June 5th, 2011 Sun
June 5th, 2011

Quiz: When you order a Cuba Libre, what do you get?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Who first said” Oh What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive?”
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History for 6/5/2011
Birthdays: Socrates, Pancho Villa, Thomas Chippendale -furniture maker, not male strip club owner, Igor Stravinsky, Archduchess Anastasia Romanov, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Dean Acheson, Bill Moyers is 77, Hopalong Cassidy, Tony Richardson, Kenny G., Lancelot Ware the founder of Mensa, Spaulding Gray, Ron Livingston is 44, Mark Wahlberg is 40

221BC - The Chinese poet Chu Yuan drowned himself as a protest of an unjust Emperor. His memory is remembered by the annual Dragon Boat Festival. People decorate boats like dragons and created dumplings to drop into the river to dissuade fish from eating the remains of the poet.

754AD-. Today is the feast of Saint Boniface, who chopped down the sacred tree of Thor at Mount Gundenberg in Thuringia.

1098- After the Crusaders starve the city of Antioch into surrender, an even bigger Saracen army led by Kerbogha the Emir of Roum trapped the Crusaders inside. Things looked real desperate boys and girls, luckily the Crusaders discovered the Holy Nail. But that's for a future story....

1305-"The BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY"- King Phillip the Fair of France makes a deal with a cardinal to help him become elected as Pope Clement V. The cost is Clement has to move the entire Vatican from Rome to Avignon in French territory. The Holy See stayed in France about 150 years.

1455- Poet Francois Villon gets thrown out of Paris again, this time for stabbing a priest in a bar fight. Gotta watch out for priests in bars....

1502- LEONARDO GETS A JOB- This day Leonardo Da Vinci was hired by Caesare Borgia as a military engineer. Borgia was the son of Pope Alexander VI and wanted to conquer Italy for the Church. The artist-scientist Leonardo had promised Borgia he could design horrific war making devices like tanks, flame-throwers and poison gas. Most of these things were impractical for the Renaissance but Borgia used him to map the topography of the lands he intended to conquer. After a few months Pope Alexander died, and the new Pope Julius exiled Caesare Borgia. Leonardo went on Renaissance Craigslist again.

1568- The Spanish Governor of the Netherlands the Duke of Alba invited the Dutch independence leaders to come and discuss their grievances with him. The leaders Egmont and Van Horn showed up, then Alba promptly had them executed. The other leader William of Orange escaped to lead the Dutch resistance.

1605-Battle of Fontaine Francaise- French King Henry IV defeats an entire invading Spanish Army with just 300 horsemen. One of France's most beloved kings, instead of staying in the rear of his army he always galloped into the center of a fight. He had a huge white plume in his helmet. On this day when asked what was his strategy for the battle he replied: "Just follow the white plume!"

1661- Isaac Newton admitted as a student at Trinity College Cambridge.

1805- The first tornado seen by white men in Tornado Alley, Southern Illinois.

1816- The Year Without a Summer- Volcanic explosions in Indonesia and the Caribbean threw so much ash into the atmosphere that large parts of the U.S. recorded winter temperatures throughout the summer months. This day in New England it was 83 degrees, then it plunged to 42, then the following day saw ten inches of snow. Still, Currier and Ives had more time to paint those cutesy sleigh ride scenes...

1854- The US Know-Nothing Party established. It's goal being the restriction of the immigration, especially Irish Catholics. Former President Millard Fillmore became one of their adherents.

1863- It was an open secret that Union commander General Ulysses Grant was a habitual alcoholic. His loyal aide Colonel Rawlins was determined to cure him because he had lost his own father to drink. On this day when Rawlins smashed an entire case of wine given him as a gift, Grant reacted by jumping on a steamboat and going on a two day drinking binge, a nervous correspondent named Sylvanus Cadwallader in tow trying to keep him out of trouble. After two days Grant steps nonchalantly off the boat and soberly resumes the siege of Vicksburg.

1876- At the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, Americans first discovered an exotic new food- Bananas.

1884-Retired General William T. Sherman refused the Republican Convention's call to run for President. He was the first to say: " If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve." The "Hero of Georgia" hated politicians and newspapermen. When military governor of the Presidio in the 1850's he was offered the nomination of mayor of San Francisco. He refused by saying:" I do not feel qualified to enter politics-I never graduated from a penitentiary." Another time he commented: "I have a happy life. The day after I announced myself a candidate for office I would read in the newspaper how I poisoned my grandmother. I never knew my grandmother, but there the story would be, in full lurid detail!"

1915- Britain’s greatest general Earl Horatio Kitchener the Sirdar of Omderman drowned when the HMS Hampshire was sunk by a German mine in the English Channel. The British recruiting poster with the image of Kitchener pointing at you with fierce eyes fixed saying I WANT YOU! was later copied by American James Montgomery Flagg, substituting Uncle Sam for the general. Kitchner was Secretary for War but by this time had lost much of his influence in government. P.M. Lord Asquith was moved to comment "the man makes a better poster than a leader". Traveling with Kitchener and sharing his watery grave was his personal aide Col. Oscar Fitzgerald. Earl Kitchener was not fond of ladies and there was talk that he and Fitzgerald were for nine years… well... let’s just say Don’t Ask and Don’t Tell.

1916- Grand Sherif Hussein of Mecca launched the Great Arab Revolt against the Turkish Empire. We in the west don’t remember Hussein as much as his British military advis3r, a moody young man named T.E. Lawrence or Lawrence of Arabia.

1940- The synthetic rubber tire invented.

1944-In London General Eisenhower received reports that the storm system over Europe would lighten slightly. If he postponed the Normandy invasion any further he risked losing the favorable tide conditions until September. Ike launched the largest amphibious invasion in history with the words: " I don't like it, but I don't see any other way.- Okay, let's go."

1963- BRITAIN ENTERS THE 60'S, BABY...The Profumo Scandal. Sir John Profumo was defense minister, protege of Prime Minister Harold MacMillan and a rising star in Tory politics. This day Profumo resigned in disgrace and brought down the government, when it came out he was keeping a 19-year-old `party-girl' named Christine Keilor as his mistress. She was not only sleeping with married Sir John but was also dating a known Russian spy.

1964 - Davie Jones & King Bees debut "I Can't Help Thinking About Me," The group disbanded but Davie Jones went on to success after changing his name to David Bowie.

1967- The Arab-Israeli SIX-DAY WAR began. Egypt’s President Gamal Nasser sent tanks into the United Nations mandated Sinai Peninsula and cut off Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Tyran. Israel knew the coming war with its four neighbors was imminent. This day without waiting, Israel launched it’s own preemptive strike. Leaving only twelve jets to protect the entire country, at dawn they sent out their entire 300 plane air force to attack the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian air forces on the ground. 400 planes were destroyed in two hours. Israeli commander Ytschak Rabin said by then, the war was already over. The Israeli tank division Ugdah Peled rolled into the West Bank and attacked Jordanian armor near Jenin.

1968- SENATOR ROBERT F. KENNEDY ASSASSINATED at 12:15 AM in the kitchen area of the Ambassador hotel in LA after winning the California Presidential primary. Depressed by the slaying of Martin Luther King in April, Bobby Kennedy had said: "The only thing between me and the Presidency is a gun." The assassin was a Palestinian waiter named Sirhan Sirhan. He picked the one-year anniversary of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War to do the deed. "Kennedy you son of a bitch!" he shouted as he fired two shots into the back of his skull. RFK lingered for a day.

He was 42. His eldest son watched his father get shot on live television and never got over it. He died of a drug/alcohol abuse several years later. Sirhan Sirhan is still in jail today and the Ambassador Hotel has been bulldozed for a High School.

1976- In a wine competition outside Paris, California wines won for the first time. Santa Maddelena Chardonnay for whites and Stags Leap Cabernet for the red. It marks the moment when the dominance of French wines was broken, and California wines went from being a joke to world class status.

1981- The U.S. Center for Disease Control published the findings of scientist Michael Gottlieb on the pneumonia’s of six L.A. patients to be something new called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Cases had been reported as early as 1975 and there is an ongoing argument whether Gottlieb or a French team at the Pasteur Institute discovered the disease first.

1989- Toronto’s Skydome Stadium opened. Home team Blue Jays lose to the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3.

1998- Reuters and ABC News erroneously reported the death of 96 year old Bob Hope. Arizona Congressman Robert Stump announced the comedian’s death on the floor of the House, to the great surprise of Bob Hope who was eating breakfast while watching TV at the time. Bob Hope lived four more years, dying at age 100.

2004- Ronald Reagan, The Gipper, the Great Communicator, The Teflon President, FBI informant T-10, Arrow Shirt model, Forty Mule Team Borax salesman, Hippie bashing California Governor and the oldest living US president, died at age 93.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who first said” Oh What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive?”

Answer: Sir Walter Scott, English novelist and poet. He wrote it in an obscure poem about an Elizabethan battle called Flodden.


June 4th, 2011 Sat
June 4th, 2011

Quiz: Who first said” Oh What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive?”

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Why is a small tent called a pup tent?
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History for 6/4/2011
Birthdays: King George III, Alvah Bessie, Rosalind Russell, Gene Barry, Dennis Weaver, Robert Merrill, Bruce Dern, Andrea Jaeger, Dr Ruth Westheimer, Freddy Fender, Noah Wylie, Rachael Griffiths, Russell Brand is 36, Angela Jolie is 36


1070- THE BIRTHDAY OF ROCQUEFORT CHEESE. Legend has it on this day in the town of Roquefort a shepherd found in a cave some cheese he had been saving but had forgotten about. He noticed it was covered with mold but he was hungry and ate it anyway, and lo and behold, it tasted much better than before...

1249-King Louis IX of France (St. Louis) arrives in the HolyLand on Crusade.

1259- Kubilai Khan, the grandson of the Genghis Khan, was elected council the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. Kubilai then shattered Mongol tradition by dividing the huge Empire into three pieces. His uncles Kaidu and Batu would rule the Mongol homeland and Western section (the Golden Horde) respectively while Kubilai preferred to rule China as it's emperor. In doing this he was acknowledging the reality that the master plan of Genghis for world conquest was unfeasible. The empire which extended from Korea to Budapest to Baghdad was unmanageable and would break up anyway. Kubilai Khan's Yuan Dynasty in China would last. He was the Chinese Emperor who met Marco Polo.

1615- Osaka Castle fell to the forces of Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa.

1647-English troops storm into St. James Palace and arrest King Charles I. While the king had been gently stalling peace negotiations with Oliver Cromwell and the victorious Parliamentary army encamped at Putney, he was in secret talks with the Vatican Nuncio. King Charles promised toleration for Roman Catholicism in the British Isles if they would lend him an Irish army to beat Cromwell. At almost the same time he was promising the Scots that he would make all of England Presbyterian if they lent him an army. His attempts to restart the English Civil War was what labeled him "That Man of Blood" and got him beheaded.

1666- Moliere’s play "Le Misanthrope" premiered.

1717- FREEMASONS- The Grand Lodge of England was inaugurated in London on St John the Baptist Day. This is considered by some the birth of Freemasonry, but many alleged histories claim the practices of the Brotherhood of the Craft go back to ancient Egypt and was brought to England by the Knights Templar in the 1300’s. There is some validity to the reports of independent Lodges already existing in the 1630’s in England and earlier in Scotland. The Freemason movement spread throughout Europe and became an alternative to religion for many intellectuals in the 1700’s. Mozart, Haydn, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Casanova, Voltaire and many more were members.

1789- King Louis XVI was a kindly but weak king who never made a decision without consulting his beautiful Queen Marie Antoinette. But as the storm clouds of the French Revolution began to cover the land the Queen was taken out of the strategic decision making. Her sickly son the Dauphin had died leaving her broken with grief.

1797- English officers in India fighting the Maharatta rajahs pause to celebrate King George III's birthday in their words "with a most ripe debauch."

1798- While Europe was convulsed by revolutions and Napoleon, the elderly ladies man Giacomo Casanova died of old age. He had accepted the retirement post of librarian for a Czech nobleman.

1844- The last Great Auk killed by hunters.

1863- Robert E. Lee launches his divisions from their encampment at Culpepper, Virginia northwards towards Pennsylvania for the campaign that will climax at Gettysburg. Their movements were first sighted by the new observation balloons invented by Thaddeus Lowe. Gen. Custer had already gone for a ride and the concept of lighter-than-air flight had captured the imagination of a young German military observer then attached to the Union Army, a Count Von Zeppelin.

1896-Henry Ford tests out his automobile with headlights in a nighttime drive around Detroit.

1912-The first minimum wage law passed, in the state of Massachusetts.

1916-THE HERO PIGEON OF VERDUN- During the horrific battle of Verdun the Germans had surrounded the French strongpoint of Fort Vaux. The fighting in the underground 15 foot high concrete tunnels of the fort was ghastly, men killed each other with hand grenades and flamethrowers at close quarters while groping through the blackness and gagging at the stench of rotting corpses. The French commander Captain Reynal, his telephone communications cut, sent his last carrier pigeon to get help. The pigeon, despite being badly gassed and perching on the roof of the fort for a little while, got through to the high command. Delivering his message like Phiddipides of Marathon he then fell over dead. Help never got through, and Captain Reynal had to surrender, but the dead pigeon was awarded the medal of the Legion d'Honneur. Go figure.

1916 - Mildred J Hill, one of the two Hill sisters who composed the song Happy Birthday To You, died at 56.

1919- The Women's Suffrage Act passes the Senate by one vote. A chorus of women in the visitor's gallery break into :"Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow". The deciding vote was cast by a Utah senator who wanted to please his mother.

1939- The Voyage of the Damned. The British ship SS Saint Louis was filled with 930 refugees, mostly Jewish families fleeing Hitlers persecution. Up until the war the Nazis allowed thousands of Jews to emigrate, but after the Evian Conference the western democracies announced they weren’t prepared to open their borders to so great a human flood. So the Saint Louis was refused permission to land her cargo of human desperation. The ship sailed from Florida to Havanna to Panama and finally back to Europe where most of the passengers died in the Holocaust.

1940- The last day of the Miracle of Dunkirk. British sea transports and small pleasure craft cross the English Channel and withdraw most of the British Army trapped against the sea. 280,000 British men and 100,000 allies were saved, 40,000 men go into captivity.

1941- While the Second World War raged 82 year old Kaiser Wilhelm II Hohenzollern died peacefully of old age. He refused all offers of Hitler to return to Germany and stayed in exile in Holland.

1942- The BATTLE OF MIDWAY. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto committed the bulk of his carrier force to destroy the American Navy once and for all. Recent research of Japanese Imperial files reveal he considered this step a prelude to the invasion of the Hawaiian Islands, which he hoped would force America to negotiate peace. But the path of Yamamoto’s fleet was revealed by the breaking of the top Japanese radio codes and the American fleet laid an ambush for him. It was a battle of carrier-based planes where the opposing ships never see each other.

The famous suicide attack of TBY-8, was an attack of U.S. torpedo planes on the Japanese carrier fleet without fighter cover. Of 51 planes, 47 were shot down by faster more agile Zeros. But while the zeros were on deck getting refueled and rearmed a cloud of screaming Dauntless divebombers dropped out of the sky and blew Yamamotos four best aircraft carriers to bits- The Akagi, Hiryu, Soryu and Kaga. One American carrier the Yorktown was sunk.

The Japanese fleet would never mount an attack of this size again. Its defeat was seen by the U.S. Navy as the turning point of the Pacific War.

1942- Capitol Records opened for business.

1944- Original date for the D-Day Normandy Invasion. It was postponed until there was better weather. If the allies waited too long the tides would not be this good again until September.

1944- American armies at last enter Rome. An Allied beachhead had been established at Anzio last February only a few miles away and scouts had reported the Eternal City wide open, but the American generals Lucas and Clark hesitated until the Germans could bring up reinforcements and bog them down for weeks. But this day they entered the city to the cheers of the populace. A G.I. cartoonist named Vinny solicited laughs from the troops by appearing on Mussolini’s balcony on the Via Del Corso and doing a mock interpretation of Il Duce.

1947- The film "A Miracle on 34th St." opened. Starring Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwen and 8 year old Natalie Wood.

1951- The Supreme Court upholds the anti-Communist Smith Act. This act stated you could be fired from your job or jailed even on a suspicion that you were a communist, no proof required.

1951- Tony Curtis married Janet Leigh. Besides proving Tony wasn’t gay, the result was to produce Jamie Leigh-Curtis.

1965- The Rolling Stones release the single "Satisfaction".

1967- The television show "The Monkees" win the Emmy award for Best Comedy.
go figure... The producers of the Pre-Fab Four raise enough money and clout to fund later projects like the hit movie Easy Rider. This same ceremony saw Bill Cosby become the first African-American to win an Emmy, this for his role in the series I-Spy.

1972- UCLA political science teacher and black militant Angela Davis was acquitted of all charges of conspiracy and kidnapping by an all white jury in San Jose. Davis was arrested not for anything she did but just for her vocal support of more violent members of the Black Power movement. Her case, like almost all these kind of cases in the 60’s became a national cause-celebre. In 1980 Angela Davis ran for vice president as a candidate for the American Communist Party.

1977- The Apple II went on sale. It became the Model T of the cyberworld, the first successful mass marketed personal computer.

1989-THE TIENAHMEN SQUARE MASSACRE. Chinese army troops loyal to Deng Zhao Peng crush the student democracy movement in the center of Bejing. The demonstrations started around a funeral for Hu Yao Bang, a party premier who was ousted for his liberal democratizing policy. The crowds gathered in strength and militancy, students joined by workers and soldiers.

There was a hope China’s ruling regime would fall to a "people-power" type revolution that had overthrown Marco’s Philippines and the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe. But Premier Deng brought in soldiers from the rural provinces and brutally cracked down.

No figures of total casualties exist but the figure ten thousand is thrown around as conservative. Incidentally this incident probably was the beginning of the world popularity of CNN news. Despite threats from commissars correspondent Mike Chinoy remained at his post and continued to broadcast when all other news teams had fled. Deng Zhao Ping’s name was a pun on the word for "little bottle" so people showed their resistance by smashing dozens of small bottles out on the street.

1990- The New York Daily News quietly discontinued its long running comic strip Ching Chow. Besides being ethnically offensive, the little one panel strip of a stereotype Chinese man with a long hair queue saying silly Confucian platitudes, also was the source of racetrack and numbers racket tips.

2003- Martha Stewart, the self-made millionaire leader of a home recipe empire, was indicted for insider trading.

2004- THE HOMEMADE TANK- In the small town of Granby Colorado, a muffler salesman named Jim Heemeyer got so annoyed at the town, that he welded iron plates on to a large bulldozer to create a kind of homemade tank. While policemen fruitlessly shot at his tank, he razed to the ground most of the public buildings before shooting himself. If you can’t fight City Hall, bulldoze it.

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Yesterday’s Question: Why is a small tent called a pup tent?

Answer: During the Civil War, Inspector General Motgomery Meigs made the little tents standard Army issue. He was riding by a line of tents of an Iowa regiment, when they let him know what they thought of their new enclosures by sticking their heads out and barking like dogs. Everyone thought it was pretty funny, and began calling the tents doggie or puppy tents, later pup tents.


June 3, 2011 friday.
June 3rd, 2011

Quiz: Why is a small tent called a pup tent?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: Which one of these German expatriate Hollywood directors was a real German Junker, i.e. nobleman? Erich von Stronheim, Otto Preminger, Frank Tashlin, Billy Wilder, Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink)
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History for 6/3/2011
Birthdays: John Paul Jones, Jefferson Davis, Josephine Baker, King George V, Henry Shrapnel, Allen Ginsburg, Collen Dewhurst, Alain Renais, Curtis Mayfield, Paulette Goddard, Maurice Evans, Jack Oakey, Jan Peerce, Zoltan Korda, John Dykstra, Tom Arnold, Hale Irwin, Chuck Barris, Tony Curtis

1579- Sir Francis Drake, his ship the Golden Hind parked in Drake's Bay or Anchor Bay or wherever, claims California for England. He calls it Nova Albion. Early explorers thought North and South America was one big island. Magellan had found the way around the southern tip. Drake repeated Magellan's route around South America to attack Panama and the Peruvian treasure fleet. After which he sailed north trying to find the northern end of the island so he could sail around the top to get back into the Atlantic. By Mendocino California Drake realized that this was one big mother of an island and it would be wiser to turn around and go home another way. The Northwest Passage isn't discovered until Canadian icebreaker does it in 1958.

1778- MOTHER ENGLAND OFFERS A DEAL- After the French, Dutch and Spanish decide to intervene in the American Revolution, and pile on Britain, The British Government under Lord North offered the rebellious American colonies all of their grievances, taxation, seats in Parliament. Everything short of full independence. The Continental Congress says too late, you're dealing with a separate country now.

1779- British General Sir Henry Clinton had a problem. He had just captured Charleston South Carolina and accepted the surrender of the largest number of American rebels- 4000, as many as his own army. Now orders from London were to leave Lord Cornwallis with a force to subdue the South and return to New York. But what about the prisoners? Today Clinton published an edict that all rebels who take an oath of loyalty to the Crown will be released. His subordinate grumbled:” Sir Henry doesn’t understand that these rebels swallow an oath to their King then an oath to their Congress with the same ease his Lordship swallows a plate of poached eggs!”

1800- President Adams arrived in the Washington D.C. area and took up residence at the Union Tavern in Georgetown while waiting for construction to be completed on the Executive Mansion, later called the White House. First Lady Abigail Adams and her suite got lost in the forest coming from Baltimore.

There were only then three thousand residents in DC, one fifth were slaves. Pennsylvania Avenue was “wide morass confused with alder bushes”. The only way to understand where the avenues were from the wooden pegs sticking in the mud. Secretary to the British Ambassador Augustus John Forster wrote to London forlornly that he was losing his sanity in this “absolute sepulchre, this rural hole.”

1846- General Stephan Kearny with his Army of the West forming in Texas received orders from Washington to invade Mexican Alta-California.

1851- The American clipper ship Flying Cloud began her maiden voyage from Sandy Hook New York. She was so fast she could sail from New York around South America to San Francisco in 89 days, making her the most celebrated Yankee merchant ship and with the British Cutty Sark the subject of numerous model boat kits.

1864- BATTLE OF COLD HARBOR- The Civil War battles between Robert E. Lee and Ulysses Grant had settled into something resembling the trench warfare of World War One. This day General Grant, mistakenly believing Lee was abandoning his impregnable Petersburg defense lines, launched huge frontal attacks near Cold Harbor.

Seven thousand men were cut down in 20 minutes. Before rising from their fortifications to the attack, Union men wrote their names on pieces of paper and pinned them to their shirts so their bodies could later be identified. One Massachusetts private wrote in his journal: "June 3rd. I was killed today." He went out and was indeed killed. By the third assault the Yankee army was near mutiny. A captain reacted to the order to attack: "I won't go back out there if Christ Almighty himself came down and ordered me to!"

In two months battle Grant had lost 20,000 men, more than Lee had in his entire army. The newspapers started to call him “the Butcher”. But Grant knew if he held on, he would defeat the Confederacy, if only by sheer weight of numbers. Still, for the rest of his life he regretted his attack at Cold Harbor.

1875- Harper's Weekly Newspaper reported the Kansas Pacific Railroad was bowing to editorial pressure from back east and would no longer allow it's passengers to shoot at buffalo from their moving trains. It had become quite a tourist attraction.

1885- Feast of the Martyrs of Uganda- Ugandan king Mwanga got angry that too many Christian missionaries were running around his kingdom. One of the royal pages who had been converted even had the audacity to baptize Mwanga's son Kizito. So he ordered dozens of them burnt alive or chopped up. His chief steward Joseph said as he perished:" Mwanga has condemned me without cause, but tell him I forgive him from my heart."
Mwanga's persecution stopped when the British invaded later that year and turned Uganda into a colony until 1956.

1888-The poem: "Casey at the Bat" by Edward Lawrence Thayer published in the San Francisco Examiner.

1898- While Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders waited at Tampico Florida to embark for Cuba, an interesting meeting occurred. One of the U.S. army’s commanders was an ex-Confederate general named Fighting Joe Wheeler. Wheeler encountered another elderly retired rebel General James Longstreet. The two joked about Jubal Early, a hotheaded comrade of theirs. Longstreet said: “Joe, I hope I die before you do, because I want to get to Hell in time to hear Jubal Early curse you for wearing that pretty Blue Uniform !!”

1923- Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini gave Italian women the right to vote.

1924- THE FIRST D.J.- Moses Baritz, working for the BBC affiliate in Manchester England, started a radio program where he spun classical records and chatted in-between song cuts, inventing the Disc Jockey format.

1924- Writer Franz Kafka died in Keirling Austria. He left instructions to
Friends to burn all his unfinished manuscripts including the Trial, but
fortunately his friends did not.

1929- Movie stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr married Joan Crawford.

1928- General Chang Tso Lin was one of the last Chinese warlords to give in to the ascendant Kuomintang Nationalist front led by Chiang Kai Shek. Chang yielded his control of Peking to the Kuomintang and went into retirement . But soon after boarding a train to Manchuria he was killed by a bomb. It was blamed on Japanese agents but no one is sure. The intrigue and internal chaos of the time inspired several films and novels like Shanghai Express, the Bitter Tea of General Yen and Lost Horizons.

1937- King Edward VIII of England had abdicated his throne over his affair with American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Now as Duke of Windsor, he and Wally were married this day.

1939- Movie director Alexander Korda married movie star Merle Oberon.

1942- Japanese planes bomb Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, part of Alaskan territory. This attack was supposed to be the feint drawing attention from the main Japanese attack at Midway Island.

1943- First Day of the ZOOT SUIT RIOTS- In Los Angeles Navy and Marine servicemen awaiting embarkation to the Pacific battlegrounds clashed with Hispanic gangs. Truckloads of off-duty servicemen return to town to enlarge the fight. The servicemen would choose who to beat up based on whether they were wearing a zoot-suit. They beat up two 13 year olds sitting in a theater watching a movie. Downtown L.A. becomes an urban war zone for several days.

1944- Nazi meteorologists in Norway predict a storm system over Europe to last all week. German High Command was sure an invasion of Europe was imminent but that Eisenhower would need at least 4 days of good weather to launch an attack. The original date for D-Day was supposed to be tomorrow June 4th but this night Eisenhower canceled the go-ahead until June 6th. The tides would never be this favorable again until September. Field Marshal Rommel, deciding there would be no invasion that week, goes home to Germany for conferences and his wife's birthday, June 6th.

1946- THE BIKINI went on sale. Parisian designer Jacques Castel invented the two piece women’s bathing suit. Named the Bikini for the Atomic test in the Bikini islands Castel said it would "hit the fashion world like an atomic bomb". The first model to wear it was a stripper, because the regular fashion models refused to parade around in 'Castel's flimsy straps'.

1946- A consumer study finds there are only 10,000 television sets in America.
A follow up study five years later finds the number at 12 million.

1948- The Hale telescope at the Mount Palomar Observatory in California dedicated. The 200 inch mirror had taken 11 years to polish and the observatory two decades to build. Called the “Giant Eye” it gave us out first looks at nebulae, black holes and doubled our depth perception of the size of the Universe.

1949 - Dragnet is 1st broadcast on radio ( KFI in Los Angeles ). Creator Jack Webb wanted to capture the dry, non-theatrical delivery he heard real cops use. He ordered his actors to “stop acting, just read the lines”. Webb wrote the scripts from real LAPD cases and starred as well.

1965- Edward White becomes the first American to walk in space in Gemini VII. Cosmonaut Sergei Leonov walked in space several years earlier.

1967 - Aretha Franklin's "Respect" reaches #1. Sockittome, sockittome, sockittome.

1968- Artist Andy Warhol was shot in the gut three times by Valerie Solanas, author of the "SCUM Manifesto". Warhol barely lived. Solanas was institutionalized.

1971- The First artificial gene created.

1976 –Galileo-Galileo Fig-a-ro! Queen's single "Bohemian Rhapsody" goes gold.

1980- President Jimmy Carter announced the United States would boycott the 1980 summer Olympic Games in Moscow because of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. The Russians boycotted the LA Olympics in 1984 and left Afghanistan in 1989.

1982- Schlomo Argov, Israeli ambassador to Britain, was shot outside of a London Hotel. Tensions had been building up between Israel and the Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Org. based in South Lebanon. Defense minister Arial Sharon planned an invasion of Lebanon, and was waiting for one more incident to spark it off. In the cabinet meeting over the killing, Mossad tried to point out that the assassin was identified as an Abu Nidal terrorist, who were enemies of the PLO. Prime Minister Menachem Begin waved them off.” They are all PLO”. The Israeli tanks rolled two days later. The War in Lebanon dragged on for twenty years, splintering Israeli opinion.

1986- Attorney Roy Cohn was disbarred by a federal appellate court. It was a symbolic act because Cohn would soon be dead of HIV/AIDS. In his career Cohn had prosecuted the Rosenbergs, helped Sen Joe McCarthy in his anti-Communist witchhunts and defended Mafia dons like John Gotti. Despite being gay himself, one of Cohn’s last acts was to lobby New York State legislators from his deathbed to defeat a Gay Rights Bill.
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Yesterday’s Quiz- Which one of these German expatriate Hollywood directors was a real German Junker, i.e. nobleman? Erich von Stronheim, Otto Preminger, Frank Tashlin, Billy Wilder, Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink)

Answer: Frank Tashlin’s original name was Franz Friederich Von Taschlein. The family lived in New Jersey and changed it in 1917 because of the anti-German sentiment from World War I.


June 2, 2011 thur
June 2nd, 2011

Quiz- Which one of these German expatriate Hollywood directors was a real German Junker, i.e. nobleman? Erich von Stronheim, Otto Preminger, Frank Tashlin, Billy Wilder, Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink)

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Why is D-Day called the Longest Day?
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History for 6/2/2011
Birthdays: John Randolph, The Marquis DeSade, Martha Custis Washington, Thomas Hardy, Hedda Hopper, Sir Edward Elgar, Johnny Weismuller, Charlie Watts, Disney animation story artist Dick Heumer, Lotte Reinniger Marvin Hamlisch, Barry Levinson, Jon Peters, Dana Carvey, Garo Yepremian, Jerry Mathers the Beaver of the old TV show Leave it to Beaver is 67, Dayvid Haysbert is 57, Lasse Halstrom is 65

303AD-Martyrdom of St. Elmo. This guy has to win the endurance record. The Emperor Diocletian had him starved, beaten with clubs, flogged with lead balled whips, rolled in tar and set on fire, roasted again in an iron chair, and he finally died after having his intestines wound out around a windlass. He is the patron saint of seafarers. When the blue electrical phenomenon appeared on ship's masts during a storm, it is called "St. Elmo's Fire".

1453-At Breslau, Papal Legate John of Capistrano presided over the torture of six Jews. After they confessed to Jewish practices, he had them burned at the stake. After John died the Protestants dug up his bones and threw them to their dogs. John was canonized San Juan Capistrano in 1690. A century later Franciscan monk Fra Junipero Serra named the picturesque little mission in California after him. And the swallows do migrate there.

1502- 30 year old Caesar Borgia had conquered most of central Italy in the name of his father Pope Alexander VI. He attacked the town of Faenza that was stoutly defended by Astorre Manfredi and his brother. Caesar Borgia offered them generous terms and after the surrender treated the Manfredi Brothers quite courteously, until they got back to Rome where he clapped them in a dungeon. This day the bodies of the Manfredi Brothers were found floating in the Tibur.

1533- Pope Paul III banned the enslavement of Indians in the New World. Whether anybody listened to him is another matter.

1763- At the British Fort Michilimackinac near Lake Superior some Sauk and Chippewa Indians were playing lacrosse. While the British sentries were engrossed in the ball game Indian women gathered near the forts’ open gates. When one player hurled the ball up over the wall as a signal the women tossed concealed knives and tomahawks to the players who rushed the fort and massacred its garrison.

1780- THE GORDON RIOTS- Lord Gordon organized a public demonstration against a pending bill granting toleration of Roman Catholic worship in England. The mob marched on Parliament where went goes berserk and looted London for a week. Lord Gordon became the last nobleman executed in the Tower of London and Parliament passed the Riot Act. But his tactics scared Parliament from passing the bill. The Catholic Emancipation Bill would not be passed until 1834. From then on whenever an unruly crowd won't disperse shortly before the Authorities start shooting and clubbing people, they first read them aloud the Riot Act.

1781- Thomas Jefferson was a great American statesman and thinker, but he was not much at military matters. This day, he sighted the rampaging British Army approaching his mountaintop home of Monticello. He galloped away for his life, abandoning his household. The redcoats respected his home, but burned his barns and liberated 200 of his slaves. As Governor of Virginia Jefferson had compromised his states defenses when he refused to enlist Black soldiers in the Virginia militia, to make up the manpower lost to Washington’s army up north. In the mean time Royalist governor Lord Dunmore was offering freedom for slaves who fought under the King’s colors. Jefferson resigned as governor and nine days later, fellow Virginian Patrick Henry convened a committee to investigate Jefferson’s incompetence while in office.
Years later in 1820 when elderly Thomas Jefferson presided over a commemoration of Andrew Jackson’s victory over the British at New Orleans, Jackson cruelly joked: “Well I’m glad to see the old gentleman got up enough courage to even remember a Battle !”

1886- President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in a White House ceremony. She was the daughter of his former law partner and Cleveland became her legal guardian after his death. Despite her being half his age and his earlier reputation for fathering cxhildren out of wedlock they were much in love and she especially charmed the American public. At age 21 she became the youngest woman to be First Lady. Songs were written for her and their first baby was honored with a candy bar- the Baby Ruth.

1896- Gugielmo Marconi took out a patent on wireless broadcasting - radio.
At the time his device could be heard from almost 12 miles away !

1920- Eugene O’Neill won a Pulitzer Prize for his first play Beyond the Horizon.

1924- Congress grants U.S. citizenship to all American Indians, whether they wanted it or not.

1928 - Velveeta Cheese invented.

1928- Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek recaptured the city of Peking (Beijing) from warlord Chiang Zhou Lin, called the Old Marshal.

1940-Will Eisner's "The Spirit" comic first appears.

1941- Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig's disease at age 38.

1952 - Maurice Olley of General Motors began designing the Corvette.

1952- Queen Elisabeth II of England crowned. The date was set by meteorologists who predicted it would be one of the few days that year that would have bright sunshine. And-you guessed it... it rained all day. It was also the first Royal Coronation to be seen on television.

1956- Elvis Presley introduced his song “ You Ain’t Nothin But a Hound Dog” on the Milton Berle TV show.

1958- An L.A. referendum allowed the county to buy Chavez Ravine from its inhabitants to build Dodger Baseball Stadium.

1961- Humorist writer George F. Kaufman died. He wanted on his headstone:
"Over My Dead Body!"

1973- London animator Richard Williams closed down his Soho studio for a month so his staff could be lectured by Disney legend Art Babbitt. The notes from these lectures have been xeroxed and rexeroxed and have become the most famous unpublished animation manual of all time.

1996- Roy Coombs, who took over the job as host of the TV game show Family Feud after Richard Dawson, hanged himself with his bed sheets at Glendale Adventist Hospital.

1999- Pope John Paul II blessed the new Vatican Parking garage!

2003- One secret to the American victory in Iraq was Saddam’s army heeded an appeal from the invaders not to resist and they would be taken care of. After the victory the occupation authority announced the Iraqi Army would be disbanded and all career soldiers lost their pensions and benefits. Today thousands of unemployed Iraqi soldiers demonstrated in front of American Occupation Headquarters in Baghdad demanding to be paid. It is the first time a defeated army demanded wages from their opponent.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is D-Day called the Longest Day?

Answer: Field Marshal Rommel, the German commander of the Atlantic defenses, wrote in a strategic analysis of the situation: ..”the first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive. For the Allies as well as us, it will be the longest day of the war.”


June 1st, 2011 weds
June 1st, 2011

Quiz: Why is D-Day called the Longest Day?

Yesterday’s Quiz: Who were Mary Dyer and Anne Hutchison and why are they considered heroes of the Quaker Faith?
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History for 6/1/2011
Welcome to June, from Iunius, the month of Juno, queen of the Roman gods.

Birthdays: Brigham Young, Marilyn Monroe would be 85, Pat Boone, Mikhail Glinka, Red Grooms, Karl Von Clausewitz, Andy Griffith, Morgan Freeman is 74, Nelson Riddle, Lisa Hartman, Cleavon Little, Frederica Von Stade, Powers Booth, Rene Aubergjenois, Lisa Hartman, Brian Cox is 65, Heidi Klum is 38, Josef Pujol *

*Pujol was famous throughout late Victorian Europe as Le Petomane- The Fartiste- who could fart musical melodies and snuff candles at great distances. He performed concerts for crowned heads that he would finish by farting La Marseillaise.

193 AD- Roman General Septimius Severus defeated his rival for the Empire Pescennius Niger “Black Pescennius”, massacred his family, and carried his head around on a spear. Septimius used the corpse of another rival as a doormat to his tent to wipe his feet on.

1098- Antioch near Beirut captured by the warriors of the First Crusade.

1660- Boston Puritans had passed a law that preaching any religion other than that accepted by the Massachusetts Bay Puritan group was heresy and forbidden. When Quaker Mary Dyer refused to cease, leave or recant her views she was hanged this day. Her death and that of another Quaker Anne Hutchinson shocked the colonies so that soon after the King Charles II of England issued an order forbidding hanging for heretical preaching.

1792- Kentucky Statehood. The lands of Kentucky were claimed at one point to be part of Virginia, claimed by Spain and groups of leathershirts (frontiersmen) even talked of founding an independent state called the Kingdom of Yazoo.

1795- The Glorious First of June. The British Channel fleet under Admiral Black Dick Howe attacked a French grain convoy in the Atlantic. They defeated the French escort fleet, but the grain transports got away safely.

1813- In battle with a British warship, HMS Leopard, dying Captain Lawrence, of the U.S.S. Chesapeake, cried:" Don't Give Up the Ship!" They don't, but he died anyway.

1847- Utopian evangelist John Humphrey Noyes inaugurated a Free-Love commune at Putney, Vermont. It later moved to Oneida New York. Gimme that Old Time Religion!

1876- Eighteen-year old Milton Hershey opened his first candy store. Hershey's goes on to become the largest candy maker in the U.S. The Hershey’s chocolate kiss is so named because the machine that creates the candy looks like it is kissing the conveyor belt.

1880 - 1st pay telephone installed; this one in a bank.

1931- Swiss artist Albert Hurter joined the Disney staff, giving the look of cartoons like Snow White a more Germanic storybook look.

1933 - Charlie Chaplin wed actress Paulette Goddard

1936 - "Lux Radio Theater" moved from NYC to Hollywood.

1939- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUPERMAN- Joe Seigel and Jerry Shuster, two aspiring cartoonists in High School create a character called “Superman”. Jewish kids, they had read about the Nazis racial concept of the Aryan Superman. They wanted to show a Superman could be on the American side. On this day they sell all the rights to their characters to Detective Comics (D.C.) for $130.

1942- British actor Leslie Howard, who played Ashley in" Gone with the Wind " and Henry Higgins in the first film of "Pygmalion", was killed. The movie star was doing diplomacy in Spain, but on the flight home his commercial DC-3 airliner was shot down by German JU-88s over the Bay of Biscay. He was such an effective propagandist that when German agents learned his schedule, they sent the interceptors just to get him.

1961 - FM multiplex stereo broadcasting 1st heard.

1966 - George Harrison is impressed by Ravi Shankar's concert in London.

1967 –Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the US and it immediately goes gold.

1968 - Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" hits #1

1979- Gannett News Services began USA Today, called by some critic's- 'MacPaper'.

1980- Ted Turner started CNN news channel.

2001- In Katmandu, Nepal Crown Prince Dipendra quarreled so much with his mother and father, the King Birenda and Queen Aiswarya, about his upcoming marriage that he came to dinner and shot them to death. He also killed four other members of the royal family and then himself. This was the largest massacre of a royal family since Czar Nicholas II’s family was executed in 1918. Next day, a Nepalese government spokesman labeled the incident an “accident”. Dipendra was in a coma for several days before dying and in those few days a government council declared him king anyway. In 2008 the Nepalese Monarchy was officially deposed.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who were Mary Dyer and Anne Hutchison and why are they considered heroes of the Quaker Faith?

Answer: They were executed by the Massachusetts Puritan Colony for refusing to recant their faith. See above 1660.


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