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Oct. 15, 2014 weds.
October 15th, 2014

Question: Who was known as “ The Grand Turk”?

Quiz: Who is John Galt?
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History for 10/15/2014
Birthdays: Quintus Virgilius-Virgil 70 BC, Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great 1542, Oscar Wilde, Fredrich Nietszche, Mikail Lermontov, John L. Sullivan, Burt Gillett, John Kenneth Galbraith, Robert Trout, Klaus Barbie the Nazi Butcher of Lyon, P.G. Wodehouse, Penny Marshall, Mario Puzo, Sarah Ferguson-Fergie' the former Duchess of York is 54, Chef Emeril LeGasse, Chuck Berry is 88
Ancient Roman Festival of the Ides, a chariot race where the winning team of horses was sacrificed to Mars the Avenger.

1564- Great doctor and medical scholar Andreas Vesalius died of exposure after his ship was wrecked off the coast of Zante Greece. Vesalius specialty was anatomy, he described the lobes of the liver, the bones of the jaw and finally got modern medicine to stop following the conclusions of the Roman doctor Galen on faith, and go experiment for themselves. Vesalius was so passionate about anatomical dissection that he would sneak out to the hangmans’s tree outside town and pull the bodies down for study.

1582- THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR took effect- Julius Caesar’s 366 day calendar was losing 11 minutes every year since 45 BC. Medieval scientists like Dennis Exiguus ( the man responsible for B.C.-A.D. counting) and Roger Bacon in the 1200’s noticed something was wrong. By 1582 the calendar was 11 days off the solar year. Pope Gregory XI had scientist Dionysius Ingratius revise the calendar of Julius Caesar by using a 400 year cycle of 365 days with a leap day every four years and no leap year when it occurred every fourth century. So 2000 was a leap year while 1900,1800 and 1700 were not.
On this day people had gone to sleep on Oct. 5th and woke up on Oct.15th !
The calendar at first wasn't accepted universally. At first only Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland changed over. France and the Protestant countries took 70-100 years to change and England not until 1752! China adopted the western calendar in 1949. Because a lot of history happened during the interim, sloppy historians can confuse the 11 day difference in the calendars (so if you disagree with any of my dates, That's My Excuse, Hah Harr!!) For instance we celebrate Columbus Day on the 12th of October when Columbus himself thought he had landed on the 22nd Old Style.

1757- Prussian King Frederick the Great took time out from fighting wars with most of Europe to try and convince German poet Johann Gottsched to stop trying to write poetry in German. “So many guttural explosions, so many consonants- Klop, Knap, Krotz, Krok! How could you make melody in such a language?.” Frederick spoke French exclusively and switched to German only to address servants and soldiers. Ironically, the fame of his court sparked a renaissance of music, poetry and philosophy- all in German.

1764- While wandering through the ruins of ancient Rome, British writer Edward Gibbon is inspired to write "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". After 20 years labor and thousands of pages he finished. When he gave the first copy bound in gold to mad King George III, the king said to him: " What's this? Another big damned black book, eh, Mr. Gibbon? Scribble, scribble!"

1781- Climactic actions of the Siege of Yorktown when Franco-American assault teams in the dead of night stormed three important British strong points. This allowed Washington and Rochambeau’s heavy guns to be brought close enough to bombard the center of Yorktown and hastened Lord Cornwallis’ surrender.

The American assault teams were personally led by Marquis de Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton, who threw a childish temper tantrum when at first Washington refused to risk a good staff officer in such a dangerous assignment. The attack troops were not allowed to waste time loading and firing, they just had to run in the dark and win using the cold bayonet. In the troop on the French side was a young captain Berthier, who would one day be Napoleon’s chief of staff.

1794-The First silver dollars minted by the U.S. Government. Before that individual states printed money. British pounds, wampum, old colonial script called Continental Eagles, Spanish pieces of Eight and whiskey all had circulated as currency. 1796- Napoleon wins a battle at the bridge of Arcola, grabbing a flag and leading the final charge himself. In twenty years of constant war he was only hurt once, a slight graze in the foot. At Arcola he was even temporarily immobilized when he got stuck in mud under heavy fire but still no one could hit him. 1806 -German philosopher Hegel met Napoleon on the street. Hegel was going to his publisher to publish his "Phremonology", Napoleon was on his way to take Berlin. Hegel later referred to Napoleon as “The Universal Soul.”

1843- Copenhagen’s Tivoli Garden’s opened to the public. One of the oldest amusement parks in the world and an inspiration to Walt Disney for Disneyland.
1858- The last Lincoln- Douglas debate. Lincoln scored major moral points on the slavery issue but Douglas "the Little Giant" won the election to Congress anyway. After the Civil War began although Douglas was a Democrat he was a very strong Lincoln supporter and pro-union man. Douglas had also once dated Mary Lincoln before she married old Abe.

1880-Victorio, a leader of the Chiracua Apaches as famous as Geronimo, was finally hunted down and killed south of El Paso by a combined force of US and Mexican Army troops. 1905- First Little Nemo comic strip by Winsor McCay premiered in the NY Herald. McCay modeled the child on his own son Robert, and name Nemo came from a Latin root meaning no one.

1905- Premiere of Claude Debussy’s tone poem La Mer- the Sea.

1917- MATA HARI- 41 year old beautiful erotic dancer and German spy H21, was shot by firing squad. Her real name was Gertrude Zelle from Holland, she made up a new identity as an Indian princess with the name Mata Hari- The Light of Day in Malay. She would use her sexual charms to seduce top enemy officers and pass information on to German High Command. But she was finally caught, tried and shot at the Chateau Vincennes outside Paris. She refused to wear a blindfold and blew a kiss at the French firing squad. She still elicited enough sympathy, that out of a 12 soldier squad only four bullets were found in her body.

1927- Iraq strikes it's first gusher of oil. The gusher was so large it took 8 days to bring under control.

1929- The Canadian Parliament passed a resolution declaring women to be people, too.

1930- Duke Ellington first recorded Mood Indigo.

1934- THE LONG MARCH- During the Chinese civil war Mao Tse Tung’s Communist forces broke out of a ring of encircling Kuomintang (Nationalist) armies and began an epic 6,000 mile march to the safety of Shenxi and Yenan in Northwest China. 100,000 people fought battles, internal divisions, starved and marched until in October 1935 only 8,000 survivors reached their destination. Mao’s two children and younger brother died but he emerged as the overall leader of the Chinese Communists. Their example inspired thousands of young men to enlist in their cause. In 1993 Premier Ly Pung succeeded Deng Zhao Ping, one of the last surviving veterans of the Long March.

1940- Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator premiered.

1942- The Nazi-dominated Vichy Government of France declared a ban on the importation of all American and British movies.

1946-HERMANN GORING CHEATED THE HANGMAN On the day before he was to hang for war crimes, Nazi Reichmarshall Herman Goring bit on a glass potassium-cyanide capsule. ( it didn't give him bad breath, it killed him). Goring was convinced that the Allies would need him to control postwar Germany that he was surprised and indignant at the death sentence. The condemned prisoners were closely watched by guards so suicides couldn't happen. Even the furniture in their cells were made rickety so you couldn't stand upon it to hang yourself and guards looked in on you through a peephole every hour.

1946 Walt Disney’s film Make Mine Music premiered.

1950- THE WAKE ISLAND CONFERENCE- President Harry Truman flew to Wake Island to confer with General Douglas MacArthur about the Korean War. There was a story that MacArthur kept Truman waiting at the airport. This is incorrect, but he was disrespectful to his commander in chief in other ways, like neglecting to salute him and brushing off the President’s invitation to lunch.
When Truman asked MacArthur if there was any chance of the Red Chinese joining in the war, MacArthur assured him there was no possibility. This same day in Beijing Mao Tse Tung was ordering General Lin Piao to move 300,000 troops to Korea. At one point Truman and MacArthur joked about Dwight Eisenhower thinking he could run for president. Truman said Ike didn’t know anything about politics and his administration would be more corrupt than Ulysses Grants’. Eisenhower did win election and his two terms were well run and scandal free.

1951- THE FIRST I LOVE LUCY SHOW- The most successful family sitcom in history began its pilot episode this night. CBS and Phillip Morris had wanted Lucille Ball to transfer her popular radio show-“My Favorite Husband” to television. The story of the family life of Ricky Ricardo, a Cuban immigrant nightclub band leader, his daffy wife Lucy and their landlord friends Fred and Ethel Murtz became an overnight sensation.
The show was shot on film instead of live TV and it was produced in Los Angeles instead of New York City because Lucy and Dezi Arnez refused to relocate back east. The show also pioneered the three camera shooting system still used to day. When Lucille Ball was off being pregnant, the show proved re-runs could be just as popular as first time showings. The January 1953 episode of little Ricky’s birth drew more viewers than the inauguration of President Eisenhower.

1965- The first large scale peace protests over U.S. involvement in Vietnam began in Oakland California. David Miller is the first young man to burn his draft card, followed by many others. Chants of “One, Two, Three, Four, We don’t want your F**king War! Uncle Sam, Drop the Bomb! We Don’t Wanna Go to Nam!”

1969- THE MORATORIUM- 250,000 people gather in Washington to protest the War in Vietnam. Richard Nixon had run as a peace candidate but once in office escalated the Vietnam conflict to include Cambodia and Laos. President Nixon came to regard the young student protestors as the chief nemesis of his administration. In Chicago young student John Belushi was hit in the chest with a tear gas shell and had to be dragged to safety.

He appealed to the Silent Majority, staged stunts like the Hard Hat Luncheon-an event thrown for conservative construction workers. According to John Dean by 1971 Nixon had a bunker built under the executive offices where aide John Ehrlichman monitored protests from a battery of television monitors. Nixon stalwart G. Gordon Liddy pitched preposterous schemes like infiltrating the students with mercenaries who would at a signal beat up people, and strategic commando style kidnapping of protest leaders. These schemes were never implemented.

1970- Height of the Canadian October Crisis. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau sent in army troops into Quebec to quell separatist riots and arrest terrorists of the FLQ.

1976-What’s Love got to do with it?- Ike and Tina Turner break up.

1989- Wayne Gretsky surpassed Gordie Howe’s all time record of scored points in hockey-1,850. The Great One went on to set a new record of 2,837 points before his retirement.

1991- CLARENCE THOMAS- After weeks of bitter hearings Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court to take the seat of Civil Rights pioneer Thurgood Marshall. The Anti-Affirmative Action Black Republican’s appointment was challenged by allegations that he sexually harassed one of his female staff, a Professor named Anita Hill.

2003- On the anniversary of the Long March, Wang Lee Wei became the first Chinese astronaut to go into space.
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Yesterday’s question: Who is John Galt?

Answer: He was the hero of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. He doesn’t even appear in the first part of the book, as people ask Who is John Galt?


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