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feb 15, 2023
February 15th, 2023

Question: Charles Perrault wrote stories under a more famous pen-name. What was it?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What does it mean when something is viscous?
History for 2/15/2023
Birthdays: Galileo Galilei, Frederick Douglas, French King Louis XV, Michael Praetorius, Susan B. Anthony, Charles Tiffany, John Barrymore, Jane Seymour, Cesar Romero, Gale Sondergard, Melissa Manchester, Chris Farley, Claire Bloom, Chris MacDonald, Art Spiegleman is 75, Marissa Berenson is 76, Matt Groening is 69

980AD- Today is the Feast of Saint Sigfrid, an Englishman who became the patron saint of Sweden. At the invitation of Viking King Olaf Tryggvason, Sigfrid came north from Glastonbury and baptized Swedish King Olaf the White. Once when Sigfrid was away and his nephews minding his church, the pagans grabbed them and cut their heads off. Saint Sigfrid made the decapitated heads preach to the pagans about the coming Judgement Day. Musta scared the beejeezus out of them.

1720- Young Francois Voltaire had begun a career as a successful playwright with his first play Oedipe. But his second play Artemire was booed as loudly as his first play was cheered. The irate playwright ran up on stage and argued with the audience for over an hour, but the audience still thought his play stunk.

1764-The town of Saint Louis, Missouri was established by French fur trappers (les voyageurs) up from New Orleans, led by Pierre Laclede Ligueste.

1793- Revolutionary France adopted the tricolor flag. After Waterloo, royalists tried to go back to the white with gold Fleur du Lys banner. But from 1848 on the Tricolor remained the national banner of the French nation.

1815- Things on the Island of Elba had gotten so quiet that the British officer in charge of Napoleon's exile, Sir Colin Campbell, informed his prisoner he was going on holiday to see his girlfriend in Italy. Napoleon asked, “Will you be back by the 28th? “Yes, why?” Oh, nothing. it's just my sister Princess Pauline is planning a party and we'd hate for you to miss it." But Napoleon was actually plotting to escape to France and re-conquer Europe. Pauline had her party on the 25th. Sir Colin Campbell returned to find his prisoner, and his career, had flown the coup.

1836- The Mexican Army of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna crossed the Rio Grande into the rebellious state of Texas. Santa Anna had mortgaged his own lands back home and put his field hands into uniform to bolster up the ranks of his army.

1861- When Texas joined the Confederacy, US frontier fort commanders worried about how to proceed. This day without waiting for orders, General William Twiggs surrendered all his army posts and war material of the Department of Texas to the new Confederate Government. The rebels gained tons of munitions and guns, and even some Egyptian camels from a failed experiment to introduce them to American deserts. President Elect-Abe Lincoln called Twiggs a traitor, and Twiggs responded by trying to unsuccessfully challenge outgoing President Buchanan to a duel.

1862- Battle of Valverde New Mexico- Pro Confederate Texans fought Pro-Union Colorado and New Mexico militia in a sleepy adobe village. Texans captured 4 Yankee brass cannon and dragged them back to San Antonio. The Valverde Guns became a famous Texas unit.

1879- President Rutherford Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases in U.S. law courts, even though they still were not allowed to vote.

1898- The U.S.S. Battleship MAINE EXPLODED in Havana Harbor, killing 252 sailors. The cause was never confirmed, it may have been a spontaneous igniting of fumes in the gunpowder magazine, but the American public was urged to blame Spanish sabotage.
The next day a motor launch out to the site of the disaster rescued the ships cat clinging to the mainmast protruding from the water. U.S. public opinion against Spain was pushed by "yellow journalists" like William Randolph Hearst and Josef Pulitzer. Hearst said “ The Maine is a wonderful thing.” When Pulitzer’s correspondent, artist Frederick Remington reported home, “There is no war down here.” Pulitzer responded, "You supply the pictures, I'll supply the war."
American expansionists had been planning a war with Spain since 1896 and had tried to pick a fight over Cuba in 1871 and 1874. President McKinley, who Teddy Roosevelt described as having:"no more backbone than a chocolate éclair" gave in and declared War on Spain to cries of "Remember the Maine!". More Americans were killed on the USS Maine than in the entire Spanish American War, which was fought and over by December of that same year. America emerged as a power player on the world stage.

1903- British Major General Hector MacDonald was one of the most famous soldiers of the Victorian Era. “Fighting Mac” had laughed in the face of fierce Afghan tribesmen, Boer bullets, and Dervish’s spears, and always triumphed.
But he had a secret. The Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name. He married young but abandoned his wife and son, and now sought only the company of men. This day while serving as military commander of Ceylon, a leading cleric and several boys accused General MacDonald of homosexuality. Gays in the British Empire were not uncommon- Gordon of Khartoum, Cecil Rhodes of South Africa, even Earl Kitchener of Omdurman were known to prefer men to women. But never in the open. MacDonald tried to flee to England on medical leave, but the General Staff ordered him to return and clear his name in a court martial. MacDonald instead went into his office and put his service revolver to his temple. All Edinburgh turned out for his funeral.
Still friends and admirers refused to admit he was gone. There was a rumor that a successful World War I German General von Mackensen was actually MacDonald under an alias, since von Mackensen stayed in the Balkans and never faced English troops in battle.

1933- ATTEMPTED ASSASINATION OF FDR- In Miami, unemployed anarchist Giuseppe Zangara shot a pistol at President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a rally in Chicago. He missed FDR but killed the Mayor of Chicago Anton Czermak. Giuseppe
Zangara was tried and sent to the electric chair by the following month.

1942- Japanese troops captured Singapore. The British were confident the Japanese couldn't get an army through the thick Malaysian jungle, so they concentrated their heavy guns facing out to sea. Gen. Yamashita, the "Tiger of Malaya" put his army on bicycles and with light tanks burst through the jungle and breached the cities defenses from the weaker land side. The “Gibraltar of the East’ fell with depressing speed – Prime Minister Winston Churchill admitted he was humiliated. He felt the defeat had shown the world just how old and brittle the British Empire had become.

1947- The British had administered the Palestinian territories like a colony of the Empire since the end of World War I. But faced with a shattered post World War 2 economy, fed up with Arab-Jewish terrorism and the mortification of having to put Jewish Holocaust survivors back into camps, this day the British Government announced it was going to leave the Palestine Mandate. The new United Nations could have the whole Arab-Israeli mess and bugger off!

1947- During the anti-Communist witch hunt, the FBI revoked the visa of famed documentary filmmaker and founder of the National Film Board of Canada, John Grierson because they thought his personal politics were too lefty.

1950- Walt Disney’s Cinderella opened in general theater release.

1954- Future President and b-movie star Ronald Reagan tried doing a stand-up act at the Las Vegas Ramona Room with the "Honey Brothers", a comedy troupe similar to Abbot & Costello.

1965- Canada adopted the Maple Leaf flag. It did not completely replace the Dominion Flag until 1979.

1973- Actor and animation voice Wally Cox was found in his LA apartment dead of a heart attack. He was 48.

1984- Touchstone Pictures created, so the Walt Disney Company could do more adult PG movies. Their first film was Splash, starring a tastefully topless mermaid Darryl Hannah.

1989- The last Soviet troops left Afghanistan.

1991- In a speech, President George H. W. Bush invited dissidents in Iraq to rise up against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. He declared, “The Day of the Dictator is Over!” Iraqi Kurds, Shiites and Marsh Arabs rose in revolt, confident the US would back them. The US instead ignored them and left them to be bombed and nerve-gassed by Saddam’s Republican Guard. Thousands died, and the dictator remained for another ten years.

1994- After months of insane bidding, Viacom’s Sumner Redstone beat out QVC’s Barry Diller to buy Paramount Pictures. The cost was $20 billion, although the studio’s net worth was estimated at $8 billion. When asked, Diller replied: “What’s done is done. Next.”

2002- Scientists announced the first discovery of fossilized dinosaur vomit.

2003- Millions of protesters march in cities from Hollywood to New York, Kyiv to Capetown to Tokyo to protest US plans to attack Iraq. Nearly a million and a half people marched in London alone. Pres. Bush invaded anyway.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What does it mean when something is viscous?

Answer: sticky.