July 17, 2012 Tues.
July 17th, 2012
Quiz: Many states on the East Coast have names like Williamstown, Ft. William, Williamsville. So who is this William?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: What do these people have in common? Basil Rathbone, Charlize Theron, J.R.R. Tolkien?
History for 7/17/2012
Birthdays: James Cagney, John Jacob Astor Ist, Hyacinth Rigaud, Bernice Abbott, Chill Wills, Brian Trottier, Phoebe Snow, Daryl Lamonica, Prof. Peter Schickele a.k.a. PDQ Bach, Earl Stanley Gardner the creator of Perry Mason, Art Linkletter, Diane Carroll is 77, David Hasslehoff is 60, Donald Sutherland is 77, Phyllis Diller is 95!
In ancient Rome, today was the feast of the god of Honor, Honorous.
924 – The death of Edward "the Elder", King of the West Saxons. During his reign, he annexed Wessex and the Danelaw up to the Humber River. Danelaw was the name for English territory governed by Danish Vikings.
1429- Charles the Dauphin of France is crowned King Charles VII at Rheims, thanks to the victories of Joan of Arc.
1453 Battle of Chatillon. The last battle of the Hundred Years War. English knight Sir John Talbot was blown away by the French with their newfangled cannons. Other names for the cannon were bombardons, culverins, and a variation on the catapult name for rock thrower- Mangonnel, shortened to Gonne or Gun.
1647- A Neopolitan fishmonger named Maisaniello led 100,000 Italians in a revolt against high taxes and tariffs. Maisaniello held power in Naples for ten days until his was assassinated this day by agents of the Spanish Viceroy the Count de Orsuna. One of Maisaniellos ideas was he reduced the price of bread by half, and if a baker didn’t comply, he was roasted in his own oven.
1789- Three days after the Bastille was stormed, King Louis XVI appeared on a balcony at Paris city hall the Hotel Du Ville and wore a red, white and blue cockade in a red Phyrgian liberty cap to the cheers of the multitude.
1793- Charlotte Corday, the assassin of French Revolutionary leader Jean Paul Marat, went to the guillotine. When her decapitated head was lifted out of the basket the executioner gave it a smack on her cheek for being a naughty little girl, to the laughter of the crowd.
1803- James T. Calendar, editor of the Aurora newspaper, was among the worst scandal mongering journalists in early America. He broke the story of Alexander Hamilton’s extramarital affairs and Thomas Jefferson’s sleeping with his slaves. He called John Adams a "pernicious Hermaphrodite" and George Washington the "American Dali Lama". Everyone hated him. This night his body was found floating the James River. A court decided he fell in while drunk, but many wonder if he was not pushed.
1841 - British humor magazine "Punch" 1st published.
1867 - 1st US dental school, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, established
1873- The U.S. Secretary of War William Belknap approved the revised set of cavalry regulations called "Upton's Rules". It became the standard for the U.S. Cavalry throughout the Indian Wars. Belknap was forced to resign for pocketing defense funds in 1874.
1876- Battle of Warbonnet Gorge. Skirmish between the US 5th Cavalry pursuing hostile Indians soon after Custers Last Stand. The battle is remembered chiefly because Gen Phil Sheridan asked his old friend Buffalo Bill Cody to return from his play acting back east and scout for the army one more time. He looked rather incredible riding the prairie in his theatrical black velvet silver studded Mexican Vaquero britches and coat.
Bill Cody was challenged to single combat by a Cheyenne Chief named Yellow Tail. Bill killed the chief and scalped him, waving the hair in the air to the cheering troopers and announcing "The first scalp for Custer!" Buffalo Bill then returned to the East where his new stage production "The First Scalp for Custer" ran for weeks to sold out audiences.
1879 - 1st railroad opens in Hawaii.
1893- Representatives of fourteen stage unions meet to form IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical & Screen Engineers of the U.S. & Canada.
1917-President Woodrow Wilson approved U.S. troops to join an Anglo-French mission to Russia. Originally intended to help the Russians from the German Army, the mission became an attempt to help anti-Bolshevik forces overthrow Lenin and reopen the second front against the Kaiser. In effect the U.S., France and Britain invaded Soviet Russia.
The American general was named Graves; the British were led by General Ironside, a 6 foot 4, killing machine his friends nicknamed "Tiny". The Michigan wolverines sent to Archangel and Vladivostok were told they were going to capture German U-boat bases. This excuse wore thin when the Great War ended and they were still in trenches fighting, without ever seeing a German.
They were never given any real instructions about what to do except support Anti-Bolshevik forces, who were pathetically few in number. They were withdrawn from Russia in 1922.
1928- President of Mexico Alvaro Obregon was at a large banquet gathering of all former veterans of the Mexican Revolution. Part of the party was having an artist stroll about making caricatures of the guests of honor. Obregon said to cartoonist Leon Toral: "Make sure you make me look good." Toral responded "Oh, I will.." and pulled a gun and shot the President to death. Gotta watch them cartoonists….
1935 - Variety's famous headline "Sticks Nix Hick Pix" meaning audiences in rural areas were not attending movies with a rustic theme.
1936-. The Spanish Civil War begins. A Spanish Fascist army led by Francisco Franco invaded Spain from North Africa. The first moves were to occupy the Canary Islands. The Fascists figured the takeover would only take a few days, but all over Spain the common workers, farmers, artists, even women and children took up guns to fight.
1937- the Nazis open an art exhibit of banned artworks and artists called Entartete Kunst- Degenerate Art.- Works of Dali and Duchamp, Grosz, Lippschitz, Kandinsky and Miro, with appropriate insults underneath. The next day Hitler dedicated the Great German Art Collection, having cleansed the German art world for National Socialist art, mostly bad deco-greco nudes and dumb Nordic medieval fantasy scenes.
1938- WRONG WAY CORRIGAN was the last of the pioneering aviators. A former mechanic for Lindbergh, Doug Corrigan bought a plane out of a junk heap and modified it for long distance travel. He asked permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to fly from New York City to Ireland. They denied his request, on the grounds that his plane was in poor condition. He seemed to accept the ruling, but when he took off for California, he banked sharply to the east and headed over the ocean.
He landed in Ireland, and complained of a faulty compass. No one believed his excuse, and he lost his pilot's license, but he was greeted as a hero back in New York. Over a million people came out for a ticker-tape parade. Supposedly his first words to the locals upon landing were. "Hello. I’m Corrigan, Where am I?"
1944- Top German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was strafed by an Allied fighter plane as his open car sped down a French country road. Germans nicknamed these roaming planes JABOS, for jaeger-bomber or hunter bombers. By now Rommel was in the Generals Plot to overthrow Hitler. His last conversation was with an SS Panzer Division General named Sepp Deitrich. Rommel asked him cryptically": Would you obey an order from me, even if it ran counter to the wishes of the Fuehrer?" Deitrich said he would.
But the plane attack cut short his career as a conspirator. When the General's Plot to kill Hitler went off in three days Rommel, who the conspirators planned to make President of the new Reich, was in a coma in the hospital.
Even though the bomb failed to kill Hitler, if a healthy Rommel, who's fame was second only to Hitler, went on nationwide radio and announced an army coup against the Nazis and an immediate unilateral peace, it's intriguing to think what might have happened.
1944- The Port Chicago explosion. In Oakland Harbor African American sailors were given the dreary but dangerous duty of loading ammunition onto ships. This day an accident with high explosives blew up 321 men. The blast broke windows in San Francisco across the bay and was heard as far away as Boulder City Nevada.
When the base commander ordered the men to immediately resume loading with no change in pattern or promise of investigation- the black sailors refused. They were court-martialed for mutiny and treason.
1945-THE FIRST POTSDAM MEETING-New President Harry Truman met Stalin and Churchill in a suburb of war ravaged Berlin. Halfway through the talks Churchill learned that he was defeated in parliamentary elections and would be replaced by Clement Atlee. Truman told Stalin about the atomic bomb and was surprised that Stalin wasn’t surprised. Stalin already knew because of spies he had at Los Alamos. Stalin told Truman the Japanese government was requesting peace talks asking that Russia act as intermediary, which they had no intention of doing.
Stalin called the Anglo-Americans his "soyuznicki" Little Allies. Truman called him "Uncle Joe". Paranoid Stalin disliked the name because he thought it was meant to be an insult.
1955 DISNEYLAND OPENED- Walt Disney's dream of a perfect family amusement park, called 'The Happiest Place on Earth" was declared open with movie celebrities like Ronald Reagan, Art Linkletter and the Mouseketeers in attendance. Walt Disney expected to get 10,000 visitors that first day. They got 100,000. Facilities broke down from the huge crowds and the haste with which the park was built. Concrete pavement which was poured the night before was still soft under people's feet, there were no working water fountains and the car parking was a nightmare. To the Disneyland workers opening day was nicknamed 'Black Sunday". Despite all, Disneyland became a huge success.
1955 - Arco, Idaho becomes 1st US city lit by nuclear power.
1967 – The Monkees performed at Forest Hills NY, Jimi Hendrix was their opening act.
1968- In Iraq, the Bath party seized power under President Ahmad Hussain Al-Bakr. The following year his chief of police Saddam Hussein would overthrow him.
1968- The Beatles musical cartoon feature The Yellow Submarine premiered in London’s Piccadilly Circus. Look Out ! It’s the Blue Meanies!!
1975-The Apollo-Soyuz space linkup. A second linkup would not happen until 1995.
1979- Nicaraguan rebels called Sandinistas overthrow dictator Anastasio Somosa. He escaped to Miami with CIA help. The Reagan White House spent most of the 1980’s obsessed with these Communist rebels as a new escalation of the Cold War.
1988- A home video tape was released of actor Rob Lowe making whoopee with two underage girls in his hotel room.
1996- TWA Flt.#800- a jumbo jet flying from New York to Paris exploded over Long Island Sound shortly after take-off. Disturbing rumors of a missile bringing down the plane had been squashed by authorities, despite other pilots and eyewitnesses describing a streak of light in the sky before the explosion. The official reason stated was "fumes ignited in a wing tank", but that explanation failed to satisfy the grieving relatives. Why a plane with a 30 year safety record should just blow up, and none have blown up since, remains a mystery.
Yesterday’s Question: What do these people have in common? Basil Rathbone, Charlize Theron, J.R.R. Tolkien?
Answer: They were all born in South Africa.