Dentist-gunfighter Doc Holliday died of tuberculosis. He knew he had it for a long time, and in the 1800's it was as irreversible as AIDS used to be. So some say this knowledge is what made him such a bold pistolero. But unfortunately for him, he won all his gunfights and died in bed in a sanitarium anyway. His last words after taking a shot of whiskey were:" Well, I'll be damned!" He was 35.

1889- Montana became a state.

1910- Patent for the first insect electrocutor. FHZZZZITT !

1910- Congressman Victor Berger of Wisconsin became the first Socialist to be elected to Congress. In the first decades of the 20th century a number of big city mayors and congressmen were socialists. In the 1912 presidential election when Woodrow Wilson won by a slim one million votes, third party socialist Eugene Debs polled over a million votes. Today, Sen. Bernie Sanders does not hide the fact that he is a Socialist.

1918- German and Anglo-French negotiators began meetings in a railroad car in the remote Compiegne forest to negotiate an end World War I. Meanwhile the Kaiser’s government continued to collapse from within. Today revolutionary German sailors seized the town hall of Cologne and declared a workers state.

1923- When it sounds like they would be found out early, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler put into motion his attempt to overthrow the Weimar government. Because they started in a beer hall in Munich the coup is called the Beer Hall Putsch.

1926- New York Mayor Jimmy Walker, a former vaudeville hoofer who wrote the hit song: "Will You Love Me in December like You do in May? ", met chorus dancer Betty Compton at the Gershwin musical "Oh Kay!" and fell in love. Politically, Walker was “ as crooked as a dogs leg”, but it was his romancing his mistress openly in front of New York society, not to mention in front of his wife, that was the scandal of the Roaring 20's.
Forced to resign as mayor after a probe unearthed massive corruption in his administration, Jimmy tried once more to run for mayor against Fiorello Laguardia in 1933. But he was blocked by the Roman Catholic Cardinal of New York and NY Governor Franklin Roosevelt. He had just become president and found Walker an embarrassment. Jimmy Walker and Betty Compton lived in Europe for the next ten years. In 2000 married NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani lost the chance to run for the US Senate in part because he made open appearances at shows and dinners with his girlfriend, even meeting her in Gracie Mansion while his family was in an adjoining wing.

1929- New York’s Museum of Modern Art opened.

1932-Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s second wife Nadehzda Alleyuieva shot herself, or so the official story said. It may have been the KGB, on orders of Stalin himself. Their daughter Svetlana later escaped to the U.S. and lived the rest of her life there.

1933- King Nadir Shah of Afghanistan was assassinated by Abdul Khallig.

1942- Operation Torch- Anglo-American soldiers began mass landings on the beaches in French North Africa. The first action of American soldiers in World War Two in Europe. The Pro-Nazi Vichy French fired on the Allies, until a deal was made with their commander Admiral Darlan. Charles DeGaulle was furious that fighting began before he could try to convince the French not to resist. But Eisenhower, FDR and Churchill were not yet ready to admit that the big nosed Colonel had become the de facto leader of Free-France.

1943- The first one man show of American abstract painter named Jackson Pollock. Pollock later created his brushless dripping form of painting that earned him the nickname:” Jack the Dripper”.

1950- In Korea, two Chinese MIG fighters tangled with US Sabre jets. The first jet-to-jet dogfight.

1952- The Supreme Court upholds a 1922 ruling that Baseball a sport, not a business. Therefore it is exempt from anti-trust laws.

1965- The Days of Our Lives soap opera first premiered on TV.

1966- Former actor and SAG president Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California trouncing two-term incumbent Pat Brown. Uber-Conservative Reagan declared a tough line with the Hippies of Haight Ashbury and Berkeley.

1966- Doctors at St. Josephs Hospital removed one of Walt Disney’s cancerous lungs, but discovered the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and liver. They determined he did not have long to live.

1973- Walt Disney’s animated Robin Hood premiered.

1994- Marion Barry was re-elected Mayor of Washington D.C. despite serving time for smoking crack cocaine. Comedian Chris Rock wondered:” Who did he run against that was so bad, that you’d rather vote for a crackhead?”

2004- The Second Battle of Faluja began. U.S. Marines had to fight their way back into an Iraqi city they were forced out of the previous April. Faluja erupted in violence after outrages committed on civilians by non-military Blackwater mercenaries, called “contractors” by the media. Iraqis ambushed the mercs and danced with their charred bodies, so in had to go the Marines once more.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who was -“The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships”?

Answer: Helen of Troy. Meaning her beauty caused the Trojan War.


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