BACK to Blog Posts

Nov 13, 2015
November 13th, 2015

Question: What is a Sirocco, Mistral or Santa Anna?

Question: What was the first movie Steven Spielberg’s directed? Hint, it was made for TV.
___________________________________________________________
History for 11/13/2015
Birthdays: Saint Augustine 354 AD, King Edward III of England, Robert Louis Stephenson, Edwin Booth, Oskar Werner, Jean Seberg, Whoopi Goldberg- real name Karen Johnson is 59, Erte', Jack Elam, Judge Louis Brandeis (the first Jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice), Alexander Scourby, Hermoine Badderly, Eugene Ionesco, Garry Marshall is 81, Mel Stottlemyre, Joe Mantegna is 68, Jimmy Kimmel is 48, Gerald Butler is 46

In Ancient Rome, today was Epulium Jovis, or the Feast of Jupiter Reclining.

In London it is Lord Mayor’s Day

1749- The University of Pennsylvania, originally called the Franklin Institute is established as the first non-sectarian American college. See below 1874.

1789- Ben Franklin wrote " Nothing is certain except Death and Taxes."

1842- Lewis Carroll noted in his diary today:" Began writing the fairy tale of Alice. Hope to be done by Christmas.."

1861- THE TRENT AFFAIR- All through the American Civil War, Abe Lincoln's biggest fear, and Jefferson Davis’ greatest hope, was direct intervention of the great European powers. With England in Canada and France in Mexico and the British Navy ruling the seas, this was a real possibility. The British and French thought nothing of intervening in conflicts all over the world like the Greek Revolution or the war between Argentina and Uruguay. Almost as soon as the guns of Fort Sumter boomed, Emperor Napoleon III of France and the German Elector of Baden were offering their services as mediators.
On this day a U.S. Navy frigate fired on the British ship HMS Trent and removed from her two Confederate diplomats. Mason and Slidell were being sent as ambassadors to the Court of Saint James. They claimed diplomatic immunity, the U.S. said they were citizens in rebellion. London reacted to the insult to her flag with an explosion of war talk. General Garnet Woolsey volunteered to raise new regiments for an invasion of New York State via Canada. Abe Lincoln's reaction was "One War at a time." He apologized and offered reparations. On the other side Prince Albert helped keep the peace.

1868- Giacomo Rossini died at 68. He retired at 37 from performing and lived on royalties. It was said he became so lazy he laid about in bed all day. One day when writing a concerto his score dropped to the floor as he leaned over to fill his glass. Rather than bend down to pick it up he took a fresh sheet and wrote a sonata. He still could do a nice piece on occasion, like The Fantastic Toy Shop.

1874 -At the sesquicentennial celebrations of the University of Pennsylvania Robert Green invented the Ice Cream Soda.

1914- Clothing designer Carez Crosby took two handkerchiefs and some ribbon off some baby bonnets and invented the Brassiere.

1917- THE RUSSIAN CIVIL WAR- After Lenin’s Communist Party seized power in Saint Petersburg disaffected officers and businessmen fled to the edges of the Russian Empire to organize resistance to the new regime. This day some "White" soldiers under General Krasnoe skirmished with some of Trotsky’s Red Guards. These were the first shots of a bloody Civil War that would rage for 4 years and kill millions. After just completing a World War and two Revolutions, when she heard this news one Russian poet exclaimed : "Oh God, You Mean its Not Over?!"

1940- Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' opened. as Walt put it, "this'll make Beethoven!"
Frank Lloyd Wright's opinion was 'I love the visuals, but why did you use all that old music?"

1953- An Indiana Judge ordered his local school district to remove any school books with references to the character Robin Hood. All the "take from the rich and give to the poor" it was obvious to the judge that the medieval rogue of Sherwood Forest was a Communist.

1956- The Supreme Court declares Montgomery Alabama’s segregation laws involving interstate buses are unconstitutional.

1969- President Richard Nixon’s’ Vice President Spiro Agnew accused the national news media of bias and partisanship. He excoriates them as "Nattering nabobs of Negativism" and gained a reputation for pithy use of the language. In reality Nixon speechwriters William Safire and Pat Buchanan wrote all of Spiros’ best lines.
Up to then White House reporters were a compromising bunch when asked, winking at John Kennedy’s bimbos and Franklin Roosevelt’s wheelchair. But relations soured as Lyndon Johnson’s handling of the Vietnam War spiraled, then Richard Nixon’s paranoia led him to declare the press his enemy, and the press reacted in kind. You can date the birth of the modern rapacious, scandal obsessed press corps from this speech.

1970- A giant typhoon carrying 100 foot tidal waves smashed into Bangladesh, then called East Pakistan. 150,000 died.

1971- ABC TV. movie "the Duel" premiered. It starred Dennis Weaver as a hapless motorist on a lonely freeway menaced by an unseen truck driver. The movie was directed by a young protégé of Lew Wasserman, named Steven Spielberg.

1971- Walt Disney’s The Aristocats opened.

1974- Atomic plant worker Karen Silkwood was the first person to expose lax safety practices at the US nuclear power plants. For this she was rewarded with demotion, harassment, lawsuits. Even a radioactive isotope was put under her car seat. On this night she was finally killed in a car accident. She was on her way to talk to a New York Times reporter and it’s been alleged her car was deliberately run off the road. The files she was going to hand over to the press were taken from the car. The crash was ruled an accident.

1978- Mickey Mouse got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1986- President Ronald Reagan attempting to explain the festering Iran Contra Scandal said on nationwide TV:" We did not and I repeat did not…trade weapons or ransom for hostages, or would we ever." But that was exactly what he was doing.

1986- Directors John Huston, Martin Scorcese and Woody Allen denounced the fad promoted by Ted Turner of computer colorizing classic Black & White films like the Maltese Falcon. Supposedly one of the last things Orson Welles said on his deathbed was "Keep Ted Turner and his crayons away from my movies!"

1991- Disney's animated film Beauty and the Beast opened, the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

2001- President Bush issued an order that all people apprehended as terrorists would be tried by secret military commissions that dispense with our traditional American civil rights that we fought for in the Revolution. But he didn’t go as far as to call them prisoners of war, because then he could also ignore the Geneva Conventions.
======================================================
Yesterday’s Question: What was the first movie Steven Spielberg’s directed? Hint, it was made for TV.

Answer: The Duel. See above, 1971.


RSS