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Nov 21, 2015
November 21st, 2015

Question: In Flanders Fields the poppies grow…Where is Flanders?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does it mean to take umbrage? Do you have to give it back?
History for 11/21/2015
Birthdays: Francios Arouet called Voltaire, Marlo Thomas is 77, Adolphe Marx called Harpo, Colman Hawkins, Stan ' The Man' Musial, Tom Horn, Pope Benedict XlV, Earl the Pearl Monroe, Harold Ramis, Rene Magritte, Goldie Hawn is 70, Dr. John (born Malcolm Rebennack), Mariel Hemingway, Troy Aikman, Bjork is 50

53BC- Marcus Licinius Crassus, the Roman consul who conquered Spartacus, doesn’t do as well with the Parthians in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Today he was captured in battle. Well known as a millionaire, the Parthians killed him by pouring molten gold down his throat. Then his body dragged by a chariot, then stuffed and mounted in the temple of victories.

1620- THE PILGRIMS LAND AT PLYMOUTH ROCK- Legend has it Mary Chilton and John Alden were the first ones to set foot upon The New World. The English religious sect after first leaving England had lived in Utrecht. But the Dutch couldn't stand them either. They had set sail for Virginia but bad weather had blown them to the coast of Massachusetts. The area they were settling was some of the most densely populated Indian land in North America, but the smallpox spread by preceding European explorers had decimated the tribes, leaving entire villages empty. When the Pilgrims saw this they held a thanksgiving service in honor of: "He who prepares a way for His people by sweeping away the heathen."

The Plymouth Rock enshrined in modern Plymouth was identified in 1677 by an elderly survivor of the landing, as the huge rock escarpment they landed on. The city fathers tried to pry it loose but only a little chunk broke off. That’s why the current enshrined Plymouth Rock looks pretty small for a big ship to park on.

1718- BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE KILLED. William Teech from Bristol had served on privateers fighting the French. When the war was over he went into business for himself. He grew a huge black beard, which he tied lit cannon fuses into the ringlets to scare people. This day two sloops of Royal Marines sent from Virginia colony led by a Lieutenant Maynard RN, boarded Blackbeard’s ship when she ran aground on the coast of North Carolina. The fighting was all hand to hand. Blackbeard went down after he was shot five times and slashed with cutlasses 25 times. Blackbeard had stationed a boy with a lit match in the powder magazine, with orders to blow everything to hell the moment the battle was lost, but the boy was killed before he could accomplish his task. After the battle Lt. Maynard found papers proving the Royal Governors of Bermuda and North Carolina were receiving bribes from the pirate for safe harbor. Blackbeard’s head was cut off and hung it from the bowsprit for the trip home. They threw the rest of his corpse into the ocean where legend says it swam around the ship once before sinking.

1774- Sir Robert Clive had won the great Battle of Plassey that had won India for the British Empire and avenged the Black Hole of Calcutta. But like every general since Scipio Africanis would discover, success in battle breeds jealousy at home. His London enemies pushed lawsuits alleging he used his power in Bengal to embezzle riches. Although he was acquitted of every charge the experience broke his spirit. This day high on opium he committed suicide.

1794- Honolulu Harbor discovered by British explorers.

1812- During Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow Marshal Ney and his III Corps were given the assignment of protecting the rearguard of the army. This meant fighting off five pursuing Russian armies and hordes of marauding Cossacks while trying not to freeze to death in the subzero cold. Ney became the soul of the retreat. Every morning when men wanted to lie still in the snow and die, they would feel his boot in their backs, shouting, cursing, encouraging them to get up and live another day. He cold-shaved with snow every morning. On November 17th he was cut off from the main army and surrounded. Russian General Miloradovich offered surrender terms, but Ney refused.” A Marshal of France Never Surrenders!” Leaving dummy campfires, Ney marched east and up around the Russian armies until this day he fought his way back to Napoleons main force. Of 10,000 effectives he now had barely 900 left. Napoleon called Ney “The Bravest of the Brave.”

1818- Since annexing Poland and the Ukraine, the Czar of Russia also governed the largest grouping of Jews in the world. This day Jews petitioned Czar Alexander 1st for a homeland in Palestine. The Czar said he would consider it, then ignored their request.

1852- The Methodist Congregation of Randolph County North Carolina charted a school called the Union Institute later renamed Trinity College. In 1924 a man named James B. Duke gave the school $20 million bucks, so they renamed it Duke University.

1864- THE BIXBY LETTER- President Abe Lincoln was moved to write a Massachusetts mother upon learning she had lost 5 sons in the Civil War. It is one of the most eloquent examples of presidential prose. “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” The original of the letter had never been found. Mrs Bixby was not a Lincoln supporter, and may have destroyed it. It later turned out only two of her sons were killed. Two others were POWs and another a deserter.

1871-The cigar lighter patented by Moses Gale.

1916- During World War I the hospital ship HMS Britannic struck a German mine in the Aegean Sea, and sank killing 30 people. What makes this sinking stand out, is that Britannic was the sister ship of HMS Titanic, that sank in 1912.

1920- Bloody Sunday- In Dublin IRA chief Michael Collins sent out his best assassination squad, nicknamed the Twelve Apostles. In the early morning they rounded up 20 of the top British counter terrorist police inspectors, nicknamed the Cairo Gang, and executed them. In some cases they forced the inspectors wives to watch their husbands die. In retaliation, the British paramilitaries called the Black & Tans entered a soccer stadium with an armored car during a match, and opened fire on the players and fans with machine guns. 25 innocent people were cut down.

1933- Film director Frank Capra went to Claudette Colbert’s home to talk her into delaying her holiday vacation long enough to star with Clark Gable in “It Happened One Night”. Colbert said she would only do it for double her normal salary and if they would be done by Dec 23rd so she could spend Christmas with friends at Squaw Valley Idaho.
They made the picture on a rush, and Colbert later told her friends:” I just finished the worst picture in the world!” It Happened One Night” became a big hit for Capra, Columbia and is one of Colbert’s most memorable performances.

1934- Cole Porter's musical 'Anything Goes!' opened on Broadway. Ethel Merman starring, In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked upon as somewhat shocking. Now Heaven knows- Anything Goes!”

1942- Warner's "A Tale of Two Kitties" the first Tweety Pie. I tawt I taw a puddy cat !

1946- Harry Truman became the first president to go underwater in a submarine.

1959- The day after he was fired WABC radio, DJ Alan Freed refused to sign a statement that he never received cash payments or payola to run Rock & Roll records on the air, which is exactly what he did.

1959- Jack Benny with his violin played a duet with Vice President Richard Nixon on piano.

1963- President John F. Kennedy and Jackie fly into San Antonio for a swing through Texas to gather support for a possible re-election run. Tomorrow would take them to Houston for breakfast then through Dallas....

1963- U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge III decided enough is enough. He started off to Washington to advise President Kennedy that involvement in the Vietnam War was pointless and the U.S. should pull all forces out. Kennedy in several memos had been leaning towards a pullout but a week earlier had ordered troop strength boosted. When Lodge arrived in Hawaii next day he got the news from Dallas.....

1963- Robert Stroud, the 'Birdman of Alcatraz' died behind bars at 73. Jailed in 1916 for murdering a man who beat up his girlfriend, he spent 54 years in prison, 42 in solitary confinement. His study of birds enabled him to become an expert in bird diseases, he wrote three books. Burt Lancaster played him in the movies as a tragic hero, but those who knew him said he was a morose psychopath who stabbed another inmate and murdered a guard. He was known to shave off all his body hair and drink alcohol distilled from the birdseed admirers sent him. His own mother hoped he'd never be paroled.

1964- The Verrazano Narrows Bridge opens in New York Harbor. I remember the first person through the gate was a motorcyclist who "popped a Wheelie" and tried to cross the bridge balanced on his back tire.

1967- US commanding General William Westmoreland announced that the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were losing the Vietnam War. Two months later US forces were attacked on all sides by the massive Tet Offensive.

1980- “The Who Shot J.R.?” episode of the TV show Dallas.

1980- Australian Olivia Newton John’s disco anthem to aerobic exercise “Let’s Get Physical ” goes to number one of the pop charts and stays there for ten weeks.

1985- Jonathan Pollard, a Navy research analyst was arrested for compromising US security and passing intelligence to Israel. After serving 34 years in prison, he was released just yesterday.

1989- Junk bond king Michael Milken pleads guilty to insider stock trading and 98 counts of fraud. He now does lectures on ethics in business.

2008- Walt Disney’s film Bolt premiered.

Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to take umbrage? Do you have to give it back?

Answer: Taking umbrage means to be offended, insulted, or resentful.