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April 8th, 2009 wed.
April 8th, 2009

Quiz: Who was the first president to travel out of the country while still in office?

Yesterday’s quiz answered below: What was Country Music called before it was Country Music? Say in the 20s and 1930s.
History for 4/8/2009
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, Patricia Arquette

Happy Passover.

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, Visa, 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, Fernan de Magellan 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 Dr Franklin's habit of napping in the 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.

1810- Admiral Thomas Cochrane, MP for Westminster, entered the British House of Parliament with a keg of gunpowder under his arm. He was trying to make a point in debate about defending his political allies.

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. And Norm Coleman began his lawsuit.

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.

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. Picasso along with Churchill are the Epicurean poster boys- symbols for those of us who want to eat, drink alcohol, smoke, make babies at 81 and die in your 90's.

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'."

1986- Actor Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of the town of Carmel, California.
Yesterday’s Question: What was Country Music called before it was Country Music? Say in the 20s and 1930s.?

Answer. Hillbilly Music or Old Timey Music.