Dec 6, 2016
December 6th, 2016

Question: In the Middle Ages, when a king ordered a Te Deum, what was it?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Who first said, “to the victor belongs the spoils”….?
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History for 12/6/2016
Birthdays: King Henry VI of England-1422, English Puritan General George Monck-1608, John Eberhard 1822, builder of the first large pencil factory in the US, John Singleton-Mosby the Grey Ghost, Henry Jarecki, Baby Face Nelson, William S. Hart, Ira Gershwin, Dave Brubeck, Agnes Moorehead, Tom Hulce is 63, Wally Cox, Lynn Fontaine, Steven Wright, JoBeth Williams, Judd Apatow is 49, Nick Park is 58

Today is the FEAST of SAINT NICHOLAS, the patron saint of sailors and children. In the 350 AD Bishop Nicholas heard of a man so poor that he was about to sell his daughters into prostitution. Nicholas climbed into the man’s window and placed gold coins in the family socks drying by the fireplace. In some cities during the Middle Ages the custom was this day to elect a Boy Bishop who would reign in an honorary style until the Feast of the Holy Innocents December 28th.

1196- The northern coast of Holland was flooded, the Saint Nicholas Flood.

1240- The Mongol hordes of Batu Khan destroy the city of Kiev. This ended the old kingdom of Kievan Russ.

1534- Spanish settlers in Equador found the city of Quito.

1648- PRIDE'S PURGE -The final move of the Cromwell’s Army to secure power in post-Civil War England. His army had occupied London after Parliament had given him a direct order to disband. Soldiers led by a Colonel Thomas Pride stood at the entrance to the House of Commons with a list and as the Parliament members walked in he pulled out 60 of them for arrest. Outraged statesmen demanded to know what was his commission? Pride sneered " This sword point is my commission!"

Thus cowed, the truncated remainder was nicknamed the Rump Parliament. General Oliver Cromwell was discreetly out of town, but he was doubtless in on the planning of the purge. England was now a military dictatorship and would remain so for ten years until Cromwell's death when General Monk called back the monarchy.

1757-Battle of Leuthen- Frederick the Great beats the Austrian Army outnumbering him three to one. Austrian commander Archduke Charles was contemptuous of the smaller Prussian army, calling them a “Berlin Watch Parade” i.e. a police force. But the Prussians defeated the Austrians badly, and sang their hymn Nun Danket Alle Gott on the blood soaked snow. Napoleon called Leuthen Frederick’s masterpiece.

1790- Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia to await construction of it’s final home in the new Federal City in Maryland, already being called by some Washington-City. George Washington himself would occasionally ride out from Mt Vernon and meet with Jefferson and Madison to inspect the construction site.

1825- President John Quincy Adams in his first message to Congress called for increased funding for scientific research, the founding of a national university and a national observatory. His political enemies ridiculed his ideas as idiotic and his credibility was damaged by this speech. He also installed the first indoor toilets in the White House. People started calling the newfangled commodes a John Quincy or simply a John.

1846- Battle of San Pasquale- A Mexican victory in the U.S.-Mexican War. The US Army was so sure that California was conquered that General Phil Kearny detached half of his army to go join Zachary Taylor in Mexico while he pushed on to the Pacific Coast. Just outside of San Diego Harbor he was attacked by California Vacqueros brandishing lances. The Yankee militia at first laughed at the silly “pig-stickers”, until they realized the previous nights rainstorm had made their gunpowder useless. Kearnys force was chased away. Only with great difficulty did they escape under Kit Carson’s guidance to the sheltering guns of the US Fleet in San Diego harbor. The battlefield is near the town of Julian California.

1849- Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland and began her underground railroad to smuggle runaway slaves from the South up North. After the Fugitive Slave Act was passed she extend her route to Canada. At one point she wanted to join John Browns insurrection in Harpers Ferry but illness prevented her, and probably saved her life.

1877- First edition of the Washington Post.

1915- MAX FLEISCHER PATENTS THE ROTOSCOPE TECHNIQUE- This system enables you to film an actor then draw the cartoons over the still frames of the live action to achieve a realistic motion. (an early form of Motion Capture) Max would film his brother Dave in a clown suit then draw Koko the Clown over him. Dave had already owned the clown suit because he had been seriously considering a change in careers. The Fleischer's New York studio would be Disney's chief rival for most of the 1920's-30's.

1921- IRISH INDEPENDENCE- Irish home rule announced. It had been an Irish dream since William Strongbow and the Norman English invaded in 1085. After decades of Parliamentary pressure from advocates like Charles Parnell and Daniel O'Connell, a long guerrilla war with the IRA and public exhaustion from the Great War, London was ready to talk terms. But the British Crown insisted on a compromise of letting the 6 Protestant Counties of Ulster remain under British rule and an oath of loyalty to the king. Prime Minister Lloyd George threatened a full war on Ireland with all the resources of the British Empire as the alternative.
Irish negotiators Michael Collins and Alexander Griffith knew this deal would cause resentment, but they felt it was the best they could get. In the following months both men would be dead and a civil war broke out. The loyalty oath was ignored and full Irish independence declared in 1946.

1929- Turkey under Kemal Ataturk gave women the right to vote.

1933- U.S. Federal Judge Woolsey decides James Joyce's "ULYSSES" is not a dirty book and can be published in the U.S by Viking Press. The book had been out in Europe since 1922.

1941- Admiral Nagumo turned his carriers into the wind and began to prepare to launch the attack on Pearl Harbor. Colonel William Bratton of army intelligence in Washington decoded a message from Tokyo to the Japanese Embassy telling them after their final message to destroy their cyphers and top secret documents. He ran all over D.C. trying to get someone to listen, but it was a quiet weekend like any other.
Saturday morning Mrs. Dorothy Edgers of the Navy cryptographic division translated long decoded instructions to the Japanese Consul Kita in Honolulu to provide up to date intelligence on Pearl Harbor's ship movements and armaments. When she pointed this out to her immediate supervisor, he told her "Ummm..We'll get back to this on Monday."

1941- WONDER WOMAN, Psychologist William Moulton Marston was an educational consultant for Detective Comics, Inc. (DC Comics). Marston saw that the DC line was filled with images of super men like Green Lantern, Batman, Superman. He wondered why there was not a female hero? DC head Max Gaines, was intrigued by the concept and told Marston that he should create a female hero - a "Wonder Woman." Marston's 'good and beautiful woman' made her debut in All Star Comics #8.

1941- NY City Council decided to build a second municipal airport- Idylwild Airport, later renamed John F. Kennedy Airport.

1942- Val Lewton’s strange movie the Cat People with Simon-Simon premiered.

1957- In a reaction to the Russians launching sputnik, the first US attempt to launch a satellite into space failed- the Vanguard I rocket blew up on the launch pad.

1960- Baseball’s American League granted an expansion franchise team to old cowboy singer Gene Autrey, the California Angels.

1964- The first concert at the Los Angeles Music Center.

1964- Rankin Bass' TV special 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' first broadcast. And it has run every year since.

1969- The Rolling Stones do the last big rock festival of the 60s in Altamont California. The festival turned ugly when Hells Angels motorcyclists, hired to guard the stage, started fighting with fans. One man was killed.

1980- Reverend Jim Baker of the PTL ministry had sex in a motel room with Church volunteer Jessica Hahn. His reasoning to her was “when you help the shepherd, you help the flock”. But later he paid her hush money. This indiscretion would help pull down his career. Baker’s ministry included a lavish lifestyle, air-conditioned doghouse for his pets and a Christian theme park called Heritage USA. Ex-evangelist turned comic Sam Kinison joked: I can imagine up in heaven, Jesus is thumbing through the New Testament saying” Hey, where the Hell did I ever say anything thing about a water slide?”
Recently Baker is on a comeback and his adult son is making statements about national politics.

1994- Orange County California, one of the richest counties in the United States declared bankruptcy because an official gambled and lost the county's funds on speculative investments like junk-bonds. One billion dollars disappeared in less than a week of day trading.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who first said, “to the victor belongs the spoils”….?

Answer: Democratic senator William Marcey in 1828, in reaction to his party winning back the White House with President Andy Jackson.


Dec 5, 2016
December 5th, 2016

Question: Who first said, “to the victor belongs the spoils”….?

Yesterdays Question Answered Below: Name me a character in Shakespeare that appears in more than one play.
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History for 12/5/2016
Birthdays: Pope Julius II, Martin Van Buren, Walt Disney, Fritz Lang, Eugene Debs, George Armstrong Custer, Little Richard Penniman, Strom Thurmond, Otto Preminger, Lin Piao, Calvin Trillin, Joan Didion, Jim Plunkett, Jose Carrerras, Margaret Cho is 49

Faunalia- the ancient Roman festival for rustic god Faunus.

1212-THE WONDER OF THE WORLD.- Fredrick II Hohenstaufen became Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation at 18. The son of Henry VI the Lion, Freddy was called "stupor mundi et immutator mirabilis” The Marvelous Transformer and Wonder of the World”.

1349- People in Europe were at a loss to explain why the Black Death plague was killing everyone. So they settled on their age-old answer- It must be the Jews fault! This day in Nuremberg 500 Jews were killed by rioters.

1484- Pope Innocent VIII raises the practice of Witchcraft from a minor sin to a major heresy. Included in the definition of witchcraft is any remaining vestiges of local animist customs, herbalism or treating illnesses with home grown medicines. He ordered the Holy Office of the Inquisition to look into all cases. From 1484 to 1750 maybe 200,000 people died in Europe and America. As late as 1784 a woman in Belgium was executed for bewitching a child. The last burning of the Spanish Inquisition was in 1817.

1492- Christopher Columbus, still looking for Japan, now discovered Haiti.

1502- Columbus last voyage was hit by a hurricane. For twelve days his ships were battered by wind and waves. At one point Columbus saw a waterspout in the ocean near them. He read a Rite of Exorcism at it and made the sign of the Cross with his sword. Tradition says it then went away.

1560- King Francis II of France died at age 16. His mommy Catherine de Medici didn’t fret, she had more sons. She made her next son Charles IX king at age 10.

1704- In Hamburg, towards the end of the opera Cleopatre composer Georg Frederich Handel and soloist Johann Mattheson started bickering over who should bow and receive the audiences applause. As the curtain came down and the cheers rang out, Handel and Mattheson began furiously wrestling over the harpsichord. Finally they rushed out into the snowy public square and fought with swords. The audience followed them and cheered on this unique encore. Neither was hurt in the end, and they even made up over their next opera.

1766- London auction house Christies held it’s first auction.

1791-MOZART DIED- The 35 year old composer was slaving away on a commission for a Requiem Mass when he died of scarlet fever and kidney failure complicated by exhaustion and alcoholism ( and he didn't work in animation ) Mozart was buried in a pauper's grave and when his wife came to mourn him a few days later nobody could recall where he was buried.
The theories about Antonio Salieri poisoning him out of jealousy or the FreeMasons doing him in began only a few years later. Schiller wrote a play in 1817 called Mozart & Salieri where he has Salieri doing the dastardly deed. Salieri lived into his 80s. In 1827 one of Beethoven's pupils wrote the Maestro about going up to the sanitarium to visit the ancient composer: "Salieri is in one of his fits again, shouting “I killed Mozart! Mozart forgive me!”"

1791- First Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton presented his Report on Manufactures to Congress. This was considered a revolutionary document because here was this illegitimate snob telling his half wild nation of farmers and trappers with dead raccoons on their heads, that their future lay in developing heavy industry closely regulated by a strong centralized government. Thomas Jefferson among many others thought it was a big mistake, but modern scholars declare The Report on Manufactures as the true beginning of the US economy.

1804- The Presentation of the Eagles- Part of Napoleon’s reforming of the French Army after becoming Emperor was to standardize the battle flags. The old tattered flags of the Revolution were collected and a red, white and blue flag with gold trim was distributed, each surmounted by a brass Eagle patterned on an ancient Roman design. In 1807 the flag was standardized as the modern French tricolor we know today. Also given out was an emerald green flag with golden harps to the Irish Volunteer brigade. Jacques Louis David did a beautiful painting of the event but the truth be told it was a lousy rainy day and there was a lot of confusion.

1837- Hector Berlioz chorale Requiem premiered.

1854- Aaron Allen of Boston patented the theater chair that folded up so you could exit.

1865-The steel industry is transformed when Sir Henry Bessemer received an American patent for the Bessemer Steel process, which made steel harder with less impurities.

1912- New York Hat directed by D.W. Griffith premiered. The first movie script written by Anita Loos, then 19. She became one of the finest Hollywood screenwriters, who penned films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

1933- Prohibition was repealed in the U.S. Interestingly enough the final state to ratify the repeal amendment was Utah. My grandmother recalled a parade of beer trucks going down Broadway in New York, being cheered like Lindbergh. She jumped on the running board of one to hoist a stein with young congressman Fiorello Laguardia and Al Smith.

1941- Marshal Zhukov commenced the first Soviet counterattack since the Nazis invasion began in June. As the Red Army pushed the Germans 100 miles back from the outskirts of Moscow. The Germans first came up against the new Soviet T-34 Stalin Tank. German tank expert Heinz Guderian wrote to a colleague” I have just seen a most amazing tank, and if the Russians are mass producing them, we may lose the war!”

1941- Admiral Halsey moved his carrier fleet- USS Lexington & Enterprise out of Pearl Harbor to go on maneuvers. They would not be there for the Japanese attack on Pearl. This is why Admiral Yamamoto was disappointed with the battle’s final results.

1945- Flight 19, a routine training patrol of 5 Navy Avenger torpedo bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale at 2:00PM and flew into the Bermuda Triangle. Two hours later the commander radioed that his compass and backup compass had failed and his position was unknown. The 14 men and their planes were never seen again. In the next few months hundreds of planes and ships searched the waters for some signs of wreckage but so far nothing has ever been found.

1951- Shoeless Joe Jackson died. The most powerful baseball batter of his age, he taught Babe Ruth how to hit. But he was implicated in the Black Sox scandal of 1919 and permanently banned from baseball. He spent the rest of his life running a hardware store near his rural Georgia home.

1952- The Abbott and Costello Television Show premiered. Where’s Hilary, Mr Fields and Stinky? “ Niagara Falls! Slooowwlly I turn! Step by Step! Step by Step!”

1952- A killer smog blanketed London and southern England for a week. Visibility was reduced to barely a yard. Before it dispersed it killed between 4,000-12,000 people. The crisis spurred Britain to ban the use of coal fires to heat homes.

1953- Josef Stalin died. He was in a coma after a stroke but his doctors were too terrified to treat him. Before he died he was preparing a new purge, aimed at doctors.

1953- Russian Composer Sergei Prokoviev died, but the news was overshadowed by the death of Stalin.

1974- The Seattle Seahawks football team formed.

1974- The BBC aired the last Monty Python show.

1978- Under the Jimmy Carter administration, a federal judge ruled that religious schools could no longer be segregated, and still claim religious tax-exempt status. This made many mega churches decide to shift their activities towards Republican politics.
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Yesterday’s Question: Name me a character in Shakespeare that appears in more than one play.

Answer: Sir John Falstaff appears in four plays, Henry IV part one, and Henry IV part two, Henry V, and the Merry Wives of Windsor.

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dec 4, 2016
December 4th, 2016

Question: Name me a character in Shakespeare that appears in more than one play.

Yesterday’s Question answered below: In ancient times, there was a region called Illyricum. What do we call it today?
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History for 12/4/2016
Birthdays: Chief Crazy Horse, Samuel Butler*, Thomas Carlyle, Lillian Russell, Vasilly Kandinsky, Buck Jones, Wink Martindale, Max Baer Jr.,Robert Vesco, Charles Keating, Wally George, Deanna Durbin, Pappy Boyington, Horst Bucholtz, Rainer Maria Rilke,, Jeff Bridges is 67, Marisa Tomei is 52, Tyrah Banks is 43, Johnny Lyon of the band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Jay-Z is 47, Fred Armisen is 50

*"Life is one long process of getting tired."- Samuel Butler.

963AD- Pope John XII died. According to chronicler Luidprand of Cremona, his Holiness was beaten to death by the husband of a woman he was sleeping with.

1154- Nicholas Breakspeare elected Pope Adrian IV, so far the only Englishman ever made pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

1534- Ottoman Turkish Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent occupied Baghdad.

1655- Jews had been expelled from England since 1291. This year Oliver Cromwell convened a conference at Whitehall to consider re-admittance of Jewish people. Cromwell’s Puritans hated Irish Papists, but had great sympathy for “God’s chosen People”. One Roundhead legislator even proposed moving the Sabbath Day back to Saturday. But there was still too much anti-Semitic resistance to make the re-admittance official. Despite the failure of the government to make a decision, from this time on Jewish families began resettling in England. They were allowed their own Jewish Burial Ground in 1657. In 1715 Solomon Medina became the first Jewish person to receive a knighthood. In the 1800s, Lionel Rothschild joined the House of Lords.

1657-Old Painter Rembrandt van Rijn was evicted from his home. He was kept out of debtor’s prison, when his daughter and son-in-law auctioned most of his possessions to pay off his creditors.

1777- Ben Franklin and the American commissioners in France were in despair. Nothing but bad news about British victories, and the French government was complaining about American privateers attacking British ships in French waters. Even sympathetic French newspapers were calling the American Revolution lost.
Today with playwright Pierre de Beaumarchais in attendance, a courier from across the sea arrived. Jonathan Austin delivered the that at Saratoga British General Burgoyne and his entire army were defeated and captured. Immediately the French, Dutch and Spanish governments started calling the Americans “our friends”, and began discussing an alliance.

1783- WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL- The American Revolution now ended, George Washington bid farewell to his officers he shared 8 years of war with at a dinner at Fraunces Tavern in New York. Creole cook Samuel Fraunces "Black Sam' was later invited by Washington to become the first presidential chef. The tavern is still there on the corner of Water and Pearl Streets and still serves food and ale. It has a little Washington museum on the second floor.

1791- The London Observer, called the oldest continually published newspaper in the world, first published. True, the Times was begun in 1788 but it had a spotty release it’s first few years while its publisher would be thrown in prison for libel.

1829- The British in India abolished the custom of suttee- that a widow throw herself on her husbands funeral pyre and die also.

1875- William Marcy “Boss Tweed” escaped Ludlow Street jail and fled to Cuba. He had been the corrupt boss of New York City politics throughout the 1860s and 70s. He was rearrested in Spain by a Spanish policeman who spoke no English. When asked by American diplomats the Spaniard said he saw a newspaper cartoon by Thomas Nast of Tweed in prison garb with his hands on two young boys so he thought he was a kidnapper! Tweed was brought to justice by the one crime he probably never did.

1881- First issue of the Los Angeles Times.

1909- The first Canadian Football League championship the Grey Cup, U of Toronto defeated Toronto Parkdale 26-6

1915- HENRY FORD'S PEACE SHIP-The great industrialist was a livelong pacifist and was horrified by the carnage of the Great War. On this day he equipped a large yacht with neutral diplomats and other famous personages like Thomas Edison and sailed to Europe. Pundits had fun mocking his homespun naiveté' and local lunatics like Urban Ledoux, aka Mr. Zero, jumped into New York Harbor and swarm alongside the ship "to ward off hostile torpedoes." Ford docked in Oslo harbor hoping to use his influence to get the Kaiser, Czar and the other crowned heads to a bargaining table like some kind of board of directors negotiation. Nobody would meet with him. Young N.Y. politician Fiorello LaGuardia noted: "The only boy he managed to save from the trenches was his own son!"

1919- President Woodrow Wilson left the US by battleship for Europe to help chair the Versailles Peace Conference ending the Great War. Once there he surprised people by refusing to visit the battlefields and tour the horror and devastation. He said:” They want me to see red as they do. But I feel at least one of us should remain impartial.”

1927- The Cotton Club opened as a speakeasy nightclub in Harlem. Owners were New York gangsters Owney “The Killer” Madden and George “Big Frenchy” DeMange. Duke Ellington’s orchestra highlighted the opening night. When other gangsters tried to open a rival The Plantation Club, Owney had his hoods firebomb the place. The Cotton Club was one of the great centers of the Harlem Renaissance, but African Americans were banned from eating or drinking at the tables. Even W.C. Handy was turned away.

1931- James Whale’s macabre masterpiece film “Frankenstein” opened at the Mayfair theater in NY. English actor William Henry Pratt renamed Boris Karloff played the monster.

1932- “Good Evening Mr & Mrs North and South America and All the Ships at Sea! Let’s Go To Press!” Newspaper columnist Walter Winchell began his famous radio broadcasts on the NBC Blue Network. Winchell became one of the most powerful voices in American society and politics for 23 years.

1941- As Admiral Nagumo's carriers approached Pearl Harbor, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox assured the press: "No matter what happens, the US Navy will not be caught napping !"

1941- The animated film "Mr. Bug Goes to Town"-opened. Max Fleischer's last gamble to keep up with Walt Disney and keep his studio alive. Songs written by top pop song writer Hoagy Carmichael. However the events of Pearl Harbor three days later not only sink the American Navy, but also Hoppity's box office and puts Max out of business.

1948- “Hey...Stella!! A Streetcar Named Desire opened on Broadway with Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy.

1950- President Truman gives General MacArthur in Korea direct orders not to open his big mouth and make any more public statements about the conduct of the war, without checking with Washington first! MacArthur was used to being on his own during World War II and as proconsul of occupied Japan. He didn't fret about being his own diplomatic corps as well as general. But now everything Dugout Doug said got him into trouble. He had been making statements in press that the U.S. should expand the Korean War into Communist China and Russia, and he warned the Chinese that if they didn’t quit he planned to rain Atomic Fire upon their cities.

1955- French mime Marcel Marceau appeared on American TV for the first time.

1958- Cocoa Puffs cereal invented.

1961- Someone at the Museum of Modern Art in NY noticed that they had hung Henri Matisse’s painting Le Bateau upside down. It had been that way for two months, and until now nobody had noticed.

1963- The first Instant Replay camera used at a football game. It was an Army-Navy game.

1965 - Jerry Garcia, Bob, Phil, Bill, and Pigpen first convened as the Grateful Dead to play as the house band for Ken Kesey and the Prankster's Acid Test in San Jose, California. The Dead went on to break records, bend minds, and build a community that continues to carry the torch today.

1985- The first Cray X-MP Supercomputer booted up.

1988- Actor Gary Busey almost died in a motorcycle accident on Olympic Blvd. In Los Angeles. He was not wearing a helmet and suffered massive head trauma. He later claimed to have an out-of-the-body experience at the scene.

1993- Rocker Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer at age 52.
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Yesterday’s Question: In ancient times, there was a region called Illyricum. What do we call it today?

Answer: The Yugoslav coast- modern Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia.


Dec 3, 2016
December 3rd, 2016

Question: In ancient times, there was a region called Illyricum. What do we call it today?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does it mean when you call someone a little gamine?
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HISTORY FOR 12/3/2016
Birthdays: French King Charles VI the Well-Loved 1380, Gilbert Stuart, Sven Nykvist, Joseph Conrad- real name Josef Korzeniowski, Jean Luc Godard, Nino Rota, Jim Backus, Maria Callas, Larry Parks, Charles Pillsbury, Mitsuo Fuchida the Japanese pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, Darryl Hannah is 56, Katerina Witt, Brendan Fraser is 48, Julianne Moore is 56, Andrew Stanton is 51, Amanda Seyfried is 31

Happy Ozzy Day! Ozzie Ozbourne is 67- ”I never set out to be a businessman. I just wanted to have fun, f—k chicks and do drugs.”

749AD- This is the Feast of Saint John Damascene. He’s the saint who’s called the Father of Christian Art, because he theologically argued a way for artists to avoid the “No Graven Images “ hitch in the Ten Commandments, so we could make paintings of Jesus and the Saints.

1557- The Scottish Covenant- In Edinburgh Scotland a group of anticlerical noblemen Argyll, Glencairn, Morton, Lorne and Erskine signed the First Scottish Covenant- pledging to reform the religion of the land.

1591- The first fire insurance contract was written in Hamburg.

1775- The first official U.S. flag hoisted aboard the USS Alfred. It was thirteen stripes with a cross of Saint George and Saint Andrew in the corner.

1800-Battle of Hohenlinden- French whip the Austrians, but it wasn’t done by Napoleon but by a different general, so Nappy asks us to overlook his competition.

1818- Illinois became a state with its first capitol at Kaskaskia.

1838- THE SECRET GUILD of the SACRED HUNTERS OF THE EAST. Another goofy attempt by the U.S. to conquer Canada. On this day a force of 500 disaffected Canadians, Yankee opportunists and Polish revolutionists cross over from Detroit and capture Windsor Ontario. (why do we always invade Canada in the winter? ) They are led by the uncle of writer Ambrose Bierce, Lucius Verus Bierce. They call themselves the Secret Guild of the Sacred Hunters of the East and their intention was no less than liberating Canada from the hated British yoke !

Well nobody supported them, and while they were standing around trying to think of what to do next, the British army quickly rounded them up. Those that weren’t hanged were shipped to New Zealand. Lucius Bierce escaped back across the Detroit River in a canoe where he was promptly arrested for violating U.S. neutrality laws. He later devoted his time and money to abolition and financed John Browns’ anti-slavery campaign in Kansas.

1845- Britain wages the First Sikh War.

1868- Preliminary hearings open into the treason trial of Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederate States. Radical republicans wanted someone punished for the Civil War, but many were worried that a master lawyer like Davis would use the opportunity to prove the Constitutional basis for states legally seceding from the union. Indeed Davis himself wanted the trial to prove just that point. But presiding judge Chief Justice Salmon B. Chase had by prior arrangement with President Andrew Johnson. A plan to stall the trial until Johnson's amnesty for all confederates went into effect on Feb 15th.

1881- In Africa, explorer Henry M. Stanley founded the town of Kinshasa, which they called then Leopoldville after the King of the Belgians.

1890- A small British army marches into Buganda and camping on a hilltop called Kampala informs the local chief Mwanga that he is now part of the British Empire, whether he likes it or not. The British officer even made Mwanga sign the treaty twice because he felt his first ink splotch was done insincerely. Uganda remained a British colony until 1956.

1894- In Samoa, writer Robert Louis Stevenson was opening a bottle of wine, when he paused and cried “ What’s that?”, then he looked at his wife and said “ Does my face look strange?” Then he collapsed and died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 44.

1919- Impressionist painter Pierre August Renoir died of old age. Suffering from arthritis that left him unable to paint with his hands, Renoir used a bit that held the brush in his teeth.

1925- GEORGE GERSHWIN PLAYS CARNEGIE HALL. Gershwin always wanted to be taken seriously as a composer and not just a Tin Pan Alley pop-song writer. While in Paris he met Maurice Ravel, but instead of giving him advice Ravel said: "You make HOW much from your songs? Maybe I should learn from you!" When he asked to be Arnold Schoenberg's pupil, Schoenburg told him :" Why do you want to be a bad Schoenburg when you're already such a good Gershwin?"

1931- Happy Birthday Alka Seltzer!

1934- Lee Blair, Disney artist and brother of Preston Blair, Disney artist, married Mary Browne Robinson, Disney artist. She became the most famous of them as Mary Blair.

1941- After clandestine diplomatic initiatives to raise the U.S. oil and steel embargoes failed, The Japanese High Command radioed it's carrier fleet out in the Pacific: "Climb Mount Niitaka". This code meant go forward with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Admiral Nagumo orders resumption of radio silence and turned his fleet South-SouthWest towards Hawaii.

1944- A Nazi newspaper published on this day features a photo of a young Austrian S.S. officer with his commander in Greece. After the war the commander was hanged as a war criminal. The young man became Secretary General of the United Nations, President of Austria, and winner of a Nobel Peace Prize- Kurt Waldheim.

1956- British and French forces evacuate Egypt, where they had been since 1799.

1965- The Beatles release the album Rubber Soul.

1967- Dr. Christiaan Barnard of Capetown performed the first heart transplant.

1968- Elvis Presley opened in Las Vegas to rave reviews and packed houses. It marks the beginning of his comeback and his transition from thin, black leather-jacketed youth to fat, rhinestone jumpsuit, half tinted sunglasses, karate-swinging middle age.

1976-A 40 foot long inflated pig broke away from its’ tether at a Pink Floyd photo shoot and became a hazard to civil aviation. The AeroPork was lost to radar at 8,000 feet.

1984- An accident at a Union Carbide facility in Bhopal, India filled the air with poison methyl-isocynate gasses that killed 10,000 people and blinds or otherwise injured a further 200,000. No one from Union Carbide was ever tried or convicted for the tragedy. Saint Mother Theresa shows a controversial side of her nature when she publicly encouraged Indians to accept the disaster as God’s Will. Even today the ground around the closed facility is considered too deadly for inhabitation.

1991- Hulk Hogan defeated Undertaker to become WWF champ for the 4th time.

1997 – 56 year old Darlene Gillespie, an original member of the Mickey Mouse Club, was busted in LA for a securities fraud scheme.

1997-Basketball star Latrell Sprewell lost his $32 million contract with the Golden State Warriors for trying to strangle his coach P.J. Carlesino.

2004-The Ukranian Supreme Court ruled the recent presidential election invalid. Moscow and hardline Kiev Gov’t supported Victor Januscowicz followers committed widespread acts of voter fraud, then suppressed any news reports.
The story was revealed to the world by a heroic sign language translator for the deaf. While the state approved news anchor reported the elections on the evening news the translator, Nataliya Dmytruk, signed “EYERYTHING YOU HAVE JUST HEARD IS A LIE! YUSCHENKO IS OUR TRUE PRESIDENT! THIS IS PROBABLY THE LAST TIME YOU WILL EVER SEE ME..” The word spread spawned weeklong mass demonstrations and international pressure that compelled the government to redo the election. Ms Dmytruk survived and is today considered a national hero.

2008- Conservative Episcopalian churches in the U.S. and Canada announced they were leaving the main Episcopal communion to found a new church- the New Anglican Church of North America. These theologians objected to the Church nominating gay priests and bishops.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean when you call someone a little gamine?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: It is French for a young boyish girl, or a young girlish boy.


Dec 2, 2016
December 2nd, 2016

Question: What does it mean when you call someone a little gamine?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: King Edward Longshanks ordered the Jews out of England. Who invited them all back?
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History for 12/2/2016
Birthdays: George Seurat, Charles Ringling, Julie Harris, Gianni Verasce, Ray Walston, Monica Seles, Cathy Lee Crosby, Lucy Liu is 48, Britney Spears is 35

1254- Manfred, The bastard son of the German Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen, came into Italy with an army and routed Papal forces near Foggia.
Ever since the Pope had crowned Charlemagne, the argument was whether Popes or Emperors were top dog. The German Emperors wasted two centuries fighting the independent Italian City states trying to consolidate a reborn Roman Empire. The Popes fought them like any other independent landowner who didn’t want to yield their property.
Emperor Manfred didn’t accomplish much in Italy, but he liked to sing and write poetry. Dante said “There was not his like in the world when it came to playing string instruments.”

1494 - BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES Now that the Medici Dukes were driven out, mystical monk Savonarola proposed to the people of Florence that they create a Republic ruled by God’s Law. Savonarola ruled Florence like a Christian Ayatollah. He led big public spectacles where in large bonfires Florentines burned “vanities” like makeup, wigs, art and books and tried to live a religious life. Even the artist Botticelli burned one of his own paintings. Eventually, it all got so boring they burned Savonarola instead, and recalled the funloving Medici family.

1644- THE FIRST GREAT EUROPEAN SUMMIT- The various combatants of the Thirty Years War began a peace conference at Westphalia. France, Spain, Sweden, The German Empire, Saxony, Holland, the Papacy, Hungary, Denmark and a multitude of German and Italian small states try and end the seemingly endless war. It took them four years to hammer out a deal. While Central Europe was ravaged by six armies that depopulated the countryside, plague broke out and peasants rose in revolt, diplomats wasted six months arguing the order of how they entered the conference chamber, how they addressed one another and who had precedence. The Peace Treaty of Westphalia was signed and the war ended in 1648.

1697- Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London reopened. It was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after being destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.

1723- Phillipe D’Orleans died of an apoplectic seizure at 49. He ruled France as regent for the boy King Louis XV. Even when Louis attained his manhood, he didn’t mind if his Uncle Phillipe continued to run the country. Phillipe D’Orleans was an able minister but extremely corrupt and sexually promiscuous. The City of New Orleans was founded in his name.

1804- NAPOLEON CROWNED EMPEROR OF FRANCE .The 35 year old little corporal from Corsica who spoke French with an Italian accent, had piercing gray eyes and if he liked you showed his affection by giving your ear a tug, crowned Emperor of the French. He had the Pope brought up from Rome to Notre Dame for legitimacy, but in a moment of planned theater Napoleon took the crown from his hands and crowned himself.

European liberals like Goethe and Beethoven who had thought Napoleon would be a strong force of reform in Europe were now disillusioned that he turned out to be just another usurper. Beethoven scratched off his dedication of his Third Symphony (Eroica) to him. Napoleon's mother, an old guerrilla named Madame Letizia, thought her son was making a fool out of himself and boycotted the ceremony. When David was doing the official painting of the event Napoleon ordered him to paint his mother in anyway.

1805- THE SUNRISE OF AUSTERLITZ- At a small village in what is now the Czech republic, Napoleon defeated the Tsar of Russia and Emperor of Austria in one spectacular battle. Tolstoy called it the Battle of the Three Emperors. As much as he was a strategist and tactician Napoleon was a great analyst of human character. Based on his opinion of his opponent’s personalities, he predicted exactly how the battle would go two weeks before he drew them into it. The defeat of the Allies was total, French artillery blew holes in a frozen lake the Russians were trying to escape over, drowning hundreds. Within days they sued for peace and the war was ended. Napoleon's take on events: "Ah, que belle journee'."What a lovely day it's been."

1823- U.S. President James Monroe published the Monroe Doctrine, saying all the European empires then coveting lands in the Western Hemisphere should butt out or the Good Ole U.S. of A would have something to say about it! Shortly afterwards Britain extended its claim on Western Canada and seized the Falkland Islands, France entered Mexico, and Russia pressed it's claim on Alaska.

1834-Battle of Ndondakasuka- Csetshwayo and his Zulu Impis (regiments) defeat his rival Mbulazi to become King of the Zulu Empire. Csetshwayo's descendants are now the leaders of the Inkatha Freedom Party in modern South Africa.

1845- President James K. Polk re-affirmed the Monroe Doctrine and announced it would be the policy of his administration to get Texas and California from Mexico and Oregon from the British. He called such continental expansion America’s “Manifest Destiny.”

1854-Napoleon III was Napoleon's nephew and since 1848 legally elected President of the Second French Republic. But he decided that he wanted to be an Emperor like his uncle so he seized dictatorial power on the anniversary of Austerlitz and arrested all dissenters like Victor Hugo, Alex DeTocqueville and cartoonist Honore' Daumier (gotta watch them cartoonists...)

1859- John Brown was hanged. He said nothing on the scaffold but left a prediction on a slip of paper :".. I now believe that the sins of this nation have become so great that the cannot be excised but by a great spilling of blood.." Witnessing the event were Col. Robert E. Lee, Captain Jeb Stuart, and part time reservist John Wilkes Booth.

1863- The dome of the U.S. Capitol completed as the Goddess of Freedom is hoisted up into place.

1877- Camille Saint Saens opera “Samson & Delilah” premiered in Weimar.

1896- We remember Wyatt Earp as the marshal of Dodge City and gunfighter of the 1881 OK Corral gunfight. He was better known to his people of his own generation as the referee of the Fitzsimmons-Sharkey Heavyweight Championship prizefight. After leaving Tombstone Arizona, Wyatt Earp drifted to San Francisco where his skills as a fight referee were called upon for this last of the big bare-knuckle bouts.
He enraged the public when he declared the fight for Sharkey in the 3rd round after Big-Bob Fitzsimmons couldn't stop bleeding. More people were out to kill him over this decision than were ever out to get him when marshal of Dodge City. He quickly pulled up stakes and went to the Yukon for the gold rush. He was all but forgotten until a cheap book called Wyatt Earp Frontier Marshal published in 1920 made him famous.

1901- Mr. King Gillette invented the safety razor.

1933- Voice actor Clarence “Ducky” Nash began working at Walt Disney. He would create the voice for Donald Duck and his nephews.

1935- Animator Marc Davis first day at Walt Disney Studios. He retired in 1978.

1938- The first executions in California by gas chamber.

1942- THE FIRST CONTROLLED NUCLEAR CHAIN REACTION -The concept of a fission reaction had been theorized by Einstein and Bohr in 1939. Under a squash court at the University of Chicago a team of physicists led by Enrico Ferme began a chain reaction in a uranium pile and stopped it again, producing a few watts of energy. To celebrate they produced a bottle of Chianti and some paper cups. No toasts were made to man's entrance into the Atomic Age. Tennis courts are still there and the Regenstein Library was built on the site. To this day the lowest basement registers off the scale on Geiger counters.

1954- Senator Joseph McCarthy’s fall from power became complete. The Senate voted to censure him for Misconduct Unbecoming a Senator. He died of alcoholism in 1957.

1956- Fidel Castro with 88 followers trained in guerrilla fighting, landed on the beach in Cuba and melted into the mountains. This group would be the core of a revolution that by 1959 would topple the US backed regime of dictator Fulgensio Batista and upset the world balance of power. The ramshackle boat Fidel, Che and his buddies made the crossing over from Mexico in was called the Granma.

1980- During El Salvador’s civil war four American churchwomen, three catholic nuns and a lay worker, were raped and murdered by government death squads backed by the U.S.

1982- Wild-eyed British comedian Marty Feldman (Igor in Young Frankenstein) suddenly died of a heart attack in Mexico while filming the comedy YellowBeard. He was 49.

1993- NASA astronauts do a series of space walks from their shuttle to adjust the Hubble space telescope. The Hubble cost billions of dollars but was sent into orbit with a flaw in its lenses. It was nearsighted. The spacewalk in effect gave the Hubble a set of glasses to see better the furthest details of deep space.

1994- LA jury found Heidi Fleiss ‘The Hollywood Madam” guilty of running a prostitution ring.
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Yesterday’s Question: King Edward Longshanks ordered the Jews out of England. Who invited them all back?

Answer: By the Elizabethan Era, some Jews had come back into England quietly. But the real official recall was by Oliver Cromwell in 1654. Cromwell’s Puritans regarded the Jewish people as the original people of the Old Testament, untainted by Romish Popism.

According to his biographer Lady Antonia Fraser, Cromwell’s befriending the Israelite community gave him an efficient intelligent network in Europe.


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