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July 14th, 2010 weds
July 14th, 2010

Quiz: Citizen! Complete the sentence:” Liberte’, Egalite”-----?

Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was Marie of Romania?
History for 7/14/2010
Birthdays: Issac Bashevis Singer, Mr. Maytag, inventor of the electronic washing machine-1857, Emiline Pankhurst, Woody Guthrie, Gerald Ford, Ingmar Bergman, Jerry Rubin, Scott Rudin, Rosie Grier, Harry Dean Stanton is 84, Polly Bergen, Gustav Klimt, Terry Thomas, Jimmy Hoffa, Dave Fleischer, Bill Hanna, Walt Stanchfield, Joel Silver producer of the Matrix movies. Vincent ( Big Pussy) Pastore

1415-Joanna II, Queen of Naples called Joanna la Loca (Crazy Joanie), allows the prostitutes of Avignon to form their own guild. Solidarity Forever.

1789-BASTILLE DAY-THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. In France the anger of the common people over economic hardship and arrogant indifference of the King and nobility finally exploded in mass violence. The focus of the people’s hate was the Bastille, a huge fortress- prison that towered over Paris rooftops, her cannon aimed at the people in the streets. The Parisians got guns and stormed the prison. Ironically, the royal prefect was intending to phase out the prison anyway. When the gates were opened only a handful of petty thieves came out, including a lunatic who shouted:" I am God! " But the symbolism was what counted.

Miles away at Versailles, King Louis XVI had just written in his diary- July 14th 1789-" Nothing" when he heard the commotion. He said:" What is that? A revolt?" The Duke de la Rochfoucauld said:" No Sire, a revolution!"

1790- On the first anniversary of the French Revolution, the U.S. Congress voted a celebration in solidarity with a fellow republic.

1791- The Irish rebel Wolftone stands on the heights above Dublin and swears eternal opposition to the English. This is considered the legendary birth of the IRA.

1793- Charlotte Corday stabs French Revolutionary leader Jean Paul Marat in his bathtub. Marat had to receive callers in his tub because of a skin affliction. He was known for sayings like "If we cut off a thousand heads today, it saves us cutting off ten thousand tomorrow!" and:"We'll strangle the last king with the guts of the last priest!" Corday was the daughter of one of his victims, a moderate politician called a Girondist. Young artist Madame Tussaud was allowed to make a death mask of Marat while still in the tub and David's painting shows him expiring with a Christ-like calm.

1798- President John Adams signed the ALIEN AND SEDITION ACTS, which stated you could be jailed, and if an immigrant deported, for saying anything critical of the U.S. government. Outraged Thomas Jefferson said he was afraid to write down his views anymore in the face of such a law. Despite the obvious conflict with basic Constitutional rights, the Alien and Sedition Acts were never successfully challenged in court. In 1801 the time limit on the Acts were allowed to elapse without renewal and incoming President Jefferson pardoned all those jailed under them. The Acts come up every now and again when politicians need a legal precedent for jailing someone, like during the McCarthy period of the 1950’s. In 1998 they were alluded to when Judge Kenneth Starr wanted to jail people who wouldn’t cooperate in his Monica Lewinsky scandal probe, and in 2003 in the debate over the Patriot Acts.

1849-BLACK SHIP DAY-Commodore Perry sailed into Yedo Bay and convinced the Japanese to open trade by threatening to bombard Yokohama. This ended Japan's 300 year old isolation from the outside world. The Shogun's envoys receive the Americans by laying straw mattes under their feet and talking to them in a special pavilion. The Yankees thought this was special treatment but actually after they left the mattes and building were burned so they could say the foreigner's feet never polluted Japanese soil.

1850 - 1st public demonstration of ice made by refrigeration

1853 – In emulation of the London World Exposition at the Crystal Palace the 1st US World's fair opens at the Crystal Palace NY.

1862- Every old sailors worst nightmare came true. This day the US Navy did away with the sailors daily rum ration, in effect outlawing all alcohol on a ship except for medicinal purposes. Spirits were the preferred drink on ships since ancient times because drinking water could give you a myriad of diseases: cholera, dysentery, etc. but no bugs can live in alcohol.

1863- After their defeat at Gettysburg Robert E. Lee's Confederate army finally crossed the Potomac back to the safety of Virginia. Abe Lincoln was furious that his victorious General George Meade wouldn't pursue the defeated rebels and finish them off before they could escape, maybe shortening the Civil War by a year. But the cautious General Meade thought his own army too exhausted and didn’t want to press his luck. Meade then angered Lincoln further by issuing a public thanks to his army for" Driving the Enemy off our soil." Lincoln responded:" Pennsylvania is our soil, but so is Virginia! They are not a foreign army !" Lincoln superceded Meade in authority with Grant who kept him in a secondary role.

1868-Seward's Folly- Congress authorized the purchase of Alaska from Russia.

1881-BILLY THE KID SHOT- Fort Sumner New Mexico sheriff Pat Garrett hid in a closet in the Kid's hotel room and shot him in the back as he was taking his boots off. Billy's last words were:" Who's there?" Backshooting was how Billy killed most of his victims. He was 21. After firing off his guns Pat Garret panicked and rushed out into the street without waiting to see their effect. Billy had such a lethal reputation that a small crowd stood in fear outside his room for nearly an hour until they were sure the Kid wasn't just playing possum but was really dead. Even though Garret was practically illiterate he wrote several best selling books on the incident, heavily exaggerated by pulp ghostwriter Ned Buntine. Eventually Pat Garret too was backshot, this time in an argument over some goats on his ranch.

1882- Gunfighter Johnny Ringo found dead in Turkey Canyon Arizona. Ringo was not part of the Gunfight at the OK Corral but he later called out Doc Holliday. Wyatt Earp claimed he had hunted down Ringo and killed him, but the court ruled it a suicide.

1892- Civil War veterans who were wounded in service were awarded a $50 pension by the government. Female nurses of that conflict were awarded a $12 pension. Satirical writer and social critic Ambrose Bierce returned his money with the note" Thank you but this was not part of the original contract when I signed on to become an assassin for my Country."

1908- The Adventures of Dollie premiered, the first movie of D.W. Griffith.

1914 - 1st patent for liquid-fueled rocket design granted to Dr Robert Goddard. Goddard did some schooling at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA... until he blew up the chemistry building and they kicked him out. (He then went down the road to a field in the town of Auburn to fire that first successful liquid-fueled rocket.) After he became famous, WPI named the new building after him. The air pressure inside that building is kept lower than the outside pressure via a large pump in the basement... so that if the building were ever exploded again, it would implode and reduce collateral damage. It makes the outside doors really tough to open! In l939 when the US government decided to take over the Guggenheim financed rocket experiments at Cal Tech and form the Jet Propulsion Labs they invited Goddard to join them. But Goddard didn’t want to lose his special status in his own labs by becoming a government scientist so he declined the offer.

1918- Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of Teddy Roosevelt became a fighter pilot in World War One. On this day he was shot down and killed. Teddy Roosevelt loved to brag about the manly virtues of war and as President continually rattled his saber at the world. But his own baby boy's death brought him down to earth and broke his spirit.
Teddy was never the same again and died within a year.

1921-Sacco & Vancetti convicted. These men were Italian immigrants and socialists who were accused of the murder of a Massachusetts storeowner. The evidence was slight but hey, they were foreigners and espoused lefty politics. Despite protests around the world from folks like Picasso, George Bernard Shaw and Helen Keller they were electrocuted. Folksinger Woody Guthrie wrote a dozen ballads in tribute to Sacco & Vancetti." Let me sing you a ballad of Sacco-Vancetti, pour me some wine and eat some spaghetti..."

1933- "Well Blow Me Down"- Max Fleischer's first "Popeye the Sailor" cartoon debuted. Vaudvillian Red Pepper Sam provided his salty mumbles throughout the post-sync track. When Sam asked for more money than Max Fleischer thought he was worth, he replaced him with assistant animator Jack Mercer, who was the voice ever after.

1946 - Dr Ben Spock's "Common Sense Book of Baby & Child Care" published

1948- The Israeli Army overran Nazareth.

1951 - 1st color telecast of a sporting event (CBS-horse race)

1951 –Triple Crown Winner Citation becomes 1st horse to win $1,000,000 in races.

1955-The Kaarman Ghia debuted. Volkswagen wanted an "image car" to compete with the sleek American designs like the Corvette and Thunderbird. So they subcontracted the Kaarman motorbus company who engaged an Italian design firm named Ghia and the distinctive little coupe was born.

1958- The last King of Iraq, Feisal II was overthrown and killed by a coup of army officers led by General Kassim. Feisals family was Jordanian, they were placed in Iraq by the British in the 1920’s to make up for losing the Hejaz (Saudi Arabia) to the house of Saud.

1967 - The new band called the Who began a US tour as the opening act for Herman’s Hermits.

1969- El Salvador and Nicaragua go to war over a soccer match.

1978- Lee Iacocca, exec in charge of the invention of the Ford Mustang, was fired by Ford Motor Co. Henry Ford III said :"I just don’t like the man." Today after resurrecting the Chrysler Corporation and KookARoo Chicken restaurants, the retired Iacocca is a spokesman for Chysler.

1980- The Republican Convention nominated former California Governor, actor and SAG president Ronald Reagan. The GOP under Robert Strauss & Lee Atwater completed restructuring itself after the disaster of Watergate by creating a new-conservative alliance of Sunbelt Evangelicals and Southern Dixiecrats. Regular Republican stalwarts who disagreed with the ultra conservative agenda- Rockefeller, Goldwater, Nixon were out. At 69 Reagan was the oldest man to ever run for the presidency until McCain in 2008. Reagan said of the convention:" It’s the first time in a long while I saw myself on television in prime time." Someone asked old Hollywood mogul Jack Warner "what do you think of Ronald Reagan for President?" Warner replied:" Nah, Jimmy Stewart for President. Ronald Reagan for his best friend!"
Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was Marie of Romania?

Answer: Marie of Romania was one of Queen Victorias’ granddaughters who married into the Romanian royal family. She was a bit of a Paris Hilton of pre-World War I social circles, always in the London Society news, and an early advocate of the Ba'Hai faith.