BACK to Blog Posts

Jan 24, 2023
January 24th, 2023

Question: What was the Gang of Four?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Where and when are we talking about when we say the Belle Epoque?
History for 1/24/2023
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Hadrian AD117, Frederick the Great, Farinelli the Castrato-1707, Pierre De Beaumarchais, Swedish King Gustavus III, Edith Wharton, Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan the Barbarian, German Field Marshal Model, Sharon Tate, Ernest Borgnine, Mary Lou Rhetton, John Belushi, Disney director Wilfred Jackson, Spiderman cartoonist Johnny Romita, Warren Zevon, Yakov Smirnoff, Daniel Auteuil is 72, Orel Roberts, Natassia Kinski is 64

41AD- CALIGULA ASSASSINATED- The psychotic Roman Emperor left a gladiator bout to have lunch when in an isolated hallway of the amphitheater his own bodyguards turned on him. His chief assailant was the captain of the watch Chaerea. After two sword thrusts, the bleeding emperor shouted: " I still live! Strike again!" Which they did until he was finally dead. They threw Caligulas’ corpse in a hole in the Lamian gardens. It was said his ghost continued to scare people there for years afterwards.
Realizing that without an Emperor an Emperor's Guard isn't much use, the guards looked about for a member of the Imperial family that hadn’t already been butchered. They dragged Caligula's simple old uncle Claudius out from under a table and made him Caesar. He immediately gave them a heavy bribe.

1075- In a direct challenge to Papal authority German Emperor Henry IV held an ecclesiastical council at Worms where he declared Pope Gregory VII to be a “licentious false monk” and ordered him deposed. The Pope responded by excommunicating Henry. What happened? See tomorrow.

1848- James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill, California. This event will spark the first big gold rush the following year, the '49 ers. Swiss immigrant John Sutter had bought the land from the last Russian settlers and set up his town while still under Mexican rule. Marshall operated his sawmill. Ironically the gold rush ruined them both. Thousands of prospectors ignored his jurisdiction claims, trampled his crops and slaughtered his cows for food. Within a year or two They went broke and spent the rest of their lives trying to get the US Government to reimburse them. John Sutter was also annoyed that the new settlement of Sacramento was not named Sutterville.

1863- Arizona Territory was formed out of New Mexico. The Southern Confederacy at one time tried to make it one of their states. Around this same time Lincoln also pushed statehood for Nevada, and West Virginia. He was hoping to stack Congress for his Constitutional amendments outlawing slavery, and granting full citizenship and voting rights to African-Americans.

1865- The Pioneer Oil Company set up to prospect for petroleum in the L.A. area.

1874- Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Gudunov premiered in Saint Petersburg.

1875- Camille Saint-Saens orchestral work Danse Macabre premiered in Paris.

1900- Battle of Spion Kop. (Boer Woer) The British Army rush an enemy position on top of a small hill, take it, and after the cheering noticed they are alone on the bald hill completely surrounded by the enemy. OOPS! It was said that the British commander was a much better watercolorist than a military strategist. One of the stretcher-bearers bravely running up and down the hill saving wounded men was an Indian law student –Mohandas K. Gandhi.

1901- Activist Emily Hobhouse toured one of Lord Kitchener’s “concentration camps” that the British were using to corral the Boer guerrillas in South Africa. This one was near Bloemfontein. Her reporting of the poor sanitation conditions and hardships of the Boer civilians there caused a scandal back home. Four out of five South Africans that died in the Boer War were civilians.

1916- The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the federal Income Tax.

1927- The Pleasure Garden premiered, the first film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

1936- The first motion picture of a solar eclipse taken from a dirigible, The Los Angeles.

1942- Producer David O. Selznick signed young star Jennifer Jones. He became infatuated with her and left his wife Irene, the daughter of Louis B. Mayer, to marry Jones.

1961- Warner Bros. cartoon voice actor Mel Blanc had a terrible auto crash. He lingered in a coma for several weeks. The way the doctor brought him around was to say: “Hey Bugs Bunny! How are we today?” Blanc replied in character:” Ehhh…fine, doc!” Mel recovered and lived another thirty years.

1965- Winston Churchill died at 90. His last words were "Oh, I'm so bored of it all..." At 75 Churchill said :"I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter." His granddaughter revealed he told her he intended to go on the same day his father died in 1895. And he did. David Lloyd George once quipped of how Churchill would behave in Heaven: "Winston would go up to his Creator and say he would very much like to meet His Son, about whom he has heard a great deal."

1972- Japanese soldier Soichi Yokoi was found in the jungles of Guam unaware that World War II had ended 27 years earlier. He had stolen a radio and listened to the news. But he thought the stories of American forces in Korea and Vietnam were just propaganda. He was returned to Japan a healthy, if somewhat confused hero.
He died peacefully in 1997.

1983- Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Sheik to win his first World Wrestling Federation title.

1986 –The Voyager 2 space probe flew by Uranus. So far the only space probe to ever visit that planet. It discovered its unusual rotation and that it had rings like Saturn, but they are thin and dark grey, due to the weak light of the sun.

1989- Serial killer Ted Bundy was executed by electric chair.

2000- The entire computer system of the super-secret National Security Agency crashed and was down for several days. No explanation given.

2006- The Walt Disney Company directly acquired CG animation studio Pixar. Apple and Pixar head Steve Jobs got a seat on Disney Board, Ed Catmull was named head of the studio, and director John Lasseter became its creative head.

2020- China became the first country to lock down their country to combat the spreading pandemic of Covid 19.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Where and when are we talking about when we say the Belle Epoque?

Answer: In Europe, particularly France from the end of the Franco-Prussian War to the beginning of World War I, 1871-1914. It was considered a period of peace, prosperity, optimism and high culture. Strauss waltzes, Impressionists, Freud, Lautrec and the Folies Bergere. Great advances in technology, invention of motion pictures, telephones, plastics.
They called it The Beautiful Era. La Belle Epoque.