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June 10, 2017
June 10th, 2017

Quiz: What famous historical figure’s dying words were “ Kiss me, Hardy.”

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who famously once cried out “ Oh, who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?!”
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History for 6/10/2017
Birthdays: Charles James Stuart the Old Pretender, Yamaoka Tesshu (1832- Japanese swordsman), Saul Bellow, Judy Garland, Hattie McDaniel, Frederick Loew (of Lerner & Loew), Howlin’ Wolf, Maurice Sendak, Gina Gershon is 55, Leilee Sobieski is 34, Jean Triplehorn is 54, Jurgen Prochnow, Elizabeth Hurley is 52, Britain’s Prince Phillip is 96!
1190- Emperor Frederick III Barbarossa (red-beard) died. Barbarossa (not to be confused with the Algerian-Barbary pirate Nur Al Din of the same name in the 1700's) was the great Hohenstaufen German Emperor who decided to go on Crusade at the same time as Richard Lionheart and Phillip Augustus of France. Frederick was very old but insisted he make the trip. This day while crossing a stream in Turkey, Frederick Barbarossa had a fatal heart attack and fell into the water. His men, never being that thrilled about the whole thing and taking their king's death as the clincher, turned around and went home.

1682- English colonists in Connecticut observed a unique weather phenomenon, a dark windstorm taking the form of a funnel. The first recorded Tornado in America.

1688- THE BABY IN THE WARMING PAN- King James II of England has a son born named Charles James Stuart. The anger of English society that their King and head of the reformed Anglican Church, namely James, was a Catholic, was pushed past the point of endurance by his having a son who would become in all probability be another Catholic king. The lords of England began to openly plot to bring James' protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William of Orange over to overthrow the King. A rumor created to support this effort was that James' child was born dead and switched with a baby smuggled in a warming pan.
1720 - Mrs Clements of England markets the 1st paste-style mustard.

1750- Francois Voltaire accepted the invitation of King Frederick the Great of Prussia to come live at his court. French King Louis XV laughed: “ Now there will be one less nut in Versailles and one more nut in Berlin.” The friendship between Frederick and Voltaire is fascinating- night after night over dinner, the enlightened gay despot matched wits with the commoner who was the greatest philosophical mind of his time. When Voltaire argued that the world would be better off with no religion or belief in God, King Frederick retorted:” But my dear Voltaire, if you did away with God, then common people would raise statues to you and pray to them.” At times Voltaire’s arguments would get Frederick so angry that the Frenchman would flee fearing for his life. Frederick ordered the borders closed and sent a troop of cavalry to drag him back, so they could finish their argument.
1752- BEN FRANKLIN FLIES HIS KITE- The wizard of Philadelphia was not the actual discoverer of electricity, Leyden Jars and Volta's experiments predate him. He did make the connection between lightning and electric currents and created the lightning rod and the first electric battery. He didn't tell anyone about the kite experiment until 15 years later for fear people would think him a silly fellow. There’s a famous painting of Ben with his kite being assisted by his young child William. In actuality William was about thirty at the time. During the American Revolution, William became a royalist and couldn’t stand his old man.

1776- The great English actor David Garrick went on stage for the last time, playing in a benefit for the Decayed Actor’s Fund. Hmm, I wonder if we could start a Decayed Animator’s Fund….

1776- The Continental Congress appointed a committee of Ben Franklin, John Adams ,William Rutledge and Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. Most of the hard work devolved upon Jefferson. Franklin glibly noted:` It has been my practice to avoid being the author of any paper which would be reviewed by a public body. Tom Jefferson borrowed much from enlightened European writers like Burke and Montesqiou. There were 46 revisions before the final draft was voted on, including taking out any references to outlawing the slave trade. Yet Jefferson’s great prose put it perfectly “All Men are Created Equal, endowed by their Creator with certain Inalienable Rights, among them Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Ever since these words were thrown at tyrants and inspired leaders as diverse as Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro.

1782- John Adams negotiated a huge loan from Holland to get the rebellious American colonies out of bankruptcy.
1801- The Barbary Pirates of Tripoli declared war on the little nation called the United States. These Mediterranean buccaneers would extort tribute money from countries whose ships passed through their waters. So long as Yankee shipping was protected by the British Navy this wasn't a problem, but America was on its own now and the Dey of Algiers demanded payment. One senator's famous cry was Millions for Defense, but not one cent for Tribute!

1847 –The Chicago Tribune begins publishing

1854- First graduating class at Annapolis Naval Academy. The first commandant of the Academy Captain Brown later joined the Confederacy and became the commander of the rebel ironclad Arkansas in the Civil War.
1860- The Comstock Lode- Near Virginia City Nevada Two grubstake miners, one named Old Pancake McGaughlin hit a vein of silver so big and pure that it will eventually yield $300 million dollars worth of ore and make millionaires of men like William Randolph Hearst's father.
1865- Wagners opera Tristan und Isolde premiered in Munich. To meet the demands of Wagner’s music the orchestra needed to be so much larger than usual that they had to take out the first two rows of seats to enlarge the orchestra pit. Conductor Franz Von Bulow, whose wife Cosima was busy schtupping Maestro Wagner at the time, committed a brilliant blunder when he announced within earshot of reporters:" Take out the seats! One or two extra schweinhunds won't matter!" Not the way to get good reviews..

1865- Surrendered Confederate leader Robert E. Lee was indicted for treason by the United States district court in Norfolk Virginia. Ulysses Grant was told and immediately sent a note threatening to resign from the army and start a public scandal if Lee’s indictment wasn't dropped. Once Grant had considered all rebels to be traitors, but he had promised Lee in his surrender terms at Appomattox that no one would be subject to further penalties from federal authorities. The indictment was put aside but never formally dropped, and Lee’s request for his restoration of full U.S. citizenship was never granted. In 1995 Senate leader Trent Lot tried unsuccessfully to get Robert E. Lee’s citizenship restored.
1892- Republican Benjamin Harrison nominated for President. When Harrison was in office the White House was wired for Electric Lights. However Harrison and the First Lady were so terrified of electrocution that if a butler neglected to shut them off at bedtime, the Harrisons would quiver in bed all night rather than touch the switch.

1902 - Patent for the window envelope granted to H F Callahan.

1905- Japan and Russia accept the offer of peace talks to be mediated by American President Teddy Roosevelt. For helping end the Russo-Japanese War Roosevelt received the first Nobel Peace Prize.1910- The first Krazy Kat comic strip- Cartoonist George Herriman was doing a strip for Hearst called "The Family Upstairs". He was amused at the idea of a friendship between a cat and a mouse. So Herriman put them in the corner playing marbles while the family quarreled. First an office boy and later editor Arthur Brisbane suggested they have their own strip. The immortality of the denizens of Coconino County follows, loved by the likes of H.L. Mencken, e.e.cummings and Jacques Kerouac. Krazy herself explains:" It's wot's behind me that I am."

1921- Babe Ruth became top HR champ with #120 runs passing then champ Gavvy Cravath. But the Bambino was just getting started.

1924- Italian Socialist leader Giacomo Mateotti was kidnapped and murdered by Mussolini's fascists.

1926- Artist Antonio Gaudi was run over by a streetcar while crossing in front of his famous cathedral in Barcelona. Construction begun in 1886, The Cathedral Sacreda Familia is still scheduled for completion- in the year 2035.1935- A New York stockbroker and an Ohio physician, both recovered alcoholics, invent a twelve step recovery program called Alcoholic's Anonymous.

1939 - Barney Bear, cartoon character, by MGM, debuts

1940-With Hitler’s Blitz of France almost complete and English armies escaped across the channel to Dunkirk, Mussolini decided the time was right and declared war on England and France. Italian forces crossed the border and occupied Nice.

1942- LIDICE- In occupied Czechoslovakia the Czech underground scored a big victory when they assassinated the Nazis occupation Gauleiter or governor Richard Heydrich, a personal friend of Hitler. Hitler ordered in revenge a Czech village selected at random and destroyed. The SS surrounded the village of Lidice and shot the whole population of 1,300, then burned and tore down the buildings.

1944- A USO troop was entertaining soldiers in Normandy from the back of a truck but they lacked a piano player. They called out to the G.I. audience if anyone could play. A shy cattle rancher’s son from Modesto California came up and played. He did so well his colonel ordered him out of the line and told him to form his own G.I. band.
Dave Brubeck’s jazz career began.

1945- General Eisenhower was given a massive ticker tape parade down Broadway in New York City. Looking down on Ike from an office building 20 floors up, was a rumpled Navy Reserve Second Lieutenant named Richard Nixon.

1947- Sweden’s Saab motorcar company introduced its first model car. Saab in neutral Sweden had made planes and tanks for World War Two, but after the war was over they recognized that combat was not a growth industry and they switched to autos.

1948- THE JOHNSON CITY WINDMILL- Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson was trying to win a senate seat from Texas but he was lagging far behind a popular ex-governor named Coke Stevenson. So he hit upon a novel way of campaigning. He hired a helicopter and barnstormed the rural towns and districts of the Texas hill country. People came out just to see the newfangled flying machine land and take off, and this gave Johnson a captive audience. They nicknamed it the Johnson City Flying Windmill. Johnson also mounted a massive outlay of posters and pamphlets. He told his staff:” Ah don’t want a voter to wipe his ass with a piece of paper that ain’t got my face on it!” He pulled even to Stevenson and with a little extra ballot box skullduggery won the election.

1957- “Tom Terrific and Manfred the Wonder Dog” cartoon debuts on the Captain Kangaroo show.1967-The Arab-Israeli Six Day War ends. Israel defeated five Arab countries at once and occupied all of Jerusalem, the West Bank, Sinai, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

1980- Comedian Richard Pryor had been doing so much cocaine even his dealers were worried about him. This day, while trying to freebase he exploded, and ran screaming down his street on fire. Another version of the story said he tried to commit suicide by pouring tequila on himself and setting it alight. During his long recovery in the Sherman Oaks burn unit, his nurse once put on the news and he watched CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite report his death. `He thought to himself: "If Walter Cronkite said I died, it must be true! Ahhh!" He recovered, but developed Muscular Dystrophy in the late 1990s.

1995-110,000 people jam Central Park in New York to see Disney's Pocahontas, the largest audience ever to attend an animated movie premiere.

2014- A radical new Sunni Muslim group captured the key Iraqi city of Mosul and declared a new Caliphate. They called themselves ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They take advantage of the chaos of war torn Iraq and Syria to amass power and property and eclipse Al Qaeda as the West’s number one threat.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who famously once cried out “ Oh, who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?!”

Answer: In 1170 English King Henry II was referring to Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, his onetime political ally, who had transformed into a champion of the Catholic Church opposing many of Henry’s edicts. The king’s frustration with his Archbishop let to him taking four of his knights aside and exclaiming “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” Henry’s actual statement was probably somewhat more colloquial, but the meaning was the same. His knights heard it as it was intended, a veiled demand to kill Becket, which they did. Thomas Becket was made a saint and the King did a lot of penance.


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