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November 3rd, 2009 Tues
November 3rd, 2009

Question: Did the Earl of Sandwich really invent the sandwich?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the origin of the phrase to “ eat humble pie”?
History for 11/3/2009
Birthdays: The Roman writer Lucan 39AD, John Montague the Earl of Sandwich, Walker Evans, William Cullen Bryant, Stephen Austin, Bronco Nagurski, Andre' Malraux, Vincenzo Bellini, Bob Feller, Karl Baedeker author of the guidebooks, Ken Berry, Michael Dukakis, Tom Schales, Lulu, Roseanne Barr, Osamu Tezuka

55 B.C. CLEOPATRA MARRIED PTOLOMEY VIII. They were brother and sister. Because the Pharoah was a god, he couldn't mate with a mortal, and the only available goddesses were in the immediate family. This curious inbreeding in the Royal line insured that the mighty family of Ptolomey, general of Alexander the Great, would produce descendants like Orestes the Flute Blower.

361AD- JULIAN THE APOSTATE BECAME EMPEROR OF ROME, upon the death of is uncle Constantius II. Julian's life was much like Claudius 300 years earlier, except the Imperial Family's official religion was now Christianity. The children of Constantine the Great fought, intrigued, seduced and poisoned each other with great gusto, then went to Church. This had a funny effect on bookish young Julian, and he decided Christianity was the mistake and everyone was a lot better off worshiping Jupiter, Hercules, bulls and such like the good old days. He just couldn't command it so, because Rome had been Christian for 50 years and would just kill him rather than switch. So he had to move cautiously. He was slain in battle with the Persians after only a five year reign, before he could affect any real change, but if he had reigned as long as Constantine did ( 30 years) the world might've looked different. When he went on campaign against Persia he sacrificed 5,000 bulls to Mars. One Christian joked: " If it was 5,000 bulls just to start, if Caesar Julian wins any battles I fear for the market price of beef!"

1503- MONA LISA- Leonardo Da Vinci was hired by a Florentine senator Francesco del Giocondo to paint a portrait of his third wife Madonna Elizabetha or Lisa. He fussed over the painting for four years and never gave it to Francesco, he said it was still unfinished and kept it for himself. Eventually he needed money so he sold it to the King of France and today it sits in the Louvre.
courtesy of
Was her enigmatic smile because she had lost a child earlier that year and Leonardo was trying to cheer her up? He used to have musicians playing in the room when she posed. Or is she emblematic of Woman smiling at all the foibles of Men? One historian called Mona Lisa “ the Face that Launched a Thousand Reams Upon a Sea of Ink.”

1623- The Dutch government in the Hague decided Henry Hudson had discovered something interesting in America after all and ordered the Dutch West India Company to prepare plans for the building of a colony to be called New Amsterdam. This colony would eventually become New York City.

1755- The Massachusetts Colony offered a bounty of 20 English pounds each for scalps of Indian children under the age of 12. Warrior scalps fetched a higher bounty, about 30 pounds.

1836- California ranchero Juan de Alvarado rallies local ranchers to overthrow Governor Juan de Michaltorena sent from Mexico City. This story may have been an early inspiration for Zorro.

1849-THE PNEUMATIC TRAIN- Alfred E. Beech, the publisher of Scientific American Magazine, first proposed an underground railway be built under New York City to ease traffic snarls. He had invented the pneumatic tube system of delivering messages in tubes pulled through buildings by means of suction and compressed air. He now proposed to build tube shaped railroad cars that would carry people along via suction like a big straw. In 1868 he spent $350,000 to build a Pneumatic train under Broadway that could go one block. Beecher eventually gave up the idea and his tunnel was sealed but the New York City Subway system was inaugurated in 1904.

1888- Jack the Ripper killed his last victim, a prostitute named Mary Reilly.

1930- Amadeo Gianini changed the name of his San Francisco based Bank of Italy to the Bank of America.

1948 -The Chicago Daily Tribune prints the famous premature headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” based on early poll returns. Truman himself was so sure he’d lost the election he went to bed early. When he awoke he discovered he had won and he had a ball mocking the newspapers and doing nasal imitations of hostile correspondent H.B. Kaltenborn.

1957- the first living thing sent into orbit, a Russian dog named Laika. Laika means Barky Dog. She never came back down but she maybe was satisfied knowing she made human history- woof.

1966- President Lyndon Johnson signed the Truth in Packaging Act, which required all packaged foods to print their ingredients on the label.

1969- In a speech President Richard Nixon announced his opposition to young anti- Vietnam War protestors by appealing to what he called the Silent Majority.

1971- The first UNIX manual released.

1971- Carly Simon married James Taylor.

1977- Disney's Pete's Dragon starring Helen Reddy and Red Buttons.

1979- T.V. sitcom Different Strokes premiered, featuring 2003 gubernatorial candidate Gary Coleman..

1990- GM's car line the Saturn announced.

1981- WALLY WOOD was one of the most influential cartoonists of the mid Twentieth Century His versatility enabled him to draw everything from superhero comics, to very cartoony, to playfully naughty girls like Sally Forth. He drew EC Comics, the Mars Attacks series, Mad Magazine, Weird Science, THUNDER Agents and much more. He had done an infamous drawing of the Disney characters having sex that brought down upon him the wrath of the Disney legal dept. But hard living and deadlines took their toll. Suffering from a stroke, and failing kidneys, this day Wally Wood put a 44 cal pistol to his right temple and pulled the trigger. Police found the bullet had passed right through his head into the pillow.

1986- A Lebanese newspaper Al Schirrah revealed the details of the Reagan Presidency’s illegal sales of weapons to Iran- the Iran Contra Scandal.
Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the phrase to “ eat humble pie”?

Answer: In the Middle Ages, a poor family could feed itself by trapping small game, usually crows, and bake them in a pie crust. So eating Crow, means the same as eating humble pie, namely having to admit your defeat and humiliation and live with it.