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March 13th, 2008 thurs
March 13th, 2008

Quiz: Is it true that Starbucks coffee was started by someone named Starbuck?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the origin of the word Fake?
History 3/13/2008
Birthdays: Hugh Walpole, Charles Earl Grey 1764-English Prime Minister whom the tea blend 'Earl Grey Tea " is named for, Pope Innocent XII (1615), Abigail Powers Filmore- First Lady of Milard Filmore, Hugo Wolf, Sammy Kaye, Danny Kaye, Neil Sedaka L Ron Hubbard, Dana Delaney, William Macy, Dick Katz, Annabeth Gish

27BC- AUGUSTUS BECOMES FIRST ROMAN EMPEROR- For about a hundred years the Roman Republic had been a football contested for by powerful politicians- Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, Mark Anthony and Lucullus. Julius Caesar had said that Rome was a Republic in name only. Since vanquishing Anthony & Cleopata, Caesar Octavian had been the first man in Rome, yet he needed to solidify his hold on power. But Romans hated the title of King. So this day in a carefully staged bit of political theater, Octavian told the Senate he was tired of responsibility. He would resign all his offices and retire. Senators shouted for him to reconsider. They voted him the title GAIUS CAESAR AUGUSTUS, IMPERATOR- PRINCEPS. Imperator used to be the name for a generals military authority and we get the word Emperor, Kaiser and Czar from it. Princeps meant First Citizen, Augustus meant Father of His Country- with all the absolute power a father had in his family. Rome had emperors until 476AD and continued on at Constantinople until 1453.

1639- Richard Burbage died. Burbage was the famed Elizabethan actor and friend of William Shakespeare. On his tombstone was a simple epitaph- EXIT BURBAGE.

1758- BATTLE ON THE SNOWSHOES-Col. Robert Rogers with "Roger's Rangers" American colonial frontiersmen in British service, got ambushed by a large French Huron Indian warparty. The leathershirts scatter and Rogers eludes his pursuers by walking with his snowshoes turned backwards from the edge of a cliff. When the Indians see his tracks ending into thin air and then spot his figure running in the valley below they decided the Hipi-Manitou Spirit was with him, so they let him go.

1781-the discovery of the planet Uranus by British astronomer William Herschel. The first planet discovered since prehistoric times. Galileo and Kepler used their early telescopes to spot the rings and Saturn and moons of Jupiter, but no planets. He originally wanted to call his discovery Georgium Sidus after King George III, but other astronomers convinced him to keep to the pattern of naming planets after Greek and Roman mythology. Hershel emigrated from Germany and played violin in several symphony orchestras before becoming interested in grinding lenses and astronomy. He brought his sister over and she became an opera diva as well as observing and naming 5 comets.

1852-UNCLE SAM born.-The familiar image first appeared as a cartoon in the New York Lantern. The named derived from the nickname of an old customs agent, Sam Wilson, who stamped U.S. on goods moving down river from Canada. Civil War hero Ulysses Simpson Grant or U.S. Grant was also called Sam by his friends. The famous image on the 1918 recruiting poster of Uncle Sam pointing and saying 'I want You!" was done by James Montgomery Flagg reworking a popular British poster of Earl Kitchener. The face Flagg used for Sam was himself in a mirror.

1884- Chester Greenwood of Maine invented ear muffs.

1928- The White House never had much security. When you rang the bell President Thomas Jefferson answered the door himself. Abe Lincoln had one bodyguard and after the Civil War the one soldier guarding the front door was removed. Presidents like Grant & McKinley would take a stroll at night with no guards. Children played baseball and sheep grazed on the White House lawn. This night President Herbert Hoover was having a dinner party with Hollywood producer David O’ Selznik when a disheveled stranger appeared at table table. He was a homeless man who wanted to ask the President for a job. He just walked through the front door while the butler was preoccupied. The next day by Executive Order the Secret Service took over direct control of the White House security and could command the D.C. police.

1939-Hollywood recognizes the Screen Director’s Guild later called he DGA. After a nasty battle lasting several years Guild President Frank Capra signs the contracts representing 80% of movie directors. They also contractually ensure the custom of the directors credit being the last one seen at the opening title sequence of a film. Directors had tried to unionize as early as 1926 but were intimidated by the studio threat of 'perpetual blacklisting'.

1943- Radio station WNYC goes on the air.

1944- Abbot & Costello copyrighted their baseball routine ‘Who’s on First?"

1969- Disney’s movie comedy about a volkswagen "The Love Bug" premiered. Not the Lindsay Lohan one, the good one with Dean Jones and Buddy Hackett.

1983- The Larry King Show debuted on HBO, later moving to CNN.

1988-Overly endowed porn star John Holmes, also called Johnny Wad, died of HIV/AIDS. He claimed to have had sex with 14,000 women and a few men in his career, but that he contracted the disease through intravenous drug use. He also got involved with some drug dealers and was implicated in a murder. The film Boogie Nights was based on him.

1997- In Malaysia, a man named Hassan Abdallah had his penis cut off by his wife in his sleep. She claimed she was asleep and only dreamed she was strangling him.

2002-In a national press conference President George W. Bush declared he did not know where top 9-11 terrorist Osama Ben Laden was, and that he no longer cared much about him.
Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the word Fake?

Answer: In Middle Eastern and Indian cities a poor holyman who chants sacred verses while mortifying his flesh was called in Hindi or Urdu a Fakir. They are the people walking on hot coals and lying on a bed of nails. British Empire soldiers seeing these sights for the first time equated them with sideshow attractions back home which were mostly improvised tricks. The word fake or faker begins to enter English around the 1770s. Winston Churchill referred to Mahatma Ghandi as “That Old Fakir”, because he felt he was a Middle Temple trained lawyer in a loincloth pretending to be poor.