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May 09, 2021
May 9th, 2021

Quiz: What does it mean when you say, its kismet.?

Yesterday’s Question:What does it mean to have “ Pie in the Sky”..?
History for 5/9/2021
Birthdays: John Brown, James M. Barrie the creator of Peter Pan, Henry J. Kaiser of Kaiser Aluminum, Frank Frazetta, Glenda Jackson is 85, Billy Joel, Candice Bergen is 75, Mike Wallace, Pancho Gonzales, James L. Brooks, Rosario Dawson, John Corbett, Albert Finney
To the ancient Romans this was the Lemuria, their Day of the Dead. Like the ancient Greek Anthesterion in February, the Lemuria was a deal made with the Underworld that the dearly departed were allowed to visit the surface world and you should leave your door open and leave out food for them. This way they won't haunt you, and so you'll have good luck all year.
At sunset tomorrow the head of the house (Pater Familias) walks through the house hitting a little bronze gong, he throws a handful of black beans over his shoulder and chants 'With These Beans I Redeem Myself and My Family. O Shades of My Ancestors Depart! Lemuria has Ended!'

310AD- This is the Feast of Saint Pachonius, the first monk to bring other monks and nuns together to live communally, instead of living in caves as solitary hermits.

1421- A fire destroyed part of the just completed Forbidden City in Beijing.

1503- Columbus sails home to Spain from his fourth and final voyage. He traveled down the Central American coast as far as Venezuela. Despite modern history extolling his genius, Columbus never stopped thinking he had discovered Asia. Because the Nicaraguan Indians told him there is another ocean just beyond the jungle, in his diary he confuses it with the Indian ocean, so he thinks he is in Vietnam. (Cochin China)

1662- London diarist Samuel Pepys noted today he first saw a Punch & Judy puppet show in Convent Garden.

1754- THE FIRST NEWSPAPER CARTOON- Ben Franklin in his Pennsylvania Gazette prints a drawing of a segmented snake with each piece named for a colony with the inscription: Join or Die. (Okay, it's not Calvin and Hobbs, but it's a start).

1775- LUMBERJACKS ATTACK THE ROYAL NAVY- One of the stranger engagements of the American Revolution. Captain Henry Mowat, RN, anchored his warship off Falmouth Maine (present day Portland) to reassert Royal authority on the Maine seacoast. Suddenly several little boats rowed out to his ship. At first he thought they were royalists come out to greet him. But when they scampered up on board he saw they were Maine lumberjacks wielding their huge double bladed axes. Mowat and his startled crew surrendered and were roughly taken into custody. It was the first time a warship was ever captured by axe.
The Maine men, not having any central authority or instructions about what exactly to do with prisoners, eventually let them go. Once back on his ship Capt. Mowat ‘s revenge was to haul off shore, and bombard the coastline with red-hot cannonballs, burning the town of Falmouth to the ground. The incident created a violent resentment in the colonies, many of whom were still hoping for reconciliation with the Mother England.

1785 - British inventor Joseph Bramah patents the beer-pump handle. So pull us a dram for a pint of pure.-i.e. I’d like a glass of Guinness Stout, please.

1812- Napoleon left Paris to begin his March to Moscow.

1844-THE PHILADELPHIA SECTARIAN RIOTS- in Philadelphia arguments between Irish and Protestant gangs over public funding of religious schools erupted into four days of rioting. 20 were killed, Catholic Churches were burned and the city placed under martial law. As news of the riots spread, the Irish Catholic Bishop of New York warned the mayor that if one church was harmed in New York, Irishmen would burn down the city. “We’ll make New York another Moscow!”- recalling that cities burning in 1812.
These are the first anti-immigrant fighting in U.S. history. Also it was the first time Americans would have to understand that some immigrants could be loyal Americans without assimilating into an Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture. Anti-Irish anger would seethe until respect was won on the bloody battlefields of the Civil War.
Another fact about the Philadelphia Riot was newspapermen Will & Frederick Langeheim point their daguerreotype box camera out of the window and photographed the troops around City Hall. It was the first News Photo.

1865- In Gainesville Alabama, hard fighting rebel cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest received news of the fall of Richmond and the surrender of the armies of Lee and Joe Johnston. He and a friend went on an all night ride to meditate what to do. “If one road led to Hell and the other to Mexico, I would be indifferent as to which to take.”
Finally Forrest announced to his men his decision: they would not go to Mexico, and they would not continue on as guerrillas, they would surrender and go home. When the governor of Mississippi protested, Bedford Forrest growled: “ Any man who is in favor of further prosecution of this war is a fit subject for a lunatic asylum! The attempt to establish and independent confederacy has failed, we should now meet our responsibilities like men.”
And despite Sherman offering a price for Forrest ‘s head, saying “There can be no peace in the land until he is dead!” Nathan Bedford Forrest was allowed to go home in peace.

1887- Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show did its first performance in Europe. In London the English public, several European kings and writer Oscar Wilde thrilled to displays of trick riding, wild red Indians, cowboys and little Annie Oakley the trick shooter.

1896 - 1st horseless carriage show in London. It featured 10 models.

1919- Mustapha Kemal, called Ataturk, is ordered to disband his Turkish Army at Samsun in accordance with the armistice agreement ending the Great War. Instead he declared a revolt and resists the Greek invasion. It is the beginning of modern Turkey.
One of the interesting conflicts in Turkey today is the Islamic fundamentalist movements coming up against the legacy of strict church-state separation and state espoused by Ataturk. Today in Turkey it is a state crime to criticize Ataturk.

1919- Harlem bandleader James Europe had toured Europe while in uniform for World War I and had made the Old World wild for jazz. Europe was doing a triumphal tour of America with his doughboy band when his career was tragically cut short. In Boston, he argued with one hotheaded musician who stabbed him in the neck. He quickly bled to death. Had he lived, James Europe might have been as famous in Jazz history as Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington.

1926- Commander Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett left Spitzbergen Norway, flew over the North Pole in a Fokker monoplane called the Josephine Ford. He beat by two days Norwegian explorer Roald Ammundsen, who flew over the Pole in a dirigible built by Mussolini. Remember Lindbergh hadn’t flown across the Atlantic yet, and it was ten years before the Hindenberg disaster, so a dirigible was considered much safer than an aeroplane.
Commander Byrd won the Medal of Honor and became a household name. Modern scholarship based on his diary and testimony by Floyd Bennett now shows Byrd really didn’t go over the Pole but turned back 150 miles short because of an oil leak. He was too drunk to tell anyway. Although a former World War I pilot by now Byrd had grown skittish about flying.

1932 – London’s Piccadilly Circus first lit by electricity.

1935- The First Belch heard on nationwide radio. Melvin Purvis (the FBI man who killed John Dillinger) was doing an ad for Fleischmann’s Yeast when he committed the offense, which was dubbed “The Burp Heard Round the World”.

1937- ACTOR’S SHOWDOWN WITH L.B. MAYER- In a dramatic confrontation the heads of the Screen Actor’s Guild Robert Montgomery and Franchot Tone go to MGM boss Louis B. Mayer’s beach house during a Sunday garden party. While IATSE-Capone mob gangster Willie Bioff stood by to give Mayer support, Montgomery told Mayer he had a 96% strike vote from the actors, so if Mayer didn’t recognize SAG as the sole bargaining agent for actors they would paralyze Hollywood Monday morning!
Mayer thought about it, then gave in. Bioff got from the actors a deal that the IA would back off if the actors would withdraw their support from a rival union to IATSE’s organizing the behind the scene’s technical artists. That night 5,600 actors and friends celebrated at Hollywood Legion Stadium. Next morning 200 waited in line to get their SAG cards including Garbo and Jean Harlow.

1937- Burne Hogarth began drawing the Tarzan comic strip. Hal Foster had been in contract negotiations with the syndicate over money and the right to his originals. He had created Prince Valiant as a bargaining chip when the syndicate called his bluff by giving the Tarzan job to Hogarth. Foster went on to greater glory with Valiant, but remained angry at Burne.

1942- Chuck Jones wartime comedy short “ The Draft Horse” premiered.

1950- The French Premier Schumann warned that more deadly world wars would occur in Europe unless Europeans started to unite as one country.

1950- Former Naval reserve officer and pulp science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, his book defining his new religion Scientology.

1955- Washington D.C. station WTOP put on a young Univ of Maryland grad named Jim Henson as filler before the TODAY Show. First called Sam & Friends, Hanson antics with his puppets, including a green frog called Kermit, fashioned from fabric cut out from one of his mothers old green coats. The Muppets were born.

1960- Dr. Gregory Pincus introduced the Birth Control Pill Enovid-10, aka The Pill.

1961- John F. Kennedy's newly appointed head of the FCC, Newton Minow, did his first major address to a luncheon of top television executives. In his speech he blasted them for TV’s mindless content and violence. He called television: " A Vast Wasteland."
What makes it historic is it's the first time anybody had noticed just how lousy TV is and how badly we are all addicted to it. In the show Gilligan’s Island, the boat they were on was named the Minnow for Newton Minnow.

1970- THE MORATORIUM DAY- Largest of the nationwide youth protests against the U.S. War in Vietnam and Cambodia. President Nixon was obsessed by the protests. He had a bunker command post built under the White House where video monitors observed the “long haired peaceniks” outside. When Nixon told his staff he was going to go watch some football, he meant he was going to brood over the monitors. Retired CIA director Bill Gates confessed in his memoirs that as a young operative he took the day off to go protest as well as did a lot of other CIA agents. In Chicago young student and future comic John Belushi was dragged off by friends after being struck in the chest with a fired tear gas shell.
In 2000 it was revealed that President Nixon was so depressed at this time, he was taking a mood altering prescription barbiturate named Dilantin. It was given him by Jack Dreyfus of the Dreyfus Fund without a doctor’s permission. He was so out of it that Secretary of Defense John Schlesinger ordered military and nuclear installations to ignore the orders of our stoned President, unless first cleared by the Defense Department.

1973- Soylent Green opened. Starring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson in his last movie role. Soylent Green takes place next year, 2022.

1978- Italian authorities found the bullet-riddled body of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in a car trunk. He had been kidnapped and murdered by a left wing extremist group called the Red Brigade. The cruelty of the act backfired on the brigade. They lost any public support they may have had and were soon gone.

1995- The Center of Disease Control published findings on a new deadly strain of virus appearing near Kinshasha Zaire. They called it the Ebola Virus.

2005- Columnist Arianna Huffington started the on-line newspaper The Huffington Post. Its liberal slant was considered a response to blatantly conservative media like Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report and Fox News.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What does it mean to have “ Pie in the Sky”..?

Answer: The phrase meant stop wasting your time hoping for a better hereafter instead of trying to better your lot now. In 1911 folk-singing activist Joe Hill wrote the song mocking the Salvation Army theme “ In the Sweet Bye and Bye.” He wrote “ work and pray, live on hay. You’ll get pie in the sky when you die….”