Feb 5, 2012, sun
February 5th, 2012
Question: Why is the Motion Picture Academy Award called the Oscar? Who was Oscar?
Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What is a Janissary?
History for 2/5/2012
Birthdays: Sir Robert Peel founder of London’s police force- the Bobbies, outlaw Belle Starr, John Carradine, William Burroughs, Arthur Ochs Schulzburger, Hank Aaron is 79, Tim Holt, Barbera Hershey, Charlotte Rampling, Roger Staubach, Michael Mann is 69, Bobby Brown, H. R. Giger, Red Buttons, Christopher Guest, Jennifer Jason Leigh is 51, Laura Linney is 48, Michael Sheen is 43
2BC -The Roman Emperor Octavian Caesar was given by the Senate the title Father of His Country- Pater-Patria or the Augustus.
1631- Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, arrived in America from England. Tossed out of Boston for complaining about the Puritan fathers right to lock up anybody who didn’t like their religious views, Williams set up a new colony where he invited those who wanted freedom of conscience to come. Rhode Island is one of the smallest states in America so I guess that says something about the response he got.
1642- The House of Lords finally gives in and agrees with the militant House of Commons to exclude bishops from sitting with an equal vote in Parliament.
1723- Louis XV who became King of France at age 5, attained manhood at age 13. The period in French History called the Regency came to an end, even through his uncle Phillip d’Orleans continued to run the government.
1736- Briton John Wesley landed in Savannah and brought the first Methodist missionaries to the U.S. On the boat Wesley was influenced by the simple discipline of several members of the sect the Moravian Brethren.
1783- The Kingdom of Sweden recognized the United States.
1846-The Oregon Spectator, first English newspaper on the Pacific Coast, published.
1887- Verdi’s opera "Othello" debuted. Guiseppi Verdi had retired from composing after 1875 but was goaded by a new generation of composers like Arrigo Boito to take up his pen once more.
1895- PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND asks BANKER J.P. MORGAN TO BAIL OUT THE UNITED STATES- The business climate of the late 1880’s & 90’s was dominated by the debate of whether U.S. currency should be backed by gold or silver bullion. Class distinctions and politics were aggravated by Gold Bugs vs. Silver Men. Wild speculation on Wall Street in both metals made and ruined fortunes overnight. In the midst of all this confusion it was suddenly noticed that the gold reserves of the U.S. treasury were so seriously depleted that the Federal government was about to go bankrupt.
So President Cleveland was reduced to going cap-in-hand to the famous tycoon for a loan. Morgan drove a hard bargain but the U.S. economy was saved. J.P. Morgan was so rich at this point he had stopped several Wall Street panics almost single-handedly.
Morgan smoked twenty fat cigars a day and on the advice of doctors never exercised because it would be bad for his health.
1919- Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith form the United Artists Studio.
1921- The Loews State Theater in Chicago opened.
1922- The Reader’s Digest began publication.
1936-THE BATTLE OF JARAMA - Spanish General Franco’s Fascist army was thrown back from the gates of Madrid with help from the Republic’s newly arrived foreign volunteers, called the International Brigades. The idealistic young Europeans and Americans (the Abraham Lincoln Brigade) were thrown into the battle with no training as they had just arrived. They suffered 50% casualties but won the day.
The Lincolns sang a tune to Popeye the Sailor Man:
"In a green little vale called Jarama, We made all the fascists cry "Mama!; we fight for our pay, just six cents a day, and play football with a bomb-a "
1937- Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times premiered. Chaplin was inspired to lampoon modern technological madness when he was invited to view the auto assembly production lines in Detroit and saw men moving like machines.
1952-New York City is the first to adopt the three light traffic lights-red, yellow, green.
1953- Walt Disney’s "Peter Pan" premiered.
1956- Darryl Zanuck resigned from 20th Century Fox, the studio he built into a powerhouse. He later won back the chairmanship in 1962 only to be ousted finally in 1970.
1957- Mel Lazarus’ comic strip Miss Peach debuted.
1970- TWA began 747 nonstop service between New York and Los Angeles.
1971-The NASDAQ computer stock trading system starts up.
1972- After numerous airline hijackings the U.S. institutes luggage inspection and metal detectors at major airports.
1974- Hearst Media heiress Patty Hearst kidnapped at gunpoint by an underground radical group called the Symbianese Liberation Army. She is kept in a closet, brainwashed, changes her name to Tania, does prison time for a bank job, and later appears in several John Water’s movies.
1988- A new Palestinian militant group announced it’s formation. Called HAMAS meaning "zeal" They were trained in Islamic fundamentalism in the Ayatollah’s Iran. They vowed undying hostility to Israel, and refused to acknowledge the PLO as being in charge. Also around this time the Syrian backed the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah formed.
2003- Former war hero and US Secretary of State Colin Powell went to the United Nations to make the case for the United States attack on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. He was doing so in emulation of Adlai Stephenson’s historic presentation to the UN of proof of the Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962.
But Adlai Stephenson had genuine proof. Powell had only the rumors and half truths supplied him after the CIA declared it all suspect. Describing some trucks and aluminum tubes as proof of mobile nuke labs. In 2005 these findings were declared totally false, and Powell’s reputation damaged. He privately confessed:” It was the worst day of my life.”
Yesterday’s Question: What is a Janissary?
Answer: The elite soldiers of the Ottoman Turkish sultan, that also were his royal guard. They were fanatically loyal, but by the 18th Century the could overthrow a sultan and put another in his place.