Aug 17, 2017
August 17th, 2017

Quiz: In Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, the portrayal of the Queen of Hearts was based on a real live person. Who was it?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: The recent political violence happened in the Virginia city of Charlottesville. There are a number of towns in the Southeast named for this Charlotte. Who was she?
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History for 8/17/2017
Birthdays: Davy Crocket, Mae West, Marcus Garvey, Sam Goldwyn- born Schmuel Gelbfisz, Harry Hopkins, Monte Wooley, Boog Powell, Belinda Carlisle, Guillermo Vilas, V.S. Naipul, Jim Courier, Donnie Wahlberg, Belinda Carlisle, Maureen O’Hara, Sean Penn is 56, Martha Coolidge is 71, Robert DeNiro is 73

1661- THE PARTY. Nicholas Fouquet, the first minister of Louis XIV (the Sun King), had his coat of arms read "To what heights may I aspire?" He decided to throw the ultimate party for his royal master. Fouquet's chateau Vaux le Vicomte was so lavish, the dinner for 6000 guests so exquisite, the gardens so beautiful and the entertainment was provided by the playwright Moliere. Everything was so all around superior, that the King wanted Fouquet thrown in a dungeon. It seems King Louis didn't like being upstaged by his servants. But the king’s mother didn’t want to spoil such a nice party. So the King waited two weeks, then sent his chief of musketeers, D’Artagnan, to lock him up, The king's new minister Colbert, was much more discreet in his entertaining.

1676- In Massachusetts, the conflict ended between the Pilgrims and local Indians called King Phillip’s War. This day Pilgrims placed the severed head of Wampanoag Chief Metacomet, or King Phillip, on a pole in front of the Plymouth settlement. Metacomet’s father Massacoit was the one who saved the Pilgrims from starving, and celebrated the first Thanksgiving.

1806- After two years trekking across the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean and back, Lewis and Clark finally returned to their starting point at the mouth of the Missouri. This day they paid off and said goodbye to guide Jean Charbonnau and his wife Sacajewea. That same day Private John Colter asked to be released early from service, because he desired to go back and explore some more. So while Lewis and Clark continued east to Washington City, John Colter went back into the Rocky Mountains to become the first American “Mountain Man”. Colter would discoverer Yellowstone Park. Captain Clark’s black slave York asked for equal wages as the other men because he shared all their labor and dangers. Captain Clark not only refused, he told him to never bring that up again, else he’d sell him.

1870- Battle of Gravellotte-St. Privat- The French and Prussians battle to a draw but the French Marshal Bazaine retreated anyway, to the amazement of the enemy.

1876- Richard Wagner’s 4 hour opera Gotterdamerung- the Twilight of the Gods, premiered.

1877- Billy the Kid killed his first man.

1908- D.W. Griffith signed a contract to begin directing movies for Biograph Pictures. He was paid $50 dollars a week plus royalties.

1914- Battle of Tannenburg. The Russian steamroller was stopped by Gen. Paul von Hindenburg in East Prussia. Hindenburg and his brilliant aide Ludendorf divided the Russian army into two pieces separated by a salt marsh and defeated each piece in turn. The fighting was so fierce that German gunners aimed their cannons by looking right through the barrel and firing directly into the thick masses of Russian soldiers. After the battle Russian comander Gen. Samsonov walked off into the forest and shot himself.

1941- EL GRUPO- Walt Disney and his artists arrive in Rio on a ten week goodwill tour of South America, underwritten by a $70,000 government grant. President Franklin Roosevelt was worried that some South American countries might be sympathetic to the Nazis, forcing the U.S. to worry about her backdoor. So FDR sent Nelson Rockefeller to give the Latin American countries whatever they wanted to keep them out of the world war. Among other things they wanted Donald Duck. Back in LA the federal mediator Stanley White had worked out with Roy Disney that if they got Walt out of town, they could settle the Disney animators strike. The name comes from hotel footmen in Buenos Aires paging the artists as El Grupo Disney! The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos result.

1942- Carlson’s Raiders attack Japanese held Makin Island. Before the war Marine Lt. Colonel Evan Carlson served as an observer of Mao zse Tung’s Chinese Communist army. He was impressed with General Chu Teh’s development of guerrilla tactics. Carlson became such a fan of their hit & run tactics, he was called “Commie-Carlson”.

1943- General Patton and his Seventh Army won the “Race to Messina” and completed the conquest of Sicily.

1945- This was supposed to be the scheduled date for the Japanese Navy to attack the Panama Canal. The Japanese had built a fleet of new I-400 class long-distance submarines that could carry 3-5 kamikaze bombers each. The crews had to surface and get their planes in the air in 17 minutes. They targeted a key lock in the canal, that once destroyed would paralyze the entire system. But when the Japanese home islands were under threat of invasion, the Imperial High Command canceled the plan.

1945- Upon hearing of the Japanese surrender, Sukarno declared the Independence of Indonesia from Holland.

1962- The Beatles replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr.

1969- The closing day of the Woodstock Rock Concert, Three Days of Peace and Music. Jimmy Hendrix did his famous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

1984- The Walt Disney Company informed it’s chairman Ron Miller that they wanted his resignation. Disney had fallen to 14th in film box office by then. Miller had been Walt’s son-in-law and he was he was once a tight end for the LA Rams. Within two years of Michael Eisner taking power Disney was number one.

1985-The Hormel Meat Packing Strike, severely threatening the worlds supply of SPAM.

1986- John Lasseter’s award wining short Luxo Jr, premiered at Siggraph’86 Dallas.

1987-Nazi Rudolph Hess found hanged in his cell by an electric light cord. He was 93 years old and had been in prison for 46 years. His body was burned and his prison Spandau was leveled, to prevent it from being made a shrine by Neo-Nazis

1988- Mohammed Zia Al Haq, the president of Pakistan, died in a plane crash.

1992- Famed film director Woody Allen admits he is having an affair with Soon Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his long time lover Mia Farrow. He is 60 and she is 21. But as the unrepentant Allen states: “The Heart wants what it wants.” They’ve been married ever since.

1994 The Great Baseball Players Strike- canceled out the season and the 1994 World Series. It was the longest strike in sports history until the NBA lockout of 1998.

1998- President Bill Clinton admitted to a grand jury that he had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. This is only the second time in history that a sitting President allowed himself to be put under oath. The precedent was set by Ronald Reagan testifying he “couldn’t recall” anything about Iran-Contra. But this session is when Clinton, aka Slick Willy, defended his infidelity with the amazing argument that oral sex was not intercourse in the truest sense, and therefore he did not lie when he said on nationwide television that he did not have sex with Ms. Lewinsky. Part of his legal wriggling was a dissertation on the meaning of the word “is”.

2009- Police arrest Albert Gonzales for hacking into credit card company computers and stealing 134 million credit card numbers! He was an informant for the FBI on credit card crime, and was playing a double agent, still committing crimes.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Yesterday’s Quiz: The recent political violence happened in the Virginia city of Charlottesville. There are a number of towns in the Southeast named for this Charlotte. Who was she?

Answer: King George III’s wife was Queen Charlotte von Mecklenburg/Strelitz. Many settlements were founded and named during their reign.


Aug 16, 2017
August 16th, 2017

Quiz: The recent political violence happened in the Virginia town of Charlottesville. There are a number of towns in the Southeast named for this Charlotte. Who was she?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: To try to defeat the American Revolution, the British send over regiments of Hessians. What is the difference between a Hessian and a regular British redcoat?
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History for 8/16/2017
Birthdays: Fess Parker, Karl Stockhausen, George Meany, Charles Bukowski, Menachim Begin, Otto Mesmer the creator of Felix the Cat, Myron Grim Natwick the creator of Betty Boop, Hal Foster the creator of Prince Valiant, Kathie Lee Gifford, Eydie Gorme, Bill Evans, Leslie Ann Warren, Angela Bassett is 59, Julie Numar is 84, Robert Culp, James Cameron is 63, Bruce Beresford, Steve Carrell is 55, Madonna, aka Louise Ciccone of Bay City Michigan, is 59

Today is the Feast of St. Roch, who had a heavenly inspired dog to lick his sores and cure him of the Black Plague. It was thought dog licks cured plague.

1521- Guatamoc was the last fighting Aztec emperor. After Montezuma died he led Aztec resistance to Cortez and his Spanish conquistadors. After 80 days of brutal house to house fighting, he finally surrendered the capital Tenochtitlan. The Spaniards tortured Guatamoc for three days trying to get him to reveal where the secret treasure of Montezuma was. As they poured boiling oil on his feet he laughed:” Ah, am I standing on a field of rose petals?” Today they hanged him. He never revealed where the Aztec treasure was.

1777-Battle of Bennington- General of Volunteers John Stark defeated a large contingent of Hessians sent by Burgoyne to get help for his redcoats trapped at Saratoga. Stark inspired his men before the battle with words like these: “Men, yonder are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds ten pence a man. Are you worth more than that? Tonight the American flag will fly atop that hill or Molly Stark will sleep a widow!” The flag few atop the hill and Stark went home to his wife a hero.

1780- Battle of Camden, South Carolina- Colonial General Horatio Gates excelled at backroom politics almost more than at military accomplishments. He finagled the northern army command away from it's creator General Phillip Schuyler, then later took full credit for the great American victory of Saratoga even though the hard work was done by Benedict Arnold. Yet he was considered a serious rival of George Washington for leadership of the American armies. But on this day his humiliating defeat at the hands of Lord Cornwallis extinguished his ambitions. Gates leapt on his horse and abandoning his retreating army, galloping alone 30 miles to safety. Then citing ill health, he resigned from the service.

1805- In the camp at Boulogne Napoleon held a grand military ceremony for his Grande Armee’. To the thundering beat of 1,300 massed drums he personally awarded medals to worthy common soldiers. The secret to Napoleons leadership was a special bond between him and his men that was unique to his time. In a world of aristocrats who considered the common people scum, Napoleon walked casually among his soldiers like an equal, stopping to share a roast potato or a dirty joke in rough soldiers language. He called them his children. He had an uncanny memory and read the personnel rosters of his 350,000 man army once a month to update himself on his men’s achievements.

1812- Napoleon’s army stormed the burning Russian city of Smolensk. Marshal Murat, almost sensing the disaster this Russian invasion was going to bring, walked casually out in the open in front of the Russian cannons, almost inviting them to kill him. He was finally tackled out of harm’s way.

1812- American General Hull surrendered most of Michigan territory, including the settlement of Detroit, to British General Issac Brock.

1819- THE PETERLOO MASSACRE- At Saint Peters’ Fields in Manchester thousands of factory workers and their families gathered to protest for better working hours and minimum wages. The response of the local magistrate Sir Simon Burley was to send in the Royal Horse Cavalry to ride them down and saber them. The incident was called Peterloo because most of this same cavalry engaged were also at the battle of Waterloo four years earlier. People referred to Sir Simon Burley’s actions with a pun from MacBeth, hurley-burley.

1858- Queen Victoria sent the first transcontinental wire message to President James Buchanan via Cyrus Field's incredible UNDERWATER TRANSCONTINENTAL CABLE, stretching from London to New York. After great fanfare about progress and a new era in communications it broke down, as well as the next several tries to fix it. Just hours after the first message a fisherman pulled it up in his net, thought it was the tail of a sea serpent and cut off a chunk to take home and brag to his friends. Other attempts were ruined when technicians tried to correct the faintness of the signal by boosting the voltage beyond the safety range of the insulation-Zapp!
Direct transcontinental communications didn't really become a reality until wireless broadcasting. But the who-ha over this scientific marvel did inspire author Jules Verne to write "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."

1877- BIRTHDAY OF THE WORD-"HELLO". In a letter dated today Thomas Edison wrote to the first president of AT&T about how people should initiate conversation on the new telephone machine. A genteel Victorian would think it impolite to speak until spoken to. Alexander Graham Bell, an old navy man, always thought the right way to start a phone conversation was to say "AHOY!" Edison explained that the results of sonic tests proved the old English fox hunting call "Halloo!" was most audible over great distances. In most languages around the world the word hello is the same. It was the only English word Sioux Chief Sitting Bull ever learned. He loved to grab your hand and pump it vigorously while saying:" HELLO, HELLO!"1896- Four miners find gold in Bonanza Creek in the Klondike. The Yukon Gold Rush.

1938- In Three Forks Misssissippi, Blues legend Robert Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband.1942- Happy Birthday Mighty Mouse. Terrytoon's short: "The Mouse of Tomorrow".

1954- First issue of Sports Illustrated.

1965- The AFL, American Football League offered it’s first expansion franchise to a new team called the Miami Dolphins. The AFL merged with the NFL in the 80s.

1969- “ Hey Man, we’re gonna serve breakfast in bed for 500,000” So was hippy Wavy Gravy’s announcement on the second day of the Woodstock Rock Concert. He said this was the day Americans learned to eat Granola. It was ladled out en masse in paper cups and has been a diet staple ever since.

1974- The Ramones play their first gig at the NY club CBGBs. Hey-Ho, Lets Go!

1977- E-DAY in Memphis. Elvis Presley, donuts and Pizza Hut box in hand, died of a heart attack while sitting on the toilet. He was reading the book-the Historic Search for the Face of Jesus. He was 42.

1985- On her birthday, Madonna married Sean Penn. They divorced shortly after.

1987- The Harmonic Convergence- Another one of these celestial events that the mainstream media trumpeted as the end of everything. All nine planets of our solar system were in perfect alignment and the subsequent gravitational forces were supposed to knock the Earth into the Sun or something or other that would send us to Hell in a Handbasket. Lots of New Age types flocked to occult sites like Mt. Shasta and Stonehenge to meditate on the End of All Things. So what happened? Nothing.

1991- The original Shamu the Whale died of respiratory failure at age 16.

2005- Top Pixar story-artist Joe Ranft was killed in an auto accident. He was 42.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: To try to defeat the American Revolution, the British send over regiments of Hessians. What is the difference between a Hessian and a regular British redcoat?

Answer: The Elector of the German State of Hesse-Cassell would loan out his army for cash. The King of England first tried to buy Russian troops but Czarina Catherine declined. As the Hessian regiments crossed through Prussian territory to reach the coast, King Frederick the Great charged them cattle-tax. Of the 15,000 Hessians who served in the American Rebellion, only 5,000 ever returned. The rest weren’t killed. Most decided they liked it there and stayed.


Aug 14, 2017
August 13th, 2017

QUIZ: The name Jesus Christ is Greek. Christ means savior. If you met Jesus face to face, by what name would you call him?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: In Jesus time, most people didn’t have a last name. But Judas Iscariot did. Why?
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History for 8/14/2017
Birthdays: Gary Larson, Erwin "Magic" Johnson, Lina Wertmuller, David Crosby, Alice Ghostly, Buddy Greco, Nehemiah Persoff, The 20's Parisian nightclub singer Bricktop, Dick Lundy, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, C.S. Watson, James Horner, Wim Wenders, Emmanuele Beart, Halle Berry is 51, Mila Kunis, Steve Martin is 72

29BC- Octavian celebrated a triumph in Rome to celebrate his victory at Actium over Anthony & Cleopatra.

1248 - Construction of the DOM Cologne Cathedral begun. It was finished 600 years later in 1848. Hey, these things take time.

1281-A Pacific typhoon, called by the Japanese the Kamikaze, or The Divine Wind destroyed the Mongol invasion fleet of Kublai Khan as it approached the shores of Japan. The Mongols showed the Japanese that they meant business. When they captured small outer islands like Ryuku and Iwo Jima, they crucified the civilians to the topmasts of their ships.

1385- Battle of Aljubarrota- Portuguese King John the Great defeated a Spanish army trying to put a relative on his throne. Portugal celebrates this as their independence day. Among Johns army were English archers freelancing after a lull in their Hundred Years War.

1457- The first printed Gutenburg Bible finished. One agent of Gutenberg’s bringing the first shipment of bibles to Paris was arrested for witchcraft by the locals. They thought it was humanly impossible for one person to make so many identical books without the aid of black magic.

1498 - Columbus explored the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.

1585 - Queen Elizabeth I of England politely turned down the offer of the Dutch to be Queen of Holland. She was trying to avoid angering Spain any further. Spain had a long festering feud with the Dutch. Shopping around for monarchs was not so unusual in those days. In 1700 England would go shopping for a Protestant king until they found the German George I. In 1827 the throne of Greece was offered to both a German Hohenzollern and a Russian Romanov.

1744- LOUIS LE BIEN AIMEE- Pleasure loving French King Louis XV had become gravely ill and was near death. His father confessor the Bishop of Soisson refused to give him the sacraments unless he banished his mistresses and reformed his sinful life. He did so and Louis health improved. He was so good the peasants began calling him Louis le Bien Aimee’- the Well Beloved. But boys will be boys. King Louis soon grew bored with being a faithful, sober husband. So he called back his mistresses and banished the Bishop instead. Louis XV lived happy, if disreputably, to a very old age.

1761-Battle of Liegnitz-Frederick the Great beats the Austrian army trying to surround him. Communications were so faulty 30,000 Russian soldiers stood around doing nothing while they could hear the distant cannon of their Austrian allies being defeated.

1781- At their camp in Wethersfield Conn, George Washington and the Comte du Rochambeau had been debating whether to use their combined forces against occupied New York City or Lord Cornwallis in Virginia. Today Washington received a letter from the Admiral DeGrasse that he was bringing his large French fleet with supplies and troops to meet them at the Chesapeake Bay. Washington knew this could be their last campaign, since his French allies wouldn’t send any more help in 1782, and everyone was starting to listen to a rumor that the Czarina Catherine of Russia was offering to broker an international peace conference in Vienna. Washington was sure that at this peace conference among the crowned heads of Europe, American Independence would probably be negotiated away. He resolved to accept the French plan to attack Cornwallis at Yorktown Virginia.

1784- On Kodiak Island, Grigori Shelekov founded Three Saints Bay, the first Russian colony in the Americas. The Russians would continue to expand their trading posts and settlements until Russian America extended from Alaska to just north of San Francisco California.

1820 - 1st US eye hospital, the NY Eye Infirmary, opens in NYC.

1873 - "Field & Stream" magazine began publishing.

1893 - France issues 1st driving license, included a required driving test.

1900 – The 1st electric tram began in the Netherlands -Leidseplein-Brouwersgracht.

1900 -The end of the 55 DAYS IN PEKING. A multinational military force relieved the diplomats besieged by the rebellious Boxers in the Chinese capitol. The Dowager Empress Zhou Zhsi fled into the countryside. British, American, German, Russian, French, Italian and Japanese troops fought side by side, and looted and destroyed the beautiful Summer Palace.

Just in case you thought tasteless cheap journalism is a modern problem- At this time back in Europe no one knew the Peking diplomats fate. The press had picked up on a report from a Shanghai correspondent for the London Daily Mail that reported them all massacred, with lots of lurid "eyewitness "details of their gang rape and torture. Queen Victoria had been fooled to the point of ordering a memorial service at St. Paul's Cathedral before reconsidering until more substantive proof came in.

1908- The first international beauty pageant held in Kent, England.

1920- THE MIRACLE OF THE VISTULA -An obscure action to western historians, but it poses an interesting "what if..." The Poles and Bolshevik Russians were having a war after the Red Revolution. The Reds had thrown the Poles back from Moscow and on this day they were beaten back by Marshal Pilsudski from the gates of Warsaw. The "What if" is the fact that Lenin and Trotsky never intended the Communist Revolution to be confined to Russia alone. The Red Army would missionary it across Europe the way Napoleon's battalions had spread in their wake social reforms of the French Revolution. Russian Marshal Tuckhashevsky told his men: " The Road to a World Conflagration lies over the Corpse of Poland !"

With post-Great War Berlin, Vienna, Rome and Budapest in political chaos, if the Poles hadn't stopped the Bolsheviks when they did, instead of a Nazi Europe the 1920's we could have seen a Europe where the Communist Russia extended to the borders of France and Holland. Analysts at the time said this battle was as important as Marathon or Waterloo, but today it is forgotten.

1928 - Ben Hecht & Charles McArthur's play" The Front Page," premiered in NYC. They later went on to become top comedy writers in Hollywood. McArthur is the one who sent Hecht the famous cable- "Hecht, some quick, fortunes to be made and your competition are idiots!"

1935- President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the National Social Security Act. Considered the most successful US Federal social program ever.

1937 "Bloody Saturday" in Shanghai. With the opening of the Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese hoped for foreign help by making a stand at Shanghai, within full view of the International Settlement. On August 14, some American trained Chinese bombers attacked the Japanese warship Izumo, anchored in the river in the heart of the city. They misjudged--some said their bomb sights hadn't been adjusted-- and they dropped two bombs on Nanking Road, the "5th Avenue" of Shanghai.
One bomb went through the roof of the Palace hotel, the other detonated on the street: 729 people killed, 861 wounded. The same day, another tragic mistake--once again, Chinese bombers miscalculated, with worse results.( the area was crowded with refugees) 1,011 dead and 570 wounded.—the bodies were packed so tightly, blood flowed in the gutters like water.

1939 - 1st night games at Comiskey Park -White Sox 5, Browns 2

1941- Nazi spy & saboteur Josef Jakobs was the last prisoner to be executed in the Tower of London. No he wasn’t beheaded, he was shot. He had suffered a broken ankle during his capture so he faced his firing squad seated on a Windsor chair.

1942 – General George Marshall named Dwight D Eisenhower as US commander for invasion of North Africa. Marshall wanted at first to run the show himself, but President Roosevelt said he was too valuable and had to stay in Washington in overall charge. Eisenhower was a controversial choice. A career staff desk jockey, he had no experience leading men in combat. This was especially galling to British Field Marshall Montgomery, who had been in the field battling Nazis for 3 years now. But George Marshal foresaw the job of European Allied commander would be a more administrative and even diplomatic, juggling act between the Yanks, British and Free French, so Eisenhower was his man.

1945-VJ DAY (Aug 15th in Japan) -President Truman announced the surrender sparking wild celebrations in allied cities like New York and London. In Japan citizens were politely asked to stand at attention by their radios as Emperor Hirohito explained to his people about the surrender. It is the first time they had ever heard his voice. At 3 am that morning 1,000 rebel Japanese troops attacked the palace trying to prevent the disgrace of the surrender announcement. They were fought off by the Imperial guard and the guard commander was killed. The speech was pre-recorded and went on anyway.
Defense minister Anami committed Hara-Kiri while his radio played the address. Gangs of angry kamikaze pilots wandered the streets looking for trouble. Their commanders had emptied the gas tanks of their planes to obey the Imperial edict.

1956- The Marilyn Monroe movie "Bus Stop" premiered.

1962 - French & Italian workers break through at Mount Blanc to create an auto
Tunnel through the Alps.

1962 - NASA test pilot Joseph Walker takes X-15 supersonic plane to 60,000 ft.

1962 - US mail truck in Plymouth, Mass robbed of more than $1.5 million.

1964 –California angels pitcher Bo Belinsky is suspended after attacking sportswriter Braven Dyer.

1965 - Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" hits #1.

1965- Jane Fonda married director Roger Vadim, who put the beautiful young blonde in naughty movies like Barbarella. His previous wife Bridgette Bardot was a beautiful young blonde that he put in naughty movies….hmm.

1971 – The British began internment without trial in Northern Ireland.

1979 – A rainbow was seen in Northern Wales that lasted for 3 hours duration.

1980- SOLIDARNOSC!! - At a strike at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk, Communist Poland the first mass peoples movement that would eventually topple European Communism was created. An electrician named Lech Walsesa climbed the fence and joined the strike, eventually becoming the leader of the movement Solidarity. He was a political prisoner, a Nobel Prize winner and eventually President of democratic Poland.

1994 – The world’s most wanted terrorist "Carlos the Jackal" was arrested in Khartoum Sudan when he entered a clinic to have a varicose vein removed from his testicle.

1995- Super-agent Michael Ovitz of CAA was named President of the Walt Disney Company under Michael Eisner. After 14 fruitless months he left.

2003- A blackout shut down the power again from New York to Toronto to Detroit.

2006- A UN brokered ceasefire stopped the open war between Israel and the Hezbollah living in Lebanon.

2126- Get your catchers mitts out! Comet Swift-Tuttle will pass very close by the Earth.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: In Jesus time, most people didn’t have a last name. But Judas Iscariot did. Why?

Answer: The name means Judas of the Sicari. The Sicari were a terrorist fringe group of the Jewish nationalist Zealot movement. It means Knife-men. Their preferred means of protest was stabbing Roman guards at night.


Aug 13, 2017
August 13th, 2017

Quiz: In Jesus time, most people didn’t have a last name. But Judas Iscariot did. Why?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: Isis was an Egyptian god. Aphrodite was a Greek god. Who was Serapis?
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History for 8/13/2017
B-Dayz: Annie Oakley, Alfred Hitchcock, Don Ho, Buddy Rogers, Bert Lahr, Ben Hogan, Richard Baseheart, Saul Steinberg, Regis Toomey, Johann Christoph Denner (1655)- inventor of the clarinet. Danny Bonaduce, John Logie Baird one of the inventors of television, Hockey great Bobby Clarke, Daniel Schorr, Bombay movie star Viyayanthimala, Fidel Castro

Egyptian Festivals of Isis & Serapis

Festival of the Greek goddess Dianna of Ephesus. She had six breasts. During one of these festivals Saint Paul tried to spoil the party by preaching his sermon to the Ephesians. They ran him out of town. Diana in her Greek form as Artemis from the older Near Eastern goddess Cybele. She had the dual nature of Virgin & Mother. Hmm…Sound familiar?

These three pagan festivals of Isis, Serapis and Artemis were in the Middle Ages converted into the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. In the Italian city-state of Sienna this is the date for the Pallio, the traditional horse race through the streets in medieval splendor.

Today is also the Feast Day of Saint Cassian, the Patron Saint of Stenographers.

29BC- Octavian celebrated a triumph in Rome for his victory over Anthony and Cleopatra.

1521- The Aztecs surrender to Cortez. After Montezuma was killed the Aztecs chose Guatamoc as their new emperor and he drove the conquistadors from their capital Tenochtitlan vowing:" We will eat the Spaniards flesh with salsa ! " remember that next time you order fajitas. But smallpox ravaged the population and Cortez soon returned with heavy reinforcements of allied Indian tribes from Texcoco who hated Aztec dominance. After 80 days of bloody house to house fighting that destroyed most of the capitol. Guatamoc and a few survivors surrendered. Cortez built Mexico City on the ruins.

1642- Astronomer Christian Huygens noticed that Mars had a southern polar ice cap too.

1727- Count Nicholas Von Hutzendroff formed a group of Bohemian Protestant refugees into the movement Unas Fratrum or the Moravian Brethren. The Moravians strict but gentle practices were a great influence on Pastor John Wesley who created Methodism.

1790- The PEOPLE OF NEW SPAIN BECOME MEXICANS. almost 269 years after the Aztec surrendered workmen in Mexico City were clearing a building site for a convent when they unearthed a giant statue of the snake skirted Aztec goddess Tonnantzin Coatlicue. The find galvanized Mexican society. Indians and Mestizos crowded around the statue and recalled their once mighty civilization. Worried Spanish colonial authorities quickly reburied the statue but the damage was done.
Dominican monk Servando De Meir preached that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatal was actually St. Thomas the Wandering Apostle, so that meant Mexico was Christian before Spain was. Twenty years later when Father Hidalgo rang the liberty bells he called for revolution in the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonnantzin. The people of New Spain named their country after the old Aztec name Mexica or Mexico.

1805- LEWIS GETS LAID, or, THE END OF A MYSTERY-historians have always puzzled why Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark's famous trek to the Pacific, killed himself in a lonely cabin on the Natchez Trace in 1809. Lewis was a personal protege of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe and was first Governor of Upper Louisiana -everything from Missouri to Wyoming. He was likely to one day become President. Yet despite his coolness under extreme hardship after his death stories evolved about his manic-depression, alcoholism or even that he was murdered.

Recently a Seattle scholar theorized that on this day in 1805 he spent the night with a Shoshone woman to celebrate getting safely across the Continental Divide. The Shoshone regarded sexual contact as hospitality and that particular tribe was known to be rife with syphilis. Lewis subsequent illnesses and his increasing suicidal depression was clinically symptomatic with the final stages of the disease. And this would also explains why Jefferson and Captain William Clark would have been so quick to hush up any further investigation of his death, even resorting to calling Lewis an alcoholic, which in those days had far less social stigma than venereal disease.

1846- Commodore Stockton and Colonel Freemont with a contingent of U.S. Marines marched up from their ships in San Pedro Harbor to Ciudad Los Angeles. They interrupted a local fiesta to inform the startled inhabitants that they were now part of the United States, whether they liked it or not.

1889- The first coin operated telephone set up in a Hartford Conn. bank.

1907-The first motorized TAXICABS hit the streets of New York. Taxi comes from Taximeter, a little machine that tallied the fare based on distance traveled. Cab is short for the earlier form of hired horse drawn carriage. Originally called a Cabriolet, then a brand name of Hansom Cabs, then just Cabs.

1910- Florence Nightingale died after being in sickbed convinced she was dying since age 37. She died at 90. Although claiming to be too sick to walk down a flight of stairs she worked ceaselessly reforming the army medical system, founding nursing colleges and drove several friends into early graves in the cause of medical reform. She created the ideal of the clean cut, disciplined, nurse professional.

1914 - Carl Wickman begins Greyhound, the 1st US bus line, in Minnesota.

1920- PONZI SCHEMES- This day U.S. investors attacked the offices of financier Charles Ponzi, demanding their money back. Carlo Ponzi had emigrated from Italy and came up with the idea of talking investors into giving him money without being specific about how he would make them rich. He used the millions to buy suits, cars and mansions. Like all pyramid schemes this one finally blew up. Ponzi spent some jail time and was deported. Mussolini gave him a job in the finance ministry and Ponzi proceeded to embezzle the Italian Treasury. He escaped to Brazil where he died comfortably in 1949. He gave his name to the term Ponzi Schemes.

1932- German President Von Hindenberg had a fifteen minute meeting with Adolf Hitler. He rebuked Hitler for tying up the Reichstag and the violence in the streets. Hitler refused any partial role in the government short of full power. After Hitler left, the old general grumbled:" That man for a Chancellor? I’d rather make him a postmaster so he could lick stamps with my head on it!"

1934- First Little Abner comic strip by Al Capp. Dogpatch, Mammy Yokum, Daisy Mae, Kickapoo Joy Juice, Jubilation T. Cornpone and the Schmoo are born. Al Capp was a hard drinking old curmudgeon of a cartoonist who lost one leg when as a child he fell off an ice truck and it was severed by a streetcar.

1937- The Japanese army reopened its’ campaign to conquer China by mass daylight bombing of Shanghai.

1941- James Stuart Blackton certainly had an interesting career. The English born artist became a top newspaper cartoonist, a vaudevillian drag act as Mademoiselle Stuart, the first American animator, founder of the Vitagraph Company, the movie fanzine Motion Picture World. He even successfully faked a newsreel of the battle of Manila Bay in 1898 using toy boats, sparklers and cigar smoke. He made fortunes and lost them just as quickly. On this day, penniless, he was struck and killed by a bus on Pico Blvd.

1942- Disney's Bambi opened in theaters nationwide. Today the film looks quaint but in its time artists felt it was as realistic as artists could attain. Designer Rico LeBrun had a hunter friend bring in a real deer he shot in the Sierras. LeBrun set up drawing and anatomy sessions to study the dead animal. But LeBrun was so inspired by the opportunity he refused to dispose of the carcass even after several days it began to smell badly and attract flies. Finally the other animators waited until LeBrun had left for lunch and tossed the rancid thing.

1945-After the atomic bombings Japan prepared to surrender. A note delivered to the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo expressed the wish of the Imperial Japanese Government to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. Emperor Hirohito pre-recorded a radio message to prepare his people for something they had never faced since the days of Kublai Khan- foreign occupation.

1946- MGM cartoon Northwest Hounded Police, the short in which Tex Avery perfected the 'Tex Avery Take" - used since in films like Mask, Roger Rabbit and Casper.

1955- Shooting wrapped on Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. He was remaking the film he had done as a silent movie in 1925. One wag said: DeMille has done God one better, because he has now parted the Red Sea twice."

1960- French West Africa declared independence from France and became the nations of Chad and the Central African Republic.

1981- At his California ranch in a dense morning fog, Pres Ronald Reagan signed the Kemp-Roth Economic Recovery Act of 1981, the first of massive tax cuts for the wealthy that would slowly destroy the American Middle Class and shift the massive income tax burden from the rich to the poor. The wealthy saw their tax rate drop from 70% to 14% and estate taxes eliminated. The tax rate on corporations dropped by half. Tax incentives were given to companies who moved their factory jobs overseas and banked their assets in the Cayman Islands or other tax shelters.

1991- Jack Ryan died. The Toymaker was the inventor of Hot Wheels toy cars, and helped launch the doll Barbie.

2000- In a presidential debate with Al Gore, candidate George W. Bush attacked the Clinton presidency for being too quick to use the military. Bush declared “ The U.S. should not be in the business of nation building.” Once in office, Bush invaded two countries and was only stopped invading a third with great difficulty.

2016- At the Rio Olympics, American swimmer Michael Phelps won his 22 gold medal, the most Olympic gold medals of anyone in history. The second most wins was Leonidas of Rhodes in 164BC. But in Leonidas time they didn’t get medals. They received a laurel wreath and several large pots of premium olive oil.
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Yesterday’s Question: Isis was an Egyptian god. Aphrodite was a Greek god. Who was Serapis?

Answer: Serapis was a hybrid goddess of Egyptian and Greek origin, created after the societies merged under Alexander and Ptolomey.


Aug 12, 2017
August 12th, 2017

Quiz: Isis was an Egyptian god. Aphrodite was a Greek god. Who was Serapis?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What is the difference between being Norse and being a Viking?
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History for 8/12/2017
Birthdays: King George IV, Cecil B. DeMille, The alien Alf- 1757, Cantinflas, Buck Owens, George Hamilton, Edith Hamilton, Diamond Jim Brady, screenwriter William Goldman, Mtsislav Rostropovitch, Xenia Sharpe (educator who invented the children’s reader Dick & Jane) Kathy Lee Bates-the author of the song America the Beautiful, Klara Schickelgruber- Hitlers mom, Dominique Swain, Pete Samprass, Sam Fuller, John Casale-I'm not Fredo! Casey Affleck is 42.

The Golden 12th. In England this is the beginning of grouse hunting season.

1508- Ponce de Leon landed in Puerto Rico.

1530- The Medici family had ruled the Republic Florence previously as merchant politicians. Now they turned the city-state into the hereditary Duchy of Tuscany. This day the Republic ended when the city was stormed by a Medici-Papal army. The city fell, despite the fortifications being designed by Michelangelo. They didn't stop the enemy, but they must have looked GREAT!

1553- Pope Julius III ordered the confiscation and burning of Jewish Talmuds.

1658-Happy Birthday NYPD! The first city police force in America was set up in New Amsterdam

1687- Second Battle of Mohacs- Austria takes Hungary from the Turkish Sultan.

1794-The GREAT WHISKEY REBELLION-In the colonial Northwest frontier -Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan- the chief medium of trade was whiskey. Gold was rare and nobody knew whether English pounds, Spanish doubloons or Yankee eagles were legal tender. Whiskey was also the easiest way to convert excess corn crop to a commodity before it spoiled. And drinking water could kill you with any number of diseases, while nothing can live in alcohol. So buying and trading was in whiskey. Abraham Lincoln's father sold their farm for whiskey.
So when George Washington's government decided to put a tax on hooch, the frontiersmen went wild, not that they weren't that way anyway. Rebellion is an exaggeration; it was never more than a few drunken yahoos shooting up a local post office. Still, mindful of the recent chaos of the French revolution, President Washington freaked and sent 5,000 troops to crush the rebellion. Touchy Joe, or George.

1799- Napoleon spent the night meditating at the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

1805- Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis and Clark, climbed a mountain peak in the Bitterroot Range of Rocky Mountains near the present day Montana -Idaho border. He had traveled this far on the theory of Thomas Jefferson’s that the Missouri River and Columbia River were the same river. So one should be able to travel from New Orleans to the Pacific Ocean by river. When Lewis climbed this mountain he expected to see on the other side gentle rolling plains to the Pacific. Instead, he saw even higher snowcapped mountains and still more mountains behind them. It dawned on Lewis that this is one big mother of a continent and that river theory thing was all wrong.

1812 Austrian Dr Joseph Lister is the first surgeon to use disinfectant during surgery. It took a long time for Lister’s hygienic practices to catch on. During the American Civil War surgeons would sharpen their scalpel on the sole of their boot before commencing the incision.

1813- British commander the Duke of Wellington liberated Madrid, Spain, forcing out the French under Napoleons brother, Joseph Bonaparte.

1821- Stephen Austin entered Texas with the first group of Anglo colonists invited by the Mexicans to bolster their sparse population. It brought a land rush of poor families from the U.S. They would write on their doors before they left G.T.T. or Gone To Texas.

1822- Viscount Lord Castlereagh, chief British diplomat and statesman during the Napoleonic wars, went mad after eating hot buttered toast and killed himself with a butter knife. He had been warned by his doctor Lord Graydon against eating hot buttered toast. Shortly afterward his doctor, Lord Graydon also committed suicide, but he did not have any hot buttered toast.

1833- The City of Chicago was founded. Chicago is an Indian word meaning “wild onions”. The site of Chicago had been mentioned by explorers like LaSalle since 1688, and a man of African-European descent named Jean Baptiste Pont du Sable homesteaded on the site in the 1780s. He has been called the Founder of Chicago.

1851- Mr Issac Singer received a patent on his new sewing machine. Elias Howe, who had invented the sewing machine first, immediately sued him. But Singers improved design was so much superior to Howes that he quickly recouped al the penalties paid and eventually bought out Howe. The Singer Sewing Machine Company is still around today.

1869- San Francisco lunatic Joshua Norton, who called himself Norton Ist, Emperor of the United States, today published an Imperial Edict outlawing the Democratic and Republican Parties. Hmmm… he may be on to something!

1877-THE BIRTH OF RECORDED SOUND. Thomas Edison announced his sound recording invention and demonstrates it by recording "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a tin cylinder. Edison never quite understood the possibilities of a music industry and was convinced that the recorded sound was going to be a used primarily for people to listen to the voices of deceased family, sort of like a voice from the grave. That idea was so popular that it translated to the Logo of the RCA Company with the familiar image of the dog listening to "His master's voice". The original image of that dog listening to his master's voice, had the dog sitting on a coffin.
A few years later Emile Berliner from Georgia invented the flat record disc. Edison thought the disc was clumsy and too fragile. In the future he declared, everyone would use recording cylinders.

1898- Annexation Day in Hawaii. The U.S. formally took over the Kingdom of Hawaii. The government of Queen Liliokalani had been overthrown a group of Yankee sugar plantation owners and handed over to the U.S.

1915 - "Of Human Bondage," by William Somerset Maugham, published.

1927- the William Wellman movie WINGS opened with Richard Arlen and Buddy Rogers, the first silent film to win best picture at the Academy Awards before the advent of sound. The second silent film to win best picture was The Artist, in the year 2012.

1932 Aldous Huxley's Brave New World first published. Before anyone ever heard of stem cells, Huxley had written a scholarly paper on the moral dangers inherent in controlled eugenics. Writer H.L. Mencken urged Huxley to put his ideas in a fiction form to reach a wider audience. The title comes from Shakespeare's the Tempest " Oh Brave New World, that hath such people in it!'

1942- General Bernard Law Montgomery arrived at El Alamein to take over command of the British Eighth Army facing Rommel and the Afrika Corps.

1944- JOE KENNEDY JR. The Allies were at a loss at how to stop the German V-1 and V-2 rockets being fired at London. They had wreaked more havoc than the great German bombing raids in the Blitz four years earlier. Allied Bomber command came up with the idea of filling a B-26 with high explosive and after getting to the coast the pilots would bail out and the plane would complete it’s trip by remote control to destroy the rocket launching pads in Calais. The first pilot to volunteer for this dangerous mission was Joe Kennedy Jr., eldest son of the famous Kennedy clan.
After ten minutes in flight the plane exploded before Joe could bail out. Ironically the Germans had moved the V-2 base out of range anyway. Just before he left he telephoned a friend in London: I’m going into my act now. If I don’t make it back tell dad I love him. The grief-stricken elder Kennedy transferred his plans for political power to his second son John F. Kennedy.

1951- Bob McKimson’s Warner Bros short Hillbilly Hare. The short includes the long routine animated by Emery Hawkins when Bugs Bunny takes over calling a square dance and uses it to torture the two twin-brother hillbillies who are after him.

1953- The Soviet Union exploded its first Hydrogen Bomb, nicknamed "Joe-4" for Joe Stalin by the CIA. The scientific team led by Andrei Sakharov called it the Layer Cake-alternating layers of hydrogen and uranium fuel wrapped around a conventional atomic bomb. Like Robert Oppenheimer in America, Andre Sakharov later became a leading critic of the nuclear arms race.

1959- Under the gaze of howling and spitting crowds, the first 6 black students registered for class at Little Rock High School. When the governor of Arkansas declared he would use the National Guard to keep the school segregated President Eisenhower sent in the elite 101st Airborne division to enforce the federal court order and escort the children. Scholars today admit that Eisenhower was not exactly a champion of civil rights, but the Supreme Court ordered it, and to the old general, orders were orders.

1961-Soviet and East German troops started to put up the Berlin Wall, which remained a symbol of Cold War tension until it was pulled down spontaneously by Berliners in 1989.

1981- IBM introduced its first PC- personal computer and PC-DOS I. Unlike Apple, IBM shared the basic hardware design, so a myriad of cheaper competitor PC’s soon flooded the market.

1983- The Nelvana animated feature Rock & Rule opened.

1988- Martin Scorcese’ film The Last Temptation of Christ opened in theaters to howls of protests from religious groups. There had been more inflammatory interpretations of the Christ story on screens in the past like Pasolini’s Gospel According to Saint Matthew and the Canadian film Hail Mary, but the church groups weren’t that media savvy yet. Like all these protest efforts, all the controversy really did was boost its box office.

1999- In Yorkshire England, Tish, the world’s oldest goldfish, died at age 43.

2000- In the waters off Norway the Russian submarine Kursk suffered an explosion and sank. No one is sure what happened, the theory is an old torpedo exploded in the bow. Out of pride, Russian Naval authorities refused offers of international help to rescue the remaining sailors trapped on the sea bottom. By the time they relented and accepted help, all 116 men were dead.

2008- Entertainer and producer Merv Griffin died at age 81. The creator of games shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, his last statement on his website was " I was planning to go on vacation, but this is not the destination I intended."
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Yesterdays Quiz: What is the difference between being Norse and being a Viking?

Answer: The term Norse is a generic term for Scandinavian peoples, from North Men. Viking was a Norse word meaning pirate or raider. To go I-Viking, meant to go raiding.


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