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Jan. 27, 2021
January 27th, 2021

QUIZ: In the theater, what are trouser roles?

Yesterdays question answered below: The Greek God Zeus was supposed to wield an awesome weapon called the Aegis. Today the US has a missile system called Aegis. Just what was the Aegis?
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History for Jan. 27, 2021
Birthdays-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Charles Dodgson-better known as Lewis Carroll, Eduard Lalo, William Randolph Hearst, Samuel Gompers, Jerome Kern, Skitch Henderson, Donna Reed, Bridgette Fonda, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kate Wolf, Ross Bagdasarian a.k.a. David Seville- creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, James Cromwell is 81, Mimi Rogers, Keith Olbermann, Frank Miller is 64, Patton Oswalt is 52

Today is celebrated as Thomas Crapper Day 1910, the inventor of the indoor flush toilet. Besides making life more comfortable, his systems of valves and vents preventing waste odors and germs from re-entering the home. This did a lot to combat disease in the 19th century. When American troops were in Britain during WWII, they kept seeing his name on all the toilets, so they started calling them The Crapper.

98AD- Roman General Trajan was serving on the German frontier. This day his aide Hadrian came with the news that the Emperor Nerva had died and had designated him as the next Emperor of Rome. Trajan was such a no–nonsense soldier that he delayed several months in Germany to settle the affairs of the province, before traveling down to Rome.

1307- Dante Alighieri got kicked out of Florence. Being exiled from politics left his mind free to concentrate on his poetry, like writing the Divine Comedy.

1431- German King Louis of Bavaria entered Rome in triumph to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor. It had been custom since Charlemagne for the German Emperor to be called King of the Romans until the Pope crowned him. But Louis was arguing with the Pope in Avignon over several issues so rather than wait Louis expected the people of Rome to declare him Emperor. The German electors later reserved that right for themselves in Frankfurt. By successfully challenging the right of the Pope over him Louis of Bavaria was unwittingly aiding the coming of the Reformation seventy years in the future.

1535- Today is the Feast of Saint Angela Merci, founder of the Ursuline Nuns.

1649- King Charles I of England was convicted by trial in Parliament and sentenced to be beheaded.

1671- Buccaneer Henry Morgan and his pirates cross the Isthmus of Darien and attack Panama City by land. Morgan the Pirate looted the city, despite the Spaniards stampeding a herd of bulls at him. However the attack wasn't much of a surprise and most of the population had already fled with their valuables. I guess a coupla' hundred Englishmen with peg legs and patch eyes growling "Arrr Mateys!" isn't a common sight in the Equatorial rainforest.

1775- In London Secretary of State for the Americas Lord Dartmouth sent the Lord Governor of the colony of Massachusetts General Thomas Gage explicit orders to stop shilly-shallying with these uppity Yankees. He should just clap them in prison and confiscate any illegal weapons.
General Gage will get his instructions two months later -that how long it took news to cross the Atlantic by sailing ship. It will cause his redcoats in April to march to Lexington and Concord, which will ignite the American Revolution. Ironically Old Tom Gage liked America and had a good friend in Virginia named George Washington.

1863- THE BEAR RIVER MASSACRE- The Shoshone Indians along with the Bannocks and Utes had been raiding wagon trains through Utah and Nevada. Col Patrick Connor led 300 US cavalry in subzero cold to attack Chief Bear Hunter’s winter camp in a hot-springs ravine near present day Preston, Idaho. After a daylong battle, 224 warriors were killed. The soldiers went berserk destroying tepees and raping the Indian women. Chief Bear Hunter was shot, beaten, whipped, and when he still would not die, a red-hot bayonet was rammed through his head via his ear. A soldier called it “A frolic”. The Shoshone, Utes and Bannocks, who a generation earlier had helped Lewis & Clark, now asked for peace.

1888- The first magazine published of the National Geographic Society.

1900- Italian opera composer Guiseppi Verdi died. On his instructions no music was played at his funeral.

1918- Warner Bros. Pictures incorporated. The Brothers Warner (originally Wonkolasser)- Sam Albert, Harry and Jack were the sons of Jewish immigrants who had moved from Poland in 1882 and after some time in Canada, set up a bicycle repair shop in Ohio. In 1903 Albert and Harry bought a movie theater and began showing flickers. After their move to Hollywood, their first movie was Five Years in Germany. Throughout the 1920’s their little studio survived making pictures with dog star Rin Tin Tin. They called him The Mortgage Lifter, because the profits from his pictures paid their bills. Later they bought Vitagraph from animator James Stewart Blackton, and gambled on the new Sound technology. When they made The Jazz Singer with Jolson, Warner Bros became a major studio.

1918- The first Tarzan movie premiered. A silent film, the first Tarzan was named Elmo Lincoln.

1925- IDITEROD- THE SERUM RUN BEGAN- At this time Nome Alaska was totally depended on supplies brought by sled dog teams. When a serious outbreak of diphtheria threatened to become a major epidemic, Alaska had only two airplanes, and they were boxed up for the winter. Governor Scott C. Bone decided to get the vaccination serum to Nome by a relay of twenty mushers in the depth of winter, temperatures averaging around -40 degrees fahrenheight. This day the serum arrived by train at Nenana sealed in a metal cylinder wrapped in furs, and was loaded onto the first dog sled. Wild Bill Shannon called out to his malamutes and mushed down the frozen Tanana River into history. The lead dog was named Balto. It normally took a dog sled 20 days to cover the 650 miles, but these men did it in 5 days, 7 hours, limiting the epidemic to only 5 deaths.
The Iditarod dog race runs in memory of this.

1926- Scotsman John Logie Baird demonstrated his televiser system- the first true television image. The image was small, and resolution too weak and fuzzy to yet be more than a scientific curiosity. More potential was seen in American Philo Farnsworth’s system of radio-transmitted scan line images.

1927- Charlie Chaplin’s short comedy The Circus premiered.

1932- The Mukden Incident- Japanese troops rig up a provocation at a railway junction so they could invade Manchuria. If you are counting, this little railway junction is the real beginning of World War II, which would rage until 1945.

1943- US 8th Air Force conducted its’ first daylight bombing raid on Germany, attacking Wilhelmshaven. The air-Battle of Germany would continue to until May 1945.

1944- The Red Army breaks through to Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and lifts the 800 day Nazi siege.

1944- WAS WALT A RED? Walt Disney donated money and may have attended a tribute to cartoonist Art Young in New York who had died three weeks before. Art Young was a political lefty and a close friend of John Reed and Louise Bryant, founders of the American Communist Party. The F.B.I. noted the memorial to Young was sponsored by the socialist newspaper The New Masses and other attendees included progressives like Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg.
Walt was already a founding member of the Hollywood Society for the Preservation of American Ideals, a group of conservative Hollywood celebrities meant to counteract the rampant Hollywood Liberals. Disney later became an F.B.I. informant, but like Reagan, it may have been after the F.B.I. reminded him of his attendance at this little soiree'....

1945- The Soviet Red Army finally liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The first soldier to reach the camp was a Mongolian scout on a horse. This led one Jewish survivor to wonder if the Nazis now had intended to hand them over to the Japanese! The Russians hanged Auschwitz commandant Rudolph Hoess in front of the villa in camp he and his family lived in. He was not the Rudolph Hess who flew to London in 1941 and died in Spandau Prison. Rescued survivors include the future Nobel Laureate Primo Levi, and the founder of Commodore Computers, Jack Trammel.

1948- The Wireway Company announced the first tape recorder for sale using the new magnetic tape. It cost $150.

1951- Test Ranger Abel. Because atomic tests in the Pacific were getting expensive, the US Air Force starts using the Nevada Test Site to drop their nuclear bombs.

1961- The TV show Sing-a-Long with Mitch, The Mitch Miller Show premiered. Mitch Miller was a classical musician who had once played in the orchestra that premiered Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Here he created a hit show where he encouraged people to sing with the TV as it was playing. He was famous for saying rock & roll was a passing fad and would soon be gone.

1967- Three Apollo I astronauts Gus Grissom (pilot of the third Gemini flight), Ed Young and Roger Chafee died in a flash fire in their capsule. In those days the hatchways were literally screwed on from the outside and there was no way to open it from the inside. The fire occurred during a routine rehearsal probably from static electricity igniting an atmosphere of pure oxygen and feeding on velcro. The three men burned to death while engineers frantically struggled with the hatch. After this episode the future Apollo capsules were fitted with a hatch with exploding bolts. Grissom had once said: “If we die people must accept it. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.”

1973- Henry Kissinger and Li Duc To signed the Paris Peace Accords ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. President Nixon hailed the agreement as Peace with Honor but the defeat traumatized a generation of Americans and confused the public as to just what the American role in the world really was. Kissinger and Li Duc To won the Nobel Peace Prize for that year. Li Duc refused to accept it because his country was still at war. “if there's no peace, it would be hypocritical to receive a prize for it!" Henry the K didn’t have a problem accepting it and went to Oslo. North Vietnam overran South Vietnam two years later.

1984- HELP ME TITO! During the filming of a Pepsi commercial at LA’s Shrine Auditorium, a magnesium flash ignited singer Michael Jackson’s Jeri curl hair gel causing him 3rd degree burns on his scalp.

1992- Presidential candidate Bill Clinton was denounced by a woman named Jennifer Flowers of having a 12 year extramarital affair with her when governor of Arkansas. He goes on 60 Minutes with Hillary and called her a liar. Of course we now know they did have an affair, but hey, that’s politics.

1994- The very first Marc Davis Lecture given at the Motion Picture Academy in Beverly Hills. Marc and Alice established a fund to sponsor an annual talk about the art and development of animation. Marc gave this first talk himself.

1997- First day shooting on the Cohen Bros. film The Big Lebowski- The Dude Abides.
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Yesterday’s question: The Greek God Zeus was supposed to wield an awesome weapon called the Aegis. Today the US has a missile system called Aegis. Just what was the Aegis?

Answer: The Aegis was a shield or breast plate that when wielded by Zeus in battle made him terrifying. He let his daughter Diana use it. In modern terms the aegis means the ultimate defense.


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