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Feb 6, 2016
February 6th, 2016

Question: What is an oenophile? Can it get you arrested?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What was Operation Rolling Thunder? (Hint: Vietnam War)
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History for 2/6/2016
Birthdays: Christopher Marlowe, Eva Braun, Ronald Reagan, Francois Truffaut, Babe Ruth, Elias Disney- Walt’s dad, Bob Marley, Queen Anne Ist of England, Aaron Burr, Robert Townsend, Mike Farrell, Tom Brokaw, Mike Maltese, Haskel Wexler, Axel Rose, Patrick McKnee- Mr Steed of the Avengers, Thurl Ravenscroft the voice of Tony the Tiger, Marty Sklar, Kathy Naijimy is 59, Rip Torn is 85, Zsa Zsa Gabor is 99

46BC- Julius Caesar defeated Cleopatra’s brother Ptolomey IX at the Battle of Thapsus. Ptolomey was found floating face down in a swamp.

1481- The first public burnings of heretics by the Spanish Inquisition. Six men and women were marched out to a public square in Seville and burned at the stake. The executions soon took on a pageant like atmosphere and were called the Auto-da-fe’, an Act of Faith.

1671- Young John Churchill, the future Duke of Marlborough, was wounded in a duel with a man named Pfenning. At the time he was the lover of the beautiful Barbera Villars the Duchess of Cleveland, who was also the mistress of King Charles II. Marlborough once had to leap out of Ms. Villars bedroom window when he heard the king at the door. At the king’s suggestion Barbara Villars was the model for the woman in the Greek helmet with trident & shield, symbolizing Britannia.

1778-The Kingdom of France signed an alliance with the rebellious North American colonies calling themselves the United States. Queen Marie Antoinette was charmed by the American ambassador Benjamin Franklin and called him 'Le Ambassadeur d'Electrique'.
In the House of Commons Prime Minister Lord North had said that he doubted any European monarch would ever ally itself to the rebels: “For it would raise in America a new Empire dedicated to missionary it’s form of radical democracy around the world. “ In Germany, the philosopher Goethe said: “We wish the Americans every success.”

1815- President James Madison signed a declaration granting a complete pardon to Jean Lafitte, Dominique Yue and all the swamp pirates of Barataria who had fought alongside Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.

Jean Lafitte became a prosperous citizen of New Orleans. But by 1819 had tired of the legit life. He outfitted a new ship and went buccaneering again. A book about pirates written in 1837 claimed Lafitte died fighting a British warship in the Gulf of Mexico in 1829, but no other proof of that exists. General Dominique Yue was an artillery sergeant for Napoleon before becoming a buccaneer. He died one of the first citizens of New Orleans. He is buried in tomb #1 the city’s oldest cemetery.

1847- The Treaty of Waitangi- Britain settled New Zealand from the Maoris. Hobbits to follow….

1857- The first Perforated Postage Stamp.

1865- THE NERO BALL- During the Civil War as Sherman’s army burned and looted it’s way up from Georgia through the Carolina’s Sherman’s cavalry leader Judson Kilpatrick came up with newer and more novel ways to commit acts of cruelty on the civilian population. This day at the town of Barnwell South Carolina, Kilpatrick invited all the belles of the town to a “Nero Ball” The ladies didn’t understand the meaning until that evening, when he forced them to dance with his officers while he burned their homes and possessions . One of Kilpatricks officers protested:” It was the bitterest satire I ever witnessed”. Even his own men hated him, and called him “Kill-Cavalry”. But Gen Sherman defended him.”I know he’s a helluva damn fool, but I need him for my cavalry”.

1874- THE ASHANTI RING- The British Army under Sir Garnet Woolsley defeat this West African kingdom and on this day burn it's capitol Kimesha. The Ashanti practised human sacrifice and worshipped a gold covered stool, given from heaven and for only spirits could sit on. Woolsley's inner circle all became generals and were called the Ashanti Ring.

1904-The Russo-Japanese War began with a surprise attack on the Russian Manchurian base of Port Arthur, just like Pearl Harbor forty years later. Japan's defeat of mighty Russia in a modern war, after being in medieval poverty only 55 years before, amazed the world.

1919- The Great Seattle General Strike.100,000 people walk off the job and paralyze the city.

1919- Because defeated Berlin was awash in communist and rightwing paramilitary mobs fighting in the streets, the German government moved to Weimar to write it's democratic constitution. Germany in between the wars was called the Weimar Republic.

1926-Oliver Hardy tried once to be a dancer in a minstrel show, but wound up running a movie theater in his hometown of Millidgeville, Georgia. He watched the comics on screen and thought" I am better than those guys.." He went to Hollywood, and this day signed a contract with the Hal Roach Studios to appear in short comedies, usually as a villain. Next year director Leo McCarey teamed the rotund Hardy with skinny Scottish music hall comedian Stan Laurel, and a legendary team was born- Laurel & Hardy.
Interesting Note: Laurel & Hardy were both over 6 feet tall..

1935- The board game Monopoly is announced by Parker Brothers. The prototype monopoly board was round oilcloth and had street names derived from Atlantic City NJ. It now is in the toy collection of Forbes Magazine in New York.

1935- BOXERS OR BRIEFS? Arthur Kneibler patented the men’s underwear brief. He got the idea looking at Frenchmen’s bathing suits on the Riviera and called them Jockey’s.

1937- John Steinbecks novel “Of Mice and Men” published. In a result Mr Steinbeck probably didn’t anticipate was the stereotype image of a mildly autistic man as the big dumb sidekick Lenny, cartoonists used so often. “Duh, tell me about da rabbits, George.”

1943-“GET ME GEISLER!” Actor Errol Flynn was acquitted of two counts of sex with adolescents, which even if it is consensual is still considered statutory rape. The two women who brought the charges had actually tried this shakedown with other celebrities. They weren't exactly adolescents, despite testifying in court with pigtails and a lollypop. Flynn hired lawyer to the stars Jerry Geisler and he slowly took the women story apart. Geisler discovered one had a prior conviction for 'public lewdness' and the other had an abortion, which then was illegal. So Flynn got off- literally.

Flynn had just finished a film called "Gentleman Jim" and at the end of the film when he says to Alexis Smith:"I never said I was a Gentleman." Peals of knowing laughter rang out from audiences. This is also the time the slang term for living it up was coined- to be “In Like Flynn”. Flynn’s limo soon sported the license plate- R U 18?

1948- In Paris’ Cherche-Midi jail, Nazi General Von Stuelpnagel, the former commandant of occupied France, shot himself rather than face trail for war crimes. Stuelpnagel was part of the Valkyrie Plot to overthrow Hitler, and disobeyed the Fuehrer’s orders to destroy Paris landmarks, but he also executed many members of the French Resistance and transported French Jews to concentration camps.

1952- King George VI died at age 56 of lung cancer. Princess Elizabeth found herself queen at 27 years old.

1974- John Boorman’s sci-fi cult classic Zardoz premiered. Sean Connery in his red jock-strap.

1985- Steve Wozniak, the young engineer who started Apple Computer with Steve Jobs in his garage, retired from running the company. He’d rather be an engineer and teach children. He also returned to Berkeley to complete his undergraduate degree, under the name Rocky Clark. Rocky was the name of his dog.

2007- PSYCHO ASTRONAUT- Lisa Nowak, Space Shuttle commander, and mother of three, nicknamed RoboChick by the other astronauts, was enamored of another astronaut on the program, William “Billy-O” Oefelein. Today Lisa shocked America by driving 900 miles from Texas to Orlando non-stop to threaten the life of her boyfriend’s new lover. She wore a wig, a Huggies diaper to prevent having to pull over to use the restroom, and was carrying handcuffs and duct tape. She was caught and arrested before she could execute her strange plan. The incident spawned dozens of jokes-
The Astro-Nut, Lust in Space, The 150 Mile High Club, etc.
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QUESTION: What was Operation Rolling Thunder? (Hint: Vietnam War)

Today's Answer: Started in 1965, Rolling Thunder was the name for the US strategic bombing campaign over North Vietnam. It’s goal was to degrade North Vietnams ability to wage war in South Vietnam, and compel them to negotiate a peace.


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