Sept. 11, 2023
September 11th, 2023

Question: What is guano?

Answer to Yesterday’s Question below: What is a Hobson’s Choice?
History for 9/11/2023
Birthdays: O. Henry, D.H. Lawrence, Brian DePalma, Hedy Lamarr, Lola Falana, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Tom Landry, Kristy McNichol, Lola Falana, Pinto Colvig the voice of Goofy, Grumpy, Pluto & Bozo the Clown, Peter Tosh, Virginia Madsen, Amy Madigan, Moby, Brad Bird is 66.

1297- First Battle of Sterling. William Wallace's Scottish rebel army inflicts a spectacular defeat on the English Army. They chop up the hated governor the Earl of Cressingham and send dried strips of him throughout the shires. Despite Wallace's victory, most Scottish noble families refused to support him because of his low birth.

1649- THE MASSACRE OF DROGHEDA- During the English Civil War the Irish people had risen in rebellion. Various forces on the island demanded freedom, Catholic worship and even Loyalty to King Charles I Stuart. Finally, Oliver Cromwell came over to Ireland with his Puritan New Model Army and laid siege to the fortress city of Drogheda, defended by one legged Loyalist Sir Arthur Ashton. After a savage cannon bombardment Cromwell’s men stormed in, Oliver himself led the final charge into the breached city wall, sword in hand.
The enraged Cromwell ordered every man in arms in the city cut to pieces whether he surrendered or not. Sir Arthur was beaten to death with his own wooden leg. People took refuge in St. Peter’s church, then the furious troops piled wooden pews against the steeple and set it ablaze. One shouted as he leapt to his death “God-Damn Me! I Burn, I Burn!. 3,500 perished in the massacre, and the few left living were sent to slave plantations in Barbados. Cromwell said of the massacre “I wish that all honest hearts give the Glory to God, to whom praise of this Mercy belongs”.

1709- BATTLE OF MALPLAQUET. The Duke of Marlborough defeated the French army of Louis XIV. This was one of the bloodiest contests of the 18th century, death on this scale would not be seen in Europe for another hundred years, until the Wars of Napoleon. The victory was another of the spectacular victories achieved by Marlborough, yet it left a sour aftertaste.
The War of Spanish Succession had been going on for almost ten years, and all sides were sick of it and desired peace. The decisive Battle of Blenheim had been fought six years earlier. The peace talks had hit a stalemate, so bringing on a major battle now was seen as totally unnecessary. And everyone knew Britain's Queen Anne had grown tired of Marlborough, his pushy wife Sarah, and his pushy Whig partisans in government, nicknamed “The Junto". Soon the most famous English general until Wellington would be recalled home in disgrace. English Tories would abandon their European allies and make a separate peace.

1776- At Sandy Hook, New Jersey, American congressional peace representatives John Adams, Ben Franklin and William Rutledge sat down with British commanding General Lord William Howe and his brother Admiral Richard “Black Dick" Howe. The Howe brothers were given special authority by Parliament to negotiate a settlement with the American rebels. But the talks went nowhere. Howe asked for their submission:" I feel for America as a brother, and would lament should she fall." Ben Franklin responded:" We shall try our best to spare your lordship that mortification."

1777-THE BATTLE OF BRANDYWINE CREEK- General Sir William Howe kicks George Washington's rebel butt. Washington is forced to abandon America's capitol Philadelphia to the enemy. Luckily the loose, decentralized nature of the American colonies meant the losing the capitol was no great loss to the rest of the country except Pennsylvanians, while the capture of a Madrid or a Paris would effectively end a war with those countries.
The Americans took the defeat in stride: "It's all well boys, we'll do better next time." Baron von Steuben’s drills were beginning to pay off. Lord Cornwallis commented:" Hmph! Damned rebels form up well..." At one point in the battle, British officer Patrick Ferguson had a clear shot at a big rebel officer that rode by coolly shepherding his retreating men. Ferguson decided it would be dishonorable to shoot such a brave man in the back. Only later he discovered that officer was George Washington. The existence of the United States may have been decided in a moment by one Englishman’s sense of decency.

1795- The Birth of Aerial Reconnaissance. At Adernach on the Austrian-Italian border Napoleon became the first general to ascend in a hot air balloon to study enemy positions.

1841- British artist John Goffe Rand invented oil paint in a squeezable metal tube. Replacing pig bladders and glass syringes.

1847- Stephen Fosters song “Oh Susanna” first published.

1857- Singer Jenny Lynde, the Swedish Nightingale, first performed in America.

1864- A ten-day truce was declared between General Sherman’s Yankees and General John Bell Hood’s Confederates so the innocent civilians of Atlanta could evacuate, before Sherman burned the city.

1876- Queen Victoria of England assumed the title Empress of India. Biographers said part of her desire for the title was because her eldest daughter Vicky the Princess Royal was married to the future Kaiser of Germany and would be an Empress, which technically outranks a Queen. Mumy didn't like being upstaged.

1914- W.C. Handy's Saint Louis Blues, the first true Jazz recording to gain national popularity. Also called the Birth of the Blues. Myron “Grim” Natwick, the cartoonist who would one day create Betty Boop, did the artwork for the music coversheet. For this he was paid one gold dollar.

1916- The Star Spangled Banner first sung at a baseball game at Cooperstown New York.

1916- Republican candidates win an overwhelming majority in local Maine Midterm elections, prompting GOP leaders to boast "As goes Maine, so goes the Nation."

1918- After four years of sacrifice, by now most Germans realized their chances of winning the World War I were kaput. Kaiser Wilhelm was doing an inspection of the Krupp cannon factory in Essen. Against the advice of the managers, Wilhelm gave a patriotic speech to a thousand exhausted, grimy laborers. They hissed and booed, shouted "PEACE!" and "WE’RE HUNGRY!" 
When Wilhelm called for a resounding "ja!" of encouragement, the workers responded with stony silence.
In a complete air of unreality Wilhelm then thanked the workers and said he would now go directly to the front and relay their good wishes to Field Marshal von Hindenburg.
Instead, his private train took him straight to Spa so he could have a mineral bath and an English whiskey.

1939- U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt began a secret transatlantic correspondence this day with future Prime Minister Winston Churchill. FDR recognized a kindred spirit and made plans for when America and Britain would be drawn into a war to defeat Hitler. A secretary in the American embassy entrusted with decoding the messages was a secret Republican. He kept copies of the letters and planned to turn them over to FDR’s political enemies to foil his re-election. But Churchill’s MI-5 agents detected and arrested him.

1941- Although still officially neutral, President Roosevelt ordered that any German or Italian warships operating within US territorial waters without permission, would be attacked on sight.

1941- In a speech in Des Moines Iowa, aviation hero Charles Lindbergh revealed his dark side by accusing an "International Jewish conspiracy" of driving America into a European war. He said Britain was obviously going to lose, and America should instead join with Germany to resist the Yellow Peril of Asia. Charles Lindbergh was one of the leading conservative voices for isolationism in the US. He had been wined and dined in Berlin, and Hitler decorated him with Germany's highest civilian medal. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau told President Roosevelt "I am convinced this guy is a Nazi". After Pearl Harbor, Lucky Lindy offered his services to the U.S. Air force as a combat pilot, but his public image was ruined. For the rest of his life, Lindbergh never recanted or apologized for his opinions.

1943- Ground broken to build for the Pentagon, at the time the world’s largest office building. Chief director for the project was General Leslie Grove, who later ran the Manhattan Project.

1947-Radio Bejing went on the air.

1951-METROPOLIS TO MOSCOW? Robert Shayne, the actor who played the Inspector Henderson character for television’s Superman show appeared before the House American Activities Committee accused of being a communist. He was led off the set by the FBI in handcuffs as George Reeves (Superman) and Jack Larson (Jimmy Olsen) protested vigorously. He was eventually cleared of all charges and continued to do small parts in TV until his retirement in 1990.

1960- Terrytoon's Deputy Dawg TV show.

1960- Nancy Sinatra married Tommy Sands.

1966- "Kimba the White Lion" debuts in the U.S.

1967-The Beatles began filming the Magical Mystery Tour.

1971- The “Jackson Five” Saturday morning cartoon show.

1972- The BBC quiz show Mastermind first broadcast. The shows creator Malcolm Muggeridge claimed he got the idea while a prisoner of the Japanese in Malaysia. In truth the show resembles an interrogation. Some postman sits in a dark room with a single spotlight in his face while people shoot questions at him about the lesser known works of Thomas Hardy, etc.

1973- President Salvador Allende of Chile is overthrown and killed by a military coup with the cooperation of the C.I.A. Henry Kissinger was worried about the example of a legally elected Marxist leader, and the Kennecott and Ananconda Copper Company were annoyed at Allende who's mines he had nationalized. General Augusto Pinochet, who was an admirer of Hitler, ran Chile for the next twenty five years as a brutal dictatorship.

1987-Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" wins MTV's Best Video Award.

1987- Reggae great Peter Tosh and two others are shot and killed by
thieves who were robbing his Kingston, Jamaica home.

1992- Actor Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), began a second career as the voice of The Joker in Batman, The Animated Series.

1998- THE STARR REPORT- The full text of Special Counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into the sexual wrongdoings of President Bill Clinton with his intern Monica Lewinsky was released on-line.
This was the first major news story reported on the Internet, on line a full day before the other media sources could get it. Twenty million log-ons in one day. It caused huge internet user jams and sparked a furious response from millions, all on electronic mail.
Americans learned of their President’s many uses for his cigar, and Monica snapping her thong at him. Many felt the salacious details ranked as soft-core pornography, but it was sent out without any child-proof guards, championed by conservative politicians who normally cried for media censorship.
Hustler publishing tycoon Larry Flynt jokingly offered Kenneth Starr a job.”Heck, any man who could get that much porn into 50 million homes so quickly should be working for me!” In 2016, Kenneth Starr was forced to resign from the presidency of Baylor College. For what? Attempting to cover up a sex scandal.

2001- THE WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACK –New York’s Twin Towers were the tallest office buildings in the world, and a symbol of American financial power. Terrorists had already tried to bring down the towers with a truck bomb in 1993. This day, terrorists hijacked three US domestic airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington DC. It was a beautiful, Autumn day and the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center was timed for maximum press coverage. The images looked improbably like a movie stunt rather than a real disaster.

The planned multiple attack was organized by Osama Ben-Laden, a rogue millionaire whose family has close ties to the rulers of Saudi Arabia. He organized a multinational force of terrorists based in Afghanistan called Al Qaeda. President George Bush Sr. was having lunch with the brother of Osama while the planes were crashing. President George W. Bush was reading a kiddie book, My Pet Goat, to some preschoolers. He then went into hiding most of the day. VP Dick Cheney hid in a bombproof bunker. Fearful Americans had to look to England’s Tony Blair and NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani to find out just what the heck was going on.
The passengers of the fourth hijacked airliner United Flt. 93 were talking to their loved ones on digital phones, and were told of the planes crashing into World Trade Center and Pentagon. So the passengers armed with trays and boiling water attacked their hijackers -. The last words heard from passenger Mark Bingham,“ We’re taking back the plane…let’s roll!” Flight 93 crashed in an uninhabited field outside of Pittsburgh before it could be used as another suicide bomb. Authorities now think it was meant to crash into the White House.
Back in New York City, after burning with aviation gas at 1,500 degrees for over an hour, the two giant WTC towers and a third building pancaked in on themselves and plunged to the ground on top of rescue workers and firemen. 3,000 died from 150 countries, and first responders continue to die today from 50 type of cancers acquired from inhaling the toxic air particulates at Ground Zero. ============================================================
Yesterday’s Question: What is a Hobson’s Choice?

Answer: Back in the 1800s, a Mr. Hobson owned a stable of horses, and advertised that you could select a mount from the many there. But Hobson would actually only allow you to choose the horse in the stall nearest to the door or nothing at all. In other words, a choice that is no choice at all.

Sept. 10, 2023
September 10th, 2023

Question: What is a Hobson’s Choice?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: You don’t want to end up hanging on a gibbet. What exactly is a gibbet?
History for 9/10/2023
Birthdays: Fae Wray, Ian Fleming, Robert Wise, Raymond Scott (composer of pop songs Carl Stalling loved to score into Bugs Bunny cartoons), Margaret Trudeau, Amy Irving, Arnold Palmer, Charles Kuralt, Jose Feliciano, Karl Lagerfield, Chris Columbus, Charles Simonyi- who designed Microsoft Word, Colin Firth is 63

1171- Saladin, the Vezir of Egypt, changed the religious practice of Egypt from Shiite back to Sunni Muslim. For this act, the Caliph in Baghdad made the Kurd a Sultan, and he took up the jihad begun by Nur-Al-Din against the Christian Crusaders occupying Jerusalem.

1224-The first Franciscan monks land in England. They are promptly arrested and sent to London in chains.

1526- The Turkish army of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent entered the Hungarian capitol of Budapest.

1608- Captain John Smith was elected leader of the Jamestown Colony. This advances the low-born adventurer over the heads of several gentlemen like Captain Wingfield and Captains Martin and Newport. But since they first landed in April, the rigors of the Virginia wilderness proved that John Smith knew best how to run the colony.

1646- The Parliamentary forces captured King Charles' last major fortress, the seaport of Bristol, which in effect wins the English Civil War.

1813- Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry defeated a British naval flotilla on Lake Erie. This battle and the battle of New Orleans prevented the War of 1812 from being a complete botchup for the U.S., considering we had our capitol burned and all our invasions of Canada defeated. Perry's victory message:" We have met the enemy, and he is ours."

1845- Elias Howe patented the sewing machine. He couldn’t interest any American manufacturers in his machine. But when he returned from a year in England he found several had made their own version of his idea. In 1851 Issac Singer steamlined Howe’s original model and made it more mass-market.

1846- Illinois militia with cannon attacked the Mormon community at Nauvoo. They surrendered to militia commander Col. Thomas Brockman and were guaranteed respect for their persons and property. Then the militia looted their settlement anyway.

1894- London taxi driver George Smith is the first man ever fined for drunk driving an automobile.

1898- In Geneva, Austrian Empress Elizabeth was stabbed to death by Italian anarchist Luigi Luchenie with a sharpened file. The Empress was the wife of Franz Josef II. Franz Josef already had his eldest son Rudolph blow his brains out at Mayerling Castle, his brother Maximillian was executed in Mexico and his nephew Franz Ferdinand would be assassinated in Sarajevo. Elizabeth, nicknamed “Sisi” was very popular with the common people. She was called Elizabeth of Hungary for her special treatment of the Hungarian people. She was also an early health nut. The Imperial Palace in Vienna still lovingly preserves her private gym and Indian clubs.

1907-The first Neiman Marcus dept. store opens in Dallas.

1913- The last shovel full of dirt is removed from the Panama Canal.

1914- The Battle of the Marne ends. General Gallieni rushed 6,000 reinforcements to the front using the taxicabs of Paris, stopping General Von Kluck's spiked helmeted troops and saving the city.

1920- Silent movie star Olive Thomas, nicknamed America's Kid Sister, partied a little too hard at the Dead Rat Cafe in Paris. It was said the 25 year old died of an overdose of cocaine and alcohol. Another theory was she accidentally overdosed on mercury bichloride liquid solution used by her husband to treat his syphilis. The scandal started the first investigation of drugs in Hollywood. It netted an army captain named Spaulding who admitted that film stars like Thomas, Mabel Normand and Ramon Navarro were regular clients for prescription drugs. In 1928 Groucho Marx put in his Broadway show Animal Crackers the song Hooray for Captain Spaulding.

1926- The body of screen idol Rudolph Valentino arrived in Hollywood after a mammoth funeral in New York where he had died two weeks before. Hollywood, knowing a publicity coup when it saw one, immediately staged a second spectacular funeral.

1931-THE FIVE FAMILIES - the New York underworld was controlled by two bosses, Joey the Boss Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. They were the last of the "Mustache Petes"- old style Sicilian immigrants more European than American. Masseria had claimed he would kill anyone that came from Maranzano’s hometown Castellomare del Golfo in Sicily, so this period of gang violence was called the Castellamarese War.
That April, Boss Masseria was assassinated by his own lieutenant Lucky Lucciano. When Lucky felt Maranzano was preparing to hit him he struck first. This day Jewish gangsters Bugsy Seigel, Meyer Lansky and Lepke Buchalter posing as police officers, entered Maranzano’s office and filled him with bullets and knife wounds. Lucciano used Jewish hitmen because Sicilians would worry about revenge attacks on their families back in the Old Country. Lucky Lucciano then made a peace with Maranzano’s successor Joseph " Joe Bananas" Bonano and established the Commission of the Five Families.
Now even though they were an all-American group, Lucciano and the other dons organized the mob around the Unione Siciliano into a more homogeneously Italian organization- La Cosa Nostra. Lucky Lucciano and his partner Meyer Lansky pioneered the mob evolving a more low profile big-business corporate style, the first true crime syndicate.

1946- On a train in India outside Darjeeling, a Yugoslavian nun had a vision of Jesus commanding her to build a mission for the poor. Mother Theresa found her calling, and began her famous hospital in the slums of Calcutta.

1953 - Swanson Foods sells its first TV dinner.

1955- the TV series 'Gunsmoke' premiered.

1963- The First New York Film Festival opened with Luis Bunuel’s The Exterminating Angel.

1966- H&B's Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles debut.

1968- Hanna Barbera's Space Ghost and Dino Boy' debut.

1972- Premiere of the TV special Liza with a Z. Bob Fosse directed and choreographed the one woman show of the spangled 23 year old.

1977- The last execution in France by guillotine. Hamidas Djandoubi was a Tunisian immigrant and convicted murderer.

1977- H&B’s “Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels’ show, also the Three Robonic Stooges.”

1977- H&B’s The Laughalympics”

1978- The Communist Premier of Bulgaria, Tobor Zhivkov, asked the Soviet KGB to do something about dissident Georgyi Markov who was making embarrassing broadcasts to Bulgaria on London's Radio Free Europe. After a broadcast Markov left the BBC offices and strolled across Waterloo Bridge. A man bumped into him and poked him in the shin with his umbrella tip. He excused himself and moved on. Markov grew sick and died within 24 hours, on this day. Concealed in the umbrella tip was a tiny pellet, smaller than a pinhead, carrying the deadly poison Ricin. It was injected into Markov when he bumped into him.

1981- Picasso left instructions in his will that his famous painting Guernica never return to Spain during the Franco dictatorship. “Only when freedom returns to Spain.” It was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in NY for decades. This day Guernica was at last returned to Spain.

1990- General Samuel Doe, the President of Liberia was shot by firing squad after being captured by rebels in the Liberian Civil War. Liberia was a nation formed in 1826 by slaves returned from America. For years the former American colonist descendants formed the ruling elite of the nation. Samuel Doe was the first president from the indigenous native population. The next President Charles Taylor stepped down in 2003 during a second civil war.

1993- The TV series The X Files premiered. The truth is out there.

2009- The first D-23 opened in Anaheim. It is an annual Comicon just for Disneyanna fans. D-23 means the year the Walt Disney Company began, 1923.
Yesterday’s Quiz: You don’t want to end up hanging on a gibbet. What exactly is a gibbet?

Answer: A platform for public execution. A post with an outstretched arm from which the victim was hung, though any form of public execution, including beheading, could be called a gibbet. The idea was for the victim to be executed in public and then shown as a warning to others. One particularly gruesome iteration was where the victim, sometimes dead but sometimes alive, was hung up in an enclosed cage, to remain there for an extended time, often until just bones remained.

Sept. 8, 2023
September 8th, 2023

Question: Who coined the term, “From the sublime, to the ridiculous”?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: What is Hercule Poirot’s nationality?
history for 9/8/2023
Birthdays: Richard the Lionhearted, Michel Caravaggio, Antonin Dvorak, Patsy Cline, Jimmy Rogers the Singing Brakeman, Peter Sellars, Sid Caesar, Freddy Mercury, Lyndon LaRouche, Ewell Gibbons- natural food advocate, Heather Thomas, David Arquette is 51, Jonathan Taylor-Thomas, Pink is 44, Alvy Ray Smith is 80

1381-Battle Of Kulikovo- Prince Dmitri Donskoi of Novgorod defeated the Tartars of the Golden Horde.

1504- Michelangelo unveiled his completed statue of David. The project had humble origins. The Florentine Republic had commissioned a statue from another artist who gave up after gouging a large hole in a huge block of pure Carrara marble. Stuck with the block, magistrates asked Michelangelo if he could do anything with it. Michelangelo carved the David positioning the hole where the legs stand spread.

1565- Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent lifted the Siege of Malta. The Knights of St. John Hospitaller were granted ownership of Malta in perpetuity. They become the Knights of Malta. Their symbol, the Maltese Cross, is four barbed arrowheads forming a cross.

1636- Barely 6 years since Boston was founded, Massachusetts established the first school of higher learning in North America in the town of Cambridge. First called New Towne College, it was given money and 400 books from clergyman John Harvard. In 1639 the school was renamed for him- Harvard.

1642- Pilgrim governor William Bradford noted in his diary this day the Pilgrims executed a 16 year-old named Thomas Granger for perversion. Young Master Granger confessed to buggering a mare, two cows, six sheep, two goats and a turkey bird. I guess the Pilgrims felt it was hard to enjoy Thanksgiving when someone has had relations with the main course.

1760- Montreal, the last French stronghold in Canada and seat of the French Governor, fell to British troops. Governor Vaudreuil-Cavagnal surrendered all of New France to the Anglaise.

1771- Mission San Gabriel founded by Fra Junipero Serra.

1812- The day after the terrible battle of Borodino, the Russians began the evacuation of Moscow from Napoleons’ invading army.

1892- Writer Francis Bellamy published "The Pledge of Allegiance" in the Youth's Companion magazine as a vehicle to instill a sense of Patriotism in America's youth. The way Bellamy wanted you to salute the flag was in the ancient Roman style, a stiff right arm upraised, plan extended. Then in the 1930s when Adolf in Germany made that salute “questionable?’ It was changed to the hand over your heart. The phrase ”under God,” was shoe-horned in the commie-paranoid 1950s. Rev. Bellamy was a lifelong socialist also liked to put in his sermons that Jesus was too.

1900- THE GREAT GALVESTON HURRICANE- At this time no one could chart or forewarn hurricanes beyond trying to read signs in the sky’s color. Despite hurricanes being common, no one in Galveston Texas was seriously prepared. There had been talk of building a breakwater in the harbor, but nothing had been done. This day a huge hurricane that had ravaged Cuba came over and surprised Galveston Texas. It's eye later passed over Houston. No accurate count could be made of the dead but 4,000 bodies were recovered. One friend said his grandmother remembered a huge oak tree getting out of the ground and dancing a jig around the yard before it flew away. Afterwards authorities raised up the town of Galveston 25 feet and built a sea wall to prevent future floods. Luxurious 3 story mansions were filled in and built on top of.

1919-The Boston Police Dept. goes on strike. Forbidden to actually picket, they took off their uniforms and walked home. The Wall Street Journal complained,"Gangs roam the streets unchecked. Women are attacked, are Lenin & Trotsky on the way ?!"

1920 - US Air Mail service begins (NYC to SF)

1921 - 1st Miss America crowned -Margaret Gorman of Washington DC.

1926- Screen actress Greta Garbo skipped her own wedding and left John Gilbert alone at the altar. They still stayed part-time lovers and lived together.

1930 - NYC public schools begin teaching Hebrew

1930 - Richard Drew invented Scotch tape.

1932-The emirates of Hejaz and Nuir are combined into the new Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the House of Ibn Saud. Ibn Saud had conducted a masterful military and diplomatic campaign to get the Hejaz lands away from Faisal, the old saddle-buddy of Lawrence of Arabia. Before the oil wealth began, Ibn Saud drove around his desert kingdom in an old Rolls Royce, with the nation's treasury in a trunk strapped to the roof.

1935- HUEY LONG, the "Kingfish" Louisiana governor and colorful 3rd party candidate for President was killed at the statehouse in Baton Rouge. His assassin, a quiet doctor named Karl Weiss, was riddled with bullets by Long's bodyguards before anyone found out why he did it. So many bullets flew (36) that some scholars wonder if Weiss' shot was even the one that killed Long.

1935-A vocal group called "4 Joes from Hoboken" get their first break on Major Bo's radio show. One of the singers is a young man named Frank Sinatra.

1935- Top Hollywood musical director Buzby Berkeley (42nd Street, Footlight Parade) got drunk at a party in Malibu and drove his Cadillac head on into oncoming traffic on Pacific Coast Highway near where Gladstones Fish Restaurant is today. He piled into three other cars. Berkeley was unhurt but three people died and four were injured. After three trials for 2nd degree murder Berkeley was found innocent. The reason star defense attorney Jerry Geisler gave was “cancerous tires”. Later it was revealed that all the tire experts who testified for the defense were on the Warner Bros. payroll.

1939 - FDR declares "limited national emergency" due to war breaking out in Europe.

1939- British film director Alfred Hitchcock began shooting his first Hollywood picture- Rebecca, for David Selznick.

1944- Italy declared Benito Mussolini deposed and announced its intention to surrender to the Allies. The German army occupied the country and freed Mussolini in short order.

1946 - SF 49ers play their first AAFC game, losing to the NY Yankees 21-7.

1954- Akira Kurosawa’s film The Seven Samurai premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

1960- Penquin Books was charged with obscenity for the first large public paperback printing of D.H. Lawrence's 'Lady's Chatterley's Lover'.

1963-THE BOSTON STRANGLER- The killing of young Evelyn Corbin by the Boston Strangler. A married maintenance worker named Albert De Salvo terrorized the Beantown area by the rape-strangulation of 13 women over several years. Police were so baffled at one point they resorted to asking a Dutch Psychic for help. DeSalvo was finally caught and just missed execution as Massachusetts ban on capital punishment had gone into effect. De Salvo was murdered in prison by another inmate in 1973.

1965 - Dorothy Dandridge, beautiful black actress (Island in the Sun), dies at 41 in
Hollywood of sleeping pills overdose.

1966- STAR TREK debuts. LA policeman turned screenwriter Gene Roddenberry pitched it to Desilu Productions as, “Wagon Train in Outer Space.” The first episode “The Man Trap” aired this night. The show was produced by Lucille Ball’s production company, Desilu. That season Star Trek ranked 52nd in the Nielsen ratings, behind #1 "Iron Horse" starring Dale Robertson, and "Mr. Terrific". It was canceled after two seasons but a letter writing campaign won it a third season. Star Trek then found a new life in syndication.
The cult fan base called Trekkies kept the memory of the show alive for ten years until Paramount revived it to cash in on the Star Wars-Close Encounters craze for Sci-Fi. First as a Filmation animated series, and then from 1979 a series of feature films, then spin-offs.
Frank Sinatra once said: "The only good thing to come out of the 1960s was Star Trek."

1966 - "That Girl" starring Marlo Thomas and Ted Bessell premiered on ABC-TV

1967 - Surveyor 5 launched; made a soft landing on Moon, Sept 10.

1971- Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center opened. It was planned in the early sixties by John and Jackie Kennedy, although then unaware that their name would be on it. The performance featured the debut of Leonard Bernstein’s choral work “Mass”.

50 Years-1973- Hanna Barbera’s The Superfriends premiered on ABC TV.

50 Years 1973- Star Trek the Animated Series by Filmation premiered.

1974- Daredevil Evil Knievel in his most famous stunt, jumped the Snake River Gorge in a rocket powered motorcycle.

1974- President Gerald Ford surprised America by pardoning resigned President Richard Nixon for whatever he may have done in the Watergate Scandal, but not saying he really did anything. Ford sez: " Our great national nightmare is over.." America then surprised Ford by electing Jimmy Carter in his place.

1979- The decomposing body of actress Jean Seberg (Breathless, Paint Your Wagon), was discovered in the back seat of a car in Paris. She had been missing since Aug. 30th. Today it is assumed she committed suicide. She had been in an affair with a member of the radical Black Panther Party and was under continual harassment by the FBI and other Federal authorities. She was 40.

1986- The Chicago based television talk show the Oprah Winfrey Show went national and became one of the most successful talk shows ever.

2008- The Rachael Maddow Show premiered on MSNBC TV.

2009- A pair of Queen Victoria’s old underwear was recovered from a private collector and returned to the Royal Collection. Her waist size? 56 inches.

2022- Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral Castle. She was 96. She had reigned 70 years, the longest of any British monarch.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is Hercule Poirot’s nationality?

Answer: Belgian. (Thanks NDP)

Sept. 7, 2023
September 7th, 2023

Quiz: What is Hercule Poirot’s nationality?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: What modern city used to be called Danzig?
History for 9/7/2023
Birthdays: Grandma Moses, Dame Edith Sitwell, Elia Kazan, Richard Roundtree, Sinclair Lewis, Anthony Quayle. Peter Lawford, Daniel Inouye, Susan Blakely, Shannon Elizabeth, Sonny Rawlins, Toby Jones is 56, Julie Kavner the voice of Marge Simpson, animator Fred Moore. Don Messick the voice of Scooby Doo, Leslie Jones is 56

605 B.C. Nebuchanesser II crowned king of Babylon. In 597 BC he destroyed the kingdom of Israel and began the Baylonian Captivity of the Judeo-Christian apocalyptic writings, but he also built the famed hanging Gardens of Babylon for his wife Amrytis.

1191- KING RICHARD VS. SALADIN-The Battle of Arsuf, the only major set battle between King Richard's Crusaders and Saladin’s Saracens. Saladin's men were driven back by the charging armored knights, but no final victory was achieved. Richard galloped about chopping at people so fiercely, that the Saracen warriors learned to ride around him and avoid contact. After such hot work in the desert Saladin sent his enemy Richard a cup of snow with rose water called Sherbat, which is the forerunner of modern Iced Sherbet. Unlike the movies, King Richard and Saladin never met face to face.

1303- ATTACK ON THE POPE- Pope Boniface VIII considered his throne higher than all Royal crowns. He even had a big triple tiara crown made bigger than all royal crowns to prove it. He got into a fight over sovereignty with French King Phillip the Fair, excommunicating him and all France. Then Phillip had a French clerical assembly accuse Boniface of being a “murderer, false monk, sorcerer, embezzler, adulterer, sodomite, idolater and infidel”. But King Phillip could fight with more than words. This day he sent a hit squad of knights to attack the pope at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. The knights slew the Vatican guards and burst into the palace. Boniface knew his hour had come. He put on his full pontifical robes and mounted his throne to await the end. Knights William of Nogaret, and Sciarra Colonna marched up to the old man, held a knife over his head, and paused.” This was the message from my master, King Philip.” Then they turned and walked away. The 70 year old Pope was rescued by the Orsini family three days later, but Boniface died mentally broken from his ordeal. Accounts say he died raving in a dungeon, eating the flesh off his own arms.

1776 -The FIRST SUBMARINE ATTACK-Yankee Ezra Lee piloted inventor David Bushnell's barrel shaped submersible "The Turtle" over to the British warship HMS Eagle. His attack consisted of an attempt to drill holes in her hull with a hand cranked drill. But the ship’s bottom was covered in copper plates that his drill couldn’t penetrate. The real modern electric diesel motored submarine was not invented until 1900.

1812- BATTLE OF BORODINO, or La Moskova. Napoleon's French army and the Russians pound each other to bits before Moscow in the great battle immortalized by Tolstoy in 'War and Peace'. As the French army marched to the attack, Russian Prince Bagration sat on horseback in front of his troops. Before opening fire he pulled out a silver flask and toasted his enemy, "Gentlemen of France, Bravo! C'est Superb!". He was killed later. The French capture all the strategic points and forced General Kutusov to abandon Moscow, but while the Russians could make good their losses, La Grande Armee' was exhausted and thousands of miles from supplies and reinforcements. Napoleon was listless from a bad cold and hesitated sending in his Imperial Guard at a key moment to finish off the Russian army. Marshal Ney was enraged: ”Have we come so far merely to possess another battlefield? What is he doing, so far back? He is no longer a general, he is an Emperor. Let him sit home in the palace and leave the fighting to us!”

1822- Brazil declared its independence from Portugal.

1831- NICHOLAS I, the "Iron Czar" crushed the POLISH NOVEMBER UPRISING. Throughout the 1800's every young generation of Poles started a new uprising that the Russians, Germans and Austrians would have to stomp down. They went as far as to outlaw the Polish language, the Catholic religion and in the German controlled parts the Slavic suffix "-ski". Which is probably when Lech Waleski became Walesa and Sito was always Sito. (?) In Jacksonian America the plight of the heroic Poles battling overwhelming odds was terribly inspiring to American Romantics like Longfellow, Hawthorne and Morse.

1857- THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE- In 1857 President James Buchanan declared the Mormon community in Utah territory in a state of rebellion and sent an army to the Great Salt Lake. The Mormons were worked up by their memories of persecutions in Illinois and Missouri that had taken the life of their founder Joseph Smith. Leader Brigham Young had given orders that no U.S. troops or settlers were to be sold food or water. When a California bound wagon train from Arkansas tried to cross Utah territory it was attacked by Mormon allied Indians. Local Mormon leader John D. Lee told the embattled settlers that if they surrendered to him he would lead them to safety. They put down their weapons and he marched them to a meadow. On a given signal the Mormons opened fire on the settlers, mostly women and children, killing 120 and leaving their bones to rot in the weeds without burial. The surviving infants were taken to be raised by Mormon families. The Mormon colony was horrified by the massacre and gave up peacefully to U.S. authorities. Apologist historians even today say Brigham Young never gave orders for the massacre, but admitted he protected John D. Lee for 20 years. In 1877 Lee was finally convicted for the mass-murder and executed at the massacre site. He died declaring he was the sacrificial scapegoat for the entire commune.

1876- THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA RAID- One old Hollywood myth is of the Western town cowering in fear while desperadoes shoot up the street whoopin’ and hollering. When the Jesse James & Cole Younger gang rode out of Missouri and tried to rob the Bank of Northfield Minnesota, they found a town full of old Civil War veterans, who hauled out their rifles and shot at them from every window and doorway. Frank and Jesse are about the only ones who escaped. They laid low in Tennessee for three years until resuming their outlaw ways. Cole Younger was captured and did 25 years in prison. In 1903 Cole and Frank James went on tour with their own Wild West Show.

1880 - George Ligowsky patents device to throw clay pigeons for trapshooters

1888 - Edith Eleanor McLean was the 1st baby placed in an incubator.

1892 - Gentleman Jim Corbett finally KOs John L. Sullivan after 21 rounds for heavyweight boxing title. Corbett was an advocate of the new Marquis of Queensberry rules and preferred using boxing gloves to bare knuckle fighting like Sullivan did.

1907 - Sutro's ornate Cliff House in San Francisco was destroyed by fire.

1911- French avant-garde poet Guillaume Apollinaire was the man who coined the term “surrealism’. He was such an outspoken, radical guy, that Parisian authorities felt he must be up to something. So when the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louvre, Apollinaire was arrested. There was no evidence and he was released shortly after. The real thief was a disgruntled waiter who once worked as a security guard at the museum.

1916 - Workmen's Compensation Act passed by Congress.

1923 - Interpol was formed in Vienna

1936 - Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) began operation.

1940- Nazis bombers changed their strategy of bombing RAF bases in southern England and instead concentrate on destroying London for psychological value. Britons called his period The Blitz. This night waves of hundreds of bombers flattened the docklands of East London. For the next 57 straight days London suffered under a rain of high explosives.

1956- US test pilot Ivan Kincheloe flew his experimental Bell-X plane to the edge of the Stratosphere. While modern passenger planes fly at 46,000 feet, Kinchilo was 126,000 feet up, almost 26 miles. He could see the curve of the earth, the blue of the atmosphere turning ultramarine and the stars at the edge of space. He was weightless for a few seconds. Called the America’s First Spaceman, had Kincheloe not died in an accident in 1958, he would have been a major figure in NASA’s manned space program.

1957- Actress Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini separate.

1961- MGM released Switchin Kittens, Tom & Jerry directed and animated by Gene Deitch in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

1963- Mushi productions cartoon series," Tetsuan Atom" debuts in the U.S as Astro Boy.

1968- Led Zeppelin (billed as The Yardbirds) made their live debut at the Teen Club Box 45 in Gladsaxe, Denmark.

1968- Hanna Barbera’s The Banana Splits Show.

1978 - Keith Moon, rock drummer of the Who, died of a drug overdose at 31. He actually overdosed the drug he was prescribed to treat his drug abuse. In one night, he took 22 tabs of choloromethiazole edysilate. He was staying in the very same London flat- #123 Curzon Place, the one that Mama Cass Elliot died in four years earlier.

1984- The Walt Disney Board formally fired Walt’s son-in-law CEO Ron Miller.

1986- Archbishop Desmond Tutu was installed as the first black leader of the Anglican Church in South Africa. His appointment signaled the beginning of the final campaign to overthrow the racist apartheid system. After Apartheid was overthrown and Nelson Mandela made President of South Africa Tutu and Mandela began a curious argument over men’s wear. Bishop Tutu criticized the President for his taste in loud print shirts as undignified. Mandela responded” I won’t be criticized by a man who wears a dress!”

1991- Walt Disney’s Darkwing Duck aired.

1996- Rap artist and actor Tupac Shakur was shot to death gangland style in Las Vegas Nevada. He was standing up in the open roof of a BMW 750 sedan talking to some girls when a Cadillac pulled along side and opened fire. In 2002 the LA Times concluded an investigation that rapper Biggie Smalls or Notorious B.I.G. hired the killer and provided the gun. Notorious B.I.G. was himself shot to death shortly after.

1998- Google started.

2000- Barely legal teen pop star Britney Spears shocked even the permissive MTV Music Video Awards crowd by singing her hit “Oops, I Did it Again” while stripping and grinding in a Las Vegas showgirl type sheer flesh-colored bikini.

2008- The Great Recession- Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, the Federal National Mortgage Assoc., go into receivership after sinking under the weight of bad debt. ==========================================================
Yesterday’s Quiz: What modern city used to be called Danzig?

Answer: Gdansk in modern Poland.

Sept. 6, 2023
September 6th, 2023

Quiz: What modern city used to be called Danzig?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: The Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie are set in what decade or decades?
History for 9/6/2023
Birthdays: Marquis De Lafayette, Max Schreck (Nosferatu), Joseph Kennedy Sr., Felix Salten- the author of Bambi, Buddy Holly, Jane Curtin, Sergio Aragones is 86, Swoozie Kurtz, Jo Ann Worley, Rosie Perez is 58, Billy Rose, Ernest Tubb, Justin Whalin, Idris Elba is 50, Anika Noni-Rose, animator Bruce Smith.

338BC- Five days after Athens was conquered by Phillip of Macedon, the Greek philosopher Isocrates died. It was said the 98 year old was depressed by world events and old age. So, he simply stopped eating. Isocrates created the first literary criticism essays.

394AD- 15 years before the Fall of Rome, Roman Emperor Theodosius defeated his rival Eugenius at the Battle of Frigidus.

1298- Battle of Curzola- One of the perennial battles between Venice and the Pisa, only distinguished by the fact that Marco Polo was captured.
The first thing the globe-trotting merchant did upon getting home from China was get drafted. While a P.O.W. in a Pisan prison he wrote his famous account: " My Travels". He actually dictated them to another prisoner named Rustichello because he may have been illiterate, or simply developed weak eyes. Glasses were not invented yet. Rustichello was already a writer of novels, so it was a good choice for a collaborator.
Recently scholars have questioned just how much of China he may have actually seen, because he made no mention of The Great Wall or chopsticks. In his retirement, his neighbors called him, “Old Millions”, because of all his wild stories. “The Emperor of China had a million soldiers! One banquet had a million courses!” etc.
1522- One ship reached Spain manned by only a dozen or more skeletal sailors. They were all that was left of Fernand de Magellan’s fleet of five ships and 260 men that set out one year ago to reach the Indies. Magellan was killed and eaten in the Philippines, Magellan had beheaded three of his captains in Argentina and most of the crew were dead. The last leg of the trip the men sailed up the coast of Africa without stopping for food or water for fear of falling into the hands of their Portuguese enemies. But they had achieved the dream of the Columbus, they had reached the Indies by sailing west. In fact, they had circumnavigated the globe, forever proved the world was round.

1566- Elderly Turkish Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent died while besieging the Hungarian castle of Szigetvar. His vezirs worried that the news of his death would panic the troops and leave them open for attack. So they kept it a secret and marched back to Istanbul with Sulieman’s body propped up and held down by wires on his throne in his rolling pavilion. Censers of perfumed incense were waved to cover the fact that the Sultan was starting to smell nasty.

1642- The English Civil War just starting, Parliament issued a declaration that all Englishmen who weren't on their side would be declared 'delinquent' and subject to having their lands and properties seized. Unfortunately, this stupid edict had the reverse effect than intended, because the threat of losing their fortunes pushed many fence-sitters over to the King's side. King Charles could barely manage to raise one thousand sulky soldiers on Sept. I before the edict, afterwards his ranks swelled to the tens of thousands.

1696- William Kidd set sail from Portsmouth with a heavily armed ship named the Adventure. Captain Kidd’s orders were to clear the Indian Ocean of pirates, but instead, he became a pirate himself.

1782- Patsy Jefferson, the wife of Thomas Jefferson died at age 33. Jefferson promised her on her deathbed that he would never marry again and was so distraught he refused to leave their bedroom. He finally emerged after three weeks. They spent her last hours writing out their favorite passages from Tristram Shandy together. Jefferson kept the little folded up piece of paper on him the rest of his life.

1791- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera La Celemenza de Tito premiered in Prague.

1812- At Borodino the Russian army prepared to fight Napoleon’s Army before the entrance to Holy Moscow. This night the Orthodox Metropolitan in procession carried through the camp the icon of the Black Virgin of Smolensk. Thousands of soldiers kneeled, crossed themselves and whispered Gospodi Pomilui- Lord Have Mercy. During the Napoleonic Wars Russian officers began the curious custom of making sure that they went into battle wearing clean underwear- no gentleman wanted to be found dead on the battlefield with dirty knickers!

1821- Jacob Fowler with 21 frontiersmen left Arkansas for Santa Fe New Mexico to see if the local government was more amenable to Americans now that Mexico had won their independence from Spain. They were welcomed and began to hunt and trap.

1847- After living in a shack on Walden Pond for two years, Henry David Thoreau moved in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord Mass.

1862- During the Civil War an incident occurred when Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate brigades moved through the pro-Union town of Frederick, Maryland. All civilians kept indoors and waved white flags from their homes. But elderly widow Barbara Fritchie flew a big ass Stars & Stripes from her window and dared anyone to do anything about it. General Jackson just smiled and tipped his hat as he rode by. Years later a famous poem was written about the incident, The Ballad of Barbara Fritchie:” Shoot if You Must, This Old Grey Head, But Spare your Countries’ Flag, She Said!”

1901-PRESIDENT WILLIAM McKINLEY ASSASSINATED- The President was visiting the Temple of Music at the World Exposition in Buffalo when anarchist Leon Czogolsz shot him with a pistol hidden in his bandaged hand. Czogolsz was such an emotionally unstable character, that even other anarchists avoided him. He said he was inspired by the political speeches of Socialist Emma Goldman, which soured many mainstream Americans to radical Socialism. McKinley lingered for two weeks while doctors were afraid to probe for the bullet. Ironically he had just inspected a new-fangled X-Ray machine at the science pavilion that could have saved his life but doctors said: " This is too serious a time for toys!" He died and Teddy Roosevelt became President. Roosevelt was a maverick Republican that McKinley reluctantly chose as his running mate because he was a hero in the recent Spanish-American War. When Tammany boss Paul Crocker heard about Roosevelt being made V.P. he shouted;" Don't you realize that now there's only one heartbeat between that nut and the Presidency-?!" Republican Senate Majority Leader Marc Hanna was also annoyed: ” Oh, no! Now that crazy cowboy is President!”

1910- Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughn-Williams premiered at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester Cathedral. Vaughn Williams had not attempted sacred music yet, but was inspired by a melody written by Renaissance composer Tallis in 1567. During rehearsals, the organist wrote a friend it was “A queer, mad work, by an odd fellow from Chelsea.”

1914- As World War I raged all across Europe the country that started it all, Serbia, had a curious campaign. It was expected that the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire would quickly crush this little country. But under the leadership of their resident military genius, Marshal Radomir Putnik, the Serbs drove out the invading Austrian army and this day even had the cheek to invade Austria! The Austrians pushed them out, tried another invasion, then forgot about them for the rest 1914 and all of 1915.

1916- Piggly-Wiggly, the first true Supermarket, opened in Memphis Tenn.

1935- the musical Top Hat opened with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1945- Four days after the Japanese surrender ending World War II, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover sent a bitchy memo to Truman’s Attorney General Tom Clark complaining about General Donovan. Wild Bill Donovan had led the wartime espionage agency the OSS. Now he was proposing a continuation of intelligence gathering in the US as well as overseas. Hoover considered this a direct challenge to his authority. Donovan’s group was reborn as the CIA in 1947. And relations with the FBI have remained cool ever since. During the 9-11 attack in 2001, the FBI and CIA could not directly e-mail one another.

1954- Groundbreaking for the first nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

1958- The Spunky and Tadpole show debuts!

1966- Dr. Hendryk Verwoerd, the South African Prime Minister most responsible for the institutionalizing of racial segregation called Apartheid, was assassinated by an aide, Dmitri Tsafendas.

1968- Many momentous events occurred in 1968: assassinations, riots. But that’s nothing compared to the television premiere of H.R. PUFNSTUFF this day! Witchipoo, Orson and the Vroom Broom. Whether or not Sid and Marty Kroffts strange kiddie show was a code for drug use -HR meaning Hand-Rolled Puffing Stuff, is a matter for scholastic conjecture.

1969- DePatie-Freleng's The Pink Panther TV Show premiered.

1971- Happy Birthday Pampers. Scientists at Proctor & Gamble invent the disposable diaper.

1972 - John Lennon & Yoko Ono appeared on Jerry Lewis' Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.

1997- The great funeral of Princess Diana of Wales brought England to a halt and was televised around the world.

2000- The United Nations held a Millennial Summit. 150 presidents, kings, princes and prime ministers convened in New York City, the largest international conference ever held. Nothing important was decided and New Yorkers grumbled about the traffic.

2017- Our First Close Encounter? Scientists in Hawaii spotted a giant cigar-shaped object pass through our solar system. At first thought to be a comet, its speed did not behave like a comet, and it had no comets tail. An astrophysicist at Harvard said it might have been a probe sent by another civilization, but no one is sure. They named it Oumuamua- Hawaiian for “scout”.

Yesterday’s Question: The Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie are set in what decade or decades?

Answer: The 1920s-early 30s. Europe between the wars.