BACK to Blog Posts

April 29, 2019
April 29th, 2019

Question: Is it true that Vikings never wore horns on their helmets?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: What was the old name Sri Lanka was called before 1972?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
History for 4/29/2019
Birthdays: Emperor Hirohito, Duke Ellington, Duke Wellington, Sir Thomas Beacham, Zuben Mehta is 83, Tom Ewell, Rod McKuen, Fred Zinnemann, Jerry Seinfeld is 65, Michelle Pfeiffer is 61, Daniel Day Lewis is 62, Uma Thurman is 49, Willie Nelson

Today is the feast day of the Patron Saint of Italy, no, not Frank Sinatra, Saint Catherine of Sienna.

1429- At around 8:00PM, the Royal French Army entered the City of Orleans surrounded on three sides by the besieging English. The torchlight glinted off the armor of the great warriors like the Duke Du Alencon, Giles Des Rais, Etienne LaVignoles” the Angry-One”. But all eyes were on their warchief, a little 17 year old peasant girl in white armor- Joan La Pucelle, Joan the Maid. Since she was illiterate she immediately dictated a letter to the English army: “Surrender to the Maid, sent by God the King of Heaven, the keys to all the French towns you have despoiled and go home!”

1749- In Philadelphia inventor Ben Franklin hosted a dinner party where he used his new battery to electrocute the turkeys to be roasted for the amusement of his guests. .

1771- Artist Benjamin West unveils his painting of the “Death of General Wolfe” at the Royal Academy in London. Wolfe was killed in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which decided that Canada would be English. West’s portrayal of Wolfe in his actual uniform instead an idealized Grecian god was considered scandalously realistic and revolutionized painting.

1786- The day before his opera THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO was to premiere, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sat down after dinner and wrote the famous overture. Friends said he liked to think while playing billiards.

1818- The ARBUTHNOT & ARMBRUISTER INCIDENT- Henry Arbuthnot was a 70 year old British merchant who sympathized with the Seminole Indians of Florida. Together with a former Major Armbruister they aided this tribe in its struggle with the expanding United States. When U.S. Gen. Andy Jackson invaded Spanish Florida in 1818 he captured these men. Jackson nursed a hatred of English people since as a young boy in the Revolution his home was burned and he was slashed with a saber by a redcoat officer. Jackson’s mother and older brother died in an English prison.

So Jackson was not interested in hearing about native rights or the eccentricities of Britishers. He executed them on the spot, hanging old Arbuthnot from the mast of his own schooner. This mistreatment of foreign nationals proved an embarrassment to President Monroe and earned Jackson a reputation for cruelty that would follow him to his own presidential runs.

1861- "All we wish is to be left alone." In a speech Southern President Jefferson Davis spells out the policy of the Confederacy with regard to the war with the United States. The speech was aimed at Britain and France for international support. Davis was adopting the traditional defensive strategy of insurgents, that not being crushed out of existence is a victory in itself. However by yielding the initiative and not occupying Washington D.C. after the U.S. army was destroyed at Bull Run, the rebels probably lost their best chance to win the Civil War.

1862- Admiral Farragut captured New Orleans. Farragut was a Southerner so at first the War Department doubted his loyalty. He was only able to swing a fleet command through his father-in-law, Admiral David Dixon Porter.

1863- General Stonewall Jackson had spent the last three weeks peacefully enjoying the company of his wife Ann and his baby boy. They had celebrated his 38th birthday together. On this day Jackson received word that the Yankee Army was on the move. He said good bye to his family and rode off. When Ann saw him next, he was dying.

1914- THE SILENT PROTEST- Writer Upton Sinclair gained national prominence as an activist by standing with other intellectuals silently in front of the Standard Oil headquarters in Washington D.C. The protest was to accuse the company of the infamous Ludlow Massacre, when company hired vigilantes set upon a camp of striking unionists and murdered them and their families including 11 children. When loud protests in front of Standard Oil’s office were outlawed by DC marshals, Sinclair resorted to this silent protest.

1916- The phase of World War I in Mesopotamia (Iraq) effectively ended when Lord Townshend surrendered his Anglo-Indian invasion force to the Turks after being surrounded at the Iraqi city of Kut.

1929- The film "All's Quiet on the Western Front" premiered. The world war one battlefield was constructed on a California ranch and dozens of real veterans hired to be extras. When the antiwar film debuted in Germany, Nazis agitators were sent out to Berlin theaters to release rats, skunks and snakes in the theaters to scare people away. The star of the movie Lew Ayres ruined his career when he declared himself a conscientious objector during World War II.

1939- It’s strangely ironic that Adolf Hitler’s Government while murdering millions also waged the first campaigns against smoking. This day the Nazi Party officially banned smoking in all their offices because of health concerns. The rest of the world wouldn’t even begin to think of linking cancer with cigarette smoking until the 1960’s.

1944- Dancing Romeos, the last Our Gang comedy short was produced by MGM, which had bought the franchise in 1938 from Hal Roach.

1945- ADOLPH AND EVA'S WEDDING- With the Red Army knocking on the door, Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun get married in their bunker. They celebrate by having dinner of spaghetti and a small green salad and then commit suicide.

1945- DACHAU liberated- American combat troops of the 45th Rainbow Division shot their way into the concentration camp and liberated 32,000 survivors like future Nobel Laureate Eli Weisel.
The Americans were so horrified by the nightmare they found, including 30 railroad cars packed with decomposing corpses, that when a clean cut, blonde haired SS commander surrendered by snapping a crisp Sieg-Heil salute, the American major he had directed it to pulled out his pistol and shot him dead on the spot. 346 SS guards were killed by the U.S. troops and camp survivors.

Many of the U.S. troops there were African American and Nisei (Japanese American) so when the newsreels sent back images back home, they were careful to film the backs of their helmets so you didn't see their faces.

1949- MGM chief Louis B. Mayer fired Frank Sinatra for making a joke about him. Mayer had hurt his hip riding, and Sinatra joked he got hurt not from falling off his horse, but falling off Jean Howard, a young actress Mayer was chasing.

1962- President John Kennedy hosted a dinner for a group of Nobel Prize winners at the White House. Kennedy said: “ I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined here alone.”

1975- In the wee hours of the morning Communist North Vietnamese began their final assault on the South Vietnamese capitol of Saigon. Missiles struck the runway at Tahn Sun Nhut Airport, so the big Air Force C-130 cargo planes could not land. The evacuation out to the US 7th Fleet offshore would be done all by helicopters. It was the biggest helicopter airlift in history. The signal on the radio to begin the air evacuation was Saigon radio began broadcasting Bing Crosby’s recording of White Christmas.

1981-Marylin Barnett “outs” tennis champion Mrs. Billy Jean King, the most famous American female athlete of her time. She said they had a lesbian affair for seven years.

1986- Los Angeles Central Library burns down. A lot of the costs of rebuilding was raised by private donation, much raised by a wild local televangelist named Dr. Gene Scott. Scott would preach his own strange brand of Bible study while smoking a cigar and wearing funny hats on camera. He also liked to laugh at other evangelists.

1988- On this day many Midwestern evangelicals awaited the Rapture and Apocalypse that the Bible foretold within one generation of the restoration of the Temple -- which
they took to mean within forty years of the re-institution of the Nation of
Israel... and guess what? We're still here.

1992- THE GREAT LOS ANGELES RIOT- Los Angeleanos go berserk after an all white jury in Simi Valley acquitted four policemen who beat up drunk motorist Rodney King while being videotaped. 63 killed, 2500 businesses destroyed, $1.5 billion dollars in damage, 13,200 arrests and large sections of Los Angeles put under martial law. Even Rodney King was moved to go on TV and proclaim: " Can't we all just get along?"
Part of the reason the disturbance spun out of control was the autocratic chief of the LAPD, Darryl Gates, was incommunicado for several hours at the beginning of the crisis at a fundraising party in Bel Air to get money to fund his quarrel with Mayor Tom Bradley. One irony was the loot-crazed mob ran right past the L.A. County Art Museum to sack a Mays department store on the next corner. I guess they felt that there was nothing of value in it, which is in agreement with many art critics. The Beverly Hills Police, a separate entity, kept the peace by simply arresting everyone they saw.

2001- Pioneer 10 was a space probe launched to the outer planets in 1972. After sending the first photos of Jupiter and Pluto in 1973, Pioneer 10 left our solar system and headed for deep space in 1997. It is aimed at the Constellation Taurus. On this day 7 billion miles away Pioneer 10 phoned home to say it was fine. Its last message was received in 2003. I wonder if it asked if Richard Nixon was still president?

2004- The last Oldsmobile made, ending the 106 year old line.

2011- Prince William married Catherine (Cate) Middleton in Westminster Abbey.
==============================================================

Yesterday’s Question: What was the old name Sri Lanka was called before 1972?

Answer: Ceylon.


RSS