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June 24, 2017
June 24th, 2017

Quiz: Walt Disney had older brothers, Herb, Ray and Roy. Did he have any sisters?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: Why is the Turkish Empire called the Ottoman Empire? Did everyone like foot cushions?
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History for 6/24/2017
Birthdays: Earl Kitchener, the Sirdar of Omdurman, Roy O. Disney, E.I. Dupont, Ambrose Bierce, Jack Dempsey, John Ciardi, Mick Fleetwood, Phil Harris- singer and voice of Baloo in Disney’s Jungle Book, Billy Casper, Michelle Lee, Claude Chabrol, Chief Dan George, Pete Hamill, Peter Weller, Sherry Springfield

Happy St. John the Baptist or St. Jean Baptiste’s Day.

1203- The armies and fleets of the Fourth Crusade arrive before the Walls of Constantinople. The knights of Europe had signed on to fight Moslems for the Holy City of Jerusalem but Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo convinced them to help him destroy the Byzantine Greeks first. This was a purely economic act because the Byzantine Greeks were Venice’s chief competition for Mediterranean trade.

1219- Pope Innocent III set today as the deadline for deadbeat knights who volunteered to go on Crusade to get off their ironclad butts and get going. Knights had an economic incentive to taking the Crusading vow: no one could collect a bad debt from you and you couldn't be imprisoned for owing money. So some knights would take the vow to Crusade, but then stalled making the dangerous trip to the Middle East, where two out of three never returned.

1324- THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN- Scottish King Robert the Bruce defeated the invading army of King Edward II of England and secured the crown of Scotland for the next 300 years. The Bruce fought in the midst of his troops, hacking down Sir Hugh de Bohun in single combat with his battle-axe. Edward’s father, Edwards Longshanks, had developed winning tactics of using Welsh archers to shoot up an enemy before the mounted knights charged. But Edward II’s bad generalship bungled the system. Knights and footmen scrabbled to get at the Scots not allowing the bowmen a clear target.

1374- In the French town of Aix la Chapelle was the first recorded outbreak of St. John’s Dance. Groups of people frothing at the mouth danced madly around uncontrollably until they fell over dead from exhaustion.

1441- Eton College created by King Henry VI of England.

1488-The PIED PIPER OF HAMLIN-The story is a romantic fairy tale but on this day one version of the story has the real man doing something more like Jeffrey Dahmer. Because the town fathers refused to pay his salary he spirited a hundred children out of Hamelin and they all disappeared. People later found young body parts. These fairy tales, like Red Riding Hood and others were for peasants more warnings of peril than amusements.

1497-English explorer John Cabot discovered Canada -Eh!

1534- The great medical pioneer Paracelsus led a mass burning of medical textbooks at Basel University. The eccentric scholar took frequent sips of laudanum (a heavy opiate he developed) from a container in the hollow handle of his sword. He pioneered the use of minerals in medicine and invented the term Tartar for teeth.

He also practiced Astrology and would never give an enema during the full moon. With this book-burning stunt Paracelsus claimed that all medical text before him was quackery and mumbo-jumbo. Burning in St. John’s Fire was the least it deserved. Truth be told he was right. His middle name Bombast became a synonym for bragging.

1535- The Anabaptists, a radical religious sect, had driven out the Bishop of the German city of Munster and established a commune like city-state they called the New Jerusalem. This day after a long siege, a spy opened a gate to the German Imperial soldiers and the city was captured with a horrible massacre.

The Anabaptist leader John of Leyden, who had lived like an Old Testament King with a harem of wives, was tied to a stake and clawed with red-hot pincers. His tongue was torn out with pliers. Finally, when they couldn’t think of any more ways to torture him a dagger was pounded into his heart and his body burned. The Anabaptist sect was suppressed in Cologne, Trier, Amsterdam and Leyden.

1675- King Phillips War began. The Massachusetts Pilgrims repay the hospitality of the Wampanoag Indians with whom they spent the first Thanksgiving by wiping them out. King Phillip was the Christian name of the chief who was the son of Massacoit, the Wampanoag who welcomed the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.

1668- Margaret Brent entered the legislature of the colony of Maryland and demanded the right to vote. She was chased out of the building.

1812- NAPOLEON INVADES RUSSIA with the largest army yet assembled.
Around 600,000. By December, barely 30,000 came out alive. This day while inspecting the troops Napoleon’s horse stepped in a rabbit hole and threw him on his butt. This was taken as an ill omen.

1853- Joaquin Murietta was an outlaw who ranged up and down the California midlands. Called the Terror of the Stanislaus. He and his friend Three-Fingered Jack were finally hunted down and killed in a shootout by Marshal Harry Love. This day Murietta’s head and Jack’s three-fingered hand in a jar of spirits went on display in front of the Stockton Cal jailhouse.

1876- CUSTER APPROACHES THE LITTLE BIG HORN- General Custer's scouts reported a large Indian camp at the Little Big Horn River. Custer decides to attack tomorrow without waiting for the other armies to catch up. Through his interpreter Mitch Boyer, he tells his Indian scouts that after he has destroyed the Sioux, he will go back east and become the Great White Father. The Republican presidential nominating convention was next month.
The Crow and Mandan scouts were troubled by the signs and began to sing their death-songs. Embedded N.Y. Herald reporter Mark Kellogg made a final entry in his diary: "I go to ride with Custer and will be there at the death...”
In the dawn's light a survivor from Major Reno’s command overheard chief scout Bloody Knife tell Custer: " You and I are going Home today -but by a different path."

1889- The Bank of Telluride Colorado was robbed by a lapsed Mormon miner named Robert Parker, who now called himself Butch Cassidy.

1901- The first exhibit in a Paris salon on the Rue Lafitte of a Spanish artist named Pablo Picasso.

1924- As the Zionist Jews labored to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine, disagreements arose between Ultra-Orthodox and more secular Jews. The orthodox objected to the founding of a Jewish State before the coming of the Mossiach or Messiah, they objected to the everyday use of Hebrew, which they considered a sacred tongue.
This day an Ultra Orthodox leader named Rabbi Israel Dehar was assassinated by the Hagannah, the Israeli underground. Rabbi Dehar had just had meetings with the Sheik of Trans-Jordan and had announced he was going to go to London to demand the British authorities create a separate protectorate for Orthodox Jews that would not be under the rule of the mainstream Jewish community.
Even though many Zionist leaders like Abba Eban felt the killing of a fellow Jew was wrong, they could not endure such a fracturing of the Jewish position. So Rabbi Dehar had to be stopped.

1930- The first test of radar to detect an airplane, this test over Anacostia flats near Washington DC.

1939- Pan-Am airlines began regular transatlantic passenger flights from New York to London.

1944- Three Jews escaped Auschwitz, traveled via Switzerland to bring evidence of the Holocaust to London and Washington. American and British Jewish leaders demand bombing the rail links to the concentration camps. A shocked Winston Churchill wrote RAF Air Marshal Tedder: "Get anything out of the air force you can." Strangely, nothing ever happened. The plans were always stalled in lower echelons.
Three times U.S. Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy wrote, "Kill this plan.” While massed Allied bombers were reducing German cities to ruins, there was never one single air attack upon a concentration camp. The gas chambers and crematoriums worked uninterrupted until they were finally overrun by the land armies. It's one of the war's more shameful mysteries.

1945- The Russian Victory Parade over the German Third Reich. Moscow rejoiced as thousands of Red Army troops marched in Red Square and tossed captured Nazi flags at the foot of Lenin’s tomb. This in imitation of their ancestors who tossed Napoleon’s battle flags in a heap on the steps of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. There next to Stalin stood future President Dwight Eisenhower representing the United States.

Top military genius Marshal Gyorgi Zhukov, the victor of Stalingrad and Berlin, was allowed to review the troops on a prancing white horse. This display aroused jealousy in Stalin who was suspicious of rivals and not anxious to share the credit. Within a year of the victory, Stalin had Zhukov disgraced and sent to Mongolia, and the heads of the Soviet Navy and Airforce demoted and tortured. Stalin then awarded all the top war medals to himself.

1945- Meet the Press debuted on radio. Two years later it moved to television and it remains TV’s longest running program.

1947-The Berlin Airlift- Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was furious when the western powers decided to unify their sections of defeated Germany back into an independent country and top Nazis supporters like industrialist Gottfried Krupp were being let out of jail and put back into positions of power. He decided to strike back at isolated Berlin.
When Stalin ordered all land routes to West Berlin sealed off hoping to starve the city into submission, U.S. President Truman ordered the city supplied by round the clock air flights. The planes brought 4 thousand tons of supplies a day. A plane landed every three minutes. The Germans called them "candy-bombers" because they dropped candy on the children from above.

1947- THE FIRST MODERN UFO SIGHTING. A commercial airline pilot flying out of Seattle notices 6 silver disc shaped objects hovering over Mt. Reynier near Seattle. They then shot off at terrific speed. They are never identified nor explained. The pilot, Kenneth Arnold had impeccable credentials as an ex-combat Marine pilot and chamber of commerce member. The government response was to hit him with an IRS audit. The "flying-saucer" craze, with allegorical overtones to postwar atomic paranoia, sweeps the American imagination throughout the 1950’s.

1949 - "Hopalong Cassidy" becomes the1st network western on television-NBC.

1950- THE KOREAN WAR BEGAN- June 25th in some records because of the International Date Line- 30 North Korea divisions armed with heavy Soviet tanks and artillery crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea. The attack was a complete surprise and most South Korean officers were at a party dedicating a new Officer’s Club. The US had deliberately kept the Korean Army lightly armed to diffuse Cold War tension. Mao and Stalin were equally surprised by Kim Il Sung’s offensive. Declassified wire messages between Bejing and Moscow read “ Did you tell him to do that?” I thought you did…?”

That previous January, Secretary of State Acheson had said during a conference that the US "was not interested in the Korean Peninsula." But when President Harry Truman was informed of the invasion he responded in typical Truman fashion:" We gotta stop those Sons of Bitches!" At this time there were only 500 US troops in Korea called KMAG, for Korean Military Advisory Group, which one Yank changed to Kiss My Ass Goodbye! This is considered the first war fought by the United Nations, since Truman pushed through a resolution sending troops under the UN banner. The Russians were boycotting the Security Council over its refusal to seat Red China, so they were not there to veto the resolution.

1963 - 1st demonstration of a home video recorder, at BBC Studios, London

1970 – The movie "Catch 22" opened in movie theaters.

1973- Eamon de Valera resigned as President of the Irish Republic at age ninety. The American-born Irish patriot had been a guerrilla in the 1916 Easter Sunday Uprising and was president since 1932.

1997- Brian Keith, actor (Family Affair, Dirty Dingus McGee), shot himself at 75. He was suffering from incurable cancer and tired of the pain fighting the disease.

2004- On the Senate floor during a routine Congressional group photo, the Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney, told the Democratic Senate Minority leader, Patrick Leahy, “Go F**k Yourself!” Republican Majority Leader, Senator Tom Delay, said the Vice President “was having a hard day”. The Vice President never apologized for this vulgar breach of etiquette, like he has never really apologized for anything.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is the Turkish Empire called the Ottoman Empire? Did everyone like foot cushions?

Answer: The name comes from the Royal Dynasty of Turkish Sultans, the family line of Osman, or Ottoman. Every proper late Victorian home had a "Turkish Corner" or room called a Divan, that featured a small sitting stool that became nicknamed an ottoman.
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