July 29th, 2008 Wednesday.
July 29th, 2009
Question: What song was not written in the 1900’s? The Pines of Rome, St. James Infirmary Blues. Pop Goes the Weazel, Holst the Planets, Rhapsody in Blue?
Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What song is older? Greensleeves, My Old Kentucky Home, Holst the Planets, The Blue Danube.
History for 7/29/2009
Birthdays: Alex de Tocqueville, Benito Mussolini, Grigori Rasputin The Mad Monk, Clara Bow, Natalie Wood, Paul Taylor, Sig Romberg, Dag Hammarskjold, Peter Jennings, Michael Spinks, Ken Burns, Booth Tarkington, Professor Irwin Corey, David Warner, Steven Dorff, Elizabeth Dole, Marilyn Quayle
1014- Battle of Bala Thistau- Byzantine Emperor Basil II the Bulgar-Slayer defeats an entire Bulgar horde and has all the thousands of captured warriors blinded, leaving every one man in one hundred with one eye to lead them home. When the Bulgar Khan Samuel beheld his mutilated army he supposedly dropped dead of grief.
1030- Battle of Stiklestaad- One of the largest Viking battles ever- King Olaf the White went down fighting the still pagan Norsemen of Demmark and Sweden and became St. Olaf the Martyr. Olaf's method of converting Vikings to Christianity was similar to his uncle King Olaf Tryggvason, which was to sail a big fleet of dragon ships up and down the coast and slay anybody who didn't want to be baptized. But while Tryggvason's death in battle at Svoldr spawned some great epic poems and music by Edvard Grieg, Olaf the Saint's death spawned miracles and shrines and he was canonized a year later. Anxious vikings who wanted to fence-sit in this struggle over religio,n took to wearing an amulet that turned one side resembled the Cross, while turned over became the Hammer of Thor.
1588- The SPANISH ARMADA DEFEATED. The great armada was sent originally to ferry the Prince of Parma's army from Holland over to England. Elizabeth didn't have much in the way of militia so the crack Spanish troops once landed probably could have taken London without too much difficulty. The admiral in charge of the fleet, the Duke of Medina-Sidonia was a replacement for the late famous captain Don John of Austria and the equally late Marquis of Santa Cruz, and he admitted he knew nothing about ships. This day was the BATTLE OF GRAVELINES, largest engagement of the Armada and the English navy under Francis Drake. They pounded one another and after Medina Sidonia discovered he could not pick up Parma’s army he resolved to sail home. The bulk of the Armada was destroyed by a North Sea storm off Ireland. When Medina-Sidonia appeared before King Phillip II, he allegedly replied: “I told Your Majesty I knew nothing about ships!”Among the Spanish sailors was famed poet and playwrght Lope De Vega.
Although this great victory of the British Navy saved England, Queen Elizabeth's budget for them was amazingly stingy. More British sailors died from rancid food than Spanish gunfire. The English fleet had to break off it's attack when they ran out of their meager supply of cannonballs. Spain sent other armadas at England over the next few years but this was the most famous.
1693- Battle of Neerwinden- With the command “En Advance!” the French under Marshal Turrenne attack William of Orange with these newfangled "bayonets", combining the power of a pike or spear with a musket. One of the French leaders was Pierre Montesqiou Comte D'Artagnan, the model for the hero of Dumas' novel The Three Musketeers.
1890- Near the Chateau de Auvers Vincent Van Gogh went behind a hay bale and shot himself. He managed to miss any thing important but died of infection.
1931- George Bernard Shaw traveled to Moscow and met Josef Stalin.
1936 - RCA shows 1st real TV program: dancing,, a film on locomotives, a Bonwit
Teller fashion show & monologue from the Tobacco Road radio comedy show.
1938- Three Missing Links- a Three Stooges comedy with the boys as cave men and Crash Corrigan in a gorilla suit.
1942- Orson Welles leaves Rio De Janiero after RKO fires him and stops production of "It's All True". They also have “the Magnificent Ambersons” re-cut to a more acceptable 90 minutes. This also meant he had to lay off Oskar Fischinger, who was trying to get work from Welles since quitting Disney.
1946- In Los Angeles Jazz great Charlie Parker had learned of the death of his baby daughter back in New York. He showed up for a recording session so drunk and high his producer had to hold him up in front of the mike. Later that night he fell completely apart, ran naked down the street, set fire to his hotel room smoking in bed. The cops had to shake him violently to wake him, he fought with them and they beat him up and threw him in jail. He was committed to the Camarillo Mental Hospital.
1948- Former Disney animation assistant was trying to draw spot cartoons for the New Yorker, while his infant son Dennis played havoc in the other room. At one point Ketcham's wife exclaimed:" Your son is a MENACE! This gave him an idea. Today Hank Ketcham’s comic strip "Dennis the Menace," first appeared in newspapers.
1957-Happy Birthday NASA! President Eisenhower signed the bill creating the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, or NASA to oversee the space program, separate from the military.
1962- The film “Dr No” premiered, introducing the world to the suave spy James Bond 007 played by actor Sean Connery.
1965 - Beatles movie "Help" premiered, Queen Elizabeth attends.
1972- Mamas and the Papa's lead singer Mama Cass Eliot dies of a stroke, not as was widely believed from choking on a sandwich.
1976 -SON OF SAM- Demented postman David Berkowitz committed his first murder in the Bronx. Berkowitz believed his neighbor’s dog Sam was Satan and was telling him to go out and kill. He would point his 44 cal. gun at random at a young couple on the street or in a car and shoot them. As the year went on and he was undetected he wrote letters taunting the police and New York newspaper columnist Pete Hamill. See next entry.
1977- THE DAY OF HATE- Son of Sam Killer David Berkowitz announced in the press that he would kill again on the one year anniversary of his first shooting- the Day of Hate. By now New York City was thoroughly in a panic. The seeming randomness of the killings got under the skin of the usually blasé’ New Yorkers. Nightclubs and discos closed ,women clipped and dyed their hair because Sam liked to shoot long haired brunettes. Even the Godfather John Gotti pledged the services of the Mafia to catch the lunatic. After a tense night nothing happened. Berkowitz was caught two days later.
1981- Prince Charles of England married Lady Diana Spencer. The ill fated fairy tale wedding was seen around the world on live television. Unknown to Di at the time was Prince Charles was already romantically involved with Mrs. Camilla Parker-Bowles.
1987- Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry announce the flavor Cherry Garcia, named for rock singer Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.
Yesterday’s Question: What song is older? Greensleeves, My Old Kentucky Home, Holst the Planets, The Blue Danube.
Answer: Greensleeves. It’s been thought it was composed by King Henry VIII for Anne Boylen, but it goes back before the Crusades, to the early Middle Ages.
July 28, 2009 tues.
July 28th, 2009
Quiz: Which song is older? Greensleeves, My Old Kentucky Home, Holst the Planets, The Blue Danube.
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Why is the rodeo sport of wrestling a longhorn steer to the ground, called Bulldogging?
History for 7/28/2009
Birthdays: Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Richard Rogers, Ibn al’ Arabi- philosopher 1165, Marcel Duchamp, Rudy Vallee. Sally Struthers Peter Duchin, Vida Blue, Joe E. Brown, Jim Davis the creator of Garfield, Frank Yankovic the Polka King and father of Weird Al, Elizabeth Berkley, Earl Tupper the inventor of Tupperware, Hugo Chavez
1586 - Sir Thomas Harriot introduced potatoes to Europe from America.
1588- The English sea captains led by Thomas the Earl of Leicester and Sir Francis Drake were playing a game of bowls when they were told the Spanish Armada had been sighted off the coast of Cornwall. Leicester cooly said:" Come Drake, there’s time to finish the game." They finished their game, and defeated the Armada the next day.
1655- Poet, playwright and duelist Cyrano de Bergerac died in Paris. The famous play about him and his big nose was written by Edmond Rostand in 1895.
1750-Composer Johann Sebastian Bach died. He had suffered blindness in his old age but is eyesight returned shortly before his fatal stroke. Elderly and ill, he one of his final compositions was a chorale prelude: "Come, Kindly Death- come for my life is dreary, and of earth I am weary, etc." He and his wife Anna Magdelena had 17 children,, and 7 more by his first wife. Many of whom became composers Johann Christian Bach, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, etc. Bach’s music was soon forgotten until rediscovered by Mendelsson and others in the 1820s.. Albert Einsteins brother Alfred said Bach’s music" almost makes one want to become Christian."
1788- Master British portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds visited the other master British portrait painter Sir Thomas Gainsborough, who was dying or cancer. They had been enemies for years but now at the end they made up. When Reynolds left him Gainsborough said "Goodbye until we meet in the Hereafter, Van Dyck in our company."
1809- Battle of Talavera. General Sir Arthur Wellesley defeated the French army in Spain and for that was made Viscount Wellington. Sir Hugh Gough, who would later earn fame conquering the Punjab in India, was a major at the time. After Talavera Gough was so grievously wounded he was left for dead. Wellington was commenting to his staff upon his bravery, when to prevent being buried alive, Hugh signaled by pushing his arm up out of a pile of corpses, and waving his hat at the startled Wellington." Uhh..M’Lord, I’m not dead yet…"
1841- The body of Mary Cecilia Rogers was pulled out of New York Harbor. The sensational murder of the “Beautiful Cigar Girl” inspired Edgar Allen Poe to write “ The Mystery of Marie Roget.”
1858- The French photographer Nadar went up in a balloon and took the first aerial photograph.
1896- Happy Birthday Miami! The City of Miami incorporated.
1882- Parsifal, the last opera of Richard Wagner was produced at Bayreuth. As a way to ensure its financial solvency Wagner left instructions to never tour Parsifal but it should stay at Bayreuth. This lasted a few decades.
1932-THE BATTLE OF ANACOSTIA FLATS- Capitol Hill was surrounded by 20,000 Bonus Marchers- poor World War One veterans and their families who desperately marched to Washington to demand help from the ravages of the Depression and their promised back pay. On this day President Hoover's response was to order the US Army to drive them away by force. Gen. Douglas MacArthur with his aides Patton and Eisenhower send tanks, saber wielding cavalry and bayonet armed troops to break up the homeless peoples dwellings. Facing them on the makeshift barricades eyewitnesses saw a black man waving a large American flag and Charles Frederick Lincoln, a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln. These poor veterans and their families had come from as far as Honolulu and no record was kept of how many were killed or died on the walk home. Pres. Hoover was jubilant that order was restored, and the public was jubilant when they voted him out of office later that year.
1945- Congress endorses United Nations Charter. Congress' refusal to join the League of Nations in 1919 help doom that organization. FDR had once confided to a friend that when World War II was over, he wanted to resign the U.S. presidency so he could run the United Nations.
1945-A B-25 Mitchell bomber flying in thick fog struck the 78th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City. It killed a dozen people, including some when one of it's 1,500 lb engines shot through the building and down onto 33rd street. One woman in an elevator had the cables cut and fell 80 stories at 200 miles an hour to the basement. Miraculously she lived. Despite the devastation the building did not collapse but stayed sound. As a result US and World air traffic control standards were stiffened, air traffic controllers finally got the power to order planes down and large planes kept away from flying over large urban areas.
1948- In honor of the death of D.W. Griffith, all Hollywood studios observed three minutes of silence.
1948- The Premiere of that utterly memorable film " ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN." For you hardcore film trivia fans this film is the only other time than the original Tod Browning movie that Bela Lugosi played Count Dracula on film. After this Lou Costello, who was an ardent admirer of Senator Joseph MacCarthy, insisted all his staff sign loyalty oaths. He fired the two writers of this movie Robert Lees and Frederic Rinaldo, over their refusal to comply. Unfortunately for Abbott and Costello they were their best writers. They never had a successful movie again.
1965-VIETNAM- President Lyndon B. Johnson had been wrestling with a problem since June 5th. In Vietnam the war against the Commie Viet Cong was going badly. Strategic bombing of the North has failed to stop incursions in the South and the latest government in Saigon had fallen and been replaced by a group of generals led by Ngyen Kao Key. Johnson had to decide to pull out or expand US commitment. This day, at a routine Friday 12:30 PM press briefing, calculated to not be well attended, LBJ made the announcement that US forces in Vietnam would be expanded dramatically from 75,000 to 125,000- eventually to 450,000 by the end of 1967. What LBJ wasn’t saying was he had now decided that US ground troops would carry the bulk of the fighting. Not just to prop up the South Vietnamese, but to defeat the Communists outright. He would still try to do his Great Society Programs while running a trillion-dollar war that in private even he doubted was winnable. This one decision destroyed Johnson’s Presidency, gave America it’s first military defeat and cracked the thriving post war economy creating recessions and domestic political turmoil for the next twenty years.
1971- Photographer Diane Arbus probed increasingly darker subject matter, circus freaks, severe birth defects. This day she committed suicide by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills, then slitting her wrists.
1987- Disney's early experimental computer animation short Oilspot & Lipstick, premiered at Siggraph.
1998- The Taliban, in Afghanistan ordered mass destruction of television sets. They also forbade the Internet, and shaved the heads of their national soccer team for daring to wear shorts.
1999- Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco declared today Marylin Chambers Day, in honor of the star of porn films like Behind the Green Door.
2061- The next predicted appearance of Halley’s Comet.
Yesterday’s Question: Why is the rodeo sport of wrestling a longhorn steer to the ground, called Bulldogging?
Answer: Famed black cowboy Bill Pickett ( 1870-1932) invented the sport of wrestling steers to the ground. He called it bulldogging after noticing a bulldog bring down another animal at full run by biting it’s ear and pulling it down. So as he got the cows neck in an armlock, he would bite it’s ear too.
July 27th, 2009 mon
July 27th, 2009
Quiz: Why is the rodeo sport of wrestling a longhorn steer to the ground, called Bulldoging?
Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Why do religious groups go naming things Mt. Carmel? Did Jesus have a thing for candy?
History for 7/27/2009
Birthdays: Confucius, Alexander Dumas fils, Enrique Granados, Hillaire Belloc, Norman Lear, Maureen McGovern,, Keenan Wynn, Leo Durocher, Peggy Fleming, Bobby Gentry, Jerry Van Dyke, Vincent Canby, Betty Thomas, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Ilya Salkind, David Swift –director of the Haley Mills Disney films like The Parent Trap
1214- THE BATTLE OF BOUVINES-England loses her lands on continental Europe.
Ever since 1066 there was a technically sticky point of medieval etiquette, because the King of England was also Duke of Normandy, thereby a vassal of the King of France. For years nobody pushed the question. Finally paranoid English King John Lackland had his boy nephew Arthur of Brittany castrated and then killed for fear he would try and overthrow him. King Phillip of France convened a Feudal grand jury over the murder and as his Feudal Suzerain formally stripped King John of Aquitaine, Gascony, Poitou, Brittany, Vexin, Anjou and hereditary Normandy, the so-called "Angevin Empire". King John naturally didn't go along with this and the issue was decided by battle. After the battle King Phillip was called Phillip Augustus, King John's nickname was changed from John Lack-land to John Softsword. The French victory doubled the size of France and cut England off from the continent of Europe. Although the English tried several more times to get back Normandy, England went on to develop her own unique society, instead of being a Norman adjunct. King John even grew to prefer speaking English over French!
1586- Sir Walter Raleigh brought the first tobacco pipe home to England from America.
Columbus had of course brought cigars and other duty-free home years earlier but tobacco was one of the goodies that kept England interested in American colonies after everyone realized there weren’t any more gold-rich Aztec-Inca Empires to plunder. King James I called smoking a filthy and unhealthful habit, but Raleigh persisted. He even paused for a few last puffs before putting his head on the executioners block.
1880-BATTLE OF MAIWAND: The Afghan leader Ayub Khan's tribesmen destroy a British invasion force. Dr. Watson told Sherlock Holmes he was there . One of the heroes of the battle was a little terrier named Bobbie who was a regimental mascot and was wounded several times . He was brought to London and received a medal from Queen Victoria, but was later run over by a London taxi . I guess Afghanistan was safer.
1900- THE BIRTH OF THE "EVIL HUN"- Kaiser Wilhelm II addresses a contingent of German marines about to embark from Bremerhaven to go to China to help in the international effort to put down the Boxer Rebellion. Caught up in the spirit of the moment, Wilhelm said: "Take no prisoners! Kill all those who fall into your hands! As the deeds of the Huns of Atilla resound through history for their ruthlessness, so like the Huns, make the name of Germany live in Chinese annals for a thousand years!" An embarrassed chancellor Von Bulow called it "The worst speech of the year and possibly of the Kaiser's career." He tried to release an edited version to the press but someone leaked the true text. When the Kaiser read the edited speech he said: My dear Bulow! You left out all the good parts!" Germans got the nickname "Huns" for years afterwards.
1914-Austria declared war on Serbia. The first declaration of World War One.
1921- Two Toronto scientists, Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolate the hormone Insulin to treat diabetes.
1921- SHAKESPEARE & CO. opens in Paris. The English language bookshop on the Seine owned by Sylvia Beach was the most famous hangout for the U.S. expatriate intellectuals. Shakespeare & Co. championed writers like James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Carlos Santayanna, Gertrude Stein, Sherwood Anderson and more. After the Nazi occupation the shop was liberated personally by Ernest Hemingway who shot snipers off it's roof. After paying his respects to Sylvia, Hemingway and his G.I.buddies went on to liberate the Ritz hotel and it's famous wine cellar.
James Joyce and Sylvia Beach
1937- The invading Japanese Army enters Beijing, then called Peiping, the former Peking.
1940- HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUGS BUNNY. Warners short-"A Wild Hare”-There were several earlier prototypes of the famous rabbit, white with a different voice, but this is the short that launched his career. Bugs says “Whats Up Doc?” for the first time, co-opting a line uttered by Clark Gable while chewing a carrot in the Frank Capra film “It Happened One Night”. Interestingly enough Mel Blanc the creator of his voice was terribly allergic to carrots. He found he couldn’t recreate the crisp sound of chewing with any other vegetable. So he kept a bucket next to his microphone to quickly spit out the carrots after chewing.
1946- Writer Gertrude Stein dies. Her last words to Alice B. Toklas were:" What is the Answer?" When Alice said nothing, Gertrude said:" Well then, What's the Question?"
1953- THE KOREAN WAR ENDS- The Treaty of Panmunjom. After 170,000 Americans casualties and millions of Koreans & Chinese killed, the treaty fixed the border basically where it was when the war started in 1950. The South Korean Government was outraged and considered it a betrayal, because it acknowledged the permanent breakup of Korea in to two parts. South Koreans weren’t even allowed at the negotiating table. ut America and China were tired of the endless death and stalemate and wanted out. Before the treaty went into effect, South Korean President Sygmun Ree opened all POW camps and let all the North Korean troops who didn’t want to return home, run free. South Korea never signed the treaty so is still technically at war with the North. The two Koreas only started to speak to each other in 2000 and North Korea is hardly in the news anymore…
1953- The Tonight Show debuted on NBC. It's first host was Steve Allen.
1965- The U.S. Government forces cigarette companies to print warning labels on the their packages about the hazards of smoking.
1977- John Lennon got his green card. Richard Nixon considered him a dangerous radical and several times in 1972 he was under 60 day notice to leave the country.
1986- Gregg Lemond became the first American to win the Tour de France bicycle race. He won the final length by 8 seconds.
1993- IBM announced it would eliminate 35,000 jobs. Downsizing becomes a popular sport in corporate America. The more worker careers ruined the higher your stock rose. The chairman of General Electric Jack Welch, was nicknamed “Neutron Jack” after the neutron bomb that kills off people but leaves buildings intact. He now writes best selling books about what a clever businessman he is.
1996- A bomb packed with nails goes off during Olympic celebrations in Atlanta Georgia. One woman was killed and dozens injured. While hunting the bomber, the media decided to focus on an overweight security guard named Richard Jewel. Ironically Jewell was the one who first alerted police to the suspicious package, and tried to evacuate the area, otherwise more people would have been killed. After weeks of merciless hounding by the press, the FBI declared Jewel completely innocent. In 2003 the police finally caught the real culprit, abortion clinic bomber and backwoods fruitcake Eric Rudolph.
Yesterday’s Question: Why do religious groups go naming things Mt. Carmel? Did Jesus have a thing for candy?
Answer: Jews, Moslems, Christians and Ba’hai faiths regard Mt Carmel as a holy place, because the Prophet Elijah built an altar there and lived in a grotto. An order of monks and nuns called Carmelites, was established there.
July 26th, 2009 sun.
July 26th, 2009
Question: Why do religious groups go naming things Mt. Carmel? Did Jesus have a thing for candy?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who was Yma Sumac?
History for 7/26/2009
Birthdays: Salvador Allende, Serge Koussevitsky, George Bernard Shaw, Gracie Allen,Carl Jung, Stanley Kubrick, Blake Edwards, George Grosz, Pearl Buck, Jason Robards Jr, Aldous Huxley, Jean Shepard, Vivian Vance, Emil Jannings, Sandra Bullock is 45, Kevin Spacey is 48, Kate Beckinsdale, Mick Jagger is 66
1533- Athawuallpa, Emperor of the Incas, was executed by Francisco Pizzarro. The Great Inca was captured by ambush at Cajamarca and forced to fill a large room with gold and two of silver to get his release. This was accomplished but Pizzarro decided to kill him anyway as a heretic. Athawallpa accepted baptism out of fear of being burned alive, the Inca mummified their kings and carried their remains around like saints relics, being burned denied you access into the next world. So he was generously garroted-strangled with a twisting stick behind the rope. The Spaniards burned his body anyway. The Inca didn't completely submit but withdrew deeper into the Andes and fought on for 70 more years. Pizzarro became first governor of Peru and lived in Lima where he was run through with a sword during a feud with another Spanish noble family.
1656 – Rembrandt van Rijn declared bankruptcy.
1694- The Bank of England opened on London's Threadneedle Street. It issued the first bank checks.
1757-Battle of Hastenbeck- The Duke of Cumberland, the bastard son of King George II who had defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden, took over a Hanoverian army in the Netherlands. The British general was so badly beaten that he signed a treaty of his own at Klosterzeven with the French pledging not to militarily intervene anymore in Central Europe and even giving up Hanover, King George’s family home. In London Prime Minister Pitt called Cumberland “a Coward and Traitor!”
1815- THE WHITE TERROR- Since the French Revolution, it was that the Royal Bourbon family had learned nothing but remembered everything. After the Battle of Waterloo smashed Napoleon's power forever, restored King Louis XVIII issued his Royal Ordinances, lists of Bonapartists to be arrested. Some like Marshal Ney and General Labedouyere were shot, some jailed, Marshal Brune was lynched, most fled into exile in America where Napoleon’s brother Joseph had resettled the Bonaparte family in Philadelphia. Others fled to New Orleans where for years they defiantly waved the Tricolor flag at arriving French merchant ships. When Andrew Jackson fought British at New Orleans over the roar of the guns French volunteers sang Le Marseillaise at the bagpiping Highlanders, A group of Napoleon’s veterans tried to found a colony on an island off Galveston Texas, but were driven away by a hurricane. One of the exiles hanging around Philadelphia, a 16 year old draftee named Michel Bouvier was the ancestor of Jacqueline Kennedy.
1903 –FIRST TRANSCONTINENTAL AUTO TRIP- Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, mechanic Sewell J. Crocker and Bud the Wonderdog in their Winton Touring Car rode into New York City, having left San Francisco sixty-three days before. They are the first to cross the United States by automobile. They did it to win a $50 bet that you could cross the country by auto in 90 days. Jackson won the bet but spent $8,000 of his own money to do it. He was hailed as the Great Automobilist and his car was put on display bedecked with flags.
1917- The last two-horse street car made it’s final run down Broadway. There were now more automobiles than horses on the streets of American cities.
1925- Exhausted by his verbal battle with Clarence Darrow in the just concluded Scopes Monkey Trial, famed statesman William Jennings Bryan died in his sleep.
1945-The Potsdam Declaration-Truman and Churchill call upon Japan one more time to surrender unconditionally. All the leaders now knew about the Atomic Bomb- including Stalin, who had been told by an American spy Klaus Fuchs. With a tentative schedule of dropping it the first week of August, they wanted to give Japan one more chance.
1945- While the Big Three Potsdam conferences were going on, at home a British general election turned Winston Churchill out of office. He had to embarrassingly leave the conference and was superceded by Labor candidate Clement Atlee, who assumed a junior role in the talks. Churchill used to refer to Atlee as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing”
1947- HAPPY BIRTHDAY CIA ! Pres. Truman signs the National Security Act, creating the CIA, the NSC, The Joint Chiefs and all those other groups that draw unscrutinsed gov't budgets, and tick off all the folks at Air America Radio.
1948- President Truman issues Exec Order # 9981 to the U.S. military to ban segregation. At the time the US Army was more segregated than it had been in 1865 or 1776.
(What's this with Truman and July 26th?)
1951- Charlie Chaplin driven into exile by red-baiters. He was on a holiday to Britain when he learned his visa had been revoked by the U.S. government. He didn't return until 1972. Despite his immense achivements in Hollywood History, when the Hollywood Walk of Fame was dedicated later that year, Chaplin’s name was deliberately excluded.
1952- Evita Peron the beautiful First Lady of Argentina died at age 33.
1953- Fulgensio Batista had suppressed the evolution of democracy in Cuba and ruled as a dictator. This day a 25 year old lawyer and part time left handed baseball pitcher named Fidel Castro with a few followers tried to start a revolt by raiding the impregnable Morcado Barracks. The pathetic assault was immediately crushed and the survivors including Castro jailed. But the event was seen by the people and the world that Cubans would not submit quietly. When Castro was released in 1956 and started his more organized guerrilla campaign he called his group the July 26th Movement.
1956- The Suez Crisis. Egypt's Gamal Nasser, on the anniversary of the exit of King Farouk I (1952) and the declaration of the Republic, nationalized the Suez Canal, which had been run by an Anglo-French cooperative. Britain, France and Israel invaded Egypt, but the war was stopped by the intervention of the US and USSR.
1958- Top US test pilot Ivan Kinchilo was killed in a plane crash. His F-104 malfunctioned only 800 feet off the ground and he ejected , but couldn’t prevent his parachute from delivering him into the fireball of wreckage. Kinchilo has been called the First Spaceman since in 1956 piloted a Bell-X test plane to the edge of the stratosphere. A friend of Neil Armstrong and the Gemini astronauts, many say had Kinchilo lived he would have been an important figure in the NASA Space Program.
1984- Edward Gein died peacefully in a prison for the criminally insane. Gein was arrested in 1957 and sentenced to life for mass murder. Police found his farm in Wisconsin decorated with human body parts and heads in the freezer and in the stove, and the dried cadaver of his mother. His story inspired "Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs".
1991 – Children's comic Paul Reubens aka Pee Wee Herman was arrested in Florida for masturbating in an adult movie theater. The film was Naughty Nurse Nancy. In 2003 he was busted a second time for collecting kiddy porn.
1995- After a year of investigation the General Accounting Office noted that all documents pertaining to the Roswell UFO Incident of 1947 had disappeared or been destroyed. Hmmm.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was Yma Sumac?
Answer: Legendary Peruvian jazz singer (1922-2008), and subject of many crossword puzzles and Scrabble games. Her smooth voice could cover 4-5 complete octaves.
July 25th, 2009 sat
July 25th, 2009
Quiz: Who was Yma Sumac?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who is the Gentleman in Grey? Hint- West End London Theatre
History for 7/25/2009
Birthdays: Bishop Theitmar of Merseberg-975AD, Arthur Balfour, Thomas Eakins, Maxfield Parrish, Stuart K. Hine 1899- missionary who wrote the hymn "How Great Thou Art", Walter Payton, Walter Brennan, David Belasco, Adnan Khashoggi, Imam, Jack Gilford, Illeana Douglas, Estelle Getty, Matt LeBlanc, Louise Brown the first "test-tube" baby-conceived by invetrofertilization-1978
Today is the Feast of Saint James, called San Diego or Santiago de Compostela in Spanish.
325 A.D. The Council of Nicea- The Roman Emperor Constantine called all the Bishops and Patriarchs of Christianity to answer the problems posed by the Arian (Gnostic) Christian sect. The Arrians asked: "If Jesus was God on Earth, then who was minding the store upstairs? And how can you kill God? Maybe he was just pretending to be dead..." They came up with the Nicean Creed (The Apostles Creed) and the Mystery of the Trinity, "One In Being with the Father" If you can't figure this out, some nun would be happy to rap your knuckles for asking.
1570- Czar Ivan IV once more demonstrated why his got the name Ivan the Terrible by ordering mass executions of his supposed enemies in Moscow. This day he had Boyar Prince Viskavati hanged from a gallows and slowly sliced up with knives, allowing him to live just long enough to watch Ivan rape his wife and daughter.
1593- Henry IV, after a long religious-civil war had made himself King of all of France except Paris, which was holding out against him. When he asked why they were so stubborn in their resistance they said it was because he was a Protestant. "Well then," the King said-"Paris is well worth a Mass!" and he converted to Catholicism.
1788- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his Symphony #40 in G minor.
1792- THE BRUNSWICK MANIFESTO- The Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia sent armies invading into France to help their brother-king Louis XVI put down the unruly French Revolution. This day the military commander of the invasion, Charles Willliam the Duke of Brunswick issued a proclamation to the French people that if they didn’t knuckle under to their King like all good little peasants should do he was going to kick their butts! He especially threatened Paris with a "memorable-vengence". This arrogant threat enraged the French people and all but decided King Louis and Marie-Antoinette would be executed. Danton and Marat called for a mass rising of the French nation. The Duke de Brunswick was defeated in battle by rampaging Frenchmen shouting Aux Armes-Citoyens.
1822- General Augustin Iturbide has himself crowned Emperor of Mexico.
1846 -The Spanish-Californios residents of Los Angeles chase the U.S. occupying force out of town a second time.
1871- Samuel Colt patents the "peacemaker", the most famous Western sixgun. The model went into general distribution in 1873. Gunfighters filed off the barrel sight so it wouldn't catch on your clothes during a quickdraw. Many carried it "5 beans in the wheel" meaning while walking, they kept it set at the one empty chamber, so it doesn't accidentally go off in the holster and shoot you in the foot, which might look embarrassing.
Most gunfighters carried it in their belts or a waist high holster. Wild Bill Hickok carried his 1860 Navy Colts backwards in a red sash. The familiar low-on-the-hip two gun holsters didn't become common until cowboys saw them in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show in the 1880’s. Colonel Colt got very rich from his invention, and had an annoying habit of shooting his guns off in courtrooms and restaurants like Yosemite Sam. His private collection of sixguns is on exhibit at the Gene Autry Western Museum.
1871 An electric Carousel was patented by Wilhelm Schneider, Davenport, Iowa
1894-the Sino Japanese War. The Japanese surprise attack the Korean peninsula amphibiously at the Bay of Inchon, giving Douglas MacArthur the same idea 57 years later.
1897- Young writer Jack London went to the Klondike to look for gold. He didn’t find much but did get material for a lot of good stories.
1898- The US army invaded Puerto Rico. Spain had granted the island home rule but America got possession of it in the treaty ending the Spanish American War. It’s been a US commonwealth ever since. Puerto Ricans were given full US citizenship in 1917 and self government in 1942. As of the last referendum in 1993 Puerto Ricans still preferred the status of commonwealth.
1909-THE WRISTWATCH- Frenchman Charles Bleriot flew the English Channel. Bleriot had no fuel gauge in his plane. He knew the rate that his plane burned fuel so he kept a clock in his cockpit to mark the time. But a problem was the engines
vibrations would rattle the clock to uselessness. So he asked his friend Charles Cartier the jeweler to make him a reliable timepiece free from vibrations. Cartier created a pocketwatch that you could strap to your wrist with the clockface showing- the Wristwatch. By World War One wristwatches supplanted pocketwatches as the standard male accessory.
1918- In Russia the anti-Communist White Guards entered Ykaterinburg one week too late to prevent the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family. They discovered the bullet ridden blood soaked room and after capturing one of the Bolshevik agents involved in the murder spread the news to the world of the crime. Soviet apologists for years maintained that the murder of the Imperial Family was done upon the initiative of the local Soviet council under Commissar Yakovlev. But documents discovered in 1989 revealed the murder of Nicolas II was a direct order from Lenin.
1920- The French Army occupies Damascus after Lawrence of Arabia and Faisal's All-Arab Congress government fail. Faisal's son was given the Kingdom of Mesopotamia (Iraq) after his claims to the Hejaz region was trumped by Saudi King Ibn Saud. The French would hold Syria as a colony after World War Two which is why the Syrians have never been very pro-western since.
1927- The Tanaka Memorial- Japanese statesman Baron Tanaka spelled out for the Japanese government a strategy of conquest for the next twenty years, calling for Japan to achieve economic dominance by creating a Greater East Asian Economic Sphere from Korea to Australia. This document was considered by Anglo-American strategists the Japanese "Mein Kampf ".
1934- Nazi agents assassinated the Austrian Chancellor Englebert Dolfuss for resisting Fascist encroachment and having a very silly name.
1936-Orchard Beach opened in the North Bronx.
1940- In Nazi occupied Paris a Gestapo agent walks into the French offices of MGM studios and confiscates the release prints of "Gone With The Wind." They are taken to Berlin for a screening for top Nazis officials. Gone with the Wind was one of Hitler’s favorite movies.
1943- The Birth of L.A. Smog! A newspaper headline from this date mentions a 'gas-attack' of exhaust and haze that reduced visibility to three short blocks.
1943 - Benito Mussolini was overthrown as premier of Italy and imprisoned while the Italian government tried to open negotiations with the allies. Hitler responded by rescuing Mussolini and militarily occupying Italy.
1944- Operation Cobra- The Allies break out of the Normandy beachheads and hedgerows and unleash Patton's fresh Third army into the French interior countryside. Between now and the Battle of the Bulge the German Army can do little more than fall back to the Rhine.
1951- CBS conducts the first broadcast of color television. Still NBC made color tv popular in the mid 1960's.
1953-Chuck Jone's "Duck Dodgers in the 24 and 1/2 Century".
1953- New York City Subway fares rise from 10cents to 15 cents. Subway tokens are issued for the first time.
1959-"The Kitchen Debates" Vice President Richard Nixon traded catty comments with Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev at the American kitchen of the future exhibit in a Moscow Trade Show.
1965 – Folk Music star Bob Dylan was booed off stage at the Newport Folk Festival for using an electric guitar. Alan Lomax the great Smithsonian Folk Music historian got into a fistfight over it and Pete Seeger threatened to pull the electric plugs.
1968-Pope Paul VI published the encyclical Humane Vitae, which set the Church policy against all forms of birth control other than the Rhythm Method. No to the Pill, Condoms and other contraception. This made the Pope a real drag to the Swinging Sixties.
1969 - 1st performance of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the Fillmore East in NYC.
1969 – Senator Edward Kennedy plead guilty to leaving scene of an accident a week after the Chappaquiddick car accident that killed campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne.
1972- The story was broken of the Tuskegee Experiments- that in the late 1940’s and 50’s the US Government did medical experiments on unwilling humans, injecting with them with syphilis and other diseases. The subjects used were exclusively African American men. One went mad and leapt out of a window. President Clinton officially apologized to the survivors in 1993.
1975 - "A Chorus Line," longest-running Broadway show (6,137), premiered.
1984- Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became 1st woman to walk in space
1985- Movie star Rock Hudson publicly acknowledged that he had AIDS.
1990 - Roseanne Barr sings the National Anthem at a San Diego Padre game, joke- impersonating ball players by spitting, grabbing her crotch and screeching during her rendition. It didn’t go over well with the more patriotically minded in that conservative town.
2000- An Air France Concord supersonic airliner exploded on takeoff, killing everyone on board. The investigation proved a piece of metal debris that fell off the previous Continental Airliner exploded one of the Concords tires and the resultant wreckage was sucked into the planes engine. Both Britain and France suspended SST flights for over a year and in 2003 discontinued them forever as being too expensive.
Yesterday’s Question: Who is the Gentleman in Grey? Hint- West End London Theatre.
Answer: A ghost who haunts London’s Old Drury Lane Theatre. When the man, who is reported to be in a XVIII Century grey velvet suit and appears to be looking for his seat. When the ghost is seen it is good luck and means the show will be a hit. The Gentleman in Grey was spotted the opening week of Cats, Le Miserable and Ms. Saigon.