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July 13, 2022
July 13th, 2022

Quiz: The planets are all named for gods, Mars, Venus. Except Earth. Why is Earth called Earth?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Why did writers publish under pen names?
History for 7/13/2022
Birthdays: French Admiral Bailly de Suffren, Cheech Marin, Father Flannagan, Bob Crane, Cameron Crowe, Woye Solenka, Dave Garroway, Chef Paul Prudhomme, Michael Spinks, Film special effects artist Jim Danforth, Dr. Erno Rubik inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, Patrick Stewart is 82, Harrison Ford is 80, Tom Kenny the voice of Spongebob Squarepants is 61, Mike Ploog is 80

1174- The Battle of Alnwick, in which Scottish King William I "the Lion" was
captured during a raid in Northumberland. He was held hostage by King Henry II until he recognized England's authority over Scotland.

1568 - Dean of St Paul's Cathedral perfected a way to bottle beer. What ever the process was it had to wait three hundred more years to be put to use.

1704- BLENHEIM-the great battle in Bavaria where the Duke of Marlborough destroyed the French army of Louis XIV. In the three centuries since Agincourt, the reputation of English arms had faded in Continental Europe, preoccupied as they were by their internal Wars of the Roses and English Civil Wars. While the British Navy's reputation was growing, on land King William III trusted his Dutch generals more than his British. Blenheim changed all that. In one day Britain became the dominant powerbroker in Europe. John Churchill the first Duke of Marlborough was the great ancestor of Winston Churchill.

1787-THE NORTHWEST ORDINANCE PASSED- This unprecedented plan masterminded by Tom Jefferson stipulated that as new territory passed into the United States, their population could organize their own local government and enter the American union as a state, an equal of the original 13 states. So, Utah would have as much political power as Pennsylvania. Nothing like this had ever been imagined, much less implemented.
Before The Northwest Ordinance, the states of Virginia and Pennsylvania were claiming all the land west of them to the Mississippi as their territory. Virginia even claimed the jurisdiction of Bermuda and Nassau in the Caribbean!

1798- Poet William Wordsworth visited Tinturn Abbey and was inspired to write his famous elegy on the ruins.

1832- Geologist Henry Schoolcraft discovered the source of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, Minnesota.

1865- P.T. Barnum’s American Museum in New York City burned down in a spectacular fire. Barnum rebuilt, but after that one burned as well, he got the idea of getting into the circus business. In his American Museum, more a sitting menagerie and sideshow, than a museum as we know, Barnum invented the idea of advanced hype and created kiddie matinees.

1868 - Oscar J Dunn, a former slave, was installed as the first African American governor of a state. Louisiana’s post Civil War elections were supervised by the occupying Union army and it ordered that no citizens who took up arms against the United States could vote. Since that was most of the white male population, the newly freed black population dominated the voting. But in ten years whites had reversed that situation and implemented Jim Crow laws to cheat black people out of political power until the Civil Rights movements of the twentieth Century.

1898- Giuseppe Marconi patented wireless transmissions, the Radio. Marconi believed that sound never dies, it just grows fainter. In his old age he was trying to invent a machine that could pick up the traces of the voice of Jesus.

1923- While digging in the Gobi Desert, paleontologist George Olsen discovered the first fossilized dinosaur eggs.

1925- Walt Disney and Lillian Bounds marry. Lillian was one of the first female animation ink & paint artists.

1930- Six thousand people in formal evening wear crowded into London’s Albert Hall to hear a special message from Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle. It was extra special, because everyone knew Conan-Doyle had died just five days ago. Arthur Conan-Doyle was an advocate of spiritualism. He declared if anyone could get a message through from beyond the grave, he would. An empty chair was placed on stage in hopes of his apparition would take a seat. Hymns were sung and after long embarrassing silences, a clairvoyant medium cried out that she could see Sir Arthur. Most saw nothing and thought it was all a big humbug.

1930 – David Sarnoff the head of the NBC radio network said in the NY Times," The new invention of Television would be a theater in every home". Sounded crazy back then. Critics said it would require one room of the house be darkened, and they doubted people would just sit still that long.

1939- Frank Sinatra recorded his first album, this one with the Harry James Orchestra.

1939. Pete Pantos was an Italian immigrant and fearless crusader for longshoremen’s rights. He spoke openly against the Mob stranglehold on New York waterfront unions led by Murder Inc. hitman Al Anastasia and his brother Tough Tony. On this day Pantos went to a secret meeting and never returned. A mob informer identified his body in a lime pit one year later. Graffiti covered the docks for weeks- WHERE’S PETE PANTOS? The mobs’ power on the docks was mostly broken up by in the 1960’s.

1949- Hollywood Studio exec David O. Selznick left his first wife Esther, the daughter of Louis B. Mayer, to marry actress Jennifer Jones.

1950- General Walton “Bulldog” Walker was sent by MacArthur to assume overall command of all US and South Korean forces fleeing the North Korean invasion in the Pusan Perimeter. He stiffened the defense so MacArthur could launch his counterattack at Inchon. Bulldog Walker was one of George Patton’s top tank men and adopted Patton’s style of leadership. He once flew dangerously low over the battlefield in a small plane waving his generals three star ensign at his retreating troops and bellowing at them:” Turn around and fight, ya yellow sons of bitches!!” Ironically, like Patton, he was also killed in a car accident.

1953- Chuck Jones first day at the Disney Studio. Warner Bros laid him off with most of the animation staff when they attempted to go into all 3D production. Walt Disney hired Jones and this day showed him around the studio. Walt asked him, “ Well, where do you see yourself fitting in?” Chuck replied, “Well to be honest, the only job here I would really like is yours.” Walt laughed,” Well, that’s taken.” Chuck worked in story for 4 months, then returned to Warners when they realized their mistake and reconstituted their team.

1960- Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts nominated for President by the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. The day continued with rounds of fierce backroom deals to decide the running mate. Although the Kennedys wanted Sen. Stuart Symington of Missouri, it finally was decided to go with Lyndon Johnson. He was the powerful Senate leader from Texas.
Johnson had asked his Texas mentor John Nance Garner if he should accept the job. Cactus Jack was Franklin Roosevelt’s Veep for his first two terms. The 90 year old Garner told him:” Lyndon, the Vice Presidency ain’t worth a bucket a warm spit!”
Bobby Kennedy considered offering Lyndon the VP as a token gesture to mollify his anger at losing the nomination. But he was surprised when Johnson accepted. Before going to Ciro’s on Wilshire with Frank Sinatra to celebrate the nomination, Presidential aide Kenny O’Donnell recalled JFK making the best of it:” The Vice Presidency doesn’t mean anything. I’m forty three and I don’t plan to die in office….”

1964- At the Republican Convention, the delegates cheered far right-wing candidate Barry Goldwater, then booed Nelson Rockefeller for denouncing right wing extremism in their party.

1966- In Chicago, psycho killer Richard Speck broke into a woman’s dormitory hotel where he raped and murdered 8 nurses as they came home from work. He spent the rest of his life in prison. Richard Speck became a posterboy for the death penalty. On a smuggled video recorder he bragged about how much fun he was having in prison at public expense, getting all the sex and drugs he wanted. Just before his death in 1999 he was asked if he had any remorse about the horrible things he did. All he would say was, “I guess it wasn’t their night.”

1977- The Great New York City Blackout of '77. For the second time in 20 years the whole power grid broke down. Unlike the 1964 or 2003 Blackouts, it was much longer, much hotter and humid, and there was no full moon to illuminate the city. There was some urban looting, and serial killer Son of Sam was on the loose. No wonder they called New York “Fun City”.

1981- Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits opened.

1984- The film The Last Starfighter with Robert Preston opened. Pitched as “ The MusicMan in Outer Space” because it was Robert Preston’s last film. The first movie where all the spaceships and effects were done with CGI, instead of miniatures and models. Their computers had a combined memory of 25 MGB.

1985- Boomtown Rats vocalist Bob Geldorf organized a massive live concert called LIVE AID. Televised and seen by 1.5 billion people, it raised money for African famine relief. Madonna, Santanna, Paul McCartney, The Beach Boys and reunions of Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Who and Led Zeppelin.

1985- A cancerous growth was removed from President Ronald Reagan’s colon. Comic Paul Rodriguez said:” Reagan is amazing: He got cancer in his nose, he got cancer in his butt, he got shot full of bullets- he’s like the Terminator President.”

2016- In the wake of the Brexit Debacle, Theresa May became the second female Prime Minister of Great Britain. She resigned three years later when she could not figure out the Brexit mess either. She was succeeded by Boris Johnson who also lasted only three years.
Yesterday’s Question: Why did writers publish under pen names?

Answer: There were a variety of reasons, some were social-political critics who did not want to risk getting in trouble. Rich people and aristocrats would hire street thugs to beat you up. Some did not want to risk their status in a university or as a cleric to be caught writing frivolous novels. Some were women like the Bronte sisters and George Elliott who submitted stories under men’s names because publishers would not publish a woman author.