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Dec 6, 2017
December 6th, 2017

Question: When we speak of Christmas, we call it Yuletide. Why? What’s a Yule?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Who wrote a play where Joan of Arc is a villain?
History for 12/6/2017
Birthdays: King Henry VI of England-1422, English Puritan General George Monck-1608, John Eberhard 1822, builder of the first large pencil factory in the US, John Singleton-Mosby the Grey Ghost, Henry Jarecki, Baby Face Nelson, William S. Hart, Ira Gershwin, Dave Brubeck, Agnes Moorehead, Tom Hulce is 64, Wally Cox, Lynn Fontaine, Steven Wright, JoBeth Williams, Judd Apatow is 50, Nick Park is 59

Today is the FEAST of SAINT NICHOLAS, the patron saint of sailors and children. In the 350 AD Bishop Nicholas heard of a man so poor that he was about to sell his daughters into prostitution. Nicholas climbed into the man’s window and placed gold coins in the family socks drying by the fireplace. In some cities during the Middle Ages the custom was this day to elect a Boy Bishop who would reign in an honorary style until the Feast of the Holy Innocents December 28th.

1196- The northern coast of Holland was flooded, the Saint Nicholas Flood.

1240- The Mongol hordes of Batu Khan destroy the city of Kiev. This ended the old kingdom of Kievan Russ.

1534- Spanish settlers in Equador found the city of Quito.

1648- PRIDE'S PURGE -The final move of the Cromwell’s Army to secure power in post-Civil War England. His army had occupied London after Parliament had given him a direct order to disband. Soldiers led by a Colonel Thomas Pride stood at the entrance to the House of Commons with a list and as the Parliament members walked in he pulled out 60 of them for arrest. Outraged statesmen demanded to know what was his commission? Pride sneered " This sword point is my commission!"

Thus cowed, the truncated remainder was nicknamed the Rump Parliament. General Oliver Cromwell was discreetly out of town, but he was doubtless in on the planning of the purge. England was now a military dictatorship and would remain so for ten years until Cromwell's death when General Monk called back the monarchy.

1757-Battle of Leuthen- Frederick the Great beats the Austrian Army outnumbering him three to one. Austrian commander Archduke Charles was contemptuous of the smaller Prussian army, calling them a “Berlin Watch Parade” i.e. a police force. But the Prussians defeated the Austrians badly, and sang their hymn Nun Danket Alle Gott on the blood soaked snow. Napoleon called Leuthen Frederick’s masterpiece.

1790- Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia to await construction of it’s final home in the new Federal City in Maryland, already being called by some Washington-City. George Washington himself would occasionally ride out from Mt Vernon and meet with Jefferson and Madison to inspect the construction site.

1825- President John Quincy Adams in his first message to Congress called for increased funding for scientific research, the founding of a national university and a national observatory. His political enemies ridiculed his ideas as idiotic and his credibility was damaged by this speech. He also installed the first indoor toilets in the White House. People started calling the newfangled commodes a John Quincy or simply a John.

1846- Battle of San Pasquale- A Mexican victory in the U.S.-Mexican War. The US Army was so sure that California was conquered that General Phil Kearny detached half of his army to go join Zachary Taylor in Mexico while he pushed on to the Pacific Coast. Just outside of San Diego Harbor he was attacked by California Vacqueros brandishing lances. The Yankee militia at first laughed at the silly “pig-stickers”, until they realized the previous nights rainstorm had made their gunpowder useless. Kearnys force was chased away. Only with great difficulty did they escape under Kit Carson’s guidance to the sheltering guns of the US Fleet in San Diego harbor. The battlefield is near the town of Julian California.

1849- Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland and began her underground railroad to smuggle runaway slaves from the South up North. After the Fugitive Slave Act was passed she extend her route to Canada. At one point she wanted to join John Browns insurrection in Harpers Ferry but illness prevented her, and probably saved her life.

1877- First edition of the Washington Post.

1915- MAX FLEISCHER PATENTS THE ROTOSCOPE TECHNIQUE- This system enables you to film an actor then draw the cartoons over the still frames of the live action to achieve a realistic motion. (an early form of Motion Capture) Max would film his brother Dave in a clown suit then draw Koko the Clown over him. Dave had already owned the clown suit because he had been seriously considering a change in careers. The Fleischer's New York studio would be Disney's chief rival for most of the 1920's-30's.

1921- IRISH INDEPENDENCE- Irish home rule announced. It had been an Irish dream since William Strongbow and the Norman English invaded in 1085. After decades of Parliamentary pressure from advocates like Charles Parnell and Daniel O'Connell, a long guerrilla war with the IRA and public exhaustion from the Great War, London was ready to talk terms. But the British Crown insisted on a compromise of letting the 6 Protestant Counties of Ulster remain under British rule and an oath of loyalty to the king. Prime Minister Lloyd George threatened a full war on Ireland with all the resources of the British Empire as the alternative.
Irish negotiators Michael Collins and Alexander Griffith knew this deal would cause resentment, but they felt it was the best they could get. In the following months both men would be dead and a civil war broke out. The loyalty oath was ignored and full Irish independence declared in 1946.

1929- Turkey under Kemal Ataturk gave women the right to vote.

1933- U.S. Federal Judge Woolsey decides James Joyce's "ULYSSES" is not a dirty book and can be published in the U.S by Viking Press. The book had been out in Europe since 1922.

1941- Admiral Nagumo turned his carriers into the wind and began to prepare to launch the attack on Pearl Harbor. Colonel William Bratton of army intelligence in Washington decoded a message from Tokyo to the Japanese Embassy telling them after their final message to destroy their cyphers and top secret documents. He ran all over D.C. trying to get someone to listen, but it was a quiet weekend like any other.
Saturday morning Mrs. Dorothy Edgers of the Navy cryptographic division translated long decoded instructions to the Japanese Consul Kita in Honolulu to provide up to date intelligence on Pearl Harbor's ship movements and armaments. When she pointed this out to her immediate supervisor, he told her "Ummm..We'll get back to this on Monday."

1941- WONDER WOMAN, Psychologist William Moulton Marston was an educational consultant for Detective Comics, Inc. (DC Comics). Marston saw that the DC line was filled with images of super men like Green Lantern, Batman, Superman. He wondered why there was not a female hero? DC head Max Gaines, was intrigued by the concept and told Marston that he should create a female hero - a "Wonder Woman." Marston's 'good and beautiful woman' made her debut in All Star Comics #8.

1941- NY City Council voted to build a second municipal airport- Idylwild Airport, later renamed John F. Kennedy Airport.

1942- Val Lewton’s strange movie The Cat People with Simon-Simon premiered.

1957- In a reaction to the Russians launching sputnik, the first US attempt to launch a satellite into space failed- the Vanguard I rocket blew up on the launch pad.

1960- Baseball’s American League granted an expansion franchise team to old cowboy singer Gene Autrey, the California Angels.

1964- The first concert at the Los Angeles Music Center.

1964- Rankin Bass' TV special 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' first broadcast. And it has run every year since.

1969- The Rolling Stones do the last big rock festival of the 60s in Altamont California. The festival turned ugly when Hells Angels motorcyclists, hired to guard the stage, started fighting with fans. One man was killed.

1980- Reverend Jim Baker of the PTL ministry had sex in a motel room with Church volunteer Jessica Hahn. His reasoning to her was “when you help the shepherd, you help the flock”. But later he paid her hush money. This indiscretion would help pull down his career. Baker’s ministry included a lavish lifestyle, air-conditioned doghouse for his pets and a Christian theme park called Heritage USA. Ex-evangelist turned comic Sam Kinison joked: I can imagine up in heaven, Jesus is thumbing through the New Testament saying” Hey, where the Hell did I ever say anything thing about a water slide?”
Recently Baker made a comeback and his adult son is making statements about national politics.

1994- Orange County California, one of the richest counties in the United States declared bankruptcy because an official gambled and lost the county's funds on speculative investments like junk-bonds. One billion dollars disappeared in less than a week of day trading.
Yesterday’s Question: Who wrote a play where Joan of Arc is a villain?

Answer: William Shakespeare has Joan Puzel (aka Joan the Maid, Joan la Pucelle) in his play Henry IV Part I. He makes her much tougher and devious than our saintly view of her today. Possibly he was using the then English view of her as a witch, and the English Protestant’s suspicion of Catholic saints.