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Comicon 2011
July 21st, 2011

Hi Gang,

I'll be at Comicon today and tomorrow (fri). There may be a short disruption in history, but it will be back to normal by Sat.

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Quiz: When they say Gang of Six or Gang of Seven, the original were The Gang of Four. Who were they?

Yesterday’ Quiz Answered below: who were the other Apollo 11 astronauts besides Neil Armstrong?
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History for 7/21/2010
Birthdays: Ernest Hemingway, Issac Stern, Marshal McCluhan, Norman Jewison is 84, Don Knots, Janet Reno, Jon Lovitz is 55, Gary Trudeau, Ernst Shuftan- inventor of the "Shuftan Effect", a cheap way of combining actors with miniatures by shooting through mirrors. All those "Lost World" Cesar Romero fighting the giant Iguanas were done that way. Tony Scott, Edward Herman, Robin Williams is 60, Josh Harnett is 33

Happy National Zippo Lighter Day. Smoking is bad but Zippos are cool- another one of life’s mysteries.

365AD- The Egyptian city of Alexandria was devastated by an earthquake. The tremor may have toppled the famous Pharos lighthouse. The quake caused the waters of the harbor to recede then return with tsunami force.


1588-the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon, Seville, Corunna and Cadiz to attack England. One of the sailors was playwright and poet Lope De Vega.

1784- Abigail Adams went by coach from the English Channel via Canterbury to London to join her husband John Adams. Adams was to assume his post as first ambassador to the Court of Saint James from the new nation of the United States. Abigail wrote of her coach journey how when they passed the area called Blackheath there was fear of robbers and highwaymen. She saw one robber captured, and shuddered that he would soon be hanged. She wrote in her diary:” It is good that such terrible things do not happen in America!” Why, women alone travel the roads in perfect safety!” Hmm, I guess times have changed a bit since then…

1798- "Soldiers! Forty Centuries look down upon you! “The Battle of the Pyramids- Napoleon's cannon mowed down the Mamelukes, who had ruled Egypt since the Crusades. He was so impressed with their courage that he later enlisted a corps of them in his own army. It was speculated around this time the Sphinx lost it's nose. French troops used the Sphinx for target practice. The battle was actually fought a distance from the Pyramids, but Nappy disliked the title Battle of Embaba’s Melon Patch, so Battle of the Pyramids it was.

1821- George IV crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey, but without his Queen Caroline. They couldn't stand one another and he was trying to get a divorce. So when she showed up in her state carriage for the coronation, on the kings orders the Lords and Peers rushed to shut the cathedral doors, leaving her out in the crowd of spectators.

1861- BATTLE OF BULL RUN or FIRST MANASSAS- First major engagement of the Civil War. Irwin McDowell's Yankees and Pierre Beauregard's Confederates had unknowingly adopted the exact same battle plan, feint with right and strike around the left. They would have completely marched around each other if they hadn't blundered together. The North was so confident of victory Washington society turned out with picnic baskets to watch the fun. What they saw was a horrible Union defeat and they were caught in the mob of panicked soldiers running back to the Capitol called the Great Skeedadddle.

Uniforms weren't standard yet and many states sent their men in colorful militia costumes. The union men from Wisconsin wore grey and the Rebels from Pensacola Florida wore blue. Both were shot at by their own sides. Rebel General Thomas Jackson was holding off union assaults when a dying general shouted : "Look, there stands Jackson like a stone wall!" The nickname stuck. Stonewall Jackson had told his men:" When you charge, howl like furies." For the first time the famous Rebel Yell was heard. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was so nervous he rushed to the battlefield in a locomotive. When he arrived on the scene he tried to make a speech to rally the spirits of some ragged soldiers he thought had fled. Turned out they were Stonewall Jackson's veterans, just resting after they won the battle for him.

Bull Run could have been an American Waterloo, because the Yankee army was completely destroyed, and nothing stood between the southerners and the White House, only 40 miles away. But the graybacks were also disorganized and exhausted, so the pursuit was called off. The Civil War would not be won in one big battle, but would drag on for four bloody years.

1884- In one of the dirtiest elections in U.S. history, the New York Post broke the story of Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland fathering a child out of wedlock and abandoning the mother. Cleveland admitted paternity but won election anyway, because the Republican James G. Blaine was even worse.

Just as Cleveland pioneered the Democratic preoccupation with sex scandals, Blaine pioneered the cozy relationship between the Republican Party and big business. He had taken so many kickbacks, his nickname was the Tatooed Man. A leading Protestant divine stood with Blaine and accused the Democratic Party of being the 'party of Rum, Romanism and Rebellion." Every Irishman in the country immediately voted for Cleveland. (around forty per cent of the population of New York, alone, was Irish at the time).

Republicans chanted "Ma, Ma! Where’s My Pa!- Dems countered" He’s Going to the White House, Ha Ha Ha!" another ditty was: "Mary is healthy and so is the Kid, We Voted for Cleveland and we’re damn glad we did!" Aren’t you glad we don’t have name-calling negative election campaigns like that today, boys & girls?

1936- Republican Spanish troops besiege the Fascist fortress of ALCAZAR. They maintained a telephone hookup with the commander, Colonel Moscardo, to try and convince him to surrender. At one point they told him they were going to shoot his son if he didn't give up. The colonel said: " Put my son on the phone!" Hello son?" Put your faith in God, shout Viva Espana, and Die like a Man!" Moscardo never surrendered and the siege was broken.

1944- Democratic Presidential Convention nominates Sen. Harry Truman of Missouri to be Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President on the second ballot. As early as December 1943 the Democratic party knew FDR was a dying man. Whoever was his running mate would in all likelyhood become President. With World War Two not finished and the United Nations to create, this was a pretty important choice.

The incumbent Vice President was Henry Wallace, an eccentric who had a guru, sent field scientists to China and India to look for traces of teenage Jesus, and who believed Joe Stalin's Russia was the model for the American economy to pull out of the Depression. Democratic Party Chairman Robert Haneghan pulled every string he had to get Wallace off the ticket and Truman on. Truman himself didn't want the job and Roosevelt was promising it to everyone he met.
At last Truman agreed, and Hanaghan barred a pro-Wallace demonstration. He even sent a man with an ax upstairs to threaten the convention organist to stop playing "The Corn Grows High in IOWA" (Wallace's home state).

Truman talked to Roosevelt only once or twice before FDR died and Truman had to decide whether to drop the A-Bomb and form the post-war world. Wallace tried a third party presidential run with Chet "the Singing Cowboy" Taylor as running mate in 1948. Robert Haneghan said-"The only epitaph I want on my tombstone is: AT LEAST HE PREVENTED HENRY WALLACE FROM BECOMING PRESIDENT!"

1959- Judge Frederick van Pelt-Bryan ruled that Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence was not pornography and therefore could be sent through the postal system. What do you think of that, John Thomas?

1970- In Egypt the Aswan High Dam completed, finally controlling the annual summer flooding of the Nile.

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Yesterday’s Question: who were the other Apollo 11 astronauts besides Neil Armstrong?
Answer: Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.


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