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May 24th, 2008
May 24th, 2008

Quiz: What does it mean to be Dressed to the Nines..?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Why is Memorial Day in the US celebrated at the end of May, while England and Canada celebrate it in November?
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History for 5/24/2008
Birthdays: Jean Paul Marat, Queen Victoria, Walt Whitman, Emmanuel Leutze, Bob Dylan, Gary Burghoff, Priscilla Presley, Patti LaBelle, Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, Frank Oz, Kristin Scott Thomas

1429- Near Champagne, Joan of Arc was pulled off her horse and captured by the Burgundians. The independent Duchy of Burgundy then was the area where Belgium and Lorraine are today. They sold her to the English, who put her on trial as a witch. The French king, Charles VI, whom Joan had re-conquered half of France for, did absolutely nothing to help or ransom her, as was the custom with noble prisoners. She was tortured and burned at the stake. While other kings are nicknamed Lion Heart or The Great, Charles VI nickname is Charles "The Well-Served."

1543- Astronomer Nicolas Copernicus died in Frombork, Poland. He made sure his powerful book ‘Die Revolutionabus Orbium Coelestrum’, ‘On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies’, would be published after his death. Legend says that after thirty years of trying to get it published, on his deathbed his friends laid the first copy on his pillow. The old scientist smiled and died. In the book, he mathematically proved the Earth went around the Sun instead of visa-versa and that the Earth rotated on its axis daily. The Pope, Martin Luther and John Calvin all agree that Copernicus was crazy. In Scripture, hadn’t Joshua commanded the Sun to stand still? One question historians debate is whether Copernicus was a priest or not. He worked for the Archbishop of Gniezno as a lay-clergyman that didn’t have to take Holy orders. No record exists of his saying a Mass. He never married, but he lived with his housekeeper like man and wife.

1590- In Rome, construction of the great Dome of Saint Peters Basilica completed.

1626- MANHATTAN BOUGHT FROM THE INDIANS- Dutchman Peter Minuit stopped several Indians he found on the island and negotiated a purchase of the land for $24 dollars in trade goods, which at the time was not a bad price. To the Indians the purchase and ownership of land was crazy ("Why not also buy the clouds?"-Chief Seattle), and besides, the Hackensack-Lanapii Indians weren’t even from that area, they were just hunting. Manhattoes is old Algonguin meaning " island of little hills". The Lenapii were named Canarsie by Frenchman Jacques Cartier “duck people”(canard) because their village on the Jamaica Bay (just west of present day J.F. Kennedy Airport,) was surmounted by a duck totem.

1830 –The poem "Mary Had A Little Lamb," was written.

1844- Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph message. From Washington to Baltimore it said:"What Hath God Wrought." The message was from the Bible- Numbers 23:23.
Samuel Morse considered himself an artist first and did a little inventing to pay the bills. He heard a French inventor had speculated about the idea of telegraphy so he decided to build a working model and invented the Morse code system of representing letters with dots and dashes. Members of Congress and octogenarian former First Lady Dolley Madison was present at the ceremony. By the decade’s end, twenty thousand miles of telegraph wire criss-crossed the country.

1850- America’s first nationwide newspaper/magazine Harpers Weekly began.

1853- First cases reported of Yellow Fever Epidemic in New Orleans. The city had swelled with ethnic immigrant Irish and Germans who had been forced to live and work in the low-rent swamp districts. 2,000 people or 10% of New Orleans population died in just four months, at the rate of 200 a day. The disaster was later evoked by Anne Rice in her book “ Interview with the Vampire.”

1866 - Berkeley, California founded, named for George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne.

1883-The Brooklyn Bridge Opened. After 14 years and 27 deaths, including the architect John Roebling, and the crippling of his son Washington Roebling, President Arthur and the Mayor of New York walked out on to the span to be met at the middle by the Mayor of Brooklyn. At this time the Brooklyn Bridge was the tallest structure in the world.

1899 - 1st auto repair shop and car garage opens: The Back Bay Cycle and Motor Company of Boston.

1929- The Marx Brothers first movie comedy” The Coconuts” premiered.

1950- Married movie star Ingrid Bergman shocked American morality by having an open love affair with neorealist film director Roberto Rosselini. This day they were finally married but the outcry of conservatives about this “Apostle of Degradation” was such that her image needed a makeover, so she played Saint Joan.

1954 - IBM announces vacuum tube "electronic" brain that could perform 10
million operations an hour.

1958 - UP & International News Service merge into United Press International

1976 - 1st commercial SST Concorde flight to North America -London to Wash DC.

1989- In Los Angeles, a spectacular fire destroyed the Art-Deco-Moderne all-wood landmark, the Pan Pacific Auditorium.

1991- Tri-Star Pictures 75 million-dollar mega-flop "Hudson Hawk" opened.
Star Bruce Willis, whose fee was $17 million, blamed the film’s costs on union filmworkers’ rates being too high. He would return to his car after a day’s shooting to find it covered with animal excrement. The film almost sank his career. Willis, next two films, "Death Becomes Her" and 'Pulp Fiction", he did for scale. In 2000 he made a $100,000 dollar donation to the SAG/AFTRA strike fund.

2000- Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew Israeli troops from southern Lebanon after a military occupation of almost twenty years. The mastermind of the Lebanon War, General Ariel Sharon, later took Barak’s job. Israel invaded Lebanon again in 2006.

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Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is Memorial Day in the US celebrated at the end of May, while England and Canada celebrate it in November?

Answer: Because of the US Civil War. By the end of May the word of the cease-fire had finally spread throughout the country, so the President then called for a day of national remembrance. The November date in Europe recalled the end of the Great War.


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