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January 29, 2015 thur
January 29th, 2015

Quiz: What world leader allowed close friends to call him Comrade Kobal?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What political group cherishes the name of an old fishing tub called The Granma?
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History for 1/29/2015
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Didius Julianus, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Thomas Paine, William Claude Dunkenfeld known as W.C. Fields, Victor Mature, Paddy Chayefsky, Tom Selleck is 70, Ed Burns, Bill Peet, Greg Louganis, John D Rockefeller Jr., Claudine Longet, John Horsely (1817) the inventor of the Christmas Card-1842*, Oprah Winfrey is 61, Heather Graham is 45.

*Horsley was a Victorian artist at the Royal Academy in London who refused to draw nudes because it offended his morality. This earned him the nickname- Clothes Horsely.

282BC- Death of Pharoah Ptolomey II Philadelphus.

1728-At this time all the rage in London was Italian Opera based on adaptations of Greek Mythology sung by castrated male sopranos. This day John Gay and Johann Pepuschs THE BEGGARS OPERA was first produced in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The play was a sensation because it was an opera in English using popular tunes of the time and told the story not of gods or noble heroes, but highwaymen, bawdy girls and innkeepers. Considered the first true musical.

1775-the COCKPIT TAVERN, or BEN GETS his ASS CHEWED- Benjamin Franklin was postmaster general of the American Colonies and was feeling pretty good about his ability to represent American interests in London. He successfully argued the American's opposition to the Stamp Tax in the House of Commons. He offered to pay back exporters who lost money from the Boston Tea Party.

On this day he was invited to the Cockpit Tavern for what he thought was a private meeting. He was ushered into a room where he faced a delegation from the Royal Privy Council. The ministers spent the next 4 hours dressing him down. The Lord Chief Justice finished by shouting in 70 year old Ben’s face:" Spy, Traitor, Rebel, Thief! " He was fired as postmaster and ordered home to America before they clapped him in prison. Ben Franklin entered the tavern a loyal subject, and left a committed revolutionary.

1813- Jane Austin’s novel Pride and Prejudice first published.

1820- After spending the last ten years of his long reign as a blind insane shut-in, King George III died at age 82. His son the Prince Regent finally became King George IV. Americans remember George III as the tyrant of the Revolution, but Britons truly loved their old monarch and his simple family-man tastes. While his German grandfather George II was barely mourned at all, all the Empire lamented the passing of Old Shopkeeper George.

1834- President Andrew Jackson sent U.S. troops to shoot at striking workers at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project. It was the first but sadly not the last time Federal troops were used to "settle" a labor strike with guns.

1842- The Republic of Texas authorized the raising of a company of rangers to keep the peace- the Texas Rangers. Stephen Austin had commissioned rangers as early as 1833, but from this date on their regular service began.

1845- Edgar Allen Poe's poem the Raven first published. Nevermore.

1861- Since Kansas Territory was going to be organized as a state slaveholders and union men fought over whether she would be a free or slave state. Ten years later as the Civil War was breaking out Kansas announced statehood- as a free state.

1886-In Karlsruhe Germany, Dr. Karl Benz patented the internal combustion engine. To prevent gasoline explosions it utilized a fuel distribution system based on a ladies perfume atomizer spray ( the carburetor ). He called his horseless carriage at first a Motorvagen, but later names it after his partner Godfried Daimler’s daughter, Mercedes.

1891 After the death of King David IV Kalakoua, Lilioukalani was proclaimed Queen of Hawaii. Besides being the last monarch of Hawaii, Lilioukalani composed the song "Aloha-Oi, Aloha-Oi, Until we meet Again."

1918- The new Bolshevik revolutionary government ordered the immediate demobilization of the Russian Army, preparatory for pulling out of World War I. After Civil War broke out Leon Trotsky began to form a new army of Communist volunteers, the Red Army.

1920- Walt gets a job. Nineteen year old Walt Disney and his buddy Ub Iwerks were hired by a local Kansas City Slide Company to draw ads for newspapers and slides for theaters.

1935- The first inductees to the new Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown announced- Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson. Hall of Fame dedication ceremony was on June 12th 1939.

1936- Dictator Benito Mussolini lays the first stone of Cinecitta’ Movie Studios.

1943- Fredrich Von Paulus was the commander of the German Sixth Army, now totally surrounded at Stalingrad. The few survivors were huddled in basements in the destroyed city, freezing, starving and being wiped out by superior Russian forces. Paulus and his men prayed for a miracle to save them. This day he heard via radio that Adolf Hitler had promoted him to Field Marshal, with a suggestion that no German Field Marshal should ever be taken alive…..

1943- The Nazi Gestapo arrested serial killer Bruno Ludke. Ludke admitted to killing 85 people and committing unnatural acts with their remains. Ludke was sent to a Vienna hospital for medical experiments, then executed in a concentration camp in 1944.

1944- DARBY’S RANGERS were an elite American commando unit trained for the toughest assignments, the forerunners of the Green Berets and Delta Forces. On this day the bungling generals of the Anzio beachhead sent them into a suicidal battle at the Italian town of Cisterna. Germans were had anticipated the attack and set a trap. 761 rangers went in, 6 came out. Colonel Darby himself survived the battle, but was killed two days before the World War II ended.

1957- Patsy Cline recorded "Walkin' After Midnight."

1959- Disney's " SLEEPING BEAUTY " opened. Despite earning the fifth highest box office for that year, it finished $5 million behind what it cost to make. The animation staff had swollen to it's largest to finish the production. It’s disappointing box office soured Walt Disney on feature animation. After the film was finished the studio had a massive layoff, dropping from 551 to just 75. Staff level will not return to these same levels until 1990.

1964- Stanley Kubrick's nuclear comedy "DR STRANGLOVE –OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB." premiered. It's use of hand held camera for action sequences and cutting inspired by the European New Wave ushered in a new style in Hollywood cinema. So, who was Tracey Reed? She played Miss Scott, George C. Scott’s bikini clad secretary, and the only woman in the entire movie.

1975- The Weather Underground set off a bomb in the US State Department. They were a violent offshoot of the Student Anti-Vietnam War protest movement,

1977- Comic TV. star of "Chico and the Man " Freddy Prinze (23) blew his brains out. Some said he suffered from a survivor's depression about why he had succeeded in life while all his friends from the Barrio were dead from gang killings or drugs. Family members said that he was just stoned on Quaaludes and was clowning around with a gun.

1979- President Jimmy Carter commuted the jail sentence of Patty Hearst.

1986- The National Geographic Society announced the discovery of the largest fossil find in North America. Estimated 10,000 fossilized remains in Nova Scotia They include penny sized dinosaur footprints, the smallest ever found. Best guess are they are from the Triassic-Jurassic boundary – a time of mass extinction.

2002-THE AXIS OF EVIL- In his State of the Union speech President George W. Bush coined the term " The Axis of Evil". He labeled as members Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Iran is a Shiite religious theocracy, Iraq a Sunnite secular fascist dictatorship and North Korea an atheistic Communist state- all with nothing in common and little mutual contact. The speechwriter originally wrote "Axis of Hate" but the Bush people like the Good vs. Evil thing. They also substituted North Korea for Libya because they wanted one non-Moslem power included, so they didn’t want to seem biased.

We recently learned from a retired CIA operative that up till now Iran had actually been cooperating with the USA in rounding up Al Qaeda agents. After 9-11 Iran arrested 16 Al Qaeda operatives. At the request of the US, they handed them over to Saudi Arabia, who promptly let them all go. But after the speech, the Iranians broke off all contact. An Iranian diplomat complained’ We feel like we’ve been slapped in the face.”
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Yesterday’s Question: What political group cherishes the name of an old fishing tub called The Granma?

Answer: In 1959, Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and Che Guevara’s core band of guerrillas all fit on a leaky rented boat called the Granma, to sneak from Mexico into Cuba.


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