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June 21, 2017
June 21st, 2017

Question: In our parents slang, when you went to “ drop a dime” what did that mean you were doing?

Yesterday’s Question: The Duke of Wellington had an older brother, who lived as long as he did. So if he was elder, why didn’t he become Duke of Wellington?
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History for 6/21/2017
Birthdays: Martha Washington, Alexander Pope, Berke Breathed, Al Hirschfeld, Al Martinez, Jean-Paul Sartre, Judy Holliday, Benazir Bhutto, Jane Russell, Mariette Hartley, Bernie Koppel, Rick Sutcliffe, Maureen Stapleton, Joe Flagherty, Juliet Lewis, Tony Scott, Chris Pratt is 38, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge is 35.

Happy Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. The sun, at dawn, aligns perfectly with the entrance to Stonehenge. In Persia, the Zoroastrians would light ceremonial fires on altars to the sungod Ahura Mazda.


217BC- Hannibal defeated a Roman army on the shore of Lake Trasimenio in central Italy.

1527- Political theorist Niccolo' Macchiavelli died. - His last words were:
"I hope I shall go to Hell, for there I shall meet kings, popes and princes.
In Heaven one can only meet beggars, monks and apostles."

1582- Japanese warlord Nobunaga Oda assassinated. Called the first of Japan’s Unifiers. He was the most pro-western of Japan's feudal lords and in western Japan, a folk hero, sort of a samurai Robin Hood. Under his protection the Catholic missionaries flourished, and Oda liked to parade around in his western-imported suit of armor. His enemy Tokugawa Ieyasu later became Shogun and banned all contact with the outside world.

1789- RATIFICATION OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION- New Hampshire becomes the 9th state to ratify the new document giving the majority of two thirds of the states. This despite angry anti-federalist sentiment from critics like Patrick Henry and John Hancock. They felt the new system was too centralized and could be tyrannical. Copies of the constitution were burned by mobs in Albany and Williamsburg. But eventually everyone got behind the system. Benjamin Rush noted: "We are now a Nation."

1791- THE FLIGHT TO VARENNES- After the fall of the Bastille in 1789, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette tried to work things out as constitutional monarchs but moderates like Mirabeau and Lafayette were losing control of the angry people, exploited in medieval poverty for so long. So tonight the royals decided to sneak away and escape across the border.
The escape plot was organized by Count Axel Fersen, a lover of Queen Marie Antoinette. They slipped away in the dead of night and traveled 150 miles to the Belgian border before they were stopped. At Varennes they were recognized and brought back to Paris by the city's fishwives led by Jean-Baptiste Drouet, the postmaster of Ste. Menehould. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were eventually both guillotined and their son Louis XVII died rotting in prison. Ironically, a troop of loyalist cavalry, who were to meet them on the road and escort them, got lost a quarter mile away.

1791- The first Ledger entry.

1813- Battle of Vittoria- Wellington defeats the French in Spain to end the Peninsular War and Beethoven writes a really silly overture to celebrate it. The Overture to Wellington's Victory has musical scoring for cannons and musket volleys. It was commissioned by a mechanical calliope inventor named Wilhelm Deitzel. It actually made Beethoven more money than anything else he ever wrote.

1815- Napoleon reached Paris after his defeat at Waterloo. Napoleon had regained power in France with the understanding he would rule as a constitutional monarch. As enemy armies closed in around Paris, the Chamber of Deputies now voted itself in permanent session and began arguing his fate. Royalists and the old Marquis De Lafayette called for his abdication.
Napoleon still had 100,000 men in the field, and the common people were with him. Napoleon’s brother Lucien advised him to ignore the Deputies and rule as a dictator. But curiously enough, despite his reputation as a warmonger, Napoleon never could bring himself to start a civil war. He said “ The fate of one man is not worth drenching Paris in blood.” Waterloo seemed to have broken his self confidence and will to go on.

1854 -During service in the Baltic in the Crimean War –Ships Mate C D Lucas, Royal Navy, HMS Heracela, received the a new medal called the Victoria Cross, or VC.

1864- FATHER ABRAHAM- President Abraham Lincoln visited General Grant’s Union army attacking Lee in Petersburg, Virginia. One highlight of the tour was when Lincoln was shown the 18th corps, a unit of black soldiers. General Grant complimented their excellent discipline and courage under fire. The black troops broke ranks and cheered wildly for Lincoln, their liberator. Hundreds strained just to touch his coat. One said: Now I know I shall go to Heaven, for I have seen Father Abraham, he that hath struck off my chains, and the Day of Jubilee is nigh!” For Lincoln it was a cathartic moment. Whatever his real motives for freeing the slaves, political expediency or moral obligation, he was deeply moved by the demonstration. Tears flowed freely down his face and for once he was speechless.

1866- First recorded train robbery by Jesse James.

1871- The Los Angeles Star newspaper announced the first trainload of pretzels had reached town!

1877-10 members of the Molly Maguires hanged. Irish immigrants in the Pennsylvania coal mines formed secret societies to combat inhuman working conditions and prejudice. At one point they went on strike to reduce their working day to 13 hours! The Molly Maguires was the name of a supposed terrorist fringe that assassinated company men and informers.

1879 - F W Woolworth opens his 1st five and ten cent store.

1893- The FERRIS WHEEL -George Washington Ferris, Jr. decided that the Columbia Exhibition, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery, needed to surpass the French Eiffel Tower (introduced in 1889 during the centennial celebration of the French Revolution). So he created his wheel so each compartment could hold 12 people plus a butler in a parlor-like atmosphere and rotate them 250 feet in the air. People were afraid they would gasp for oxygen up so high but it was a big hit anyway.

1907 - E W Scripps founded United Press Agency.

1913 - Tiny Broadwick is the 1st woman to parachute from an airplane.

1916- General Blackjack Pershing had violated Mexican territory with US troops to hunt down Pancho Villa. This day the diplomatic mess got worse when Pershing’s troops were attacked by regular Mexican army troops at Carrizal. Pershing never did catch Villa and US troops were withdrawn in Jan 1917 because World War I in Europe beckoned.

1919- After WWI ended, in Scapa Flow, Scotland, German Admiral Von Reuter scuttled 21 of his interned battleships rather than turn them over to the victorious Allies. On shore, vacationing Scottish schoolchildren cheered, thinking it was a fireworks display for their benefit.

1939- Eugene O’Neill’s wife Carlotta wrote in her diary- “Gene kept me up all night talking about his outline for a new play about his family”- The Long Days Journey into Night. It took him two years to write and it almost killed him.

1940- In a theatrical act of revenge Adolph Hitler forced France to sign her surrender in the same railroad car in Compiegne that the Germans surrendered in 1918. They broke into a museum to pry loose the exact same Wagon-Lit train car so it could be moved to the exact spot. The treaty meant half of France was occupied by Germany while the other half was French governed from the mineral water spa town of Vichy by a puppet government led by old Marshal Petain.

1948- THE ATALENA INCIDENT- THE ISRAELI CIVIL WAR- Before the Independence of Israel there were two underground militia groups fighting for a Jewish homeland- the Hagnnah and the more violent Irgun. After the State of Israel was declared, Leader David Ben Gurion ordered both to form the new Israeli Defense Force. But the Irgun resisted assimilation. While a tenuous four-week truce with the Arabs held the Irgun filled a ship, the Atalena, with weapons and fighters in France and this day it arrived off the coast of Tel Aviv. Ben Gurion gave a direct order to turn over the weapons to the Army and assimilate the fighters, but Irgun leader Menachem Begin refused.

When Israeli troops converged on the beached ship to unload it, the Irgun opened fire on them with machine guns. In the gun battle, Jews killed Jews in front of Tel Aviv. Begin screamed he wanted to go down with the ship. The captain replied that that was unlikely since the ship had already run aground. The ship caught fire and the captain had the cargo of high explosives dumped overboard and when Begin became hysterical the captain had him, too, dumped into the sea. After several deaths, the Irgun surrendered and agreed to cooperate.
Ben Gurion called them all traitors but was compelled to be lenient because of the greater threat of the Arab armies. Menachem Begin was rehabilitated, formed the Likud Party and eventually won the Nobel Peace Prize.

1947- To silence a jeering crowd of racists at a Dodgers-Cincinnati game, Kentucky native PeeWee Reese put his arm around Jackie Robinson.

1948- At the University of Manchester, John McCauley started up the first modern computer, the Manchester Mark I, that could store a program in it’s memory and reopen it.

1948- The last Japanese holdout defenders surrender on Okinawa, unaware that the war had been over for three years.

1948- Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3-rpm long playing record, the LP. Inventor Peter Goldmark was annoyed that he had to change his 78 rpm records several times to hear just one Brahms Symphony. He decided to invent a way to fit all of a symphony on one side of a record. His immediate supervisors told him to stop it because people would not throw away all their 78 rpm records to replace them with his. So Goldmark went over their heads to CBS chief William Paley and Paley loved the idea. RCA and David Sarnoff tried to compete with the 45-rpm record, but all it was good for was singles. The 33 1/3 dominated recording until replaced by the Compact Disc in the 1980’s.

1964- In Mississippi, Ku Klux Klansmen murdered three Civil Rights volunteers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schermer and dumped their bodies in a swamp. The subsequent FBI investigation and trials further pushed the rural south towards desegregation. The mastermind behind the murders, Edgar Ray Killen, was not convicted until 2005.

1965- The Byrds release record Hey Mr. Tambourine Man.

1978 - Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice's musical "Evita," premieres in London.

1982- John Hinkley was found innocent by reason of insanity in the assassination attempt on President Reagan.

1988- Who Framed Roger Rabbit? premiered at Radio City Music Hall. It opened generally three days later.

1989- The Supreme Court rules in the case Texas vs. Johnson that burning a US flag is a form of free speech and is so legally protected under the First Amendment. While more important issues are at hand the Neo-Conservative dominated Congress spent the next few years in repeated attempts to amend the Constitution. Pundits joked that the next constitutional amendment they would demand would be that cheeseburgers only have American cheese on them.

1998- Paleontologists in Canada announced the discovery of the largest Tyrannosaurus turd yet found. The search intensified for a T-Rex with a relaxed look on his face.

2002- Lilo & Stitch premiered.

2004- The first flight in the privatization of Space, Bert Routans’ company financed by Microsoft head, Paul Allen, sent SpaceShip 1 up to the edge of the atmosphere. Test pilot Mike Nelvil was the first civilian astronaut.
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Yesterday’s Question: The Duke of Wellington had an older brother, who lived as long as he did. So if he was elder, why didn’t he become Duke of Wellington?

Answer: Wellington was born Arthur Wellesley, the third son of the Marquis of Wellesley. When his father died, his elder brother Richard became Marquis. Arthur made his own way in life, and was given the title Duke of Wellington in acknowledgment of his victories in battle. There were no dukes of Wellington before Arthur.


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