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Feb 8, 2016
February 8th, 2016

Question: Today people call each other’s comments “snarky”. Where did the term snarky come from?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: When someone says, “ That place was like Brigadoon,” What do they mean?
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History for 2/8/2016
Birthdays: St Proclus of Constantinople 412AD, Jules Verne, Dmitri Medeleyev- inventor of the Periodic Table of Elements, James Dean, William T. Sherman, John Williams is 84, Ivan Ivano-Vano, Lana Turner, Jack Lemmon, Alejandro Rey, Ted Koppel, Nick Nolte, Buck Henry, Gary Coleman, Robert Klein, Seth Green is 42

1587- MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS BEHEADED at Fotheringay Castle. Circumstantial evidence proved Mary had not discouraged plots to overthrow and kill Queen Elizabeth. Truth was Elizabeth could never sit on her throne securely while Mary lived. While some could argue Elizabeth’s legitimate birth, Mary’s grandmother was the sister of King Henry VIII.

Apologists for Queen Elizabeth argue she did ordered the execution with great sadness but others say she cracked jokes as she signed the death warrant. Elizabeth and Mary never met face-to-face. Mary’s son James accepted his mothers death calmly, he hadn’t seen her since he was a toddler and his Presbyterian tutors all filled him with hate for her.

It must have been a hard day at work for the headsman. First in order to ensure a good job, Mary gave a bribe to the executioner, but he muffed the first chop and had to do it in a couple of swings. Then, when the headsman picked up the head it plopped out of it's red wig. She had lost most of her hair to smallpox, as did Elizabeth and a lot of other folks. Finally, when they moved Mary's body, a yelping lap dog jumped out of her skirts and bit the headsman. The heartbroken little pet refused all food, and died soon afterwards.

1601- Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex, was the toyboy of Queen Elizabeth Ist. On this day he shocked the court by riding through the countryside declaring his intent to overthrow the old Queen. The countryside in turn surprised him when no one joined him. He was quickly captured and sent to the block.

1608- Fire burns down what there is of Jamestown and most of the food supply.

1836- Davy Crockett with twelve Tennessee leathershirts arrived at the Alamo.

1864- Abraham Lincoln visited Matthew Brady's Photo Studio and posed for the photo's that would one day be on the Penny and Five dollar bill.

1865- Russian monk Gregor Mendel publishes his laws of heredity. The science of genetics is born.

1866- Elizabeth Cady-Stanton pleaded in the New York State legislature that neglect, abandonment and wanton cruelty on the part of a husband be made grounds for divorce. Her ideas became law one hundred years later, in 1966.

1887- Congress passed the Dawes Act, which said any Indian who left his tribe and moved into white society would be granted American citizenship. All native Americans were not granted unconditional U.S. citizenship until 1924.

1893- THE FIRST RECORDED STRIPTEASE - discounting Salome. At Paris's famed Moulin Rouge an artist's model named Mona decided to get an edge in a beauty contest judged by art students by disrobing to music while walking up and down the stage. She was arrested and fined 100 francs and the students rioted.

1893- Congress repealed the Enforcement Acts, a key piece of reconstruction legislation that prevented local governments from cheating African Americans out of their voting rights.

1910- Boy Scouts of America incorporated on the British model.

1914- THE FIRST TRUE CHARACTER ANIMATION- Windsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur" premiered as part of a vaudeville act. Up to then most U.S. animations were attempts to bring popular newspaper comic characters to life, but Gertie was a new character never before seen. Some critics had wondered if animated characters weren’t some kind of man in a special suit, so McCay drew a dinosaur, a character that couldn’t possibly be impersonated by a living thing. The brilliant draftsmanship and timing of this film would inspire the generation of Animation artists of the Golden Age of the 1930's-40s.

1915- THE BIRTH OF A NATION or The Clansman premiered at Clunes Auditorium in Los Angeles. Film pioneer D.W. Griffith's racist movie was considered for years the first American feature length film. The discovery in 1999 of a 1913 Richard III film predates it. Son of a Confederate veteran, it’s been thought that Griffith was making a personal statement, truth is there was a flood of films to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil War and the book the Clansman by Thomas Dixon was a best seller. President Woodrow Wilson (another son of the Confederacy ) called it :"History written with a thunderbolt and I’m afraid all too true."

Birth of a Nations’ inflammatory imagery and this politically incorrect Presidential endorsement helped a rebirth of the defunct Ku Klux Klan, and caused an increase in lynching. But despite the film’s politics, it’s technique influenced world cinema and established once and for all the feature film length as the standard for all future motion pictures. It’s original running length was 3 hours.

D.W. Griffith in latter years lost his fortune and became a drunken has-been. Watching him at Chasen's Restaurant in the 1940’s beg MGM studio head Dore Schary for work, inspired Billy Wilder to write SUNSET BLVD.

1924, the first execution by gas chamber in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City. It took Chinese gang member Gee Jong six minutes to die.

1928- Englishman John Logie Baird transmitted a still television image across the Atlantic from England to Hartsdale New York. It was a still image of a woman.

1949- Cardinal Mindzenty, the Roman Catholic primate of Hungary was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Communist government for treason. Nine years earlier Mindzenty had been imprisoned by Pro-Nazi Hungarians after he spoke out against the regimes treatment of Jews. He was imprisoned until 1956 when he was released and escaped to the west in 1971. Cardinal Mindzenty was then lauded a champion of human rights the way Nelson Mandela or Ang San Soo Chy is today.

1960- Adolph Coors III the heir to the Coors beer empire was killed in a failed kidnapping attempt. Joseph Corbett Jr was apprehended in Canada and charged with the crime. Ironically, Adolph Coors was reputedly allergic to beer.

1961- Nebraska teenager and future movie star Nick Nolte was busted for the first time. He was accused of selling fake Draft cards so his friends could buy alcohol.

1966- The Vatican closed its office of censorship.

1967- Georgy Girl by the Seekers goes to #1 in pop charts.

1994- Jack Nicholson destroyed the windshield of a neighbor’s car with a golf club, screaming “You cut me off!” He settled the matter out of court.

2001- Walt Disney’s California Adventure theme park opened.

2007- Anna Nicole Smith, centerfold, pole dancer, heiress and reality TV star, died from an overdose of prescription drugs. She was 39.
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Yesterday’s Question: When someone says, “ That place was like Brigadoon,” What do they mean?

Answer: Brigadoon was 1947 Lerner & Lowe musical about a magical Scottish village that appeared once every hundred years. The name Brigadoon has since become a metaphor for a desired utopia that is more myth than real


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