May 5, 2019
May 5th, 2019

Quiz: Which Hollywood studio is older? Walt Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Dreamworks.

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: What is a Potemkin village?
History for 05/05/2019
Birthdays: Tyrone Power, Karl Marx, Elizabeth Cochrane called Nellie Bly, Soren Kierkegard, Alice Faye, James Beard, Michael Palin is 77, Pat Carroll, Patrick Ewing, John Rhys Davies is 75, Lance Henriksen is 79, Brian Williams, Floyd Gottfredson

In Mexico and parts of the US, this is Cinco de Mayo (see 1862 below)

In Japan this is a holiday known as Children's Day.

National Teacher's Day.

National Cartoonist's Day.

2,349 BC- According to Bishop Ussher, an XVI Century Flemish cleric who tried to calculate an actual date for every important event in the Bible, today is the day Noah’s Ark struck dry ground on Mount Ararat.

840- Louis the German, a son of Charlemagne, died of fright during a total eclipse of the sun.

1504 -Sir Anton of Burgundy, known as The Great Bastard, dies at 82.

1534- King Henry VIII executed a nun named Elizabeth Barton, who claimed to have been instructed by God to condemn the King’s divorce. She claimed supernatural forces had shown her the place in Hell being prepared for King Henry.

1640- King Charles I dissolved Parliament after only three weeks for being uppity. It was called the Short Parliament. When they refused to grant him tax money to fight his wars the King levied a 1% property tax on everyone in England. If you didn’t pay it right away you could lose your ears and be branded on the cheeks with a hot iron. Bright ideas like this cost Charles his head, after losing the English Civil War in 1649.

1789- King Louis XVI reluctantly convened an Estates General, the French national parliament, to get the country out of a fiscal crisis. He had fired the Swiss financier Jacques Necker, the only man who seemed to be stopping the economys slide. Up to now Louis' understanding of fiscal policy was to cut the budget spent on the royal lapdogs. An assembly like this had not been convened since 1611. The Parliamentarians demanded permanent power and by refusing to adjourn when the Royal command came, set in motion the French Revolution. Napoleon said the French Revolution began when the king fired Necker.

1800- Shortly after winning his Federalist parties nod to run for re-election President John Adams was told by his wife Abigail Adams” Tis a pity that politicians would sacrifice all that good men hold dear and sacred, just to win an election.” Of course, that doesn’t happen today, now does it, boys and girls?

1808- THE SPANISH ULCER- The Spanish Royal Family was having problems. King Charles IV, his chief minister Godoy who was also a lover of the Queen, the Infante Ferdinand VII and the Prince of Asturias were all trying to overthrow one another while Goya made funny portraits of them.
French Emperor Napoleon offered to mediate. After he lured them all to Bayonne on French soil, he told them: “ I’ve got an idea. I’ll lock you up in this fortress, and my brother Joseph will be King of Spain.” Napoleon sent an army into Spain to enforce his idea but the Spanish people wouldn’t stand for it and fought first in the open, and then as “guerrillas”- little wars.
While Napoleon was trying to conquer the rest of Europe he had to constantly keep troops in Spain fighting the guerrillas and the Duke of Wellington’s English. Spain was finally liberated in 1814 and the Royal Family promptly went back to arguing.

1821"...le Armee'......Josephine....." Napoleon Bonaparte died on the island of St. Helena at age 52. Recent radioactive analysis of his hair samples reveal that in his last 18 months the arsenic level in his body went up 150%. Did he die of stomach cancer like his father or was he poisoned as he stated in his memoirs? Was there too many bits of mercury and arsenic in his prescribed medicines or the wallpaper? The debate continues..

1827- In Tennessee a 17-year old tailor's apprentice named Andrew Johnson married 16 year old Eliza McArdle. Johnson was illiterate, so one of his bride's first chores was to teach him to read and write. Johnson became the 17th President of the United States.

1862-HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO- Battle of Puebla-Mexican Juaristas under Zaragosa defeated a French invasion force sent by Napoleon III. One of the heroes of the battle was a soldier named Porfiro Diaz. After Benito Juarez’s presidency Diaz made himself dictator and reigned 38 years until being ousted in the Mexican Revolution in 1910.

1864-While Lee and Grant’s armies began to battle in the Wilderness, Sherman began his Atlanta campaign. Sherman told Grant:" You hold Lee down and give me enough troops and I can make Georgia howl!"

1889- THE PARIS WORLD EXHIBITION opened. This exposition was what the Eiffel Tower was built for: it was the centerpiece of this World's Fair to mark the centennial of the French Revolution.
Americans remembered it as the event where American painting first stood out on the world stage, despite being given a small gallery space between Bosnia and Denmark. The judging of the artwork was controversial. Here they are trying to show the world the uniqueness of American painting, yet with not a single Copley, Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, or Winslow Homer was accepted.
James McNeill Whistler considered himself American although he lived most of the time in London. When the show was announced, he patriotically entered a dozen paintings but the American judges rejected them all. He angrily re-submitted them as a British artist and won a gold medal.

1891-Carnegie Hall in New York opened. One old musician told me the acoustics are so perfect that you can fart in the trumpet section and you'll be heard in the second balcony.

1920- Britain and France get the League of Nations to sanction their colonial takeover of the Middle East. France occupies Syria and Lebanon and Britain Palestine and Mesopotamia (Iraq). The League officially considered them 'mandates' to administer territory of the defeated Turkish Empire, but Britain and France held them in effect as colonial possessions.

1932- Charles Revson founded the Revlon Cosmetics Company.

1942- The last U.S. forces on the besieged Island of Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese. General MacArthur was ordered to escape to Australia, leaving his friend Jonathan Wainwright to lead his men into captivity. But when he was asked to recommend General Wainwright for the Congressional Medal of Honor, MacArthur refused. "The Medal of Honor cannot be awarded to a general who pulls down Old Glory and surrenders!". MacArthur had Wainwright at his side to sign the surrender documents on the U.S.S. Missouri in 1945.

1945- In a desperate plan to get at America, Japanese generals tried tying bombs to high flying atmospheric weather balloons that could catch the jet stream across the Pacific. This day the only World War II casualties on the U.S. mainland occurred when an Oregon woman Elsie Mitchell and her two children were killed by one of these strange bombs while picnicking.

1945- Happy Birthday Yosemite Sam! Hare Trigger, the first cartoon to feature the red mustachioed desperado premiered.

1953- Broadway Director Jerome Robbins was riding high after directing hits like On the Town and King & I, when he was labeled a Communist. To save his career, this day he testified before Joseph McCarthy’s House UnAmerican Activities Committee and named names. One actress he finked on, Margaret Lee said” I’ve just been stabbed by a wicked fairy”. Ironically, Jerome Robbins went on to direct two of his biggest hits “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the Fiddler on the Roof using blacklisted actors like Zero Mostel, Beatrice Arthur and Jack Gilford, who all hated him.

1960- Soviet Premier Khruschev announces to the world press the shooting down of an American U-2 spy plane over Russia. President Eisenhower vigorously denied anything of the sort until Khruschev in a world news conference produced the plane wreckage and pilot Lt. Francis Gary Powers. The incident not only deepened the Cold War, but for the first time in modern history a U.S. President was caught lying his head off. But sadly, not the last time.

1961- Alan Shepard became the first American in space on board Friendship VII. The rocket took him 115 miles into space but not high enough to achieve an orbit. That was done one year later by John Glenn. Shepard was kept on the ground in his capsule for so long he had to pee in his suit. In the upside down position the fluid ran up his back and puddles in his helmet behind his head. Ick.

1968- Albert Dekker, character actor and star of movies like Dr. Cyclops, was found hanged in his bathroom, handcuffed, and wearing ladies lingerie. A narcotics needle was sticking in his arm. The police declared it an “ auto-erotic episode that had gone wrong."

1975- Anne Rice’s hit novel The Interview With The Vampire first published.

1981- Young IRA supporter Bobby Sands made himself a martyr in the Northern Ireland crisis by dying of a hunger strike while in jail. He went 66 days without food.

1983- At a regional Comicon, the first edition comic of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out and sold out within two hours.

1985- President Ronald Reagan started a firestorm of controversy among WWII veterans when he laid a wreath in Germany at a cemetery in Bitburg that contained graves of 49 Nazi Waffen-SS soldiers. Some of them may have participated in the infamous Malmedy Massacre of US prisoners.

2006- Walt Disney Company formally acquired Pixar Studio.
Quiz: What is a Potemkin village?

Answer: When Czarina Catherine the Great wanted to modernize Russia, her minister Prince Potemkin would erect modern facades over medieval slums as she drove by, to convince her real progress was being made. So a Potemkin Village means a fake pretense of progress where there is none.

May 4, 2019
May 4th, 2019

Quiz: What is a Potemkin village?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: The Whole megillah. What is a megillah? A cartoon ape?
History for 5/4/2019
Birthdays: Bartolomeo Christofori'-inventor of the piano, Alice Liddel 1852- the inspiration of Alice in Wonderland, Audrey Hepburn –real name Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Rusten, Roberta Peters, Maynard Ferguson, Pia Zadora is 66, Howard Da Silva ,Tammy Wynette, Randy Travis, Hosni Mubarak, George Will, Richard Jenkins

11 BC- Dedication of the theater of Marcellinus in the Campus Martius.

1471-"Now are the Winter of our discontentment made glorious Summer by this Son of York"... TEWKESBURY, the deciding battle of the War of the Roses. Edward IV with his brothers Clarence and Richard the Hunchback defeat Lancastrian King Henry VI. The white rose vanquished the red.

1493- the Papal Bull Inter-Contrera and the Treaty of Tordesillas was announced. Pope Alexander VI Borgia divided up the entire world between Portugal and Spain- Spain could conquer everything west of the Cape Verde Islands like the Americas, and Portugal could have everything east like Africa and India.
Damned sporting of him! Columbus knew of this impending treaty when he sailed. So he may have deliberately falsified coordinates in his ship's logs to hide the fact he was violating Portuguese territorial waters to catch the current he counted on getting him across the Atlantic.

1521- Martin Luther had been invited under a safe passport by Emperor Charles V to come to the Imperial Court at Wurms and explain himself. This was still very dangerous. A generation ago Czech reformer Jan Hus was similarly invited, then burned at the stake. Shortly after Luther openly defied both Pope and Emperor, he was kidnapped and disappeared. Liberals like Erasmus and Albrecht Durer were shocked, but it was all turned out to be a charade. Luther’s protector Frederick the Wise of Saxony was concerned Luther would be arrested, so he arranged to spirit him away into hiding at the Wartburg Castle in Eisenbach until things cooled down. Martin Luther changed out of his monks clothes, grew a beard and called himself Junker Karl.

1626- Peter Minuit arrived at the settlement of New Amsterdam to be it’s first governor.

1715- A French inventor demonstrated the first folding umbrella.

1776- Jumping ahead of the independence debate in the Continental Congress, the colonial assembly of Rhode Island renounced their allegiance to the Crown.

1776-While marching up the California coast, Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola came upon a Chumash Indian village on the shore of a big bay. It being Saint Monica's Day, he named the bay Santa Monica.

1788 - Catherine the Great's chancellor Prince Potemkin appointed as a Rear Admiral of the Russian Navy, Pavel Ivanovich Jones, or we know him better as John Paul Jones. Jones had gone to Russia to organize the Black Sea Fleet,

1799- The Assault on Seringhapatam- In India the British army stormed the fortress of Sultan Tipoo Sahib the 'Tiger of Mysore' . Commanding General John Baird leapt up on the parapet and shouted over the scream of rockets, cannon and roaring elephants:" Up my brave lads, and show the world you are worthy of the title- British Soldiers!" Present at the battle was a young colonel named Arthur Wellesley who 16 years later would gain fame as the Duke of Wellington.

Tipoo Sahib was England's chief enemy in India and had been defeated a decade earlier by Lord Cornwallis, who made up for his loss to George Washington at Yorktown. After the battle among the plunder they found the Sultan's favorite toy- a life-size mechanical tiger clawing a man. The tiger had a set of organ keys that played a medley of roars and screams for Tipoo's amusement. It's in the Victoria and Albert Museum today.

1863-Final day of the Battle of Chancellorsville.- The day after Stonewall Jackson was shot made the Southern soldiers fight with all the fury of revenge. One Confederate officer wrote how he paused to attend to a young boy shot and dying. The boy said” Go tell my buddies that though the Yankees have killed me, they have not conquered me!” Union commander Fighting Joe Hooker was stunned when a shell struck a pillar he was leaning against. When he came to his nerves snapped and all he could think of was retreat. Robert E. Lee had been surrounded and outnumbered and had to fight both in front and rear. But he turned the tables on his enemy and won. Chancellorsville was Lee’s greatest tactical victory.

1876- THE ARREST OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER- General Custer almost didn't make his fateful ride to the Little Big Horn. He had gotten in big trouble with the Grant administration when he testified to Congress about waste and corruption in the War Department. He even implicated President Grant's own brother-in-law Orville as leading a graft ring and his testimony helped impeach Secretary of War William Belknap.

On May 4th when Custer stepped off a train in Chicago, he was met by two officers who told him he was under arrest, and should remain there to await orders. He defied this order and continued on to Fort Lincoln, where he tearfully begged Generals Terry and Sheridan to intercede for him to get his beloved Seventh Cavalry back. Terry's written pleas to Grant and Sherman worked. Custer was allowed to resume his command. Terry had drawn up a contingency plan for a Colonel Hazen to lead the Seventh to the Little Big Horn. So we almost had Hazen's Last Stand.

1886-The HAYMARKET RIOT. A defining incident in U.S. labor history. Striking workers demonstrating in Chicago for an eight hour workday confronted mass police and militia. Suddenly a bomb exploded among the police, who immediately opened fire on the crowd. The culprits are never identified, but authorities blamed the union leaders- The Haymarket Eight - who were all arrested. Despite an international outcry from celebrities like George Bernard Shaw and William Morris they were all convicted and hanged.

The Haymarket incident was considered damaging to the prestige of the union movement at the time but the union organizers hanged on circumstantial evidence became martyrs to the average working person. As the defiant Albert Parsons dropped from the gallows door he shouted: "Oh America, Let the voice of the People be heard!" A decade later a Chicago mayor re-examined the evidence and concluded they had executed innocent men. He lost his reelection. In 1968, a monument erected to the slain policemen was blown up by hippy radicals.

1891 –THE DEATH OF SHERLOCK HOLMES According to Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, this was the day Sherlock Holmes perished at the Reichenback Falls grappling with sinister Prof. Moriarity- The Napoleon of Crime. Conan Doyle had tired of his eccentric detective and wanted to get on to other types of novels. But readers were horrified he had killed off the great sleuth. Conan-Doyle couldn’t take a walk down the street without someone stopping him:” Sir, How could you?!” When touring the US he wanted to lecture about historical subjects, but people only wanted know more about Holmes & Watson. After a decade, Arthur Conan-Doyle gave in and began a new series of the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

1897- GREATER NEW YORK- Governor Frank Black signed the act unifying the City of Brooklyn and the counties of Queens and Richmond (Staten Island) to New York creating the City of Greater New York, the five boroughs. The mayors of New York and Brooklyn immediately tried to veto the incorporation act, but the State legislature overrode them.

1897- In Paris during a charity cinematograph show the nitrate film catches fire and 200 die. Movie film before the 1940’s was made from a very unstable Nitrate mixture and could explode from the slightest contact with flame.

1927- The Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences formed. Studio heads Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer originally conceived the Academy as an arbiter where studio artists could air grievances without fear of retaliation, thereby sidetracking the call for unions. It didn't work, because of the nature of it's founders.
After the stock market crash the Academy supported the studio heads enforced employee salary cuts. Soon all pretense as an ombudsman was abandoned and AMPAS focused instead on being the arbiter of artistic achievement.
Writer Dorothy Parker commented: "Going to the Academy with your problems is like trying to get laid in your mother's house, someone's always peeking through the curtains"

1940- The last British troops withdrew from Norway, leaving it to Nazis occupation.

1947- Paul Rafaelson, the only Jew ever convicted of Nazi war crimes was tried and hanged in Prague. As a concentration camp trustee he aided the Nazis in committing atrocities on the inmates of his own faith.

1948- Norman Mailor's first novel published: "the Naked and the Dead".

1953 - Pulitzer prize awarded to Ernest Hemingway for The Old Man & The Sea.

1957 - Alan Freed hosts "Rock n' Roll Show" 1st prime-time network rock music show.

1963- Nelson Rockefeller married Margaret Fitzler-Murphy, called Happy Rockefeller.

1967- The Big Mac hamburger is invented by Jim Delligatti at his MacDonalds frnachise restaurant in Pittsburgh.

1970- KENT STATE. Two days after Vice President Spiro Agnew tells law enforcement associations that “ You should treat the student anti-war protesters as you would have treated the brown shirted stormtroopers." Ohio National Guard units opened fire on college demonstrators at Kent State, killing four and wounding nine, two weren't even protesting but had just paused to watch.

Troops also fired on students at Jackson State a week later. These incidents and the fatal bombing of a science lab by militants at Wisconsin caused the public to recoil from increasingly militant rhetoric over Vietnam. Shortly afterward one friend recalled seeing President Nixon at an appearance in Akron mutter something to the effect that he wished more students had been gunned down at Kent State. President Nixon had called the anti-war protesters "bumbs". The grieving father of one of the slain students wrote him: "Mr President, my daughter was not a bumb!"

1975- Moe Howard died, the last of the original Three Stooges.

1991- Bing Crosby’s son Dennis Crosby put a shotgun to his head and ended his life. In 1989 his younger brother Lindsay had committed suicide in a similar fashion.

1999- Goldman-Sachs, a 130 year old Wall Street investment bank that had once sparred with J.P. Morgan, becomes the last great bank on Wall St. to go public. In 2008 it’s shady dealings helped bring about The Great Recession, but soon most of it’s former execs scored jobs in the federal gov’t.

2000- The Love Bug Computer virus ravaged the worlds commerce through Microsoft Outlook causing $10 billion dollars in damage and shutting down temporarily the e-commerce of large firms like Reebok. It was launched by a Philippine grad student as part of his thesis.

2001- Bonnie Lee Blakely, the wife of actor Robert Blake, was found in her car dead of a gunshot wound to the head outside of Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City, Ca. They had just had dinner, and Mr. Blake had returned into the restaurant to retrieve a gun he had left at his table. In 2005 the actor was acquitted of his wife’s murder, but lost a wrongful death suit to Blakely’s family. No other suspect has ever been identified.
Yesterday’s Quiz: The Whole megillah. What is a megillah? A cartoon ape?

Answer: A megillah was Yiddish for a scroll, but it came to mean the whole story.

New Book Out!
May 3rd, 2019

Hey, I wrote a new book and it is out now. Eat Drink Animate is the first cookbook about animators by animators. Recipes and stories from your favorite animation artists. Check it out.

May 3, 2019
May 3rd, 2019

Question: The Whole megillah. What is a megillah? A cartoon ape?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What is potash?
History for 5/3/2019
Birthdays: Niccolo Macchiavelli, Bing Crosby, Golda Meir, Sir Richard D'Oly-Carte, Peter Gabriel, James Brown, Pete Seeger, Betty Comden, Doug Henning, Beaulah Bondi, Mary Astor, Sugar Ray Robinson, Alex Cord, 70’s singer Englebert Humperdinck, Dule Hill

Happy World Press Freedom Day.

328 A.D.- Discovery of the True Cross-According to medieval legend St. Helena the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine, unearthed three old crosses on the Mount of Calvary. She tested it out by crucifying someone on it who gets up after three days. After all, it might have been someone else's cross! Ick!
Byzantine Emperors carried the True Cross around and into battle like a flag until it was thought to be too precious to lose, so it was broken up and the wood distributed to the kings of Christendom. By Luther's time it was said so much of the Good Wood or Holy-Rood was around that if you got it all together you could build a nice house. The custom of saying "Knock on Wood" comes from touching the True Cross for luck.

1494- Columbus discovered the island of Jamaica. He called it St. Iago.

1536- Huron Indian chief Donnaconna noticed that the French explorer Jacques Cartier and the other white men got excited whenever he mentioned gold or riches. So Donnaconna made up fantastic stories about a powerful kingdom upriver called Sanguenay, about where present day Ottawa is. He said the people were fabulously wealthy and had no anus's so they could only drink fluids. Cartier not only swallowed the gag this but he was so impressed he had poor Donnaconna kidnapped and brought to France to tell his stories to the king. The old chief never saw home again.

1559- At Perth Scotland, Presbyterian preacher John Knox delivered his first sermon openly calling for the Scottish Church to throw off the authority of the Vatican.

1675- Massachusetts Puritans passed a law that church doors be locked during Sunday services. Too many people were leaving during long, boring sermons.

1702- William Hyde, aka Lord Cornbury arrived from England to be Royal Governor of colonial New York. This English aristocrat surprised the solid Dutch Calvinists of former Nieu Amsterdaam by his eccentric behavior. His favorite pastime was dressing up in ladies clothing and jumping out at people at night and pulling their ears. When in drag he bore an odd resemblance to England’s Queen Anne. He later explained he only dressed this way so the colonists could see what their queen in England looked like. Of course, nobody believed him.
There is today a painting of the Lord Governor in drag at the New York Historical Society. It was alleged that he was a fence for pirates and once asked the New York City council for money to repel a fictitious French attack, which he pocketed and bought the land today called Hyde Park.

1791- Polish Constitution of 3rd of May. This radical document was inspired by the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man. But being situated in between autocratic monarchies Russia and Prussia who were unimpressed and crushed the Poles.

1812- A new poem called Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage became a huge hit in London and sold out in just three days. The author Lord Byron became the toast of London overnight. He said: "I awoke one morning and found myself famous."

1848- Working people of Saxony revolt against their king. Leo Bakunin the father of anarchism and the composer Richard Wagner were two of the leaders. The Prussian army was sent to help put down the workers and Wagner fled into Switzerland, but not before he had the pleasure of burning down the Leipzig Opera House.

1851- San Francisco burned down.

1863-2nd Day Battle of Chancellorsville-Lee sent Stonewall Jackson 12 miles swinging around the Yankee Army flank to attack them from behind. O.O. Howard, the Union General in charge of that area wouldn’t believe the scouts reports of an imminent attack. When a German immigrant officer demanded he prepare, Howard accused him of being drunk. Then Jackson’s men burst out of the woods and sent the Yankees running.

The fighting lasted well into the evening and confusion reigned in the darkness. General Daniel Sickles division got into a vicious three way firefight with a Confederate division shooting at him from one side and his own reinforcements shooting at him from the other.

Stonewall Jackson and his staff had ridden out beyond his lines to observe the Yankee preparations for tomorrow. He was riding back towards his own lines when a shot or two rang out. General A.P. Hill called out " Don't shoot! Were Southerners! ". But the Mississippi colonel in charge had been surprised once already that night by enemy cavalry:" It's a Yankee trick! Pour it into them!" A volley hit Jackson and several other officers." My boys, my own boys!" Jackson groaned. He died two weeks later.

1864- The day before his armies were set to move Union General Ulysses Grant laid out final plans for his campaign against the Confederacy. In a drawing room in Culpepper Virginia he told his staff that up till now union armies had acted independently like a bad team of horses that won’t pull together. He would now coordinate five armies attacking simultaneously from Washington to Atlanta to Shreveport Louisiana. Their goal would not be the taking of Richmond but the destruction of the main Confederate field armies like Robert E Lee’s. Grants plan was to hold Lee down near Richmond while the armies of Sherman, Banks and Butler completed the destruction of the Confederacy.

1888- The Poem "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Thayer first published.

1906- British controlled Egypt seized the Sinai Peninsula from the faltering Turkish Empire.

1917- The Great French Military Mutinies. During World War I, after three years of appalling conditions and being slain by the thousands in suicidal charges against machine guns, the average French "poilus" soldier nickname like G.I., had enough. Whole regiments refused to go to the front. The mutiny was so bad that to this day official records are vague as to just how many men were involved. A safe estimate is at least 100,000 men.

1933- Fritz Lang’s movie M released in the US. It made a star of Peter Lorre.

1936- Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio first game for the New York Yankees. He got three hits.

1938- The Vatican recognized Generalissimo Franco’s fascist regime in Spain.

1941- Battle of Amba Alagi. Britain vs Italy for Ethiopia.

1948-THE PARAMOUNT DECISION- In 1938 the independent theater chains had brought suit in Federal court against the major Hollywood Studios over their monopolistic practices. Ten years later the Supreme Court ruled the Motion Picture Studios did constitute a monopoly and under the Sherman AntiTrust Act ordered them to sell their theater chains. One casualty of this rule was the short cartoon. Because theater managers no longer were forced to run a cartoon, newsreel and short with a feature (block-booking), they opted for the time to run more showings of the main feature. Many people were starting to become interested in that new television machine, anyway.

1952, U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher of Oklahoma stepped out of a plane and walked to the exact North Pole, the first known person to do so. Commander Robert Peary claimed to have reached the Pole in 1909 as did others, but modern scholars think they were all off by several degrees.

1963- Birmingham police attack Civil Rights marchers with attack dogs, clubs and high powered hoses. The brutality was captured on nationwide TV. The images shocked the nation and President Kennedy, who had been assured by Governor George Wallace by phone that everything was under control. JFK resolved to fast track the Civil Rights Act through Congress.

1968- THE PARIS '68 REVOLT- Police are sent into the Sorbonne University in Paris to break up student demonstrations. The grounds of the university had never been violated by police, even during the Nazi occupation. This act enraged the student leaders who are joined by labor unions and there is fighting in the streets of Paris for the next three weeks that eventually brought down the DeGaulle government.
All night political meetings center in the Odeon theatre as the likes of Jean Paul Sartre and John Luc Goddard make intellectual manifestations of aesthetic freedom. "The More I make Love, the More I make Revolution!" One of the student leaders was Daniel Cohn-Bedit "Danny the Red". Conservative media tried to draw attention to Cohn-Bendit’s Jewish foreign background. This caused an even larger, angrier, march of Parisians shouting: "We are all Jews!"

1969- Groundbreaking in Valencia for the California Institute of the Arts.

1971- National Public Radio’s news program "All Things Considered" goes on the air, the first national news program with women news anchors like Susan Stanberg.

1971- President Nixon’s administration arrested 13,000 anti-war protestors in one week.

1973- Chicago’s Sear Tower was topped off at 443 meters, to be the tallest office building in the U.S.A.

1978- THE FIRST SPAM E-MAIL- Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager for Digital Equipment Corp wanted to invite all the scientists and professors on the ARPANET system to an event. It was too much work to do one e-mail at a time, so he devised a way to mail 600 people at once. So thank Gary that you get endless messages like "Nigerian Bank Trustee offers you $10 million."

1979- Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to be Prime Minister of Great Britain. The green grocer’s daughter called the Iron Lady dominated British politics for the next twenty years.

1985- The White House confirmed rumors that President Reagan would occasionally adjust his schedule when Nancy would seek the advice of a San Francisco astrologer.

1991- Steve Jobs agreed to the deal between Walt Disney and Pixar to create the film Toy Story.

1997- The Chairman of Phillip Morris Tobacco Company James J. Morgan testified to a congressional committee that cigarettes are no more addictive than Gummy Bears candy.

1999- Oklahoma City was hit by a force 5 tornado with wind speeds of over 300 miles per hour, the strongest ever recorded.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is potash?

Answer: A form of potassium (Everybody needs potassium. Have a banana!) used mostly in animal feed and fertilizer.

May 2, 2019
May 2nd, 2019

Quiz: What is potash?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Which side was Athens on in the Trojan War?
History for 5/2/2019
Birthdays: Czarina Catherine the Great, Domenico Scarlatti, Manfred Von Richthofen the Red Baron, Bing Crosby, Dr. Benjamin Spock the Baby Doctor, Vernon Castle, Lorenzo Music, Theodore Bikel, Lesley Gore, Roscoe Lee Browne, Satyajit Ray, Pinky Lee, Link Wray of the Wraymen, Christine Baranski, Doug Wildey, Dwayne Johnson The Rock is 47

1349- The Kings of England and France are forced to declare a ten-year truce in their Hundred Years War because of the ravages of the Black Plague. After all, how can anyone be expected to have a good war, when everyone was already dead?

1519- Leonardo Da Vinci died at the chateau of Amboise in the arms of King Francis I. He had accepted the offer of the French King of a stable retirement (even then artists worried about that kinda stuff). Two hundred and eighty years later during the French Revolution peasants broke into his tomb to get the lead lining for cannonballs and threw his bones into a trash pile. So no one is sure where he's buried.

1670- The Hudson's Bay Company is chartered by King Charles II. At one point the Honorable Company was responsible for the administration of most of western Canada, called Prince Rupert's land, the largest land mass in history ever under the control of a board of directors. It's CEO, Sir George Simpson was nicknamed "the Emperor".

1797- One of the marvels of Europe today is the preservation of the City of Venice. Beyond an occasional flood Venice never had a great fire or destruction by war. Many of the buildings are as old as Notre Dame. Venice was a naval power so all of her wars were fought out at sea. Venice was besieged once by Pepin the son of Charlemagne in 967AD, this day in 1797 Napoleon, pursuing his conquest of Italy, declared war on the Venetian Republic. They immediately surrendered.

1808- Spanish Independence Day- Napoleon had invaded Spain and put his older brother Joseph Bonaparte on the throne. The Spanish called him "Pepe Bottaglia" (Joey Bottles-due to his fondness for drink) and bitterly hated the French occupation. Reacting to the occupation of Madrid, the Spanish people riot in the Playa Del Sol and cut up all the French soldiers they can find. The French arrest and shoot them. Francisco Goya does lots of neat drawings and paintings. The Spanish invention of organized small scale partisan actions they will give the name "guerilla" warfare.

1813- Battle of Lutzen- Napoleon whups the Prussians.

1863- Battle of Chancellorsville - Robert E. Lee is surrounded by the superior Union army of "Fighting Joe" Hooker. Hooker bragged: "God have mercy on General Lee, for I shall have none!". Lincoln was more realistic: "The hen is the wisest of all animal creation. She does not cackle until AFTER her egg is laid." Lee gets out of the trap and defeats Hooker.

1865- A $100,000 reward was offered for the arrest of former president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis, now a fugitive on the run from Union armies.

1885- First Good Housekeeping Magazine.

1920 –The Negro National League, the first successful all-Black baseball league, held its first game in Indianapolis. The league was founded earlier that same year by legendary baseball player, Andrew "Rube" Foster, and featured teams such as the Chicago American Giants, Chicago Giants, Cuban Stars, Dayton Marcos, Indianapolis ABCs, Kansas City Monarchs and St. Louis Giants in its first season.

1921- Chicago’s Field Museum opened to the public. It was housed in the building originally called the Hall of Fine Arts in the Great Chicago Exhibition of 1893.

1927- Buck vs. Bell. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled states have the right to mandatory enforced sterilization of the “unfit and incompetent”. These included low IQ and epileptics. This was a result of the Eugenics Movement, that felt America’s gene pool would be swamped by “lesser races”. A court could order you sterilized against your will. The Nazis said they learned much from study of these American laws. Even today, there are still sterilization laws on the books in 20 States.

1930- Little ten year old Phillip of Greece came home from school to find his mother Princess Alice von Battenburg had been packed off to an insane asylum, and his father Prince Andrew of Greece intending to send him to an Scottish boarding school so he could move in with his mistress. The boy would grow up to marry Queen Elizabeth II and become Prince Phillip of Edinburgh.

1932- Jack Benny's Radio Show debuts. Oh Rochester! Mel Blanc the voice of Bugs Bunny did many characters and voices on the show, including the engine of Jacks’ old Maxwell automobile.

1933- Hitler's stormtroopers raid all union offices in Germany. They seize their accounts and cart the labor leaders off to concentration camps. Hitler had said" Democracy and Free Enterprise cannot co-exist in the same state, and one of the evilest forms Democracy can take is Trade Unionism".

1933- The first modern sighting of the Loch Ness Monster. The Inverness Courier published an account of a couple that sighted Nessie and offered a reward for proof.

1936- Ethiopian Emperor Rastafari Halie Selassie the Lion of Judah fled Addis Ababa in advance of Mussolini's invading armies.

1945-As General Weidling surrendered what was left of Berlin to the Russians, Admiral Doenitz, then head of government, ordered his Foreign Minister, Schwerin von Krosigk to broadcast to the German people advising them to flee west," The Iron Curtain in the east moves closer and closer; all those people caught in the mighty hands of the Bolsheviks are being destroyed." Beating Churchill to the term Iron Curtain by a couple years.

1945- After the suicide of Adolf Hitler, the German ambassador to Dublin was summoned to President Eamon De Valera's office. He was given an official note of condolence on the loss of their head of state. The neutral Irish Republic became the only nation on Earth to send The Third Reich a sympathy card.

1945- All the remaining Axis forces in Italy surrendered. Meanwhile on this day in Bavaria, the top German rocket scientists led by Dr. Werner Von Braun gave themselves up to the Americans. On Braun’s worktable were plans for a missile that could travel 4,200 miles, far enough to reach the U.S. East Coast.

1952- The British Airline B.O.A.C. began the first trans-Atlantic jet plane service. This began the class of globetrotting rich partygoers named Jet-Setters. BOAC later became British Air.

1957- Mafia don Frank Costello had taken over the Lucciano New York crime family after Lucky Lucciano had been deported to Sicily. Another Lucciano triggerman named Vito Genovese felt he had been passed over. This day Frank Costello was crossing the lobby of his apartment on Central Park West, when Vinny " the Chin" Gigante came up behind him: "Hey Frank, this is for you!" and started shooting. Costello was left for dead but Vinny bungled his job- Costello was only grazed in the skull. He recovered, but wisely decided to retire from racketeering. Costello’s job went to Carlo Gambino.

1957- Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Commie Hunter, died in an asylum from hepatitis, alcohol delirium and cirrhosis of the liver.

1964- Disney’s audio- animatronic Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened at the NY World’s Fair.

1967-" Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!" The Black Panther Party announced it’s armed militancy to the US and the world by trying to break in with shotguns on the California State assembly during a vote. This caused Gov. Ronald Reagan to pass the first assault weapons ban in the U.S. The media would ring with the militant words and images of Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton.

1972- J. EDGAR HOOVER DIED. He had been F.B.I. director since 1934. Despite his numerous achievements like neutralizing Nazi espionage and the Ku Klux Klan, he never seemed willing to attack the Mafia. While the FBI chased lone criminals like Dillinger or Bonnie & Clyde, the big crime syndicates in Chicago and New York functioned unmolested. Some speculate it was because he knew they would expose the FBI chiefs secret lifestyle. Hoover lived in a long-term relationship with his second in command Clyde Tolson. That didn’t stop him from outing high profile gays in the Truman and Johnson administrations when it suited him. When Hoover was buried at Arlington, the Marine guard handed Tolson the folded flag from the coffin, something only the widow gets.
J. Edgar said he needed his secrecy to pursue his high profile war on "American Immorality". When Lyndon Johnson was asked why he still kept the ancient F.B.I. director around, he replied:" I’d rather keep that old bastard on the inside of my tent a pissing out, than on the outside pissing in.".

1972- First day shooting on Steven Spielberg’s film JAWS. The giant mechanical shark used as a prop was nicknamed "Bruce" after Spielberg’s lawyer.

1982- During the Falkland's War a British helicopter equipped with Exocet missiles sank Argentina's largest battleship, the Belgrano. London tabloids ran as the headline over the burning ship- "Gotcha !" Interestingly, the Belgrano was a refitted 45 year old American battleship, the U.S.S. Phoenix, that had survived the Pearl Harbor attack.

1982- The 24 hour Weather Channel started.

1983- Microsoft introduced the three-button mouse.

1997- Movie star Eddie Murphy was busted for picking up trans hooker Artisone Seiuli at 4:45 in the morning on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Murphy said he was just being a good Samaritan and giving the young lady a ride home.

2011- In the middle of the night American Navy Seal Team 6 flew into Pakistan and killed Osama Ben Laden. It turned out Osama had been living in a large compound just a few blocks from the Pakistani version of West Point. (Because of the time difference, it was still May 1st back in US).
Yesterday’s Quiz: Which side was Athens on in the Trojan War?

Answer: Neither. Athens did not exist yet. If it did, it was no more than a village.