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June 13th, 2008 friday
June 13th, 2008

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We attended a nice event at a 1926 vintage theater in Hollywood to say goodbye to our friend Robert Nudelman.

As I mentioned in previous posts, Robert was a foot soldier in the cause of preserving the antique heritage of Hollywood. Because of his energy and efforts on behalf of Hollywood Heritage, many buildings were saved that otherwise would be more Footlockers or Starbucks. The list of buildings he helped preserve is too big to all be listed here. But they include the El Capitan Theater, Grauman's Chinese, and Egyptian, the Palladium and the Cinerama Dome. Robert even fought the Kennedy family to protect the old Ambassador Hotel where RFK was killed, from being demolished for a new high school. That last fight he lost, but not for lack of trying.

The theater was packed, and a statement was read from LA's Mayor and several politicos. One thing that impressed us was among the people paying tribute to his memory were three developers, the very kind of people Robert would lock horns with.

Robert's remains will be in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, near where Cecil B. DeMille, D.W. Griffith and Mel Blanc sleep. And part of the forecourt of Grauman's Egyptian Theater will be named the Robert Nudelman Square.

Now, those of you who didn't know him, Robert does not exactly cut a heroic figure at first glance. But in a town famous for being self-interested, Robert worked for something greater than himself, and that was special. I never quite knew what he did for a living, I just knew what an impact he had on all of us.

Robert Nudelman is proof of what one person who gives a damn can accomplish.

Question: Sometimes people describe some controversy as a lot of Sturm Und Drang. What does that mean?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who invented television?
History for 6/13/2008
Birthdays: Gnaeus Agricola-40AD, Harriet Beecher Stowe, W.B.Yeats, Red Grange, Basil Rathbone, Dorothy Sayers, Ralph Edwards, Paul Lynde, Tim Allen, Darla Hood, Malcom McDowell, Ally Sheedy, Simon Callow, Joe Roth, Christo

313 A.D. Constantine, the Roman Emperor of the West and Licinius his colleague the Emperor of the East published a joint edict throughout the Roman Empire granting religious toleration : "All men to worship what Gods they will." This edict lifts the 250 year persecution of Christianity. Constantine later knocked off Licinius and became sole Emperor.

1777- General “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne began his invasion down from Canada into New York State to smash the American Revolution. The Hudson was considered by England the jugular of America because it divided militant New England from the moderate Mid-Atlantic and Southern States. Before Burgoyne left London he had wagered politician Charles Fox 20 guineas that he would finish off the Yankees by Christmas. Burgoyne immediately annoyed senior British officers in America. He refused orders from Canadian Governor General Carleton. He declared that his was an independent command and so could not be ordered about by anyone but London. By October, defeated and surrounded by hordes of rebel soldiers at Saratoga he got a letter out to Carleton “requesting instructions”. Carleton understood a lame attempt to shift the blame, so he ignored him, as did Lord Howe in Pennsylvania and General Clinton in New York. Burgoyne surrendered and was exchanged. He did get home by Christmas, just without his army...

1920-The US Government rules Americans cannot mail their children through the Parcel Post System.

1927- Wall St. tickertape parade for Lucky Lindy- Charles Lindbergh.

1941-The American Federation of Labor the AF of L called for a nationwide boycott of all Disney products and films. This was to support the Disney Cartoonists strike.

1942- President Roosevelt by executive order created the Office of Strategic Services or the OSS. Under director Wild Bill Donovan its job was to coordinate espionage and intelligence gathering against the Axis powers in cooperation with its British counterpart , the SOE. On the agencies personnel roster were experts from spymasters Bill Gates and William Casey to tourist book author Eugene Fodor and chef Julia Child. Child recalled the outfit was nicknamed “Oh So Secret!” and “Oh, So-Social” for all the society notables in it. After World War Two the OSS transformed into the CIA.

1944- The first Vengence-1( V-1) Buzz Bombs hit London. The first 21 launched missed most targets and one even spun around and landed near Hitler's western headquarters. This is when the auto-destruct button was conceived. Of the ones that hit England the worst damage was to Bethnel Green tube station. Unlike bombers these rockets were almost impossible to shoot down. By wars end 1,800 would hit London along with 5,000 V-2s and drive a lot of the population into the countryside.

1958- rock & roll great Frank Zappa graduated Antelope Valley High School.

1962- Three convicts, Frank Lee Morris, and the brothers Anglin, escape from Alcatraz with a crude rowboat. They are the only prisoners to have successfully escaped from the Rock. Alcatraz was closed by attorney general Robert Kennedy later that year.

1967- President Lyndon Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshal to the Supreme Court. Marshal was the first African American to sit in the nations highest court and as an attorney successfully pled the 1955 case Brown vs. Board of Education that struck down school segregation.

1978- Henry Ford II fired Lee Iacocca from the Ford Corporation. The creator of the Ford Mustang would later move on to run Chrysler. When asked why Ford said: “Sometimes you just don’t like somebody.”

1991- Boris Yeltsin becomes the first popularly elected leader of Russia.

Yesterday’s Quiz: Who invented television?

Answer: There is no one single Thomas Edison like inventor of television. Books have been written about just who was the most important. Some say Philo Farnsworth who invented scan lines, Englishmen say John Logie Baird or Edwin Belle, also Lee Deforrest the radio pioneer, or Vladmir Zworkin who invented the cathode ray tube. Although no one is positive who is the final winner, all admit the invention was somewhere in the mid- 1920s. The Depression and World War Two prevented TV from spreading into people’s homes until the late 1940s.