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Feb 11, 2023
February 11th, 2023

Quiz: To be on The Road to Perdition. What does that mean?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: During wars, US soldiers would refer to their enemy with derogatory nicknames. In WWII, the German enemy was called “Krauts”. During the Vietnam War, the Vietcong was referred to as “Charlie”. What did Yanks call the Iraqi fighters during the 2001-2021 Iraq War?
History for 2/11/2023
Birthdays: Thomas Edison, Leslie Nielsen, Eva Gabor, Rudolph Firkusny, Joe Mankiewicz, Sidney Sheldon, Burt Reynolds, Sergio Mendes of the band Brazil 68, Al Eugster, Brandy Norwood, Bobby Picket -who recorded the Monster Mash, Tina Louise-Ginger on Gilligan’s Island is 89, Jennifer Aniston is 54, Sheryl Crow is 61

11AD- In order to become his heir, Augustus’ stepson Tiberius had to marry Augustus’ only daughter Julia. Tiberius was angry he had to divorce his wife Druxilla whom he actually loved. Julia despised Tiberius and scandalized her dad with her affairs.

1759- A Danish importer on the Caribbean Island of Saint Croix named Johann Michael Lavien filed for divorce against his estranged wife Rachael Faucette. She had been living on the isle of Nevis with a Scot named James Hamilton and had two children with him. Johann Lavien asserted in the court papers that his wife was a Scarlet Woman, and so her spawn were "Whore-Children". The divorce was granted and James Hamilton abandoned his little family. One of the little ‘whore-children" was Alexander Hamilton- future American patriot, and the hottest ticket on Broadway.

1789- In Italy, American consul William Short wrote his friend Thomas Jefferson that as per his request he had obtained for him a pasta mold. The first known introduction of pasta in America.

1801- THE FIRST DEADLOCKED PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION decided in the House of Representatives after 35 separate votes were held. Upstart Aaron Burr managed to come out of nowhere and put together enough anti-Jefferson and anti-Adams votes to tie the election with Thomas Jefferson. President John Adams and Senator Charles Pickney were a distant 3rd and 4th. Former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton was furious that fellow New Yorker Burr threatened to eclipse his power. New York and Pennsylvania were the swing votes in any deal between Yankee New England and the South. Since foreign born Hamilton could never be President, he liked to play kingmaker.

So in retaliation Hamilton gave Adam's 36 electoral votes to Thomas Jefferson, not out of any love for him, but just to screw Burr. Cranky old John Adams was furious that he was rejected by the public: "Damn Them! Damn Them! Anyone can see this elective government won’t work!" He took his sweet time moving out of the White House, making the president-elect wait in a tavern. All this political chicanery doomed the Federalists, the first American political party, and Burr would get his revenge on Hamilton with pistols in 1804.

1812- Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting act that divided up his state into politically convenient if geographically tortuous congressional districts. In England such juggling of the voting populace to ensure your candidate’s election was called a "Rotten Borough", in America it became named for this governor- Gerrymandering.

1814- Battle of Montmiral. During the battle Napoleon saw a cannon emplacement in such a dangerously exposed position that all it's crew was dead or wounded. He dismounted his horse and proceeded to aim the guns himself under heavy enemy fire until help arrived. Whether or not he was hoping for a death on the battlefield he later says publically: "The bullet that gets me has not been cast yet!" But privately: "It's no use, I'm fated to die in bed."

1929- Benito Mussolini signed the Lateran Concordat that recognized the sovereignty of Vatican City within Italy, while the Pope blessed his Fascist regime. The threat of godless world communism scared the Holy See into a number of questionable relationships with right wing extremists like Hitler, Franco and the Eustache in Croatia.

1933- 19 year old Japanese schoolgirl Kiyoko Matsumoto committed suicide by jumping into the thousand foot crater of a volcano on the island of Oshima. This act started a bizarre fad in Japan, and in the ensuing months three hundred young girls did the same thing.

1936- Famed German Expressionist animator Oscar Fischinger escaped Nazi Germany for the U.S. Paid for by Hollywood director Ernst Lubitsch.

1937- General Motors settled a bitter strike and becomes the first major plant to recognize the United Auto Workers union.

1938- Donald Duck cartoon Self Control was released.

1945- Yalta agreement signed. If you were a Czech. Pole or Hungarian, it meant Roosevelt and Churchill had just traded you to Stalin for the next fifty years.

1948- Famed Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein died of a heart attack.

1963- Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath laid out bread and butter and two glasses of milk for her children, then stuck her head into an oven and committed suicide. Her poet-laureate husband Ted Hughes was in bed with another woman when he got the news. Hughes wrote stories for his children like The Iron Giant to explain death and loss.

1975- Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to lead the Tory Party in England. The green-grocers daughter from Finchley became the Iron Lady and dominated British politics until 1990.

1976- Chuck Jones TV special "Mowgli’s Brothers."

1979 - The Iranian Revolution Day. With Shah Reza Pahlevi fled, the fundamentalist Shiite mullahs led by Ayatollah Khomeni declare Iran to be an Islamic Republic.

1990- Nelson Mandela was freed by South African authorities after 27 years in prison. He was jailed in 1962 for a life sentence and became the conscience and symbol of the black resistance to white South African rule, called Apartheid.

1995- Disney Studios planned neighborhood suburban community Celebration opened.

2000- Disney’s The Tigger Movie premiered. Directed by Jun Falkenstein, one of the first animated features written and directed by a woman.

2003- A small satellite named U-Map, while studying the faint glow at the center of the Universe, calculated the exact age of our Universe to be 13.7 billion years old. That stars first appeared at 200 million years after the Big Bang, and that the Universe will ultimately expand forever, not crunch back in on itself or explode in one big cataclysm.

2005- Playwright Arthur Miller died at 90.

2006- While hunting for quail, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot his hunting partner. After being treated for buckshot in his face, the victim, an attorney named Whittington, went before the press and apologized to the Vice President. In 2009, out of office, it was admitted that Whittington was not a close friend of Cheney, and that his wounds were more life threatening than first reported. Dick Cheney became the first Vice President since Aaron Burr in 1804 to shoot someone while in office. Nothing happened to Burr either. Whittington just died of old age last week.

2012- Singer actress Whitney Houston was found dead in her bathtub. She was 48, She was preparing for the Grammy Awards when she had a heart attack and drowned in the water.

2016- A Wrinkle in Time. While studying two black holes colliding in deep space, scientists announced they discovered Gravity Waves. It was one of the last unproven theories in Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity in 1905. That space and gravity ripples.
Yesterdays Question: During wars, US soldiers would refer to their enemy with derogatory nicknames. In WWII, the German enemy was called “Krauts”. During the Vietnam War, the Vietcong was referred to as “Charlie”. What did Yanks call the Iraqi fighters during the 2001-2021 Iraq War?

Answer: Hajii’s, or Hadji’s. In Arabic culture, a person who had completed the pilgrimage to Mecca (the Haj) is called a Hajii. But in this case it was more probably named for the little boy in the turban in the TV cartoon Johnny Quest.