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May 24, 2019
May 24th, 2019

Quiz: What do you mean when you say something is problematic?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What was the first movie by The Marx Bros.?
History for 5/24/2019
Birthdays: Jean Paul Marat, Queen Victoria, Walt Whitman, Emmanuel Leutze, Gary Burghoff, Priscilla Presley, Patti LaBelle, Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, Peter Ellenshaw, Kristin Scott Thomas is 59, Alfred Molina is 66, Jim Broadbent is 70, John C. Reilly is 54, Bob Dylan is 78

1429- Near Champagne, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians. The independent Duchy of Burgundy then was the area where Belgium and Lorraine are today. They sold her to the English, who put her on trial as a witch. The French king, Charles VI, whom Joan had re-conquered half of France for, did absolutely nothing to help or ransom her, as was the custom with noble prisoners. She was tortured and burned at the stake. While other kings are nicknamed Lion Heart or The Great, Charles’ nickname was "The Well-Served."

1543- Astronomer Nicolas Copernicus died in Frombork, Poland. He made sure his book ‘Die Revolutionabus Orbium Coelestrum’, ‘On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies’, would be published after his death. Legend says that after thirty years of trying to get it published, on his deathbed his friends laid the first copy on his pillow. The old scientist smiled and then died. In the book, he mathematically proved the Earth went around the Sun instead of visa-versa, and that the Earth rotated on its axis daily. The Pope, Martin Luther and John Calvin all agreed that Copernicus was crazy. In Scripture, hadn’t Joshua commanded the Sun to stand still? One question historians debate is whether Copernicus was really a priest or not. He worked for the Archbishop of Gniezno as a lay-clergyman that didn’t have to take Holy orders. No record exists of his saying a Mass. He never married, but he lived with his housekeeper like man and wife.

1578- Dutch Calvinists stage a march through Amsterdam. They dismiss the pro-Catholic town council and take over the large Catholic Cathedrals in the city for use by the new reformed faith.

1590- In Rome, construction of the great Dome of Saint Peters Basilica completed.

1626- MANHATTAN BOUGHT FROM THE INDIANS- Dutchman Peter Minuit stopped several Indians he found on the island and negotiated a purchase of the land for $24 dollars in trade goods, which at the time was not a bad price. To the Indians the purchase and ownership of land was crazy ("Why not also buy the clouds?"-Chief Seattle), and besides, the Hackensack-Lanapii Indians weren’t even from that area, they were just there hunting. Manhattoes is old Algonguin meaning " island of little hills". The Lenapii were named Canarsie by Frenchman Jacques Cartier “duck people”(canard) because their village on the Jamaica Bay (just west of present day J.F. Kennedy Airport,) was surmounted by a totem topped with the image of a duck.

1647- With the English Civil War almost over, the various factions of the Parliamentary side start to bicker and pull apart. Presbyterians and Puritans squabble over the spiritual direction of the nation and, on this day, Parliament ordered Oliver Cromwell to disband his New Model Army. The Army refused to disarm and instead marched on London- Cromwell declared: "This army is no mere assemblage of mercenaries, but the true embodiment of the will of the English people!” King Charles I, currently a prisoner in Scotland passing the time by learning to play a new game called “Golfe” would be encouraged to restart the civil war. Cromwell's Army, not Parliament, soon became the only real power in English politics.

1667- The War of Devolution- French King Louis XIV sent his armies in to conquer the Spanish Netherlands- aka Belgium, after the Spanish kings heir died and the title “devolved” to Louis’ wife Anne of Austria.

1738- English clergyman John Wesley pursued a stricter way to God, but a German Moravian preacher told him he wouldn’t really know God until God came to him and touched him. According to Wesley’s own diary this day at a sermon he “saw the light” the Magna Dies- the Great Day- the first of many revelations that would lead him to found the Methodists.

1804- On their route up the Missouri River, Lewis and Clark came ashore at Boone’s Settlement Missouri, near what will one day be Kansas City. They bought butter and corn. Did Lewis and Clark meet old Daniel Boone? Meriwether Lewis’ diary pages for that day are lost.

1818- Gen. Andrew Jackson captured Pensacola, capitol of the Spanish colony of Florida. Hotheaded Jackson decided the only way to stop Seminole Indian raids into Georgia territory was to invade Spanish Florida and chuck the Spanish Governor out. From Pensacola Jackson sent a message to the shocked Monroe Administration: " Gimme another regiment and I'll be in Key West in a fortnight. Gimme a frigate and I'll be in Cuba in a month!"
The Spanish were outraged, but their resources were already stretched to the limit fighting the armies of liberation in South America. They couldn’t fight the U.S. as well. What Jackson started violently, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams negotiated peacefully, the U.S. acquisition of Florida.

1830 –The poem "Mary Had A Little Lamb," was written.

1844- Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph message. From Washington to Baltimore it said: "What Hath God Wrought?" The message was from the Bible- Numbers 23:23.
Samuel Morse considered himself an artist first and did a little inventing to pay the bills. He heard a French inventor had speculated about the idea of telegraphy so he decided to build a working model and invented the Morse code system of representing letters with dots and dashes. Members of Congress and octogenarian former First Lady Dolly Madison were present at the ceremony. By the decade’s end, twenty thousand miles of telegraph wire crisscrossed the country.

1850- America’s first nationwide newspaper/magazine Harpers Weekly began.

1853- First cases reported of the Yellow Fever Epidemic in New Orleans. The city had swelled with ethnic immigrant Irish and Germans who had been forced to live and work in the low-rent swamp districts. 2,000 people or 10% of New Orleans population died in just four months, at the rate of 200 a day. The disaster was later evoked by Anne Rice in her book “ Interview with the Vampire.”

1856- The Potawattomie Massacre. In pro-slavery vs. anti-slavery infighting in Kansas, abolitionist John Brown dragged James Doyle and five other slaveholders out of bed at night. Announcing he was the Avenging Arm of the Lord, Brown beheaded them with an antique broadsword. Later in New York, when John Brown was feted by high society like Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Brown would omit this little detail about his life.

1861- The day after Virginia finalized its joining the Confederate States, US troops occupied Arlington and the Potomac riverbank opposite Washington DC. John Ellsworth was a personal friend of Abe and Mary Lincoln. When the Civil War broke out, Ellsworth raised a volunteer regiment of New York City firemen and dressed them in colorful Algerian costume. The roughneck 6th New York Fire Zouaves were shunned by Washington society at first until they proved their worth when they stopped a fire that would have destroyed a popular hotel.
This day, Col. Ellsworth and some men, crossed the Potomac River into Alexandria, Virginia to pull down a Confederate flag flying on top of a building that all Washington could see. As he was descending the stairs with the miscreant banner, the building’s caretaker pulled out a gun and shot Ellsworth dead. The Zouaves riddled him with bullets. All Washington turned out for a massive state funeral for the gallant Ellsworth, filled with Victorian pomp and maudlin sentiment. But the real Civil War had only just started. Few Americans understood that soon they would be mourning not one death, but tens of thousands.

1866 - Berkeley, California founded, named for George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne.

1866- The Battle of Tuyuti- called the Waterloo of South America. Paraguayan strongman Francisco Solano Lopez fought a war of annihilation against the combined armies of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Lopez fell; Paraguay was defeated and dismembered. So many of its male population were dead by the war’s end it was factored out of the regional balance of power.

1881-Canadian Ferry Princess Victoria sinks near London, Ontario drowning 220.

1883- The Brooklyn Bridge Opened. After 14 years building it and 27 deaths, including the architect John Roebling, and the crippling of his son Washington Roebling, President Chester Allen Arthur and the Mayor of New York Franklin Edison walked out on to the span to be met at the middle by Seth Low the Mayor of Brooklyn. Washington Roebling’s wife Emily Roebling was the first person to cross the bridge. At this time the Brooklyn Bridge was the tallest structure in the world.

1899 - 1st auto repair shop and car garage opens: The Back Bay Cycle and Motor Company of Boston.

1929- The Marx Brothers first movie comedy” The Coconuts” premiered.

1935- The first Baseball night game- Reds vs. Phillies.

1941- Paramount Pictures seized control of the Max Fleischer Studio in Miami. They allowed Max and Dave Fleischer another 26 weeks to complete their projects in house but as Paramount employees. They had to sign “resignations in blank” to be exercised at Paramount’s discretion when the 26 weeks were up. Max and Dave quit by then anyway. The studio was re-organized as Famous Studio, and moved back to New York in Jan 1943.

1941- The German battleship Bismarck sunk the largest warship in the British Navy, HMS Hood, when a lucky shot exploded her internal ammunition stockpile. The news shocked a world accustomed to the invincibility of the British Navy.

1949- The city of Shanghai was captured from the KMT by the communist Peoples Liberation Army of Mao tse Tung.

1950- Married movie star Ingrid Bergman shocked American morality by having an open love affair with neorealist film director Roberto Rosselini. This day they were finally married but the outcry of conservatives about this “Apostle of Degradation” was such that her image needed a makeover. So she played Saint Joan of Arc.

1954 - IBM announces vacuum tube "electronic" brain, a computer that could perform 10
million operations an hour.

1958 – United Press & International News Service merge into United Press International.

1976 - 1st commercial SST Concorde flight to North America -London to Wash DC.

1989- In Los Angeles, a spectacular fire destroyed the Art-Deco-Moderne all-wood landmark, the Pan Pacific Auditorium.

1991- Tri-Star Pictures $75 million-dollar flop "Hudson Hawk" opened.
Star Bruce Willis, whose own salary was $17 million, blamed the film’s costs on union filmworkers’ salaries. He would return to his car after a day’s shooting to find it covered with animal excrement. The film almost sank his career. Willis’ next two films, "Death Becomes Her" and 'Pulp Fiction", he did for scale. In 2000 he gave a $100,000 dollar donation to the SAG/AFTRA strike fund.

1991- Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise opened.

2000- Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew Israeli troops from southern Lebanon after a military occupation of eighteen years. The mastermind of the 1982 Lebanon invasion, General Ariel Sharon, later took Barak’s job. Israel invaded Lebanon again in 2006.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What was the first movie by The Marx Bros.?

Answer: The Cocoanuts.