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Oct. 8, 2013
October 8th, 2013

Quiz: People say the Tea Party was originally sincere until it was demagogued. What is a demagogue?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What side was the state of Missouri on during the Civil War?
History for 10/8/2013
Birthdays: Eddie Rickenbacker, Rev Jesse Jackson, Juan Peron, David Carradine, Arthur Babbitt -the creator of Goofy, Chevy Chase is 70, Paul Hogan, Ruben Mamoulian, Edward Zwick, Johnny Ramone, Sigourney Weaver is 64, Matt Damon is 43

Today is the feast day of Saint Demetrius of Thesalonikki

1777- British General Clinton tried to get a message through to Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne and his army trapped at Saratoga. He sent a Tory-Loyalist scout with a message rolled up and hidden in a solid silver capsule. When he was intercepted by the Americans, the loyalist swallowed the capsule before he was searched. He was given a heavy emetic "whereupon he soon produced the capsule, which he proceeded to grab and swallow again. Another emetic was administered and he produced the capsule again." The message was opened and read, then the man hanged as a spy."

1846- Battle of Old Woman's Gun. In 1846 as part of the Mexican War, United States forces had taken the pueblo of Los Angeles. But after a few weeks, the first Yankee mayor, a Lt. Gillespie, was such as a-hole that the Mexican citizens drove them out of town. On this day the US forces came up from their fleet anchored in San Pedro Harbor and tried to re-take the town. Mexican forces led by a rancher named Carillo routed the Yankees in part with an old 4 pound signal cannon that an old lady had buried in her front yard. She had hid the old gun when Gillespie ordered the population disarmed. The Californios had no gun carriage so they lashed the old gun to a wagon harness. Six months later, the US forces finally overcame LA resistance and the town stayed American.

1862-THE BATTLE OF PERRYVILLE- Union forces defeat General Baxton Bragg's Confederates and prevent Kentucky from joining the Confederacy. Abe Lincoln said: " I hope I have God on my side but I Must have Kentucky." The Confederates had actually pushed the Yankees off the field and were at the edge of victory, but Bragg overestimated the enemies strength the next day and ordered a general retreat, wasting everything they gained. His second in command General Kirby Smith resigned in disgust. The commander of the Union Army Gen. Don Carlos Buell, was so distracted with other business that he was unaware that his army had fought a battle. He was soon replaced.

1871- THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE- Legend said in a shed behind 137 DeKoven St, Old Mrs. O'Leary's cow knocks over a lantern and starts a fire that burns down 17,500 buildings and kills 300 including the Mayor. The fire jumped the Chicago River and people rode their carriages into Lake Michigan and even jumped into open graves to escape. Eventually the firemen’s pumpers ran out of water and the Northside kept burning past Fullerton until it burned itself out when it hit open prairie. 300,000 were left homeless. One of the only downtown buildings to survive the inferno was Chicago’s beloved old water tower. The slaughter houses and grain elevators also survived so business could go on. Ironically the O'Leary house stayed intact, just the barn burned. Two journalists later admitted inventing the O’Leary cow story to sell newspapers.

1871-THE GREAT PESHTIGO FIRE- The most deadly fire in North American history occurred on the exact same day as the Chicago Fire, but this one was in Peshtigo Wisconsin. A forest fire started by loggers burning debris built into a firestorm (actually a flaming tornado) and destroyed a wooden town killing 1,200 in a town of 1,750, five times as many as the Chicago Fire. The tornado caught dozens of people during church services. Three hundred died trying to escape across a wooden bridge that caught fire and burned from both ends. Survivors saw "people and cows stagger a few feet and go down burning brightly, like so many pieces of pitch pine." A heavy rain fell the next day. One day late.

1906- In Paris Swiss inventor Ludwig Pressler demonstrated the first electric 'permanent -wave' hair curler.

1907- Charles Frederick Dow, one of the founders of the Wall Street Journal, started his system of charting the average performance of industrial stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

1915- The Battle of Loos. British troops release poison gas at the German lines. The wind shifts and blows it back on their own men. Doh!

1918- SERGANT YORK- simple Tennessee hillbilly Alvin York was drafted into the U.S. Army where his crack shot talents enabled him this day to shoot up an entire German regiment. He captured 300 prisoners alone with only his single shot Springfield rifle. He got the Medal of Honor and a tickertape parade. Then went back to the Ozarks where he resumed his life of making moonshine, hog calling and other rustic pursuits.

1929- British Imperial Airways shows the first in-flight movie.

1933- HOLLYWOOD ACTOR'S FIRST MASS PROTEST- When Franklin Roosevelt created the NRA to fix wages and prices to try and solve the Depression, he even went as far as to try to regulate Motion Picture rates and fees. The catch was the rates were drafted with the advice of friends of the studio heads in Washington. The actors went ballistic when they saw new rules such as a ceiling cap on actors salaries of $100,000 a year (the producers had no such cap), restriction of actors independent agents, and terms of an old salary contract would stay in effect even after the contract expired until it was renegotiated.

This night at the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Blvd. hundreds of moviestars met to draft a petition calling for rewriting of the codes. The activists included Paul Muni, Frederic March, Jeanette MacDonald, Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff. SAG president Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) was considered politically too far left to face Roosevelt, so he stepped down in favor of comedian Eddie Cantor, who had helped Vaudeville acts unionize. In previous meetings at the El Capitan the earth tremors from the Great Long Beach Earthquake the previous March made actors reconvene in the Grauman's Chinese parking lot across the street. Cantor went to the president's retreat at Warm Springs Georgia with the petition and had the hated articles taken out of the code.

1935- Ozzie Nelson married Harriet.

1945- "Bloody Monday" During a big strike three hundred and fifty armed thugs club their way through picketing Warner Bros. film workers. Jack Warner had stationed sharpshooters behind the studios billboards. A logo on the studio wall said:" Better Movies through Better Citizenship", which the union folk changed to "Better Movies through Better Marksmanship". Similar scenes were happening in front of Fox and MGM.

1957- Walter O'Malley announced the move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.

1957- Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his hit Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire.

1958- Swedish Arne Laarsen received the first artificial implanted heart pacemaker. Over the years he had 17 operations and a dozen more pacemakers put in him as the designs improved. Without the pacemaker he would have died at age 40, instead he died in 2000 at age 86 of skin cancer. Arne Laarsen outlived all his original doctors.

1967- In Bolivia guerrilla leader Ernesto Che' Guevara was captured and shot. Che' started as an Argentine doctor and was wracked with asthma most of his life. He had gone to Bolivia after quarreling with Fidel Castro about whether it was more important to export Cuban revolution the rest of Latin America or concentrate on building Cuba's economy. Thirty years later in 1997 his remains were identified and returned to Cuba for burial.

1970- Dissident Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsin was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Soviet State kept him in internal exile and refused to let him travel to accept his prize. He was exiled to America in 1974 and returned to Russia after the fall of communism.

1971- John Lennon first released the song Imagine.

2004- Home decorating guru Martha Stewart began serving her 5 month prison term for perjury and insider trading.

2005- A massive earthquake in Pakistan killed 73,000.
Yesterday’s Question: What side was the state of Missouri on during the Civil War?

Answer: Missouri was so badly divided by the Civil War that it remained officially neutral. The Governor was pro-Southern and the Legislature was Pro Northern. Paramilitary gangs- Bushwackers and Redlegs terrorized the countryside. Proportionately more of the population of the state was uprooted by the war than any other state, even battlegrounds like Virginia and Tennessee.