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August 8, 2023
August 8th, 2023

Quiz: What mythical hero became invulnerable to weapons when as a baby his mother dipped him in the River Styx?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is the difference between a missile and a ballistic missile?
History for 8/8/2023
Birthdays: Emiliano Zapata. Esther Williams, Gene Deitch, Dino DeLaurentis, Keith Carradine is 73, Rory Calhoun, Mel Tillis, Martin Brest, Peter Weir, Connie Stevens, Patricia Arquette, Dustin Hoffman is 85, Lee Unkrich is 56, Mamoru Oshii is 72

1143- Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus was killed in a hunting accident, when a poisoned arrow sitting in his own quiver scratched his leg. I don't know who hunts with poisoned arrows, but that's Byzantine politics for you.

1170- The birth of St. Dominic- Dominic was a Spanish zealot who wanted to preach to pagans, but the Pope sent him to south France to try and re-convert the Albigensian heretics, who were all former Catholics. After ten years of fasting, begging and praying his legendary summary of his efforts was:" Someone should take a stick to those people!" The Holy Office of the Inquisition was later administered by Dominicans. Saint Dominic is reputed to have said “Nothing Cleans like Fire.”

1502 – King James II of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, the sister of English King Henry VII. Their child was Mary Queen of Scots. Her child James would be selected by Queen Elizabeth to succeed her as king of The United Kingdom.

1588- THE GREAT PROTESTANT WIND- Most of the Spanish Armada was not destroyed by the English Navy, but by a huge North Sea storm that hit them off the coast of Northern Ireland. This is why if you want to view relics of the great Spanish galleons don't go to Cadiz, go to The Museum of Belfast. King Phillip of Spain said, “I sent my Armada against men, not God’s wind and waves.” Supposedly the thousands of Spanish and Italian sailors marooned on the Irish coast intermarried with the Irish population. They created the racial strain Black Irish, or Celts with milk white skin and black hair and eyes.

1662- We all have heard of how England captured New Amsterdam and named it New York, well on this date Dutch Admiral Van Tromp came back with a bigger Dutch fleet and took it back. He renamed New York "New Orange". But it didn't stick, and after the peace treaty of Utrecht was signed, New York went back to the English. New Yorkers didn't really much care so long as it didn't affect their business.

1709 - 1st known ascent in hot-air balloon indoors by Bartolomeu de Gusmao.

1811- THE IRON CROSS- Before medals common soldiers were rewarded for bravery with a few gold coins. George Washington and Napoleon made medals things soldiers competed for. General Gerhard von Gneisenau urged the King of Prussia to create a medal like the French Legion d'Honneur that all ranks in the German Army might aspire to. At first the sulky King was against anything that led soldiers to believe they were better than the common schweinhund he felt they were, but he finally was made to give in. The new medal was based on the heraldic symbol of the Crusader order of the Teutonic Knights, a black cross formed by four arrowheads. The "Iron Cross" medal was created. Goths, Surfers and Hells Angels rejoiced.

1818- 22 year old English poet John Keats returned from a trip to the Lakes District only to discover the first signs of the tuberculosis that would kill him.

1876 - Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph, a forerunner of the Xerox photocopier.

1892-The Emancipated Duel- In Liechtenstein, Princess Pauline von Metternich and Countess Anastasia Keilmannsegg disagreed so vigorously about the flower settings at an exhibition that they fought a duel with swords. They had lady seconds and lady doctors on hand and no men were allowed in the room. They both agreed to fight topless, since the fight was not to the death, but just until someone drew first blood. (schmiss). After three rounds the Princess nicked the countess on the arm, so honor was satisfied. At the time the press made much of the leaked story, although both protagonists published vehement denials anything of the sort happened.

1918- During World War I, this was the Breakout at Amiens, to the Germans "Der Schwarz Tag" The Black Day. The British mass 500 newfangled tanks, and burst through the German front line trenches, impregnable for four years. For the first time since Napoleon, a German army was on the run. But with their typical shortsightedness, the Allied commanders were so surprised by their success they halted the advance to study it. Yet, master strategist Eric von Ludendorf now knew the Great War was kaput, and the best Germany could hope for was to negotiate a decent peace.

1920- The German National Socialist -NSDP or Nazi Party formed.

1925- The National Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan staged a massive march in Washington D.C. Twenty thousand white hooded members of the Invisible Nation marched down Pennsylvania Ave. in broad daylight. Around this time in Queens New York, a thousand KKK marched and fought with protestors. One Klansman arrested was Fred Trump, the father of the future president.

1939- On Walt Disney’s soundstage, Leopold Stokowski met with Walt and the story artists and directors of Fantasia to hammer out their approach to Beethoven’s 6th Pastorale. Ham Luske, Webb Smith, Otto Englander, Ben Sharpsteen and Ed Penner. To fit in the movie, Stokowski had to edit the 40 minute symphony down to 20 minutes without any noticeable parts missing.

1942- THE BATTLE OF SAVO ISLAND- The US and Australian Navy suffered the worst defeat of the Pacific War since Pearl Harbor. In the waters between Guadalcanal and Tulagi Islands, the Japanese warships of Admiral Murayama attacked the Americans and Australians at 1:30AM in a spectacular surface night battle. Four American and one Australian cruiser were sunk. The only Japanese ship sunk was done afterwards by a roving US submarine completely unaware of the battle. The Japanese ships slipped in and out under American air cover. One reconnaissance PBY Catalina plane actually spotted the enemy battle fleet early. But instead of radioing an alarm, he casually continued on his patrol and back at his base he filed a routine report in writing!

1944 - Smokey the Bear, named after NYC fireman Smokey Joe Martin born.

1945- Two days after the Hiroshima bombing, the Soviet Union declared war on the Japan and began landing troops in Manchuria, Korea and the northern Kurile Islands. The Japanese cabinet had hoped to avoid a total unconditional surrender by first negotiating a separate peace with Stalin, then using him to arrange a deal with the Anglo-Americans. But Stalin had his own ideas. Even today with Stalin dead and Communism long gone, the Russians still won’t give back the Kuriles.

1960 – Brian Hyland’s song "Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Yellow Polka-dot Bikini" hits #1.

1963 – THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY- In Buckinghamshire England a small group of masked men stopped the London to Glasgow express and stole 2.6 million pound sterling, about $7.3 million U.S.. English police netted most of the gang, but the ringleader Ronald Biggs escaped. Biggs lived well in Rio de Janeiro for 38 years and gave frequent interviews to British media. Old and sick, he finally returned to England and jail in 2001. “I just want one more pint in a pub” he sighed.

1963 – The Kingsmen released the song "Louie, Louie". Many labeled it obscene, although no one is quite sure just what the song lyrics mean. In the 1980s Northwestern University staged Louie-Louie Marathons- 44 straight hours of Louie-Louie, played by punk bands, polka bands, marching bands, folk trios, and singing water glasses.

1964 - Rolling Stones 1st Dutch concert.

1973-Vice President Spiro Agnew vows not to resign. He resigned shortly afterwards.

1974 – KNEEL WITH ME, HENRY. Richard Nixon decided to resign the U.S. Presidency, after Senators Howard Baker and Barry Goldwater informed him his last supporting congressmen on the Senate Impeachment Committee intended to change their vote to yes for impeachment. Insiders say his last call before making up his mind was to Dixiecrat George Wallace, who told the President he could no longer count on the support of Southern white conservatives. Tonight he went on nationwide TV and told the nation.

1978- The character of Odie the dog first met Garfield in Jim Davis’ comic strip.

2008- Putin’s Russia invaded Georgia. Part of the opening attack was a massive Russian cyber-attack, crashing all the websites and web communications in Georgia. Russian bombers also targeted cell phone towers. Estonia offered to keep the Georgian gov’t ministry channels open. Elderly senator John McCain declared “We are all Georgians!” Even though no one asked him to, and it was not yet the policy of the USA.

2008- The Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony, using 20,000 dancers. As director Zhang Yimou said “Hey, we’ve got the people…”

2022- The FBI raided the home of former President Donald Trump.

Yesterday’s Question: What is the difference between a missile and a ballistic missile?

Answer: A ballistic missile carries ballistics, i.e. explosives.