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April 1st, 2009 weds
April 1st, 2009

Question: In American colloquial slang, when did bluesmen begin referring to the authorities as “ The Man”…?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Why is today called April Fools Day?
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History for 4/1/2009
Welcome to April, named for Aprilis, an Etruscan Goddess of Agriculture and planting or it may even be a corruption of the name of the Greek Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The month was considered by Romans sacred to Venus- Venuralia.

To Ancient Egyptians it was the birthday of the God Het-Heth or Hathor. http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_april_calendar.htm

Happy April Fool’s Day
"This is the day upon which we are reminded what we really are on the other three hundred and sixty four.." -Mark Twain
In San Francisco today the Church of the Last Laugh holds it’s annual Saint Stupid’s Day parade. They go to the Sock Exchange to exchange socks, then inspect the large bolts holding San Francisco in place from sliding into the ocean.

Birthdays: Edmund Rostand, Lon Chaney, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ali McGraw, Toshiro Mifune, Big Jim Fisk, Debbie Reynolds is 77, Hans Conreid, Phil Neikro, Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, Bo Schembechler, Annette O’Toole, Barry Sonnefeld, Rachel Maddow is 36

1081- Alexius Comnenus Ist, captures Constantinople and establishes the Comnenoi dynasty. He took the city by bribing the Varangian Guards –English, Hun and Viking mercenaries, to open the gates and let his army in. Alexius I was the Byzantine Emperor when the Crusades began. His daughter Anna Comnena described the event in her journal :"Then one day all of Europe decided to walk to our door..."

1488- Ludovico Buonarotti, after going through a lot of trouble to get his son in the wool and draper’s guild, gives up hope that the boy would ever be anything other than an artist. He reluctantly takes him to be an apprentice to fresco painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. Michelangelo's career begins.

1621- The first treaty between English and Indians signed in Massachusetts. Massacoit of the Wampanoags made peace with the newly arrived Pilgrims.

1747-Georg Frederich Handel premiered his oratorio Judas Maccabeus with the song "Hail, Conquering Hero !" frequently used at royal functions.

1861- As the Civil War was breaking out, Secretary of State Seward delivered to Lincoln a memo proposing that the way to keep the South united to the U.S. would be to declare war on Spain or France. Lincoln said thanks for the advice, but no thanks...

1862- Confederate General John Sibley declared the counties of western New Mexico to be the new independent Confederate State called Arizona. Sibley's rebs were driven out but Lincoln kept the idea, setting up Arizona in 1864.

1865- BATTLE OF FIVE FORKS- Grant's Yankee Army closed in on Robert E. Lee's Confederates, Grant's cavalry master Phil Sheridan cut off and destroyed one over extended division of Lee's under George Pickett, taking 5000 prisoners. Pickett had won fame as the leader of the famous charge at Gettysburg. But he blew it at Five Forks because while his men were dying he was away with some friends at a fish fry. No pagers or cell-phones in those days.

1867- Opening of the Paris World Exhibition. The gala worlds fair was seen as the zenith of Napoleon III’s Second Empire. Visitors marveled to fascinating exhibits as Dr Lister’s new Disinfectant, a new alloy called Aluminum and in the American exhibit a novel bit of furniture called a Rocking Chair. The Art galleries of the exhibition were filled with Ingres, Courbets and Delacroix. But nothing was accepted by those weird painters Cezanne, Manet, Pizarro or any of the others who would one day be called Impressionists.

1923- Developers S.H. Woodruff and Canadian William Whitley start advertising lots for sale in Hollywoodland, beneath his his giant new Hollywoodland sign. The sign originally was covered with lightbulbs. It collapsed and was repaired in 1939, the 'land' part never restored. The Hollywood Sign was made over again in 1978.

1924- After the failed Beer Hall Putsch, Nazis party leader Adolph Hitler was sentenced by a German court to 5 years in prison. He serves only 8 months in a beautiful lodge in Bavaria named Castle Landsberg and uses the time to write Mein Kampf. I guess if it were today he'd be working on his web site- Maddictator.com

1932- The baby of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh was kidnapped from their home.

1944- Tex Avery's "Screwball Squirrel"

1945- OKINAWA- The Marines land and the battle begins. Because it was not a conquered territory but part of the home Japanese islands, Washington weighed it’s decision to use the atomic bomb by it’s observation of the Okinawa battle. It would indicate how tough it would be to land on mainland Japan, only 360 miles away. The fighting was brutal, hand to hand with bayonets and flame-throwers. Of the 125,000 man Japanese garrison only 7,500 didn’t fight to the death, and civilians threw themselves off cliffs in mass suicide. A children's class trip visiting from Tokyo who were caught in the battle. The kids were shown by soldiers how to cluster themselves around a single hand grenade, so as to save on the number needed. Today there is a shrine to their memory. The Cave of the Maidens is dedicated to a group of schoolgirls who hid in a cave. When the Americans heard Japanese voices inside, and none would answer their calls to come out and surrender,they filled the cave with flamethrower fire. Almost every American soldier who was captured was executed. The U.S. Navy suffered the worst number of ships sunk and men killed since Pearl Harbor in 1,900 Kamikaze plane attacks. U.S. casualties were so high the government re-imposed a press blackout.
This battle has the rare distinction like the Plains of Abraham in 1759 where both opposing commanders died. US General Simon Bolivar Buckner, who’s father had fought Ulysses Grant in the Civil War, was killed by an artillery round three days before the battles end. Japanese General Usijima committed hari-kiri almost at the same time.

1945- Adolph Hitler moved his headquarters from the Reich Chancellery to a bunker deep below it’s street level.

1949- Zsa Zsa Gabor married George Sanders.

1961- Rev Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker get married.

1970- A symbol of the 70’s.- AMC’s compact car the Gremlin introduced.

1972- In a gesture of turnabout-is-fair-play for women, Playgirl Magazine ran its first male nude centerfold- Burt Reynolds.

1984- Motown star Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his own father in an argument over plans for the singer's 45th birthday party the next day.

1995- Chasen's restaurant closed. Former actor Frederick Chasen opened his exclusive Beverly Hills Restaurant in 1936. James Stewart and Mickey Rooney were regulars. During the filming of Cleopatra (1963) Elizabeth Taylor had Chasen's chili flown out to her in Rome. Walt Disney met Leopold Stokowski over dinner at Chasens and conceived the film Fantasia, Orson Welles and Joe Mankiewicz got into a fistfight over the script outline of Citizen Kane there, Bogart, Bacall and John Huston discussed how to fight the Hollywood Blacklist there. There is a complete booth from Chasens preserved in the Reagan Presidential Library.

1996- Animation World Network, Toontown’s virtual trade magazine, started up. www.AWN.com

2004- G-Mail invented.

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Yesterday’s Question: Why is today called April Fools Day?

Answer: – The Ancient Romans considered today ALL FOOLS DAY-a day of comedy- they did things backwards, men and women swapped clothes and carried on. Before the Gregorian Reforms in 1582 some Old Style Calendars had the year begin in April instead of January. As the new modern calendar became more widely accepted the people who stubbornly clung to the old practice were made fun of, and called April-Fools.


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