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March 4, 2023
March 4th, 2023

Quiz: What is marzipan?

Yesterday’s Question: What is a billy-club?
History for 3/4/2023
Birthdays: King Henry II Plantagenet, Antonio Vivaldi, Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, Count Pulaski, Miriam Makeba, Nancy Wilson, Bernard Haittink, John Garfield, Knute Rockne, Chastity Bono, Ray “Boom-Boom” Mancini, Patsy Kensit, Katherine O’Hara is 70, James Ellroy, Mykleti Williamson. Ward Kimball, Vicky Jenson, Ken Duncan

1152- Frederick Barbarossa made Emperor of Germany. Barbarossa means 'redbeard'. Barbarossa was the Richard Lionheart of Germany.

1517- HERNANDO CORTEZ LANDED IN MEXICO. With a hostile Viceroy of Cuba between him and Spain, and only 508 men, he resolved to conquer the Aztec Empire of many millions. He even burned his ships, to force his men to conquer or die.

1554- Queen Mary Tudor published a Royal edict repudiating her father Henry VIII’s religious reforms and restoring the Roman Catholic faith to dominance in England. Protestantism and other “heresies” were forbidden. To those who didn’t agree, she became Bloody Mary.

1647- As he realized he was losing the English Civil War, King Charles I sent his son Charles II and the rest of his family to Holland for safety. Today he saw them off. They would never see him alive again.

1681- King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn and his Quakers to build a colony in the New World. Penn wanted to name the new country "New Wales" because of its hills, but Charles disagreed. As a Quaker, Penn was too modest to have a whole colony named after him. Since the Merry Monarch was essentially paying off an old debt owed to Penn's father, Admiral Penn, who stayed loyal to him during Cromwell’s time, the king suggested the new colony be named for his father. What else was there besides hills? Lots of forest-- the King knew that woods in Latin is Sylvania. Hey, how about Penn's Woods- thus Pennsylvania.
When His Majesty noticed the Quakers not removing their hats in his presence, King Charles removed his. William Penn asked: ”Sire, why dost thou remove thy hat?” The Merry Monarch replied:” Well, ONE of us is supposed to!”

1759- Madame de Pompadour secured the appointment of Etienne de Silhouette as Finance Minister and controller general. Silhouette tried to fix the chaotic French economy by raising taxes of aristocrats and cutting back their privileges. Noblemen said they had been reduced to mere shadows of their former selves. By November the king fired him, and people joking called him a shadow. Now the word silhouette means outline figure.

1791- Green Mountains, or in French, Vermont, territory became the 14th state. The first new state added to the original 13 colonies. Before then, Vermonters had tried to be an independent country and once during the Revolution, Ethan Allen floated secret negotiations to sell Vermont back to the British.

1793-1933, Traditional Presidential Inauguration Day. "March Forth with a New President" (get it ?)
Transportation being what it was in early America, and the time it took to count votes, and the Electoral College to ratify the election results, this seemed a convenient time.
Inauguration ceremonies have been as elaborate as the Trump’s $107 million inaugural, to as simple as when Tom Jefferson addressed a few invited guests indoors, then returned to have dinner alone at Conrad's Tavern.
At Lincoln's second inaugural in 1865, Incoming Vice President Andrew Johnson was so nervous, he kept accepting sips of corn whisky. So before Lincoln delivered his famous speech " With Malice Towards None. With Charity for All..." Johnson was up there burbling incoherently in a drunken stupor. Lincoln had to order him pulled off the podium. In 1937 Franklin Roosevelt moved the inauguration date to the third week in January and that’s where its been ever since.

1836- Today General Santa Anna held a council of war to decide what to do about the Alamo. Many of his generals were against an attack. The Texans were cut off with little food, and there was no help coming. The Alamo had no strategic importance. So why waste men? But Santa Anna wanted to make an example of these “Yankee Land Pirates”. He ordered a grand assault on the Alamo as soon as the preparations were completed.

1861- THE STARS & BARS. During the Civil War the Confederate army was having a problem with their flag. Their first design so closely resembled the United States flag that soldiers had trouble distinguishing one from the other in heavy battle smoke. Creole General Pierre Beauregard put the ladies sewing circles of New Orleans on the problem and they came up with the Stars & Bars design based on the Cross of St. Andrew.

1887- William Randolph Hearst bought the little San Francisco Examiner and began to build the Hearst newspaper empire. Hearst’s father was part owner of the famed Comstock Mine, and thought his son crazy for wasting his time with the penny-paper business. Hearst died in 1951 at age 88, leaving an estate of $160 million. Today Hearst publications are still 15 magazines and broadcast networks.

1887- The first Daimler motorcar introduced in Essenlingen Germany- the Daimler Benzin Motorcarriage. Daimler’s chief competition was Dr Carl Benz. In 1899, Austrian Emile Jellinek invested heavily in Daimler’s motorcars, provided he name them for his daughter Mercedes. Mercedes and Benz merged in 1926 but the two founders- Gottfried Daimler and Carl Benz never met face to face.

1902- AAA the Auto Club founded.

1917- Jeanette Rankin became the first female member of Congress.

1922- F.W. Murnau’s classic film Nosferatu, the Vampire, opened in Berlin.

1924- The song “Happy Birthday to You” copyrighted by Claydon Sunny.

1933- Franklin Roosevelt gave his famous speech“ The only thing we have to fear is, Fear itself.” at his first inauguration.

1936- Screenwriter Dudley Nichols publicly refused the Best Screenplay Oscar for John Ford’s “The Informer” as a protest in support of the struggling Writer’s Guild.

1936- First flight of the German dirigible Graf Hindenburg.

1944- Louis Lepke Buchalter went to the electric chair at Sing Sing prison. Buchalter with Albert Anastasia headed the heavy enforcement arm of Lucky Lucciano’s New York Mafia Syndicate. Nicknamed “Murder Incorporated,” the Brooklyn gang committed at least 100 murders, including Dutch Schultz, and Lucciano’s mentor Joey the Boss Masseria.

1946- Alex Raymond's comic strip 'Rip Kirby" premiered.

1952- Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis at the Little Red Church on Coldwater Canyon Blvd. in L.A. William Holden was their best man.

1952- Ernest Hemingway wrote a letter to his publisher:" I've completed a new novel. I think it's my best one to date." The Old Man and the Sea.

1956- Burger King introduced their signature hamburger the Whopper.

1958- U.S.S. Nautilus, first nuclear sub, reaches the North Pole under the ice cap.

1960- American opera baritone Leonard Warren dropped dead on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in the 2nd act of Verdi's La Forza Del Destino.

1961- In the early stages of filming Cleopatra in London, actress Elizabeth Taylor developed pneumonia and slipped into a coma. She would have died, had not doctors at a convention at London’s Dorchester Hotel performed and emergency tracheotomy. When you seen the film today you can still see the tracheotomy scar at the base of her throat.

1976- Due to the intervention of San Francisco mayor George Moscone, the Giants baseball team would stay in city by the bay. In a last minute deal, the Stoneham family sells the team to Bob Lurie and Bud Herseth instead of the Labbatt's Brewery, which had planned to move the Giants to Canada.

1982- The Abrahams/Zucker Bros TV comedy Police Squad! premiered.
1994- Basketball legend Michael Jordan went to bat for the first time in a Chicago White Sox Baseball uniform. Jordan gave up baseball after one season and returned to the NBA.

1991- During the Gulf War, US troops destroyed an Iraqi bunker concealing tons of deadly sarin nerve gas. Estimates are up to 24,000 troops were exposed to the toxic release.

1994- 375 pound comedian John Candy died of sleep apnea. He was 43.

1997- The senate of Brazil finally allowed women to wear slacks to work.

2000- The Japanese launch of Sony Playstation 2. It was designed to compete with Segas Dreamcast and Nintendo’s Cube. The Playstation 2 was the most anticipated videogame launch in history. 600,000 units were sold. One store in Tokyo’s Ginza had 4,000 people lined up at their door. It remained hot for 13 years.

2004- A New York court convicted interior decorating guru Martha Stewart of four counts of stock fraud. This was for dumping her stock in a pharmaceutical firm called InClone after getting an inside tip that their cancer cure didn’t actually work.

2008- The first Simon’s Cat short cartoon appeared on YouTube. English commercial animator Simon Tofield wanted to teach himself Adobe Flash, a 2D computer animation program. He decided to make a cartoon of his cat, and his quirky behavior. He took the results and posted it on YouTube for a laugh. It got thousands of views and made him famous. Now he has a staff, sells merchandise and is working on longer films.

2016- Disney’s Zootopia, directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush.
Yesterday’s Question: What is a billy-club?

Answer: A billy-club was the nickname for a policeman’s baton or truncheon. The name may have originated in London, were one of the nicknames for the London Police was The Old Bill.