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July 20th, 2010 tuesday
July 20th, 2010

Quiz: Who was the jazz musician known simply as Train?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What does the Iron Butterfly song Unna Gadda Da Vida mean?
history for 7/20/2010
Birthdays: Petrarch, Sir Edmund Hilary, Lord Elgin, Anne Hutchinson, Diana Rigg is 72, Natalie Wood, Theda Bara the Vamp, Carlos Santana, Lord Reith, the first Director General of the BBC. Giselle Bunchen is 30, Sandra Oh is 39

1402- Near Ankara (Angora), the armies of the Sultan of Turkey were destroyed by a new Tartar invasion from the East, led by Tamerlane.

1420- Czech leader John Ziska led the Hussite rebels to defeat the German Emperor Sigismund at Witkowo Hill, freeing the besieged capitol Prague. Ziska led armies in battle despite losing both eyes in fighting. When he finally died, he left instructions to have his body skinned and the skin stretched onto a war drum.

1773-The Vatican outlaws the Society of Jesus aka the Jesuits. The pope had gotten tired of all their intrigues and foreign entanglements. They went into hiding but were reformed in 1820. I noticed that at this time all their missionaries were withdrawn from the New World and replaced with Franciscans like Fra. Junipero Serra. I wonder if a Jesuit had founded Los Angeles he might have named it "Ignatius Loyola" and we'd all have to sing:" I Love I.L. !"

1804 Sir Richard Owen born. He was the British scientist who coined the term Dinosaur for all the ancient lizard fossils being dug up. Yet he came to oppose Darwin’s theories.

1869- Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad and in the Holy Land first published. If you ever wondered what was the most popular book in America during the 19th Century, it was not Moby Dick, War & Peace, Jane Eyre or David Copperfield. The all time best selling book in America during the Victorian Era was a sappy travel diary" Tent Life in the Holy Land "by a now forgotten author William Prime. Twain had taken the Grand Tour abroad that was fashionable with the new American wealthy classes and thought he’d have some fun recounting his own recollections” To cross the Sea of Galilee by boat, a big local Arab demanded eight dollars for use of his miserable conveyance. No wonder Christ preferred to walk.”

1877-Russians besiege Turkish held Plevna in Bosnia.

1881- Sitting Bull returned to U.S. territory and surrendered. He and his people had been residing in Canada since the Little Big Horn. When Canadian officials first challenged them being in Canada, Bull produced out of his medicine bag old treaty medals stamped with King George III on them. He said "We also are the children of the Great Redcoat Mother."

1919- Pancho Villa assassinated while driving in his new Dodge. Even with 16 bullets in him he still managed to kill one of his attackers. Three years later someone broke into his grave and stole his head.

1920- On the last day of testimony at the Scopes Monkey Trial defense attorney Clarence Darrow surprised everyone by calling prosecuting attorney William Jennings Bryan to the witness stand. In a dramatic all day debate Darrow and Bryan grappled over the validity of the Bible vs, Charles Darwin’s theory. The confrontation was dramatized in Stanley Kramer’s 1965 film “Inherit the Wind”.

1941-Bob Clampett's cartoon"the Great Piggy Bank Robbery" with Daffy Duck as Duck Tracy. "i'm gonna rrrrrrrrrrrubbb ya out, see !"

1944- VALKYRIE, THE GENERALS PLOT- German generals plot to kill Adolf Hitler, take over the Third Reich and declare a ceasefire with the Allies. During a conference at Hitlers strategic HQ at Rastenberg Prussia one-eyed Count von Stauffenburg planted a suitcase-bomb next to Hitler's feet and excused himself. But someone bumped against it and moved it out of the way. After watching the massive explosion Stauffenburg then relayed the code word "Valkyrie". This meant the plotters could begin to arrest key Nazis, disarm the SS and form a provisional government with Field Marshal Erwin Rommel as President.
In the explosion many were killed but amazingly Hitler only suffered a punctured eardrum and a stiff left arm. He went on nationwide radio to announce he was all right, and even read the weather in day's newspaper to prove it was not pre-recorded. The coup plotters were rounded up and executed, some hung with piano wire. Their deaths were filmed for Hitler's amusement at home. Rommel the Desert Fox was forced to commit suicide. After 5000 arrests the purge was halted only when an allied bombing hit the courtroom, and blew up the judge.

1964 –The first surfin' record to go #1-Jan & Dean's "Surf City"

1968 - Iron Butterfly's "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" became the first heavy metal song to
hit the pop charts, it comes in at #117.

1969-Tranquility Base- The Eagle has Landed. Apollo 11’s Lunar Module the LEM first landed humans on the Moon. The astronauts spent a night’s sleep and preparing and stepped out on the Lunar surface the next day.

1973- Bruce Lee died of cerebral edema one month before his last film Enter the Dragon premiered. The handsome martial arts movie star single-handedly made Kung Fu a national craze and the Hong Kong action film, called Chop-Socky, genre film a regular in world movie theaters. He was buried in his Enter The Dragon Chinese outfit. Bruce Lee was 33.

1984 - Jim Fixx, creator of the Jogging craze through his hit book Running, died at 52 of a heart attack. Apologists for a health advocate dying so young, say Fixx would have died even younger without his physical routine. The creator of PowerBars also died in his fifties. Pass me another donut.

1994 - OJ Simpson offers $500,000 reward for evidence of ex-wife Nicole’s killer. No clues or suspects other than himself ever appeared. As David Letterman later said" OJ began to vigorously search for the real killer on all the major golf courses of the nation."

Yesterday’s Quiz: What does the Iron Butterfly song Unna Gadda Da Vida mean?

Answer: 1968 The song got it’s unique name, because frontman Doug Ingle wrote it as “In the Garden of Eden” but was so drunk and stoned, that all that came out was a droning mantra “Inagaddadavida”…. The album sold millions, was the first to win the new Platinum record and stayed in the top 100 for four years.