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jan 8, 2015
January 8th, 2015

Question: What does it mean to be taciturn?

Answer to yesterdays question below: Why is going to prison called being “sent up the river”?
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History for 1/8/2015
Birthdays: Elvis Presley would have been 80, Robert Schumann, Jose Ferrer, Shirley Bassey, Peter Arno, Yvette Mimieux, Larry Storch is 92, John Nierhardt, Bruce Sutter, Charles Osgood, Gen. James Longstreet, publisher Frank Doubleday, Steven Hawkings is 73, Saheed Jafray is 86, Soupy Sales, David Bowie is 68

Today is the Feast day of St. Severinus of Noricum, one of the first missionaries to the pagan Austrians 482 AD.

794AD The great monastery of Lindisfarne was sacked by Vikings.

871- Battle of Ashdown- English warriors of Wessex defeated a large force of Vikings led by Halfdan the Black, Bacsecg and Ivar the Boneless. On the English side under his brother King Ethlered, was future king Alfred the Great.

1297-MONACO FORMED- Francois the Cunning was the leader of the Grimaldis, a prominent Genoese clan. On this day he disguised himself as a monk and sneaked into Monaco castle where he stabbed the guards, then opened the gate for his troops. The Grimaldis became Princes of Monaco in 1659. In 1851 Prince Charles III Grimaldi opened the first gambling casino. In gratitude of it's success, the people named the hill town they lived in Mount Charles, or Monte Carlo. The Grimaldi family still rule Monaco today under their present Grimaldi- Prince Albert Raynier II.

1642- Astronomer Galileo Galilei died at 77 of 'slow fever'. After being forced by the Holy Inquisition to recant his support of the theories of Copernicus in 1616, he lived under a loose house arrest. He became blind, but he played his lute and still published scientific papers smuggled out to be printed in Holland. Other great thinkers like English poet John Milton could visit him.

The Church admitted in 1837 that he may have been right about the Earth going around the Sun. The Vatican originally refused to allow him to be buried in consecrated ground, but relented in 1727 and he was moved to the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. During the move someone cut off three of his fingers for souvenirs. Two of the fingers were eventually recovered and his middle finger is displayed in the Florentine Museum of Science. It is displayed in the upright position.

Jan 8, 1654- Hetman of the Ukraine Bogdan Khmeilnitski pledged loyalty the Russian Czar in Moscow. The wild steppes between the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia, the Tatars of the Crimea and the Turkish Ottoman Empire was a refuge for runaways and fringe folks much like the American West or the Australian Outback. These Cossacks formed communities adopting Tartar customs and a fierce sense of independence. Khemilnitski tapped into this independent streak to unite these disparate groups and used them to drive out their Polish Catholic overlords. He ruled the Ukraine like Oliver Cromwell in England. After several major wars maintaining a balance between the Poles, Turks and Russians, Khmeilnitski decided to throw in his lot with Moscow.

After Bogdan’s death, the furious Poles dug up his grave and threw his bones to the dogs, but the deed was done. The Ukraine and the Voivode of Ruthenia (Moldova-Byloruss) would stay a part of Russia until 1989. Even today they are arguing in the Ukraine whether to stay close to Russia or Western Europe.

1675- The first American Corporation chartered- The New York Fish Company.

1705- George Frederich Handel’s first opera Almira opened.

1790- George Washington starts a custom of the President delivering an annual speech reporting on the nation's progress in the past year, later known as the State of the Union Address.

1815 "In Eighteen Fifteen we took a little Trip. With Colonel Andy Jackson down the Mighty Missa-sipp" BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS. The last engagement of the War of 1812 and the last battle ever fought between Britons and Americans was actually fought AFTER the peace treaty had been signed. While the battle was raging, the news of the peace treaty was still crossing the Atlantic.

General Andrew Jackson ( the fellow on your twenty dollar bill ) had a pathological hatred of anything English. When he heard of their landing, he roared: "By Eternal God I will not have them sleeping on our soil!" He told the terrified New Orleanaise -still more French than American, that he would defend their city to the last, then burn it to the ground.

At Chalumette plantation, the redcoats were met by Jackson's ragtag force of regulars, militia, Jean Lafitte's pirates, Cherokees and slaves, dug-in in a dry canal. Interestingly enough, the slaves proved to be the deadliest shots. Many slave families were denied meat for their diet. One or two men a family were allowed to keep a bird rifle to bring home small game. To them bullets were precious, so they learned to make every shot count. At Chalumette they were given Kentucky long rifles with a range accuracy 300 yds. to the British "Brown Bess" musket 's 150 yds. The British grand assault never got within range before they were annihilated. It was all over in half an hour.

Their commander Sir Edward Packenham, was a brother-in-law to the Duke of Wellington. Wellington himself declined the American command as being militarily impractical. Had the Iron Duke accepted he might have beat Jackson but would certainly have missed the Waterloo Campaign. Sir Edward Packenham caught a bullet between the eyes legend has it fired by a slave child. His body was shipped back to England sealed in a rum barrel. During the voyage home the barrels were mixed up and Sir Edward was tapped for the sailor’s rum rations. Even his officers toasted his memory unknowingly with the same rum. Upon arriving at Portsmouth his lordship had been reduced to brown sludge. EEwwwww!!

1853- The equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson unveiled in Lafayette Park in Washington D.C.

1856- Borax discovered in the California desert by Dr John Veatch. Now where’s that 20 mule team?

1877- Battle of the Tongue River. US Cavalry under General Nelson Miles surprise-attacked Crazy Horse’s winter camp in a Montana snowstorm.

1889- Herman Hollerith received a patent for the electronic counting machine. The machine fed numbers onto punch cards and was used in the U.S. census of 1890. In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company, which later was renamed International Business Machines or IBM.

1904- Pope Pius X banned women wearing low cut dresses in front of clergy.

1916- The British Navy withdrew their forces from the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

1918- THE FOURTEEN POINTS- President Woodrow Wilson had pondered the reason why the world had torn itself apart in World War I. He had his aide Colonel House chair a committee of top intellectuals and jurists called the Inquiry. They came up with Fourteen Points for lasting world peace. It asked for new ideas like people should be allowed to decide what government controlled them, and freedom of the seas.

Wilson made it the cornerstone of his foreign policy, and airplanes dropped printed leaflets on the Germans. England & France were willing to use the document as propaganda, but were not interested in its ideas. French Premier Clemencau said:" God gave us Ten Commandments and we broke them. Wilson now gives us Fourteen Points. We will see."

1959- Charles DeGaulle returned to power as President of the Fifth French Republic.

1962- The Mona Lisa traveled to America and went on display today at the National Gallery in Washington. It was loaned in a deal brokered by Jackie Kennedy and French cultural minister Andre Malreaux

1964- President Lyndon B. Johnson declared his War on Poverty campaign.

1973- Carly Simon got a gold record for "You’re So Vain". Supposedly it was about her agent, David Geffen.

1992- At a state dinner in Tokyo, President George H.W. Bush Sr. vomited onto the lap of Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone in front of press cameras. There is now a word in Japanese- BUSHURU, meaning to throw up on the person next to you.

2002- Pres George W. Bush Jr. signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law.

2011- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was holding an informal town hall meeting, when a lunatic named Gerald Loughner pulled out a gun and started firing. He killed six including an 8 year old girl, and wounded 13. Rep Giffords, shot in the head, barely survived.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is going to prison called being “sent up the river”?

Answer: The largest prison in the New York City area was Sing-Sing Penitentiary, in the town of Ossning, New York. Up the (Hudson) river from NYC.


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