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March 1st, 2010 monday.
March 1st, 2010

Question: What does it mean when your nickname was The Posthumous? Does it mean you are born dead?

Answer to yesterdays question below: What does it mean when you “put a little English on the ball”?
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History for 3/1/2010
Birthdays: Frederic Chopin, Glen Miller, Harry Belafonte is 83, David Niven, Robert Clary, Oskar Kokoschka, Roger Daltry, Robert Conrad, Deke Slayton, Yitschak Rabin. Catherine Bach, Timothy Daly, Chuck Zito, Ron Howard is 55

Welcome to MARCH from MARTIUS, THE MONTH OF MARS-so named because in ancient times it was the first month that was warm enough for armies to take the field and kill each other. Various warrior societies held religious ceremonies to inaugurate campaigning season. In Rome, the Salian Priests would do a ceremonial dance with the magic shields of Mars the Avenger, dropped from heaven for Romulus. The Macedonians would split a dog in half lengthwise and parade the troops between the two halves, sort of going through the gates of Pluto. I hope the dog appreciated the symbolism...

86 BC. Roman legions of Lucius Cornelius Sulla recapture Athens from Mithradates the king of Pontus (a part of eastern Turkey). Mithridates was offering Rome it's most serious competition in the conquest game since Hannibal. Sulla was so angry that the Athenians had welcomed the enemy in, that he destroyed half of the city. He then saved the rest :"more in memory of her glorious past than her modern inhabitants." Mithradates was defeated and committed suicide. According to Plutarch, at one point Sulla's men captured a satyr (half man-half goat) in the precincts of the temple of Artemis. Sulla asked the supernatural creature about the future, but all it would do is whinny like a goat. So his men got rid of it.


589 AD- HAPPY SAINT DAVIDS’ DAY- This is the traditional date of the death of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. Called the Waterman, he was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop who became the first archbishop of Wales. He was one of many early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain. Welshmen celebrate today like the Irish celebrate St. Patrick, although with out the green beer.

1562-THE MASSACRE OF VASSEY- In France the Catholics and Huguenots- Protestants had been headed towards open conflict despite all attempts at mediation. In the little town of Vassey south of Dijon the Catholic Duke Du Guise became annoyed when Huguenots hymn singing in a barn disturbed his ability to hear Mass. Scuffling broke out and when the Duke got hit in the face with a stone, his retainers drew their swords and chopped up 125 people. The Religious Wars of France had begun.

1579- Sir Francis Drake on board the Golden Hind made the catch of his career. In the waters off Cartegena Columbia he attacked and captured one of the great Spanish treasure ships carrying Inca gold and silver from Peru. This one ship carried more wealth than the entire treasury then in Elizabeth’s England. And a fleet of these crossed the ocean twice a year. Drake instantly became a rich man. The galleon was called La Nuestra Senora De La Concepcion, but her crew nicknamed her “KaKaFuego” which some translate as “Spitfire”, but more closely means “Hot sh*t.”

1711- The first issue of England’s’ great periodical the Spectator first published. It was unique for a broadsheet in that it didn’t cover politics or doings at court but printed essays on social gossip, literary criticism, studies of manners and morals. It was said the Spectator helped begin the transformation of English gentry from ale-swilling philanderers to the well-bred, well-read snobs of the Victorian Era.

1777- Young artillery officer Alexander Hamilton was appointed to General George Washington’s personal staff. This marked the beginning of Hamilton’s personal relationship with Washington that would last throughout the war and his presidency. Hamilton was his constant consultant, adviser and may have written many of Washington’s speeches. There is a rumor that GW may even have been Hamilton’s father since his only trip outside the US was to visit Bermuda. Hamilton was born illegitimately on the Virgin island of Nevis, but beyond that no evidence has ever been substantiated.

1815- Napoleon Bonaparte came ashore in France near Frejus on the Riviera and marched on Paris in a desperate gamble to regain his throne. He was attacking a nation of 14 million with just 1,200 followers. At the sight of the little man in the plain black hat everyone went nuts. The whole Royal Army changed sides without a shot fired. His desperate gamble became a triumphal party and he was carried on the crowd’s shoulders back into the palace.

1872- Congress and Pres Grant created Yellowstone as the nation’s first National Park.
The park was larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

1912- Albert Berry completed the first parachute jump from an aeroplane in St. Louis Missouri

1919- The March Movement- Korea declares it’s independence from Japan, Russia and China.

1930-Disney animator Ub Iwerks, the animator/designer of Mickey Mouse, quits the studio to set up his own place. Walt was stunned by the defection of one of his first employees and closest friends. Iwerks studio producing Flip the Frog Cartoons, will eventually fail and he'll return to Disneys to invent the xerox process. Iwerks partner was Pat Powers, who’s PowersCinephone was the process used to put sound on “Steamboat Willie”.Powers engineered the break when Disney refused to let him buy in to a co-partnership in Disney Studio.

1932- Museum of Modern Art in New York has first major retrospective of the style of architecture called "THE INTERNATIONAL STYLE" Steel girder frames with large windows for walls and no ornamentation. This style pioneered by Mies Van Der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Phillip Johnson.

Called by critics "vertical ice cube trays" they now dominate the skylines around the world, making Moscow and Shanghai equally unrecognizable from Pretoria, or Newark, New Jersey.

1932-THE LINDBERGH BABY KIDNAPPING. The infant son of the famous couple was taken from his crib in their Princeton New Jersey home. Forensic science determined he was bludgeoned and buried shortly afterwards. But the kidnap plot went ahead for nine days. The kidnapper left behind a crudely written note asking for $50,000 dollars in small bills. Bruno Richard Hauptman, the man who was convicted and executed for the crime protested his innocence to the end, The New Jersey country sheriff in charge of the investigation was the father of future Gulf War general Norman Schwarzkopf.

1936- Max Fleischer's short cartoon"Snow White" (starring Betty Boop). Cab Calloway singing the "St. James Infirmary Blues" is a highlight.

1941- Congress approved a committee to investigate waste in defense appropriations. It was chaired by junior Missouri Senator Harry Truman. The Truman Commission routed out corruption ad sweetheart deals among businessmen doing war work. The exposed waste, fraud, padding bills and corporations still doing business with the enemy. The Truman Commission saved America millions, and made Harry Truman a national hero. No such committee was allowed for the Iraq War, and the result was billions in secret no-bid contracts, palettes of cash lost and $9 billion still unaccounted for.

1946-The National Cartoonists Society formed.

1951- Frank Sinatra was subpoenaed by the Senate Kefhauver Committee looking into the activities of the Mafia. In deference to Old Blue Eyes public persona, strings were pulled so he was allow to testify in his attorney’s private office high in 30 Rockefeller Plaza at 4:00 a.m.

1961- John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps.

1961-The Ken Doll introduced.

1966- The Russian probe Venera 3 landed on Venus. Although the Venera crash landed it was the first unmanned probe to land on the surface of another world.

1975- The first Honda Civics arrive in the US.

1978- Unemployed auto mechanics Gatchko Ganas and Roman Wardas broke into the tomb of Charlie Chaplin in Vevey Switzerland and stole his body. They tried to hold it for ransom. The remains were recovered, and the two losers were soon arrested. They were trying to make enough money to open a car repair garage in France.

1988- Apple introduced the first commercially available CD-ROM drive for your personal computer.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean when you “put a little English on the ball”?

Answer: It originated with the English sport of snooker. It's striking, with the pool cue, the cue ball on it's side so that it spins forward around a ball you wish to avoid and hits your object ball. Today, putting English on, even in baseball or other sports, means putting some spin on your ball.


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