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April 23, 2022
April 23rd, 2022

Question: What is the current name for the Indian city once known as Calcutta?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Who was Studs Terkel?
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History for 4/23/2022
Birthdays: William Shakespeare, James Buchanan, Sergei Prokoviev, J.M.W. Turner, Vladimir Nabokov, Senator Stephen Douglas the Little Giant, Shirley Temple, Roy Orbison, Halston, Sandra Dee, Valerie Bertinelli, Lee Majors is 82, Judy Davis, Simone Simon, Michael Sporn, Tony Esposito, Michael Moore is 68, Herve Villechaise.

This was the ancient Roman Feast of the Vinalia, the feast of the first grapevine plantings.

301AD- This is the Feast of St. George. George of Nicomedia was a native of Illyria (Croatia) and a member of the Praetorian Guards, who went up to the Emperor Diocletian’s palace and tore up his edict banning Christianity. Then Diocletian had George torn up. And what about St. George fighting the dragon? In the old tradition of borrowing from pagan myths, the Coptic Christian monks took from the Ancient Egyptian religion the famous battle between Horus and his evil uncle Seth, God of Sandstorms, often represented in temple art as a dragon-like animal.

1014- BATTLE OF CLONTARF- Irish High King Brian Boru defeated the Vikings led by Sigurd Silkbeard and drove them from Ireland. At 73, Boru himself was too elderly to fight, so he was praying in a church when a renegade group of vikings surrounded the church and set it on fire. Another account has him being slain while in his tent. Oh well, at least he won...

1348- The Order of the Garter created in England by King Edward III. Today it is the world’s oldest surviving chivalric order.

1349- King George III had the first pageant of the Order of the Garter at Windsor Castle. He wanted to recreate the grandeur of King Arthurs knights of the Round Table. Even though the Black Plague kept most people away, the event was a great success.

1374- The King of England granted a pension to the writer Geoffrey Chaucer that includes a pot of wine every day for the rest of his life. Chaucer lived near Westminster Abbey, and when he died in 1400 he was buried there. This began the tradition of 'sections"-the poets corner at Westminster Abbey.

1500- Explorer Pedro Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal.

1538- Protestant theologian John Calvin was asked to leave his ministry in Geneva for being, uhh, well.. too Puritan. Geneva went party wild. Two years later the city fathers called Calvin back to clean up the town.

1616- After a night out partying with Ben Johnson, John Draydon and other old buddies from Ye Old Mermaid Tavern, William Shakespeare caught a fever and died on his fifty third birthday.

1661- King Charles II, crowned at Westminster Abbey. The current English Crown Jewels date from this time, since Oliver Cromwell had the ancient crown jewels of Anglo-Norman times destroyed.

1746- THE GLASS HARMONICON- German composer Johann Christoph Witobald Gluck had premiered his first opera La Caduta de Giganti in London to weak box office . Today he hit it rich by playing an entire concerto on twenty-six drinking glasses with water raised to different levels to effect the pitch. He played it by rubbing his fingers along the rims. The crowd went wild. Another triumph of musical taste.

1784- Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson’s plan to extend government to territories west of the Appalachian Mountains, the Old Northwest. They reject his suggestion that ten states be organized with classical names like Metropotamia and Polypotamia. Some of his suggestions for Indian names like Michigania and Illinoia sounded better.

1789- President-elect George Washington and Martha move into their temporary U.S. capitol of New York City. Traveling from Virginia up to New York every town he passed through greeted him with huge parades and celebrations. When moving through Philadelphia the artist John Singleton Copley had designed a triumphal arch that as Washington moved under it sprang a strange mechanical device that plopped a gold laurel wreath on his head. Annoyed, the startled statesman tore it off.
Once set up as President, Washington realized that the first Presidential residence 1 Cherry St, Osgood House had no furniture, and Congress was broke. He had to pay out of his own pocket for all the furnishings and dinnerware, large enough for state dinners of thirty or more. When he left office in 1796, he offered to John Adams to sell him his furniture. When the frugal New Englander balked at the price, Washington left the new President of the United States an empty mansion with a few candle sticks and one crystal punch bowl. Today the site is one of the pediments for the Brooklyn Bridge.

1809- Napoleons army captured Ratisbon (Regensburg ) from the Austrians and Robert Browning did a nice poem about it.

1867- William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, an optical toy predating motion pictures..

1896-THE FIRST PROJECTED MOVIES IN THE U.S.- The first projection of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope film by means of Thomas Armat’s Vitascope at Koster & Bials Music Hall on 28th street and Broadway in New York City. Edison had to be nagged into this by his engineer W.K.L. Dickson. Edison thought projecting movies like the Lumiere Brothers were doing in Paris would never catch on, and the future of film was in nickelodeon machines. The movie show featured the sultry Annabella the Dancer and a boxing match, but the real hit of the evening was footage of Waves Hitting the Rocks on Shore, which made people instinctively duck to keep from getting wet.

1900- A celebration held in Russian Georgia was addressed by a young revolutionary who had been expelled from the Tiflis Theological Seminary where he was studying to become a priest. Josef Dzugashvili was encouraged by other revolutionaries to change his name so the Czar’s police wouldn’t pick up his family. He changed his name to Steel- Stalin.

1903- The first game of the New York Highlanders (later Yankees) baseball team. They defeated the Washington Senators, 7-2.

1914- Chicago’s Wrigley Field opened.

1942-The Baedecker Raids- In reprisal for an allied bombing raid on Lubeck, the German Luftwaffe began bombing medieval English cities like Norwich and Canterbury based on their rating in the Baedecker Tourist guidebooks. If a place got three or more stars it was hit.

1945- As the Red Army was fighting in the suburbs of Berlin, S.S. Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler quietly contacted Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte and requests peace terms with the Allies. From his hiding place in Bavaria Hermann Goring was also trying to make peace as well. When Hitler found out from Martin Borman, he was furious and ordered both of them placed under house arrest.

1951- Comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for a stunt where he dressed as a priest and solicited funds in a leper colony.

1968- Anti Vietnam War student protesters seized the administrative offices of Columbia University. They occupied it for a week until driven out by police.

1970- Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane was inadvertently invited to a tea party at the White House by Pres. Nixon’s daughter Trisha. She had invited Slick because under her maiden name Grace Ward she was a fellow alumni of Finch College. Grace Slick and her escort Abbie Hoffman were in line to get into the event, when at the last minute White House security recognized them and turned them away. It was too bad, because she had a plan to slip LSD into President Nixon’s tea.

1971- Vietnam veterans protest the continued U.S. presence in the war by ceremoniously returning their medals, in some cases tossing them over the White House fence. One angry combat veteran who tossed his medals was future Senator John Kerry. Meanwhile, Lt. George W. Bush was in the Texas Air Guard, tossing his cookies.

1985- Coca Cola introduces New Coke. They decided to make the basic formula slightly sweeter to appeal to younger people. Its reception by the public was so overwhelmingly bad that the company returned to the original formula 90 days later. The chairman of rival Pepsi Cola exulted: " We've been eye to eye for decades and I think the other guy's just blinked! New Coke became a symbol for large-scale executive incompetence,

1998- Microsoft chairman Bill Gates introduced Windows 98 to 4,000 industry leaders. When he ceremonially opened the first window, the system crashed- Doh!

2003- Boston area Catholic priests began to get busted for child molestation and the cover up by the Archdiocese was exposed by the Boston Globe. One priest, a Father Shayne, was an openly registered member of the Man-Boy Love Society (NAMBLA). Outraged parishioners demanded the resignation of their Cardinal Bernard Law. Instead Cardinal Law was recalled to Rome were he was made pastor of the Church of Maria Maggiore.

2005- The first You-Tube video was uploaded- Me at the Zoo.

2020- Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of President Trumps Covid Task Force, said in a statement that “the Coronavirus Pandemic will be behind us by Memorial Day”. It wasn’t. It was raging just as badly over a year later.
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Yesterday’s question answered below: Who was Studs Terkel?

Answer: Pulitzer Prize winning writer, columnist, radio and talk show host whose work focused on American blue collar working people.


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