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May 8, 2018
May 8th, 2018

Quiz: What was a blunderbuss?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: What should you do when someone points a harquebus at you?
History for 5/8/2018
Birthdays: Harry Truman, Roberto Rossellini, Leopold Bakhunin, Louis Gottschalk, Oscar Hammerstein, Ted Sorenson, Sonny Liston, Toni Tennille, Ricky Nelson, Peter Benchley, Thomas Pinchon, David Attenborough is 92, Keith Jarrett, Alex Van Halen, Melissa Gilbert, French illustrator Jean Giraud aka Moebius, Enrique Inglesias, Bob Clampett, Don Rickles

1429- St. Joan of Arc saved the City of Orleans. The English had never captured the capitol of the Loire Valley but were besieging it from a string of powerful fortresses built around it. At one point in the battle for a castle called La Tourelles, a big English knight stood in the breach in the wall, hewing down Frenchmen with his two-handed broadsword. He seemed invincible, until a knight named Jean De Montesclere brought up one of those newfangled hand held firetubes. From a safe distance, Jean put a stone bullet through the Englishman. The unknown knight was the first man ever shot by a gun.

1587- THE LOST COLONY- The Roanoke settlers left England for Virginia. When a supply ship reached their colony three years later in 1590, the houses were intact, but the colonists had all disappeared, leaving no bodies, or signs of violence. Only a mysterious message, CROTOAN, carved on a tree. Their ultimate fate has never been successfully determined.

1776- While the American Congress was debating whether to declare independence or not, the British Navy reminded them what was at stake. This day two warships, HMS Roebuck and Liverpool tried to shoot their way up the Delaware River to Philadelphia. They were finally turned back by the Yankee shore batteries.

1778- Sir George Clinton arrived in occupied Philadelphia to relieve British commander Sir William Howe. Clinton’s instructions from London were that since the French had entered the American Revolution on the American side, he was to abandon the rebel capitol of Philadelphia and consolidate British forces in New York. Instead of being reinforced with more troops, he was to detach a few regiments for an attack on Saint Lucia in the Caribbean.

1824- Ludwig Von Beethoven performed his Ninth (Choral) Symphony and Missa Solemnis in concert for the first time. Even though he was stone deaf he was still in demand as a conductor. The orchestra trained themselves to ignore the Maestro's baton waving and follow the lead of the concert-master (first violinist). It was said when they finished and the audience was cheering, poor Beethoven was still flapping his arms about and moaning the melody, unaware of the sound of his own voice.

1874- Massachusetts adopted a ten-hour workday for women, down from 12-14 hours.

1878- David Hughes invented the Microphone while trying to get over bronchitis.

1910-Russian-Jewish immigrant glove salesman Schmuel Gelpfisch married Blanche Lasky, the daughter of vaudeville performer Jesse Lasky. Gelpfisch later changed his name to Sam Goldfish, then Sam Goldwyn. He and his father in law Jesse Lasky went into the new flicker business and started the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company. They soon moved to Hollywood.

1912- The movie studio Famous Players Lasky born. In 1914 they changed their name to Paramount Pictures.

1927- When Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic, there were other aviators who attempted the same feat. This day French daredevils Charles Nungesser & Francois Coli took off from Paris to fly to New York in their plane L’Oiseau Blanc. They were never seen again, and their remains were never recovered. Later that year, authorities noticed that the $30,000.00 in prize money that crooked NY Mayor Jimmy Walker was supposed to present them with had mysteriously disappeared as well…

1933- When the Rockefellers were building their huge office complex Rockefeller Center in New York City they decided to get one of the greatest living Mexican painter Diego Rivera to design the murals for the interior of the atrium ’Man at the Crossroads". This despite the fact that Rivera was well known as a radical communist.
Soon Nelson Rockefeller noticed Rivera was painting in the center of the mural a huge portrait of Lenin stepping on his father John D. Rockefeller’s face! Over Rivera’s protests Rockefeller ordered the mural painted over and no record of it’s existence ever kept. But on the night before the painting was to be destroyed Swiss art student Lucienne Bloch slipped a camera into her shirt. While Frida Kahlo distracted the guards, she took the only photos of the mural for posterity.

1943- Tex Avery's "Red Hot Riding Hood"- Ooohh Wolfy !

1945- Victory Day- Nazi's repeat the surrender signing done for Eisenhower, now for the Russians in Berlin. The announcements were made, V-E day celebrations broke out around the world.

1947- Department store mogul Harry Gordon Selfridge died in poverty in Putney, a suburb of London. He was 89. Even though his store Selfridges made millions, in his old age he wasted so much money on gambling and women, his exec board stripped him of his power. In 1943 he was arrested for vagrancy for loitering in front of his own store.

1954- DIEN BIEN PHU- The Communist Viet Minh guerrillas decisively defeat the French in Indochina. The French strategy was to place a forward base in the heart of the guerrilla infested jungle to lure the Vietnamese into the open and defeat them. Instead they got a modern version of the Little Big Horn with the French Legionairies going down under endless waves of attacking Vietnamese. The guerrilla forces had carried large howitzers in small pieces up mountaintops and assembled them to rain shells down on the French.

1962-"A Funny thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum" opened on Broadway.

1962- Director Joe Mankiewicz shot the climactic spectacle scene of Cleopatra –Elizabeth Taylor, entering Rome through the Arch of Titus on a mobile sphinx surrounded by thousands of extras. The shot had been delayed six months after a stunt woman fell off an elephant, and then the light in the Forum had not been right. When Elizabeth Taylor appeared in the scene, the Italian extras were supposed to shout "Hail Cleopatra!, but instead they all shouted "Liz! Liz!"

1973-A.I.M. Indian movement surrendered Wounded Knee to the F.B.I.

1978- Postman David Berkowitz confessed to being "Son-of-Sam" or the "44 caliber killer", the serial killer who terrorized New York City by shooting to death teenage couples at random and toying with letters to journalist Pete Hamill. Berkowitz said he received his orders to shoot people from his neighbor's Labrador dog Sam.

1991- President Bill Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas, propositioned waitress Paula Jones at the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock. With her legal bills financed by the Clinton-hating Neo-Cons, her case went as far as a Supreme Court. They decided to allow her to sue a President while in office. Clinton’s attorney didn’t help things with statements like :" Drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park and who knows who you’ll turn up. "She got a lot of publicity, an $850,000 settlement and a nude spread in Penthouse Magazine.

1996- South Africa adopted its first post-apartheid constitution.

1998- The impotence drug Viagra gains national prominence when retired Senator Bob Dole confessed on the Larry King talk show that he participated in the drugs test trials and the had "thoroughly enjoyed himself."

Yesterday’s Quiz: What should you do when someone points a harquebus at you?

Answer: Duck! In the 1500s it was an early form of rifle.