Nov. 28, 2014
November 28th, 2014

Question: Who played in the first Thanksgiving Day football game?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the most common typeface used in the world today?
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History for 11/28/2014
Birthdays: Jean Baptiste Lully, William Blake, Frederich Engels, Stefan Zweig, Ernst Roehm, Brooks Atkinson, Berry Gordy the founder of Motown Records, Anton Rubinstein, Gary Hart, Vern Den Herder, Paul Warfield, Hope Lange, Ed Harris is 64, Paul Schaefer, Joe Dante, Michael Ritchie, Anna Nicole-Smith, Randy Newman, John Stewart is 52

885 A.D. est. date that the VIKINGS ATTACKED PARIS-Viking warchief Ragnar Lothbrocks, or Ragnar Hairy-Legs, decided the Parisians would get a big surprise if he rowed his dragonships down the Meuse, pulled them out on rollers and lowered them back into the Seine to attack Paris. The Parisians under Duke Bernard put up a stout resistance from the city walls until French King Charles the Fat sent help.

1493- Christopher Columbus returned to San Salvador, to discover his first colony La Natividad, wiped out by angry local Indians.

1520- Having recovered and refitted from navigating the Straights of Magellan around the tip of South America, Fernan Magellan began his trip across the Pacific.

1812-THE CROSSING OF THE BEREZINA- Napoleon' army on it's frozen Retreat from Moscow had to get across two rickety spans over an ice swollen river while Russian armies fire down on them from all sides. Napoleon said to his chief of staff Berthier, ” Well, how do we get out of this?”

He ordered the Imperial battle flags burned to save them being captured by the enemy, as the army shuffled numbly past. The bridges broke down frequently and the span of a wooden board was the difference between life and death.

Engineer General Eble, the artillery chief who called his cannon “my children” oversaw the maintaining of the bridges. He constantly waded into waist deep frigid water and with his men worked feverishly to keep patching up the rickety span. General Eble made it out of Russia, but soon died of pneumonia and exhaustion.

1815- After Waterloo and a prisoner on the island of St. Helena, Napoleon Bonaparte for the first time put away his uniform, and appeared in civilian clothes. It was his admission that after more than twenty-five years of politics and war, his career was indeed over.

1870- Painter Jean Bazille was shot and killed while serving in the French Army fighting the Prussians. He was only 29. He had been one of the leaders of the new Impressionists painters. Had he lived he might have produced many masterpieces and would’ve been as famous as Degas, Monet or Cezanne.

1895- The GREAT CHICAGO RACE- first American auto race. Two electric and four gas powered cars raced from Chicago to Evanston and back 54 miles despite several inches of snow on the ground. The winner Number 5 driven by inventor Charles Duryea reached a top speed of 7 miles an hour! Only one other car finished, the rest broke down. Duryea won $2000 and caught a cold.

1905- The Sinn Fein political party founded in Dublin by Arthur Griffiths. Sinn Fein –pronounced “shinn-fain”is gaelic for “We ourselves alone”. Griffiths signed the Anglo-Irish treaty with Michael Collins the IRA chief. The subsequent outcry over giving up the six counties of Ulster hounded him into an early grave, Griffiths died of a heart attack and Collins was assassinated.

1907- Russian-Canadian scrap metal dealer Lazar Meir, now renamed Louis B. Mayer, bought an old burlesque house in Haverhill Massachusetts to show the new moving picture shows. He renamed it The Orpheum and the first film he showed was “ From the Manger to the Cross”. L.B. Mayer grew his film business to become MGM, and at the time of his death in 1950 was the most powerful man in Hollywood. The Motion Picture Academy was his idea.

1911- The Chevrolet Automobile Company founded by the brothers Chevrolet.

1919- Lady Astor became the first woman elected to the British Parliament. She succeeded her husband William Waldorf Astor as Conservative MP for Plymouth. Although a fellow Tory, she was the political as well as verbal nemesis of Winston Churchill. She once said to him "Mr. Churchill, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee!" To which Churchill replied:" Madame if I were your husband I would drink it!"

1922- The first skywriting display. Former RAF pilot Cyril Turner wrote HELLO USA , CALL VANDERBILT 7-200 in the skies above New York City. 47,000 people immediately telephoned the number.

1925- First radio broadcast from the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville.

1926- California oil tycoon Edward Doheny went on trial for his role in the Teapot Dome scandal. That he and Harry Sinclair bribed the Secretary of the Interior to lease them U.S. strategic oil reserves. And like most millionaires, he was acquitted.

1942- THE COCOANUT GROVE FIRE-The U.S. public was distracted for awhile from war news by reports of a terrible disaster in Boston. A fire broke out at a popular nightclub called the Cocoanut Grove and killed 492 people in only twelve minutes. The clubs decorations caught fire and created carbon monoxide gas and there were only two exits. Among the dead was western movie star Buck Jones. The tragedy created the first mandatory laws requiring public buildings to have fire exits opening outwards and safety testing of decorative materials.

1947- Disney's cartoon "Chip and Dale".

1948- Hopalong Cassidy premiered on television.

1951-Truman held a crisis cabinet meeting over the War in Korea.
U.S and United Nations forces had been attacked by 180,000 Communist Chinese, lost the capitol Seoul and were being driven back down the Korean peninsula. Gen. Douglas MacArthur recommended a limited dropping of at least ten atomic bombs on Chinese cities, spreading a belt of nuclear waste across the Sino-Korean border and inviting Chaing Kai Shek's Nationalist Chinese to attack China and restart the Chinese Civil War. This would mean Russia would step in with its nuclear weapons and World War III would result.
Truman made the decision to keep the Korean War a "limited war" and not let it expand, no matter how dire allied losses became.
Gen. MacArthur was horrified. He was told we are not at war with Communist China, even though thousands of Chinese soldiers were even now locked in deadly battle with his troops. At first his calls for nuclear weapons sounds crazy, but his argument was it was crazy to fight wars to preserve a status-quo. If you go to the extreme of risking men's lives, do it to win or don’t go to war at all. In 1964 from his deathbed, MacArthur sent a note to Pres. Johnson warning him not to go into Vietnam.

1953- Frank Olson, a US government employee, jumped out a window of the New York Statler Hotel. In 1975 it was revealed Olson was given LSD by Dr Sidney Gottleib, as part of a government “mind-control” experiment.

1953- Cartoonist & writer Milt Gross died.

1981- Actress Natalie Wood drunkenly toppled off her yacht near Catalina Island and
drowned. Her husband Robert Wagner, and friend Christopher Walken were onboard having an argument and unaware of her predicament. Wood had once confessed to a friend that she had a horror of drowning.

1994 –At the Columbia State Penitentiary in Portage Wisconsin, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer while cleaning the prison bathroom, was attacked and beaten to death with a broomstick by inmate Christopher Scarver. He told prosecutors God told him kill him. Dahmer’s brain was preserved in formaldehyde, but his mother ordered its destruction a year later.
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Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the most common typeface used in the world today?

Answer: Helvetica. Since Helvetica was invented in 1957 it has become the standard typeface for road traffic signs and airports around the world. It's variation -Geneva, became the standard font for Apple Computers in 1984.


Nov 27, 2014 Thanksgiving
November 27th, 2014

Question: What is the most common typeface used in the world today?

Yesterday’s answer below: We all know about when Thanksgiving started with the Pilgrims and all that, but when did it become an official holiday?
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History for 11/27/2014
Birthdays: Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jimi Hendrix would have been 74, Bruce Lee-original name Lee Jun Fan would have been 74, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is 58, James Agee, Chaim Weizmann, Mafia Don Vito Genovese, Czech leader Alexander Dubcheck, David Merrick, Marshal Thompson, Robin Givens, Judd Nelson, Buffalo Bob Smith, William Fichtner is 59, Kathryn Bigelow is 63

HAPPY THANKSGIVING !- Since the earliest recorded times societies have had harvest festivals to give thanks to the appropriate deities that they're not going to starve that winter. A letter written in 1621 by pilgrim Edward Winslow described how Pilgrim Gov. Bradford and Miles Standish invited Massacoit and his Wampanoag Indians to a feast to celebrate their first successful harvest. The custom of Thanksgiving was a New England custom for decades thereafter. A few years later the New Englanders exterminated these same Indians and stuck the head of Massacoits son King Phillip on a post. In 1789 George Washington had called for a thanksgiving celebration in late November to celebrate the new Constitution. But Pres. Thomas Jefferson thought Thanksgiving ” was the most ridiculous idea” he ever heard. He considered it a violation of the separation of church and state, as did Andy Jackson and Zachary Taylor. So the holiday didn’t really become an annual custom until the Civil War. Sarah Hale the editor of the Ladies Magazine, the Martha Stewart of her time, had been lobbying the US Government to make the New England tradition a national one.

In 1863 after the great union victory at Gettysburg, President Lincoln issued a decree that the last Thursday of November be set aside as a feast of national Thanksgiving. As blue clad troops chowed down on their turkey and chicken dinners, the Confederates withheld their fire in honor of the new Yankee holiday. To this day Thanksgiving is still declared by Presidential decree.
In 1940 President Roosevelt tried to move Thanksgiving earlier in the month to help Depression-wracked business by spurring early Christmas shopping, but people were used to it where it was. So enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving.

43BC-THE SECOND TRIUMVERATE- Marc Anthony, Octavian Caesar and Marcus Lepidus compel the Roman Senate to declare them The Board of Three with Consular Powers for the Organizing of the State. This legitimized what they were in fact anyway, the rulers of the Roman Empire. They used this new pact to hunt down the killers of Julius Caesar and they published a list of "Proscribed Persons" who were declared enemies of the state. An estimated 4,000 Roman politicians and noblemen were executed, including the philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero.

176 AD- Marcus Aurelius named his son Commodus as co ruler and heir to the Roman Empire. This ended Rome’s second Golden Age of Peace and prosperity called the Augustan Age. The Augustan Age was successful because the Emperors, who were mostly gay or bi-sexual, would adopt the best man for the job instead of a family member to rule Rome. So Rome enjoyed a series of excellent leaders- Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. But Marcus Aurelius spoiled the whole system by letting his natural son Commodus succeed him. Commodus turned into another sicko-tyrant like Nero and Caligula. It was rumored Commodus wasn’t even Marcus’ son but the Empress Faustina sired him with a gladiator, thus his fondness for the profession.

221AD- Today is the Feast Day of Saint James Intercisus, or Saint James 'Cut up into little pieces", which leave little speculation about the method of his martyrdom.

1519- Martin Luther squared off with Catholic scholar Dr. Johann Eck in a grand public debate in Liepzig. Audiences sat in bleachers and cheered like a sports match. The debate about Luther’s new Protestant views would go on until July 8th. Luther won the audience with his superior eloquence and logic but Eck succeeded in getting Luther to publicly speak heresy against Rome. The Reformation now moved from a small local argument about indulgences to a major challenge to the authority of the Vatican to rule the Christian Faith.

1582- William Shakespeare 18, married Ann Hathaway 26. They married rather quickly, and their first child Susannah was born after only six months. They had a son who died and two daughters. In 1585 Shakespeare left his wife in Stratford on Avon, and by 1591 was known as an actor in London. He invested in land in Stratford and in 1616 retired to the country to spend time with his daughters and grandchildren but he never went back to Ann. It’s been speculated that she was a Puritan, and Shakespeare enjoyed making fun of Puritans in his comedies like "Twelfth Night"."

1868- THE GREAT BATTLE ON THE WASHITA -as it was called in those days. Generals Sherman and Sheridan had had enough of chasing small bands of Indian warriors all over the prairie. They now ordered George Armstrong Custer to introduce to the plains their style of "Hard War"- that burned Atlanta and brought the Confederacy to it’s knees. With the sound of a band playing " Gary Owen" shattering the pre-dawn quiet Custer and his 7th Cavalry surprise attacked the village of Chief Black Kettle. The warriors were out foraging so they mostly killed women and children. They even shot the Indian’s ponies.
Chief Black Kettle had recently signed a peace treaty with the white-eyes and felt so safe he flew a U.S. flag over his teepee. Black Kettle had survived a similar attack in 1864 called the Sand Creek Massacre. The excuse for the attack was that a white woman homesteader kidnapped by renegade Cheyenne may have been deposited for awhile at Black Kettle's encampment. The Victorian horror over inferred sexual outrages committed on Christian maidens goaded the troopers to ruthless fury, however after the battle Custer freely encouraged his officers to divide up the prettiest squaws for themselves.
One legend says Custer took a mistress named Meotzsi who bore him a child. So when Custer died at the Little Big Horn the reason his body was not scalped and mutilated like the others was the Cheyenne considered him family.

1910- New York’s Penn Station opened.

1921- English writer Alastair Crowley proclaimed himself Outer Head of the Order Templeis Orientalis- or Order of the Temple of the East. Alastair Crowley had spent years studying and mastering various occult devotions- Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Gnosticism, Iluminati in order to fuse them into his own form of black magick devotion- Thelema he called it based on the satires of the 1500’s French poet Rabelais. He boasted often that he wanted Crowleyism to eventually replace Christianity. His own mother called him: "The Wickedest Man in the World".

1924- The First Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The marvel of the parade were large displays that moved down the street thanks to small automobiles concealed under them. They seemed to "float", so they are called parade floats today. The huge balloons were added in 1927. Originally after the parade the balloons were let go to float away into the sky. Macy’s offered a bounty to people who found them after they landed, sometimes in rural New Jersey.

1933- Former Terrytoons animator Art Babbitt, now at Walt Disney's, writes to fellow animator Bill Tytla encouraging him to move to California. "Terry owes you a lot and Disney has plans for a full length color cartoon!"

1936- Max Fleischer's cartoon featurette, "Popeye meets Sinbad the Sailor".

1941-While Admiral Yamamoto’s carrier fleet was getting it’s final orders to put to sea, at Pearl Harbor the U.S. army commander General Short got a top secret coded message from Washington: " Negotiations with Japan seem at an end for all practical purposes...future moves unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot be avoided the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act...Measures should be carried out so as not to alarm the civilian population or disclose intent."

1942- Admiral Laborde had received orders from Vichy to put the French fleet at the Nazis disposal so they attack the Allied beachheads in North Africa. Instead Laborde scuttled the French fleet in Toulon Harbor.

1950- THE CHOSIN RESEVOIR- In Korea this day the US First Marine Division and British Commando 411 was cut off and attacked on all sides by massed Red Chinese armies. Commander Chesty Puller, a veteran of Guadalcanal, when told he was surrounded replied: "That just simplifies our problems of finding these people and killing them." The Marines slowly fought their way the trap in subzero cold across the frozen ice bringing out most of their wounded and some POWs. Survivors of the epic march refuse to call their campaign a retreat, they said they merely attacked in another direction. They called themselves "The Chosin Few" and the "Frozen-Chosin".

1953- Playwright Eugene O'Neill died of pneumonia and Parkinson's Disease at 65. He had been writing on cardboard laundry shirt boards because he needed something large to write on because his hands trembled so violently. When O’Neill realize his end was near he tore up six plays he was writing because he wanted no one else to complete them. He was staying at the Shelton Hotel in Boston. As his father was an actor his family traveled frequently. O'Neill's last words were : "I knew it! Born in a hotel room, and G-ddammit I'm dying in a hotel room! "

1960 – Gordie Howe becomes the first NHL player to score 1000 goals.

1963- The Beatles release the single “ I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

1967- The Beatles release Magical Mystery Tour.

1973- According to the X-Files this was the night Fox Mulder’s sister Samantha was abducted by aliens.

1975- Ross McWhirter, publisher of the Guinness Book of World Records, was killed by the IRA.

1978- San Francisco Mayor George Mosconi and openly gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk were shot dead by embittered city councilman Dan White. Councilwoman Diane Feinstein discovered their bodies and took over as mayor. Dan White was acquitted on an insanity plea using the "Twinkie Defense", that junk food raised his blood sugar to such an extent that he went nuts. He served 5 years in prison, moved to Orange County and committed suicide.

1985- Steven Speilberg married Amy Irving. They divorced a few years later.

2002- Disney’s animated feature Treasure Planet opened in theaters.

2009-Tiger Woods was the greatest golfer of his time and could potentially be the greatest in history. While other sports tainted with drugs and scandal, he had a squeaky clean image.
This night at 2:30AM Tiger Woods crashed his SUV into a tree as a result of an argument with his Swedish bikini model wife. This incident revealed Woods as a big-time skirt chaser. More than a dozen women- cocktail waitresses, bimbos and porn stars came forward to admit riding the Tiger. His reputation in tatters, his game suffered as well and he as yet has not regained his superstar form.
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Yesterday’s Question: We all know about when Thanksgiving started with the Pilgrims and all that, but when did it become an official holiday?

Answer: 1863, See above.


Nov 26, 2014 Weds
November 26th, 2014

Question: We all know about when Thanksgiving started with the Pilgrims and all that, but when did it become an official holiday?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What was The Enigma Machine?
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History for 11/26/2016
Birthdays: John Harvard 1607(founder of Harvard University), Bat Masterson, Eugene Ionesco, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Marian Mercer, Tina Turner, Charles Schulz, Cyril Cusak, Eric Severaid, Rich Little, Wendy Turnbull, Robert Goulet.

311A.D. Saint Peter of Alexandria, was the last saint to be martyred before Roman Emperor Constantine lifted the ban on Christianity in 312.

1539- Fountains Abbey, the largest and richest Cistercian Order Abbey in England, was surrendered to the officers of King Henry VIII.

1716- In Boston, the first African lion ever seen in America was put on exhibit.

1804- Napoleon Bonaparte made public the results of a national referendum held to decide whether the French people wanted him to be crowned emperor. 3.5 million votes for yes, 2,500 for no. Since Napoleon was a dictator who was kicking the butts of most of the nation of Europe, most Frenchmen wouldn’t argue much, and he had been planning his coronation for months anyhow.

1825-Kappa Alpha of Union College NY is established. The first college fraternity house.

1832- In New York the first public transportation began, a streetcar pulled along iron rails by a team of horses. A ticket cost 12 pennies. The last horse car bus stopped in 1926.

1865- Lewis Carroll sent a copy of the completed manuscript of his fantasy Alice in Wonderland to his 12 year old friend and inspiration Alice Liddell. Carroll later published the book with his own money. This is one of the first books written solely to amuse children, and not to educate or discipline them.

1868- At first baseball games were played in a convenient cow pasture. Today the baseball game was played in an enclosed field. It was in San Francisco at Folsom & 25th St..

1896- AA. Stagg of The University of Chicago invented the football huddle.

1913- THE DISAPPEARANCE OF AMBROSE BIERCE- Ambrose Bierce was one of the more popular U.S. writers of the late 19th century. A savage wit and social critic, he pioneered sardonic anti-war fiction long before Kurt Vonnegut. But by 1913 the 71-year-old curmudgeon found himself alone, ill, his creative powers failing and not looking forward to old age. So on November 6th he announced his intention to travel to Mexico at the height of the revolution there and hopefully get killed:
“Ah, to be an old gringo stood up before a Mexican firing squad, now that is Euthanasia!” This day he gave his last known newspaper interview in Laredo Texas, then disappeared forever. A niece claimed he sent her a letter from Chihuahua on Dec. 26th but that letter has never been found. The popular story is that he was executed by Pancho Villa. But Villa and his people never recalled meeting Bierce. Plus Villa was followed around by so many American news correspondents that a person as famous as Ambrose Bierce there was sure to be noticed.
Other theories abound- that he volunteered to spy for the State Dept.; he faked the Mexico story so he could quietly kill himself in the recesses of the Grand Canyon, even that he was carried off by a demon who wanted men named Ambrose, which is why nobody names their boys Ambrose anymore! As he planned, Ambrose Bierce has the last laugh. “I want no one to find my bones!” And no one ever has.

1926- Potato Chips, or Crisps in the UK, were invented in the 1880’s and served in restaurants and fairgrounds. This day Ms Laura Scudder was the first to put potato chips in a bag and sold them as a handy snack food. She sold them out of the back of her pickup truck until the business picked up. She ran her own company until 1959. I remember in Brooklyn the Dugan’s Bakery Truck delivering potato chips in a large tin container.

1939- The first Woody Woodpecker Cartoon, "Knock-Knock.’

1942- Rommel's "Dash to the Wire"- After months of inconclusive melee' in the Libyan desert, Gen. Rommel's German Afrika Korps breaks through the British 8th Army and makes a beeline for the Egyptian border. His goal is to cut the Suez canal, overrun the Middle East oilfields and link up Vichy troops in Lebanon and Syria and Nazi units rolling down from southern Russia into Iraq. But the German army in Russia never got that far and on the road to Egypt Rommel would finally be stopped at a railroad crossing called El Alamein.

1945- Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie recorded KoKo, the first bebop Jazz single. Instead of big bands as was the fashion, they used a smaller quintet. The pianist at the session didn’t have his New York union card so after his solo, Dizzy dropped his trumpet and did the piano backup to Birds’ solo. The term Bop came from an earlier Lionel Hampton hit “Hey-Bop-A-ReBop”. Jazz critic Ira Gitler picked up on the witty interplay between musicians, and began wrote of the new sound as BeBop.

1963- The day after John Kennedy’s funeral at a secret location in Lindenhurst New Jersey a meeting was held of Mafia under bosses to get a briefing on just what the heck happened in Dallas. Jack Ruby, who had shot JFK’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, was a known Mafia hitman used for “clean up jobs”. ‘

Retired Mafia Don Bill Bonano, the son of Joe Bananas, claims he and other crime bosses were told by representatives of Tony Marcello and Santos Traficante that they were behind the JFK shooting and it was all “ a local matter”. Both men were the targets of heavy government racketeering probes pursued by Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. They explained that there were four shooters that day including the patsy.

Dallas officer Tibbet was supposed to take out Oswald the patsy right after the shooting but Oswald had killed him first, so Jimmy Roselli had arranged for Jack Ruby to go fix things. Believe it or not!

1965- France launched its first space rocket, the Dianant-1, into orbit.

1970- During a visit to Manila Pope Paul VI was attacked by a madman wielding a knife. The Pope was unhurt and continued his journey.

1975- Former Charles Manson follower Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is convicted of trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford with a starters pistol.

1976- Sex Pistols Punk single “Anarchy in the UK” released.

1990- Acting on the example of Sony’s purchase of MGM-Columbia studios, Matushita (Panasonic) bought MCA- Universal studios for $6.6 billion. After a few fruitless years they sold it to the Bronfmans group, the distillers of Seagram’s Whiskey.

1998- Tony Blair became the first British Prime Minister to address the Irish Parliament.
He said: We can no longer afford to be the Prisoners of History.”

2001- Conservative columnist William Kristal proclaimed:” The endgame in Afghanistan is in sight!” And today, uh….we’re still there.

2008- Terrorists attacked several top hotels in Mumbai ( Bombay). They focused on trying to capture or kill American and British citizens and they shot up a Orthodox Jewish Chabad charity house, killing a rabbi and his wife. After four days of battle with Indian forces they were all killed.
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Yesterday’s Question: What was The Enigma Machine

Answer: The Enigma Machine was a portable code machine used by the Nazis for their secret military and diplomatic messages. One intact machine was captured by the Polish resistance and another found on a surrendered U-Boat, Both were sent to London. There computer pioneer Alan Turing led the team to break the German secret codes.


Nov 25, 2014 Tues.
November 25th, 2014

Question: What was The Enigma Machine..?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Why is a musical that flops called a turkey?
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History for 11/25/2014
Birthdays: Lope de Vega, Pope John XXIII, Andrew Carnegie, Tina Turner, Joe Dimaggio, Carl Benz of Mercedes Benz, Virgil Thompson, Jeffrey Hunter, John Kennedy,Jr., Percy Sledge, Ben Stein, Ricardo Montalban, Bob Matheson, John Larroquette, Gloria Steinem, General Augusto Pinochet, Christina Applegate, Bucky Dent, Bill Kroyer

1177-Battle of Montgisard- 19 year old Baldwin the Leper-King and his Crusaders defeated Saladin.

1758- In the Pennsylvania wilderness a British force including frontier scout Daniel Boone and militia Captain George Washington captured Fort Duquesne from the French. They renamed it for their current Prime Minister William Pitt, hence the name Pittsburgh.

1783- EVACUATION DAY- Treaties ending the American Revolution signed, the last British troops left U.S. soil, sailing out of New York Harbor for Nova Scotia. This also marks the beginning of the exodus to Canada of Americans who sided with England, maybe as many as 130,000. Tories, or United Empire Loyalists, as you prefer. About 3,000 slaves liberated by the British requested to return to Africa and were sent to Sierra Leone. Among their number was the personal cook of George Washington’s, who bolted through the lines the moment he heard about the offer. Washington demanded his return, and the British refused.

The last shot fired of the American Revolution was as the British fleet passed by Staten Island, so many people were at the shoreline jeering, British warship fired a cannon at them. The shot landed harmlessly in the water. One British officer wrote home “ I wish Columbus had never discovered this cursed place.” Washington led American forces into the city at around 1:00PM. Evacuation Day was a holiday in New York for years afterwards.

1795- English architect Henry Latrobe left Europe for a life in the U.S. Latrobe was the architect who built the U.S. Capitol building.

1817- First sword swallower performed in the US.

1864- In a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at New York’s Winter garden Theater the three Booth brothers- John Wilkes, Edwin and Junius Booth appeared together for the only time. Other famous acting families of the time included the Powers, whos descendant was the movie star Tyrone Power and the Barrymores, who’s line continues down today from John to John Drew to Drew Barrymore.

1867- Alfred Nobel patented dynamite. The riches he accumulated from this and Nitro-Glycerine he used to fund the Nobel Prize.

1869- Ned Buntline was a hack dime novelist who understood that selling stories about gunfighters of the west would be easier if you could occasionally produce one in the flesh. So on a trip to Nebraska he found among the cavalry scouts an accommodatingly colorful rogue named William Cody, who everybody called Buffalo Bill. This day Ned Buntline announced in the New York Weekly the first installment of a serial series “Buffalo Bill King of the Bordermen”. Buntline and Cody collaborated to make Buffalo Bill the first true American media star, entertaining millions including crowned heads until 1916.

1915- In a rally at Stone Mountain Georgia, a group of white southerners inspired by D.W. Griffith’s film ‘The Birth of a Nation” declared the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. The original Klan had been formed in 1865 by disaffected Confederate veterans as a terrorist force to combat Yankee occupation. But by 1867 most had been rounded up by the authorities. It died out in part because all their goals of denying black Americans their civil rights were been achieved by legal means anyway. This new Klan in 1915 broadened their appeal to hatred of not only black Americans but also immigrants, Jews and Catholics. Instead of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, the modern KKK appealed to strict U.S. patriotism and the Protestant Religion. Many areas other than the Old South invited in the Klan, like in 1921 the governor and most of the state legislature of Indiana were Klansmen. In the 60s there were Klan in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles.

1929- Alfred Hitchcock’s film Blackmail opened in London. It was the first full length talkie in Britain.

1932- At Sam Houston High School in rural Texas, a young teacher got a phone call. It was from Congressman Richard Clayburgh. He said he needed an executive aide in Washington, and he heard this guy was a go-getter. The teacher said yes, and packed his cardboard suitcase. Lyndon B. Johnson’s career in politics began.

1944- A German V-2 missile hit a Woolworth’s store in Deptford England while people were shopping. 160 killed.

1949- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry hit number one on the musical charts.

1952- The stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery the Mousetrap opened in London’s West End and became one of the longest running plays in history.

1956- Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 88 followers departed Mexico in a ramshackle boat called the Granma to start a revolution in Cuba.

1960- CBS canceled its remaining five radio soap operas, most of them now on television.

1963- THE FUNERAL OF JOHN F. KENNEDY. The massed muffled drums, bagpipes, bands blaring Chopin’s Funeral March, the riderless horse with the boots in the stirrups turned inward, a tradition that went back to Genghis Khan, the black horse drawn artillery caisson modeled on Abraham Lincoln's. The day was also John Kennedy, Jr.'s birthday and a big party had been planned with lots of little tots. Jackie knew that John-john didn't understand the gravity of what had transpired so after the funeral she changed out of her widows weeds and ran a kiddie party.

1970- Japan's greatest modern poet-playwright Yukio Mishima committed suicide
(seppuku) after attempting a coup at a military base. He felt Japan was losing her spiritual soul to crass materialism and the ancient Bushido warrior code was the only way back. The Japanese Defense Force soldiers he appealed to just laughed at him
In a poll conducted in a magazine at the time about 75% of Japanese women said they would rather commit suicide than sleep with Yukio Mishima.

1971- Con man D.B. Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient passenger plane after stealing $ 200,000. He parachuted out of the 727 airliner with the money during a thunderstorm over Washington State and disappeared forever. Searchers found rotting bits of money in the forest but never a body. D.B.Cooper became a folk legend. In 1999 a man in South Carolina named Dwayne Weber was dying of liver cancer. Before he died he turned to his wife Jo and said “Before I go, I gotta tell ya something. I’m Dan Cooper” His wife said he loved singing at piano bars and his favorite song was “You’ll never know..”

1975- According to the first movie Rocky, this was the date of the first prizefight portrayed in the film where we meet Rocky Balboa.

1975- Happy Surinam Independence Day.

1986- President Reagan announced the firing of National Security advisor Admiral Poindexter and his assistant Marine colonel Oliver North. That night North’s secretary Fawn Hall smuggled incriminating documents out of her office stuffed in her brassiere and under her skirt. The NSC was engaged in an illegal scheme of selling weapons to Iran through middlemen then funneling the money made to the Nicaraguan Contras rebels in defiance of Congress.
A $40 Congressional investigation could never definitively tie Reagan to the scheme, even though North openly admitted he was only the designated fall guy. Admiral Poindexter got a job in the GW Bush administration and Ollie North is a radio talks show host.

1992- Disney’s Aladdin opened wide in theaters.

1995- Legendary Corporate CEO Akio Morita resigned as the leader of Sony. Under his guidance Sony went from a little postwar maker of cheap electric rice cookers to the largest electronics giant in the world. His official reason was health problems but insiders said the real problem was his headaches with Sony's Hollywood studios -MGM, Columbia, TriStar losing $2 billion. By the time he died in 1999 the Sony movie studios had pulled out of their slump and were on top with movies like Men in Black.

1997- Pixars A Bugs Life and Geri’s Game premiered.

2009 Disney’s Princess and the Frog released.
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Yesterday’s Question: Why is a musical that flops called a turkey?

Answer: The term "turkey" to describe a theatrical flop originates from the turn-of-the-century practice of opening a flurry of Broadway plays on Thanksgiving - or, more accurately, between Thanksgiving and Christmas - in hopes of attracting the seasonal tourists and shoppers who flood into Manhattan.


History for Nov 24, 2013 mon
November 24th, 2014

Question: Why is a musical that flops called a turkey?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: You think you know your Founding Fathers? So who was Felix Muhlenberg?
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HISTORY FOR 11/24/2014
Birthdays: Spinoza, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Scott Joplin, President Zachary Taylor “Old Rough & Ready”, Carrie Nation, Dick Powell, Garson Kanin, Cass Gilbert-the architect of the first skyscraper, Alvan Barkley-Truman’s VP, William F. Buckley, John Lindsay, Dale Carnegie- author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Steve Yeager, Denise Crosby, Billy Connolly is 72

800 AD- Charlemagne or Charles the Great, the King of the Franks (France), arrived in Rome to spend the Christmas season with his old pal Pope Leo III. At the Christmas service, Pope Leo would crown him Emperor.

1221- The Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan destroy the army of Persian Shah Jelalladin in the Indus Valley in present northwestern Pakistan.

1326- Hugh Despenser the Younger, onetime gay lover of King Edward II, was executed by order of Eddie’s wife Queen Isabella the She-Wolf of France. She had his penis and testicles amputated and burned in front of him as he hanged.

1681- YOU UGLY MUG! The Earl of Shaftesbury acquitted of treason. In the restoration politics of King Charles II’s England the Earl was frequently in opposition to the Kings policy. He started the first political party in loyal opposition, the Green Ribbon Club, later the Whig Party. This was a new idea- a Loyal Opposition. Before this disagreeing openly with the government was considered treason. But now after the English Civil War open political debate became the acceptable.

Politics at the time was discussed in coffee houses on Fleet St. where only wealthy gentry could afford to dally over a cup of rare Java or hot cocoa imported from the Americas. And Charles II ‘s queen Catherine of Braganza introduced Tea drinking. The Earl of Shaftesbury’s face was printed on coffee mugs by his partisans as were other images of leading politicians. This is when the word mug also came to mean a face:” I don’t like your mug!”

1688- English King James II was facing an invasion led by his own daughter Mary and his son-in-law William of Orange. In the middle of the night the commander of the royal army the Duke of Marlborough and all 40 of his top generals deserted and rode over to the rebel camp. Next morning the King awoke to find his entire army had run away. Even James other daughter Anne went to the rebel side. These defections meant that the Glorious Revolution of 1688 would be bloodless and not a repeat of the devastating Civil War of 1642-49.

1789- The first issue of France’s national newspaper Le Moniteur.

1832- THE NULLIFIERS- A controversy had been brewing since the U.S. Constitution was adapted whether the individual states or federal government had the final say on a law. Southern states in particular declared they had the right to “nullify” Federal laws they didn’t agree with. This day South Carolina refused to pay a new tariff imposed by Washington. President Andy Jackson, also a southerner, angrily ordered the army to mobilize. But the crisis was averted by a compromise the following spring. The issue continued to plague U.S. politics until it was settled by the Civil War thirty years later.

1859- Charles Darwin published the Origin of the Species.

1863- THE BATTLE ABOVE THE CLOUDS or Missionary Ridge. Gen. Grant's army had to break through a Confederate Army dug in on a mountaintop above Chattanooga, Tennessee. At first it was the 24th Wisconsin Infantry that was ordered to take the rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge. This was intended as a diversion to the two flanking attacks occurring at the same time. When the Wisconsin soldiers swept the pits, they confused their orders and just continued the assault. They felt stopping for cover or retreating on the bare mountain slope was more suicidal than attacking. More units joined in the mad scramble up the summit and soon the mistake became an unauthorized general assault that blew the rebel army off the mountaintop.

Grant had a great, if unplanned for victory. The first soldier to plant the U.S. flag on the summit was Lt. Arthur MacArthur, the father of World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur. Lt. Arthur MacArthur took the Wisconsin regimental flag after the rest of the officers had been killed and led the charge up the slope, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. How did Lt. MacArthur inspire his men? He kept yelling "On Wisconsin!" This tradition inspired the Wisconsin football fight song "On Wisconsin" still sung to this day and perennially voted one of the five best fight songs in college football..
For some reason, the Wisconsin assault on Missionary Ridge was the subject of a crayon/pastel painting by a young recruit of the 101st Airborne Division. The painting is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The artist? Jimmy Hendrix.

1871- The National Rifle Association formed.

1874- Cacaobao, the high chief of the Cannibal Isles (modern Fiji) submits his people to the British Empire. He figured they were gonna get it anyway. He sends Queen Victoria his personal war club as a symbol.

1874- Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire, which made it possible to fence in the Great Plains for farming. In 1899 in the Boer War it was the white South African Boers who first came up with the idea of using barbed wire to slow down enemy infantry.

1904- Alfred Steiglitz and Edward Steichen opened 291, the first art gallery dedicated exclusively to the art of photography.

1909- THE UPRISING OF THE TWENTY THOUSAND. Mary 'Mother' Jones led three fifths of the immigrant garment workers of New York out on strike to demand better conditions and recognition of their union, the ILGWU. Several Golden 400 socialites would meet the strikers at the old Water Tower in Greenwich Village to dispense food and day care. One of them was Betsy Morgan, the youngest daughter of J.P. Morgan, who was also involved in a lesbian affair with designer Elzie DeWolfe.

1922- Irish writer Robert Erskine Childers was put up against the wall and shot. Erskine Childers was the writer of the Riddle of the Sands, one of the first true spy novels, but he was also a leader of the IRA and after Irelands Treaty with Britain he sided with Eamon de Valera and the anti-treaty rebels in the Irish Civil War. Erskine Childers was executed by an Irish Army firing squad. His son became President of Ireland in 1973.

1933- The RKO movie Flying Down to Rio opened, originally as a starring vehicle for Dolores Del Rio, but what we remember is it is the first pairing of the famous dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1937- The Andrew Sisters record their Boogie-Woogie version of “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon”, an old Yiddish song that was updated by Bennie Goodman.

1938- LENI DOES TINSELTOWN -Hitler's top filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl arrived in Hollywood to meet the film community and show off her new documentary 'Olympia". Nazis charges de’ affaires in L.A. Gerhard Gyssling had bragged to the press that all Hollywood was dying to meet Germany’s top film artist. But Hollywood had different ideas. Paramount, Warner Bros., Columbia, Fox and Goldwyn refused to speak to her and picketers hounded her every step. Well known Conservatives like Louis B. Mayer and Gary Cooper were polite but begged off the bad publicity.

The only studio heads who would meet Leni Reifenstahl were Hal Roach and Walt Disney. Uncle Walt gave her a tour of the studio but begged off running her film, saying the union projectionist would make trouble. ( uh-huh....) Years later Disney said he didn't really know who she was. ( uh-huh......) Leni told an LA historian years later that she thought Walt met her because his professional curiosity got the better of him. That he wanted to see Olympia, because it was the only film to beat his Snow White at the Venice Film Festival, then the world’s most prestigious.

1941- After suffering a strike and declining revenue because of the war in Europe Walt Disney’s studio was in trouble. Disney animator Ward Kimball noted in his diary for this day: “ 100 layoffs announced. Studio personnel from 1600 down to a Hyperion level of 300. Geez, It this the writing on the wall?” Disney saved itself with doing Defense films for the Army and after limping through the 1940’s with Cinderella was back on top..

1947- THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST- 50 Hollywood moguls like Harry Cohn, Jack Warner and Dori Charey meet at the Waldorf Astoria in New York to formulate a group response to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee anti-commie hearings that were targeting Hollywood. Besides the heat from the feds their stockholders were clamoring for them to get the Reds out! They agreed to enforce an industry-wide blacklisting of anyone refusing to cooperate with the HUAC Committee. Nothing was ever officially written down or published, if you were blacklisted you suddenly were unable to find any work.

Eric Johnston, spokesman for the Motion Pictures Assoc. said on this day: "As long as I live, I will never be party ot anything as unAmerican as a blacklist!”.
Two days later on Nov. 26th he said: " We will forthwith discharge and never again knowingly employ a Communist. Loyalty oaths for the Entertainment Industry are now compulsory." Many Hollywood artists signed Communist Party cards in the 1930's when it was chic' to be lefty and the Communists were the only open opponents of segregation and Hitler. Writer Bud Schulberg’s excuse was CP parties had the prettiest girls. Out of an estimated 15,000 entertainment workers only around 300 were ever actually proven to be Communists. Famous blacklist victims included Zero Mostel, Lillian Hellman, Lloyd Bridges, Dashell Hammett, Gale Sondergaard, Edward G. Robinson, Sterling Hayden & Dalton Trumbo. Sidney Poitier was blacklisted for no other reason than he was friends with black activist-actor Canada Lee; 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' composer Yip Harburg was blacklisted for writing a song: 'You Gotta Friend Named Joe" which the committee took to mean Russian dictator Josef Stalin.

1948- Hib Johnson, the President of Johnson's Wax had just moved into a home designed for him by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Called Wingspread, it was considered the culmination of Wrights prairie style. But there was a problem. Johnson called Frank Lloyd Wright to complain that the roof was leaking rainwater onto his Thanksgiving dinner! The water was leaking right on Hib's head as he sat at the head of the table. He refused to budge, had the phone cord stretched so he could make the
call, and spoke to Wright with the drops splashing off his bald head. What was Frank Lloyd Wright’s response? " So move your table..."

1950- Gen. Douglas MacArthur announced his "Home by Christmas Offensive" to finish off the North Korean army and end the Korean War. The following day he was attacked by 180,000 Red Chinese. MacArthur was fired and the war dragged on until 1953.

1950- The musical Guys & Dolls opened. “ I got da horse right here, his name is Paul Revere, I know a jock who tells me Never Fear, Can Do- Can Do..The Jock sez da horse can –do ”

1958- The musical film Gigi opened, music by Lerner & Lowe. Based on the writings of French author Collette, Collette herself had insisted young unknown Dutch actress Audrey Hepburn play the lead.

1963- To complete the surreal drama that shocked America into the Sixties, JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was shot on nationwide T.V. by smalltime gangster Jack Ruby. He was taken to the same hospital and had the same doctors as Kennedy but still died. Ruby, real name Jacob Rubenstein, always hung around the Dallas police station, so no one thought it was unusual to see him around.

1968- Hey Jude by the Beatles topped the pop charts while Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man headed the Country & Western listing.

1991- Freddy Mercury, lead singer of the rock group Queen, died of HIV/AIDS.

1998- America On Line bought their chief competitor Netscape.

1999- Pixars Toy Story 2. in theaters.

2000- Catherine Zeta-Jones married Michael Douglas. In 2013 they separated for a time, but have since reconciled.

2010- Disney’s Tangled released.
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Yesterday’s Question: You think you know your Founding Fathers? So who was Felix Muhlenberg?

Answer: He was John Boehner’s predecessor, the first Speaker of the House of Representatives (1789)


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