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July 28, 2014 Mon
July 28th, 2014

Quiz: Why is a plain pizza called a Margherita?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What was the origin of the term “to overturn your soup kettles” as a sign of revolt?
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History for 7/28/2014
Birthdays: Jacqueline Kennedy, Richard Rogers, Ibn al’ Arabi- philosopher 1165, Marcel Duchamp, Rudy Vallee. Sally Struthers Peter Duchin, Vida Blue, Joe E. Brown, Jim Davis the creator of Garfield, Frank Yankovic the Polka King, Elizabeth Berkley, Earl Tupper the inventor of Tupperware, Hugo Chavez

450AD- Roman emperor Theodosius II died without a designated heir.

754 A.D. Pope Stephen III crowns Pepin the Short King of the Franks or French. Pepin was the son of Charles the Hammer and the father of Charlemagne. Pepin had asked for the Pope’s help to legitimatize his overthrow of the last king of the Merovingian Dynasty, Childeric IV, whom he had locked up in a monastery. In return he gave his military guarantee to the Vatican’s hold over a buffer state in the center of Italy. The Papal States would remain a political reality for 1,100 year until absorbed into united Italy in 1870.

1428- The Aztecs overthrow the Tepanec kingdom and begin their rise to empire. While the Inca in Peru were a homogeneous empire the Aztec ruled Mexico by conquest and subjugation of other tribes. So when Cortez and the Spaniards arrived in 1519 they found hundreds of Indians willing to join them against the Aztec.

1540- Henry VIII married his fourth queen Catherine Howard. This was seen as an old man's autumn fancy. Henry was in his 50's and Catherine a teenager who still had the hots for boys her own age, a bad idea if she wanted to keep her head.

1586 - Sir Thomas Harriott first introduced potatoes to Europe. At first people thought they were poisonous because their blossom resembled that of toxic nightshade.

1588- The English sea captains led by Thomas the Earl of Leicester and Sir Francis Drake were playing a game of bowls when they were told the Spanish Armada had been sighted off the coast of Cornwall. The Armada was so big, its front row of ships reached seven miles across. Leicester cooly said:" Come Drake, there’s time to finish the game." They finished their game, and defeated the Armada the next day.

1609- Sir George Somers was shipwrecked on the uninhabited island of Bermuda.
He stayed to found a settlement, claiming the island for Britain.

1615- French explorer Samuel de Champlain reached Lake Huron.

1655- Poet, playwright and duelist Cyrano de Bergerac died in Paris. The famous play about him and his big nose was written by Edmond Rostand in 1895.

1750-Composer Johann Sebastian Bach died. He had suffered blindness in his old age but is eyesight returned shortly before his fatal stroke. Elderly and ill, he one of his final compositions was a chorale prelude: "Come, Kindly Death- come for my life is dreary, and of earth I am weary, etc."
He and his wife Anna Magdelena had 17 children,, and 7 more by his first wife. Many of whom became composers Johann Christian Bach, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, etc. Bach’s music was soon forgotten until rediscovered by Mendelsson and others in the 1820s.. Albert Einsteins brother Alfred said Bach’s music" almost makes one want to become Christian."

1788- Master British portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds visited the other master British portrait painter Sir Thomas Gainsborough, who was dying or cancer. They had been enemies for years, but now at the end they made up. When Reynolds left him, Gainsborough said "Goodbye until we meet in the Hereafter, Van Dyck in our company."

1808- The Turkish Janissaries, the royal guard, depose Sultan Mustapha VI and replaced him with his cousin Mehmed II. The Janissaries were the real power in Istanbul at this time, keeping a supply of royal princes in the harem, to be taken out as needed. Sultans sometimes picked what Harem girl they would favor that night by how many cloves she could hold in her bellybutton.

1809- Battle of Talavera. General Sir Arthur Wellesley defeated the French army in Spain and for that was made Viscount Wellington. Sir Hugh Gough, who would later earn fame conquering the Punjab in India, was a major at the time. In this battle Gough was so grievously wounded he was laid out on a pile of corpses for dead. Wellington was commenting to his staff upon his bravery, when to prevent being buried alive, Hugh signaled by pushing his arm up out of the corpses, and waved his hat at the startled Wellington." Uhh..M’Lord, I’m not dead yet…"

1812- General Light Horse Harry Lee was a Revolutionary War hero and had eulogized George Washington as "First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of his Countrymen".
But this year the old general got involved with mob violence in Baltimore while trying to protect a publisher friend who was against "Mr. Madison’s War with the British”, what we now call the War of 1812. Despite his fame Lee was dragged by a mob and beaten senseless, one of his eyes almost gouged out. He went to the West Indies to convalesce –and escape his creditors, but he never fully recovered. His 5 year old son was future Civil War General Robert E. Lee.

1821- Peru declared independence from Spain.

1839- Italian revolutionary Guisseppe Fleschi wanted to assassinate the king of France, King Louis Phillipe. He rigged up a strange device that could fire 25 gun barrels simultaneously. He pointed this machine at the king during a military parade and pulled the string. All the guns went off but not one hit their intended target. Ironically the only person killed was the elderly war minister Marshal Mortier, an old general of Napoleon's who had spent thirty years amid shot and shell and had never been scratched.

1841- The body of Mary Cecilia Rogers was pulled out of New York Harbor. The sensational murder of the “Beautiful Cigar Girl” inspired Edgar Allen Poe to write “ The Mystery of Marie Roget.”

1858- The French photographer Nadar went up in a balloon and took the first aerial photograph.

1866-BUFFALO SOLDIERS- An act of Congress called for the creation of two all black cavalry regiments to serve in the peacetime army's frontier duty. These units, the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry became the famous "Buffalo Soldiers". They were so named by the Indians because an African-Americans hair resembled the tuft of hair between a buffalo's horns to them, a symbol of magical strength. Buffalo Soldiers finally defeated the Apaches and charged up San Juan Hill right alongside Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Their captain in Cuba named John Pershing was given the nickname Blackjack Pershing not for a love of cards but for preferring to lead Black troops to white.

1867- The Daughters of St. Crispin, the first women's labor organization.

1896- Happy Birthday Miami! The City of Miami incorporated.

1882- Parsifal, the last opera of Richard Wagner was produced at Bayreuth. As a way to ensure its financial solvency Wagner left instructions to never tour Parsifal but it should stay at Bayreuth. This lasted a few decades.

1898- Spain asks for peace talks with the United States to end their war. The Spanish American War began in April and ended in December.

1914- THE RUSH INTO WORLD WAR I ACCELLERATES. Britain suggested an international conference to settle Austria’s grievances against Serbia. Austrian Foreign minister Berchtold informed the British ambassador that it was too late for mediation because Austria had already declared war. The German Kaiser was having second thoughts but slipped out of Berlin to go yachting to avoid the Russian ambassador who was trying to make him commit to discussing peace terms. Part of the muddle that aggravated the meltdown of diplomacy, was many of the top European statesmen were on their Summer vacations while this crisis deepened.

1932-THE BATTLE OF ANACOSTIA FLATS- Capitol Hill was surrounded by 20,000 Bonus Marchers- poor World War One veterans and their families who desperately marched to Washington to demand help from the ravages of the Depression and their promised back pay.

On this day President Hoover's response was to order the US Army to drive them away by force. Gen. Douglas MacArthur with his aides Patton and Eisenhower send tanks, saber wielding cavalry and bayonet armed troops to break up the homeless peoples dwellings. Facing them on the makeshift barricades eyewitnesses saw a black man waving a large American flag and Charles Frederick Lincoln, a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln. These poor veterans and their families had come from as far as Honolulu and no record was kept of how many were killed or died on the walk home.

Pres. Hoover was jubilant that order was restored, and the public was jubilant when they voted him out of office later that year.

1933- The first singing telegram. It was delivered to singer Rudy Valee by Western Union operator appropriately named Lucille Lipps.

1945- Congress endorses United Nations Charter. Congress' refusal to join the League of Nations in 1919 help doom that organization.

1945-A B-25 Mitchell bomber flying in thick fog struck the 78th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City. It killed a dozen people, including some when one of it's 1,500 lb engines shot through the building and down onto 33rd street. One woman in an elevator had the cables cut and fell 80 stories at 200 miles an hour to the basement. Miraculously she lived.

Despite the devastation the building did not collapse but stayed sound. As a result US and World air traffic control standards were stiffened, air traffic controllers finally got the power to order planes down, and large planes kept away from flying over large urban areas.

1948- In honor of the death of D.W. Griffith, all Hollywood studios observed three minutes of silence.

1948- The Premiere of that utterly memorable film " ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN." For you hardcore film trivia fans this film is the only other time than the original Tod Browning movie that Bela Lugosi played Count Dracula on film.

1965-VIETNAM- President Lyndon B. Johnson had been wrestling with a problem since June 5th. In Vietnam the war against the Commie Viet Cong was going badly. Strategic bombing of the North has failed to stop incursions in the South and the latest government in Saigon had fallen and been replaced by a group of generals led by Ngyen Kao Key. Johnson had to pull out or expand US commitment.

This day, at a routine Friday 12:30 PM press briefing, calculated to not be well attended, LBJ made the announcement that US forces in Vietnam would be expanded dramatically from 75,000 to 125,000- eventually to 450,000 by the end of 1967. What LBJ wasn’t saying was he had now decided that US ground troops would carry the bulk of the fighting. Not just to prop up the South Vietnamese, but to defeat the Communists outright. He would still try to do his Great Society Programs while running a trillion-dollar war that all his experts doubted was winnable.

This one decision destroyed Johnson’s Presidency, and cracked the thriving post war economy creating recession and domestic political turmoil.

1971- Photographer Diane Arbus probed increasingly darker subject matter, circus freaks, severe birth defects. This day she committed suicide by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills, then slitting her wrists.

1998- In Afghanistan the Taliban ordered mass destruction of television sets. They also forbade the Internet, and shaved the heads of their national soccer team for daring to wear shorts.

1999- Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco declared today Marilyn Chambers Day, in honor of the San Francisco native, and star of classic porn like Behind the Green Door.

2061- The next predicted appearance of Halley’s Comet.
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Yesterday’s Question: What was the origin of the term “to overturn your soup kettles” as a sign of revolt?

Answer: The Turkish Sultan’s royal guards were the Janissaries. By the late 1600s they controlled who would become Sultan. Their signal of a revolt and coup was to overturn their soup kettles.


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