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Sept 4, 2017
September 4th, 2017

Quiz: One standard in the modern American songbook is September Song. Who wrote September Song? George Gershwin, Compton & Greene, Cole Porter or Kurt Weill?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Among the famous inventors of the early twentieth century, Ford, Edison, what important thing did George Eastman invent?
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History for 9/4/2017
Birthdays: Marcus Whitman the missionary who led US settlement of Oregon, Howard Morris, Darius Mihlaud, Anton Bruckner, Chateaubriand, Craig Claiborne, Dick York, Richard Wright, Mary Renault, Mitzi Gaynor, Computer AI pioneer John McCarthy, Damon Wayans is 57, Paul Harvey, Beyonce’ Knowles is 36

HAPPY LABOR DAY. In most countries, the international day to celebrate working people is May 1. This holiday was thanks to AF of L leader Samuel Gompers convincing President Grover Cleveland that America needed a day to honor working people without the lefty-connotations of May Day. And besides, we could all use a day off between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. So Labor Day was born in 1894.

218BC- Hannibal’s army with his elephants reached the summit of the Alps.

Today is the feast of St. Rosalia who lived in a cave at Mount Pelligrino in Sicily. Five centuries after her death, her bones miraculously saved Palermo from the plague.

1698- THE MASSACRE OF THE STRELTZY- Czar Peter the Great returned to Moscow after traveling Europe for the last 18 months. And boy, was he pissed off! It seems he had to cut his travels short because he heard that back home his bodyguards- the Streltzy, plotted a coup and conspired with Peters older step-sister Sophia. Peter was so mad he had dozens of Streltzy leaders tortured and 1,100 executed. Peter swung an axe and beheaded five himself. After wiping them out, Czar Peter laid the foundation for a new Russian Army based on the modern western model.

1781- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOS ANGELES. Royal Governor of New Spain Felipe de Neve and Franciscan monk Fra Junipero Serra with twelve soldiers, some free black families and Indians, about 44 in all, dedicated a new town, one days ride from of San Gabriel. The 63 year old Serra had been stung by a scorpion but ignored it, so he hobbled around dragging his swollen leg. Fra Serra named the town after St. Francis of Assisi's first church in Italy- St. Mary of the Angels. Ciudad de la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora, Reina de Los Angeles sobra la Porziuncola de Asís.

1781- Benedict Arnold, the American Colonial general turned traitor, led a force of British redcoats to burn his own home town of New London, Connecticut.

1821- Russian Czar Nicolas I issued an Imperial Ukase- edict restating Russia's claim to all of the North American Pacific coastline from Alaska to Northern California. The United States rejected this claim and threatened war, which is interesting considering they didn't own any of it at the time. Ya see, they had plans.

1833 –The New York Sun hired young boys to sell their papers on street corners. The first newsboy was ten-year old Barney Flaugherty. Now go peddle your papers, kid.

1839- The Opium Wars began between Britain and China. U.S. Ambassador John Quincy Adams called it "the Kow-Tow Wars" because he felt the real issue was the British Consul refused to lie prostrate on his face before the Chinese Emperor, as was the local custom. The Chinese had never smoked Opium until it was introduced by Britain from Pakistan.

1870-After the news of the spectacular defeat and capture of the Emperor Napoleon III at Sedan reached Paris, street rioting breaks out. Empress Eugenie fled taking the Bonaparte family into exile in England. The French Assembly National declared Napoleon III deposed and proclaimed the Third republic.

1877- Chief Crazy Horse, the "Napoleon of the Plains" was murdered. He had surrendered his weapons on a promise of fair treatment , then was suddenly arrested and bayoneted in the back while resisting guards trying to push him into a jail cell. His dying words to his tribe were "Tell the people it is no use to depend on me anymore." Indians enjoy a legend today that Crazy Horse's secret burial place is on the top of Mt. Rushmore.

1884-Thomas Edison proves he could replace gas streetlights with electricity by illuminating one square New York City block (around Pearl St.) with his new dynamo. J.P. Morgan's bank on the corner of Wall and Broad streets is the first private business to be lit solely by electricity.

1888-George Eastman patents the roll film camera. The word "Kodak" is supposedly the sound the shutter made. Another story on the origin of the word was that George wanted a word pronounced the same in all known dialects. So after some research (Rochester lore has it that he did all of this himself) he concluded that only k and x qualified as sounds uttered the same way in all languages. Thus Eastman Kodak.

1893- Writer and illustrator Beatrix Potter sent a letter to a sick child: " I don't know what to write you, so I shall tell you the story of four little rabbits. Their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter." The Peter Cottontail stories born.

1904 – The Dali Lama signed the first treaty allowing British commerce in Tibet. Tibet had been a closed society forbidding any contact with the outside world.

1914-The Miracle of the Marne- In World War I the main German advance smashed down into France and after 5 weeks were approaching Paris. But Von Kluck's grey clad soldiers were stopped at the river Marne. It was the first battle where telephones played an important role and at one point General Gallieni rushed French reserves up to the front in Parisian taxicabs. The commander of the defense of Paris was Albert Dreyfus, the Jewish officer of the famous scandal of the 1890's now fully exonerated.

1918- Young substitute letter carrier Walt Disney narrowly escaped a bomb explosion in the post office of the Chicago Federal Building. The bomb was first thought to have been planted by radical unionists or German saboteurs, but it turned out to be from a local gangster. It killed four and injured 75. Walt later said, “I missed it by three minutes. “

1934- Young filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl was contracted by the German Propaganda Ministry to film the 1934 Nazis Party Congress to be held in Nuremburg. While they were expecting a routine documentary, Reifenstahl instead created the film The Triumph of the Will, who’s darkly hypnotic images made film history.

1936- The musical Swing Time opened. Considered by critics one of the best pairings of the dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1940- The Columbia Broadcast Service or CBS network started up their first television station.

1949- THE PEEKSKILL RIOTS. Singer Paul Robeson was a renaissance man who embraced controversy. An athlete, opera singer and actor he was also a passionate Black Civil Rights champion who expressed open admiration for the Soviet Union and Maoist China. This did not win him any friends in the segregated, paranoid America of the post war era.
This day when Robeson and fellow activist folksinger Pete Seeger gave a concert in Peekskill New York their cars were pelted with stones by screaming white rioters, all with the blessing of the local police. Robeson’s person was shielded by a bodyguard of union men. Fifty years later the town of Peekskill officially apologized to Paul Robeson Jr. Pete Seeger saved some of the stones to fix his chimney.

1957- Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel, named for Henry Ford's son. Touted as "the dream car of the decade". Ford spent more to promote it than any other car in history up to that time. Only 200,000 were sold and after complaints like the steering and brakes failing and dashboards unexpectedly bursting into flame. The model was discontinued after Ford lost $250 million. Edsel became a synonym for corporate failure.

1957- Defying direct orders from the Federal Government, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent any black students from attending classes at Little Rock High School. President Eisenhower took over direct control of the Guard and sent in the bayonet wielding 101st Airborne to ensure his orders were followed.

1972- American swimmer Mark Spitz won his 7th gold medal in Olympic competition in Munich. He also spawned a cottage industry selling the poster of him wearing his medals, tiny Speedos and that’s about it. This image and the swimsuit poster of Farrah Fawcett, were two of the more famous images of the 1970’s. Spitz held the record until Michael Phelps in 2008.

1976- College party boy George W. Bush was arrested for drunk-driving close to his family home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He later applied for a brand new Texas State driver’s license, which came with a clean record with no report of the arrest. As President delivering the commencement at Harvard in 2002, he joked:” In the motorcade, seeing all those police cars behind me with their lights flashing… kinda brings me back to my college days…”

1982- the single “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappas daughter Moon Unit Zappa became a hit.

1985- Australian press baron Rupert Murdoch became a U.S. citizen so he could build the Fox television and movie networks. US regulations forbade foreign ownership of broadcasting stations so Rupert didn’t fuss about what country he was a citizen of.

1993- Herb Villechaise, the little person who began the show Fantasy Island with the announcement: ”Da PLANE! Da PLANE!’ committed suicide with a shotgun.

2002- Kelly Clarkson won the first American Idol contest.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Quiz: Among the famous inventors of the early twentieth century, Ford, Edison, what important thing did George Eastman invent?

Answer: He invented the roll-film camera, replacing large clumsy glass plates and making it inexpensive, so anyone could afford one. See above, 1888.


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