October 13th, 2010 weds
October 13th, 2010
Question: Some have described the current conservative politicians’ attitude towards the unemployed as Dickensian. What does that mean?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Which President had a boyfriend?
History for 10/13/2010
Birthdays: Revolutionary War heroine Mary Ludwig nicknamed Molly Pitcher, Paul Simon is 66, Lily Langtry-the Jersey Lilly, Lenny Bruce, Larraine Day, Nipsy Russell, Cornel Wilde, Margaret Thatcher, Herblock, Yves Montand, Nancy Kerrigan, Sammy Hagar, Marie Osmond, Kelly Preston, Chris Carter, Sacha Baron-Cohen is 39
539BC- The Persian armies of Cyrus the Great captured the city of Babylon, beginning the great Persian Empire which would last for a thousand years. Cyrus also allowed the Israelites to return home, ending their Babylonian Captivity.
54AD- Elderly Roman Emperor Claudius died from eating poisoned mushrooms served to him by his wife Agrippina. Another account has him vomiting the mushrooms but Agrippina administered to him an herbal enema which she also poisoned. This way she ensured her boy Nero would be emperor before Claudius could come to his senses about making that fat little maniac his heir. Later as emperor Nero had his mom killed. Robert Graves wrote that Claudius feigned simple-mindedness but many Romans felt it wasn’t an act. It was the custom when a Roman emperor died to deify him, make him a god. The writer Seneca thought it would be embarrassing for the gods to have a dolt like Claudius in their company. He wrote an epic poem on the subject called the 'Pumpkinification of Claudius".
1269-Henry III's rebuilding of Westminster Abbey completed and the bones of St. Edward the Confessor re-interred.
1307- MASSACRE of the TEMPLARS- The Knights Templar were a holy order of warrior monks named for their Crusader base at he site of the Temple of Herod in Jerusalem. After the Crusades while the Knights of St John continued to fight Moslems in Greece and Malta the Templars settled back in Europe and went into banking. They amassed great wealth all tax-free because it was Church property. This annoyed kings like Brtiain’s Edward Ist and France’s Phillip the Fair. So this day Phillip bribed the Pope to declare the entire Templar Order heretics and burned at the stake. Myths abound about the Templars having bizarre rituals and the secrets like the location of the Holy Grail, but most of it was made up by the Inquisitors to frame them. But one neat idea they brought back from the Middle East was the personal check. This way a Templar Knight could cross international borders without carrying heavy bags of gold, then go to the nearest Templar castle and redeem a note with his signet on it for money. I wonder if their notes had pretty sunsets painted on them...
1590- Chief Powhatan, head of a confederation of Algonguian tribes in the Cheasapeake Bay area, wiped out a Spanish Jesuit colony attempting to set up on his beach. He had heard from the Seminoles in Florida what these metal clad palefaces were capable of. Nineteen years later in 1607 another annoying bunch of English palefaces landed on his beach, but this time Powhatan was curious about these ones, especially when one started dating his daughter Pocahontas.
1685- In 1610 King Henry IV of France had ended a long period of religious wars by granting total freedom of worship with his Edict of Nantes. King Louis XIV later decided Henry was a knucklehead and all Frenchmen should be Catholic, so he revoked the Edict of Nantes and drove the French Protestants (Huguenots) to Canada, England, Maryland and South Carolina.
1768- THE BIRTH OF YANKEE DOODLE- The first written evidence of the song being played, this day by a British army band at a harvest festival in the Hudson Valley. The song means Yankee Doodle -Stupid American... “ stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni" A macaroni was English slang for someone dressed in the latest Italian fashions, hence a dandy. That just because the stupid Yankee sticks a feather in his hat he thinks he is a gentleman. Later in the Revolution the song meant to lampoon Americans was adopted by the rebels and played to the British while they were laying down their arms at Yorktown and Saratoga.
1792- Cornerstone of the White House set. First called the President’s Palace, later the Executive Mansion, it was modeled by James Hoban after the Irish estate house of the Duke of Leinster. Instead of a chaplain President George Washington had Masters of the Masonic Rite sanctify the building with their secret rituals. The mansion took 8 years to build. Constant problems halted construction like when the workers went on strike when the government closed down their on-site bordello. A compromise was made to move it off site.
When President John Adams moved in in 1800 it still wasn't finished, plus Washington took all his furniture with him. Abigail Adams hung her wash in the East Room because of the nice breeze. It wasn't until after the British torched the place in 1814 did it receive it's first coat of whitewash. The Oval Office wasn't built until Truman's time in 1947.
1813- Battle of Queenstown Heights. It costs the life of the brilliant young British General Issac Brock, but he defeats the enemy and saves Canada from the clutches of the invading United States.
1815- Joachim Murat shot by firing squad. Marshal Murat was France's bravest cavalry leader. A wild bon-vivant, he would "ride to the sound of the guns" dressed in peacock feathers and pink uniforms but was amazingly never harmed. Trying to regain the throne Napoleon gave him in Naples, his luck finally gave out when the Neapolitans put him up against the wall. His last words were:" AIM FOR THE HEART! DON'T TOUCH MY FACE!!"
1843- Bnai’ Brith , the oldest Jewish benevolent organization, was founded in New York by Henry Jones. It means “Sons of the Covenant”.
1845- Texans vote to accept annexation into the United States.
1857- Wall Street has yet another financial panic and crash.
1903- Victor Herbert’s operetta Babes in Toyland premiered.
1904- Sigmund Freud's book 'The Interpretation of Dreams" first published.
1918- BATTLE OF THE COTES DU CHATILLON- At the height of the American effort to break the German lines in World War One. The Cotes Du Chatillon was a hillside studded with impregnable German fortifications, machine gun nests and barbed wire fields up to 25 feet wide. General Pershing called his cocky young “Boy Colonel” Douglas MacArthur and said “MacArthur! Take the Cotes Du Chatillon or hand me a list of 5,000 casualties!” MacArthur answered:” I’ll take the hill or my name shall top the list!”
The next day MacArthur personally led his Rainbow Division over the top without a gun or helmet, just a riding crop and his West Point varsity sweater. His doughboys captured the hill, but at such a frightful cost that MacArthur for years could not speak of it without tears. In his campaigns in World War Two he became skillful at outmaneuvering enemy strong points to avoid high casualties.
1938- RKO Pictures was having a salary dispute with their singing cowboy Gene Autry. So they cast around for another handsome cowpoke. Today they signed a would-be dentist from a vocal group called the Sons of the Pioneers named Leonard Slye. He became a star with the film “Under Western Skies” under his new name- Roy Rogers.
1947- Kukla, Fran & Ollie debuted on television. Burt Tillstrom was the creator and puppeteer and Fran was his wife.
1964- Mary Pinchot Mayer was a Washington DC socialite, conceptual artist and the sister-in-law to Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. On this day she was shot and killed while strolling a Georgetown footpath at noon. A black vagrant was accused of the murder but later acquitted. Her sister took her diary to the CIA office of counter-intelligence. It was said her diary admitted a long hot & heavy affair with President John Kennedy and claimed that she and JFK smoked pot in the White House on two occasions. At this time Robert Kennedy was still Attorney General. The diary was never seen again. Was it an FBI, CIA hit? Many women claimed President Kennedy as a lover. Judith Cambell-Exner claimed to be schtupping the Prez and the head of the Chicago Mafia at the same time, yet she lived to a ripe old age. Mary Pinchot Mayer’s killer has never been found.
1970- Black activist Angela Davis was arrested on suspicion she smuggled guns to a Black Panther group so they could stage a shootout with California police. The evidence was thin and it was more about the Berkeley professor’s radical political philosophy that got her arrested. But you need more than suspicion to lock somebody up in the Good Old US of A so Angela Davis was acquitted after a long very public trial.
1978- Mickey Mouse gets his star on Hollywood Blvd Walk of Fame.
1982- The computer spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3 introduced.
1988- Scientists declare the Shroud of Turin a high quality medieval forgery. Even the Vatican was curious whether the thing was real or not. This year another group also concluded it was a forgery. But many still believe that the piece of cloth could be the real burial cloth of Jesus, with an imprint of his body created almost photographically by the heat of the Resurrection.
Yesterday’s Question: Which President had a boyfriend?
Answer: President James Buchanan was a confirmed bachelor who had only one serious engagement, that he later broke off without explanation. When a senator he roomed with another senator named Rufus King, and the two were inseparable. President Andy Jackson called them Little Miss Nancy and Mrs. Buchanan.