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April 2, 2016
April 2nd, 2016

Question: What is a cock & bull story?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a Punch & Judy Show?
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History for 4/2/2016
Birthdays: Frankish Emperor Charlemagne, Giacomo Casanova, Hans Christian Andersen, Marvin Gaye, Emile Zola, Max Ernst, Buddy Ebsen, Sir Alec Guinness, Frederick Bartholdi, Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Hunt, Isaiah Washington, Karl Castle.

304B.C.- Alexander IV, the young child of Alexander the Great, began his reign under the regency of the Macedonian General Perdiccas.

430AD. Today is the feast day of Saint Mary the Egyptian, a former prostitute who repented by living naked and alone in the desert for 49 years, only appearing briefly at Easter time to take communion, and to get some more sunblock. 1459- Vlad II "Dracula" -Little Dragon, duke of Wallachia, shows why he got the nickname Vlad the Impaler by impaling the city council of Brasov high on stakes then eating lunch under their quivering bodies. Impaling was a torture of Turkish origin, where you had a huge sharpened stake hammered up into your body, then standing it up. A good executioner could keep the stake from piercing too many important organs, prolonging the agony of your death.
This was Vlad’s preferred method of getting rid of inconvenient people. No wonder in the 1890’s when British author Bram Stoker was collecting folk tales in the Transylvanian mountains to use as source material for a gothic vampire novel he chose Dracula for it’s title.

1502- King Henry VII Tudor’s primary heir Arthur of Britain died at age fifteen. King Henry had just married Arthur to the Catharine daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain a few weeks before. Now Henry didn’t want to lose the Spanish alliance, and he was too cheap to send back Catharine’s huge dowery. So he remarried her to his other son, Henry VIII. Catherine and Henry VIII’s marriage problems would lead to the English Church’s break with Rome. 1520- Somewhere off the coast of what will one day be Argentina, Magellan's captains, convinced this crazy Portuguese turncoat didn’t know where he was going, try to mutiny and go home to Spain.

1800- Beethoven's First Symphony premiered. Vienna's leading music critic called it - 'a vulgar, impertinent explosion, more expected from a military band than an orchestra!’

1801- BATTLE OF COPENHAGEN- The British Navy has a one day war with Denmark. The fleet was sent by London to intimidate the Danes into leaving Napoleon's anti-British blockade, but the Danes were more worried about a Russian-Swedish alliance forcing them to remain. So Admiral Nelson sailed his fleet into Copenhagen harbor and pounds it out with the Danish Navy and shore batteries. Nelson’s ships sailed up and down the drydocks blasting the parked Danish battleships in for repairs. Despite fearful manpower losses the British don't lose one ship while sinking or capturing 17 Danish ships of the line.

The one-eyed, one armed Nelson gloried in battle. When a Danish cannon ball struck his mainmast showering him and his staff with hot burning splinters, he laughed and said: "Hot work, what ?" At one point the action got so desperate, that Nelson's superior Admiral Hyde Parker raised the ensign flags to break off battle and retreat. Nelson ignored them. He jokingly raised his spyglass to his dead eye and said, "What ensign flags ? I don't see any ensign flags!"
Denmark made peace the next day and all the surviving combatants had a lovely dinner together at the Copenhagen Palace, as though nothing had happened.

1814- Now that Paris was occupied by enemy armies, the French Senate led by Talleyrand declared the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte officially deposed.

1836- Charles Dickens married Elizabeth Howarth.
1865- The Confederate capitol Richmond fell to U.S. armies. More destruction to the city was done by looting Confederates and released prisoners than the enemy. Several large fires created the type of total urban destruction not to be seen again until the World Wars in the 20th Century.
Mrs. Robert E. Lee ( a grandniece of George Washington) was at her town home in the city while her husband was still out with his army. General Phil Sheridan stationed a guard to protect her door but she protested bitterly that he was a black soldier and thought it was meant to offend her, which knowing Phil Sheridan, it probably was.

1865- Abe Lincoln awakened from a strange dream. He told Mary that he was wandering in an empty White House, and heard women weeping. When he asked a guard at the East Room what had happened, the guard said the president had been assassinated.
1877- First man shot out of a cannon.

1877- The first White House egg rolling contest.
1917- Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin arrived by train at St. Petersburg's Finland Station to cheers and salutes. He was smuggled from Geneva to Russia by the German High Command in a sealed railroad car. the German secret service also paid for the printing presses for Pravda. He begins to organize the Communist plot to seize the Russian Government.

1917- President Woodrow Wilson called a special session of Congress to ask for a declaration of war against Germany. ‘The World Must be made Safe for Democracy!” he said.

1943- Disney short 'Private Pluto' the first Chip & Dale cartoon.

1943- Happy Birthday SAT’s! This day Harvard Dean Henry Chauncey supervised the distribution to 316,000 High School seniors of the Army-Navy College Qualifying Test, later re-titled the Scholastic Aptitude Tests or SAT. This became a standardized test that manages every year to raise the stress level of seniors regardless of race, class or religion. Go On To Next Page.

1974-While actor David Niven was speaking at the Academy Awards telecast a nude streaker ran past him on nationwide television. Mr. Niven, completely unflustered, dryly commented: "The only laugh that man will ever get is by stripping off his clothes and showing off his shortcomings. "

1974- Later at that same Oscar telecast, Francis Ford Coppola presented the last award of the evening, the Best Picture to Cabaret. But he held up the show to launch into a speech that a Revolution was coming in Digital Technology “that will make the Industrial Revolution seem like a small town try-out!”
The audience was confused and annoyed at being delayed any longer to get to their parties. No one knew what he was talking about.
1978-The TV show "Dallas" debuts. 1982- THE FALKLANDS WAR-Britain declared war on Argentina over the their takeover of the Falkland Islands.
1981- John Welsh made CEO of General Electric. After automating factories and firing one third of his employees, he earned the name "Neutron Jack" after the bomb that kills people but leaves buildings intact.

1993- Bullocks Wilshire department store with the famous Tea Room closed.

1996- Lech Walesa, who led the first great people’s movement to overthrow a Communist dictatorship and was president of Poland for two terms and a Nobel Prize winner, got his old job back repairing electric batteries at the Gydansk shipyard. The shipyard was later closed. Capitalism’s a bitch, ain’t it?

2004- Walt Disney Studio released Home on the Range.

2005-Polish Pope John Paul II died after reigning for 26 years.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a Punch & Judy Show?

Answer: It is a 17th Century puppet show featuring a version of the commedia dell’arte archetype, Punchinello, a vicious scoundrel. Judy is his scolding wife who Punch constantly hits with a stick, until of course, Judy gets hold of the stick and smacks Punch with it, to the glee of the audience. There are other characters Punch smacks around as well. Often a lot of innuendo, but the slapstick comedy is so broad and ridiculous that is all seems part of the fun. So Punch & Judy laughs mean comedy from ridiculous violence.


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