july 23, 2014
July 23rd, 2014
Quiz: On a crucifix, above Christ’s head are the letters INRI. What does that mean?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Roman Emperor Augustus was Julius Caesar’s nephew. What was Tiberius relation to Augustus?
History for 7/23/2014
Birthdays: Ethiopian Emperor Rastafari Halie Selassie "the Lion of Judah", Raymond Chandler, Raymond Booth, Don Drysdale, Gloria DeHaven, Arthur Treacher, Pee Wee Reese, Bob Fosse, Harry Cohn, Don Imus, Slash, Marlon Wayans, Monica Lewinsky, Woody Harrelson is 54, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Edie McClurg is 64, Daniel Radcliffe is 26
Today is the Ancient Roman Festival of Neptune, God of the Sea.
1599- Michel Caravaggio received his first commission for a painting.
1645- Russian Czar Michael Romanov died, founder of the Romanov dynasty.
1846- Because he did not agree with the U.S. War with Mexico, writer Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes. A Concord Mass constable fined him. The event caused him to write his famous piece "On Civil Disobedience" which inspired Mahatma Ghandi Martin Luther King and Ang Syung su Chi.
1866- The Cincinnati Reds Baseball club formed. The oldest continual professional baseball team in the U.S.
1868- The 14th Amendment ratified, giving all African Americans the right to vote. It just wasn’t enforced until 1965.
1880 - 1st commercial hydroelectric power planet begins, Grand Rapids, Mich
1885- Ulysses Grant died at age 63. Despite being a great general, he was a bad politician and a worse businessman. Bankrupt after trusting speculators who swindled him, Grant saw his memoirs as the only way to save his family from his bad debts. Writing up to 50 pages a day in constant pain, he refused any painkillers to not cloud his mind. But he coats his throat daily with a mixture of salt water and cocaine. He completed the book only four days before he died. They were published by the ex-confederate Mark Twain, and became a best seller.
1886- This was the day Bowery saloonkeeper Steve Brodie claimed he jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and lived to tell about it.
1888 - John Boyd Dunlop patents the pneumatic rubber tire.
1892- The business partner of millionaire steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie was attorney Henry Clay Frick. Frick was charged by Carnegie to resolve the union issues at his steel works while he vacationed in Europe. Frick set off the Homestead Massacre, shooting with shotguns workers and their families who protested a 20% pay cut. Frick claimed he was merely the front man for Carnegie. Carnegie goes down in history as a great philanthropist. This day a Russian immigrant named Sasha Berksman entered Frick’s office and shot him twice. Frick recovered.
1894- Japanese troops occupy the Korean Imperial Palace. Japan held Korea as a colony until 1945.
1904 – The Ice Cream Cone created by Charles E. Menches during the LA Purchase Expo.
1908 -Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid IV is deposed by a group of militant army officers demanding modern reforms called the Young Turks.
1914-The Austro-Hungarian Empire sent Serbia its final ultimatum. After their Archduke's assassination in Sarajevo by Bosnian- Serb terrorists, the Austrian government deliberately made their demands so humiliating that Serbia would have to reject it and Austria could cleanly declare war. Austria wanted to beat up the little nation it saw as encouraging revolution among the Slav parts of it's territory. But Serbia had an alliance that would bring Russia into the conflict and Austria an agreement that would bring Germany into war with Russia.
Once the Austrians got proof that the assassins were in the pay of the Serbian Secret Service, if they had simply declared war then no country would have minded. The Austrian Emperor Franz Josef said: "Russia will not step in to protect regicides." But Austria wasting weeks publicly posturing and intriguing, so Russia, Germany and France would have to get involved or lose face. The Russian ambassador said to the Austrians-" You are trying to set fire to Europe!" When German Kaiser Wilhelm read the ultimatum he said-" Spirited note, what?"
1919- At the request of his Secretary of War McAdoo President Woodrow Wilson named the recently concluded great war against Germany as the "World War." It wasn’t called World War I until in Nov 1942, Time magazine labeled the new conflict of 1939-45 World War II. Franklin Roosevelt thought it" too depressing, like we were bound to have more."
1920- Kenya declared a crown colony of the British Empire.
1927 – Reacting to a public finally tired of the Tin Lizzy Model T and increased competition, the Ford Motor Co sells the first Model A car.
1932-The Birthday of Fritos. Texas ice cream maker Elmer Doolin buys a recipe for corn chips from a Mexican fry cook for $100 dollars and starts the Frito-Lay Company.
1936- Aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh arrived in Berlin to begin a state visit of Germany as the personal guests of Adolph Hitler. Lindbergh praised the German Luftwaffe as the "greatest air force in the world". Only three Americans ever got the Third Reich’s highest civilian medal- Lindbergh, Henry Ford and the Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce.
1937 – Scientists at Yale University announced the isolation of the pituitary hormone.
1937-TENNIS DIPLOMACY- The US and Nazi Germany spent much of the late 1930’s testing their competing philosophies on sports playing fields- Democracy vs Aryan Racial Purity. First Jesse Owens at the Olympics, then prizefighters Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, this day even the semi-finals of the Davis Cup Tennis championship became another Yankees vs Nazis test.
At Wimbledon England, American Don Budge and German Baron Gottfried von Cramm played the game of their lives. Hitler had personally telephoned Von Cramm the night before and ordered him to win. Ironically von Cramm was anti-Nazi. Don Budge won after 6 nail-biting tied sets. Queen Mary was present, and Hitler was glued to his radio. At one point American tennis great Bill Tilden who had been hired to coach the German team signaled that the match was in the bag. This provoked such an angry reaction from the audience that entertainers Jack Benny and Ed Sullivan tried to climb the fence to kick Tilden’s ass. But Budge came from behind to win. Von Cramm took defeat like a gentleman but Hitler didn’t. Shortly upon his return to the fatherland, the Gestapo arrested him for homosexual activity.
1942- Fuehrer directive #45. Adolf Hitler ordered General Von Paulus in Russia to turn his Sixth Army from his drive on the oil fields of Baku and take the city of Stalingrad.
1944- To counter charges that concentration camps are bad places, the Nazis invited the International Red Cross and neutral journalists to tour a model camp called Theresinstadt. The camp was a dummy with little white picket fences and flower pots in the barracks windows. The ICRC found conditions "moderately comfortable". After the Red Cross left the inmates were all shipped off to Auschwitz.
1952- Egyptian King Farouk abdicated to a group of army officers led by General Mohammed Naikeeb and Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser. Another officer in the coup was Col. Anwar El Sadat. Britain had ruled Egypt since 1880 and after withdrawing in 1936 they continued to control Egyptian politics through the Albanian-born ruler King Farouk. It was the first time Egypt was ruled by Egyptians in 2,250 years. Gamal Nasser would make Egypt a leader in the Third World non-aligned movement, fought wars against Israel and nationalized the Suez Canal. Nassar later said: "Whenever I asked someone 'What should I do first to build the new Egypt ?" they would only advise me who I should kill!"
1962- The first simultaneous television broadcast via the new TelStar communications satellite from America to Europe.
1966- The comedy song "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha, Ha!" released. The singer was Napoleon XIV.
1967- The city of Detroit exploded into race riots after white police raided a house party at 12th & Claremont for returned black Vietnam veterans. Forty-three died and it took 20,000 soldiers to restore order. It was the worst rioting in the city's history in a summer of race riots in other major American cities like Newark and Washington D.C.
1968- Fred Blasie won an unprecedented fifth World Wrestling Championship belt. Blasie later gained more fame for recording the comedy song "Pencil Necked Geeks" and beating up comedian Andy Kaufman in the ring for calling wrestling a hoax.
1974- The junta of military officers ruling Greece since the time of George Papadopoulos collapsed. Greece held free elections.
1982- Actor Vic Morrow and two children are killed by a stunt helicopter while filming "Twilight Zone, the movie". The last scripted line before his death was "I’ll Keep you safe kids, I swear to God!" The children were being worked into the early morning hours without a caretaker supervisor in defiance of the Coogan Laws. Director John Landis was investigated but exonerated. The only filmworker to dare to testify against Landis, the wardrobe supervisor, was blacklisted and never worked in Hollywood again.
1984- Vanessa Williams the first black Miss America, resigned after a photo spread of her in a nude lesbian scenario in Penthouse magazine. She denied any impropriety until the photos were published widely.
1986 - Britain's Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson called Fergie. They divorced later and she moved to the US and became the spokesperson for Weight Watchers.
1995- The Discovery of Comet Hale-Bop. It’s called that because it was discovered almost simultaneously by two separate astronomers-Alan Hale in New Mexico and Thomas Bop in Arizona. The comet’s passing close by the Earth was the signal for a messianic cult in San Diego called the Heaven's Gate to commit mass suicide by eating poison laced Jello chocolate pudding. They felt that suicide would enable them to join aliens flying in UFO’s flying in the comet’s tail. Media mogul Ted Turner said of the cult: "Oh well, one hundred fewer nuts in the world.."
2003-THE DOWNING STREET MEMO- British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his cabinet have a meeting about Iraq. During that meeting Blairs’ people openly discuss as fact that the George W. Bush Administration cooked the data to bring about an excuse for invasion. “ Their case is thin..” This while the White House was loudly declaring that war was it's last resort. When the Downing St memo was revealed in 2005, the story was quickly buried by the U.S. media.
2004- Two armed men enter the Munch Museum in Norway and steal Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream at gunpoint. It was recovered with some water damage in 2007.
Yesterday’s Question: Roman Emperor Augustus was Julius Caesar’s nephew. What was Tiberius relation to Augustus?
Answer: Tiberius was Augustus’ stepson. Augustus wife Livia bore Tiberius from a previous marriage.
July 22, 2014 tues.
July 22nd, 2014
Question: Roman Emperor Augustus was Julius Caesar’s nephew. What was Tiberius relation to Augustus?
Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: What does it mean to be desultory?
History for 7/22/2014
Birthdays: Emma Lazarus, Eduard Hopper, Gregor Mendel, Alexander Calder, James Whale, Oscar De La Renta, Rose Kennedy, Stephen Vincent Benet, Jason Robards, Bob Dole, David Spade is 50, Terence Stamp is 76, Danny Glover is 68, Alex Trebek, Bobby Sherman, Don Henley, Alan Mencken, Irene Bedard, William Dafoe is 59, John Leguizamo, Selena Gomez, Albert Brooks is 67- real name Albert Einstein, a nice name but already taken
1298- William Wallace's Scottish rebels was crushed by English King Edward Ist Longshanks at the battle of Falkirk.
1378- Viva l’Popolo! Revolt of the Ciompi- Woolworkers seize control of the Florentine
Republic. They were eventually put down. This idea of peasants fed up with the Black
Death and class oppression who rise up against their feudal masters catches on. Peasant revolts break out across Europe- in France the Jacquerie; in England, Wat the Tyner’s revolt.
1502- Amerigo Vespucci and a Portuguese expedition return from exploring the coast
of Brazil. It's popular nowadays to claim Columbus was ripped off by a German
mapmaker from the credit of discovering America, but there's more to it than
that. Columbus went to his grave believing he had discovered the outer coastline
of Asia. Vespucci, after exploring from Brazil to South Carolina was the first to
press the idea that this new coastline was not Asia, but something quite different.
A new continent.
1598- William Shakespeare lists on the Stationers Register, a sort of copyright registry, his new play The Merchant of Venice.
1657-Battle of Czarny Ostrow-Poles defeated George Rakoszy the Voivode of Hungary.
1793- THE MACKENZIE EXPEDITION- No, I’m sorry, but Louis & Clark weren’t the first white men to explore the NorthAmerican Continent to the Pacific. This day a party
of French-Canadian voyageurs and Scottish trappers led by Alexander Mackenzie reached the Georgian Straights in British Columbia ten years earlier. MacKenzie had been trying since 1789 to find the Pacific shore of Canada and stake British claims to
the great Canadian Northwest. In 1790 Mackenzie started out from Lake Athabasca
and followed a river that took him to the Arctic ocean instead of the Pacific -oops!
This time he reached the right salt water.
His 1801 book "Travels to the Pacific" was studied and debated intensively by President Thomas Jefferson and his aide Meriwhether Lewis. It is the prime reason the U.S. plans for the Lewis & Clark expedition to the Pacific were given top priority. For the first time since Christopher Columbus white settlers at last understood just how big the North American continent was. Mackenzie correctly estimated it was about three thousand miles wide.
1812- Battle of Salamanca. .the Duke of Wellington whips Napoleon’s lieutenant Marshal Marmont in Spain. Wellington wrote in his report: " We have defeated 40,000
men in 40 minutes ". The battle was preceded by one of the most violent thunderstorms
anyone had ever seen. The troops were more afraid of the lightning bolts than the
cannon . The British noted that all of Wellington’s victories including Waterloo
were always preceded by a rainstorm.
1861- The day after the Battle of Bull Run the victorious Confederate army had no
serious opposition between it and Washington D.C. The Union army had panicked from
their defeat, thrown away their weapons and ran for the hills. If the Johnny Rebs
had marched the 25 miles into Washington and captured Lincoln, the Civil War would
have been over with and Bull Run would have been the American Waterloo. Instead
the Confederate generals sat down to argue amongst themselves who was to blame for
what went wrong in the battle, then a furious outbreak of measles ravaged the badly
sanitized camp. More men died from the measles than combat. The Confederacy let
slip their best chance to win the war in a few weeks instead of four bloody years.
One positive result of the panic after the battle was the Congress authorized the
creation of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Force, to supplant all previous
militias and provost guards to maintain order in the garrisoned city.
1862- EMANCIPATION- President Abraham Lincoln called a secret cabinet meeting at
The White House in the dead of night. Abe opened the session by reading jokes from
a newspaper by humorist Artemus Ward. The cabinet officers exchanged confused glances. Secretary of State William Seward found Abe’s folksy-hillbilly humor annoying. He wondered if the Old Tycoon would ever get to the point. Lincoln then shocked them
all, when he said that he intended to free the slaves by presidential proclamation. This
without the consent of Congress. Seward convinced him not do it until there was
a Union battle victory, because to do so at the then bad state of affairs would
look more like a last act of desperation. In a few weeks the Battle of Antietam
was fought, which wasn’t a great victory, but it was at least it wasn’t an embarrassing
defeat, so then the Emancipation Proclamation was announced.
1864- THE BATTLE OF ATLANTA- Confederate leader John Bell Hood attempted to break the siege of the Atlanta by William Tecumseh Sherman. At the beginning of the fight Sherman’s gifted corps commander General Dan MacPherson was killed by a sniper. MacPherson was admired by the generals of both sides. Had he lived, many predicted he would have been President. When MacPherson’s successor General John Logan asked for orders, Sherman told him "Just Fight’em. Fight them like Hell!" Hoods attempts at a break out failed.
1893 –Katharine L. Bates wrote the song "America the Beautiful," in Colorado
1894-the first true automobile race- from Paris to Rouen.
1898- Russian revolutionary Lenin married Nadehzda Krupskaya.
1916- Anarchists set off a bomb at a Preparedness Day Parade in San Francisco. Ten
die. Union leaders Tom Mooney and Warren Billings were convicted of murder despite
overwhelming evidence of their innocence and given life sentences. Mooney was pardoned in 1939 and Billings not until 1961! Oh, uh…sorry about your life there.
1917 –In the provisional government between the fall of the Russian Czar and the
Communist revolution A.P. Kerensky was the leading figure. This day after Prince
Lvov resigned from the government Alexander Kerensky became Russian Prime Minister
and combined it with the defense and justice ministry. He moved his offices into
the Czars palace and began virtual one man rule. It was said Kerensky was very passionate and motivational as a speaker, he just didn’t have many ideas.
1921- Artist Man Ray arrived in Paris determined to go Dada!
1933- Wiley Post completed the first solo flight around the world. The following
year Post would die in the same plane crash as writer Will Rogers.
1934- Public Enemy #1-John Dillinger was shot down by G-Man Melvin Purvis coming
out of the Biograph Theater on Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. He had just seen Clark
Gable and Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama. Dillinger 's identity was betrayed
by Anna Sage, the Woman in Red, a German-Romanian prostitute who didn't want
to be deported. As they came out of the theater Purvis shouted “ STICKEM UP JOHNNIE!” Dillinger dropped into a crouch and went for his gun. Purvis blew him away. Anna Sage was deported anyway.
1945- In one of the last diplomatic notes to come out of Japan before the atomic bombing, Japan’s Foreign Minister said Japan would not accept any surrender terms that did keep their Emperor in absolute power.
1946-THE KING DAVID HOTEL- The British headquarters in Palestine
was situated in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. This day a terrorist bomb blew
up the hotel, killing 91 people, and maiming dozens more. It was the work of fringe Israeli guerrillas called the Stern Gang. In 1980 their leader, now Prime Minister Menachem Begin, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Egyptian Anwar Sadat, another former terrorist.
1965- Cary Grant married Dyan Cannon.
1967- Jimi Hendrix quit as opening act for the Monkees.
1977- Walt Disney’s film "The Rescuers" featuring the last work of Disney
master animator Milt Kahl.
1989- Nintendo released in America the Gameboy. Designer Gunpei Yokoi designed it and the unique cross shaped directional fingerpad to replace a joystick control. Yokoi in 1997 was killed in a car accident outside Kyoto.
1991- Jeffrey Dahmer’s final captive, Tracy Edwards, escaped his lair, still handcuffed, and got to the Milwaukee Police. When officers arrested Dahmer, they found the remains of 11 people in his apartment.
2002- Worldcom files for Chapter 11, up to then the largest bankruptcy in US history. This while the CEO Bernard Ebbers was building himself a new $94 million mansion. Ebbers got 25 years in prison, and Worldcom reorganized as MCI. The following year the Bush Administration awarded them a no-bid contract to build a cellular telephone system in Iraq. Iraqis use the phones to set off remote control bombs.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What does it mean to be desultory?
Answer: A desultory conversation is one that wanders aimlessly, without purpose or enthusiasm
July 21, 2014 Sun
July 21st, 2014
Quiz: What does it mean to be desultory?
Yesterdays Quiz Answered below: Roman Emperor Octavian-Augustus was Julius Caesar’s nephew. Did Caesar have any children of his own?
History for 7/21/2014
Birthdays: Ernest Hemingway, Issac Stern, Marshal McCluhan, Norman Jewison is 87, Don Knotts, Janet Reno, Gary Trudeau the creator of Doonesbury, Ernst Shuftan- inventor of the "Shuftan Effect", a cheap way of combining actors with miniatures by shooting through mirrors. All those "Lost World" Cesar Romero fighting the giant Iguanas were done that way. Edward Herman, Robin Williams is 62, Josh Harnett is 36
Happy National Zippo Lighter Day. Smoking is bad but Zippos are cool- another one of life’s mysteries.
365AD- The Egyptian city of Alexandria was devastated by an earthquake. The tremor may have toppled the famous Pharos lighthouse. The quake caused the waters of the harbor to recede then return with tsunami force.
1588-the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon, Seville, Corunna and Cadiz to attack England. One of the sailors was playwright and poet Lope De Vega.
1605- The false Dmitri crowned Czar in Moscow. Dmitri was a Lithuanian priest named Grishka who claimed to be the dead child of Ivan the Terrible come back to life. His claim was backed up with a powerful Polish magnate's private army, the Mniszechs. He captured Moscow as Czar Boris Gudunov died but couldn't hold it long.
1784- Abigail Adams went by coach from the English Channel via Canterbury to London to join her husband John Adams. Adams was to assume his post as first ambassador to the Court of Saint James from the new nation of the United States. Abigail wrote of her coach journey how when they passed the area called Blackheath there was fear of robbers and highwaymen. She saw one robber captured, and shuddered that he would soon be hanged. She wrote in her diary:” It is good that such terrible things do not happen in America!” Why, women alone travel the roads in perfect safety!”
1798- "Soldiers! Forty Centuries look down upon you! “The Battle of the Pyramids- Napoleon's cannon mowed down the Mamelukes, who had ruled Egypt since the Crusades. He was so impressed with their courage that he later enlisted a corps of them in his own army. It was speculated around this time the Sphinx lost it's nose. French troops used the Sphinx for target practice. The battle was actually fought a distance from the Pyramids, but Nappy disliked the title Battle of Embaba’s Melon Patch, so Battle of the Pyramids it was.
1821- George IV crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey, but without his Queen Caroline. They couldn't stand one another and he was trying to get a divorce. So when she showed up in her state carriage for the coronation, on the kings orders the Lords and Peers rushed to shut the cathedral doors, leaving her out in the crowd of spectators.
1861- BATTLE OF BULL RUN or FIRST MANASSAS- First major engagement of the Civil War. Irwin McDowell's Yankees and Pierre Beauregard's Confederates had unknowingly adopted the exact same battle plan, feint with right and strike around the left. They would have completely marched around each other if they hadn't blundered together. The North was so confident of victory Washington society turned out with picnic baskets to watch the fun.
What they saw was a horrible Union defeat and they were caught in the mob of panicked soldiers running back to the Capitol called the Great Skeedadddle. Uniforms weren't standard yet and many states sent their men in colorful militia costumes. The union men from Wisconsin wore grey and the Rebels from Pensacola Florida wore blue. Both were shot at by their own sides. Rebel General Thomas Jackson was holding off union assaults when a dying general shouted : "Look, there stands Jackson like a stone wall!" The nickname stuck.
Stonewall Jackson had told his men:" When you charge, howl like furies." For the first time the famous Rebel Yell was heard. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was so nervous he rushed to the battlefield in a locomotive. When he arrived on the scene he tried to make a speech to rally the spirits of some ragged soldiers he thought had fled. Turned out they were Stonewall Jackson's veterans, just resting after they won the battle for him.
Bull Run could have been an American Waterloo, because the Yankee army was completely destroyed, and nothing stood between the southerners and the White House, only 40 miles away. But the gray-backs were also disorganized and exhausted, so the pursuit was called off. The Civil War would not be won in one big battle, but would drag on for four bloody years.
1865- The Civil War over and Abraham Lincoln dead, the hard line cabinet of Pres. Andrew Johnson voted to put Confederate ex-president Jefferson Davis on trial for treason. Former lawyer Davis was hoping for just such a trial; so he could force the issue of the Constitutional legality of secession out into the open and maybe even get a ruling from the Supreme Court. It was just for these reasons that cooler heads prevailed and the treason charge was never acted upon. After two years in prison Davis was quietly released and allowed to retire.
1884- In one of the dirtiest elections in U.S. history, the New York Post broke the story of Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland fathering a child out of wedlock and abandoning the mother. Cleveland admitted paternity but won election anyway, because the Republican James G. Blaine was even worse. Just as Cleveland pioneered the Democratic preoccupation with sex, Blaine pioneered the cozy relationship between the Republicans and big business. He had taken so many kickbacks, his nickname was the Tatooed Man. A leading Protestant divine stood with Blaine and accused the Democratic Party of being “ The Party of Rum, Romanism and Rebellion."
Every Irishman in the country immediately voted for Cleveland. (around forty per cent of the population of New York, alone, was Irish at the time). Republicans chanted "Ma, Ma! Where’s My Pa!- Dems countered" He’s Going to the White House, Ha Ha Ha!" another ditty was: "Mary is healthy and so is the Kid, We Voted for Cleveland and we’re damn glad we did!" Aren’t you glad we don’t have dirty elections like that today, boys & girls?
1917-Ford introduces their first truck, the Model TT. It weighed one ton and had a new innovation not in regular automobiles, a reverse gear.
1936- Republican Spanish troops besiege the Fascist fortress of ALCAZAR. They maintained a telephone hookup with the commander, Colonel Moscardo, to try and convince him to surrender. At one point they told him they were going to shoot his son if he didn't give up. The colonel said: " Put my son on the phone!" Hello son?" Put your faith in God, shout Viva Espana, and Die like a Man!" Moscardo never surrendered and the siege was broken.
1944- Democratic Presidential Convention nominates Sen. Harry Truman of Missouri to be Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President on the second ballot. As early as December 1943 the Democratic party knew FDR was a dying man. Whoever was his running mate would in all likelihood become President. With World War II not finished and the United Nations to create, this was a pretty important choice.
The incumbent Vice President was Henry Wallace, an eccentric who had a guru, sent field scientists to China and India to look for traces of teenage Jesus, and who believed Joe Stalin's Russia was the model for the American economy to pull out of the Depression. Democratic Party Chairman Robert Haneghan pulled every string he had to get Wallace off the ticket and Truman on. Truman himself didn't want the job and Roosevelt was promising it to everyone he met.
At last Truman agreed, and Hanaghan barred a pro-Wallace demonstration. He even sent a man with an ax upstairs to threaten the convention organist to stop playing "The Corn Grows High in IOWA" (Wallace's home state). Truman talked to Roosevelt only once or twice before FDR died and Truman had to decide whether to drop the A-Bomb and form the post-war world. Wallace tried a third party presidential run with Chet "the Singing Cowboy" Taylor as running mate in 1948. Robert Haneghan said-"The only epitaph I want on my tombstone is: AT LEAST HE PREVENTED HENRY WALLACE FROM BECOMING PRESIDENT!"
1954- The Fellowship of the Rings, first book of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings, first published. C.S. Lewis said the book “came forth like thunder on a summers day..”
1959- Judge Frederick van Pelt-Bryan ruled that Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence was not pornography and therefore could be sent through the postal system.
1969- “That’s One Small Step for Man..” Neil Armstrong stepped on the surface of the Moon.
1970- In Egypt the Aswan High Dam completed, finally controlling the annual summer flooding of the Nile.
1974- Constantin Karamanlis returned to Greece from exile to signal the restoration of Greek democracy after the rule of the Colonels Junta fell.
1980- SAG went on strike for actor's residuals from video cassette and cable TV sales.
The actors hit the bricks twice more, in 1988 and 2000.
Yesterday’s Question: Roman Emperor Octavian-Augustus was Julius Caesar’s nephew. Did Caesar have any children of his own?
Answer: Julius Caesar had one daughter, Julia. She died in childbirth while married to Pompey. He had a son by Cleopatra named Caesarion. After Octavian defeated Anthony and Cleopatra, he had the kid quietly killed.
July 19, 2014 Sat
July 19th, 2014
Quiz: Actress Blythe Danner has a daughter who is also a famous actress. Who?
Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Who fiddled while Rome burned?
History for 7/19/2014
Birthdays: Edgar Degas, Col. Samuel Colt, Charles Mayo of the Mayo Clinic, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vicki Carr, Max Fleischer, Lizzie Borden, Ille Nastase, George McGovern is 92, Brian Harold May of Queen, Atom Egoyan, Anthony Edwards, Campbell Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch is 38
64 A.D. THE BURNING OF ROME- As the city burned, Mad emperor Nero was inspired to run up to an observation platform and sing an elegy on the destruction of Troy while accompanying himself on the lyre. Romans later became suspicious when the areas most affected by the fire on the Palatine Hill were expropriated by the Emperor to build his palace, the Golden House.
The fire had started to die out after six days, but flared up again on the grounds of the estate of Tigellinus, an aide to Nero. The fire burned for nine days total and destroyed two thirds of the city, including a temple built by Romulus, and the shrine of the Vestal Virgins.
711 A.D. Battle of Medina-Sidonia- The Moors conquered most of Spain. When he first landed, the Moorish commander Tarik Bin Ziyad ordered his landing ships burned. He addressed his warriors: " ...The enemy is in front of you and the sea behind you... You have no choice but victory!” They pushed the Christian Spaniards north to a thin strip up against the Pyrenees Mountains. The Moors weren’t driven back until 1492. Until then the Emirs of Granada and Cordoba set up lavish courts where great sums were spent on poets, artists, mathematicians and scientists.
1500-In the Vatican, Lucretzia Borgia’s second husband Duke Alfonso of Naples was stabbed to death by men sent by her brother Caesar Borgia. Enemies of the Borgias said Caesar was jealous and had an unnatural passion for his sister, but the real reasons for the murder were political. Alfonso was angry about Caesar’s alliance with France, the enemy of Naples. Caesar had sent men attack Alfonso as he was leaving Saint Peters but he fought them off and recovered. While convalescing he spotted Caesar from his sickbed window, grabbed a bow and arrow and tried to shoot him. Then Caesar had him whacked. Cardinal Sforza, who arranged the marriage was later poisoned.
1553-Lady Jane Grey deposed after being Queen of England for nine days. When Henry VIII's sickly son died at 15 the Protestant grandees panicked that the next in line to the throne was the bigoted catholic daughter Mary Tudor. So they attempted a bit of dynastic sleight of hand with this distant protestant cousin. (remember Elizabeth was still considered illegitimate). It didn't wash and Mary soon earned the sobriquet "Bloody Mary" by having all their heads.
1629- Communications between Europe and America in the colonial period were always spotty and confused. The fastest news could travel across the Atlantic was two months. On this day an English expedition attacked the French settlement of Quebec and captured Governor Samuel Champlain. Shortly afterwards a message came from London saying the war had been over for two months and they should let him go and apologize.
1717- George Frederich Handel premiered his suite the Water Music for a procession of King George II on pleasure boats from Whitehall to Lambeth Palace.
1799- THE ROSETTA STONE DISCOVERED. During Napoleons campaign in Egypt several soldiers digging a latrine uncover a black basalt slab with several forms of writing all over it.
In 1821 Francois Champolion figured it out. The stone was the key to translating Egyptian hieroglyphics, sort of an ancient Babelfish. The document in honor of Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy is written three times. Once in Hieroglyphs (sacred letters of Ancient Egypt), then in Hieratic (governmental cursive type, a simpler form of Hieroglyphs used for texts unrelated to the Temple and Religion) and in Coptic, the same Egyptian language written in Greek letters. Since Champolion knew Greek, and had contacts with Egyptian Christian priests who spoke Coptic..The rest was easy.
Before the Rosetta Stone people thought Egyptian hieroglyphics were just magical symbols, but after the stones discovery the long mute voice of Ancient Egyptian civilization was heard again. Prayers, Literature and Poetry could now be understood. It was like the discovery of a long dead world.
1848- THE SENECA FALLS DECLARATION- The Birth of the American Woman's Rights Movement. In a Wesleyan Chapel 200 delegates heard Lucretzia Mott and Elizabeth Cady-Stanton make the case for women to be treated as equal citizens under the law. Frederick Douglas attended, and admitted that at first he was a skeptic, but he left convinced.
1878- In New Mexico Territory the climax of the Lincoln County Wars, a feud between cattle barons and smaller independent ranchers. John Tunstall's attorney Big Jim McSween and his men including outlaw Billy the Kid were surrounded by a large force of rancher Murphy’s men backed up by militia with a Gatling gun and a howitzer. The Murphy men set the house on fire and shot the defenders as they rushed out. Billy the Kid blasted his way out to freedom. Big Jim McSween tried to surrender but was shot down.
1879- Doc Holiday had opened a saloon with a partner in Las Vegas, New Mexico. An army scout named Mike Gordon got mad at one of his dance hall girls, went out into the street and started bellowing threats and firing wildly into the saloon. Doc Holiday came out, shot Gordon dead with one bullet, then went back in and calmly resumed his poker game.
1900- The first line of the Paris Metro underground dedicated. Ligne 1 Porte Vincennes.
1913 - Billboard Magazine publishes earliest known "Last Week's 10 Best Sellers among
Popular Songs" Malinda's Wedding Day is #1
1932- writer Daphne du Maurier married General Frederick Browning.
1934- In an affidavit dated this day an old blacksmith from Pittsburgh named Louis Davarich claimed in 1899 he flew in a flying machine before the Wright Brothers. The inventor was a German immigrant named Gustav Whitehead and he designed a monoplane powered by a small steam engine. If true this would predate the Wright Brothers by 5 years, but Whitehead never documented nor published his discoveries, did not apply for a patent and died poor and forgotten in 1927. Is it true? Believe it or not!
1939 - Dr Roy P Scholz is 1st surgeon to use fiberglass sutures, replacing cat’s intestines and wool thread.
1941 - British PM Winston Churchill launched his "V for Victory" campaign. By coincidence the letter "V" in morse code corresponded with the opening notes of Beethoven ‘s 5th symphony "Dit-Dit-Dit Daaah." making it the musical theme of the BBC overseas radio service war news. If you ever lived in England you would know that reversing the two fingers sign is an insult akin to flashing someone the middle finger.
1942-Operation Drumroll cancelled. Germans withdraw U-Boats stationed off the US coastline because of effective US counter-submarine measures.
1950- Argh Mateys! Walt Disney’s Treasure Island premiered, with Robert Newton as the archetypical Long John Silver.
1952- Several UFO’s appeared on the radar of Washington DC’s National Airport. So many in fact that the Air Force was obliged to hold a news conference to calm public fears. They were dismissed as temperature inversions. Uh, huh…
1957 - 1st rocket with nuclear warhead fired, Yucca Flat, Nevada
1957- I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF starring Michael Landon premiered.
1966- 50 year old Frank Sinatra married 21 year old Mia Farrow. Frankie’s ex Ava Gardner commented:” Hah! I always knew Frank would one day wind up in bed with a little boy. “ Two years later when Mia Farrow was offered the lead role in Roman Polanski’s film “Rosemary’s Baby” Frank gave her an ultimatum "Baby, it's either me or your career”. She took the part and he served her with a divorce suit on the set. Mia got an Oscar nomination and Frank recorded “Strangers in the Night”.
1990- The Richard Nixon Library dedicated in Yorba Linda California. Nixon's Western White House of San Clemente first refused the honor of being the site as well as his real birthplace town of Whittier. The little wood frame house where Nixon was born was moved to the Yorba Linda site. At the dedication the five living Presidents were present.
Senator Bob Dole pointed at former Presidents Ford, Reagan and Nixon and joked to a friend: "Look, there’s Hear no Evil, See No Evil, and- Evil.”
1991- Heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson raped a contestant for the Miss Black America Pageant named Desiree Washington. He got 3 years in jail.
1993- President Clinton launched his gays in the military initiative called "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." It caused a storm of controversy, and probably uprooted more gay men and women out of their military careers than if nothing was done. The initiative was outlawed in 2010, after thousands of careers were ruined.
Yesterday’s quiz: Who fiddled while Rome burned?
Answer: Nero. See above, 64AD.
July 18, 2014 fri.
July 18th, 2014
Quiz: Who fiddled while Rome burned?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What city is home to the newspaper called The Times Picayune?
History for 7/18/2014
Birthdays: William Makepeace Thackeray, Chill Wills, Nelson Mandela, James Brolin, Elizabeth McGovern, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Hume Cronyn, Red Skelton, Hunter H. Thompson, Clifford Odets, Paul Verhoeven, John Glenn is 93, Vin Diesel is 47.
Happy Ancient Egyptian New Year! The day when Cirius the Dog Star is seen in the Southern skies, it heralds the coming of the Nile’s flood. In modern times we call it the Dog Days of Summer.
390 B.C.- THE GAULS SACK ROME.- Migrating tribes of Gauls crossed the Alps, defeated the young republic's legions and stormed into the city as the population fled. When Gauls beheld aging, white haired Roman senators at first they thought they were gods. But when a Gaul pulled one of their beards and the man clopped him on the head , they knew they were just old men and slew them.
The Gauls took ransom and migrated back up to where France is today. The Romans would not meet them again until 300 years later when their empire expanded north. At one point the Romans holding out on the Capitoline Hill were alerted to a Gaulish surprise attack when the Sacred Geese of Juno started squawking. The Romans knew this must be the Goddess' intervention. St. Augustine said: "Right..,so your geese were awake while your gods were asleep !
1792- John Paul Jones died in Paris. Amazingly although Jones was one of the only captains sinking British warships in the whole Revolutionary navy he was never promoted to admiral. So he left in disgust and became a mercenary. He organized the Black Sea Fleet for Czarina Catherine of Russia but left after dodging a charge of sex with a minor. He retired to Paris. His sword and medals were pawned to pay for his funeral. The American Ambassador skipped his funeral, because he didn’t want to pass up on a dinner party.
1862- Confederate John Hunt Morgan took his rebel cavalry raiders into Yankee Indiana and raided the town of Newburg.
1863- THE ASSAULT ON FORT WAGNER- Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and his 54 Mass. Regiment proved the courage of African-American men by a suicide attack on this bastion in the complex of forts around Charleston, South Carolina. Shaw and half of his command were killed but they held the outer works before being driven back.
The fort was never taken and today is under water. 5 Medals of Honor were given that day including a sergeant who dragged himself into camp that night with six bullet wounds and the regiments Stars & Stripes stuffed in his jacket. When Col. Shaw’s family asked for his remains, Confederate commissioners snapped: "We buried him with his n-rs!" Shaw’s father responded:" It’s what he would want, to be buried in the midst of his men." Ulysses Grant concluded: "If someone asks will a Slave fight, tell him no. But if asked will a Negro fight, tell him yes."
By the Civil War's end 180,000 black men had volunteered, 85% of the eligible male African American population who could fight. The level of integration in the U.S. army in 1865 would not be seen again until the 1950's.
1870- The Vatican published the bull Pater Aeternus, that declared Papal Infallibility. That even when the Pope is wrong he is still right because he’s the Pope and you are not.,
1877- Thomas Edison recorded sound on tin foil cylinder `Mary Had a Little Lamb-'
1925- The first volume of Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler was published. The original title was "My Four and a Half Years Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice". But publisher Max Aman prevailed upon him to edit it down to My Struggle.
1933- Jewish Agency leader David Ben Gurion met with Palestinian Nationalist leader Awni Abd Al’Haadi, the nephew of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and co-founder of Al Fatah. Ben Gurion asked "if it is possible to reconcile the ultimate goals of the Jewish people and the goals of the Arabs within Palestine? They only agreed to keep talking.
1939-MGM tried a sneak preview of the film The Wizard of Oz. Afterward they debated cutting the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow as slowing down the pace. Finally they decided to leave it in. The film debuted in August to wild success and acclaim.
1939- RKO pictures signed Orson Welles to direct movies in Hollywood. That Hollywood signed a 24 year old radio star who never directed a movie, and gave him complete freedom was an amazing deal.
1943-General Hideki Tojo's government resigned after the American victory at Saipan.
1950- Walt Disney’s live action film Treaure Island Premiered, with Robert Newton as Long John Silver, Capt Jack Sparrow’s role model. Arrrr-mateys!
1964- Bob McKimson’s "A False Hare", the last Bugs Bunny theatrical short for Warner Bros until 1985.
1966- Bobby Fuller who made the hit song "I fought the Law and the Law Won" was found in LA in his mothers Oldsmobile beaten and dead from "forcible inhalation of gasoline"- huffing.
1968- Engineer Bob Noyce quit Fairchild Semiconductor and founded a new company in Santa Clara Cal named Intel. His partners were Andy Grove and Gordon Moore, he of Moore’s Law. It sold a new thing called microprocessors. In 1980 they’d invent the silicon chip.
1969- Senator Ted Kennedy had been in a downward spiral of depression and drink since the murders of his brothers Jack and Bobby. This night Ted and a young campaign worker named Mary Joe Kopechne drove off the rural Dike Bridge at a place near Martha's Vineyard called Chappaquiddick. Kennedy escaped the sinking car, but Kopechne drowned. Kennedy was never able to explain why he waited four hours to report the accident to the police. Despite an illustrious Senate career, Chappaquiddick destroyed Ted Kennedy's chances of ever becoming President.
1981- John Henry Abbott was a murderer and bank robber doing hard time in prison. He started writing famous author Norman Mailor about life in prison and it turned out he was a pretty good author himself. Through Mailors’ influence Random House published his book "In the Belly of the Beast" and it got him released.
Well, this day despite his literary celebrity status Abbott fell back into his bad habits and murdered another person- a Richard Adan at the Bonibon Café in New York. John Abbott was went back to prison for life, and committed suicide in 2001. Norman Mailor refused to concede it may have been a mistake- "Culture is worth a little risk."
1998- Pokemon the First movie released in Japan, stoking the Pokemon craze.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What city is home to the newspaper called The Times Picayune?
Answer: New Orleans.