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February 2, 2013 sat
February 2nd, 2013

SEE YOU ALL AT THE ANNIE AWARDS! Where Animation honors their own.


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Quiz: In theater and film, what is meant by “Breaking the Fourth Wall”…?

Yesterdays question answered below: We all know that Cyrano de Bergerac’s girlfriend was Roxanne. But there was another famous Roxanne earlier. Who was it?

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History for 2/2/2013
Birthdays: Tallyrand, Charlie Halas a co-founder of the NFL, James Joyce, Ayn Rand, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifitz, Abba Eban, Farrah Fawcett, Garth Brooks, Christie Brinkley, Tommy Smothers, Stan Getz, James Dickey, Liz Smith, Elaine Stritch is 88, Brent Spinner is 64, Shakira is 36

Happy Groundhog Day. This morning if Paxatawney Phil sees his shadow, it means 6 more weeks of winter.

In ancient Rome it was the day for the lesser Eleusinian Mysteries. Part of the ceremony was you were given a bowl of wine with certain herbs in it. After drinking it you saw the gods. It was experimenting to find the nature of these ancient herbs in 1946 that led Dr. Albert Hoffman to discover LSD.

961 A.D. -Otto I Hohenstaufen crowned, The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE of the GERMAN NATION declared, the First Reich. Otto was one of the first rulers to win wars with armored knights on horseback instead of the Roman Legion style infantry, setting the tone for the Middle Ages.

At 45 he was crowned Emperor by Pope Stephen VI, who was 19. This event created the unusual connection between the German Empire and the Italian states. Italian states like Florence and Venice considered vassals of the German Emperor even though they acted independently and he almost never crossed the Alps to check up on them. A German Emperor was called King of the Romans until crowned by the Pope.

In 1477 the Emperors did away with kissing up to the Pope and left the Imperial selection to a court of electors meeting in Frankfurt. Holy Roman Empire hung around until about 1809. To quote Voltaire “ It wasn’t much of an Empire, it wasn’t Roman and it most certainly wasn’t very holy either.”

12-1300's-In the middle Ages this was the day of the Winter Reysa- when Crusader Knights of the Teutonic Order would venture into the Lithuanian forest, find a village of pagans, and chop them up for the Christian Faith. There were two expeditions a year, this one and in the summer. The Prussian Knights ran a sort of Club-Med for northern knights who wanted to crusade but not risk the dangerous journey to Palestine.

1536- The City of Buenos Aires founded.

1565- CZAR IVAN THE TERRIBLE exhibited the first signs of mental unbalance. Without warning, he abandoned his capitol Moscow in December. It took several weeks for the Russian court to find him at a little village named Alexandrov, 350 miles away. A procession waving incense and icons came out to beg him to return. He said he would return only if he were allowed to deal with his enemies ruthlessly.

This day he returned to the Kremlin with a private army called the Oprichina, 6000 criminals and peasants dressed as monks to help Ivan torture people. When once asked if a group of Jews from Lithuania could settle in Muscovite lands, Ivan explained his opposition: “ Jews would bring strange herbs into our realm and lead astray Russians from Christianity.”

1709- William Dampier was a reformed buccaneer who wrote books about his travels. This day while cruising the South Seas he rescued a man named Sir William Selkirk, who had been marooned on an otherwise uninhabited island for two years. It seems Selkirk had gotten into an argument with the captain of a Chilean schooner who left him there. Upon returning to London Capt. Dampier mentioned the incident to his friend writer Daniel DeFoe, who used it to create his most memorable novel- Robinson Crusoe.

1811- Fur traders establish Fort Ross, just north of Spanish San Francisco. It was the deepest Russian settlement into North America. In1845 the Russian Fur Trading Company sold it to American John Sutter. Today there is a reconstructed facsimile of Fort Ross on the site.

1848- TREATY OF GUADALUPE HIDALGO signed, which ended the U.S.-Mexican War. Ambassador Nicholas Trist was given the dangerous assignment of finding the Mexican Government fleeing the American army assault on Mexico City, then convincing them to sign away California and the Southwest, approximately 40% of their national territory.

Just when negotiations in the little village of Guadalupe Hidalgo were about to conclude successfully, he got a message from Washington to break off talks and return. President Polk had changed his mind and now wanted the complete annexation of Mexico down to the Yucatan! Trist knew if he did this, the war party in Mexico would keep up a guerrilla war for decades afterwards. So he ignored the message, signed for the U.S. and fixed our southern border.

When Trist got home, instead of thanks, he was arrested for treason. But President Polk couldn't convince his war-weary people to continue the war. So the treaty was upheld. The French tried conquering Mexico twenty years later and got the Mexican national uprising Trist avoided. Nicolas Trist was released from prison, but he never got his back pay until President Lincoln awarded it to him on his deathbed 16 years later.

1852- London’s first public toilet was dedicated- near 95 Fleet St.

1870- Samuel Clemens also known as Mark Twain, married Olivia Langdon or Livy.

1870-The first international news agency. Reuters, Havas and Wolf News Agencies agree to pool their resources to cover the world.

1876- The National Baseball League founded.

1890- Ten months before the massacre at Wounded Knee11 million acres of Sioux land in South Dakota went on sale to white homesteaders. The Sioux were removed to a smaller reservation and the money raised from the sale was supposed to go to them, but it all disappeared into the pockets of middlemen.

1910- D.W. Griffith's' In Old California', sometimes called the first Hollywood film.

1913- New York’s Grand Central Station opened.

1920- Admiral Kolchak, leader of the anti-communist (White) Russian armies in the civil war that followed the Bolshevik Revolution, was shot by firing squad and chucked into a dry canal. For a year Kolchak was defacto dictator of all Russia from the Ural mountains to the Pacific.

1922- the novel "Ulysses" is published. James Joyce had finished the book months earlier but delayed publishing until his birthday, when it would be 2/2/22, which he considered lucky.

1922-Twenty one year old Walt Disney founds Newman's Laff-O-Grams in Kansas City.

1925- IDITEROD- THE SERUM RUN COMPLETED- Nome Alaska at this time was a town totally depended upon supplies from the outside world traveling in by sled dog teams. When a serious epidemic of diptheria threatened the population the call went to the ‘Outside” as Alaskans called the rest of the world, for help. It normally took a musher 18-20 days to cover the 650 miles from the coast to Nome, now a relay of 20 teams in short sprints would attempt to do it in 5 days in the depth of winter.

One musher reported blizzard conditions so bad he couldn’t see the end of his team. While the press kept the world waiting breathlessly on this day Charlie Evans and his malamute team led by his lead dog Balto got into Nome with the serum in a metal cylinder wrapped in fur. At one point two of his dogs froze to death in harness and Evans took up their place himself and ran alongside the dogs the balance of the trip. It took 5 days and 7 hours. The epidemic was limited to five deaths.

The 20 men and their teams were hailed as heroes. Although the dog Balto got most of the credit and has a statue and a movie about him, experts say a 48 pound Siberian husky named Togo did the greatest exertion, going 200 miles in the first leg. The Iditerod sled race is today run in commemoration of this event. The last surviving musher of the original race, Edgar Nollner, died in 1999 at 94 years old

1940- Soviet dictator Stalin had famed futurist theater director Vselevod Meyerhold shot.
At the time of his arrest Meyerhold’s wife Zinaida was stabbed to death. Neighbors who heard her screams assumed they were rehearsing a new play.

1957- Elizabeth Taylor married producer Mike Todd. Todd was killed in a plane crash a year later. Despite her famous association with Richard Burton, Taylor later said Mike Todd was the only one she ever truly loved.

1961- In a little Greenwich Village nightclub called the Blue Angel a young stand up comic got his first debut. His name was Woody Allen

1963- In England, singer Helen Schapiro was on tour. On the lower end of her program card was a new band called the Beatles.

1966- Woody Allen married Louise Lasser.

1971- After a coup toppled legal President Milton Obote, former British colonial sergeant Idi Amin was inaugurated as president of Uganda. He declared himself Conqueror of the British Empire, led his little army in mock invasions of Israel, even though it was thousands of miles away, and he was surrounded by hostile nations. He played drums in his own rock band, wrestled crocodiles, and once reputedly killed and ate one of his sons.
He was kicked out by the Tanzanian Army in 1979.

1971- Murakami-Wolf's TV special "The Point" with Dustin Hoffman narrating and Harry Nilsson's music. In 1973, Hoffman's track was rerecorded by Ringo Starr for some reason. “Me and my Ar-row…”

1979- Lead singer for the punk band Sid Vicious found dead of a drug overdose. The 21 year old was awaiting trial for the stabbing death of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

1982-President Hafiz al-Asad ordered the destruction of Syrian city of Hama after its occupation by a Muslim fundamentalist group who sought to create an Iranian-style theocracy. Maybe as many as 25.000 were killed. Today his son Bashir Al Assad is doing equally horrible things to Syrian people.

1985- O.J. Simpson married Nicole Brown Simpson.

1997- Nationally known sportscaster Marv Albert allegedly had an evening of sex and porn with a prostitute. At one point he bit the lady on the back. He was tried for lewd behavior and his career tanked.

2006-The Cartoon Riots. A Danish newspaper printed a political cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with his turban shaped like a bomb. This so offended the Moslem world that rioting broke out in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jakharta and European capitols. Grenades were thrown at Danish embassies and Danish nationals made to flee.
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Yesterdays question: We all know that Cyrano de Bergerac’s girlfriend was Roxanne. But there was another famous Roxanne earlier. Who was it?

Answer: Alexander the Great’s first wife was Roxanna of Bactria.


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