Aug 18, 2019
August 18th, 2019

Quiz: What is a hootenanny?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Why is the measurement called the foot, called the foot?
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HISTORY FOR 8/18/2019
Birthdays: Meriwether Lewis, Austrian Emperor Franz Josef II, Leo Slezak, Shelly Winters, Roberto Clemente, Rafer Johnson, Enoch Light, Coco Channel, Roman Polanski is 85, Patrick Swayze, Madeleine Stowe, Christian Slater, Edward Norton is 51, Martin Mull, Denis Leary is 62, Robert Redford, born Charles Robert Redford Jr, is 83

325-a.d. Today is the Feast of Saint Helena. A Roman innkeeper's daughter in Eboracum- modern York England. There she happened to catch the roving eye of General Constantius Chlorus. They married and their son Constantine made himself Caesar and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman World. It's debatable exactly when she was baptized, but she undoubtedly had a great influence on her son's decision. She was also instrumental in researching and defining the Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. She started the Christian fascination with collecting holy relics.

1503-Pope Alexander VI the Borgia died. Some say he died of malaria, others that he poisoned himself accidentally, while trying to poison someone else. The Borgia's enemies then took over the Vatican drove out Caesar & Lucretzia Borgia. The 72 year old Pope had seven children and at the time was sleeping with 16 year old Giulia Farnese whom he had painted as the Virgin Mary. People said Pope Alexander had sold his soul to the devil, because at his death an ape appeared on his windowsill and water boiled in his mouth. Hmmm- proof enough for me. His 300 lb. corpse was so swollen with corruption that it had to be pounded into a coffin with big wooden mallets used for wine-corking.

1573- In a vain attempt to cement a peace between French Catholics and Protestants, old Queen Mother Catherine De Medici married her youngest daughter Margot to the Protestant Prince Henry of Navarre. Paris filled with Protestants and Catholics for the wedding. Street fighting and massacre broke out soon after. Henry survived and eventually became King Henry IV. Surprisingly, although Margot was dazzlingly beautiful and Henry was one of the horniest princes in Christendom, they were never attracted to one another. They kept separate courts and lovers, stayed friends and divorced amicably in 1605.

1587- Virginia Dare, the first English child in America, is born. She was in the Roanoke Colony, the fabled "Lost Colony" who all disappeared a year later.

1840 - Organization of American Society of Dental Surgeons founded (NY).

1850- Honore' Balzac died after drinking too much coffee. He was overweight, seldom bathed and picked his nose in public, but women still found him irresistible.

1856- Mr. Gale Borden patented condensed milk. It became popular during the Civil War when it was used by the army, then it spawned the process food industry. When Borden died, he left instructions that his tombstone be shaped like a milk can.

1862- THE DAKOTA WAR, also called the Great Santee Sioux Uprising- Minnesota Sioux tribes called Dakota-Allies, had agreed to sell their land and settle on reservations and learn farming. Once removed from their land, they starved while waiting for food and money held up by corrupt government agents. When Chief Little Crow –Taoyateduta, demanded food he knew was being stockpiled in warehouses, Indian Agent Andrew J. Myrick responded “Let your people eat grass!” This day the Sioux exploded across the prairie from New Ulm to Fort Snelling (Minneapolis)- 200 whites were killed, including Indian Agent Myrick, whose body was found with a tuft of grass stuffed in his mouth.

1872 - 1st mail-order catalog issued by A M Ward.

1896- 200 outlaws gather at Hole-In-The-Wall to form the "Wild Bunch".
They never went all at the same time to a heist, it was more like a gunfighters guild.

1914- Pres. Woodrow Wilson finally emerged from mourning his first wife, to declare that the United States would remain neutral, and not get involved in new war breaking out in Europe (World War I).

1919- Tennessee becomes the last state needed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution giving women the vote. The legislature was deadlocked but the tie was broken by one state senator who changed his mind. He wanted to please his mother.

1937- The Toyota Automobile Company was established as an offshoot of the Toyoda Motorized Loom Works. They changed the name Toyoda to Toyota because a Shinto priest told them the name would be luckier.

1939- The movie The Wizard of Oz released and made a star of Judy Garland. Frank Morgan, the actor playing the Wizard, needed to wear a shabby old coat so a studio costume designer went through some L.A. thrift stores until she found the good candidate. When Morgan looked in the lining he discovered the coat was previously owned by L.Frank Baum, creator of the Oz stories. Morgan was first president of the Screen Actor's Guild, but stepped down when he was considered too lefty to work with the Roosevelt administration. Lyricist Yip Harburg (Somewhere over the Rainbow ) was later blacklisted as a communist. "And yer little dog, too!!"

1947- Hewlett-Packard file papers to incorporate their electronics company. They began doing business in 1937.

1950- Battle of the Bowling Alley- The US and South Korean Armies pushed up against the Pusan Perimeter score their first victory against North Korean regulars. It got it’s name because the North Korean tanks bottled up into narrow defiles by the land made excellent targets for waiting anti-tank artillery, bazooka and aircraft. Eyewitnesses said it looked like a “Bowling Alley in Hell.”

1953- The first MacDonalds franchise restaurant opened in Downey California.

1955- Folksinger Pete Seeger appeared before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. He refused to cooperate, and was blacklisted. But he still managed to have a successful career on the folk scene, and appeared on TV in 1967.

1956- Actress Vivien Leigh suffered a mental breakdown after a miscarriage.

1958 - "Lolita," by Vladimir Nabokov, published. The novel was rejected by four publishers before Putnams picked it up. It became a best seller and allowed Nabokov to quit teaching and focus on writing.

1958 – The TV Game Show Scandal investigation starts. Allegations that popular quiz shows like 21 were rigged turned out to be true.

1962 - Peter, Paul & Mary release their famous folk song "If I Had a Hammer".

1966- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SLURPEE! The Ice Slurpee was invented by two Dallas engineers for a failing Oklahoma ice cream store.

1969- Woody Allen’s first movie “ Take the Money and Run”, opened.

1969- The closing day of the Woodstock Rock Concert, Jimmy Hendrix did his famous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Of the original 500,000 attendees, many were already headed home. Only 30,000 stragglers were left to hear him. Originally scheduled instead of Hendrix , was old cowboy Roy Rogers, to sing his signature tune “ Happy Trails to You..”

1974- The Xerox Company decided not to seriously market the Alto, the first personal computer that had a GUI, ethernet and mouse, long before anyone else. Xerox decided to stick with copying machines and let go of many of their Palo Alto development team Xerox PARC. Most of their breakthroughs wound up in other computers like the Lisa, Macintosh and the IBM PC.

1977- The rock band the Police make their debut in a Birmingham nightclub. The lead singer Gordon Sumner started to get the nickname Sting, from the black & yellow striped shirt he habitually wore.

1989- Publishing Tycoon Malcolm Forbes flew 800 guests to Tangiers to celebrate his birthday. His birthday party cost $2 million. The soiree' came to symbolize 1980's wealth excess.

1990- 510 animators pay tribute to Betty Boop creator Grim Natwick on his 100th Birthday. It was the last big gathering of the Golden Age artists of Hollywood Animation. Chuck Jones, Walter Lantz, Disney’s Nine Old Men, Friz Freleng.

1999- TV psychic Kriswell predicted that day would be the End of the World.

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Yesterday’s Question: Why is the measurement called the foot, called the foot?

Answer: It is supposedly the length of Charlemagne’s foot. Just like the knuckle of his finger was The Inch, and his arm was The Yard.


Aug 16, 2019
August 16th, 2019

Quiz: There seems to be a lot of things named Bethesda. Bethesda Medical Center, Bethesda Fountain. Who or what was Bethesda?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: Who did not perform at Woodstock? a)Jimi Hendrix, b) Janis Joplin, c) Sha-Na-Na, d) Devo, e) Ravi Shankar
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History for 8/16/2019
Birthdays: Fess Parker, Karl Stockhausen, George Meany, Charles Bukowski, Menachim Begin, Otto Mesmer the creator of Felix the Cat, Myron Grim Natwick the creator of Betty Boop, Hal Foster the creator of Prince Valiant, Kathie Lee Gifford, Eydie Gorme, Bill Evans, Leslie Ann Warren, Angela Bassett is 61, Julie Numar is 86, Robert Culp, James Cameron is 64, Bruce Beresford, Steve Carrell is 58, Madonna, aka Louise Ciccone of Bay City Michigan, is 61

Today is the Feast of St. Roch, who had a heavenly inspired dog to lick his sores and cure him of the Black Plague. It was thought dog licks cured plague.

1521- Guatamoc was the last fighting Aztec emperor. After Montezuma died he led Aztec resistance to Cortez and his Spanish conquistadors. After 80 days of brutal house-to-house fighting across Tenochtitlan, he finally surrendered. The Spaniards tortured Guatamoc for three days trying to get him to reveal where the secret treasure of Montezuma was. As they poured boiling oil on his feet he laughed:” Ah, am I standing on a field of rose petals?” Today they hanged him. He never revealed where the Treasure of the Aztecs was.

1777-Battle of Bennington- General of Volunteers John Stark defeated a large contingent of Hessians sent by Burgoyne to get help for his redcoats trapped at Saratoga. Stark inspired his men before the battle with words like these: “Men, yonder are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds ten pence a man. Are you worth more than that? Tonight the American flag will fly atop that hill or Molly Stark will sleep a widow!” The flag few atop the hill and Stark went home to his wife a hero.

1780- Battle of Camden, South Carolina- Colonial General Horatio Gates excelled at backroom politics almost more than at military accomplishments. He finagled the northern army command away from its creator General Phillip Schuyler, then later took full credit for the great American victory of Saratoga even though the hard work was done by Benedict Arnold. Yet he was considered a serious rival of George Washington for leadership of the American armies. But on this day his humiliating defeat at the hands of Lord Cornwallis extinguished his ambitions. Gates leapt on his horse and abandoning his retreating army, galloping alone 30 miles to safety. Then citing ill health, he resigned from the service. Also at the battle, Baron DeKalb was wounded when his horse was shot under him, Then he was shot three more times and bayonetted by redcoats. He died shortly after.

1805- In the camp at Boulogne Napoleon held a grand military ceremony for his Grande Armee’. To the thundering beat of 1,300 massed drums he personally awarded medals to worthy common soldiers. The secret to Napoleons leadership was a special bond between him and his men that was unique to his time. In a world of aristocrats who considered the common people scum, Napoleon walked casually among his soldiers like an equal, stopping to share a roast potato or a dirty joke in rough soldiers language. He called them his children. He had an uncanny memory and read the personnel rosters of his 350,000 man army once a month to update himself on his men’s achievements.

1812- Napoleon’s army stormed the burning Russian city of Smolensk. Marshal Murat, almost sensing the disaster this Russian invasion was going to bring, walked casually out in the open in front of the Russian cannons, almost inviting them to kill him. He was finally tackled out of harm’s way.

1812- American General Hull surrendered most of Michigan territory, including the settlement of Detroit, to British General Issac Brock.

1819- THE PETERLOO MASSACRE- At Saint Peters’ Fields in Manchester thousands of factory workers and their families gathered to protest for better working hours, minimum wages and the right to vote. The response of the local magistrate Sir Simon Burley was to send in the Royal Horse Cavalry to ride them down and saber them. The incident was called Peterloo because most of this same cavalry were also at the battle of Waterloo four years earlier. People referred to Sir Simon Burley’s actions with a pun from Shakespeares MacBeth, hurley-burley.

1858- Queen Victoria sent the first transcontinental wire message to President James Buchanan via Cyrus Field's incredible UNDERWATER TRANSCONTINENTAL CABLE, stretching from London to New York. After great fanfare about progress and a new era in communications it broke down, as well as the next several tries to fix it. Just hours after the first message a fisherman pulled it up in his net, thought it was the tail of a sea serpent and cut off a chunk to take home and brag to his friends. Other attempts were ruined when technicians tried to correct the faintness of the signal by boosting the voltage beyond the safety range of the insulation-Zapp!
Direct transcontinental communications didn't really become a reality until wireless broadcasting. But the who-ha over this scientific marvel did inspire author Jules Verne to write "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."

1877- BIRTHDAY OF THE WORD-"HELLO". In a letter dated today Thomas Edison wrote to the first president of AT&T about how people should initiate conversation on the new telephone machine. A genteel Victorian would think it impolite to speak until spoken to. Alexander Graham Bell, an old navy man, always thought the right way to start a phone conversation was to say "AHOY!" Edison explained that the results of sonic tests proved the old English fox hunting call "Halloo!" was most audible over great distances. In most languages around the world the word hello is the same. It was the only English word Sioux Chief Sitting Bull ever learned. He loved to grab your hand and pump it vigorously while saying:" HELLO, HELLO!" 1896- Four miners find gold in Bonanza Creek in the Klondike. The Yukon Gold Rush.

1938- In Three Forks Mississippi, Blues legend Robert Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband. 1942- Happy Birthday Mighty Mouse. Terrytoon's short: "The Mouse of Tomorrow".

1954- First issue of Sports Illustrated.

1965- The AFL, American Football League offered it’s first expansion franchise to a new team called the Miami Dolphins. The AFL merged with the NFL in the 80s.

1969- “ Hey Man, we’re gonna serve breakfast in bed for 500,000” So was hippy Wavy Gravy’s announcement at dawn on the second day of the Woodstock Rock Concert. Toasted oats in hot water was ladled out en masse in paper cups. Wavy declared this was the day Americans learned first learned about Granola.

1974- The Ramones play their first gig at the NY club CBGBs. Hey-Ho, Lets Go!

1977- E-DAY in Memphis. Elvis Presley, donuts and Pizza Hut box in hand, died of a heart attack while sitting on the toilet. He was reading a book-the Historic Search for the Face of Jesus. He was 42.

1985- On her birthday, Madonna married Sean Penn. They divorced shortly after.

1987- The Harmonic Convergence- Another one of these celestial events that the mainstream media trumpeted as the end of everything. All nine planets of our solar system were in perfect alignment and the subsequent gravitational forces were supposed to knock the Earth into the Sun or something or other that would send us to Hell in a Handbasket. Lots of New Age types flocked to occult sites like Mt. Shasta and Stonehenge to meditate on the End of All Things. So what happened? Nothing.

1991- The original Shamu the Whale died of respiratory failure at age 16.

2005- Top Pixar story-artist Joe Ranft was killed in an auto accident. He was 42.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who did not perform at Woodstock? a)Jimi Hendrix, b) Janis Joplin, c) Sha-Na-Na, d) Devo, e) Ravi Shankar

Answer: D) Devo.


Aug 15, 2019
August 15th, 2019

Quiz: Who did not perform at Woodstock? a)Jimi Hendrix, b) Janis Joplin, c) Sha-Na-Na, d) Devo, e) Ravi Shankar

Yesterday’s question answered below: What legendary opera star was originally known as Bubbles Silverman?
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History for 8/15/2019
Birthdays: Napoleon Bonaparte is 250!, Leon Theremin- inventor of that weird electronic musical instrument that is in all those 1950s flying saucer movies, Samuel Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, King Frederick Wilhelm I of Prussia 1685, Lawrence of Arabia, Ethel Barrymore, Huntz Hall, Bill Baird, Edna Ferber, Sir Robert Bolt, Rose-Marie, Linda Ellerbee, Gene Upshaw, Oscar Peterson, Shimon Peres, Mike “Mannix” Connors, Nicholas Roeg, Animator Dick Lundy, Anthony Andrews, Ben Afleck is 46, Debra Messing is 50, Julia Child, Jennifer Lawrence is 28.
778 AD Battle of Roncevaux or Roncesvalles. Legendary battle where Charlemagne's top knights -the Paladins: Roland waving his sword Durandel, Oliver, and Ogier the Dane fought to the last against overwhelming odds. In reality the battle was probably a small rearguard border skirmish with hostile Basques tribesmen in the Pyrenees Mountains.
But a poem about the incident called the Song of Roland inflated it into an epic Christian battle against the evil Muslim Moors, wizards and devils. The Chanson du Roland became the Sgt. Pepper of the Middle Ages, read and enjoyed throughout Europe. When William the Conqueror's Normans went into battle at Hastings in 1066, William’s minstrel Vailletan sang the Song of Roland at full gallop while tossing his sword into the air and catching it like a parade drum major.
1057-Scottish king Macbeth was defeated and killed by Malcolm III Canmore at the Battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire. But did Burnham Wood move to Dunsinane? 1097- DEUS VOLT! GOD WILLS IT! The First Crusade was announced at Clermont by Pope Urban VII. Christian Europe decided that the Holy places in Jerusalem should not be in Muslim hands. In his sermon the Pope addressed the assembled knights in their native French: "Christian warriors who continually seek pretexts for war and rape Rejoice! If you must have Blood, then bathe in the Blood of the Infidels, and Christ will count you among his Warriors! Soldiers of Hell, become Soldiers of the Living God!”

They sewed small strips of red cloth in a cross on their left shoulders and began with a massacre of any Jews they could find. History is at a loss to find any comparable social phenomenon. It took Islam a generation to understand that this was a Christian Jihad (Holy war) declared on them. The Muslim Emirs were just as feudally divided as the European warlords, until they united under the Sultan Saladin.

1100s-1400s- PAX DEI- The Medieval Church tried to limit the carnage of knights fighting and feuding by declaring a Truce of God between Lent and this, the beginning of the harvest season. It sometimes worked, but slaying infidels was still okay year round.

1261 Byzantine Emperor Constantine VIII came from Nicea and recaptured his capitol Constantinople from the Crusader knights who had occupied it since 1209.
1457 – The earliest dated bound book, The "Mainz Psalter," completed.

1519- Panama City, Panama founded.

1535- Ascension Paraguay founded.

1549- First Christian missionaries arrive in Japan. A band of Spanish Jesuits led by Father Francis Xavier landed in Kagoshima on the island of Kysuhu.

1598- Irish Earl Hugh O’Neill of Tyrone defeated an English Army at Yellow Ford.

1620 – The Mayflower sets sail from Southampton with 102 Pilgrims.

1649- THE IRONSIDE CONQUEST- Oliver Cromwell brought his New Model Army over to Ireland to crush Catholic Irish rebellion. His depredations wreaked upon the population of Ireland are still recalled as the Curse of Cromwell. Mass death of this kind would not visit the Emerald Isle again until the Great Potato Famine of 1846.

1794- The first U.S. coin minted in the United States, a silver dollar. Minting of colonial and state currencies had been going on in America for years, Continental Eagles and such. The word Dollar is derived from Thaler from JacobsThaler meaning from the Gift of St. Jacob, a Czech mountain valley where there were rich silver deposits.

1806- For his birthday, Napoleon laid the cornerstone for the Arc de Triomphe.
1812- English General Issac Brock turned back a U.S. invasion of Canada, and captured the Yankee settlement of Detroit.

1824- The Marquis de Lafayette, now elderly, returned to America for a grand tour of the new nation he did so much to create. A lot of towns in the Southeast were named Fayette, Lafayette and Lafayetteville from this trip.

1843- Tivoli Gardens opened in Copenhagen. One of the oldest amusement parks in the world. King Christian said “ When people are amused, they don’t worry about politics.”
Hans Christian Andersen was a frequent visitor. One hundred years later, Walt Disney visited to get inspiration for his Disneyland.

1848 - M Waldo Hanchett patents the dental chair. 1885- Sir Richard Burton completed his translation from medieval Persian of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. There had been earlier attempts like a French edition in 1809, but Burton’s edition introduced the west to Aladdin and his magic lamp, Sinbad the sailor and Scheherazade.

1911- Proctor & Gamble introduced Crisco shortening.

1914- After ten years labor, the Panama Canal opened for regular service. 1935- Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Pictures merge to become Twentieth Century Fox.

1935- Humorist writer Will Rogers and his pilot Wiley Post were killed when their small plane crashed in Barrow, Alaska.

1936- Disney animator Ward Kimball married painter Betty Lawyer-Kimball.

1939 - In 1st night game at Comiskey Park, Sox beat Browns 5-2. 1944- Operation Dragoon. To support the Normandy beachheads landings a second landing was made by allied armies on the southern French beaches near Marseilles.

1945- The US officially ended wartime gasoline rationing.
1946- Disney’s Make Mine Music, featuring Blue Bayou, All the Cats Join In, and Willie the Operatic Whale.
1947-"The Stroke of Midnight" India and Pakistan, the Jewel in the Crown, get their freedom from Britain after 300 years. The end of the Raj.

1948- Syngmun Rhee elected first president of the Republic of South Korea. The Russians saw this as a direct challenge to their hold over the North and quickly choose communist Kim Dae Jung as the leader of North Korea. What began as a postwar temporary partition of the Korean peninsula was made complete.

1958 - Buddy Holly weds Maria Santiago.

1960- The Congo ( Brazzaville) declared independence from France. It had been renamed Zaire for awhile but is back to the Republic of the Congo today.

1965- The Beatles play their largest U.S. concert yet, at New York's Shea Stadium.

1968- The pirate radio station Radio Free London began transmitting. 50 Years Ago 1969- WOODSTOCK-Three Days of Peace and Music- The rock concert of the 20th Century opened. The promoters, one of whom was heir to the Polident Denture Cream fortune, were hoping to host 50,000 people and launch a recording studio in the quiet New York farming town. What they got was 500,000 young fans and the social phenomenon that defined an age. At one point the more conservative elements of the community got a court order to block the land to be used, but farmer Max Yasgur offered his cow farm for the site.

Up till then in the tumultuous 1960’s, any gathering of young people that big meant violence and riot, and at one point New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller offered to send in the National Guard. But the magic prevailed and there was no violence outside of 200 bad acid trips and one heroin overdose.

Richie Havens was the first act to play, he did six sets and kept stalling because the crowd was so immense they had to bring in the other bands by helicopter. When he ran out of songs to sing, Havens started riffing any thing he could think of. This way Havens created his most famous tune “Freedom” with added in spirituals like “Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child”. After his death in 2013, his ashes were scattered at the Woodstock site.

1971- President Nixon announced a sweeping economic package including taking the U.S. dollar off the Gold Standard. The world's most stable currency being so transformed created the wildly free-flowing currency market we have today. When warned of this consequence, President Nixon is supposed to have replied: "I don't give a sh*t about the Lire."

1971- Bahrain declared independence from Britain.

1977- THE WOW SIGNAL- Project SETI- Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence- heard something. It sounds like static to us, but it was a strong electromagnetic signal on a regular narrow band AM radio frequency emanating from deep space. So far, it has never been explained away or repeated. SETI scientist Jerry Ehmen noted in his log for that night “….wow!”

1979- Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam epic “Apocalypse Now” opened. Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, young Harrison Ford and even younger Lawrence Fishburne.

1984- “ The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” premiered.

Yesterday’s Quiz: What legendary opera star was originally known as Bubbles Silverman?

Answer: Beverly Sills.


Aug 14, 2019
August 14th, 2019

QUIZ: What legendary opera star was originally known as Bubbles Silverman?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: The Japanese kamikaze of WWII were named after an earlier event. What was the original kamikaze?
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History for 8/14/2019
Birthdays: Gary Larson, Erwin "Magic" Johnson, Lina Wertmuller, David Crosby, Alice Ghostly, Buddy Greco, Nehemiah Persoff, The 20's Parisian nightclub singer Bricktop, Dick Lundy, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, C.S. Watson, James Horner, Wim Wenders, Emmanuele Beart, Halle Berry is 53, Mila Kunis, Steve Martin is 74

29BC- Octavian celebrated a triumph in Rome to celebrate his victory at Actium over Anthony & Cleopatra.

1248 - Construction of the DOM Cologne Cathedral begun. It was finished 600 years later in 1848. Hey, these things take time.

1281-A Pacific typhoon, called by the Japanese the Kamikaze, or The Divine Wind destroyed the Mongol invasion fleet of Kublai Khan as it approached the shores of Japan. The Mongols showed the Japanese that they meant business. When they captured small outer islands like Ryuku and Iwo Jima, they crucified the civilians to the topmasts of their ships.

1385- Battle of Aljubarrota- Portuguese King John the Great defeated a Spanish army trying to put a relative on his throne. Portugal celebrates this as their independence day. Among Johns army were English archers freelancing after a lull in their Hundred Years War.

1457- The first printed Gutenburg Bible finished. One agent of Gutenberg’s bringing the first shipment of bibles to Paris was arrested for witchcraft by the locals. They thought it was humanly impossible for one person to make so many identical books without the aid of black magic.

1498 - Columbus explored the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.

1585 - Queen Elizabeth I of England politely turned down the offer of the Dutch to be Queen of Holland. She was trying to avoid angering Spain any further. Spain had a long festering feud with the Dutch. Shopping around for monarchs was not so unusual in those days. In 1700 England would go shopping for a Protestant king until they found the German George I. In 1827 the throne of Greece was offered to both a German Hohenzollern and a Russian Romanov.

1744- LOUIS LE BIEN AIMEE- Pleasure loving French King Louis XV had become gravely ill and was near death. His father confessor the Bishop of Soisson refused to give him the sacraments unless he banished his mistresses and reformed his sinful life. He did so and Louis health improved. He was so good the peasants began calling him Louis le Bien Aimee’- the Well Beloved. But boys will be boys. King Louis soon grew bored with being a faithful, sober husband. So he called back his mistresses and banished the Bishop instead. Louis XV lived happy, if disreputably, to a very old age.

1761-Battle of Liegnitz-Frederick the Great beat the Austrian army trying to surround him. Communications were so faulty 30,000 Russian soldiers stood around doing nothing while they could hear the distant cannon of their Austrian allies being defeated.

1781- At their camp in Wethersfield Conn, George Washington and the Comte du Rochambeau had been debating whether to use their combined forces against occupied New York City or Lord Cornwallis in Virginia. Today Washington received a letter from the Admiral DeGrasse that he was bringing his large French fleet with supplies and troops to meet them at the Chesapeake Bay. Washington knew this could be their last campaign, since his French allies wouldn’t send any more help in 1782, and everyone was starting to listen to a rumor that the Czarina Catherine of Russia was offering to broker an international peace conference in Vienna. Washington was sure that at this peace conference among the crowned heads of Europe, American Independence would probably be negotiated away. He resolved to accept the French plan to attack Cornwallis at Yorktown Virginia.

1784- On Kodiak Island, Grigori Shelekov founded Three Saints Bay, the first Russian colony in the Americas. The Russians would continue to expand their trading posts and settlements until Russian America extended from Alaska to just north of San Francisco California.

1820 - 1st US eye hospital, the NY Eye Infirmary, opens in NYC.

1873 - "Field & Stream" magazine began publishing.

1893 - France issues 1st driving license, included a required driving test.

1900 – The 1st electric tram began in the Netherlands -Leidseplein-Brouwersgracht.

1900 -The end of the 55 DAYS IN PEKING. A multinational military force relieved the diplomats besieged by the rebellious Boxers in the Chinese capitol. The Dowager Empress Zhou Zhsi fled into the countryside. British, American, German, Russian, French, Italian and Japanese troops fought side by side, and looted and destroyed the beautiful Imperial Summer Palace.

Just in case you thought tasteless cheap “fake-news” journalism is a modern problem- At this time back in Europe no one knew the Peking diplomats fate. The press had picked up on a report from a Shanghai correspondent for the London Daily Mail that reported them all massacred, with lots of lurid "eyewitness "details of their gang rape and torture. Queen Victoria had been fooled to the point of ordering a memorial service at St. Paul's Cathedral before reconsidering until more substantive proof came in.

1908- The first international beauty pageant held in Kent, England.

1920- THE MIRACLE OF THE VISTULA -An obscure action to western historians, but it poses an interesting "what if..." The Poles and Bolshevik Russians were having a war after the Red Revolution. The Reds had thrown the Poles back from Moscow and on this day they were beaten back by Marshal Pilsudski from the gates of Warsaw. The "What if" is the fact that Lenin and Trotsky never intended the Communist Revolution to be confined to Russia alone. The Red Army would missionary it across Europe the way Napoleon's battalions had spread in their wake social reforms of the French Revolution. Russian Marshal Tuckhashevsky told his men: " The Road to a World Conflagration lies over the Corpse of Poland !"

With post-Great War Berlin, Vienna, Rome and Budapest in political chaos, if the Poles hadn't stopped the Bolsheviks when they did, instead of a Nazi Europe the 1920's we could have seen a Europe where the Communist Russia extended to the borders of France and Holland. Analysts at the time said this battle was as important as Marathon or Waterloo, but today it is forgotten.

1928 - Ben Hecht & Charles McArthur's play" The Front Page," premiered in NYC. They later went on to become top comedy writers in Hollywood. McArthur is the one who sent Hecht the famous telegram- "Hecht, some quick, fortunes to be made and your competition are idiots!"

1935- President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the National Social Security Act. Considered the most successful US Federal social program ever.

1936- Rainey Bethea was the last person ever hanged in the USA, after having confessed to the rape and murder of a 70-year old woman named Lischia Edwards.
1937 "Bloody Saturday" in Shanghai. With the opening of the Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese hoped for foreign help by making a stand at Shanghai, within full view of the International Settlement. On August 14, some American trained Chinese bombers attacked the Japanese warship Izumo, anchored in the river in the heart of the city. They misjudged--some said their bomb sights hadn't been adjusted-- and they dropped two bombs on Nanking Road, the "5th Avenue" of Shanghai.
One bomb went through the roof of the Palace hotel, the other detonated on the street: 729 people killed, 861 wounded. The same day, another tragic mistake--once again, Chinese bombers miscalculated, with worse results.( the area was crowded with refugees) 1,011 dead and 570 wounded.—the bodies were packed so tightly, blood flowed in the gutters like water.

1939 - 1st night games at Comiskey Park -White Sox 5, Browns 2

1941- Nazi spy & saboteur Josef Jakobs was the last prisoner ever to be executed in the Tower of London. No he wasn’t beheaded, he was shot by firing squad. He had suffered a broken ankle during his capture, so he faced his end seated on a Windsor chair.

1942 – General George Marshall named Dwight D Eisenhower as US commander for invasion of North Africa. Marshall wanted at first to run the show himself, but President Roosevelt said he was too valuable and had to stay in Washington in overall charge. Eisenhower was a controversial choice. A career staff desk jockey, he had no experience leading men in combat. This was especially galling to British Field Marshall Montgomery, who had been in the field battling Nazis for 3 years now. But George Marshal foresaw the job of European Allied commander would be a more administrative and even diplomatic, juggling act between the Yanks, British and Free French, so Eisenhower was his man.

1945-VJ DAY (Aug 15th in Japan) -President Truman announced the surrender sparking wild celebrations in allied cities like New York and London. In Japan citizens were politely asked to stand at attention by their radios as Emperor Hirohito explained to his people about the surrender. It is the first time they had ever heard his voice. At 3 am that morning 1,000 rebel Japanese troops attacked the palace trying to prevent the disgrace of the surrender announcement. They were fought off by the Imperial guard and the guard commander was killed. The speech was pre-recorded and went on anyway.
Defense minister Anami committed Hara-Kiri while his radio played the address. Gangs of angry kamikaze pilots wandered the streets looking for trouble. Their commanders had emptied the gas tanks of their planes to obey the Imperial edict.

1956- The Marilyn Monroe movie "Bus Stop" premiered.

1962 - French & Italian workers break through at Mount Blanc to create an auto
Tunnel through the Alps.

1962 - NASA test pilot Joseph Walker takes the X-15 supersonic plane to 60,000 ft.

1962 - US mail truck in Plymouth, Mass robbed of more than $1.5 million.

1964 –California angels pitcher Bo Belinsky is suspended after attacking sportswriter Braven Dyer.

1965 - Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" hits #1.

1965- Jane Fonda married director Roger Vadim, who put the beautiful young blonde in naughty movies like Barbarella. His previous wife Bridgette Bardot was a beautiful young blonde that he put in naughty movies….hmm. Fonda later married Ted Turner.

1971 – The British began internment without trial in Northern Ireland.

1979 – A rainbow was seen in Northern Wales that lasted for 3 hours duration.
1980- SOLIDARNOSC!! - At a strike at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk, Communist Poland the first mass peoples movement that would eventually topple European Communism was created. An electrician named Lech Walsesa climbed the fence and joined the strike, eventually becoming the leader of the movement Solidarity. He was a political prisoner, a Nobel Prize winner and eventually President of democratic Poland.

1980- Dorothy Stratton was a beautiful Playboy model whose acting career was beginning to take off, as well as a relationship with top Hollywood director Peter Bogdanovich. She was encouraged by Hugh Hefner among others, to shed her old loser boyfriend Paul Snider, who kept hanging around her. Today Dorothy Stratton was found shot to death by Snider, who then turned the gun on himself. She was age 20.

1994 – The world’s most wanted terrorist "Carlos the Jackal" was arrested in Khartoum Sudan when he entered a clinic to have a varicose vein removed from his testicle.

1995- Super-agent Michael Ovitz of CAA was named President of the Walt Disney Company under Michael Eisner. After 14 fruitless months he left.

2003- Another blackout shut down the power again in the Northeast, from New York to Toronto to Detroit.

2006- A UN brokered ceasefire stopped the open war between Israel and the Hezbollah living in Lebanon.

2126- Get your catchers mitts out! Comet Swift-Tuttle will pass very close by the Earth.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: The Japanese kamikaze of WWII were named after an earlier event. What was the original kamikaze?

Answer: The Kamikaze or Divine Wind, was a giant Pacific typhoon that destroyed the fleet of Kublai Khan just as he was about to invade Japan. See above, 1281.


Aug 13, 2019
August 13th, 2019

Quiz: The Japanese kamikaze of WWII were named after an earlier event. What was the original kamikaze?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What is an arpeggio?
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History for 8/13/2019
B-Dayz: Annie Oakley, Alfred Hitchcock, Don Ho, Buddy Rogers, Bert Lahr, Ben Hogan, Richard Baseheart, Saul Steinberg, Regis Toomey, Johann Christoph Denner (1655)- inventor of the clarinet. Danny Bonaduce, John Logie Baird one of the inventors of television, Hockey great Bobby Clarke, Daniel Schorr, Bombay movie star Viyayanthimala, Fidel Castro

Egyptian Festivals of Isis & Serapis

Festival of the Greek goddess Dianna of Ephesus. She had six breasts. During one of these festivals Saint Paul tried to spoil the party by preaching his sermon to the Ephesians. They ran him out of town. Diana in her Greek form as Artemis from the older Near Eastern goddess Cybele. She had the dual nature of Virgin & Mother. Hmm…Sound familiar?
These three pagan festivals of Isis, Serapis and Artemis were in the Middle Ages converted into the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. In the Italian city-state of Sienna this is the date for the Pallio, the traditional horse race through the streets in medieval splendor.

Today is also the Feast Day of Saint Cassian, the Patron Saint of Stenographers.

29BC- Octavian celebrated a triumph in Rome for his victory over Anthony and Cleopatra.

1521- The Aztecs surrender to Cortez. After Montezuma was killed the Aztecs chose Guatamoc as their new emperor and he drove the conquistadors from their capital Tenochtitlan vowing:" We will eat the Spaniards flesh with salsa ! " remember that next time you order fajitas. But smallpox ravaged the population and Cortez soon returned with heavy reinforcements of allied Indian tribes from Texcoco who hated Aztec dominance. After 80 days of bloody house to house fighting that destroyed most of the capitol. Guatamoc and a few survivors surrendered. Cortez built Mexico City on the ruins.

1642- Astronomer Christian Huygens noticed that Mars had a southern polar ice cap too.

1727- Count Nicholas Von Hutzendroff formed a group of Bohemian Protestant refugees into the movement Unas Fratrum or the Moravian Brethren. The Moravians strict but gentle practices were a great influence on Pastor John Wesley who created Methodism.

1790- The PEOPLE OF NEW SPAIN BECOME MEXICANS. almost 269 years after the Aztec surrendered workmen in Mexico City were clearing a building site for a convent when they unearthed a giant statue of the snake skirted Aztec goddess Tonnantzin Coatlicue. The find galvanized Mexican society. Indians and Mestizos crowded around the statue and recalled their once mighty civilization. Worried Spanish colonial authorities quickly reburied the statue but the damage was done.
Dominican monk Servando De Meir preached that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatal was actually St. Thomas the Wandering Apostle, so that meant Mexico was Christian before Spain was. Twenty years later when Father Hidalgo rang the liberty bells he called for revolution in the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonnantzin. The people of New Spain named their country after the old Aztec name Mexica or Mexico.

1805- LEWIS GETS LAID, or, THE END OF A MYSTERY-historians have always puzzled why Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark's famous trek to the Pacific, killed himself in a lonely cabin on the Natchez Trace in 1809. Lewis was a personal protege of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe and was first Governor of Upper Louisiana -everything from Missouri to Wyoming. He was likely to one day become President. Yet despite his coolness under extreme hardship after his death stories evolved about his manic-depression, alcoholism or even that he was murdered.

Recently a Seattle scholar theorized that on this day in 1805 he spent the night with a Shoshone woman to celebrate getting safely across the Continental Divide. The Shoshone regarded sexual contact as hospitality and that particular tribe was known to be rife with syphilis. Lewis subsequent illnesses and his increasing suicidal depression was clinically symptomatic with the final stages of the disease. And this would also explains why Jefferson and Captain William Clark would have been so quick to hush up any further investigation of his death, even resorting to calling Lewis an alcoholic, which in those days had far less social stigma than venereal disease.

1846- Commodore Stockton and Colonel Freemont with a contingent of U.S. Marines marched up from their ships in San Pedro Harbor to Ciudad Los Angeles. They interrupted a local fiesta to inform the startled inhabitants that they were now part of the United States, whether they liked it or not.

1889- The first coin operated telephone set up in a Hartford Conn. bank.

1907-The first motorized TAXICABS hit the streets of New York. Taxi comes from Taximeter, a little machine that tallied the fare based on distance traveled. Cab is short for the earlier form of hired horse drawn carriage. Originally called a Cabriolet, then a brand name of Hansom Cabs, then just Cabs.

1910- Florence Nightingale died after being in sickbed convinced she was dying since age 37. She died at 90. Although claiming to be too sick to walk down a flight of stairs she worked ceaselessly reforming the army medical system, founding nursing colleges and drove several friends into early graves in the cause of medical reform. She created the ideal of the clean cut, disciplined, nurse professional.

1914 - Carl Wickman begins Greyhound, the 1st US bus line, in Minnesota.

1920- PONZI SCHEMES- This day U.S. investors attacked the offices of financier Charles Ponzi, demanding their money back. Carlo Ponzi had emigrated from Italy and came up with the idea of talking investors into giving him money without being specific about how he would make them rich. He used the millions to buy suits, cars and mansions. Like all pyramid schemes this one finally blew up. Ponzi spent some jail time and was deported. Mussolini gave him a job in the finance ministry and Ponzi proceeded to embezzle the Italian Treasury. He escaped to Brazil where he died comfortably in 1949. He gave his name to the term Ponzi Schemes.

1932- German President Von Hindenberg had a fifteen minute meeting with Adolf Hitler. He rebuked Hitler for tying up the Reichstag and the violence in the streets. Hitler refused any partial role in the government short of full power. After Hitler left, the old general grumbled:" That man for a Chancellor? I’d rather make him a postmaster so he could lick stamps with my head on it!"

1934- First Little Abner comic strip by Al Capp. Dogpatch, Mammy Yokum, Daisy Mae, Kickapoo Joy Juice, Jubilation T. Cornpone and the Schmoo are born. Al Capp was a hard drinking old curmudgeon of a cartoonist who lost one leg when as a child he fell off an ice truck and it was severed by a streetcar.

1937- The Japanese army reopened its’ campaign to conquer China by mass daylight bombing of Shanghai.

1941- James Stuart Blackton certainly had an interesting career. The English born artist became a top newspaper cartoonist, a vaudevillian drag act as Mademoiselle Stuart, the first American animator, founder of the Vitagraph Company, the movie fanzine Motion Picture World. He even successfully faked a newsreel of the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 by using toy boats, sparklers and cigar smoke. He made fortunes and lost them just as quickly. On this day, a poor freelance artist for low budget Republic Pictures, he died after was struck and killed by an auto on Pico Blvd.

1942- Disney's Bambi opened in theaters nationwide. Today the film looks quaint but in its time artists felt it was as realistic as artists could attain. Designer Rico LeBrun had a hunter friend bring in a real deer he shot in the Sierras. LeBrun set up drawing and anatomy sessions to study the dead animal. But LeBrun was so inspired by the opportunity he refused to dispose of the carcass even after several days it began to smell badly and attract flies. Finally the other animators waited until LeBrun had left for lunch and tossed the rancid thing.

1945-After the atomic bombings Japan prepared to surrender. A note delivered to the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo expressed the wish of the Imperial Japanese Government to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. Emperor Hirohito pre-recorded a radio message to prepare his people for something they had never faced since the days of Kublai Khan- foreign occupation.

1946- MGM cartoon Northwest Hounded Police, the short in which Tex Avery perfected the 'Tex Avery Take" - used since in films like Mask, Roger Rabbit and Casper.

1955- Shooting wrapped on Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. He was remaking the film he had done as a silent movie in 1925. One wag said: DeMille has done God one better, because he has now parted the Red Sea twice."

1960- French West Africa declared independence from France and became the nations of Chad and the Central African Republic.

1981- At his California ranch in a dense morning fog, Pres Ronald Reagan signed the Kemp-Roth Economic Recovery Act of 1981, the first of massive tax cuts for the rich that would slowly destroy the American Middle Class and shift the massive income tax burden from the rich to the poor. The wealthy saw their tax rate drop from 70% to 14% and estate taxes eliminated. The tax rate on corporations dropped by half. Tax incentives were given to companies who moved their factory jobs overseas and banked their assets in the Cayman Islands or other tax shelters.

1991- Jack Ryan died. The Toymaker was the inventor of Hot Wheels toy cars, and helped launch the doll Barbie.

2000- In a presidential debate with Al Gore, candidate George W. Bush attacked the Clinton presidency for being too quick to use the military. Bush declared “ The U.S. should not be in the business of nation building.” Once in office, Bush invaded two countries and was only stopped invading a third with great difficulty.

2016- At the Rio Olympics, American swimmer Michael Phelps won his 22 gold medal, the most Olympic gold medals of anyone in history. The second most wins was Leonidas of Rhodes in 164BC. But in Leonidas time they didn’t get medals. They received a laurel wreath and several large pots of premium olive oil.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is an arpeggio?

Answer: The notes in a chord, played separately, either in ascending and/or descending order.


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