May 14th, 2010 friday.
May 14th, 2010

Quiz: Who were these people? Jerry Geisler, F. Lee Bailey, William Kunstler, Johnny Cochran..?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: In Viking mythology, where is Midgard?
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History for 5/14/2010
Birthdays: Thomas Gainsborough, George Lucas , Thomas Wedgewood, Francesca Annis, David Byrne, Jack Bruce, Bobby Darin, Tim Roth is 48, Robert Zemeckis is 58, Kate Blanchett is 40

Roman festival of the Avral Brethren, a ceremony where straw puppets are thrown into the river to bless Father Tiber. (perhaps it's an adaptation of a more primitive human sacrifice?)

1264-BATTLE OF LEWES- Rebel earls of Sussex and Simon de Monfort defeated and captured King Henry III and the Prince of Wales -Edward Longshanks. These barons compelled extensions to liberties that began with Magna Carta and created the House of Commons. The Prince eventually gets loose and kills de Monfort and Sussex but can’t stop the growth of representative parliament.

1525 - Great German peasant revolt of Thomas of Munzer was crushed at The Battle of Bad Frankenhausen. Munzer was a devotee of reformer Martin Luther and he became a folk hero for trying to extend Luther’s concepts of spiritual freedom to political freedom. Martin Luther himself was horrified by the violence of the revolt and denounced it. Finally a powerful coalition of the Elector Dukes of Hesse, Saxony and Brunswick raised a big army of knights and went city by city suppressing the revolt with great massacre. Munzers group was destroyed at Bad Frankenhausen Thomas Munzer was ordered broken on the wheel and beheaded by the vengeful German nobles. So many common people were being put to the sword, that the Imperial Diet at Augsburg warned that if the nobles killed all their peasants, who would be left to do the work and pay taxes?

1667- The sailors of the English Navy were only paid once a month. During the Dutch Wars, an incident happened when after several months of hard fighting the loyal sailors were told that their fun loving King Charles II didn't have any money left in his treasury to pay them. The tars were so angry, scores of them deserted to the enemy. They guided Dutch Admiral De Ruyter's fleet right up the Thames where they could burn the docks of Greenwich, within sight of King Charles' palace.

1787- Shortly before returning to America, the Marquis de Lafayette wrote his friend George Washington about his sponsorship of the famous quack Dr. Anton Mesmer, for whom Mesmerism is known. "Before leaving I shall obtain permission to tell Dr Mesmer’s great secrets on Animal Magnetism to you, for it is a great philosophical discovery."

1787- George Washington arrives in Philadelphia to chair the great Convention to write the U.S. Constitution. Once there, he discovered that so only three states had even bothered to show up, and that included host Pennsylvania. There was a fear that if enough states could not be made to cooperate, a federal constitution imposed by a minority would break up the United States. To Washington’s relief by months end all the states except Rhode Island sent a delegation.

1796- English scientist Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccination. This disease, which ravaged Europe for decades, was cured by the Chinese in the 600's B.C. Chinese doctors would ground up particles from a smallpox scab and blow it up your nose through a glass tube. After the pox decimated Native American tribes in the 1500's, by the 1770’s they did the same vaccination using a porcupine quill under the fingernail.
Small pox was the great killer of the age, Queen Elizabeth, George Washington and Robespierre almost died of the pox. The fashion of wigs and makeup became popular because it covered the facial scars and hair loss from the disease. Robespierre’s eyes were permanently weakened by the pox and he had to wear black painted spectacles (the first Ray-Bans).

1800- The Sixth US Congress voted to adjourn for the last time in Philadelphia and meet again in November in the new capitol city, already being called Washington City.

1800- Napoleon’s army began crossing the Alps into Italy via the Great Saint Bernard Pass.

1804- Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis to find the Pacific. President Jefferson had told his aide Meriwether Lewis that there was a large river headed west from the Mississippi called the Missouri. Perhaps the large river that emptied in to the Pacific in Oregon called the Columbia was the same river? So you could go by water from New Orleans to Seattle? And if there was a little neck of land between the two rivers they were to measure the distance. Later 1200 miles into the high Rockies eating candles to stay alive they determined that the distance was greater than previously thought. Pres. Jefferson had a fossil bone from a prehistoric sloth in his office. He told Lewis if he found a live one out there to send it back. *Known as Paramylodon jeffersoni, remains of this animals have been found while digging the world's largest reservoir near Hemet, CA, and one specimen is known from the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Blvd in downtown L.A.

1811- Paraguay declared independence from Spain.

1842 - 1st edition of London Illustrated News

1860- The first delegation of diplomats from Japan arrived in the U.S bringing greetings from the Shogun.

1878- Vaseline petroleum jelly patented.

1940- Holland surrendered to the Nazis after Hitler threatened to bomb Amsterdam to rubble the way they did to Rotterdam.

1942- Nazi Stuka dive bombers began the attack on Malta.

1942- Disney composer Frank Churchill, who wrote "Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf", shot himself at the piano. Another version of the story had him shooting himself in an onion field in Valencia that would one day be the site of Cal Arts.

1944- In the comic strip Dick Tracy, the longtime Tracy nemesis the gangster Flattop was killed.

1945- US bombers firebomb Nagoya Castle, built in 1612 by Tokugawa Ieyasu the Japanese Shogun as a gift for his son. The castle was reconstructed to its original form 1959-1978.

1948- Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, the older sister to John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, was killed in a plane crash. She was 28.

1948- THE STATE OF ISRAEL DECLARED- Since the Jewish Diaspora begun by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 162 AD Jews have wished for their own country. In1897 European Jews called Zionists began building a homeland by encouraging mass immigration to the loosely governed Turkish province called Palestine. By World War Two there were two populations, Arab and Jewish Immigrants, both claiming the same territory. After years of sectarian fighting the British protectorate announced they would evacuate Palestine May 15th. The 5 surrounding Arab states announced they would invade if a Jewish State was declared- 45 million against barely one million. US ally King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia declared:" Even if we lose ten million to destroy the Jews, it will be a small sacrifice."
The UN was considering a further three month delay to debate the problem, when at 4:00PM Jewish Agency Premier David Ben Gurion walked into the crowd at the Tel Aviv Museum and declared the State of Israel. He did it at 4 and the day before the mandate ran out, because it was Friday night, which is the Jewish Sabbath. During the Sabbath no Jews can sign anything or do any business, so he had to move it up.

1951 - Ernie Kovacs Show, TV Variety debut on NBC. Kovacs was a great pioneer in the video medium who loved creating surreal images and pantomime blackout skits.

1955- Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park Cal, today’s Silicon Valley, was founded by peace activist Roy Kepler. Keplers’ books was a hangout for Stanford computer scientists, Hippies, and creators of the Whole Earth Catalog. The Grateful Dead and Joan Baez played there, Prof Douglas Englebart the inventor of the computer mouse, would pop in for coffee, and kids like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak would ride their bikes over to check out the new computer books.

1973- Skylab, Americas first attempt at a space station, blasted off into orbit. In 1979 the remains of the 77 ton satellite re-entered the atmosphere, causing half the world to duck and cover.

1974- Tha Maalot Massacre-On the anniversary of Israeli Independence Palestinian terrorists of the Al Fatah faction entered an Israeli school and shot 22 children.

1976- Keith Relf of the rock group the Yardbirds, was electrocuted while playing his guitar in his bathtub.

1968 - Beatles announce formation of Apple Records. IN the 80's they tried to sue a new computer company with the same name. They lost.

1989 – The funeral for a Communist Party reformer named Hu Yao Bang grow into massive Demonstrations for democratic reforms in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. For three weeks the attention of the world focused on the students demands for greater personal freedom. The movement was finally crushed by the Chinese Army in June.

1998 - Last episode of sitcom Seinfeld on NBC (commercial fees were $2M for 30 seconds) Elderly singer Frank Sinatra died shortly after watching it.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: : In Viking mythology, where is Midgard?

Answer: You’re in it right now. Asgard was where the gods lived, Hel where the infernal shadows were, Midgard was the middle world where people dwell.


May 13th, 2010 THURS
May 12th, 2010

Quiz: In Viking mythology, where is Midgard?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who is Orly Tayts?
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History for 5/13/2010
Birthdays: St. Sergius of Radonez 1314, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Cyrus McCormick, Stevie Wonder, George Braque, Daphne DuMaurier, Joe Louis, Richie Valens, Gil Evans, Beatrice Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Harvey Keitel, Dennis Rodman, Clive Barnes.

In ancient Rome this was the Liberalia, Festival of the gods of the Grape- Liber and Liberia. As part of the fertility theme people waved little carved phalluses or wore them around their necks to parties. Putting a big carved phallus in your garden was a sure way to make your flowers bloom. ……..Is Martha Stewart reading this?

1610- French King Henry IV Bourbon was stabbed to death by Ravaillac the mad monk. Catholic fanatics were furious with him for ending the Religious Wars in France by granting freedom of worship to all. Ravaillac leapt up onto the running board of the King’s carriage and thrust at him with his knife through the carriage window. His Queen Marie De Medici, the fat lady Rubens painted so many triumphant pictures of, succeeded Henry.

1637-French Cardinal Richelieu threw a dinner where he introduced a novel invention. He had each place at the table set with a fork, a spoon and a table knife. For the first time guests didn't have to whip out their own blade to cut their food.

1655- A Rhode Island statute was passed granting freemanship with no prerequirements regarding Christian worship. This effectively gave Jews and Dissenters the vote in the U.S.

1794-FOUNDING FATHERS SOAP OPERA- Dolly Madison writes in her diary today that if she was ever to die she would want her child raised by Aaron Burr (Vice President, two time presidential candidate, assassin of Alexander Hamilton and acquitted of treason.-). She was a 26 year old widowed mother at the time but according to both friend and foe she was a ravishing Ultra-Babe.

Much writing of the time criticized her immodestly low necklines and flirtatious demeanor around men. She knew most of the Founding Fathers and in four months would marry powerful senator James Madison author of the Bill of Rights and the original 40-year-old virgin. Ironically Burr introduced them to each other. Dolley was the first to be called First Lady.

1846-THE U.S. DECLARES WAR ON MEXICO- The U.S had claimed the border of it’s new state of Texas was the Rio Grande, Mexico said it was the Rio Nueces. When American General Zachary Taylor was ordered to march his army into the disputed area and was attacked, the United States declared War. America won the Rio Grande line as well as the new states of California, New Mexico and Arizona, basically half the landmass of Mexico. Just in case you thought political dissent began with Vietnam; Daniel Webster said this war was unworthy of America for it could not be disguised as other than a old world-style imperial land grab for the Pacific coast. Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln were anti-war congressman. Ulysses Grant said in his memoirs that the Civil War was God's punishment on the U.S. for attacking Mexico. Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes and was fined, later writing his famous work On Civil Disobedience.

1851- the two leaders of the US Women’s Rights movement- Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady-Stanton met for the first time in Seneca Falls New York.

1910- James "Sugar Jim” Smith, the boss of the Essex County Democratic machine announced his candidate for the New Jersey governor’s race would be a tall, sour-puss Presbyterian professor named Woodrow Wilson, then President of Princeton University. Wilson had never run or held elective office and everyone thought they were out of their minds, until they heard him speak. Woodrow Wilson not only won the governorship but two years later became U.S. president.

1913- In Saint Petersburg Igor Sikorsky invented the first airplane toilet. Later he would move to the US and invent the helicopter. Without a toilet though..

1917- Three small children see the Virgin Mary in the town of Fatima in Portugal. All Catholics know about the story that the Madonna gave a letter to the Pope which was to be opened 50 years later which revealed secrets about the fate of mankind too horrible to say. Actually we all know, we’re just not saying.

1925- Tallahassee Florida ordered daily Bible readings in public schools.

1940- 100 Nazis Heinkel 111 bombers began bombing the city of Rotterdam as an act of terror. This despite Rotterdam being declared an open city and negotiations under way for its surrender. The bombers destroyed the city in just several hours. At the same time, Queen Wilhelmina left The Hague for London as the Nazi tanks rolled in.

1950 - Diner's Club issued it’s first credit cards.

1956- Actor Montgomery Clift was disfigured in a car crash. He had to have his jaw wired until it could heal.

1957- THE MAIN BOUT- The McClellan Senate Committee was investigating organized crime inroads into the labor unions, but the "main bout" as it was then called was young prosecutor Robert Kennedy’s attempts to nail Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. This day RFK tried a sting on Hoffa, arresting him at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington with $21,000 in kickback money handed him by an FBI plant. Hoffa’s attorney portrayed the money as a misunderstood legal fee and when he noticed half the jury was black Jimmy Hoffa had boxing champ Joe Louis flown in so they could see them embracing. Hoffa was acquitted in this trial but eventually convicted ten years later. When Bobby Kennedy was assassinated Hoffa ordered the flag over his office run back up to full staff and spent the day celebrating. His son James Hoffa Jr is current teamster president.

1965 - Rolling Stones record "Satisfaction"

1966 - Rolling Stones release "Paint it Black"

1971- The Black Panther 21’ trial- In 1969 the F.B.I. pre-dawn raided the headquarters of the militant Black Panther Party in New York. After a trial that took eighteen months the Panthers were acquitted on all charges after a jury deliberation of only 55 minutes. The case raised serious questions of the F.B.I.’s right to domestic infiltration and surveillance. Despite winning 96% of all the court cases brought against them, by 1975 most of the Black Panthers were dead or in exile. Today Panther leader Bobby Seale owns a barbecue franchise in Philadelphia. Panther Eldridge Cleaver died a born-again Reagan-Republican.

1971 - Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane seriously injured in a car accident

1982- President Reagan says he's certain that our nuclear missiles could be recalled in case of an accidental firing .He didn't say how we'd catch them when they came back.

1981-Pope John Paul II shot by Turkish-Terrorist Mehmed Ali Agca. It’s never been proven but generally believed the hit on the Polish Pope was organized by the Soviet KGB through the Bulgarian secret service. Another source said the in 2001 the Vatican revealed that a prediction of the assassination attempt on the Pope was part of the secret message given by the Virgin Mary to three small Portuguese children at Fatima in 1917.

1992- Police arrest the manager of Comic Book Heaven in Sarasota Florida on seven counts of "displaying materiel harmful to minors", i.e. comic books.
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Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who is Orly Tayts?

Answer: She is the Moldovian immigrant dental hygenist who became the symbol of the goofy “Birther Movement”, by loudly challenging President Obama’s right to be president. That the FBI does a full background check on every candidate did not mean beans to her. During her 15 minutes of fame, she produced a Kenyan birth certificate for Obama. It was obviously a crudely photoshoped Australian document, that referred to Kenya as an independent country when in 1961 it was still a British Commonwealth. Yet for our dizzy biased media, she is still a welcome authority.


May 12th, 2010 weds
May 11th, 2010

An Update on Animator Pres Romanillos



Pres, a top animator on Muhlan and How to Train Your Dragon, is currently battling leukemia and will undergo a second bone marrow transplant.

Because of the chemotherapy Pres is undergoing, he needs a constant supply of blood and platelets. If you live in the LA area, You can help by donating. The need for platelets is especially great. Any blood type can donate platelets directly for Pres.

You can do that by calling City of Hope at 626-471-7171 or 626-301-8385 and scheduling an appointment (appointments available M,T 10-6, W 8-3, Th, F, Sat 6-1:45). City of Hope is in Duarte, just east of Pasadena, and the process takes about 2-2.5 hours.

If you're type O- or O+, you can donate blood directly for Pres. That's also a shorter process, about an hour total including the time for the questionnaire. If you're not O- or O+, you can donate platelets, or you can donate blood that will go to the general bank of blood to help others (this is where Pres is getting his blood, so you'd be indirectly helping him). Thank you.

Also Check out Pres-Aid.com, there will be an auction of cartoon art on June 4th at the Animation Guild 839, but it will have an on-line component as well. Works for sale include originals by Disney artists, as well as legendary cartoonists like Joe Kubert and Jack Kirby.

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Quiz: Who is Orly Tayts?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: The popular musical Cats is based on what book?
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History for 5/12/2010
Birthdays: Dolly Madison, Daniel Rossetti, Frank Stella, Florence Nightingale, Tom Snyder, George Carlin, Wilfred Hyde-White, Emilio Estevez, Howard K. Smith, Ron Zeigler, Farley Mowatt, Ving Rhames, Bruce Boxleitner, Katherine Hepburn, Yogi Berra

1463-B.C.- THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON- Egyptian Pharoah Thutmoses III defeated a coalition of Canaanite princes at an outpost fort named Ha-Megiddo. This fort was the intersection of several roads that led south through the Lebanon mountains into Palestine and so for centuries was known for all the vicious battles and invasions that occurred there. When Saint John wrote of the final battle in Book of the Apocalypse he said it would be as terrible as one fought at Ha-Meggido or Armageddon.

1775- During the American Revolution a New York mob carrying clubs and torches broke onto the campus of King’s College determined to lynch it’s president Miles Cooper, who was an outspoken loyalist. The mob was stopped on the steps of Cooper’s home by student Alexander Hamilton. While Cooper watched from the second story window. Cooper was hard of hearing and he thought the troublemaker Hamilton was the instigator of the mob. So while Hamilton begged the mob not to kill his college President Cooper yelled down:” DON’T LISTEN TO HIM! HE’S A BLOCKHEAD!” Despite this Miles Cooper got away unharmed and Kings College name was changed to Columbia University.

1776- France’s chief finance minister Turgot fell from power and resigned. Turgot tried to reform France’s almost medieval economy- While all the king could think of was to cut the budget for the Royal Lapdogs Turgot abolished outdated medieval tariffs, and subsidies to useless noblemen. He also began serious land reform. Many including Voltaire and Catherine the Great felt that if Turgot was allowed to be successful the French Revolution wouldn’t have happened. Frederick the Great agreed that “the Fall of Turgot presaged the collapse of France.”

1789- TAMANY HALL BORN- The first and oldest of U.S. political machines (clubs , pacts, lobbies, whatever ) Founded in Philadelphia and moved to New York it was named for a Chief Tamamend, the Delaware chief who welcomed William Penn. The Hall on 14 th street was nicknamed the Wigwam and the leaders called Sachems, the Algonquin word for chief. Throughout the 1800's it was famous for buying and selling political offices, bribery and corruption. Boss Tweed and Slippery Dick Connolly, the first American to embezzle one million dollars, were Tamany Sachems. Tamany were the first to realize there was political power in mobilizing the mass of working class immigrants against the snooty New York power elite. Tamany Hall men would stand on docks welcoming immigrants with a voting card and a silver dollar to vote for their candidates. Another trick was for Tamany men to grow a full beard and vote, then go home, shave to a goatee, vote again, shave to a mustache, vote again, then clean shave and vote once more.
Tamany Hall was still influential into modern times. Bill O'Dwyer, a Tamany sachem was mayor of New York in the late 1940’s and in 1963 future Mayor Ed Koch became a congressman by unseating the last Tammany sachem Carmen DeSapio..

1796- Napoleon's French Republican Army occupied the city of Venice and destroyed the last traces of the independent Venetian Republic 'La Serenissima" The Most Surene Republic. The Last Doge Daniele Manin was forced to abdicate and his Byzantine crown and trappings of office were burned, along with his famous gilded barge, the 'Boucintoro'.
Venice, an independent city-state since 976AD was going to be part of Italy whether she liked it or not!

1809- Napoleon’s heavy cannon- called Napoleon’s Daughters- began bombarding the Austrian capitol Vienna. Beethoven hid in a celler. A cannonball fell near composer Franz Josef Haydn’s house but the octogenarian composer comforted his friends:” Children don’t be frightened; Where Papa Haydn is, no harm can come to you.” When the city was occupied the French officer in charge of the guard on Haydn’s house comforted the old composer by singing an aria from his oratorio The Creation as he entered the room.

1846- The Donner Party wagon train left Independence Missouri to start it’s trek out west to California. They tried a new short cut proposed by a charlatan named Lansford Hastings to get to California. They crossing the burning alkaline deserts of Utah and were attacked by Paiute Indians. By Halloween heavy snow storms stranded the Donners in the High Sierra Mountains where the starving survivors resorted to cannibalism.

1864-BATTLE OF SPOTSYLVANIA- After Lee whips Grant in the Wilderness, instead of retreating Grant wheels around and attacks again. This time winning a draw. The fighting was dreadful, reports of trees so thick you couldn't put your arms around cut down by bullets, and men hit with so many 68 cal.musket balls at one time that their bodies literally would fall apart. At the fight in the center of the line called The Angle Yankees and Confederates crowded in so tightly they pressed against one another like a massive rugby game. Soldiers fought hand to hand with pistol butts, flag staffs, clubs, fists, some even took their empty bayonet muskets and hurled them into the crowd like a spear. Nothing failed to cause injury.

One casualty was union general "Uncle John" Sedgewick, shot by rebel snipers. His last words were:" Aw go on men! Them rebs couldn't hit an elephant at this dis......." His great, great granddaughter Edie Sedgwick hung out with Andy Warhol..

1915- THE BRYCE COMISSION- An English commission to study reports of German atrocities that was really a propaganda machine aimed at getting the United States into the Great War. America had the problem that if she chose the allied side in World War One, several million immigrant citizens of German, Hungarian and Austrian descent were sympathetic to the Kaiser. Add to them millions of English-hating Irish, Jewish Americans who wanted the openly Anti-Semitic Russian Empire beaten and many average Americans who felt the main reason their forefathers crossed the ocean was to get away from the kind of trouble that occurred back in Europe. So you can see it was hard to get everyone up for intervention. The American yellow press printed all the British accounts without ever questioning their accuracy- they horrified the average reader with hair-raising stories of German troops raping and killing Belgian women, chopping the hands off of children and crucifying Canadian prisoners with bayonets through their hands and feet. Even though some atrocities stories were verified, like the needless burning of the medieval Library of Louvain -The German term was Shreiklichkeit- Rule by Fear- today it is acknowledged that most of these accounts were dressed up to get us to Hate the Hun! Later the U.S. Office of War Information took over feeding these stories to the press. It was headed by a psychiatrist Edmund Bernays, a psychoanalyst nephew of Sigmund Freud who after the war went into advertising.

1934- Hungarian scientist Dr Leo Szilard took out a secret patent on his concept of a chain reaction, being able to theoretically release energy from uranium on an atomic level. Enrico Fermi proved this and created the first controlled chain reaction in 1939.

1936- John Maynard Keynes most famous work "the General Theory of Money, Interest and Work" was published. Today if a politician advocates government intervention in the business market he is called a "Keynesian".Keynes once said: ' My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne."

1937-After the abdication of Edward VIII to marry Mrs. Simpson, his brother Bertie was crowned today as King George VI at Westminister. King George and Queen Elizabeth were the parents of the current Queen and were the first English monarchs to travel to America and eat hot dogs.

1938- “The Adventures of Robin Hood” starring Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Olivia DeHaviland, Claude Rains and Eugene Paulette premiered. The swashbuckling film then cost a whopping $2 million dollars to make! The light brown horse Maid Marion rode in the movie was later bought by singing cowboy Roy Rogers and renamed Trigger.

1940-Despite being neutral, Switzerland mobilized it’s army expecting a Nazi invasion.

1943- Penned in at Tunis by English and American armies, Rommel's Nazi Afrika Korps laid down their arms. Rommel himself was hospitalized in Germany with diphtheria and would fight again. Besides desert and snows of Norway the Germans were so sure they would be active in all climates that after the war the allies found warehouses full of Tropical uniforms for action in some future equatorial jungle.

1945- Reischmarshall Herman Goring drove to an American air base and surrendered himself and his family to USAAF commander General Spaatz. The former fighter pilot said he wanted to surrender to a fellow airman. Spaatz was later reprimanded for being photographed toasting and celebrating the end of the war with Goring.

1948- In Palestine the secret key cabinet meeting of Jewish leaders over whether to declare independence before the British evacuated on May 15th. The UN and even the US was asking for a UN sponsored three month cooling off period but Jewish leaders like David Ben Gurion felt any more delay would be fatal. The decided that even though they would be attacked by five Arab nations simultaneously they would declare independence on May 14th. The last problem was what to call the new country? After Zion, Zionia and Herzelania was suggested, they decided to go with the name of a Kibbutz using an ancient Biblical name- Eretz-Israel or simply Israel.

1962- First day shooting on Frederigo Fellini’s film 8 1/2. When screened for American Producer Joe Levine, Levine took the cigar from his mouth and growled-” Frederigo, what da hell did that movie mean? ” Fellini shrugged –“I dunno”.

1971 - Rolling Stone Mick Jagger weds Bianca Macias at St Tropez Town Hall.
They later divorced and Bianca became a famous habitue’ of trendy discos and fashion magazines.

1971- Tor Johnson died of a heart attack at age 68. Swedish wrestler turned actor Tor’s preferred role was the bald eyeless zombie in classics like Plan Nine from Outer Space and Bride of the Monster.

1977- A small Westchester radio station WENW hired a thin, gawky, college grad as a DJ- Howard Stern. US radio would never be the same.

1982- The comic strip 'Marvin' debuted.

1985- Philadelphia Police were trying to break into the headquarters of a militant anarchist group called MOVE. They were barricaded in a row house. Someone had the bright idea of dropping a bomb on the building. The explosion and fire killed 11 including some children and set off a conflagration that engulfed the neighborhood. Some people remember it as noteworthy in that it was the first time an air strike was used on an American city by American authorities

1999- The First Scottish Parliament in three hundred years and the first Welsh assembly since Owen Glendower, in 1410 sat in session today.

2008- A powerful earthquake hit Chungdu in Sichuan Province in China, killing tens of thousands.
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Yesterday’s Question: The popular musical Cats is based on what book?

Answer: Old Possum's book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot.


May 11th, 2010 tues.
May 10th, 2010

Question: The popular musical Cats is based on what book?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: When designing the character Speed Racer, Japanese artist Tatsuo Yoshida was inspired by an American. Who?
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History for 5/11/2010
Birthdays: Salvador Dali', Jean Jerome, Chang and Eng Bunker-the original Siamese Twins-1811, Baron Munchausen, Irving Berlin, King Oliver, Martha Graham, Dr Richard Fenyman, Mort Sahl, Phil Silvers, Foster Brooks, Denver Pyle, Henry Morgenthau, Doug McClure, Randy Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Rev Louis Farrakhan

330 A.D. Constantine the Great founded his city of New Rome, called Constantinople on the site of an older Greek city called Byzantium. The Russians call it Tsargrad, the Turks Istambul or "The City". A favorite ethnic joke of the ancients was how the people of Chalcedon had migrated right past this perfect natural harbor and central location to build their city in a flat, arid desert. So to be" as dumb or blind as a Chalcadonian" was a surefire laugh getter in Athens or Sparta.

1189- German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa (red-beard) led 100,000 Crusaders out of Regensburg towards the Holyland. Two thirds of them never came home.

1780- A RUDE SHOCK TO THE INDEPENDENCE OF AMERICA.- That was how it was described by a Tory minister back in London, when the British Army captured the last major American seaport- Charleston, South Carolina. Colonial General Lincoln and 2500 regulars laid down their arms, it is the largest surrender of American troops in the Revolutionary War.

1792- Captain Robert Gray discovered the Columbia River in the Oregon territory.

1812- A British merchant named Bellingham who's business was ruined by the Napoleonic wars, walked into the lobby of the House of Commons, and shot Prime Minister Sir Spencer Percival. He was the only British Prime Minister ever assassinated.

1831- French writer Alexis De Tocqueville visited the United States.

1858- Minnesota became a state.

1862- When their navy base was overrun by US Troops the Confederates had to blow up their ironclad warship the CSS Virginia, also called the Merrimac.

1864-JEB STUART FELL- Confederate commander of cavalry Jeb Stuart was a Beau-Sabeur who always rode into the thickest of a fight. This day one soldier shouted:” General, you must love bullets!” Stuart replied:” I don’t love bullets, but I can’t hide from them. I got a feeling I’m not going to survive this war.” Then he rode into battle with Sheridan’s cavalry at Yellow Tavern six miles north of Richmond. A dismounted Yankee marksman spotted the familiar gray horseman with the black plumed hat and cape. As he rode by he emptied his carbine into him. Gutshot, Stuart still managed to ride a mile to the rear before falling insensible from his horse. He died shortly afterwards. He was 31.

1878-Young anarchist Erik Hymdel tries unsuccessfully to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm Ist. People today fear Al Qaeda but in the "Gilded Age" 1870's to 1920's it was the Anarchist movement- the stereotypical men in broad hats and long black coats with smoldering round bombs. They believed that society itself was the problem and if it could be broken down, only then would everyone be truly free.

1894- The workers of the Pullman Railroad Car Company went on strike led by young crusading attorney Eugene V. Debs.

1927- Polar explorers Roald Amundsen, Michael Ellsworth and General Nobile fly over the North Pole in a dirigible called the Norge. They were preceeded by several days by Commander Robert Byrd and Floyd Bennett in a fixed wing Fokker aeroplane. Norwegian Roald Ammundsen had already conquered the South Pole but on this flight he felt useless. He was offended when General Nobile celebrated in Fascist Italian jackbooted, Seig-Heiling style when they got back.

1943- US troops storm Attu island in the Aleutians. Japanese troops had occupied the Alaskan Aleutian archipelago in 1942 to draw attention from the fleet attack at Midway. It was the only US soil under enemy occupation in World War Two. The US forces were the Special Forces/10th Mountain Battalion once known as Darbys Rangers who fought in Italy. Their commander Col Darby was killed two days before the Nazi surrender in Europe.

1945-After the Nazi Germany surrendered the Nazi governor of occupied Norway, Josef Treboven, committed suicide by sitting on a stick of dynamite. When Wile E, Coyote does it, its funny, but Norwegian Nazis? Its messy.

1946- The first CARE package sent.

1948- After World War Two the cooperation between U.S. unions and management disappeared and the nation was paralyzed by a nationwide steel and railroad strikes. President Truman, who had praised the labor cooperation the year before reacted by this day ordering the military to seize the railroads and run them and draft into the navy any strikers who object.

1956 - Pinky Lee Show last airs on NBC-TV

1968 - actor Richard Harris attempted a singing career, releasing the song "MacArthur Park".

1968- The Vietnamese give up their siege of the Marine firebase at Que Sanh. The siege had lasted since January.

1969- In Vietnam the 101st Airborne and South Vietnamese forces began their assault on Hamburger Hill. Originally called the Ap Bia mountain, it was nicknamed Hamburger because of the meat grinder loss of human life to capture it. It was taken May 20th with the 11th assault.

1972 -On the Dick Cavett talk show Beatle and peace activist John Lennon said his phone had been tapped by FBI. It turns out it was, but at the time we all thought he was just paranoid from too many drugs.

1981- The musical play CATS opened in London.

1981- Bob Marley died of brain cancer at age 36. Jamaican Marley and his group the Wailers, made Reggae mainstream in pop music around the world. Ja –Mahn!

1992 - Carlos Herrera, bartender inventor of the Margarita, died at age 90- Margherita was supposedly named for Hollywood actress Margaret Sullivan who wanted to drink tequila and lime but couldn’t tolerate the strong taste. Herrera mixed the tequila and lime juice into an iced cocktail and put the salt along the rim. He mixed a batch whenever he heard the actress was in Tijuana, writing on the bottle- For Little Margaret- Por Margherita.

1992- Elizabeth McDonald, inventor of the detergent cleanser Spic & Span, died at 98.

1997- Deep Blue, a computer developed at IBM, defeated top world chess champion Gennady Kasparov.
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Yesterday’s Question: When designing the character Speed Racer, Japanese artist Tatsuo Yoshida was inspired by an American. Who?

Answer: Yoshida based his design on Elvis Presley in the film Viva Las Vegas. When Elvis raced his sports car, he wore a blue shirt, white straight slacks and a yellow neckerchief.


May 10th, 2010 mon
May 10th, 2010

Quiz: When designing the anime character Speed Racer, Japanese artist Tatsuo Yoshida was inspired by an American. Who?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What are Penny Blacks?
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History for 5/10/2010
Birthdays: Fred Astaire, Sir Arthur Lipton (inventor of the teabag), Nancy Walker, French royal minister Turgot, Marshal Jean Lannes, Marshal Nicolas Davout, John Wilkes Booth (assassin of Lincoln) Mark David Chapman (assassin of John Lennon), David O. Selznick, Ariel Durant , Jim Abrahams, Donovan, Homer Simpson, Gen. Lasalle, Bono

1650- The British take Jamaica from the Spanish. At this time Britons were discovering the delights of a new condiment made on that island- sugar!

1726- Philosopher Francois Voltaire visited England.

1748- English slave trader John Newton’s ship was caught in a violent Mid Atlantic storm and was about to go under. When Newton prayed to God he would reform his life if he made it through this gale, the storm broke. Newton not only stopped his slave trading ways but he wrote a hymn, Amazing Grace. "Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, to Save a Wretch Like Me! I was lost, but now I’m found, etc."

1774- King Louis XV of France died. Before he died he muttered "apres moi, le deluge.." after me, the deluge. His grandson the Duke du Berry became King Louis XVI.

1775- FT. TICONDEROGA- Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen surprise the great fortress in the dead of night and capture the cannons Washington needed to drive the British out of Boston. 20 years earlier the British took huge losses taking that same fort from the French. All the British commander lost this time was his trousers, he was captured in his nightclothes. As Allen and Arnold woke him he scowled: "By who's authority do you do this?" Allen retorted: " In the name of Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"

1837-THE SEPOY REBELLION- Indian troops serving in the British army go on a rampage after they learn that their new rifle cartridges are greased with tallow made from pig and beef fat. To load your gun you had to bite the paper at the end of the cartridge, in effect tasting the fat, which is forbidden by the Hindu and Moslem religions. The British army withdrew the offending cartridges when they learned of the mistake but it was too late. The Sepoy's thought it was a British trick to rob their souls and make them Christians. The mutinying Indian soldiers were soon joined by the Hindu Maharratas and Moslem Moghul sultan. It became the biggest armed revolt ever in the history of British India.

1865- QUANTRILL FELL- William Clark Quantrill was a Confederate guerilla who was so brutal and uncontrollable that the Richmond government refused to admit he was ever in their army. Quantrill’s Raiders raised hell across Missouri and Kansas. One month after Lee surrendered to Grant, he was operating under an alias in Kentucky. Union authorities enlisted a vigilante gang led by Capt. Edmund Tyrell to kill him. Tyrell was as lawless as Quantrill, but he got the desired result. In an ambush near Louisville, Quantrill was brought down in a hail of bullets. He lingered with a broken spine for a month before expiring. He was 27. On his deathbed he converted to Catholicism and left all his money to his mistress. The priest officiating at the burial encouraged people to strew garbage and human waste on his grave. Some of Quantrill’s junior soldiers went on to have even more famous careers: outlaws Jesse & Frank James, Cole & Bob Younger.

1868- Women's Rights advocate Victoria Woodhull declared she was a candidate for President of the United States with black activist Frederick Douglas as her running mate.Advocate of Free Love, Socialism and Spiritualism, Mrs. Woodhull had to campaign from jail where she was placed for distribution of pornography. She not as well remembered as Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady-Stanton because the main women’s rights movement distanced themselves from her outlandish behavior.

1869- THE GOLDEN SPIKE- At Promontory Utah the Union Pacific and the Southern Pacific met, finally connecting the entire U.S. continent by rail. Before this when you wanted to go from New York to San Francisco you had to take a boat to Havana, then Nicaragua, take a mule train through jungle then get a third ship up the Pacific coast to California. The millionaire directors of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific came to Utah for the ceremony. The racing rail gangs had actually passed each other and had to correct a detour of 250 miles. When the rich men were called upon to swing the large sledgehammers to drive in the golden spike both missed and hit the ground -one had a hangover. A workman had to actually accomplish the deed. The link completed an electric circuit to send telegraph news of the event simultaneously to New York and San Francisco. They celebrated by the synchronized firing of cannon east over the Atlantic and west out over the Pacific, symbolically telling the world to watch out! That America was now a continental power that has got its act together.

1893- The U.S. government declares the Tomato officially a vegetable and not a fruit.

1908- The First Mother's Day celebrated, it became a national holiday in 1914. The holiday was inspiration of a lady named Anna Jarvis, who spent the rest of her life trying to keep it from being commercially exploited. She died broke and surrounded by mothers day cards sent from well wishers.

1908- An article in the New York Times advised women to wash their hair every two weeks. The norm for women then was shampooing every three months!

1924- J.Edgar Hoover given control of F.B.I.- Hoover was the third director of what was up until then a small powerless division of the treasury dept that wasn't even allowed to carry guns until the late 1920's. He built up and dominated the bureau until 1972.

1928- General Electric starts up WG4 Schenectady, the first T.V. Station.

1929- Yankee slugger Babe Ruth signs new contract that brings him more money than President Herbert Hoover. "I had a better year than he had" was the Babe’s reply.

1933- Nazis Leader Josef Goebbels holds the first mass book-burning in Berlin. " We consign everything unGerman to the flames." 20,000 works by Thomas Mann, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Freud and Einstein are burned.

1940- THE BLITZKRIEG IN THE WEST BEGAN-Nazi Panzer tanks roll into Belgium and Holland in violation of their neutrality, beginning their massive offensive on Anglo-French forces. This ended the stalemate that existed for several months after the September declaration of war, nicknamed the 'Stitzkrieg', or 'sit-down war'. The French had spent millions building a complex system of underground mountain bunkers called the Maginot Line. The German tanks merely drove around them. Once flanked the bunkers discovered they couldn’t turn their guns around to shoot behind them.

1940- Old Kaiser Wilhelm was in exile in Holland since 1918. He refused to come home on Hitler's invitation because he knew he'd be used for propaganda. He died peacefully that same year.

1940- British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned. Winston Churchill took over as Prime Minister to deal with the war crisis. He told Britons "I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, tears, and sweat." In the 1960’s, a rock band thought that was a great name for a band- Blood Sweat & Tears.

1941- THE STRANGE FLIGHT OF RUDOLPH HESS. Rudolph Hess was Adolph Hitler’s trusted right hand and one of the top Nazis in the German Reich. This day at the height of Nazis power Hess commandeered a Messerschmitt fighter and flew alone to England. He claimed to be on a secret mission to reach Churchill and negotiate peace. Allied leaders refused to meet with him, and Hitler declared Hess had lost his mind. After the war, Hess was sentenced to life in prison at Spandau. To eyewitnesses at the Nuremberg trial he did indeed appear deranged. Historians have always speculated what the secret message Hess was carrying from Hitler to Churchill. In 1991 on the 50th anniversary, historians expected the secret files to at last be declassified, but the British government put them under a new top secret seal for another 100 years.

1963- On the advice of George Harrison and Little Richard, Decca Records signed a new teen band called the Rolling Stones to a recording contract.

1972-Over the skies of Vietnam, Navy pilot Randy “Duke” Cunningham had dogfights with enemy planes. This day he shot down three Mig 21s, and he dueled and shot down the top North Vietnamese ace, nicknamed Colonel Toon. Duke Cunningham parlayed his fame into a career in politics. He became a conservative Republican congressman who built a notorious record of taking bribes. He accumulated Rolls Royces, mansions, and a yacht he named the Dukester. He actually circulated a price list for his vote. Eventually, Randy Duke Cunningham went to prison.

1994- Nelson Mandela inaugurated as first black president of South Africa.

1994- Former children’s party clown and serial killer John Wayne Gacy was executed by lethal injection. Police found 28 children buried around his house. His last words: "Kiss My Ass!"

1996- DEADLIEST DAY ON MOUNT EVEREST- One dozen mountain climbers with their veteran guides and Sherpas are caught on the summit by a hurricane-like blizzard. Pinned down by 100 mile an hour winds and a wind chill of one hundred degrees below zero. They soon run out of oxygen 29,800 feet above sea level. Eight die, two blindly walked off the South Escarpment and plunged 7,000 feet. Two had to have limbs amputated from frostbite. The groups leader Rob Hall called his base camp on his cellular phone who connected him with his pregnant wife in New Zealand so he could say goodbye before dying. The climbers were doctors, lawyers and executives who paid $65,000 apiece, not counting airfare and Tibetan permits. Mount Everest would claim 11 more lives that spring and seven in 1997, yet a waiting list remains of hundreds of people wanting to climb to the top of the world.
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Yesterday’s Question answered below: What are Penny Blacks?

Answer: (From Nancy)- The first adhesive Postage Stamps, issued in Britain with Queen Victoria's head on them in 1840.


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