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Feb 19, 2013 tues,
February 19th, 2013

Quiz: Happy 540th Birthday Copernicus. Why do we remember him?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: Who was Betty Friedan?
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HISTORY FOR 2/19/2012
Birthdays: Copernicus, Luigi Boccherini, Smokey Robinson, Andre Breton, Lee Marvin, Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Karen Silkwood, Paul Terry, Paul Krause, Merl Oberon, Amy Tam, John Frankenheimer, Jeff Daniels, Benicio Del Toro is 46, Hilary Duff is 27

Today is the Feast of Saint Wulfstan of Worchester

197AD- General Septimius Severus of the African Legions had seized control of the Roman Empire and had himself declared emperor. This day he defeated his last rival, Albinus ,the Commander of the legions of Gaul. He left Albinus’ dead body in front of his headquarters, where for fun he trampled it repeatedly with his horse. Albinus‘ corpse lay around being torn by dogs and vermin for days until it stank so bad, it was flung into a nearby stream.

1600-In Rome philosopher Giordano Bruno was stripped naked and burned at the stake with a nail hammered through his tongue. The monk was one of the first modern free thinkers and skeptics. He raged against superstition and denied there was any such thing as Hell or Purgatory. But his chief sin that got him burned was his expansion on the Copernicus Theory. He said that not only is the Earth revolving around the sun but that the Universe is Infinite and unfathomable, that God should not be belittled, as being focused on one little people on one rock. He is an Infinite Presence ruling over countless worlds. Later scientists like Galileo and Descartes kept Bruno’s fate in mind when they went too far in bucking Holy Mother Church.

1674- The Second Treaty of Breda settled the Third Dutch War with England. As part of the settlement, Holland gave up any chance of getting back her colonies in North America, now renamed by the English New York and New Jersey. Truth be told they weren’t bringing in any income anyway. They were considered of little value.

1725- The first recorded case of spontaneous combustion.

1736-Georg Frederich Handel’s oratorio Alexander’s Feast premiered at Covent Garden.

1807- ARRON BURR, former vice president of the U.S, is arrested in Alabama territory for treason. Napoleon's conquest of Spain put the Spanish Americas in confusion. Mexico declared her independence, the U.S. occupied West Florida (Alabama) and James Madison thought we should also take Cuba. Arron Burr was organizing a freelance military expedition ( called a filibuster) to take over Texas from Spain but President Tom Jefferson suspected him of more sinister purposes. In this age of Napoleonic adventurers a frustrated ambition like Burr's might be thinking of taking over New Orleans (only American for 3 years) or even a march on Washington !

Burr was put on trial but nothing could be proven. The state's chief witness General James Wilkinson was taken apart on the stand as a consummate liar - Chief Justice John Marshal tried to subpoena the President but Jefferson invented" Executive Privilege', saying a president can't be put under oath. So Marshal had no alternative but to acquit Burr. Jefferson in a rage later tried to have Burr's defense attorney jailed and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court impeached- Justice Marshal was Jefferson's cousin. So Burr was acquitted. He lived in Paris for awhile and when he died at 81 he was being sued by a woman for getting her pregnant.

1847-“ ARE YOU FROM CALIFORNIA OR ARE YOU FROM HEAVEN?” The Donner Party found at last. The wagon train of settlers had been trapped in the High Sierra mountains of California near Lake Truckee in blizzard conditions with no food since last October 31st. Half the settlers were dead and the rest subsisting on cannibalizing the dead for food. This day a survivor named John Reed who got to safety returned with a rescue party from Sutter’s Fort. Of the 89 original settlers only 45 made it out alive. One opened a restaurant.

1878- Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1913- Crackerjacks start putting toy prizes in every box. The name Crackerjack for the caramel corn was named for the reaction of Teddy Roosevelt trying it for the first time- These caramel-corns are Crackerjack!

1915- Grand Admiral von Tirpitz told German newspapers that his strategy to win the Great War was to use his submarine u-boats to blockade Britain and prevent food, fuel and supplies entering from the outside world.

1915- L.A. Times publisher and land baron Harry Chandler was indicted with 8 other prominent Angeleanos for conspiring to start a new revolution in Mexico. The Mexican government had seized their large land holdings there for land redistribution and this was their quaint little way of getting them back.

1920- THE MYSTERY OF ANASTASIA- This day came the first news reports that a emotionally disturbed young woman who tried to jump into a Berlin canal claimed to be the Archduchess Anastasia Romanov, youngest child of the Czar and Czarina of Russia. She somehow escaped the 1918 murder of her family and tried to prove it by recalling minute details about the Imperial household. She was called Anna Anderson and was the toast of New York and Parisian society for awhile. But unlike the Ingrid Bergman movie the Romanov family in exile never took her seriously and Anna eventually married and settled down. In 1991 extensive laboratory attempts to match her DNA with the Romanovs proved she was not the little archduchess.

1942-Japanese planes bomb the Australian Port of Darwin, Australians brace for an invasion. In the beginning of the war Australia sent all her divisions to Europe to help mother England, figuring the U.S. Navy could handle anything in Asia. Now the U.S. Navy was sunk or on the run, the Japanese were massing for invasion while the Australian army was on the other side of the world in North Africa and Europe.

When the Australian prime minister asked Churchill for his divisions back to defend the homeland, Churchill refused, saying he couldn't spare them. In the end the Japanese never did invade, and relations between Aussies and Pommies have been dodgy ever since.

1942-PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT signed Executive Order# 9066- The JAPANESE INTERNMENT ACT- All along the Pacific Coast first and second generation Japanese-Americans were uprooted from their homes and property and with what only they could carry were shipped off to camps in the desert. Few Japanese-Americans were interned in Hawaii however, because it would have seriously depleted the population. Many got no restitution for their lost property.

. Although the F.B.I. kept tabs on German and Italian agents in U.S. and pro-Fascist groups like the American Bund flourished in the 30’s nothing like what happened to Japanese Americans occurred to them. Less than 10,000 were rounded up as opposed to over 100,000 Japanese Americans.

1943- Battle of Kasserine Pass ended. Nazis General Rommel the Desert Fox showed he had a few tricks left, beating up the American army in it's debut, and embarrassing Eisenhower's first combat command. He lured the Yanks into a narrow pass and chopped them up. It was the only time in the European war that G.I.s fled in panic.

1945- THE INVASION of IWO JIMA-The nine mile square bit of barren beach cost over 50,000 lives. This island and Okinawa were the test cases to judge how fiercely the Japanese would fight for mainland Japan. Iwo Jima was the first island that wasn't conquered territory of some other people but was considered part of the home Japanese Islands, only 700 miles from Tokyo.

1944- Writer John Steinbeck asked that his name be taken off of the credits for the Alfred Hitchcock film version of “Lifeboat”. “In view of the fact that my script for the picture was distorted in production.”

1945- Nazi S.S. leader Heinrich Himmler contacted the neutral Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte to try and open secret peace talks with the Allies behind Hitler's back. Bernadotte asks as a condition that all concentration camps in the Reich be turned over to the International Red Cross. Himmler balks at this but agrees to allow food packages to be delivered to Nordic inmates. When Hitler finds out Himmler was trying to cut his own deal he was extremely upset and Himmler was under house arrest at the end of the war.

1951-Poet philosopher Andre Gide died in Paris. Several things were quoted as his last words, my favorite is " Before you quote me, please make sure I'm conscious."

1954- The prototype Ford Thunderbird auto completed.

1960- Bill Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts.

1963- Fifty Years Ago- The book The Feminine Mystique was published. Betty Freidan’s analysis of contemporary women’s issues is considered the first shot of the modern Women’s Movement.

1968- “ It’s a beautiful day in the Neighborhood…” Mister Roger’s Neighborhood debuted on National Education Television, later called PBS. Ordained Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers had been doing children’s shows similar in Pittsburgh and Canada since the 50’s but today was the start of his show that would run unchanged for thirty-five years.

1995- Busty actress Pamela Anderson married rocker Tommy Lee. On their honeymoon they shot a notorious sex video on Lake Powell, that when leaked onto the internet, became the first viral video. By 2000, one sixth of everything viewed on the world-wide web was about Pamela Anderson.
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Yesterdays’ question: Who was Betty Friedan?

Answer: She was a great feminist writer who’s book The Feminine Mystique became the opening salvo of the modern women’s movement.


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