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The new biography of the great cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman is finally available.

Harvey, like his contemporary Wally Wood, is not as well known today, but he was a very influential and important figure in American cartoon art in the mid-twentieth century. He created the look of EC comics, Mad Magazine, Little Annie Fannie for Playboy and enabled Monty Python to get started.( He introduced John Cleese to Terry Gilliam). He was a great teacher and I'm proud to say, he was my friend. As he was a friend who helped many cartoonists get their starts, like R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Drew Friedman, Bat Lash and Russell Calabrese.

Congratulations to authors Dennis Kitchen, Paul Buhle and Harry Shearer( forward) for a great keepsake. Buy it now! Sell your children, mortgage your dog, pry pipes from the walls to sell the copper, just get it! Hoo-Rah!

Quiz: If a puta is a prostitute, what is puttanesca sauce?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a coup d’ etat?
History for 6/27/2009
Birthdays: Swedish King Charles XII "the Madman of the North", Helen Keller, Norma Kamali, Charles Stuart Parnell, Bob" Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan, Emma Goldman, Walter Johnson, Ross Perot, Isabella Adjani is 54, Lauren Hill, Alice McDermott, Tobey McGuire is 34, Tony Leung Chu Wai is 47

1542- Juan Cabrillo set sail from Mexico to explore the unknown California Coast. He was told he might find a magic kingdom of Califa, a land of brown amazons with golden swords.

1787- English historian Edward Gibbon completed his most famous work-The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The massive history ran thousands of pages and took twenty years to write. When he presented the first volume bound in gold to mad King George III, the King said: -"What's this? Another damn big, black, square book, eh Mr. Gibbon? Scribble, Scribble!"

1788- The Battle of the Liman. Catherine the Great's fleet defeated the Turkish navy in the Black Sea near the Moldavan coast. What is memorable about this was one of the Russian admirals was Pavel Ivanovich Jones, or John Paul Jones from the US Navy. During the night Jones got in a little boat manned by one Cossack named Ivak and had himself rowed out into the middle of the Turkish Navy to inspect it. Jones suffered no discovery and even paused to write graffiti on the stern end of a Turkish battleship to prove he was there. He wrote in chalk the French: "This ship to be burned- Paul Jones". Next day it was.

1829- James Smithson died. The English scientist had amassed a huge fortune from patents yet was snubbed by polite London society because of his illegitimate birth. So he turned his back on his mother country and willed his money to the United States, specifically asking a museum be set up in his name. The Smithsonian Institute was the result.

1844- Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother Hyram were killed by a mob in Illinois. After being shot down Smith was propped up and used for target practice. A man drew his Bowie knife to decapitate the body but Mormon folklore says his hand was stopped by a thunderbolt.

1863- George Gordon Meade named commander of the Union Army of the Potomac. The quiet Pennsylvanian was awoken out of his sleep at three a.m. by a courier sent by special train from Washington. At first he thought he was under arrest. General Meade would have command for just one week before he would have to fight the greatest battle in U.S. history- Gettysburg.

1876- Major Gibbon's column discovered the remains of Custer and the Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn. It was near one hundred degrees Fahrenheit in the dry sun. At first from a distance they thought the naked bloated bodies were skinned buffaloes. Custer’s men had all been paid their monthly wages before riding out of Fort Lincoln. The Indians were uninterested in paper greenbacks, so among the carcasses little piles of money were blowing through the greasy grass. Because hostile Indians were still in the vicinity Gibbon's men hastily buried the soldiers where they fell. A few years later when a proper burial detail arrived to re-inter the bodies and remove Custer's remains to West Point they had trouble telling just who was who. So they shoveled a few bones and some yellow hair into a box and called it Custer. As late as 1991 Gen. George A. Custer III has refused to have the West Point tomb opened for DNA testing.

1905- Big Bill Haywood banged a board on the table to call to order the First Meeting of the I.W.W.-the International Workers of the World. Mother Jones, Dorothea Parsons, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman and Fighting Bob LaFollette were also present. The I.W.W. nicknamed the Wobblies, was a labor movement that sought to unite all working people into one big international organization.

Their romantic message of labor brotherhood, carried by poor folksingers like Joe Hill, was popular among miners and farmworkers. But their radical politics terrified big business. When they came out against U.S. participation in World War One the government violently suppressed them.

1922 - Newberry Medal 1st presented for kids literature, the first winner was Hendrik Van Loon.

1949 - "Captain Video & His Video Rangers," debut on DUMONT-TV.

1966- TV soap opera Dark Shadows premiered, starring Barnabas Collins the Vampire.

1973- Senior White House Counsel John Dean testified to the Watergate committee that President Richard Nixon maintained an Enemies List. The list ran from Senator Ted Kennedy to journalists like Daniel Shore to June Foray who did the cartoon voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

1984- Hollywood introduced the PG-13 rating to indicate graphic violence, invented for the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Fresh monkey brains,anyone?

1995- Boyishly proper British actor Hugh Grant is busted for soliciting sex from a Sunset Blvd. street hooker named Divine Brown. Grant had just released a film called the Englishman " Who went up a Hill and Came down a Mountain". Pundits had fun changing the title to "The Englishman who went to L.A. a Hugh and Came Back a John."

2007- British Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped down after ten years. His first nickname in office was Bambi.
Yesterday’ s Quiz: What is a coup d’ etat?

Answer: An overthrow of a government by force. Literally “to strike a blow at the state.”