Sept. 2nd, 2008 Tues
September 2nd, 2008
Quiz: What film had the awesome line- “ The Dude Abides…”?
Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: Considering Sarah Palin’s husband is of Alaskan Innuit (Eskimo) ancestry. Has there ever been a US President that was Native American?
September 2nd, 2008
Birthdays: The last monarch of Hawaii,Queen Liliuokalani, Yang Tsu Ching leader of the Taiping Rebellion, Cleveland Amory, Alfred Spaulding 1850, founder of Spaulding sports equipment, Martha Mitchell, Mark Harmon, Peter Uebberroth, Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Connors, Selma Hayek is 40, Keanu Reeves is 44, Marge Champion-famed dancer who was once married to Art Babbitt and was the live action model for Snow White and the Blue Fairy, is 89 today!
1609- HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEW YORK CITY. Henry Hudson and his Dutch ship "Half Moon" entered New York Harbor. Twenty canoes of Indians rowed out to welcome the strange looking craft. The French under Cartier and English under Cabot had cruised by decades earlier but had not bothered to settle there. Hudson sailed 100 miles up the Hudson looking for China but found just more river and forest. He reported home this "Great River not unlike the Rhine and this Great Natural Bay Wherein a Thousand Ships may Ride tranquilly in Harbor." New Yorkers are proud to point out that while other cities like Boston and Philadelphia were founded as great experiments in religious living, the Dutch founded New York to make a buck. And its been that way ever since.
1666- THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON- started in the bakery shop of Thomas Farynor on Pudding Lane. The Lord Mayor was woken up at 3:00AM. At first he was not impressed.:"Tosh, an old woman might piss it out!" Actually it burned down the city, including Old St.Paul's Cathedral. 200,000 Londoners were left homeless. King Charles and his brother James (James II) pitched in personally as firefighters. After several days struggle it was finally put out. Samuel Pepys climbed up the steeple of Old St.Brides and recorded his eyewitness account in his diary. It was a tough time to be a Londoner because shortly before the Great Fire was the Great Plague. But the great architect Christopher Wren rebuilt St. Pauls and other London monuments into the beautiful images we know today.
1795- Happy Birthday Cleveland. A group of Connecticut businessmen buy a tract of land on Lake Erie and lay out a new settlement. Their agent and project supervisor Moses Cleveland, names the place for himself.
1814- A landing party from the British warship HMS Hermes visited the Louisiana pirate Jean Lafitte in his lair at Barataria Island in the swamps near the Bayou St. Jean. They offered him a captaincy in the Royal Navy and $30,000 dollars in gold if he would aide the British in capturing New Orleans. Lafitte dismissed them with a promise to think about it, then passed on all he knew to Louisiana Governor Claiborne and the American authorities. It was the first warning the Americans had that the British planned to invade in force at the mouth of the Mississippi.
1864- "Luki Lock the Door! The Yankees are coming!" Sherman’s army entered Atlanta.
1901- In a speech Teddy Roosevelt said the U.S. should " Speak softly and carry a big stick!"
1909- On the three hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery New York City held a grand birthday party. Hundreds of ships and public spectacles capped off with Wilbur Wright flying his new aeroplane around the Statue of Liberty. Thomas Edison illuminating the entire skyline with the new electric bulbs- the first time a city was illuminated at night by electricity.
1923- Harold Lloyd’s comedy short "Why Worry?" released.
1930 - 1st non-stop airplane flight from Europe to US –only 37 hrs.
1931-Young new singer Bing Crosby sang for the first time on CBS radio.
1935- A huge hurricane submerged the Florida Keys, killing 443. They didn’t have names yet.
1945- WORLD WAR TWO OFFICIALLY ENDS. The Grand Surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay on board the U.S.S. Missouri. The Imperial Japanese forces sign the surrender documents before the representatives of the great powers. General Douglas MacArthur presided and his normally corny Victorian speaking style seemed appropriate for this historic moment:" These proceedings are now concluded. The most tragic era in human history has drawn to a close. We hope that future generations will not resort to war to resolve their problems."
The only glitch in the ceremony was the Canadian representative signed the surrender in the space reserved for the Japanese ambassador, and MacArthur brought his own pens which he collected back for himself for souvenirs. General Claire Chennault, the leader of the Flying Tigers had an ego almost as big as MacArthur's. He was the American general most under enemy fire, but he was not invited to the ceremony because the top brass considered him a pain in the ass.
1946- "The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O’Neill premiered at the Martin Beck Theater on Broadway.
1963 - CBS & NBC expand network news from 15 to 30 minutes. CBS names a new reporter to star in their broadcast with the title "news anchor" Walter Cronkite.
1964- Ten months after his brother’s assassination, Robert Kennedy resigned his post as attorney general of the United States to run for Senator of New York. Bobbie Kennedy and new president Lyndon Johnson hated one another. Johnson said he felt snubbed by that "Pipsqueak and his Massachusetts Mafia." Bobbie Kennedy referred to the President and First Lady as "Colonel Cornpone and the Little Piggy". Johnson’s decision not to run for re-election in 1968 in part was because he felt he would have to put his popularity up against Bobby’s, the first politician to flash a two fingered peace sign credibly.
1973- J.R.R. Tolkein died at age 81.He once said after completing his Lord of the Rings books-My only regret is that I did not write more...
1985- A team of French and American oceanographers led by Dr. Robert Ballard discovered the final resting place of the HMS Titanic, which sank in 1912. Ballard would go on to discover the German battleship Bismarck, the WWII carrier USN Yorktown and JFK’s ship, the P.T. 109.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Considering Sarah Palin’s husband is of Alaskan Innuit (Eskimo) ancestry. Has there ever been a US President that was Native American?
Answer: Charles “Goodtime Charlie” Curtis, was the Vice President under Herbert Hoover 1929-1933. His grandmother was a Kaw Indian, and he liked to play up his Native American Ancestry for political advantage. He entitled his campaign biography- From Kaw Teepee to Capitol.
Sept. 1st, 2008 Mon
September 1st, 2008
I hope you are having a pleasant Labor Day. In case you are curious "where does Sito get all this stuff?" I thought I'd tell you my current reading habits.
I am working on a new book project on CGI History, so I am reading THE PIXAR TOUCH by David A. Price, SOLDIERS OF REASON: THE RAND CORPORATION AND THE RISE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE and the late Bill Moritz' bio of Oscar Fischinger. I also relax with my Sunday New York Times and Kevin Starr's excellent anecdotal history THE DREAM ENDURES: California enters the 1940s.
Where else could you get a personal anecdote about C. Aubrey Smith returning to his old Cricket Club back home in Old Blighty? ( C. Aubrey Smith was the deep voiced, walrus-mustachioed old English actor, who did roles in many Hollywood films in the 1930s, and unofficially presided over the British ex-patriate commune in Tinseltown.
Okay, okay....So it's not Harry Potter, but I enjoy it!
The Hollywood Cricket Club in 1936. C. Aubrey Smith is the big man in the striped jacket and pipe seated down front. Seated on the far left with pipe is Errol Flynn, and seated next to him is Nigel Bruce. Courtesy of ReidFleming.com
Quiz: Considering Sarah Palin’s husband is of Alaskan Innuit (Eskimo) ancestry. Has there ever been a US President that was Native American?
Yesterday's Question Answered below: What is a Stoic?
History for 9/1/2008
Welcome to Septembrius, After August the Romans ran out of names for the months. Septembrius is from the Roman number 7, March being the first month.
Birthdays: Joachim Pachebel, Gentleman Jim Corbet, Sir Roger Casement, Seiji Ozawa, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Walter Reuther founder of the United Auto Workers, Englebert Humperdinck- the 19th century composer, Conway Twitty, Jack Hawkins, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Yvonne DeCarlo, Gloria Estefan, Mike Lah, Boxcar Willie, Richard Farnsworth, Lily Tomlin,
338B.C. -BATTLE OF CHAERONEA- Phillip of Macedon, with his son Alexander the Great, defeated the combined armies of the independent Greek city states. . The Macedonian victory united Greece for the first time under one rule but ended the citystates individual rule. By this time Athens and Sparta had fallen from their once powerful positions and the Greek states that fought King Phillip were led by Thebes ( the Greek city of Theseus is often confused with the similarly named Egyptian city Thebes) Even among the hard drinking Macedonian warriors King Phillip was considered a partyguy. It was said that night he went out on the battlefield and danced on the bodies of the slain. The elite corps of the Greek Theban army was the Sacred Band, a unit where every warrior was married to the man next to him. This way you are less likely to run away from a battle if your lover is next to you rather than a stranger. The system worked, no one ran, the Sacred Band fought and died to the last man. Gays in the Military.
1159- Pope Adrian IV died. The only English Pope, his original name was Hildebrand.
1642- THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR BEGINS- Charles I of England, tired of arguing with his Parliament over money, religion and legislative power, set up his standard at Nottingham and called for the nobles of the Realm to bring troops to put down his saucy subjects. Charles once said “Democracy is a Greek drollery purporting the foolish notion that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.” The Royal flag was raised in a summer rainstorm and was soon blown down. This date is kind of a symbolic beginning of the conflict. Civil War was not a new thing in England- The War of the Roses, The Wars of Stephen and Matilda, Harry Hotspur, Simon de Monfort, Thomas Wyatt, Monmouths Rebellion, etc. But this is considered by historians the biggest English conflict.
1661- King Charles II introduced England to a sport he picked up in Holland, Yacht racing. Yacght is Dutch for little ship. This day in front of the court the King and his brother James raced each other down the Thames.
1715- French King Louis XIV, the Sun King, died at 76. He said:"Idiots! Did you think I would live forever?" later " Hmmm, I thought dying would be harder." His mistress Madame DeMaintenon once complained to the Archbishop that the king still insisted on sex every day and at 68 she was tired. He replied :"It is all our duty to obey the king."
1730- Benjamin Franklin marries Deborah Regan, the supposed mother of his illegitimate son William. William nursed a lasting hatred of his father for his shoddy treatment of him. When the revolution broke out William Franklin was the Royalist Governor of New Jersey. When Ben Franklin died he left nothing in his will to his son: " It is as much as he would have left me were the roles reversed."
1775- British King George III asks Czarina Catherine the Great for 20,000 Russian troops to put down the American rebellion . She declines but later said:"If I were my cousin George, rather than give up my American colonies I would sooner put a pistol to my head."The British crown did buy mercenaries from the Elector of Hess, the famous Hessians for ten pounds ten penny a man. The elector became very rich exporting his subjects, he received an extra charge whenever one was killed or wounded. Frederick the Great of Prussia charged cattle tax when they were transported over his territory. The Rothschild Bank was founded to handle the expenses. Of the 15,000 Hessians sent to America, only 5,000 returned. The rest weren't all killed, most decided to stay and become Americans.
1785 - Mozart publishes 6 string quartet opus 10 in Vienna
1799 - The Manhattan Company chartered. This was a clever bit of maneuvering by Aaron Burr to move in on the banking trade dominated by Alexander Hamilton’s rival The Bank of New York. The Manhattan Company was proposed as a concern to finance the building of new sources of fresh water. New York City’s mushrooming population was constantly beset by diseases of poor sanitation- yellow fever, typhus. Hamilton ruled the New York State Legislature but saw nothing wrong in building aqueducts. So the company was granted a charter. Deep in the companies boiler plate text was an amendment allowing it to open a bank as well. Much to Hamilton’s chagrin the Manhattan Bank opened. The Manhattan Bank in 1840 dropped it’s water projects and united with the Chase Bank to form the Chase Manhattan Bank. Burr and Hamilton would settle their rivalry with pistols in 1804 but Chase Manhattan is still around today.
1802 – The Aurora, a scandalous newspaper, first accused President Thomas Jefferson of having an 'improper relationship' with his slave Sally Hemmings. “Dusky Sally” was the child of Jefferson’s own father in law and his slave that Jefferson had inherited. When they met in 1786 he was in his late forties and she around fourteen. Friends said they lived together like man and wife for 38 years. The Aurora editor James Callander had also accused Alexander Hamilton of affairs, he called John Adams a “pernicious hermaphrodite” and even made fun of George Washington- calling him “the Dalai Lama of America.”. In August 1803 Callanders body was found floating face down in the Potomac. No murder enquiry was ever made. In 1998 DNA testing of descendants proved Jefferson indeed created offspring with his servant Ms. Hemmings, although outraged Jefferson apologists are still trying to blame it on another relative.
1836- In Jerusalem Rabbi Judah Hasid began to build his synagogue and his reform movement- Hasidim.
1852-The Hot Dog or Frankfurter was invented by a group of butchers in Frankfurt, Germany. It didn't catch on in the U.S until it was served at the opening the Coney Island Exhibition in 1894 where it was billed as a Vienna Sausage. Dog was one newspaper's speculation upon the origins of the meat. It was first served at a baseball game in 1910.
1859- The first Pullman sleeping car train went into service.
1864- After Sherman threatened his last escape route at Decatur rebel General John Bell Hood finally abandoned the City of Atlanta to the Yankees. By now the 34 year old Texas born General Hood had his arm amputated at Gettysburg and a leg blown off a Chickamagua. He required straps to hold him up in his saddle. Yet he survived the Civil War, became a US senator and fathered nine children. Eyewitnesses at this time said while on horseback his prosthetic leg stuck out at an odd angle and you had to duck to avoid being struck in the face by it as Hood rode by.
1870- THE BATTLE OF SEDAN. French Emperor Napoleon III lost his entire Empire losing to the Prussians and gets captured to boot. He had allowed himself to be bottled up in a fortress and pounded on all sides by new long distance German steel cannon. French general LaCroix wrote: " We are caught in a chamberpot and here comes la merde." When it came time to surrender the generals couldn't bear the humiliation so they sent LaCroix out to do the honors.
1885- Mrs. Emma Nutt became the first telephone switchboard operator. At first telephone companies used telegraph errand boys to connect calls, but switched to women after customers complained of the boys saucy wisecracks and rude attitude on the phone.
1897- The Boston T-train opened. First subway line in the U.S.
1901 - Construction began on the modern NY Stock Exchange.
1905-The Canadian territories of Prince Rupertland become the Provinces of Alberta and Sashkatchuan.
1913 - George Bernard Shaw’s play "Androcles & the Lion," premieres in London.
1916- The Keating-Owen act banned child labor from interstate commerce.
1919- Pat Sullivan's 'Feline Follies" cartoon staring Felix the Cat. Felix is the first true animated star, not depended on a previous newspaper comic strip. His body prototype, a black peanut shape with four fingers, will be the standard for years to come and copied for characters like Oswald and Mickey Mouse. By 1926 he was the most popular star in Hollywood after Chaplin and Valentino. Lindbergh had a Felix doll in his plane and it has been speculated that Groucho Marx copied his famous strut. The first television image broadcast by scientists in 1926 was of a Felix doll.
1923- Tokyo and Yokohama are destroyed by the largest earthquake recorded in the twentieth century. 100,000 died.
1928- Paul Terry premiered his sound cartoon RCA Photophone system for a short called "Dinner Time". Young studio head Walt Disney came by train out from Los Angeles to see it. He telephoned his studio back in L.A." My Gosh, Terrible! A Lot of Racket and Nothing Else!" He said they could continue to complete their first sound cartoon "Steamboat Willie".
1932-Mayor Jimmy Walker resigned as Mayor of New York. The corrupt but colorful Walker was a former vaudeville hoofer who wrote a hit song "Will you love me in September like you do in May.?" and flouted his chorus girl mistress at social functions. The man who served out Walker’s term was John P.”Boo-Boo” O’Brian, another Tamany machine politician who was so inept that when a reporter asked who he planned to name as the new Sewer Commissioner O’Brian said “A decision hasn’t been given me yet..”
1939- FIRST CANNES FILM FESTIVAL- The premiere film event in Europe had been the Venice Film Festival but western democracies tired of the bias of the judges for Fascist and Nazi films. For example Walt Disney was annoyed his Snow White, the box office and critical champ of 1938, lost out to Leni Reifenstahl's Olympia. So the little French Riviera city was chosen as the site for a new festival. Two days after opening World War Two was declared and the festival shut down until 1946.
1939- WORLD WAR TWO BEGAN. The Nazi Army blitzkreigs into Poland. Britain and France declared war two days later. Blitzkreig meant Lightning War- heavy motorized tanks and troops moving at full speed into an enemies interior while the airforce destroyed most of the Polish airforce still on the ground. The outdated Polish Army still fought with cavalry. The Nazis propaganda Ministry rigged up a border incident to claim Polish troops had fired first. They put dead concentration camp victims in German uniforms in a plan called Operation Canned Goods. So all through the massive invasion the operation was referred to in the German media as the “Counter Offensive”
1939- Hitler ordered the mentally ill sent to concentration camps.
1939 – The Physical Review published the 1st paper on a celestial phenomena called "black holes".
1941- Hitler passed a law ordering Jews in Nazis occupied countries to wear yellow stars on their clothing for identification. The King of Denmark reacted by wearing a yellow star.
1955- Phillip Loeb was a TV star, playing Papa on the show The Goldbergs on radio and television. But the book Red Channels listed him as a Communist. He was blacklisted and the show dropped by CBS and NBC. This day Loeb checked into the Hotel Taft and swallowed a bottle full of sleeping pills..
1956- Elvis Presley bought his momma a pink cadillac.
1969- Col. Mohammar el Khaddafi seized power in Libya after deposing King Idris.
1972 - Bobby Fischer (US) defeats Boris Spassky (USSR) for the world chess title.
The young eccentric genius Fischer was the Tiger Woods of chess and for a time a pop icon. He would after a few years of fame drop out of competition at the height of his powers and go into seclusion.
1978 - Last broadcast of "Columbo" on NBC TV
1979 - LA Court orders retired TV star Clayton Moore to stop wearing his Lone Ranger mask in public appearances. Paramount was pushing a bad remake the Legend of the Lone Ranger starring Klinton Spillsbury and so wanted the old man to stop competing for the spotlight. But today that movie is forgotten while everyone remembers the TV show,
1982 - Max US speedometer reading mandated at 85 MPH.
1995 – The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame opens in Cleveland Ohio
1998- THE STARR REPORT- The full text of independent Special Counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into the sexual wrongdoings of President Bill Clinton with his intern Monica Lewinsky was released on-line. It was the first major news story reported on the Internet first, a full day before the other media could get it. Twenty million log on’s occurred in one days time. It caused huge internet user jams and sparked a furious response from millions of Americans, all on electronic mail. Americans learned of their Presidents many uses for his cigar and Monica snapping her thong underwear at him. Many felt the salacious details ranked as soft-core pornography but it was sent out without any child-proof guards anyway, championed by conservative politicians who normally cry for media censorship. Pornography publishing tycoon Larry Flynt jokingly offered Kenneth Starr a job.”Heck, any man who could get that much porn into 50 million homes so quickly should be working for me!”
Yesterday's Question: What is a Stoic?
Answer: Ancient Greek Philosophy developed by Zeno. It was so called because he taught his lessons outside on the Painted Porch (Stoa) of the Athenian Agora. Stoics taught that customs and superstitions are unnecessary; Virtue and Morality are an end in themselves, because they harmonized with Nature. That a person could be poor but rich in goodness, or locked in prison, but if your mind was free, you were free. Your self-control can never be disappointed, since things occur as destiny would have it and so it too is part of nature.
Marcus Aurelius and Seneca were Stoics, and it’s been theorized that Saint Paul admired its moral precepts, perhaps he worked some of them into his letters.
Today to be called Stoic, it means strong willed and resolute in the face of adversity.
Aug 31st, 2008 sun
August 31st, 2008
I've been adding my complete resume history to my Bio section. Check it out.
Question: What is a Stoic?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Why do Americans celebrate Labor Day this weekend, while it is May 1st in the rest of the world?
History for 8/31/2008
Birthdays: Caligula 12AD*, Commodus 161AD, Amilcare Ponchielli, Eldridge Cleaver, Buddy Hackett, James Coburn, Itshak Perleman, Van Morrison, Arthur Godfrey, Debbie Gibson, Richard Baseheart, Rocky Marciano. Alan J. Lerner, Dan Rather, Maria Montressori (of the Montressori Method of education), Daniel Saroyan, Richard Gere, Chris Tucker
* Caligula was a nickname. His real name was Gaius but as a child in his dad's army camp the troops dressed him up in his own little uniform. An army issued boot was a Caligae, so they called him Caligula, or Little Army Bootie. As Emperor if you called him that to his face he'd have you killed.
1829- Giacomo’s Opera Guglielmo Tell debuted in Paris. The William Tell overture was heard for the first time- Hi Ho Silver!
1879- THE RETREAT TO KANADAHAR- The British hold on Afghanistan and the Khyber Pass was difficult and dangerous. After a British force was wiped out by Ayub Khan at Maiwand General Primrose reported he was surrounded at Khandahar. Lord Roberts ,or “Lil’ Bobs” conducted his army on an epic march from Kabul to Khandahar under heavy attack on all sides from Afghan tribesmen. Once there he discovered to his annoyance that Primrose had overreacted and the Khandahar garrison wasn’t in any serious danger. Roberts proceeded to defeat the forces of Ayub Khan and later was also victorious in the Boer War. He received the thanks of Parliament and was made Lord Roberts of Khandahar. Even his horse received a medal. Kipling wrote a poem in his honor “Our Bobs”. Roberts was five foot three, blind in one eye and liked to sip champagne while directing a battle.
1887- Thomas Edison patented the plans for a Kinetoscope, his original version of Motion Pictures using George Eastmans new celluloid roll film. Most of the actual grunt work was done by Canadian technician W.K.L. Dickson. He drove himself sick designing, building and improving the device as well as the camera and studio, but Edison gets all the credit. Edison wrote Edweard Muybridge at the time that he doubted the Kinetoscope would have much monetary value beyond the lab.
1888-THE FIRST JACK THE RIPPER MURDER. Then called the Whitechapel Murders. The unique detail was that the Ripper killed his victim Mary Ann Nichols with a simple throat cut, then proceeded to remove her internal organs with the precision of a surgeon. Was the sadist murderer of London prostitutes the syphilitic Duke of Clarence? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle suggested it was a woman, a psychotic midwife. An anti-Semetic issue appeared when a cryptic clue at the murder scene was interpreted by some to think the Ripper was Jewish. Then the message was thought to be a freemasons symbol. After six ghastly killings the murders stopped as mysteriously as they had started. In 1891 an Australian-born abortionist named Dr. Edward Cream was hanged for poisoning a prostitute. As he dropped through the trapdoor and the rope snapped he shouted: "I AM JAC-...!"
1909- A geologist named Walcott hiking in the Canadian Rockies discovered the Burgess Shale. The first fossilized proof of the period before the dinosaurs called the Cambrian Era.
1919- The American Communist Party founded in Chicago with John Reed and Carlos Tresca. This was distinct from Socialist Party tickets. Socialists had been active for years before and around 1912 Socialist Eugene Debs polled over a million votes in his run at the Presidency. In 1945 the CP/USA was outlawed but reinstated in the 1960s. Black militant professor Angela Davis once ran for president on the Communist ticket. She didn’t win.
1920 -Detroit radio station is 1st to broadcast a news program on the air.
1928- In Berlin the ThreePenny Opera premiered, music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertholdt Brecht with Lotte Lenya as Pirate Jenny. Mackie Messer or Mack the Knife is born.
1941 –The Great Gildersleeve, a spin-off of Fibber McGee & Molly debuts on NBC radio.
1946- Looney Toon short 'Walky Talky Hawky' the first Foghorn Leghorn. The character was based on a Fred Allen radio character Senator Clayton Langhorn that poked fun at bombastic Southern conservative politicians.
1948- Disney's 'Melody Time' premiered.
1948- Movie star Robert Mitchum was busted for smoking pot with a blonde in the Hollywood Hills. This would have normally smoked his career but the new postwar outlaw, noir attitude was in vogue and bad-boy Mitchum emerged from jail more popular than ever.
1954- Make a note of it, the US Census Bureau founded.
1964 - Ground is broken for Anaheim Stadium, future home of the California Angels
1969- Former Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano died in a plane crash in Newton Iowa. He had been hurrying home to attend a birthday party in his honor. He was 45.
1972-Russian Olga Korbut won a gold medal in gymnastics at the Olympics. She was the first of the cutsey little 15 year old girl gymnasts with the bright smile to catch the world’s attention.
1997- PRINCESS DIANA OF WALES died after a high speed car crash in Paris. Her Mercedes had been trying to avoid paparrazzi hounding her and her current boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed, the son of the Egyptian tycoon owner of Harrods. The drivers body tested above normal for alcohol and drugs. Princess Di was 36. Britain reacted with an outpouring of grief not seen since the death of Nelson. The rapacious British paparazzi worked overtime to absolve themselves of hounding the poor woman to death. Rupert Murdoch personally flew to London to direct the spin campaign defending his papers. Part of their tactics was to point out that the Queen didn’t make a true statement of regret until the following Thursday, almost a week after the accident. I was in Spain on the day of the crash and the late edition London Evening Standard printed before news of the tragedy had the headline: DI & DODI’S BONKING BONANZA!
2001- The NY Stock Exchange tries to avoid a Recession and bolster growth by getting Michael Jackson and Jerry Lewis to ceremonially open trading sessions. Didn’t work.
Yesterday’s Question: Why do Americans celebrate Labor Day this weekend, while it is May 1st in the rest of the world?
Answer: Samuel Gompers, the head of the American Federation of Labor, lobbied for a holiday to celebrate the American worker that was free of the Lefty-Socialist connotations of May Day. It was agreed it would be nice to have at least one national holiday in between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. So in 1894 Pres, Grover Cleveland created the holiday at the end of August. Then he ordered the army to shoot down striking railroad workers and their families.
Daily Show Obama Spoof
August 30th, 2008
The Daily show did a very funny Barack Obama bio film, borrowing heavily from the Circle of Life song in Disney's The Lion King. I noticed that when they superimposed his face over the baby Simba drawing, they didn't have to change the ears. Enjoy.
August 30th, 2008 sat
August 30th, 2008
Question: Why do Americans celebrate Labor Day this weekend, while it is May 1st in the rest of the world?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Why are the political polar extremes called Lefties and Rightists?
History for 8/30/2008
Birthdays: Mary Shelley, Jacques Louis David, Huey Long, Fred MacMurray, Raymond Massey, Ted Williams, John Blondell, Timothy Bottoms, Jean-Claude Killy, Shirley Booth, John Landis, Tug McGraw, R. Crumb, Lewis Black, Cameron Diaz is 36
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Fiacre, the Patron Saint of Gardeners.
30 BC- Cleopatra committed suicide at age 39. Some accounts have her allowing herself to be bitten by a poison asp concealed in a basket, another said she took poison concealed on a hairpin. It was said she killed herself to join her lover Marc Anthony, more likely it was because the victorious Augustus planned to have her dragged through the streets of Rome in a cage for the crowd's amusement, then quietly strangled. The snakebite was thought by Egyptians to bestow immortality.
304 AD-Today is the feast of Saints Felix and Adauctus. Felix was sentenced to be beheaded when a voice in the crowd called out :"I too believe in what this man confesses! Take me too!" So the Romans beheaded both of them but forgot to get the other guy's name. Adauctus means "That other guy" So it's Saint Felix and Saint Whats-His-Name.
1873- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police- The Mounties formed. Ninety years later Jay Ward invented the Snidley Mounties.
1867- At the University of Göttingen, Albert Niemann isolates the chemical elements of the Columbian coca plant and named the substance Cocaine.
1880- Diablo, chief of the Cibecue Apaches, was killed fighting the White Mountain Apaches.
1935- “Top Hat” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers premiered.
1939- The last peacetime voyage of the HMS Queen Mary evacuated Americans fleeing the impending war in Europe. Among the crowd was a large contingent of Hollywood stars like Bob Hope and Jack Warner who planned to attend the first Cannes Film Festival (postponed until 1946). The Queen Mary kept radio silence across the ocean to hide from U-Boats. This was a wise because her sister ship HMS Athenia was torpedoed.
1945- THE AMERICAN SHOGUN- Gen. Douglas MacArthur lands on mainland Japan as military governor. After the ceasefire was announced, there still was a lot of distrust on both sides, and in the streets of Japan gangs of outraged youths and kamikaze pilots fought loyal troops trying to restart the war. Into this turmoil General MacArthur and his staff flew in alone ahead of any other allied occupying troops. He even ordered his staff to leave their pistols behind to show their fearlessness to the Japanese. He also wanted to get there before Admiral Nimitz and the Navy got there first and stole his spotlight.
In a sight that alarmed his staff as MacArthur drove to Yokohama the road was lined on both sides with 30,000 crack Japanese troops standing silent with fixed bayonets.
They were not threatening but saluting their new Shogun. They even faced backwards from the road not looking at MacArthur, a gesture of respect reserved only for the Emperor.
While the still new Truman administration concentrated on Stalin and postwar Europe MacArthur was left with a free hand to reshape Japanese society as he saw fit. He used the power of unquestioning Japanese social discipline to give women the vote, form labor unions and rewrite their constitution, setting the basis of Japanese democracy.
1963- The HOT LINE is set up between the White House and the Kremlin.
It was never really a red telephone, more a coded teletype machine. It was to prevent misunderstandings like the Cuban Missile Crisis. We know now that in 1973 Nixon had put U.S. forces on red alert war footing to prevent the Soviets from intervening in the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War. In 1980 the Fail Safe system failed and reported 12,000 Soviet missiles were coming at us over the North Pole .Jimmy Carter had 5 minutes to decide whether it was a mistake or the first strike warranting our full retaliation. We're all still here so I guess you know how Carter chose.
1968- The first 7-11 store opened in Palmdale California. Have a Slurpee !
1975- Ralph Bakshi's film "Coonskin". Bad boy Bakshi's portrayal of African-American urban violence was deemed so offensive that it caused the first riot ever at the Museum of Modern Art, and died at the boxoffice. The film was retitled on video "Streetfight". When Ralph resurfaced he turned his attention to Sword and Fantasy films.
1979- President Jimmy Carter claimed that while boating on vacation in Georgia he was attacked by an enraged rabbit.
1980- Willie Nelson released his hit “On the Road Again.”
1983- Lt. Guion Bluford, the first African American in Space, went up on the Challenger spaceshuttle.
1993-The David Letterman Show premiered on CBS. Letterman was wooed away from NBC for 42 million bucks.
Yesterday’s Question: Why are the political extremes called lefties and rightists.
Answer: During the French Revolution, when the French formed their first parliament, the Legislative Assembly, the more conservative royalists sat on the right side of the hall, and the radical deputies sat on the left side. These designations as terms soon became fashionable in England and America.