March 18, 2017
March 18th, 2017
Quiz: Guess the Goy! Which entertainer was not Jewish? Jimmy Durante, Jack Benny, Woody Allen, George Burns.
Yesterdays’ question answered below- Why were police vans in the late XIX and early XX Centuries called Paddy Wagons?
History for 3/18/2016
Birthdays: Amerigo Vespucci, John Calhoun, Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov, Neville Chamberlain, Wilson Picket, Edgar Cayce, John Updike, Grover Cleveland, Edward Everett Horton, Vanessa Williams, F. W. DeKlerk, George Plympton, Peter Graves, Irene Cara, Luc Besson, Queen Latifah is 48
44BC- This would have been the day Julius Caesar would have left Rome to lead his legions against the Parthians (Iran), had he not been assassinated.
566- The Feast of Saint Frediano (St Fred), who redirected a river near Lucca with his rake.
1286- King Alexander III of Scotland accidentally rode his horse off a cliff.
1554- Princess Elizabeth was sent to the Tower of London on a charge of treason. An uprising of English Protestants under Sir Thomas Wyatt had been crushed. Wyatt under torture confessed his goal was to put Elizabeth on the throne. Elizabeth claimed she never heard of Wyatt, but her stepsister Queen Mary Tudor was suspicious. You could imagine what Elizabeth was thinking when she was rowed into the Tower through the Traitor’s Gate, the same way her mother Anne Boleyn was. For the next several weeks Elizabeth played a dangerous game pretending to be a loyal Catholic. Mary soon died of cancer and Elizabeth became Queen.
1584-Czar Ivan the Terrible died while playing chess. Nobody is sure why, except for
"a noticeable swelling of his cods." He had no natural heir, especially after beating his eldest son's brains out with his scepter, and his youngest son Dmitri was also dead. Chancellor Boris Gudunov said during an epileptic seizure, the boy whipped out his knife and slashed his own throat. (yeah...right...) Then Boris Gudunov named himself Czar. Russia enters a period of dynastic struggle known as "the Time of Troubles".
1662- French philosopher Blaise Pascal, who had invented an early computer device, tried to start a municipal bus system.
1815-VIVE L'EMPEREUR! While marching on Paris to overthrow King Louis XVIII Napoleon is stopped near Grenoble by the Royal French army led by his old friend Marshal Michel Ney. Ney had promised the king he would bring Bonaparte to Paris in an iron cage. The whole Royal Army was Nappy’s old troops anyway, just with a different flag. Soldiers who had served side by side for twenty years suddenly were facing each other. Instead of civil war, Napoleon quietly walked up to their raised guns and smiled: " Soldiers! You all know me. If any of you want to kill your Emperor, here I am." After an agonizing pause, the army cheered and went over to him en masse, including Ney.
1831- The U.S. Supreme Court rule that the Cherokee Nation are a “Domestic Dependent” and not a foreign nation, and therefore cannot sue in federal court.
1834- The Tolpuddle Martyrs. Six Dorchester laborers are arrested and banished to the Australian penal colony for trying to organize a labor union. It is considered the beginning of British trade unionism. Public agitation forced the government to pardon them and invite them home. Only one went back to Dorchester, the rest moved to Canada.
1852- New York City steamboat skipper Henry Wells and mailman William Fargo form the Wells Fargo Company. In 1873 they went into a joint venture with several other freight shipping companies they called American Express.
1871- Citizens of Paris, disgusted with the inept handling of the Franco Prussian war and horrible siege they had to endure, declared a workers revolutionary state, The COMMUNE OF PARIS. Artist Honore' Daumier was named to it's governing board. Karl Marx, living in London, said it was the wrong type of revolution.
The Communards were enthusiastic but inefficient revolutionaries. They tried to burn down Notre Dame but it was so old and damp it wouldn't burn. Then they tried to execute the eighty year old archbishop of Paris by firing squad. They all missed on the first try.
They were eventually crushed by the regular French Army after bitter street fighting that destroyed a lot of Paris including the Tuileries Palace, the Hotel deVille and the Palace of St. Cloud. In Pere' Lachaise cemetery you can still see the 'Wall of the Comunards', where 150 were lined up and shot. They took as their banner the red flag of revolution. Young Nikolai Lenin, studying the Commune, adopted their red flag for his and it became the symbol of world communism. When Yuri Gargarin went into orbit in 1959 he had a relic piece of a Commune flag with him.
1902- BIRTHDAY OF THE RECORDING INDUSTRY. The RCA Victrola company sent it's engineers to Milan to record ten discs of the young singer Enrico Caruso. He became a world celebrity and the phonograph moves from being a scientific curiosity to something every home had to have.
1910- Rosie O’Neill invented the Kewpie Doll.
1913- On the streets of Salonika, the King of Greece was assassinated by anarchist Alexandros Skinos.
1915-THE BATTLE OF POINT HELLAS- As part of World War I’s Gallipoli Campaign a large British fleet attacked the shore installations guarding the sea approaches to Istanbul. The British Navy hadn't suffered a major defeat since the days of Lord Nelson, but now it was so badly shot up by the Turkish shore batteries that they had to withdraw. The First Sea Lord, Jack Fisher, resigned. King George V grumbled that Fisher should have been hung from a yardarm. The British Navy stayed formidable but its myth of the invincibility was damaged. Captains discouraged target practice, because firing the cannon soiled the nice polished shine on their barrels. Historian Jan Morris said they had tried to beat the Turks by merely 'Looking Superb".
1924-The film “The Thief of Baghdad” starring Douglas Fairbanks released. Directed by Raoul Walsh and designs by William Cameron Menzies. It is considered the first great special effects blockbuster.
1925- THE GREAT MIDWEST TORNADO- One of the largest tornadoes ever recorded. A Force 5 monster that traveled 300 miles from Mississippi to Illinois traveling at 73 miles an hour. It wiped out two large towns and killed 689 people.
1928- William T. Hones was planting horseradish in Petersburg Virginia when he dug up a 32 carat diamond. He took it home as a curiosity and only figured out it’s value 15 years later. It was the largest diamond found in North America.
1931- Schick, Inc. introduced the electric razor.
1942- Paramounts “The Lost Dream” the first Little Audrey cartoon.
1943- The Nazi Gestapo arrested serial killer Bruno Ludke. Ludke admitted to murdering 85 people. He would dress as a laundry delivery man and strangle his victims, mostly women, then commit unnatural acts with their remains. Ludke was sent to a Vienna hospital for medical experiments, then executed in a concentration camp in 1944.
1947- William Durant, the executive who built General Motors into an industrial giant, died the manager of a bowling alley in suburban Chicago. He had been ruined in the 1929 Stock Market Crash.
1962- President DeGaulle of France and Algerian FLN sign an accord giving Independence to Algeria.
1965- Cosmonaut Sergei Leonov is the first human to walk in space.
1965- The Rolling Stones are fined 5 English pence for urinating on a wall in Stratford at ABC recording studio Romford.
FIFTY YEARS AGO 1967- The Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened at Disneyland, designed by master animator Marc Davis. In recent years rampant political correctness has disturbed the pirates fun. One diorama that portrayed a lusty buccaneer chasing a wench around a table while she giggles. It was changed to show he was only interested in her sandwich tray.
1968- Mel Brooks first film “The Producers” premiered with Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Dick Shawn. His screenplay beat out Kubricks 2001 for a Best Screenplay Oscar. In the late 1990s Brooks reworked the screenplay into a hit Broadway musical.
1980- At the Soviet Union’ secret Plesetsk space center a Vostok rocket exploded on the launch pad, killing fifty top scientists.
1981- Ronald Reagan’s Vice President George H.W. Bush got into a traffic accident in Washington D.C. while driving his secretary/mistress Jennifer Fitzgerald to dinner. Desperate to keep his affair out of the papers, Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Attorney General William French-Smith went to DC police HQ and erased any record of the accident from the daily police blotter.
2011- The first space probe went into orbit around Mercury.
Yesterdays’ question: Why were police vans in the late XIX and early XX Centuries called Paddy Wagons?
Answer: A “Paddy" was street slang for an Irishman. For years a large portion of the police departments of larger American cities were of Irish descent (still holds true in cities like New York today) so the police vans were called paddy wagons, as the cops manning them and, on occasion, their “passengers" were Irish.