Jan 26, 2015 mon
January 26th, 2015

Quiz: What Russian city today was the site of the famous Battle of Stalingrad?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: The Russian city of St Petersburg had a different name during the Soviet era. What was it?
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History for 1/26/2015
Birthdays: First Lady Julia Dent Grant, General Douglas MacArthur, Stephan Grappelli, Angela Davis, Maria Von Trapp, Wayne Gretsky "The Great One" is 53, Eartha Kitt, Paul Newman, Roger Vadim, Jules Feiffer is 86, Henry Jaglom, Anita Baker, Edward Abbey, Gene Siskel, Scott Glenn, David Straitharn, Randy Rhodes, Ellen DeGeneres is 57

404 A.D.-Today is the Feast of Saint Paula, who built the first abbey and monastery where all the monks and nuns wore identical uniform sackcloth, demonstrating that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

1500- Captain Vincente Pinzon, who had once commanded the Nina for Columbus, discovered the coast of Brazil while serving the Portuguese navy.

1758 - French troops burn at the stake the Haitian rebel slave leader Mackandal. A practitioner of Voodoo, his followers believed that at the moment of death he transformed himself into a mosquito and brought the Yellow Fever sickness to kill the Europeans. Haitian Independence was achieved a generation later under Toussaint l'Overture and Dessalines. Mackandal's dance, done at all his rallies and voodoo religious ceremonies was the 'marenga".

1787- SHAY’S REBELLION- Just four years after the Revolution, New England farmers rebelled against unfairly heavy taxes and a confused local government. Daniel Shays led 1,200 Massachusetts farmers in an attack on an armory that quickly fell apart, but the shock of the incident scared the Founding Fathers to convene a special Constitutional Convention to create a stronger central government.

1788-AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL DAY.- A small fleet of ships carrying 700 convicts and 200 soldiers and families lands in Australia at Sydney Cove. The aboriginal people met them on the beach with calls of "Warra-warra!" which means "Go Away!" Eventually 50,000 convicts were sent there. After a century Australians began to form their unique character. The Aussie nickname name for British people is Poms or Pommies. This was for the initials printed on British prison shirts POM- or Prisoner Of his Majesty. Another version has it that British sailors regularly picked the pomegranate trees clean of fruit to ward off scurvy.

1799- Thomas Jefferson wrote to Eldrige Gerry “I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.”

1815- Congress votes to purchase Thomas Jefferson's book collection to replace the fledgling Library of Congress that was burnt by the British in the War of 1812.

1837- Michigan became a state.

1875- Late at night, Pinkerton detectives on the trail of Jesse James threw a bomb into the window of the James family home. The explosion killed Jesses’ 18 year old retarded stepbrother who had nothing to do with the outlaws, and blew the right arm off his mother. The James Gang were nowhere near the farm that night.

1884- Khartoum falls to the forces of Sudanese messianic leader El Mahdi. The Liberal Government of William Gladstone had sent the famous Victorian general Charles 'Chinese' Gordon to oversee the British evacuation of the Sudan. Gordon was a courageous eccentric who instead of evacuating the Sudan barricaded himself into it's capitol Khartoum and resolved to fight to the end. "We are all pianos" he once said:" And events play upon us".

1911- Richard Strauss’ opera Die Rosenkavalier opens in Vienna. Kaiser Wilhelm was offended by the E.T. Hoffman story about aristocrats sleeping around with their servants. He called it "A dirty little play".

1924- The Russian city of Saint Petersburg was also called Petrograd. This day the Bolshevik Government changed its name in honor of Lenin to Leningrad. In 1991 they changed the name back to Saint Petersburg.

1934- Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn bought the rights to L. Frank Baum’s book the Wonderful Wizard of Oz to develop into a movie.

1939- Generalissimo Franco’s Fascist troops capture Barcelona, winning the Spanish Civil War.

1939- The first day of shooting on the film Gone With the Wind.

1950- In India today is Constitution Day, when the Indian Constitution went into effect.

1962- Mob boss Charles Lucky Lucciano dropped dead of a heart attack at Naples airport as he was about to shake hands with an author who had arrived from the U.S. to write his biography. Lucky Lucciano was the criminal genius that converted gangsters from storefront street gangs to corporate syndicates with ties to legitimate business and government. He also helped the Italian-Sicilian system of La Mafia- family clan allegiance and code of honor, to supplant the other Irish-Jewish gangsters. Lucky was deported to Italy in the 1950’s and retired when his appeals to return were denied.

1967- THE BIG SNOW- The people of Chicago pride themselves on their ability to handle the toughest winters. But this day was one of the worst- 23 inches of snow in 27 hours, driven by 50 mile an hour cyclonic winds brought the city to a total standstill.

1979- Former Vice President of the United States, Nelson Rockefeller, was found dead in his office" en flagrante delicto" with Meghan Marshak, his young director of the Rockefeller Foundation. His second wife Happy Rockefeller had also been one of his office staff once. The method of the 70-year-old billionaire’s death was an open secret in New York City. The legend was fueled by the fact that Ms. Marshak's first call was not to 911 or the cops, but to her friend, local TV newswoman, Ponchitta Pierce. Pierce made the call to summon help nearly an hour after Rocky was cold.
I had a friend at art school at the time who was a receptionist for a Park Ave. doctor who was Rocky's physician. She said the paramedics found him with his pants down but his tie still in place. His will left $50,000 and a Manhattan townhouse to Ms Marshak.

1979- The Dukes of Hazard TV show premiered.

1983- The software LOTUS 1-2-3 premiered that helped make IBM’s PC into the most popular business computers in the US.

1984-HELP ME TITO! During the filming of a Pepsi commercial at LA’s Shrine Auditorium, a magnesium flash ignited singer Michael Jackson’s Jeri curl hair gel causing him 3rd degree burns,

1988- Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Phantom of the Opera premiered.

1996- First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies to a grand jury, the first "first lady" to do so. The only earlier incident that comes to mind for me was in 1862 when a senate committee convened to investigate whether Mary Todd Lincoln was a Confederate spy.

1998- The Japanese town of Ito was attacked by berserk monkeys, injuring 26.
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Yesterday’s question: The Russian city of St Petersburg had a different name during the Soviet era. What was it?

Answer: Leningrad.


Jan 25, 2015
January 25th, 2015

Quiz- The Russian city of St Petersburg had a different name during the Soviet era. What was it?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Suffering succotash! What is succotash?
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History for 1/25/2015
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Birthdays: Genghis Khan, Byzantine Emperor Leo IV the Khazar, Robert Burns, Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolf, Vice Pres Charles “Goodtime Charlie” Curtis, Edwin Newman, Jean Image, Dean Jones, Ava Gardner, Etta James, Corazon Aquino, Anita Pallenberg, Tobe Hooper

36 A.D. (-?) THE CONVERSION of ST.PAUL. There was a Jewish Pharasee named Saul who persecuted Christians, until on the road to Damascus he had a blinding vision. He changed his name to Paul and became the most zealous of Christians. Scholars speculate that Paul may had studied philosophical disciplines like Greek Stoicism and the Jewish Essene movement because elements of these faiths seem to influence Paul's structuring of his new religion.
Paul is responsible for things like ladies keep their heads covered, men's heads uncovered in Church, etc. He made a point of going to Athens to preach the new religion in Plato's Philosophical Academy. He was also instrumental in bringing Gentiles into the religion, causing an early split in the faithful, when James the brother of Jesus felt that they should stay a reform movement within Judaism. That group eventually died out.

1077-HENRY AT CANOSSA- One of the hottest arguments of the Middle Ages was whether Kings could boss around Popes or visa-versa. Ever since Pope Leo had crowned Charlemagne in 800 Popes held that no man could rule without the Church’s official blessing.
In 1077 German Emperor Henry IV told Pope Gregory VII the Fiery Hildebrandt, that he could appoint or fire German bishops with or without Romes permission. The feud grew as Gregory excommunicated Henry and released all his subjects from allegiance to him; Henry declared Gregory “a licentious false monk” and elected another Pope.
But the superstitious fear of the common people and the ambition of rebellious German nobles brought Henry’s kingdom to a standstill. This day witnessed one of the most dramatic scenes in Medieval History: At the Italian town of Canossa Emperor Henry in hairshirt and barefoot stood in the snow waiting at the locked door of the Pope to beg forgiveness. Gregory forgave him but a year later they were at it again and Henry chased Gregory out of Rome with an army and Gregory excommunicated him again. Luigi Pirandello wrote a play about Henry IV in the 1920s.

1327- Edward III, the Great Plantagenet, became King of England.

1483- Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition Peter de Arbules was beaten to death while at prayers at the Cathedral of Saragossa. Tradition states that years later the blood on the spot of his death stayed liquid. He was made a saint in 1867. 1533- Henry VIII secretly married Lady Anne Boleyn, already pregnant with the future Queen Elizabeth. Anne Boleyn was later called a sorceress because she had six fingers on one hand. Lusty King Henry had also slept with her mother and her older sister Mary Boleyn. And yer little dog, too!

1669- THE SECRET TREATY OF DOVER- King Charles II had at last gotten the British throne back from Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans, but he ruled over a kingdom bankrupt and exhausted by civil war. So on this day Charles signed a secret treaty with the richest country in Europe- Louis XIV's France. In it King Charles pledged to work to return England to the Roman Catholic Faith and himself convert to Catholicism, in return for heavy subsidies of French gold. Charles lived in a grand baroque style and may have converted in secret on his deathbed, but said nothing in public, so England stayed Anglican. His brother James II who was openly Catholic was later overthrown. The British parliament then passed a law that a Catholic can never again be King.

1755- The King of France appointed the Marquis de Montcalm to command all French forces facing the British in North America.

1814- France invaded by five separate armies and all Europe in arms against him, Napoleon Bonaparte said goodbye to his wife Marie Louise and his three year old son. He would never see either of them ever again. After Waterloo, his father-in-law the Austrian Emperor Francis II kept Marie Louise from joining Napoleon in exile and gave her a handsome Austrian duke as a lover. Napoleons son was renamed the Duke du Reichstadt and raised as an Austrian nobleman until he died of tuberculosis at 21.

1824- Artist Theodore Gericault was famous for his paintings of horses. This day he died, from a fall off a horse.

1858- Queen Victoria and Albert's eldest child, Victoria the Princess Royal (Vicky), marries Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia ( Fritzy ) in a lavish ceremony. They will sire the future Kaiser Wilhelm II, Victoria’s first grandchild and England’s great enemy. At this wedding, for the first time the "Wedding March" of Felix Mendelsson from his "Midsummer's Night Dream" was used as the processional. Like everything Victoria and Albert did, it soon became a custom.

1863- Lincoln fired his army commander Ambrose Burnside and replaced him with General Fighting Joe Hooker. Burnside, whose mutton chop whiskers named the style "sideburns" was a military hard luck case. He lost the battle of Fredericksburg so badly that even the enemy was embarrassed. His replacement "Fighting Joe" Hooker was so fond of "ladies of the evening" that he brought them on campaign in their own tent and cavalry escort. They were called "Hooker's Girls" hence the term-"hookers".

1890- Newspaper reporter Nelly Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) of the New York World is welcomed home after traveling around the world in 72 days. The stunt was inspired by the Jules Verne story Around the World in 80 days, which had become a hit stage play.

1900- In the Boer War the Boers had surrounded a British garrison in the town of Ladysmith. After many attacks the siege of Ladysmith was broken by a relief force that had in its’ ranks a young officer named Winston Churchill.

1924- The first Winter Olympics held in Charmonix France. Winter sports were celebrated as early as 1901 as the Nordic Games in Scandinavia. Trying to hedge their bets the International Olympic Committee originally styled the Charmonix games the Winter Sports Week. It was so successful that in 1928 the IOC designed the games at St. Moritz the Second Winter Olympiad. These games did a lot to raise the public interest in the sport of ski running, now called simply skiing.

1938- Walt Disney attempted to head off the rising tide of unionizing workers in Hollywood by forming a dummy company union called the Federation of Screen Cartoonists. No other artists but Disney employees joined, and Disney's chief attorney Gunther Lessing could veto any vote they had.

1939-President Franklin Roosevelt designated the fossil rich Badlands area of South Dakota a National Monument. 1945- The Rock Creek Report recommends mass additives of fluoride into American drinking water supplies. Tooth decay drops by 50%, however many right wing fringe groups like the John Birch Society saw Floridation as a insidious Commie-Jewish plot.

1947- Mobster Al Capone died in seclusion at his home in Biscayne Bay Florida at age 48. He was released from Alcatraz Prison early because of ill health, his mind was slowly destroyed by untreated syphilis. When another gangster was asked if Al would resume leadership of the Chicago rackets, he replied:” Big Al is nuttier than a fruitcake.”

1949- The first Emmy Awards ceremony was held at the LA Athletic Club. Five awards were given out for shows like Mabel’s Fables and Treasures of Literature. Rudy Vallee hosted. Mayor Fletcher Bowman declared it “ TV Day” in LA.

1959- American Airlines sets up the first jetliner passenger service across the U.S.

1959- VATICAN II- Pope John XXIII called for the creation of a Second Vatican Council to initiate reforms in the Roman Catholic Church. This was called Vatican II and it’s sweeping ideas changed the Church forever. Latin Masses replaced with native language, the priest does the Eucharist ceremony facing you instead of with his back to you, Folk Masses with guitars, etc.

1960- Actress Diana Barrymore, the daughter of John Barrymore, overdosed on sleeping pills. The Barrymore family that had dominated the American theater since the 1850’s had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Ancestor after ancestor drank themselves to death. Current leader of the family Drew Barrymore recovered after seeking rehab at age 12. 1961- John F. Kennedy has the first televised Presidential press conference.

1961- Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians premiered. “ Cruella, Cruella da Ville,.. “

1970- Robert Altman’s groovy movie M*A*S*H premiered.

1971- Charles Manson and his followers convicted of 27 counts of murder. They were all sentenced to the Gas Chamber, but the death penalty had been abolished in California.

1971- Idi Amin seized power in Uganda.

1984- The widow of Mao tse Tung, Chiang Ching, was sentenced to death for conspiring against the Chinese state. Madam Chiang was one of the leaders of Mao’s Cultural Revolution crackdowns and her accomplices were called the Gang of Four.

1995- Moscow radar detected a nuclear missile launch from Norwegian waters headed right for them. Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his cabinet had five minutes to decide if this was an accident or the dreaded First Strike, warranting a full retaliatory launching of all Russian nukes against the US.. They decided it was a mistake, and it turned out the missile was only a Norwegian weather satellite being fired into orbit. Similar nail biting incidents happened to Jimmy Carter in 1980 and off the US coast in 1986.

2011- The Arab Spring pro-democracy protests that began in Tunisia spread to Egypt, the worlds largest Arab country. Huge protests began in Cairo against long time president Hosni Mubarak. Eventually they forced his ouster.
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Yesterday’s Question: Suffering succotash! What is succotash?

Answer: A mixture of corn, lima beans and other vegetables.


Jan 24, 2015 sat
January 24th, 2015

Question: Suffering succotash! What is succotash?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the origin of the term A Young Turk?
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History for 1/24/2015
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Publius Hadrian AD117, Frederick the Great, Farinelli the Castrato-1707, Pierre De Beaumarchais, Swedish King Gustavus III, Edith Wharton, German Field Marshal Model, Sharon Tate, Ernest Borgnine, Mary Lou Rhetton, John Belushi, Disney director Wilfred Jackson, Warren Zevon, Yakov Smirnoff, Daniel Auteuil is 65, Orel Roberts, Natassia Kinski is 56

41 A.D.- CALIGULA ASSASSINATED- The psychotic Roman Emperor left a gladiator bout to have lunch when in an isolated hallway of the amphitheater his own bodyguards turned on him. His chief assailant was the captain of the watch Chaerea who Caligula liked to embarrass -he once gave Chaerea as the watchword “Gimme a kiss”. After two sword thrusts the bleeding emperor shouted: " I still live ! Strike again !" Which they did until he was finally dead. They threw Caligulas’ corpse in a hole in the Lamian gardens. It was said his ghost continued to scare people there for years afterwards.

Realizing that without an Emperor an Emperor's Guard isn't much use, the guards looked about for a member of the Imperial family that hadn’t already been butchered. They dragged Caligula's simple old uncle Claudius out from under a table and made him Caesar.

1075- In a direct challenge to Papal authority German Emperor Henry IV held an ecclesiastical council at Worms where he declared Pope Gregory VII to be a “licentious false monk” and ordered him deposed. The Pope responded by excommunicating Henry. What happened? See tomorrow.

1848- James W. Marshall discovers Gold at Sutter's Mill, California. This event will spark the first big gold rush the following year, the '49 ers. John Sutter had bought the land from the last Russian settlers and set up his town while under Mexican rule. Ironically the gold rush ruined him. Thousands of prospectors ignored his jurisdiction claims, trampled his crops and slaughtered his herds for food. Within a year or two he was broke and spent the rest of his life trying to get the US Government to reimburse him.

1863- Arizona Territory is formed out of New Mexico. The Southern Confederacy at one time tried to make it one of their states.

1865- The Pioneer Oil Company set up to prospect for petroleum in the L.A. area.

1874- Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Gudunov premiered in Saint Petersburg.

1875- Camille Saint-Saens orchestral work Danse Macabre premiered in Paris.

1900- Battle of Spion Kop. (Boer Woer) The British Army rush an enemy position on top of a small hill, take it, and after the cheering notice they are alone on the bald hill completely surrounded by the enemy. OOPS! It was said that the British commander was a much better watercolorist than a military strategist. One of the stretcher-bearers bravely running up and down the hill saving wounded men was an Indian law student -Mahatma Gandhi.

1901- Activist Emily Hobhouse toured one of Lord Kitchener’s “concentration camps” that the British were using to corral in the Boer guerrillas in South Africa. This one was near Bloemfontein. Her reporting of the poor sanitation conditions and hardships of the Boer civilians there caused a scandal back home. Four out of five South Africans killed in the Boer War were civilians.

1902- Denmark sold the Virgin Islands to the USA.

1916- The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the federal Income Tax.

1927- The Pleasure Garden premiered, the first film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

1936- FIRST MOTION PICTURE OF A SOLAR ECLIPSE TAKEN FROM A DIRIGIBLE- "The Los Angeles."

1942- Producer David O. Selznick signed young star Jennifer Jones. He became infatuated with her and left his wife Irene, the daughter of Louis B. Mayer to marry Jones.

1961- Warner Bros. cartoon voice actor Mel Blanc had a terrible auto crash. He lingered in a coma for several weeks. The way the doctor brought him around was to say: “Hey Bugs Bunny! How are we today?” Blanc replied in character:” Ehhh…fine,doc!”

1965- Winston Churchill died at 90. His last words were "Oh, I'm so bored of it all..." At 75 Churchill said :"I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter." David Lloyd George once quipped of how Churchill would behave in Heaven: "Winston would go up to his Creator and say he would very much like to meet His Son, about whom he has heard a great deal."

1972- Japanese soldier Soichi Yokoi was found in the jungles of Guam unaware that World War Two had ended 27 years earlier. He had stolen a radio and listened to the news. But he thought the stories of Americans in Korea and Vietnam were just propaganda. He was returned to Japan a healthy, if somewhat confused hero.
He passed away in 1997.

1983- Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Sheik to win his first World Wrestling Federation title.

1986 –The Voyager 2 spaceprobe flew by Uranus. So far the only spaceprobe to ever visit that planet. It discovered it’s unusual rotation and that it had rings like Saturn, but they are thin and dark grey, due to the weak light of the sun.

1989- Serial killer Ted Bundy was electrocuted.

2000- The entire computer system of the super-secret National Security Agency crashed and was down for several days. No explanation given.

2006- The Walt Disney Company acquired CG animation studio Pixar. Apple and Pixar head Steve Jobs got a seat on Disney Board, Ed Catmull was named head of the studio and director John Lasseter became it’s creative head.


Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the term A Young Turk?

ANSWER: In 1913 a group of young Turkish army officers led by Enver Bey take over the government from the despotic rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid IV, and try to modernize Turkey, while keeping the Sultan as a figurehead. This group around Enver became a political movement, an insurgent group fighting for change....Today the term Young Turks has come to refer to "new blood" infused into an established hierarchy, such as hot shot graduates from business or law school who come into well established firms with high falootin' ideas and challenge the status quo.


Jan 23, 2015
January 23rd, 2015

Quiz: What is the origin of the term A Young Turk?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Why is a policeman called a cop?
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History for Jan 23, 2015
Birthdays: Musio Clementi, Edouard Manet, Sergei Eisenstein, Derek Walcott, Ernie
Kovacs, Stendahl, Jean Moreau, Randolph Scott, Dan Duryea, Rutger Hauer is 70, Warner Bros animator Manny Davis, Disney animation director Dave Hand, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Mariska Hargitay is 51, Sonny Chiba is 76. Animator Phil Mendez

St. Idelfonso's Day- He was archbishop of Toledo and had a vision one day in
which the Virgin Mary appeared and gave him a chausible (cloak).

1556-The worst earthquake ever recorded, killed 830,000 people in Zhanzshi China.

1789- Georgetown University founded near what will be Washington D.C.

1795- A fleet of 14 Dutch warships got stuck in ice and was captured by attacking French cavalry.

1806-Prime Minister Pitt the Younger dies at 46. A heavy port drinker, he had a
stroke after getting the news of Napoleon's big victory at Austerlitz. As the
maps and dispatches dropped from his lap, his last words were:
”Oh My Country!" Another source said his dying words were "Oh I wish I had another one of Mrs. Bellamy's Meat Pies !". Suspiciously, the source of that anecdote was a spokesman for the Bellamy's Meat Pies Company.

1812- The largest earthquake in North America. It was not in California but in the
Mississippi Valley near New Madrid Missouri. The quake was felt as far south as
New Orleans where it moved the mouth of the Mississippi River, and it rattled store
windows in New York City. Legend has it Indian leader Tecumseh had predicted it.
He told Indians who had signed treaties with the whites:" I will stamp my foot,
then you will know the anger of the Great Spirit."

1862- Here’s a toast to that Great American- Count Agoston Haraszthy ! Who? Next
time you raise a glass of Napa Valley Pinot Noir think of him. This day the Hungarian
immigrant count bought land in the Sonoma Valley and imported cuttings from 1,000
varieties of European wine grapes. There may have been one or more earlier vineyards, ( Buena Vista in 1857) but the Count jumpstarted the California wine industry.

1867- New York City residents awoke this day to find the East River separating them
and the City of Brooklyn had frozen solid. It stayed that way for several weeks
wreaking havoc among the ship traffic and commerce. Everyone realized they needed
a bridge. Work on the Brooklyn Bridge was begun in 1869.

1879- The Defense of Rourkes Drift. After the British invasion force was annihilated
by the Zulus at the Battle of Ishandlwana the other day, a ragtag group of stragglers,
wounded and drivers behind an improvised wall of piled up oatmeal sacks hold off
the entire Zulu army. The first Victoria Crosses were given out over this engagement.
More were given here than at D-Day. One went to a sergeant who later had it stolen
off the wall of his pub. He petitioned the government and got another one....and
that too was stolen. When he died in 1911 he had the VC embellished on his tombstone....and,..you guessed it....it was stolen.

1913- A group of young Turkish army officers led by Enver Bey take over the government from the despotic rule of Sultan Abdhul Hamid IV, and try to modernize things, keeping the Sultan as a figurehead. Enver’s movement created the name The Young Turks.

1920- The Netherlands refused to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm to the victorious Allies for trial. He was granted asylum and lived peacefully until his death in 1940.

1922- The first insulin injection given in Toronto by doctors Banting and Macleod
to diabetic patient Leonard Thompson.

1930- Ivory Snow soap invented 'pure as the driven snow'. In 1969 the model
on the Ivory Snow detergent box, Marilyn Chambers, became a notorious porn star. The baby she held in the photo was actress Brooke Shields.

1941- Aviator Charles Lindbergh testified before Congress to express his opposition
to lend lease aid to Britain and he urged America to negotiate a neutrality pact
with Hitler.

1942- Tupperware invented by Charles Tupper.

1943- The last Luftwaffe plane evacuated wounded and mail out from the German 6th
Army surrounded at Stalingrad. Field Marshal Frederich Von Paulus gave a final message to a colonel scheduled to be evacuated out:" Tell them that the Sixth Army
has been betrayed by the Supreme Command."
As the last three JU-52s took off, the Pitomnik Airfield was overrun. Russian T-34 tanks clanked down the runway casually firing shells into parked planes. Most of the freezing soldiers last letters, full of anger with Hitler, were ordered destroyed by Goebbels Propaganda Ministry. Some specimens survived and were published fifty years later.

1943- A group of high German officials began secret meetings on how to kill Hitler and stop the war. Their conspiracy would culminate in the Operation Valhalla, the July 20th bomb plot.

1957- The Disneyland TV show premiered” Our Friend, the Atom.”

1968- THE PUEBLO INCIDENT- While America was watching the Battle of Que Sanh in Vietnam, a US Navy spy ship doing CIA intelligence work was captured in North Korean waters. The hostage ordeal mesmerized the public for weeks and the sailors were finally released after a long captivity and humiliating show-trials. After his release,
the commander, Capt. Lloyd Bucher retired from the navy, went to Art Center in Pasadena and became an illustrator.

1974- The U.S. Congress authorized the building of the Alaska Oil pipeline.

1978- In Woodland Hills Terry Kath, the lead singer of the group Chicago, killed
himself when he playfully put a pistol to his head. His last words were: "Don't
worry. It's not loaded, see...?"

1983- TV series The A Team, making a celebrity out of a Mohawk and bling wearing former bouncer named Mr. T. “ I pity the fool!”

1989- Artist Salvador Dali’ died. Rushing to leave as much money as possible for
his family his agents had the ancient artist autograph reams of blank paper they intended to print Dali’ lithographs on later.

2004- Satellite TV dish installer Jay McNeil of Paduca Kentucky was trying out a
new telescope when he discovered a nebula in space. It’s now called McNeil’s Nebula.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is a policeman called a cop?

Answer: Some say its short for Constable on Patrol. More likely before standard uniforms, early city police officers were distinguished by large copper badges. So the Coppers, then simply cops.


Jan 22, 2015
January 22nd, 2015

Quiz: Why is a policeman called a cop?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Dracula’s historical name was Vlad the Impaler. What is an impaler?
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History for 1/22/2015
St. Vincents Day- "If Vincents Day be Rainy Weather, shall rain then 30 days together.”

Birthdays: Sir Francis Bacon, D.W. Griffith, Charles Gordon Lord Byron, August Strindberg, Andre Marie Ampere (electric Amps), 1960’s UN Secretary General U- Thant, Ann Southern, Sam Cooke, John Hurt is 75, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Seymour Cassell, Jim Jarmusch is 62, Linda Blair is 57, Piper Laurie is 83, Diane Lane is 50

1503- Pope Alexander VI Borgia has his enemy Cardinal Orsini poisoned while imprisoned in the Vatican.

1506- THE SWISS GUARDS. Many European monarchs hired foreign mercenaries to be their personal bodyguards. They were often more reliable than their own subjects. The most famous were the Swiss. While the Swiss home cantons stayed at peace, her hardy men hired out as mercenary troops all over Europe. Swiss were famous as incorruptible and tough warriors. This day the warrior Pope Julius II hired a troop of Swiss and had Michelangelo design their uniforms. The Swiss Guards still guard the Vatican today, and are still recruited in Switzerland.

1522- Andreas Carstadt, an early follower of Martin Luther, set a new precedent by being a priest who openly got married. He was forty, she was fifteen.

1552- Because Henry VIII’s child was only ten at the time of the old king’s death Edward Seymour the Duke of Somerset ruled England as regent-administrator. But Somerset’s rule was troubled with corruption and religious friction between Catholics and Protestants. His own brother Thomas Seymour the Lord High Admiral was executed for trying to become king. Somerset soon fell and was replaced by the Duke of Northumberland. He charged Somerset with treason based on evidence given by Sir Thomas Palmer. Today Somerset’s head was cut off. Later Northumberland and Palmer lost their heads too. They confessed on the scaffold that they had fabricated the charges against Somerset.

1555- THE FIRES OF SMITHFIELD. When Mary the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII became queen she at first tried to be lenient towards her Protestant subjects. But continuous plots by Protestant nobility and her own desire to restore England to the old faith hardened her heart. This day began the mass trials and executions of those accused of Protestant heresy. Six clergymen including the Bishop of Gloucester were sentenced and burned at the stake. Hundreds more would follow. Even Spanish King Philip II urged Mary to calm down. Mary’s executioners added a new twist to an old system of Burning at the Stake. Before lighting the bonfire a bag of gunpowder was stuffed between your legs so you could go out with a bang. Bloody Mary and her cruelty in the name of Roman Catholicism all but convinced the English people to stay Anglican.

1787- 17 year old French cadet named Napoleon Bonaparte, on furlough in Paris, wrote in his diary that after exhausting negotiations with a streetwalker he "…sampled the joys of Woman for the first time.." Today he’s do a Facebook post.

1840- The first English colonists reach New Zealand.

1863- THE MUD MARCH- Union General Ambrose Burnside (who created the fashion for "side-burns") tried to avenge his humiliating defeat at Fredericksburg by a winter march up the Rappahannock River to maneuver around Robert E. Lee. In so doing he discovered why all pre-industrial age armies took the winter off. Burnsides army was pelted by blinding sleet storms and bogged down in oceans of gooey mud. When Burnside finally called it quits he had as many casualties from sickness as if had he fought a battle. A bitter army joke based on a children’s prayer went:
"Now I lay me down to Sleep, In mud that’s eighteen fathoms Deep."
"If you can’t see me when we Awake, please dig me up with an oyster Rake."

1879-Battle of ISHANDLWANA- The worst defeat ever inflicted by native peoples on a modern western army. The British thought they were brushing out of the way just another African spear throwing tribe when they attacked the Zulu Empire. They were unconcerned that the Zulu marched in regiments -impis, had generals -indunas and practiced strategy and tactics. A Zulu impi was trained to run in tight formation for 20 miles barefoot then fight a battle. Lord Chelmsford had invaded Zululand searching for the Zulu army when he was tricked by a simple diversion into dividing his forces. The Zulu then flanked Chelmsford’s force in a maneuver Napoleon would have admired, fell on his camp and wiped out two regiments of the 24th Welch Fusiliers.
It was a massacre similar to Custer at the Little Big Horn.

Lord Chelmsford and his staff were eating lunch several miles away when an aide noticed in his telescope flashing and running around the base camp. Lord Chelmsford dismissed it as nothing but sent a courier to investigate. The courier at first saw men in red coats and white pith helmets walking amongst the tents. As he got closer he noticed that they all had black faces.

1901- Queen Victoria died after a reign of 64 years, the longest ever for a British monarch. When she assumed the throne at age 19 in 1837 there were still many alive who remembered the Battle of Waterloo and white periwigs. She died in a world of electric lights, telephones, autos and motion pictures. The current Queen Elizabeth II has to reign ten more years to catch her. A month ago in Dec 2014, the last English person born in Queen Victoria’s reign died. She was 114.

1912- The first bridgeway connecting Key West and the Florida Keys opened.

1912- U.S. Marines occupied the Chinese city of Tientsin to "protect American commercial interests".

1918- A Manitoba judge tries to outlaw movie comedies, because they tend to make the public "too frivolous".

1930- Work began on the foundation of the Empire State Building in New York.

1938- On a bare stage, Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town premiered.

1939- At Columbia University for the first time scientists split an Uranium atom.

1944-Argentine Colonel Juan Peron first met radio actress Eva Duarte or Evita.

1944- ANZIO- The Allied armies advancing up the Italian boot had been fought to a standstill by fierce German resistance around Monte Cassino north of Naples -the Gustav Line. So the decision was made to amphibiously land a large invasion force in the rear of the German army with the intention of taking Rome. They completely surprised the enemy and their scouts reported the road into Rome was wide open. But the American commander General Lucas hesitated.

In the meantime the Germans recovered and rushed up elite SS divisions that turned the battle into a bloody stalemate. Churchill said: "I thought we were hurling a wildcat onto the shore, but all we got was a beached whale !" Instead of two days, the allies didn’t take Rome until June 4th, five months later.

1947- Hollywood first commercial television station KTLA went on the air for regular broadcasting. At the time in all of LA there were only 350 TV sets.

1949- Mao Tse Tung (MaoZseDong) and the Communists capture Peking (Beijing).

1949-Tex Avery’s cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie".

1950- Preston Tucker tried to compete with the big auto giants like Ford and Chrysler with his revolutionary designed Tucker Automobile. But the giants bogged him down in court with charges of fraud. This day he was acquitted of all charges but the legal expenses ruined him. Only 40 Tuckers were ever made. Francis Ford Coppola made a movie about his life.

1951- During Winter baseball tryouts a promising young left-handed pitcher from Cuba was scouted by the New York Yankees. But after losing a game for the Washington Senators and getting dropped from their roster he gave up on pro-sports to pursue other careers- Fidel Castro.

1954- The Los Angeles Fire Department is ordered by federal courts to integrate.

1968-T.V. comedy review show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In premiered. It launched the careers of Lilly Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan. You bet your sweet Bippy!

1972- In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, rocker David Bowie outed himself and said he was gay. Technically he would be bi-sexual since his wife Angela did catch him in bed with Bianca Jagger.

1973- While President Richard Nixon celebrated his second inaugural with a concert, Leonard Bernstein conducted a Concert for Peace at the Washington Cathedral. While Nixon’s orchestra played his favorite classical piece Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812 with real cannons, Bernstein played Haydn’s Mass in a Time of War to 15,000 people against the War in Vietnam.

1973- The Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision 7-2 legalizing abortion. Before 1880 most abortion practices were legal, they were referred to as "quickening". The first prohibitions were more about banning dangerous quack drugs used in the process.

1975- Hollywood agents Ron Meyer and Michael Ovitz leave William Morris and form the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA.

1977-The day after his inauguration President Jimmy Carter was shown the first pictures from the KH-11, the first imaging orbital spy satellite. An American mole sold the technology to the Russian KGB a year later and soon France, Britain and Israel had spy satellites in orbit.

1984- Amazon Indians attack an oil drilling crew with blowguns.

1984- Apple releases the Macintosh I personal computer.
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Yesterday’s Question: Dracula’s historical name was Vlad the Impaler. What is an impaler?

Answer: Vlad Dracul of Wallachia ( A state in Romania) adopted the Turkish punishment of hammering the equivalent of a sharpened flagpole up your butt, then would stand it up. The victim didn’t always die immediately. Vlad impaled thousands of people, then would set a table and enjoy lunch beneath their quivering bodies.


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