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April 8, 2018
April 8th, 2018

Quiz: What is the significance of a place called Appomattox?

Yesterdays quiz answered below: What was the WPA?
History for 4/8/2018
Birthdays: Gautama Buddha –as commemorated by Japanese custom-Kambutsue, Ponce De Leon, King Albert of the Belgians, Mary Pickford, Yip Harburg, Betty Ford, Sonja Henje, Catfish Hunter, Jacques Brel, Darlene Gillespie, Julian Lennon, Carmen McCrae, Shecky Green, Douglas Trumbull, Robin Wright is 52, Patricia Arquette

64AD- An advertisement found on a wall in Roman Pompeii: “ TWENTY PAIRS OF GLADIATORS sponsored by Decimus Lucretius Satrius Valens, lifetime priest of Nero Caesar and TEN PAIRS OF GLADIATORS sponsored by Decimus Lucretius Valens Minor (his son) will fight on April 8th –12th, There will also be a suitable WILD ANIMAL HUNT. THE AWNING will be opened. “ I wonder what the Latin was for PayPal?

217AD.-The Roman Emperor Caracalla was stabbed in the back while taking a tinkle during the Moon God Festival. He got caught with his toga down. The assassin Martialis leapt on a horse and tried to gallop away, but he was brought down by a well-thrown javelin. The Praetorian Prefect Macrinus became Emperor.

1476- In Florence, Leonardo da Vinci was accused of sodomy with his 17 year old male model. He was acquitted in a preliminary hearing, but in his sketchbook he designed a lock-busting tool, just in case.

1520- on a beach somewhere in what would be Argentina, Fernand de Magellan
has three of his captains beheaded for trying to mutiny and turn back home. Of the 200 men and five ships in his expedition only one ship with 16 skeletal men will ever see Spain again.

1778- John Adams arrived in Paris to help Ben Franklin negotiate an alliance with the French Court. Their secretary Bancroft was a British double agent. The dour New Englander Adams was annoyed by Franklin’s superstar popularity among the French- Queen Marie Antoinette referred to him as Le Ambassadeur Electrique, as well as his habit of resting nude with the windows open -his “air baths”.

1793- CITIZEN GENET ARRIVES IN THE U.S.- The ambassador from the French Revolutionary Republic presented a dilemma for the George Washington Administration. The France that helped America win her independence was royal France, but Edouard Genet represented a fellow democratic republic, so far the only other one in the world. Common people in Philadelphia and New York danced and sang in the streets when they heard of the storming of the Bastille. The French Convention displayed a Stars and Stripes in their hall. A fashion started in America of calling each other “Citizen’ and “Citizeness”.

Secretary of State Tom Jefferson was pro French, John Adams and Hamilton were anti. Washington was pro-French until the Revolution had arrested his friend Lafayette. Rich Americans were afraid of the class anger the French revolutionaries were stirring up. Citizen Genet didn't help matters by openly trying to bribe American officials and publishing a list of all the prominent men of Boston whom he felt deserved to be guillotined.

Finally President Washington was asking for Genet's recall. Then Genet learned HE was next on Robespierre's list to be guillotined when he returned home! So Genet requested asylum and became a good American citizen.

1810- Admiral Thomas Cochrane, MP for Westminster, entered the British House of Parliament with a keg of gunpowder under his arm. The old Sea Wolf was trying to make a point in debate about defending his political allies.

1826- Congressman Henry Clay and Congressman John Randolph got so mad at each other they fought a duel. They popped away at each other with pistols not doing any harm.

1856- The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Company renamed themselves the Western Union Telegraph Company. In twenty years it became the largest corporation in the United States. Western Union stopped the personal telegram service in 2006.

1861- LINCOLN'S MOVE- Ever since Lincoln's election and the southern states declaring themselves an independent Confederacy, the thorny issue was the status of U.S. military bases on Confederate soil. The rebels sent commissioners led by Ex-president John Tyler to Washington to negotiate the peaceful transfer but Lincoln refused to meet them. The commander of Fort Leavenworth surrendered his post to Texas and Fort Pickens to rebel Florida. Only Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor South Carolina defiantly flew the Stars and Stripes. By now the U.S. garrison was running out of food and surrounded on all sides by hostile guns. Everyone wondered who would fire the first shot.

On this day Lincoln informed Governor Pickens of South Carolina that the U.S. government was sending a relief force to re-supply the fort. Jeff Davis had to make the decision to fire on the fort before the relief fleet could get there, thereby starting the shooting war. Davis recognized that Lincoln had deliberately outmaneuvered him into this situation, so as not to look like the U.S. would fire first.

1864- Battles of Pleasant Grove and Mount Pleasant. Union General Nathaniel Banks Red River operation was to try and take Shreveport Louisiana and invade East Texas. But he bungled his chance in two battles with Confederates under General Richard Taylor, an old lieutenant of Stonewall Jackson’s. Other commanders among the Texas volunteers was General Tom Greene who had fought under Sam Houston for Texas independence and Marquis Etienne du Polignac, a French aristocrat whom the Texas cowboys called “General Polecat”. The Red River Campaign failed so badly that the disgusted Yankee soldiers refused to even honor Banks with the title of General; they referred to him as “Mr. Banks”.

1865- LEE'S DECISION- The Army of Northern Virginia led by Robert E. Lee had to abandon the Confederate capitol Richmond, and was now being pursued by two huge Union armies. At a small intersection named Appomattox Courthouse they found the last open road blocked by a third Yankee army. Lee had 10,000 starving effectives to put against 150,000 bluecoats. Grant was offering negotiations.

This night Lee held a last council of war to decide what to do. The younger officers proposed dispersing the army with instructions to rally in the Blue Ridge Mountains and continue fighting as guerrillas. But Lee dismissed this: "I'm getting too old for that sort of thing.' I must act on the wishes of the government. " General Gordon snapped: "Oh, to Hell with the Government! You are the Confederacy now !" All that's left of it is here!" After one more dawn attempt to break out of the trap, Lee concluded with a sigh:" I guess all that is left now is to go see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths."

1876- Amilicare Ponchielli’s opera La Gioconda debuted. The ballet portion is famous as the Dance of the Hours.

1879- Milk first sold in glass bottles.

1904- THE ENTENTE CORDIAL. Britain and France end centuries of open hostility and signed the first of a series of alliances. In every war since William the Conqueror, Germany and Britain were always allies against France. For several years British foreign minister Joseph Chamberlain had been trying to negotiate the same exact kind of alliance with the Germans. In Berlin in 1895 he gave the toast “ Our (England) natural enemy will always be France.”
Germany was shocked by the news. Kaiser Wilhelm exclaimed, "What would Wellington and Old Blucher think?" -the allies who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.

1911-Vitagraph released Winsor McCay's short cartoon "Little Nemo" theatrically.

1913- The 17th Amendment passed that called for U.S. senators to be elected by popular vote instead of named by their state legislatures.

1933-The WPA- Works Progress Administration, later renamed the Works Projects Administration founded. It was the Franklin Roosevelt administration’s massive jobs program to heal the Depression by putting unemployed people back to work. They built bridges, dams, roads, federal buildings. The WPA arts projects employed artists like Grant Wood, Berenice Abbott and Thomas Hart Benton and put on plays with Orson Welles and John Houseman.

1942- The US government ordered all remaining heavy industry convert to war production for the duration of World War II. From now until 1946 no new automobiles were made, no tin toys, there were almost no labor strikes. Sugar, rubber and gas were strictly rationed. But any lingering unemployment of the Depression finally disappeared.

1945- Only days before his concentration camp would be liberated by allied armies, Lutheran theologian Deitrich Boenhoffer was hanged for his public opposition to Hitler.

1949- A three year old girl named Kathy Fiscus fell into a well in the little LA suburb of San Marino California. After a concerted effort by authorities to rescue her, she was found dead. What makes this sad incident memorable, was it was the first time a news event was followed by television cameras and reported live as it happened.

1952- A nationwide steel strike was going to cripple steel production in the President Harry Truman ordered the US government to take direct control of the steel mills and threatened the strikers that if they didn’t go back to work he would draft them into the army. While such drastic methods may have been necessary in wartime, Truman was dangerously overstepping his bounds as president by this action.

1966- Lenoid Brezhnev became Secretary General of the Communist party and leader of the Soviet Union.

1973- Pablo Picasso died at 91. His last words were 'Drink to me'. On his night table was a comic book drawn by former Disney animator Vip Partch.

1974- Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's home run record of 714 home runs. Hammerin' Hank hits #715 off Dodger pitcher Al Dowling. Aaron had tied the Babe’s record at the end of the previous season and had to endure an entire winter of stress and racial threats before he could come up to bat again and break the record on opening day of the new season. His locker had sacks of vicious hate mail alongside it. Henry Aaron retired with a new record of 755, done without steroids. Pitcher Al Dowling joked: "I never say 7:15 anymore. I only say, 'It's a quarter after seven'."

1975- Frank Robinson becomes the first black manager in major league history as his Indians defeat the Yankees 5-3. The Tribe's new player-manager hits a home run in his first at-bat as the designated hitter.

1986- Actor Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of the town of Carmel, California.

1994- Chan Ho Park becomes the first Korean to play in the US major leagues as he makes his Dodger pitching debut.

1994- Grunge rocker Kurt Kobain’s body was discovered by a security system electrician three days after he blew his own head off with a shotgun.

1995- Disney’s A Goofy Movie premiered.
Yesterday’s question: What was the WPA?

Answer: See above, 1933.