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April 15, 2017
April 15th, 2017

Quiz: Nowadays we hear of U.S. politicians described as Federalists, a Federalist Society, etc. Just what does it mean to be a Federalist?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: When you say “he ran the gamut of emotions…” What is a gamut?
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History for 4/15/2017
Birthdays: Leonardo DaVinci, composer Domenico Gabrieli, Nanak I the guru of the Sikh religion 1469, Charles Wilson Peale, Theodore Rousseau, Henry James, Bessie Smith, Heinrich Klee, Kim Il Sung, Claudia Cardinale is 78, Roy Clark, Emma Thompson is 58, Olympic runner Evelyn Ashford, Alice Braga is 33, Seth Rogen is 35 Emma Watson is 27

Fordicidia-Ancient Roman Festival where 31 pregnant cows are sacrificed in honor of Tellus, the Earth-Mother.

Happy St. Matthews Day, the patron saint of tax-collectors.

1632- Battle of the Lech River. round one of Protestant Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus vs. Catholic Imperial Duke Albrecht Wallenstein in the Thirty Years War.

1729- The Saint Matthew’s Passion oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach was first sung at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.

1738-The Bottle Opener invented.

1755- Dr. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language first published. Dr. Johnson first created the system of listing a word’s phonetic pronunciation, ancient roots and how to use the word in a sentence. Before this, nobody fussed much about spelling words correctly. The excellence of Dr. Johnson’s dictionary made him the virtual dictator of English writing in his time.
Dr. Johnson allowed a bit of personal pique into his lexicographical prima non pares. He was annoyed that Lord Chesterfield pledged to finance his effort, but only sent a check for a measly ten pounds. When the book was a success his lordship claimed credit as Johnson’s benefactor. Dr. Johnson defined the word “Patron”- One who contributes Indolence, and pays in Flattery.”

1797-The Great Spithead Mutiney- Never mind the Bounty, here the whole blinking British Fleet mutinied against harsh conditions like flogging, press gangs and having to say “Arr-Mateys” in a silly voice whenever appropriate. Flogging was never officially prohibited in the British Navy, it just died out in the 1870's.

1822- The Captain Henry Expedition set off. Andrew Henry got together a team of mountain men including Jedediah Smith and Jim Bridger and went off in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark to the source of the Missouri River 2,500 miles into Montana. They tried to drag a small ship on wheels along with them but wound up abandoning it. The story was dramatized in the 1970’s Richard Harris film” Man in the Wilderness” and in the 2015 Leonardo DiCaprio film “ The Revenant”.

1839- Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg are betrothed to be married. Actually it was Victoria who proposed to Albert, it was unseemly to speak to a queen otherwise. Victoria and Albert had been intended by political arrangement since they were 13, but they fell in love, which was considered quite unusual.

1850- The townships of Yerba Buena- Good Herbs, incorporated as the City of San Francisco.

1861- LINCOLN’S EDICT- In reaction to the attack by Confederate rebels on Fort Sumter, President Abe Lincoln declared the ten southern states in an open state of rebellion and called for troops. Legally the Constitution did allow for the Southern States to secede, and Lincoln couldn't get a declaration of war from a half empty Congress, so he found an obscure 1792 law that allowed the President to call up state militias without requiring a declaration of war. He enlisted 175,000 men.
Many regular army lieutenants and captains resigned from the national service so they could become generals and colonels in the militia. Even poor drunks like Ulysses Grant could get a captain's job from his local Ohio regiment. Frontier states were emptied of regular army men, forts like Tejon, California abandoned because of lack of troops.

1865-LINCOLN DIED- After being shot at Ford's theater Abraham Lincoln finally expired at 7:08 am during a rainstorm. He had lingered all night without ever regaining consciousness. Mary Lincoln went into hysterics and had to be dragged from the room. She never entered the White House again. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton had the White House sealed up under guard for two months until Vice President Andrew Johnson got up enough nerve to move in.
In North Carolina General Sherman was putting the finishing touches on the surrender negotiations for the army of Joe Johnston, the largest remaining Confederate army in the field after Robert E. Lee's. When Sherman received the news of the murder he passed the telegram to Johnston, who grew pale. They both agreed to suppress the news from their armies for several days so revenge fighting wouldn't break out.
In far away Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Star newspaper reported U.S. troops had to stop the locals from celebrating the news. Many were Southerners who had fled west when it looked like the Confederacy was losing the war.

1871- Wild Bill Hickok became sheriff of Abilene Kansas, then a wild boom town filled with drunk cowboys and yahoos. One of the reforms he instituted was strict gun control.

1874- The first Paris show of Impressionist Painting.

1912- The Titanic sank by 2:20AM. At 4:30 AM, The S.S Carpathia finally reached the Titanic disaster site to rescue 705 survivors in the bobbing lifeboats. The Titanic death toll is now estimated at around 1,522 out of 2,200. Early reports of the disaster mentioned that the Titanic had struck an iceberg but that all was well. This day's Wall Street Journal noted the incident "proved a triumph of modern technology!"

1924- The Rand McNally Company published the first automobile road atlas or North America.

1925- Ford introduced the first pickup truck. Up to now farmers had cut the backs off Model T cars and welded boxes on, to make a light-load vehicle. There was also an earlier pickup truck called the International, but it had limited distribution.

1927- First Hollywood star's footprints in cement ceremony at Grauman's Chinese theater. Called Hollywood's most enduring publicity stunt. Norma Talmadge, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Sid Grauman himself are the first to leave their prints. Grauman also invented the classic Hollywood premiere with spotlights, red carpet runways and chauffeured limousines.

1934- Chief of production Darryl F. Zanuck quit Warner Bros. over an argument about employee salary cuts, to take over a struggling little movie studio called Twentieth Century Fox, which he turned into a giant.

1935- Kodachrome film developed. First as motion picture film, later for home photography.

1940- Franklin Roosevelt covertly gave permission for American volunteer pilots to join General Claire Chennault in fighting the Japanese invasion of China as part of a freelance foreign corps serving in the Chinese air force. The Flying Tigers are born. The famous toothy grimace painted on their planes was created by a Walt Disney artist.

1945- Eva Braun left the comparative safety of Munich and traveled to Berlin to be with Hitler in his bunker. She told a friend. ”A Germany without Adolf Hitler would not be fit to live in.”

1947- Jackie Robinson takes the field with the Brooklyn Dodgers. First black player to join the Major Leagues. Up until then the Brooklyn Dodgers in their history had never won more than 2 pennants. After Robinson and Campanella and other Negro league players were added they won 6 in 7 years and a World Series. At one game after a particularly nasty barrage of boos and catcalls from the crowd, Dodger stars Duke Snyder and Southerner Pee Wee Reese went over and publicly put their arms around Robinson in front of the crowd.

1951- General MacArthur prepared to leave Japan after being sacked by President Truman. The Japanese adored their American Shogun who helped reform their society from postwar chaos. Even though he left his offices in the Daiichi Building for his plane at 6:00AM, the crowds to see him off were already ten deep. One unintentional bit of fun for the Americans was a large misspelled banner from a Japanese well wisher about MacArthur’s potential presidential run: “GOOD LUCK FOR YOUR UPCOMING ERECTION.” ( William Manchester American Caesar, Chapter 10)

1952- The Franklin Savings Bank issued the first credit card in the U.S.

1953- Famed illustrator Charles R. Knight died peacefully in a Manhattan hospital. The man who inspired the lush look of such films as 1933 King Kong, his last words were to his daughter Lucy, “Don’t let anything happen to my drawings.”

1955- The First McDonald's Restaurant franchise opened in Des Plains, Ill. Ray Kroc, a travelling milkshake machine salesman, buys into a franchise restaurant idea cooked up in 1948 by two brothers named McDonald from Santa Bernadino. He urged the brothers to go national with their pre-prepared food system, but the brothers wanted to stay local. So he offered them 1 million bucks for their idea and name (would you go to" Kroc's?") and the rest is history. The oldest surviving McDonald’s from 1953 in Downey California was recently destroyed despite the efforts of historians, and replaced with a plastic plaque.

1961- 48 hours before the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Fidel Castro told the world his Cuban Revolution was Communist and he asked the Soviet Union and Red China for aid. He also ordered the arrest of 20,000 enemies of his regime.
Since taking power in 1959 Castro had been cagey about the nature of his politics, but he used hatred of the Yankee Imperialistas as a strong national unifier. When he visited the US for the opening of the United Nations he was snubbed by most of the State Department except a 20 minute meeting with Vice President Nixon. Still, he tried to stay non-aligned until he knew the CIA was readying a coup against him. Fidel aka “The Beard” stayed in the Communist camp even beyond Russia and China, and outlasted eleven US presidents.

1962-AUNTIE EM, AUNTIE EM! actress Clara Blandick, 80, the Auntie Em of the Wizard of Oz, took an overdose of sleeping pills and tied a plastic bag around her head. She left out on a table her resume and press clippings so the newspapers would get her obituary right.

1964- Walt Disney sent attorney Robert Foster to Orlando Florida to quietly start buying up land for a planned new Disneyland Park.

1974- A surveillance camera picks up Heiress Patricia Hearst, now called Tanya, robbing a San Francisco bank with other members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the group that kidnapped her.

1983- Tokyo Disneyland opens.

1989- Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Yao Bang died. His funeral gathered mass rallies of pro-democracy students and workers that culminated in the Tien ah Mehn Square Movement.

1990- Kennan Ivory Wayans comedy show In Living Color premiered on FOX TV. The show made stars of Marlon Wayans, Damon Wayans, Jamie Fox, Jim Carrey and Fly-Girls Jennifer Lopez and Rosie Perez.

1994- English ice skater John Curry who created the concept of Ice Dancing, died of HIV/AIDS at 44.

2013- The Boston Bombing. Two Cheychen brothers, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev exploded two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring 120.
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Yesterday’s Quiz When you say “he ran the gamut of emotions…” What is a gamut?

Answer: Gamut used to refer to the lowest notes on the musical scale. Eventually, "running the gamut" meant you had played all the notes a given instrument was capable of. Nowadays the phrase means covering the entire range of a subject. (thanks FG)


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