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Feb 9, 2021
February 9th, 2021

Quiz: In Elon Musk’s sports car, currently in space, one panel in the dashboard bears the sign DON’T PANIC! Where is that originally from?

Answer to yesterdays question below: During WWI, what was a Sopwith Camel?
History for 2/9/2021
Birthdays: Constantine XI Paleaologus- the last Byzantine Emperor 1404, President William Henry Harrison, Samuel Tilden, Carmen Miranda, Alban Berg, Ronald Colman, Ernest Tubb, King Vidor, Mamie Van Doren, Roger Mudd, Alberto Vargas, Carole King, Bill Veeck, Fred Harman, Joe Pesci is 78, Zhang Zhu-Yi, Disney animator Bill Justice, Frank Frazetta, Mia Farrow is 76, Mena Suvari is 42, Ciaran Hinds is 68, Jerry Beck.

Today is the Feast of St. Apollonia, who wore a necklace of her own teeth, yanked out by her torturers. She is the patron saint of Dentists. She finished the session by throwing herself on the bonfire prepared for her. I wonder if she paused to rinse...

1267- The Polish-German town of Breslau ordered all Jews to wear funny hats.

1268- St. Louis declares his second Crusade. Crusade #8 if you're keeping score.

1540- First recorded horserace in England. Roodee Fields, Chester.

1555- John Hooper, the Anglican Bishop of Gloucester, was burned at the stake by Catholic Queen Bloody Mary Tudor.

1567- Young, sexy Mary Queen of Scots had tired of her abusive husband Lord Darnley and had the hots for macho Lord Bothwell. Darnley was convalescing from the Pox in a small cottage outside Edinburgh castle, annoyed that the Scottish parliament refused to confirm him as king. Mary had the cellar filled with gunpowder, so she could say he accidentally exploded -after all, isn't everybody’s basement filled with gunpowder? The scheme didn't work. After the explosion, Darnley staggered out of the smoldering ruins alive. So Lord Bothwell had to "accidentally " throttle him. Hoot-Man!

1674- The British had taken New Amsterdam from the Dutch and renamed it New York in 1661. In 1671 a Dutch battle fleet came back, recaptured the port and renamed it New Orange. Today another British fleet arrived and made it New York again. Oij! Make up your minds!

1800- France first received news of the death of American leader George Washington who had died December 14th. Napoleon ordered all French flags at half mast and ten days of official mourning in honor of "This great champion of the rights of man".

1807-THE GREAT SANHEDRIN- The French Revolution had finally given its Jewish citizens political rights, and spread these rights throughout Europe as the French armies conquered. This day Napoleon had called for a grand council of European rabbis in Paris to discuss issues dividing Christians and Jews. A Sanhedrin (Greek for sitting together) of the Jews had not met since 66AD. Napoleon himself wanted to attend, but at the time he was busy in Poland conquering more people.

1824- The House of Representatives decided a deadlocked presidential election in favor of John Quincy Adams even though he didn’t win the popular vote.

1856- An early tabloid The London Illustrated News reported a live Pterodactyl dinosaur popped out of a rock and flew away when workers were excavating a railroad tunnel in Culmont France. Believe it or Not!

1861- The new Confederate States elected as their first, and only president, former US secretary of state Jefferson Davis. Among other projects, Davis was once in charge of introducing Egyptian camels to the Southwestern deserts and creating the First US Army Camel-Corps. When the Southern states seceded Davis was hoping to become a general of Mississippi volunteers, but not be made president. Old Sam Houston said Jeff Davis was, "cold as a lizard and ambitious of Lucifer".

1864- George Armstrong Custer married Miss Elizabeth Bacon. Despite Custer’s reported taking Indian women as mistresses, he remained wildly in love with his Libby. He once risked a court martial for leaving his post to go see her. After Custer was killed at the Little Big Horn Libby Custer became the guardian of his memory. She created the romantic image of him writing books like "Mornings on Horseback" and " They Died With Their Boots On". She lived into her 80s and met President Franklin Roosevelt, before dying in 1933.

1870- Congress created the U.S. Weather Service.

1900- Collegiate tennis player Dwight Davis created the Davis Cup.

1909- The First US narcotics legislation, this one against opium. At this time heroin, morphine and cocaine were all available in patent medicines. Marijuana wasn’t outlawed until after prohibition in the late 1930s.

1914- “Mabel’s Strange Predicament” The Max Sennett Keystone short where Charlie Chaplin first donned his baggy pants, little mustache and derby to create The Tramp, one of the most beloved characters in film history. He was so popular, even young Adolf Hitler was advised to change his mustache, because he looked too much like Chaplin.

1923- Russia’s passenger airlines Aeroflot established.

1927- Mae West caused a scandal by writing and staring in a play called “Sex”, and mounting a new production about homosexual life entitled “ Drag”. This day the NY Police raided her offices, shut down production and carted her off to jail. She emerged after 8 days in a work-house more popular than ever.

1932- Mobster Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll was a hit man for Dutch Schultz when he decided to start his own gang. He earned the name "Mad Dog" for gunning down school children who accidentally strayed into his crossfire. Finally, he was so violent, even the mob couldn't stand him any more. This day Mad Dog Coll was waiting for a meeting in a soda shoppe on 23rd and 7th in Manhattan. Someone called him to the phone. While waiting on the line two gunmen jumped out and sprayed the phone booth with machinegun fire. Dutch disliked freelancers.

1942- When war broke out the US had impounded the worlds largest luxury ocean liner, France’s Normandie. France at this time was occupied and part of the Nazi Reich. The Normandie was being refitted in a New York drydock to become a troopship, when this day she caught fire. In a spectacular conflagration she rolled over and sank. Everyone feared it was the work of Nazi saboteurs, but and investigation showed the real culprit was a welding torch left near some flammable solvents.

1943- After 6 months, the Battle of Guadalcanal finally ended.
G.I.’s reached the opposite side of the island, and shot at Japanese soldiers running out into the surf. Evacuating Japanese forces had left behind wounded who could still fire a gun with orders to hold off the Americans as long as you can, then take a cyanide pill or blow yourself up with a hand grenade. So many warships had been sunk in the waters in between the archipelago’s islands that it is now named Ironbottom Sound. The last Japanese soldier came out of the jungle in 1947. Even 75 years later local people could still show you ancient fighter planes still dangling from the vines of the jungle canopy.

1950- THE WHEELING SPEECH- Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy "Tail-Gunner Joe" delivered his speech in Wheeling West Virginia, in which he blamed Communist subversion for all the ills of American society: the Soviet atomic bomb, the loss of China, fluoridated water, post nasal drip, the works. He dramatically waved a paper:" I have in my hand a list of 205 names- names given to the Secretary of State of known Communists who continue nevertheless to work and shape policy in the State Department !" The paper was blank, he had no such list and refused to back up his charge with proof. But the effect was electric. America went commie paranoid.

1959- The AFL and CIO unite.

1964- Ed Sullivan introduced the English rock band the Beatles to a nationwide TV audience. It was a "Rrrreally Big Shewww!" (Sullivan’s signature line)

1969- The" Lindsay Snowstorm". John Lindsay was the handsome if confused mayor of New York in the sixties of whom the Robert Redford character in "The Candidate" was partially based. He tried to cut budget expenses by stripping New York of it's snowplow fleet, thinking they were unnecessary. The city was immediately paralyzed by 14 inches of snow. Plows had to be brought from as far as Montreal. Even then, he ignored the outer boroughs for days, focusing on Manhattan.

1968-"You did it! You Finally did it! Oh, Damn you all to Hell!!" the film The Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston premiered.

1971- The Sylmar Quake (6.8) rocks L.A.

1989- In testimony before the New Jersey State Senate World Wrestling Federation President Vince McMahon admit that the sport of wrestling is purely entertainment, and no one actually gets hurt. I’m shocked, shocked!

1990- Singer Del Shannon, who had a hit with the 1961 song Runaway, shot himself with a 22 rifle. Del Shannon was supposed to replace Roy Orbison in the Travelling Wilbury's, the group that featured Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynn. Orbison had died the previous year of heart failure and the Wilburys were starting to rehearse with Del Shannon. After Shannon's suicide, the group decided to disband.

1991- Lithuania voted for independence from the crumbling Soviet Union. This first successful breach signaled the breakup of the Soviet Union.

1996- German World War II fighter ace Adolf Galland died at age 86. While other aces had skulls or dice painted on their planes, Galland had a Mickey Mouse on the tail of his Messerschmidt ME109F. Hey Adolf, is that the RAF on your tail? Worse, its the Disney Legal Department! Ach, Himmel!

2001- Actor Tom Cruise filed for divorce from Nicole Kidman.
Yesterday’s Question: During WWI, what was a Sopwith Camel?

Answer: It was an English single seat fighter plane. It is what Snoopy calls his plane he takes up to battle the Red Baron.