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Sept 12, 2011 mon.
September 12th, 2011

Question: 1968 was an amazing year for movies- 2001:A Space Odyssey, Funny Girl, Easy Rider, The Producers, The Lion in Winter and more. What movie won the Best Picture Oscar that year?

Yesterdays Question Answered Below: What is a Stigmata?
History for 9/12/2011
Birthdays: Piero 'the Fatuous' DeMedici, King Francis Ist of France-1494, H.L. Mencken, Maurice Chevalier, Ben Blue, Jesse Owens, Barry White, Alfred A. Knopf, Ian Holm, Hans Zimmer, Rachael Ward, Michael Odaatje-author of The English Patient, Margaret Hamilton -"I'm mellllttinnng,,oooohh.." Joe Pantoliano

Today is the Feast of Saint Victoria Fornari-Strata, who in 1604 founded the Blue Nuns

1642- THE CINQ MARS AFFAIR- The young, sexy Marquis de Cinq Mars was a
favorite of King Louis XIII. He became so close to the king that Cardinal Richelieu feared he would lose control of France to this "bedroom coup". The vain marquis was so confident of his power that he openly plotted with the kings feckless brother Gaston de Orleans to overthrow the government. Richelieu had the young marquis convicted of treason and beheaded, and the king got another favorite.

1654- In the little Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, three Sephardic families who had fled the Spanish Inquisition, gathered to celebrate the first Rosh Hassanah in North America. Their Congregation Sha-Aref Israel became the oldest Jewish community in North America, second in the New World only to the Dutch Caribbean colony of Curacao.

1683-THE SECOND SIEGE OF VIENNA - Polish King Jan Sobieski and Prince
Eugene of Savoy lift the Turkish siege of Vienna, the last major attempt of Ottoman Turkey to conquer Europe. They called it the Completion of the Crescent. It ended the career of Mustapha Korprolu, the Sultan’s Vezir who had staked all on one more try at European conquest. Jan Sobieski's elite heavy cavalry, the "Winged Hussars" wore large feathered angel wings strapped to their backs. It was designed to deflect Tartar lariats but had the psychological terror effect of making the Moslems think they were fighting Christian angels.

1786- Despite his losing the decisive Battle of Yorktown in America, Charles Lord Cornwallis was named Governor-General of India. Cornwallis went on to a much more successful career there, defeating uprisings by Sultan Tippoo Sahib. He is buried in Delhi, India.

1805- WELLINGTON MET NELSON- Only once did England's greatest soldier and greatest sailor ever meet face to face. They were both sitting one morning in the waiting room of Lord Castlereagh's Foreign Office waiting for an appointment. At first Wellington wasn't impressed. He said years later :" Lord Nelson immediately launched into a conversation, if you could call it that, for it was exclusively about himself and was so vain and silly that I found myself both shocked and disgusted/." / Later his lordship ascertained that I was 'somebody' of importance and changed his tone and proved in conversation a very astute statesman."/ The next day Nelson left London to earn both death & glory at Trafalgar and Wellington began his European campaigns that would culminate at Waterloo.

1846- Poet Elizabeth Barrett secretly eloped with poet Robert Browning and were married at St. Marlybone Church in Durham England. Her father had refused his permission for the match but the Brownings did it anyway, and ran off to Italy.

1847-CHAPULTEPEC- General Winfield Scott’s army stormed Chapultepec, a fortress guarding the entrance to Mexico City. Mexican General Santa Anna had been deceived by a diversion and left this fort guarded by a small force that included young military student cadets, ages 13-19 years. As the scaling ladders went up around the fort the men attacking read like a who's who of the future American Civil War- Lieutenant James Longstreet , Lieutenant Thomas Stonewall Jackson, Captain Ulysses Grant. The Mexican children cadets fought to the death or committed suicide by hurling themselves off the fortress walls.

Today remembered as the national martyrs Los Ninos. 18 year old Augustin Melgar fought the Yanquis step by step up to the roof where he was finally bayoneted repeatedly while defending his country's flag. The officer who stepped over Augustin’s bleeding body to pull down that flag and run up the Stars and Stripes was Lieutenant George Pickett, who would lead Pickets Charge at Gettysburg in 1863. This caused a great cheer among the Yankees who charged down the causeways into Mexico City.

1864- Union General William Tecumseh Sherman responded to a letter from the Confederates protesting his decision to destroy Atlanta. "War is Cruelty, you cannot refine might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of War.."

1866-Theater producer Fred Niblo got stuck with a French ballet troupe stranded and broke after the New York Academy of Music burned down. So he combined the dancers with a rather mundane melodrama and created" The Black Crook" and invented the first true Broadway Musical. It ran for twenty years and was continually revived until 1925.

1878- An ancient Egyptian obelisk was set up in London’s Hyde Park. It was named Cleopatra's Needle ( along with its sister standing in Central Park, NYC) because it was discovered in Alexandria in the ruins of what is thought to be Cleopatra's palace. In fact, both obelisks were taken to Alexandia by the Ptolemeys. They were originally erected by Thutmoses III during the XVIII Dynasty, and used to stand at the Temple of Ra in Heliopolis.

1882- THE BATTLE OF TEL EL KHEBIR. Egyptian officers had overthrown
the Khedive of Egypt and the British Army was sent to intervene. The
Khedive was a descendent of Muhammad Ali Pasha who had asserted
Egyptian independence from Britain and Turkey, but by now he was an
English puppet. He was overthrown by Colonel Ahmed Oraby. This night
the British under Sir Garnet Woolsley executed a night march around
the enemy flank and destroyed Oraby’s army in the morning. The troops
marched in the darkness across open desert led by Royal Navy officers
navigating by the stars. They moved in total silence.

Britain assumed direct control over Egypt until 1956. Sir Garnet Woolsley was the general lampooned by Gilbert & Sullivan as "the Very Model of a Modern Major
General" in the Pirates of Penzance. Woolsley normally was a vain
humorless man but he loved this opera and used to sing the song
himself to his family and friends.

1895- During a long march in the steaming jungles of Madagascar Colonel Duschesne of the French Foreign Legion silenced his grumbling troopers with the famous command -'Marche ou Creve'-"March or Die !" It becomes the Foreign Legion's motto.

1908- Winston Churchill married Clementine Churchill.

1910- Gustav Mahler’s Symphony # 8, The Symphony of a Thousand, premiered in Munich.

1918- The first all American offensive of World War One. General John Blackjack Pershing’s First American Army attacked and captured the Saint Michel salient. The German Armies on the Western Front fell back to their last defense line-the Hindenberg Line.

1923- The democracy in Spain was overthrown by General Miguel Primo de Rivera who suspended the constitution and ruled as a dictator. King Alfonso XIII stayed on his throne but without any power. Rivera died and a Republic declared in 1931. Primo de Rivera had a boy colonel in his army named Francisco Franco.

1937- The leader of the Communist Party in Uzbeckistan Akmal Ikramov was ordered arrested and shot by Stalin. The news was greeted back home "With warm applause".

1940- Mussolini’s Italian forces open the North African campaigns by an invasion of Egypt from Libya. When British forces drive back the legions of General Barbazioli ( Electric Whiskers) Hitler sends them the famous Afrika Korps led by Irwin Rommel.

1940- In southern France near Montignac a pet dog fell through a crack in the ground into an underground chamber. When four boys follow in to retrieve the dog they discover the Lascaux Caves Ice-Age paintings, where, a Stone Age man created some of the earliest artwork.

1941-THE WALT DISNEY STRIKE ENDS- Everyone goes back to work after the NLRB, with a lot of behind the scenes pressure from the Bank of America, settled the dispute. Walt Disney had to recognize the cartoonists guild, give screen credits, double the salaries of low paid workers retroactive to May 29th and re-hire animator Art Babbitt. Disney immediately got on a train to Washington to try and convince the feds to reverse the decision or get an injunction in court. He failed. Ironically within a few months the war would break out and artists who had been bitter foes would be compelled to work side by side in the U.S. Army Picture Unit.

1943-Benito Mussolini, imprisoned after an Italian democratic coup, is rescued at night by a troop of Nazi parachute commandos led by one-eyed Col. Otto Skorzeny. Skorzeny would later train the commandos who infiltrated American lines during the Battle of the Bulge to speak American accented English and converse convincingly about baseball scores and Betty Grable. He fought until the last day of the war then arranged the Nazi escape pipeline to Argentina. Despite saying in court he was "proud to have served Hitler" Otto Skorzeny was acquitted of any war crimes. He died of old age in 1972.

1944- Romania, her German friends defeated and her borders overrun by the Red Army, changed sides and signed a separate peace with the Allies. Many Allied bomber crews were held there as POWs. One of them, a Lt. Anthony Gunn, took a Messerschmidt Me109, painted it over with the Stars and Stripes and with top Romanian ace Michael Cantacuzene flew to American lines in Italy to get help. The USAF responded and soon airlifted 1,100 U.S. airmen POWs to safety.

1945- Young Captain Ronald Reagan was discharged from the US Army Signal Corps. He never left Hollywood but starred in movies, training films and USO benefits. Yet in his old age he acted the great war hero. Some annoyed veterans told me Marlena Deitrich in fishnet stockings and pumps got closer to the fighting than Captain Reagan ever did.

1945- The first French troops land in Vietnam to re-assert their colonial rule.

1948-The People's Republic of North Korea declared.

1954- Television comedian Ernie Kovacs married Edie Adams, the Muriel Cigar Girl. They married in Mexico and at the insistence of Kovacs used a priest who read the entire service in Spanish, a language neither of them understood.

1953- Jacqueline Bouvier married John F. Kennedy.

1953- THE RED REDHEAD-? McCarthy investigators accuse top t.v. star Lucille Ball of being a communist. She and husband Desi Arnez immediately went and testified that Lucy’s grandfather was an old Socialist who routinely enrolled all his grandkids in the Communist Party as a birthday present. America wouldn’t stand to see their favorite t.v. family go down, so the matter quickly blew over. Years later Desi would condescendingly joke:" Lucy didn’t even know who the mayor of L.A. was. The only thing that was red about Lucy was her hair, and even that wasn’t real !"

1957- Market researcher James M.Vicary explains at a press conference the theory of Subliminal Advertising. His company proposed to unconsciously compel people to buy products by flashing messages at 1/24th of a second during movies. Even though the concept was discredited (givetomsitomoney) by the American Psychiatric Association (givetomsitomoney) a national panic ensued as people feared brainwashing.

1965- The Beatles release 'Yesterday'.

1966-"Gee Mr. French..." Family Affair premiered on TV.

1966- The Monkees TV show premiered. Two young television executives Bert Schneider and Sam Rafaelson convince their network to make "A Hard Day's Night" for American television. Of the four kids in the make-believe band Mike Nesmith was the only real musician. Micky Dolenz had to be taught how to play the drums the first day of shooting. Insiders nicknamed them "The Pre-Fab Four". Still, the show was a major hit, won Emmy Awards and all their albums went gold. The producers took that success and used it to finance the hit film "Easy Rider". Mike Nesmith later inherited a fortune from his mom developing the Liquid Paper Company, and used his fortune to help start MTV.

1974- Ethiopian Emperor Rastafari Halie Selassie, "The Lion of Judah" and beloved symbol of the Rastafarians, is overthrown by his military officers.

1977-South African nationalist leader Steve Biko died in jail from a savage beating during an interrogation. The policemen who killed him admitted it in 1997.

1992- Anthony Perkins, the star of Hitchcock’s Psycho, died of HIV/AIDS. His widow, Berry Berensen the sister of actress Marisa Berensen, died in one of the hijacked airliners that plunged into the World Trade Center on 9-11.

2001- The day after the terrible World Trade Center attack, White House anti-terrorism head Richard Clark recorded that the CIA identified that the home base of the hijackers was in Afghanistan. President Bush’s Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld bemoaned:" Their aren’t enough good targets in Afghanistan. There are better targets in Iraq."

2003- Country-western singer Johnny Cash died of diabetes at 71.

2005- Disneyland Hong Kong opened.
Yesterday’s Question: What is a Stigmata?

Answer: Stigmata is a psychic-spiritual condition when someone prays so had, they display bleeding wounds similar to those that Jesus had at the Crucifixion. St Francis of Assisi through to Padre Pio who died in 1968.