October 21, 2011 fri.
October 21st, 2011
Question: What are you doing when you are caught masticating? ( keep it clean).
Yesterday’s question answered below: In the movie Master and Commander, the British sailors battle cry was “ For England, and the Prize!” What does that mean, the prize?
History for 10/21/2011
Birthdays: Katushika Hokusai, Dizzy Gillespie, Whitey Ford, Alfred Nobel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Carrie Fisher is 55, Patty Davis (Ronnie Reagan's daughter), Benjamin Netanyahu, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Manfred Mann, Sir Georg Solti, Angus MacFadyen, Ken Watanabe is 52, Kim Kardasian is 31.
Today is the FEAST OF SAINT URSULA AND THE ELEVEN THOUSAND VIRGINS, one of the sillier medieval legends. Supposedly on the way back from a pilgrimage to Rome the saintly daughter of a Mercian (English) king had spurned the attentions of the King of the Huns. So he had her and all eleven thousand of her handmaid put to death. Earliest accounts said she had only ten servants and no one was killed..
1492- San Salvador. Christopher Columbus writes on this day in his diary about the new land he is exploring: " We must have found Eden. I think men shall never see this place again as we have seen it." Within 50 years of Columbus's discovery, the Indian tribe that welcomed him on the beach, the Taino, were all but extinct.
1520- Fernand de Magellan sails into the Straights named for him to the Pacific.
1600- BATTLE OF SEKIGEHARA The final battle of Japan's feudal civil wars- Warlord Ieyasu Tokugawa defeats the Toyotomi faction and becomes paramount leader under the Emperor, called the Shogun. Ieyasu later died from eating too much tempura, but the Tokugawa family closed off Japan from all contact with foreigners and missionaries and ruled as Shoguns until 1868.
1639- Battle of the Downs- Dutch Admiral Van Tromp destroyed a new Spanish Armada forming in the English Channel. The Dutch fleet sank or captured 70 out of 77 ships.
1797- The 44 gun frigate USS Constitution launched. Nicknamed Old Ironsides, it is the oldest commissioned warship in the US Navy. It saw active service until 1861, remained a training vessel and is still entertaining tourists in Boston Harbor today. In 1997 it took a spin around the harbor to show it still had what it takes.
1805- TRAFALGAR- Admiral Nelson destroyed Napoleon's naval power in one huge battle off the southwestern coast of Spain. Trafalgar is a vulgarization of the Arabic " Al-Taraff Al-Agharr" or " The Fair Point.” Nelson began the day raising the signal flags "England expects every man to do his duty." One of Nelson's toughest captains, Sir John Collingwood said: "What the devil is Nelson about ? We already know that!"
In the heat of the battle the one-eyed, one armed Lord Nelson strode up and down his poop deck in his full dress uniform to inspire his men. He loved medals, he even had one that spun around. He not only inspired the English Tars but also the French sharpshooters who shot him down. He received the news of the victory as he lay dying and said:" The day is ours, kiss me Hardy." Hardy was captain of the flagship HMS Victory.
French admiral Villeneuve, whom Napoleon goaded into fighting by threatening to courts-martial him as a 'Coward, Idiot and Traitor" left the service and later committed suicide. When they took Nelson's body back to England they bent it into a brandy barrel for preservation, which has been incorrectly called a rum barrel. Which is why today rum is known as "Nelson's Blood".
1837- The Second Seminole War ends. The US government conducted three long wars to remove the Seminole Indian Nation from their Florida homelands. The most famous Seminole leader was Osceola, who ran a guerrilla campaign for 7 years in the Florida swamps that frustrated American leaders like Andrew Jackson, Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor. Finally treachery was used to bring him down. General Jessup asked Osceola to come to a conference under a white flag of truce and when the chief appeared he had him arrested and imprisoned. Despite good treatment Osceola was dead by January, it was said he “willed” himself to death. Seminole resistance continued under his allied chiefs Alligator and Billy Bowlegs until 1842.
1861- Battle of Balls Bluff. The only thing remembered about this Civil War skirmish was the death of President Lincoln's family friend Edward Baker. Another man wounded was a young lieutenant who would one day become a great writer and father of a Supreme Court Justice- Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes later wrote- 'sitting under a tree with two bullet wounds pouring out blood I decided to pass the time while waiting for the ambulance by beginning a debate in my mind about the existence or non-existence of the Afterlife. My final decision was -Damned if I Know !" In later years Holmes called war an “ Organized Bore.”
1879- Thomas Edison announced the invention of the Light Bulb. After experimenting with dozens of different type filaments in a vacuum Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb with carbonized cotton. He and his crew stared at the glowing bulb for 40 hours to make sure it was really worked.
1932- The film Red Dust premiered. It made stars out of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.
1937- A quack medicine called sulfalitimide sold in stores poisoned dozens of people including children. It was found to have the same ingredients as antifreeze. The incident sparked the first Food and Drug legislation in the U.S. preventing medicines being released to the public without first being tested. Darn those federal regulations!
1939- Turkey enraged Hitler and Mussolini, when contrary to their participation in World War One they opted to break with the Axis and remain neutral in World War Two.
1944- BLOODY AACHEN- Aachen didn’t have much strategic value, but it was the first major German city to come under allied ground attack. It was the ancient home of Charlemagne and the First Reich. The city was quickly surrounded by the US First Army but the Germans dug in and held. For 39 days the US First Division the Big Red One did the bulk of the awful fighting- house-to-house, room by room. Finally today German Commander Gerhard von Wilke surrendered, even though he had been warned by Hitler that the Gestapo would shoot his wife and children.
1959- Six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright his last creation the Guggenheim Museum in New York City opened.
1967- 100,000 hippies and anti-war protestors surrounded the Pentagon in Washington and tried to do an “exorcism “ and levitate the building. This was the day of the famous images of Hippies putting flowers in the gun barrels of the National Guard troops.
1969- Beat Generation author of On the Road- Jacques Kerouac died of alcoholism and stomach bleeding, a pencil and pad on his lap. He grew bitter about how his call for youth rebellion had been reinterpreted by the 60's generation as hippies and flower power. When he came upon a gathering of kids at an anti-war rally distributing American flags to burn, Kerouac collected them all and folded them neatly.
1972- Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack theme to the movie “Superfly” debuted at Number #1 in the Billboard charts.
1975- The Cincinnati-Boston World Series-Carleton Fisk's 12th inning homer keeps the Boston Red Sox hopes alive against Johnny Bench and the 'Big Red Machine".
1985- San Francisco Mayor George Mosconi and openly gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk were shot dead by embittered city councilman Dan White. White was acquitted on an insanity plea using the "Twinkie Defense", that junk food raised his blood sugar to such an extent that he went nuts. He served 5 years in prison, moved to Orange County and committed suicide, which some say is redundant.
2003- The Great California Brush Fires. Hot dry wind and a lost hunter ignited the worst brush fires in California history. Ten fires from Ventura County to Tijuana Mexico burned hundreds of thousands of acres for two weeks, destroyed 3000 homes and killed 20. The smoke clouds were visible from space.
Yesterday’s question: : In the movie Master and Commander, the British sailors battle cry was “ For England, and the Prize!” What does that mean, the prize?
Answer: An added incentive for Royal Navy sailors to win sea battles, was that every enemy ship they captured, was sold and the crew split the prize money. When Admiral Nelson was fatally shot, he had been talking with his accountant about how much they expected to make on the French ship they were now fighting.