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Nov 1, 2016
November 1st, 2016

Question: Why would you hire an Au Pair?

Question: What American union first called itself the Society of the White Rats?
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History for 11/1/2016
Welcome to November, Roman Month #9-Novembrius.

Birthdays: Marie Antoinette, President Warren Harding, Stephen Crane, Marcel Ophuls, Benevenuto Cellini, Larry Flynt, Walter Matthau, Fernando Valenzuela, Lyle Lovett, Willie D, Rick Allen of Def Leppard, Jenny McCarthy is 44, Toni Collette is 44

To the ancient Romans this was the Feast of Pomona or Homona, Goddess of the Harvest. Her offerings were bright apples, a staple of the Roman diet. In the Early Christian Church they changed the name to the Feast of All Saints Day. The custom of bobbing for apples at Halloween comes from a pagan ritual.

333BC – BATTLE OF ISSUS- Alexander the Great’s Macedonian army met the main Persian army of Darius the Great King and defeated it. Alexander declared the Greek cities of Ionia (the western coast of Turkey) liberated. Persian power would not return there for 900 years. Alexander captured Darius’s family and household who he treated courteously. After the battle Darius offered Alexander 300 tons of gold to go away, but little Alex was just getting started.
Alexander’s warriors were the first Europeans to try bananas, but they gave them diarrhea so he told them to throw them away. Alexander’s men also learned the painkilling characteristics of opium, the herbal basis of morphine and heroin. They chewed opium bulbs “The Gift of the Gods” to recover from wounds and surgery.

307BC - Agathocles, Greek Tyrant of Syracuse, ran away abandoning his army and his sons in the middle of the Saharan Desert in front of the Carthaginian army, because things weren't turning out that well for him.

79AD- Erupting since last August and destroying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Mount Vesuvius finally calmed down and went back to sleep.

1290- This was the deadline King Edward I Longshanks set for all Jews to leave England. Many drowned in small boats crossing the Channel. Once in France, the French king told them they had to leave in one year. Jews would not be allowed to resettle in England until Oliver Cromwell’s time in the 1650s.

1478- THE SPANISH INQUISITION- At the request of Ferdinand & Isabella, Pope Sixtus IV promulgated a bull setting up the office of the Holy Inquisition in Spain. The royal couple tired of civil infighting among Moslems, Jews, Christians and converts in their country. As they united the land under their one rule, they wanted Spain united under one orthodox doctrine.
The Inquisition, also called La Suprema, dominated life and thought for centuries. Other offices for the Holy Inquisition were set up in Portugal and Brazil. The Inquisition was administered by the Dominican monks and supported by an elite group of nobles called the Santa Hermandad, or the Sacred Brotherhood. In 1709 King Phillip V broke with tradition by refusing to attend an Auto da Fe, a public festival featuring the burning of heretics. The Spanish Inquisition was stopped for awhile by Napoleon’s French invasion of 1808, but restored after liberation. It finally died out in 1819.

1503 –IL PAPA TERRIBLE- Giuliano Della Rovere was elected Pope Julius II. The Holy Father delayed his coronation until his astrologers told him the stars were right. Julius drove out Caesar and Lucretia Borgia and fought in armor more than he prayed. In his 10 year reign he commissioned the Sistine Ceiling, the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, Michelangelo's Moses, Raphael's "The School of Athens", created the Swiss Guard (uniform designed by Michelangelo), dug up the Laocoon, conquered most of Central Italy and left the Vatican a budget surplus for the first time in years. He was one of the greatest of the Popes, called "Il Papa Terrible'" the Terrible Father.

1512- Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling was open to the public for the first time.

1604- William Shakespeare's play "Othello the Moor of Venice" first performed.

1700- The War of Spanish Succession began. King Charles VI "The Mad" died of enteric fever, despite being fed milk with ground-up pearls, freshly killed pigeons placed on his head and the hot entrails of a deer laid on his belly -i.e., the best modern medicine could do. He died leaving daughters and many Catholic countries worked under the tradition known as Salic Law, that women can't inherit property themselves.

So the King of France claims the throne of Spain for his son Phillip D'Anjou, and the Emperor of Germany claims it for his son Maximillian. The English and Portuguese and Dutch all get involved and fight it out all over Europe for 14 years. The Spanish parliament (Cortes) made it's own choice, but it changed nothing. After all, this is the business of kings, who the heck asked the people to butt in? Even in the remote forests of the New World it was called Queen Anne’s War. Orders came across the Atlantic from Europe so South Carolina and Georgia were ordered to attack Spanish Florida and Massachusetts men fought French Canadians.

1755- THE GREAT LISBON EARTHQUAKE-85% of the city destroyed, 50,000 killed, gallows erected around the city to punish looters. The earthquake happened on a Sunday at 9:40AM so most killed were in Church hearing Mass when the roofs collapsed on them. This irony was seized upon by humanist philosophers like Voltaire and Diderot. That a overwhelmingly Catholic city like Lisbon could be devastated in such a way while Paris, Venice and London went on their sinful hedonistic ways. This said to them that the great earthquake was not God’s punishment but a coldly impersonal act of Nature. This notion coupled with Sir Edmund Halley's recent discovery that comets are not a message from God, just a natural phenomena, led to the growing disillusionment with religion called the Age of Enlightenment.

1776- Mission San Juan De Capistrano founded on the California coast.

1800- President John Adams, moved into the White House, first president to do so. First Lady Abigail Adams had her wash hung in the East Room because the walls weren't in yet,hjyl, so it had a nice breeze. The first three buildings erected in Pierre L'Enfant's new federal capitol city are the House of Congress, the White House, and Conrad’s Tavern. The first business in Washington City that was not part of the government was a brewery. Pennsylvania Avenue was still dotted with tree stumps. Abigail Adams wrote that Georgetown was “The very dirtiest hole I have ever seen.”

1835- Davey Crockett, after losing his bid for re-election to Congress tells his Tennessee voters:" You can all go to Hell, I'm going to Texas!"

1848 -The Boston Female Medical School opened with 12 students. It merged with Boston University in 1874

1858- The British Crown takes direct control of India from the Honorable East India Company. The period known as "The Raj" begins.

1880- Pat Garrett elected sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory.

1895- Emil and Max Skladowsky set up a Bioscope Projector in Berlin's Wintergarden. Birth of German Cinema.

1911- During a little war between Italy and Turkey over Tripolitania (Libya) a dangerous new precedent was set. An Italian pilot reached out of his cockpit and dropped three small grenades on a Turkish oasis. The first aerial bombing. Guernica, Rotterdam, London, Dresden, Hiroshima, Hanoi and Baghdad to follow.

1913- Notre Dame quarterback Gus Doreias throws the first "Forward Pass" to center Knute Rockne. The forward pass was the solution to a request to the coach of Notre Dame by Teddy Roosevelt to do something to make the game more mobile and less bone crunching, since parents were beginning to complain about the injuries to their sons.

1918- The Hungarian subjects of the disintegrating Austro-Hungarian Empire declared themselves to be the new independent nation of Hungary.

1920- The first issue of American Cinematographer.

1936- Benito Mussolini in a speech coined the term “The Axis” for his new alliance with Hitler’s Germany. “There is now an “axis of mutual interest between Berlin and Rome”

1938- At Pimlico in Maryland, this day was the famous horse race between War Admiral and Sea Biscuit, the two finest thoroughbreds of the age. War Admiral was sleek and aristocratic, sired from the blood of the great champion Man of War. Sea Biscuit by contrast looked ungainly and lame. But in the end The Biscuit he won the race by three lengths. The race was heard live on radio by one in three Americans.

1939- Rockefeller Center in New York City opened.

1945- OPERATION OLYMPIC- If the Atomic Bombs had failed to end the war this was the planned date for the U.S. Invasion of Japan. Based on the casualty figures to take Okinawa and Iwo Jima, Gen. MacArthur estimated 100,000 U.S. soldiers would be killed or wounded to land on the beaches of Kyushu, another 50,000 to take Tokyo and a guerrilla war in the mountains possibly lasting until 1948. The Japanese had stockpiled 2,200 kamikaze planes in mountain bunkers and had mobilized the civilian population to fight with spears for the Motherland. The Soviets were already in the Kurile Islands and had timed their mainland invasion for July. So the resulting actions would probably divide the island into a North Japan, South Japan situation. But things turned out differently...

1946- THE FIRST NBA BASKETBALL GAME- The first professional game was the New York Knicks 68, the Toronto Huskies 66. The first basket was scored by Ozzie Sheckmann.

1950- Two Puerto Rican nationalists, Oscar Coralzo and Griselo Torresola, tried to shoot their way to President Truman. Truman was staying at Blair House while the White House was being renovated. The two assassins were shot down by the Secret Service in a furious gun battle at the foot of his stairs. Secret serviceman Leslie Coffelt shot Collazo as he himself was killed. President Truman was awoken from a nap and went to the window to see what the noise was all about. The agents shouted at him,"Get down ya G-ddamn fool !"

1951- As part of their training, US soldiers were made to witness an atomic bomb test at Desert Rock Nevada, then marched across the radioactive field.

1952- The first U.S. Hydrogen Bomb vaporized the island of Elugelab. Once called the Super-bomb project, Dr. Edward Teller's brainchild was nicknamed-"Mike".

1954- Algeria began its uprising for independence. A French colony since 1832, the insurgency would be France’s version of the Vietnam War and last until 1962.

1959- Hockey goalie Jacques LaPlante became the first to wear a face mask during play. Before this many Hockey goalies lost their front teeth.

1968- To replace the outmoded Hays Production Code, the Motion Picture Ratings System introduced-"G, M, R, and X"- Later PG, PG-13, R and NC-17".

1972-John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, who owned the Esso brand of gasoline, changed their name to the Exxon Corporation. Esso- S-O, Standard Oil, get it?

1988- Jeff Goldblum married Gena Davis. They divorced several years later.

2001- Because of Watergate, The Presidential Records Act of 1978 ordered that all Presidential records be made public after 12 years. But not for Bush and Cheney. Today President George W. Bush signed an executive order that declared that the President and Vice President could keep their secret records sealed in perpetuity! Its after 9-11, I wonder what they don’t want us to read? E-mails perhaps?

2003- Walt Disney’s feature Brother Bear.
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Question: What American union first called itself the Society of the White Rats?

Answer: At the turn of the century Vaudeville stage actors formed their first fraternal society. It did not late long, but did yield to the creation of Actors Equity, and later SAG/AFTRA.


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