March 31th, 2009 tues.
March 31st, 2009
Question: Why is tomorrow called April Fools Day?
Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Who was the last President to wear facial hair?
History for 3/31/2009
Birthdays: Rene' Descartes, Franz Josef Haydn, Serge Diagheliev, Richard Chamberlain is 79, Cesar Chavez, Herb Alpert, Gordie Howe, Liz Claiborne, Gabe Kaplan, Rhea Perlman, Shirley Jones, Richard Kiley, Volker Schlondorf, William Daniels, Lucille Bliss the voice of Crusader Rabbitt, Christopher Walken is 66, Colin Farrell is 33. Ewan McGregor is 37, Al Gore is 61
1146- St. Bernard preaches the Holy Crusade at Vezalay, King Louis VII of France and Emperor Conrad of Germany declare the SECOND CRUSADE. After all the ready-made pilgrim cross emblems were distributed Saint Bernard tore his own cloak to pieces for cross making material. Folks don't remember much about the Second Crusade because it was pretty much a non-event. Conrad took the land route through the Balkans to the Holy Land and by the time he got to Jerusalem his army was about 5 guys. The French king’s army arrived intact but he was more of a tourist than a conqueror, after visiting the holy places and gathering some medieval tourist trinkets ( 'My folks went on Crusade and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt!") he went home. They wasted most of their time in an unprovoked attack on the Emir of Damascus, who at the time was one of the Christians’ only Moslem allies. The most memorable person on the voyage was the French Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had an affair with a Saracen Prince, and legend has it inspired the troops by riding barebreasted to Damascus. Later she would leave Louis and marry Henry Plantagenet of England and give birth to Richard Lionheart.
1814- PARIS FALLS- Since his Retreat from Moscow, Napoleon seemed to be fighting all of Europe. Today the allied armies of Austria, Sweden, Prussia and Russia captured Paris despite a spirited defense in the suburbs of Montmartre by Marshals Moncey and Marmont. Moncey had reformed the municipal police and is considered the father of the Paris Gendarmerie.
1836- Charles Dickens first work published "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club."
1840- Congress lowers the minimum workday for federal workers from 11.4 hours a day to 10 hours a day. At this time in mines and factories people worked an average 12-16 hour day. The 8 hour day wasn’t achieved until 1913, not until 1941 in Hollywood and it’s still a dream in most digital effects studios and dot-com companies today.
1889- The Eiffel Tower opened to the public to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Twice as tall as the Saint Peter's in Rome or the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Wizard of Iron Gustave Eiffel also designed the armature holding up the Statue of Liberty. Eiffel’s original deal with the French government called for the tower to only stay up for twenty years, then pulled down if no further use can found for it. Eiffel agonized about what to do as the deadline approached but fortunately by 1909 Wireless radio transmissions became important and the Eiffel Tower was a great broadcast antenna.
1905- THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought back his famous sleuth in a new series of adventures. Conan Doyle had created Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in 1887 but by 1893 he had tired of the characters, he wanted to write more serious fiction like his novel The White Company. So he killed him off. Holmes fell to his doom fighting Prof. Moriarity at the Reichenbeck Falls. The reaction of the public was astonished outrage. It seemed whenever Conan Doyle went out inevitably someone would stop him and say "You Blackguard! How Could You ?!" Finally Conan-Doyle bowed to public pressure and resumed the career of the inhabitants of #221B Baker Street.
1930 -Reacting to charges that the movies had become too naughty, Hollywood producers accept the MOTION PICTURE CODE. It was regulated by Will Hays, former Republican Party Chairman. The regulation wouldn't really start to have strength until 1935-36 when pressure groups like the Catholic League of Decency went after Mae West and the Tarzan pictures. The Hays Code forbade open sex and obscenity:
- twin beds only in a bedroom, nightclothes buttoned to the neck.
-if a couple were seated together on a bed they must have at least one foot touching the floor,
-"kisses with a duration of no longer than 3 seconds, parting with lips closed."
Lots of jokes were spawned like: "Give him the bird!" "If the Hays Commission would let me, I'd give him the bird!" One other little known clause was the forbidding of members of different races from kissing on camera. So Anna Mae Wong, the greatest Chinese actress of her time, could not play a Chinese heroine if her co-star was a Caucasian with eyepieces.
1931- ITT transmits the first message by microwave, from Dover to Calais.
1943- Rodger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" debuts. Despite the opinion of producer Mike Todd -"No legs, No Laughs, No Chance", the musical becomes one of the great hits of American musical Theater.
1950- Thor Heyderthal's book of his exploits Kon Tiki published. This was an account of his 4200 mile voyage which proved ancient mariners could have traveled from Peru to Polynesia on boats made from tied reeds.
1962- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Blvd. No, it didn’t display customized surf boards or the ideal tuna melt with sprouts, but an exhibit of paintings by Bonnard.
1967- In a small London nightclub rising young rock & roller Jimmy Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time. British rock luminaries like Paul MacCartney, John Lennon and Pete Townsend sat in the audience stunned at the technical brilliance of this unknown former paratrooper who played left handed. The pieces of his guitar were purchased by Microsoft chairman Paul Allen and today are in his Seattle Rock Museum.
1968- Depressed over Vietnam War, the strong primary surge of Sen. Eugene McCarthy and the challenge of his old enemy Bobby Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would not run for re-election. Borrowing the words of General Sherman in 1884 he says: "If Nominated Ah will not Run, If elected Ah will not serve.." In retirement Johnson resumed cigarette smoking and neglected his health. He was dead in four years.
1973- Comic strip hero Smilin' Jack gets married, the strip concludes next day.
1991- Former child star Danny Bonaduce arrested for fighting with a transvestite prostitute.
1995- In Corpus Christy Texas famed Tejana singer Selena Perez was shot and killed by an obsessed fan. The woman Yolanda Saldivar was president of the Selena Fan Club. “the gun just went off, I didn’t mean to shoot anybody.” Uh-huhh.
2003- Countdown with Keith Olbermann premiered on MSNBC.
2004- Left wing radio network Air America went on the air.
Yesterday’s Answer: Which was the last President to wear facial hair?
Answer: President William Howard Taft ( in office 1909-1913) , wore great walrus mustachios. Ever since, they’ve all been clean shaven, except for Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey, who was defeated by Truman in 1948.