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August 16, 2012 thurs.
August 16th, 2012

Quiz: If you were declared a Hetman, what kind of people would you be in charge of?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: Which one was not a British-born composer? Ralph Vaughn Williams, Howard Shore, Gustav Holst, Henry Purcell, Sir Arthur Sullivan,
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History for 8/16/2012
Birthdays: Fess Parker, Karl Stockhausen, George Meany Charles Bukowski, Menachim Begin, Otto Mesmer the creator of Felix the Cat, Myron Grim Natwick the creator of Betty Boop, Hal Foster the creator of Prince Valiant, Alex Raymond the creator of Flash Gordon, Kathie Lee Gifford, Eydie Gorme, Bill Evans, Leslie Ann Warren, Angela Bassett, Julie Numar, Robert Culp, James Cameron is 57, Bruce Beresford, Steve Carrell is 49, Madonna aka Louise Ciccone of Bay City Michigan is 54

Today is the Feast of St. Roch, who had a heavenly inspired dog to lick his sores and cure him of the Black Plague.

1521- Guatamoc was the last fighting Aztec emperor. After Montezuma died he led Aztec resistance to Cortez and his Spanish conquistadors. After 80 days of brutal house to house fighting, he finally surrendered the capital Tenochtitlan. The Spaniards tortured Guatamoc for three days trying to get him to reveal where the secret treasure of Montezuma was. As they poured boiling oil on his feet he laughed:” Ah, am I standing on a field of rose petals?” Today they hanged him. He never revealed where the Aztec treasure was.

1777-Battle of Bennington- General of Volunteers John Stark defeated a large contingent of Hessians sent by Burgoyne to get help for his redcoats trapped at Saratoga. Stark inspired his men before the battle with words like these: “Men, yonder are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds ten pence a man. Are you worth more than that? Tonight the American flag will fly atop that hill or Molly Stark will sleep a widow!” The flag few atop the hill and Stark went home to his wife a hero.

1780- Battle of Camden, South Carolina- Colonial General Horatio Gates excelled at backroom politics almost more than at military accomplishments. He finagled the northern army command away from it's creator General Phillip Schuyler, then later took full credit for the great American victory of Saratoga even though the hard work was done by Benedict Arnold.

Yet he was considered a serious rival of George Washington for leadership of the American armies. But on this day his humiliating defeat at the hands of Lord Cornwallis extinguished his ambitions. Citing ill health, he withdrew from the army and ended his career.

1805- In the camp at Boulogne Napoleon held a grand military ceremony for his Grande Armee’. To the thundering beat of 1,300 massed drums he personally awarded medals to worthy common soldiers. The secret to Napoleons leadership was a special bond between him and his men that was unique to his time. In an world of aristocrats who considered the common people scum, Napoleon walked casually among his soldiers like an equal, stopping to share a roast potato or a dirty joke in rough soldiers language. He called them his children. He had an uncanny memory and read the personnel rosters of his 350,000 man army once a month to update himself on his men’s achievements.

1812- Napoleon’s army stormed the burning Russian city of Smolensk. Marshal Murat, almost sensing the disaster this Russian invasion was going to bring, walked casually out in the open in front of the Russian cannons, almost inviting them to kill him. He was finally tackled out of harm’s way.

1812- American General Hull surrendered most of Michigan territory, including the settlement of Detroit, to British General Issac Brock.

1819- THE PETERLOO MASSACRE- At Saint Peters’ Fields in Manchester thousands of factory workers and their families gathered to protest for better working hours and minimum wages. The response of the local magistrate Sir Simon Burley was to send in the Royal Horse Cavalry to ride them down and saber them. The incident was called Peterloo because most of this same cavalry engaged were also at the battle of Waterloo four years earlier. People referred to Sir Simon Burley’s action with a pun from MacBeth, hurley-burley.

1858- Queen Victoria sent the first transcontinental wire message to President James Buchanan via Cyrus Field's incredible UNDERWATER TRANSCONTINENTAL CABLE, stretching from London to New York. After great fanfare about progress and a new era in communications it broke down, as well as the next several tries to fix it. Just hours after the first message a fisherman pulled it up in his net, thought it was the tail of a sea serpent and cut off a chunk to take home and brag to his friends. Other attempts were ruined when technicians tried to correct the faintness of the signal by boosting the voltage beyond the safety range of the insulation-Zapp!

Direct transcontinental communications didn't really become a reality until wireless broadcasting. But the who-ha over this scientific marvel did inspire author Jules Verne to write "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."

1877- BIRTHDAY OF THE WORD-"HELLO". In a letter dated today Thomas Edison wrote to the first president of AT&T about how people should initiate conversation on the new telephone machine. A genteel Victorian would think it impolite to speak until spoken to. Edison explained that the results of sonic tests proved the old English fox hunting call "Halloo!" was most audible over great distances. Alexander Graham Bell, an old navy man, always thought the right way to start a phone conversation was to say "AHOY!", but hello won out. In most languages around the world the word hello is the same. It was the only English word Sioux Chief Sitting Bull ever learned. He loved to grab your hand and pump it vigorously while saying:" HELLO, HELLO!" 1896- Four miners find gold in Bonanza Creek in the Klondike. The Yukon Gold Rush.

1938- In Three Forks Misssissippi, Blues legend Robert Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband. 1942- Happy Birthday Mighty Mouse. Terrytoon's short: "The Mouse of Tomorrow".

1954- First issue of Sports Illustrated.

1965- The AFL, American Football League offered it’s first expansion franchise to a new team called the Miami Dolphins. The AFL merged with the NFL in the 80s.

1969- “ Hey Man, we’re gonna serve breakfast in bed for 500,000” So was hippy Wavy Gravy’s announcement on the second day of the Woodstock Rock Concert. He said this was the day Americans learned to eat Granola. It was ladled out en masse in paper cups and has been a diet staple ever since. 1977- E-DAY in Memphis. 42 year old Elvis Presley, donuts and Pizza Hut box in hand died sitting on the toilet He was reading the book-the Historic Search for the Face of Jesus.

1985- On her birthday, Madonna married Sean Penn.

1987- The Harmonic Convergence- Another one of these celestial events that the mainstream media trumpeted as the end of everything. All nine planets of our solar system were in perfect alignment and the subsequent gravitational forces were supposed to knock the Earth into the Sun or something or other that would send us to Hell in a Handbasket. Lots of New Age types flocked to occult sites like Mt. Shasta and Stonehenge to meditate on the End of All Things. So what happened? Nothing.

1991- The original Shamu the Whale died of respiratory failure at age 16.

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Yesterday’s Quiz: Which one was not a British-born composer? Ralph Vaughn Williams, Howard Shore, Gustav Holst, Henry Purcell, Sir Arthur Sullivan,

Answer: Howard Shore was born in Toronto, Canada.


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