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Nov 9, 2012 fri.
November 9th, 2012

Question: What film debuted the song Zippedy-Doo-Dah?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What was Geritol?
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History for 11/9/2012
Birthdays: English King Edward VII, Confederate Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill, Stanford White, Marie Dressler, Ed Wynn, Claude Rains, Ann Sexton, Spiro Agnew, Tommy Dorsey, Dr. Carl Sagan, Whitey Herzog, Dorothy Dandridge, Dr. Herbert Kalmus the inventor of Technicolor film, Lou Ferrigno is 61, Sisqo

In ancient Rome this was the Feast of Mania, like the Greek Anthesterion it was a time when the Gates of Underworld were said to be open and the shades of the dead could visit their old haunts. This is where we get the word Maniac.

64BC- Marcus Tullius Cicero delivered the first of his great speeches against Catiline, a Roman noble he accused of gathering an army of the disaffected to overthrow the Roman Republic.

1518- Pope Leo X tried some reform to calm the Protestant protests in Germany by repudiating some of the more outrageous claims of what buying indulgences could do. And that as Pope he could not get loved ones released from Hell or Purgatory, but could merely pray for God to forgive them. But it had no effect, the Protestant Reformation in Germany was going full steam ahead.

1699- According to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, this was the day ship’s doctor Lemuel Gulliver was shipwrecked on the island of Liliput.

1781- After the Battle of Yorktown, George Washington watched his only stepson Jackie Custis die of camp fever or meningitis. Washington would not believe that this victory had ended the Revolutionary War. He asked for a new attack on Charleston South Carolina, while his French allies announced operations were done for the season. Meanwhile the British were thinking only about leaving. One British officer serving in America wrote home- I wish Columbus had never discovered this hateful place!”.

1799- THE COUP OF THE 18TH BRUMAIRE- Napoleon seized power in France. The name referred to the date in the French Revolutionary calendar. The little general began by giving a speech in the National Assembly denouncing the Jacobin menace and the need to restore order. Throwing around the term Jacobin then was akin to calling people Terrorists today. However he was never as good a political speaker as he was a soldier. The senior politicians recognized baloney when they heard it and mobbed him. His brother Lucien who was a senator pulled him out of the crowd. So Nappy called in his troops and cleared the hall, pushing some senators out of the windows, it was a one-story building so the effect was purely symbolic.

At 2:00 AM a small group of friendly senators were convened to vote to create a leadership system of three Counsels with Nappy to share power, but he soon outmaneuvered the other two. Napoleon became dictator of France and declared the French Revolution complete. “I am the Revolution!” He was 31.

1872- The Great Fire of Boston. Much of the city center was destroyed because an equine virus, The Great Epizootic, had killed off the horses of the fire brigades.

1875- A treaty had declared all of the Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota to be protected Indian land “ So Long as Grass grows and Water Flows.”But prospectors supported by General George Custer had discovered gold in those hills and a gold rush began, Indians or not. This day a confidential memo from Supreme Commander of the U.S. Army Phil Sheridan with President Ulysses Grant’s approval ordered the frontier cavalry to cease preventing settlers and gold prospectors from moving into the Black Hills. This memo in effect violated the Indian Treaty of 1868 and would lead to Custer's Last Stand next June.

1888- the last victim of Jack the Ripper found. 25-year-old prostitute Mary Reilly. After her murder the Ripper attacks ceased as mysteriously as they had started.

1906- President Teddy Roosevelt departed on board the battleship Louisiana to go inspect the Panama Canal dig. TR is the first sitting U.S. President to travel abroad.

1911-The first Neon sign illuminated.

1918- KAISER WILHELM ABDICATED. A curious fact was that no Tommy, Doughboy or Poilu ( the nicknames for British, American and French soldiers) in World War One ever made it to Berlin, much less entered Germany. The German war machine collapsed from within- bread riots, the economy in shambles, The entire Navy mutinied, Bolshevik Worker’s Soviets were set up in eleven cities including Cologne, Munich and Hamburg.

At first the Kaiser hoped to first sign the peace with the victorious Allies then use the German army to put down the riots and restore order. But changed his mind when 40 combat officers selected at random said 38 to 2 that they would refuse to kill other Germans to save his monarchy. Even then leaders resorted to polls. “What about the Fananeider-the German Soldiers Oath to die for the Monarchy?! “he asked General Von Groener. “Sire, today the Oath is just some empty words!” Even the Kaiser’s personal bodyguards were setting up a Revolutionary Workers Committee. So rather than wind up arrested and maybe even shot like his cousin the Czar of Russia, Wilhelm abdicated.
Young university professor Albert Einstein wrote in his class log-“ Class cancelled today due to revolution….”

1918- Meanwhile Berlin was in a confused panic, monarchists fighting communists in the streets. Chancellor Prince Max of Baden said to Reichstag leader Fritz Ebert:” I hand over to you the care of the German Empire.” Ebert replied:” I have lost two sons to that Empire.” Social democrat Karl Scheiderman was having lunch at the Reichstag when he was told the German Bolsheviks Karl Leibknecht and Red Rosa Luxemburg were about to publicly announce a soviet-style state. Scheiderman got up from his soup, walked out on the balcony and declared the Republic of Germany. Fritz Ebert became it’s first President.

1923- THE BEER HALL PUTSCH-Adolf Hitler's first attempt at a revolution styled to coincide with Napoleon's anniversary of coming to power in 1799. Old German war hero General Ludendorf stood by him in support. The coup attempt was easily put down by Munich police and Hitler only spent a year under house arrest. Hitler had a long memory. Eleven years later in 1934 when dictator Hitler was purging his stormtroopers, he remembered to look up the same Munich constable who had him arrested and had the poor man shot.

1928- Anthropologist Margaret Mead arrived in Ta’u, Samoa to begin work on her book “Coming of Age in Samoa” which will have a great effect on how people raise their children.

1935- An aggressive group of labor unions led by United Mine Workers leader John L. Lewis break away from the AF of L and form the Congress of Industrial Unions or the CIO. The AFL and CIO reunited in 1951.

1937- KRYSTAL NACHT- In Paris, an angry German-Jewish exile shot and killed a German diplomat named Ernst Von Rapt. Ironically Rapt was anti-Nazi and was being watched by the Gestapo. Back in Germany the Nazis use this incident to order the mass destruction of 191 synagogues and 1,000 Jewish businesses. Then the Jewish community was ordered to pay fines up to $40 million to pay for the damage. The name Crystal Night pertains to the sound of smashing glass in the streets.

German boxing champion Max Schmelling was the media idol of Aryan Superiority for defeating American Joe Louis. One thing no one knew was that Schmelling concealed two Jewish boys from danger on Krystalnacht and had them smuggled out of the country. In 1961 Schmelling was invited to a testimonial in his honor at the Sands Casino in Las Vegas, now owned by one of those boys.

1964- First "Wizard of Id" comic strip published.

1953- Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died of alcohol poisoning and liver failure in New York, after downing 18 straight shots of whisky. There's actually some debate as to whether or not Dylan Thomas intended to drink himself to death. Scholars have recently suggested that he was a diabetic and died of hypoglycemia. Whatever the actual agent of Thomas' demise may have been, the coroner wrote on his death certificate under the cause of death heading, "Insult to the brain."

1965- "WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?" The first Great East Coast Blackout. A transformer near Rochester shorts out and the surge overloads station after station until the entire eastern seaboard from Boston to Delaware is in darkness for 12 hours. Nine months later there was a notable rise in the birthrate. I guess there was nothing else to do.

1966- In London Beatle John Lennon went to an art exhibit and first met a Japanese avant garde photographer named Yoko Ono.

1981- The Screen Actor's Guild under President Ed Asner votes emergency moneys for striking PATCO air traffic controllers fired by the former SAG president, now U.S. President, Ronald Reagan.

1979- National Public Radio goes on the air. The first US national news show with women as anchor reporters. It was also the first news program in stereo.

1989- THE BERLIN WALL FELL. The East German authorities backed down as the people dance and sing on the hated symbol of Cold War division. A student points up at the t.v. cameras and shouted: "Look, the Whole World is Watching !" Some West German politicians drove to the scene of the spontaneous demonstration and they tried to get everyone to sing patriotic songs like "Deutschlandlied", but the crowd drowned them out, dancing to the theme from the movie:"GhostBusters".

The next day people found the streets covered in banana peels. It was the first thing East Germans bought in the west, and they ate their bananas as they window shopped.

1995- PLO leader Yassir Arafat had been warned it wouldn’t be wise to attend the funeral of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Ytschak Rabin, killed on Nov 5th. This day he secretly sneaked into Jerusalem to make a courtesy call on Leia Rabin at her apartment to express his condolences. It was the first time the Jerusalem born Arafat had ever visited Israel.

2004- The Jones Soda Pop Company of Seattle announced its new creation – Mashed Potato Flavored Soda. This was to follow up on their success last year of Roast Turkey and Gravy Soda.

2004- Mozilla-Firefox started up.

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Yesterday’s Question: What was Geritol?

Answer: It was a popular health tonic in the 1950s and 60s. For “tired blood” it was mostly alcohol and B-vitamins.


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