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November 25, 2007 sunday
November 25th, 2007

My old shipmate Jerry Beck has a great new book out, which will look great under the tree of many a Hanna Barbera fan.

It's the Hanna & Barbera Treasury from Random House, richly illustrated with great artwork from H&B's long history of television memories. I particularly enjoyed the character studies by Ed Benedict developing future stars like Snagglepuss, Barney Rubble and Lippy the Lion! Check it out on Jerry's website and order it along with Amid's UPA treasury. See their website cartoonresearch for how to order. Squiddly Diddley, Touche Turtle, Penelope Pittstop and the Anthill Mob, oh...beat still my heart! Maybe they'll have some of my cleanup keys for Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels. Euh! Hope not!

NOTE: I'll be on the road this week working with CLick & Clack and giving the Distinguished Alumni lecture at SVA in Noo Yawk, so if my blogg doesn't pop up on time, please cut me some slack. I'll be back on the beat by the end of the week.
Distinguished Alumni indeed!

QUIZ: The term OK is understood all around the world. It’s some of the only English many recognize. What is the origin of the term- Okay or OK?

ANSWER TO yesterdays’ question, Why is your mug another nickname for a face?, below…..
History for 11/25/2007
Birthdays: Lope de Vega, Pope John XXIII, Andrew Carnegie, Tina Turner, Joe Dimaggio, Carl Benz of Mercedes Benz, Virgil Thompson, Jeffrey Hunter, John Kennedy,Jr.,Percy Sledge, Ben Stein, Ricardo Montalban is 85, John Larroquette, Gloria Steinem, Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, Christina Applegate, Bucky Dent, Bill Kroyer

1758- In the Pennsylvania wilderness a British force including frontier scout Daniel Boone and militia captain George Washington captured Fort Duquesne from the French. They renamed for their current Prime Minister William Pitt, hence the name Pittsburgh.

1783- EVACUATION DAY- The treaties ending the American Revolution signed, the last British troops leave U.S. soil, sailing out of New York Harbor. This also marks the beginning of the exodus to Canada of Americans who sided with England, maybe as many as 130,000. United Empire Loyalists, or Tories as you prefer. They mostly populated Southern Ontario and Nova Scotia. One other little reported migration was of freed African slaves. Slavery would soon be eliminated in the British Empire and whenever redcoats would capture an American town they would liberate the slaves. About 3,000 requested to return to Africa and were sent to Sierra Leone.Among their number was a personal slave of George Washington’s, who bolted through the lines to the British the moment the offer was published. A large number also fought on the American side as well. Evacuation Day was a holiday in New York City for years afterwards.

1795- English architect Henry Latrobe left Europe for a life in the U.S. Latrobe was the architect who built the U.S. Capitol building .

1817- The first sword swallower performed in the US.

1864- In a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at New York’s Winter garden Theater the three Booth brothers- John Wilkes, Edwin and Junius Booth appeared together for the only time. Other famous acting families of the time included the Powers, who’s descendant was the movie star Tyrone Power and the Barrymores, who’s line continues down today from John to John Drew to Drew Barrymore.

1867- Alfred Nobel patented Dynamite. The riches he accumulated from this and Nitro-Glycerine he used to fund the Nobel Prize.

1869- Ned Buntline was a hack dime novelist who understood that selling stories about gunfighters of the west would be easier if you could occasionally produce one in the flesh. So on a trip to Nebraska he found among the cavalry scouts an accommodatingly colorful rogue named William Cody, who everybody called Buffalo Bill. This day Ned Buntline announced in the New York Weekly the first installment of a serial series “Buffalo Bill King of the Bordermen”. Buntline and Cody collaborated to make Buffalo Bill the first true American media star, entertaining millions including crowned heads until 1916.

1929- Alfred Hitchcock’s film Blackmail opened in London. It was the first full length talkie in Britain.

1932- A young school teacher at Sam Houston High School got a phone call. It was from Texas Congressman Richard Clayburgh. He needed a executive aide in Washington and heard this guy was a go-getter. The teacher said yes and packed his cardboard suitcase. Lyndon B. Johnson’s career in politics began.

1949- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry hit number one on the musical charts.

1952- The stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery the Mousetrap opened in London’s West End.

1956- Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 88 followers departed Mexico in a ramshackle boat called the Granma to start a revolution in Cuba.

1960- CBS cancelled it’s remaining five radio soap operas, most of them now on television.

1963- THE GREAT FUNERAL OF JOHN F. KENNEDY. The massed muffled drums, bagpipes, bands blaring Chopin’s Funeral March, the riderless horse with the boots in the stirrups turned inward, a tradition that went back to Genghis Khan, the black horse drawn artillery caisson modeled on Abraham Lincoln's. The day was also John Kennedy, Jr.'s birthday and a big party had been planned with lots of little tots. Jackie knew that John-John didn't understand the gravity of what had transpired so after the funeral she changed out of her widows weeds and ran a kiddie party.

1970- Japan's greatest modern poet-playwright Yukio Mishima committed suicide (seppuku) after attempting a coup at a military base where the Japanese Defense Force soldiers just laughed at him. He felt Japan was losing her spiritual soul to crass materialism and the ancient Bushido warrior code was the only way back. In a poll conducted in a magazine at the time about 75% of Japanese women said they would rather commit suicide than sleep with Yukio Mishima.

1971- Con man D.B. Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient passenger plane after stealing $ 200,000. He parachuted out of the 727 airliner with the money during a thunderstorm over Washington State and disappeared forever. Searchers found rotting bits of money in the forest but never a body. D.B.Cooper became a folk legend. In 1999 a man in South Carolina named Dwayne Weber was dying of liver cancer. Before he died he turned to his wife Jo and said “Before I go, I gotta tell ya something. I’m Dan Cooper” His wife said he loved singing at piano bars and his favorite song was “You’ll never know..”

1975- According to the first movie Rocky, this was the date of the first prizefight portrayed in the film where we meet Rocky Balboa.

1980- “No Mas!” Sugar Ray Leonard defeated Alberto Duran for the World Welterweight Boxing Championship.

1995- Legendary Corporate CEO Akio Morita resigned as the leader of Sony. Under his guidance Sony went from a little postwar maker of cheap electric rice cookers to the largest electronics giant in the world. His official reason was health problems but insiders said the real problem was his headaches with Sony's Hollywood studios -MGM, Columbia, TriStar losing $2 billion. By the time he died in 1999 the Sony movie studios had pulled out of their slump and were on top with movies like Men in Black.

1998- Pixar’s film A Bugs Life premiered.

Yesterday’s question: Why is your mug another nickname for a face?

Answer: In London in the 1660’s politics were discussed in coffee houses on Fleet St. There only wealthy gentry could afford to dally over a cup of rare Java or hot cocoa imported from the Americas. And English King Charles II ‘s queen Catherine of Braganza introduced tea drinking. The opposition to the government’s policies was led by the Earl Of Shaftesbury. The Earl’s face was printed on coffee mugs by his partisans. Political arguments would include throwing or breaking these cups. This is when the word mug also came to mean a face:” I don’t like your mug!”


I've always said that London and New York are cities of monuments, but LA is a city of ghosts. There are few plaques or statues to note the important places of the cities past, even while it is rapturously studied by fans the world over. The destruction of the Brown Derby inspired me to join Hollywood Heritage and the LA Conservancy to try and stop, or at least slow down the egregious despoiling of Los Angeles' few remaining historical sites.

Back in 1982, when Eric Goldberg and I were working in downtown Hollywood on an ABC special called Ziggy's Gift, we sometimes had lunch at a broken down old bar on Cherokee off Hollywood Blvd called BOARDNERS'. The food was passable but cheap, and it exuded a seedy Charles Bukowski ambiance. (it turned out the great barfly poet did drink there.) We noticed there were even posters and artwork up from old animation studios.

This week Jason Tucker, an editor friend of mine I met whilst working for the venerable Brothers Warner, sent me this interesting article about this last of the old Hollywood Watering Holes. It is by Mike Mikulan for the LA Weekly, and portions are reprinted here with their kind permission.

You can get the full article with much more info about Boardners and neighboring Italian restaurant Miceli's by going to

Seven blocks west of Vine, the embers of Hollywood nightlife still glow at Boardner's, a snug little bar that has survived nearly every act of man and nature to become one of the town's unsung monuments to endurance.

It's been claimed, for example, that this was the last bar where Elizabeth Short drank before she stepped into the night and became the Black Dahlia; that an owner bailed out longtime customer Robert Mitchum after his famous 1947 pot bust; that a bartender once nailed the men's room door shut on an inebriated friend; that a ghost has been seen in the tiny women's room.

These and a thousand other tales, verifiable and fabulous alike, make up the Boardner's mythos. What's undisputed are the spare engineering details of its 1927 birth, noted in the hurried longhand of city building inspectors. The bar lies at the Cherokee Avenue foot of a two-story, 122-by-76-foot L-shaped structure that hinges the avenue with Hollywood Boulevard. Designed by Norman Alpaugh, the architect responsible for L.A.'s Sheraton Townhouse and Santa Monica's Elmiro Theater, the building bears some appealing Moorish flourishes carved above a series of narrow shops with deep-set show windows; the Moroccan theme continues on the back patio, with a cruciform, tiled fountain upon which William Powell once posed with some showgirls for a clothing-store promotion.

In 1948 Steve Boardner bought the property and opened his named bar.
It became a golden age for Boardner, a time when former Tommy Dorsey singer Jack Leonard (Scotch and water) would regularly drop in, as would Errol Flynn (beer), and members of Xavier Cugat's band after playing at their boss' club. Another big presence was Boardner's longtime friend, the singer and bandleader Phil Harris (coffee and anisette), whose routine was to say goodbye to his wife, Alice Faye, after the two dined at Musso & Frank, then head over to Boardner's for a rendezvous with his mistress. One day in 1946, regulars W.C. Fields and Wallace Beery were seated in a booth and ordered Coca-Colas. "Coke?" Steve joked. "Why, that stuff'll kill you." Within the year Fields would be dead. (Mikulan proceeds in the article to interview Boardner, now retired in Palm Springs).

STEVE BOARDNER TICKS OFF A roster of long-vanished boulevard bars as though they were still open: "Pickwick Books used to be a bar and restaurant called the Circle, where Lena Horne got started," he says, unaware that even the famed bookstore is now a distant memory. "Bob Perry's Brass Rail, on Vine and Hollywood, had singing waiters and sawdust on the floor. There was a place on Las Palmas called the Swing Club. You'd rap on the door and they'd let you in. It got changed to the 1710 Club and was only open after-hours. The Iron Horse in the Valley was where Gene Autry used to go to get his martini before breakfast. Yes, he was a pretty good rounder."

No-budget director Ed Wood (Scotch and water) was a Boardner's regular, as was Gilligan's Island's Alan Hale Jr. (double Jack Daniels). And athletes, great and obscure, retired and active, still made pilgrimages. Mickey Mantle (bourbon and ginger ale) once dropped in, as did Joe DiMaggio. But eventually the bar, like Hollywood itself, began to lose its luster.

Depending on who you speak to, Hollywood's nightlife was killed by "hippies" and panhandlers who scared away foot traffic, or by the proliferation of topless bars and porn shops, as well as by the presence of more desirable restaurants in Beverly Hills and La Cienega Boulevard's Restaurant Row. Steve began closing the bar down earlier and earlier, until it never stayed open past 10 o'clock.
He sold Boardners and retired in 1980.

1652 Cherokee is continually rediscovered, and it has become a favorite place to hold wrap parties and to shoot films. (Ed Wood, L.A. Confidential and Beverly Hills, 90210 are among many movies and shows filmed here.) Ed Wood’s original home was down the street on the corner of Cherokee & Selma. Boardners now has it's own website.

The animation connection is the artists of Hanna & Barbera used to come there in 1959-61 when H&B was still a little Hollywood storefront. When Eric and I were therein 82 the walls in the back were covered with production charts and posters from past animation houses like Quartet (Charlie Tuna) Playhouse( Tony the Tiger), UPA (Mr Magoo),and Snowball (Beany & Cecil). And the aforementioned Phil Harris of course was the voice for Walt Disney's Baloo, O'Malley and Little John.

Future owners interested in the place pledge to restore it to it's former glory, but I kinda hope it stays the way it is, gritty, a bit seedy, but steeped in the atmosphere of Old Hollywood. Like a James Ellroy or Dashell Hammett mystery come to life.

Quiz: Why is a nickname for someone’s face a mug? Like you ugly mug?

Answer to yesterday’s Quiz below: Why are white people called Caucasian?
HISTORY FOR 11/24/2007
Birthdays: Benedict Spinoza, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Scott Joplin, President Zachary Taylor “Old Rough & Ready”, William F. Buckley, John Lindsay, Dale Carnegie- author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carrie Nation, Dick Powell, Garson Kanin, Cass Gilbert-the architect of the first skyscraper, Steve Yeager, Denise Crosby, Billy Connolly is 65

800 AD- Charlemagne or Charles the Great, the King of the Franks ( France), arrived in Rome to spend the Christmas season with his old pal Pope Leo III. At the Christmas service Leo would crown Charles Emperor of the Romans.The name Romans was symbolic, since the Roman Empire had long since disappeared.

1221- The Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan destroy the army of Persian Shah Mohammed II in the Indus Valley in present northwestern Pakistan.

1859- Charles Darwin published the Origin of the Species.

1904- Alfred Steiglitz and William Steichen opened 291, the first art gallery dedicated exclusively to the art of photography.

1909- THE UPRISING OF THE TWENTY THOUSAND. Mary 'Mother' Jones led three fifths of the immigrant garment workers of New York out on strike to demand better conditions and recognition of their union, the ILGWU. Several Golden 400 socialites would meet the strikers at the old Water Tower in Greenwich Village to dispense food and day care. One of them was Betsy Morgan the youngest daughter of J.P. Morgan who was also involved in a lesbian love affair with designer Elzie DeWolfe….that must have helped her old man's blood pressure.!

1922- Irish writer Robert Erskine Childers was put up against the wall and shot by firing squad. Erskine Childers was the writer of the Riddle of the Sands, one of the first true spy novels, but he was also a leader of the IRA and after Irelands Treaty with Britain he sided with Eamon de Valera and the anti-treaty rebels in the Irish Civil War. Erskine Childers was executed by an Irish Army firing squad. His son became President of Ireland in 1973.

1933- The RKO movie Flying Down to Rio, the first pairing of the famous dance team Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1937- The Andrew Sisters record their Boogie-Woogie version of the German song “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon”.

1938- LENI DOES TINSELTOWN -Hitler's top filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl arrived in Hollywood to meet the film community and show off her new film 'Olympia". Nazis charges de’ affaires in L.A. Gerhard Gyssling had bragged to the press that all Hollywood was dying to meet Germany’s top film artist. But Hollywood had different ideas. Paramount, Warner Bros., Columbia, Fox and Goldwyn refused to speak to her and picketers hounded her every step. Well known Conservatives like Louis B. Mayer and Gary Cooper were polite but begged off the bad publicity. The only studio heads who would meet Leni Reifenstahl were Hal Roach and Walt Disney. Uncle Walt gave her a tour of the studio but begged off running her film, saying the IATSE union projectionist would make trouble. ( uh-huh....) Years later Disney said he didn't really know who she was. ( uh-huh..)

I recently talked to LA Historian Robert Nudelman who interviewed Reifenstahl shortly before she died at age 101. She told him that the reason Walt wanted to meet her was not about politics, but that he was still annoyed that his film Snow White lost out to her at the Venice Film Festival. He wanted to see it to know why.

1941- After suffering a strike and declining revenue because of the war in Europe Walt Disney’s studio was in trouble. Disney animator Ward Kimball noted in his diary for this day: “ 100 layoffs announced. Studio personnel from 1600 down to a Hyperion level of 300. Geez, It this the writing on the wall?” Disney saved itself with doing Defense films for the Army. After limping through the 1940’s with the release of Cinderella in 1949 Walt Disney was back on top..

1947-SIXTY YEARS AGO- THE WALDORF DECLARATION, THE START OF THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST- 50 Hollywood moguls like Harry Cohn, Jack Warner and Dori Charey meet at the Waldorf Astoria in New York to formulate a group response to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee anti-commie hearings that were targeting Hollywood. Besides the heat from the feds their stockholders were clamoring for them to get the Reds out! They agreed to enforce an industry-wide blacklisting of anyone refusing to cooperate with the HUAC Committee. Nothing was ever officially written down or published, if you were blacklisted you suddenly were unable to find any work.
Eric Johnston, spokesman for the Motion Pictures Assoc. said on this day: "As long as I live, I will never be party ot anything as unAmerican as a blacklist!”.
Two days later on Nov. 26th he said: " We will forthwith discharge and never again knowingly employ a Communist. Loyalty oaths for the Entertainment Industry are now compulsory." Many Hollywood artists signed Communist Party cards in the 1930's when it was chic' to be lefty and the Communists were the only open opponents of segregation and Hitler. One screenwriters’ excuse was CP parties had the prettiest girls. Out of an estimated 15,000 entertainment workers only around 300 were ever actually proven to be Communists. Famous blacklist victims included Zero Mostel, Lillian Hellman, Lloyd Bridges, Dashell Hammett, Gale Sondergaard, Edward G. Robinson, Sterling Hayden & Dalton Trumbo. Sidney Poitier was blacklisted for no other reason than he was friends with black activist-actor Canada Lee; 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' composer Yip Harburg was blacklisted for writing a song: 'You Gotta Friend Named Joe" which the committee took to mean Russian dictator Josef Stalin.

1948- Hib Johnson, the President of Johnson's Wax had just moved into a home designed for him by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Called Wingspread, it was considered the culmination of Wrights prairie style. But there was a problem. Johnson called Frank Lloyd Wright to complain that the roof was leaking rainwater onto his Thanksgiving dinner! The water was leaking right on Hib's head as he sat at the head of the table. He refused to budge, had the phone cord stretched so he could make the
call, and spoke to Wright with the drops splashing off his bald tome. What was Wright’s response? " So move the table..."

1950- The musical Guys & Dolls opened. “ I got da horse right here, his name is Paul Revere, I know a jock who tells me Never Fear, Can Do- Can Do..The Jock sez da horse can –do ”

1958- The musical film Gigi opened, music by Lerner & Lowe. Based on the writings of French author Collette, Collette herself had insisted young unknown Dutch actress Audrey Hepburn play the lead.

1963- To complete the surreal drama that shocked America into the Sixties, JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is shot on nationwide T.V. by smalltime gangster Jack Ruby. He is taken to the same hospital and has the same doctors as Kennedy but still dies. Ruby, real name Jacob Rubenstein, always hung around the Dallas police station so no one thought it was unusual to see him around.

1968- Hey Jude by the Beatles topped the pop charts while Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man headed the Country & Western listing.

1976- The Band announced at the Winterland in San Francisco that this was their last concert.

Yesterday’s Question: Why are white people called Caucasian?

Answer: In the slave markets of ancient Greece and Rome, the slaves from the Caucasus Mountains on the eastern coast of the Black Sea were valued for their physical condition. The men were exceptionally handsome and the women renowned for their beauty. When shopping for slaves a typical order would be :” Give men two Germans, a Nubian, a Greek tutor, and a few Caucasians…”

November 23rd, 2007 friday
November 23rd, 2007

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. I recall when I was young, Thanksgiving morning meant the Macy Parade, but it also meant the only time that year you could see Laurel & Hardy in the March of the Wooden Soldiers, and Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels. They were in grainy black & white, because few had color TVs then. They usually ran on the local Metromedia NY stations like WPIX. It came to mean Thanksgiving to me as much as the cranberry sauce. So, if you have a copy available, take a look at these two old gems and start a family holiday tradition!

Quiz: Why are white people called Caucasian?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: In Chuck Jones's cartoon "Tom Turk and Daffy" (1944) Daffy Duck helps to hide the Thanksgiving turkey, until Porky's description of how delicious his planned thanksgiving dinner will be seduces Daffy into revealing the turkey's hiding place. Tom Turkey comments on Daffy's betrayal by saying "Quisling..."Something a 1940’s audience would get. What does that mean?

HISTORY FOR 11/23/2007
Birthdays: German Emperor Otto Ist 972AD, Edward Rutledge –Declaration of Ind signer, President Franklin Pierce, Krystoff Penderecki, Manuel DeFalla, William Henry Pratt better known as Boris Karloff, William Bonney better known as Billy the Kid, Susan Anspach, Victor Jory, Vincent Cassel,

Feast of Saint Clement Ist and Saint Columban.

1499- PERKIN WARBECK hanged for trying to overthrow King Henry VII Tudor. Warbeck maintained he was one of the murdered young "Princes in the Tower", allegedly done in by Richard III " a horse, a horse, etc." in 1485.

1654- BLAISE PASCAL was one of the great minds of French civilization. A scientist who invented an early computer. He loved debating science with Rene Descartes and Johannes Kepler. Descartes joked about Pascal’s championing the existence of a vacuum: “The only vacuum that exists is in Monsieur Pascal’s head!” This day he almost died when his carriage plunged off a Seine River Bridge. The carriage remained precariously perched above the water allowing Pascal to escape. That night in his trauma he had the first of several religious revelations. Blaise Pascal became a philosopher and one of the greatest Christian apologists and champions of established religion. He wrote of that night:” The God of Abraham and Issac appeared to me, The God of Jacob - Reassurance. Certainty. Peace.”

1874- Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy first published.

1876- The first intercollegiate College Football association set up in Springfield Mass.

1889- The first Juke Box installed at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. Created by Louis T. Glass it used Edison cylinders instead of records and cost 5 cents a play. Juke comes from Juke Joint, a slang term for a dance hall.

1897-First Royal performance for Queen Victoria of a Cinematograph moving picture, at Windsor Castle. Also on the program was Monsieur Taffary's Calculating Dogs.

1903- Italian tenor Enrico Caruso made his debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in Verdi’s Rigoletto. The great singer loved drawing caricatures, collecting police badges, pinching ladies bottoms and doing practical jokes like filling your hat with flour. Painter Norman Rockwell recalled when he was paying his way through school by being a Met stagehand Caruso liked to talk art with him and he asked about George Bridgemans class, the great anatomist.

1936- The first florescent lighting tubes are installed, in the U.S. Patent office.

1936- Time Magazine owner Henry Luce launched LIFE Magazine. The first picture on the cover was a dam photographed by Margaret Bourke-White. The second picture was a doctor slapping a newborn baby with the caption: “Life Begins!”

1938- Bob Hope recorded his signature tune “Thanks for the Memory” for the movie The Big Broadcast..

1942- PLAY IT AGAIN SAM- The movie CASABLANCA premiered. Based on an unproduced musical play “Everybody Comes to Ricks’, Howard Koch and the Epstein Brothers adapted the play into one of the most memorable Hollywood movies ever. It was never expected to be more than a rehash of the popular Charles Boyer film Algiers "come wiz me to ze Casbah!". George Raft was first offered the role of Rick but after he turned it down, it was given to Bogie. He described it to a friend:" Aw.. it's just some more sh*t like Algiers!". Humphrey Bogart acted opposite Ingrid Bergman, although he had to stand on boxes to appear taller than his Swedish leading lady. During the famous scene where the French exiles drown out the singing Germans with a stirring rendition of le Marseillaise the Germans are singing Watch On the Rhine. The director wanted them to sing the Nazi Party anthem the Horst Wessel Song but the Warner Legal Dept discovered it was copywrighted! Don’t want them Nazis to sue! .At this time the real Casablanca was still in a war zone so director Michael Curtiz and his art director Carl Jules Wyl had to fake what a North African French colonial city might look like. A decade later while filming in Spain he took the ferry over to Casablanca to see how close they came. Driving around Curtiz remarked “Carl, this doesn’t look anything like our movie!!”

1945- The U.S. government ends most wartime food and gas rationing.

1947- THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS- Prof E. L. Sukenik of Hebrew University in Israel was first told of a discovery made by two Bedouin sheperds in a cave near Qumran. Hebrew sacred scrolls dated from 200BC to 70AD, many were found to corroborate translated passages in the modern Bible. Sukenik risked his life crossing battle zones to buy more parts of the scrolls from antiquarian dealers.

1952- Animator Fred Moore, who drew Mickey Mouse in Fantasia and the Brave Little Tailor, died in an auto accident in the Tujunga Canyon area of Los Angeles.

1960- The Hollywood Walk of Fame is dedicated, featuring over 1,500 names- but not Charlie Chaplin, who was banned until 1972 because of his alleged lefty political views.

1963- The first episode of Dr.Who premiered on the BBC.

1966-The film “ Spinout “ premiered. Elvis Presley pioneered the genre movie of bored male movie stars who use their studio muscle to make us watch movies of them in racing cars. James Garner in Grand Prix-arguably the best one, Steve McQueen in LeMans, Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, Sly Stallone in Driven, etc.

1990- 37 year old baseball catcher Bo Diaz was crushed to death by a large satellite dish he was trying to install.
Yesterday’s question: In Chuck Jones's cartoon "Tom Turk and Daffy" (1944) Daffy Duck helps to hide the Thanksgiving turkey, until Porky's description of how delicious his planned thanksgiving dinner will be seduces Daffy into revealing the turkey's hiding place. Tom Turkey comments on Daffy's betrayal by saying "Quisling..."Something a 1940’s audience would get. What does that mean?

Answer: Vikdun Quisling was a Norwegian Nazi who agreed to run occupied Norway for the Germans. He was executed after the war. His name Quisling, became synonymous with traitor, like Judas or a Benedict Arnold.

November 22, 2007 thurs
November 22nd, 2007

Question: In Chuck Jones's cartoon"Tom Turk and Daffy" (1944) Daffy Duck helps to hide the Thanksgiving turkey, until Porky's description of how delicious his planned thanksgiving dinner will be seduces Daffy into revealing the turkey's hiding place. Tom Turkey comments on Daffy's betrayal by saying "Quisling..."
What does that mean?

Answer to Yesterday’s question below: We always read things like “Dick Cheney and his cohorts,” or “Move On and their cohorts..” So, what the heck is a cohort?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!- Since the earliest recorded times societies have had harvest festivals to give thanks to the appropriate deities that they're not going to starve come winter. Whether or not you believe in 1626 Pilgrim Gov. Bradford and Massacoit and his Wampanoag Indians sat down to share their dinner, the custom of Thanksgiving was a New England custom for decades thereafter. A few years later the New Englanders exterminated these same Indians and stuck Massacoits son King Phillips dismembered head on a post. In 1789 George Washington had called for a thanksgiving celebration in late November to celebrate the new Constitution but the holiday didn’t really become an annual custom until the Civil War. Sarah Hale the editor of the Ladies Magazine had been lobbying the US Government to make the New England practice a national one.

In 1864 after the capture of Atlanta and Mobile Bay it looked obvious that the Union was finally going to win the Civil War. President Lincoln issued a decree that the last Thursday of November be set aside as a feast of national Thanksgiving –Old Abe had just won his re-election so he had lots to be thankful for as well. As blue clad troops chowed down on their turkey and chicken dinners the Confederates withheld their fire in honor of the new Yankee holiday. To this day Thanksgiving is still declared by Presidential decree, probably buried somewhere in the back of today’s newspaper.

In 1940 President Roosevelt tried to move Thanksgiving earlier in the month to help Depression-wracked business by spurring early Christmas shopping, but people were used to it where it was. If he was alive today he would see that Xmas shopping gets going before Halloween these days..

History for 11/22/2007
Birthdays: French explorer Sieur de LaSalle, George Elliot- pen name for Mary Anne Evans, Benjamin Britten, Charles DeGaulle, Andre Gide,Wiley Post, Billy Jean King, Boris Becker, Geraldine Page, Jamie Lee Curtis is 49, "Cactus Jack" Garner*, Hoagy Carmichael, Rodney Dangerfield, Terry Gilliam is 67, Robert Vaughn, Greg Luzinski, Tom Conti, Mark Ruffalo, Steven Van Zandt, Victoria Paris- porn star of such classics like Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo, Scarlett Johanssen is 23

* Texan Cactus Jack Garner was a Senate leader and FDR's vice president for his first two terms. Lyndon Johnson was in Dallas visiting him on his 90th birthday when Kennedy's assassination occurred. Garner had advised Johnson about leaving his senate leadership to become Vice President: "Lyndon, the Vice Presidency ain't worth a bucket of warm spit !"

St. Cecilia's Day- Patron Saint of Musicians

1622- English poet John Donne ordained the deacon of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The poet had written some of the most erotic poetry in English literature, now he devoted himself as fervently to religious contemplation.

1739- Georg Frederich Handel premiered the oratorio Ode to Saint Cecilia’s Day.

1809- Baltimore native Peregrine Williamson invented a re-usable steel pen. This finally freed the western world from sharpening goose quills and other feathers to write.

1880- Actress Lillian Russell made her debut on the New York Stage. Russell exemplified the sex appeal of the era- big figured, big bustle, tiny waist and BIG caboose.

1888- According to Edgar Rice Burroughs this is the birthday of the boy who would become Tarzan.

1916- Author Jack London died at 40 in Glen Ellen California of kidney disease. The author of White Fang and Call of the Wild was a lifelong socialist and supporter of the labor movement. In 1918 Emma Goldman eulogized in an article in The Masses: “It’s a pity that brother Jack never lived long enough to see the Red Flags of Freedom flying over the Kremlin!”

1917- The National Hockey League-NHL, founded in Montreal. The first teams The Quebec Bulldogs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Arenas, and Montreal Maroons.

1928- Long before Bo Derek ran down a beach, Ravel’s Bolero Suite premiered in Paris.

1935- The First Pan Am China Clipper service began from San Francisco to Honolulu and Manila. Captain Edwin Musik took off with 20.000 people waving bon voyage.

1942- Operation Uranus- The German 6th Army surrounded at Stalingrad. As the Russian pincers were closing behind him Gen.Von Paulus wired Hitler for permission to pull back and maneuver. Hitler promoted him to Field Marshal and ordered him not to withdraw one millimeter. When Hitler had given Ervin Rommel a similar order at El Alamein Rommel simply ignored it with no ramifications and saved his army. But Von Paulus believed in Hitler. It was his bad luck the Germans had kept their main supply dumps just outside the area surrounded by the Russians, so they were cut off from food. The Luftwaffe tried to feed his men by air drops but the 70 tons of supplies delivered could barely maintain starvation rations. The 6th Army was slowly starved, frozen and pounded on all sides. By February 100,000 surviving German troops surrendered. They were sent to Stalin's gulags in Siberia where most of them died. The bitter Von Paulus became as diehard a communist as he had been a diehard Nazi. After the war testified for the prosecution against his old commanders at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

1950- The Lowest Scoring Basketball game in NBA history. The Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18. They later became the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers.

1957- The Miles Davis Quintet debuted.

1963- ONE DAY IN DALLAS- At 12:30 Central time President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. Whether you believe the assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, The Military Industrial Complex, Vice President Johnson, the Mob, Corsican contract killers, The C.I.A., Fidel Castro, Anti-Castro Cubans, space aliens or all of the above, it remains one of the traumatic moments of US History. Only 15% of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald did it alone. One Mafia don said in his memoirs:” If you believe Oswald, a rather lackluster Marine, could get off three carefully aimed shots from an old bolt action rifle in just six seconds, you have a vivid imagination.” One of the last things Kennedy heard before the bullets struck him was the wife of Texas governor John Connolly said:” Well Mr President, now nobody can say they don’t love you in Dallas!” After taking the oath of office on Air Force One Lyndon Johnson broke down and locked himself in the toilet crying hysterically “They’re out to kill us all!” Jackie Kennedy, who after flying to D.C. from Dallas still wearing the blood soaked pink Channel dress “let the people see what they’ve done!” immediately started going over the funeral arrangements. Before retiring she had her staff comb the National Archives for the details of the Lincoln Funeral. Cub reporter Robin MacNeil remembers after the shots running into the nearest building to phone in the story. He ran into the Texas Book Depository and asked a skinny t-shirted man who was just leaving where the nearest phone was. Two days later when watching the footage of the assassin being arrested he realized he had been talking to Oswald!
In 1966 key evidence from the Kennedy assassination including the presidents brain and Oswalds tax returns disappeared. People claiming knowledge of a conspiracy died in strange ways, like karate chops and boating accidents.

1963- Aldous Huxley died. The author of Brave New World had inoperable cancer, so his wife kept him high on LSD,

1965- The musical The Man of La Mancha opened on Broadway. “ To Dream, the Impossible Dreaaammm…”Brings back memories of Junior High School band practice.

1980- Screen goddess Mae West died at 87. He apartment suite at the Ravenswood in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles has been lovingly restored since the owner claims her ghost nagged him to put her furniture back!

1986- 20 year old Mike Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick to become the youngest man to ever wear the Heavyweight Champion’s belt.

1990- Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of English politics, resigned her offices. After 11 years in power her popularity was low because of her poll tax and resistance to English cooperation in the European Community. So her resignation and replacement with her protégé John Major was seen as a way for the Tories to retain control of government.

1993- Sir Anthony Burgess died. The author of A Clockwork Orange had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and told he had one year to live, in 1959.
Yesterdays’ Quiz: We always read things like “Dick Cheney and his cohorts,” or “Move On and their cohorts..” So, what the heck is a cohort?

Answer: Smallest unit of the ancient Roman Army, equal to a platoon. Several cohorts make up a legion, three to ten legions can be an army. A legion was about 3,000-5,000 men. Roman generals like Caesar were always writing about sending three cohorts here, two cohorts there, etc.

November 21st, 2007 weds
November 21st, 2007

Quiz: We always read things like “Dick Cheney and his cohorts,” or “Move On and their cohorts..” So, what the heck is a cohort?

Yesterday’s question- Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary. Is she the longest reigning English monarch? Answer below…
History for 11/21/2007
Birthdays: Francios Arouet called Voltaire, Marlo Thomas called That Girl,, Rene Magritte, Adolphe Marx called Harpo, Colman Hawkins called Bean, Stan ' the Man' Musial, Tom Horn called the last Outlaw, Pope Benedict XlV, Earl the Pearl Monroe, Goldie Hawn, Harold Ramis, Ken Griffey Jr, Mariel Hemingway, Lorna Luft, Troy Aikman, Bjork

In the Orthodox Church this is Feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel

1620- THE PILGRIMS LAND AT PLYMOUTH ROCK- Legend has it Mary Chilton and John Alden were the first ones to set foot upon American soil. The English religious sect after first leaving England had lived in Utrecht but the Dutch couldn't stand them either. They had set sail for Virginia but bad weather had blown them to the coast of Massachusetts. The area they were settling was some of the most densely populated Indian land in North America, but the smallpox spread by preceding European explorers had decimated the tribes, leaving entire villages empty. When the Pilgrims saw this they held a thanksgiving service in honor of: "He who prepares a way for His people by sweeping away the heathen." The Puritans landed several years later but they were a separate group who didn't like the Pilgrims. Then came the Quakers whom nobody liked.
The Plymouth Rock enshrined in modern Plymouth was identified in 1677 by an elderly survivor of the landing as the huge rock escarpment they landed on. The city fathers tried to pry it loose but only a little chunk broke off. That’s why Plymouth Rock looks pretty small for a ship to land on.

1718- BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE KILLED. William Teech from Bristol England had served on privateers fighting the French. When the war was over he went into business for himself. He grew a huge black beard, which he twisted into ringlets and tied smoking cannon fuses into it to scare people. This day two sloops of Royal Marines sent from Virginia colony led by a Lieutenant Maynard RN, boarded Blackbeard’s ship when she ran aground on the coast of North Carolina. The fighting was all hand to hand. Blackbeard finally went down after he was shot five times and slashed with cutlasses 25 times. Blackbeard had stationed a black child with a lit match in the powder magazine with orders to blow everything to hell the moment the battle was lost, but the boy was killed before he could accomplish his task. After the battle Lt. Maynard found papers proving the Royal Governors of Bermuda and North Carolina were receiving bribes from the pirates for safe harbor. Blackbeard’s head was cut off and hung it from the bowsprit for the trip home. (No one had invented foam dice yet.) They threw the rest of his corpse into the ocean where legend says it swam around the ship once before sinking. Shiver Me Timbers!

1794- Honolulu Harbor discovered by British explorers.

1920- Bloody Sunday- In Dublin IRA chief Michael Collins sent out his best assassination squad, nicknamed the Twelve Apostles. In the early morning of one day they rounded up and shot 20 of the top British counter terrorist police inspectors, nicknamed the Cairo Gang. In some cases they forced the wives to watch their husband’s executions. The British paramilitary constabulary nicknamed the Black & Tans reacted to the killings by entering a soccer stadium during a match and opening fire on the players and fans with rifles and machine guns. 25 were killed and scores wounded .

1933- Columbia director Frank Capra went to Claudette Colbert’s home to talk her into delaying her holiday vacation long enough to star with Clark Gable in “It Happened One Night”. Colbert said she would only do it for double her normal salary and if they would be done by Dec 23rd so she could spend Christmas with friends at Squaw Valley Idaho.
They made the picture on a rush and Colbert later told her friends:” I just finished the worst picture in the world!” It Happened One Night” became a monster hit for Capra, Columbia and is one of Colbert’s most memorable performances. At one point in the story Clark Gable bites on a carrot and says" What's up, Doc?" giving Warner Bros director Tex Avery a neat thing for his new character Bugs Bunny to say....

1934- Cole Porter's musical 'Anything Goes!' opened on Broadway. Ethel Merman starring, In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked upon as somewhat shocking. Now Heaven knows- Anything Goes!”

1942- Warner's "A Tale of Two Kitties" the first Tweety Pie. I tawt I taw a puddy cat !

1959- The day after he was fired WABC radio DJ Alan Freed refused to sign a statement that he never received cash payments or payola to run Rock & Roll records on the air, which is exactly what he did.

1963- President John F. Kennedy and Jackie fly into San Antonio for a swing through Texas to gather support for a possible re-election run. Tomorrow would take them to Houston for breakfast then through Dallas....

1963- Robert Stroud, the 'Birdman of Alcatraz' died behind bars at 73. Jailed in 1916 for murdering a man who beat up his girlfriend, he spent 54 years in prison, 42 in solitary confinement. His study of birds enabled him to become an expert in bird diseases, he wrote three books. Burt Lancaster played him in the movies as a tragic hero, but those who knew him said he was a morose psychopath who stabbed another inmate and murdered a guard. He was known to shave off all his body hair and drink alcohol distilled from the birdseed admirers sent him. His own mother hoped he'd never be paroled.

1964- The Verrasano Narrows Bridge opens in New York Harbor. I remember the first person through the gate was a motorcyclist who "popped a Wheelie" and tried to cross the bridge balanced on his back tire.

1967- Mission Accomplished I? General William Westmoreland announced that the North Vietnamese were losing the Vietnam War. Two months later US and ARVN forces were hit by the massive nationwide Tet Offensive.

1969- THE BIRTH OF THE INTERNET- In 1957 after Sputnik scared the US the Defense Department asked the Rand Corporation to theorize a communication system that could survive Russian atomic bombs. They conceived of a “net” of computers all in communication with another around the world. Because there was no center a bomb could not knock out the entire system. This day in 1969 UCLA scientists J.C.R. Licklider, Robert Taylor and others working for the Defense Dept. successfully hooked up five computers at Stanford, UC Santa Barbara and Univ if Utah using long distance phone lines. They called it ARPANET- Advanced Research Projects Agency-NET, a few years later Internet. By 1978 the Defense Department didn’t want to run the thing anymore so they offered to turn over the entire Internet to ATT for free. AT&T said no thanks, we just don’t see the value in it. In 1992 the US government made the Internet public and the rush was on.

1980- A huge fire at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas killed 80 people.

1980- Australian Olivia Newton John’s disco anthem to aerobic exercise “Let’s Get Physical ” goes to number one of the pop charts and stays there for ten weeks.

1987- Bruce Willis married Demi Moore in Las Vegas. The divorced five years later.

1989- Junk bond king Michael Milken pleads guilty to insider stock trading and 98 counts of fraud. He now does lectures on ethics in business.

1999- 90 year old writer Quentin Crisp died. The author of the Naked Civil Servant had moved from England to San Francisco to lower Manhattan- he asked a friend “I’m moving to New York, I wonder if I should first learn the language?” Another time when Quentin was accosted by young punks he retorted:” Gentlemen, do you not know you are disturbing a National Heritage? I have been declared one of the Stately Old Homo’s of England!” Sting wrote a song about him- Englishman in New York.

Quiz: Yesterday Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary. Is she the longest reigning English monarch?

Answer: Crowned in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II recently passed Queen Elizabeth Ist as the second longest reigning British monarch. But she’ll need to stick around ten more years, to 2017, to catch Queen Victoria 1837-1901– 64 years on the throne. Victoria was crowned when veterans of Waterloo and Yorktown were still around, and she lived long enough to talk on a telephone and watch a movie.