Sept 16, 2014 tues.
September 16th, 2014
Question: What is meant by a “flash in the pan”…?
Yesterday’s Question answered below; What does it mean to be altruistic?
History for 9/16/2014
Birthdays: J.C.Penney (James Cash Penney), B.B. King is 87 (born Riley King, when a DJ in Memphis his name was Beale St. Blues Boy or B.B. King), Anne Francis, Linda Darnel, Nadia Boulanger, Alan Funt, George Chakiris, Peter Falk, Ed Begley Jr, Jennifer Tilly, Molly Shannon, Marvin Middlemark 1919-the inventor of the rabbit ears TV antenna), Mickey Rourke is 58, Lauren Bacall
218BC -Estimated date that Hannibal and his Carthaginian army completed their crossing of the Alps and descended into the Po River Valley of Italy. Of 32 elephants only 2 survived the journey.
1498-The Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada died peacefully. He presided over the torture and execution of up to 17,000 people during the Spanish Inquisition. He also oversaw the expulsion of Jews and Christian Arabs from Spain. Even the Borgias asked him to calm down. The name Torquemada became a synonym for judicial cruelty.
1776-BATTLE OF HARLEM HEIGHTS- From Washington's defeat by the British at New York City until Christmas he fought several rearguard actions as the British chased him and his raggedy ass rebels up into White Plains, across the Hudson, and across New Jersey to Pennsylvania. Historians graciously call these desperate hit and run actions battles, Harlem Heights, Throggs Neck, White Plains, Ft. Washington.
The British were now so cocky about knocking the rebels about, that when the advance scouts spotted the American positions they didn't use the usual trumpet signals but sounded fox-hunting calls. The British referred to the Americans as Mr. Washington’s Army, because they refused to honor him with the title of General.
1830- The Liverpool-Manchester railroad inaugurated. The first trip was an all VIP affair, with the Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington and most of the government along for the ride. At one point during a stop the elderly Duke watched a member of the House of Lords Sir William Huckisson, step out on to the track and get his leg severed by another train. The first known fatality by train.
1859- In Old San Francisco California State Senator David Broderick called California Supreme Court Justice David Terry a “pro-slavery crook, knave and poltroon”. The chief justice in a rage and challenged Broderick to a duel. They had to reschedule their meeting several times to elude the police but finally met on this date on site near present day Stinson Beach. Broderick's gun discharged prematurely near Terry's feet. Terry, instead of being satisfied and firing wide, took aim and drilled Broderick through the chest, killing him instantly.
1864- THE NILE DEBATE- On this day a debate was scheduled in the British city of Bath between famous African explorers Richard Burton and John Speeckes as to whether Speeckes had discovered the source of the Nile River at Lake Victoria Nyanza. They had started the expedition together as friends but came ot hate one another. The debate would be moderated by another famed explorer Dr. David Livingstone. However fate, or Speeckes, ensured the debate would never take place. On the day before the high strung Speeckes had gone hunting to break the tension and had accidentally shot himself in the chest. Whether he had intentionally or unintentionally committed suicide remains a mystery. A different explorer, Henry Stanley, proved Speeckes correct in 1873.
1893- THE LAST GREAT OKLAHOMA LAND RUSH-After appropriating some of their land in 1889, in 1893 the U.S. Gov't takes over the last huge stretch of land owned by the Cherokee Nation, who once owned all of Georgia and the Carolinas and Tennessee. They rename the Cherokee Strip Oklahoma and at the sound of a signal gun at noon one hundred thousand white settlers swarmed over it like a mad gold rush, on horseback, bicycle and carriages. By days end 40,000 claims averaging 160 acres a claim were made. Senator Henry Dawes of Mass. who sponsored the land grab, said of the Cherokee: " The defect in their system is obvious. Because they hold their land in common there is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of all Civilization."
1898- Indianapolis attorney Albert Beveridge advocated the conquest of the Philippines in a speech entitled “The March of the Flag,” the classic manifesto of U.S. Imperialism.
1901- A British Imperial Academy of Sciences team began to excavate a Wooly Mammoth frozen in Siberia. Most of the head had been eaten by wolves and the ears and trunk were gone, but the hair, skin and contents of its’ stomach were still there.
1908- General Motors Car Company formed. Calvin Coolidge had once said:" What's good for General Motors is good for the Nation."
1917- TANKS make their first appearance on the Somme battlefield. The inventors wanted them to be called “Land-Battleships” but the British had shipped their secret weapon across the Channel in crates marked "water-tanks" to fool spies, so the name Tank stuck.
1919- An unemployed ex-corporal named Adolf Hitler drifted through Munich, today joined a new right wing political party called the German Socialist Workers Party, later the National Socialists or Nazis. He also began attending meetings of the ultra-nationalist Thule Society. It was a group that espoused Aryan racial supremacy and Anti-Semitism.
1920- FOR THOSE WHO THINK TERRORISM IS A MODERN PROBLEM- On this day anarchists planted a time bomb in a wagonload of scrap iron and parked it in the middle of Wall Street on a busy business lunch hour. The blast killed 38 and injured hundreds, blowing out the ground floor of J.P. Morgan's bank. Bankers described nightmarish scenes like a woman's decapitated head with her stylish bonnet still on, imbedded like a cannonball in a marble inlaid wall by the force of the blast. One of the victims was a sailor named Watson who had survived the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine. He survived this one as well but had to get a steel plate in his head. He eventually went mad. Another man knocked senseless and almost killed was young bank executive Joseph Kennedy Sr., father of the Kennedy Dynasty. The perpetrators were never caught. In 2001 the headquarters of Morgan/Stanley were in the World Trade Center.
1920- Enrico Caruso made his last recordings for the Victor Recording Company.
1934- Los Angeles Mayor Frank Shaw recalled for corruption. The city father's frustration with the mob corruption of politicians and police back east moved them to create the unique city charter that makes the Los Angeles City Council more powerful than the Mayor and made the LAPD an independent entity.
1940- Congress passed the Burke-Wadsworth Act, creating the first peacetime draft in US History. The Selective Service Agency is born.
1940- Texan Sam Rayburn became Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rayburn was a mentor of young Lyndon Johnson. In 1945 Harry Truman was having an old fashioned Bourbon and poker party with Rayburn in his office when he was given the news of Franklin Roosevelt’s death.
1941- CBS Radio premiered the Arkansas Traveler Show. In it bandleader Bob Burns played a strange instrument made out of a stovepipe he called a Bazooka. Later when the US Army issued the first hand-held anti-tank rocket launchers to their infantry, the GI’s called the things Bazookas because it resembled Burns instrument.
1949-Chuck Jones "Fast and Furrious" the First Road Runner-Coyote cartoon.
1953- The St. Louis Browns Baseball team moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Orioles.
1963- The Beatles record “She Loves You-Yeah,Yeah,Yeah.” on the Swan Records label.
1963- The sci-fi thriller series The Outer Limits premiered- Do not attempt to adjust your television- we control the horizontal, etc.
1964- The Peter Potamus Show debuted.
1965- The Dean Martin Show premiered on NBC. “Well, Ah think I’m gonna go to da couch now..”
1966- the last LOOK magazine published.
1966- The new Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center had its opening night. A performance of Samuel Barbers Anthony & Cleopatra sung by Leontyne Price and Justino Diaz. It was a near disastrous night because Ms Price got locked in a pyramid for awhile and couldn’t get out.
1969- President Nixon appears on the TV comedy "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" and says:" Sock it to Me?"
1973- American Indian Activists Russell Means and Dennis Banks were acquitted of all charges in the Wounded Knee shootout and siege. That Banks and Means were shooting it out with the FBI was beyond question. The reason was the judge objected to the governments illegal bungling of evidence and witnesses.
1976- The U.S. Episcopal Church approved the ordination of women as priests and bishops.
1983- Arnold Schwarzenegger became a US citizen.
1984- “Miami Vice” TV show debuted.
1985-The Congressional Budget Office announced that the United States had gone from a Creditor Nation that had bankrolled most of the world in the Twentieth Century, to a Debtor Nation.
2001- U. S. Vice President Dick Cheney told the public that in order to fight terrorists, America needed to “ go to the Dark Side..”
2003- Sheb Wooley, the composer of the 1951 hit “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater” and the theme song of the TV show Hee Haw, died in Henderson Tennessee at age 82.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be altruistic?
Answer: Altruistic means to behave in a compassionate, unselfish manner, supporting worthy endeavors that benefit the commonweal without any thought of return. (thanks FG)
Sept 15, 2014
September 15th, 2014
Question: What does it mean to be altruistic?
Yesterday’s Question: This year we are celebrating the centennial of two famous Hollywood characters born in 1914. One is Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur. Who is the other?
History for 9/15/2014
Birthdays: James Fennimore Cooper, William Howard Taft, Porfirio Diaz- Mexican President 1884-1911, Agatha Christie, Cannonball Adderly, Bruno Walter, Yuri Noorstein, Merlin Olsen, Hank Williams, Oliver Stone, Jean Renoir (film director and son of painter August Renoir), Alexander Korda, Jesse Norman, Robert Benchley, Ron Shelton, Fay Wray, Tommy Lee Jones is 68, Britain’s Prince Harry is 30
In Japan, this is Respect For the Aged Day.
7 BC.- THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM..? According to astronomical records kept by the Persian Magi starting this day an alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars caused a rare bright star that glowed both day and night . Another explanation of the star may have come from Chinese astronomers who recorded a comet during the year 5 BC.. Remember according to the many modern calculations Jesus may actually have been born in August, 6 BC.
533 A.D. BATTLE OF THE TENTH MILESTONE (Decimum)- Byzantine general Belisarius defeated the Vandals of Africa -a really, really lost tribe of German Barbarians living in the region that one day would be Libya. Belisarius was sent by his emperor Justinian to win back the Western half of the Roman Empire for him. The Vandals while in Spain didn't leave much except giving their name to the Southern Spanish coast- Andalusia (Vandalusium) and the custom of defacing walls.
After conquering North Africa and half of Italy and Spain, Justinian rewarded Belisarius by taking away his army, having him blinded with boiling vinegar and given a begging bowl. Justinian thought he was getting TOO successful, that he might grab his throne. The Byzantines couldn't hold on to the African and Italian provinces so Rome stayed fallen.
1776- The BATTLE OF NEW YORK- Lord Howe's British Army crossed the East River from Brooklyn and attacked Manhattan at Turtle Bay, approximately between E 30th and 31st Streets. Colonial troops panicked and fled uptown while George Washington futilely tried to rally them where the 42nd St. Public Library now is. As the last panic stricken farmer scampered off tossing his weapons away, George Washington threw down his hat and exclaimed: "Lord, have I such soldiers as these?"
Legend has it the only reason the British let the Yankees escape was the commanders paused to have tea with a Quaker lady acquaintance. New York was an occupied city for the rest of the Revolutionary War. Hundreds of colonial prisoners were kept in rotting prison ships moored in the harbor, where many died of disease and neglect.
1810 -El GRITO aka MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE- As the bells ring peasant priest Father Miquel Hidalgo waved the banner of the Virgin of Tonantzin-Guadalupe and published a revolutionary tract-The Cry of Dolores. New Spain declared their Independence as Mexica, the name of the ancient Aztec nation. Hidalgo was later captured and shot but not before setting the people aflame:" Will you recover the lands stolen three hundred years ago from our forefathers by the hated Spaniards? Long Live Our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to the gachupines!” -Aztec for Euro-Honkies. The war continued for a decade until Spain acknowledged Mexican independence in 1821.
1858- The Butterfield Overland Mail service started up, driving stagecoaches throughout the Old West.
1894- Japanese defeat the Chinese at Ping Yang. They take Korea and Taiwan.
1901- After the funeral of assassinated President McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt strode into the White House for his first day as President. Bully !
1925- The Grand Order of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan take out a copyright on their logo – the white cross on the red circle with the black square in the center. After all, some other racist hate group might try to copy their cool duds!
1930- The first Blondie comic strip.
1930- Hoagy Carmichael first recorded “Georgia on My Mind”.
1935-“The Law Protecting German Blood and German Honor” aka the Nuremberg Edicts passed in Nazi Germany. They make Anti-Semitism official state policy. It took civil rights away from Jews and set up levels of Jewishness to determine pure Aryan bloodlines.” Jews are forbidden to marry other Germans or hold public office, including college professorships.
1936-MGM producer Irving Thallberg, the "Boy Genius" of Hollywood, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 31. He was the inspiration for F.Scott Fitzgerald's "The Last Tycoon". His boss Louis B. Mayer was beginning to resent his popularity. When actress Gloria Swanson asked Mayer how he felt about Thallberg's death Mayer replied:" God has been very kind to me."
1940- Climax of the BATTLE OF BRITAIN-Herman Goring tries some final huge bomber raids to flatten London and wipe out the R.A.F., in preparation for Operation Sea Lion, the German invasion of Great Britain. Germans thought this was the day the attack across the Channel would happen at last. Hundreds of planes dogfight in the skies over London and Saint Paul’s Cathedral is wreathed in flame and smoke. 65 German planes were shot down in one day. American CBS news correspondent Edgar R. Murrow gained national fame by fearlessly standing on a rooftop at the height of the battle and reporting a live radio broadcast.
1945-In occupied Berlin, composer Anton Webern is shot and killed by an American sentry when he went outside for a smoke in violation citywide night curfew orders.
1950- The INCHON LANDINGS. Gen Douglas MacArthur's masterstroke to amphibiously land an army behind the North Korean invaders and drive them from South Korea. It was an unlikely landing beach- short pebbly beach with a high craggy cliffs and the high tides in the world – 37 feet, from low to high tide, make the area inaccessible for most of the day. But MacArthur had remembered the Japanese had used this spot as a landing site in 1894 and it worked decisively. Mao Tse Tung had guessed that MacArthur might try a landing at Inchon and warned North Korean leader Kim Il Sung but Sung ignored the warnings and was taken completely by surprise. Within a week Seoul was recaptured and the North Korean Army was in full retreat.
1954- The day of shooting on the film the Seven Year Itch. Marilyn Monroe in her little white dress stood over the subway grate and let the breeze blow her dress up, much to the annoyance of her husband, baseball star Joe Dimaggio. Her white halter outfit was thereafter known as a Marilyn Dress.
1956- Surgeons Walter Freeman and Egas Moniz perform America's first prefrontal lobotomy on a depressed, 63-year-old Kansas woman in Washington, D.C.
1957-The tv series Bachelor Father starring John Forsythe premiered.
1959- Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev arrived in the U.S. for a good will tour that included farms and factories. Americans found the earthy bald peasant with the broad smile charming, and not at all the bogeyman everyone feared. At one point Khruschev requested to visit Disneyland, the “workers playground” but Walt Disney refused:” In 1942 we lent those Commie bastards a print of Snow White and they released in their theaters with their own credits on it!” Khruschev also praised American white bread. “Russian Bread is made one day and goes stale. American bread can stay on shelf for weeks and still be soft!”
1963- Four little girls were killed when a bomb set by white racists destroyed the First Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama. The Church was seen as the headquarters of the Black Civil Rights activists and Freedom Riders, but these girls had only arrived early for choir practice. The Klansman who planted the bomb was not convicted until 2001. One of the slain little girls schoolmates would one day grow up to become a Secretary of State- Dr. Condoleeza Rice.
1965- "Green Acres" t.v. show debuts. Arnold Ziffle the pig gains national prominence.
1971 –The environmental political movement Greenpeace founded in Vancouver by twelve members of the Don’t Make a Wave Committee.
1973- Star Trek animated series by Filmation premiered. This was the first time Kirk, Spock, Sulu and Uhura were untied again with a Roddenberry script since the original series was cancelled in 1967.
1982- During the Lebanese Civil War the Christian Maronite President of Lebanon Bashir Gemayel had made a deal with the Israelis to rid his country of the PLO, who were using South Lebanon as a base since being thrown out of Jordan in the Black September of 1971. Israel invaded Lebanon but Gemayel refused to sign an alliance, just a non-aggression pact. This day Gemayel was assassinated by Muslim fighters. His murder provoked the Sabra and Shatila massacres.
1998- Rap star Coolio is busted in Lawndale Cal for driving on the wrong side of the road, using an expired license and having a 9mm pistol and bag of marijuana in his car.
2004- A mob of demonstrators protesting fox hunting season break into the English House of Commons. The last time Parliament was attacked like this was the Gordon Riots in 1744. There was a swipe card security gate, but it was broken that day, and no one had bothered to fix it.
2008- THE GREAT RECESSION- George W. Bush touted himself as the CEO President, proud of his cabinet’s business experience. Today the US Stock Market went into a panic nosedive after two of the nation’s oldest investment banks- Merrill Lynch and Lehman Bros collapsed. Lehmans was $613 billion in debt. This shock added to the news of the government taking over mortgage insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and doubling gas prices suppressing car sales. The American financial crisis panicked stock markets around the world. It was the worst complete financial collapse since the Great Depression of 1929.
Yesterday’s Question: This year we are celebrating the centennial of two famous Hollywood characters born in 1914. One is Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur. Who is the other?
Answer: Charlie Chaplin’s The Tramp character.
Sept 14, 2014 sun
September 14th, 2014
Question: This year we are celebrating the centennial of two famous Hollywood characters born in 1914. One is Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur. Who is the other?
Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What was the name of Alexander the Great’s horse? A horse so wild and strong, only he could tame?
History for 9/14/2014
Birthdays: Lao Tzu -604 b.c., Caliph Al Mansur -the founder of Bagdhad-711 A.D., Dr. Ivan Pavlov, Charles Dana Gibson, Margaret Sanger the founder of Planned Parenthood, Clayton Moore TV’s Lone Ranger, Luigi Cherubini, Hollywood Producer Hal Wallis, Joey Heatherton, Bowser from Sha-Na-Na., Walter Koenig-Star Trek’s Mr. Chekov, Nicole Williamson, Sam Neill is 66
615 A.D.- Battle of Nineveh- Byzantine Emperor Heraclius defeats the army of Shah Chosroes II of Persia. Heraclius is a mystery to military historians. For most of his reign he sat on his throne in a stupor while the Persian army overran his kingdom. Finally when they're practically at the gates of his palace, Heraclius got up, took his legions and destroyed Chosroes in a series of lightning campaigns worthy of Caesar, Alexander and Rambo all rolled into one. He chased the Persian army to the edge of Afghanistan and spread garbage on the grave of the great Persian philosopher Zoroaster. The fleeing Persian satraps (noblemen) threw Chosroes down a well and piled stones on him just to make Heraclius go away. Then Heraclius went back to his throne and did nothing for the rest of his reign.
1146- Syrian Emir Zenghi was assassinated. When the Christian Crusades first fought their way into the Middle East the Moslem powers were just as feudally divided as the Christians. Most Sultans and Emirs thought the Western knights were just a large bandit group in the pay of the Greek Emperor. But Zenghi was the first to preach that this attack was a Christian jihad against all of Islam, and that all Moslems should put aside their differences to defend the Faith. After Zenghi’s death, his son Nur Ad-Din consolidated his power as Sultan and continued his work and his successor Saladin completed the job of driving the Crusaders out.
1224- Followers of Saint Francis of Assisi noted that on this day after a lengthy vigil of prayer in the mountains a Seraph came down out of the sky bearing an image of the Crucified Christ. After the angel left St Francis noticed his hands and feet began bleeding with the same nail marks as Jesus. This is called Stigmata.
1324- In Ravenna a few hours after he put the finishing touches on the last part of his epic poem The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri died of malaria fever.
1502-Battle of Lake Smolina- Grand Master Waltur von Plattenburg of the Holy Order of Livonian Sword Brothers (no, they weren't a rap group) fights his way out of the surrounding Russian army of Czar Ivan the Great, outnumbered ten to one.
1523- Pope Adrian VI died. He was a Dutchman who thought he had been selected to be a true shepherd to his Christian flock. But when he entered Rome he was hurled into a hurricane of Vatican power politics and intrigue. It was said he died of shock. He was the last non-Italian pope until John Paul II in 1978. Romans hated Adrian so much that when he died they sent flowers to his doctor in thanks for losing his patient.
1812-NAPOLEON ENTERS MOSCOW- Napoleon entered the Russian capitol and expected to be met by a delegation to surrender the keys of the city, and discuss peace terms. This happened before in Berlin, Rome, Milan, Vienna and Madrid. Instead, the civilian population had fled. The lord mayor of Moscow, Count Theodore Rostopchin ( nicknamed "Crazy Theo" by Catherine the Great ), had opened up all the prisons and lunatic asylums on a promise from the inmates that they would burn the city down around the Frenchman's ears. The GREAT FIRE OF MOSCOW would last for four days and leave Napoleon stranded thousands of miles from home with no winter shelter.
1814- BRITISH NAVY BOMBARDS FT. McHENRY – Georgetown lawyer Francis Scott Key was sent to the British to negotiate the release of a local Maryland doctor named Beanes. The British had accused Scottish born Dr. Beanes of mistreating their POW’s but relented when Key brought with him a letter written by men saying they were being well taken care of. Still, Key came at an awkward moment because they were about to attack Baltimore. So Admiral Cochrane invited him to stay and watch the show.
Francis Scott Key watched the Rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air all night. Colonel Armistead the American commander at Ft. McHenry flew a big ass American flag to show everyone his fort was still fine and dandy. Dr Beane’s eyesight wasn’t very good and in the Dawns Early Light he asked Key:” Is our flag still there?” This question inspired Key to start writing down stanzas for a poem.
After 25 hours of bombardment the British gave up firing on the fort and sailed away to save their resources for the attack on New Orleans. Key wrote a neat little poem and showed it to his brother-in-law Judge Nicholson. Nicholson thought it would sound good matched to a British pub song called "To Anacreon in Heaven". The song had a few difficult final high notes that enabled the bartender or publican to tell if you had too much to drink. It became the U.S. national anthem in 1931.
1837- Charles Tiffany with two partners set up their first store- Tiffany & Young. Tiffany stressed upscale merchandise from Europe to the best of New York society. In 1848 Charles Tiffany was on vacation in Europe when a revolution in France broke out and he wound up buying loads of cut-rate jewels from aristocrats trying to flee. This moved his business exclusively into jewelry, and he soon bought out his partners and it became simply Tiffany’s. His son Louis Tiffany was the artist in stain glass creating Tiffany windows and lamps.
1847- THE HALLS OF MONTEZUEMA- The U.S. army under Gen.Winfield Scott captured Mexico City. As the army fanned out mopping up resistance the Marines were sent to take the National Palace. Marine Lieutenant A.S. Nicholson cut down the Mexican tricolor and ran up the Stars and Stripes over the Halls of Montezuma , unwittingly giving the first line to his Corps stirring battle hymn. For the first time the US flag flew over a foreign capitol. After this success President Polk started to dream of not just annexing California but making all of Mexico down to Panama part of the United States! Luckily cooler heads prevailed, and the French under Maximillian discovered twenty years later the folly of trying to dominate the Mexico with foreign troops.
1847- THE SAN PATRICIOS- As the US flag unfurled over the National Palace it was the signal to hang 30 men of the San Patricios or Saint Patricks Division. This was a group of Irish immigrants fed up with the Anti-Irish prejudice in America that had deserted to the Mexican Army, who were fellow Roman Catholics. The San Patricios fought fiercely against the American Army at the Battles of Buena Vista and Cherubusco. When they were captured Col William Harney thought the signal of the flag was a poetic way of execution. A U.S. Trooper named Chamberlain wrote later that only a sadist like Harney who had raped and hanged Seminole women in Florida could achieve such cruelty. The fearless Irishmen, even with ropes around their necks made jokes at the Colonels expense and laughed heartily until hanged. “Colonel Darlin, would ye be lightin me pipe for me with your elegant red hair?”
1857-THE TIGER OF THE RAJ- The British army stormed and captured the city of Dehli from the Sepoy Indian mutineers. The first man leading the charge sword in hand into the wall’s breach was Major John Nicholson, the Tiger of the Raj. Nicholson was described as a “bully-homosexual, but whenever a desperate action was needed in India, Nicholson was the man who could do it.” The attack cost Nicholson his life, but Delhi was taken and the Sepoy Rebellion broken.
1901- After lingering two weeks with an assassins bullet in him, President William McKinley died. Teddy Roosevelt became the nations youngest president at 42. Republican party boss Marc Hanna groaned:” Oh, no! Now that crazy cowboy is President!”
1911- Prince Stolypin, was the first dynamic prime minister of Tsar Nicholas II reign. Under his reforms the Duma-Parliament began land reform that improved grain harvests and industrial output. Had he more time for his reforms to work Stolypin might have saved Russia from Revolution. But it was not to be. On this night Prince Stolypin went with Tsar Nicholas to the Opera to see Rimsky-Korshakov's "Tsar Saltan". During the second act intermission a young terrorist in a tuxedo went up to him and shot him in the chest as Nicholas could only watch in horror. The assassin Bogrov had gotten a job with the Secret Police and was assigned to the Czar’s entourage as a bodyguard.
1918- 63 year old union leader and one time Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs is sentenced to ten years in prison for making Anti-war speeches. Many large unions in the U.S. were against U.S. participation in World War One. In The election of 1913 Debs got 1 million votes to Woodrow Wilson's slim victory of 6 million.
1927-Modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in freak car accident when her scarf tangled in the spokes of her Bugatti sportscar and snapped her neck. The scarf was a gift from the mother of future movie director Preston Sturges.
1927- Gene Austin recorded “My Blue Heaven”.
1944-PELELIU- The Marines attack the Japanese held island of Peleliu. It was a target because it was feared the Japanese planes could launch attacks from there to harass the flanks of General MacArthurs’ liberation of the Philippines. At the last minute Admiral Halsey’s reconnaissance discovered there was very little chance of that happening, but it was felt it was too late to call off the attack. After three days of heavy naval bombardment a Navy Captain told Marine Col. Chesty Puller-“ All you have to do is walk in.” The Japanese by now had learned from American landing tactics and were sheltered from the bombardment in underground bunkers. When the Marines hit the beaches they opened up with a furious counter barrage. It took weeks of bloody fighting to dislodge them. The US First Marines Division was so decimated by casualties - 54%, it ceased for a while to be a viable fighting force.
1955- Little Richard recorded the song “ Tuttie Fruitie”.
1957- TV show “Have Gun Will Travel” with Richard Boone as Paladin, premiered.
The head writer of this show was Gene Roddenberry, who would later create Star Trek.
1959- The Russians reached the moon first. Two years after launching Sputnik, the first satellite, the Soviet probe Lunik 2 hit the surface of the moon.
1960- The Congolese army under Gen. Mobutu Sese Seko overthrew the government of President Patrice Lamumba. Lamumba had led the Congo out of Belgian colonial rule.
Seko changed the name of The Congo to Zaire and ruled until 1998.
1960- Several oil producing nations among them Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia form the cartel called OPEC. They were later joined by Venezuela and Nigeria and Great Britain.
1968-Filmation's "the Archies" Show "Sugar...ah, honey honey...."
1972- Premiere of the TV show The Waltons. “ Goodnight John-Boy.”
1978- The Mork & Mindy Show with a young Robin Williams. “Na-Nuu, Na-Nuu.”
1985- Disney's TV show "Gummi Bears"
1993- Former Simpson’s writer Conan O’Brien takes over David Letterman’s old spot at the Late Show.
2002 Millennium Actress by director Saytoshi Kon premiered.
Yesterday’s Question: What was the name of Alexander the Great’s horse? A horse so wild and strong, only he could tame?
Sept 13, 2014
September 13th, 2014
Question: What was the name of Alexander the Great’s horse? A horse so wild and strong, only he could tame?
Question: Which island is geographically closer to the continental U.S.? Cuba, Puerto Rico or Jamaica?
History for 9/13/2014 Birthdays: Gen "BlackJack" Pershing, Clara Schumann, Milton Hershey, Arnold Schoenburg, Yma Sumac ( Star of Brazilian jazz and crossword puzzles- real name Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, from Ichocán, Peru. Descendent of Inca royalty), Jacqueline Bissett is 70, Frank Marshal, Laura Secord, Jesse L. Lasky, Richard Kiel – Jaws in the James Bond movies, Maurice Jarre, Roald Dahl, Don Bluth is 77, Fred Silverman “The Man with the Golden Gut.” Tyler Perry is 45
509BC- Romans dedicated the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Greatest and Best) in the Forum.
81AD- the Roman Emperor Titus died.
122AD- In England, Roman legions began to construct Hadrians' Wall.
398AD- THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOTHOM John "Golden-Mouth" for his preaching. Ever since Roman Emperor Constantine had raised up the Christian Church from a despised cult and made it dominant throughout the Roman world, the Church was left with a philosophical problem-" Can you blame Rome for Jesus death?" Chrysothom came up with the solution- It was the Jews fault! So even though Christ’ disciples called him Rabbi, and the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, Christianity officially blamed Judaism for the death of Jesus. It took centuries of oppression, pogroms and the Holocaust, for the Vatican to officially "forgive" the Jewish people in 1947.
1515- Battle of Marignano- The French under King Francis II defeated a large force of Swiss south of Mantua in Italy. Francis fought hand-to-hand out front all day and was knighted by the great chevalier Bayard on the field. Cannons had begun to be mounted on wheels and rolled around instead of being dragged like catapults. And military scientists discovered a new thing- when you line up a lot of cannons and fire them all at once, the enemy infantry run away
1759- THE BATTLE OF THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM. England took Canada away from France. Gen. Wolfe defeated The Marquis De Montcalm and captures the great fortress of Quebec. Both Wolfe and Montcalm are killed, the only time both commanding generals were killed in a one battle at the same time. Gen. Wolfe (32) was aware he was asking his redcoats to scale a sheer rockface in a driving rainstorm then defeat a huge army with their backs to a cliff. So to boost their morale he read them his favorite poem: "Elegy in a Country Churchyard". with lines like:" The paths of Glory lead naught but to the Grave..." Gee, that would cheer me up....
1782- THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR. Ever since Britain had taken control of the rock and established a fortress there Spain had burned to get revenge. When France and Spain decided to join in the American Revolution on the rebel side they sent a massed fleet and army to attack Gibraltar. The Rock withstood a three year siege climaxed by a grand assault this day from 50 battleships and 30,000 troops. By 1:00 a.m. most of the enemies fleet was burning and their troops fleeing in disorder. A fortnight later Admiral Hood arrived with reinforcements and Gibraltar has stayed British ever since.
1805- Admiral Nelson leaves London to take out HMS Victory and his fleet to sea. He will achieve death and glory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Shortly before he had a conversation with the artist Benjamin West. He told West his portrayal of the Death of General Wolfe at the Battle of Quebec was his favorite painting and why had he not painted anything as good since? West replied that there hasn't been any comparable incidents of tragic heroism lately. Nelson laughed and said: "Well I shall make a it a point to get myself killed in my next battle, to provide you with suitable inspiration !"
1812- Napoleon’s army makes camp within view of the domes and cupolas of Moscow.
TWO HUNDRED EYARS AGO 1814- After destroying Washington DC and Alexandria , the British Navy began a bombardment of the forts surrounding Baltimore. Baltimore then was the main port of the many American privateers pirating English ships. After 25 straight hours continuous bombardment of Fort McHenry, the forts big Stars and Stripes flag was still flying. A simultaneous land attack failed when General Ross, who was a veteran of Wellingtons’ army, was shot down by American snipers. That morning, Ross ate his breakfast on shore in a local inn. When the proprietor asked if he should have a dinner ready for him, Ross replied:" No thank you. Tonight I shall sup in Baltimore or in Hell!" After the failure of the bombardment the British gave up and sailed away leaving Francis Scott Key on the shore with notes for a neat little poem. More tomorrow.
1845-THE IRISH POTATO FAMINE- An Irish newspaper printed this day announced that a fungus named Vituperia Infestae was affecting most of the years potato crop, the one food staple for the poor. The same parasite carried over in American fertilizer had effected continental European agriculture as well, but a drought minimized it’s effect. Ireland was more devastated by the famine than she had ever been by any war. The Potato famine raged for three years and killed millions. And all this while Ireland was administered by the richest nation in the world, the British Empire. Irish companies were still exporting other grains at the time as well. Truth be said most industrialized countries at this time were hard on their poor, poverty was viewed as a lack of character. It’s just everyone was too slow or apathetic to realize just how great a disaster was occurring in Ireland. By the time the famine eased in 1849 one quarter of the entire population of Ireland had died or immigrated to North America.
1848- The first lobotomy.
1899- First man was hit by a car. (74th and Central Park West in New York City).
1916- A Tennessee judge orders Margo the circus elephant hanged for killing three men. It took a railroad crane and steel cable, but it sure taught her a lesson!
1928- Riding high on their big hit film the Jazz Singer, the Warner Bros. buy out First National Pictures and move into their big Burbank studio lot, where they still are today.
1942- The aircraft carrier USS Wasp was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese submarine I-15. With Enterprise and Saratoga under repairs, for several anxious weeks Admiral Nimitz had to defend the entire South Pacific with one lone carrier, The Hornet against six heavy Japanese battle carriers. Then Hornet was sunk just as the Enterprise came back into service.
1945- Henchmen of mobster Bugsy Siegel buy a 30 acre roadside tract from a widow in Las Vegas. On it will rise the Las Vegas Casino resort, the Flamingo. There were two little hayseed casinos in Vegas already, but the big glitzy hotel strip of mega casinos was Bugsy's dream.
1961- TV sitcom Car 54, Where Are You? debuted.
1969-Hanna Barbera's "Scooby-Doo,where are you?" and "Dastardly and Mutley and their Flying Machines" premiered.
1971- General Lin Piao, leader of the Red Guard movement and would-be successor to Mao Tse Tung, died in plane crash. The Cultural Revolution that had been raging since 1966 seems to fade away afterwards.
1971- ATTICA. Mass prisoner riot in a top New York State Penitentiary acquired counter-culture celebrity status and heavy race-war overtones. The legend was cemented after Governor Nelson Rockefeller used a massive military force to crush the revolt this day. It has been argued that more inmates and hostages were killed because of the attack than if negotiations had been allowed to continue. Most of the prison guards held hostage were murdered, some killed by troops in the confusion. Nelson Rockefeller, the last Liberal Republican, had presidential ambitions. But any further hope he had of running were ended by this incident. For years afterwards every hippie protest resounded with cries of "Attica, Attica!".
1974- The Rockford Files TV series with James Garner debut.
1979- Animator Don Bluth quits Walt Disney Studios taking a third of the top artists with him. Bluth becomes Disney's most serious rival since Max Fleischer and helps sparked the animation renaissance of the 1990s. A whole new group of young talent, "bluthies", exert great influence throughout the animation business.
1993- With President Bill Clinton smiling on, Israeli Prime Minister Ystchak Rabin and PLO leader Yassir Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles to the Oslo Agreement. In effect Israel recognized the Palestinians and the PLO has having legitimate national aspirations and the PLO renounced terrorism. This was the meeting with the famous handshake of Rabin and Arafat. Rabin’s great words "Enough of Blood!" were sadly ignored in subsequent years. Arafat refused to recognize Israel, and Rabin was assassinated in 1995, and everyone botched several more peace initiatives.
2001- While America was still in shock from the Sept 11th terrorists attacks, televangelist Pat Robertson stuck his thumb in everyone’s open wound when he declared the tragedy was God’s punishment on America for our permissive society that tolerates homosexuality, Liberals, Feminists and the ACLU. Mark Bingham, one of the hero passengers of United Flt. 93, who fought the terrorists and sacrificed his life so that his plane could not be used as a bomb to hit the White House, was a gay man. A New York Times columnist angrily wrote: "If I am ever in a plane that’s being hijacked, I’d rather have a Mark Bingham seated next to me than a Pat Robertson!"
2001- Two days after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, all civilian air travel was banned over the skies of the US. Despite this, a special flight evacuated two dozen members of the Saudi Arabian Royal family attending school in the US. Among their number were the family of 9/11 mastermind Osama Ben Laden. None were questioned and no explanation for the flight was ever given.
Yesterday’s Question: Which island is geographically closer to the continental U.S.? Cuba, Puerto Rico or Jamaica?
Answer: Cuba, only 90 miles from Florida.
Sept 12, 2014
September 12th, 2014
Question: Which island is geographically closer to the continental U.S.? Cuba, Puerto Rico or Jamaica?
YesterdaysQuestion Answered Below: What was the very first reality TV show?
History for 9/12/2014
Birthdays: Piero 'the Fatuous' DeMedici, King Francis Ist of France-1494, H.L. Mencken, Maurice Chevalier, Ben Blue, Jesse Owens, Barry White, Alfred A. Knopf, Ian Holm is 83, Hans Zimmer, Rachael Ward, Michael Odaatje-author of The English Patient, Margaret Hamilton -"I'm mellllttinnng,,oooohh.." Joe Pantoliano “Joey Pants”, Louis C.K. is 47, Jennifer Hudson is 33.
Today is the Feast of Saint Victoria Fornari-Strata, who in 1604 founded the Blue Nuns
1642- THE CINQ MARS AFFAIR- The young, sexy Marquis de Cinq Mars was a
favorite of King Louis XIII. He became so close to the king that Cardinal Richelieu feared he would lose control of France to this "bedroom coup". The vain marquis was so confident of his power that he openly plotted with the king’s feckless brother Gaston de Orleans to overthrow the government. Richelieu had the young marquis convicted of treason and beheaded, and the king got another favorite.
1654- In the little Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, three Sephardic families who had fled the Spanish Inquisition, gathered to celebrate the first Rosh Hassanah in North America. Their Congregation Sha-Aref Israel became the oldest Jewish community in North America, second in the New World only to the Dutch Caribbean colony of Curacao.
1683-THE SECOND SIEGE OF VIENNA - Polish King Jan Sobieski and Prince
Eugene of Savoy lift the Turkish siege of Vienna, the last major attempt of Ottoman Turkey to conquer Europe. They called it the Completion of the Crescent. It ended the career of Mustapha Korprolu, the Sultan’s Vezir who had staked all on one more try at European conquest. Jan Sobieski's elite heavy cavalry, the "Winged Hussars" wore large feathered angel wings strapped to their backs. It was designed to deflect Tartar lariats but had the psychological terror effect of making the Moslems think they were fighting Christian angels.
1786- Despite his losing the decisive Battle of Yorktown in America, Charles Lord Cornwallis was named Governor-General of India. Cornwallis went on to a much more successful career there, defeating uprisings by Sultan Tippoo Sahib. He is buried in Delhi, India.
1805- WELLINGTON MET NELSON- Only once did England's greatest soldier and England’s greatest sailor ever meet face to face. They were both sitting one morning in the waiting room of Lord Castlereagh's Foreign Office waiting for an appointment. At first Wellington wasn't impressed. He said years later :" Lord Nelson immediately launched into a conversation, if you could call it that, for it was exclusively about himself and was so vain and silly that I found myself both shocked and disgusted/." Later his lordship ascertained that I was 'somebody' of importance and changed his tone and proved in conversation a very astute statesman."/ The next day Nelson left London to earn both death & glory at Trafalgar and Wellington began his European campaigns that would culminate at Waterloo.
1814- The British fleet and army that burned Washington and Alexandria, arrived at the entrance to the harbor of Baltimore, to destroy that city.
1846- Poet Elizabeth Barrett secretly eloped with poet Robert Browning and were married at St. Marlybone Church in Durham England. Her father had refused his permission for the match but the Brownings did it anyway, and ran off to Italy.
1847-CHAPULTEPEC- General Winfield Scott’s army stormed Chapultepec, a fortress guarding the entrance to Mexico City. Mexican General Santa Anna had been deceived by a diversion and left this fort guarded by a small force that included young military student cadets, ages 13-19 years. As the scaling ladders went up around the fort the men attacking read like a who's who of the future American Civil War- Lieutenant James Longstreet , Lieutenant Thomas Stonewall Jackson, Captain Ulysses Grant. The Mexican children cadets fought to the death or committed suicide by hurling themselves off the fortress walls.
Today remembered as the national martyrs Los Ninos. 18 year old Augustin Melgar fought the Yanquis step by step up to the roof where he was finally bayoneted repeatedly while defending his country's flag. The officer who stepped over Augustin’s bleeding body to pull down that flag and run up the Stars and Stripes was Lieutenant George Pickett, who would lead Pickets Charge at Gettysburg in 1863. This caused a great cheer among the Yankees who charged down the causeways into Mexico City.
1864- Union General William Tecumseh Sherman responded to a letter from the Confederates protesting his decision to destroy Atlanta. "War is Cruelty, you cannot refine it...you might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of War.."
1866-Theater producer Fred Niblo got stuck with a French ballet troupe stranded and broke after the New York Academy of Music burned down. So he combined the dancers with a rather mundane melodrama and created" The Black Crook" the first true Broadway Musical. It ran for twenty years and was continually revived until 1925.
1878- An ancient Egyptian obelisk was set up in London’s Hyde Park. It was named Cleopatra's Needle ( along with its sister standing in Central Park, NYC) because it was discovered in Alexandria in the ruins of what is thought to be Cleopatra's palace. In fact, both obelisks were taken to Alexandia by the Ptolemeys. They were originally erected by Thutmoses III during the XVIII Dynasty, and used to stand at the Temple of Ra in Heliopolis.
1882- THE BATTLE OF TEL EL KHEBIR. Egyptian officers had overthrown
the Khedive of Egypt and the British Army was sent to intervene. The
Khedive was a descendent of Muhammad Ali Pasha who had asserted
Egyptian independence from Britain and Turkey, but by now he was an
English puppet. He was overthrown by Colonel Ahmed Oraby. This night
the British under Sir Garnet Woolsley executed a night march around
the enemy flank and destroyed Oraby’s army in the morning. The troops
marched in the darkness across open desert led by Royal Navy officers
navigating by the stars. They moved in total silence.
Britain assumed direct control over Egypt until 1956. Sir Garnet Woolsley was the general lampooned by Gilbert & Sullivan as "the Very Model of a Modern Major
General" in the Pirates of Penzance. Woolsley normally was a vain
humorless man but he loved this opera and used to sing the song
himself to his family and friends.
1895- During a long march in the steaming jungles of Madagascar Colonel Duschesne of the French Foreign Legion silenced his grumbling troopers with the famous command -'Marche ou Creve'-"March or Die !" It becomes the Foreign Legion's motto.
1908- Winston Churchill married his Clemmie, Clementine Churchill.
1910- Gustav Mahler’s Symphony # 8, The Symphony of a Thousand, premiered in Munich.
1918- The first all American offensive of World War I. General John Blackjack Pershing’s First American Army attacked and captured the Saint Michel salient. The German Armies on the Western Front fell back to their last defense line-the Hindenberg Line.
1923- The democracy in Spain was overthrown by General Miguel Primo de Rivera who suspended the constitution and ruled as a dictator. King Alfonso XIII stayed on his throne but without any power. Rivera died and a Republic declared in 1931. Primo de Rivera had a boy colonel in his army named Francisco Franco.
1937- The leader of the Communist Party in Uzbekistan Akmal Ikramov was ordered arrested and shot by Stalin. The news was greeted back home "With warm applause".
1940- Mussolini’s Italian forces open the North African campaigns by an invasion of Egypt from Libya. When British forces drive back the legions of General Barbazioli ( Electric Whiskers) Hitler sends them the famous Afrika Korps led by Irwin Rommel.
1940- In southern France near Montignac a pet dog fell through a crack in the ground into an underground chamber. When four boys follow in to retrieve the dog they discover the Lascaux Caves Ice-Age paintings, where, a Stone Age man created some of the earliest artwork.
1941-THE WALT DISNEY STRIKE ENDS- Everyone goes back to work after the NLRB, with a lot of behind the scenes pressure from the Bank of America, settled the dispute. Walt Disney had to recognize the cartoonists guild, give screen credits, double the salaries of low paid workers retroactive to May 29th and re-hire animator Art Babbitt. Disney immediately got on a train to Washington to try and convince the feds to reverse the decision or get an injunction in court. He failed. Ironically within a few months the war would break out and artists who had been bitter foes would be compelled to work side by side in the U.S. Army Picture Unit.
1943-Benito Mussolini, imprisoned after an Italian democratic coup, is rescued at night by a troop of Nazi parachute commandos led by one-eyed Col. Otto Skorzeny. Skorzeny would later train the commandos who infiltrated American lines during the Battle of the Bulge to speak American accented English and converse convincingly about baseball scores and Betty Grable. He fought until the last day of the war then arranged the Nazi escape pipeline to Argentina. Despite saying in court he was "proud to have served Hitler" Otto Skorzeny was acquitted of any war crimes. He died of old age in 1972.
1944- Romania, her German friends defeated and her borders overrun by the Red Army, changed sides and signed a separate peace with the Allies. Many Allied bomber crews were held there as POWs. One of them, a Lt. Anthony Gunn, took a Messerschmidt Me109, painted it over with the Stars and Stripes and with top Romanian ace Michael Cantacuzene flew to American lines in Italy to get help. The USAF responded and soon airlifted 1,100 U.S. airmen POWs to safety.
1945- Young Captain Ronald Reagan was discharged from the US Army Signal Corps. He never left Hollywood but starred in movies, training films and USO benefits. Yet in his old age he acted the great war hero. Some annoyed veterans told me Marlena Deitrich in fishnet stockings and pumps got closer to the fighting than Captain Reagan ever did.
1945- The first French troops land in Vietnam to re-assert their colonial rule.
1948-The People's Republic of North Korea declared.
1954- Television comedian Ernie Kovacs married Edie Adams, the Muriel Cigar Girl. They married in Mexico and at the insistence of Kovacs used a priest who read the entire service in Spanish, a language neither of them understood.
1953- Jacqueline Bouvier married John F. Kennedy.
1953- THE RED REDHEAD-? McCarthy investigators accuse top t.v. star Lucille Ball of being a communist. She and husband Desi Arnez immediately went and testified that Lucy’s grandfather was an old Socialist who routinely enrolled all his grandkids in the Communist Party as a birthday present. America wouldn’t stand to see their favorite t.v. family go down, so the matter quickly blew over. Years later Desi would condescendingly joke:" Lucy didn’t even know who the mayor of L.A. was. The only thing that was red about Lucy was her hair, and even that wasn’t real !"
1957- Market researcher James M. Vicary explains at a press conference the theory of Subliminal Advertising. His company proposed to unconsciously compel people to buy products by flashing messages at 1/24th of a second during movies. Even though the concept was discredited (givetomsitomoney) by the American Psychiatric Association (givetomsitomoney) a national panic ensued as people feared brainwashing.
1965- The Beatles release 'Yesterday'.
1966-"Gee Mr. French..." Family Affair premiered on TV.
1966- The Monkees TV show premiered. Two young television executives Bert Schneider and Sam Rafaelson convince their network to make "A Hard Day's Night" for American television. Of the four kids in the make-believe band Mike Nesmith was the only real musician. Micky Dolenz had to be taught how to play the drums the first day of shooting. Insiders nicknamed them "The Pre-Fab Four". Still, the show was a major hit, won Emmy Awards and all their albums went gold. The producers took that success and used it to finance the hit film "Easy Rider". Mike Nesmith later inherited a fortune from his mom developing the Liquid Paper Company, and used his fortune to help start MTV.
1974- Ethiopian Emperor Rastafari Halie Selassie, "The Lion of Judah" and beloved symbol of the Rastafarians, is overthrown by his military officers.
1977-South African nationalist leader Steve Biko died in jail from a savage beating during an interrogation. The policemen who killed him admitted it in 1997.
1992- Anthony Perkins, the star of Hitchcock’s Psycho, died of HIV/AIDS. His widow, Berry Berensen the sister of actress Marisa Berensen, died in one of the hijacked airliners that plunged into the World Trade Center on 9-11.
Sept. 12, 2001- The day after the terrible World Trade Center attack, White House anti-terrorism head Richard Clark reported that the CIA identified the home base of the hijackers was in Afghanistan. President Bush’s Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld grumbled:" Their aren’t enough good targets in Afghanistan. There are better targets in Iraq."
2003- Country-western singer Johnny Cash died of diabetes at 71.
2005- Disneyland Hong Kong opened.
2010- At the Video Music Awards, singer Lady Gaga wears a dress made out of 50 lbs of raw meat.
Yesterday’s Question: What was the very first reality TV show?
Answer: Some would say Alan Funts Candid Camera, but the first Reality series is generally acknowledged as An American Family, which aired on PBS in 1973. The 12-episode documentary series focused on the lives of Pat and Bill Loud of Santa Barbara, California, and their five teenage children. During the series, Pat demanded a divorce and son Lance announced he was gay.