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July 15, 2018
July 15th, 2018

Quiz: What is meant by calling something a “Via Dolorosa”…?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What should you do is someone hands you an oud?
History for 7/15/2018
Birthdays: Rembrandt van Rijn, Inigo Jones, Sir Thomas Bullfinch, Mother Cabrini, Clemont Moore, Julian Bream, Linda Rondstadt, Alex Karras, Jan Michael Vincent, Lola Davidovich, Forrest Whitaker is 57, Brigette Neilsen, Jesse Ventura, Terry O’ Quinn is 66

Feast of St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain.

765 A.D.- Mayan Scientists hold a conference at Copan to discuss astronomy and adjust their calendar. By 1492, the Mayan civilization was already 2,000 years old. Their calendar was so perfect, the difference between it and our modern atomic clocks calculation of a lunar month is just 24 seconds! They used hieroglyphic writing but also a system of numbers including zero, which the Greeks and Romans never figured out. Among their surviving documents are calculations on the orbit of Venus.

Tikal, one of their cities, covered 23 square miles ( Rome of the Caesars covered 8 ) and had a temple that was the tallest structure in America until the completion of the U.S. Capitol dome in 1863.

1205- Pope Innocent III declared that because they have rejected Christ, the Jewish people must be subjected to perpetual servitude and subjugation. It took several more centuries of oppression and a holocaust for the Vatican to officially "forgive" Judaism in 1947. Pope John Paul II apologized in 2000.

1410- Battle of Grunwald, King Jagiello of Poland, Witold Wytautas of Lithuania and their Tartar allies defeated the Prussian Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Sword Brothers under Grand Master Ulrich Von Junnigen.

1685- James the Duke of Monmouth was executed. Monmouth was the bastard son of King Charles II and tried to overthrow his step-uncle James II in Monmouth’s Rebellion.
Monmouth New Jersey had been named for him.

1780- Top American Colonial General Benedict Arnold snuck a coded message to British Commander Sir Henry Clinton. In it, he offered to betray the fortress of West Point to the British for 20,000 English pounds. Arnold wasn’t even West Point’s commander yet, but he expected Gen. George Washington to confirm him in the job any day. The only person who warned that Gen. Arnold might be up to something, was a female spy planted in British Headquarters in occupied New York. Her cover was kept so complete, that her name is lost to history. We only know her as agent “355”.

1789- Astronomer Jean Sylvain Bailly is proclaimed first mayor of Paris. Since Medieval days when the Hero Mayor Etienne Marcel had defied the King, Paris had no mayor but was under direct royal control through an appointed prefect. Today the mayor of Paris is such an important position it is considered the stepping stone to the Presidency of the Republic.

1795 - "Le Marseillaise" became officially the French national anthem.

1806- American captain Zebulon Pike set off on his trek of discovery through the new Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado territory. Near Santa Fe New Mexico he was apprehended by Spanish Authorities for trespassing and put on a boat back home. In Colorado, Pike discovered the mountain named for him- Pike’s Peak.

1815- Napoleon boards HMS Bellerophon for the trip to St. Helena. On the trip he teaches himself English, and made friends with the British sailors to such an extent that their officers reprimand them. He said to his Irish doctor, O'Meara:" So you are a doctor and I am a general. How many men have you killed? I'll wager more than me!"

1861- During the Civil War a beautiful Washington D.C. socialite named Rose Greenhow moved in the highest circles of government and was personal friends with top Congressmen and Generals. But Rose was also a Southern spy. This day she got out a message to Confederate General Beauregard that the main Union army would commence their march on Richmond that week. This bit of espionage would contribute to the great Union disaster at Bull Run. Rose Greenhow was later arrested and her home turned into a women’s prison.

1862- THE WILD RIDE OF THE C.S.S. ARKANSAS- Union Admiral David Farragut (the 'Damn the Torpedoes!' guy) had moved his big battle fleet up the Mississippi above the Confederate fortress town of Vicksburg and was preparing to bombard the town. Southern Captain Issac Brown was told he would take command of an ironclad called the Arkansas, and sailed it right into the middle of the Union navy, firing on all sides. One ship attacked 34 warships!
Farragut was taking a nap and was so surprised he fought the battle in his nightshirt. Although pounded by dozens of heavy cannonballs Brown's homemade ironclad not only held up but she inflicted so much damage on Farragut's wooden ships he was forced to leave Vicksburg and retreat to the Gulf. At one point Capt. Brown was knocked senseless by some shrapnel and when he woke up he had been laid out on a pile of dead corpses. But he had done his job. No further attempts to attack Vicksburg occurred until the end of that year. One ship had defeated a navy.

1863- Yankee leaders were so frustrated by the actions of Confederate guerrillas in Missouri and Kansas that they resorted to a controversial solution. They began arresting the wives, sisters and girlfriends of the guerrillas and lodged them in Kansas City. They hoped to ship them to rebel held Arkansas, thinking this would draw off their menfolk. But on this day an unforeseen tragedy struck. The old Grand St Hotel they were in collapsed, killing many of the innocent women. The country was shocked and the rebels vowed revenge. Cole Younger lost his mother and two sisters. He never believed the collapse was an accident. Bloody Bill Anderson rode into battle tearfully shouting his baby sisters name.

1870 -The Hudson's Bay Company sold Prince Rupertland to Canada, which was the entire Canadian west from the Ontario border to the Pacific and from the Montana border up to the Arctic Circle. Up to then it had been a corporate businessman's dream, the largest land mass ever managed by a board of directors, almost as large as the United States. The Hudson's Bay CEO, Sir Roger Simpson had been called the 'Emperor Simpson' by his detractors. Canada suddenly became bi-coastal. But the French-Indian fur trappers called the Metiz understood the threat Anglo town settlers would bring to their way of life and rose in revolt under their leader Louis Riel.

1882- In Springfield Illinois, “The Crazy Old Lady” who lived alone in the big house with the curtains always drawn finally died. Mary Todd Lincoln, the widow of Abraham Lincoln, had always been emotionally high strung and a little paranoid. Now, her spirit was broken by her husbands murder and all of her children dying except her eldest son Robert. And he kept trying to get her committed to a lunatic asylum before she spent all of their family fortune. Mary wore nothing but black, constantly wept, packed and unpacked trunks all day, and lived on chloral hydrate, opium and other narcotics. This day she finally got her fondest wish, to join her husband in death.

1915- A Secret Service agent was presented with a suitcase left by a German diplomat on a New York City subway seat. In the satchel was a complete list of known German spies and saboteurs working in the U.S., a nation still officially neutral in the war between Britain, France and Germany.

1916- The Boeing Aircraft Corporation (originally Pacific Aero) formed in Seattle by William Boeing.

1928- The first Enigma Machine for decryption invented.

1938- Max Fleischer Popeye cartoon "With the Jeep" introduced Eugene the Jeep. The character was created in the Thimble Theater comic strip two years earlier. The funny little character later gave its name to the army’s new General Purpose Vehicle, the G.P. or Jeep.

1941- President Franklin Roosevelt sent federal mediator Stanley White to try and solve the labor strike between Walt Disney and his cartoonists.

1945- President Truman was shown intercepted communiqués from Japanese military command saying that all that was left of the Japanese army was massing on the Southern beaches of Kyushu preparing to fight the expected American invasion.

1951-A Syrian nationalist shot and killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Riyadh Bey-Ehrsault in Beirut.

1953- English serial killer Jack Christie was executed. In his home at Number 10 Rillington Place police found the bodies of several women buried in the garden. Two bodies weren’t even Christies, they were credited to an abortionist who was a previous tenant who had botched two and they died of internal bleeding.

1953- The film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes premiered starring Marylyn Monroe and Jane Russell.

1971- President Nixon announced he had accepted an invitation to visit Red China.

1971- Producer Steve Krantz announced the production of the first X-rated cartoon, Fritz the Cat, to be directed by newcomer Ralph Bakshi.

1979- THE OIL CRISIS- Lines at gas pumps stretch for blocks, and President Jimmy Carter was scheduled to address the nation. But when he canceled at the last minute and disappeared from the public eye, rumors spread of a health problem or, even worse. After a few days, he reemerged with a speech In the address, President Jimmy Carter laid out the oil/gas crisis. He stated flatly that the U.S. and the world was trapped in an increasing dependence on diminishing stocks of foreign oil. We need to move to develop solar and other alternative fuels immediately. “ When we import oil, we import rising prices and unemployment." He said we should establish a Solar Bank to eventually take on 20% of the nations energy needs.
But the media instead focused on his negative tone, his speaking of a “ crisis of confidence” They labelled it the “National Malaise” speech, even though he never said that.
The next President, Ronald Reagan, ignored all of Jimmy Carter’s initiatives and tore off the solar panels from the roof of the White House. The cost of gas then was .86 cents a gallon.

1982-Coca-Cola introduced Diet Coke. Coke officials are proud of the fact that within a year it's sales top that of Tab, but Tab was owned by Coke as well. ( duh..?)

1997- Famed clothing designer Gianni Versace was murdered outside his Miami mansion by a deranged serial killer on a spree since leaving Minnesota. The killer, Andrew Cunanan, was later found in a houseboat with a self-inflicted bullet in his head.

2011- Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, and short the Ballad of Nessie opened in theaters.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What should you do is someone hands you an oud?

Answer: You would play it. An oud is a Moroccan stringed instrument, an ancestor of the guitar.