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May 23, 2014
May 23rd, 2014

Quiz: Who outranks whom? A major general or a brigadier general ?

YESTERDAYS Quiz answered below: What does it mean to ostracize someone?
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History for 5/23/2014
Birthdays: Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Scatman Crowthers, Rosemary Clooney, Artie Shaw, Alicia de Larrocha, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Drew Carey is 56, Joan Collins is 81

Today in ancient Rome was the feast of Vulcan.

1498- In Rome, mystic monk Savonarola was hanged and his body burned for defying the Borgia Pope Alexander VI. Savonarola dominated Florence for a time like a Christian Ayatollah. Artists Michelangelo Buonarrotti, Sandro Botticelli and Luigi Della Robbia were admirers of his. Among his reforms were to hold a large Bonfire of the Vanities.

1533- King Henry VIII of England has his first wife Catharine of Aragon's marriage to him annulled. Henry's interest in multiple marriages wasn't merely a case of being horny, his father had won the throne in a bloody civil war (The War of the Roses) and it could all happen again because he couldn't produce a male child fast. Despite his efforts his Tudor dynasty was remembered for his female offspring, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

1618- THE DEFENESTRATION OF PRAGUE- The Protestant officials of Bohemia let the Catholic German Emperor know what they thought of his ultimatums by throwing his emissaries out of a window. "De-fenestrate" or to toss out a window. It was a low second floor window and a dung pile broke their fall, so only pride was injured. Catholic writers said they were saved by angels.
This event started the THIRTY YEARS WAR, a European Civil War, when Catholic and Protestant nations who's pent up anger had been boiling for decades broke forth. They battled for years, until nobody could remember who started the whole damn thing to begin with. Germany lost one quarter of her population and would not see this kind of devastation again until World War II.

1633- By an edict of the King, France declared that only good Catholics would be allowed to settle in their colony of New France, already being called Canada. French Huguenots settled for the Anglo Dutch territories in Maryland, and New Amsterdam.

1701 Pirate Captain Kidd was hanged in London for piracy, robbery and killing a sailor with a bucket. His last letter was written to try to bribe the judge with his buried treasure. His body was coated with tar and left hanging in a cage suspended over Execution Wharf on the Thames for years afterward, as a warning to other would-be pirates.

1706- BATTLE OF RAMILIES- the Duke of Marlborough destroyed the main French army of Louis XIV under Marshal Villeroi. Carried away by the excitement, Marlborough personally led a cavalry charge sword in hand against the Maison Du Roi – the French elite Guards Cavalry. In the melee' he was knocked off his horse, trampled, and he had to run for his life. As he was climbing up on another horse, the aide holding the reins had his head struck off by a cannon ball. His enthusiasm for mano-a-mano combat cooled, Marlborough spent the rest of the day in the rear directing the victory like a good general should.

1785- Ben Franklin invented bifocal glasses.

1861- Virginia, the most populous state and home of many presidents announced it was leaving the United States and joining the new Confederate States.

1865- Over a month after Richmond’s fall and Lee’s surrender the last bloodshed of the Civil War happened. In Texas Confederate General Magruder defeated a small Yankee force near Galveston Bay.

1865- UNION VICTORY DAY-To celebrate the end of the American Civil War today was the Union Victory Parade in Washington D.C.- The massed Grand Armies of the Republic marched down Pennsylvania Ave. to celebrate their victory over the Confederacy. They passed President Andrew Johnson and Generals Grant and Sherman. Sherman refused to shake hands with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton because of Stanton's criticism of Sherman's surrender terms to the Confederate western armies.
27 year old Gen. Custer, showing off for the crowd, with his golden locks flowing, managed to pass the reviewing stand twice. He claimed his horse was skittish. Despite the fact that 180.000 African American men fought in the war no black regiments were allowed in the parade to avoid controversy. Even the Gallant 54th Mass who did the heroic attack on Fort Wagner was refused permission to march. The flags in the nation's capitol were returned to full mast for the first time since Lincoln's assassination. Union veterans later formed the first professional veterans aid association the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a forerunner of the VFW and the American Legion.

1873- The first Preakness horse race. The winner's name was Survivor.

1903- MOTHER JONES 'CHILDRENS CRUSADE- Seventy three year old activist and union organizer Mary "Mother Jones" Harris led a strike of 16,000 Philadelphia mill workers, all children under 12 years old, to demand a 55 hour workweek down from 60 hours a week. That July she led a march of thousands of working children from Philadelphia to President Teddy Roosevelt's home in Oyster Bay New York to demand the repeal of child labor.

1911- President Taft dedicated the central branch of the New York Public Library.

1931- In Max Fleischer's Silly Scandals, the girl character first seen in Dizzy Dishes is first called Betty Boop.

1934- BONNIE & CLYDE were blown away in a hail of machine gunfire as they drove down a road near Gisland, Louisiana. She was 24, he was 25. The ambush was set up by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer. An estimated 107 shots were fired in less than two minutes. Each body had about 28 bullets in them. Hamer smiled:" It’s a shame I had to bust the cap on a lady." Their peppered car still pops up at auto shows from time to time. In 1948 Frank Hamer was called out of retirement to help investigate voter fraud involving the first senate race of a young congressman named Lyndon B. Johnson.

1941-Hollywood union boss George Brown and assistant Willard Bioff (also a Frank Nitti bagman) were indicted on federal racketeering charges. Brown had been a Chicago operative and it was said 'he could drink 100 bottles of beer in one day". Their main contact among the Hollywood studio heads was Nicholas Schenck, the chairman of Loews Theaters and a head of MGM. Willie Bioff had tried to help Louis B. Mayer defeat the screen actor's guild and hijack the Disney animator's union. After their jail time Bioff blew up in his car after turning government witness and Brown 'disappeared...' Schenck meanwhile was pardoned by President Truman.

1945- Reinhard Gehlen was the head of Nazi intelligence and kept numerous agents in Washington, London and Moscow. After hiding for a month after the fall of Berlin, on this day he surrendered himself to the Americans. Initially they wanted to put him on trial for war crimes, until he revealed his spies in Moscow were still on his payroll, which greatly interested General Wild Bill Donovan, who was reforming the O.S.S. for it's new cold war responsibilities. So Generalobherst Gehlen came to the U.S. and began his second career as a founder of the CIA

1945- SS leader Heinrich Himmler committed suicide by biting a cyanide capsule shortly after being captured by the British authorities. "The bastards’ beat us!" A British army guard growled, when he heard the news.

1951- China formally annexed Tibet, a nation they invaded the year before.

1960- Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann was one of the architects of the Final Solution. He had been hiding in Argentina since the war ended. In 1957 a German prosecutor tipped off Israeli intelligence of Eichman’s whereabouts. This day Mossad agents kidnapped him in Buenos Aires and brought him to Israel for a public trial.

1969- The Who released their rock opera Tommy.

2003- In US occupied Iraq, new occupational viceroy L. Paul Bremmer overruled CIA and Pentagon advice and disbanded the Iraqi Army, internal security, Presidential Guards and police forces, about 500,000. His explanation was he was following orders, although Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld later claimed he was surprised by the move. With this one decree, thousands of angry, humiliated soldiers were unemployed, robbed of their pensions and livelihood, but allowed to keep their sidearms. The Anti-American guerrilla insurgency exploded soon after.
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Yesterdays Quiz: What does it mean to ostracize someone?

Answer: Ostracism was a system in Ancient Athens to vote to exile someone. This way the democracy assured some individuals never got too powerful. Top general Alcibiades aided an old man with weak eyesight write his name on the ballot of ostracism.
Today it means to shun someone's company.


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