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April 10th, 2010 sat
April 10th, 2010

History: We all know Mel Blanc did the most cartoon voices for Warner Bros, but who did the most cartoon voices for Disney? ( Thanks Nancy).

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a zephyr?
History for 4/10/2010
Birthdays: Josef Pulitzer, Lew Wallace, George Arliss, Omar Sharif, Harry Morgan, Max Von Sydow, Ken Griffey Sr, Claire Booth Luce, Chuck Connors, John Madden, Don Meredith, Paul Theroux, David Halberstram, Steven Segal is 58, Orlando Jones, Mandy Moore is 26, Haley Joel Osment is 22

Last day of the Roman Megaleasian festival in honor of Lunus the Moon god.

1500- The Renaissance Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza , was betrayed by his Swiss mercenaries to his enemy the French King Louis XII. This one time employer of Leonardo da Vinci was thrown in a dungeon to rot at the castle of Loche, dying in 1508. He asked for nothing to take with him except his copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

1610- French King Henry IV of Navarre was as famous for his sexual appetite as for his statesmanship. He had many liaisons with many women but one of the most famous was Gabrielle d’Estrees. When a duke told him of her beauty, he galloped through enemy territory to be with her. They had a long affair but Gabrielle wanted more, she wanted Henry to divorce his queen and marry her! Henry was thinking about it, when this day D’Estees died of infection after childbirth. Some said it was poison, but that sort of infection was common then. Henry grieved: “I am destroyed. The Plant of Love is dead inside of me!” Two months later he had another girlfriend.

1741- Battle of Mollwitz- King Frederick the Great's first victory. His big battalions of Prussian-disciplined infantry defeated the Austrians even after his cavalry had been driven off the field, the King Frederick swept along in the rout. He thought he had lost. He was drinking his sorrows away in a pub, when he got the news of his victory.

The international fame of Frederick’s Army created an unexpected side industry. A Coburg toy maker named Andreas Hipert began selling mass market sets of toy soldiers modeled on his men. Flats made of lead and brightly painted, they were a big hit. Toy soldiers go back at least as far as the Romans. Medieval princes owned little replicas of knights. But Hipert created toys for average people.

1790- The U.S. patent office created.

1836- THE HELEN JEWETT MURDER- Helen Jewett was a beautiful, well-bred woman. But bad luck had brought her down to prostitution on the mean streets of New York. This night at a brothel at 41 Thomas St, she was murdered with an axe. Her partner shop clerk Richard Robinson was charged with the murder, but there was not enough evidence for a conviction. The Helen Jewett Case was the first Media-Sensation Crime in the US. The emerging mass media held the public spellbound for weeks with salacious details and lurid descriptions of the sad end of this Soiled Dove.

1841- Horace Greeley creates the daily newspaper the New York Tribune, which he builds into a national voice for the abolition of slavery. Greeley was the man who advised: “Go West, Young Man.” During the New York Draft Riots of 1863 Greeley defended his newspaper from looters with his own personal cannon in the lobby.

1848- THE CHARTISTS- A large working class movement broke out in England inspired by the industrial working class uprisings occurring that year throughout Europe. The English radicals wanted no less than a republic with universal voting rights. The demonstrations and threats of violence concerned young Queen Victoria so much that at one point she became hysterical with tears. This day the Chartists planned a rally of 200,000 to march on Westminster. Victoria and Albert fled to the Isle of Wight to avoid the confrontation. But the movement petered out of it's own lack of momentum. Only 23,000 showed up and their leader, a Mr. Fergus O'Connor, shook hands with the police chief and took a cab to Parliament to present his petitions alone. Universal voting rights in England didn't occur until the Twentieth Century.

1849- Walter Hunt invented the safety pin. Hunt sold the pattern for $100 bucks.

1865- The day after Lee surrendered his army to Grant ending the Civil War, many of Lee’s officers started going through the lines to visit old friends on the other side. Men who only the day before had been trying to kill each other today laughed and partied. One of the visitors to Grant headquarters was Lee’s second in command General James Longstreet. Before the war Old Pete Longstreet was best man to Ulysses Grants wedding.

1866-The ASPCA founded.

1868- Johannes Brahms A German Requiem debuted.

1877- Honoring a political deal that helped win his election, President Rutherford Hayes began withdrawing occupying troops from the Southern States of the former Confederacy. This ends the period known as the Reconstruction. The South was once the wealthiest part of the U.S., by then it was the poorest. And all the civil and voting rights for black Americans that Lincoln had planned for postwar America were nullified.

1903- King Alexander Obrenovic of Serbia had become increasingly autocratic. His suspending the liberal constitution of 1889, installing press censorship and revoking secret balloting had made him very unpopular. This night a group of Serbian army officers broke into the Kings bedroom and murdered King Alexander and his Queen Draga. They hurled their naked bodies out of a window to smash onto the cobblestone courtyard below where more army officers proceeded to hack up the remains with their sabers. Peter Karageorgevic’ was elected new king.
Mainstream world media was shocked by the brutality of the killings but the Head of the Serbian Church held a Thanksgiving Mass and there was a festive mood in Belgrade the rest of the week. One of the officers in the coup would later bankroll the Serbian terrorist group that assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and started World War One.

1906- O'Henry's story " The Gift of the Magi " first published.

1912- The White Star oceanliner RMS Titanic sailed from Southhampton on her maiden voyage. The loading ramp supposedly was crowned with a banner which read "The Ship that God could not Sink!" but may be a legend. Other hints of sinister premonition was the fact that for some reason the Titanic was launched but never christened.

1919- Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata assassinated. Zapata went to see a Colonel Jesus Guajardo who said he was willing to change over to his side. The colonel ordered his men to raise their rifles as if to fire a salute, but on a given signal lowered them and blasted Zapata away. Guajardo got 52,000 pesos and a promotion to general. Today’s Indian guerrillas in Chiapas call themselves Zapatistas.

1923- Peeps invented. The sweet Easter marshmallow confection that is shaped like a yellow baby chick and can stick to most surfaces.

1925- F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" published by Scribners.

1941- First Battle of Tobruk. When Rommel's Afrika Korps pushed the British army across the Libyan desert, the port of Tobruk held out for three months in an epic siege.

1942-THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH- not one of the highpoints in U.S.-Japanese relations. When twenty thousand trapped American and Philipino troops surrendered to the Japanese, they were sent back through the steaming jungles of Bataan on a forced march without food or water, the guards shooting and bayoneting those who dropped from exhaustion. Their guards gave them food after nine days. Only half survived the ordeal, 12,000 died.

1947- THE FBI PAY A VISIT to Screen Actor’s Guild president Ronald Reagan and actress-wife Jane Wyman. They accuse them of belonging to Communist Party front organizations. Ronnie agrees to become an informer on his own guild, and just about everyone else in Hollywood. Jane Wyman later divorced him.

1951- GENERAL MacARTHUR FIRED BY PRESIDENT TRUMAN- Douglas MacArthur had been used to being his own boss in the Far East and he found the politics of global nuclear brinksmanship puzzling. He thought you fought wars to win them, not to maintain a stalemate. Truman was trying to limit the carnage of the Korean War from spreading into World War III. MacArthur had been ordered by Truman last December 4th not to make public statements about the Korean war without going through Washington first. So when against direct orders MacArthur issued his own ultimatum threatening the Communist Chinese with a nuclear firestorm on their cities and independently conferring with Chiang Kai Shek about his getting Nationalist Chinese armies into the war Truman had had enough. Truman ordered MacArthur home and replaced with General Matthew Ridgeway. Generals Eisenhower, George C. Marshall and Omar Bradley supported the president’s policy that the military must be subject to civilian authority. MacArthur didn’t get the news until he heard it on the radio. The public outrage at the humiliation of America’s legendary soldier was enormous but in time subsided. 60% of the Korean War’s battle casualties occurred in the two years after MacArthur’s dismissal. In 1964 the dying MacArthur sent a final message to President Lyndon Johnson begging him not to go into Vietnam.

1952-ELIA THE FINK-Film director Elia Kazan ( On the Waterfront, East of Eden,etc.) saved his career but earned the lasting hatred of Hollywood by testifying to the House Un American Activities Committee. He named 8 of his friends as Communists, including famed writer Clifford Odets. Unlike others who were forced to testify Kazan never expressed any regret for the pain he caused. Many see the irony of 'On the Waterfront' that it's hero is a guy who does the right thing by turning informer. The film was written by Bud Schulberg, who also named names.

1953- The Vincent Price film The House of Wax in 3d premiered.

1961- Singer Joan Baez entered the Greenwich Village club called Folk City and was accosted by a funny young man with a nasaly twang ;”Joan Baez! Here, I wrote a song for you!” His name was Bob Dylan. Baez and Dylan became friends and together changed the image of folk music.

1962- DON'T TRY TO DOUBLECROSS JFK ! The U.S. Steel Corporation had made a deal with the Kennedy Administration that if the feds leaned on the steelworkers union for a favorable labor settlement U.S. Steel promised not to raise wholesale prices which would hurt the U.S. economy. On this day chairman Roger 'Ben' Blough told John Kennedy they were reneging on the deal and raising prices anyway. Kennedy exploded- " My father always warned me that all businessmen were sons of bitches but I never believed him until now!" The Kennedy administration made things so hot for U.S. Steel that they cancelled the price increase.

1962- Stuart Sutcliffe was the bass guitarist of the Beatles until creative differences and a marriage made him drop out of the band in favor of George Harrison. This day Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage at age 21.

1962- The Los Angeles Dodgers play their first game at their new Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine. They lost to the Cincinnati Reds 6-3.

1969- Radical students of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) protesting the Vietnam War storm the administration buildings of Harvard. It takes 400 riot police and 197 arrests to drive them out.

1971- Rob Reiner married Penny Marshall.

1985- A new singer named Madonna began her first tour, the Virgin Tour.

1992- Raunchy- comedian Sam Kinison was killed in a head on collision with a truck on the road to Las Vegas. Ironically, the comedian who had glorified the wild sex, drugs and rock& roll lifestyle was sober at the time, and the truck driver was drunk. Paramedics at the crash site claim they heard Kinison shortly before his death having a conversation with an invisible presence. Others believe Kinison’s last words were “Oh, OOh –AAAUUUUGGHHHH!!!”

1997- The Jerusalem Post announced the birth of a red heifer at a kibbutz near Haifa. The birth of a red heifer is supposed to be the prerequisite for the coming of the Messiah and the End of the World. In 2003 the cow became beef brisket, and we’re still all here.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a zephyr?

Answer. A light refreshing breeze. Named for the Greek god of the West wind.

April 9th, 2010 friday.
April 9th, 2010

Quiz: What is a zephyr?

Yesterdays quiz answered below: Stirling Holloway was the voice of a famous bear. Who was he?
History for 4/9/2010
Birthdays: Tartar conquerer Timur the Lame called Tamurlane, , Vladimir Ulyanov called Lenin, Paul Robeson, Jean Paul Belmondo, Dennis Quaid, Ward Bond, Seve Balesteros, Carl Perkins, Michael Learned, Tom Lehrer, Paula Poundstone, Cynthia Nixon, Hugh Hefner is 84, Elle Fanning is 12

999 AD.- Sylvester II made pope, the first Frenchman. He reformed the way Popes were selected by organizing the College of Cardinals. Before that Popes were selected out of infighting between several leading Roman families. Tradition also says Sylvester was a sorcerer because he experimented with the medicinal properties of herbs and is credited with inventing the pendulum clock.

1241-MONGOLS ! BATTLE OF LEIGNITZ- The son of Genghis Khan, Ogodai, had dispatched four armies –one to China, one to Korea and one to Europe, the fourth was pushing south through Baghdad, Egypt and Palestine. This would complete his father’s master plan for world conquest This day the Mongol horde of Subotai ,Vuldai and Paidar clashed with the cream of East European knighthood on a plain in Poland.

Since they had burned Baghdad and killed the Caliph at first the western kings thought the Mongols were the magical knights of Prester John come from Cathay to save Christendom, but after they had destroyed Moscow, Budapest and Kracow the alarm spread. The Kings of England, France and even Norway prepared for the attack. This was the first meeting of the Mongols and Western Knights. The Kings of Poland and Bohemia were there as well as the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the Holy Orders of the Teutonic Knights and Livonian Sword Brothers. The Mongols slaughtered them all easily. Paidar sent back to his overlord Batu Khan nine sacks of left ears taken from the slain and King Henry of Bohemia’s head on a spear.

The only reason the Horde didn’t continue on to Paris and London as planned was back in Mongolia the great Khan Ogodai died. Since the Mongol Empire was never more than an enlarged tribal system all Mongol elders had to stop everything they were doing and return home to Karakorum for a council -the Grand Kurlutai Then the Mongols left Europe as mysteriously as they had arrived.

1553- French writer Francois Rabelais died. His last words were: ” I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”

1682- Explorer Sieur De Lasalle claims Louisiana and the Mississippi for France.

1747- Famed British actor David Garrick signed a contract to take over the management of London’s Drury Lane Theatre.

1778- In Paris the philosopher Voltaire is initiated into the Masonic Order of the Nine Sisters on the arm of his friend, Benjamin Franklin.

1780- George Washington wrote the American emissary in Paris, Richard Lawrence, about our chances of winning the American Revolution:” We here are at the end of our tether. If we do not receive help soon all will be lost.”

1812- THE SACK OF BADAJOZ-The Duke of Wellington’s English army storms into a Spanish city held by Napoleons French forces. The battle typified the ferocity of the war in Spain. The French and pro-French Spaniards dropped explosives and rocks on the heads of the attacking English and embedded the tops of their walls with broken glass and knife blades. The loss of life was so ghastly that when the redcoats finally breached the cities defenses they went berserk- looting, raping, and killing the civilian population. This is when Wellington called his men scum. Wellington always went through a depressed state after a battle, even his victories. At one point grizzled old General Sir Thomas Picton noticed Wellington weeping.”My God Arthur, what the devil are you blubbering on about?” was his reaction.

1859- Mark Twain received his Mississippi riverboat pilot’s license.

1865- APPOMATTOX COURTHOUSE, THE END OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. Robert E. Lee surrenders the remains of his army to Ulysses Grant ( just 11,000 men from an 1863 peak of 70,000). Grant had had a migraine headache all morning until he received the note from Lee requesting terms. Grant’s staff understood that Lee’s note meant the end of the greatest cataclysm in U.S. history. One staff officer called for three cheers but the men could only manage one weak hurrah, then they broke down in tears. All realized that at last the killing was truly over.

Lee arrived wearing his best dress uniform, Grant rode in from the field wearing an old muddy private’s jacket. Grant recalled when they met during the Mexican War but Lee didn’t remember. Grant was happy to make small talk until Lee brought them back to the business at hand. Grant’s secretary was a Seneca Indian named Captain Ely Parker. Lee paused to say ”I’m glad there’s at least one real American here.”

The house they met in was owned by a man named Wilbur McClean, who moved his family for Bull Run to Appomattox to get away from the fighting. He managed to keep his belongings safe for four years of war. Now, after Lee and Grant left the historic meeting, the officers looted his place for souvenirs, George Custer riding off with the little surrender table perched on his head.

1914- THE TAMPICO INCIDENT- In the port of Vera Cruz a shore party from the USN gunboat Tampico was arrested by Mexican authorities while getting supplies. They were soon released and the Mexican Government apologized. But the US Admiral Mayo then demanded the Mexicans give the Stars & Stripes a 21 gun salute. The Mexican army said they would if the USN did the same salute to the Mexican flag. Washington didn’t want to do this because it would have meant the US recognized the dictatorship of General Huerta, who had overthrown the legally elected President Madero. So the US attacked Vera Cruz on April 21st, 20 Americans and 200 Mexicans killed. A newspaper at the time commented:” I can’t believe we almost went to war over some points of diplomatic etiquette!”

1914- The first all color film” The World, The Flesh and the Devil” premiered in London.

1917- Shortly after declaring war on Germany President Woodrow Wilson was confronted by old former President Teddy Roosevelt who volunteered to lead a new regiment of volunteer Rough Riders into the World War One trenches. Wilson said thanks but no thanks. At the same time he also declined an offer from Annie Oakley to lead a company of lady sharpshooters into combat “Oakley’s Amazons”.

1940- Hitler invaded Denmark and Norway. Innocent looking civilian German freighters holed up in Danish and Norwegian ports suddenly disgorged hordes of steel helmeted Nazi soldiers. Copenhagen, Oslo and Trondheim were quickly overrun. Mysteriously the British Navy didn’t use its superiority to stop the Germans crossing the Baltic. The admirals were worried about the German divebombers. It showed the world that Sea Power had finally bowed to Airpower.

1942- Black opera star Marian Anderson gives her concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to an audience of 75,000. She was snubbed from giving a recital at the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall which caused a furious Eleanor Roosevelt to resign from the DAR and arrange this concert.

1944- First battle of the Warsaw Ghetto. Jews revolt in a desperate struggle against the conditions the Nazis held them in. All guns and supplies were precious and one character of the street fighting the Germans nicknamed Moishe the Bolshevik, who ran from corpse to corpse under heavy fire dragging bandoliers of bullets, grenades and several helmets on his head.

1948- Variety columnist Ben Mortimer had been needling Frank Sinatra for his advocacy of liberal causes. He accused Old Blue Eyes of draft-dodging and hinted maybe he had pro-Communist sympathies. This day Sinatra responded by meeting Mortimer in front of Ciro's restaurant on Sunset Blvd and punched his lights out.

1951- The day before he fired General Douglas MacArthur- President Harry Truman secretly sent to Korea five unassembled atomic bombs. These were to be armed and used if only the situation looked totally hopeless. They were never used .

1953- The first issue of the T.V. Guide.

1959- NASA introduced the first seven astronauts to the public: Donald Slayton, Alan Shepard, Walter Schirra, Virgil Grissom, John Glenn, Leroy Cooper, and Malcolm Carpenter- all military test pilots instead of scientists.

1965- Mickey Mantle hits the first indoor home run as the Astrodome opens with an exhibition game with the Astros hosting the Yankees. President Lyndon Johnson was supposed to throw out the first pitch but arrived late. Phillie catcher Bob Boone commented about the Astrodome "This is a tough yard for a hitter when the air conditioning is blowing in.."

1966-actress Sophia Loren married producer Carlo Ponti, with whom she had been living with for a decade but not allowed to marry because Catholics did not allow divorce from their previous spouses.

1974- Ray Kroc the founder of MacDonalds Restaurants was the owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team. After yet another sorry performance, losing 8-0, Kroc stormed over to the broadcast booth, grabbed the mike and out loud apologized to San Diego fans for his teams lousy playing” You Guys Stink!” Despite this morale boost, the Padres eventually did win championship pennants and get to the World Series.

1975- As North Vietnamese armies approached the South Vietnamese capitol of Saigon, US President Gerald Ford issued an advisory to all Americans to evacuate the country.

1991- The last Horn & Hardardt Automat was closed on 42nd St in Manhattan. Philadelphia restauranters Joseph Horn and William Hardart saw German experiments in mass market automated restaurants, and imported the equipment to start one in Philadelphia in 1902.

1999- American planes flying for NATO bombed the Serbian factory that made the economy car the Yugo. Car enthusiasts rejoiced.

2003- Baghdad fell to invading US and British armies.

2004- Archaeologists in Cyprus discover a 9,000 year old grave of a New Stone Age man. In his arms is the remains of a kitten. This is the oldest evidence of man domesticating cats. So rest in peace- Gronk and Fluffy.

2005- Prince Charles wed Lady Camilla Parker-Bowles, his mistress of thirty years. They were not allowed to marry in Saint George’s Chapel in Windsor, the Queen avoided the ceremony and his father didn’t feel like interrupting his trip to Germany; and because of a delay to respect Pope John Paul II’s funeral, all the commemorative cups and dishes have the wrong date on them. Among the thirty invited guests, were Mrs. Bowles divorced husband.

2008- Stuntman Rupert MacDonald built a full size Viking ship out of popsicle sticks. 15 million to be precise.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Stirling Holloway was the voice of a famous bear. Who was he?

Answer: Winnie the Pooh.

April 8th, 2010 Thurs
April 8th, 2010

Quiz: Stirling Holloway was the voice of a famous bear. Who was he?

Yesterday’s quiz answered below: Why are so many towns in the American southeast named Lafayette?
History for 4/8/2010
Birthdays: Gautama Buddha –as commemorated by Japanese custom-Kambutsue, Ponce De Leon, King Albert of the Belgians, Mary Pickford, Yip Harburg, Betty Ford, Sonja Henje, Jim Catfish Hunter, Jacques Brel, Julian Lennon, Carmen McCrae, Shecky Green, Douglas Trumbull, Robin Wright-Penn is 44, Patricia Arquette is 42

In Japan this is the Hana Matsuri Flower Festival.

64AD est.- An advertisement found on a wall in Roman Pompeii: “ TWENTY PAIRS OF GLADIATORS sponsored by Decimus Lucretius Satrius Valens, lifetime priest of Nero Caesar and TEN PAIRS OF GLADIATORS sponsored by Decimus Lucretius Valens Minor (his son) will fight on April 8th –12th, Their will also be a suitable WILD ANIMAL HUNT , THE AWNING will be opened. “ Ticketmaster,Mastercard accepted.

217AD.-The Roman Emperor Caracalla was stabbed in the back while taking a pee during the Moon God Festival. He got caught with his toga down. The assassin Martialis tired to gallop away, but was brought down by a well aimed javelin. The Praetorian Prefect Macrinus becomes Emperor. The question here is: Was Macrinus a Black Roman Emperor? The Romans didn't have the same color prejudice we have, they were equally prejudiced against everyone. There were emperors like Phillipus the Arab, Vespasian the Spaniard and Percennius Niger- Black Percennius. But Macrinus was said to be a Moor. There are no surviving likenesses of him so we may never know.

1476-In Florence Leonardo da Vinci is accused of sodomy with his 17 year old male model. He was acquitted in a preliminary hearing, but in his sketchbook he designed a lockbusting tool, just in case.

1520- on a beach somewhere in what would be Argentina Fernand deMagellan
has three of his captains beheaded for trying to mutiny and turn back home. Of the 200 men and five ships in his expedition only one ship with 16 skeletal men will ever see Spain again.

1778- John Adams arrived in Paris to help Ben Franklin negotiate with the French Court. Their secretary Bancroft was a British double agent. The dour New Englander Adams was offended by Franklin’s superstar popularity among the French- Queen Marie Antoinette referred to him as Le Ambassadeur Electrique as well as his habit of resting nude with the windows open -his “air baths”.

1793- CITIZEN GENET ARRIVES IN THE U.S.- The ambassador from the French Revolutionary Republic presented a dilemma for the George Washington Administration. The France that helped America win her independence was royal France, but Edouard Genet represented a fellow democratic republic, so far the only other one in the world. Common people in Philadelphia and New York danced and sang in the streets when they heard of the storming of the Bastille. The French Convention displayed a Stars and Stripes in their hall. A fashion started in America of calling each other “Citizen’ and “Citizeness”. Secretary of State Jefferson was pro French, Adams and Hamilton were anti.. Pres.Washington was pro-French until the Revolution had driven his friend Lafayette into exile. Rich Americans were afraid of the class anger the French revolutionaires were stirring up. Citizen Genet didn't help matters by openly trying to bribe American officials and publishing a list of all the prominent men of Boston he felt deserved to be guillotined. Finally President Washington was asking for Genet's recall. Then Genet learned HE was next on Robespierre's list to be guillotined when he returned home! So Genet asked for asylum and became a good American citizen.

1856- The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Company renamed themselves the Western Union Telegraph Company. In twenty years it became the largest corporation in the United States. Western Union stopped the personal telegram service in 2006.

1861-LINCOLN'S MOVE- Ever since Lincoln's election and the southern states declaring themselves an independent Confederacy, the thorny issue was the status of U.S. military bases on Confederate soil. The rebels sent commissioners led by Ex-president John Tyler to Washington to negotiate the peaceful transfer but Lincoln refused to meet them. The commander of Fort Leavenworth surrendered his post to Texas and Fort Pickens to rebel Florida. Only Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor South Carolina defiantly flew the Stars and Stripes. By now the U.S. garrison was running out of food and surrounded on all sides by hostile guns. Everyone wondered who would fire the first shot. On this day Lincoln informed Governor Pickens of South Carolina that the U.S. government was sending a relief force to re-supply the fort. Jeff Davis had to make the decision to fire on the fort before the relief fleet could get there, thereby starting the shooting war. Davis recognized that Lincoln had deliberately outmaneuvered him into this situation, so as not to look like the U.S. would fire first ..

1865- LEE'S DECISION- The Army of Northern Virginia led by Robert E. Lee had to abandon the Confederate capitol Richmond, and was now being pursued by two huge Union armies. At a small intersection named Appomattox Courthouse they found the last open road blocked by a third Yankee army. Lee had 10,000 starving effectives to put against 150,000 bluecoats. This night Lee held a last council of war to decide what to do. The younger officers proposed dispersing the army with instructions to rally in the Blue Ridge Mountains and continue fighting hit and run as guerrillas. But Lee dismissed this: "I'm getting too old for that sort of thing.' I must act on the wishes of the government. " General Gordon snapped: "Oh, to Hell with the Government! You are the Confederacy now !" All that's left of it is here!" After one more dawn attempt to break out of the trap, Lee concluded with a sigh:" I guess all that is left now is to go see General Grant, and I'd rather die a thousand deaths."

1876- Amiliare Ponchielli’s opera La Gioconda debuted. The ballet portion is famous as the Dance of the Hours.

1879- Milk first sold in glass bottles.

1904-THE ENTENTE CORDIAL- Britain and France end centuries of open hostility and sign the first of a series of alliances. Germany was shocked. They had historic claims to English friendship- in every war since William the Conquerer Germany and Britain were allies against France. For the last three years British foreign minister Joseph Chamberlain had been trying to negotiate the same exact kind of alliance with the Kaiser. Wilhelm exclaimed ."What would Wellington and Old Blucher think?" -the allies at Waterloo who defeated Napoleon. This ends the British period called "Splendid Isolation", throughout the Victorian Era the policy of the British Empire was no formal alliances with any major European land power. When the French offered an alliance twenty years earlier The Marquis de Salisbury told them:" Nous sommes des poisson. " We are fish" i.e. sea living people.

1911-Vitagraph releases Winsor McCay's short cartoon "Little Nemo" theatrically.

1913- The 17th Amendment passed that called for U.S. senators to be elected by popular vote instead of named by state legislatures.

1933-The WPA- Works Progress Administration-later renamed the Works Projects Administration founded. It was the Franklin Roosevelt Administration’s massive jobs program to heal the Depression by putting unemployed people back to work. They built bridges, dams, roads, federal buildings. The WPA arts projects employed artists like Grant Wood, Berenice Abbott and Thomas Hart Benton and put on plays with Orson Welles and John Houseman. There was even a WPA Symphony Orchestra, employing out of work classical musicians, including two old Russian immigrants who knew Tschaikowsky.

1942- The US government ordered all remaining heavy industry convert to war production for the duration of World War Two. From now until 1946 no new automobiles were made, no tin toys, there were almost no labor strikes. sugar, rubber and gas was strictly rationed. But the unemployment and low output of the Depression finally disappeared.

1945- Only days before his concentration camp would be liberated by allied armies, Lutheran theologian Deitrich Boenhoffer was hanged for his public opposition to Hitler.

1952- A nationwide steel strike was going to cripple steel production in the President Harry Truman ordered the US government to take direct control of the steel mills and threatened the strikers that if they didn’t go back to work he would draft them into the army. While such drastic methods may have been necessary in wartime Truman was dangerously overstepping his bounds as president by this action.

1966- Lenoid Brezhnev became Secretary General of the Communist party and leader of the Soviet Union.

1973- Famed artist Pablo Picasso died at 91. His last words were 'Drink to me'. On his night table was a comic book drawn by former Disney animator Vip Partch.

1974- Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's home run record. Hammerin' Hank hits #715 off Dodger pitcher Al Dowling. Aaron had tied the Babe’s record at the end of the previous season and had to endure an entire winter of stress and racial threats before he could come up to bat again and break the record on opening day of the new season. He retired with a new record of 755. Al Dowling joked: "I never say 7:15 anymore. I now say, 'It's a quarter after seven'."

Yesterday’s Question: Why are so many towns in the American southeast named Lafayette?

Answer. In 1824, long after George Washington and most of the Founding Father’s were gone, the retired Marquis De Lafayette came back to see the country he helped create. He traveled all around the 24 States, and was received with triumphant fanfare. Many asked him to preside over the founding of several new towns- Lafayette Louisiana, Fayetteville North Carolina, etc.

April 7th, 2010 weds.
April 7th, 2010

Question: Why are so many towns in the American southeast named Lafayette?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What is a debacle?
History for 4/7/2010
Birthdays St. Francis Xavier, William Wordsworth, Mongo Santamaria, Francis Ford Coppola is 70, Walter Winchell, David Frost, Percy Faith, Daniel Ellsberg, Jerry Brown, Alan Pakula, Billie Holiday, Ravi Shankar, Irene Castle, Wayne Rogers, Stan Winston, James Garner, Olikirk Christenson-the inventor of Lego toys, Russell Crowe is 46, Jacky Chan is 56

1805- Ludwig Van Beethoven premiered his Symphony # 3 Eroica at Vienna’s Theater-an-der-Wein. It marks his break with the gentle styles of Mozart and Haydn and the evolution of his full mature sound. He originally intended to dedicate it to Napoleon but scratched out the dedication page when he heard Napoleon had renounced Republican liberal values and made himself an emperor. Of all his symphony’s it remained his favorite, despite the opinions of music critics-“ Strange modulations and violent transitions… undesirable originality.”

1862-THAT DEVIL FORREST! The Second Day of the Battle of Shiloh. Union General Grant, reinforced overnight, counterattacked and recaptured his ground lost the day before by the rebel surprise attack. When General Lew Wallace met him with reinforcements Wallace said :”If stupidity and hard fighting are what you want, here we are.” Grant said: “I’ve had plenty of both already.” The last Confederate under fire was wild cavalry genius Nathan Bedford Forrest. He led a charge at the Union Army to cover the rebel retreat. At one point the gray-clad horseman found himself cut off and alone in a sea of blue uniforms. The Yankees yelled: "Kill Him! Kill the G-ddamn Rebel! Knock him off his horse!" While Forrest slashed all around him with his saber, a bluecoat pushed his rifle into Forrest's ribs and pulled the trigger. The force of the blast lifted him momentarily out his saddle, but Forrest ignored the wound and kept fighting. To keep from being shot in the back as he galloped to safety Forrest pulled one hapless Yankee up on his horse and used him as a shield, then dropped him down when out of danger. Forrest survived the Civil War " I personally killed ten Yankees and had eleven horses shot out from under me. I finished the war down one horse!"

1891- Showman P.T. Barnum died of old age. The last words of the man who invented kiddie matinees, the Greatest Show on Earth and coined the word “Jumbo” were "How were the box office receipts today?"

1927- An audience at the Bell Laboratory watched a three inch television screen broadcast an image of US Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover with sound.

1927- Abel Gances classic film Napoleon premiered at the Paris Opera. Gances active camera and wild editing were years ahead of their time, climaxed by a triptych of large images on three movie screens linked by synchronized projectors.
courtesy terramemdia, UK
One American man in the audience, Walter Wallin, was inspired to develop the Panavision wide screen lens, used by many modern movies today.

1933-The Prohibition 18th Amendment is repealed. My grandmother remembered jumping on a beer wagon as they paraded down Fifth Ave. in New York City. Canadian cities like Moose Jaw Saskatchuan, where Al Capone had set up huge distilleries to run-rum across Lake Michigan, went into mourning. Bootleggers like Josef Bronfman of Seagrams and Joe Kennedy Sr. had to look for other sources of income.

1933- Hitler's regime passed the Professional Civil Service Restoration Act, which ordered Jews and other political undesirables fired from all government posts including university professorships and museum curators and arts funded grants. The exile of Germany's intellectual elite began- Bertholdt Brecht, Billy Wilder, George Gropius, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, George Grosz, Fritz Lang, Michael Curtiz, Lazslo Moholy-Nagy, Max Reinhardt and Otto Klemperer -Colonel Klink's dad.

1939-"The Ugly Duckling" the last Disney Silly Symphony short cartoon.

1945-The SUICIDE MISSION OF THE BATTLESHIP YAMATO- The Japanese superbattleship had just enough fuel to cruise into the midst of the American Navy around Okinawa, then it was to sell itself dearly. It never made it though. Because of Ultra, the cracking of the Japanese code, the Americans knew it was coming. The Yamato was bombed and torpedoed by swarms of U.S. planes and went to the bottom before it ever got within range of other surface ships.

1947-The Russians hanged Rudolph Hoess, Nazi commandant of Auschwitz, in front of the camp. His last words were Seig Heil.

1949-Musical "South Pacific" debuts. Some Enchanted Evening…

1970- The film Midnight Cowboy with Dustin Hoffman and John Voight won the Best Picture Oscar. The first x-rated film to do so.

1971- In a taped phone conversation, President Richard Nixon complained to Henry Kissinger that none of his cabinet called to compliment him on a policy speech.” Well, screw ‘em ! Screw all the cabinet!”

1972-Gangster "Crazy Joe" Gallo was machine gunned while celebrating his birthday at Umberto's Clam House in the Little Italy section of Manhattan. He had been disturbing the gang peace in New York set up by the council of the Five Families, under the leadership of Godfather Carlo Gambino. Crazy Joe’s headquarters was in the President’s Street section of Brooklyn where supposedly he kept a live African lion as a pet. Finally when Gallo had hit rival don Joe Columbo in broad daylight at a Columbus Day Italian Unity rally the Five Families decided he had gone too far. Ownership of the restaurant was returned in 1994 by the city prosecutors office to the original owner Manny "the Horse" Ianello.

1990- The Cincinnatti Contemporary Art Center opened a show of the photographs of Robert Maplethorpe that the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC cancelled. Maplethorpe’s explicit depictions of gay and s/m lifestyles shocked neoconservative critics of the national endowments for the arts. A media debate on whether government should subsidize or censor art raged, and Dennis Barry the museum director was tried for obscenity. His acquittal was seen as a victory for free expression but the argument cast a pall on future funding of controversial art.

1998- Pop star George Michael was busted after exposing himself to an undercover policeman in a public park men’s room in Beverly Hills.

1998- Lead singer for the Plamatics, Wendy O.Williams, committed suicide with a shotgun.

The outrageously mohawked punk rocker was known for stunts on stage like destroying her amplifiers with a chainsaw, skydiving in the nude, autoeroticism with a sledgehammer and crashing a flaming school bus into a wall of television sets.

2155- According to the show Babylon 5 today marked the first contact between humans and the Centauri Alliance.
Yesterday’s question: What is a debacle?

Answer: A disasterous defeat, or humiliating failure.

April 6th, 2010 tues.
April 6th, 2010

Quiz: What is a debacle?

Quiz: What does it mean in music when the score asks you to play Andante Cantabile?
History for 4/6/2010
Birthdays: Raphael of Urbino, Sacajawea, Ram Dass, Butch Cassidy, Gustav Moreau, Lowell Thomas, Merle Haggard, Billy Dee Williams, George Reeves, Michelle Phillips, Andre Previn, Barry Levinson, Roy Thinnes, John Ratzenberger, Zach Braff is 35.

46AD- Battle of Thapsus- Even after Julius Caesar defeated his chief rival Pompey, other enemies kept the Roman Civil War going. This day in Africa, Caesar defeated an army led by a coalition of senatorial foes including Cato the Younger. Caesars troops were angry that they had to fight again the enemies Caesar had pardoned after the Battle of Pharsalia. So after the victory, they went on a killing spree of most of the prisoners. Cato the Younger declared he would spend the rest of his life eating his meals seated upright instead of lying down, which the Romans considered very bad for the digestion. Then he went on board his flagship at Utica and tried to commit suicide by stabbing himself in the belly. A doctor bandaged up his wounds. As Caesars officers arrived to arrest Cato, he pulled off the bandages, ripped open his wounds and pulled out his own intestines. “All is well with the General” Cato said and died.

1327- Italian poet Petrarch first saw the love of his life- Laura de Sade at the Church of Santa Clara in Avignon France. Even though Petrarch was a monk, and she was married, he loved her from afar and wrote some of the first Great Italian Love Poetry, preparing the way for the Renaissance. Laura de Sade was the distant ancestor of the famous sadist the Marquis de Sade, who will be born 400 years in the future.

1520- Renaissance artist RAPHAEL of Urbino, died at 37 on his birthday. Vasari wrote of the great artist: " He pursued pleasures and love affairs without moderation. On one occasion he went to excess, and returned home with a violent fever whereof he died soon after." Michelangelo, Leonardo and Titian lived to great old age.

1717- BACH BUSTED- Composer Johann Sebastian Bach was court organist for the Duke of Saxe-Weimar but he was frustrated that he couldn’t get the job of court composer- Kappelmeister. Even after the incumbent kappelmeister Johann Drese died instead of Bach the post went to Drese’s son! When the court of the nearby German state of Anhalt-Coethen offered him a better job he went to tell his boss Duke Wilhelm Augustus that he wanted out of his contract. The Duke responded by clapping Bach in prison! Johann Sebastian Bach cooled his heels in the slammer until December when the duke relented and let him go to his new gig. Your Highness, Fugue You!

1808- JOHN JACOB ASTOR founded the American Fur Company. Almost on the tail of Lewis and Clark Astor established a line of fur trading posts to the Pacific and set the basis for the Astor Family fortune. A wily businessman, Astor had established Astoria on the Columbia River, the first Yankee settlement in the Pacific Northwest. When the War of 1812 broke out with England Astor knew nothing could defend this outpost from troops in British Granville- later renamed Vancouver. When a British man-of-war dropped anchor in Astoria bay to burn the town the captain was met with a man waving a bill of sale. Astor had sold the entire town to a Canadian company, thereby saving it.

1853- The town of Portland Oregon founded.

1862 BATTLE OF SHILOH- One of the bloodiest battles on American soil. At dawn the Confederate army surprise attacked the Union army of General Ulysses Grant at a small Tennessee riverboat landing. Orthodox military logic would say Grant should have retreated, however he fought back and won a great, if confused victory. More Americans were wounded or killed in this one battle than all the previous American wars rolled into one. Shiloh is Hebrew for:” Place of Peace”. Confederate commander Albert Sidney Johnston, who was said to be as brilliant as Robert E. Lee, was trying to stop his hungry soldiers from sitting down to eat the hot breakfast they scared the Yankees away from. Picking up a tin coffee cup, he told looting rebels 'This is all the plunder I want” He spent the day directing the battle waving his tin cup instead of a sword. He was shot down and bled to death while waiting for his personal doctor to finish treating some captured enemy wounded. A Lieutenant General, Johnston remains the highest ranking American officer killed in action. Other combatants were Welshman William Morton Stanley, who would someday go to Africa and find Dr. Livingston, And General Lew Wallace, who as Governor of New Mexico, when not pardoning Billy the Kid would write the novel Ben Hur. The first day of Shiloh went badly for the North. That night Sherman said in frustration:” Grant, today we’ve had hell to pay!” In the firelight Grant quietly whittled on a stick:” Yep......whip ‘em tomorrow.” he muttered. Which he did.

1896- The first OLYMPIC GAMES of the modern era opened in Athens Greece. The last was closed by the Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius in 391 A.D as a pagan festival. The Games were revived as the idea of Baron Pierre Coubertin, who became the first president of the IOC. These games also saw the first modern Marathon race. Appropriately it was won by a Greek- Spyridion Louis.

1906-THE FIRST ANIMATED FILM- Cartoonist James Stuart Blackton created sensation when Edison filmed him doing sequential drawings and they seemed to come alive. The film was The Humorous Phases of Funny Faces. Blackton made a fortune, lost it and was hit by a bus in 1941.

But his animated antics paved the way for Mickey, Bugs, Bart, Gollum and Avatar.

1909- Commander Robert Peary and his African American assistant Matthew Henson claimed to have been the first to reach the North Pole. Their claim was challenged but confirmed by the US Government in 1911. Today scholars say they were slightly off.

1917-THE UNITED STATES ENTERS WORD WAR ONE. Congress approved President Woodrow Wilson’s call for a declaration of war against Germany and her allies Austria, Turkey and Romania. In 19 months the war would cost 200,000 U.S. lives, cost $56 billion, and created dozens of millionaires. If you owned any stock in chemical companies like Dupont or gun makers like Remington, your stock went up 400%. Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to sit in Congress, voted against war. At first there was sincere doubt America could go into the Allied camp, after all they had as citizens one and one half million German, Hungarian and Austrian immigrant plus millions more of Jewish Americans who hated the Czar of Russia and 16 million Irish Americans who hated England plus American Isolationists who felt America's should not get involved in overseas arguments. So it was a difficult sell to the public, to say the least.

1929- Mahatma Ghandi and his thousands of followers complete their Salt March and make salt on the shores of the Indian Ocean in violation of the British State monopoly.
This was the Indian equivalent of the Boston Tea Party. Ghandi was arrested soon after.

1929- Louisiana senator Huey Long gained national notoriety when Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company tried to get the state legislature in Baton Rouge to impeach him. Long made a large part of the Louisiana legislature sign a pledge that hey would never impeach him, in return for sweetheart jobs and kickbacks. The impeachment scheme failed and Long- The Kingfish continued to be a rogue force in Third Party Politics.

1931- The Little Orphan Annie radio show premiered. Remember kids to drink your Ovaltine and get out your de-coder rings.

1933- the Screen Writer's Guild, later the WGA, formed. It took about seven years for them to unionize screenwriting in Hollywood. Jack Warner called them : "Communists, Radical Bastards and Soap Box Sons of B*tches !" David O. Selznick, who prided himself on running a writer-friendly studio, told them: “You put a picket line in front of my studio and I'll mount a machine gun on the roof and mow you all down !!" Despite these protestations, the Guild today represents all Hollywood writers.

1936- A scientist at Dupont invented Teflon.

1941-The Nazis panzers invaded Yugoslavia and Greece.

1945- OPERATION FLOATING CHRYSANTHEMUM- The Japanese attack the U.S. Navy around Okinawa with 355 Kamikazi suicide planes. The concept seems nutty today but it had effect. More U.S. ships were sunk at this battle than in any time since Pearl Harbor. Casualty rates of sailors were so high that the War Dept. ordered a news blackout. The navy actually meditated a withdrawal from Okinawa at one point. Before the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Japanese High Command had 2,200 kamikaze planes hidden in mountain bunkers to await the US invasion of the Japanese home islands.

1951- Happy Birthday AstroBoy! According to the 1951 comic book by Osamu Tezuka, today Professor Elephant completed the little boy with the suction cup feet and pointed hairdo. Originally called Tetsuwan Atomo, he was named Astro Boy when Mushi Prod released the animated version in the US in 1961.

1956- Elvis Presley signed his first movie deal with Paramount Pictures.

1968- Two days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, police attacked the Black Panther Party at their Oakland HQ. In the furious shootout a member named Billy Hutton was killed, Eldridge Cleaver wounded and Bobby Seale arrested. This incident seemed to prove the black militants claims of police harassment and caused a firestorm of civic protest. The Black Panthers forged an alliance with the Anti-Vietnam War white students, SDS, and later the Hispanic militants the Young Lords and AIM, the American Indian Movement.

1974- ABBA, a new disco phenomenon from Sweden is introduced to the world when they win a Eurovision song contest. Mama Mia!

1994-The Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi are both killed when their plane crashed. It is never proved why the plane went down but violence broke out in the Rwandan capitol. The ethnic Hutus began a systematic killing of the Tutsi people. It was one of the worst genocides since the Holocaust.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean in music when the score asks you to play Andante Cantabile?

Answer: To play in a moderate dancelike rhythm.