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Jan 6, 2016
January 6th, 2017

Quiz: Did Abraham and Mary Lincoln ever have any kids!

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Did George and Martha Washington ever have any kids?
History for 1/6/2017
Birthdays: St. Joan of Arc, Khalil Gibran, Mountain man Jedediah Smith, Tom Mix, Alexander Scriabin, Gustav Dore', Loretta Young, Earl Skruggs. Carl Sandburg, Danny Thomas, Nancy Lopez, John DeLorean, Alan Watts, John Singleton, Rowan Atkinson is 62, Anthony Minghella

Happy Feast Of Epiphany or Twelfth Night. Today is the end of the twelve days of Christmas when the Magi, the three kings- Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, visited the Holy Family. In many countries the Three Kings, not Christmas, is when children get their presents, because that’s when JC got his.
The Magi were the priestly caste of ancient Persia. They were believed to predate the Persians and come from the Chaldeans, the people who invented the western branch of the science of astronomy. The Maya and Chinese were doing astronomy on their sides of the world. A lot of the Magi ritual concerned observation of the stars.

1066- After the death of Edward the Confessor, Saxon Earl Harold Godwinsson crowned himself King of England, which made Duke William of Normandy feel like invading.

1522- The Augustinian Monastery of Wittenburg had been the home of reformer Martin Luther. Today, inspired by Luther’s preaching against the Vatican, the monks and nuns voted to disband themselves, move in together and start humping like bunnies. Martin Luther had go back to sermonize them to calm down and get married.

1558- English Queen Mary Tudor had been talked by her proxy husband Phillip II into declaring war on France. The war went well for Spain, but this day the French recaptured Calais, the last English stronghold on the continent, which had been English for 211 years. Over the main gate of Calais was a stone image of a donkey that bore the inscription “Calais shall be English until this Donkey eats straw!”

1759- George Washington and Martha Custis marry. Washington first loved another woman who refused him, a Sally Fairfax who married a prominent English loyalist plantation owner. They fled to Europe when the Revolution began and never returned. When George married Martha she was a very rich widow, but beyond childbearing years.
This might have been a factor in Washington's decision later not to be King of America, for he would have no direct heirs. Imagine the complications in the young democracy trying to establish this concept of an elective President if there was a George Washington Jr. to contend with. Or a George W. Washington? In later years when Washington wanted to be alone, he would ride over to the ruins of the Fairfax Mansion to think.

1842- THE RETREAT FROM KABUL - This day15,000 British troops and their dependants march out of Kabul, Afghanistan on the road to Jellallabad. They were attacked by Afghan Ghilzais tribesmen all along the route through the Khyber Pass. Only one man survived, a surgeon William Brydon, who got lost along the way.

1849- the first cartoon cover of Punch Magazine.

1853- President-elect Franklin Pierce and his family are involved in a train wreck in Concord Mass. Pierce and the first lady survived but their last surviving child Ben was killed. First Lady Jean Pierce took this as a sign that God was punishing them for wanting the Presidency and she morosely withdrew from society. Franklin Pierce himself spent most of his administration drunk or on his knees singing psalms.

1872- Millionaire robber-baron Big Jim Fisk was shot dead by Ned Stokes, his rival for the affections of beautiful actress Josie Mansfield. Fisk once conned President Grant into a business partnership while he tried to corner the gold bullion market.

1912- New Mexico became a state.

1912- Scientist Alfred Wegener presented his paper to the German Geological Society in Frankfurt. In it he theorized that the Earth’s continents are not fixed in place but moving. He named it Continental Drift. Wegener’s theories were all dismissed as cuckoo until after WWII, when submarines charting the ocean floor discovered tectonic plates. Today it is understood that the continents move at the speed with which you grow a fingernail. About 6 feet a century.

1919- Teddy Roosevelt died peacefully at Oyster Bay N.Y. at 60. He was never expected to survive childhood asthma, was wounded in Spanish American War, thrown 40 feet in a streetcar wreck, got a dangerous leg abscess while on safari, almost died of malaria in the Amazon and was shot by an assassin while giving a political speech, which he finished anyway. His daughter Alice said: " The problem with father is at every wedding he wants to be the bride and at every funeral the corpse."

1919- In the social anarchy after the defeat in World War I, German Communists storm the Chancellery in Berlin and try to set up a Bolshevik style Revolution. They are driven out by right wing mobs and more chaos reigns in the streets.

1945- First Pepe Le Pew cartoon, "Odorable Kitty". When the Warners producer who replaced Leon Schlesinger, Eddie Selzer, heard the plans to do a short about a skunk he thundered: "Absolutely Not! Nobody will like a cartoon skunk!" Chuck Jones recalled: "As soon as he said no, I knew we just had to do it." Selzer's final opinion:" Nobody'll laugh at that sh*t!" Pepe went on to become one of Warners most beloved characters.

1945- Navy Lt. George H. W. Bush married Barbara Pierce. Despite Barbara’s mother’s opinion of Bush “Singularly Unimpressive”, Poppy Bush made Barbara First Lady and the mother of another president.

1949- Composer Leonard Bernstein noted in his diary that “JR (Jerome Robbins) called today with a novel idea- a modern version of Romeo and Juliet set in the slums.” At first the musical was going to be called East Side Story, then GangWay, finally West Side Story.

1956- Prince Rainier of Monaco announced his engagement to movie star Grace Kelly.

1962- Bob Clampett's Beany and Cecil the Sea-Sick Sea Serpent. This was the animated version of his popular puppet show.“So Long Kids, Wind Up Your Lids, We’ll look for You Real Soooooon.”

1975-“ Ease on Down the Road.-“ The musical The Wiz premiered on Broadway.

1993- Ballet star Rudolf Nureyev, the most famous male dancer since Nijinsky, died of HIV/AIDS.

1994- “WHY ME, WHY ME?” Shortly after a practice in a Detroit skating rink, Olympic hopeful Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by a man trying to smash her knees with a steel pipe. The man Derrick Smith later confessed to the FBI that he was paid $6500 to do the deed by Jeff Gilhooly, the manager of Kerrigan’s rival Tanya Harding. After all the intense media coverage Nancy Kerrigan won one Silver medal, Tanya Harding nothing and the Olympic Gold went to Ukrainian Oksana Baiul, who was later busted for drunk driving.

1995- In another great step for low journalism, CBS anchor Connie Chung gets Kathleen Gingrich, the mother of Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, to call First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton a “bitch”. In an earlier time such gutter utterances would have been politely edited, but this was given national prominence.

1996- In Gaza, Hamas leader Yahya Ayyash, called the Engineer, dialed his cellphone and it blew his head off. It was a remote control bomb set by the Israeli Mossad. 100,000 Palestinians attended Ayyash’s funeral.
Yesterday’s Question: Did George and Martha Washington ever have any kids?

Answer: Martha had four children by a previous marriage, but they all died before adulthood. Martha was beyond childbearing years, and George was probably sterile.

Jan 5, 2016
January 5th, 2017

QUIZ: Did George and Martha Washington ever have any kids?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: In the ancient world and Middle Ages, no one had guitars. But by the renaissance, people were composing for them. Today guitars are ubiquitous all around the world. Where did they come from?
History for 1/5/2017
Birthdays: Zebulon Pike, Stephen Decatur, Alven Ailey, James Stuart Blackton (the first American animator, born in Lincolnshire, England ), W.D. Snodgrass, Jack Norworth -composer of " Take Me out to the Ballgame' , Konrad Adenauer, Astrologist Jean Dixon, Umberto Ecco, Yves Tanguy, Walter Mondale, George Reeves, Roger Spottiswoode, Hiyao Miyazaki is 76, Robert Duval is 86, Dianne Keaton is 71, Spanish King Juan Carlos, Marilyn Manson is 48, January Jones is 36, Bradley Cooper is 42.

1463- French poet Francois Villon was kicked out of Paris.

1477- THE BATTLE OF NANCY- The Duke of Burgundy Charles the Rash dreamed of turning his duchy between France and Germany into one of the great powers of Europe. In the process he managed to annoy just about all his neighbors with his constant wars. This day Charles found out why the Swiss are left alone by most everybody. Upon invading Switzerland his army was cut to pieces. His body was found naked in a ditch with his head stuck fast in a puddle of ice. Battle axes were protruding from his butt. These last were for insults sake.
The King of France as his feudal suzerain annexed Burgundy to France, but just before his last battle Charles engaged his only daughter to the German Emperor. So the only thing Charles left to history was the ancient feud between Germany and France over who owned Alsace-Lorraine and the Low Countries, which raged until 1945.

1643- The first divorce granted in North America. Pilgrim Anne Clarke was granted a divorce by the Massachusetts Bay Colony from her deadbeat husband Dennis.

1757- A man named Robert Damiens attacked French King Louis XV and stabbed him. It was a flesh wound that Voltaire described as a pin-prick. The king survived and the court sentenced Damiens to the most horrible death they could think of, the medieval punishment for regicides.
Nobody had done it for generations so the court executioner, Charles Samson, had to consult the history books. Hmm...Drawing and quartering....cut off assailants hands and stick his bleeding wrist-stumps in pan of burning it! The execution was so ghastly that witnesses vomited and fled, Samson passed out from exhaustion, so his assistants had to finish the job. Robert Damiens believed he was doing it for the people but unfortunately he was 32 years too early for the French Revolution.

1762- The Seven Years War in Europe was a war of three powerful women against one gay man. Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Madame la Pompadour the favorite of Louis XV of France and Czarina Elizabeth of Russia. They all waged war on King Frederick the Great of Prussia, the country that eventually became Germany. Frederick called them the Three Petticoats. But after 6 years of war with his country overrun with foreign armies, and his treasury bankrupt, Frederick needed a miracle to survive.
His miracle came this day, when Czarina Elizabeth died. She was succeeded by her eccentric son Peter III. The new Czar idolized Frederick. He immediately changed sides and donned a Prussian uniform to serve “My Master”. Frederick thought Czar Peter a bit odd, but he welcomed the help nonetheless.

1825- Writer Alexander Dumas fought a duel with the Chevalier Saint George, a black duelist from Martinique, who played violin so well he helped Beethoven write his violin concerto. Neither man was seriously hurt and Dumas went on to write the Three Musketeers. Saint George also once fought a duel with Monsieur d¹Eon, a transgender who fought his duels in a woman’s ball gown.

1836- Davy Crocket crossed into Texas.

1895- Today was the famous scene of after Captain Albert Dreyfus was framed for espionage he was publicly humiliated in the courtyard of the Ecole Militaire in Paris. He was stripped of his insignia and his sword broken. As he was marched off to prison he shouted aloud “Citizens of France I am Innocent!”

1896- A Vienna newspaper announced the invention by Dr. Wilhelm Roentgen of Wurzburg, of a machine that produces "X-Rays" to see inside the body. In England, Lord Kelvin, who invented the Celsius temperature scales, declared x-rays a "ridiculous hoax "

1896- Josef Pulitzers’ New York World began printing the Sunday Yellow Kid comic strip with a yellow color on his shirt. The strip gave the name to the sensationalist tabloid press 'Yellow Journalism".

1914- The Ford Motor Company shocked the captains of American Industry by raising it¹s wage rates for work shift from $2.40 a day to $5.00 a day and voluntarily adopting the new 8 hour work day. Henry Ford’s idea was “When workers have more money they buy cars”. The idea worked and sales of cars quadrupled and the economic climate of Detroit boomed.

1921- Famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was preparing one last expedition to the South Pole. This day on his ship anchored in South Georgian Island Bay, he complained he felt ill. He said to his doctor “Oh, what do you want me to give up now?” then he fell over dead of a heart attack. He was 47.

1924- William Chrysler introduced his first automobile featuring an all steel chassis frame instead of wood. He created it for the failing Maxwell Car Company and in 1925 changed the name to the Chrysler Car Company.

1925- Nellie Taylor Ross was inaugurated as the Governor of Wyoming, the first woman to hold such an office.

1933- First day of construction on San Francisco¹s Golden Gate Bridge.

1933- Former Pres. Calvin Coolidge died peacefully. The laconic Coolidge was so low key and stand offish that he was a favorite target for political writers. H.L. Mencken said "Being fanatical for Coolidge is like being fanatical for double entry bookkeeping" Dorothy Parker had the final word. When told that Coolidge had died, she replied:" How could you tell?"

1934- Both the American and National Baseball Leagues agreed upon a standard size for a baseball.

1953- Samuel Beckett¹s play Waiting for Godot (En attendant Godot ) first premiered in Paris.

1959- Buddy Holly released his last single, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.

1959- The first Bozo the Clown TV show premiered on TV. Larry Harmon played the famous children’s clown.

1961- “Hello Wilbur” Mr Ed the Talking Horse appeared on TV for the first time.

1962- After a holiday break, shooting resumed on Cleopatra. This was the first time stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton worked together, and the first signs of their love affair. Their tempestuous relationship was one of the great affairs of 1960s Hollywood.

1968- A Boston grand jury indicted famous baby doctor Benjamin Spock for conspiring to abet violation of draft laws. The great scientist had come out as a vocal opponent of U.S. participation in the Vietnam War. "I helped them be born. I'm not going to abandon them now."

1970- Soap opera “All My Children” premiered.

1979- EMI Records ended their contracts with the punk band the Sex Pistols. They felt their outrageous behavior had gone just too far.

1980- The first Hewlett Packard Personal Computer, or PC, goes on the market.

1998-At the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort former pop singer turned Republican Congressman Sonny Bono died, when he skied headlong into a tree.
Yesterday’s Question: In the ancient world and Middle Ages, no one had guitars. But by the renaissance, people were composing for them. Today guitars are ubiquitous all around the world. Where did they come from?

Answer: Pulling strings across a hollow gourd had been around since ancient times. The Persians of the Arabian Nights played such and instrument called an Oud. As it traveled West across North Africa it was called a Chartar or Quitar, meaning four strings. The Moors in Spain introduced the Quitar or Guitar to Europeans. No wonder the first works for guitar began in Spain, who later brought them to America.

Jan 4, 2016
January 4th, 2017

Quiz: In the ancient world and Middle Ages, no one had guitars. But by the renaissance, people were composing for them. Today guitars are ubiquitous all around the world. Where did they come from?

Yesterdays Quiz answered below: : Sinatra, Martin and Sammy Davis were the Rat Pack, but they didn’t start it, they inherited it. Who did start it?
History for 1/4/2017
Burthdaze: Sir Issac Newton, Emile Cohl, Louis Braille, General Tom Thumb, Jane Wyman, Jacob Grimm of the Brothers Grimm, Sterling Holloway the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Francois Rude, Dyan Cannon is 80, Floyd Patterson, Don Shula, Barbara Rush, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Julia Ormond is 49

1642- English King Charles Ist, egged on by his pushy queen Hennrietta Maria, attempted to squash his uppity Puritan enemies in Parliament with one stroke. He personally marched troops into the House of Commons and demanded the arrest of five ringleaders, John Pym, Sir Arthur Hazelrig and others. They had already fled. When he ordered the Speaker of the House to identify the men, the speaker bowed and politely refused: "Sire, I have neither eyes to see nor lips to speak say as this House biddeth me".
King Charles left empty-handed, while Londoners laughingly threw garbage out their windows down on him. He then traveled north to raise troops. The English Civil War is recorded as beginning that September, but from this moment on King Charles considered no other remedy but force.

1725- American colonist Benjamin Franklin first arrived in London.

1821- Elizabeth Ann Seton died in New York. She was made America’s first native-born Saint in 1979. Mother Cabrini the first American saint was an immigrant from Italy.

1824- Poet Lord Byron arrived in Missolonghi Greece to aid the Greek Independence movement against the Turkish Empire.

1861- As the Civil War was breaking out, Missouri inaugurated Governor Claiborne Jackson. Gov. Jackson in his inaugural speech declared Missouri would stand by her sister slaveholding states in the Confederacy, but the city folk of St Louis and Kansas City were for the Union. The farming population were pro Dixie. Already wracked by years of violence, Missouri would collapse into an anarchy of roving paramilitary gangs robbing, hanging and shooting the innocent. Bushwhackers and Redlegs. Missouri suffered more than any state in the US. One tenth of the population would die or relocate.

1863- James Plimpton of New York patented the four-wheeled roller skates.

1881- The Academic Festival Overture of Brahms premiered in Breslau.

1885- The first appendectomy operation.

1896- THE KRUGER TELEGRAM- Kaiser Wilhelm sends a telegram to Boer South African President Kruger congratulating him on defeating a coup attempt by pro-British mercenaries- The Jameson Raid. In the note the Kaiser implied a threat of German military help for the Boers should Britain ever try anything else. This was greeted with outrage in England. A backlash of anger also erupted among the German public.
Even though the Kaiser apologized to his grand-mama Queen Victoria, the incident was seen as the first break between two countries, who throughout history had always been allies. The previous year, Lord Salisbury had said:" Our greatest national threat shall always be France." But the Kruger telegram and Germanys building navy began to change minds. Lord Asquith said:" It's as though a friend at your club you've always chatted and drank whiskey & sodas with suddenly slapped your face!"

1896- After Mormon leader William Woodruff issued a manifesto reforming the Mormon Church’s hold over local government and renouncing polygamy, Utah became a state.

1904- The Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Ricans are not aliens but American citizens. Full citizenship was still delayed until 1917.

1904, Thomas Edison's movie crew filmed the electrocution of an elephant. Topsy, was being destroyed by its owners after she killed three men in as many years. (The third was a man who for a joke, fed her a lit cigarette.) The event was a public spectacle to a paying audience of 1500 people at Coney Island, where the elephant had actually helped build the attraction. Edison was the consultant chosen to arrange the electrocution, after cyanide-laced carrots had failed. He made sure to use Nikolas Tesla’s AC current, to show how dangerous it was.

1920- Eight teams combine to form the Negro Baseball Leagues. They were active until Major League Baseball finally integrated in 1948.

1932- Casey Stengel returned from the minors to manage the Brooklyn Dodgers, aka the Bums.

1936- Mickey’s Polo Team, directed by Dave Hand.

1943- Josef Stalin named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.

1944- Kaj Munk, Danish playwright and poet who preached passive resistance to the Nazi occupation, was arrested by the Gestapo and later executed.

1946- Terrytoons "The Talking Magpies" the first Heckle and Jeckyl cartoons.

1948- Burma, received her independence from the British Empire.

1951- As Gen, MacArthur’s forces retreated from the Chinese Communist onslaught, Seoul fell into Communist control for the second time. The city, due to it's proximity to the front, changed hands several times during the Korean War.

1954- Young truck driver Elvis Presley went into Sun Records recording studio in Memphis. He plunked down $4 to record two demos for his mothers’ birthday. " Casual Love Affair" and "I’ll Never Stand in your Way". The studio technician was impressed enough to play the demo for his manager who called back Presley for an audition.

1956- In the Peanuts comic strip Charles Schulz made Snoopy first stand up on two legs.

1956- Walt Disney had lunch with his old nemesis Max Fleischer, now retired. The meeting was arranged by Max’s son Richard Fleischer, who was working for Disney directing Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Although everyone had a nice time, Richard later admitted he found the event depressing. Seeing his dad humbled:” It was like seeing David vanquished by Goliath..”

1957- The Dodgers are the first baseball team to buy an airplane to travel around in.

1958- the TV show Seahunt premiered. It made a star out of Lloyd Bridges, the father of Jeff and Beau.

1960- Writer Albert Camus was killed in a car accident. He was 46.

1964- The Boston Strangler murdered his last victim, 19 year old Mary Sullivan. The family of Albert DeSalvo, the man who confessed and was convicted as the Strangler, still claim today that he was innocent because the pattern of this killing didn’t match the others.

1973- In San Francisco scientists from several top food companies like Proctor & Gamble, Heinz and Del Monte began work inventing the Universal Product Code, or the Bar Code now seen on everything you buy. The first product to sport the bar code was Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum.

1973- President Nixon informs the Senate committee investigating the Watergate break-in that he refuses to yield to them his taped conversations, citing an arcane concept not used since the days of Thomas Jefferson, called "executive privilege".

1995- Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House of Representatives. In the Washington atmosphere of congenial deal making, Gingrich was the arch-apostle of the scorched earth, no-compromise style politics. Even after he stepped down because of ethics violations, his no-deal philosophy still rules today.

1997- Spoon bending psychic Uri Geller predicted a UFO would land in Tel Aviv. Israelis watched the skies, but in the end, nothing appeared.

2010- Dubai opened the largest office building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. 163 floors.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Sinatra, Martin and Sammy Davis were the Rat Pack, but they didn’t start it, they inherited it. Who did start it?

Answer: Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. They invited Frank Sinatra into the group just as Bogart’s health began to fail.

Jan 3, 2017
January 3rd, 2017

Quiz: Sinatra, Martin and Sammy Davis were the Rat Pack, but they didn’t start it, they inherited it. Who did start it?

Yesterdays question answered below: The Rat Pack was Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Can you name any of the others?
History for 1/3/2017
Birthdays: Marcus Tullius Cicero, John Paul Jones, Victor Borge, Zazu Pitts, Sergio Leone, Hank Stramm, Bobby Hull, Robert Loggia, Maxine Andrews of the Andrews Sisters, Ray Milland, Anna Mae Wong, Steven Stills, J.R.R. Tolkein, Victoria Principal is 67, Dabney Coleman is 86, Mel Gibson is 61. Thelma Schoonmacher is 77

1521- Pope Leo X excommunicated former monk turned Protestant leader Martin Luther. In Wurttemberg this day Germany former Luther responded by tearing up and burning the Pope’s decree, as well as the canon of Roman law.

1777- BATTLE OF PRINCETON- After his Christmas victory at Trenton, George Washington’s little army gave the main British army the slip, wheeled around behind them and surprise attacked another redcoat regiment at Princeton New Jersey.
As a young student Alexander Hamilton had failed the entrance requirements to study at Princeton University. Instead he went to Kings College, later renamed Columbia. Now, Major Hamilton of artillery had a pleasure rare among rejected college applicants- he got to fire a few cannon rounds into Princeton admission’s building.

1834- Tejano leader Stephen Austin traveled to Mexico City to put forward the grievances of his community to the Mexican government. Texians disliked that President Santa Anna had revoked the liberal Constitution of 1826 that had invited Anglo settlers to populate remote Texas. And they wanted Texas to be a separate from the Mexican state of Coahiula. Stephen Austin suppressed all talk of independence in order to work with the new regime in Mexico City. Santa Anna responded to his petitions by clapping him in prison. He was released a year later and returned to Texas, hot for independence.

1868- the MEIJI RESTORATION- In Japan the Tokugawa family had ruled as Shoguns since winning Japans’ civil wars in 1603, keeping the Emperor as a figurehead. On this date a revolution occurred when radical samurai seized Kyoto Palace and overthrew the last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Japan would be under the direct control of the Emperor and Japan would end her enforced isolation, and modernize her society. The Emperor Meiji would also move the capitol from Kyoto to Yedo, already being called Tokyo.

1871- Henry Bradley patents Oleomargerine in the U.S.. It had been demonstrated in the Paris Exhibition of 1867 as a butter that didn't spoil, so Emperor Napoleon III thought it was useful to armies in the field.

1899- An editorial in the New York Times refers to the horseless carriage as an “Automobile”. This is the earliest known use of the word.

1925- Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini suspended democracy and his black shirted followers declared him Il Duce, or the leader. He became dictator of Italy.

1926- General Motors introduced the Pontiac brand of automobile.

1933- MGM Louis B. Mayer hired his son-in-law David O. Selznick to produce movies. At the same time he was begging his filmworkers to take 20% paycuts because of the Depression, Mayer set his salary at $4,000 a week.
Newspapers joked “The Son-In-Law Also Rises”

1946- Lord Haw-Haw, William Joyce, the English voice of Nazi radio propaganda broadcast from Berlin, was hanged for treason. English Fascist Joyce was actually born in Brooklyn but moved to England at an early age. He was nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw because of his stuffy upper class accent.

1952-The T.V. series DRAGNET premiered today. “The story you have seen is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Star Jack Webb produced and wrote most of the scripts and oversaw the deadpan acting style.” Just the facts, Mam..”

1958- Howard Rushmore was the editor of Confidential, one of the most ruthless scandal magazines in show business. This day for reasons never explained Rushmore murdered his wife, then shot himself in the back of a NYC taxicab.

1959- Alaska became the 49th state.

1967- Jack Ruby, real name Jacob Rubenstein, the murderer of Lee Harvey Oswald, died of lung cancer in prison. To the end he was refused a meeting with Congress where he claimed he could discuss his patriotic motives for killing Oswald. Retired Mafia don Bill Bonano said Ruby being Jewish and not Sicilian, was the type of hood the mob used for clean-up jobs. That he was a soldier for Chicago boss Sam Giancana. Others say Ruby was just a two-bit loser who claimed he was more important than he actually was.

1973- Boatbuilding tycoon and George Steinbrenner led a group that buys the last place New York Yankees baseball club from CBS. "The Boss" becomes one of the more colorful baseball owners and propelled the Yankees into a new era of championship contention. Steinbrenner bought the Yankees for $10 million, and today they are worth several billion.

1977- Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne file papers to form the Apple Computer Company. Within two weeks Ron Wayne sold his share of the company to Jobs and Woz for $800. The only real businessman of the group, he felt these kids would stick him with the bills when their little business went belly up.

2004- The first of two Mars Rovers, Pathfinder and Sojourner, landed safely on Mars and began transmitting. JPL Mission leader announced "We're Back...We're on Mars.." Only supposed to last 90 days, the rovers are still transmitting today.

2004- After partying hard all New Years in Las Vegas, 22 year old pop star Britney Spears woke up and realized she had married her friend Jay Alexander for a laugh. Today she annulled it. Alexander, who listed himself as unemployed, was soon seen driving around rural Louisiana in a $90,000 BMW.
Yesterday’s Question: The Rat Pack was Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Can you name any of the others?

Answer: Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, sometimes Angie Dickinson.

Jan 2, 2017
January 2nd, 2017

Quiz: The Rat Pack was Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Can you name any of the others?

Yesterday: Name a major event that occurred in 1917.
History for 1/2/2017
Birthdays: Turkish Sultan Mehmed IV-1642, Frederic Opper the cartoonist of Happy Hooligan, Phillip Freneau, Roger Miller, Issac Asimov, Julius LaRosa, Tito Schipa, Renata Tebaldi, Tex Ritter, Dick Huemer, Cuba Gooding Jr, is 49, Tia Carrere, Kate Bosworth is 34

1492- Sultan Abu-Abdallah called Boabdil surrendered the Emirate of Grenada, the last stronghold of the Moslem Moors in Spain to Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Boabdil's mother, the Sultana Ayeesha, scolded him for weeping while surrendering the keys of the city. " I should have smothered you as an infant, rather than watch you live like a degenerate and surrender like a whore...!" Gee, Thanks Mom…

As Boabdil rode out of the city between the Spanish troops, he paused on a hill for one last look at his beautiful city. The hill is today called El Ultimo Sospiro del Moro- the Last Sigh of the Moor.
This completed the master plan of the Christian Spaniards to regain the whole Iberian peninsula. Called La ReConquista, it had been raging for 500 years. In Rome Pope Alexander VI Borgia, who was also a Spaniard, celebrated the news by closing off Saint Peter's Square from worshippers to stage a bullfight.

1496- Did Leonardo da Vinci try to fly? Leonardo studied the motor actions of birds and sketched numerous flying machines. In one of his notebooks Leonardo had written:” On the second day of January, I will make the attempt.” When one of his apprentices named Antonio broke his leg, it was said he broke it trying to pilot one of his masters flying machines.

1522- Adrian VI, a Dutchman was elected Pope. He was the first non Italian since 1378 and the last non-Italian until John Paul II in 1978.
He really tried to be a true Christian spiritual guide and agreed with Martin Luther that the church was too corrupt and sinful in its ways. He demanded he and his cardinals live on only one ducat a day, about $12.50, he walled up the Belvedere Palace and it’s collection of ancient Greek and Roman art as pagan idolatry.
Poets, painters and sculptors were furious that this Pope cancelled all their lucrative contracts. The unemployed poet Aretino called the cardinals “miserable rabble that should all be buried alive" for choosing such a lousy pope.
After three months Adrian died. This time the cardinals selected a Medici Pope who loved art, music and parties. The artists of Rome sent flowers to Adrian’s doctor to congratulate him for losing his patient.

1542- The town of Geneva had put themselves under the Protestant theologian John Calvin to reform everybody’s lifestyles. His first move was to create order in their new way of religion. This day his great work the Ecclesiastical Ordinances were approved by the Grand Council and put into law. It created a ministry of deacons, pastors teachers and lay elders based on Biblical Law. Calvin’s new code became the basis of the future churches of Presbyterianism, Huguenots, Puritans and Calvinism and reached as far as England, Scotland and America.

1611-THE BLOOD COUNTESS- Beautiful Transylvanian Countess Elizabeth Bathory was indicted for the murder of 610 people. She apparently believed that bathing in the blood of virgin girls would keep her skin beautiful- remember Oil of Olay wasn’t invented yet. The crimes of the Medieval nobility were often winked at until like Count Giles de Rais-Bluebeard in France they become so outrageous they couldn’t be ignored any longer. When peasant girls kept disappearing around Csejthe Castle word got back to her big uncle King Sigmund Bathory of Poland, the nemesis of Ivan the Terrible. When King Sigmund discovered the full horror of her story he had Elizabeth walled up alive in her chamber. Daily food passed through a slit in the wall. When after a few years the empty dishes stopped being passed through that slit was bricked up as well.

1688- The great insurance house Lloyd’s of London founded. In the past they’ve insured Betty Grable’s legs, Bruce Springsteen’s lungs and offered a million English pounds to anyone who could prove Elvis Presley was still alive.

1757- British redcoats march into Calcutta.

1785- Austrian Emperor Joseph II ordered the Jews throughout his empire to adopt family surnames. A similar law was passed in Prussia and the rest of Germany ten years later. Most Jews created surnames out of their profession. This was when someone like Ystchak the diamond dealer became Issac Diamondstein and Jakob the butcher became Jacob Fleischman.

1788- Georgia voted to ratify the Constitution.

1800- The free black community in Philadelphia petitioned Congress to abolish slavery. A South Carolina senator denounced the act as:” This new-fangled French philosophy of Liberty and Equality!”

1815- Lord Byron married Lady Anna Milbanke.

1837- It was the custom at New Years for the Mayor of New York to hold an open house. Average citizens could pay a call, have a glass of sherry and pound cake and express good wishes for the New Year. But Mayor Cornelius Lawrence was a Tammany politician who had been elected with the help of hooligans from the Bowery and Five Points. When he held an open house this day all these gang toughs stormed in, got drunk, wiped their fingers on the curtains and pocketed the silverware. It quickly became bedlam. In desperation Mayor Lawrence got militia troops to push the mob out and lock the doors.

1843- Richard Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman premiered in Dresden.

1863 –HELL’S HALF-ACRE- In the American Civil War the battle of Stones River or Mufreesboro resumed after a two days truce for New Years. The Union Army had been surprised attacked New Years Eve and caved in to a tight horseshoe configuration. By now it was now dug in and further fighting seemed fruitless. But Confederate army Commander Baxton Bragg couldn’t bring himself to retreat again as he had at Perryville.

So over the protests of his subordinates that it was suicide, he ordered a direct frontal attack. One brigade commander named Hanson declared he’d rather kill Bragg than murder his own soldiers. Hanson was killed in action. The Kentucky Orphans Brigade led by Confederate Vice President John Breckinbridge charged into a furious Yankee artillery cross fire and was annihilated. The attack failed and Bragg retreated anyway .

1873- Richard Slippery-Dick Connolly becomes the first American to embezzle a million dollars -he actually embezzled four million. He was the financial controller for the City of New York under Boss Tweed. Together the Tweed ring bilked New York City out of $60 million dollars. This day he fled abroad ahead of the police. Tweed was nabbed and died in jail but Slippery Dick Connolly lived in Europe happily ever after.

1878- Farmer John Martin thought he saw something shiny flying in the sky above Denizen Texas. He is the first person to describe it as a “flying saucer.”

1882- John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company controlled almost 90% of the U.S. crude oil output but the government seemed poised to hit it with anti-monopoly laws. So anticipating this move he reorganized Standard Oil into a Trust with himself as chief Trustee. Standard Oil later became ESSO (S-O) then EXXON.

1897- Young writer Stephen Crane survived a shipwreck when the good ship SS Commodore went down off the coast of Florida. He went on to write The Open Boat and The Red Badge of Courage.

1904- The Russians surrender their big Pacific base of Port Arthur to the Japanese after a one year siege. During the boredom of the siege the game Russian Roulette was invented- of putting a six shooter to your head with one bullet in a spun chamber. When their men kept dying for no reason the Stavka-High Command were at a loss how to stop it. When they caught men playing this lethal game they arrested them for illegal use of government property- i.e. the bullets.

1909- Aimie Semple MacPherson was given her ordination by the Evangelical community of Chicago. Sister Aimie moved to Los Angeles and became one of the first great broadcast evangelists, entertaining millions with salvation and sin, while keeping toy-boys and popping pills on the side.

1937- Hollywood actor Ross Alexander had hit on tough times. He had been in a few movies like Captain Blood and A Midsummer Night’s Dream but his career seemed to be stalled, he was in debt, and his wife committed suicide. This day the 29 year old went into the barn behind his Valley ranch home and shot himself. The Warner Bros. Studio looked around for a replacement to refill their roster of male leads. They replaced Alexander with an Illinois college sportscaster named “Dutch”- Ronald Reagan.

1939- Time Magazine named Adolf Hitler it’s “Man of the Year”.

1942- The Japanese army under General Homma entered Manila. They said they had come to drive out the American Western colonialists and create pan-Asian harmony. But they offended the Philippines with atrocities like hanging the Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court from a flagpole when he refused to be part of the occupation regime. Homma also had the city bombed even after they agreed to surrender.

1958- Maria Callas threw one of the more celebrated temper tantrums in Opera history when she stormed off the stage at La Scala in the middle of Bellini’s Norma with the President of Italy in the audience. La Divina Callas was a Greek-American with a beautiful voice and the slimmest waistline since Lili Pons. She was part of the Jet-Set society culture and her temper was famous.

1960- Young Mass. Senator John F. Kennedy announced he was a candidate for president. When asked why do you want to be president? Kennedy replied:” Because it’s the best job there is.”

1971- Israeli archaeologists in Jerusalem discovered the 2000 year old remains of a crucified man. No, they didn’t think it was You-Know-Who. But it did provide the first empirical proof that Romans really employed that method of execution.

1975- In a letter to MITS, college kids Bill Gates and Paul Allen offered their computer language adaptation of BASIC for the new Altair personal computer. They called themselves Micro-Soft.

1984- The Zenith Corporation announced it would stop selling video recorders in Betamax format and go over wholly to VHS. Other electronics giants followed suit and VHS won out over the higher quality Beta system.

1995- Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was inaugurated for a second term after winning re-election, despite his conviction of smoking crack cocaine. Comedian Chris Rock said: “Who ran against him? Who was such a bad choice that people said- I’d rather vote for a crackhead? “

2000- Larry Saunders had a conversation with his friend Jimmy Wales about writing data entries for collaborative websites called wikis. Saunders conceived of an open on-line encyclopedia encompassing all knowledge. He called it Wikipedia.
Yesterday’s Question: Name a major event that occurred in 1917.

Answer: The United States entered World War I. The Czar was overthrown and the Bolshevik Revolution. Buster Keaton first went before a movie camera. John F. Kennedy and Ernest Borgnine were born. The US bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark.