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February 16th, 2011 weds.
February 15th, 2011

Quiz: If you ran into the sisters Scylla and Charybdis, would you have a good time?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Did Abe Lincoln play interactive games?
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History for 2/16/2011
Birthdays: The Great Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, Henry Adams, Charles Taze Russell founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edgar Bergen, Sonny Bono, John MacEnroe, Frank Welker, John Schlesinger, Faith Hubley, Katherine Cornell, John Corligiano, Kim Jong Il, Levar Burton is 53, Ice-T is 53

In ancient Rome it was the Festival of Quirinalia- when the founder of Rome Romulus was taken up into the clouds and became the god Quirinus

Today is the feast of St. Juliana, who was tortured by both her father AND her boyfriend. I know a lot of you girls out there can relate to that. She also liked to wrestle winged devils in her spare time.

1804- To The Shores of Tripoli....The U.S. Navy goes to North Africa to try and get the Barbary Pirates to leave Yankee merchant ships alone. The Barbary Pirates had been extorting money from Mediterranean shipping for three hundred years but they weren’t a problem while American shipping was under British Royal Navy protection. But now the little republic was on it’s own. When the Bey of Algiers demanded his usual payoff the U.S. Congress said: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for Tribute!" So the US Navy was sent.

The frigate U.S.S. Philadelphia was sent to Tripoli harbor to threaten, but only managed to get stuck on a sand bar and her entire crew became hostages. On this day Captain Stephen Decatur sneaked into Tripoli harbor and burned the Philadelphia. British Admiral Nelson said it was "one of the boldest actions of the age. "Actually more valuable was when Decatur landed a small force of U.S. Marines and Greek mercenaries who overland surprised the largest Algerian fortress at Dara and terrified the Bey of Algiers into making peace.

Decatur took full credit. He said "My country right or wrong", commanded Old Ironsides in the War of 1812, and was killed in a pistol duel in 1819.

1808- Napoleon invaded Spain. After he defeated the Spanish Army and occupied Madrid, the Spanish people didn’t roll over quietly like other nations. They fought on as Guerrillas, little wars. The violence in what the French called the Spanish Ulcer raged unabated until they were driven out by Wellington in 1814.

1842- British General Charles Gordon took command of the Ever Victorious Army in China to combat the Taiping Rebellion. The Ever Victorious Army was a force of mercenaries recruited by an American named Stone to help the Manchu Emperor defeat his enemies western style. The leader of the Taipings, Tzu Wang Ti, had told his followers he was the son of Jesus Christ come to Earth to lead them to victory. Gordon’s army soon destroyed the Taipings and Tzu committed suicide by eating as much gold leaf as was necessary.

1862-Fts HENRY & DONELSON.- Confederate strongholds Fort Henry and Ft. Donelson surrendered to an new Union general named Ulysses Grant. Rebel cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest on his own initiative cut his way out of the encircling bluecoats rather than surrender. Southern commander Simon Bolivar Buckner was a personal friend of Sam Grant before the war and even lent Grant money when he was broke. Buckner now expected favorable terms, but Grant bluntly demanded Unconditional Surrender! The initials matched his name and the little cigar smoking drunk became a hero to a demoralized North. But Simon Bolivar Buckner never forgave him and never spoke to him until Grant was on his deathbed in 1885. I mean war is war but REALLY!

1863- THE DRAFT- U.S. Congress passed the National Conscription Act. The Confederates had started drafting a year before. Riots broke out in Northern cities whenever the draft board set up. Rich men could buy their way out of the draft for $300. John Rockefeller, Grover Cleveland and Teddy Roosevelt’s father took that way out. There was a popular song of the era called "We are Coming Father Abraham, Three Hundred Thousand More" which was changed by bitter wags to We are Coming Father Abraham, Three Hundred Dollars More."

1923- Bessie Smith made her first recording-"Downhearted Blues".

1937- Chemist Wallace Caruthers working for the Dupont Company received the patent for the synthetic fiber called Nylon. This fabric could replace expensive silk. By World War Two nylon stockings for women were so popular that limited by shortages resourceful women would draw a seam in pencil down their bare leg to impersonate the effect.

1978- The first computer bulletin board goes on live. Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss's Computerized Bulletin Board System was an S-100 motherboard and CP/M, and a Hayes 300 baud modem. It still runs to this day, but the Internet has taken the place that BBS's used to have

1987-"Family Dog" episode on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories show. The first direction by Brad Bird.

1994- Apple announced the introduction of the digital camera, the first camera that needed no film but could load images directly into a computer.

2003- As part of his lavish birthday celebrations, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il called for this people to "Burn with Everlasting Hatred for the United States."
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Question: Did Abe Lincoln play interactive games?

Answer: Lincoln liked to play bagatelle, An early game that was an ancestor to pinball and video games. He used a small pool cue to shoot a small ivory ball up a sloping table to drop it into cups to win points..


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