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Sept 27, 2013 fri.
September 27th, 2013

Question: What city was known to the Phoenicians as The Gates?

Quiz: Where is the island of Formosa?
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History for 9/27/2013
Birthdays: King Stefan Bathory of Poland, Thomas Nast, Arthur Penn, Mike Schmidt,
Meatloaf, William Conrad, Dick Schapp, Samuel Adams, George Cruikshank, Jayne Meadows, Wilford Brimley, Shaun Cassidy, Greg Morris, Amanda Detmer, Avril Lavigne is 29, Gwynneth Paltrow is 41

1538- The Battle of Preveza- The huge navy of German-Spanish Emperor Charles V, Venice, Genoa, the Pope and the Knights of Malta have a showdown with the Great Turkish fleet off Corfu. At one point the Turkish Corsair Barbarossa "Red Beard" tried to lure the Christian ships into the same Bay of Actium where the Roman Augustus defeated Anthony & Cleopatra 1,500 years before. The Turks won the battle but this may have had to do with the fact that the Christian admiral Andrea Doria was a Genoese who didn't mind seeing the Venetians get their butts kicked.

The one other significant fact of the battle was at one point Turkish galleys surrounded Venice's powerful new warship named 'La Galleon". It bristled with more cannon than anyone had ever seen on one boat. As the Turks attacked with light forecannon and prepared to board the Venetian commander Carmandiolo ordered all his guns to fire at once- the first Broadside. The tactics of using armed rowing galleys, which had ruled the Mediterranean since the Greeks and Romans was now obsolete to square rigged sailing ships bristling with cannon. The Turkish “Barbary Corsairs” would continue to raid Christian Mediterranean ships for another three hundred years.

1771-Young artist Francisco Goya enters a scholarship competition sponsored by the Academy of Parma. He loses to some obscure artist named Bettino. Judges say about his work: "Crude and ugly colors".

1810- Battle of Bussaco. The Duke of Wellington stopped the French army of one of Napoleons Marshals Massena in Portugal. One of the reasons for Wellington’s successes in Spain and Portugal was he had an top rate intelligence gathering system run by a man named Grant. Colonel Grant was once captured by the French and imprisoned in the fortress of Verdun but he escaped. While on the run back to his lines he paused to spend three weeks on holiday in Paris! He would brazenly walk down the Boulevard St. Germain in his bright redcoat uniform of His Majesties 11th Foot. When French gendarmes would ask him who he was, he’d reply he was from the United States Army! Since not many Parisians had ever seen an American before, nobody disputed his story.

1821- After a ten year struggle Spain acknowledged the independence of Mexico. The commander of the last Royal army in Mexico, Juan Ituribe, changed sides and tried to become Emperor of Mexico. He was later deposed by young republican officers like Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. One Mexican leader who was killed in the conflict, Francisco Menars, had been a guerrilla chief in Spain fighting Napoleons occupying forces.

1854- The first modern steamship disaster. The SS Arctic collided with the SS Vesta in the mid-Atlantic. The captains ordered women & children first into the boats but the crewmen rebelled and took the lifeboats for themselves. 85 lived , 485 died.

1894- New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack, the Big A, opened.

1903- THE WRECK OF OLD 97- The Southern Pacific express jumps the tracks at 90 miles an hour and inspires the first great country music hit. Written in 1924, recorded by everyone from Woody Guthrie to Johnny Cash.

1910- The Black & Decker tool company formed. Starting with the first portable electric drill in 1919 they became the first power tool company.

1934- “ I’M SICK OF THIS CAT & MOUSE GAME!” shouted Gangster Baby Face Nelson as he was cornered by two FBI agents on a rural road south of Chicago. While his gang and wife looked on in amazement Nelson boldly walked out in the open, down the middle of the road, his tommy gun blazing away at the G-Men. He killed them both but not before he was riddled with 17 bullets. He died the next day and was left in a ditch.

1935-13 year old singer Frances Gumm of the singing Gumm Sisters signed an exclusive contract with MGM Pictures. Louis B. Mayer changed Frances name to Judy Garland.

1937- J R R Tolkiens’ The Hobbit first appeared in bookshops.

1938- Bob Hope first sang “Thanks For the Memory” on his NBC radio show. It became a hit his movie appearance in the film “The Big Broadcast of 1938.”

1939- WARSAW becomes the first world capitol to fall to a Nazi Blitzkreig. The city was surrounded and bombarded for weeks. German generals after the war admitted they had stripped their western front to deal with the unexpected Polish resistance; had the British and French hurled their divisions across the Rhine there wouldn’t be much they could do. But the western front was quiet, the armies of Democracy mobilized too slowly. As the Polish defenders were slowly wiped out with bombs and shells Radio Warsaw kept broadcasting Chopin's Revolutionary Etude for Piano over and over as a sign that the city was still alive. Eventually the signal fell silent.

1939- The Mysterious Death of Gerhard Von Fritsch. General Von Fritsch was the architect of the rebuilt German Army after the World War defeat and oversaw it’s development into one of the most efficient killing machines in history. But the old Prussian nobleman was never an ardent Nazi and he grew resentful of Hitlers mad plans for world domination. Hitler had him forcibly retired and this day during the Polish campaign Von Fritsch was reported killed by snipers leading a patrol. Why a top general staff officer was leading a little patrol out in the weeds is a mystery. Was Von Fritsch courting death? Was he done in by the Gestapo and the ambush story a made up excuse?

1940- Germany, Italy and Japan sign a tripartite alliance aimed at the United States. The diplomat who signed for Japan, Mr Kurusu, would later be sent to Washington to talk peace while Pearl Harbor was being bombed.

1943- THE FOUR DAYS OF NAPLES- Naples was a city known for it’s tough street gangs. This day in advance of the American armies closing in the city the Napledons rose in revolt and fought the Germans with knives, scissors, clubs, rocks, anything they could get their hands on. Young actress Sophia Loren remembered seeing from her window a ten year old boy climb onto a Nazi tank and push a gasoline bomb through its view slit.

1944- Evangelist Aimee Semple MacPherson died in hospital from an overdose of sleeping pills. She was 53. MacPherson was one of the most powerful evangelists of the 1920s with thousands of followers donating millions of dollars.

1950- After a week of hard house-to-house fighting the South Korean capitol of Seoul was declared liberated from North Korean occupation.

1954- The Tonight Show premiered. Steve Allen hosts.

1961- Hanna Barbera's "Top Cat" show premiered. Do you remember the words to the theme song..? "Top Cat, the most effectual- Top Cat, who's intellectual: Close friends get to call him T.C., Providing it's with dignity. Top Cat, the indisputable leader of the gang... He's the Boss he's a pip, he's the championship, He's the most tip-top, Top Cat !"

1964- The Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy. Today despite two investigations 8 out of 10 Americans still believe Oswald was part of a conspiracy. Even Lyndon Johnson had his doubts. Documents pertaining to the case, like Oswald's tax returns, and how he could re-enter the U.S. from Soviet Russia without a passport after renouncing his citizenship, are still kept top secret. Evidence like President Kennedy's brain disappeared from the lab and witnesses to contrary theories kept dying by causes like car accidents and karate chops. Maybe we’ll know more when the CIA’s papers on the assassination are unlocked in 2060.

1977- Bob McKimson, Warner director of countless Foghorn Leghorn shorts, falls dead of heart failure in front of Friz Freleng and Yosemite Sam animator Gerry Chiniquy while having lunch. Fellow artist Art Leonardi had asked Bob for a souvenir drawing that morning, Bob did him a Bugs Bunny but as he was leaving Art reminded him that he neglected to sign it. Bob said as he walked out "Oh, I'll get to it after lunch..."

1989- The Japanese corporate giant Sony purchased Columbia Pictures.

1996- The Taliban captured the Afghan capitol of Kabul and established their hardline fundamentalist regime, until driven out by the US invasion in 2002.

2001- While America was still in shock over 9-11 and Anthrax, President Bush in a speech at O’Hare Airport stated that although we may be attacked again at any moment, the best thing we could do… is to go shopping; “ go to the mall, vacation at Disneyworld….enjoy life the way we want it to be enjoyed….”

2003- Hours after the seasons final concert, in the middle of the night, the historic bandshell at the Hollywood Bowl was demolished. After a long legal fight with preservationists, the historic 1929 structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, that Gershwin and Stokowski played in, was replaced with a new shell promising better acoustics. So, why not build a newer Coliseum in Rome? The old one is dilapidated and full of holes.
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Quiz: Where is the island of Formosa?

Answer: It is an old name for the nation of Taiwan, called by the Portuguese- Isla Formosa, pleasant island.


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