April 22, 2017
April 22nd, 2017
Quiz: Media is harping on Trumps First Hundred Days, like they used to about Obama’s first Hundred Days. What is the big deal about a president’s the first hundred days?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Recently when the Defense Secretary denounced Iran for sponsoring terrorism, Iran said the terrorism is done by Sunni Wahabists. What does that mean?
History for 4/22/2017
Birthdays: Queen Isabella I of Castille, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Immanuel Kant, Madame De Stael, Alexander Kerensky, Aaron Spelling, Eddie Albert, Glen Cambell, Betty Page, Marilyn Chambers, Charlie Mingus, Peter Frampton, John Waters is 71, Jack Nicholson is 80
Happy Earth Day (see below- 1970)
753 B.C.- Founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus. The Romans counted time from this date. So 1AD to them was 754 AUC or Anno Urbis Conditae- from “The Founding of the City". So this year 2017 is 2,772 AUC.
1370-Beginning of construction on the castle/prison in Paris called La Bastille. The Bastille was leveled by angry revolutionaries in 1789.
1567- Dutch protestant leader William of Orange was such a shrewd leader and diplomat his nickname was William the Silent. This day as the persecutions of Dutch Protestants by Catholic Spanish Inquisitors increased William resigned all his offices and fled to Germany to raise an army to fight for Dutch Independence. He was eventually assassinated but not before he had united the Dutch provinces under his leadership. His family still rules Holland today.
1621- FRANCIS BACON -Philosopher and writer Sir Francis Bacon had become the first judge and minister in the England through hard work and furious ass-kissing. He was so unscrupulous he prosecuted to death his first benefactor the Earl of Essex. But King James 1st trusted him to run England whenever he was away. Finally the pushy Parliament brought Bacon up on charges of bribery and corruption.
This day Bacon pled guilty to all charges and left his public offices. The King waived his fines and imprisonment. Francis Bacon on his estate free of his addiction to power could now focus on his true love, philosophy and science. He became one of the greatest minds in Western thought, to be ranked with Aristotle and Descartes. He published the Great Renewal and Res Atlantica, two works that revolutionized the study of philosophy and science.
Historian Will Durant called Francis Bacon the finest mind of his time after Shakespeare.
1741- Georg Frederich Handel dipped his quill into ink and began to write the Messiah.
1769- Madame DuBarry officially presented at the French Court. King Louis XV’s earlier mistresses like Madame La Pompadour were women of breeding and culture. But DuBarry was a saucy little trollop who had already schtupped most of the men of the court. When the Duc d’ Richelieu asked Louis what he saw in this vulgar new toy, His Majesty replied:" She makes me forget that I shall soon be sixty."
1778- THE CONWAY CABAL- During the American Revolution, a conspiracy (or cabal) of colonial officers led by a Major Conway, and former Washington aide Thomas Mifflin plotted behind George Washington's back to get Congress to replace him for incompetence. Their choice for command of the American army was General Gage, whose career was undistinguished other than the Battle of Saratoga. The plot was exposed and Conway made to resign. Washington stayed the symbol of the American war effort even though he lost more battles than won.
1793- THE UNITED STATES DECLARED IT'S NEUTRALITY IN THE NAPOLEONIC WARS. This decision caused the split in American opinion that formed our two party system and soured the last years of George Washington’s presidency. The France that helped us win the Revolution was Louis XVI's Royal France, but she had now become a people’s republic like ours, the only other in the world. The French Revolutionary Convention had a Stars and Stripes flag hanging proudly in it's hall. Americans danced in the streets when the Bastille fell and started calling each other "citizen".
Thomas Jefferson’s followers felt we owed it to France to support a fellow people’s republic against the European autocrats. The more conservative Federalists like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams were afraid of guillotines and anarchy and openly wanted Mother Britain to win. Jefferson called them Monocrats, they called his side Democrats. Europeans tried to push America into choosing a side: America almost declared war on France in 1797,1804 and 1808, and almost declared war on Britain in 1800 and finally did in 1812. Napoleon had hoped America would then send over her navy to ferry his army across the Channel to get at England. Small wonder George Washington’s advice upon retiring was "Avoid entangling foreign alliances."
1811- Last of the Parthenon Marbles pried off their walls in Greece and sent back to England on a British frigate. Lord Byron was on board and called Lord Elgin, the supervisor of this act, "The Spoiler". Today the Elgin marbles are still at the British Museum and the Greeks are still annoyed about it.
1836-GENERAL SANTA ANNA the Dictator of Mexico was captured after the Battle of San Jacinto and brought to Texas Gen. Sam Houston. Santa Anna was disguised in peasants clothes but when brought into the Anglo camp the Mexican prisoners gave him away by cheering El Presidente! Santa Anna was suffering from nervous exhaustion so Houston offered him some of his opium. Houston was an alcoholic nursing a shattered ankle.
As they sat under a tree Santa Anna said to Houston: " Great is the destiny of the man who can defeat the Napoleon of the West!" Everyone (including many Mexicans) wanted to kill the man who massacred the Alamo, but Houston used him as a hostage to draw off the remaining Mexican armies still in Texas. Not only did Santa Anna get released unhurt, but ten years later the U.S. Government even covertly helped him regain power in Mexico.
1876- Composer Peter Tchaikovsky completed his score for the ballet Swan Lake.
1889-At noon on the signal of a cannon shot The Great Oklahoma Land Rush began. The town of Oklahoma City was set up in one day-population 10,000. The settlers who slipped in early were nicknamed Sooners and Oklahoma became known as the Sooner State. This eats up the remaining land of the Cherokee Nation, who once owned all of Georgia, the Carolinas and Alabama. The Cherokee kept their land communally, which to U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge was their downfall: "The Cherokee possess many fine attributes except Greed, which we all know is the basis for Civilization."
1898- Teddy Roosevelt formed the First US Volunteer Cavalry, called the Rough Riders. It was a curious mix of Teddys' personal tastes- Harvard bluebloods and polo champions mixed with rough western cowboys and rodeo stars.
1906- In earthquake-destroyed San Francisco, one day after the last of the fires were declared officially out, the Market Street cable car began running once more.
1915- Second Battle of Ypres- First use of poison gas WWI. German Jewish Dr. Fritz Hauber and friend of Albert Einstein, was convinced his experiments to create poison gas would win wars. He ran from battlefield to battlefield ensuring it was being used correctly. Einstein thought he was a fool. Hauber’s wife committed suicide. The chlorine clouds did cause a huge panic in the British ranks, that opened the way to Paris, but the German generals were too cautious to follow up their surprise and the Canadians fought fiercely to close the gap. Although they had no gas masks, a quick thinking Canadian doctor ordered his men to urinate into their own handkerchiefs, then tie them around their faces. Although exceedingly gross, the ammonia counteracted the gas enabling them to survive.
1922- Albert the Duke of York married Scottish socialite Lady Elizabeth Beaux-Lyons. Bertie was shy and had a speech impediment and it took him three proposals before she said yes. The Archbishop of Canterbury refused to allow a live radio broadcast of the marriage ceremony for fear it would be broadcast in pubs, where uncouth men would not doff their hats.
What Bertie and Elizabeth couldn’t know would be in 1936 Berties older brother Edward VIII would abdicate and they become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. After her husband died in 1952 and her daughter Elizabeth II ascended the throne, the Queen Mum lived on, dying at age 101 in 2002.
1934- In Little Bohemia Hunting Lodge in Wisconsin, Public Enemy No.1 John Dillinger shot his way out of a FBI ambush. The FBI not only failed to stop Dillinger, they shot an innocent bystander who got caught in the crossfire.
1940- Writer Ernest Hemingway cabled his editor Max Perkins from Havana about a new novel he was writing.-" Title is "For Whom the Bell Tolls" from passage John Donne Oxford Book of English bottom page seventy one STOP Please register immediately."
1945- While the Red Army was attacking the outskirts of Berlin, Adolph Hitler sent away to the south his personal belongings and files in a final Luftwaffe flight of ten planes. One plane was shot down carried some of his most private possessions. When Hitler heard the news, he called it a catastrophe. What was in that plane that he valued so much? The wreckage was never found. It’s a mystery to this day.
1952- The first nuclear bomb test shown on network TV -Tommy Turtle says duck and cover!
1954- THE ARMY–McCARTHY HEARINGS on live nationwide TV began. Senator Joe McCarthy’s Senate committee chasing communists finally bit off more than it could chew when it took on the U.S. Army. Sparked by the drafting of Private G. David Shine, a young crony of chief counsel Roy Cohn, a hearing was held to investigate charges that the Army Secretary and several other top Pentagon officers were Russian spies.
The hearing soon devolved from an indictment of the army into a probe of Senator McCarthy’s red baiting tactics. It lasted for three months and held the nation spellbound. At one point Senator McCarthy submitted a note that the television cameras be turned off for a minute so he could wipe his nose. After one heated session, Roy Cohn and Robert Kennedy had to be separated before a fistfight broke out. Finally under the withering condemnation of Joseph Walsh "Senator, have you no shred of decency?!" McCarthy’s power was broken.
1954- The U.S. Congress added the phrase "In God We Trust" on to US currency
1961- THE PARATROOP COUP- The decision of whether to give up Algeria, the colony they owned since 1832 agonized the nation. It was further complicated by a large population of Algerian-born French people, the "Pied-noirs". They felt they were being sold out to terrorist guerillas. The Foreign Legion's headquarters was at Sidde Abbes, and for generations their blood had spilled into the Sahara's sands to keep Algeria French. So on this night French paratroop generals and the Legion plotted to stop President Charles DeGaulle from granting Algerian independence. They planned a night parachute jump over downtown Paris to seize the government.
After the rebels grabbed the governor of Algeria and a few key posts, President Degaulle went on nationwide TV and exposed the plot, calling upon all Frenchmen to defend the nation. The conspirators lost their nerve and melted away. The Paris jump never occurred. The trials afterwards saw strange scenes like Croatian and Thai legionnaires falling before firing squads, shouting "Vive La France!!"
1964- The opening day of the New York World’s Fair. It was in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, built on the site of the 1939 Worlds Fair.
1970- The first Earth Day. The idea was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin "The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy," Senator Nelson said, "and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda."
1972- Magnavox announced the Magnavox Odyssey. Created by Ralph Baer in his spare time, it was the first home videogame console.
1978- Comic actors Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi debut two new characters on the Saturday Night Live TV show, Joliet Jake and Ellwood Blues. The Blues Brothers are born.
1996- Christopher Robin Milne dies at age 75. The young boy who’s fascination with a bear in the London Zoo called Winnie inspired his father A.A. Milne to write the Winne the Pooh stories. Christopher Robin wasn’t always appreciative of all the attention. He said of his father: "Someday I’ll write some verses about him and see how He likes it!"
2000- The estranged wife of Mr Juan Gonzales of Cuba had grabbed their son Elian and tried to escape by boat to the United States. The wife and her lover drowned in the attempt but little 6 year old Elian survived and became a cause–celebre of the Cuban exile community in Miami. But Mr. Gonzales had come from Havanna to get his son back. Back in Havana, Fidel Castro had a ball making political hay out of the Yankee Imperialistas stealing children from their parents. Finally, after months of media circus, Attorney General Janet Reno ordered federal marshals to forcibly grab Elian Gonzales from his uncles home and give him back to his father. His father pledged:" I want no one to ever stick a camera in my son’s face again!"
2004- Pat Tillman was a football star who was moved by the 9-11 attacks to sacrifice a multi-million dollar contract in the NFL to fight for his country. This day Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. He was 27 and left a wife and two children. The Pentagon played up his heroism, while lying to his grieving family and burning his diary and uniform. At the funeral, when presented with the casket’s flag, Tillman’s father snapped “ Keep your f*cking flag!” Pat Tillman was an atheist and it further annoyed his family to hear conservative politicians go on about him in Heaven among the warriors of Christ. After several hearings a general was reprimanded for his handling of the affair.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Recently when the Defense Secretary denounced Iran for sponsoring terrorism, Iran said the terrorism is done by Sunni Wahabists. What does that mean?
Answer: Sunni and Shiites are a split in the Islamic religion similar to Catholics vs. Protestants. A Wahabi espouses the idea that there should be no Muslim nation states, but just one united caliphate like it was in the days of the Arabian Nights. Many of ISIS think this way. Iran saying it was Sunni Wahabists means they are accusing Saudi Arabia, who are Sunni and have Wahabist supporters among their royal family.
April 21, 2017
April 21st, 2017
Quiz: Recently when the Defense Secretary denounced Iran for sponsoring terrorism, Iran said the terrorism is done by Sunni Wahabists. What does that mean?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is iambic pentameter?
History for 4/21/2017
Birthdays: Edwin S. Porter, Charlotte Bronte', John Muir, Freiderich Froebel the inventor of kindergarten-1782, Anthony Quinn, Patti Lupone, Iggy Pop, Charles Grodin, Anna Magnani, Andie MacDowell is 59, Tony Danza, Elaine May, James McAvoy is 38, Rob Riggle is 47, Queen Elizabeth II is 91
Happy Palilia- Roman festival of the rustic god "Pales" for whom the Palatine Hill in Rome was named.
43BC- Battle of Mutina (Modena), One year after the assassination of Julius Caesar, his heirs squabble. Legions sent by Octavian defeat Mark Anthony and drive him into the Alps.
1526- The First Battle of Panipat. Mogul Emperor Babur defeated the Indian army of Ibrahim Lodi and captured Delhi. This established the Moghul Empire in India. Babur’s army fought with Mongol bows, elephants and he introduced cannon to India.
1831- NAT TURNER'S REBELLION- The most serious slave revolt in the South before the Civil War. Using an eclipse as a sign from heaven, Turner and 75 other slaves turned on their masters, and went on a rampage through Virginia. It took 3,000 troops to crush them. Turner was taken and hanged, defiant to the end. Nat Turner’s Rebellion hardened opinions of both pro and anti-slavery groups in the U.S, and accelerated the slide towards civil war.
1836-BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO-. After chasing Sam Houston’s men across Texas almost to the Louisiana border, General Santa Anna thought so little of these rag-tag gringo rebels that he no longer bothered to post sentries. When the Texans attacked at 1:00PM, most of the Mexican army was having an afternoon siesta. General Santa Anna was bedded down with his mistress he called his Yellow Rose, the origin of the song Yellow Rose of Texas.
Suddenly Houston's wild frontiersmen, filled with rage over the massacres of the Alamo and Goliad, rushed into the Mexican camp and routed them. After the battle Houston couldn't restrain the Texans from killing running fugitives, and even scalping some. Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign a peace.
1847- The 4th rescue team removed the last survivors of the Donner Party wagon train from their snowed in camp on Lake Truckee in the Sierras down to the settlement on the Sacramento River. A furious winter trapped the Donners in the mountains last Oct 31st with almost no food. Of 86 pioneers 41 died and the others ate their corpses to survive. Louis Keyesburg, the only settler who spoke openly of eating human flesh and was called a ghoul, moved to Sacramento and opened a restaurant.
1865- UNCLE BILLY’S POLITICAL LESSON. In North Carolina, General William T. Sherman had offered Confederate Joe Johnston’s army the same terms for surrender that Grant had given Robert E Lee. But Johnston handed Sherman new terms rewritten by crafty Confederate President Jefferson Davis. It asked for political and property amnesty for all Confederate leaders; that the US Government would leave all Southern state officials at their posts.
This went much further than one army surrendering to another, it was in effect a treaty that no one would be punished for the Civil War. But Uncle Billy Sherman didn’t seem to see the fine print. He thought that’s what Lincoln had wanted before he was killed. So he signed it and passed it on to Washington.
When new President Andrew Johnson and General Grant read the terms they were thunderstruck. They ordered Sherman to tear that treaty up and offer nothing but unconditional surrender. Hotheaded Secretary of War Stanton denounced Sherman in the newspapers as a traitor. Sherman the Hero of Atlanta was furious at being made a fool of. He resolved the rest of his life to have nothing more to do with politics, which is probably why we never had a President William T. Sherman.
1865- President Lincoln’s funeral train left Washington DC for the long trip back to Springfield Ill.
1911- LENIN WANTS A LIBRARY CARD. Russian communist revolutionary N. Lenin was living secretly in exile in London. In a letter dated this day he applied to the British Museum Library collection to study it's documents. His letter was in perfect English and he signed his name under his alias Jacob Richter.
1910- Mark Twain died of congenital heart failure at 75 as Haley's comet appeared overhead. He once wrote: " When arriving in Heaven feel free to ask all the questions you want of Saint Peter. You may ask for his autograph, however don’t take any Kodak photos or bring your dog. Admittance to Heaven is based on favor, not merit, else the dog would be allowed to go in and you kept out."
1918-THE RED BARON SHOT DOWN- In the wild duels in the air above the World War I trenches Baron Manfred Von Richtofen was the best of the best. The Red Baron had shot down more planes than anyone -80 confirmed kills.
On this day, von Richthofen got onto the tail of one plane and was about to add #81, when Canadian Roy Brown got behind him and filled the back of his plane with machine gun bullets. Other experts claim The Red Baron was hit by Australian ground fire. Mortally wounded, von Richtofen still managed to land his red fokker triplane before slumping over dead. Manfred von Richthofen was 26.
Roy Brown got the credit, but couldn't handle his celebrity status. He committed suicide after the war.
1921- The Coconut Grove nightclub opened in Hollywood.
1933- The Nazis ban kosher meat processing in Germany.
1938- Disney animator Bill Tytla married artists model Adrienne LeClerc.
1944- During WWII, the French Committee of National Liberation (in exile in London) voted to give the women of France the right to vote. The first election French women could vote in would be the following Spring, after the liberation.
1948- HAIFA- As the British occupying troops were being withdrawn from Palestine’s second largest city, they had given up trying to keep Arabs and Jews from fighting. This day the British informed city leaders that he was withdrawing his garrison. The British commander wagered a friend a bottle of whisky that neither side would have control of Haifa for weeks. The Jewish militia the Hagannah secured control of the city in 48 hours. The Arab population began a mass evacuation of the city,
1960- Brazil moved it’s capitol from Rio De Janiero to Brasilia, a modern architects fantasy built in the middle of the jungle.
1961- Two British teenage rock bands meet each other for the first time- The Beatles met the Rolling Stones.
1964- British TV viewers double their pleasure- BBC 2 goes on the air. Their first program is Play School.
1973- The pop song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree” became a number one hit on the US, Canadian and UK pop charts. The song spawned the custom of a yellow ribbon as a symbol of remembering a soldier overseas, which reached its’ peak during the Iran Hostage Crisis. That in turn spawned variations like the red AIDS ribbon, the pink breast cancer ribbon, and so on.
1975- As North Vietnamese armies roll towards his capitol, South Vietnamese President Nygun Van Thieu resigned and went into exile. The Roman Catholic French-educated Thieu tearfully blamed America for the defeat. Vice President Nygun Kao Key moved to Orange County Cal with much of the exile community.
1989- Oil executive George W. Bush became part of a ownership consortium that bought the last place baseball team the Texas Rangers." As soon as I knew they were for sale I went after them like a pit bull on a pants leg….It doesn’t get much better than this…"
1997-The first Intergalactic Funeral. The ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 1960's drug guru Dr. Timothy Leary were shot into space.
Yesterday’s Question: What is iambic pentameter?
Answer: It is the style of rhyming couplets that English writers have used from Chaucer to Shakespeare. Pent- meaning five. “If music be the food of love, play on.”
April 20, 2017
April 20th, 2017
Quiz: What is iambic pentameter?
Answer to yesterday’s question below: What was the name of Henry Hudson’s ship?
History for 4/20/2017
Birthdays: Harold Lloyd, Juan Miro', Adolf Hitler, Tito Puente, Nina Foch, Gregory Ratoff, Ryan O'Neal, Daniel Day Lewis, Jessica Lange, Luther Vandross, Don Mattingly, Rosalyn Summers, Crispin Glover, Betty-Lou Gerson the voice of Cruella da Vil, George Takei, Carmen Electra is 42, Andy Serkis, Bob Kurtz
Happy Pot Day. See below 1970.
1605- King James I granted charters to the Virginia Company to found colonies in the New World. Jamestown and Williamsburg Va. are the result.
1653- After the English Civil War beheaded King Charles Ist, General Oliver Cromwell sat listening to the Barebones Parliament arguing over trivial issues. He had already arrested everyone who disagreed with him, and those who were left were too afraid to discuss anything else. Finally, Oliver rose and exploded in rage:” Drunkards! Whoremasters! You are no Parliament! “
He ordered his troops to run them all out. England would remain under Cromwell’s military dictatorship until his death in 1659. A note was tacked onto the locked doors of the House of Commons-“ This House to Let, Unfurnished.”
1689-Deposed English King James II had landed in Ireland and raised the Irish to help him regain his throne from his daughter and son-in-law William & Mary. This day his army surrounded the City of Londonderry and began an epic 4 month siege. Like every battle in those days the conflict had a heavy religious connotation, James’ Irish followers were Catholics while the besieged loyalists were Protestants. Despite starvation and heavy bombardment the Londonderriers held off James until help arrived, and James was beaten at the Battle of the Boyne.
1759- Composer George Friedrich Handel died after collapsing in the orchestra pit while conducting the Messiah. He was 74, almost blind, and suffering from a number of illnesses.
1769- Ottawa Chief Pontiac had organized a great rebellion against the whites that united all the Great Lakes tribes and made his name feared from Detroit to Maine. After capturing and burning scores of forts and towns, his forces were defeated by the British and American settlers, and he was forced to swear allegiance to King George. Ten years later old Pontiac was visiting a French merchant at a settlement across from modern Saint Louis called Caholkia when a Peoria Indian clubbed and stabbed him to death. It was never known why, but it’s rumored he was bribed by an English businessman. The Indian was rewarded by a barrel of whiskey, the very stuff Pontiac warned would ruin all Indian People.
1814- Napoleon sent to Elba, a little island off the coast of France. He quoted the famous palindrome "Able was I ere I saw Elba." he had been learning English.
1836- Wisconsin Territory established.
1859- " It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times..." Charles Dicken's novel "A Tale of Two Cities" began to be published in magazine form.
1865- Robert E. Lee, now a private citizen in occupied Richmond, wrote President Jefferson Davis still on the run. He urged Davis to give up the struggle and allow the remaining Confederate forces to lay down their arms and go home.
1902- Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium.
1903- THE KISHNIEV POGROM- The word Russian Jews feared most was Pogrom. It meant the Czars police agreed to stand back and do nothing while mobs of Anti-Semites were encouraged to murder and violate the homes of Jews. This day in the city of Kishniev, mobs killed 43 Jews and mutilated their bodies, and several hundred Jewish women were raped. There were protests around the world about the Kishniev massacre but nothing official was ever done. When Jewish leaders went to the Czar to protest, they were rebuffed and answered with another pogrom in Gomel. Czar Nicholas II would refer to his Jewish subjects with the word Zhijdt- their equivalent of N-. Back in America, old Mark Twain donated money to groups advocating the Czars overthrow. Twain said:” If it takes dynamite to overthrow that regime well then, thank God for Dynamite!”
1909- Mary Pickford, the first Movie Star, goes in front of a camera for the first time.
1912- The first baseball game played at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Stockings, defeated the New York Highlanders (Yankees), 6-1.
1914- Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs opened. Commuters on the “El” could see how their cubbies were doing by looking for the W or L flag flying.
1914- THE LUDLOW MASSACRE- In Colorado a violent strike was being waged between coal miners and the Standard Oil Company of John D. Rockefeller. This night militia, Pinkerton detectives and strikebreakers attacked a tent camp of striking miners and their families in the dead of night. They poured kerosene on their tents while they were sleeping, set them alight and shot people as they ran out to safety. 20 died, half were women and children. As in most labor murders, no one was ever tried or convicted. President Woodrow Wilson sent federal troops to occupy Colorado and restore order. Even then, John Rockefeller refused mediation until the strike was broken.
1916- Mauser Day- A German U-Boat surfaces off the coast of Ireland and lands two IRA leaders, Sir Roger Casement and Patrick Pearse, and a ton of rifles and ammunition.
Casement was arrested by authorities while still on the beach, but the rifles are used to start the Easter Sunday Rebellion.
1912- A slightly built London theater manager and failed author named Abraham “Bram” Stoker died. He managed the theater that famed stage actor Henry King performed. If anyone noticed him, it was because he worked with Henry King. Stokers seven books and several plays made little money in his time. But a decade later a play adapted from one of his novels entitled Dracula made him world famous.
1925-The Warner Bros. Moving Picture Company merged with Vitagraph, and began experimenting with fixing sound on to film.
1931- LA MAFIA- Charles “Lucky” Lucciano became a top crime figure in New York after he murdered Joey the Boss Masseria. Lucciano and Masseria were having dinner in Coney Island when Lucciano excused himself to go to the lavatory. Once gone, four gunmen burst in and filled Joey the Boss with bullets. Lucciano later whacked the other top capo of New York, Salvatore Maranzano. Maranzano and Masseria were the last of the “Mustache Petes” the old guard Sicilian immigrants, still pursuing feuds brought over from the old country. After this the Mafia became more American than Sicilian and Luciano organized his gangs along a corporate model. Lucky’s young gunmen- Joey Adonis, Al Anastasia, Vito Genovese and Bugsy Siegel, all became important gang bosses in the years to come.
1935- Radio program “Your Hit Parade” premiered.
1938- On Hitler’s birthday was the Berlin premiere of Leni Reifenstahl’s film Olympia, about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
1939- RCA president David Sarnoff dedicated RCA pavilion at World's Fair in New York City. First U.S. news event filmed on television. Sarnoff predicted that one day everyone would have a television in their home!
1940- RCA labs demonstrated the first Electron Microscope.
1942- The' Bataan Death March' ends and the prison camps at Butan and Palayu. Half the captive 16,000 Phillipino and 10,000 American troops died.( there was two animators there who I later worked with at Filmation- Don Schloat and Len Rogers..)
1942- On his birthday, Adolf Hitler was presented with his favorite kind of present, a new tank. The first Tiger Tank.
1945- Adolph Hitler celebrated his last birthday (56) in his bunker and announced his decision to remain in Berlin. He did allow the military high command OberKommando Wehrmacht or OKW, to relocate out of the doomed city. There was a plan for a breakout to the Bavaria to organize a National Redoubt in the mountains and use Germany's poison gas stockpile, but the Fuhrer wanted his Wagnerian immolation in Berlin.
The U.S. sent him a birthday present of the last 1000 plane bombing raid. Soviet pilots later said after this raid they discontinued bombing missions over Berlin because "every target we could think of had already been destroyed." One effect of the bombing, several great apes in the Berlin Zoo died of heart attacks from the stress.
1951- After being fired by President Truman, General Douglas MacArthur was given a massive ticker tape parade on Wall Street in his honor.
1968- Pierre Elliot Trudeau sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada. Trudeau became one of Canada’s more colorful leaders with his flower-child wife Margaret.
1970- San Rafael Cal, started a tradition of smoking marijuana en masse at 4:20, the police code for a drug bust. The Greatful Dead took up the tradition and now everyone tokes at 4:20PM.
1974 - Paul McCartney and Wings releases "Band on the Run"
1976 - George Harrison sang the Lumberjack Song with the Monty Python comedy troop.
1977- Woody Allen & Diane Keaton starred in the film “Annie Hall”.
1980- The Mariel Boat Lift. Fidel Castro made a mockery of President Jimmy Carter's policy of admitting seaborne political refugees from Cuba by opening his prisons and creating a flood of boat people, including many hardened criminals.
1999-COLUMBINE- Teenagers Ryan Harris and Dylan Kleibold enter their Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado and shoot their classmates with semi-automatic guns. 15 died including the two gunmen and 26 were hurt. Despite making videotapes in which they bragged about their intentions, and leaving shotguns and ammunition around their rooms, their parents didn’t think anything was unusual.
2010- The BP DEEP WATER HORIZON oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and drenching the U.S. Gulf Coast with millions of gallons of crude oil and dispersal chemicals. BP could not stop the leak for two and a half months. Despite the disaster, that year the TransAmerica Company, that built the rig, awarded their top execs bonuses for their safety record. The gov’t allowed BP to write off the $9 billion in costs to clean up their own accident.
Yesterday’s Question: What was the name of Henry Hudson’s ship?
Answer: The Half Moon.
April 19, 2017
April 19th, 2017
Quiz- What was the name of Henry Hudson’s ship?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What does it mean when a government adopts laissez faire policies?
History for 4/19/2017
Birthdays: Paulo Verronese, Elliot Ness, Jayne Mansfield, Dudley Moore, Paloma Picasso, Iwao Takamoto, Ashley Judd, James Franco is 39, Kate Hudson is 38, Tim Curry is 71, Anna Porchicova is 30
Cerealia- an ancient Roman agricultural festival. Ceres, the mother of Persephone, was the Goddess of Growing and Planting. To say “Fit for Ceres” was the Roman way of saying “Awesome”.
1521-THE TESTAMENT OF WORMS- Two days after reformer Martin Luther told him to take a flying leap, German Emperor Charles V announced he was against Luther’s reformation and called all German princes to support him. Half decided not to. Even Charles’ own sister became a Lutheran.
1587- SIR FRANCIS DRAKE RAIDS CADIZ- The bold English captain attacked the ships of the Spanish Armada in their harbor and so doing delayed the sailing of the Great Armada for one year. With him on the raid are men like Capt. Newport and Capt. Martin who in 1607 will be with John Smith at Jamestown.
1775- LEXINGTON AND CONCORD- The American Revolution began.
For years after the French and Indian War the British government tried to save money by getting the North American colonies to defend themselves. The local committees that organized the American colony's militia had slowly been taken over by radical political groups like the "Sons of Liberty". To the British, these Minutemen seemed to be training to fight them, instead of Indians.
In 1774 a General, Sir Thomas "Old Tom" Gage was appointed Royal Governor of Massachusetts to show the colonists that Mother England was not going to tolerate any more foolishness. Gage pulled his troops out of frontier patrols and concentrated them in Boston harbor. This annoyed citizens further, thinking the only reason they pay taxes now is to have troops watching them instead of protecting them. In early 1775 Gage warned London that the situation was deteriorating fast. Ironically Gage liked America and had a good friend named George Washington. Finally Gage received permission to send out a force to seize a stockpile of illegal weapons at the town of Concord.
After being awakened by Paul Revere, some 70 farmers spent all night at Buckman's Tavern drinking and trying to decide whether to fight or run away. By 4:00 a.m. John Hancock talked them into staying to fight. Then John Hancock ran away. The redcoat column was met on Lexington green by the minutemen. "Stand aside, ye dammed Rebels!" Captain Pitcairn shouted. " Stand fast boys, if they want a war, let it start here!" was Captain Parker's reply. The regular troops open fire and easily dispersed that group. But by the time the British reached Concord bridge, hordes of farmers were shooting at them from bushes and rooftops. Finally they were forced to withdraw to Boston. Lord Percy complained even 'American women were pointing muskets out of their kitchen windows and firing at us!" One 80 year old man shot down three Englishmen down from his front porch, before he was bayoneted. He lived 7 more years. And most of the Yankee muskets were British government-issue.
Americans call Lexington “The Shot Heard Around the World”, but the British Crown regarded this situation at first as little more than a small mob disturbance. It barely made the back pages of the London newspapers. But by Bunker Hill they realized they had a real trans-ocean war on their hands. As late as December, elements in the Colonial Congress kept asking London if we could still be friends and talk it over.
1782- Holland became the first nation to officially recognize the United States of America. Ambassador John Adams hung a Stars & Stripes out his hotel room window, calling it the first official American Embassy in Europe.
1824- Poet Lord Byron died of fever and uremic poisoning at Missolonghi Greece.
1861- Maryland tried to join the Confederacy. In Baltimore a mob attacked the Sixth Massachusetts regiment marching to protect Washington D.C. 4 killed, 30 wounded. A young nurse named Clara Barton first took over the responsibility of treating the injured.
She later founded the American Red Cross.
If Maryland seceded the nation’s capitol would've had to be abandoned. Colonel Ben Butler solved the situation on his own initiative. He filed troops into the Maryland legislature to point guns at the delegates as they voted. They wisely voted to stay loyal.
1863- GRIERSON'S RAID. Gen. Ulysses Grant, laying siege to the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, detaches a hard riding cavalry brigade to loot and burn their way through the deep south from Vicksburg through Baton Rouge to Union occupied New Orleans. Greirson himself was an Illinois music teacher who disliked horses and liked to strum his jaw-harp on the march. In the Indian Wars it was said any unit he commanded always had the best band. John Ford’s movie “The Horse Soldiers” was based on this event.
1881- Former British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli died. When asked if he would like a final visit from Queen Victoria, Disraeli answered:" No, not now, she'd only ask me to take a message to Albert." His political arch-enemy William Gladstone wrote him a moving eulogy, but he confided in his diary that it gave him diarrhea to do it.
1910- The Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet.
1927- Mae West found guilty of indecent behavior in writing, producing and starring in a Broadway musical entitled “SEX”. She said:” Everyone thinks I am opposed to censorship. Actually, I’m in favor of censorship. I’ve made a fortune from it!”
1951- General MacArthur had been fired from his Korean command by President Harry Truman. This day he did his famous speech to Congress” An Old Soldier never Dies, He just Fades Away, and like that old soldier I now close out my military career, and just fade away. An Old Soldier who tried to do his duty, as God showed him the light to do that duty, etc.” Republican Senator Robert Short shouted “We’ve just heard the Voice of God!” President Harry Truman watched the speech on TV and called it “The biggest bunch of bullshit I ever heard!”
1956-Movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco.
1961- The BAY OF PIGS INVASION DEFEATED The CIA sponsored landing of AntiCastro Cubans failed on the beach of Bahia De Los Cochinos. After sanctioning some initial US Air Force bombing attacks the first day, JFK changed his mind and cut off any further help, including a refusal to evacuate them when trapped. 200 Cuban insurgents were killed and 1497 imprisoned. This earned him the everlasting anger of the Miami Cuban community. An aide said the day after the surrender Kennedy went alone to a secluded D.C. golf course and spent hours hitting golf balls, moaning:” How could I have been so Stupid!” after each whack.
1970- XEROX PARC – The Xerox Company announced the set up of a research group in Palo Alto Cal. This group pioneered the development of the personal computer and laser printer.
1973- Three years later Xerox Parc booted up the Alto, the first personal computer. They invented a new mouse, point and click windows, graphic interface and digital printer. President Carter installed one in the White House. Yet Xerox didn’t know what to do with them, they were in the copier business. There was no internet yet, except for government communications. The Alto cost $16,500 each, too expensive for most, so the idea bombed. One day in 1979 a group from Apple visited led by Steve Jobs. The group was inspired by their progress, and they went back to Apple and put what they learned into the development of the Lisa and Apple II Computer.
1987- The first Simpsons short aired today, 30 years ago. "Good Night Simpsons" MG01 was on the 3rd episode of The Tracey Ullman Show, airing Sunday, 4/19/87 at 9pm. Animated by Wes Archer, Bill Kopp, and David Silverman.
1993- Branch Davidian cultists led by their messianic leader David Koresh immolate themselves in their compound at Waco, Texas during a furious shootout with the F.B.I.
1995- THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING- On the second anniversary of the Waco tragedy, emotionally disturbed Gulf War veterans named Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols wanted their revenge against the U.S. Government. So they denoted a truck bomb at the Murrow Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Among the 156 dead were a dozen pre-school children in a daycare center on the first floor. McVeigh called the dead children “collateral damage.” He was executed in 2001, and Nichols got life in prison.
2005- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany elected Pope Benedict XVI. The first German Pope since Hildebrandt in 1077, and the first pope to have been a soldier in the Nazi army. He was drafted in 1945 as a child. Italian writers called him “The German Shepherd.”
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean when a government adopts laissez faire policies?
Answer: Laissez faire roughly means to allow to act. A laissez faire policy allows something to happen without any intervention. To the business-minded it means the gov’t won’t intervene in the normal fluctuations of the market, like the calamitous crashes of 1929, 1987 and 2008.
April 18, 2017
April 18th, 2017
Quiz: What does it mean when a government adopts laissez faire policies?
Yesterday’s question answered below: What are these? Lucky Strikes, Viceroy, Pall Mall, Players, Chesterfield.
History for 4/18/2017
Birthdays: Lucretzia Borgia, Franz Von Suppe’, Haley Mills, Leopold Stokowski, Miklos Rosza, Herb Sorell, Wahoo Sam Crawford, Conan O’Brien is 54, James Woods is 70, Eric Roberts, Rick Moranis is 65, Maria Bello is 50, David Tennant is 46.
185AD- Today is the Feast Day of the Roman martyr Saint Apollonnius.
1506- Pope Julius II lays the cornerstone for St. Peter's Basilica. He had pulled down the old St. Peters, which had stood for 1200 years. The new structure designed by Bramante with the Dome by Michelangelo and the interiors by Sangallo and later Bernini.
With true Renaissance modesty, Julius originally wanted his own tomb in the center under the altar, borne aloft by four giants carved by Michelangelo. I guess nobody mentioned the grave of St. Peter, overtop which this Basilica was being built. Eventually Julius scaled down his plans, and when he died his enemies put him in another church altogether (San Pietro Vincoli). Saint Peters was completed a little over schedule, in 1626.
1775- PAUL REVERE'S RIDE- "One if by land and two if by sea, etc." Informers in Gen. Gage's office learned the British planned to send troops to seize an illegal arms cache in Lexington and arrest two radical leaders named John Hancock and Sam Adams. So silversmith Paul Revere, Thomas Dawes and a country doctor out on a date named Dr. Prescott were sent to warn them and raise the minutemen on the way, after getting the two lantern signal in the old North Church. Dr. Prescott actually completed the mission. Revere was arrested by a British patrol soon after warning Adams & Hancock and sent home without his horse.
At daybreak Paul Revere walked over to Lexington green in time to watch the Revolutionary War begin. Longfellow's poem never mentioned Prescott or Dawes. Paul Revere never said "The British are Coming!" because he considered himself British like everyone else in America at the time. He would have said: "The Regulars are Coming! "meaning the regular army.
1778- THE WHITEHAVEN RAID- Former Scotsman John Paul Jones wanted to show the British public that the American Revolution wasn't just a distant war across the sea.
So he decided to raid the British Isles. An ulterior motive Jones had in attacking a seaport called Whitehaven was that Jones always suspected he was the illegitimate son of a Lord Selkirk, who resided there. It was his boyhood home. So through the dead of night, while the sailors of the U.S.S. Ranger were burning and plundering the harbor, John Paul Jones was out looking to kidnap his own father!
By dawn they were gone. The British Navy never regarded Jones as more than an irritant, but the raid was a great morale booster in the States. Jones couldn't locate his deadbeat dad, so he had to content himself with stealing his silverware.
1847- Battle of Cerro Gordo- General Winfield Scott defeated the Mexican army of Santa Anna and opened the way to Mexico City.
1857- Vice President Rufus King died of tuberculosis. President James Buchanan was totally distraught. There has been speculation that James Buchanan might have been our first Gay President. He was a lifelong bachelor, his niece Harriet Lane filled in for the social duties of First Lady. Only once in his life did Buchanan have an affair with a lady, which he broke off abruptly without explanation. When James Buchanan and Rufus King were colleagues in the Senate they roomed together and were inseparable. Old Andy Jackson liked to refer to Senators King and Buchanan " Little Miss Nancy and Mrs Buchanan".
1861-Mr. LINCOLN'S LOUSY DAY PART I- America’s top soldier Robert E. Lee declined Lincoln's offer to command the U.S. Army and instead sided with the Confederacy. In his letter doing so he confesses: "I forsee the Country will go through a terrible ordeal, a necessary expiation for our national sins."
1861-Mr. LINCOLN'S LOUSY DAY PART II- As if that news wasn't bad enough, on the same day Lincoln got a telegram from the pro-Southern Governor of Maryland saying not only would he refuse to cooperate in fighting the rebels, but he was cutting the telegraph wires and railroads into and out of Washington D.C.! Until the main union armies reached the capitol on the 24th, Washington was deserted, surrounded by a hostile slave state, with only a few Massachusetts volunteers to defend them. Maryland was only prevented from joining the Confederacy by Col. Ben Butler's initiative of sending troops into the state legislature to point their guns at the members as they voted. They voted to stay loyal.
1870- John D. Rockefeller files papers to form the Standard Oil Corporation of Ohio. One the largest companies in the world, today it is called Exxon-Mobil.
1906- THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE . 3,500 deaths and the city destroyed in the most frightening earthquake in U.S. History. Writer Jack London wrote:” Never has a modern Imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone!” Enrico Caruso was in town with the Metropolitan Opera on tour. He later sat on his suitcase in front of the ruined Palace Hotel and said- "Helluva Place! Ah’ma ’never coming back!"
Drew Barrymores grandfather the great actor John Barrymore was in a San Francisco hotel room when the quake struck. He ran into the bathroom and sat shivering in the bath until it was over. Afterward the National Guard put him to work clearing rubble looking for bodies. When they read his telegram, the other Barrymores refused to believe the story. Old John Drew, a patriarch of the acting family, felt otherwise. "It took an Act of God to get John out of bed and into a bathtub, and the National Guard to get him to go to work. I believe every word." Amadeo Gianini, founder of the Bank of America, then called the Bank of Italy, gathered up his bank's papers and stocks and buried them in his garden under the begonias until his new office could be set up. He soon set up for business again on a pier. City government was set up in the undamaged St. Francis Hotel on Powell Street and a large mahogany bar was moved out to the street to serve free drinks to calm nerves.
San Franciscans dusted themselves off and rebuilt. By 1913 they were doing well enough to host the World’s Fair. A little ditty of the time said:
"They say God spanked the town, for being rather frisky.
Then why'd He knocked the churches down yet leave up
Hotaling's Whiskey ?"
1914-. The full feature length movie premiered in Turin, Italy. "Cabiria" directed by Giovane Patrone. It was believed to be the first full length movie ever until the discovery of a 1912 version of Quo Vadis. D.W. Griffith’s 1915 classic the Birth of a Nation popularized the format for feature films.
1923- The First Yankee Stadium dedicated. Yankees win the opener against Boston, 4-1 in front of over 72,000 fans, Babe Ruth hit the park's first home run. The new $2.5 million ballpark is the first to feature three decks. This Yankee Stadium was replaced in 2009.
1934- The first automatic Laundromat opened in Ft. Worth Texas.
1938- Switzerland closed its’ borders to all Jews and asked the Nazi government to cooperate with them. The Swiss government never admitted this until 1995.
1942- The DOOLITTLE RAID. Gen. Jimmie Doolittle led 16 B-25s to fly long distance and drop bombs on Tokyo. It was a desperate mission. They did it knowing they didn't have enough fuel to return to the carrier USS Hornet, so they continued on to China and took their chances where they landed. Some of the men shot down and captured were hanged or beheaded by irate Japanese. The raid was had no strategic value and did little damage, but after weeks of unbroken Japanese success the American public needed a morale booster. General Doolittle survived the war and lived to be 97, dying in 1993.
1943- The Second Uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto.
1945- The German army surrounded in the Ruhr Pocket surrendered. 350,000 went into prison camps. Conscious that it was probably their last major battle in Europe, the Americans called it Operation Kaput. The same day British Prime Minister Churchill ordered Field Marshal Montgomery’s army to stop racing to Berlin and turn north towards Lubeck on the Baltic. "There is no reason for the our friends the Russians to occupy Denmark, and our presence at Lubeck would save a lot of argument later on."
1945- Famed journalist Ernie Pyle is killed by Japanese machine gun fire during the fighting at Okinawa.
1955- Scientist Albert Einstein died in Princeton New Jersey at 75. As he fell in and out of a coma his last words were in German. Since no one around his bed could understand German, we don't know what his last words were.
1958- A U.S. court ruled that poet Ezra Pound no longer had to stay at a Washington D.C. mental hospital for the criminally insane. The Idaho born Pound had moved to Italy in the 1920s and became an ardent supporter of Fascists like Mussolini. He felt artists thrived under strongman rule. Gertrude Stein couldn’t stand him because of his open Anti-Semitism. When World War II ended he was arrested for treason and sent to this mental hospital. After his release after 13 years incarceration he returned to Italy and died in 1972.
1958- At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels defeating the new San Francisco Giants, 6-5.
1980- The white minority dominated African nation of Rhodesia transitioned into the black majority nation named Zimbabwe and elected rebel leader Robert Mugabe as it’s first, and so far only president.
1994- Disney’s first theatrical musical based on an animated film, Beauty and the Beast A New Musical, opened on Broadway.
2000- Earlier that spring some of the worlds biggest internet companies –e-Bay, Amazon and CNN were paralyzed by a virus spreading hacker. Today the FBI made an arrest. The culprit was a Canadian High School student who went by the domain name of Mafia Boy. He received probation and a promise to only use his computer for schoolwork for two years.
2008- Pope Benedict XVI visited the U.S.. When he gave an address at the White House, President George W. Bush went up to him and said:” Your Holiness, that speech was AWESOME!”
Yesterday’s Quiz: What are these? Lucky Strikes, Viceroy, Pall Mall, Players, Chesterfield.
Answer: They were all brands of Cigarettes.