March 14, 2012 wed
March 14th, 2012
Question: What do these men have in common? Che Guevara, St. Luke, Anton Chekov, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What does it mean to go stir-crazy?
History for 3/14/2012
Birthdays: Georg Phillip Telemann, Johann Strauss Sr., Albert Einstein, Casey Jones, Quincy Jones is 79, astronaut Frank Borman, Les Brown, Hank Ketcham, Wolfgang Petersen, Diane Arbus, Chris Klein, Michael Cain born Maurice Mickelwhite is 79, Billy Crystal is 64
On the Roman religious calendar this was the Second Equirra, the Blessing of the Horses . The Romans had no regular Sabbath day, but they had 154 feast days out of 366. Sorry about the deadline boss, but I have to go bless the Horses...
44BC –The night before their planned assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius met with the other conspirators. They had heard that tomorrow at the opening of the senate, outgoing consul Lucius Cotta planned to declare Caesar a king.
The senators resolved to kill him, then debated whether they should then kill more of Caesars followers like Marc Anthony and Octavian. Marcus Brutus successfully argued that if they killed all their political enemies, then this gesture would just look like another partisan brawl. They would strike down one man, the dictator Caesar, in the name of Liberty and all would respect the purity of their motives.
It turned out this was a big mistake, because the men whose lives they spared, were the ones who hunted them down.
44BC- This same night Julius Caesar held a dinner party. Guests remembered at one point the conversation went to the topic-What is the best kind of Death? Caesar answered: " That which is quick and unexpected."
Today is also the Feast of Saint Matilda, wife of German Emperor Henry the Fowler and mother of Otto the Quarrelsome.
1590- Battle of Ivry- Henry IV defeated his political enemies and establishes the Bourbon Dynasty in France. The Bourbon family is still the Royal House of Spain and are rested and ready if France ever wants a monarchy again. Henry's motto was: "I make Love, I make War and I Build." During the battle he was climbing a ladder up a windmill to get a better look, when a cannonball flew between his legs. It almost left him with two out of three...
1757- THE ADMIRAL WAS SHOT AT NOON- English Admiral of the Blue John Byng was shot by firing squad on the poopdeck of his own flagship, the HMS Monarch. He had lost a battle off Minorca to the French fleet so was court-martialed. The admiral was seen as a scapegoat for London's slow response to the enemy threat to Minorca. Byng had already been absolved by court martial of cowardice and treason, he himself wondered just why he was being shot. Pleas for mercy even came from his French enemy the Marquis De Gallissoniere. Years later whenever the Duke of Wellington or Lord Nelson was going through a bad time they would wonder: " If I fail, I'll probably be shot like Byng..."
The writer Voltaire has his comic hero Candide entering Portsmouth Harbor, witnessing an admiral being shot. When he asks why, his English guide replies "It is good idea to shoot an admiral from time to time..."
1794- Eli Whitney patented the Cotton "Gin" short for engine. Some folks call this simple machine the beginning of American Industry. However it also revitalized the institution of Slavery, which had been dying out economically the way it had in Europe and the northern states. Suddenly huge fields needed hundreds of laborers to pick cotton.
1872- Stanley says goodbye to Dr. Livingston. After finding the English missionary at his desolate African post, Henry Stanley spent 4 months with him, then left for England.
1883- Karl Marx died in London. Marx's last words were:" Get out of Here!
Last words are for fools who haven't said enough already!"
1885- Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado premiered in London.
1903- President Teddy Roosevelt, the first and last Republican environmentalist, established Pelican Island as the first Federal Wildlife Preserve.
1923- President Warren Harding became the first President to file an Income Tax Return..
1932-Inventor GEORGE EASTMAN shot himself- The inventor of the Roll-film camera, who named his celluloid strips 'film' and founded Eastman/Kodak. He had been suffering from a long illness and left the note: " To my friends: The End is near, why wait? "
1941- Xavier Cugat and his orchestra recorded "Babalu".
1943- THE BATTLE OF IMPHAL- The Japanese 15th Army began an invasion of Northern India from occupied Burma. Japan called it the "Drive on Dehli". For the next several months the Japanese, British , Indians, Nepalese, Gurkhas and Draguts fought on the plains of Imphal with tanks, planes, samurai swords and kukhris- the famous Gurkha boomerang shaped blade.
1943- Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" premieres. George Szell conducting. Young Leonard Bernstein once asked Copland how he could write more "American" sounding music. The maestro answered:" Lenny, just shuttup and write. You're American. It's all going to sound that way anyway!"
1962- Ted Kennedy first announced he was a candidate for the United States Senate. He remained a senator until 2009.
1967- Nine executives of the German pharmaceutical firm Grunethal were indicted over the Thalidomide scandal. Thalidomide was prescribed as a sedative for pregnant women , but the drug caused thousands of children to be born with deformed limbs.
1986- The IPO or initial public offering of stock of a new company called Microsoft. Twenty-seven dollars a share.
1991- Lyricist Howard Ashman ( Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) died of HIV/AIDS.
1992- The official Soviet newspaper Pravda- Truth, ceased publication.
1998- The epic disaster movie Titanic surpassed Star Wars and Jurassic Park as the greatest money earning film (until Avatar). It cost over $200 million to make but it earned at least $1 billion in box office alone. Quote director James Cameron: I’m King of the World!!
Quiz: What does it mean to go stir-crazy?
Answer: During the 1920s-30s, one of the nicknames for being in prison, was to be “ in stir”. So going stir crazy meant you went mad from the close confinement, similar to cabin fever.