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Feb 28, 2013
February 28th, 2013

Question: When speaking about lenses and cameras, people use the name Argus. Who was Argus?

Yesterday’s Question: Has a horror film ever won the Oscar for Best Picture?
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History for 2/28/2013
Birthdays: Michel de Montaigne, The Marquis de Montcalm, Samuel 'Zero" Mostel, Vasclav Nijinsky, Molly Picon, Gavin MacCleod, Sir John Tenniel, Bernadette Peters, Bubba Smith, Mario Andretti, Milton Caniff- the creator of Terry and the Pirates", Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel, Tommy Tune, Vincente Minelli, Linus Pauling, Dorothy Stratton, Rae Dong Chong, John Tarturro, Jack Abramoff

Today is the Feast of St. Hilarus, who was a Bishop at the infamous Synod of Brigands. Held at Ephesus in 449 a.d., the theological debate of Church elders over where to put the Feast of Easter got so out of hand that the Patriarch of Constantinople was beaten to death, and Hilarus jumped out of a window to escape the brawl.

1574- The Spanish Inquisition sets up shop in the New World. The first two Mexican Lutherans were burned at the stake in a huge auto-da-fe in Mexico City.

1745- MADAME LA POMPADOUR- At a masked ball at the Paris Hotel du Ville King Louis XV first met his hot mistress Madame La Pompadour. She was dressed as Diana the goddess of the Hunt. The King was dressed as a Yew Tree. She was a gorgeous girl named Jeanne Poisson d’Etoiles who was not only beautiful, but highly intelligent. Even her mother predicted “she is a morsel fit for a king”. Louis ennobled her with the title Madame la Pompadour. Her husband was given a job as a tax collector and told to get lost. Madame La Pompadour spent the next thirteen years not only ruling Louis’ heart but France as well and sponsored many artists and scholars like Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot. Long after their sexual attraction faded, Louis and Jeanne remained friends.

1753- Pope Clement XIII finally gave permission for the Catholic Bible to be translated into languages other than Latin, something people were burned for earlier.

1827- First U.S. Railroad incorporated The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O).

1835-Dr. Elias Lohnnrot published the Finnish national epic poem Kalevala,. It’s about the first man Vanjiamoimmen, who was born old and searched for the magical machine called the Samo, kept in a mountain with seven locks, guarded by seven wizards chanting Samo, Samo!

1882- The first college store opened, COOP, this one attached to Harvard.

1896- Robert Paul demonstrates a kinetograph to the Royal Institute.
The British Cinema is born.

1916- Writer Henry James died. William Faulkner said "He was the nicest old lady I ever met." H.L. Mencken eulogized: "Henry James was an idiot, and a Boston idiot to boot, of which there is no form lower." Mencken was equally caustic of other regions.

1920-.Evans vs. Gore – Al Gore’s grandfather. The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the legality of the Income Tax amendments, saying:” The power to tax carries with it the power to embarrass and destroy “. Isn’t that reassuring.?.

1920 Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin debuted..

1921-THE KRONSTADT REBELLION-The sailors of the Russian Baltic Fleet had been the most politically radical group in the armed forces, Trotsky's "pride and joy". Their naval guns trained on the Winter Palace helped win the Bolshevik revolution. But by 1921 they were disillusioned with "the nightmare rule of communist dictatorship" . The fleet in St. Petersburg harbor mutinied, demanding freedom of speech and press, and the right to form labor unions. Lenin and Trotsky’s reaction? ”We will shoot them down like partridges.” They sent 20,000 Red Army troops charging across the ice of the frozen harbor to attack the Red Navy. They crushed the sailor's revolt but the cost in human lives was so high the Finnish government complained of impending epidemics when the ice thaws start to wash corpses all over their Baltic coastline.

1938- President Franklin Roosevelt introduced in Congress a bill to make the practice of Lynching black men a Federal crime. After a lengthy filibuster by Southern Conservative Senators FDR caved in and withdrew the bill.

1940- At the Oscars ceremony Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to win an Oscar for her role in Gone With The Wind. When the NAACP criticized her for portraying a stereotyped black mammy, McDaniel snapped:” I’d rather make $5000 a week playing a maid than $5 a week being a maid!”

1940- Richard Wright’s novel Native Son, about growing up black in America, first published.

1942- Battle of the Java Sea. Japanese forces shoot up a U.S.-Dutch naval task force.

1953-Chuck Jone’s short cartoon “Duck-Amuck” debuts- called by Steven Speilberg the Citizen Kane of Animation.

1953- Englishman James Watson walked into his local pub and announced to the barman” Barman, Set them up, I’ve just discovered the secret of life!” That morning Watson & Francis Crick had indeed came upon the DNA double helix molecule. They were building on the work of Rosalind Franklin, who died before the duo received the Nobel.

1968- Former teen idol singer Frankie Lyman OD’s on heroin.

1975- A fog bank crossing Freeway 91 near Corona California caused a 300 car pile up.

1982- BP oil tycoon J.Paul Getty had died in 1976 the richest man on earth. Getty found his immediate family so annoying he left the bulk of his estate to his little Getty Museum in Malibu California. This day after all attempts of the family to challenge his will were exhausted, the Getty Museum was endowed with two billion dollars and immediately became the richest museum on earth.

1983- The last episode of the television series M*A*S*H. It was the single most watched TV episode in history.

1986- Swedish Prime Minister Olav Palme was assassinated as he left a movie theater. The murderer has never been found.

1993- Government agents arriving at David Koresh’s Branch-Davidian Cultists Compound in Waco, Texas are met with gunfire. Six were killed. The FBI siege commences that lasts until April 19th.

2001- Seattle rocked by a 7.0 earthquake. That’ll stir your Starbucks!
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Yesterdays Question: Has a horror film ever won the Oscar for Best Picture?

Answer: In 1991, Silence of the Lambs became the first and so far only.


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