March 2, 2015
March 2nd, 2015
Quiz: Who was the last world leader of WWII to die?
Yesterdays Question answered below: What does it mean when you call someone a Lothario?
History for 3/2/2015
Birthdays: Sam Houston, Alexander Graham Bell, Kurt Weill, Desi Arnaz ( Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III ), Ted Geisel aka Dr.Suess, Mikhail Gorbachov, Willis O'Brian, Moe Berg, Karen Carpenter, Lou Reed, Jennifer Jones, John Cullum is 85, John Irving, Tom Wolfe, Jon Bon Jovi is 53, Daniel Craig is 47
1820- It had been thought that the Pyramids in Egypt were solid monuments with no chambers. This day Italian archaeologist Giovanni Belzoni discovered the long lost entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza and explored it’s inner corridors and burial chambers.
1836- TEXAS DECLARES INDEPENDENCE FROM MEXICO. In 1821 the Mexican Congress had given Yankee settlers permission to live in the under-populated northern province of Teijas. Soon there were100,000 Yanquis to just 3,000 Spanish Tejanos living there. After a military coup in 1833 brought General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to power conditions in the outer provinces got harsh. Taxes were bad and the army sent to police them were drawn from the dregs, usually convicts. Mexico also wanted the American settlers to liberate their black slaves. When settlers leader Stephen Austin went to Mexico City to complain he was immediately jailed for fomenting insurrection. The Republic of Texas independence declaration was signed this day at Washington-on-the-Brazos. One of the signers there was John Wheeler Bunton, the Great Grand-Uncle of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson.
The Texas revolt was as much a revolt of the ethnic Mexican Teijanos as the gringos. Similar revolts broke out at the same time in California and Jalixsco, but we remember Texas mostly because it succeeded.
1863- The Union Pacific Railroad adopted a standard track width of 4 feet 8 and 1/2 inches. This width became the standard for the United States and later for most of the railroads of the world. Although train travel was invented in Britain, Europe was slow to adapt to it, while America, Russia and India rapidly embraced a technology that could quickly cover their vast distances quickly.
1917-CZAR NICHOLAS II ABDICATED THE THRONE OF RUSSIA with a note scribbled in pencil. He had tried to abdicate in favor of his younger brother Archduke Michael as regent for his son Alexis, and save the dynasty. But Michael wanted none of it and the revolutionary forces tearing at Russian society. He ignored his pleas. After 303 years the Romanov Dynasty was at an end.
1922- A 21 year old veteran named Walt Disney after getting out of the army began studying in the public library Edwin Lutz's book "Motion Picture Animation and How it is Made". In Kansas City he and his brother Roy persuaded the owner of a small chain of vaudeville theaters to fund some cartoons. Today the Newman's Laff-O-Grams Company was formed. A year later the Disney brothers would move to Hollywood and start a new enterprise called the Walt Disney Company.
1923- THE FIRST TIME MAGAZINE. Founders Henry Luce and Claire Booth Luce were among the more powerful of the nations cultural elite. Conservative to the core -to the end of their days they thought Franklin Roosevelt and Civil Rights were big mistakes, they still experimented with LSD when it was thought by Harvard professors to be mind expanding. In the late 1980's the Time merged with Warner Communications to form Time-Warner, the world's largest media conglomerate.
1925- The US Government started assigning numbers to motorways and planned interstate highways. Before that roads had names like the Boston Post Road or the Baltimore to Washington Highway.
1933- Movie "KING KONG" premiered at the new Radio City Music Hall in New York and the Roxy. Twas Beauty killed the Beast.
1940- SEABISCUIT-. The small ungainly racehorse Seabiscuit had lost the Santa Anita Handicap Stakes twice and at 7 years old had ligament tears and was considered washed up. But he was entered one more time to try to win this race. The jockey Red Pollard was an alcoholic who had broken his leg and collarbone and was told he couldn’t walk, much less ride ever again. Today this unlikely duo raced one more time against odds more like a Hollywood movie than a stakes race. The Biscuit not only won his last race, but set a track record,, the second fastest time ever and the richest win for that time. It’s called one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history. When discussing the Sports Legends of the Twentieth Century- Ali, Ruth, Michael Jordan, Seabiscuit is the only non-human.
1943- Battle of the Bismark Sea. U.S. Navy planes shoot up a Japanese task force .
1947- Crusading Hollywood labor union organizer Herb Sorrell is plucked off the street in Glendale by gangsters posing as police. They may not have been just posing, many studios at the time hired off-duty LAPD at doubletime rates to rough up problem employees. They drive Herb up to Mulholland and work him over, leaving him by the side of the road. Shortly after leaving the hospital Sorrell was jailed for disturbing public peace.
1960- Wilt Chamberlain ("Wilt the Stilt") scored 100 points in one game for the Philadelphia Warriors. Wilt averaged a phenomenal 55 points per game that year and the NBA instituted a number of anti-Wilt regulations to ensure guys under 6'2 could get back in the game, like offensive goal tending, etc. Wilt also claimed to have put his off the court time to good use. He claims to have had sex with 3000 women.
1961- Pablo Picasso married his second wife Jacqueline. He was 80, she was 35. Jacqueline cared for the increasingly reclusive artist and kept even his family at a distance. When Picasso died in 1973 she turned away many family members from the funeral. Jacqueline committed suicide in 1986.
1965- US military bombers do the first bombing raid inside of North Vietnam in a campaign that got the designation Rolling Thunder.
1965- FIFTY YEARS AGO- The movie The Sound of Music opened at the Rivoli theater.
1971- Charles Engelhard died, a venture capitalist whose wild investments and grand lifestyle made him the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s villain Auric Goldfinger.
1972- Pioneer 10 space probe launched. The first satellite to the outer planets, it sent back the first closeup photos of Jupiter in 1973 and left our solar system in 1983. It carries a plaque with a representation of men and women, a map of the Earth and Richard Nixon’s signature on it. It is in deep space now and will reach the star Ross 246 in the constellation Taurus in the year 34,600 A.D. Boy, I can hardly wait!
1973- The Women in Film organization founded.
1976- Francis Ford Coppola began shooting his epic film“ Apocalypse Now” in the Philippines. The film was plagued by cost overruns, a typhoon and his Philippine Army helicopters frequently flying off to fight real guerrillas in the middle of shooting, but somehow it all got done.
1979- The Anglo-French Concord supersonic airliner service introduced. It was discontinued because of bad economics in 2003.
1982- Science Fiction writer Philip K. Dick died of a stroke in Santa Ana California. The author of stories the movies Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall were based. Dick said he was at times possessed by a superalien who appeared in his mind in a beam of pink light. His autobiography was titled “ I am alive and you are dead.”
1989- At a photo session, NY Mets outfielder and recreational cokehead Darryl Strawberry threw a punch at the team's first baseman, Keith Hernandez. The scuffle started over comments about salaries and ended with the Straw walking out of camp. A sportswriter for Sports Illustrated describing the fight said" Darryl Strawberry finally hit his cut off man."
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean when you call someone a Lothario?
Answer: A shallow man who seeks to seduce women, in number more than for love. Named for a character mentioned in Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
March 1, 2015
March 1st, 2015
Question: What does it mean when you call someone a Lothario?
Answer to yesterdays question below: What does it mean to be in the limelight?
History for 3/1/2015
Birthdays: Frederic Chopin, Glen Miller, Harry Belafonte is 88, David Niven, Oskar Kokoschka, Roger Daltry, Robert Conrad, Deke Slayton, Yitschak Rabin. Catherine Bach, Timothy Daly, Ron Howard is 60, Javier Bardem is 46, Zack Snyder is 49
Welcome to MARCH from MARTIUS Mensis, THE MONTH OF MARS-so named because in ancient times it was the first month that was warm enough for armies to take the field and kill each other. Various warrior societies held religious ceremonies to inaugurate campaigning season. In Rome, the Salian Priests would do a ceremonial war dance with the magic shields of Mars the Avenger, dropped from heaven for Romulus. The Macedonians would split a dog in half lengthwise and parade the troops between the two halves, sort of going through the gates of Pluto. I hope the dog appreciated the symbolism...
86 BC. Roman legions of Lucius Cornelius Sulla recapture Athens from Mithradates the king of Pontus (a part of eastern Turkey). Mithridates was offering Rome it's most serious competition in the conquest game since Hannibal. Sulla was angry that the Athenians had welcomed this enemy in, so he destroyed half of the city. He then saved the rest:" More in memory of her glorious past than her modern inhabitants." Mithridates was defeated and committed suicide. According to Plutarch, at one point Sulla's men captured a satyr (half man-half goat) in the precincts of the temple of Artemis. Sulla asked the supernatural creature about the future, but all it would do is whinny like a goat. So he told his men to get rid of it.
589 AD- HAPPY SAINT DAVIDS’ DAY- This is the traditional date of the death of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. Called the Waterman, he was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop who became the first archbishop of Wales. He was one of many early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain. Welshmen celebrate today like the Irish celebrate St. Patrick, although with out the green beer.
1562-THE MASSACRE OF VASSEY- In France the Catholics and Huguenots- Protestants had been headed towards open conflict despite all attempts at mediation. In the little town of Vassey south of Dijon the Catholic Duke Du Guise became annoyed when Huguenots hymn singing in a barn disturbed his ability to hear Mass. Scuffling broke out and when the Duke got hit in the face with a stone, his retainers drew their swords and chopped up 125 people. The Religious Wars had begun.
1579- Sir Francis Drake on board the Golden Hind made the catch of his career. In the waters off Cartegena Columbia he attacked and captured one of the great Spanish treasure ships carrying Inca gold and silver from Peru. This one ship carried more wealth than the entire treasury then in Elizabeth’s England. And a fleet of these crossed the ocean twice a year. Drake instantly became a rich man. The galleon was called La Nuestra Senora De La Concepcion, but her crew nicknamed her “KaKaFuego” which some translate as “Spitfire”, but more closely means “Hot sh*t.”
1680- Pennsylvania became the first US colony to outlaw slavery.
1711- The first issue of England’s’ great periodical the Spectator first published. It was unique for a broadsheet in that it didn’t cover politics or doings at court but printed essays on social gossip, literary criticism, studies of manners and morals. It was said the Spectator helped begin the transformation of English gentry from ale-swilling philanderers to the well-bred, well-read snobs of the Victorian Era.
1777- Young artillery officer Alexander Hamilton was appointed to General George Washington’s personal staff. This marked the beginning of Hamilton’s personal relationship with Washington that would last throughout the war and his presidency. Hamilton was his constant consultant, advisor and may have written many of Washington’s speeches. There is a rumor that GW may even have been Hamilton’s father since his only trip outside the US was to visit Bermuda. Hamilton was born illegitimately on the Virgin island of Nevis, but beyond that no evidence has ever been substantiated.
1808- Parliament outlawed the overseas slave trade within the British Empire.
TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO- 1815- Napoleon Bonaparte came ashore in France near Frejus on the Riviera and marched on Paris in a desperate gamble to regain his throne. He was attacking a nation of 14 million with just 1,200 followers. After his defeat in Russia and exile to Elba the European allies restored the Bourbon King and old aristocrats to France.
The old royals soon made it plain they learned nothing from the French Revolution and wanted to continue things as if it was still 1789. Little things like evicting war orphaned children into the street so some old aristocrat could have his crumbling chateau back. The Royal family also liked to spit on the tricolor flag and appeared in public in Russian uniforms, a uniform seen by French people as responsible for the deaths of many of their brothers and husbands. The peoples anger enabled Napoleon to recall old memories of Glory, and Liberte’.
At the sight of the little man in the plain black hat everyone went nuts. The whole Royal Army changed sides without a shot fired. His desperate gamble became a triumphal party and he was carried on the crowd’s shoulders back into the palace.
1836- A dozen or so Texans from Gonzales slip past Santa Anna’s Mexican army to join their friends in the Alamo. These are the last reinforcements to arrive.
1872- Congress ok’s creation of Yellowstone National Park. In 1878 during the military campaign against the Nez Perce Indians, Chief Joseph took his warriors through the park territory frightening some early tourists.
1896- Battle of Adwa- The Italian colonization of the ancient land of Ethiopia is halted for a generation after the entire Italian army is wiped out in one big battle. Critics like to scoff that the modern Italian forces were massacred by a spear wielding foe, but in truth the legions of the Negus Negusti (king of kings, i.e. Ethiopian emperor) had been covertly rearmed by France with the latest rapid firing cannon. France didn’t want any encroachment on her own colonial holdings in nearby Senegal.
1912- Albert Berry completed the first parachute jump from an aeroplane in St. Louis Missouri
1917-Czar-Autocrat of all the Russias, Nicholas II rushed back to his rebellious capitol St. Petersburg in a private train. Today he was told the way was blocked by revolutionaries. His train backed up and was blocked again from behind by mutinous troops. His ministers advised that the army would no longer remain loyal and he may have to abdicate.
1919- The March Movement- Korea declared its independence from Japan, Russia and China.
1930-Disney animator Ub Iwerks, the animator/designer of Mickey Mouse, quits the studio to set up his own place. Walt was stunned by the defection of one of his first employees and closest friends. Iwerks studio producing Flip the Frog Cartoons, will eventually fail and he'll return to Disneys to invent the xerox process. Iwerks partner was Pat Powers, who’s PowersCinephone was the process used to put sound on “Steamboat Willie”. Powers engineered the break between Ub and Walt when Disney refused to let him buy into a co-partnership in Disney Studio.
1932- Museum of Modern Art in New York has first major retrospective of the style of architecture called "THE INTERNATIONAL STYLE" Steel girder frames with large windows for walls and no ornamentation. This style pioneered by Mies Van Der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Phillip Johnson. Called by critics "vertical ice cube trays" they now dominate the skylines around the world, making Moscow and Shanghai equally unrecognizable from Pretoria, or Newark, New Jersey.
1932-THE LINDBERGH BABY KIDNAPPING. The infant son of the famous couple was taken from his crib in their Princeton New Jersey home. Forensic science determined he was bludgeoned and buried shortly afterwards. But the kidnap plot went ahead for nine days. The kidnapper left behind a crudely written note asking for $50,000 dollars in small bills. Bruno Richard Hauptman, the man who was convicted and executed for the crime protested his innocence to the end, The New Jersey country sheriff in charge of the investigation was the father of future Gulf War general Norman Schwarzkopf.
1936- Max Fleischer's short cartoon"Snow White" (starring Betty Boop). Cab Calloway singing the "St. James Infirmary Blues" is a highlight.
1937- Connecticut issued the first metal license plates for autos.
1941- Congress approved a designating a committee to investigate waste in defense appropriations. It was chaired by junior Missouri Senator Harry Truman. The Truman commission routed out corruption ad sweetheart deals among businessmen doing war work. The exposed waste, fraud, padding bills and corporations still doing business with the enemy, even after Pearl Harbor. The Truman Commission saved America millions and made Harry Truman a national figure. No such committee was allowed for the Iraq War, and the result is billions given out in secret no-bid contracts, and $9 billion still unaccounted for.
1946-The National Cartoonists Society formed.
1951- Frank Sinatra was subpoenaed by the Senate Kefhauver Committee looking into the activities of the Mafia. In deference to Old Blue Eyes public persona, strings were pulled so he was allow to testify in his attorney’s private office high in 30 Rockefeller Plaza at 4:00 a.m.
1954- Puerto Rican Nationalists shoot 5 congressman on Capitol Hill. They opened fire from the visitors gallery down on the Congressman.
1961- John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps.
1961-The Ken Doll introduced.
1962- A huge tickertape parade in New York is held for astronaut John Glenn.
1966- The Russian probe Venera 3 landed on Venus. Although the Venera crash landed it was the first unmanned probe to land on the surface of another world.
1968- Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara, who presided over the Vietnam War buildup and humiliated by the Tet Offensive, resigned and was replaced by presidential advisor Clark Clifford.
1971- Radical Hippy Weathermen Movement planted a bomb in the men’s room of the US Senate. It exploded causing thousands of dollars in damage but hurting no one.
1975- The first Honda Civics arrive in the US.
1978- Unemployed auto mechanics Gatchko Ganas and Roman Wardas broke into the tomb of Charlie Chaplin in Vevey Switzerland and stole his remains. They tried to hold it for ransom. The body was recovered and the two losers were soon arrested. They were trying to make enough money to open a car repair garage in France.
1988- Apple introduced the first commercially available CD-ROM drive for your personal computer.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be in the limelight?
Answer: Before electricity, Victorian stages were lit by burning calcium quicklime in the footlights. It gave off a bright light, but must have smelled awful, and it gave a yellowish glow to the skin. Toulouse Lautrec's paintings show this. So to be in the limelight meant to be the center of public attention.
Feb 28, 2015 sat
February 28th, 2015
Question: What does it mean to be in the limelight?
Yesterday’s Question: Was Pope Joan real?
History for 2/28/2015
Birthdays: Michel de Montaigne, The Marquis de Montcalm, Happy 100th Samuel 'Zero" Mostel 1915-1977, Vasclav Nijinsky, Molly Picon, Gavin MacCleod, Sir John Tenniel, Bernadette Peters, Bubba Smith, Mario Andretti, Milton Caniff- the creator of Terry and the Pirates", Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel, Tommy Tune, Vincente Minelli, Linus Pauling, Dorothy Stratton, John Tarturro, Jack Abramoff
468AD- Today is the Feast of St. Hilarius, who was a bishop at the Synod of Brigands. Held at Ephesus in 449AD, the theological debate of Church elders over where to put the Feast of Easter got so out of hand that the Patriarch of Constantinople was beaten to death, and Hilarus jumped out of a window to escape the brawl.
1574- The Spanish Inquisition sets up shop in the New World. The first two Mexican Lutherans were burned at the stake in a huge auto-da-fe in Mexico City.
1745- MADAME LA POMPADOUR- At a masked ball at the Paris Hotel du Ville King Louis XV first met his hot mistress Madame La Pompadour. She was dressed as Diana the goddess of the Hunt. The King was dressed as a Yew Tree. She was a gorgeous girl named Jeanne Poisson d’Etoiles who was not only beautiful, but highly intelligent. Even her mother predicted “she is a morsel fit for a king”. Louis ennobled her with the title Madame la Pompadour. Her husband was given a job as a tax collector and told to get lost. Madame La Pompadour spent the next thirteen years not only ruling Louis’ heart but France as well and sponsored many artists and scholars like Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot. Long after their sexual attraction faded, Louis and Jeanne remained friends.
1753- Pope Clement XIII finally gave permission for the Catholic Bible to be translated into languages other than Latin, something people like John Wyclif were once burned for.
1827- First U.S. Railroad incorporated The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O).
1835-Dr. Elias Lohnnrot published the Finnish national epic poem Kalevala. It’s about the first man Vanjiamoimmen, who was born old and searched for the magical machine called the Samo, kept in a mountain with seven locks, guarded by seven wizards chanting Samo, Samo!
1882- The first college store opened, COOP, this one attached to Harvard.
1896- Robert Paul demonstrates a kinetograph to the Royal Institute.
The British Cinema is born.
1916- Writer Henry James died. William Faulkner said "He was the nicest old lady I ever met." H.L. Mencken eulogized: "Henry James was an idiot, and a Boston idiot to boot, of which there is no form lower." Mencken was equally caustic of other regions.
1920- Evans vs. Gore – Al Gore’s grandfather. The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the legality of the Income Tax amendments, saying:” The power to tax carries with it the power to embarrass and destroy “. Isn’t that reassuring.?.
1920 Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin debuted..
1921-THE KRONSTADT REBELLION-The sailors of the Russian Baltic Fleet had been the most politically radical group in the armed forces, Trotsky's "pride and joy". Their naval guns trained on the Winter Palace helped win the Bolshevik revolution. But by 1921 they were disillusioned with "the nightmare rule of communist dictatorship" . The fleet in St. Petersburg harbor mutinied, demanding freedom of speech and press, and the right to form labor unions. Lenin and Trotsky’s reaction? ”We will shoot them down like partridges.” They sent 20,000 Red Army troops charging across the ice of the frozen harbor to attack the Red Navy. They crushed the sailor's revolt but the cost in human lives was so high the Finnish government complained of impending epidemics when the ice thaws start to wash corpses all over their Baltic coastline.
1938- President Franklin Roosevelt introduced in Congress a bill to make the practice of Lynching black men a Federal crime. After a lengthy filibuster by Southern Conservative Senators FDR caved in and withdrew the bill.
1940- At the Oscars ceremony Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to win an Oscar for her supporting role in Gone With The Wind. When the NAACP criticized her for portraying a stereotyped black mammy, McDaniel snapped:” I’d rather make $5000 a week playing a maid than $5 a week being a maid!”
1940- Richard Wright’s novel Native Son, about growing up black in America, first published.
1942- Battle of the Java Sea. Japanese forces shoot up a U.S.-Dutch naval task force.
1953- Englishman James Watson walked into his local pub and announced to the barman” Barman, Set them up, I’ve just discovered the secret of life!” That morning Watson & Francis Crick had indeed came upon the DNA double helix molecule. They were building on the work of fellow scientist Rosalind Franklin. It’s been argued that Franklin was the one who actually did all the work, but she died before Watson and Crick received the Nobel Prize.
1968- Former teen idol singer Frankie Lyman OD’s on heroin.
1975- A fog bank crossing Freeway 91 near Corona California caused a 300 car pile up.
1982- BP oil tycoon J. Paul Getty had died in 1976 the richest man on earth. Getty found his immediate family so annoying he left the bulk of his estate to his little Getty Museum in Malibu California. This day after all attempts of the family to challenge his will were exhausted, the Getty Museum was endowed with two billion dollars and immediately became the richest museum on earth.
1983- The last episode of the television series M*A*S*H. It was the single most watched TV episode in history.
1986- Swedish Prime Minister Olav Palme was assassinated as he left a movie theater. The murderer was never found.
1993- Government agents arriving at David Koresh’s Branch-Davidian Cultists Compound in Waco, Texas are met with gunfire. Six were killed. The FBI siege commences that lasts until April 19th.
2001- Seattle rocked by a 7.0 earthquake. That’ll stir your Starbucks!
2012- Pope Benedict XVI stepped down. The first pope to resign since 1419.
Yesterdays Question: Was Pope Joan real?
Answer: No. Two medieval writers invented stories of a woman disguised as a priest who became pope, other scholars claim the legend was a variation on the story of a tenth century courtesan named Marozia who controlled two popes and whose daughter became mistress to a third. No conclusive proof has ever been found.
Feb 27, 2015
February 27th, 2015
Question: Was Pope Joan real?
Yesterday’s question answered below: When Queen Elizabeth II finally kicks it, What number will Charles be?
History for 2/27/2015
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantine 280AD, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Steinbeck, Ralph Nader, Marion Anderson, Chelsea Clinton, Franchot Tone, William Demarest, James Worthy, Mirella Freni, Judge Hugo Black, David Sarnoff the founder of NBC network, Joanne Woodward, Elizabeth Taylor
In the ancient Roman calendar this was the festival of the First Equirra, the blessing of the horses of the Roman cavalry.
1776- The American Congressmen in Philadelphia received the news from overseas that the British Crown declared a halt to negotiations on American grievances. That all subjects living in His Majesties Colonies in North America who did not unconditionally surrender and renew their allegiance to their King, would be branded a traitor. That meant hanging. This must have weighed heavy on the American Congressmen’s minds when they voted on the Declaration of Independence.
1814- Beethoven’s 8th Symphony premiered.
1827- The first Mardi Gras celebration was held in New Orleans. Mardi Gras parties were first held by the French colonists of Mobile Alabama in 1709. From there the custom spread to the Big Easy.
1859- TEMPORARY INSANITY DEFENSE- While New York Congressman Dan Sickles was being a Washington wheeler-dealer his lonely wife began an affair with the dashing son of Francis Scott Key, Phillip Barton Key. When Sickles found out he was horrified, even though he had cheated on her numerous times. This is the Victorian Era after all. Phillip Barton Key just then had the misfortune to be spotted passing by their house on Lafayette Square. Sickles in a rage grabbed a pistol and rushed after him, confronting him across the street from the White House: "Key, you Blackguard! You have dishonored my marriage bed and must die!" All Key could do was throw his opera glasses at him. Congressman Sickles then shot him dead.
Incredibly, Sickles was acquitted of murder by the first use of the ‘plea of temporary insanity’. His attorney was Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's secretary of war. Sickles and Stanton both were close friends of President Buchanan.
Dan Sickles went on to finish his term, become a Union General and fought at Gettysburg, won the Medal of Honor, lived to 93 and helped build New York’s Central Park. He even reconciled with Mrs. Sickles.
1860- Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at the Cooper Union Institute in New York declaring himself a potential candidate for President: " A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand." The elite New York audience at first snickered at the Illinois man’s high nasal Western twang, but they soon were inspired by his words. He received a standing ovation when he finished. That previous day he first posed for photographer Matthew Brady who made a famous photo that was copied and recopied around the country. Lincoln later said:" Brady and the Cooper Institute made me president."
1864- ANDERSONVILLE- The first Union prisoners arrive at the Andersonville Prison in Georgia. In the early parts of the Civil War the armies exchanged or paroled prisoners of war. But after the U.S. Army started enlisting Black soldiers, the Confederacy refused them equal status and declared they would treat them as slaves in rebellion. So Grant and Lincoln broke off the exchanging system.
As the crowd of captured Yankees grew into the thousands, the Confederacy placed them in open air camps exposed to the wind and cold. They drew a 'dead man's line drawn around the perimeter. Sharpshooters would shoot down any man fool enough to cross the line. Thousands died of starvation and exposure. The photos of the emaciated prisoners have a grim familiarity to photos of Holocaust survivors of the Twentieth Century. The North had it’s own equally bad prison camp for Southerners near Chicago.
After the Civil War the commander of Andersonville prison, a Swiss immigrant named Godfrey Wirtz, became the first officer executed for war crimes, and the first to say he was only following orders.
1881- Battle of Majuba Hill, Boer or White South African insurgents defeat a British army and kill it's commander Sir George Colley. The British Army and public burned to avenge the defeat but Mr. Gladestones’ Liberal Government was going through a reform phase and was uninterested at that time in acquiring any more Imperial territory .They ordered Gen. Evelyn Wood to sign an agreement with the Boers thereafter creating the Republic of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Still, another Boer War would break out again ten years later.
1881- The German Kaiser Wilhelm II married Augusta Victoria. They had a huge family and when Augusta died after World War I the elderly Kaiser remarried in exile.
1883- Musical impresario Oscar Hammerstein patented the first practical cigar rolling machine.
1900-Battle of Paaderberg-(Anglo-Boer war). Lord Roberts -”Little Bobs” decisively defeated the Boer Army by surrounding it in it’s laager (wagon circle) and pounding it with long distance artillery. Lord Roberts directed his battles while sipping champagne.
1900- In Britain several Independent Labor Parties, Trade union and Fabian Societies form the British Labor Party under Ramsey MacDonald. After the Liberals fell apart over Irish autonomy Labor became the dominant alternative to the Tory Conservatives.
1908- Oklahoma statehood.
1914- Throughout his long life Teddy Roosevelt always reacted to bad news by a furious physical action. After losing his bid to return to the Presidency in 1912, Roosevelt responded by a trip down the most dangerous uncharted rivers of the Amazon jungle. Shooting the rapids on the 'River of Doubt" during the rainy season several of Roosevelt's party died, and he developed malaria, dysentery and a dangerous leg abscess and almost died himself. They made it to safety on this day and the river was renamed the Rio Teodoro in his honor. When asked why a man his age (56) would attempt such a reckless adventure he replied: " I saw it was my last chance to be a boy."
1917-THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION BEGAN- In St. Petersburg a general strike was festering since the 23rd. Today soldiers and police start to join demonstrators instead of arresting them. Shouts of :"Cossacks! Don't shoot your brothers! Enough of blood! We want Peace and Bread!" The law courts were torched, prisons opened and the protestors grab the Czar's Rolls Royce and drive it around town draped in red flags. Government officials start to flee the city. Czar Nicholas out at his military headquarters received the news that the nations capitol was no longer under his control.
1919- Gustav Holst’s orchestral piece The Planets, first premiered in London.
1932- The GLASS-STEAGALL ACT passed Congress. This act was a reaction to the Stock Market collapse of 1929. When banks collapsed from stock speculation they dragged down average citizens savings accounts who owned no stocks. Glass-Steagall ordered banks to either do private account banking or corporate banking and stock selling, but not both. The act caused the giant financial titans like J.P. Morgan and Lehman Brothers to break up and divest. The act was finally repealed by the 103rd congress in 1995, finished off by the Graham Smith Bliley Act of 2000, and the U.S. economy collapsed as a result in 2008.
1933-The Reichstag Fire- The German parliament building was destroyed in a spectacular fire. The perpetrator was never found but a Dutch Communist named Marinus Van Der Lubbe was arrested. The incident enabled Hitler to force through legislation suspending civil liberties, trial by jury and ruling like a dictator.
1936- Women in Egypt get the right to vote.
1939- The US Supreme Court outlawed sit down strikes. This was accepted in the patriotic climate of war tension but like all restrictions on labor rights it is still in effect today.
1942- The USS Langley was the first US aircraft carrier, first launched as a coal ship in 1912 and later converted. Rushed to the Pacific after Pearl Harbor this day the aged ship was sunk in battle by Japanese dive bombers.
1945- In the face of the advancing Allied armies, Hitler gives orders to the Gestapo to execute all remaining political prisoners. Included are all captured Allied spies, Dr. Goerdeler the mastermind of the General's July 20th Bomb Plot, and Christian Bishop Dietrich Bonhoeffer, author of "Letters and Papers from Prison" which became a Christian classic.
1956- Elvis Presley released song Heartbreak Hotel.
1958- Columbia Pictures mogul Harry Cohn died of old age. His ruthlessness was legend in Hollywood. He once said " I don't get ulcers, I give them!" Hedda Hopper said:' You have to wait in line to hate him." The entire Columbia staff was ordered, not asked, to attend a memorial service. Looking at the large crowd around the coffin, Red Skelton quipped: "You see, give the people what they want, and they'll show up."
1973- 200 members of the American Indian Movement led by Russell Means and Dennis Banks take over the Wounded Knee historical site. The hold it and attract world attention to the plight of the Native American before surrendering to the F.B.I. and Army in May.
1977- In Toronto the Canadian Mounties bust Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg for heroin possession. The Stones agree to do two benefit concerts as punishment.
1991- President George Bush Sr. declared The Gulf War successfully completed, “The Day of the Dictator is Over!” even though Saddam Hussein remained in power.
1991- The Mitchell Brothers were tops in the pornography business, producing blockbusters like Behind the Green Door and running the O’ Farrell Theater in San Francisco. This day after doing a lot of drugs, Jim Mitchell shot his brother Arnie to death with a rifle. The Mitchell Brothers Court case marked the first use of 3D computer animation as a scenario tool.
1994- Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan skips the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer so she could begin her multi-million dollar endorsements with DisneyWorld. She blows it all later when she’s caught on camera during a Disney parade saying: “This is all so corny. I can’t believe I’m doing this !”
Yesterday’s Quiz: When Queen Elizabeth II finally kicks it, What number will Charles be?
Answer: King Charles III.
Feb 26, 2015 thurs
February 26th, 2015
Quiz: When Queen Elizabeth II finally kicks it, What number will Charles be?
Answer to yesterday’s question below: Who was on the English Throne during WWII?
History for 2/ 26/ 2015
Birthday:King Wenceslas of Bohemia-1361, Victor Hugo, Buffalo Bill Cody, Emma Destin, Levi Strauss, Jackie Gleason, Fats Domino, Betty Hutton, Johnny Cash, William Frawley (Fred Murtz), Robert Alda, Tony Randall- born Leonard Rosenberg, Erhyke Bahdu, Tex Avery
747 B.C. In Sumer, it is the beginning of the Age of Nabronassar.
500s BC to 391 AD, HAPPY ANTHESTERION- the Ancient Greek festival of death. The Greeks believed ghosts weren’t as scary as they were annoying. If you didn’t bury the dead properly with spices and a coin in the mouth for the Chaeron the Boatman of the River Styx, they became ghosts. They would haunt you by moping around, turning up at inappropriate moments, predicting your death, bleeding on your lunch, etc. So this festival was a sort of visiting hours for the other world.
You left your door open and cooked a meal for the spirits so they could spend a day visiting their old haunts (forgive the pun). This way they would not bug you the rest of the year. This festival was also considered a festival of flowers to usher in Spring.
Most Greeks spent all three days of the festival drunk.
393AD- Today is the feast day of Saint Porphyry, who made it rain in Gaza.
1773- Construction began in Philadelphia on the Walnut Street Jail, a Quaker alternative to physical punishment, where Penitents could reflect on their crimes- the first Penitentiary. The other innovation was individual cells instead of the large room common in colonial jails.
1775- Leslie’s Retreat. In Boston, British General Gage sent a Colonel Leslie with a column of soldiers to Salem Mass to confiscate a store of weapons the colonists had. The Redcoats played Yankee Doodle on the march, then a form of insult to Americans. They were stopped at a river crossing by a line of heavily armed Salem colonists. Leslie didn’t want a showdown, so he negotiated, while other neighbors smuggled the illegal weapons into the forest. The American Revolution started a few weeks later at Lexington & Concord.
1815- Napoleon and his followers escaped his exile island of Elba and sailed to France for another try for power. He had less than a thousand followers to try to re-conquer a nation of 14 million.
1854- Composer Robert Schumann went mad and jumped off a bridge into the Rhine River. He was fished out and institutionalized. His schizophrenia grew out of advanced syphilis. He said he was not committing suicide but had thrown his wedding ring into the river to free his wife Clara of him, Then he relented and leaped into the raging ice filled water to get it back.
Ironically this drama was played out during his town’s winter carnival celebrations. The tragedy of seeing his friend and teacher collapse moved young Johannes Brahms to write his First Piano Concerto.
1907- British Oil and Royal Shell merge to form British Petroleum- BP Company.
1919- Congress established Grand Canyon National Park.
1929- Congress declared the Grand Tetons a national park.
1935- Adolf Hitler revealed to the world press that Germany had built the Luftwaffe, the worlds’ largest air force. This was a direct violation of the restrictions placed on Germany in the Versailles Treaty. Germany awaited the response, which was nothing.
1936- The NINI ROKU-JIKEN COUP. Young Japanese officers lead four regiments to take over the government in Tokyo. They kill several government ministers and try unsuccessfully to assassinate Prime Minister Inokai. The coup collapsed when Emperor Hirohito declared he would personally lead his Imperial Guard against them if they would not stand down. The anti-war Prime Minister was later assassinated by another officer. Despite the coups failure, peace-party politicians were intimidated to stop the Japanese army's plans for Asian conquest. The military basically ran Japan now.
1951- The 22nd Amendment ratified limiting the President to two four year terms. This was passed by a Republican Conservative dominated Congress. They were determined to never have something like Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms again.
1962- First day shooting on the first James Bond film Dr. No. The scene was in M's office and featured Bernard Lee, Peter Burton and the new discovery, Sean Connery.
1965- First day of shooting on the Beatle's second film 'Help!"
1983- Michael Jackson’s album Thriller went to #1 in the pop charts and stayed for weeks. In the weeks after his death in 2009, Thriller again went to #1.
1985- New York Police under District Attorney Rudy Giuliani arrested most of the leaders of the New York Mafia families called The Commission. Despite this highly touted raid, the mob rebuilt, so that another big raid was necessary in 2010.
1990- Cornell Gunther, lead singer for the DooWop group the Coasters, was shot dead at a Las Vegas traffic intersection."Yakkety-Yak, Don't Talk Back!"
1991- At a meeting in Switzerland, Tim Berners-Lee introduced the first Web Browser.
1991-The Highway of Death- During Gulf War One, The U.S. Air Force fighter bombers caught a long column of Iraqi army vehicles fleeing on an open desert road with no cover. No one is sure how many Iraqis were killed.
1993- THE FIRST WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACK. Followers of Moslem extremist cleric Omar Abdel Rahman set off a large truck bomb in New York's World Trade Center. The bomb created a five story crater in level B-2 of the underground parking structure. It killed 7 and injured over one thousand. 50,000 had to be evacuated from the twin towers for smoke inhalation.
It has been speculated that one reason there were not even more deaths in the collapse of 9-11, 2001 was because much of the office workers experienced this 1993 attack, so they knew exactly how to evacuate the towers quickly. President Clinton’s Justice Dept had all the perpetrators in jail within a year. When planner Ramsay Youssef was being flown out of New York to his 240 year imprisonment the plane flew over Manhattan by the World Trade Center. He was reported to have sighed: ….should have used more dynamite.²
Yesterday’s Question: Who was on the English Throne during WWII?
Answer: King George VI. Queen Elizabeths’ daddy.