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March 26, 2011
March 26th, 2011

Question: For the sake of all the young people confused by Boomer cultural references, what is The Cone of Silence.?

Yesterdays Question answered below: Was Lawrence Ferlinghetti a Beatnik? Hippy? Rapper, or Pre-Raphaelite?
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History for 3/26/2011
B-Days: Harald von Braunhut 1926- the inventor of Sea Monkeys, Robert Frost, Chico Marx, Conde Nast, Tennessee Williams, Alfred Houseman, Joseph Cambell, General William Westmorland, Erica Jong,, Duncan Hines, Bob Woodward, Leonard Nimoy is 80, Alan Arkin, James Caan is 71, Diana Ross is 67, Justice Sandra Day-O¹Connor, Martin Short, Bob Elliot of Bob & Ray is 88, Michael Imperioli is 45, Keira Knightley is 26

1199- English King Richard Lionheart died of blood poisoning from an arrow scratch. He was 42. After returning from the Crusade and getting ransomed from prison in Austria, King Richard embarked on a campaign of regaining lands in central France he lost while he was away. He received his fatal wound attacking a small castle named Chalus in Limousin. Since he shunned the company of women and never made a son, his brother evil Prince John became king anyway.

1660- Since the death of the dictator Oliver Cromwell, the military junta ruling Britain was breaking down. In Holland exiled young Prince Charles II Stuart received this day the first messages from Puritan General Monck inviting him to return to England and be their king.

1791- The French politician Mirabeau had guided the French Revolution from the Bastille towards creating a constitutional monarchy on the English model. But being now the most famous man in France he lived hard and played hard. This night he entertained two female dancers from the Opera all night and woke up with violent intestinal cramps. He was dead by April 2nd. The Revolution spun out of control into the Reign of Terror then the dictatorship of Napoleon.

1796- Napoleon Bonaparte takes command of the French Army in Italy. His promotion came mainly because new bride Josephine urged her old boyfriend Barras who was head of the French government to grant the little general with the Italian accent the assignment.

1811- Poet Percy Shelley was expelled from Oxford for writing a pamphlet that argued that God didn¹t exist.

1827- Ludwig van Beethoven died at age 56. Six people visited him while he was sick, 20,000 attended his funeral in Vienna. Romantic legend says he died at the violent peak of a thunderstorm raising his fists skyward in a last act of defiance to God and the elements, but in actual fact he died peacefully in his sleep.

He lived in an abandoned monastery given him as public housing by the Austrian government along with a small pension. He constantly complained about his poverty so that the Philharmonic Society of London sent him 1,500 gold English pounds from a benefit concert. After his death they found around 20,000 gold pieces hidden in cupboards and pots.

1830- Vermonter Joseph Smith, 24, first published "The Book of Mormon." Smith said the archangel Moroni in a dream aided his discovery of a later testament of Jesus written on golden plates in ³Reformed Egyptian¹ which Smith was able to translate with the aid of the "Urim & Thummim" stones.

1832- Artist George Catlin began his first trip to the West. He departed up the Missouri River on the American Fur Trading steamer the Yellowstone. Catlin¹s paintings of Plains Indians became famous.

1860- The tip of the Kowloon peninsula and Stonecutter¹s Island ceded by China to Great Britain. This would become the site of Hong Kong. A British Empire diplomat called it "The notch by which the tree will be eventually felled.." meaning that like India eventually all China would be a British colony.

1865- At City Point Virginia the Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stephens had a covert meeting with Abraham Lincoln to discuss possible peace terms to end the Civil War. But they couldn¹t agree on anything- Even at this late date Lincoln was offered a cash compensation of $4 million for the loss of slaves but Stephens said the deal breaker was Southerners would not admit they were wrong and ask for pardons and amnesties. Alexander Stephens went back to Richmond empty handed and the war went on.

1883-To inaugurate her opulent new 5th Ave. mansion Mrs. Cornelia Vanderbilt held one of the greatest costume balls in New York City history. She and Mrs. Astor had formed the Social Register, also called the Golden 400, the ranking of the top families in polite society first invented by the Venetian Republic. If you weren¹t on their list then darling, you simply weren¹t anybody.

The mansion stood where Bergdorf Goodman¹s faces the Plaza Hotel today. The party set new standards for the conspicuous wealth and excess of the Gilded Age. Many guests dressed as Venetian nobility and Mrs. J.P. Morgan dressed as ³Electric Light: The Wonder of the Age.²

1900- The Happy Hooligan comic strip.

1909- The U.S. Board of Censorship created.

1920- This Side of Paradise, the first novel published by a young Minnesota writer named F. Scott Fitzgerald. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a descendant of Francis Scott Key, writer of the Star Spangled Banner.

1937- A statue of Popeye the Sailor unveiled at the Crystal City Texas Spinach Festival.

1942- The first trainloads of Jewish people were sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

1943- Just outside of Chicago gangster Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti took a walk down a railroad track, took a swig of bourbon, put a 32mm pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. He first waved to get the attention of some track workers so they could witness that he was taking his own life and was not the victim of another gangster. The successor to Al Capone was going to be indicted the next day on Federal charges of racketeering and he knew they had enough from stoolies to put him away for a long time.

1953-The Salk Vaccine for Polio announced.

1953- President Dwight Eisenhower increased US aid to the French fighting the Vietnamese in Indochina, but refused outright intervention.

1958- The Mau-Mau Rebellion in Kenya. It's debatable just how extensive or violent the Mau-Maus were, or even if there ever was such an organization, but the British colonial authorities used it as the excuse to jail the real nationalists like Njomo Kenyatta.

1959- Writer Dashell Hammett died.

1969- The western movie 100 Rifles premiered. It broke taboos, because it featured uber-sexy Raquel Welch making love to uber sexy black hero Jim Brown. And Burt Reynolds as the bandito Yaqui Joe Herrerra.

1969- On this day a frustrated young writer named John Kennedy Toole committed suicide. When his mother went through his things she found the manuscript of a novel in an old shoebox. Seven years after John Kennedy Toole killed himself, his mother forced the manuscript upon novelist Walker Percy to read. He was teaching at Loyola University in New Orleans. He was stunned with what he read and that lead to it being published by Louisiana State University Press. The book the " Confederacy of Dunces "went on to be a critically acclaimed bestseller and win the Pulitzer Prize.

1975 - The Who¹s rock opera "Tommy" premiered in London

1976 - Wings release "Wings at the Speed of Sound" album

1977 - Elvis Costello releases his 1st record "Less Than Zero"

1978- The skull of Swedish scientist-philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg auctioned at Sotheby¹s for $3200. Swedenborg's family had found it in a antique shop and kept it until the auction. They said they needed the money.

1979- Camp David Peace Accords signed between Israel and Egypt. Israel¹s Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt¹s leader Anwar Sadat at one point were so uncooperative President Carter had to shuttle from cabin to cabin because they wouldn¹t meet in the same room. Menachem Begin liked to mess with people¹s minds. At one point to cut the tension Presidential advisor Zbignew Brezshinski invited Begin to play chess. As they sat Begin said softly “ I haven¹t played chess in 40 years. Not since the day the Nazis kicked in my door and dragged me and my family off to Auschwitz.”

While Brezshinski was thinking about the enormity of that statement, Mrs. Begin came in and said: “Oh, I see you¹re playing chess, it¹s Menachem¹s favorite. He never stops playing!”

1982 - Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder release "Ebony & Ivory" in the UK

1989- The first free elections in Russia make Boris Yeltsin President.

1992- Heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson is convicted of rape.

1997- Turner Animation's film 'Cat's Don't Dance" featuring the last film work of Gene Kelly. He was a consultant on the dance sequences.

2008- Arnold Schwarzenegger fired Clint Eastwood. No, its’ not a movie plot line. The former actor, turned Republican Governor, objected to a position of the actor/director and former Republican mayor took on the California State Parks Commission.

2228 - According to Star Fleet records- James T. Kirk, captain of Federation Star Ship Enterprise (Star Trek) was born.
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Quiz: Was Lawrence Ferlinghetti a Beatnik? Hippy? Rapper, or Pre-Raphaelite?

Answer: He is a beatnik! Like Cooool, Daddy! Lawrence Ferlinghetti is a 92 year old beatnik poet and owner of City Lights Bookstore in SF, which published a lot of the Beats.


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