Oct 9, 2015
October 9th, 2015
Question: What does it mean to be “entering the lists”…?
Quiz: What does it mean to be obstreperous?
History for 10/9/2015
Birthdays: Camille Saint Saens, E. Howard Hunt, Jacques Tati, Alastair Sim, Bruce Catton, Joe Pepitone, cartoonist Mike Peters, Savannah, John Lennon would be 75, his son Sean Lennon, E. Howard Hunt, Scott Bakula, Peter Tosh, Charles Rudolph Walgren-the inventor of the modern Drugstore, Guillermo Del Toro is 50, Tony Schaloub is 62, Pete Doctor is 47.
In 270AD- Saint Denis and several followers were sent to preach in Lutetia (home of a Gaulish tribe called the Parisi). The local Roman authorities had them rounded up and beheaded on a small hill north of town. The hill is today called the Hill of Martyrs, or Montmartre. The legend goes Saint Denis was so indignant at this lack of hospitality, that he picked up his head and walked out of town. Where he reached the city limits his body dropped down lifeless. This is where basilica of St. Denis (1122) stands.
1000AD- VIKINGS DISCOVER AMERICA. Viking Leif Ericsson lands his dragonships in Labrador, Canada. He calls it Vinland. There are several theories why: one was because of an abundance of grapevines he discovered. Another is that the old Norse crossed with Latin Vinland could also be described as Land of Pastures. The Vikings settled a colony in America but it didn't take and was withdrawn for unknown reasons, maybe the mini-Ice Age temperatures that made it tough even for Scandinavians. The second expedition under Thorfinn Karlsefni called the Indians they met Skraelings, and claimed they met a race of one legged men.
1192- Richard the Lionheart left the Holyland. End of the Third Crusade. He planned to return in 1196 and take back Jerusalem from Saladin, but died first.
1609- Invalid Captain John Smith is put on a ship back to England. Smith had earlier gotten stung by a stingray and almost died. This time a powder horn exploded on his hip and blew out part of his side. While Smith was leader of the Jamestown Colony he had many enemies among the jealous gentry. Some don't think he had an accident. Opinions also differ as to why the Jamestown settlers put Smith through a two month Atlantic crossing that could kill even healthy men. Some say they were hoping he wouldn't make it. He survived but never returned to Jamestown. Nobody told Pocahontas, and when she visited camp the men told her he was dead and forget about him. She would meet him ten years later in England when she was a wife and mother of the children of settler John Rolfe.
1635- Pilgrim Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts colony for saying the government should not be involved in determining someone’s religion.
1701- Yale University chartered.
1744- Peace of Kleinschellendorf- Frederick II the Great makes peace with Maria Theresa of Austria ending Prussian participation in the War of Austrian Succession.
1779- THE LUDDITE RIOTS- A movement of English peasants and tradesmen started by a man named Ned Lud who felt that all this newfangled machinery was going to cost them their jobs. The Luddites roamed the countryside smashing any looms, pistons, flywheels or other such devices they encountered. A similar movement in France. French peasants would remove their wooden clogs, called sabots, and throw them into a machine's gears to jam them, and coined the term Saboteurs.
1780- The islands of St Lucy and Barbados are hit with the worst hurricane in memory. Jamaica got hit with a tidal wave. 400 die and most of the structures destroyed.
1781- George Washington and the Comte du Rochambeau commenced the bombardment of English positions opening the Battle of Yorktown. Not much credit is given that although Rochambeau considered himself the more experienced tactician he deferred to Washington as the commander of the allied army. Privately Rocheambeau didn’t think the American rebels had much of a chance, still, when the Yankee payrolls dried up he paid the US troops out of is own fortune.
1809- The first Royal Jubilee celebrated in England. The monarchy had taken a number of hits lately. King George III was a blind, insane shut in and the Prince and Princess of Wales couldn't stand each other. So an old widow named Mrs Biggs came up with the idea of a celebration of King George's 50th anniversary of his reign as a way to boost morale. It worked and it's been a custom ever since.
1855- James Stoddard patents the steam calliope.
1888- The Washington Monument finally opened to the public. Construction on it was begun in 1840 and discontinued for a decade during the Civil War. Work was also held up when Protestant workmen refused to use marble blocks donated by Pope Pius IX.
1905- The World Series resumes after a one year haggle between the owners of the American and National leagues. A best of seven contest between the N.Y. Giants and the Philadelphia Athletics. It would continue undisturbed until 1994 with the players strike.
1938- Eugene O'Neill's play 'The Iceman Cometh' opened.
1951- RKO Pictures asked Marilyn Monroe to please wear panties while working, She was upsetting the film crew.
1963- Uganda became a republic from a British Colony.
1983- Reagan Interior Secretary James Watt forced to resign. Watt was a former oil industry lawyer who galvanized popular anger over his views on ecology, such as what's wrong with a few MacDonalds hamburger stands in the Grand Canyon? Yet he refused to allow the Beach Boys to perform at a public 4th of July concert in DC because he felt they attracted: ”An unsavory element”. The thing that did Watt in was a comment he made about a government panel he had just convened. Quote Mr Watt:” We have all bases covered. We have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple!”
1986- People said there would never be more than three networks. Today the first show of the fourth network, The Fox Network's the Joan River's Show, premiered. That show didn't last, but future hits like The Simpson's, Married With Children and the X-Files made Fox a major network within ten years.
1989- First edition of Penthouse Magazine in Hebrew. Oy Vey!
2009- President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What does it mean to be obstreperous?
Answer: It means to be loudly quarrelsome, unruly and disruptive.
Oct 8, 2015
October 7th, 2015
Quiz: What does it mean to be obstreperous?
Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Texas has a theme park called Six Flags Over Texas. We know two of them are the United States and Mexico. What are the other four?
History for 10/8/2015
Birthdays: Eddie Rickenbacker, Rev Jesse Jackson, Juan Peron, David Carradine, Arthur Babbitt -the creator of Goofy, Chevy Chase is 72, Paul Hogan, Ruben Mamoulian, Edward Zwick, Johnny Ramone, Sigourney Weaver is 66, Matt Damon is 45
Today is the feast day of Saint Demetrius of Thesalonikki
451AD- The Council of Chalcedon opened.
1777- During the Revolution, British General Clinton tried to get a message through to Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne and his army trapped at Saratoga. He sent a Tory-Loyalist scout with a message rolled up and hidden in a solid silver capsule. When he was intercepted by the Americans, the loyalist swallowed the capsule before he was searched. He was given a heavy emetic "whereupon he soon produced the capsule, which he proceeded to grab and swallow again. Another emetic was administered and he produced the capsule again." The message was opened and read, then the man was hanged as a spy."
1846- Battle of Old Woman's Gun (also called The Battle of Dominguez Ranch). In 1846 During the Mexican War, United States forces had taken the pueblo of Los Angeles. But after a few weeks the first Yankee mayor, a Lt. Gillespie, was such an a-hole that the Mexican citizens drove them out of town. On this day the US forces came up from their fleet anchored in San Pedro Harbor and tried to re-take the town. Mexican forces led by a rancher and son of the former governor Jose Carillo routed the Yankees in part with an old 4 pound signal cannon that an old lady had buried in her front yard. She had hid the old gun when Gillespie ordered the population disarmed. The Angeleanos had no gun carriage so they lashed the old gun to a wagon harness.
Six months later, the US forces finally overcame LA resistance and the town stayed American.
1862-THE BATTLE OF PERRYVILLE- Union forces defeat General Baxton Bragg's Confederates and prevent Kentucky from joining the Confederacy. Abe Lincoln said: " I hope I have God on my side but I Must have Kentucky." The Confederates had actually pushed the Yankees off the field and were at the edge of victory, but Bragg overestimated the enemies strength the next day and ordered a general retreat, wasting everything they gained. His second in command General Kirby Smith resigned in disgust. The commander of the Union Army Gen. Don Carlos Buell, was so distracted with other business that he was unaware that his army had fought a battle. He was soon replaced.
1871- THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE- Legend said in a shed behind 137 DeKoven St, Old Mrs. O'Leary's cow knocks over a lantern and starts a fire that burns down 17,500 buildings and kills 300 including the Mayor Roswell Mason. The fire jumped the Chicago River and people rode their carriages into Lake Michigan and even jumped into open graves to escape. Eventually the firemen’s pumpers ran out of water and the Northside kept burning past Fullerton until it burned itself out when it hit open prairie. 300,000 were left homeless. One of the only downtown buildings to survive the inferno was Chicago’s beloved old water tower. The slaughter houses and grain elevators also survived so business could go on. Ironically the O'Leary house stayed intact, just the barn burned. Two journalists later admitted inventing the O’Leary cow story to sell newspapers.
1871-THE GREAT PESHTIGO FIRE- The most deadly fire in North American history occurred on the exact same day as the Chicago Fire, but this one was in Peshtigo Wisconsin. A forest fire started by loggers burning debris built into a firestorm (actually a flaming tornado) and destroyed a wooden town killing 1,200 in a town of 1,750, five times as many as the Chicago Fire. The tornado caught dozens of people during church services. Three hundred died trying to escape across a wooden bridge that caught fire and burned from both ends. Survivors saw "people and cows stagger a few feet and go down burning brightly, like so many pieces of pitch pine." A heavy rain fell the next day. One day late.
1906- In Paris Swiss inventor Ludwig Pressler demonstrated the first electric 'permanent -wave' hair curler.
1907- Charles Frederick Dow, one of the founders of the Wall Street Journal, started his system of charting the average performance of industrial stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
1915- The Battle of Loos. British troops release poison gas at the German lines. The wind shifts and blows it back on their own men. Doh!
1918- SERGANT YORK- simple Tennessee hillbilly Alvin York was drafted into the U.S. Army where his crack shot talents enabled him this day to shoot up an entire German regiment. He captured 300 prisoners alone with only his single shot Springfield rifle. He got the Medal of Honor and a tickertape parade. Then went back to the Ozarks where he resumed his life of making moonshine, hog calling and other rustic pursuits.
1929- British Imperial Airways shows the first in-flight movie.
1933- HOLLYWOOD ACTOR'S FIRST MASS PROTEST- When Franklin Roosevelt created the NRA to fix wages and prices to try and solve the Depression, he even went as far as to try to regulate Motion Picture rates and fees. The catch was the rates were drafted with the advice of friends of the studio heads in Washington. The actors went ballistic when they saw new rules such as a ceiling cap on actors salaries of $100,000 a year (the producers had no such cap), restriction of actors independent agents, and terms of an old salary contract would stay in effect even after the contract expired until it was renegotiated.
This night at the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Blvd. hundreds of moviestars met to draft a petition calling for rewriting of the codes. The activists included Paul Muni, Frederic March, Jeanette MacDonald, Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff. SAG president Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) was considered politically too far left to face Roosevelt, so he stepped down in favor of comedian Eddie Cantor, who had helped Vaudeville acts unionize. In previous meetings at the El Capitan the earth tremors from the Great Long Beach Earthquake the previous March made actors reconvene in the Grauman's Chinese parking lot across the street. Cantor went to the president's retreat at Warm Springs Georgia with the petition and had the hated articles taken out of the code.
1935- Ozzie Nelson married Harriet.
1945- "Bloody Monday" During a big strike three hundred and fifty armed thugs club their way through picketing Warner Bros. film workers. Jack Warner had stationed sharpshooters behind the studios billboards. A logo on the studio wall said:" Better Movies through Better Citizenship", which the union folk changed to "Better Movies through Better Marksmanship". Similar scenes were happening in front of Fox and MGM.
1957- Walter O'Malley announced the move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.
1957- Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his hit Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire.
1958- Swedish Arne Laarsen received the first artificial implanted heart pacemaker. Over the years he had 17 operations and a dozen more pacemakers put in him as the designs improved. Without the pacemaker he would have died at age 40, instead he died in 2000 at age 86 of skin cancer. Arne Laarsen outlived all his original doctors.
1967- In Bolivia guerrilla leader Ernesto Che' Guevara was captured and shot. Che' started as an Argentine doctor and was wracked with asthma most of his life. He had gone to Bolivia after quarreling with Fidel Castro about whether it was more important to export Cuban revolution the rest of Latin America or concentrate on building Cuba's economy. Thirty years later in 1997 his remains were identified and returned to Cuba for burial.
1970- Dissident Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsin was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Soviet State kept him in internal exile and refused to let him travel to accept his prize. He was exiled to America in 1974 and returned to Russia after the fall of communism.
1971- John Lennon first released the song Imagine.
2004- Home decorating guru Martha Stewart began serving her 5 month prison term for perjury and insider trading.
2005- A massive earthquake in Pakistan killed 73,000.
Yesterday’s Question: Texas has a theme park called Six Flags Over Texas. We know two of them are the United States and Mexico. What are the other four?
Answer: Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The United States, The Confederacy.
Oct 7, 2015
October 7th, 2015
Question: Texas has a theme park called Six Flags Over Texas. We know two of them are the United States and Mexico. What are the other four?
Quiz: Who coined the term Art for Art’s Sake?
History for 10/7/2015
Birthdays: Hans Holbein, Heinrich Himmler, Caesar Rodney, Joe Hill, Andy Devine, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Henry Wallace, June Allyson, Al Martino, Neils Bohr, Ameil Buraka, Johnny Cougar Mellencamp, Toni Braxton, Yo Yo Ma, Vladimir Putin is 61.
312 BC-THE SUCCESSORS- Seleucus Nicator – (pronounced Se-le-u-kos)- conquered Babylon and set up his Syrian-Greek kingdom. One of the generals of the recently dead Alexander the Great, he divided up Alexander's Empire along with fellow generals like Ptolomey, who became Pharoah of Egypt, Perdiccas, Antigonus One-Eye, who controlled mainland Greece and Demetrius Poliocretes-Destroyer of Cities.
Called the Successors, they and their descendants warred and conspired with each other until the Roman Empire knocked them all off. Seleucus and his heirs figure prominently in the last parts of the Old Testament. The Israelites did well under the Persians and Alexander, but the later Greeks attempted to force pagan worship on them and tried to put statues of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. King Antiochus Theos Epiphanes –Antiochus the God Made Manifest, plundered Solomon’s Temple and ordered Jews to eat pork and worship Zeus on pain of death. Many Jews were martyred until an uprising led by Judas Maccabeus restored the Hebrew Kingdom.
1337- King Edward III of England decides he's not only King of England but King of France as well- the HUNDRED YEARS WAR begins. It was actually 111 years, until 1446. Ironically it was around this time that the English language began to emerge as the common mother tongue of Britain, melding the Norman French of the nobility with the Anglo Saxon of the common folks.
1571- BATTLE OF LEPANTO- Great naval engagement in which the ships of Venice, Spain, Genoa and the Papacy defeat the Grand Turks navy led by Ali Pasha. The last battle fought with war galleys rowed by teams of rowers. The admiral in charge was the bastard brother of Phillip II, Don John of Austria, a military hero who would have later led the Spanish Armada against England had he not succumbed to an early fever.
The battle raged from ship to ship until Don Johns ship overran Ali Pasha’s flagship and hoisted his severed head to the top of their mainmast. Among the common sailors in the battle were future writers like Lope De Vega and Miguel de Cervantes, who lost his right hand:" For the greater glory of my left" he joked.
1763- THE ROYAL PROCLAMATION TO NORTH AMERICA- The British Colonial Ministry, trying to reward it's Indian allies in the French and Indian War and kill two birds with one stone, told the Americans that any further western colonization to the Mississippi was forbidden, but they were invited to go north and colonize Quebec. This would hopefully mean the outnumbering and eventual assimilation of the French Canadians.
Neither happens and it only angered the Americans who were never consulted about this idea. The British even toyed with making the Illinois and Michigan territories part of Canada. Could you imagine it:" How' bout dem Cubbies,-eh?"
1777-SECOND BATTLE OF BEMIS HEIGHTS-British General Johnny Burgoyne trying to break out of a trap, smashed his army against the American defenses in a heavy rain. The defense works were built by Polish patriot Thaddeus Kosciuszko. Washington spelled his name 11 different ways in dispatches, the men just called him " Colonel Koz".
Burgoyne had snubbed his superior officers since his arrival in America, saying he only answered to the War office in London. Now, surrounded in the forest by overwhelming odds he snuck out a message to General Guy Carleton in Canada "I await your Lordship's orders." Carelton recognized this weenie attempt to shift blame and ignored him.
The hero of this battle was Benedict Arnold. Arnold was everywhere, rallying minutemen brigades and crashing them into the enemy without waiting for his commanders orders. The U.S. commander Horatio Gates spent most of the battle in the rear entertaining captured British officers and discussing the futility of the American cause. The battle only ended when someone shot Arnold in the leg.
1780- BATTLE OF KING'S MOUNTAIN- In the later stages of the American Revolution the British Army command shifted from a strategy of using overwhelming conventional force in New England to going South and encouraging American Loyalists to fight a civil war. At Kings Mountain in North Carolina The “Over the Mountain Men”, an army of Scots-Irish frontiersmen under Issac Shelby defeated a Loyalist militia under the command of Col. Patrick Ferguson. Ferguson, who was killed in the fight, was an unconventional Scots Highlander who taught his men to fight American Indian style.
1783- The Virginia House of Burgesses votes to grant freedom to all slaves who fought in the continental army during the American Revolution.
1799- Napoleon returns from his Egyptian Campaign without his army but with a new appreciation for antiquities.
1851- THE OXFORD MOVEMENT.- Several top bishops of the Church of England stunned Victorian High Society by announcing their conversion to Roman Catholicism. Bishop John Newman was the first, followed today by the Archbishop Manning of Chichester. Manning eventually became the Catholic cardinal primate of England and was listed in Lytton Straychey’s book the Eminent Victorians. Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 made Newman a saint.
1855- THE BORDER WAR- John Brown arrived in Kansas help organize anti-slave men to fight pro-slavers, called the Border-Ruffians. For several years before the Civil War broke out Missouri and Kansas were torn by private gangs of militias murdering each other. The Southern extremists were called Bushwhackers, the pro-Unionists called Jayhawkers or Redlegs.
1861- In the Indian Territory –near what will one day be Tulsa Oklahoma the councils of the Chickasaw, Cherokee and Choctaw Indian Nations sign an alliance with the Confederate States, smoke the war pipe and renounce any ties to the United States. The Commanche people announced they would stop raids on Texas. Pro-Northern Indians then broke with their tribal brothers and there were mini-Civil Wars among Indians. The pro-Northern Indians were forced to march with their families in winter snows to the protection of Pro-Northern Kansas. In 1865 the last Confederate General to lay down his arms was Cherokee Chief Stand Watie.
1864- General Sherman in Atlanta revealed in a letter to Grant that he intended not to worry about his supply lines but cut his lines of communication and march through Georgia, totally living off the land.
1868- After a season of raids by hostile Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors on Kansas settlers, Generals Sherman and Sheridan met with President Grant to draft a 'final solution' to the American Indian. They would no longer chase scattered bands of braves, but introduce their brand of ruthless "Total War". These tactics burned Atlanta and the Shenandoah Valley to end the Civil War. They ordered the US Army to attack villages, kill women & children, burn crops and shoot ponies. Sherman openly described it as a 'Race War". He said." a few savages must no longer be allowed to impede the March of Anglo Saxon Civilization!" They made a policy of attacking villages in winter, just before dawn, because then Indian war parties stayed close to home and were less mobile.
1870- Writer Edgar Allen Poe was found sprawled over a barrel in a Baltimore street, dressed in someone else's clothing. He was taken to a hospital where he died raving at the walls. It was thought he died from heavy alcohol abuse. Recently scholars theorize he may have died from a brain tumor or diabetes impacted by alcohol sensitivity, which would explain the violent mood swings, and that he drank heavily to deaden the pain. Another scholar also theorized that the symptoms strongly point to rabies. Poe loved cats and as we all know there was no rabies shot or test at the time.
Still another theory on Edgar Allan Poe's death has to do with voter fraud. People voted in taverns in those days. Poe was completely sober (he had given up alcohol years before) when he left two friends after a good dinner. He was scheduled to go to Philadelphia to meet the Mother-in-law of his late wife (also his aunt.) He bought the ticket; it was found on his person. Cooping was a type of voter fraud wherein people who could read were kidnapped and held in pens. They were forced an overabundance of alcohol to knock them out of their senses, then forced to vote under alias names they were given. All night they were pushed to vote again and again. They were made to change clothes (so they wouldn't be recognized) and out to vote again. So Poe may have died of died of alcohol poisoning. He was buried in a pauper's grave.
1897-A group of Russian Jews, disgusted by the state sanctioned anti-Semitism of the Czar, formed the Jewish Socialist Bund. They broke with Theodore Herzl and the Zionists who wanted all Jews to move to Palestine. The Socialist Bund advocated political action within Russia. Communist Leon Trotsky, himself Jewish, made fun of the Bund, calling them “Zionists who are afraid of getting sea-sick”.
1915- President Woodrow Wilson reversed his position and announced he was now in favor of giving women the vote.
1916- The German submarine U-53 boldly sailed into Newport Bay Rhode Island and docked alongside American warships. America was still technically neutral in WWI. Kapitan Hans Rose let civilian women and children tour the sub all day. Irish-Americans, angry at the English crushing the Easter Sunday Rebellion, presented Captain Rose with an Irish Republican flag. But the good will didn’t last long. That evening, U-53 submerged off the coast of Nantucket and sank six ships including a British liner with Americans on board.
1918- The Polish army contingents of the crumbling Russian, Austrian and German empires band together in Warsaw and set up a native government, declaring themselves the Republic of Poland. The Polish State that had disappeared in 1799 was now reborn. World famous concert pianist Jan Paderewski as their first president..
1923- Baseball pitching legend Christy Matthewson died of complications from inhaling poison gas in World War One.
1927- Sam Warner, the Warner Brother most responsible for committing the studio to gambling on a talking picture process, died just as the 'Jazz Singer 'opened and made Warner-Vitaphone a major Hollywood Studio. Jack Warner had earlier said "Who the heck wants to hear actors talk?"
1939-Benito Mussolini's Fascist government adopts anti-Semitic laws in line with the Nazis. All Jews were excluded from public office, banking, teaching and the military.
1941- Two months before Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt announced that in view of stepped up activity by Nazi U-boats, the United States Navy and Coast Guard had been issued a shoot-on-sight order against any hostile craft.
1947 The Actor's Studio opened, teaching the Stanislavski Method, sometimes called Method Acting. The group later suffered a feud between it’s two top teachers-Lee Strassberg and Sandy Meisner. Ask any old actor if they were with Lee or Sandy, odds were they sided with one and hated the other.
1957-Dick Clark’s T.V. show American Bandstand debuts.
1959-MARIO LANZA.- Philadelphia born Italian–American Lanza was the pop icon opera singer long before there were three tenors in concert. With moviestar good looks and a velvety voice his records and movies sold millions. But he was temperamental and had angered most of the powers that be in Hollywood, climaxing with skipping a $250,000 promise to perform in Las Vegas. This day in Italy he was found dead at age 38. For years there were rumors that he was actually done in by the Mafia for offending Lucky Lucciano, but in the 1990s a forensic investigation by his son proved his brutal regimen of binge eating and furious dieting wore out his heart. He would attempt to drop 50 pounds in three weeks, then put it back just as quickly until it gave him a heart attack. He literally dieted himself to death.
1959- Young assassins sent by the dissident Ba’ath Party made an attempt on the life of the Prime Minister of Iraq Sherif Al Kassim. The plotters failed but they sneaked back into the country later. One of them would be one day the ruler of Iraq- Saddam Hussein.
1960- The movie Spartacus opened. Producer/star Kirk Douglas had been using blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo for the script, smuggling him in and out of the lot for story meetings. Finally Douglas got fed up and ordered Trumbo to be brought out in the open as the movie's true author. This was considered the official end of the Hollywood Blacklist era, which had lasted since 1947. After director Anthony Mann left the project, Douglas hired Stanley Kubrick, who had such a hard time he afterwards left Hollywood never to return.
1964- ITS FUN TO PLAY AT THE Y-M-C-A! The only big sex scandal of the Lyndon Johnson administration. Walter Jenkins was a top LBJ aide and confidant. Johnson called Jenkins “My vice president of almost everything.” This day Walter Jenkins was busted for lewd behavior with a Turkish diplomat in a pay toilet at the YMCA just two blocks from the White House. Jenkins claimed he was just dehydrated.
1971- Walt Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks premiered in London.
1974- THE TIDAL BASIN BOMBSHELL- At 2:00 AM Washington DC police stopped a car driving near the White House with its lights off. Inside police discovered powerful Congressman Wilbur Mills, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, drunk as a skunk with an Argentine stripper named Fannie Fox. Mills broke away from the cops and he and Fannie began to cavort in the Tidal Basin pool near the Jefferson Memorial. They were fished out by police. Mills’ sexual escapades had been hushed up by politicos before, but this was just too much. The subsequent publicity brought about hearings and Mills resignation.
1982- London musical 'Cats' opened on Broadway.
1985- Palestinian terrorists hijack the Italian Mediterranean cruise ship Achille Lauro. They murder an elderly Jewish American tourist named Leon Klinghoffer and dump his wheelchair and body into the sea. Composer John Adams wrote an opera about the incident called the Death of Klinghoffer.
1993- Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" earned $ 712 million dollars just in North American box office.
2001- U.S, British, Australian, Turkish and NATO forces attacked Afghanistan in retaliation for the 9-11 terror attacks. The war led to the temporary overthrow of the Taliban Regime ruling in Kabul and the suppressing of the Al Qaeda terrorist network. But the subsequent occupation was bungled to the point where the Taliban rallied. The war still goes on today.
2003- The state of California had an unpopular Democratic Governor named Grey Davis. A Republican congressman named Daryl Issa who made a fortune making annoying car alarms “step away from the car..” found an obscure codicil in the State constitution calling for a recall election. The recall election soon had 154 candidates including a porn star, former child star Gary Coleman, Porn publisher Larry Flynt, a woman who financed her campaign by selling her autographed thongs, and Grey Davis’ own lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante, who couldn’t stand him either. This night, after a farcical election, the people elected Austrian-born body builder-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Yesterday’s Question: Who coined the term Art for Art’s Sake?
Answer: Art in throughout most of history was commercial art. Popes and Florentine bankers commissioned images of the Annunciation, Descent from the Cross and more. Pope Leo X had Raphael paint his Easter eggs. By the XIX century artists declared art needed no justification to be art. The phrase is often attributed to James McNeill Whistler, but French intellectuals since Theophile Gautier (1835) had been using the term l’art pour l’art for many years.
Oct 6, 2015
October 5th, 2015
Quiz: Who coined the term Art for Art’s Sake?
Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: What does it mean to make an argument ad hominem?
History for 10/6/2015
Birthdays: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Jenny Lind the Swedish Nightingale, George Westinghouse, Janet Gaynor, Carol Lombard, Karol Szymanowski, Thor Heyderthal, wrestler Bruno Sammartino, Britt Eckland, Le Corbusier, Elizabeth Shue is 52, Sean William Scott, Jeremy Sisto is 41, Ioan Guffrudd is 42
In Ireland this is Ivy Day, when Irish folk commemorate the death of the great statesman Charles Stuart Parnell with a sprig of ivy in their buttonholes.
105B.C. Migrating German barbarian tribes called the Cimbri defeated the Roman army at the river Arusia, modern Vaucluse in the Rhone Valley. The defeat gave Gaius Marius the opportunity to reform the training of the Roman legions.
68BC- Roman General Lucullus defeated the Armenians under King Tigranes II at Artaxata.
1502- THE LAST VOYAGE OF COLUMBUS -Rejecting the ideas of Amerigo Vespucci, Juan De La Cosa and the Portuguese that what he had discovered was in fact a new continent, Columbus makes one more attempt to reach China by sailing west.
He explores down the Central American coastline to Venezuela and Columbia. The Nicaraguans tell him that beyond their jungle is another Great Ocean. He surmises that it must be the Indian Ocean so these people must be the Vietnamese (Cochin-China).
1536- Near Brussels Englishman William Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake for committing a crime against the Church, that of translating the Bible into English. Years later Tyndale’s writing provided the base of the King James Bible.
1600- THE BIRTH OF OPERA. This day as part of the celebrations of the marriage of French King Henry IV to Marie de Medici composers Rinconcini and Caecini premiered a new kind of musical drama where soloists sang without the heavy polyphony of madrigals but more directly in imitation of ancient dramas. It was “Eurydice” and it was the first true opera. Many composers including Claudio Monteverdi took up the form. But remember, it isn’t over until the Fat Lady sings.
1683-THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH- the first recorded German immigrants, Mennonite farmers from the Rhineland, arrived in America invited by Gov. William Penn of Pennsylvania. The reason many German immigrants in Pennsylvania were labeled Dutch was the backwoods Americans inability to distinguish when the German declared “Ich bin Deutsche” from “Dutch”.
1802- The Heiligenstadt Testament- Composer Ludwig van Beethoven left behind a note found among his papers after his death in 1827. Dated this day it was addressed to his brother Karl and another unspecified relative. It was more of a spiritual Last Will than anything else. In the note Beethoven poured out of his heart confessing his faults and his fears of going deaf. It is an amazing insight into the great man’s soul.
1803- Napoleon inspected the restorations to a XVII century French church and veterans hospital called the Hotel des’Invalides, unaware that it would be his tomb 40 years in the future.
1826- A Missouri saddlemaker offered a reward of one penny for a runaway apprentice. The boy had joined a Santa Fe bound wagon train and grew up to become Kit Carson, one of the Old West's most famous scouts.
1847- Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre first published.
1860 First telegraph linking L.A. and San Francisco.
1860- During the Taiping Rebellion in China the Ever-Victorious Army , a mercenary western force loyal to the Manchu Emperor, recaptured Peking (Beijing). Originally organized by an American named Stoneman, the Ever Victorious was now commanded by British Sir Charles Gordon, for which he received the nickname "Chinese Gordon'.
1863- The first Turkish Bath House is opened in Brooklyn.
1863- The BAXTER SPRINGS MASSACRE- Quantrill’s Raiders bushwhacked Union General Blount’s personal entourage on the road in Kansas and killed 86. It’s called a massacre rather than a battle, because most of the slain were noncombatant office staff trying to surrender. The heartless guerrillas even shot the regimental band. One union soldier with five bullets in him recalled before he lost consciousness, a large horseman standing over him gloating:” When you meet God, tell him the last thing you saw on Earth was Ol’ Billy Quantrill!”
1864- SHERIDAN'S VALLEY CAMPAIGN- The Shenandoah Valley had been a pain in the neck to the U.S. Army throughout the Civil War. It 's pro Southern population hid famous guerrillas like John Mosby the"Grey Ghost" and Stonewall Jackson had humiliated three Yankee armies there. Towns like Winchester and Harper's Ferry changed hands 73 times!
So while Lee and Grant’s armies stood stalemated outside Richmond, feisty Irish-born cavalryman Phil Sheridan was given a large army and ordered to finally bring the ShenandoahValley to heel. After drubbing the Confederates in battle, he turned away from the rebel army and concentrated on the civilian population. His army burned towns and crops, and hanged men from the trees even remotely suspected of being guerrillas. Sheridan sat, feet up, in a slow moving open buggy and waved his cigar like an orchestra conductor's baton. "Go to it my boys! Have Fun!" Like Sherman’s terror campaign through Georgia, the brutality of Sheridan left a bitter memory to Southerners for generations to come.
1866-The Reno Bros. committed the first recorded train robbery, this one in Indiana.
1880- First classes at University of Southern California or USC.
1889- Paris' naughty nightclub the Moulin Rouge opened.
1903- Dr Horatio Nelson Jackson, the Great Automobilist, first man to cross the United States by car, was given a speeding ticket in his home town of Burlington, Vermont. He was accused of going at reckless speeds of up to six miles an hour!
1908- Since a Peace Treaty of Berlin in 1878 the European Peace had hinged upon the little Turkish province of Bosnia-Herzegovenia being administered by Austria while still nominally part of Turkey. This compromise was clunky but it worked. This day in reaction to the Bulgarians declaring their independence the Austro-Hungarian Empire announced it was annexing Bosnia-Herzegovenia outright. This act destabilized the world situation and began the diplomatic spiral into World War I.
1911- The first transpacific telephone conversation, between Tokyo and San Francisco.
1918- From the wreckage of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes and Bosnians formed themselves into a new country called the Kingdom of South Slavs or Yugoslavia. It broke up in the 1990s.
1921- In London the society known as PPEN established, for Poets, Playwrights, Editors and Novelists.
1927-"THE JAZZ SINGER" with Al Jolson debuts. Okay, somebody made a sound picture in 1924 and also something called "Footlights of New York" from 1926 but hey, you know what?- who cares! THIS was the movie that made "Talkies" a reality. The success of this film turned Warner Bros from a minor film company into a major Hollywood studio. 26 year old Walt Disney was in the audience that night, and it made him realize he needed to put sound in his cartoons.
1959- “Pillow Talk”premiered, the first romantic comedy pairing Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Stanley Shapiro won a best screenplay Oscar for it. The film typified the wink-wink attitude about sex before the 1960’s Sexual Revolution and defined Doris Day’s reputation as the wholesome, girl-next-door archetype.
1966- California became the first state to officially declare LSD illegal. Hippies in San Francisco celebrate by rallying in Golden Gate Park in the thousands, and all taking a tab together.
1968- In Huntington Cal, Troy Perry and 12 others started the first Gay & Lesbian Church.
1971- William Freidkin’s gritty cop movie the FRENCH CONNECTION premiered. The film won best picture, director and actor Oscars, made a major star out of Gene Hackman. One unforeseen result was the movie stimulated interest in pursuing the investigation of the real French-Corsican Mafia heroin trafficking in the US. That mob was soon broken up. The two real life detectives the film was based on- Eddie Egan and Sonny Corso, booth retired from the NYPD and pursued careers in show biz.
1973- THE OCTOBER WAR or THE YOM KIPPUR WAR. Egypt and Syria surprised attacked Israel on the holiest religious holiday of the Jewish calendar. They also achieved surprise by attacking at 2:00 in the afternoon instead of dawn. The Sinai and Golan Heights saw some of the largest tank battles since World War II. The Arab states received men and material support from the PLO, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Bangladesh and even Idi Amin the dictator of Uganda. America and Russia faced off by heavily re-supplying both sides. Both sides charged Russians and Americans were flying covert combat missions as well.
1976- During a televised debate with Jimmy Carter, President Gerald Ford said he was unaware of any Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, a great surprise to Poles, Czechs, Romanians, Lithuanians and others. Later the American public surprised Gerald by voting him out of office.
1981- Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat was assassinated while viewing parade marking Yom Kippur War anniversary. Commandos hopped out of the back of a troop carrier and blew him away with machine guns. Almost killed next to him was Hosni Mubarak. Although some claim that the chief assassin Khaled Al Islambouli asked Hosni to step aside so not to get hurt. One of the conspirators arrested was Alman Al Zawahiri, who today is the little guy with the glasses and grey beard who took over Al Qaeda after Osama Bin Laden was killed.
1991- Elizabeth Taylor got married for the 8th time, now to construction engineer Larry Fornetsky, at Michael Jackson’s house. They divorced shortly after.
1991- University of Oklahoma Professor Anita Hill testified at the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She alleged that when she was his aide she was subject to constant sexual harassment. Judge Thomas declared her testimony a "symbolic lynching". Thomas' conservative backers countered with a furious media campaign. Despite her credentials as a PhD scholar from a Christian University, they portrayed Prof Hill as a paranoid slut. Those involved in the smear campaign admitted it was all fabricated. Clarence Thomas was confirmed, but the controversy made Sexual Harassment a national issue.
2002- Pope John Paul II canonized Fra Paulo Escriva, the mystic founder of the order Opus Dei. John Paul broke with the more liberal Jesuits in favor of Opus Dei, a super conservative group that critics say wanted directed power over Catholic doctrine and still espoused flagellation.
2002- The Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delaune was stabbed in the stomach at an all night Nuit Blanche rock concert. He recovered and remained mayor until 2014.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What does it mean to make an argument ad hominem?
Answer: Argumentem Ad Hominem is Latin for “to the man”, meaning a debate tactic where you try to score points by bringing up unrelated personal attacks on your opponent. Mass Senator Scott Brown attacking Elizabeth Warren based on what box she checked on her Harvard application 30 years ago is called an Ad Hominem Attack.
October 5, 2015
October 5th, 2015
Quiz: What does it mean to make an argument ad hominem?
Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: What does it mean to “eat Humble Pie”…?
History for 10/5/2015
Birthdays: Wendel Wilkie, President Chester Allen Arthur, Ray Kroc the founder of MacDonalds restaurants, Louis Lumiere, Vaslav Havel, Larry Fine of the Three Stooges" , Bob Geldorf, Mario Lemieux, Josh Logan, Bill Dana "my name Jose Jimenez", Bill Keane, Clive Barker, Glynnis Johns, Donald Pleasance, Maya Lin, Bernie Mac, Karen Allen is 64, Kate Winslet is 40, Guy Pearce is 48, Jesse Eisenberg is 32
1600- King Henry IV of France married his second wife Marie de Medici by proxy in a grand ceremony in Florence. Flemish master painter Peter Paul Rubens was in attendance, and the Queen would ask him to create paintings commemorating the events.
1759- Col. Robert Rogers led his Roger’s Rangers on a forced march to surprise the Abeknackie Indians who had been raiding Maine homesteads. At 4:00 am near present day Saint Francis Maine, the Rangers burned the Abeknackie village and killed so many people that the Abeknackies ceased to be a force in the area. Years later Rogers wrote down his principles of irregular warfare- his maxims like "Move Fast and Hit Hard" are the basis of Special Forces training today.
1761- Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder, called the Architect of the British Empire, resigned from office. He was replaced by Lord Bute, who Frederick the Great called a complete scoundrel. Bute was chosen mostly because young King George III liked to play whist with him. Whist was a card game similar to bridge.
1762- Christoph Gluck premiered his opera Orpheo et Eurydice in Vienna.
1795- THE WHIFF OF GRAPESHOT- The end of the French Revolution. The problem with revolutions is once you start one it’s a real problem how to stop them. The Paris mob had gotten used to overthrowing one government after another since 1789. In 1795 when yet another mob of rioters threatened to overthrow yet another French government the politicians turned to young general Napoleon Bonaparte, who dispersed the crowd by firing cannons at them loaded with buckshot. A self proclaimed "Child of the Revolution" Bonaparte was already considered politically left so his act of force could not be accused of royalist leanings. This action helped the little general with the funny Italian name becomes a national figure.
1813- BATTLE OF THE THAMES RIVER. Indiana - Tecumseh, an Indian visionary who foresaw that only by united action could native peoples hope to drive the White invasion back to Europe, spent his life convincing tribes to put away their tribal differences and fight as one people. He assembled a huge force of warriors, but was defeated and killed by Gen. William Henry Harrison. Congressman Richard Johnson, who said he personally killed the great chief (nobody saw it happen) later became Vice President and Harrison President. People sang:"Rumpsy-Dumpsey, Rumpsey- Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson Killed Tecumsee."
Tecumseh was one of the few who managed to organize real resistance to the white migration west and as such was one of America's greatest threats. Yet whites were so impressed by his nobility that people like Ohio settler John Sherman named his son and future Civil War hero William Tecumseh Sherman.
1842-THE BIRTHDAY OF BEER!- Lager Beer is perfected in the city of Pilsen -Pilsner Beer. Of course beer was made by the Egyptians and traced back to the Ice Age, but our concept of beer requiring an advancement in refrigeration is Pilsner or Lager.
1858- An arsonist burns down NY's Crystal Palace Museum.
1864- A cyclone destroyed the Indian City of Calcutta, killing 60,000.
1877- After a lightning campaign across 1,200 miles Nez Perce Chief Joseph found himself surrounded by U.S. armies just 40 miles from the Canadian border. At Bear’s Paw near Chinook Montana, Chief Joseph surrendered to General Nelson Miles…
"From where the Sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
1880- Alonzo T. Cross patented the first ball-point pen.
1882- Outlaw Frank James surrendered to authorities six months after his brother Jesse was killed. After doing some prison time Frank went straight and toured in a Wild West Show. He died in 1915.
1892-THE DALTON BOYS RAID COFFEEVILLE, Kansas and try to rob two banks at once. One quick thinking bank clerk told them the bank vault was on a time lock and would open shortly. There was no such timelock, but while the badmen waited, the townspeople broke into the hardware store and armed themselves to the teeth. As the Daltons emerged, they were shot down by the locals, much the same way the Jesse James Gang was wiped out at Northfield Minnesota ten years earlier. 8 were killed. Only Emmett Dalton survived despite 25 gunshot wounds. After getting out of jail in 1907, he also wisely went straight.
1904- According to comedian and playwright Steve Martin, this is the day Pablo Picasso met Albert Einstein at the Cafe Lapin Agile. There was a Cafe in Paris called Lapin Agile that Picasso did like to go, to but he never actually met Einstein.
1905- Happy Birthday T-Rex! Prof. Henry Osborne published a paper on the new bones found in Montana of a sleek hunter- dinosaur. He originally called it Dynamosaurus Imperiosis, but changed it to Tyrannosaurus Rex.
1908- Bulgaria declared its independence from Turkey and formed a monarchy under German Prince Ferdinand von Battenburg.
1914- The first airplane was shot down by another airplane. For weeks since the Great War began German, British and French airplanes flew missions of air reconnaissance. When planes encountered each other the pilots would fire pistols and even threw darts and bricks at one another. Finally some one thought of mounting a machine gun on a plane and aerial combat was born.
1915- Germany issued an official apology to the USA over the loss of life in the sinking of the luxury liner Lusitania, and promised to pay restitution.
1930- THE R-101 The BRITISH HINDENBURG- Lord Thompson of Cardington dreamed of a fleet of passenger zeppelins uniting the British Empire much the way steam did in Queen Victoria's time. Dirigible moorings were built in Karachi, Montreal, Sydney and Ishmalia in Egypt. The R-101 was the largest zeppelin in the world when she was launched and had all the luxury of the Cunard ocean liners. Lord Thompson himself decided to take the inaugural flight from London to India and back in time to make a vital Imperial conference. On Oct. 4th as a crowd sang Sir Edward Elgar's hymn 'Land of Hope and Glory" Thompson launched the R-101 "I see this great ship of the air built with the same perseverance and permanency that has built our British Empire and will give us the mastery of the air lanes of the world!"
300 miles out the R-101 was struck by a violent thunderstorm and crashed at Beauvais France. A sergeant was heard saying : "We’re down lads." when the hydrogen gas exploded. All but 6 of her 54 passengers died in the flaming inferno, including Lord Thompson. (compared to 30 out of the 96 Hindenburg passengers and crew died). Even though her sister ship the R-100 made a perfect flight to Canada and back the British public was so shocked by the disaster that all further attempts at a British dirigible service was scrapped.
1932- MGM Studios fired famed comic Buster Keaton.
1933- Warner Bros musical Footlight Parade with James Cagney premiered.
1945- The BATTLE OF BURBANK.- Three thousand striking union filmworkers (and a few animators) battled the Burbank police in front of Gate 2 of the Warner Bros. Studio lot. chains, bricks, tear gas, firehoses, burning cars. Jack Warner placed sharpshooters behind those large movie billboards on Barham and Pass. One of the strikeleaders arrested was a background painter for Tex Avery cartoons. Herb Sorrel, the union leader, was pulled into a car and beaten up by gangsters, then arrested for incitement to riot.
1947-President Harry Truman gives the first speech broadcast nationwide on television. In it he asked Americans to forgo eating meat on Tuesday’s and Thursdays, to build up U.S. grain stocks to feed a still starving Post War Europe.
1961- The film Breakfast at Tiffany’s opened, with Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, the song Moon River.
1969- Monty Python's Flying Circus debuted on British television BBC-1.
1969- A Cuban Colonel who wanted to defect to America flew his advanced Mig-21 to Miami and landed it at Homestead Airforce Base. But what was embarrassing to the US was he flew completely through all US advanced warning defenses undetected and landed his plane next to Air Force One carrying President Richard Nixon! D’oh!
1969- Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy was seen going into a Manhattan cinema to see the Swedish x-rated film I Am Curious Yellow. Jackie-O beat up the photographer who caught her, but her example spawned a beautiful people fashion called Porn-Chic.
1970-The Canadian October Crisis.- A Quebec terrorist separatist group calling itself the FLQ kidnapped and murdered a Canadian cabinet minister. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau sent military troops into Montreal and Quebec City to impose order.
Worst civilian disturbances in Canada since 1867.
1986- IRAN-CONTRA- President Ronald Reagan feared Communist expansion growing in a new revolutionary regime in Nicaragua. When the U.S. Congress banned any funds for anti-Communist mercenaries, Reagan's National Security Agency staffer Oliver North created a covert pipeline of arms. On this day Nicaraguan communists shot down an unmarked plane full of smuggled weapons flown by a CIA agent named Eugene Hasenfuss. The revelation of the incident sets in motion the scandal that would tarnish the Reagan Administration.
1989- The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
2000- The Yugoslavian Revolution. –Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’ had spent the eleven years since the death of Tito making war on the various ethnic parts of Yugoslavia as they broke off and founded sister republics. War, misery and genocide were meted out on Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians and Kossovar Albanians in turn.
Serbia endured the condemnation of the world and American-Nato bombing raids.
This day after refusing to admit he had lost re-election, 200,000 Serbs marched into Belgrade and in a massive "People Power" revolution threw old Slobodan out. Woycheslav Kostunitse was declared the legal president and Slovo died in jail.
2003- Timothy Treadwell was an author and advocate for the wild grizzly bears of North America. This day near Khalifa Bay Alaska those bears attacked Treadwell and his girlfriend Anne Huguenard and tore them to pieces. When authorities brought down the bear in question, after being shot 21 times, human remains were found in his stomach. When Treadwell appeared on the David Letterman TV Show the previous year, Letterman joked:" Is it going to happen that one day we read a news article about you being eaten by one of these bears?" Werner Herzog did a film about his life. Grizzly Man.
2011- Steve Jobs died at age 56 of pancreatic cancer. His last words, as he faded away, he looked straight ahead as if he was seeing something and murmured
Quiz: What does it mean to “eat Humble Pie”…?
Answer: During the Gilded Age, wealthy American industrialists wagered on the outcome of political elections much like horse races. One popular wager was if the candidate I am supporting lost, I promise to eat like a poor person. Poor people used to trap or shoot vermin game like squirrels or crows, and bake them in a simple crust. So eating crow, or eating humble pie.