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March 2,2011 weds
March 2nd, 2011

Quiz: The USN Kearsarge vs. CSS Alabama was one of the most famous ship-to-ship engagements of the Civil War. But it also influenced Impressionist Painting. How?

Yesterdays Question answered below: What does it mean when you “put a little English on the ball”?
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History for 3/2/2010
Birthdays: Sam Houston, Alexander Graham Bell, Kurt Weill, Desi Arnaz ( Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III ), Ted Geisel aka Dr.Suess, Mikhail Gorbachov, Willis O'Brian, Moe Berg, Karen Carpenter, Lou Reed, Jennifer Jones, John Cullum is 81, John Irving, Tom Wolfe, Jon Bon Jovi is 49, Daniel Craig is 43

1820- It had been thought in modern times that the Pyramids in Egypt were solid monuments with no chambers. This day Italian archaeologist Giovanni Belzoni discovered the long lost entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza and explored it’s corridors and burial chambers.

1836- TEXAS DECLARES INDEPENDENCE FROM MEXICO. In 1821 the Mexican Congress had given Yankee settlers permission to live in the under-populated northern province of Teijas. Soon there were 3,000 Tejanos to 100,000 Yanquis living there. After a military coup in 1833 brought General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to power conditions in the outer provinces got harsh. Taxes were bad and the army sent to police them were drawn from the dregs, usually convicts. Mexico also wanted the American settlers to liberate their black slaves.
When settlers leader Stephen Austin went to Mexico City to complain he was immediately jailed for fomenting insurrection. The Republic of Texas independence declaration was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos. One of the signers there was John Wheeler Bunton, the Great Grand-Uncle of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson.
But the Texas revolt was as much a revolt of the ethnic Mexican Teijanos as the gringos. Similar revolts broke out at the same time in California and Jalixsco, but we remember Texas mostly because it succeeded.

1863- The Union Pacific Railroad adopted a standard track width of 4 feet 8 and 1/2 inches. This width became the standard for the United States and later for most of the railroads of the world. Although train travel was invented in Britain, Europe was slow to adapt to it, while America, Russia and India rapidly embraced a technology that could quickly cover it’s vast distances quickly.

1917-CZAR NICHOLAS II ABDICATED THE THRONE OF RUSSIA with a note scribbled in pencil. He had tried to abdicate in favor of his younger brother Archduke Michael as regent for his son Alexis, and save the dynasty. But Michael wanted none of it and the revolutionary forces tearing at Russian society. He ignored his pleas. After 303 years the Romanov Dynasty was at an end.

1922- A 21 year old veteran named Walt Disney after getting out of the army began studying in the public library Edwin Lutz's book "Motion Picture Animation and How it is Made". In Kansas City he and his brother Roy persuaded the owner of a small chain of vaudeville theaters to fund some cartoons. Today the Newman's Laff-O-Grams Company was formed. A year later the Disney brothers would move to Hollywood and start a new enterprise called the Walt Disney Company.

1923- THE FIRST TIME MAGAZINE. Founders Henry Luce and Claire Booth Luce were among the more powerful of the nations cultural elite. Conservative to the core -to the end of their days they thought Franklin Roosevelt and Civil Rights were big mistakes, they still experimented with LSD when it was thought by Harvard professors to be mind expanding. In the late 1980's the Time merged with Warner Communications to form Time-Warner, the world's largest media conglomerate.

1925- The US Government started assigning numbers to motorways and planned interstate highways Before that roads had names like the Boston Post Road or the Baltimore to Washington Highway.

1933- Movie "KING KONG" premiered at the new Radio City Music Hall in New York and the Roxy. Twas Beauty killed the Beast. No CGI around.

1940- SEABISCUIT-. The small ungainly racehorse Seabiscuit had lost the Santa Anita Handicap Stakes twice and at 7 years old had ligament tears and was considered washed up. But he was entered one more time to try to win this race. The jockey Red Pollard was an alcoholic who had broken his leg and collarbone and was told he couldn’t walk, much less ride ever again. Today this unlikely duo raced one more time against odds more like a Hollywood movie than a stakes race. The biscuit not only won his last race, but set a track record,, the second fastest time ever and the richest win for that time. It’s called one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history. When discussing the Sports Legends of the Twentieth Century- Ali, Ruth, Michael Jordan, Seabiscuit is the only non-human.

1947- Crusading Hollywood labor union organizer Herb Sorrell is plucked off the street in Glendale by gangsters posing as police. They may not have been just posing, many studios at the time hired off-duty LAPD at doubletime rates to rough up problem employees. They drive Herb up to Mulholland and work him over, leaving him by the side of the road. Shortly after leaving the hospital Sorrell was jailed for disturbing public peace.

1960- Wilt Chamberlain ("Wilt the Stilt") scores 100 points in one game for the Philadelphia Warriors . Wilt averaged a phenomenal 55 points per game that year and the NBA instituted a number of anti-Wilt regulations to ensure guys under 6'2 could get back in the game, like offensive goal tending, etc. Wilt also claimed to have put his off the court time to good use. He claims to have had sex with 3000 women .

1961- Pablo Picasso married his second wife Jacqueline. He was 80, she was 35. Jacqueline cared for the increasingly reclusive artist and kept even his family at a distance. When Picasso died in 1973 she turned away many family members from the funeral. Jacqueline committed suicide in 1986.

1965- US military bombers do the first bombing raid inside of North Vietnam in a campaign that got the designation Rolling Thunder.

1971- Charles Engelhard died, a venture capitalist who’s wild investments and grand lifestyle made him the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s villain Auric Goldfinger.

1972- Pioneer 10 space probe launched. The first satellite to the outer planets, it sent back the first closeup photos of Jupiter in 1973 and left our solar system in 1983. It carries a plaque with a representation of men and women, a map of the Earth and Richard Nixon’s signature on it. It is in deep space now and will reach the star Ross 246 in the constellation Taurus in the year 34,600 A.D. Boy, I can hardly wait!

1976- Francis Ford Coppola began shooting his epic film“ Apocalypse Now” in the Philippines. The film was plagued by cost overruns, a typhoon and his Philippine Army helicopters frequently flying off to fight real guerrillas in the middle of shooting, but somehow it all got done.

1979- The Anglo-French Concord supersonic airliner service introduced. It was discontinued because of bad economics in 2003.

1982- Science Fiction writer Phiilip K. Dick died of a stroke in Santa Ana California. The author of stories the movies Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall were based. Dick said he was a times possessed by a superalien who appeared in his mind in a beam of pink light.

1989- At a photo session, NY Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry threw a punch at the team's first baseman, Keith Hernandez. The scuffle started over comments about salaries and ended with the Straw walking out of camp. A sportswriter for Sports Illustrated describing the fight said" Darryl Strawberry finally hit his cut off man."
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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 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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