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June 6th, 2011 monday
June 6th, 2011

Quiz: The German god Donner is better known by his Viking name. What is it?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: When you order a Cuba Libre, what do you get?
History for 6/6/2011
Birthdays: Diego Velasquez, Pierre Corneille. Alexandre Pushkin, Nathan Hale, John Trumbull, Thomas Mann, The Dalai Lama, Klaus Tennestedt, Bjorn Borg, Richard Crane, Harvey Fierstein is 59, Walter Chrysler, Isaiah Berlin, Aram Kharachaturian, Jason Issacs, Sandra Bernhard is 56, Paul Giamatti is 44

1438- THE ACT OF UNION. Emperor John III Paleologus was desperate.
His Byzantine Empire had been reduced to the suburbs of Constantinople, and the armies of the Turkish Sultan were massing for a final assault. He needed help from his fellow Christians in the West. But since the Crusades, the knights of the Europe had tired of long distance adventures. The courts of Italy wined and dined John, and made many pretty frescos of him, but gave him no troops. Greek scholars like George Lascaris lingered on and resettled in Italy, where their reintroduction of ancient literature helped spark the Italian Renaissance.

The Act of Union supposedly reconciled the differences between Latin and Greek Churches, but John went home empty handed and the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453. Other Orthodox Churches like the Russian Church renounced their allegiance to the Patriarch of Constantinople, over his making a deal with the Pope in Rome. John Paul II in our time has tried to unify the two the Latin and Greek Churches but with not much success either.

1536- The Spanish Inquisition sets up shop in Mexico.

1683- The worlds first public museum , the Ashmolean, was opened. English archaeologist Elias Ashmole donated his collection of curiosities to Oxford University for the students to study. A building was commissioned from Christopher Wren and the museum opened to the public this day.

1727- BATTLE OF THE DIVAS- In Old London at this time the rage was for Italian Operas. Many international musicians made lucrative livings singing for Britons. Italian soprano Francesca Cuzzoni was the reigning star but a rival arrived in town named Faustina Bodoni. This night at His Majesty’s Theatre Covent Garden with the Princess of Wales in attendance as Bodoni tried to sing Astianatte, Cuzzoni fans booed, hissed and shouted so much a fight broke out. Soon the two rival singers were up on stage tearing each others hair out, fistfights in the pit and scenery being pulled down. Composer George Frederich Handel laughingly accompanied the mayhem with an impromptu solo on kettledrums.

1740- Prussian King Frederick the Great instituted a new medal. Originally called the Order of Generosity, Frederick called the little blue Maltese cross Order Pour Le Merite fur Offizeren. Frederick liked to say things in French. The medal became famous as the Blue Max, coveted by World War I flying aces.

1797- The Lake Poets meet. In the Coxwolds region of England Samuel Taylor Colderidge walked across a field and visited William Wordsworth in his cottage. This began one of the great collaborations in literature. Coleridge had just finished the Rubiyat of Omar Khayam. The married Mr Colderidge even had a platonic affair with Wordsworth’s sister Dorothy and later Wordsworth’s sister-in-law Susan Hutchinson.

1833- President Andrew Jackson becomes the first President to ride in a train.

1844 –George Williams formed the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in London, for lonely young men working in the new urban factories to have an alternative to pubs and dance halls.

1867- THE KA-KA COMPROMISE- The Austrian Empire quiets its nationalist Hungarian subjects by turning their country into a dual monarchy. Hapsburg Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elizabeth go to Budapest and are crowned King and Queen of Hungary. The Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary was called in German `Kaiserlich-Koniglich' or K.K. The regime's opponents called it KaKa, and they had understood the pun just as we do.

1918- BATTLE of the BELLEAU WOOD- In World War One as the first U.S. Marine units arrive in the Western Front, Marshal Foch threw them in front of a major German attack. They stopped the Germans only 37 miles from Paris. When the Yanks arrived in the trenches, the French commander announced the entire Allied line was retreating. Marine Major Taylor replied: " Retreat ? Hell, we just got here !" and they went into action. Later in the fighting the same major was heard bellowing to his men:" Come on' you sons a' b-tches! Do you wanna live forever?!"

1925 - On his birthday, Walter Percy Chrysler founded The Chrysler Car Company.

1933-The first Drive In movie opens in Camden, New Jersey.

1934- President Roosevelt signed the Securities and Exchange Act, which set up a regulatory commission to rein in the under the table shenanigans of brokers and financiers that had caused the Great Depression. The chairman of the SEC was Joseph Kennedy Sr.

1939- Playright Eugene O’Neill had hit a dry spell of no writing and fears of impending Parkinsons disease. This day he got the inspiration to sketch out two outlines for two potential plays- The Iceman Cometh, and Long Days Journey into Night.

1941- Actor George Raft wrote a memo to studio head Jack Warner reminding him of his contractual commitment to send Raft only good quality scripts. The latest he got: " The Maltese Falcon" he thought was a lousy substandard idea that has no chance." Humphrey Bogart did the film instead.

1942 – Adeline Grey does the first nylon parachute jump in Hartford Conn.

1944 D-DAY, the NORMANDY INVASION- General Dwight Eisenhower launched 4,000 ships, 11,000 planes and 150,000 troops on the shores of Nazi occupied France with the order: "Okay. Let's go.". In Moscow where the Soviets had been begging for a second front, there was wild celebrations and Radio Moscow played "Yankee-Doodle" all day. Eisenhower had planned that green troops be used in the first wave. "If they knew what was waiting for them like the veterans know, they wouldn't go."

In the assault were future Senator Robert Dole, Disney key assistant Dale Oliver and Warner artist Victor Haboush. Sergeant Baumgarden drew on his jacket a large Star of David and wrote "Bronx, N.Y." under it to let Hitler know who was coming. Many of the infantry had rolled condoms onto the muzzles of their guns to keep sand and water out of them. Famed war photographer Robert Capa leaped into the surf before the landing barges reached shore and walking backwards with the whole Nazi army shooting at him photographed the first G.I.s landing on Omaha Beach. His 22 rolls of film were later ruined by an inept lab developer.

The German High command was taken completely by surprise. When the invasion happened many officers were coming home from a weekend seminar on how to fight an invasion, and Hitler had taken a sleeping pill and left orders not to be disturbed.

1949-Comic strip character Joe Palooka gets married to Ann Howe.

1949-BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING- George Orwell's book about technological tyranny -1984 was first published. Orwell's working title was "The Last Free Man", but the publisher thought it too depressing to sell. So Orwell picked the date 1984, who's only significance was that it was the year he was writing 1948- reversed

1955 - Bill Haley & Comets, "Rock Around the Clock" hits #1.

1972 - David Bowie releases "Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust"

1976- The Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale Cal. opened.

1978- Proposition 13 property tax cut approved by California voters.

1982- the Israeli army invaded Lebanon. Prime Minister Menachem Begin felt that the operation should take only one or two days. In 2000 after an 18 year occupation and fighting among a confusing mix of Syrian & Iranian backed guerrillas, US Marines and Christian Maronite militias, the Israeli troops were finally withdrawn. The war remains controversial in Israel to this day. Ariel Sharon, the defense minister who was nicknamed "the Butcher of Beirut" because he allowed Lebanese militias to massacre Palestinian refugees, was Prime Minister in 2001 to 2006.

1984- Climaxing two years of fighting Sikh Nationalists, Indian forces are ordered by Prime Minister Indira Ghandi to storm the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. 1000 are killed. Later that year Mrs. Ghandi was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards in revenge. The current PM of India, Verdat Singh, is a Sikh.

1984-In Moscow, 29 year old Mathematics Professor Alexey Pajitnov invented the game Tetris.

1985- The body of Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele is located and exhumed near Sao Paolo, Brazil. Mengele was the Nazi Angel of Death, who conducted experiments on inmates of the concentration camps. The elderly nazi had a heart attack while swimming.

1991 - NBC announced Jay Leno would replace retiring Johnny Carson, winning out over David Letterman. Letterman proceeded moved to CBS.

2007- The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim California, named for a Disney movie, win the Stanley Cup after defeating the Ottawa Senators. It is the first Stanley Cup won by a west coast team since 1925.
Yesterday’s Quiz: When you order a Cuba Libre, what do you get?

Answer: In a Havana Bar in 1900, an American officer ordered a Bacardi Rum & Coke with a twist of Lime. He downed it in one shot and hollered “Cuba Libre!” Free Cuba! The war cry of the just concluded Spanish American War.