Jan 23, 2017
January 23rd, 2017
Quiz: One of the great operas was Carmen, about the Spanish gypsy, written by Claude Bizet. What language is Carmen written in..?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who first decided liberals are Left and Conservatives are on the Right?
History for Jan 23, 2017
Birthdays: Musio Clementi, Edouard Manet, Sergei Eisenstein, Derek Walcott, Ernie
Kovacs, Stendahl, Jean Moreau, Randolph Scott, Dan Duryea, Rutger Hauer is 72, Warner Bros animator Manny Davis, Disney animation director Dave Hand, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Mariska Hargitay is 53, Sonny Chiba is 78. Animator Phil Mendez
St. Idelfonso's Day- He was archbishop of Toledo and had a vision one day in
which the Virgin Mary appeared and gave him a chausible (cloak).
1556- The worst earthquake ever recorded, killed 830,000 people in Zhanzshi China.
1789- Georgetown University founded near what will be Washington D.C.
1795- A fleet of 14 Dutch warships got stuck in ice and was captured by attacking French cavalry.
1806- Prime Minister Pitt the Younger dies at 46. A heavy port drinker, he had a
stroke after getting the news of Napoleon's big victory at Austerlitz over his coalition partners Russia and Austria. As the maps and dispatches dropped from his lap, his last words were:”Oh My Country!"
Another source said his dying words were actually "Oh I wish I had another one of Mrs. Bellamy's Meat Pies !" Suspiciously, the source of that anecdote was a spokesman for the Bellamy's Meat Pies Company.
1812- The largest earthquake ever in North America. It was not in California but in the
Mississippi Valley near New Madrid, Missouri. The quake was felt as far south as
New Orleans where it moved the mouth of the Mississippi River, and it rattled store
windows in New York City. Legend has it Indian leader Tecumseh had predicted it.
He told Indians who had signed treaties with the whites:" I will stamp my foot,
then you will know the anger of the Great Spirit."
1862- Here’s a toast to that great American- Count Agoston Haraszthy! Who? Next
time you raise a glass of Napa Valley Pinot think of him. This day the Hungarian
count bought land in the Sonoma Valley and imported cuttings from 1,000
varieties of European wine grapes. There may have been one or more earlier vineyards, ( Buena Vista in 1857) but the Count jumpstarted the California wine industry.
1867- New York City residents awoke this day to find the East River separating them
and the City of Brooklyn had frozen solid. It stayed that way for several weeks
wreaking havoc among the ship traffic and commerce. Everyone realized they needed
a bridge. Plans for a Brooklyn Bridge was begun soon after.
1879- The Defense of Rourkes Drift. After the British invasion force was annihilated
by the Zulus at the Battle of Ishandlwana the other day, a ragtag group of stragglers,
wounded and drivers behind an improvised wall of piled up oatmeal sacks hold off
the entire Zulu army. The first Victoria Crosses were given out over this engagement.
More were given here than at D-Day. One went to a sergeant who later had it stolen
off the wall of his pub. He petitioned the government and got another one....and
that too was stolen. When he died in 1911 he had the VC embellished on his tombstone....and,..you guessed it....it was stolen.
1913- A group of young Turkish army officers led by Enver Bey take over the government from the despotic rule of Sultan Abdhul Hamid IV, and try to modernize things, keeping the Sultan as a figurehead. Enver’s movement created the name The Young Turks.
1920- The Netherlands refused to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm to the victorious Allies for trial. He was granted asylum and lived peacefully until his death in 1940.
1922- The first insulin injection given in Toronto by doctors Banting and Macleod
to diabetic patient Leonard Thompson.
1930- Ivory Snow soap invented 'pure as the driven snow'. In 1969 the model
on the Ivory Snow detergent box, Marilyn Chambers, became a notorious porn star. The baby she held in the photo was actress Brooke Shields.
1941- Aviator Charles Lindbergh testified before Congress to express his opposition
to lend lease aid to Britain and he urged America to negotiate a neutrality pact
1942- Tupperware invented by Charles Tupper.
1943- The last Luftwaffe plane evacuated wounded and mail out from the German 6th
Army surrounded at Stalingrad. Field Marshal Frederich Von Paulus gave a final message to a colonel scheduled to be evacuated out:" Tell them that the Sixth Army
has been betrayed by the Supreme Command."
As the last three JU-52s took off, the Pitomnik Airfield was overrun. Russian T-34 tanks clanked down the runway casually firing shells into parked planes. Most of the freezing soldiers last letters, full of anger with Hitler, were ordered destroyed by Goebbels Propaganda Ministry. Some specimens survived and were published only recently.
1943- A group of top German generals began secret meetings on how to kill Hitler and stop the war. Their conspiracy would culminate in the Operation Valhalla, the July 20th Generals plot.
1957- The Disneyland TV show premiered” Our Friend, the Atom.”
1968- THE PUEBLO INCIDENT- While America was watching the Battle of Que Sanh in Vietnam, a US Navy spy ship doing CIA intelligence work was captured in North Korean waters. The hostage ordeal mesmerized the public for weeks and the sailors were finally released after a long captivity and humiliating show-trials. After his release,
the commander, Capt. Lloyd Bucher retired from the navy, went to Art Center in Pasadena and became an illustrator.
1974- The U.S. Congress authorized the building of the Alaska Oil pipeline.
1978- In Woodland Hills Terry Kath, the lead singer of the group Chicago, killed
himself when he playfully put a pistol to his head. His last words were: "Don't
worry. It's not loaded, see...?"
1983- TV series The A Team, making a celebrity out of a Mohawk and bling wearing former bouncer named Mr. T. “ I pity the fool!”
1989- Artist Salvador Dali’ died. Rushing to leave as much money as possible for
his family, his agents had the old dying artist autograph reams of blank paper they intended to print Dali’ lithographs on later.
2004- Satellite TV dish installer Jay McNeil of Paduca Kentucky was trying out a
new telescope when he discovered a nebula in space. It’s now called McNeil’s Nebula.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Who first decided liberals are Left and Conservatives are on the Right?
Answer: During the French Revolution, when the people’s convention of the Revolution met in Paris, the more liberal-minded delegates tended to sit together on the left side of the room. The Conservatives congregated to the right, and the moderates sat in the center.
Some say the custom began with the ancient Roman senate, but it became custom here.
Jan 22, 2017
January 22nd, 2017
Quiz: Who first decided liberals are Left and Conservatives are on the Right?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: People say President Trump is all id. What is id?
History for 1/22/2017
St. Vincents Day- "If Vincents Day be Rainy Weather, shall rain then 30 days together.”
Birthdays: Sir Francis Bacon, D.W. Griffith, Lord Byron, August Strindberg, Andre Marie Ampere (electric Amps), 1960’s UN Secretary General U- Thant, Ann Southern, Sam Cooke, John Hurt is 77, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Seymour Cassell, Jim Jarmusch is 64, Linda Blair is 59, Piper Laurie is 85, Diane Lane is 52
1503- Pope Alexander VI Borgia has his enemy Cardinal Orsini poisoned while imprisoned in the Vatican.
1506- THE SWISS GUARDS. Many European monarchs hired foreign mercenaries to be their personal bodyguards. They were often more reliable than their own subjects. The most famous were the Swiss. While the Swiss home cantons stayed at peace, her hardy men hired out as mercenary troops all over Europe. Swiss were famous as incorruptible and tough warriors. This day the warrior Pope Julius II hired a troop of Swiss and had Michelangelo design their uniforms. The Swiss Guards still guard the Vatican today, and are still recruited in Switzerland.
1522- Andreas Carstadt, an early follower of Martin Luther, set a new precedent by being a priest who openly got married. He was forty, she was fifteen.
1552- Because Henry VIII’s child was only ten at the time of the old king’s death Edward Seymour the Duke of Somerset ruled England as regent-administrator. But Somerset’s rule was troubled with corruption and religious friction between Catholics and Protestants. His own brother Thomas Seymour the Lord High Admiral was executed for trying to become king. Somerset soon fell and was replaced by the Duke of Northumberland. He charged Somerset with treason based on evidence given by Sir Thomas Palmer. Today Somerset’s head was cut off. Later Northumberland and Palmer lost their heads too. They confessed on the scaffold that they had fabricated the charges against Somerset.
1555- THE FIRES OF SMITHFIELD. When Mary the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII became queen she at first tried to be lenient towards her Protestant subjects. But continuous plots by Protestant nobility and her own desire to restore England to the old faith hardened her heart. This day began the mass trials and executions of those accused of Protestant heresy. Six clergymen including the Bishop of Gloucester were sentenced and burned at the stake. Hundreds more would follow. Even Spanish King Philip II urged Mary to calm down.
Mary’s executioners added a new twist to the old system of Burning at the Stake. Before lighting the bonfire a bag of gunpowder was stuffed between your legs, so you went out with a bang. Bloody Mary and her cruelty in the name of Roman Catholicism all but convinced the English people to stay Anglican.
1787- 17 year old French cadet named Napoleon Bonaparte, on furlough in Paris, wrote in his diary that after exhausting negotiations with a streetwalker he "…sampled the joys of Woman for the first time.." Today he’d do a Facebook post.
1840- The first English colonists reach New Zealand.
1863- THE MUD MARCH- Union General Ambrose Burnside (who created the fashion for "side-burns") tried to avenge his humiliating defeat at Fredericksburg by a winter march up the Rappahannock River to maneuver around Robert E. Lee. In so doing he discovered why all pre-industrial age armies took the winter off. Burnsides army was pelted by blinding sleet storms and bogged down in oceans of gooey mud. When Burnside finally called it quits he had as many casualties from sickness as if had he fought a battle. A bitter army joke based on a children’s prayer went:
"Now I lay me down to Sleep, In mud that’s eighteen fathoms Deep."
"If you can’t see me when we Awake, please dig me up with an oyster Rake."
1879-Battle of ISHANDLWANA- The worst defeat ever inflicted by native peoples on a modern western army. The British thought they were brushing out of the way just another African spear throwing tribe when they attacked the Zulu Empire. They were unconcerned that the Zulu marched in regiments -impis, had generals -indunas and practiced strategy and tactics. A Zulu impi was trained to run in tight formation for 20 miles barefoot then fight a battle. Lord Chelmsford had invaded Zululand searching for the Zulu army when he was tricked by a simple diversion into dividing his forces. The Zulu then flanked Chelmsford’s force in a maneuver Napoleon would have admired, fell on his camp and wiped out two regiments of the 24th Welch Fusiliers.
It was a massacre similar to Custer at the Little Big Horn.
Lord Chelmsford and his staff were eating lunch several miles away when an aide noticed in his telescope flashing and running around the base camp. Lord Chelmsford dismissed it as nothing but sent a courier to investigate. The courier at first saw men in red coats and white pith helmets walking amongst the tents. As he got closer he noticed that they all had black faces.
1901- Queen Victoria died after a reign of 64 years, the longest ever for a British monarch. When she assumed the throne at age 19 in 1837 there were still many alive who remembered the Battle of Waterloo and white periwigs. She died in a world of electric lights, telephones, autos and motion pictures. The current Queen Elizabeth II has to reign 4 more years to catch her.
1912- The first bridgeway connecting Key West and the Florida Keys opened.
1912- U.S. Marines occupied the Chinese city of Tientsin to "protect American commercial interests".
1918- A Manitoba judge tries to outlaw movie comedies, because they tend to make the public "too frivolous".
1930- Work began on the foundation of the Empire State Building in New York.
1938- On a bare stage, Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town premiered.
1939- At Columbia University for the first time scientists split a uranium atom.
1944-Argentine Colonel Juan Peron first met radio actress Eva Duarte or Evita.
1944- ANZIO- The Allied armies advancing up the Italian boot had been fought to a standstill by fierce German resistance around Monte Cassino north of Naples -the Gustav Line. So the decision was made to amphibiously land a large invasion force in the rear of the German army with the intention of taking Rome. They completely surprised the enemy and their scouts reported the road into Rome was wide open. But the American commander General Lucas hesitated.
In the meantime the Germans recovered and rushed up elite SS divisions that turned the battle into a bloody stalemate. Churchill said: "I thought we were hurling a wildcat onto the shore, but all we got was a beached whale!" Instead of two days, the allies didn’t take Rome until June 4th, five months later.
1947- Hollywood first commercial television station KTLA went on the air for regular broadcasting. At the time in all of Los Angeles there were only 350 TV sets.
1949- Mao Tse Tung (MaoZseDong) and the Communists capture Peking (Beijing).
1949- Tex Avery’s cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie".
1950- Preston Tucker tried to compete with the big auto giants like Ford and Chrysler with his revolutionary designed Tucker Automobile. But the giants bogged him down in court with charges of fraud. This day he was acquitted of all charges but the legal expenses ruined him. Only 40 Tuckers were ever made. Francis Ford Coppola made a movie about his life.
1951- During Winter baseball tryouts a promising young left-handed pitcher from Cuba was scouted by the New York Yankees. But after losing a game for the Washington Senators and getting dropped from their roster he gave up on pro-sports to pursue other careers like politics- Fidel Castro.
1954- The Los Angeles Fire Department is ordered by federal courts to integrate.
1968-T.V. comedy review show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In premiered. It launched the careers of Lilly Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan. You bet your sweet Bippy!
1972- In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, rocker David Bowie outed himself and said he was gay. Technically he would be bi-sexual since his wife Angela did catch him in bed with Bianca Jagger. Others called him a closet-heterosexual.
1973- While President Richard Nixon celebrated his second inaugural with a concert, Leonard Bernstein conducted a Concert for Peace at the Washington Cathedral. While Nixon’s orchestra played his favorite classical piece Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812 with real cannons, Bernstein played Haydn’s Mass in a Time of War to 15,000 people against the War in Vietnam.
1973- The Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision 7-2 legalizing abortion. Before 1880 most abortion practices were legal, they were referred to as "quickening". The first prohibitions were more about banning dangerous quack drugs used in the process.
1975- Hollywood agents Ron Meyer and Michael Ovitz leave William Morris and form the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA.
1977- The day after his inauguration President Jimmy Carter was shown the first pictures from the KH-11, the first imaging orbital spy satellite. An American mole sold the technology to the Russian KGB a year later and soon France, Britain and Israel had spy satellites in orbit.
1984- Amazon Indians attack an oil drilling crew with blowguns.
1984- Apple releases the Macintosh I personal computer.
Yesterday’s Question: People say President Trump is all id. What is id?
Answer: The id, as defined by Freud is the part of the personality that is instinctive, made up of our unfettered primary drives and impulses. Newborns only have an id, the controlling forces of the ego and superego develop as the individual becomes socialized, develops empathy, subjugates basic desire for the greater good.
Jan 21, 2017
January 21st, 2017
Quiz: People say President Trump is all id. What is id?
Question: What is a numismatist?
History for 1/21/2017
Birthdays: Leadbelly (Harlan Ledbetter), Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, J. Carol Naish, Tele Savalas, Christian Dior, Placido Domingo is 77, Wolfman Jack, Paul Scofield, Robby Benson, Jack Nicklaus, Benny Hill, Emma Bunton- Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, Gena Davis is 61, Ken Leung is 47
1198- THE THIRD CRUSADE DECLARED- In reaction to the news of Saladin's capture of Jerusalem, King Henry II of England, Phillip Augustus of France and Conrad the Emperor of Germany "take the Cross", to invade the Holy Land. Henry died before the army departed and was replaced by his son Richard the Lionhearted. Every morning before breakfast and every night before retiring, all the knights of the Crusade would raise one steel-clad fist towards the east, and to the sound of massed trumpets they would all shout: " AEIDEUVA, AEIDEUVA, SANCTUS SEPULCHORUM!!" "Help, Help to the Holy Sepulcher!"
1535- Fun-loving King Francis I of France had been tolerant to the Reformation until over-zealous French Protestants tried to assassinate him. This day he responded by holding a solemn Catholic Mass in Notre Dame. The highlight of the show was the burning of six heretics. Francis had them tied to ladders and raised and lowered over a slow fire, to prolong their suffering.
1649- King Charles I was put on trial by the English Parliament for treason.
1789- The first American novel published- The Power of Sympathy: An Epistolary Romance by William Hill Brown.
1793- KING LOUIS XVI GUILLOTINED- For three years since the Bastille fell the French King tried to play a constitutional monarch while conspiring with the other European monarchs to crush the French Revolution. It was a game that was too subtle for him. When foreign armies invaded France, and declared their intention to remake Louis an absolute ruler, the revolutionary government condemned him to death.
Citizen Capet, so named for an old family name of French kings, mounted the scaffold at Place de La Concorde currently where the U.S. Embassy is. He tried to speak to the people but the drummers were ordered to drown him out. As the blade fell his chaplain shouted: "Son of Saint Louis, ascend to Heaven!" SPLAT!
The revolutionaries then stuck his head between his legs and threw him in a hole. Where the site of the Chapel Expiatore is today. The court executioner, Charles Henri Samson, wore pistols under his coat in case people tried to rush the guillotine. He usually never felt remorse for his victims ( "I am not killing them, the State is" ) but this one bothered him. He stayed away from home for two nights and would later hide escaped political prisoners in his cellar.
1850- THE CLAY COMPROMISE. Senator Henry Clay crossed dark snow covered Washington streets for a late night meeting with Daniel Webster. President Zachary Taylor had just put forward in Congress California's application for admission to the Union as a non-slave holding state. Now the South was angrily threatening secession and civil war. Clay and Webster worked out a deal, called the Clay Compromise, which would grant concessions to both sides in exchange for cooperation. Northern man Webster probably sacrificed his last chance to be President by backing the controversial deal but the Compromise of 1850 succeeded in delaying the Civil War for ten more years.
1861- SECESSION! COLLAPSE! President-elect Lincoln was still packing his bags in Springfield and writing out the luggage tags in his own hand "A. Lincoln, White House, Washington, D.C.", while state after state of the South voted to leave the Union and join the new Confederacy. On this date Mississippi senator and former Secretary of War Jefferson Davis resigned from the Congress. As he left the Senate, Georgia senator Robert Toombs declared out loud to the Speakers chair:" The Union sir, is Dissolved !" Toombs had to hire a carriage to take him South because his personal servants had run off to be free.
The Mormons of Utah were in an open state of rebellion, New Jersey and New York City talked of secession, California talked of pulling out of the union and joining Oregon to make a new country called TransPacifica. Mobs in Baltimore proclaimed Abe Lincoln would never get to Washington alive. Outgoing President James Buchanan said gravely: "I fear I may be the Last President of the United States.."
1899- The Opel motorcar company opened for business.
1916- The National Board of Review outlawed nudity in Hollywood movies.
1923- LENIN DIED. The Soviet dictator died of respiratory failure and cerebral hemorrhage at 54. The lack of a reliable system of succession plagued Communist states. As Lenin lay dying Leon Trotsky, Zioniev, Kamieniev, Krupskaya and a dozen others began a backroom scramble for power. Finally a minor bank robber and terrorist from Tblisi in Georgia who had risen rapidly in the last two years came out above them all- Comrade Kobal, also called Josef Stalin.
1930- Ub Iwerks quit The Walt Disney Company.
1935- the conservation group The Wilderness Society created.
1935- Disney animator Ollie Johnston’s first day at the studio, at $17 a week.
1938 -Max Fleischer tells his New York cartoon studio they are relocating to Florida.
1938- George Melies, the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, died selling chocolates in a kiosk in a Paris train station -Gare du Norde to be exact.
1943- Legendary big band drummer Gene Krupa was arrested in San Francisco for sending a kid to get him some marijuana. He served 84 of a 90 day sentence.
1950- After a highly publicized trial top State Department official Alger Hiss was found guilty of perjury in a trial that accused him of covering up his connections to Communist agents in Washington. The trial made a national figure of a then little known congressman named Richard Nixon. Hiss served four years in prison, and lived the rest of his life maintaining his innocence.
1958- BADLANDS- Teenagers Charlie Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate kill her family and go on a Bonnie & Clyde style crime spree throughout Nebraska, killing 11 people. When they were caught Starkweather pleaded self defense, even against the murder of Fugates infant baby brother. He went to the electric chair. Carol Ann Fugate did twenty years, yet always denied she was anything more than an unwilling accomplice.
Starkweather had a 'James Dean-Marlon Brando' leatherjacket look and the two teen killers seemed to typify America's dread of juvenile delinquency and the 'degenerate Rock and Roll' culture of the 1950's. Their story inspired several films including 'Badlands".
1959- Former 'Our Gang' child star Charles 'Alfalfa" Switzer was killed in a bar in Mission Hills, Ca. He pulled a knife on a man over a $50 debt on a hunting dog. The man then shot him. He was 32. According to fellow Little Rascal Darla Hood, Switzer was a brute who bullied the other children, and bitter his adult career never blossomed.
1977- President Jimmy Carter declared a pardon for all remaining Vietnam War draft resistors.
1992- Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
2010- The Supreme Court handed down the Citizen's United Decision. In the case Citizens' United vs. the Federal Election Commission, the Roberts Court ruled that restrictions on corporations were limits on free speech. This ruling opened the floodgates for businesses to spend unlimited money on political candidates.
For the 2012 presidential campaign, over $2 billion was spent, and that will easily be surpassed in 2016.
Yesterday’s Question: What is a numismatist?
Answer: A collector of coins.
Jan 20, 2017
January 20th, 2017
Question: What is a numismatist?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered: What is the origin of the phrase “piss-poor”…?
History for 1/20/2017
Birthdays: King Charles III of Spain, Richard Henry Lee- signer of the Declaration of Independence, Frederico Fellini, Patricia O’Neal, Dorothy Provine, Mario Lanza, David Lynch, George Burns, DeForest Kelly, Edwin Buzz Aldrin, Arte Johnson, Lorenzo Lamas, Bill Maher is 61, Rainn Wilson is 51
In the French Revolutionary calendar this is the first day Pluvoise, the Month of Rain.
661 A.D. -Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, was assassinated by a partisan of Muyawiah Ibn Abi Suffian- the founder of the Ummayad Dynasty of Caliphs. Ali’s supporters were called Ali's SHIAH or Ali's Partisans – which became the branch of Islam called Shiite, the rest of Islam is known as Sunnite. It became a split as bitter as the one between Catholic and Protestants in Christianity.
1193- Licensed prostitution began in Japan.
1777- George Washington invited a young artillery captain to join his personal staff. Alexander Hamilton’s career began.
1779- The great English actor David Garrick died. Supposedly his last words were when asked “Is it hard to die?” Garrick replied:” Dying is not Hard. Comedy is Hard.”
1783- Britain signed peace treaties with France and Spain, ending their support to the American Revolution. The treaty with America had been finalized three months earlier.
1841- Convention of Chuen Pei-Treaty that ended the Opium Wars. China cedes land in Canton to Britain that will become the city of Hong Kong. The Chinese never smoked opium until it was introduced by British merchants from India.
1908- The Sullivan Ordinance barred women from smoking in public facilities.
1920- The American Civil Liberties Union founded by Roger Baldwin.
1924- WAR ON THE MAFIA- In 1924 the Mafia was almost completely destroyed. By who? Benito Mussolini. While not yet Il Duce, but merely Italy’s Prime Minister, Benito had enough of the crime family clans of Sicily, so he sent a huge army to crush them. His jackbooted regiments marched across the island arresting 11, 000 and executing hundreds. Mussolini declared victory and many of the surviving dons fled to America where Prohibition was providing great new opportunities for crooks.
1930-The Matanza Massacre. Authorities in El Salvador kill 30,000 peasants protesting the government refusing to seat peasant ministers who won an election. By the time the army stopped, 4 percent of the population was dead, the Communist Party gone and native Indian dress and languages outlawed. The leader of the peasants Augustin Farabundo Marti later gave his name to the 1980’s guerrilla movement.
1936- King George V of England died. In great pain from incurable cancer, In 1986 a doctor admitted getting instructions from his son The Prince of Wales to euthanize him with a strong shot of cocaine and morphine. The doctor timed his offing of the king so the news would be out with the morning newspapers instead of the trashier afternoon tabloids.
His Majesties last words were reported to be:" How goes the Empire? " He actually winced at the sloppy way the injection was done and said: "Oww, God damn you!"
Another legend says when the King was told if he recovered they would return to the town of Bognor in Sussex for holiday, His Majesties last words were “ Bugger Bognor!”
1937- Franklin D. Roosevelt inaugurated for his second term after defeating Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas. He is the first president to be inaugurated in January instead of the customary March 4th. The Depression still raged despite all his efforts, he gives the inaugural speech decrying the rampant poverty in the U.S. "I see one third of the nation, ill-housed, ill-fed, ill-clothed, living in conditions far beneath the minimum standards we regard as decent, etc."
1938- Early animation pioneer Emile Cohl died while headed for the Paris premiere of Disney's" Snow White and the Seven Dwarves". Cohl was so poor that the electricity in his flat had been turned off and the candles had ignited his beard. Angry he was never recognized in his time, he once said: "the French prefer their artists with marble and flowers on top."
1942- The Wanasee Conference-Heydrich, Adolf Eichmann and other top Nazis have a lunch conference in a suburb in Berlin. Over cocktails they invented The Final Solution. Zyclon–B gas chambers instead of electrocution or carbon-monoxide. They set a target goal of ten million Jews to be murdered by 1946.
1945- Franklin D. Roosevelt sworn in as U.S. President for a fourth consecutive term, the only person ever to do so.
1949- FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover gave Shirley Temple a pen that shoots tear gas.
1953- The Birth of Little Ricky on the I Love Lucy show drew a larger viewing audience than the televised inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower.
1961- John F. Kennedy gave his famous inaugural speech:” Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Outgoing President Eisenhower disliked JFK personally and was angry that his win over Nixon seemed a repudiation of his policies, so almost nothing was said between them in the limousine during the drive to the ceremony. John Kennedy also went through that day mostly hatless, inaugurating the fashion. Before JFK, a man was not fully dressed without a fedora or cap of some sort.
1965- Alan Freed, the disc jockey who coined the term Rock & Roll died at 43 of uremic blood poisoning. He was broken by the Rock payola scandal and died so poor his friends passed the hat to pay for his funeral.
1968- Young U.S. infantryman Ron Kovic was wounded near the Vietnamese demilitarized zone the DMZ. The black soldier who carried him to safety was killed shortly after and Kovic never learned his name. The incident put Kovic in a wheelchair for life and changed his attitude towards the righteousness of the war. He wrote the bestseller " Born on the Fourth of July" and became a passionate antiwar activist.
1969- Richard Nixon sworn in as President capping one of the most amazing comebacks in political history. After losing to Kennedy in 1960 Nixon lost yet again to Pat Brown for the governorship of California and was considered politically finished. Anybody remember Michael Dukakis, Dan Quayle or Fritz Mondale?
Yet Nixon worked on his image over the years and re-emerged in 1968 as “The New Nixon”. Nixon ran as peace candidate and at his inaugural announced “The era of confrontation is over, the era of negotiation has begun.” It took him five years to get us out of Vietnam, immolating Cambodia, Laos and almost Thailand in the process. When Nixon took office there were 23,000 combat deaths, but when he left there were 58,000 war deaths and 8 US students shot down on their college campuses. So his record remains at best controversial.
1981- As President Reagan was being sworn in, the hostages taken at the United States Embassy in Teheran were released after being held for 444 days. Years later it was revealed a deal was negotiated with the Iranians to release the hostages in exchange for a ransom of weapons. But at the time, all the American public knew was that all the Old Gipper had to do was show up, to make the Mad Mullah’s hightail-it outta town.
1982- Rock star Ozzie Osbourne was hospitalized in Des Moines Iowa after biting the head off a dead bat thrown on stage during a concert.
1982- SONY introduced the Camcorder, the personal video camera.
1986- The worlds first computer virus, Brain, was sent out over the infant internet.
2001- George W. Bush inaugurated as the 43rd President. He is only the second son of a president to be elected, the other being John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams.
2009- Standing in front of the U.S. Capitol, a building built by black slaves, Barack Obama was inaugurated 44th President of the United States. The first African-American.
2009- While the inaugural balls for President Obama were taking place, leaders of the defeated Republican Party met in a secret conclave at the Capitol Grill. There they formulated the strategy to paralyze all legislation and frustrate all of Pres. Obama’s attempts to heal the economy they had destroyed. Then they would run against his ineffective record. They did paralyze his government with four times more filibusters than any in history, and won in 2016 with a promise to get America moving again.
2016- Cal Tech astronomers announced they discovered signs of a Ninth Planet beyond Pluto. It is 5,000 times larger than earth, and it’s wobbly oblong orbit takes 22,000 years to go completely around the sun, while the Earth takes one year.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase “piss-poor”…?
Answer: In olden times urine was saved for a variety of purposes, like for washing clothes and making saltpeter, the element for gunpowder. So if you were too poor to do anything else, you could sell your piss.
Jan 19, 2017
January 19th, 2017
Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase “piss-poor”…?
Answer to yesterday’s question below: Why is Los Angeles’ NBA team called the Lakers? What lake?
History for 1/19/2017
Birthdays: James Watt, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert E. Lee, Paul Cezanne', Janis Joplin, Tipi Hedren, Slobodan Milosovic’, radio star Ish Kabibble, Dolly Parton, Michael Crawford, Chic Young, Guy Madison, Richard Lester, John H. Johnson publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines, Jean Stapleton, Fritz Weaver, Sean Wayans, Robin MacNeill, Paul Rodriquez, Antoine Fuqua, Drea Di Matteo is 45, and Bart the Bear-1977 Bear who starred in movies like Clan of the Cave Bear, The Bear, White Fang and Legends of the Fall.
Happy Feast of St. Wulfstan.
379 A.D. Valentinian I was a Roman emperor with strange mood swings. He outlawed the original Biblical birth control method called exposure; in other words leaving unwanted babies in the forest. Another time he had some stableboys crucified for letting the hounds go too early during a hunt.
When some Barbarians crossed the Rhine and sacked a few villages Valentinian got his legions together and burned down half of Germany. He only stopped for the winter and was preparing to continue in the spring when on this day a delegation of tribal chiefs came to ask for peace. They explained that it wasn't their idea to make war, just some of the younger hotheads in the tribe. They said that the Emperor was overreacting.
Valentinian got so enraged by these excuses that he raised his fists, turned purple and before he uttered a word fell over stone dead. His general Theodosius took over as emperor.
1405- Tartar conqueror Tamerlane fell ill and died in Samarkand. He roved the world conquering and murdering like Genghis Khan, but without Genghis’ skill at empire building. His empire fell apart soon after his death, inspiring Shelley to write a poem about transitory glory- Ozimandias.
1523- In Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli publishes his 67 Articles attacking the authority of the Pope. This is the first manifesto of the Zurich Reformation.
1547-Grand Duke of Muscovy Ivan IV Vasilievich, called Ivan the Terrible, crowned Tsar or Czar- a Russian form for Caesar. His father Grand Duke Ivan III the Great assumed the title and power but it remained for his son to formalize the office. The Russian Princes call themselves the new inheritors of the Eastern Orthodox religion and Roman Empire after Constantinople, once called New Rome, fell to the Moslem Turks. Czars were crowned with the "Cap of Monomachus", a small skullcap reputedly worn by one of the Greek Byzantine Emperors, Constantine IV Monomachus“ single-combat”. This cap was covered with ermine trim and gold. The Czars boasted: "Two Romes have fallen. The Third Rome –Moscow- shall stand forever!"
1633- Thomas Morton was twice deported by the Pilgrims for holding “licentious Maypole celebrations” at his Indian trading post. This day he returned to England and tried to have the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter revoked. The King probably refused because that might make the whole crowd of buckle-shoed killjoys return home!
1729- British Restoration playwright William Congreve died. He willed all his property to Henrietta, the Duchess of Marlborough. But then the Duchess did something a bit odd. She had a death mask made of Congreve’s face and attached it to a life size mannequin. She ate and conversed with the dummy all day and slept with it at night. She insisted her servants wait upon the dummy and treat it when she felt it was ill. When she died she was buried with the dummy.
1829 Johann Von Goethe published Faust Part 1.
1840- Explorer Lt. Charles Wilkes claimed all of Antarctica for the United States. He was on a scientific expedition to chart the South Seas and Southern polar waters. Captain Wilkes was really good at exploring, but he was such a tyrannical disciplinarian he was court-martialed upon his return. Wilkes’ erratic behavior may have been a model for Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab in his novel Moby Dick.
1853- Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore with the famous Anvil Chorus premiered in Rome.
1869- New York City controller of Central Park Andrew Green received a petition from 18 of the city’s wealthiest citizens. It called for the establishment of a Museum of Natural History. The famous building was built in 1874.
1915- Two German zeppelins cross the Channel and drop bombs on Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn causing two deaths. The first time England was bombed from the air.
1919- Famed dancer of the Ballet Russe Vaslav Nijinsky danced his last performance at a hotel in San Moritz Switzerland. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he became an incarcerated mental patient for the next 30 years, and underwent numerous extreme shock therapies until his death in 1950.
1940- The Three Stooges do their impression of Hitler and the top Nazis in the Columbia Pictures short comedy “You Natzy Spy”. Moe Howard was still the best all time Hitler impersonator. “Hail-Hail-Hailstone of Moronica! Waahoo!”
1945- In Poland, the Nazis ordered the evacuation of the remaining concentration camps in advance of the advancing Red army. Tens of thousands were marched out of Auschwitz and Birkenau west in freezing snow and ice. Any who fell behind were shot.
1955- President Eisenhower held the first press conference that was shown on television. It was held in the treaty room of the State Department. Eisenhower was famous for his ability to speak at great length and never say anything of substance. “This day, My Fellow Americans, more than at any other time, ahead of us lies the Future!”
1961- The first episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show was filmed.
1966- Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Nehru, became prime minister of India.
1977- In one of his last acts as President, Gerald Ford pardoned Tokyo Rose. Iva Toguri D’Aquino was a Japanese American who did propaganda broadcasts for Radio Tokyo urging American GI’s to surrender. She explained she was stranded in Tokyo when the war broke out and was coerced into doing the broadcasts.
1979- Wendy O. Williams, mohawk-haired lead singer of the punk band the Plasmatics was arrested in Milwaukee for masturbating on stage with a sledgehammer.
1983- Klaus Barbie arrested in Bolivia and extradited to France. Barbie was the Nazi Gestapo chief in France and was called the Butcher of Lyon for his torture and execution of hundreds of French resistance and Jews. After the war Barbie avoided arrested and was briefly hired by the CIA as an anti-soviet spy. He went to South America and applied his skills for the dictators there until his extradition. While other former Nazis like Kurt Waldheim were disingenuously vague about their past, Barbie was loudly unrepentant. It was reported he continually embarrassed the Nazis trying to hide in South America by Sieg-Heil saluting them on the street and singing old stormtrooper songs over his steak fajitas.
1985- Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA peaked the pop charts at #9.
1989- President Ronald Reagan, in one of his last acts as president, pardoned Yankee Baseball club owner George Steinbrenner for making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon.
1991-Eastern Airlines ceased operations and went out of business. Chairman and former astronaut Frank Borman was philosophical: “Business without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”
Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is Los Angeles’ NBA team called the Lakers? What lake?
Answer: The team was originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Land of a Thousand Lakes.