March 29th, 2009 Sun.
March 29th, 2009
Quiz: Who were Harvey Girls?
Yesterday’s Question: What is a Jeremiad?
HISTORY FOR 3/29/2009
Birthdays: President John Tyler, Sir William Walton, Eric Idle is 66, former English P.M. John Major, Bud Cort, LaToya Jackson, Eugene McCarthy, Jennifer Capriati, M.C. Hammer, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Cy Young, Christopher Lambert is 52, Disney animators Jack Kinney, Brendan Gleeson is 54, Lucy Lawless, Elle MacPherson, Amy Sedaris is 48
327 AD St. Jonah was squished to death in a wine press.
1461- Battle of Towdon. Edward IV Yorkist army defeated the last organized Lancastrian forces ending the War of the Roses.
1519- Pope Leo X sent uppity monk Martin Luther an invitation to come to Rome and explain his curious opinions. Luther quickly understood his chances- once in the Vaticans’ hands, at best he would be sent to some obscure Italian monastery to live out his days in a vow of silence. At worst he would burn at the stake on a slow fire with a nail hammered through his tongue like earlier papal critics Jan Hus and Savonarola. Martin Luther decided to tell Rome thanks but no thanks, he’d stay in Germany where it was safe.
1638- The first Swedish colonists arrive in Delaware. Remember at this time Sweden was just as big a kickass power in Europe as England or France. The built a settlement they call Fort Christina. Twenty years later the fort was captured by the Dutch under Peter Stuyversant. Despite their short stay the Swedes left a lasting impression on the New World. They brought with them plans for steam baths and invented the Log Cabin.
1697-FRONTIER LIFE- French allied Abanaki Indians raided the cabins of Haverhill Massachusetts. The Indians carried off Mrs. Hannah Dustin and her maid. When Mrs. Dustins baby began to cry the Indians killed it, then being Catholic converts they paused to say a Rosary. But the frontier mother was not in a forgiving mood. This night when the warriors who guarded them slept Mrs. Dustin and her maid quietly rose, grabbed tomahawks and murdered all the Abnakis. Then being aware of the Massachusetts bounty on Indian scalps she paused before fleeing to scalp all the bodies. She made it back home and earned 25 English pounds in prize money. Rev. Cotton Mather included her story in his 1697 book Humiliations Follow’d with Deliverances, an early American best seller.
1814- As Russian, Swedish, Austrian and Prussian armies closed in around Paris Napoleons court led by Empress Marie Louise fled the city. Napoleon himself was at Troyes with his army. He rushed but arrived too late to save the city.
1886-COCA-COLA Invented. Atlanta Pharmacist and liver pill salesman John Pemberton developed the carbonated drink originally with some Cocaine and his bookkeeper Francis Robinson penned the famous script logo still in use today. Advertising for the drink claimed it cured everything from hysteria, cholic and the common cold.
The formula is still a secret. During World War Two the Nazis openly worried how a break with the United States would effect their supply of Coca Cola so Dr Goebbels arrested Coke execs in Germany and forced them to develop Fanta Cola.
1903-THE BIRTH OF THE DRIVE IN RESTAURANT? New York tycoon CKG Billings wanted to celebrate his new racing stables in Washington Park. So he invited 50 of the top New York financial society to a formal black tie dinner at Sherry’s Restaurant, except the entire dinner would be eaten on horseback. The horses were kept in a circle and a canvas painting of the English countryside provided the backdrop to the room. The moguls ate from solid silver trays and sipped champagne from straws in their saddlebags. The Horseback Dinner was one of the more outrageous examples of Gilded Age wealth and excess .
1936-Republic Pictures formed.
1939- Moviestars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard marry. They had a happy marriage until Lombard was killed in a plane crash in 1942. It’s been said the first California King Size mattress, slightly larger than normal king size, was ordered custom made for Gable and Lombard for their rather exuberant assignations at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
1951- 'The King and I' debuts on Broadway with Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, who shaved his head for the first time for the role.
1952-President Harry Truman announced he would not seek reelection.
1962-THE BILLY SOL ESTES AFFAIR- Estes was the "fertilizer king" and considered an insider in the Kennedy White House. His arrest by the F.B. I. for selling $30 million dollars in fraudulent fertilizer tanks implicated several heads of the agriculture department. It became the only major scandal of John F. Kennedy’s administration. Before his career in fertilizer Estes tried running a funeral parlor but went out of business, ran for local office but was defeated by a write-in candidate. He became a campaign manager for the failed 1956 Presidential bid of Adlai Stevenson. As campaign manager he paid for large quantities of parakeets to be dropped by plane over major American cities and chant in unison "Vote for Adlai!"
1971- First day of shooting on the film the Godfather. Francis Coppola wanted young actor Al Pacino for the Michael Corleone role but while waiting for the offer Pacino had signed with Fox to do a different film- The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Producer Robert Evans begged and pleaded with Fox exec James Aubrey "The Smiling Barracuda" to get Pacino released from his contract. Finally Aubrey replaced him with Jerry Ohrbach. He called Evans and said:" All right, you can have the midget."
1973- Last U.S. combat Troops leave Vietnam. President Nixon that night announced "Peace with Honor". Communists conquer South Vietnam in 1975.
1974- Mariner 10 was the first satellite to reach the planet Mercury.
1975- The Communist North Vietnamese capture DaNang, South Vietnam’s second largest city, signaling the beginning of the final drive to Saigon to end the Vietnam War.
1979- The House Committee Investigation into Assassinations, published their conclusions. They concluded that "President John F. Kennedy was in all probability killed by a conspiracy " but just who and why and what to do about it, they didn’t know.
1989- As part of one of the silliest Oscar telecasts in history, actor Rob Lowe (The West Wing) had to dance and sing 'Proud Mary" with a Las Vegas showgirl dressed as Disneys Snow White. Lowe had just been embarrassed by the publication of a videotape shot in a hotel room of him having sex with two teenagers. The Disney Company immediately threatened a lawsuit and the Academy apologized and replaced director Alan Carr with Gilbert Cates.
1992- Presidential candidate Bill Clinton uttered the legendary American phrase:" I smoked pot- but I didn’t inhale!"
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a Jeremiad?
Answer: Originally from the French ( jérémiade ) After the prophet Jeremiah (circa. 650 - 580 B.C.) of the Old Testament who announced the misfortunes of Judah. He is (apochryphaly?) attributed the 'Lamentations' commemorating the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. A Jeremiad came to describe a persistent, mourneful, tirade lamenting present conditions.