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Jan 22, 2015
January 22nd, 2015

Quiz: Why is a policeman called a cop?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Dracula’s historical name was Vlad the Impaler. What is an impaler?
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History for 1/22/2015
St. Vincents Day- "If Vincents Day be Rainy Weather, shall rain then 30 days together.”

Birthdays: Sir Francis Bacon, D.W. Griffith, Charles Gordon Lord Byron, August Strindberg, Andre Marie Ampere (electric Amps), 1960’s UN Secretary General U- Thant, Ann Southern, Sam Cooke, John Hurt is 75, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Seymour Cassell, Jim Jarmusch is 62, Linda Blair is 57, Piper Laurie is 83, Diane Lane is 50

1503- Pope Alexander VI Borgia has his enemy Cardinal Orsini poisoned while imprisoned in the Vatican.

1506- THE SWISS GUARDS. Many European monarchs hired foreign mercenaries to be their personal bodyguards. They were often more reliable than their own subjects. The most famous were the Swiss. While the Swiss home cantons stayed at peace, her hardy men hired out as mercenary troops all over Europe. Swiss were famous as incorruptible and tough warriors. This day the warrior Pope Julius II hired a troop of Swiss and had Michelangelo design their uniforms. The Swiss Guards still guard the Vatican today, and are still recruited in Switzerland.

1522- Andreas Carstadt, an early follower of Martin Luther, set a new precedent by being a priest who openly got married. He was forty, she was fifteen.

1552- Because Henry VIII’s child was only ten at the time of the old king’s death Edward Seymour the Duke of Somerset ruled England as regent-administrator. But Somerset’s rule was troubled with corruption and religious friction between Catholics and Protestants. His own brother Thomas Seymour the Lord High Admiral was executed for trying to become king. Somerset soon fell and was replaced by the Duke of Northumberland. He charged Somerset with treason based on evidence given by Sir Thomas Palmer. Today Somerset’s head was cut off. Later Northumberland and Palmer lost their heads too. They confessed on the scaffold that they had fabricated the charges against Somerset.

1555- THE FIRES OF SMITHFIELD. When Mary the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII became queen she at first tried to be lenient towards her Protestant subjects. But continuous plots by Protestant nobility and her own desire to restore England to the old faith hardened her heart. This day began the mass trials and executions of those accused of Protestant heresy. Six clergymen including the Bishop of Gloucester were sentenced and burned at the stake. Hundreds more would follow. Even Spanish King Philip II urged Mary to calm down. Mary’s executioners added a new twist to an old system of Burning at the Stake. Before lighting the bonfire a bag of gunpowder was stuffed between your legs so you could go out with a bang. Bloody Mary and her cruelty in the name of Roman Catholicism all but convinced the English people to stay Anglican.

1787- 17 year old French cadet named Napoleon Bonaparte, on furlough in Paris, wrote in his diary that after exhausting negotiations with a streetwalker he "…sampled the joys of Woman for the first time.." Today he’s do a Facebook post.

1840- The first English colonists reach New Zealand.

1863- THE MUD MARCH- Union General Ambrose Burnside (who created the fashion for "side-burns") tried to avenge his humiliating defeat at Fredericksburg by a winter march up the Rappahannock River to maneuver around Robert E. Lee. In so doing he discovered why all pre-industrial age armies took the winter off. Burnsides army was pelted by blinding sleet storms and bogged down in oceans of gooey mud. When Burnside finally called it quits he had as many casualties from sickness as if had he fought a battle. A bitter army joke based on a children’s prayer went:
"Now I lay me down to Sleep, In mud that’s eighteen fathoms Deep."
"If you can’t see me when we Awake, please dig me up with an oyster Rake."

1879-Battle of ISHANDLWANA- The worst defeat ever inflicted by native peoples on a modern western army. The British thought they were brushing out of the way just another African spear throwing tribe when they attacked the Zulu Empire. They were unconcerned that the Zulu marched in regiments -impis, had generals -indunas and practiced strategy and tactics. A Zulu impi was trained to run in tight formation for 20 miles barefoot then fight a battle. Lord Chelmsford had invaded Zululand searching for the Zulu army when he was tricked by a simple diversion into dividing his forces. The Zulu then flanked Chelmsford’s force in a maneuver Napoleon would have admired, fell on his camp and wiped out two regiments of the 24th Welch Fusiliers.
It was a massacre similar to Custer at the Little Big Horn.

Lord Chelmsford and his staff were eating lunch several miles away when an aide noticed in his telescope flashing and running around the base camp. Lord Chelmsford dismissed it as nothing but sent a courier to investigate. The courier at first saw men in red coats and white pith helmets walking amongst the tents. As he got closer he noticed that they all had black faces.

1901- Queen Victoria died after a reign of 64 years, the longest ever for a British monarch. When she assumed the throne at age 19 in 1837 there were still many alive who remembered the Battle of Waterloo and white periwigs. She died in a world of electric lights, telephones, autos and motion pictures. The current Queen Elizabeth II has to reign ten more years to catch her. A month ago in Dec 2014, the last English person born in Queen Victoria’s reign died. She was 114.

1912- The first bridgeway connecting Key West and the Florida Keys opened.

1912- U.S. Marines occupied the Chinese city of Tientsin to "protect American commercial interests".

1918- A Manitoba judge tries to outlaw movie comedies, because they tend to make the public "too frivolous".

1930- Work began on the foundation of the Empire State Building in New York.

1938- On a bare stage, Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town premiered.

1939- At Columbia University for the first time scientists split an Uranium atom.

1944-Argentine Colonel Juan Peron first met radio actress Eva Duarte or Evita.

1944- ANZIO- The Allied armies advancing up the Italian boot had been fought to a standstill by fierce German resistance around Monte Cassino north of Naples -the Gustav Line. So the decision was made to amphibiously land a large invasion force in the rear of the German army with the intention of taking Rome. They completely surprised the enemy and their scouts reported the road into Rome was wide open. But the American commander General Lucas hesitated.

In the meantime the Germans recovered and rushed up elite SS divisions that turned the battle into a bloody stalemate. Churchill said: "I thought we were hurling a wildcat onto the shore, but all we got was a beached whale !" Instead of two days, the allies didn’t take Rome until June 4th, five months later.

1947- Hollywood first commercial television station KTLA went on the air for regular broadcasting. At the time in all of LA there were only 350 TV sets.

1949- Mao Tse Tung (MaoZseDong) and the Communists capture Peking (Beijing).

1949-Tex Avery’s cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie".

1950- Preston Tucker tried to compete with the big auto giants like Ford and Chrysler with his revolutionary designed Tucker Automobile. But the giants bogged him down in court with charges of fraud. This day he was acquitted of all charges but the legal expenses ruined him. Only 40 Tuckers were ever made. Francis Ford Coppola made a movie about his life.

1951- During Winter baseball tryouts a promising young left-handed pitcher from Cuba was scouted by the New York Yankees. But after losing a game for the Washington Senators and getting dropped from their roster he gave up on pro-sports to pursue other careers- Fidel Castro.

1954- The Los Angeles Fire Department is ordered by federal courts to integrate.

1968-T.V. comedy review show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In premiered. It launched the careers of Lilly Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan. You bet your sweet Bippy!

1972- In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, rocker David Bowie outed himself and said he was gay. Technically he would be bi-sexual since his wife Angela did catch him in bed with Bianca Jagger.

1973- While President Richard Nixon celebrated his second inaugural with a concert, Leonard Bernstein conducted a Concert for Peace at the Washington Cathedral. While Nixon’s orchestra played his favorite classical piece Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812 with real cannons, Bernstein played Haydn’s Mass in a Time of War to 15,000 people against the War in Vietnam.

1973- The Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision 7-2 legalizing abortion. Before 1880 most abortion practices were legal, they were referred to as "quickening". The first prohibitions were more about banning dangerous quack drugs used in the process.

1975- Hollywood agents Ron Meyer and Michael Ovitz leave William Morris and form the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA.

1977-The day after his inauguration President Jimmy Carter was shown the first pictures from the KH-11, the first imaging orbital spy satellite. An American mole sold the technology to the Russian KGB a year later and soon France, Britain and Israel had spy satellites in orbit.

1984- Amazon Indians attack an oil drilling crew with blowguns.

1984- Apple releases the Macintosh I personal computer.
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Yesterday’s Question: Dracula’s historical name was Vlad the Impaler. What is an impaler?

Answer: Vlad Dracul of Wallachia ( A state in Romania) adopted the Turkish punishment of hammering the equivalent of a sharpened flagpole up your butt, then would stand it up. The victim didn’t always die immediately. Vlad impaled thousands of people, then would set a table and enjoy lunch beneath their quivering bodies.


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