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Feb 21, 2023
February 21st, 2023

Quiz: What is a “perp walk”?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Why is your little finger called a pinky?
HISTORY for 2/21/2023
Birthdays: Leopold Delibes, C. Brancusi, Anais Ninn, W.H. Auden, Hubert de Givenchy, Era Bombeck, Sam Peckinpah, Nina Simone, Robert Mugabe, Joe Oriolo, John Lewis, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kelsey Grammar is 68, Jennifer Love Hewitt is 44, Alan Rickman, Elliot Page is 36. David Geffen is 80, Jordan Peele is 44, Pebbles Flintstone is 60.

Happy Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday- The day before Ash Wednesday ushering in the Catholic season of Lent is the cause for wild parties in many cultures- Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Quebec and other cities. Carne-Vale is Latin for Carne-meat, Vale goodbye. So Goodbye to Meat, the Lenten fast. The Mardi Gras custom in America started in Mobile Alabama in 1708, when explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans and named it "Pointe du Mardi Gras" when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday. It then went to New Orleans. It died out in more somber Victorian times but was renewed after the Civil War- so-' Lesse Le Bon Temps Rolle’! “Let the Good Times Roll!” “ Have you seen the Voodoo King?”

1613- The Russian parliament the Zemsky Sobor elected Michael Romanov as the new Czar. This ended the period of dynastic struggle and invasion called the Time of Troubles. It was also the last time a representative parliament decided anything in Russia until 1991. The Romanov Family ruled Russia until the Revolution of 1917 and are still around, should Russia ever want a monarchy again.

1719- A London weekly announced “Mr Handel, a Famous Master of Music, is gone beyond the sea, by order of His Majesty, to collect a company of the choicest singers in Europe for the Opera in the Haymarket.” The London Opera is born. On his recruiting trip George Frederich Handel passed through his hometown of Halle.
A few hours after he was gone another musician came to town, having walked 25 miles just to meet this great German composer who was the toast of England. He was Johann Sebastian Bach. But he was too late. The two giants of classical music would never meet.

1803- Irish rebel Col. Edward Despard was executed at Horsemonger Lane Gaol for plotting to assassinate King George III. The last person to ever be sentenced to the medieval punishment of being drawn and quartered. But by now the public thought it was so gruesome, that it was partly commuted. Despard was hanged, and his body beheaded without any further butchery. The disappointed crowd booed and hissed the executioner.

1814- This day Captain De Berenger, a French exile aristocrat in the British Army, arrived in London with amazing news from the Continent- that Napoleon Bonaparte had been defeated and killed by the Russians. The war was over! London went wild with celebrations and exiled French King Louis XVIII held a celebratory ball.
But the story was a fake. Napoleon was alive and would wage war for two more years.
De Berenger was part of an elaborate stock fraud. His partners Andrew Butt, Richard Cochrane-Johnstone and Thomas Cobbett waited until the London Stock Market boomed with the news, then sold their shares at top price. When the truth came out and the market crashed, they had made a fortune. An investigation was convened and all the conspirators rounded up.
The only good from this was for America. Cochrane-Johnstone’s cousin, Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane was also implicated in the scheme and this prevented him from sailing to America with a British fleet. Cochrane “The Sea Wolf” was one of the best fighting admirals since Nelson, and the model for fictional sea dogs like Horatio Hornblower and Lucky Jack Aubrey. He would not be at Baltimore when the “Rockets Red Glare, the Bombs Bursting in Air..”….etc.

1828- The Cherokee Nation adopted their own constitution.

1848- THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO- In Brussels Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published their revolutionary work the Communist Manifesto, redefining history in terms of economic class warfare and creating the terms communist and communism. Interestingly enough they picked Brussels to publish because that year 1848 there were revolutions happening in most of the other cities in Europe.

1885- The completed Washington Monument was dedicated by Pres Chester Allan Arthur. Plans for the obelisk were first drawn up in 1792 by Pierre L’Enfant and the cornerstone laid in 1840 but construction was constantly suspended. First they ran out of money for 20 years, then they stopped because of the Civil War, another time because the Presbyterian workers refused to handle Italian marble blocks donated by the Catholic Pope. The final capstone point as affixed last December, and the official dedication today.

1898- After the explosion of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor Under Secretary of the Navy Teddy Roosevelt burned to take action. This day when his boss the Navy Secretary decided to take a day off, Teddy rushed off emergency orders to all the U.S. battleships to go onto a war alert and lay in a supply of extra coal and munitions. The War with Spain hadn't even been declared yet. His boss returned red faced and furious but Teddy had already resigned his office to raise his own volunteer cavalry brigade.

1901- Yankee outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with prostitute Hedda Place, sometimes called Mrs. Sundance, left New York City by ship for Latin America. They hoped to build a new life in the Patagonian foothills of Argentina. But after 4 year of ranching, Butch and Sundance took up their outlaw ways again, fleeing to Bolivia. Hedda Place returned to the US, and disappeared from history.

1916- VERDUN began- One of the most horrible battles in world history. World War I German Gen. Eric Von Falkynhen planned to draw France into a battle that would ‘bleed her white”, but he wound up bleeding his own army just as badly. German and French troops battled over some stone fortresses for ten months. Hundreds of thousands of men died in one battle. The French fired 1 1/2 million shells in this thirty mile square area and the Germans even more. Regiments would be marched into the trenches, blown to bits, then another marched in. The surrounding countryside was turned into a shell hole pocked lunar hell. They were still digging up and defusing shells in 1968.

1919- More chaos in Germany after the Great War defeat. The Socialist rebel leader of Munich, Kurt Eisner, was assassinated and Bolsheviks declared the Soviet Republic of Bavaria. One of the things they tried to do before rightwing paramilitary militias turn them out was try to declare war on Switzerland. By May, the streets of Munich become a battleground that ex-corporal named Hitler decides was a fun place to be.

1942- After the port of Darwin was bombed by the Japanese, President Roosevelt ordered General MacArthur, trapped on Corregidor, not to go down fighting in the Philippines, but escape and organize the defense of Australia.
MacArthur slipped away in the dead of night by PT boat with his wife and four year old son. He vowed to the Philippine people:" I Shall Return !" The army press liaison tried to change the press release to We Shall Return, but MacArthur insisted it remain as is.

1945- During the Battle of Iwo Jima, the Marines raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi. Associate Press photographer Joe Rosenthal takes the most famous image of the war. It's now the Marine monument at Arlington Cemetery. Actually, he photographed the second flag raising. The first was a small flag stuck on a piece of pipe to get the artillery below to stop shelling them, and to give the Marines pinned down on the beach some hope. The second larger flag raising was done for the press. It was still plenty dangerous, two of the six flag raisers were later killed in battle that same day. Rosenthal almost missed the shot because he turned around momentarily to see if he was in the way of another cameraman. The big flag attracted Japanese gunfire, and Rosenthal tumbled down the mountain to get out of the way. He broke one of cameras and was not even sure he got the shot until the film was developed on Guam, 17 hours later.

1958- THE PEACE SIGN. British graphic designer Gerald Holtom was creating signs for a nuclear disarmament protest in London. He wanted a visual that would stick in people’s minds. He created a symbol based on the naval semaphore flag designation for “N” nuclear, and “D” disarmament. It was adopted by the Anti-Vietnam War Peace movement in the late 1960s.

1965- MALCOLM X was assassinated at the Audubon Meeting Hall in Washington Heights Manhattan. His last words were trying to quiet a disturbance in the crowd he was about to address-"Brothers, be cool." Three men then stood up and fired pistols and a shotgun killing him instantly. He was later found to have over twenty bullets in his body. Three murderers did time for the killing, but it has never been proven who ordered it. Popular sentiment speculate it was his enemies in the Black Muslim movement, with whom he had broken.

1977- Animation director John Hubley died suddenly on an operating table of an aortic aneurism during heart surgery. He was 62.

1980- Ukrainian astronomer Ludmila Karachkina named a main belt asteroid for Walt Disney, asteroid 4017 Disneya.

1988- Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart tearfully confessed to his Baton Rouge congregation “Ah Have Sinned!!” He had been arrested for soliciting a prostitute. They forgave him, A year later he was busted again for the same reason, but he still continues to preach family values on TV.

2014- The Wind Rises, directed by Hayao Miyazaki premiered in the US.
Yesterday’s Question: Why is your little finger called a pinky?

Answer: Pinkjye is Dutch for little finger.