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Nov. 25, 2022
November 25th, 2022

Question: What is sodabread? Something baked with Coke or Pepsi?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What does it mean to be Shanghaied?
History for 11/25/2021
Birthdays: Lope de Vega, St. 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, Bob Matheson, John Larroquette, Gloria Steinem, General Augusto Pinochet, Christina Applegate, Bucky Dent, Bill Kroyer

1177-Battle of Montgisard- 19 year old Baldwin the Leper-King of Jerusalem and his Crusader knights defeated Saladin.

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 it for their current Prime Minister William Pitt, hence the name Pittsburgh.

1783- EVACUATION DAY- Treaties ending the American Revolution signed, the last British troops left U.S. soil, sailing out of New York Harbor for Nova Scotia. This also marks the beginning of the exodus to Canada of Americans who sided with England, maybe as many as 130,000. Tories, or United Empire Loyalists, as you prefer. Also about 3,000 slaves liberated by the British requested to return to Africa and were sent to Sierra Leone. Among their number was the personal cook of George Washington’s, who bolted through the lines the moment he heard about the offer. Washington demanded his return, and the British refused.
The last shot fired of the American Revolution was as the British fleet passed by Staten Island, so many people were at the shoreline jeering, a British warship fired a cannon at them. The shot landed harmlessly in the water. One British officer wrote “I wish Columbus had never discovered this cursed place.” George Washington led American forces into the city at around 1:00PM.
Evacuation Day was a holiday in New York for many 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- 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, whose 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, from crowned heads to street kids, until his retirement in 1916.

1915- In a rally at Stone Mountain Georgia, a group of white southerners inspired by D.W. Griffith’s film ‘The Birth of a Nation” declared the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. The original Klan had been formed in 1865 by disaffected Confederate veterans as a resistance to the Yankee occupation. But by 1867 most had been rounded up by the authorities. It died out in part because all their goals of denying black Americans their civil rights had been achieved by political means anyway. This new Klan in 1915 broadened their appeal to hatred of not only black Americans but also immigrants, Jews and Catholics. Instead of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, the modern KKK appealed to strict U.S. patriotism and the Protestant Religion. Many areas other than the Old South invited in the Klan, like in 1921 the governor and most of the state legislature of Indiana were Klansmen. In the 60s there were Klan in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles.

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

1932- At Sam Houston High School in rural Texas, a young teacher got a phone call. It was from Congressman Richard Clayburgh. He said he needed an executive aide in Washington, and he heard this guy was a go-getter. The young teacher said yes, and packed his one suit and a few shirts in a cardboard suitcase.
Lyndon B. Johnson’s career in politics began.

1944- A German V-2 missile hit a Woolworth’s store in Deptford England while people were shopping. 160 killed. German generals wanted the V-2’s aimed at the Allied beachheads where all their supplies were being unloaded. But Hitler had them fired at London, and wherever they came down they did.

1949- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry hit number one on the music charts. The TV program by Rankin/Bass premiered in 1964.

1952- The stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery the Mousetrap opened in London’s West End and became one of the longest running plays in history.

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

1960- CBS canceled its remaining five radio soap operas, most of them now on television.

1963- THE FUNERAL OF JOHN F. KENNEDY. The massed muffled drums, bagpipes, bands blaring Chopin’s Funeral March, the riderless horse named BlackJack 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. Photographer Sam Stearns caught little John-John giving a salute, like everyone around him.
This day was also John Kennedy, Jr.'s birthday, and a big party had been planned with lots of little tots. Jackie knew that baby John-john didn't understand the gravity of what had transpired, so after the funeral she changed out of her widow’s weeds and ran a kiddie party.

1963- In his family home in Queens NY, young songwriter Paul Simon was deeply depressed by the assassination of President Kennedy. He locked himself in his bathroom and kicked around chords on his guitar. That night, he wrote “ Hello darkness, my old friend….”

1970- Japan's great poet-playwright Yukio Mishima committed suicide(seppuku) after attempting a coup at a military base. He had his suicide filmed as it happened. He felt Japan was losing her spiritual soul to crass materialism, so the ancient Bushido warrior code was the only way back. The Japanese Defense Force soldiers he appealed to join his cause just laughed at him and thought he was crazy.
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 movie Rocky, this was the date of the first prizefight portrayed in the film where we first meet Rocky Balboa.

1975- Happy Surinam Independence Day.

1986- President Reagan announced the firing of National Security adviser Admiral Poindexter and his assistant Marine colonel Oliver North. That night North’s secretary Fawn Hall smuggled incriminating documents out of her office stuffed in her brassiere and under her skirt. The NSC was engaged in an illegal scheme of selling weapons to Iran through middlemen then funneling the money made to the Nicaraguan Contras rebels in defiance of Congress.
A 40 million dollar Congressional investigation could never definitively tie Reagan to the scheme, even though North openly admitted he was only the designated fall guy. Admiral Poindexter served in the GW Bush administration and Ollie North became a radio talk show host.

30 Years ago. 1992- Walt Disney’s Aladdin opened in theaters.

1995- Legendary Corporate CEO Akio Morita retired as the leader of Sony. Under his guidance Sony went from a little postwar maker of electric rice cookers to the largest electronics company in the world. His official reason was he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while playing tennis. Some insiders said he was tired of dealing with the stress of managing Sony's Hollywood studios -MGM, Columbia, TriStar losing $2 billion. By the time Morita died in 1999, the Sony movie studios had pulled out of their slump and were on top with movies like Titanic and Men in Black.

2009- Disney’s Princess and the Frog, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, opened.

2015- In a speech in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Presidential candidate Donald Trump did a mocking impression of a NY Times reporter Serge Kovalevski, who is disabled. In his speech, Trump shook violently: “Now the poor guy — you ought to see the guy: ‘Uhh, I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember!’ To the derisive laughter of his audience. He later claimed his intent was misunderstood. For any other candidate, this would have destroyed their chances, like Howard Dean’s scream. But Donnie was just getting started.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to be Shanghaied?

Answer: To drug, kidnap or otherwise force someone to serve on a ship against their will. The phrase became popular in American ports, where Shanghai was the furthest destination any sailor could imagine. Where’s Bill? He’s going to Shanghai, or he’s been shanghaied.

Nov 24, 2022
November 24th, 2022

Question: What does it mean to be Shanghaied?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: In Longfellow’s poem The Courtship of Miles Standish, pilgrim Miles Standish is courting the same maiden as another man, John Alden. What was the maiden’s name?
HISTORY FOR 11/24/2022
Birthdays: Spinoza, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Scott Joplin, Zachary Taylor, Carrie Nation, Dick Powell, Garson Kanin, Cass Gilbert-the architect of the first skyscraper, Alvan Barkley-Truman’s VP, Forrest J. Ackerman, William F. Buckley, John Lindsay, Dale Carnegie- author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Steve Yeager, Denise Crosby, Billy Connolly is 81

HAPPY THANKSGIVING (U.S.) Since the earliest times societies had harvest festivals to give thanks to the appropriate deities that they're not going to starve that winter. A letter written in 1621 by pilgrim Edward Winslow described how Pilgrim Gov. Bradford and Miles Standish invited Massasoit and 90 of his Wampanoag people to a feast to celebrate their first successful harvest. The Indians brought several deer they hunted. Gov. Bradford, who later wrote a detailed history of the Plymouth colony, does not mention the event. The custom of Thanksgiving was a New England custom for decades thereafter.

In 1789 George Washington called for a thanksgiving celebration in late November to celebrate the new Constitution. But Pres. Thomas Jefferson thought Thanksgiving was the most ridiculous idea he ever heard of. He considered it a violation of the separation of church and state, as did Andy Jackson and Zachary Taylor. So, the holiday didn’t really become an annual custom until the Civil War. Sarah Hale the editor of the Ladies Magazine, the Martha Stewart of the mid 1800s, had been lobbying the US Government to make the New England tradition a national one.

In 1864 after the great union victory at Atlanta, President Lincoln issued a decree that the last Thursday of November be set aside as a feast of national Thanksgiving. As blue clad troops chowed down on their turkey and chicken dinners, the Confederates withheld their fire in honor of the new Yankee holiday. Thanksgiving was declared by Presidential decree, usually a notice buried in back of a newspaper until made an official holiday in 1941. The first Macy’s Parade in NY was in 1924, the big balloons debuted in 1927.

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, Pope Leo would crown him Emperor.

1221- The Mongol horde of Genghis Khan destroyed the Persian army of Shah Jelalladin in the Indus Valley in present northwestern Pakistan.

1326- Hugh Despenser the Younger, onetime gay lover of King Edward II, was executed by order of Eddie’s wife, Queen Isabella the She-Wolf of France. Lashed to a high ladder, she ordered his penis and testicles amputated and burned in front of him before he was disemboweled and his heart cut out.

1440- The Black Dinner- Sir Alex Livingston and Sir William Crichton were the regents ruling Scotland in the name of boy King James II Stewart. They were concerned about the loyalty of the Douglas Clan. So this night they had the Earl of Douglas and his brother over to Edinburgh Castle for dinner. At one point during the dinner a black bulls head on a dish was presented. This was the signal to grab the Douglas’s, who were peremptorily tried and beheaded on the spot.

Edinburgh Castle, town and tower,
God grant ye sink for sin;
And that even for The Black Dinner,
Earl Douglas get there-in…

1681- YOU UGLY MUG! The Earl of Shaftesbury acquitted of treason. In the politics of King Charles II’s England the Earl was frequently in opposition to the Kings policy. He started the first political party in loyal opposition, the Green Ribbon Club, later the Whig Party. This was a new idea. Before this, disagreeing openly with the Crown was considered treason. But now after the English Civil War and the Restoration, open political debate was considered acceptable.
Politics at the time was discussed in coffee houses on Fleet St. where only wealthy gentry could afford to dally over a cup of rare Java or hot cocoa imported from the Americas. And Charles II ‘s queen Catherine of Braganza introduced Tea drinking. The Earl of Shaftesbury’s face was printed on coffee mugs by his partisans, as were other images of leading politicians. This is when the word mug also came to mean a face:” I don’t like your mug!”

1688- English King James II was facing an invasion led by his own daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. This morning in his army camp, the King awoke to find his entire army had run away!
In the middle of the night the commander of the royal army, the Duke of Marlborough, and all 40 of his generals deserted and went over to the other side.
These defections meant that the Glorious Revolution of 1688 would be bloodless and not a repeat of the bloody English Civil War of 1642-49.

1789- The first issue of France’s national newspaper Le Moniteur.

1832- THE NULLIFIERS- A controversy had been brewing since the U.S. Constitution was adapted whether the individual states or federal government had the final say on a law. Southern states in particular declared they had the right to “nullify” Federal laws they didn’t agree with. This day South Carolina refused to pay a new tariff imposed by Washington. President Andy Jackson, also a southerner, angrily ordered the army to mobilize. But the crisis was averted by a compromise the following spring. The issue continued to plague U.S. politics to this day.

1859- Charles Darwin published his book on evolution, The Origin of the Species.

1863- THE BATTLE ABOVE THE CLOUDS or Missionary Ridge. Gen. Grant's army had to break through a Confederate Army dug in on a mountaintop above Chattanooga, Tennessee. At first it was the 24th Wisconsin Infantry that was ordered to take the rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge. This was intended as a diversion for the two flanking attacks occurring at the same time. When the Wisconsin soldiers swept the pits, they confused their orders and just continued the assault. They felt stopping for cover or retreating on the bare mountain slope was more suicidal than attacking. More units joined in the mad scramble up the mountainside and soon the mistake became a general assault that blew the rebel army off the summit.
Grant had a great, if unplanned for victory. The first soldier to plant the U.S. flag on the summit was Lt. Arthur MacArthur, the father of World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur. Lt. Arthur MacArthur took the Wisconsin regimental flag after the rest of the officers had been killed and led the charge up the slope, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. How did Lt. MacArthur inspire his men? He kept yelling "On Wisconsin!" This tradition inspired the Wisconsin football fight song "On Wisconsin" still sung to this day and perennially voted one of the five best fight songs in college football.
In the early 1960s, the Wisconsin assault on Missionary Ridge was the subject of a crayon/pastel painting by a young recruit of the 101st Airborne Division. The painting is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The artist? Jimmy Hendrix.

1871- The National Rifle Association formed.

1874- Cacaobao, the high chief of the Cannibal Isles (modern Fiji) submitted to the British Empire. He figured they were going get it anyway. He sent Queen Victoria his personal war club as a gift.

1874- Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire, which made it possible to fence in the Great Plains for farming. In 1899 in the Boer War it was the white South African Boers who first came up with the idea of using barbed wire to slow down enemy infantry.
Since then, barbed wire has been used to keep people in or out.

1904- Alfred Steiglitz and Edward 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 affair with designer Elzie DeWolfe.

1922- Irish writer 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 the anti-treaty rebels in the Irish Civil War. This day Erskine Childers was shot by an Irish Army firing squad. His son became President of Ireland in 1973.

1933- The RKO movie Flying Down to Rio released, meant as a starring vehicle for Dolores Del Rio, but what we remember is it is the first pairing of the famous dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1937- The Andrew Sisters record their Boogie-Woogie version of “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon”, an old Yiddish Klezmer song that was updated by Bennie Goodman.

1938- LENI DOES TINSELTOWN -Hitler's top filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl arrived in Hollywood to meet the film community and show off her new documentary 'Olympia". Nazis charges de’ affaires in L.A., Gerhard Gyssling, had bragged to the press that all Hollywood couldn’t wait to meet Reich’s top filmmaker. But Hollywood had different ideas. Sam Goldwyn said,” I’m not going to greet that N*zi bitch!” Paramount, Warner Bros., Columbia, Fox 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 union projectionist would make trouble. ( uh-huh....) Years later Disney said he didn't really know who she was. (uh-huh......) In her 90s, Leni told LA historian Robert Nudleman that she thought Walt met her because his professional curiosity got the better of him. That he wanted to see Olympia, because it was the only film to beat his Snow White at the Venice Film Festival, then the world’s most prestigious film festival.

1941- After suffering a strike and declining revenue because of the war in Europe, Walt Disney’s studio was in trouble. 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?”

1947- THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST- 50 Hollywood moguls like Harry Cohn, Jack Warner and Dore Shary met 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. Writer Bud Schulberg’s 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, Howard Da Silva, Ed Wynn, 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: “Happiness is a thing called Joe" which the committee took to mean Soviet 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, and had the phone cord stretched so he could make the
call, and spoke to Wright with the drops splashing off his bald head. What was Frank Lloyd Wright’s response? " So move your table..."

1950- Gen. Douglas MacArthur announced his "Home by Christmas Offensive" to finish off the North Korean army and end the Korean War. The next day he was attacked by 180,000 Red Chinese. MacArthur was fired, and the war dragged on until 1953.

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 was shot on live nationwide T.V. by smalltime gangster Jack Ruby. He was taken to the same hospital and had the same doctors as Kennedy but still died. 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.

1991- Freddy Mercury, lead singer of the rock group Queen, died of AIDS. He was 45.

1988- Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered.

1998- America On Line bought their chief competitor Netscape.

1999- Pixar’s Toy Story 2. in theaters.

2000- Catherine Zeta-Jones married Michael Douglas.

2010- Disney’s Tangled released.
Yesterday’s Question: In Longfellow’s poem The Courtship of Miles Standish, pilgrim Miles Standish is courting the same maiden as another man, John Alden. What was the maiden’s name?

Answer: Priscilla Mullins. She was already in love with John Alden, and went with him.

Nov 23, 2022
November 23rd, 2022

Question: In Longfellow’s poem The Courtship of Miles Standish, pilgrim Miles Standish is courting the same maiden as another man, John Alden. What was the maiden’s name?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What is meant by the Dark Side of the Moon? The moon is round. It has no sides.
HISTORY FOR 11/23/2022
Birthdays: German Emperor Otto I-972AD, Edward Rutledge, President Franklin Pierce, Krystoff Penderecki, Manuel DeFalla, William Henry Pratt better known as Boris Karloff, William Bonney better known as Billy the Kid, Roman Petrovich Tyrtof better known as Erte’, Arthur Marx better known as Harpo, George O’Hanlon the voice of George Jetson, Susan Anspach, Victor Jory, animator Ray Patterson, Vincent Cassel is 55, Joe Esterhaus is 79, Miley Cyrus is 29.

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

1654- BLAISE PASCAL was one of the great minds of French civilization. A scientist who invented an early computer, the piston syringe and a hydraulic press. 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 turned to philosophy and was one of the great Christian apologists. He wrote of that night:” The God of Abraham and Isaac 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 and William Arnold, it used Edison cylinders instead of records and cost 5 cents a play. Juke comes from Juke Joint, a slang term then for a cheap dance hall.

1897- Windsor Castle saw the first performance for Queen Victoria of a cinematograph moving picture. Her Majesty watched footage of the procession of her Diamond Jubilee taken in June. 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 Bridgeman’s class, the great anatomy teacher.

1921- Tightening the Prohibition laws, President Warren Harding signed the Willis-Cambell Act. It was nicknamed the Anti-Beer Bill, because it forbade doctors to prescribe beer or other liquors for medicinal purposes.

1923- During Prohibition, off the coast of New Jersey, the Coast Guard finally apprehended the most famous of the gentlemen Rum-Runners, Bill McCoy. McCoy had been a Florida yacht builder until Prohibition showed him a new way to make a living. He sailed his speedy yacht The Arethusa to Nassau in the Bahamas or French Labrador, fill up with commercial booze, and sell it in the New York City area. When much unregulated ersatz alcohol could make you sick, bathtub gin, McCoy was known to sell only high-quality labels. It is where the term “The Real McCoy” came from.

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..

1939- The Nazis order Jews to wear yellow Stars of David sewn on their clothes.

1941- Operation Crusader- Battle of Sidi Rezegh. Although Rommel the Desert Fox had outmaneuvered the British 8th Army under Sir Claude Auchinleck, his own forces were so spent that he had to withdraw and give up the siege of Tobruk. At this time the British 7th Armored Division got the nickname The Desert Rats.

1942- PLAY IT AGAIN SAM- The movie CASABLANCA premiered. Based on a never produced musical, “Everybody Comes to Ricks’, Howard Koch and the Epstein Brothers adapted the play into one of the most memorable Hollywood love stories ever. It was never expected to be more than a rehash of the popular Charles Boyer film Algiers. (Come with me to zee Casbah…”). Humphrey Bogart told a friend about his new project “ Aw, its just some more shit like Algiers.” Bogie acted opposite Ingrid Bergman, although he had to stand on apple 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 copyrighted! We’re fighting them Nazis, but we don’t want them to sue us!

At the time of filming 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 Almeida, Spain, they took a ferry over to Casablanca to see how close they came. Driving around the city, 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 shepherds in a cave near Qumran. Hebrew sacred scrolls dated from 200BC to 70AD, many were found to corroborate translated passages in the modern Bible.

1948- Japanese Prime Minister Gen. Hidecki Tojo was hanged for war crimes.
Throughout the war, Tojo’s official limousine was a Buick. Must have been tough getting parts.

1952- Animator Fred Moore, who drew Mickey Mouse in Fantasia and the Brave Little Tailor, died from cerebral injuries incurred in an auto accident in the Big Tujunga Canyon area of Los Angeles. He was 41.

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 lefty political views.

1963- The night after the JFK Assassination, the presidential party was back in Washington from Dallas. Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine was guarding the home of new president Lyndon Johnson. During the night he raised his weapon at a shadowy figure approaching him. He was about to shoot when he saw the figure was President Johnson! OOPS! Gerald Blaine didn’t admit this incident until 2010.

1963- The very first episode of Dr. Who premiered on the BBC TV. William Hartnell played the first Dr. Who. There have been thirteen doctors since.

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 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.

1973- Albert DeSalvo, The Boston Strangler, molested and murdered 13 women and kept Beantown in fear between 1962 and 1964. He was finally apprehended and sentenced to life in prison, just getting in after the states death penalty was repealed. On this date another prisoner did what the State would not do, he knifed DeSalvo to death in an argument.

1985- The first commercial compact discs (CDs) go on sale.

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: What is meant by the Dark Side of the Moon? The moon is round. It has no sides.

Answer: While the Earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours, the Moon does not. Nobody knows why. It shows only one side towards us as it goes around. The side that we never see we call The Dark Side of the Moon.

Nov. 21, 2022
November 21st, 2022

Question: What does it mean to be sanguine about something?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Transylvania is now part of what modern nation?
History for 11/21/2022
Birthdays: Francios Arouet called Voltaire, Marlo Thomas is 82, Colman Hawkins, Stan “The Man” Musial, Tom Horn, Pope Benedict XlV, Earl the Pearl Monroe, Harold Ramis, Rene Magritte, Goldie Hawn is 77, Dr. John (born Malcolm Rebennack), Mariel Hemingway, Troy Aikman, Bjork is 57

53BC- Marcus Licinius Crassus, the Roman consul who defeated Spartacus, doesn’t do as well with the Parthians in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Today he was captured in battle. Well known as a millionaire, the Parthians killed him by holding his mouth open and pouring molten gold down his throat. Then his body dragged around the ground by a chariot, then stuffed and mounted it in their temple of victories.

1620- THE PILGRIMS LAND AT PLYMOUTH ROCK- Legend has it Mary Chilton and John Alden were the first ones to set foot upon The New World. After leaving England, the fundamentalist sect tried living 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, 70,000 alone in the Narragansett Bay area, 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 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 the current enshrined Plymouth Rock looks pretty small for a big ship to park on.

1718- BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE KILLED. Edward Teach from Bristol 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 tied lit cannon fuses into the ringlets 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 went down after he was shot five times and slashed with cutlasses 25 times. Blackbeard had stationed a black boy 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 pirate for safe harbor. Blackbeard’s head was cut off and hung it from the bowsprit for the trip home. They threw the rest of his corpse into the ocean where legend says it swam around the ship twice before sinking.

1774- Sir Robert Clive had won the great Battle of Plassey that had won India for the British Empire and avenged the Black Hole of Calcutta. But like every general since Scipio Africanis would discover, success in battle breeds jealousy at home. His London enemies pushed lawsuits alleging he used his power in Bengal to embezzle riches. Although he was acquitted of every charge the experience broke his spirit. This day high on opium he committed suicide.

1794- Honolulu Harbor discovered by British explorers.

1812- During Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow Marshal Ney and his III Corps were given the assignment of protecting the rearguard of the army. This meant fighting off five pursuing Russian armies and hordes of marauding Cossacks while trying not to freeze to death in the subzero cold. Ney became the soul of the retreat. Every morning when men wanted to lie still in the snow and die, they would feel his boot in their backs, shouting, cursing, encouraging them to get up and live another day. He cold-shaved with snow every morning. On November 17th he was cut off from the main army and surrounded. Russian General Miloradovich offered surrender terms, but Ney refused.” A Marshal of France Never Surrenders!” Leaving dummy campfires, Ney marched east and up around the Russian armies until this day he fought his way back to Napoleons main force. Of 10,000 effectives he now had barely 900 left. Napoleon called Ney “The Bravest of the Brave.”

1818- Since annexing Poland-Lithuania, Moldova, Belarus and the Ukraine, the Czar of Russia now governed the largest grouping of Jews in the world. This day his Jewish subjects petitioned Czar Alexander I for a homeland in Palestine. Among his titles was Protector of the Holy sites. The Czar said he would think about it, then quickly forgot.

1852- The Methodist Congregation of Randolph County North Carolina charted a school called the Union Institute later renamed Trinity College. In 1924 a man named James B. Duke gave the school $20 million bucks, so they renamed it Duke University.

1864- THE BIXBY LETTER- President Abe Lincoln was moved to write a Massachusetts mother upon learning she had lost 5 sons in the Civil War. It is one of the most eloquent examples of presidential prose. “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” The original of the letter had never been found. Mrs Bixby was not a Lincoln supporter, and may have destroyed it. It later turned out only two of her sons were killed. Two others were POWs and another a deserter.

1871-The cigar lighter patented by Moses Gale.

1916- During World War I, the hospital ship HMS Britannic struck a German mine in the Aegean Sea, and sank killing 30 people. What makes this sinking stand out, is that Britannic was the sister ship of HMS Titanic, that sank in 1912.

1920- Bloody Sunday- In Dublin, IRA chief Michael Collins sent out his best assassination squad, nicknamed the Twelve Apostles. In the early morning they rounded up 20 of the top British counter terrorist police inspectors, nicknamed the Cairo Gang, and executed them. In some cases they forced their wives to watch. In retaliation, the British paramilitaries called the Black & Tans entered a soccer stadium with an armored car during a match, and opened fire with machine guns on the players and fans. 25 innocent people were killed.

1933- Film 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 big hit for Capra, Columbia and swept the Oscars including one for Colbert’s most memorable performance.

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- Happy 80th Tweety. Warner's "A Tale of Two Kitties" the first Tweety Pie.

1946- Harry Truman became the first president to go underwater in a submarine.

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.

1959- Jack Benny with his violin played a duet with Vice President Richard Nixon on piano.

1963- President John F. Kennedy and Jackie flew into San Antonio for a swing through Texas to gather support for a possible re-election run in 64. Tomorrow would take them to Houston for a breakfast rally, then through Dallas....

1963- U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge III decided enough is enough. He started off to Washington to advise President Kennedy that any furuter involvement in the Vietnam War was pointless and the U.S. should pull all forces out. When Lodge arrived in Hawaii next day he got the news from 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, collect kiddie porn, and drink alcohol distilled from the birdseed admirers sent him. Even his own mother hoped he'd never be paroled.

1964- The Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened 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- US commanding General William Westmoreland announced that the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were losing the Vietnam War. Two months later US forces were attacked on all sides by the massive Tet Offensive.

1980- “The Who Shot J.R.?” episode of the TV show Dallas.

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.

1985- Jonathan Pollard, a Navy research analyst was arrested for compromising US security and passing intelligence to Israel. He served 34 years in prison.

1986- Don Bluth’s An American Tale opened.

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.

2007- Disney film Enchanted opened generally.

2008- Walt Disney’s Bolt premiered.

2017- John Lasseter, the creative head of Walt Disney Animation and Pixar, responsible for Pixar’s string of successful films like Toy Story, stepped down from all his duties because of accusations of inappropriate behavior with his female employees.

Yesterday’s Question: Transylvania is now part of what modern nation?

Answer: Romania.

Nov 20, 2022
November 20th, 2022

Question: Transylvania is now part of what modern nation?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Where is the Barbary Coast?
History for 11/20/2022
Birthdays: Robert F. Kennedy, Maya Plisetskaya, Gene Tierney, Dick Smothers, Bo Derek is 66, Sean Young is 56, Richard Dawson, Estelle Parsons, Barbera Hendricks, Duane Allman, Chester Gould the creator of Dick Tracy, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, Benoit Mandlebrot, Alastair Cooke, Ming Na Wen, President Joe Biden is 80

284AD- Diocletian became emperor of Rome.

866 A.D.- Saint Edmund the Martyr, King of the East Angles since being proclaimed by the Kingdoms of Norfolk and Suffolk at 14 years old in 855, was killed in battle with the Vikings. They said he ruled wisely and patterned his court after that of King David (sans Bathsheba). His story may be another feeder root for the legend of King Arthur.

1249-King Louis IX (St. Louis) arrived in the Middle East for his Crusade. His plan was to get to the Jerusalem by attacking Egypt, a much larger country. He didn’t get very far.

1272- King Edward I crowned king of England. Sometimes called the Great Plantagenet, the Hammer of the Scots, or simply Longshanks- long legs.

1601-THE GOLDEN SPEECH- Elderly Queen Elizabeth I had ruled England for 42 years, a time of unparalleled prosperity and peace. This day the old queen gave her farewell speech to parliament: "Though God has raised Us to the Throne, the Glory of Our reign was ruling with the love of my people…… You may have had, and may yet have mightier, and wiser princes in this seat. But you will never have one who loved you more than I do." Elizabeth died two years later.

1620- Shortly before coming ashore in the New World, The Mayflower Compact was drawn up by William Brewster and signed by the 24 male Pilgrim settlers "To covenant and combine ourselves into a civile body-politick".

1718- " Fifteen men on a Dead Man’s Chest, Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Rum! Even though he knew the British Navy had cornered him, and was going to attack tomorrow, violent pirate Blackbeard spent this night drinking and partying with his crew. When someone asked Blackbeard, if you fall who do you leave your treasure to? He replied, “ No one knows where the treasure is but me and the Devil himself. And the longest liver can have it all.” Arrr….

1752- Death of John Shore, he was the most celebrated trumpet player of his time. Georg Frederich Handel and Henry Purcell wrote music for him, and he was the inventor of the Tuning Fork.

1777- In a speech in the House of Lords, elderly William Pitt the Elder, called The Architect of the British Empire, denounced the Lord North’s government policy of trying to put down the American Revolution with military mercenaries bought in Germany." My Lords, you cannot conquer America! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while foreign troops were landed on my soil I would never lay down my arms- never, never, never!"

1783- In Paris, Benjamin Franklin is in the crowd watching the first humans go aloft in a balloon designed by the Montgolfier Brothers. For 25 minutes Piastre de Rosier and the Marquis d'Arland flew 500 feet over the Seine, sipping champagne.
One member of the crowd sneered, "What good is it?" Franklin turned and said, "What good is a newborn baby?"

1795- Beethoven’s opera Fidelio premiered. He rewrote the overture four times and still wasn’t happy with it. So, he rewrote it once more and published the other four as the Leonore Overtures.

1820- In the Pacific Ocean the whaling ship Essex was sunk by an enraged sperm whale. Only six men survived, floating on driftwood for ninety days, resorting to cannibalism before being rescued. This incident is thought to have been one of the inspirations for Herman Melville to write his novel Moby Dick.

1866- Howard University, the first college exclusively for African-American students, was founded by on armed Civil War General Oliver O. Howard.

1870- "YES, I AM A FREE LOVER!" In a speech in Steinway Hall to 3,000 people feminist Victoria Woodhull shocked polite society by declaring openly her right to her sexual freedom unfettered by law or social custom. That women had the right to own their own bodies. " To Love is a right higher than Constitution or laws!"

1875- Henry James published his first novel Rockwell Hudson.

1894- Prince Ananias premiered, the first operetta of Victor Herbert.

1910- General Porfirio Diaz had ruled Mexico as dictator for forty years. Now the Mexican Revolution broke out with a coalition of forces led by Francisco Madero.

1912- Carl Warr walked into Los Angeles City Hall with 60 sticks of dynamite strapped to him. As Police grabbed him, he set off his detonator. But nothing happened. He then begged police to kill him. Warr was sensationalized in the press as The Mad Bomber.

1914- First U.S. passports with photos issued.

1917- Lawrence of Arabia disguised himself as a Circassian peasant and slipped into the Turkish held Syrian town of Derea to get information. There he was captured and interrogated by Turkish authorities. They never realized who he was, they were just having some fun with a pretty faced boy. Lawrence was sexually molested, whipped and thrown back into the street. He admitted later he found the whole experience, “enjoyable.”

1917- First Battle of Cambrai- During WWI, the British launched an offensive led by massing those new land-ships called tanks. 300 of the big things smashed through the first two German trench lines and advanced 5 miles forward. But they ran so far ahead of the follow up troops that everything stalled in confusion. The Germans counterattacked, pushed them back and knocked out half of the tanks.

1919- The first municipal airport ever opened at Tucson Arizona.

1943- TARAWA. U.S. Marines attacked the Japanese held island of Tarawa. The Pacific Theater of Operations was divided into two sections, the northern Pacific was done by Marines under the command of Admiral Nimitz, the southern end by the regular Army under Douglas MacArthur. This command structure didn't always function smoothly.
Tarawa was a bloody battle that General MacArthur criticized as being unnecessary. He said he would have gone around the island and left it isolated, the way he outmaneuvered the large Japanese bases at Rabaul and Truk.
Tarawa was taken after 72 hours of vicious fighting. Of the 5,000 Japanese defenders, only 16 soldiers and one officer surrendered, along with some Korean slave laborers. One thousand Marines died, more than had died than in all the months of island-hopping campaigning that year. By accident the photos of Marine dead washing up on the beach got to the public uncensored and was deeply shocking to Americans used to sanitized images of war.

1945- The Nuremburg War Crimes Trial convened. An international court judged 21 top Nazis including Hermann Goring, Albert Speer Joachim Von Ribbentropp and Rudolf Hess. For the first time the world learned of the methodical workings of the Holocaust.

1947-Princess Elizabeth the future Queen Elizabeth II married her distant cousin Prince Phillip Mountbatten of the exiled royal family of Greece. Their marriage lasted 73 years, until his death at age 99.

1947- The longest running television show in history- Meet the Press, premiered. And it is still on today.

1958- On the TV show Playhouse 90, John Frankenheimer presented “The Old Man” the first show shot and edited completely on videotape. Videotape had been around since 1951 but was used primarily for in-studio live news shows and variety segments.

1963- two days before President Kennedy’s assassination, the House of Representatives passed a preliminary version of his Civil Rights bill. The following year his successor Lyndon Johnson forced through congress the complete adoption.

1963- Attorney General Robert Kennedy had a birthday party up at his house Washington D.C. suburbs called Hillsborough. There his brother President John F. Kennedy and he discussed the coming 1964 election. The President said he was looking forward to doing a campaign swing through Texas that weekend. When he left the house that night it was the last time Bobby Kennedy would ever see his brother alive.

1969- The U.S. Dept of Agriculture bans the use of the insecticide DDT.

1975- Long time Spanish Fascist dictator Francisco Franco died at age 89, despite sleeping with the mummified arm of St. Theresa of Avila. Patriotic Spaniards immediately started partying. Stores sold out of champagne by 10 a.m. As planned King Juan Carlos took over and Spain became a constitutional monarchy.

1992- Sections of the oldest part of Windsor Castle were destroyed in a terrible fire.

1994- Rock & Roll star David Crosby received a new liver.

1998- Several state governments and the US tobacco industry reach a landmark settlement arising from lawsuits over smoking illnesses. The trial also killed off once and for all ads featuring The Marlboro Cowboy and Joe Camel, a cartoon character that at one point was as recognizable to children as Donald Duck.

1998- Pixar’s film A Bugs Life was generally released.
Yesterday’s Question: Where is the Barbary Coast?

Answer: In XV to XIX Centuries it was the northern coastline of North Africa. Where Muslim corsairs did a lively business raiding Mediterranean ships. In the 1800s it was a nickname for the San Francisco waterfront, because of it’s comparable reputation for lawlessness.