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January 18th, 2010 mon. MLK Day
January 18th, 2010

Quiz: Was Lord Byron’s famous poem Ozimandias based on a real person?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: The opera Carmen is about a sexy gypsy smuggler in Spain who dumps her soldier boyfriend for a dashing bullfighter. What language is Carmen sung in?
HISTORY FOR 1/18/2010
Birthdays: Daniel Webster, A.A.Milne, Joseph Glidden, Oliver Hardy, Cary Grant- born Archie Leech, Danny Kaye, Emmanuel Chabrier, Bobby Goldsboro, Pierre Roget (Roget’s Thesaurus), Ray Dolby (Dolby sound), John Boorman, Kevin Costner is 55

In honor of Cary Grant’s Birthday (1904) One of his favorite poems was a bit of doggerel: "They bought me a box of tin soldiers,/I threw all the Generals away,/I smashed up the Sergeants and Majors,/Now I play with me Privates all day."

1486- King Henry VII Tudor married Elizabeth of York, one of the opposing sides in the just concluded War of the Roses. This further confirmed his legitimacy as king.

1535- Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzarro founded the city of Lima Peru.

1787- Captain Cook landed at Kauai and "discovers" Hawaii. He named the place the Sandwich Islands after his boss John Montague the First Lord of the Admiralty the Earl of Sandwich.

1854- THE KINGDOM OF WALKER- Soldier of Fortune William Walker declared himself president of Sonora -a new country formed out of the Mexican state of Sonora and Baja California. It didn’t stick and he had to run for it. A few years later Walker and a gang of U.S. mercenaries actually succeeded in overthrowing the government of Nicaragua and making himself a king. But soon the Nicaraguans put him up before a firing squad.

1865- This was a target date John Wilkes Booth had to spring his plan to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln out of his box at Ford’s Theater and exchange him for thousands of Confederate POW’S to continue the Souths war effort. That the young actor naively planned to physically overcome and truss up the 6’5" president who although in ill health was an ex-wrestler , then sling him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, jump 12 feet to the stage and carry him off in front of an audience, is a strange plan to say the least. Lincoln did attend the theater that night but Booth cancelled the plan, because he had to prepare to do Romeo the day after tomorrow. His real job superceded his hobby as a conspirator.

1871-GERMAN UNIFICATION- Wilhelm of Prussia crowned first Kaiser of Germany in a ceremony in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. At one time Germans lived in 38 little princedoms that were great for operettas but lousy as a political entity. Germans formed a symbolic parliament in Frankfurt and formed nationalist societies called Tugenbund to dream of unification. But Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck said "unity would not be won by parliaments and papers but by Blood and Iron!" Bismarck had first defeated Austria to ensure Germans would look to Berlin and not Vienna for leadership, then he picked a war with France to unite all the German peoples against their old enemy. So the crowning was two-fold the highpoint of victory over France and the symbol of unification. Sulky Wilhelm Ist didn’t want to be an emperor and was happy as king of Prussia but Bismarck bullied him into it.

1903- President Teddy Roosevelt and King Edward VII exchanged the first wireless messages long distance between Washington and London. The system was invented by Gugielmo Marconi.

1908- Frederic Delius orchestral tone poem Brigg Fair premiered.

1912- Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, "Scott of the Antarctic" reaches the South Pole to discover the Norwegian flag of Pier Ammundsen who got there first. -Doh !

1919- American Society of Cinematographers formed (ASC).

1943- The Red Army lifted the 900 day Nazi siege of Leningrad.

1943- As part of the war effort the US government ordered the sale of sliced bread be stopped for the duration. The phrase “ the greatest thing since sliced bread” entered the slang vocabulary.

1949- Look Magazine published a photo essay called "Prizefighter". The photographer was a young kid from the Bronx named Stanley Kubrick. Mr Kubrick said he now wanted to try filmmaking.

1953-The Hollywood Animation Guild chartered. Originally the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, signatories included Disney legends Milt Kahl, Les Clark, John Hench and Ken Anderson.

1962- The US Army in Vietnam began an experiment with spraying the jungle with chemical defoliants to get at hidden Vietcong guerrillas. The chemical Agent Orange defoliated jungles but also infected thousands of American serviceman and Vietnamese civilians who continue to die from cancers decades after.

1962- THE FRENCH CONNECTION- NYPD cracked a drug ring smuggling heroin from South East Asia into New York via Marseilles. The French Connection bust nabbed $3.5 million in dope and made heroes out of the two detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grazzo. Egan joked to Grazzo:" I’ll betchya Paul Newman will play me and Ben Gazzarra you!" Actually Gene Hackman played Egan and Roy Scheider Grazzo in the Oscar winning 1971 film. Both cops retired from the force to make careers in show biz. Ironically while the film was being made the real heroin from the case disappeared from the NYPD evidence lockup and was replaced with bags of corn starch. It was never recovered.

1964-Plans are revealed for building New York City’s World Trade Center towers.

1977- The cult documentary PUMPING IRON premiered. Filmmakers George Butler and Rob Fiore maxed out his American Express card to the tune of $35,000 to bring this look at the little known world of professional body building to the screen. The film first brought to the public a charmingly confident Austrian body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger who wanted to try acting someday. Also Lou Ferrigno who would also star in movies and as the TV Hulk.

Many year later politician Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to buy the rights to the film so he could edit out the scenes of him puffin’ the ganja.

1978- In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, rock star Frank Zappa described most rock journalism as " People who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read."

1987- National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition premiered.

2004- The I HAVE A SCREAM SPEECH. Democratic presidential challenger Howard Dean gave an address after losing the New Hampshire primary. Known for his energy, at one point he got so carried away he let out a jubilant yelp above the cheering throng.

The media picked this up and played it to death. It became a big joke on Saturday Night Live. Soon it would be impossible to think of Dean as a serious candidate. He lost the nomination to stiff John Kerry, who lost to unpopular President George W. Bush.

Republican White House strategist Karl Rove later admitted it would have been much harder to defeat Howard Dean than John Kerry, but then there was that scream.
Yesterday’s Question: : The opera Carmen is about a sexy gypsy smuggler in Spain who dumps her soldier boyfriend for a dashing bullfighter. What language is Carmen sung in?

Answer: French.