January 21, 2015 weds
January 21st, 2015
Quiz: Dracula’s historical name was Vlad the Impaler. What is an impaler?
Question: Lincoln ended slavery in America. Who ended slavery in Europe?
History for 1/21/2015
Birthdays: Leadbelly (Harlan Ledbetter), Thomas J."Stonewall" Jackson, J. Carol Naish, Tele Savalas, Christian Dior, Placido Domingo is 75, Wolfman Jack, Paul Scofield, Robby Benson, Jack Nicklaus, Benny Hill, Emma Bunton- Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, Gena Davis is 59, Ken Leung is 45
1198- THE THIRD CRUSADE DECLARED- In reaction to the news of Saladin's capture of Jerusalem, King Henry II of England, Phillip Augustus of France and Conrad the Emperor of Germany "take the Cross", to invade the Holy Land. Henry died before the army departed and was replaced by his son Richard the Lionhearted. Every morning before breakfast and every night before retiring, all the knights of the Crusade would raise one steel-clad fist towards the east, and to the sound of massed trumpets they would all shout: " AEIDEUVA, AEIDEUVA, SANCTUS SEPULCHORUM!!" "Help, Help to the Holy Sepulchre!".
1535- Fun-loving King Francis I of France had been tolerant to the Reformation until overzealous French Protestants tried to assassinate him. This day he answered them by holding a solemn Catholic Mass in Notre Dame. The highlight of the show was the burning of six heretics. Francis had them tied to ladders and raised and lowered over a slow fire, to prolong their agony.
1649- King Charles I was put on trial by the English Parliament for treason.
1789- The first American novel published- The Power of Sympathy: An Epistolary Romance by William Hill Brown.
1793- KING LOUIS XVI GUILLOTINED- For three years since the Bastille fell the French King tried to play a constitutional monarch while conspiring with the other European monarchs to crush the French Revolution. It was a game that was too subtle for him. When foreign armies invaded France and declared their intention to remake Louis an absolute ruler, the revolutionary government condemned him to death. Citizen Capet, so named for an old family name of French kings, mounted the scaffold at Place de La Concorde currently where the U.S. Embassy is. He tried to speak to the people but the drummers were ordered to drown him out. As the blade fell his chaplain shouted: "Son of Saint Louis, ascend to Heaven!" SPLAT!
The revolutionaries then stuck his head between his legs and threw him in a hole. Where the site of the Chapel Expiatore is today. The court executioner, Charles Henri Samson, wore pistols under his coat in case people tried to rush the guillotine. He usually never felt remorse for his victims ( "I am not killing them, the State is" ) but this one bothered him. He stayed away from home for two nights and would later hide escaped political prisoners in his cellar.
1850-THE CLAY COMPROMISE. Senator Henry Clay crossed dark snow covered Washington streets for a late night meeting with Daniel Webster. President Zachary Taylor had just put forward in Congress California's application for admission to the Union as a non-slave holding state. Now the South was angrily threatening secession and civil war. Clay and Webster worked out a deal, called the Clay Compromise, which would grant concessions to both sides in exchange for cooperation. Northern man Webster probably sacrificed his last chance to be President by backing the controversial deal but the Compromise of 1850 succeeded in delaying the Civil War for ten more years.
1861- SECESSION! COLLAPSE! President-elect Lincoln was still packing his bags in Springfield and writing out the luggage tags in his own hand "A. Lincoln, White House, Washington, D.C.", while state after state of the South voted to leave the Union and join the new Confederacy. On this date Mississippi senator and former Secretary of War Jefferson Davis resigned from the Congress. As he left the Senate, Georgia senator Robert Toombs declared out loud to the Speakers chair:" The Union sir, is Dissolved !" Toombs had to hire a carriage to take him South because his personal servants had run off to be free.
The Mormons of Utah were in an open state of rebellion, New Jersey and New York City talked of secession, California talked of pulling out of the union and joining Oregon to make a new country called TransPacifica. Mobs in Baltimore proclaimed Abe Lincoln would never get to Washington alive. Outgoing President James Buchanan said gravely: "I fear I may be the Last President of the United States.."
1899- The Opel motorcar company opened for business.
1916- The National Board of Review outlawed nudity in Hollywood movies.
1923- LENIN DIED. The Soviet dictator died of respiratory failure and cerebral hemorrhage at 54. The lack of a reliable system of succession plagued Communist states. As Lenin lay dying Leon Trotsky, Zioniev, Kamieniev, Krupskaya and a dozen others began a backroom scramble for power. Finally a minor bank robber and terrorist from Tblisi in Georgia who had risen rapidly in the last two years came out above them all- Comrade Kobal, also called Josef Stalin.
1930- Ubb Iwerks quit the Walt Disney Company.
1935- the conservation group The Wilderness Society created.
1935- Disney animator Ollie Johnston’s first day at the studio at $17 a week.
1938 -Max Fleischer tells his New York cartoon studio they are relocating to Florida.
1938- George Melies, the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, died selling chocolates in a Paris train station -Gare du Norde to be exact.
1950-After a highly publicized trial top State Department official Alger Hiss was found guilty of perjury in a trial that accused him of covering up his connections to Communist agents in Washington. The trial made a national figure of a then little known congressman named Richard Nixon. Hiss served four years in prison, and lived the rest of his life maintaining his innocence.
1958- BADLANDS- Teenagers Charlie Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate kill her family and go on a Bonnie & Clyde style crime spree throughout Nebraska, killing 11 people. When they were caught Starkweather pleaded self defense, even against the murder of Fugates infant baby brother. He went to the electric chair. Carol Ann Fugate did twenty years, yet always denied she was anything more than an unwilling accomplice.
Starkweather had a 'James Dean-Marlon Brando' leatherjacket look and the two teen killers seemed to typify America's dread of juvenile delinquency and the 'degenerate Rock and Roll' culture of the 1950's. Their story inspired several films including 'Badlands".
1959- Former 'Our Gang' child star Charles 'Alfalfa" Switzer was killed in a bar in Mission Hills, Ca. He pulled a knife on a man over a $50 debt on a hunting dog. The man then shot him. He was 32. According to fellow Little Rascal Darla Hood, Switzer was a brute who bullied the other children, and bitter his adult career never blossomed.
1977- President Jimmy Carter declared a pardon for all remaining Vietnam War draft resistors.
1992- Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
2010 The Supreme Court handed down the Citizen's United Decision. In the case Citizens' United vs. the Federal Election Commission, the Roberts Court ruled that restrictions on corporations were limits on free speech. This ruling opened the floodgates for businesses to spend unlimited money on political candidates. For the 2012 presidential campaign, over $2 billion was spent.
Yesterday’s Question: Lincoln ended slavery in America. Who ended slavery in Europe?
Answer: No one person officially ended European slavery, even popes and saints kept slaves. It just died out due to economics. The late Roman Empire passed many laws against the abuse of slaves, and forbade breaking up families of slaves or killing slaves. Meanwhile peasants tied to the land did all the work of slaves, and you didn’t have to pay to feed or clothe them. By the 1200’s slavery was pretty much gone except for Moorish Spain and parts of the Balkans.
Jan 20, 2015 Tues.
January 20th, 2015
Question: Lincoln ended slavery in America. Who ended slavery in Europe?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered: Ford automobiles are named for Henry Ford. Chevrolet for Louis Chevrolet. Dodge for the Dodge Brothers. Who was Pontiac named for?
History for 1/20/2015
Birthdays: King Charles III of Spain, Richard Henry Lee- signer of the Declaration of Independence, Frederico Fellini, Patricia O’Neal, Dorothy Provine, Mario Lanza, David Lynch, George Burns, DeForest Kelly, Edwin Buzz Aldrin, Arte Johnson, Lorenzo Lamas, Bill Maher is 59, Rainn Wilson is 49
In the French Revolutionary calendar this is the first day Pluvoise, the Month of Rain.
661 A.D. -Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, was assassinated by a partisan of Muyawiah Ibn Abi Suffian- the founder of the Ummayad Dynasty of Caliphs. Ali’s supporters were called Ali's SHIAH or Ali's Partisans – which became the branch of Islam called Shiite, the rest of Islam is known as Sunnite. It became a split as fierce as the one between Catholic and Protestants in Christianity.
1193- Licensed prostitution began in Japan.
1777- George Washington invited a young artillery captain to join his personal staff. Alexander Hamilton’s career began.
1779- The English dramatic actor David Garrick died. Supposedly his last words were when asked “Is it hard to die?” Garrick replied:” Dying is not Hard. Comedy is Hard.”
1783- Britain signed peace treaties with France and Spain, ending their support to the American Revolution. The treaty with America had been finalized three months earlier.
1841-Convention of Chuen Pei-Treaty that ended the Opium Wars. China cedes land in Canton to Britain that will become Hong Kong. The Chinese never smoked opium until it was introduced by British traders from India.
1908- The Sullivan Ordinance barred women from smoking in public facilities.
1920- The American Civil Liberties Union founded by Roger Baldwin.
1924- WAR ON THE MAFIA- In 1924 the Mafia was almost completely destroyed. By who? Benito Mussolini. While not yet Il Duce, but merely Italy’s Prime Minister, Benito had enough of the crime family clans of Sicily, so he sent a huge army to crush them. His jackbooted regiments marched across the island arresting 11, 000 and executing hundreds. Mussolini declared victory and many of the surviving dons fled to America where Prohibition was providing great new opportunities for crooks.
1930-The Matanza Massacre. Authorities in El Salvador kill 30,000 peasants protesting the government refusing to seat peasant ministers who won an election. By the time the army stopped, 4 percent of the population was dead, the Communist Party gone and native Indian dress and languages outlawed. The leader of the peasants Augustin Farabundo Marti later gave his name to the 1980’s guerrilla movement.
1936- King George V of England died. In great pain from incurable cancer, In 1986 a doctor admitted getting instructions from his son The Prince of Wales to euthanize him with a strong shot of cocaine and morphine. The doctor timed his offing of the king so the news would be out with the morning newspapers instead of the trashier afternoon tabloids.
His Majesties last words were reported to be:" How goes the Empire? " He actually winced at the sloppy way the injection was done and said: " Oww, God damn you!"
Another legend says when the King was told if he recovered they would return to the town of Bognor in Sussex for holiday, His Majesties last words were “ Bugger Bognor!”
1937- Franklin D. Roosevelt inaugurated for his second term after defeating Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas. He is the first president to be inaugurated in January instead of the customary March 4th. The Depression still raged despite all his efforts, he gives the inaugural speech decrying the rampant poverty in the U.S. "I see one third of the nation, ill-housed, ill-fed, ill-clothed, living in conditions far beneath the minimum standards we regard as decent, etc."
1938-The first true animator, Emile Cohl, died while headed for the Paris premiere of Disney's" Snow White and the Seven Dwarves". Cohl was so poor that the electricity in his flat had been turned off and the candles had ignited his beard. Angry he was never recognized in his time, he once said: "the French prefer their artists with marble and flowers on top.".
1942- The Wanasee Conference-Heydrich, Adolf Eichmann and other top Nazis have a lunch conference in a suburb in Berlin. Over cocktails they invented The Final Solution. Zyclon–B gas chambers instead of electrocution or carbon-monoxide. They set a target goal of ten million Jews to be murdered by 1946.
1945- Franklin D. Roosevelt sworn in as U.S. President for a fourth consecutive term, the only person ever to do so.
1949- FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover gave Shirley Temple a pen that shoots tear gas.
1953- The Birth of Little Ricky on the I Love Lucy show drew a larger viewing audience than the televised inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower.
1961- John F. Kennedy gave his famous inaugural speech:” Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Outgoing President Eisenhower disliked JFK personally and was angry that his win over Nixon seemed a repudiation of his policies, so almost nothing was said between them in the limousine during the drive to the ceremony. John Kennedy also went through that day mostly hatless, inaugurating the fashion. Before JFK, a man was not fully dressed without a fedora or cap of some sort.
1965- Alan Freed, the disc jockey who coined the term Rock & Roll died at 43 of uremic blood poisoning. He was broken by the Rock payola scandal and died so poor his friends passed the hat to pay for his funeral.
1968- Young U.S. infantryman Ron Kovic was wounded near the Vietnamese demilitarized zone the DMZ. The black soldier who carried him to safety was killed shortly after and Kovic never learned his name. The incident put Kovic in a wheelchair for life and changed his attitude towards the righteousness of the war. He wrote the bestseller " Born on the Fourth of July" and became a passionate antiwar activist.
1969- Richard Nixon sworn in as President capping one of the most amazing comebacks in political history. After losing to Kennedy in 1960 Nixon lost yet again to Pat Brown for the governorship of California and was considered politically finished. Anybody remember Michael Dukakis, Dan Quayle or Fritz Mondale?
Yet Nixon worked on his image over the years and re-emerged in 1968 as “The New Nixon”. Nixon ran as peace candidate and at his inaugural announced “The era of confrontation is over, the era of negotiation has begun.” It took him five years to get us out of Vietnam, immolating Cambodia, Laos and almost Thailand in the process. When Nixon took office there were 23,000 combat deaths, but when he left there were 58,000 war deaths and 8 US students shot down on their college campuses. So his record remains at best controversial.
1981- As President Reagan was being sworn in, the hostages taken at the United States Embassy in Teheran were released after being held for 444 days. Years later it was revealed a deal was negotiated with the Iranians to release the hostages in exchange for a ransom of weapons. But at the time, all the American public knew was that all the Old Gipper had to do was show up, to make the Mad Mullah’s hightail-it outta town.
1982- Rock star Ozzie Osbourne was hospitalized in Des Moines Iowa after biting the head off a dead bat thrown on stage during a concert.
1982- SONY introduced the Camcorder, the personal video camera.
1986- The worlds first computer virus, Brain, was sent out over the internet.
2001- George W. Bush inaugurated as the 43rd President. He is only the second son of a president to be elected, the other being John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams.
2009- Standing in front of the U.S. Capitol, a building built by black slaves, Barack Obama was inaugurated 44th President of the United States. The first African-American.
2009- While the inaugural balls for President Obama were taking place, leaders of the defeated Republican Party met in a secret conclave at the Capitol Hill Grill. There they formulated the strategy to paralyze all legislation and frustrate all of Pres. Obama’s attempts to heal the economy they destroyed. Then they would run against his ineffective record. They did paralyze his government with four times more filibusters than any in history, but he won re-election anyway.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Ford automobiles are named for Henry Ford. Chevrolet for Louis Chevrolet. Dodge for the Dodge Brothers. Who was Pontiac named for?
Answer: Pontiac was originally the Pontiac Wagon & Buggy Company, acquired by General Motors in 1926. Named for the town of Pontiac Michigan, who was named for a famous Indian Chief Pontiac.
January 19, 2015 mon
January 19th, 2015
Quiz: Ford automobiles are named for Henry Ford. Chevrolet for Louis Chevrolet. Dodge for the Dodge Brothers. Who was Pontiac named for?
Answer to yesterday’s question below: Why is complicated, administrative paperwork called red tape?
History for 1/19/2015
Birthdays: James Watt, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert E. Lee, Paul Cezanne', Janis Joplin, Tipi Hedren, Slobodan Milosovic’, radio star Ish Kabibble, Dolly Parton, Michael Crawford, Chic Young, Guy Madison, Richard Lester, John H. Johnson publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines, Jean Stapleton, Fritz Weaver, Sean Wayans, Robin MacNeill, Paul Rodriquez, Antoine Fuqua, Drea Di Matteo is 43, and Bart the Bear-1977 Bear who starred in movies like Clan of the Cave Bear, The Bear, White Fang and Legends of the Fall.
Happy Martin Luther King Day, observed.
Happy Feast of St. Wulfstan.
379 A.D. Valentinian I was a Roman emperor with strange mood swings. He outlawed the original Biblical birth control method called exposure; in other words leaving unwanted babies in the forest. Another time he had some stableboys crucified for letting the hounds go too early during a hunt.
When some Barbarians crossed the Rhine and sacked a few villages Valentinian got his legions together and burned down half of Germany. He only stopped for the winter and was preparing to continue in the spring when on this day a delegation of tribal chiefs came to ask for peace. They explained that it wasn't their idea to make war, just some of the younger hotheads in the tribe. They said that the Emperor was overreacting.
Valentinian got so enraged by these excuses that he raised his fists, turned purple and before he uttered a word fell over stone dead. His general Theodosius took over as emperor.
1405- Tartar conqueror Tamerlane fell ill and died in Samarkand. He roved the world conquering and murdering like Genghis Khan, but without Genghis’ skill at empire building. His empire fell apart soon after his death, inspiring Shelley to write a poem about transitory glory- Ozimandias.
1523- In Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli publishes his 67 Articles attacking the authority of the Pope. This is the first manifesto of the Zurich Reformation.
1547-Grand Duke of Muscovy Ivan IV Vasilievich, called Ivan the Terrible, crowned Tsar or Czar- a Russian form for Caesar. His father Grand Duke Ivan III the Great assumed the title and power but it remained for his son to formalize the office. The Russian Princes call themselves the new inheritors of the Eastern Orthodox religion and Roman Empire after Constantinople, once called New Rome, fell to the Moslem Turks. Czars were crowned with the "Cap of Monomachus", a small skullcap reputedly worn by one of the Greek Byzantine Emperors, Constantine IV Monomachus“ single-combat”. This cap was covered with ermine trim and gold. The Czars boasted: "Two Romes have fallen. The Third Rome –Moscow- shall stand forever!"
1633- Thomas Morton was twice deported by the Pilgrims for holding “licentious Maypole celebrations” at his Indian trading post. This day he returned to England and tried to have the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter revoked. The King probably refused because that might make the whole crowd of buckle-shoed killjoys return home!
1729- British Restoration playwright William Congreve died. He willed all his property to Henrietta, the Duchess of Marlborough. But then the Duchess did something a bit odd. She had a death mask made of Congreve’s face and attached it to a life size mannequin. She ate and conversed with the dummy all day and slept with it at night. She insisted her servants wait upon the dummy and treat it when she felt it was ill. When she died she was buried with the dummy.
1829 Johann Von Goethe published Faust Part 1.
1840- Explorer Lt. Charles Wilkes claimed all of Antarctica for the United States. He was on a scientific expedition to chart the South Seas and Southern polar waters. Captain Wilkes was really good at exploring, but he was such a tyrannical disciplinarian he was court-martialed upon his return. Wilkes’ erratic behavior may have been a model for Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab in his novel Moby Dick.
1853- Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore with the famous Anvil Chorus premiered in Rome.
1869- New York City controller of Central Park Andrew Green received a petition from 18 of the city’s wealthiest citizens. It called for the establishment of a Museum of Natural History. The famous building was built in 1874.
1915- Two German zeppelins cross the Channel and drop bombs on Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn causing two deaths. The first time England was bombed from the air.
1919- Famed dancer of the Ballet Russe Vasclav Nijinsky danced his last dance at a hotel in San Moritz Switzerland. He later became an incarcerated mental patient and underwent numerous extreme shock therapies until his death in 1950.
1940- The Three Stooges do their impression of Hitler and the top Nazis in the Columbia Pictures short comedy “You Natzy Spy”. Moe Howard was still the best Hitler impersonator. “Hail-Hail-Hailstone of Moronica! Waahoo!”
1945- In Poland, the Nazis ordered the evacuation of the remaining concentration camps in advance of the advancing Red army. Tens of thousands were marched out of Auschwitz and Birkenau west in freezing ice and cold. Any who fell behind were shot.
1955- President Eisenhower held the first press conference that was shown on television. It was held in the treaty room of the State Department. Eisenhower was famous for his ability to speak at great length and never say anything of substance. “This day, My Fellow Americans, more than at any other time, ahead of us lies the Future!”
1961- The first episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show was filmed.
1966- Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Nehru, became prime minister of India.
1977- In one of his last acts as President, Gerald Ford pardoned Tokyo Rose. Iva Toguri D’Aquino was a Japanese American who did propaganda broadcasts for Radio Tokyo urging American GI’s to surrender. She explained she was stranded in Tokyo when the war broke out and was coerced into doing the broadcasts.
1979- Wendy O. Williams, mohawk-haired lead singer of the punk band the Plasmatics was arrested in Milwaukee for masturbating on stage with a sledgehammer.
1983- Klaus Barbie arrested in Bolivia and extradited to France. Barbie was the Nazi Gestapo chief in France and was called the Butcher of Lyon for his torture and execution of hundreds of French resistance and Jews. After the war Barbie avoided arrested and was briefly hired by the CIA as an anti-soviet spy. He went to South America and applied his skills for the dictators there until his extradition. While other former Nazis like Kurt Waldheim were disingenuously vague about their past, Barbie was loudly unrepentant. It was reported he continually embarrassed the Nazis trying to hide in South America by Sieg-Heil saluting them on the street and singing old stormtrooper songs over his steak fajitas.
1985- Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA peaked the pop charts at #9.
1989- President Ronald Reagan, in one of his last acts as president, pardoned Yankee Baseball club owner George Steinbrenner for making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon.
1991-Eastern Airlines ceased operations and went out of business. Chairman and former astronaut Frank Borman was philosophical: “Business without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”
Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is complicated, administrative paperwork called red tape?
Answer: Red tape actually goes back to the Romans. Official Govt scrolls were fastened with red ribbon fixed with sealing wax. It was called in Latin a protocol. Since then through the Church to modern nation state, important docs were distinguished by the red ribbon.
When Napoleon escaped Elba in 1814, his disembarkation at Cannes was held up for a time while his quartermaster argued harbor tolls with local authorities. Napoleon cried in annoyance " Monsieur .....( I forgot his name), you are a mass of red tape!!"
Jan 18, 2015 sun
January 18th, 2015
Quiz: Why is complicated, administrative paperwork called red tape?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the origin of the phrase- No Strings Attached?
HISTORY FOR 1/18/2015
Birthdays: Daniel Webster, A.A. Milne, Joseph Glidden, Oliver Hardy, Cary Grant- born Archie Leech, Danny Kaye, Emmanuel Chabrier, Bobby Goldsboro, Pierre Roget (Roget’s Thesaurus), Ray Dolby (Dolby sound), John Boorman, Kevin Costner is 60, Jason Segel is 35
1486- King Henry VII Tudor married Elizabeth of York, daughter of the dowager queen in the just concluded War of the Roses. This further confirmed his legitimacy as king, ending a long period of dynastic instability.
1535- Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzarro founded the city of Lima Peru.
1630- The Great Conde’, French general and uncle of the king, is imprisoned by order of Cardinal Mazarin, the successor of Cardinal Richelieu. Conde’ escaped, and for the next thirty years would lead Spanish and German armies against France. Still, this was not seen as a bad thing because nobody had invented nationalism yet, so the king forgave him in 1660.
1701- For services rendered in stopping French King Louis XIV from invading the Rhineland, The Margrave/Elector Frederick of Brandenburg received permission from the German Imperial Diet to reorganize his realm as a kingdom, the new Kingdom of Prussia. From his capitol of Berlin the Prussians set out to become a world power. In 1870 they unified the German speaking nations into the nation we now called Germany. See below.
1777- San Jose California founded.
1778- Captain Cook landed at Waimea Bay in Kauai and "discovers" Hawaii. He named the place the Sandwich Islands after his boss John Montague the First Lord of the Admiralty the Earl of Sandwich. The King of Hawaii Kamehameha III didn't think this was the spirit of Aloha and after numerous squabbles between the sailors and natives Captain Cook was killed. The ensign who rallied the shore party and got them safely home was the future Capt. Bligh.
1817- Jose San Martin led an army of Latin American rebels over the Andes Mountains in an epic march to free them from Spain.
1854- THE KINGDOM OF WALKER- Soldier of Fortune William Walker declared himself president of the Republic of Lower California-a new country formed out of the Mexican state of Sonora and Baja California. It didn’t stick and he had to run for it. A few years later Walker and a gang of U.S. mercenaries actually succeeded in overthrowing the government of Nicaragua and making himself a king. But soon the Nicaraguans put him up before a firing squad.
1865- This was a target date John Wilkes Booth had to spring his plan to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln out of his box at Ford’s Theater and exchange him for thousands of Confederate POW’S to continue the South’s war effort. That the young actor naively planned to physically overcome and truss up the 6’5" president who although in ill health was an ex-wrestler, then sling him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, jump 12 feet to the stage and carry him off in front of an audience, is a strange plan to say the least. Lincoln did attend the theater that night but Booth canceled the plan, because he had to prepare to do Romeo the day after tomorrow. His real job superceded his hobby as a conspirator.
1871-GERMAN UNIFICATION- Wilhelm of Prussia crowned first Kaiser of Germany in a ceremony in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. At one time Germans lived in 38 little princedoms that were great for operettas but lousy as a political entity. Germans formed a symbolic parliament in Frankfurt and formed nationalist societies called Tugenbund to dream of unification. But Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck said "unity would not be won by parliaments and papers but by Blood and Iron!" Bismarck had first defeated Austria to ensure Germans would look to Berlin and not Vienna for leadership, then he picked a war with France to unite all the German peoples against their old enemy. So the crowning was two-fold the highpoint of victory over France and the symbol of unification. Sulky Wilhelm I didn’t want to be an emperor and was happy as king of Prussia, but Bismarck bullied him into it.
1903- President Teddy Roosevelt and King Edward VII exchanged the first wireless messages long distance between Washington and London. The system was invented by Gugielmo Marconi.
1908- Frederic Delius orchestral tone poem Brigg Fair premiered.
1910- The birth of the aircraft carriers. In San Francisco Bay, aviator Eugene Ely became the first to take off and land his plane on a ship. The first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, was a converted coal tender.
1912- Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, "Scott of the Antarctic" reaches the South Pole to discover the Norwegian flag of Pier Ammundsen who got there first. –D’oh !
1919- American Society of Cinematographers formed (ASC).
1919- The Bentley Motorcar Company formed.
1943- The Red Army lifted the 900 day Nazi siege of Leningrad.
1943- As part of the war effort the US government ordered the sale of sliced bread be stopped for the duration. The phrase “ the greatest thing since sliced bread” entered the slang vocabulary.
1945- After weeks of bitter street fighting Nazi forces surrendered Budapest to the Red Army. Major Otto Skorzeny, the one-eyed Nazi commando who rescued Mussolini and organized American speaking infiltrators for the Battle of the Bulge, now shifted his efforts to organizing the Nazi escape route pipeline to the sympathetic countries in South America.
1948- Mahatma Ghandi broke an 121 hour fast that halted Hindu-Moslem rioting.
1949- Look Magazine published a photo essay called "Prizefighter". The photographer was a young kid from the Bronx named Stanley Kubrick. Mr Kubrick said he now wanted to try filmmaking.
1953-The Hollywood Animation Guild chartered. Originally the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, signatories included Disney legends Milt Kahl, Les Clark, John Hench and Ken Anderson.
1962- The US Army in Vietnam began an experiment with spraying the jungle with chemical defoliants to get at hidden Vietcong guerrillas. The chemical Agent Orange defoliated jungles but also infected thousands of American serviceman and Vietnamese civilians who continue to die from cancers decades after.
1962- THE FRENCH CONNECTION- NYPD cracked a drug ring smuggling heroin from South East Asia into New York via Marseilles. The French Connection bust nabbed $3.5 million in dope and made heroes out of the two detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grazzo. Egan joked to Grazzo:" I’ll betchya Paul Newman will play me and Ben Gazzarra you!" Actually Gene Hackman played Egan and Roy Scheider Grazzo in the Oscar winning 1971 film. Both cops retired from the force to make careers in show biz. Ironically while the film was being made the real heroin from the case disappeared from the NYPD evidence lockup and was replaced with bags of corn starch. It was never recovered.
1964-Plans are revealed for building New York City’s World Trade Center towers.
1977- The cult documentary PUMPING IRON premiered. Filmmakers George Butler and Rob Fiore maxed out his American Express card to the tune of $35,000 to bring this look at the little known world of professional body building to the screen. The film first brought to the public a charmingly confident Austrian body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger who wanted to try acting someday. Also Lou Ferrigno who would also star in movies and as the TV Hulk. Many year later Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to buy the rights to the film so he could edit out the scenes of him puffin’ some ganja.
1978- In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, rock star Frank Zappa described most rock journalism as " People who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read."
1987- National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition premiered.
1990- In a room at the Vista International Hotel in Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry was videotaped by the FBI toking on a crack pipe with his mistress Rasheeda. Doh! He served time in jail, but was re-elected mayor anyway.
1990- Rusty Hamer, who played Danny Thomas’ son in the TV show Make Room for Daddy, put a 357 Magnum to his head and pulled the trigger. He was 42.
1991- Saddam Hussein started firing Soviet SCUD missiles at Israel. By a prearranged agreement, even though they were under attack, Israel did not retaliate with their own air force, but left it to US & Coalition forces to neutralize the missiles.
1993- The CIA admitted that it paid Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega $300,000 to be an operative.
2004- The I HAVE A SCREAM SPEECH. Democratic presidential challenger Howard Dean gave an address after losing the New Hampshire primary. Known for his energy, at one point he got so carried away he let out a jubilant yelp above the cheering throng. The media picked this up and played it to death. Soon it would be impossible to think of Dean as a serious candidate. Republican White House strategist Karl Rove later admitted it would have been harder to defeat Howard Dean than John Kerry, but then there was that scream.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase- No Strings Attached?
Answer: In the 18th Century when expensive cloths like silk were imported to Europe the merchant would mark a flaw in the weave by tying a small string at the bottom. Even today when a London tailor wants some yards of flawless cloth, he would ask for cloth “with no strings attached.”
Jan 17, 2015 Sat
January 17th, 2015
Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase- No Strings Attached?
Yesterdays Quiz answered below: Who looked at a line-up of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon and quipped: Look, it's See no Evil, Hear No Evil and - Evil...?
History for January 17, 2015
Birthdays: Benjamin Franklin, Max Sennett-1880, Al Capone, Ethan G. Hodell 1883- the inventor of the Tow-Truck, Constantin Stanislavsky, Moira Shearer, Shari Lewis, James Earl Jones is 85, Vidal Sassoon, Claude Coats, Denny Doyle, Kevin Reynolds, Muhammad Ali is 73, Jim Carrey is 53, Michelle Obama is 51, Zooey Deschanel is 35, Betty White is 93
50 BC- Julius Caesar¹s chief rival for power in Rome was Pompey Magnus. Pompey was as famous a general as Caesar and he controlled the Roman Senate. Pompey bragged that if Caesar started a civil war all he had to do would be to stamp his foot and soldiers would spring up everywhere to defend Rome.
But when Caesar invaded Italy, Pompey stamped his foot and nothing happened. Pompey¹s troops were in Spain and Greece. The only legions locally were loyal to Caesar. This day Pompey and the Senate abandoned Rome and fled south to the heel of the Italian boot.
38BC- Augustus and Livia’s wedding anniversary!
395AD- Death of Theodosius Ist, the last Emperor to rule over the all the Roman Empire from Scotland to Iran. After his death the Roman Empire divided permanently between East and West. One son Honorius became Emperor of the West, and another Arcadius became Emperor in Constantinople.
1775-Sheridan's Restoration comedy The Rivals premiered at Covent Garden Theater, London.
1781- BATTLE OF HANNAH¹S COWPENS- Dan Morgan "the old wagoneer" and his mountainmen shot up a pro-British American army in the Carolinas. The American Loyalists in the South were led by Col. Banastre Tarleton, a dragoon officer unusual for his ruthlessness. After one battle he made his men go over the field and bayonet any rebels who might still be alive. This atrocity filled Morgan¹s ranks with rage, because many were the mountain kinfolk of the slain. This night the cry in the Yankee camp was:" Heads up boys! Bennie's Coming!"
1794- SCANDAL!! ANDY JACKSON MARRIES RACHEL DONELSON FOR THE SECOND TIME. Mrs. Rachel D. Robards was married to a brutal older man, when she fell in love with the dashing young officer in the Tennessee wilderness. Separated from Mr. Robards she and Jackson were in Natchez, Mississippi at her sister¹s, when they heard word that Robards had filed for a divorce back in Nashville.
Jackson and Rachael then married and lived together for a year but then discovered that the divorce report was false and worse, Mississippi where they were married was still Spanish territory that didn't recognize Protestant marriages as legal. Rachel finally got her divorce from Robards, and they married again. Still, the social stigma of 'living in sin' stuck.
Rachel became morose in later years when Jackson's political enemies used the charge of adultery to attack him. Jackson fought duels and killed men over his wife's honor. By the time Jackson was elected President, Rachel Jackson was too ill to go to Washington. She died just before the Inauguration. The widower President lived long, but never got over his love for his Rachel.
1800- Thomas Jefferson welcomed French businessman Etienne Irenee¹ Du Pont de Nemours to America. Monsieur Dupont had decided to move his business from revolution ravaged France and become an American. He founded the Dupont Chemical Corporation that today makes plastics and housepaints, but back then what was most important was he made gunpowder. During the American Revolution gunpowder was a precious commodity. Colonial women saved pigeon droppings and their own urine to concoct saltpeter. Almost all the high quality gunpowder had to be imported from France. The Dupont family continued to control America¹s petrochemical destiny way into the twentieth century. And ladies could dispose of their urine in more sanitary ways.
1836- Texas General Sam Houston orders Jim Bowie to go to the Alamo and blow it up. Then bring the soldiers and the valuable cannon back to the main army to fight Santa Anna. But once there, Bowie was convinced by William Travis to disobey orders and defend the Alamo to the bitter end.
1884- The Battle of Abu Kleer. British forces attempting to save Gordon of Khartoum are furiously attacked by the Dervish army of El Mahdi. At one point the Dervishes broke up a British infantry square, something Napoleon had trouble doing at Waterloo. Kipling wrote a poem in praise of the bravery of the long haired black Sudannese tribemen called “Fuzzy-Wuzzy” ”Though we sloshed them with Martinis an it wasn¹t ‘ardly fair, with the odds against you Fuzzy-Wuzzy, you broke the British square.” A Martini-Henry was a rapid firing rifle used at the time.
1904- Chekov's The Cherry Orchard opened in St. Petersburg.
1908- Thousands of women march on Downing Street in London demanding women be given the vote. The broke windows and shouted “It will be bombs next time!” Among the suffragettes arrested and imprisoned was 23 year old Alice Paul from New Jersey. She was honored in 1996 by a US postage stamp.
1926- FATS WALLER KIDNAPPED-Harlem Jazz great Fats Waller was in Chicago for a gig. On the street several gunmen grabbed him and dragged him into their limo and sped off to the lair of mob boss Scarface Al Capone. When he arrived there the terrified Waller was reassured by Capone that as it was Big Al¹s birthday all he wanted was for Waller to perform at his party. The bash lasted three days and the joint was really jumpin! Waller left unharmed, and with a very fat paycheck as well, but resolved to stay in Harlem where it was safe.
1926- George Burns married Gracie Allen.
1929- First appearance of Popeye the Sailor in E.C. Seegar's comic strip the Thimble Theatre.
1935- In an address to Congress, Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed national unemployment insurance. It had been a issue demanded by workers since Coxey's Army in 1895.
1942- Right after the Pearl Harbor attack British Prime Minister Winston Churchill slipped across U-boat infested Atlantic waters and arrived in Washington for strategy planning meetings with President Roosevelt. Today he flew back to London without incident, although over London itself his plane was almost mistaken for the Luftwaffe and shot down.
1949- The first Volkswagen beetles arrive in North America.
1949- The Goldbergs, a radio comedy show about a Jewish family in the Bronx, moved to television and became the first true sitcom. The show ended when Mrs. Goldberg was accused by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee of being a Communist.
1950- THE BRINKS JOB- Several small time hoods wearing Halloween masks entered a Brinks Armored Car office in Boston and stole $1,2 million in cash and 1.5 in securities. By 1953 one crook broke down and confessed just eleven days before the statute of limitations would run out.
1957- The first non-stop jet flight around the world. Three U.S. B-52 bombers took off from Edwards Air force base in California and by flying at supersonic speed and refueling in mid air circumnavigated the globe in a little over 48 hours. The mission was not intended to set a record or for any scientific value as to demonstrate that the U.S. could now go anywhere on the earth and drop a nuke on you. They cemented this idea by dropping a dummy bomb after passing over Malaya.
1961- Frank Sinatra’s Ratpack had campaigned hard for their friend John F. Kennedy for president. Black entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. had worked particularly hard to help Kennedy win the African American vote. But Sammy had a preference for blond white actresses and had married one, May Britt in 1960. To fend off negative publicity this day JFK had his secretary Mrs. Lincoln telephone Sammy Davis and un-invite him to the President¹s Inaugural Ball. We’re Liberal, but not that liberal. And uhh..thanks for the help. Dean Martin was so angry at this insult to his friend that he canceled his appearance at the inaugural.
In 1968 Sammy Davis angered the black community when he embraced republican Richard Nixon.
1961- President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell speech to the nation. He warned against the growing influence of the “Military Industrial Complex”.
1964- The first Porsche Carrera sports car arrived in L.A..
1977- Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad in Utah for murdering an elderly couple. They pinned a paper on his chest with a heart drawn on it so marksmen could aim straight. Norman Mailor wrote the book “Executioners’ Song” about the event.
1989- A lunatic murdered 5 schoolchildren with an AK-47 assault rifle in Stockton California. Less than two months later Republican President George H. W. Bush Sr by executive order banned assault weapons. That ban was allowed to lapse by his son, and we’re still arguing over it today.
1994-The Great Northridge Earthquake rocked Los Angeles. 72 deaths and 20 billion dollars in damage. It was officially listed as 6.8 on the Richter Scale, although many persist that in some areas it was as high as 7.2. The epicenter was in the San Fernando Valley, so the valleys two major industries, animated cartoons and pornography, were temporarily disrupted.
1995- One year to the day after the Los Angeles earthquake, a massive earthquake struck Kobe Japan. The Japanese place great resources and time in earthquake preparedness, yet this 7.2 quake toppled whole freeways, killed 5,000 and left 1 1/2 million people homeless. It was the worse natural disaster in Japan since the 1923 Tokyo quake.
2000-A complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton was offered for sale on E-Bay.
Yesterday’s Question: Who looked at a line-up of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon and quipped: Look, it's See no Evil, Hear No Evil and - Evil...?
Answer: Republican Senator Bob Dole said it at the dedication of the Nixon Presidential Library.