JULY 23, 2016
July 23rd, 2016

Quiz: Which one of these German expatriate Hollywood directors was a real German Junker, i.e. nobleman? Erich von Stronheim, Otto Preminger, Frank Tashlin, Billy Wilder

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What kind of color is magenta?
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History for 7/23/2016
Birthdays: Ethiopian Emperor Rastafari Halie Selassie "the Lion of Judah", Raymond Chandler, Raymond Booth, Don Drysdale, Gloria DeHaven, Arthur Treacher, Pee Wee Reese, Bob Fosse, Harry Cohn, Don Imus, Slash, Marlon Wayans, Monica Lewinsky, Woody Harrelson is 56, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Edie McClurg is 66, Daniel Radcliffe is 28

Today is the Ancient Roman Festival of Neptune, God of the Sea.

1599- Michel Caravaggio received his first commission for a painting.

1645- Russian Czar Michael Romanov died, founder of the Romanov dynasty.

1846- Because he did not agree with the U.S. War with Mexico, writer Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes. A Concord Mass constable fined him. The event caused him to write his famous piece "On Civil Disobedience" which inspired Mahatma Ghandi Martin Luther King and Ang Syung su Chi.

1866- The Cincinnati Reds Baseball club formed. The oldest continual professional baseball team in the U.S.

1868- The 14th Amendment ratified, giving all African Americans the right to vote. It just wasn’t enforced until 1965.

1880 - 1st commercial hydroelectric power planet begins, Grand Rapids, Mich

1885- Ulysses Grant died at age 63. Despite being a great general, he was a bad politician and a worse businessman. Bankrupt after trusting speculators who swindled him, Grant saw his memoirs as the only way to save his family from his bad debts. Writing up to 50 pages a day in constant pain, he refused any painkillers to not cloud his mind. But he coated his throat daily with a mixture of salt water and cocaine. He completed the book only four days before he died. They were published by the ex-confederate Mark Twain, and became a best seller.

1886- This was the day Bowery saloonkeeper Steve Brodie claimed he jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and lived to tell about it.

1888 - John Boyd Dunlop patents the pneumatic rubber tire.

1892- The business partner of millionaire steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie was attorney Henry Clay Frick. Frick was charged by Carnegie to resolve the union issues at his steel works while he vacationed in Europe. Frick set off the Homestead Massacre, shooting with shotguns workers and their families who protested a 20% pay cut. Frick claimed he was merely the front man for Carnegie. Carnegie goes down in history as a great philanthropist. This day a Russian immigrant named Sasha Berksman entered Frick’s office and shot him twice. Frick recovered.

1894- Japanese troops occupy the Korean Imperial Palace. Japan held Korea as a colony until 1945.

1904 – The Ice Cream Cone created by Charles E. Menches during the LA Purchase Expo.

1908 -Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid IV is deposed by a group of militant army officers demanding modern reforms called the Young Turks.

1914-The Austro-Hungarian Empire sent Serbia its final ultimatum. After their Archduke's assassination in Sarajevo by Bosnian- Serb terrorists, the Austrian government deliberately made their demands so humiliating that Serbia would have to reject it and Austria could cleanly declare war. Austria wanted to beat up the little nation it saw as encouraging revolution among the Slav parts of it's territory. But Serbia had an alliance that would bring Russia into the conflict and Austria an agreement that would bring Germany into war with Russia.
Once the Austrians got proof that the assassins were in the pay of the Serbian Secret Service, if they had simply declared war then no country would have minded. The Austrian Emperor Franz Josef said: "Russia will not step in to protect regicides." But Austria wasting weeks publicly posturing and intriguing, so Russia, Germany and France would have to get involved or lose face. The Russian ambassador said to the Austrians-" You are trying to set fire to Europe!" When German Kaiser Wilhelm read the ultimatum he said-" Spirited note, what?"

1919- At the request of his Secretary of War McAdoo, President Woodrow Wilson named the recently concluded great war against Germany as the "World War." It wasn’t called World War I until in Nov 1942, when Time magazine labeled the new conflict of 1939-45 World War II. Franklin Roosevelt thought it" too depressing, like we were bound to have more."

1920- Kenya declared a crown colony of the British Empire.

1927 – Reacting to a public finally tired of the Tin Lizzy Model T and increased competition, the Ford Motor Co sells the first Model A car.

1932-The Birthday of Fritos. Texas ice cream maker Elmer Doolin buys a recipe for corn chips from a Mexican fry cook for $100 dollars and started the Frito-Lay Company.

1936- Aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh arrived in Berlin to begin a state visit of Germany as the personal guests of Adolph Hitler. Lindbergh praised the German Luftwaffe as the "greatest air force in the world". Only three Americans ever got the Third Reich’s highest civilian medal- Lindbergh, Henry Ford and the Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce.

1937 – Scientists at Yale University announced the isolation of the pituitary hormone.

1937-TENNIS DIPLOMACY- The US and Nazi Germany spent much of the late 1930’s testing their competing philosophies on sports playing fields- Democracy vs Aryan Racial Purity. First Jesse Owens at the Olympics, then prizefighters Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, this day even the semi-finals of the Davis Cup Tennis championship became another Yankees vs Nazis test.
At Wimbledon England, American Don Budge and German Baron Gottfried von Cramm played the game of their lives. Hitler had personally telephoned Von Cramm the night before and ordered him to win. Ironically von Cramm was anti-Nazi. Don Budge won after 6 nail-biting tied sets. Queen Mary was present, and Hitler was glued to his radio. At one point American tennis great Bill Tilden who had been hired to coach the German team signaled that the match was in the bag. This provoked such an angry reaction from the audience that entertainers Jack Benny and Ed Sullivan tried to climb the fence to kick Tilden’s ass. But Budge came from behind to win. Von Cramm took defeat like a gentleman but Hitler didn’t. Shortly upon his return to the fatherland, the Gestapo arrested him for homosexual activity.

1942- Fuehrer directive #45. Adolf Hitler ordered General Von Paulus in Russia to turn his Sixth Army from his drive on the oil fields of Baku and take the city of Stalingrad.

1944- To counter charges that concentration camps are bad places, the Nazis invited the International Red Cross and neutral journalists to tour a model camp called Theresinstadt. The camp was a dummy with little white picket fences and flower pots in the barracks windows. The ICRC found conditions "moderately comfortable". After the Red Cross left the inmates were all shipped off to Auschwitz.

1952- Egyptian King Farouk abdicated to a group of army officers led by General Mohammed Naikeeb and Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser. Another officer in the coup was Col. Anwar El Sadat. Britain had ruled Egypt since 1880 and after withdrawing in 1936 they continued to control Egyptian politics through the Albanian-born ruler King Farouk. It was the first time Egypt was ruled by Egyptians in 2,250 years. Gamal Nasser would make Egypt a leader in the Third World non-aligned movement, fought wars against Israel and nationalized the Suez Canal. Nassar later said: "Whenever I asked someone 'What should I do first to build the new Egypt ?" they would only advise me who I should kill!"

1966- The comedy song "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha, Ha!" released. The singer was Napoleon XIV.

1967- The city of Detroit exploded into race riots after white police raided a house party at 12th & Claremont for returned black Vietnam veterans. Forty-three died and it took 20,000 soldiers to restore order. It was the worst rioting in the city's history in a summer of race riots in other major American cities like Newark and Washington D.C.

1968- Fred Blasie won an unprecedented fifth World Wrestling Championship belt. Blasie later gained more fame for recording the comedy song "Pencil Necked Geeks" and beating up comedian Andy Kaufman in the ring for calling wrestling a hoax.

1974- The junta of military officers ruling Greece since the time of George Papadopoulos collapsed. Greece held free elections.

1982- Actor Vic Morrow and two children are killed by a stunt helicopter while filming "Twilight Zone, the movie". The last scripted line before his death was "I’ll Keep you safe kids, I swear to God!" The children were being worked into the early morning hours without a caretaker supervisor in defiance of the Coogan Laws. Director John Landis was investigated but exonerated. The only filmworker to dare to testify against Landis, the wardrobe supervisor, was blacklisted and never worked in Hollywood again.

1984- Vanessa Williams the first black Miss America, resigned after a photo spread of her in a nude lesbian scenario in Penthouse magazine. She denied any impropriety until the photos were published widely.

1986 - Britain's Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson called Fergie. They divorced later and she moved to the US and became the spokesperson for Weight Watchers.

1995- The Discovery of Comet Hale-Bop. It’s called that because it was discovered almost simultaneously by two separate astronomers-Alan Hale in New Mexico and Thomas Bop in Arizona. The comet’s passing close by the Earth was the signal for a messianic cult in San Diego called the Heaven's Gate to commit mass suicide by eating poison laced Jello chocolate pudding. They felt that suicide would enable them to join aliens flying in UFO’s flying in the comet’s tail. Media mogul Ted Turner said of the cult: "Oh well, one hundred fewer nuts in the world.."

2003-THE DOWNING STREET MEMO- British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his cabinet have a meeting about Iraq. During that meeting Blairs’ people openly discuss as fact that the George W. Bush administration had cooked the data as an excuse for their invasion. “ Their case is thin..” This while the White House was loudly declaring that war was it's last resort. When the Downing St memo was revealed in 2005, the story was quickly buried by the complacent U.S. media.

2004- Two armed men enter the Munch Museum in Norway and steal Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream at gunpoint. It was recovered with some water damage in 2007.
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Yesterday’s Question: What kind of color is magenta?

Answer: A type of dark red approaching purple. Originally called fuschine, it was renamed Magenta after a French battle in Italy in 1859.


July 22, 2016
July 22nd, 2016

Question: What kind of color is magenta?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: What does it mean to be “born to the purple”..?
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History for 7/22/2016
Birthdays: Emma Lazarus, Eduard Hopper, Gregor Mendel, Alexander Calder, James Whale, Oscar De La Renta, Rose Kennedy, Stephen Vincent Benet, Jason Robards, Bob Dole, David Spade is 52, Terence Stamp is 78, Danny Glover is 70, Alex Trebek, Bobby Sherman, Don Henley, Alan Mencken, Irene Bedard, William Dafoe is 61, John Leguizamo, Selena Gomez, Albert Brooks is 69- real name Albert Einstein, a nice name but already taken.

1298- William Wallace's Scottish rebels was crushed by English King Edward Ist Longshanks at the battle of Falkirk.

1378- Viva l’Popolo! Revolt of the Ciompi- Woolworkers seize control of the Florentine
Republic. They were eventually put down. This idea of peasants fed up with the Black
Death and class oppression who rise up against their feudal masters catches on. Peasant revolts break out across Europe- in France the Jacquerie; in England, Wat the Tyner’s revolt.

1502- Amerigo Vespucci and a Portuguese expedition return from exploring the coast
of Brazil. It's popular nowadays to claim Columbus was ripped off by a German
mapmaker from the credit of discovering America, but there's more to it than
that. Columbus went to his grave believing he had discovered the outer coastline
of Asia. Vespucci, after exploring from Brazil to South Carolina was the first to
press the idea that this new coastline was not Asia, but something quite different.
A new continent.

1598- William Shakespeare lists on the Stationers Register, a sort of copyright registry, his new play The Merchant of Venice.

1657-Battle of Czarny Ostrow-Poles defeated George Rakoszy the Voivode of Hungary.

1793- THE MACKENZIE EXPEDITION- No, I’m sorry, but Louis & Clark weren’t the first white men to explore the NorthAmerican Continent to the Pacific. This day a party
of French-Canadian voyageurs and Scottish trappers led by Alexander Mackenzie reached the Georgian Straights in British Columbia ten years earlier. MacKenzie had been trying since 1789 to find the Pacific shore of Canada and stake British claims to
the great Canadian Northwest. In 1790 Mackenzie started out from Lake Athabasca
and followed a river that took him to the Arctic ocean instead of the Pacific -oops!
This time he reached the right salt water.
His 1801 book "Travels to the Pacific" was studied and debated intensively by President Thomas Jefferson and his aide Meriwhether Lewis. It is the prime reason the U.S. plans for the Lewis & Clark expedition to the Pacific were given top priority. For the first time since Christopher Columbus white settlers at last understood just how big the North American continent was. Mackenzie correctly estimated it was about three thousand miles wide.

1812- Battle of Salamanca. The Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon’s lieutenant Marshal Marmont in Spain. Wellington wrote in his report: " We have defeated 40,000
men in 40 minutes ". The battle was preceded by one of the most violent thunderstorms
anyone had ever seen. The troops were more afraid of the lightning bolts than the
cannon . The British noted that all of Wellington’s victories including Waterloo
were always preceded by a rainstorm.

1861- The day after the Battle of Bull Run the victorious Confederate army had no
serious opposition between it and Washington D.C. The Union army had panicked from
their defeat, thrown away their weapons and ran for the hills. If the Johnny Rebs
had marched the 25 miles into Washington and captured Lincoln, the Civil War would
have been over with and Bull Run would have been the American Waterloo. Instead
the Confederate generals sat down to argue amongst themselves who was to blame for
what went wrong in the battle, then a furious outbreak of measles ravaged the badly
sanitized camp. More men died from the measles than combat. The Confederacy let
slip their best chance to win the war in a few weeks instead of four bloody years.
One positive result of the panic after the battle was the Congress authorized the
creation of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Force, to supplant all previous
militias and provost guards to maintain order in the garrisoned city.

1862- EMANCIPATION- President Abraham Lincoln called a secret cabinet meeting at
The White House in the dead of night. Abe opened the session by reading jokes from
a newspaper by humorist Artemus Ward. The cabinet officers exchanged confused glances. Secretary of State William Seward found Abe’s folksy-hillbilly humor annoying. He wondered if the Old Tycoon would ever get to the point. Lincoln then shocked them
all, when he said that he intended to free the slaves by presidential proclamation. This
without the consent of Congress. Seward convinced him not do it until there was
a Union battle victory, because to do so at the then bad state of affairs would
look more like a last act of desperation. In a few weeks the Battle of Antietam
was fought, which wasn’t a great victory, but it was at least it wasn’t an embarrassing
defeat, so then the Emancipation Proclamation was announced.

1864- THE BATTLE OF ATLANTA- Confederate leader John Bell Hood attempted to break the siege of the Atlanta by William Tecumseh Sherman. At the beginning of the fight Sherman’s gifted corps commander General Dan MacPherson was killed by a sniper. MacPherson was admired by the generals of both sides. Had he lived, many predicted he would have been President. When MacPherson’s successor General John Logan asked for orders, Sherman told him "Just Fight’em. Fight them like Hell!" Hoods attempts at a break out failed.

1893 –Katharine L. Bates wrote the song "America the Beautiful," in Colorado.

1894- The first true automobile race- from Paris to Rouen.

1898- Russian revolutionary Lenin married Nadehzda Krupskaya.

1916- Anarchists set off a bomb at a Preparedness Day Parade in San Francisco. Ten
killed. Despite overwhelming evidence of their innocence, union leaders Tom Mooney and Warren Billings were convicted of murder and given life sentences. Mooney was pardoned in 1939 and Billings not until 1961! Oh, uh…sorry about your life there.

1917 –In the provisional government between the fall of the Russian Czar and the
Communist revolution A.P. Kerensky was the leading figure. This day after Prince
Lvov resigned from the government Alexander Kerensky became Russian Prime Minister
and combined it with the defense and justice ministry. He moved his offices into
the Czars palace and began virtual one man rule. It was said Kerensky was very passionate and motivational as a speaker, he just didn’t have many ideas.

1921- Artist Man Ray arrived in Paris determined to go Dada!

1933- Wiley Post completed the first solo flight around the world. The following
year Post would die in the same plane crash as writer Will Rogers.

1934- Public Enemy #1-John Dillinger was shot down by G-Man Melvin Purvis coming
out of the Biograph Theater on Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. He had just seen Clark
Gable and Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama. Dillinger 's identity was betrayed
by Anna Sage, the Woman in Red, a German-Romanian prostitute who didn't want
to be deported. As they came out of the theater Purvis shouted “ STICKEM UP JOHNNIE!” Dillinger dropped into a crouch and went for his gun. Purvis blew him away. Anna Sage was deported anyway.

1945- In one of the last diplomatic notes to come out of Japan before the atomic bombing, Japan’s Foreign Minister said Japan refused any surrender terms that did keep their Emperor in absolute power.

1946-THE KING DAVID HOTEL- The British headquarters in Palestine
was situated in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. This day a terrorist bomb blew
up the hotel, killing 91 people, and maiming dozens more. It was the work of fringe Israeli guerrillas called the Stern Gang. In 1980 their leader, now Prime Minister Menachem Begin, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Egyptian Anwar Sadat, another former terrorist.

1965- Cary Grant married Dyan Cannon.

1967- Jimi Hendrix quit as opening act for the Monkees.

1977- Walt Disney’s film "The Rescuers" featuring the last work of Disney
master animator Milt Kahl.

1989- Nintendo released in America the Gameboy. Designer Gunpei Yokoi designed it and the unique cross shaped directional fingerpad to replace a joystick control. Nintendo loaded Tetris on to it and it became a worldwide phenomenon. Gunpei Yokoi was killed in a car accident outside Kyoto in 1997.

1991- Jeffrey Dahmer’s final captive, Tracy Edwards, escaped his lair, still handcuffed, and got through to the Milwaukee Police. When officers arrested Dahmer, they found the remains of 11 people in his apartment.

1996- The Daily Show premiered on Comedy Central. John Stewart replaced Craig Kilborn in 1999.

2002- Worldcom files for Chapter 11, up to then the largest bankruptcy in US history. This while the CEO Bernard Ebbers was building himself a new $94 million mansion. Ebbers got 25 years in prison, and Worldcom reorganized as MCI. The following year the Bush Administration awarded them a no-bid contract to build a cellular telephone system in Iraq. Iraqis use the phones to set off remote control bombs.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Quiz: What does it mean to be “born to the purple”..?

Answer: It meant to be born of royal blood. In the late Roman Empire, only the Imperial family was allowed to wear the color purple, which was extracted from Mediterranean mollusks and was quite rare. The idea of purple being a royal color went down into the Middle Ages.


July 21, 2016
July 21st, 2016

Quiz: What does it mean to be “Born to the Purple”?

Yesterdays Quiz Answered below: What does it mean to when you refer to the whole shebang? What is a shebang?
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History for 7/21/2016
Birthdays: Ernest Hemingway, Issac Stern, Marshal McCluhan, Norman Jewison is 88, Don Knotts, Janet Reno, Gary Trudeau the creator of Doonesbury, Ernst Shuftan- inventor of the "Shuftan Effect", a cheap way of combining actors with miniatures by shooting through mirrors. All those "Lost World" Cesar Romero fighting the giant Iguanas were done that way. Edward Herman, Robin Williams, Josh Harnett

Happy National Zippo Lighter Day. Smoking is bad but Zippos are cool- another one of life’s mysteries.

365AD- The Egyptian city of Alexandria was devastated by an earthquake. The tremor may have toppled the famous Pharos lighthouse. The quake caused the waters of the harbor to recede then return with tsunami force.

1588-the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon, Seville, Corunna and Cadiz to attack England. One of the sailors was playwright and poet Lope De Vega.

1605- The false Dmitri crowned Czar in Moscow. Dmitri was a Lithuanian priest named Grishka who claimed to be the dead child of Ivan the Terrible come back to life. His claim was backed up with a powerful Polish magnate's private army, the Mniszechs. He captured Moscow as Czar Boris Gudunov died but couldn't hold it long.

1784- Abigail Adams went by coach from the English Channel via Canterbury to London to join her husband John Adams. Adams was to assume his post as first ambassador to the Court of Saint James from the new nation of the United States. Abigail wrote of her coach journey how when they passed the area called Blackheath there was fear of robbers and highwaymen. She saw one robber captured, and shuddered that he would soon be hanged. She wrote in her diary:” It is good that such terrible things do not happen in America!” Why, women alone travel the roads in perfect safety!”

1798- "Soldiers! Forty Centuries look down upon you! “The Battle of the Pyramids- Napoleon's cannon mowed down the Mamelukes, who had ruled Egypt since the Crusades. He was so impressed with their courage that he later enlisted a corps of them in his own army. It was speculated around this time the Sphinx lost it's nose. French troops used the Sphinx for target practice. The battle was actually fought a distance from the Pyramids, but Nappy disliked the title Battle of Embaba’s Melon Patch, so Battle of the Pyramids it was.

1821- George IV crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey, but without his Queen Caroline. They couldn't stand one another and he was trying to get a divorce. So when she showed up in her state carriage for the coronation, on the kings orders the Lords and Peers rushed to shut the cathedral doors, leaving her out in the crowd of spectators.

1861- BATTLE OF BULL RUN or FIRST MANASSAS- First major engagement of the Civil War. Irwin McDowell's Yankees and Pierre Beauregard's Confederates had unknowingly adopted the exact same battle plan, feint with right and strike around the left. They would have completely marched around each other if they hadn't blundered together. The North was so confident of victory Washington society turned out with picnic baskets to watch the fun.

What they saw was a horrible Union defeat and they were caught in the mob of panicked soldiers running back to the Capitol called the Great Skeedadddle. Uniforms weren't standard yet and many states sent their men in colorful militia costumes. The union men from Wisconsin wore grey and the Rebels from Pensacola Florida wore blue. Both were shot at by their own sides. Rebel General Thomas Jackson was holding off union assaults when a dying general shouted : "Look, there stands Jackson like a stone wall!" The nickname stuck.

Stonewall Jackson had told his men:" When you charge, howl like furies." For the first time the famous Rebel Yell was heard. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was so nervous he rushed to the battlefield in a locomotive. When he arrived on the scene he tried to make a speech to rally the spirits of some ragged soldiers he thought had fled. Turned out they were Stonewall Jackson's veterans, just resting after they won the battle for him.

Bull Run could have been an American Waterloo, because the Yankee army was completely destroyed, and nothing stood between the southerners and the White House, only 40 miles away. But the gray-backs were also disorganized and exhausted, so the pursuit was called off. The Civil War would not be won in one big battle, but would drag on for four bloody years.

1865- The Civil War over and Abraham Lincoln dead, the hard line cabinet of Pres. Andrew Johnson voted to put Confederate ex-president Jefferson Davis on trial for treason. Former lawyer Davis was hoping for just such a trial; so he could force the issue of the Constitutional legality of secession out into the open and maybe even get a ruling from the Supreme Court. It was just for these reasons that cooler heads prevailed and the treason charge was never acted upon. After two years in prison Davis was quietly released and allowed to retire.

1884- In one of the dirtiest elections in U.S. history, the New York Post broke the story of Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland fathering a child out of wedlock and abandoning the mother. Cleveland admitted paternity but won election anyway, because the Republican James G. Blaine was even worse. Just as Cleveland pioneered the Democratic preoccupation with sex, Blaine pioneered the cozy relationship between the Republicans and big business. He had taken so many kickbacks, his nickname was the Tatooed Man. A leading Protestant divine stood with Blaine and accused the Democratic Party of being “ The Party of Rum, Romanism and Rebellion." Every Irishman in the country immediately voted for Cleveland. (around forty per cent of the population of New York alone, was Irish at the time). Republicans chanted "Ma, Ma! Where’s My Pa!- Dems countered" He’s Going to the White House, Ha Ha Ha!" another ditty was: "Mary is healthy and so is the Kid, We Voted for Cleveland and we’re damn glad we did!" Aren’t you glad we don’t have dirty elections like that today, boys & girls?

1917-Ford introduces their first truck, the Model TT. It weighed one ton and had a new innovation not in regular automobiles, a reverse gear.

1936- Republican Spanish troops besiege the Fascist fortress of ALCAZAR. They maintained a telephone hookup with the commander, Colonel Moscardo, to try and convince him to surrender. At one point they told him they were going to shoot his son if he didn't give up. The colonel said: " Put my son on the phone!" Hello son?" Put your faith in God, shout Viva Espana, and Die like a Man!" Moscardo never surrendered and the siege was broken.

1944- Democratic Presidential Convention nominates Sen. Harry Truman of Missouri to be Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President on the second ballot. As early as December 1943 the Democratic party knew FDR was a dying man. Whoever was his running mate would in all likelihood become President. With World War II not finished and the United Nations to create, this was a pretty important choice.

The incumbent Vice President was Henry Wallace, an eccentric who had a guru, sent field scientists to China and India to look for traces of teenage Jesus, and who believed Joe Stalin's Russia was the model for the American economy to pull out of the Depression. Democratic Party Chairman Robert Haneghan pulled every string he had to get Wallace off the ticket and Truman on. Truman himself didn't want the job and Roosevelt was promising it to everyone he met.

At last Truman agreed, and Hanaghan barred a pro-Wallace demonstration. He even sent a man with an ax upstairs to threaten the convention organist to stop playing "The Corn Grows High in IOWA" (Wallace's home state). Truman talked to Roosevelt only once or twice before FDR died and Truman had to decide whether to drop the A-Bomb and form the post-war world. Wallace tried a third party presidential run with Chet "the Singing Cowboy" Taylor as running mate in 1948. Robert Haneghan said-"The only epitaph I want on my tombstone is: AT LEAST HE PREVENTED HENRY WALLACE FROM BECOMING PRESIDENT!"

1954- The Fellowship of the Ring, first book of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings, first published. C.S. Lewis said the book “came forth like thunder on a summers day..”

1959- Judge Frederick van Pelt-Bryan ruled that Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence was not pornography and therefore could be sent through the postal system.

1969- “That’s One Small Step for Man..” Neil Armstrong stepped on the surface of the Moon.

1970- In Egypt the Aswan High Dam completed, finally controlling the annual summer flooding of the Nile.

1971, The New York Times ran an article about Taki 183 on the front page of its inside section, titled "Taki 183" Spawns Pen Pals. Taki was the first graffiti tag artist. Taki was a nickname of a man named Demetrius from 183 St. In the late 1960s-1970s his tag seemed to be everywhere.

1974- Constantin Karamanlis returned to Greece from exile to signal the restoration of Greek democracy after the rule of the Colonels Junta fell.

1980- SAG went on strike for actor's residuals from videocassette and cable TV sales.
The actors hit the bricks twice more, in 1988 and 2000.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to when you refer to the whole shebang? What is a shebang?

Answer: A lot of slang came out of the Civil War. The nickname for a covering on a primitive lean-to, basically a tarp over some sticks to keep you dry from the rain, was a shebang. So to take the whole shebang was to hog the area under the tarp and expose you to the elements.


July 20, 2016
July 20th, 2016

Quiz: What does it mean to when you refer to the whole shebang? What is a shebang?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is Moore’s Law? (hint: computers)

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History for 7/20/2016
Birthdays: Petrarch, Sir Edmund Hilary, Lord Elgin, Quaker Anne Hutchinson, Natalie Wood, Theda Bara the Vamp, Carlos Santana, Lord Reith- the first Director General of the BBC. Giselle Bunchen is 36, Sandra Oh is 45, Harrison Ellenshaw, Diana Rigg is 78

1402- Near Ankara (Angora), the armies of the Ottoman Sultan of Turkey were destroyed by a Tartar invasion led by Tamerlane.

1420- Czech leader John Ziska led the Hussite rebels to defeat the German Emperor Sigmund at Witkowo Hill, freeing his besieged capitol Prague. Ziska led armies in battle despite losing both eyes in fighting. When he finally died, he left instructions to have his body skinned, and the hide dried, and stretched onto a war drum.

1773-The Vatican outlaws the Society of Jesus, aka the Jesuits. The pope had gotten tired of all their intrigues and foreign entanglements. They went into hiding until they re-emerged reformed in 1820. At this time all their missionaries were withdrawn from the New World and replaced with Franciscans like Fra. Junipero Serra, who named all the major California cities after Franciscan saints like San Diego. Los Angeles is named for Saint Francis ‘ first church.
I wonder if a Jesuit had founded Los Angeles, he would have named it "Ignatius Loyola" and we'd all have to sing:" I Love I.L. !"

1804- Sir Richard Owen born. He was the British scientist who coined the term Dinosaur for all the ancient lizard fossils being dug up. Yet he came to oppose Darwin’s theories. He believed the behemoths were creatures from Noah’s Flood who missed the boat.

1858 - Fee 1st charged to see a baseball game, 50 cents. NY beat Brooklyn 22-18.

1868 - 1st use of tax stamps on cigarettes.

1869- Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad and in the Holy Land first published. If you ever wondered what was the most popular book in America during the 19th Century, it was not Moby Dick, War & Peace, Jane Eyre or David Copperfield. The all time best selling book in America during the Victorian Era was a sappy travel diary" Tent Life in the Holy Land "by a now forgotten author William Prime. Twain had taken the Grand Tour abroad that was fashionable with the new American wealthy classes and thought he’d have some fun recounting his own trip” To cross the Sea of Galilee by boat, a big local Arab demanded eight dollars for use of his miserable conveyance. No wonder Christ preferred to walk.”

1877-Russians besiege Turkish held Plevna in Bosnia.

1879- Joel Chandler Harris published in the Atlanta Constitution "The Story of Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox as Told by Uncle Remus". The first Uncle Remus stories. Harris collected most of the stories from African American storytellers.

1881- Sitting Bull returned to U.S. territory and surrendered. He and his people had been residing in Canada since the Little Big Horn. When Canadian officials first challenged them being in Canada, Bull produced out of his medicine bag old treaty medals stamped with King George III on them. He said "We also are the children of the Great Redcoat Mother."

1919- Pancho Villa assassinated while driving in his new Dodge. Even with 16 bullets in him he still managed to kill one of his attackers. Three years later someone broke into his grave and stole his head.

1920- On the last day of testimony at the Scopes Monkey Trial defense attorney Clarence Darrow surprised everyone by calling prosecuting attorney William Jennings Bryan to the witness stand. In a dramatic all day debate Darrow and Bryan grappled over the validity of the Bible vs, Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution. Darrow ultimately lost the case, but this debate made Bryan look foolish. The confrontation was dramatized in Stanley Kramer’s 1965 film “Inherit the Wind”.

1944- THE GENERALS PLOT- German generals plot to kill Adolf Hitler, take over the Third Reich and declare a ceasefire with the Allies. During a conference at Hitlers strategic HQ at Rastenberg Prussia one-eyed Count von Stauffenburg planted a suitcase-bomb next to Hitler's feet and excused himself. But someone bumped against it and moved it out of the way. After watching the massive explosion Stauffenburg then relayed the code word "Valkyrie". This meant the plotters could begin to arrest key Nazis, disarm the SS and form a provisional government with Field Marshal Erwin Rommel as President.
In the explosion many were killed but amazingly Hitler only suffered a punctured eardrum and a stiff left arm. That night he went on nationwide radio to announce he was all right, and even read the weather in that day's newspaper to prove he was not pre-recorded. The coup plotters were rounded up and executed, some hung slowly with piano wire. Their deaths were filmed for Hitler's amusement at home. Rommel the Desert Fox was forced to commit suicide. After 5000 arrests the purge was halted only when an allied bombing hit the courtroom, and blew up the judge.

1946-Bob Clampett's cartoon"the Great Piggy Bank Robbery" with Daffy Duck as Duck Tracy. "I'm gonna rrrrrrrrrrrubbb ya out, see !"

1951- King Abdallah of Jordan was shot and killed at the Al Acqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by a Palestinian. He was attending a memorial service for the Prime Minister of Lebanon who had also been assassinated. He was an enemy of the Palestinian leader the Grand Mufti and resisted the Mufti’s attempts to declare a Palestinian state after Israel’s War of Independence. King Abdallah claimed all Palestinian lands not part of Israel should be part of Jordan. Abdallah then angered the Palestinians further by wanting to make peace with Israel and declaring that the Jews had every right to worship at their holy places like the Wailing Wall, then under Jordanian control. Watching his grandfather killed was young future King Hussein, who was never that fond of Palestinians afterwards. He drove them out of his country in 1972 spawning the Black September Movement.

1954- As part of the settlement brokered by the United Nations for the French to leave colonial Indochina, the country was divided in half at the 17th parallel, with the Communists in North Vietnam and the non-Communists in the South. This set the stage for the next twenty years of wars that would last until unification in 1975.

1963- Lt. Colonel John Paul Vann, acknowledged one of the finest combat field commanders in the service, scheduled a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington. He planned to tell them that further American military involvement in Vietnam was pointless. The generals already knew his purpose and refused to meet with him. Afterwards he was slowly pushed him out of the army for having an attitude problem. He died in combat as a civilian advisor near Da Nang in 1967.

1964 –The first surfin' record to go #1-Jan & Dean's "Surf City"

1968 - Iron Butterfly's "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida", considered the first heavy metal song to
hit the pop charts. The song was written as “ In the Garden of Eden” but singer Doug Ingle was so drunk and stoned, In a Gadda Da Vida was all that he could slur out.

1969- Tranquility Base- The Eagle has Landed. Apollo11’s Lunar Module the LEM first landed humans on the Moon. The astronauts spent a night’s sleep and preparing and stepped out on the Lunar surface the next day.

1973- Bruce Lee died of cerebral edema one month before his last film Enter the Dragon premiered. The handsome kung fu movie star single-handedly made Chinese martial arts a world wide craze, and the Chop-Socky genre film a standard genre in world movie theaters. He was buried in his Enter The Dragon costume. Bruce Lee was only 33.

1974- Turkey invaded the island of Cyprus, after a Greek coup toppled the coalition gov’t of Archbishop Makarios.

1976-Warner\Lambert, makers of Trident sugarless gum, comes out with their famous slogan "Sugarless gum is recommended by four out of five dentists who chew gum". When people asked what gum did the fifth dentist recommend, they were brushed.

1976- The Viking I probe successfully landed on Mars.

1984 - Jim Fixx, creator of the Jogging craze through his hit book Running, died at 52 of a heart attack. Apologists for a health advocate dying so young, say Fixx would have died even younger without his physical routine. The creator of PowerBars also died in his fifties. Pass me another donut.

1994 - OJ Simpson offers $500,000 reward for evidence of ex-wife Nicole’s killer. No clues or suspects other than himself ever appeared. As David Letterman later said" OJ began to vigorously search for the real killer on all the major golf courses of the nation."
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is Moore’s Law? (hint: computers)

Answer: Gordon Moore, one of the co-founders of Intel, said that since 1965 computational power will double every ten years, and as computers get more sophisticated, they will grow smaller and less expensive.


July 19, 2016
July 19th, 2016

Quiz: What is Moore’s Law? (hint: computers)

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What is the Van Allen Belt?
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History for 7/19/2016
Birthdays: Edgar Degas, Col. Samuel Colt, Charles Mayo of the Mayo Clinic, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vicki Carr, Max Fleischer, Lizzie Borden, Ille Nastase, George McGovern , Brian Harold May of Queen, Atom Egoyan, Anthony Edwards, Campbell Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch is 40

64 A.D. THE BURNING OF ROME- As the city burned, mad emperor Nero was inspired to run up to an observation platform and sing an elegy on the destruction of Troy while accompanying himself on the lyre. Romans later became suspicious when the areas most affected by the fire on the Palatine Hill were expropriated by the Emperor to build his new palace, the Golden House.
The fire had started to die out after six days, but flared up again on the grounds of the estate of Tigellinus, a top aide to Nero. The fire burned for nine days and destroyed two thirds of the city, including a temple built by Romulus, and the shrine of the Vestal Virgins.

711 A.D. Battle of Medina-Sidonia- The Moors conquered most of Spain. When he first landed, the Moorish commander Tarik Bin Ziyad ordered his landing ships burned. He addressed his warriors: " ...The enemy is in front of you and the sea behind you... You have no choice but victory!” They pushed the Christian Spaniards north up against the Pyrenees Mountains. The Moors weren’t driven back until 1492. Until then the Emirs of Granada and Cordoba set up lavish courts where great sums were spent on poets, artists, mathematicians and scientists.

1500-In the Vatican, Lucretzia Borgia’s second husband Duke Alfonso of Naples was stabbed to death by assassins sent by her brother Caesar Borgia. Enemies of the Borgias said Caesar was jealous and had an unnatural passion for his sister, but his real reasons were political. Alfonso was against Caesar’s alliance with France, the enemy of Naples. Caesar had previously sent men to assault Alfonso as he was leaving Saint Peters Basilica in Rome, but he fought them off and recovered. While convalescing he spotted Caesar from his sickbed window, grabbed a bow and arrow and tried to shoot him. Then Caesar had him whacked. Cardinal Sforza, who arranged the marriage, was soon poisoned.

1553-Lady Jane Grey deposed after being Queen of England for nine days. When Henry VIII's sickly son died at 15 the Protestant grandees panicked that the next in line to the throne was his Catholic daughter Mary Tudor. So they attempted a bit of dynastic sleight of hand with this distant protestant cousin. (remember Elizabeth then was still considered illegitimate). It didn't wash and Mary soon earned the sobriquet "Bloody Mary" by having all their heads.

1629- Communications between Europe and America in the colonial period were always spotty and confused. The fastest news could travel across the Atlantic was two months. On this day an English expedition attacked the French settlement of Quebec and captured Governor Samuel Champlain. Shortly afterwards a message came from London saying the war had been over for two months and they should let him go and apologize.

1717- George Frederich Handel premiered his suite the Water Music for a procession of King George II on pleasure boats from Whitehall to Lambeth Palace.

1799- THE ROSETTA STONE DISCOVERED. During Napoleons campaign in Egypt several soldiers digging a latrine uncover a black basalt slab with several forms of writing all over it.
In 1821 Francois Champolion figured it out. The stone was the key to translating Egyptian hieroglyphics, sort of an ancient Babelfish. The document in honor of Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy is written three times. Once in Hieroglyphs (sacred letters of Ancient Egypt), then in Hieratic (governmental cursive type, a simpler form of Hieroglyphs used for texts unrelated to the Temple and Religion) and in Coptic, the same Egyptian language written in Greek letters. Since Champolion knew Greek, and had contacts with Egyptian Christian priests who spoke Coptic. The rest was easy.

Before the Rosetta Stone people thought Egyptian hieroglyphics were just magical symbols, but after the stones discovery the long mute voice of Ancient Egyptian civilization was heard again. Prayers, Literature and Poetry could now be understood.
It was like the discovery of a long dead world.

1848- THE SENECA FALLS DECLARATION- The Birth of the American Woman's Rights Movement. In a Wesleyan Chapel 200 delegates heard Lucretzia Mott and Elizabeth Cady-Stanton make the case for women to be treated as equal citizens under the law. Frederick Douglas attended, and admitted that at first he was a skeptic, but he left convinced.

1878- In New Mexico Territory the climax of the Lincoln County Wars, a feud between cattle barons and smaller independent ranchers. John Tunstall's attorney Big Jim McSween and his men including outlaw Billy the Kid were surrounded by a large force of rancher Murphy’s men backed up by militia with a Gatling gun and a small cannon. The Murphy men set the house on fire and shot the defenders as they rushed out. Billy the Kid blasted his way out to freedom. Big Jim McSween tried to surrender but was shot down.

1879- Doc Holiday had opened a saloon with a partner in Las Vegas, New Mexico. An army scout named Mike Gordon got mad at one of his dance hall girls, went out into the street and started bellowing threats and firing wildly at the windows of the saloon. Doc Holiday came out, shot Gordon dead with one bullet, then went back in and calmly resumed his poker game.

1900- The first line of the Paris Metro underground dedicated. Ligne 1 Porte Vincennes.

1913 - Billboard Magazine publishes earliest known "Last Week's 10 Best Sellers among
Popular Songs" Malinda's Wedding Day is #1

1932- writer Daphne du Maurier married General Frederick Browning.

1934- In an affidavit dated this day an old blacksmith from Pittsburgh named Louis Davarich claimed in 1899 he flew in a flying machine before the Wright Brothers. The inventor was a German immigrant named Gustav Whitehead and he designed a monoplane powered by a small steam engine. If true this would predate the Wright Brothers by 5 years, but Whitehead never documented nor published his discoveries, did not apply for a patent. He died poor and forgotten in 1927. Is it true? Believe it or not!

1939 - Dr Roy P Scholz is 1st surgeon to use fiberglass sutures, replacing cat’s intestines and wool thread.

1941 - British PM Winston Churchill launched his "V for Victory" campaign. By coincidence the letter "V" in morse code corresponded with the opening notes of Beethoven ‘s 5th symphony "Dit-Dit-Dit Daaah." making it the musical theme of the BBC overseas radio service war news. If you ever lived in England you would know that reversing the two fingers sign is an insult akin to flashing someone the middle finger.

1942-Operation Drumroll cancelled. Germans withdraw U-Boats stationed off the US coastline because of effective US counter-submarine measures.

1952- Several UFOs appeared on the radar of Washington DC’s National Airport (Today its Reagan Airport). So many alarming reports and phone calls came in, that the Air Force was obliged to hold a news conference to calm public fears. They explained the lights were temperature inversions. Uh, huh…

1957 - 1st rocket with nuclear warhead fired, Yucca Flat, Nevada

1957- The film “ I Was a Teenage Werewolf” starring Michael Landon premiered.

1966- 50 year old Frank Sinatra married 21 year old Mia Farrow. Frankie’s ex Ava Gardner commented:” Hah! I always knew Frank would one day wind up in bed with a little boy. “ Two years later when Mia Farrow was offered the lead role in Roman Polanski’s film “Rosemary’s Baby” Frank gave her an ultimatum "Baby, it's either me or your career”. She took the part and he served her with a divorce papers on the set. Mia got an Oscar nomination and Frank recorded “Strangers in the Night”.

1990- The Richard Nixon Library dedicated in Yorba Linda California. Nixon's Western White House of San Clemente first refused the honor of being the site as well as his real birthplace town of Whittier. The little wood frame house where Nixon was born was moved to the Yorba Linda site. At the dedication the five living Presidents were present.
Senator Bob Dole pointed at former Presidents Ford, Reagan and Nixon and joked to a friend: "Look, there’s Hear no Evil, See No Evil, and Evil.”

1991- Heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson raped a contestant for the Miss Black America Pageant named Desiree Washington. He got 3 years in jail.

1993- President Clinton launched his gays in the military initiative called "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." It caused a storm of controversy, and probably uprooted more gay men and women out of their military careers than if nothing was done. The initiative was outlawed in 2010, after thousands of careers were ruined.
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Yesterday’s quiz- What is the Van Allen Belt?

Answer: The Van Allen Belt is a band of radioactive particles that ring the Earth, held by its gravity. The Apollo astronauts had to pass through the Van Allen Belt to get to the Moon.


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