July 08th, 2010 thurs
July 8th, 2010

Quiz: What do William Shatner, Chief Dan George, Pamela Anderson, and Jim Carrey have in common?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Who said: ” You may fire when ready, Gridley.”…?
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History for 7/8/2010
B-Dazes: Jean de LaFontaine the creator of Puss & Boots, John D. Rockefeller Sr, Nelson Rockefeller, Kathe Kollwitz, Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin, Louis Jordan, Billy Eckstine, Steve Lawrence, Percy Grainger, Cynthia Gregory, Phillip Johnson, Kim Darby, Marty Feldman, Roone Arledge, Kevin Bacon is 52, Billy Crudup, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Angelica Huston, Raffi, Jeffrey Tambor is 66

951AD Happy Birthday Paris!. The Roman city of Lutetia-muddy place- was built on the site of a Gaulish village inhabited by a tribe called the Parisi. This date was when the Franks established a castle on the present day site of the Louvre. Despite Viking raids and floods the city slowly began to grow.

1099- The Crusaders try to storm the walls of Jerusalem but are repulsed. They decided it was God telling them they were unworthy of the Holy City because they were sinful. So they drove out their camp followers and marched barefoot around the walls of Jerusalem praying and chanting. The Egyptian mercenary defenders hadn't really understood yet what this Christian Jihad stuff was all about. So they thought it was all pretty funny. They liked to urinate on the Christian knight's heads from the walls.

1249 Death of Alexander II "the Peaceful", king of Scotland who strengthened
his throne by marrying into the English royal family –his wife was called Joan MakePeace. during his reign the existing border was established and his heraldic symbol, the Red Lion Rampant on a Yellow field, became the symbol of Scotland..

1386- The Battle of Sembach- Leopold of Austria discovers why you leave the Swiss alone and let them stay neutral. His army of knights were intent on chastising this land of uppity goat herders, but they were destroyed instead. They at first held off the raging Schwyzers with a wall of spears. But then legend has it that great hero and really big schwyzer Arnold von Winkelreid shouted "Brothers! Take care of my wife and children!" and gathered up a dozen enemy spear points and shoved them into his own chest. As he pulled them down with him, that opened a gap in the Austrian line that the Swiss swarmed through to victory. Duke Leopold was found in a ditch with a battleaxe in his face and two up his butt.

1497 - Vasco da Gama departs for his trip to India by way of the Horn of Africa.

1673- William of Orange elected Stadholder of Holland while the country was fighting an Anglo French invasion. In electing him the Dutch chose an aristocratic prince over the republican party of the Great Pensioner Jacob De Witt. William was for no compromise with invaders, while De Witt favored a humiliating peace. De Witt was murdered by a mob. William called for national resistance and the Dutch opened their dykes and flooded the land around Amsterdam to stop the French army. William won and he eventually became King of England as well.

1755-THE BATTLE OF THE MONONGAHELA or BRADDOCKS DEFEAT- The French and Indian War, the North American installment of the greater European conflict known as the Seven Years War began. British General Braddock, marching to surprise French held Ft. Duquesne in western Pennsylvania, was ambushed on the Monongahela River by the French and their Indian allies. Out that far in the wilderness no one was sure if the war between France and England had even been declared, so it certainly was a surprise. Braddock and all the officers were killed except for a young militia captain named George Washington. Daniel Boone was also there as a young scout. After the war Ft. Duquesne became British and renamed it after Prime Minister William Pitt, so it became Pittsburgh.

1758- French general the Marquis de Montcalm with 3,000 men at Ft. Ticonderoga, New York, throw back a British attack of 15,000 under General Abercrombie.

1775- Before the Declaration of Independence was conceived, the more conservative members of the American Congress tried a compromise. They drafted an appeal to the King to resolve America’s differences with London and stay part of the British Empire. They called it the Olive Branch Petition. It was written by John Dickinson and carried to London by William Penn III. But King George’s blood was up with these unruly Yankees. He had just got the news of his redcoat troops getting shot up on Bunker Hill. So when this weenie appeal came he brushed it aside.

1776- The new Declaration of Independence was celebrated in Philadelphia with parties and parades. With great solemnity the Royal Coat of Arms was taken down from the State House judges bench and tossed on a bonfire. Congressman John Dickinson, who argued passionately against independence, nevertheless demonstrated his love for America by joining the Continental army fighting in New York.

1801- Touissaint L’Ouverture created a new constitution for the island of French Saint Dominique’, now called Haiti. Even though Haiti became only the second democratic republic in the Americas and Americans loudly called on all nations to assert their freedom, still the Founding Fathers could not bring themselves to support a Black Republic of former slaves.

1815- The British army occupied Paris after Waterloo. A camp of white tents set up in the Bois du Boulonge. The allied bayonets returned the fat elderly Bourbon king Louis XVIII to the throne in place of Napoleon.

1822- Poet Percy Shelley drowned when a storm sank his yacht the Simon Bolivar off Leghorn, Italy. His body was cremated but his heart was embalmed in lead and presented to his wife Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley. Lord Byron swam offshore during the cremation so they could observe Shelley's spirit rising to Heaven.

1835- The Liberty Bell cracked. It rang for the Declaration of Independence and was being rung for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.

1838- THE TRAIL OF TEARS- Cherokee Removal Treaty goes into effect. President Andrew Jackson, Indian name: "Sharp Knife", forced the entire Cherokee Nation to evacuate Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. 17,000 people were marched to Oklahoma. One third died along the way. The token amounts paid for their land could not help their heartbreak at leaving their ancestral home. Large warriors would touch or kiss trees as they trudged away to the amusement of the soldiers. The Supreme Court ruled the harassment of the Cherokee Nation was unconstitutional but President Jackson ignored them. Jackson said:" Chief Justice Marshal has ruled, now let him try to enforce it." One Georgia man later said:" I fought through the Civil War and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered in the thousands, but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew."

1889-The Wall Street Journal first published.

1889- The last great bareknuckle championship fight. John L. Sullivan defeated Jake Kilrain in Mississippi for a purse of $20,000. After 60 rounds one of Sullivan’s eyes was shut, he was covered with welts and blood was showing above his shoes. When his manager recommended declaring a draw, Sullivan said:" Hell no. I want to kill him!" He won at Sundown, after 75 rounds. Sullivan was one of the first flamboyant prizefighters and the first American fighter to declare himself Champion of the World. He’d travel from town to town building his legend:"I’m John L. Sullivan and I can lick any man in the house!" And he usually did.

1896- William Jennings Bryan"the Son of the Plains", electrifies listeners at the Democratic Convention with a speech denouncing the gold standard: "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!" Whether federal currency should be backed by gold or cheaper silver divided Americans along class lines. Modern people only recall Bryan as the attorney Clarence Darrow made look silly in the Scopes "Monkey Trials". But Bryan was a fiery populist orator and strong rogue political force who made several tries at the Presidency. He was a Ralph Nader with Pat Robertson and some Ethel Merman thrown in.

1907-The First Ziegfield Follies, staged on the roof of the New York Theater, now called the New Amsterdam Theater.

1911- Burbank incorporated as a city.

1918- A young American ambulance driver serving in Italy during the First World War gets badly wounded by shrapnel fire. His name was Ernest Hemingway. His long recovery and love affair with his nurse he later worked into his novel "A Farewell To Arms".

1922- Horn player Louis Armstrong left his hometown of New Orleans to go to Chicago and play in King Oliver’s Jazz band.

1932- THE DEPRESSION STOCK MARKET HITS ROCK BOTTOM - free falling since the Great Crash of October 1929, and compounded by the Harley-Smoot trade act of 1931, which started a trade war that killed off overseas exports. From a Dow Jones high in the Roaring Twenties of 262, today’s average hit bottom at 58. Only 720,278 shares exchanged. One local club wallpapered the bar with unsold bond certificates. The Bond market lost around ten million in value, Total output of heavy industries like steel production were working at only 12% of capacity. 25% of the U.S. workforce was unemployed, 50% of New York City, 80% of industrial cities like Detroit and Toledo.

Top Wall Street securities firms like Morgan and Salomon Brothers encouraged "Apple Days"- one day a week for brokers to go on the street to sell apples to supplement their income. One songwriter wrote a song about the unpopularity of stock traders: " Please Don't Tell Mother I Work on Wall Street, She Thinks I Play Piano in a WhoreHouse. " The just completed Empire State Building was nicknamed the "Empty State Building." because there were no businesses to move into it.

Yet President Herbert Hoover could only spout unrealistic slogans like "the economy is fundamentally sound" and "prosperity is just around the corner." Mt. Rushmore sculptor Judson Borglum said: "If you put a flower in Hoover's hand, it would wilt !"

1932- Tod Brownings disturbing movie "Freaks" about a family of circus sideshow performers, premiered. One of Us, One of Us!

1951- The first meeting of American, United Nations, North Korean and Chinese officials to discuss peace terms to end the Korean War. The talks dragged on for months and eventually signed as the Treaty of Panmunjom. At this first meeting the reds and allies noted little psychological victories. The North Koreans drove up in a captured American jeep. When the chief Communist negotiator General Nom Il wanted a smoke he pulled out a Russian cigarette. But after striking 14 Peoples Democratic Chinese matches he still couldn’t get it to light. So he was finally forced to light his cigarette by borrowing from the Americans a good old capitalist Zippo lighter.

1961-YEAH, BABY YEAH!! Upon arriving at Cliveden, Estate of Lord and Lady Astor, Britains Secretary for War Sir John Profumo was introduced to Christine Keilor, a 19 year old party girl swimming nude in the pool. Profumo and Lord Astor chased Christine around the pool trying to pull her towel away while bejeweled guests arrived for a party. It was bad enough that the married Profumo started a hot affair with Christine, but also her manager Stephen Ward was connected to an East German Communist spy ring. The Profumo Scandal brought down the MacMillan Tory Government in 1963.

1969 - Thor Heyerdahl and his raft Ra II landed in Barbados 57 days from Morocco. He was trying to prove ancient mariners could have traveled from Africa to the Americas using a ship made from papyrus reeds. It also may explain the phenomenon that some Egyptian mummies have been found to have traces of tobacco and chocolate in their stomachs.

1978- 100,000 rallied in Washington D.C. in support of the Equal Rights Amendment- the ERA.

1982- Walt Disney's TRON- the first film claiming to be made chiefly with computer graphics premiered. It only was about 20 minutes of actual CGI, and the computer images were still printed onto traditional animation cells and painted, but it was still a significant achievement. Remember in 1981 there were no off the shelf graphics software. Wavefront wouldn't exist for several years and Parallel processing didn't really get going until '84. Warping or morphing was about 4 years away in the future. The big deal at the time was that MAGI had just solved the "hidden Line" problem.

1998- An original 1477 William Caxton copy of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" became the world's most expensive book when it was sold for £4,621,500 to billionaire oil heir Paul Getty
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who said: ” You may fire when ready, Gridley.”…?

Answer: In 1898 the battle of Manila Bay began when Admiral Dewey signaled to the captain of his flagship, USS Olympia to begin firing." You may fire when ready, Gridley."


July 07, 2010 weds
July 6th, 2010

Quiz: Who said: ” You may fire when ready, Gridley.”…?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: True or False: It is illegal to fly a US flag in the dark?
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History for 7/7/2010
Birthdays: Gustav Mahler, Satchel Page, Ringo Starr is 70, Doc Severinsen, Robert Heinlein, William Kuntsler, Gian Carlo Menotti, Ken Harris, Shelley Duval is 60, Ted Cassidy-Lurch in the Adams Family, Michelle Kwan, David McCullough, Pierre Cardin, and according to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this is the birthday of Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick Dr. John Watson

750 BC- 391AD This was the Roman Feast of Quirinus, then day when Romulus the founder of Rome was taken up to heaven and assumed his place beside the Gods as the deified Quirinus.

175AD- The future Roman Emperor Commodus attained manhood. There was a special celebration when a Roman boy grew his first beard. He made a ceremony of putting off his boys cloak-tunica and donning the man’s toga.

1569- Sir Francis Drake boldly sailed into the harbor of Cartagena ( in modern Columbia), the largest port on the Spanish Main, and looted a treasure galleon.

1607- The English anthem God Save the King first sung in honor of King James Ist.

1666- King Charles II and his court quit London in the wake of the Great Plague.

1735-King Stanislas Lescynski lost the throne of Poland to a boyfriend of Russian Empress Catherine the Great. Stan was the father-in-law of king Louis XV of France fortunately, so Louis gave him the Duchy of Lorraine to live in. In the town square of Nancy there is a statue of Stanislas pointing east. Some say he's pointing home to Poland, others say towards the red light district of Nancy, where he spent a lot of his time.

1754- Kings College in New York founded. After the American Revolution the name was changed to Columbia University.

1839-The First European Railroad link opens between Vienna and Prague, thanks to the entrepreneurial investment of Meyer Rothschild, the Austrian branch of the House of Rothschild. Even though the English invented the locomotive years earlier European development moved much slower than in America where vast distances needed to be linked up fast. There was medical concern about people being moved at such high speeds as 35 miles an hour! A Viennese doctor wrote that at if the human body moved faster than 15 mph, blood would squirt out of your eyes and ears. Men would go mad and women sex-crazed.

1894-The Pullman Strike-U.S. troops battle 5,000 Chicago area railroad workers and their families in the streets. Dozens are killed. Troops were called for after marshals and detectives refused to shoot at unarmed working people. Other unions go out in sympathy with the Pullman workers and make the strike nationwide. Union president Eugene Debs is arrested for sedition and treason but acquitted by three grand juries. He later runs for president on the socialist ticket in 1912. President Cleveland before crushing the strike with regular army troops had just set the date for the first Labor Day.

1895-THE FIRST SUNDAY COMICS - The first modern comic strip Hogan’s Alley featuring "The Yellow Kid" by Richard Felton Outcault, debuts in the Sunday edition of Pulitzer's New York World. The strip was so popular it gave the name "Yellow Journalism" to the sensationalist tabloid press. Comic strips at this time became the mass media of the day. For people who couldn’t afford a theater ticket and couldn’t yet speak English, the little characters in the penny papers were extremely popular and made celebrities out of cartoonists like Outcault, Bud Selig George McManus and Winsor McCay. Richard Outcault later inventing the backend deal when he asked for a percentage of all sales from his new comic strip "Buster Brown and his dog Tige"

1900- Warren Earp, the youngest brother of Wyatt Earp, was killed in a gunfight. He had gotten into an argument in a saloon in Wilcox Arizona. Warren Earp was not at the OK Corral in 1881 but he did help his brothers hunt down the killers of Morgan Earp.

1911- THE AGADIR INCIDENT or "The Panther's Leap' In the tense international climate just before the Great War Germany sparked a major international incident by making moves to take southern Morocco from France. They sent the battle cruiser Panther to Agadir Harbor to "protect endangered German citizens", There were no Europeans in that part of Morocco so the German ministry cabled a Herr Weiland to rush overland by train to meet the warship. He was nicknamed "The Endangered German". After a lot of diplomatic bluffs and threats between Paris, Berlin, London and St. Petersburg, Germany eventually backed down. One Berlin newspaper said:" To think we almost went to war with Britain & France over a country that can only provide sand for our canary cages!" An angry German minister said:" The incident had the same effect as viewing a dead squid. First shock, then amusement, then revulsion."

1943-BANZAI- Climax of the Battle of Saipan- 4,300 Japanese troops stream out of the jungle in a massed Banzai charge on U.S. Marine positions. Fighting devolved into insane hand to hand combat with Samurai swords and rifle-bayonets, more reminiscent of the Civil War than World War Two. One of the Marines wounded in the attack was future movie star Lee Marvin, nicknamed Captain Marvel by his buddies for his gung-ho attitude. Almost all the Japanese were killed. Later in a cave the Marines found the bodies of General Saito and Admiral Nagumo, the fleet commander at the Pearl Harbor attack. They had committed hari kari when the attack had failed. This event also caused Prime Minister Hideki Tojo's government to fall, since Tojo had pledged the U.S. could not take Saipan, an island which placed Japan within range of US long range bombers.

1946-Mother Cabrini made the first American Saint. She was an immigrant from Italy. Later St. Elizabeth Ann Seton became the first native born American saint.

1947- THE ROSSWELL INCIDENT- An official news report from the USAF 509th bomber command -the same unit that dropped the Hiroshima bomb- stated they had recovered the wreckage of a UFO in the New Mexico desert near Rosswell and were examining it. The next day the commanding general of the 8th Air Force flew to Rosswell. He announced to the press that the earlier report was in error, and it was only a downed weather balloon. The wreckage was removed under heavy-armed guard. Complete secrecy was then imposed, and maintained to this day. The communications officer Major Jesse Marcey, who posed for an official photo showing him with the balloon wreckage, later told his son it was faked. Marcey, who died in 1967 and his adjutant Lt. Haut still stick to the original version of their story. Lt. Haut also claimed the base commander Col. William Blanchard thought it was UFO debris. This report coming only two weeks after the first modern sighting of "flying saucers" over Mt. Reynier in Oregon sparked the Flying Saucer craze that gripped America throughout the 1950’s.
After the Cold War ended, the Pentagon tried to explain the incident by saying at Rosswell and the base Area 51 they were experimenting with high altitude balloons carrying sniffer devices to detect Russian nuclear tests. The rumored alien bodies recovered were in reality test dummies. But then the military added to the mystery when they still refused any access to the mysterious Area 51. When asked what is done there, the Army spokesman said: "Uh, Secret Stuff...."

1949-"I’m Friday"- The program Dragnet first debuted on radio. Jack Webb conceived, wrote, directed and starred in the show. His hardest job was urging actors "not to act" but to speak the lines normally like the average person does.

1960- First demonstration of a practical laser beam. In Russia it had been theorized since 1951. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation or LASER.

1967- Vivien Leigh, the actress who played Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, died in a mental institution at age 53.

1967 - Beatles' "All You Need is Love" is released. In 2002 for her Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II requested it because it was one of her favorite songs.

1967 – The Doors' "Light My Fire" hits #1.

1976- First women cadets enroll at West Point Military Academy.

1981- Judge Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.

1982- A drunken lunatic named Michael Fagin with a bleeding left hand broke into Buckingham Palace, got past all the security and startled Queen Elizabeth in her bed. Her personal bodyguard was out walking the royal dogs. The Queen kept the man engaged in conversation at the foot of her bed until guards dragged him away.

2005-THE 7-7 ATTACK- Four Al Qaeda terrorist bombs exploded in the London subway Tube and a doubledecker bus, killing 50 and injuring one thousand..
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Yesterday’s Quiz: True or False: It is illegal to fly a US flag in the dark?

Answer: According to Section 3 of the Code of the United States, if you do not lower the flag at sunset or else put a spotlight on it, you are breaking a federal law.


July 06th, 2010 tues.
July 6th, 2010

Quiz: True or False: It is illegal to fly a US flag in the dark?

Yesterday’s questions answered below: What is a Gotterdamerung?
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History for 7/6/2010
Birthdays: John Paul Jones, Czar Nicholas Ist, Frida Kahlo, Della Reese, Bill Haley, Nancy Reagan,, Sylvester Stallone is 64, Merv Griffin, Janet Leigh, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sebastian Cabot, James Bordrero, The Dalai Lama, LaVerne Andrews of the Andrews Sisters, Geoffrey Rush, Ned Beatty is 73, Former President George W. Bush is 64, 50 Cent is 35

83 B.C. Sulla the Dictator stormed Rome and defeated the supporters of Marius. This first civil war amongst powerful Roman factions is known as the" Wars of Marius & Sulla" or “the Social Wars”. No one had ever dared take soldiers into Rome itself and it spelled the death of the democratic Republic. Sulla published lists of hundreds of political enemies called the Proscribed. If you were on that list anybody could kill you without trial or appeal. Even a slave could kill his master and get the reward. Sulla had on his staff a kid who recently changed sides. His name was Gaius Julius Caesar.

1190- Death of Henry II, King of England and the Angevin Empire – he ruled a territory almost as great as Charlemagne but his reign was marred by the martyrdom of
Thomas à Becket and quarrels with his family. Henry had pledged to go on Crusade to liberate Jerusalem and after his death his Crusade was taken up by his son Richard the Lionhearted. In the end Henry was so disgusted by the feuds and rebellions of his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and sons Richard, Geoffrey and John Lackland, that his dying breath was a curse on his own family.

1480- The hunchback Duke of Gloucester was crowned King Richard III. He is referred to as the Last Plantagenet, meaning the last of the bloodline of Geoffrey of Anjou and Richard the Lionhearted. He was defeated and killed by Henry VII of the House of Tudor. Whether he was as bad a guy as Shakespeare and Hollingshed portrayed him, was even a hunchback or the last real native English king is a matter for scholars to argue over. Shakespeare was writing plays for the granddaughter of the man who killed him so that would obviously color his interpretation of events.

1685- THE BATTLE OF SEDGEMOOR AND THE BLOODY ASSIZES.-The illegitimate son of King Charles II, the Duke of Monmouth, tried to overthrow his Catholic uncle King James II with the help of many Protestant Englishmen, angry that the Catholic monarch was planning to subvert the liberties won by Cromwell in the English Civil War. This day Monmouth hightailed it for the hills while his army was cut to pieces in battle.
After the battle the punishment of the rebels under Judge Jefferies was so brutal it was nicknamed the Bloody Assizes. An assize was another name for circuit court. Hundreds were beheaded, tongues cut out, limbs branded with hot irons then transported as slaves to the Bahamas and Barbados to cut sugar cane. White sugar was a new delicacy sweeping the nation. To this day many white skinned Bahamians can claim descendant from these condemned rebels. In the 1890s Rafael Sabatini wrote a novel about one slave who escaped to become a pirate named Captain Blood, later made into an Errol Flynn movie.

180-? THE IMMORTAL BELOVED LETTERS.- Composer Ludwig van Beethoven never married, but not for want of trying. The bad tempered loner loved several women, but never formed a serious relationship. After his death, several love letters were found. The letters written this day were of a supremely passionate nature, where he begged some unknown woman to keep an appointment with him at some unstated rendezvous in Hungary. “Though still in bed my thoughts go out to you, My Immortal Beloved…” The letters were never sent and have no addresses or names. Who was this Immortal Beloved, Beethoven yearns for?

1853- In Ripon, Wisconsin Free-Soil Whigs and other lefty radicals form the new Republican Party. They were called the Anti-Nebraska Men, then Black-Republicans for awhile because of their strong anti-slavery stance.

1885- Louis Pasteur gave the first inoculation to cure rabies.

1886 - Horlick's of Wisconsin offers the1st malted milk to public. It began as an attempt to create a new type of baby formula.

1895- A businessman named William Sydney Porter returned from Honduras where he had fled after being indicted for embezzlement. He had returned because he had learned of the illness of his wife. Porter was sent to prison and while there began writing little stories which he later published under the name O. Henry.

1917 – As Lowell Thomas’ news reel cameras rolled, Lawrence of Arabia and Bedouin Sheik Ouda Abu-Tai captures the Red Sea Port of Al Aqaba from Turkish troops. The battle was dramatized in the 1962 David Lean epic Lawrence of Arabia.

1928- The film "The Lights of New York" premiered at the Strand theater on Broadway. 1927's the Jazz Singer popularized sound movies while still being half silent. This film was the first with an all dialogue track.

1938- THE EVIAN CONFERENCE- No, it wasn't about bottled water. Before Hitler started putting all Jews and political undesirables into concentration camps, he was happy to see them leave the country. Since1933, the refugees fleeing the Reich grew to tens of thousands. President Franklin Roosevelt called for a summit of Western powers at Evian France to discuss the issue of the rising numbers asking asylum in the democracies. The conference turned into a parade of diplomats making excuses. It accomplished nothing. From 1938 to 1944 only half the quota for U.S. visas allowed were ever filled. The rest were held up by red tape while the Holocaust raged. Also the British Mandate authority bowed to Arab anger to restrict immigration to Palestine. Saudi Prince Ibn Saud said:” Why should we be punished for the sins of Europe?” The only nations on Earth who accepted unrestricted Jewish immigration from the Nazis were Holland and Denmark. Young delegate and future Israeli leader Golda Meir was asked what she hoped to get out of the conference. “All I want to see before I die, is for my people to get something else beyond Expressions of Sympathy.”

1944- A fire broke out in the main tent of Ringling Bros Circus during a children’s matinee in Hartford Connecticut. The big top had been waterproofed with a paraffin solution thinned with gasoline and now that mixture engulfed the tent in flames. 168 died and 682 more were injured, mostly children. In 1950 a deranged arsonist named Robert Segee admitted setting the Hartford Circus Fire.

1957-Chuck Jones short "What’s Opera, Doc?" debuts. “Kill da wa-bitt, kill da wa-bitt..."

1957-16 year old John Lennon first met 15 year old Paul McCartney at a church picnic near Woolton, England. Lennon invited McCartney to join his first band called the Quarrymen, but MacCartney missed their first engagement because of a boy scout trip.

1964 - Beatles' film "Hard Day's Night" premieres in London. The bands iconoclastic, antics portrayed by Richard Lesters surreal free style direction set the style for the music videos of the future.

1965- TV sitcom F-Troop premiered. Shortly after the series began production it was learned that lead actress Melody Patterson (Wrangler Jane) was actually underage- 16 years old. She kept her part, but the writers had to tone down any sexual innuendo in the scripts.

1965 - Rock group "Jefferson Airplane" formed.

1974- The first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keilor’s ode to a small town in Minnesota. Brought to you by Powdermilk Biscuits.

1998- French workers at Disney’s Paris theme park went on strike for better pay and not having to smile all the time like Americans do.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a Gotterdamerung?

Answer: Richard Wagner’s opera about Siegfried, Brunhilde and the end of the world.
It’s the German version of the Norse Ragnarok, the final battle where the gods and monsters all destroy one another. So a Gotterdamerung can be used as another word for a total immolation.


July 05th, 2010 mon
July 5th, 2010

Quiz: What is a Gotterdamerung?

Quiz: Who was the musician known simply as Bird?
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History for 7/5/2010
Birthdays: P.T. Barnum, Beatrix Potter, The XVIII Century English actress Mrs. Sarah Siddons, Jean Cocteau, Admiral David Farragut, Len Lye, George Pompidou, Shirley Knight, Huey Lewis, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Milburn Stone (Doc on Gunsmoke), Goose Gossage, Warren Oates, Henry Cabot Lodge IV, Edie Falco is 47

Feast of St. Anthony Zaccharia

1779- TRYON’S NEW HAVEN RAID- During the American Revolution, Royalist Governor Tryon of New York thought a way to bring the American rebels back to their allegiance was to launch a punitive raid across Long Island Sound to rebel strongholds in Connecticut the day after their Independence Day celebrations.

Forty boat loads of redcoats landed at New Haven and wantonly looted, burned and brutalized the inhabitants. After he urged his students to fight back, the elderly Dean of Yale University was beaten to death with rifle butts. Civilian homes were ransacked and women raped. The redcoats then burned Norwalk and Scranton before returning back across the water to occupied New York.

British policy was that the majority of Americans are good subjects but just deluded by bad leaders. Tryon was frustrated with the endless guerilla fighting. So he lashed out with a brutality that accomplished more harm than good.

1820- THE TRIAL OF QUEEN CAROLINE- Forget Charles & Di, this was the greatest marital scandal ever to hit the British Monarchy. George the Prince Regent had been estranged from his wife Caroline since 1796 and she had been living a wild life in Italy while George chased skirts at court. When his elderly mad father George III finally died and 'Princee' became King George IV, nobody expected Caroline to suddenly show up in England and still want to be Queen.
On this day George forced a bill into the House of Lords to grant him a divorce so he could be free to marry his mistress Lady Cunningham nicknamed 'the Vice-Queen'. The evidence in the trial were juicy anecdotes of the Queen's own sexual shenanigans with a number of Italians. The whole sordid affair was terribly embarrassing and split the nation into factions. Some loyal to the King, others the Queen's defender's of Women's Rights and the Family. The King's public appearances were greeted with cries of 'Nero!" the Duke of Wellington was hissed and had rocks thrown at him and Prime Minister Lord Liverpool was so upset he could not address Parliament without a dose of ether first. Eventually the divorce bill was dropped and the King crowned with the Queen shut out of the cathedral. A popular doggerel in Punch made a joke of Christ's advice to the Adulteress-
" Most Gracious Queen we thee implore, to Go Away and Sin No More...
But if that effort Be too Great, Just Go Away at Any Rate.."

1830- The last Bey of Algiers was driven into exile by the invading French Army. This was the end of the Barbary Corsairs, active since 1517. Algeria would be a French colony until 1962. Part of the invading force was a new unit made up of Paris street riff-raff and foreign exiles called the French Legion Etrangere or Foreign Legion.

1839- THE FLORA HASTINGS AFFAIR- The first great scandal of Queen Victoria's reign. After the sexual escapades of her predecessors the new 20 year old queen dwelt in a closed moral atmosphere. One day she noticed one of her ladies-in-waiting, a Lady Flora Hastings, had an enlarged belly, like she was pregnant. The idea that this unmarried grande dame may have been pregnant was made worse by the idea that the father may have been the detested lover of Victoria's mother, Sir John Conroy.
The tittering eventually accelerated into a full fledged political scandal involving the Prime Minister and the entire government. The slandered Lady Hastings had to submit to a humiliating doctor's examination to prove she was still a virgin and even that didn't silence the gossip. Finally it came out that her belly swelling was caused by a large tumor on her liver, and had she paid more strict attention to it instead of the gossip she might have lived. This day she died and everyone blamed the young queen of persecuting and slandering Lady Hastings. Victoria was hissed in the streets for the remainder of the year.

1865- William Booth formed the Salvation Army in London .

1865- After two days of torrential rain at Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee began withdrawing his Confederate army south to Virginia. He had enough ammunition for one more day's battle, and he was hoping the Yankees would smash themselves assaulting his strong defensive works. But the Yankees, much to Lincoln's annoyance, remained quiet in camp.

1892- THE HOMESTEAD MASSACRE- Jacob Frick, the attorney of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, decided to solve the problem of uppity unions by surrounding his Homestead plant with barbed wire and guns then announcing to the astonished employees that they were getting a 20% pay cut. 3,000 workers fought with police and non-union replacements, 7 killed, the union leaders arrested for incitement to riot. Some apologists claim that Andrew Carnegie’s disillusionment with business and his desire to dedicate the remainder of his life to philanthropy stemmed from his horror of the violence done in his name at Homestead. Carnegie was on vacation and when told replied: "Ah yes, Florence is beautiful this time of year". Jacob Frick built himself an art museum in New York.

1910- Writer O.Henry died of cirrhosis and tuberculosis at 47. His last words were "Turn up the lights, I don't want to go home in the dark." He became a writer while serving a jail term for embezzlement.

1933-The Germans began building the Autobahn, a system of highways that became the envy of the world. The Bauhaus designers of the Autobahn invented the ideas we take for granted today- the Cloverleaf Exit, Blending Lanes and the central meridian.

1934- THE SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL STRIKE- A longshoreman strike had brought harbor traffic along the West Coast to a standstill. California Governor Frank Merriam decided to send in the National Guard. When the longshoremen picketline was rushed by armored trucks full of scab replacements, they rioted and the troops opened fire. Hundreds were hurt and two killed. Blood flowed on the Embarcadero. One policeman who killed a demonstrator later said: "The man was a Communist so my only regret was that I did not kill more !" Flowers, candles and memorials to the slain men were kicked over by the S.F. police.
As a spontaneous unorganized reaction to the violence 100,000 San Franciscans refused to go to work for 4 days. The third largest city in the U.S. was completely paralyzed. Governor Merriam declared martial law but the tanks in the street were helpless. To a nation struggling in the Depression there was widespread fear that this incident was the beginning of a Soviet style revolution. The Russian Revolution had started with general strikes. Then, on the 5th day San Francisco went back to work.

1935- The Wagner Act passed congress, decreeing all American workers have the right to collective bargaining and to form unions.

1943- Betty Grable married bandleader Harry James.

1945- The First British General Election held in ten years. Winston Churchill and his Tories were turned out for Labor candidate Clement Atlee. When his aides accused the British voters of ingratitude, Churchill said they had been through a lot and wanted to move on. But Churchill called Clement Atlee "a Sheep in Sheep’s clothing."

1945- OPERATIONS OVERCAST and PAPERCLIP- The U.S. Army intelligence arranged for top Nazi rocket Scientists to be brought to the U.S. for our future space program. Pres. Truman had passed a law forbidding visas for anyone with a Nazi past. But the War Dept Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency chief Bosquet Wev declared:" We’re not going to beat a dead Nazi Horse!" Experts doctored the dossiers on these scientists and changed descriptions like: "Fanatical Unrepentant Nazi" to "Politically Neutral".
Head of the unit Dr. Werner Von Braun was the inventor of the clustered liquid fuel engine rockets which Hitler had named the Vengence-2 and fired at London. Dr. Arthur Rudolphe the designer of the Saturn-5 moon rocket was deported in 1984 when a British documentary exposed his running a slave labor camp in 1943. Dr. Herman Becker-Freysing, the man who built John Glenn's space suit, got his knowledge about the effects of atmospheric pressure and oxygen loss on humans from experiments he did on the inmates of Dachau.

1951- Dr Shockley announced the invention of the Transistor, making the miniaturizing of complex electronics possible. One documentary noted that if you tried to make a digital telephone with the earlier technology of vacuum tubes, it would have to be the size of an office building.

1952- London Transport scrapped the last of their electric streetcars in favor of diesel polluting double-decker buses.

1954- Elvis Presley recorded "That’s All Right" at Sun Records in Memphis. Some call it the first true Rock & Roll song, but that is disputed by Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock, Ike Turners Delta 88 and many other R&B hits. “That’s All Right” was written by black bluesman Arthur Big-Boy Crudup, who never profited from the song’s success and died in a shack.

1954- Tomoyuki Tanaka announced the beginning of production on the movie Godzilla.

1963- The Vatican finally says it’s okay for Catholics to be cremated, since the world is running out of land to make into cemeteries.

1968- In Vietnam, after months of brutal fighting in a battle the press equated with Iwo Jima and Gettysburg, the US Marines were ordered to abandon their firebase at Que Sanh. Many Marines were enraged that they had to give up a place they had lost so many brothers over. But the Pentagon felt it was too vulnerable to enemy artillery. In Marine annals Que Sanh is still counted as a victory. Any blame for the withdrawal put on General Westmoreland, who had just been replaced as overall commander in Vietnam. This frustrating misuse of soldier’s sacrifice typified the Vietnam experience.

1989- White House aide Lt. Colonel Oliver North sentenced for his role in the Iran Contra Scandal. North spent his last evenings before testifying shredding incriminating documents.Colonel North appeared in court in his Marine uniform while being interrogated by Hawaii Senator Dan Inouye, a real combat war hero who lost an arm fighting in World War II. Pundits enjoyed the irony of one who could say "I bled for my Country," while the other "I Shred for My Country!" His conviction was later overturned by a conservative judge on a technicality. Oliver North is today a conservative talk show host.

2002- International Professional Women’s Tennis had become dominated by two amazing American sisters, Venus and Serena Williams. This day Serena defeated Venus to win Wimbledon, last year saw the same outcome and a month earlier Serena had defeated Venus for the French Open. Of the last 11 Wimbeldon Women’s singles, the Williams sisters won 9 of them.
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Quiz: Who was the musician known simply as Bird?

Answer: Jazz great Charlie Parker. He was nicknamed Yardbird at first, but it soon shortened to simply Bird.


Quiz: Who was the musician known simply as Bird?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What was The Great White Hope?
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History for 7/4/2010 U.S. Independence Day
Birthdays: Jean Pierre Blanchard the balloonist-1753, George M. Cohan, Stephen Foster, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Calvin Coolidge, Rube Goldberg, Louis Armstrong*, Edward Walker the inventor of the Lava Lamp, Mayer Lansky, Tokyo Rose, Louis B. Mayer, George Murphy, Emerson Boozer, Neil Simon, Mitch Miller, Eve Marie Saint is 86, Gina Lollabrigida is 84, Al Davis, George Steinbrenner, Ann Landers, Ron Kovic, Geraldo Rivera, Victoria Abril, Pam Shriver, Rene Laloux,


Gloria Stuart , the woman who played the 100 year old woman in the movie Titanic, really is 100 today!!

•Louis Armstrong always claimed his birthday was July 4th 1900, although records show his birth was August 4th 1901.

1054- A supernova in the constellation Taurus created a star visible in the sky for 23 days. The residue of the blast is visible today as the Crab Nebula.
1187- BATTLE OF THE HORNS OF HATTIN- Sultan Saladin lured the Christian Crusader army out into the desert, far away from water. The Saracens started a brush fire to confuse the Crusader formations with choking smoke. Old Duke Raymond of Tripoli realized what was happening but was helpless to stop it. When he saw his knights stopping to fight, he cried out:" We're lost! We are already dead men!" In one big battle the entire hierarchy of Crusader Palestine or Outremer as they called it in French, was dead or taken. Saladin also captured Christian holy relics like the wood of the True Cross, and sent them to the Caliph in Baghdad.

1653-THE BAREBONES PARLIAMENT- Puritan General Oliver Cromwell had beheaded King Charles Ist and dispensed with Parliament. This day he tried a semblance of legality by naming a new parliament but with no royalists, Catholics or Presbyterians, in fact they were all his handpicked Puritan followers. It was nicknamed the Barebones Parliament because one it’s leaders was an itinerant preacher named PraiseGod Barebones. After a few months Cromwell dispensed with even this rubber stamp Parliament and ruled as a dictator.

1776- U.S. INDEPENDENCE DAY- The actual vote for independence was on July 2nd, two days were required for rewrites, but the 4th was the day of the vote to approve the amended Declaration and the official announcement. After 46 revisions and deletions Tom Jefferson showed the finished document to Ben Franklin, he smiled :”Now we may proceed.” The 56 men who signed the document knew that this was their death warrant as they were committing high treason. Many had their personal fortunes ruined as a result.

1776- It took two months for the news to cross the Atlantic. In London King George III wrote in his diary for July 4th, 1776:" Nothing important happened today..."
1802-The Hudson River fortress of West Point is inaugurated as a military academy. 1804- Already pledged to fight a duel to the death in a week, Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton have to sit next to each other at an Independence Day dinner in New York City.

1826- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Adams last words were: "Jefferson...Jefferson still lives...” . Jefferson breathed his last at 1:30PM at Monticello Virginia, Adams at 6:00PM at his home in Quincy Massachusetts. Adams left holdings amounting to $100,000, Jefferson left debts amounting to $100,000. Jefferson freed only six out of 200 slaves, all of the Hemmings Family but not Sally Hemmings his mistress for 38 years. Jefferson’s youngest daughter clandestinely freed her with a pension for her old age.

1831- former President James Monroe, veteran of Washington’s Army and called the Last Founding Father, also died on the 4th of July.

1845- Henry David Thoreau moved into a cottage on Waldon Pond.

1848- The Communist Manifesto published by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels.

1850- President Zachary Taylor "Old Rough and Ready" gets sick from eating too many raw cherries and raw milk at a ceremony laying the cornerstone of the Washington Monument. He died 5 days later. Modern historians wondered if he was poisoned, being a Southern statesman who openly opposed slavery, but an examination of his exhumed remains in 1993 proved natural causes.

1855- Henry Davis Thoreau moves to Walden Pond. He was the first U.S. writer to espouse nature as a thing of beauty instead of an enemy to be conquered. This date is considered the birth of the American Conservation Movement.

1855- Walt Whitman published his quarto of poems The Leaves of Grass. Many people were shocked at it’s frank description of sexual desire. Whitman’s mother said :”Walt is a good boy, but strange.”

1862- Oxford mathematics professor Charles Dodgson rowed ten year old Alice Liddell and her sister up the Thames in a small punt. The little girls begged him for a story, so Dodgson made up fantastic tales of March Hares, Mad Hatters and the Queen of Hearts.
Dodgson later wrote them down and published them in 1865 as Alice in Wonderland. He used the penname Lewis Carroll, which was a joke on the fact that Renaissance scholars adopted big stuffy Latin names like Ludovicus Carolus Magnus.

1863- The day after the Battle of Gettysburg both armies sat motionless while a torrential rains pour down. Lee had no more reserves and was practically out of cannonballs, U.S. General Meade still had a third of his army untouched and ready to go. But Meade infuriated Lincoln because he refused to finish Lee off.

1863-VICKSBURG- The Confederate fortress-city of Vicksburg surrenders to Union General Grant. Pennsylvania-born rebel general James Pemberton led 29,000 men into captivity. He said: " In know the Northerners. We can get better terms if we give up on the 4th of July than any other day." Grant was so confident he would win that while the battle was still going on he telegraphed the town's main hotel and booked a room reservation for July 4th. This completed the Yankee control of the Mississippi from the north down through Memphis to New Orleans. It severed the jugular of the Confederacy for it cut her in half. Lincoln in his announcement said: "The Father of the Waters flows unvexed to the Sea." The citizens of Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for eighty years, during World War Two.


1883- Buffalo Bill staged his first Wild West Show in North Platte Nebraska. Bill and his partners took the show all over the US and played for the crowned heads of Europe until 1916. In an interesting case of life imitating art until the Wild West Shows not many gunfighters carried their six shooters in a holster slung low on their hip. Wild Bill Hickock for instance carried his in a sash around his waist. But cowboys went to the Wild West Show and saw a hip holster was the only proper way to carry your shootin iron. Likewise, before the Wild West Shows cowboys wore any kind of hat: sombreros, derbys, old cavalry kepis. But soon the wide brimmed Stetson was the only proper attire for any self respecting cow puncher.

1898- The US flag first raised over Wake Island in the Pacific.

1905- Los Angeles developer Abbott Kinney had broke with his partners over the Santa Monica Pleasure Pier. He moved down the coast to some marshy wetlands and built a new community with canals, lagoons and gondolas. VENICE California opened this day. In 1925 the City of LA got rid of most of the canals and gondolas. Venice went on to be a seaside mecca for Beatniks, Hippies and weightlifters like young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1911- The first rollercoaster on the Pacific Coast opened on Santa Monica Pier.

1914- First day of filming on D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of an Nation.”

1915- Heavyweight Champion Jess Willard who had taken the championship from Jack Johnson was himself beaten by a new kid named Jack Dempsey, the Manassas Mauler. Dempsey chewed pine tar to make his jaw hard and washed his face in ocean brine to toughen his skin against cuts. He became a popular media figure by appearing with many Hollywood Movie stars. After he retired he opened a bar-restaurant called Dempseys in Times Square, the first sports-bar.

1917- The US First Division paraded through Paris in advance of the main American armies still to come. General Blackjack Pershing laid a wreath on the tomb of the Marquis de Lafayette and proclaimed:” Lafayette- nous voisci! Lafayette, we are here!” Jake Strauss the owner of Macy’s Department Store changed it to “Gallerie Lafayette, we are here!”

1933- In San Francisco Bay, the work began on the Oakland Bay Bridge. 1943- Nazis panzer divisions began the Battle of KURSK-OREL. Thousands of tanks swirled around in the flat dusty Ukrainian steppeland and blew each other to pieces. The Soviets considered Kursk the real turning point of World War Two because they defeated a full on Nazi blitzkrieg without the Russian Winter to help. For the first time the Nazis began a full retreat in the summer.

1946- The Independence of the Philippines is declared.

1947- THE WILD ONES- 400 motorcyclists converge on a small California town called Hollister to party hard. The local police arrest 49 and call for State reinforcements. The national media sensationalized the wild bikers terrorizing a small town, calling them "Hell's Angels" three years before the first chapter was formed. Truth be told many residents remember the incident fondly and said it livened things up. Many of the bikers weren’t teenage delinquents but World War Two veterans who used motorcycles to recapture the thrill and camaraderie of action. The Life Magazine that dramatized the Hollister incident had a cover photo showing a depraved biker swilling beer. The shot was staged and the man in the photo was actually a Hollister local who never went near a Harley. The Marlon Brando film 'The Wild One" was based on the Hollister incident.

1954- Dr Sam Shepard returned to his suburban Cleveland home to find his wife beaten to death and a man fleeing the scene. Dr. Shepard himself was convicted of his wife’s murder in a controversial trial. People still argue today whether he was guilty or not. The case was the inspiration for the Fugitive television series and movie. In 1998 Dr. Shepards son got DNA evidence to prove there was another man at the scene the night of the murder, but in 2000 the court threw out his wrongful imprisonment suit. The TV show and film The Fugitive was based on Dr. Shepard.

1966- President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act.

1969-“ Give Peace a Chance.” released by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band.

1976-What’s Love Got to Do With It? Singer Tina Turner left Ike Turner.

1976- The first true Punk Band, The Ramones, arrived in England for a tour. They greatly inspired future bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. When playing at the Palladium the Sex Pistols said they couldn’t get tickets to get in so the Ramones pulled them in through the men’s room window. Hey, Ho, Lets Go!

1982- Jimmy Connors defeated John McEnroe for his last Wimbledon Championship.

1982- Ozzie Ozbourne married Sharon Ozbourne.

1984- First Lady Nancy Reagan began the campaign to combat drugs among kids by saying “Just Say No”. Two of her Secret Service bodyguards were cocaine snorters.

1990- 2 Live Crew released the song Banned in the USA.

1997- NASA landed Pathfinder on Mars and deployed Sojourner, the first ever autonomous robotic rover. Expected to function for only two months, the rover collected data on the Red Planet for the next ten years.

2003- Pres. George W. Bush said to the Iraqi insurgents “ Bring it on!”. Insurgent attacks on American and coalition forces go up 300%.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What was The Great White Hope?

Answer: July 4th 1912-THE GREAT WHITE HOPE- Jack Johnson had become the first black heavyweight boxing champ in 1908 and had defended his title against all comers. His flaunting of Jim Crow, extravagant lifestyle and romancing white women drove racists crazy. Finally boxing champ Jim Jeffries agreed to come out of retirement and "win it back for the White Man". He was billed in the press as the Great White Hope. But this day Johnson easily TKO'd Jeffries and kept the championship. The victory sparked racial violence throughout the country, even in Capetown and Bombay. Johnson kept his title until 1915 and died in a sports car crash in 1946.


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