April 18, 2017
April 18th, 2017
Quiz: What does it mean when a government adopts laissez faire policies?
Yesterday’s question answered below: What are these? Lucky Strikes, Viceroy, Pall Mall, Players, Chesterfield.
History for 4/18/2017
Birthdays: Lucretzia Borgia, Franz Von Suppe’, Haley Mills, Leopold Stokowski, Miklos Rosza, Herb Sorell, Wahoo Sam Crawford, Conan O’Brien is 54, James Woods is 70, Eric Roberts, Rick Moranis is 65, Maria Bello is 50, David Tennant is 46.
185AD- Today is the Feast Day of the Roman martyr Saint Apollonnius.
1506- Pope Julius II lays the cornerstone for St. Peter's Basilica. He had pulled down the old St. Peters, which had stood for 1200 years. The new structure designed by Bramante with the Dome by Michelangelo and the interiors by Sangallo and later Bernini.
With true Renaissance modesty, Julius originally wanted his own tomb in the center under the altar, borne aloft by four giants carved by Michelangelo. I guess nobody mentioned the grave of St. Peter, overtop which this Basilica was being built. Eventually Julius scaled down his plans, and when he died his enemies put him in another church altogether (San Pietro Vincoli). Saint Peters was completed a little over schedule, in 1626.
1775- PAUL REVERE'S RIDE- "One if by land and two if by sea, etc." Informers in Gen. Gage's office learned the British planned to send troops to seize an illegal arms cache in Lexington and arrest two radical leaders named John Hancock and Sam Adams. So silversmith Paul Revere, Thomas Dawes and a country doctor out on a date named Dr. Prescott were sent to warn them and raise the minutemen on the way, after getting the two lantern signal in the old North Church. Dr. Prescott actually completed the mission. Revere was arrested by a British patrol soon after warning Adams & Hancock and sent home without his horse.
At daybreak Paul Revere walked over to Lexington green in time to watch the Revolutionary War begin. Longfellow's poem never mentioned Prescott or Dawes. Paul Revere never said "The British are Coming!" because he considered himself British like everyone else in America at the time. He would have said: "The Regulars are Coming! "meaning the regular army.
1778- THE WHITEHAVEN RAID- Former Scotsman John Paul Jones wanted to show the British public that the American Revolution wasn't just a distant war across the sea.
So he decided to raid the British Isles. An ulterior motive Jones had in attacking a seaport called Whitehaven was that Jones always suspected he was the illegitimate son of a Lord Selkirk, who resided there. It was his boyhood home. So through the dead of night, while the sailors of the U.S.S. Ranger were burning and plundering the harbor, John Paul Jones was out looking to kidnap his own father!
By dawn they were gone. The British Navy never regarded Jones as more than an irritant, but the raid was a great morale booster in the States. Jones couldn't locate his deadbeat dad, so he had to content himself with stealing his silverware.
1847- Battle of Cerro Gordo- General Winfield Scott defeated the Mexican army of Santa Anna and opened the way to Mexico City.
1857- Vice President Rufus King died of tuberculosis. President James Buchanan was totally distraught. There has been speculation that James Buchanan might have been our first Gay President. He was a lifelong bachelor, his niece Harriet Lane filled in for the social duties of First Lady. Only once in his life did Buchanan have an affair with a lady, which he broke off abruptly without explanation. When James Buchanan and Rufus King were colleagues in the Senate they roomed together and were inseparable. Old Andy Jackson liked to refer to Senators King and Buchanan " Little Miss Nancy and Mrs Buchanan".
1861-Mr. LINCOLN'S LOUSY DAY PART I- America’s top soldier Robert E. Lee declined Lincoln's offer to command the U.S. Army and instead sided with the Confederacy. In his letter doing so he confesses: "I forsee the Country will go through a terrible ordeal, a necessary expiation for our national sins."
1861-Mr. LINCOLN'S LOUSY DAY PART II- As if that news wasn't bad enough, on the same day Lincoln got a telegram from the pro-Southern Governor of Maryland saying not only would he refuse to cooperate in fighting the rebels, but he was cutting the telegraph wires and railroads into and out of Washington D.C.! Until the main union armies reached the capitol on the 24th, Washington was deserted, surrounded by a hostile slave state, with only a few Massachusetts volunteers to defend them. Maryland was only prevented from joining the Confederacy by Col. Ben Butler's initiative of sending troops into the state legislature to point their guns at the members as they voted. They voted to stay loyal.
1870- John D. Rockefeller files papers to form the Standard Oil Corporation of Ohio. One the largest companies in the world, today it is called Exxon-Mobil.
1906- THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE . 3,500 deaths and the city destroyed in the most frightening earthquake in U.S. History. Writer Jack London wrote:” Never has a modern Imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone!” Enrico Caruso was in town with the Metropolitan Opera on tour. He later sat on his suitcase in front of the ruined Palace Hotel and said- "Helluva Place! Ah’ma ’never coming back!"
Drew Barrymores grandfather the great actor John Barrymore was in a San Francisco hotel room when the quake struck. He ran into the bathroom and sat shivering in the bath until it was over. Afterward the National Guard put him to work clearing rubble looking for bodies. When they read his telegram, the other Barrymores refused to believe the story. Old John Drew, a patriarch of the acting family, felt otherwise. "It took an Act of God to get John out of bed and into a bathtub, and the National Guard to get him to go to work. I believe every word." Amadeo Gianini, founder of the Bank of America, then called the Bank of Italy, gathered up his bank's papers and stocks and buried them in his garden under the begonias until his new office could be set up. He soon set up for business again on a pier. City government was set up in the undamaged St. Francis Hotel on Powell Street and a large mahogany bar was moved out to the street to serve free drinks to calm nerves.
San Franciscans dusted themselves off and rebuilt. By 1913 they were doing well enough to host the World’s Fair. A little ditty of the time said:
"They say God spanked the town, for being rather frisky.
Then why'd He knocked the churches down yet leave up
Hotaling's Whiskey ?"
1914-. The full feature length movie premiered in Turin, Italy. "Cabiria" directed by Giovane Patrone. It was believed to be the first full length movie ever until the discovery of a 1912 version of Quo Vadis. D.W. Griffith’s 1915 classic the Birth of a Nation popularized the format for feature films.
1923- The First Yankee Stadium dedicated. Yankees win the opener against Boston, 4-1 in front of over 72,000 fans, Babe Ruth hit the park's first home run. The new $2.5 million ballpark is the first to feature three decks. This Yankee Stadium was replaced in 2009.
1934- The first automatic Laundromat opened in Ft. Worth Texas.
1938- Switzerland closed its’ borders to all Jews and asked the Nazi government to cooperate with them. The Swiss government never admitted this until 1995.
1942- The DOOLITTLE RAID. Gen. Jimmie Doolittle led 16 B-25s to fly long distance and drop bombs on Tokyo. It was a desperate mission. They did it knowing they didn't have enough fuel to return to the carrier USS Hornet, so they continued on to China and took their chances where they landed. Some of the men shot down and captured were hanged or beheaded by irate Japanese. The raid was had no strategic value and did little damage, but after weeks of unbroken Japanese success the American public needed a morale booster. General Doolittle survived the war and lived to be 97, dying in 1993.
1943- The Second Uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto.
1945- The German army surrounded in the Ruhr Pocket surrendered. 350,000 went into prison camps. Conscious that it was probably their last major battle in Europe, the Americans called it Operation Kaput. The same day British Prime Minister Churchill ordered Field Marshal Montgomery’s army to stop racing to Berlin and turn north towards Lubeck on the Baltic. "There is no reason for the our friends the Russians to occupy Denmark, and our presence at Lubeck would save a lot of argument later on."
1945- Famed journalist Ernie Pyle is killed by Japanese machine gun fire during the fighting at Okinawa.
1955- Scientist Albert Einstein died in Princeton New Jersey at 75. As he fell in and out of a coma his last words were in German. Since no one around his bed could understand German, we don't know what his last words were.
1958- A U.S. court ruled that poet Ezra Pound no longer had to stay at a Washington D.C. mental hospital for the criminally insane. The Idaho born Pound had moved to Italy in the 1920s and became an ardent supporter of Fascists like Mussolini. He felt artists thrived under strongman rule. Gertrude Stein couldn’t stand him because of his open Anti-Semitism. When World War II ended he was arrested for treason and sent to this mental hospital. After his release after 13 years incarceration he returned to Italy and died in 1972.
1958- At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels defeating the new San Francisco Giants, 6-5.
1980- The white minority dominated African nation of Rhodesia transitioned into the black majority nation named Zimbabwe and elected rebel leader Robert Mugabe as it’s first, and so far only president.
1994- Disney’s first theatrical musical based on an animated film, Beauty and the Beast A New Musical, opened on Broadway.
2000- Earlier that spring some of the worlds biggest internet companies –e-Bay, Amazon and CNN were paralyzed by a virus spreading hacker. Today the FBI made an arrest. The culprit was a Canadian High School student who went by the domain name of Mafia Boy. He received probation and a promise to only use his computer for schoolwork for two years.
2008- Pope Benedict XVI visited the U.S.. When he gave an address at the White House, President George W. Bush went up to him and said:” Your Holiness, that speech was AWESOME!”
Yesterday’s Quiz: What are these? Lucky Strikes, Viceroy, Pall Mall, Players, Chesterfield.
Answer: They were all brands of Cigarettes.