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July 11, 2011 mon.
July 11th, 2011

Quiz: Was a sitting U.S. President ever under direct enemy fire?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: During World War II, the Axis powers were Germany, Japan and Italy. But they had three other nations as allies. Who were they?
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History for 7/11/2011
Birthdays: Scottish King Robert the Bruce, John Quincy Adams, Sir Thomas Bowdler, E.B. White, Yul Brynner- born Tadjhe Khan, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leon Spinks, Tab Hunter, Susan Vega, Giorgio Armani, Sela Ward, Kimberly “Little Kim’ Jones

480 a.d.- Today is the Feast of SAINT BENEDICT, the monk who established the first rules for monks, convents and abbeys. Before this people who wished to express Christian zeal renounced the world and ran off into the hills to become hermits. Benedict said “Idleness is the Enemy of the Soul” and encouraged his followers to serve the community- make jam, milk goats, whatever, just do something useful. He ordered that monks wear the same uniform cowl and do not eat animal flesh. In the same year the last Pagan schools of philosophy were being closed down, he established the first great monastery of Monte Cassino on the site of an old temple to Apollo.

1302-"Battle of the Golden Spurs" Battle of Courtai. In an unusual turn for the Middle Ages, French peasants defeat an army of noble knights and hang their golden spurs up in church.

1533- Pope Clement VII denounced King Henry VIII’s divorce, excommunicated him and pronounced his new marriage to Anne Boylen null and any offspring illegitimate.

1573- While plundering the Gulf Coast of Panama, Sir Francis Drake was taken by a friendly Cimmaroon ( African / Indian ) to a large tree from whose top he could simultaneously view the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Drake is inspired to take an oath to one day navigate the Pacific, the first Englishman to dare violate the Spaniards' Private Sea.

1573- After a long siege, the Dutch city of Haarlem fell to Spanish armies.

1708 The Battle of Oudenarde- Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy destroy the French army under Marshall Villeroi. The battle climaxed with one of the largest cavalry melees ever seen- 40,000 horsemen swirling, shooting, and chopping at each other. The French were so fixated on Marlborough the bogeyman that they made up a song about him "Marlbroucke se va' ton Guerre" -So 'Marlborough wants to fight?'. The tune was an old Crusader melody Richard the Lionheart was familiar with, and has come down to us as 'For he's a Jolly good fellow' .It was a very popular tune in France. Napoleon was known to whistle it in the midst of battle.

1798- The birthday of the U.S. Marine Band. Called the 'President's Own" it achieved world fame in 1881 under it's director John Philip Sousa.

1804 THE HAMILTON-BURR DUEL- The Vice President other than Dick Cheney to shoot someone while still in office. Aaron Burr shot and killed the former Secretary of the Treasury in a duel. The guy on the ten dollar bill.
Aaron Burr was a lieutenant under Alexander Hamilton during the Revolution, later in politics they became bitter foes. No one was sure what one word or incident sparked this duel, but they spent years ruining each others political schemes: Hamilton withheld support from Burr in the presidential election of 1800 even though they were in the same party, Burr arranged Hamilton would lose the race for governor of New York. Finally they couldn't stand each other any more. They rowed across the Hudson to have the duel in Weehawken New Jersey, this way the winner would only be wanted for murder in one state. The site was the same field that Hamilton's son had died in a duel three years earlier. Friends of Hamilton insist he deliberately shot wide as a gesture while Burr shot to kill. Burr said baloney, he was just nervous. Hamilton died the next day.
Amazingly, Burr was allowed to finish his term as Vice President, because there weren't any laws on what to do with a Vice President who kills somebody. He presided over Congress and even had dinner with President Jefferson – Old Tom didn't like Hamilton either. Aaron Burr never went to trial, but his political career was effectively finished.

1812- U.S. armies invade Canada- again.

1848 - London's Waterloo Station opened.

1855- An earthquake knocks down Los Angeles -again.

1906- Nordisk Films in Copenhagen founded.

1910- As the ship Montrose docked in Canada authorities arrested Mr H.H. Crippen for the murder of his wife back in Britain. Also arrested was his mistress Ethel disguised as a boy. It was the first time a wireless transatlantic message was used to catch a criminal.

1921- British Prime Minster David Lloyd George and Irish rebel leader Eamon De Valera announced a truce in the guerrilla war ravaging Ireland and the beginnings of peace talks.

1922- The first regular concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The natural amphitheater in Bolton Canyon called Daisy Dell, had been used for Easter morning services and some concerts before, but now on a regular basis. Dr Alred Hertz conducted several symphonies, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino were in the audience. It was then a wooden stage at the bottom of a grassy knoll. Frank Lloyd Wright’s bandshell was built in 1927.

1936- The Triboro Bridge project opens in New York City. A massive WPA project to link the various boroughs of New York by highways, it was begun in 1933 but delayed for years by corruption, and the fact that Franklin Roosevelt personally despised it's chief architect, Robert Moses. Moses had referred to the handicapped Roosevelt as a "gimp" and "half-man". FDR denied any federal money for the project until Moses was fired. Mayor Fiorello Laguardia used all of his personal charisma and friendship with FDR to keep the project moving. Robert Moses was not only retained but created other engineering marvels like Jones Beach and the World's Fairs of 1939 and 1964. The first Disney animatronic Mr. Lincoln, for a demonstration was programmed to say "How do you do, Mr. Moses."

1938- The radio show The Mercury Theater of the Air with Orson Welles and John Houseman premiered.

1942- First phase or the Battle of El-Alamein ends with Rommel’s Afrika Korps stopped just outside Cairo and the Suez Canal.

1943- "DEATH RIDE OF THE FOUTH PANZER ARMY" Climax of the Battle of Kursk. Tens of thousands of heavy tanks swirling around blowing each other up on the Ukranian steppeland. The Russians regard the Battle of Kursk as the real turning point of World War Two, because it was when the Red army took the full brunt of a giant "blitzkrieg" offensive and destroyed it. The Germans understood thereafter that they could no longer hope to win.

1943- OPERATION HUSKIE-During the invasion of Sicily American strategists decided to drop parachute troops behind German lines to trap them before they could evacuate to Italy. The first drop was successful, the second less so and today's was a complete disaster. For some reason ships of the U.S. Navy mistook the flying transports for the enemy and began shooting down their own planes. Planes full of paratroops of the 82nd Airborne crashed and burned and prematurely cut gliders that smashed into the ocean. Afterwards there was a news blackout and from then on parachute planes wing's were painted with three broad white 'invasion stripes' to prevent similar accidents. The secret was so well kept it’s still not mentioned in many popular histories of World War Two.

One C-47 transport that peeled off, and ran for base avoiding the carnage, contained Sergeant George Sito, who survived the war to sire me, your author.

1944- General Teddy Roosevelt Jr, the son of the old president, died of a heart attack while on campaign in France. He was the only general to go ashore with the first wave on D-Day.

1944- Despite being ill and frail, Franklin Roosevelt announced he would be a candidate for an unprecedented 4th term in office as President. After his death Congress passed the 22nd amendment forbidding any other President to have more than two terms.

1945- Napalm first used on Japanese positions in Luzon in the Philippines.

1952- The Republican Convention nominated Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to be their candidate for President. No body was sure until then what Eisenhower’s political affiliation was. Harry Truman wanted Ike to run as a Democrat in 1948. The nomination came as a great shock to the ambitions of the other republican World War Two hero, General Douglas MacArthur. He called Ike: “ He was the best damn orderly I ever had!”

1962-The Tellstar I satellite transmitted the first television images from France to USA.

1969 - Rolling Stones release "Honky Tonk Woman".

1970- “Mama Told Me Not to Come” by Three Dog Night hits #1 in the pop charts. The song was written by young composer Randy Newman.

1975- Chinese archaeologists excavating at the ancient site of XIAN discover an entire army of 6,000 terra cotta statues buried in formation with chariots and cavalry. Each statue was an individual portrait. They were buried in 221 BC to protect the tomb of China's first emperor Chi Yuan Zsi, who’s name is where the name China came from.

1979- The world holds it’s breath and covers it’s head as the first U.S. space station SKYLAB falls from orbit. 77 tons of space debris in 500 pieces falling around Australia and the Indian Ocean. Luckily it didn’t hit any one although chunks were stuck in an office building in Perth.

1990- THE OKA INDIAN UPRISING- Mohawk Indians living in Quebec fight with police when Quebec authorities try to extend a golf course from 9 to 18 holes over their ancestral burial grounds. AK-47s, overturned cars, helicopter gunships and tear gas abound. One Quebec constable, a corporal Lemay was killed. Today there are more Mohawks living than there were in 1757.

1991- Disney announced it would enter into a distribution deal with a Bay area digital offshoot of Lucasfilm named PIXAR. Ten hit films including Toy Story, Monsters Inc. Finding Nemo and UP! are the result.

1997- A fruitcake named Jonathan Norman was arrested for trying to break into Steven Spielberg’s home. He believed Spielberg “wanted to be raped”, and had on him chloroform, duct tape and S&M paraphernalia.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: During World War II, the Axis powers were Germany, Japan and Italy. But they had three other nations as allies. Who were they?

Answer: Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, at the time, all under fascist dictatorships. Finland accepted German aide, when invaded by Stalin’s Russia.


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