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April 24, 2023
April 24th, 2023

Quiz: There was a famous ancient statue called Laocoon that was discovered during the Renaissance. Who was Laocoon?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What is the current name for the Indian city once known as Bombay?
History for 4/24/2023
Birthdays: Daniel Defoe, William de Kooning, St. Vincent de Paul, Morgan Earp, Jack E. Leonard, Dame Ethel Smyth, Jill Ireland, Eric Bogosian, Sue Grafton, Robert Penn Warren, Barbara Streisand is 81, Cedric the Entertainer is 59, Shirley MacLaine is 88

1184 B.C. (est.) TROY FALLS TO THE GREEKS- Despite the warnings of the seers Cassandra and Laocoon, the Trojans brought Ulysses' great wooden horse into the city, and at night the Greeks climbed out and opened the city gates to destruction. The reason we have any date for this was this day the Romans celebrated a festival commemorating the event, and they invented our calendar.
The Romans liked the story that they were descended from the Trojan survivors led to Italy by the hero Aeneas. This seemed way more cool than being a little Latin tribe who got their act together before their neighbors.
They loved this myth so much that in 190B.C. when the legions of Publius Scipio Asiaticus marched into Turkey to make war on Antiochus the Greek king of Syria, they paused first to go to the plains of Illium (the field where Troy once stood).
The writer Livy wrote" There the grim warriors embraced and wept aloud like babes, for after countless generations, the children of Troy had come home at last." (Livy, History: Book XXXVII: 35)

1584- Japanese Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi asked the Heii Shrine in Edo (Tokyo) to dedicate a new heraldic design - the red disc Asahi - Rising Sun flag is created.

1800- The U.S. Congress set up the Library of Congress. By 1814 it had three thousand volumes, but they were destroyed when a British Army burned Washington. Thomas Jefferson then donated his own private library to restart the collection. Today it numbers in the millions of volumes.

1833- The Soda Fountain was patented.

1861- The minister of the independent German city-state of Bremen, Johann Schlieben, offered his services to Abraham Lincoln to open shuttle diplomacy with the rebellious Confederate States. He carried a message or two between Washington and Richmond. Eventually Lincoln told him thanks but no thanks. Blood had been shed and the flag insulted; it was too late for talk. Similar offers of mediation by a delegation of Virginia moderates led by former President John Tyler were also refused.

1874- Jesse James married his cousin Miss Zerelda Mimms, who he called Z.

1901-The First American League baseball game. The Cleveland Blues vs. the Chicago White Stockings.

1913- The Woolworth Building was dedicated in lower New York. It’s cornices decorated like the campanile of Saint Marks in Venice. At the time it was the tallest skyscraper in the world. President Woodrow Wilson illuminated its electric lights by flipping a switch long distance in the White House. One person upon taking the elevator to the top floor, said “ Is God in..?”

1915- THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE- The Ottoman Turkish Empire had always been an amalgamation of ethnic peoples. As their Empire aged and became the 'Sick Man of Europe', one by one these subject peoples- Greeks, Serbs, Egyptians, asserted their independence and broke away.
When the Armenians also demanded autonomy, the Sultan Abdul Hamid IV came up with a bloodthirsty solution. After a Turkish offensive into Russia was defeated, this day the first 200 Armenian elders of a village were shot, signaling a general nationwide pogrom that would eventually kill over 1.5 million people. The first person to bring the massacre story to the world was a German, Dr. Armen Wegner. On the scene for the Red Cross he complained to the Kaiser and the Berlin press. The refusal to even discuss this event is a sore point dividing the nations to this day.
Supposedly when a top Nazi suggested to Adolf Hitler that his plans for the Jews would bring down on Germany the condemnation of the world, Hitler replied “…and who remembers the Armenians?”

1916- THE IRISH EASTER SUNDAY UPRISING -Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Michael Collins, Eamon De Valera and followers seize the O'Connell Street post office in downtown Dublin and proclaim the Irish Republic. After furious streetbattles with British troops diverted from the World War I battlefields, the rebellion is put down. All the ringleaders were executed. Connolly was so badly wounded that they had to prop up his stretcher before the firing squad and pinch his cheeks so he'd be awake for his own death. Eamon De Valera used his U.S. citizenship to avoid execution. Initially the Irish people hadn't wholly supported the futile rising, but the fierce police crackdown had the effect of arousing sympathy. It sparked the major IRA campaigns in the 1920's and eventual Independence.

1933- Ub Iwerk's "Fiddlesticks" the first Flip the Frog cartoon, done in a simple two-color process. Iwerks was the first designer and animator of Mickey Mouse, who had left Walt Disney to open his own studio.

1944- Film Noir classic film Double Indemnity premiered.

1945- As the Russian Army fought their way into the center of Berlin, Adolf Hitler gathered his remaining staff in his bunker deep under the Reich Chancellery. He told his people that all was lost and that they should escape the city as best they could. Most decided to stay and discussed how best to commit suicide. The Fuehrer himself lapsed into apathy. His secretary recalled seeing Hitler sitting quietly in a hallway, cradling a puppy in his lap, rocking back and forth, staring off, hollow-eyed.

1949- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed.

1948- The Chinese Communists under Mao Zedong and their generals Chu Teh and Lin Piao began their final campaign to unite all of China under their rule.

1954- Handsome English actor Peter Lawford married John F. Kennedy’s sister Patricia Kennedy. This union would give JFK his link to Hollywood, Frank Sinatra and the RatPack.

1961- First day of shooting on the film King of Kings, the Christ story starring Jeffrey Hunter. Called by one critic” I was a Teenage Jesus” In 1966 Jeffrey Hunter turned down a TV series after doing the pilot episode. His wife worried that he’d be typecast. The role of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk went instead went to William Shatner.

1967- Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first acknowledged fatality in the conquest of Space, when the parachute of his re-entering capsule got snarled and he fell four miles to Earth.

1979- Paul McCartney happened to be in New York City and dropped in on his old mate John Lennon. They spent the day together and at one point mediated visiting the set of Saturday Night Live but changed their minds at the last minute. Paul McCarthy left in the wee hours. It was the last time he ever saw John Lennon alive.

1980- After months of fruitless negotiations to get the U.S. hostages held in the American Embassy in Teheran freed, President Jimmy Carter tried force. A Delta Force of eight helicopters met at their staging area in the Iranian desert. Once there it was discovered three of the helicopters had mechanical problems and they had fallen badly behind schedule so the mission was scrapped. As they were leaving one of the helicopters crashed into a transport plane killing 8 soldiers. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned in protest. No more military adventures were planned and the Iran Hostage Crisis dragged on throughout 1980. The hostages were released in exchange for arms in January 1981 shortly after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.

1981- Small companies like Apple and Commodore had dominated the personal computer market while giants like IBM stuck with large business systems. Now IBM weighed in with The IBM PC –personal computer, with basic software language DOS provided by Microsoft. It soon came to dominate the market.

1983- THE HITLER DIARIES HOAX- Gerd Heideman, a top correspondent for Germany’s top magazine Die Stern was contacted by a mysterious Professor Fischer that he had in his possession the long lost personal diary of Adolph Hitler. Heidemann was an eccentric who collected fascist memorabilia like Herman Goerings yacht and a pair of Idi Amin’s underwear. Fischer sold him the Hitler diary manuscripts for $4 million.
After Heidemann got British Historian Sir Hugh Trevor Roper and several handwriting analysts to declare them genuine, the Hitler Diaries went public in Die Stern and Rupert Murdoch’s London Times. When Sir Hugh began to express doubts over the authenticity of the diary, Rupert Murdoch reacted in typical fashion: ”F**k him. I’m in the entertainment business!”
This day a Bonn laboratory declared the diaries high quality but completely phony. Professor Fischer was actually an art forger named Konrad Kujau who knew suckers when he saw them. He had an expensive girlfriend and wife to keep so he was writing the diaries in his garage on 1940’s vintage paper and ink. Careers were ruined and everyone looked pretty stupid. Even when they were all in jail, Gerd Heidemann refused to believe the truth. Konrad Kujau sent him a letter in Hitler’s handwriting admitting he did the forgery.

1984- David Kennedy, the eldest son of Robert F. Kennedy, was found dead in his hotel room of a drug overdose. As a child he had watched his father assassinated on live television and had never gotten over it. He was a drug addict by 15 and dead by 28.

1990- The Hubble Space Telescope was carried into orbit by the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the current name for the Indian city once known as Bombay?

Answer: Mumbai.