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Feb 23, 2013 sat
February 23rd, 2013

Quiz:” Which one of these movies did not win a Best Picture Oscar? Annie Hall, Gone With the Wind, Braveheart, West Side Story, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Answer to yesterdays question below: Woody Guthrie originally wrote his most famous American folks song to make fun of another famous song. What was it and what was the song it was supposed to mock?
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history for 2/23/2013
Birthdays: George Fredrich Handel, Samuel Pepys (pronounced 'peeps'), Mayer Amschel Rothschild-1743- founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty, Victor Fleming, W.E.B. DuBois, Johnny Winter, Peter Fonda is 73, William Shirer, Allan MacLeod Cormack-inventor of the CAT Scan, Kelly MacDonald, Tom Bodet, Neal McDonough, Kristin Davis is 48, Dakota Fanning is 19.

Roman Festival Terminalia, god of borders and boundaries. Not to be confused of course with Janus god of portals and doorways and Forculus god of doors.

303 A.D. -DIOCLETIAN RENEWS THE BAN ON CHRISTIANITY. The Roman Empire recognized a cult as ‘religo’ ( officially sanctioned ) or “supersticio” ( banned ). After Nero's death the pattern of Christian persecution raised and lowered with each emperor. When Diocletian became emperor he made it his mission to stop the Roman Empire's decline. So if weirdo cults like Christianity were considered part of the problem then it had to be stamped out.

While Nero tortured people only in Rome Diocletian demanded a systematic quota of arrests and executions in every province of the Empire. A lot of saints date their martyrdom’s around 295-305 AD.

What Diocletian couldn't foresee was that ten years later the son of one of his own generals, Constantine, would make Christianity the state religion of the Empire 312 A.D.

1539- The Viceroy of New Spain organized an expedition under Don Francisco de Coronado to march north from Vera Cruz and find El Dorado, the fabulous Seven Cities of Cibola. Coronado wandered the American Southwest for the next two years, discovering marvels like the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert, but found no cities of gold. When he returned to Spain, he was arrested for wasting government funds.

1568- Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great stormed the great Rajput fortress of Chitoor. His warriors fought with Mongol bows, cannon, matchlock rifles and armored war elephants, trained to squish enemies.

1593-The Uppsala Murta- the Uppsala Declaration. The Swedish Diet declared that the national religion of Sweden would forever be Lutheran Protestantism.

1819- The CATO STREET CONSPIRACY- English radicals led by Sir Roger Thistlewood plot to murder the entire British cabinet including the Duke of Wellington as they supped after the opening of Parliament. Then would institute a French Revolutionary style republic in Jolly-Old England ! Ods Bodkins! But fear not, an informer disclosed the plan to the government and on this night constables raided the nefarious plotters at their Cato-Street hideout and nabbed the whole bunch! By Godfrey, Britain was safe once more!

1821- In a house in Rome’s Piazza de Espagna 25 year old English poet John Keats died of tuberculosis. As he was dying he joked: ” I can feel daisies growing over me”. He instructed that his grave marker bear only the self deprecating message” Here lies one who’s Fame was Written in Water.”

1836- Santa Anna's Mexican army of 4,000 surrounds the mission called the Alamo, which had 185 Texas defenders. Santa Anna ordered the buglers to call to parley. Col. Travis answered with a cannon shot, which Jim Bowie thought was rather rash. Santa Anna then called for the raising of a red flag from a church steeple in San Antonio de Bejar and his trumpeters sounded the Deguello, signifying that he intended to take no prisoners.

1847-Battle of Buena Vista- General Zachary Taylor defeated the Mexican army.

1861-Warned of death threats, President-elect Abraham Lincoln sneaked into Washington D.C. at 3:15 AM. Abe, with his newly grown beard, was dressed in disguise and escorted by his bodyguard Lehman and Charles Pinkerton, a former Scottish barrel maker who had set up the first detective agency in the United States.

1871- C.B. Stone, the mayor of Seattle, embezzled the town’s treasury, $15,000 and skipped town.

1886-the Johnson Wax Company formed.

1892- Rudolph Diesel patented the Diesel Engine.

1898- French writer Emile Zola was arrested and charged with libel for his J'Accuse newspaper article that exposed the coverup of the Dreyfus Scandal. He jumped bail and fled to England until the scandal brought down the government .

1905- The Rotary Club founded.

1915- In Berlin a secret pact was concluded between the German government and Irish nationalist leader Sir Roger Casement. In it Germany pledged to supply Casement with guns, artillery and even German officers to aid the Irish people to revolt against Britain. The Irish never got more than a shipload of rifles but the Easter Sunday Uprising of 1916 was the result. Casement was arrested on the beach by the British trying to stop the rebellion from breaking out.

1917-In St. Petersburg it is International Women Workers Day. Demonstrating women throw rocks at factory windows to get the men to come out and join them. Soon the Tsar's capitol is in a general strike. Tsar Nicholas was at the front and the Tsarina is enclosed with her icons praying over the recently murdered monk Rasputin. The anti-government demonstrations would go on day and night joined by policemen and soldiers until the Tsar himself abdicated on March 2nd.

1926- President Calvin Coolidge said he was against the creation of a large US Airforce because it “would be a menace to world peace.” And Coolidge was a Republican!

1935- Walt Disney Mickey & Donald cartoon "The Band Concert". This was the first color Mickey Mouse cartoon.

1942- In the dead of night a Japanese submarine surfaced off the California coast and fired it's cannon at lights it thinks is a city. In reality it's an oil refinery near Goleta (Ellwood) just north of Santa Barbera. The brief bombardment caused $150 dollars in damage. The sub breaks radio silence to report to Tokyo that " Enemy coast sighted. Los Angeles is in Flames." The incident fueled the panic that Californians had that the West Coast was ripe for enemy invasion. The incident was lampooned in the Steven Spielberg comedy "1941."

1960 - The Day Brooklyn Cried'- After the Dodgers move to Los Angeles, Flatbushs’ Ebbets Field baseball stadium went under the wrecking ball and became a low income housing project.

1981- The Moscardo Coup. Disgruntled Spanish Fascists missed the good old days under Franco. This day 200 members of the Guardia Civil police attacked the Spanish Parliament and held the lawmakers hostage. A Colonel Moscardo yelled threats on television and waved a pistol in the air. The coup was crushed after 18 hours thanks in no small part to King Juan Carlos, who appeared in nationwide television in uniform and called upon the people to defend the democracy.

1991- DESERT STORM, The Ground War to liberate Kuwait began. The US Army was led by Gen. Colin Powell, who was originally from the South Bronx, and in the spearhead column was the French Foreign Legion, then recruited from unemployed Liverpool and Manchester soccer hooligans. Scary bunch.

1994- The Russian Mir space station had been in space since 1986 but was starting to show it’s age. A booster ship sent with supplies collided with Mir during a bad docking maneuver. This day an oxygen fire fills the Mir Space Station with smoke. The fire is put out but it’s just the beginning of 6 months of privation, accidents and hair-raising close-calls for the joint Russian-German crew, and lone American astronaut Jerry Leninger.
Mir was retired in 2002 and fell back to Earth.
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Yesterday’s Question: Woody Guthrie originally wrote his most famous American folks song to make fun of another famous song. What was it and what was the song it was supposed to mock?

Answer: 1940-Woody Guthrie had just arrived in New York City and was staying in a fleabag hotel in Manhattan. He overheard on the radio Kate Smith singing Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” and was annoyed because he felt it was overtly patriotic and corny. It was everything he hated about Tin Pan Alley, a rose-colored tune denying the class injustice and suffering of the Great Depression. So Woody took out some paper and his guitar and composed six stanzas he originally called God Blessed America, but he later changed to 'This Land is Your Land". It became the song he’s best remembered for and today it’s considered just as patriotic as God Bless America.


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