February 16th, 2011 weds.
February 15th, 2011

Quiz: If you ran into the sisters Scylla and Charybdis, would you have a good time?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Did Abe Lincoln play interactive games?
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History for 2/16/2011
Birthdays: The Great Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, Henry Adams, Charles Taze Russell founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edgar Bergen, Sonny Bono, John MacEnroe, Frank Welker, John Schlesinger, Faith Hubley, Katherine Cornell, John Corligiano, Kim Jong Il, Levar Burton is 53, Ice-T is 53

In ancient Rome it was the Festival of Quirinalia- when the founder of Rome Romulus was taken up into the clouds and became the god Quirinus

Today is the feast of St. Juliana, who was tortured by both her father AND her boyfriend. I know a lot of you girls out there can relate to that. She also liked to wrestle winged devils in her spare time.

1804- To The Shores of Tripoli....The U.S. Navy goes to North Africa to try and get the Barbary Pirates to leave Yankee merchant ships alone. The Barbary Pirates had been extorting money from Mediterranean shipping for three hundred years but they weren’t a problem while American shipping was under British Royal Navy protection. But now the little republic was on it’s own. When the Bey of Algiers demanded his usual payoff the U.S. Congress said: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for Tribute!" So the US Navy was sent.

The frigate U.S.S. Philadelphia was sent to Tripoli harbor to threaten, but only managed to get stuck on a sand bar and her entire crew became hostages. On this day Captain Stephen Decatur sneaked into Tripoli harbor and burned the Philadelphia. British Admiral Nelson said it was "one of the boldest actions of the age. "Actually more valuable was when Decatur landed a small force of U.S. Marines and Greek mercenaries who overland surprised the largest Algerian fortress at Dara and terrified the Bey of Algiers into making peace.

Decatur took full credit. He said "My country right or wrong", commanded Old Ironsides in the War of 1812, and was killed in a pistol duel in 1819.

1808- Napoleon invaded Spain. After he defeated the Spanish Army and occupied Madrid, the Spanish people didn’t roll over quietly like other nations. They fought on as Guerrillas, little wars. The violence in what the French called the Spanish Ulcer raged unabated until they were driven out by Wellington in 1814.

1842- British General Charles Gordon took command of the Ever Victorious Army in China to combat the Taiping Rebellion. The Ever Victorious Army was a force of mercenaries recruited by an American named Stone to help the Manchu Emperor defeat his enemies western style. The leader of the Taipings, Tzu Wang Ti, had told his followers he was the son of Jesus Christ come to Earth to lead them to victory. Gordon’s army soon destroyed the Taipings and Tzu committed suicide by eating as much gold leaf as was necessary.

1862-Fts HENRY & DONELSON.- Confederate strongholds Fort Henry and Ft. Donelson surrendered to an new Union general named Ulysses Grant. Rebel cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest on his own initiative cut his way out of the encircling bluecoats rather than surrender. Southern commander Simon Bolivar Buckner was a personal friend of Sam Grant before the war and even lent Grant money when he was broke. Buckner now expected favorable terms, but Grant bluntly demanded Unconditional Surrender! The initials matched his name and the little cigar smoking drunk became a hero to a demoralized North. But Simon Bolivar Buckner never forgave him and never spoke to him until Grant was on his deathbed in 1885. I mean war is war but REALLY!

1863- THE DRAFT- U.S. Congress passed the National Conscription Act. The Confederates had started drafting a year before. Riots broke out in Northern cities whenever the draft board set up. Rich men could buy their way out of the draft for $300. John Rockefeller, Grover Cleveland and Teddy Roosevelt’s father took that way out. There was a popular song of the era called "We are Coming Father Abraham, Three Hundred Thousand More" which was changed by bitter wags to We are Coming Father Abraham, Three Hundred Dollars More."

1923- Bessie Smith made her first recording-"Downhearted Blues".

1937- Chemist Wallace Caruthers working for the Dupont Company received the patent for the synthetic fiber called Nylon. This fabric could replace expensive silk. By World War Two nylon stockings for women were so popular that limited by shortages resourceful women would draw a seam in pencil down their bare leg to impersonate the effect.

1978- The first computer bulletin board goes on live. Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss's Computerized Bulletin Board System was an S-100 motherboard and CP/M, and a Hayes 300 baud modem. It still runs to this day, but the Internet has taken the place that BBS's used to have

1987-"Family Dog" episode on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories show. The first direction by Brad Bird.

1994- Apple announced the introduction of the digital camera, the first camera that needed no film but could load images directly into a computer.

2003- As part of his lavish birthday celebrations, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il called for this people to "Burn with Everlasting Hatred for the United States."
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Question: Did Abe Lincoln play interactive games?

Answer: Lincoln liked to play bagatelle, An early game that was an ancestor to pinball and video games. He used a small pool cue to shoot a small ivory ball up a sloping table to drop it into cups to win points..


February 15th, 2011 tues.
February 15th, 2011

Question: Did Abe Lincoln play interactive games?

Answer to yesterdays question below: : What is bigger than a gigabyte?
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History for 2/15/2011
Birthdays: Galileo, French King Louis XV, Michel Praetorius, Susan B. Anthony, Charles Tiffany, John Barrymore, Jane Seymour, Cesar Romero, Gale Sondergard, Melissa Manchester, Chris Farley, Claire Bloom, Chris MacDonald, Marissa Berenson is 64, Matt Groening is 57

1720- Young Francois Voltaire had begun a career as a successful playwright with his first play Oedipe. But his second play Artemire was booed as loudly as his first play was cheered. The irate poet ran up on stage and argued with the audience for over an hour, but the audience still thought the play sucked.

1764-The town of Saint Louis Missouri was established by French fur trappers ( les voyageurs) led by Pierre Ligueste.

1793- Revolutionary France adopts the Tricolor flag. After Waterloo royalists tried to go back to the white with gold Fleur du Lys banner. But from 1848 on the Tricolor remained the national banner of the French nation.

1815- Things on the Island of Elba had gotten so quiet that the British officer in charge of Napoleon's exile, Sir Colin Cambell, informed his prisoner he was going on holiday to see his girlfriend in Italy. “Will you be back by the 28th?” Napoleon asked. “Yes, why ?” Oh, nothing. it's just my sister Princess Pauline is planning a party and we'd hate for you to miss it." In reality Nappy planned to escape and reconquer Europe. Pauline had her party on the 25th.

Sir Colin returned to find his prisoner, and his career in the military, had flown the coup.

1836- The large Mexican Army of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna crossed the Rio Grande into the rebellious state of Texas. Santa Anna had mortgaged his own lands back home and put his field hands into uniform to bolster up his army.

1898- The U.S.S. Battleship MAINE EXPLODES in Havana Harbor, killing 252 sailors. The cause was never confirmed, it may have been a spontaneous igniting of fumes in the gunpowder magazine, but the American public was urged to blame Spanish sabotage.

The next day a motor launch out to the site of the disaster rescued the ships cat clinging to the mainmast protruding from the water. U.S. public opinion against Spain was pushed by "yellow journalists" like William Randolph Hearst and Josef Pulitzer who told his correspondent artist Frederick Remington: "You supply the pictures, I'll supply the war."

American expansionists had been planning a war with Spain since 1896 and had tried to pick a fight over Cuba in 1871 and 1874. President McKinley, who Teddy Roosevelt described as having :"no more backbone than a chocolate eclair" gave in and declared War on Spain to cries of "Remember the Maine!". More Americans were killed on the USS Maine than in the entire Spanish American War, which was fought and over by December of the same year. America emerges as a power player on the world stage.

1903- British Major General Hector MacDonald was one of the most famous soldiers of the Victorian Era. Fighting Mac had laughed in the threat of fierce Afghan tribesmen, Boer bullets and Dervish’s spears and always triumphed.

But he had a secret. The Love that Dare Not Speak It’s Name. He married young but abandoned his wife and son and now sought only the company of men. This day while serving as military commander of Ceylon, a leading cleric and several boys accused General MacDonald of homosexuality. Gays in the British Empire were not uncommon- Gordon of Khartoum, Cecil Rhodes of South Africa, even Earl Kitchener of Omdurman were known to prefer men to women. But never in the open. MacDonald tried to flee to England on medical leave but the General Staff ordered him to return and clear his name in a court martial. MacDonald instead went into his office and put his service revolver to his temple. All Edinburgh turned out for his funeral.

Still friends and admirers refused to admit he was gone. There was a rumor that a successful World War One German General Von Mackensen was actually MacDonald under an alias since von Mackensen stayed in the Balkans and never faced English troops in battle.

1933- ATTEMPTED ASSASINATION OF FDR- Unemployed anarchist Guisseppe Zangara shot a pistol at President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a rally in Chicago.
He missed FDR but killed the Mayor of Chicago Anton Czermak. Guisseppe
Zangara was tried and sent to the electric chair the following month.

1942- BANZAI ! Japanese troops take Singapore. The British were confident the Japanese couldn't get an army through the thick Malaysian jungle, so they concentrated their firepower facing out to sea for any potential naval attack. Gen. Yamashita, the "Tiger of Malaya" put his army on bicycles and with light tanks burst through the cities defenses from the weaker land side. The “Gibraltar of the East’ fell with depressing speed – Prime Minister Winston Churchill admitted he was humiliated. He felt the surrender had shown the world just how old and brittle the British Empire had become.

1947- The British had administered the Palestinian territories like a colony of the Empire since the end of World War One. But faced with a shattered post World War Two economy, fed up with Arab-Jewish terrorism and the mortification of having to put Jewish Holocaust survivors back into camps, this day the British Government announced it was going to leave the Palestine Mandate. The new United Nations could have the whole Arab-Israeli mess and bugger off!

1947- During the anti-Communist witchhunts, the FBI revoked the visa of famed documentary filmmaker and founder of the National Film Board of Canada John Grierson because they thought his politics were subversive.

1954- Future President and b-movie star Ronald Reagan tried doing a stand-up act at the Las Vegas Ramona Room with the "Honey Brothers", a comedy troupe similar to Abbot & Costello.

1965- Canada first flies the Maple Leaf flag.

1969- President Richard Nixon combined the twin holidays of Lincoln’s Birthday Feb. 12th and Washington’s Birthday Feb.22nd into one three day weekend and called it President’s Day. So instead of two days off in February you have one with no emotional meaning to it. Nixon does it to us again!

1984- Touchstone Pictures created so the Walt Disney Company could do more adult movies. Their first film was Splash, starring a tastefully topless Darryl Hannah.

1989- The last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan.

1991- In a speech, President George H. W. Bush Ist invited dissidents in Iraq to rise up against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. He declared: ”The Day of the Dictator is Over!” Iraqi Kurds, Shiites and Marsh Arabs rose in revolt, confident the US would back them. The US instead ignored them, and left them to be bombed and nerve-gassed by Saddams’ Republican Guard. Thousands died and the dictator hung around another ten years.

1994- After months of insane bidding, Viacom’s Sumner Redstone beat out QVC’s Barry Diller to buy Paramount Pictures. The cost is $20 billion, although the studio’s net worth was estimated at $8 billion. When asked, Diller replied: “What’s done is done. Next.”

2002- Scientists announce the first discovery of fossilized Dinosaur vomit.

2003- Millions of protesters march in cities from Hollywood to New York, Kiev to Capetown, London to Tokyo to protest US plans to attack Iraq. Nearly a million people marched in London alone. The U.S. invaded anyway.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is bigger than a gigabyte?

Answer: A terabyte, then a petabyte


Quiz: What is bigger than a gigabyte?

Answer to yesterdays question below- In 2004 President Bush said: Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't ..uh,..able to practice their love with women all across this country." What is an OB/GYN?
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History for 2/14/2011
Birthdays: Joshua Norton aka Joshua Ist Emperor of the United States 1819, Jack Benny- real name Benjamin Koubeilsky, Frederick Douglas, Christopher Latham Scholes- inventor of the typewriter, George Washington Ferris inventor of the Ferris Wheel, Pier Francesco Cavalli, Jimmy Hoffa, Vic Morrow, Skeezix Wallet (character in Gasoline Alley comic strip), Gregory Hines, Ignaz Friedman, Thelma Ritter, Carl Andersen, Hugh Downs, Jim Kelly, Florence Henderson, Meg Tilly, Alan Parker,
Margaret Knight the inventor of the flat bottom paper bag still in use in supermarkets today.

Whoah! Put yer pants on, kid!
Happy Valentines Day!

This holiday was originally the Roman fertility festival LUPERCALIA, when the young men of Rome wearing olive oil and not much else, would run through the streets waving oak branches over the heads of young girls to inspire fertility. Then they would all go to the orgy.
Keeping with the custom of the early Church to sanctify pagan holidays with saints days-. Pope Gelasius Ist decided to rename the holiday for St.Valentine, who was martyred by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus in 295 A.D.. The olive oil and the orgy was out, but tradition has it that Valentine in prison kept communicating with his flock by writing little notes and tossing them through the bars.. These notes or "Valentines" fused with the romance notion of the old Roman party and became a custom for lovers as early as the 14th century.

44BC- After years of Civil War Gaius Julius Caesar was now master of Rome. He kept most of the institutions of the Roman Republic but declared himself Dictator and Consul for life. He had been heard to say “the Republic is just a word, without real substance”. People wondered if he was out to make himself king. The concept of a King was hateful to most Romans, regardless of their political apathy.

This day at a Lupercalia celebration one of his biggest brown-nosing lieutenants, Marc Antony, publicly tried to put a crown on Caesar’s head. Caesar refused it twice. Instead of popular enthusiasm, this gesture alarmed many. A conspiracy formed to kill Caesar led by Marcus Brutus, a descendant of Junius Brutus the founder of the republic, and Gaius Cassius Longinus, who had fought for Pompey against Caesar.

Today in the Orthodox calendar is the Feast of Saint’s Cyril and Methodius, the “Apostles to the Slavs”, who created the Russian (Cyrillic) alphabet out of Greek and Hebrew characters.

1779- Captain James Cook was killed and eaten by angry Hawaiian natives after an argument over hostages. Despite heavy attack the shore party rallied and fought their way back to the longboats thanks to their second in command, ensign William Bligh, the future Captain Bligh of the Bounty.

1797- Battle of Cape St. Vincent. The British Navy under Admiral Jervis defeated a Spanish fleet off the coast of Portugal. Admiral Nelson was there in support.

1814 Battle of Vauchamps. Napoleon beats Marshal Blucher and his invading Prussian army. Blucher was called Old Fowvarts (Forward) because that was his favorite order.

1848- President James Knox Polk is the first president to sit for a photograph. The daguerreotype was taken by a young Matthew Brady.

1859- Oregon became a state.

1870- The first elevated commuter railway was inaugurated in New York City at Greenwich and 9th Ave.

1876- THE TELEPHONE- One of the strangest coincidences in technology history was that two men invented the same device at almost the same moment.

Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell in Boston and Elijah Gray in Chicago were both working on a device to transmit human voices instantaneously over wires. Each knew of the others work and labored furiously to be the first. When Bell was able to get a weak sound of his voice over the wire his sponsor and future father in law Robert Hubbard wanted to file the patent. But Bell procrastinated until he felt it was perfect. Exasperated, Hubbard took the schematics and went to the office to file the patent himself. What he found out later, was he filed the patent barely two hours ahead of Gray in Chicago!

Gray tried to challenge the patent. US courts decided that since Grays attorney had filed a “caveat” to a patent- which meant I’m working on an idea” while Hubbard & Bell filed a patent “I’ve invented the idea”, they awarded the patent to Bell. Elijah Gray still went on to invent more things, founded the Western Electric Company and grew very rich. But Alexander Graham Bell got the credit as inventor of the telephone.

1884- 25 year old Teddy Roosevelt was an up and coming member of the New York State legislature. On this day he received a double shock - both his mother and young wife died on the same day. Shattered, he abandoned his political career and fled to the Badlands of North Dakota to be a rancher and deputy sheriff. He said the landscape was so bleak it "looked like the personification of a poem by Edgar Alan Poe."

1886- Los Angeles began to export its first trainload of oranges back east.

1887- Several leading French intellectuals including Guy DeMauppasant, Balzac and Charles Gounod publish a letter to the President of the Republic begging him not to build the Eiffel Tower.-" A Useless Monstrosity, which even America with it's crazed passion for commerce has the sense to reject! And what if it lasts twenty years ?" There were plans to pull down the tower 1907, but by then it had new value as a wireless radio antenna.

1907- Golden Books incorporated. One of their artists was Gustav Tennegren, who would become the stylist of Walt Disney's Pinnochio.

1920- The League of Women Voters formed.

1927-Alfred Hitchcock’s first suspense film “The Lodger” opened in London.

1929- Dr. Fleming discovered penicillin,

1929- the ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE- Scarface Al Capone's gang dressed as Chicago police round up a bunch of Bugs Moran's hoods at the S.M.C. Cartage Company garage at 2122 North Clark Street and blow them away with tommy guns. Dr Reinhardt Schwimmer, one of the men killed, wasn’t even a mobster but an optometrist who liked to hang out with gangsters to experience life on the edge. The seven men had 200 bullets in them. They even shot their dog. When Moran was asked who he thought had done it, he replied: ”Only Capone kills like that.” Big Al himself was in Key Biscayne Florida having lunch with the Dade County District Attorney.

One of the triggermen was Machine-gun Jack McGurn, but when questioned by police his girlfriend testified he had been in bed with her all that day. Newspapers called her his 'Blonde-Alibi". Machine Gun McGurn was bumped off shortly after.
At the massacre site amazingly one gangster- Joe Duesenberg- lived long enough for police to question. But to the end he wouldn't spill the beans. When asked who shot him full of bullets, he replied:" Nobody!" and died.

1931- Tod Browning's film of the play Dracula, starring Hungarian actor's union organizer and recreational morphine addict Bela Lugosi, premiered.

1939- The German battleship Bismarck christened in Kiel harbor.

1942- Japanese forces attacked Sumatra.

1943- Battle of the Kasserine Pass began- Rommel the Desert Fox gave the U.S. Army in Africa it's baptism by ambushing it in the narrow Kasserine Pass. The only time in WWII American troops broke and ran in panic.

1946-Enniac, the first all electronic circuited computer, started up at the university of Pennsylvania.

1949- The United States charged that the Soviet Union had as many as 14 million people in prison camps in Siberia, called Gulags.

1962- First Lady Jackie Kennedy gave a tour to network television cameras of the private living quarters of the White House. It’s the first time most Americans had ever seen the inside of the Executive Mansion.

1965- The Detroit home of black activist Malcolm X was firebombed.

1967- Former kinky pinup model Betty Page married Harry Lear.

1968- Part of the Vietnamese Tet Offensive was the Communists overrunning the old Imperial Capitol of Hue. This day US Marines finally recaptured the cities Imperial citadel after weeks of bitter house to house fighting. The Communist command center was set up in a throne room called the Place of Perpetual Peace.

1979- Digital music composer Walter Carlos, who scored the film A Clockwork Orange, announced he had undergone a sex change and was now Wendy Carlos.

1989- Iranian Imam Ayatollah Khomeni issued a 'fatwah' -death sentence against Pakistani novelist Salman Rushdi because he considered parts of his book "The Satanic Verses" to an insult to the character of the prophet Mohammed. Rushdie’s birth home of India only allowed him a visa in 1999. The fatwah was finally revoked in 2000 by the Supreme Islamic Council ( Iran's equivalent of the Supreme Court ),.

1991-Meg Ryan married Dennis Quaid.
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Yesterdays Question: In 2004 President Bush said: Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't ..uh,..able to practice their love with women all across this country." What is an OB/GYN?

Answer: An OB/GYN is an obstetrician/gynecologist. A doctor who specializes in both delivering babies (obstetrics) and in medical care of the female reproductive system (gynecology). ( Thanks FG).


February 13th, 2011 sun
February 13th, 2011

Quiz: In 2004 President Bush said: Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't ..uh,..able to practice their love with women all across this country." What is an OB/GYN?

Answer to yesterdays question below: Would you ululate in public?
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History for 2/13/2011
Birthdays: Giambattista Piazzetta, Bess Truman, Grant Wood, Lord Randolph Churchill, Fyodor Chaliapin, Peter Tork, Oliver Reed, Chuck Yeager, Woody Hayes, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Carol Lynley, Kim Novak, George Segal is 76, Peter Gabriel, Jerry Springer is 66, Stockard Channing is 66, Kelly Hu

1503- Today during the endless string of Italian wars of the Renaissance, outside the town of Barletta things were interrupted by a unique event. Angered by a French captain who said that the Italians were a race of Girlie-men, thirteen Italian knights challenged thirteen French knights to single combat. Both armies lined up and cheered like a sporting event. The knights fought until all thirteen Frenchmen were down.

1547-Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry VIII was beheaded. The execution was held on the exact spot where wife Number 2 Anne Boleyn was beheaded six years before.

1635- The Boston Public School for Boys opened, the oldest public school in North America.

1692- THE GLENCOE MASSACRE. Pro-English Scottish forces try to make the Highlands accept King William of Orange and renounce allegiance to the Stuart dynasty by singling out a particularly roudy clan for annihilation. The MacDonalds of Glencoe were smaller than the MacDonalds of Keppoch and nobody much liked them anyway, so they were to be the example. Ironically the leader of the clan was trying to get King James in exile to release him from his oath of obedience when the soldiers of Clan Argyl and Cambell came visiting.

The soldiers used the highland custom of hospitality to gain entrance to the MacDonald hall then started slaughtering everyone just when their hosts were bringing out wine. This blatant betrayal of hospitality and the magnitude of the massacre backfired on the perpetrators and made Glencoe a bitter symbol of Scottish Nationalism.

1693- The Virginia College William & Mary founded.

1742- The first great English Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, resigned when his Tory government fell after ruling for 20 years.

1765- Dr. Benjamin Franklin stood up in the British House of Commons and debated the American protest of the Royal Stamp Act against all the government MP’s. He won and the hated Act was repealed. This probably postponed the Revolution for a decade.

1820- Five years after Waterloo and twenty five after the French Revolution guillotined his great uncle, the Duc de Berry, young heir of the Bourbon kings, was assassinated outside of the Paris Opera by a republican terrorist. The family's dynastic survival would now depend on the minor branch, the House of Orleans. If you’re English, it’s like if no one was left to reign after Elizabeth but Prince Edwards kids.

In the mean time Napoleon was sitting in exile on the equatorial island of St. Helena. If you are a fan of the "Napoleon was poisoned theory", modern scientists doing radioactive analysis of hair samples noted that after this incident the arsenic content in Napoleon's body goes up 150% after this incident.

1863-President Lincoln hosted a wedding reception at the White House for P.T. Barnum star attraction General Tom Thumb and his bride. Lincoln was heavily criticized at the time for having such a frivolous party during the depths of the Civil War.

1866-The first daylight bank job. In Missouri the Clay County Savings Bank is robbed of $60,000 by a young ex confederate guerrilla named Jesse James.

1867- The Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss Jr premiered in Vienna.

1886- Artist Thomas Eakins resigned his professorship at the Philadelphia Academy of Art in disgust when he was attacked for having male nudes in his art class with women as students.

1914-ASCAP founded.

1917- German spy H-21. Also known as the beautiful Mata Hari, was arrested in Paris.

1932- Free Eats, the first Our Gang short comedy to feature Spanky MacFarland.

1933-comic character Blondie married Dagwood Bumstead.

1939- Producer David O. Selznick replaced directors on Gone With the Wind. George Cukor was out, Victor Fleming was in after completing The Wizard of Oz. Vivien Leigh liked Cukor who was known for directing women, but Clark Gable convinced the producers that they needed an action director. About 15 minutes of George Cukor’s work remains in the picture. Victor Fleming loved Clark, but didn't get along with Vivien Leigh and came to hate the controling Selznick. David O. brought in Sam Wood to direct second unit when Fleming fell behind.

At the end Victor Fleming had one more tantrum when Selznick proposed giving Wood and Cukor co- screen credit.. Yet despite it all Gone with the Wind became a box office phenomenon. Years later Clark Gable came up to Selznick at a party and said: "Maybe I'm wrong about disliking you David, 'Gone With the Wind' keeps getting re-released and keeps me a star." Selznick once said:” My biggest fear is that all I shall ever be remembered for is producing Gone With the Wind.”

1935-German immigrant Bruno Richard Hauptman found guilty of the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby and electrocuted. The chief of police in the town of Bergen New Jersey where the murder occurred was the father of Desert Storm General Norman Schwarzkopf.

1937- Hal Foster's comic hero Prince Valiant first appeared.

1945- THE FIREBOMBING OF DRESDEN.- Some experts say the annihilation of this militarily defenseless city was an act of revenge for Rotterdam and Coventry, the fact was at the Yalta conference several days earlier Stalin had asked that the major German cities on his eastern front be bombed by his Anglo-American Allies to delay Nazi divisions withdrawn from Norway and Holland to be used to slow the Red Army 's advance. Dresden was to be a major assembly point for these new reinforcements. Still, it's a legacy the Allies find troubling.

On this day in the early evening 845 British bombers followed by 700 American dropped thousands of tons of incendiary bombs in a pattern calculated to cause a firestorm. The temperature reached 800 degrees, the church bells melted and the oxygen was literally sucked out of the air by cyclonic winds. By conservative estimate 35,000-100,000 people died. Young American P.O.W. Kurt Vonnengut was in a group made to help dig out bodies. The experience changed his life, and he later wrote his accounts in the classic anti-war novel "Slaughterhouse-5"

1959 -Happy Birthday BARBIE ! Mattel introduces the plastic nymph, originally named by the German artist who created her 'Lily" but changed to 'Barbie" by an exec who's daughter Barbara was nicknamed that.

1964- The Invention of Cool Whip.

1996- The off-Broadway musical Rent by John Lawson, premiered

1996- In an airport in Thailand, Icelandic rock and roll star Bjork attacked a journalist, beating her and dragging her by the hair.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Would you ululate in public?

Answer: If you felt like cheering the way Arab women cheer. A high pitched trill from the back of the throat, similar to yodeling, or coloratura opera singing.


February 12th, 2011 sat
February 12th, 2011

Quiz: Would you ululate in public?

Answer to yesterdays question below What does Ad Hominem mean?
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History for 2/12/2011
BIRTHDAYS-Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin are born on the same day in 1809, although an ocean apart; Austrian Emperor Francis II, Thaddeusz Kosciuszko, Joe Garagiola, Luigi Boccherini, John L. Lewis, Bill Russell, Franco Zeffirelli, Lorne Greene, Joe Don Baker, Arsenio Hall, Christina Ricci is 31

Today is the feast day of Saint Julian the Hospitaller- Julian was a nobleman who one day when arrived home to his castle, mistook his parents for intruders and killed them. He was so distraught he ran off into the woods and became a hermit, helping people across a wild river. One day he helped a leper across who turned out to be an angel. He said:" Julian. God has forgiven you." He is the patron saint of travelers and ferrymen.

1554- Lady Jane Grey was beheaded after being queen of England for nine days. This poor 16 year old kid was a pawn in the power struggle after the death of Henry VIII's sickly son Edward. The Protestant court knew the real next in line was the Catholic Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth wisely kept a low profile for now. Archbishop Cranmer and the Seymour clan pushed forward this cousin as a serious claim to the throne. It didn't wash and Mary became queen and earned the name "Bloody Mary", not for her ability to mix a mean cocktail.

1789- Ethan Allen, the frontiersman who's Green Mountain Boys were heroes of the American Revolution, died from injuries gotten from drunkenly falling out of a sleigh crossing frozen Lake Champlain. His last words were when someone said :"Ethan, the Angels await thee!" Allen replied:" They do? Well G-ddamn 'em, let em wait!"

1790- In Philadelphia a group of Pennsylvania Quakers present a petition to the US Congress calling for the abolition of slavery. But the real sensation was that the bill was written and endorsed by Benjamin Franklin. The ancient patriot regretted sweeping the slavery issue under the rug in the past and now at the end of his life he wanted to show where he stood. It was Franklin’s last public act. Three weeks later he died. The furious debate in Congress almost split the brand new government and in the end the Senate chose to do nothing and let the issue pass for a future time.

1797- First performance of the German national anthem. Composer Franz Josef Haydn was worried about the spirit of the French Revolution radicalizing the Austrian peoples. When in London he saw how the anthem God Save the King brought all Englishmen together in song. He thought his country could use a song, too. So with poet Leopold Hashka and an old Croat drinking song, Haydn composed GOTT ERHALTE FRANZ DER KAISER! God Bless Our Kaiser Francis. It was later reamed Deutschland Uber Alles and Deutschlandlied.

1798- LORD NELSON AND MRS. HAMILTON DO THE NASTY... Admiral Horatio Nelson had been increasingly shivering his timbers over his friend Sir William Hamilton's sexy young wife Emma. He was staying with the Hamilton's in their villa in Naples during his tour of duty in the Mediterranean. According to historians analyzing their love letters to each other Emma and Nelson make specific references to the 'Delightful Twelfth of February", and Mrs. Hamilton bore a daughter nine months later she named Horatia. Their open love affair in the face of polite society was one of the scandals of their age.

1809 -Happy Lincoln's Birthday, Because of Richard Nixon’s law creating President’s Day in 1970, you do not have today off as a holiday. One of my favorite Lincoln quotes is :" If I'm supposed to be two-faced why did I settle for this one?"

1909- African American civil rights leaders like W.E.B. DuBois and Oswald Villard call for a new militant organization to combat the growing violence against blacks. the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or NAACP is born.

1912- Following Dr Sun Yat Sen’s declaration of the Chinese Republic, the last Manchu Emperor, Henry Pu Yi abdicated his throne.

1924- RHAPSODY IN BLUE- Band leader Paul Whiteman had commissioned a rhapsody for Jazz Band from the famous composer George Gershwin. Tonight at a concert at the Aeolian Hall in New York City it premiered in a long bill of "Modern Music". Also on the bill was jazz interpretations of "Yes We have no Bananas" and "Kitten on the Keys." Sergei Rachmaninoff, Fritz Kriesler, Igor Stravinsky and Leopold Stokowski were in attendance.

Interestingly enough Gershwin’s orchestrator was Ferde Grofe’ the composer famous for the Grand Canyon Suite. It was Grofes’ idea to bring in a jazzman named Ross Gorman to do the opening clarinet solo. While rehearsing the piece Gorman took Gershwin’s opening 17 note ascent and ‘smeared’ the riff to the long high note, creating the famous opening. Gershwin liked it so much he told him to play it always that way.

1947- THE BIRTH OF THE 'NEW LOOK' The Paris fashion show where designer Christian Dior defined the look for women of the 1950s into the early 60's: Wasp waists, gloves and patent leather accessories, pleated mid length skirts.

1967- London police arrest Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Marianne Faithful for doing drugs and doin’the nasty.

1976- actor Sal Mineo was killed outside his car port in West Hollywood. Marylin Monroe and Shelley Winters once shared an apartment in the same building. Mineo's murder remained unsolved for many years and there were rumors that he was done in by a gay acquaintance, but the killer turned out to be a routine robber who wanted money.

1986-Since 1977 Soviet human rights activist Anatoly Scharansky was imprisoned for demanding the right for Russian Jews to emigrate to Israel. This day he was freed by Soviet Premier Mikail Gorbachov. Scharansky moved to Israel, changed his name to Natan, converted to a conservative branch of Judaism and got involved in Likud politics.

1994-"WHY ME! WHY ME?!" The Winter Olympics at Lillehammer began, which are remembered mainly for figure skater Tanya Harding hiring a hit man to break her rival Nancy Kerrigan's kneecaps with a steel pipe. Despite all the hub-bubb the gold was won by Ukrainian skater Oksana Baiyul who was arrested a year later for drunk driving.

Nancy Kerrigan signed a multi-million dollar endorsement contract with Disney, which she succeeded in blowing within a month by making fun of Disneyworld during a parade. Within range of a microphone she whispered." This is all so corny!" When someone asked if Tanya Harding could get any commercial endorsements, it was pointed out that she's an asthmatic who smokes Marlboros.

1999- President Bill Clinton was acquitted in his Impeachment trial in the Senate stemming from his affair with young intern Monica Lewinsky. During the trial word leaked out that several of the president’s chief critics like Representative Robert Livingston and Newt Gingrich also had extramarital affairs or sexually harassed their female employees. Chief Justice William Rheinquist, high on painkillers, presided over the trial with his dark Justices’ robes adorned with some gold stripes on the sleeves, the first time any Supreme Court Justice robes had any such adornment. He got the idea watching the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta Iolanthe.

The Parker Pen Company had created special monogrammed pens for the Senator’s use during the trial. But when the pens were used it was discovered they all had the name United States misspelled on them- they read the Untied States of America. Others said it was a fitting statement on the state of the government at the time.

2001- The Near Spacecraft landed on Eros, an orbiting asteroid. The first landing on an asteroid.

2006- New York City has a record breaking snowfall of almost 27 inches.

2010- DEATH RAY- A USAF high intensity laser beam shot down a missile in flight.
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Yesterdays Question: What does Ad Hominem mean?

Answer: It means to try to win an argument by launching personal attacks against your opponent. In other words, modern political discourse.


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