March 21, 2011 mon
March 21st, 2011
Quiz: What was Hobart’s Funnies?
Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What was a more common name for the Greek god Ares?
History for 3/21/2011
Birthdays: Plato, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benito Juarez, Modest Mussorgsky, Fats Waller, Josef Pulitzer, Florenz Zeigfield, Bronco Billy Anderson, Rev Ralph Abernathy, Armand Hammer, Harold Robbins, Matthew Broderick is 49, Gary Oldman is 53, James Coco, Timothy Dalton is 67, Rosie O’Donnell is 49
Today in Switzerland this is the Feast of St. Nicholas Von Flue, who was married, had ten children, and made war. In 1481 when the Swiss Confederation was in danger of breaking apart Swiss leaders came to his monk's cell to seek his advice. Though he could neither read nor write, he worked out the Compromise of Stans, which saved peace and Swiss unity forevermore.
717 A.D. Battle of Vinciacus- Charles Martel, aka Charles the Hammer", defeated Ragenfridus and the Merovingian pretenders and assured the Carolingian line on the throne of the Franks, aka the French. Hammer don’t hurt’em! Charles Martel’s grandson was Charlemagne. His great-grandson Pippin was made into a musical by Bob Fosse and Stephen Schwarz in the 1970's. A musical called "Ragenfridus!" just doesn't have the same panache.
1617-Pocahontas, now called Lady Rebecca Rolfe, died at Gravesend, England after being taken off the homeward bound ship, too ill with smallpox to continue. She was 21. Her children with John Rolfe became the beginnings of one of the largest families in Virginia, with many scions of the Old Dominion tracing their ancestry to Pocahontas.
1740- Composer Antonio Vivaldi - Il Pietro Rosso- the Red Priest, conducted his last concert at the Ospedale Della Pietra in Venice. It was a home for orphaned girls so it was an all-girl orchestra. The 64 year old Vivaldi later went to Vienna to see if he could get any commissions from the Austrian Emperor, but caught an illness on the way and died.
1804- The Duc D'Enghein shot by firing squad. The Bourbon nobleman was setting up a conspiracy just beyond the French border in Germany to overthrow the French Republic and re-establish the king. Napoleon sent a covert strike force of fast riding cavalry across the border to capture him and bring him back. Napoleon prided himself on not executing political dissenters like the masses that were guillotined in the Revolution. But this Duke was too dangerous to keep alive. Still, the cold-bloodedness of the action bothered Napoleon, and he referred to it often with regret.
1804-THE CODE NAPOLEON- That same day the French Assembly gave final approval to Napoleon’s revising the legal system. The French civil law courts had been in a hopeless muddle with 368 separate regional law codes some dating back to the Middle Ages. Nappy tackled the problem like he did a battle. He presided over 35 of 87 all day meetings of the jurists- once waking up the drowsy legislators with the cry “Come Gentlemen, Let us Earn our Salaries!” The CODE NAPOLEON became the basis for all French civil property rights and family law and is still in use in Louisiana and Quebec Canada today. Napoleon said: ” When the memory of my forty battlefield victories have faded, what will live forever is my Civil Code.”
1829- The British Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington had to work so hard to get a Bill of Catholic Emancipation through Parliament that on this day he had to fight a duel with an opposition mp, a Lord Winchelsea. They popped away at each other without doing any harm and that seemed to satisfy everyone’s honor.
1859- The first zoo opened in the U.S.
1864- Nevada statehood. Lincoln at this time was pushing several territories into statehood ealry so he could get emancipation and Civil rights legislation through congress with a majority against the rebellious Southern States.
1871- William Stanley set out to find Dr. David Livingstone. Livingstone was an explorer –missionary who had disappeared into the African jungle. No one had heard from for two years. Stanley, an illegitimate Welshman, had been a soldier in the American Civil War and fought on both sides. He undertook this African expedition financed by the New York Herald. His Swahili name was “Bula Matari” the Breaker of Rocks.
1871- German Chancellor Bismarck convened the first Reischtag (parliament) of the unified Germany.
1918- The Ludendorf Offensive (second battle of the Somme) begins. When Lenin took over Russia he immediately made peace with the Germans to end the Great War in the East. This freed up one million German troops for the Western Front. German strategist Erich Von Ludendorf hurled them into one last attack to win the war before the American armies could arrive in greater numbers.
Ludendorf (who was such a stiff Prussian it was said he made love with his monocle on.) called the action "Kaiserschlacht" ( Kaiser's Battle") and he promised the Kaiser that he would be in Paris by April 1st. When this attack was stopped by the fresh American forces, the German High Command admitted their chances of winning the Great War were kaput.
1921- Chicago mobster Big Jim Colosimo was murdered by a new face in gangsterdom, a hitman for Johnny Torrio named Alfonso “Scarface” Capone. When Al Capone became famous, he showed his appreciation to Torrio by having him rubbed out too.
1921- Russian Communist leader Nicholai Lenin announced at a party conference the New Economic Policy. Russian state controls applied too quickly combined with the hardships of a civil war had destroyed the Russian economic infrastructure. A terrible famine raged. The New Economic Policy allowed for a certain amount of capitalism and free trade to occur until Russia could get back on her feet again. Stalin replaced the NEP with the first Five Year Plan in 1928.
1933- On the anniversary of Bismarck's parliament the Nazis dominated Reichstag passes the Enabling Act, giving newly elected Chancellor Adolph Hitler complete dictatorial powers to combat anarchy and terrorism. Hitler kept elderly President Hindenburg around for image sake until his death a year later. The Weimar Republic ended and the Third Reich began. Also passed today was an edict called the Heimtuckegesetz, or Malicious Practices Law, which made it a crime to criticize the Nazis.
1935- Persia renamed Iran and Mesopotamia renamed Iraq.
1951- HOLLYWOOD COMMIES- House UnAmerican Acitivities Commitee (HUAC) under Judge J. Parnell Thomas moves from Washington and sets up in Hollywood to continue rooting out Communist subversion in the movies. They began in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and later move to the federal building downtown.
Their concerns weren’t total fantasy, actor Sterling Hayden confessed he was ordered by his communist operatives to try and influence the Screen Actor’s Guild. Still the point remains whether the authorities overreaction was justified and whether Congress could get more publicity looking for spies in Tinseltown than the Department of Games and Fisheries.
Out of 15,000 people who made a living in the movies and television, only 295 were ever proven or confessed communists. It was an open secret that for $5,000 delivered to the right committee member your dossier would be moved to the bottom of the pile. The hearings stopped in 1956, the blacklist was broken in 1960 and Judge J. Parnell Thomas went to jail himself for embezzlement.
1952- DJ Alan Freed put on an event of new pop music in Cleveland Ohio. Called the MoonDog Coronation Ball, it was the very first Rock Concert.
1960- THE SHARPEVILLE MASSACRE- White South African police confronting a peaceful demonstration in the black township of Sharpeville open fire with machine guns into the crowd, killing 69 and injuring hundreds. Nelson Mandela and other African National Congress leaders abandon for a time peaceful protest and form a militant wing of their movement- Spear of the Nation.
1961- The Beatles first perform at the Cavern Club in Hamburg Germany.
1961- based on the success of the first Playboy Club in Chicago, Playboy Clubs with their Bunny waitresses opened in New York, Miami and LA.
1963- On orders from Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Alcatraz Prison was closed.
1963- Barbera Streisand married Elliot Gould.
1965- Rev Dr Martin Luther King’s civil rights marchers reached Montgomery from Selma.
1976- ASPEN MURDER- Jet setter Claudine Longet, a model who was formerly married to singer Andy Williams, shot and killed her lover Spider Sabich, a Olympic skiing champion. Even though their relationship was foundering she said it was an accident, that the Luger went off in his abdomen when he was showing her how to use it. In the bathroom. Uh Huh. Imagine being in the bathroom shaving and your girlfriend pops in “Honey, I’m having problems with the safety on my Luger.. Here darling I’ll just –oops!”
She spent 30 days in jail for negligent manslaughter, then married her defense attorney.
1980- Mafia capo Angelo Bruno received a shotgun blast to the head while he sat in his car after dinner. The Genovese family had his former capo Phil "Chicken Man" Testa take over rackets in Atlantic City.
1988- the Screen Actor's Guild hits the bricks for the fourth time in twenty years, this time striking Hollywood for residuals for cable and videocassette income.
2014-Asteroid# 2003QQ47 will pass close by the Earth. If the half mile wide rock hits us it will have the effect of 23 Hiroshima bombs and cause drastic climactic convulsions. Right now the odds are 900,000 – 1 if we get hit. Get your catchers mitts out!
Yesterday’s Question: What was a more common name for the Greek god Ares?