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January 12th, 2009 tues.
January 12th, 2010

QUIZ: If you smell Cordite in the air, would you strike a match?

Answer to yesterdays question below. When Hamlet said “ When he might he quietus make with bare bodkin”…..what is here talking ahout?
History for 1/12/2010
Birthdays: Pilgrim leader John Winthrop, John Hancock, Edmund Burke, John Singer Sargent, Jack London , Charles Perrault (Mother Goose), James Farmer the founder of CORE, Herman Goering, "Smokin' Joe" Frazier, Tex Ritter, Martin Agronsky, Howard Stern is 55, Rush Limbaugh, Oliver Platt, Wayne Wang, Tiffany, Kirstie Alley is 54, John Lasseter is 53

1519-Vasco Nunez de Balboa, discoverer of the Pacific, was convicted of treason and mistreatment of Indians and beheaded.

1641- The Virginia Colony passed a law that if any Indian committed a crime, the first Indian seen, even if he was completely innocent, would be compelled to pay his fine.

1669- Buccaneer Henry Morgan convened a meeting of the Captains of the Coast, a council of pirates on board his frigate the Oxford. In their meeting they resolved to attack Cartagena Columbia, a rich Spanish port and staging area for the great treasure fleets. During the drunken celebrations someone fired a gun off in the Oxford’s powder magazine and the ensuing explosion killed 200. Arrrg..!

1800- The frigate USS Experiment was attacked by ten pirate ships off Hispaniola.

1809- A group of Viennese businessmen convinced Ludwig Van Beethoven not to move to another city by paying him a yearly allowance. Beethoven continually worried about money and pleaded poverty, yet after his death people found thousands of silver coins hidden in little pots and cupboards throughout his home. He used to charge people three marks to come and look at him through his window while he composed.

1812- The first Mississippi steamboat brought a cargo of cotton bales from Natchez to New Orleans to be loaded onto a transatlantic ship. This is the beginning of the riverboat trade Mark Twain made famous.

1898- Nationalist riots broke out in the Spanish colony of Cuba. U.S. President McKinley sends the battleship Maine to Havana harbor to protect American interests. Americans have coveted Cuba since James Madison's time. Just before the Civil War broke out, Southern businessmen paid mercenaries to conquer Cuba from Spain and bring her into the union as a new slave state. The U.S. threatened Spain with war over Cuba in 1870 and 1874 as well.

1928- Police raid the prestigious women’s college Radcliffe Hall and seize 800 copies of the novel “The Well of Loneliness” because it was considered to promote lesbianism.

1928- Henry Grey and Ruth Snyder are electrocuted in Sing-Sing Prison for the murder of Mrs. Snyder's husband. The love triangle was the inspiration for the films 'Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice' and 'Body Heat". Press photographer Thomas Howard taped a small camera to his ankle and snapped a photo of Mrs Snyder frying in the chair. The New York Daily News published the photo on its front page.

1942- Operation Drumroll. Nazi submarine U-123 torpedoes an American tanker, the S.S. Norness, off the southern coast of Long Island just outside the entrance to New York Harbor. The incident sent panic up and down the Eastern seaboard. The New York Museum of Natural History even moved it’s skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex to Pittsburgh to save it from potential Nazis attack. U.S. Army intelligence secretly opened negotiations with the Mafia to counteract Axis spies getting advanced intelligence about convoy movements on the waterfronts of New York, Boston and Baltimore from Italian immigrant longshoremen. In 1942 alone 277 cargo ships were sunk by German submarines off the coast from Miami to Nova Scotia. Ironically, the S.S. Norness was built in Germany.

1945- To the overture of thousands of heavy cannons and Katyushka rockets the Red Army crossed the Vistula in Poland to begin it’s final offensive against the Third Reich. This offensive would end at with Hitler’s death and the surrender of Berlin. The German’s nicknamed the multiple firing Katyushas “Stalin’s Pipe Organ”.

1960-” The Scent of Mystery”- the first film in Smell-O-Vision.

1962- President John F. Kennedy signed Executive order 10988, mandating federal workers had the right to join unions and bargain collectively. In 2001 in the trauma over 9-11, President George W. Bush demanded his new 50,000 member Department of Homeland Security be forbidden to unionize. Even today, the head of the TSA is being held up by a conservative senator for fear they might unionize.

1966- Holy Cult Classic ! The TV show "Batman" with Adam West and Burt Ward premiered.

1969- Super Bowl III, Broadway Joe Namath and the underdog NY Jets upset the Baltimore Colts led by the legendary Johnny Unitas.

1970- The Boeing 747 makes it’s first flight.

1971- “ ALL IN THE FAMILY” Norman Lear's TV sitcom about racism and the 60's,
debuted. Based on a successful British show it broke new ground for American sitcoms by frankly discussing prejudice, menopause, rape and other taboo subjects. It’s first show featured the sound of a toilet flushing. The networks were so worried about its explosive content ABC rejected the show twice and CBS ran the first episodes with a long apologetic disclaimer.

Carrol O’Connor, the actor who played Archie Bunker was so convinced the show would flop he demanded as part of his contract a round trip plane ticket home. The show ran for 13 years, a bushel of Emmy Awards and made Archie Bunker a folk-hero.

1992-According to Arthur C. Clarkes "2001, a Space Odyssey", the HAL-9000 computer was booted up today.

1987-No mystery, Agatha Christie dies at 88 of natural causes.

1995- Steven Speilberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen announced the name of their new partnership would be 'Dreamworks SKG'. Someone in Florida immediately bought the domain name “” and waited for their buyout offer. I heard it was $5,000

1998-The LEWINSKY SCANDAL- Former White House staffer Linda Tripp was frustrated her career in the Bill Clinton Administration was going nowhere. This day she appeared in the office of independent special prosecutor Kenneth Starr with tape recordings she secretly made of her friend Monica Lewinsky, admitting to a sexual affair with the President. Conservative stalwart Starr had been investigating Slick-Willie Clinton for years and after spending $54 million tax dollars hadn’t found much, so he immediately leapt at this opportunity and asked the Attorney General for an extension of his mandate.
Ms. Lewinsky had meant to keep her affair a secret, despite her telling 11 friends. By autumn the resultant scandal brought Washington to a standstill and only the second presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. President Clinton admitted to the affair but was acquitted and served out his term anyway. Later Ms. Tripp asked the public for donations for her legal defense fund for her violating federal wiretap laws “I am one of you...a David against a Goliath...Even $1,000 dollars would do..” She took the money and got a facelift.

2002-The Refusenik Movement began in Israel when 53 Israeli Army officers announced they refused to enforce the Likud Government’s policy in the West Bank & Gaza.
Yesterdays’ Question: When Hamlet said “ When he might he quietus make with bare bodkin”…..what is here talking ahout?

Answer: It’s part of the “ To Be or Not to Be” speech. Hamlet meditated on suicide. A bodkin was another name for a small knife. So you could find peace of mind by stabbing yourself. But not knowing what’s on the other side makes us hesitate.