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August 2, 2011 tues.
August 2nd, 2011

Quiz: The Alpine region called the Tyrol spans two countries. Half is in Austria. Where is the other half?

Yesterday’s Question: Months alternate having 30 and 31 days each, but July and August each have 31. Why is that?
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History for 8/2/2011
Birthdays: Perre L’Enfant the architect –designer of Washington DC, Jack Warner, Myrna Loy, Sir Arthur Bliss, James Baldwin, Carrol O'Connor, Joanna Cassidy is 50, Pete Sampras, Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster ), Bob Beamon, Wes Craven, Apollonia, Edward Furlong, Kevin Smith is 41, Peter O'Toole is 79, Marie Louise Parker is 47

47BC- Battle of Zela. Pharnaces the King of Pontus- a land today in the middle of Turkey, decided he could take advantage of the Roman civil war by rising in revolt. He called for all the eastern provinces throw off the Roman yoke. This day Julius Caesar took time off from Cleopatra, and hurried up to Pontus, where he destroyed Pharnaces army in one large battle. Caesar then sent his famous three word report to the Senate: “ VENI VIDI VICI- I came, I saw, I conquered.”

1100- King William II Rufus (the Red), son of William the Conqueror, was shot with an arrow while hunting in the New Forest. His son Henry I became king. Truth be told, nobody liked Rufus very much, so it was probably not an accident.

1589- French King Henri III de Valois is stabbed in the guts by a demented Dominican, Brother Jacques Clement. He thought the King wasn't doing enough to stamp out Protestantism. The kings last words were: "That little bastard has killed me. Kill him!"
Henry IV de Bourbon became one of Frances most beloved rulers. The children's song "Frere' Jacques" is about this assassin "Brother Jacques, Why are you sleeping?" another bad King needs stabbing, in other words.

1858- The first public mailboxes installed on Boston & NYC streets.

1865- The Confederate raider CSS Shenandoah, after sinking a dozen U.S whaling ships in the Bering Sea off Alaska, is told by a passing British merchantman that the American Civil War had ended over 3 months ago......doh! They refused to believe it until shown some newspapers.

1873- The first San Francisco cable car began service. Inventor Arthur Halliday had conceived the idea in 1869 after seeing a horse drawn tram fail to get up a steep hill.

1876- In Deadwood South Dakota at Nuttall & Manns No.10 Saloon gunfighter Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back and killed while playing cards. He was 48 years old. He was holding the "Deadman's Hand" aces & eights all black, and a jack of hearts. His assailant 'Crooked Nose" Jack McCall was found hiding in a butchers shop and hanged for the murder. An eyewitness said:" It was very sad. Bill had won the hand too."

1909- The US issues the first Lincoln head pennies.

1914- THE GUNS OF AUGUST-General mobilization began throughout Europe for World War One. Large armies moved towards their frontiers amid hysterical street demonstrations of patriotism, Jubilant mobs shouting "A Berlin!" "Nach Paris!" ring out as Europe prepared to destroy itself. In Russia Czar Nicholas II in a solemn religious ceremony takes the oath his ancestor Alexander Ist had taken to drive out Napoleon. In Berlin a torchlight parade stopped under the Japanese Embassy to salute their friends. They were unaware that Japan had already decided to join the other side. The terrified diplomats thought the crowd was there to lynch them. From the Reichchancellory window German foreign minister Von Bethman-Holveig mumbled: "How did this all happen? If only I knew..." In London Lord Grey similarly reflected-" The Lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

1914- Holland and Switzerland declared their neutrality in the coming Great War, closed their borders and mobilized their forces.

1920- Marcus Garvey addressed a rally of 25,000 African Americans at Madison Garden New York. He called upon Black Americans not to integrate with White Society but to work for economic self-sufficiency and an eventual return to Africa. Garvey told biographers he was never born, he had “combusted himself” on the corner of 125 & Lennox in Harlem.

1923- President Warren Harding died suddenly in San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. He was touring the country to get away from the 'Tea Pot Dome'' bribery scandal in Wash. The official cause of death was listed as “ a stroke of apoplexy”. It was rumored he may have committed suicide or had eaten bad crab meat. A popular idea was that First Lady Florence “Flossie” Harding had poisoned him. Harding was a womanizer and Flossie was well aware of his indiscretions; She refused an autopsy and had him quickly embalmed. She controlled all media coverage. To the press she was the Duchess. Nan Britton, one of Warren Harding’s tootsies, immediately sued for $50,000 for the daughter she bore Harding. She lost but wrote a best selling book called the President’s Daughter in 1927. “Silent Cal” Coolidge became President.

1934- Elderly President of the German Republic Paul von Hindenburg died, leaving Chancellor Adolf Hitler alone in charge of Germany. Hitler had waited for the old man to croak before dispensing with the parliamentary niceties. Hindenburg’s death signaled the official end of the Weimar Republic. Hitler combined the offices of President and Chancellor and becomes Der Fuehrer- the Leader.

1939- Albert Einstein then living in New Jersey, wrote a famous letter to President Franklin Roosevelt describing the potential power of atomic energy. That the US must develop atomic bombs before the Nazis do. The Manhattan Project was the result. In later years Einstein described this letter as “one of the biggest mistakes of my life.”

1961 - Beatles 1st gig as house band of Liverpool's Cavern Club.

1962- If you are a fan of the “Marilyn Monroe was done in by the Kennedy’s ” conspiracy theory, a recently unearthed CIA document dated this day mentioned that Marilyn’s bungalow was under electronic surveillance. Also that she kept a “red book” diary. The diary disappeared after her death, two nights from now.

1971- President Nixon acknowledged for the first time that the CIA was maintaining 30,000 irregular troops fighting in Laos.

1979- Yankee baseball star catcher Thurmon Munson died when he crashed his private plane near Akron Ohio. He was 32.

1990 –After Kuwait refused to waive Iraq’s outstanding debts. 100,000 troops of Saddam Hussein’s army invaded Kuwait.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Months alternate having 30 and 31 days each, but July and August each have 31. Why is that?

Answer: Greek scientist Sosigene's plan for the Julian Calendar was a mix of alternating months- 30 days, then 31 days. The system got messed up when Augustus' relations hated that Julius Caesar's month July had 31 days but their August had only 30! So the Senate added a day onto August and took one from, February, which was named for a god of the underworld that nobody liked anyway, which went down to 28.


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