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March 5, 2012 mon
March 5th, 2012

Question: What does it mean to set your imprimatur?

Quiz: Why is the U.S. Southeast called Dixie?
History for 3/5/2012
Birthdays: Henry III of England, Gionanni Batista Tiepolo, Explorer Le Sieur de Cadillac the founder of Detroit, Hector Villa-Lobos, Howard Pyle, William Oughtred 1574- inventor of the Slide Rule," Red Rosa" Luxemburg, Rex Harrison, Dean Stockwell is 76, Paolo Pasolini, Andy Gibb, Samantha Eggar, Andrej Wajda, Fred Williamson, Penn Gillette is 57, Eva Mendes is 38, Kevin Connolly is 38

Today is the feast day of Saint Eusebius of Cremona.

493AD- BARBARIAN PEACE SUMMIT- Theodoric the Visigoth invited Odoacer, King of the Germans in Italy to a peace conference. On a pre-arranged signal two Goths held Odoacer's hands pretending to shake them, then Theodoric whipped out his sword and sliced Odoacer in half. He said of his sword stroke: "Surely the mother of this knave hath made him with gristle, for I find no bones in his body." Peace was achieved.

1496- English King Henry VII hired Italian John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) to go explore this New World that the Spanish were going on about.

1534- Renaissance painter Correggio died when after an argument in the cathedral of Parma with his patrons paid him with sacks of pennies. He grew overheated carrying them all home and died of a fever at age 45.

1562- The Teutonic Knights disbanded- Warrior monks were a creation of the Crusades but by the Renaissance they were outmoded. This German order of military monks formed in Jerusalem went to Prussia after the Crusades to convert the pagan Baltic peoples by chopping them up for Christ. But by now they had two big problems: Number one- everyone they used to chop were already Christians. Number two- the Reformation had started and all the knights were converting to Lutheranism, even the Order’s own bishop! So Grand Master Kettler went to Wittenburg to talk to the great reformer Martin Luther. Luther told Kettler to chuck the whole monk-thing, get married and become Duke of Prussia. Brandenburg-Prussia was later the state that Germany unified under in 1870.

1616- The Holy Office of the Inquisition published its verdict on the new scientific ideas of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. It read:" The idea that the Earth goes around the Sun is Foolish, Philosophically Erroneous and Heretical since it contradicts Holy Scripture. The idea that the Earth revolves on its axis is also Ridiculous and Heretical." Galileo’s writings were not removed from the Index of Banned Books until 1835.

1717- Giovanni Tiepolo joined the Guild of Saint Lawrence, the artists union in Rome.

1759- Francois Voltaire’s most famous satire on religion and hypocrisy- Candide- was published. It was immediately ordered publicly burned by the regional parliaments of Geneva and Paris. This only increased its popularity. To stay out of trouble Voltaire first refused to admit he was the author:" People must have lost their senses to attribute to me that pack of nonsense! I have, Thanks God, better occupations."

1770- THE BOSTON MASSACRE- A snowball fight near some British sentries turned into an ugly anti-British riot that made the redcoats open fire on the crowd. African American Crispus Attucks among several others were killed. Radical publisher Sam Adams inflated the incident into the Boston Massacre. The British authorities were accommodating enough to allow the soldiers put on trial in a colonial civilian court. The soldiers were defended by a young Boston lawyer named John Adams. They were all acquitted.

1836- At the Alamo, as the Mexican army of Santa Anna prepared for their final attack, legend has it Colonel Travis gathered the remaining defenders. He drew a line in the sand with his sword and asked all who wished to stay and fight to the bitter end to cross it. All crossed but one. He was an elderly Frenchman named Louis Rose, who slipped out through the lines to safety. Rose was a veteran of Napoleon's army and had fought at Moscow and Waterloo. I guess he felt he had made enough history for one lifetime. At dusk, 16 year old rider James Allen slipped out of the Alamo to bring the doomed men’s last message to the outside world.

1853- Harry Steinway & Sons began their piano making company.

1863- The U.S. Army finally admits having the men do their own cooking was bad for morale, as well as their digestion. The first field kitchens with real cooks set up.

1868- Englishman C.H. Gould patented the first stapler.

1877- Rutherford Hayes inaugurated. His wife banned hard liquor from the White House. For this she was known as Lemonade Lucy.

1891- The town council of Phoenix Arizona offered a bounty of $200 for every dead Indian brought in, and they didn’t care how they came to be dead.

1912- Italy became the first to use dirigibles for military purposes. Using them to get aerial reconnaissance of Turkish positions west of Tripoli, Libya.

1913- The day after his inauguration, President Woodrow Wilson began filling his cabinet. Secretary of the Navy Dearing proposed as Assistant Secretary of the Navy a young New York assemblyman named Franklin D. Roosevelt. Wilson said:" Most Roosevelts I know try to run everything, but this fellow is a capitol idea!"

1918- Lenin moved the capitol of Russia from Petrograd- Saint Petersburg back to Moscow.

1922- F.W. Murnau’s eerie film Nosferatu premiered in Berlin.

1933- The day after his inauguration President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders a nationwide "Bank Holiday", a nice way of saying shut the whole darn system down to stop the panic and slide. One third of all U.S. banks had already collapsed. Roosevelt moved so fast, throwing program after program to combat the Great Depression, that his first 100 days in office became legendary, and now the media use it as a litmus to measure other presidents against.

1937-Allegheny airlines born, later to become U.S. Air. Allegheny had such a bad safety record that by the 1970’s the joke on their motto was "Allegheny will get you there-maybe."

1937- SPITFIRE. The first flight of Britain’s most famous fighter plane, the Supermarine Spitfire Mark II. Designer B. J. Mitchell fought red tape and outdated thinking on the army’s requisition board. He died of exhaustion and heart failure at 42, never knowing that his Spitfire would become the decisive tool in winning the air war over Britain, and saving his country from Nazi invasion.

1963- Country star Patsy Cline died in plane crash near Camden Tenn. Also killed were singers Cowboy Copas and Hacksaw Hawkins.

1973, New York Yankee pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson make a stunning declaration. The left-handers announce that they have traded each others wives, children, houses, even their family dogs.

1982 John Belushi died of drug overdose at Chateau Marmont hotel on Sunset Strip. He had done twenty heroin-cocaine speedballs in just 24 hours. A woman named Cathy Smith was charged with administering to him the fatal dose. Robin Williams was with him that night partying also but left early. He was 31. Someone scrawled on Belushi’s tombstone:" You could have given us more laughs.....But NNNOOOO!

1995- Vivian Stanstall, lead singer for the Bonzo Dog Band, died in a fire in his London flat. He had been smoking in bed.

2004- Communist China changes it’s constitution to say that private property is now OK.
Yesterday’s Question: Why is the U.S. Southeast called Dixie?

Answer: Individual states printed their own money in the Early Republic. Ten dollar bills printed in Louisiana had the French word for ten DIX on them. As riverboat trade moved currency up north people understood the South as the place where DIXies come from. Another theory is that it is from the Mason-Dixon Line, marked in 1763 by two British surveyors to mark the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland.