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June 30th, 2010 weds
June 30th, 2010

Quiz: What do these people have in common? Al Capone, Billy the Kid, George Gershwin and me, your author.

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What was Julius Caesar’s first name?
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History for 6/30/2010
Birthdays: Buddy Rich, Lena Horne, Czeslaw Milosz, Susan Hayward, Mike Tyson is 44, Deanna Durbin, Howard Hawks, William Goldman, Martin Landau, Essa-Pekka Salonen, David Alan Grier, Vincent D’Onofrio, Monica Potter, Rupert Graves

1520- " La Noche Triste- THE NIGHT OF SORROWS" at Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs finally realize that Cortez and his conquistadors aren’t visiting gods and drive them from the capitol with great slaughter. Almost half the Spaniards died on this one night. Some Spaniards attempted to escape by diving into the lake and swimming but were dragged down by the weight of their stolen gold and drowned. Cortez forced his hostage the Emperor Montezuma to go out and quiet the multitudes, but the crowd killed him with a shower of stones. During the fighting, captured Spaniards were dragged up the steps of the great pyramid of Huitzilopochtli and sacrificed while their comrades could only watch in horror. The temple towered over the city so everyone could see. After the ritual sacrifice the Aztecs would eat barbecued strips cut from the man’s thighs. Remember this the next time you order fajitas.
Diarist Bernal Diaz de Castillo remembered that during a lull in the fighting the Aztecs would call out :' You Spaniards better go home. I'm stuffed!" Cortez would regroup his forces and with the aid of allied Indian tribes and a terrible smallpox epidemic eventually reconquer the city.

1559- King Henry II of France is warned by a weirdo named Michel de Nostre Dame or Nostradamus, to beware of lances. Henry laughed it off because nobody fought that way anymore. However to celebrate a dynastic marriage and peace treaty with Spain part of the Rue Saint Antoine in Paris was closed off for a joust with blunt lances–kind of a Renaissance version of a "Medieval Times" party. Forty year old King Henry jousted with the Dukes of Guise and Savoy and knocked them down. He complained they let him win and ordered his Scottish body guard Montgomery to lay on for real. In a freak accident, Montgomery’s lance splintered and shot through the king’s gold helmet visor and into his brain, killing him. Nostradamus was quickly put on the royal payroll.

1643- In Paris the son of an upholsterer named Jean Coquelin signed a contract to establish the Ilustre Theatre. Jean also took on a stage name- Moliere .

1832- The Great Pierce Island Rendezvous- In the Old West the end of June marked the one time of the year the solitary Mountain Men would come down out of the Rockies and meet together. At the rendezvous they contacted fur company representatives to turn in their furs and pelts for gunpowder, blankets, trade trinkets and whiskey. There were several rendezvous sites including Bent's Fort and Papoagia but Pierce Island was one of the more celebrated.

1837- England discontinued use of the Pillory as public punishment.

1837- The steamboat St. Petersburg arrives at Ft. Union to give the Indians of North Dakota blankets, knives and smallpox. The resultant plague all but wipes out the Assinoboines, Sans Arcs, Mandans and decimates the Blackfeet.

1841- The never-explained day it rained fish over Boston.

1856- Charles Dickens does his first public reading from his works in London.

1859- Daredevil Emile Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1870- The dictator of the Dominican Republic had offered to sell his entire nation to the United States. President Ulysses Grant thought it would be a great territory to add to the republic. After all, hadn’t they just established a naval base at Pearl Harbor in the kingdom of Hawaii and Seward had pushed through buying all that useless ice up in Alaska? Grant also had a plan that if American blacks hated being abused in the South they could move to this island. Maybe the threat of their leaving and removing the labor force would also force whites to treat them better. Many expansionists of the time also felt Cuba would make a great state. But the post Civil War Congress was not in a buying mood. This day they voted a tie-vote to Grant’s disgust they blocked funds to buy the Caribbean country.

1882- Charles Guiteau, assassin of President Garfield and major league fruitcake, was hanged. He had acted as his own lawyer on a defense that God had ordered him to kill the president. One prison guard hated Guiteau so much he took a shot at him but missed, prompting a Congressman to order an investigation of the marksmanship of government officers. Tickets to the execution went for as much as $300 Each. Guiteau’s last words as the gallows trapdoor dropped was "Glory Haleileiuyah!"

1893- PRESIDENTIAL COVERT OPERATION- Shortly after becoming President Grover Cleveland developed a cancer on his upper jaw. Without telling anyone in the government or even his own Vice President Cleveland and his family slipped off to New York and went on board the yacht of millionaire Elias Benedict. A makeshift operating room has rigged up inside with the table secured to the mainmast. The excuse for the trip was a relaxing cruise with a rich friend. As the ship bobbed in New York Harbor doctors removed part of Cleveland’s upper jaw and placed a rubber plate in it’s place. The Secretary of State and First Lady completed the charade by sunning themselves on deck. Cleveland never had cancer again and died of old age. The event was kept such a secret few today know it even happened.

1894 - London Tower Bridge opened.

1908-A mysterious explosion occurs in remote Tunguska Siberia with the estimated strength of several atom bombs. No meteorite remains was ever discovered. Soil at the epicenter had been turned to glass. It was speculated as a comet impact or a UFO crash. But it has never been completely explained.

1914 – A young English trained Indian lawyer named Mohandas K. Ghandi was arrested for the first time, trying to win equal rights for non-European citizens in South Africa. Years later in India he would earned the name the Mahatma, or the Great Soul.

1933- A group of actors meet in secret at Frank (the Wizard of Oz) Morgan and form the Screen Actors Guild. The secrecy was because studios threatened to blacklist anyone who so much as breathed the word union. Among the founding members that night are James Cagney, Groucho Marx, Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Frederic March, Robert Montgomery and Boris Karloff.

1934-"NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES"- Chancellor Adolf Hitler arrested his own stormtroopers during their convention and had them all shot. Hitler was placating the top industrial and military powers to consolidate his hold on Germany. The SA or Brownshirts led by Ernst Roehm were mostly street thugs and convicts who expected to get top jobs in the army when the Nazi's came to power. The Prussian officer corps didn't think this was a hot idea. For their loyalty Herr Hitler wasn't fussed about having to liquidate his old friends. Ernst Roehm insisted that if he was to be killed, he wanted Adolf himself to pull the trigger. Instead, Hitler sent several Gestapo officers who ended Roehm’s life in a fusillade of pistol shots. The new unit took over the SA’s duties called the SS, or blackshirts, under former chicken farmer Heinrich Himmler.

1936- Margaret Mitchell's bestseller 'Gone With the Wind" first published.

1936- the 40 hour work week made a federal law.

1937- Congress voted to shut down the Federal Theater Program, the division of the government funded WPA that produced plays for Depression wracked poor people. The FTP produced cutting edge works of Orson Welles, Clifford Odets and Eugene O’Neill and at it’s height reached 25 million people. But conservative senators thought it had become too radicalized by lefties for a government program. Theater actors working in L.A. on a hit production of Pinocchio held a mock funeral for the puppet. Over it’s casket was the headstone FTP: Born 1934, Killed by an Act of Congress, June 30th 1937.

1940- Cartoonist Dale Messick takes over the Brenda Star comic strip and adds the trademark sparkles.

1948- Bell Laboratories announced the Transistor, a possible substitute for radio-vacuum tubes.

1953- The first Chevy Corvette rolled off the assembly line. Only three thousand were made, all white with red interior selling for $3500.

1971- The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified, giving 18 year olds the right to vote.

1973- The Supreme Court orders President Nixon to yield the 'Pentagon Papers' to lawyer Daniel Ellsberg. Nixon was so upset about these papers that in one taped meeting he actually considered a proposal from G.Gordon Liddy that they firebomb the Brookings Institute where the papers were being kept. Most of the Supreme Court were Nixon appointees.

1975- Just 4 days after divorcing Sonny Bono, Cher married rocker Gregg Allman.

1996 - Margaux Hemingway, considered the first modern Supermodel, committed suicide at 41. Her grandfather Ernest Hemingway committed suicide, and his father before him.

1997- Britain gave the colony of Hong Kong back to China upon the completion of the 99 year lease settled by the Second Treaty of Chuen Pee in 1898. While much was being made of a democratic state being turned over to a totalitarian regime, Hong Kong only had direct elections of it's own officials since 1991.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What was Julius Caesar’s first name?

Answer: He was Gaius ( guy-us) of the family Julii, called Caesar.


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