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May 29, 2022
May 29th, 2022

Quiz: What nations border Albania?

Yesterday’s question answered below: In the Middle Ages, what is another word for a GardeRobe?
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History for 5/29/2022
Birthdays: John F. Kennedy, King Charles II (the "Merry Monarch"), Bob Hope, G. K. Chesterton, Patrick Henry, Oswald Spengler, T.H. White, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Josef Von Sternberg, LaToya Jackson, John Hinckley Jr., Al Unser Jr., Beatrice Lilly, Danny Elfman, Annette Benning is 64, Melissa Etheridge is 61, Rupert Everett is 64

526 AD -An earthquake destroyed the city of Antioch. Another major quake two years later caused much rebuilding efforts to be abandoned. Once one of the largest cities in the ancient world, on a par with Rome and Athens, today it is a forgotten little Turkish border town.

1415- The Grand Council of churchmen at Constance trying to heal the Great Schism ordered the deposition of Pope John XXIII. John ran the Vatican like a mercenary captain, taxing everything including gambling and prostitution. It was said he had slept with 200 women including maids, matrons and nuns. He fled Constance disguised as a groom and was given sanctuary by Cosimo de Medici of Florence. Today he is counted an AntiPope, an illegal one, so Salvatore Roncalli in 1958 was given his number John XXIII.

1453- CONSTANTINOPLE CONQUERED BY THE TURKS- Sultan Mehmed II the "Scourge of Christendom" stormed the capitol of the old Byzantine Empire. His great cherry wood cannons firing giant stone balls blew great holes in the city walls, proving the end of castles as serious defenses.
When he knew the battle was lost, the last Eastern Emperor of the Romans, Constantine XI Paleologus, sallied out sword in hand and went down fighting. His body was identified out of a pile of corpses only by the bejeweled purple shoes. As Mehmed II rode into the city in triumph he recited a Persian poem:" A spider weaves it's web in the palace of the Caesars, a shadow falls over the House of Amonhasarib.”
Except for Spain, Christian Europe hadn’t given much thought to expansionist Islam since the Crusades. Now Turkey became Europe’s number one rival for the next 300 years. The Byzantine Empire’s loss did have one beneficial effect on Western Civilization. All the fleeing Greek scholars, with their arms full of the works of Plato and Aristotle, would settle in European capitols and help spark the Renaissance.

1606- Michel Caravaggio the artist shot a man over a tennis match. Caravaggio was a mad-artist before the term was invented. The police records of Rome show the master painter constantly in trouble, seducing man, woman and child, throwing rocks at soldiers, stabbing waiters, etc.

1660- RESTORATION DAY- After Oliver Cromwell executed King Charles I, he declared the British Monarchy abolished, and ruled England as The Lord Protector. The Commonwealth never became a true representative government. It just replaced a king with a dictator. When Cromwell died in 1659 he tried to leave his son Richard Cromwell in his place. But the son is not the father. The rickety system didn’t work, and Richard got the nickname “Tumbledown-Dick”. A junta of generals led by General Monck had no choice but to recall King Charles’ son Charles II from exile in Holland to come ascend the throne. This day King Charles II entered London. For many years after Restoration Day was a holiday in the UK.

1692- The Battle of La Hogue- Great naval battle when the French fleet of Admiral de Tourville was ordered by Louis XIV to attack an Anglo-Dutch navy despite being heavily outnumbered. The French admiral did a brilliant job but lost anyway, and the French monarch turned his back on the navy, abandoning supremacy of the seas to England.
Once considered the most important naval engagement until Trafalgar, La Hogue is now mostly remembered on cheap, framed prints of naval battle paintings you see hanging in doctor’s waiting rooms.

1765 - Patrick Henry gave a defiant speech in the Virginia House of Burgesses against the English Stamp Act. Someone in the crowd yelled "Treason!"
Henry smiled: "If this be treason, make the most of it!"

1780- THE WAXSAWS or TARELTON’S QUARTER- In the later part of the American Revolution the British Army tried encouraging Loyal Americans to fight their Rebel brothers. A British officer named Banastre Tarleton raised a hard riding company of American Loyalist dragoons to subdue unruly South Carolina. But Tarleton had a sadistic streak that made him go beyond the gentlemanly war of the era.
At the Waxsaws in North Carolina, Tarleton rode down a company of Virginia militia and slaughtered them as they tried to surrender. After the battle ended he ordered his men to comb the battlefield and bayonet the wounded. So he won the tactical victory but Butcher Tarleton’s tactics made more enemies than friends for his side. Many North Carolina hill country folk who had been sitting out the war lost kin at the Waxsaws and so joined the American side in droves. Knowing they may get “Tarleton’s Quarter” made many Minutemen fight harder rather than surrender.

1790- Two years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, Rhode Island had still not ratified the document. Rhode Island refused to send delegates to the convention drafting it, and only after the other twelve states threatened to completely sever all commercial ties with it did they knuckle under and vote to join the union, but only by a majority of only two votes.

1814- Napoleon’s Empress Josephine died of a cold contracted while entertaining Czar Alexander of Russia. She was 50. A woman’s fashion of the time was to wear a flimsy muslin dress dampened with water to make it see-through, the equivalent of the modern wet T-shirt. Dressed this way she went for an evening stroll through the gardens of Malmaison with the Russian emperor, caught a chill and soon expired. Napoleon learned of her death while he was in exile on Elba. He locked himself in his room for two days grief stricken. He admitted, “ I loved her, but I did not respect her..”

1843- John C. Freemont began his second surveying expedition mapping out vast areas of California and Oregon and studying its geography. For this he was nicknamed the Pathfinder and later became the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party.

1848- Wisconsin became a state.

1856- THE LOST SPEECH- Former Congressman Abraham Lincoln was called upon to deliver the adjournment speech to the convention inaugurating the new Illinois Republican Party. He had decided to abandon his strategy of mincing words about slavery and “hit it hard.” Lincoln delivered what many regarded as the best speech of his life, a speech better than the Gettysburg Address or “With Malice Towards None” the Second Inaugural.
And maddeningly for history we have no record of what he said. The newspapermen jotting it down shorthand were so amazed by what they heard that they stopped writing, confident they would share the notes of a colleague later. Even Abe’s close friend Herndon, who was a prodigious note taker, gave up after fifteen minutes, admitting he “threw pen and paper away and was swept up in the inspiration of the hour”. The speech made Lincoln one of the rising stars of the party, yet we don’t know anything he said that night.

1859 –Illinois Congressman Abe Lincoln says in a better documented occasion "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of time, but you can't fool all of the people all of time"

1905- Third Day of the Battle of Tsushima Straights. Japanese Admiral Togo catches up to the second half of the Russian Navy and sinks it. In 1985 Japanese salvage crews brought up a huge hoard of gold bullion meant for the payroll for the Tsarist sailors. A Japanese venture capitalist tried to use it to buy back the Kurile Islands- the few small islands in the north that Soviet Russia invaded in the closing days of World War II and have never given back. Russia said 'No Deal."

1908- Teddy Roosevelt signed the first ban on child labor in the U.S.

1911 -The first Indianapolis 500

1912- In Philadelphia, 15 young women were fired by the Curtis Publishing Company for dancing "Turkey Trot" during their lunch break.

1914- THE COLONEL REDL AFFAIR- In the years before World War I, the Great Powers of Europe spent vast sums on spies and agents to discover each other's future war plans. The period was known as the “soft war” not unlike the Cold War of a later generation. Coloneloberst Redl was on the Austro-Hungarian General Staff but was passing information on to Russian Intelligence. He was exposed by an Italian double agent who was also his male lover. According to the Austrian military code of honor, Redl was forced by his fellow officers to shoot himself. An eccentric man, his apartment was filled with life-size mannequins in chairs. Hungarian director Istvan Szabo made an award winning film about Redl with Klaus Maria Brandauer in 1986. There were earlier films made of the story in 1931 and 55.

1932- The BONUS MARCHERS reached Washington D.C. Men who joined the army during the Great War were promised an extra bonus to be received in 1945. Similar bonuses were given by the Gov’t to Civil War Veterans in the 1890s. But by 1932 the Great Depression had so ruined people's lives a movement was started by a Portland veteran named Captain William Waters to pass a bill in Congress to get their bonus early. Veterans would lobby congress by mounting a poor people's march on Washington. People's marches of this sort had happened before, like "Coxey's Army" in 1896, the Civil Right's march in 1964, and the Million-Man March in 1995. Veteran's groups came from all over the nation and by the time they got to Capitol Hill they numbered around 80,000. The set up shantytowns on the Mall nicknamed “Hoovervilles”.

Everyday Senators going to work had to slip through a huge line of homeless men shuffling silently around the Capitol Building. The Hoover government panicked and believed Soviet-style revolution was imminent. The opposition to the bonus bill was led by Senator Howard Vidal, father of writer-activist Gore Vidal and uncle to Al Gore.

1941-THE GREAT WALT DISNEY CARTOONISTS STRIKE.. The picket line and campsite went up across the street where St. Joseph's Hospital is today. Chef's from nearby Toluca Lake restaurants would cook for the strikers on their off time and the aircraft mechanics of Lockheed promised muscle if any ruff stuff was threatened.

Picketers included Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace), Walt Kelly and Margaret Selby (later Kelly) (Pogo), Bill Melendez (A Charlie Brown Christmas), Steve Bosustow and John Hubley (Mr. Magoo), Maurice Noble and Chuck Jones (What's Opera Doc?), George Baker (Sad Sack), Dick Swift ("the Parent Trap") Frank Tashlin (Cinderfella) Ade Woolery (Playhouse), and four hundred others. Animators from Warner Bros. MGM and Walter Lantz marched with their Disney brothers and sisters, because they knew this was where the fate of their entire industry would be settled. Celebrities like Dorothy Parker, Frank Morgan, and John Garfield gave speeches. The studio claimed no one of importance was on strike.

The strike was eventually settled by Federal arbitration and a little arm twisting by the Bank of America. Many of the artists who left the studio afterwards set up U.P.A. and pioneered the modern 1950's style.

1942- JOHN BARRYMORE- The great dramatic actor, the first American to dare to play Hamlet in England, died of cirrhosis and kidney failure at age 60. Whether the infamous prank actually happened where Raoul Walsh, Bertholdt Brecht, Peter Lorre, W.C. Fields and some others (the "Bundy Drive Boys") kidnapped Barrymore's body from Pierce Brothers Funeral Home and propped it up at the poker table to scare the willys out of Errol Flynn is a matter of debate. Flynn and Paul Heinried said it was true, writer Gene Fowler said it was false. . John Barrymore's last words were to screenwriter Gene Fowler: "Say Gene, isn't it true you are an illegitimate son of Buffalo Bill?"

1942- Bing Crosby recorded "White Christmas," debatably the greatest selling record of all time.

1952- Edmund Hillary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norga became first men to reach the top of Mt. Everest. The tallest mountain on the Earth.

1954- New York Police raided the studio of Irving Klaw, the photographer of the Betty Page kinky pin-up photos. Klaw tried to appeal to the Supreme Court but couldn’t get a hearing.

1956- Hollywood director James Whale (Frankenstein, The Invisible Man) drowned himself in his pool. His career was over and his health was deteriorating from a series of strokes. Bruises were found on his head and at first the police suspected foul play. It wasn’t until 1989 his gay partner made his suicide note public. His head had struck the pool’s bottom as he jumped in causing the bruise.

1972- Moe Berg died of old age. He was a master spy who using a front as a catcher for the Washington Senator’s Baseball team. He was fluent enough in quantum physics to converse with Einstein. He was once ordered by Washington to go to Switzerland and meet with Rudolph Heisenberg, the Nazi Einstein, and kill him if he felt the Germans were getting too close do developing their own atomic bomb. He chose not to shoot him. In his later years he was a regular contestant on TV game shows. Believe it or not!

1973 - Columbia Records fired president Clive Davis for misappropriating
$100, 000 in funds, So Davis went on and founded Arista records.

1977 - Janet Guthrie becomes 1st woman to drive in Indy 500.

1978 - Bob Crane, (Hogan-Hogan's Heroes), died at 49 under mysterious circumstances. He was found in a Tucson hotel room surrounded by pornography, bludgeoned to death by a camera tripod. The murder was never solved.

1987 –pop singer Michael Jackson attempted to buy the XIX century remains of Joseph Meredith a.k.a. the Elephant Man.

1999- Hikers in a Malibu ravine discovered the remains of Phillip Taylor Kramer, the bass guitar player of the 1960’s band Iron Butterfly. The musician had disappeared four years before. Now his skeleton was found sitting in his Ford Aerostar at the bottom of a steep ravine.

2003- The BBC aired a news expose alleging that Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government “sexed up” or exaggerated the proof of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction to justify the unpopular invasion of Iraq. The documentary named a shy government researcher named Dr. David Kelly as the perpetrator. He committed suicide as a result.
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Quiz: In the Middle Ages, what is another word for a GardeRobe?

Answer: A castle toilet.


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