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August 14, 2002
August 14th, 2020

QUIZ: In what war did the British Army stop wearing their distinctive red coats and switch to khaki?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: It is said Pres Trump’s staff has built a Potemkin Village around him. What is a Potemkin Village?
History for 8/14/2020
Birthdays: Gary Larson, Erwin "Magic" Johnson, Lina Wertmuller, David Crosby, Alice Ghostly, Buddy Greco, Nehemiah Persoff, The 20's Parisian nightclub singer Bricktop, Dick Lundy, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, C.S. Watson, James Horner, Wim Wenders, Emmanuele Beart, Halle Berry is 54, Mila Kunis, Steve Martin is 75

29BC- Octavian celebrated a triumph in Rome to celebrate his victory at Actium over Anthony & Cleopatra.

1248 - Construction of the DOM Cologne Cathedral begun. It was finished 600 years later in 1848. Hey, these things take time.

1281-A Pacific typhoon, called by the Japanese the Kamikaze, or The Divine Wind destroyed the Mongol invasion fleet of Kublai Khan as it approached the shores of Japan. The Mongols showed the Japanese that they meant business. When they captured small outer islands like Ryuku and Iwo Jima, they crucified the civilians to the topmasts of their ships.

1385- Battle of Aljubarrota- Portuguese King John the Great defeated a Spanish army trying to put a relative on his throne. Portugal celebrates this as their independence day. Among Johns army were English archers freelancing after a lull in their Hundred Years War.

1457- The first printed Gutenburg Bible finished. One agent of Gutenberg’s bringing the first shipment of bibles to Paris was arrested for witchcraft by the locals. They thought it was humanly impossible for one person to make so many identical books without the aid of black magic.

1498 - Columbus explored the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.

1585 - Queen Elizabeth I of England politely turned down the offer of the Dutch to be Queen of Holland. She was trying to avoid angering Spain any further. Spain had a long festering feud with the Dutch. Shopping around for monarchs was not so unusual in those days. In 1700 England would go shopping for a Protestant king until they found the German George I. In 1827 the throne of Greece was offered to both a German Hohenzollern and a Russian Romanov.

1744- LOUIS LE BIEN AIMEE- Pleasure loving French King Louis XV had become gravely ill and was near death. His father confessor the Bishop of Soisson refused to give him the sacraments unless he banished his mistresses and reformed his sinful life. He did so and Louis health improved. He was so good the peasants began calling him Louis le Bien Aimee’- the Well Beloved. But boys will be boys. King Louis soon grew bored with being a faithful, sober husband. So he called back his mistresses and banished the Bishop instead. Louis XV lived happy, if disreputably, to a very old age.

1761-Battle of Liegnitz-Frederick the Great beat the Austrian army trying to surround him. Communications were so faulty 30,000 Russian soldiers stood around doing nothing while they could hear the distant cannon of their Austrian allies being defeated.

1781- At their camp in Wethersfield Conn, George Washington and the Comte du Rochambeau had been debating whether to use their combined forces against occupied New York City or Lord Cornwallis in Virginia. Today Washington received a letter from the Admiral DeGrasse that he was bringing his large French fleet with supplies and troops to meet them at the Chesapeake Bay. Washington knew this could be their last campaign, since his French allies wouldn’t send any more help in 1782, and everyone was starting to listen to a rumor that the Czarina Catherine of Russia was offering to broker an international peace conference in Vienna. Washington was sure that at this peace conference among the crowned heads of Europe, American Independence would probably be negotiated away. He resolved to accept the French plan to attack Cornwallis at Yorktown Virginia.

1784- On Kodiak Island, Grigori Shelekov founded Three Saints Bay, the first Russian colony in the Americas. The Russians would continue to expand their trading posts and settlements until Russian America extended from Alaska to just north of San Francisco California.

1820 - 1st US eye hospital, the NY Eye Infirmary, opens in NYC.

1873 - "Field & Stream" magazine began publishing.

1893 - France issues 1st driving license, included a required driving test.

1900 – The 1st electric tram began in the Netherlands -Leidseplein-Brouwersgracht.

1900 -The end of the 55 DAYS IN PEKING. A multinational military force relieved the diplomats besieged by the rebellious Boxers in the Chinese capitol. The Dowager Empress Zhou Zhsi fled into the countryside. British, American, German, Russian, French, Italian and Japanese troops fought side by side, and looted and destroyed the beautiful Imperial Summer Palace.

Just in case you thought tasteless cheap “fake-news” journalism is a modern problem- At this time back in Europe no one knew the Peking diplomats fate. The press had picked up on a report from a Shanghai correspondent for the London Daily Mail that reported them all massacred, with lots of lurid "eyewitness "details of their gang rape and torture. Queen Victoria had been fooled to the point of ordering a memorial service at St. Paul's Cathedral before reconsidering until more substantive proof came in.

1908- The first international beauty pageant held in Kent, England.

1920- THE MIRACLE OF THE VISTULA -An obscure action to western historians, but it poses an interesting "what if..." The Poles and Bolshevik Russians were having a war after the Red Revolution. The Reds had thrown the Poles back from Moscow and on this day they were beaten back by Marshal Pilsudski from the gates of Warsaw. The "What if" is the fact that Lenin and Trotsky never intended the Communist Revolution to be confined to Russia alone. The Red Army would missionary it across Europe the way Napoleon's battalions had spread in their wake social reforms of the French Revolution. Russian Marshal Tuckhashevsky told his men: " The Road to a World Conflagration lies over the Corpse of Poland !"

With post-Great War Berlin, Vienna, Rome and Budapest in political chaos, if the Poles hadn't stopped the Bolsheviks when they did, instead of a Nazi Europe the 1920's we could have seen a Europe where the Communist Russia extended to the borders of France and Holland. Analysts at the time said this battle was as important as Marathon or

1928 - Ben Hecht & Charles McArthur's play" The Front Page," premiered in NYC. They later went on to become top comedy writers in Hollywood. McArthur is the one who sent Hecht the famous telegram- "Hecht, some quick, fortunes to be made and your competition are idiots!"

1935- President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the National Social Security Act. Considered the most successful US Federal social program ever.

1936- Rainey Bethea was the last person ever hanged in the USA, after having confessed to the rape and murder of a 70-year old woman named Lischia Edwards.
1937 "Bloody Saturday" in Shanghai. With the opening of the Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese hoped for foreign help by making a stand at Shanghai, within full view of the International Settlement. On August 14, some American trained Chinese bombers attacked the Japanese warship Izumo, anchored in the river in the heart of the city. They misjudged--some said their bomb sights hadn't been adjusted-- and they dropped two bombs on Nanking Road, the "5th Avenue" of Shanghai.
One bomb went through the roof of the Palace hotel, the other detonated on the street: 729 people killed, 861 wounded. The same day, another tragic mistake--once again, Chinese bombers miscalculated, with worse results.( the area was crowded with refugees) 1,011 dead and 570 wounded.—the bodies were packed so tightly, blood flowed in the gutters like water.

1939 - 1st night games at Comiskey Park -White Sox 5, Browns 2

1941- Nazi spy & saboteur Josef Jakobs was the last prisoner ever to be executed in the Tower of London. No he wasn’t beheaded, he was shot by firing squad. He had suffered a broken ankle during his capture, so he faced his end seated on a Windsor chair.

1942 – General George Marshall named Dwight D Eisenhower as US commander for invasion of North Africa. Marshall wanted at first to run the show himself, but President Roosevelt said he was too valuable and had to stay in Washington in overall charge. Eisenhower was a controversial choice. A career staff desk jockey, he had no experience leading men in combat. This was especially galling to British Field Marshall Montgomery, who had been in the field battling Nazis for 3 years now. But George Marshal foresaw the job of European Allied commander would be a more administrative and even diplomatic, juggling act between the Yanks, British and Free French, so Eisenhower was his man.

1945-VJ DAY (Aug 15th in Japan) -President Truman announced the surrender sparking wild celebrations in allied cities like New York and London. In Japan citizens were politely asked to stand at attention by their radios as Emperor Hirohito explained to his people about the surrender. It is the first time they had ever heard his voice. At 3 am that morning 1,000 rebel Japanese troops attacked the palace trying to prevent the disgrace of the surrender announcement. They were fought off by the Imperial guard and the guard commander was killed. The speech was pre-recorded and went on anyway.
Defense minister Anami committed Hara-Kiri while his radio played the address. Gangs of angry kamikaze pilots wandered the streets looking for trouble. Their commanders had emptied the gas tanks of their planes to obey the Imperial edict.

1956- The Marilyn Monroe movie "Bus Stop" premiered.

1962 - French & Italian workers break through at Mount Blanc to create an auto
Tunnel through the Alps.

1962 - NASA test pilot Joseph Walker takes the X-15 supersonic plane to 60,000 ft.

1962 - US mail truck in Plymouth, Mass robbed of more than $1.5 million.

1964 –California angels pitcher Bo Belinsky is suspended after attacking sportswriter Braven Dyer.

1965 - Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" hits #1.

1965- Jane Fonda married director Roger Vadim, who put the beautiful young blonde in naughty movies like Barbarella. His previous wife Bridgette Bardot was a beautiful young blonde that he put in naughty movies….hmm. Fonda later married Ted Turner.

1971 – The British began internment without trial in Northern Ireland.

1979 – A rainbow was seen in Northern Wales that lasted for 3 hours duration.

1980- SOLIDARNOSC!! - At a strike at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk, Communist Poland the first mass peoples movement that would eventually topple European Communism was created. An electrician named Lech Walsesa climbed the fence and joined the strike, eventually becoming the leader of the movement Solidarity. He was a political prisoner, a Nobel Prize winner and eventually President of democratic Poland.

1980- Dorothy Stratton was a beautiful Playboy model whose acting career was beginning to take off, as well as a relationship with top Hollywood director Peter Bogdanovich. She was encouraged by Hugh Hefner among others, to shed her old loser boyfriend Paul Snider, who kept hanging around her. Today Dorothy Stratton was found shot to death by Snider, who then turned the gun on himself. She was age 20.

1994 – The world’s most wanted terrorist "Carlos the Jackal" was arrested in Khartoum Sudan when he entered a clinic to have a varicose vein removed from his testicle.

1995- Super-agent Michael Ovitz of CAA was named President of the Walt Disney Company under Michael Eisner. After 14 fruitless months he left.

2003- Another blackout shut down the power again in the Northeast, from New York to Toronto to Detroit.

2006- A UN brokered ceasefire stopped the open war between Israel and the Hezbollah living in Lebanon.

2126- Get your catchers mitts out! Comet Swift-Tuttle will pass very close by the Earth.
Yesterday’s Quiz: It is said Pres Trump’s staff has built a Potemkin Village around him. What is a Potemkin Village?

Answer: Czarina Catherine the Great had ambitious plans for modernizing Russian society. But good intentions were slowed by resistance to change and corruption. Catherine chief minister Prince Potemkin had fake painted facades of modern towns covering miserable medieval squalor to convince the touring monarch that her reforms were working.