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April 15, 2023
April 15th, 2023

Quiz: What sport is nicknamed “ The Beautiful Game”? (hint: not in the U.S.)

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Something catlike is called feline, but what is something vulpine?
History for 4/15/2023
Birthdays: Leonardo DaVinci, composer Domenico Gabrieli, Nanak I the founder of the Sikh religion 1469, Charles Wilson Peale, Theodore Rousseau, Henry James, Bessie Smith, Heinrich Klee, Kim Il Sung, Claudia Cardinale is 84, Roy Clark, Emma Thompson is 62, Hans Conried, Olympic runner Evelyn Ashford, Alice Braga is 38, Seth Rogen is 40, Emma Watson is 32

Fordicidia-Ancient Roman Festival where 31 pregnant cows are sacrificed to Tellus, the Earth-Mother.

Happy St. Matthews Day, the patron saint of tax-collectors.

1632- Battle of the Lech River. Round one of Protestant Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus vs. Catholic Duke Albrecht Wallenstein in the Thirty Years War.

1729- The Saint Matthew’s Passion oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach was first sung at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.

1738- The Bottle Opener invented.

1755- Dr. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language first published. Dr. Johnson first created the system of listing a word’s phonetic pronunciation, ancient roots and how to use the word in a sentence. Before this, nobody fussed much about spelling words correctly. The excellence of Dr. Johnson’s dictionary made him the virtual dictator of English writing in his time.
Dr. Johnson allowed a bit of personal pique into his lexicographical prima non pares. He was annoyed that Lord Chesterfield pledged to finance his effort, but only sent a check for a measly ten pounds. When the book was a success his lordship claimed credit as Johnson’s benefactor. Dr. Johnson defined the word “Patron”- One who contributes Indolence, and pays in Flattery.”

1797-The Great Spithead Mutiny- Never mind the Bounty, here the whole blinking British Fleet mutinied against harsh conditions like flogging, press gangs and having to say “Arr-Mateys” in a silly voice whenever appropriate. Flogging was never officially prohibited in the British Navy, it just died out in the 1870's.

1822- The Captain Henry Expedition set off. Andrew Henry got together a team of mountain men including Jedediah Smith and Jim Bridger and went off in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark to find the source of the Missouri River, 2,500 miles into Montana. They still couldn’t give up on the idea was one of these western rivers would go from the Mississippi to the Pacific Coast. They dragged a small ship on wheels along with them but wound up abandoning it. The story was dramatized in the 1971 Richard Harris film” Man in the Wilderness” and in the 2015 Leonardo DiCaprio film “ The Revenant”.

1839- Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg are betrothed to be married. It was Victoria who proposed to Albert, it was unseemly to speak to a queen otherwise. Victoria and Albert had been intended by political arrangement since they were 13, but they actually fell in love, which was considered rare and unusual among European royals.

1850- The townships of Yerba Buena- Good Herbs, incorporated as the City of San Francisco.

1861- LINCOLN’S EDICT- In reaction to the attack by Confederate rebels on Fort Sumter, President Abe Lincoln declared the ten southern states in an open state of rebellion and called for troops. Legally the Constitution did allow for the Southern States to secede, and Lincoln couldn't get a declaration of war from a half empty Congress, so he found an obscure 1792 law that allowed the President to call up state militias without requiring a declaration of war. He enlisted 175,000 men.
Many regular army lieutenants and captains resigned from the national service so they could become generals and colonels in the militia. Even poor drunks like Ulysses Grant could get a captain's job from his local Ohio regiment. Frontier states were emptied of regular army men, forts like Tejon, California abandoned because of lack of troops.

1865- LINCOLN DIED- After being shot at Ford's theater Abraham Lincoln finally expired at 7:08 am during a rainstorm. He had lingered all night without ever regaining consciousness. Mary Lincoln went into hysterics and had to be dragged from the room. She never entered the White House again. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton had the White House sealed up under guard for two months until Vice President Andrew Johnson got up enough nerve to move in.
In North Carolina, General Sherman was putting the finishing touches on the surrender negotiations for the army of Joe Johnston, the largest remaining Confederate army in the field after Robert E. Lee's. When Sherman received the news of the murder he passed the telegram to Johnston, who grew pale. They both agreed to suppress the news from their armies for several days so revenge fighting wouldn't break out.
In faraway Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Star newspaper reported U.S. troops had to stop the locals from celebrating the news. Many were Southerners who had fled west when it looked like the Confederacy was losing.

1871- Wild Bill Hickok became sheriff of Abilene Kansas, then a wild boom town filled with drunk cowboys and yahoos. One of the reforms he instituted was strict gun control.

1874- IMPRESSIONISTS. In Paris, a group of young modernist painters, fed up with being rejected by mainstream galleries and salons, banded together to mount their own show, Le Societie Anonyme Artistes, at photographer Nadar’s old studio. One franc, and a one flight walk up got you to see works by Cezanne, Degas, Pizarro and Monet. The critics hated it all. One writer Louis Leroy said,” These people are not artists, they are just Impressionists.” The name stuck.

1912- The Titanic sank by 2:20AM. At 4:30 AM, The S.S Carpathia finally reached the Titanic disaster site to rescue 705 survivors in the bobbing lifeboats. The Titanic death toll is now estimated at around 1,522 out of 2,200. Early reports of the disaster mentioned that the Titanic had struck an iceberg but that all was well. That morning's Wall Street Journal noted the incident "proved a triumph of modern technology!"

1924- The Rand McNally Company published the first automobile road atlas or North America.

1925- Ford introduced the first pickup truck. Up to now farmers had cut the backs off Model T cars and welded boxes on, to make a light-load vehicle. There was also an earlier pickup truck called the International, but it had limited distribution.

1927- First Hollywood star's footprints in cement ceremony at Grauman's Chinese theater. Called Hollywood's most enduring publicity stunt. Norma Talmadge, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Sid Grauman himself are the first to leave their prints. Grauman also invented the classic Hollywood premiere with spotlights, red carpet runways and chauffeured limousines.

1933- Chief of production Darryl F. Zanuck quit Warner Bros. over an argument about employee salary cuts, to take over a struggling little movie studio called Twentieth Century Fox, which he turned into a giant.

1935- Kodachrome film developed. First as motion picture film, later for home photography.

1940- Franklin Roosevelt covertly gave permission for American volunteers (mostly Army and Navy fighter pilots) to join General Claire Chennault to fight the Japanese invasion of China as part of a freelance foreign corps serving in the Chinese air force. The Flying Tigers are born. The famous toothy grimace painted on their planes was created by Walt Disney artist Hank Porter.

1945- Eva Braun left the comparative safety of Munich and traveled to Berlin to be with Hitler in his bunker. She told a friend. ”A Germany without Adolf Hitler would not be fit to live in.”

1947- Jackie Robinson takes the field with the Brooklyn Dodgers. First black player to join the Major Leagues. Up until then the Brooklyn Dodgers in their history had never won more than 2 pennants. After Robinson and Campanella and other Negro league players were added they won 6 in 7 years and a World Series. At one game after a particularly nasty barrage of boos and catcalls from the crowd, Dodger stars Duke Snyder and Pee Wee Reese (a Southerner) went over to Robinson and publicly put their arms around him.

1950- Chuck Jones short The Hypo-chondri-Cat.

1951- General MacArthur prepared to leave Japan after being sacked by President Truman. The Japanese adored their American Shogun who helped reform their society from postwar chaos. Even though he left his offices in the Daiichi Building for his plane at 6:00AM, the crowds to see him off were already ten deep. One unintentional bit of fun for the Americans was a large, misspelled banner from a Japanese well-wisher about MacArthur’s potential presidential run: “GOOD LUCK FOR YOUR UPCOMING ERECTION.” (William Manchester American Caesar, Chapter 10)

1952- The Franklin Savings Bank issued the first credit card in the U.S.

1953- Famed illustrator Charles R. Knight died peacefully in a Manhattan hospital. The man who first showed us what dinosaurs looked like and inspired the lush look of such films as 1933 King Kong. His last words were to his daughter Lucy, “Don’t let anything happen to my drawings.”

1955- The First McDonald's Restaurant franchise opened in Des Plains, Ill. Ray Kroc, a traveling milkshake machine salesman, buys into a franchise restaurant idea cooked up in 1948 by two brothers named McDonald from Santa Bernadino. He urged the brothers to go national with their pre-prepared food system, but the brothers wanted to stay local. So, he offered them 1 million bucks for their idea and name, (would you go to" Kroc’s?”). The rest is history. The oldest surviving McDonald’s from 1953 in Downey California was recently destroyed despite the efforts of historians and replaced with a plastic plaque.

1961- 48 hours before the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Fidel Castro told the world his Cuban Revolution was Communist, and he asked the Soviet Union and Red China for aid. He also ordered the arrest of 20,000 enemies of his regime.
Since taking power in 1959 Castro had been cagey about the nature of his politics, but he used hatred of the Yankee Imperialistas as a strong national unifier. When he visited the US for the opening of the United Nations he was snubbed by most of the State Department except a 20 minute meeting with Vice President Nixon. Still, he tried to stay non-aligned until he knew the CIA was readying a coup against him. Fidel aka “The Beard” stayed in the Communist camp even beyond Russia and China, and outlasted eleven US presidents.

1962-AUNTIE EM! 80 yar old actress Clara Blandick, the Auntie Em of the Wizard of Oz, took an overdose of sleeping pills and tied a plastic bag around her head.
She had been retired for several years and was suffering from bad arthritis and failing eyesight.
So she said,” It is time to embark on the Great Adventure.” She left out on a table her resume and press clippings so the newspapers would get her obituary right.

1964- Walt Disney sent attorney Robert Foster to Orlando Florida to quietly start buying up land for a planned new Disneyland Park.

1974- A surveillance camera picks up Heiress Patricia Hearst, now called Tanya, robbing a San Francisco bank with other members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the group that kidnapped her.

1983- Tokyo Disneyland opens.

1989- Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Yao Bang died. His funeral gathered mass rallies of pro-democracy students and workers that culminated in the Tien ah Mehn Square Movement.

1990- Kennan Ivory Wayans comedy show In Living Color premiered on FOX TV. The show made stars of Marlon Wayans, Damon Wayans, Jamie Fox, Jim Carrey and the Fly-Girls, Jennifer Lopez and Rosie Perez.

1994- English ice skater John Curry who created the concept of Ice Dancing, died of HIV/AIDS at age 44.

2013- The Boston Bombing. Two Cheychen brothers, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev exploded two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring 120. Dzokhar died in a police shootout, and Tamerlan is serving a life sentence.

2019- A terrible fire gutted Notre Dame Cathedral, which had stood for 856 years.

2022- During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this day the Ukrainians sank the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, The heavy cruiser Moskva, with shore based missiles.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Something catlike is called feline, but what is something vulpine?

Answer: Vulpine means like a fox.