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July 06th, 2010 tues.
July 6th, 2010

Quiz: True or False: It is illegal to fly a US flag in the dark?

Yesterday’s questions answered below: What is a Gotterdamerung?
History for 7/6/2010
Birthdays: John Paul Jones, Czar Nicholas Ist, Frida Kahlo, Della Reese, Bill Haley, Nancy Reagan,, Sylvester Stallone is 64, Merv Griffin, Janet Leigh, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sebastian Cabot, James Bordrero, The Dalai Lama, LaVerne Andrews of the Andrews Sisters, Geoffrey Rush, Ned Beatty is 73, Former President George W. Bush is 64, 50 Cent is 35

83 B.C. Sulla the Dictator stormed Rome and defeated the supporters of Marius. This first civil war amongst powerful Roman factions is known as the" Wars of Marius & Sulla" or “the Social Wars”. No one had ever dared take soldiers into Rome itself and it spelled the death of the democratic Republic. Sulla published lists of hundreds of political enemies called the Proscribed. If you were on that list anybody could kill you without trial or appeal. Even a slave could kill his master and get the reward. Sulla had on his staff a kid who recently changed sides. His name was Gaius Julius Caesar.

1190- Death of Henry II, King of England and the Angevin Empire – he ruled a territory almost as great as Charlemagne but his reign was marred by the martyrdom of
Thomas à Becket and quarrels with his family. Henry had pledged to go on Crusade to liberate Jerusalem and after his death his Crusade was taken up by his son Richard the Lionhearted. In the end Henry was so disgusted by the feuds and rebellions of his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and sons Richard, Geoffrey and John Lackland, that his dying breath was a curse on his own family.

1480- The hunchback Duke of Gloucester was crowned King Richard III. He is referred to as the Last Plantagenet, meaning the last of the bloodline of Geoffrey of Anjou and Richard the Lionhearted. He was defeated and killed by Henry VII of the House of Tudor. Whether he was as bad a guy as Shakespeare and Hollingshed portrayed him, was even a hunchback or the last real native English king is a matter for scholars to argue over. Shakespeare was writing plays for the granddaughter of the man who killed him so that would obviously color his interpretation of events.

1685- THE BATTLE OF SEDGEMOOR AND THE BLOODY ASSIZES.-The illegitimate son of King Charles II, the Duke of Monmouth, tried to overthrow his Catholic uncle King James II with the help of many Protestant Englishmen, angry that the Catholic monarch was planning to subvert the liberties won by Cromwell in the English Civil War. This day Monmouth hightailed it for the hills while his army was cut to pieces in battle.
After the battle the punishment of the rebels under Judge Jefferies was so brutal it was nicknamed the Bloody Assizes. An assize was another name for circuit court. Hundreds were beheaded, tongues cut out, limbs branded with hot irons then transported as slaves to the Bahamas and Barbados to cut sugar cane. White sugar was a new delicacy sweeping the nation. To this day many white skinned Bahamians can claim descendant from these condemned rebels. In the 1890s Rafael Sabatini wrote a novel about one slave who escaped to become a pirate named Captain Blood, later made into an Errol Flynn movie.

180-? THE IMMORTAL BELOVED LETTERS.- Composer Ludwig van Beethoven never married, but not for want of trying. The bad tempered loner loved several women, but never formed a serious relationship. After his death, several love letters were found. The letters written this day were of a supremely passionate nature, where he begged some unknown woman to keep an appointment with him at some unstated rendezvous in Hungary. “Though still in bed my thoughts go out to you, My Immortal Beloved…” The letters were never sent and have no addresses or names. Who was this Immortal Beloved, Beethoven yearns for?

1853- In Ripon, Wisconsin Free-Soil Whigs and other lefty radicals form the new Republican Party. They were called the Anti-Nebraska Men, then Black-Republicans for awhile because of their strong anti-slavery stance.

1885- Louis Pasteur gave the first inoculation to cure rabies.

1886 - Horlick's of Wisconsin offers the1st malted milk to public. It began as an attempt to create a new type of baby formula.

1895- A businessman named William Sydney Porter returned from Honduras where he had fled after being indicted for embezzlement. He had returned because he had learned of the illness of his wife. Porter was sent to prison and while there began writing little stories which he later published under the name O. Henry.

1917 – As Lowell Thomas’ news reel cameras rolled, Lawrence of Arabia and Bedouin Sheik Ouda Abu-Tai captures the Red Sea Port of Al Aqaba from Turkish troops. The battle was dramatized in the 1962 David Lean epic Lawrence of Arabia.

1928- The film "The Lights of New York" premiered at the Strand theater on Broadway. 1927's the Jazz Singer popularized sound movies while still being half silent. This film was the first with an all dialogue track.

1938- THE EVIAN CONFERENCE- No, it wasn't about bottled water. Before Hitler started putting all Jews and political undesirables into concentration camps, he was happy to see them leave the country. Since1933, the refugees fleeing the Reich grew to tens of thousands. President Franklin Roosevelt called for a summit of Western powers at Evian France to discuss the issue of the rising numbers asking asylum in the democracies. The conference turned into a parade of diplomats making excuses. It accomplished nothing. From 1938 to 1944 only half the quota for U.S. visas allowed were ever filled. The rest were held up by red tape while the Holocaust raged. Also the British Mandate authority bowed to Arab anger to restrict immigration to Palestine. Saudi Prince Ibn Saud said:” Why should we be punished for the sins of Europe?” The only nations on Earth who accepted unrestricted Jewish immigration from the Nazis were Holland and Denmark. Young delegate and future Israeli leader Golda Meir was asked what she hoped to get out of the conference. “All I want to see before I die, is for my people to get something else beyond Expressions of Sympathy.”

1944- A fire broke out in the main tent of Ringling Bros Circus during a children’s matinee in Hartford Connecticut. The big top had been waterproofed with a paraffin solution thinned with gasoline and now that mixture engulfed the tent in flames. 168 died and 682 more were injured, mostly children. In 1950 a deranged arsonist named Robert Segee admitted setting the Hartford Circus Fire.

1957-Chuck Jones short "What’s Opera, Doc?" debuts. “Kill da wa-bitt, kill da wa-bitt..."

1957-16 year old John Lennon first met 15 year old Paul McCartney at a church picnic near Woolton, England. Lennon invited McCartney to join his first band called the Quarrymen, but MacCartney missed their first engagement because of a boy scout trip.

1964 - Beatles' film "Hard Day's Night" premieres in London. The bands iconoclastic, antics portrayed by Richard Lesters surreal free style direction set the style for the music videos of the future.

1965- TV sitcom F-Troop premiered. Shortly after the series began production it was learned that lead actress Melody Patterson (Wrangler Jane) was actually underage- 16 years old. She kept her part, but the writers had to tone down any sexual innuendo in the scripts.

1965 - Rock group "Jefferson Airplane" formed.

1974- The first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keilor’s ode to a small town in Minnesota. Brought to you by Powdermilk Biscuits.

1998- French workers at Disney’s Paris theme park went on strike for better pay and not having to smile all the time like Americans do.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a Gotterdamerung?

Answer: Richard Wagner’s opera about Siegfried, Brunhilde and the end of the world.
It’s the German version of the Norse Ragnarok, the final battle where the gods and monsters all destroy one another. So a Gotterdamerung can be used as another word for a total immolation.