October 26th, 2009 mon
October 26th, 2009

Spent a nice day watching old 60's children's TV hosts on YouTube. Reliving days watching my parents old Emerson console that smelled of too much Lemon Pledge. Eating my Alpha-Bits on a rickety aluminum tray table.Soupy Sales, Sandy Becker, Sonny Fox and Chuck McCann. Fascinating to watch these early TV shows and realize how much was improv by these guys, with little or no budget and lots of old cartoons in Public Domain. Before Action for Children's Television, before CTW, before child psychologists and network regulators spoiled all the fun. Here's Soupy playing Oscar Peterson and Motown to pre-schoolers!


It seems every new media form- TV, MTV videos in the early 80s, Cable TV, now the Internet, goes through this pioneer stage, where anything goes and creativity runs rampant. Remember when Cable TV meant Screaming Mad George running through the streets of Newark with a video portapak trying to convince random women to expose themselves on TV? Now it's TrueBlood and the Sopranos.

On Friday John McCain introduced legislation in Congress to allow corporations to control the free flow of content on the Internet. A company will charge you for the privilege of high speed downloading, and slow down competitive content.

I hope it fails to pass.

Question: What country refers to itself as Suomi?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: In the 1988 comedy A Fish Called Wanda, John Cleese’ character was named Archie Leech. What is that in reference to..?
History for 10/26/2009
Birthdays: Danton, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir “Bill” Tytla - Disney animator who gave life to Dumbo, Grumpy and the Devil from Bald Mountain, Francois Mitterand, Domenico Scarlatti, Charles W. Post of Post Cereals, Bob Hoskins, The last Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, Mahalia Jackson, Clive Barker, Bootsie Collins, Marla Maples, Dylan McDermott, Cary Elwes, Jaclyn Smith, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Pat Sito

1440- French nobleman Giles De Rais beheaded. If the concept of "medieval justice" always seemed like an oxymoron, the case of Giles De Rais is a notable exception.
Giles was a powerful warlord of Joan of Arc who went bizarrely wrong in later years. He was so paranoid about losing his fortune, he listened to a sorcerer who told him the Devil would help if Giles sacrificed some children to him. When children began disappearing in large numbers from around his castle, even the Royal court and aristocracy couldn't ignore the outcry. The knight was tried, beheaded and his remains burned without Christian rites. His castle Chevrenault outside Tours was leveled, so no memory of the horrible episode would remain. Giles De Rais is sometimes called Bluebeard, a name also given to the insurance murderer Nicholas Landru in 1928.

1825-THE ERIE CANAL COMPLETED, on budget and ahead of schedule. Governor Dewitt Clinton poured a ceremonial bucket of Great Lakes water into the Hudson River. Once called Clinton’s Big Ditch, even old Thomas Jefferson thought the plan was madness. The 350 mile Erie Canal tied the Midwest interior of America to it’s Atlantic coast and makes New York the economic capitol of the nation. It also set off a boom in canal boat building. Remember at this time trains weren’t invented yet and roads were so poor, it took Jefferson two weeks to travel from Washington to Charlottesville Virgina, a distance today driven in two hours!

1858- The rotary drum washing machine patented by H. E. Smith of Philadelphia.

1863- The English Football Association formed to standardize the rules for soccer.

1863- We all know the Transcontinental Railroad was completed when the Golden Spike was driven in, on May 10,1867. Well today the first nails of that four year, 800 mile track were hammered in ceremonies in Missouri on the East and Sacramento on the West.

1881-The GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL- The grudgefight between the Earp Brothers and the Clantons only lasted about two minutes but remains one the most famous fight of the Old West. The fight may have actually happened in front of McFly's Photo-Parlour, but the Tombstone Gazette decided the OK Corral, a block away sounded more macho. Deputy Marshal Wyatt Earp later told so many different versions of what happened that he's totally discredited as a witness today. Before the encounter, Morgan Earp had been discussing with his brothers whether there was a life after death. As Morgan lay dying, he looked up at his brothers and said:" I guess you're right Wyatt, I can't see a damn thing!"

1918- As the German war effort in the Great War was falling apart, the Kaiser’s government had asked for secret talks to get a ceasefire. Everyone knew this meant defeat and German General Erich Ludendorf was having none of it. He denounced liberal Chancellor Prince Max of Baden’s peace efforts and vowed to fight on. Prince Max went to the Kaiser and said" He’s got to go. It’s Ludendorf or me!" The Kaiser convened a meeting of his war council and ordered Ludendorf to submit his resignation. Ludendorf refused a limousine; he walked alone to his house and sat silent in his parlor chair for several hours. Finally he emerged from his meditation and said to his wife:" In a fortnight we shall have no more Empire and no more Emperor. You will see." He was right to the day. Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated November 9th.

1929- Henry Ford invited President Herbert Hoover out for a picnic at Greenfield Michigan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the invention of Electricity. Greenfield was a theme park recreation of a pre-industrial American farm town Ford's innovations had done so much to change forever. Other guests include Thomas Edison, William Dupont, Henry Firestone and Madame Curie. During their picnic the President gets ominous news of a growing crisis on Wall St.. Hoover tells Ford not to worry, but later quietly advises his own broker to sell all his stocks. The Stock Market Crash happened three days later.

1947-HOLLYWOOD FIGHTS BACK.- Members of Hollywood's progressive elite tried to answer the McCarthy hearings and the blacklist with a nationwide radio broadcast "Hollywood Fights Back' -Starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Danny Kaye, John Huston, Gene Kelly and Edward G. Robinson.

The event was a public relations fiasco. Nobel laureate Thomas Mann used his air time to launch into a longwinded intellectual defense of Communism. When Danny Kaye tried to make a political point, reporters cut him off with " Hey Danny, why don't you tell us a joke?" Director John Huston said the mistake was trying to hide being a communist. Just say you are, then say What of it? It's a free country. Then Huston went abroad.

When word reached them that some of the Hollywood writers they were defending really were Reds, Bogart and Bacall felt they had been hoodwinked. "As politicians we stink!" quote Bogie.

1951- Despite being past his prime, heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis "The Brown Bomber" came out of retirement to attempt a comeback, and pay off back taxes. This day he was knocked out, by young Rocky Marciano. Growing up, Marciano had idolized Louis and after the fight he apologized to him.

1952- David Wolper’s documentary Victory at Sea, with it’s majestic score by Richard Rogers first premiered.

1955- The Greenwich Village Voice, later called simply The Voice, first published.

1957- Vatican Radio began broadcasting.

1962- During the tense standoff of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this day a KGB contact named Frohman met Peter Scholly, an ABC news correspondent, at a quiet Washington DC coffee shop. He gave the newsman a letter with a deal proposed by Khruschev to take to the White House that would eventually end the superpower standoff.

1965- The rock band the Beatles received MBEs ( most excellent Member of the British Empire ) medals at Buckingham Palace. John Lennon later returned his as a protest.

1970- Doonesbury born. Yale law graduate Gary Trudeau was convinced by Jim Andrews his classmate now an editor at Universal Press syndicate, to recreate his funny comic he did in the campus newspaper .It's original name was 'Bull Tales".

1972- Nixon advisor Dr Henry Kissinger announced "Peace is at Hand" in Vietnam.

1984-" I’LL BE BACK…" James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller THE TERMINATOR first released. Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered a Hollywood joke before this film made him a major star. An interesting what-if, was that before Arnold was cast in the role of the cyborg assassin, the producers were first considering O.J. Simpson.

2001- President Bush signed the Patriot Act, which gave him power to read your mail, tap your phones, bypassing all the safeguards demanded by Congress and the Bill of Rights, even the Magna Carta.

2028- Asteroid 1977 FX11 will pass within 600,000 miles of the Earth. In 1998 The Smithsonian announced the asteroid would hit the planet or maybe pass closer than the moon's orbit of 30,000 miles, causing global meteorological convulsions. The following day the Jet Propulsion Lab and Mount Palomar Observatory announced a correction of the calculations to prove it will miss us by a wide distance. Stick around, we're gonna find out.
Yesterday’s Question: In the 1988 comedy A Fish Called Wanda, John Cleese’ character was named Archie Leech. What is that in reference to..?.

Answer: Archie Leech was the original name of Cary Grant.

October 25th, 2009 sun
October 25th, 2009

Question: In the 1988 comedy A Fish Called Wanda, John Cleese’ character was named Archie Leech. What is that in reference to..?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What American corporation was nicknamed “ Big Blue”…?
History for 10/25/2009
Birthdays: Pablo Picasso, George Bizet, Johann Strauss Jr., Bobby Knight, Helen Reddy Minnie Pearl, Whit Bissell, Lyle Lovett. Leo G. Carroll, Bill Barty the famous Little Person celebrity, John Matusak, Julia Roberts

1760- King George II died of constipation, his grandson George III becomes King. Old George II completed his 33 year reign with this final opinion of English politics:”I am sick to death of all this foolish stuff, and wish with all my heart that the Devil may take all your bishops, and the Devil take all your ministers, the Devil take your Parliament and the Devil take this whole Island, provided I can get out and go home to Hanover!” Gee, thank you Sire, we love you too.

1769-Young Massachusetts lawyer John Adams married Abigail Smith.

1854-THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE- BALACLAVA- the climactic battle of the Crimean War in which Britain and France sent armies to help Turkey fight off Russia.
During the battle Lord Raglan watched from his mountaintop the Russians on another mountaintop (their army was arranged on the hillsides like a fork with it's prongs pointed at the English and French). They were trying to pull some field artillery out of the way of the advancing Brits. So Raglan sent Lords Lucan and Cardigan orders to send the Light Brigade to capture these few cannon before they got away. Lord Cardigan (who always insisted his officers drink champagne for breakfast) wasn't on a mountaintop but deep in a valley and all he could see was the whole heavily fortified Russian army in front of him. Then he got Raglan's command: "-Charge the Guns!" To cap matters the messenger Captain Nolan was angry with Cardigan so he refused to explain the order.

So the 600 of the Light Brigade charged right into the whole Russian Army alone. It all took about 8 minutes. One survivor recalled seeing a Sergeant Talbot get his head struck off by a cannonball but his body stayed galloping in the saddle another 30 yards, lance still positioned under his arm. Fired on from three sides the Light Brigade took the first lines of cannon and could have pierced the Russian center if they had been followed by reinforcements, but everyone just watched in stunned silence.. The French commander gave orders for his Chausseurs d'Afrique to storm one other position which was the only positive result of the day. Lord Cardigan led his brigade through the first line of guns then immediately turned back “It is not the job of commanders to grapple with common soldiers.”

One problem the Light Brigade had that never made it into any movies was when they finally reached the Russian gunners they were wearing their heavy wool winter coats that were too thick for Wilkinson sabers. The horsemen slapped their swords harmlessly against their shoulders and backs.
The Light Brigade staggered back accomplishing nothing, 3/4 of their men killed, and inspiring a really swell poem by Tennyson. The 17th Lancers went in with 250 and came out with 17 men. In a delightfully British moment, the Brigades 2nd in command, his clothes torn up by bullets, blackened with gunsmoke and a horrible saber gash across his face, said to Lord Cardigan: "Sir, shall we have another go?"

1891- THE SECRET OF THE LOST DUTCHMAN MINE- An old German (Deutsche) immigrant miner named Jacob Walsh lay dying after a lifetime digging in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona. Before he passed on he told those around him he had discovered a fabulously rich gold mine and killed his partners to keep the secret. As proof he gave them the 45 pounds of pure gold in his trunk and said there was ten times that amount in the mine. He died leaving tantalizing vague clues like " I can see the military road from my mine, but those on the military road can't see me.." 125 people died or went mad looking for the Lost Dutchman Mine but to this day it has ever been found.

1903- New York’s New Amsterdam Theater opened with a gala performance of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The New Amsterdam boasted all Art Nouveau decoration, the first theater in a steel girdered building and a new style of floating balcony that didn’t obstruct the view with support pillars, an effect to be copied by movie houses throughout the world. The Great Ziegfield staged his great Follies there and in the rooftop garden theater for only the cream of New York society. The theater fell into decrepitude and in the 1970’s was a porno house, but the Walt Disney Company restored it to it’s Gilded Age glory in 1996.

1917- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, in a lecture announced his firm belief in spiritualism, divination, fairies and communication with the dead. He called it the New Revelation. “The chasm between this life and the next is not insurmountable.” Other British intellects think Sir Arthur had gone a bit potty.

1920- King Alexander of Greece died from blood poisoning after being bit by his pet monkey.

1921- Bat Masterson, Quebec born gunfighter, marshal of Dodge City, gambler, Indian fighter and outlaw, died over a typewriter as a sports reporter for the New York Morning Telegraph while covering a championship prize fight. He was 67.

1946- President Harry Truman declared a postwar “Housing Emergency” that led to the development of the suburban track house.

1957- Gangster Al Anastasia, head of "Murder, Inc." walked into Arthur Grosso’s Barbershop in the Park Sheraton Hotel for his usual shave and haircut. He trusted Arthur enough to allow him to cover his face with a hot towel. While he was relaxing this way Grosso backed away and two hitmen sent by Vito Genovese came in and started shooting Al full of bullets. The hitmen were never found.

1960- The Accutron Watch went on sale today. The first watch using an electronic power cell instead of a wound mainspring.

1964- At a football game Minnesota Viking defensive back Larry Marshal scooped up a fumble and ran 66 yards into the end zone. Except, it was his own goal line. DOH!

1983- President Reagan sent thousands of US Marines to invade the tiny island of Grenada, ostensibly to save a few American medical students from some fat Cuban construction workers, and secure the US strategic supply of nutmeg.
Yesterday’s Question: What American corporation was nicknamed “ Big Blue”…?

Answer: IBM

October 24th, 2009 Sat.
October 24th, 2009

Question: What American corporation was nicknamed “ Big Blue”…?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What American corporation used to be nicknamed “ The Octopus”…?
History for 10/24/2009
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Domitian, Bob Kane the creator of Batman, Moss Hart, Jiles Perry Richardson better known as the Big Bopper, F. Murray Abrahams is 69, Enkwase Mfume, Y.A. Tittle, Sara Josepha Hale 1788- who wrote the poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb", Kevin Kline is 61

439- The barbarian horde called the Vandals went into Africa and captured the Roman colony of Carthage, built on the ruins of Hannibal’s old city. When the Romans had destroyed Carthage in 146BC they put a curse on the land, but the cities natural harbor proved too useful, so a colony was soon set up. Ironically or perhaps the curse in effect, in 455 Geneseric the Vandal launched an attack from Carthage that sacked Rome.

1648 –THE TREATY OF WESTPHALIA- After four years of negotiations Europe ends it’s last great religious war, the Thirty Years War, not quite sure why it got started in the first place. The good thing was nobody disputed Dutch or Swiss independence or the right to be a Protestant anymore, the bad part was Germany was ravaged and divided. It wouldn't really get it's act together again until 1870. Germany lost almost half her population. France replaced Spain as the dominant power on the continent and because the Pope refused any peace be signed with heretics, the exhausted European kings for the first time simply ignored him. France also thought by using her influence to help the weak little Margrave of Brandenburg based in Berlin get more territory she could create a German state to counter the Austrians and the Bavarians. No Frenchman could know that four centuries from then soldiers from this Berlin based German state would ravage their country in three huge wars.

1800- Just before a presidential election Alexander Hamilton published ON THE PRESIDENCY OF JOHN ADAMS ESQ, a 58 page attack on the incumbent Presidents’ character and record. Though they were of the same party, the two men loathed one another. Hamilton had almost challenged the President to a duel! Finally Hamilton decided he would rather see the opposition win than Adams re-elected. His persuasive pamphlet not only ruined any chance John Adams had of re-election, it was a grenade lobbed into the midst of the entire Federalist Party. President Adams placed fourth in the election but Alexander Hamilton found his party disloyalty had lost him most of his political influence.

1861-The Last Pony Express ride. The idea was romantic, but a financial dud and only operated about two years before being replaced by stage, rail and telegraph.

1901- Anne Taylor becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and live to talk about it. She attempted the stunt for a cash prize she used to get a loan to buy a ranch in Texas.

1902- Author Arthur Conan-Doyle was knighted by King Edward VII. He received the award not for his literary accomplishments but for his volunteer services during the just concluded Boer War. It was also said the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was one of the few books King Edward ever managed to read from cover to cover.

1929- BLACK THURSDAY- THE PRELUDE TO THE GREAT CRASH- The Bear Stock Market that had seen prices dropping steadily since September 5th turned into a panic as dependable stocks prices like General Motors dropped through the floor. $11.5 billion dollars was lost in one day. Vacationing Winston Churchill picked that day to visit the Stock Exchange and later saw someone jump to his death past his Waldorf Astoria window. Basically what happened was people had bought stock on Margin, which meant you could buy ten thousand dollars worth of stock with just one thousand dollars. As the collapse occurred your broker would call you and demand the other nine thousand bux immediately or he would sell off everything you had. So in minutes you were broke. Thousands of small time investors from Groucho Marx, Irving Berlin to General Blackjack Pershing were wiped out in minutes. It took every major banker and financier on Wall Street together dumping millions of dollars of emergency funds to stop the slide.
It was the worst day in American financial history, but it turned out to be just a mild prelude to Black Tuesday coming the following week. Ironically that night in a Broadway show the new song "Happy Days are Here Again' had it's debut. When the stage manager thought it inappropriate, the show's director snapped: "Play it for the Corpses !".

1937- At Piping Springs NY, composer Cole Porter suffered an accident while horseback riding that broke both his legs. Even after 26 operations he never regained their full use and one leg was amputated in 1958.

1938- The Fair Labor Standards Act established the 40 hour workweek as the law of the land. The 40 hour week that thing few of us see nowadays.

1945 the United Nations Charter ratified.

1945- Vikdun Quisling was shot by firing squad. Quisling was a Nazi sympathizer who governed occupied Norway. His name in the forties was synonymous with traitor or Benedict Arnold.

1947- Walt Disney testified to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) as a friendly witness. He accused members of the Cartoonists Guild and the League of Women Voters –which he mistakenly called the League of Women Shoppers as being infiltrated by Communists "Seeking to subvert the Spirit of Mickey Mouse'.

1948- Bernard Baruch while testifying to Congress about the worsening relations between the US and Russia coined the term "cold war". "Although the war is over we are in the midst of a cold war, and it is getting hotter."

1960- At the Baykonur space center in Russia an R-16 ballistic missile exploded on the launch pad. The blast incinerated 165 people. This was all kept secret until the 1990s. Included among the dead is Field Marshall Mitrofan Nedelin, whose death was covered up as having occurred in a plane crash.

1975- The Musical play A Chorus Line opened.

Yesterday’s Question: What American corporation used to be nicknamed “ The Octopus”…?

Answer; John Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. It was so named by anti-corporate activist Ida Tarbell in her book of that name. Standard Oil was a monopoly that was broken up by the government, and the rump became ESSSO- S-O, get it? Later the Exxon Corp.

iron giant party
October 23rd, 2009

The Iron Giant 10th Reunion is tonight. Remember the event is at the STEVEN J. ROSS THEATER ON THE WARNER BROS LOT, not at Woodbury University.

For those coming, please be advised to get there early. Warner Bros security will be checking their list of invitees and ask for photo ID.. Drivers Licenses, Passports or Student Photo ID is okay. If you're name was not given in to ASIFA by now, WB security will not let you in. Nobody named "Such-and-Such's Guest" will get in.

You can take in cameras, so long as you do not take photographs inside the studio lot. You may take them at the event.

WB will be filming the event for a possible new DVD release,so remember to comb your hair and brush your teeth. you may be asked to sign a release, so don't make faces at the camera. As Eric Larson used to tell us, your scenes are forever.

Hope you all have fun.

October 23, 2009 freitag
October 23rd, 2009

Question: What American corporation used to be nicknamed “ The Octopus”…?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Which of the Marx Brothers never performed on film?
History for 10/23/2009
Birthdays; Johnny Carson, Adlai Stevenson, Pele, Zioniev, Weird Al Yankovic, Dwight Yoakham, Doug Flutie, Michael Crichton, Chi-Chi Rodriquez, Sam Raimi, Phillip Kaufman, porn star Jasmine St. Claire, Gummo Marx, Ang Lee is 55

42 BC- Battle of Phillipi- The forces of Marc Anthony and Octavian defeated the Republican legions of Brutus and Cassius in Greece. Both Marcus Brutus and Cassius Longinus, who had assassinated Julius Caesar two years earlier, died.

1642- EDGEHILL- First battle of the English Civil War. King Charle's Cavaliers-1, Roundheads-0. Even though the Parliamentary forces were defeated the King hesitated when his impulsive cavalry general Prince Rupert wanted to pursue the enemy to London. It was the best chance Charles ever had to crush the rebellion at one grand blow, Oliver Cromwell was as yet an obscure m.p. from Cambridge who led a small troop. Yet Charles hesitated and let the opportunity slip away. The Parliamentary Army was under the command of the Earl of Essex, who traveled around with a coffin and burial shroud among his personal baggage. I wonder if that inspired confidence in his leadership...

1661- King Charles II, the Merry Monarch, crowned at Westminster Abbey. The current English Crown Jewels date from this time, since Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan Parliament had the ancient crown jewels of Anglo-Norman times destroyed.

1812- THE MALET PLOT-While Napoleon was retreating from Moscow thousands of miles away all France waited anxiously for news of his fate. This day a civil servant named Malet convinced Paris that Napoleon was dead and his army destroyed. In the ensuing panic Malet actually succeeded in taking over the French Government!
After a few days the confusion was eventually straightened out and Malet imprisoned. But it was terribly discouraging to Napoleon; he had hoped to build a dynasty to last generations. But it took only one nut with a rumor to show how shallow was the support for his regime was.

1917- In a secret meeting in Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg) all the various left wing Russian political parties: Mensheviks, Anarchists, Utopian Socialists and Narodniks agreed to unite under Lenin’s Bolshevik Party and adopt their plan to violently seize power. After taking control Lenin had them all suppressed. The assassin who shot and wounded him in 1921 was a Socialist.

1923- The German postwar economy collapses. Raging inflation makes it 6 billion DeutschMarks to one U.S. dollar. The few workers who had jobs are paid every other day and it takes a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread. The major industrial region of the Ruhr was under foreign occupation. These conditions made the rise of Adolf Hitler possible. The creeping depression afflicting the war-ruined European economies would help collapse the American banking system in 1929.

1928- A financial consortium led by banker-bootlegger Joseph Kennedy Sr. buys the Keith Albee theater circuit and merged it with the Radio Company and the Orpheum theaters to form Radio-Keith-Orpheum or RKO pictures. After Joe Kennedy met with the other Hollywood moguls he told a friend :”They’re all a bunch of Austrian Pants Pressers! I can take their businesses away from them!” Kennedy made a quick killing then got out of the picture business in 1930, just before the Depression dropped his studios stock value. RKO made films like King Kong, Fort Apache and Citizen Kane before merging into Desilu in 1957.

1930- The first Miniature Golf tournament held in Chattanooga Tenn.

1931- Chicago gangster Al Capone sentenced to 11 years in Alcatraz for federal income tax evasion.

1935- New York gangster Dutch Schultz was rubbed out. The erratic Schultz (real name Arthur Fleigenheimer ) had announced to the other mob bosses that Federal prosecutor Thomas Dewey was getting too close so he would kill him. To the syndicate killing such a high profile fed was going too far and would bring the wrath of Washington down on them, so Lucky Luciano decided it was easier to take care of the Dutchman. Schultz was having dinner at the Bob Treat Porkchop House in Newark with his crooked accountant "Abadaba" ( a corruption of Abracadabra ) when he excused himself to go to the mens room. Hitmen followed him and pumped 6 slugs into him while at the urinal. Gee, I hope he zipped up.....

1940- Shooting on the film Citizen Kane wrapped.

1942-EL ALAMEIN- Montgomery's British 8th Army threw 2500 new American made Sherman and Grant Tanks against Rommel's Afrika Korps threatening Egypt and the Suez Canal. Rommel the Desert Fox was on sick leave in Germany with diptheria and Rommels' replacement, General Stumme, dropped dead of a heart attack in the middle of the battle. Rommel flew back to try and stop the British attack, but by Nov.4th he had to accept defeat and abandon his Egyptian positions. Hitler had made Rommel a field marshal “ I wish he had given me another Panzer division instead” was his reply.

1955-Vietnamese Emperor Bao Dai abdicated to a South Vietnamese Republic set up outside of and ignoring Ho Chi Minhs Viet Minh communists.

1956- The great Hungarian Rising of Inver Nagy. Inspired by the seeming liberalism Nikita Khruschev was bringing to Moscow, thousands march to the statue of the poet Petofi to read his poem "Arise, Hungarians!" and burn newspaper torches. It turned out Khruschev wasn't as liberal as they thought, a month later hundreds of Soviet tanks crush them.

1968-THE FIRST OCTOBER SURPRISE- Pres. Johnson was pushing secret peace talks to wrap up the Vietnam War before he left office. Secret messages from South Vietnamese ambassador Bo Dhiem to the Saigon government confirmed that the Republican leaders were assuring the South Vietnamese that if they didn’t make peace before the American elections, Nixon could win and would support them. On Nov 2nd, President Nyguyen Van Thieu withdrew from the peace table and talks collapsed. Nixon won election and the war went on 4 more years.

1971-Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida opened.

1973- President Nixon ordered a world wide red alert of our strategic nuclear forces to warn the Soviets not to take advantage of U.S. domestic turmoil over Watergate. Soviet ambassador Dobrynin wrote in his memoirs that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger later telephoned and apologized to him for the alert. He said that it was done to distract U.S. opinion from the Watergate scandal.

1983- Jessica Savitch was one of the first women journalists to break the barrier for women getting the top anchor jobs in network news broadcasting. This day she died in a car accident.

1983- President Ronald Reagan had sent U.S. Marines into civil war torn Beirut to achieve peace. This day a suicide bomber drives a truck full of dynamite into the Marines barracks, killing 241 men in their sleep. Reagan then withdrew the remaining Marines. When Congress tried to enforce the War Powers Act limiting the President's power as commander in chief to send troops in harm's way, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger testified to Congress that Act didn't apply because the Beirut situation was not a war. "What was it then?" The incredulous senators asked. Cap replied-"it is a state of Organized Violence." (----uh huh-?--)

1987- Judge Robert Bork was defeated in his bid for a seat on the Supreme Court. Besides offending Liberals by being a longtime Conservative stalwart, he offended Conservatives by admitting under oath he smoked marijuana

2007- massive brush fires north of San Diego California. It displaced one million people, one of the largest numbers of U.S. refugees since the Civil War.
Yesterday’s Question: Which of the Marx Brothers never performed on film?

Answer: Gummo Marx. His brothers Groucho, Chico and Harpo were the regular team. Another brother Zeppo appeared in several films, but dropped out to do something else.