Aug 29, 2014
August 29th, 2014
Quiz: : In the Godfather, who was the person the character Hyman Roth was based on?
Yesterdays’ question answered below: When Mario Puzo wrote the novel The Godfather, that the movie is based on, many felt the Vito Corleone character was based on a real man. Who was the real Godfather?
History for 8/29/2014
Birthdays: King James II Stuart, John Locke, Oliver Wendel Holmes Sr., Jean Dominique Ingres, Charlie Parker, Preston Sturges, Ingrid Bergman, William Friedkin is 76, Dinah Washington, George Montgomery, Slobodan Milosevic, Robin Leach, Michael Jackson, Joel Schumacher, choreographer Mark Morris, Charles Kettering inventor of the automobile ignition, Joyce Clyde Hall the founder of Hallmark greeting cards, Richard Attenborough, Donald O’Connor, Elliot Gould is 76, Rebecca DeMornay, John McCain is 78.
29 AD- Estimated date of the beheading of John the Baptist.
1664- The name of the colony of Niew Amsterdam is officially changed to New York by the occupying British forces. This was a birthday present to the King Charles’s brother James, the Duke of York.
1709-PORT ROYAL and the JANSENISTS- Cornelius Jansen was a Dutch Catholic who formulated an extreme reform movement inside Catholicism. He said the only way the Roman Church could re-unite Christianity would be to adopt disciplines that were in essence not too dissimilar to Protestant Calvinism. His ideas won great favor at the French Cistercian Convent of Port Royal and it became the stronghold of the movement under their charismatic Abbess Mere Angelique. Cardinal Richelieu ignored them as he ignored most spiritual issues, but later King Louis XIV and the Jesuits would not.
After almost a century of controversy this day the King closed the Abbey of Port Royal and outlawed Jansenism. King Louis XIV had such distaste for Jansenism that he held up the appointment of one judge because he thought he was a devotee. But upon being reassured that the man was merely a complete atheist, Louis then approved the appointment.
1756- THE SEVEN YEARS WAR began. This could arguably be called the true first World War. Britain, France, Prussia and Russia, Austria, Poland, Sweden and Turkey fought each other all over the globe. Armies battled from Prague to Pennsylvania, Belgium to Gibraltar, to Madras, Quebec and Sri Lanka. In America it is called The French & Indian War. If you are a film buff consider this: Barry Lyndon and the Last of the Mohicans are happening at the same time as part of the same war.
1776- The Battle of Long Island ended. George Washington's army was badly beaten in battle by the British, and pinned against the East River. All night the fishermen of Marblehead Massachusetts ferried the remainder of his troops across to Manhattan while the British Navy sat strangely inactive around Staten Island. If the warships had moved up to block the retreat, the Revolution would be over. Even the weather helped with a thick fog that shrouded all activity until 8:00AM in the morning.
A Brooklyn Loyalist named Mrs. Rapalie sent her slave to warn the British that the rebels were getting away. The man was stopped by some German Hessians who couldn’t understand anything he said in his thick Brooklyn-Colonial accent. So they arrested him as a spy.
1793- Commissioner of the French Revolutionary Republic, Leger Felicite’ Sonthonax proclaimed the abolition of slavery in San Dominique- now Haiti.
1831 - Michael Faraday demonstrated the 1st electric transformer.
1864 - William Huggins published a study of the chemical composition of nebulae.
1885 – The first heavyweight title fight with regulation 3-oz gloves & 3-minute
rounds fought between John L Sullivan & Dominick McCaffrey. Before this bareknuckle fights could go on for 75 rounds and only be stopped when one of the other opponent was too bloody to continue.
1889 - 1st American Intl pro lawn tennis contest -Newport RI.
1893- Whitcomb Judson invented the zipper.
1896- Chop Suey invented in New York City.
1897- The FIRST WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS opened in Basel, Switzerland. Jews from all around the world met to agree on a strategy of returning to Palestine to build a Jewish homeland and getting a major world power to sanction their efforts. They also agreed to adopt the revived Hebrew language as the common mother tongue. Russian Socialist Theodore Herzel, called the Father of Zionism , at one point almost split the movement with a scheme for all Jews to move to Uganda,. There was also another group who wanted Argentina to be the Jewish Homeland, but Palestine finally won out over all.
1908 - NY gives a parade to returning US Olympians from London. Wall Street brokers come up with the idea of throwing shredded stock ticker tape out the windows.
The first ticker tape parade.
1909 - World's 1st air race held in Rheims France. Glenn Curtiss (USA) wins.
1914- Mass march of women in black with muffled drums down New York’s Fifth Avenue to demand the U.S. stay out of World War One.
1916- FeldMarshals Paul von Hindenberg und Eric Ludendorf were given overall command of the Germany’s armies, and in effect run their country as well. This was the opposite of the great Clauswitz's rules that war should be subservient to diplomacy and never waged for it's own sake. The Kaiser, so belligerent at the beginning of the war was by this point was merely a figurehead. To contribute to the war effort he agreed to limit his meals to four courses and drink beer instead of champagne. War is Hell !
1925 - After a night on the town, Babe Ruth shows up late for batting practice Yankee manager Miller Huggins suspended Ruth & slapped a $5,000 fine on him. Whenever the Yankees were on the road and were safely winning a game Ruth would take himself out of the lineup early so he could scout out a good bar for the team to go to later.
1929- New York City was having competitions between builders for who could build the tallest office building. The Chrysler Building had recently surpassed the Bank of Manhattan Building. On this day William Ratzengauer and former Presidential candidate Al Smith announced they would build a monster building, much higher than any other. It would be on the site of the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel and they would call it the Empire State Building.
1949- Soviet Russia detonated it's first atomic bomb "First Lightning". The scientists won medals, automobiles and dachas. They knew that if it had not worked they all would have been shot. Yet Stalin made no public announcement until he could fill his larder with nukes. A CIA sniffer plane picked up the evidence of the bomb and dubbed it "Joe-1" after Joe Stalin. It was announced on Sept 23rd. The U.S. reacted to this news and the news of Mao's taking over China with shock. It fueled the great Red-scare of the 1950's.
1953- Warner's "Cat Tails for Two" introduces Speedy Gonzales.
1954- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opened.
1955- Mamie Van Doren married Ray Anthony.
1958 - George Harrison joins the Quarrymen -Lennon-McCartney and Sutcliffe. The later rename themselves the Beatles.
1962- The Kennedy State Department sent poet laureate Robert Frost on a goodwill tour of Soviet Russia.
1966- Egyptian writer Sayyid Qutb was executed for plotting against the government. Qutb is considered by many the philosopher of the new radical offshoot of Islam in the world today. His pupil who took up his cause was Ayman Al Zuwahiri. He is the man in the horn rimmed glasses who took over from Osama bin Laden.
1967- Final Episode of the television series "The Fugitive". Dr. Richard Kimble catches the one-armed-man and clears his name.
1974- THE RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE- Prizefighter Mohammed Ali wins back his heavyweight crown from George Foreman in a wild showbiz event set up in Kinshasa, Zaire. While the African government was trying to use the press attention to highlight the modern society they had developed, Ali was making jokes about witchdoctors, missionaries in stewpots and other cliches. "Tonight they'll be a thousand guys named Mohammed out there rooting for me, and another thousand guys named Ali rooting for me, but their won't be anybody else out there named George Foreman!" Foreman left boxing, became a minister, then returned in his 40’s to win the heavyweight crown and a fortune when most athletes are retired.
1976 - Anissa Jones, the child actress who played Buffy on the television show Family Affair), died of a drug overdose at age 18.
1989 -Hotel millionaire Leona Helmsley had said: "Only little people pay taxes". This day she was sentenced to four years in prison and fined two million dollars for 33 counts of income tax evasion. According to a London newspaper one servant under oath admitted he hated The Queen of Mean so much that whenever he had to bring her a Perrier, he would unzip his fly and use a rather unique stirrer for her drink. Leona died in 2007 and left the bulk of her estate to her dog.
2002- Peep-O-Rama, Times Square’s last remaining peep show, closed.
2005- HURRICANE KATRINA destroyed the cities of New Orleans, Gulfport Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi. Tidal surges up to 30 feet collapsed levees, sending walls of water across the Big Easy. Thousands died, 800,000 homeless and billions of dollars in damage. The tragedy proved that for all the fuss about government preparedness after 9-11, America was still woefully confused in a real crisis.
While people drowned in their attics and critical care patients were left on the sidewalks to die, the government fumbled for almost a week. Long lines of relief trucks and ambulances were kept waiting outside the city with no permission to move in.
Meanwhile President Bush played air guitar at a Navy base in San Diego and compared himself to Franklin Roosevelt, then partied with John McCain on a golf course for his birthday. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff attended a Bird Flu seminar and FEMA head David Brown was sending e-mails to friends like “Did you see me on camera with my new tie? -Fabulous!”
2008- CARIBOU BARBIE- Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain surprised the political world when he named Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his choice for running mate. It is still argued today whether this unconventional choice was good or bad. She energized the far right wing base of her party, but her obvious unpreparedness for high office offended Republican intelligentsia and scared off their few remaining independent voters.
Yesterday’s Question: When Mario Puzo wrote the novel The Godfather, that the movie is based on, many felt the Vito Corleone character was based on a real man. Who was the real Godfather?
Answer: Several real life Mafiosi have been floated as the inspiration for the Godfather. In NYC in the 70s, Carlo Gambino was known as The Godfather. He was a softspoken old world gentleman and had a large estate on a compound in Massapequa like the Don. He also died at home of a heart attack like Vito did. Marlon Brando said he studied films of Frank Costello to get the voice of Vito Corleone. The Bonano crime family claimed Joe “Bananas” was the model for the don, because like Vito, he didn’t want his son Joseph to get into the business, but he did anyway. Mario Puzo grew tired of the argument. When asked what family was his model, he replied “ The Borgias.”
Aug 28, 2014 thurs
August 28th, 2014
Question: When Mario Puzo wrote the novel The Godfather, that the movie is based on, many felt the Vito Corleone character was based on a real man. Who was the real Godfather?
Yesterday’s Answer Below: When offered a glass of water, who said- “ I never drink anything that fish copulate in”…..?
History for 8/28/2014
Birthdays: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Leo Tolstoy, George Villiers the Duke of Buckingham- minister of James I, O'Flagherty, Donald O'Connor, Charles Boyer, Karl Boehm, Bruno Bettleheim, Ferdinand Horvath, Ben Gazzara, Jack "King" Kirby, Janet Evans, Ron 'Louisiana Lightning' Guidry, Jason Preistley, Daniel Stern, Shania Twain, Charles Solomon, Jack Black is 45, Rita Coolidge is 53.
In Hong Kong, today is the Festival is the Festival of Hungry Ghosts.
29BC- In ancient Rome, dedication of the altar of Victory.
79AD.- POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM DESTROYED-The great volcano Versuvius erupted, burying the two Roman cities. The Emperor Titus rushed a fleet commanded by the natural scientist Pliny to rescue as many as he could. Pliny was overcome by the sulphurous fumes and died. His son, Pliny the Younger, eyewitnesses it all and wrote a moving account of the tragedy in his 'letters'. Scientists have been digging at the site of Pompeii since it's rediscovery in 1726, but estimates are there's as many as 30,000 skeletons still buried.
390AD-This was the Feast of Saint Augustine of Hippo. He was the Saint who tried every weird cult he could find before converting to Christianity, He drove his mother Saint Monica crazy but his experiences helped him develop an answer to every anti-Christian argument. His famous book was "the City of God". For a Saint he could have done stand-up. He was famous for one liners like when someone asked him "What did God do before he created the world?" Augustine answered: "He made a hell for people who ask stupid questions !" His other great motto was "Lord, Make me Chaste- but not just yet..."
476AD- The Last Roman Emperor of the West, the boy Romulus Augustulus, is deposed. It was done by his counselor and actual power behind the throne, a the barbarian warlord named Odoacer. Odoacer sent the Imperial diadem and insignia to the Zeno the Emperor of the East in Constantinople and declared himself King of the Germans in Italy.
1296- The Ragman Roll- Scottish nobles in Parliament were called upon to pledge allegiance to King Edward Ist of England. Edward Longshanks dropped his pretense of protection of the Scottish crown and instead moved for direct annexation to England. The only resistance came from peasant born leader William Wallace. The ceremony went on for so long such it coined a term for long inane formalities- Rigamarole.
1526- Battle of Mohacs. The Turkish Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent defeated the Hungarian army of Jan Hunyadi the"White Knight of Christendom" and pushes the borders of the Moslem World up to the gates of Vienna Austria.
1565 - Oldest city in the US, St Augustine Fla, established.
1609- Henry Hudson explored Delaware Bay.
1678- THE POPISH PLOT- A man named Titus Oates came before King Charles II and the Parliament and declared he had uncovered a plot by English Catholics, Jesuits , the Bishop of Armaugh and the Pope to kill King Charles, enthrone his Catholic brother James, burn London and land an army of mercenaries to force the English people back into Roman Church by force! Odds Fish! King Charles at first laughed it off but the public took him seriously.
There may have been one or two forlorn Catholic schemes but nothing on the scale Oates proclaimed, yet England went crazy for the next several months arresting and executing anybody accused. Titus Oates became very rich and famous but he finally was caught in his lies and sent to prison. When a mob of anti-Catholic Londoners attacked the carriage of the kings mistress Nell Gywnn thinking it was one of Charles’ French tootsies. Nell poked her head out of the carriage and cried: ” Peace be with you Good Citizens! I am the PROTESTANT Whore!” the crowd cheered.
1776 – The day after George Washington’s Army was defeated by the British in Brooklyn this day heavy rain and fog canceled any actions. After the battle the British pushed the colonials up against the East River and could have brought up their fleet from Staten Island, captured Washington’s army and destroyed the Revolution while the ink was still wet on the Declaration of Independence.
But they hesitated. Was it contrary winds in New York Harbor? Was it British memories of Bunker Hill preventing them from assaulting fixed colonial positions? Maybe it was because the English commanders Lord William Howe and his brother Admiral Richard 'Black Dick" Howe were Whigs in political opposition to the Tories in London. They saw a decisive military victory in America as a justification of the Lord North Government's policies.
So Howe hesitated finishing off the rebels and requested peace talks. If he could succeed in pacifying the colonies he would have the credit to run for Prime Minister. Washington stalled him and while they exchanged polite notes, the rebels slowly escaped by boat across the East River to fight on.
1830 - 1st locomotive in US, "Tom Thumb," runs from Baltimore to Ellicotts Mill.
.By 1835, the B &O was exclusively a steam affair.
1837 - Pharmacists John Leah & William Perrins invent Worcester Sauce.
1850- Lohengrin, the first opera written by Richard Wagner, premiered in Weimar. The Third Act chorus “Treulich Gefuhrt” became famous for weddings as “Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed in White”. Wagner asked his friend Franz Liszt to produce the opera because he was in exile for his political activities. Wagner did not see Lohengrin performed until 1861.
1859-In Titusville Pennsylvania the first U.S. oil well strikes oil. Before the industrial revolution crude oil or coal tar was considered a smelly nuisance. It was called Indian-Oil because Indians wore it as black warpaint, it was great for tarring and feathering rapscallions. Some entrepreneurs even tried to bottle it as health tonic. By this era it was refined into kerosene which was seen as a cheap plentiful substitute for whale-oil lamps. Unemployed railroad conductor Edwin Drake built the first oil well drilling apparatus out of components of a steam engine. By 1939 America exported 80% of the world’s crude oil.
1867- The U.S. Navy annexed Midway Island out in the Pacific.
1907- UPS small package delivery service started in Seattle.
1922- The first broadcast commercial on radio. It was for a real estate firm Queensboro Realty lasting ten minutes and cost $100 dollars. The firm selling suburban homes in Queens NY immediately did $100,000 worth of business. The business world took note of this new method of advertising.
1934-Upton Sinclair the writer is nominated for Governor of California on the Democratic ticket by over half a million votes. This shocked the California power-elite because Sinclair was a radical whose grass roots organization EPIC (End Poverty in California) advocated socialist solutions to the Depression. Even FDR kept his distance from Sinclair.
Powerful forces enlisted Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg and other Hollywood conservatives to ensure Sinclair's defeat by creating the first modern media negative campaign. This included phony newsreels of actors dressed as hobos saying how they're going to California to sponge off the taxpayers. Walt Disney's lawyer, Gunther Lessing, demanded Ward Kimball take the "Sinclair for Governor" sign off his car window.
Governor Frank Merriam who earlier that year had ordered troops to shoot down striking San Francisco longshoremen and their families won re-election.
1937- The Nazis began mass arrests of Jehovah's Witnesses.
1938- Northwestern University conferred an honorary degree upon the ventriloquist puppet Charlie McCarthy- Edgar Bergen’s famed dummy. The Dean of the School of Speech conferred a Master of Innuendo and Snappy Comeback upon the wooden celebrity.
1941- Rudolf Lichtenburg, pastor of St. Hedwig's Church the largest Lutheran congregation in Berlin, attacked the Nazi regime in an open letter to Dr. Leonardo Conti, Chief Reich Physician: "As a Human Being, As a Christian, a priest and a German I demand you answer for your crimes, which will call forth the Judgement of God upon the heads of the German People!" He was arrested by the Gestapo and died in Dachau.
1945- Chinese Communist Mao Tse Tung or Mao Zse Dong, conferred with Generalissimo Chiang Kai Chek over how to keep the Civil War from starting up again now that the War with Japan was over. The meeting was arranged by American Ambassador Patrick Hurley, an Oklahoma senator who greeted Mao and the Chiang with a loud Indian-style war whoop. We don’t know what Mao and Chiang thought of this curious form of welcome, but they couldn’t stand one another. Almost as soon as their conference was over the Chinese Civil War began again. Mao defeated Chiang and drove him to exile in Taiwan in 1949.
1953-Between the Israeli War of Independence and the Suez War guerrilla violence raged in small border settlements with terrorism killing innocent civilians. The Israeli Army tried forming a secret commando team called Unit 101 to stop Arab attacks on Israeli settlers by committing their own acts of revenge “an-eye-for-an-eye”. After one raid this day Unit 101 went into action, shooting up a Palestinian refugee camp in Egyptian Gaza and killed a number of women and children. The attack was so cold-blooded that the unit was soon disbanded by an embarrassed government. The young officer in command of Unit 101 was future Prime Minister Arial Sharon.
1963- Dr. Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the climax of the first ' Poor People's March 'on Washington”. Organizer A. Phillip Randolph conceived a poor people’s march taking weeks not unlike the Bonus Marchers of 1929. The sympathetic John F. Kennedy administration prevailed upon them to keep it to one day to reduce the chance of violence and maximize media exposure. They had planned for 100,000 but they got 400,000. Movie stars like Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, James Garner even Charlton Heston attended.
1968- THE CHICAGO DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION- While thousands of anti-war hippie and yippie protestors battled the Chicago Police in Grant Park the Democrats nominated Hubert Horatio Humphrey, the "Happy Warrior" their candidate to replace the assassinated Bobby Kennedy. Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, the Yippie and SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) leaders tried to get a live 100 pound pig into the convention and get it nominated for President. The Chairman of the DNC decried Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's "Gestapo Tactics" from the rostrum. Ironically Boss Daley opposed the Vietnam War, but he would not tolerate kids making him look bad on national TV..
Newsman Dan Rather was gut-punched by a Chicago cop on camera on the convention floor. My friend writer John Culhane was clubbed down by police despite wearing all his press credentials and a baby blue army helmet with Newsweek painted on it. While the police and demonstrators battled poet Alan Ginsburg and Timothy Leary grabbed a loudspeaker and chanted the Buddhist "Ohhhmmmmm" to calm people down. The student leaders -the Chicago 7 in reality 8, were put on trial for incitement to riot but after a year long media circus all the charges were overturned. Republican Richard Nixon won the election. The Democrats wouldn't go near Chicago again for thirty years.
1990- Computer pioneer Sandy Lerner was fired from the company she founded- Cisco Systems.
1996- The Prince and Princess of Wales Charles & Diana got divorced. This was the first Royal divorce since Henry VIII annulled Anne of Cleves in the 1530's, not counting George IV's secret marriage to Mrs. Fitzherbert which was hushed up and his later cavorting with Lady Cunningham who was nicknamed "the Vice-Queen" and Edward VII's sleeping with every woman in Europe but his wife, etc.
2007- Conservative “Family Values” Senator Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested for soliciting gay sex in a men’s room in the Minneapolis Airport. Craig vigorously maintained that he merely had a wide stance in his stall, but older gay men said “toe-tapping” was a standard way to cruise a sex-partner. Larry Craig soon resigned from the Senate.
Yesterday’s Quiz: When offered a glass of water, who said- “ I never drink anything that fish copulate in”…..?
Answer: W.C. Fields.
Aug 27, 2014 weds
August 27th, 2014
Quiz: When offered a glass of water, who said- “ I never drink anything that fish copulate in”…..?
Question: An Emmy nominated script tonight was titled “Ozymandias”. It is from a famous poem by romantic poet Percy Shelley titled Ozymandias. Who or what was Ozymandias?
HISTORY FOR 8/27/2014
Birthdays: Man Ray, Martha Ray, LBJ ( Lyndon Baines Johnson), Hegel, C.S. Forester, Hannibal Hamlin- Abe Lincolns first term vice president, Barbara Bach, Theodore Dreiser, Lady Antonia Fraser, Tommy Sands, Tuesday Weld is 71, Mangesuthu Buthelezi, Paul Rubens-aka Pee Wee Herman is 62
1506- Pope Julius II attacks Perugia and Bologna for Holy Mother Church. After the conquest Julius has Michelangelo cast a nine foot statue of him to remind the Perugians who kicked their butts. Michelangelo created his largest free standing bronze caste, but we don't have it anymore. In 1512 Julius's enemies liberated Perugia, and the happy people melted down the statue and cast it into a cannon they nicknamed: "La Julia".
1660- Poet John Milton's books were publicly burned on Tyburn hill. It wasn't because of any great suppression of humanist ideas. Milton was an outspoken supporter of Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan regime that had governed England. But now the King was back on the throne and unimpressed with his writings.
1664- NIEUW AMSTERDAAM BECOMES NEW YORK. The English had disputed Holland's stake in America based on the early exploration of John Cabot. Now with the growth of the New England and Virginia colonies, and the English Civil War over, England sent a large battle fleet under Colonel Rollins to New Amsterdam to demand the surrender of the colony.
The Dutch governor was an old one-legged mercenary named Peter Stuyvesant. He wanted to make a fight of it and had even set up a battery of cannon on -where else? the Battery. However his city council were men of commerce, not soldiers. They told him if he wanted to fight he should do it himself because they were surrendering. Even his own son was against fighting. Stuyvesant in a rage shouted at the burghers:" Keep to your shovels and barrows!" The governor himself hobbled up to the cannon pointed at the British fleet and lit a match to fire the first shot. He paused and noticed the silent stares of all those around him. The chaplain of the colony, Dominie Megapolensis, silently took Stuyvesant by the hand down from the fort. Stuyvesant signed the surrender.
He was allowed to keep his large farm, or in Dutch, his Bouwerie -the Bowery. Five years later the English named renamed the city after King Charles II's brother the Duke of York for his birthday. The Duke of York's protection kept Long Island from being made part of Connecticut. The first English colony planted after the conquest was named for the only part of Britain to remain loyal to King Charles during the Cromwell period, the Isle of Jersey (New Jersey). Charles main supporter was James Leslie, Baron Newark. (Newark N.J.) and his son the Duke of Monmouth. Still the old Dutch roots were deep and even in George Washington's time Dutch was the predominant language on New York's streets. In 1832 Martin Van Buren became our first knickerbocker President.
1667- The first record in English of a Hurricane, this one striking near Jamestown Virginia. Of course the Spanish in the Caribbean had been seeing hurricanes since Columbus’s third voyage in 1503.
1776- THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND- The worst defeat for Americans in the Revolutionary War. The British regiments destroy George Washington’s army in Brooklyn while he was in Manhattan still waiting for the main attack. Washington sent two generals to command, Generals Sullivan and William Alexander, who insisted everyone call him Lord Stirling in memory of some Scottish inheritance he claimed he was cheated out of.
The British General Henry Clinton marched down the Kings Highway to Jamaica then found a secret path behind Yankee lines, guarded by only 5 militiamen. Clinton had walked these paths when he was a young officer stationed in NY. His superior Lord William Howe at first refused the idea- he said it smacked of the German School of Tactics. He felt the Americans were too stupid to panic when their flank was turned. But the Yankees did panic and Lord Howe won a great victory.
The British had gotten over their shock of the American’s Indian style of guerrilla fighting. They countered by using German jaeger battalions, professional hunters turned soldier who were accustomed to shooting from behind rocks and trees. Generals Sullivan and Lord Stirling were forced to surrender after furious fighting around the Cortelyou House. One Scots Redcoat officer wrote: “Multitudes of retreating Americans who attempted to escape across the Gowanus River were drowned or suffocated in the morasses- a proper punishment for Rebels!”
1789- The French Revolutionaries publish THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN. They wanted the American ambassador Thomas Jefferson to help them write it, but he worried it would compromise his diplomatic immunity. So he agreed to look over their shoulder during revisions. Most foreign ambassadors had fled Paris. But the French radicals considered America a fellow Republic.
1813- BATTLE OF DRESDEN. After the retreat from Moscow the previous year, Napoleon is attacked by Austria, Russia, Sweden, Prussia, and just about everybody else in Europe but the Spice Girls. In reorganizing his army Napoleon ordered a stripped down staff and no more dessert served at the Imperial dinner table. War is Hell.
Napoleon whupped the Allies in this first battle at Dresden, and a famous French turncoat general named Moreau was killed by a cannonball. Moreau had been counseling the Russians on how best to kill his countrymen. His death was seen as a sign of Divine Justice by both sides. During a temporary truce Napoleon was offered by the Allies the chance to negotiate a peace. World history would have been different, but he refused. When he asked Polish Prince Poniatowski what he would do, the Prince replied: 'I would make peace now, to wage war better later.' But Napoleon countered :"I'd rather make war now to win a better peace." He lost.
1814- President James Madison and the remains of the U.S. Government came out of hiding in the forests of Arlington and re-entered the burned out remains of Washington D.C.. It had been left by the British Army after being put to the torch. Looters scampered over the smoldering remains of the White House and Congress. Secretary of War Armstrong, who inadequately defended the Capitol, resigned after blaming everyone but himself. Mayor Blakes’ biggest fear upon his return was of a rumored slave insurrection, so he armed every available white male for police duty. Meanwhile the exhausted inhabitants of Washington could hear the British cross the Potomac loot and burn the town of Alexandria, given up without a fight.
1814- As the British invaders roamed the Maryland countryside an elderly Scottish immigrant doctor named Beanes was dragged out of his house by Royal Marines and packed off to the flagship off shore. He was accused of mistreating captured British soldiers. Since he was born in Scotland he could face a charge of treason. When local residents petitions to have Dr Beanes released were refused, an appeal was made to a respected Georgetown attorney named Francis Scott Key to go try and win his release. Key showed up at the ship with written affidavits from the incarcerated British wounded affirming Dr. Beanes innocence. Admiral Cockburn agreed to release them both, but only after their big assault on Baltimore. This is why Key was on the British warship in time to watch the Rockets Red Glare, the Bombs Bursting in Air , etc.
1814- Meanwhile in England poet Percy Shelley eloped with Mary, the only daughter of John Godwin and Mary Wollenstonecraft. Godwin had objected to Shelley’s proposal for his daughters hand because he was an opium addict, a sexual libertine, an atheist and already married with a baby daughter! Yeah, but besides all that what’s your objection? They ran off followed by Mary’s stepsister Claire who started sleeping with Lord Byron. Mary of course was the author of Frankenstein. If I knew all this maybe I would have paid more attention in English Lit 101.
1910- The first radio message sent from an airplane.
1912- Edgar Rice Burroughs published Tarzan of the Apes.
1915- Italy declared war on Germany and Austria and entered World War One.
1917- Straight Shooting, the first film directed by John Ford released. Before that Ford did bit parts and stuntwork. He was a Klansman in Birth of a Nation. Not because he was racist but because it was a paying extras job. He said later he kept fussing with his white hood that kept slipping over his eyes while he was trying to ride his horse.
1930- Lon Chaney Sr. died of throat cancer. During filming of a remake of the Unholy Three a wind machine blew an artificial gypsum snowflake into Chaney's mouth - it caused an irritation that became a tumor.
1941- Japan’s Prime Minister Prince Konoye requested a summit meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt to try and avoid war. Konoye was an anti-fascist and foresaw the coming holocaust but he couldn’t control Japans military. Ironically when the war ended in 1945 Prince Konoye was arrested by US authorities for war crimes. The anti-war statesman committed hari-kiri.
1942- Stalin called Marshal Zhukov, the hero of Leningrad, to go to Stalingrad and assume command there before the Nazis captured the city.
1955- The first Guinness Book of World Records published.
1950- NBC and General Foods abruptly canceled the hit television show “the Aldrich Family” when a pamphlet called Red Channels accused Jean Muir, one of the show’s stars, of being a communist.
1953- The film Roman Holiday introduced a new young actress from Holland named Audrey Hepburn.
1964- The movie version of Mary Poppins premiered.
1967- Beatles manager Brian Epstein overdosed on sleeping pills.
1979- Retired Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed by the IRA, from a bomb on board his yacht.
1968- Former master animator Bill Tytla's request to return to Disney was turned down. The artist who animated Grumpy the Dwarf, Dumbo and the Devil on Bald Mountain even offered to do a free "trial animation test" to show he still had it. Disney exec W.H. Anderson wrote him:" We really have only enough animation for our present staff."
Tytla died later that year.
1990- Guitar great Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash outside Alpine Valley Wisconsin, after an "All Stars of the Blues" show. Stevie Ray took the last remaining seat on the helicopter, after Eric Clapton got off, claiming he'd rather take a limo back to Chicago, which was about an hour away.
2008- Barack Obama nominated for President of the United States. The first African American candidate from a major party.
Yesterday’s Question: An Emmy nominated script tonight was titled “Ozymandias”. It is from a famous poem by romantic poet Percy Shelley titled Ozymandias. Who or what was Ozymandias?
Answer: When the fragments of a huge statue of Pharoah Ramses II arrived in London. Really little more than the inscription at the base, poet Percy Shelley was moved to write a poem on the fleeting nature of power. Ozimandias was another Egyptian name for Ramses. “ I am Ozimandias, the King of Kings. Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair…”
Aug 26, 2014 tues.
August 26th, 2014
Question: An Emmy nominated script tonight was titled “Ozymandias”. It is from a famous poem by romantic poet Percy Shelley titled Ozymandias. Who or what was Ozymandias?
Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: We can guess many Renaissance artists were gay or bi-sexual. Which one of these men do we know was straight? Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Fillipo-Lippi, Donatello, Raphael?
History for 8/26/2014
Birthdays: Sir Robert Walpole the first British Prime Minister, Mother Theresa, Albert the Prince Consort, John Wilkes Booth, Guilliame Appollinaire who coined the term Surrealism, General Maxwell Taylor, Christopher Isherwood, McCauley Culkin is 34, Geraldine Ferrarro, Dr. Lee DeForrest, Ben Bradlee, Barbet Schroeder, Branford Marsalis, Chris Pine is 34, Melissa McCarthy is 44
480 BC- The Persian Army of Xerxes the Great King marched into Athens. They found an empty city. Athenian leader Themistocles had ordered the population to evacuate to the small island of Salamis. Themistocles defeated Xerxes later in an epic sea battle.
55 B.C.- JULIUS CAESAR LANDED IN ENGLAND- Caesar paused from his conquest of Gaul to check out the British Isles. He didn't stay long because Channel storms were playing havoc with his supply ships. Just long enough to fight some Celts under their chief Cassilvelaunus, collect some tribute and add a chapter to his memoirs.
The Romans returned in A.D. 61 under instructions from Claudius to conquer and colonize. London, Colchester and York were originally Roman army camps. The Romans never considered Britain a good investment though, for the two legions that had to be stationed there year round to protect colonists from the Scottish Picts ( the Painted People), all the Romans got was some tin, slaves and a bigger road map.
580AD- An ancient Chinese inventory of the household of a nobleman made the first recorded reference to toilet paper. The ancient Romans used a sponge tied to a small stick. You were expected to rinse it out afterwards for use by the next person.
217AD- Today is the Feast of St. Zephyrinus, who didn't die violently but he is still counted as a Martyr because he had a lot of stress. (?) He was supposedly so charitable, that Saint Hippolytus found him annoying.
1346-Battle of Crecy – The English beat the French in the Hundred Years War., The Welsh longbows rained powerful armor piercing arrows on the French knights from long range. The King of Frances’ friend King John of Bohemia rode into the thick of the battle, despite his being elderly and completely blind. His horse’s reins were held by retainers galloping alongside him. When Edward the Black Prince of Wales discovered the king's dead body after the battle, he plucked three white plumes from his helmet and assumed his motto "Ich Dein" or "How's dat, ye blind old bugger !" They became the symbols of the Prince of Wales. Also appearing at this battle for the first time were the big rock throwing fire pipes they called Bombardons, but we call cannon.
1498- Michelangelo gets a job. The big Florentine stonecutter was commissioned by Pope Alexander VI Borgia to carve the Pieta, Mary lamenting over the body of Jesus.
1572- In Paris four days after the Great Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, someone noticed the hawthorns were flowering out of season in the little cemetery of the Holy Innocents. The Bishop of Paris thought this was a divine sign and ordered the church bells to ring. But when the dumbass people heard the bells they thought it was a signal to resume the massacre, so everyone ran out and started killing each other again.
1576- Great artist Titian died at age 99. He outlived all the artists of the Renaissance, worked every day of his life and might have gone on, had he not caught the plague.
1648-French peasant uprising known as La Fronde.-The Fronde was a reaction to the king's government being controlled by scheming cardinals like Richelieu and his protege, Cardinal Mazarin. Had the movement more legal structure to their demands, France might have developed an English style representative government. The English were in the middle of their Civil War over the same issues at the same time. But the Fronde was more about blind class rage, and after it was crushed it left a deep impression on the mind of child King Louis XIV. He concluded that giving the common people any voice or power was a bad idea.
1790- THE KINGDOM OF YAZOO- Before the Louisiana Purchase the area around Spanish Mississippi territory and American Tennessee was a no man’s land of swamps Creek Indians. An Irish adventurer named O’Fanlon with a group of leathershirts and yahoos tried to declare themselves an independent nation -named for the Yazoo River.
1814- After completing their work of burning Washington D.C. to the ground , the British redcoats under Admiral Cockburn marched away in good order back to their ships. One old grandfather yelled at the British:" If General Washington had been alive you would not have gotten off so easily!" Admiral Cockburn reigned in his horse and replied -"Sir, if General Washington had still been President, we should never have thought of coming here."
1838- American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson met English writer Thomas Carlyle.
1846- W.A. Bartlet became first American mayor of Yerba Buena, in 1850 renamed San Francisco.
1868- First practical typewriter patented by Christopher Scholes. The Remington Company who were famous for making firearms took up the typewriter and mass produced it. In 1874 Mark Twain admitted to a friend that he preferred writing on it.
1914- During World War I, the German artillery bombarded the Belgian city of Louvain, destroying it’s 600 year old medieval library. It was considered the first great cultural crime of the 20th Century, but alas, not the last.
1918- 17 year old Walt Disney faked his parents signature in order to enlist to fight in World War I. Assigned to the ambulance corps, he arrived in Europe as the war was ending.
1939- In preparation for the impending war with Germany, the Tower of London was closed to tourists and the English Crown Jewels smuggled out and hidden.
1944- Charles DeGaulle walked in triumph down the Champs Elysee among thousands as Parisians celebrates their liberation after four years of Nazi occupation.
1946 - George Orwell published "Animal Farm". Orwell said he conceived the idea for the novel while watching out his window a small boy driving a huge draft horse. The horse could have easily crushed the boy had it the free will but instead patiently endured the boys taunts and flicks with a small switch.
1946- First day of shooting on Jean Cocteau’s film Belle et le Bete, Beauty & the Beast.
1958- First day of shooting on the Alfred Hitchcock film North By Northwest. Conceived as a story that ended in a chase across the stone faces of Mt. Rushmore. The original title of Ernst Lehman’s script was The Man Who Hung From Lincoln’s Nose.
1961- The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto dedicated.
1964- The Tokyo subway system opens.
1967 – The Beatles, Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithful met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
1970- Tens of thousands of women across North America march in The Women’s Strike for Equality. It was led by Betty Friedan of NOW, the National Organization for Women.
1971- The New York Giants announced they would move from Yankee Stadium to a new complex being built in the Meadowlands of Rutherford, New Jersey.
1980- Director Tex Avery died after collapsing in the parking lot of Hanna-Barbera. Two weeks before he was asked by a friend why he was working in Hanna & Barbera. Tex laughed:" Hey, Don’t you know? this is where all the elephants come to die!"
1985- The first Yugo economy car arrived in the US. From Yugoslavia.
1997- Special effects house Boss Studios, closed.
Yesterday’s Quiz: We can guess many Renaissance artists were gay or bi-sexual. Which one of these men do we know was straight? Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Fillipo-Lippi, Donatello, Raphael?
Answer: Fra Filippo-Lippi. Italian artist Giorgio Vasari, who in 1550 wrote a famous kiss & tell about his colleagues The Lives of the Artists, wrote about Lippi” For a Carmelite monk, he possessed an intemperate lust for women. When he saw one that caught his fancy, there was nothing he wouldn’t do or give to have his way with her. If he was ultimately rejected in his advances, he would paint her portrait and talk himself out of it. Legend has it he was poisoned by the family of a girl he seduced.
August 25, 2014 mon
August 25th, 2014
Quiz: We can guess many Renaissance artists were gay or bi-sexual. Which one of these men do we know was straight? Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Fillipo-Lippi, Donatello, Raphael?
Yesterday’s answer below: During the Renaissance most people lived to 30-40 years old. But one Renaissance master artist lived to age 99, and only died because he caught the plague. Who was it?
History for 8/25/2014
Birthdays: King Ludwig II the Mad of Bavaria, Leonard Bernstein, Walt Kelly, Bret Hart, Lola Montez (flamenco dancing mistress of Ludwig I, King of Bavaria), Alan Pinkerton, Elvis Costello is 60, Clara Bow, Ruby Keeler, Monty Hall, Van Johnson, Willis Reed, Frederick Forsythe, Wayne Shorter, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dr. Bruno Bettleheim, Rolly Fingers, Gene Simmons, Anne Archer, Tim Burton is 56, Sean Connery is 84, Claudia Schiffer is 43
Opiconsiva- Ancient Roman festival of the first harvest.
1127- Princess Matilda, granddaughter of William the Conqueror, married Geoffrey of Anjou, a powerful noble family in central France. After the Conqueror’s sons died England went through a confusing period of dynastic struggle that only ended when Matilda and Geoffrey's son Henry becomes King Henry II of England. Geoff D’Anjou was a zitty little nonentity, who, other than producing the great English royal line of Richard the LionHeart and Henry V was also known for putting a little flower in his hat. In Latin a planta-genesta. His family name was called Plantagenet.
1718- The FIRST BOATLOAD OF FRENCH COLONISTS LAND IN LOUISIANA- Sieur de la Moyne- Bienville established a fort and trading post on some low ground between the Mississippi and Lake Ponchartrain. He named the place for Phillip of Orleans, then ruler of France in the name of the child King Louis XV. The French and Dutch always had a problem with their American colonies, in that nobody wanted to leave home to live there. One solution the French thought up involved sweeping the streets of all the hookers, cutthroats and riffraff and shipping them all to America. Though it wasn't exactly "Pilgrim's Progress", this influx of cardsharks and sportin' ladies helped New Orleans quickly establish it's rep as one of the wildest towns of the New World.
1814- The British Army occupying Washington D.C. continued their work of burning the city- The State Department, War Office, Library of Congress, The Treasury Building and more were torched. British Admiral Cockburn made a point of destroying the offices of the National Intelligencer, a newspaper run by an English immigrant named Joseph Gales who loved writing insulting editorials about him. An early morning summer thunderstorm doused some fires but added to the misery of Washingtonians cowering in the forests of Arlington.
President James Madison spent most of the night in the saddle looking for his wife Dolly, and trying to rally his scattered government. He was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Dolly Madison with a carriage full of the furniture from the White House tried to enter an inn called Wileys Tavern. But the owners wife threw the First Lady out: “You can leave Mrs Madison! Thanks to your husband, mine is out fighting in the war! Damn You!”
1829- The Mexican Government refused US President Andrew Jackson’s offer to purchase Texas. Jackson then explored other means. Sam Houston, first President of Texas and it’s first governor under the US flag was a protégé of Jackson.
1830- Brabant Rebellion, Belgium separates from Holland.
1830- This is the day of the legendary race between the locomotive the Tom Thumb and a horse and buggy outside of Baltimore. The Tom Thumb weighing in at about a ton and developing a whopping one horse power. The boiler driven fan broke down near the end, The horse won. Still, the train’s performance was so impressive that the first U.S. railroad, the Baltimore & Ohio, shifted from horse drawn to steam railroad.
1835- The New York Sun newspaper ran the story that British astronomer Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of Neptune, had observed little men living on the surface of the Moon! The story proved false, but it boosted the sales of the paper.
1875- Matthew Webb became the first person to successfully swim the English Channel.
1893- Colored People’s Day at the Columbia Exhibition in Chicago. How thoughtful!
1896- The Journal Examiner's Yellow-Fellow Transcontinental Bicycle Relay race.
1900- Is God dead? No, just Frederich Neitszche, this day
1912- In Shanghai, Dr. Sun Yat Sen forms the Kuomintang or Chinese Nationalist Party.
1916- President Woodrow Wilson created the National Parks Service out of 35 separate departments.
1928- Commander Byrd sets off to explore the Antarctic.
1944- PARIS LIBERATED. Adolf Hitler had ordered the Germans to dynamite all the major landmarks: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame etc, But when the time came, the German commander Gen. Deitrich von Choltitz refused to do it. There was street fighting but the heavier German tank units had voluntarily evacuated the city. Free French General LeClerc led the allied columns into the City of Lights.
Ernest Hemingway and a few paratroops liberated the Ritz Hotel's wine cellar and Shakespeare and Company bookstore. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were discovered by CBS correspondent Eric Severaid living unharmed outside of town.
1945- In an incident in postwar China, U.S. troops scuffle with Communist Chinese soldiers and a Capt. John Birch was killed. In the growing Cold War hysteria, Capt. Birch was lauded as the first martyr in the Crusade against Communism and a society in his name was formed. The John Birch Society became a powerful force for Conservative politics in the 1950's and 60's. One of their founders was Fred Koch, the father of the modern Koch Bros, who use their money to influence political power in the U.S.
1967 – In Mississippi George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of American Nazi Party, was blown off the speaker’s platform by a shotgun. Although not as significant as the Martin Luther King or the Kennedy’s assassinations, it was another incident in the violent 1960’s. George Lincoln Rockwell was also a distant cousin of Norman Rockwell, although the famed artist was embarrassed to admit it.
1970- A young British singer named Elton John did his first US tour, opening at the Troubadour in LA.
1980- The premiere of the Broadway musical version of the classic movie 42nd Street. In a moment of Broadway melodrama producer David Merrick came out on stage and startled the cast and audience by announcing that the director of the play Gower Champion had died that very day. 42nd Street went on to be a smash hit. The play itself is about a Broadway director who works himself to death creating a hit musical.
1989- Congressman Barney Frank confirmed that he had paid for the services of a gay male prostitute named Stephan Gobie. The unrepentant and refreshingly frank-Frank continued to serve in Congress another twenty five years.
1989- The Voyager 2 probe left Neptune and shot off into deep space after completing it reconnaissance of the outer planets of our solar system. It discovered the rings of Jupiter and Neptune, the additional moons of these planets, and the volcanoes of the Jovian moon Io, and the ice of Europa. Today you have ten times more computing power in your laptop than in the Voyager spacecraft, yet all these years later it continues to transmit signals back to Earth. Voyager is currently in the Heliosheath, outer border of our solar system.
1991- At the Emmy ceremony, comic Gilbert Gottfried (AFLACK duck) upset the audience by a flood of masturbation jokes about Pee Wee Herman. Fox Network apologized the next day.
2001-Beautiful 22 year old R&B singer Alleiya was killed, when her overloaded charter plane crashed on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.
Yesterday’s Quiz: During the Renaissance most people lived to 30-40 years old. But one Renaissance master artist lived to age 99, and only died because he caught the plague. Who was it?