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June 12th, 2009 friday
June 12th, 2009

Quiz: What film had the line “ Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!”

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Before the Tom Wolf bestseller and the awful movie, what was The Bonfire of the Vanities?
History for 6/12/2009
Birthdays: Egon Scheile, John Roebling the architect of the Brooklyn Bridge, Uta Hagen, Chick Corea, Sir Anthony Eden, Jim Nabors, Vic Damone, David Rockefeller, Irwin Allen, Marv Albert, Arthur Fellig-better known as Weegee, Sherry Stringfield,Former President George Herbert Walker Bush or George Ist is 84, if Anne Frank had survived she would be 80 today

1192- King Richard Lionheart stood on a hilltop overlooking the Holy City of Jerusalem. Lionheart had been campaigning in Palestine for a year. The other Crusader leaders had gone home, leaving him with too weak a force to capture the city. On the hilltop he covered his eyes with his shield and refused to look, saying he could not bear to see the Holy City in chains. Salladin was having problems of his own with unruly vassals and lukewarm support for the Jihad. But when he got the news that the Christians were withdrawing from Jerusalem to the coast. The Third Crusade had spent itself, and Salladin had won.

1815- Napoleon left Paris for Waterloo.

1876- Newsman George Kellogg is invited by General Custer to accompany his 7th Cavalry on their next campaign against the hostile Indians. Kellogg would be the only correspondent "embedded" with the 7th as they rode to the Little Big Horn.

1898- Nationalist leader Emilio Aquinaldo declared the Independence of the Philippines after 300 years of Spanish rule. Too bad the United States didn’t see it that way. During the war with Spain the U.S. gave lip service to Philippine nationalism but after the war annexed the Philippines and fought the same rebels.

1936- Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame dedicated on the supposed 100th anniversary of Abner Doubleday inventing baseball. We now know that date to be fiction but it was a good party anyway. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson were the first inductees. Doubleday was a Civil War general and the composer of the bugle call "Taps", first called General Doubleday’s Lullaby.

1937- Soviet leader Josef Stalin had eight of his top generals shot without trials. Even Marshal Tuchashevsky, the military genius of the Bolshevik Civil War. At his state funeral Stalin publicly praised Tuchashevsky’s talents as a leader even as he was having his mother and family rounded up and sent to a Siberian prison camp. When General Rossokovsky, was interrogated a secret policeman broke out his front teeth with a hammer. He wore steel dentures thereafter and would help win the Battle of Stalingrad,. Eventually Stalin’s paranoid purge would kill 25,000 officers, 90% of Red Army's general staff, just when they were about to be attacked by Hitler’s army.

1940- As German panzer tanks rolled towards Paris, French commander General Weygand ordered the military governor of Paris declare it an open city- meaning the French army would voluntarily evacuate it if no fighting or destruction would happen in it’s precincts. Weygand then said everything was Britain’s fault.

1949- The first LA parking ticket.

1962-Edward M. Gilbert, the "Boy Wizard of Wall Street," loses $23 million for his firm E.L. Bruce Flooring, then embezzles $2 million more and escaped to Brazil.

1962- In Modesto California a teenage film student named George Lucas was almost killed in a car accident.

1963- Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers was shot and killed by a high powered rifle in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi. His killer, Klansman Bryan del la Beckwith was not convicted until 1994.

1963- Twentieth Century Fox released the Elizabeth Taylor -Richard Burton epic CLEOPATRA. Costing $44 million,- 285 million in modern money, four times more than the average film – the next most expensive Ben Hur cost $15 million , it remains in comparable dollars the costliest flop in film history. The cast was put up at the swankiest hotels in Rome for months of shooting and La Taylor had to have her chili from Chasens restaurant in Beverly Hills flown in. Director Joe Mankewicz said "Cleopatra was the toughest three pictures I ever made!" Fox had to cut 2,000 jobs and almost went bankrupt. The area of LA known as Century City with its huge shopping mall used to be Fox ‘s backlot before Cleopatra. When Liz Taylor saw the finished film she threw up.

On the plus side Andy Warhol said Cleopatra was the most influential movie of the 1960s because suddenly every woman had to have heavy black eyeliner, light lipstick and Egyptian style straight bobbed hair.

1964- South African anti-Apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiracy and sabotage. He served 27 years and was released in 1990 to lead his country out of white minority rule.

1991- In the Philippines the volcano Mount Pinatubo erupted for the first time in 600 years.

1994- Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, pizza delivery guy Ron Brown, were savagely murdered with a knife. Nicole’s throat was cut so deeply her head was almost decapitated. Brown was there returning Mrs. Simpson’s glasses from her dinner at the Brentwood restaurant Mezzaluna. The only suspect seems to remain her estranged husband O.J. Simpson, actor, Football of Fame member and Heisman Trophy winner. O.J. Simpson was acquitted in his murder trial but convicted in a wrongful death suit brought by Nicole’s family. Another suspect has never been found.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Before the Tom Wolf bestseller and the awful movie, what was The Bonfire of the Vanities?

Answer: In Renaissance Florence, when the mystical monk Savonarola held power like some Christian ayatollah, he held celebrations called Bonfire of the Vanities. He invited the sinful people to renounce their worldly ways by throwing their valuables, makeup, costly things into the huge bonfire.