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Jan 26, 2015 mon
January 26th, 2015

Quiz: What Russian city today was the site of the famous Battle of Stalingrad?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: The Russian city of St Petersburg had a different name during the Soviet era. What was it?
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History for 1/26/2015
Birthdays: First Lady Julia Dent Grant, General Douglas MacArthur, Stephan Grappelli, Angela Davis, Maria Von Trapp, Wayne Gretsky "The Great One" is 53, Eartha Kitt, Paul Newman, Roger Vadim, Jules Feiffer is 86, Henry Jaglom, Anita Baker, Edward Abbey, Gene Siskel, Scott Glenn, David Straitharn, Randy Rhodes, Ellen DeGeneres is 57

404 A.D.-Today is the Feast of Saint Paula, who built the first abbey and monastery where all the monks and nuns wore identical uniform sackcloth, demonstrating that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

1500- Captain Vincente Pinzon, who had once commanded the Nina for Columbus, discovered the coast of Brazil while serving the Portuguese navy.

1758 - French troops burn at the stake the Haitian rebel slave leader Mackandal. A practitioner of Voodoo, his followers believed that at the moment of death he transformed himself into a mosquito and brought the Yellow Fever sickness to kill the Europeans. Haitian Independence was achieved a generation later under Toussaint l'Overture and Dessalines. Mackandal's dance, done at all his rallies and voodoo religious ceremonies was the 'marenga".

1787- SHAY’S REBELLION- Just four years after the Revolution, New England farmers rebelled against unfairly heavy taxes and a confused local government. Daniel Shays led 1,200 Massachusetts farmers in an attack on an armory that quickly fell apart, but the shock of the incident scared the Founding Fathers to convene a special Constitutional Convention to create a stronger central government.

1788-AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL DAY.- A small fleet of ships carrying 700 convicts and 200 soldiers and families lands in Australia at Sydney Cove. The aboriginal people met them on the beach with calls of "Warra-warra!" which means "Go Away!" Eventually 50,000 convicts were sent there. After a century Australians began to form their unique character. The Aussie nickname name for British people is Poms or Pommies. This was for the initials printed on British prison shirts POM- or Prisoner Of his Majesty. Another version has it that British sailors regularly picked the pomegranate trees clean of fruit to ward off scurvy.

1799- Thomas Jefferson wrote to Eldrige Gerry “I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.”

1815- Congress votes to purchase Thomas Jefferson's book collection to replace the fledgling Library of Congress that was burnt by the British in the War of 1812.

1837- Michigan became a state.

1875- Late at night, Pinkerton detectives on the trail of Jesse James threw a bomb into the window of the James family home. The explosion killed Jesses’ 18 year old retarded stepbrother who had nothing to do with the outlaws, and blew the right arm off his mother. The James Gang were nowhere near the farm that night.

1884- Khartoum falls to the forces of Sudanese messianic leader El Mahdi. The Liberal Government of William Gladstone had sent the famous Victorian general Charles 'Chinese' Gordon to oversee the British evacuation of the Sudan. Gordon was a courageous eccentric who instead of evacuating the Sudan barricaded himself into it's capitol Khartoum and resolved to fight to the end. "We are all pianos" he once said:" And events play upon us".

1911- Richard Strauss’ opera Die Rosenkavalier opens in Vienna. Kaiser Wilhelm was offended by the E.T. Hoffman story about aristocrats sleeping around with their servants. He called it "A dirty little play".

1924- The Russian city of Saint Petersburg was also called Petrograd. This day the Bolshevik Government changed its name in honor of Lenin to Leningrad. In 1991 they changed the name back to Saint Petersburg.

1934- Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn bought the rights to L. Frank Baum’s book the Wonderful Wizard of Oz to develop into a movie.

1939- Generalissimo Franco’s Fascist troops capture Barcelona, winning the Spanish Civil War.

1939- The first day of shooting on the film Gone With the Wind.

1950- In India today is Constitution Day, when the Indian Constitution went into effect.

1962- Mob boss Charles Lucky Lucciano dropped dead of a heart attack at Naples airport as he was about to shake hands with an author who had arrived from the U.S. to write his biography. Lucky Lucciano was the criminal genius that converted gangsters from storefront street gangs to corporate syndicates with ties to legitimate business and government. He also helped the Italian-Sicilian system of La Mafia- family clan allegiance and code of honor, to supplant the other Irish-Jewish gangsters. Lucky was deported to Italy in the 1950’s and retired when his appeals to return were denied.

1967- THE BIG SNOW- The people of Chicago pride themselves on their ability to handle the toughest winters. But this day was one of the worst- 23 inches of snow in 27 hours, driven by 50 mile an hour cyclonic winds brought the city to a total standstill.

1979- Former Vice President of the United States, Nelson Rockefeller, was found dead in his office" en flagrante delicto" with Meghan Marshak, his young director of the Rockefeller Foundation. His second wife Happy Rockefeller had also been one of his office staff once. The method of the 70-year-old billionaire’s death was an open secret in New York City. The legend was fueled by the fact that Ms. Marshak's first call was not to 911 or the cops, but to her friend, local TV newswoman, Ponchitta Pierce. Pierce made the call to summon help nearly an hour after Rocky was cold.
I had a friend at art school at the time who was a receptionist for a Park Ave. doctor who was Rocky's physician. She said the paramedics found him with his pants down but his tie still in place. His will left $50,000 and a Manhattan townhouse to Ms Marshak.

1979- The Dukes of Hazard TV show premiered.

1983- The software LOTUS 1-2-3 premiered that helped make IBM’s PC into the most popular business computers in the US.

1984-HELP ME TITO! During the filming of a Pepsi commercial at LA’s Shrine Auditorium, a magnesium flash ignited singer Michael Jackson’s Jeri curl hair gel causing him 3rd degree burns,

1988- Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Phantom of the Opera premiered.

1996- First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies to a grand jury, the first "first lady" to do so. The only earlier incident that comes to mind for me was in 1862 when a senate committee convened to investigate whether Mary Todd Lincoln was a Confederate spy.

1998- The Japanese town of Ito was attacked by berserk monkeys, injuring 26.
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Yesterday’s question: The Russian city of St Petersburg had a different name during the Soviet era. What was it?

Answer: Leningrad.


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