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Feb 29, 2016
February 29th, 2016

Question: When Ledbelly sang in Midnight Special: The next thing you know Boy, you’re Sugarland bound…He meant the Sugarland Express. What is that?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What does it mean to be in the limelight?
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History for 2/29/2016 Leap Year Day
46 BC.-We have a Greek thinker named Sosigenes to thank for today. He was commissioned by Julius Caesar to reform the calendar. The Roman Calendar was a system of ten months made of three weeks each consisting of ten days each. The system was so rickety that the Roman curia (government) actually had a department who’s only purpose was to tell you what day it was!
January and February didn’t exist, but when they were created they were originally between March and April, until moved to their present location. February in the original plan had 30 days but Augustus’ family was angry that August only had 30 days while July had 31, so they borrowed a day from February. This Julian calendar was changed again by Pope Gregory in 1582 to the modern western calendar.

Birthdays: Giacomo Rossini -Who liked to joke he was 16 years old when he was actually 67, Balthus, Jimmy Dorsey, Alex Rocco, Arthur Franz, Phyllis French, Mother Ann Lee the founder of the Shakers, Rocket Richard of the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Team, Dinah Shore

Today in British custom is the only day it is considered appropriate for a woman to propose to a man.

1504- Christopher Columbus, shipwrecked on Jamaica by a hurricane, scares natives into giving him food by accurately predicting a solar eclipse.

1528- Patrick Hamilton was burned at the steak for preaching the reformed faith in Scotland.

1692- The first indictments of the notorious Salem Witch trials. Tituba, a black-indian servant cook of the town’s preacher who liked to entertain his children with ghost stories of the Caribbean was arrested for witchcraft with Sarah Good, an elderly deaf woman who, well... just looked old and spooky like a witch. Twenty two people were executed. Salem kept up the hysteria until the Governor of Massachusetts stopped it after his own daughter was indicted.

1704- The settlement of Deerfield Massachusetts massacred and burned by French & Indians as part of Queen Anne’s War.

1776- French writer and adventurer and spy Pierre D.’Beaumarchais wrote a letter to King Louis XVI advising France support the American colonies revolution against England. Beaumarchais, who later wrote the Barber of Seville, set up spy operations and under the name of a Rodrique Hortalez & Company, to ship guns, powder and clothes to George Washington’s beleaguered army.

1796- JAY’S TREATY- One of the first foreign treaty’s negotiated by the infant American republic was a settlement of issues left over from the Revolution. The British agreed to settle the border between Canada and Vermont, and abandoned Ft. Oswego, New York. And the Americans gave up some territory and agreed not to use the St. Lawrence trade route for 25 years. This treaty was very controversial in it’s day but it’s effects were temporary.

1804- According to Napoleon's plans this was supposed to be the day he scheduled to cross the Channel and invade England after his navy gave Admiral Nelson the slip. His Grande Army was camped all along the beach at Boulonge waiting to board transport barges. But they never got to make the trip. Nelson destroyed Nappy's fleet at Cape Trafalgar.

1908- Former Sheriff Pat Garrett, the killer of Billy the Kid, was himself gunned down while stepping off a buckboard to urinate. The assailant was in a lawsuit with Garret over a promise to remove some goats from his ranchland.

1960- Hugh Hefner opened the first Playboy Club, this one in Chicago. The restaurant –nightclub succeeded on a gimmick of members-only keys and the famous Playboy Bunny waitresses. One Bunny said of that time-“ I served London Broil in a bathing suit and heels and made more money than anyone in my family!”

1960- An earthquake killed 12,000 in Agadir Morrocco

1968- Dr. Jocelyn Burnell of Cambridge announced the discovery of the pulsar star.

1968- The Beatles win four Grammy awards for their Sgt. Pepper album.

1960- G-Man Melvin Purvis shot himself with the gun he used to kill John Dillinger. FBI chief J.Edgar Hoover would tolerate no competitors for the title of America’s most famous cop. When Purvis' fame began to overshadow Hoovers the Director hounded him out of his job. Purvis's widow commented bitterly that the F.B.I. didn't even send a card or flowers to note the passing of their single most famous field agent. J. Edgar also ruined treasury agent Elliot Ness’ career, although some contend that the accounts of his exploits in his book "The Untouchables" were more fiction than fact.

1984- Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced his retirement after 15 years in power.

1992- Bosnian Moslems and Croats vote on a referendum on independence for Bosnia-Herzegovina. The vote was boycotted by the Bosnian-Serbs. This is seen as the start of the Bosnian Civil War.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be in the limelight?

Answer: Before electricity, Victorian stages were lit by burning calcium quicklime in the footlights. It gave off a bright light, but must have smelled awful, and it gave a yellowish glow to the skin. Toulouse Lautrec's paintings show this. So to be in the limelight meant to be the center of public attention.


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