February 25, 2010 thurs
February 25th, 2010
Question: What is the difference between the goddesses Aphrodite and Venus?
Yesterday’s Answer below: The Chairman of the Toyota Corporation is named Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder. Is there a connection?
History for 2/25/2010
Birthdays: Enrico Caruso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Zeppo Marx, St. Louis (King Louis IX of France), Bobby Riggs, Carl Eller, Sir Anthony Burgess, Neil Jordan, Larry Gelbart, Tom Courtenay, Sean Astin is 38, Tea Leoni, John Foster Dulles*
• Dulles was Secretary of State under Eisenhower and architect of the anti-Communist containment policy. Winston Churchill once described meeting with him: -" Dull, Duller, Dulles".
138AD- Roman Emperor Hadrian officially adopted Antoninus Pius as his heir and successor with the proviso that he would in turn adopt young Marcus Aurelius, the son of his brother in law, as his heir.
1525- THE BATTLE OF PAVIA. King Francis I of France was besieging this Italian city when he was defeated and captured by Spanish-German Emperor Charles V. This battle was noteworthy as the first battle in which hand held rifles were important. Medieval Gonnes or guns were slow and more dangerous. A good archer could get off ten aimed arrows while a gun man was still loading. But improvements created a more accurate rifle called an arquebuse with a wooden stock and trigger. At Pavia, when the French knights charged, arquebusiers safe behind a wall of spears, shot them out of their saddles. 8,000 casualties and a new era in combat was born. King Francis fought in the pack like a knight and didn’t notice his army was losing until he was alone, surrounded by enemies. After his capture wrote his queen: "All was lost save honor - and my skin, which is safe."
1570- Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth of England and absolved all English subjects of their allegiance to her. Since England was very Protestant by now, it didn't mean much.
1634-The ASSASSINATION OF WALLENSTEIN-Generalissimo of the Catholic armies in the Thirty Years War, which had been raging since 1618 with no end in sight. Duke Albrecht Wallenstein had so sickened of the seemingly endless conflict that he began secret negotiations with the Protestant Swedish generals to make peace in defiance of their kings. The German Emperor couldn't just fire him because his mercenary troops were so devoted to their General they would burn down their own capitol as soon as any enemy one. So Wallenstein was murdered by a hit squad sent by his own employer. They broke into the Generalissimo’s bedroom and speared him in his bed. Just to show how confusing the Thirty Years War was- the German Wallenstein was murdered in his castle in the Czech homeland by a troop of Scotsmen led by an Irishman hired by an Austrian through and Italian intermediary named Piccolomini.
1779- During bone chilling cold American Captain George Rogers Clark and his men stormed the frontier fort Vincennes in Illinois Territory and captured his British nemesis Sir William Hamilton. Hamilton was nicknamed the Hair Buyer for his encouraging local Indians to scalp settlers. Clark and his army of frontiersmen fought like Indians. Part of his surrender ceremony was to make Hamilton watch while Clark personally tomahawked six captive Seneca chiefs. One chief was so tough after Clark imbedded his tomahawk in his skull the chief calmly pulled it out and gave it back to Clark to have another whack. The American Revolution on the Western Frontier effectively ended. Gen. Clark’s kid brother William Clark would be the explorer of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
1815- Princess Pauline Borghese holds a gala dress ball on the Island of Elba to distract the Allied occupation representatives away from Napoleon's secret plot to return to France. Pauline was Napoleon's kid sister and a wild thing. She drove her prudish brother nuts with her many love affairs and posing nude for artists, but when Nappy was down on his luck she was his most loyal sibling.
1836- FIRST COLT REVOLVER. Samuel Colt was given his first gun to play with at age 7. He was inspired by a ships steering wheel to invent a cylindrical gun chamber. They didn’t become popular until the price dropped with the 1860 Navy Colt. His six-shooter was nicknamed : The Great Equalizer","The Peacemaker" the "Confidence Machine" and sometimes the 'Thumbbuster". Gunfighters usually filed off the sight at the end of the barrel because it caught in your clothes during a quickdraw. Wild Bill Hickock for instance didn't wear holsters, he carried his two Navy Colts tucked in a red sash around his waist. Shootists also learned to carry it "5 beans in the wheel', meaning leaving your gun cocked to one empty chamber while you walk around. This so your gun doesn't accidentally go off in your holster, which could be very embarrassing, as Wyatt Earp once found out.
1860- A little known former congressman from out west named Abraham Lincoln stepped off the Cortlandt St Ferry in New York City. He walked alone carrying a moth-eaten carpet bag suitcase up to the Astor Hotel where he let the press know he was in town to declare himself a candidate for President of these here United States. He then went and traded in his old beaver skin stovepipe hat for a new silk top hat and went to Matthew Brady’s photo parlor to pose for a photo like all genteel-type folks is supposed ta do.
1863- CIVIL WAR PRANKS - Outside the siege lines of Vicksburg, Union Admiral David Porter decided to play a practical joke on the rebels. On an old barge he built a dummy ironclad with wooden logs for guns and two burning tar smudge pots nailed to phony smokestacks. The total cost to the government for black paint and wood was 15 dollars.
He then had this contraption pushed into the Mississippi and let it float with the current downstream. When the rebel shore batteries spotted the black monster they let loose a furious barrage. It only increased their panic that the Yankee ship seemed so formidable that it didn't even bother to shoot back! When the Confederate river fleet spotted the black enemy warship they fled in terror. One captain ran his gunboat into a sand bar, abandoned it and blew it up rather than let it be captured. Eventually the dummy barge stuck in some shallows. Finally a rebel sheepishly rowed out to the barge and discovered the joke.
1932- TOONTOWN SCANDALS. Former Australian prizefighter Pat Sullivan was the producer of the Felix the Cat cartoons, the first true animation star. Although animator Otto Mesmer actually created him Sullivan's name is the only one on the titles. Felix was one of the top film stars of the 1920s. While Mesmer quietly drew pictures Sullivan lived the fast life of a roaring twenties celebrity. Mrs. Marjorie Sullivan had been having an affair with her chauffeur. After a nasty scene when husband confronted wife and the chauffeur fled, Mrs. Sullivan mysteriously fell out of her window to her death. The scandal was front page news and Sullivan never got over it. He soon drank himself to death which during Prohibition was difficult to do. Sullivan's death and his failure to get Felix into sound cartoons doomed his studio.
1943- Master animator Bill Tytla resigned from Disney.
1956- THE SECRET SPEECH-In Moscow at a closed session of the 20th Party Congress Premier Nikita Khruschev denounced the crimes of the mass-murderer Josef Stalin. The audience was stunned at such honesty. When someone shouted:" If he was so terrible, why did you say nothing?" Khruschev roared back: " WHO SAID THAT?................(silence)..........................that's why."
1956- Poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes met at a party in Cambridge England.
1957- Bugs Moran, the gangster who challenged Al Capone for mastery of the Chicago rackets, died in prison of lung cancer. The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre ruined Moran’s organization and he finally slipped down to petty thievery when he was nabbed.
1957- Buddy Holly and the Crickets record "That'll Be the Day."
1964- Young Cassius Clay, later renamed Muhammed Ali, defeated Sonny Liston in 2:14 minutes into the 6th round for the heavyweight boxing crown. The odds were on Liston 8-1 but Clay said he would "Float like a Butterfly and Sting Like a Bee!"
When asked to comment about his defeat, Sonny Liston concluded: "Life, a funny thing."
1971- Oh Calcutta, the first play with lots of actors shedding their clothes, premiered on Broadway at the Belasco.
1983- Famous playwright Tennessee Williams was found dead in a New York hotel room. He died when he choked on a nose spray bottle cap that fell into his mouth while he was using the spray. Others say it was a Pepsi bottle cap.
1986- President Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines in the face of the People-Power revolution. Former movie star turned first lady Imelda Marcos left behind her amazing shoe collection. She felt that if the poor people saw her living in luxury it would make them feel better- (?)
1996- Dr Haing Ngor, the doctor who survived the Cambodian Killing Fields holocaust and won an Academy Award in a movie of the same name, was killed in a robbery attempt outside his Los Angeles home.
2004- Movie star uber-Catholic Mel Gibson’s movie the "The Passion of the Christ" opened in North America. The film was criticized for it’s perceived anti-Semitism, it was the first movie in which Jesus spoke his real language –Aramaic. The film was advertised more in churches than in the press. Pastors bought blocks of tickets for their congregations. The film earned nearly a billion dollars, most of the profit earned by Mel Gibson, who was the films only investor.
Question: : The Chairman of the Toyota Corporation is named Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder. Is there a connection?
Answer: When the company formed in 1933, it was going to be called Toyoda, after the family, but a Shinto priest advised them that Toyota, with a t, was luckier.