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January 9th, 2009 fri.
January 9th, 2009

In honor of Elvis Presley's 74th Birthday yesterday, I hope you all had a peanut butter and banana sandwich fried in a stick of butter, and ate Pizza Hut from the box while seated on the toilet. Whooah!

The image of the Great Elvis Imperial Stormtrooper, who manifests himself every year at the San Diego Comicon. Long may he wave!

QUIZ: What does it mean when you shout Amandla,?

Yesterdays’ question answer below- Why is the Devil always portrayed as playing a violin? Why not an oboe or tuba?
History for 1/9/2009
Birthdays: Woody Guthrie, Richard Nixon, Ray Bolger, Roy Disney Jr., William Powell, George Balanchine, Judith Krantz, Bob Denver, Crystal Gayle, Joan Baez, Simone de Beauvoir, Sir Rudolph Bing, Herbert Lom, Gypsy Rose Lee, Joely Richardson

Festival of Janus, the namesake of January, Roman God of gateways and doors, not to be confused of course with Terminus, God of borders and terminal points, Lemintinus the God of thresholds and stoops. Cardea the Goddess of hinges or Forculus the God of the door leaves and sectioned doors.

1570- Ivan the Terrible, just getting the suspicion that the city of Novgorod may be plotting treason, surrounded the city and massacred 20,000 people. Afterwards he tells the survivors: " Forget your wrongs."

1768- Former English cavalry sergeant Phillip Astley combined trick riding in a tight circular ring with a clown and some jugglers and took it all on the road. The first Circus.

1769- Gaspar De Portola and Fra Junipero Serra set sail from Mexico to colonize California. The California coastline had been explored by Juan De Cabrillo, Francis Drake and others 250 years earlier. But since there were no gold-encrusted Aztec-type cities to plunder, it was quickly forgotten. Conquistadors don’t surf. The King in Madrid was finally moved to order the colonization of California to limit the encroachments of Russian fur trading settlements and English claims to Oregon territory.

1793- Aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard and his dog flew by hot air balloon from Philadelphia to Woodbury New Jersey. President George Washington was a spectator.

1825- KING CAUCUS- Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams have dinner.
The presidential election was deadlocked between Adams and Andrew Jackson with Clay a distant third. Andrew Jackson had won the popular votes, but the electoral votes were even. Over sherry Henry Clay offered all his electoral votes to Adams in exchange for the job of Secretary of State. So John Qunicy Adams won the presidency with the electoral votes of states like Kentucky where not one soul had voted for him. People were furious over the stolen election. In the next election Jackson won easily and began major reform of the electoral system. Judging by our problems these last elections, obviously the reforms didn’t go far enough. The public also remembered Clay's role and never voted for him for president ever again.

1847- THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES-after a small battle near San Gabriel Mission, Commodore Richard Stockton and the U.S. cavalry retake Los Angeles and end resistance by the native Mexican population 'the Californios' to U.S. rule.

1847- First U.S. governor of New Mexico territory Charles Bent is murdered and scalped by angry Indians after the U. S. conquering army had moved on. His trading post- Bent’s Fort, still stands today.

1857- The Fort Tejon earthquake shook Los Angeles This was the last major adjustment in Southern Cal of the great San Andreas Fault, an estimated 8.0 !

1914 -John Randolph Bray takes out patents on the principles of film animation: cycles, arcs, keys and inbetweens. He even tried to sue Winsor McCay, who had already been using them for years.

1924- The breakfast cereal Wheaties invented.

1936- Actor John Gilbert died of a heart attack after years of alcohol abuse. The accepted reason was he was a has-been silent film star who's voice was too thin and squeaky for talking pictures. Actually his voice wasn't too bad, some of it may of had to do with his punching Louis B. Mayer in the mouth when Mayer made a crude remark about Gilbert's sexual relations with Greta Garbo -something like "Why marry her when you're getting it anyway ?.."-BOP! . Mayer got up and screamed: "I'll ruin you if it costs me millions!"
Gilbert's fading popularity and decline into alcohol, as his second wife Virginia Bruce’s film career blossomed was the inspiration for "A Star is Born".

1939- Top Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin was hired by Walt Disney. He quit after two fruitless years, and left so angry he wrote a children’s book called the "Bear that Wasn’t" about his experiences. An early vice president of the Cartoonists Guild, he also joined the Mouse House to help unionize the studio. After a stint at Screen Gems, in 1945 Frank Tashlin went to Paramount’s live action division and became the director of the Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis comedies.

1959- The TV series Rawhide debuted, starring a young cowpoke named Clint Eastwood. President Lyndon Johnson and Ladybird were Rawhide fans.

1972- In a rare press conference by telephone from the Bahamas reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes declared the biography done of him by Clifford Irving was a total fabrication.

1976- First day of shooting in Philadelphia of the movie Rocky. It was the first movie to utilize the Steadicam, a system that balanced hand-held camera shots.

1987- THE OCTOBER SURPRISE- The Ronald Reagan White House released a memorandum from 1980 proving the sales of weapons to Iran did help bring about the release of American Embassy hostages. Even though the negotiation for the sale was begun under Jimmy Carter. The Ronald Reagan media spinners encouraged the idea that all the Old Gipper had to do was show up in the White House for the mad mullahs to release our people and hightail it outta’ town! Now the truth was out that Reagan and his people lied, but it was too late, and not enough of a sound bite for a dazed & confused public.
Yesterday’s Question: Why is the Devil always portrayed as playing a violin? Why not an oboe or tuba?

Answer: Since the XVII Century, the violin was considered the most difficult instrument to play, it was known as the Devil's Instrument. Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840) was rumored to have sold his soul to the Devil since he played so well, and no one appeared to have ever heard him practice. He was kind of like an Elvis of the Romantic Era, to women very sexy in a dark and dangerous way.

Later when Gonoud's opera Faust came out in 1859, which was an international sensation, he had the Devil wield a mean fiddle. Liszt in the Mephisto Waltz and Saint-Saens in Dance Macabre all have the main theme begin with a solo violin, and before you know it, the Devil Went Down to Georgia.