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Feb 1, 2023
February 1st, 2023

Quiz: What does it mean when you back someone, “ to the hilt”?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What are you doing when you use a depilatory?
History for 2/1/2023
Birthdays: Victor Herbert, Langston Hughes, Renata Tebaldi, Clark Gable, John Ford, George Pal, Terry Jones, Jim Thorpe, Sherman Helmsley, Lisa Marie Presley, Garrett Morris, Boris Yeltsin, Billy Mumy is 68, Pauly Shore, Sherilyn Fenn is 58, Michael C. Hall is 52

Welcome to February from Februarius Mensis, named for Februus, a Sabine god of the underworld called the Purifier. Another theory is this month is named for Febis, the Latin for fever, this being a time in the Roman climate when fevers were most common.

570AD- Today is the Feast Day of Saint Brigid, an Irish saint who gave beer to the poor.

1411- The Peace of Torun. The Teutonic Knights of Prussia, an order of warrior monks, yield and pledge obedience to Casimir II Jagiello, King of Poland-Lithuania. This creates a touchy situation with Germany since they had also pledged allegiance to the German emperor.

1733- Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland died. Described as Half-Bull- Half Cock, he could twist horseshoes with his bare hands, and drink everyone under the table. He wasted his kingdom’s treasury indulging his vices and filling his palace at Dresden with bejeweled treasures and porcelains, which makes it such a cool tourist destination today. One of the horniest monarchs of Europe, his reputation for womanizing would be unbelievable, had he not left behind hordes of illegitimate children. His last words were “My life has been one ceaseless act of Sin.”

1790- First U.S. Supreme Court Session. It was held in the former Royal Exchange Building, a converted barn on Broad Street in lower Manhattan. The John Jay Court at first acted like a circuit court traveling around arbitrating local issues until a permanent home was fixed in the new Federal city.

1865- U.S. Chief Justice Salmon Chase admitted John Rock to be the first black lawyer to practice before the Supreme Court. Besides being a Boston attorney Rock was a dentist, orator and spoke French and German fluently.

1887- California land developer Harvey Wilcox took out a county deed for a new ranch he called 'Hollywoodland' after the name of an estate his wife admired back in Connecticut. It gave its name to the new Los Angeles town- Hollywood. The famous sign was put up in 1923.

1893- In New Jersey, Thomas Edison and his Canadian engineer W. K. Dickson built the FIRST MOTION PICTURE STUDIO. It was covered with black tar paper and called "The Black Mariah" because that was the nickname of police paddy wagons that it resembled. It's debatable how much of the inventing was more Dickson than Edison. Edison was only marginally interested in the movies. He was more concerned with how to extract New Jersey iron ore from rocks using magnets. Dickson worked himself into the hospital to make the studio work, and resenting Edison’s apathy started experimenting on his own. When Edison found out, he fired him.

1896- Puccini's opera "La Boheme" debuted in Turin. It was based on Prosper Merimee’s popular book Bohemian Sketches. Puccini's old roommate Piero Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana) with whom Puccini and he once lived like Bohemian artists, tried to sue him, because he was writing a Boheme' also. The suit failed and Mascagni released his rival version, but it didn't hold up in comparison with Puccini's.

1898- The Travellers Insurance company issued the first auto insurance policy. It was to protect a Buffalo car enthusiast from being sued by irate horse owners in his neighborhood.

1901- Outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with prostitute Hedda Place, sometimes referred to as Mrs. Sundance, escaped the law back in Wyoming and arrive in New York City to relax. After a month of sightseeing they take a ship to Bolivia.

1908- King Carlos Ist of Portugal and his son were assassinated in the streets of Lisbon. In 1910 his other son was deposed and a republic declared under Teofilo Braga. King Edward VII of England attended a requiem Mass in their memory. It marked the first time in 220 years that an English King ever attended a Roman Catholic service.

1915- The Fox Film Company formed (Later Twentieth Century Fox). Disney ended them in 2020.

1926- Gen. Billy Mitchell resigned from the army after a court-martial censored him for shooting his mouth off in favor of building a large independent U.S. Air Force. He claimed all future wars would be won by air power. After World War II proved all of Mitchell’s arguments correct, he was reinstated an honorary Major general, posthumously.

1943- At his headquarters at the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia, Adolf Hitler received the news of the Nazi army surrender at Stalingrad. Hitler was furious. Not that he lost 250,000 of his best men, but that their commander Field Marshal Von Paulus surrendered instead of committing suicide.” This hurts me so much that the heroism of so many soldiers was nullified by one single characterless weakling.”
Then Hitler said in a foreshadowing of his own fate:” When the nerves break down, there is nothing left but to admit one can’t handle the situation and to shoot oneself.”

1944- The U.S. Marines invade Japanese held Kwajelein, the world's largest atoll.

1961- Four black college freshmen sit down at a "whites-only" lunch counter at the Woolworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina. When they left or were arrested four more sat down. Then four more. The Civil Rights sit-in campaigns begin.

1964- Indiana Governor Matthew Walsh declares that the Rock & Roll song “Louie-Louie” by the Kingsmen was pornographic and should be banned. The FCC investigated and their conclusion was that the “lyrics are unintelligible at any speed”. The song remained a major hit. In the 1980’s several schools in Northern Cal held Louie-Louie Marathons-96 straight hours of Louie-Louie played by Punk bands, polka bands, string quartets, water-glasses, and folk trios. Whoah whoah, Me gotta go, yo,yo yo yo.

1968- During the Vietnamese Tet Lunar Offensive, as Eddie Adams camera snapped South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan put a snub nosed pistol to the head of a Vietcong prisoner and pulled the trigger. The photo of the young man’s death grimace became one of the more haunting images of that war.

1979- The Ayatollah Khomeni took over Iran and declared it an Islamic Republic.

1985- Walt Disney Feature Animation was moved from their 1939 building on the main lot, to some anonymous warehouses in Glendale near Disney Imagineering. One building was a repurposed casket factory. Many of the animators thought it presaged the unit’s eventual dissolution. Ten years later, after successes like Little Mermaid and The Lion King, they were moved back to a new building adjacent to the studio lot.

1990- Siegfried & Roy open their exclusive show at the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas. They and their white tigers have performed for Hollywood stars, presidents and Pope John Paul II. One Vegas columnist noted: “When Elvis performed in Vegas there were some empty seats. But there were nothing but full houses when Siegfried & Roy performed.” The act was finally ended when Roy’s throat was slashed by a tiger in 2003.
Roy died of Covid in 2020, and Siegfried a few months later in Jan. 2021.

2003-“Columbia this is Houston on UHF, Houston, Columbia on UHF…” NASA’s first space shuttle, the Columbia, broke up and disintegrated upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. All seven astronauts were killed. The Columbia had flown 26 missions since 1981. On board was the first woman astronaut born in India, and the first Israeli in space, Col. Llan Ramon.

2020- Ophthalmologist Dr. Li Wenliang of Wuhan tried to warn the world about the coming pandemic of CoVid 19. He caught the disease while fighting it in others. Today he wrote his last message on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.” The dust has settled, and the diagnosis is confirmed.” He died a week later. Li Wenliang was 34.
Yesterday’s question: What are you doing when you use a depilatory?

Answer: A chemical way to remove unwanted body hair.