BACK to Blog Posts

Nov. 6, 2021
November 6th, 2021

Question: Why do old flags for Germany and Russia feature a two headed eagle?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Baroque composers like Handel and Purcell wrote operas about Tamerlane. Who was Tamerlane?
History for 11/6/2021
Birthdays: Sophocles 495 BC, Joanna La Loca (Crazy Joanie 1479), John Phillip Sousa, Joseph Smith the founder of LDS, Ignacz Paderewski, Charles Dow of Dow Jones, Adolphus Sax inventor of the Saxophone, James Naismith the inventor of Basketball, Mike Nichols, Edsel Ford, animator Eddie Rehberg, Ray Coniff, John Olsen of the comedy duo Olsen & Johnson, Harold Ross the founder of the New Yorker magazine, Jonathan Harris, Maria Shriver is 65, Rebecca Romjin is 49, Sally Field is 76, Emma Stone is 33

Today is the Feast of Saint Leonard of Noblac, the Patron of Women in Labor and Prisoners of War. -is there some connection here..?

1528- Conquistador Alva Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked on the coast of Texas. The first European to set foot in Texas. Cabeza de Vaca means Head of a Cow.

1730- King Frederick William I of Prussia has Lt Hans Hermann von Katte, the gay lover of his 18 year old son Crown Prince Frederick, beheaded by saber. He even forced his horrified son to watch the execution from his window. The king referred to his son as “ An effeminate fool.” Frederick William I was the originator of mechanically strict Prussian discipline that made the German Army infamous. He wanted his men to be more afraid of their drill sergeants than of the enemy.
He was so feared by his subjects that they used to run away when he arrived. The king once caught one wretch in a doorway, and drubbed in the face with his cane, shouting: "WHY ARE YOU AFRAID? YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LOVE ME! YOU SCUM!"
When the old sadist finally died, and Prince Freddy became King Frederick the Great, he slept with whomever he liked.

1793- The youngest brother of King Louis XVI of France, the Duc d' Orleans, tried to survive the Revolution by repudiating his birthright, changing his name to Phillipe Egalitie', he even voted to execute his own brother. Well, it didn't work. Today he too went to the guillotine. His son would rule France in 1830-1848 as King Louis Phillipe. His palace, the Palais Orleans also known as the Palais Royale went from private ownership to property of the nation.

1806- The news reached London of the great naval victory of Trafalgar and the death of Admiral Nelson. Englishmen great and small fell into extreme grief over the death of their naval hero. Samuel Coleridge wrote: 'When Nelson died, it seemed as if no man was a stranger to another, for all were made acquaintances in the rites of a common anguish."

1810- A few days after his youngest daughter Princess Amelia died of tuberculosis at age 27, old King George III lapsed back into the insanity he suffered earlier in his reign. For the remaining 8 years of his life, he remained a blind shut-in.

1812- On this day during Napoleons Retreat from Moscow, it first began to snow.

1844- Spain granted independence to the Dominican Republic.

1850- The first fire brigade formed in Hawaii.

1860- Abraham Lincoln of Illinois won the presidency of the United States. The first Republican to win an election.

1869- Rutgers beat Princeton 6-4 in the first college football game.

1893- Famed Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky died at age 53. Just a few days before the premiere of his 6th Symphony. The cause of death for the composer was declared to be cholera from drinking un-boiled water in a local St Petersburg restaurant. Recent scholarship floated a different theory. Tchaikovsky was a closeted gay man afraid of being exposed. He had tried marriage to a woman, and hated it so much he tried suicide two weeks later. By this time he had formed an infatuation over his nephew. This allegedly caused a secret "Court of Honor" of alumni of his old civil service academy to confront him and threatened him with exposure and scandal. They threatened to even go directly to the Czar to expose him. So he may have taken poison and it was blamed on cholera which was prevalent in the city then. Fellow composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov though the inquest more oddly rushed and confused than usual. We may never really know.

1916- Elderly Buffalo Bill Cody made his last public appearance in El Paso Texas. El Paso had been as wild a frontier town as Deadwood or Tombstone, but now it was a quiet modern city. Telephone and electricity wires crisscrossed overhead and streetcars clattered down the streets where gunfighters once shot it out. Buffalo Bills parade seemed to make plain to all the final passing of the Old West to the New. The wild cheering brought tears running down the old scout's white mustaches. It was a fitting final bow. Bill Cody died of prostate cancer a few weeks later.

1917- After three months of murderous fighting, Canadian troops finally took the Belgian village of Passchendaele. Also called the Third Battle of Ypres.

1924- Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister of England. Winston Churchill, who had deserted the Conservative Party for the Liberals, now decided to switch back to the Tories and became Home Secretary.

1936-The Screen Children's Guild chartered.

1941- In an evening nationwide radio broadcast, Josef Stalin told the Soviet people that although their losses were heavy, the Germans had already lost 4.5 million men, and were on the run. It was all pure fiction. In reality Leningrad was surrounded, Moscow was threatened and almost 40% of Russia’s population was under Nazis occupation.

1942- German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel began withdrawing his shattered army from the defeat at El Alamein. He then got a direct order from Adolf Hitler to stop the retreat and fight on to “Victory or Death!” Rommel ignored him, and withdrew his men anyway.

1944- Lord Moyne, the British Resident in Cairo, was assassinated by two young Israelis who were members of the Stern Gang, a terrorist organization. Ironically at this same time in London Prime Minister Winston Churchill was assuring Jewish leader Azer Weissman that Lord Moyne was sympathetic to the Zionist cause.

1947- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization- NATO created.

1962- Ted Kennedy first elected to the Senate from Mass. Called The Lion of the Senate, he remained in office until his death in 2009.

1966- A great flood hits the City of Venice. An international effort is mounted to save her priceless artifacts. Venice never suffered floods until the end of the nineteenth century when a deep channel was dug in the Venetian lagoon to accommodate modern heavy shipping to the new harbor of La Spezia. This imbalance messed up the natural flood cycle from the Adriatic. Added to that the whole darn city is resting on thousands of wooden pilings pounded into a sand bar when Attila the Hun was still running around. Venice is still sinking a few inches each century, and still suffers a terrible flood every few years.

1973- Abe Beame became the first Jewish man to be elected Mayor of New York City.

1975- First appearance of the band the Sex Pistols.
Yesterday’s Question: Baroque composers like Handel and Purcell wrote operas about Tamerlane. Who was Tamerlane?

Answer: Timur the Lame, or Tamerlane was a Mongol-Tartar conqueror whose career mirrored that of Genghis Khan a century earlier. He raged up and down Central Asia, but after his death his empire disintegrated. His career in part inspired Lord Byron to compose his poem Ozymandias on the transience of worldly fame .