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March 1, 2014
March 1st, 2014

Question: What does it mean when you call someone a Lothario?

Answer to yesterdays question below: What does it mean to be in the limelight?
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History for 3/1/2014
Birthdays: Frederic Chopin, Glen Miller, Harry Belafonte is 87, David Niven, Oskar Kokoschka, Roger Daltry, Robert Conrad, Deke Slayton, Yitschak Rabin. Catherine Bach, Timothy Daly, Ron Howard is 59, Javier Bardem is 45, Zack Snyder is 48

Welcome to MARCH from MARTIUS Mensis, THE MONTH OF MARS-so named because in ancient times it was the first month that was warm enough for armies to take the field and kill each other. Various warrior societies held religious ceremonies to inaugurate campaigning season. In Rome, the Salian Priests would do a ceremonial dance with the magic shields of Mars the Avenger, dropped from heaven for Romulus. The Macedonians would split a dog in half lengthwise and parade the troops between the two halves, sort of going through the gates of Pluto. I hope the dog appreciated the symbolism...

86 BC. Roman legions of Lucius Cornelius Sulla recapture Athens from Mithradates the king of Pontus (a part of eastern Turkey). Mithridates was offering Rome it's most serious competition in the conquest game since Hannibal. Sulla was angry that the Athenians had welcomed the enemy in, so he destroyed half of the city. He then saved the rest :"more in memory of her glorious past than her modern inhabitants." Mithradates was defeated and committed suicide. According to Plutarch, at one point Sulla's men captured a satyr (half man-half goat) in the precincts of the temple of Artemis. Sulla asked the supernatural creature about the future, but all it would do is whinny like a goat. So he told his men to get rid of it.

589 AD- HAPPY SAINT DAVIDS’ DAY- This is the traditional date of the death of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. Called the Waterman, he was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop who became the first archbishop of Wales. He was one of many early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain. Welshmen celebrate today like the Irish celebrate St. Patrick, although with out the green beer.

1562-THE MASSACRE OF VASSEY- In France the Catholics and Huguenots- Protestants had been headed towards open conflict despite all attempts at mediation. In the little town of Vassey south of Dijon the Catholic Duke Du Guise became annoyed when Huguenots hymn singing in a barn disturbed his ability to hear Mass. Scuffling broke out and when the Duke got hit in the face with a stone, his retainers drew their swords and chopped up 125 people. The Religious Wars had begun.

1579- Sir Francis Drake on board the Golden Hind made the catch of his career. In the waters off Cartegena Columbia he attacked and captured one of the great Spanish treasure ships carrying Inca gold and silver from Peru. This one ship carried more wealth than the entire treasury then in Elizabeth’s England. And a fleet of these crossed the ocean twice a year. Drake instantly became a rich man. The galleon was called La Nuestra Senora De La Concepcion, but her crew nicknamed her “KaKaFuego” which some translate as “Spitfire”, but more closely means “Hot sh*t.”

1680- Pennsylvania became the first US colony to outlaw slavery.

1711- The first issue of England’s’ great periodical the Spectator first published. It was unique for a broadsheet in that it didn’t cover politics or doings at court but printed essays on social gossip, literary criticism, studies of manners and morals. It was said the Spectator helped begin the transformation of English gentry from ale-swilling philanderers to the well-bred, well-read snobs of the Victorian Era.

1777- Young artillery officer Alexander Hamilton was appointed to General George Washington’s personal staff. This marked the beginning of Hamilton’s personal relationship with Washington that would last throughout the war and his presidency. Hamilton was his constant consultant, advisor and may have written many of Washington’s speeches. There is a rumor that GW may even have been Hamilton’s father since his only trip outside the US was to visit Bermuda. Hamilton was born illegitimately on the Virgin island of Nevis, but beyond that no evidence has ever been substantiated.

1808- Parliament outlawed the overseas slave trade within the British Empire.

1815- Napoleon Bonaparte came ashore in France near Frejus on the Riviera and marched on Paris in a desperate gamble to regain his throne. He was attacking a nation of 14 million with just 1,200 followers. After his defeat in Russia and exile to Elba the European allies restored the Bourbon King and old aristocrats to France.

The old royals soon made it plain they learned nothing from the French Revolution and wanted to continue things as if it was still 1789. Little things like evicting war orphaned children into the street so some old aristocrat could have his crumbling chateau back. The Royal family also liked to spit on the tricolor flag and appeared in public in Russian uniforms, a uniform seen by French people as responsible for the deaths of many of their brothers and husbands. The peoples anger enabled Napoleon to recall old memories of Glory, and Liberte’.

At the sight of the little man in the plain black hat everyone went nuts. The whole Royal Army changed sides without a shot fired. His desperate gamble became a triumphal party and he was carried on the crowd’s shoulders back into the palace.

1836- A dozen or so Texans from Gonzales slip past Santa Anna’s Mexican army to join their friends in the Alamo. These are the last reinforcements to arrive.

1872- Congress ok’s creation of Yellowstone National Park. In 1878 during the military campaign against the Nez Perce Indians, Chief Joseph took his warriors through the park territory frightening some early tourists.

1896- Battle of Adwa- The Italian colonization of the ancient land of Ethiopia is halted for a generation after the entire Italian army is wiped out in one big battle. Critics like to scoff that the modern Italian forces were massacred by a spear wielding foe, but in truth the legions of the Negus Negusti (king of kings, i.e. Ethiopian emperor) had been covertly rearmed by France with the latest rapid firing cannon. France didn’t want any encroachment on her own colonial holdings in nearby Senegal.

1912- Albert Berry completed the first parachute jump from an aeroplane in St. Louis Missouri

1917-Czar-Autocrat of all the Russias, Nicholas II rushed back to his rebellious capitol St. Petersburg in a private train. Today he was told the way was blocked by revolutionaries. His train backed up and was blocked again from behind by mutinous troops. His ministers advised that the army would no longer remain loyal and he may have to abdicate.

1919- The March Movement- Korea declares it’s independence from Japan, Russia and China.

1930-Disney animator Ub Iwerks, the animator/designer of Mickey Mouse, quits the studio to set up his own place. Walt was stunned by the defection of one of his first employees and closest friends. Iwerks studio producing Flip the Frog Cartoons, will eventually fail and he'll return to Disneys to invent the xerox process. Iwerks partner was Pat Powers, who’s PowersCinephone was the process used to put sound on “Steamboat Willie”.Powers engineered the break when Disney refused to let him buy into a co-partnership in Disney Studio.

1932- Museum of Modern Art in New York has first major retrospective of the style of architecture called "THE INTERNATIONAL STYLE" Steel girder frames with large windows for walls and no ornamentation. This style pioneered by Mies Van Der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Phillip Johnson. Called by critics "vertical ice cube trays" they now dominate the skylines around the world, making Moscow and Shanghai equally unrecognizable from Pretoria, or Newark, New Jersey.

1932-THE LINDBERGH BABY KIDNAPPING. The infant son of the famous couple was taken from his crib in their Princeton New Jersey home. Forensic science determined he was bludgeoned and buried shortly afterwards. But the kidnap plot went ahead for nine days. The kidnapper left behind a crudely written note asking for $50,000 dollars in small bills. Bruno Richard Hauptman, the man who was convicted and executed for the crime protested his innocence to the end, The New Jersey country sheriff in charge of the investigation was the father of future Gulf War general Norman Schwarzkopf.

1936- Max Fleischer's short cartoon"Snow White" (starring Betty Boop). Cab Calloway singing the "St. James Infirmary Blues" is a highlight.

1937- Connecticut issued the first metal license plates for autos.

1941- Congress approved a designating a committee to investigate waste in defense appropriations. It was chaired by junior Missouri Senator Harry Truman. The Truman commission routed out corruption ad sweetheart deals among businessmen doing war work. The exposed waste, fraud, padding bills and corporations still doing business with the enemy, even after Pearl Harbor. The Truman Commission saved America millions and made Harry Truman a national hero. No such committee was allowed for the Iraq War, and the result is billions given out in secret no-bid contracts, and $9 billion still unaccounted for.

1946-The National Cartoonists Society formed.

1951- Frank Sinatra was subpoenaed by the Senate Kefhauver Committee looking into the activities of the Mafia. In deference to Old Blue Eyes public persona, strings were pulled so he was allow to testify in his attorney’s private office high in 30 Rockefeller Plaza at 4:00 a.m.

1954- Puerto Rican Nationalists shoot 5 congressman on Capitol Hill. They opened fire from the visitors gallery down on the Congressman.

1961- John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps.

1961-The Ken Doll introduced.

1962- A huge tickertape parade in New York is held for astronaut John Glenn.

1966- The Russian probe Venera 3 landed on Venus. Although the Venera crash landed it was the first unmanned probe to land on the surface of another world.

1968- Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara, who presided over the Vietnam War buildup and humiliated by the Tet Offensive, resigned and was replaced by presidential advisor Clark Clifford.

1971- Radical Hippy Weathermen Movement planted a bomb in the men’s room of the US Senate. It exploded causing thousands of dollars in damage but hurting no one.

1975- The first Honda Civics arrive in the US.

1978- Unemployed auto mechanics Gatchko Ganas and Roman Wardas broke into the tomb of Charlie Chaplin in Vevey Switzerland and stole his remains. They tried to hold it for ransom. The body was recovered and the two losers were soon arrested. They were trying to make enough money to open a car repair garage in France.

1988- Apple introduced the first commercially available CD-ROM drive for your personal computer.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be in the limelight?

Answer: Before electricity, Victorian stages were lit by burning calcium quicklime in the footlights. It gave off a bright light, but must have smelled awful, and it gave a yellowish glow to the skin. Toulouse Lautrec's paintings show this. So to be in the limelight meant to be the center of public attention.


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