Feb 10, 2018
February 10th, 2018

Quiz: What does it mean to "leave someone in the lurch"? What is a Lurch?

Answer to yesterdays question below: In Elon Musk's sports car, currently in orbit in space, one panel in the dashboard bears the sign DON'T PANIC!. Where is that originally from?
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History for 2/10/2018
Birthdays: Former British PM Harold Macmillan, Jimmy Durante, Bertholdt Brecht, Leontyne Price, Roberta Flack, tennis great Bill Tilden, Lon Chaney Jr., Stella Adler, Mark Spitz, Boris Pasternak, Dame Judith Anderson, Greg Norman, Donavan, Dr Alex Comfort author of the Joy of Sex, Michael Apted, Jerry Goldsmith, Robert Wagner, Laura Dern is 51

1531- King Henry VIII demanded the Convocation of English Bishops acknowledge him as " Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England" After much dallying, rejected compromises and threats, the Bishops agreed. Their spokesman archbishop Warham later renounced the decision on his deathbed.

1534- RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS TAKE OVER A MAJOR CITY-
In the myriad of Protestant sects popping up as the Reformation spread throughout Europe the most radical was the Anabaptists. They took the idea of living simply like the Old Testament to an advanced form of anarchist communism- no leaders, no private property. This day mobs of Anabaptists drove out the Bishop of the German City of Munster and declared the city The New Jerusalem. Their leader John of Leyden lived like an Old Testament King in rich clothing with several wives.
After the Imperial German forces recaptured the city with horrible massacre (see June 24th) the Anabaptist movement was suppressed- except… one Anabaptist preacher named Menno Simmons reformed the movement stressing simple non-political farmlife. His group the Mennonites established communities in the America, Canada and Russia.

1722- Although not as famous as Blackbeard or Captain Kidd, Bartholomew Roberts was one of the most notorious pirates that ever flew the Jolly Roger. J.M. Barrie used him as the model for Captain Hook. This day he met his end when the British warship HMS Swallow caught up with his ship the Royal Fortune off Cape Lopez in Gabon. The pirates had taken a merchantman the night before so most of them were too drunk or hung-over to fight. Captain Roberts bellowed defiance, but as luck would have it he was struck dead by the first cannonball from the very first broadside the British fired. "ARR-MATEYS, ARR ….OUCH!"

His men threw his body overboard and after a short fight surrendered. The pirates were rounded up and sent in chains to the Cape Coast in Ghana where an Admiralty Court hanged 54, the largest one time pirate hanging ever.
This stern treatment brought to an end the high period of piracy in the Atlantic and the Caribbean.

1763- THE TREATY OF PARIS- Ending the Seven Years War (The French and Indian War). Europe makes peace and France gives England all of her territory in India and Canada. Spain gets Louisiana. "Half a continent changed hands with the scratch of a pen". To ensure speedy approval of the treaty, Prime Minister Pitt the Elder set up a booth outside the Parliament to hand out cash bribes to the M.P.s as they went in to vote.
The French were bitter but philosophical. Minister Choiseul predicted:" With our threat removed, the Americans will try for independence in ten years." American colonial representative Benjamin Franklin assured London:" Freedom is the last thing Americans want...."

1799- Napoleon marched out of Cairo at the head of his French expeditionary Army. He headed north towards Jerusalem, but was stopped at the city of Jaffa.
Around this time French soldiers discovered marijuana in Egyptian bazaars The tough old soldiers thought it cheaper than brandy and didn't leave you hung-over the next morning.

1814- THE GREAT WEEK- Napoleon's enemies, figuring the little bastard can't be everywhere at once, invade France from five directions with five armies, all aimed at Paris. Napoleon with a small force of 15-year-old draftee's defeated all five spearheads in one week. Today was the Battle of Champaubert.

1825- Gideon Mantell reported the discovery of an Iguanadon from the sandstone in Tilgate Sussex. He called it such because the teeth of the fossil resembled to him those of a large iguana.

1837- Russia's greatest poet Alexander Pushkin died of wounds from fighting a duel defending his wife's honor. His last words were directed to his books "Farewell, my friends..." Pushkin was the great, great grandson of a black man Abram Gannibal, brought from Cameroon to serve Czar Peter the Great in his Moorish Guard.

1840- English Queen Victoria marries a minor German prince named Albert of Saxe Coburg-Gotha. It becomes a real love-match and they produce children who will occupy the thrones of Europe. Their common belief in strong moral values above all transform English society into something truly Victorian. Albert set men's fashion trends like tuxedos, suits with neckties and sideburns; he also introduced to Britain and later to America the German custom of Christmas trees.

1846- After their temples in Navoo Illinois were burned by mobs, the Mormons under Brigham Young leave for their trek to Utah.

1862- After a hard night partying with fellow poet Swinburne, pre-Raphaelite Dante Rossetti returned home to find his wife dead of an opium overdose.

1863- Alanson Crane invented the Fire Extinguisher.

1870- The town of Anaheim Cal founded. No Disneyland yet. The name means Ana, as in Santa Anna River, and Heim, the German word for home. Most of the settlers were German immigrants.

1888- The City of Long Beach incorporated.

1906- King Edward VII launched a new British design superbattleship called HMS Dreadnought. In the early twentieth century battleships were like nuclear weapons, the number and size showed the world how important a power you were. The Dreadnought class launched a new arms race, as the world's navies spent millions to build more..

1907- THE EUHLENDBERG SCANDAL- Three of Kaiser Wilhelm's closest aides are accused by a socialist newspaper of being gay. The aides, including the Kaiser's personal friend Count Phillip zu Euhlenburg, who carried on an affair with Count Kuno von Molkte, military governor of Berlin! They sued in court, but were disgraced and ostracized in the same way writer Oscar Wilde was in England. The scandal shocked German society, and the Kaiser suffered a nervous breakdown.

1920- Major League Baseball banned the spitball pitch, scuff ball, licorice ball, all attempts to effect a baseball by defacing its surface.

1929- Elsa Lanchester married Charles Laughton.

1938- RKO screwball comedy with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant " Bringing Up Baby" premiered.

1940- MGM's "Puss gets the Boot" the first Tom and Jerry cartoon and the first collaboration of the team of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.

1940- Despite the dangerously low manpower to fight the Nazis in North Africa, the British Cabinet voted to overrule Prime Minister Winston Churchill and not arm the Jews in Palestine for fear of angering the local Arabs.

1941- Nazi planes bombed Iceland.

1949- The premiere of Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman".

1962- U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, shot down over Russia in 1960, was finally traded back to the U.S. for top Soviet spy Alexander Abel. In his memoirs, Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev later confided to Kennedy that he kept Col. Powers through the American election of 1960, because he didn't want "that s.o.b. Nixon" to have the advantage.

1966- CBS co-ops broadcasting the senate Kennan Hearings on the conduct of the Vietnam War with reruns of "I Love Lucy'. CBS news division president Fred Friendly quit in protest.

1966- Jaqueline Susanne's novel The Valley of the Dolls first published. Although critics considered it cheap and trashy- Time Magazine called it "Dirty Book of the Month", and Truman Capote called Susanne in her heavy sixties eye shadow, a "Truck Driver in Drag" Valley of the Dolls sold like wildfire. Its frank portrayal of single women enjoying casual sex and taking drugs in suburbia was a big step in the sexual revolution of the 1960's.

1966- Author Ralph Nader gained national fame when he testified to the Senate about the lax standards of auto safety. His greatest criticism was for GM's Corvair. General Motors responded with a smear campaign trying to paint Nader as gay and anti-Semitic. Nader successfully sued them in court. Many of his consumer advocates ideas are mandatory today like seat belts and listing gas efficiency on the sales sticker.

1992- The children's book- The Stinky Cheese Man debuted.

1996- IBM computer Deep Blue defeated world chess master Garry Kasparov. The first time a computer ever beat a human chess champion.
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Yesterday's question: In Elon Musk's sports car, currently in orbit in space, one panel in the dashboard bears the sign DON'T PANIC!. Where is that originally from?

Answer: It's a phrase from Douglas Adam's popular Sci-Fi comedic novel The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.


Feb 9, 2017
February 9th, 2018

Quiz: In Elon Musk's sports car, currently in orbit in space, one panel in the dashboard bears the sign DON'T PANIC!. Where is that originally from?

Answer to yesterdays question below: What classic 1931 film had for an opening soundtrack Tschaikowsky's Swan Lake?
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History for 2/9/2018
Birthdays: Constantine XI Paleaologus- the last Byzantine Emperor 1404, President William Henry Harrison, Samuel Tilden, Carmen Miranda, Alban Berg, Ronald Colman, Ernest Tubb, King Vidor, Mamie Van Doren, Roger Mudd, Alberto Vargas, Carole King, Bill Veeck, Fred Harman, Joe Pesci is 75, Zhang Zhu-Yi, Disney animator Bill Justice, Frank Frazetta, Mia Farrow is 73, Mena Suvari is 39, Ciaran Hinds is 65, Jerry Beck.

Today is the Feast of St. Apollonia, who wore a necklace of her own teeth, yanked out by her torturers. She is the patron saint of Dentists. She finished the session by throwing herself on the bonfire prepared for her. I wonder if she paused to rinse...

1267- The Polish-German town of Breslau ordered all Jews to wear funny hats.

1268- St. Louis declares his second Crusade. Crusade #8 if you're keeping score.

1540- First recorded horserace in England. Roodee Fields, Chester.

1555- John Hooper, the Anglican Bishop of Gloucester, was burned at the stake by Catholic Queen Bloody Mary Tudor.

1567- Young, sexy Mary Queen of Scots had tired of her abusive husband Lord Darnley and had the hots for macho Lord Bothwell. Darnley was convalescing from the Pox in a small cottage outside Edinburgh castle, annoyed that the Scottish parliament refused to confirm him as king. Mary had the cellar filled with gunpowder, so she could say he accidentally exploded -after all, isn't everybody's basement filled with gunpowder? The scheme didn't work. After the explosion Darnley staggered out of the smoldering ruins alive. So Lord Bothwell had to "accidentally " throttle him. Hoot-Man!

1674- The British had taken New Amsterdam from the Dutch and renamed it New York in 1661. In 1671 a Dutch battle fleet came back, recaptured the port and renamed it New Orange. Today another British fleet arrived and made it New York again. Oiy! Make up your minds!

1800- France first received news of the death of American leader George Washington who had died December 14th. Napoleon ordered all French flags at half mast and ten days of official mourning in honor of "This great champion of the rights of man".

1807-THE GREAT SANHEDRIN- The French Revolution had finally given its Jewish citizens political rights, and spread these rights throughout Europe as the French armies conquered. This day Napoleon had called for a grand council of European rabbis to discuss issues dividing Christians and Jews. A Sanhedrin (Greek for sitting together) of the Jews had not met since 66AD. Napoleon himself wanted to attend but at the time he was busy in Poland conquering more people.

1824- The House of Representatives decided a deadlocked presidential election in favor of John Quincy Adams even though he didn't win the popular vote.

1856- An early tabloid The London Illustrated News reported a live Pterodactyl dinosaur popped out of a rock and flew away when workers were excavating a railroad tunnel in Culmont France. Believe it or Not!

1861- The new Confederate States elected as their first and only president former US secretary of state Jefferson Davis. Among other projects Davis was once in charge of introducing Egyptian camels to the Southwestern deserts and creating the First US Army Camel-Corps. When the Southern states seceded Davis was hoping to become a general of Mississippi volunteers, but not be made president. Old Sam Houston said Jeff Davis was "cold as a lizard and ambitious of Lucifer".

1864- George Armstrong Custer married Miss Elizabeth Bacon. Despite Custer's reported taking Indian women as mistresses, he remained wildly in love with his Libby. He once risked a court martial for leaving his post to go see her. After Custer was killed at the Little Big Horn Libby Custer became the custodian of his memory. She created the romantic image of him writing books like "Mornings on Horseback" and " They Died With Their Boots On". She lived for 60 years and met President Franklin Roosevelt before dying in 1933 in her 80s.

1870- Congress created the U.S. Weather Service.

1900- Collegiate tennis player Dwight Davis created the Davis Cup.

1909- The First US narcotics legislation, this one against opium. At this time heroin, morphine and cocaine were all available in patent medicines. Marijuana wasn't outlawed until after prohibition in the late 1930s. Cab Calloway reminisced about the Reefer Man on the streets of Harlem selling marijuana cigarettes, 3 for 25 cents.

1914- "Mabel's Strange Predicament" The Max Sennett Keystone short where Charlie Chaplin fr67yfirst donned his baggy pants, little mustache and derby to create The Tramp, one of the most beloved characters in cinema history. He was so famous, even young Adolf Hitler was once admonished to change his mustache, because he looked too much like Chaplin.

1923- Russia's passenger airlines Aeroflot established.

1932- Mobster Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll was a hit man for Dutch Schultz when he decided to go on his own and start shooting up New York. He earned the name "Mad Dog" for gunning down school children who accidentally strayed into his crossfire. Finally, he was so violent, even the mob couldn't stand him any more. This day Mad Dog Coll was waiting for a meeting in a soda shoppe on 23rd and 7th in Manhattan. Some one called him to the phone. While waiting on the line two gunmen jumped out and sprayed the phone booth with tommy gun fire. Dutch disliked freelancers.

1942- When war broke out the US had impounded the worlds largest luxury ocean liner, France's Normandie. Remember France at this time was occupied and part of the Nazi Reich. The Normandie was being refitted in a New York drydock to become a troopship when this day she caught fire. In a spectacular conflagration she rolled over and sank. Everyone feared it was the work of Nazi saboteurs, but and investigation showed the real culprit was a welding torch left near some flammable solvents.

1943- After 6 months, the Battle of Guadalcanal finally ended. G.I.'s reached the opposite side of the island, and shot at Japanese soldiers running out into the surf. Evacuating Japanese forces had left behind wounded who could still fire a gun with orders to hold off the Americans as long as you can, then take a cyanide pill or blow yourself up with a hand grenade. So many warships had been sunk in the waters in between the archipelago's islands that it is now named Ironbottom Sound. The last Japanese soldier came out of the jungle in 1947. Even 75 years later local people could still show you ancient fighter planes still dangling from the vines of the jungle canopy.

1945- The US Air Force drops tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo, destroying the city in a firestorm and killing 130,000, more people than Hiroshima 90,000.

1950- THE WHEELING SPEECH- Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy "Tail-Gunner Joe" delivered his speech in Wheeling West Virginia in which he blamed Communist subversion for all the ills of American society: the Soviet atomic bomb, the loss of China, fluoridated water, post nasal drip, the works. He dramatically waved a paper:" I have in my hand a list of 205 names- names given to the Secretary of State of known Communists who continue nevertheless to work and shape policy in the State Department !" The paper was blank, he had no such list. But the effect was electric.

1959- The AFL and CIO unite.

1964- Ed Sullivan introduced the English rock band the Beatles to a nationwide TV audience. It was a "Rrrreally Big Shewww!" (Sullivan's signature line)

1969- The" Lindsay Snowstorm". John Lindsay was the handsome if confused mayor of New York in the sixties of whom the Robert Redford character in "The Candidate" was partially based. He tried to cut budget expenses by stripping New York of it's snowplow fleet, thinking they were unnecessary. The city was immediately paralyzed by 14 inches of snow. Plows had to be brought from as far as Montreal. Even then, he ignored the outer boroughs for days, focusing on Manhattan.

1968-"You did it! You Finally did it! Oh, Damn you all to Hell!!" the film the Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston premiered.

1971- The Sylmar Quake (6.8) rocks L.A.

1989- In testimony before the New Jersey State Senate World Wrestling Federation President Vince McMahon admit that the sport of wrestling is purely entertainment, and no one actually gets hurt. I'm shocked, shocked!

1990- Singer Del Shannon, who had a hit with the 1961 song Runaway, shot himself with a 22 rifle. Del Shannon was supposed to replace Roy Orbison in the Travelling Wilbury's, the group that featured Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynn. Orbison had died the previous year of heart failure and the Wilburys were starting to rehearse with Del Shannon. After Shannon's suicide, the group decided to disband.

1991- Lithuania voted for independence from the crumbling Soviet Union.

1996- German World War II fighter ace Adolf Galland died at age 86. While other aces had skulls or dice painted on their planes, Galland preferred a Mickey Mouse on the tail of his Messerschmidt ME109F. Hey Adolf, is that the RAF on your tail? Worse, its the Disney Legal Department! Ach Himmel!

2001- Actor Tom Cruise filed for divorce from Nicole Kidman.
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Yesterday's Question: What classic 1931 film had for an opening soundtrack Tschaikowsky's Swan Lake?

Answer: Dracula with Bela Lugosi.


Feb 8, 2018
February 8th, 2018

Question: What classic 1931 film had for an opening soundtrack Tschaikowsky's Swan Lake?

Answer to yesterday's question below: The crusade of King Richard Lionheart was the Third Crusade. How many crusades were there in all?

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History for 2/8/2018
Birthdays: St Proclus of Constantinople 412AD, Jules Verne, Dmitri Medeleyev- inventor of the Periodic Table of Elements, James Dean, William T. Sherman, John Williams is 85, Ivan Ivano-Vano, Lana Turner, Jack Lemmon, Alejandro Rey, Ted Koppel, Nick Nolte, Gary Coleman, Robert Klein, Seth Green

1587- MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS BEHEADED at Fotheringay Castle. Circumstantial evidence proved Mary had not discouraged plots to overthrow and kill Queen Elizabeth. Truth was Elizabeth could never sit on her throne securely while Mary lived. While some could argue Elizabeth's legitimate birth, Mary's grandmother was the sister of King Henry VIII.
Apologists for Queen Elizabeth argue she did ordered the execution with great sadness, but others say she cracked jokes as she signed the death warrant. Elizabeth and Mary never met face-to-face. Mary's son James accepted his mothers death calmly, he hadn't seen her since he was a toddler and his Presbyterian tutors all filled him with hate for her.

It must have been a hard day at work for the headsman. First in order to ensure a good job, Mary gave a bribe to the executioner, but he muffed the first chop and had to do it in a couple of swings. Then, when the headsman picked up the head it plopped out of it's red wig. She had lost most of her hair to smallpox, as did Elizabeth and a lot of other folks. Finally, when they moved Mary's body, a yelping lap dog jumped out of her skirts and bit the headsman. The heartbroken little pet refused all food, and died soon afterwards.

1601- Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex, was the toyboy of Queen Elizabeth I. On this day he shocked the court by riding through the countryside declaring his intent to overthrow the beloved old Queen. The countryside in turn surprised him when no one joined him. He was soon captured and lost his head.

1608- Fire burns down what there is of Jamestown and most of the food supply.

1836- Davy Crockett with twelve Tennessee leathershirts arrived at the Alamo.

1864- Abraham Lincoln visited Matthew Brady's Photo Studio and posed for the photo's that would one day be on the Penny and Five dollar bill.

1865- Russian monk Gregor Mendel publishes his laws of heredity. The science of genetics is born.

1866- Elizabeth Cady-Stanton pleaded in the New York State legislature that neglect, abandonment and wanton cruelty on the part of a husband be made grounds for divorce. Her ideas became law, one hundred years later, in 1966.

1887- Congress passed the Dawes Act, which said any Indian who left his tribe and moved into white society would be granted American citizenship. All native Americans were not granted unconditional U.S. citizenship until 1924.

1893- THE FIRST RECORDED STRIPTEASE - discounting Salome. At Paris' famed Moulin Rouge club an artist's model named Mona decided to get an edge in a beauty contest judged by art students by disrobing to music while walking up and down the stage. She was arrested and fined 100 francs and the students rioted.

1893- Congress repealed the Enforcement Acts, a key piece of reconstruction legislation that prevented local governments from cheating African Americans out of their voting rights.

1910- Boy Scouts of America incorporated on the British model.

1914- THE FIRST TRUE CHARACTER ANIMATION- Windsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur" premiered as part of a vaudeville act. Up to then most U.S. animations were attempts to bring popular newspaper comic characters to life, but Gertie was a new character never before seen. Some critics had wondered if animated characters weren't some kind of man in a special suit, so McCay drew a dinosaur, a character that couldn't possibly be impersonated by a living thing. The brilliant draftsmanship and timing of this film would inspire the generation of Animation artists of the Golden Age of the 1930's-40s.

1915- THE BIRTH OF A NATION or The Clansman premiered at Clunes Auditorium in Los Angeles. Film pioneer D.W. Griffith's racist movie was considered for many years the first American feature length film. The discovery in 1999 of a 1913 Richard III film predates it. Son of a Confederate veteran, it's been thought that Griffith was making a personal statement, truth is there was a flood of films to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil War and the book the Clansman by Thomas Dixon was a best seller. President Woodrow Wilson (another son of the Confederacy ) endorsed the film, when he called it :"History written with a thunderbolt and I'm afraid all too true."

Birth of a Nations' inflammatory imagery and this politically incorrect Presidential endorsement helped a rebirth of the defunct Ku Klux Klan, and caused an increase in lynching. But despite the film's politics, it's technique influenced world cinema and established once and for all the feature film length as the standard for all future motion pictures. Its original running length was 3 hours.

D.W. Griffith in latter years lost his fortune and became a drunken has-been. Watching him at Chasen's Restaurant in the 1940's beg MGM studio head Dore Schary for work, inspired Billy Wilder to write SUNSET BLVD.

1924, the first execution by gas chamber in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City. It took Chinese gang member Gee Jong six minutes to die.

1928- Englishman John Logie Baird transmitted a still television image across the Atlantic from England to Hartsdale New York. It was a still image of a woman.

1949- Cardinal Mindzenty, the Roman Catholic primate of Hungary was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Communist government for treason. Nine years earlier Mindzenty had been imprisoned by Pro-Nazi Hungarians after he spoke out against the regimes treatment of Jews. He was imprisoned until 1956 when he was released and escaped to the west in 1971. Cardinal Mindzenty was then lauded a champion of human rights the way Nelson Mandela or Ang San Soo Chy.

1960- Adolph Coors III the heir to the Coors beer empire was killed in a failed kidnapping attempt. Joseph Corbett Jr was apprehended in Canada and charged with the crime. Ironically, Adolph Coors was reputedly allergic to beer.

1961- Nebraska teenager and future movie star Nick Nolte was busted for the first time. He was accused of selling fake Draft cards so his friends could buy alcohol.

1966- The Vatican closed its office of censorship.

1967- Georgy Girl by the Seekers goes to #1 in pop charts.

1976 - TAXI DRIVER, directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle, and Albert Brooks, was released.

1994- Jack Nicholson destroyed the windshield of a neighbor's car with a golf club, screaming "You cut me off!" He settled the matter out of court.

2001- Walt Disney's California Adventure theme park opened.

2007- Anna Nicole Smith, centerfold, pole dancer, heiress and reality TV star, died from an overdose of prescription drugs. She was 39.
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Yesterday's Question: The crusade of King Richard Lionheart was the Third Crusade. How many crusades were there in all?

Answer: About Nine.


Feb 7, 2018
February 7th, 2018

Question: The crusade of King Richard Lionheart was the Third Crusade. How many crusades were there in all?

Answer to yesterday's question below: What WWII general was nicknamed " The Desert Fox"?
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History for 2/7/2018
Birthdays: St. Thomas Moore, Eubie Blake, Sinclair Lewis, Larry "Buster" Crabbe, Laura Ingalls Wilder writer of Little House on the Prairie, Gay Talese, James Spader is 58, Chris Rock is 53, Eddie Izzard is 56, Ashton Kutcher is 40

310 AD- Feast of St. Theodore the General. He commanded a Legion under the Emperor Licinius in Pontus. After admitting he had embraced the outlaw sect Christianity, he was tortured and burned in a furnace. Two years before the ban on Christians was lifted.

457AD- After the death of the Roman Emperor Marcian, General Aspar proclaimed his friend General Leo the Armenian to be the new emperor of the Eastern Empire.

1601-Elderly Queen Elizabeth Ist dallied with a courtier named Robert Deverueaux the Earl of Essex. This hot headed toyboy soon got it into his head he could overthrow the old Queen and take over her government. This night at his estate- the original Essex House, flattering friends paid for a performance of Master William Shakespeare's play Richard II. Queen Elizabeth's spies overheard and told her; the symbolism of Essex watching a play about a monarch justly deposed was not lost on her. Next day the Essex plot was crushed and he and all his buddies went to the headsman's block.

1792- The major European powers- Russia, Austria, Prussia, Spain and England announced a grand coalition to crush the Revolution in France. They considered it a pre-emptive war to prevent French people's-style revolution from over throwing their monarchies. About the only ally the French had was the American Republic, but they were too weak and too far away to be of any help.

1796- Napoleon & Josephine's engagement was announced.

1807- BATTLE of EYLAU- Up until the 20th century armies traditionally avoided fighting in winter because of the added hardships of weather. After chasing the Russian army up into Northern Poland, Napoleon put his French army into winter quarters and proceeded to bed down with his new mistress Countess Maria Walewska. Unfortunately a French division bumped into the main Russian army and a battle ensued. Everyone rushed there and an inconclusive slaughter raged in a blinding snowstorm. The battle was only ended when Marshal Murat massed all the French cavalry into one big juggernaut and sent it hammering through the Russian center.

1882- John L. Sullivan defeated top boxer Paddy Ryan in a ferocious bareknuckle brawl in Gulfport Mississippi. There were no official boxing championship belts yet, but John L. Sullivan boldly declared himself the Champion of the World. The title stuck. He'd travel from town to town, building his legend: "I'm John L. Sullivan and I can lick any man in the house!!" and he always did.

1904- Great fire of Baltimore.

1910- The Town of Hollywood was absorbed into the growing City of Los Angeles.

1925- Professor Raymond Dart of the University of South Africa named the small human like skull found in a lime deposit Australopithicus, a missing link between ape and man.

1931- Aviatrix Amelia Earhart married publisher George Putnam.

1937- PACKING THE COURT-Since seizing the initiative in 1933 to battle the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt was used to having his own way with Congress. After the Supreme Court struck down important components of the NRA as unconstitutional, FDR this night informed leading Senators that he was introducing a bill to expand the Supreme Court so he could name his own men and create a majority to do his bidding. The heretofore docile Senate rose up and defeated FDR's scheme, the resistance led by his own vice president Cactus Jack Garner. The newly invigorated Congress continued to defy Roosevelt until Pearl Harbor.

1939, Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep was published. Chandler was a 51year old ex-oil company executive who had taken up writing at the age of 45, after being fired for alcohol-soaked absenteeism. Over the previous five years he had published enough crime stories in the pulp magazines to survive, but this was his first novel, the first of seven featuring the inimitable detective Philip Marlowe.

1940- Disney's second animated feature "Pinocchio" opened at the Central Theater in Manhattan. It cost a staggering $2.6 million to make.

1942- Despite being under heavy Japanese attack, British commander Sir Spencer Percival vowed that Singapore would resist to the last man. Singapore surrendered one week later.

1942- Detroit assembly lines ceased all production of civilian automobiles and focused exclusively on war material- tanks, planes, trucks until 1945. When President Roosevelt challenged carmakers to help make America the "Arsenal of Democracy" in 1939 they dragged their feet. Now the government sweetened their orders with guaranteed profits, labor peace and they would sell at incredible discount the factories built at government expense.

1944- German Panzergrenadiers launched a heavy counterattack on the Allied beachhead at Anzio Italy.

1950- The US recognized the nation of Vietnam not as ruled by Ho Chi Minh, but ruled by French mandate under the Emperor Bao Dai.

1960- JFK PARTYS WITH THE RATPACK-Before he created the Peace Corps and Camelot, presidential candidate John Kennedy needed to relax and raise some hell. So in total secret he helicoptered down to Las Vegas and spent this night at the Sands Hotel with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and his brother in law, actor Peter Lawford. These men were famous for their all-night Rat Pack parties, heavy drinking, girls, poker and more. Sinatra introduced Kennedy to a party girl named Judith Cambell Exner, who would claim JFK as a lover at the same time as she was sleeping with Sam Momo Giancana, the don of the Chicago Mafia. In the wee dawn hours Kennedy slipped away to continue his race for the White House.

1964- THE BRITISH ROCK INVASION BEGAN. Thousands of screaming fans welcomed THE BEATLES to New York for their first U.S. Tour. The last music out of England to be taken seriously by Americans was The Lambeth Walk, now the UK announced itself as a powerhouse of rock & roll. For a Brit to do Rock & Roll in America was as audacious as an American reciting Shakespeare in Stratford, but the welcome for the Beatles was so overwhelming that other bands like the Rolling Stones and Herman's Hermits soon followed.

Local New York disc jockeys Cousin Brucie and Murray the K wiggled to the front of the crowds and got a national audience by following the young musicians around. The crowds of teenagers were so excited they mobbed a Rolls Royce in front of the Warwick Hotel where the Beatles were staying just because they figured a Rolls Royce would be something they drove in. They actually used taxicabs.

1964- The GI Joe action figure born. In 1974 it got the Kung-Fu Grip.

1968- During the Vietnamese Tet Offensive a US Army colonel issued a statement to the A.P. after burning the tiny village of Ben Tre.:" We had to destroy that village in order to save it." It typified the sometimes dizzy logic the Army used to justify its actions.

1971- Women in Switzerland receive the right to vote.

1979- Nazis Angel of Death Dr. Josef Mengele was living in hiding in Brazil. This day the old man had a stroke while swimming and drowned. His death was kept secret until 1985.

1989- Retired tennis champ Bjorn Borg was rushed to a Madrid hospital and had his stomach pumped after he tried to overdose of sleeping pills.

1992- Twelve European nations sign the Maastricht Treaty of European Union.

1994- Jean Bertrand Aristide sworn in as democratically elected president of Haiti.

2001-After being overthrown, Jean Bertrand Aristide sworn in as President of Haiti again. He was overthrown again in 2003.

2002- President George W. Bush issued a determination "…that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al-Qaeda or Taliban detainees.'" This gave direct permission to torture our prisoners, something every American leader since George Washington would not allow.
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Yesterday's Question: What WWII general was nicknamed " The Desert Fox"?

Answer: German General Irwin Rommel.


Feb 6, 2018
February 6th, 2018

Question: What WWII general was nicknamed " The Desert Fox"?

Answer to yesterday's question below: What Shakespeare play is not considered bad luck to discuss by name, but it only referred to as "The Scottish Play"…?
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History for 2/6/2018
Birthdays: Christopher Marlowe, Eva Braun, Ronald Reagan, Francois Truffaut, Babe Ruth, Elias Disney- Walt's dad, Bob Marley, Queen Anne Ist of England, Aaron Burr, Robert Townsend, Mike Farrell, Tom Brokaw, Mike Maltese, Haskel Wexler, Axel Rose, Patrick McKnee- Mr Steed of the Avengers, Thurl Ravenscroft the voice of Tony the Tiger, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kathy Naijimy is 61, Rip Torn, Marty Sklar

46BC- Julius Caesar defeated the Egyptian army of Cleopatra's brother Ptolomey IX at the Battle of Thapsus. The boy Ptolomey's body was found in a swamp, floating face down.

1481- The first public burnings of heretics by the Spanish Inquisition. Six men and women were marched out to a public square in Seville and burned at the stake. The executions soon took on a pageant like atmosphere and were called the Auto-da-fe', an Act of Faith.

1671- Young John Churchill, the future Duke of Marlborough, was wounded in a duel with a man named Pfenning. At the time he was the lover of the beautiful Barbera Villars the Duchess of Cleveland, who was also the mistress of King Charles II. Marlborough once had to leap out of Ms. Villars bedroom window when he heard the king at the door. Luckily the King paused to urinate in a hallway planter. At the king's suggestion, Barbara Villars was the model for the woman in the Greek helmet with trident & shield, symbolizing Britannia.

1778- The Kingdom of France signed an formal alliance with the rebellious North American colonies calling themselves the United States. Queen Marie Antoinette was charmed by the American ambassador Benjamin Franklin and called him 'Le Ambassadeur d'Electrique'.
In the House of Commons Prime Minister Lord North had said that he doubted any European monarch would ever ally itself to the rebels: "For it would raise in America a new Empire dedicated to missionary it's form of radical democracy around the world. " In Germany, the philosopher Goethe said: "We wish the Americans every success."

1815- President James Madison signed a declaration granting a complete pardon to Jean Lafitte, Dominique Yue and all the swamp pirates of Barataria who had fought alongside Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.
Jean Lafitte became a prosperous citizen of New Orleans. But by 1819 had tired of the legit life. He outfitted a new ship and went buccaneering again. A book about pirates written in 1837 claimed Lafitte died fighting a British warship in the Gulf of Mexico in 1829, but no other proof of that exists. General Dominique Yue was an artillery sergeant for Napoleon before becoming a buccaneer. He died one of the first citizens of New Orleans. He is buried in tomb #1 in the city's oldest cemetery.

1847- The Treaty of Waitangi- Britain settled New Zealand from the Maoris. Hobbits to follow….

1857- The first Perforated Postage Stamp.

1865- THE NERO BALL- During the Civil War as Sherman's army burned and looted it's way up from Georgia through the Carolina's Sherman's cavalry leader Judson Kilpatrick came up with newer and more novel ways to commit acts of cruelty on the civilian population. This day at the town of Barnwell South Carolina, Kilpatrick invited all the belles of the town to a "Nero Ball" The ladies didn't understand the meaning until that evening, when he forced them to dance with his officers while his soldiers burned their homes and stole their possessions. One of Kilpatricks officers protested:" It was the bitterest satire I ever witnessed". Even his own men hated him, and called him "Kill-Cavalry". But Gen Sherman defended him."I know he's a helluva damn fool, but I need him for my cavalry".

1874- THE ASHANTI RING- The British Army under Sir Garnet Woolsley defeat this West African kingdom, and on this day burn it's capitol Kimesha. The Ashanti practiced human sacrifice and worshipped a gold covered stool, given from heaven and for only spirits could sit on. Woolsley's inner circle of officers all became generals, and were called the Ashanti Ring.

1904-The Russo-Japanese War began with a surprise attack on the Russian Manchurian base of Port Arthur, just like Pearl Harbor forty years later. Japan's defeat of mighty Russia in a modern war, after being in medieval poverty only 55 years before, amazed the world.

1919- The Great Seattle General Strike. 100,000 people walk off the job and paralyze the city.

1919- Because defeated Berlin was awash in communist and rightwing paramilitary mobs fighting in the streets, the German government moved to Weimar to write it's democratic constitution. Germany in between the wars was called the Weimar Republic.

1926- Oliver Hardy tried once to be a dancer in a minstrel show, but wound up running a movie theater in his hometown of Millidgeville, Georgia. He watched the comics on screen and thought" I am better than those guys.." He went to Hollywood, and this day signed a contract with the Hal Roach Studios to appear in short comedies, usually as a villain. Next year director Leo McCarey teamed the rotund Hardy with skinny Scottish music hall comedian Stan Laurel, and a legendary team was born- Laurel & Hardy.
Interesting Note: Laurel & Hardy were both over 6 feet tall.

1935- The board game Monopoly is introduced by Parker Brothers. The prototype monopoly board was round oilcloth and had street names derived from Atlantic City NJ.

1935- BOXERS OR BRIEFS? Arthur Kneibler patented the men's underwear brief. He got the idea looking at Frenchmen's bathing suits on the Riviera and called them Jockey's.

1937- John Steinbecks novel "Of Mice and Men" published. In a result Mr Steinbeck probably didn't anticipate, was the stereotype image of a mildly autistic man as the big dumb sidekick Lenny, cartoonists used so often. "Duh, tell me about da rabbits, George."

1943- "GET ME GEISLER!" Actor Errol Flynn was acquitted of two counts of sex with adolescents, which even if it is consensual is still considered statutory rape. The two women who brought the charges had actually tried this shakedown with other celebrities. They weren't exactly adolescents, despite testifying in court with pigtails and a lollypop. Flynn hired lawyer to the stars Jerry Geisler and he slowly took the women story apart. Geisler discovered one had a prior conviction for 'public lewdness' and the other had an abortion, which then was illegal. So Flynn got off- literally.

Flynn had just finished a film called "Gentleman Jim" and at the end of the film when he says to Alexis Smith: "I never said I was a Gentleman." Peals of knowing laughter rang out from audiences. This is also the time the slang term for living it up was coined- to be "In Like Flynn". Flynn's limo soon sported the license plate- R U 18?

1948- In Paris' Cherche-Midi jail, Nazi General Von Stuelpnagel, the former commandant of occupied France, shot himself rather than face trail for war crimes. Stuelpnagel was part of the Valkyrie Plot to overthrow Hitler, and disobeyed the Fuehrer's orders to destroy Paris landmarks, but he also executed many members of the French Resistance and transported French Jews to concentration camps.

1952- King George VI died at age 56 of lung cancer. Princess Elizabeth found herself queen at 27 years old.

1974- John Boorman's sci-fi cult classic Zardoz premiered. Sean Connery in his red jock-strap.

1985- Steve Wozniak, the young engineer who started Apple Computer with Steve Jobs in his garage, retired from running the company. He'd rather work as an engineer and teach children. He also returned to Berkeley to complete his undergraduate degree, under the name Rocky Clark. Rocky was the name of his dog.

2007- PSYCHO ASTRONAUT- Lisa Nowak, Space Shuttle commander, and mother of three, nicknamed RoboChick by the other astronauts, was enamored of another astronaut on the program, William "Billy-O" Oefelein. Today Lisa shocked America by driving 900 miles from Texas to Orlando non-stop to threaten the life of her boyfriend's new lover. She wore a wig, a Huggies diaper to prevent having to pull over to use the restroom, and was carrying handcuffs and duct tape. She was caught and arrested before she could execute her strange plan. The incident spawned dozens of jokes-
The Astro-Nut, Lust in Space, The 150 Mile High Club, etc.
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QUESTION: What Shakespeare play is not considered bad luck to discuss by name, but it only referred to as "The Scottish Play"…?

Today's Answer: MacBeth. Show people consider it bad luck to say the name out loud. Legend is that Shakespeare used in the play a real witches spell he heard (Hubble-Bubble Toil and Trouble.) It was first performed for King James I. Since King James considered himself descended from Scottish King Malcolm MacDuff, his majesty was not amused. And the bad luck as gone on ever since.


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