March 28th, 2011 mon
March 28th, 2011
Quiz: What is meant by three square meals a day.
Yesterdays Question answered below: What is the origin of the term Below the Line..?
History for 3/28/2011
Birthdays: Paul Whiteman, Pearl Bailey, Freddy Bartholemew, Dirk Bogarde,
Confederate Gen. Wade Hampton, pianist Rudolph Serkin, Swifty Lazar, Marlin Perkins, Diane Weist is 63, Reba McEntire, Vince Vaughn is 41, Julia Stiles is 30, Lady Gaga is 25
193 A.D. -THE DAY THE WORLD WAS AUCTIONED- The Roman Emperor Pertinax had just been slaughtered by his Guards and the Praetorian Prefect Marius Maximus wisely turned down the promotion- bad retirement benefits, you know. The men realized they can't be Imperial Guards without an Imperial type person to guard. They might even get sent back to the frontier! So they posted an announcement that "who ever wanted to be Emperor of the Known World" should come to the Praetorian camp that night and submit a bid.
Several senators competed. The winner was Didius Julianus, with a winning bid of 15,000 silver pieces per man in the 1,500 man Guards. Almost none of the Roman generals went along with this dippy solution to the succession to the throne of the Caesars. Julianus was soon bumped off in a violent civil war that eventually saw Septimius Severus the winner.
1456- Today is the feast of St. John Capistrano. The Saint of the Swallows of California was born in Italy and was a preacher, was married, fought the Turks in Hungary, and in later life after becoming a monk was put in charge of the Holy Inquisition in Central Europe. He burned Protestant reformers and ordered all Jews to wear yellow badges so as not to seduce good Christians. He was so hated, that a century after his death from plague the Calvinists desecrated his grave and threw his bones down a well.
The Mission St. John Capistrano in California was named so by monk Fra Junipero Serra even though the Saint never visited the Golden State.
1776- Happy Birthday San Francisco! Don Juan Bautista De Anza brought 247 colonists to the tip of a rocky promontory in a huge foggy natural harbor and built a Presidio, or fort. When a monk came six months later to built a mission he called it San Francisco de Asiacutes. The nearby village was called Yerba Buena for all the good herbs growing in the area. Juan de Anza explored and mapped most of the route from Old Mexico through Northern California but is not as well known to Americans as the Anglo explorers John Freemont, Kit Carson and Jim Bridger.
1778 -GEORGE WASHINGTON ANNOUNCED MAJOR GENERAL BARON VON STEUBEN, LATELY OF KING FREDERICK THE GREAT'S SERVICE, WOULD TRAIN THE AMERICAN ARMY.- It turned out later Von Steuben was not a real Baron, never met the Great Frederick and never rose higher than Major. One British source claimed his medals were fakes purchased at a London theatrical costume shop.
But America was the land where if you want to be called Baron, you could be a baron. Von Steuben did an excellent job training the farmers and shopkeeps in modern warfare. He wrote: “ In Germany I order a soldier to do something and they do it. In America when I order a soldier to do something I must then explain WHY I want him to do it and WHY it is important!” The minutemen enjoyed watching him scream in a language they didn't understand, and at night around the campfire his big pet greyhound Azor howled along to the music.
Proof of his methods success was at the Battle of Monmouth, Lord Cornwallis groused: ” Hmpf! Damned rebels formed up well.”
1862- SIBLEY'S RAID. THE BATTLE OF LA GLORIETA PASS-The Gettysburg of the Far West. Confederate Henry Hastings Sibley pitched the idea to the High Command in Richmond that since most of the US Army was now back East fighting the Civil War there was no one to stop them from expanding the Confederacy from Texas to the gold fields of California and the Pacific Coast! Richmond let him equip a brigade of Texas Volunteers and they quickly overran Santa Fe, Alberquerque and won a skirmish at Valverde. Plans were made for the Confederate conquest of Colorado, Utah and set up a new rebel state in Arizona. Fighting got as far west as some Pima villages that one day would be Phoenix.
But what Richmond didn’t appreciate was the regional rivalry – As soon as Colorado and New Mexico men heard they were being invaded by Texans, they rushed to fight them. And Sibley turned out to be a bad leader- because of his drinking habits his men called him a Walking Whiskey Barrel.
This day a pitched battle was fought outside of Tuscon in Glorieta or Apache Pass. The Confederates won the battle but during the confusion a Yankee captain named Chivington sneaked behind the Rebel lines and burned Sibley’s supply train. This proved decisive since you can’t march armies in the Western deserts without supplies and water. Sibley had to fall back to Texas, he riding in a remaining wagon drunk with officers wives while his men marched with no water. On the Yankee side there were several leaders including a Colonel Slough who the Colorado men hated so much they planned to shoot him during the battle, frontier scout Kit Carson and many Hispanics led by Andres Pico, who once led Mexican troops against Yankees in the Mexican War. I guess he felt one change of flag in a lifetime was enough.
1870- THE ROCK OF CHICKAMAGUA KILLED BY A NEWSPAPER.- Gen. George H. Thomas, retired Union war hero has a heart attack in a St. Louis Hotel after reading an editorial saying all in all he wasn't that great a general. Survivor of shot and shell, they found him in his room clutching a written rebuttal to his chest.
1881- P.T. Barnum formed a partnership with his chief competitor James Bailey to create Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. He proclaimed it the Greatest Show on Earth!
1920- Silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks & Mary Pickford married.
1928- Via radio broadcast the public heard the voice of Charlie Chaplin for the first time.
1930- The name of the City of Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul, Turkish for “The City”. Angora was renamed Ankara.
1935- Leni Reifenstahl’s hypnotic movie paean to Nazism- Triumph of the Will, premiered.
1941- English writer Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in he River Ouse in Sussex. Her body was never found.
1942- Albert Hurter, brilliant designer for Walt Disney's "Snow White' and 'Pinnochio" died of rheumatic fever.
1953- Senator Joseph McCarthy, the grandstanding Commie chaser, held a news conference where he decried that European countries that were receiving US aid from the Marshall Plan were also trading with Communist countries. He announced he had received a pledge from a Greek shipping concern not to trade with Communist states in the future.
This speech elicited a storm of protest, under Secretary of State Symington accused the Wisconsin senator of conducting his own foreign policy. Yet the new Eisenhower administration stayed silent and did nothing, which encouraged McCarthy to grow bolder.
1979- THREE MILE ISLAND- Partial Meltdown of the Pennsylvania reactor panicked the nation. Despite the official attempts to belittle the danger Governor Richard Thornburg in Harrisburg moved his office underground to a bunker and Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia gave the entire county of Lancaster and Harrisburg a blanket unction (Last Rites). just in case.... The accident spawned the largest civilian protests since the Vietnam War and nuclear energy business has never recovered.
1999- Matt Groening’s cartoon series Futurama debuted.
Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the term Below the Line..?
Answer: It was a term used by the British Navy. Their major battleships fought in a line, and were called ships of the line. Ships not as big or strong were classified Below the Line, and faster scout ships Above the Line