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May 2, 2013 thurs
May 2nd, 2013

Quiz: Why was Confederate General Thomas Jackson called Stonewall?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below Harry Truman used to say “ The Buck Stops Here.” What is the origin of that?

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History for 5/2/2013
Birthdays: Czarina Catherine the Great, Domenico Scarlatti, Manfred Von Richtofen the Red Baron, Bing Crosby, Dr. Benjamin Spock the Baby Doctor, Vernon Castle, Lorenzo Music, Theodore Bikel, Lesley Gore, Roscoe Lee Browne, Satyajit Ray, Pinky Lee, Link Wray of the Wraymen, Christine Baranski is 61, Dwayne Johnson- The Rock is 41

1349- The Kings of England and France are forced to declare a ten year truce in their Hundred Years War because of the ravages of the Black Plague. After all, how can one be expected to have a good war, when everyone was already dead?

1519- Leonardo Da Vinci died at the chateau of Amboise in the arms of King Francis Ist. He had accepted the offer of the French King of a stable retirement (even then artists worried about that kinda stuff). Two hundred and eighty years later during the French Revolution peasants broke into his tomb to get the lead lining for cannonballs and threw his bones into a trash pile. So no one is sure where he's buried.

1670- The Hudson's Bay Company is chartered by King Charles II. At one point the Honorable Company was responsible for the administration of most of western Canada, called Prince Rupert's land, the largest land mass in history ever under the control of a board of directors. It's CEO , Sir George Simpson was nicknamed "the Emperor" . Today The Bay Co. is known for expensive blankets .

1797- One of the marvels of Europe today is the preservation of the City of Venice. Beyond an occasional flood Venice never had a great fire or destruction by war. Many of the buildings are as old as Notre Dame. Venice was a naval power so all of her wars were fought out at sea. Venice was besieged once by Pepin the son of Charlemagne in 967AD, this day in 1797 Napoleon, pursuing his conquest of Italy, declared war on the Venetian Republic. They immediately surrendered.

1808- Spanish Independence Day- Napoleon had invaded Spain and put his older brother Joseph Bonaparte on the throne. The Spanish called him "Pepe Bottaglia" (Joey Bottles-due to his fondness for drink) and bitterly hated the French occupation. Reacting to the occupation of Madrid, the Spanish people riot in the Playa Del Sol and cut up all the French soldiers they can find. The French arrest and shoot them. Francisco Goya does lots of neat drawings and paintings. The Spanish invention of organized small scale partisan actions they will give the name "guerilla" warfare.

1813- Battle of Lutzen- Napoleon whups the Prussians.

1863- 150th Anniv Battle of Chancellorsville - Robert E. Lee is surrounded by the superior Union army of "Fighting Joe" Hooker. Hooker bragged: "God have mercy on General Lee, for I shall have none!". Lincoln was more realistic: "The hen is the wisest of all animal creation. She does not cackle until AFTER her egg is laid." Lee gets out of the trap and defeats Hooker.

1865- A $100,000 reward was offered for the arrest of former president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis, now a fugitive on the run from Union armies.

1885- First Good Housekeeping Magazine.

1921- Chicago’s Field Museum opened to the public. It was housed in the building originally called the Hall of Fine Arts in the Great Chicago Exhibition of 1893.

1932- Jack Benny's Radio Show on radio debuts. Oh Rochester! Mel Blanc the voice of Bugs Bunny did many characters and voices on the show, including the engine of Jacks’ old Maxwell automobile.

1933-Hitler's stormtroopers raid all union offices in Germany. They seize their accounts and cart the labor leaders off to concentration camps. Hitler had said" Democracy and Free Enterprise cannot co-exist in the same state, and one of the evilest forms Democracy can take is Trade Unionism".

1933- The first modern sighting of the Loch Ness Monster. The Inverness Courier published an account of a couple who sighted Nessie and offered a reward for proof.

1936- Ethiopian Emperor Rastafari Halie Selassie the Lion of Judah fled Addis Ababa in advance of Mussolini's invading armies.

1945-As General Weidling surrendered what was left of Berlin to the Russians, Admiral Doenitz, then head of government ordered his Foreign Minister, Schwerin von Krosigk to broadcast to the German people advising them to flee west," The Iron Curtain in the east moves closer and closer; all those people caught in the mighty hands of the Bolsheviks are being destroyed." Beating Churchill to the term Iron Curtain by a couple years.

1945- After the suicide of Adolf Hitler, the German ambassador to Dublin was summoned to President Eamon De Valera's office. He was given an official note of condolence on the loss of their head of state. The neutral Irish Republic became the only nation on Earth to send The Third Reich a sympathy card.

1945- All the remaining Axis forces in Italy surrendered.. Meanwhile on this day in Bavaria, the top German rocket scientists led by Dr. Werner Von Braun gave themselves up to the Americans. On Brauns work table was plans for a missile that could travel 4200 miles, far enough to reach the U.S. East Coast.

1952- The British Airline B.O.A.C. began the first trans-Atlantic jet plane service. This began the class of globe-trotting rich partygoers named Jet-Setters. BOAC later became British Air.

1957- Mafia don Frank Costello had taken over the Lucciano New York crime family after Lucky Lucciano had been deported to Sicily. Another Lucciano triggerman named Vito Genovese felt he had been passed over. This day Frank Costello was crossing the lobby of his apartment on Central Park West, when Vinny " the Chin" Gigante came up behind him: "Hey Frank, this is for you!" and started shooting. Costello was left for dead but Vinny bungled his job- Costello was only grazed in the skull. He recovered but wisely decided to retire from racketeering. Costello’s job went to Carlo Gambino.

1957- Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy the Commie Hunter died in an asylum from hepatitis and alcohol delirium and cirrhosis.

1964- Disney’s audio- animatronic Ask Mr Lincoln opened at the NY World’s Fair.

1967-" Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!" The Black Panther Party announced it’s armed militancy to the US and the world by trying to break in with shotguns on the California State assembly during a vote. The US media would ring with the words and images of Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton.

1972- J. EDGAR HOOVER DIED. He had been F.B.I. director since 1934. Despite his numerous achievements like neutralizing Nazi espionage and the Ku Klux Klan, he never seemed willing to attack the Mafia. While the FBI chased lone criminals like Dillinger or Bonnie & Clyde, the big national syndicates of Al Capone and Lucciano functioned unmolested. Some speculate it was because he knew they would expose the FBI chiefs secret lifestyle. Hoover lived in a long term relationship with his second in command Clyde Tollson. That didn’t stop him from outing high profile gays in the Truman and Johnson administrations and ruining their careers. When Hoover was buried at Arlington, the Marine guard handed Tolson the folded flag from the coffin, something only the widow gets.

J. Edgar needed his secrecy to pursue his high profile war on "American Immorality". When Lyndon Johnson was asked why he still kept the ancient F.B.I. director around, he replied:" I’d rather keep the old bastard on the inside pissing out, than on the outside pissing in.".

1972- First day shooting on Steven Speilbergs film JAWS. The giant mechanical shark used as a prop was nicknamed "Bruce" after Speilberg’s lawyer.

1982- During the Falkland's War a British helicopter equipped with Exocet missiles sank Argentina's largest battleship, the Belgrano. London tabloids ran as the headline over the burning ship- "Gotcha !" Interestingly, the Belgrano was a refitted 45 year old American battleship, the U.S.S. Phoenix, that had survived the Pearl Harbor attack.

1982- The 24 hour Weather Channel started.

1983- Microsoft introduced the three-button mouse.

1997- Movie star Eddie Murphy was busted for picking up transvestite hooker Artisone Seiuli at 4:45 in the morning on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Murphy said he was just being a good Samaritan and giving the young He/She a ride home.

2011- American Navy Seal Team 6 flew into Pakistan and killed Osama Ben Laden. It turned out Osama had been living in a large compound a few blocks from the Pakistan version of West Point. ( Because of the time difference, it was still May 1st back in US).
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Harry Truman used to say “ The Buck Stops Here.” What is the origin of that?

Answer: During card games on the Old Frontier, the rotating bank was signified by being handed a large buck-knife. If you didn’t want to be dealer, you passed the buck, i.e. dodging the responsibility.


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