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April 16,2023
April 16th, 2023

Quiz: On an army base, what is a PX?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What sport is nicknamed “The Beautiful Game”? (hint: not in the U.S.)
History for 4/16/2023
birthdays: King John II “The good” of France (1319), Elisabeth Vignee-Lebrun, Wilbur Wright, Charlie Chaplin, J.P. Morgan, Kingsley Amis, Anatole France, Henry Mancini, Peter Ustinov, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bobby Vinton, Spike Milligan, John Halas, Edie Adams, Hans Sloane, Disney artist Victor Haboush, Pope Benedict XVI, Martin Lawrence, John Cryer is 58, Ellen Barkin is 70, Claire Foy is 40

1260- Chartres Cathedral completed. Art history lecturers rejoice!

1632- Battle of the Lech River- in the Thirty Years War the Protestant army under Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus defeated the Catholics under Johan Tscherclas von Tilly. The 74 year old mercenary general Tilly, his hip smashed by a cannon ball, died soon after.

1746- BATTLE OF CULLODEN The last great land battle fought on British soil. British armies under the Duke of Cumberland crushed the Scottish Highlanders raised by Prince Charles Stuart. It is considered a movement of Scottish independence, although Bonnie Prince Charlie’s goal was not an independent Scotland but recapturing the English throne for his deposed family.
Historians harp on what a forlorn hope it was to conquer the mighty British Empire, but truth be told the Highland Army got pretty far pretty easy, down into England as far as Derby before falling back into Scotland. With the majority of the British army running around North America, Gibraltar and India, there were fewer than 15,000 redcoats to defend the homeland. But the initial surprise was lost as most of the Highland Chieftains spent most of the time arguing. They paid their troops with Oatmeal.
The vengeful British banned the clan system, tartans, bagpipes and the Gaelic language for decades.

1787- What some consider the first professionally produced American play- Royall Tyler’s The Contrast- debuted at New York City’s John Street Theater. It was a comedy that poked fun at aristocracy. Gen. George Washington was in the audience. At this time the Broadway theater district and Times Square was a quiet forest clearing.

1828- Spanish artist Francisco Goya died at 82 in Bordeaux, France. Years later when his remains were moved to Madrid, it was discovered Goya wasn't alone in his grave. His friend Martin Goesochea's remains were in there with him.

1862- Union Admiral David Dixon Porter's fleet of ironclad warships run past the batteries of Vicksburg ferrying Grant and his army to the town of Hard Times. One of the cannon thundering at Porter was the famous rebel 18 pounder "Whistlin' Dick". It was so named because the rifling of it's barrel gave it's shells an erratic spin and recognizable whistle.

1865- Confederate leader Robert E. Lee had surrendered his army to Grant and had returned as a private citizen to his Richmond brownstone. This day a scout from Mosby’s Raiders slipped into his home and asked Lee if they should keep fighting guerrilla style. Lee told him. “Tell General Mosby and his command to be good boys and go on home”

1874- AMERICA'S CANNIBAL, Gold prospector Alferd Packer went up into the Colorado Rockies with several friends to look for gold. They were stranded by blizzard conditions and reduced to eating their moccasins for food.
On this day Packer, the only survivor, came down to civilization and admitted under examination that he and his friends resorted to cannibalism to survive. Upon further questioning Packer admitted he didn't always wait for his friends to die, he'd hatchet them in the head as they slept, then fricassee them. Alferd Packer became the only American ever convicted of cannibalism. The University of Colorado Student Grill is named in his honor.

1905- Andrew Carnegie established the Carnegie Foundation to distribute his philanthropy. The former Scottish orphan coal miner Carnegie renounced his robber baron career and dedicated himself to donating the bulk of his fortune to building libraries and hospitals. He claimed: “A man who dies rich dies disgraced!” When Mark Twain wrote him letters, he addressed them “To Saint Andrew from Saint Mark”

1912- Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

1916- During the Great War, the French High Command approved the petition of American pilots serving in the French service to form their own squadron. The Lafayette Escadrille was born.

1926- The Book-Of-The-Month-Club distributed its first selection-Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner.

1933- Dick Huemer’s first day working at Walt Disney. Huemer became a senior story artist, and writer. He and Joe Grant developed Dumbo, Fantasia, Lady and the Tramp, Saludos Amigos and more.

1935- Fibber McGee and Molly debut on radio.

1943- BICYCLE DAY-In Basil Switzerland, chemist Dr. Albert Hoffman discovered the hallucinogenic properties of LSD. He had become very interested in the relationship between ergot (wheat rust), and had done a great deal of research about the Oracle at Delphi. He had synthesized LSD in 1938 but couldn't figure out what to do with it. However, when he made up a batch of the drug the second time, he probably inhaled enough from it to start hallucinating. Since he had already tried mescaline, so he had a pretty good idea of what was happening to him. He closed up his lab, got on his bicycle and pedaled home to Binnigen, a suburb on the southern edge of Baselstadt, a trip of four or five miles, hallucinating all the way.
The next day he went back to the lab and made up a dose of LSD the size of a reasonable dose of mescaline, without realizing that that amounted to a tenfold overdose of LSD. Twenty minutes later he said 'Oh oh,' got on his bike and pedaled back to Binnigen. A scientist reader to this site added this: I believe the first hope for LSD was that it would produce an 'experimental psychosis,' which would allow scientists to study schizophrenia in otherwise 'normal' patients or subjects. In the 1950s and 60s the CIA experimented with LSD as an aid in mind-expansion.

1940- On Baseball Season’s opening day President Franklin D. Roosevelt's ceremonial first pitch smashed a Washington Post camera. The Chief Executive was not charged with a wild pitch. Red Sox hurler Lefty Grove blanked the Washington Senators, 1-0.

1946-The Brothers Chevrolet- Louis and Arthur Chevrolet were Louisiana race car drivers at the beginning of the 20th Century who were invited by General Motors to design a line of high-performance vehicles. But their business skills were never as good as their engineering abilities. After several bad deals, cheated opportunities and hard luck Louis died a common mechanic on his own Chevrolet assembly line. This day Arthur Chevrolet, broke and alone, committed suicide.

1947- The Zoom Lens patented.

1952- THE NUNIVAK INCIDENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPUTER – American coastal air defenses had been neglected since the end of WWII. But by 1952 the Cold War raised tensions. America knew the Soviets had Tupelov bombers capable of reaching the US mainland with nukes. This night, a radar station at Nunivak Alaska, and another at Presque Isle, Maine both reported flights of unidentified aircraft headed towards the U.S. They turned out to be false alarms, but the reports of the planes took four hours to reach Washington! The resultant scandal in Strategic Air Command resulted in the rapid building up of a new early warning system. They said they could no longer rely on telephones, they needed immediate date retrieval. This created the SAGE computer systems, inventing the computer screen made out of repurposed radar screens, the keyboard and the light pen.

1953- PORK CHOP HILL- In the Korean War, today marked the heaviest Red Chinese assaults to retake Hill 255, called because of its shape Pork Chop Hill. This hill had very little strategic value, but the Chinese and UN forces placed great symbolic meaning to it as a test of strength. Pork Chop Hill was battled over from June 1952 practically until the Peace Treaty of Panmunjom in mid 1953.

1956- Season 5, episode 23 of I Love Lucy aired. Where Lucy has the fight in the wine making vat.

1959- John McCarthy of MIT invented the computer language LISP.

1962- Walter Cronkite took over the job of anchor at the CBS Evening News, building a reputation for journalistic integrity almost equaled to Edward R. Murrow. Nicknamed the Most Trusted Man in America, many credit Cronkite for breaking the news to America that the U.S. was not going to win The Vietnam War. President Lyndon Johnson said: If I lost Cronkite then I’ve lost middle America.” When Cronkite retired, the redoubtable CBS News Division descent into tabloid stupidity and irrelevance began.

1983- Disney Channel debuted.

1988- Grave of the Fireflies, by Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli, was released in Japan.
Yesterday’s Question: What sport is nicknamed “The Beautiful Game”? (Hint: not in the U.S.)

Answer: Soccer, or as it is known in the rest of the world- football. This nickname was popularized by the great Brazilian soccer star Pele.