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January 4th, 2009 sunday
January 4th, 2009

Quiz: Why are a group of artillery pieces called a battery?

Yesterdays Quiz answered below: Which space mission won the Space Race, between the U.S. and Soviet Union? Apollo 8, Apollo 13, Apollo 11, Gemini 1…?
History for 1/4/2009
Burthdaze: Sir Issac Newton, Emile Cohl the first animator, Louis Braille, General Tom Thumb, Jane Wyman, Jacob Grimm of the Brothers Grimm, Sterling Holloway the voice of Winnie the Pooh and Kaa, Francios Rude, Dyan Cannon is 72, Floyd Patterson, Don Shula, Barbara Rush, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Julia Ormond is 41

1642-English King Charles Ist, egged on by his pushy French queen Hennrietta Maria, attempts 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". The King left empty-handed and the people of London raining garbage and abuse down on him. He quit London to travel north and raise troops. The English Civil War is recorded as beginning in September, but from this moment on King Charles considered no other remedy but force.

1725- American colonist Benjamin Franklin first arrived in London.

1861- As the Civil War was breaking out, Missouri inaugurated it’s new Governor, Claiborne Jackson. Gov. Jackson in his inaugural speech declared Missouri would stand by her sister slaveholding states in the Confederacy, but the city dwelling people of Missouri had a different idea. They 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 move away.

1881- Johannes Brahms Academic Festival Overture premiered in Breslau. Modern audiences would recognize it as the theme song to National Lampoons Animal House.

1885- The first appendectomy operation.

1904- The Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Ricans are not aliens but American citizens. Full citizenship rights were 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 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 feeding Topsy cyanide-laced carrots had failed to kill her.

1943- Josef Stalin named Time Magazines Man of the Year.

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

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 first had Snoopy 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. Although everyone had a nice time, Richard later admitted he found the whole event depressing. Seeing his dad humbled:” It was like seeing David vanquished by Goliath..”

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 "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 philosopher of the scorched earth, no-compromise style of politics. Even after he stepped down, and Obama is calling for reaching-across-the-aisle, this philosophy is still very much in politics 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.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Which space mission won the Space Race, between the U.S. and Soviet Union? Apollo 8, Apollo 13, Apollo 11, Gemini 1…?

Answer: This was a bit of a tricky one. Apollo 11 did indeed land on the Moon, but Apollo 8 was the first manned craft to reach the moon. It was the one that orbited but didn't land and Jim Lowell read from Genesis on Christmas Night. After Apollo 8, the Russians admitted defeat, and announced they were shifting their efforts to unmanned probes of Mars.
So Apollo 8 is actually considered the mission that won the Space Race.