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May 18th, 2008 Sunday
May 18th, 2008

QUIZ: What does the phrase mean ” Sometimes, you gotta drink the Kool-Aid” ?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who were the Magyars?
History for 5/18/2008
Birthdays: Pope John Paul II, President Grover Cleveland, Ezio Pinza, Tsar Nicholas II, Omar Khayam, Walter Gropius, Reggie Jackson, Margot Fonteyn, Robert Morse, Perry Como, Dwayne Hickman aka Dobie Gillis, Big Joe Turner, Miriam Margolyes, Chow Yung Fat., Tina Fey is 38

331 B.C. -ALEXANDER THE GREAT DIES IN BABYLON. By age 31 he had conquered most of the known world and was planning a campaign to Arabia then west when he fell ill. When asked "To whom do you leave your empire? He replied- "Hoti to Kratisto- To the Strongest". Some historians speculate he actually meant :"Hoti to Kratero" to Craterus, one of his trusted companions, but the generals in the room had their own ideas and didn't want to hear that. They carved up his Empire into their own kingdoms-Ptolemey became Pharoah of Egypt, Seleucus king of Syria and Antigonus One-Eye & Cassander divided up Greece. They started fighting with each other almost immediately. Alexander grimly joked: "There will be great games at my funeral". The Successor kings even fought over his corpse, carrying it around with the army in a huge rolling shrine, until Ptolomey brought it to Alexandria and embalmed it in a solid block of honey. Caesar and Marc Anthony were able to gaze upon Alexander’s face three hundred years later.(imagine today being able to look at the undecayed face of George Washington! )The final fate of the honey pickled corpse is unknown.

323BC- Greek sources claim that Diogenes the Cynic philosopher died on the same day as Alexander. Diogenes had lived into his 90s. He only met Alexander once. Alexander came up to him seated upon the ground, stood over him and said:"I am Alexander the King of Macedon". Diogenes countered:" And I am Diogenes the Dog". Alexander said:"If there is anything in the world you desire of me, just ask and I shall do it!" Diogenes replied:" yes, there is something, you are standing in my sunlight."

257 a.d.- Today is the Feast of Saint Venantius. Little is known of him except his endurance record for being martyred. His persecutors flogged him, burned him with torches, hanged him upside down over a fire, knocked his teeth out, broke his jaw, and threw him to the lions, who merely licked his feet. Then they threw him off a cliff, and finally cut his head off. You should qualify for workman’s comp after all that.

1291- The Last Christian stronghold in Middle East, St. Jean D'Acre fell to the Mamelukes under Al Khalil. Official end of the Crusades.

1512- IRON HAND- German knight Gotz von Berlichingen spent his 81 years fighting and raiding throughout Germany. When his hand was blown off by a cannonball he had a mechanical one built for him out of metal. This day Gotz and one legged Hans von Selbitz raided 55 Nuremburg merchants and carried off their gold. Goethe and other German writers made Gotz into a Robin Hood type folk hero. In answering a challenge to personal combat, Iron Hand was credited with uttering the famous epithet "Er aber sag seinem Herren, er kann mich im Arsche lecken!" Go tell your master he can kiss my ass!"

1642- Huron village of Hochelaga was rededicated as the city of Montreal.

1778-THE MESCHIANZA- Before the British Army evacuated the rebel capitol of Philadelphia they threw a grand farewell ball. Beautiful American loyalist girls and dashing young redcoat officers danced the night away under a spectacle of fireworks. There was a waterborne parade, medieval tournament and a huge dinner. Nothing this lavish had ever been staged in the American Colonies. One of the belles was Peggy Shippen, who would marry General Benedict Arnold and turn him from the American patriot cause. That night her dance partner was Major John Andre’, who art directed and designed the event. He even designed Peggy’s costume. The men had costumes as Knights and the women as Turkish damsels, symbolizing the civilizing influence of art on barbaric peoples. The next day the British began their withdrawal to New York and abandoning Philadelphia to Washington’s army camped at Valley Forge. Two years later Major Andre hanged by George Washington as a spy.

1781- The last fighting king of the Inca, TUPU AMARU II is executed by the Spanish conquistadors. They tried to tear him apart with horses, but he was too pliable so they cut him up. Inca resistance to the Spaniards didn't end when Pizzarro left. They abandoned Cuzco and fled deeper into the Andes and continued to struggle for another 150 years.
The Inca believed the world periodically is overthrown and another takes it's place, so the European invasion was seen as a part of this cycle. The Inca word for earthquake also means revolution. In the 1980s the rebels fighting the Peruvian government forces called themselves the Tupu-Amaru Liberation front.

1896- The US Supreme Court in the decision Plessy Vs Ferguson upheld the concept of Separate-But-Equal facilities and laws. This racial separation called Segregation or Jim Crow, was not reversed until the 1950’s.

1905- MORROCCAN CRISIS OF 1905- A Moroccan desert sherif, El Raisuli, kidnapped a small Greek-American businessman named George Pedicaris for ransom and because he wanted someone new to play chess with. Pedicaris was ransomed but the incident became a major international showdown between with Germany, Britain, France and the U.S. ready to go to war. The incident was romanticized in the John Milius film "The Wind and the Lion", with Raisuli played by Sean Connery and Pedicaris turned into the beautiful Candice Bergen.

1911- Composer Gustav Mahler died of heart disease shortly before his 51st birthday. He had completed his Ninth Symphony with dread, because he knew Beethoven and Bruckner had never lived beyond nine symphonies. On his table were preliminary sketches for his tenth.

1926- L.A. evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson shocked the nation when she mysteriously disappeared on a beach near Venice Cal. After an exhaustive search she turned up a month later with a lame story of being kidnapped. Truth was she ran off with a boyfriend to party in Monterrey. Haleileiuyah!

1976- The filming of Francis Ford Coppolla's Apocalypse Now was disrupted when the Philippines was hit by a major typhoon. Francis rides out the storm cooking pasta, smoking weed and listening to records of La Boheme.

1980-Mt. St. Helens explodes in Washington State. The volcano was always thought to be safely extinct but Mother Nature had other plans. I was in Toronto thousands of miles away and noticed volcanic ash floating in Lake Ontario. The eruption and earthquake killed 57 people and destroyed 24 square miles around the mountain. A lone eccentric named Harry Truman refused to be evacuated and stayed in his home. He was interviewed by Sixty Minutes and other programs. After the explosion Truman disappeared and is assumed killed.

2001- Dreamworks animated hit SHREK opened. The voice of Shrek was originally planned to be Chris Farley but the obese comedian died of a drug overdose and was replaced by Mike Myers. I’m serving Waffles!
Yesterday’s Quiz: Who were the Magyars?

Answer: The Hungarians. In the 5th Century the Roman Province of Pannonia was overrun by the Huns and called the Hunlands for awhile. Around 896 the migratory peoples called Magyars settled there to become the people we know as Hungarians. Their name for Hungary is Magayorszag.