March 19th, 2010 friday
March 19th, 2010

Question answered below: In Jolly Old England, when someone refers to the boot of their car, what are they talking about?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What was the Stourbridge Lion?
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History for 3/19/2010
Birthdays: George De La Tour, Wyatt Earp, Dr. David Livingston, William Jennings Bryan, Sir Richard Burton (The African explorer, not Liz Taylor's ex), Charles M. Russell, Jacky Moms Mabley, Adolf Eichman, Richard Williams, Phillip Roth, Adolf Galland, Ursula Andress, Patrick McGoohan, Ornette Coleman, Harvey Weinstein, Bruce Willis is 55, Glenn Close is 63

Roman Festival ANCILIA when the Salii, the Leaping Priests of Mars, take down the Sacred Shields of Mars the Avenger that dropped down from Heaven on Romulus (Ouch! OOch!) and do the leaping dance of Mars! Ceremony to mark the beginning of campaigning season.

Today is Saint Joseph.’s Day, when the swallows come back to Capistrano.

1330- Edmund the Earl of Kent is beheaded by order of his mother. who's a naughty boy!

1611- Moscow Burns- again. During the period called the Time of Troubles a Polish army had captured the Kremlin and tried to get the son of the Polish King Wladyswav IV or Ladislas made Czar. The Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow Hermogenes forbade any good Russian from swearing allegiance to the Roman Catholic Ladislas. So the Poles threw the Patriarch in a dungeon where he soon died. This day a rebel army organized by a Prince Troubetskoy and peasant butcher Kosma Minin attacked the foreign occupiers and in the ensuing conflict the city caught fire. Four hundred years later Prince Troubetskoy’s descendant was a producer on the Fox animated feature "Ice Age".

1628- A group called Puritans, differing from the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony are granted a Royal Charter to set up their own Massachusetts Colony. Oliver Cromwell once considered emigrating to this colony but opted to stay in England.

1644- Si Sang, the last emperor of China's Ming Dynasty, committed suicide.

1687- French explorer Sieur de LaSalle was killed by his own men on the shores of the Mississippi in an argument over scarce food rations. He was 43.

1799- Franz Josef Haydn’s oratorio the Creation premiered. Haydn was inspired when he heard Handel’s the Messiah in London.

1812- LIBERALS- When Napoleon’s armies occupied Spain in 1808 the Spanish people formed independent bands and fought on in the hills as "guerrillas"- "Little Wars". These militias sent delegates to an free, independent parliament called the Supreme Cortes in the city of Cadiz. This day they formulated a constitution for a new Spain acknowledging King Ferdinand, Abolishing torture and the Inquisition but keeping the Catholic Church. These men were first called by the term Liberales or Liberals.

1831- The First U.S. Bank Robbery. English immigrant Edward Smith alias Edward Honeywell made a duplicate set of keys and robbed the City Bank of New York of $245,000 bucks. He did ten years in Sing Sing but only half the money was ever found.

1847- THE MORMON BATALLION reached Los Angeles. Brigham Young, in order to quiet Federal suspicions that his Utah commune didn't want to be part of the U.S., forms a volunteer battalion to help in the War with Mexico. This troop makes one of the longest infantry marches in U.S. history across the arid desert and arrives in El Pueblo de Los Angeles in time to interrupt a fiesta. They tell the startled locals that they were now Americans (see what happens when you let too many gringos into this country..?)

1853- Charles Dickens novel Bleak House first appeared in magazine installments. It is the first fictional novel to mention dinosaurs-" It would be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill…"

1859- Charles Gounod's opera 'Faust" premiered. It was so popular that after a while in New York wags nicknamed the Metropolitan Opera the "Faustspeilhaus" ( it's a pun on Wagner's theater in Bayreuth being called a Festspeilhaus, so Faustspeilhaus..heh-heh,.get it ?....look, don't blame me...its a Gilded Age opera joke....)

1866- H.M.S. MONARCH OF THE SEAS leaves Liverpool with 2,000 tons,700
immigrants and freight bound for New York. and disappears forever. No wreckage, no survivors, no distress signals. One of the Mysteries of the Deep...

1875- Mark Twain admits in a letter that he now likes to use a typewriter, a new technology accused of ruining the art of writing.

1895- The Lumiere Brothers shot their first movie, employees leaving their dad’s factory.

1914- A fire in the negative vaults of the Eclair Studios in New Jersey destroyed forever all the American work of pioneer French animator Emile Cohl. He had come to the U.S. to animate the first cartoon series, George McManus’ "The Newlyweds" later to be renamed in comic strip form "Life With Father".

1916- The first mission of the U.S. Airforce. The First U.S. Aero Squadron flew reconnaissance missions this day to aid General Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa.

1918- As a wartime measure the Congress created Daylight Savings Time separate from Standard Time.

1920- U.S. Congress rejects U.S. admission into the League of Nations. The refusal of the worlds largest economy who's President (Wilson) was the architect of the plan as well as the refusal to admit Soviet Russia dooms the League to impotence. Wilson ruined his health crossing the country lobbying for support for the League and was heartbroken at its failure. In 1945 after another horrible war the world would try again with the United Nations.

1928- the Amos & Andy radio show debuted. NBC Blue Network, WMAQ in Chicago.

1931- Nevada legalized gambling.

1935- Harlem riots. When the rumor spread that a young shoplifter had been beaten to death by police in the basement of Kress Department Store, 10,000 Harlem residents riot in the streets and burn shops. Two people are killed. The child makes an appearance and in fact had never been harmed.

1945- THE NERO ORDER- While allied armies pour into Germany, Adolph Hitler in his bunker issued an order to destroy all bridges, water and telephone systems, dams, schools, anything that could be of any use after the war is over." The Allies will have conquered nothing by ashes!" A immolation worthy of Wagner's Gotterdammerung. Despite some Nazis fanatical wish to fight to the end most rational Germans including Albert Speer completely ignored this order. And Hitler down in his bunker didn't know one way or another. German generals started to refer to the Fuhrer's strange mood swings with a German word: VookenCuckooshein- that translates as "Cloud-Cuckoo-Land".

1953- First T.V. broadcast of the Oscar ceremony. That utterly memorable circus film
"The Greatest Show on Earth" won top honors. Ironically it was Cecil B. DeMille’s only Oscar of his career. Before TV, the Oscars ceremony included a dinner and an hour of dancing before the awards were presented.

1954- Singer Sammy Davis Jr. lost an eye in an auto accident in the California desert. He was left lying bleeding unattended in a hallway in Riverside County Hospital. This was because he was black and it was a segregated facility. Finally actor Jeff Chandler found him and forced the doctors to treat him. Friend Frank Sinatra urged Davis out of his depression and got him out on stage again. That first night at Ciro’s nightclub the entire Ratpack- Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford each preformed on stage wearing a black eye patch similar to Davis’.

1957- Elvis Presley purchased an estate outside Memphis Tennessee called Graceland from Ruth Moore for $100,000.

1957- Skiing aficionado Pete Seibert was wounded in both legs during World War Two and was feared he would never walk again. He not only walked but he got back on skis and by 1950 made the US Olympic skiing team. This day he hiked with a friend up to an isolated Valley in Colorado named Vail:" My God Earl, we’ve climbed all the way to Heaven!" he exclaimed. Pete Seibert built Vail into a world class ski resort and town.

1959- North Vietnamese nationalist leader Ho Chi Minh declared a war of unification against the Republic of South Vietnam.

1962- The first Pillsbury Doughboy commercial.

1964- IBM gives the greenlight to plans for the 360 series. The first compatible computers.

1973- During the Watergate Scandal, President Richard Nixon's lawyer John Dean tells him "There is a cancer on the Presidency."

1974- The band Jefferson Airplane changed its name to Jefferson Starship.

1979- C-Span cable channel started broadcasting live from the floor of Congress. The first Congressman to speak on camera was Al Gore.

1982- Randy Rhoads, the lead guitarist for Ozzy Ozbourne died when he playfully flew his plane buzzing the bands travelling bus and smacked into a farmhouse.

1984- I’LL BE BACK- James Cameron began shooting the film the Terminator. He first considered casting O.J. Simpson for the cyborg killer before settling on Austrian weightlifter Arnold Swarzenegger.

1987- Reverend Jim Baker resigned as head of the PTL Ministries. The Televangelist had been accused of hanky-panky with secretary Jessica Hahn and defrauding his parishioners of millions to put air conditioning in his dog’s house, and on a Christian Theme Park named Heritage USA. Evangelist turned comedian Sam Kinison joked:
"I imagine up in Heaven Jesus must be flipping through the New Testament saying "Hey, where did I say anything about a Water Slide?!"

1993- Monkey-cam debuted on the David Letterman Show.

2003- THE INVASION OF IRAQ BEGAN- The United States, Britain and a loose coalition of small states used public outrage over the 9-11 attacks to invade Saddam Husseins’ Iraq and march on Baghdad. The massed firepower of the attack was so devastating, it was called Shock & Awe. This was the United States first "preventative war" breaking fifty five years of discouraging other nations from resorting to unilateral military actions, and it broke the 200 year old American tradition of never firing first.
Although Iraq had not bothered the US directly, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney declared they had solid evidence that Saddam had the ability to attack America with nuclear weapons in 45 minutes. The White House encouraged the belief that Saddam had a tie to Osama Ben Laden’s 9-11 attack. All these claims turned out to be fiction. That summer the movie Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones came out. Wags called this war Gulf Wars Episode II Clone of the Attack.

2004- Brian Maxwell, the inventor of the Power Bar nutrition snack, died of a heart attack at age 51.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What was the Stourbridge Lion??

Answer: In 1825, the Stourbridge Lion and the Pride of Newcastle were two locomotives imported from England to help start the American railroad system.


March 18th,2010 thurs
March 18th, 2010

Quiz: What was the Stourbridge Lion?

Yesterdays’ question answered below- Which old comedian was not born Jewish? A) Groucho Marx, B) Jack Benny, C) Jimmy Durante, D) Moe Howard
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History for 3/18/2010
Birthdays: Amerigo Vespucci, John Calhoun, Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov, Neville Chamberlain, Wilson Picket, Edgar Cayce, John Updike, Grover Cleveland, Edward Everet Horton, Vanessa Williams, F. W. DeKlerk, George Plympton, Peter Graves, Irene Cara, Luc Besson, Queen Latifah is 40

44BC-This would have been the day Julius Caesar would have left Rome to lead his legions against the Parthians (Iran), had he not received multiple stab wounds.

566- The Feast of Saint Frediano (St Fred), who redirected a river near Lucca with his rake.

1286- King Alexander III of Scotland accidentally rides his horse off a cliff.


1554- Princess Elizabeth Tudor was sent to the Tower of London on a charge of treason. An uprising of English Protestants under Sir Thomas Wyatt had been crushed. Wyatt under torture confessed his goal was to put Elizabeth on the throne. Elizabeth claimed she never heard of Wyatt, but her stepsister Queen Mary was suspicious. You could imagine what Elizabeth was thinking when she was rowed into the Tower through the Traitor’s Gate, the same way her mother Anne Boleyn was. For the next several weeks Elizabeth played a dangerous game pretending to be a loyal Catholic. Mary soon died of cancer and Elizabeth became Queen.

1584-Czar Ivan the Terrible died while playing chess. Nobody is sure why, except for
"a noticeable swelling of his cods." He had no natural heir, especially after beating his eldest son's brains out with his scepter, and his youngest son Dmitri was also dead. Chancellor Boris Gudunov said during an epileptic seizure, the boy whipped out his knife and slashed his own throat. (yeah...right...) Then Boris Gudunov named himself Czar. Russia enters a period of dynastic struggle known as "the Time of Troubles".

1662- French philosopher Blaise Pascal, who had invented an early computer device, tried to start a municipal bus system.

1815-VIVE L'EMPEREUR ! While marching on Paris to overthrow King Louis XVIII Napoleon is stopped near Grenoble by the Royal French army led by his old friend Marshal Michel Ney. Ney had promised the king he would bring Bonaparte to Paris in an iron cage. The whole Royal Army was Nappy’s old troops anyway, just with a new flag. Soldiers who had served side by side for twenty years suddenly were facing each other. Instead of civil war, Napoleon quietly walked up to the raised guns and smiled: " Soldiers! You all know me. If any of you want to kill your Emperor, here I am." After an agonizing pause the army cheered and went over to him en masse, including Ney.

1831- The U.S. Supreme Court rule that the Cherokee Nation are a “Domestic Dependant” and not a foreign power and therefore cannot sue in federal court.

1834- The Tolpuddle Martyrs. Six Dorchester farm laborers are arrested and banished to the Australian penal colony for trying to organize a labor union. It is considered the beginning of British trade unionism. Public agitation forced the government to pardon them and invite them home. Only one went back to Dorchester, the rest moved to Canada.

1852- New York City steamboat skipper Henry Wells and mailman William Fargo form the Wells Fargo Company. In 1873 they went into a joint venture with several other freight shipping companies called American Express.

1871- Citizens of Paris, disgusted with the inept handling of the Franco Prussian war and horrible siege they had to endure, declare a workers revolutionary state, The COMMUNE OF PARIS. Artist Honore' Daumier was named to it's governing board. Karl Marx, living in London, said it was still the wrong type of revolution. The Communards were enthusiastic but inefficient revolutionaries, they tried to burn down Notre Dame but it was so old and damp it wouldn't burn. Then they tried to execute the aged archbishop of Paris by firing squad. They all missed on the first try.
They were eventually crushed by the regular French Army after bitter street fighting that destroyed a lot of Paris including the Tuileries Palace, the Hotel deVille and the Palace of St. Cloud. In Pere' Lachaise cemetery you can still see the 'Wall of the Comunards', where 150 were lined up and shot. They took as their banner the red flag of revolution. Young Nikolai Lenin, studying the Commune, adopted their red flag for his and it later became the symbol of world communism. When Yuri Gargarin went into orbit in 1959 he had a relic bit of the Commune's flag with him.

1902- BIRTHDAY OF THE RECORDING INDUSTRY. The RCA Victrola company sends it's engineers to Milan to record ten discs of the young tenor Enrico Caruso. He becomes a world celebrity and the phonograph moves from being a scientific curiosity to something every home had to have.

1910- Rosie O’Neill invented the Kewpie Doll.

1913- On the streets of Salonika the King of Greece was assassinated by anarchist Alexandros Skinos. He was described in the London Times as “ A drunken Greek Degenerate.” The King, not the anarchist.

1915-THE BATTLE OF POINT HELLAS- As part of World War One’s Gallipoli Campaign a large British fleet attacked the shore installations guarding the sea approaches to Istanbul. The British Navy hadn't suffered a major loss since the days of Lord Nelson but now it was so badly shot up that they had to withdraw completely. First Sea Lord Jack Fisher resigned. King George V said Admiral Fisher should have been hanged from a yardarm. The British Navy stayed formidable but its myth of the invincibility was damaged. Historian Jan Morris said they had tried to beat the Turks by merely 'Looking Superb".

1924-The film “Thief of Baghdad” starring Douglas Fairbanks and designs by William Cameron Menzies premiered. It is considered the first great special effects blockbuster.

1925- THE GREAT MIDWEST TORNADO- One of the largest tornadoes ever recorded. A Force 5 monster that traveled 300 miles from Mississippi to Illinois traveling at 73 miles an hour. It wiped out two large towns and killed 689 people.

1928- William T. Hones was planting horseradish in Petersburg Virginia when he dug up a 32 carat diamond. He took it home as a curiosity and only figured out it’s value 15 years later. It was the largest diamond found in North America.

1931- Schick, Inc. introduced the electric razor.

1942- Paramounts “The Lost Dream” the first Little Audrey cartoon.

1947- William Durant, the brilliant executive who created General Motors and built it into an industrial giant., died the manager of a bowling alley in suburban Chicago. He had been ruined in the Great Depression.

1962-President DeGaulle of France and Algerian FLN sign an accord giving Independence to Algeria.

1965- Cosmonaut Sergei Leonov is the first human to walk in space.

1965-The Rolling Stones are fined 5 English pence for urinating on a wall in Stratford at ABC recording studio Romford.

1967- The Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened at Disneyland, designed by master animator Marc Davis. In recent years rampant political correctness has disturbed the pirates fun. One diorama that portrayed a lusty buccaneer chasing a wench around a table while she giggles. It was changed to show he was really only interested in her sandwich tray. Yeah,……right.

1968- Mel Brooks first comedy film “The Producers” premiered with Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Dick Shawn. His screenplay beat out Kubricks 2001 for a Best Screenplay Oscar. In the late 1990s Brooks reworked the screenplay into a hit Broadway musical.

1980- At the Soviet Union’ secret Plesetsk space center a Vostok rocket exploded on the launch pad, killing fifty top scientists.

1981- Ronald Reagan’s Vice President George H.W. Bush Sr got into a traffic accident in Washington D.C. while driving his secretary/mistress Jennifer Fitzgerald to dinner. Desperate to keep his affair out of the papers, Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Attorney General William French-Smith went to D,C. police HQ and erased any record of the accident from the daily police blotter.

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Yesterdays’ question: Which old comedian was not born Jewish? A) Groucho Marx, B) Jack Benny, C) Jimmy Durante, D) Moe Howard

Answer: James Francis “Jimmy” Durante was born Roman Catholic. Besides Marx, Jack Benny was born Benny Koubielsky, and Moe Howard was born Moses Horwitz.


Happy St. Patrick's Day all!

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Question: Which old comedian was not born Jewish? A) Groucho Marx, B) Jack Benny, C) Jimmy Durante, D) Moe Howard

Yesterday’s Question answered Below: Which one of these people was not born in Ireland? A)- Liam Neeson, b)-Errol Flynn, C) Sean O’Casey, D) Lola Montez

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History for 3/17/2009
Birthdays: Jim Bridger the mountainman, Nat King Cole, film composer Alfred Newman, Mercedes McCambridge, Leslie Ann Down, Patrick Duffy, Rudolph Nureyev, Gary Sinise, Kate Greenaway, John Sebastian, Ben Washam (warner bros. animator), Ken Anderson (Disney animator), John Wayne Gacy (serial killer), Shemp Howard (stooge), Kurt Russell is 59, Rob Lowe is 46

-Ancient Roman Festival Bacchanalia-the wine festival.

44BC- Mark Anthony called the first meeting of the Roman Senate since Julius Caesars assassination. Caesar’s murderers Brutus and Cassius were annoyed that the Roman people didn’t rise up in joy over their deed but instead remained ominously still. Instead of seizing the government, they went off to brood and talk it over. Meanwhile the Senate, not knowing who would win the coming power struggle, fence straddled by passing all of Caesars bills, at the same time voting amnesty for his killers.

180AD- The Roman Philosopher Emperor Marcus Aurelius died at his army camp Vindobona- the future Vienna. He was 59 and was succeeded by Commodus. For the last 100 years Roman Emperors adopted the man best qualified to lead Rome, instead of a natural son. Since most of them were gay, there was no problem with disappointed kids. But Marcus ruined the system by naming his natural son Commodus, a sicky tyrant in the mold of Nero or Caligula. There were rumors that Commodus killed his father before he could come to his senses and change his will, but there is no evidence of this. Marcus Aurelius had been ill for most of his last year.

461AD- HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY - St. Patrick was a Romanized Gaul named Patricius Magonus Sucatus who as a boy was taken as a slave to Ireland by raiders, then escaped and became a Christian Bishop at Auxerre. He returned to Ireland in 432, converted the daughters of Irish King Laoghaire and cast down the great pagan idol of Crom Cruach in Letrim. As far as snakes go, some say that was a metaphor for the pagans. One man converted an entire nation. He died on this day in Ireland 461 A.D..
The holiday was a religious festival in Ireland but in America the feast day of Ireland's patron saint became a chance to show ethnic pride and political strength in the face of anti-Irish discrimination. In 1780 George Washington ordered his army to commemorate St. Patrick's Day in sympathy with "An ancient people's struggle for Independence."

965. AD- Pope Leo VIII died of a stroke while in bed with a lady en flagrante delicto.

1394- THE WHITE COMPANY- Sir John Hawkwood died. During a time-out in the Hundred Years War in France Hawkwood formed a company of unemployed English knights and went to Italy to become “condottierie”-mercenaries, fighting for money in the feuds between all the little Italian city-states. Their distinctive brightly polished silver armor gave them the name “The White Company”. Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle wrote a novel by that name about them. Years earlier the term 'free lance' had been coined, meaning a knight who was free of any Shield-Oath to a noble lord.

1525- THE GERMAN PEASANTS WAR BEGAN- Excited by the new Protestant movement throwing off the yoke of the Church, German peasants decide to throw off the yoke of their princes as well. Preacher Thomas Munzer led a mob of peasants to kick out the Bishop-Dukes of Mulhausen and established rule by “Eternal Council”. Martin Luther was shocked by the violence. He alienated many of his followers by disassociating himself from the revolts and urged their suppression. The rebellious mobs of peasants flying black flags across Germany, Austria and Alsace were only put down after terrible massacres. At one point a duke warned his colleagues not to kill all their peasants, because then there would be no one left to work the farms and pay taxes.

1526-Lusty King Francis II of France had been captured in battle with German-Spanish Emperor Charles V and kept a prisoner in Madrid. A year later after signing a lot of peace treaties he had no intention of honoring he was finally set free on the Spanish-French border near Hendaye. He jumped on a horse and shouted “I am King Again!” Then he jumped on an 18 year old blond his mother Louise of Savoy brought him. Thanks Mom!

1692- After the Quaker community refused to support a war with France the English Crown declared Governor William Penn deprived of his powers and the colony of Pennsylvania would be administered directly as a crown colony.

1737- The Irish Charitable Society of Boston held a dinner to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Earliest known commemoration in America.

1762- in New York Irish militiamen against orders march down Broadway to Hull's Tavern to a St.Patrick's Day breakfast. The first recorded St. Patty's Day parade. In 1848 several Irish-American organizations marched together and the parade became large enough to bring out the Mayor to preside. As immigration grew so did the parades and the political patronage.Pulaski Day, Steuben Day, Columbus Day, Puerto-Rican Day, etc.
In the 1890’s politician Teddy Roosevelt seemed to be at so many ethnic parades saying he had relations that were Irish, German, Dutch, etc. that opponents called him "Old Mister 57 Flavors".

1768- Black slaves on the Caribbean Island of Montserrat rise up against their plantation overlords. Because many of the white overseers were Protestant Irish the slaves guessed they would be distracted by Saint Patrick’s Day partying when they attacked. At the last moment someone gave the plot away. The rebellion was crushed and nine leaders hanged.

1776-This day the British Navy of 150 ships hoisted sail and left the City of Boston. Lord Howe had concluded an armistice with colonial General Washington that in exchange for an unmolested evacuation they would not burn the city. It was seen as a great early victory for the Americans. Boston Harbor was opened for the first time in three years. The British troops were heartily glad to leave. A lieutenant Sheffield wrote:” I curse Columbus and all the other discoverers of this diabolical land!”

1808- ROYAL SCANDALS- William the Duke of York, second son of King George III had to resign his position as head of the British Army over an investigation that he kept a tootsie named Mary Clarke, who used her influence to cash in with army contractors. William’s dad the insane king was locked up and his older brother the Prince Regent later George IV didn't complain because he was hiding an illegal Irish wife named Mrs. Fitzherbert and another girlfriend named Lady Cunningham from his estranged wife Caroline the Princess of Wales, who was herself having sex with most of the men of Italy. All this scandal couldn't defeat Napoleon, but it did knock Boney out of the British newspapers for awhile, and help Prime Minister Pitt the Younger drink himself into an early grave.

1811- The first sidewheel Mississippi riverboat The New Orleans was launched.

1845- Rubber Bands invented.

1857- John Stephens founds the Fenian Brotherhood in Dublin. This group is the forerunner of Sinn Fein (Shin Fain). The Fenians tried numerous insurrections in the old country and even a conquest of Canada from New York State using former Union army soldiers in 1867. Like political leaders today worry about Hamas or Al Qaeda, Queen Victoria would cast a nervous eye over her shoulder for Fenians.

1874-MACY'S- Jacob and Isadore Strauss, two German Jewish peddlers whose first job in America was selling Confederate War Bonds, buy a dry goods store from a retired Quaker sea captain named R.H.MACY. They decide to keep the name to divert anti-Semitic customers. The store was later so successful that in 1904 Macys’s moved to it's present location on 34th St. The location was close by the new Penn. Station and also across the street from the two largest brothels in New York. Izzy Strauss later went down with the Titanic in 1912 and Jacob's kids founded Stauss stores. When Jacob visited Paris in 1919, he joked on General Pershing's comment "Lafayette Nous'Voici" to :"Galerie Lafayette we are here!" Galerie Lafayette is a French department store...(don't blame me, it's a department store joke...)

1879- New Mexico Territorial Governor Lew Wallace stopped work on his novel Ben Hur long enough to meet face to face outlaw Billy the Kid to discuss an amnesty.

1898- First test of a practical submarine. Americans had experimented with underwater travel since 1776 with Bushnells "Turtle" then the Civil War CSS Hunley. In the ocean off Staten Island a diesel-electric battery powered sub built by the John A. Holland Electric Boat Company of Georgia ran underwater for an hour and forty minutes then resurfaced. As a child Holland was inspired by Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea".

1901- At a grand exhibition of his paintings at Bernheim-Jeune Palace in Paris, the world discovered the brilliance of a poor Dutch lunatic who had shot himself a few years back- Vincent Van Gogh.

1905-Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt marry. They were cousins. Eleanor was actually more directly related to Theodore Roosevelt than Franklin was -she was TR’s niece.

1906- Teddy Roosevelt in a speech to the Gridiron Club coins the term "Muckraker".

1912- The Camp Fire Girls created.

1941- The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington D.C.

1949- The first car show for Porsche sportscars.

1965- Chicago began the Saint Patrick’s Day tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green.

1967- Senator Robert Kennedy first openly broke with the Lyndon Johnson administration and in a speech denounced the US participation in the war in Vietnam. Historians debate whether his brother John F. Kennedy who first committed US troops to the conflict would have accelerated or stopped the war had he not been assassinated. But according to reporters and confidants Robert Kennedy told them while running for the presidency in 1968 that if he won, his first priority was to get us out. Kennedy’s assassination ended that dream and the war for America dragged on until 1973.

1982- Politically conservative Hollywood actors led by Charlton Heston broke with the Screen Actor’s Guild and form a rival group called AWAG ( American Working Actor’s Guild). They were angered by SAG president Ed Asner’s taking their union into national politics by condemning Pres. Ronald Reagan’s policies in Central America, capped by the SAG board refusing Reagan (their former president) the Guild lifetime achievement award.
As a result Ed Asner’s hit t.v. show “Lou Grant” lost sponsors and was cancelled and Heston’s career cooled as well, beyond heading the NRA and writing cranky letters to the L.A. Times calendar section that Ben Hur wasn’t gay.

1983- On trial for libel, and refusing to name sources, wheelchair bound porn publisher Larry Flynt showed up in a US Federal court wearing a diaper made from an American flag. This was calculated to mock a conservative demand for a Constitutional amendment against burning the flag.

1991- Irish Gays and Lesbians first barred by the Ancient Order of Hibernians from marching in the New York and Boston St Patrick’s Day Parades. They took it to the Supreme Court who ruled the Hibernians could bar from marching who ever they wanted to. They ban Irish anti-abortion activists too. So the controversy goes on.
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Yesterday’s Question: Which one of these people was not born in Ireland?
A)- Liam Neeson, b)-Errol Flynn, C) Sean O’Casey, D) Lola Montez

Answer: b) Errol Flynn was born in Tasmania, New Zealand. Liam Neeson was born in Belfast, Sean O-Casey in Dublin, and Lola Montez was born Betty James of County Sligo.


March 16th, 2010 Tues.
March 16th, 2010

Question: Which one of these people was not born in Ireland?
A)- Liam Neeson, b)-Errol Flynn, C) Sean O’Casey, D) Lola Montez

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: In Irish pubs on St. Patricks’ Day, why is it not wise to wear the color orange?
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History for 3/16/2010
Birthdays: President James Madison, Conrad Nagel, Dr. Josef Mengele the Angel of Death, Teresa Berganza, Christa Ludwig, Pat Nixon, Alice Bonheur, Jerry Lewis is 84, Bernardo Bertolucci, Eric Estrada is 61, Kate Nelligan, Isabelle Huppert is 58, Lauren Graham is 43

597 BC.- Babylonian King Nebuchanesser II captured Jerusalem and ended the Old Kingdom of Israel. He forced the Jews to relocate to Babylon and thus was the Babylonian Captivity. After Cyrus the Persian king attacked Babylon and allowed the Jews to go home two tribe’s disappeared- the Lost Tribes of Israel.

These events were the basis for the term Babylon to be associated with ultimate evil in so much Judeo-Christian apocalyptic writings. It’s been speculated by some scholars that the Israelites at this time worshiped many gods but by the time they left captivity they had trimmed down to one god, the storm god Yahweh.

In the ancient Roman religion this was the first day of nine days of fasting leading up to the Day of Blood, sacred to the Goddess Cybele. Although Jesus fasted in the wilderness, he never asked anyone else to. This pagan festival may be where the Christian Church developed the Lenten Fast.

50BC- After maneuvering Pompey and his senatorial enemies out of Rome, Julius Caesar entered the city and proclaimed a general amnesty. Between now and his murder in 44 he drained marshes, built forums, opened the first public libraries and started the first newspaper in human history. The Acta Diurna –The Daily Doings- a one sheet of the acts of the Senate and events. It was pasted on city walls or read by heralds.

37 AD- The Roman Emperor Tiberius had lived to a great old age and spent his last years at his private villa on the Isle of Capri. He had raised his sister Agrippina’s son Caligula to succeed him as Emperor upon his death. This day after weeks of failing health Tiberius seemed to breathe his last. Caligula took the signet ring from his finger and went out to receive the adulation of the Praetorian Guard and Senate as the new emperor. But suddenly word came that Tiberius had opened his eyes and was asking for wine. The embarrassed Caligula went back into the sickroom and himself smothered the old man with a pillow.

455 A.D.- Roman Emperor Valentinian III was assassinated by kinsmen of Aetius, the half barbarian Roman general who Valentinian had killed the previous September.

1758- THE ST. SABAA MASSACRE- The Apache had invited the westward expanding Spanish colonists to move into the Texas hill country near where Austin would one day be. This brought them into direct conflict with the fierce Commanche nation, just as the Apache had hoped. This day a Commanche war party descended upon the new Spanish Mission of St. Sabaa and wiped it out. 200 dead. After punitive expeditions failed the Spaniards wisely left the territory alone. It remained Commancheria until the American settlers overran it in the 1850s.

1778- In Paris, Benjamin Franklin first met Voltaire.

1792 -King Gustavus III Vasa of Sweden was assassinated at a masked ball. He had been warned and went incognito but the killers recognized him because of the bejeweled medals all over his costume. He was a good ruler to Sweden but like Catherine the Great of Russia had no use for democratic parliaments and ruled like an absolute monarch. Giusseppi Verdi later wrote an opera based on the incident, "Un Ballo en Maschera" and invented a love story where the King falls for the wife of his Prime Minister. He was later forced to revise his story however because the Swedish government resented their late king portrayed, as an adulterer. The King’s enemies in his time had accused him of being a child-molester. So to avoid any more hassle Verdi made Gustavo the Duke of Boston.


1830- DULLEST DAY IN HISTORY OF STOCK MARKET- only 31 shares traded for a grand total of $ 3,740 dollars.

1848- King Ludwig Ist of Bavaria abdicated over the scandal of his mistress LOLA MONTEZ . Lola started off as an Irish nymph named Betty James who changed her name and passed herself off as an Argentine flamenco dancer. Ludwig was so besotted with her that after awhile she was hiring and firing gov't officials as the Bavarian economy careened towards bankruptcy. Ludwig protested publicly that all Lola and he ever did was spend evenings reading aloud from Thomas a' Kempis "An Imitation of Christ". Privately he confessed she possessed extraordinary internal muscles...ahem....

He gave the crown to his brother Maximillian and she published a best selling book on beauty tips and toured the U.S..

1850- Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter published.

1861- TEXAS votes to join the Confederacy over the protests of elderly governor Sam Houston. Houston had argued that a better course to follow was to invade Mexico again and this time conquer all of it, after which the U.S would elect Houston President and he would redress all the Southerners grievances. Sam was a little out of it by now .
As the Texas legislature called out 7 times for Sam Houston to take the Oath to the Confederacy, Houston sat quietly in his chair whittling on a stick. He then retired to his ranch and died a year later. Thousands of Texans died in the Civil War and the state was under military occupation until 1877.

1906- The Rolls-Royce Motorcar Company incorporated. Mr. Charles Rolls and Sir William Royce quickly realized that they couldn’t compete with the mass produced low cost motorcars made by Henry Ford, so they appealed to the high end buyer with elegant hand made craftsmanship.

1913- Artist Aubrey Beardsley died of tuberculosis at 25. Having a religious conversion at the end of his life, but still the stickler for detail, his last words were :"Destroy all my erotic drawings...all the bad ones too...." Happily his friends did neither.

1921- On the final day of the 10th Communist Party Congress Lenin laid down the statutes barring dissent in Russia. From now on Anarchism, Socialism, Centrism, Trade Unionism, in fact any dissent or disagreement with the Soviet Communist Party from Right of Left would be seen as Counter-Revolutionary Dead-Meatism. Tired of arguing with old Bolsheviks over how Russian society should be transformed, he in effect stamped out the last sparks of democracy in Russia. The slogans of Russia belonging to the workers and peasants became just that- slogans. Russia really belonged to a small central committee controlling the Communist Party.

1926 -Robert Goddard launches the first liquid fueled rocket in Auburn Massachusetts. In later years he was invited to join Cal Tech and the Galcit group in forming the embryonic Jet Propulsion Lab. Goddard refused because at such a government facility he would no longer be the center of attention but just another scientist. Goddard set up the first testing grounds in Rosswell New Mexico.

1935- ADOLF HITLER surprised the world by announcing Germany's refusal to be bound by the Versailles Treaty anymore. He calls for universal conscription for a100 division army, and reveals the secret massive illegal German arms buildup and the Luftwaffe, now the world's largest air force. He then waited for the Allies reaction, which was nothing.

1968-THE MY-LAI MASSACRE- U.S. troops shot 400 Vietnamese civilians. The GI's were disgusted with the endless invisible ambushes and not being able to tell civilians from guerrillas. So this day they annihilated an entire village that intelligence said had aided in an ambush of an earlier patrol. They lined up people in front of an open pit and shot them down like the Nazis did a generation earlier. They got so carried away that a Huey helicopter gunship had to place itself between the soldiers and the fleeing women and children and threatened to fire if they didn't stop.
Atrocities conducted under wartime stress are sadly common in all wars, but this one and the clumsy attempt to cover it up particularly horrified the American public. The ensuing media coverage fostered a harsh public attitude towards returning veterans, unprecedented in American wars. Only one person, Lt. William Calley, went to jail. The surviving crew of the helicopter that stopped the massacre were finally acknowledged for their bravery in 1998.

1985- A.P. correspondent Terry Anderson kidnapped by terrorists in Beirut. He was held captive for seven years. 92 other foreigners were kidnapped including CIA Beirut station chief William Buckley who was tortured to death.

1994- Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding was arrested for obstructing the prosecution of the case of the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.

2008- J.P. Morgan bought collapsing superbank Bear Sterns (BSC), the first major firm to fall in the global economic collapse of 2008. Two of their hedge-fund managers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin lost $1.6 billion while telling investors that everything was fine.
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Yesterday’s Question: In Irish pubs on St. Patricks’ Day, why is it not wise to wear the color orange?

Answer: Green is the color of the Irish Republic, Orange is the color of Irish people of Ulster who are Protestant, sometimes called English Loyalists or Blood Orangemen. Their ancestors were brought to settle the territories by English King William of Orange, who defeated the Irish at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.


March 15th,2010 mon
March 15th, 2010

Question: In Irish pubs on St. Patricks’ Day, why is it not wise to wear the color orange?

Question Answered below: When Julius Caesar was warned, Beware the Ides of March, what does Ides mean?
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History for 3/15/2010
Birthdays: Andrew Jackson*, Lee Schubert-one of Broadways Shubert Brothers, Ry Cooder, Sly Stone, Harry James, Lightnin' Hopkins, Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, Judd Hirsch, Norm Van Brocklin, Sabu, Fabio, Reni Harlin, David Cronenburg

* For many years in America Andy Jackson’s birthday was a public holiday.

508BC-525AD- In the Roman Republic this was the traditional day the newly elected Consuls and Senate assumed their offices and began governing.

44 B.C. -BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH- While attending the first day of the new Senate, Roman dictator Gaius Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by radical senators beneath the statue of his old enemy Pompey Magnus. Two of the murderers, Brutus and Cassius were former officers of Pompey to whom Caesar granted amnesty. Marcus Brutus was a descendant of Junius Brutus the founder of the Roman democracy. He was even rumored to have been Caesar's illegitimate son.


Even though Caesar had been stabbed 23 times, it still took him several hours to die, lying alone on the floor. Everyone was afraid to go back in. Unlike Shakespeare, Julius Caesar never said "Et Tu Brute'" Even you, Brutus? In Latin. His last words were the equivalent in Greek-"Touto kai teknon mou" which translates, "Even this my child?". Greek was to the Romans, like French is to us. Proving you can suffer multiple stab wounds, yet still be chic’.

1079-The Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan assassinated by followers of his old Vizier, Nizam Al Mulk. The vizer had been killed by the Assassins, the original terrorists of the Islamic world, hired by Alp Arslan. Witness to all this was Omar Al Khayyam, poet, mathematician and astronomer. Legend said Alp Arslan had mustachios so long he had to pin them up on his turban so he could shoot his bow. Arslans successor was Gelalladin or the Malik Shah. His reign was considered the high point of Seljuk civilization.

1493- Columbus returned to Palo, Spain from his first voyage to America. The Santa Maria had broke up on reefs in America and Captain Pinzon had taken the Pinta on ahead to take credit for himself, or Columbus so worried. He himself got home in the little bark the Nina and at one point had to put in at a Portuguese port where he and his men were impounded for a few days. Captain Pinzon did reach home first, but fortunately King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella refused to listen to him. When Pinzon got his own voyage to the New World, all the attention was on his navigator- Amerigo Vespucci.

1781-THE NEWBURGH CONFERENCE- The closest the United States ever came to a military dictatorship. George Washington's officers were fed up with the indecision of their bankrupt Congress. The Revolutionary War was over, but the army hadn’t been paid in months. Like Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army a century before, there were loud calls to march on the government. They even talked of establishing a junta of generals to run the United States! But what of their commander? The ringleaders assured: "we can handle the old man." General Washington called a meeting at his HQ at Newburgh, New Jersey and faced down his angry troops. He appealed for understanding and patriotism. Tears were shed when he put on his spectacles, implying he'd broken his health and had aged prematurely in the service of his country. He was only 49, yet he looked much older. That won them over. George Washington not only wasn’t "handled", but convinced the army to go their homes peacefully, paid with nothing but a paper IOU.

1782- The English House of Commons, fed up with the bungled American Revolution and the heavy-handed style of Lord North’s government, voted the first ever vote of no-confidence. The Lord North government resigned five days later.

1820- Maine became a state.

1865- Cross-dressing rebel Sue Mundy was hanged in Kentucky. Long haired soldier Jerome Clark once got drunk, and for a gag his buddies put him in a dress and declared him Queen of the May. Instead of being insulted, Clark liked being in drag and ravaged the countryside as the guerrilla leader Sue Mundy. Until the Yankees caught him no one was quite sure whether he was a man or woman.


1869-The Cincinnati Red Stockings become the first professional baseball team. Players had been taking payments under the table for years to concentrate on their skills, now it was out in the open. Still some newspapers accused them of being "Shiftless young men debasing the game with their greed."

1913- President Woodrow Wilson held the first presidential news conference.

1915- Universal Studios formed. Carl Laemmele bought a huge track of Burbank farmland and set up his studio. Laemmele had wooden bleachers built next to the movie sets where he charged people a nickel to come watch the filming. He used so many of his relatives in production that Ogden Nash quipped: "Carl Laemmele has a very large Fammele." Universal actually had been operating as a film company since 1912 but the company counts today as it’s birthday.

1919- American veterans of World War One founded a veterans society on the model of the Civil War’s vets Grand Army of the Republic. This they called the American Legion.

1929- Scarface Al Capone was called before a Chicago grand jury to explain his involvement in the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Big Al’s alibi was he was in Key Biscayne Florida at the time having lunch with the Dade County prosecutor. They couldn’t pin nothing on him and no one was ever charged with the massacre.

1933- Young animator Chuck Jones first hired at Leon Schlesingers Looney Tunes cartoon studio.

1941- The daughter of Cecil B.DeMille Katherine DeMille had married actor Anthony Quinn. This day tragedy struck the family. On a visit to Cecil B.’s estate the couple’s three year old son Christopher walked off into neighbor W.C. Fields yard where he fell into Fields unsupervised swimming pool and drowned. The parents were so shattered they divorced afterwards. Anthony Quinn refused to talk about the rest of his long life. Fields was so depressed he had the pool filled in and landscaped so no sign of the tragedy would remain.

1944- The DeHAVILAND CASE- A judge rules actress Olivia DeHaviland free of her exclusive seven year personal contract to Warner Bros. For years movie stars like Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and James Cagney had been fighting in court the system of exclusive contracts the studios used to keep them under control. They had no choice in the type of films they did, no residuals and studios could rent them out to other studios for higher fees and keep the money. If the actor complained they were put on disciplinary leave by the studio without pay and the penalty time added onto the end of their contract. Garbo called it the closest thing to White Slavery. Some contracts even ordered some stars not to get married for fear it would erode their sex appeal. After the DeHaviland Case movie stars got more freedom to choose roles.

1950- Disney’s "Cinderella" opens. Their first animated fairy tale story since 1942.

1956- Lerner & Lowe’s musical "My Fair Lady" premiered.

1962- The discovery of anti-matter.

1964- Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton, for the first time.

1969- Worst clashes between Soviet Russia and Red China across their long mutual border. While the free world feared a monolithic Global Communist conspiracy the fact was the animosity between Russia and China got so bad it threatened to go nuclear. During a lighter incident the Chinese People’s Army showed what they thought of their Russian comrades by lining up along a river bank, dropping their trousers, bending over and giving them a mass-mooning. The next time the Chinese did it the Russians were ready. As their butts went up the Russians held up portraits of Mao Tse Tung, the Chinese leader. The moonings stopped.

1969- Two young heirs to the Polident false Teeth Company and two hippy promoters announced a rock festival would be held that summer in the farm community of Woodstock New York.

1977- Television sitcom Threes Company debuted.

1979- Strange lights danced in the night skies over Phoenix Arizona from 8:30 pm until 11:00 pm. The military dismissed them as experimental flares but the duration and patterns seemed unusually long for mere flares. Was it a UFO light show?

1985- THE SAVINGS & LOAN SCANDALS- The Reagan White House’s policy of removing all business regulation played havoc with the savings & loan system. The problem became a public issue when this day Gov. Richard Celeste of Ohio suspended business in thrift banks in his state to stop the collapse of the system. One of the most underreported and little understood stories of the 1980’s the cost to clean up the Savings & Loan mess came out to be near $28 billion dollars, double the total cost to win World War Two. Scores of crooked Savings & Loan execs like Charles Keating accumulated vast fortunes, leaving you and I to pay the bills.

1985- Symbolic.com is assigned the first registered domain site on the Internet.

2004- Cal Tech Scientists announce the discovery of Planet Xenia, the tenth planet orbiting our Sun, beyond Pluto. Some want to call it Sedna, an Inuit goddess who lived under the ice.
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Yesterday’s question: When Julius Caesar was warned, Beware the Ides of March, what does Ides mean?.

Answer: The old Roman calendar was made up of three weeks of ten days each, The first week the Kalends, the second week the Ides, and the third week the Nones. We really remember it because of Shakespeare’s play, when the soothsayer warned Julius Caesar, Beware the Ides of March! For the rest, see above- 44BC.


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