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Dec. 5, 2018
December 5th, 2018

Question: Who were Burke & Hare? (Hint: England, XIX Century)

Yesterdays Question Answered Below: What is the difference between Caliban and the Taliban?
History for 12/5/2018
Birthdays: Pope Julius II, Martin Van Buren, Walt Disney, Fritz Lang, Eugene Debs, George Armstrong Custer, Little Richard Penniman, Strom Thurmond, Otto Preminger, Lin Piao, Calvin Trillin, Joan Didion, Jim Plunkett, Jose Carrerras, Margaret Cho is 50

Faunalia- the ancient Roman festival for rustic god Faunus.

1212-THE WONDER OF THE WORLD.- Fredrick II Hohenstaufen became Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation at 18. The son of Henry VI the Lion, Freddy was called "stupor mundi et immutator mirabilis” The Marvelous Transformer and Wonder of the World”.

1349- People in Europe were at a loss to explain why the Black Death plague was killing everyone. So, they settled on their age-old answer- It must be the Jews fault! This day in Nuremberg 500 Jews were killed by rioters.

1484- Pope Innocent VIII raises the practice of Witchcraft from a minor sin to a major heresy. Included in the definition of witchcraft is any remaining vestiges of local animist customs, herbalism or treating illnesses with home grown medicines. He ordered the Holy Office of the Inquisition to look into all cases. From 1484 to 1750 maybe 200,000 people died in Europe and America. As late as 1784 a woman in Belgium was executed for bewitching a child. The last burning of the Spanish Inquisition was in 1817.

1492- Christopher Columbus, still looking for Japan, now discovered Haiti.

1502- Columbus last voyage was hit by a hurricane. For twelve days his ships were battered by wind and waves. At one point Columbus saw a waterspout in the ocean near them. He read a Rite of Exorcism at it and made the sign of the Cross with his sword. Tradition says it then went away.

1560- King Francis II of France died at age 16. His mom Catherine de Medici didn’t fret, she had more sons. She made her next son Charles IX king at age 10.

1704- In Hamburg, towards the end of the opera Cleopatre composer Georg Frederich Handel and soloist Johann Mattheson started bickering over who should bow and receive the audiences applause. As the curtain came down and the cheers rang out, Handel and Mattheson began furiously wrestling over the harpsichord. Finally they rushed out into the snowy public square and fought with swords. The audience followed them and cheered on this unique encore. Neither was hurt in the end, and they even made up over their next opera.

1766- London auction house Christies held it’s first auction.

1791-MOZART DIED- The 35 year old composer was slaving away on a commission for a Requiem Mass when he died of scarlet fever and kidney failure complicated by exhaustion and alcoholism (and he didn't work in animation ) Mozart was buried in a pauper's grave and when his wife came to mourn him a few days later nobody could recall where he was buried.
The theories about Antonio Salieri poisoning him out of jealousy or the FreeMasons doing him in began only a few years later. Schiller wrote a play in 1817 called Mozart & Salieri where he has Salieri doing the dastardly deed. Salieri lived into his 80s. In 1827 one of Beethoven's pupils wrote the Maestro about going up to the sanitarium to visit the ancient composer: "Salieri is in one of his fits again, shouting “I killed Mozart! Mozart forgive me!”"

1791- First Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton presented his Report on Manufactures to Congress. This was considered a revolutionary document because here was this illegitimate snob telling his half wild nation of farmers and trappers with dead raccoons on their heads, that their future lay in developing heavy industry closely regulated by a strong centralized government. Thomas Jefferson among many others thought it was a big mistake, but modern scholars declare The Report on Manufactures as the true beginning of the US economy.

1804- The Presentation of the Eagles- Part of Napoleon’s reforming of the French Army after becoming Emperor was to standardize the battle flags. The old tattered flags of the Revolution were collected and a red, white and blue flag with gold trim was distributed, each surmounted by a brass Eagle patterned on an ancient Roman design. In 1807 the flag was standardized as the modern French tricolor we know today. Also given out was an emerald green flag with golden harps to the Irish Volunteer brigade. Jacques Louis David did a beautiful painting of the event but the truth be told it was a lousy rainy day and there was a lot of confusion.

1837- Hector Berlioz chorale Requiem premiered.

1854- Aaron Allen of Boston patented the theater chair that folded up so you could exit.

1865-The steel industry is transformed when Sir Henry Bessemer received an American patent for the Bessemer Steel process, which made steel harder with less impurities.

1912- New York Hat directed by D.W. Griffith starring Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore premiered. The first movie script written by19 year old Anita Loos to be produced. She became one of the finest Hollywood screenwriters and Broadway playwright, who penned films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She died in 1981 at age 92.

1933- Prohibition was repealed in the U.S. with the ratification of the 21st Amendment. Interestingly enough the final state to ratify the repeal amendment was Utah. Canadian cities like Moose Jaw Saskatchuan, where Al Capone had set up huge distilleries to run-rum across Lake Michigan, went into mourning. Bootleggers like Josef Bronfman of Seagrams and Joe Kennedy Sr. had to look for new sources of income.

1938- The FCC concludes there was no malicious intent in Orson Welles Halloween broadcast of The War of the Worlds, and no fines would be imposed.

1941- Marshal Zhukov commenced the first Soviet counterattack since the Nazis invasion began in June. As the Red Army pushed the Germans 100 miles back from the outskirts of Moscow. The Germans first came up against the new Soviet T-34 Stalin Tank. German tank expert Heinz Guderian wrote to a colleague” I have just seen a most amazing tank, and if the Russians are mass producing them, we may lose the war!”

1941- Admiral Halsey moved his carrier fleet- USS Lexington & Enterprise out of Pearl Harbor to go on maneuvers. They would not be there for the Japanese attack on Pearl. This is why Admiral Yamamoto was disappointed with the battle’s final results.

1945- Flight 19, a routine training patrol of 5 Navy Avenger torpedo bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale at 2:00PM and flew into the Bermuda Triangle. Two hours later the commander radioed that his compass and backup compass had failed and his position was unknown. The 14 men and their planes were never seen again. In the next few months hundreds of planes and ships searched the waters for some signs of wreckage with no success. In 1986 and 1991 claims were made that wreckage was found, but so far but so far nothing has ever been confirmed.

1951- Shoeless Joe Jackson died. The most powerful baseball batter of his age, he taught Babe Ruth how to hit. But he was implicated in the Black Sox scandal of 1919 and permanently banned from baseball. He spent the rest of his life running a hardware store near his rural Georgia home.

1952- The Abbott & Costello Television Show premiered. Where’s Hilary, Mr Fields and Stinky? “ Niagara Falls! Slooowwlly I turn! Step by Step! Step by Step!”

1952- A killer smog blanketed London and southern England for a week. Visibility was reduced to barely a yard. Before it dispersed it killed 4,000-12,000 people. The crisis spurred Britain to ban the use of coal fires to heat homes.

1953- Josef Stalin died. He was in a coma after a stroke but his doctors were too terrified to treat him. Before he died he was preparing a new purge, aimed at doctors.

1953- Russian Composer Sergei Prokoviev died, but the news was overshadowed by the death of Stalin.

1974- The Seattle Seahawks football team formed.

1974- The BBC aired the last Monty Python show.

1978- Under the Jimmy Carter administration, a federal judge ruled that religious schools could no longer be segregated, and still claim religious tax-exempt status. This made many mega churches decide to shift their activities towards Republican politics.
Yesterday’s Question: What is the difference between Caliban and the Taliban?

Answer: Caliban is the deformed, half-human creature who is the wizard Prospero’s reluctant slave in Shakespeare's play, The Tempest. The Taliban is an Afghanistan fundamentalist Islamic sect. (Thanks FG)