December 19th. 2010 sun
December 19th, 2010

Quiz: Boogie Woogie, Boogie Down, Get up and Boogie. Just where did the word Boogie come from?

Yesterday’s QUIZ answered below: What is the Stone of Scone? And who gets to sit on it?
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History for 12/19/2010
Birthdays: King Phillip V of Spain (1683), Edith Piaf, Edwin Stanton, Thomas 'Tip' O'Neil, Cicely Tyson is 77, Sir Ralph Richardson, Robert Urich, Jennifer Beals is 47, David Susskind, Fritz Reiner, Alyssa Milano is 38, Jake Gyllenhaal is 40

1154- Coronation of King Henry II of England. He was the son of Geoffrey Plantagenet of Anjou and Empress Matilda, the daughter of William the Conqueror. His coronation settled a period of dynastic civil wars in England between the Conqueror’s children known as the 'Wars of Stephen and Matilda". Henry and his siblings Richard Lionheart and John Lackland are also called the Angevin dynasty, because of the part of France (Anjou) their family came from, and also because medieval scholars like to overcomplicate things.

1686- According to Daniel Defoe, this was the day Robinson Crusoe was rescued from his deserted island.

1732- The Pennsylvania Gazette announced the publication of a new enterprise by Dr. Benjamin Franklin writing under the penname Richard Saunders. The work was Poor Richard’s Almanac, an international best seller that made Franklin famous.

1783- William Pitt the Younger became Prime Minister of Great Britain at only 24 years old." A sight to make the Nations stare, A Kingdom trusted to a Schoolboy's care."

1793- The Anglo-Spanish fleet evacuates Toulon after the cities strong points are stormed by the French army led by a pushy 23-year-old artillery major with a funny Italian name- Napoleon Bonaparte.

1903- NY City’s Williamsburg Bridge opened. Because it linked the communities of Manhattan’s Lower East Side with the Hasidim enclave in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

1914- Earl Hurd patented animation 'cels' (celluloids) and backgrounds. Before this cartoonists tried drawing the background settings over and over again hundreds of times or slashed the paper around the character and tried not to have it walk in front of anything. By the late 1990’s, most cels & cel paint had been replaced by digital imaging.

1915- Earl Douglas Haig replaces Sir John French as commander of British troops on the Western Front. His nickname was Whiskey Doug because his family owned a well-known distillery. Haig had won the Boer War by bloody frontal assaults, and he had learned nothing from the experience. He had no use for new gismos like machine guns and airplanes, even after he watched large numbers of his troops mowed down by them. In the attack called Passchendale in 1917 he lost hundreds of thousands of men in stand up frontal assaults. "Good Lord, have we lost that many?" In later years before giving his papers to the Imperial War Archives, Haig bought an out of date 1917 diary similar to his own, then replaced pages with rewritten ones. This so he would appear to be prescient at guessing the enemies intentions.

1918- Robert Ripley began his "Believe It Or Not" column in the New York Globe.

1926- The U.S. government passed a law that women authors can only legally copyright their works under their husband's names.

1932- BBC Overseas Service Radio broadcasts begin.

1941- THE FLYING TIGERS debut in the skies over China, surprising and shooting down 9 out of 10 in a Japanese bomber squadron flying from Hanoi. General Claire Chennault had come to China as an adviser to organize the Chinese Air Force, and stayed on to coordinate U.S. efforts in China after Pearl Harbor. His men were all volunteer adventurers who flew their P-40's with the tiger teeth insignia against overwhelming odds. They were awarded a bounty of $500 for every Japanese plane downed. In July they were incorporated into the regular U.S. Air Force.
Claire Chennault argued frequently with Washington, MacArthur and his army partner in China, General 'Vinegar Joe' Stillwell. Just before the final victory in 1945 Chennault was forcibly retired and resumed his post as adviser to Chiang Kai Shek. He was the U.S. general most times under hostile fire. He flew combat missions and personally had 60 kills, which made him an Ace. Yet Chennault was deliberately not invited to the Grand Surrender Ceremony on the Missouri in Sept ‘45.

1941- After two weeks of bombardment and air strikes the Japanese occupy British Hong Kong. The Japanese assault teams had been told to take no prisoners and committed horrible atrocities on British, Canadian and Australian defenders. In Berlin, Adolf Hitler told his dinner guests " The Japanese are all over those islands and will soon be in Australia. The White Race will disappear from those regions."

1957- The musical ‘The Music Man’ starring Robert Preston first debuted. "Seventy Six Trom-bones in the Big Parade.."

1959- Confederate General Walter Williams, who claimed to be the last living veteran of the Civil War, died at age 117. The claim was later proved false, but it was a good story.

1971- Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ premiered. Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess. In America the film received an X Rating, more for sexual situations than violence. The sensation over the film caused so many incidents of urban violence, that with Kubrick’s permission, it was banned in England for three decades.

1974- The first personal computer went on sale. The Altair 8800, named for the planet in the 1955 sci-fi movie classic Forbidden Planet. The computer came in a kit that you had to build and it cost $397. The next year, two kids at Harvard named Bill Gates and Paul Allen created a programming language for it called BASIC.

1997- MTV dropped airing the rap song Smack My Bitch Up, by Prodigy.

1998-IMPEACHMENT- The Republican dominated House of Representatives voted two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewsinsky. The vote was along strict party lines and most of the Democrats stormed out in protest. Despite the impeachment, President "Slick Willy" Clinton was acquitted by trial in the Senate in February and completed his second term. To complete the circus-like atmosphere, pornography publisher Larry Flynt announced he had proof that incoming Republican Speaker of the House Bob Livingston, a descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, had had at least six affairs while a congressman including one of his staff and a lobbyist. Livingston resigned before his hand could touch the gavel. Two other of the loudest callers for impeachment, Senator John Ensign and South Carolina Gov Pete Sanford, have since been caught in equally tawdry affairs.

2001- Peter Jackson’s film ‘The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring’ first opened.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the Stone of Scone? And who gets to sit on it?

Answer: The Stone of Scone was a rock that the Kings of Scotland had to sit on to be crowned. King Edward Ist of England carried it off to London where it was placed into the British Throne. 700 years later, in 1996, England returned it.


December 18th. 2010 sat
December 18th, 2010

Quiz: What is the Stone of Scone? And who gets to sit on it?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: What legendary rock band began in the 1960s playing in Palo Alto bars and Pizza Parlors as The Warlocks?
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History for 12/18/2010
Birthdays: Antonio Stradivari, Karl Maria Von Weber,Ty Cobb, George Stevens, Ozzie Davis, Diane Disney-Miller, Anita O’Day, Paul Klee, Betty Grable, Willy Brandt, Keith Richards, Leonard Maltin, Alyssia Sanchez-Vaccario, Ray Liotta is 56, Katie Holmes is 32, Brad Pitt is 47, Steven Spielberg is 64

1679- THE ROSE ALLEY AMBUSCADE- Writer and critic John Dryden was walking in the Rose Alley in Covent Garden when a group of thugs jumped him and beat him up. They had been hired by The Earl of Rochester, because of a Dryden published a satirical essay making fun of him. Other writers like Voltaire suffered similar attacks from powerful aristocrats who couldn’t take a joke.

1757- Frederick the Great’s army besieged the Fortress city of Breslau in Silesia. The Austrian garrison’s commander General Sprecher posted placards throughout the town threatening with death anyone who breathed a word of surrender- then he surrendered.

1783- The American Revolution now over, George Washington appeared before Congress in Philadelphia to resign his army commission, and go home to Mount Vernon. This moment was when George Washington parts company with most conquerors like Cromwell, Napoleon and Castro. He had power, and then walked away.
Kings George III and Louis XVI were amazed when they heard the news: That Washington, the great generalissimo, the most powerful man in the Americas, would give up his power so lightly, to return to his farm like the legendary Roman -Cincinnatus. George Washington was called out of retirement five years later to be the first U.S. president.

1787- New Jersey named the third state.

1812-NAPOLEON'S RETREAT FROM MOSCOW ENDS -Napoleon reached Paris by sled after racing ahead of his shattered army to prop up the tottering government.
Of Napoleon's 600,000 troops that invaded Russia less than 60,000 frozen wretches came out. Insanely brave Marshal Ney was the last invader to recross the border. Alone with bullets whistling past his ears, he calmly crossed the burning Neiman River bridge stopping to pick up abandoned muskets to fire them at the Russians. After he fired a last shot he threw the empty rifle at them.
When Napoleon got to his palace at Saint Cloud he was so dirty from the trip the guards didn't recognize him, and wouldn't let him in. His first official acts after the public announcement of the Russian Campaign’s disaster was ordering the Paris ballet dancers to dance barelegged instead of in the customary tights. While that topic dominated gossip, his second act was to give the French people a big tax cut. Watching Louis XVI lose his head in the Revolution gave Nappy a healthy, if cynical, respect for the anger of the average citizen.

1890-The first electric powered subway train opened in London. This allowed the subways to be built in closed tunnels (or tubes) under buildings. The older steam engine tube trains operating since 1863 needed an open trench for the coal smoke to be let out.

1912- THE PILTDOWN MAN- An announcement was made, of a find, in a peat pit, in England, of the remains of a human ancestor between ape and man, the so-called "Missing Link". The skull had canine teeth like an animal but it had an enlarged cranium like a man and was buried with primitive tools. This find was made at the time Darwin’s Evolutionary theories were being hotly debated. The authenticity of the Piltdown Man was thrown into question in 1949. When modern dating techniques were perfected, by 1953, the Piltdown Man was officially declared a hoax. The remains were too modern to be ancient and the canine teeth had filed down by tiny files. It is generally believed that a practical joker named Martin Hinton at the British Museum of Natural History may have been the perpetrator.

1916- The terrible Battle of Verdun ended. It had been raging since February. German General Von Falkenhayn wanted to draw France into a meatgrinder battle and 'bleed her white'. After hundreds of thousands of casualties, he had done the same damage to his own side. He lost his job. The Verdun cemetery contains 100,000 bones of Unknown soldiers. Even today in Verdun there are areas you cannot walk for fear of unexploded shells.

1919- in France Composer Cole Porter married divorcee Linda Thomas. They stayed together all their long lives even though she knew from the outset that he was gay .

1931- Gangster Jacky "Legs" Diamond had a penchant for recovering after being shot repeatedly by pistols and shotguns. It was said he had so much lead in him he could attract a magnet. Today someone finally shot him down and he didn't get up.

1937- Mae West does a comedy routine on national broadcast radio with Don Ameche about Adam and Eve that was considered so racy CBS banned her from their network.
At the same time she got fined by the networks for joking about ventriloquist puppet Charlie McCarthy:" Hmmm…he’s all wood and a yard long!"

1939-Max Fleischer's animated classic “Gulliver's Travels”.

1940- Adolf Hitler and his generals promulgate the plans for Directive 21, the invasion of Soviet Russia. They name it Barbarossa after a legendary German Emperor, a contemporary of Richard Lionhart, who fought the Eastern Slavs.

1941- The Japanese overwhelm the island post of Guam. 641 marines against 5,000 Japanese.

1944- MOE BERG AND THE NAZI EINSTEIN. Head of the German atomic program, Prof. Werner Heisenberg gives a lecture on S-matrix physics in Zurich, Switzerland. In the audience was Moe Berg, allied spy, amateur physicist and catcher for the Washington Senators (sounds ridiculous but true). Before the war Berg and Heisenberg were both friends with Danish physicist Neils Bohr, hence his invitation. The U.S. intelligence officers gave Berg a pistol and instructed him to stand up and shoot Heisenberg dead on the spot, if he felt from the talk that the Nazis were close to finishing their Atomic Bomb. Moe Berg coolly schmoozed Heisenberg at the reception afterwards, and even walked him home, but did nothing. In the 1950's Berg was a frequent contestant on quiz shows.

1956- Japan is admitted into the UN

1956- TV Game show To Tell the Truth made its debut. Bud Collier hosting, and panelists like Kitty Carlisle, Bennett Cerf, Orson Bean and Dorothy Killgallen as panelists.

1960- A young eccentric man named Jerry Garcia was dishonorably discharged from the army. He had done things like drive a tank into a field then walk away and had been AWOL 8 times in one year. After leaving the army Jerry Garcia became a hippie musician in San Francisco and in 1966 formed the rock band the Grateful Dead.

1961-" In the Jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps to-night…a winoweh, etc. " this song by the Tokens goes to #1 in pop charts.

1964- DePatie-Freleng’s The Pink Phink, the first Pink Panther cartoon short.

1966- Chuck Jone's 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' premiered.

1970- An atomic leak at a Nevada weapons stockpile caused hundreds to flee.

1972- President Nixon announced that despite all the war protestors and outcry he would continue to carpet-bomb North Vietnam and Laos until he got a negotiated settlement.

1975- Rod Stewart announced he was leaving the band Faces for a solo singing career.

1978- SAG strikes Hollywood again for residuals. (again...)

1984- Christopher Guest married Jamie Lee Curtis at Rob Reiner’s house .

1997- Saturday Night Live Comedian Chris Farley was found dead in his Chicago apartment in the John Hancock Tower, surrounded by empty food containers and porn magazines. The chubby 31-year-old had been partying for 17 straight hours doing cocaine, heroin, vodka and crystal-meth. His last words were to an exhausted prostitute:" Please don’t leave me.". Farley idolized the late John Belushi, who had also died of drugs and hard living at age 31. One writer recalled Farley drunk turned to him and asked innocently:" Do you think Belushi is in heaven?"

1998- Dreamworks feature cartoon the “Prince of Egypt”, or, as it was known in Hollywood,"The Zion King".

2003-Gary Ridgeway, "The Green River Murderer" was sentenced to life in prison. In the 1980’s Ridgeway murdered 48 women in the Seattle area. "I murdered mostly prostitutes because I figured nobody would miss them."

2009- A massive blizzard buried the U.S. east coast. Washington D.C. got 24 inches, the most December snow since the 1920s.
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Yesterday’s Question: What legendary rock band began in the 1960s playing in Palo Alto bars and Pizza Parlors as The Warlocks?

Answer: The Grateful Dead.


Dec 17th, 2010 fri.
December 17th, 2010

Quiz: What legendary rock band began in the 1960s playing in Palo Alto bars and Pizza Parlors as The Warlocks?

Yesterday’s question answered below: In the Bible, which one was not considered a prophet? A- Elijah, B-Samson, C-Samuel, D- Jeremiah
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History for 12/17/2010
Birthdays: Paracelsus, Antonio Cimmarosa, William Lyon Mackensie-King, Arthur Fiedler, Bob Guccione, William Safire, Cal Ripken Sr., Ford Maddox-Ford, Erskine Caldwell, Tommy Steele, Bill Pullman is 57, Eugene Levy is 64, Giovanni Ribisi, Arman Muehler-Stahl is 80, Wes Studi, Sean Patrick Thomas, Bart Simpson- is 21

ROMAN FESTIVAL OF SATURNALIA-This festival of Saturn, the biggest holiday to the ancient Romans is one of the roots of Christmas. On this holiday Roman families got together, masters served their slaves and gave them a day off. People gave each other gifts in pretty colored wrappings. Romans also decorated the outsides of their houses with wreaths and lights to welcome the New Year -sound familiar? Most modern scholars agree that Jesus was probably born in July or August, but Christians began using the Saturnalia as the birth festival of Jesus as early as 335AD. It was made official by the Vatican in 885 AD. So at sunset shout "Io,Io, Saturnalia!" ancient Greek for Hail Saturn!

1596- In a warning of what his son Charles Ist would face in England, this day Scottish King James VI was chased out of Edinburgh by his pushy Presbyterian Parliament. James responded with an economic blockade of his capitol by withholding royal grants and contracts until by New Years the populace was clamoring for his return.

1777-VALLEY FORGE- When Lord Howe’s British Army called the Christmas Truce and beds down in Philadelphia, George Washington’s army made camp at Valley Forge. The severe winter and poor conditions made Washington’s Army lose as many men as if there had been a battle. 2500 out of 10,000 colonials do not survive to see Spring. Meanwhile the surrounding farmers sold their food to the British, who paid better.

1793 -Battle of Toulon begins. The French Revolutionary army tried to retake the Mediterranean seaport whose royalist population had invited in an occupation fleet of English, Spanish and Piedmontese. The commanding French generals were nervous about failure, because to Revolutionary first magistrate Maximillian Robespierre a lack of success meant the guillotine. So they yielded the initiative to a pushy 23-year-old artillery major with a funny Italian name- Napoleon Buonaparte.

1843- Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story for Christmas" first published. In the 18th century and earlier the Christmas celebration was a more rowdy affair with public drinking, marching around in costumes “mummery” and mayhem more like today’s Mardi Gras. This is why the Pilgrims tried to ban it. The popularity of Dickens story of Scrooge, Marley and Tiny Tim did much to help Victorians change the nature of the Christmas celebration to a more intimate and pious observance among centered on the family. Dickens said he wrote the story to make some money capitalizing on the new fashions for family Christmas celebrations around the tree. American business tycoon J.P. Morgan had a family custom every Christmas Eve of reading A Christmas Carol to his kids, from the original manuscript.

1862- GRANT'S GENERAL ORDER #11- When Union army troops occupied large parts of Confederate Tennessee southerners wondered what kind of retribution the angry U.S. government would wreak upon their heads. They were amazed when the commander of the Union troops, Ulysses Grant, issued an order expelling all Jews from East Tennessee! His reasoning was that drygoods provisioners were cheating his men and wholesale cotton speculators following his army. Lincoln was shocked. "Isn't our country divided enough?!" The order was countermanded by the White House and Grant ordered to apologize. Grant later admitted the criticism of his hasty order was justified and he “should not have legislated against any one particular sect.”

1865- Schubert's Unfinished Symphony (#8) received it's world premiere. In 1822 Schubert wrote the first two movements and 8 measures for the 3rd (Scherzo) then gave the manuscript to a friend who kept it in a closet for 43 years.

1892- Peter Ilyich Tschaikowsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” premiered at the Imperial Ballet in Saint Petersburg. One child dancer playing a candy cane in that first performance was a Georgian boy named Gyorgi Balavadajze- later American choreographer George Balanchine. Interestingly enough the two of his compositions Tschaikowsky liked the least were The Nutcracker and his 1812 Overture.

1902- THE VENEZUELA CRISIS- Kaiser Wilhelm threatened Venezuela with naval blockade and invasion if she did not pay her international debts. US President Teddy Roosevelt sent Admiral Dewey with 23 battleships to the Caribbean and threatened war. Der Kaiser backed down and war was avoided. This incident was kept secret for seventy years. It’s when Teddy first said:” Speak softly and carry a big stick!”

1903- THE AIRPLANE- Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. For one minute a powered heavier than aircraft flew. Orville finished the day with a telegram to their father minding the bicycle shop back in Dayton Ohio: “ Success. Four Flights Thursday Morning against twenty-one mile an hour wind.. Inform press home for Christmas.” The news failed to get into most national newspapers. The Wrights themselves maintained a strict secrecy because they knew rivals like Glen Curtis, the French and Smithsonian professor William Langley were all close to inventing an airplane as well. The sensation of the airplane didn’t really become widespread until the Wrights demonstrated their plane in France in 1908 and around New York Harbor in 1909. In 1913 Curtis took Langley’s flying machine the Aerodrome out of storage and flew it to prove to the Smithsonian that the Wright Brothers were not the first. The bitter disputes lasted the length of their lives.

1917-HAPPY BIRTHDAY THE KGB! Lenin created the first Communist Secret Police, the Cheka, led by Felix Derszhinsky:” My thoughts induce me to be without pity.” In a few months the Cheka executed more people than the Czars’ police the Okrana did in all of the XIXth Century. The Cheka in Stalin’s time was called the OGPU, then NKVD, his executioners in the Great Purges. After Stalin, their name was changed to the KGB, the great spy and Secret Police operation set to bedevil their counterparts in the west- the CIA and MI5. The KGB was disbanded in 1991. Russian Premier Vladimir Putin had been a KGB agent.

1928- Under orders from Josef Stalin, the Central Committee of the Soviet Union first declared that rural land belonged to the community. All landowners were enemies of the state. This began the War on the Kulaks- the name for middle class peasants who owned some farmland. The purges of Kulaks, and famine from forced collectivization killed millions.

1934- First test flight of the Donald Douglas' DC-3, the most widely used airplane in aviation history. Unchanged for almost 50 years the two engine DC-3 was the backbone of most of the world's first passenger airlines and with the military name C-47 (the Gooney Bird) it became the workhorse cargo plane of from World War Two until Vietnam. There are still DC-3's in service in many small countries.

1939- THE GRAF SPEE- The world media in the opening weeks of World War II were dominated by news of an epic sea duel between the British Navy and a German battleship. The British pursued the Graf Spee across the Atlantic into Montevideo Harbor in neutral Uruguay. This day while the sun was setting radio broadcasters stayed on the air live and 250,000 spectators lined the shoreline to see if the Graf Spee would come out and fight. Instead the tropical quiet was rent by a huge explosion. Kapitan Zur See Langersdorf had scuttled his own ship.
British intelligence had done a masterful job of fooling Kapitan Langersdorf into believing heavy naval reinforcements including the aircraft carrier Ark Royal were closing in on him, while in actual fact they were no where in the vicinity. All there was to try and stop the German battleship was three badly shot up light cruisers. After sinking the Graf Spee Langersdorf wrapped himself in a German flag and shot himself. Interestingly he didn't use a Nazis swastika flag but wrapped himself in the old German Imperial Navy ensign. He also as a rule refused to give the stiff arm Nazis party salute.

1941- As if he hadn’t put his foot in his mouth badly enough already Charles Lindbergh does it again today. After earlier in the year railing on about the “International Jewish Conspiracy pushing America into war” today in a speech Lucky Lindy denounced the war with Germany:” The only real threat to America is the threat of the Yellow Race. Japan and China are united against the white race. And our only natural ally is Germany”. Secretary of the Treasury Robert Morgenthau told President Roosevelt: “I am convinced this guy is a Nazi”.

1944- the MALMEDY MASSACRE- The largest documented atrocity committed on U.S. troops in Europe in World War Two. During the Battle of the Bulge Nazi Waffen S.S. troops rounded up a large group of U.S. prisoners and machined gunned them all. 87 men of Battery B, 285th Field Artillery died. The atrocity stiffened U.S. resistance to the Nazis advance. The furor over President Reagan's laying a wreath at the Bitburg cemetery in 1985 was that some of the guilty SS of Malmedy were buried there. The commander of the massacre, Major Otto Wolf, did some prison time after the war and lived quietly until 1967, when he was found shot to death in his burning house, a smoking rifle in his hands like he was defending himself. Obviously someone had not forgotten.

1944- As the extent of the German offensive in the Ardennes became clear, General Eisenhower declared the Belgian town of Bastonge would be the key. He ordered the 82nd and 101st Airborne there to hold the town at all costs.

1944- The U.S. War Department issued Public Proclamation 21, stating that all Americans of Japanese ancestry could leave their internment camps and finally go home.

1955- Carl Perkins awoke in the middle of a bad nights sleep and wrote Blue Suede Shoes, the first song to be a hit in Country, R&B and Rock n’ Roll charts simultaneously, especially when sing by Elvis Presley” Well you can knock me down, step on ma face, etc.”

1962- The Beatles first hit "Love Me Do" enters the U.K. pop charts.

1969- Tiny Tim, the campy, ukulele strumming crooner, married his Miss Vicky, or Victoria Budinger live on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

1969- The US Air Force terminated Operation Blue Book, the investigation of UFO phenomena.

1971- After the last Pakistani forces surrender East Pakistan to invading Indian armies, East Pakistan is declared the independent nation of Bangladesh.

1989- Communist dictator Nicholas Cercescu ordered the Romanian Army to open fire on democratic protesters in Timisoara. Two thousand were killed. This incident pushed elements of the Army to turn their guns on the government. The Romanian Revolution was the most violent of the Communist regime changes. The people and army overthrew Cercescu, who was executed with his wife on live television on Christmas Day.

1989- The Simpsons, first debuted.

1999- The film Stuart Little premiered.

2001- Kellog, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of the Haliburton Corporation, was awarded a ten-year contract to provide the U.S. Army with everything from firefighting to building bases to serving meals. Soldiers won’t dig latrines, because KBR port-o-pottys will be there. A soldier couldn’t wipe his face with a towel that didn’t have a KBR logo on it. Vice President Cheney was a senior stockholder and former CEO of Haliburton.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: In the Bible, which one was not considered a prophet? A- Elijah, B-Samson, C-Samuel, D- Jeremiah

Answer: B-Samson. The story of the strongman is in the book of Judges, but he was never a prophet.


Dec 16th, 2010 thurs.
December 16th, 2010

Quiz: In the Bible, which one was not considered a prophet? A- Elijah, B-Samson, C-Samuel, D- Jeremiah

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is Boogie-Woogie?
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History for 12/16/2010
Birthdays: TA-TA-TA-TUMMMMMM!!! Ludwig Van Beethoven, Catherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's wife number one), Marshal Gerbhard von Blucher, Lenoid Brezhnev, Jane Austen, Margaret Mead, Noel Coward, George Santayanna, Liv Ullmann is 69, Steve Bochco, Leslie Stahl. Quentin Blake- dean of British illustrators favored by Roald Dahl, William 'Refrigerator' Perry, Arthur C. Clarke

1773- THE BOSTON TEA PARTY- The British Parliament had angered the colonists of New England by disallowing any tea to be imported except by British vessels and then a heavy tax to the Crown was to be paid on it's purchase. As New England women began to develop alternatives from grass and dandelions-what we now call Herbal Teas- the men of Boston threatened violence on any merchant who dared sell English tea.
On Nov 28th the good ship Dartmouth anchored at Griffith's Wharf with 144 tons of tea to be cleared of customs by December 17th. A mob gathered at the Old South Meeting House to discuss what to do. The call was made for 'The Mohawks!" In the crowd were Paul Revere and artist Jonathan Trumbull. At 6:00 p.m. men disguised as Indians boarded the Dartmouth overpowered the crew and tossed crates of loose tea into the harbor.
British Admiral Montague watched the proceedings from his warship across the harbor, but didn't take any action "for fear of civilian casualties." He well remembered the political repercussions a few years earlier, when His Majesties troops fired into a snowball throwing crowd and the radical Yankees called it the Boston Massacre.
Next morning all of Boston developed mass amnesia. No one knew who did the deed. One man waited until he was ninety-three years old and the Revolution long over before he named who was there that night.

1777-The Comte’De Vergennes, the foreign minister of the King of France informed Ambassador Benjamin Franklin that France was now willing to recognize the United States and help her in her war against Britain.
The previous year, British Prime Minister Lord North declared in Parliament that he doubted any crown in Europe would ever support the American rebels. "They would be laying the foundation for an American empire, whose forces would missionary a radical form of democracy around the world."

1796-THE YEAR OF THE FRENCH-Wolf Tone, a sort of the Irish Malcolm X, convinced Revolutionary France to send an army of 14,000 troops to help the Irish revolt against Britain. The French fleet that set out was beset with problems from the beginning. The French ships did so many maneuvers to avoid the British Navy that they got lost, their Admiral got mixed up in a fog and some ships struck rocks. Finally the whole expedition gave up and went home within sight of the Irish Coastline. WolfTone wrote bitterly:" I could have hit the shoreline with a biscuit!”

1824- PUBLISH AND BE DAMNED! - Was the response of the Duke of Wellington to a Mr.John Stockdale, who wrote him that he intended to publish the reminiscences of one of London's most notorious courtesans named Harriet Wilson. The beautiful Miss Wilson had slept with most of the leading men of London society. She intended to name Wellington as one of her frequent flyers during the period 1805-1808, unless of course he chose to have his name removed- for 200 pounds. But such was the Iron Duke's famous answer.

1835- THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION FORMED- After numerous revolts in Paris streets since 1789, Napoleon’s old friend Marshal Soult came up with a novel idea: Take all those street ruffians who made "Le Miserables" so colorful, put them in uniform and send them to the Sahara and hopefully they'll all get killed. To this day the Legion Etrangere' takes anyone from any nation from 16 to 40, no questions asked, and sends them to do the French army's toughest jobs. There motto- "March or Die”.

1871- BOSS TWEED INDICTED- William Marcy Tweed as New York City Commissioner of Public Works was behind one of the most corrupt city governments in U.S. history. Tweed mobilized poor and immigrant voters into political power and bought and sold Mayoral building projects. The cost overruns to build a simple courthouse cost more than the total cost to build the British Parliament in London- $13 million dollars. For example He billed the city $14,000 for 11 thermometers. The press tried to expose him, but it was really Thomas Nast’s cartoons in Harper’s Weekly who helped bring the Tweed Ring down. Boss Tweed said: "I don’t mind the newspaper articles since most of my voters can’t read, but those damn pictures!" Tweed once offered Nast half a million dollars to go to Europe and "study art". Nast refused. Boss Tweed ended his life in the Ludlow Street Jail, which he himself built.

1900 -EARLY ANIMATED FILM "ENCHANTED DRAWINGS', James Stuart Blackton was a New York World cartoonist who used to do a vaudeville act in drag. He came to do an article on Thomas Edison then Edison put him on the payroll. He created this and several other trickfilms. It doesn’t move much more than his vaudeville lightning drawing act, His 1906 film Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is considered the first animated cartoon.

1905- Variety magazine born.

1907- THE WHITE FLEET- Pres. Teddy Roosevelt sent a big badass fleet of US Navy battleships all painted white on a round-the-world cruise. It was billed as a goodwill tour, but in an age when battleships were the viewed like nukes are today, the message to other world powers was obvious. That the US was now a serious player in world affairs.

1913- Young English music hall actor named Charlie Chaplin got a job at Keystone Studios in Hollywood. His first film he would play a villain.

1935- Hollywood movie star Thelma Todd found dead in her car in her garage in Malibu She was 30. She was a sexy comedienne who starred with Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers and loved to party so much she was nicknamed"Hot Toddy". She knew New York mobster Lucky Lucciano. Was she done in by the mob, her jealous director boyfriend, was it a suicide or did she just pass out drunk in her car garage with the motor running? The mystery’s never been answered.

1944- Big Band Leader Glen Miller's plane disappeared over the English Channel. In 1988 ,a retired RAF engineer admitted he may have jettisoned some leftover bombs above the entertainer's plane while returning home from a bombing run.

1944- THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE- In his last gamble, Adolf Hitler scraped together his remaining army reserves armed with new King Tiger tanks and launched them in an attack through the center of the allied armies. The Nazis panzers were spearheaded by a group of commandos in G.I. uniforms trained by one eyed Otto Skorzeny in American slang and baseball scores to confuse communications. They calculated to launch their offensive during a heavy snowstorm when the superior Allied air forces would have to be grounded.
After chasing the Germans across France to the Rhine, the Americans had come to consider the Krauts a defeated enemy. So they were taken completely by surprise. One US POW noted as he was brought to the rear, seeing hundreds or Germans in fresh uniforms and new tanks. General Eisenhower had just gotten his fifth general's star and was attending the wedding of his orderly Rickie in Versailles when he got the news. Rickies bride was Pearlie.
The German attack was so successful that Franklin Roosevelt wanted to drop the first Atomic Bomb on them. The offensive eventually stalled and was beaten back at the cost of 70,000 U.S. casualties; the most Americans killed and wounded in any single battle in history.

1948- A top Truman Presidential aide named Alger Hiss was indicted for perjury for lying to a Federal Grand Jury about passing secrets to a Communist turncoat agent named Whittaker Chambers. Chambers told so many lies that he was discredited as a witness but Hiss was convicted on circumstantial evidence like microfilm found hidden in a pumpkin- The Pumpkin Papers.
The case of such a high ranking US official being a spy stoked the anti-commie paranoia of the 1950’s. Even Fifty years later with the principle players dead, Communist Russia gone and the KGB files open the U.S. government still refuses to release their transcripts of the case and scholars continue to argue.

1966- New York Police raid the offices of Bernard Spindle, a freelance surveillance expert who bugged the phones of the rich and powerful. They carted off all his tapes and records; including tapes -he claimed- proving Marilyn Monroe’s sexual hijinks with President John Kennedy. He was later informed all his tapes were lost. Spindle’s career was the inspiration for the movies The Conversation and the Enemy of the State.

1966- The Jimi Hendrix Experience released the song ‘Hey Joe’.

1971- Don McClean released the long version of the song ‘American Pie’.

1973- O.J. Simpson became the first NFL player to rush for 2000 yards in a season.

1980- Colonel Harland Sanders, the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, died.

1988- Shockjock Howard Stern is fined $100,000 by the FCC for having on his radio show a man who could play the piano with his penis.

1993- Aaron Spelling fired Shannon Dougherty off the TV soap Beverly Hills 90210.

1999- Julie Andrews, star of Mary Poppins and the Sound of Music, sued New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital for destroying her singing voice during a routine throat operation.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is Boogie-Woogie?

Answer: An up-tempo form of Swing Music, featuring heavy percussive bass beat, and a series of improv solos in the treble.


Dec 15th, 2010 wed
December 15th, 2010

Quiz: What is Boogie-Woogie?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: Norwegians celebrate the holidays by eating Lutefisk, a dish the Vikings ate. What is Lutefisk?
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¬History for 12/15/2010
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Nero, Roman Emperor Lucius Verus who was known for little else but his really swell haircut, Gustav Eiffel, J. Paul Getty, Jeff Chandler, Alan Freed, Ernie Pintoff, Helen Slater, Don Johnson is 61, Julie Taymor is 58

1790- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has a farewell dinner for Franz Josef Haydn who was going to London for two years. Amadeus said:" Farewell Papa, I think we shall not see each other again in life. " Mozart was 34 and Haydn was 67, so he probably thought Haydn would go first. Mozart died a year later at 35 and old Haydn lived another fifteen years, dying in his 80s.

1791-The BILL OF RIGHTS was ratified and added to the U.S. CONSTITUTION- It was the brainchild of James Madison, who felt the Constitution was a bit vague on basic civil rights. Even so Patrick Henry thought it was still too weak.

1792- FOUNDING FATHERS SEX SCANDAL- In the dead of night George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton (that guy on your ten-dollar bill) was visited by a delegation sent by his political enemy, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson (that guy on your nickel). They included future president James Monroe and First Speaker of the House of Representatives Felix Muhlenberg.

They accuse Hamilton of having an extramarital affair with a Mrs. Reynolds, and that he had her husband sent to prison to get him out of the way! Hamilton admitted it all, but said he was being blackmailed. The accusers took pity and by “Gentleman's Agreement" for four years the scandal was hushed up.

When at last it was made pubic in 1797 by a tabloid newspaper, it helped drive Hamilton from government office and discredit the Federalist Party, who lost the White House to Jefferson's democrats. Alexander Hamilton was so furious that his secret was out that he challenged James Monroe to a duel. The duel was solved peacefully by an arbiter, Aaron Burr, who himself would shoot Hamilton in a duel eight years later. Aaron Burr later became Vice President, and Burr got to spend an evening with Mrs. Reynolds too!

1815- Giacomo Rossini received the commission to write a new opera based on Beaumarchais the Marriage of Figaro- The Barber of Seville.

1859- For those of you who speak Esperanto, Happy Zampenhoff Day!
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1890-SITTING BULL KILLED by government employed Indian agents. They had come to arrest him when they learned he planned to join the Ghost Dancers at Wounded Knee. The Ghost Dance was a spiritual revival movement but the authorities overreacted in fear of a true-armed uprising. As Sitting Bull was led out of his cabin other Sioux tried to stop the Indian police and in the scuffle they shot Bull dead. In a macabre twist Bull's pony, who was a gift from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, reared up and started doing circus tricks when he heard the shots.

1893-Czech composer Anton Dvorak premiered a symphony he wrote while living in the Minnesota. The New World Symphony.

1911- King George V of England moved the capitol of India from Calcutta to Delhi and laid the foundation stones for a new Imperial City, New Delhi.

1939- The gala premiere of Gone With The Wind at the Loews Grand Theater in Atlanta Georgia. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh flew out from Hollywood and the Governor of Georgia declared it a state holiday.

1941- The American Federation of Labor announced there would be no strikes or other labor actions for the duration of World War Two.

1941- Lena Horne recorded her signature tune “Stormy Weather.”

1943- In Harlem jazz great Fats Waller died of alcoholism and heart failure. He was 39.

1950- President Harry Truman declared a State of National Emergency over the deteriorating situation in the Korean War. When Congress asked what it meant and why not ask Congress first instead of unilaterally declaring it, Truman lost his temper. “We must remember that we are the Leader of the Free World, and as such have an obligation to meet!”

1952- British Fashion photographer George Jorgenson has the first sex change operation in Denmark and becomes Christine Jorgenson.

1954-“Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter” starring Fess Parker was featured on the Walt Disney TV show for the first time. The show created a mania for little kids, all wanting coonskin caps. “ Born on a mountaintop in Tenn- Ah- See..”

1964- Canada adopted the Maple Leaf flag. It did not completely replace the Dominion Flag until 1979.

1966-Walt Disney died at age 65. He was alone in the room at Saint Joseph's when he died. A heavy cigarette smoker- his favorites were Malboro and French Gitanes- he suffered from lung cancer and respiratory failure. Contrary to the legend that he's cryogenically frozen in a room in the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, he was cremated and interred at Forest Lawn. Or maybe that’s what he wants us to think?!

1967- Beverly Hills police chief C.H.Anderson assured the public that there are "No Hippie Pads in Beverly Hills". Chief Andersen said many oddball types arrested on the Sunset Strip and West L.A. are sent to Beverly Hills municipal courts for trial, but inhabitants need not fear an outbreak of long haired hopped up psychedelic speed freaks.

1973- The American Psychiatric Association reverses its earlier position and announced the homosexuality is not a form of mental illness. Before that, being gay meant your family could legally have you institutionalized and even lobotomized or electro-shocked.

1984- Gangster Paul Castellano had taken over the largest Mafia family in New York after the Godfather Carlo Gambino died. But he was having problems with his unruly lieutenant John Gotti. This day he was getting out his limo on a midtown Manhattan street to go to Sparks Steakhouse when he was shot dead by hitmen sent by Gotti. Instead of the dead of night on a lone wharf, it was done out in broad daylight and the killers just melted into the countless masses of lunch hour foot traffic on 5th Avenue. John Gotti took control of the Gambino family and ruled as the Dapper Don, until sent up the river for life in 1992.

2008- As outgoing President Bush made a farewell speech in Baghdad, an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at the presidents’ head, shouting “Here’s your thanks, you dog!” NY Yankees owner Glen Steinbrenner commented” His first throw was low and inside, the second a bit high, but both were pretty good.”
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Yesterday’s question: Norwegians celebrate the holidays by eating Lutefisk, a dish the Vikings ate. What is Lutefisk?

Answer: It’s a smelly codfish pickled in lye, till it becomes gelatinous. Some call it Viking Gefilte Fish. ( Thanks Oscar!)


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