March 11, 2014 tues.
March 11th, 2014
Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase “ Bang the Drum Slowly…”
Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Who said- “ Only three people understand the world situation as it is today. One of them, a Russian, is dead. Another, a German, is mad. And me, and I don’t care….”
HISTORY FOR 3/11/2014
Birthdays: Torquato Tasso, Marius Pretipa, Raoul Walsh. Rupert Murdoch is 83, Charlie Ruggles, Lawrence Welk, former British PM Harold Wilson, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Bobby McFerrin, Sam Donaldson, Justice Antonin Scalia, Jerry Zucker, Vannevar Bush- MIT scientist who in 1945 predicted personal computer workstations. Joey Buttafuco, Jules Engel, Douglas Adams would be 63, Rob Paulsen is 58, Terence Howard is 45
In ancient Rome, today was the Festival of Hercules
1513- Giovanni de Medici, a son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, was elected Pope Leo X.
He was ordained a priest two days later- hey, details, details! Leo was the quintessential Renaissance Party-Pope. He blew the Vatican treasury on lavish entertainment, artists, poets and buffoons. He was quoted as saying:” God has given us the Papacy, so let us enjoy it.”
1669- Sicily’s Mt Etna erupted and killed 20,000 people.
1801- Czar Paul I was strangled. It had been said the Czar was showing signs of mental instability. Others historians say that story was circulated by the nobility who were against the Czars land reform for peasants. The murder had the tacit approval of his son Alexander who became Czar. In 1812 after Napoleon's invasion was driven out, one of the top French generals, Dominique Vandamme, was captured. When Vandamme was reproached by Czar Alexander for attacking Russia, the Frenchman shot back:" Well at least Sire, I didn't murder my own father!"
1810- Prussian Chancellor von Hardenburg granted civil rights to the Jews of Germany.
1818- Mary Shelly's great novel "FRANKENSTEIN, or the Modern Prometheus" first published. It’s considered the first true science fiction novel. The heroes are not knights or kings but modern scientists. Whether you believe 21 year old Ms. Shelly invented the story one dark and stormy night in 1816 while smoking opium with her homeboys Percy Shelly and Lord Byron is a matter of conjecture. Still, it's a good story.
1829- BachMania!-The Rediscovery of Johann Sebastian Bach-. Bach was little known in his time and after his death in 1750 was soon forgotten. Even his son Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach though his dad’s music old-fashioned. But a century later the stirrings of German nationalism led to the re-examination of this obscure organist. This night at the Singadakademie in Berlin, musical superstar Felix Mendelsson performed The “St. Matthew Passion” and other Bach works. The musicians performed for free. The concert caused a sensation and Bach is soon being played all over Europe and influencing everyone from Berlioz to Wagner. Goethe and Hegel declared him a genius
1851-Guisseppi Verdi's grand opera" Rigoletto "debuts. Considered Verdi's first mature work, it makes him an international star. Based on Victor Hugo's "L'roi's amuse", originally about the lustful abominations of King Francois Ist of France, Verdi changed it to the Duke of Mantua and steered away from the class politics to a family melodrama. Victor Hugo didn't like it.
1861- the seceded southern states adopted a constitution based on the old Articles of Confederation passed in 1778, hence the name the Confederate States of America. It provided for a President with a six-year term with no eligibility for a second term.
1888- THE YEAR OF BLUE ICE- The Great Blizzard of '88. In New York and Boston 40 inches of snow fell in 36 hours. Record low temperatures, 80 mile an hour winds and ice storms so severe that all the telephone and telegraph wires between New York and Boston snapped. To contact anyone you had to be routed through London England. 400 people died in New York City alone. Police set up frostbite checkpoints to rub the ears of pedestrians as they walked by.
Out West so many head of cattle died that a serious beef shortage the following year created a labor problem with unemployed cowboys that led to the Johnson County Wars of 1890. Teddy Roosevelt was a Dakota rancher at the time and he saw cattle freeze to death where they stood. Later in the spring thaw, these "cowsickles" would be bobbing up and down in the Dakota River with the ice flows.
1889- The California Legislature splits Orange County from LA County.
1890- Orange County carved out of L.A. County.
1918- THE GREAT SPANISH FLU PANDEMIC- Today influenza is controlled by antivirals and you feel miserable for a few days, but back before such drugs, it was a killer. This day the first noticeable rise in a strange new flu occurred at Camp Funston Kansas.
In only one year this new flu virus killed 21 million people around the Earth, 640,000 in the U.S. alone- everyone from Kaiser Wilhelm to Blackjack Pershing got sick. In places as far away as China to Calcutta to Russia thousands died. The epidemic killed as many people as the just concluding First World War. It was called the Spanish flu because even though it broke out all around the world, Spain was one of the few countries that didn’t have wartime press censorship, so they reported it first. HIV/AIDS killed 22 million in 25 years, Spanish Flu killed 21 million people in only 8 months. Then it disappeared as rapidly as it appeared.
1926- Eamon De Valera gave up opposition to Irish politics and resigned from Sinn Fein. In 1933 he became first president of the republic of Ireland, a job he held off and on until 1973.
1927- The first Roxy Theater opens at 50th st. & Seventh Ave. in New York. Roxy was a nickname of theater owner Samuel L. Rothaphel who pioneered the movie palace and is called the father of De-Luxe presentation.
1938- ANSCHLUSS- The Nazi takeover of Austria. Hitler had been organizing a covert takeover of the Vienna government by Austrian Nazis until the Austrian Prime Minister Schussning declared they would put the issue of uniting with the Reich to a public plebiscite. Rather than risk asking the public Hitler ordered his tanks to roll. Gen. "Panzer Heinz" Guderian had his men adorn their tanks with flowers act like it was more of a German family reunion than an invasion.
Viennese intellectuals like Albert Einstein had to flee. Sigmund Freud was not allowed to leave until he signed a note saying he was treated well-" I'd personally recommend the Gestapo to anyone". Painter Alphonze Mucha wrote a letter to his friends in America saying he was in the care of the Nazis and that he was fine. He died shortly afterwards…?
Eric Wolfgang Korngold was in Hollywood debating whether to score the latest Errol Flynn picture for Warner Bros.- "The Adventures of Robin Hood" or return to Vienna to produce his opera- "Die Kathrin". When he heard his Vienna apartment was one of the first the Gestapo raided he decided to stay and do the Flynn picture. He later inscribed the music score to Jack Warner; "to Jack. Thanks for saving my life."
1939- The Nazis take over the rest of Czechoslovakia that they didn't absorb through the Munich Pact. This leads Britains Prime Minister Chamberlain and France’s Premier Daladier to declare any attempt on Hitler’s next target-Poland, would be met with force.
1941- The U.S. enacted the Lend-Lease program to send valuable military equipment to Britain without getting directly involved yet in World War II.
1943- The Broadway musical team of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein opened their first collaboration “Away We Go!”
1958- The U.S. Air Force accidentally dropped an H-Bomb on South Carolina near Mars Bluff. The safety catches insured it wouldn’t go off. The incident was kept top secret.
1971- Philo Farnsworth died of pneumonia at 64. As a young man in 1922 he had invented the television set, but by the 1960’s he was forgotten, broke and addicted to painkillers. The only recognition he got was as a contestant on the quiz show I Got a Secret. He won an $80 check and a carton of Winston Cigarettes. Today Farnsworth is considered one of the true inventors of Television, along with John Logie-Baird, Lee DeForrest and Vladimir Zworkin.
1977- Film director Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) was arrested for having sex with a 13 year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s home after he got her stoned on quaaludes. Polanski was charged with statutory rape. He jumped bail and fled Hollywood for exile in Paris. LA tried unsuccessfully to get him extradited in 2009.
1985- Since the death of Lenoid Brehznev the Soviet Union’s Central Committee was having a problem: every elderly Bolshevik they named as Soviet Premier -Yuri Andropov, Constantin Chernenko, had quickly died themselves of old age. On this day they selected the youngest member of their ranks to the leadership. He would be the last Premier of the Soviet Union- Mikhail Gorbachov.
1990- Lithuania becomes the first Soviet republic to declare its independence. By years end the unwieldy Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had flew to pieces and the Russian Federation was formed in its place.
2004- Al Qaeda terrorists set off ten bombs in Madrid commuter trains at the height of the morning rush hour. 200 dead, 1500 hurt.
2011- Mega-flop Mars Needs Moms released.
2011- FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI- The northern coast of Japan was struck by one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded. The quake sent a tsunami wave that erased whole towns and killed 20,000. The wave went across the Pacific and sank boats in harbor at Santa Cruz California and Oregon. The tsunami also damaged 5 reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, sending clouds of radioactive steam into the atmosphere and water. No one seems to be clear about just how badly polluted the Pacific is now with radiation.
Yesterday’s Question; Who said- “ Only three people understand the world situation as it is today. One of them, a Russian, is dead. Another, a German, is mad. And me, and I don’t care….”
Answer: Lord Palmerston, the British Prime Minister at the time of the American Civil War and diplomatic tensions with Russia, the French in Mexico and between Germany and Austria.
March 10, 2014
March 10th, 2014
Question: The official Walt Disney Fan Club is called D-23. Why?
Yesterdays’ question answered below: Which composer worked in the Twentieth Century? Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Charles Gounod.
History for 3/10/2014
Birthdays: Lorenzo da Ponte -libretist of Mozart's operas, Barry Fitzgerald, Claire Booth Luce, Heywoud Hale Broun, James Herriot, Pablo de Sarrasate, Osama Ben Laden, Chuck Norris is 74, Shannon Tweed, Sharon Stone is 56, John Hamm is 43
241 B.C.- NAVAL BATTLE OF AEGATES INSULAE- Romans under Gaius Lutatius Catullus defeat the Carthaginians under Hamilcar Barca (The Thunderer) and win the First Punic War. The Carthaginians were much better sailors than the Romans, so Catullus lashed his ships side by side and laid planks over the decks. This way his legions could fight infantry style. The Romans had another nasty trick of taking clay beehives filled with angry hornets and shooting them by catapult onto enemy ships. The Romans won Sicily and Hamilcar taught his son Hannibal that the Romans were not nice people.
1661-King Louis XIV of France "the Sun King" tells his guardians to take a hike because he was now old enough to rule alone. He kept his old regent Cardinal Mazarin around a few more years but this is the beginning of his Divine Right Rule.
1697- PETERS TRAVELS- Young Czar Peter the Great was so hungry for the knowledge of the West this day he shocked Russian society by leaving the country to travel through Europe. He was the first Russian Czar to go outside his country.
The 6 foot 8 inch monarch spent 18 months personally studying economics, architecture and chemistry. Peter lived in a small wooden cottage in Zaandam Holland and studied boat building. He drank in local pubs with workers and even made love to a local waitress. He learned to make his own shoes, mend clothes and even learned to pull teeth, which he loved to practice on unwilling members of this court. After arriving in England Peter surprised English nobility by shouldering an axe every morning and pipe in teeth walking down to the docks to work with the ship builders.
He returned to Russia filled with the desire to rebuild Russian society in the modern western European model.
1791- Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who fancied himself an amateur scientist, presented a paper to the American Philosophical Society about the discovery of the fossils of a cow sized sloth called Megalonyx. The future sciences like Geology and Paelontology were referred to in those times as “Natural Philosophy”.
1842-Vigilantes of Virginia City, Montana hang a tough desperado named Jack Slade. Accounts say Slade was "More feared than God, but all in all a good citizen." (?)
1862- FIRST U.S. GREENBACK PAPER DOLLARS ISSUED- "Dollar" is a corruption of Jacobsthaler- named for silver coins minted in St. James valley in Czech lands, which became 'Thalers' then 'Dollars'. Lincoln was originally annoyed that Secretary of the Treasury Samuel Chase put himself on the one-dollar bill while he was on the five. Lincoln thought Chase wanted some cheap advertising for a presidential bid in '64. Lincoln made him Supreme Court Justice to get him out of the way. The money was printed with green ink because it was cheap and plentiful.
When issued the new money instead of silver or gold, Union troops promptly rioted. People nicknamed the fat bills“ Chases Shinplasters ”. After the Civil War, when the U.S. Treasury tried to recall the paper currency and go back to coins, people complained again that they were now used to the stuff.
1864- Lincoln gives Ulysses Grant overall U.S. command to finish the Civil War. The shy little general arrived late and unannounced at the White House party given in his honor. Because the crowd was so thick he stood quietly in the hallway until Lincoln spotted him. "There he is !" He made Grant stand on a stool, so everyone could get a good look.
Lincoln was a constant nag on his generals, but after choosing Grant he backed off giving Grant independent command, a custom maintained by presidents to this day. Grant's successful though unorthodox approach disgusted more traditional strategists. Gen. Henry "Old Brains" Halleck, after running out of insults to hurl at Grant said :"And on top of everything else, The man's a drunkard!" To which Lincoln replied:"He is? Find out what brand he drinks and send a barrel of it to the other generals!"
1864- King Maximillian I died, his son Ludwig II 'the Mad' becomes king of Bavaria.
1876- THE FIRST TRUE TELEPHONE CALL. Alexander Graham Bell had applied for the phone patent several weeks before but he still couldn’t get the signal clear enough to be understood. He even had a surgeon send him a human ear from a corpse to study. This day when trying a new variation Bell spilled acid on his lap and called out over the wires " Watson ! Come Here! I Need You!" Watson heard it clearly and rushed to his aid. Some say Watson made up the story of the acid later to explain why Bell couldn’t think of anything loftier or profound to say as the first message sent by wire.
1926- The First Book of the Month Club – The Lovely Willows by Sylvia Townshend Warner.
1933- The LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE. There had not been a serious quake in LA since 1857, so everyone thought it a thing of the past. Today the buildings swayed and brick walls collapsed. It was the last big shift in the San Andreas Fault. 200 people were killed, and if the schools had not been empty, the casualties could have been much worse.
Actors convening SAG union meetings in the El Capitan Theater moved out into a parking lot because of the aftershocks. The quake sparked the first serious earthquake building codes.
1935- The First Smokey Stover comic strip ( notary sojac).
1938- Bowing to Arab anger and increased rioting, the British Mandate authority in Palestine imposed the first restrictions on Jewish immigration. A quota of only 3.000 were permitted. The previous year 40.000 immigrated fleeing the Nazi persecution in Europe. Zionist Jews developed novel ways of smuggling more people ashore. They once held a Jewish Olympics to rival Hitler’s Berlin Games, then all the participants who came melted into the crowd and stayed.
1940- US UnderSecretary of State Sumner Welles tried some shuttle diplomacy between Berlin, London and Paris to try and halt the World War that had just broke out. He was met with no cooperation. Hitler told him “Peace will come when we have the inevitable German Victory.” In January 1941 FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover- J. Edgar Hoover mind you, “outed” Welles accusing him of homosexual activity and attempting to proposition several Pullman porters on trains. Welles resigned in disgrace.
1947- Ronald Reagan becomes President of the Screen Actor's Guild after President George Montgomery and V.P. Franchot Tone resign to become independent producers. In the violent gangster-ridden atmosphere of Hollywood unions in those days Reagan took to wearing a .32 Smith & Wesson in a shoulder holster under his coat.
1948- Zelda Fitzgerald, the socialite wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, died in a fire at the mental hospital where she had been committed for more than a decade.
1948- Stalin’s agents take Czech Nationalist leader Jan Masaryk and defenestrate him -throw him out of a window- as a way of influencing the upcoming Czech elections. They gave as an excuse that he accidentally fell out of the window while doing yoga to combat his insomnia.
1952- General Fulgensio Batista seized power in Cuba. He was a favorite with US Corporations and the Mafia because he sold everything in his country not nailed down. Part of his coup was the dissolving and arrest of the Cuban Congress, among whom was a young novice politician and part time baseball pitcher named Fidel Castro.
1953- PANCHO AND THE GENERAL- Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes was the granddaughter of Thaddeus Lowe, inventor of the U.S. Army balloon corps in the Civil War. She became an aviatrix and in 1930 broke an air speed record set by Amelia Earheart.
In the late 1940s she moved to Maroc California in the desert and opened up a saloon "The Happy Bottom Riding Club' where the test pilots flying dangerous experimental craft trying to break the sound barrier came to blow off steam. Chuck Yeager and the future astronauts were frequent guests. She once told famed General Jimmy Doolittle "Jimmy, you know I can out fly and out f**k you any day of the Week!!" The bar was famous for wild parties with lots of booze and rough housing.
In 1952 a General Holtoner took over command of Maroc, now renamed Edwards Air Force Base. He tried to have Pancho evicted so the Air Force could expand it's supersonic runway. When she objected to the General's lack of respect, he implied that she ran a house of prostitution. On this day Pancho sued the US Air Force for 1 1/2 million dollars. General Holtoner was replaced, the Happy Bottom Riding Club was destroyed in a fire and Pancho Barnes moved away. The bar was immortalized in the film 'The Right Stuff'.
1954- In a letter to studio heads director Elias Kazan worried that young actor James Dean was “too odd” and unpredictable to star in his movie “Rebel Without a Cause”.
1954- First day of shooting on Stage 3 of the Giant Squid battle on Walt Disney’s production of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The director was Richard Fleischer, the son of Disney’s onetime competitor Max Fleischer.
1963- Pete Rose first took the field in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. During an exhibition baseball game with the Yankees Mickey Mantle hit one of his monster 400-ft home runs and young Rose was the only outfielder scrambling and jumping hopelessly to catch it. Mantle laughed and said:” Hey, look at Charlie Hustle over there.” The nickname stuck. Charlie Hustle would go on to break Ty Cobb’s all time hitting record and manage winning teams. But after his retirement he was banned from baseball for betting on sports.
1975- North Vietnamese begin their final offensive that will capture Saigon and end the Vietnam War on April 30th. For the first time they fight out in the open with heavy Russian T-52 tanks.
1980- This year one of the most popular diets in the country was the Scarsdale Diet by Dr. Herman Tarnower. This day a woman named Jean Harris entered his Purchase NY home and shot Dr. Tarnower to death.
1988- Andy Gibb of the BeeGees overdosed on drugs and died at age 30.
1997- The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, who was in jail at Broadmoor England for killing thirteen women, was stabbed in both eyes by another inmate.
2008: BANG THE GOV SLOWLY- Elliot Spitzer was a hard-driving NY State Attorney General who rocketed to the governorship and was touted as a potential future presidential candidate. His specialty was catching hi-tech Wall Street white collar crooks. Today his Icarus-like ascent came crashing down. He admitted to soliciting high price hookers. $4300. An hour. He was known to them as Client #9. When the news came over the ticker on the Stock Exchange trading floor, day-traders stopped to cheer.
Yesterdays’ question: Which composer worked in the Twentieth Century? Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Charles Gounod.
Answer: Maurice Ravel.
March 9, 2014 Sun.
March 9th, 2014
Question: Which composer worked in the Twentieth Century? Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Charles Gounod.
Yesterdays Question answered below: What English King was called The Merry Monarch?
History for 3/9/2014
Birthdays: Amerigo Vespucci, Eddie Foy Sr., Yuri Gargarin, Samuel Barber, chess master Bobby Fischer, Mickey Spillane, Vita Sackville-West, Raul Julia, Vacheslav Molotov, Juliet Binoche is 50, Linda Fiorentino is 56, Lil’ Bow-Wow is 27
1522- Protestant reformer Martin Luther had inspired the people of Germany to throw off the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. But he soon became alarmed by the excesses he heard of. People were burning churches and stoning priests who refused to change their ways. One bishop fed Holy Communion wafers to his pet parrot.
This day Martin Luther came out of protective hiding and donned his monks robes to give a series of 8 sermons from the pulpit in Wittenberg. He called people back to order and to show mercy to those who still preferred the old religion. Stop the violence he said" had I not freed millions of men from ecclesiastical oppression without lifting more than one pen?"
1566- The Scottish Presbyterian nobles around Mary Queen of Scots disliked her Italian secretary Antonio Riccio. So today despite the Queens protests, they dragged him off and stabbed him to death.
1796-NAPOLEON & JOSEPHINE'S WEDDING ANNIVERSARY- Legend has it Napoleon was working late at the office planning to attack Italy so arrived two hours late. The minister had dozed off and Napoleon shouted:" Wake up Citizen and Marry Us!" Josephine (34) was about 8 years older than Nappy (26) so to smooth over the difference on the marriage certificate he made himself 18 months older and she took four years off.
1805- YORK -Several times the little Lewis and Clark expedition was saved from attack because Indians were amazed to see York, Captain Clark’s slave. It was the first black man they had ever seen. This day York was introduced to Mandan Chief One-Eyed Le Bourgne. Le Bourgne first tried to rub the color off with water but when he saw York’s dark hair he whooped for joy! The whites were hairy, pale and ugly but this man was beautiful like a buffalo! LeBourgne immediately invited York make love to two Mandan maidens so a physical record of this great event would remain with the tribe. York found himself on several more occasions a sexual diplomat on behalf of the United States.
1822- First patent in the U.S. issued for ceramic false teeth. Before that they were made of a strong oak; George Washington once tried a set made of deer's teeth set in lead that was too heavy for him to close his mouth. He settled for a set carved from a hippopotamus jaw. In Gilbert Stuarts’ painting the bulge seen in his tightly compressed upper lip is his dentures.
1841- After hearing the arguments of former president John Quincy Adams, the US Supreme Court ruled that the African men who overpowered the crew of the Spanish slave ship La Amistad could go home.
1842- Francisco Lopez discovered gold in Placerita Canyon in Southern California.
1846- With the lavish ceremony before the gates of Lahore, Britain concluded the First Sikh War. One of the tributes handed over was the Koh-in-Noor Diamond, The Mountain of Light, at 800 karats the largest diamond in the world. It is now part of the crown jewels of Britain.
1847- General Winfield Scott began landing the U.S. troops off ships in the harbor of Vera Cruz in landing boats he designed. He hoped to emulate Cortez's march of conquest to Mexico City. It was the first large scale amphibious landings in U.S. Army history.
1858- THE MAILBOX is patented. One legend has it first invented by English writer Anthony Trollope.
1862- THE MONITOR VS. THE MERRIMAC. The first battle between iron warships. The Confederate Merrimac also called the Virginia spent yesterday shooting up the wooden Yankee fleet, it's armor plating laughing off their cannonballs.
She was preparing to finish the job today when the weirdly designed little U.S.S. Monitor chugged into view. The two ironclads fought to a draw, but it saved the remainder of the Union fleet. When you see paintings of the event, they neglect the fact that both ships were covered with pork fat to keep them slippery, and it must have caught fire during the cannon fire. So imagine two flaming pork chops bobbing in the water shooting at each other. They kept bouncing cannonballs off their iron sides all day. At one point the confederate captain asked his gunnery officer why he had stopped firing. He replied:" Because I'm doing her as much damage as if I snapped my fingers at her every two and a half minutes!" The Merrimac's crew even tried to board the Monitor with pistols and cutlasses, but she was too un-maneuverable to catch her. Finally exhausted, they both drew off for the night.
The CSS Merrimac was later blown up when it's home base at Norfolk was captured by land forces and the USS Monitor sank in a storm. But both sides began to build more iron warships. The London Times correspondent John Russell had watched the battle and wired home:" As of today every wooden fleet in the world is now obsolete."
1888- While strolling through his garden, writer Jules Verne was shot twice by a demented nephew. He recovered, but walked with a limp from then on.
1907-Former Edison animator J. Stuart Blackton starts "Moving Picture World" an early movie fanzine.
1913- Virginia Woolf completed her first novel The Voyage Out.
1916- Pancho Villa and his Mexican Revolutionaries- Los Dorados, crossed into Texas and New Mexico and at the town of Columbus killed 17 Americans and burned the town. Villa was angry that the Yankees had intervened in the Mexican revolution several times and allowed American railroads to transport the troops of his rival General Carranza. Pancho Villa was later pursued by U.S. troops under Blackjack Pershing leading men who would one day lead American armies like Lieutenant George Patton and Captain Douglas MacArthur.
1917- During the air battles over the Western Front this day a red German Fokker Albatross biplane was forced down over his own lines. Friendly troops carried the pilot to safety, stunned but okay. When they asked him how many planes had he shot down, he murmered "24". The men thought he was a liar until they undid the scarf around his neck and saw his Blue Max medal. The pilot was Von Richtofen, the Red Baron. Baron von Richtofen would recover and go back to the battle, scoring 80 kills until he was finally killed in April 1918.
1932-New York born Eamon DeValera elected first President of the Republic of Ireland.
1932- China’s last Manchu emperor Henry Pu Yi was declared by the Japanese Army emperor of their conquered territory in Manchuria called Manchukuo.
1935- The Looney Tune Cartoon "I haven’t Got a Hat" premiered. This cartoon gave birth to the first permanent Warner Bros. Cartoon star- Porky Pig.
1945- U.S. B-29s drop massive amounts of incendiary bombs on Tokyo, killing 120,000 people, more than Hiroshima (90,000). USAF General Curtis LeMay told his assistant Robert MacNamara that "If the Japanese had won the war, we would’ve been prosecuted as war criminals."
1954- Edgar R. Murrow does a "See It Now" television broadcast detailing the life of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the commie-chaser. The obvious contradictions and gross opportunism in McCarthy's record when laid out before a nationwide audience, destroyed his career and took the steam out of the "Red Scare" of the 50's. It is probably television journalism's finest moment. For the lowest? Well, what's on tonight ?
1955- Actor James Dean’s film East of Eden premiered today,.
1959-The first "Clutch Cargo" show.
1974- Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda came out of the Philippine jungle and surrendered, at last made to understand that World War II had been over for thirty years. Even after he captured a transistor radio, he thought the news of American troops in Vietnam and Korea was just propaganda. Onoda was finally convinced when Japanese researchers produced his elderly retired Major, who read over a bullhorn the surrender orders he first gave in 1945. He returned to Japan a popular, if confused, hero. Onoda died last year at 94.
1984- Roy E. Disney Jr. resigned from the central board of the Walt Disney Company, setting in motion a series of takeover bids and maneuvering, that by August would give him control of the company.
1989- Artist-photographer Robert Maplethorpe died of AIDS.
1997- Gangsta-rap singer Christopher Wallace , who was known as the Notorious B.I.G. and also called Biggie Smalls, was shot and killed by a gangsta-style drive by. His last album was entitled Life After Death. Notorious BIG could never shake the accusation that he was involved in the similar murder of singer Tupac Shakur.
Yesterdays Question: What English King was called The Merry Monarch?
Answer: King Charles II.
March 8, 2014 sat
March 8th, 2014
Question: What English King was called The Merry Monarch?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who was the first English Prime Minister?
History for 3/8/2014
Birthdays: Sophocles, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, Hannah Hoes Van Beuren- the First Lady for Martin Van Beuren, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Alan Hovhannes, Kenneth Grahame the author of the Wind in the Willows, Cyd Charisse, Charlie Pride, Mickey Dolenz, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Rice, Aiden Quinn is 55, Freddy Prinze Jr is 38, Jim Bouton- baseball player, author, and inventor of Big League Chew bubble gum
1265-THE GREAT PARLIAMENT- For the first time in the modern era, a legislative body comprised of English Nobility, Clergy and Common men met to discuss the affairs of the kingdom. All modern representative government begins here. This inclusion of a "House of Commons" was the genius of Earl Simon de Monfort, a rebel baron who saw the need to curb King Henry III's power, and perhaps from the depths of the Middle Ages, he saw the future. First he had to defeat and capture the King in battle and forced the clergy to declare excommunicate anyone who messed with the system, just to make the whole thing stick. So even after Simon De Monfort was chopped up in battle and the king restored to full power, the Parliamentary system endured.
1702- After the death of King William III of Orange, Queen Anne takes over England.
She was an obese lady almost in constant pain from gout and pleurisy and had to be moved around in a chair, raised and lowered with ropes and pulleys. Like William and Mary she had no direct heir - she had 17 children but none of them made it past the age of 11. After her death the British throne went to a nephew, the German Elector of Hanover, George Ist because he was Protestant.
Pirate Edward Teech, called Blackbeard, named his ship "Queen Anne's Revenge", for reasons known only to him.
1778- France’s entry into the war for American Independence made London rethink it’s strategy. This day Colonial Secretary Lord Germain sent orders to Generals Howe and Clinton to abandon chasing rebels in Philadelphia and to retire to New York City where they could be more adequately supported by the navy. The American Revolution would now be a secondary consideration to the wider global war with France, Spain and Holland.
1782- Gnaderhutten massacre- Connecticut militia ambush 90 Pequot Christian Indians as revenge for Indian raids. The raiders were from another tribe, but these guys were more conveniently in the neighborhood.
1846- After the U.S. annexation of Texas Mexico disputed exactly where the border ended. The U.S. claimed it was the Rio Grande, the Mexican Government claimed it was a few hundred miles further north at the River Nueces. This day President James K. Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor “Old Rough & Ready” to move his army into the disputed area and hope he gets attacked so they could declare war on Mexico with a clear provocation.
1862- The Confederate navy had dredged up the hull of a sunken warship named the Merrimac and outfitted her with iron boilerplate to create the C.S.S. Virginia, the first ironclad warship. Her skipper was Captain Robert Buchanan, before the war he was first commandant of the Annapolis Naval Academy.
On this day the Merrimac-Virginia steamed over to a large fleet of wooden warships blockading Hampton Roads inlet and sank them. While the big warship's cannonballs bounced harmlessly off her iron plate she rammed and sank the U.S.S. Cumberland, burned the U.S.S. Congress and ran two more ships aground. Eventually she drew off for the night resolved to finish them in the morning. Washington D.C. panicked: the entire wooden U.S. Navy was now obsolete.
What was to prevent the Merrimac-Virginia from sailing up the Potomac and shelling the White House? The USS Monitor, that's who, sailing down slowly from New York. It arrived this night and moored alongside the stricken Congress. Sailors said it looked like a “Cheese Box on a Raft.”
1862- THE LAST PIRATE -The end of an age- Ned Gordon was the last man hanged in the United States for sea piracy. By then most of his companions had taken commissions in the Confederate Navy as privateers. The buccaneer life continued in the South Seas through the Twentieth Century by the Lascar people of Madagascar, and today pirates can still be found in Somalia. In 1999 China executed 13 men for sea piracy and in 2001 the Australian captain of the America’s Cup winner was killed by pirates off the coast of Brazil. In 2012 America sentenced a Somali pirate to 33 years in prison.
1886- A small time doctor in Portsmouth England named Arthur Conan-Doyle had been trying his hand at writing fiction. He had sold a few stories to magazines and tried to publish a novel “Firm of Girdlestone” with lackluster results.
This day he began a new novel “ A Tangled Skein” which had a new character named at first Sheridan Hope, then Sheringford Holmes. By the time he finished his story month later, he had changed the title to “A Study in Scarlet” and the main protagonist name had become SHERLOCK HOLMES.
Conan Doyle was an admirer of the American writer Oliver Wendel Holmes who was touring Britain that year. Like him, Holmes was a doctor who turned writer. No one is sure where he got the name Sherlock. It may have been a neighbor. Conan Doyle’s professor in Edinburgh college Dr Joseph Bell excelled at deductive reasoning and had an assistant named Dr Watson.
1894-First dog licenses issued in New York.
1908- The British House of Commons voted down a bill giving women the vote.
1921- Spanish premier Eduardo Dato was assassinated while leaving the Cortes or Paliament in Madrid.
1930- An angry mob of unemployed battle the police in New York’s Tompkin’s Square.
1933- As a result of President Roosevelt's Nationwide Bank shutdown, Hollywood Studios go into a cash panic. MGM, RKO and the others ask for 30-50% salary cuts from their stars and artists. At one point they announced the salary cuts at the Oscar banquet ( betchya that made for a real fun party!)
Louis B. Mayer, tearful and unshaven pleaded his case to his contract-stars, who reluctantly accepted the cuts. Lionel Barrymore called out "We're with ya. L.B. !" Afterwards Mayer winked to his secretary and giggled:” So how’d I do?” A week later Mayer hired his new son-in-law David Selznick as a producer at $4000 a week. Production chief Darryl Zanuck quit Warner Bros. over the cuts and went on to build Twentieth Century Fox.
1933- Nazi interior minister Wilhelm Frick announced the creation of a system of Concentration Camps to incarcerate political undesirables.
1941- Writer and playwright Sherwood Anderson dies from pterioteritus- internal bleeding- after swallowing a toothpick at a cocktail party.
1941- The National Television System Committee set up by the FCC to standardize television technology recommended an industry standard of 525 scan lines at 30 frames a second- what we now call after their name- NTSC. England later adopted the PAL (Phase Alernation Line) of 625 lines, 25 frames per second and France the SECAM System (Systeme Electronique Couleur Avec Memoire).which is also a 625 line, 25fps system. This is why British t.v. shows like the Prisoner always looked so grainy on American sets and American shows look so garish on British sets. By garish I mean the color, not the content.
It also speeds up the film during video from 24 frames to 25fps (i.e. 4%)...which is why in England and the rest of Europe, all Hollywood movies are 4% shorter and the voices of the actors all sound a little squeaky. The way to remember NTSC is "Never-The-Same-Color'. DVD and BluRay went to a thousand- scan lines .
1942- Dutch forces surrender Java to Japanese invaders. They roll on to Sumatra.
1950 the Volkswagen bus introduced.
1961-The Frito Company merges with potato chip makers H.L. Lay company to form Frito-Lay. The recipe for Fritos corn chips was bought by milkshake salesman Elmer Doolin from a Mexican fry cook in Texas.
1966- London gangster Ronnie Kray entered the Blind Beggar Pub on Whitechapel Road and shot gangster George Cornell in the head. Ronnie and his identical twin brother Reggie ran rackets in London as well as a West End nightclub that booked performers like Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. The Krays were finally imprisoned in 1968.
1968- The Soviet nuclear submarine K-19 sank in the Pacific off the US coastline. In 1974 the CIA tried to secretly dredge it up with a research ship the Glomar Explorer designed by Howard Hughes Company. In 2002 Harrison Ford made a movie about the K-19, but that sank without a trace also.
1969 The Pontiac Trans-Am introduced. Muscle car enthusiasts rejoice!
1970- The Nixon White House announced that the Americans operations in Vietnam and Cambodia had also been expanded into the heretofore neutral nation of Laos and already 27 Americans had been killed in fighting there.
1973- Paul McCartney was fined 100 pounds for growing marijuana on his farm Mull of Kintyre.
1977- Ralph Bakshi’s film Wizards premiered.
1980- H&B’s “Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels’ show.
1994- Don Ku invented the little black, wheeled suitcase with collapsible handle that bumps into your legs at airports today.
1998- In Ladson South Carolina, Daniel Rudolph, the brother of Abortion Clinic bomber Eric Rudolph, videotaped himself cutting off his own hand with a power saw. He said he intended this to be a message to the FBI and the Media!?
Yesterday’s Question: Who was the first English Prime Minister?
Answer: There were chief ministers to the king since Medieval times, Mayor of the Palace, Grand Admiral, etc. Sir Robert Walpole in 1714, for King George I, is considered the first true Prime Minister to report to the House of Commons.
March 7, 2014 fri.
March 7th, 2014
Question: Who was the first English Prime Minister?
Yesterdays Question answered below: Who was the first British king to speak English?
History for 3/7/2014
Birthdays: Maurice Ravel, Piet Mondrian, Roman Emperor Geta, Luther Burbank, Tammy Fae Baker, Willard Scott, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Daniel D. Travanti, Rachel Weisz is 43, Michael Eisner is 72, Wanda Sykes is 50, Peter Saarsgard is 43, Bryan Cranston is 58
322 BC- the Greek philosopher Aristotle died of indigestion.
161AD- The death of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. Marcus Aurelius became Emperor. Marcus named his brother Lucius Verus as co-emperor, but Verus died after a few years. Marcus Aurelius became famous as the philosopher-emperor, ruling justly and leaving behind his Meditations, one of the great works of western philosophy.
1274- Saint Thomas Aquinas died in Italy. Everybody knew the great teacher was so holy he undoubtedly would be made a saint (the medieval equivalent of being called to the Hall of Fame). So rather and wait for opportunity to sell his bones as relics the people sped up the process of decomposition by boiling his remains in lye.
1765- PARLIAMENT PASSES THE STAMP ACT. Ever since winning Canada and India from France, England had to come up with ways to pay for her massive war debt as well as garrisoning and administering of all the new possessions. The Stamp Act ordered that all purchases and exports to and from America have a royal stamp (i.e. tax) on them, sort of like the stamp you see on liquor bottle caps. These taxes were already in place in England, so Whitehall felt nobody would mind. Americans went ballistic and overnight became a nation of smugglers. They most strongly objected to the idea that the tax was levied without their consent. No one consulted their elected representatives and there were no American seats in Parliament.
Even though the unpopular act was repealed a year later after Benjamin Franklin successfully argued in Parliament, the resentment against the mother country lingered. The British in turn were surprised and annoyed by the all the fuss. They felt the Yankees were an ungrateful people they had defeated French for.
1774- To combat rampant smuggling and teach a lesson to the increasingly uppity New Englanders, the Royal Governor of Massachusetts General Thomas Gage ordered the Port of Boston closed. This act all but ensured that the first outbreak of violence in the American Revolution would happen there.
1809- French Balloonist Jean Pierre Blanchard died from injuries sustained from crashing his balloon in the Netherlands. Blanchard with a man named Jeffries had crossed the English Channel by air and for years he had demonstrated the wonders of air flight for audiences like Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon.
1850- THE 7TH OF MARCH SPEECH- The only address given to Congress that is known only by it's date. Senator Daniel Webster stood up and electrified the nation with a three hour address backing the Clay Compromise: "Mr. Speaker ! I rise not as a Massachusetts man, or a Northern man, but as an American !!" This Northern abolitionist backed the fugitive slave law and other concessions to the South in exchange for California entering the union as a non-slave state.
New England supporters were furious and called him a Benedict Arnold. His controversial stand probably cost him his last chance of ever becoming president and he died bitter two years later, but John F. Kennedy said in "Profiles in Courage" that by doing this act Daniel Webster helped delay the Civil War for ten more years, which allowed the north to grow more industrially powerful. So he saved the United States as we know it.
1862- THE BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE- Yankees under General Curtis defeated a Confederate army under Gen. Stirling Price, keeping Missouri in the Union. It was a confused battle with militias, frontier scouts like Wild Bill Hickock and Creek Indians under Confederate Colonel Stand Watie. Curtis directed the battle in an old brown corduroy jacket and nuzzled a shotgun in his lap. The Creeks captured a Union battery but stopped their attack to dance with the scalps of the bluecoats.
1862- BULLETHOLE ELLIS- Rebel Guerrilla leader William Quantrill and his raiders shoot up the Kansas town of Aubrey. During the raid Quantrill fired his Colt revolver at a man in a second story window named Abraham Ellis. The bullet was slowed by smashing through the windowsill and embedded in the man’s skull, but just missed touching his brain. Quantrill apologized to Ellis. Ellis had helped him get a teaching job before the war. The raiders left him for dead, but Abe Ellis recovered. Old Bullethole Ellis lived to a ripe old age, just with a large round dark hole in the center of his forehead.
1877- Bill Reed, a Union Pacific Railroad worker discovered a vast field of dinosaur fossils at Como Bluff Wyoming. "The bones extend for seven miles and are by the ton!"
1906- Finland becomes the first nation to give women the right to vote.
1916- BMW- The manufacturing firms of Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto merged to form the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG -Bavarian Aircraft Works. The company would later become the Bayerische Motor-Werke -Bavarian Motor Works or BMW. The Logo circle represents a white propeller turning against a blue sky- the colors of the old Kingdom of Bavaria, the heraldic shield of the ruling Wittelsbach dynasty. After the world wars, BMW was prohibited from manufacturing aircraft engines, as their engines had powered the fiercest fighters like the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf 190. So BMW focused on making high quality cars.
1932-BATTLE OF THE RIVER ROUGE- At the depth of the Great Depression unemployment in Detroit was up to 50% of the population. 10,000 desperately unemployed auto workers stage a protest march on Henry Ford's Rouge River plant, the largest factory in the world. They are met by police and thugs who fired into the crowd, killing 3 and wounding 25. Henry Ford, (who personally made $10 million that year) had machine guns mounted on his home's roof and advised his chief executives to carry sidearms. Fords private in-house police were called by the Orwellian misnomer the Service Department.
1936-HITLER RE-OCCUPIED THE RHINELAND- Since the Versailles treaty the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr valley was under neutral and sometimes Anglo-French occupation. Imagine trying to restart your stagnant economy with Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh under foreign control. Today Hitler took the biggest gamble of his career and ordered the still infant Wehrmacht army to reoccupy the Ruhr, in defiance of all previous treaties. He dared the Allies to do something about it, and they stayed quiet. German generals were amazed that France and England could have easily invaded at any time and squashed them, but they did nothing.
1942- The Japanese army captured Rangoon and cut the Burma Road, severing Anglo- Chinese supply lines. After this supplies would have to be brought in 'Over the Hump" meaning flown by unescorted transport planes from India over the Himalayas.
1945- THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN- A hostile army had not crossed the Rhine into Germany since Napoleon in 1806. The Germans called their defense of the border the Siegfried Line. The Nazis had ordered all Rhine bridges destroyed, but the bridge at Remagen was detonated with inferior charges. So it stayed intact as the U.S. Third Army approached. Sgt. Alex Drabik of Ohio ran across the bridge, weaving back and forth like a football fullback, with the enemy firing at him from all sides. Just as he reached the other side a Nazi popped out, pointed a Lugar pistol in his face and pulled the trigger. The gun was empty. The Siegfried Line was breached, and Sgt. Drabik died of very old age in 1993.
1947- Winston Churchill, while giving a speech in America about the Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe uses the term "Iron Curtain". " From Zagreb on the Adriatic to Stettin in the Baltic, an Iron Curtain has descended across Europe." The phrase had been invented earlier by German Admiral Doenitz, but Churchill popularized the phrase. The Iron Curtain ended in 1989.
1951- The Prime Minister of Iran- General Ali Rasmara was assassinated by Islamic extremists.
1965- THE EDMUND PETTUS BRIDGE-As Dr. Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights marchers reached the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Gov George Wallace had Alabama police ambush them with firehoses, teargas, bullwhips and attack dogs. Dozens of peaceful marchers were beaten and hospitalized. Three were killed. The brutal images on television shocked the nation had probably did more to ensure passage of the National Civil Rights Bill than anything the police could do to stop it.
1969- Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel.
1988- 300 pound female impersonator Harry Milstead, better known as Divine in the John Waters films, died of sleep apnea.
1999- Film director Stanley Kubrick died just five days after completing his final film Eyes Wide Shut.
Yesterdays Question: Quiz: Who was the first British king to speak English?
Answer: Most English kings after William the Conqueror spoke Norman French, the ones before them spoke Saxon or Celtic. The first king to prefer speaking the new hybrid tongue was King John I Lackland, who we know as evil Prince John from the Robin Hood stories.