Pres Romanillos and April 13th, 2010 tues.
April 13th, 2010
A great Disney/Dreamworks Animator and a dear friend needs our help. Read on what Kevin Koch wrote:
Our friend and fellow animator Pres Romanillos needs our help. A few years ago, while producing and directing his own film in Spain, Pres was diagnosed with leukemia. He returned to the US and underwent chemotherapy, a failed bone marrow transplant, more chemo, and a successful bone marrow transplant. After a long recovery, he returned to work, and animated on The Princess and the Frog at Disney and then on Shrek 4 at DreamWorks.
Unfortunately, Pres relapsed a few weeks ago. He's back at City of Hope, where's he's gotten wonderful treatment. The chemo is working and he's gearing up for another bone marrow transplant. At this point, the burden of medical deductibles and copays, and his previous extended period of recovery, have wiped out his life savings. Pres and his wife Jeannine, along with their brood of dogs and cats, are in a difficult spot, and they need our help.... See More
Many people know New York City born Pres' work as a supervising animator of 'Shan-Yu' in Mulan and 'Little Creek' in Spirit, and as an animator on Pocahontas, Aladdin, Shrek 2, Madagascar, and many other films. Those who know him personally know him as a big-hearted friend, a loving husband, a huge lover of animals, and a man of great talent and passion. His wife Jeannine has been tireless through this long, on-going ordeal, and his family has helped in every way they can. Now it's our turn.
We are putting together a fund-raising auction in June that will involve two live events at the Animation Guild in Burbank, California, and a series of sales on eBay.
Question: Who coined the term:” Through a Glass Darkly?”
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Ingmar Bergman’s famous movie was called the Seventh Seal. What is that named for?
History for 4/13/2010
Birthdays: St. Thomas Becket, Thomas Jefferson*, Frederick Lord North, Samuel Beckett, Dame Eudora Welty, Al Green, Jack Cassidy, Butch Cassidy, Franklin W. Woolworth, Howard Keel, Don Adams, Ricky Schroeder, Peabo Bryson, Ron Perleman, Stanley Donen, Alfred Butts the inventor of Scrabble, Glen Keane is 56
* For many years in the early American republic Jefferson's birthday was a holiday.
1387- A party of 29 English pilgrims assemble to travel to the shrine of Canterbury. The trip was immortalized by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales.
1598- King Henry IV of France tried to end the religious strife tearing his country apart by publishing the Edict of Nantes- granting freedom of worship to all. Later in 1685 King Louis XIV revoked the edict and religious freedom in France would have to wait until Napoleon 200 years later. At this time the Edict of Nantes shocked Pope Clement VIII. He cried:" Every man with freedom of conscience? What can be worse than that?!"
1830-At Jefferson birthday party toasts were made by various Southern congressman that the South wouldn't tolerate the Federal government telling them what to do about slavery and would secede if pushed too far. Then Tennessean President Andrew Jackson rose up, raised his glass, coldly looked his pro slavery vice president John Calhoun right in the eye and declared:" The Union Must and Will be Preserved!" .First time the issue of slavery vs. national survival was given national status. During the Civil War when the North captured the port of New Orleans Yankee General Ben "The Beast" Butler had these words inscribed on Jackson's statue in the center of town just to piss off the natives. They responded by selling chamber pots with Butler's face engraved on the bottom.
1843- Chang and Eng Bunker, the original Siamese Twins, were married to two women in a double ceremony. The must have coordinated times for connubial privacy, for they produced 21 children.
1846- After the first Yanqui garrison was expelled by a rising of the native Mexican Californios population, U.S. Commander Stockton and General Freemont and their army return to recapture Los Angeles.
1865- In Washington DC citizens held a Grande Illumination to celebrate victory. Throughout the city torch bearing revelers serenaded Lincoln and the Union. Expecting Lincoln to make a stirring speech from his balcony, Lincoln instead talked soberly about Reconstruction and amnesties. His one light moment was to order the band to play "Dixie", seeing how it was now once again the legal property of the United States".
1870- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art opens.
1902- J.C. Penny opened his first store in Kemmerer Wyoming.
1919-At the Golden Temple at Amritsar British troops opened fire on Sikh's peacefully demonstrating for independence. 379 killed. Their commander was given a stern reprimand. Queen Elizabeth II apologized to India in 1997.
1928 - THE MULHOLLAND "TRIAL" ENDS – William Mulholland, the genius engineer who created the great aqueducts that brings water down to Los Angeles was on trial for the St. Fransquito Dam Disaster. When a dam near Newhall burst sending a 30 foot wall of water careening down on sleeping suburbanites. 400 perished. On this day, the jurors of the Los Angeles County Coroner's inquest into the disaster emerged from their two weeks of deliberations. They named William Mulholland responsible, although innocent of criminal negligence. Deputy D.A. Asa Keyes trumped the ruling a "victory for the people", despite his earlier promise to have Mulholland convicted of manslaughter. He was free of jail, but Mullholland was a broken man. He had his chauffeur drive him aimlessly around the city he helped create. He became a shut in for the last seven years of his life. D.A. Keyes later went to jail himself for misappropriation of funds.
1939- The film Wuthering Heights starring Lawrence Olivier and Merle Oberon premiered. Sam Goldwyn was disgusted by the headaches to bring this Charlotte Bronte novel to the Hollywood Screen. When asked if he planned to adapt more 19th Century novels for film he replied: "Don’t bring me no more scripts by guys who write with feathers!"
1943- Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial at the Washington D.C. Mall.
1949- Lead character designer and story artist Joe Grant resigned from Disney Studios, not to return until 1989.
1962-The New York Mets (metropolitans) Baseball Club formed. They played at the old Giants park ,the Polo Grounds, until Shea Stadium was built in 1964 next to the Worlds Fair grounds. The team adopted the Blue and Orange logo colors of the Fair as their own. Blue and Orange were also the colors of the moved away Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Giants. The 62’ Mets were famous for their awful record, the cry was Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game? Players like Marvelous Marv Throneberry became famous for their mediocre play. Manager Casey Stengel titled his memoirs "I Managed Good, but Boy, Did They Play Terrible !" In 1969 The Amazin’ Mets won their first World Series.
1964- Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Actor for the film Lilies of the Field. The first Oscar for any black actor or actress went to Hattie MacDaniel as Best Supporting Actress for Gone With the Wind in 1939. Best actress was not won until Halle Berry in 2002.
1970-"Houston, we have a problem here.." An explosion of an oxygen tank disabled the Apollo XIII moon mission. For the next several days the world held it's breath as the spacecraft ricocheted itself around the moon and got back to Earth, the slightest miscalculation of trajectory meant a cold airless death for the three astronauts.
1975- During most of the turbulent times in the Middle East Lebanon stayed an oasis of tranquility. Beirut was called the Paris of the Middle East. Today the Lebanese Civil War began. Christian Phalangist Militias, Fundamentalist Shiites, Hezbollah, and Al Fatah Palestinians turned Lebanon into a war wrecked hell on earth. Syria, Israel and the US all intervened.
1987- Colorado Senator Gary Hart announced his intention to run for president. During the election Hart decried the media's obsession with scandal and openly challenged the press to try and dig something up on him. They did. In short order they turned up proof of his adulterous affair with beautiful model Donna Rice complete with naughty photos taken on board a yacht named the Monkey-Business. Hart's political career sank like a stone and today Ms. Rice lobbies Congress to ban pornography on the Internet.
1997- 21 year old golf phenomenon Tiger Woods won his first Masters Tournament by a record 12 strokes.
Yesterday’s question: Ingmar Bergman’s famous movie was called the Seventh Seal. What is that named for?
Answer: In the last book of the New Testament, called the Book of Revelations, St John wrote of his vision of the Apocalypse. Rev 8: ..”And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour…” Then Seven Trumpeters played to herald events leading to the Final Judgement.
April 12th, 2010 mon.
April 12th, 2010
Question: Igmar Bergman’s famous movie was called the Seventh Seal. What is that named for?
Yesterday’s question answered below: In Kubrick’s movie The Shining, the main theme was a melody also used in many other works, like Berlioz in his Symphonie Fantastique, and Rachmaninoff in his Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini. What is that theme called?-
History for 4/12/2010
Birthdays: Henry Clay, Lily Pons, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock, Monserrat Caballe', Ann Miller, Tiny Tim, Shannon Dougherty, Andy Garcia is 54, Claire Danes is 36, David Letterman-63,David Cassidy is 60.
65AD. SENECA DIED- The Roman philosopher Seneca committed suicide after his old pupil the Emperor Nero ordered him to. The poet Lucan was also forced to kill himself. When Caesar sent you an indictment for treason, you knew the verdict would be guilty already. So Romans had the option of avoiding the public trial and painful execution by committing suicide in the comfort of their own home. This also ensured your wealth would go to your family and not be confiscated by the state. Seneca had previously been condemned by Emperors Caligula and Claudius as well but always managed to wiggle out of it. But now his luck ran out. While Nero's Praetorian guards waited the old man opened his veins, but his circulation was so bad that it was taking him forever. The soldiers patience finally exasperated, they took him in to his steam bath and suffocated him.
1606- The Union Jack adopted as the official flag of Great Britain. It showed the union of Scotland's cross of St. Andrew (white diagonal cross on blue background) with England's cross of St. George (red perpendicular cross on white background).
1633- GALILEO FACED THE INQUISITION- Galileo was forced to publicly recant the theories of Copernicus before the court of the Holy Inquisition. The argument of hot irons and thumbscrews outweighed his mathematical proof that the earth went around the sun.
Copernicus had shrewdly avoided this problem by publishing his theory on his deathbed.
The Catholic Church kept Galileo under house arrest for the rest of his life, and even Protestant reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin considered him a dangerous lunatic. His conviction was overturned in 1827 and the Holy See admitted he might have been right in 1989. When he heard of Galileo’s censure Frenchman Rene Descartes was intimidated enough to stop writing Le Monde, a book summing up his major philosophical and scientific conclusions. Supposedly as Galileo was leaving the courtroom he whispered to a friend " eppi si muove !" but it does move!.
1709- In London the first issue of the Tattler published. “All accounts of gallantry, pleasure, poetry, foreign and domestick news you will have from Saint James Coffeehouse.”
1796- George and Martha Washington sit for painter Gilbert Stuart. Washington had little patience for painters so it was an event to get him to sit still. Stuart noted that the General was a singularly uncooperative model. He tried small talk about his famous battles but that made GW even more annoyed. Washington much preferred a discussion on how to raise snap beans to reliving his military career. The likeness Stuart painted became the basis for many other paintings and prints. Today it is on the U.S. one dollar bill. Gilbert Stuart at one point moved to England because the only commissions he ever got were people wanting copies of his Washington portraits.
1843- A charter to sell Life Insurance is granted to the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, beginning the American insurance industry.
1861-THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR BEGINS-For the previous twenty years Southerners and Northerners debated slavery and the right of a state to leave the American union. Guerilla violence had already been raging in border states like Missouri and Kansas when in response to Abraham Lincoln’s election 11 states announced the formation of a new country- The Confederate States of America. In the tense months after the Southern States declared independence a question arose. Who now owned U.S. Army bases and their property on Southern soil ? Fort Leavenworth & Fort Fisher gave up without a struggle. The one other obvious place was Fort Sumter, sitting out in the middle of Charleston Bay, South Carolina. U.S. Col. Robert Anderson would defend the flag even as he was surrounded by hostile batteries, commanded by his former West Point pupil Gen. Pierre Beauregard. In the wee hours of April 12th secessionist journalist Edmund Ruffin was allowed to fire the first shot at the fort. After a five hour cannon duel the fort surrendered. Ironically the only fatality was when a soldier was killed by a ruptured cannon while firing a final salute to the lowering Stars & Stripes. This was the almost bloodless beginning to the bloodiest war in U.S. history. When the war was over Edmund Ruffin wrapped himself in a Confederate flag and shot himself, preferring death to "living in a universe populated by the vile Yankee race!"
1865- The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia lays down its arms in a field outside Appomattox Courthouse surrounded by massed union troops. Lee and Grant both were not present. Grant left specific instructions that no union soldiers were to publicly celebrate: ”Those people are no longer our enemies, they are our fellow Americans. We will not exult in their downfall.” General John Gordon led the ragged procession with the 250 surviving members of the Stonewall Brigade, who began the war as 4,500. Yankee Medal of Honor winner Joshua Chamberlain demonstrated the warriors ability to forgive by commanding his men to salute the Confederates, who snapped to attention and returned salute.
In North Carolina when a hard riding dispatch rider with the news reached the front of Sherman’s western army, one soldier greeted him: “ You’re the sonofabitch I’ve been waiting four years for !”
1911- Cartoonist Winsor McCay opened his vaudeville act with his "Little Nemo" animated short.
1912- A slightly built London theater manager and failed author named Bram Stoker died. His seven books and several plays made little money in his time. But a decade later one of his novels entitled Dracula made him world famous.
1945- PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT DIED. The government knew since 1943 that FDR's health was failing and he would probably die in office. Roosevelt was at his Warm Springs Georgia retreat in the company of an old flame, Lucy Mercer whom he had promised Eleanor never to see again. The assignation was arranged by their daughter Alice, who promised not to tell her mom. Mom found out. FDR’s last words” I have a splitting headache..”. The nation was shocked. In his Berlin bunker with the Red Army knocking on the door Adolf Hitler was jubilant because he felt this was an astrological omen of final Nazi victory. Gen. MacArthur was still bitter about FDR's broken promises to the Philippines. His first reaction was:" He never used the truth where a good lie would do." Vice President Harry Truman was enjoying one of his whiskey & poker parties with House Speaker Sam Rayburn when he got the phone call. "Jeezus Christ and General Jackson !!"-was his response. He was rushed to the White House while the staff went crazy looking for a Bible to swear him in -confirming the suspicions of many about FDR's religious attitude. Finally a Gideon guest bible turned up in a guest room drawer and the 33rd President was sworn in. Truman told Eleanor:" I'll pray for you." Eleanor replied: "No Harry. We'll pray for YOU."
1945- Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton toured a Nazi concentration camp and saw for themselves the horrors of the Holocaust. Eisenhower ordered the press to film everything, because as he said:” Someday some people might say this was exaggerated and never happened. Let them see for themselves” As he was leaving the camp Ike turned to a US Army guard and said:” Still need a reason to hate them ? I never thought I’d be ashamed to be German. ” Eisenhower’s ancestors emigrated from the Rhineland and settled in Kansas in the 1800’s.
1954- "ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK' recorded by Bill Haley and the Comets- arguably the first true Rock & Roll hit.
1955- the Salk vaccine for Polio made available to the public.
1961-THE FIRST MAN INTO SPACE- It was Soviet Major Yuri Gargarin aboard Vostok 1.
1981- The first space shuttle Columbia took off. After 26 flawless missions in 2003 the Columbia disintegrated upon reentry, killing all aboard.
1992- Euro-Disney, now called Disneyland Paris, opened. It attracted only 50.000 visitors the first year, about ten times less than what was expected. The first Disneyland in California drew 100,00 on opening day alone . But it has since crawled back to solvency- kinda.
1995- To celebrate David Letterman’s 49th birthday, actress Drew Barrymore climbed up on his desk and flashed her breasts. For once, the bucktoothed talkshow host was speechless.
Yesterday’s Quiz: In Kubrick’s movie The Shining, the main theme was a melody also used in many other works, like Berlioz in his Symphonie Fantastique, and Rachmaninoff in his Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini. What is that theme called?
Answer: It is a 12th Century Gregorian Chant for the dead called Dies Irae- Day of Wrath. The theme is used when the composer wants to hint at mortality or death.
April 11th, 2010 sun.
April 10th, 2010
Quiz: In Kubrick’s movie The Shining, the main theme was a melody also used in many other works, like Berlioz in his Symphonie Fantastique, and Rachmaninoff in his Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini. What is that theme called?
Yesterday’s question answered below: We all know Mel Blanc did the most cartoon voices for Warner Bros, but who did the most cartoon voices for Disney?
History for 4/11/2010
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, Frederick the Warlike of Saxony-1370, Ethel Kennedy, Joel Grey, Louise Lasser, Mason Reese, Oleg Cassini, Cameron Mitchell. Norman McClaren, Bill Irwin, John Milius, Jennifer Esposito
1034- The Byzantine Emperor Romanus III Argyrus was poisoned by his wife.
1241- Battle of Sajoria- Mongol hordes of Subotai destroy the Hungarian army of King Bela and burn Buda. Pest was across the river.
1506- Pope Julius II laid the corner stone for the new Saint Peter’s Basilica. It was completed in 1626.
1512-BATTLE OF RAVENNA -The first battle decided by artillery. The armies of Pope Julius II and his Spanish allies are defeated by Duke Alfonso D'Este of Ferrara and his French allies. The D'Este' family were patrons of Leonardo daVinci but this Duke was an artillery buff. For his birthday friends gave him cannons. In true Renaissance fashion during the battle the Duke pulled his guns to the side of the battlefield where he could fire on both sides at once. When someone explained he would be firing on his friends as well the Duke answered:" Well, they'll probably be enemies tomorrow!" Despite this curious strategem, he won anyway.
1713 - FIRST TREATY OF UTRECHT- Ending the War of Spanish Succession. George Frederich Handel premiered the Royal Fireworks Music in celebration. France yields to England the eastern coastal provinces of Canada. When the French speaking inhabitants of Arcadia refuse to swear allegiance to the English King they are driven out of their homes at bayonet point. Scottish colonists are brought in who rename the island Nova Scotia -New Scotland. The French exiles migrate to Louisiana and settle in the swampy bayous. They call themselves Arcadians, which slurs to A'cajun or Cajun.
1854- Depressed by his go-no-where career and drinking heavily, Captain Ulysses Grant resigned from the US Army.
1865-Abe Lincoln sends his aide Lehman on an errand to occupied Richmond. This meant Lincoln's only bodyguard could not be at his side at Ford's Theater on the 14th. Lehman had long flowing hair and maintained a belt full of guns, a Bowie knife and brass knuckles to guard the president. He also occasionally produced his banjo and played for the President his favorite song, “Jimmy Crack Corn”.
1873- General Canby and several army commissioners were slain by Modoc Indian chief Cap'n Jack while in a tent talking peace. Canby becomes the only U.S. general killed in the Indian Wars. Remember Custer was a brevet major general (i.e. honorary general) in the downsized post-Civil War army, but he was doing the job of a colonel. Cap'n Jack got a really cool general's jacket to wear until he was captured and hanged. The Modoc Indian Wars were in the Northern California lava beds. The Modocs themselves were peaceful until a mining company wanted their land. So they threw them a picnic and laced the food with rat poison. Cannons were hidden in the bushes to finish off the survivors. The remainder of the tribe went on the warpath and the U.S. Army came in to conquer them. A war correspondent photographer travelling with the army was future cinema pioneer Edweard Muybridge.
1876- Benevolent Order of Elks Lodge founded.
1890- In England John Merrick, who was known as the Elephant Man, died.
1906- Albert Einstein published his Theory of Relativity.
1907-Baseball N.Y. Giant's Roger Bresnahan becomes the first catcher to wear a mask and shin guards. He had the mask built based on a sword fencing mask.
1914- George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion premiered at the Haymarket in London.
1926- Horticulturist Luther Burbank died. His last words;" I don't feel good."
1931- Dorothy Parker resigned her job as drama critic for the New Yorker Magazine. Mrs Parker was known for her witty but caustic reviews like “Her performance ran the gamut from A to B.” She married an actor named Cambell and moved to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. While on her honeymoon the magazine bugged her for some more fixes on an article. She sent a telegram from Paris:” Don’t bother me. F*cking busy. And visa-versa. “
1933- the Bauhaus directed by Mies Van Der Rohe was closed down by the Nazis.
1941- Henry Ford had vowed he would never sign a union contract. His dreaded security goons, called the Service Department, prowled the plants firing union men and even patroled the toilets listening for loose talk. Ford kept machine guns on his homes roof and encouraged his executives to wear sidearms. But after a wildcat strike at River Rouge Ford he reluctantly signed the first union contract in it’s history.
1945-Concentration camp at Buchenwald liberated. The Nazi guards had already fled and an inmate answered the phone when the Gestapo called. They ordered the camp blown up and the remaining inmates killed. The inmate answered not to worry, that they were already doing that. Then he went out to welcome the American tanks. Among the survivors was Nobel Laureate Ei Weisel, Simon Weisenthal and future leader of Communist East Germany Eric Hoehnegger.
1950- First day filming on the movie All About Eve. As Bette Davis said “Fasten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy night.”
1951- When President Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur from his command in Korea a firestorm of protest erupted in Congress. Several leading senators called for the Presidents Impeachment! One California senator stood up and said he was for censure but was against impeachment. His name was Senator Richard M. Nixon.
1955- WABD in New York and KTLA in Los Angeles began running pre-1948 Warner Bros cartoon shorts in a half hour format, introducing the baby boomer generation to the world of Bugs, Daffy and Porky.
1957-Poet Pablo Neruda was arrested by authorities in Buenos Aires.
1961- As part of the Bay of Pigs Invasion the US Airforce bombed and destroyed most of Fidel Castro’s Cuban airforce on the ground.
1968- After the Vietnamese Tet Offensive and President Lyndon Johnson’s announcement that he would not run for another term, Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford announced the US would send no additional ground troops to Vietnam. Even with 450,000 there already the generals wanted an additional 200,000. Congress threatened to cut off funding. The US government began to talk of de-escalation and disengagement, but it took another 5 years to do it.
1970-Apollo 13 blasts off for the moon. Halfway there an explosion will force it to return.
1974- Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and defense minister Moshe Dayan resigned under heavy criticism for their handling of the Yom Kippur War. Ytshak Rabin became PM, the first Sabrah, or native born Israeli to lead his country.
1979- Ugandan dictator Dr. Idi Amin-Dada driven out of power by a Tanzanian invasion. During his reign the mad dictator titled himself "Conqueror of the British Empire" and passed the time trying to wrestle crocodiles, rehearse mock invasions of Israel (a geographic impossibility ) and played drums in his own rock band.
1981- Valerie Bertinelli married rocker Eddie Van Halen.
1983- At that year’s Academy Awards the winner for Best Animated Short was Polish artist Zybigniew Rybcyzinski for his film Tango. During the ceremony he stepped outside for a smoke. When Security guards refused to let him re-enter he became combative, shouting the only English he knew:”I Have Oscar!”. He wound up in jail for assault and his Oscar wound up in the bushes.
2006 - Italian police captured the capo-de-capo of the Sicilian Mafia, Salvatore Provenzano near the town of Corleone, the birthplace of Mario Puzo’s fictional Godfather. Don Provenzano had been hiding out for 43 years.
Yesterday’s question: We all know Mel Blanc did the most cartoon voices for Warner Bros, but who did the most cartoon voices for Disney?
Answer: Stirling Halloway- He was Winnie the Pooh, Kaa in Jungle Book, Sir Hiss in Robin Hood, Roquefort in the Aristocats, The Cheshire Cat in Alice, and many, many, more.
April 10th, 2010 sat
April 10th, 2010
History: We all know Mel Blanc did the most cartoon voices for Warner Bros, but who did the most cartoon voices for Disney? ( Thanks Nancy).
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a zephyr?
History for 4/10/2010
Birthdays: Josef Pulitzer, Lew Wallace, George Arliss, Omar Sharif, Harry Morgan, Max Von Sydow, Ken Griffey Sr, Claire Booth Luce, Chuck Connors, John Madden, Don Meredith, Paul Theroux, David Halberstram, Steven Segal is 58, Orlando Jones, Mandy Moore is 26, Haley Joel Osment is 22
Last day of the Roman Megaleasian festival in honor of Lunus the Moon god.
1500- The Renaissance Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza , was betrayed by his Swiss mercenaries to his enemy the French King Louis XII. This one time employer of Leonardo da Vinci was thrown in a dungeon to rot at the castle of Loche, dying in 1508. He asked for nothing to take with him except his copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
1610- French King Henry IV of Navarre was as famous for his sexual appetite as for his statesmanship. He had many liaisons with many women but one of the most famous was Gabrielle d’Estrees. When a duke told him of her beauty, he galloped through enemy territory to be with her. They had a long affair but Gabrielle wanted more, she wanted Henry to divorce his queen and marry her! Henry was thinking about it, when this day D’Estees died of infection after childbirth. Some said it was poison, but that sort of infection was common then. Henry grieved: “I am destroyed. The Plant of Love is dead inside of me!” Two months later he had another girlfriend.
1741- Battle of Mollwitz- King Frederick the Great's first victory. His big battalions of Prussian-disciplined infantry defeated the Austrians even after his cavalry had been driven off the field, the King Frederick swept along in the rout. He thought he had lost. He was drinking his sorrows away in a pub, when he got the news of his victory.
The international fame of Frederick’s Army created an unexpected side industry. A Coburg toy maker named Andreas Hipert began selling mass market sets of toy soldiers modeled on his men. Flats made of lead and brightly painted, they were a big hit. Toy soldiers go back at least as far as the Romans. Medieval princes owned little replicas of knights. But Hipert created toys for average people.
1790- The U.S. patent office created.
1836- THE HELEN JEWETT MURDER- Helen Jewett was a beautiful, well-bred woman. But bad luck had brought her down to prostitution on the mean streets of New York. This night at a brothel at 41 Thomas St, she was murdered with an axe. Her partner shop clerk Richard Robinson was charged with the murder, but there was not enough evidence for a conviction. The Helen Jewett Case was the first Media-Sensation Crime in the US. The emerging mass media held the public spellbound for weeks with salacious details and lurid descriptions of the sad end of this Soiled Dove.
1841- Horace Greeley creates the daily newspaper the New York Tribune, which he builds into a national voice for the abolition of slavery. Greeley was the man who advised: “Go West, Young Man.” During the New York Draft Riots of 1863 Greeley defended his newspaper from looters with his own personal cannon in the lobby.
1848- THE CHARTISTS- A large working class movement broke out in England inspired by the industrial working class uprisings occurring that year throughout Europe. The English radicals wanted no less than a republic with universal voting rights. The demonstrations and threats of violence concerned young Queen Victoria so much that at one point she became hysterical with tears. This day the Chartists planned a rally of 200,000 to march on Westminster. Victoria and Albert fled to the Isle of Wight to avoid the confrontation. But the movement petered out of it's own lack of momentum. Only 23,000 showed up and their leader, a Mr. Fergus O'Connor, shook hands with the police chief and took a cab to Parliament to present his petitions alone. Universal voting rights in England didn't occur until the Twentieth Century.
1849- Walter Hunt invented the safety pin. Hunt sold the pattern for $100 bucks.
1865- The day after Lee surrendered his army to Grant ending the Civil War, many of Lee’s officers started going through the lines to visit old friends on the other side. Men who only the day before had been trying to kill each other today laughed and partied. One of the visitors to Grant headquarters was Lee’s second in command General James Longstreet. Before the war Old Pete Longstreet was best man to Ulysses Grants wedding.
1866-The ASPCA founded.
1868- Johannes Brahms A German Requiem debuted.
1877- Honoring a political deal that helped win his election, President Rutherford Hayes began withdrawing occupying troops from the Southern States of the former Confederacy. This ends the period known as the Reconstruction. The South was once the wealthiest part of the U.S., by then it was the poorest. And all the civil and voting rights for black Americans that Lincoln had planned for postwar America were nullified.
1903- King Alexander Obrenovic of Serbia had become increasingly autocratic. His suspending the liberal constitution of 1889, installing press censorship and revoking secret balloting had made him very unpopular. This night a group of Serbian army officers broke into the Kings bedroom and murdered King Alexander and his Queen Draga. They hurled their naked bodies out of a window to smash onto the cobblestone courtyard below where more army officers proceeded to hack up the remains with their sabers. Peter Karageorgevic’ was elected new king.
Mainstream world media was shocked by the brutality of the killings but the Head of the Serbian Church held a Thanksgiving Mass and there was a festive mood in Belgrade the rest of the week. One of the officers in the coup would later bankroll the Serbian terrorist group that assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and started World War One.
1906- O'Henry's story " The Gift of the Magi " first published.
1912- The White Star oceanliner RMS Titanic sailed from Southhampton on her maiden voyage. The loading ramp supposedly was crowned with a banner which read "The Ship that God could not Sink!" but may be a legend. Other hints of sinister premonition was the fact that for some reason the Titanic was launched but never christened.
1919- Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata assassinated. Zapata went to see a Colonel Jesus Guajardo who said he was willing to change over to his side. The colonel ordered his men to raise their rifles as if to fire a salute, but on a given signal lowered them and blasted Zapata away. Guajardo got 52,000 pesos and a promotion to general. Today’s Indian guerrillas in Chiapas call themselves Zapatistas.
1923- Peeps invented. The sweet Easter marshmallow confection that is shaped like a yellow baby chick and can stick to most surfaces.
1925- F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" published by Scribners.
1941- First Battle of Tobruk. When Rommel's Afrika Korps pushed the British army across the Libyan desert, the port of Tobruk held out for three months in an epic siege.
1942-THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH- not one of the highpoints in U.S.-Japanese relations. When twenty thousand trapped American and Philipino troops surrendered to the Japanese, they were sent back through the steaming jungles of Bataan on a forced march without food or water, the guards shooting and bayoneting those who dropped from exhaustion. Their guards gave them food after nine days. Only half survived the ordeal, 12,000 died.
1947- THE FBI PAY A VISIT to Screen Actor’s Guild president Ronald Reagan and actress-wife Jane Wyman. They accuse them of belonging to Communist Party front organizations. Ronnie agrees to become an informer on his own guild, and just about everyone else in Hollywood. Jane Wyman later divorced him.
1951- GENERAL MacARTHUR FIRED BY PRESIDENT TRUMAN- Douglas MacArthur had been used to being his own boss in the Far East and he found the politics of global nuclear brinksmanship puzzling. He thought you fought wars to win them, not to maintain a stalemate. Truman was trying to limit the carnage of the Korean War from spreading into World War III. MacArthur had been ordered by Truman last December 4th not to make public statements about the Korean war without going through Washington first. So when against direct orders MacArthur issued his own ultimatum threatening the Communist Chinese with a nuclear firestorm on their cities and independently conferring with Chiang Kai Shek about his getting Nationalist Chinese armies into the war Truman had had enough. Truman ordered MacArthur home and replaced with General Matthew Ridgeway. Generals Eisenhower, George C. Marshall and Omar Bradley supported the president’s policy that the military must be subject to civilian authority. MacArthur didn’t get the news until he heard it on the radio. The public outrage at the humiliation of America’s legendary soldier was enormous but in time subsided. 60% of the Korean War’s battle casualties occurred in the two years after MacArthur’s dismissal. In 1964 the dying MacArthur sent a final message to President Lyndon Johnson begging him not to go into Vietnam.
1952-ELIA THE FINK-Film director Elia Kazan ( On the Waterfront, East of Eden,etc.) saved his career but earned the lasting hatred of Hollywood by testifying to the House Un American Activities Committee. He named 8 of his friends as Communists, including famed writer Clifford Odets. Unlike others who were forced to testify Kazan never expressed any regret for the pain he caused. Many see the irony of 'On the Waterfront' that it's hero is a guy who does the right thing by turning informer. The film was written by Bud Schulberg, who also named names.
1953- The Vincent Price film The House of Wax in 3d premiered.
1961- Singer Joan Baez entered the Greenwich Village club called Folk City and was accosted by a funny young man with a nasaly twang ;”Joan Baez! Here, I wrote a song for you!” His name was Bob Dylan. Baez and Dylan became friends and together changed the image of folk music.
1962- DON'T TRY TO DOUBLECROSS JFK ! The U.S. Steel Corporation had made a deal with the Kennedy Administration that if the feds leaned on the steelworkers union for a favorable labor settlement U.S. Steel promised not to raise wholesale prices which would hurt the U.S. economy. On this day chairman Roger 'Ben' Blough told John Kennedy they were reneging on the deal and raising prices anyway. Kennedy exploded- " My father always warned me that all businessmen were sons of bitches but I never believed him until now!" The Kennedy administration made things so hot for U.S. Steel that they cancelled the price increase.
1962- Stuart Sutcliffe was the bass guitarist of the Beatles until creative differences and a marriage made him drop out of the band in favor of George Harrison. This day Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage at age 21.
1962- The Los Angeles Dodgers play their first game at their new Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine. They lost to the Cincinnati Reds 6-3.
1969- Radical students of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) protesting the Vietnam War storm the administration buildings of Harvard. It takes 400 riot police and 197 arrests to drive them out.
1971- Rob Reiner married Penny Marshall.
1985- A new singer named Madonna began her first tour, the Virgin Tour.
1992- Raunchy- comedian Sam Kinison was killed in a head on collision with a truck on the road to Las Vegas. Ironically, the comedian who had glorified the wild sex, drugs and rock& roll lifestyle was sober at the time, and the truck driver was drunk. Paramedics at the crash site claim they heard Kinison shortly before his death having a conversation with an invisible presence. Others believe Kinison’s last words were “Oh, OOh –AAAUUUUGGHHHH!!!”
1997- The Jerusalem Post announced the birth of a red heifer at a kibbutz near Haifa. The birth of a red heifer is supposed to be the prerequisite for the coming of the Messiah and the End of the World. In 2003 the cow became beef brisket, and we’re still all here.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a zephyr?
Answer. A light refreshing breeze. Named for the Greek god of the West wind.
April 9th, 2010 friday.
April 9th, 2010
Quiz: What is a zephyr?
Yesterdays quiz answered below: Stirling Holloway was the voice of a famous bear. Who was he?
History for 4/9/2010
Birthdays: Tartar conquerer Timur the Lame called Tamurlane, , Vladimir Ulyanov called Lenin, Paul Robeson, Jean Paul Belmondo, Dennis Quaid, Ward Bond, Seve Balesteros, Carl Perkins, Michael Learned, Tom Lehrer, Paula Poundstone, Cynthia Nixon, Hugh Hefner is 84, Elle Fanning is 12
999 AD.- Sylvester II made pope, the first Frenchman. He reformed the way Popes were selected by organizing the College of Cardinals. Before that Popes were selected out of infighting between several leading Roman families. Tradition also says Sylvester was a sorcerer because he experimented with the medicinal properties of herbs and is credited with inventing the pendulum clock.
1241-MONGOLS ! BATTLE OF LEIGNITZ- The son of Genghis Khan, Ogodai, had dispatched four armies –one to China, one to Korea and one to Europe, the fourth was pushing south through Baghdad, Egypt and Palestine. This would complete his father’s master plan for world conquest This day the Mongol horde of Subotai ,Vuldai and Paidar clashed with the cream of East European knighthood on a plain in Poland.
Since they had burned Baghdad and killed the Caliph at first the western kings thought the Mongols were the magical knights of Prester John come from Cathay to save Christendom, but after they had destroyed Moscow, Budapest and Kracow the alarm spread. The Kings of England, France and even Norway prepared for the attack. This was the first meeting of the Mongols and Western Knights. The Kings of Poland and Bohemia were there as well as the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the Holy Orders of the Teutonic Knights and Livonian Sword Brothers. The Mongols slaughtered them all easily. Paidar sent back to his overlord Batu Khan nine sacks of left ears taken from the slain and King Henry of Bohemia’s head on a spear.
The only reason the Horde didn’t continue on to Paris and London as planned was back in Mongolia the great Khan Ogodai died. Since the Mongol Empire was never more than an enlarged tribal system all Mongol elders had to stop everything they were doing and return home to Karakorum for a council -the Grand Kurlutai Then the Mongols left Europe as mysteriously as they had arrived.
1553- French writer Francois Rabelais died. His last words were: ” I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”
1682- Explorer Sieur De Lasalle claims Louisiana and the Mississippi for France.
1747- Famed British actor David Garrick signed a contract to take over the management of London’s Drury Lane Theatre.
1778- In Paris the philosopher Voltaire is initiated into the Masonic Order of the Nine Sisters on the arm of his friend, Benjamin Franklin.
1780- George Washington wrote the American emissary in Paris, Richard Lawrence, about our chances of winning the American Revolution:” We here are at the end of our tether. If we do not receive help soon all will be lost.”
1812- THE SACK OF BADAJOZ-The Duke of Wellington’s English army storms into a Spanish city held by Napoleons French forces. The battle typified the ferocity of the war in Spain. The French and pro-French Spaniards dropped explosives and rocks on the heads of the attacking English and embedded the tops of their walls with broken glass and knife blades. The loss of life was so ghastly that when the redcoats finally breached the cities defenses they went berserk- looting, raping, and killing the civilian population. This is when Wellington called his men scum. Wellington always went through a depressed state after a battle, even his victories. At one point grizzled old General Sir Thomas Picton noticed Wellington weeping.”My God Arthur, what the devil are you blubbering on about?” was his reaction.
1859- Mark Twain received his Mississippi riverboat pilot’s license.
1865- APPOMATTOX COURTHOUSE, THE END OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. Robert E. Lee surrenders the remains of his army to Ulysses Grant ( just 11,000 men from an 1863 peak of 70,000). Grant had had a migraine headache all morning until he received the note from Lee requesting terms. Grant’s staff understood that Lee’s note meant the end of the greatest cataclysm in U.S. history. One staff officer called for three cheers but the men could only manage one weak hurrah, then they broke down in tears. All realized that at last the killing was truly over.
Lee arrived wearing his best dress uniform, Grant rode in from the field wearing an old muddy private’s jacket. Grant recalled when they met during the Mexican War but Lee didn’t remember. Grant was happy to make small talk until Lee brought them back to the business at hand. Grant’s secretary was a Seneca Indian named Captain Ely Parker. Lee paused to say ”I’m glad there’s at least one real American here.”
The house they met in was owned by a man named Wilbur McClean, who moved his family for Bull Run to Appomattox to get away from the fighting. He managed to keep his belongings safe for four years of war. Now, after Lee and Grant left the historic meeting, the officers looted his place for souvenirs, George Custer riding off with the little surrender table perched on his head.
1914- THE TAMPICO INCIDENT- In the port of Vera Cruz a shore party from the USN gunboat Tampico was arrested by Mexican authorities while getting supplies. They were soon released and the Mexican Government apologized. But the US Admiral Mayo then demanded the Mexicans give the Stars & Stripes a 21 gun salute. The Mexican army said they would if the USN did the same salute to the Mexican flag. Washington didn’t want to do this because it would have meant the US recognized the dictatorship of General Huerta, who had overthrown the legally elected President Madero. So the US attacked Vera Cruz on April 21st, 20 Americans and 200 Mexicans killed. A newspaper at the time commented:” I can’t believe we almost went to war over some points of diplomatic etiquette!”
1914- The first all color film” The World, The Flesh and the Devil” premiered in London.
1917- Shortly after declaring war on Germany President Woodrow Wilson was confronted by old former President Teddy Roosevelt who volunteered to lead a new regiment of volunteer Rough Riders into the World War One trenches. Wilson said thanks but no thanks. At the same time he also declined an offer from Annie Oakley to lead a company of lady sharpshooters into combat “Oakley’s Amazons”.
1940- Hitler invaded Denmark and Norway. Innocent looking civilian German freighters holed up in Danish and Norwegian ports suddenly disgorged hordes of steel helmeted Nazi soldiers. Copenhagen, Oslo and Trondheim were quickly overrun. Mysteriously the British Navy didn’t use its superiority to stop the Germans crossing the Baltic. The admirals were worried about the German divebombers. It showed the world that Sea Power had finally bowed to Airpower.
1942- Black opera star Marian Anderson gives her concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to an audience of 75,000. She was snubbed from giving a recital at the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall which caused a furious Eleanor Roosevelt to resign from the DAR and arrange this concert.
1944- First battle of the Warsaw Ghetto. Jews revolt in a desperate struggle against the conditions the Nazis held them in. All guns and supplies were precious and one character of the street fighting the Germans nicknamed Moishe the Bolshevik, who ran from corpse to corpse under heavy fire dragging bandoliers of bullets, grenades and several helmets on his head.
1948- Variety columnist Ben Mortimer had been needling Frank Sinatra for his advocacy of liberal causes. He accused Old Blue Eyes of draft-dodging and hinted maybe he had pro-Communist sympathies. This day Sinatra responded by meeting Mortimer in front of Ciro's restaurant on Sunset Blvd and punched his lights out.
1951- The day before he fired General Douglas MacArthur- President Harry Truman secretly sent to Korea five unassembled atomic bombs. These were to be armed and used if only the situation looked totally hopeless. They were never used .
1953- The first issue of the T.V. Guide.
1959- NASA introduced the first seven astronauts to the public: Donald Slayton, Alan Shepard, Walter Schirra, Virgil Grissom, John Glenn, Leroy Cooper, and Malcolm Carpenter- all military test pilots instead of scientists.
1965- Mickey Mantle hits the first indoor home run as the Astrodome opens with an exhibition game with the Astros hosting the Yankees. President Lyndon Johnson was supposed to throw out the first pitch but arrived late. Phillie catcher Bob Boone commented about the Astrodome "This is a tough yard for a hitter when the air conditioning is blowing in.."
1966-actress Sophia Loren married producer Carlo Ponti, with whom she had been living with for a decade but not allowed to marry because Catholics did not allow divorce from their previous spouses.
1974- Ray Kroc the founder of MacDonalds Restaurants was the owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team. After yet another sorry performance, losing 8-0, Kroc stormed over to the broadcast booth, grabbed the mike and out loud apologized to San Diego fans for his teams lousy playing” You Guys Stink!” Despite this morale boost, the Padres eventually did win championship pennants and get to the World Series.
1975- As North Vietnamese armies approached the South Vietnamese capitol of Saigon, US President Gerald Ford issued an advisory to all Americans to evacuate the country.
1991- The last Horn & Hardardt Automat was closed on 42nd St in Manhattan. Philadelphia restauranters Joseph Horn and William Hardart saw German experiments in mass market automated restaurants, and imported the equipment to start one in Philadelphia in 1902.
1999- American planes flying for NATO bombed the Serbian factory that made the economy car the Yugo. Car enthusiasts rejoiced.
2003- Baghdad fell to invading US and British armies.
2004- Archaeologists in Cyprus discover a 9,000 year old grave of a New Stone Age man. In his arms is the remains of a kitten. This is the oldest evidence of man domesticating cats. So rest in peace- Gronk and Fluffy.
2005- Prince Charles wed Lady Camilla Parker-Bowles, his mistress of thirty years. They were not allowed to marry in Saint George’s Chapel in Windsor, the Queen avoided the ceremony and his father didn’t feel like interrupting his trip to Germany; and because of a delay to respect Pope John Paul II’s funeral, all the commemorative cups and dishes have the wrong date on them. Among the thirty invited guests, were Mrs. Bowles divorced husband.
2008- Stuntman Rupert MacDonald built a full size Viking ship out of popsicle sticks. 15 million to be precise.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Stirling Holloway was the voice of a famous bear. Who was he?
Answer: Winnie the Pooh.