June 15th, 2010 tues.
June 15th, 2010
Question: What are Arabic Numerals?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is a liberty ship?
History for 6/15/2010
Birthdays: Edward the Black Prince of England, Rachael Donelson Jackson- Andy Jackson’s First Lady, Edvard Grieg, Saul Steinburg, Mario Cuomo, Jim Varney, Wade Boggs, Waylon Jennings, Xaviera Hollander the Happy Hooker, Jim Belushi, Ice Cube is 41, Neil Patrick Harris is 37, Courtenay Cox is 46, Helen Hunt is 47
Happy St. Vitas Day ! "If St. Vitas Day be rainy weather, twill rain for thirty days together. "St.Vitus was the patron of epilepsy, and some extreme forms of spasmic seizure (chorea) was called "St. Vitus Dance".
1215- The MAGNA CARTA or the Great Charter SIGNED. On the field of Runymede. The rebellious English barons force King John Lackland ( also called John Soft Sword, John the Total Loser, etc. ) to sign a document granting basic rights such as trial by a jury of peers, Habeas Corpus, etc. It basically said for the first time that even a King was not above the law of the land.
After King John agreed he crossed the Channel where he paid off the Pope to absolve him of his oath and then he returned with an army of mercenaries to beat up the barons. Even though he hired rogues like Victor the Villain and Mauger the Murderer, King John still lost. Magna Carta became the basis of English Law.
John wasn’t a totally terrible king. He built the first British navy yards at Portsmouth and Southhampton and unlike his older brother Richard Lionheart, John actually preferred speaking English over Norman French.
1300- Poet Dante Alighieri got a job as one of the governing priors of Florence, sort of a city council. We don’t know if it says something about his abilities at municipal governing, but he was run out of town in 1302.
1762 – The Austrian Empire becomes the first to issue paper currency.
1775 - The Continental Congress appointed Mr. George Washington, Esq. of Virginia to be commanding general of the new colonial army forming around Boston. John Adams urged Congress to pick a southerner to command the mostly New Englander farmers in the interest of colonial unity. The fact that he was one of the richest men in America didn't hurt either. Plus the 6’ 2 plantation owner dropped hints he was interested in the job, like being the only delegate to attend congress squeezed into his 20 year old militia uniform. They afterwards bought him dinner at Peg Mullen's Beefsteak House. During the meal he turned to Patrick Henry and said with the appropriate 18th Century modesty: " From the date I enter into command of America's Armies, I date the fall and ruin of my reputation!"
1776- William Franklin, the pro-British governor of New Jersey is arrested by the Yankee rebels and thrown into a dungeon. He was the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin and his cook Deborah Regan, whom Franklin had married out of sympathy for the boy. William had assisted his dad with his flying kite experiment years ago. The New Jersey delegates told Dr. Franklin while the Independence Declaration was being debated and he was 'unmoved'. Truth be told the two men couldn't stand one another. They said they reconciled after the Revolution but that may have been more for public record than reality. When he died Ben Franklin did not leave his son a penny in his will, bitterly stating it's only what William would have left him had the positions been reversed.
1815-THE WATERLOO BALL- In Brussels Belgium, the Duchess of Richmond hosts a ball for the officers of Wellington’s army before they go to stop Napoleon. Many of the dancers will be dead at Waterloo three days later. The event is dramatized in "Vanity Fair" and" Becky Sharp." While this ball is taking place Napoleon crossed his army into Belgium and placed it inbetween the British and Prussians on the road to Brussels. Napoleon correctly guessed it would take some time for the enemy nations like Russia and Austria to mobilize armies (their target date was July 17) so instead of waiting for the inevitable invasion of France he would attack first, win a big victory then hopefully negotiate a peace from strength.
1844- Mr. Charles Goodyear invents the vulcanization process, that keeps rubber from getting sticky in warm weather and brittle in the cold.
1849-Three months after leaving office President James K. Polk died. The President who fought the War with Mexico to get California and the southwest was a lifelong teetotaler and died of cholera from drinking tainted water. Sam Houston, who was one of the great alcoholic opium addicts of American history, said of Polk's death: " It’s the natural end of all Water-Drinkers!"
1932-The Bonus Marchers, twenty thousands of Depression-unemployed veterans, encamp around Capitol Hill and begin a silent barefoot protest march around Congress. Unlike the army and Government of the time they vote to abolish Jim Crow and completely integrate their ranks.
1938-Tha Fair Labor Standards Act passed.
1945- Judy Garland married director Vincente Minelli.
1951- Comedian Lenny Bruce married a stripper named Honey Stuart.
1955- DUCK & COVER. The US Government held Operation OPAL, the first nationwide Civil Defense alert drills. Not only did millions of school children have to jump under their desks to avoid imaginary Russian nukes but plans were made for commandos to grab the President, Congressional leaders, Supreme Court and even grab the Declaration of Independence and other valuable documents and whisk them out of endangered Washington D.C. to bunkers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Top Russian officials said they learned a great deal about US intentions from observing these silly drills. President Eisenhower got a good laugh when the motorcade speeding him through the Virginia countryside was blocked by a heard of pigs. “Well, I guess that means we’re all dead boys!” The president joked.
1969- The country music comedy TV show Hee-Haw premiered as a summer replacement for the Smothers Brothers Hour. Hee Haw ran for two years with high ratings but CBS cancelled the show anyway. This was because CBS chief Bill Paley disliked country music. CBS had so many shows like Mayberry RFD, Beverly Hillbillys and Hee Haw, that insiders joked that CBS stood for the Country Broadcasting System. Hee Haw had the last laugh, going on to a successful syndication run until 1997.
1977- Everybody Disco! KC and the Sunshine band release “I’m your Boogie Man”.
1999- In San Diego, Nicholas Vitalich was arrested for slapping his wife with a large tuna.
2002- Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was knighted.
Yeterday’s Question: What is a liberty ship?
Answer: During World War II the US Navy created a sort of super-freighter to transport men and material fast across the ocean. They came to symbolize the massive output of US manufacturing. There were thousands made, but today only two remain in the world.