May 17, 2018
May 17th, 2018

Quiz: Who said:” You May Fire when Ready, Gridley..”

Yesterday’s Question answered below: In what country is the area called Cinque Ports?

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History for 5/17/2018
Birthdays: Sandro Botticelli, Eric Satie, Ayatollah Khomeni, Edmond Jenner, Archibald Cox, Sugar Ray Leonard, Maureen O'Sullivan, Howard Ashman, Craig Ferguson, Bill Paxton, Ralph Wright- the original voice of Eeyore, Alan Kay-inventor of the laptop computer, Dennis Hopper, Enya is 57- born Eithne Patricia Ni’ Bhraonain

1204- The Fourth Crusade captured the city of Constantinople (Istanbul). The Crusaders decided to blame the Byzantine Greeks for their failure to keep Jerusalem, so they sent a crusade just to get them. This Crusade was backed by the growing merchant naval powers like Venice, Genoa and Pisa who saw the Byzantines as a commercial competitor.
They stormed the unconquerable city and killed the Emperor Constantine VIII Paleologus called Mourzufle "Fuzzy", by hurling him off a high column.

The Republic of Venice plundered many treasures to adorn their Cathedral of San Marco back home, including the four bronze horses that had adorned the Hippodrome. In the weeks of destruction and pillage that followed many priceless works of art were lost, including only remaining copies of a dozen plays of Sophocles, leaving only the four we have now.

The Doge of Venice Enrico Dandolo had a horror of dying in bed. So he was in the first wave to attack the city's walls even though he was 81 and blind. He survived the arrows, spears; catapult stones and boiling oil, and died in bed anyway.

1488- Vasco DeGama reached India from sailing around the horn of Africa.
This fulfilled the master plan of Prince Henry the Navigator to outflank the Moslem world, providing an alternative to the ancient Silk Road land route that connected the world’s trade.
It was the beginning of the Age of Exploration and the rise of Western Europe to world dominance. Both Columbus and Magellan learned their stuff studying in Prince Henry’s Portugal. Ironically, legend has it that DeGama’s navigator was an Arab. A previous Portuguese navigator named Diaz had actually rounded the African continent before DeGama but his men were so freaked out that they mutinied and made him go home, so he got no credit.

1673- French Explorers Father Marquette and Joliet set out from Green Bay, Wisconsin to explore the Mississippi. The missionary made only one baptism but he said that alone made the trip worthwhile.

1792- In New York twenty-four investors meet under a buttonwood tree on the street where the old city wall once stood and formed the first New York Stock Exchange. Then they all went to the Merchant’s Coffee House for lunch.

1802- Meriwether Lewis went to Philadelphia to meet Dr. Benjamin Rush to get advice for his Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific. Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the most famous doctor in America. Dr. Rush gave Lewis a list of questions he had about the West, such as asking the Plains Indians if they practiced the religion of the Hebrews? Were the Sioux or Cheyenne the Lost Tribes of Israel? If you think that’s silly Thomas Jefferson told Lewis to look for living Mastodons.

When Lewis asked what medical supplies were needed Rush said unhesitatingly that he should lay in a good supply of Rush’s Purgative Pills, nicknamed ‘thunderclappers’ for the effect they had on your system.

1826- Artist-Naturalist John James Audubon departs for England ”in deep sorrow” because he could find no publisher in America for his masterpiece the “Birds of North America”.

1845 - Rubber bands were patented by Stephen Perry of Messrs Perry & Co, vulcanized rubber manufacturers of London.

1847- The American Medical Association- the AMA formed.

1860- At the second presidential convention of the Republican Party former Illinois Congressman Abraham Lincoln is nominated on the second ballot, beating out William Seward and John Freemont, aka the Pathfinder.

1861- The California State Legislature passed a resolution declaring the states loyalty to the Union and against slavery and secession.

1875 –The First Kentucky Derby. Winning horse was Aristides.

1885- Geronimo went on the warpath for the second time. His Chiracaua Apache was the last independent Indian tribe still fighting the U.S. and Mexico.

1890 - Comic Cuts, 1st weekly comic newspaper, published in London.

1905 - After having been given to Sweden by Denmark back in 1814, Norway finally regained its independence.

1924- Marcus Loew of the Loew's theater chain buys Metro Pictures and combines them with Sam Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer’s studio to form Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

1931- Vaudeville dancer James Cagney became a tough guy movie star when the Howard Hawk’s film The Public Enemy debuted. “I wish you wuz a wishing well… so I could tie a bucket to ya and sink ya!”

1938 - Radio quiz show "Information Please!" debuts on NBC Blue Network.

1940- In World War I the German army tried for four years to reach Brussels. Here in World War II they captured the Belgian capitol in just 6 days.

1941- The Looney Toon Lockout. Producer Leon Schlesinger tries to forestall the unionization of his Bugs Bunny cartoonists by locking them out. After a week he relents and recognizes the cartoonist guild. Chuck Jones called it “our own little six-day war.”

1943- The B-17 bomber Memphis Belle flew it’s last of 25 successful missions over Germany. Today the Belle is in a museum, in Memphis, appropriately enough.

1954-" Brown vs. Board of Ed" Supreme Court ruled segregation illegal. Future justice Thurgood Marshal was the successful attorney.

1965- Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke shake hands and agree to write a sci-fi movie, with accompanying novel. First called How the Solar System was Won, then Journey Beyond the Stars, the title was finally- 2001: A Space Odyssey.

1967 – Bob Dylan's 1965 UK Tour is released as film "Don't Look Back"

1970 - Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic on reed boat Ra, proving the ancient Egyptians could have reached South America.

1971 - Stephen Schwartz' musical "Godspell," premiered off-Broadway.

1973 - Stevie Wonder releases "You are the Sunshine of my Love"

1973- the Senate Watergate Committee convenes.

1974- The LAPD attacked the LA stronghold of the Symbionnese Liberation Army extremists, then holding heiress Patty Hearst .In a furious shootout most SLA members including their leader Donald DeFreeze were killed, but Miss Hearst remained missing for a few more weeks.

1977- In Israeli general elections, the right wing Likud party under Menachem Begin won a majority. Labor lost power for the first time since independence in 1948. It also marked the religious conservative groups having a bigger say in Israeli politics over the earlier socialist-humanist reformists that built Israel. One-eyed Moshe Dayan startled his friends by changing parties and becoming foreign minister in the new government.

2004- Massachusetts became the first US State to legalize gay marriage.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: In what country is the area called Cinque Ports?

Answer: The Cinque Ports is an area on the southernmost coast of Sussex, England. It got that name in Norman times. The five ports are Dover, Sandwich, Hastings, New Romney, and Hythe.


May 15, 2018
May 14th, 2018

Quiz: Who said “Oh Death, where is thy sting…?”

Yesterday’s question answered below: What well known movie company began life originally as The LucasFilm Graphics Group?

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History for 5/15/2018
Birthdays: Lyman Frank Baum, Claudio Monteverdi, Richard Avedon, James Mason, Joseph Cotten, George Brett, Jasper Johns, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Jean Renoir, Richard Daley Sr., Trini Lopez, Charles Lamont, director of Abbott & Costello Go to Mars, country singer Eddy Arnold, Chaz Palmintieri is 65, Lainie Kazan is 77, Joe Grant

The Mercuralia, the Roman Festival of Mercury, God of business, profit, and professional sports. Businessmen and athletes would go to the sacred well of Mercury on the Aventine Hill, and sprinkle sacred water on themselves to ensure good luck.

392A.D.- Roman Emperor Valentinian got so angry at a bunch of barbarians that he burst a blood vessel and fell over dead. Accession of Theodosius I.

756- Abdel Rahman I became Moorish Emir of Cordoba, Spain.

1248- Bishop Otto Von Hochstaden laid the cornerstone for the great DOM Cathedral of Cologne (Koln)

1577- The Orgy of Chenonceaux. Wild party at the French Royal Palace gardens with nude ladies cavorting with cross dressing knights and all such goings on.
Historians like Barbara Tuchman speculate that queen mother Catherine de Medicis threw this kind of party for her son King Henry III because the monarch showed no interest in his Queen, but hung around with his male courtiers, his "mignons"-darlings. She figured by placing scores of scantily clad damsels around the palace grounds perhaps the King would see that girls are fun too, and he should try some, and make some heirs to his throne.
If this was the reason for the party it didn't work. The king spent the evening trying on dresses, and there were no royal princes at the time of the king's death. This allowed the Bourbon dynasty to succeed. Most gay monarchs like Edward II of England understood that your personal tastes aside, part of your job was to ensure the succession.

1602 - Cape Cod discovered by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold.

1648- Treaty of Muenster- After 125 years of conflict Spain finally signs a peace that recognized the independence of Holland.

1702- Charles Perrault died. Perrault 1628-1703 was a retired minister to French King Louis XIV, who wrote stories for children under the title Mother Goose. He created Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Puss in Boots.

1776- The Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted that the American Colonies would refuse to obey any further orders from England and would from now govern themselves. Yet they still shrank from the obvious step of declaring independence.

1800-At a performance at London's Old Drury Lane Theatre, a man rose from the audience and fired two pistols at King George III. They both miss and the assassin was dragged off. Old King George not only insists that the show go on, but even dosed off during the second act.

1863- Edouard Manet first displayed his Dejeuner sur l’Herbe at the Salon des Refuses in Paris. The painting is of two modern clothed men having a picnic with two nude women by a river bank. The women aren’t mythical goddesses or muses but just bare, naked ladies. This shocked Paris society and Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugene called it “Immodest and obscene”. Its revolutionary simple subject matter heralded the rise of Impressionism.

1874- Mexican Bandito Turbico Vasquez hanged. His last words were “Pronto!” The wild hills north of Newhall California where he hid out are today named in his honor-Vasquez Rocks. They are the site of numerous film shoots like original Star Trek episodes.

1903- While on a tour of Yosemite, President Teddy Roosevelt slipped away from his entourage to camp out alone under the stars with naturalist John Muir.

1905- From a public auction of railroad land, the town of Las Vegas Nevada founded.

1917- During World War I, this day Germany tried offering Russia an immediate peace so she could concentrate on the Western Front before the Americans could arrive in force. The Russian Provisional Government of Alexander Kerensky refused. This was a key moment for history. Part of the reason parliamentary democracy was overthrown by the Communists under Lenin was Kerensky’s refusal to stop the war, which was very unpopular with the average Russian. If they had agreed, Russia might have been spared Lenin, Stalin. Purges and the Cold War. But World War I might have turned out differently.

1930- Miss Ellen Church became the first airline stewardess on a flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne Wyoming. Originally called SkyGirls, stewardesses had to be registered nurses in case of any health emergencies.

1935- Japanese Prime Minister Inokai was assassinated in his official residence by several young army officers because he tried to cut the military budget. Several top Japanese statesmen who tried to stop the military taking over the government wound up lying in the street full of bullets. Inokai was replaced as Prime Minister by Admiral Hokoku Saito. The war party now silenced all political opposition in Japan.

1935- The Moscow Subway system opens.

1940- Nazis panzer tanks pierce the French Maginot line near Sedan with little trouble.

1940- The first Nylon stockings go on sale in the US.

1941- Yankee centerfielder Joe Dimaggio had been in a dry spell hitting lately. This day he got a safe hit and began a hitting streak that ran for 56 straight games, an unparalleled feat. He became America’s most famous baseball player since Babe Ruth. He was variously nicknamed Joltin’Joe, the Yankee Clipper but his teammates called him affectionately the Big Dago.

1942- The U.S. initiated a program of wartime gas rationing. Slogans like “Is this Trip Really Necessary?” and a system of ratings vehicles with A, B & C cards pop up in a lot of gas stations for the duration. C meant a war-essential worker and you went to the head of the line to get gas. A cards was the lowest status.

1946- The first Tommy’s Burger stand opened in Los Angeles.

1947- Future President George Bush Sr. was initiated into the elite secret society at Yale University called Skull & Bones. It’s so named because initiates pledge to remain loyal until “I die and nothing remains but skull and bones.” His sponsor-Charles Whitehouse later became big in the CIA. So many Bonesmen went into the CIA that they nicknamed the agency,“ The Front Office.”

1948- The ISRAELI WAR OF INDEPENDENCE- The day after the State of Israel was proclaimed the Jewish State was attacked simultaneously by the armies of Iraq, Syria, TransJordan, Egypt and Lebanon. Egyptian planes bombed Tel Aviv and destroyed what Israeli airforce there was, leaving two Piper cub planes. Many Jewish fighters were veterans of WWII armies who were given guns and rushed into battle almost as soon as they stepped off their boats. The UN Mandate also called for the creation of a Palestinian homeland state but that seemed to be forgotten in all the fighting. Jordan and Syria both felt the territory of Palestine should be part of their country.

1949- Hungary voted in a communist government. Since the country was overrun with the Russian Red Army and there was only one candidate to check on the ballot, the result was hardly surprising. The Communist regime lasted until 1991.

1953- Rocky Marciano defeated Jersey Joe Walcott for the Heavyweight Championship.

1955- The Cuban dictator Fulgensio Batista ordered a partial freeing of political prisoners. One of those freed from prison was a young lawyer named Fidel Castro. Castro goes into exile but returns a year later with trained guerrillas to begin an insurgency.

1963 - Peter, Paul & Mary won their first Grammy for, “If I Had a Hammer”.

1967- Paul McCartney first met his first wife Linda Eastman.

1968 - Paul McCartney & John Lennon appear on the Johnny Carson Show to promote
Apple records, Joe Garagiola is substitute host.

1970- As at Kent State two weeks earlier, National Guard units again fire into a crowd of anti-war protesters. This time at Jackson State, Mississippi, slaying two students.

1970 – The Beatles' last album, "Let It Be," is released in US

1972- Alabama governor and rogue third party Presidential candidate George Wallace was shot five times by Arthur Bremer. Wallace survived but spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair in great pain.
An Ultra Conservative, Wallace always thought he’d be killed by some hippy black-panther liberal outraged by his extremist political views. But in the end he was shot by a lonely little loser who wanted his picture in the newspapers. Arthur Bremer had contemplated shooting President Nixon before he focused on Wallace. In all the excitement Bremer forgot to say the words he wanted to be quoted for on TV: ” Penny for your Thoughts…”.
The Nixon Whitehouse in their unique way immediately focused upon how they could turn this tragedy to their own political use. There was a scheme to plant George McGovern campaign material in Bremers’ apartment, but unfortunately for Tricky Dick’s people the FBI had already sealed it off.

1991- Socialist leader Edith Cresson became France’ first female Premier. She lasted only a year in office. For a nation renown for diplomacy, she said some pretty undiplomatic things- such as England was a nation of homosexuals, and when you negotiate with the Japanese, it is like ants crawling all over you.
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Yesterday’s Question: What well known movie company began life originally as The LucasFilm Graphics Group?

Answer: Pixar.


May 14, 2018
May 14th, 2018

Quiz: What well known movie company began life originally as The LucasFilm Graphics Group?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Victoria, Elizabeth? Who was the first Queen of England in her own right?
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History for 5/14/2018
Birthdays: Thomas Gainsborough, George Lucas is 74, Thomas Wedgewood, Francesca Annis, David Byrne, Jack Bruce, Bobby Darin, Tim Roth is 57, Robert Zemeckis is 67, Kate Blanchett is 49

Roman festival of the Avral Brethren, a ceremony where straw puppets are thrown into the river to bless Father Tiber. (perhaps it's an adaptation of a more primitive human sacrifice?)

1264-BATTLE OF LEWES- Rebel earls of Sussex and Simon de Monfort defeated and captured King Henry III and the Prince of Wales -Edward Longshanks. These barons compelled extensions to liberties that began with Magna Carta and created the House of Commons. The Prince eventually escaped and killed de Monfort and Sussex but could not stop the growth of representative house of commons.

1525 - Great German peasant revolt of Thomas of Munzer was crushed at The Battle of Bad Frankenhausen. Munzer was a devotee of reformer Martin Luther and he became a folk hero for trying to extend Luther’s concepts of spiritual freedom to political freedom. Martin Luther himself was horrified by the violence of the revolt and denounced it.

Finally a powerful coalition of the Elector Dukes of Hesse, Saxony and Brunswick raised a big army of knights and went city by city suppressing the revolt with great massacre. Munzers group was destroyed at Bad Frankenhausen Thomas Munzer was ordered broken on the wheel and beheaded by the vengeful German nobles. So many common people were being put to the sword, that the Imperial Diet at Augsburg warned that if the nobles killed all their peasants, who would be left to do the work and pay taxes?

1667- The sailors of the English Navy were only paid once a month. During the Dutch Wars, an incident happened when after several months of hard fighting the loyal sailors were told that their fun loving King Charles II didn't have any money left in his treasury to pay them. This made them were so angry scores of them deserted to the enemy. They guided Dutch Admiral De Ruyter's fleet right up the Thames where they could burn the docks of Greenwich, within sight of King Charles' palace.

1787- Shortly before returning to America, the Marquis de Lafayette wrote his friend George Washington about his sponsorship of the famous quack Dr. Anton Mesmer, for whom Mesmerism is known. "Before leaving I shall obtain permission to tell Dr Mesmer’s great secrets on Animal Magnetism to you, for it is a great philosophical discovery."

1787- George Washington arrives in Philadelphia to chair the great Convention to write the U.S. Constitution. Once there, he discovered that so only three states had even bothered to show up, and that included host Pennsylvania. There was a fear that if enough states could not be made to cooperate, a federal constitution imposed by a minority would break up the United States. To Washington’s relief by months end all the states except Rhode Island sent a delegation.

1796- English scientist Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccination. This disease, which ravaged Europe for decades, was cured by the Chinese in the 600's B.C. Chinese doctors would ground up particles from a smallpox scab and blow it up your nose through a glass tube. After the pox decimated Native American tribes in the 1500's, by the 1770’s they did the same vaccination using a porcupine quill under the fingernail.
Small pox was the great killer of the age, Queen Elizabeth, George Washington and Robespierre almost died of the pox. The fashion of wigs and makeup became popular because it covered the facial scars and hair loss from the disease. Robespierre’s eyes were permanently weakened by the pox and he had to wear black painted spectacles.

1800- The Sixth US Congress voted to adjourn for the last time in Philadelphia and meet again in November in the new capitol city, already being called Washington City.

1800- Napoleon’s army began crossing the Alps into Italy via the Great Saint Bernard Pass.

1804- Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis to find the Pacific. President Jefferson had told his aide Meriwether Lewis that there was a large river headed west from the Mississippi called the Missouri. Perhaps the large river that emptied in to the Pacific in Oregon called the Columbia was the same river? So you could travel by boat from New Orleans to Seattle? And if there was a little neck of land between the two rivers they were to measure the distance.
Later 1200 miles into the high Rockies eating candles to stay alive they determined that the distance was greater than previously thought. Pres. Jefferson had a fossil bone from a prehistoric sloth in his office. He told Lewis if he found a live one out there to send it back. *Known as Paramylodon jeffersoni, remains of this animals have been found while digging the world's largest reservoir near Hemet, CA, and one specimen is known from the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Blvd in downtown L.A.

1811- Paraguay declared independence from Spain.

1842 - 1st edition of London Illustrated News

1860- The first delegation of diplomats from Japan arrived in the U.S bringing greetings from the Shogun.

1878- Vaseline petroleum jelly patented.

1940- Holland surrendered to the Nazis after Hitler threatened to bomb Amsterdam to rubble the way they did to Rotterdam.

1942- Nazi Stuka dive bombers began the attack on Malta.

1942- Disney composer Frank Churchill, who wrote "Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf", shot himself at the piano. Another version of the story had him shooting himself in an onion field in Valencia that would one day be the site of Cal Arts.

1944- In the comic strip Dick Tracy, the longtime Tracy nemesis the gangster Flattop was killed.

1945- US bombers firebomb Nagoya Castle, built in 1612 by Tokugawa Ieyasu the Japanese Shogun as a gift for his son. The castle was reconstructed to its original form 1959-1978.

1948- Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, the older sister to John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, was killed in a plane crash. She was 28. She was married to the English Duke of Devonshire, and so was buried at their estate Chatsworth.

1948- THE STATE OF ISRAEL DECLARED- Since the Jewish Diaspora begun by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 162 AD Jews have wished for their own country. In 1897 European Jews called Zionists began building a homeland by encouraging mass immigration to the loosely governed Turkish province called Palestine. By World War Two there were two populations, Arab and Jewish Immigrants, both claiming the same territory. After years of sectarian fighting the British protectorate announced they would evacuate Palestine May 15th. The 5 surrounding Arab states announced they would invade if a Jewish State was declared- 45 million against barely one million. US ally King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia declared:" Even if we lose ten million to destroy the Jews, it will be a small sacrifice."

The UN was considering a further three month delay to debate the problem, when at 4:00PM Jewish Agency Premier David Ben Gurion walked into the crowd at the Tel Aviv Museum and declared the State of Israel. He did it at 4 and the day before the mandate ran out, because it was Friday night, which is the Jewish Sabbath. During the Sabbath no Jews can sign anything or do any business, so he had to move it up.

1951 - Ernie Kovacs Show, TV Variety debut on NBC. Kovacs was a great pioneer in the video medium who loved creating surreal images and pantomime blackout skits.

1955- Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park Cal, today’s Silicon Valley, was founded by peace activist Roy Kepler. Keplers’ books was a hangout for Stanford computer scientists, Hippies, and creators of the Whole Earth Catalog. The Grateful Dead and Joan Baez played there, Prof Douglas Englebart the inventor of the computer mouse, would pop in for coffee, and kids like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak would ride their bikes over to check out the new computer books.

1973- Skylab, Americas first attempt at a space station, blasted off into orbit. In 1979 the remains of the 77 ton satellite re-entered the atmosphere, causing half the world to duck.

1974- Tha Maalot Massacre-On the anniversary of Israeli Independence Palestinian terrorists of the Al Fatah faction entered an Israeli school and shot 22 children.

1976- Keith Relf of the rock group the Yardbirds, was electrocuted while playing his guitar in his bathtub.

1968 - Beatles announce formation of Apple Records.

1989 – The funeral for a Communist Party reformer named Hu Yao Bang grew into massive Demonstrations for democratic reforms in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. For three weeks the attention of the world focused on the students demands for greater personal freedom. The movement was finally crushed by the Chinese Army in June.

1998 - Last episode of sitcom Seinfeld on NBC (commercial fees were $2M for 30 seconds) Elderly singer Frank Sinatra died shortly after watching it.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Victoria, Elizabeth? Who was the first Queen of England in her own right?

Answer: Empress Matilda (1102-1167), niece of William the Conqueror. When her uncle Henry I and brothers died first, she claimed the right to be ruler of England. She was called Empress because she was married for a time to the emperor of Germany. When she claimed the crown, other barons disputed and backed a cousin named Stephen. They fought a 20 year civil war called The War of Stephen and Matilda, until her son Henry II Plantagenet became undisputed king.


May 13, 2018
May 13th, 2018

Quiz: Victoria, Elizabeth? Who was the first Queen of England in her own right?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Around America you see the name DeKalb. DeKalb Ave, DeKalb County. So who was this DeKalb?
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History for 5/13/2018 Birthdays: St. Sergius of Radonez 1314, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Cyrus McCormick, Stevie Wonder, George Braque, Daphne DuMaurier, Joe Louis, Richie Valens, Gil Evans, Beatrice Arthur, Harvey Keitel is 77, Dennis Rodman, Clive Barnes, Bernie Mattinson is 83, Steven Colbert is 53

In ancient Rome this was the Liberalia, Festival of the gods of the Grape- Liber and Liberia. As part of the fertility theme Romans waved little carved phalluses or wore them around their necks to parties. Putting a big carved penis in your garden was a sure way to make your flowers bloom. ……..Is Martha Stewart reading this?

1568- Battle of Langside- Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate her throne in favor of her son James in 1565. She raised an army of Scottish Catholics to try and regain power but was defeated outside Glasgow by her son’s Protestant guardians. This battle forced her to flee to England and fall into the hands of Queen Elizabeth. Liz beheaded Mary in 1587.

1610- French King Henry IV Bourbon was stabbed to death by Ravaillac the mad monk. Catholic extremists were furious with him for ending the Religious Wars in France by granting freedom of worship to all. Ravaillac leapt up onto the running board of the King’s carriage and thrust at him with his knife through the carriage window. His Queen Marie De Medici, the fat lady Rubens painted so many triumphant pictures of, succeeded Henry.

1637-French Cardinal Richelieu threw a dinner where he introduced a novel invention. He had each place at the table set with a fork, a spoon and a table knife. For the first time guests didn't have to whip out their own blade to cut their food.

1655- A Rhode Island statute was passed granting freemanship with no prerequirements regarding Christian worship. This first gave Jews and Dissenters the vote in the U.S., in fact, anywhere.

1794- Dolly Madison writes in her diary today that if she was ever to die, she would want her child raised by Aaron Burr (Vice President, two time presidential candidate, assassin of Alexander Hamilton). She was a 26 year old widowed mother at the time but according to both friend and foe she was a ravishing beauty. Much writing of the time criticized her immodestly low necklines and flirtatious demeanor around men. She knew most of the Founding Fathers and in four months would marry powerful senator James Madison author of the Bill of Rights and the original 40-year-old virgin. Ironically Burr introduced them to each other.

1809- After bombarding the city for a day, Vienna surrendered to Napoleon.

1846-THE U.S. DECLARED WAR ON MEXICO- The U.S had claimed the border of it’s new state of Texas was the Rio Grande, Mexico said it was the Rio Nueces. When American General Zachary Taylor was ordered to march his army into the disputed area and was attacked, the United States declared War. America won the Rio Grande line as well as the new states of California, New Mexico and Arizona, basically half the landmass of Mexico.
Just in case you thought political dissent began with Vietnam; Daniel Webster said this war was unworthy of America for it could not be disguised as other than a old world-style imperial land grab for the Pacific coast. Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln were anti-war congressman. Ulysses Grant said in his memoirs that the Civil War was God's punishment on the U.S. for attacking Mexico. Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes and was fined, later writing his famous work On Civil Disobedience.

1851- the two leaders of the US Women’s Rights movement- Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady-Stanton met for the first time in Seneca Falls New York.

1910- James "Sugar Jim” Smith, the boss of the Essex County Democratic machine announced his candidate for the New Jersey governor’s race would be a tall, sour-puss Presbyterian professor named Woodrow Wilson, then President of Princeton University. Wilson had never run or held elective office and everyone thought they were out of their minds, until they heard him speak. Woodrow Wilson not only won the governorship but two years later became U.S. president.

1913- In Saint Petersburg Igor Sikorsky invented the first airplane toilet. Later he would move to the US and invent the helicopter. Without a toilet though.

1917- Three small children see the Virgin Mary in the town of Fatima in Portugal. All Catholics know about the story that the Madonna gave a letter to the Pope which was to be opened 50 years later which revealed secrets about the fate of mankind too horrible to say. Actually we all know, we’re just not saying.

1925- Tallahassee Florida ordered daily Bible readings in public schools.

1940-100 Nazis Heinkel 111 bombers began bombing the city of Rotterdam as an act of terror. This despite Rotterdam being declared an open city and negotiations under way for its surrender. The bombers destroyed the city in just several hours. At the same time
Queen Wilhelmina left The Hague for London as the Nazi tanks rolled in.

1950 - Diner's Club issued its first credit cards.

1956- Actor Montgomery Clift was disfigured in a car crash. He had to have his jaw wired until it could heal.

1957- THE MAIN BOUT- The McClellan Senate Committee was investigating organized crime inroads into the labor unions, but the "main bout" as it was then called was young prosecutor Robert Kennedy’s attempts to nail Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. This day RFK tried a sting on Hoffa, arresting him at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington with $21,000 in kickback money handed him by an FBI plant.

Hoffa’s attorney portrayed the money as a misunderstood legal fee and when he noticed half the jury was black, Jimmy Hoffa had boxing champ Joe Louis flown in so they could see them embracing. Hoffa was acquitted in this trial but eventually convicted ten years later. When Bobby Kennedy was assassinated Hoffa ordered the flag over his office run back up to full staff and spent the day celebrating.

1965 - Rolling Stones record "Satisfaction"

1965- In a DC nightclub, the Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded live “ The In Crowd”, one of the last jazz singles to crossover and become a hit pop song.

1966 - Rolling Stones release "Paint it Black"

1971- The Black Panther 21’ trial- In 1969 the F.B.I. pre-dawn raided the headquarters of the militant Black Panther Party in New York. After a trial that took eighteen months the Panthers were acquitted on all charges after a jury deliberation of only 55 minutes. The case raised serious questions of the F.B.I.’s right to domestic infiltration and surveillance. Despite winning 96% of all the court cases brought against them, by 1975 most of the Black Panthers were dead or in exile. In later years Panther leader Bobby Seale owned a barbecue franchise in Philadelphia. Panther Eldridge Cleaver died a born-again Reagan-Republican.

1971 - Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane seriously injured in a car accident

1982- President Reagan says he's certain that our nuclear missiles could be recalled in case of an accidental firing. He didn't say how we'd catch them when they came back.

1981-Pope John Paul II shot by Turkish-Terrorist Mehmed Ali Agca. He survived and lived twenty more years. It’s never been proven but generally believed the hit on the Polish Pope was organized by the Soviet KGB through the Bulgarian secret service. Another source said the in 2001 the Vatican revealed that a prediction of the assassination attempt on the Pope was part of the secret message given by the Virgin Mary to three small Portuguese children at Fatima in 1917.

1992- Police arrest the manager of Comic Book Heaven in Sarasota Florida on seven counts of "displaying materiel harmful to minors", i.e. comic books.
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Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Around America you see the name DeKalb. DeKalb Ave, DeKalb County. So who was this DeKalb?

Answer: Baron Johann DeKalb was a German aristocrat who like Lafayette, volunteered to fight with George Washington for American Independence. He was killed in battle in South Carolina and was buried here.


May 12, 2018
May 12th, 2018

Quiz: Around America you see the name DeKalb. DeKalb Ave, DeKalb County. So who was this DeKalb?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What is a hodgepodge?
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History for 5/12/2018
Birthdays: Dolly Madison, Dante Rossetti, Frank Stella, Florence Nightingale, Tom Snyder, George Carlin, Wilfred Hyde-White, Emilio Estevez, Ron Zeigler, Farley Mowat, Ving Rhames, Bruce Boxleitner, Katherine Hepburn, Yogi Berra

1463B.C.- THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON- Egyptian Pharoah Thutmoses III defeated a coalition of Canaanite princes at an outpost fort named Ha-Megiddo. This fort was the intersection of several trade roads that led south through the Lebanon Mountains into Palestine, so for centuries it was known for all the vicious battles and invasions that occurred there. When Saint John of Patmos wrote of the final battle in Book of the Apocalypse, he said it would be as terrible as one fought at Ha-Meggido or Armageddon.

1641- Thomas the Earl of Strafford was beheaded. In the rapidly deteriorating political climate between King Charles I of England and his Parliament, the Earl of Strafford advocated the king get tough with these rude peasants and rule dictatorially with an Irish army of occupation. So Parliament passed an act of attainment accusing the earl of treason and the terrified king signed it. Ironically the Earl was never tried for treason, he was 'legislated to death'. But the situation was deteriorating so rapidly even he petitioned the King to sign his death warrant to keep the peace. By June King and Parliament would declare the English Civil War.

1745- THE BATTLE OF FONTENOY- Britain and France fight (yet again) .this time the French under one-eyed illegitimate son of the King of Poland named Marshal De Saxe defeated British under the Duke of Cumberland who was the illegitimate son of King George II. Saxe was suffering from dropsy so he conducted the battle from a wicker chair. It was also the last time a King of France and Dauphin appeared on a battlefield.
As the British army approached the French line an English Guards officer Lord Charles Hay produced a silver flask and toasted the enemy, declaring ' Lay on gentleman of France! We never fire first!" His French counterpart the Comte d’Antroche bowed and said "No. After you please!" They would have kept bowing and curtseying all day until someone finally started shooting.

1775- During the American Revolution, a New York mob carrying clubs and torches broke onto the campus of King’s College determined to lynch it’s president Miles Cooper, who was an outspoken loyalist. The mob was blocked on the steps of Cooper’s home by his student Alexander Hamilton. While Hamilton pleaded to spare him, Cooper watched from the second story window. Cooper was hard of hearing and he thought the Hamilton was the instigator of the mob. So while Hamilton begged the mob not to kill his professor, Cooper yelled down:” DON’T LISTEN TO HIM! HE’S A BLOCKHEAD!” Despite this curious strategy, Miles Cooper escaped unharmed and Kings College name was changed to Columbia University.

1776- France’s chief finance minister Turgot fell from power and resigned. Turgot tried to reform France’s almost medieval economy- While all the king could think of was to cut the budget for the Royal Lapdogs Turgot abolished outdated medieval tariffs, and subsidies to useless noblemen. He also began serious land reform. Many including Voltaire and Catherine the Great felt that if Turgot was allowed to be successful the French Revolution wouldn’t have happened. Frederick the Great agreed that “the Fall of Turgot presaged the collapse of France.”

1789- TAMANY HALL BORN- The first and oldest of U.S. political machines (clubs , pacts, lobbies, whatever ) Founded in Philadelphia and moved to New York it was named for a Chief Tamamend, the Delaware chief who welcomed William Penn. The Hall on 14 th street was nicknamed the Wigwam and the leaders called Sachems, the Algonquin word for chief.

Throughout the 1800's it was famous for buying and selling political offices, bribery and corruption. Boss Tweed and Slippery Dick Connolly, the first American to embezzle one million dollars, were Tamany Sachems. Tamany were the first to realize there was political power in mobilizing the mass of working class immigrants against the snooty New York power elite. Tamany Hall men would stand on docks welcoming immigrants with a voting card and a silver dollar to vote for their candidates. Another trick was for Tamany men to grow a full beard and vote, then go home, shave to a goatee, vote again, shave to a mustache, vote again, then clean shave and vote once more.

Tamany Hall was still influential into modern times. Bill O'Dwyer, a Tamany sachem was mayor of New York in the late 1940’s and in 1963 future Mayor Ed Koch became a congressman by unseating the last Tammany sachem Carmine DeSapio.

1796- Napoleon's French Army occupied the city of Venice and destroyed the last traces of the independent Venetian Republic 'La Serenissima" The Most Serene Republic. The Last Doge Daniele Manin was forced to abdicate, and his Byzantine crown and trappings of office were burned, along with his famous golden barge, the 'Boucintoro'. Venice, an independent city-state since 976AD was going to be part of Italy, whether she liked it or not!

1797- The Peace of Leoben- Napoleon forced a peace treaty on Austria by menacing Vienna. He went in French eyes from a popular general to a national figure. At one point when frustrated with negotiating with the Austrian diplomats he smashed a china tea set to the floor and shouted “ If you don’t submit to my terms I will break your empire like so much old crockery!” With this treaty France gets it’s first real peace since the Revolution started in 1789.

1809- Napoleon’s heavy cannon- called Napoleon’s Daughters- began bombarding the Austrian capitol Vienna. Beethoven hid in a cellar. A cannonball fell near composer Franz Josef Haydn’s house but the octogenarian composer comforted his friends:” Children don’t be frightened; Where Papa Haydn is, no harm can come to you.” When the city was occupied the French officer in charge of the guard on Haydn’s house comforted the old composer by singing an aria from his oratorio The Creation.

1812- Czar Alexander signed a peace treaty with Turkey in order to free up troops to face Napoleon’s pending invasion. Napoleon encouraged the Sultan to declare a jihad on Russia and promised him Moldova and other lost Balkan provinces. But the Sultan knew a con job when he heard one and wouldn’t take the bait.

1846- The Donner Party wagon train left Independence Missouri to start its trek out west to California. They tried a new short cut proposed by a charlatan named Lansford Hastings to get to California. They crossing the burning alkaline deserts of Utah and were attacked by Paiute Indians. By Halloween heavy snow storms stranded the Donners in the High Sierra Mountains where the starving survivors resorted to cannibalism.

1864-BATTLE OF SPOTSYLVANIA- After Lee whips Grant in the Wilderness, instead of retreating Grant wheels around and attacks again. This time winning a draw. The fighting was dreadful, reports of trees so thick you couldn't put your arms around cut down by bullets, and men hit with so many 68 cal. musket balls at one time that their bodies literally would fall apart.
At the fight in the center of the line called The Angle Yankees and Confederates crowded in so tightly they pressed against one another like a massive rugby game. Soldiers fought hand to hand with pistol butts, flag staffs, clubs, fists, some even took their empty bayonet muskets and hurled them into the crowd like a spear. Nothing failed to cause injury.

One casualty was union general "Uncle John" Sedgewick, shot by rebel snipers. His last words were:" Aw go on men! Them rebs couldn't hit an elephant at this dis......."

1881- Tunisia was made a colonial protectorate of France.

1915- THE BRYCE COMISSION- An English commission to study reports of German atrocities that was really a propaganda machine aimed at getting the United States into the Great War. America had the problem that if she chose the allied side in World War One, several million immigrant citizens of German, Hungarian and Austrian descent were sympathetic to the Kaiser. Add to them millions of English-hating Irish Americans, Jewish Americans who wanted the openly Anti-Semitic Russian Czar beaten, and many average Americans who felt the main reason their forefathers crossed the ocean was to get away from the kind of trouble that occurred back in Europe.

So you can see it was hard to get everyone up for intervention. The American yellow press printed all the British accounts without ever questioning their accuracy- they horrified the average reader with hair-raising stories of German troops raping and killing Belgian women, chopping the hands off of children and crucifying Canadian prisoners with bayonets through their hands and feet. Even though some atrocities stories were verified, like the needless burning of the medieval Library of Louvain -The German term was Shreiklichkeit- Rule by Fear- today it is acknowledged that most of these accounts were ginned up to get us to Hate the Hun!

Later the U.S. Office of War Information took over feeding these stories to the press. It was headed by a psychiatrist Edmund Bernays, a psychoanalyst nephew of Sigmund Freud who after the war went into advertising.

1934- Hungarian scientist Dr Leo Szilard took out a secret patent on his concept of a chain reaction, being able to theoretically release energy from uranium on an atomic level. Enrico Fermi proved this and created the first controlled chain reaction in 1939.

1936- John Maynard Keynes most famous work "the General Theory of Money, Interest and Work" was published. Today if a politician advocates government control in the business market, he is called a "Keynesian". Keynes once said: ' My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne."

1937-After the abdication of Edward VIII to marry Mrs. Simpson, his brother Bertie was crowned today as King George VI at Westminster. King George and Queen Elizabeth were the parents of the current Queen and were the first English monarchs to ever travel to America and eat hot dogs.

1938- “The Adventures of Robin Hood” starring Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Olivia DeHaviland, Claude Rains and Eugene Paulette premiered. The swashbuckling film then cost a whopping $2 million dollars to make! The light brown horse Maid Marion rode in the movie was later bought by singing cowboy Roy Rogers and renamed Trigger.

1940-Despite being neutral, Switzerland mobilized it’s tiny army in anticipation of a Nazi invasion.

1943- Penned in at Tunis by English and American armies, Rommel's Nazi Afrika Korps laid down their arms. Rommel himself was hospitalized in Germany with diphtheria and would fight again. Besides desert and snows of Norway the Germans were so sure they would be active in all climates that after the war the allies found warehouses full of Tropical uniforms for action in some future African equatorial jungle.

1945- Reischmarshall Herman Goring drove to an American air base and surrendered himself and his family to USAAF commander General Spaatz. The former fighter pilot said he wanted to surrender to a fellow airman. Spaatz was later reprimanded for being photographed toasting and celebrating the end of the war with Goring.

1948- In Palestine, the secret key cabinet meeting of Jewish leaders over whether to declare independence before the British evacuated on May 15th. Even the US was asking for a UN sponsored three month cooling off period. But Jewish leaders like David Ben Gurion felt any more delay would be fatal. They would declare independence on May 14th. The last problem was what to call their new country? After Zion, Zionia and Herzelania was suggested, they decided to go with the name of a local kibbutz using an ancient Biblical name- Eretz-Israel, or simply Israel.

1949- THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF WEST GERMANY BORN- Seventy German politicians free of a Nazi past meet in a schoolroom and create Germany's first ever democratic constitution. The Allied Military Governor General Lucius Clay announced he would close his office and return to America. In 1989, The Federal Republic or West Germany, reunited with the Democratic Republic, aka East Germany.

1962- First day shooting on Frederigo Fellini’s film 8 1/2. When screened for American Producer Joe Levine, Levine took the cigar from his mouth and growled-” Frederigo, what da hell did that movie mean? ” Fellini shrugged –“I dunno”.

1963- Folksinger Bob Dylan walked out of a taping on the Ed Sullivan Show. He objected to CBS censors wanting to cut his number making fun of extra Right-Wing extremists like the John Birch Society.

1971 - Rolling Stone Mick Jagger weds Bianca Macias at St Tropez Town Hall.
They later divorced and Bianca became a famous habitue’ of trendy discos and fashion magazines.

1971- Tor Johnson died of a heart attack at age 68. Swedish wrestler turned actor Tor’s preferred role was the bald eyeless zombie in classics like Plan Nine from Outer Space and Bride of the Monster.

1977- A small Westchester radio station WENW hired a thin, gawky, college grad as a DJ- Howard Stern. US radio would never be the same.

1982- The comic strip 'Marvin' debuted.

1985- Philadelphia Police were trying to break into the headquarters of a militant anarchist group called MOVE. They were barricaded in a row house. Someone had the bright idea of dropping a bomb on the building. The explosion and fire killed 11 including some children and set off a conflagration that engulfed the neighborhood. Some people remember it as noteworthy in that it was the first time an air strike was used on an American city by American authorities

1999- The First Scottish Parliament in three hundred years and the first Welsh assembly since Owen Glendower in 1410 sat in session today.

2008- A powerful earthquake hit Chungdu in Sichuan Province in China, killing tens of thousands.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is a hodgepodge?

Answer: From early early 15th century, an alteration of hotchpotch, ... "a kind of stew," especially "one made with goose, herbs, spices, wine, and other ingredients in a common pot.
Today it means a collection jumbled together that really doesn’t mix well. ( Thanks Dan P)


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