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Dec 1, 2019
December 1st, 2019

Question: What was the concept of Manifest Destiny?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What does it mean to be stoic?
History for 12/1/2019
Welcome to December from Decembrius Mensis, month number 10 to the Romans who only had ten months in their original calendar. It’s the same Latin root as Decimate, Dime, Decimal.

Birthdays: Richard Pryor, Mary Martin, Cyril Ritchard, Dick Shawn, Richard Crenna, Lee Trevino, Charlene Tilton, Lou Rawls, Marshal Gyorgi Zhukov, Admiral Stansfield Turner, Rex Stout the author of Nero Wolfe, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, Treat Williams, Woody Allen is 84, Bette Midler is 74, Sarah Silverman is 49

Happy Roman Festival of Neptune.

WORLD AIDS DAY- established by the UN in 1987.

659 AD-Today is the feast day of Saint Eligius of Limoge, a goldsmith and mint master to Merovingian King Dagobert, who started the art of Limoge enamels.

1521- Pope Leo X died after getting overheated attending celebrations of the defeat of French forces in Milan. He was 45. Some thought he was poisoned, but he probably caught the malarial fever prevalent in Rome at the time. Leo was one of the great art patrons of the Renaissance. He spent lavishly. “ God has given us the Papacy, so let us enjoy it” As soon as the Pontiff was cold, Cardinals and bankers looted the Vatican treasury for all the money he borrowed from them, sending the Church into one of the worst financial crises in its’ history.

1641- THE GREAT REMONSTRANCE- The English Parliament sent King Charles I a long list of everything that annoyed them about him. They demanded Parliament to be the supreme authority in the realm, to sit in permanent session, the right to select and dismiss royal ministers, and to reform the Protestant Church of England to a more Calvinist purity. “God's Blood! You ask of me things one would never ask of a king!"-sayeth King Charles. This little spat would become the English Civil War by next June.

1805-THE MIDNIGHT CAMP AT AUSTERLITZ- The night before the big battle between French, Austrian and Russian armies on a cold little field in what would be the Czech Republic. Napoleon went on a midnight inspection of his troops. His tour turned into something akin to a homecoming football rally. The French soldiers cheered, lit torches, sang and partied around bonfires all night. Across the hills the enemy generals mistakenly thought all the activity meant Napoleon was preparing to run away.

1835- Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales.

1861- The first installment of Charles Dicken’s novel Great Expectations began to appear in magazines.

1869- A Sir William MacDougal was sent by Ottawa to take over the administration of Prince Rupertland, now called the new Canadian province of Manitoba. His problem was the whole population of French trappers, Indians and half-breeds had already declared themselves the independent Metiz Republic under their leader Louis Riel. MacDougal had to sneak across the border from the U.S. at midnight. Avoiding Metiz patrols, his party stopped at an abandoned Hudson's Bay trading post where they raised the Union Jack in the darkness and MacDougal read his Royal Proclamation to an audience of seven aides and two hunting dogs. Then they crept back over the border to the U.S. to a healthy dose of razzing from Yankee cowboys. The British Army arrived next spring and established order but by then MacDougal had been recalled.

1879- Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera HMS Pinafore opened. Sullivan conducted the orchestra while Gilbert was a chorister.
“When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an Attorney's firm.
I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the handle of the big front door.
I polished up that handle so carefullee
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

1887- The very first Sherlock Holmes mystery by Arthur Conan-Doyle "A Study in Scarlet" first published in Beeton’s Christmas Gazette.

1909- The Pennsylvania Trust Company invented the Christmas Club account.

1917- Father Flanaghan opened Boys Town west of Omaha Nebraska. A retreat for homeless boys and in 1979 girls as well.

1934- Josef Stalin's close confidant Sergei Kirov is assassinated in a Kremlin hallway by Lenoid Nikolayev. Stalin orders the GREAT PURGES of the thirties to begin. Later it came out that Stalin had ordered Kirov assassinated as an excuse. Exact figures are debatable but it is estimated millions were arrested and died. Stalin even had the wandering poor blind storytellers of the Ukraine rounded up and shot for fomenting anti-revolutionary ethnicity. Declassified private papers of Stalin revealed he admired Czar Ivan the Terrible and tried to learn from his example.

1938- In Moscow legendary filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein released his film of Russian patriotism ALEXANDER NEVSKY, with soundtrack provided by Sergei Prokoviev.

1941-Anticipating imminent hostilities with Japan, The U.S. Navy withdrew it’s fleet of Yangtze River gunboats. As the gunboats steamed out into the South China Sea, they were surrounded by large Japanese warships, that held their fire to let them pass.

1943- FDR, Churchill and Stalin conclude their first meeting in Teheran, Iran. The western allies passed supplies to Russia via the Persian Gulf through Iran. Roosevelt discussed the occupation zones of a defeated Germany by drawing lines in pencil on a map torn out of an old National Geographic magazine he found on a table.

1944- Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra premiered by the Boston Symphony and Serge Kousevitsky.

1947- Alastair Crowley died. Called the “wickest man in the world” he fused several occult theologies like Bavarian Illumanism, Gnosticism and Numerology into his Abbey of Theleme. His own mother nicknamed him “the Great Beast.” In 1968 Alastair Crowley was portrayed on the cover of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album.

1949- The last Nationalist capitol, Chunking (Chonqing), fell to Mao ZeDong's PLA, the People’s Liberation Army.

1951- MIT scientists booted up Project Whirlwind, the TX-0 Computer. Called the Tixo, it was as large as a bus and was the first computer that could do more than one program at a time. In 1952 it had the first computer screen and first light pen. It calculated everything from synchronizing the gunfire of battleships to how much icing to put in an Oreo cookie. The TX-2 was used to write the first animation program Sketchpad, and the first interactive game SpaceWar!, both in 1962.

1953- Ex- Esquire magazine art director and frustrated cartoonist Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy Magazine. It featured a nude centerfold of actress Marilyn Monroe. She joked to the press “ I had nothing on but the radio!” Hefner assembled the layout of the magazine on his kitchen table and borrowed money from his mother-in-law to pay for the printing. The first Playboy had no number or date, because Hef was certain he couldn’t afford to make an issue number two.

1955- ROSA PARKS, a black seamstress in Montgomery Alabama, refused to give up her seat on a crowded bus and was arrested for violating the segregation laws. She was fined $10. At the time she said she was unaware that she was breaking the law, she was actually seated in the first row reserved for Colored passengers, but since the bus was crowded the driver insisted she give up her seat for a white man anyway. This incident and the subsequent boycott is the spark of the great Black Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's.

1963- The NASA space facility at Cape Canaveral Florida was changed to Cape Kennedy in honor of slain president John F. Kennedy. The same day the Kennedy Family moved out of the White House so Lyndon Johnson could move in. Jackie Kennedy only returned to the White House once more in her life in 1971 and on the condition that it be in secret and no press be present. She even would tell D.C. taxicabs to avoid streets where she might accidentally get a glimpse of it.

1963- According to recently unclassified documents, today was supposed to be the day a staged coup would overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba. The CIA had hired Mafia hitmen to shoot Fidel as he drove in an open jeep to his beach home. Then the head of the Cuban army, Juan Almeida would then seize the government.
But John Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas suspended all such plans.

1964- DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING MET J. EDGAR HOOVER- Dr. King and Rev Ralph Abernathy were on their way to Oslo for Dr. King to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. In Washington they were invited to meet with the legendary head of the FBI. Hoover sat them down and proceeded to lecture them for over two hours, calling them "boys" and hinting that they better not cause him trouble because he had tapes of Dr. King's extra-marital affairs. Dr. King and Abernathy left insulted and enraged. Hoover always believed that Martin Luther King and the entire NAACP were Communist agents of Moscow. Later when Dr. King came out publicly against the Vietnam War, one of these audio sextapes was mailed to his wife Corretta- anonymously.

1982- Dr. Barney Clark receives the first Artificial Heart. Part of the research development was credited to Paul Winchell, puppeteer and cartoon voice who created Jerry Mahoney, Knucklehead Smith, Dick Dastardly and a plastic heart valve. At first it was hoped these plastic valves could take the place of real hearts, but today they are mostly used for temporary relief until a human donor heart can be found.

1990- Tunnelers digging below the English Channel from France and England break through to meet in the middle and shake hands. A tunnel under the Channel had been a dream since Napoleon in 1802.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be stoic?

Answer: Stoicism was an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded by the philosopher Zeno. He taught that the highest good is virtue, based on knowledge. That the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and they are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.
Today to be stoic is to be unflappably calm in the face of trouble, unemotional, resigned to one’s fate, able to endure without complaint