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Sept 16th, 2009 weds
September 16th, 2009

Question: When they say “ he faced a phalanx of reporters.” What is a phalanx?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Lately the favorite catchphrase of politicos is “ The Senator Double downed on his comment in Congress.” Okay, what does Double down mean?
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History for 9/16/2009
Birthdays: J.C.Penney (James Cash Penney), B.B. King is 84 (originally Rydell King, when a DJ in Memphis his name was Beale St. Blues Boy or B.B.King, Anne Francis, Linda Darnel, Nadia Boulanger, Alan Funt, George Chakiris, Peter Falk, Ed Begley Jr, Jennifer Tilly, Molly Shannon, Marvin Middlemark 1919-the inventor of the rabbit ears TV antenna. ), Mickey Rourke is 53, Lauren Bacall- born Betty Persky is 85

218BC -Estimated date that Hannibal and his Carthaginian army completed their crossing of the Alps and descended into the Po River Valley of Italy. Of 32 elephants only 2 survived the journey.

1498-The Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada died peacefully. He presided over the torture and execution of up to 17,000 people during the Spanish Inquisition. He also oversaw the expulsion of Jews and Christian Arabs from Spain. Even the Borgias asked him to cool it. The name Torquemada became a synonym for judicial cruelty.

1776-BATTLE OF HARLEM HEIGHTS- From Washington's defeat by the British at New York City until Christmas he fought several rearguard actions as the British chased him and his raggedy ass rebels up into White Plains, across the Hudson, and across New Jersey to Pennsylvania. Historians graciously call these desperate hit and run actions battles, Harlem Heights, Throggs Neck, White Plains, Ft. Washington. The British were now so cocky about knocking the rebels about, that when the advance scouts spotted the American positions they didn't use the usual trumpet signals but sounded fox-hunting calls. The British referred to the Americans as Mr. Washington’s Army, because they refused to honor him with the title of General.

1830- The Liverpool-Manchester railroad inaugurated. The first trip was an all VIP affair, with the Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington and most of the government along for the ride. At one point during a stop the elderly Duke watched a member of the House of Lords Sir William Huckisson, step out on to the track and get his leg severed by another train. The first known fatality by train.

1859- In Old San Francisco California State Senator David Broderick called California Supreme Court Justice David Terry a “pro-slavery crook, knave and poltroon”. The chief justice in a rage and challenged Broderick to a duel. They had to reschedule their meeting several times to elude the police but finally met on this date on site near present day Stinson Beach. Broderick's gun discharged prematurely near Terry's feet. Terry, instead of being satisfied and firing wide, took aim and drilled Broderick through the chest, killing him instantly.

1864- THE NILE DEBATE- On this day a debate was scheduled in the British city of Bath between famous African explorers Richard Burton and John Speeckes as to whether Speeckes had discovered the source of the Nile River at Lake Victoria Nyanza. They had started the expedition together as friends but came ot hate one another. The debate would be moderated by another famed explorer Dr. David Livingstone. However fate, or Speeckes, ensured the debate would never take place. On the day before the high strung Speeckes had gone hunting to break the tension and had accidentally shot himself in the chest. Whether he had intentionally or unintentionally committed suicide remains a mystery. A different explorer, Henry Stanley, proved Speeckes correct in 1873.

1893- THE LAST GREAT OKLAHOMA LAND RUSH-After appropriating some of their land in 1889, in 1893 the U.S. Gov't takes over the last huge stretch of land owned by the Cherokee Nation, who once owned all of Georgia and the Carolinas and Tennessee. They rename the Cherokee Strip Oklahoma and at the sound of a signal gun at noon one hundred thousand white settlers swarmed over it like a mad gold rush, on horseback, bicycle and carriages. By days end 40,000 claims averaging 160 acres a claim were made. Senator Henry Dawes of Mass. who sponsored the land grab, said of the Cherokee: " The defect in their system is obvious. Because they hold their land in common there is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of all Civilization."

1898- Indianapolis attorney Albert Beveridge advocated the conquest of the Philippines in a speech entitled “The March of the Flag,” the classic manifesto of U.S. Imperialism.

1901- A British Imperial Academy of Sciences team began to excavate a Wooly Mammoth frozen in Siberia. Most of the head had been eaten by wolves and the ears and trunk were gone, but the hair, skin and contents of its’ stomach were still there.

1908- General Motors Car Company formed. The phrase then was:"What's good for General Motors is good for the Nation."

1917- TANKS make their first appearance on the Somme battlefield. The inventors wanted them to be called “Land-Battleships” but the British had shipped their secret weapon across the Channel in crates marked "water-Tanks" to fool spies, so the name Tank stuck.

1919- An Austrian ex-corporal named Hitler drifting through Munich today joined a new right wing political party called the German Workers Party, later the National Socialists or Nazis. He also attended meetings of the ultra-nationalist Thule Society. It was a group that espoused racial supremacy and hated of Jews.

1920- FOR THOSE WHO THINK TERRORISM IS A MODERN PROBLEM- On this day anarchists planted a time bomb in a wagonload of scrap iron and parked it in the middle of Wall Street on a busy business lunch hour. The blast killed 38 and injured hundreds, blowing out the ground floor of J.P. Morgan's bank. Bankers described nightmarish scenes like a woman's decapitated head with her stylish bonnet still on, imbedded like a cannonball in a marble inlaid wall by the force of the blast. One of the victims was a sailor named Watson who had survived the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine. He survived this one as well but had to get a steel plate in his head. He eventually went mad. Another man knocked senseless and almost killed was young bank executive Joseph Kennedy Sr., father of the Kennedy Dynasty. The perpetrators were never caught. In 2001 the headquarters of Morgan/Stanley were in the World Trade Center.

1920- Enrico Caruso made his last recordings for the Victor Recording Company.

1934- Los Angeles Mayor Frank Shaw recalled for corruption. The city father's frustration with the mob corruption of politicians and police back east moved them to create the unique city charter that makes the Los Angeles City Council more powerful than the Mayor and made the LAPD an independent entity. Currently Los Angeles has one of our city council members under indictment for influence peddling and another busted for drug use.

1940- Congress passed the Burke-Wadsworth Act, creating the first peacetime draft in US History. The Selective Service Agency is born.

1940- Texan Sam Rayburn became Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rayburn was a mentor of young Lyndon Johnson. In 1945 Harry Truman was having an old fashioned Bourbon and poker party with Rayburn in his office when he was given the news of Franklin Roosevelt’s death.

1941- CBS Radio premiered the Arkansas Traveler Show. In it bandleader Bob Burns played a strange instrument he called a Bazooka. Later when the US Army issued the first hand-held anti-tank rocket launchers to their infantry, the GI’s called the things Bazookas because it resembled Burns instrument.

1949-Chuck Jones "Fast and Furrious" the First Road Runner-Coyote cartoon.

1953- The St. Louis Browns Baseball team moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Orioles.

1963- The Beatles record “She Loves You- Yeah,Yeah,Yeah.”on the Swan Records label.

1964- The Peter Potamus Show debuted.

1965- The Dean Martin Show premiered on NBC. “Well, Ah think I’m gonna go to da couch now..”

1966- the last LOOK magazine published.

1966- The new Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center had its opening night. A performance of Samuel Barbers Anthony & Cleopatra sung by Leontyne Price and Justino Diaz. It was a near disastrous night because Ms Price got locked in a pyramid for awhile and couldn’t get out.

1969- President Nixon appears on the t.v. comedy "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" and says:"Sock it to Me?"

1973- American Indian Activists Russell Means and Dennis Banks were acquitted of all charges in the Wounded Knee shootout and siege. That Banks and Means were shooting it out with the FBI was beyond question. The reason was the judge objected to the governments illegal bungling of evidence and witnesses.

1976- The U.S. Episcopal Church approved the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

1983- Arnold Schwarzenegger became a US citizen.

1984- “Miami Vice” TV show debuted.

1985-The Congressional Budget Office announced that the United States had gone from a Creditor Nation that had bankrolled most of the world in the Twentieth Century, to a Debtor Nation.

2003- Sheb Wooley, the composer of the 1951 hit “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater” and the theme song of the TV show Hee Haw, died in Henderson Tennessee at age 82.
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Yesterday’s Question: Lately the favorite catchphrase of politicos is “ The Senator Double downed on his comment in Congress.” Okay, what does Double down mean?

Answer: in Blackjack, it means doubling your bet after only two cards are down, showing your bold confidence and determination.


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