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Feb 19, 2023
February 19th, 2023

Quiz: When the U.S. Marines raised the flag on Iwo Jima in 1945, how many stars were on the flag?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: What is the difference between archaeology and anthropology?
HISTORY FOR 2/19/2023
Birthdays: Copernicus is 1542, Luigi Boccherini, Smokey Robinson, Andre Breton, Lee Marvin, Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Karen Silkwood, Paul Terry, Frank Tashlin, Paul Krause, Merl Oberon, Amy Tam, John Frankenheimer, Ray Winstone is 66, Jeff Daniels is 68, Benicio Del Toro is 57

Today is the Feast of Saint Wulfstan of Worchester.

197AD- General Septimius Severus of the African Legions had seized control of the Roman Empire was declared emperor. This day he defeated his last rival, Albinus, the commander of the legions of Gaul. He left Albinus’ dead body in front of his headquarters, where for fun he trampled it repeatedly with his horse. Albinus‘ corpse continued to lay around for days, being torn by dogs and vermin. Finally, it stank so badly, it was dumped into a nearby stream.

1600- The monk Giordano Bruno was one of the first modern skeptics. He raged against superstition and denied there was any such thing as Hell or Purgatory. But his chief crime was his expansion on the Copernican Theory. He declared that not only is the Earth revolving around the sun, but that the Universe is infinite and unfathomable. That God should not be belittled, being focused on one little people, on one little rock. He is an Infinite Presence ruling over countless worlds. This day in Rome, Giordano Bruno was stripped naked and burned at the stake, with an iron nail hammered through his tongue and his writings chained to his chest. Later thinkers like Galileo and Descartes kept Bruno’s fate in mind when they went too far in bucking Holy Mother Church.

1674- The Second Treaty of Breda settled the Third Dutch War with England. As part of the settlement, Holland gave up any chance of getting back her colonies in North America, now renamed by the English New York and New Jersey. Truth be told they weren’t bringing in much income anyway. They were considered of little value compared to their holdings in the Caribbean.

1725- The first recorded case of spontaneous combustion.

1736- Georg Frederich Handel’s oratorio Alexander’s Feast premiered at Covent Garden.

1807- AARON BURR, former vice president of the U.S, was arrested in Alabama territory for treason. Napoleon's attack on Spain put the Spanish Americas in confusion. Mexico declared her independence, the U.S. occupied West Florida (Alabama) and James Madison thought we should also take Cuba. Aaron Burr was organizing a freelance military expedition (called a filibuster) to take Texas away from Spain, but President Tom Jefferson suspected him of more sinister purposes. In this age of Napoleonic adventurers, a frustrated ambition like Burr's might have been thinking of taking over New Orleans (only American for 3 years), or even a march on Washington City!

Aaron Burr went on trial but nothing could be proven. The state's chief witness General James Wilkinson was taken apart on the stand as a consummate liar - Chief Justice John Marshal tried to subpoena the President, but Jefferson created the concept of "Executive Privilege, saying a president can't be put under oath. So, Marshal had no alternative but to acquit Burr. Tom Jefferson in a rage tried to have Burr's defense attorney jailed and the Chief Justice impeached- Justice Marshal was Jefferson's cousin. So, Burr got away. He lived in Paris for a while, and when he died at 81, he was being sued by a woman for getting her pregnant.

1847- “ARE YOU FROM CALIFORNIA OR ARE YOU FROM HEAVEN?” The Donner Party found at last. The wagon train of settlers had been trapped in the High Sierra mountains of California near Lake Truckee in blizzard conditions with no food since last October 31st. Half the settlers were dead and the rest subsisting on cannibalizing the dead for food. This day a survivor named John Reed who got to safety returned with a rescue party from Sutter’s Fort. Of the 89 original settlers only 45 made it out alive. One opened a restaurant.

1878- Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1913- Crackerjacks start putting toy prizes in every box. Legend has it the name Crackerjack for the caramel corn was named for the reaction of Teddy Roosevelt trying it for the first time- These caramel-corns are Crackerjack!

1915- Grand Admiral von Tirpitz told German newspapers that his strategy to win the Great War was to use his submarine u-boats to blockade Britain and prevent food, fuel and supplies entering from the outside world.

1915- L.A. Times publisher and land baron Harry Chandler, oil man Harry Sinclair was indicted with 8 other prominent Angeleanos for conspiring to start a new revolution in Mexico. The Mexican government had seized their large land holdings there for land redistribution, and this was their quaint little way of getting them back.

1920- THE MYSTERY OF ANASTASIA- This day came the first news reports that a emotionally disturbed young woman who tried to jump into a Berlin canal claimed to be the Archduchess Anastasia Romanov, youngest daughter of the Czar of Russia. That she somehow escaped the 1918 massacre of her family and tried to prove it by recalling minute details about the Imperial household. She was called Anna Anderson and for a time was the toast of New York and Parisian society. But unlike the movies, the Romanov family in exile never took her seriously and Anna eventually married and settled down in Sweden. In 1991 scientists conducted extensive tests to match her DNA with the Romanovs. They even took blood samples from English Prince Phillip, who had some Romanov in him. The report proved she was not the little archduchess.

1942- Japanese planes bombed the Australian Port of Darwin, Australians braced for an invasion. In the beginning of the war, Australia had sent all her soldiers to Europe to help mother England, figuring the U.S. Navy could handle anything in Asia. Now the U.S. Navy was sunk or on the run, the Japanese were massing for invasion while the Australian army was on the other side of the world.
When the Australian prime minister asked Churchill for his divisions back to defend the homeland, Churchill refused, saying he couldn't spare them. In the end the Japanese never did invade, and relations between Aussies and Brits have been dodgy ever since.

1942- PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT signed Executive Order# 9066- The JAPANESE INTERNMENT ACT- All along the Pacific Coast first and second generation Japanese-Americans were uprooted from their homes and property and with what only they could carry were shipped off to camps in the desert. Many never got restitution for their lost property.
Although the F.B.I. kept tabs on German and Italian agents in U.S. and pro-Fascist groups like the American Bund flourished in the 30’s, nothing like what happened to Japanese Americans occurred to them. Less than 10,000 Germans were rounded up as compared to over 100,000 Japanese-Americans. Canada and Mexico also interned some of their Japanese immigrant population. Few Japanese-Americans were interned in Hawaii however, because it would have seriously depleted the population.

1943- Battle of Kasserine Pass ended. Rommel the Desert Fox showed he had a few tricks left, beating up the American army in its debut, and embarrassing Eisenhower's first combat command. He lured the Yanks into a narrow pass and chopped them up. It was the only time in the European war that American G.I.s broke and ran.

1944- Writer John Steinbeck asked that his name be taken off of the credits for the Alfred Hitchcock film version of “Lifeboat”. “In view of the fact that my script for the picture was distorted in production.” He didn’t much like the Grapes of Wrath screenplay either.

1945- THE INVASION of IWO JIMA-The nine-mile square bit of barren beach cost over 50,000 lives. This island and Okinawa were the test cases to judge how fiercely the Japanese would fight for mainland Japan. Iwo Jima was the first island that wasn't conquered territory of some other people but was considered part of the home Japanese Islands, only 700 miles from Tokyo.

1945- Sgt John Basilone earned the Medal of Honor for this bravery on Guadalcanal for conspicuous gallantry defeating a Japanese assault. He toured the USA doing war bonds tours. But being a celebrity or instructor did not suit him. He volunteered to go back to combat duty. This day in the assault of Iwo Jima Sgt. Baslilone was killed by enemy fire.

1945- While Allied armies crossed into Germany on all sides, Nazi S.S. leader Heinrich Himmler contacted the neutral Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte to try and open secret peace talks behind Hitler's back. Bernadotte asked as a condition that all concentration camps in the Reich be turned over to the International Red Cross. Himmler balked at that, but agreed to allow food packages to be delivered to Nordic prisoners. When Hitler found out Himmler was trying to cut his own deal, he was extremely upset. Himmler was under house arrest at the end of the war.

1951- Poet philosopher Andre Gide died in Paris. Several things were quoted as his last words, my favorite is " Before you quote me, please make sure I'm conscious."

1954- The prototype Ford Thunderbird auto completed.

1960- Bill Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts.

1963- The book The Feminine Mystique was published. Betty Freidan’s analysis of contemporary women’s issues is considered the first shot of the modern Women’s Movement.

1964- Peter Sellers married actress Brit Ekland. His huffing amyl nitrate as a sexual stimulant probably contributed to a series of early heart attacks he had. They divorced in 1968.

1968- “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…” Mister Roger’s Neighborhood debuted on National Education Television, later called PBS. Ordained Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers had been doing children’s shows similar in Pittsburgh and Canada since the 50’s, but today was the start of his national show. It would run unchanged for thirty-five years.

1995- Sexy actress Pamela Anderson married sexy rocker Tommy Lee. On their honeymoon on Lake Powell they shot an explicit sex tape that was leaked onto the internet, becoming the first viral video. By 2000, one sixth of everything viewed on the world-wide web was about Pamela Anderson.

1990- ILM VFX designer John Knoll and his brother Tom created a surfacing and paint system for home computer use. Adobe bought it, and this day released it as Photoshop.
Yesterdays’ question: What is the difference between archaeology and anthropology?

Answer: Archaeology explores the digging up, recovery and examination of ancient peoples and species. Anthropology focuses on the analysis and interpretation of what they dug up.