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Oct. 22, 2023
October 22nd, 2023

Question: What is meant by “ A flash in the pan”?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is meant by saying something is kismet?


History for 10/22/2023

Birthdays: Sarah Bernhardt, Timothy Leary, Franz Liszt, Doris Lessing, Joan Fontaine, Derek Jacobi, Christopher Lloyd is 85, Annette Funicello, Brian Boitano, Jerry “Curly” Howard of the Three Stooges, Catherine Deneuve is 80, Spike Jonze is 55. Jeff Goldblum is 71.

1641- The Irish rose in revolt against England, this time hoping that the Brits would be too busy in their own Civil War to care about them. By 1649 Oliver Cromwell came over and dealt with them so harshly his depredations are still remembered today.

1660- Edward Hyde the Earl of Clarendon was an adviser to King Charles II. This day, upon learning that his daughter Anne had been made pregnant by James the Duke of York, The earl asked the King to please cut his daughters head off! Odds Fish! King Charles II dismissed his request as a personal matter more than an affair of state.

1746- The Royal College of New Jersey chartered. After the American Revolution, it was renamed Princeton University.

1797- Andre Garnerin did the first successful parachute jump over Paris. He conceived the idea while imprisoned by the Austrians in a Hungarian castle during the French Revolution. He read about Leonardo da Vinci theorizing its possibility. He first took his dog and threw him out of a hydrogen balloon, then he jumped himself at 2,300 feet in the air and sprained his ankle. In 1799 his wife Jean Genevieve became the first woman to parachute jump.  Andre Garnerin died in a balloon accident in 1823 while testing a new design, and his experiments were forgotten. The practical modern parachute was not invented until 1910.

1805-After the naval Battle of Trafalgar, the shot-up English and French fleets were scattered by an ocean storm. Admiral Nelson's dead body had been sealed in an upright barrel of brandy for the trip back to London.  After four days his body released some pent up gasses that suddenly popped the lid off the barrel. Must have scared the hell out of the honor guard on duty.

1843- THE GREAT DISSAPPOINTMENT- American preacher William Miller working with the books of Daniel and Revelations in the Bible calculated the exact date of the Second Coming and the End of the World to be Oct. 21, 1843. A highly publicized newspaper and lecture campaign got the American public so worked up that many didn’t bother to plant crops. Banks noticed businessmen returning monies they swindled from former partners. On the appointed day, Miller and thousands of followers withdrew to pitched tents outside Rochester New York to await the Rapture. They waited all day and all night staring up into the sky. By dawn, most went home disappointed and feeling a bit foolish.

1883- First performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. It was Gounod’s Faust with soprano Christine Nillson and tenor Italo Campanini. 

1892-The SWAHILI WAR began. African ivory merchants Tippu Tip and Sefu began a revolution to drive the hated Belgian colonizers out of the Congo. This war has been forgotten in Europe in the light of how Belgium suffered under German occupations in the World Wars. But the Belgians proved they could be just as brutal in annihilating these native peoples as other European nations.

1900- Two Ohio bicycle repairmen named Orville and Wilbur Wright built a large glider and flew it. They choose the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to test their glider because the winds were strong, and they would crash in something soft. The airplane was still three years in the future, but this was their first test of their prototype double winged plane design.

1903- Tom Horn, considered the Last of the Western Outlaws, was hanged in Wyoming for the murder of Willie Nickel. He supposedly adjusted the noose around his neck himself. The era of the gunslinger officially ends with him.

1923- THE TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL hearings began. By World War I the U.S. Navy had refitted its battleships from coal to diesel fuel engines, so maintaining a strategic petroleum reserve became as serious as nuclear stockpiles are today. The Secretary of the Interior Albert Ball arranged for some reserved oil rich areas of Teapot Dome Oklahoma and California transferred from the Navy Department's jurisdiction to his department of the Interior, so he could 'lease them' to oil magnates James Doheny of Doheny Drive fame, and Harry Sinclair. They in turn gave him a fortune in stock and other monetary kickbacks.

Albert Ball became the first senior cabinet officer to go to jail.  It took years for the scandal to wind through the courts and blackened the last days of President Warren Harding's administration.

1934- The comic strip Terry and the Pirates by Milt Caniff first appeared in newspapers.

 1934- Bank Robber James" Pretty Boy" Floyd killed in a furious gun battle with the F.B.I.  He had told his father months before:" Pa, when I go, I’m gonna go down in lead!" Floyd was called the, "dust bowl robin hood" for leaving food and money on doorsteps of destitute farmers. One story had him steal a pie cooling on a windowsill, then replacing it with a $50 bill. In Woody Guthrie's "Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd" He says:" You may call me an outlaw, but one thing that I have known. I've never seen an outlaw drive a family from their home."   

1938-THE BIRTHDAY OF THE XEROX COPY- Chester Carlson working with an amateur chemistry set behind a beauty parlor in Astoria Queens, created the first photo copy. He took his invention to Edison, G.E., RCA and IBM who all rejected it. Finally a little firm that produced photographic paper for Kodak called the Haloid Company bought it. They later changed their named to Xerox, Greek for “Dry-Writing”. 

1939-The first televised football game-The Brooklyn Dodger's 23 Philadelphia Eagles 14.

75th Anniv 1948- The first In-N-Out Burger stand opened in Baldwin Park, a suburb of Los Angeles. Created by Harry & Esther Snyder as the first drive through hamburger stand. It is still in business today, selling only burgers, shakes, and fries, pretty much like they did back then. Their granddaughter Lynsi Snyder is CEO.  It was Bob Hope’s favorite burger place. Hollywood types learned to stock up there before the drive to Palm Springs.

1962- Twentieth Century Fox chief Daryl Zanuck fired long suffering director Joe Mankiewicz off of the editing of the spectacle Cleopatra. Mankiewicz had shot a 6 hour movie he wanted shown as two films. Zanuck wanted one big movie at half that size. After a lot of embarrassing feuding in the press, Zanuck rehired Mankiewicz and he recut Cleopatra, When Elizabeth Taylor saw the finished film, she threw up. Cleopatra became one of the biggest flops in Hollywood History and forced Fox to sell off most of their studio back lot.  It became Century City shopping mall.

1962- After it looked like a news leak would make the news public anyway, President John Kennedy went on national television and told the American public about the CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS. 54 B-52 bombers with 4 Hydrogen bombs each took off to fly within two hours of their Soviet targets. 134 Titan nuclear missiles were armed.

Both sides wrestled with the temptation to do a 'First-Strike', meaning the side that hit first without warning just might knock out enough of the enemies’ nukes to limit the number of “megadeaths” to his own side.  Secretary of State Dean Rusk recalled: "I'd wake up in the morning and the first thing I'd think was, I'm alive, Khrushchev didn't do it today." In Moscow, Khruschev grimly joked:" With the time difference, Kennedy works while I sleep and I work while he sleeps. Hmph, maybe soon we'll both be sleeping..."

1962- At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a stand up comic named Vaughn Meador recorded a comedy album called The First Family. It made lighthearted fun of John F. Kennedy and his White House. The record became the fastest selling hit of the pre-Beatles era, 7.5 million copies. Jackie called Meador a rat, but JFK thought it was funny and gave out copies as Christmas presents. Kennedy said Meador’s impersonation sounded more like his brother Teddy than him.

1966- In Oakland black militants Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and H. Rap Brown formed the Black Panther Party of Self Defense.



Yesterday’s Question: What is meant by saying something is kismet?

Answer: From the Turkish word for “It’s fate.”