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May 7, 2013 Tues.
May 7th, 2013

Quiz: Who coined the term “ A last ditch effort”..?

Yesterdays Quiz: According to German Emperor Charles V, when speaking to God, what language should you use?
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History for 5/7/2013
Birthday: Johannes Brahms, Peter Ilyich Tschaikowsky, Gary Cooper, Gabby Hayes, Robert Browning, Marcus Loew of Loews Theater chain, Darin McGavin, Edward Land (inventor of the Polaroid lens and camera), Amy Heckerling, Traci Lords

Greek Festival of the Birth of Apollo.

401 B.C. SOCRATES DIED. Contrary to modern perception not everyone in ancient Greece loved philosophy. The Greeks had the same conflicts we have now between faith, tradition and rational thought and science. The scientist Anaxagoras was run out of town for saying that the Sun wasn’t Phoebus in a chariot but a burning rock floating in space. Euripides the playwright was also in trouble for doubting the Gods existence.

But Socrates pushed the argument to its most extreme conclusion. The Athenian conservatives convicted Socrates of blasphemy and subverting the public morals. All hoped Socrates would just pay a fine and shut up, but Socrates unrepentant stance forced the law to go all the way to the death penalty. He was ordered to commit suicide by being given a cup of Hemlock. Actually it wasn’t a cup., the poison was held in a leaf of Romaine Lettuce, then called Lettuce of the Isle of Cos. His friend Crito said “You don’t deserve to die!” To which he replied: “You weep because you would rather I did deserve death? ”

Socrates students like Plato and Xenophon continued on and became great writers on their own. My favorite story was that Socrates wife Xantippe was always yelling at him for wasting his time philosophizing when he should be working at his real job as a stone-cutter. After one loud tirade, she dumped a pisspot's contents on his head. Socrates looked at his friends and replied:" After thunder one should expect some rain."

558AD- The dome of the great Byzantine basilica the Haghia Sophia collapsed under its own weight. The Emperor Justinian ordered it immediately rebuilt stronger.

1661- When it became obvious that King Charles II was going to be restored to the English throne, radical Puritans like poet John Milton thought it best to go into hiding. Many urged the king to hang the old blind poet with the other men who caused his father Charles Ist to be beheaded. But Charles chose to forgive and ignore the old man. The positive result was now that Milton was barred from politics, he could focus on his great epic poems like “Paradise Lost”.

1718- The FIRST BOATLOAD OF FRENCH COLONISTS LAND IN LOUISIANA- Sieur de la Moyne- Bienville established a fort and trading post on some low ground between the Mississippi and Lake Ponchartrain. He named the place for Phillip of Orleans, then ruler of France in the name of the child King Louis XV. The French and Dutch always had a problem with their American colonies, in that nobody wanted to leave home to move there. One solution the French thought up was sweeping the streets of all the hookers, cutthroats and riffraff and shipping them all to America. Though it wasn't exactly "Pilgrim's Progress", this influx of cardsharks and sportin' ladies helped New Orleans quickly establish it's rep as one of the wildest towns of the New World.

1760- A British merchant ship named the Friendship arrived in Virginia from Barbados. On board for his first sea voyage and his first sight of America was a young Scottish apprentice named John Paul, who we would know later as US Navy captain John Paul Jones.

1763- Chief Pontiac attacked Fort Detroit. Angry over British treatment after the French and Indian War , Pontiac had united all the Great Lakes tribes with their French trapper friends to attack all the forts simultaneously from Illinois to Maine. He later took the fort’s fat commander Captain Cambell hostage and gave him to the allied Chippewas who tomahawked him and ate his heart. Yum!

1789- To complete the break with Mother England the Church of England in America renamed itself the Episcopalian Church.

1795- Throughout the French Revolution one region of France, La Vendee’, stubbornly stayed loyal to the monarchy and waged a long guerrilla war. Several French generals were sent to pacify the province but were unsuccessful. This day young whiz kid Napoleon Bonaparte learned he had been posted to the Vendee’. He immediately protested the posting and requested duty elsewhere. He recognized this move would be bad for his career but beyond that Nappy never wanted to be part of a civil war. Even after Waterloo, when he could have stayed in power by enforcing military control he refused because it would have meant fighting other Frenchmen. “There is no honor in spilling the blood of Frenchmen.”

1800- The US Congress divided up the Northwest Territories, separating Indiana from Ohio.

1847-American Medical Assoc. founded.

1863- Hard-fighting Confederate major general Earl 'Buck' Van Dorn was killed, but not in battle. A Tennessee doctor named J.G. Peters made an appointment with the general, went up behind him while he was at his desk and shot him in the back of the head. Peters then calmly got back into his carriage and rode to Union lines. Peters wasn't a Yankee assassin. He was expressing his disapproval of the fact that the handsome Van Dorn was having an affair with his wife.

1864-The WILDERNESS- LEE MET GRANT FOR THE FIRST TIME- Southern General Robert E. Lee lured Ulysses Grant's army into a dense tangled forest called the Wilderness and defeated him. The superior numbers of the Yankee troops became meaningless crawling about in the thick woods. At one point when the rebel line was in danger of breaking Lee rode to the front himself but was stopped by a Texas brigade. “Texan’s Always Move Them! “ Lee cried, and the inspired Texans threw back the enemy.

That night hundreds of wounded left on the ground burned to death because the cannons had started a brush fire. Grant suffered as many casualties as at previous Union defeats like Chancellorsville yet instead of retreating to Washington to make excuses to Lincoln he circled around and attacked again. The men cheered wildly when they saw Grant quietly sitting atop his horse directing the columns back around for another try. Grant exhibited an iron-like reserve in public but that night alone in his tent he broke down and sobbed like a child. The two armies will maneuver and duel for 60 days straight until Grant boxed Lee into his Richmond defenses.

1904 - Flexible Flyer trademark registered

1915- THE LUSITANIA- The Civilian oceanliner Luisitania was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20. 1,198 drowned, including many Americans. The Kaiser later gave a medal to the U-boat Captain Walter Schweige. These acts outraged American opinion and led us into World War I, despite many pro-German immigrants. It was revealed later that the reason Lusitania sank so quickly, just 18 minutes - even Captain Schweige was surprised- was that it's cargo hold was full of explosives.

First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill fought the German U-boat blockade by covertly transporting purchased American weapons on hospital ships, civilian ocean liners and let some British freighters illegally fly the flags of neutral countries. The German government knew that the Lusitania had been classified by the British admiralty a military cruiser. The German government apologized to the American government and stopped the unrestricted U-boat campaign for two years, but the Lusitania shifted neutral U.S. public sympathy irrevocably to the Franco-English side.

1919- Defeated Germany learned just how bad the terms of the Versailles Peace Treaty were going to hit them. They expected bad times but were shocked at just how severe and steep the reparation payments were going to be. Millions were to be paid in indemnities and large areas of their industrial heartland would be under foreign occupation. The anger over this treaty did a lot to stoke the fires for revenge that would bring Hitler to power.

1926- Gangster Al Capone killed 3 men with a baseball bat over dinner.

1937-Nobel Prize winning writer William Faulkner hired by MGM Studios, earning $500 a week. He celebrated by going on a two week long drinking binge. When MGM's Head of Writing Sam Marx had him tracked down to an Oakie migrant camp in the Imperial Valley, he was dragged off boozily whining: " Ah wanna write for Mickey Mouse !!"

1939- Los Angeles Union Station opened. It was built on top of L.A's original China Town.

1941-Glen Miller records the "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" for RCA. the first gold record million seller.

1942- Battle of the Coral Sea-The U.S. Navy, suffering only defeats up till then, stops a Japanese task force. This is the first engagement in which the two fleets never saw each other, but fought long distance with carrier launched airplanes. Veterans commented that one of the sadder losses was when the aircraft carrier USS Lexington went down, she took the fleet's supply of 6 Bugs Bunny cartoons with her. War is Hell.

1945- V.E. Day. Grand Admiral Doenitz, the successor to Adolph Hitler, officially surrendered the Third Reich to the allies. They repeat the ceremony to the Russians next day. Admiral Doenitz said after the signing:" I feel we shall not see our flag fly over a prosperous Germany in our lifetime." Well, not in your lifetime, Karl....

1945- German fighter ace Eric Hartmann celebrated the end of the war by going up in his Messerschmitt ME109f and shooting down one final allied plane. He caught the Ilushyin Russian fighter doing a victory roll. Hartman was called the Black Devil of the Ukraine, because he shot down 352 enemy planes. After ten years in a Siberian prison camp, he went home to his farm in Holstein and lived peacefully.

1945- In a top secret test at Los Alamos the Manhattan Project scientists detonated in the desert a single blast 100,000 pounds of TNT. This was to measure the effect of a blast that big and provide a control to gauge the effectiveness of the Atomic Bomb. 100,000 pounds of TNT became known as one Kiloton. The Hiroshima A-Bomb was 20 kilotons,
the largest thermonuclear device was 50 kilotons.

1966- “Monday Monday” by the Mammas and the Poppas becomes #1 in the pop charts.

1996- Comedian Martin Lawrence went berserk and ran down a main intersection in Van Nuys Cal. raving and waving a pistol. When asked to explain himself, Lawrence blamed it on “Dehydration.”

1998- Apple Computers introduced the iMac.

2009- Decorated professional soldier Lt. Dan Choi directly challenged the US military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on gay soldiers by outing himself on Rachel Maddow’s national news show. He was discharged by July, but his plea helped make the case for gay servicepeople. In Dec 2010, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed by Congress with overwhelming popular support.

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Quiz: According to German Emperor Charles V, when speaking to God, what language should you use?

Answer: Emperor Charles V (1515-1556), was called the man who married Europe. He was King of Spain ( which then included all the Americas), and was the Emperor Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. He once said “I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse.”


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