Feb 21, 2017
February 21st, 2017

Quiz: One of the stars nearest to our solar system is called Regulus. Who is it named for?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Speaking of Sweden, when their sports teams play, their jersey has three crowns on it. What does that mean?
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HISTORY for 2/21/2017
Birthdays: Leopold Delibes, C. Brancusi, Anais Ninn, W.H. Auden, Hubert de Givenchy, Era Bombeck, Sam Peckinpah, Nina Simone, Robert Mugabe, Joe Oriolo, David Geffen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kelsey Grammar is 62, Jennifer Love Hewitt is 38, Alan Rickman, Ellen Page is 30.

1613- The Russian parliament the Zemsky Sobor elected Michael Romanov as the new Czar. This ended the period of dynastic struggle and invasion called the Time of Troubles. It was also the last time a representative parliament decided anything in Russia until 1991. The Romanov Family ruled Russia until the Revolution of 1917 and are still around, should Russia ever want a monarchy again.

1719- A London weekly announced “Mr Handel, a Famous Master of Music, is gone beyond the sea, by order of His Majesty, to collect a company of the choicest singers in Europe for the Opera in the Haymarket.” The London Opera is born. On his recruiting trip George Frederich Handel passed through his hometown of Halle.
A few hours after he was gone another musician came to town, having walked 25 miles to meet this great German who had conquered England. He was Johann Sebastian Bach. But he was too late. The two giants of classical music would never meet.

1803- Edward Despard was executed at Horsemonger Lane Gaol for plotting to assassinate King George III. The last person to ever be sentenced to the medieval punishment of being drawn and quartered. But by now enough people thought it was horrific, that it was partly commuted. Despard was hanged, and his body beheaded-- no further gruesome butchery. The crowd at the event booed and hissed the executioner.

1814- LONG BEFORE BERNIE MADOFF- This day Captain De Berenger, a French exile aristocrat in the British Army, arrived in London with amazing news from the Continent- that Napoleon Bonaparte had been defeated and killed by the Russians. The war was over! London went wild with celebrations and exiled French King Louis XVIII held a celebratory ball.
But the story was a fake. Napoleon was alive and would wage war for two more years.
De Berenger was part of an elaborate stock fraud. His partners Andrew Butt, Richard Cochrane-Johnstone and Thomas Cobbett waited until the London Stock Market boomed with the news, then sold their shares at top price. When the truth came out and the market crashed, they had made a fortune. An investigation was convened and all the conspirators rounded up.
The only good thing from this was for America. Cochrane-Johnstones cousin Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane was also implicated in the scheme and this prevented him from sailing to America with the British fleet. Cochrane-“The Sea Wolf” was one of the best fighting admirals since Nelson, and the model for fictional salts like Horatio Hornblower and Lucky Jack Aubrey. He would not be at Baltimore when the “Rockets Red Glare, the Bombs Bursting in Air..”….etc.

1838- The first telegraph message sent by Samuel Morse "What hath God wrought?" He strung electric cables up and down several floors of his art studio using wood stretchers normally used for oil paintings. Morse was an artist and never wanted to be an inventor, he just did it to finance his painting.

1848- THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO- In Brussels Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published their revolutionary work the Communist Manifesto, redefining history in terms of economic class warfare and creating the terms communist and communism. Interestingly enough they picked Brussels to publish because that year 1848 there were revolutions happening in most of the other cities in Europe. In the 1998 to celebrate it’s anniversary an international publishing conglomerate issued a deluxe designer edition complete with trendy graphics and gilt cover. What would Marx have thought?

1885- The completed Washington Monument was dedicated by Pres Chester Allan Arthur. Plans for the obelisk were first drawn up in 1792 by Pierre L’Enfant and the cornerstone laid in 1840 but construction was constantly suspended. For a time because of the Civil War, another time because strict Presbyterian workers refused to handle Italian marble blocks donated by the Pope.

1898- After the explosion of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor Under Secretary of the Navy Teddy Roosevelt burned to take action. This day when his boss the Navy Secretary decided to take a day off, Teddy rushed off emergency orders to all the U.S. battleships to go onto a war alert and lay in a supply of extra coal and munitions. The War with Spain hadn't even been declared yet. His boss returned red faced and furious but Teddy had already resigned his office to raise his own volunteer cavalry brigade.

1901- Yankee outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with prostitute Hedda Place, sometimes called Mrs. Sundance, left New York City by ship for Latin America. They hoped to build a new life in the Patagonian foothills of Argentina. But after 4 year of ranching, Butch and Sundance took up their outlaw ways again, fleeing to Bolivia. Hedda Place returned to the US, and disappeared from history.

1916- VERDUN began- One of the most horrible battles in world history. World War One German commander Eric Von Falkynhen had planned to draw France into a battle that would ‘bleed her white”, but he wound up bleeding his German Army just as badly. German and French troops battled over some stone fortresses for ten months. Hundreds of thousands of men died in one battle. The French fired 1 1/2 million shells in this thirty mile square area and the Germans even more. Regiments would be marched into the trenches, blown to bits, then another marched in.. The surrounding countryside was turned into a shellhole pocked lunar hell.

1919- More chaos in Germany after the Great War defeat. The Socialist rebel leader of Munich, Kurt Eisner, was assassinated and Bolsheviks declared the Soviet Republic of Bavaria. One of the things they tried to do before rightwing paramilitary militias turn them out was try to declare war on Switzerland. By May, the streets of Munich become a battleground that ex-corporal named Hitler decides is a fun place to be.

1942- After the port of Darwin was bombed by the Japanese, President Roosevelt ordered General Douglas MacArthur, trapped on Corregidor, not to go down fighting in the Philippines, but escape and organize the defense of Australia.
MacArthur slipped away in the dead of night by PT boat with his wife and four year old son. He vowed to the Philippine people:" I Shall Return !" The army press liaison tried to change the press release to We Shall Return, but MacArthur insisted it remain as is.

1945- During the Battle of Iwo Jima, the Marines raise the flag on Mt. Suribachi. Associate Press photographer Joe Rosenthal takes the most famous image of the war. It's now the Marine monument at Arlington Cemetery. Actually, he photographed the second flag raising. The first was a small flag stuck on a piece of pipe to get the artillery below to stop shelling, and to give the Marines pinned down on the beach some hope. The second larger flag raising was done for the press. It was still plenty dangerous, two of the six flag raisers were later killed in battle that same day. Rosenthal almost missed the shot because he turned around momentarily to see if he was in the way of another cameraman.

1965- MALCOLM X was assassinated at the Audubon Meeting Hall in Washington Heights Manhattan. His last words were trying to quiet a disturbance in the crowd he was about to address-"Brothers, be cool." Three men then stood up and fired pistols and a shotgun killing him instantly. He was later found to have over twenty bullets in his body. Three murderers did time for the killing, but it has never been proven who ordered it. Popular sentiment says it was his enemies in the Black Muslim movement like leader the Honorable Elijah Mohammed, with whom he had broken.

1988- Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart tearfully confessed to his Baton Rouge congregation “Ah Have Sinned!!” He had been arrested for soliciting a prostitute. They forgave him, A year later he was busted again for the same reason, but he still continues to preach family values on TV.
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Yesterday’s Question: Speaking of Sweden, when their sports teams play, their jersey has three crowns on it. What does that mean?

Answer: Yesterdays Question: When Sweden plays in sports like hockey, their teams wear on their shirt three crowns. Why?

Answer: In the treaty called The Union of Kalmar (1397), Sweden once owned both Norway and Denmark. By 1523 the other two crowns broke away.


Feb 20, 2017
February 20th, 2017

Question: Speaking of Sweden, when their sports teams play, their jersey has three crowns on it. What does that mean?

Yesterdays Quiz answered below: Who first said” I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”
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History for 2/20/2017
Birthdays: Honore' Daumier, Nancy Wilson, Ansel Adams, Cindy Crawford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robert Altman, Roger Penske. Phil Esposito, Jennifer O’Neill, Ivanna Trump, Mike Leigh, Lili Taylor, Sidney Poitier is 89

1258- The Mongol horde under Hulugau stormed Baghdad. They were ordered by Genghis Khan not to spill any royal blood, so they took the last Caliph, Al Mostassem- Billah, rolled him in a blanket then galloped their army over him. Ouch. The beautiful city of the Arabian Nights was sacked and burned for 40 straight days. Chroniclers said 800,000 died, and the streets ran with rivulets of liquid gold- melting from the gilded books in the burning libraries.

1702-British King William III went riding around Hampton Court when his horse Sorrel stepped in a molehole and threw him. He suffered a broken collarbone. But being already elderly, tuberculant and asthmatic, died within a week. Friends of his enemy the exiled Stuart king drank a hearty toast to the 'Little man in the velvet coat', meaning the mole who dug the hole.

1725- FIRST DOCUMENTED SCALPINGS- British militia scalped ten Indians in New Hampshire. Indians of the Eastern coast and Caribbean had done the practice before. Now colonial authorities encouraged allied tribes to bring in scalps as a way of proving how many of the enemy they had killed, before being paid a cash bounty. Scalps soon became a fashionable novelty item in for sale in London. Tribes adopted different scalp cuts so you would know who did it -the Cheyenne preferred a diamond cut, Sioux an oval pattern.

1792- U.S. Postal Service founded. Ironically, the only postal service that ever operated at a profit was the one established by the Confederacy under postmaster John Regan from 1861-65.

1816- "Fee-Garr-Row! Fig-Ar- Roww- Figaro-Figaro, Figaro, Figaro"- Giacomo Rossini's opera 'The Barber of Seville' premiered. Rossini endured bad press and heavy criticism at the time because the another opera of the Marriage of Figaro had just been premiered by Paisiello, an inferior composer who then was more popular than him.

1824- The first attempt to name and classify a dinosaur. At the Geological Society of London, Dean William Buckland announced the Megalosaurus or the Great Fossil Lizard of Stonesfield. Based on a leg bone he estimated it at 40 feet long and a bulk larger than an elephant. Before Darwin the conventional explanation was that these fossils were the remains of dragons, or creatures that missed Noah’s Ark and perished in the Flood.

1827- The Battle of Ituzaingo- The army of the Brazilian Empire defeated Argentina.

1839- The City of Washington DC outlawed dueling.

1845- The Battle of the Cahuenga Pass. Angry Spanish Californians rancheros led by Juan de Alvarado and Pio Pico clashed with the Mexican governor Miguel de Micheltorena. The only casualty was a mule. The story of Alvarado may be one of the origins of Zorro.

1862- Abraham Lincoln's youngest son Willie died of bilious fever in the White House. Today some theorize he died of cholera from drinking the swampy water of Washington.

1918- The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Lenin and the Bolsheviks had promised an end of Russia’s part in World War One. Its continuation had doomed the representative government of Alexander Kerensky after Tsar Nicholas was overthrown. Now Lenin decided to end the war at any cost. The Germans demanded huge parts of Poland and Ukraine as compensation. Since the Bolsheviks had demobilized the Russian Army Lenin had to give it all away. He was gambling that the allies would win eventually. He also planned setting up Communist Party cells in Germany that he hoped would overthrow the Kaiser. The Kaiser was defeated and toppled and Russia did get back all her lost territory.

1925- Willis O’Brien’s silent movie The Lost World premiered. Based on Conan-Doyles 1912 novel. The stop motion animation of dinosaurs and exploding volcanoes issued in a new era of special effects films. O'Brien later did King Kong and trained kids like Ray Harryhausen.

1933-"WE’VE HIRED HITLER !." German chancellor Adolf Hitler had a secret meeting with Germany's corporate leaders: Krupp, I.G. Faben, Seimans, Bayer, GAF, BASF, Daimler-Benz. He made a deal that if they financed his Nazi government, he would destroy the labor unions and communists, re-arm the nation and suspend the eight hour workday. The quote is by Gottfried Krupp after their meeting.
Most of the German corporate CEO's survived the war and became leaders in the postwar anti-Communist world.

1936- The film “Follow the Fleet” premiered, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1939- The American Nazi Party held their largest rally in Madison Square Garden in New York City. 20,000 Americans goose-stepped and Sieg-Heiled under a huge portrait of George Washington, while angry anti-Fascist and Jewish groups protested outside. By 1941 most of the German American Bund dissolved. During the war 10,000 German Americans were interned along with the Japanese and Italians. Fritz Kuhn, the organizer of the rally was jailed for embezzling his organizations funds. He was deported to Germany in 1946.

1947- In a lecture to the London Mathematical Society, Computer pioneer Alan Turing said the best way to test the intelligence of a computer would be to teach it to play chess. Earliest reference to interactive gaming.

1962- "God Go with You, John Glenn !" Mercury -7 sends the first American into orbit.
His first words upon emerging from the space capsule were:” It was hot in there.” Glenn later became a Democratic senator and in his 70’s went into space a second time on a space shuttle in 1998 John Glenn was a combat Marine pilot, test pilot and astronaut but even he sometimes got the willies.
In 1968 while traveling with the Robert Kennedy for President entourage their chartered plane hit turbulence. Bobby Kennedy undid his seat belt, stood up and said to the cabin “ I have an announcement- Colonel Glenn- is scared!”

1980- Bon Scott, vocalist for the band AC/DC, was found dead in a friend’s automobile choked in his own vomit.

1986- The Soviets launch the first permanent orbiting space station, Mir, which means Peace. After a long career in which 7 US astronauts among many others spent time there in 2001 it finally burned up in re-entry.

1986- Britain and France announced the project Napoleon had dreamed of 200 years earlier, a tunnel under the English Channel – the Chunnel.

1997- Chinese Chairman Deng Zhao Peng died at 92. Nicknamed Little Bottles, he was the last leader from Mao Zse Tung’s original Long March days.

2006- The animated film Wallace & Gromet: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, won the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for the best British Film of the year. It beat out the Constant Gardner, and Pride & Prejudice.
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Yesterday’s Question: Who first said” I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”

Answer: Abraham Lincoln. Being hounded by journalists in 1860 about whether he would run for president, Honest Abe said “ You fellas can’t get me to say whether I am or not. Reckon I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”


Feb 19, 2017
February 19th, 2017

Quiz: Who first said” I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”…….?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: What was the Mannheim Steamroller?
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HISTORY FOR 2/19/2017
Birthdays: Copernicus is 1542, Luigi Boccherini, Smokey Robinson, Andre Breton, Lee Marvin, Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Karen Silkwood, Paul Terry, Paul Krause, Merl Oberon, Amy Tam, John Frankenheimer, Jeff Daniels, Benicio Del Toro is 50, Hilary Duff

Today is the Feast of Saint Wulfstan of Worchester

197AD- General Septimius Severus of the African Legions had seized control of the Roman Empire and had himself declared emperor. This day he defeated his last rival, Albinus, the commander of the legions of Gaul. He left Albinus’ dead body in front of his headquarters, where for fun he trampled it repeatedly with his horse. Albinus‘ corpse lay around being torn by dogs and vermin for days until it stank so bad, it was flung into a nearby stream.

1600-In Rome philosopher Giordano Bruno was stripped naked and burned at the stake with a nail hammered through his tongue. The monk was one of the first modern free thinkers and skeptics. He raged against superstition and denied there was any such thing as Hell or Purgatory. But his chief sin that got him burned was his expansion on the Copernicus Theory. He said that not only is the Earth revolving around the sun but that the Universe is Infinite and unfathomable, that God should not be belittled, as being focused on one little people on one little rock. He is an Infinite Presence ruling over countless worlds. Later scientists like Galileo and Descartes kept Bruno’s fate in mind when they went too far in bucking Holy Mother Church.

1674- The Second Treaty of Breda settled the Third Dutch War with England. As part of the settlement, Holland gave up any chance of getting back her colonies in North America, now renamed by the English New York and New Jersey. Truth be told they weren’t bringing in any income anyway. They were considered of little value.

1725- The first recorded case of spontaneous combustion.

1736-Georg Frederich Handel’s oratorio Alexander’s Feast premiered at Covent Garden.

1807- ARRON BURR, former vice president of the U.S, is arrested in Alabama territory for treason. Napoleon's conquest of Spain put the Spanish Americas in confusion. Mexico declared her independence, the U.S. occupied West Florida (Alabama) and James Madison thought we should also take Cuba. Arron Burr was organizing a freelance military expedition (called a filibuster) to take over Texas from Spain but President Tom Jefferson suspected him of more sinister purposes. In this age of Napoleonic adventurers a frustrated ambition like Burr's might be thinking of taking over New Orleans (only American for 3 years) or even a march on Washington City!

Burr was put on trial but nothing could be proven. The state's chief witness General James Wilkinson was taken apart on the stand as a consummate liar - Chief Justice John Marshal tried to subpoena the President but Jefferson invented" Executive Privilege', saying a president can't be put under oath. So Marshal had no alternative but to acquit Burr. Jefferson in a rage later tried to have Burr's defense attorney jailed and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court impeached- Justice Marshal was Jefferson's cousin. So Burr was acquitted. He lived in Paris for awhile and when he died at 81 he was being sued by a woman for getting her pregnant.

1847-“ ARE YOU FROM CALIFORNIA OR ARE YOU FROM HEAVEN?” The Donner Party found at last. The wagon train of settlers had been trapped in the High Sierra mountains of California near Lake Truckee in blizzard conditions with no food since last October 31st. Half the settlers were dead and the rest subsisting on cannibalizing the dead for food. This day a survivor named John Reed who got to safety returned with a rescue party from Sutter’s Fort. Of the 89 original settlers only 45 made it out alive. One opened a restaurant.

1878- Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1913- Crackerjacks start putting toy prizes in every box. The name Crackerjack for the caramel corn was named for the reaction of Teddy Roosevelt trying it for the first time- These caramel-corns are Crackerjack!

1915- Grand Admiral von Tirpitz told German newspapers that his strategy to win the Great War was to use his submarine u-boats to blockade Britain and prevent food, fuel and supplies entering from the outside world.

1915- L.A. Times publisher and land baron Harry Chandler was indicted with 8 other prominent Angeleanos for conspiring to start a new revolution in Mexico. The Mexican government had seized their large land holdings there for land redistribution and this was their quaint little way of getting them back.

1920- THE MYSTERY OF ANASTASIA- This day came the first news reports that a emotionally disturbed young woman who tried to jump into a Berlin canal claimed to be the Archduchess Anastasia Romanov, youngest child of the Czar and Czarina of Russia. She somehow escaped the 1918 massacre of her family and tried to prove it by recalling minute details about the Imperial household. She was called Anna Anderson and was the toast of New York and Parisian society for awhile. But unlike the movies, the Romanov family in exile never took her seriously and Anna eventually married and settled down. In 1991 extensive laboratory attempts to match her DNA with the Romanovs proved she was not the little archduchess.

1942-Japanese planes bomb the Australian Port of Darwin, Australians brace for an invasion. In the beginning of the war Australia sent all her manpower to Europe to help mother England, figuring the U.S. Navy could handle anything in Asia. Now the U.S. Navy was sunk or on the run, the Japanese were massing for invasion while the Australian army was on the other side of the world in North Africa and Europe.

When the Australian prime minister asked Churchill for his divisions back to defend the homeland, Churchill refused, saying he couldn't spare them. In the end the Japanese never did invade, and relations between Aussies and Brits have been dodgy ever since.

1942-PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT signed Executive Order# 9066- The JAPANESE INTERNMENT ACT- All along the Pacific Coast first and second generation Japanese-Americans were uprooted from their homes and property and with what only they could carry were shipped off to camps in the desert. Few Japanese-Americans were interned in Hawaii however, because it would have seriously depleted the population. Many got no restitution for their lost property.
. Although the F.B.I. kept tabs on German and Italian agents in U.S. and pro-Fascist groups like the American Bund flourished in the 30’s, nothing like what happened to Japanese Americans occurred to them. Less than 10,000 were rounded up as opposed to over 100,000 Japanese Americans.

1943- Battle of Kasserine Pass ended. Nazis General Rommel the Desert Fox showed he had a few tricks left, beating up the American army in its debut, and embarrassing Eisenhower's first combat command. He lured the Yanks into a narrow pass and chopped them up. It was the only time in the European war that American G.I.s fled in panic.

1945- THE INVASION of IWO JIMA-The nine mile square bit of barren beach cost over 50,000 lives. This island and Okinawa were the test cases to judge how fiercely the Japanese would fight for mainland Japan. Iwo Jima was the first island that wasn't conquered territory of some other people but was considered part of the home Japanese Islands, only 700 miles from Tokyo.

1944- Writer John Steinbeck asked that his name be taken off of the credits for the Alfred Hitchcock film version of “Lifeboat”. “In view of the fact that my script for the picture was distorted in production.”

1945- While Allied armies crossed into Germany on all sides, Nazi S.S. leader Heinrich Himmler contacted the neutral Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte to try and open secret peace talks behind Hitler's back. Bernadotte asked as a condition that all concentration camps in the Reich be turned over to the International Red Cross. Himmler balks at this but agrees to allow food packages to be delivered to Nordic inmates. When Hitler finds out Himmler was trying to cut his own deal he was extremely upset and Himmler was under house arrest at the end of the war.

1951-Poet philosopher Andre Gide died in Paris. Several things were quoted as his last words, my favorite is " Before you quote me, please make sure I'm conscious."

1954- The prototype Ford Thunderbird auto completed.

1960- Bill Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts.

1963- The book The Feminine Mystique was published. Betty Freidan’s analysis of contemporary women’s issues is considered the first shot of the modern Women’s Movement.

1968- “ It’s a beautiful day in the Neighborhood…” Mister Roger’s Neighborhood debuted on National Education Television, later called PBS. Ordained Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers had been doing children’s shows similar in Pittsburgh and Canada since the 50’s but today was the start of his show that would run unchanged for thirty-five years.

1995- Busty actress Pamela Anderson married rocker Tommy Lee. On their honeymoon they shot a notorious sex tape on Lake Powell, that leaked onto the internet, becoming the first viral video. By 2000, one sixth of everything viewed on the world-wide web was just about Pamela Anderson.

1990- ILM VFX artist John Knoll helped his brother grad student Tom Knoll create a surfacing and paint system for home use. They called it ImagePro. Adobe bought it and today released it as Photoshop.
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Yesterdays’ question: What was the Mannheim Steamroller?

Answer: It was a New Age rock band in the 1970s that liked to blend themes from classical music.


FEB 18, 2017
February 18th, 2017

Quiz: What was the Mannheim Steamroller?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: What does it mean to be caught between Scylla and Charybdis?
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History for 2/18/2017
Birthdays: Queen Mary I Tudor -Bloody Mary, Pietro Guarnieri the violin maker, Harry Grover- Seeley one of the founders of Paleontology, Louis Tiffany, Andre Segovia, Wendell Wilkie, Billy de Wolfe, Enzo Ferrarri, Yoko Ono, Jack Palance, Milos Forman, Bobby Bachman of the Bachman Turner Overdrive, Gahan Wilson, Johnny Hart, Matt Dillon is 53, John Travolta is 63, John Hughes, Dr. Dre

Today is the feast day of Saint Simon, Jesus’ first cousin, who is often confused with Simon Zealots, one of the apostles. He was executed in the reign of the Emperor Trajan.

1386- IOGAILA WYTAUTAS also called Wladyslaw Jagiello, Grand Duke of Lithuania and grandson of Mendog the Terrible married Jadwiga of Poland and became King of Poland-Lithuania, Hetman of the Ukraine, Voivode of Ruthenia ( modern Moldova) and so on and so on.
When Jadwiga heard the news of who she was marrying her first reaction was to chop away at her door with a large axe. But later she accepted patriotically. Poland-Lithuania becomes the second largest power in Europe, and the Lithuanians are the last people in Europe to renounce Animist paganism for Christianity.

1814- Napoleon with his little army of 15 year old conscripts stop an invading Russian army at the Battle of Montereau.

1842- Two hundred of New York City’s high society and top politicians held a banquet in honor of the visiting English author Charles Dickens. Dickens spent the evening depressing everyone with talk about his tour of the cities prisons, slums and poorhouses.

1856- The KNOW NOTHING PARTY held their first –and only, presidential convention. Officially called the American Party, but known for responding to reporters questions as “they knew nothing” This 3rd party was formed over anger at growing immigration. They sought to curb the influx of non-native born Americans, especially Roman Catholics from Ireland and Italy. They nominated ex president Millard Filmore for re-election, but their ranks were broken up over disputes over slavery and their movement sputtered out

1878- THE LINCOLN COUNTY WARS- John Tunstall, a Scotsman who gave a number of young cowboys work on his ranch in New Mexico, was murdered while his bodyguards were hunting wild turkeys. Tunstall was buried in his clan tartan kilt. This murder sparked a running gun battle between Tunstall's group led by his attorney John McSweeny, a town merchant named Murphy, rancher John Chisum and most of the county. One of Tunstall's hired hands turned this range war into a personal vendetta that would make his name famous- Billy the Kid.

1885- Mark Twain's 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' published.

1888- The Hotel Coronado in San Diego Cal. opened for guests. It remains one of the largest remaining wood structures in the U.S.. Several presidents stayed there, the Duke of Windsor may have met Mrs. Simpson there and films like the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot and The Stuntman were shot there.

1930- The planet Pluto discovered- in 1909 Scientist Lord Percival Lowell had detected signs of a planet at the edge of our Solar System beyond Neptune but could not definitely confirm or identify it. They named it for the time being 'Planet X'. The Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona had searched in vain for decades until Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tumbaugh, an amateur astronomer who was allowed to occasionally use Lowell’s telescope to justify the public grants they got. Lord Lowell had just passed away before the discovery he had dedicated his life to. In 2009 a consortium of scientists demoted Pluto from a planet back to just a planetoid.

1950- First Mr. Magoo cartoon "Ragtime Bear".

1953- First 3-D stereoscopic movie, "B'wana Devil" starring Robert Stack.

1970- The Chicago 7, Yippie leaders of the anti-war rioting in front of the Democratic presidential convention of 1968 were found innocent of all charges. David Dillinger, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, Tom Hayden and the other guys. One of their offenses was trying to get a 250 pound pig onto the floor of the Convention so they could get it nominated for President.

1972- President Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon land in China.

1973- Richard Petty the Stock Car King won his first Daytona 500 race. He would go on to win 6 more and prove that NASCAR racing was one of America’s favorite though most underreported sports.

2001- Dale Earnhardt Sr, the reigning NASCAR racing car champion, died in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. His eldest son Dale Jr. placed second.
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Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be caught between Scylla and Charybdis?

Answer: Scylla was an ocean bound, man-eating monster, having many heads. Charybdis was a giant gaping maw in the ocean that spouted deadly whirlpools (sometimes depicted simply as a single giant whirlpool). They were affixed to a spot in the ocean, and mythological sailors like Ulysses and Jason had to pass
in the narrow strait between them. "Between Scylla and Charybdis" has
come to mean a choice between two evils


Feb 17, 2017
February 17th, 2017

Quiz: What does it mean to be caught between Scylla and Charybdis?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a Zouave?
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History for 2/17/2017
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, Montgomery Ward, Red Barber, Marian Anderson, C'haim Potok, Jim Brown, Rene Russo, Michael Bay, Jerry O’Connell, Cybil Shepard, Lou Diamond Phillips is 55, Denise Richards is 46 and Paris Hilton is 36, Michael Jordan is 54, Hal Holbrook is 92, Joseph Gordon Levitt is 48

3,201BC- According to Sumerian records, from today in the month of Hilu to the month of Eshil-March 30th occurred the GREAT FLOOD, that the story of the flood of Noah in the Bible was based on. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1920’s theorized that the Great Flood was the tidal backwash caused by the sinking of the lost continent of Atlantis.

364 A.D.-Valentinian I proclaimed Emperor of Rome. Just to show you could "Be-All that You could Be.." in the Roman Army, Valentinian was born to an army family based in Pannonia (Hungary). He rose through the ranks and served in Africa (Tunisia), Persia (Iraq) and Gaul (France).

1673- MOLIERE DIED. The great playwright was suffering from tuberculosis and was in failing health, but he insisting on playing the lead in his final play "The Imaginary Illness". Tonight when asked to rest instead he responded" There are fifty workman here who won’t get paid if we don’t play". He played Argan, a hypochondriac who imagined himself dying.

In the final act he uttered the word "Juro I swear," and was seized with a violent coughing fit. He covered with a joke and finished the play, but later was carried home where he died choking on his own blood. The local priest refused to come and give him Last Rights because his play Tartuffe made fun of priests. Moliere was one of the greatest playwrights and poets of the age, and Frenchmen equate him with Shakespeare.

1814-Battle of Villeneuve- Napoleon beat somebody else once again. France had been invaded by 5 armies simultaneously. When Napoleon beat one force, the four others kept marching on Paris.

1817-Baltimore got the first city streets lit with gaslight .

1864-THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL SUBMARINE ATTACK-. The Confederate submarine Hunley, after testing that drowned 23 men including the inventor, sails, err, chuggs, actually it was driven with a screw turned propeller -screws it's way to Yankee ships blockading Charleston Harbor. It attaches a underwater bomb called a david to the hull of the U.S.S. Housatonic. The david exploded sinking the Housatonic, but it also dragged down the Hunley and it’s 13 man crew to a watery grave.
The first modern diesel/electric submarine was developed by John Holland in 1894. Recently archaeologists raised the Hunley from the harbor and even found the lucky gold dollar the captain kept in his pocket. Researchers also found the graves of one of the earlier test crews under the concrete foundation of a Charleston football stadium.

The first modern diesel/electric submarine was developed by John Holland of the Holland Electric Boat Company in 1894.

1865- Gen. Sherman burns Columbia, S.C. The POPULARITY OF THE CIGARETTE- Everyone knew the Civil War was almost over, yet try and reason with Uncle Billy. Sherman's army fresh from burning Georgia spread a wide path of destruction through the Carolinas. When Sherman's men reached the capitol of South Carolina they took special revenge in destroying the city where the first vote to secede took place. Yankee's sang "Hail Columbia, Happy Land; If I don't burn you I'll be damned!"

Cigarettes were gaining popularity in Spain and Latin American while in the U.S. tobacco was taken chiefly in cigars, pipes and chaw. A South Carolina planter in Durham had just finished developing the perfect mild blend of cigarette tobaccos, Bull Durham, when Sherman's bluecoats arrived to loot and torch the factory. Instead of tragedy, things worked out well for the fellow. After the Civil War the Yankees went home to towns from Maine to California and talked of the good smoke they had in Carolina. Soon it was a national passion.

1876- The invention of canned sardines.

1877- THE SATSUMA REBELLION-Ever wonder whatever happed to all those samurai in the movies? Part of the modernizing of Japanese society after the Mejii Restoration of 1868 was the phasing out of the samurai class. Some moved into the officer corps of the new western trained Japanese army. Some samurai, rather than bear the shame of being demoted to peasant, emigrated to Hawaii under the invitation of King David Kalakaua IV. But other samurai didn’t go quietly. When ordered by the government to give up their swords, samurai led by Takamuri Saigo revolted and had to be put down in several bloody battles. Takamuri committed suicide, but later all was forgiven. There is a statue of him today in Hokkaido.

1890- The Los Angeles City Council voted to change the name of their main street, called Fort Street, to Broadway.

1906- In a White House wedding ceremony President Teddy Roosevelt saw his eldest daughter Alice married to Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Ohio. Alice was as free spirited as her father, Once when confronted about her escapades Teddy remarked " I can run the country or control Alice, but I cannot do both."

1911- General Motors installed in their Cadillacs the first automatic starters, replacing the handcrank. It was developed by Charles Kettering, the reason he did it was because a friend of his stopped to assist a young lady's who's engine had stalled. When he tried to get the engine started again using the hand crank, it kicked back and hit him in the jaw, breaking it and eventually causing gangrene, which eventually killed him.
Kettering spent many years at GM and started the Delco brand of auto parts. He also was responsible for fast drying paint which allowed a car to be painted in almost instantly on an assembly line instead of days. He sold the idea to an unbelieving client by having his car taken from the parking lot, painted and returned over a long lunch.

1912- THE NEW YORK ARMORY SHOW-Mabel Dodge and Gertrude Stein introduce Post expressionist modern art to the U.S. public. The first U.S. showings of Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp and the Italian futurists. The show was denounced as a "chamber of horrors" and Matisse was burned in effigy in Chicago. Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase" was described by an art critic as "an explosion in a shingle factory". Duchamp was highly gratified, I believe.

1925- First issue of Harold Ross’s The New Yorker magazine.

1934- Pennsylvanian Amos Neyhardt started the first drivers education course.

1942- Ernst Lubitsch’s screwball comedy "To Be , Or Not To Be" debuted. Adolf Hitler enters a room and after everyone "Sieg Heil" salutes him, he replies "Heil Myself!" But the comedy flopped, in part because it’s female star Carole Lombard had died tragically in a plane crash just before the film opened.

1945- Nazi scientists abandoned the Pennemunde, the V-2 rocket testing site as Allied armies overran the area.

1958 – Johnny Hart’s comic strip "BC" 1st appears

1960- Dr Martin Luther King Jr was arrested for leading the Alabama bus boycott.

1967 – The Beatles release "Penny Lane" & "Strawberry Fields"

1979- A Prairie Home Companion radio show starring Garrison Keilor was first broadcast nationally. It was a feature on Minnesota Public Radio since 1974. Garrison retired in 2016.

1979- Barely four years after finishing the twenty year war with the United States and France to unify the country, The Communist government of Vietnam declared war on Communist Cambodia and picked a fight with Communist China, who invaded them. Go Figure. China calls it the Pedagogical War.

1987- Soviet premiere Mikhail Gorbachev revealed President Ronald Reagan's preoccupation with space aliens: "At our meeting in Geneva, the U.S. President said that if the earth faced an invasion by extraterrestrials, the United States and the Soviet Union would join forces to repel such an invasion. I shall not dispute the hypothesis, though I think it's early yet to worry about such an intrusion..."

1989- "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" premiered starring the most excellent Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. Whoah-Dude!

1992- Jeffrey Dahmer sentenced to life in prison without parole for drugging, torturing, murdering, cannibalizing 15 young men. Two years later he was beaten to death in prison by another murderer who said God told him to.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a Zouave?

Answer: Zouaves were members of Union army Civil War battalions. They were easily recognized by their distinctive, very colorful Moroccan style uniforms, which were, in turn, based on the uniforms of an elite French Army division.


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