April 04, 2009 Saturday.
April 4th, 2009
Quiz: Define ubiquitous.
Answer to yesterday’s question below- Who coined the term- to start from scratch?
History for 4/4/2009
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Caracalla, Edweard Muybridge, Maya Angelou, Frances Langford, Irv Spence- Tom & Jerry animator, Gil Hodges, Arthur Murray, Muddy Waters, Cloris Leachman, Dorothea Dix, Elmer Bernstein, Bijan, Robert Downey Jr is 44, Barry Pepper is 39, Hugo Weaving is 48, Heath Ledger would have been 30
If you were a Roman today is the first day of the Megaleasian Festival in honor of Lunus the Moon god. Party! Par-tee!
636AD- Today is the Feast Day of Saint Isadore of Seville, the Patron Saint of the Internet. Don’t believe me? Check out http://www.catholic.org/saints
896 A.D.-THE SYNOD HORRENDIUS-One of the more bizarre incidents in Vatican history. Bishops Stephen and Formosan hated each other. When Formosan became pope Stephen had to bide his time in hiding. After Formosan's death Stephen became pope but was unsatisfied that he couldn't strike back at his old enemy. So Pope Stephen had Formosan's tomb opened and the corpse dressed in bishop's robes, sat up in a chair and put on trial for heresy. The cross examination was pretty strange, the prosecutor said things like :"His very silence is proof of his guilt!" The corpse was convicted, excommunicated, bounced around by a Roman mob and thrown in the Tiber. Pope Stephen VI later became the first pope to be killed in bed with someone's wife.
1561- A strange show in the sky of red discs and crosses was reported over Nuremberg Germany. Perhaps an early UFO sighting?
1581- Queen Elizabeth I visited the Golden Hind, the ship which Francis Drake sailed around the world. The 'Great Pirate of the Unknown Seas" had plundered huge treasure ships and drove Spanish Colonial America crazy. The Spanish Ambassador to London demanded the pirate Drake lose his head, but Queen Elizabeth had a different use in mind for her sword- she knighted the Devon innkeeper's son.
The Golden Hind was kept in a prize anchorage for decades until age and dry rot caused her to fall to pieces. Ben Johnson wrote poems about Sir Francis Drake and Shakespeare's island of wizards in the Tempest may have been modeled on Drake's accounts of the strange stormy islands of Tierra Del Fuego in the Straights of Magellan.
1704 -British sea dog Admiral Rourke and Sir Cloudsley Shovel capture Gibraltar from Spain. Britain still owns it today, which really annoys Spain.
1841-PRESIDENT WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON DIED AFTER ONLY 31 DAYS IN OFFICE. “Old Tippicanoe”caught pneumonia giving his inauguration address in icy drizzle. No U.S. President had ever died in office before and no one knew if the Vice President was now only a caretaker until special elections or was he the president for the next for years. Vice President John Tyler set the rule by staying as President for four full years. People couldn't stand him. They called him "Your Accidency". When he got word of the President's death he was playing marbles with some children and was about to get his knuckles rapped for losing.
1865- LINCOLN IN RICHMOND- Meanwhile against the wishes of his bodyguards that it was still too dangerous Abraham Lincoln toured the newly captured Confederate capitol of Richmond. Most of the white population had fled the smoldering city but crowds of jubilant black slaves pulled his coach and cheered that the Day of Jubilee had arrived. One man kneeled to him and Lincoln raised him up “Father, you no longer have to kneel to any other man, only God. You are Free. Free as air.” Lincoln walked over to the Confederate Executive Mansion and sat in Jefferson Davis’ chair, putting his feet up on his desk. He then visited the family of Rebel General George Pickett of the famous Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. The Pickett’s were friends of Abe and Mary Lincoln before the war and Abe enjoyed bouncing Pickett’s baby boy on his knee.
1932- Louisiana Senator Huey Long tells Congress that 80% of America’s wealth was controlled by 20% of its population. According to Business Week in 1997 80% of America’s wealth was owned by 2% of its population and the top 175 richest people on Earth collectively own 50% of all the total wealth of the planet.
1933- The U.S. Government orders all citizens to turn in their remaining gold dollar coins.
1942- 'THE HUMP' -When the Japanese army overran Rangoon and cut the Burma Road, Allied forces helping Chiang Kai Shek 's Chinese armies and the Flying Tigers were suddenly without supplies. Army Air Corps General Olds and his men begin the daily supply flights of transports from India over the Himalayas to China, or 'Over the Hump'.
1944- During World War Two a South African reconnaissance plane flies over the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and takes photos. When they are analyzed in London the intelligence boys declare it do be nothing more than a synthetic rubber plant.
1952-CARTOON COMMIES- Nationally syndicated columnist Walter Winchell accused the owners of a New York commercial animation studio, Tempo Productions, of Communist sympathies. One of the owners was Disney Layoutman Dave Hilberman, who was a union organizer and was the only artist personally denounced by Walt Disney to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. The F.B.I. began investigating Tempo and their Madison Avenue clients quickly pulled their business. Tempo closed, laying off 50 artists. Mr. Clean, Markie Maypo and the Hamm’s Beer Bear were once again safe from Red subversion.
1954- Arturo Toscanini , who had been making music since the 1880’s, conducted his final concert.
1958- Screen goddess Lana Turner and her gangster lover Johnny Stompanato had a violent argument that ended when Turner’s teenage daughter plunged a large kitchen knife into his chest. She was acquitted as justifiable homicide and some rumors maintain the daughter was covering for her mother’s actions. It was whispered Hollywood society ladies had nicknamed Stompanato’s male organ Oscar for it’s size.
1967- Van Nuys premier head shop Captain Ed’s Heads & Highs first opened for business.
1968- DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING ASSASSINATED. The great civil rights leader was struck in the head by a dum-dum bullet fired from a high powered rifle while he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. His last words were teasing Jesse Jackson for not being dressed properly for going out to a dinner. Jesse was wearing a turtleneck instead of suit and tie. Dr. Benjamin Hooks ran to the phone to get help but the switchboard was not working. The motel manager's wife who usually ran the switchboard had seen the shooting and the shock had given her a heart attack. She died the next day. The Memphis police had always surrounded King's party with at least seven officers whenever he was in town. For some unknown reason that morning they were ordered to stand back at least seven blocks. It was the one-year anniversary of the speech where he declared his opposition to the Vietnam War. A man named James Earl Ray was later apprehended in England, confessed to the shooting and was given a life sentence. He later recanted his confession and said the FBI coerced him and he was taking orders from a mysterious contact man named Raul. James Earl Ray died in 1998. The King family reopened the investigation and a civil court ruled that Dr. King was probably killed by a conspiracy. When F.B.I. director J.Edgar Hoover heard about the assassination he did what he did the day John Kennedy was shot, he spent the day at the racetrack celebrating.
1968- When news of Martin Luther King's assassination got out 175 US cities suffered urban riots and street fighting . In Indianapolis Sen. Bobby Kennedy was scheduled to go speak to a mostly black ghetto crowd. His police escort refused to follow him out of fear. Kennedy went anyway, told the shocked audience the terrible news, made a reference to his own murdered brother, then proceeded to read them poetry from the Greek writer Aeschylus "We must tame the savageness of man, and make gentle the life of this world." Indianapolis was quiet that night.
1984- In George Orwell’s novel 1984 this is the day Winston Smith started a secret diary and first wrote the dangerous thought-crime “Down With Big Brother”.
1994- Marc Andressen and Jim Clark found Netscape.
yesterday’s question- Who coined the term- to start from scratch?
Answer: Before formal stadiums were built for sports, the starting line of a footrace or horse race was literally a line scratched in the dirt. If you overshot the start too early, you were told by the judges to go back and start from the scratch.