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July 31, 2011 sun.
July 31st, 2011

Quiz: In the climactic Albert Hall scene of the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much, who is conducting the orchestra?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below Which country has more Palestinians living in it than their own people?
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History for 7/31/2011
Birthdays: Liberace, General George H. Thomas the "Rock of Chickamagua", Sebastian Sperling Kresge the founder of S.S.Kresge stores. Wesley Snipes is 49, Milton Friedman, Sherry Lansing, Geraldine Chaplin, Kurt Gowdy, Dean Cain, Leon “ Bull “Durham, Primo Levi, Ted Cassidy who played Lurch in the Adams Family, and according to J.K. Rowling, this is the birthday of Harry Potter

1358- The Mayor of Paris Etienne Marcel was killed trying to defend his city from the King of France’s army. Marcel tried to use the chaos of the English Hundred Years War to gain independence for Paris like the city-states of Italy. He governed the city with a bodyguard of Malletards, workmen who wielded huge two-handed sledgehammers. After Marcel fell, the king would never grant that much power to a Parisian again, Paris was governed by a royal appointee. There would be no Mayor of Paris until the Revolution in 1789. Today the Mayor of Paris is considered a direct step to the French Presidency.

1498- Christopher Columbus discovered Trinidad.

1620- The Pilgrims set sail for America. They were aiming for Virginia but washed up in Massachusetts instead. Comedian Eddie Izzard noted:” The Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth and landed in…. Plymouth…how convenient for them!”

1703- In London writer Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe) was made to stand in pillory for writing critical satires of the Her Majesties government and Church. The pamphlet was The Shortest Way with Dissenters.

1720- Height of the Great Plague of Marseilles- A bubonic plague of such ferocity hits the city that the regional parliament at Aix en Provence drew a line around the city and forbade anyone to enter or leave. Order within the city collapsed and the Bishop of Marseilles with his Jesuits took over the day by day functions. Everyday the Bishop, seated on a huge wagon of corpses pulled by convicts chanting the "Miserere' would lead a procession to church. Ahh, the good ole' days.. In later years people never forgot the heroism of the prelate. When the French Revolution ordered the despoiling of churches, the people of Marseilles refused to throw down the statue of their hero bishop.

1763- Battle of Bloody Bridge. British Captain Dalyell tried a surprise attack on Chief Pontiac’s camp to relieve the Indian siege of Fort Detroit. But Ponitac was forewarned. His warriors shot up Dalyell and his men. Pontiac slew the captain and ate his heart. yum!

1776- Francis Salvador, a South Carolina plantation owner was killed in a skirmish with British troops. He became the first of the Jewish faith to die for American Independence.

1790- The U.S. Patent Office opened.

1793- THE BIRTH OF THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM IN AMERICA- Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson informed President George Washington of his intention to resign. Jefferson was frustrated with his endless feuds with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Adams. Although he told Washington he wished to retire to Monticello, in reality he planned to direct the strategy of his new opposition party the Democratic-Republicans. The party that became the Democratic Party was first called the Republicans, the term “democrat” was then seen as an insult. Jefferson called Hamilton’s Federalist party “the Monocrats” because he felt they had royal ambitions.

From now on with few exceptions the U.S. President’s cabinet would not be a coalition of differing viewpoints but all from one party. The modern Republican Party would not be born until Lincoln’s time, 60 years in the future. Washington was appalled that his old friend and fellow Virginia planter Jefferson would take partisanship so far that he would desert him. Washington thought political parties a bad thing because it encouraged people to put the needs of their party over the needs of their country…. Heh, he should see things now.

1798- Admiral Horatio Nelson sighted Napoleon's fleet anchored in the bay of Aboukir at the mouth of the Nile. Since it was too late that evening to fight, the one-eyed, one armed admiral ordered dinner to be served. Over port he told his captains; "Gentlemen, tomorrow I shall gain either a peerage, or a crypt in Westminster Abbey."

1813- The British invade New York State at Plattsburgh.

1830- The Revolution of the Ten Days- King Charles X of France overthrown and replaced with his cousin Louis Phillipe d'Orleans as a constitutional monarch, The event was remembered by Delacroix in his painting "Liberty Leading the People". The Royal French Army was deliberately held back from suppressing the rebellion by their leaders, they were Napoleon’s old Generals Marmont and Soult. Honore Daumier liked to draw new King Louis Phillipe“ The Bourguois Monarch” as a fat pear in a top hat. Prince Metternich the premier of Austria correctly predicted this uprising would signal a new round of revolutionary ferment throughout Europe:.”When Paris Sneezes, Europe catches the cold.” King Louis Phillipe’s descendants, the D’Orleans branch of the Bourbon family, are the present heirs to the throne, should the French Nation ever desire a monarchy again.

1873- San Francisco's famous cable car system starts up.

1904- Russia completed the Trans-Siberian Railroad, linking the Ural Mountains and European Russia with the Pacific Coast.

1914- Europe spirals down into world war. The Czar of Russia changed his mind one more time and ordered the Russian Army to mobilize. He told his chief of staff ” You may smash your telephone now, for I will not change my mind again.” The French government decided to reject the last minute German warning to keep away from their coming war with Russia and orders general mobilization.

The leader of the French Socialists and best hope for European pacifists, Jean Jaure' was assassinated that night. He was shot through a window while sipping wine in a Paris café’. Jean Jaure’ had helped diffuse a similar crisis the previous year by chairing a last minute international summit in Switzerland. This time someone didn’t want him to spoil the fun. The murderer was never found.

1914- Meanwhile in America the reaction to the war in Europe was THE WALL STREET PANIC OF 1914. American investors feared the war would cut off European markets for their goods and thus be disastrous for business. So many sell orders deluged the exchange that on the advice of Treasury Secretary MacAdoo and J.P. Morgan, Jr. the New York Stock Exchange closed down completely until December.

Brokers began to meet in the street around Wall and Nassau streets and make deals anyway. These 'Gutter-Brokers" were the world's only open functioning stock market for several months. Ironically the war proved a boon to U.S. industry ( stock in Dupont went up 400% ) and caused the U.S. to supplant England as the world's largest creditor nation.

1917-The PASSCHENDALE OFFENSIVE also called the Third Battle of Ypres- Field Marshall Sir Douglas "Whiskey Doug" Haig proved he learned nothing in the last 3 1/2 years of trench war by ordering a massive standing infantry attack right into the German machine guns. Even today the War Office is vague on the losses, but the estimate is tens of thousands of young Britons died to move the front line 1/2 a mile. When hearing of the high casualties Sir Douglas reacted:" Oh dear, have we really lost that many ?"

1922- Ralph Samuelson invented water skis.

1930- Radio mystery show “The Shadow” premiered. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows…heh, heh, heh.” Orson Welles did the voice of the crime fighting Shadow for a year in 1937 for $185 a week.

1945- Truman still at the Potsdam conference issues the orders to use the Super Cosmic Bomb (a-bomb) on Japan but not before Aug 2nd to see if Japanese peace overtures through the Swedish Embassy were sincere. He conferred with General Eisenhower but Ike was against the decision:” It was unnecessary to use that thing on those people.”

1945- Allied authorities find arch-collaborator Pierre Laval hiding in Austria. Laval was the premier and chief organizer of the pro-Nazi Vichy French government. He cooperated in the transporting of thousands of French Jews to Nazi death camps and many others of his countrymen to slave labor camps. After a sensational trial Laval tried to poison himself, but was nursed back to health long enough so he could hang.

1948- President Truman dedicated New York City’s second major airport Idlewild Field. In 1963 it was renamed Kennedy Airport.

1954- Steve Allen married Jayne Meadows.

1966- Birmingham Alabama held a massed rally to burn Beatles records after John Lennon joked that the Beatle had become more popular than Jesus.

1960- Elijah Mohammed set up the African-American movement the Nation of Islam, called by some the Black Muslims.

1962- Malaysian independence.

1971- Apollo 15 astronaut went for a drive on the surface of the moon in their land-rover.

1977- Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz had kept normally unflappable New York City in the grip of fear for one year. This night he killed his last victim. He was caught because of his Volkswagen beetle being illegally parked. When writing the ticket the policeman noticed the 44 cal. pistol sticking out of a paper bag on the seat. Berkowitz was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and today says he is a born-again Christian and he doesn’t like to dwell on the past. ( too bad ). While in Attica he made friends with Mark David Chapman, the murderer of John Lennon.

1995- The Walt Disney Company bought the ABC Network, the Discovery Channel and ESPN.

2006 Elderly, ailing, Communist dictator Fidel Castro handed over leadership of Cuba to his brother Raul Castro and went into retirement.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Which country has more Palestinians living in it than their own people?

Answer: Jordan. Palestinians outnumber the Hashemite tribes of Jordan. In 1948, After the British mandate was lifted, King Abdallah (Hussein's father) tried to annex all of Palestine under his Jordanian rule , offering freedom of worship to all. The Grand Mufti of Palestine disagreed and Abdallah was assassinated.


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